Structure

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They, the experts that is, say that children crave stability and routine. As a child in a home of ever-shifting circumstances, I never had consistency, stability or routine. My mother, I believe, had good intentions, but she was also a terrible mother in a long list of ways, also she was and is mentally ill, abusive in all ways imaginable and could never follow through with anything.
People who have lived with an alcoholic parent or spouse  have a special understanding. They know what it’s like to want to please people, to want to be seen, or forgotten, or both at the same time. They know what it’s like to balance emotionally on the blade of a knife. Is it the angry drunk or the happy one who’ll come home tonight? They know what it’s like to have a fear of what people are thinking about you, what will their next move be? They also know what it’s like to want to please people, to be valued and liked even to the point of feeling uncomfortable just being themselves. I still struggle with these things and more.
I’ve been having a tough time shaking some memories the past few days.
I’ve been thinking about how I really need to create a routine, a schedule that works for me and to stick to it. Growing up mother would get on kicks where she forced us into crazy routines that were restrictive and manipulative, looking back now I consider the possibility that she was trying to get her own self straightened out and needed others with her… I donno, maybe. Trying to offer grace in that. But these routines felt like punishments, a slave to the clock and never felt that they supported life, or built or sharpened one’s self. But today, yesterday, and the day before I’ve been thinking how frustrated I’ve been not having the time to do those things I want to do. We’re all given twenty-four hours. what am I doing with them? Bitching some, yes procrastinating the rest of it, did you know I have a master’s degree in procrastinating?
What if I made room for all of those things I wanted to do? I’d probably do them.
For the last two days, as soon as I’ve gotten home I’ve tidied the home a little, taken a bath, made dinner, read or written, watched a little t.v. and then gone to bed still at a decent time. Also, I’ve woken more rested and earlier than I have in months. That feels good. I want more of that.
What I really want to do is to wake early and hit the gym first thing but B has been sick with bronchitis and as kindly, and respectfully requested that I wait till he’s better so that I don’t disturb his sleep so much. My love asks for little and the way he asked for this was prefaced with acknowledgement of my goal and desire to start new routine. I happily honor his request.
So I wait.
Meanwhile, I can still continue my evening routine which is more of a help, a support than a restriction. After all, it’s mine, I made it and as long as it’s serving me, I should do it.
As I’ve been thinking the past two days about structure and routine I wonder how much better off I’d be if I did get that stability as a kid growing up.
What if we didn’t move so much? what if we weren’t always broke? what if our power/water didn’t get cut off so often? what if all of our pets didn’t die? what if dad wasn’t kicked out of the house so much for mother’s paranoia? what if they didn’t loose their jobs so much? what if we didn’t have to leave in the middle of the night because the neighbor had called child protective services? what if little girls weren’t left with strange men? I could go on for hours with more what if’s that really happened but I don’t think it would be healthy.
What I can do now – is what’s best for me and move on. The past is past. No matter how much of a loss if feels like, or really is, it’s done, it’s over. And as tender as these wounds are best I can do is bind them and keep on.
That I must. For now though, the other potpies are ready to come out of the oven and I want to get through another chapter of my book.

PS
Yesterday I did half an hour of yoga at home, and this morning I weigh a FRUSTRATING 89.9 pounds. Ugh, seriously, how is it that I can eat three meals, snack through the day and still hover around 90 pounds? something’s gotta give. If things don’t take a turn after hitting the gym more regularly I’m going to have to hire a trainer. At least someone would be keeping me accountable.

PPS
Thank God tomorrow’s Friday. Really, thank you Divine!

PPPS
Also, complete transparency here, sometimes I just wish a maternal figure in my life (not my own mother) would hold me in her lap and let me cry, even at twenty-five I feel that I need that. Shit, that’s sad.

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Made it!

