jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I talked to Katy tonight for the first time in months. I miss the shit out of that girl. She's in the army reserves right now, living in California and working at a yogurt shop. I'm proud of her. She seems to be doing really well, and living like an adult. The cards have been so heavily stacked against her for her whole life...

I hadn't been in touch, because all things Myers family just give me ALL the feelings, and it's hard, and I'd been avoiding it. But I love Katy (and all my in-laws) and I knew it was past time to let her know I was thinking of her. Sure enough, talking to her started the waterworks. Everything I've been through this year has been an incredible challenge. I don't think there was any path from where I was to where I want to be that doesn't include a huge pile of struggle, so it's not like I feel like if I'd just done one thing differently, life would be easier...if we're playing that game, I'd have to go back to like elementary school, and no thanks.

Sure, if I knew then (whenever, pick a year) what I know now, things would be really, really different. But I had to learn this shit somehow. And I'm still learning. I regret all the collateral damage, but I guess that's the risk you take when you interact with humans -- that they might be human, too, and might not have their ducks perfectly in a row. Shanon said something really amazingly helpful the other day. She said if your friends have bad habits, and they like you, you're probably enabling them. She said this while cracking the whip on me to clean my house. Anyway it's not that I shut people out or stop liking them when they point out my destructive tendencies...I just have a large pool of people who won't call me on my bullshit, and they're my (un)safety net. For most of my life, I've relied on a chorus of acquaintances who barely give a shit to justify my really unjustifiable feelings/behaviors/etc. It's really nice to have so many healthy adults in my life these days. It's contagious. The people I hang with make me want to me better. Thanks, y'all.

Random not-even-a-tangent: I found a Railroad Posters of America coloring book at the grocery store (of all places!) last week. It's all these vintage rail posters...so that's what I'm doing this evening. Crazy how long it takes to color one page. I don't remember it being this intense when I was a kid. But it's good meditation. I wouldn't say I'm happy, but I'm not unhappy...so that's acceptable. I'll try to do better tomorrow.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Aquarium photos )

These were totally just intended as my starter fish, but I am deeply attached to them already. They don't do much, but they seem to appreciate me taking care of them. My tank is still having some mechanical issues, though, so until I get that figured out and also get comfortable with other regular maintenance jobs, I'm going to hold off on seahorses. Hopefully like next month I'll add them? I dunno. Soon.

I'm so proud of myself for getting this thing going, finally. It's dirty, as you can see from the pictures...I haven't really mastered the cleaning tools, but I do have a dozen hermit crabs in there to act as a cleaning crew. I'll also get some snails to keep the sides clean. But I know I can't outsource it all. I'll have to do some cleaning and scrubbing myself.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I bought my fish tank 2.5 years ago, after at least another 2.5 years spent talking about how I was going to get one. Most parts of it sat in the trunk of my car for several months. I eventually brought them inside (probably because McKenzie needed the trunk space rather than because I had a plan for it all), and then all the pieces sat in the corner of my breakfast nook for another really long time.

The fish tank became a symbol of frustration, a metaphor for all the ways I've tried and then stopped trying in so many aspects of my life. Big ideas, often accompanied by big expenses, and then...stagnation or failure. This is definitely a pattern for me. Nearly every hobby I've ever had has been something I worked hard at and enjoyed thoroughly for the first month or so -- long enough to want to sink a lot of time and money into it -- and then it's something that sort of got cast aside. I like to believe that I still do all those things, but the truth is it's been a year since I played my clarinet, several years since I touched my knitting or crochet needles, and even though I've got enough supplies to accessorize the entire city of Portland, my jewelry-making output has dwindled to approximately one item every month.

This pattern, of course, frustrates my husband. Partly because it all costs money, partly because all the stuff I get takes up space and then remains here to clutter, because I am incapable of admitting that no, I'm not ever really going to be that kind of craftswoman or whatever thing it is I once envisioned myself being. I still believe somewhere inside me that one day, I will do all these things. I will at least come back to some of them, if not all, right? Right. Then the real reason this pattern frustrates my husband (and me) is that it makes it really hard to believe any changes in my life will stick. Sure I'm acting like a better wife, but is this just another fish tank situation, where I've put a lot of effort into it for now, but I'll eventually run out of momentum for it and being a good wife will be another one of those hobbies I discard? I got my real estate license, and I go to the meetings and do the work, but will it stick? I want it to. But I wanted all those other things to stick, too. And more than any of the other hobbies, I've been steadfast in my love for seahorses and desire to own them. And if I can't move forward on that...

So I'm moving forward. But it remains an appropriate metaphor. I got it assembled a few months ago. It only took me a few weeks from that point to put water in it. But then it leaked. I had to turn off the mechanisms pumping the water and drain the sump so as not to flood my house. Then I couldn't get the sump out to fix the leak. I was supposed to take it into the store, but the part that connects it is pushed up against my wall and I can't get to it with 55 gallons of very heavy water anchoring it in place. So I sat, paralyzed, for another couple of months, doing nothing, but stating my intentions to do something. Finally I went to the store and told them I can't get the sump out, what can I do? They told me how to fix it on my own, and it took me another couple of weeks before I attempted that repair. I finally got around to it, but I didn't trust myself to put everything back together after attempting to dismantle the guts of the tank some weeks prior.

