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Moving Day

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Donating the clothes is a fantastic idea from LaFemme! And...the best part is that you clear out the space for NEW clothes! Okay, okay, that's the shopper in me talking.

It's a hard choice, but a wise one. Somehow it's almost metaphorical. I'm proud of you for making the choice.


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SLCOLMAN 7/5/2009 7:51PM

    A hard but wise decision I think! Much love!

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MSEMBERSTORM 7/5/2009 4:33PM

    It is hard but a wise choice. Nothing like getting new clothes when you need them. You are not giving up you are just getting prepared! You can do this! Smile and good luck on your move.

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    Maybe you could donate the clothes. Then you will not only avoid the bad feelings, but replace them with good feelings. :)

You are so courageous and adventurous for moving to (and from!) such exotic locales! :-D

P.S. Send me some hummus!!! Mmmmmm!

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MDMNINA 7/3/2009 12:48PM

    Wise move my dear! Not only will it simplify your life, but it will help you feel better about yourself. And that will improve your health in the long run. Stay safe in those foreign lands. Let us know when you are settled in!

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SHORTTOOTH1 7/3/2009 12:16PM

    I just did something like that with my last move, although I did keep some of my skinny clothes. I looked at all of my skinny clothes and realized that they are actually going out of style faster than I'm getting back into them. But because I'm such a packrat, I gave them the the Salvation Army instead of just throwing them away.

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DEBULACLARK 7/3/2009 9:33AM

    You are AMAZING and an INSPIRATION to all of us Cat! I've done that with my clothes...gotten rid of the ones I haven't worn. It's liberating and when you are ready for new can have a lot of fun shopping again!!! Good luck on the move and be careful...don't throw your back out like Nimma did!!! xoxo

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LUV_VICKIE 7/3/2009 4:51AM

    Dear Cat
I admire your enthusiasm and go to it attitude and your humor is refreshing.
I agree with the comments here. "get rid of the clothes you don't wear" or don't like. You have the great opportunity to lighten up up on the things that you don't love or need anymore.There is one web site that might help you with your move if too late this one the next. emoticon Check out: There I found "
_MovingTips.asp " a Step by Baby Step plan for getting your life and move back in order. Take care we'll miss you while you are in transit.
emoticon emoticon

You do pick the hottest months to move. emoticon emoticon

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NEWSTART127 7/3/2009 2:40AM

    I think you're making a good choice... leave that behind... not only is it physical clutter, it's mental clutter - and that's worse! You are NOT a failure! Don't ever think that! emoticon

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HRDWLBY 7/3/2009 12:14AM

    Hey, Cat,

I agree, you are no failure! You've accomplished so much, especially with all your health issues! You've even been in a half marathon which is something I've never done. I know what you mean about having lots of clothes. I currently have clothes in 4 closets and spilling over into other parts of two rooms. Most are wearable and within 4 sizes.

Good luck on your move. I hope it goes smoothly! I also hope your job in Lebanon will be rewarding and not as stressful as this one has been


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DAMSELFLY_DOXY 7/2/2009 10:36PM

    You are NO failure. I think what you do must be the hardest job in the world. Moving to foreign countries and making a home...even temporarily...muct be hard work.

As for the clothes...I agree...get rid of the ones that don't fit. You will feel your chi declutter and you will experience more and more clarity! :)

Have a safe move! :)


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AMUNET_RA 7/2/2009 10:04PM

    You're certainly not a failure! You're an AMAZING woman!

I admire your resolve! I am in the process of shifting things around getting ready for our bedroom suite to be delievered. I am going to see what I can part with...

((HUGS)) I'm thinking about you as you prepare to shift, yet again...

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CJBAGGINS 7/2/2009 9:44PM

    Great decision, Cat!
And I'm rooting for you to be able to get rid of all those clothes in the 20s before the next move! I'm sure 16s and 14s will look that much better on you anyway! You'll see.


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GWEEBE 7/2/2009 9:05PM

    Congrats on the move, I'm sure you are pooped!

Good luck figuring out the clothing thing.....I have numerous sizes myself, but I often donate or eBay the things I don't want/need.

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KIMCATUS 7/2/2009 8:47PM

    I just did this not that long ago...and it felt great!! Like everyone has said the smaller stuff isn't in style anymore and why keep the bigger stuff?? Give the different sizes to charity and then as you lose weight you can celebrate by buying new outfits!!

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DISPATCH91 7/2/2009 7:24PM

    I think we have all done that, keep our fatter clothes and the skinny ones (I don't have any of those) for just in case. The too large need to go period. You are no longer that size don't keep a crutch to fall back on. Those size 8's they aren't in style now, let them go. You are an accomplished shopper when you get there, you can go shopping.

Let go of the past baggage you are so beyond that. Girl you are running marathons. You are smart, capable, funny, and getting healthier every day. You are on the road to success and your arrival is sooner than later.


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COLEISMYSOUL 7/2/2009 6:30PM

    You are not alone with the clothes. I guess I call it my dream world, someday....... But, you are right, it can be very detrimental. One size at a time is all I can deal with. Besides which, my someday clothes have become outdated. So, one day, one size at a time. No pressure! Glad you are ahead of packing schedule. How is MacDuff dealing - or is he also used to the moves?

