3.27.2017

Experimentation

I realize as I look back, most of my "I need to change" thoughts are revolved around fitness, health and yes - weight. 

Mostly, I just want to change things up because more than my weight it's how I feel. I've dealt with depression before, and slowly as I get older anxiety becomes part of the problem too. For the past 4 years I was heavily involved in volunteering and this year I stepped back a bit because I felt I had to. I was fried and worn out. I started the school year having a knee surgery so I told myself I had to rest anyways - so I did less. Then, I got better but I still did less. I was "recuperating." Then, I could feel it. The depression was sinking in, I was ok but I wasn't. 

I found an article about "High Functioning Depression" and it fit me to a tee. Some of the quotes out of that article are: 

"From the outside I look like I have it all together, but the truth is I find everything exhausting. Getting up, eating breakfast, taking my kids to school ― all of it saps my energy. I walk around in a state of perpetual exhaustion"

"Just because I seem successful and look like I have it all together doesn’t mean I can’t be 5 minutes or one bad experience away from a total breakdown. And that fact scares the hell out of me."

I relate to these quotes very much so. I also have my husband home full-time, and it became easier to retreat because he was home - first taking care of matter the surgery and then just when I wasn't "feeling good." 

I'm working on figuring out if my hormones have a lot to say about this, and as well as my overall health and wellness. I know that eating better and being active helps, but it's hard to get started. We always eat fairly healthy, but it comes down to how many times we indulge the desire for treats, fried foods etc. 

I know that self-diagnosis isn't the way to go - but I have come down to a few conclusions about myself and am working on holistic methods to help alleviate the symptoms. 

1) I am fairly certain I have PCOS. I have OB/GYNs who won't diagnose me but I also don't bug them. Basically, I've had 3 different ultrasounds and I don't have cysts. BUT I very well may have the type of PCOS that doesn't produce large painful cysts, or I get them yet they haven't been discovered yet. Either way, I have all the symptoms so I am taking supplements that help with PCOS (whether I have it or not, it will still help the symptoms!) 
2) I've considered that I have fibromyalgia, but I'm not sure. So, I'm following diet and exercise that would alleviate the same symptoms. 

My goal is to see if I get results from the supplements and the diet/exercise. I am not on a certain plan. I'm not Paleo, I'm not AIP, I'm not low-carb. I try to eat fewer carbs and eliminate white bread and sugar. I will eat whole wheat, but I'm trying to limit it. I eat rice, oats, potatoes. I am trying to increase the protein but I still don't get there every day - but it's more than I used to! I haven't cut dairy, but if I don't get positive results after a few weeks I think I will try. I did trim caffeine, and only have some via a green tea drink. Yesterday I didn't have any, and I'm waiting for the withdrawals - today will be day 2 unless I have a Bai Bubbles later ; 

No reason for this blog really - except just to record it somewhere. To come back and check in on! 




2.02.2017

Time to STRETCH

I often say I feel "itchy" - and while occasionally it is true in the literal sense, this is more in my soul. I feel it on the inside. There is truth to the "Seven Year Itch" but I have no desire to leave my husband! This is more about change, moving forward, becoming who you were meant to be!



My "itch" has been going on for a while - truthfully my itches are more often than every 7 years. The past 6 years I have been very active in PTA and volunteering. I ramped it up about 5 years ago, and then last year after I served subsequent 2 year terms as a VP and then President, I drastically slowed it down. The idea was that I was going to do something else. I did get back into Substitute Teaching (not really as much as I had initially planned.) I was going to do other things - maybe get a Realtor license? Finally finish all my scrapbooks? Write a short novella? (No... never one of the ideas, but if anyone asked why I dropped off the face of the volunteering planet it was a good enough excuse!)

The volunteering came as another itch worked it's way in about 6 years ago - we had just moved and my youngest started Kindergarten. We were in the same area, just a new Elementary School. I decided that I need to get more involved, make new friends and do something worthwhile with my "free time." I sure did and before I knew it 5 years being heavily involved has passed. During that time, I lost weight, gained weight, lost it again, and gained it again. Major changes happened in our family: husband's work circumstances, daughter's transition to adulthood, my parents moved close by, several family members had surgeries of various kinds. The last year I was actively volunteering - my life got in the way big time until I had to just say "I'm sorry I'm not doing as much as president as I did last year but XYZ are happening and I just can't do as much." That year was what basically led to me doing less this year. I needed to devote time to something else and myself.

