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The Last Straw?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I wish I blogged with humor like Teeny Bikini, ChicChantal or Stonecot. I wish I blogged with the appreciation for movement like _Linda, Ramona or Nonie-C. I wish I blogged with the zest for self-improvement like OnToVictory or SkinnyInMyHead.

I appreciate these gifted and sincere bloggers. But I also read something deeper than their normal spin. Beyond the humor, the zest or the drive, their words are suffused with positive attitudes in the face of adversity.

Me? I have a positive façade. At work, I hear people being negative about Mondays, uber positive about Friday etc and I always say “_______ is one of the seven fabulous days of the week.” I DO mean that, but, inside is another story.

Friday evening, I saw my check engine light came on. This was after both of my trusted service centers had closed until Monday. My reaction was to be nearly paralyzed with fear. I could not sleep. What if I got stranded going to work today? Do I dare go grocery shopping on my lunch break? How will I get to the Laundromat? What if I can’t afford the repair? On and on.

Over the last couple of weeks, I worked out a budget so I can eventually get out of debt. The day after I paid off one bill, I discovered additional charges BF had not told me about. He watched some pay-per-view movies and had $8 of texts (I have not added texts to our cellphone plan and see no reason to change that). Both surprises were small dollars, but it was the principle. I learned about one through an email confirmation of the order and the other by downloading my bill. Those small charges, coupled with the anticipated increase in utilities (heat means room conditioner runs and a leak means high water charge) mean there’s less to spend on negotiable overhead (groceries and gas) and other things continue to be deferred (hair cut, clothes). He does not / can’t / won’t work so keeping things going is all on my shoulders.

Until things improve, I am tabling my pursuit of Paleo eating. I have lots of staples in the house that I can eat until the pressure on my paychecks lightens. I have brown, red and black rice, about a year’s worth of beans, lentils and cereal. Sigh. I have loved the increase in energy, the absence of digestive issues, absence of mental fog, etc. I will continue to do the best I can, but I must, at least temporarily, surrender to my more practical side.

My knee is feeling better, but I am still very tentative with it. A couple of weeks ago, because it was so bad and because my balance is not great to begin with, I fell 3 times. The cumulative effect of that was a concussion. That makes me even more tentative. As I age, each fall is increasingly dramatic and too much drama. Losing weight will help with balance. I know this, but I am not acting on that knowledge.

I was very close to suicidal a couple of week ago. I got some support and stabilized my thinking. I don’t even have the energy to be depressed. However, not to fear. I promised I would not act on those thoughts, at least not any time soon. Cilantro is a very old cat. Her 17th birthday is Wednesday. Juneau is not quite seven. I promised Juneau I would not leave her. If I did leave, Cilantro would be put down, BF would be homeless and who knows what would happen to Juneau. My cats are so sweet and innocent. I cannot bear the thought of their lives being terminated or turned upside down because of me. When I met Juneau, the shelter rep put her on my shoulder and she purred in my ear and into my heart.

I DO care about my BF, but I know in some ways I would be better off without him. Unfortunately, the way he’s going, that may happen. Among other things, he has heart problems and diabetes, smokes (outside for me) and does nothing to take care of himself.

I am marking time, unable to move forward. I feel as if I am treading water and there is no end in sight. On the other hand, I cannot give up. The increased weight, the impact that would have on my life, is not the answer.

I’m not sure what to say about work. At job #1, the latest wrench is that my coworker gave less than 3 days notice and left. Her new situation is great for her, but it left the department in a lurch. She handled patents, trademarks and copyright releases. We hired a temp who is handling just the patents. I am on the team that’s handling the balance until her permanent replacement can be found. It won’t be the temp – she does not have the background and the agency is too expensive. I’m in over my head, but I treasure the education.

