Think of all the Unsaid Compliments…

I got my hair cut. I did it mostly because I am frustrated with the heat. I felt like I was wearing a long hairy blanket on my head. While sweating is my summer normal, I didn’t feel I should encourage it any further. I hate sweating. I also felt like a change was in order. You know, the wild thought that starts in your gut that says, change yourself and the easiest way is always your hair. It is a cultural phenomenon. I don’t know if the reasons are consistent. Could it be: I am bored, let’s shake my life up a little; I will get a haircut? Or: Here I am everyday looking fabulous and no one notices; I will get a haircut, that’ll shock em? OR: All this “changing my life stuff” takes too long; I will get a haircut.

I cut my hair for probably all those reasons.  In my earlier blog I explained that I have been feeling stuck in a rut, so there you go. I went to my trusted Hair Queen, Shannon, and told her I wanted something short- as short as I could go. With my fat face I can’t really go pixie, if you know what I mean. In this heat though, I was thinking about a full on Sinead O’Connor. It isn’t just the pasted-to-my-neck hair of this heat, it is the maintenance. So I went before work one day and consulted Shannon, and this is what she came up with.

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I am never very good at the selfie

Cute right? I had a vision of walking into work with an imaginary fan running in the background and some sort of techno music over the top. People would wave and give a thumbs up in my direction. Looks of bright eyed surprise and then smiles in slow motion, and maybe even pats on the back would be in order.

Did any of that happen? Of course not. First off, I work in chat technical support. Not only is that mostly men, but most of us don’t really talk that much anyways. Secondly, we are all busy doing stuff. About an hour after I got to work, I got a text from a coworker who knew I was going to get my hair done. “Turn around, let me see your hair.” She said then said it was nice. Another coworker stopped me in the bathroom and told me it was pretty. Two compliments are still not too shabby, but I was hoping for more. I know as a thirty-something woman I shouldn’t be needy for compliments, and in a way I am not. I love my hair, it is my favorite feature. I am a confident woman who is super cute and got the good hair combination of my mom and dad. It does what I want, but I want adoration too. I am greedy.

Talking with my best friend, after she saw it and complimented me right away, I told her how everyone was underwhelmed. She said, “I don’t think Idahoans give compliments.” I thought that might be true because she and I are both Midwesterners, who, I have to say give more weight to outward appearance which is a double-edged sword. The people here who have been most complimentary to me here have been from the East Coast, take that as you may.

I don’t think it is the only reason people don’t complement each other.

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It even looks cute curly!!!

I think it is how overwhelmingly awful we are at taking compliments. I mean I’m not, I am awesome, but most people are really hesitant to hear something nice. I was in the elevator with a young, lovely, olive-skinned beauty. I said in open-eyed wonder, “You have beautiful skin.”

Her immediate curt reaction, “No, it’s just the make-up.”

We argued about this the whole elevator ride up with me explaining to her skin like that doesn’t come out of a jar, and her telling me how hideous she was. Finally I stopped the whole thing and said as if speaking to a four year old, “Wait a minute, let’s start this over. You have beautiful skin, now what do you say?”

I mean seriously, children. If someone tells you how awesome you are, say thank you already! I don’t know how your momma didn’t teach you that, but I am now. Also, I don’t take time out of my busy day to bullshit you. I am an adult with things to do. Soak in the nice words; believe them, because I mean them. For goodness sakes, stop arguing with whoever complimented you, for my sake as well as yours. I mean, if you are a bitch when someone compliments you, they might not want to compliment me for fear of the worst.

 

