Archive for April, 2009

In honor of TOM’s much-belated-and-therefore-much-celebrated arrival, and the ensuing agony and misery, I thought it would be beneficial to take this opportunity to remind myself of all the reasons I completely adore being  a girl.  Because, you know, right now it’s hard to remember some of them.  So…here’s my top ten, just right off the top of my head, in no particular order:

  1. Shoes.  Ahh, shoes…
  2. The ability to laugh hysterically at absolutely nothing with my girlfriends, for hours, and consider it time well-spent.
  3. The capacity for a deep and abiding love of really good chocolate, to a degree and with an intensity that the majority of men simply cannot comprehend.  I know, there are some.  But it’s more typically a female trait, for some reason.
  4. Multiple orgasms.
  5. The endless variety and quality of fashion choices that are available to me.  No, I cannot afford most of them, and yes, I would probably look fairly ridiculous in most of them.  And yes, I live in comfortable clothes and wouldn’t last ten minutes in nine-tenths of what I drool over.  But they’re out there, and being a girl, I get an enormous amount of enjoyment out of just looking at them and imagining myself in them.  I feel true, deep empathetic pain for men, who have such limited options.  And I know they don’t actually care, which mystifies me…
  6. The experience of feeling an entire person come into being within me, growing from a single cell to an entire, living, breathing, squirming, beautiful person, and knowing that this amazing, breathtaking creature was nurtured and sheltered and created within my being.  And, part and parcel of that one, that moment (both times!) when the endless shredding agony of childbirth finally ended and I looked down at that tiny person in my arms and felt a piece of my soul detach and relocate forever within that tiny, wondrous creature.  (But I think fathers get that last part, too, though it might feel a little different.  So I’m not counting that as a separate one.)
  7. Hair, and the endless styling possibilities thereof.  I know, I KNOW, I’m shallow and narcissistic, but I love my hair when it looks really great.  I have a thing about hair.  There’s just something about the feeling you get when you’ve spent ages getting it just right and you get to walk out of the house knowing it looks amazing.  Yes.  I know.  Shallow.  We covered that already.  I’m at peace with my own shallow-osity.  🙂
  8. Chick flicks.  It’s not like I watch them constantly, but it’s nice knowing I can, and I can cry and get stupidly emotional and not feel remotely self-conscious.
  9. Being capricious and unpredictable and endlessly changing, and feeling the parallels in the cycles and seasons of nature and my own body’s growth and change and maturation.  Women’s bodies, and our very natures, are so deeply connected to nature and the cycles and seasons of the earth and sky…and it is a beautiful, wonderful thing.
  10. My husband, the other half of me.  Because, you know, he’s not gay, so if I were a man, I’d have missed out.  And there’s no time when I more enjoy being a woman than when his arms are around me and I feel like I’m where I belong and everything is right with the world.
  11. I know, I’m over ten.  But I have to mention shoes again. They deserve a double listing.

There are lots of other things I could mention, but to my mind, a lot of the things that are generally associated with being female – gentleness, empathy, compassion, a kind heart, a soft touch, selflessness and putting others before yourself – are things I have personally witnessed in quite a few men.  So I’m not listing those, though I will say that the times when I feel the most feminine, the most womanly, and the most beautiful, are all times when those qualities are uppermost in my being.

I said today that no matter how miserable and uncomfortable and difficult it sometimes is, being female, I would never want it any other way.  A friend (male) asked why?  The list above is only a small sample of why.  Some of them are silly, and some are sort of sappy…and they’re all very specifically mine.  Every woman is so different, which is such a beautiful thing…so what is it that you love about being a girl?

Or, heck, why not?  If you’re a guy, what is it you love about that?

Whichever it is, and whatever your reasons, I think you should celebrate them.  There’s no better person to be than exactly who you are, exactly the way you are right at this moment.  And tomorrow, it’ll all be different.  So celebrate it now, while you can.


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No, I don’t know how you would pronounce that, if it really were a word.  But I’m a bit “ugh” at the moment so it seems appropriate.

I think I’m getting ED’s allergy/sinus infection/spring cold/bronchial infection mess, or at least trying to fight it off.  Everything from about the waist up hurts…the neck up especially.  I’m hoping I can just fight it off though.  So far, I’m surviving.

I was up at 4:30 this morning so I hopped on the treadmill.  (Okay.  I didn’t hop.  I don’t hop at 4:30.  I gingerly levered myself onto the treadmill.)  I did about 35 minutes (didn’t actually end up getting started till 5:15 so I had limited time) and spent about half that running, which is unusual for me to do before noon.  So I started the day off with a calorie deficit, which always makes me feel so much better than if I’m working out in the evening trying to burn off the calories I’ve already consumed.  It’s easier to not consume empty ones, too, when you’ve got that great streak going that you don’t want to spoil.

Also, if I don’t end up working out tonight, I won’t feel so guilty.  I would still like to, but I’ll do what my body feels like doing.  Lately, that hasn’t been much.  A little here, a little there…but I’m down about six pounds from the beginning of the year, so I’m not unhappy.

