before you throw out the bath water consider the continuing usefulness of that baby

I’ve been thinking a lot here recently about changes. Why am I wanting to make changes? What changes do I really want to make? Why now?

Part of what I realized is that some of the changes I want to make now are ones that I’ve tried to make before, but wasn’t successful. Why? Is that important to know?

HELL YES!

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time. I’m done being insane.

me! chubby me!

This is my official “before” picture. Yes, I want to be healthier. I want to be able to ditch some of the meds I take because I want my body to be in better physical condition. But let’s face it, I’m doing this in part because I want to look better.

So why do I think things might be different this time? Because of Lancelot. He supports this decision to make a change, he’s doing parts of this with me, and when I get frustrated he asks what he can do to help.

That right there is love.

I realized this morning that I’m starting to feel overwhelmed. Let’s be honest, this is a whole lot of change and it’s happening kinda quickly. Plus there’s that whole changing of the guard thing going on in D.C., I’m still fighting some kind of sinus crud, the skin issues continue to be an issue, and I am seriously thinking about chocolate right now. That’s an awful lot.

I’m not sure if my need for routines is something tied to my mental illness or some personality trait or what, but I live and die by routines and that is the flat out truth. Change brings about the need for new routines, which is wonderful. But just like it takes some time for new habits to form, it takes some time to work out new routines. And right now I’m trying to do both.

Part of what I need to do, as I see it anyway, is to start by prioritizing. I’m learning about (relearning a lot actually) a ton of things that will all help on my journey to “healthy.” But if I try to take on too many of these little changes at once they’re going to overwhelm me.

You can drown in a thimble-full of water just as easily as in a swimming pool.

I have started to make some changes that are sticking. I’m wearing my Fitbit every day and aiming to get at least my minimum step goal set by Noom. I’m trying to get on the treadmill for 30 minutes every day, but some days that just won’t happen. So I will at least hit that minimum. I’ve decided I really want to get up to busting 10k every day. But not today.

Activity is starting to change; good. I just need to figure out what the routines are that go with my activity to make it easier to maintain those good habits. Now onto food.

Part of what I do every day is log my meals and snacks, and my drinks if they have calories. Y’all know how I feel about my iced coffee and I was Not Willing to give that up, and I haven’t. Now when I make it I measure everything and my milk is unsweetened coconut milk. It’s actually quite tasty.

I will honestly tell you that I’m not feeling deprived with this new way of eating, though it too is a little frustrating. It isn’t second nature to me and so I keep feeling like my “meals” are really just these odd collections of ingredients that never quite made it into a dinner. Does that even make sense?

For example, I have found myself eating pickles, roast beef lunch meat, a hard boiled egg, and an apple – as a meal. It’s fine, those are all foods I enjoy, but… Yeah, it’s weird. I’m getting there though. Breakfast has been the easiest because I typically have my coffee, a fruit smoothie, and overnight oats. That “feels” like breakfast and the stuff goes together. One meal down at least.

At any rate, there ya go. I’m going to work on activity and just getting the hang of this food stuff first. There’s lots of other stops to make on this journey but those two seem like they belong together, and like they’re going to form the foundation of my success.

week one check in

I’m going to try to post every Friday with an update of how the week has gone, primarily as a way to keep myself accountable on progress with my goals.

Current weight: 261.5lbs (down 5lbs since 1/2/21)

Steps walked: 14, 197 (over 5 days)

Right now that’s what I’ve got. I am eating better and starting to feel better. And I guess I am doing some with the vegetarian thing; I’ve had a few salads this week and last night my dinner was an acorn squash. Tomorrow night is date night and I’ve already put in our order at our favorite Indian restaurant and I’m getting a vegetarian dish.

I haven’t had a ton of time for knitting, but I pick up my needles as often as I can. Tomorrow morning Lancelot and I are going for massages so I’ll be taking a project with me then.

There hasn’t been a ton of other excitement around here. I have decided to take a selfie every day since I’m growing my hair out, just seems like a fun thing to do.

I knit the shawl ages ago, the dragonfly cuff thing is from JUL Designs

sharing the love, or maybe these are sand fleas, who knows

One of my all time favorite ways to “curse” someone is to say

may your crotch be infested by the fleas of a thousand camels and your arms be too short to scratch

but this year that just doesn’t seem like enough, ya know?

