Thursday, June 2, 2016

Me Time

I'm one of those moms who never takes time for herself.

I stopped taking long baths because the water is too expensive (don't ask about our water bills.... being on city water is awful where we live).

I stopped wearing makeup because for a long time any makeup was causing awful allergic reactions.
I stopped doing my nails because my hands are always in the dirt in the garden, or in water from cleaning.  Manicures, gardening, and canning do not mix.

As a result, I also stopped taking care of my health.  I started to put on weight, and other weird symptoms started to show up, too.  Hot flashes, given my age, I thought were normal.  But then I realized that I was hot all the time, not just in flashes.  I would sweat, even though I wasn't working particularly hard, or feel that hot.  My heart would race.  Anxiety would literally make me incapacitated.  I looked tired all the time, even after sleeping for twelve hours straight.

I then decided it was time to try to lose some weight.  I started eating a lot healthier, and a lot less.  I walked every night.  I worked harder in the garden.  I bought a pedometer and started tracking my steps.  Even after a month of doing all these things, which normally would send my weight plummeting downward, didn't help.  In fact, I started to gain more weight.

I.  Got.  Scared.

I was seriously scared that there was something seriously wrong with me.  I called my doctor to schedule a regular physical because I hadn't had one in over 3 years.  I started to talk to the nurse about my symptoms, and she told me that I needed to be seen THIS WEEK.  I told her there was really no rush.  She said that I should have been seen at least year ago when the symptoms started.
So, today, I'm going in to see my doctor.  Not for a regular physical, like I thought I needed.  I'm going to have my thyroid and adrenal glands checked.  The regular physical will come later.  But the potential thyroid problems need to be addressed now.

I'm still concerned about what all the test results will show.  I'm concerned that I won't be able to get the help I need.  All the normal concerns.  But I'm taking steps, because even as imperfect as my life is, I need to be in at least better health than I am.  My family needs me, and they need me to take better care of myself.

I'll let you know what the doctors say.  It's now time for me to take care of me.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Working, working, working

I haven't gotten my 15 minutes of blogging in for quite awhile now.
However, yesterday I started to get plans in shape to change that.  I was working on a schedule, and trying to get one in place.
I was also trying to get my family onto the same page as I was, however they were being confrontational about the whole thing.  There were a multitude of excuses of "why nots".

I hate "why....nots..."

Over half of the day yesterday, I was doing meal planning.  My version of meal planning is trying to get one dinner listed in my calendar for each night.  For the year.  Some nights are easy, like Christmas Eve.  We always have fondue on Christmas Eve.  Holidays are easy too.  It's the rest of the year I have trouble with.
Here's what I do:
Each day of the week is assigned a certain type of meal, generally by the protein, but not always.
Sunday = chicken/poultry
Monday = pork
Tuesday = pasta
Wednesday = soup/stew
Thursday = beef
Friday = sandwiches/pizza/vegetarian/breakfast for dinner
Saturday = leftovers

From there, I hit my cookbooks.  Yesterday I started with one I had only tried one or two recipes from in the past, and worked my way through it.  Now, I know that Wednesday is soup/stew night, so I found all the recipes for soup or stew or chowder or whatever, and filled in as many Wednesday night from that cookbook as I possibly could.
Sometimes, recipes for soup or whatever are in a different section, like chicken.  Or vegetarian.  It can be a hunt to find them, so I go page by page.  I went as far as I could in that cookbook for each day.
Once I had gotten through that book, I picked up another.  One that had a lot of recipes that I know my family likes.  I got all those into my schedule.  This way we have a nice combination of things we KNOW we like, and a whole bunch of new stuff too.
On days when I don't have any writing to do, I can go through and try to get some of these dishes made ahead of time, effectively turning them into freezer meals.  If they don't work as freezer meals, I can at least get most of the ingredients together into one bag, label them and put the date when we're suppose to have that particular meal.
Next on my mass re-organization of my life, I'm going to be coming up with a cleaning schedule.  Let's hope that works, too.

