Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I suppose you could call what I've been going through a period of depression. I know I've been shut down emotionally and didn't have the "oomph" to do much of anything other than the bare requirements.
I'm still not totally "there." But slowly, I feel like I'm returning. Things are by no means calming down in my life, but at least we are getting back to a regular routine, which is good for me. By the end of the week I hope to be back in the swing of things.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Maybe it's because my eating is all out of whack right now and I'm in avoidance/denial mode. Perhaps I don't want to read about someone else's mindful eating or successful diet because I don't have a good handle on my own "stuff" right now.
But I know I'll be back, because I do miss hearing how everyone's doing. So bear with me and I'll be back on track in Blog Land soon.
I love my husband, but this week went way too fast. I am guilty of enjoying these past seven spouse-free days. No adult-sized socks to pick up (still had some kid ones), no tissues to pick up around all the trash cans throughout the house, no newspapers to pick up off the bathroom floor, and no mountains of dishes to wash. No father-daughter evening altercations that usually result in tears and slammed doors (the daughter, not the father), no bedtime conversations that get me aggravated or worked up and unable to sleep while Hubby rolls over and immediately starts snoring.
Yes, there were things I missed: his "I love you"s, hugs and kisses; his cute phone calls (he forgot his cell phone charger or I probably would have heard from him more). I had to scramble to find people to watch Mabel in the mornings while I was at work, had to deal with all the dog duties by myself, and I haven't had time to mow the lawn, so I realize how much he does help me around the house. And I've been totally nonchalant about supper this past week, so I do look forward to his good cooking when he gets back.
His return also signals the quickly ending summer: when he gets back we only have a week left of summer break, then he and Mabel go back to school. Next week is the other harbinger of summer's end, the Somerset County Fair. We'll go at least once next week, maybe twice. I have to go get my favorite Stromboli, look at all the livestock, Mabel will ride all the carnival rides, and we might go see my friend's brother do some mud bogging. (For those of you not living in rural, backwoods USA, it's kind of like a tractor pull, except you're driving your truck around in a bunch of mud to see if you can get farther than the other people competing. Scintillating entertainment.)
Back in my newspaper days this was always a crazy, hectic time of year: I was rushing around covering fair events as well as compiling football, soccer and volleyball articles and photographs for special sections of the paper. August was always the month from hell back then and I dreaded it. Now it's almost the reverse: I see the end of the chaotic summer in sight and look forward to returning to some normalcy. It's funny how things change.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I Googled "messy kids bedroom" trying to find a picture to go along with this post, and while I didn't find one, I did see lots of articles. Some give advice on how to organize your kid's room, while another article said to let your preteen's room alone and let them deal with it. The point of view being that they need their privacy and independence.
My daughter's 8 and thinks she's a preteen, but I can not leave her to her own devices when it comes to her room. At least not yet. In a few years I'm sure she'll forbid me from touching her things, but right now she's still willing to let me get in there and sort through the debris.
The main problem in her room comes down to having too much: too many toys, too many clothes. I took out a ton of clothes that are now too small, as well as toys she hasn't touched since we moved in this past December. I took them to the attic just in case there's something she will spaz out over when she discovers it gone, but I doubt it. A lot of them are kids meal toys from restaurants, which shows just how often this kid talks the adults around her into eating fast food.
The second problem is a lack of organization. I spent a couple hours yesterday sorting through boxes and bags of things that were thrown in willy-nilly with no rhyme or reason. I am now labeling metal boxes "pens and pencils," "crayons and markers," "tape, scissors and stapler," etc., so these things can have a home. I couldn't believe how many pencils I found in that girl's room -- I'm guessing near 100. I'm reuniting CDs with their cases; dice, instructions and other paraphernalia to their games; clothes, shoes and accessories to their doll owners.
I'm also pulling out special works of art for the Mabel Archives: her stories, drawings and letters that are particularly cute or funny. It would be a shame to toss these out with the pages of scribbles, so it's taking time to separate the wheat from the chaff.
I'm starting to see some real progress now, and I'm hoping it will be done by the time Hubby returns from his trip tomorrow. I think Mabel is pleased with what's going on, although it's hard for her to envision the finished project while things are still lying around and not put in place yet.
I have to admit I feel like Mabel's room right now when it comes to my eating. I've been really messy with my food, picking out lots of unhealthy things and eating too much of it. Over my trip away I would do okay with Intuitive Eating when I was out eating with my friends, but in our hotel room at night I'd tend to overeat. Exercise hasn't been regular other than my weekly yoga class, and the walking has been sporadic.