Finally I found some confidence one day and just did it. I put the pieces back together and turned the filter back on. I quickly turned it off when it made loud grinding noises at me. I needed to put water back in the sump before I tried to filter, otherwise it's just gasping for something that isn't there. I took a sample of my water back to the store to see if it was ready for fish, even though it had been sitting without going through the filter for two months. Turns out the salinity was way too high, probably because so much water had evaporated. I was told to top it off with fresh water. It took me another week to get my shit together enough to go get said fresh water (I get it from the store, not just from the tap...tap water has too much shit going on), but I got it today. Getting it into the tank from the jugs I have is a challenge. I am going to need to learn how to transfer water more efficiently. The top of my tank should lift off to provide access, but it's at least a two-person job, and I'm just here by my onesie right now. So the solution I came up with was to pour the water from the 60-pound jugs into cups, one little tiny cup at a time, and pour the cup into the tank from the top. Anyway, it took me more than an hour and a lot of spilling on the floor, but I got the water level back to normal in the tank. The filter is running. I am a little concerned because nothing is coming out of the tank yet to go back into the sump, but I'm going to assume that's because the sump is full (I poured one jug directly into the sump, because it's underneath the tank and somewhat accessible, but not large enough for all the water I had to add back). As far as I can tell, everything is in working order -- there's no water spilling or leaking anywhere (knock on wood), so I'll let it do its thing for a few hours and see if it looks like the water is actually moving through the filter. I'm about 90% certain that everything is as it should be, but I don't have much confidence in myself, and if it goes awry, it could be a huge fucking problem that I don't know how to fix, so I can't call it good yet.

Assuming everything continues to appear to function, I will add fish next week. I think it will take a few days for the water to cycle through and for the salinity to get back to a level that the fish can handle, and for the temperature to level out since I just turned the light back on for the first time in a while and added so much new water, too. So the goal is the weekend or next week for my first fish. I may see if I can get someone from the store to actually come to my house and check on the setup for me, but that may not be possible since the store is in NE Portland and I live in a far SW suburb. But maybe?

Anyway, the point of all this is to say that even though I've really stepped up my effort to get the fish tank going FOR REAL, there's still so much more to it than just getting over my lack of confidence and paralysis. There are legit speedbumps, and then those speedbumps take away confidence, and even though I know what I need to do or should do or should get help doing, I just put it off because it's too overwhelming...but I am making progress. I am going to have some motherfucking fish in this motherfucker before the month is out. And hopefully they'll live a normal fishy lifespan under my care. And I'll learn as I go, as I do with all things.

So, yeah, a pretty appropriate metaphor for my marriage, my career, my life.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I mentioned before that I don't like the idea of resolutions -- you should try to better yourself whenever you can, not just because the calendar says it's time. That said, a lot of changes I'm trying to make sort of line up with the turning of the calendar, so, what the hell, my New Year's resolutions for 2015:

Drink less soda -- not sure if I am going to cut it out completely, but I need to cut way back for sure. I'm going back to my policy of not stocking it in my fridge or at my office. When I have a case of it around, I tend to chain-drink them. So I'm going back to what was a successful policy of purchasing no more than one soda at a time. If I need another, I have to go back to 7-11 or whatever. I was sticking to this really well for the first part of the year, and then I thought I'd reduced my intake enough that I had the addiction side of it under control and it was just being wasteful/financially unsound to buy them one at a time, so I started buying cases again, and...whoops. So anyway I'm weaning off. I'm letting myself drink what's left at whatever pace, but when it's gone, it's gone. I thought I had close to a whole case at my office, so I figured I'd get at least a few days to taper off. But then when I got here this morning, there was none. So I guess the weaning will be less gradual than I thought. Here's hoping my caffeine withdrawal headache doesn't send me into a murderous rampage before lunch.

Reduce screen time -- I have this terrible habit of going to bed with my laptop and then playing Netflix all night, which means I never get good rest and there are a million studies that say how bad screen time at bedtime is, so I know, I know, it's gotta stop. I'm sure the combination of my poor sleep and my soda binging has a lot to do with my constant fatigue.

Get seahorses -- The tank is THISCLOSE to ready. There was a leak that I had trouble fixing, so that was kind of a setback, but I was able to make the repair yesterday and I'm pretty sure everything is back to functional. The problem is that the water sat stagnant for a while, because I couldn't run the filter system until I fixed the leak in the sump, so the salinity is way too high right now. I have to top it off with fresh water and let it cycle a little more until it's back to a normal level. THEN I can put fish in. SOON!

Sell houses -- Anyone want to buy a house in Portland? The market is great for investors right now. Rental demand is very high, so it's a great place to be a landlord. Seriously. Call me.

Lose weight -- I'm such a cliche. But the combination of all my bad habits has really caught up to me in a bad way, and I'm not happy with my body right now. So this one is twofold: eat better/smarter and work out harder. I'm signed up for a 5K at the end of January, and I intend to do a 10K in February. I should probably go ahead and sign up so that I'm committed to it. But I need to do a lot more than just running. That's not enough to keep a girl in shape. I went to a yoga class yesterday, and I'm back to seeing Ertan weekly. I need to get back to regular Pump classes, and there's a new class I want to try called GRIT Strength, but I'm afraid it's going to kill me. But I'm gonna try.

