Monthly Archives: December 2018

New Years Resolution: Don’t be a jerk.

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So there I was, scrollin’ through Reddit before bed and I ran across this Tweet. You know what? It was something I needed to see because I was already beginning to dread how PACKED my gym was going to get starting January 1st, as if my gym routine is somehow more important than someone else’s. Like, just because I joined right after Thanksgiving means that I’m oh-so-much farther ahead on my fitness journey and have the bragging rights to that. Nah, son. I’m not corny and boring.

When I was a fitness instructor, I looked forward to the “New Years Resolutioners” because it would ensure that we would have newbies coming through the doors and it was my opportunity to make their new journey a (hopefully) different and life-changing one. Plus, the more members I signed up the bigger monthly bonuses I received. But that was me as an instructor. Me as a participant is selfish ~ I don’t want to have to fight to get into my favorite classes for the next two months when statistics show that at least 50% of them are going to quit anyway. See how those two roles contrast completely? One is very optimistic and the other is quite pessimistic.

I need to look at it the way I did as an instructor: When I see someone new, say hello to them and be a friendly face that will encourage them to come back. Everyone starts somewhere. I mean, I’m re-starting myself – trying different things, trying to reign in my holiday eating habits. I’m no better than anyone else.

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This is me on day #4 of my sugar detox ~ I treated myself to a froyo today because I probably eat that maybe 2x a year at most. Instead of it being a compulsive choice, it was a calculated one and it feels better and more in control.

I have some big goals set for myself in 2019, but the one I am starting first relates to being patient with the Resolutioners. Maybe more of them will make it past the first couple of months with a bit of kindness from gym regulars.

Productivity is for losers and today I am not a loser.

I had great dreams about today ~ I mean, I started off strong!

My alarm went off at 7:30 and I had no idea where I was and where the noise was coming from…you know that kind of sleep. So deep that you aren’t even sure what year it is anymore. I ended up hitting snooze a bunch of times, only to realize it was 8:15 and I had to be across town for a fitness class at 9. Oh yeah, and I thought about bailing on it but since I allowed myself to bail yesterday, I was not going to do that two days in a row.

I went and punched and kicked the air with a group of strangers, burning over 400 calories in the process. I felt revved up and not as silly as I did the other day. I am finding a rhythm with BodyCombat some ~ it’s just hard to not be able to consider my form during certain moves because they are meant to be fast, not perfect.

Then I went grocery shopping, totally riding the endorphin wave and feelin’ like a rockstar with a cart full of healthy stuffs. I came home, put it all away and then made myself 3 scrambled eggs with half of an avocado. It’s such a simple breakfast but just so tasty and satisfying. My whole morning felt satisfying…

Until the sugar withdrawals started kicking in. I’ve had this headache around my eyes and forehead for most of my day now and, as I type, I’m sitting in front of two fistfuls of chocolates from my Christmas stocking. I have not touched any of it because, to be quite honest, if this is how it feels to be cutting it out – that shit isn’t worth it. So what, it tastes awesome…is it worth how it bites back when you don’t eat it?

What were my big plans for today? Spending it in my craft room. I just can’t focus so, instead of creating, I put a couple of new items up for sale in my Etsy shop. Items I had up for sale previously but haven’t yet sold. I’m ready to get rid of some of this excess in my life so I priced them very inexpensively.

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Set of 3 LOVE vases – Can be purchased HERE.

 

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Home Sweet Home set of 3 glass vases – Can be purchased HERE.

I remember when I started making crafts “more seriously” a couple of years ago, I thought I knew it all. I’m like “Oh yeah, I know how to market! I’ve been marketing for [a former job] for years now!” I had a very rude awakening with that, once my “celebrity star” faded and I realized that I can excel at what I’m told to do ~ given direction to do ~ not necessarily taking lead myself because I lack the true knowledge and understanding of it. Yes, I’ve had successful shows and I’ve sold items online via other names, but I’ve also had months where I struggled to sell a single thing. I’ve had a craft show or two where I lost money. It can be very discouraging.

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother; I have so much stuff in inventory still that it just feels like excess clutter. The thing is though that I don’t always craft with the intention of selling. Sometimes the act of creating is a balm for whatever I may be feeling at the time. It’s a way for me to allow my brain to function differently, out of the routine of my busy life. So, really, it isn’t always about the sale, it’s about the process, and I can tell you the mood I was in when I created certain things. For example – the “Love” bottles. I was going through a divorce – not just from my husband, but from fake friends and a life that I had grown comfortable with. I personally wasn’t feeling a lot of love but I really wanted to. The “Home Sweet Home” vases – I was living in an apartment and I craved living in a place that felt like a home again. I was anxious to begin looking for another house to buy so I could put down roots again and feel like my place in the world wasn’t so temporary, so fleeting.

But back to being productive – I wish I felt more productive today but it just isn’t in the cards. I suppose though that the act of this sugar detoxification I’m currently suffering though is productive in its own way and I need to give credit to that. I did list those two new items on Etsy – that’s productive. I also bought groceries to set myself up for eating success this week, did a load of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and took the time to write this blog. I guess I am a productive “loser” after all. 🙂

 

The Holiday Catch-All

Now that Christmas is over, I’m ready to tackle a rather unexpected project…the clearing out of this spare room.

