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taking sides

10 April 2013

well, i’m getting a divorce. it was my “idea” and only pursued after many agonizing months of thought and feeble attempts at getting my partner to understand that if things didn’t change, we weren’t going to make it. were either of us awesome in our communication or attempts to fix things? no, most certainly not. but here we are, and i know that it’s the right thing to do.

i relocated about 6 weeks ago to a lovely duplex closer to work. i like it here, a lot. it’s quiet yet in the city, comfortable and a cheery place. it’s been an adjustment but not altogether unpleasant. what has been unpleasant is what has gone on within my circle of friends.

now yes, there are a good number of people that my ex and i met together… but there are also a good number of people that i knew long before he and i even knew each other existed. and i guess since i grew up moving CONSTANTLY, i’m territorial about the friends i’ve managed to make. friends are a priority for me and i show up for everything they invite me to and i also plan and host gatherings/events/happy hours/girls nights regularly.

the rational part of my brain does NOT want anyone to take sides because that’s wrong and i want both of us to feel happy and loved. the problem is, i don’t feel loved by my friends right now. i realize that this feeling is probably irrational but it’s there, swallowing up my heart and filling me with resentment. i see him hanging out with people that I introduced HIM to and yet somehow my invite has been lost in the mail. i guess i don’t get it because i’m loyal to a fault. i stand by my friends based who i knew first and who i know better and when couples part, i make sure that my friends know i’m there for them, i don’t go hanging out with their ex. again, i know i’m being irrational but the feelings are there and they are real. i can’t talk to anyone about it for fear of coming across like a bitch or being accused of starting drama (apparently feelings = drama) so i just sit here alone with my tears and my loneliness. (what a freaking loser i sound like.)

i do ask people to do things and they say yes… but what feels like is missing is them asking me… and also them including me when these “impromptu” things go on, which seems like is going on a lot lately and there is my ex, in every photo.

i knew ending my marriage would be hard to navigate. i just didn’t anticipate that my friends would choose the person who just went along for the ride over the person who made the plans, worked to build the relationships, helped others move, clean, cook and follow dreams. and yeah, that’s probably not how it “really” is, but that’s now it feels.

i just feel utterly defeated. i know it will get better but for now, it sucks.

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history repeats itself.

5 January 2013

3 years since i last posted to this blog… and when i revisited it this evening, i found it funny that the last thing i posted about is the thing that brings me back here tonight, a feeling of loneliness.

my son is almost 14. after watching a movie this evening, he went to bed. i went into his room a few minutes later to say goodnight. when he hugged me, i saw he had his iphone in the bed with him. i reached for it and reminded him of the “no phone usage after 10pm” rule. when he scrambled to take it from my hand, i immediately assumed he was looking at something for adult eyes only. well, he was, but it was song lyrics, not lady business. still, the conversation that followed wasn’t overly pleasant and left me saddened after we’d made amends and i said “i love you” as i closed his door.

being a parent is hard. even with a kid who is basically good-hearted, kind and smart, there is going to be limit-testing, back-talking and the occasional lie. it’s just so hard to prepare myself for it and harder yet to deal with the feelings of insufficiency it raises within me. so as i finished getting ready for bed, my mind was spinning and i once again realized how alone i feel. there is no one for me to confide in or seek support from. and it is on this fact that i am once again reflecting.

i’ve continued to become more self-actualized as time has gone on and though i cannot change my upbringing and past, i do see now the patterns of my life and wish to break them. i will never be perfect, not even close, but i want to be content, proud and happy. it’s hard to break free from who you have been. harder yet when you look back with some amount of shame and disgust but i know there is a better me inside who now rises toward the surface more than ever (and yet still not enough.)

2013 will march forth as years past have done. i just hope i can come out on the other side a few steps closer to contentment.

