Rain, Rain, and Rain

  

When I woke this morning, I grabbed my glasses and phone, as I always do.  I opened the weather app on my phone and prayed for even one little sliver of sunshine in the forecast for the next five days.  No sunshine.  It has been this way for weeks.  The rivers, lakes, creeks, trails, and bike paths are flooded and the levels are rising daily.  Sometimes hourly.  The park near my home is largely under water.  They just finished repairs from the floods of 2013.  The leaves on the tree in front of my house froze on Mother’s Day.  They turned black and fell off.  Now it looks like I have a dead tree in the front yard.  So sad.  

I think of my touch of seasonal affective disorder (296.99) and realize I am not in bad shape considering this horrifying weather.   I am grateful for that.  

I am planning another vacation, which always makes me pretty happy.  Having never been to Glacier National Park, I had no idea where to stay.  I usually check “Trip Advisor” reviews and photos.  I spent days doing this and found nothing that seemed reasonable to me.  Not really because of price but because of the accommodations.  Finally, I discovered a lodge nearby and booked a suite (sweet!).  I invited my son and family, they are excited to join us.  I am so excited!  

And now the diet to prepare for a happy vacation :-)  

When my arm was broken on December 12, 2014 all of my physical activity ended.  I maintained my standard 10,000 fit bit steps, but that is not enough for this woman.  It took about 3 months for me to start gaining weight, but when it started it was scary!  6 pounds in about 6 weeks.  I went into my “orange zone.”   
I won’t usually write about weight here because I absolutely hate the world’s obsession with thin women’s bodies.  My goal is never to be thin.  I have a great body, I normally have lowish blood pressure, normal blood sugar, good cholesterol and the ability to be active and relatively pain-free.  That is a great body in my book.  

There was a time though when I got WAY out of whack.  My weight got very high, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I was a very sick girl.  Girl of 49.  I was in my first management job and I was getting my master’s degree – full time at school and work.  Eating bags of crap from the hospital gift shop for lunch and dinner many days., because I thought I didn’t have time to eat real meals.  I just kept getting larger.  

I started exercising.  Lots of bike riding.  Swimming.  Roller blading.  I started riding my bike for transportation to work more days than not.  I started eating real food again.  And by my 50th birthday, I had lost 30 pounds, and felt great.  

There’s where the lines and zones came from.  I realized that after a certain weight I am not healthy at all.  My legs swell, I am bloated and my body doesn’t work right.  That is the red line.  That is ten pounds less than my highest ever weight – which I have not reached again in the last 16 years.  There is an orange line that is twenty pounds less than my highest weight.  That is where I am now.  I can still wear size 12 clothing, but it is tight and I find I need to “hide” areas of my body.  

So I am now on a diet – I have lost that six pounds in a week.  (“State of Slim” – it works!) I want to lose at least 5 more.  I want my clothes to fit when I go on vacation.  I want to be comfortable.  

I am working out every day again.  Regaining my fitness is going to be difficult, but I will do my level best and working out for 90 minutes a day should get me there.  I want to get back to my equilibrium – working out enough to eat whatever the hell I want without gaining weight.  I will get there again.  

Being 63 is way different than 53 though.  WAY different.  My orthopedic surgeon shared with me that he though us boomers will change what aging looks like…. I hope so.  Yeah, the orthopedic surgeon, that is another story for another day.  

Love, MC

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Insides v. Outsides

 
My lilac bush yesterday morning.  The snow and freezing temperatures have killed a lot – I am not quite sure the extent of it yet, but I know the leaves on the huge tree in my front yard are withered and black.  Hopefully some other leaves will grow in their place or I shall have a dead looking tree for a year.  

I had a topic for this blog post, but it took me 10 minutes to post the photo because none of my cloud photos are on my iPad this morning.  A horrible feeling that leads me to believe I need to print my favorites and “post” them into photo albums.  

So in the 6 minutes before my workout should begin, I will write about my feelings yesterday.  Facebook is a wonderful and evil thing.  I love it because I can see what my nieces and nephews and kids and grandkids are up to.  2/3 of my kids are not on FB though.  But my nieces and nephews are.  Anyway, I like to see what they are up to and see pics of their kids.   I hide most of what my “friends” are posting if they are political, religious, or if they post endless platitudes and affirmations.  

