A Study in Contrasts

I had the distinct privilege this weekend of going to Scottsdale, AZ to officiate the wedding between two of my oldest internet friends, Pix and Quin. Pix is the DM for my Dar na Theria game, where Ancelyn Blackstone, dwarven cleric of the goddess of song and secrets, is discovering that she can’t be strong for everyone. We haven’t played that game much recently (something something planning a wedding), but it was still delightful.

All of the members of that campaign were there except the two most remote (Rades and Llanion are both Canadian, and could not travel to be with us).

We laughed, we played a ridiculous monster heist D&D one-shot. It was amazing and beautiful and I felt so very very loved. They are my people, even if I was meeting some of them for the first time.

I flew home this morning and discovered that the friend that I was paying to care for my cats… hadn’t come to care for my cats. He “wasn’t feeling well so he guesses he forgot.” The cats had no food and water when I got home. This person has a key to my apartment, and I’m pretty sure that I don’t want them to anymore.

Add to that the fact that the other local person who has a key to my apartment for emergencies hasn’t responded to my texts to even acknowledge them the last three times I tried to reach her. So I’m trying to get that key back as well.

So here I am, having just spent three days surrounded by amazing friends, only to come home and be completely failed by the friends I thought I had locally. It’s an odd sort of feeling, and one that I’m not sure I know what to do with. I need a few people to be able to get into my apartment in case of emergencies, but clearly the people I have chosen can’t be trusted to do that anymore.

I’m hoping some of my grove mates will be able to step in and fill those roles. But until then, I remain distant from my friends. There’s a funny meme that went around awhile ago about where your friends live, and about how most of them live in “Fucking Narnia or Some Shit”.

It feels especially true tonight. My friends all live in a box on my desk, and that’s pretty lonely.

Thankfully tomorrow night I’m going to go play D&D with Josh, and Josh, and Ken, and the Caravan of Misfits will continue for as long as we can keep our squishy butts alive. The guys are becoming friends, and I appreciate them, even if I roll my eyes at them a lot. They’re real though, and so is the Grove. I just have to learn how to make friends out of the people around me.

(Also I’m totally hiring a professional pet-sitter for my next trip. I’m tired of having this happen, and I’d rather pay more to have someone with ratings and reviews and who if they don’t do their job I can fire and get someone else without being mad at a friend that I like.)

Eye’ll be seeing you

I recently went to the ophthalmologist for an eye exam. It had been… ahem… five years since I’d been there. Needless to say I had some decent changes to my prescription, but the real change was that I now have an astigmatism, where I hadn’t had one before. Apparently this is a normal part of aging, and nothing to be particularly concerned about.

So yesterday I went to pick up my new glasses, which have the new prescription and the astigmatism correction, and… it’s been very very weird wearing them. They don’t quite give me a headache, but my eyes don’t seem to know how to focus in them. When I look at things, they’re clearly in focus, so the prescription is definitely right. But my eyes are confused. I’m told it can take up to two weeks to adjust to this, and they’re considerably better this morning than they were yesterday, but it’s not like putting on my old glasses where I could just SEE. Of course, my old glasses weren’t that great anymore, and I was having focusing trouble with them too, but at least it was familiar.

We’ll see how this goes over the next week or so.

 

Morning wins and losses

So, I am not recently very good at mornings. This is bad, because I get up at 5:15 and am in the car by 5:45 if my morning is going correctly.

This morning, I got up a few minutes early – very sleepy, but resigned to get my act together. I remembered to take my meds and my vitamins. I remembered to wear socks that match. I remembered to put on my minimal makeup. (I am trying to remember to wear at least BB cream, eyeliner, mascara, and blush – not so much out of societal pressure but because I like how it looks. My work is 100% okay with women not wearing makeup.) I have on a cute scarf and cute hair sticks that match my peach cardigan. I remembered all the parts of my lunch.

Got to work a few minutes early, got my (tiny) coffee. Things are going pretty good, right?

Then I realize I am here with zero jewelry on at all.

Derp.

I guess if that’s the worst thing that happens today, I’m doing pretty good, but I’m still annoyed. I was doing so well!

Goals for 2015

This year, I will drink more tea. I will read more books. I will let the cat snuggle in my lap, even when I am wearing black pants. I will do more yoga, walk more, hug more people and more trees and more cats, and breathe deeper and slower and better. I will spend more time in the sun, and more time watching it rain.

I will remember that I am a bunny, and a bunny is all I need to be.

