Sunday, November 20, 2011
Image from redredwineonasunday.blogspot.com
***POSSIBLE TMI...Yes, this blog mentions sex (no explicit details). Please stop reading if that would offend you.***
This week...I'm not even sure what the hell happened this week. It was a blur with some crazy situations. I ignored my food intake. I cried at work. I hardly worked out. My whole routine was just way off. I've generally felt apathetic, although I wouldn't say that I have been feeling negative overall. But this week was just...weird. Part of it is the chaos at work, another part was not going to the gym regularly...I've just generally been experiencing technical difficulties. I can't even think of a cohesive way to write a blog about this week, so please bear with me.
So, onto the sex part. I haven't really talked about my dating life (let alone anything about sex) on SparkPeople, partially because my love life is not that interesting for the most part, and then, of course, there is the PG-ness of SparkPeople. I do go on dates here and there, but most of them are not that great. I'll just say that I think that intimacy is an important part of this journey. This can include back massages from friends, hugs from family members, pats on the back, and...well...you know. I believe the best way to be comfortable with ourselves is to allow others to touch us. I am not talking just about sexual intimacy, but in general being comfortable with those who are close to us. However, I think that having a healthy sex life is vital, and this includes alone time and with others. I'll leave it at that.
I had a date on Tuesday with a guy I met online on a dating website. It was a blind date, and it was not a date where there was any intention of...well...you know. I am happy to say that I was not nervous at all. Maybe it's SparkPeople. Maybe it's being around the guys in Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu. Maybe it's my awesome friends and family. In any case, I don't get nervous about dates any more. I am who I am, and people can either accept that or not. I am not going to put on a show to make myself seem "better" than I am or act fake in any way. I don't put on any kind of front, which may be to my detriment when it comes to dating. Between the MMA, the brashness, the independence...needless to say, I seem to scare the crap out of a lot of guys. For some reason, these factors become end up being their focus, and never mind that I love other types of exercise, gardening, and saving puppies and kittens. I know dating sucks for everyone, especially when you're an introvert who is also crass and frank.
On Tuesday, I was feeling great after my saxophone lesson with Jeff because he complimented me several times (a rarity). I met the guy at a pub near my house. We had great conversation and were having a good time, but neither of us are really drinkers. I asked him if he wanted to come over so we could keep chatting (and that was genuinely what I had in mind). We talked for a couple of hours about everything--music (he's a bassist), cats, family, depression, religion, and then a bit about relationships. Well, we cuddled on the couch watching Conan O'Brien, and then...
There it was, the mention of sex.
Anyways, I had a lot of fun with him, and I thought we had a lot in common. He texted and e-mailed (that he initiated) several times since Tuesday, and asked if I wanted to get together Saturday (yesterday). We made plans for Saturday and he knew I was planning on cooking him dinner. Like a moron, I bought all sorts of special foods (i.e. expensive) to make him dinner. He said several times over the past couple of days that he hadn't been feeling well (although he seemed to feel just fine enough to go out to a concert every night). He bailed on me yesterday morning, saying he "wasn't feeling well" and didn't think he would be up to coming over. Well, I found out later that he placed an ad looking for sex. What do I do when I find this out?
I cried. Like a blubbering baby.
Did I cry because I love the jerk? Because I could foresee some big future with him? Because I felt I knew him well? No. It wasn't any of these. Actually, I'm the one who is usually a little detached from--ahem--physical love and generally don't get overly-emotional about these things. But I don't toy with people. I just don't understand WHY people play games. If he isn't interested, he should just tell me. I know that he owes me no explanation and that my frank approach is the exception and not the norm, but I still find it childish and frustrating.
He may have put on a fake front to fool me (and I bought it), but I won't compromise myself for anyone. EVER.
Image from cartoonstock.com
Anyways, I'm upset. I'm still upset as I write this, but writing makes me feel better (EDIT: I'm almost done writing this entry and I am actually not upset anymore). I let Overly-Emotional Hopeless Romantic Optimist Erin take over, but luckily Rational Healthy-Dose-of-Cynicism Realist Erin was right there to soften the blow. While I would not normally write about most dating or sex things on SparkPeople, both have been a great source of frustration for me. I vacillate between wanting to have a relationship, wanting a lover, or wanting to be left the hell alone; my mind and body can never seem to agree. I think I was just caught in a romantic mood this week, plus he put on a good show of pretending to be someone he's not, and I fell for it. I really don't want advice, I know that this was a situation that I ultimately chose. I am glad that finding a partner does not consume my life, but it seems that I would have to put forth a lot more effort to find someone who is genuine and who deserves me. I am not in any way bashing men (women play games, too), but rather, I need to evaluate the traits that attract me to a person and find out how to filter them better. I'll just throw in there, too, that I also have no regrets.
