Hell: A Thought on Mondays

Hell: A Thought on Mondays

Juggling my day to day life is normally something I can do on autopilot. I am a fairly busy woman with a two year old who loves to test her limits. That being said, there are days that things just seem to be too much. This type of day occurred yesterday, which of course was a Monday.

It began with traffic. Not just any traffic, but Interstate 495 traffic. Any of you who have been to Massachusetts and driven on this cursed highway know my strife. Although it is not the worst highway, it is definitely one of them.

Two hours I sat in my car to travel the 39 miles to work. Normally, I can do this in 35 minutes without issue. Not yesterday, no it took much longer. I spent an hour and half of it traveling the last 19.7 miles. That’s an average of 13mph. Do you know what that does to a driver like me? Infuriates them, that’s what. I become obsessively territorial and never let anyone merge into my lane, it makes me hate everyone driving on the other side of the highway going 75mph with ease; oh and let’s not forget how it causes me to spew fire.

Yes, it was an awful start to my morning, which was only further soured by Dunkin Donuts getting my order wrong. Not even partially wrong, I mean seriously wrong. Like the type of wrong that has you scratching your head trying to figure how just how they could have possibly gotten it this wrong. Nope, not a good morning at all.

I breezed into my office with my attempt at hiding my scowl in hopes that I could retire to my cubicle and hide away until lunch and repair my mood. I would have effectively reached my happy level by noon. But oh the universe was against me this day, this awful, wretched Monday! Despite my obvious scowl and clear look of “leave me alone” I am at once bombarded with chaos. Not just normal work day chaos, but complete, and utter chaos. Nothing, it seems, had gone right that day for anyone.

“I need this… I need that… Do this… Do that… Did you forget… Did you forget to remind me…” and so on and so on.  Instead of breathing easy by noon, I was foaming at the mouth and nursing a severe headache.

I know what you’re thinking. Man that sounds like a bad day, but it can only get better from there. Shush. Don’t think. That optimism has no place in my bad Monday blog post! It did not get better, it got worse. Ten times worse! A hundred times even! I would say a thousand, but you get the point.

So what could possibly have happened to make it such an awful day? The electric company happened. Now normally, this would not upset me, but it could not have occurred at a worse time. At promptly twelve thirty, our power went out. My lunch was at 00:17 seconds into its 02:30 minute cooking time. Along with the power went the Air Conditioning. Did I mention it was wicked humid out? My office building jumped 10 degrees in about seven minutes. They are cheap as it is so the AC wasn’t even on a good level to begin with.

It never came back on. For two hours we were not allowed to leave. We had to wait and see. After all, the internet still worked and we all have laptops. It was the rule of thumb that once your laptop died, you could go home. Of course this meant everyone turned up their brightness and played the most energy consuming video they could find. Me? Nope. I could not go home. Remember how I said I was meeting with my doctor come Monday to discuss the whole overweight thing? Yeah, that was in the opposite direction of my home. I would have had to drive that 39 miles back home, just to walk in, give the fiancé and nugget (daughter) a kiss before jumping back in my car and driving 59.8 miles to my doctor’s office. I chose this specific doctor because how close they were to my work. Silly me why would I do such a thing?

So I sat there, in my dark little cubicle for another hour playing Tiny Tower on my phone – Awful game, but horridly addicting. The clock strikes three and I leap up and skip to the door and make my merry way to the doctors where I get totally amped up to lose weight and be healthy. Then she says with an irksome smile, “Great! We will get started after your laps and next appointment. My calendar is booked until November.”

Seriously? I have to wait until November to lose weight? This is where I envision myself throwing a massive hissy fit in my mind, meanwhile in reality I calmly smile and say “That sounds great! Thank you!”

What happens next? Well this horrid driver gets back behind the wheel and drives 1.2 miles before having to slam on her brakes. Guess what it was? I bet you won’t guess it. No, it wasn’t an animal. It was… wait for it…. TRAFFIC! More traffic! As if my day needed any more traffic! It then proceeded to take me another lovely two hours to get home. It was great. The only thing that kept me from spewing the foulest curses imaginable was the fact that the radio was playing great songs. Instead I opened the windows, and belted out the songs in my awful, tone-deaf voice. I am sure I made quite the sight, dancing to my music with my gigantic sun glasses in my little white corolla. Did I mention I am tone-deaf? Oh well, it gave them something to laugh at for two hours.