Be a better wife and partner -- Something I've been working on all year. I'm making progress.

Keep my house and car clean(er) -- Keeping it cleaner won't be hard. Keeping it clean...eh. I'm really hopeful that I'll make enough money in real estate to hire a regular cleaning service...

So that's what I'm working on. Encourage me? Thanks!
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I know it's been a while. Life is crazy. Even moreso than usual. When I have the energy to talk about it all, I'll give a thorough update, but basically I'm busy all the time and stretched pretty thin right now. Things are hard and I'm emotionally taxed, but I'm hanging in there. I've asked my therapist for a psychiatrist referral -- I think it's time to talk about my meds and probably make some changes.

All that said, I'm getting a lot done and feeling good about my general progress in life. I'm struggling hard with depression and the hopelessness that comes along with it, but one good antidote for hopelessness is making tangible progress wherever I can. This weekend I really doubled down on making progress.

The tough thing about my depression, or maybe just my personality, is that facing down the beginning of a task makes me feel even worse than procrastinating. I look at the work ahead of me and think I have no idea how to do it, or even how to find out how to do it, and I just crumple. I end up putting it off more anyway because I can't do it, and then on top of procrastinating, I hate myself. It's a fun cycle!

My fish tank has been weighing on me for years now. I've owned it for 2 years, and I just haven't done anything to get it going. I've tried to try, but I don't know what I need. I've gone to pet stores and asked for help and they've directed me to youtube, but the thing about youtube is that no one has exactly the same tank that I have, and since I'm totally unfamiliar with it, I don't know which parts on my tank correspond to what else, or what the things I own even do -- so even online tutorials were overwhelming.

Finally I just asked for help. I asked my neighbor if he would come over and help, since he has a saltwater tank of his own. I asked Jen if she would project manage me in this, and keep me on task. I emailed Lorie and Shanon and asked them to come over this weekend and help with other things. And everyone stepped up for me. Neighbor Matt spent a couple hours here today, talked me through all my equipment, and helped me set it up. We cleaned the whole apparatus and got it all hooked up properly. It's ready for water now. Tomorrow I'll go to the shop and get water, a heater, and live rock. (They sell water pre-mixed for salt tanks, so it's less work at home.)

I have a 10am running date with a new acquaintance. It's good that I've scheduled this, so I'll definitely get my run in tomorrow. Here's my to-do list for tomorrow, to keep my momentum going:

Finish blog post for website, get my URL set up, and turn on search engine visibility
10am run
Go to the aquarium store and get a heater, water, and live rock. Talk to the owner about my next steps. WRITE DOWN WHAT HE SAYS.
Get the water into the tank and do whatever else I can do now, which is probably not much. I have to let water cycle for 3-4 weeks.
Lunch noms.
Continue working in the back yard.
Shower, nap?
Dave comes over for dinner and games. Should be a nice reward at the end of a busy day.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I need to be productive today. I have let myself sleep in and relax a little bit, but soon it will be time to get this shit moving. I'm working on my real estate tools, going through the slow and tedious process of adding everyone I know who might ever buy or sell a home in Oregon to my work database. I have ideas swirling around for my website, too, but I haven't decided on anything concrete yet. My friend Paul gave me the BEST IDEA EVER for one of the tasks I have to tackle, but I'm not going to write about it specifically because that will spoil the fun surprise that's coming.

Other things I need to do today: go to the gym, go to the fabric store and get materials for the next project in my sewing class, whatever real estate work I can do, and maybe be crafty. I have some incomplete jewelry projects I could work on, and may do some practice stuff with my sewing machine. Blazers fan fest is this evening, and i'm going to that with Shellie, so I guess I need to get all these things done before then. I am so freaking excited that it's basketball season again, finally. I love the Blazers.

Last night, Z and I went on a movie date for the first time in a long time. We didn't know anything about anything that's showing now, but we both liked what we read about The Skeleton Twins, so we decided to go see that. It was definitely a good movie. But. It was kind of absolutely the wrong thing for us to see together. Way too many parallels to the shit we've been going through, and it got really hard to sit in the theater together with that weight on us both. We did talk it through after the movie, though, and I'm really pleased that we were able to do that in a healthy and productive way. I was really afraid the effect of the movie would be that we'd both be bristly and uncomfortable with each other for days, but we talked and the bristliness went away within a few minutes instead. Yay progress! So my review of the movie is that it's good and often funny but you shouldn't see it if you're in the middle of relationship struggles, and you definitely shouldn't see it with the person with whom you are relationship struggling. 
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Last night I had a dream that I was cuddling with Nicolas Batum, the French small forward who starts for the Trailblazers. And Batum kept referring to our cuddling as "lovemaking." That was weird. I'm a big fan, but I've never been particularly attracted to him. Guess I was just really hot for cuddles last night. (I may have gone to bed under the influence...)

Anyway.