I'm not pleased with this current behavior, and I feel like I'm gaining weight, but I refuse to weigh myself, which I think is a good sign. I also feel myself starting to slowly lose my love affair with junk food, and I'm starting to crave healthier things. I'm eager for school to start and for our routines to return to normal, because I'm sure that I'll be able to get my eating and exercise more regulated. I don't mean dieting or busting my butt at the gym two hours a day. I think I'll be able to get my routines stabilized for regular enjoyable exercise, and I think once things settle down I'll be more in tune with my body and less prone to overeating.
No matter how much we try to control the world around us, things get messy. We may not be paying attention, or there's too much going on, but we turn our heads and suddenly everything falls into chaos. But with a little time and patience we can work with the chaos and find some ways to organize and keep a handle on it. It may not be permanent, but we have to keep trying anyway.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Here is a nice shot of the Monongahela River, part of the Wharf District and a little bit of the West Virginia University Downtown Campus. This is the view from across the river, which puts you in Westover. We did this drive a few times in our travels.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
This post's title is inspired by my daughter, who will kill me if and when she discovers I've relayed the following story here. When she was younger and it was bath time, she revelled in getting naked and would run through the house yelling, "Naked Girl Saves the World!"
By the way, I love this print above, and if you click on the picture it will direct you to the website where you can order it.
Yesterday was my first yoga class. I wasn't sure what to expect, either from the instructor, my classmates, the location or the intensity of the poses. I turned out to be a small class, consisting of me and two other ladies. I'm guessing here, but one was in her 50s, and the other was maybe late 60s or early 70s.
Our instructor was Rachel, who I liked immediately. She had such a warm, inviting demeanor that I felt comfortable right away. She's my age (30s), with a cute blonde bob that looked very easy to maintain. What I liked about her was that while she was definitely toned and healthy looking, she was by no means skinny, which made me feel even more at ease. Is that being discriminating? I don't really have anything against skinny people per se, but knowing that my instructor isn't looking at me thinking "what in the hell is this fat broad doing here?"made me feel better.
The room was dimly lit, some nice relaxing music was playing in the background, and the air conditioning was a relief from the horribly hot and humid weather outside. The hour of yoga was a nice combination of poses I knew and some that were new to me. Some were easy and some challenged me a little, but none were impossible for me to do. Throughout the hour Rachel would read snippets from a book that talked about being conscious of our bodies, tapping into our positive energy and seeking out our spirituality.
When the class was over I felt mentally relaxed yet energized, even though some muscles in my legs were definitely feeling the work I had done. Rachel said she thought I did great and couldn't find anything to correct as far as posture, etc. It felt so good I wished I could go every day!
I know there's nothing stopping me from doing yoga at home every day -- except for my daughter, my husband, the dogs, the telephone, the doorbell, household chores and errands... As you can tell, there are a lot of distractions and "shoulds" that keep me from doing it. That's the great thing about this class -- it's paid for, so I'm more inclined to "get my money's worth," and it's away from the house, so I don't have all those interruptions and to-do lists to use as an excuse. It's time set aside just for me, and it's time spent toning my body, centering my mind and rejuvenating my spirit. You can't get much better than that.
Yet when he hugged and kissed me goodbye this morning at 4 a.m., I really felt sad. And instead of enjoying having the entire bed to myself, I tossed and turned and couldn't get back to sleep. Mabel was missing Daddy this morning, too. But I know once we hit the road tomorrow and get busy with shopping and visiting we'll be fine.
Now that I have Hubby shipped off now it's my turn to pack and get everything ready. I'm taking my laptop along because our hotel room is supposed to have free wireless Internet, so I should be able to blog on the road. I just need to install my photo card reader on the laptop so I can upload pictures from our trip. So many things to do... it's always something.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
"But when you have a Sunday morning to yourself, and it's not hot yet outside and the windows are open and the breeze is nice and you have on some music or maybe a book-on-CD or maybe just silence, and it's just you and a single cleaning project ... well, that's when the act of cleaning becomes more than a to-do list item. It's accomplishment and activity and self-care all in one. This is the same reason I love knitting, because it can be a form of active meditation, too, and I have always loved sewing for the same peaceful freedom from my own thoughts and worries. Intense concentration on one action, one very productive action, is something I just lose myself in.
"I think sometimes I forget to put "cleaning" on the list of activities that zen me out because I often associate it with duty and work. But cleaning, when it's just for the sheer joy of a pretty sink or a sparkling fridge or a single shiny pane of window glass, can be happiness and meditation all in one. (This works particularly well for those of who who find sitting still and meditating a near impossible task.)"
Okay, on to the present.
I've been Missing In Action this past weekend, not only here in Blogland but in my head, too. It was PMS weekend, my first on the new medicine, so maybe that has something to do with it. But every time I'd try to read my usual IE blogs, IE posts or try to post on my own blog, I kept losing focus and concentration and thinking "I can't deal with this right now."
And man did I overeat. Saturday was the worst -- I felt like an empty pit that I couldn't fill no matter how hard I tried. Part of it was being at a birthday party I didn't really want to be at: I was surrounded by tall, thin, perfectly accessorized blonde women and felt like an ogre. So I dove into the food and ate way more than I should have.