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Just a quick note, I did make to the gym tonight. Actually having your clothes in the car – no excuses helps… a lot.
I ran, and stretched and feel okay about that. Maybe in a few weeks I’ll feel like doing some muscle building exercises. For now, I’m just glad I made it there.
I feel really good. I feel great really. But I want to feel like this in the morning, at the start of my day and not at the end.
I’d like to start going to bed at a more decent time, to wake early and head to the gym. I can work out, shower, dress, do hair and makeup there, head to work, eat a small breakfast and then clock in and start my work day. Yeah, I think I can do that. I like the idea of how I’ll feel doing that.
Right now, I’ve got the munchies. I’ve already had 12 ounces of vegetable juice, 1/4 cup of walnuts, a piece of cheese, a yogurt and some wholewheat crackers.
I’m starving. So let me go stir the pho with rice noodles that’s simmering on the stove.

Not dead, just stressed

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Well, whew, lookie here. It’s been so long since I last blogged that I’d actually forgotten my username and password. Crap, that’s bad.
So, everything after surgery has gone well, very well indeed. I’ve healed nicely and am in less pain since having the tumor removed.
I’ve been doing pretty well with things like eating three full meals a day, snacking on things high in protein, good carbs and fruits and veggies. But I’ve sucked at going to the gym. I’ve just been so tired I don’t feel that I’ve had the energy to go work out – even though I know if I do get off my ass and just go I will feel better…I should just go – But I don’t feel as though I can push to do it.  I’ve been so lazy and stressed recently I haven’t felt as though I’ve had the energy to do anything but make it through the work day, crash at home, eat something, veg out in front of the t.v. finally give up and go to bed, toss and turn during the night, wake and procrastinate before getting up and starting my pitifully structured morning routine.

Here’s something I’ve always known but now know all the way down into the fibers of my muscles (I had so much tension in my neck and shoulders I injured myself sleeping wrong and had to go for a therapeutic massage to get some of it loosened up, I really felt as though I’d been in a car accident) – stress is bad for you. It’s bad for your body, it’s bad for your psyche, it’s bad for your relationships, it’s bad for resting, it’s bad for creativity, I could go on….

The drastic and dynamic changes in the practice I work for have really turned everything upside down. Shit, really I don’t know where to start or know that I really want to write about it. In fact, that’s part of why I haven’t been here. The last few times I started to update here it was about stress and work and I found myself getting angry about it even more. Damn, I wasn’t even at work and here it was in my own home, on my own time and it was still eating at me. I deleted the posts because they all seemed to be mini bitch sessions and that’s not what I wanted, it’s not who I am….so I’ve avoided facing that fact – that I’ve let my hectic and intense work life dictate too much of what I do with the rest of my time. See that? – my time. MY time. Mine, MINE, yeah PETRA’S TIME! I give M-F 40+ hours, the rest of it is mine. I should do with it what I want. For me. I’ll be a better worker, wife, friend, version of myself…..I just have to get up and do it.
So, tomorrow I don’t have to stay late to close the practice, did that tonight. Tomorrow morning as I head out for work, I’m going to carry my gym clothes and water bottle to the car. I am going to set them in the front passenger seat to remind me, they will keep me accountable.
Living so close to work is sort of an inconvenience. I live less than a mile away… there isn’t even a traffic light between my and the practice, just a stop sign that if I hit at just the right time, I don’t even really stop at, just sort of do a “rolling stop”. Terrible, I know. But it does mean that NOTHING is “on the way” NOTHING it is the reason that I have run out of gas three times ( I tell my husband twice because I didn’t ask for anyone’s help the third time, no one had to know – so it doesn’t count) I have run out of gas two houses down from my in-laws, in my workplace parking lot, and even 1/8th of a mile from the gas station I was driving to -to get gas.
I see the needle pointing towards the E and think I should go get gas, but I can make it to and from work X number of times – Bad! Bad, no it’s pointing towards the E get gas idiot! When the light comes on get gas you procrastinating idiot! It’sbad, I know.
So, the gym is out of my way when I’m leaving work. I can’t just go home and change. I’ll hang out at the house. Maybe if I just put the clothes into the car in the morning, I’ll follow through and really go.
Let’s hope. I’ve really got to burn more to keep up an appetite and put some muscle on….110lbs is still a long way off……..shit.

