Category Archives: Activities

Breaking Up With Writer’s Block

For the next 2 weeks, I will be straying from my typical form of writing by participating in a 16 day writing prompt assignment.  This is day 1 of 16.  I welcome your comments and critiques. Thank you and enjoy!

It’s time for you and Writer’s Block to part ways.  Write a letter breaking up with Writer’s Block, starting out with, “Dear Writer’s Block, it’s not you, it’s me…”

Dear Writer’s Block,

It’s not you, it’s me.  I let you into my life, albeit unwillingly, but I let you in just the same.  And you take advantage.  I’m not really one for advantage taking, so I believe it is time we part ways.

I know we have been together for quite some time now and have begun to build a history.  Unfortunately, we are less like Brad and Angie and more like JFK and Marilyn.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but that didn’t end so well, did it?

This is not easy for me (yes it is).  But the sleepless nights, the blank paper, the smell of burnt toast escaping from my earholes — it’s all just too much.  My sanity eludes me.  And I miss the writer’s cramp in my left forefinger.  Basically, I am choosing cramps over you.  That should say it all.  Not to be crass, but do you get my point?

Don’t be sad.  I have this deep-seated feeling that we will meet again.  Just do me a favor?  Can you wait a bit before you come knocking on my door?  Allow me to recoup some of my treasured brain cells?  In other words, if the smoke detector isn’t going off, the coast may be clear.  But be gentle and don’t linger.  I wish you peace.  Sort of.  Actually, no I don’t.  You suck.

Most Sincerely Not Yours,

The Chick Who Wants Her Brain Back

Reiki Away My Pain

ReikiCartoon

Reiki does not use a rake. Just so you know.

A dear friend of mine recently became a Reiki Master.  For anyone who doesn’t know what Reiki is, here is the official definition as taken from my google search:

“a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.”  

I know.  It sounds like hocus-pocus medicine man witchery.  But in my opinion it is not.  Our bodies, the universe, everything, is made up of energy.  So really, it makes sense.  But I’m not here to discuss whether you believe in these practices or not.  I am here to tell you my experience in the only way I know how.  My way.

My dear friend wanted to perform Reiki on my bad knee.  Actually, I should say on my “healing” knee.  Because I’m seriously hoping it’s not bad any more.  It better not be after this bull poo I went through the last couple of weeks.  It’s ridiculous.  I would rather birth 10 more babies than do this again.  Okay, so maybe that’s not true.  Birthing babies kinda really sucks.  But I digress.

I’ve never had Reiki performed on me.  So, I went in a little worried that I wouldn’t do it right.  Even though I wasn’t going to be doing the “it.”  The first thing my friend, and I’ll call her “Dee”, said is that I need to think of what the intention of the session is, relax my mind, call for my guides, God and/or Jesus to assist (or something like that).  Well, anyone who knows me, knows that I am unable to relax my mind.  I’m not talking about relaxing my mind of all the stressful, crazy crap in life.  Because honestly, I really don’t worry about that.  Just ask DH.  I basically have a very difficult time focusing.  Period.  I think I am one of those undiagnosed ADD adult people.  In fact, I must be.  There are so many reasons why I think so.  But again, I digress.

The space was beautiful.  I really love that word “space.”  I don’t know why.  It’s just…cool.  The music was calming.  Warm.  So I laid down and allowed Dee to do her work.  I think I started out okay.  Here is pretty much the conversation I was having with myself, inside my head which is supposed to be kinda empty at this point:

“(inhale, exhale) okay, I am focusing on my knee, feel the light surrounding it, let me see…ok I’ll visualize the inside of what my knee looks like.  Loosen up, scar tissue.  Be free.  Mmm, what is that scent?  I think it may be lavender?  OMG, that is my fave!  oh, poop.  Focus.  Knee, knee, knee.  Ummm, please let my knee heal. I wonder if I’m doing this right?  I hope Dee can’t read my mind or that her guides snitch on me.  That would be so mean.  Those tattletalers.  Oh wait, I forgot to ask for God’s help.  Dear God, please come help Dee and me pull bad energy out of my body.  Wait.  Where should I visualize the bad energy going?  Through my head?  But then it will go by my heart.  Is that bad?  Maybe it should go through my eyeballs, ears and nose?  I mean, does it need to go out a hole?  Oh, my feet are closest though.  Lord I hope it doesn’t go through poor Dee.  Does she really need my bad energy?  Speaking of which…Lord, please help me heal.  And spirit guides, if you’re listening, you help too.  I really need to stop by the liquor store for some wine.  I wonder what book I should read next?  Ugh, I hope the dollar store has baskets because otherwise those mothers can be expensive.  I love the dollar store.  I really should start buying my cleaning supplies there.  Do you know how much money I could save?  I think I’ll blog about this.  I wish I could take notes.  Oh, darn.  I’m doing it again.  Knee, knee, knee.  Go out of me swelling and pain.  Vanish.  I didn’t poop today.  I hope I don’t fluff right here on this table.  I will just die.  Oh, but it’s only Dee, she’ll understand.  Fudge.  Oh, sorry.  That probably wasn’t the best choice of word at this moment.  I’m sorry God.  Hey God, please help.  Ok, let me visualize all that ugly swelling in my joint dissipating.  I wonder if Dee will give me bad feedback.  What if she feels that I have something wrong with me.  OMG.  Speaking of knees, I haven’t done my exercises today.  Boy is my therapist going to be mad at me.  I’m such a bad patient.  I think everybody is sick of my drama by now.  Freaking A-Balls…KNEE, KNEE, KNEE.  THINK ABOUT YOUR FRICKIN’ KNEE DANGIT!!!  We would look so weird if we didn’t have necks, wouldn’t we?”

And with that, it was over.  30 minutes gone in a blink of an eye and some serious brain chatter.  But all kidding aside, it was a wonderful experience.  I was completely relaxed (except my brain, but that’s my own fault).  I felt heat in my knee and felt a zing here and a zing there.  I literally got up off that table and felt more flexible.  Seriously.  It feel good.  Really good.  And guess what?  I practically ran down the stairs, using BOTH my legs when I got home.  That right there is a bonus because until today, it has basically taken me about 2.4 minutes to complete that task.  Also at work, I was able to bend my knee.  Like, really bend it.  Total bonus #2 since it’s felt like I’ve had 2 pounds of cotton shoved in my knee joint for the last 2 weeks.

All in all, I would say it was a success.  I think I’ll be going back.  But this time, I will try to leave all that chatter at home.  You do realize that if we didn’t have necks, it really wouldn’t be weird.  But it would be weird if we, the un-necked species, imagined having necks…or would it?

A Pointless Blog Posting About My Closet

I am a self diagnosed slob.  It’s not just me who agrees with that diagnosis.  DH thinks I should get a prize for it.  So, I’m a little on the lazy side.  But who doesn’t just stare at that wadded up grocery list that somehow managed to work its way into the corner of the kitchen floor every time they walk by it?  It takes some serious energy bending down to that level at our age.  Or any age really.  Please.

My “office” space makes Oscar look like Martha Stewart (Oscar the Grouch or Oscar Madison?  It could go either way.).  Every time I eat, something inevitably ends up on my shirt.  One of the things on my ever growing “to do” list is to buy stock in OxyClean.  And my closet?  That’s a whole different story.  I actually haven’t really entered my closet, like really entered it, in a while.  My summer clothes are kept in a drawer and so are my jeans.  My closet also contains clothes that are predominately to be worn in an office setting and since I can’t find a job in an office setting, they have been hanging there pretty much collecting everything but my dry skin for years.

