That stupid phrase

I know they are meant to be encouraging words, but they sound anything but encouraging when they’re uttered. Growing up in my family, I’ve heard the phrase, “Well, if this is the worst thing that ever happens to you…,” many times. It is usually followed by a groan and “that look” from me to the person who uttered the phrase. I could understand if it was referring to something like a traffic jam or ruining a great pair of shoes, which still doesn’t help the situation. Unfortunately, I’ve had this phrase uttered to me while going through infertility treatments and divorce. At the time, that was the worst thing that had happened to me and was absolutely devastating to go through, let alone hearing that fucking phrase thrown back at me when all I wanted was some support. Don’t get me wrong, my family is amazing, but the person who utters this has no idea how harsh this can be.

To say the world is in a state of uncertainty is an understatement. Things change daily, many times for the worse. My company has been put through the ringer, and the future of my employment is anyone’s guess. Feelings like being stressed and scared are a daily occurrence. I feel as if nothing about my future is in my control. All of this has made me think of this asinine phrase. What I would love nothing more is for there to be proof that time isn’t linear so I could look ahead and see if this the worst or one of the worst things that ever happens to me.

Sure, I’m safe and healthy right now, as is my family, but I don’t know for how long. What will the new normal be? Hell, what IS normal anymore? Will I be laid off and have to find another job? I know for certain that that would prove to be a substantial challenge right now. My future is a huge question mark, even more so than ever before because the current situation is affecting not just me, not just my family, but the world. Yeah, stressed and scared are exactly what I’m feeling as I write this.

I see and feel more division just in our country alone. Because of this, I’ve basically not only logged off of social media, but I even deleted the apps from my phone. My friends will text me to tell me about something I need to see, but just the thought of logging on is more that I can handle right now. Just the simple act of deleting the apps helped. I was becoming very angry. I was seeing things as black and white and there was zero gray. People are playing both offense with their posts and defense when replying to someone else’s. Given all sports, for the most part, have been called off, this was not the type of competitiveness I wanted to see in society.

Even I was guilty of that. Seeing how our government is responding to everything, from all sides, is infuriating. The Friday before I logged off social media for good, I lashed out due to something that was in the news that I felt was not only irresponsible but dangerous as well. As you could imagine, my friends of mine didn’t feel the same way, and thus friendships were terminated. My anger was growing day by day, minute by minute. I was seething as I read and saw what others posted. My blood boiled and I literally felt my blood pressure rise with each swipe of the screen. I got to a point that I was no longer withholding responses on other’s posts. The negative was by far outweighing the positive.

One of the last things I saw before logging off, and which brought me to tears and still does, was hearing of the death of my friend’s only child, a senior in high school. It gave no explanation as to how he died, but I immediately flashed back to when she was pregnant with her sweet boy. I remembered holding him in my arms as a baby. I recalled the time he spit up on my shirt and my friend, who was a new mom, freaking out upon seeing it. My response to her was that he wasn’t the first child to spit up on me and he surely wouldn’t be the last. It was fine…in fact, I was almost honored. Now he’s gone. My sweet friend and her husband are left with a huge hole in their lives. There were just no words. There still are none.

When I realized that social media brought me very little joy anymore, mostly because I was focusing on the negative, I closed the door. THAT I COULD control. I will admit that I feel much more peace on a daily basis for having stepped away, but I do miss my friends and seeing how they are all doing. Many had very creative ways of dealing with the current state of the world.

Now I just think back to that damn phrase and wonder, if this isn’t the worst (or one of the worst) things to ever happen to you, then what is? I mean this is a fucking pandemic after all. I swear, if I hear that fucking phrase uttered you might see a mushroom cloud from where I’m standing at the time.

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The Plot Twist

Have you ever taken a sip of something expecting it to be one thing and it turns out to be something completely different? Well that just happened to me metaphorically and it caught me off guard…like really off guard!!

I’m glad I’ll have time to sit with this, but it’s something I’ve often wondered about but had never have happen until tonight. I’ll admit that my resulted condition is a bit uneasy and in hopes it doesn’t result in a negative permanent reaction on my part. Maybe experiencing it more than just once will desensitize me to it and it won’t even be something I notice anymore.

For right now though, I’m writing this in hopes my brain can process what’s to come with the same passion I’d been processing things up until this point. If not, I fear I will miss out on something pretty amazing because of a very shallow reason.

