Wednesday, May 20, 2015

No Motivation

I am in a funk. Oh, baby. And everyone around me is in the same one. We've barely seen the sun in several weeks, and we are a bunch of spoiled brats that lose our minds if we haven't seen the sun in 3 days. My basement has over a foot of water in it right now, so there is no heat, and no hot water. No one can come to fix it until the water is gone. You might think this is no big deal, because you live in a place where you're hot right now, but it's 40's and damp here, maybe highs in the 50's, so my house doesn't warm up much right now.

I am finding that even though I don't really have to do anything to fix the basement (my landlords are great), I am still getting nothing done. It makes no sense, because the basement is unfinished and I don't really ever go down there. But I blame the fact that I'm cold. And the funk from lack of sun and outdoors. SOMEBODY TURN OFF THE FAUCET SO I CAN GO OUTSIDE BEFORE I LOSE WHAT LITTLE IS LEFT OF MY MIND!!!

I bought a bike just before this all started, so it's mostly been hanging out unused. I can't hike, and my weight is  creeping up. Not bad, but I saw some numbers on the scale that I haven't seen in almost 2 years, and I was not happy about it. I'm actually eating less than I typically do, but I think I'm also eating too much sugar. I blame the clouds and the never ending dripping.

Have I mentioned that roads and trails are washing away? Stop the madness!

It is confirmed. I can never move to Seattle. (I am considering a visit, however, because I guess they are currently having beautiful sunny weather.)

I know, I know I shouldn't be complaining because we often have amazing weather. I have tried to hold it in, I really have, but it's reached a point to all come bubbling out; kind of like the miniature springs of water that I have in my basement.

Deep breaths.

Okay, my equilibrium will return when the sun does, but for now there are clouds, so let's play Pollyanna and talk about the silver linings.

One: I was so bored being stuck inside so much that I finally signed up for Insta.gram*. I love it more than I should. I started following a bunch of climbing and cycling feeds, and some of those pictures are just insane and make me happy to see them. I also have started following a few bloggers, but I'm not that good about knowing who's on there, so if you are, let me know. I'll follow you!

Two: There is water in my basement, but it is only ground water. It's clean and clear, which is something that I was very grateful for as I was wading around in it yesterday to clean out everything that I had stored down there. Most of it went to the trash. It was a little sad to see some if it go, but thankfully I didn't keep anything too important down there.

Three: I discovered something about myself. There was one box that I didn't know was down there. It had some photos in frames, and I was sad to see them destroyed. Most were digitally backed up, but one was a framed collage a friend had given me from an epic hike we did, one of my first really big mountains from before I moved out here. It was kind of hard putting those photos in the trash, but the way the backs were already molding, I had no choice. However, even though I can be very sentimental, I realized I wasn't as sad as I could be. I like to hold onto those things because they represent things that are important to me, but what I realized is that the things didn't matter as much as I thought. Those people and experiences are a part of me. Losing those things doesn't change that.

Four: I am guilty of taking our normal wonderful weather for granted. I think I will appreciate it so much more!

Five: Most of the stuff in my basement was just extra stuff that I didn't really need. It felt really good to get rid of that, especially the microwave.

I'm sure I could find more, but my break is over for the moment. I am excited to have 4 of the next 7 days off, and while all of them have rain forecast, at least some of them may allow a little outdoor time. Maybe? We can only hope and pray.

*Warning! I'm so late signing up for things that often by the time I get on board, things are on their way out. If In.stagram dies, it's probably my fault.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Sixth Sunday of Lent

AKA: Mother's Day.

Y'all, I hope you all had a blessed day. I know it wasn't easy for everyone, but I hope that it was good. You've been on my heart. I will say that Mass was not 100% smooth sailing, but it was absolutely lovely in a number of ways. I went to an early Mass at a church I don't usually go to and was immediately reassured by by the fact that it wasn't terribly full and the people that were there mostly had gray hair. And the priest that was celebrating the Mass is an amazing priest. You know what happened after he got up front? He celebrated the Mass. No mention of the secular holiday at the greeting, and his homily was centered around the readings (and it was really fantastic and just what I needed to hear, as it turns out). Nothing about motherhood. There was a petition, but it was broad enough that I felt that it included about everyone.

