taking out the trash

I’ve mentioned several times recently that I’ve been on this “clean out all the bullshit” kick. I’m loving it. Clothes that didn’t fit or don’t make me happy, jewelry I never wore, some shoes, a few books, candles… I realized just now that there’s another stash of clothes that need to go, hidden under the stairs.

But there are other things that need to be removed. Yesterday I ended up cleaning out my closet at work, the one that primarily houses snacks and stuff. That was a disaster. Today I’m going to spend a little time on my desk. Too much clutter, too much nonsense in the drawers.

I can’t really say what it is that gets me into these moods, but it’s a cyclical thing with me. Kind of like Spring Cleaning on steroids I guess. All I know is that I feel better once it’s all done.

This afternoon I’m meeting with one of the program coordinators for the writing program I just left. I feel good that I was able to finish the semester successfully, but I know that I just can’t take on that kind of workload and stress again right now. I want to finish the memoir one of these days but I already know that my Fall semester is going to be too busy. There’s at least one international trip planned so that right there is enough to make me not interested in school.

I’m going to try to add back in a hobby/creative outlet that I haven’t done in ages. I’ve signed up to take a fused glass class at a local studio where I’ve taken classes before. I’m excited, it should be great. The last project I made, I think, was last summer. Not that the knitting and jewelry making aren’t good enough, but a girl shouldn’t box herself in too much when it comes to being creative.

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a million things

I’ve been making pretty good progress with getting my life back together. This wasn’t like some of the ridiculously spectacular explosions that I have faced before, but the time between January 1 and now has been, well, I don’t have enough of the right words to describe it.

It was like having to burn all the candles at all the ends.

It was like arguing with a demon in my head who was a toddler and insisted on a bedtime story every five minutes.

It was like watching all of the things I wanted to be doing slip through my fingers like water, and knowing that the water was tears.

But it’s over, and as much as I love what I wrote and as proud as I am of what I managed to do, it needed to be put away for now. And so I did. I cleared out a small drawer in my desk yesterday and put all of the printed materials and my notebooks in it. The memoirs I read are on the bookshelf (except Patty Duke’s shitty book, yuck). Reclaiming my workspace yesterday and getting that area ready for creative things again was crucial for moving forward.

I also went through my room and came up with four bags full to send to the thrift shop. I was ruthless. It felt FABULOUS. And, as usual, I found some things I had completely forgotten about. It feels a lot better in there now as well.

This is maybe a weird thing, but I’m going to share anyway. I’m totally a list maker, y’all know that. But I don’t like writing them on paper if I don’t have to. At work I have a whiteboard mounted on a door and I frequently fill that up. But at home I don’t have that, so I improvise.

Upstairs I keep a dry erase marker in the bathroom and I write my lists on the mirror. Sounds strange, but it works. It’s right there where I look every day and it wipes off super easy. I find that it really helps, and it’s a cheap hack.

Life is slowly returning to the happy place where I really enjoy it. Mom and I did a little shopping last Thursday, Lancelot and I went and had massages Saturday morning and then did a little shopping, we had friends over for dinner, and then brunch on Mother’s Day. And I’ve been knitting again. What more can you ask for?

Apparently you can ask for more treats.

my plans are like eggs…

…scrambled.

The weekend did not turn out as anticipated. Parts were really good, other parts not so much. Over all I would say it was pretty decent.

Y’all know the school thing this semester did Not Go Well At All. I kind of felt like the world’s biggest idiot because of that, at least I did until I talked to Dr. K, my good friend at work. (yes she really does have her PhD, that’s why she’s qualified) She told me that had she known I would be enrolled in 15 hours of grad credit every semester for this program she’d have Very Strongly Encouraged me to run.

For those of you not familiar with the way higher education works in the States, a full-time undergraduate student has to take at least 12 credit hours and usually doesn’t take more than 15. A typical class equals 3 credit hours, so a “good” load for undergrads is four classes. For a graduate student, 6 hours is typical. If you’re working a full time job, which most grad students are, it’s ridiculous to take more than that. I’ve been taking FIVE classes worth.

Hello, my name is Utterly Ridiculous. How do you do?

So this whole 15 credit hours in a “low residency” setup was really never a good idea for me from the very start. Sometimes I am stubborn and insist on learning difficult lessons the hard way. It’s called being willful. It does not suit me. I know this.

Anyway, I’ll finish this semester and then I’m switching back to my previous program. Back in 2015 I finished a Technical Communication graduate certificate, 15 credit hours worth of work that helped me with my job. The English department offers two grad certificates; tech comm and Advanced Writing. My goal now is to do the Advanced Writing cert, so I’ll have 30 hours of grad credit, and then hopefully write a thesis and smash all of that into a M.A. in English. I will do this one class per semester, skipping the Hell on Earth that is Summer Sessions.

It just might work.

Anyway, there are other changes coming. I’ve already alerted my hair stylist wizard that I’m going to want a new cut and color next week. I’m also feeling my creative ooze starting to flow. It’s actually a good thing, really. Nothing like a good spurt of ooze to make the magic happen.

plans, plans, and more plans

The food habit changes are going well. Last night I made some sugar free cheesecake flavored pudding and added fresh strawberries to it. Not quite as good as real cheesecake but also not too damn bad. It’s all about balance, right?

In an effort to be transparent, and to keep myself accountable, I am going to report my actual weight. I started this at 263.5lbs. By May 11 I need to be down to 255.5lbs. I can totally do this.

