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Punxsutawny Phil Pforty Challenge #3

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

So Phil has requested that we write down at least pfive pfavorite things about my body. So here it goes:

1. Today, I sliced my pfinger on one of those paper cutters. I bled kind of a lot and pfor kind of awhile, and it gave me time to think about how INCREDIBLE our bodies are. I mean, to think of all those little red blood cells rushing to that cut to shore things up, and how amazing is it that the blood creates a clot and a scab to let things heal.

2. I have small wrists. They are extremely cute.

3. My eyes are a great shade of blue.

4. I have strong pectoral muscles.

5. My hair is really nice and unrefined. I've never dyed it, I don't blow dry it, or curl it. So it's soft and the natural color is nice. And it sits nice. I don't have to do anything but run a brush through it. I don't even comb it after I shower. It doesn't pfrizz or turn out where it should turn in and vice versa. It's great.

Good stuff. Thanks, Phil, and his ghostwriter, JENNSWIMS!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DTOWNSEND1966 10/6/2011 3:33PM

    Great blog... thanks :D

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TAICHIDANCER 10/1/2011 11:24PM

    Congrats on your pfabulous scabs!!! emoticon

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PINKNFITCARLA 9/30/2011 11:35PM

    Great to focus on the positive!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/29/2011 1:03PM

    jealous of your hair... and wrists! great list!

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RUTHXG 9/29/2011 11:42AM

    Yay for unrefined hair! And all these Beatletot ingredients.

emoticon emoticon

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LOVEBYRD 9/29/2011 10:26AM

    I love this, focus on what is amazing! And yeah, small wrists are cute, but not something I inherited from my Mom, however my naturally awesome hair is! Yep, I'm going to have to make a list of my own! =)

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HOPESINGH 9/29/2011 5:31AM

    Great list! I've never thought of my wrists as something that can be beautiful or not... Good point emoticon

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BETTERJULIA 9/28/2011 10:06PM

    LOve this! I have man wrists so I appreciate the delicate wrists! And I totally agree about how amazing our bodies are!

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JENNSWIMS 9/28/2011 10:05PM

    Ghostwriter? I don't know what you are talking about. I merely translate from Groundhogese. :)

Great list. It sounds like we had the same hair until I went crazy and colored mine... now I have maintenance! EEEEK. Is yours Brady Bunch Marcia Marcia Marcia straight like mine?

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My Pfive

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm behind on the Punxatawny Phil Pforty Challenge, but I'm going to catch up!

Right now, I'm saving the "I'm All Right" groundhog dance for another time, but I want to go ahead and blog the Pfive Reasons I'm Pfabulous now.

1. I'm generous and caring. I take in exchange students and currently have a pfriend pfrom college living with me pfor token rent (and at the rate her job search is going, pretty soon no rent). She just got her Masters pfrom one of the top schools in the country (Ivy League) and still hasn't pfound a job after pfour months! The thing is, I kinda don't want her to. I'd like her to stay here pforever. She's part of my pfamily now.

2. My dog is super-pfabulous, and that makes me pfabulous by extension. Sammy is truly the greatest, even though he's got some problems that other people wouldn't overlook. When I saw him, it was love at pfirst sight.

3. I value honesty, integrity, beauty, respect, responsibility, manners, intelligence, kindness, consideration and leadership. I probably value other things as well, but it's 3:40am, so that's all I got.

4. I can speak three languages.

5. I know what I ultimately want to do...though I'm still a little unsure how to get there.

Thanks, JENNSWIMS, pfor this challenge!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TAICHIDANCER 9/28/2011 9:58PM


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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/28/2011 2:27PM

    You are Pfab! i had to read your blog twice but i loved it. I think the Pfs confuse my brain when I read them!

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BETTERJULIA 9/28/2011 1:13PM

    Love this! You are soooo awesome! No wonder we get along well - non traditional family is HUGE to me too, I have friends and my little sister from Big Brother Big Sister who are my family. I love that you speak 3 languages? What are they? Keep ROCKING it wonderful!

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RUTHXG 9/28/2011 11:14AM

    I'm glad you realize that you're wonderful--because we already knew it! But now I know even more of the reasons.