I decided to venture into my closet, I would say about 17 days ago, because DH and I were going to go out to dinner.  It was a chilly evening and I thought a cute sweater with some jeans would be good.  My closet is not nice.  The Kid has a huge walk in closet.  I don’t know who designed this house, but they got it wrong and it pisses me off.  Really pisses me off.  I have the type of closet that is about 2 feet deep by 6 feet long with bi-level doors.  Is that what they are called?  Bi-level?  I don’t even know.  But the type where when you pull on the knob, they fold in half.  Hey, I never claimed to be a closet OR door aficionado so get off my back.

Well, when I opened my little bi-level doors, I was smacked in the face with a major mess.  The shelf at the top is spilling over with pocketbooks I’ve had since the Bush administration.  The first Bush.  Lingerie that I will never, ever wear because they were my mothers (there’s a very good explanation) and shoes that have sentimental value to me.  Including caked-on-dried-up-mud-on-the-heels wedding shoes from 1992.

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98% of my tops are hanging from wire hangers.  And anything that has not been worn since my first temp job at a now-defunct pharmaceutical company seems to have a slight layer of dust on them.  Okay, so maybe a bit more than “slight.”  It seems that a very wet cloth is in order.  And forget about the floor.  I have shoes that fell out of style when The Fanny Pack came into style.  And dust bunnies that have grown into full grown rabbits.  Big ass mean rabbits with fangs.

          No Wire Hangers!

No Wire Hangers!

Since I was trying to get ready to go out to dinner with DH, and I’m pretty sure he was talking about going out to dinner that evening not next Tuesday, I had to pick something and get out.  Quick.  But there was another problem.  I soon discovered that nothing fit.  Nothing.

So, I need to clean out my closet.  Not only because it is the pig sty from hell but because what is the point of allowing clothes that do not fit take up perfectly good real estate.  I thought for sure that that would be a project I would do while recuperating from my surgery.  But it turns out that I can’t stand for more than a few minutes without it feeling like a big rubber band has wrapped itself around the middle of my leg.  

And anyway, I really hate projects.  What will happen is I will be all enthusiastic and start tossing clothes into a heap.  Then I will look at this heap and it will suddenly feel overwhelming.  And then I am going to want to do everything BUT clean up that heap.  Like go pour myself a glass of wine or try to run around the block with my broken knee because that pain would probably be better than the pain of cleaning up a mess that I willingly created all on my own without anyone telling me to.

Yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and start on Project Closet regardless of what my knee felt like.  I pulled on the little knobs and opened the doors.  I started to the right by grabbing a fistful of hangers with dresses on them.  I stared at these dresses for a minute.  Placed them back and closed the doors.  Then cursed in my mind.  Well, actually I cursed out loud but no one was there to hear me so it’s basically the same thing.  Then went downstairs and watched reruns of “Grey’s Anatomy” before they killed off Dr. McSteamy.  Damn.  I miss that man.  And maybe I’ll clean my closet tomorrow.  Maybe.

The Vent of a Half Irish Woman Part 2

On the ride home.  I had lost every last marble I had left in my head.

On the ride home. I had just about lost every last marble I had left in my head.  Look closely. You can see one coming out of my ear.

I don’t know who I think I am.  I’m not even whole Irish.  I am half.  Half.  But yet I stayed in a full-on Irish rage for close to an entire weekend.  This rage actually continued through today because I had a really bad day at work.  But I will save that for another time.  Because what happened today deserves a post all on its own.

Let me remind you that I was in Irish Hell for close to 2 days.  I say close to 2 days, because I had to cut one day short for work.  Which was a treat.  Seriously.  This was my weekend:  Saturday – Irish Dance performance at the Irish Festival.  Sunday – Yet another Irish Dance Competition.

When a town puts on a festival of any kind, people come out in droves.  It could be the Annual Festival of Accountants.  They come.  Because unless you live in NYC or Paris, there is never enough to do.  Add in beer, bagpipes and irish dancing and it turns downright insane.

