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A Food Challenge

Mr. Lyndsy left yesterday. After 40 fun days in the US he’s back in the sandbox. And I’m here. Without him.

However, he made our separation interesting. He told me that while we’re apart, I should work on eating better. I’ve got the working out thing down, but the next part is to change my food habits. This means eating fresher foods, avoiding processed foods, things high in sugar, and not too many carbs (especially the simple ones).

I know he’s right about this. That doesn’t mean I want to do it. Because you know, M&Ms, cupcakes, soda.

However, to not focus on us being apart and how much I absolutely LOATHE it, I decided it would be fun to see his reaction after I’d been at the gym for a month without him seeing me every day. It’s hard to see changes when you’re around someone every day, but a month? That can be quite a long time when you’re putting in the work like every day.

Eating better just ups the chances that the changes will be that much more dramatic. Which makes it exciting. Of course, I am NOT a patient person so when I hop on the scale tomorrow I’m going to pissed that I haven’t lost 10 pounds after just one day of healthy eating.

Yes, I know that’s irrational. But you should know that about me. I still believe unicorns.

Anyway, here’s to healthy eating for like 32 days. I’m looking at it sort of one day at a time. Because right now I’m hungry and all I can think about is candy.

FEED ME THE CANDIES.

I mean, I’m thinking about pineapple. Yeah, pineapple.

*I picked this picture because it made no sense. A pineapple just sunbathing on someone’s lawn??*

 

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It’s not really now or never

I feel a lot like it’s NOW or NEVER. Having read a bunch about ADHD in the past few days, this seems like it could be related to that. According to the books, people with ADHD have issues with time – basically only living in the present, with trouble making future plans.

I feel like a failure or like I’ve messed up my life so often because things aren’t happening for me RIGHT NOW. The reality is that I’m only 35 (soon to be 36), and that I still have plenty of time. There are people who didn’t start their amazing careers until 50 or later (I think Morgan Freeman didn’t get his first big movie role until then).

If I were to sit down, come up with some goals, and make a plan to achieve them, listing short-term goals out over a period of months up to a year, I might actually be able to accomplish something. The catch for me here is that I’ve always believed that if you can’t just DO something, without having to plot it out, you weren’t meant to do it.

In the real world that makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. I can’t think of any greats who didn’t have to WORK at it. PRACTICE it. EDIT it.

I need to work on retraining my brain with these thoughts. Starting to study and understand ADHD is a path to that. I’ve been researching ADHD hacks too to make my life easier. Between understanding it and implementing the coping skills I am really hoping to start do amazing things with my life. I feel that the potential’s in there. It’s a question of how to get it out in a way that I’ll actually stay with it and finish it (or keep it going forever, if that’s the thing).

Now at least I feel like I’m moving in the right direction. I just need to continually remind myself that great things take time.

How to make it work

I realize that a lot of adults don’t have any idea what they want to do with their lives. We can never know when our THING is going to spring up and grab us. I shared a post on Facebook the other day that shows just how many successful people didn’t find that success until later in their lives.

While I think that’s awesome and I’m happy to know I still have time, it doesn’t alleviate the anxiety I feel about not having a THING. I want whatever I do that makes me money to be fulfilling and meaningful.

When I was a freshman or sophomore in college I considered the convent. Yes, you read that correctly, I wanted to be a nun. I’m not particularly religious (or even Christian for that matter), but the idea of living in service to other people to help make their lives better was HUGELY appealing to me.

And you know what? It still is.

All I want to do with my life is help people find their amazing.

Then reality smacks me in the face (again).

How the fuck is that a job? What does that look like in terms of making money? How do I make that a thing?

I still don’t really have any answers. I’ve considered so many different things. They include: Life coaching, personal training, direct sales of various products, ministry, and probably some other things I can’t remember right now.

But this is really what I want for my life. In many ways, my life has never been and won’t really be about me. I was meant for a life of service. I know that. I accept that. More than anything, I LOVE that.

As I’ve been writing this something did occur to me. My life has been more than a little chaotic with all my health issues. Between the physical and mental health, things have not been so great. I sincerely doubt I would have been much good to anyone during that time, since I wasn’t really any good for myself.

Perhaps this is a period for me to find my footing. A time for me to plant myself and get grounded so that I can help others do the same. Cue The Byrds

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

If you have any ideas about how I can manifest my purpose in my life, I would really love to hear them. Sometimes I get mired in my own shit and can’t see things as clearly as I would like.

As always, thanks for reading <3

A New Way of Life

I knew that I would enjoy working out to prep for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February. I have always enjoyed working out since I get a sense of accomplishment pretty much every time I do it.

I had NO idea that this was going to become a THING for me. I’ve hit the point where when I’m frustrated or pissed off, I want go to the gym and hit the weights or even *gasp* run/walk. That’s completely new. Working out was a means to an end – be ready to do 13.1 miles and not get picked up by the bus of shame.

