Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Funny, not funny

I don't much like the age-related humor that says Baby Boomers are going to hell in a handbag.  It's not the getting older that bothers me, it's the age-related ailments that are no fun.  Regularly I think about how I can try to stay healthier for my kids' and grandkids' sake.  I am trying to make better choices with my health, but some things I cannot change.  There's just no way to slow the aging process, no matter what the pharmaceutical or cosmetics companies tell you.  And shame on them for vilifying the natural order of nature anyway.  It's just going to make it suck more when you realize that tiny $30 tube of crap for your face did nothing but make you $30 poorer.

Maybe this comic hits too close to home.  My list of ailments might be janky knee, toenail fungus, urinary incontinence, hot flashes, thinning hair, snoring, hypothyroidism, tennis elbow, depression, GE reflux, peeling fingernails, presbyopia, high cholesterol, and...hearing loss.  Everyone has their crosses to bear, right?  I'm trying to hoist them up on my (achey)back and move on.  But the load sucks to carry if I think about it too much.  But, I guess as the saying goes, it could always be worse. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Roll with it

Mark wanted me to cross stitch him a saying that he hears a lot nowadays:
Just roll with it.
For him, it means just acknowledge the changes, adjust, and move on.  I wish I felt as philosophical about it as he does.  Nevertheless, I try to remind him often that things have to change to get better.  {Probably I should stitch that snappy phrase...}
And, although I like to cross stitch more colorful phrases, that wouldn't do for his office.  I can't have his boss and co-workers thinking I'm some sort of weirdo.  Besides, it will good for me to have a distraction and keep me busy.  You can't drink and stitch, so I guess its helpful.  As long as I have something constructive and creative to do, I feel better, anyway.

I pulled out my bag of thread, leftover from the days when Chloe was in 5th grade and she would make friendship bracelets with her buddies on sleepovers.  Those were the days, right?  I also have a small sewing box from the 70's full of thread that some child likely spent hours winding around empty thread spools.  I always look for that kind of stuff when I go thrifting.  I have enough thread now to last me through a few years of cross stitching.  There are lots of bright reds, pinks, and blues. 

It took me a couple of days to complete while he was out of town. 

I popped it into a cheapie IKEA frame and had it ready for him to take to his office when he got back from his out of town trip.  {I also got all of his suits and pants dry cleaned and kept the house from burning down while I simultaneously held down a job.  I'm a keeper.  maybe I should apply for a job as a personal assistant}

Then I sat on the floor in my bedroom, sorting the thread, unspooling it, saving the wooden spools, recycling the rest, and tidying up my stitching bag.  For some reason that all made me feel sad.  So I boo-hooed a little, then got back to my task.
I'm ready for happier, less lonely days and not so much change.  For feeling confident and content as I go about my work day, with work buddies I can rely on, and a boss who values my contribution. Learning new things and making a difference to other people.  That's how it used to be for me.  I'm not saying I was the World's Best at what I do for a living, but I am mindful of doing my best as I go through my day.  And I looked forward to going to work - I like what I do and where I work.  Why can't it be that way again?  I don't want to live in the past, but why does the present have to suck?  
Oh dear.  I guess I need to get busy on another project.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"What we have here is a failure to communicate"...*

It seems to me that even between people who are friends and family, people that regularly communicate with each other and know each other well, that there can come a time when you are out of sync.  For whatever reason.  Someone who you regularly "get" suddenly seems unreadable.  Or they seem to be saying something a bit outrageous to you.  You start to think maybe you aren't both on the same page.  Maybe they word something in a way that you pause and think "what the hell does that mean?"  And it just seems to occur at the most inopportune moments (Dear Boss, that means it ain't happenin' at the right time) or when you are about to discuss something that one or both of you are worked up about.  I used to think that if you were texting someone, you'd get the black and white printed version of what they were saying, without any kind of tone or implication.  (Implication is a big $5 word, Boss) You just got the bare butt words, and meanings were pretty much concrete.  But I guess that even with texting, you can imagine someone saying something they never meant to say at all.  Heck, maybe they did mean to be snide.  You might imagine they are sighing as they are typing...or giving you serious side eye.  You can only know if you ask, and if you don't clear it up right away, it snowballs.  And somehow text messaging can end up being such a pain in the ass that you simply stop "talking" to someone.  
{Ex.:  Gina and her sister Griselda} 

