Birthday Check-in

Today is my birthday.* It has been a pretty darned good day. Usually on my birthday I look ahead to what I want to accomplish by the time I reach the next birthday. I know this year is going to bring many changes, so it is difficult to say for certain at this juncture what exactly it is I want things to be like for me next year. Instead I decided to look back to my 15 for ’15 resolutions list and see how I’m doing. I have my doubts, since I haven’t thought about it since…well…mid-January??

1. Win the Daily Step Challenge (Most days): Score one for me! At least I can start the list off on a good note. I did, in fact, win the daily step challenge more than my competitors. Woo!

2. Blog more: The original post set a goal for at least once a week, which is still one I would like to obtain. I have definitely not been on top of this, but I can do better.

3. Share the blog: I did this immediately, posting the link through my Facebook. I haven’t done any of the other sharing things people do, like creating a Facebook page for the blog, nor do I have a twitter. What I’m saying is I accomplished the original idea behind the sharing, but I could probably take it further if I were more consistently blogging.

4. Limit Facebook time to none-ish: This continues to be a work in progress. For a while there I deleted the app from my phone, which severely cut down my Facebook time. I believe I spend less time on the site then I used to, excepting today because that red bubble that tells me I have notifications drives me crazy. When I deleted that app I deleted a couple of other time sucking apps. Although Facebook is back, those others are gone and I think I do spend less time staring at my phone than I did previously.

5. Look at the bucket list I made when I was 21 and do some of the things: I have to find this list first. I know I have it somewhere, I just have no idea where that somewhere is. There is one thing I know was on the list that I really want to do, and I think I’m going to get to work on it ASAP. I need to find that freakin’ list.

6. Work on my non-confrontational nature: This I have epically failed at in one situation. In another, which was honestly more frightening for me, I recently handled. So far everything seems okay. If I’m grading I give myself a 50%, which is still a failing grade, but luckily there is still time to bring the grade up before the end of 2015. I even know some things that are likely going to need to be dealt with this year, so I certainly have the opportunity for at least a B.

7. Put myself/my goals first: I am improving on this one. Again, not perfection, but I’m getting there. Sometimes my goals can be at cross-purposes, so that can make it tough to navigate.

8. Phone curfew: I kind of forgot about this one, oops. I break this a lot, but not in the same way I did before. I used to look at my phone after 10 to check Facebook, emails, buzzfeed, news, reading apps, etc. Now if my phone is out after 10pm it means I am talking on it, and usually the person I am talking to reminds me that it’s past my bedtime and then I go full-on six year old: “BUT I AM NOT TIRED YET.” Because I’d rather get 5 hours of sleep then appear like some lame-o that needs to be asleep by 10? Yeah, I’m a crazy person.

9. Write down a couple lines about what happened with my day: I have completely abandoned this one, but I want to bring it back. The always amazing Souzapalooza recently wrote about her experience with a “One Line A Day” Memory book, which thanks to Amazon Prime, I will have one of my very own on Tuesday. I think this may help me, especially since I was trying to just keep this information in a plain old moleskin notebook before. Thanks Souzapalooza!!!

10. Complete what I can in the “Store of my Life” book: I have not started this. I will put it on the to-do list.

11. Practice my banjo, learn 2 new songs that people know: Nope.

12. Refine and build my friendships: There has been some refinement. I have made some efforts to see some friends that I do not spend enough time with. This is one of those ones that I think will always be on the list, because I don’t think refining and building friendships ever stops.

13. Read more books/magazines, less internet: I am definitely reading more books. My one magazine subscription is still a bit neglected.

14. Get my assignments done at least a week early: I think the “at least a week” is a bit lofty. I have been getting my assignments done early for the most part, barring one mid-term project. It is less stressful. I still manage to procrastinate, but as long as it’s done in more than enough time, who cares?

15. Live more fearlessly: There are some things I’m thinking about doing that would fall into this category. Maybe once I have my “One line a day” journal thing I can think of fearless things I have done easier than trying to come up with something in the dwindling moments before bedtime.

Overall for four months into the new year I think I’ll give myself a “Not too Shabby.” I might have to set some mid-year goals, just because.

*Or because of time-zone settings I can’t figure out how to undo yesterday was my birthday, but whatever.


Lost posts & secret numbers

I find when I’m out and about I’m always thinking: “I should write a post about that!!” Then I come home, open up the laptop, and have no idea what those brilliant things were I was excited to write about hours before. Today I had at least three of those moments while running an errand or two, but decided to wait on those because I had started writing about something else a few days ago but didn’t finish. I guess the internet gods did not like that one, because that partial post was nowhere to be found. My drafts runneth empty. It was probably going to be my best, most insightful post ever, and now the world will never know. Much like all those other posts about who knows what that drift in and out of my brain.