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AMYLONGHORN 9/28/2011 10:20AM

    I pfound it odd that you were mentioning Punxatawny Phil in September when I only hear about him on Groundhog Day in Pfebruary...I guess I will need to go check out JENNSWIMS's page to pfigure out what this Pforty Challenge is all about!

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JENNSWIMS 9/28/2011 10:16AM

    What a great list! You pfound so many pfabulous things to list that I must agree, you are pfantastic!

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MITECU 9/28/2011 8:02AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

This is a great way to boost self-esteem.

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MUNCHIE718 9/28/2011 7:35AM

  Maybe Sammy picked you because of your pfabulousness? You two are perfect together.

When do you sleep? I'm up at 5am, but I can imagine how you do it!

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Yesterday was a Good Day

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

As I went to bed last night (tonight? It's 3:45am...and I'm going back to bed in 15 minutes), I was thinking, and I was actually really happy.

I didn't have to be. My interim/new boss made a ridiculous request of us and gave us an impossible deadline, but actually, you know, it was so ridiculous and impossible that I didn't even get mad about it. I just laughed and laughed and laughed. I'd show people the second email with the deadline and start laughing again. Really, it was that good.

But I'll do my best to get it done, so much less Sparking at work, I'm afraid.

And for some reason, I've lately been having terrible flashbacks to when I dropped Sammy. I see him on the ground, seizing, A LOT. It's awful.

And we had to throw out some chili that smelled questionable. I hate wasting food.

But none of that has to do with the fact that I'm really happy.

Why am I so happy?

1. I stayed within my calorie range yesterday, on the low end, as planned. And I even got to eat a few Fritos.

2. I had good sessions with my part-time job last night.

3. Traffic wasn't that bad either coming or going yesterday.

4. I went to the gym.

5. I got a lot of my "stories" watched.

6. My dog is super-cute.

7. I ate a delicious Red Pepper and Tomato Soup from SparkRecipes for lunch, and it was so awesome that my friend wanted the recipe.

8. I got a decent amount of work done (although did not start on the ridiculous, impossible assignment).

And it's strange how all of this has so much to do with perspective and whatever mood you just happen to be in. I could have gotten really angry about the ridiculous and impossible. I could be devastated at the images that play in my brain. I could be really annoyed about the chili. I'm just not. But it's not inconceivable to me at all that I could be.

And that's something to strive for everyday. I could be negative, but I can strive to "just not be."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWNOMWE 9/28/2011 9:44AM

    emoticon attitude and Good for you.

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CAZADORES 9/27/2011 10:06PM

    That's so true- it's all in the mind!


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SHRINKINGLULU 9/27/2011 5:41PM


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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/27/2011 1:38PM

    Awesome! You are seeing all the positives and that is great! I need to adopt some of your good attitude! have a great day

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JECKIE 9/27/2011 1:12PM

    nice! I need to adopt this philosophy too. Living happy is so much better!

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RUTHXG 9/27/2011 12:21PM

    emoticon I'm proud of you!


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GO-LOEW 9/27/2011 10:47AM

    Here's wishing you another great day, even with your impossible project.

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LULUTU 9/27/2011 10:42AM

    Great blog -- I hope every day this week is a good day!

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LOVEBYRD 9/27/2011 9:37AM

    I love this! Focusing on the good in the everyday

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HOPESINGH 9/27/2011 8:55AM

    I wish you many more days with this perspective on life!

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BETTERJULIA 9/27/2011 8:34AM

    This is great!!! I'm so glad for you!

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CARLYG8 9/27/2011 8:08AM

    Great blog!!!!! emoticon

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HS1056 9/27/2011 8:04AM

  It looks like you are counting your blessings and focusing on them instead of dwelling on the negatives. This is something we all need to be doing. Good for you! Thanks for the reminder too! ~Holly

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MUNCHIE718 9/27/2011 7:22AM

  I love it when I catch myself being happy & not letting stuff bother me. It is such a great feeling. I especially like it when there isn't an overwhelming WOW happening. Like you are ust walking to work, and you notice you are smiling.