Now though it’s just part of my almost daily life. I don’t know if it’s because I’m working out 6 days/week, or if it’s because I’ve been going with Mr. Lyndsy, but it’s something that I can see continuing forever. There may be some bumps in the road depending on how things go medically in the near future, but I’ll cross that bridge should I come to it.

The catch to this is that I haven’t really been eating better. We went on a road trip and I definitely over consumed sugar and crap. I justified it as needing a boost in energy, but that doesn’t really fly. Now that we’ve landed back at the house, it’s time to get this part right too. I don’t feel like I see a tremendous difference in my body and I’m sure that’s due to the fact that I haven’t been eating well.

I’m an impatient person and I know that Rome wasn’t built in a day. I didn’t put the weight on overnight (though it feels like it) and I won’t lose it overnight either. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I just want it all to fall off.

It takes 21 days to form new habits (I think I read that somewhere) so I need to find a way to make eating better a habit. I’m just so lazy…

Trump should serve as a warning to all of us

I haven’t been even a little coy about my contempt for Donald Trump. He’s a tiny-handed, narcissistic, man-child still seeking his daddy’s approval and ruining our country in the process. But, he can do something positive for us. He can show us all how living a life filled with expectation leads to unhappiness.

It’s my belief that the happiest people are the people who have learned to live with no expectations. They don’t expect life to be easy, they just expect it to be what it is. Life isn’t fair. It’s not easy. It’s not filled with happiness all the time.

However, Trump and people like him expect that life will just unfold before him perfectly. I don’t know if it’s how he was raised (but I suspect so), but he acts like he expects everyone to just do what he wants them to. Like he’s what the world revolves around. He expects that his worldview should be or is the dominant worldview. He expects that money should get him whatever he wants. I mean, maybe it got him his wife, but I don’t think that’s working out for him as well as he expected it to.

And that’s the problem. Expectations rarely work out the way we think they will. We see things from our limited perspective, discounting the people around us, who all have their own motivations and expectations. We also can’t predict the world of larger events – things like natural disasters, the criminal or nasty intentions of others.

Our expectations also imply that we know what’s best on the grander scale. When we get focused on a set of ideas, and it blocks us from being able to see other possibilities. These possibilities could bring us rewards we never dreamed of because we couldn’t comprehend them, but we’ll never see them because expectations clouds our vision. It’s truly sad for us.

Because Trump has expectations, he acts out of fear that the expectations will not be fulfilled. Acting out of fear is rarely (I would say never) a good idea. It’s more short-sighted than allowing life to unfold, which means precluding a whole series of other potentialities. Fear is the greatest liar in our lives. Nothing cuts us down faster than fear.

And we can see what it’s doing to the United States. Fear leads to unrealistic nationalism, racism, homophobia, etc. It’s not the United States I love so much. It’s not a United States with possibility. It’s backward-looking and limiting. With our resources and population, we should be leading the world in science, technology, mathematics, economics, etc. But we’re not. Until our Dear Leader gets his head out of his ass, we’re going to continue to skid, out of control, backwards, to an era where equality was a dream.

Do I Really Need This?

Every now and then I go through phases where I see how much money I’ve spent or I look at the stuff around me and think, “Good God, I am a colossal fuck-up.”

I spent a few months in the homeland and spent a ton of money. So much is so readily available there that isn’t where I spend most of my year. Craft stores tend to be my downfall. I love walking through them and seeing all the possibilities. I even used some of it this summer! I made THINGS!

When it comes time to pay my taxes though, I see how much I spent instead of saving to pay my taxes. I panic a little when this happens. I *know* I should save the tax money. I generally don’t think about how much it’s really going to be. (This is one of the pitfalls of being self-employed.)

I chastise myself after the fact about how wasteful I am. I’m not sure why I do it since it’s not like I didn’t know what I was doing at the time and it certainly doesn’t change the situation. I just end up feeling bad about myself. It’s like bingeing on junk food – feels good at the time, pay for it later.

I’m about to venture into a new business that requires the largest up-front investment I’ve ever made. It’s exciting – really exciting. However, I am basically going to have to become a completely different person when it comes to money. I want to pay myself back for the initial investment as well as continue investing in the business. This will leave me almost no room for the junk food-style bingeing I like to do.

I don’t want to be a junk food binger anymore, whether it’s food or money. I learned recently that I don’t usually feel so good when I do either, so why continue to do it? You know you’ve hit a new point in your life when you not only feel the after-effects, but you feel it WHILE you’re doing it.

My goal now is to look at everything I buy and think – Do I really need this? Need is obviously a relative term. Compared to people all over the world, my answer for most things would be a resounding “no.” No, you don’t *need* a smartphone to survive. That’s not a realistic way for me to look at things.

