Monday, July 23, 2012

So What Did You Do For Your Summer Vacation?

Here's a run-down of what I've done on my summer vacation ...

  • Made a chore schedule
  • Failed to follow aforementioned chore schedule ... ahhhh ... tomorrow is a new day.
  • Started walking 3 miles every. single. day.
  • I haven't lost one single pound from all that walking, but I've made walking a habit so yay for me.
  • Have become flumaxed as to why no weight loss.
  • Pitched a BUNCH of stuff from my storage closet in my classroom.
  • Walked the full length of the storage closet ... several times ... just because I could.  That is a feat, for those that are not easily impressed.
  • Read three books ... four if you count the one I sorta speed read ...
  • Watched a lot of senseless TV on certain days.
  • Cultivated some new friendships.
  • Discovered the joys of DUCK DYNASTY.
  • Set my alarm for 6 a.m. every single day.
  • Did A LOT of laundering of workout clothes.
  • Planted a bunch of flowers and plants.
  • Witnessed aforementioned flowers and plants wilt and practically die -- in the case of my hens and chicks, only one survivor so far.
  • Mowed my lawn like a beast th0se last weeks of school.
  • Parked the mower in the garage for the beginning of the summer while I watched the grass burn to a crisp.
  • Cleaned out closets -- not as thoroughly as I should have.
  • Spent a lot of time on my own and enjoying the quiet.
  • Got my nasty old apple tree cut down.
  • Paid for paint that I've not been able to use because it's too humid most days, and I'm unmotivated the other non-humid days.
  • Made lots of plans.
  • Watched none of the plans take shape.
  • Traveled to Michigan ... with my sister.
  • Managed to survive the trip to Michigan ... with my sister.
  • Learned I needed new tires.
  • Successfully ignored dry-rotting tires ... for the time being.
  • Ate a scoop of Kilwin's Toasted Coconut Ice Cream in Saugautuk, Michigan
  • Sweat buckets at the mere exercise of breathing in and out in Saugautuk, Michigan
  • Walked the Pier at South Haven, Michigan.
  • Breathed in the sandy, wet air of Lake Michigan.
  • Allowed my heart to skip a beat ... or two ... at the mere fact that I was in the presence of my Creator at this most perfect spot.
  • Walked in the wet sand.
  • Danced in the water.
  • Listened to the sea gulls.
  • Laughed at the children building sand castles.
  • Visited, talked, and ... 
  • Relaxed
That last one has been the most important one.  I needed to do nothing ... to be present in my own life and just relax.  

I am a person that craves being near people, but I also crave my own time, and lately, I've really needed it.  I can't explain it, and I doubt very many people understand it, but I have NEEDED to be alone.  I've needed to not talk on the phone.  I've needed to not have something to do every single day of the week.  I've needed to remind myself of who I am.  

I know! It all sounds so heady and weird and New Agey, doesn't it?  

It's really not.  Much like musicians desire to do this, sometimes, I just need to unplug, and this was the summer to do so.

Oh I never intended it to be that way.  I intended on adventure, and by adventure, I DO NOT mean zip lining between mountain peaks or scaling a shear rock cliff.  No, my adventure is a little tamer ... going to explore an out of the way flea mall or exploring a little town out in the middle of know where, just because it is there to be explored.  Most people don't like my kind of adventure.  That would be why most didn't take me up on any of it this summer. 

That's okay.

Because in the end, I did what I needed to do, which was to just be present and in the moment, and for that, I will be heading back on August 1st, with a quieter soul ... a healed soul ... a more relaxed outlook ... a renewed sense of what my next adventures should be.

So, that's my summer vacation ... in a nutshell ... give or take a shell or two.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Already Planning for October

It's been hot this summer.

Pretty much anyone that lives anywhere in the United States understands the above statement with a certain uncomfortable intimacy. 

All of the outdoor plans I had for the summer, wherein, I'd burn obscene amounts of calories weeding my flower beds into a pristine show-piece of glorious flowerdom, well, it all sort of melted away ... along with my resolve to clean my home office.

When I went home to Michigan a few weeks back, I found myself admiring my mom's butterfly garden, and it hit me.  I could do something like this. 

I took some photos ... not great photos ... but they are stiring the creative, gardening juices.  And I will be sure to start tackling this new project ... just as soon as it cools off ... in about two months ... about the same time I get buried alive by something(s) in my home office, and I'm forced to clean that hot mess out. 

Soooo ... when you see me out on the East West Connector tossing rocks into the back of my truck, you won't worry now.  You'll understand what I'm up to.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Getting My Flirt On

I titled this post GETTING MY FLIRT ON, but let's be honest here.  I am not sure where I last put it.  So, actually strapping it on and hitting the battle grounds, well, let's just say it's an exercise in futility at this point.

Today, I went to Lowe's for a couple of reasons ...

  1. I found a bill I should have paid ... four days ago.  Oops! I filed it BEFORE I paid it.  I've done this too many times recently.
  2. I needed to price out two projects that will be in my immediate future (none of which I want to do ... I want to paint ... well, okay, I sorta want to paint.  The other part of me wants to wake up one morning and see that the painting fairies had been here and painted for me.  My imagination is a thing of beauty, no?).  
While there, I accomplished the aforementioned goals, but I also remembered that I needed to pick up some biodegradable leaf bags because once the DROUGHT OF 2012 ends, and we can all come outside and work in our lawns without spontaneously combusting, I need to do some MAJOR weeding.  So, I grabbed a package. 

Now, these packages contain five biodegradable bags that are folded neatly inside a biodegradable wrapper.  pretty slick, and while slightly bulking in size, the package is really very light.  

