I'm tired. The kind of tired where I'm not even sure how I'm still sitting upright and typing. But you know what? I made dinner. I washed some pants. I walked on the treadmill and I worked. Despite being so tired I could sleep sitting up, I feel good. I've stuck to my routine for 5 days in a row. That's 5 shiny star stickers in a row (actual stickers because that's where some people find their joy). Now, I'm going to go brush my teeth and climb in bed and I don't think there are enough words in the English language to describe just how good that's gonna feel. In the words of my father, "Night, night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite. And if they do, take a shoe and whop them till they're black and blue."
Sometimes I see ads on Facebook and they look kind of sketch. Lately though, I've been getting things that are more legit like Hungryroot (which is still deliciously fabulous by the way). Just the other day, I saw an ad for vitamins. I know, never take candy from strangers, but I checked these people out and nobody has been carted off in a non-descript van so far as I can tell. Plus, the vitamins taste like peppermint instead of fish bowl and disappointment. I got my first bottle in the mail the other day and was delighted to discover that they come with stickers. There is a little card with numbers 1-21 and 21 corresponding stickers. Every day you take a vitamin, you get to mark off a number with a sticker. This is designed to help you create a healthy habit.
I love stickers. I love them almost as much as ice cream and puppies. This got me thinking about the piles of stickers I have in my craft drawer and all the motivational pictures I've been printing off of pinterest. I thought, if I get a sticker for taking vitamins, what else can I get them for. Then I had an epiphany: do something else for 21 days. Make more habits only good ones to replace the bad ones. So that's what I've been doing. I made a morning routine and an evening routine. In the morning I get on the treadmill for 30 minutes, then take my vitamins, shower and dress, and eat breakfast. I've even got Ian eating breakfast with me. Then, at night, I shine my sinks (something the flylady taught me), pack lunches, lay out my clothes, and brush my teeth and take off my makeup.
I just started a new job with the city on Monday and I can't tell you how much this has helped me. Eventually, these routines will become habits and I will be able to branch out and do all the things (ok, maybe not all the things, but a lot of the things). The older I get, the more I realize that most things aren't impossible, they just look that way until you get out the blow torch and a weed eater and cut them down to size.
Sigh. I'm having a moment. Sometimes it's really hard to bite off small pieces when you just want to bite the whole bull on the bum (just me?). I have a personal training session tomorrow, but I haven't been to the gym this whole week. I'm behind on steps and I'm feeling kind of frustrated. I'm having a serious case of the "buts". I've lost 16 pounds but I still weigh 237. I made a really healthy dinner last night that was delicious but I didn't get the kitchen clean. I made a massive dent in the laundry but I didn't finish organizing the closet.
Why do human beings do that? Does our culture train us to be this way? Is it nature or nurture? At some point I've just got to stop and say, "You know what? I'm pretty stinking fabulous. Stop being such a Debbie Downer." I'm just going to print off some more endorphin producing images I find on Pinterest and plaster them all over my wall until negative Nancy in my head is so flooded with positivity that it has no choice but to shut the hell up or drop dead. Go me.
Today's blog is a video cause I'm super psyched to show you what I got in my new Hungryroot meal box. Nobody paid me to do this. Sadly, I'm not that cool.
I usually don't do dark. Darkly humorous, darkly sarcastic, but not deeply dark. It's a sad, scary place that I don't like to deal with, and so, I have learned to turn myself into a manatee and laugh at the broken bits by making light of them. For one time only, I shall make an exception.
I was digging through a box and found an old flash drive full of school files. Several sub-folders in I discovered some writing I did about seven years ago. The first one is mostly dark-ish sarcastic and the second is dark (but not too deeply).
Lonely Cat Lady Blues
The lonely cat lady blues,
anthem of so many nights spent
trying to breathe through the fur curled up by your head.
Every morning between showering and buttering burnt toast
traipse to the food bin and haphazardly gather
the ritual offering of kibble that costs more than its probably worth.
Anything for my babies . . .
Did I just say that?
Oh god, who have I become?
I’m just two steps away from a shot gun, a moo moo, and a
“You kids get off my lawn!”
I can’t be unhappy,
surely someone would have noticed if I’m unhappy . . .
After all I’ve got my job and
my job and
I’m sensing an uncomfortable pattern here.
What the hell happened to me?
The girl who danced on her living room table,
wore fantastically eccentric jewelry,
dared the world to “Bring it On!”
I’ve shriveled, dried up, become a hollow shell.
SNAP OUT OF IT!
Remember your roots.
Remember your great grandmother,
Women who roared,
Gave hugs that would break a grown man’s spine,
Grabbed the bull by the horns and rode, rode, rode.
Screw you Dido –
I will not go down with this ship.
I will be Gertrude Ederle.