In the past I have attempted to recreate the post; but it just never has the same feel as what I was going for the first time. I know it was something about how hard it is for me to share any kind of numbers with people. Then a story about how a girl from school asked me how much weight I’ve lost and I was evasive with the number. I happily shared with her my diet and exercise information, but not the total number I have lost. That was basically where I was when I stopped writing, and where I was going to continue from. I will try to do that now, and in the future maybe I’ll keep a list of topics I think of while out and about. It hasn’t helped before, but maybe it will this time.

I think the main reason it is hard for me to share the exact amount of weight I’ve lost is that I still have so much more to go. I have lost a good amount, making excellent progress towards my goals; but I am not yet halfway to my goal weight. Opening the door of the first number, the amount lost so far, I feel like might lead to follow up questions. How much do you have to go? What is your goal weight? What was your starting weight? How much do you weigh today?

Noooooooooo. I’m not sharing any of that information, thank you. Maybe one day. That magical day when I’m watching a football game and a players stats flash on the screen, to which a friend will say, “Man, that guy is HUGE;” and when I check the stats I finally see that the guy does in fact weigh more than I do. That day isn’t here yet. What happens after that comment is made nowadays is I look at the stats and see that the guy weighs less than I do and is usually a little bit taller. So if he is HUGE, then I am……..GINORMOUS?????

Possibly, when the day comes that I am much smaller than the average huge NFL player, I will be comfortable sharing my numbers. Maybe then I can say to anyone who asks, “I lost one-bajillionty pounds, and now weigh an amount that is a lot closer to the number my driver’s license says.” I have a feeling I will always think that this information is not for public knowledge.

I was taught that it’s rude to ask any numbers-related questions (weight, age, cost), which I think is another part of my discomfort with the situation. People seem so open about all of that stuff. Part of me thinks I should just get over it and give the number, but the other part thinks that is kind of b.s. If I’m not comfortable sharing a number, I shouldn’t convince myself to change my personal values. I’m also a believer in the good ol’ Golden Rule. I do not ask anyone their numbers, so no one should ask unto me.

There are plenty of questions I will answer. What kinds of foods are you eating? No bread? Really??? What is your exercise routine? Are those new jeans? Do you want to go on a walk with me sometime? Or maybe a bike ride? Roller skating?

If asked those questions I will respond with enthusiasm. Ask me for a number, and I will probably change the subject.

Fundraising and Family

I have a big extended family. Maybe even huge. Lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins. Most of whom live on the other side of the country from me. Thanks to social media, we can keep in touch a little better than we did back in the olden days; like the 1990s. It is great to get to know cousins I have yet to meet, or ones I haven’t seen since I was a child. I love being able to celebrate life’s joys with them, even if it is virtually. Hopefully the future will bring a family reunion, but until that time I can post a happy birthday message, or like a graduation event.

What can be a bummer are the tougher times. Recently I was told that my cousin was diagnosed with the same cancer both his mother, my great-aunt, as well as my grandmother, passed away from. His mom just passed in 2013. I can’t imagine what my cousin is going through right now. Or his dad for that matter, or his sister and her family.

Anytime a loved one has a problem, I think it’s natural to wonder “what can I do to help?” Being so far away, I don’t feel like there is a whole lot I can do to help. Even if I were closer, it’s not like I know how to cure cancer. I am smart sometimes, but assuredly not cure cancer smart. If I were I’d have a lot more money, and maybe a Nobel Prize. Which would mean even more money. Probably I could then have a private jet or at least enough frequent flyer miles to fly out there on a moment’s notice. That’d be cool.

Instead there is reality. I remembered donating money several years ago, when another relative of mine did the Empire State Building stair challenge or something. I donated, and then donated some more because it was for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. This is the type of cancer that Nana, Aunt Cathy, and Daniel were diagnosed with. I have followed the foundation on Facebook ever since donating, and had always meant to participate. Now seems like as good of a time as any. Plus, I found an event in my area, so on Sunday, March 22 I will be participating in a 5K Run/Walk.

I am walking in Support of my cousin Daniel, and in Memory of his mom, Aunt Cathy, as well as in Memory of my Nana. When I looked through my photo albums for pictures I could not find any of Aunt Cathy, and my pictures with Daniel were so old I have to first stop caring how 1994 I look. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a visit. Plus, I should probably ask him if it’s okay for me to post pictures of him on the internet before going ahead with that, it’s the nice thing to do. I know Nana would approve of the picture I am using of her, so that is the one that is up for now.

Please donate if you can. If you can’t and are in the area, please come and walk with me. Or find an event in your own area. Thanks!!!!

One Challenge ends, another begins.