I'm feeling good about things. Z and I had a difficult counseling session last night, but even though it was hard, it wasn't contentious and whereas in the past we've often been distant from one another after such discussions, we ended the session last night with kindness and closeness, and then went out for froyo and fart jokes. Not that we need to make an occasion of fart jokes -- they're part of our daily interactions, for sure -- but the point is that even though we're stretching and testing our emotions, we're still in a generally positive, normal place in our dynamic. It feels healthy and reassuring -- so many things have been so scary to address, because our current happy dynamic seems so fragile, but I'm gaining confidence each day. I'm really feeling healthier, both individually and in my marriage, and I don't want to take that for granted at all. It's been work. I continue to work. And it feels like this work is paying divdends. So, you know, yay.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
Youguysyouguysyouguys! I finished my real estate coursework! I still have a few steps before I'm licensed -- there are end-of-course exams I have to pass, and I should study a bit before I try to take those, because some of that reading is not very fresh in my mind, but I did take one of them today and passed it (for the most recent subject material I covered). It only took about ten minutes to complete that exam, though, so I don't think that the rest of them will take up too much time. Then I need to schedule my final licensing exam, pass the mofo (you find out immediately), and proceed with my startup stuff like getting photos taken and launching a website and all that fun stuff. I'm so close! Finishing the coursework was huge for me, though. I've been stagnating for a long time, really close to the finish line but just not focused enough to fucking get it done. We talked a lot about that in therapy last night, discussed strategies to get the ball rolling again (and to stay on task), and whaddya know, I applied said strategies and was successful. Huzzah!

Therapy has been really good lately. I'm feeling a lot better about so many things, and both Z and I are much more relaxed in our coexistence than we have been in...ever. So that's good. Obviously there's a lot about it that's still really hard, but I feel like we're making the right kind of progress.

I've got an awesome long weekend ahead of me. We've got three different guests coming for various stays -- Jen Cote is coming up from NM tonight, and will be here through Tuesday. She was here about this time last year and I love her and we always have a blast together. Then tomorrow, Jen Chalfan is coming down from Seattle, probably bringing her daughter, and staying for the weekend. We're all signed up to run a 5K on Saturday, which happens to take place at a local amusement park, so that'll be a fun day. Then on Sunday, we have a new short-term renter moving in.

In preparation for all of this, we've been doing a lot of housework. That's something else I'm working on in therapy to try to be better at...not letting my laziness overcome me to the detriment of my living conditions. It's a struggle. But guests are good motivation.

I've also solidified most of my travel plans for the rest of the calendar year. I've all but given up on hitting the mileage requirement for Gold status again, but I'm well into Silver anyway. I was hoping to go someplace international, and I still might if the right fare pops up, but right now I'm just planning on sticking around here for the most part, and going to Providence for the duration of the NABC (after having Thanksgiving in Virginia with my folks). Because of my work schedule and the Thanksgiving holiday, I'm able to take two full weeks off and only having two days covered by my coworker, so even though I'm traveling for a long time, it's not a major burden on my office. That's nice. I still haven't worked out what I'll do for Christmas. I would say that going home over Thanksgiving is enough, really, but William and his family don't come down then -- only for Christmas. So if I want to see them, I need to go then. And of course I want to see them! So we'll see. All this stuff is time off work, money spent, etc. More likely to go to VA for a quick Xmas visit if I don't end up doing any more traveling the rest of the year, and it looks like that's how it'll go. I'd like to get down to Phoenix a time or two to visit with A and Katy, and my regular four-day weekends should make that a viable option. But I also want to dive into real estate up here, which means I probably should be around a lot.

Anyway, super excited to have some of my favorite people visiting for the weekend, and I look forward to hugs and talks and good workouts and girlfriend time.

<3
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
One more day between me and Falcon Ridge. And since I'm such an expert procrastinator, I have a buttload of stuff to do. So even though my flight is at 6am, I'll probably be up late tonight doing laundry and packing and shopping and all that. Oh well. I'll sleep on the plane and have a rollicking good time when I get there so it's all good.

I was going to wake up at 4:50 today and go for another early morning run, but I decided against that when I didn't get to bed until 11 last night. It was my MIL's birthday and I was down in Salem anyway to get my hair done, so I took her out to dinner and ended up staying down there until much later than I'd intended to. It was a nice time, though. No regrets. Just sleepiness.

I had intended to get the blonde streak in front widened a little bit, but the dye we used ended up bleeding into it and it only made sense to just purple it all up. I'm pleased with the outcome, though. This is definitely the brightest it's ever been.

purps

My hair is starting to get a little angry with me for all the treatments I've been giving it, though, so this may be my last hurrah with color for a while. We'll see. I have decided I'm growing it out for a while, but I may get bored or find that it's too damaged and need to cut it anyway. I kind of hate this medium length -- when it's really long or really short, it's SO EASY. I can just wash it and let it dry naturally and it curls all wildly but it looks good. When I let it do that at this length, it just looks like I've been in a fight or something. But as long as I straighten it, it looks good. That just takes so much tiiiiiime.