When at last my little corolla pulled into my garage and I entered my nice cool apartment, I felt myself cringing at what would greet me. I had horrible visions of my child running amuck like they usually do, with my poor fiancé running behind her with a look of exhaustion and panic. I debated on taking a walk before heading in, but I was starving. Instead, I opened the door hesitantly. I was greeted with a sparkling clean apartment, a reheated, but delicious dinner and a ice cold cherry coke zero. I kicked off my heels and dove in, famished since the power outage stole my chance at lunch. My fantastic fiancé even knew better than to ask me how my day was. Once I had successfully put on three pounds by inhaling my pasta, the fiancé and I curled up on the couch with Kayla. This time, it only took a few minutes to reach my happy level.

As we put Kayla to bed, after reading her an incredibly long bed time story, I promptly forgot about the woes of my day. Then I woke up late and remembered how much the universe hates me.

Weight: A Thought About Myself

I want to thank Greta, The Coffee Addict for her inspirational blog “Thin people are miserable too”. You should check it out, she has great things to say.

I have a confession. I am overweight, and have been struggling with it for a few years. I know everyone says you should love yourself no matter what, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be honest with yourself and look in the mirror and say “I am unhealthy.” I love who I am, and I am glad of how I turned out. However I am not happy with my size. I want to lose weight not because I am vain and want to be gorgeous. As much as I would love to be gorgeous, it’s doesn’t really factor high on my lists lately. I already have a great guy hooked, overweight and all! I want to lose weight for an entirely different reason; Health.

When I was younger, I was in good shape. However, I was still larger than most of my family members. Despite the fact that I was healthy, being larger than my sister and cousins began to affect my confidence, and even my own comfort being around my family. There were times when I couldn’t help but look at them, and wish I could look like that. I think everyone in their life has had this experience. It is a pretty normal human reaction to looking at someone else and wanting what they have. This is jealous, vanity, envy, human nature, whatever you want to call it.

Sometimes, these feelings of not being able to compare to another overwhelm you, and you begin to forget all the things you do have. I was never by any means a skinny girl, but I was always very healthy and active. Of course like most high school girls I couldn’t stand the extra weight I had, but it didn’t really bother me too much. Still, I never looked in the mirror and thought “Wow, I am pretty.” I look back at those same photos, and I am now sane enough to know that I was very pretty, and damn I was in good shape. What the heck happened?

It was college that truly began my downfall. I began putting weight on at a fairly steady rate. A few pounds here, a few pounds there, it ended being a total of 25 by the end of my second year after High School. According to google, I was still in the healthy range so I thought “Hey, 170 isn’t so bad.” Well, that 170 continued to go up. A mixture of things helped it along in its process.

When I was twenty, I became very sick. That is another story entirely, but let’s just say it sucked and I was kept very inactive. Not fully bedridden, but close enough. My weight skyrocketed during this time frame. Once the bulk of the illness had passed, I looked at my weight and knew something needed to be done. I was no longer in that “acceptable” weight range and was now located in the dreaded “overweight” range. I started getting the random nutrition pamphlets thrown in to my stack of paperwork at the doctor’s office. I started getting the looks, you know the should-you-really-eat-that look. I hate that look. And do you know what the worst thing about that look is? Half the time it’s all in your head. You would not believe how uncomfortable I get eating in front of people because I feel like everyone is watching the fat girl eat. Man, am I cocky or what? Seriously, people have a lot better things to do than watch me eat. Even though I know this, going out to eat with friends, or even family is so nerve-wracking for me, sometimes I psych myself out to thinking I am just not hungry. It’s truly awful when I go to family BBQs and everyone is eating chips and dip, and I am having an anxiety attack because I really want a chip, but I don’t want the scrutiny.

Not to sound arrogant, or cocky, but I belong to a pretty good-looking family. My mother’s side are all thin, Irish and Irish Italian mixes who inherited all the best features of their heritage. It was very hard for me to look at family pictures, because I always stuck out. I was always the larger one. I began shying away from photos, feeling very uncomfortable when people would ask me to be in one. Why pose in another group photo where I will just take up half of it? So where does this leave me? Afraid to eat and participate in family functions. Kind of sucks doesn’t it? So once more, I stand determined before the mirror and say to my haughty reflection “I will change you, I will be healthy!” Then I go and Google food recipes. Ah sweet Google, such a useful little thing.

