Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I got together with another friend yesterday. This was to mainly hang out, plus there was a new little cafe near her apartment that is kind of a wheatgrass-y kind of spot, so we figured we'd try it. She works as a personal trainer/in-home fitness instructor so she is well-versed in what I'm doing and is very supportive. The title of today's song refers to her company.
We walked over to the cafe and it turned out to be closed. Peeking in the windows revealed a good-looking spot, what Hemingway called "a clean, well-lighted place". Maybe next time.
So instead we walked, and we went out to Newtonville, which is a haul. And we talked. I mentioned that I don't have any sort of a work-style Winter coat. I've got a trench coat but it has no liner. Plus I've got a Winter jacket. But I don't have anything I can possibly wear with a skirt once the temperature really, really dips. Her suggestion was to try something vintage. Plus we were going in the right direction, so we walked to Second Time Around in Newton.
This is Newton, there is money. Hence any second-hand clothing store was bound to have good stuff. Plus it's just fun. After having seen her place, I realized she's into old-fashioned stuff. A bonus: it was a beautiful day for a walk.
And I knew we were getting a lot of walking in but it wasn't until just now, when I checked the mileage. It is close to (keep in mind this is by automobile directions and not on foot) 3 miles.
I'll get to how I feel in a moment. But first! Vintage stuff!
Yes, there was a yellow fringed jacket from the 70s, perhaps earlier. There were Asian-inspired gowns. Interesting purses. Hats! We went in the back and looked at coats. There were two that caught her eye. The first probably would have fit me; she was swimming in it. But I decided I wasn't too interested in the colors. It would have been a good coat for her, except for the size. The other coat, though? Oh, man. Calvin Klein, never worn, originally 400 smackers. But it was just stunning on her. But, eh, even vintage it was serious ka-ching. And she wasn't even the one who needed a coat!
I didn't see a coat I liked that would have fit me. But ...
I backed up into a rack. I felt something fluffy. It was soft. I turned. It was teal. Oh, lovely.
A teal cardigan. Fits a tad small but will be perfect soon.
Cashmere, thank you very much.
This is vintage. There was a price for after a certain date: $22.50.
But the date was October. Hmm.
October of 2008.
I went to the cashier. $55, she said, pointing to the tag and showing me that the lower price date had not yet come to pass.
Er, no, see? It's 2008, not 2009.
Well, I'll be.
She gave it to me for $20.
I feel like I got away with Grand Larceny.
We walked back to my friend's place via a different route. This was up the world's biggest hill.
And I kept up! I was huffing a bit, and speech was a tad labored (isn't that the so-called fat-burning zone anyway? It's all good), but holy cannolli she's a personal freakin' trainer!
You gotta understand, two years ago I was working for a company, lovely people (where my friend from my last shopping trip/makeover was my boss, actually) and one day we decided to go walking around a track at a neighboring school. And that day, I could not walk far enough to get TO the track, let alone walk around it.
And now I'm keeping up with my friend the trainer.
That got me thinking.
Why do we make friends? How do we do it? And how do we sustain those relationships? And why?
Of course we make friends in order to form companionships. We do it all sorts of ways, including being thrown together for work or school, or actively getting into situations (e. g. volunteer work), or becoming accustomed to people by seeing them a lot (say, at the gym). We might even actively go out and shake hands with anyone we see, trying to make friends. Sustaining is effort, it's getting together, it's calling and it's writing and it's paying attention.
But, ultimately, why do we KEEP friends?
I think the trick is to be friends with people who can benefit you in some way. I don't mean in a mercenary sense, e. g., what have you done for me lately? I also don't mean that you should drop people who the going is tough. What I am saying is, cultivate relationships that are beneficial. Give yourself those kinds of goodies -- they are as sustaining, if not more, than food goodies. Make your memories with them.
It's called a memory BANK for a reason. It's not just an array of choice experiences; it's also, literally, a bank. As in, you make deposits and you make withdrawals. Deposit good experiences. Withdraw them when you're feeling lonely or down.
Yesterday, I didn't just score a great sweater.
I also scored a great memory.
A great deposit was made yesterday.
PS Next time - I really need to buy a coat somewhere! But I gotta add, after 6 miles plus of walking yesterday, my calves and knees are barking a bit. But I'll live. :)
Monday, September 14, 2009
Last Saturday, a friend of mine (she's actually a former boss - best boss I ever had!) and I went to get kind of mini-makeovers. We just wanted a girly day, e. g. No Boys Allowed! With my birthday just passed and hers in a few days, the time was right to treat ourselves. But, we didn't have a huge budget, so we went for impact.
The first thing we did was go to her salon. I had not been to a salon since, I kid you not, the day before my wedding.
I've been married for nearly 17 1/2 years.
Ever since then, I have cut the bangs and my husband has cut the back. I knew it did not look that good, but it was money thing, plus I didn't care much and, well, you know what it's like. For so many of us, for so long, spending money on ourselves for anything that did not appear to be 100% necessary has felt frivolous and selfish.