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Come to my Pity Party

wedding week 158There are so many people in pain in my life, it feels selfish and morally weak to talk about my pain. I have a Facebook friend who is in constant pain, and my mom has fibromyalgia, in pain almost every day. These are only two examples of the many people who have it worse than I do. I think quantifying how much pain a person is in, it sort of an odd conversation, but I know I am not the only one who thinks this way. It is the same with emotional pain. For instance, I would never think of going to talk to my best friend about a small argument I had with my husband when she was crying over a break up. That’s just mean. I wouldn’t blame her if she looked at me like, “REALLY? THIS SHIT?”
Being a bystander to chronic pain, I know how helpless it feels when a loved one is going through it. My mother has so much pain it’s unbelievable, and Mom’s a tough woman so I know she isn’t just complaining. To be honest she just doesn’t complain enough probably. After so long complaining seems fruitless I am sure. I used to try to help. Those with chronic pain will giggle at that. It is like trying to tell a fat person how to lose weight. No one has researched how to lose weight more than a fat person. I can account for that. It is the same for chronic pain. My buddy on Facebook goes to a new doctor it seems once a week. So while I am saying why don’t you try yoga, how bout acupuncture etc. my mom is just rolling her eyes. Finally she says to me, “I have tried these things. When I tell you about my pain, I just want you to listen, maybe say you are sorry I am going through this.”
Oh, hmmm. I don’t know how to be outwardly empathetic very well. I am…trying. I think I sort of sound like a recorded message sometimes but again I try. I much prefer to try to solve problems, but if there is no solving something the only thing I can do is submit. I think God is trying to teach me to submit to things that are out of my control. I am not a fast learner this way.
When it comes to my pain, I am lucky in that it is only about a week every couple of months as my medicine wears off and I wait until my insurance deems me worthy of another dose. I lay around taking my Aleve, in the fetal position with a heating pad on my shoulders, or legs or whatever part of my body hurts the most and getting nothing done except a lot of diarrhea. I think that is what pisses me off the most. I feel worthless. A week before my MONSTER PMS I was so productive. I wrote, edited, scrapbooked, exercised, and spent time with loved ones. One day I am feeling amazing, next day, don’t want to walk to the fucking bathroom. I have to slowly hobble to the bathroom.
There is nothing they can do. I have been to four doctors. My PCOS polycystic ovarian syndrome, isn’t going away unless I lose all this weight, and you know, the irony isn’t lost on me. I have a disease that requires me to lose weight, but makes it so that for weeks at a time I can barely walk. Just like Diabetes, you have trouble monitoring how much food is healthy for your body, so let me give you a disease where you have to monitor it more and more strictly. These may be the only questions I ask God when I meet him. Why is that logic so messed up?
My mom doesn’t complain enough. I want to complain for her. I want to go to doctors offices with her and be her advocate. I want someone to do something! I want someone to do something for my friend and for me. My mom still takes care of her family and sometimes even builds houses with my Uncle. If she can get through every day in pain, then I can get through a week every two months. I know I will live, and I will thrive. Sometimes I just need to bitch. Why do I feel so guilty about that?

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I Hate Treadmills

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My favorite Willow trees

I feel like, for the last few years, I have been running in place. I have made a few strides, kicking smoking and losing twenty-five-plus pounds. I work a little towards something every day, but I feel as if I am still in the same place. For a while, we were waiting on the sale of our house with bated breath, and now we are waiting for my husband to find a new job.

Waiting and hoping isn’t something most people excel at; the feeling of hopelessness doesn’t seem to abate, even when I’m doing my best to be optimistic. So what do I do to live in the now? Yoda says to Luke Skywalker, “All my life has he looked away, to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was, hmm?” This describes me perfectly, always thinking ten steps ahead, if I can and when I can’t, I am in agony.

I was reading a book called Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh. In it, he talks about a term called “mindfulness.” This is a practice of being in the present at all times. An example he gives in the book is the Buddhist monks who drink a hot cup of tea and take an hour to do so. They focus on how the tea engages their senses: the color, taste, smell, temperature, and texture on the tongue.

My husband, Brad, was the first one to introduce “savoring” to me. All of my life I have flitted about, living a life of fun, but not really of depth. My senses were mostly dulled in my attempt to live. One of our first dates Brad took me to a small Greek restaurant here in Boise called the Cazba. Enamored with Brad, I paid attention to his every move: the way he took in the way I smelled and looked, the way he savored every bite of his dinner, how he slowly chewed and took deep resonating breaths to really taste everything fully. Senses heightened, I too enjoyed that meal more than any other meal in my life. I can still picture him looking at me and taking his first bite of lamb. Watching him savor it, I could live within that memory.

That night we sat for what seemed like hours in the car, just talking or sometimes holding hands in silence. It seemed as if touching his skin forced my mind to shut off and only feel, that sense overwhelming the constant chatter of my mind. It was the first time in my life when I have felt that blessing.

Those times are far between now. I struggle for that sort of life-giving focus. I want my body to be overwhelmed by the joy of touch. My mind combats the idea of giving into such frivolous pursuits. As a Midwesterner, I combat my base compulsion to feel useful at all times. I am making a vow to stop that. I need that peace, and so does Brad. I haven’t noticed him enjoying himself mindfully as much anymore.

We need to live in the now, even if it is a smaller scale. Last Friday, Brad surprised me at work and took me on a dinner picnic. He made some roasted chicken, Greek salad, and brought bottled water. We sat on the bench watch the geese frolic, the sun glistening on the lake, and wind flowing through my favorite weeping willow trees. We laughed as the geese squawked at us.

We are trying.

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That is my gorgeous man!

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Dancing, dancing, dancing, I am a dancing machine!

 

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Husband impressed us all with his smooth moves during this dance.

