The Part Where I Attempt to Take Care of Myself (Again)

While it may be boring to everyone but me, I am once again embarking on a health kick.

I’ve gained all the weight my body will allow. I have a knee that just can’t take any more. When my weight’s lower, it hardly bugs me at all.

I actually began the healthy eating part yesterday but didn’t weigh myself until this morning. I know most people would be devastated to weigh 249 pounds, I was only relieved I hadn’t gained back every pound I had lost after the cheater discarded me. I was up to 270+ at that time. So, hey, it’s all relative, right?

I also know that it took a great deal of effort for me to get to 199 pounds and I stayed at that weight for about a day and a half. I’m 5′ 8″ and I was wearing normal sized clothing at that weight, of course I was swimming a lot, too, so that no doubt made a difference in how I looked. My point is that my goal is to get back to 199. That’s it. Any more than that will be icing on the cake, so to speak.

I plan to get more active but right now I’m focusing on the eating. Part of the reason for not doing everything at once is my knee hurts too much!

I was considering gastric bypass surgery recently and was reminded that before they perform that surgery they put you on a super diet to make you lose 25 or 30 pounds first. It reminded me that if I can lose weight without putting my body through surgery, I need to do it.

As I was losing the 70ish pounds I lost two years ago I knew all along that keeping it off would be nearly impossible. Every article I came across said virtually the only way to not gain weight back is to have gastric bypass. Otherwise the fat wants to come back and it does come back.

What I have to face if I can is that to keep it off I will need to eat less calories than other people who maintain. That’s just a fact. The metabolism is effed up or something. But to keep it off I will have to diet forever.

The odds of me succeeding at that are pretty much impossible, so I’ve decided that I’ll do my very best and I’ll add important lifestyle changes that might have a more lasting impact.

So yesterday and today I came home and made a homemade soup that was nutritious and super delicious.

I start by sautéing some cubed firm tofu in olive oil in a nonstick pan until it’s golden brown and meanwhile, in the soup pan I sauté a sliced leek, a handful of sliced mushrooms, fresh asparagus, and at the end, some spinach. Then I throw the tofu in and add hot water. For seasoning I added some light soy sauce, a few drops of sesame oil, a small squirt of Siracha sauce, and some salt and pepper. I let it simmer for about five minutes, until the asparagus seemed cooked, and then chowed down.

I’ve eaten that yesterday for dinner and today for lunch. Then a new batch tonight which I’ll finish tomorrow. It’s a bit hot these days for soups, but it’s all I can consider right now. I think it would be really good with a few shrimps or a handful of crabmeat.

Right now I’m weaning my poor body off the junk food I eat around here. My stomach is intermittently rebelling and I’m making trips to the bathroom. That always happens to me when I change my diet. It’ll stop eventually.

I’m working every day on getting better sleep. I’m often in bed before it’s pitch black out, but I still don’t get great sleep. Sleeping in a small day bed where I can’t stretch out has been problematic for me.

I’ve made a concerted effort to wash my face every night rather than use those makeup remover sheets. It’s a nice routine and makes me feel ready for bed. I did some research on those electric face brushes — hah, I can’t think of what they’re called. They have batteries and a fine brush which rotates and cleans your pores. I bought one from Korea that is said to be the most gentle so I’m excited to try that when it arrives.

I went to World Market on my lunch hour yesterday and bought three decorative pillows for my non existent couch. They were on sale and I got all three for $20. It was good to get out of the office and nice to do something other than hunt for vintage goods. To be honest I don’t need more kitchenalia! (Well, I need a new rice cooker, a new electric kettle, but I’ll buy those new). What I will need are practical things like a hose, a rake, a weed wackier, a toilet plunger, cleaning supplies, paper goods well, you get the picture. I need to save for practical things.

The most recent three day weekend reminded me that I have no fucking life at all and it depressed me. When I have a home to care for and a dog to walk, I will be too worn out to care about my lack of social life, at least for a while, while it’s new to me.