Speaking of time... It's crazy how things that used to seem FOREVER away are upon us now. I feel like I've been saying "my parents have been married for almost 50 years" for my entire adult life -- and now we're actually going on a trip to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Falcon Ridge always feels like it's infinitely far in the future, yet it manages to roll around each year. By the end of the week, it feels like it flew by. I'm leaving for these trips in the morning. There are other ways that time is dragging right now, though, and will likely continue to do so for a while. But even these stretches will one day be past. In a lot of ways, I feel like I am likely to look back on 2014 as the longest year of my life. I started the year training for a half marathon, which is enough to make anyone's life drag a bit, and then when I met that goal, the rest of my life was well into upheaval, and the fallout from that continues. I'm dealing with it reasonably well, but there are still so many questions. It's difficult to face the future with as much uncertainty as I have. McKenzie and I are talking a lot about career advancement for the both of us, and what that means for our marriage (it's good! exciting!), but at the same time, are we staying married? It feels like yes, but we are both all too aware that no is a possibility, too. We are making a lot of future plans for a future we don't know we'll share. I think and I hope that we will, but it's so strange that this caveat is at the front of all these ideas. But the point is, it feels like it's taking forever -- and I bet one day it will be a distant memory. I can't even begin to imagine what that future version of myself is doing.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
My wrist and foot are both still pretty bad. I'm certain that it's psychological rather than physiological, though. I'm sad, I'm worried -- and these things have manifested in physical pain. My wrist pain popped up last time my marriage was really in trouble, and went away finally when I fixed a lot of the things that were wrong there. Maybe patched is a better word than fixed. Right now we're both working pretty hard on rebuilding our relationship anew. We have all this history, and it's yucky, but it's not all bad -- it's good enough that we still want to be together...but it's really impossible to "start over." There's baggage. I've felt like a lot of times recently, McKenzie has called on the scoreboard as a trump card of sorts. Yeah, my past behavior is much worse than his. But if we're going to move forward together, I need to be treated as an equal. It's a difficult thing to navigate. We're doing pretty well, all things considered, and we both have hope for the happy resolution we both want, but the speedbumps along the way are frustrating and scary. We have more counseling this afternoon. I'm really glad we're doing that. It's not easy, but it's made my life so much better.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I did a new thing today that I never expected myself to be comfortable doing. Okay, I wasn't comfortable doing it. But I made the conscious decision and went for it and I survived with minimal emotional scarring.

I got naked with three friends and sat in a hot tub.

I'm not even comfortable being naked in a locker room or in front of cats, so this is kind of huge for me. I want to say it was liberating and somehow life changing, but not quite. The nice thing is that these friends are naked people. They're always naked in their own homes, and around each other, and it's no big deal to any of them. So I know it wasn't a big deal to them that I was naked. But it was a big deal to me. That is not something I do!

I'm tagging this under "progress," because it is something I want to be comfortable with. I know there's no good reason not to be. I am proud of my body and have no problem wearing super slutty and revealing clothes...but there's a whole new level of vulnerability when there are no clothes, and it's always been something that I've been uncomfortable with. And I'm uncomfortable with my level of discomfort. So I guess I'm getting over that now? I haven't felt weird about being naked on the massage table ever, but that's different because there is covering. It's not like I'm just out there, and it's not like I get a titty massage at my spa. It's not that kind of place, as far as I know...
jianantonic: (Default)
I'm still waking up with headaches every day, but the prescription meds I'm taking work pretty well at getting rid of them.  Still, I wish I could figure out why they're happening in the first place and fix that issue.  Which reminds me I should totally make an eye doc appointment.  I fly back to Portland on Monday, though, so I may not be able to do it while I'm here.  D'oh.  I shouldn't have put that off.

I had a really great therapy session yesterday.  Dr. P kept saying things like "that's huge," and "you should be really proud of yourself."  Which, honestly, is how I'm dealing with a lot of the things that aren't awesome.  I'm totally jealous that I'm not playing in Louisville this week, and still stressing about the AOL situation, but I'm able to temper the negative feelings with pride.  I'm really proud of myself for how well I'm handling everything, and that is soothing.  I told Dr. P that I think the meds are a huge part of it, because I'm just not really inclined to engage negative feelings like I used to be, and I think that's mostly due to a change in brain chemistry.  She encouraged me to give myself a lot of credit, though, even though I said it felt like the Prozac was doing most of the work for me.  Whatever the root reasons, I'm doing well and I am proud of myself.
 
I went to yoga last night and did a little running.  I felt good but also a little on the weak side.  My wrist is showing no signs of improvement, so I still have to work around the injury in all my workouts.  It's frustrating and I hope it heals somehow, someday.  I'm pissed that the hand specialist that looked at it six months ago didn't think anything was wrong with it.  It would be nice to have a day or two in my life where I just didn't have to deal with physical pain.  When I was younger, I used to revel in the attention I'd get from being injured, to the point where I'd bandage myself up when I was completely well, even.  I'm over that, though.  I would prefer healthy obscurity to injured doting.  So come on, wrist.  Heal thyself.
jianantonic: (Default)
I really enjoy situations where I get to "play Mom."  So far these situations have lasted no more than a few hours, so it's not like it's anything like real parenthood, a lifestyle I'm still quite certain is not for me.  But I do love being the responsible adult.  Indraneel was feeling shitty at school today, so he had the nurse call his folks to pick him up.  They couldn't make it very quickly, so they called me and asked me to get him.  The school is walking distance from their house, so it was no problem.  I got a real rush out of going into the office and saying "I'm here to pick up my nephew."  I mean I feel bad for the kid -- he's feeling like dookie -- but it was really cool for me to get to play that role.  As long as he's not puking.  