The venue for a festival of this capacity should be held in a small stadium.  Not an irish pub the size of my living room.  When I came to this realization, which was when the light turned from green to red TWICE and I didn’t move but a car length, I should have kept going.  That is IF I could have kept going.  I would have saved myself some indigestion, an ulcer and a few gray hairs.

Just because you see a spot in an overcrowded parking lot, does not mean it’s yours.  Even when you are on top of said spot.  Even when you are about to turn into said spot.  How do I know?  Because the guy in front of you, although he originally passed it up, can decide to slam his car into reverse and enter your spot on two of his four wheels.  All while his wife is telling you to back up.

My next episode of Road Rage came when I had to exit the lot and go back to the light that went from green to red twice.  Except this time, I was going to run the part where it turned red to make a left.  Which would have worked out fine if the guy coming in the opposite direction didn’t decide to ALSO run the red light.  Can you believe he shot ME a dirty look?  Of course, I shouted some obscenities at him.  While my window was down.  It was then that I saw a fellow irish dance mom walking on the sidewalk with her sweet little child, someone that I do not know well, look at me disapprovingly.  Proud moment in my life.  Proud I tell you.

I noticed there were 2 potential spots.  I say potential, because two old ladies were shooting the breeze.  Without a care in the world.  Just standing there.  Talking.  While twenty thousand people are looking for a place to park, they decide to stand there and talk.  Not get in their cars, back up and meet for coffee.  Stand there and waste two perfectly good spots talking.  So, I did what every other irate woman does…made my own spot.  I didn’t care who or what I was blocking at that point.  I had a piece of the entertainment in my car.  Did they want to see some Irish Step Dancing or what?  Or should I say, “Irish BREAK Dancing.”  Because that is what one spectator referred to it as.  Yes sir, it’s Irish Break Dancing.  Have another beer.

After I elbowed enough people to cause permanent damage, I managed to find a spot in the grass with the other moms.  Our dancers were soon herded like cattle into the place.  I barely got the chance to wish her luck and say goodbye.  I tried to catch her performance.  But do you know what it’s like to get past 8 thousand tipsy irishmen?  It wasn’t even worth it.  Knowing she had a safe ride home, I left for work.  Feeling a little defeated and a lot sad.

Sunday was going to be a better day.  Or so I thought.  It started great.  Getting The Kid’s hair into her wig went perfectly.  No one screamed at each other.  Little did I know, the wig would be a complete waste.

We rode up to the competition with friends.  It was an hour and a half drive so it was great to have the company.  It was also great to not to have to drive because of what happens to my legs after 12 minutes in the driving position.

The place was a zoo.  As always.  And it’s rainy, wet and cold.  I opted for flats. Not boots. My feet were wet before the day began.  Fun stuff.  I had on a short sleeve shirt.  Some sane voice in the back of my head told me to grab a sweater before we left.  So I did.  It’s probably the only thing that went well.  Listening to the little voice in my head.  Because it was freezing.  Everywhere I went.  Again, should have checked the weather report.  This is becoming a real problem with me.

After we secured some real estate, the girls started prepping.  You know, putting on the shoes, stretching, practicing.  Have you ever known of an injury occurring while stretching?  It can happen because it happened to my child.  It involved a high kick followed by an ass on a twisted foot and a lot of tears.  She had just come off of a stress fracture of her other foot.  This felt very similar.  She was scared.  I was freaking out.  Not a good combination.

Needless to say, she did not dance.  Which was the smart choice.  But still.  $40 to sign up for these effing competitions that suck the ever loving life out of me and she could not dance.  It was disappointing.  And to add insult to injury (here’s a time when that expression actually makes sense) we were stuck there until the very bitter end because of our carpool.  The car ride home was really fun.  And happened to save my sorry ass from completely going over the edge.  After spending the next morning in the orthopedics office, it was determined that her injury is a sprained foot.  Alleluia.

This recent occurrence prompted me to write a list of all her injuries incurred during Irish Dance in the last 10 years.  Actually, these injuries all were incurred in the last three years, but who’s counting?