Overly-Emotional Hopeless Romantic Optimist Erin sez:
Image from kellyjotownsend.blogspot.com.
But Rational Healthy-Dose-of-Cynicism Realist Erin knows the guy is a jerk and sez:
Image from tvrage.com
Enough about love. Love, schmove. Overly-Emotional Hopeless Romantic Optimist Erin and Rational Healthy-Dose-of-Cynicism Realist Erin can work on coming to an agreement. I was almost glad to have the distraction this week from the B.S. at work. I should have everything together to get set up to work from home over the next 2-3 weeks. With winter ready to sink its teeth in, I will be very happy to not have to commute in the dead of Minnesota winter. Besides the commute, I will be physically removed from the toxic environment at my work. (This week it was literally toxic, we almost had a battery in a back-up power unit catch on fire and had to call the fire department, and several of us became ill...but that's another story...). Working from home is the next best thing to having a new job, though. I'll stick it out and see how this goes. I imagine I will be a lot less stressed without being in a noisy call center. There also won't be many opportunities for co-workers to stab me in the back since I won't be there. I hope it makes this job a lot better. There are a couple of co-workers that I will miss seeing, but for the most part, my friends have quit or been fired.
I only went to Muay thai once this week, and luckily it did not bother my ribs. My ribs seem to be completely healed now, and I am going to return to Jiu Jitsu on Monday. If my ribs seem bothered, I'll hold off for a bit longer, but I think it will be okay. So I will be back to doing Jiu Jitsu followed by Muay Thai Monday-Wednesday-Friday and Muay Thai sparring on Saturday. I have missed my classes terribly; I've been very restless without the intense workouts. Of course, I miss seeing the guys at my gym more often, too. They are a great support system.
I'm making some decisions about playing my saxophone. My teacher Jeff thinks I should join a community band. One thing I didn't think about when I started taking lessons was whether I would be able to join a group and make it to rehearsals and performances, given that I work evenings. I am checking out some options in the community.
Whether it be love, my job, playing my saxophone, doing martial arts, or being a friend or family member, I say:
Image from fahrizal-blog.blogspot.com
The technical difficulties are behind me. The emotional ones? Well, those will need some tweaking. This week I aim to return to my regularly scheduled normal routine--the gym, eating well, yoga, lots of saxophone playing, more time with friends. But I'll hold off on love being a part of my routine for the time being.
Image from igetthatalot.wordpress.com
Thanks for listening!
Image from cheezburger.com
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Yeah, I know, the title may be misleading, but this week was a great improvement compared to the previous couple of weeks. My attitude was on the fritz, I've been overeating, I haven't been able to do intense exercise and because of my ribs, it really hurt to scream. Maybe it was good that it hurt to scream--I had to find other ways to handle my frustrations. I tried watching funny videos to cheer myself up, but it hurt to laugh, too.
My saxophone teacher Jeff was poking fun at my gloomy attitude this week when I expressed frustration with my playing. "Well, walking is too hard, I guess I'll keep crawling. But hey, crawling is too hard, too." At least it got a giggle out of me. I think I am finally becoming more tolerant of the learning process of playing a musical instrument. Moreover, I think playing has revealed how self-conscious I really am, about everything, and with Jeff's help, I'm learning that being self-conscious is not necessary. I am learning to be more accepting of mistakes, and if I mess up, I can just take it from the top right away. I'm not sure if playing my sax has made me less self-conscious, or if I have become less self-conscious in general, thus more comfortable with my playing. Either way, I am becoming more comfortable in my own skin despite a stressful couple of weeks. As a matter of fact, the past couple of weeks of work stress and having an injury have truly revealed my perseverance. I have been far from perfect with my eating and wasn't able to do intense exercise, but I didn't disappear. I went through the motions the best I could if that was necessary. I had a "Screw it" attitude, but towards the people who are causing me stress, not towards myself. Yes, crawling is hard at first, as is walking, but it is worth it to keep on taking those steps, even when they are painful.