2013 Post Mortem

It’s been awhile since I posted anything here. Almost a year, in fact, though I visit my own website to remember my own recipes pretty frequently (I think this makes me a dork, but whatever). Anyway, back two years ago, I saw TJ’s post, inspired by Sundry‘s, and I figured the internet was nothing if not a haven for creative borrowing. So I’m creatively borrowing. Again.

2013 Recap

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

Deadlifts.

Actually weightlifting in general is new for me. I also walked 500 miles this year (and then promptly quit tracking, and that was back in October, so I have no idea how far I actually walked).

I also got better at using my words to stand up for myself in constructive ways, and asking for what I need from people who are close to me. This isn’t really “new” (I was good at it as a kid), but it’s something I’m relearning.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?


I made resolutions last year, at the beginning of what I now recognize was a manic swing. Resolution making when manic isn’t always wise, but these are the things I did resolve to do, and how I did at it:

  • Eat out only once per week – Fairly successful. We average one night out per week, sometimes less. 
  • Blog once per week. – Total Failure. Whatever. I blogged at another blog WAY more often than that, so I’m okay with not blogging here. I may or may not blog here more this year, now that my commitments elsewhere are less.
  • Walk at least 1 mile, three times per week. Reasonable success, if you count “work out” as walking. I completed three six-week workout challenges where I worked out 6 days a week, and other than taking pretty much all of December off, I did okay at this goal.
  • Spend at least one night per week reading. Reasonable success. I read 24 books this year, and am in the middle of #25 and 26 right now (both mythology books). I didn’t read as evenly as “one night a week”, but I did read a lot more, which was the purpose of the goal. New goal? Binge read less, habit read more.
  • Spend at least one evening per week doing a craft or hobby  Total Failure. 2013 will be known as the Year of the Moth, which happened because my yarn stash was so horribly neglected that I didn’t even go in the room it was kept in for the better part of 6 months, and am now throwing out hundreds of dollars in wool that is infested. It’s bad. 2013 will be better because I have some project deadlines approaching.
  • Meditate at least 10 minutes, two days a week Reasonable success – while I lost momentum in December, I was better about meditating this year. 
  • Unfuck my house at least once a week  We’ll go with reasonable success on this one too. While my house isn’t Better Homes and Gardens ready, it’s company ready most of the time, and while I don’t vacuum often enough, it’s nothing I can’t deal with. 2013 goal is to be better at all three steps of doing the dishes (Wash, Dry, and PUT IT AWAY, DAMMIT)

Whether I make any actual resolutions for next year remains to be seen. My guess is that I won’t – or if I do, they will be smaller, more important things.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No.

5. What countries did you visit?

None!

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

I’m honestly not sure on this one. I’d like to be better about keeping up with my relationships, and I’d like to either make peace with my commute or find a new job. (I’d prefer the former, but the latter could be exciting too).

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

No dates, but a couple of milestones – the day I reached Rivendell was pretty huge, the day I found Nerd Fitness and the day I found Go Kaleo (and the Eat the Food Facebook group), the day I got my dumbbells. The day I finally found a new therapist was pretty monumental. A few other days I’d rather not talk about here, but they were pretty huge too.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?


Aside from some personal (private) achievements this year, my biggest achievement is probably going from not being able to pick up the box that my dumbbells shipped in to being able to easily deadlift 80 lbs, with the rest of my lifts trailing not too far behind. I can not do a pull up (yet), but I am okay with that.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Sticking with my last answer for this one – I’m honestly not sure I have a good answer to this question. There are some things I did that didn’t go as well as I’d like, but overall, I handled 2013 proactively and with as much grace as I could muster, and I’m pretty proud of that, even if it was kind of ugly sometimes. My marriage struggled for part of this year, but I think we’re going in a good direction again.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

My biggest medical breakthrough this year was getting on a medication for neuropathic pain, which sent me from barely making it through a simple walking workout to doing bodyweight circuits and heavy lifting. While this isn’t a new illness, it was a huge breakthrough in my EDS treatment, and has resulted in a significantly improved quality of life.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Hands down, the reindeer costume I bought for my car in December. It’s so cute! My car has a nose! And jingle bells!

On a more serious note, the set of 50lb adjustable dumbbells. They weren’t cheap, but I’ve used them for 3 months, which means they’ve paid for themselves in gym membership fees. And I’m not even close to outgrowing them except for the deadlift, so we’ll see where I go from there.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Mortgage (duh), with travel and books the other two big categories.