  • 1 broken wrist
  • 2 knees suffering from Osgood Schlatter’s Disease
  • 2 hips suffering from IT Band Syndrome
  • 1 stress fracture of the left foot
  • 1 sprained right foot
  • 1 ankle with pulled tendons (do ankles even have tendons?)
  • Swelling of the protective coating of an achilles heel.  Or whatever.  I’m numb by now.  And it ain’t the wine talking either.

Not to mention the 100’s of bloody socks due to blisters on top of blisters.  And that’s nothing compared to some of the other kids’ injuries.  I’m thinking Chess Team is in order.  What’s the worst that could happen?  The Knight could drop on her finger and chip a nail?  I’ll take my chances.  And I may actually live longer.

 

The Vent of a Half Irish Woman

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The Kid does sports.  She is on the JV Field Hockey team at school.  She also is an Irish Dancer.  Before you roll your eyes and say that Irish Dance is NOT a sport, think again.  Anything that requires dedication, desire, all of your blood, sweat, tears and money, lots and lots of money, is a sport.

Last weekend she had a dance competition.  Anyone who partakes in any kind of sport, knows what a freaking affair it is.  We were gone for literally 10 hours.  TEN.  From the moment we pulled out of the driveway to the moment we pulled back in.  An eight and a half hour shift at My Retail Job is less draining.

While I am standing there, waiting, waiting and waiting some more, surrounded by crying and screaming competitors, listening to the “bang bang bang” of hard shoes practicing over and over up and down the halls and hearing the same irish music again and again for 6+ hours, I was thinking about what we mother’s do for our children.  And why we do it.  Well, we do it because we love them.  But is that enough?   This is the crap I need to vent about right now because I will be doing this same exact thing tomorrow.

I sat in a car for what was supposed to be one hour and 20 minutes.  I cannot sit in a car for one hour and 20 minutes because my body is not that of a 15 year old.  After 20 minutes, my knee starts to pulsate.  After 32 minutes, I have sciatica pain running down both legs.  After about 56 minutes, my bunion starts acting up in my riding boots because when I left in the morning it was 58 degrees and I felt riding boots were in order.  If I had bothered to look at the weather report for the day, I would have seen that flip flops would have been the smarter choice.  Freaking Indian Summers suck.  Just make up your mind Mother Nature.

Our one hour and 20 minute car ride turned into a 2 hour and 20 minute car ride because, well, I didn’t know why.  I was guessing an accident.  But there was a nothing.  Nothing.  We were crawling for no reason at all.  I’m not lying.  No reason at all.  NONE.  Understand?  The Whitestone Bridge is 3,770 feet long.  If my calculation is correct, it took me 62.83 seconds to go one foot.

When we arrived, it took me five minutes to extract myself from the position in which I was in from the driver’s seat of my car.  And another five minutes to walk to our destination, just mere feet into the venue.  Because my joints were stiff.  I think I caught a glimpse of what a 92 year old woman feels like.  And it ain’t pretty.  Just so you know.

It’s great fun to be body slammed.  Continuously.  I swear I feel like I’m at a punk rock concert every single time I subject myself to this madness.  I also really love it when people form a human chain in the middle of the corridor.  That’s ok, people. Really, I did not need to pass.  I’ll just take out my magical wings and fly over you.  There are enough people at these venues to heat the inside of Yankee Stadium and I was wearing a sweater with a tiny camisole under it.  Which means I had to keep the sweater on.  Again, it would have been smart to check the weather report for the day.

The options for lunch (which was really dinner, which was really lunch because we somehow missed that meal):  cardboard pizza as stiff as my joints after a 2 hour car ride or 2 for 1 american wedge slices.  I opted for the wedge.  The cheese I think was supposed to be a slice of american.  I’m sure that at the start of the day it looked just like that.  A slice.  But by the time I got to it, it resembled that of Cheese Whiz.  So why did I choose the sandwich?  Because it was the bargain of the day.  And I am not one to pass up on a good deal.  In the meantime, The Kid scored herself some spaghetti and meatballs.  Don’t ask.  I’m not sure.