I am hoping that the house/dog thing will be the major lifestyle change I need to help me keep weight off.

My new position starts in one month and slightly increased pay with it and that’s about the time I will be able to start officially looking for a home to buy.

Oh, and apparently my sister, two of her children, and one grandchild will be moving here about then as well.

My father asked me if I wanted them to come to my confirmation this Sunday and I was floored. Interesting that it wasn’t my mom. Dad was born Catholic but hasn’t been in a church in many decades. I guess he just though I might like it, so I said, sure, that’d be nice and told them not to feel like they have to do all the standing and kneeling parts.

Interesting times ahead!

 

 

 

 

 

Peace Be With You

I think I’ve said I was winding down this blog before but I feel I’m really beginning to repeat myself. I made it private a few days ago simply because I didn’t want to hit the delete button but wasn’t sure what to do. Guess I’ll leave it up as it is and check in now and then.

I’m far from perfect. Far from blissful. In fact I’m blue (again) right now. But I am finally starting to see that it probably won’t last. Feeling great won’t last, either. But I will feel good again.

I don’t feel entitled to happiness and I don’t feel anyone should. I strive for a reasonable contentedness most of the time. The highs don’t seem as wonderful without the lows anyway.

I don’t know what the future holds — oh how I wish I did. But at this point I’m just complaining about everyday life experiences — nothing all that interesting. They’re new to me because I’m a very late bloomer at this handling-life-stuff, but they’re mundane to other people.

I’ll be confirmed into the Episcopal church in two weeks. On July 1st I’ll start my new position at work. But I’m beginning to feel that things at work are about to change a bit. There are a couple of people who are not happy and may be moving on. I have to accept it, even if I don’t like it.

I’m super nervous, suddenly, about my new position, and part of me wishes that I never applied for it. I’m savvy enough to know that this is just what I do. I self sabotage. I have to keep talking to my therapist about it, and get that work/life balance I’ve talked about for a while now. Do the work. Leave. Have other things to do.

I’m very cautiously optimistic that I will buy a home in July or August even though I’ve accepted it won’t be in the city I’d prefer. Prices just went too high. But I think I can still manage it, even though it’ll be tight. I’ve also decided to adopt a senior dog even though that’ll add to my expenses. I don’t want to live alone. A dog will keep me active and give me something to love.

And when I do move pretty much everything will seem so new for a while. I’ve owned a few homes in my life, but never totally on my own, so I think it’ll be an adventure. And I’m a serious nester. I’ve taken to call myself a “homie” rather than a foodie, but it doesn’t sound as trendy, does it?

When I move, and can see the vast amount of vintage stuff I’ve acquired, I can probably make a few bucks selling it. And I’d like to have a blog associated with owning a home as a single older woman. In fact I already own the domain name.

It’s too bad I feel I’ve missed the boat to own my own business or do something exciting with my life. I’m just grateful I’m working and carrying my own weight — I never thought I’d get back there.

My church talks a lot about recognizing Jesus in the stranger and so I try to remind myself of that and go easier on people — be kinder. They also talk about us being the body of Christ and so I try to behave as he would behave, which is impossible, but something to strive for. I remember back when “WWJD” became a thing and I thought it was soooo corny and I made fun of it, but now it is secretly what I think. What would He do? And can I come anywhere close to that?

I looked down on organized religion for a long time, but you know when I look around my town it appears the only organizations doing anything to help the homeless/drug addicted are religious organizations and churches. Some churches do walk the walk.

In the last two years or so as I’ve attempted to form a relationship with God for the first time since I was a young teen, I’ve been sure of one thing: He doesn’t mind that I forgot him for a while. He’s been patiently waiting for me to come back. He will always be there.

Peace.

 

If I Can Do It, Anyone Can II

I’m in a good place. I’m feeling mostly at ease. I’m relatively hopeful even in the midst of some car troubles which normally freak me out.

