Friday, 27 September 2013

Waiting to Deflate

There's a movie called Waiting to Exhale that has the theme of waiting... namely, "waiting on the man" to get his act together, to propose, whatever. I never saw the movie but some girlfriends of mine told me about it.

I am waiting to deflate, not exhale. For some reason, celebrating my birthday all summer long has caused expansion in several body regions.

Given up wheat (for health reasons) and now maintaining a low-sodium diet isn't enough to put me into my ideal weight, which for our practical purposes is defined as "the weight at which all of my pants and jeans fit."

I've been exercising and eating more protein/less carbs. After all the gluten-free banana bread and such was consumed, I have forsaken all others.  As much as I love bagels, I've stopped buying them. Grrr...
There's also this play called Waiting for Godot. It's 2 guys talking to each other and one's really frustrated because he keeps asking what they're doing and the other one says, "We're waiting for Godot!" And apparently they can't do anything else until Godot arrives, which he never does. I think Godot might be a code word for God, or possibly the Great Pumpkin.  The theme of the play is despair.
I hope I don't get to that point! People have filled millions of magazines with tips on losing weight, but I just need to get this under control.

Funny how you always crave the things you shouldn't have. I could go for a bagel right now!


Jane, Unplugged

I had the most fantastic acupuncture session this week. I was literally unplugged from my life and plugged into the great void.

She puts a lot of needles into pressure points on my head, generally speaking. Some are to treat a medical condition and help with my balance, while others are just to help me relax. I go to this acupuncturist for treatments every 2-4 weeks.

Well, did I ever relax! I relaxed so much that my mind went truly blank, to the point that when the little beep-beep-beep sound that comes at the end of each session started, I didn't know where I was. I had to remind myself that I was out and about and not lost in my own dreamland, snuggled in my bed. I had to get psyched for driving home (which is the last thing you want to do when your mind's been wiped clean).

Friends, it was incredible to have those moments when I wasn't planning some future event or recalling anything from my past and best of all, not even aware that the present moment is the present moment. Not working; not trying to learn something. Just being.

This has been a year of great changes (3 moves, one job change, lots of interesting stuff going on with family and friends, and a deepening commitment with Future Husband), and I was happy to visit the great void. I'd love to go back and take all of you with me, really.

I realize that a lot of people take drugs for that sort of experience. (Personally, I only became intoxicated in my younger years so I could giggle more and be ridiculous, but obviously not everyone takes that road.) These acupuncture events are so random that it's hard to predict when you'll get the mind-clearing effect; I'm sure certain that the mood and the body has to be prime for the experience. Still, I think it would be cool to see people trading street drugs and pharmaceuticals for acupuncture and getting the types of positive mental effects that I've witnessed firsthand.

I was inspired to direct you back to a blog written by someone I've met that dealt with her depression and anxiety and how she found help through acupuncture. Although I've kept an eye on the blog, and an eye on her via Facebook, it looks like she's gone into hiding. The blog, which I loved to read, is no longer available. So, I can't direct you to what she wrote.  I can tell you that she mentioned taking some very strong pharmaceutical anti-depressants, though, and that always worried me. Klonopin is one drug that comes to mind.  Very strong stuff.

Sometimes I feel guilty about blogging, friends. When I come across people who are very depressed, I feel like anything I say about my life that's good and positive is just going to get on their nerves or frustrate them. Rationally, I understand that I'm not being a jerk by blogging, but it concerns me that what I say, if it is positive about the future for example, may provide someone with a reason to feel despair.

In any case, no matter what your current state of mental or physical health may be, I wish I could buy you- the whole world, really- an acupuncture session and introduce you to the great void. I loved it there.

Yours truly,

Saturday, 21 September 2013

A soak in the ocean, a walk on the beach, some time in the sun

Friends, I ran away today. To the beach. I needed some time in the breeze under the hot sun.

I mentioned before that it's rained on me most of the time I've been at the beach this year. Attempts to walk on the beach were met with soaking rain... but today was different. I walked as long as I wanted in the sun. It was gorgeous.