I spent about a week compiling stats and creating an Excel chart of those stats for my boss. I was gratified to learn that he was impressed. I had to relearn how to do the charts (had not done them in over 7 years), but before I could create those, I had to gather and quantify the data. This was a manual process because our new system does not have a robust reporting feature for our legal matters. I had to learn a new formula (took me a few days to find it) and then pull that into the charts in the specific format the VP wants. Tomorrow, I will present and explain the charts and stats to the rest of the legal team. I anticipate that there will be changes based on their feedback.

In last week’s legal meeting, my boss mentioned he was working on something that required reading statutes and interviewing our technical staff before enlisting outside counsel. After the meeting, I asked him privately if I could assist. Statutes and interviews can be paralegal work. He said it was a good idea but he was not ready for me to handle it solo and that we would work it together. I am so stoked! The chances to work one on one with him, to learn from him are rare!

I lose sleep over the volume of work, but I am never bored. I am usually mentally challenged and I LOVE that!

Every Saturday, when I go to job #2, I brace myself for layoff. The job is not interesting or fun, but it is easy and the money is greatly appreciated. I do enjoy the people and the customers. Saturdays are very long and I think that dreading the day is the worst part. The afternoons are long and Sunday, my one day off, is usually consumed with errands and chores.

I could ramble on. I am a deeply flawed human being. Right now, living is impossible and existing is all I can manage. Here it is the end of the first week since the Spark Solution came out. I ordered the book when it was first advertised and was anticipating the arrival, deferring some choices until it came. The book came and I have yet to read it. I have yet to do anything that the team wants. I am sure it will be a valuable asset once I dig into it. www.sparkpeople.com/sparksolution.

Thanks for listening…

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATLADY52 5/20/2013 3:21PM

    You are willing to learn new things and stretch your mind. Those are not signs of weakness. Don't be so harsh on yourself. Take a deep breath and tell yourself to take the challenge of meeting each day head to head. emoticon

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RFJSJ50 5/20/2013 10:26AM

    I don't quite know what to say to you, except to just keep going forward, one day at a time. Life can be overwhelming and a struggle at times. Always remember that you have friends here on Spark who believe in you and in your abilities. We know that you are strong and won't give up on yourself. Just like your kitties, we're here to "purr" encouragement and love into your ear!
You are a special woman who has provided so much inspiration and motivation to me throughout our time here on Spark.
Stay strong - you are in my prayers.
Sheila emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 5/19/2013 9:49PM

    I honestly don't know how you go on with all you have on your plate :(( Its so very tough when you see a loved one pouring their life down the tubes (more stress you really don't need) you mention the small expenses he costs, but what about the cigarettes, last I heard they were horrendously expensive -if he could give up that one nasty habit, think of all the extra money you would save.. If he truly loves you, that could be one thing he could do to help out (and help himself in the process.
Its great your job does keep you challenged and I suspect that is your anchor -that huge challenge of keeping up and doing the job to their satisfaction and hopefully even earning the odd tidbit of praise for a job well done.
Mali, don't ever forget you are a loved and cherished person. You are worth fighting for. Everyone has their own talent and skill that sets them apart from everyone else. You have that incredible mind! Wishing you could be like someone else is pointless, far better to enjoy your own attributes. I know I can never be a runner and don't intend to even try, my joints would hate it, but I will try to be as fit and as active as possible because it make ME feel good. Do the best you can with what you have been given, and one step at a time, you will see improvement. Remember how good it felt for you working out with the kettlebells? We all suffer set backs and injuries, but once we are recovered, its time to slowly and carefully get back into it.
Feel better soon! Sending healing and soothing thoughts!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANNMACP0212 5/19/2013 9:06PM

    Please hang in there! Don't give up on yourself, you are a child of god and you are special. Yes, life is tough right now, but you have the strength to get through it, there are some good things going on right now (the job project for one), try to focus on that. Believe in yourself and believe that your circumstances are only temporary... It will get better!!

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Brain Craving? Imperfect Paleo Continues

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I have not stepped on the scale for a couple of weeks. I feel enormous. My knee is just now feeling nearly 100% and my balance seems to have stablized again. I am still sort of doing Paleo and still not exercising regularly. (Nothing new there)

Wanting a change from Subway's yummy chopped double chicken salad and not feeling like risking my neck walking there, I went to Carl's Jr at lunch.