Although my rib injury was a bummer, my greatest irritation over the past couple of weeks has been my job. I have yet to hear back from the other company, but in the meantime, there is hope for my current job. For starters, I am going to tell my boss (not my immediate "supervisor") that I think that a final warning write-up is extreme for the "problems" that were brought to their attention, which included occasionally making fun of rude callers. If we are making fun of a jerk caller, it is usually banter between co-workers, so I am far from the only one who engages in doing that. It was written that making fun of callers is "rude to my co-workers." And then, of course, there was one of the newer staff members who tattled on me for warning her that she could get written up over petty crap. I also think that it would be extreme to fire an excellent staff member like myself over something so trivial. My "supervisor" also talked to at least 2 other staff members about me (the 2 who told me about it), asking if they had a problem with me. I think it is unconscionable that my "supervisor" went on a fishing exhibition to try to get people to trash me. Fortunately, my boss sees the value in having me as an employee and is going to allow me to work remotely from home. I am very excited for this opportunity. I believe that it will solve the problems that I have at this job because I won't be in the physical presence of the backstabbers. I need to put together enough cash to get a new computer, but I think I will be able to pull it off over the next few weeks. However, if I do hear back from the other company, I will still see what they have to offer. I think my current employer will see how much I really do when I'm there once I'm not there, such as advising other people on their cases. In any case, I can't wait for the day I can finish a workout, shower quickly, put on some pajamas, and pad over to my computer to work. I have been waiting for a while for this.
My ribs, which I injured a couple of weeks ago in Muay Thai, don't hurt very much any more. I have very mild discomfort with coughing or sneezing, but it seems much better. I did a strength training workout yesterday and that was fine. I know it was wise to take a couple of weeks off of intense exercise to let the injury heal, and I'm glad it seems to have resolved quickly. I am going to go to Muay Thai tomorrow for the first time in 2 weeks. I have felt like an absolute slug with not being able to go to MMA training over the past couple of weeks. I still have some bruises, so I know I haven't been away for very long, but I was very used to my routine. I will hold off on Jiu Jitsu, which is much more rough than Muay Thai, for a couple more weeks. I'm looking forward to getting back to my routine, plus I have missed my boys at the gym.
My eating has been--what's the word?--atrocious. Okay, that might be a little bit of an exaggeration. I had a big binge earlier in the week, but have otherwise been eating okay foods, just too much. I have been craving carbs in a terrible way, and I know that's just stress screaming out. I am going to make an honest effort this week to track accurately and actually follow that plan without going over my calories each day. I also batch cooked this week for the first time in a while and made a big pot of pinto bean, corn, and tofu chili. That has been a delicious dinner with a warm French roll. I have some other recipes pulled up and when I can shop later this week, I'm going to do some more batch cooking. I plan on making Tofu Fried Rice, Chickpeas and Dumplings, and Curried Lentils with Caramelized Onions. I am so much more likely to stay on track if I prepare really satisfying warm meals than I do if I come home and scrounge for whatever is handy.
I'm glad that it no longer hurts to scream, although now I don't feel the need. Fortunately, my positive attitude has been mostly restored, and it no longer hurts to laugh. This song by comedian Jon Lajoie pretty much sums up my attitude over the past couple of weeks--at least it has provided plenty of giggles over the past few weeks when I've needed it. ***WARNING: lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots (LOTS) of F-bombs***:
Sunday, November 06, 2011
My first week of November didn't start out the smoothest, starting with a couple of blows to my confidence. Part of it was my fault, part of it was beyond my control. The good news is, I now know the difference (usually) between when I am the one messing up and when life is messing with me. I used to slam myself for every misstep, berating every mistake. I punished myself with food, although I called it comfort at the time. I have gone from having the attitude of, "Lose weight, you disgusting jerk," to "Live healthfully because you deserve a full life." The latter attitude was challenged this week, though, and I binged twice later in the week. Actually, yesterday ended up being a whole day of overeating. I guess the upside was that it was social overeating and not me hiding in my house stuffing myself, but still...not happy about it. However, I looked through my blogs to see the last time I had a couple of days of eating like that was in the beginning of September. At least the frequency of that pattern of overeating has decreased significantly.
I also had my annual check-up this week with a new doctor. I had seen her once before for an office visit and thought she was awesome, so she is going to be my primary doctor now. She commended my 45 pound weight loss, and for doing it in a healthy manner. I have to say, although I am not doing this for anyone else, it is nice to be commended by a health care provider. They should be more pleased than anyone about weight loss. I also liked her because while she acknowledged that I am obese (although officially no longer morbidly obese, as she pointed out), she knows that overall I am pretty healthy. If I had to find a positive aspect to the week, it would have been my check-up when I was commended for my healthy lifestyle.