So what's the best way to communicate without offending someone who normally is on the same page as you are, and maybe they still are but you have misinterpreted something? (Read that one again slowly, Boss)  Face to face would seem to be best.  That works, as long as you see that person on a near enough regular basis to have a conversation.  But even then, people don't always feel the freedom to express themselves, especially if other people are listening in.  And any disagreements that pop up are more likely to get heated if you perceive them to be talking to you out of the side of their mouth (Dear Boss, look that up).  So, back to assuming how someone means something.  I know...I'm not sure there's any way around it.  I'm asking questions, but I don't really have solutions.  I guess recognizing that it happens is a way to watch out for it.  Maybe give someone the benefit of a doubt until you know for sure.  Seek to understand before being understood, I guess. 

*name that movie!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Happier Hours

Hubby and I have discovered that going out more often helps us reconnect and get away from jobs and "kids".  Well, truth be told, both of us have always enjoyed a drink.  Or two.  But nowadays, we can afford to do that more often - both time and money-wise.

On a recent Friday we visited a wine bar in Round Rock and enjoyed some wines by the glass with a goat cheese appetizer....goat cheese, pecans, raspberry chipotle sauce.  Delightful!  And the atmosphere on their outside deck was lovely - lots of shady trees and not too crowded.

Then it was off to Jack Allen's Kitchen where we indulged in Red Handed Smash and Grabs, a Pomegranate and Basil Martini, and my favorite drink of all time...


...the Mexican Martini.  Lest you think we drink too much, I might add that we also ate dinner and that these drinks were spread out over three hours. Maybe we are catching up from that period between Baby #1 and age 17 of Baby #4 where we pretty much never went out.  We didn't have grandparents or available babysitters, and money was always tight.  Our priorities were vastly different then than they are now.  Maybe old age is creeping up on us, but we aren't going to slow the Happy Hour roll anytime soon.  In fact it's a regular thing for me to ask "where are we are going this Friday?".  As long as I can make it to work on Saturday hangover-free, I think it's a good thing.
{Hence, the limiting of alcohol on the Plan for Living...}

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

An updated plan

My Plan for Living

Saturday and Sunday – One cup of coffee, no creamer. Do not go to hospital cafeteria. Pack a lunch with fresh veg, fruit, protein. Pack a diet drink for breakfast with almonds for snack. Drink 4 tumblers of water. Brush teeth at least once. Take vitamins and supplements. Do not eat candy or fried foods. Pack a Monday lunch on Sunday night, with vitamins, and set out scrubs. Pack a diet drink for Monday breakfast. Fish oil at bedtime. No cooking duties on the weekend.

Monday – One cup of black coffee. Be sure to drink lots of water while at work. In the afternoon set out scrubs, vitamins and supplements, pack a lunch and diet drink for Tuesday breakfast. Meditate or walk, depending on steps for the day. Make dinner, clean kitchen, and get laundry started. (clothes only) Fish oil at bedtime.

Tuesday – One cup of black coffee. Be sure to drink lots of water while at work. In the afternoon, meditate or walk, depending on steps for the day. Wash tumbler on Tuesday and place in tote. Clear out tote and hang. Fix dinner, clean kitchen. Finish laundry. Fish oil at bedtime.

For W,Th,F – One cup of black coffee and follow 4 tumbler of water plan, take vitamins and supplements, with fish oil at bedtime. Healthy lunches, no eating out. Aim for 12K steps. Use Barielle twice daily.

Wednesday – Remove nail polish. Weigh myself. Grocery shop and errands. Catch up on blog posts, make To Do lists.

Thursday - Ironing day, in addition to working the list. Also, change sheets and wash towels.

Friday - Clean floors and bathrooms. Gas up car. Finish up To Do open items. Make sure I have my tote bag ready to go, my vitamins and supplements packed, healthy items for lunches and breakfasts. Set out scrubs. Paint nails with clear coat. Fish oil at bedtime.

At the hospital, work hard to stay busy and avoid venting – keep your private life private. At home avoid dwelling on work, and do not check work email. Focus on self-improvement and health.
I put this plan into place on April 7 - approximately one year after returning from work from an extended recovery from knee surgery.  So far, so good, and the previous healthy choices I have made to avoid sodas, creamer, and walk more are still going strong, plus I have been meditating and using self-hypnosis which I feel are helping me to remain depression-free!  I will post an update in June.