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DANIMITE2 7/2/2009 6:07PM

    I had this issue before too. Coming from such a poor background (and now spending clothing money on half marathons, travel, and running clothes/shoes), I hated to throw anything away for the chance that I might "some day" get back into it.

Then, after I started losing weight, I was afraid to let go of my fat clothes, just in case I might need them one day. WHAT?!? I'll never need a size 18 again...ever!

I'll also probably never be in a size 8. I got rid of those. And then I had to be realistic with myself about what's in style. My size 10s that I wore in high school are NOT popular 10 years later (think culottes!). There are a few things I kept that were 10s...basic jeans, etc., that were pretty classic. So now I'm carting around Sizes 10/12-16. Its much better than 8-18/20!. Although I haven't moved all over the globe, I have moved 10 times in the last 10 years.

I've definitely realized that clutter makes us unhappy. Its distracting and depressing. If you don't love it, need it, or it doesn't make you money, just get rid of it. You can always buy it again, if you do ever really need it. There may come a day when you need a closetful of 14's...and then you'll deserve to go out and buy yourself a new wardrobe. Until then, embrace the size you are and quit carrying around the extra clothes, baggage, and emotions that go with it!

I love you, and I hope your moving is going great. I get to have you in my bedroom in like 65 days!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 7/2/2009 5:58PM

    oh!! and i are NOT a failure---stop that!! you are WONDERFUL!!!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 7/2/2009 5:57PM

    Hey i like your tree flag!!

ok down to the meat of it...first off congrats on packing ahead of schedule!! second. i cant throw out the old clothes either. although i did throw out the 28s and 26s. now i have 12's to 24's. i probably shoulda kept the 26's though!
I have the same problem though...and its not just clothes. I cant bear to throw anything away!! so why dont we have an exchange? i have piles of books. anyone want to trade?

with you i know its a bit more difficult as you travel alot, but still....
I am so proud of you with all you are one of my role models did you know that?
ok...maybe you have inspired me to start on my closet tomorrow...
love ya!

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SUETINGE 7/2/2009 5:56PM

    Sounds like a great plan.

Cat, you are so right. Repeatedly moving all those clothes you can't wear hurts. Why hang on to all that painful baggage? I do have one suggestion though. Rather than throwing away what doesn't fit, donate it. I know Beirut isn't completely Westernized, but there surely would be some sort of charity there that could take at least some of them. That at least would create some positive out of it.

Good luck with the rest of the packing and the move itself.

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ZIRCADIA 7/2/2009 5:53PM

    GOOD FOR YOU, CAT!!!!!! I know this had to be hard to let go of, but I imagine you will feel so much better with all that baggage GONE. *HUGS*

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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. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JILLYB2 5/8/2009 7:55AM

  looks likeim not the only one missing you!!!

I hate work stress!!

that is how I got in this condition (over wt.) in the first place
and now cant get it off!! ugh

cant wait to hear from you!!

new dell's are so muc fun!!


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SLCOLMAN 5/6/2009 6:06PM

    Co-workers are the pits!
Glad to hear that a new computer is on the way!
Good luck with the move and all that...
I hope that the project gets the score you need it to!

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AIMEE_B 5/3/2009 10:12PM


i can certainly empathize with workstress, and i'm so sorry to hear about your unkind colleagues. But if i know you, you take the high road. Don't let the negativity or those psychic vampires suck you in! Stay strong, find time to relax now and then, and all will be well. You've got all of us rooting for you, so how can it go wrong???


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BRAVAH 5/3/2009 3:45AM

    Hi Cat!

It is good to see you punctuating again!

I am sorry to read about your annoying coworkers again. I'm not sure I could have just given her a look! Good for you, though.

So, not that I know what you mean by score a 71, but I can see the relation to the time it took to get it to 40, so I wish you the best! And wow! A transfer to Beirut! That's exciting. Although just more stress, especially with all the packing issues surrounding an upcoming move - with unresolved packing issues from the last move. I wish I could get on a plane and come and help you pack!

Have a great rest of the weekend.

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CJBAGGINS 5/3/2009 1:14AM

    I echo the comments about your co-workers. Better yet, I'll give 'em a few of these:
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Congrats on the new computer!!

I'll miss you around the place while you're off doing work and earning a living and all that boring stuff. Take care.


Comment edited on: 5/3/2009 1:15:30 AM

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KIMCATUS 5/2/2009 8:02PM

    Your co-workers are idiots, I'm freaking ecstatic you're getting a computer, I'm sorry you're under so much much pressure at work, woo hoo for making pizza, wth is summer pudding and I MISS YOU!!! *deep breath* Love ya!

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MSEMBERSTORM 5/2/2009 7:45PM

    Oh hun! I have missed seeing you around. Your co-workers are really a piece of work! Hopefully one day they will see the error of their ways. Good luck on your project. Keep in touch as you can. Congrats on your new computer!!!!!

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RAVEN1025 4/30/2009 8:15PM

    I've missed you! I'm bummed you won't get to be online much for a while :(

I am amazed by the rudeness of your coworkers. I thought I worked with some b!tchy people, but at least they don't make it personal. I've always thought your complexion looked rosy, in a nice way. Karma will surely come around to these people.