Sorry to hear that you've been thinking about what happened with Sammy. I get it. If it helps, it will happen less & less with time. emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 9/27/2011 6:43AM

    Great're right, there are so many temptations and easy paths for us to take and just give in to negativity and despair....but one of the great things that make us human is the ability to choose and say, "No, even if life isn't always fair, it's still good"


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Mary Ann Makeover Challenge

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My high school reunion is in five weeks. And I'm really kind of making a big deal about it, which is weird, because I didn't make a big deal of high school when I was there. It was like the time I was spending preparing for college. I did a lot of activities, clubs, AP and TAG classes, but I wasn't popular and that was okay with me. So I don't really see why I'm making such a big fuss over one weekend, but I am, so I've got to accept that.

Anyway, my friend Mary Ann told me today, "You have 5 weeks! You can do this!" She told me to go to BodyPump classes at least twice a week. She also mentioned hair, but that's a little nerve-wracking. Then she came over to my desk and demanded to look at my gym schedule, so I showed her, and she found classes she wants me to take. She says she is not accepting excuses, which is fine with me but for one thing.

Half an hour before this conversation occurred, I made plans to meet with a friend I haven't seen in months tomorrow. And tomorrow, Mary Ann has scheduled me for two hours of classes, for which she isn't accepting excuses.

I emailed the friend and asked to switch to Thursday, but she didn't get back to me. She's probably annoyed. I mean, she and I emailed no fewer than three times each in the span of 45 minutes, and now she's not responding?

So what do I do? I read somewhere you're only allowed to cancel plans that you've already made if the new plans are less fun. Like, you can cancel going to a wedding if you have to go to a funeral, but not vice-versa. I think this qualifies.

Still, am I being a jerk? And if my friend doesn't get back to me, should I show up at the place or the gym? My husband says go to the gym, it's for you (and anyway, it's not my fault that we haven't talked in months...she disappears then reappears for one meal then disappears again for more months since her last disappearance. Of course, that said, I'm probably not going to hear from her for another year). I guess I show up at the place, and an hour later, say, "I gotta go." But I did want to get a haircut before the classes. That probably doesn't qualify. Well, it does, actually. Hanging out with friends is way more fun than getting a haircut, but it doesn't have the same urgency, unless you've made an appointment with someone important. But I don't do that. I just go to Hair Cuttery and say, "Cut it as short as you can without making my face look fat."

But other than that, I'm pretty excited and flattered that someone is taking this much of an interest in me getting hotter. And, I wonder what else my Mary Ann Makeover Challenge could entail. Mary Ann is a whiz at makeup and fashion. She might turn me into a hot chick like her. That would be cool.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUTHXG 9/27/2011 12:20PM

    Brenda, sounds as if it worked out great. Yay for no drama with your lunching friend, & for sticking with Mary Ann's rigorous routine--which I understand you're doing BECAUSE YOU WANT TO!

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BEATLETOT 9/23/2011 9:06AM

    I guess I should update: my friend and I did get in touch. We rescheduled for next Friday. I don't have a required class on Friday, though I have selected one for Friday that I will just miss next week. She said she was proud of, shucks!

WildfireKristin (not to be confused with ThePraz!), I don't see where I say I don't have choices. I didn't say that. I said Mary Ann is not accepting excuses. And she's still not. I went to both classes on Wednesday, and yesterday, I said, Mary Ann, can't I just go to one class on Wednesday and one class on Thursday, and she said no. It's only for five weeks. Do it.

And part of me is like, "No? NO? But I'm an adult, I can do what I want!" But maybe I should just relax and let someone tell me what to do. Certainly me telling myself what to do is not working (as you darling Starfishies will see when I post my starting weight).

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    Hmmm...I am going to be the odd man out here. I honestly thought that spending two hours at the gym is wonderful, however, friends are not dimes a dozen and since I just lost one not so long ago I feel that friends come up first how would I fix this? Mary Ann is suggesting or demanding you go to classes twice per week, so why not do three by splitting the difference...have lunch with friend and do one hour class that day..then do another class one hour another day..and do two hours another day for your full classes. Same classes and all is happy. I really hoped you worked this out.