Spent four nights out of town at a work conference. Got to know the doctor I’ll be working closely with. She’s not a normal doctor. She made the decision years ago not to be a wealthy doctor since she works for non profits in the child abuse field.

I met her and her partner for a musical which was fun. Later in the week I went to dinner with her. On Friday we were extremely busy but as she left she said, “Thanks for your help today.” And that meant a lot to me. I feel that she has my back. She’ll teach me and she won’t give up on me. We’ve already shared a lot about our lives with one another.

It’s official. I will have that promotion and a raise (no idea how much) effective July 1st. In the meantime I’m doing two jobs and it’s extremely challenging. I guess the only up side is that the week flies by, but I don’t feel I’m doing my best. No one expects more, after all, I am one person doing the work of two. I don’t think I could do it if they told me Aug. 1st instead of July 1st. I am barely holding on.

So I pray that later in the summer when the rush dies down I’ll be able to buy my little modest home. I will be super poor then, but it means so much to me that I am hoping it’ll all be worth it.

My ex and I have a lawsuit and we finally have dates. The depositions will be in July. The trial, if it goes that far, will be early November. The money may be a little or it may be enough to help me, but more important than the money (and I mean this) is that after the trial I never have to speak to him or hear from him again. He swears he will leave and I pray he will keep his word.

The day he tells me he is gone will be a glorious day. I will have MY town back and I can go anywhere without fear of running into him and his young girlfriend, or his pimpish, 50 year old Iranian friend who also fucks college students.

I found myself a little nostalgic over the fact that he packed my stuff for me. He had his girlfriend move in almost immediately while all my stuff was still there (and I still wanted him back) but he would not let me come in and pack it. So I have no idea what I will be missing because it went directly into storage.

I find myself worrying if he’s keeping a favorite knife I’ve had for twenty years, etc. Then I just have to remind myself that it doesn’t matter. It was the price I paid to get rid of him. If I can’t find my good knife, I’ll buy another one.

I do get attached to things, though, and I know that when he leaves that apartment he will leave everything behind that doesn’t fit in a suitcase. That’s how he is. And my stuff will still be there and be abandoned like I was.

I wrote to his landlord (a sort of friend/acquaintance) and asked him to please contact me if the ex leaves stuff behind but he never responded to my message so I doubt that he will contact me.

But would I want that shit anyway? Knowing it became part of “their” household? And probably smells like cigarette smoke? No. I don’t. In the 2.5 years we’ve been apart, I’ve bought so much cool stuff (mainly kitchen stuff, my passion) to make my new abode MY house and nobody else’s house, that I probably will not think too much about what I might have left behind.

The most interesting development this week is that I feel I have outgrown the need for my old therapist. I saw her again (I forced myself to go) to talk about dealing with my stress. It was okay, I guess, but so much effort to get there in the middle of a work day, and then have her tell me the usual stuff that I already know. I don’t think she has more magical ideas up her sleeve. I think I know what I need to do to manage my stress. I just need to do it. I may cancel the remaining appointments I have arranged.

Don’t give me any grief about that either! It’s clear to me that her arsenal of ideas has already been relayed to me. And much of it was provided by me. I need to:

Get exercise.
Be mindful — try breathing exercises and meditation.
Be creative.
Enjoy music.
Enjoy nature.
Rely on God.
Put myself OUT there to meet new people.
Get better sleep.
Forgive myself.
Love myself.

It’s not rocket science. It’s stuff we all need, right?

I needed her desperately in the early days after my ex cheated on me and kicked me out. The discard happened in October but by December I finally saw her photo and found out that she was 30 years younger than me. That news utterly destroyed me. I had been on a waiting list for a therapist and I finally got the call in January.

My therapist saved my life. I saw her every week for over a year. There was even one time where I pulled over in my car and thought I could not take any more pain. I was screaming and wailing. I called and left her a message. She called me back and talked me down. I was so, so grateful for her. The pain that day was horrific.