In my family, we had agreed to meet for breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants.  One of my daughters was working on Mother’s Day, so we worked around her schedule.  We had a great time, and after she went to work, we still hung out for a while.  It was really lovely.

By yesterday evening, I was fighting the feeling of feeling old and alone and unloved.  I really realized it was FB that was responsible… or my reaction to FB.  Judging my insides by others outsides.  The pretty families.  The photos of families with shining bright faces, no one covered with tattoos, no one with hair they didn’t bother to comb…. Just pure love, and mothers congratulating themselves, in the clothes of humility, for having such wonderful children.  I could go on, but I am sure you get the idea.

My kids are wonderful.  They are uniquely wonderful – all of them.  I believe God put us together for a reason.  My alcoholic / addict daughter and I always thank God that we were put together.  I believe no one else could have tolerated being her mother, and I believe she understands me on a level shared by no one else in the world.   We are connected in a way I cannot even describe.  And if she doesn’t comb her hair?  It means she really cared about being on time.  Seriously.  She later combed her hair.  She will never apologize for her tattoos.  I am used to them, really.

This post could be entitled,  “What Can Happen if You Let It.”  

I won’t let it today.  No siree, I will not.

Comparisons are odious.  And awful.  And hurtful.  We are all who we are, and I love us all.    

 

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A Little Corner

 Some day the sun will shine again, and this little place will be one I will enjoy – tremendously.  I still think it looks pretty in the rain.

Yesterday I found it so enjoyable to blog I thought I would try it again today.  I really loved blogging.  I really like going back and reading what I have written through the past several years.  My old blog will be 10 years old this September.  I really need to delete it because I overshared a LOT on it.  Way too much info.  I have gone through this blog from time to time and deleted and hidden posts.  I feel OK about it.  I did think of starting a brand new blog, not about AA or God or anything intensely personal, and “monetizing” it.  I like writing, I think I do it half-decently, and it would be nice to have a dollar or two rolling in.  But I can’t imagine what I could like writing about frequently that is not intensely personal.  

At work, the big event I have been working towards for nearly 2 years has come and gone.  The pace has slowed to a relative crawl.  I am entirely unaccustomed to having time to do things properly and with thought!  It is so weird.  But in a good way.  I looked around my little office the other day, which is now clean, and thought back and realized this is the first time since January 2012 that I have had a moment to spare.  I have several things I need to write and projects to start and meetings to get back on course, but I have time to do this!  Amazing.  I think I may be on the other side of that hill that has felt so impossible for the last few years.  

In my personal life, there are changes in the air.  I don’t want to get specific about this yet, but my whole future may be entirely different than what I have imagined.  That sounds like I have fallen in love and am getting married – that is not at all what is happening.  But I may be retiring to a different state.  Sorry to be so mysterious, but there are other people involved and they are not quite public about what’s going on – yet.  

It is however another reminder of how planning and worrying has always worked out in my life.  God always seems to have another plan.  I cannot map it out, because I am not the one who is in charge.  Much as I like to pretend I run my own life, it just simply is not the case. 

I am so grateful for that!
 

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Rainy Thursday Morning

  

The lilacs actually bloomed this year!  The last several years they have been frozen on cold nights as they were trying to bloom.  I have bushes on the path to my front door that are so fragrant that it enters my whole little house when the screen door is open.  Those are wonderful days.  And for anyone who has been with me all these blogging years, my lace tablecloth finally bit the dust and I can’t find another, I am reduced to a lace doily!  

May I be perfectly frank?  Sure you can Mary.  Well, let me tell you…. I went to meetings nearly every day for a month.  At the end of the month, I have gained 6 (six) pounds, and have grown to love some people I didn’t know well a month ago, and have grown to extremely dislike a person I was ambivalent about before.  

I think the bottom line for me is that I need to not  run around like a nut every morning getting ready for work, packing my breakfast and lunch, and being out of the house by 6:10 a.m.  I can do this one or two days a week and no more.  

I also MUST work out, and I have never quite figured out how to do that AFTER work.  This week I have had a beautiful schedule of treadmill, yoga, and pool.  All before work.  It feels glorious.  

