Monday, May 23, 2016

The final baby items

Weirdly, strangely, ironically...the universe is telling me it's all okay, perhaps?

I was going to start this post and talk about my final two baby items that i've been holding onto. Two things that I couldn't give to expectant friends with everything from my nursery, two things I couldn't put on Craigslist or sell at a garage sale.

And when i went back in my archive to read what I had written then about these items, I noticed that it was four years ago. To the day.

Anything I bought in the last year has gone to my expectant friend, to a garage sale, to Craigslist.

The things I've been buying and holding onto all these years, including the Derek Jeter t-shirt I bought in 1998, will stay with me. Packed away and hopefully to be pulled out someday.

And so I was about to write about the very first quilt I made, with its bright colors, which had been tucked away in the bottom dresser drawer in my guest room. I would think about it, would pull it out every so often, and by putting it back, by not enjoying it or letting someone else enjoy it, I was giving it more power to make me sad than it deserved.

A couple weeks ago, I pulled it out, washed it and put it on the end of the bed. And when it was time to go to bed, covered my four-legged baby with it. (Yes, my dog loves to be covered with a blanket.) I alternate between this and his other, but it's in use. It has lost its power and I realized that last night when he rested his bead, ever-so-sweetly on it.

There was one other item, one that I had called out in that post from four years ago. A Derek Jeter t-shirt, size 18 months. I wondered if it would fit on a teddy bear. Or even on the dog. 

And then a new friend, someone I've known less than a year, who only has the Cliff Notes version of those five years of my life, suggested I make a pillow out of it.

It was the perfect suggestion.

And I think that's it. That's the end of everything for Baby Rookie. it's not that I'll never think of the baby that never came, it's just that i've replaced that notion with the baby who has now has four legs; who whines a little when he wants me to go in the basement to throw a ball for him; who gives me the look of "oh my god, you came back, i missed you so much" every day when I get home from work; and who wakes me up in the middle of the night because his blanket came off and I need to cover him back up.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Strengths and Struggles

I have a friend who lives in China. She just up and moved there in the late fall for her job. She'll be there two years. When she first arrived, it was hard. She didn't know the language. She didn't like the food. Sometimes the cabbies knew where a church was, sometimes they didn't and just drove her around and deposited her back at home.

But she's been there since late fall and she's adapting. She's getting stronger, even while she struggles. I can see the growth in her through her emails and our occasional Skype calls.

As we each navigate challenging times in our lives, we've decided to identify one strength and one struggle each week.

First up for me...

Strength: Accepting physical limitations when it comes to running and committing to three strength training sessions this week.

Struggle: I'm still eating my feelings -- and lately my feelings have been boredom (at home) and stress (at work). I'm connecting with a friend of a friend who is a weight management doctor and excited about looking at food in a different way. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

On the eve of 46

Sometimes the start of my year -- and the reflections that come with it -- is New Years Eve, sometimes (as it is this year), it's the eve of my birthday. Tomorrow I turn 46. Closer to 50 than 40.

Last year, at the start of the new year, I did a similar exercise. Looking back, it felt appropriate to do it again now.

Accomplishments of 2015

1. Professionally, I rebranded 99% of my institution with a new name, new logo, new messaging, new look...all items on my check list completed within one year of the logo reveal.
2. In direct response to the the above hard work, I gained 20 pounds. Is that an accomplishment? I consider it akin to pregnant weight and I was grateful for every ounce of work that each pound represented.
3. Losing the 20 pounds within four months of the logo reveal and regaining (for the most part) healthy eating and exercise habits.
4. I continued to work on my mental health and face, head-on, the issues that have shaped me as an adult, and as a result my relationship with men.
5. While some friends have drifted away, I'm proud that I've managed to maintain the friendships and relationships that mean the most to me, regardless of the distance.
6. Growing my circle of friends in PA has been a huge game changer. While still not the "people" I had in Ithaca, I definitely feel like I have "people" here, outside of work.

Disappointments of 2015

1. Regardless of how proud I am that I did lose the weight and am more or less within five pounds of my August 2013 weight, I feel very stuck at this weight. When I get lower, it's a struggle. I need to learn -- and accept -- that my body is where it's supposed to be. And that's ok.
2. Not running enough, and then when I started up again, having an ankle injury that prevented me from running for more than three months. I missed the Travis Manion Foundation run in September and the Rocky Run in November. I see my times on TimeHop from three years ago and realize that I still have a long way to go to get back to where I once was.
3. As it was for last year, it is again for this year -- not blogging enough. Once I write something down, it's out of my head and the thoughts are quieted. I need to remember this as I'm playing a story or scenario or problem over and over in my head.

