Category Archives: Stress

The Trouble with Tribbles…

…And inconsistent workout facilities.

Just in case you missed it, here’s a recap of what’s going on with me: Working on getting into running shape, quitting teaching and moving to Seattle in August. (Did I cover those last two on the blog, or just on twitter? I don’t recall…) There. You’re all caught up. ;)

Disclaimer: I know I’m talking about health and fitness a lot lately, or maybe it only seems that way to me, but, as I’m sure you can imagine, it’s at the forefront of my mind. If you find this sort of thing boring, I apologize, but to me it’s vastly more interesting than my oh so common complainy pants posts, so you’ll just have to deal with it until something more interesting comes along. Here’s a picture of some otters I took at an aquarium to assuage any potential wrath:

See? he's yawning!! How could you be mad at that cute little face?!

So, yeah, turns out this post will be not only fitness related, but of the whiny variety as well. I’m having a bit of trouble this week. Pretty regularly now, a coworker and I had been taking advantage of the small exercise room provided by our district for after-work workouts. And on the days that she was busy with kid-related stuff, I would go home and either go walking with my husband or do some laps in the apartment pool. Since the beginning of the hot season here in south Texas, which started in February or March this year, walking in the afternoon was taken off the docket due to my propensity to overheat. We would still go in the morning on the weekends, but then even that got too hot, but we always had the pool.

Fate, it seems, has decided to make my life miserable. This weekend we went swimming on Saturday, noting that the pool was kind of green. Then, with much hesitation, we sucked it up and went swimming again, on Sunday, in an even greener pool. (Icky!) We decided not to use the pool again until the situation was remedied. (I think the filter isn’t working. There wasn’t any suction.) And upon further inspection yesterday, it is, in fact, closed with no sign or anything to let us know what’s going on.

Then, yesterday, after work, I changed into my workout clothes and headed over to the workout room… It had a sign on the door:

I was not only irritated that it was closed, (and I changed in the bathroom for nothing!) , but yesterday was May 31, not June 1, so the sign was a big fat liar! Way to lie, liar sign! I was pissed to say the least.

THEN! To top it all off, got into the car, pulled out my ancient muddy pond brown Zune and found this:

Note the cracks and large black spot on the upper left side. I love you, Zune! Please, don’t die!! (Although, upon further inspection, I kind of love it that Elphaba is staring fixedly at the black spot! Maybe she can fix it with her magics! Though that didn’t work out too well for her, so maybe not…) (Also, that’s Donna Vivino as Elphaba. She is amazing! I just needed to let you know.) Upon discovering the injured Zune, I called Aaron for the fiftieth huffy time of the day just to share my dismay with someone.

And this was all on top of the previous huffy calls that were due to missing texts that threw off my crock pot plans! CROCK POT PLANS THAT I WOKE UP AT 5:00AM TO BRING TO FRUITION!!!

Ahem. Sorry. It was all very upsetting.

Anyway, in typical “me” style, I’ve said all that just to get to my point: My avenues for exercise have been decreased dramatically! Too hot/humid to walk (I mean, it’s almost 100F out there, people! Heat Index! UV rays! Solar… Flares…?). Exercise room at work, closed. Pool, closed. I’m at a loss. What’s a girl to do? (ToT)


Better Late Than Never, eh?

I started this post on Monday, but I got busy and never finished it. So, it’s rambling and has lots of parentheticals and I don’t know if the two halves really go together, as they were written several days apart, but here it is!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. Aaron has been busy most evenings and weekends working on projects for classes so I’ve had a lot of time to myself. And while having too much time to one’s self can be dangerous (I’m an overthinker. Too much time thinking can cause various kinds of spirals.), I’m finding ways to keep myself occupied and I’m getting better at avoiding the blues. This is kind of a breakthrough to me.

As I have mentioned, we are looking at  some big changes in our lives in the next year or so and while that is daunting, it’s exhilarating as well. One of the things that will be happening, if all goes as is planned, is that I will be moving off on my own for 5-6 months while Aaron finishes school. I’ll be taking the cats and I’ve got some childhood friends in the area that we’re looking at (the Seattle area of Washington). But if I’m not capable of making use of those lonely hours and not getting bummed, like I had been, then being on my own for months was looking like a bad idea.