The real kicker, though, was the blessing of the mothers. The blessing is difficult for me, but I do think that we should have it. As I've said, I do think that Mother's Day is something that is good to celebrate. The fact that it is hard for some of us doesn't mean that we shouldn't celebrate it. I was where I could leave if I needed it to. But here's where the priest kept coming with the amazingness. He invited all mothers to stand, "mothers, stepmothers, foster mothers, godmothers, and spiritual mothers." Although I chose not to stand (because it's still kind of weird), it allows anyone to stand up, because women are all called to nurture and love the people in our lives in a way that brings them closer to God. Obviously, those that are also physical mothers are called to be spiritual mothers first to their children, but also to anyone that is brought in their life. Those of us that for whatever reason are not physical mothers, are still called to nurture and "mother" those in our lives.

I didn't really care that I wasn't standing. I was in the back, I didn't feel conspicuous. I think it was also because I felt I could have stood if I wanted to that I didn't mind sitting quite as much. But the part that was absolutely most important was that because of the way he said it, and because I finally understood it, when he gave a beautiful blessing, he meant me, too. He meant all of you who ache for children that are no longer here, or whose arms are empty but whose hearts are full with a love that you would so love to give a child. Standing or sitting didn't matter to me, because I wasn't left out of the blessing itself. And for once I could see that in a real way, instead of just a cerebral way.

For once when I ducked out of church early on a Mother's Day, the tears were not only because it was hard, but also because it was healing.

Friday, May 8, 2015

It's That Time of Year Again

Y'all, this weekend is Mother's Day. I like the idea of Mother's Day. I have a mother that deserves to be recognized, and some amazing grandmothers. I have many friends that are amazing mothers, and I think that should be honored. I just hate that in practice, it becomes such an excruciating day for so many. Whether you're hurting because you've lost a mother, because of a poor mother/child relationship, because you've lost a child or children, or because your arms are empty and aching, or whatever your reason is, hey, let's ratchet it up a notch or a hundred.

Thankfully, for me personally, things aren't quite as raw as they have been some years, but I admit that Mother's Day can sometimes bring it all back on in a heartbeat. I dread going to Mass. Any other day is fine, but Mother's day is a problem. I'll go to the early Mass, be at the back door by the blessing, and out a little early. Sorry, but that's what it takes. I think that I will be relatively okay for the rest of the day, though. I'll be talking with my mother and otherwise I will be insulating myself in my home most likely.  I will avoid f.acebook like the plague.

Anyway, I don't say this to try to sound pathetic (though maybe I am). I just want to say that I know that there will be a lot of you in a lot of different situations that are going to be hurting this weekend, and I will be thinking of you and praying for you. There are also a lot of you that have a lot to celebrate this weekend, and I am so happy that there is reason to rejoice this weekend as well.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Giving Up

April was a crazy busy hectic month for me. I know a lot of people have it crazier and busier, but it was more than I can handle. The worst thing about my schedule getting off is that then it's even harder for me to deal with my food insanities. Here's the thing, I seem to have a high metabolism as well as hypoglycemia issues. But I also have a large number of food intolerances. So somehow I have to find time to cook and eat things and when I don't have time, I don't eat enough. It's a pain in the butt, because it's not like I can just go to the store and get whatever and not worry about it. When I have several days of not eating enough (which means that I am still eating as much or more than a normal person my size), the blood sugar issues get stupid. Or I get stupid is more like it.