I saw this interesting man where I sat. I called him Adam Clayton circa 1989. Check out the hair!

Of course, the rock theme continued as I found myself in the middle of, you guessed it, a Flock of Seagulls!

I don't know if you've figured out the connection, but I am a bird person. Always have been. It, along with my crush on River, was why I picked Phoenix as my last name. My goal is to be, you guessed it, a mythological bird.

Funny how the use of the word "bird" refers to women in certain circles. Usually older dudes use this type of language, and it's not always the most respectful. However, I think Diva and I qualify as crazy birds. After all, she is known for wearing a feathered boa!

Birds of a feather flock together.

Freaks of a feather rock together, according to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The third picture shows what I call punk rock birds. I don't know what they are called officially, but goodness, don't they look cool?

On my own, in my black tankini, I noticed the behavior of people around me. A couple duos of young men walked close by to get a closer look. I was flattered as hell. Then there were the older dudes, with whom I didn't make eye contact.

I am glad to be spoken for in the boyfriend department.

The beach is a great equalizer. We are all judged on the basis of our belly fat, or lack thereof. Our bathing suits, even those that cover much, really don't leave much to the imagination.

Young people, 17-18 years old, were everywhere. It cracked me up to hear snippets of their conversations. Stuff about, "Thanks for letting me vent. I can't talk to anyone at school or this will get back to my mom." There's so much that my friends and I used to worry about that we don't anymore. Things have changed so much. In a way, I still feel like a kid that age.  But then I realize that a long time has passed since those glorious days in the sun with my friends.

It was a good day to just lounge. I'll be honest: I have a lot of work to do on my book, and I intend to do it tomorrow. However, today's beach time made me relaxed in a way that I've needed for a while. It was worth the drive to come home and sleep for 2 solid hours after my shower. I felt like my brain had been unplugged for the first time in a while.

Thank goodness. There's been so much to think about lately, and not all fun stuff either.

Friends, I hope you have a wonderful week. This is your postcard from paradise.
Yours truly,

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Summer of Carbs is OVER!

Diva and I are both challenging ourselves to be good for a while. I know I got into a new bad habit this summer that started with a big box full of gluten-free breads (birthday gift- yay!) and continued with red potatoes covered in garlic powder, rosemary, olive oil and pepper that I kept on cooking with chicken, mmmm... it's resulted in a very obvious 5-pound gain, and since I am short, it is quite visible.

She informed me recently, "I'm deflating!" That is what happens when you stop eating so many carbs.  I haven't started deflating yet, but it is a goal.

Carbs turn to sugar and that leads to weight gain. Yeah, I get that...

It would be easier to get into better shape if I felt better.  Recent blood tests have shown I need to give up the medication I used to use to control an ongoing condition, so now it's a rocky road for my health. I don't have the energy I had when I took the medication and could breathe well and sleep better.

Still, I am trying to count my blessings and hang in there.

Come on, deflation!


Sunday, 8 September 2013

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

Friends, I've been thinking a lot about this advice lately. The desire to simplify my life is high right now.

I've been blessed with time with friends both near and far this year. I moved from one job to another (and will again move to another job, due to outside circumstances). For now, though, there is a good rhythm to life. Time with family, time with friends I knew long ago that I've reconnected with now that I've moved "home," and the possibility of a new place and a new home in the future.

One of the most cleansing things I've done is take advantage of the ACRCF truck. ACRCF is American Cancer Research Center and Foundation. They took my "donation" that consisted of household and clothing odds and ends- not enough to exchange or use for a garage sale, but stuff that was taking up space, not doing me any good, reminding me of the old days.

Some of my old days were good, but since this recession started, there have been more bad than good, and I'm opening my eyes to remembering the good old times and concentrating on making better times in the future.

A good part of that is not having entanglements.  The real estate thing really tripped me up; being unable to move made my life hard. Now, that's no longer the case. And being portable, it's good to simplify, simplify, simplify, and not have so much stuff hanging around. I don't need it or want it either.

I'm feeling very blessed. This past year has transformed my life for the better.