One thing that I am not liking is that you say you don't have any choices...I know I shouldn't say this since we haven't really spoken, but I am going to anyway. You have choices and you should never feel this torn up by these kinds of choices because others demand of you. Do what is best for you and what makes you feel good.

Wishing you the best!



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JMCADE 9/20/2011 7:08PM

    Sounds like you have made the attempt to reschedule and the ball is in her court, so let it go and go to class. And let MARY ANN help you to help yourself.

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LINDABENEDICT 9/20/2011 5:23PM

    WOW ...we all need the Mary Ann makeover...what a great friend ! Maybe we should all aspire to BE Mary Ann !!!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/20/2011 12:26PM

    Ooh, I need a Mary Ann. Well I guess have a few Mary Ann's in my life but they don't work together so it's tough. John is my wardrobe Mary Ann, trying to get me to try new styles and colors... my friend Jenn is my makeup Marry Ann, and Amy, who cut my hair this summer, is my hair Mary Ann. They need to work together to get me looking hot like your Mary Ann is doing - she rocks!
Anyway, enough of that digression... so I think that your friend has to deal with it. It's not like you had these plans for weeks, and you do see her semi-regularly (my hair Mary Ann is this kinda relationship too) so it's not that big of a deal to push to another day, right? Maybe she's just away from her computer, pooping or something. =P sorry
oh and I agree with Julia - I think you should wait a few weeks for the haircut. Have mary ann take some before pics of you now and I want to see them and the comparison in 5 weeks!! here's a hint, it's all about confidence!

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RUTHXG 9/20/2011 12:16PM

    Whether or not you lose tons more weight in this process, the sense of accomplishment after completing Mary Ann's bootcamp will be great!

I agree that the meetup with your other friend can be adjusted. You've done your part by e-mailing to get that process under way. Don't worry about it.


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BETTERJULIA 9/20/2011 10:43AM

    This is great! Focusing on you is important and it sounds like that friend is one of those toxic people that just take energy but don't really contribute anything back. Enjoy the gym and I would even say wait on the hair cut until later and then go somewhere important that you have to make an appointment and enjoy it!

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MRE1956 9/20/2011 6:35AM

    I'd say do what your instincts tell you (and I suspect that's probably the gym) - the rest will follow.....

Sounds like your friend Mary Ann is AWESOME (and I'd say that even if I didn't have the same name)!


Wishing you all the best!

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ZIPCONTROL 9/20/2011 4:38AM

  Hey....she is doing this for you. Who cares if she doesn't show up everyday.Atleast she shows up.Thats what friends are for. Do the will come out glowing and happy that you did.

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    It sounds like you have someone who wants you to succeed!

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Something's Missing

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

You know that feeling when you KNOW you've forgotten something, but you have no idea what? Like in "Home Alone"?

I've had that feeling for, like, a WEEK. And I've been wanting to blog about it for kind of awhile, but I didn't know what to say.

It's not a fun one. It's on par with how I felt when my Karl-Marx-Universitaet mug broke.

I feel...




















I could go on. But I won't. It's more than enough, and I can't really touch on all of them as it is.

Now, I'm not walking around mopey or bothering my co-workers with endless blather about how (insecure, scared, jittery, etc.) I feel, and I probably don't look any different than usual, but these feelings are always back there, and have been for awhile. Maybe even longer than a week.

I don't know how to fix it. My very first instinct was to make lists. That was when I made my list "Lists to Make." But I couldn't get the energy to sit down and think about any of the lists. I haven't made any of them.

And here's one thing. One of my lists was supposed to be about my values and my priorities, and how my life reflects those. I'm not sure which is more telling: that I want to make such a list or that I've been unable to do so.

Part of me wants to just sit down Indian-style on the floor and yell at all of my wisest SparkFriends, "Fix it, fix it, fix it!!!" Another part wants to take those moods I just listed (Hey! I did get a list done!) and tackle each of them in a separate blog. But I don't know if I'd wind up getting to, I don't know, "jittery," and then only being able to manage, "I am jittery. It's not caffeine." Those blogs would not be fun to read or write. But all of me just wants this feeling of...