I had gotten injured in Muay Thai on Monday, so I got myself psyched up for Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai on Wednesday. The moment we started our warm-up in Jiu Jitsu, I knew I was going to have problems. I was very klutzy on Monday, and while I was doing a take-down, my ribcage landed on my partner's knee. It only hurt temporarily and didn't seem like it would be any worse than the typical hit I would take, so I got back up and kept going. It wasn't until I started moving around on Wednesday that it really bothered me. I focused a lot on guarding my ribs, and therefore I sucked even more than usual at Jiu Jitsu. I made it through both Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai (luckily Eric gave us an easier circuit workout--I wasn't the only one sore that day) and then iced my ribs. As much as I didn't want to miss training, I acknowledged that I had to let this heal. I figured it would be better within a few days.
On Monday, I should have told Eric that I didn't think I could do the Muay Boran moves he was showing us. I should have asked to do something else so that I didn't get injured. I was too stubborn, though, and tried the moves anyways. I took it easy on the exercise after Wednesday, but it didn't seem to matter--my rib pain has actually gotten much worse. I can't lay on my left side and a lot of upper body movements hurt. It hurts to cough, sneeze, and laugh. Now I'm pretty sure I actually have a fracture. Apparently bruised ribs can be very painful, too. Either way, I think I'm out of my MMA training for at least a month while allowing this to heal. And yes, I am aware of the complications that can occur with a broken rib and am going to have my mother (E.R. nurse) take a look to be on the safe side. It does not actually hurt to breathe and I can still move freely until I torque my torso the wrong way. Since the only treatment for either a bruised or broken rib is rest, there isn't much point in rushing in for an x-ray.
I have also been considering stopping my saxophone lessons. It isn't that I don't want to play, I just feel like I'm not advancing as I "should" be. My saxophone teacher Jeff is a very intense person, which is part of the reason he has been such a force of change. I admit to feeling a little intimidated by his manner, although he is a gentle person. On Tuesday, as I fumbled through my pieces, I could see disappointment in his face. All I could say to myself was, "Don't cry...don't...cry." I left vowing to practice more this week.
I don't think I am going to quit; I know I'm probably just being harsh on myself. I have practiced, and some days I sound good, and others I sound like crap. Today I started crying from frustration. But I had to ask myself, is it really the saxophone, or something else? On Thursday I got talked to at my work about my conduct, as I blogged about on that day. I hate my job. Hate. It. I'm bored, I'm tired of the B.S. and the unreliable/undependable hours. After my "supervisor" called me and asked for me to come in early, I practiced my saxophone. I was elated at the thought of being fired. My playing was light and airy, playful and easy. I realized that it isn't my saxophone, it's me. It's my job. How can I make music that sounds soulful when my soul feels oppressed by my job? It isn't my saxophone that is making fumbling, stuffy, non-musical sounds, it's my emotions.
I have realized several things about my job:
1) I will never advance at my company because I won't play their games, kiss ass, or tattle on co-workers for petty things.
2) My co-workers will treat me more and more like an outcast due to the factors listed above and I will continue to be bullied, with no recourse from managers.
3) I am probably going to get fired eventually due to the above 2 reasons.
For the first time ever, I cried just by thinking about having to go to work. I really wanted to walk in on Thursday and get some sort of final warning, which is always followed by a prompt firing at my work. Nope, it was just more B.S. to put in my record so they don't feel the need to give me decent raises. I am tearing up right now thinking about working today. I hadn't realized until this week how much my toxic (pun intended) job is affecting my very being. It makes me feel as though I don't have any control over my life. Part of me feels like just when everything starts to fall into place and starts going really well, something happens in an instant to conspire to change things. A tiny misstep has taken me out of my martial arts training for weeks, and I am deeply disappointed. I know that ultimately that only I can sabotage myself. But I've also finally deeply acknowledged that my life can't truly fall into place while I am in my current job, because it is too draining. I have applied for another job with our direct competitor which would have several advantages, including being closer to my house. If nothing else, it would be a fresh start.
This week had a series of missteps that have changed my directions in a few ways, some for the better and some for the worse. I am going to try to watch my step a little more closely from now on. Perhaps the missteps don't take me where I had planned to go, but are meant to steer me in another direction towards where I want to be.
“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.”
¯ Zig Ziglar
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Yeah. So this week is not getting a whole lot better. That's right, it's another whiny-ass blog.
I have a rib injury and can't go to MMA training the next 2 days, and I've just been displeased in general this week. So when I got a call from my "supervisor" earlier this afternoon asking me to come in for a meeting, I was less than thrilled. She asked me to come in at 4:00, an hour before my shift. I gave her a very a "Office Space" answer of, "No, I don't think that will work."
"How about 4:30?"