But I’m not that person any longer. Yes, I can recall the pain, (I’ll never forget it). And now I know that that 26 year old did me a favor. I had been trying to dump his ass for years. Apparently it had to be his idea. And wow, when he was done with me he was D.O.N.E.!

Thanks to my therapist, my doctor, my church, my family, my volunteer job, I just kept trudging through each day, putting one foot in front of the other.

And here I am. Things aren’t perfect but in regards to that horrible experience, I have survived, I have move on, and I am truly at Meh.

If I can do it, anyone can.

xox

Just Hold On

I really do embarrass myself when I get so down that I can’t see the bigger picture like most grownups seem able to do. Then I remind myself that I have not had an easy go of it and try to cut myself some slack.

I’m a little damaged. I’m wound too tight. I expect too much from myself. I’ve made a few (many) wrong turns and I’m in a precarious place at nearly 59 years old. When I compare myself to my mythical peers then I think surely I am a failure. I have no partner, no home of my own, no plans to retire any time soon.

But you know it’s all relative, isn’t it? Yes, it is.

I’m relatively healthy. I managed to get a job (at 58) that I truly love, with people I love and admire. My only regret there is that I didn’t find this job 20 years ago. My young co-workers seem to like me. They invite me to stuff and sometimes I say yes. They’re amazing young women.

I’ve repaired my credit score after cheater-ex left me bankrupt. I’ve saved a significant amount of money for a down payment. And I’m poised to buy a very modest house this summer or fall if I’m able to find one I think I can afford.

My relationship with my parents is as good as it’s ever been. We’ve forgiven each other for our youthful mistakes and are making the best of it. I’m grateful for this time I have with them.

I’m not a lush. I don’t hang out at bars. I’m not registered on any dating sites. I’m just living day by day and getting the swing of things and learning that I actually, for the most part, like myself. I’m comfortable in my own skin. I can entertain myself.

I have attainable dreams that make me feel excited about being in my very own home such as getting back to painting. Listening to Bach (loud). Having a treadmill in the living room. Cooking for myself. I’ve never lived alone. I’m excited and scared.

I returned to God and to church, having left it when I was 12 or so years old. When I take the time to remember God, I find him loving and reassuring. It’s my job to try to remember him more often. He’s not a habit for me yet. But when I think of him, I feel that he is there for me, waiting patiently as he has all those years we were apart.

We should really never compare ourselves to someone else — there’s simply no point to it. Comparing myself to school chums who didn’t marry four times and stayed in one home is pointless. My life has been sort of a mess, but which part would I skip next time? Which part would I erase if I had that ability? Very little of it. Apparently I needed the excitement.

Even the eight years I spent with my cheater ex would be hard to give up. It allowed me to live in the outskirts of London, yes, in poverty and despair at times, but being there enriched me beyond measure. I have found that I’m an insatiable Anglophile who goes out of her way to watch British television illegally and watches a documentary about English history every night at bedtime. Something about England clicked with me and it’s now part of who I am at my core. I count the days until I can go back on my own terms and experience it anew.

I’m weird. I spend a lot of money on the few pairs of shoes I own, but very little money on clothes, hair, or make-up. I have no home of my own nor many friends, but I recently purchased eight gorgeous champagne glasses (made in France, of course) at a charity shop and I find it a little hilarious that I would ever have occasion to use them. And I would not have bought them if I didn’t know where they were made. I’m incredibly snooty about certain things. It’s weird. I’m weird. And I’m finding that people don’t mind me for it.

I did see my therapist last week and immediately felt better because she looked at me and more or less said, “Whoa, back up. You’re not seeing yourself as you really are.” And she’s right, I wasn’t. I do that sometimes. More often than I’d like to admit.

So I have made five other appointments with her, one every other week. And I will work on my work/life balance and cutting myself some slack over the fact that I can’t keep up with all the extra responsibilities they’ve given me at work. I will keep my eye on the fact that I will have a raise and a change of position in July.