After what seemed like an eternity, “they” were ready to announce the awards for The Kid’s competition.  The outcome was not good.  But I will say she danced her little ass off.  She was amazing.  She tried her hardest.  It was the first time doing a competition in months because of an injury.  So this mamma bear was extremely proud nonetheless.  BUT, I now had to deal with a very disappointed child.  In a car ride where the only thing I can concentrate on is how I can manage to keep my legs from atrophying.

That felt good to get off my chest.  Thanks for listening.  I get to do this all over again tomorrow.  Come join me.  I’ll be the woman with wine in her water bottle.  Someone get me a lobotomy.

What a Difference 223 Days Make

forrest-gump

I was thinking about something today.  Running.  Not “running” from the law.  Or “running” away from a bad relationship.  “Running” as in “I ran around the block 5 times.”

I was not a runner.  I abhorred it.  Oh wait.  I was on Track Team when I was 14.  And I only did it because my gym teacher at the time thought I was fast and wanted me on his team.  Which was really weird, because I skipped gym a lot.  I hated any type of physical activity.  That and my legs looked like the legs of a newborn fawn.  I would rather have died than let the boys get a look at those babies in the hideous shorts we were forced to wear.  In fact, I even went and got myself Mono just so I could skip gym for half a year.  Well, not really.  I mean, I got mono.  But not on purpose.  I digress.  I only did track for a year.  Because that crap sucked.

I tried running again about 6 years ago.  At which time I realized that I just can’t run for long distances without getting this weird pain in my side and other weird pain everywhere.  So I stopped.  I never got the concept.  It hurt.  Bad.  I was pretty sure the people who ran just liked to torture themselves.  They would have monthly meetings to see what other torture they could inflict on themselves.  Just for fun.

In February, I decided to get healthy by eating right and exercising.  I started out by walking.  Then it turned into a little walk-y here, a little run-ny there.  But even after a few months, I was having a hard time running for more than a couple minutes at a time.

Then I did my first 5k in August.  And was able to complete it with a little help from a friend.  I did it without walking once.  I almost died.  Ok, so maybe died is a strong word. But I sure the hell thought I would collapse.  I remember thinking that someone may want to have an ambulance somewhere between here and there because I was going to need it.

Needless to say, I didn’t die.  I didn’t need that ambulance.  But it hurt.  Like hell.  I had pain everywhere.  My stomach, my legs, my back.  But something happened to me that day.  I realized that even with all the pain, that I actually enjoyed it.  I released enough endorphins to last me a week.

I completed my second 5k this past Sunday.  And I beat my time by 2 minutes.  And I didn’t feel like I was going to die.  In fact, I could have gone another mile or so.  Because I have become a runner.

So, the point of my story is this.  Because I cannot get to a point without making my story long.  I’m not saying you WANT to start running.  But I am saying you CAN run.  Or you can do whatever it is you think you can’t do.  Please, you must rely on my word here, if there is anyone in this world who would make THE BEST poster child for laziness, it would be me.  Ask anyone.  Really.  So go.  Fly.  Be free.   Go do what you think you cannot.  Because you can.  I am living proof.

Back to the Issue

381788-bad-back

Have I mentioned lately that I’m too old for My Retail Job?  Why, yes, I think I have.  If you missed my myriad of reasons, please click here.

There is now a new reason why I think I am too old for My Retail Job.  The crap I do there is intended for the back of a 20-something year old.  Or a camel.  But I am neither so therein lies the problem.  How did I even get hired for this job?  I am a humpless mature woman (remember, I have been reminded twice).  Hmmm.  If you ask DH, it’s because “I’m smart, reliable and trustworthy.”  Apparently, the world is in short supply of these attributes.