I will swim the Chanel of self-loathing, ice cream binge
and emerge triumphant, roaring a battle cry.
I am no complacent cat lady,
I am a proud, dignified, independent, self-loving,
motivated, fearless cat lady!
And I remember!
I remember who I am!
So go ahead world
Loosing me quietly
You’re loosing me quietly,
I can feel myself pulling away.
It’s one hand on the door, one foot to the carpeted floor
Slipping out before you feel the pressure subside on the mattress.
I love you, love you, loved you
not a typo, just past tense.
A feeling draining out like lukewarm bathwater,
no longer comforting just neutral.
Don’t hate me, I hate me
but that’s a lie.
I feel like I should at least feel remorse, and I do
but I’m not sure that fear of loosing
should justify the act of staying.
I have saved the last for last. This is dark. So dark I have questioned sharing it with you. I have, on many occasions, toyed with the idea of writing an autobiography, but have never gotten far out of respect for the many, many people who probably do not wish to be in my autobiography. This came from a rough, rough draft of a collection of paragraphs that got lost in a box for seven years. It is about one of those closed of places that I don't really talk about in a tone that I rarely use. It is vulnerable, and sad, and deeply, deeply dark. Consider yourself warned.
"I wish it had been for love – desperate, passionate, undying love. Instead it was for emptiness. I chose this boy because he seemed to understand the desperate emptiness consuming me. He played the guitar and painted magical pictures, and he knew what it meant to be absolutely shipwrecked inside. I really, really liked him and I was convinced that if I did this he might just love me enough to give me a place that I belonged. As I lay on the concrete floor stoned out of my mind, the only thing I felt was broken. After I broke down in tears, he stopped to watch as the last of my innocence ran down the laundry drain. Face to the cold floor, my heart turned to stone."
Thank you for lending any eyeball. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Manadee.
Every once in a while you just have to sit down and reassess the situation. Lately, it seems like every time I increase my step goal, I really struggle to meet it. And, while I went to the gym 5 days one week, the next week 2 days was all I had in me. Goals are good. They motivate us to push harder, go farther, and be better. But, they can also bring us down when we make them to lofty or unrealistic, so today, I am sitting down and working it out.
As I sit here trying to think, my cat is mewling loudly in the kitchen for no other reason than she is inside and there are things outside. It is very difficult to keep it cool when I'm not feeling well and the cat is loosing her damn mind in the kitchen. Also, it is another dreary day, abysmal, cold, wet. I went to an awesome Collective Soul concert this weekend at the casino. I had a great time jamming out, but now comes the part where I pay for the weekend. Four hundred miles in the car and an unexpected cold front do not bring out the best in my pre-existing conditions. Today I am cranky. I don't want to clean or go to the gym or do anything except complain. Ok. Begin the reassessment.
I struggle with the new step goals because it's not just a step goal. Why is that? Because I also add in new things like trying to go to the gym everyday, or taking new and different classes at the gym, or starting a new cleaning schedule. So, we're biting off more than we can chew, how can we adjust? Keep the step goal the same. Set it at a manageable number that will keep me stepping but not dying. And then? Make a routine (and not one designed for a squirrel on speed). I need to move my 15 minute cleaning sessions (flylady.net) to the morning when I'm most awake. Ok. So here is the new plan:
I set my step goal at 38,500 per week. I do my cleaning in the morning and my exercising in the afternoon. I go to one personal training session per week. I do this until I have built a routine. I do not beat myself up if I can't do more than this. I do not attempt to take a bigger bite until I'm ready (really ready, not just the kind of ready where you say you're ready but then realize your not and panic when you starting choking and then have to perform the Heimlich on yourself with a chair). For those of you who made it this far, thanks for listening. Manadee is just going to do some floating today, and tomorrow, I'll just keep swimming.
So, I decided to give YouTube a go for makeup tutorials. I found this one for "mermaid eyes" using the Too Faced Glitter Bomb Palette. I even gave you some fish lips to go with the mermaid eyes (although mermaids don't traditionally have gills, so I guess they probably don't have fish lips either). I actually had a discussion with my brother yesterday about how sailors apparently used to mistake manatees for mermaids. He said that he had no idea how someone could make that mistake, that manatees look more like sea pugs. At this point I bust up laughing. I really like the idea of a sea pug for one, and for two, my little miss Pearl is part pug and exactly like her mamma (in personality, not looks - we aren't genetically related that I'm aware of).
I guess this just means that in addition to being a manatee, I can also add sea pug and mermaid to my resume. Who knew I'm so multi talented?