Friday was one of those days to pay the piper. It started during my work out. I felt like crap, so I ate, but it wasn't enough. Therefore, I spent 20 minutes of my workout trying not to pass out and generating crazy low numbers. Really, I shouldn't have been there, or I should have left early when it was that bad, but like I said, I get stupid and can't figure out how to get myself taken care of. Just when I had almost convinced myself to leave (low blood sugar me takes a long, long time to make a decision) then my little snack kicked in and I felt a lot better and was a lot closer to my normal numbers, but when I'm running on a deficit like that, I don't need to be spending it in a workout. Which I found out when I fought issues all day on Friday. Low energy, everything was too much to handle, everything about my life that is a challenge reached crisis proportions. Not because anything bad happened, but because I couldn't deal. I was done, ready to throw in the towel. I quit.

Really what happens is that you keep plugging along and deal. I changed the calendar, and this photo came up.

I had forgotten that this was the photo for May. Suddenly I was back on that mountain on that gorgeous day. The thing about this hike, though, it was a huge struggle. It was long (not really a problem) but it had some exposure (drop offs). They were short in distance (but long in drop), and the surrounding terrain wasn't bad, but I couldn't handle it that day. I had just heard about my 23 year old patient's death the week before, and suddenly things like rock slides and drop offs were this huge specter. It was obvious that things could happen. I wanted to quit on the hike that day, too. I didn't want to go past the rock pile, then the drop off, then the narrow summit surrounded by drop offs. I told my friend that he should go ahead, and that I would come as far as I felt comfortable, then stop if I needed to. It was one step at a time, that summit. I got there, and instead of feeling a sense of accomplishment, I hated every second of being on that summit and kept thinking about going past all those things on the way back down.

The thing is, though it sounds dangerous and it felt dangerous, really the way the set up was, it wasn't that bad. You could step away from the edges. Those rocks weren't going anywhere. I was angry with myself for being that anxious about it. I could recognize that I was having something of an anxiety attack, and I could recognize that those aren't logical, but I was still angry that my reactions were completely over the top and I couldn't just decide to change them. This photo was taken when I had just finished coming back over the area that was bothering me. I had just figured out why I was having so many issues (because I didn't immediately connect it to my patient's situation, but I really do think that was it- his was a car accident, but it was still just as sudden and just as final; things that always bother me were just over the top that hike). I was still angry at myself for my overreaction, but I was starting to calm down, and I love this photo.

I felt like giving up that day, and when I didn't, it still didn't feel good. At the time. But it was good. That whole summer was a struggle (for a number of reasons), but it wasn't necessarily bad. Just hard. Some of the fall out is still going on for me. This photo is a reminder, one step at a time, and enjoy the beautiful moments along the way. It helped me get through Friday, even though I still didn't really enjoy the day.

On a practical note, I changed my weekend plans from a very strenuous hike to a fairly easy bike ride, and have caught up on some things around the house, including lots of eating. Turns out that the world is not such a dark and gloomy place when you're not fighting the low blood sugar beast. I also fell asleep on the couch this afternoon for about 3 hours. I really don't want to nap during the day, because then I don't sleep, but I'm going with the thought that I needed it. Hopefully I can get a little more back into my routine and not have quite so many issues this next month.

Friday, April 17, 2015

7 Quick Takes Friday

1) This is such a weird morning for me, and it's been kind of a weird and long week. I feel like I need to get ready for work, but I don't because I'm going to a conference. If the weather allows. And if I get my packing done. I hope it'll be good. The topic that I'm going for is one that I'm really interested in learning more, but I'm a little nervous because a brief glance at the handouts that I printed out look like stuff that even I know. So we'll see. From what I hear, the presenter is pretty good, so I'll go ahead and assume that he does a bare bones power point and gives us the real info at the talk. Hopefully?

2) I am way behind in blog reading, but I'm really okay with that. I kind of like knowing that when I have a few minutes to sit down and relax, I'll have plenty to read. I'm starting to catch up a little, but this weekend will probably put me behind again.

3) I think the presentation that I helped with this week went well, and it was actually pretty fun. It totally wore me out, but it was worth it. Hopefully it will also help us to get some of the best kind of business (the fix things before they get totally out of hand kind; so much more fun and generally much easier than the I can't move anymore, so I guess I'll try PT kind).

