Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Strange Ties That Bind

Today was a good but rough day.  I was tired and stuck in a conference room that had no windows all day.  I knew it was nice outside - I drove to work with the sunroof open.  I wanted to be out in the sun, not sitting in a meeting.  But it's my job so there I sat.

At lunch, everyone was deciding where to go.  Luckily, I brought my lunch.  The good thing about this healthy living thing is now I make careful decisions.  I think about what I'm eating before I eat it so I don't make decisions while starving or from a vending machine.  So today I brought fruit and half the portion I would normally eat of a Trader Joe's thai pasta salad.  It was surprisingly satisfying.  Mostly I wanted to get the hell out of the room.  I wanted air.  So everyone left for lunch and I went on my walk,

It wasn't a long walk.  But it was warm and sunny.  Once I got out of the parking lot, I found beautiful trees.  This area is mostly industrial and medical offices.  There weren't many people around, just cars.  Still, it was pretty.

On the way back, a woman came up to me and started talking to me.  Among other things, she told me she saw the same tree that caught my eye and she had to take pictures of it.  She walked a few steps with me, telling me that her mom was in the car waiting for her.  This woman was maybe 5 years or so older than me.  She was bringing her mom home from the hospital.  She wanted to make sure he mom saw the leaves but she was frail and couldn't get out of the car.  I know this story.

 I told her I knew the story because I, too, have a mom who can't walk around but enjoys seeing things.  I told her of the drive my mom and I took on Monday in Olney, Brookeville, Sunshine and the surrounding areas.  After a few pleasantries were exchanged and as she walked back to her car, she called over to me, wishing me a good afternoon and "good luck with your mom."

It's a strange feeling of camaraderie. I noticed it when my mom was in the hospital last year.  The children of the injured elderly person all nodded at each other.  After a few days of seeing each other hour after hour, we'd start a pretty basic conversation.  We never asked what happened to the patients.  We didn't talk about our roles in the family.  We talked about where to find the decent coffee and which vending machine wouldn't eat our coins.  We all had an idea what each of us was experiencing.  None of it was fun.

I'm betting this woman isn't used to it yet.  She'll get there.  And I hope she finds more pretty trees to enjoy.  They help.

Friday, October 23, 2015

It Isn't Easy Being Green

In one year, three months and 10 days, I'll be 50.  But who's counting, right?

I have certain things I want to accomplish by that time.  I won't list all the things I want to change in my life but there are a few things that need to be different.  The most important thing is I need to be healthier.  I want to look pretty in a wedding dress (no, I have nothing official to announce.  I'm just speculating.....or hoping).  I want to live to see my children graduate from high school, college, and see them be adults who might one day have children of their own (after age 32).  I have lots of things I want to do.

I want to tell you that I woke up one day and decided to  be healthier.  I want to tell you I've had some great epiphany and am changing my life.  I want to tell you all that stuff.  But that's not what happened. A friend called saying she needed to make some healthier changes and asked if I'd do it with her.  I didn't hesitate to say yes.  The idea wasn't mine but I'm excited by it.

I was a vegetarian for several years back before I was married.  I was a lousy vegetarian.  I don't like vegetables so that was a problem.  I ate a ton of junk and very little veggies and yet still proudly wore the title of vegetarian.  Then that ended and I continued to avoid veggies but could eat a burger again.

This time around, I'm not going the vegetarian route.  But I am determined to find something - anything - I like.  I've been doing this since Tuesday of this week and I've eaten more veggies in three days than I have in a month.  I've eaten salads (not my favorite).  I've bought things.  I cooked stuffed zucchini tonight.  If anyone ever told me that I would want seconds and thirds of that, I would have laughed.  It was so freaking good!  I even cooked my first spaghetti squash.  That's a weird vegetable.  I wonder about the pilgrims or Native Americans or whomever discovered that.  Who thought of scraping the sides to make it spaghetti-like?  I haven't used it yet but it looks interesting.  The difference this time is that I have wonderful tools like Pinterest,, and facebook.  People post recipes that actually look good.  I'm willing to try things now.

I'm also trying to get my ass off the (purple velvet!) couch occasionally.  It's been such a beautiful week that I've spent as much time outdoors as possible.  I've walked around the buildings where I work.  I've walked around Lake Artemesia (my favorite!).  I've walked around Sligo Creek Parkway.  I've had company along the way.  Yesterday Andrew (boyfriend) joined for the lake walk.  Today my kids were dragged invited.  Having time away from electronics, phones, people is a good thing.  We laughed, leaped (well, they did) and noticed the world around us.  It was a very good hour.

The biggest change for me this week is how I think.  I can't do mindless eating any more.  I can't just sit and do nothing. I have no great expectation that I will lose 100 pounds and magically become beautiful.  I would like to lessen my stress, make the chest pains go away and clear my head a bit.  Hopefully, the rest will fall into place.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Turn The Knife A Little Deeper

Conversation with M today:

M:  I'm sorry the government didn't close.
Me: What?!! Why would you say that?
M: Well, last time it happened, you were home every day after school.  We baked and cooked and played games.  You were a full time mom.
Me: Sigh....That's true.  But it was hard for us.
M:  But we made it through.  And I liked it.

This conversation came about two hours after a similar conversation with my mom:

Mom: I wish you didn't work so much.
Me: I don't work 60 weeks any more. I often don't work 40 hours.
Mom: No, but between work, kids, appointments, activities, responsibilities, you don't have a lot of time.
Me: That's true.  But you still see me every week, sometimes several times a week.
Mom: Yeah.  But I miss you.

I can't help but feel I'm doing something wrong.  No one is happy and I feel like a mouse on one of those running wheels.  I'm doing a ton of shit and no one - including me - is liking it.

There has got to be a better way.  Cloning isn't an option.  Moving isn't a great option (and not on the table right now).  I'm open to ideas.  Anyone?