Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Ch-ch-ch- Changes!

Okay... in my quest for Valor and Joy... and in finding "the old me" again, I am finally motivated to lose weight and more importantly, live a more healthy life. My parents are ridiculously healthy, in a way that is nearly impossible to live up to. Anything I ever do is easily criticized by them as not being enough. But I cannot change for them, even though there is a part of me that hates disappointing them and wants so desperately for them to be impressed with my efforts. But no... the changes I make must be strictly for ME.

So, here is what I started 2 weeks ago...

1) I am working out a minimum of 45 minutes per day, and sometimes as much as 2 hours. No, I don't expect to keep this up on a daily basis longterm, but for now, I need the routine to keep myself going. I know once I "pause" an exercise routine, it's so darned easy to fall off the wagon completely. How am I working out? Well, I do have a gym membership, but I'm planning to cancel it. It's been so hard to find the time to get to the gym, with or without Vienna, but I have found a workaround solution... workout DVDs. For now, I'm alternating with 2 of them, often doing both in a day:

* Jillian Michael's "30 DAY SHRED"
* Bob Harper's "Weight Loss Yoga"

Both are intense workouts that I can do at home, and I'm already seeing results. The first few days, I could barely manage 30 seconds of jumping jacks (!!), and now they are easy for me. My endurance and strength is improving, and it feels great.

2) The BodyBugg. It's freaking awesome, and it's a great motivator for me, because I'm a competitive person, and this gives me daily targets and nice charts to see where I'm at throughout the day.

And I'm trying to take little moments throughout the day to take some deep breaths and enjoy my surroundings...

I've lost 5 pounds so far, and I ran around the block last night without collapsing, so I consider that a big WIN!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Joy & Valor... the search is on!

The other day I finally cashed in on a "massage" I had won at a fundraising auction last November. Yes, it took me 8 months to finally spend two hours just pampering myself. That tells you where my priorities have been. (not on myself)

The woman I went to see was not your traditional masseuse... she is a Holistic Health Educator, specializing in Polarity Therapy, Rieki, Reflexology, Sound & Aromatherapies, and Raindrop Technique (soooo curious what that entails!). She believes in the power of Yoga and meditation, and just BEING PRESENT. (good lord, I can't remember the last time I let my mind go totally blank! Kindergarden???). She spent a month in India studying under a master-something-or-other, which sounded very impressive, and very similar to the storyline of "Eat Pray Love", which she has NOT read but has had mentioned to her almost daily. We spent the first 30 minutes mostly talking, about my life, my priorities, and my physical and emotional issues. I expected to get some sort of reiki massage, but ended up in tears, and finally in the end, with a new resolve to make some true changes in my life and my routines.

I've felt for awhile now that I have lost myself a bit. I know many "stay-at-home" mothers feel this way to an extent... I used to have a big, busy "important" job in New York City, and now I'm a housewife & mommy in midwest Ohio. What does that mean? Where did my brain capacity go? Will I ever be able to re-enter the workforce? Will I ever WANT to?

I discussed many of these things with the "non-masseuse", and even ended up in tears. I have weight I want/need to lose... but I have completely lacked the time, focus, and motivation to do it. I used to be able to accomplish just about ANYTHING I wanted to. Where had that ambition and strength gone? Where was my instinct to take care of ME at all costs?

Obviously, the "costs" are bigger now... I have a husband and a child and a home, and I cannot push them aside, nor do I want to. But I do need to focus on ME again. To prove to myself that my strength is still there.

Before I left the session, which included walking barefoot into the parking lot to take deep breaths under the trees, she had me smell some of her secret-special aromatherapy bottles. Of course, those of you who know me know I have Anosmia, meaning no sense of smell, whatsoever. I explain this to her, but she insists that the potency is not necessarily lost on me, which I do agree with to an extent. One bottle was called JOY. And I did feel lit up from the inside after a few deep breaths. Another was called VALOR. I don't know what I felt from it, but I knew that I wanted it.

Valor is defined as: boldness or determination in facing great danger; heroic courage; bravery; to be of worth. Synonyms: Intrepidity, spirit.

JOY and VALOR. Two things I need to deepen in my life.

Don't get me wrong, I have enormous amounts of joy in my life. My husband, my friends, my daughter, my family, and even my dog bring me joy that I can't quantify. But I need to find some joy that will come from ME. And I'm taking back my Valor, dammit.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Reviving my blog...??

Okay... I can't believe I stopped blogging at almost the same time I became pregnant with Vienna... that would have been a great time to keep blogging! But alas, I let it all slip, and now perhaps, I'm ready to revive this thing...

