Thursday, July 02, 2009
Good-bye, Tunisia and hello, Lebanon!
The packers were here today. The house is a disaster, but we've made great progress and should have the rest of the house finished tomorrow, a day ahead of schedule. I was chatting with a friend, whinging about my day, and I told her about the "spark moment" I had earlier.
This morning, as I packed up clothes in eight different sizes I suddenly had a moment of clarity. I've been doing this job for 7 years. I was already losing the weight battle even back then. When I started moving around, I always brought along the smaller clothes (because of course, I was going to need them.)
Fast forward eight moves.
I'm buying bigger and bigger sizes, have never worn entire closets full of clothes, and I'm now toting clothing in everything from size 8 to 26 around the globe! No wonder I have so much stuff!! Part of me watches these shows about decluttering and getting rid of things and thinks I need to let go, but this other part of me thinks it's admitting defeat and giving up on myself and my dream.
So I looked at SIX closets of clothes this morning. Six. And I made a decision: when I leave Beirut, the ONLY clothes that will travel with me are the ones I can wear, even if it means throwing away bejillions of dollars worth of clothes. Job after job - packing up the same clothes that I am still not wearing just hurts me, and I do feel like such a failure each time I have to box up the "someday clothes" yet again.
I'll keep you posted.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Hi everyone. I know I haven't been online much. I thought I'd jot a quick update while I had a few moments.
So I was a complete prat and spilled soup on my computer. As a result, the punctuation and numbers didn't work. I took it to the computer guy at work to see if he could help, and he cheerfully broke it completely. I didn't even know for a while because the city did road work and cut my phone line! (still don't have it back, either.)
But my lovely family has chipped in, and for just a few knuts and sickles, I've got a new Dell on the way! (I had no idea they enjoyed hearing from me so much! *LOL)
In other news, I'm under a huge amount of pressure at work, although I think I'm maintaining my equilibrium. I need to deliver a project that will score a 71. The last time we tested, it scored a 40. It took 18 months to get to the 40, and we have six weeks to get it to a 71. So don't expect to see me online a lot between now and then.
Silly me. I thought I was getting a long holiday when I completed the job here in Tunis, but the Beirut group wants me right away, so I wil l transfer there this summer. I'm a little stressed about the move because my things sat in London long after they were supposed to ship here. Now they've finally shipped them, and I'm racing the clock to get them here, unpacked, sorted, and decide what to ship to Beirut and what to store.
What else? My co-workers continue to astonish me. One of my least physically attractive colleagues took it upon herself to tell me that my skin is ugly because I'm in the sun too much. (I have a butterfly rash from the Lupus.) I think my face reflected my thoughts, which were along the lines of, "Who are YOU talking to, Hag?" , because she immediately backed off.
Ironically, some of my meanest colleagues are themselves quite easily hurt. I actually had a sweet conversation with a nemesis the other day. She was hurt that my future boss (yes, one of my nastier colleagues) said something unkind to her. We actually bonded over it, although I don't trust her any more than before. I think the unrelenting stress is taking a toll on us all.
Ooh, and I tried making homemade pizza last weekend. Not all that healthy (Who is Rachel Ray trying to kid?), but it did taste good! I also made summer pudding and have been enjoying it bit by bit every evening.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
I haven't visited Disneyland in 13 years, but this seems like an excellent reason to return! It's a special medal awarded to anyone who completes races at both Disney World aaaaaaand Disneyland.
I'm have a lot of doctors visits coming up, but un shah Allah, as people say here, I'll be cleared to start training soon!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I had almost convinced myself not to do it when I landed in Orlando, but when I heard everyone talking about it, I got so excited that I knew I had to try.
Last weekend was daylight savings, so I got very little sleep when the alarm went off at 3 a.m. We were on the bus by 4 a.m. and at the race site by 4:30. I was so wound up I could barely gag down my bagel. I chatted with Snow White and traded Zoolander impressions with Goofy before walking for what seemed like forever to get to the start line.
I had problems almost as soon as the race began. I seriously considered pulling out at the first mile, but I knew I would be too ashamed. I broke it into segments and just kept talking to myself. "Don't end up on the first loser bus." Don't quit in the first hour. Don't quit before the castle." and so on.
The castle was in the sixth mile. I was slogging along, but the cast members were amazing. The park wasn't open yet, and they lined the course and cheered like we were vying for the lead! I ran the whole park portion, except when I hammed it up for the course photographers.
My hips and knees were screaming by mile 8, so the medics kindly biofroze them for me - something we repeated in mile 11. I had run the whole time, believing that that pace van was right behind me and I'd be "red flagged" at any moment. I'd gone out so fast in the beginning that it was hard towards the end, but by mile 12, I knew I could do it.
When I ran into Epcot, the park was open, and everyone was cheering for us. I was so overwhelmed that I cried. (Not for the first time that day, but the first time for a reason other than pain!) I ran with everything I had and set a new personal best. There were loads of people behind me, and I never even saw the red flag.
Afterwards, I boogied down at Disney Studios until early the next morning, wearing my tacky blinker light tiara and my gorgeous medal!
Thanks to everyone who cheered me on and tracked my progress. Knowing that you were "with" me when I ran over the timers on the course kept me going when I wanted to quit.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
So I had the "big work thing" today. It was rough. I survived. The Big Boss, the one I've blogged about before, went off and said my results were "completely unacceptable". My immediate supervisor was so upset by Big Boss' behaviour that he actually got up and walked around his desk to stand between us. Yes. Physically between us. Then he walked out to her car with her and told her off some more. I hear there was a big evaluation meeting yesterday, and all of my line supervisors defended me and said that my work ethic is terrific, and that Big Boss is being unreasonable.
After the assessment, I had to go to the doctor. I've been training for this half marathon for months, but as my health deteriorates, I find it harder and harder to walk, let alone run. He had some bad news. My blood work came back showing more evidence of Lupus and that the RA is progressing. And apparently, the difficulties with my training are because the Lupus appears to be attacking my heart, causing congestive heart failure. I've got appointments with specialists lined up to get everything checked out further. Hold a good thought on that front.
He advised me not to run the half marathon. He thinks the strain might be too much on my heart. I told him that I wasn't sure I'd have any self respect left if I gave up.
I need to think about it, but it seems a shame not to at least try. I reeeally want that medal, for so many reasons. It represents my self worth. As I've gotten larger, paradoxically, I've become invisible. I started running marathons when I realised that I was gaining weight no matter what. It would be years before the doctors finally believed me, but those medals were my proof that I wasn't a lazy pig as well as a giant f-u to anyone who thought I didn't matter. And even though I know it's bollocks, I feel like if I don't complete this race, then maybe they're right.
Please don't tell me it's stupid. I already know that.
The other night, I was chatting with a skinny colleague, and she suddenly asked me point blank why I'm so fat. I looked at her levelly and said, "I used to look just like you."
She was stunned. She literally couldn't get her mind around the idea that I could ever have been slender. I've lost 30 lbs. just in the time she's known me, but all she can see is the fat.
And she's my *friend*, so one can only imagine what the others think.
And then there's the race .... I thought I had to maintain a 17-minute pace, which would be really hard for me but not impossible. A few days ago, I learned that I need to maintain a 16-minute pace or be pulled off the course. I've never run a 16-minute pace, so I would either need to run the fastest race of my life, or face the embarrassment of being asked to leave the race.
So where does this leave things? I have to think about it, but I'm inclined to give it a go. And who knows? Maybe the Disney magic will make these poor arthritic joints move this jumbo princess faster than she's ever gone before, because that tiara medal sure would look good on me!
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