You do get to live in some fascinating places! Best of luck with getting your things sorted and moved.

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DEBULACLARK 4/30/2009 7:58PM

    I'm glad you're getting a new computer Cat!
I'm sorry you won't be on much - I miss you!
I'm appalled, yet again, to read what these people say to you! How disgusting.
I'm glad that you know enough to shrug these comments off and I hope you know how wonderful you are. You certainly don't deserve to be treated the way some of your coworkers treat you!
YUMMY YUM YUM On the pizza....

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SUETINGE 4/30/2009 2:45PM

    emoticon on the new computer!

emoticon on mean co-workers.

emoticon about all the work stress and not having a nice break between jobs (and moves). I can't imagine moving from one country to another.

emoticon YUM! Tomorrow's pizza night at my house.

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HRDWLBY 4/30/2009 2:23PM

    I found that people seem to be testier when they are under stress, although rudeness, and unkindness is never justified! It's too bad you have to deal with coworkers like that. I hope all goes well with your project! We'll look forward to hearing from you when you can get online.

I'm glad to hear you'll be getting a new Dell. That's what I and my daughter use, although my DH just got a new small Mac. The only trouble I've had is having to replace the battery after about a year of use. I hope they've improved the batteries on your model.

As for your new job, I'm sorry you won't get any time off, but it must be nice to be wanted! You get to live in such fascinating places!

Let's hope all your personal stuff gets to you in time!


Comment edited on: 4/30/2009 2:23:50 PM

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QUEMBEL1 4/30/2009 9:22AM

    Yea on the dirty look. They call that "The Andrea" around here. People always know when they are pissing me off. It usually stops them in their tracks and I don't even have to say a word.
I can't imagine going w/o a computer now. I know you will be glad to get the new one.
Good luck with the project. I know you will get the job done.
We miss you around here.

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FIENDISHSARAH 4/30/2009 7:47AM

    Ahh Rachel Ray....I agree. She's got these demons trapped in her delish recipes and she tries to hide it emoticon

Good luck with work... seems like everyone is stressin' lately! I hope the project turns out great and good luck with the move. I had a hard enough time moving 1.5 minutes up the road...can't imagine moving that far!

And BOOOO-URNS to your Hagatha (hehehe Holly) collegue. I don't know where people get off thinking they can spurt stuff like that around. No manners at all. Some people's kids eh?

Anywho! Good to hear from you. Thanks for letting us know you're still kickin!

(who am I kidding... I "chat" with ya daily don't I? I'd just take that as a compliment that your less freqeuent posting makes my heart ache ) emoticon

Goodday! emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/30/2009 7:47:53 AM

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MAPLELEAFMOM 4/30/2009 7:28AM

    You are one busy gal!!

Ick to the nasty coworkers, I hope they are nicer when you move! Yay to the family members who helped you out with getting a new computer!!

Take care of yourself through all that work and know we are always here cheering you on!! You are an amazing woman who deserves only the best emoticon

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 4/30/2009 6:48AM

    you need to come here..where people dont make nasty comments about your skin or your shape or ANYTHING!!! geeez...slap that woman for me willya??
Ol Hagatha needs a 'tude adjustment as my students would say.
YAY on the new computer!!!
I'm not here much lately myself...between school and the bakery there is no time for life. cant wait for the end of June!!!
Hugs and love

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NEWSTART127 4/30/2009 1:43AM

    Is Stress your middle name???
My dear, I think I'm worn out from just reading yourpost.
I truly hope that everything works out with your project and your next move.
Hope your new Dell makes it to you soon so you can hang out with us again soon!

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DISPATCH91 4/29/2009 9:25PM

    Bless your sweet heart. I am so glad you are getting a new computer. I am so sorry life is giving you such a knock at this time. Just think this trial will become your testimony and you can say well back in 2009 I........ Then you can tell the tale of how you wonderfully sorted everything out. Like the super organized person you are.

Hang in there. The rainbow is around the bend. emoticon

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HPTHATBME 4/29/2009 9:18PM

    Hi Cat! I am glad you are getting a new Dell. I have my laptop and really the only issue I have had since I had it(a few years now) is the cd burner needed to be replaced and a few screws tightened(yeah I guess it goes well with my personality lol).

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COLEISMYSOUL 4/29/2009 7:37PM

    GO YANKEES! LOL Hope you don't stress too much on the crunch! And to heck with the idiots!

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    What a time you've had! I'm glad a new compy is on the way...that will be awesome, and so nice of your family!

Work...gah. I hope that the project turns out. I have confidence that you can make it work, but I'm sorry for the stress that will bring. And the coworkers? Apparently their brain to mouth filters aren't working again. I'm sorry for that!

I'll offer huge hugs and any support that I can!

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SIXFULLERS 4/29/2009 1:15PM

    Rude collegues. You can't work with 'em and you can't kill 'em. Where's the justice....

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AMUNET_RA 4/29/2009 1:00PM

    -Yay, new computer!

-Boo rude colleague

-Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer...

-I make homemade pizza at least twice a month! LOVE it!!!

-Wish I could help you with your project!

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JEWISHREDHEAD 4/29/2009 12:48PM

    Yay for a new computer!

And I totally agree with Becca... I AM gonna miss the "EM"s hehe!

