Hiatus II

So.  Life.  What’s going on for you all?

Me?  Oh, not much.  Just another crappy year, so far.

My husband is now into his third year of looking for a full-time job teaching English to students between 7th and 12th grade.  It’s not looking too great.  Usually I really prefer to keep a more optimistic view of things, but at this point I’m starting to wig out just a bit.  I’m getting really tired of living with my parents.  I’m getting really tired of not being able to find work because we can’t afford daycare and my parents work too much to be reliable babysitters.  For that matter, so does my father-in-law.

My husband has had three interviews.  We’re supposed to hear from the latest school her interviewed with any day now, and I’m still somewhat hopeful, although he’s about ready to give up.  He says it was the best interview he’s ever given — except for the whole part where he was, for some reason, sweating uncontrollably and couldn’t stop.  He never gets nervous enough to sweat during an interview.  Maybe they didn’t have the air conditioner on?  But he seemed to impress the interviewer(s?), so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

We just need this so badly.  I really want to get on with our lives, move out of my parents house, rent a nice townhouse or maybe a small house, live in a good school district, save for a down payment for a house, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD get off of food stamps. 

I am a fan of how well the federal government has taken care of us in this rough significant portion of our lives and our son’s life patch.  Could they do more?  Only if we, as the American public, agreed to raise taxes for the good of the whole (country, that is).  I wish it could be that way, but I probably won’t get my wish unless I move to Canada or a Scandinavian country… maybe France.

But I digress.

So, I’ve been feeling a bit depressed lately.  Weekly counseling has helped.  Medication has helped the physiological part of it.  My relationship with my parents, and the current strains on those relationships, aren’t helping.  The slowly rebounding economy (at least, I keep hearing it’s coming back — I don’t personally see the evidence of it yet) isn’t helping.  And my relationship with my husband, which has reached a certain point, isn’t helping.

We’re in “family counseling” sessions every other week, working on our marriage, in addition to my weekly individual therapy.  The policy of the office is to have each partner come in for individual sessions.  Then each partner and each partner’s counselor meet, all four together, for the group sessions.  My thought was that my husband’s individual sessions would continue.

But no.  Clearly it’s too much to ask for my husband to work on his issues while I work on mine and we attempt to work together on ours.

I’m sorry.  That was bitchy.  Let me try again.

I have come to my husband several times, suggesting, asking, and then begging him to please see a counselor on an individual basis to work on his personal issues.  It’s not like I think he’s the only one with issues — if I did, I wouldn’t be in therapy for myself.  And I understand, and have expressed my understanding, that therapy is difficult, and uncomfortable, and the only reason it seems to be easy and comfortable for me is because I’ve been in and out of counseling for more then ten years.  I’ve come to realize that I function and handle my depression best, when I am taking my medication daily, seeing a good therapist that I like and mesh with weekly, and when life is… well, easier than it’s been for a long long long long long long long long time.  I don’t need a cakewalk, but is a full-time job between the two of us too much to ask?

The good news is, my husband was able to substitute teach many days this past school year.  He was also able to acquire a position as the Education Director for our local theatre company, which is more a resume-padding volunteer position than an actual job, for what he gets paid.  That said, I hold no resentment against them.  Objectively, they are a fairly amateur company.  Subjectively, I enjoy the people involved, the productions they present, and the opportunities afforded me (auditons).  And thirdly, he picked up a temporary job with the Census Bureau.

Unfortunately, school is just about over in most districts.  Census work will end in about a month.  But, again, good news: I had a (what I thought was) pretty successful job interview last week.  I should hear sometime this week whether or not I have a job.

So, if you’re the praying type, say a quick word for us.  If not, any positive thoughts or energy would be greatly appreciated.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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Hiatus

Well, I guess that’s one resolution down the drain.

Pause for a moment.  I’m going to apologize now, because I may sound a little whiny for the remainder of this post.  Rest assured I’ll be back to my witty blogger self next post.  Just bear with me for the time being.

This is not my first blog.  I have, in fact, created four blogs to date — this one included.  With each one, I have been inconsistent at best.  Inconsistency is kind of a thing with me.  It’s on my list of things I’d like to change.

My first attempt at blogging was inspired by a close friend of mine who happens to be a mommyblogger.  She was packing (and shopping!) for BlogHer ’08 and Tweeting about it.  (Um, do I need another reason to shop?  Abso-freakin’-lutely!)  Plus, the Twitter thing just looked like fun — that was my first exposure to it.

Then she came back the next week with pictures, stories, contact info for new friends, and tons of swag.  She got cool free stuff in the mail for her review blog.  Plus, she’s actually a really talented writer.

Fame, fortune, and cool shit?  Sounded like a plan.