So, I wheel up to the register, where a kid, about the age of a college student is standing there waiting to take care of me.  He's friendly, if not overly friendly, but I smile and joke around with him.  And then he did it!  He uttered THE phrase.  

As he picked up the package and is handing it to me, he says, "Soooo, do you need any help getting this out to your car?"

My head snapped up, and in the same motion, I laughed.  Out loud.  Laughter burst forth from my body like oil from a freshly tapped well. I couldn't help myself.  I just spent a $1.88 on biodegradable bags that, by their very nature, are light, and he asked me if I needed help taking them to my car. 

I fear I greatly dented his flirting mojo.  

Perhaps I need to spend some time memorizing the finer nuances of said technique by watching and re-watching this article?


What I am musing about today is the mail, and more specifically, the computer databases that companies use to market to you.

When we arrived in Michigan, it was mid-afternoon, and Ann and I were soooooo ready to be out of my the truck.  We pulled into the driveway of our parents' house, and there was a motorcycle parked there.

"What? Did Dad buy a bike?"  Ann sarcastically mumbled.

"I bet it's their renter."  I thought I remembered Dad mentioning he had a bike.  Sure enough, we walked into the house, and mom and dad's renter and his girlfriend were in the living room chatting.  We went through introduction, shook hands, and then their renter said, "We actually came out to bring something to you."

"HUH?"  I just met them, and they're bringing me gifts?  Had Michigan collectively gone through Southern hospitality classes while I was away?

"Yeah, your dad mentioned you'd be here, and we got something in the mail for you the other day.  Looks like it might be something you'd need ... for your classroom and such."

And that's when his girlfriend pipes in, "Yeah, Really Good Stuff."

"Yep!  And the catalog is filled with really good stuff."

People.  Dear Readers.  For the past six years, I have been receiving COUNTLESS, and by countless, I mean, seriously obscene, amounts of catalogs from the company REALLY GOOD STUFF.  Every time I turn around, there is not one, not two, but sometimes THREE catalogs from this company stuffed into my mailbox at school.  I maybe have purchased one thing from them, but I am a catalog recipient for life, let me tell you.  And not only do I get these catalogs at school, but for some reason, I've started receiving them at home as well.  Not to the extent that I do at school, but give 'em some time.  Their marketing blitz will catch up, and if I'm not careful, I could be buried alive!

Prior to moving down here to Kentucky, nothing!  Never received one.  Had no idea what REALLY GOOD STUFF was all about.  So that is what is soooo puzzling about Logan and his girlfriend actually receiving not one but two OF THE SAME CATALOG at my old house. The same old house that I've not resided in for the past SIX YEARS.  SIX.  Count them.  One, two, three, four, five, six ... six years!  And here's the other kicker, the two catalogs they received in the mail with my name on them?  I received them at school ... two of them. Same "really good stuff" in both of them.

Had I not recycle 3/4 of the catalogs, I could have placed one in each of the bathrooms here at the house, one in the staff bathroom, and still had a catalog to order REALLY GOOD STUFF from, should I have been moved to do so.

I don't know about you, but it seems they're single-handedly killing a small forest somewhere with all the paper they are using to send me all of these catalogs.  I might have stumbled onto a solution to the hole in the ozone layer ... hmmmmmm.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Walk A Mile (Or Three) In My Shoes

As part of my determination ... no my teeth-gritting, nail-biting, do-it-or-die decision to be healthier and lose some of this weight, I started walking this summer.  To date, (and the mileage may actually be more, I'm figuring this in my head) I've logged 44 miles.  I average about 3 miles every single day.  It doesn't feel like I'm walking 3 miles.  I mean, that's practically a 5k ... just one tenth away, to be exact!  In other words, a race ... that runners run ... or walkers walk ... yeah.  I am doing that.  Every. Single. Day.

I feel great!  I  feel strong.  I feel like I could take out a twiggy girl that twirls her hair and snaps her gum and eats chili cheese fries and never gains an ounce.  That's okay, her heart is clogging up while mine is beating unfettered by plaque.  So, yeah, I feel great!

The thing is ... I am seeing the slightest bit of definition in my legs and rear, but the scales?  They really aren't moving.

It freaks me out.  During my weakest moments, when people are reminding me over and over again in various obvious ways (and not so obvious ways ... they think they are being helpful) that I'm "a chub," I realize I might never see that body I use to have.  The body that I took for granted ... the one that had curves, but not a lot of rolls or cellulite or bumps and dimples.  The one that used to look nice in a bathing suit ... and skirts ... and jeans ... and just about anything.  Yeah, that body. 

I fear I may never see it again.  And listening to other people (skinny, fat, it doesn't really matter) tell me things like
  • "Oh! Should you be eating that?"
  • "But you have such a pretty face ..."
  • "Those black jeans really do camouflage the fat, don't they?"
  • "Well, I mean, just get out and work out more."
  • "Have you seen someone about this?
  • "I can eat anything I want, and it never shows up on the scales."
  • "You might have a thyroid problem..."
  • "Just enjoy.  You only live once."
None of it helps.  All of it sends me further down the path of hating what I see in the mirror.  And you know what, when someone asks me why I haven't met anyone?  Well, let's see ... because I don't like what I see staring back at me in the mirror.  And when I don't like what I see, how do I project a confidence that others feed off of? 

I debated even writing this blog because it was so personal, and the last thing I want is any one's pity.  But I realized, in writing it, I am a fighter.  I have fought back from the brink of a lot of my own personal demons, and this is just one more that I am going to need to train like a beast to defeat. 

I LOVE the GYM CLASS HERO'S song THE FIGHTER.  I've decided it's my new theme song.  So beware, this Fighter is gonna kick some serious demon butt!