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30-Day Project: March failure/April potential

30-day Project

March was almost a complete failure. I tried to be conscious of what I was eating and how it made me feel, but I didn’t really write it down. Ever. If the point was to be more aware, then yay! If it was to actually write shit down, not so much. But, can’t dwell on failure forever!

April will complete one year of these 30-day Projects. I was thinking I’d go out with something big, but I’m more realistic than that. April is also CampNaNoWriMo, and I will be participating this year again and using it for the 30-day Project.

What I like about CampNaNo is that I get to set the amount I want to write, unlike NaNoWriMo, which is 50,000 words to “win.” I’ve set a nice low number of 10,000 words for this April. I *should* be able to do that. I won’t be giving myself daily goals, but rather that over the course of April, I hit that 10,000 words.

The decision to write to publish instead of just for fun ended up paralyzing me. I felt like if I couldn’t get out a perfect draft the first time around then I was a crappy writer and I shouldn’t even bother. I don’t know if it’s perfectionism or impostor syndrome or WHAT that makes me have those kinds of crazy thoughts. They’re unhealthy though.

I’m guessing that almost no one has a perfect draft the first time around, even people who plan when they write. For people who just sort of go with whatever comes into their heads (like I do), it would have to be nearly impossible. You have no idea where the story is going to go so you can’t possibly know what you’d be missing, what detail that seemed insignificant is now huge or what seemed so big that became so small.

I’m using April and CampNaNo to change how I think about my writing and just go back to having fun. I can usually get the core story out that way. I can go back and edit/change/add as I need to so that the story becomes a fully rounded entity.

Fingers crossed that this gets me away from my self-destructive ways!

30-Day Project: February Wrap-Up/March Project

30-day Project

Hahahah. Oh holy hell was February a complete failure. I think I stitched maybe 7 days total. Which is terrible. I had projects I wanted to finish if I was going to start selling them on Etsy. It’s not a the world’s biggest deal obviously, but crap. I did finally frame things I had finished. I feel like I should get some credit for that.

My goal for March is to journal every day to sort of track how my body feels from day to day – back pain, leg/foot pain, stomach issues, etc. – and see how my activity, eating, and sleeping affect how I feel. A friend does it and while hers is a lot more detailed than mine will be, it’s a good start.

It’s not exciting and don’t worry, I won’t post the day to day in here. That would be terrible of me to do.

While I’m here, I may as well give a quick update on my leg/foot. I still have a bit of pain and my gait is totally screwed up. I walk with my foot turned out and I don’t step all the way through because of pain that happens in my foot and achilles. At the January 6 appointment with the surgeon, he acknowledged that due to the Achilles lengthening, there could be some inflammation and scarring in there that are causing pain and making it difficult to walk. He referred me to a doctor to get an extracorporeal shockwave thing to help break it down and hopefully help me walk. Unfortunately, the first appointment that doctor had available was in mid-March. So, in a couple weeks I’ll see him and get this sorted out. Maybe.

I had an MRI yesterday to make sure there isn’t any nerve entrapment that’s still causing pain down my leg and into my foot. I doubt there is since they did an MRI right after the spinal fusion that caused the foot drop and there wasn’t any then.

I do attribute some of the foot/leg nerve pain issues to the work done by the physical therapist after the surgery. He can pretty much suck. A lot of the other nerve issues had resolved, but NOT in my lower leg. I do wonder very seriously if the foot drop would have resolved if I had never seen him.

At any rate, that’s where I’m at. I’ve had some days where I wasn’t having a ton of pain and it was amazing. I think it was over a week! Still had some pain, but nothing like it had been. Then yesterday I was reduced to a sobbing mess because my back, hips, leg/foot, AND arm hurt (thanks cellulitis!). Today is better. I chalk that up to getting a fuck ton of good sleep. Yay for melatonin!

Anyway, I hope you all are well or if you’re not, that you get there soon!

 

30-Day Project: January Wrap-Up and February Project

January was a ROCKING success!! This may be the best 30-day Project I’ve done yet! I know! SO MANY EXCLAMATION POINTS!! But that’s truly how I feel about this project. I had no idea how much I needed to work creativity into my life. I have felt better in January (minus stress about Mr. Lyndsy being gone for 10 days) than in many recent months. I got better, faster, and more creative than I expected I would. And maybe a new business!!

But, now that I have all these designs, I need to do something with them. Designing sort of put actual stitching in a backseat. I only got two patterns completed in January! So, for February, my goal is to stitch at least 30 minutes per day. Ideally it’ll be more, but sometimes it causes aches and pains so I’d rather not torture myself.

I’m looking forward to stitching things I’ve bought as well as my own designs. The only way I’ll know whether my designs are worth selling (or need to be modified to be sold) is to actually stitch them. Now I have over THIRTY-ONE to work with!

Anyway, I’m so excited about seeing what I made come to life. I’ll be posting as I finish!!