Lancelot did get to have Christmas Eve off, but then went in to work on Christmas Day (because of overtime) and then Saturday was his day off, but he had slept a good portion of the day and was awake most of last night, and so then today was like a regular Sunday. And if you’re kind of exhausted trying to keep up with that just imagine how I feel.

At any rate, we were able to spend a little time together and it wasn’t too bad. Any time I get to spend with my guy isn’t bad. But ya know what is bad? The new Wonder Woman movie. Seriously, not worth it.

So I’ve been doing some cooking, I’ve cleaned out some cupboards, straightened the pantry, made a run to Target (it’s going to snow this week and I didn’t plan for that, or get enough milk when we went last weekend), blocked two shawls and a scarf and wove in the ends on those, setup another shawl to block, and have done what feels like a metric ton of laundry.

I have also spent a LOT of time being a puppy’s pillow

L and I have been really quite careful about our plague protocols. I wear a mask any time I’m going to come in contact with anyone who is not L, including my mother. I firmly believe that wearing a mask is good for me and it’s good for anyone I’m around. It’s a respect thing if absolutely nothing else. I have been cleared by the doc to get the COVID vaccine as soon as they’re available to the general public and I have every intention of getting it, but that won’t happen for awhile and the mask and keeping my hands washed should stack the deck in my favor for living long enough to get that precious vaccine.

My grandmother is in her late 80s and lives in a nursing home because she’s got issues with dementia.

She was scheduled to get her vaccine next week.

She tested positive. On Christmas Eve.

So please, don’t do it for me, but do it for your grandma. Or someone’s grandma. Anyone’s grandma.

Whoever you do it for, will you please just wear a fucking mask?

lonely

Pic taken yesterday morning, but the look on my face was the same this morning

I feel like my whining is pretty dumb, but I also feel like if I don’t get a little of it out I’m going to explode. Lancelot refers to this as releasing the pressure valve, and that’s exactly what I did this morning. Without going into all of the gory details I can tell you that I cried and yelled, cried some more, and now I mostly feel better.

I’m lonely.

Until L moved in to the house with me I had been living here with Mom, so there was pretty well always someone here to spend time with. And then she moved in with R and the plague happened and L moved in here and we were all told to be good to each other by staying away from each other and and and…

Now that we’re in the 10th fucking month of this bullshit I’m over it. I know that now it’s super crucial that we stick with the program and not gather and all of that but GODDAMNIT I MISS MY FRIENDS AND I WANT TO GO SEE THEM AND GIVE THEM HUGS AND THEN GO TO A RESTAURANT AND EAT FOOD THAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS COOKED AND I DON’T HAVE TO CLEAN UP.

I’m lonely and I’m grumpy about it.

It’s a little worse now because L worked overtime last week, he works overtime this week, and we don’t know yet about next week. For those of you playing along at home, next week is Christmas. We aren’t religious people, and we’ve been giving each other gifts as they arrive in the mail, but it would be nice to spend some time with my husband, especially considering he’s the only human being I am supposed to spend time with right now.

Did I mention that I spent time yelling and crying this morning? Because I’m lonely? Yeah.

I’m trying to focus on the good stuff. There’s a roof over my head, there’s clothes on my back, there’s food on the table, there are three ridiculous critters that snuggle me, and I have a husband who thinks the world of me. My mom and step-dad are great people and they love me. And I have some truly amazing friends that will text me pretty much whenever.

But I’m lonely.

rampage

I’m lazy.

There, I’ve said it.

It’s not that I don’t like to do things or be productive, rather I prefer to expend minimal effort for maximum reward. For example,

Exhibit A

I made crock pot chicken curry for dinner last night. It’s once of Lancelot’s favorite meals, mine too, and it’s not at all difficult. What it is, however, is time consuming to prep. So since I was chopping this stuff up anyway I decided I would chop enough for THREE dinners and just freeze the stuff for the other two. I also took the time to measure out the spices I need and put that in little plastic containers so all I need to do to cook these meals is add my protein and two cans of coconut milk. Voila!