That is all well and good, but it still doesn’t hide the fact that I’m old for this job.  Yesterday I was pushing some product, helping to unload the truck.  When there was a sudden pain in the bottom right part of my back.  What’s it called?  Whatever it is, it hurt.  So, I took some Advil, and it worked its magic.  Masking the pain.  So what did I do?  Pushed more product.

This morning I am lying in bed.  Writing this post.  I should be cleaning the kitchen from last night, doing at least one of six loads of laundry and washing the toilets.  Am I?  No.  Because I can’t move.

I have to work later today.  Until almost midnight.  Looks like I’ll be O.D.’ing on some Motrin so I can get through it.  And making My Retail Job people document what happened.  You know, just in case it doesn’t get better.  Which it will.  It’s just a pulled muscle, I’m sure.  But you never know.  I really hate complaining about stuff like this.  But what did they expect?  They hired a dinosaur.  Wait.  Didn’t dinosaurs have strong backs?

A Brush With Greatness

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Have you ever had a brush with greatness?  I have.  But my story will have to wait.  Today I am going to tell you about The Kid’s brush with greatness.  Except she was completely unaware of it.  Why?  Because it wasn’t Katy Perry or Joe Jonas.

It was about 4 or 5 years ago and we were kayaking with good friends.  We were in a beautiful place and enjoying the beautiful weather.  It was peaceful.  Up until our daughter lost control of her boat.  And was heading straight into another boat.

I’ve seen the man in this kayak before. He looked familiar, with his baby face and trademark cap.  Wait.  That guy looks like…could it be…Opie? Richie Cunningham?  Yes.  The Kid literally rammed  head-on into no other than Ron Howard himself.  Of course, it wasn’t done gracefully.  Oar flailing, pigtails bobbing and lungs screaming.  No, not embarrassing at all.

Between giggles she managed to get out an apology.  At least she used her manners.  Mr. Howard could not have been nicer.  He very gently told her that it was okay and that she was doing a good job.  The rest of us?  We all sat with mouths gaping.  In total disbelief that Ron Howard and his wife were out on a Saturday afternoon kayaking in our local stream.  Well, his local stream too, it turns out.

People around us were whispering about the famous man in the cap.  Of course, these people were middle age.  Like us.  They all grew up with Richie and Opie.  Anyone there at that moment under the age of 35 had no idea who he was.  It was like our own little secret.

I remember thinking suddenly how proud I was of our kid.  She can’t paddle a kayak, but she sure knows how to strum up some excitement.  It was the topic of conversation for weeks.  It still comes up from time to time.  Hmmm, I suddenly realize I should probably get something else to talk about.  Or have The Kid run into someone new.

Long Live the Queen?

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I was the self-proclaimed Queen of the Couch Potatoes.  Ruler of Sofa Land.  Queen Bee of the Love Seat.  The proof is in the couch that beholds my royal ass print like hieroglyphics on a cave wall. The grease marks on the remote control from potato chip fingers.  And permanent red wine stains etched on the side table.  All that was missing was my tiara.

What, pray tell, does the day in the life of a Couch Queen consist of?  Here is a sampling:

  • 6:15am – Wake up to see kid off to school.  Yes, I had been brainwashed into making her lunch everyday even though she was 14.  Teens are experts in brainwashing.  Wish they were experts in washing other things.  Like their clothes or possibly even a toilet.
  • 6:50am – Go back to bed until 10am.  A Queen needs her beauty sleep after all.
  • 10am – Fix breakfast for Queen (there are no servants in Sofa Land) which consisted of anything from cereal to pancakes.  Depending on mood.  And hunger level.
  • 10am-2pm – Plant ass on couch.  After all it’s important to watch TV while eating.  It’s like going Number 2 without a magazine.  One goes with the other.  Then lunch would happen by.  By now the queen was way too involved in Lifetime movies to walk away.
  • 2pm – Oh shit!  The Kid will be home soon. There are beds to make, laundry to start, a kitchen to clean up.
  • 2pm-5pm – Straighten up, talk to The Kid about her day, start dinner, drive The Kid to an activity.
  • Anything after 5 – have helping #1 of dinner, have helping #2, pour glass of wine #1, think about taking a shower, pour glass of wine #2.  Go back to couch because it was getting cold.  It’s very important to keep the royal subjects warm.
  • 11pm – Go to bed.