BONUS PROJECT: I have been growing out my hair for months and months now, cutting off as little as possible. My hair is down to my bra strap! It hasn’t been this long for at least 6 years (I think). However, I never do anything with it. I always grab an elastic band and pull it into a ponytail. It’s not that it looks bad, but if I’m just going to do that, why bother having long hair? Also, pulling it back all the time can cause hair thinning and breakage.

So, I’ve decided that for February, I’m going to use a hair elastic as little as possible. That doesn’t mean I won’t pull it back, but if I do, it needs to be something else. It makes for a different style and hopefully I’ll do less damage so my hair continues to GROW! I want to see how long it can get.

I’ll post pictures when I remember to show I’m rocking my do. It’ll be hard for me to just let it go when it’s curly. I am way too much of a control freak when it comes to having hair flying around. But I look at pictures of women with hair like mine who just let it go and it looks amazing. I’m going to try it.

HOORAY FOR JANUARY and YAY FOR FEBRUARY!

30-Day Project: January’s got me in stitches! (And December wrap-up)

30-day Project

December was (mostly) a success! I think I forgot to post a photo one day, but I think I made up for it by posting 2 on another day. I’ll take that level of success!

I’ve become obsessed with cross-stitching. I got really ragey for a while and Etsy and Subversive Cross Stitch were able to satisfy my cravings for equally ranty patterns. So now I have tons to do. I also bought a few patterns that don’t use the word “fuck.” For when I’m feeling mellow.

I also bought myself some cross stitch software so I can make my own patterns. Some that I’ve designed so far have really amused me. I’m thinking about putting them up for sale in my own Etsy store. So, to practice with designing and maybe build up a stock of patterns, my goal this month is to do one design per day.

This is an ambitious goal as some of these designs end up taking a lot of time. They can get pretty detailed if you want it to look right. I’ve had at least one that took an hour to do and I’m sure it still needs some revising. It’s been worth the effort though.

I’m going to post the finalized designs on the Facebook page. Look for one later today!

This is going to be a great exercise in discipline for me.

30-Day Project: September Review and October

30-day Project

I’m going to call September a success. I did indulge in a couple Pepsis for my birthday dinner and while we were in Amsterdam I had soda a few times and fast food twice (I *always* try McDonald’s in new countries), but while I was home, I did really well. The point is really to get things back under control and September was a good reset for me.

I’ve been struggling to come up with something for October. I would have liked to have done something where I take a mile-long walk every day or go to the gym but my body is just not up for it right now. I have pretty much been sick since September 7th with a ridiculously sore throat and fatigue. It sort of feels like I’m trying to swallow glass. I went to the doctor the other day and got antibiotics, but I don’t seem to be feeling any less like I’ve got tiny knives in my throat.

A friend pointed out that I have been pretty much going, going, going for a while and this is clearly my body’s way of saying, SLOW THE FUCK DOWN. But how do I turn that into a 30-Day Project. I thought and thought and then realized that there is *something* I can do that would help me rest and also help with one of my 2015 goals!

I am behind on my reading for the year by about 3 books. I haven’t touched my 2015 Reading List in a while either. So, to promote restful behavior on my part and make sure I get through the 100 books I want to read this year, October’s 30-Day Project is to read for an hour a day.

I’m sure you’re wondering how it is that I planned to read 100 books this year without reading every day, but I usually do it in binges. I’ll go for a couple weeks without reading and then will spend 2-3 days binge reading. That usually nets me two to three books per binge.

I think making myself stop for a rest each day will be good for me. Less going, more relaxing. Since the antibiotics don’t seem to be working, I must have some sort of virus. The only thing I can do now is rest it out. Blergh.

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30-Day Project: August Wrap-up/September Plan

30-day Project

I won’t waste words on August – it’s been almost a complete failure. Some of it was the traveling, some of it was illness. Regardless of the reason, I failed. I’m upset with myself because journeying is something I do need to do every day for my health and well-being. Even though I won’t be making it a goal for September, I do intend to be better going forward. I think I need to figure out a new mechanism for accountability. Onto September!

September, in my head, was going to be about cooking and baking and sharing pictures. The goal was to try to eat a little better by doing more cooking, but i also realized that there is no way I was going to cook every day of September.

So then it turned into No Soda September. Given that there are really no health benefits to drinking soda and really only downsides, it’s a great goal. I’d stopped drinking it much, but once I was cooped up in bed after surgery, I started up again.

Then today I had an episode with frozen yogurt. I am lactose-intolerant and I have known this for years. Once I figured it out, I switched to lactose-free milk and things were fine. Then yogurt became an enemy. Then eating cheese on its own. Today, fro yo betrayed me.

To avoid destroying any more of my underwear, I need to make some changes. Really, it’s about more than my underwear. I have not been respecting my body. It’s been sending me signals of “Please don’t do that to me anymore” and I’ve ignored them. My body deserves better than that. I deserve better than that. In some ways, it’s the same as getting out of an abusive relationship.

