Monday, October 25, 2010

Feeling better after 8 days

Well I can walk, which means I can get to packing and moving again. It was hard to spend my weekend off my feet when all I wanted to do was pack and clean. My ankle has been mostly pain free and my left knee has ached less today. I had a sorta migraine for 2 days also, and its mostly cleared. I am hoping to add swimming to my schedule Tuesday night to get back into shape after the grueling marathon running i did the past 4 weeks.

Danny: I bought Saucony running shoes, they didnt work well enough for long distance though.

I survived 1st quarter of school, and parent teacher conferences are Thursday night and Friday morning. Its a busy week (school stuff every night) until Friday at noon when Darrin and I begin our weekend vacation.

Yes i said VACATION!!! woo hoo. It is a weekend trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas where we will stay in the Doris Day suite at a little hotel run by a gay couple. They are extremely good at customer service and each room has a theme: Harry Houdini, Rock Hudson, Cocacola, etc. Talk about a fun place. I have also never vacationed in Arkansas and despite all the churchiness in Eureka, I think I will really like it. The town is historic, full of artsy shops, and surrounded by mountain trails and a lake. Cant wait :) It doesnt compare much in price and scenery to Darrins brother Dave's current vacation (they are in hawaii...jealous!).

Wish me luck in surviving my Art Club pumpkin carving contest tomorrow night....imagine 5th graders working with knives and sawing away at a pumpkin and being assisted by high school students. haha

Friday, October 22, 2010

They said it could happen..

Well I have read and people have told me that training for a half-marathon should be done gradually and carefully to prevent injuries. When a friend asked me about joining a half-marathon for November 7th, I had exactly 7 weeks to train. I pondered and then created a 7 week training schedule. The shortest training schedule I found online was 10 weeks (first warning) so I condensed a couple versions down to my 7 week plan. I had a 3 mile base but my 3 mile run is pretty weak and slow.

Anyway, the first 3 weeks went well. I worked up to 6 miles, then 8, then 10. My knees would ache for 2 days but nothing else. After the fourth week, however, I ran 11 miles. My knees still ache slighty and it has been 5 days. What concerns me though, is my ankle. It hurts to stand or walk even after 5 days. Something is really wrong unfortunately. I would definitely not walk very far right now. Monday and Tuesday I was limping, the next three days it has healed slightly.

I hope that it heals and I could complete the half-marathon, but not at the cost of paying for Xrays and limping for weeks. I will wait and see, in the meantime my diet and motivation for the fitness challenge has gone KaPLOOey. Neither Darrin nor I have lost any bodyfat. We made slight changes in exercise and diet, which is good. I think after this Halloween and challenge ends, new goals are definitely on the horizon, and more small achievable goals.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Can I just say it again?

I am happy. And content. I have learned, starting in December of 2007 and until the end of this summer, that happiness does not come easily with age. I have honestly not felt this happy for a while, and those of you that I call friends and family know that me being so content again is great. Sometimes I feel like I should warn all the happy teenagers that bop into my classroom that "Hey! you better remember this time because life will get really really shitty the older you get!" hahaha. I don't really tell them....just let them find out themselves I guess.

People close to me know that I was miserable just this past summer. And last winter. (mostly due to breakups and feeling alone). And that I was pretty depressed after my week long stay in the hospital in 2008. I also had a tough first year and a half getting used to my new career.......i know i know.....it could have been much worse. Many people would consider my complaints to be so small in comparison to their own. But for me they were very Real and very Heartbreaking, and very Scary.

Now a couple of things have helped me along, such as starting work again this second year of teaching and taking some important steps and compromises with Darrin. But I want you to know thats not the only thing. I read lots of books, I accomplished goals such as the triathlon, my friends and family have always been there for me even though I did not make sense, and I started taking an over the counter herb called 5htp (thank you Kendra for the tip) . The herb itself is pretty mild and unimportant, but it seemed to give me just a small boost in mood. These things combined with other small things somehow helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once I saw that light, I could step out of the tunnel and feel its warmth. But i was awfully close to pitch black darkness, and a very scary level of darkness, that I had never been to until this summer. I am glad its gone, and I hope it stays that way. This warmth is amazing, and yet such a small and subtle warmth.

Now if you know what I am talking about, please let me know. I know that depression affects most people, not just me. I dont want to pretend that I didnt feel that way, and it helps when the people you look up to have been there too and are not afraid to admit it. Thank you to each and every person in my life that has just been there for me, making me feel part of their lives, loved, and important.

A quote that I saved in my phone this summer helped me along, and it is still saved in my phone. "Saying yes to life even in it's strangest and hardest problems." author unknown.