I also really love doing things like cutting Frankie's pancakes for her, or taking Lucy out for ice cream.  Just quick little adult-child adventures where I get to be the doting caregiver.  

These simple pleasures are new with my Prozac.  I've always liked my nieces but never really found joy in the guardian part of my role.  But lately I've been really enjoying kids in general.  I'd still rather be in adults-only environments for the most part, but kids just don't test my patience the way they did when I was depressed, and there really is something life-affirming about forming a bond with a child.  

All that said, I am quite satisfied with the current levels of munchkin time in my life.  I still don't want to be a mom, but I am enjoying the fulfillment I get out of substituting for a parent from time to time.
jianantonic: (Default)
I have a confession to make.  I haven't officially worked out in over a month.  I've done a few hikes and long walks and such, and I haven't been completely lazy, but it's been about six weeks since I put on a sports bra and worked up a sweat.  

This is the kind of thing that would've sent me into a shame spiral in the pre-Prozac world.  I used to obsess about fitness and working out and all that.  Now?  Not so much.  I still enjoy working out and being athletic, and I have no intention of letting myself go, but for the first time in a long time, I gave myself permission not to care so much, and it felt really good.  I've gained some weight and lost some strength, but I'm okay with it.  I figure I'll get back into a gym routine one of these days and I'll probably lose that weight again.  If I don't, oh well, I still feel pretty great about the way I look.

I never intended to take six weeks off, but it just sorta happened.  When I first went back to Oregon in early February, I was devoting all of my time to Z and working things out there.  And I was pretty exhausted from the emotions of it all.  And by the time I was over the exhaustion, my headaches were getting so debilitating that working out really wasn't an option anyway.  I told myself that today I would go to yoga, but I didn't really believe myself until I was there.  I kind of knew all day long that I would probably give myself one more day off.  But then I talked to Z right before the class started, and I told him I was debating between yoga and a nap.  He made the very good point that I'd feel better after yoga than I would after a nap.  So I went.  And it was good, and I'm glad to have broken my sloth streak.

I've noticed something in my years of yoga practice.  All instructors have their favorite buzz words.  Words they use over and over and over throughout a class.  And inevitably, whatever buzz word they use, they're either mispronouncing it or using it entirely incorrectly.  Always.  There's one instructor at the Gold's here who's always telling us to feel our "gluTEEal" muscles, with a crazy emphasis on the middle syllable.  It's one thing to mispronounce the Sanskrit words for the poses and moves, but it's an entirely different thing to mispronounce English words that they use over and over all the goddamn time.  I love yoga and I love the instructors -- this is just a weird quirk that I've noticed is almost universal.  Tonight's instructor kept telling us to "evolve" our bodies when she meant "twist" (even "revolve" doesn't really fit with what we were doing).  "Evolve your shoulders to the left."  "Evolve your torso over your thighs."  "Evolve your whole upper body to the right."  

Anyway, it felt good to be back in the gym, and I do intend to go back again tomorrow.  You know, so I can feel more evolved.

I also had my first session with Dr. P since I was last in Cville.  It went really well, and as always, I left feeling energized and optimistic.  I had a nice talk with Z about the progress I've made and the things I'm working on.  Basically everyone in my life (including my therapist and myself) is really surprised at how dramatically I've changed, and how positive those changes are.  I'm a long way from "all better," but I feel really, really great.  And I'm proud of myself.  

I have an appointment with my physician tomorrow to refill my prescriptions and hopefully figure out my headaches.  I really don't like how there's always something wrong with me -- coccyx, wrist, headaches, etc. -- but in the grand scheme of things, my life is going pretty well.  So I'm not complaining.
jianantonic: (Default)
I believe I've mentioned a time or two that this was one of the happiest weekends of my life.  I had such a complete blast.  One more super cute kid thing from the brunch this morning -- one of the little girls in the wedding party was named Somtso.  She's 3, from Tibet, and Adrian was having a little trouble with her name.  So I asked her if she could spell it for him.  She goes "Two O's, Two S's one M, and one of these" and she made a "T" with her fingers.  She was so completely adorable.  She did walking somersaults up my body for about an hour this morning, until she ran out of the energy to propel herself over anymore.  

Last night at the dance party, I was dancing with my nieces and lifting them into the air and spinning them around, and all the other kids started lining up so I'd do that with them, too.  All that partying caught up with me this afternoon when I got back to my parents' house, and I fell asleep with my computer on my lap and my hands on the keyboard.  I slept right through the work phone call I'd scheduled for 4 -- I did wake up when the phone rang, but was too zonked to care.  I ended up making up the call at 6, so it's all good.  

Since my brother took a job at Etsy last year, he's been really pushing everyone in the family to shop there.  I ordered a couple of things last week, and I've spent some time this evening "supporting my brother."  He owes me some money, so I told him he could pay me back by buying something out of my favorites.  So I'm hoping for a fun surprise.  