I really did NOT expect this AT ALL! It’s like that pivotal point in a movie where you think it’s gonna go one way and you almost get whiplash when it goes the complete opposite way. I almost feel like someone let the air out of my beautiful balloon, and I have to decide to reinflate it or leave it where it is. I really WANT to breathe air back into it, and I hope that’s the end result, but I just don’t know right now. I will say that I don’t like this feeling…at all.

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Well, that’s a first!

Today I had a first date with someone and experienced something I’d never had happen before. I think it’s a good sign, but I’m curious if I’m just reading too much into it, so I’d love to get my readers’ opinions.

The gentleman in question and I met for a quick cup of coffee, as he had to be at work in a little over an hour. The minute he walked up, I felt comfortable with him, and he was definitely as handsome in person as he was in his pictures.

As we chatted over our coffee, I found him to be very well spoken, and he sweetly commented that I was an attractive woman. I returned the compliment. He then gave me the “hypothetical” of what might happen with a relationship between us, which I was just fine with hearing.

He mentioned that he had to be at work soon, so we gathered our things and headed out. When we got outside, he suggested we do something that I have NEVER done with someone, especially on a first date. He suggested we take a selfie together.

Boy did we look good together!

He gave me a hug goodbye, and we kissed briefly. It was very nice, and I left feeling pretty optimistic.

Anyway, since my track record of reading too much into something can get the better of me, I thought I’d ask your opinion regarding the selfie on a first date. What do you think – is this a good thing/sign or does it happen more than I realize…just not to me?

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The second first time

We were laying down on his bed, our arms wrapped around each other. I was still a bit nervous given I’d been down this road with him before. I knew this time was different, but I was still a bit guarded.

He was a good man. I felt it with everything in me. I wanted so badly to tell him what was in my heart, but I wasn’t ready to form those words. Instead, I squeezed his arms around me tighter and said, “You’re so good to me.”

His embrace got a little tighter after hearing me say that as if his hug was mirroring the nervous grin on his face. He sighed slightly and asked softly, “Well, you know why don’t you?”

“No,” I replied.

“Because I love you.”

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How did it come to this?

I took a big chance leaving my previous life behind to move to a new town without a job lined up in hopes of something different. I started this year in the best shape I’ve been probably my entire life. I was in my goal weight range and actually weighed less than I did in junior high. Things just seemed to fall apart.

My job hunt didn’t go the way I’d planned. My accountability partners were no longer close by. I was living with my parents, whose diets consisted of everything I’d been avoiding for the last six months. My eventual commute to and from work took its toll on me, and I fell back into old, horrific habits.

I’m now here, laying in bed, with the realization that I’ve gained back about 35 of the 40 pounds I’d lost, and I’m feeling a combination of emotions – defeated, disappointed, frustrated, scared, ugly, fat, and a ton of other things. I need to find a way to turn this into something positive and motivating.

I mean, how did I let myself get to this point? My diet is like a snooze button, but instead of giving myself a few more minutes of sleep, I’m giving myself a few more pounds before I’ll “really do something.” Yeah, that hasn’t happened. Time to try something different.

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So many feels

Combine moving into a new place plus the imminent time of the month arrival and you have a recipe for a one-woman emotional roller coaster!

I’m bouncing between being so glad to have a place of my own and being able to use MY stuff again all the way to I’m already lonely and what would have happened if I didn’t divorce my husband or move back here. I’m second guessing every decision I’ve ever had and feeling that my future is always going to be riddled with money struggles.

I find myself jealous of people who own houses because I see that as a goal that will forever be way out of my reach. I wonder if this new place will ever feel like home. My appetite shrinks to nothing as I worry about whether my clothes will even fit in the tiny closets.

I rejoice knowing my commute took me less than 20 minutes, yet I feel so far away from everyone. I remember just after my divorce, sitting in my very first apartment – my very first place of my own. The silence was deafening and the loneliness was palpable. I’m terrified those feelings will come back.

I guess that’s it – I’m terrified. I know that true growth will only happen outside of your comfort zone. If that really is true, then I’m in for some EPIC times ahead!

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Anxiously Awaiting

Writing has always been my way of dealing with stress. Well…that and eating. Today is a significant day for me, however, as I am finally getting the keys to my apartment. I have been staying with family since I moved back to the DFW area last November, so to have a place of my own again is going to be nice.