Well, it's not. It's just a haircut, fer crissakes.
The guy parted it on the side and clipped off maybe two or three inches. He thinned out the bangs and swept some to the side (I'll be growing those out). Then he dried it straighter than I think it's ever been.
I looked really good, if I may say so myself. :)
I love the cut, it's pretty easy to maintain and I feel like things are getting healthier in that area, too. I figure I will see him again in maybe 10 weeks (budget -- the dude is NOT cheap). And, yes, I'll still need to clip my own bangs until then. But I'll follow his lead and keep them wispier, and keep the side part.
My friend got her hair colored. It's nearly black, so any grey shows. She, too, looked great.
We then went out for sushi, and then hit the mall. The first stop: Nordstrom.
Now, Nordstrom isn't exactly budget. The idea, though, was to get me a bra fitting. Because, lemme tell ya, things are not what they used to be.
I must've tried on a good 17 bras before settling on two everyday ones and a sports bra. I'll need more, but won't bother again until after surgery, as things are going to definitely change again. My new size? The same as the title to today's blog song.
The bras were costly but I'll wear them a lot. I even left the store wearing one. Er, under my clothes.
Then it was time to hit the freebies. We went to Aveda and Sephora, as my pal had some coupons, mostly birthday stuff. I bought a lipstick at Sephora and they signed me up for their birthday club. Even though my birthday was over a week before, they still gave me the gift, a set of three free lip glosses. At Aveda, we both picked up skincare samples, plus I got a hair straightener sample.
Then it was time for Talbot's. I've had some stuff from there, and loved it, but I know Talbot's is also incredibly costly if you don't watch things closely. I ended up getting a lovely off-white sweater, which will probably fit me even after surgery. It was very comfortable and professional-looking, but I can also dress it up with a necklace and wear it to go out.
Next we got some coffee and gabbed and took pics (there are two photos of my new haircut in my gallery). Then it was time for one last trip, to Lord & Taylor. After that, we figured, it would be enough.
I ended up getting a heavy pair of dark green slacks for work. Hence now I have a completely new outfit and can use all of that at least until surgery. The pants probably won't fit after surgery, but that's all right. They'll serve a purpose.
All told, when you count the haircut, the clothes, lunch and coffee, I spent just under $350. I figure, yeah, it was costly, but I don't normally spend a lot on myself.
Plus it plays into something I have been wanting to do but have been unable -- until now -- to put into practice. This is the desire to own fewer articles of clothing, but make them better ones. So far, so good.
In the meantime, I also want to say, I suddenly had a measurements turnover. I hit new personal bests in a lot of areas, including my band. Funny, when you look here: www1.macys.com/campaign/socia
l?campaign_id=39&channel_id=1 , they say my size should be one cup size smaller. I suspect, for real, I'm somewhere in between. But the band size is right, which I think can be the greater part of the battle.
I'm also, suddenly, smaller in my waist, belly, hips and keister. But that's not due to shopping, that's due to the informal 5K Mr. J and I ran yesterday. Hey, ya gotta keep in shape for the competitions.
Hence it was a really full weekend. If my hairdo is a tad flattened, it's because I've been sleeping on the bus.
This week will be a short one; we will go to Cape Cod on Thursday, and will stay until Sunday. Waves and sun, here I come.
But first, a mirror check. ;)
Monday, September 07, 2009
I've had quite the week. I am rather tired so please bear with me if this rambles.
I started the week angry about my job, tired and frustrated. I've said before that I don't want to get into it, and I don't, but suffice it to say it was not a string of happy moments, and hadn't been. My husband and I had been talking about my job nearly nonstop, and that's not good. Not that I'm not a, er, thrilling conversationalist, but the bottom line was that it was dominating my thoughts and days and waking moments. The nadir was Monday night.
But then suddenly on Tuesday it just lifted, and while things are not 100% sunny (they never really are -- I'm not referred to as The Voice of Doom for nothing, dontcha know), they are considerably better. Essentially I took something I've learned here and been practicing from here, which is asserting myself better. If I'm gonna fight for my food rights then I will fight for other things as well.
Immediately I became less tired and irritated, and suddenly Mr. J and I had other topics to discuss. The Tuesday reprieve happened at the perfect time as Wednesday was my birthday (I turned 47). I went to work, I mean, it's what we responsible adult types do. I even got to attend a meeting. Oh joy. But hey, I got through it. My birthday treat was a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich. They are marvelous.
Thursday passed normally, and Friday I took the laptop home, in an effort to get something done over the weekend. Due to the three-day weekend, some automated stuff will not work properly. Hence the idea was to get a jump on that. I don't adore bringing work home but this was not intended to take too long.