2016 my husband created a new company and I had to get used to him working from home full time, we lost a very close friend to cancer and my grandmother to Alzheimer's. It was a big transitional year all around and while many people said that 2016 was "THE WORST!" we took it as it was, and grew. While all this was happening, that itch started. Thus, why I re-entered the work force (albeit very part-time.) I also analyzed what I could do to help my husband in his business, also what I could do at home to make it more balanced and simplified.

I posted yesterday about my giant Monday of a month, so in all reality not much was done to further any ambitions. But the gears, they were spinning. I would tell my husband, "I've got something... it's spinning." My thoughts are going, I'm getting itchy, it's time to move out of the shadows into the spotlight, it's time to STRETCH myself away from what is comfortable and into a new area. (Enough metaphors?) I feel it and I have to be the one to make the first move.



So the STRETCH isn't anything major like moving, or going back to school, or having a full-time job in a completely different career. It's taking my energies and applying it to where my family needs it most right now.

The business - needs me to generate Social Media buzz, work on photography and marketing. I'll take a few courses, learn some stuff and feel like I'm pulling my weight while learning new things.

The family - needs me to learn to say "NO" to some of the outside endeavors and continue to make my home a better place. Right now organization (continued!) and family history are my focus. Basic stuff like healthy cooking and interesting activities are also part of the plan.

Myself - I need to feel better about myself.  One of those surgeries were mine, and it laid me up for several months. I needed it to help me take my "break" and cut down on commitments, but now I need to get my physical self back up to where I was. Then I need to focus my on interests by working on projects that make me happy. (So, quite literally I need to stretch because of my knee and back problems. I know that my exercises and yoga will help so much!) So, I started out talking about my "itch" but really instead of SCRATCH I really need to STRETCH. Honestly,  I need both! (Now I also literally am itching, so off to hunt down my hand cream....)



2.01.2017

A Case of the Mondays

"January is like the Monday of the year" - that saying was created in our house, and I'm not sure if anyone else has felt that way but we sure do.

3rd Quarter at school and kids are burned out. No major activities and assignments so everyone starts to slack a bit.

Christmas is over and we just want to rest.

January is also like a Rainy Saturday where you don't have to do anything, so you don't. You read and curl up with a good book. Or Netflix show. (I read 10 books this month - retreat much?)

I just had a month of Mondays - and now, I guess it's Tuesday!

February. We made it through one month already, yeah! And January 2017 was a doozy (no, I don't want to talk about it. La-la-la-la - I can't hear you!)

February is one month closer to March, and I love March!

February is the month of chocolate, groundhogs, love, both my parent's birthdays and a day off of school. 

It's a short month, so that much closer to March! I love March (Not as much as June, but I do love March!)

So what do you do on Tuesday when you feel like you had a major case of the Mondays? You try to be positive and power through. If you haven't started any of your goals during the month of January - then I guess February 1st is a good day to get on it, because before you know it - it will be March (yay!) and then June (double yay!) and next thing the "crazy days" are back (Sept-Dec) and we start all over again.

My goal - write. In here. Anything that strikes my fancy or makes me think. Nothing political. (Maybe slightly) Mostly my inner thoughts and plans and desires and rants and raves. When I see something, read something and I get this thought 'Am I the ONLY one who thinks this?' It would be good to write it down and maybe someday start sharing. So now I stop "writing about writing" and get to it - with a subject and a topic and maybe even a conclusion!

For now, I'll leave you with a photo:

Our 16.75 year old cat sleeping on a Figment pillow (character from Epcot at Walt Disney World) 


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1.07.2017

New Beginnings

I have revamped this blog several times over, and even wrote about how I wasn't going to go back and delete anything on here.

I also have had tough times where I thought blogging would make it better. I have had a fitness blog, I have had a travel blog. I have had an anonymous mommy blog. This one isn't anonymous so I wonder if that is why I have stayed away? I have known it was here in the back of my mind but it only occurred to me today to return. I wanted to find a place to record some results of health experiments we are doing. I think I will go ahead and use this one.

I keep thinking "But I've missed so much..." However - why does it matter? Who cares if I haven't recorded every minute of my life. No one reads this anyway since I have stopped reading other blogs and linking back!

So, I'll start here. I may do videos. I'm still thinking about it.

I do know I need an outlet - and this is as good as any!