I may not be able to get out my floor easel and work on large paintings, but I can get out my watercolor pencils and have some fun on a smaller scale.

I can ask my parents if they’d mind if I bought a treadmill and kept it on their patio until I move. I think I’d use it and it’d be good for me. I need it desperately.

I can make an attempt to get out into the beautiful nature that is not far from me here in the Pacific Northwest. A MeetUp hike, for example, or a photography group. I know for a fact that nature makes me feel more calm.

For all of next week I’ll be out of town for a conference for work. I’m so grateful that they decided it would be worthwhile for me to go — it’s another sign that they value me. I’m going to really enjoy being out of the office and I now have very few outward signs that I was sick for the last 5 or 6 weeks.

I just needed to hold on and know that I would get better. Tomorrow I’m going to church for the first time in many weeks. I’ll light a candle to acknowledge that I still have so much to be grateful for.

And the people who read and/or comment on this simple blog are among the things I’m thankful for.

My cheater ex just hated this song, so I’m happy to include it here:

Shit

I’ve been sick for over a month and am on my second round of antibiotics. They’ve ruled out pneumonia and are sticking with bronchitis. I’m so depressed I can’t function.

I missed five or six days of work and then got permission to work on the weekend for twelve hours to try to catch up. Things fell apart while I was gone.

I cannot handle the pace of my job. Pure and simple. I don’t know if it’s me and my high anxiety, or if it’s the fact that they won’t listen when I point out my very heavy workload. It’s probably both.

I’m the least paid person there and I have the heaviest workload and they keep giving me more. I show them how behind I am but I guess it doesn’t bother them that much. Perhaps it should not bother me, but it does.

My work mates sit in the back from 4pm and say “we’re spent. we can’t do anymore.” But me, I’m the fool who by 4p.m. is changing toilet paper roles, taking out trash, filling the fridge with more bottles of water, answering phones, helping every person who walks in the door, and balancing two positions which require actual planning, organization, and thought.

They tell me I will have a new position in July. How can I cope until then? I honestly don’t think I can. I’m ashamed of myself.

You may recall that I have not worked for over ten years and have been on disability. I pulled myself up when my cheater ex-husband bankrupted me and found a job at 58 years of age. I figured I had no choice — I had to find a way to be strong and stand on my own.

But all I’ve found is that I’m weak, frightened, scared, and now, feeling very suicidal.

My daughter rarely calls me. I have no one to talk to. I’ve been too sick to go to church in a month.

Price of houses are skyrocketing. I can no longer find any that I might be able to afford. It seems my opportunity to live a “normal” life has passed me by.

I have an appointment, finally, with my therapist on Tuesday at 4pm. I am hanging on until then because I simply don’t know what to do.

I’m ashamed to admit that the reason I can’t handle the job is because I can’t handle working. What will become of me?

At the same time I feel they really are taking advantage of me. They are asking me to do 2.5 jobs. I realize they are a struggling non profit, but this is ridiculous.

I love it there, but will begin to see if there’s anything else out there I might be able to do. Such a shame because it’s an amazing place to work. On the other hand, maybe I am getting tired of hearing about every single child sex abuse case in my county. How much can a person take?

I’m going to meet with my therapist on Tuesday and then I’ll sit down with my supervisor and the director and tell them that I can’t keep this pace until July. There is simply too much work to do and I can’t get better due to the stress.

If I had a couple of bottles of pills I would take them, I think. No, I wouldn’t. I could not do that to my parents. But I feel it. I have no hope. I am giving up.

Is it a Simple Fear of Failure?

I’ve been sleeping badly which makes it almost impossible to tolerate stress, especially work stress.

I’ve been very vocal to my young supervisor that I cannot keep up the pace and she’s been understanding. She says they will be able to hire people effective July 1st. So it may be my opportunity to move up and away from the front desk, or at the very least give up some of my responsibilities to a new person.

I told her I’d try to hang tough until then.

I need your help, readers.