Good luck with work... I know that you can score that 71! You're amazing Cat!!


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BEXTRESS 4/29/2009 12:34PM

    No more "EM"s? I think I'm going to miss those...

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MDMNINA 4/29/2009 12:29PM

    Remember to take some time for yourself. It will help with that huge load of stress you have! And remember you can trust us on SP, even if you can't trust your work colleagues! I'm sending warm thoughts and encouragement your way! emoticon

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ZIRCADIA 4/29/2009 12:04PM

    Stupid colleagues, yay for homemade pizza and pudding, and YAY fOR NEW COMPUTER! :D Too bad we won't be seeing much of you in a while, but hey, you're gonna be crazy busy. *HUGS* :) Oh and about my job... yeah -- I have definitely been on the phone with people crying before and had to show no mercy. Umbridge would be quite happy.

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IZZYBUBBLES 4/29/2009 11:42AM

    I'm going to echo what everyone else said and say take care of yourself!! I really, really hope that you get to leave these nasty coworkers behind in Tunis when you leave for Beirut. If not, just remember - these people will get what's coming to them eventually!! You are a wonderful, beautfiul person and if these idiots don't see it, it's completely their loss. I feel so thankful to know you, if I got to work with you I'd count it as a blessing every single day.

I'm also sorry you're stressed with the move - I could barely handle moving from one side of town to the other, I can't even fathom moving all my stuff from one country to another. I'm glad it looks like you're managing to make some time for yourself by cooking (Rachel Ray - not always healthy, but genius!) and that you're getting a new computer that will have all its punctuation marks!!!

Love ya. Hope things get better soon and will be looking forward to the day when you have more time to be online!! emoticon

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LUV_VICKIE 4/29/2009 10:55AM

    emoticon A new computer.
emoticon All that work. You can do it Cat. Just take one day at a time.
emoticon We are going to miss you.
emoticon Those meany "co-workers"
emoticon I love pizza. emoticon
Take care and stop by when you can. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHORTTOOTH1 4/29/2009 10:39AM

    I actually find that people who can dish out the mean comments are usually the worst at taking them. Personally, I think that their empathy part is broken.

Also, the computer thing sucks. I did something similar in college (iced coffee, not soup) and it was awful. Fortunately, I had accident protection at the time so dell fixed it for me. However, it was a real pain when I didn't have a computer to use.

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JUSTKIMBERLY 4/29/2009 10:09AM

    1. I subscribed so do I get a star? LOL

2. Oh my goodness Cat! Just... oh my goodness. You have SO much going on. Remember to take some time for yourself. emoticon

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My new goal

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSEMBERSTORM 3/30/2009 6:42PM

    Looks like a great goal gal!

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IZZYBUBBLES 3/23/2009 12:46PM

    Wooohoooo! Do I smell a girls' trip to Disneyland?? I think I do!! Okay, now I have to get DH all buttered up some night and convince him to let me go...maybe I'll leave him home this time so that I can party with the ladies all night! Maybe I'll talk my mom into doing this one with me. She doesn't think she can do it, but she can.

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MARGOMCP 3/23/2009 9:48AM

    Great goal! Hope the doctor visits go well.

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FIENDISHSARAH 3/22/2009 6:31PM

    Keepin my fingers crossed for you Cat- I know you will do awesomely!! (is that a real word? O_o)

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NEWSTART127 3/22/2009 5:40PM

    Oh how neat!
Will keep my fingers crossed that your doctor appointments go well and that your health improves! YOU ROCK!

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TIME4JUDI 3/22/2009 5:39AM

    You continue to be a truly awe-inspiring lady! And b y the way, I LOVE your new pics!!!

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COLORADOTINK 3/21/2009 11:59PM

    thats a great goal.... emoticon

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DEBULACLARK 3/21/2009 10:54PM

    Cat - what a great goal. If anyone can do it, you can! Good luck!!!

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HPTHATBME 3/21/2009 10:14PM

    That sounds awsome, I am wishing you the best!

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SIXFULLERS 3/21/2009 9:27PM

    Keep your eye on the prize! WAY TO GO!!!

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AMUNET_RA 3/21/2009 7:17PM

    Ta da....SUPER CAT!!! Here's to two thumbs up from the docs!!!


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    You are amazing!! Crossing fingers here that the doc visits will go well, and that they'll clear you!

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NMUDDIE 3/21/2009 6:09PM

    You amaze me still! No one knows better than I that, once you make up your mind, there is no stopping you from achieving your goals. I am always SO proud of you. I LOVE seeing you this happy. September 9, here she comes.

Mom emoticon

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WANT2CHNG17 3/21/2009 5:53PM

    Way to go! If anyone can do it, I know you can. You've got grit girl! I LOVE IT!
Rock on!

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LUV_VICKIE 3/21/2009 5:36PM

    emoticon emoticon Cat

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    Rock it OUT girl. :) Gosh you are so amazing. I can't wait to see a picture of you wearing your princess medal, your disneyland medal and THIS one . . for doing both! :D

you rock!!

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MAPLELEAFMOM 3/21/2009 3:48PM

    LOVE IT!!! and I want it too emoticon You can do it ! You know we'll be cheering you on... hopefully I'll be cheering you from DL!

