METALBABE's SparkPeople Blog METALBABE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Day 70 Wonderful reflection, dear Bine, thank you for the reality check. That reminder about the "other side" of the itchy impulse was just what I needed. Now I just need to revisit that uncomfortable space within that holds the potential answer to the question, "What do I want to do?" I agree that my true desire - to be a stay-at-home-mom - came with a boatload of guilt, along with all its impossibilities and complicated emotions. And I hope, very deeply, that I find other things that will fulf... Fri, 22 May 2015 00:37:23 EST Day 69 Maybe this stressful, uncomfortable, anxious, on-the-edge feeling I've been having is restlessness. Maybe it is time for change. Then again, in meditation and mindfulness practice, I teach that we are all in a state of constant "dis-ease," in the sense that humans in general are always feeling like they have to change something. They have to move their body, scratch the itch, or DO SOMETHING. But as Jon Kabat-Zinn says, we are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS. My habit that I have been try... Thu, 21 May 2015 00:57:13 EST Day 68 Cursory check in before collapsing into bed after my loooooong teaching day. Today was exhausting, but rewarding in the teaching department. All of my classes actually went well and everyone seemed like they learned something. A stressful day for me with the lessons I was teaching, but rewarding, for sure. Now off to bed. More tomorrow. Wed, 20 May 2015 00:52:57 EST Day 67 Calcium, potassium...very good questions! Maybe these things are a potential cause I should look at. I take supplements every day, but you never know. <BR> <BR> My arrhythmias and subsequent surgeries are all a result of the open heart surgery I had in 1995. THAT surgery was meant to close the quarter-sized hole I was born with in my heart. But it's the scar tissue from that surgery that causes the electrical circuitry to go haywire. It wasn't supposed to start happening until much la... Tue, 19 May 2015 00:10:30 EST Day 65 I feel so surrounded by uncertainty. Like everything and everyone around me is so fragile. So many people are sick, or hospitalized, or waiting for news - my mother, my two dearest friends, my sister-in-law, my coworker... I came home from teaching today to find my cat covered in his own diarrhea and crying. Break out the bleach and paper towels! And a cat bath - big fun on a Saturday night. The poor guy - he is just feeling terrible and I can't do much but clean him up and comfort him.... Sun, 17 May 2015 00:35:41 EST Day 64 I don't have anything to say today. Nothing new. I still seem to be caught in some sort of depression that I don't really understand. But I wanted to write to say how much I appreciate the wisdom you both shared in your replies to my blog entry yesterday. You are both so wise, brilliant and kind - a truly unique combination. I am very grateful to have your points of view from the outside looking in. You help me so much every day. I wish there were some way I could repay you. <BR> Good ... Sat, 16 May 2015 00:27:05 EST Day 63 I feel like the days are speeding up. Every day is so crazy, jam-packed with a long to-do list that never seems to get done. And I know this is not the way I want to look back on having spent my life. I feel like I am having no impact on anything or anyone. Like I could disappear tomorrow and, while there are people who would notice, I could be replaced in all of my "roles" by someone else rather quickly. Maybe that's the lesson I am supposed to learn, somehow. It's not what I do that m... Thu, 14 May 2015 23:36:40 EST Day 62 I don't think I have posted here yet that my friend and coworker has brain cancer. This was a big surprise to us all (is it ever not?), though in retrospect, it explains many of the symptoms he has been experiencing for the past two years. He lost his ability to speak and walk at work last week, and was rushed to the hospital. There were many fortuitous elements of the whole series of events - that he was at work when it happened (he lives alone), that his other coworker realized he had be... Wed, 13 May 2015 21:38:41 EST Day 61 Whoops, skipped a day again. It's uncanny how I magically "forget" to blog after a particularly difficult day. You'd think that would be the perfect time for me to actually sit down and write, to process my