So maybe it’s not “lazy” but it is definitely front-loading. Since I was messing with spices yesterday I mixed up two more little plastic containers of the spices I need to make chai coffee. And I did a single serving of overnight oats, just to test a theory. I was right – two packets of instant apple cinnamon oatmeal with eggnog is rather tasty.

I’ve been going through the house, mostly the kitchen, trying to use up stuff we have on hand before buying anything else. Mostly I’m talking about groceries, but I might end up talking about yarn. I’m on the fence about that. More likely I’ll try to use some of my other craft supplies.

But man oh man do I digress.

I’ve been trying to make a list of all the possible dinners I could make given what’s in the house. Part of this is wanting to make sure that we use the food we have on hand before it spoils. Part of it is wanting to minimize trips to the store. And part of it, quite frankly, is boredom.

We can’t all sleep all the time like Garth does

At any rate, I’ve been trying to keep moving forward. I had a few rough days last week but I feel like I’m bouncing back appropriately. The weekend ended up feeling like a really nice balance of work and play. And yesterday I cleaned up the closet in my office (previously looked like The Dumping Ground) and found a tiny silver Christmas tree with little lights on it. Very festive.

I’m still trying to make good progress on that one last gift and I am struggling. I’ve got two weeks left and I am bound and determined to finish it. So off I go!

kicking my own ass

I swear I’m not biting him Momma, honest I’m not…

Garth’s eye infection is back, which doesn’t surprise me but also doesn’t please me. It’s really not going to please him when we have to start the eye drops again tonight. But the vet was kind enough to just talk to Lancelot on the phone and get us a refill of the drops. Poor little guy hates to go for car rides.

But it’s kind of funny, he and Pippy are definitely pals. Lately they’ve been snuggling more, as seen above, and Garth will actually groom Pippy like he would his feline brother, Eric. It’s pretty damn cute.

This morning L and I went and had our monthly massages and that was beyond heavenly. As an added treat we stopped at the coffee shop to get smoothies, and a gift card for our massage therapist. One of the perks to having both of us see the same person is that we each get a solid hour of “personal” time without feeling the least bit guilty. I always take a knitting project with me and today I needed that time. I’ve got just ONE gift left to finish and it’s a doozy. Not hard, but involved. So having that time was good.

I have done some work today, and some house stuff. It’s actually a lot easier to get certain work tasks done when no one from work is wanting my attention. And laundry can pretty well always babysit itself.

That has become the Critter Room rather than a guest room. Pippy is demonstrating just how well she can do that “relax” thing.

Today marks four months since L and I got married. It’s hard to believe it’s already been that long, and at the same time it’s hard to remember a time when we weren’t together.

an update in photos

This was the unofficial start of our staycation. Lancelot got me that gorgeous necklace, handmade by a friend of ours, and a yarn bowl that reads “I knit because murder is wrong.”

We got to spend a total of almost five uninterrupted days together and it was heavenly. And that was good because now he’s going to be working overtime, and that is not so heavenly. But I’ll be working extra as well, so I suppose it all balances out.

The one museum here in town is having a Jim Henson exhibit right now so I got to “hug” Bert and Ernie. We went on Wednesday at 10am and damn near had the place to ourselves. The exhibit was amazing and damn near made me cry. I grew up with these guys.

We knew that we wanted needed to really make the most of our time off so we tried to have a good balance of doing things that were safe and staying home like slugs. It worked pretty well.

Our big gift to each other this year is art for the house. We have an amazing local art gallery so we went there and got this amazing painting as well as another, much smaller, piece. This is in our living room and makes me feel like I’m outside in a flower garden.
Pippy spent lots of time snuggled up with her daddy. And Thanos.
Eric was actually a little bit playful.
Garth spent a lot of time napping in the sun and recovering from the trauma of having eye drops twice a day for a week. (he’s doing so much better now)
This might be my favorite thing though, custom knitting needles that L got for me. The translation from Gaelic is “Erin’s knitting needle.” How fucking cool is that?