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That’d be this hot mess. It holds the exercise bike/elliptical I’m trying to sell for a friend, the screens that Theresa and I need to put new mesh in, extra chairs, the folding chairs for my craft shows, a big Christmas tote, our new bathroom sink (that we’ll put in once we get the new flooring down), tools, a wooden trunk that holds stuff I’m selling on Mercari, and my computer. It started off as the room where I was organizing and selling clothing/accessories and somehow as the winter wore on, more was put into it to just get it out of the way temporarily.

Oh, and there’s Chicken, our sulfur-crested cockatoo. We recently put him in this room from the other because his new brother, Poopie (an umbrella cockatoo), is quite the screamer and the only way to get Poopie to simmer down is to shut the lights off and close the blinds. It felt unfair to Chicken, who is typically a very quiet bird, to be plunged into the darkness whenever Poopie acted up. So Theresa and I felt it was best to have Chicken in his own room where he could enjoy the windows and the sunlight. That’s a big reason why I’m making this room clean-out such a priority. I want everyone to be happy and comfortable and, because birds are destructive and we like leaving their cages open when we’re home, I want to minimize what Chicken can get ahold of and destroy.

Don’t let his sweet little face fool you – he bites.

I do love having a project to work on during the weekend. I like feeling productive and that I’m moving forward, accomplishing something. However, this project comes with a downside ~ it’s keeping me from crafting, which is typically how I like to spend my Saturday. I have a couple of projects underway and some ideas for new ones; it may all have to wait until tomorrow.

This is me living the life in Niskayuna, NY.  I love owning my own home but let me tell ya – people don’t lie when they say there’s always something to do. I kinda like that about it though. It feeds my desire to keep busy AND – BONUS – it’s distracting me from the candy and cookies downstairs. It’s day #2 of my sugar detox and, if I’m completely honest, I did have a couple bites of a decadent brownie at the Blue Ribbon this morning for breakfast. It’s a place known for it’s baking and the brownie was too beautiful to pass up ~ sitting there in the glass case ~ looking all deliciously mean and good! While tasty, it is very rich and I’m saving the rest for the kids ~ they’ll eat anything loaded with sugar.

Detoxing from sugar – starting today!

I’ve been on a slippery slope since Thanksgiving when it comes to my eating habits. I mean, who can resist the pies, freshly made cookies, and that extra glass of wine? Let’s not even talk about all the treats that have been in my office’s kitchen…

I couldn’t resist it all and here I am, right after Christmas, knowing that I have gotten my body used to way more sugar than it needs. It’s time to “detox” and get it out of my life.  I’ve been feeling so sluggish the past several weeks and it’s a signal of too much added sugar in my diet. Since my body is where I live all the time, it’s important to take care of it and not let this sugar addiction become a forever thing.

I’m also almost a month into my new gym membership at Best Fitness. I’ve taken a variety of classes to see what I like and I’ve settled on:

  • Cycling Fusion – Cardio with no one pushing me is dull and this class incorporates TRX straps. I’m not sitting in a seat for a full hour – the class is broken up into 6 minute segments.
  • Hot Yoga – Maintaining and increasing my flexibility and range of motion is very important to me. I also really like the quiet time; I can’t think of anything else in this class but my breathing and how my body feels during the different poses.
  • BodyPump – Left to my own devices, I opt to lift heavy a few times and move on. This class pushes me to increase my endurance because we lift relatively light/moderate weights numerous times, causing muscle fatigue. It is a change of pace for me to lift this way and a change of pace every once in a while is good!
  • BodyCombat – Kickboxing without the bags. This class I’ve done only once, but I burned over 200 calories in 30 minutes. I feel really silly punching and kicking without a bag, having done that for so many years, but cardio is cardio.

So back to the sugar detox ~ I decided to start it today as, from what I’ve read, the first three days are the hardest. I’m expecting to feel hungry (even if I’m really not), tired, headachy, and extra cranky. The weekend is a perfect time to iron all that shit out so I’m not exposing my co-workers and clients to it.

I’m really looking forward to getting these first few days over with and getting back on the right track. I remember what it was like last year giving up caffeine (which I maintained for 3 months) ~ it was a fucking nightmare. Totally worth it though because I slept amazing and realized that much of my anxiety stemmed from being over-caffeinated. I saw such a drastic reduction in my stress levels. While I drink caffeine now, it is very minimal and I don’t think it adds any anxiety or sleeplessness to my life. I wouldn’t have known that though, had I not have gone caffeine-free. I really hope that cutting out the added sugar in my life helps my energy levels increase, along with the vitamin D supplements I started taking a few days ago.

 

Find the beauty

Sometimes I order a box of random vintage jewelry bits online. The last batch I ordered was around $20, including shipping, and I got some amazing stuff! I was surprised that much of it was wearable, as I was only buying it for crafting purposes.