4) If you're interested in a short read about movement and how to use your feet (and thus the rest of your body) better, this is a great book for that! It has a lot of exercises for your feet (with pictures) and some great explanations of how the feet affect your overall movement health. Don't be scared off by "barefoot" in the title. It doesn't mean that you have to walk around barefoot all the time or wear 5 finger shoes (unless you want to; in which case it will help you get to that point safely). It will explain why are feet could be doing so much more than what we ask of them, and it will make you think about your shoe choices going forward. Those are good things.

5) I may have bragged on fb that I haven't been nearly as bad with my hunger lately, and then a mere hours later had a total meltdown because I got too hungry. Seriously! I know that moms should never brag about how well their kids are sleeping on the internet, but I didn't think that would be a problem.

6) Can you tell that my brain is beyond fried from this week? How am I going to make 3 days of sitting in classes? Should be interesting.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Head on over to Kelly's for more Quick Takes.

Perhaps the first time I've gotten a photo of the moon that wasn't just a bright, blurry blob.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Life: Crazy, Beautiful, Challenging

Let's be honest. It may not be life that's crazy, it may be me. The lines are a little blurred at this point.

So, I traveled last weekend. It was great to see family, but crazy stressful to drive that far in a short period of time. I'm not in the least bit caught up from all of that, and I will be at a conference this coming weekend that I have no time to get ready for. I also have a presentation that I have to help give this Wednesday that could be hugely helpful to work if we present it well, but I'm not always the best at presentations... Some prayers would be welcome. I'm super excited about the possibility of being able to help people challenge and change some of their movement limitations, but also somewhat nervous. I sometimes find it hard to really communicate it to people, especially in a large group.

Last week was kind of a big anniversary for me. On April 4, 2010, my life looked pretty set. My company was transferring me to a small town, and I was considering buying a house or a condo in that area. My company was celebrating its 15th anniversary, and I figured I would be there for their 20th. On April 5, 2010 it all changed. I had a day off, and my plans for the day fell through. I was so upset, and I had to figure out why. I realized that I felt stuck and that my life where I was was falling apart. Everything that had been going so well for several years was changing. It suddenly occurred to me that it was time to revisit a long dormant- but never dead- dream of moving to the mountains. It seemed like a bit of a crazy and drastic response, but I didn't really know if anything would come of it anyway. It turned out that within about 5 minutes of first having this crazy idea and deciding to look online for a job, I found a listing that led to the job that I still have. Let me tell you, that is a weird, weird feeling when you realize that a sudden and completely crazy whim could actually become a reality. By June 5, 2010, I had moved.

It was crazy and surreal. Challenging. Amazing. In retrospect, it's hard to believe where my life is right now. How am I a climber who is now looking for a bike so that I can start training for a cycling trip to the Alps? How did I go from nearly completely sedentary to climbing mountains for my weekend fun? How I see myself has changed completely. What I consider possible has changed completely. I no longer feel the least bit stagnant in my profession; I am so excited by the possibilities and new ideas for different patients. I miss the Midwest, and particularly the people there more than I could say, but the mere idea of leaving the mountains makes me die a little inside.

Life here still has all sorts of frustrations and challenges. I am still no closer to being married. My allergies keep causing all sorts of insanity. I love the people in my life and really feel that in many ways I am here to pray for them, and hopefully minister to them in whatever small way that I can. However, I don't really have anyone right now who is a good anchor for my faith. I miss that. A lot. In some ways my job is amazing, but we try to do things better, which means that it's not the easy way, and it's not the way to make the most possible money. Sometimes I just wish it were easier, you know?

But isn't that how life is? Beautiful, wonderful, amazing, but not so much easy.

