Today my meeting with my therapist went ... uncomfortably. We are getting to a point where we are talking about things that I don't like to talk about, and its forcing me to reveal things that I have never revealed before. I prefer to keep those things buried deep inside because that is the only way I can maintain my sanity and composure. When those things that I have buried are brought to the surface, I feel uneasy and emotional. I'd rather feel in control and steady. This whole therapy thing is throwing me off kilter.
I know that feelings of discomfort are a signal that growth is happening, but it still hurts. Wounds that were thought to be healed are reopened and their rawness is exposed to the cold bitter air.
Turns out, The Beast is camera shy. REALLY camera shy. Every time I get the camera out to take pictures of ANYTHING, she runs away. It's kind of funny. All I have to do is touch the camera case, and she panics. She can be in a puppy coma but can sense when I come within four feet of the camera case. She even knows the sound of the camera turning on. That way if she doens't notice me touching the camera case, she hears the "tweet tweet" of the camera powering on. It's usually funny, but sometimes it just annoys the crap out of me.
It does suck though because she is usually so damn cute when she is sleeping. Like right now.
It was really more like I took it and dealt with it until it had run it's course, but the flu is happily gone! I stayed home from work today to make sure that it was all the way gone, and I'm feeling a lot better now. Yeah! Back to work tomorrow for me!
I ran a few errands this afternoon once I was feeling better, and part of those errands involved retail therapy. I live about five miles from a tiny little outlet center which hap
pens to have a Nine West outlet as well as an Izod outlet. I picked up a few new pieces of clothing for my school wardrobe and then hit the Nine West. I was in need of a pick-me-up -- being housebound for four days gets a girl down -- and here is the aftermath ...
After some straightening, the new babies look a little less frazzled.
I know that retail therapy isn't the best strategy, but, in reality, I haven't bought any clothing items or shoes since before Espana. Which, for me, is a HUGE accomplishment. And I can wear everything I bought today to school and work. Except maybe the purple pair ... because I don't own any purple clothing ... except for a shirt. (Don't you just love how I rationalize everything!)
Long story short, I am back to being healthy and well shod. :)
Ash Wednesday is only a few short days away and that begins the season of Lent. Lent is a time to prepare your spirit for Christ's sacrifice at Easter. It is a time filled with prayer, fasting, self-sacrifice, and penance. It's actually one of my favorite times in the Catholic calendar. Every day is a reminder of Christ's sacrifice and our unworthiness ... more so than any other period in the calendar. It is so much easier to be mindful of Christ's sacrifice when we are intentionally depriving ourselves of earthly pleasures and making greater efforts to pray and give. I enjoy the ceremonial nature and ritualistic element of Lent. It is solemn and and pious and all leads up to the joy and splendor and hope and renewal that is Easter.
Every year, I try to decide what is most appropriate to give up and to give during the forty days of Lent. What is a big enough sacrifice that is worthy of the occasion but isn't too big that I will fail miserably? What balance do I want to find between giving and giving up? This year, I've come to some similar conclusions as well as a few new ones.
What I will give up:
1.) Mexican food - This is the one food that I crave and that I use for comfort food. I eat it at least once a week. I figure that, given how much I LOVE Mexican food, it is a worthy sacrifice.
2.) Pop - It is something that is bad for my body and provides me with no nutritional value. Giving it up for Lent is good two-fold: my body, given to me by God, will be healthier and I am making a sacrifice in His honor.
3.) Chocolate ... in ALL varieties: This one should be fairly obvious.
4.) Ice Cream ... in ALL Varieties: Again, fairly obvious.
Most of my sacrifices are food-related because food really is my weakness. I know that giving up other things in my daily routine are less of a challenge for me.
What I will give:
1.) Increase my donations to church - I will double my weekly contribution to the church collection each week. The money is well needed and well spent.
2.) Pray the Rosary each night - I will pray the Rosary each night to keep me mindful of my blessings and those who intervene on my behalf. Praying the Rosary will also allow me ample time for quiet reflection and contemplation.
3.) Donate to Heifer International - This will most likely be something that The Boy and I do together, but I would like to make a nice donation to this worthy and beneficial cause. We donate every year, but we haven't donated yet this year. I'd also like the donation to be larger.
4.) Pray for those I dislike or am angry at - This is going to be the hardest thing for me to give this year. I am pretty good at praying for those I love and care for, but I often ignore the prayer needs of those I harbor ill will towards. Christ asks us to turn the other cheek and forgive those who have offended us. I am okay with the "forgiveness" thing but only because I don't usually have to face it. If I force myself to pray for the needs and care of those I dislike, I will be behaving as a better Catholic by turning the other cheek.
I will also not be breaking my sacrifices on Sundays when it is permitted.
So there it is. My Lenten Pledge. I hope that I can fulfill these sacrifices and make myself worthy of the sacrifice that was made for me. And, by forgoing all of these pleasure and developing a stronger giving habit, I will be a better person. And it will make Easter all the more glorious and sweet.
What had the potential of a wonderfully romantic weekend at The Boy's house turned to be the weekend of my discontent. Or, should I say, discomfort.