Comment edited on: 3/21/2009 3:56:42 PM

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HRDWLBY 3/21/2009 3:35PM

    Wow! That's special! I haven't been to Disneyland since I was a kid. I'm now going to Disney World yearly as part of my Polynesian Dance workshop. We spend 2 nights there after the workshop is over but only have time to do sight seeing on one day. We usually get a dinner in somewhere in the park.


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ZIRCADIA 3/21/2009 3:27PM

    OOOOH very pretty!!! I know you will do it. :)

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BEXTRESS 3/21/2009 2:25PM

    That sounds like a blast! That medal will be yours!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 3/21/2009 1:54PM

    what a cool medal!!! you are the BOMB...i am still so proud of you i could bust!
hoping the docs give you 2 thumbs up..or 4..or however many docs with however many thumbs they have....
you are my hero!!!
Love ya!

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KIMCATUS 3/21/2009 1:21PM

    How cool!!! I know you will do it! If anyone can and will, it'll be you! Remember...""!!!R>
Oh and I want pictures of Tigger pleasekthnxsbye!

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COLEISMYSOUL 3/21/2009 1:10PM

    And I hope that you get the signal - all systems are a go. You know I will be here cheering you on! You are one fantastic lady! emoticon

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SLCOLMAN 3/21/2009 12:32PM

    I so admire your determination and perseverance. I need you te teach me how to do it. How to keep going through the pain and medical stuff... How to get the doctors to understand and listen and give me answers and if they can't then how to find the answers and help myself.

You are such an inspiration! I know that you will get that medal :)

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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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JEWISHREDHEAD 3/27/2009 3:44PM

    I am SO SO proud of you Cat.

You are an amazing woman, and I am inspired by you!!!

I hope that I can have this sort of success in September!

I nearly cried MYSELF just reading this blog.. no joke! (I am a big softie though...)

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GWEEBE 3/20/2009 8:16PM

    All I can say is...W-O-W!!!

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SLCOLMAN 3/19/2009 4:06PM

    SO AWESOME!!!!!!

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NEWSTART127 3/13/2009 10:21PM

    Oh my, I hadn't gotten an update on your blogs so I'm glad I came looking!!!
I'm so proud of you. I just read your last two blogs and I'm sitting here crying.
You are soooooo amazing. I am so proud of you.
Congratulations on being a superstar and for finishing the race and setting a personal best.
Now take care of those health issues, okay?
Want you to be around for a L O N G time, okay?

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DIZZYKITTY 3/13/2009 9:52AM

    Well done you!!!! You should be so proud of yourself! emoticon emoticon

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LUV_VICKIE 3/13/2009 7:44AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
I am so glad to see your blog. You are my SHERO ! ! ! You are showing us it can be done.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUSTKIMBERLY 3/12/2009 10:42PM

    Oh honey.... I'm sitting here in tears. I'm so so proud of you! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

We ALL love you!

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CJBAGGINS 3/12/2009 10:40PM

    What a beautiful medal for a beautiful person! Well done, Cat. You did it. Others said you couldn't do it (wanker docs spring to mind), and you weren't sure yourself at times, but you did.
A trophy to go with the medal.


Comment edited on: 3/12/2009 10:40:40 PM

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AIMEE_B 3/12/2009 8:59PM

    Cat, you are an inspiration! my eyes welled up as i read! Congratulations on a majoraccomplishment!!


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MAPLELEAFMOM 3/12/2009 2:55PM

    I am sooooo proud of you! You are an amazing woman and I only wish I could have spent the whole weekend hanging out with you. Where do we meet next?! I'll leave my kids at home with their Dad so we can just be 'Goofy' LOL!!!

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SHORTTOOTH1 3/12/2009 10:43AM


I'm so proud of you.

Three Cheers!

I knew you could and would do it.

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BRAVAH 3/12/2009 10:23AM

    Oh Cat!!! That is so amazing! I know how much this race meant to you and I am soooooo happy for you!

Great job! Woohoo!



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BEXTRESS 3/12/2009 9:22AM

    Wow - way to make me cry at work! You're so amazing and I'm so very proud of you! emoticon

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AMUNET_RA 3/12/2009 8:53AM

    ((HUGS)) **tears up while reading/replying**

I am SO proud of you!! And so happy for you! I'm thrilled that you did this and hope that you enjoy the rest of your holiday! (but I miss you like crazy!!)

((HUGS)) **still sort of misty**...

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    Ooh, you added a picture of your medal!! that is so awesome!!!! I love it!

And super huge congratulations on getting a personal best-you are one absolutely amazing woman!!

Comment edited on: 3/12/2009 8:47:34 AM

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    I knew I knew I KNEW you could do it! Reading your post made me tear up. (((hugs))) Im' so incredibly proud of you and I'm SO glad that you did it. You are amazing and you deserve that medal and that tiara. And a personal best! You inspire me!!!!!!

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SIXFULLERS 3/12/2009 1:22AM

    Cat - I'm so proud of you! Your perseverance is an inspiration!

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MSEMBERSTORM 3/11/2009 10:04PM

    YEAH!!!!! I am so proud of you! I knew you could do it! You did it! See gal. You hit that goal square in the teeth and won! I am so freaking happy for you. You really do inspire me! You deserve to stand proud, raise your hands in victory and let that primal scream be heard. You did it! I am so very happy for you! So very, very happy.