Thank you RENA for this text: "Listening to song Sorry and thought of you. You are a strong person! :) I love the way you LIVE life!" Rena I love the way you live life as well!

Theme song: The Warmth, by Incubus. Thank you DANNY for introducing me to that song years ago. It has always moved me. Also important to me: Warning, by Incubus.

LYRICS - The Warmth
I'd like to close my eyes, go numb
but there's a cold wind coming from
the top of the highest high-rise today.
It's not a breeze 'cause it blows hard.
Yes and it wants me to discard
the humanity I know, watch the warmth blow away.

So don't let the world bring you down.
Not everyone here is that fucked up and cold.
Remember why you came and while you're alive
experience the warmth before you grow old.

So do you think I should adhere
to that pressing new frontier?
And leave in my wake a trail of fear?
Or should I hold my head up high
and throw a wrench in spokes by
leaving the air behind me clear?

So don't let the world bring you down.
Not everyone here is that fucked up and cold.
Remember why you came and while you're alive
experience the warmth before you go.
So don't let the world bring you down.
Not everyone here is that fucked up and cold.
Remember why you came and while you're alive
experience the warmth before you grow old.

Before you grow old. Where did it go? (x4)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

November is gonna be bad..

So although life is truly fabulous, I need to let friends and family know that for the month of November I will likely disappear. For this month, I have taken on the responsibilty of Junior High Cheerleading at my school. Art Club is also very busy, as well as grading and 2nd quarter. Senior sponsor requires that I work concessions the nights that I am not supervising cheerleaders. I will be riding the school bus with the basketball team all around our district, starting in a week. My weekends are filling up and my evenings are going to be exhausting. On top of work, this is the month I am moving. I have to sort my belongings and be out of the apartment by Dec.1.

Its all great, but I do miss family and friends. I squeeze in time with a pal a couple times a week and a visit to mom's for a day, but I miss dad, my bros, and KC friends. So, if any of you want to plan a visit to Sedalia, or halfway in between, lets do it! and hurry up :)

moving along like Odysseus

Sometimes I think my life is like a collection of phases. Similar to Odysseus, he went from one place to another and collected experiences, sometimes staying in one place for a very long time before leaving and beginning the next adventure. Some of those phases were much happier and healthier than others, some were dangerous and full of tragedy.

I am sure we all live in phases. I am currently in one of the most content and happy places I have been since I was probably 19 years old. When I was 19, life was full of the unexpected. I was surrounded by young single friends, dabbling in odd and crazy hobbies such as rollerblading, hackysack, playing guitar, face painting at Silver Dollar City, learning what I believed in, sewing handmade dresses, lifeguarding at the pool, etc. I worked crazy jobs, took classes on every possible subject, and had zero guy problems cuz I just did not date. My priority was learning.

I had a completely different phase before I was 19 (high school and the sweetheart) and after college (living in Kansas City with Danny and learning how to party). Life in my current phase is very calm. I am happy with Darrin. I have a great job with tons of potential (I might get to teach a dual credit Art class...heck yeah!) And I am paying off debt. I have goals, old people goals like saving, retirement, traveling, and moving up in my career. And I might just be creating a new home with Darrin. A home of mutual love and encouragement, growth in a relationship, and sharing life's experiences. I hope my family sees that love and growth and is willing to be a part of it. I also hope that it lasts, but I feel content either way at this point. I would be fine if this piece of my odysseus timeline lasts quite a while.

Finally some change

I gave away Monster Kitty last night. I put all her belongings in my car, set her carrier facing forward in the backseat, and drove 45 minutes to exit 98 to meet a girl named Amie. Monster and I looked each other in the eye the whole way (through the rearview mirror) and if she cried any I sang to her. When Amie pulled up with her husband, Monster was calm and scared. She actually did not hiss or get defensive. He picked her up and held her. We switched all of her belongings to their trunk and I kissed her on the head twice goodbye. I couldnt stop looking at her, and she seemed to be trembling as he held her in the passenger seat. It was heartbreaking.

The couple seem to be true animal lovers, although not clean people and they looked poor. It scares me to death. The thing that is helping me along without a meltdown is that Amie and I have texted each other and Amie plans to keep me updated on how things go. I have not felt like doing much or being social.

As sad as I am, I need to start thinking about the future because I am truly grateful for the current changes in my life. I am finally moving out of my solo apartment after 3 years of living alone. I can take all the chord protectors off my electrical chords and wash all the cat hair out of my apartment. I can leave a pair of earrings sitting on the counter. I can sleep with the bedroom door open. I still miss her and its so much more lonely here as I begin packing my bags and sorting my belongings. I pray that she is safe and well cared for, she seems to be. And I am happy and sad at the same time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Lost Girls



I just finished a book called "The Lost Girls." Three 28 year old girls gave up their magazine publishing jobs in New York City to travel around the world for 1 full year. Two of them left behind boyfriends, one of which a very happy relationship. The 3 girls went to South America first, followed by Africa, then to India and Asia, and ended in Australia.