3.29.2013

Line upon line

I have huge "to do" or even more accurate "to change" lists in my head. I'm sure you know what I mean. I have to stop doing ..... I need to do ...... more.

It gets overwhelming.

I am approaching 40 and the little voice in my head says "You still haven't accomplished ....... "

But there is another little, possibly a little louder voice that says to me. STOP. That's enough. Lately the mantra in my head has been "just one thing." I wrote a personal journal entry last night and that came out again. Just. One. Thing.

I think this is what many people do for Lent, but I don't participate in Lent. Today is Good Friday and I was thinking maybe now would be to pick just one thing. Of course one thing usually lends itself to other changes but if the focus is on one thing then I think good things can happen.

Of course - as I sit and try to have a spiritual, positive, uplifting moment I hear the bickering of my children upstairs, and because they think I'm in my room it seems more hurtful than normal and it has gone on longer before the "Mom!" happens. It's interesting that my "One thing" that I want to change will directly affect them, and hopefully this behavior as well.

Shortened entry - family calls.

11.28.2012

Standing Up for What We Believe

First off: I love that this blog is here when I need it. Obviously, I have ignored it! However, I am glad I can return when I have thoughts on my mind. I had intended to use this blog for a personal journey this year - one that created a more strong family culture, spiritually and emotionally. I believe I have done that but of course this is always more you can do!

I am excited for this Holiday season - I have been making plans to make it charity and Christ focused as well as enforcing gratitude.

But what was on my mind this morning was how many people are ridiculed for their beliefs in God. I have been following the story about Angus T. Jones, who is the actor who plays the son on "Three and a Half Men." He has made videos proclaiming his testimony and asking others to stop watching his show because it's "filth."

I say, "Good for him!" I'm glad someone in Hollywood is finally standing up saying "This is enough."

 A lot of people are saying he's biting the hand that feeds him. Here are my thoughts on that. 1) I'm sure he is in a contract and unable to get out of right now, so when you say "If you don't like it, leave" I bet he can't. 2) When he joined this cast he was very young. He also hadn't converted to his church. His family probably had no idea how long the show would last or what evolution the show would take over time. 3) People are saying, "Then give the money back." Maybe he will donate it, or maybe he will be smart and save his money and be grateful for the gift he was given. After this show, who knows what jobs he will get. He is not in the wrong here. I'm sure he has gone through his own process. He is not proud of his participation in a show like this, and it's his own personal experience to deal with.

The part of this story that has hit me hard are the commentary (professional and amateur internet!) They are quick to say "Have him give up his $350,000 an episode salary and see how fast he still follows God." I would hope that this young man will follow his convictions, even when the money stops coming. They also ridicule the idea of a belief in God, following his commandments and call him a fool for doing so. It's interesting to me, but this all sounds like stories we have heard before in the scriptures! I am reminded in the Book of Mormon where time and time again prosperity led to wickedness (Helaman 6 for example.)

I'm a big supporter of freedom of speech and religion. The people who make this show have every right to make it. People who want to watch it have every right to do so. Angus also has the right to say what he believes. I'm sure he will have to quit or recant what he said. So far he has just said he didn't mean to disrespect the makers of the show. He didn't take back what he said, and I hope he stands his ground.

(Forgive the randomness of this - it's early but I just wanted to get my thoughts out!)




5.29.2012

STOP THINKING!

I got a little wrapped up and carried away for a while. School, sports, music, life, house - it all gets to be a little crazy. The end of the school year is here and for some reason I'm finding myself thinking what I could've done. I don't know why I do this to myself. I have at least 10 things in my head with stuff that I'm thinking I didn't do right or should have done better.

Then, as my head spins around and around about little things here and there and it brings me back to an idea, 'I could blog about this.' THEN I realize how long it's been since I've blogged and the negative thoughts seep back in. Crazy cycle!

STOP.

I have to learn this - that my life is my life. I need not live someone else's. I need not compare my blog activity, my children's achievements or my household appearance on anyone else. I also need not compare my life to some imagined standard that I must live up to.