The good news is that Saturday was by far the worst day and Sunday I definitely scaled back on the eating. The best part was I didn't do it out of a desire to diet or deprive myself, it just felt natural not to eat as much.
But as we all know, it's more than just the food. I feel very shut off from my emotions right now, and I don't know if it's the Lexapro or PMS or a phase I'm going through. It could very well be hormonal, because as you know last week I was feeling really good, the best I've felt in ages, and suddenly, the three days before my TOTM, I'm in a fog. By the end of this week I could feel great again. I just have to work through it.
Tomorrow I'm starting a yoga class, and I'm hoping that it will help me get more in touch with my body and being conscious in the moment. I've done yoga with tapes before but never had an instructor, and I'm looking forward to have someone make sure I'm using proper form and posture. Let's just hope I'm not in a class full of tall, thin blondes. Not that I have anything against TTBs, but a little more diversity would be nice!
Thursday, August 02, 2007
This morning I did have to force myself out of bed, though. I laid there debating whether I should sleep in a little longer or get up and walk. I knew I wasn't going to get any more beneficial sleep, maybe a little dozing, but nothing substantial. And the main thought that propelled me was, "You know you're going to feel better if you walk."
And I did. I can feel a real difference in comparison to last week. On the days I don't walk I skulk to the shower, feeling drowsy and finding the whole effort of getting ready for my day tedious and a struggle. On the days I do walk, I seem to have more zip in my step; my brain is more alert and I seem to fly through my routines and I'm motivated to sneak in more chores as I prepare. This week I've managed to pop a load of laundry in the washing machine each morning, and today I started a load in the dishwasher, too. And on these days I feel more "entitled" to spend my afternoons doing something leisurely like my counted cross stitch or reading.
A lot of this is getting in tune with my body and its energy cycles. I've discovered I'm more productive and energetic in the morning, so it's the best time for me to get housecleaning and other chores done. I tend to have a low point in the afternoons when I'm decompressing from work and my motivation and energy hits bottom, so it makes sense to do relaxing "me time" things then.
Taking all of this into consideration, I'm looking into making some changes in my schedule. I went to the local arts center yesterday and signed up for a yoga class, which will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays in August. In September there's also a Pilates class starting on Fridays at noon, and I'd like to take that, too. This ties into the changes I'd like to make at work: this summer I've been taking Fridays off, and I'm realizing how much I love having this day for myself. It's become my housecleaning morning and I've been amazed how much I can get done in a few hours when I devote myself to it. If I continue to take Fridays off, I could then clean in the mornings, then zip over to Pilates at noon.
Of course, I need to get approval from the Church Council, but I don't think it'll be a problem. My predecessor took Fridays off, and currently my Pastor doesn't come into the office that day, either. But as my seminar instructor taught me, the best way to get what you want is to point out how it will benefit your boss. My pitch will be that I'll extend my office hours on Monday-Thursday. I know in many instances that congregation members have trouble getting to the office before noon, which is my current closing time. If I extend that to 1 p.m., that will enable people to use their lunch hour to get to the office to drop off/pick up items, etc.
And just think, in a month my husband and daughter will be back to school and I'll have the house all to myself on Fridays. Ahh, it seems like a dream come true!
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
For example, since my seminar last Thursday I have been much more motivated at work. I have been getting myself better organized, filing papers on a daily basis, as well as writing a goal/to do list at the end of the day so I know exactly what needs to be done the next morning. I do a little bit each day and I find myself feeling more productive and pleased with myself.
While I felt like I was a lazy bum yesterday, I know that wasn't true, either. I helped Hubby move the furniture back into the foyer, dusted and put things back in place; I set the table for dinner and washed the dishes; I did a load of laundry; and I did a lot of counted cross stitch. I probably did more that I'm not even remembering like general tidying up and mommy stuff. Granted, the house wasn't cleaned from top to bottom, but who says I have to be an indentured servant in my house every day to feel like a good wife/mother?
At my seminar the instructor told us that the average person has 20,000 thoughts per day (who knows how this number was derived) and that the grand majority of those thoughts are negative ones. It's no wonder there's so much pessimism, depression and anger in the world. Some people try to always look for the positives, but it can be pretty difficult trying to stay upbeat all the time. We all know someone in our lives who drives us crazy always looking for the silver lining in our black clouds.
That's where conscious living becomes the logical solution. Instead of fighting the negatives or forcing the positives, doesn't it seem easier to just accept what is without judgment or criticism? The more I approach life this way, the better I feel. Not ecstatic, but not down in the dumps, either. It makes the bad things more bearable and makes the good things less crucial for happiness. Either way, we're less affected by the external world and can find peace in our internal Being.