Big hugs

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KIMCATUS 3/11/2009 9:50PM

    Biofreeze rocks! lol

I am so proud of you, and wish I could have been there with you in person not just in spirit, but I tell ya I couldn't run that far! You are so amazing and I just love you so much! Wear that medal proudly my beautiful deserve it!!!

Love you!

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COLEISMYSOUL 3/11/2009 9:03PM

    Do you realize what you have done not only for yourself, but so many others? Reading others comments, it is just amzing how much SPARK you have given them. Congratulations to you and what you stand for in the eyes of others!

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MDMNINA 3/11/2009 8:13PM

    Sorry I didn't get to meet you! I have committed to Raven1025 that I will run it with her next year. And we are going to be Lady Tremaine and the Ugly Stepsisters at the after-party! Congratulations on finishing! See you next year.

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WANT2CHNG17 3/11/2009 7:45PM

    Oh. My. GAWD!! I simply cannot express how happy I am - and how very proud I am of you! I actually got a tear in my eye reading this. You - you sweet, wonderful woman, have shown us all what it is to have HEART. Despite your rude cow orkers and "friends," despite what the doctor said, you DID it! You have warmed the very cockles of my heart (not sure exactly what cockles are, but, rest assured, you have warmed them).

Wear your medal and tiara proudly, Princess. You've earned them with spirit, grit, a whole lotta work, heart and soul.

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MILLER32807 3/11/2009 7:38PM

    I am so proud of you. I'm very glad that your health did not stop you from accomplishing this... and I guess I'm glad you didn't listen to my cynical comment a couple blogs ago!! I was worried that this would be more than you could take, but YOU DID IT!!!!!!! You are so amazing!


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DANIMITE2 3/11/2009 7:20PM

    I didn't really cry after the finish until I found your name on the list of finishers. I hate to say I told you so, but.....


I hope you wear your medal to work and to your next doctor's appointments! Show them what a strong woman you truly are!

I told Brad as we were leaving the team meeting that if we were near one another IRL, I thought that you and I would be great friends. I love your spirit...and you can see it in your eyes! I'm so proud to have trained and run this race with are a treasure!

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RAVEN1025 3/11/2009 7:03PM

    I am so incredibly proud of you! I knew you could do it!
I'm sad I missed you at the race and party, though :(

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TIME4JUDI 3/11/2009 6:52PM

    Yet ANOTHER reason for me to be in awe of you! You are SO amazing! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FLORIDAFAN 3/11/2009 6:31PM

    Way to go girl! I am glad to hear you made it! I wish I would of seen you at the party, but by that time I was dragging!

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IZZYBUBBLES 3/11/2009 6:26PM

    WOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!! I had you in the back of my mind the whole time during that race, hoping you were okay. The first thing I did when I got back to the hotel was text Danielle to see if she'd heard from you. emoticon I knew you could do it!! You are amazing, it was a privilege to spend time with you.

Enjoy the rest of your trip!!! Wear that medal because YOU EARNED IT, PRINCESS!!!!!! emoticon

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    You are amazing and I'm SO proud of you!!!!

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ZIRCADIA 3/11/2009 6:23PM

    I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!! I heard via Emily and Kim's stuff that you finished and I am just so proud of ya! :D *HUGSHUGSHUGS* AND HAPPY FOR YOU!!! What is biofreezing? CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 3/11/2009 6:19PM

    WITH you??? you bet we were with you!!!
i was cheering and praying and darn if i didnt shed a few happy tears myself when i saw you had finished. I am so darn proud of you and i hope you are having the time of your life there!!
stand pround your Highness. you deserve every kudo you are getting.
You are totally amazing. Kevin said it too..and believe me thats a big deal!!!
take a dip in the pool for me willya?
Hugs and love

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One challenge down, one challenge to go, and a spot of bad news

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWMOMOVER40 10/21/2009 4:18AM

    I've been reading your blog posts in reverse order - I read about your Disney half experience first, then read this one. I was impressed - having managed a 10K and a 15K just this past summer - that you did go through with that half marathon, struggle though it was. But now to find out that you're also fighting a daily battle with lupus and RA? Just ... wow. Sheer inspiration to keep at it.

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DEBULACLARK 3/21/2009 10:59PM

    I'm so glad you went and completed that race. You're still here and you did it. Be so proud of yourself and you are not certainly not invisible. You've definitely touched my life and inspired me AND I know I'm not the only one....I'm glad that we have met through spark and I'm so looking forward to being on the Hogwarts faculty with you!

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SLCOLMAN 3/19/2009 4:09PM

    Reading about what you go through and how you push through and do so much is insirational to me. I want to run too!!

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NMUDDIE 3/11/2009 6:43PM

    I'm proud of you. I love you. I worry about you.
It would be great to her from you.
Love, Mom emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HLTHYLIVNCCJ 3/11/2009 11:58AM

    I am so sorry to hear what your doctor has to say. But, knowing the strong person you are, you can do anything and achieve it.

Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you!

Cindy emoticon emoticon

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BEXTRESS 3/7/2009 9:21PM

    emoticon Cat, my great aunt had the very same conditions you mentioned. I watched her struggle with them, and I have to say - you're putting up a damn good fight. Keep pushing! You know I'm here for you. Oh, and I wanna be like you when I grow up!