But, thanks to the magic of college, I’m getting to “practice” having massive amounts of time alone. (Yay…) To be honest, I was getting a little worried. Ever since the health problems and resulting diagnosis of the summer and my grandfather’s death in the fall, I haven’t really been feeling like my old, (mostly) positive self. But here lately, I’ve been trying (and mostly succeeding) to focus on positive, constructive things instead of being passive. And let me tell you, the changes so far, though small, have been profound.

All the health nonsense, stress from work and losing my grandfather, on top of my already fragile self-esteem, left me feeling pretty bitter and powerless. Plus there’s the stress of having to make BIG, GROWNUP DECISIONS that will alter the course of our lives. All of that had been weighing on my mind in every moment of alone time and I responded in one of two ways. I would either worry myself into a state of despair (despair spiral) or do something mindless to help me ignore said soul-crushing despair (sloth spiral). Then, in either case, I would feel bad about either the sloth or not being able to handle the stress (shame spiral). (I have a thing for ______ spirals.

So, now instead of indulging in self-loathing or laziness, I’m learning to find something else to do–something that doesn’t come with the previous feelings of guilt and worthlessness. I bought a ukulele and I spend a lot of alone time playing and learning new things. (I love my ukulele! But I forgot her name…) I’m also spending a lot of time getting educated about health and fitness and that makes me feel better as well. As Witless Exposition alluded to in a comment on my last post, there’s a lot of unfounded (i.e. not research based) blame and assumed causality involved with PCOS that if I hadn’t taken the time to do my own digging, could have lead to a very dark, guilt-filled place.

So, in short, I’m learning how to use my time alone in a constructive way and improving myself at the same time.

The future looks awfully bright when you don’t focus on the shadowy bits!


“Look, kid. Bad things happen…”

“…and you can’t do anything about it. Right?”

Note: Some of today’s post deals with ::cough:: feminine health issues. I’m not going to be graphic or anything, but I just thought you should be forewarned, just in case.

I know that I’ve mentioned the health problems that I was having last year, but I don’t think I’ve really gone into too much detail because of the, hrmm, sensitive nature of what I’ve got. I think that up until now, I’ve been mostly ignoring it and haven’t really sat down and thought about it. Today, though, I was trolling about a weight loss website that I’ve been looking into and on a lark, I looked up the condition to see what kind of information they have. I was, am, floored.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s get down to brass tacks. Last year I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) which has a whole slew of side effects which including abnormal hormone levels (which leads to “lady problems”) , difficulty having children (which isn’t an issue since we aren’t planning on having kids) and weight problems. (You can clicky the link if you want to know more.) The “lady doctor” that I went to gave me birth control pills to regulate my hormones and straighten out my horribly confused system and pretty much just sent me on my way.

This diagnosis and the problems that prompted me to see a doctor were kind of pushed to the side as I was dealing with work stress and then my grandfather dying. I think it’s safe to say that these three factors were what pushed me into depression but the indifference that said doctor showed didn’t help. Finally, I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but thanks to the pill, I’m a lot more emotional that I used to be and I don’t like it.

(Poor Aaron! He’s been a doll through all this drama. And, of course, he gets the worst of my irritability and down swings. Thanks sweetheart. I’d be lost without you!)

Basically, my unhappiness with the effects of the pill, which was given to me to manage the PCOS, spurred me to look into in on the weight loss website and that brings us back to where we started.

Me. On the floor.

I found a couple of support “teams” for sufferers of PCOS that are trying to lose weight and I started reading some of these women’s stories. It was all I could do not to burst into tears on the spot. Hearing about the pain and suffering that they’ve been through that is so similar to my own and yet so individual brought all of the fear and stress and frustration bubbling out of the little hole that I’ve been stuffing it into as I’ve been prioritizing “important” stuff.

Is it weird to say that I had no idea how much it had been bothering me? Suddenly, I found myself faced with this bitter, raw place at the center of all the negativity that I’ve been struggling to escape and it was like a light clicked on. (Dammit. I need a tissue.)

When I looked at someone other than myself with the same struggles and worse, for the first time, since it wasn’t me who was suffering, I could admit how much it sucks and how unfair this random toss of the dice has been. Because it wasn’t me… Because it wasn’t just me being a big baby. Because when it’s happening to someone else, I don’t have to pretend that it’s okay. When it’s not me I don’t have to pretend that it’s no big deal just because it’s not life threatening.