A person can eat just about anywhere, but visiting a formerly familiar restaurant after making a change in the diet can be a mental challenge. I ordered the low carb burger (lettuce in lieu of bread), but I forgot to ask them to take off the cheese and the mayo. The side salad had one cucumber slice with peel, a huge tomato slice (no more citrus for me for a day or two!), a tiny pile of cheese shreds that I successfully removed (at least 90%) and a pile of huge pieces of bland iceberg lettuce. (I ask for spinach at Subways).

As I walked back to work, I thought about my craving for sweets. I saw candy at K-Mart but did not touch nor buy. I realized I wanted to chew - that's physical. But the craving for something sweet was only in my brain. An intellectual craving? Interesting. New. Different. I wonder...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 5/12/2013 7:01PM

    You did your best!

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RFJSJ50 5/12/2013 3:59PM

    My craving for sweet is what's killing my progress! I just can't seem to resist.
I'm glad your knee is better. I know how hard it is to stick with any type of exercise routine when you're in pain.

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CATLADY52 5/12/2013 2:07PM

    Glad your knee is feeling better. I know that if your knees are not strong your whole body is at risk. Have you tried any knee exercises? Just a thought. emoticon You are doing well.

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_LINDA 5/12/2013 1:39AM

    Great to hear your knee is okay again and good new with the balance!
You might find it more nutritious and less expensive to ditch the meals out and brown bag it, which also would make it easier to follow your paleo. Eating out is what derails a lot of people's efforts at weight loss, besides being expensive.
Sweets are addiction, plain and simple, once you have one, you will crave more -well done avoiding that minefield!!
Enjoy your weekend, hope you can find some 'me' time to relax and enjoy!

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LOSE4LIFE47 5/11/2013 11:24PM


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Attitude of Gratitude!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thank you, SP family, for your supportive comments on my short blog yesterday. I felt your hugs, love and concern and you really do help!

Having dampened the gloom and doom spirit for now, I can also say thank you to those of you who prayed and sent good wishes for my youngest sister. She's a teacher in Colorado, last hired in her school and the first laid off. Her job ends on her birthday, June 3. She IMed me a few minutes ago to share the news that she has received an informal job offer at another school, a smidge farther from home than her current one, for about the same amount of money (a little less). She won't have to move, she won't have to go to court to resolve a custody issue and her 3 children can stay in their school next year.

On top of my blue depression, I came home after work last night afraid that my boss was going to chew me out today and it turns out that I had done the right thing! Someone else came unglued via email and how I handled the situation was right. Validation is rare and so appreciated!

I have not been eating in response to this latest bout of depression and my knee is starting to feel better. I walked for a very few minutes today. The knee felt great, my balance seemed right and the breeze was cool. It was lovely!

I know I need to be vigilant about this depression and not slip into the depths. Thank you, my SP family! You have no idea what good you did!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATLADY52 5/11/2013 9:37PM

    A good word here and there is often all we need. emoticon

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CARRAND 5/11/2013 6:33PM


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_LINDA 5/10/2013 9:46PM

    What a difference a day makes! I am happy for your sister's good news! That is great your boss appreciated your work! Your knee feels better and your balance is better -tops! Hopefully, things will continue to get better. Keep on, putting one foot in front of the other. Depression is a difficult beast to tame. Don't ever refuse seeking help if you ever need it. Take care of yourself!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ACIMPEGGY 5/10/2013 9:42PM

    Good job, gf!

Depression still sometimes knocks me for a loop, too...but not for long. I rely on my ACIM teachings and my fav Abe Lincoln quote reminds me, "It seems to me that most folks are just as happy as they make up their minds to be."

I'm happy for you...validation makes us feel better...and for your dear sister and her kids.

Still praying for you and yours.