Today is my firstĀ  day without the ankle brace. Lancelot and I realized yesterday that it was close enough. It’s incredibly liberating to not have to wear it. I have on proper sandals and they’re staying on my feet properly. And there’s a pair of purple Birkenstock sandals being delivered today that I should be able to wear tomorrow. This makes my little black heart insanely happy.

There’s lots in the works for this weekend, which also makes me happy. Tomorrow night is date night with Lancelot. Saturday we’ll have to do a bit of grocery shopping, I’m going to dye eggs with my nieces, then I’m making a new pasta dish for dinner and we’ll watch Avengers Infinity War, and on Sunday I’m going to have brunch with my sister’s family. I’m hoping to have time to maybe knit a little.

Tonight I’m going to try to make some jewelry with the new bits I got at the bead expo. I’m wearing the shawl pin I got today and it’s perfect.

The trinity knot at the top is gorgeous. It’s going to look amazing with the shawl I started in Ireland, assuming I ever get that finished.

when good is great

So true. My life has not been full of happy lately, and it should have been. I have a tendency to ignore the big ass signs that are all over my world, right until the point where one of them bashes me in the forehead.

Quoth the purple-haired girl, Nevermore…

I’ve started all of the new medication from the dermatologist. So far so good. I’m hoping it helps because quite frankly, I’m beyond over this shit. I am also beyond over wearing this fucking ankle brace. It’s hot, scratchy, and downright uncomfortable. My three weeks is nearly up, praise ceiling cat.

So far the food changes (we will NOT be calling it a diet!) are going smoothly. The one med can’t be taken with food or milk so that’s putting a wee cramp in my style, but it’s workable. For the most part I really am trying to cut out the drinks with empty calories and I’m watching my portions.

Lancelot had a great suggestion today when we were talking. I had asked him if there was anything special he wanted me to cook this weekend and he said it might be a good opportunity to try a new healthy recipe. Such a good idea. I’d gotten a Mediterranean diet cookbook a few months ago but haven’t really looked at it. That’s on the list for tonight now.

oh the things i want to do!

That was me this morning, in the car, waiting for Lancelot to get done with work. Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” was playing on the stereo. That is just so very much me.

So many ideas right now, things I want to do. I was contemplating a possible new project for my bedroom that would let me display my necklaces better. I’ve also been thinking about making jewelry from some of the pieces I picked up over the weekend. And knit projects with the yarn I got in Ireland.

Notice anything missing? I just really don’t feel like doing any writing. And that’s not good. I’ve got one packet left to finish. I need to buckle down.

In other news, I saw the dermatologist yesterday. I’m starting a new topical ointment and three new pills. I’m not thrilled, but she seems optimistic. Oh, and I need to put some serious effort into losing weight. I told her that I could lose 8lbs by the time I see her in four weeks.

I’ve got to do this. I’ve been suffering with this nonsense for too long. And I know I’ll feel better if there’s a little less of me. I know what I look like doesn’t really matter to Lancelot, but I also know that he wants me healthy.

Step one – no more sugared beverages. Anything sweet must be zero calorie. Fruit juice must be 100% juice and not have any added sugar. Just doing this should help. But I’m also going for more raw fruits and veggies, portion control, and less junk. I can do this.

Once my ankle heals a little more I can get back on the treadmill and that should really help. Right now just isn’t the time for that. But I’ll get there. I have to.

the best laid plans of mice and me

It’s really not cool to turn in your very FIRST grad school assignment late. It’s not. But my laptop at home completely barfed on me last night and so I didn’t get everything turned in until this morning. My mentor didn’t seem pleased but he also didn’t seem pissed.

In all I would have to say that the last few days have been a little rough. The super cold weather is never good and it just kind of feels like I’ve been struggling. I’m hoping that I’ve gotten past that now and that life will improve.

That was yesterday’s knit thing. It’s a more traditional shawl, my own pattern, using a lovely wool yarn I picked up while on vacation in 2016. I based the pattern on my very favorite washcloth which looks like a flower. No clue at this point what the yarn was but it’s soft and incredibly warm. The design means it drapes around the shoulders and sits in place nicely all by itself.

Today I’m sporting my favorite purple shawl with the big flower pin. And new pink bangs. I rock this shit.

Now on to the goals…

In looking over my list there are several that will be taking place each month. Those are:

  1. Lose 5lbs each month
  2. Write more than 30 new pages for my memoir each month
  3. Craft projects

Just based on the number of projects on my craft list I’ll need to finish at least one per month. This month I’m going to concentrate on finishing one of the shawls I have started, just not sure which one.

I have already been working on adding to my memoir and even though the month technically just started today I’m already up 14 pages, which is almost half of the minimum requirement.

The weight loss thing will be the kicker. I’m trying to modify my eating habits to start with, mainly by adding a healthy smoothie back in to my morning routine. I typically use a single serving carton of low-carb vanilla yogurt, frozen fruit (that I froze myself so I know it’s just fruit), and either 100% fruit juice (no sugar added) or milk. Yesterday I picked up some of the V8 Fusion juice that’s both fruit and veggie juice but just tastes like fruit for even more health benefit.

So I still need to make a decision about the shawl and I need to officially start the health kick thing. I’m thinking Monday.

This weekend I have plans to relax and get stuff done with Lancelot. It’s been amazing giving him rides home from work this week, but I definitely need time for good hugs that aren’t rushed.