Or at least it's imperfectly perfect.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

New Year, With a Difference

So this morning I managed to sleep through my alarm.  Both of them.  And my husband trying to wake me up.  I'm blaming the rainy weather.

Trying to get back into some sort of schedule after two weeks of almost no schedule is really hard.

Yesterday I also took the time to sync up all the calendars in the house.  I look at the month  ahead and discover just exactly how busy I am.  Every day.  For a woman who is suppose to be a "work from home mom", I seem to be never home anymore.   Karate practice, basketball practice, basketball game, doctor's appointments, teaching at the school...  Pretty much, each one of those things takes up one day, and the entire day's schedule must revolve around just that one event.

The upside is that since I'm a writer, I can pretty much write anywhere.  I don't need a computer to do it, I can use a pencil and paper, and then add it into any document later on, when I get home.  This is especially awesome since where the kids have basketball and karate has no wi-fi.  Strange in this day and age, I know.  At the doctor's office I can get wi-fi, but even the guest accounts need passwords and pins and stuff like that.  So, I drop back to a small notebook in which to jot ideas and use my microcassette recorder in the car.

Yeah, remember microcassette recorders?  For those of you too young to remember, it's what we used before we had tablets and phones that could double as a voice recorder.  Mine was really advanced, and could be set to record only when someone was speaking.  That was to save tape space and batteries.  I set mine on voice activation when I'm in the car, which means it runs all the time between the kids and radio.  But I still do manage to get some ideas onto it.  I also set it up to record when I'm in the shower.  Why do I always get my best ideas in the shower?  I don't know.  Once I remember planning out an entire series of novels when I was rinsing dye out of my hair.  I pretty much even had the first couple of chapters outlined out.  It was awesome.  I didn't have a recorder going at the time, so I lost it all.  Taught me a lesson, let me tell you.

At any rate, I'm trying to schedule better, and I'm planning on trying to get more stuff out of the way on Saturdays and Sundays.  I still need to get my dinners planned out for the coming months.   Soon it will be time to hit the cupboards and freezer to do just that.  We'll see how all this goes.

I wish you all luck in the new year for a imperfectly perfect year.  Or at least the next couple of days.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

New Schedules Are Not for Christmas

Starting a new routine right around Christmas time is probably not the best idea in the world.

It's almost impossible to try to work, while preparing for a major holiday.  There have been so many other things pulling at me, and taking up my time.  Fun, joyful things that I would so much rather be doing.

It's important to take this time to be building memories with the family, instead of being tied to my computer, or a piece of paper and pencil.  

This year, I had a hard time trying to find the Christmas spirit.  It's been really warm and raining a lot, which is kind of odd for this area.  I kind of feel like if stuff is falling out of the sky this time of year, it should be white, and turning the world into a winter wonderland, not a gray, soggy mess.  I'm sure we'll get snow sometime soon.  And then I'll be freaking out, trying keep the driveway shoveled, and the house warm.  

I long for some sunshine, though.  

The kids enjoyed Christmas, and they are continuing to enjoy their presents, and getting to see family.  And isn't family what the season is really all about?  Getting to see those loved ones we don't get to see on a regular basis.  That's where the real joy is.  When I'm with my family, we spend a lot of time laughing, which makes everything better.  

I long for a routine, though.  Changes in routines are upsetting to me.  I don't deal well with being thrown curve balls, and just about everything around the holidays are curve balls.  I'm a planner.  I like to plan stuff out.  If it's not on my calendar or schedule, I feel it shouldn't be happening.  I don't like last minute things.  I try to plan stuff out far in advance, so I have time to wrap my brain around it, find the best way to fit things in, and plan around appointments and things like that.  It's the way I am.  

I don't necessarily like being that way.  And I know that life always throws us unexpected things.  It's the imperfect part of my world, and I have to adjust to it.  I'm going to keep trying.  Maybe, at some point down the road, I'll figure out a way to handle all the little things that life throws at me.  What's the old expression?  "If you want God to laugh at you, tell Him your plans."  It's all just part of living in the imperfect world.  

Until next time, keep it perfectly imperfect.