That thought hadn’t occurred to me until right now, but now that I’m thinking about it, that makes a lot of sense. If another person were doing to me what I’m doing to my body, I would kick them out of my life. So that’s what I have to do.

Because I get overwhelmed with thinking about doing much of anything for long stretches of time (except being married to Mr. Lyndsy), I’m thinking about this as a 30-Day Project. For the month of September I will not be drinking any soda, I will not be eating any fast food, I will minimize my dairy intake, I will consume more water, I will cut back on my juice consumption, I will eat at least one fruit and one vegetable per day (actual fruits and veg, not shit like NutriGrain bars with fruit in them).

Mr. Lyndsy has graciously agreed to join in for parts of this. His addiction isn’t soda, but coffee. It would be one thing if he drank it black but he says that tastes disgusting. Instead he drinks about an eighth of a cup of coffee, the remainder is milk and sugar. He doesn’t tend to eat fast food too often, but he’s going to join me in avoiding it too. I’m pretty sure I’m going to need the support so I am so thankful he’s doing it with me.

I have avoided doing this for a long time, but I’m not entirely sure why. When I was initially diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, I changed my diet quite a bit. But, because I was on meds and they really controlled my sugar I slid back into my old eating patterns. But now I’m getting pissed about the drug industry and promoting pills as the end all be all. Not to mention that I just don’t feel all that well. I’m tired most of the time. I still have brain fog. I have a feeling a big diet change may help. The problem is that I’m going to have to go beyond the 30 days to really feel the effects. I’m hoping that I’ll be feeling some of the benefits within the 30 days so continuing on isn’t an issue.

I didn’t mention candy in that list because I do believe that SOME here and there isn’t that big a deal. My body has been helping this along – lately the candy I used to love just hasn’t tasted as good to me. I guess I’m still attached to how much I used to enjoy it, since I’ve still been eating it. Though I do wonder why after I do it.

As the month goes on, if I figure out that something is bothering my stomach still, I’m going to eliminate it. I’m tired of feeling like crap.

This won’t be easy for me. But, I’ve gotten myself out of an abusive relationship before. I can do it again, though I’ve upped the difficulty level a bit.

Care Bear Stare

30-day Project

This month is a two-fer in terms of projects. I wanted to do something spiritual in addition to butchering haiku. What I learned today is that I’m basically doing a Care Bear Stare.

I’m sure some of you have no idea what  Care Bear Stare is. The Care Bears were a TV show in the 1980s about a  group of bears who live in the clouds and help people out. Each bear has a different positive symbol on its tummy (except Grumpy Bear who has a raincloud) that characterizes his/her personality.

My favorite was always Cheer Bear. For my 5th birthday my dad gave me a stuffed Cheer Bear and I *still* have him. He used to be pink, but years of travel have made him slightly more gray than pink.

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The Cheer Bears overcome whatever evil is plaguing them by doing a Care Bear Stare. They all line up and project their happy and positive symbols into a rainbow. BAM! Evil defeated.

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So today, while I was sitting in bed, legs sort of crossed (damn cast), I was projecting love, light, and positivity to my friend. She’s been going through some rough shit lately and I wanted to see if I could help in some way. I was basically visualizing a rainbow of those emotions going to her. It hit me that I was doing a Care Bear Stare. I also visualized weights being lifted off her shoulders and her walking on clouds now that so much has been taken off her.

Before actually doing this today, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get through five minutes of this. When I try to meditate, my mind wanders and try as I might, I cannot reel it back in when I’m counting breaths or trying to focus on a word.

But when I actually started doing it and visualizing my friend being lifted the time flew by. I was shocked when my timer went off.

Even more than that, *I* felt lighter and lifted. Prior to this exercise I was feeling a bit down and sort of dumpy. Not after I was done. I do love giving and I very much believe that in order to receive you must give, but I had no idea it would have the impact on me that it did.

I even drew a picture of my visualization that I will share with my friend. I’m not much of an artist, so it looks nothing like her, but I think it’ll get the point across.

The only thing that sort of sucks about this is that I have no idea if it’s really doing anything. I’ve read a lot about the power of thought and the power of prayer. I *hope* that all of it’s true and that I am making a difference.

Haiku for you: Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day

Haiku

The haiku will come, but first, some background. I had to do some research on haiku as the only thing I knew that it was three lines and a particular number of syllables (but I didn’t know how many).

There are three elements to haiku:

1. 17 syllables, in three lines, 5, 7, 5.

2. A cutting line – usually the second line. It causes a break so the third relates to the first two but stands on its own.

3. Reference to a season. Doesn’t have to specifically mention spring, summer, etc., but can be done by referencing things related to the season (i.e. heat, cold, leaves).

To give myself some topics, I found a calendar of July days.

The reality is that I am not a haiku master, but it’s a fun little exercise. Mine won’t follow all the rules (except the first – 17 syllables in 5, 7, 5), so don’t judge me for it. And without further ado, I present to you my first haiku:

So hot is the day
But which flavor shall I choose?
Strawberry and cheese