Im not too proud to admit (ok, I’m not proud at ALL) that I limped pathetically out of the gym tonight after having my ass handed to me on a platter by my trainer. I am feeling every inch of the poor life choices I’ve made during the pandemic inspired sloth and gluttony 24/7 party I threw for myself this past year.
Thank god for Ethan for kicking the ass of this middle age bag of mayonnaise because I for damn sure would not do a single one of those hellish exercises on my own.
Every bloody time I slowed and stopped he just smiled and said “take a break if you want, I’ll just add that time on at the end. Swear at me all you like.”
I told him (between painful gasps and lunges) that I could barely breathe much less speak or swear and that I’d need to catch my breath first. I assured him I’d just add all the swearing at him I wanted to do onto the end of our session. Bless his heart he had the nerve to laugh.
If I can summon the strength to climb into my bed, I swear to you I will be back hungry for more punishment Monday night. If I can’t raise my damn leg tonight, I’ll just sleep right here on the floor with my dogs. Oh, and I’ll still show up ready and willing for more torture. This bag of mayonnaise is coming for that kid.
I have a bowl of snow and water next to me that I’m sticking my face and hands in to calm my body.
Ive been crying and anxious for two days now. I worked too many hours back to back without sleep last week only to work long and hard on projects for school that can’t upload and are due tonight. My body aches from a painful fibromyalgia flare and I feel simultaneously shut down and overwhelmed knowing full well that there are others suffering so much more compared to me and that I should never complain. I should be able to handle this.
During a panic/anxiety attack the amygdala (fight or flight response system) goes into serious over drive and the body stars flooding with cortisol (the stress hormone) and adrenaline at intense levels.
Shocking the body forces the brain to focus on those immediate sensations giving the amygdala the time to slow down and the central nervous system time to reset.
Little by little you begin to feel your body relax, your heart rate slow, your breathing ease.
Thats the science behind panic and anxiety attacks.
If you haven’t experienced one (wonderful! 🙏), its hard to really understand what it feels like. People will tell you you just need to think positively, brush it off and march on, and while good, strong, positive self talk is truly important, it fails to acknowledge the science going on inside and can feel dismissive to the person going through that hell.
People who know what this feels like because they have experienced it first hand know exactly what i am talking about.
It is so strange to understand exactly what’s happening in your body and why you are feeling the way you are physically and emotionally as a result, while still in the throes of a rollercoaster ride you want no part of.
It’s helpful even if the result is still exhausting. We can know all the right things to say and do for ourselves and yet here we are anyway.
When someone you know is going through this just be compassionate and offer sensory experiences to help them through the rough parts. Ice water, cool cloths, fresh air, a hot shower, hands to hold, arms to be held in, something to listen to, rest or a break.
Just be there. However that looks. Understand that it feels like drowning and failing all at the same time for that person. It will pass, but the passing can be exhausting. Just be there and know that your presence helps more than anything.
The passing of this moment is as inevitable as the arrival of spring even in the coldest storm.
Look who’s got some skin in the game now…my last run over 3.5 was well over a year ago and this past year made getting back to fighting shape something I just kept pushing off onto “future me”. Future me seemed like the just the woman to tackle what felt like an overwhelming task, whereas present me seemed better equipped to indulge in long, lazy days, rich foods and zero workouts apart from leisurely hikes with my dogs.
Present me got very comfortable and future me stuck her head around the door and whispered “You are far too comfortable. It’s time to get uncomfortable again. It’s time to set a goal challenging enough to make you sweat, and make it public enough that you have to see it through. While we’re at it, let’s do it for a cause that’s bigger than your foolish worries, put some money on it, and carve this motherfucker in stone.”
So here I am. Present me started the day comfortable and curled up with my dogs, and future me kicked me in my ass and registered for a half marathon in October. A slushy, slow ass 3.5 miles later, staring at my confirmation email I’m definitely uncomfortable. Shaking my head at myself, anxious, uncomfortable, and grateful to be pushed.
I’ve worked through two covid outbreaks and been on the front lines like so many other essential workers. We’re the ones stripping naked next to our cars so we don’t expose our families to more than we already are forced to, due to the nature of our work.
We’re the ones taking baths in hand sanitizer and leaving our work shoes in plastic bags in our trunks. We’re the ones working straight through the holidays and breaks and taking power naps in chairs in our break rooms and cafeterias, six feet apart.