Oh! and new picture on the banner – whaddya think?

Wednesday Weigh In 1/16/13 – and a recipe

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Standing naked on the scale today – I weigh 89.7lbs.

My incision is still healing – so I’m not running or jumping rope yet. But I am using the Wii again for other, less strenuous exercises that don’t make me feel like I’m going to tear the wound open. A little healing goes a long way.

I’m getting better, again, about snacking. This morning – I had an orange and tea for breakfast. For lunch, chicken pasta salad, for a snack, naan and hummus, for dinner white bean chicken chili. But my husband makes me call it chicken and white bean soup. B thinks that calling it chili is a cheap, ignorant, and manipulative trick. Chili to him is dark red beans and beef…
Whatever you call it – chili – soup – it’s gooood.

See here:

White Bean Chicken Chili

White Bean Chicken Chili

Yes, my actual photo – credit: Petra

Allow me to share recipe with you

White Bean Chicken Chili/ Chicken and White Bean Soup

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken stock
1 (18.75 ounce) can tomatillos, chopped (these can be found in the ethnic foods aisle – they look like little green tomatoes)
2 (15 ounce) cans white beans
2 cups frozen corn
1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes (with jalapeños if you like a little heat)
1 (7 ounce) can diced green chiles
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1.5 pounds diced, cooked chicken meat
2 (15 ounce) can white beans
salt and black pepper to taste

  1. Heat the oil, and cook onion and garlic until soft and translucent.
  2. Stir in stock, tomatillos, tomatoes, chilies, and spices. Bring to a boil, then set to simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the corn, chicken, and beans; simmer 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  4. Serve with sour cream, avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, and chips if you like.
  5. Enjoy!

I slept on my arm last night which has left me with a terrible crink, kink, crick whatever you call it in my neck. Ugh! It hurts even to turn my head and I can’t make it go back. I’m writing all this hunched over my laptop (probably doesn’t help much) with a heating pad over my neck and draped over my shoulders. Honestly, I think I’d be better off if I microwaved a sock full of beans and hung it around my neck. I just might do that. Cordless heating pad. Ding! Point for me.
Till next time!

 

Back On Track

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So, let’s see, new year, new goals, let’s get you up to speed.

Standing on the scale this morning clothed in nothing but ambition I weigh a slight 90lbs.

On Friday, I had that tumor removed from behind my right scapula. I can tell a difference already. The numbing, tingling, pin-stabbing pain is gone already. The incision was only an inch and a half. No need for stitches, just glue and I haven’t had to take any painkillers. Excellent! I’m making good progress already.

For breakfast today I had chai tea with milk and sugar, biscuits with peach jam.
For lunch I had a chicken pasta salad, a boiled egg, naan and hummus.
For dinner we’re meeting a friend for dinner.

I haven’t been back to the gym since that pain started in more severity – too long ago. As for the increased bone pain with the weight gain- I’ve had a series of x-rays done for the rotational scoliosis I stand crooked with. I don’t know what we’ll be doing with that in the future – but good to take the first step if we need to do anything soon.

Right now my goal is to get into a routine. I need structure. I thrive with it. But I’m also lazy and don’t hold myself to things every well. I’ve been so tired latley. I know my poor eating habits and lack of physical activity contribute to this. So, we’ll have to start again. Start with small goals. Goal Tomorrow, I want to wake earlier, eat breakfast and read another chapter of my current book.
Baby steps. Right, Bob?

