Monday, September 15, 2014

Campaign Season

Shoes I wore dancing Sat night
Due to some possible personnel changes at the office, I need to up my profile a bit.  Get out of my office and glad-hand.  Be visible.  Really cultivate some goodwill.  Get out and take credit for my projects, etc.  This became clear to me last week, when an opportunity presented itself to do just that and I was not dressed for it.

The day was rainy and I had worn sacrificial shoes to the office and my footware dictated apretty casual dress.  So when an impomptu meeting with a VIP was called, there I was looking all sad-sack.

As the weather turned a bit this weekend, I spent some time changing out warm season clothes for my cooler season clothes.  I went through and sorted out my closets again and tried to look at everything with a new eye.

I have one decent business suit that fits and I don't want to spend the money to buy more, as I consider myself to be moving back down in size.  I'll have to make due with separates, I guess.  And it feels like my style has all but left me, but I'm hoping to pull it back.

I stumbled upon and read about their challenge to style ten looks.  (Hell, I'd be happy with five!)  After poking around at the website, I also figured out that I need some navy/gray/metallic closed-toed work heels.  I had the perfect pair of those, but The Grandbeast ate them last year before they had ever been worn.  I went to my local DSW, but didn't find any thing that would fit the bill, so I am going to call Pebbles and see if she wants to go shoe shopping.

I hope she does, but if not, I'll go by myself.  I'm going to Dallas anyway to hear a bagpipe and drum concert.  I love bagpipes and don't get the opportunity to hear them very often.

Otherwise, life is bumping along.  A few stumbles in the clean eating area and a couple of dips in the energy, emotional and otherwise, but overall, things are good.  I've got a pork loin in the crockpot to fix for lunches next week and I'm going to make some mini-quiches for breakfast here pretty quick.  Now if I can just get back in the exercise routine (I bailed out of my bike ride on Saturday - just wasn't feeling it) all will be good.

Giveaway:  Audiobook (CD) version of Let's Pretend This Never Happened.  Please send me an email with your name and address info and I'll pop it in the mail to you next week.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Sharpen your focus.  Sharpen your image.


Monday, September 8, 2014

I Can Make This Work

Chelsea Flower Show vendor booth.  London, 2014
"I can make this work."  Not "I like this" or "I want this" but "I can make this work".  These are the words of a woman who has a tough time acting in her own best self-interest.  
Pebbles first brought this to my attention - my tendency to just accept many things in my life without asking myself if they/it are what I want.  And then I just set about adjusting myself, contorting myself into whatever shape will make everyone happy. 
I can make this work.  I realized that was what was going on in my mind re:  Talia's friend.  I should make this work.  I kept trying to find a way to convince myself that he was in some way interesting to me.  I finally came to the conclusion that I don't have to accept anything just because someone wants me to have it.  My feelings and wishes and wants COME FIRST.  What I think matters most, not what anyone else does.
Now those of you for whom this is a normal way of life, well, the fact that I don't always get that right sounds like crazypants, and it is.  It does, however, take a conscious effort for me to make that call.  It is not my default position, at least not yet.

Friday night, I took dinner to a friend, Janice, who starts her chemo on Thursday.  We had a lovely visit and I admire her outlook, as she moves into this scary part of her life.

After dinner, I stopped into a bar to hear my friend Christine's husband's band play for a bit.  I was late and just caught the last couple of songs of the set, but I did want to put in an appearance and I wanted to see what that particular bar was like.  The crowd trended older and the place was really casual.  I actually think Christine's husband is an investor in this particular bar, so it may be that they get to play there often.  Looks like a fun place to listen to some music on the rare occasion.

Saturday morning was a great bike ride, through hills of humidity and downhills of dodging raindrops, followed by brunch at a new place!  It was amazing - The Shed, for locals.  Then Wendy and Iwent to Dallas to spend hours trudging through fabric outlets.  Wow!  I ended up with fabric for three starter projects.   I'm going to have to do this whole sewing thing solo, as my pending sewing class was cancelled due to lack of interest.  Ah well.

Sunday, I was just lazing about when Pebbles called and asked me to head out for a road trip to the Panhandle.  I have not had the opportunity to see her civic projects  - and she's been working on them for years!  So I jumped at the chance to hang out with my kiddo for a day or so.  And obviously, I'm pre-scheduling this to post on Monday morning.

Getting in my exercise and eating clean.  I did pop into a tee are ex class this week.  These exercise classes use bands suspended from the ceiling as part of their resistance/strength training.  Part of it I really, really liked, but some of the exercises I thought were a recipe for a hurt back - so I just didn't do those.  My bicepts and tricepts are still yelling at me a bit - which is good.

My activities next week include an outing with the singles group I joined, which takes place in a bar with all the old 80's style arcade games.  I am looking forward to re-establishing my dominance over the Centipedes machine!

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Accept all parts of you.


ETA This was supposed to publish yesterday.  I'm trying to stick to Monday-at-a-minimum schedule.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hello, It's Me

Turkish Spice Market
It seemed fitting to start again today.  Yesterday, my new passport arrived.  It's been ten years since I started this part of my journey - really starting to come into my own.  Travel was a huge part of that.  My first passport has many stamps of different adventures, for which I eternally grateful.  I know I am extremely fortunate.