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BRAVAH 3/6/2009 11:45AM

    What does your doctor say about walking the race? I would think that if you kep up a good speed walking pace, that you might be able to keep your heart on a more steady/less stressful pace, allowing you to continue? I used to walk several miles faster than a 16 min/mile pace, have you tried speed walking?

Otherwise, you are doing so well with your goals... don't be too hard on yourself if you medically have to skip this one race. You need to be able to race another day!

And how great that your immediate boss (one who would really know what kind of work you are doing) would stick up for you physically, as well as verbally! That is a great compliment to you and the work you do.

I wish you the best in figuring out more about your health issues, as that will make your goals so much easier to attain. Please keep me posted on what happens with the specialists and etc.


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JEWISHREDHEAD 3/5/2009 12:33PM

    I just wanted to echo what every one else said. You are super inspirational, Cat... and no matter what you choose to do, you are making the right decision. Push yourself to keep achieving, but don't hurt yourself in the process. You're incredible!

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JUSTKIMBERLY 3/5/2009 11:43AM

    Cat... we all just love and adore you to pieces. Do what you need to do for yourself, but please don't harm yourself in the process.

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GINGER_LOSTALOT 3/5/2009 11:24AM

    Faced with all of these challenges, you don't back down. Be proud!

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GWEEBE 3/5/2009 11:22AM

    Cat, we support you in what ever decision you make! And we love you. Slytherin would notbe the same without you. emoticon

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DANIMITE2 3/5/2009 10:19AM

    If it's any consolation (it was to me), there is no guy on a bullhorn in a golfcart nipping at the last runner's heels. In races of similar distances at Disney, there are 1 or 2 parked buses along the course, and they pick up people who no longer want to continue or who have fallen behind the pace. So start strong!

Another thing I've heard is that sometimes Disney employees point you to little "shortcuts"...nothing major, but if that happens, it could save you a few minutes.

Finally, if you look at results from previous years' half marathons, there are often people who "finish" WAY after the pace times.

You've already been given advice about stupid bosses, but I wanted you to know that I'm praying for your health! I believe in a big God...a God who heals and restores! And I believe in the power of the human spirit, and Cat, you have one of the most amazing spirits I know!

Can't wait to finally meet you Friday!

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RAVEN1025 3/5/2009 9:53AM

    I just want you to know you are always in my thoughts. I am sending all the positive energy I can to you. You have an amazing spirit, anything is possible!

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ZIRCADIA 3/4/2009 7:36PM

    *HUGS* I wish you all the best, Cat. You don't deserve to have your health deteriorate and jerk people treat you so insensitively. You rock.

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COLORADOTINK 3/4/2009 4:39PM

    it has been said, you know your self better than anyone ...
follow your heart.... emoticon doctors are just people too. the spirit has a will of its own, so go for it........

have you ever told the BIG BOSS your WRONG....
try it i did it fells realy good.............

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COLEISMYSOUL 3/4/2009 4:35PM

Look at all the people who love and support you! You know yourself and your body, you need to do for you and only you! You know what you are capable of and what you can live with. I could give you some nice words gor your boss and 'friend" but I would get reprimanded. I am not as eloquent speaking as the others are, but I hold you in high esteem, wish you only the best and prayers fir you to make your decision. I am behind you 110%

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 3/4/2009 4:18PM

    Ahhh my dear, sweet, wonderful friend Cat. Now i wish even more that i could be in Floorida. the sweepers would have to get past ME to get to you if they were so inclined. Ask my kids...i'm a force to be reckoned with.
As for the race. I love you--and i support whatever decision you make on it. If you go I will be cheering you on and if you dont I still think youa re the bravest, most inspirational person i know!
I know pain. and i know YOU know pain. You keep me getting up in the morning. today i finally..FINALLY went up the stairs at school without getting out of breath or thinking i'm dying. i'm supposed to take the elevator. every day i look downt the hall to it and think "what would Cat do??"
and i take the stairs. because i know you would. Every time i look at the scale and despair i think...would Cat quit? and i dont quit.

I want to be in a room with Big Boch. just me and her. and your report. not the one SHE did. the one me, and a bunch of other people did. and then i want to dare her to dispute it.
Shes nothing Cat. Nothing. No person that lies and is purposely mean and sladerous is anything. I realize she is the "big boch". tough chit. i think shes lower than a pregnant snake.

I sent you a crown today. you got a tiara from me before and i didnt want you to think i was sucking up or anything ya know??? LOL!! But really...the crown was pretty cool. When you come see me?? you will get your very own tiara.

Just remember are an inspiration to alot of people. Whether you go to Florida or not is not going to make you any more or less in my are already right at the top of the list!!

I love you---your guts(where did i get THAT from??) your glorious self...every bit of you!!!

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TIME4JUDI 3/4/2009 4:17PM

    Yeah. Wow. Stunned, amazed. not even sure how to put it into words. Your blogs have a habit of doing that to me...Lots of awesome responses here them...think, pray...sending a pm and many hugs - Judi

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AMUNET_RA 3/4/2009 2:45PM

    ((HUGS)) I am so sorry that you're going through all this!

