- I’m grateful for Ashley’s family letting the blogging community know of her passing. I feel a lot of sadness over her loss. I feel thankful her family provided us with closure and let us know how much comfort blogging provided her in her life. There have been many times over the years bloggers have just disappeared and just left us guessing in worry.
- Our friends had their annual Halloween party over the weekend. We also had our annual sailing banquet which we also dressed up for. It was pleasant to visit with friends we don’t see often. I also love to dress in costume. That was probably my favorite part of being involved with community theater, dressing up and being someone else for awhile. Although someone did ask me if I was dressed up as a pregnant porn star. Definitely not the look I was going for. Paul and I dressed up in vintage 70’s disco outfits.
- My husband started his month long detox diet. I’m grateful he takes his health seriously.
- My son-in-law came back home yesterday after spending two weeks out of state for work.
- I finished painting my future office.
- We will be renting a dumpster this week to pull out the carpeting and get rid of junk.
- I had a good session with my therapist.
- Paul and I did some volunteer work. I enjoy helping other people and getting out of my own problems for awhile.
- I have been sleeping pretty good lately.
- We had a game night with Will and Arabella. We had a really good visit.
Yesterday I found out one of my blogging friends passed away after a long battle with depression. I wish I could’ve done something to help her. A couple weeks back I noticed her blogging patterns were off. She posted one day like normal and then she just disappeared. She no longer liked or commented on my posts either. A week went by, then another week. I was really getting worried. What if something happened to her? I decided to do a little poking around. I had her name and a general location so I started scouring the obituaries. Nothing…
For awhile I had a sense of false hope. Maybe she was in the hospital and couldn’t update her blog. Maybe she got in a car accident. Maybe she was taking a break on the beach of some nice resort. Maybe she was sick with a fever. The nagging voice in my head said maybe she was dead. Nope, couldn’t be that because I didn’t find an obituary. Maybe, maybe, maybe…until one day I saw a post from her family with her obituary.
Did she know the last time she posted it would be her last? She never said good-bye.
It hurts. Even though we never met in person, I felt like she was a good friend. On a hard day, she often would write an encouraging comment. I just can’t believe it. She was an inspiration to many, especially those struggling with mental health issues. Maybe some day I will go back and re-read some of the things she wrote but as of now I just can’t. Good bye Ashley, you will be greatly missed.
Gratitude week 125
- I had my doctor appointment I waited 4 months for and got the answers I was looking for. The doctor said I have osteoarthritis which explains the joint pain I’ve been having. I’m not excited about having arthritis, but I am grateful to finally have some answers.
- I’ve been blogging for seven years now.
- Mom and I bought flowers last time we got together. We created some lovely planters for the patio. I also bought some cilantro and strawberry plants.
- Thunderstorms. We rarely have thunderstorms over the winter. I didn’t realize how much I missed the patter of falling rain and hearing distant thunder.
- A clean mattress pad and sheets.
- Arabella started moving into her apartment over the weekend.
- We had an open house over the weekend for our seasonal business and had a nice turnout.
- My son’s good friend/roommate turned 21 over the weekend. I always worry when the young folks turn 21 because of the heavy drinking involved. He safely survived the weekend.
- Arabella turned her location back on for me without me asking her to.
- I watched my best friend’s son play baseball near our house. I’m grateful for the opportunity to support her family.
Gratitude week 123
- Mother’s Day; I was able to spend most of the day with my mom and all my children and their significant others. Angel made me a lemon cake and bought me a book. Alex brought me flowers and cheesecake. Arabella got me my favorite jelly beans. We played some games and had a bonfire. Paul made some ribs.
- I’m grateful for my husband who did most of the cooking and cleaning on Mother’s Day.
- Spring finally arrived in Wisconsin. It’s the start of my favorite time of year!
- I turned the heat off and took the quilt off my bed.
- I uncovered the pool today for the season.
- I had a really good therapy session.
- Paul had his annual physical and it went well.
- I finished the classic East of Eden by John Steinbeck. It was a remarkable book…there might be a post about it this week…
- Mom and I are going to the spa this week…can’t wait for that.
- Sailing season is starting…we’re planning on taking the boat across the bay this week to its summer home.
- I had another weekend of rummage sales. The big finds were a light blue floral area rug for $22, several snarky t-shirts, several albums specifically one with pipe organ music, colored exterior flood lights, candles and large candle holder, a beach scene picture, and some books. I bought some items for Angel’s house and Arabella’s apartment. I met some of my neighbors.
- This is worth a special mention. At a rummage sale I found a book of questions. I was specifically looking for an item like that for my blog to have more topics to write about when things get slow. I can’t believe I found an obscure item I was looking for at a random rummage sale. The best part is I paid 50 cents for it.