I had a discussion with a friend the other day about some clothes we were looking at buying. She clarified some as “must-have” versus “cute, but would be okay not having.” Pretty much all purchases fall into those two categories, but I add a third one “why am I looking at this?” I can’t tell you how many things I’ve gone home with and I later look back and think, “Was I under the influence when I bought that?” Sadly, that’s almost never the case. Just monumental lapses in judgment.

We all have things that lift our spirits. We can’t always explain why they do, but that doesn’t matter. If it’s something that will bring joy to my life *and* I will use it, I’m okay with that purchase. I saw a Star Wars Furbacca at Target the other day. It took a surprising amount of willpower to resist buying it. As a teenager I owned a Furby because I *had* to have one. The poor thing mostly sat on a shelf, staring at me from its horribly large eyes. I never talked to it or got it to speak anything other than Furbish.

Despite knowing that I might never actually play with it, I desperately wanted this Chewbacca to come home with me. Had it been cheaper (I thought it was $70, apparently it’s *only* $50), I may have bought it anyway. I’m a big fan of the loyal Chewbacca. But do I really need him as a Furby? No. Am I still tempted? Yes.

Mr. Lyndsy and I have a terrible habit of wasting food. We buy fruits, veggies, and meat, and then get too lazy to cook them. They turn into science experiments in the fridge and we go out to eat. Eventually one of us gets disgusted by what’s happening in our science lab of a refrigerator and we clean it out. We vow to never let it get that bad again. Until the next time, anyway.

Once I modified my diet, it happened a bit less. Going out to eat became an unpleasant experience as my stomach reacted violently to what I ate. Since I was spending more time in the fridge to find foods that wouldn’t upset me, less stayed in there longer.

We both know that eating the fruits and veggies we have at home is better than going out to eat. I like knowing exactly what I’m eating. I don’t have the luxury of eating whatever I fancy. I am beyond tired of feeling sick all the time. I finally hit THAT point. The one where I’m actually willing to do the right things.

Before I buy anything, I will be asking myself, “Do I really need that? How does this fit into my larger plan?” If the answer is that I don’t need it or it derails my larger plan – whether it’s being healthy emotionally, physically, or financially, I won’t buy it.

Sounds simple, but I know what a struggle this will be for me. I decided that my goal for this year was to be healthy. I meant it physically, but now I can see that I was really missing the mark. To achieve health in any of the big areas, I need to work at it in all three.

Yikes. Wish me luck, and also tell me – what are your best strategies for health, whether it’s emotionally, physical, or financial?

Wow, I have not been here for a while. I haven’t figured out what that says about what’s going on in my life right now. Either I’m busy and haven’t had time (seems not quite right) or I’m avoiding something (also doesn’t seem quite right).

I have been super busy lately. Being in a place where you’re surrounded by people you know and can access things like fun shopping and the gym easily means less time staring at walls. I’ve been hitting the gym 4-5 times per week which has been so good for my body. I feel strength I haven’t had in a long time. I’ve developed muscles in places I didn’t know you could have them. Shoulders have muscles? What?

Probably the best part about it has been the discipline I’ve exercised. I’ve talked before about how I struggled with discipline. I just cannot get myself to develop good habits. I do fine for a while and then the wheels fall off. My gym activities have been helped by the fact that I have a gym buddy. She’s using my guest pass to go to the gym, so I feel like I should show up so she can go. She comes because she knows I’ll be there so she can go. It’s working out well enough now that I think I’ll be able to continue it on my own.

 I need to work on developing better habits in the rest of my life. It’s almost 2:15am as I write this and I’m still awake because I totally failed at taking most of my meds on time today. Got the pill I take when I get up and… that’s it. When I don’t take my meds on time, things are not good. I feel joint pain. I don’t sleep. I have to get better.

I also know that there are other areas of my life (read: flossing, sorry J), that I’m terrible about too. It’s largely things that would make me healthier. The bad stuff is so much easier to do because we can accomplish it by doing nothing.

When I started thinking about what I could do to make myself be a better about healthy habits, I was thinking from the point of a reward system. How could I reward myself for doing the shit I’m supposed to be doing anyway. But now that I’m writing this, I’m irritated at myself.

For the things that are good for me, I should do them because I know that doing them will make me healthier. Health should be its own reward at this point in my life. The other part of the problem is how I would reward myself. Cake and other goodies that I would normally consider aren’t things I should be eating now anyway. Also,  I generally buy what I want when I want it (perhaps this is something I should be working on as well…) so there’s no saving up good behavior credits for a special something.