One of things I'm thinking about today - there are several going on in my head right now - is that today was end of the year awards. Apparently, the 5th graders were told to "wear their best," and my son never returned home with that memo. It occurred to me that he shouldn't be wearing sport shorts and a t-shirt, but when he came downstairs in plaid shorts and a school t-shirt I deemed it ok. Somewhere in my head I thought about getting him a polo, but in reality I was too tired and I did ask him if they were supposed to dress up. Of course, he said no. Some kids were dressed like him, some were polo shirts and shorts, others were in a suit! In my head I beat myself up a hundred ways from Tuesday. "I should have known better, I should have listened to my gut. I had a kid go through 5th grade before, I should have remembered." Then I also blame him, "He should have listened to the teacher. He should have known better." All this for what reason? I make myself sick over it, when I can't change the past. What harm is there? Are people judging me for it? Maybe, someone actually asked if he wouldn't dress up, and I told her we just didn't know about it. He would had if he knew. Was he bothered by it? No - and that is what is important to me. I don't want to create what I have going on in my MY head. I linger on things when there is nothing that can be done, and it doesn't matter anyway.

I looked this up - and this problem is called "Rumination." Like a cow chewing it's cud. Over and over and over. I have big problems with this. I don't like it - and I went on a mission today to try and stop it, at least minimize it. I found this article:

6 Steps to Overthinking Your Life

I learned a few important things from this article. Here are the 3 that stood out for me:

1) Don't hash it out. Don't call people so you can "vent." I did this a little bit in this post, but like I said - I have quite a few going on in my head right now! You really don't do yourself any good by going over and over it again. So, I blogged about it and I'm done. I'm not going to talk anymore about it, complain about it, bug my son about it. It's over. Done.

2) Do something to keep your brain active. Do another activity. Play a game. I like this. I am going to focus on what today means for our family - celebrating the end of the school year and summer starting. I'm not going to stress about all the "what I could've done more this school year," and enjoy this moment. I'm proud of my children, I'm proud of being more involved at their school year, and I want to live every moment with them.

3) Mindfulness. I was really interested to find out that this problem of rumination can be a part of depression and practicing mindfulness can help with both. The act of mindfulness has been on my radar for quite some time and something that I really am trying to participate in. To see it again to solve my over thinking problem really gets me that kick I need to incorporate it more.

So that's that, any more talk and it can count as still "hashing it out." I'd like to add one more to the list. Go hug your kids and be grateful for your life. Being grateful for what you have at that moment can make you less concerned about either what you don't have, or what you think you should have.

2.11.2012

Six Word Saturday - sacrificing my day for my children

Driving to Austin for a conference.


 I have no time, I'm pushing it by being online right now! Jeans are in the dryer and I should be getting mostly ready right now. In my goal to find my passion, I stumbled upon the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented Students. I found there is a conference this weekend, and I signed up. I have two boys, the oldest has been in GT since Kindergarten and the Kindergartner just qualified. I was in GT in school as well, and always thought "I never lived up to my potential" Or maybe I'm just hearing my teachers, and mother's words over and over in my head. ;) I hope to get some good information and find out more about the association, as well as advocacy. Our school district is very supportive of the program, but I want to make sure my child feels challenged. That is all - totally off topic of what I normally do here, but I'm running out the door!

2.06.2012

What are you good at?


Who are you reading that inspires you? I'm finding my way in this blogging world (another post churning in my head....) I'm reading a few people to get me started and this morning the post by The Gypsy Mama fits in perfectly with my February theme.







Her post for today is "What you’re not good at is only half the story" I highly recommend it!

This morning I have a list of things to do. It's all stuff I am capable of doing but I do tend to procrastinate. I tend to stress that I won't do it "right." I put off the housestuff until it's really bad or someone comes over to visit! I've had a hard time sleeping lately, and in turn I'm sleeping in way too late. (Yes, I realize the two are connected!) By the time I'm getting around to what I should be doing, it seems I have so little time because then those kids walk in the door and I feel like my "workday" is over. So, like Gypsy Mama, I was thinking about how frazzled I am. I had a list of things I'm not good at and what I could do better - how my floors really need a good cleaning (and I need to find a better method for cleaning my tile floors,) how I haven't done meal planning lately, how my projects sit undone and how I REALLY need to clean off my kitchen table! 

Instead, to start today, I'm going to copy  emulate her, and think of a list of stuff I am really good at. 