Ability is one of the best reasons I can think of for losing weight. Being overweight I do get discouraged sometimes after a long shopping trip when my ankles are swollen, or after an energetic family outing where I caused everyone to take breaks because I couldn’t keep up. My Aunt points out I am the youngest in our family but I am the weakest and the one with the most health problems.

What is sad is I can’t dance for as long as I used to. I think “getting down” is what kept me from ballooning in my twenties. I danced almost every day. After work I would shake it for hours with my girlfriends. The booze that came on the side was why I never got skinny. I just maintained for about ten years. Then I met my beautiful husband.

Love helped me to slow down and savor things, but I dance a lot less. I can get husband to dance on my birthday. I usually make him take me to salsa dancing. I love it so much. The rhythms of salsa are so joyous, and the dancing is so inclusive. It is also so sexy and romantic, holding hands and shaking your booty. There is almost no choice but to shake your booty.

However, I can only strut about one dance before I have to rest, and usually rest for at least two or three songs. No longer can I boogie the night away with abandon. There is so much freedom in dancing until my hair is sticking to my face and my heels are in writhing in pain. Walking to the car with my shoes in my hands, the cool air refreshing my worn body is something I miss desperately.

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My friend Amanda and I cutting it up at her wedding.

I dance in my chair at work sometimes. I get caught up in the music. I don’t think of myself as someone who is deeply into music. I can’t quote a lot of songs or even names of singers. I own some records that I inherited, but only own like one CD because it hasn’t been a priority. I am a listen to the radio player person, and Pandora. I like my music spontaneous. My husband has CD after CD, and a playlist a mile long. He likes to program the songs to play in a certain order. When I go through station after station it annoys him. He likes to put in CDs on road trips which doesn’t bother me because I still don’t know what is coming. I feel the most spontaneous to music, dancing and laughing at myself. Silliness can be filling. When I dance at work I am sure people think I am so weird. That makes me giggle a little to myself.

I need to lose weight so I can feel this on a full scale. Everyone should be able to dance wildly in the night. My husband and I should be able to salsa to our hearts content without having to take “a breather.” We need to work out so we can have the endurance to learn all the steps of the salsa, and maybe more dances. My husband Brad is a very good dancer, light on his feet. I want to take him dancing and not to get tired until the club shuts down.

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Husband is so suave on the dance floor.

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Priorities

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I have a confession to make, and I am really embarrassed about many aspects of it. I will attempt to describe why I have been so irresponsible but really there is no excuse. I missed taking my medications for about a week. I know my health is nothing to play around with especially considering that I rely on these meds to regulate my blood sugar, my moods and my allergies.

Please allow me to back up and complain a little. This year my company has rolled out a new mandatory mail order subscription service. This is supposed to be cheaper and more convenient. It is neither for the consumer. First of all, with the eight prescriptions I am currently taking, the bill ends up being about three hundred dollars for the three month required subscription. This is a sizeable chunk of change to spring on people who aren’t that great with budgeting. Secondly, gauging when to order them is confusing. Do I need a week, two or three? Will they let me order it three in advance? I don’t want to put it on auto pay because who knows when three hundred dollars will just randomly withdrawal from my account.

Every seven days, I put my pills in one of those dispensers. So I forget sometimes how many I have left, until the end of the week. So basically, I got to the end of the week, realized I only had four more days left and no money to buy refills. Ergo, I ended up not having my meds for a few days.

Needless to say, I need to pay better attention to the mail order process. It really wreaked havoc with my system. I take an anti-depressant. I started taking it about a year ago when I was having an extreme menstrual cycle. I have talked about this before. It lasted about six to nine months and I ended up in the emergency room on morphine. I broke down in the doctor’s office crying uncontrollably. While the wonderful Dr. Baxter backed away slowly she wrote me a subscription for this wonderful pill. Even after my horrible sickness passed, I continued taking it. The prescription helps me be a normal person.

Everyone knows not to skip days of an antidepressant. So, almost a week without my medication was bad.  My moods swung wildly, and cried a lot. Add to that other side effects of going off my meds- diarrhea and allergies- I was a droopy, stoned, nearly catatonic mess for the first part of this week. Even knowing being off my meds was the reason for my mood, it didn’t make a difference. I still was a weepy and sad.

The good thing is that now I am beginning to adjust to my meds again. I have been super hyper the past couple of days. That is the other side of my emotional problem. I get sort of super excited about everything. I have been writing, editing, swimming and jumping up and down.  It’s good for your bones!

I think my husband gets less annoyed by the depressive times than the manic, but he is dealing. In recent days, he is living with a cheerleader on crack, and we are normally very calm people with a sedate, quiet lifestyle.