I’m more nervous today than I thought I’d be. This is largely in part to a few things. First, my commute here, which will soon be dramatically reduced, took me an hour and half, and, towards the beginning, the cars in front of me stopped rather suddenly, as did I, and all of the stuff in my car came screeching forward. This event caused my back window to be almost completely blocked. There was also an accident, which added an unexpected 20+ minutes to my commute. Needless to say, when I got to work, I decided to listen to some music in an effort to calm the savage beast.

Another reason for my anxiety today has to do with my issues surrounding time management…and other people’s lack thereof. In my opinion, if you know that someone is moving into an apartment, you should have everything done PRIOR to the day they are getting their keys. In my case, not only are they installing new carpet TODAY, which is a nice touch, but the cleaning lady has to make the apartment ready after that. The LAST thing I want is for the CLEANING LADY to be in a rush! I was planning on leaving work at 4:00 pm today and driving right there, but apparently I won’t be able to get in until later…and that’s assuming that the carpet gets done first thing this morning like it’s supposed to. Oh, and did I mention that my electricity gets switched over to my name today which means this is all on my dime?!

Finally, the fact that I haven’t even seen the apartment prior to today is making me very nervous. I’ve seen a two-bedroom apartment with the same features, but, because the complex was fully leased, they didn’t have my floor plan to show me. This means that I have no idea if I’ll have room for everything, as I’m basing my decision on their online layout depiction. I’ve taken measurements of some of my furniture in hopes that there will be a place for it. I have no idea if my patio furniture will fit, but that too has been measured. Hell, I don’t even know if the patio door opens in or out!

If you haven’t guessed, I’m a planner. This is part of the reason I’m getting my keys today, Tuesday, and not moving my stuff in until Saturday. I need to do my inspection. I need to clean to my standards. I need to get my shelf paper put down so I can unpack. Plus, I’ve got a tradition, thanks to the movie St. Elmo’s Fire, of eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches on the date I get my keys.

So, here I sit, wishing I could just write all day. I’m doing my best to stay busy at work, but it seems I’m a bit too efficient with my time, so now I’m all caught up and it’s only 9:45 am. This is gonna be a looooooooong day!

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This is a good thing

My dearest companion,

We’ve been spending quite a bit of time together, and I have to admit that I am looking forward to a bit of a break. It’s not that I don’t like you. I really do, even more so than the first time I saw you. It’s just that all this time together is quite a hit to the budget. Sure, we’ll still see each other during the week, and maybe even on the weekends, but it won’t be for as long as we have in recent months.

I’m sure that you could use the rest as well. You’ve had it rough the last few months, despite me trying to take care of you. Even just this morning, we missed that accident by seconds, and I was so glad you were there to keep me safe.

This will be the last week we’ll be spending so much time together, and it’s going to be quite the test for us both. I appreciate you making room for all that’s going on in my life and for keeping me moving. I know you’ll understand why this is a good thing for both of us. After all, absence makes the heart grow fonder. While I’m very fond of you, this is something we both need, Magneto.

I’m hoping to treat you to a covered parking spot in the Spring, as hail storms can wreak havoc on your beautiful exterior, especially your windows. Once everything calms down, I’m definitely treating you to a nice wash and detailing job along with that replacement screen we’ve been waiting on so you don’t auto dial random people.

Here’s to our new adventure in our new home together!

With love and adoration,
Your owner

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Reversing My Addiction

Several years ago, I dated a very nice guy over the summer. He was a friend of a friend and only one of two people I’ve met organically in quite some time. What was unique about this relationship was that he and our mutual friend met through AA. Yes, he was a recovering alcoholic and had been sober over 18 months when we met. He was very open to talking about it, and I appreciated it. Fortunately for him, I am not really a drinker. In fact, if someone said that they’d give me a million dollars if I never drank alcohol again, I’d be a millionaire. I wouldn’t even bat an eye. Alcohol is just not something I have any issues with and have no problem leaving it behind.

Occasionally we’d go out to eat, and he’d ask me if I wanted to order a drink. Without really thinking about it, I’d say, “Nah.” This blew his mind. After all, to him, he wondered why I wouldn’t want a drink given I could have one. It just doesn’t occur to me that having an alcoholic beverage with a meal is necessary. For me…well…I’d rather eat my calories.