And it does suck. It sucks big, hairy donkey balls. It sucks to find out that parts of my personality that I’ve been proud of could be because of what this disorder has done to me. It sucks to know that in treating it, some part of the core of who I am changes a little. And maybe you don’t really notice it, but I do and it makes me sad. It sucks that it’s harder for me to lose weight than it is for a “normal” person. It sucks that people are shallow and I am judged too harshly for something that I have limited control over. It sucks that there is no known cause or cure.

But it feels pretty damn good to be able to face it. And it feels pretty damn good to be able to admit it. And it feels pretty damn good to know that I have people who love and support me and do what they can to make it okay. (Seriously, bad day to wear mascara!) It feels pretty damn good to know that there is something wrong with me and I’m not just a failure. And it feels pretty damn good to look to the future and see promise and hope.

Thank you for putting up with my emotional colonic. I love you guys.

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Lali-ho! We shall see where the road takes us!

Vappy Dalintine’s Hay ladies and gentlebugs! You know, I find it funny that the gifts I get from people on special occasions are from previous students and not the ones currently in my class.

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off  to.”                                                                                          Bilbo Baggins

 As my husband’s schooling winds down, we find ourselves examining options and preparing to make big scary leaps of faith into the great, wide world beyond this smallness that we inhabit at the moment. I don’t know what’s with the waxing poetical, but I’ll try to keep that at a minimum. Maybe it’s just the abject terror that makes me lyrical?

There are several things that we’ve been considering as I desperately scrounge the web for some glimmer of an idea of what the hell I’m going to do once I say farewell to the frustrating (but familiar) world of education. (Okay, deep breath… In. Out. Better? Not so much…)  Aaron (The husband. keep up, will you!) will be  getting his degree in Communications (with a focus in theater, TV and film) in December so he’ll be looking for something having to do with TV and film. Which, in turn, means that we will have to move away. Far away. The closest possibility is Austin (300 miles) and the furthest is taking a (flying) leap and going overseas.

Going overseas is intriguing and (as I mentioned to twitter) carries the possibility of teaching English abroad. There’s a training center in Prague (about 6,000 miles from home) that we’re looking at as a possible jumping point if we decide to go that route, but just the thought of leaving everything we know and is familiar behind makes my anxiety level vault into epic heights. Still, though, it’s a very real option… The biggest deterrent (funnily enough) is that we would probably have to get rid of the cats which is not a prospect we take lightly. The other thing is the question of what Aaron would do while I’m teaching in “exotic” locations. Lack of the language would seriously impede employment and I know he’s ready to be a largely contributing member of our family unit.

Stateside, we are looking at a few different locals as well. As I mentioned, Austin is a possibility, though a bit boring as we wouldn’t even be going out of state. This might be a more reasonable option, though, since I’m certified to teach in Texas (even though I want out of the teaching game) and Aaron has never lived anywhere but here and we’ve at least visited Austin fairly regularly the last couple of years, so it wouldn’t be too terribly traumatic for him.

Los Angeles is another option. It’s (traditionally) where movie folks congregate, so there’s that. I don’t have any idea what I would do in L.A. while he works at getting into the field, but I’m sure I could find something to occupy myself and contribute.

Seattle, too, has appeared on our radar. Largely because I’ve lived there before and know some people (which is unique to all of the places we’re considering) and because we know there are some delightfully nerdy things that go on there. Plus, Washington is really pretty. (See how grown up our reasoning is? SEE???)

And that’s where we are right now. Mostly lost, weighing options and priorities and planning. And these decisions need to be made ASAP! Our lease is up for renewal, December is right around the corner (when measured in grown up time) and no matter what we decided, steps will need to be taken.

Things are changing and I’m terrified and exhilerated and I can’t wait to see what happens!

Ramble-matic, ENGAGE!

I don’t know what the problem is, but lately every time I sit down to blog, every single interesting idea scatters from my head like a swarm of cockroaches when the lights turn on. (You’re welcome for that charming analogy!) Not only that, but thanks to a lack of computer time, I’m horribly behind on my blog reading! It’s not that I don’t love you wonderful bloggy people, it’s just that I’m bogged down with the new semester and looking busy when I’ve got spare time. (Let’s be honest, now, shall we. How much of your time at work is actually spent working?)