In the last few months I have been reminded at how I get to this stage where I utterly panic and then I quit. Quitting is not an option any longer, since I’m not married and I’m no longer on disability.

I’m so terrified of being off disability.

I look at my young coworkers and wonder how they handle the stress so well, and the bottom line is they must not be feeling it the same way I do. The reason I am 58 and only a front office person is that I always cave in to the pressure. The fear builds and builds and then I run off.

I could do that again, but I don’t want to, I really don’t. I want to stand up and face my fears. Shit, I only have so may working years left, I can surely rise to the occasion for a few years, right?

I finally (after months of promising to) called my therapist and will be seeing her on April 12th. I’m ashamed to see her since I’ve gained so much weight, but I desperately need her guidance so that I don’t fuck up and give myself away as a nervous wreck who can’t handle more responsibility.

I wonder why I’m this way.

My parents ask me everyday how my day went and I can see they are getting very alarmed at my state. The other day my mom said I’d probably get promoted if I didn’t make “too many waves.” She was referring to me going to my boss to tell her my workload has become unmanageable.

So even she and my father think I’m on the brink.

And I guess they’re right, I am.

My good ex husband, the one I loved, the marriage I ruined due to my mental illness saw this pattern in me time after time. I’d get a good job, a good opportunity, and within a few years I’d be at my wit’s end, unable to handle it. Afraid, really. I’m not sure of what.

Then the trips to the psych ward began, etc.

I don’t even know what to call this fear and anxiety over work expectations. If I did I’d study it online and try to get the upper hand. Maybe it’s fear of failure.

And this fear just spreads throughout my life. I begin to think about living on my own, with no one to depend on, and I panic and think I should stay here with my parents. I’m just afraid of everything.

And so for that reason I must find a way to keep on and to face these “demons” which  have plagued me throughout my entire life and kept me from doing what I wanted to do, and certainly kept me from finding my potential, which I think would have been great if I hadn’t sabotaged myself at every turn.

If any of you have an inkling of what my problem is called or resources to help me sort myself out, I’d appreciate it.

I’m 58. I’m lucky to have this job and I can’t afford to lose it or be unemployed. I only have another eight to ten years left to work so I have to make the most of it. I cannot cave to this fear ever again!

Please help me.

 

A Long, Bad Dream About my Cheater Ex

Gah.

I’ve been having trouble sleeping and last night popped two Benadryl for the first time in several weeks. I ended up having a long, excruciatingly detailed dream about my ex, the cheater.

First, we were in a weird large house on the coast. I knew he didn’t own it, but I never found out who did. He’d spend time trying to seduce me and I even found myself in bed with him a couple of times, but then the scene would quickly change and I would be following him around or trying to get away from him.

He was printing t-shirts with a home printer for an upcoming 10k he was organizing. All I could think of is did he have the necessary permits for the race. I thought, oh my god I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be a part of his insanity. His plans were all so cheap and had failure written all over it — he’s not even into exercise.

I could tell he didn’t have true feelings for me and I was just waiting for him to ask me for money. At the same time I have to admit I was slightly thrilled to see him again.

People kept coming and going and they were checking me out. I had no idea who they were or what they knew. I didn’t know who he had slept with. I kept going from room to room. I wanted to go home.

I woke up with a start and almost jumped out of bed. I didn’t want that dream coming back. I don’t think I’ve dreamt of him in well over a year, maybe two years. I can’t even remember the last time I saw him.

The dream reminded me of how much I miss physical intimacy and wondered if I’d ever be close to someone again.

I’m mostly at “meh” these days regarding that cheater ex, but he usually invades my thoughts in the evening around 7 or 8 pm for a few minutes. Just enough for me to wonder when he’ll leave this town so that I can fully move on with my life.

The Buspar does seem to be helping (for anxiety) a little in the day time, but at night it is keeping me awake. I looked up to see if other people had this issue and saw that it’s not uncommon. I’ll just stick to a morning dose from now on — I simply can’t afford not to be as rested as possible every day for work.

xox