So, I have to suck it up and face the fact that sometimes in life, I just need to do something because it’s the best thing for me to do. I can’t expect to get a reward every time I do something I *should* be doing for myself. Chris Rock has a skit about it – I won’t mention where it comes from here, but if you’ve heard it, you’ll know what I’m talking about. He’s talking about people want recognition for things they should just be doing like, “I ain’t never been to jail!” Response, ” What you want? A cookie? You ain’t supposed to go to jail…”

I am a very visual person so I am going to track and monitor how well I stay on track with the things I should be doing. The plan is to have a calendar that I hang up where I can easily see it as a reminder. For this month, I’m focusing on three things and will give myself one star/sticker per day for each of the following:

  1. Take all of my meds ON TIME
  2. Brush my teeth twice/day, floss, mouthwash
  3. Meditate for at least 5 minutes

I already screwed up today, but since I just came up with this plan, I’m going to give myself a “N/A” for September 1.

What kinds of things do you feel like you could be better about? What do you think keeps you from doing what you feel you should?

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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: 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.

2015 Recap

Another year, another recap. This time before the ball drops!

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?

I went to The Netherlands. It was a blast! I’d never been anywhere that public transit works so well and is so ingrained in the culture. The number of people on bikes and the fact that bikes had their own traffic signals was amazing.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

 

LOL, apparently I didn’t make any resolutions last year and that trend will stay strong for next year. I failed at the 2015 Reading Challenge. I just didn’t get the books in the categories, though I read over 100 books. I found I just wanted to read what I wanted to read, not according to some list.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No, but I found out someone in the family is pregnant. That’s super cool.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My godmother’s husband died from a heart attack.

5. What countries did you visit?

Brazil and The Netherlands!

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

More energy. Less pain. I have no idea how those will happen, but I would like to get it figured out. I plan on going to Ireland in July. I’d like to be able to walk around more easily. Or, fine, really medicated.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

 

June 11 – Foot surgery. The surgery itself was fine. The recovery not so much.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Like last year I don’t really think I had one. I think making it through the year without losing it completely may count as an achievement. So much did not go as anticipated.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Maintaining expectations about…anything. I was consistently disappointed and it was my own fault.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

This question is just sort of comical. I haven’t had a pain-free day since January 28, 2014. I am perpetually sick. I have pain every day. The better question for me may be when I didn’t suffer illness or injury.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I love my iPhone 6. But I think all the cross-stitch stuff is pretty cool. It’s keeping me occupied and giving me a creative outlet.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Mr. Lyndsy still ranks in here. Being married to me cannot be easy with how often I’m sick and in pain. I think some of my friends have also done a great job being supportive of me while I’m trying to figure out how to live like this.

Some of my friends have also gone through a lot of shit this year and are still standing. That definitely deserves to be celebrated.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Keeping this from last year, “Also, what the hell is wrong with people? All over the internet I saw people who just have no respect or regard for their fellow human beings.”

14. Where did most of your money go?

Fucking student loans. Again.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Going to Brazil and meeting Mr. Lyndsy’s family, finally having foot surgery, and going to The Netherlands.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Cookie Jar by Gym Class Heroes. That shit is hilarious.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • happier or sadder? Sadder
  • thinner or fatter?  I feel fatter. Fuck it.
  • richer or poorer? Richer in life, poorer in money.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Listening to my body. Also, I wish I’d saved money better.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

I wish I’d spent less money. I wish I’d gone to doctors more to get things sorted out. Not that that seems to work that well for me, but at least I’d feel like I tried.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?

Yes, with our crazy and ridiculous dog.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Criminal Minds, probably. Did binge watch How to Get Away with Murder. That shit is messed up.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Not anyone specific.

24. What was the best book you read?

Me Before You. Holy shit. I cried so much, but it was such a beautiful book. I’m excited to read the sequel.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Taylor Swift.

26. What did you want and get?

The stupid iPhone 6. I also got my mom and godmother on iPhones so now messaging and communicating with them is easier.

27. What did you want and not get?

A pink iPhone 6s. I don’t really need it, but it’s so pretty.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Inside Out, probably. I love Disney/Pixar movies. It made me cry. Damn them.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Dinner with friends at a Brazilian restaurant. So much meat. I’m the decrepit age of 34!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Having someone magically pay my loans off.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

Quoting 2014: Lazy and comfortable because that’s how I roll. Most days now I don’t get out of my pajamas. Working from home has its benefits.

32. What kept you sane?

Cross-stitch, internet communications with friends, a couple trips to the US for things I miss, and Mr. Lyndsy.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

STILL Benedict Cumberbatch. That man. Hot damn.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Still the killings of unarmed black men by cops, continued idiocy over vaccinations.

35. Who did you miss?

My friends. All of them.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

This cat-loving crazy woman. Sadly, she wasn’t here long. Now I have to find a NEW cat-loving crazy woman.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

Let go of expectation. Things will be what they’ll be. Just ride the tide.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“What do I have to do??”