Not too much going on in my world right now other than the usual nonsense.  We’re moving Mom back to Oklahoma in June (not sure if I’ve blogged about that and too lazy to go check) so that’s starting to consume most of my energy.  I’m looking forward to going back and seeing everyone, but not looking forward to all the headache and stress of the moving process.  Also, I’d love to feel really great about my body by then, since I’ll be seeing people I haven’t seen in ten years.  So I’m trying to be really careful with food and get lots of exercise in, but my body’s not being super-cooperative.  I’ve had odd issues that I can’t really pinpoint a cause for…I’m putting it down to the joys of peri-menopause and moving on.

Today’s a big day around here…Earth Day, of course; Administrative Whatever-They’re-Calling-It-This-Year Day, and the birthday of one of my BFFs.  Very exciting.  The office is taking us out to lunch – a buffet, which used to terrify me, but not so much any more.  I’ve gotten really good at knowing my limits and being sensible; it’s almost impossible for me to “overeat” anymore.  I can eat really bad stuff – unfortunately – but I definitely can’t eat a lot of it!  So I’m not sweating it.

The writing is going so very extremely amazingly well (I swear I don’t use that many adjectives or adverbs in my real writing!) and that’s the main reason I haven’t been here much.  Colin and Meri have been demanding most of my word-stringing time and energy, and I am having such a good time with it.  Right now, I’m doing “fill-in” scenes – the way I write is sort of like a jigsaw puzzle.  I do the edges so that I have an outline, and then I work on major parts of the picture one at a time.  Then, when I have it all together so I can see what it’s going to look like, I start filling in bits and pieces here and there.  I’m almost finished with the fill-in, which means I can start nitpick proofing.  And after that?  It’s time to send it off.

Deep sigh.  That’s the only part of the process I don’t enjoy.  It’s the part that’s scary and sickening and can make you want to never get out of bed again.  But that’s okay.  I think I’ve finally decided that I really am writing for me, not for anyone else…so if it never sells, I’ve lost nothing, right?

So that’s sort of what’s going on around here.  The wheel keeps turning, and time keeps marching on.

Happy Earth Day!

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A Balancing Act

It’s been such a good weekend.

I’ve cleaned house…worked out…spent time with the kids…worked out some more…done laundry…hung out with friends I’ve been missing so much…worked out again…

Lots of working out, and I’m very pleased about that.  I’ve restructured my routine to (a) try to shake things up a little and maybe surprise my body into actually losing a few pounds; and (b) try to get into a routine that will interfere a little less with my sleep.  As a result, my weekend days are hard-core exercise days instead of the slack-off they’d become, and I think I’m going to like that.  I like that it forces me to make me a priority on weekends – something I don’t usually do.

I’ve fallen into the habit of thinking that weekends are for getting done all the things around the house that I couldn’t get done through the week – laundry, major cleaning, organizing, decluttering, you name it.  But not much spending time with the kids – I’m so sick of hearing myself say “No, I can’t, I’ve got too much to get done today,” – and not much taking care of myself or doing what I need to do for me.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve fallen into bed on Saturday night, exhausted, and thought, “Well, I didn’t work out, but surely all that housework is good enough?”

This weekend, instead of waiting until Saturday night to work out, I did my 30-Day Shred workout early in the day.  Then later, when ED asked me to go walk with her at the track because she’s trying to build a workout routine of her own (happyproud?  Why yes, yes, I am), instead of giving her a list of all the things I needed to do, I just said yes.  And we did, giving me another 30 minutes of cardio.  Not as intense as I generally do – she’s just starting out, and I’d rather slow it down a little than scare her away – but a brisk 30 minutes nonetheless.

Saturday evening, when YD was at our friends’ house across the street for a sleepover, DH and I went over as well and hung out.  DH went out with R. for a while, and I stayed for hours just spending time and catching up with B., which I’ve been longing to do forever.  (Life gets crazy up in this neck of the woods sometimes, and that tends to interfere.) It was great to just have girl-time.

Today, I slept in as much as I could, but it was a beautiful sunny morning so I was up before too late.  DH and I had a very nice leisurely breakfast – both girls having spent the night elsewhere, we actually had the house to ourselves.  Then I did housework and laundry for a while.  After lunch, B. and I took all the kids and went running around for a while…

Which inserts the only sad note in the weekend saga; we went to the animal shelter first.  B. takes the kids out there pretty frequently to visit the animals and play with them; all the kids are big animal-lovers, mine included.  Well,  so am I.  But I’d never been inside an actual animal shelter before.  Why, you ask?  Well…we have never had a pet that wasn’t a stray, but they always come to us or someone gives them to us; we’ve never gone to the shelter to adopt one.  And I’ve always instinctively avoided going to the shelter – today, when it was too late and I was walking through the door, I remembered why.

I can’t take it.  It’s hard enough for me to stand knowing about abused and abandoned animals.  Actually meeting them was too much.  I completely embarrassed myself by weeping incessantly the entire time we were there.  Even after we left, I couldn’t seem to stop leaking at the eyes for about fifteen or twenty minutes.  I was mortified at my own terribly thin skin.

Why, yes, I do have PMS – why do you ask?