Things are really good.  I've realized another awesome change I'm seeing in myself is that it's just so much easier for me to find joy in things.  In the past, I used to (unconsciously) seek out reasons to be in a bad mood, and now when those things come up, I just sort of shrug them off.  Even the headaches I've been getting are crazy annoying, but they don't ruin a day for me.  I had a pretty fierce one all day yesterday, but it was still one of the best days ever.  And I'm seeing some doctors this week, so hopefully I'll get those figured out and gone forever.   

I love seahorses.
jianantonic: (Default)
 I'm hoping I'll feel more motivated as this headache fades.  Right now I'm just in take it slow mode.  I've done some work, but it's hard to focus (literally -- my vision is a little blurred).  Z is away for the weekend, so if I want to go out, I have to coordinate with the public transit schedule -- have I mentioned how excited I am to move to a place that's right on the MAX line?  I don't mind taking buses, but the bus out here only comes once or twice an hour, and that's not terribly convenient -- especially when it's cold outside.  

I found a place in Beaverton yesterday that I'm pretty excited about, but there were no vacant units to tour, so I can't go all in just yet.  It's a block away from the Beaverton Transit Center, walking distance to Fred Meyer, and right on a little park with jogging trails.  It doesn't have mountain views and it's on the far side of town from the airport, but with the MAX station right there, it would still be pretty convenient, though a little over an hour's ride to the airport (and about 30 minutes into town).  The places we looked at in Gresham did have mountain views, but were not right on the MAX line (not very far, though).  They're closer to the airport but a slightly longer ride into town.  Prices and floor plans are comparable.  As much as I'd really love that mountain view, or the proximity to the Gorge, I think I am leaning toward the Beaverton apartment because of overall convenience.  If we ever buy a place in Portland, I'll make sure it meets all my needs -- MAX line, mountain views, etc -- but for a rental, I don't have to be as picky, I guess.  And I feel like I'll be happier almost anywhere that's not here.  I don't hate my apartment, I'm just sort of generally grumpy about it.  I'm looking forward to living in a place that doesn't make me feel that way.  

Speaking of hate...I'm trying to let go of that altogether.  There are plenty of things I do hate and can't help but, but I know it's best for everyone if I just don't spend any energy on that stuff.  When my little hippie friends and I were in middle school, we used to scold ourselves pretty harshly for using the "h-word."  And I think we were onto something.  Language does have a huge impact on thought, and getting the word out of my vocabulary as much as possible can help my outlook a lot.  It's something that my therapy and medication have naturally reduced, but I can eradicate even more if I make a little bit of an effort.  So that's something I'm doing now.  I'm finally starting to really grasp what it means to pick your battles.  Individual conflict?  Seems like it's almost never necessary -- at least not the way I let it eat at me in the past.  I can't choose what does and doesn't irritate me, but I can choose whether or not to indulge that feeling.  There's something self-righteously satisfying about pushing back in these situations, but the payout is ultimately not at all worth it.  I'm learning that it's also satisfying to be able to let shit go.  I never knew that before.  I also never realized just how bad I was at this.  Glad I finally figured it out.
jianantonic: (Default)
 I finally got around to doing something for work that I'd been putting off for a week.  The more I put it off, the more guilty I felt about it, and the more I dreaded doing it.  But I just did it, and it literally took me five minutes.  Which makes me kind of mad at myself for putting it off for so long.  Dangit.  Oh well, it's done.  Now I just have to explain on my conference call tomorrow why it wasn't done sooner.  Sigh.

Anyway, I'm glad to say that this is a bad habit that I am moving away from.  I used to procrastinate everything -- even the things I wanted to do.  Everything would pile up and I'd wait for some wave of productivity to swoop down on me.  Sometimes everything would get done, and sometimes things wouldn't.  Usually the important stuff got done, but not without a fair bit of last minute stressing.

These days, I've just been doing shit as it comes up.  Not everything -- I can still list a few things that I've been putting off for really no good reason -- but for the most part, I'm just taking more initiative.  It's not much of an effort, really.  And it's so nice to get shit taken care of.  I'm not sure where the mental block comes from, but it's one of the things I'd started working on in therapy and am looking forward to getting back to when I get back to Dr. P in a few weeks.  
jianantonic: (Default)
It is a testament to my psychological progress that I have not gone apeshit today.

When Z left to head down to his folks' house for the day, he found that our car had been broken into.  Again.  Awesome.

I'm not having the same irate, petrified reaction I had last time, but I am freaked out and pissed off...just not losing my head.  My heart is beating really fast and I'm starting to stress about what this means logistically (Z wants to break our lease and move now, and I'm all in favor of that, actually), and I'm annoyed about the financial cost -- we'll need a new window and another new GPS.  

I'm pissed and this sucks, but more than anything, my reaction is "Wow, I'm not having much of a reaction.  Cool."
jianantonic: (Default)
The past couple of days have been, for lack of a better description, absolutely necessary.  I could say I've had a good time, but the dark cloud of the last 2/4/27 years is still there, and the question of whether or not we can really start over remains unanswered.  So it hasn't been a really happy time, but it has been valuable. 