At any rate, I’m really glad we had the time off that we did. L is being told that he’ll be doing overtime the next two weeks and with the way my workload is starting to look I’ll be surprised if I don’t end up working over the holiday break. Fortunately I’m making good progress on the last knit holiday gift and will hopefully get it done in time. Of course I left the most complicated/involved project for last, like a moron…

bits and pieces

Y’all know that Lancelot works overnights, and he didn’t get the Thanksgiving holiday off (he did get holiday pay, which is nice I suppose) so we had our “official” dinner on Saturday. Yes, all of that food was JUST FOR ME! Ahem, I shared. But we had a pot roast, mashed potatoes, gravy from scratch, green bean casserole, my mother’s famous dressing, and my grandmother’s cranberry Jello salad. It was divine.

Part of what we were celebrating was that my little guy, Garth, has just a very minor eye infection that we’re treating with drops. He hates them, but then L isn’t excited about eye drops either. They must be making him feel better though because today while I was having a bite of lunch he climbed up on my chest and camped out long enough to start purring (a rare event with him) and for me to get a few pictures. Last night he got in bed with us and demanded snuggles from me at least three times that I remember.

This will be another short week for me, but an even better short week since this week L and I both have FIVE WHOLE DAYS off work together for a delightful little stay-cation. I’m very excited. I’m also excited that I’m essentially done with my holiday shopping and I only have one gift left to make. I’ve taken a short break today to do some actual work seeing as it’s been hard to get some of my projects done for work given all of the emails people seem to expect me to answer. The nerve.

thanksgiving 2020 – finding things to be thankful for in the middle of a bad relationship with that bitch Rona

Things I’m thankful for right now:

  • We both have jobs and we both have health insurance that’s worth having
  • We’re healthy, and my mom and step-dad are healthy
  • We’re lucky enough to have a very nice, comfortable home to live in
  • We have three ridiculous fur-babies in our lives
  • My job allows me to work from home right now which is providing a much needed relief from excess anxiety and helping to keep me safe from contracting COVID-19
  • I have some truly amazing friends that, even though I don’t get to see them in person, will text or do video calls and they’re helping to keep me sane
  • That Lancelot is so stinkin’ patient with my shenanigans
  • And while I don’t know that anyone is ever really prepared to live through such a prolonged and emotionally draining event like a pandemic, I feel as though mentally I’m the strongest I’ve ever been and in the best position possible to come out the other side of this a better human because of it

I know it’s hard right now, and stuff does kinda suck, but I would like to encourage all of you reading this, whenever you read it, to try to think of at least one thing you’re thankful for. If you can think of more, that’s awesome. I try to do this little exercise every day, usually on Facebook, and it helps. There’s something about intentionality and “priming” yourself to be in a more optimistic mindset that seems to help. (your mileage may vary, but come on, it’s worth a try, yes?)

If that doesn’t work you can always try boozy hot cocoa. This is the way.

out of my ever loving mind

You missed a spot Dad

Garth apparently thought Lancelot needed some sort of bathing this morning, which is entirely possible since he gets home from work around 7:30am and is frequently in need of a shower. But he’s never done this before. It was rather cute, and at least he didn’t bite.

It’s been quite the week and the week ain’t over. I’m almost afraid to see what fresh hell tomorrow has in store for me.

I have started the blood pressure medicine and so far haven’t noticed a difference, which I’m going to take as a good sign. I’m having one hell of a time getting comfortable temperature-wise right now but I’m chalking that up to it being freezing cold outside and dark. Things are supposed to warm back up over the weekend which is good. I’d like to get our outdoor holiday decorating done before there’s a foot of snow on the ground.

The holiday knitting is still moving forward. Today I got a package of yarn in the mail that I kind of remember ordering, but not exactly what projects this is for. (AHA! it just came to me!!!)

The good news is that I think the one skein is for R’s holiday gift. I think. And for some reason there’s another package of yarn being delivered tomorrow, and I really don’t know what’s in that. (seriously, I got nothing this time) There has to be a pile of printed patterns downstairs that will give me some clues…

Apparently these beautiful orchids are dual purpose. L knows damn well what a week I’m having and wanted to cheer me up. Today is also our three month wedding anniversary. And he got to deliver them to me himself (which is a bit of a trick). The florist delivered them while he was still awake so he answered the door and then pretended to be all surprised when he brought them up to me. Slick.

But yes, it’s been a week. Eric even decided to love on his mama last night.

Silly fluff-butt