Have A Heart For Others

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I recently had to renew my driver’s license and I noticed something that shocked and upset me. I realized it had not been noted on my license for the last three years that I was an organ donor. “How is this?” “What happened?” “Why am I just now noticing this?” sorts of questions buzzed through my head as I glanced at my old license and gathered the required documents for renewal.
I have a rather vivid memory of checking the box under the yes column when applying for my first driver’s license more than three years ago after recovering from brain surgery and learning to drive for the first time. But I never checked to see that the little heart shaped organ donor indicator had been printed on that PVC card while it was still warm in my hand.
Luckily I’ve discussed my wishes openly with my husband B on a number of occasions and know in my heart he’d have followed through with my wishes. But I think of others who haven’t given it thought or been careless like myself. Why should families be put in a difficult position of making those decisions at such delicate times when time really does matter? They shouldn’t and I’m glad to relieve any loved one of that difficult position.
When I went to renew my license this year I was sure to check for that little indicator. It’s given me some peace to see it there.
I’d encourage you to check your driver’s license, look for that heart shaped indicator (or whatever they use in your state) and talk to your loved ones about what your wishes are. It could be incredible good to someone else, even life when yours is cut short. While I can’t give blood now, I can see to it that my wishes are known when I leave this life. That I may still save a life even when I’ve lost my own.
In death I choose life. Consider your options and share with your family please whatever that choice may be.

for more info: http://www.organdonor.gov/whydonate/facts.html

Why I Give Blood – Jenn Baker

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Today, I want to share from a friend and kindred spirit who donates blood.


I’m AB-, one of the rare blood types. I wouldn’t have known this had I not given blood in the first place. I think my first donation was in high school and I tried to maintain it every year, though it never hurts to pass by Blood Drives and hear about a need to light that fire under your butt when you keep saying ‘I swear, next weekend…’

The process itself is easy peasy and I’d implore anyone else to do it. I do it because I like knowing I’m helping out those with a rare blood type like myself and adding another pint to the bank. When donating I tend to think “What if this were me?” hold up in a hospital needing a transfusion or something to aid in my recovery and that makes the process all the more easy.

I’d ask that if you can donate at least once a year every so often. Don’t look at the needle or the dark red flowing through the tubes. Focus on the good you’re doing and who you’re helping in the longrun. The faceless person who will be helped with your donation. It makes the process go so much faster and give you warm fuzzies. And if that isn’t enough there are cookies and juice afterwards!

Jennifer Baker can be found at http://www.jennifernbaker.com

Sick of feeling sick

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I missed my weigh in last week. I was sick….I don’t even want to admit how ill I was because I didn’t have the luxury of staying home to sip on chicken soup and rice, breathing in the fumes of vapor rub slick and warm on my chest, and listening to my favorite film soundtracks while lying sandwiched between warm thick blankets in my wonderfully soft and supportive bed.
Instead I was working. Too many people out sick for me to be afforded the time off. Ironic? I think no. Actually I had a coworker come in saying rather loudly “I’m sick, and I’d just like to thank my sick friends and coworkers who share their germs with me. I’m just here to return the favor.” Funny thing is no one else can remember anyone at work being sick before she was. Then she shares a “woe is me” story of who at her house has been sick. Her son visiting home from college is the first one she can remember, then her, her husband, and their daughter. Ha funny….no.
Yeah, not funny since her son doesn’t work with us, and she’s not returning the favor to him….here’s where I utter unkind words under my breath. No grace in that. I should be ashamed. Rather, I am irritated.
Having sneezed so much that I used three boxes of soft lotion tissue – ’cause I’m a snotty snob- and had to blow my nose so much that I actually suffered from chafing to the point of bleeding. I had a throat so sore I guzzled hot tea and lemon for the first three hours of my work day, took meds ’round the clock to quiet my cough, soothe my throat and ease the pain of the pressure in my head. I was not amused by my coworker’s joking about “coming to work to return the favor” ill sense of humor indeed.

I lost my appetite and consequently my weight too. Annoying at the least. As if I didn’t feel bad enough already.

I am better now, much better actually. I just have a little bit of the sniffles and cough only apparent when I laugh. Honestly, I sound like a smoker when I laugh.  But what doesn’t have me laughing is my lost poundage. Blah.
I’ll do better soon. I am sure of it.

I haven’t been running or jumped rope recently either. That nerve pain has been on the rise again. It fatigues me and zaps me of ambition and willpower. My surgery is less than a month away and I’m hoping that an easy surgery, excellent recovery lie ahead and will guide me on to easier workouts, increased appetite, weight gain, and blood donation. Fingers crossed.  In the meantime give for me and share with me why you do. Thanks.