Onward.  After making all the children terribly sad with my own emotional instability, we went on to the flea market and browsed for a couple of hours, which was nice.  I didn’t really buy anything to speak of, other than a couple of little things for ED and YD, but it was so nice – again – to just have some girl-time and do something I wanted to do but didn’t necessarily need to do.

Back home, and more laundry; then another short stint over at B.’s house for brownies, which will not help my weight-loss goals, but were worth it.  (It was a fairly small splurge, and God knows I did enough working out this weekend to cover it, I think.)  Home again to make dinner, then half an hour movie-watching cuddled up with YD after dinner.  Once she was in bed, 45 minutes on the treadmill, half of it running, the other half on a killer incline.

Did I schvitz?  Why, yes, I did – profusely.  Thank you for asking!

And now I’m ending the day by writing a blog post.

Here’s the coolest part.  I did so many unnecessary, extraneous things, and I still got everything done at home that really needed to be done.  Sure, there are a lot of things I could have done and need to do at some point – but everything that I really needed the weekend for got done.

I think maybe I’m getting a bit better at this whole balance thing.  It’s starting to make more sense.  It helped, too, that it was a beautiful weekend.  Thank you, Mother Nature.

Now I’m off to pack my meals for tomorrow.  Monday mornings are always somewhat hairy in this house, so I’ll minimize that as much as possible.  And then to bed, because I tired.

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Please tell me I’m not the only Steve Winwood fan out there.  Okay, I probably am.  But the man wrote a song called “Valerie” so I have to love him forever.

I really haven’t been silent as long as it seems – if you want to see what I’ve been posing, however sporadic it may have been, you can go check it out here – but I have been very very quiet.  Life’s been interesting.

I’ve actually started seeing a therapist again, not really because I want to but because of my sleep issues.  I had a sleep study (God, that was fun – enough money to stay at the Ritz Carlton for a week, so I could find out there’s absolutely nothing physically wrong with me, thanks so much) and the general consensus seems to be that I can’t sleep because I’m anxious.

Wow.  That’s some profound shit right there.  I never would have come up with that one on my own.  So the reason I wake up at 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. and lie in bed worrying about stuff is because I’m worried about stuff?  No way!

Sorry, pardon the sarcasm.  It’s just such an eye-roller.  I told the doctor there was nothing wrong with me (physically) and I told him it was stress.  But whatever.

So they have me seeing a therapist.  She’s kind of a baby therapist – she’s still a resident, but she seems very good.  I like her.  She’s not and can’t be my old therapist – whom I adored, and would so happily adopt as a sister if that weren’t a little What-About-Bob creepy and weird – but she’s nice, she’s very knowlegeable and she seems pretty down with my philosophies about most things.  So we’ve been talking about stuff – sleep, of course, but other stuff like menopause and work issues and exercise and whatever totally random space-cadet stuff I pull out of the morass of my brain each visit.  I will admit that so far I’ve not gotten anything profound out of it, but hey, you never know.  I’ve only seen her twice so far, so who knows?

The good news is that I evidently have no serious heart issue.  The only thing we have come up with is that I didn’t need to be on the blood pressure medicine I was on, but do need a microscopic dose of a beta-blocker to regulate the rhythm.  Which doesn’t explain anything, but I’m tired of worrying about it.  As long as I can keep it under control, it’s all good.  The beta-blocker at a higher dose was part of my sleep problem, but the low dose doesn’t seem to create much of an issue.  So that’s good.

DH is still job-hunting all over the country, and we still don’t really have any idea where we’ll end up, but I’ve adjusted to that process.  I am now able to defer stress and panic until we’re at a late stage in the interview process.  So far he’s decided he didn’t like any of the companies he’s talked to except one, and they’re willing deferring the offer until ED is about to graduate – meaning the beginning of next year.  That would put us in Lexington or Louisville, so DH would be coming home on weekends (the girls and I would stay here until the end of the school year).  So we know there’s a definite offer there, just not for a while yet.  But he’s still talking to other firms as well, so there’s as much chance that we could end up in Orlando or Oklahoma or Tibet, for all we know. [Probably not Tibet.  But you never know.]

But you can only sustain worry and stress over anything for so long, and then you develop a certain desensitization to it.  I’m sort of glad I’ve gotten there – and I think that’s another reason I am sleeping better now.

We are moving my mother back to Oklahoma in June, and that’s going to be hard, even though it needs to happen.  When we move, whenever that is, it would be very tough to also be moving her at the same time.  So she’s moving back and will be with the rest of the family, and I know she’s missed them.  It’s a good thing.  But it’s hard to do, anyway.  I’ve had a fair amount of worry over that too – but I’ve adjusted pretty well to the notion.

And I’m writing, pretty voraciously.  That’s an odd word to use, I know, but that’s how it feels – I really do get enormous psychological and spiritual nourishment from writing, and I am greedy for all of it I can get, so voracious doesn’t seem inappropriate.  It feels so good to be doing it, though, to be using those mental muscles and immersing myself in those worlds.  It’s my personal brand of heroin, to quote a certain sparkly vampire.

And I’ll leave it at that, because I have a ton of work to do.  I hope to catch up with everyone in the next couple of days.  I’ve missed you all.

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