Okay, I may be exaggerating a little.  Sometimes I got the energy to clean the house, go grocery shopping, see a friend.  But I do wonder why I gained 25 pounds in ummm, I like to say 3 years, but I can’t really pinpoint when it happened.  Potatoes are high in starch, so it may have had something to do with that and the couch situation.

Anyway, no need to worry because there was a beheading recently.  The Queen is dead.  Sofa Land is a thing of the past.  (If you are new to my blog, click here to see what I mean.)  Now, I have to undo years of this behavior and poor role modeling.  The Kid is fairly active.  When she is active.  Other times, when I come home from work or a workout, sometimes this is what I find:

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I have 3 years to turn that crap around.  Wish me luck.

My Happy Place

It’s been a few months.  Five and half to be exact.  If you can remember that far back, my journey started in February (I Think It’s Time).  This is what I looked like:

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When I look at these photos, I am amazed at how out of shape I allowed myself to get.  At the time, I was both mentally and physically, for lack of a better word, off.  For example, almost every day after The Kid left for school, I would go back to bed and sleep half my day away, when I did finally get up, I didn’t care.  I was sad, I felt lethargic, useless, bored.  I ate 6-8 Tums a day because my meals basically consisted of a bagel and coffee for breakfast, a box of macaroni and cheese for lunch and for dinner I could eat Adam Richman from “Man vs. Food” under the table.  I didn’t exercise and my body would think I was nuts if I so much as looked at a blueberry.

But all that has changed.  This is me after 22 weeks and 4 days:

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When I started I was 154.6.  I am now 136.4.  It wasn’t easy.  I struggled.  I love to eat, so that was the biggest and most difficult challenge for me.  I exercise almost every day.  There are mornings when I am tired and would rather stay in bed because I closed at My Retail Job the night before and didn’t get home until midnight.  On those days, I force myself to get up and go exercise because I know how good I will feel after.  I sweat hard.  I drink water.  I feed my body 6-8 times a day with healthy and good foods.  I feel like I could conquer the world.  That I can achieve anything because my life change has given me my confidence back.  DH said I turned the clock back 20 years.  Awesome.  I love what I see in the mirror.  I haven’t had a Tums since February.  Because I don’t eat until I am busting at the seams.  You may think this is TMI, but I am also the best pooper ever.  The benefits are endless and bountiful.  I am in an incredible place.  I am happier than I’ve been in a long time.

I’d like to make a shout out to someone who I have not met personally yet but who has helped me to find my inner strength.  Her name is Susie.  She is mom blogger of www.not-your-average-mom.com.  When I was about 15 weeks into my “life change” (I don’t use the word “diet” because this is how I plan to live the rest of my life), she started a challenge called “Fit, Fierce and Fabulous” and I joined in (new session starts Monday, click on the link).  She pushed me to get my ass out of bed every day.  To fight for who I deserved to be.  I know I did the hard work, but I couldn’t have done it alone.  I am now officially addicted to exercise.  New European studies show that it takes 66 days to form a new habit.  I am living proof that this is a fact.

I have inspired many people.  I know this because these people have told me so.  I would have been happy to inspire just one.  Major bonus.  So, for those of you who say you can’t do it?  You are wrong.  You can do it.  Because I did it.  Make the decision now.  Not tomorrow, not Monday.  Now.  Get up.  Go for a walk.  Take small steps if you must, but take steps.  You will be happy you did.  Oh, and to answer the question I know you are all asking…the answer is yes.  I still drink my wine and eat potato chips.  But in moderation.  All in moderation.