I started having bad dreams again, nothing too terrifying. Last night it was the wild animals. I spotted a bear in the distance that wanted to get inside of my house. Then there were the dogs. They snarled and clawed outside my door if I tried to lock them out. It was horrifying to let them in, but if I did they ran through my house then were gone.
Sometimes I feel memories clawing through my mind. Memories I want to repress, but the more I do the more they nag me swirling endlessly awaiting connection. Incomplete memories, a camera, the fish tank upstairs that I don’t remember being upstairs, other things…
My therapist asked if remembering would change the way I feel about myself. I said it could go one of two ways. I could be more bitter than I already am. Or I can think I survived more than I thought I could with a certain courageousness.
My therapist asked if it would change how I felt about my parents. I said I didn’t think so. I will always view my mother as weak. She always seemed to protect the wrong people. My dad, I don’t even think all my children would even attend his funeral. He never made an impact on anyone’s life. Oh, I stand corrected. He never made a POSITIVE impact on anyone’s life. At this point, what would it matter?
I did learn something new about my dad. When my brother Luke called he told me about some things my dad did to him that I didn’t know. But the new details weren’t upsetting as much as my brother calling me to vent. You see, Luke is the strong one. Most times I think he is stronger than me. He rarely calls to vent. He said that time wasn’t healing his wounds, instead they are oozing and festering. I feel sad he can’t escape the pain anymore than I can.
Then Arabella came to visit for a few days. She lost her job. She is never to work on time and has a tendency to not get along with her managers. It is hard not to get wrapped up in my worry for her.
Then my mom came over. She didn’t sleep well the night before and emotionally was a big mess. I can’t help but feel some of it is her own fault. She has had several therapists tell her if she doesn’t like her life, she should change it. They tell her she should leave my dad, but in the end she always leaves the therapists who tell her that. My brother Luke said if my dad dies my mom will either wake up and realize she was in a bad relationship all along or she will immediately find someone else just like him.
I think about that a lot lately, my parents dying. My mom is in a really bad head space right now. It wears on me. Then I am worried about my daughter and my own aging. My doctor appointment is less than two weeks away. My therapist said I should focus more on my wisdom and insight versus the aging process. She is right. I might not have all the cards I want in my hand, but it would be smart to play my strong suit.
My therapist also said I have an extraordinary amount of stability for everything I have been through. I sometimes wonder…shouldn’t I be crazier? I found her words to be very encouraging. Yet I have to be careful. Last week I read the whole childhood portion of my book. I thought to myself, what a bit pile of shit. I got into a ferocious mood. I have to take writing and reading in small doses. I can’t do it when I am under a lot of stress. Writing has been healing for me. But it also can be the sword that cuts open my wounds if I am not careful. Having nightmares and a hard week with family is a good time to back off a bit.
I have not be happy lately. I feel as if I have been neglecting this blog. I am going to try to write more even if I don’t have anything to say.
Gratitude week 117
- I am grateful for the friendships I’ve made on WP. It means so much to me to be a part of a supportive community as I tell my story and to share the joys and struggles along with other people all around the world as I hear your stories.
- Today when I woke up, the sun was shining for the first time in a week. It still is cold out with no foreseeable end in sight…but for now the rain and snow ended.
- We’ve had a couple of fires inside this week to stay warm. I guess that’s one thing I’m grateful for with the cold weather. I miss having fires inside in the summer.
- My tattoo is healing nicely.
- My best friend and I went out to eat for the first time this calendar year. I’m grateful to have a best friend who always checks in on me.
- I went out to eat with my brother Matt for his birthday. A couple weeks back I found a record for him at the antique store of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. My brother was obsessed with that movie when we were kids, so I was excited to find it for him.
- My husband made his famous homemade pizza and we had Arabella and Will over for supper and Mahjong.
- Paul and I had a date night on Friday night. We went out for sushi and had tickets to see a comedian. We did a lot of laughing, probably too much laughing because things were going too good. After the show, we walked back to my car. The winds were whipping rather fiercely and the snow was falling. We got back to my car and noticed I had a flat tire. We also found out that I do not have a spare tire. Seriously?? Why? Was it because I let my guard down and was having too much fun??
- Thank God I have a good sense of humor.
- While we were at the sushi restaurant, I saw something on TV about a store that sells records and realized we were only a block away. So…since we went out to eat really early as not to miss the show, we had some extra time…I ended up buying three new records; Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Prince’s Purple Rain, and Kraftwerk’s Radioactivity.
- Last night Angel and our employee James (the only one who still works for our previous business and who does some work for us now) came over for beer sampling, pizza, and to watch the Bucks game. James is the only employee who worked for us that we are still in touch with. He is pretty much an honorary family member now.
- Angel’s fiancé Dan came home very early this morning after spending a couple weeks out of state for work.
- It was nice to have a really busy week so I could forget how miserable the weather is. Spring is coming, I know it is…
The old normal, part 6
Before COVID, I spent a lot of time at the gym. I don’t even have a gym membership anymore. How things have changed.