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RFJSJ50 5/10/2013 8:46PM

    Isn't strange how quickly we change. You sound so much better today and that makes me so happy! I, on the other hand, am battling to not sink down due to some things that happened today. I did eat too many calories, about 250 over my top limit, but I logged it and am trying to be honest with myself. I am tired so I'm going to nap for an hour or maybe even go to bed for the evening (it's about 9 here).
Again, I'm glad you are feeling better today. Keep a smile on your face and one in your heart.

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Serious Depression

Thursday, May 09, 2013

I've been silent. Too much going on. Too much stress. Too many burdens. Too much work.
Not enough fun. Not enough money. Not enough time. Not enough self-love.

I don't even have the energy to write a blog about it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 5/16/2013 4:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CARRAND 5/11/2013 6:34PM


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SONYALATRECE 5/11/2013 6:29PM

    I hope things get better soon.
My prayers for you!


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BARCLE 5/11/2013 6:20PM

    emoticon - I hope today is a much better day

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_LINDA 5/10/2013 8:12PM

    You work so very hard, so very long hours, and yet you have so little to show for it. What is wrong with this picture? You are spinning your wheels on a dead end job. Maybe you have to start looking for something reflecting your skills and education better, or at the least offers hope for advancement, security and even a career. When things hit the bottom, maybe its time to shake things up. Break out of this mind -numbing, soul destroying rut and find freedom. Try searching at the very least. You have nothing to tie you down there.
I second what others are saying. A little bit of fresh air, a walk in some quiet green space. You desperately need some time away from things. You can do that little bit.
My thoughts, soothing, comforting, lifting you up, giving you a helping hand, what ever is needed, are with you.
Never, ever give up and never give in, you are worth fighting for,
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CATLADY52 5/10/2013 5:44PM

    You need a hug. emoticon emoticon

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BYEFATNANNY 5/10/2013 12:05PM

    Get out of your rut (we all get in them) and do something different. Take a walk along the water in San Fran., take a pretty drive in the county, listen to new music and dance, pet some dogs and cats at the shelter, even though you are stretched thin, do something nice for someone else. Clean house real good, do a project like clean a closet. All things that won't cost (maybe some gas $) and may cheer you up a little. I know how you feel, sometimes it's hard to "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" Hang in there, life is cyclical. emoticon

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FACETOTHEVEIL 5/10/2013 11:33AM

    Count just one blessing for today. Is the sun shining? Can you hear the birds? You have these Spark Friends cheering you on!

God knows your name, and He cares!

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RFJSJ50 5/10/2013 11:01AM

    Just know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
I've been there - just keep pushing - things do improve in time.
Sheila emoticon

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GAYLLYNNE 5/10/2013 7:20AM

    I hear you. I live in that place too. Sometimes, just getting out for a walk in the sunshine will help. Hang in there, maybe you could find someone to talk to over coffee. Hugs!

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RORYLYONS 5/9/2013 10:50PM

    I hope your life will be in balance soon....Hang in there I have a person close to me who is in this state...but there is light at the end of the tunnel . I will keep you in my prayers. Find a friend who will listen maybe toss in a funny movie . Laughter is the best medicine when your feeling low.. Walking works wonders as well... emoticon

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SOFT_VAL67 5/9/2013 10:42PM

    i hear ya
all of the above
things got so bad for me i went back on anti depressants i have been off of for months and months and months
and now here i am back on them
i had to do something, something had to give, no sunlight is bad, low vitamin d, verrrrrrrry low vitamin d
and no fun in my life
feelings of hopelessness and abandoment, and yet, i dont want to spend time with anyone
a broken foot lead me off the walking track, walking was my savior and my salvation and led me to a 70 pound weight loss and then, crack
the foot broke and my walking was halted, and the low vitamin d kept the foot from healing
its been 4 months and im slowly beginning to walk again
but its rained for 40 days and cold damp dark dreary skies
and so on and so on and so on
good luck and i hope you find what works for you

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DARJR50 5/9/2013 10:38PM

  Been there done that. Find some "me" time. It is more important than anything else you have going on.