feelings. Clearly I am in avoidance mode. <BR> <BR> I'm too tired to write more today, but like my meditation practice, where I believe that coming to the cushion is the most difficult part of the process, I think logging on daily is the most challenging yet most crucial part of my...w... Wed, 13 May 2015 00:25:41 EST Day 59 On this Mother's Day, I celebrate all of the women who have (and do) play nurturing roles in my life - including you, Bev and Sabine. But I have also been struggling all day with a DEEP ache in my heart for the loss of my stepdaughter and my "mother" status, and the fact that I have not been able to have a child of my own (by birth or otherwise). I could have just sat and mourned this all day, feeling sorry for myself very easily. I felt an urge to drown my sorrow and try to fill this huge... Sun, 10 May 2015 20:34:58 EST Day 58 Too tired to write much, but I wanted to check in at least a little. Today was a long, difficult day. Teaching all day in a non-temperature-regulated metals studio with all five torches going for seven hours - I was completely wiped out even before I went to see my ex and my stepdaughter for her birthday. I just got home from spending the evening with them. As always, it was really great, and made me really sad. I really do try to come at it from a place of gratitude for still being able... Sun, 10 May 2015 02:11:29 EST Day 57 Back on the wagon, at least for one day! It helped that my boss decided to go to Vegas at the last minute and I was able to work from home (on my own schedule) today. I got up and went to the gym, where I spent 40 minutes on the recumbent bike, mostly gasping for air. It's amazing how far two weeks without exercise has set me back (I'm sure all the hacking up a lung also didn't help). Then I spent the rest of the day working, and even got a little housecleaning in. All that, and I ate re... Fri, 8 May 2015 23:29:12 EST Day 56 Slowly dragging myself back on the wagon after being dragged behind it for a while. Thanks for lending me a hand, gals. Your warmth is so great for me to focus on. And on that note, I am going to focus more on YOU again! Here are some more questions when you have a moment. As you can see, it's all about favorites tonight... <BR> <BR> Do you have a favorite movie? <BR> I have a few, including The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Amelie, The Fisher King and Stranger Than Fiction. And li... Thu, 7 May 2015 23:41:22 EST Day 55 Yup, I'm still here. It's been a rough couple of days, and I can't exactly put my finger on why. Nothing new has happened. I need to sit with my emotions and figure out what is going on. My poor eating and lack of exercise is probably creating a bit of an endless cycle for me - making me feel worse, which makes me eat more/make bad food choices. I know I need to get back on the wagon, but am not sure how. But I am still here. That's about all I have to say today. Thu, 7 May 2015 00:02:31 EST Day 52 Check in for the day: <BR> Saw my ex and my stepdaughter this morning for the first time in over a month. That is the longest we have gone since they moved out. I was really missing them, and I could tell she missed me, too, because she got so moody when I had to leave after a few hours. It was good to see them, but every time I do, my heart gets ripped right back open. Then I am left alone licking my wounds... <BR> <BR> I made dinner for my brother and sister-in-law-to-be today. She is... Mon, 4 May 2015 01:13:02 EST Day 51 Just a short one today to express my gratitude. Thank you for being kinder to me than I am to myself. Thank you for giving me perspective. Thank you for remaining hopeful when I am not. Thank you for showing up, and for reaching out. Thank you for the cheers, the sharing and the smiles. I am so grateful to you both, dear friends. Don't know what I would do without you. Sun, 3 May 2015 00:53:43 EST Day 50 Damn. Well, I guess I now know another thing about myself: When I spin out and eat like a crazy person, I conveniently "forget" to blog that day. Again, I was in bed before I remembered that I needed to do it today. <BR> <BR> I don't know what's going on with me. I mean, I know that there are a lot of things going on, but I am not sure which thing, exactly, is making me eat emotionally. Maybe it's just the whole combination, and I feel out of control. I'm still logging all my food and ... Sat, 2 May 2015 01:19:17 