Back in the day, I used to go to the gym three times a week for at least an hour. In the summer, I would run the streets. I did countless marathons, a half Iron, and a 50k. When I first started blogging I wrote about training for my first marathon after reading a marathon training book written by a blogger. At the time I thought I could run a marathon and I could write on a blog, and I did. I even have running in the title of my blog. Over time this blog has morphed into something more than that.
I always thought I would be a runner. I didn’t often see a lot of older runners competing in races, but when I did I thought to myself that will be me someday. Running helped me burn off a lot of my anxiety and stress. I worried a lot about becoming injured because I didn’t think I would be sane without running. I know I have posted before if I couldn’t run someone would need to check on me because I would not be okay.
Then the world changed. When COVID hit my gym closed and all the races I was planning on running got cancelled. Not long after that, I had a 10 day bout of colitis that knocked me off my feet. A month later it was hard for me just to put the laundry from the washer into the dryer. I thought I would never be able to run again. I was able to but I lost most of what was left of my endurance. Then I started to experience joint pain which made it all but impossible to run without being in pain.
I’m not sure what is wrong. It could be a number of things or it could be nothing at all. I have an appointment scheduled with a specialist in May. My doctor thought the joint pain could be related to colitis. I recently read stress and trauma can cause inflammation like I have. Or maybe I overused my joints by all my long distance running. I also saw it could be a symptom of perimenopause. Or maybe I’m getting arthritis like some of my other relatives did. I started noticing bumps on the knuckles of my fingers. But until I see the doctor I’m just guessing.
I started doing low impact workouts but I find them to be frustrating because it doesn’t feel as if I am doing anything. I had to take a step back because I just couldn’t do it anymore. I miss running, I really do but I don’t feel like I will not be okay without it anymore. I don’t need to beat the hell out of my body anymore. But I don’t want to do nothing either. I’ve gained some weight. But is it realistic to think I’ll always be able to keep a youthful figure as I age?
Sometimes now I run into people from my running days. I’ve been asked what race I am training for. It’s hard to admit I am much more of a walker now. For 15 years I identified as a runner. Now it’s just another area of my life I don’t know who I am anymore. But one thing I can say for sure, I can live without running. I am okay. I never thought I would be saying that. Now it’s time for something new. I’m just not sure what that is yet.
Gratitude week 105
- The year 2021 is finally over!!! Although at this point I’m not feeling too certain 2022 is going to be better. The year started out kind of rough. Right now I’m thinking we might have to cancel our trip to Puerto Rico we were planning for this month because of COVID. Yippee!
- Seriously, nobody died so far this year. My best friend got over COVID. Although Dan has it right now, he doesn’t seem to be too sick. The rest of his family didn’t get it. The drunk stranger in my driveway found her way home before freezing to death in my yard. So…
- Angel took me out to try bubble tea. Basically it’s this tea with small bubbles of tapioca in it. She also took me to see her new house from the outside.
- The holidays are over. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays but I don’t enjoy all the extra stress that comes with it.
- Arabella and I are finally getting along better. That being said, I received 5 missed calls from her in the middle of the night last night. My husband, daughter, and mother missed calls from her too. She didn’t leave a message with any of us. When I tried calling her back, she didn’t answer. Last night she left with Will to drive to Colorado for a road trip. It turns out the heat quit working in his car. It’s a long trip without heat, so they turned around and came back home. Thankfully everything is alright. Nothing I hate more than missed calls in the middle of the night and worrying what is going on.
- I was able to fix my WP site after finding out I had nothing but a blank page on my site with no working widgets. I was also able to fix some problems I was having with my personal email without asking for help. I feel proud like a little kid being able to tie their shoes without having to ask a big person.
- Finally the boiler is fixed for our hot tub and pool. We have been having problems with it for months. That and having problems with our furnace, I got to know our heating and cooling guy really well. He probably regrets giving me his personal cell number for as much as I called him.
- Before it got bitterly cold out, my mom and I were able to go snowshoeing together.
- I took down the Christmas decorations and spent some time redecorating my house. I enjoyed planning what I wanted to do.
- Today I cleaned the kitchen. I cleaned out the refrigerator which was disgusting. I cleaned the microwave, sink, descaled the Keurig, and wiped down the cupboards. I absolutely hate deep cleaning the kitchen so I’m grateful to be done with that job for awhile.
- Since my daughter will be moving out in a couple weeks, I decided I want to really declutter my house. I am planning to go through a lot of my clothes and get rid of things that no longer fit me. I have no problem getting rid of things I don’t wear, but there are clothes I absolutely love that no longer fit I have a hard time getting rid of. Then I can buy some new clothes that fit better.
Goals for the new year
To be honest, I haven’t done New Year’s resolutions in years. But every couple of months I try to come up with some bucket list goals and check my progress on making them happen.