Without going into too much detail, I will just leave it at this:  things are not perfect.  Things are not going to be perfect.  But things are good right now, I see no reason things can't be good tomorrow, and I'm cautiously optimistic that things will continue to be good for a while.

I'm still going to LA for the week next week, and when I come back, I'll have about two more weeks here in Portland, and then I will make my way back east for my cousin's wedding and my return to my beloved therapist.  Z flies out a day before I do, and I got invited to a party the afternoon after he takes off, so I'm going to go to that.  I don't know anyone there, except the hostess, who has been an LJ buddy for several years, though we've never met.  I've had pretty phenomenal luck with lj-to-real-life friends in the past, and I'm pretty confident I'll have an awesome time with these folks. 

Right now I'm going to try something I've never done before -- I'm going to make pancakes.  Max and Veronica made sweet potato pancakes when I was there, and they were pretty much the best thing I've ever put in my mouth, so I wanted to find some of those and make them.  Alas, I came up empty on my initial search, but I did get some regular pancake mix, because I figure it can't hurt to practice, and regular pancakes, while not superlatively amazing, are still pretty fucking delicious.  So I'm going to give it a shot.  Wish me luck!

Checking In

Feb. 1st, 2011 06:33 pm
jianantonic: (Default)
When I landed this morning, I texted Z to ask if he was at the airport yet. He'd said he had some morning business to take care of first, and my flight was early, so I was expecting to wait.  Anyway, his reply was "Of course.  Looking forward to seeing you."  I started crying as the plane taxied into the gate, because that wasn't the sentiment I was expecting, and I was extremely relieved.  Something came up a couple days ago that was basically a game-changer for us.  He was disappointed in me, and rightfully so, and I was worried it would be the breaking point.  We've been doing so well lately, making a lot of progress, and both of us have been generally thinking more and more positively about reconciliation.  But this put the brakes on that from his end.  He decided that we needed to see each other immediately, to figure out if it was worth even trying anymore.

No pressure or anything.

So I was trembling all the way home from Salt Lake City.  When I saw him waiting for me in the terminal, I hugged him hard and just cried for a good long time while he held me.  He didn't know why I was crying.  "What are you feeling right now?"  "Shit, I don't know."  I thought about it, and I guess it was mostly relief.  Happy to see him, but terrified.  Afraid that this visit would be my last with him.  Freaked out.  Unprepared.  Dukes down.

We held hands and I talked about things I've been working on in therapy, gave an honest assessment of where I think I am right now -- I've made the mistake of shielding him from any negative feelings or setbacks I experience, for fear that he'll see it as a sign I haven't changed and am too much of a risk for him.  And when he witnessed my meltdown yesterday, it was a harsh reality -- I haven't come as far as I have made it seem.  But I think both he and I realize that I have made significant progress.  I'm better than I was and still working.  My meltdown didn't have the same apocalyptic characteristics as previous episodes.  This is positive.  

Even though I know Z is still skeptical and reeling from the disappointment I dealt him the other night, my reception here has been warm and welcoming, and I'm so grateful.  It feels good to be together.  It feels good to talk and reflect and be open and honest with each other.  We talked about some hard things, and some questions will remain unanswered for a while yet, but I'm pleased with the way this day has gone.  I've done plenty more crying, but I'm comfortable with the way I feel.  I'm at peace with the unanswered questions.  I love my husband and I'm glad to be here.

He had done some major work on our place -- coming home was like seeing the place for the first time -- he put up more artwork around the house, bought some new furniture, cleaned the heck out of the place, and the thing that stopped me dead in my tracks was that he added two specific touches that I had requested long ago.  There is a dry erase calendar with his travel schedule by the door (a suggestion I made when we moved in), and the bed was made with a brand new comforter, exactly like the one I'd been saying I wanted for months.  The place is beautiful, comfortable, and feels like home.  I feel great about being here.  I want to live here.

I have a lot of work to catch up on, and I need to figure out what to do about rescheduling my own adventures -- I definitely need to find a time to get down to New Mexico, because I was really looking forward to that visit, and I really can't wait to see Jess again.  And hopefully Laura, too.  I ran some tentative ideas by Z, but a lot of my future plans depend on where he's going to be and whether he wants to see me.  I'm not planning on doing any bridge travel with him at all this year, but when he's not at tournaments, it would be nice to be together.  He's not ready to commit to that yet, though, so I'm keeping my schedule open around his free time, and I'm still planning on being in Virginia to keep working with Dr. P for most of the Spring.  But I may squeeze some other getaways into that time, too.

Anyway, that's the latest.  Thanks for all the well-wishing.  As I suspect is common with depression, I have a really hard time appreciating the love and support I get in the moments I'm at my lowest, but it's definitely helpful and important to me, and in my saner moments (most of the time, thankfully), I'm so grateful for the folks who stick by me in those darker times.  I've worked hard and come a long way, but I couldn't have done it without incredible support from the folks who love me -- and I'm going to need that support for the rest of my life, so I guess I'm trying to say thanks for putting up with me, for being there, for the hugs and e-hugs, the crying shoulders, and I hope you know you're appreciated, even if the last time you saw me all I did was cry and naysay.

Peace.

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Meg

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