For the past several months, Cakethrower and I have been competing in one of our classic challenges. I say “classic” because we come up with weight loss or fitness challenges so often that I have been asked at random times: “so what is the current bet?” Only to answer with a blank stare until I realize that the person means that we almost always have some game afoot. The outcome of the bet, or challenge, or contest varies; I have no idea what makes one a “do this or else you have to wear this humiliating outfit in public” and another is “do this and we get a pedicure.” Our mood? How badly we want to go get a pedicure?

The most recent challenge has coincided with The Biggest Loser, which just had its season finale a couple of weeks ago. We have not had the payout yet, but I am looking forward to that. The Biggest Loser challenge was different from the daily step challenge that I am still doing. Although the steps are certainly challenging, I was concerned when the Biggest Loser challenge ended that I would not be able to maintain the progress I have been making. I did really well with that particular contest, and I was a bit sad to see it end.

Well, thanks to the fantastic Souzapalooza I had absolutely nothing to worry about! This morning she wrote about her Slim Down for St. Pat’s Diet Bet. It was like she read my mind, and knew exactly what I needed. She has outlined the parameters perfectly in her post, so please go ahead and follow that link. I will wait.

Genius, right? She’s good looking too. 🙂

So, when I saw her post this morning I jumped right on it and joined. Then I shared it on Facebook so Cakethrower and DangerMom could sign up with me. Then DangerMom told two friends, and so on, and so on…Okay, maybe it’s not completely like that, but we do have a good amount of people involved in the bet. I am really excited to get started.

It was a little weird to have to take a full body picture and then a picture of the numbers on the scale for proof, but how else would they know? On the other hand, I have a tattoo on my foot, so it would be hard for me to get a foot-impostor to do any of my weighing in for me. I should be exempt from the difficult-to-take full-body picture. But, I guess I will also end up with before and after photos. That might be cool to see.

The challenge starts on Wednesday and goes until St. Patrick’s Day (March 17, 2015). If you are interested I highly recommend that you join us. Our current Pot O’ Gold is $250.00. I could use the extra cash 😉

Oh my social disorders…

***Warning, I use the word Asshole and derivatives thereof a lot in this post. If you have delicate eyes or sensibilities please proceed with caution.*****

There is a good reason I imagine myself one day being the occupant of that one house in the neighborhood that children are afraid to walk past. Stories will be told about the witch that occupies the house. There may or may not be cats. When I have the visions of my future self as the scary witch-lady I most definitely have a dog like the one in the Sandlot, to add an extra level of fear. Plus that dog is adorable.

The thing is I suffer from chronic assholitis. Assholiosis? Assholsia? Assholioma? That’s the trouble with made up diseases, it’s hard to decide on a suffix. Like most diseases that drug companies advertise cures for on TV, many of the symptoms are things we all occasionally suffer from: Bad mood, bad attitude, general malaise. Sufferers and victims of sufferers can often times mistake these symptoms with those of PMS, but this particular disease can strike at any time.

Usually when I have an episode, or a bad flare up of the assholiosis (I think that one is my favorite), I am aware it is happening and am able to control my behavior enough to not take anyone down with me. I have been dealing with this ailment for many, many years and like to believe that I am self aware enough to hear when I am letting the bad mood and bad attitude effect my words and actions. Sometimes the disease wins.

Recently, I had a prolonged episode. I think I may actually still be in the throws of it, but the awareness has settled in; which is the first step to getting back to normal. This bout has been so bad that when a friend mentioned the other day the tone of voice I was using to talk to her was…less than desirable…I brushed it off. No apology, maybe a “I didn’t mean to,” but I think I  just thought that in my head. Thinking about it later that evening was a start to the waking up to the assholiosis flare up, unfortunately not the cure.

A couple of days later I was with the same friend. The day was filled with things most women find fun. I find lots of stereotypical women things uncomfortable (makeup, hair-styling, dressing up, etc). I went into the day knowing that I was going to be at some level of discomfort. I really did want to suck it up, have a good time, and make the most of the day. The last thing I wanted to do was take away any of the fun from anyone else.

Looking back, I wonder if maybe I should have called in sick for the fun day. Knowing about the recent bad behavior it might have been best for all involved to cancel. Hopefully I will remember that for my next flare up. Just isolate myself and dream of living in the scary witch house. There will be less meanness that way. I don’t think I realized at the time that I wasn’t completely over the assholiosis at that point.

Instead I went. I can give excuses for why my “suck it up” plan failed, but they don’t matter and are superficial at best. Bottom line is I let my bad attitude and discomfort with the situation get the better of me. My friend had planned a day that was supposed to be fun and carefree. I managed to put a damper on that day. Totally not cool.

I always want the best for my friends. It sucks to know that I caused problems and added stress instead of helping. She didn’t say it directly, but after that day I got the impression she needs a little break. I do not blame her, and completely understand. I am considering sending an ice cream cake with “Sorry I’m an asshole” written on it. I should probably continue to brainstorm apology ideas before finalizing how exactly to make amends.