I’ll be the guinea pig for others because its my hope that this reduces the risk of exposure to my family since I pose the biggest one. I’d rather have waited to see how the vaccine pans out over time but sometimes you gotta just do it for others.
Ive seen some posts about the frustration of having to wait for the 3rd or 4th round and I hear you. This entire situation is so far from ideal. People are worried and stressed and anxious to be inoculated against this.
Maybe keep hold of the thought that the ones receiving the 1st and 2nd round are also the ones who have been on the front lines without a break. Did you know that health care workers aren’t allowed to quarantine when they’ve been directly exposed?
We’re compelled to work if we’re asymptomatic while we wait for the results of yet another exposure induced test because if we stayed home every time we were directly exposed there would be no one to care for the sick. Thats our job.
We’re the ones who are required to work through holidays and snow storms and power outages whether we’ve slept or not. We stay until the roads have been cleared and the next shift has been able to shovel out and get to us to maintain safe patient staff ratios. We can’t abandon our patients. Its the law. Sometimes that’s a very long wait and we still have to dig out our cars to go home.
We’re the ones stripping down and bagging our work clothes before we go home. We keep our work shoes in the trunk next to our overnight bag and shovel incase we have to stay through another shift because of a storm. Without hazard pay or bonuses or increases in our differentials.
It’s hard to wait and you shouldn’t have to. Im grateful. Im fortunate. Im also worried about everything I face and force my family to face so I’m thankful that I was able to be in the 1st round. Hopefully it works.
If it doesn’t, I did let the kids know I love them and where my porn stash is so they could clear everything out before my parents get there.
I was doing so well. I made a solid plan and dutifully weighed in, logged meals,, exercised. I headed into thanksgiving feeling strong and resolved.
I guess I could spend time feeling frustrated about the number on my scale creeping back up after the last few weeks successes. I guess I could feel depressed about not staying back on track and sticking to the schedule the way I had it laid out for myself. I could feel bad about sleeping longer over the weekend and I could regret the pie and cookies I noshed on. I could slip down that slope and feel that shame and reluctance stepping back on the scale and feeling like “here I am again back at square one. Again.”
I’ve learned to love myself, to nurture myself, to celebrate small things, to cheer myself on, and no number will take that hard won victory away no matter what it says.
Instead of beating myself up, I showered and dressed and treated myself to having my nails done a pretty shade of sweet pink.
Pink #139. That’s my number today. I logged my meals, I made good choices, and every though I couldn’t squeeze a walk in after cleaning out the coop (its own little workout), I rewarded myself for being resilient and I cheered myself on.
And that pink? It looks gorgeous against a cookie.
It is said that if you’re not a little uncomfortable, you’re not really living. Well today I pushed myself to be a little uncomfortable, and way outside my comfort zone and I couldn’t be more gratified. I went FLYING today in a teeny tiny 2 seater baby plane that was SO little it needed a note from its momma saying it was ok to come play.
In a weird way it was so easy to let go and not be scared because I kept thinking “well at this height there’s no chance of survival so why stress? If the plane goes down, that’s it. I may as well smile all the way instead of scream.”
I did something for myself that I’ve wanted to try for AGES. I saved a little here and there and every time I felt tempted to buy yet another plumping lipgloss (I have a drawer full) to make my full mouth a bit juicier, I stuffed that money into an envelope.
Im not perfect, no one is. My body and I have had a tumultuous relationship over the years and I have worked hard to love and to embrace myself since I am so fortunate to have a body that WORKS even when it hurts.
Im also a staunch supporter of the “treat yourself” movement in my ongoing quest to master excellent selfcare. So I DID. Treat myself. So much thanks to my incredibe and wonderfully talented friend, Kristina @hellobeautifulmedspa for the plump new pout! She has been my fountain of youth for years now and continues to ease me into my golden years (I routinely send her gifs of cranky old ladies with my desperate cries for help).
Today she smoothed me over and eased my TMJ pain with jeaveau, then juiced up my soup coolers with restylane. I know there are plenty of people who will have an opinion about my chosing to go this route but I’m not in favor of body shaming others whether they proudly embrace what they were born with as they age, or they choose to kiss science full on the mouth. Im not going to grow old gracefully. I don’t do ANYTHING gracefully. Thank heaven for sock drawer stashes and good friends.