May I be frank again?  Sure…

The person I have grown to dislike so much… I have known him forever… and have a long history with him, including a serious car accident (he the driver, me the passenger).  He can be extremely kind.  He can also be very cold.  You never quite know which person you will be speaking to on any given day.  Last Saturday at the meeting, he did what he always does, he sits through the meeting like a sphynx, and then in the last five minutes, talks.  Like the resident “expert,” and critic of those who have shared during the meeting.  He tends to take shots at me. He will criticize the Catholic Church, or some other things, and I pretend I don’t notice.  This last week it really got under my skin.  

In meetings, I always share from my heart (just like I do here).  I am not there to be an expert on anything.  I share my experience, strength, and hope.  I don’t pontificate, lecture, or comment on others.  I shared that the woman who was a drunk is still in me, but by the Grace of God, I don’t act like her most of the time.  But sometimes, she rears her ugly head, and then it is time to redouble my efforts.  Steps, thinking of others, more prayer, etc.  

Do you know that the sphynx worked the steps once and became a totally different person?  And that he is good now.  Awesome.   He went on and on about how well he is.  OK.  I am glad if this is an inspiration to others.

However, all I could think about is the times he has hurt me.  The times he has lied to me.  The times I have tried to give him another chance, in a million different ways.  And I thought about the fact that he had promised me he would do a job (not a favor, I pay him) before May.  I told him I HAD to have it done, asked him if he could do it, etc.  Yes, maam.  Well, it is May and I am scrambling to find someone else to do the job.  Mr. Perfect Program is off to Mexico this week and has no time to do the jobs he promised to do.  I am not the only one.  

I have to belive there is No Waste In God’s Economy.  Truly, someone was probably inspired by his share on Saturday.  On face value, it was probably good.  He HAS helped many alcoholics.  It is none of my business how he conducts his personal and busines life.  

I always ask myself, should I be SHARING at meetings, or pontificating?  I have a real story, and I think it is miraculous.  MIRACULOUS.  God took me from the junk heap of life and carried me into a new, real, and meaningful life.  Do I take credit for that?  hell, no.  The Grace of God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, that is where the credit lies.  How can I Boast of a Gift?  I can express gratitude and humilty, but not pride!  

I can give thanks to God, and not worry about others.  We all have our own paths.  I am grateful for mine.  

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April Showers

  

Of snow.  My lilacs bloomed for the first time in 3 or 4 years.  One day, and then the snow came.  Oh well.  They might have survived.  I won’t know until the snow stops and the sun comes back.  

I took a stay-cation last week.  It was very good.  I realized again that I am not quite ready to retire.  I need structure in my life.  I am not enjoying my job that much, but that is really up to me, is it not?  I don’t have to wear the world like a corset, I can wear it like a loose garment.   I tend to cinch up that corset, but there is a possibility that I could change that.  

On Monday of that week off, a realtor was walking the neighborhood trying to drum up business.  I was kneeling on the ground, pruning my roses.  I asked her if she thought my house needed to be painted.  She oohed and aahed and said my house is beautiful.   (maybe I should question her motives for that, but I don’t feel like it.)  She said she would run the numbers on my house and I was pleased to learn that I could sell my house and make a lot of money because the Denver market is so hot.  The problem is, the Denver market is so hot, there is nothing reasonable that I can buy.  She is sending me listings many times every day, but there is only one house that I have been even vaguely interested in.  A little 700 square foot house, on a pretty big lot, in a little wedge of residential area (with NO HOA) between a golf course and the river.  It is formerly a crappy neighborhood, but now an up and comer.  I think that land will be worth a lot of money some day, not far in the future.  The house was built in the 50s, but recently reno’d.  It’s cute.  2 bedrooms, 1 bath.  Why not?  I have to find a minute to go see it.  It will probably be gone by then.

The HOA (of which I am a board member) is walking the neighborhood in May to determine who needs to paint, etc.  I SO do not want to be a part of this, but I have been outnumbered.   I am terribly afraid my house is going to be one they decide needs paint.  I really really really don’t want to paint this year.  I have a number of home repairs I would like to make, and painting is not one of them.  You would have to look pretty close at my house to see that it needs new paint.  It is certainly not an eye-sore, such as some others in the hood – including the home of the man who is driving this endeavor.