Three things I focused a majority of my energy on

1. My job
2. My dog
3. My health

Three things I intended to do but didn't

1. Accept my "happy" weight
2. Run a 5K
3. Take a sewing class
4. Take a real vacation

My game changers in 2015 -- unexpected outcomes that made things different for you

1. I continue to learn the needs and demands (and the rewards) of owning a challenging breed of dog; we have figured out a very comfortable routine and continue to make great strides in which one of us is the alpha (it changes daily).
2. Embracing my singleness. It doesn't mean that I've given up on finding someone, but I'm finally OK with just me.
3. I love having the FWB in my life but, after 13 years, the power has shifted and I'm now more important to him than he is to me. It doesn't mean that I don't care about him, but if things were to end, I know I would be okay without him.
4. One of my goals for 2015 was to open my Etsy shop and sew more. I realized that I don't like sewing for money. I much prefer sewing for people in my life. I certainly still sell some things, but making things en masse just isn't my thing. I have a stash of crayon rolls and table runners and other assorted things for our twice-yearly "Shopping Days" in the neighborhood (mini craft show) -- and that's enough. Taking the stress away from creating a shop and keeping the inventory up has made the sewing machine a stress reliever.

How do these reflections inform my intentions for 2016?

I can do anything I set my mind do and failure is never an option. The outcome might not be exactly according to plan, but I've learned to accept the unexpected outcome and see that ultimately it might be better that way.

What are my three words for 2016?
  • BETTER -- This will always be a life lesson for me. I don't have to be perfect, I just have to be better. In the words of John Steinbeck (East of Eden): "And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good."
  • ACCEPTANCE -- I've learned, and continue to learn, that accepting the outcome I didn't expect, is ok. I didn't fail, I just rewrote the ending.
  • STRENGTH -- Mentally, physically, emotionally, socially

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


I have a confession to make. There are people in my family who are going to vote for Donald Trump. And I don't mean like the crazy uncle that I see once a decade, I mean siblings, cousins, maybe even nieces and nephews.

I've known this for months, but today it hit me in the pit of my stomach, you may have seen his recent comments about abortion and how to should be banned, and how women who get an abortion should receive some form of punishment. I was angry. Seeing red anger. I threw my phone in purse and left the office, went home and walked five miles to calm down (now granted, I had had a shitty afternoon with stupid people and stupid meetings and stupid deadlines not being met).

Some people have questioned my pro-life stance given I went through so much to try to have a baby. But I feel very strongly about a woman's right to choose -- to choose to end a pregnancy and to choose to start one using scientific methods. It's a slippery slope...take away abortion and suddenly there are sanctions and bans on assisted reproduction. 

I always feel angry when I hear politicians spouting on about banning abortion, but today's rant hit me especially hard. Because of the people in my family who actually support this man, I had a reminder of hurt feelings when I was going through my fertility process and many of these same people weren't supporting me, weren't inquiring as to how I was doing, all but ignored the elephant in the room that was infertility.

Truth: family can let you down.

I finally can take solace in the fact that there are people in my family who don't actually exercise their right to vote. So support this guy all you want with your Facebook posts and continue to stay home in November.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Accepting Referrals

how do you feel about love these days?

I saw this writing prompt on a website and it made me chuckle, because honestly I didn't know how I feel about love these days. So I thought about, I talked about it, I emailed friends about it, and here's where I am.

I'm still open to love. But I'm ok being single.

For now -- and I certainly may change my mind -- I'm done with dating sites. My time is too valuable to go on 30 first dates. And just as frustrating, my time is too valuable to invest in someone for six weeks of amazing to only get the fade away.

Do you know someone who might even moderately entertain me for dinner? Let me know. Do an email introduction or simply give him my number. I'm open to that, I'm game for that. It still may work out the same way, but this girl is only accepting referrals for dates.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

To my Former BFF

You know who you are, there's no need for the formal "Dear...."

And yet it seems so weird to see former right next forever, but that's where our journey has left us. Fortunately, unlike broken relationships of a romantic form, perhaps our relationship isn't broken, it has just morphed.

There are times when I want to reach out to you, to invite you to visit, to set up a phone date, and then I play the scenario beyond that connection and realize that we're past that. I'd have your back in a heartbeat in a life-altering scenario and I know you'd still have mine, but for day-to-day, I think our time has come and gone.

I accept responsibility for the part I played in what ultimately led to our not being BFFs anymore; and I hope you do as well. There was never malice on my part, never an intention to hurt you or disappoint you, but I do recognize that I wasn't as thoughtful or attentive to your needs during a family crisis as I could have been. Those are the times, when I recognize my failings, that I want to reach out. And then I remember the words you wrote on my Facebook page or in an email or said to me in person more times than I could count, something to the effect of ..."you're a much better friend to me than I am to you, what did I do to get you in my life?" -- and I wonder if you really meant that. Did you think of me as so perfect of a friend that I wasn't allowed a failing of any kind?

I look at your Facebook page from time to time, but I have you hidden from my feed. Not out of malice and it's not that I'm not interested in knowing what is happening in your life, but it was more for self-preservation when I realized that our relationship was fractured, even before I realized it was permanently altered. It was painful to see you still laughing and smiling and doing things with other people that I knew nothing of, had heard nothing of the planning. I was replaced. I was obsolete.