An analysis from the American Library Association revealed that while some school libraries have bannes books because characters use witchcraft, profanity, sexual content, or because of uncomfortable themes like racism, a great deal of the most frequently challenged books of the last decade center around LGBTQ characters and themes.
Top 100 Most Banned and Challenged Books of the Past DecadeThe American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has been documenting attempts to ban books in libraries and schools since 1990. OIF compiled this list of the most banned and challenged books from 2010-2019 by reviewing both the public and confidential censorship reports it received.
This list draws attention to literary censorship but only provides a snapshot of book challenges. About 82-97% of challenges remain unreported
In honor of “Banned Books Week” I encourage and challenge you to grab a banned book from this list and READ. Be seditious! 😈
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher Looking for Alaska by John Green George by Alex Gino And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell Drama by Raina Telgemeier Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James Internet Girls (series) by Lauren Myracle The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins I Am Jazz by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Bone (series) by Jeff Smith The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg Alice McKinley (series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult Scary Stories (series) by Alvin Schwartz Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel It’s a Book by Lane Smith The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer Bad Kitty (series) by Nick Bruel Crank by Ellen Hopkins Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby by Dav Pilkey This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl by Tanya Lee Stone Beloved by Toni Morrison Goosebumps (series) by R.L. Stine In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco Lush by Natasha Friend The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger The Color Purple by Alice Walker The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon The Holy Bible This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily von Ziegesar House of Night (series) by P.C. Cast My Mom’s Having A Baby by Dori Hillestad Butler Neonomicon by Alan Moore The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake The Giver by Lois Lowry Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya Draw Me a Star by Eric Carle Dreaming In Cuban by Cristina Garcia Fade by Lisa McMann The Family Book by Todd Parr Feed by M.T. Anderson Go the Fuck to Sleep by Adam Mansbach Habibi by Craig Thompson House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah Hoffman Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov Monster by Walter Dean Myers Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter Saga by Brian K. Vaughan Stuck in the Middle by Ariel Schrag The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal 1984 by George Orwell A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher Awakening by Kate Chopin Burned by Ellen Hopkins Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers Glass by Ellen Hopkins Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesle´a Newman I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou Madeline and the Gypsies by Ludwig Bemelmans My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology by Amy Sonnie Skippyjon Jones (series) by Judith Schachner So Far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins The Color of Earth (series) by Tong-hwa Kim The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter The Walking Dead (series) by Robert Kirkman Tricks by Ellen Hopkins Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S Brannen Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
I am so grateful for the moments I can steal away to pamper myself with a little self care. I’m famous for slipping away to the beach for a few hours before work. I treat myself to beautiful lashes that soften my tired eyes through long shifts at night. I take glorious naps. I mean, I take truly magnificent naps. Breathtaking and impressive ones. The kind of naps you dream about when you’re not actually napping.
Sometimes I just stand in my yard in a swimsuit, watering my garden and staring at my chickens and ducks and turkeys because they make me smile and the sun feels wonderful on my skin.
I’m pushy when it comes to making sure those around me take time to take care too. Ask any coworker and they’ll tell you I’m relentless. If you work with me, you’re going to take your whole damn break no matter how busy it is. I’ll strong arm you off the unit if I have to. Stepping away from anything for a breather is like the oxygen mask on an airplane. Its essential to your well-being. Breathe deeply, babe, we’ve all got a ways to go yet. Take that break.
You’re also going to schedule the appointments you’ve been putting off, start planning that trip, start that pinterest board of diy project ideas you’ve been eagerly telling me about, and your going to laugh as much as possible because I won’t stop until you do and you’re going to put yourself on your calendar because it’s easier to appease me than to endure my hounding and nagging you to engage in selfcare.
Life has never been crazier than it has been for all of us everywhere all over the world right now. It’s important to feed yourself, to water your spirit, to nurture your soul. Whatever you do that makes you feel refreshed, do it. Put yourself on your calendar each week.
Protect that appointment with yourself like you would your own child’s. Take a walk, take a drive, take a nap. Read a book, play your favorite music, putter. Be mindful, be mindless. Take a break. Whatever you do, take care. You only get one you. Oh, and wear a damn mask. I’m relentless about that too.