In talking with my neighbors, I find that people cannot see their houses as others do.  Funny, that.  One of the worst looking houses is owned out-right (no mortgage) by an eccentric woman who is a world expert on an obscure subject and travels the world.   She told me “my house looks good, maybe the paint is faded on the south side….” Her house is a mess!  And you know what?  I could not care less.  

The property values are astronomical.  So, this HOA has decided to go around and create animosity by telling people what they should do with their houses.   

In other news….Shocked by a couple of relapses in my group, I decided to attend meetings most every day.  I have been going early early most every day.  It is good.  By Friday, it is really hard to get up early and move fast enough to get there by 6:30.  This morning I just could not do it.   But it has been so good to just get there and feel like I am really a part of the group.  

I am also training for a half marathon.  The training just started this week.  I have been sedentary since December 12 of last year when I broke my arm.  Now I am starting small, and hope to be ready for the August 1st half marathon I am registered for.  

I hope you all are well.  I really do miss blogging, but it takes tremendous commitment and lots of time….

xoxoxo,

mary christine.

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This is not a dress rehearsal

This is my actual life.  I don’t know how long it is going to last.  I am wasting time.  Wasting days.  Wasting precious time that God has given me.

I continue to “plug through.”  I consider that I believe this life is a gift from God, and despair to think this is the way I show my appreciation for this gift.  I am stymied.  I don’t know what to do.

I hate my job.  But I know this is not necessary. I can change my attitude, and look at what is good about it.  I know I can.  There is a lot that is good about it.  Like, for instance, the fact that I am sitting at my computer in my jammies at 7:30 a.m., because I can still get to work at a reasonable time even if I “goof around” in the morning.

I don’t want to do it anymore.  I don’t want to chair meetings at work.  I don’t want to prepare for them.  I don’t want to publish volumes of materials that will go in a notebook to show auditors and inspectors, but to be thrown away by the actual audience. I don’t want to have to reiterate everything ever said at every meeting because people did not show up, were late, left early, or just weren’t listening.  I especially don’t want to see evidence that people are lying.  Making shit up.  If you don’t have time to actually do something, just make it up?  Seriously?

I let this all sap my energy.  I feel like all is lost.  I am living in a house I don’t want to live in anymore… now is the time to sell… property values in my little neighborhood are soaring.  But I don’t have the energy to clean the garage, the closets, fix the horrible paint job I did in my bedroom last fall, get the sprinkler system fixed…. etc.  Honestly, I just cannot do it.

Then I remember that I turned my will and my life over to the care of God several decades ago.  Seriously.  I don’t believe you can really rescind that decision.  God has always worked miraculously in my life, so that even non-believers can see it.

So I am waiting for a miracle maybe.  Or I am just stuck in the mud of inaction.

Through the years the major decisions were made clear to me.  I believe God does that for me.  It usually involves my surrender.  God can’t step in where I am still running the show, rowing my own boat, etc.

I have no idea.  I am at a loss.

I don’t want my job

I don’t want my house

I don’t want this life I worked so hard to build for myself.

I want a simple life.  I don’t even care if I am very poor.

God please hold me in the palm of your hand, and please give me the strength to do what you would have me do.

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Plugging out of February

IMG_9128

That’s a pizza I was so impressed with, I took its picture.  Who knows why.  I have no such home-made delight tonight.  I have spent the afternoon in the dentist’s chair, I will wait until the last of the novocaine wears off and order a delivery pizza from the local pizzeria.  It won’t be as good as mine, but it will fill me up tonight.

I’m still not enjoying my job.  It is a long-ass winter.  Record breaking quantities of snow. Nothing like the east coast, but I am sick of it.  I am ready for spring.  I am ready for not working.  I am ready for a different life.

My daughters will be 36 year old on Sunday.   Holy crap.  It seems like yesterday that I was 36!  No, it is 27 years ago.  And my son will be 39 this summer.  My granddaughter will be 15 on the 19th.  Fifteen.  She is a full-blown teenager.  She went to her first high school dance a couple of weeks ago.  Life really moves fast.  Except the getting to retirement part.

This weekend I shall go to a meeting on Saturday morning.  Go to Mass Saturday night with a friend.  Go to dinner after Mass.  Sunday morning, meeting a friend for coffee.  I just need to focus on my free time.

Sorry I don’t have anything great to say.  I’m just tired.

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