I got to Winston in the evening on Thursday with no problem. We watched a bit of TV, had a few cocktails, and went to bed early. We slept in, The Boy served me breakfast in bed, and then we stayed in bed reading and relaxing until 2pm! It was fabulous! Until 4:30pm came along.
The stomach flu that has hit everyone and their mother finally sunk her teeth into me. I spent the next 36 hours (give or take) in the bathroom or sleeping in bed. I mean, seriously, I was only awake for about five hours on Saturday. The Boy, as always, was great. He made me meals (when I could actually stomach food), took care of the Beast, and babied me. He's pretty great that way. I woke up feeling better this morning until I ate breakfast. Not so good. I'm still feeling a bit wretched and have called in to work tomorrow. Ugh.
So a Valentine's Day that is supposed to be low-key and loving turned out to be not-so-much. The Boy did get me an Audrey Hepburn DVD collection which was really sweet. He's great that way. I figure I'll be watching quite a bit of it tomorrow. From the couch.
Hopefully this means that I won't be catching the stomach flu again. You can get immune from this thing, right? Kiki?
I got into the doctor's this afternoon to check out my recent toe issues. Happily, the doctor doesn't think it's gout. Unfortunately, he's not really sure what it is. They took blood to test for a inreased uric acid levels (which would indicate gout), and he will let me know more once he gets the results back. He thinks it may be tendon issue because gout manifests itself further up the toe and not on my toe knuckle. If that makes sense. Whatever. The point is I hope it's not gout. And I hope it stops hurting. The doc told me to talk ibuprofen for the pain until he knows more. So good news and average news. No bad news is good news!
As you may have heard, my 30th birthday is looming on the not-so-distant horizon. I am NOT looking forward to it. In fact, I am actually dreading it. The grey hairs have become more frequent and noticeable, the bones are cracking more often, the bursitis is acting up ... long story short the body is getting old. Well, today is taking the cake.
Sunday night I awoke in the middle of the night with an excruciating pain in my big toe. It was horrible. It throbbed and ached, and I couldn't get it to stop. About five minutes later, it subsided and I eventually fell back asleep.
Tonight when I got home from work, I changed and sat down to relax. A few minutes later, the pain in my toe started again. This time, it hurt so bad that it brought me to tears. The pain came, ached and throbbed, and then left about a minute later. Two minutes later, it happened again. A few minutes after that, again. I called The Boy and Mom and Dad to ask their advice. They all said the same thing: gout.
Of course, the tech queen that I am, I looked up gout on the internet. Sure enough, what I am feeling is looking to be gout. Damnit. Looks like my oldness has been kicked into high gear. And now I need to make a doctor's appointment. Joy.
I've been doing really great on my weight loss plan. I've lost 11 pounds. I'm pretty happy about this. Unfortunately, I've sucked it majorly this week and I'm pretty sure the scale will not be my friend on Thursday. I overindulged at Super Bowl and The Boy and I had a WONDERFUL foodie weekend. I'm usually okay with all that, but I haven't exercised at all this week. Which is lame since I have a Nordic Track in my office! I'm just blah about it right now. I'm going to try really hard to wake up tomorrow and hit the ground running so I can hopefully shed a pound or so by my weigh in. But I'll honestly be happy with anything but a gain!
When I think back to before I was "heavy," I am amazed that I ever allowed myself to get this way. It's such a slow and incremental process; it's practically glacial. A pound here or there and ten years later I'm a fatty. (I know that I am over-exagerating, but still ...) And it's really not fair that it takes twice as much work to lose a pound as it does to gain one. How does that even make sense?!?!?!
Oh well. In the immortal words of my hero: "Tomorrow is another day."
So, the weather was not actually conspiring against me. The Boy was able to wait the weather out and come visit me Friday afternoon. Since we only had major rain in my area, we were able to keep our dinner plans. We had an AMAZING five course chef's tasting menu with wine. The food was outstanding. I can't even remember all of the tasty things we had, but I LOVED the pheasant and the tuna. Oh and the "praline bacon." I had NO IDEA what to expect with the "bacon" but it was this small square of pork that was the most tender thing I have ever eaten. The fat on it literally melted in my mouth. It was amazing. The waiter always addressed me as "Ms. Short," and the whole staff was super attentive. The whole evening was fantastic.
On Saturday we stayed in bed late and then caught an early afternoon movie. "The Young Victoria" was fantastic. It was really excellent. After the movie, we went to mass and then home for a quiet evening at home.
Tonight is the Superbowl party at the Wizwer's. I'm going solo since The Boy has some law school stuff to attend to. And then it's back to work tomorrow. Thankfully we have Friday off and that means a three day weekend! The best kind of weekend!
I am really starting to hate North Carolina. This weather is driving me nuts. If I were in NY, an inch of snow would be nothing to even think about. Here, the whole world comes to a screeching halt. Which, every once in a while is fine. But when it happens repeatedly over a month, it gets really old and annoying. Due to the weather, I haven't seen The Boy in almost a month. And now that we are getting more bad weather, it'll be another week or so before we can hang out. And we had dinner plans tonight at this gorgeous restaurant in town, Herons. Ugh!!! Stupid North Carolina! I hate it here!!!
(And, yes, I know that this is a fleeting mood. But I really feel like throwing a temper tantrum right now!)