This fall has felt like a new beginning for other areas, as well.  I chose to end my relationship with Dave back in July.  I'd known for quite sometime that it was what I needed to do but wanted to make sure it was the right thing, and not just me acting from a place of chaos, given the crazy year I'd had in 2013.  I decided to give the decision a lot of time and thought, in addition to some help from a therapist to talk it all through.

I am practicing extreme self-care - making my life, health and good living my number one priority, and I've finally been able to budge the scale just a little.  I've been logging steps, getting into the gym on a regular basis, walking with Valerie three mornings a week.  That was a great change for us - I missed seeing her, but didn't want to just out for drinks or dinner, so I asked her to walk with me early in the morning before work and she agreed.  And, she's stuck to it - says it starts her day off much better.  Mine, too.

I've also been dating someone who Talia has been wanting me to go out with for three years.  We've been out three times but he's not the right person.  I have been very thoughtful about this, especially given Talia's high praise, but after careful thought, all I can think is what, after her knowing me for eight years, makes her think that he is "perfect".  He is a nice man.  He is polite, he is educated, he is comfortably off and has absolutely no personality that I can detect.  None.  Zilch.  Nada.  So I need to figure out how to get out of this without hurting any feelings.  I don't believe his will be hurt and I hope Talia's won't be either.  But just let me say "Does she not know me at all?"

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Know yourself.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Some fun wrapped around some truth

A friend posted this on FB this morning and it made me giggle (and jiggle).  Body image issues, either from weight or age or both does not do a body good.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Be divine.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Better Stronger Faster

I did the ride in Italy last weekend for the third year in a row.  It was fabulous - we went in the night before and stayed in a local hotel with an amazing, huge suite - room for 4 bikes, sofa chairs big tv, etc.  We did a sort of potluck thing, looked at vacation pictures, watched the Ranger game and tattooed.  Temporarily.

The day of the ride was such a rarity, weatherwise.  It was cool, but muggy, and completely overcast the whole morning.  And there was NO wind.  Let me repeat that - NO wind.  Needless to say, those factors just don't come together often for a ride in Texas in late June.  It was the stuff that dreams are made of.

It's a very strange thing with me - I must start out slowly.  I must.  If I start out too fast, my legs turn to lead within minutes.  This is the main reason that I never thought myself athletic - I didn't realize that I could be an endurance athlete and that if warmed up properly, I could do more.  Anyway, as we were finishing the second leg of the ride, I remarked to Talia how we had struggled up those "hills" on our first trip out there and how this time, we just chewed them up, without even breathing hard.

At the last rest stop, there was about ten miles left and I decided to see if I had a "fast" (relative term) ten miles left in me.  I mentally chose two men in their thirties/forties to try to keep in my sights for the last ten.  And I took off!  I did it!  I kept myself within spitting distance of them.  Actually, I could have passed one of the guys in the last half mile, but that didn't seem sporting.  Now granted, these guys weren't of the greyhound groups, but they were fast enough.  It was nice to see that I could ride hard and fast for ten miles and still have a little in the gas tank at the end.  It may be time to step up my game.

Take good care.  Be kind to others.  There is strength in strength.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's About Time

The past few weeks have passed in a blur of work - both at home and at the office.  I'm pleased to say that I have the back garden somewhat tamed.  It looks lush (we've had rain) without being overgrown.  I've gotten pretty hardcore this spring about pruning and dividing things and that has made all the difference in the world.  I'm still cleaning up damage from last winter's harshness.

Body-wise, I was surprised to find that I'd dropped a couple of pounds since my pre-vacation weigh in (only to try to gauge how much my suitcase weighed).  So, for a while, I'm going to weigh everyday.  I'm back to an "induction" phase, making sure I get enough fats in my diet.  I am doing my best just to trust the process and not get all caught up in the other crap.  It's just weight.  I'm 20 pounds higher than I'd like to be - but I'm also three inches shorter than I'd like to be and I feel like I need to think about those things in exactly the same way :-).

The kids are still adjusting to the loss of the big dog.  Pebbles is as depressed as I've seen her in years, which is probably understandable.  I am feeling pretty good, actually, so I'll try to ride that wave for a while.

If you are the least bit interested in the photos from the trip - send me an email and I'll send you a link.

Take good care.  Be kind to others.  Stay in the moment.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Trip Recap

The trip was amazing.  Easy, breezy (more on that later) and without stress.  London was fabulous.  Cycling through the countryside was like stepping back into a fairy tale.  Amazing, even with the constant rain, wind, and oh-my-god hills.  Hardest cycling I've ever done.  I learned it's possible to be miserable and having the time of my life at the same time!

Still mourning the loss of The Grandbeast.  Pebbles and Slater are grieving but coping.  Bless his snot-slinging heart - I adored that walking disaster.  But he had as good a life as a dog gets with his condition.  Not everyone would have cared for him, in both time and money, like they did.  They did all they could humanely do - he was seizing daily, multiple grand mals.  And it was time.  Tough, tough call to have to make.  But she waited until I could get home to say goodbye.  My flight came in on Sunday evening and she called me to tell me that Monday was to be "his best day ever" and that required my presence.  She told me to wear my oldest clothes, that it was required that I get snot and snoozle all over me!  So I went over and we played all his favorite games.  The four of us sat close together (like he liked) and we went for a walk, played stick, three of us cried a whole bunch. They said goodbye on Tuesday morning.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Feel your feelings.