That's the feeling I have. If you put all the above feelings in a box, taped it shut, and put it in an attic, you'd label the box "Unsettled."

Ah, blogging helps!

But I digress.

I want the feeling of being unsettled to go away. Any suggestions on how to make it so? (This is a more mature way of yelling, "Fix it, fix it, fix it!!!")

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Hi and hello,

So many gave advice that I am only going to add something simple, focus on you girl, discover the beauty in who you are now and don't allow the inner self..nagging little voice..bring you down and out. We spend so much time in life feeling unsettled or all above that you mention that we forget to put happy or content on our lists. I am guilty as charged! Love what and who you are now friend...and the rest will come naturally.

Words of not likely as I am sure you have heard them before, but keep writing my friend it will help you learn more about all those bottled up emotions bringing you to an Indian style sitting!


n emoticon

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CARLYG8 9/20/2011 6:04PM

    I have to jump back in here after reading Ruth's response. I totally agree with her about having a "spiritual awakening" later in life...after you have matured in every other sense of the word "mature". I also went through an awakening...and it was not pleasant for me. It was a dark, cold, lost uneasy...all the words you used earlier in your blog...feeling, and I was very uneasy and uncomfortable...and unsettled.

I came across a book (I am an avid reader=book junkie) and came across a book. The title jumped out at me..."Dark Night of the Soul" this was exactly what I was feeling. It explains how our souls come to a place where we recognize that something is missing from our lives; our souls are designed in such a way to want us to seek out God. It is our way of maturing, and giving over of ourselves to something higher than ourselves..God. The book is a translation from St. John of the Cross' poetry, and how that void, and lost feeling, the yearning, can become something beautiful if only we would get out of our own way. It helped me ALOT.

I didn't want to throw God and religion out there, especially at the beginning of a new challenge...but we have known each other for quite a few challenges now...and I didn't want anybody to drop away thinking that they were in for unsolicited preaching, holier than thou commentary on their blogs by me. You know that is not the case...maybe I should have responded to this in a private email...but I am not going to retype all this, so bear with me folks. (smiles)

If you are interested in the book, send me a message and I will send you the title/author. It was a difficult book to find, and I had to end up ordering it through one of the bookstore chains, and it took a couple of weeks to come in. If you are interested, and can't find it, I will gladly send you my copy to read.


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SHARON2014 9/20/2011 3:48PM

    Three words: Breathe - Prioritize - Balance -- in that order!! You are clearly overwhelmed right now and that is not good for your health, your psyche, as well as your relationships, work, etc.

Breathe - literally! Take even a few minutes to sit down, alone, in a quiet place and just breathe deeply - relax all your muscles -- do this whenever you can. Consider having a physical -- see what your doctor has to see regarding your medications, etc.

Prioritize - this takes a bit longer and involves some decisions. What and who is truly important to you?

Balance - Make a list and hit the priorities each day - set aside the non-essentials.

This is only a start & not an easy fix. It will take some time & determination...and no one else can do it for you!


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ARCHIMEDESII 9/20/2011 12:57PM

    Hi ! Sorry about that ! When I read your previous post about being concerned about your upper coming reunion, I assumed that that must be the primary cause of your concerns. A lot of people do freak out when their high school reunions come around.

However, all my other questions seem to fit. In which case, I would ask you if you've been having unusual stress at work, at home or a relationship. When a person is under a lot of stress, that can cause all sort of anxiety. Have you been concerned about something ? Your boss leaving causes an upheaval at work. Sure, that's disrupting and can cause concern.

Are you juggling too many things at the same time ? Are you taking on more jobs that you can handle ? Because we can only handle so much. At my job, I've been expected to take on a lot of extra work. I can't do everything, even though they expect me to. There really is only so much a person can do.

You have to set priorities. What needs to get done first ? Just worry about that. Once that gets done, then you move onto the next crisis. One crisis at a time. If you start worrying about everything, you really will end up miserable. As I mentioned in my previous reply, you're not Superman. You can't be everywhere doing everything for everyone.

It can get overwhelming. I still hope you can get these feelings resolved.