I have concluded- in order to stay sane I need to put this prescription service as a priority. Maybe I can avoid divorce with the reason of insanity. I am tough enough to live with, without going off my meds.

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Okie Observations

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Getting better-

I went to the pool last night with the beautiful husband. We swam for a good twenty minutes straight. I was pretty excited because seemingly swimming is getting easier. I was gliding through the water. My arms were less sore while free styling and back stroking. I felt like I could go on, and on, but we haven’t been swimming in so long, I didn’t want to overdo it. I felt strong. I felt strength in my tiny pterodactyl arms for the first time in years. I was doing a side stroke and unbelievably keeping up with strong powerful husband.

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Motivation-

Through my Okie ways, I always seem to make friends at the pool. I am a compulsive talker, much to the dismay of my husband. These encounters usually happen after swimming while we are sitting in the hot tub catching our breath. For instance, last night two beautiful ladies were hanging out, dipping their feet in the hot tub. I got to talking to them because they smelled so lovely, in contrast to the bromine or chlorine of the hot tub. After a meandering conversation, they asked me what time we usually visit the pool. I said very pridefully, “We are usually here from nine in the evening on, because I get off at eight.” So tonight, husband is trying to back out, but I am thinking, those ladies will think I am a lying liar if I don’t. Here I was bragging. I know that sounds silly, but perhaps bragging is good because then I have to follow through or get egg on my face.

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Will power-

I have seen several articles/studies that posit wise choices strengthen your will power. Equating will power with muscle growth, these studies show good choices lead to other good decisions. For example, if you choose to have a low calorie healthy breakfast, you may not choose to back out on your afternoon walk. The theory is that you won’t want to ruin the work you have already done.

This week I haven’t eaten out, I have worked out at least three times, and finished all my writing goals. I found myself saying, okay I edited today, and swam, after I brush my teeth, if I put lotion on and that anti aging stuff, I will have accomplished all my goals for the day. Good behavior is spilling all through my life! I went to bed that night feeling smugly good about myself. Accomplishment feels good, even the everyday ones. Also, I am winning in my war against my vast arid skin.

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Exercise-

I am counting “chair dancing” as exercise. If it counts, I have exercised every day this week at work and had fun doing it too. I am enjoying it, much to the chagrin or my coworkers.

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Indulgence-

If husband makes a large plate of super chocolate chip cookies, we are gonna EAT a plate of super chocolate chip cookies. It is best for my goals, if I don’t eat a plate of super chocolate chip cookies.

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The Nearly Impossible Traveler

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Husband and I in Vancouver sitting

 

Husband wants to go to London, and I want to go to Venice. These aren’t cities where I can go, sit around and get drinks poured for you. I don’t want to be sitting around when there are museums, castles, architecture, and book and film locations to check out.

We can walk a little but not very much. If there is shopping at the end of a walk I can go longer, but still not enough to hit a couple of museums a day. I think at the shape we are in we would get grouchy after walking around Buckingham Palace.

I don’t want to settle on just any restaurant because Brad and I are too tired to walk to the perfect risotto. Also, are there weight limits on gondolas? I can’t wait to ride in one with my husband. Also, all the best places, stores, and restaurants are off the beaten tourist paths? In our current state husband and I aren’t walking any paths. We certainly don’t have the stamina to just walk until we see something interesting.

I day dream about the day my husband drinks the perfect cup of tea that makes him smile in the most spirited way I have ever seen. I long to walk down narrow streets, hand in hand, shopping at markets and tiny book shops.

Tourism is mostly walking. Even taking public transportation you have to walk blocks upon blocks to get to it. When Brad and I were in Vancouver, I thought I was having a heart attack towards the end of the walk home from the sky train. There were so many hills. As I lay on the bed afterwards, I was holding my chest gasping for air. Brad said, “You’re fine.” I think he was also regretting not taking the car. Then he went to the bathroom and got me a cold wash cloth. I was cursing myself for not being in better shape.

On our walk in Vancouver

On our walk in Vancouver

In a world of water, I think I would be fine and weightless. I could go anywhere, but gravity is the bitch that gets me every day. Swollen ankles, aching calves, and a painful back are the worst part of me being so overweight. I think it is the worst part because it might keep me from my dream of experiencing all the places in my day dreams.

I think a lot of little girls from small towns want to visit large cities, different cultures, and see the world. I am not alone, but I may never be able to see more of the world if I don’t get a handle on my health. There is the ten hour plane ride, the diabetes that could get me before I raise the money, but mostly I think all the walking would be too much with all the weight I have piled on my five foot three frame. I have to lose weight if I want to live the dream. My passport stamps will be a reward for a healthy lifestyle.

A picture from the road - driving...that we can do!

A picture from the road – driving…that we can do!

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