I am actually a somewhat healthy eater. I don’t really drink soda, I dislike fast food, I love veggies and will usually eat them as a snack. I don’t generally eat chips, or a ton of cookies. I don’t eat bacon, mainly because I find it gross, or any really fatty meats. All in all, my diet is mildly normal, but I also know it is not enough. I may not eat unhealthy, but I am not healthy either. This is when I realize something. I look at girls who are thin, and I can honestly say I do not want that. For me, I want to lose weight not because I want to fit into those super cute low-rise jeans, but because I want to get into hiking. I want to get back into horseback riding. I want to do this, I want to do that. I want to be active. I want to go outside in the morning and go for a jog. I don’t have a goal number that I want to be at, I have a goal in my ability. I want to be able to do things that I just can’t as I am now. (seriously, I tried pushing myself and bad things happened, read below!)

Even with my goals and my actions to correct my weight, it doesn’t really go down. It also does not go up, which is a good thing. I just seem to be caught in the middle, scratching my head trying to figure out what to do next. I have done the whole increasing my exercise thing; going to the gym, doing things at home, going for long walks during my lunch hour, and where did that get me? An extra 10lbs and a herniated disc in my lower lumbar. Fan-freaking-tastic. So what happens now? Rest, rest, and more rest… and a dash of physical therapy. And this is where I am now; Overweight, broken, getting married in 2 months with only a few lost pounds to show for my “New Year’s Resolution”; still afraid to eat in front of my family, and still dodging pictures that my family just love to take; oh and let’s not forget needing surgery to fix my back since my weight was counterproductive to the physical therapy. Sounds pretty awesome huh?

So how do I fix this? I am not sure, because many of my attempts have met with failure. What are my options? I don’t have many, but I am determined so I will keep trying. Starting Monday, I will be working closely with my doctor to help lose weight. Maybe having a medical professional urging me on instead of my reflection will give me the strength, and willpower I need to do this. We shall see.

What about you? Do you struggle with your health? Do you want to be able to do the things you love without the inhibiting factors, such as being over or underweight, getting in your way? I know I do.

Reflection: A Thought on Little Girls

Reflection: A Thought on Little Girls This morning some cruel twist of fate had me awake at 3:00am.  No matter how much I tried to drift back off to the dreamland I could not.  Perhaps it was the fact that I was in my home alone, as my fiancé and my daughter had been away visiting family, or perhaps it was because my upstairs neighbors have a dog that is the epitome of annoying.  It’s one of those yippy ones that have a complete inability to stop barking.  No matter the case, I was awake. Instead of continuing the futile attempt at sleep, which would only serve to aggravate me more, I decided to get out of bed and start my day.  First and foremost, I needed coffee. I have been attempting, unsuccessfully I might add, to decrease my caffeine intake however that was out of the question at 3:15am.  After drinking my liquid addiction, I poured myself a bowl of Honey Comb cereal and promptly plopped down on my couch with my kindle to check my email.  As the trusty little thing loaded, I was greeted first and foremost by pictures.  I had been reviewing my facebook, which of course is filled to the brim with pictures of my daughter and nieces.  I decided I would tell you all a little bit about them.

My first niece is Faith.  She is a beautiful girl who is turning four in two days.  Faith is a special girl, and a wonderful child.  She was born with a rare heart defect, and as such needed open heart surgery when she was only a week old.  The doctors said she would need them all throughout her life.  She was due for another one at 6 months, but through some amazing miracle she has lasted 4 years.  Although she is going in for a procedure in a few weeks, it is not known whether she will need to go for another open heart just yet.  She has defied expectations.  Children are pretty awesome like that.  Faith also is an award winning big sister.  Her little sister is a few months younger than my own daughter, and goes by Becky.  Now, unlike Faith, Becky is mom’s best friend.  I suppose she inherits that from her uncle, he is all about his mother!  Becky, much like Kayla, loves to eat.  I remember heading over there for lunch, and that child mowed down on her food like someone was trying to steal it!  It was truly adorable.  You would never guess her apatite by her appearance, she is a peanut.  The two of them are a absolutely beautiful pair.  Their parents are very lucky.  Out of respect for her mother, I did not post a picture of them here.