He and I were in the middle of a conversation one day about how he feels about alcohol. Part of the way into this conversation, I stopped him because I’d realized something pretty profound. If he were to take the word “alcohol” and replace it with the word “food,” it would perfectly describe me. Just as he would ask me when going out to eat if I wanted an alcoholic beverage, I’d ask him, after he’d order a salad, if he wanted a burger or something a little more “naughty” instead. After all, he could have it! His response to this was paralleled with my response to his drink question.

So now, several years later, and several pounds gained and lost, I’m still in a struggle with food. When I thought back to my conversations years ago, it made me wonder something. Why is it that if I have an addictive personality (food, in my case), it doesn’t translate to alcohol, drugs, smoking, or even gambling? Why does my brain restrict the addictive tendencies to only food?

I remember yet another conversation with this man that had me choosing my words carefully. I told him, “Ummm…I really hope this doesn’t come across the wrong way, but…you’re lucky in the sense that your addiction is alcohol because the way to control it is to just not consume it.” Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying, by any means that he is lucky to be an alcoholic. My point was this – you do not need alcohol to stay alive. You do, however, need food. That was my issue.

I explained it to him how I’d read it described several years before. Imagine your addiction is drugs, alcohol, etc. This would be like you going to the zoo every day to see the lion and then going home. The difference is for a food addict, it’s better described like this: go to the zoo every day, three times a day. Take the lion for a walk and then go home.

I wish there was some way to make my brain recognize food in the same way it recognizes the other addictions that I don’t battle. I’m not saying I’m gonna take up smoking to replace it. BLEH!!! Can’t stand the stuff! I just wish I could have it be a non-issue for me so I can stop focusing on it so much. I guess it’s time to do some research. The brain sure is weird!

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IF I must

I’ve struggled with weight my entire life. I can remember as early as my teens was the first time I joined Weight Watchers. I’ve tried Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, and even SlimFast back in the day. Last year I started a nutritional keto diet. It was the easiest way I ever lost weight, but as I got closer and closer to my goal weight, I found that I had to further and further restrict what I was eating and increase the intensity of my workouts. I HATE tracking my food and living by so many rules. I also recently visited with a girlfriend, who is still on the keto diet. She said something to me that really bothered me and even made me sad. She told me that from the minute she gets up until she goes to bed, she is always hungry and always thinking about food. That depressed the hell out of me! I don’t want this for myself. Ever.

One of the things I learned last year when starting the keto diet was the idea of intermittent fasting. Never in a million years would I have ever thought that a weight loss tool would be to just NOT EAT! Seriously, MIND BLOWN! I read about its benefits, and I have been continuously fasting for at least 14 hours a day since August 2018.

It may sound like a lot, but given you’re sleeping around 6-8 hours, it really isn’t much. I’ve also done some extended fasts (40 hours) and found some amazing benefits from it. I was introduced to a Facebook group that follows a book by Gin Stephens called Delay, Don’t Deny. In this book, she sites quite a few books, studies, and even testimonials by those who have been successful with the intermittent fasting lifestyle. After all, I’m already doing it, but after reading her book, I learned quite a bit more.

Two of the things I’ve found that are usually my downfall when it comes to diets are tracking food and restricting what kinds of food I eat. I’ll usually track to a point and then I get pissed off that I have to write down every fucking bite that goes in my mouth. I also end up missing foods that are “off limits.” So many rules! Ugh! In this book, well…the title says it all. You’re not following a plethora of rules of what you can eat and how much. You basically find an eating window that works for you. During your eating window, you don’t deny yourself any foods. The process of fasting helps your body to learn to eventually burn fat for fuel, just like in the keto diet. Sure, you could probably lose faster by eating according to the keto diet, but I miss fruit and bread and other things that aren’t “allowed.”

I’ve decided I’m not going to deny myself anything anymore. Sure, I’ll still have to be mindful of what I’m eating and listen to my satiety signals, but if others can be successful doing this, then I feel I can as well. I’ve got a good group of people for support and I won’t be telling anyone about this new change. I need to get my eating back in control and just going to the store today know that I could buy whatever I wanted was a bit freeing. Sure, I still got the normal stuff, but not having to count calories and track shit sounds good to me.

I’m going to use this as an accountability platform, but I have a feeling it will be a slow process. Either way, if this gives me the peace of mind around what I’m eating, and helps me gain some control again, then it’s all worth it.

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