  • I type fast - so anything I need to get done on the computer gets done pretty quickly.
  • I'm good at composing letters, memos, etc. for various meetings. (Which I need to do for tomorrow.) I summarize well and edit even better. (Don't apply this to my blogs, I do tend to ramble here and let it be what it is! That is it's purpose for me....)
  • I am spontaneous. We go for random Frozen Yogurt trips, make cookies at 7:30 at night, play a board game when they come home from school or go for a nature walk. I like that, and I think my kids do too.
  • I know where EVERYTHING is. I am organized, yet messy - go figure. I might have too much stuff, and I might have places for "random" stuff, and stuff goes unorganized - yet, I know where it all is! I am "The Supreme Finder Of All Things" in this house, and it has been proven many times over. I have been known to tell friends where their stuff is, in their own house. I'm THAT good.
  • I think I decorate well. May not be showroom decor, but I love what I do. I also bargain shop fantastically!
  • I shop for presents well. I love finding the perfect gift for someone. I really like doing it too, and see above - I am a fantastic bargain shopper.
  • I am not competitive, nor a sore loser. I am a good sport, mostly. I hate that my hubby tends to win but I rock it out at Trivia. No one can beat me there, and yes I could be more humble about it but it's really the one good thing I have. Not so hot at scrabble, words with friends, charades, pictionary, any physical sport or video games.
  • I learn quickly. (One bad thing though, I'm not the easiest to teach - especially if I'm not catching on....) I do like to teach myself!
  • I remember color. Show me the shirt or the pillow you want to match, I will go to the store with you and find the match nearly 90% of the time. Yeah, it's easier to bring it along just in case - but if I don't have it with me I can match it up pretty dang good, and it's a proven fact. 



Thanks for going with me on this journey today, and thank you Gypsy Mama for the inspiration. I hope you don't mind the plagiarism, tribute. Mockery really is the best form of flattery! 




2.01.2012

Be What You're Like

One of my favorite quotes comes from a They Might Be Giants song, "Whistling In The Dark." I used to sing this with my daughter and she ended up having a version of this engraved on her class ring.

"There's only one thing that I know how to do well
And I've often been told that you only can do
What you know how to do well
And that's be you,
Be what you're like,
Be like yourself"

It's a silly little song, but it has a cute message. Be what you're like. Be like yourself! 

As I got more involved in playgroups, PTA and other events where mostly women congregate, I noticed one thing. We compare ourselves. We can do it in either direction (looking down on someone, or looking up to them.) However, most of us tend to have pangs of jealousy or envy when we see the woman who *seems* to be able to do it all. We see someone who is fit, well dressed, has cute and well-behaved children, someone who has a clean house, cooks dinners every night, volunteers in every capacity, makes homemade gifts and party favors and actually has time to read or take classes. There are people who exist like this. There are people who genuinely do this and do it well. Good for them. 

The old story is that we don't know what is really going on in their life. What we want is for there to be a dirty secret. They have a bad relationship, they are secret hoarders in the rest of their house or they are on crack. Of course all this is negative, and I would never wish that was the case for anyone. Thinking that someone who appears perfect on the outside has this secret does help those who come off as anything but perfect. But it keeps the vicious cycle of comparison and jealousy going. 

In this circle I see two types of people. Those who emulate and want to be that perfect mother and those who ridicule the lifestyle, making jokes about eating kids eating Cheerios off the floor. Actually, I hope there are 3 types of people, those who acknowledge we are a little of both. We can try to do better - clean the house, make healthier meals, volunteer more and at the same time be realistic noting that some things fall to the wayside, like folded clothing, stylish hair-dos and exercising everyday. 

I enjoy the humor in all this, and there is plenty out there in the blog-o-sphere. But in the end, I have learned that we are all different. We can't try to be someone that we aren't. We can appreciate the person who has the ability to organize the fundraiser, and we need to acknowledge what we are good at. We might be great at reading stories in the library or helping with trays in the cafeteria. We don't need everyone to run the PTA meeting or cut out all the turkeys for Pre-K. We do what we can, and we base it off who we are. If you are at a point in your life where helping at the school isn't possible because right now you are taking care of twin toddlers and washing cloth diapers - then that is where you are and you are where you are needed. 

We also need to find that time of our life where we are ready to step out of our comfort zone and trust that we can try something new. We don't have to be a copycat of that woman we look up to, but she can provide motivation of what we could do with our life to push ourselves just a little more. In the end, you have to be you, and be like yourself. I can't handle watching other women beat themselves up because of what they observe another woman do. I am not that woman, and I don't want to be her. My life, my husband, my kids and my lifestyle was made for me. If our life isn't making us happy, then it's up to us to make any changes we need to make our life what we want it. Not what we think it should be, but what we want it to be. 

Be your self. Live your life. 

I'm going to end with another favorite quote - from Dr. Seuss. 

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”