"I guess I'll see what I can do."
She seemed surprised that my response wasn't, "Of course! I have no life outside of my job, and I'll drop everything to come in and make my day longer than it already is! Cool!" I sincerely believe that if my employer needs to speak to me, they should do it during my shift time and stop assuming that I will drop everything to come in early. I really wanted to get fired. I was hoping I would walk in, they would hand me a paycheck, and I could be on my merry way. I figured I wasn't getting fired, though, because they called first.
In any case, I did come in a little early to let them say their peace. I got written up. Apparently I started a rumor about our absenteeism policy. What happened was that a co-worker asked if she could get a shift covered, and I warned her that she could be written up for being absent if she did this. I know, 100% for a fact, that they have written people up for getting their shifts covered by someone else. She immediately wrote to my "supervisor" and asked if this was true. So I got talked to for spreading rumors. People have also sent e-mails to my "supervisor" about making comments about stupid callers, which everyone does. EVERYBODY. Apparently some of my co-workers don't have enough to do, because they seem to spend a lot of time putting together e-mails to complain about petty stuff.
I told him that EVERYBODY complains about certain callers or vents about people who chew them out. My boss told me that if I overhear people gossiping, I should e-mail them so they can keep track of gossip. I told him frankly that I think that is petty and immature and that I will do no such thing. Yes, I could whine about how the supervisor who is on tonight has whined non...stop...about how busy we are tonight. I mean, he is bugging the sh!t out of me. Do people really complain just because their co-worker bothers them? Well, I guess they do here, but I won't stoop to that level. I could tattle about co-workers letting calls roll while they're checking Facebook. I could keep tabs on who bitches about our "supervisor" or our schedules. But I won't. I am not a tattler, I am a "live-and-let-live" sort of person and I don't tend to repeat what I hear. But one way to cut down on the chances of someone blabbing about something they overhear from me is to not talk to my co-workers. So for as long as I have to work here, I am not going to talk to my co-workers about anything that isn't directly related to a case we are handling. I am here to do my job, and I don't have to be their pals. On the other hand, my workplace is toxic enough, and I won't contribute by starting to pick on petty things or starting to tattle, nor will I kiss anyone's butt. Unfortunately, both of those go a long way at my work.
The irony is, I started the process of applying for a job with our direct competitor today (before my "supervisor" called). At this point, any job would be better than my current job with all the back-stabbing and a lying "supervisor." I wrote a blog a few months ago about how much I hate my job, and it has only gotten worse. I was surprised to see that this was way back in July, and I still haven't taken aggressive action to get out of here. I had applied for a couple of jobs, but was only granted an interview for one that does not pay nearly enough. I am hoping that the other poison control center hires me. I have no idea what the pay is like, but I would be able to bike, or even take a long (70 minute) walk to work. It would be a nice change of pace if nothing else. I will be sending in my resume and cover letter tomorrow. I have to say, I really am an excellent candidate, and I hope I can get that across.
Here's the blog I wrote about my job and how I used to adore it so much. It makes me genuinely sad that I keep hating it even more and that I want to walk through the door and be fired:
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Yeah, I hate that, too.
Okay, it is not accurate to say that I got kicked in the ribs. On Monday, while I was doing take-downs, my ribs landed on my partner's knee when I did a sloppy move. It stunned me a little bit, but I didn't think much of it at the time. In MMA training, sometimes you actually get hit.
In any case, I noticed my ribcage on the left was sore, but--MMA training=sore. There was no bruising, swelling, or any other apparent abnormality (and still isn't). When I got to Jiu Jitsu this morning, we started our warm-up of rolls (somersaults), and I immediately had pain in the ribcage.
Did I stop?
NOOOOOO, I'm too stubborn for that.
I got through both Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai, but by the end, my ribs were very tender. I also focused a lot on guarding my ribs during both classes, especially Jiu Jitsu. The guys got me a couple of times by throwing me or shoving me. Well, at least I learned by the last round and sat out. Luckily Muay Thai was a no-contact workout and we did a circuit workout, but punching was still uncomfortable. I iced it on the way home and am going to again tonight. It doesn't hurt right at this moment, but is apparently aggravated by guys throwing their body weight on top of me.
Grrr, so I am going to wait until at least Monday to go to the gym, and I also cancelled my personal training session on Saturday, assuming it would be a bad idea. I'll do walking and yoga in the meantime. The irony is, I was injured doing Muay Thai, which is the sport I've done for quite a while, and not in Jiu Jitsu. Oh well, some days you just get kneed in the ribs, I suppose...
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