In the meantime I will give her space, and do my best to investigate a cure for my assholiosis. Maybe I should start a 5k charity race to raise money for research into the cure. Together we can cure Assholiosis!

Last Semester, Introductions

School is back in session. It actually started last week. The first week of my last semester before finally graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree is all done. I was hoping this was going to be an easy semester, but judging by the open books, pencils, and calculator sitting next to me I think reliving the high school “senioritis” days is a pipe dream. On the other hand, I didn’t do that senioritis thing way back in the olden days when I was in high school; so saying that I would be reliving it is a bit of a lie. Instead I finished my senior year of high school a semester early, and spent those fabled carefree days working. They were still mostly carefree days, but I didn’t experience senior cut day, nor did I go to the prom (a sad tale for another day). I did participate in a senior prank, but I’m pretty sure those of us that are completing their college degree later in life do not do that whole prank thing. If you are reading this, and we are in college together, the answer is no. I will not participate in a senior prank.

One thing I will not miss is the beginning of the semester introductions. I hate that part of any class where you have to go around the room introducing yourself. Mostly because I am not a big fan of any sort of public speaking, but also because it seems like a big waste of time. Especially since the college I attend is small, and the classes are even smaller. Now that it’s my last semester I know everyone in the classroom except for the instructor. I wanted to come up with some sort of ridiculous thing to say during intro time, but I both blanked and chickened out. It would have been fun though. “Hi everyone, sooooo… a little about my background…. uhhh…. well, I am a conspiracy theorist. If you want to know anything about the strange connections between Lincoln and JFK please ask (I mean, Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln! Coincidence? No Way!!). When I am not at home with aluminum foil on my head to protect me from government spies, I enjoy volunteering at the Humane Society. It helps me find cats for the clowder I am building. Someday I want to be like that lady who purchased a house just for her cats to live in. Terrible tragedy that THEY made her give those cats away and condemn her lovely home.”

Or something to that effect. I am not confident I could have said any of that with a straight face, but it would have been fun to try. I might have to keep that little speech in mind next time I have to do an intro session for a work training. At the very least if I had done it the semester would have started on a very interesting note.

Instead I said my name, talked about where I grew up, gave a bit of a work history. Boring. Usual. In one class in particular I think it would have been fun if we all introduced each other. Not that lame way where you have to talk to the other person for five minutes and then introduce them to the class, but completely on the spot. No pre-discussion. “Oh her? I have had 8 classes with her and I cannot remember her name right now. I am pretty sure she works in finance or something. She is a pretty good person to have on a team for a group project, but gets stuff turned in right under the wire which I find a bit nerve-wracking. I think she likes pizza.”

Right now I am not entirely sure what career path I am going to take. Maybe I should be a consultant, lending my ice-breaker wisdom to instructors across the globe.

Daily Prompt Challenge

The current assignment for the Blogging 101 course is to publish a post based on a writing prompt. I was directed to The Daily Post to find a prompt to write on. The post I found was this:

Write a post in which the protagonists of two different books or movies meet for the first time. How do they react to each other? Do they get along?

I don’t post any fiction here. Not that I have never written any, nor would I be apposed to posting it if there was something, I just haven’t. When I saw this prompt I thought about what I should do. Do I write a short story? If so which characters should meet? Why?

Then I remembered a story idea I came up with a long time ago and never wrote, because I could never figure out exactly how to make it work. I was watching an action movie, and it got to the part where inevitably either the protagonist or antagonist (probably both) had to commandeer a vehicle from an innocent bystander to forward the chase. I wanted to write a story about that person, starting from that point in their life.

The particular movie I was watching the vehicle happened to be a boat. So I imagined the guy going about his day, maybe after a crappy week at his shit job, looking forward to taking his speedboat out for a relaxing ride. All he wanted was to get away from it all for a little bit. He packs his lunch, a few beers, and is just untying the last rope on the dock when boom…some a-hole in a suit with a gun jumps in and speeds off. He is left on the dock throwing his hands up in frustration and confusion.

Now his crap week has gone from bad to worse. Maybe he can see the chase happening on the water as he calls the police to report his stolen boat. Then the horrible explosion, because there is always an explosion, that destroys his boat. Was he caught up on his insurance payments? Is this something that is even covered? Is he just S.O.L. as far as the boat is concerned now? What effect does that have on the rest of his life? Would anyone reading the story care or would everyone want to know what the hell the whole chase thing was all about?

This isn’t exactly two different characters meeting, just something I thought of a long time ago that this prompt brought back to me. Which reminded me how much I liked writing fiction. I might have to try that again sometime soon, and if I do maybe this will be the first story I tackle.