Today I decided to go back to my first blog post in May of 2015. I wrote a list of goals. Here they are:
- Write something that gets published. I’ve wanted to write a memoir for the longest time. I am currently working on the second edition of my book. I hope to complete it in 2022.
Run a marathon.I wrote I ran 18 miles that day without stopping. I am totally jealous of myself! Since then I’ve run multiple marathons and a 50K. I just stopped running after doing it for 15 years. Now I want to focus on stretching and yoga. I mean, I haven’t started yet but I want to try to at least maintain if not gain some flexibility. I have been having joint pain and stiffness but I still want to remain active as much as I am able to.
- Travel to all the continents. I haven’t gotten too far on this. I did check off Asia since then. If it wasn’t for COVID, I would’ve checked off Europe and Africa too. Instead I have been trying to visit all 50 states. So far I’ve checked off 39 states. I visited 8 states in 2021 and plan on adding another 5 in 2022.
Read the Bible in a year.
- Be a lead singer in a band. I still think this would be fun, but I don’t want to do this as much as I did before. It sounds like a lot of work.
Drink green beer on St. Patrick’s Day.That one was pretty easy. Get a tattoo.I got my first tattoo this year of an anchor. I am planning on getting my second tattoo in 2022.
I have some other new goals for 2022. I would like to be more bad ass. Ha ha ha. Actually I want to get my motorcycle license. I picture myself on something loud blaring my rock music as I drive down country roads on sunny summer days.
I would like to get half way done with the remodeling project on our garage apartment. I also have a list of home renovation projects. I would like to cross off half of my list this next year on house projects as well.
I also want to continue growing and working on my self-improvement projects. I want to be more accepting of myself as I age. I have always been a go, go, go person. It’s hard to adjust to being a go, go, go slow person. This coming year will be the first full year that all of my children are adults and out of school. I no longer have parenting commitments. I want some time to just be responsible for me. I want 5 years of not being responsible for others. I will not take on any long term foreign exchange students, foster children, or new pets. I will also keep working on the relationships that are important to me.
That’s about it. See ya next year!
Have a happy, happy new year!!!
Little illiterate me
Last night I was catching up on reading some blogs before supper. My friend Ashley at Mental Health @ Home (you should really check out her blog if you haven’t already) posted something about checking your blog to see how easy it is to find and follow. I figured it’s been a couple years, why not? I was appalled with what I found. My theme was gone and there was nothing there but a plain white background. My follow button along with all my archived blog posts were gone as well. I just about died.
Of course it had to happen when I didn’t have hours to fix it. My husband was making homemade pizza and the kids were visiting after supper. Not only that, my search engine had some sort of child safety lock on it which I couldn’t seem to turn off. I was in a horrible mood which spiraled into my total hatred of technology making me sound like a bitter old lady to the twenty agers. Nothing makes me feel older or stupider than not being able to make something work and having to have my kids help me.
It’s my own fault. I should check my blog more often. To me going on my site is as repulsive as watching a video of myself singing, and I am a pretty good singer. It’s a cringeworthy form of torture. So needless to say I didn’t sleep very well last night.
I think for my age my computer literacy is average. I always learned what I needed to know to be able to get by. But quite frankly I’m old school traditional. I have a calendar I keep on the wall to keep track of appointments. I like to read books that are made out of trees. My blog is very basic. I update my profile picture every two years. I have had the same cover photo since I started once I stopped using the theme picture.
I don’t like change. I don’t like useless updates. If something is not broken, why fix it?? Why not stick with the tried and true? Do you really think I care if the search bar is at the top or the bottom of my phone screen? If updated was better that would be one thing. But usually it’s frustrating because I have to learn a new way of doing things after finally figuring out the old way which was a million times better. It’s almost as if they are doing updates just to look good for doing updates.
Thankfully I was able to take the kid friendly setting off my searches. That whole thing was a crock anyway when my kids were young. I had to have my kids set up the parental controls which was useless. I pretended they worked and they pretended they couldn’t get around them.
This morning I updated my blog. I found out my theme was rewritten and that is why I had a blank screen. My archives and follow button were old and inactivated widgets. Everything was just garbage and I was tempted to just delete the whole damn thing. But I figured it out without having to have my children hold my hand. It just drives me crazy though! I have no idea how long it was like that.
Thanks Ashley for prompting me to check out my own blog. Besides being frustrated with my own blog, nothing frustrates me more than wanting to follow a new blog and being unable to because it just isn’t user friendly.
I’ve noticed other glitches too over the last couple weeks. I have somehow unfollowed blogs accidently and sometimes when I like someone’s post it shows up later that I didn’t like it. I also stopped receiving notifications, although it is turned on both on my phone and WP.
I am not as computer literate as I would like to be, but I will keep on trying.