Easter 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Too Many Things! But Mostly a 2 Month Budgeting Update

I now have so many things to write about, that I don't know what post to start on. Do I do a movement post, and what do I talk about if I do that? There are still so many great topics. I am going to do at least one more movement post on standing, but I may end up stopping those here and putting them up on my public blog instead. It would be easier to do them where I at least feel that I have the option of putting up photos. Plus there are a lot of people that I know in a less "anonymous" way that would also like to know more about that stuff, too. (You are MORE than welcome to follow along there, and if you don't know where that is, just email me at catholicmutt(at)gmail(dot)com and I will send you the address. I just don't like to directly link to it from here.)

Umm, so I might have gotten really intense at RCIA the other night. We've been going over Theology of the Body, and I absolutely love that we do that, but it always gets shoved only down the path of that that means for marriage. Which is extremely good stuff to know, and so needed in our society, but we also need to know what it means for our daily life.  Anyway, one of the guys made some sort of comment in trying to talk about what the priesthood and religious life was along the lines of "they have to give up what's the most meaningful in life, e.g. having children." Oh. No. You. Didn't. NOT that I want in any way to ignore the huge and amazing importance of that!  And not that I disagree that it is one of the most amazing and important things in life. But what I wanted the candidates to see is TOB is beautiful because it points us to the meaning and purpose and dignity of each person, and that every life matters, whether they live for a long time, or are born sleeping, whether a person is married or in the priesthood or religious life, or if they are single- for whatever reason not able to live out the fullness of their vocation, but their call to holiness still present, whether as a married person, their "yes" to life leads to many children, or few children or no children (FANTASTIC article here about that, btw), whether a person did everything "right" in terms of sexual morality or were all over the place, whether everything fits all the norms that it should or if nothing fits. Every single one of us matters.

Whew! Happened again. I get started and it just keeps coming out!

Anyway, I really wanted to tell you how the budgeting is going.  I have to admit that part of it has been kind of annoying more than anything. What is with all the bills that just keep showing up every single month? You pay it, and they want you to pay it again!  I realize that this is the same as it's always been, but what's different now is that I get all my dollars assigned to their jobs, if you will, and then I keep having to send more to the same old places when I would far rather put some money in some other categories! Therefore, I'm annoyed that some of the categories that I would really like to have a little money in are not growing at all. There are some things that I would like to buy, and I feel like I can't just buy them. I'm giving myself plenty of spending money and such, but when it's all black and white in front of me, I can't justify the spending for certain things.  This month I was finally getting to put at least a little in a couple of places that I wanted to (like some money for co-pays so I can eliminate one of my excuses for seeing an allergist), and then an insurance switched from monthly payments to quarterly unexpectedly, so I had to pull it back out again. I also really, really want to get a bike, and will probably do that sooner than any budgeting guru would recommend, but I am not growing the bike fund hardly at all right now (I think it maybe got 12 cents this month). Because, bills!

That's what it feels like right now, but the reality is that even though it's taking more time than I'd like, it's only been two months since I've started getting serious about this. In that time, I've already found a couple small places to save, and I actually have more money, even though I feel like I can spend less. I'm much less stressed about a number of things that come up, because I know whether I have the money for it or not. (Should I go out to eat with friends or buy this book I want, or take this continuing ed class?) I can look at it and see immediately what I have and where I'd have to take it from if I rearranged things.  Instead of wondering how many transactions still haven't cleared and if I'm going to get a nasty surprise, I know exactly where I am on that. With the unexpected expenses that have come up, I can make it work without relying on the credit card like I've had to sometimes. I do still use my credit card about as much as ever, but I record it under my checking account and pay it right away, so it's an extra step, but the spending is as if I was just using checking.

I think what is happening the most is that I am much more aware of the reality of where I am, rather than sometimes thinking I'm okay and then forgetting about a bill or having something unexpected come up. I'm already feeling like I'm living a lot less paycheck to paycheck. I know being able to put more in other categories will come.  In all, I like it a lot. It's just harder up front. But there are so many things in life that are better in the long run, even if they're harder at first!