And while you were kind and reached out to me with a text within minutes of me posting that I had to put Casey down, I still have no idea when you had to put your dog down. I only know that she is gone. And part of me is afraid to tell you how sorry I am for your loss, how much I loved that crazy girl of yours. Afraid of my own failings for not being there for you, even though our relationship was forever altered at that point.

I am not bitter. I am not angry. I am sad, from time to time. But mostly, I am happy. I am happy that at one time you were my best friend. I am happy that I had you in my life to share some of the greatest and some of the most traumatic experiences in both of our lives. I am happy when I share stories of some of the crazy things we did, and still refer to you as "my best friend from..." Because life experiences have taught me that that you can have more than one best friend, and in my life, they are defined by the cities I've lived in.

I do miss you. And I am happy when I see you've liked a picture of mine on Facebook, or I find something that I know you would like and can share it with you via social media. Maybe someday our paths will cross beyond the internet and we can move past this and morph our relationship again, and maybe they won't. I'm thankful for the role you played in my life. I hope you are happy.


Full disclosure: I did see a similar blog post recently, which inspired this; though I did not read that post until after I had written this.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Hunger vs. satisfaction

When you don't experience hunger, you don't experience satisfaction.

I've pulled out my Ganeen Roth books and that sentence was pretty profound. And when I saw Terri yesterday and we talked about that statement and I expanded on it, she made me repeat it.

When you don't experience hunger, you don't experience satisfaction. When I'm binging (which I have been for the past few weeks), I'm not satisfied. Nothing I eat is satisfying. The mouth hunger cannot be quenched. And yet, I continue to eat, hoping that I will be satisfied.

And so I have to be more aware of what I'm eating, when I'm eating. I've been eating out of habit, overeating out of habit, and eating when I'm not hungry. But eating because the food is there, because it's noon, because because because. And not really thinking about the why.

My weight is up. I'm cranky. I'm not sure what, if anything, i'm compensating for.

And tomorrow, when I get up, I'm not going to eat because I'm awake. I'm going to eat when I'm hungry.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Making my heart match my head

The weekend is looming less than it did a week ago. I'm not sure what that means, but I'll take it.

I did three-day refresh in two-days -- by the end of day two, I knew that I had accomplished what I wanted to and just needed to get more calories and protein! in my belly. And I'm slowly beginning to emotionally accept this is my happy weight. I'm there logically, rationally...the heart is bringing up the rear.

One area where I've been struggling with is with one of my trainers at the gym. She was going through rough patch last year with her personal life (like dying parent rough) and so I let it go. When I hurt my ankle last fall and ended up in PT for almost three months, there were (and still are) some ways where I just can't bend my ankle. I just don't have the flexibility on that side and so I modify my lunges. I go on the end of my toes, so there is no bend in my ankle. In the fall, she gave me a "throw up her hands" attitude that the way I was doing was doing me know good.

So I adjusted my schedule (for multiple reasons) and I go at times where she's not my trainer. There are times, though, when I have a session to make up or I have the day off and want to go in the morning. Monday was one of those days and I got some attitude again from her about the way I was doing reverse lunges and the way I was doing some core exercises. When I said, "we made some modifications the other day because of my lower back," she didn't accept it. She had me do it a different way and I must have made a face though I didn't realize it, because suddenly she said, "just do it the way you want."

It's a small gym -- a private studio really. And I'm friends with the owner. I'm only there another few months. I think my year is up in early May and then I think I'm going to try Orange Theory -- it feels like the same sort of thing. Appointment gym. 60 minutes of strength and cardio. One to two days a week.

So what do I do? Passive aggressively avoid this one trainer and enjoy my time there? Say something to the owner? Have a conversation with the trainer? Honestly, I think I only have the energy for the first option, but maybe that'll change.  What I do know if that when I work out with this specific trainer, I don't get that feeling of empowerment that made me so happy that I ended up going back to the gym.

I'm going in tonight, with the trainer I have a better relationship with, so I'll see how i feel after that workout.

Friday, January 15, 2016

My WTF moment of the week

I was talking with a co-worker who was commenting how she was looking at pictures of herself from the the 90s and couldn't believe how much she's aged/gained weight and was looking to start being healthier.

"But we always looked better when we were younger, right?!" she said.

"Actually, this is the best I've ever looked. I weigh 70 pounds less than I did when I graduated from college," I said. "And it's still not good enough."

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Somewhere in New Jersey.....

I'm very aware of the calendar, without even looking. It's not in the back of my mind like other dates sometimes are, it's glaring. 

January 24.

Cooper's fourth birthday.

This week has been tough. Exhausting. Miserably cold weather. I've just wanted to sit in the house, under my blanket and eat bread. My workouts have been half-hearted, and even though I got to see one of my most favorite people on Monday, it started my week off my game.

Tomorrow I'm having lunch with a rep, and from that point on, I'm pulling myself together.

Bernie will be at daycare, so I'll get a good workout in before an evening meeting.

I'm starting three-day refresh on Friday.

Saturday and Monday, I'll hit the gym; Monday, I'll also get a massage.

The date will still be looking the following weekend, but I'm hoping that a weekend taking care of myself is what I need.