Obviously, this was all easier said than done.  My mommyblogger friend had been blogging steadily, probably at least a few times a week, for almost five years by the time I got started.  She had a good readership going, and like I said, she had a separate blog for product reviews.  She already had a lot of good connections with other mommybloggers, and she’d already been making money off of her blogs.  I should have known that when it sounded to good to be true, it probably wasn’t what I thought.

When I started my first blog, I wanted lots of traffic.  So I told all my friends and family all about it.  I wanted everybody to visit.  I wanted feedback from people I knew and trusted on my writing ability.  I didn’t know I was setting myself up for self-censorship.  By telling everyone I knew, I didn’t have a place to vent.  Sometimes you just need to air things out.  That’s what anonymity is good for.  I’ve since learned my lesson, clearly.

I also didn’t feel like I really had my own identity as a blogger.  I jumped on the mommyblogging bandwagon, reading the folks on my friend’s blogroll, participating in her memes and contests, and just kind of piggybacking on the contacts she already had.  It didn’t feel right.

A few months after creating my mommyblog, I created a separate blog for essays that were spiritual in nature.  I’m Wiccan/Pagan/Neo-Pagan/a blend of many diverse paths that end up being a fairly unique religion that works for me.  But I didn’t really want to put all that pressure on my mommyblog.  There’s an awful lot of baggage that goes with that particular spiritual label, and I wasn’t ready to accept responsibility for losing readers just because they didn’t see eye-to-eye with my beliefs.  I thought that by being open about my spirituality, I would be opening myself up to rejection all over again (since I’ve opened myself up in my personal life to most of those people I’m close to).

With both my blogs, I ran into the time constraints of a mom trying to work full-time, take care of her toddler son, take care of dinner, groceries, cleaning, etc., and attempt to emotionally support a husband who was in school and student teaching to get his license.  I wrote more and more infrequently, and eventually, I abandoned both blogs.  Even after I lost my job last July, I didn’t try to get back into the blogging thing.  I figured it was too late to resurrect either one of my sites.

Last November, I created a new blog, with the idea that I would start it off by participating in NaBloPoMo, and thus kick my habit of inconsistency in blogging.  (Actually, my inconsistency basically permeates every facet of my life.  This is something I’ve had trouble with for as long as I can remember, and is one of my big projects in therapy.)  I didn’t even make it past Day 2.  So what did I do?  Give up.  I told myself if it wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t worth doing.  I deleted the blog.

That brings us to this blog.  I’m still having trouble with the inconsistency, the perfectionism, and the lack of confidence.  But today?  Today I am publishing a new post.  And that is good enough, dammit.

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Couch to 5K: Week 2, Day 1

Well, it certainly went better than Week 1, Day 3 on Saturday.

I didn’t want to talk about it then because I was ashamed for quitting about halfway through.  I was running outside for the first time, on an empty stomach sloshing around with coffee from that morning.  I was cold, hungry, thirsty, and jittery.  I talked to my friend Krista about it yesterday, and she asked me what I learned.  I joked: “I wanted to die?”

But really, she has a point.  I learned (with her help) to drink water steadily throughout the day before running, not coffee, to eat a small, protein-rich snack about half an hour before I run, run inside or dress more warmly, and start off a little bit slower.

Last night I ran W2D1.  I completed the workout (5 intervals: 90 seconds of running alternating with 2 minutes of walking), although I did start walking 15 seconds early on Interval 4 and 5 seconds early on Interval 5.  Had I been paying attention on Interval 5 and realized that I only had 5 seconds to go, I would have pushed through to the end.

I did have too much to eat and drink beforehand, and when I was doing my 5-minute cool-down walk, I felt like I was going to throw up.  Apparently, sitting in the sauna for a few minutes afterward helps with that.  Or maybe it was just sitting down at all.

But I feel like for the most part, yesterday went waaaaaaaaay better than Saturday.  It’s nice to feel some sort of accomplishment.  I can’t believe I ran 90 seconds without stopping!  It may sound small, but to a non-runner exercise-avoider like me, it really is an accomplishment.

Next goal: to complete Week 2, Day 2 tomorrow (Wednesday) or Thursday — depending on when I can cajole my husband and/or parents into watching my son — and run each interval all the way through the 90 seconds.

Support another mom doing Couch-to-5K!

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Fitness Plan, Week 2

I have had some time to reflect on my first week of this fitness plan.  Here is what I’ve discovered:

  • I hate Hate HATE counting calories.  It’s a pain in the ass.  No thank you.  Plus, it really doesn’t jive with the “Michael Pollan diet” that I really like.
  • I’m still having a hard time remembering to listen to my body for what to eat and drink, and when.  Still a work in progress.
  • I still don’t get enough rest, really.  Again, I don’t really listen to my body.   And I really haven’t set a bedtime or made myself stick to it.  Another work in progress, I guess.
  • I am disappointed with my progress (or lack thereof) with Couch-to-5K.