EST Day 49 My mom had her appointment with the pulmonologist today. He looked at her x-rays and said it looked like the pneumonia was starting to break up. That is the good news. <BR> <BR> The bad news is that there is a spot on her left lung behind her heart that looks like cancer. He said that it is difficult to get a good view of it with an x-ray, and they will need to do a CAT scan, but they will wait four weeks (when they expect the pneumonia to be mostly cleared) to do it. He said at that tim... Fri, 1 May 2015 01:50:54 EST Day 48 I was getting ready for bed when I realized I hadn't blogged, so I am here keeping my commitment. Maybe it was a subconscious "mistake" to try to forget writing today - I ate like a crazy person today, totally knowing I was overeating and eating things that I would regret and that would make me feel terrible (physically and emotionally) today. But once again, I did it anyway. <BR> <BR> Two nights ago, my ex from 15 years ago texted me out of the blue and said that I was the love of his lif... Thu, 30 Apr 2015 01:44:10 EST Day 47 My mom is out of the hospital. Nose packed. Bleeding stemmed. Blood thinner adjusted. She is staying with my sister (about an hour away from her house) for a few days. My sister will drive her to her upcoming appointments. THANK GOD, and it's about time. I am very glad my sister is finally stepping up to help. It has been very difficult for me to be so far away and not go into a mindset of "If I were there, I would..." The fact is that I am not there, and I can't judge my sister jus... Wed, 29 Apr 2015 00:19:12 EST Day 46 Well, my mom is in the hospital again. Her nose started bleeding early this morning and wouldn't stop (she's on blood thinners), so she asked my brother in law, who works at a hospital near her, to pick her up on his way to work. She spent almost all day in the ER getting her nose packed and checked, and was finally admitted for observation overnight. She still has pneumonia, and they were able to put her on IV antibiotics, which is a plus over the oral ones she had been taking at home. P... Mon, 27 Apr 2015 23:03:10 EST Day 45 Yup, still sick. I don't feel like I'm getting better, and am feeling frustrated and impatient. Keeping it short today. Not much to say, and too tired to stay up much longer. I stayed home all day today, but don't feel like I'm making any progress by "resting." I plan to go to work again in the morning. Wish my voice would come back. It makes all my jobs so difficult when I am not able to speak clearly. <BR> <BR> My student reminded me of the psychologist who studied the corresponde... Sun, 26 Apr 2015 23:02:30 EST Day 44 What fun to read your answers to my questions, Bev and Sabine! It's so great to learn more about you - a very welcome distraction from my mom and my own sickness. I continue to be happily surprised by how much we have in common, across the miles and in three different countries. Here are a couple more: <BR> <BR> What's your astrological sign, and do you think it fits you? I'm born on the cusp of Taurus and Gemini, which means there are actually THREE of me in here! While I don't make ma... Sat, 25 Apr 2015 23:23:07 EST Day 43 Still under the weather, but thought of a couple of questions for you: <BR> Where did your Spark name come from? <BR> Mine is because I am a metalsmith, though many people think it is because I like heavy metal (and while I love most music, that genre is not exactly at the top of my list). <BR> <BR> If there were one place you would like to visit next, where would it be? <BR> I would like to visit India. I love the colors, patterns and food of India. From what I hear, it would be hard to ... Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:46:26 EST Day 42 No news here. I spoke with my mother today (sort of - I still have no voice, so it was sort of squeaky whispers from my end), and she sounds a bit more calm now that she knows she has a plan. She seemed confused about the fact that she can have the biopsy done anywhere, and that she doesn't necessarily have to have treatment (if treatment is needed) at the same hospital where the test is done. I tried to keep her in the moment, not getting ahead of herself or starting to plan for the "wors... Thu, 23 Apr 2015 21:14:36 EST Day 41 I am so, so, sick. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Bad chest congestion, cough, aches, pains, the whole nine yards. My voice is completely gone. I am down for the count. <BR> <BR> But what is really on my mind tonight is my mother. She has been very sick with pneumonia and a cough and shortness of breath that won't leave her. It's been months, set in while the snow just kept piling up outside on the east coast this winter. She went to the pulmonologist about three weeks ago, and he sa... Thu, 23 Apr 2015 01:13:40 EST Day 40 I just got home from teaching my loooong day, and am so jetlagged that I need to go to bed. I started feeling some congestion in my chest last night, but thought it might just be allergies. No such luck. Today while teaching my second class, I lost my voice and got a very sore throat. I stuck it out through class #3, but it was pretty torturous. I am glad to be home, and am just praying this doesn't turn into another huge sickness that makes me miss more work. I really, really can't aff... Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:40:48 EST Day 39 I felt so positive today! Woke up around 5AM because of the jet lag, and then went to the gym, where I rode the bike for a whole hour. Got some sweat going, and then headed back home to clean myself up and make a healthy breakfast. Then off to work. I really felt so elated as I crossed the street to enter the building where I work. It was a great feeling! I suspect it was the endorphins from working out, and I LOVED it. Hope to generate some more! <BR> <BR> It was also a GORGEOUS day ... Mon, 20 Apr 2015 23:39:07 EST Day 38 Hooray, hooray, hooray, I am HOME! My flights were without any particular incident, and I woke up in time to grab a taxi to the airport (at 4AM EST!!). Now I am back in PST, and it's not even 9PM, and I am TOTALLY going to bed. <BR> <BR> Goose is so happy to see me, and he keeps yelling and yelling about how I left him all alone for five days. I hope he will settle enough for us both to sleep! I can't wait to sleep in my own bed... <BR> <BR> Gonna try it now. Back in the swing of thing... Sun, 19 Apr 2015 23:27:50 EST Day 37 I usually write at the end of the day, but my meetings just ended, and then I have to go to a reception and dinner for the board tonight. I have to leave the hotel for the airport at 4:15AM tomorrow morning (can you even CALL that "tomorrow?"), so I am packing now so I can just go straight to bed when I get back from the reception. <BR> <BR> I'm feeling pretty good about my trip so far. I mostly made good choices regarding food, passing on every dessert that was available the whole meeting... Sat, 18 Apr 2015 17:07:03 EST Day 36 I am completely exhausted, and need to be at my first meeting by 8:30AM, so this will be a quickie. Just wanted to keep myself accountable by writing today. I did manage to get to the hotel gym today for some treadmill time, which turned out to be completely unnecessary because of how much walking around the city I ended up doing to get to the meetings today. It was all UPHILL, and I really felt my breathing issues. Glad I was alone to get there. It was downhill on the way back to the ho... Fri, 17 Apr 2015 23:16:38 EST Day 35 Oh, what fascinating friends I have! Thank you so much for "participating" in my last post. I truly enjoyed learning about you both so much! I wasn't sure if it was ok to ask questions on here - didn't want to invade anyone's privacy. But you both already know so much about me, I wanted to know more about you! Thank you. It made my day. <BR> <BR> It has been a long day - another two flights and now I am in Providence, Rhode Island in a hotel. My meetings start tomorrow, and I am doing... Thu, 16 Apr 2015 23:21:13 EST Day 34 Today's post is all about YOU! You graciously and reliably show up every day and comment on my posts, yet I know so little about you! I am curious whereabouts you live in the world (I live in Portland, Oregon). What do you do for a living right now? Do you have kids? Pets? Partners? You can just tell me to read back through a bunch of your old blogs, and I will try to do that when I have reliable internet access again. But for now, indulge me and write something about yourself - it co... Wed, 15 Apr 2015 20:22:33 EST Day 33 I made it to Ottawa! First three flights are over, and I am still in one piece. It's almost midnight here, and I am WIDE AWAKE. Looks like the jet lag is going to be rough on me this time. A (very sweet) five year old will be waking me up at 6AM (aka 3AM to