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I like to do this type of stuff with them, because I think vintage jewelry wine bottles are the shit. This set is in my office and I like looking at them because I remember being so freakin’ excited receiving the jewelry lot in the mail and spreading it out on my coffee table. I matched things up by color and decided that since I had these bottles already sprayed for another project, I’d deviate from that project and make something else.

I have never really been into any color or item you would consider “delicate”, but as I get older, I’m enjoying softer colors much more. I also love the idea of making something beautiful out of things that nobody wants anymore. It’s kind of like your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend – they’re in your past for a reason but perhaps to someone else they are amazing and wonderful; worth holding on to.

And now a shameless plug to my Etsy shop, because it fits: Weird Glass Art Studio. Making the boring glassware that you have been hoarding under your kitchen sink into something unique. Trash to treasures.

Wanna ride on my mood swing?

This has to be one of my favorite memes ever:

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I hate feeling out of control with my own mood swings. I know when I’m not myself and there isn’t really anything I can do but ride the wave and know better will come along because it always does.

Christmas Eve I went from fine to terribly sad in the span of around 15 minutes. Nothing monumental happened; all we did was go from one party to another. I found myself in a dark place – feeling like no one cared that I was there or alive. I felt like I was invisible. I was in someone else’s home and I knew very few people there. The hosts were too busy for introductions and the party had already been underway for a couple of hours by the time we arrived. It’s one thing to be a content wallflower, it’s another to feel like a ghost around the vibrantly alive and bustling busy-ness. So I got quiet and very much into my own thoughts, feeling very much like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time – the wrong life at the wrong time.

Because I’m one that needs to be able to pinpoint why I feel the way I do at certain times, I can only contribute it to the chaos of the holidays when it comes to visiting and trying to please everyone, the pressure of trying to get it all done, my medication, PMS, need for sleep, and junk food. I like trying to trace the “why” when it comes to my emotions and reactions in order to try to learn from them; I try to discern patterns and see where I can try to “let go” of either unrealistic expectations of myself or others. But sometimes a good, cleansing cry is needed without the worry of judgment from anyone. So that is what I gave myself when I got home – a good, ugly cry.

After I cleared that all out, Theresa and I put all the gifts under the tree and I had a little fun on Jake’s little electric 4-wheeler. Because that’s what you do when you have kids – you let out whatever it is in private so you don’t scare them and then you get your shit together to make sure they have a nice Christmas.

I personally think my fleece snazzy Christmas pants make my interpretation a little bit better than the original.

In summation, I wonder if sometimes I don’t, if we don’t, try to stifle our emotions in order to appear like we are on an even, steady keel. I don’t know how many times I have heard judgments from people (behind my back, of course!) about how I’m “all over the place” when it comes to my lifestyle and my hobbies. If I’m faced with judgment for those things, you’re damned certain the thought flickers across my mind when I show an emotion that varies from your basic happy or content. I don’t let myself get too involved with perceptions of me but it is a thought that races by when I have a bad day and want to throw a tantrum. Oh, gosh – what will they think of me? Will they think I’m unhinged? 

Who cares. We’re all a bit unhinged – some of us just let it all out and move on, while others hold it in and eventually explode.

 

 

Things change when you get older.

Looking back to, say, 15 years ago (let’s get real, I didn’t get my shit together until I was about 27 or 28) ~ I was loud and probably obnoxious to most people. I wore bright, flashy clothing and sky-high heels. (The more those heels resembled a pair a stripper might wear at work, the better!) I was rude, quite judgmental, and thought I knew everything. Everything about me was loud and screamed ignorance. One of the attorneys at my job, Claude, uses the word “vituperative” and that word not only sounds really awesome, it would be a word that would have accurately described me back in the day when I was apparently determined to be an asshat.

Fast forward ~ I’m 35 now. I’ve noticed some changes in me in the past number of years, especially the last two or three.

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I prefer nights in over nights out. I don’t bother with most people beyond politeness. My circle of friends is tight-knit and small; I don’t mess with people who have ulterior motives or who simply speak to me out of convenience. My life is very busy and full but I’ve calmed down so much. My life has been revved up but I feel more at peace. My nails have chilled out, too, for example. I went from doing whatever I could to stand out cosmetically to wanting my personality and my talents speak for me instead.

I don’t need to be the center of attention. Honestly, I’d prefer not to be. I don’t need to carry the weight of a conversation ~ I’m comfortable with silence. I don’t need to force relationships with people and I find myself less emotionally tied up when things don’t go my way. Instead of feeling like I know it all, I feel like the older I get the less I really do know and what right do I have to pass a lot of judgment? I don’t need to always be connected to someone or something. It’s okay to “miss out”. I don’t need to absorb the baggage of another person’s emotional well-being and/or their behavior. I can’t control anyone else; I can only control me.

A place in the background feels honestly perfect. It’s a great spot to grab a bag of popcorn and watch others flit about, figuring their lives out. It’s the perfect spot to see who the loudest person is – because I know from experience – usually the loudest person in the room is the one who feels the most insecure.