So do I try to catch up on the 3 years I skipped? So much has happened, and my life has completely changed... I'm not sure how to share it all! Or do I just pick up in the present time...?
Stay tuned... all 0 followers of mine...
: )

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Guns & Hookers

Remind me to tell you the story of the hooker who got shot next to my office building and the gun and bullets that were found in our dumpster... by a mentally disabled employee of ours who ran through the building carrying a loaded gun and scared the crap out of the store manager...

Well... that's pretty much the story. oh lordy.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

4 months

Ok, wow... I'm sorry. A lot has happened in the last 4 months, and I kept wanting to write about it, and for whatever reasons, never did. But the like 4 people who read this know I'm still alive, so I think we'll get through this. ; )

Let's see, well, in March I started feeling pain and soreness in my upper back and shoulders, but didn't know why. I figured it was sore muscles and waited it out. 2 weeks later when it hadn't improved, I went to my Dr, paranoid that I had some awful spinal disease. Sure enough... it IS a spinal issue. She scared the beegeesus out of me by asking if there was Lupus in the family (no)... and then mentioned diseases like Fibromyalgia and Cervical Spine Spondylosis. She sent me for bloodwork and then X-rays... all 40+ of them, and I went home to build my paranoia with web searches and accounts of horrible lifelong pain. What fun. Thankfully, the results weren't quite so dire, though it wasn't "nothing" as I had expected her to tell me. It doesn't seem to have an official name... but it's a degenerating disc disease in my thorasic spine. Kind of an arthritis. So, I've been doing exercises, and spent a couple of weeks going to a physical therapist to learn the right stretches, exercises, and posture to help alleviate the pain and prevent it from getting worse. It's about 7 weeks later now, and I think it's starting to get better.... let's hope.

And then... in the middle of that... I broke my tailbone (the coccyx) in April. I had a bad meeting at work (got yelled at for no reason), and left to get lunch early... and promtly FELL DOWN THE STAIRCASE. Bam, Bam, Bam... down 3-4 concrete steps. I was shaking and crying by the time I got to my car... and in pretty severe pain. The next morning I went to the Dr again... and more X-rays, which was a very painful process because they made me lie on the hard surface on my back... and that's not something I could do without pain. Okay, so officially, it's not fractured, but pretty much the same thing in terms of pain. I have my special cushion to sit on (if you EVER hurt your bum, by this from Brookstone!!). Don't let anyone talk you into a "donut" pillow... those things are weird and uncomfortable. So, I carry this pillow with me everywhere.... in the car, into work, back to the car at lunch, etc. It's getting a little old. The most fun was taking it on a trip to NY at the end of April for a wedding... and using it on airplanes and in the airport, when I had to sit at JFK for EIGHT HORRID HOURS. I kept bursting into tears; I'm sure people had no idea what the hell my problem was. Ah well, that seems like a long time ago now. At work, people are calling me "Broken Butt", and asking me daily, "hey, how's your Ass?" *sigh* This too shall pass.

The other lovely bit of fallout from my fall, aside from the name-calling and my new pillow, was that I had to cancel our vacation home to California and to my beloved Ranch. I shed a few tears over that, because I was really looking forward to a break from work, seeing friends and family I haven't seen for 2 1/2 years (!!), and getting to my ranch for the first time in 5 years. Damn. But luckily, we were able to reschedule for September, so.... I have that to look forward to!

Until then, we have a lot to keep us busy this Summer... visits from family and friends... a little trip to the Hamptons, which should be very interesting and hopefully relaxing. More on all that as it happens... if I can keep up now... ; )

Friday, May 18, 2007

Excellent Day

Today was a great day. And I have the best husband in the world.
: )
'nuff said.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oscar Noms were at 8:38 AM

Ok, I’ve been buzzing with excitement for days, in anticipation of this morning’s Oscar Nominations. I love awards ceremonies… the drama, the joy of winning, the pain of defeat. I get very emotional. In fact, I usually cry while watching the nominations, as I imagine some of those dark-horse or first-time nominees at home jumping up and down… And then, when they’ve all been announced… I start to boil with anger over the grievous errors in voting. And this year is no exception.

2006 was actually a great year for films and performances… there were many high-quality endeavors that are scattered across the field of nominees.

The Yays : )
  • THE DEPARTED fitting securely in it’s Best Picture and Best Director categories. Please let this be Scorcese’s year!
  • LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE getting so much recognition, including Best Picture nom and a nom for little Abigail Breslin, who was adorable. And Yay for Alan Arkin getting a Supporting Actor nod – he was fantastically funny.
  • UNITED 93 getting a Best Director nod for Paul Greengrass. It was a powerful film, and perhaps it can win for editing.
  • I haven't seen NOTES ON A SCANDAL yet, but I'm pleased with those nominations. And as impressive as Jennifer Hudson was in DREAMGIRLS, I'd kind of like Cate Blanchett to win it.
  • Congrats to Al Gore for the nomination for AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH for Best Documentary. I hope it wins!
  • And I can't wait for ELLEN to host... she's just freaking wonderful....