The book can be pretty boring at times, but I stick things out with my nonfiction books because I know a true story has highs and lows. Life can be boring at times, and full of human emotion and action at other times. Sitting in an airport, riding on busses and trains, can be boring aspects of traveling, if you dont already love traveling. I LOVE traveling. I like airports full of strangers, crowded subways, living out of a bag, and exploring new places. Its all worth it.

These 3 particular girls lived it up in South America, volunteered at a girls home in Africa, spent time at a meditation school in India, got 8 dollar massages in Thailand, and surfed in Australia. Why is it that women love to travel, yet its tooth and nail to get your loved one to travel with you??? Do women know how to enjoy life more? Traveling is not a privilege afforded to many of our mothers and grandmothers. Are men too preoccupied with bringing in the dough to travel? I have known since my childhood (thank you dad) that traveling is the best experience money can buy. Anyway that is a tangent.......back to the book.

So the Lost Girls did not figure out every aspect of their lives. When they returned home even the happy relationship had not survived the long distance. They made a ton of money off their book and new group of fans. I enjoyed reading it and agreeing with the epiphanies and the non-epiphanies they came to while traveling. I have a new desire to visit Thailand, Greece, Costa Rica, to learn Spanish, to teach English abroad, etc. I have a feeling I will get to do many of those things during my lifetime, and that I have chosen the perfect career to help me along. Anybody want to join?

Latest Art Project


At the school where I teach I have a lovely, oversized, and practical art classroom. However, after construction, my two windows to the outside world were walled in to make a new hallway. So now, when the lights go out, my classroom goes pitch black. Its a safety hazard and a big pet peeve for me when a kid "accidently" turns off the light.
To keep things safe, I have been leaving the supply closet open and the closet light on. I also have a flashlight next to my desk. I know I could always put tape over the light switct if i need to, but right now its okay.
Regardless, I have used the light situation as an excuse for my latest clay project - a ceramic lamp. Its been SOOO fun.
I bought a used lamp from the thrift store for two dollars, of which I can take the "guts" out for my handmade lamp. I have a cadet teacher thats great with anything hands on and helped me work out the mechanics of switching over the wires. So far I have the outside of the structure built, and now it is time to seal the top and carve out creative designs, as well as the hole in the bottom for the chord.
The clay was given to me by Darrin's aunt Debbie and I absolutely LOVE this clay! Its like modeling and sculpting clay, thicker and sturdier than the grey clay in my classroom. Needless to say, I owe her one of the creations I make.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fitness challenge: Update

Darrin and I are about halfway through the fitness challenge. We started with a total of about 6 -7 weeks. It ends October 31. I am afraid there is no clear winner so far. Maybe that is good, kinda like a close football game with a tie score? The problem is, neither of us has lost any bodyfat. We have fluctuated in losing about 1-3 pounds each, depending on when we weigh.

So, all that to say, the data is inconclusive at this point. To up my chances, I spent about 70-80 dollars in healthy groceries, including protein supplements. How does that help me then? The contest cost $50 so would that put me in the hole already? Haha i hope not.

I do want to win. I am training for the half marathon and it feels geat. I am learning to cook my meals and resist temptation...some. I am trying to do cross training between lifting, swimming, and jogging. Darrin has increased his running distance and speed as well. So, although there is no clear winner, we both look and feel great. Maybe in the end one of us will win or else split the pot. We will see Oct. 31.

Furniture



So I bought my first piece of furniture! A beautiful bamboo style chest (imitation of course). I saw it at the thrift store and immediately had to have it. I also hand picked the mirror for an extra $25 to sit atop it. Finally, Darrin's mom stopped by with gifts and the plant just matched perfectly. The new furniture is oversized but thats what real furniture is like i guess? Everything I own I collected for free from family. My couch is a twin bed with a full mattress set behind it and brown slip covers covering it. My bed is one mattress sitting on two box springs. My dining area is an old tv stand painted black. My entertainment center is two coffee tables stacked upon each other, all for free. AND....it looks great! hahha. If you saw my place, I must proudly say: I have made it work.

Now Darrin and I have started discussing living together, and we have no idea where any of my belongings would fit in there, but I really dont care. Who knows, I may garage sale half of it or just store it in a basement. It didnt cost me much to collect so far, but I will definitely be holding onto my new additions.