13. What did you get really excited about?

I struggled a lot with anhedonia this year, so there wasn’t a lot of really exciting things going around. I didn’t even really get into the holidays. I suppose my one big excitement was going to Feathermeet in Seattle in July, and getting to meet up with My People again. I’m already looking forward to next year.

Oh, and watching The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug with my dad. That was pretty cool.

Also getting to participate in the Hand of Lothar storyline with my Feathermoon friends. Which I am still excited about, because it is still going on!

So that’s three things I got excited about. Not too bad, really, all things considered.

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Caro Emerald’s “Back it up”

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:


– happier or sadder? about the same
– thinner or fatter? same weight, much nicer ass (squat booty, ftw!)
– richer or poorer? about the same

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?


Meditation, spiritual seeking, and self care. Also writing. And playing the piano and knitting. Basically I wish I’d done more stuff that wasn’t mooning around on the internet because my brain is fried from work. If I’m going to moon around on the internet, I might as well at least be writing stories with my friends, right?

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?


Doing nothing, while wishing I wanted to be doing something (especially something I used to enjoy).

18. How did you spend Christmas?

With my family at my parents’ new house in Ft Worth. It was fun, but a little more crazy than I was prepared to handle. I’m still recovering. (And no, the Fart Piano did not come home with me.)

19. What was your favorite TV program?

No idea. The TV program I watched the most of would be the Astros games. Does that count?

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

Hands down, Kevin Hearne’s The Iron Druid Chronicles, though Seannan McGuire’s Discount Armageddon was a close second. I’ve a new genre to explore (Urban Fantasy)! For 2014, I’m looking forward to my friend’s debut novel Night Owls and reading more Seannan McGuire (and Mira Grant). Also reading more mythology. I’m on a serious mythology kick.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?


I didn’t listen to very much new music this year, and if anything, I spent more time listening to Audio Books (in my car) than I did listening to music. This is unusual, and I hope 2014 is more musical.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

I saw only one film this year, so it gets to be my favorite (and it’d probably be my favorite anyway): The Hobbit. (Yes, I know it has problems, and we can discuss them another time. But I was highly entertained by both Hobbit films, and am looking to go watch Desolation of Smaug again on my own in the coming week or so)

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 29, and I did… nothing? I don’t remember, so whatever it was, it wasn’t particularly memorable.

Also, I am turning 30 this year, and this is your warning, people who know me – I do not like surprises. AT ALL. Do not plan me a surprise party. What’s AT the party can be a surprise, but I do not want to be jumped out at, unless you want me to have a panic attack. Please do not give me a panic attack in your attempt to help me celebrate being older. (Just say “we’re planning a party for you on the 3rd at 6pm, but we don’t want to tell you about it, please show up dressed in something casual with comfy shoes” or whatever. This way I can be prepared to be surprised. Everyone will be happier that way.)

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Finding the right therapist sooner. I’d like to say “not being crazy in the brainpan”, but I’m not sure that’s one of those things I can really change.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

“Doesn’t fit”. My clothes this year have gone from too tight, to too big, to too tight again, as my body has changed shape. Pants that were too tight in the waist became big enough to pull off without unbuttoning them, followed by becoming tight in the thighs/butt and fitting again. I am overall the same size and weight that I was, but my shape has changed. Since I’m focusing on body recomposition (building muscle without losing or gaining weight), this is ideal, but it’s hell on my wardrobe. Until yesterday, I was down to one pair of work pants that fit. I went shopping, and now have some more options. Mostly I wear “professional casual” clothes – I am not a fashionista, by any stretch, and I generally wear comfy shoes and warm socks, dress slacks, and a sweater or cardigan.

26. What kept you sane?

My husband, my friends, my cats, and my family. And my new therapist. She’s pretty awesome. (And … a much better therapist than the old therapist). Also my spirituality, which underwent a lot of changes this year, in a really good (but hard to talk about) way.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.


Sometimes it takes showing someone how bad it is for them to be able to help you.

Also, never be afraid to give up an idea that is no longer serving you. You’re allowed to change your mind, your beliefs, and your thoughts. It’s very freeing to accept that.

Starting off 2013

I usually don’t make “New Year’s Resolutions”, simply because I don’t think this is always the best time of year to be starting new things. After the bustle of the holidays, winter sets in, and I’m up for a period of resting and recharging, not reorganizing my linen closet.