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BEATLETOT 9/20/2011 12:48PM

    I agree, Ruth. I'm actually bummed out that Archimedes edited her post, because she posted a lot of good questions I was going to answer later.

After I went to bed, I realized I forgot to mention a really important one: inert.

I mean, things are fine. Nothing's changed too much, and not in the last week. I mean, there are some things I can pinpoint. Sure, the reunion is one of them, but not a big one. My boss left, and that was sudden, but the interim person is the same interim person we had for a year and eight months between my boss and his predecessor, so it's not like I'm in for any surprises.

My monthly visitor is on her way out. I think hormones have calmed down. I don't want to change my medicine, and I've been on it for six years.

It could be that what I'm doing with my nighttime hours is really, really unhealthy and is finally catching up with me. I get break-free sleep four days a week though. And I'm 28. I'll be 29 next month.

Maybe the fact that nothing's changed IS the problem.

It's such a weird feeling, because none of those emotions listed are overwhelming...they're underwhelming, really, but put together, I just feel so uncomfortable.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/20/2011 12:28PM

    sorry to hear. I can relate to this feeling but in similar fashion can't really verbalize it. it is an unsettling feeling... emoticon

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RUTHXG 9/20/2011 12:13PM

    Your list is so extensive that it's hard for me to believe that all of this can be laid at the door of impending-high-school-reunion jitters.

How old are you, Beatle? I did lots of spiritual searching in my late 20s & early 30s--it was such a painful but rewarding time. Are you maybe feeling a similar need deep down?

My other thought is a chemical imbalance--maybe you need to get off (or on) a certain medication! No shame in that.

I'm rooting for you to be peaceful & happy. emoticon & much love as you figure this out.

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BETTERJULIA 9/20/2011 9:58AM


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CARLYG8 9/20/2011 9:19AM

    Okay...I read this blog first, and then went back and read your Mary Ann Makeover blog...I am behind this week on EVERYTHING, but anyway...I think all these feelings you are feeling is because of this reunion coming up. I think that it has you all antsy and unsure...maybe wanting to feel accepted, not dejected or rejected??? I think that it is all nerves or something because you are anxious. Breathe, girlfriend, will be fine....
emoticon emoticon

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ARCHIMEDESII 9/20/2011 9:15AM

    Ah ! Thanks to another reply, I went back into your older posts and learned that your high school reunion is in five weeks ! I totally understand why you're feeling anxious now. I would too !!!

Don't fret ! Honestly, it's not worth the grief. I understand that you want to look smashing for the reunion and you will. BUT, remember, every single person you went to school with probably looks pretty different today than they did when they were in school. We all change ! I can not tell you how many of them probably have "middle aged spread".

So, don't feel inadequate ! Don't feel like you should look like a Desperate Housewife. BE YOURSELF ! Can you make change in five weeks ? Sure, you can make some subtle changes, but you won't see anything dramatic unless you plan on working out 4-6 hours a day for the next five weeks.

I teach a class similar to Body Pump. It's a great class ! but it won't perform miracles in so short a time.

What to do ? You go out and buy a smashing outfit that flatters your figure NOW. Don't buy something smaller hoping that you'll lose weight in time. That will just cause you frustration. Instead, keep doing what you're doing i.e. eating right, watching your portions and getting some regular exercise that includes some strength training.

Going to your reunion with the glow of good health is way better than trying to make your body something it's not in five weeks. So, go buy that smashing outfit. If you're worried about lumps and bumps, that's why we have foundation garments like Body Slimmers or Spanx !! Even Jennifer Lopez wears Spanx !!

Don't worry about your reunion !! Just think of the wonderful time you're going to have seeing all your old friends ! Like I said, MANY people have changed. We really don't look like we did back then. People do age. Some better than others. It happens.


Comment edited on: 9/20/2011 10:09:42 AM

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JECKIE 9/20/2011 9:08AM

    I get that on occasion too. For me, what works is to exhaust myself to the point where I can't think any more, then hole up alone for however long (usually a day) doing nothing but reading, watching junk tv and sleeping. For some reason that helps me.

I used to try and analyze what was making me feel this way and came to the conclusion that it was nothing in particular. It just WAS.

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