New goals:

  • Eat more whole foods and fewer processed foods, eat more plants, eat a greater variety of foods, and eat for enjoyment as well as health.  Thus is Michael Pollan’s philosophy, and this is what makes sense to me.  No more calorie-counting.
  • Continue to listen to my body, and improve my listening skills in this department.  Eat, drink, and rest accordingly.  Try to establish three time frames for meals and two for snacks.
  • “Set a specific bedtime and stick to it.”
  • Stick to the Couch-to-5K running program.  At least, take it one day at a time.
  • I will no longer be posting journal entries for each individual day.  I will, however, be updating regularly, probably every few days once I’ve done the next C25K workout.

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Couch to 5K: Week 1, Day 3

I don’t even want to talk about it.

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Couch to 5K: Week 1, Day 2

I did Week 1, Day 2 of Couch to 5K on Thursday.  It went well.

Maybe a little too well.

I did the workout at my dad’s gym — I got a free trial membership for a week there — at about 1 PM, alone.  I’m aware that I did my Day 1 on Sunday, and that’s three days in between workouts, rather than one or two.  What can I say?  I’m a stay-at-home parent of a toddler who doesn’t have reliable babysitting.  I did it as soon as possible, and that was Thursday.

But it really seemed almost… too easy.  Like I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as Krista pushed me.  I was on a treadmill, since there was no indoor track, and I didn’t feel like running outside (maybe when the weather gets warmer here in Central Ohio).  I had a hard time at first, because I’m not really used to running on treadmills — like at all — but it was mostly with speeding up and slowing down when I transitioned from running to walking and back.

But I felt it was easier to breathe than it was on Sunday, and my legs didn’t hurt while I was running.  I mean, it wasn’t cake, but it certainly felt a lot easier than I figured it should have.  Krista said for her, things didn’t get easier until Day 3 of any given week when she did the C25K program.

Then again, the woman I babysit for on Saturday mornings (she’s training for a marathon, and that’s when they run) said it should be easier for me than it would be for someone who’s heavier.  I don’t have extra weight that I have to carry around the track or on the treadmill with me.  And Krista said before she started running, she had a good 100 pounds on what I am now.  So I guess that makes sense.

But even the next day, I had no pain or soreness anywhere in my body at all.  What’s up?

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Fitness Plan Journal, Day 7

Fitness Plan Journal:

  • Went to bed at midnight last night.  I woke up at 8:50 AM physically feeling pretty good, weighing in at 106.0 pounds.
  • I ate breakfast at 9:40 AM: 24 Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats, Bite Size, with 1/2 cup Kroger 2% milk, and felt satisfied afterward.
  • I was thirsty at 10:30 AM, so I drank 8 oz. water and my thirst was quenched.
  • I was hungry again by 11:00 AM and ate the last 1/2 cup Kroger small curd cottage cheese, and was just satisfied, so I drank 4 oz Kroger 2% milk and felt full.
  • I was hungry again by 1:10 PM.  After fixing lunch for my son and myself, I ate a sandwich at 1:25 PM consisting of: 2 slices Private Selection (Kroger’s “posh” brand) sliced Genoa salami, 1 1/2 slices Private Selection hand crafted Provolone cheese, 2 slices S. Rosen’s dark Jewish unseeded rye bread, 1 Tbsp Kroger Classic mayonnaise, and 1 tsp Plochman’s mild yellow mustard, after which I felt satisfied.
  • At 2:30 PM I felt very thirsty, so I had 8 oz. water and felt better.
  • At 7:55 PM, I was babysitting, and I had a glass of chocolate milk, 2 slices of pizza, a piece of gum, and some SweetTarts.

Nutritional information:

  • Calories: 1042.5
  • Calories from Fat: 415
  • Total Fat: 44.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 19.75 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 122.75 mg
  • Sodium: 1607.5 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 118.5 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 8 g
  • Sugars: 59.5 g
  • Protein: 49.5 g

Not included in this nutritional information are the pizza, gum, and SweetTarts.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Bedtime certainly better than the night before, although I think most nights I’d like to aim for 11:00 PM.
  • I forgot to bring the baby monitor upstairs with me when I went to bed last night, so I didn’t hear my son until about 8:45 this morning.  I feel like such a bad mom!  I haven’t been getting him out of his crib right when he wakes up for DAYS.
  • I’m still not sure why I’m losing weight.  I’ll have to look closer at this whole week’s worth of journal entries.
  • I find it pretty difficult to avoid snacking when people around me are snacking (especially snacks that are less-than-healthy) — for instance, the kids I was babysitting.
  • I thought it bore mentioning that I try to be as thorough as possible when describing what I’m eating.  This is why I include the brand name, type, amount, etc.  I am not receiving payment or reimbursement of any kind from any of these brands, manufacturers, distributors, etc.  I feel it is my obligation to you, as my readers, to provide you with all the information that I have.

Edited to add: I didn’t realize this was still unpublished.  This was for the day of  Tuesday, January 13, 2010.  Sorry!

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