At least, that was my plan, but I’ve found myself setting up some mental goals in the last week anyway, maybe because so many other people are doing it. Instead of vague, unmeasurable goals though, I want to set up things that I can actually track. Maybe I will readjust my plans after a month or so, but at least I’d like to have some idea of whether I’ve stuck to these or not. As such, I’m not making goals for the whole year, just for the month of January. Ideally I can make some of these things into habits, and if I remember, I’ll revisit them in February. That seems more manageable to me.

So what are these goals?

Eat out only once per week.

My work schedule has changed from the 9-80 to a regular 40 hour, 5 day work week. This means I’m not getting up quite as early (6am instead of 4:45), which means I’m not going to bed quite as early, which means I have a little more flexibility in my evenings. SSH and I are both feeling like we could eat better, and the more cooking I do, the less I have to eat frozen gluten free meals for lunch (which are OK, but there are only about 4 options that I consider edible, and that gets old fast). If I limit our eating out, and cook more in the crock pot, I’ll have more leftovers for that, and we’ll both be eating much healthier.

Blog once per week.

Easier said than done. I miss writing about things, and I can access my wordpress login to this blog from work, so hopefully I’ll remember to keep things updated. If I keep up with my other goals, this one should be easy, since I’ll have something to talk about beyond work and sleep.

Walk at least 1 mile, three times per week.

After a pain flare, my schedule got the better of me again, and I quit walking (and biking). I’m still tracking the miles to Rivendell, and I’m ALMOST to Crickhollow. I will be trying to walk MORE than my minimum, but 3 miles a week is my minimum goal. It’s the best time of year for walking in Texas, since I don’t have to change clothes to walk right now. Hopefully I can set up a proper walking habit. This means changing my evening schedule slightly, since I’ve been showering as soon as I get home from work, and spending the evening in PJs, but I think now that I can stay up until 10, I can make it work.

Spend at least one night per week reading.

I realized that I think I only finished two books in 2012, and that makes me pretty sad. Especially given that I used to work at a frigging bookstore, so I have no shortage of books. So I’ve set a goal to FINISH at least book a month in 2013. You can find me on GoodReads if that’s your thing. I’ll be posting there as I finish books. I’m not going to make myself read all fiction though, since I’m apparently still too easily wrapped up in things. The last book I finished was very good, but I spent a whole weekend being sad after finishing it, which isn’t super fun. Re-reading counts too, but I’m going to limit my re-reads. I do want to get through Harry Potter again, once I finish Lord of the Rings.

Spend at least one evening per week doing a craft or hobby.

This will probably be spinning, since I have my new spinning wheel to learn! It might also be knitting or sewing, or writing letters. Or maybe doing canning projects. I feel like since I started my new job, all my hobbies except “putter around on the internet” have been largely abandoned. Hence the goal of doing them one night a week! This is allowed to be done while watching television, though we’re in the Long, Dark, Miserably Baseball-less Winter, so there’s not a lot I want to watch during the week.

Meditate at least 10 minutes, two days a week.

This can include seated meditation, walking meditation, mantra meditation, or stretching/yoga type meditation, just so that I don’t get bored. I’m allowed to combine this with the walking 3 times a week goal, but I have to actually concentrate on using the walk as a meditation, not just say “well I walked, that counts for two things.”

Unfuck my house at least once a week

Those not familiar with Unfuck Your Habitat may want to check out their tumblr, about page, tips, and welcome packet. It’s suited me better than FlyLady, which was becoming a constant source of anxiety instead of helping me keep my house clean. Working 12 hour days and needing at least 8 hours sleep apparently isn’t the ideal situation to feel like you have to spend at least an hour cleaning your house every day. I like the 20/10 system, and it’s helped me keep on top of the housework in a short time on weekends. Except for laundry, which still takes several hours, but there’s not much I can do about that. Anyway, I want to continue to keep on top of that, so this is really a “continuing” goal instead of a new one.

I am hoping I’m not biting off more than I can chew, but I think it’ll be a good experiment to do for a month. If any of these proves to be obnoxious, I will not hesitate to axe them from the list. Most of this list is about having more fun and being more well rounded, and if I’m miserably sitting in my living room spinning because it’s “official spinning day” and I’m hating every minute of it, that kind of defeats the point. So maybe these are more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules (thank you, Capt. Barbossa).

Feel free to help keep me accountable for this. I’m tired of doing nothing but work, putter on the computer, and sleep! Here’s to January!