me), so I'd better get to bed quick! <BR> <BR> So far, I haven't heard any updates about Goose, but I assume no news is good news. Fingers crossed. I know I will have a hard time sleeping without him, and I suspect he will have the ... Tue, 14 Apr 2015 23:48:50 EST Day 32 Here I go! Ok, not exactly NOW, but I will be heading out at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning. I think I am all packed. I packed individual portions of nuts, dried fruit, hard-boiled eggs, sliced veggies and pretzels to try to combat the long travel day (three flights - eek!) with no meal. Wish I could bring my little freezable cooler bag, but everything I read seems like they will confiscate it (it has gel in the walls). <BR> <BR> I have backed my sneakers and workout gear so I can us... Tue, 14 Apr 2015 00:41:28 EST Day 31 Starting preparations for leaving on my trip. I have only left town once since all my surgeries (I used to travel a lot), and I sort of feel like I have forgotten how to do it. I find myself very anxious and dreading going. This is, of course, exacerbated by the anxiety I have leaving my sick kitty, but it's more than that. I just don't want to leave home, upend my routine, pack and unpack, depart, board, arrive, board, depart... Would much rather stay snuggled up in bed than wake up at ... Mon, 13 Apr 2015 00:18:51 EST Day 30 - Now What? Well, I have been back on Spark for 30 days now. I have blogged almost each day, and completed the first 21-day challenge I gave myself. Now what? <BR> <BR> After the loooong, difficult night in the veterinary ER last night, followed by the stress of missing work today and worrying about my little guy, I completely fell off the wagon and stress-ate all day today. I knew I was doing it AS I was doing it. Essentially, I CHOSE to do it. I also didn't go to the gym this morning, in part bec... Sun, 12 Apr 2015 00:46:42 EST Day 29/21 What an incredibly stressful night. I just got home from spending the evening in the veterinary ER with my sick kitty. Five hour and $500 later, we still don't have any clues about what is wrong with him. But he is stable and seems to be feeling ok. He came home and ate (partially because they gave him anti-nausea/anti-vomiting meds, and they gave him subcutaneous fluids that should rehydrate him. I just wish I knew what was causing the high white count he has had for so long. He was ve... Sat, 11 Apr 2015 01:52:21 EST Day 28/20 Only one more day in this challenge after today. Hooray! That means I only have to come up with two more things I like about myself. <BR> <BR> I just got a call from a friend/customer of mine who is trying to file her taxes as a self-employed artist for the first time. She called me because I am a bookkeeper. I like that I am good with numbers, and am able to make spreadsheets, understand profit/loss statements and develop budgets. It's always been helpful for me to have those skills, as... Fri, 10 Apr 2015 00:20:55 EST Day 27/19 How is it possible that I work THIS MUCH, and still am so broke? I just got an overdraft notification from my bank. Sheesh. Makes me feel like I am just chasing my tail all the time. Like I said yesterday, something has to change. <BR> <BR> Tonight's thing that I like about myself... <BR> <BR> Hmmm... <BR> <BR> oh dear... <BR> <BR> Did I say that I am dedicated yet? I guess that's like the tenacity that you so lovingly pointed out the other day, Gentle Readers. When I commit to so... Thu, 9 Apr 2015 01:23:38 EST Day 26/18 Writing down what I do every day makes me really aware of how monotonous my life and schedule is, and how I pretty much feel exhausted every day. It's kind of the same thing that happens when you start to log your food - you become suddenly incredibly aware of the glaring issues that are somehow so easy to ignore when you're just going about your life, mindlessly. Maybe this is the part of me that meditated for two sessions of my mindfulness class today talking. But whoever it is, it sound... Wed, 8 Apr 2015 01:13:28 EST Day 25/17 Today, I was feeling sluggish and lazy when I woke up, hitting "snooze" and yelling at the cat when the alarm (and the cat) went off. I didn't go to the gym as planned, but made myself take my gym bag with me to work to make sure I had no excuse not to go on the way home. I TRIED to make excuses on the way home ("I'm hungry and should eat a little something first," and "Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are always so busy at the gym, I should just go tomorrow," etc.), but I went, anyway. It ... Mon, 6 Apr 2015 22:46:45 EST Day 23-24/15-16 Well, I skipped yesterday. Didn't mean to. I thought about it when I got home, but then was so tired from my day that I ended up going to bed without doing it. <BR> <BR> Yesterday was my first session of two, back-to-back classes I am teaching on Saturdays for the next ten weeks. It was a rough day, with lots of registration snafus, big personalities and general difficulties associated with teaching six intense hours in one day. I'm so glad today is my day at home, to recuperate a little... Sun, 5 Apr 2015 16:00:05 EST Day 22/14 I've made it two out of three weeks on this "finding good things about myself" exercise, and I actually feel like it is making a difference in my attitude. I still struggle with trying to come up with things, but I think it's a powerful practice to search for the good in oneself (or anyone) instead of always focusing on the bad. <BR> <BR> Today's thing I like about myself is another rare physical trait: I like that I am tall. It's always been a challenge for me to find clothes, and it cer... Fri, 3 Apr 2015 23:29:46 EST Day 21/13 I just learned that another teacher and friend of mine passed away last night. That is two friends in the past month. He was in Maine, and it was years since I saw him, but he was important in my life. Feeling the loss and the fragility of life all around me. <BR> <BR> My mother's visit to the pulmonologist was relatively uneventful. He told her that the "shadow" on her left lung could just be either pneumonia starting, or ending in that lung. It could be something else, but they won't ... Fri, 3 Apr 2015 00:19:51 EST Day 20/12 Today, I heard from my mom that the docs see "something" on the latest scan of her lungs. They have been monitoring her because she has pneumonia, and they need to make sure that she is responding to the antibiotics. But she has not been able to breathe well since her heart attack and surgery nine years ago. She has had many health issues since, including an infection that almost killed her last summer. She will see a pulmonologist tomorrow to give more insight into the imaging. I will s... Thu, 2 Apr 2015 01:58:30 EST Day 19/11 Halfway through my 21-day challenge! Today was a long day of teaching, and I'm pretty tired, so will keep this one short. On Tuesdays in spring, I teach two sessions of a class called Cultivating Mindfulness. It's a curriculum I came up with after I started exploring mindfulness and meditation practice as a tool to cope with chemo. I thought that what I experienced might be helpful to others, as well, so I have been teaching it for the past five years or so. In today's morning session, I... Wed, 1 Apr 2015 00:26:58 EST Day 18/10 WARNING: Today's blog entry is graphic and gory! <BR> <BR> So, I have been walking around with glass in my heel for about a month. The morning of my lecture at the college, I was getting ready to walk out the door, and felt a sharp pain in my heel. I took off my slipper and pulled a shard of glass out of my foot, but I could tell part of it had broken off inside. But I had no time to stop and dig it out, so I just put a sock on and went! Six hours later, I finally got home, and my sock w... Mon, 30 Mar 2015 23:41:10 EST Day 17/9 Seven loads of laundry. Weeds cursorily pulled. House aired and vacuumed. Garbage and recycling taken out. Some semblance of order reestablished. Nice to be home all day for the first time in literally weeks. <BR> <BR> Spring term starts this week, and I will be teaching five classes a week, in addition to my other jobs. Trying to do as much prep ahead of time as possible, and maintaining my new exercise and eating habits. It's a lot, and I'm trying not to feel too overwhelmed. <BR> ... Mon, 30 Mar 2015 00:04:24 EST Day 16/8 Taught all day today - a very difficult group. It felt like such a thankless job. I was so glad to have it be over. Then I went out with a friend for dinner. She drove, and somewhere along the way, I lost my keys (house, car, work & PO Box). Argh! So stressful. Looking forward to bedtime and trying to sleep it all away... <BR> <BR> But I wanted to do my homework first. I'm really feeling strapped for things to say I like about myself. I like my cultural background. I am half Japane... Sun, 29 Mar 2015 01:24:21 EST