Maybe it’s just this time of year that puts me in a funk. And I can’t even say it’s the weather because of the yo-yo that has been South Texas weather this year. It should not be 89°F in January in this hemisphere! And it most certainly should not be bouncing from a high of 88°F to a high of 43°F and then back up to 89°F within the span of two weeks! And for those of you in the chilly northern states that want to bitch-slap me about now, I apologize. I know things could be worse (much, much worse) it’s just irritating to live somewhere so schizophrenic. For someone that doesn’t like hot weather, I am living in the wrong part of the world!

Mostly, though, if I really stop to think about it, which I’ve been purposely avoiding,  this time of year makes me really melancholy. This was always the time of year that we reconnected with family. It seemed that even when we were living on the other side of the country we would go “home” for the holidays  every couple of years. And here it is, 10 years since I’ve set foot on Georgian soil. 10 years. Is it any wonder that I feel so disconnected and disjointed?

And now, with Grandpa’s passing, I’m kind of scared to go “home”. Just the thought of that old, crumbly house without him makes my heart ache. And then there’s that ever present fear that the warmth and acceptance that have always been there, no matter how long it’s been since we last visited, won’t be there. That it will be awkward and uncomfortable and the ease of slipping into old grooves with people that have known you all your life will be too rusted. I don’t know if I could take that. It’s easier not to face the possibility. It’s easier to wonder and not not test it.

For so long, I’ve been so afraid of putted down roots to be ripped up (again) that I think they might have shriveled up and died. I hold people at arms length. I disconnect. I’m a horrible friend. A horrible sister. A horrible daughter. And now a horrible aunt. I never call. I never visit. And for all the impact I have on the lives of the people I claim to love, I could be living in a monastery cut off from the rest of the world.

It’s kind of funny (in an ironic, not-funny-at-all-but-really-really-sad, kind of way). When I read about people’s day to day lives, whether it be in blog form or on farcebook or twither, and they talk about doing this and that with a friend or family member and it’s quite clear the kind of easy connection they have with these people, even when they’re doing something as mundane as grocery shopping or having dinner or anything like that or even just talking on the phone, it breaks me up a little. I feel a little stab of pain for the real, meaningful relationships that I’ve ignored and abandoned and that feel so far out of reach. I envy you.

If we are the sum of the roots that we put down, what the hell am I?

“I quit, I’m done…”

“…’cause I don’t think it’s gonna turn out okay
It’s no fair, it’s not fun
If every time it’s gonna end the same way
Me: zero
Big bad world: one”

“Big Bad World One” by Jonathan Coulton

Yet again, I find myself feeling wiped out. I don’t know how driven people do it. I just don’t have that kind of crazy energy. A couple of weeks of frenetic business and I’m ready to crawl between the sheets and sleep for a month. Seriously, how do you people do it?

So, I knew going into NaNoWriMo this year, that I wasn’t going to kill myself over it. I did that last year and it caused some strain on my already tenuous social life. (Sorry guys. I’m not exciting. A thrilling night out for me includes going to eat somewhere like P. F. Wangs with friends and then a trip to a book store. Yikes! I’m boring.) Things seemed to be hurtling themselves at me pretty frequently, including some wretched bouts with writer’s block and feeling unwell. Needless to say, I got behind. Horribly behind.

Currently, I am over 10K behind, so I’m throwing in the towel. This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop writing, it just means I’ll be doing it at a slower pace. After all, this year’s story took some strange turns and I get the feeling that unless I go back and correct said detours, I’m going to end up at the same dead end I did with last year’s “winner”.

I have no regrets about calling it quits. And now you know.

Protected: I feel as if every creative bone in my body has been wrung dry…

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Life is mad and so are we…

I’m writing a post from my new smartphone not because i’m not sitting in front of a computer, but because i’m lazy and my new phone has a voice function. :)

Things have been crazy the last couple of weeks… as i mentioned work has been hectic, but on top of that i’ve been sick too. Which of course means i’ve been a bad mood thanks to being tired and feeling like crap.

This is just a quick post i won’t burden you with my whining. Hi. How are you? :)

Protected: I don’t know if I’m gonna make it!!

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