My next niece is an adorable, high energy, beautiful nut, born on April 3rd, 2010.  This child would exhaust even the most athletic Olympian.  She is brilliant, a fact that can be a bit creepy when this little two year old can hold full conversations with you.  She is sneaky too!  You can’t help but love this little girl, she is always smiling and laughing.  They say that Karma pays you back tenfold to those who gave their parents trouble by having a child just like you.  Have fun, my fantastic cousin, you are in for it!  Alana is the oldest of the new generation in our family.  We are now a 4 generation crew!   Alana was the first granddaughter, and was the beginning step in completing our apparent tradition.  My grandmother had four girls, and then the first four of the next generation were girls, and now that group has produced four girls!  We are kind of hoping the next one is a boy, just for some variety!  As three of the four are within months of each other, they all seem to have similar clothing…

Now the next one born to fulfill the female tradition was my own daughter, Kayla, who was born twenty days after Alana on April 23rd, 2010.  My daughter was born premature, but was healthy.  Her lungs had developed, and she had no foreseeable issues.  However, like most premature newborns, she had jaundice.  Jaundice does not pose a threat to infants, unless its caused by an underlying medical condition, which thankfully was not the case with Kayla.  Despite that, we were new parents, and we were terrified.  In the beginning, we only knew that our child needed to stay under a UV light and that we couldn’t  hold her was not a fun experience.  We ended having to be transferred to another hospital just under two hours away that had a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).  It was terrifying.  We were there for six days, and it is not an experience I wish to repeat.  Once we took her home, the real fun began.  There were now two newborns in our family, Alana and Kayla.  These two, though very different, were insanely good.  At a few weeks old, kayla was already pretty much sleeping through the night.  How many of you guys can claim that? It was like hitting the damn lottery!  At five weeks, we would put her to bed at 8pm, and she would wake up at 7am.  It was incredible!  I was probably the most well rested new mother they had ever seen. She didn’t cry too much, but that didn’t mean I didn’t call my own mom crying when she did. It was very stressful being a new mother!  It did not help that I lived in another state.  Even now, I look back to how nervous I was, how carefully I handled Kayla as though she would break.  I remembered how I used to panic when she would sleep passed the 4 hours the doctors recommended and thought about waking her up.  Thankfully, my family had instilled the firm words of “Never wake a sleeping baby” into my head, otherwise Kayla probably would not have learned to sleep through the night.  All of these memories paraded through my mind as I browsed through hundreds of photos.  Through the ups and downs, time flew by.  Before I knew it, Kayla was three months old, then she was six and had a new baby cousin.  This brings us to my third niece, Kylie.  Now this child was a little different than Kayla and Alana.  Even just after birth, this child had a set of lungs that identified her as a future powerhouse diva.  She hit notes that I swear did not even make sound!  They just made the hairs on the back of your neck stand on edge.  This child has big blue eyes, dirty blonde hair, and an award winning smile.  She will be two in October, and it just so happens that her birthday is also on the day of my wedding.  Its going to be an action packed October!   Alana, Kayla, and Kylie; the three little pigs, or stooges, or whatever threes group you wish to identify them with.  When you get them together, hilarity and chaos ensue.

Despite age, Alana is the smallest, a little peanut compared to the others. Don’t let her size fool you, she’s as feisty as her mother and can probably knock out anyone who gets near her flailing arms as she dances.  Kayla is tallest, and the darkest.  She has my complexion, thankfully, with her tan skin, large dark eyes, and dark hair.  She is a little more reserved than the others, and has a soft little voice, until you make her mad.  She can be a bit vengeful, which her father swears she gets from me.  I don’t see it; I am a saint I swear!  Kylie is in the middle, but this child is solid.  She is the cutest little brute you would ever meet.  After she knocks someone to the ground, she gives you The Lips; the big, puckering lips that you just can’t stay mad at.  Her grandfather, dubbed Grampy is especially susceptible to them.  This little trio will rule this world, I promise you.

Within the past few months, our little trio has actually grown.  There is a new one, the adorable Brenna.  Although her personality is still evolving, she is showing the signs of being like her sister, Alana.  She is a ham, first of all.  It must be my cousins influence, but Alana and Brenna seem to sense a camera and pose beautifully for it.  My daughter has the opposite sense.  She senses the camera and scowls so all I get is a picture that is clearly telling me to go to the bad place.  Brenna is in that stage where she is still making the adorable little coos that melt your heart.  She has big round eyes and teeny weeny little lips, and chubby little legs that you just love.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I seriously think my family is good at making cute babies.  I might be a little biased though… what do you guys think?

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