About the BIG BOSS...Aaargh! So glad that you have (as Kim said) 'real people' (lol) there to defend you! You know that we're all be there for you (wands at the ready) too! As for your friend. What an odd thing to ask you...

Now as Sarah asks, "Do you trust this doctor's opinions?" Please don't take his advice lightly! BUT of course, you know your body best. You have some heavy contemplating to do, Sweetie!

I have no idea how the 'sweepers' work. I'm imagining a bunch of dementors monitoring the course, but I hope they're not THAT menacing!

Well I think we can all agree that all your Spark family loves, respects and admires you and we'll all stand behind you 100% in whatever decision you make! I wish I was there to give you a big hug, Sweetie!


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MSEMBERSTORM 3/4/2009 2:43PM

    Wow you have really had a rough go hun! I am so sorry you are facing all the crap from the boss. I really do understand how that is. And it sucks a big one!

Big hugs about the news from the doctor. I pray that your health improves. You are so wonderful and special and it just isn't right that you are going through this! Your not being stupid by wanting to participate in that race. You have a goal and you want to accomplish it. There is nothing wrong with that.

While I appreciate your friends comfort in being able to talk to you I think she should have been a lot more tactful or just kept her mouth shut. She knows this is a battle and that you really need the support instead of the judgement. Not that she meant for it to be bad but I just don't think it was very supportive.

You have been so supportive to me and a delight to talk too. I have really grown to like you as a friend and I want to see you succeed and feel better. Much hugs and healing thoughts! You will do this!

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IZZYBUBBLES 3/4/2009 2:42PM

    Oh Cat, my heart aches for you because I know how bad you want this, and I know how disheartening it has to be to hear your doctor tell you not to do the race. The logical person in me says that you should always put your health first, that there will be other races...but my heart says that if I were in your place, I would go for it. One of my favorite running quotes has always been the quote from John Bingham saying that the real success isn't in finishing a race, it's in having the courage to start (that's poor paraphrasing on my part). I think you've already won. Ask yourself how many of your skinny "friends" have the heart and dedication and determination necessary to even train for a half marathon or marathon, much less FINISH one or SEVERAL marathons - my guess is NONE of them. My guess is that not many of them would even bother to start.

You know your body and your heart better than anyone else. You knew when something was wrong despite all the doctors telling you otherwise, and you'll know the right way to approach the race. You've got a whole team full of people that love you that are going to be thinking about you and rooting for you the whole time.

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KIMCATUS 3/4/2009 1:55PM

    Oh honey that is NOT a friend if she can't see past your exterior appearance to your beautiful self inside!!!

I kind of agree with LIMELITESHINES...if you decide to run the race, then to hell with 'em! What are they gonna do? Call the cops and physically remove you?? So go for it if you decide to run!!!

And if you don't decide, then don't do it for yourself and NOT because of some stoopid doctors! You know that NO matter what you decide we're all right here behind you rootin' you on because we love you and know you're worth it! I just wish YOU could see that you're worth it! Because you are!!

About the boss...oy! What an idiot! I wish I had some advice there for ya...I'm just glad that you have some people on your side about all that (I mean real people, not just us "imaginary" folks!).

Anyway take care of yourself, you know we're here for you whatever you need!!!And you'll always be a princess in my eyes! *HUGS*

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    I say go for it.

Why? You know your body the best. You'll be able to, at any point in the race, stop if you feel it's going to really be detrimental to your health. Up to this point you've been doing what you've been doing, and you've been doing it well. So i say go for it.

AND . . . go your 17 minute mile pace. And if they ask you to leave the course? Say NO. And you just keep on going. And you tell them, at the end . . . if 12 minutes is cause to not give you a trophy? Then they can keep their silly trophy because you got what you needed out of it. And I'm sure there are plenty of your Spark friends here who would be more than willing to pitch in and get you the best tiara ever . . . because you deserve it!

So go for it . . do what you can do . . .and be PROUD of what you can do. I'm behind you all the way!!!!

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    Oh honey, I'm so sorry for the bad reports. I sincerely hope the specialists can come up with solutions and halt this. I hate to see you going through all that. I'm praying hard that things will go well in FL, and that the docs will be able to help you.

Hugs and I love you tons!!

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MILLER32807 3/4/2009 12:27PM

    I'm so happy that Supervisor got onto Big Boss about her actions. Its ridiculous how some people will just find reasons to complain!!! I'm soooo sorry to hear about your health. I can not even imagine what you are feeling/thinking at this time. I'm alarmed at how your "friend" said that and looked at you like it was unbelievable that you were ever skinny because it feels like she is judging you and believes that its entirely your fault you are overweight because you are lazy or something. I can only hope that when she was actually talking with you, it didn't come off as rude and inconsiderate as it seems reading it.

I won't say it is "stupid" to compete anyway, but I must say it doesn't sound like the best thing. Do you trust this doctor's opinions? If so, is it worth it to know that you may not finish the race because you die trying? Would you be satisfied to mostly walk it if it means still crossing the finish line but not stressing your body as much? Please really think about this before you make your decision. Remember that you do have people who care/love you, even us people who have never met you. We've come to appreciate the person you are by going this journey with you thru your posts and blogs. I wish you the best!! (sorry my comment was so long)


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