The Shocks & Disappointments : (

  • DREAMGIRLS shut out from Best Picture and Best Director. Whaaa????!!
    We just saw DREAMGIRLS last weekend and it was fantastic. The performances, the music, the direction – all beautiful, inspiring, and worthy of awards. As long as Scorcese wins Director, I would have been okay with DREAMGIRLS winning Best Picture. *sigh* But Bill Condon definitely deserved a nod for directing a great visual and emotional film.
  • Jack Nicholson not nominated for Best Supporting Actor for THE DEPARTED. I know he’s already award-laden, but this performance was the best of the year. His delivery of the one-liners alone deserves an ovation. Marky-Mark getting the nomination… priceless, and also well-deserved.
  • Brad Pitt not nominated for Best Supporting Actor for BABEL . Granted, I haven’t seen the film, but I hear he was great, and it is a surprise he’s not nominated.
  • As much as I love Meryl Streep and thought she was fantastic in DEVIL WEARS PRADA, I don't think she deserves an Oscar for it. It was a supporting role, for goodness sake. I would have preferred to see someone else get a chance
  • Woah... that Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for BLOOD DIAMOND instead of DEPARTED. I bet that if he were allowed to be nominated twice, he DID have enough votes to be there for both roles. I desperately want him to win it.
  • I'm disappointed that THE GOOD SHEPARD didn't garner any of the top nominations. It was a great script and well done. But it's tough competition this year.

I’m sure I’ll have more random feelings about this as we get closer to the awards…
Let the race begin!!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Dreamgirls -- WOW

We finally saw DREAMGIRLS... and wow... it was stunning and powerful and great. All the performances are award-worthy, and holy crap, Jennifer Hudson does indeed sing the shi* out of the song "And I Am Telling You..." Wow. I was shaking and crying for the last hour of the film -- I just felt very emotionally moved by the music and the story. Wow.

I think it was beautifully done, and will deserve whatever Oscars it wins. BUT... I still want Scorcese to win Best Director for "The Departed".

I know I haven't kept up with posting.... oops. Life is just flying by too fast... I'll try not to stay away too long...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


As if I'm not feeling incompetent enough...

Virgin Komodo dragon is expecting
December 20, 2006
LONDON, England -- Flora, a pregnant Komodo dragon living in a British zoo, is expecting eight babies in what scientists said on Wednesday could be a Christmas virgin birth.

Flora has never mated, or even mixed, with a male dragon, and fertilized all the eggs herself, a process culminating in parthenogenesis, or virgin birth. Other lizards do this, but scientists only recently found that Komodo dragons do too.

"Nobody in their wildest dreams expected this. But you have a female dragon on her own. She produces a clutch of eggs and those eggs turn out to be fertile. It is nature finding a way," Kevin Buley of Chester Zoo in England said in an interview.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

But... I knew his name.

It's totally wrong, but also very human, to someone assign other people's tradegies to your own life. On Monday morning when I arrived at work, I was informed that Henry, a man who had worked at my company for 12 years, had died that morning of a heart attack. He was 46 years old. And he was one of the few people here whose names I know.

He had been experiencing some shortness of breath in the past week and was at his doctor's office getting a clean EKG just last Thursday. He was a BIG man.... not heavy, just really tall and muscular. He had felt mild chest pains and shortness of breath the day before, but figured it would pass. The morning he died, he got to work at 4:30 AM and soon was telling co-workers that he didn't feel very well and was going to sit down for a little bit. They all encouraged him to go home to rest. He sat at his desk, with 2 colleagues in his office with him, and picked up the phone to call his superior to let them know he would be going home. And before he could dial, he slumped forward and died. His colleagues did CPR until the medics got there, but he never regained consciousness. Even his wife got to his office before the ambulance took him away, but he was gone.

Everyone at work is in total shock. As one person said, "if you had told me 30 other names of colleagues who had died, I'd believe you. But not Henry." We have a lot of smokers here and one woman who literally sleeps with an oxygen tank at night. His daughter works here too -- she's 22 years old, and she and her Dad were *really* close. I can't imagine how she'll ever come back here.

I've worked here now for about 15 months, and of the 100 employees here, I think I can name about ten of them on sight. Henry was one of those guys I could name. He was somebody that you remembered meeting and who you wish you could know a little better.

My heart goes out to his family... and to my colleagues who are grieving.

And to everyone out there who ignores random pains and thinks "oh, it's nothing"... please just ALWAYS get it checked ASAP.