By Sunday things were zipping along when I received a notification that I was SP's Motivator of the Day. That is one odd honor. At least it was for me. I got online and immediately saw I had a ton of notifications to wade through. Since I'd finally finished wading through the birthday notifications (not just here, but also on Facebook), not that I mind but I was a lil tired, I was puzzled. How could so many people be doing the belated birthday thing? Then I saw, there was an email that said I was Motivator o' the Day. Ah, suddenly the notification upsurge made sense. I love them -- don't get me wrong -- but I like to answer people individually if I can, which can make for a lot of posting on my part.
Then today, a day off (by the way, I only got a jump on a few work things -- something ugly awaits tomorrow). And what do I do on my day off these days? I run a 5K.
It was good, I felt stronger and a tad faster, and those were correct beliefs. I shaved off 4 seconds from my previous time, for a new personal best of 43 minutes and 32 seconds. My husband shaved off a good 90 seconds from his previous time. The results aren't up as of this writing, but they'll be here: www.3craceproductions.com/MainPages/
RaceScheduleResults.htm Just go to Bad Habit Productions and click on Results. I suspect I'm last or near last (my husband's finish is something like 78th or so, out of over 300 participants), again, which is just fine by me. I do what I want to do, and I run or walk or jog or stride as I am able to. And if I am last then I am still faster than anyone who didn't race (take THAT, Usain Bolt!) and as for my fellow racers, it is my privilege and my honor to make them all winners.
Once we got home, we immediately grabbed the frisbee and headed out. Our walking was a tad slower than usual, and we only played for 10 minutes, but I was still able to jump and run after the disc.
Now my glutes are barkin' but I otherwise feel good. Things turned around incredibly quickly, and I am grateful that this week played out in this order and not in reverse.
The next race will be in October, then another one in November and then nothing until at least February, due to expected bad weather, family obligations and upcoming surgery.
What will this week bring? I'm searching the skies but I think it'll be another surprise. In the meantime, I'm takin' a nap. This week has exhausted me. But in a good way.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
I've been having a rather rough time of it lately in terms of work stress. I don't want to get into it but things seem to be lifting a bit so I am hoping that will last. But I did want to put out this song as it's been kind of a meditation for me lately. Music helps me, lyrics always have. I guess they mean more to me than they should, but it's the title of this blog that has kept me going.
It's karma, you know, the cosmic cycle. The world breaks apart and then is renewed, over and over again. Even my own little world. And so, I hope, a renewal cycle is beginning.
But melancholy takes a while to lift, so this year (because it is my birthday today), the party will start off slower than it did last year.
At age 47 I can honestly tell you that I still feel a bit like 17 and a bit like 27 or 37 and even 7. It was exactly 30 years ago today that I got to my first college dorm. My parents helped move me in and gave me a chocolate cake and a can of chocolate frosting. Y'know how many friends you can make with the line, "Wanna help frost my birthday cake?"
Every year I take stock at this time of year. Partly it's because it's my own personal New Years' Day but also because it's the start of a school year so it's easy to get into that mode. I've accomplished a lot. Last year I got a lot more weight loss out of the way, but this year I am considerably more toned and in better shape. I am starting to live the life of a thin person, not just a dieting person. It's a good life.
And it's got room for cardio. Cheesy cardio.
Happiness doesn't always come. But with you, my friends, it comes more often, and more easily and it lasts longer. You lift me up and make things so much better. You're gonna make the next 47 rock even more.
Because I'm geeky, because I'm silly, because I relate way too well to Office Space and Napoleon Dynamite, because I know all the lyrics even as I've forgotten High School French, because I've got canned heat in my heels, and most of all because I love you all, this one's for you:
Monday, August 31, 2009
I now weigh 189, also known as less than I have since, I dunno, early 1991? I moved my ticker again; now my intermediate goal is 180. My long-term goal continues to be 146.
Yesterday, we went to a Red Sox game. It was fun (I always have a super time at Fenway) and I paid attention when the players' weights and heights were revealed, which is during the second run through the line up.
Well. I'm lighter than almost all of the Red Sox now, or at least lighter than the players they fielded on 8/30. Only Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia weigh less, and not by much (185 and 180, respectively). Pitcher Paul Byrd is a pound more than I am. David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, Rocco Baldelli, JD Drew, Kevin Youkilis, Alex Gonzalez and Victor Martinez all weigh more.
Last year, I outweighed all of them, and a lot of them are a good six or so inches taller than I am. Next year I have little doubt that I'd be able to sit on even Dustin Pedroia's lap without squishing him.
This is assuming he'd let me, seeing as he and I are married, and not to each other. Plus if I was on his lap I'd tell him to tidy up his beard. I figure it's gotta be adding at least a pound to his total.
After the game, we walked home from Fenway. My husband thought it would take us up to two hours. It took an hour and a half, for about 9,000 steps, which is close to four miles.
This year, it was a question as to whether we would walk, and Mr. J asked me more than once if I wanted to stop.
Next year, we will walk, and there will be no question.
Even if Dustin Pedroia fails to tidy up his beard.
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