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TUDAFD 5/9/2013 10:29PM

    Maybe we should get together and try to cheer each other up. I hope things get a little better soon. emoticon

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Pick the Title

Saturday, April 27, 2013

What a Day
Karma is a *&*&)&)*
Falling off the Paleo Wagon
Grateful for the Kindness of Strangers

This week, I fell two times at work. Kind of like giving myself a mild case of whiplash. One side on one fall, the other on the second. I have this balance problem and, when I lose or gain weight, the change throws off my center of balance. I've lost over 9# in 3 weeks doing imperfect Paleo.

Today was my part time job at the dealership. It was not the best day. I had two customers who were irate. One was exceedingly rude, condescending and just mean. I ended up transferring him to the sales manager on duty and the manager backed me up, telling the guy there was no reason to be so abusive. The other was a lady who's been a customer for years and is quite used to getting her way by being demanding, loud and overbearing. When she called, her sales rep had just started a test drive with another customer, so I took her info. When he had a break, he asked me to give the message to another sales person, which I did. Later, she called back and I transferred the call to #2. She then came in and was screeching at everyone. Apparently #2 did not call her back and, when they finally connected, he told her something different than what she was told yesterday. It was a long and loud conversation, very uncomfortable to listen to.

I was still rattled by the rude guy when I took my lunch break. I walked to Subway and had their yummy double chicken salad. I walked to K Mart and bought some almonds and a favorite coffee. On the way out, there was a line of cars pulling into the parking lot. A driver about four cars back started honking and I hollered "take a chill pill!". Don't know what made me do that - I don't normally voice my opinions. Karma got me next.

A few steps later, I hit an uneven and rough patch of asphalt and fell. Both hands, arms and knees. I could not get my weak leg under me. A couple of young people approached me and I took the young man's hand and was able to finally stand up. Whew. I was in pain the rest of the day!

I took some anti-inflammatory, but was still tightening up. The afternoon was VERY slow, which is unusual the last weekend of the month, so I left early. I am still very sore, but very glad to be home!

When I got home, I was unusually hungry. I ate something on plan but was still really hungry. This is where I fell off the Paleo wagon. TWO pieces of combo pizza! A taste of peanut butter! I am still hungry! I have waited more than 20 minutes and the food gong is still sounding....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 4/29/2013 3:15AM

    So sorry you fell and hurt yourself :(( Work stress is a cause for emotional eating so many times. All you can do is get back on track immediately and put the incident behind you. That diet is doing wonders for you. Just keep focusing on the good results and anticipate more.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CATLADY52 4/28/2013 4:50PM

    It sounds as if your Karma got run over and smashed into at the same time. I've had days like that. emoticon

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MOVEITMARY 4/28/2013 1:58PM

    Oh dear, I'm so sorry! Take extra special care of you tonight.

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CARRAND 4/28/2013 9:57AM

    I've fallen like that, too. One time I fell in an LL Bean store after tripping over a display. The store employees were all over me. They were probably afraid I'd sue. All I wanted to do was sneak away quietly.

But it's nice that people stopped to help you up. I hope you won't be sore for long.

Stick with that paleo diet - 9 pounds is a significant loss, and you've felt good doing it. Don't let one stressful day stop your progress.

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LIBBYFITZ 4/28/2013 8:56AM

    My go to is water, water and more water! And if I am still hungry I try fruit. Sometimes that does not work, so I go off plan! It happens. emoticon

Sorry about the fall, hope you are not too sore. emoticon

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ELLENIRENE 4/28/2013 6:06AM

    ouch!! I've fallen like that, too, so I know how it hurts-I'm more careful how I plant my feet--it's so easy to fall

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BRILLIANTAQUA 4/28/2013 1:22AM

    Sorry you had such a rough day...hope tomorrow is better!
Don't beat yourself up for going off plan, life happens!!
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