Thursday, January 17, 2013
Well, after months and months of trying to lose weight before the big 4-0, the actual day finally arrived almost a month ago. I had a fantastic birthday weekend. I went to Chicago and met with all my old friends who live there. We had some delicious meals, great conversations, and absolutely the most fun one can possibly have on an IKEA shopping. I hadn’t been there in almost two years, and since I’ve gotten a new apartment and new workplace since then, there was A LOT I needed. It was a truly great weekend.
Unfortunately, things on the home front have not been going as well. Work has been really stressful since about November. And I noticed not one, but TWO new wrinkles. I know that they are a natural part of aging, but really, do two of them have to appear right after I turn 40? Talk about insult to injury.
My weight-loss efforts that I re-re-re-re-started in the early fall fell apart right around Thanksgiving. I was already starting to work really long hours by then, which never helps, but what really made things fall apart was visitor. Several visitors, actually. My new apartment complex is in a nice peaceful spot with a scenic empty field nearby. Well, it turns out that that empty field was not so empty. It turns out that field mice lived there, and when the weather turned cold, they invaded my kitchen.
That was instantly the end of my cooking healthy food. Or cooking any kind of food, actually. I cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom, moved everything out of the bottom cabinets, and set traps all over the place. I pretty much didn’t set foot in the kitchen for about a month except once a day to check the traps. You should have seen me cautiously approaching the kitchen each morning to check -- from my crouched posture and shaking limbs, you would have thought I was expecting to find a rattle snake or a great white shark in there.
By the way, I’m not a complete coward. I’ve lived in Florida at two different times in my life, so I’ve had to deal with all the insects (that’s the kindest word I can think of) that get in your house no matter what you do down there. But I’d never dealt with mice before. It grossed me out completely. It made me think that everything in my kitchen was covered in germs and diseases and I just avoided that room completely. Which, as you can imagine, was not very good for my daily calorie counts.
Anyway, things are better now. No one in the whole apartment building has seen any critters for a while, so I am using the kitchen again. Thank goodness!
I’ve created a meal plan for January, and am trying to prepare all the food on it and stick to it, but I feel like I’m just getting re-re-re-re-re-started again (hopefully that was one more “re” than in paragraph three). The things going in my favor are:
1. Even in the short time I was doing well in the fall, I could see benefits. So that’s fresh in my mind, and I want it to be like that again.
2. At work, we’ve been in our new building for about 6 months now and I think that novelty and temptation of all the incredible restaurants surrounding us is FINALLY wearing off.
3. Just lately, I’ve been doing a better job of setting up systems in my apartment. I’m not naturally organized, but I noticed that I do better if I have the right equipment, the right shelving and containers. I have a long way to go, but I am making progress. And being more organized will hopefully help me to reestablish healthy routines.
Also, I have had some non-health related successes lately. As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, it sometimes feels like all of my efforts go towards trying toward weight-loss. It often felt like there wasn’t any energy leftover to work at anything else. And that was frustrating because due to all the setbacks when trying to lose weight, I often wasn’t successful with that. And since all my non-job energy was going towards that, I felt I wasn’t being successful at anything outside of that. It’s a bad feeling.
So, I am happy to report that I’ve tried to focus more on my dreams of writing fiction. I joined a local writers’ group full of very talented people. I’ve only been to five meetings so far, but already, I like it better than the one I joined in the Chicago area. And ... drum roll .... for the first time since one Creative Writing class years ago in college, I read a short story aloud. I was proud of myself for A) actually writing -- and finishing -- the short story in the first place and B) being brave enough to read it aloud. Also, over Christmas I also got back into beading which I haven’t done in quite sometime. I made a couple of nice pairs of earrings to go with my holiday outfits. It’s nice to be able to make something and then wear it right away.
So, that’s my story of turning 40. I still have high hopes that this is going to be a special year for me. I’m doing my best to make it so. But as always, a lot of what goes on in my life is dictated by my job, and that’s not going super well right now. But I’m trying to make the best of it, and I’m trying not to let it affect how I spend my time outside of the office.