So I decided not to go to the gym today. I really want to go to water aerobics tomorrow, and I felt like my body needs a break. I decided to use my time for other purposes (contemplating life, the universe, and everything). At some point I know I've spent an entire blog griping about house cleaning and how I wish I were more efficient. We haven't quite reached a very special episode of "Hoarders" status yet, but we're honestly pretty buried in stuff. It can be quite overwhelming knowing where to start, and then, suddenly (I may or may not have been noshing on Peeps), I remembered something from a long, long time ago.
My friends mom bought her this book about how to get your mess under control with easy, manageable steps. The lady who wrote it actually has a whole website (www.flylady.net). So, as I was perusing, I found her first step is to shine your sink. That's it. You don't have to do anything else the first day except clean your sink. At this point, I'm game for anything. I put on my yellow rubber gloves, turned up some "Eye of the Tiger", and got out my arsenal of cleaning gear. Ladies and gentleman, one hour later, my sink has not been cleaned - it has been exorcised. It has been soaked, scrubbed, and scrubbed again. I even used my pointy ended little grout brush to get in all the scary places. Pretty sure I heard some vengeful scum demons screaming "Why God? Why?" as I washed them down the drain with scalding hot water.
Not gonna lie, it's still an ugly sink that will someday need replaced, but it is now a sanitized, shiny, lemon scented ugly sink. Just like the Flylady promised, I feel an odd sense of accomplishment. Like hey, if I can clean my sink this good, what else am I capable of (probably lifting buses off old ladies or rescuing kittens from burning buildings). At any rate, I think that I'm finally at a place in my life where I'm really ready to try new things. Look out clutter demons, I'm coming for you like a Bruce Campbell with a chainsaw hand!
The week is off to a good start. I've been to the gym two days in a row and I feel like an angry Sasquatch drug me around by the armpits (look at me finding muscles I didn't even know I had). Also, I'm down 16.2 pounds and my dress pants are falling off. Normally this would irritate me, but given the circumstances, I was standing on the stairs dancing and singing my rendition of "My Pants are Falling Off" - the dogs looked very confused. I like to keep them on their toes.
Now, I'm cooking and it smells amazing. Gordon Ramsay would be mortified. I discovered these things called corn tots, and if I've already told you about them, tough nuggets, you'll hear about them again. I have a huge soft spot for deep fat fried corn nuggets with ranch (usually procured at a bar). Cream corn, batter, boiling oil, a match made in cholesterol heaven. Unfortunately, if I want to live past 40, I can't eat them all the time. That's where the Green Giant corn tots come in. They are not the same thing, but they are definitely related. They look like a tater tot, but are made of sweet, delicious corn and you bake them in the oven. I'm tearing up just talking about them.
Tonight, I have decided to pair them with Kid's Chili. I didn't name it. I found it in a magazine probably 15 years ago and have totally forgotten most of the original recipe so I improvise like it's my job. This version has a pound of ground turkey, a bunch of spices, a can of baked beans, and a can of tomato sauce. It turns out a sweet, not spicy chili which I am about to make even more amazeballs by putting it on top of corn tots. And adding a sprinkle of cheese, do not forget the cheese sprinkle!
It's days like these where I'm so filled with joy, I feel like maybe I should share my "Pants are Falling Off" song with the neighbors. Then again, I can't rightly enjoy my chili corn tots in jail, now can I?
Good morning, are we all enjoying the time change? When we fall back in the winter, there is something magical about waking up, looking at your clock, and realizing that we still have another blissful hour of slumber. There is no magic in spring forward. This is the time where you wake up and think, "What?! It's nine o'clock already? What happened?!" And, to add insult to injury, it is also dreary here with a slight chill.
Luckily, I'm in a good mood. Yesterday, I stood in my closet shirtless and crying but not because I'm sad (it must have looked really strange). First of all, I have been stuck at the 240 pound mark for ages and had given up ever seeing it drop. Second, I didn't feel like there was much change between my February and March impossible pants fitting. Then, it happened. Yesterday morning, I stepped on the bathroom scale and the number said 239.4. I squealed so loud it woke Ian up. I immediately got off the scale, turned it off, and tried again. Same deal: 239.4.
Next I run into the closet (we have a walk in closet in our bedroom, it is magnificent). I forage for the tape measure and take some numbers. I'd lost another inch off my waist (for a grand total of five inches lost since January). Now, I haven't had an interview or any occasion to wear my dress slacks in weeks so I pulled out the gray pair (the ones that look super snazzy but have always fit just a hair too snug and I always have to worry about the butt seam splitting). That's when the crying happened. Not only were they not too tight, they were lose! I shoved my right arm down the side while I was wearing them! I proceeded to go through my entire closet with the same basic result. Everything is lose!
Some days it feels like a snails pace, but the fact is, things are changing. I'm exercising more regularly. I'm making more healthy food choices and I'm finally starting to reap the rewards. One pound at a time, one foot in front of the other I'm working on me and it feels good.
Creating my own sunshine 🌞