BFF

18 January 2010

since my relationship with my best girl friend when down gloriously in flames last year (we were both to blame for that debacle), i’ve come to realize that i have a lot of acquaintances and not very many friends. this really bothers me.

i’ve brought the topic up to my husband and we both agree that as adults, it’s really hard to find people with which you can cultivate a good, lasting friendship. it’s one thing to have people socialize with but to have a person, besides your spouse, to use as a sounding board or confide in… well, that just seems like a rarity.

friendships take work. it’s a two-way street. no one person should always do the inviting out, the emailing, the calling or the planning, the chasing down and the checking in. it’s going to ebb and flow but you should feel like you now the other person is there for you and is probably thinking of you, even if you haven’t spoken in weeks because life has turned your world on end.

i’m finding out that feeling lonely is a common theme among people who move to minnesota from other places. i moved here when i was about 16 and struggled to develop friendships at my cliquey suburban high school. i only maintained one friendship from that part of my life and that friendship ended two years ago when, after living together, he proved to be one of the most self centered people i’ve ever met. i guess sometimes you just never really know a person until you live with them.

in my early twenties, i had a great group of guy friends that i met through my brother. as we marched toward thirty, they married off one by one and i found myself once again alone… probably partially because it’s sometimes hard to explain to your significant other why one of your best friends is a single girl. but really, do friendships become less important once you couple up? it’s not to say that i’ve never done my own disappearing act when the most recent prince charming came knocking on my door because i HAVE… but i guess i’m surprised that my guy friends fell into the same patterns. most of those guys remain friends with each other today but not so much with me. i’m the outsider. i guess i probably always was.

my husband also is sometimes frustrated by interactions with his friends. they  make plans via text or email and then cancel at the last minute. or they make great suggestions for future outings when we’re together but never follow up with a plan. and often they just don’t even bother to respond to texts/emails/facebook messages or voicemails.

so what is it about being an adult that suddenly makes us stop cultivating deep friendships with people?  have we been burned too many times? do we not REALLY like the people we hang out with but are two lazy to find new friends that are a better fit? are we not forthcoming in our feelings about people we know already? do we already have enough friends?

i dunno. i want friends… i want good friends. i don’t want my friends to center around getting wasted and i don’t want my friends to center around our respective kids lives and i don’t want my friends to center around drama. i want friends that are going to tell me (in an appropriate manner) when i’m being a bitch. i want friends who are cool with just coming over on a tuesday and playing scrabble. i want friends who can remember how many siblings i have (a lot!). i want friends that say, “how are you doing?” or “you may not realize it but it really hurt when you _________” or that call ME and say, “i need a beer” or a shoulder to cry on or a bigger cheering section at my kids soccer tournament. i want to be that friend.

i fully realize that i’ve not always been the most perfect friend in the world but i also know that i HAVE been a damn good one. even sometimes to people who treated me like crap day in and day out and i put up with it because i thought maybe they just needed a friend and that would make them stop being so shitty. i also know that i have [big, giant] faults but i’m commited to working on those faults. hell, why do you think i’ve been in weekly therapy for the past 18 months? i want to be a better person, a better wife, a better mother and a better friend.

how do you feel about your adult friendships? are your relationships plentiful and satisfying or do you struggle as my husband and i do? any other thoughts on the subject of adult friendships?

.: l i l y:.

in defense of food is making me mad

14 January 2010

read me. please. for the love of bread, read me.

if you haven’t read this book, you should.

admittedly, i forget a large amount of what i read shortly after i’ve read it but i feel like the general ideas of this book are going to stick with me for life. people have often said processed foods are bad and if you can’t pronounce something on the label, you shouldn’t buy it. yeah yeah yeah… whatever. but no one ever bothered to explain why, at least not that i ever heard, so it went in one of my ears and out the other while i greedily piled canned cheese on a ritz cracker. mmmmm….

i’m sure part of it is that i’m older. i care more. i’m trying to lose weight and just feel better in general. so maybe in years past, there has been information readily available about processed foods but it just doesn’t seem that there was. well, now there is and now i’m reading it and more importantly caring about it.

Michael Pollan might live on a bit of a soapbox but the things he says make sense. when we foraged and hunted our food, we didn’t have the chronic disease we have today. and with the giant, all-controlling monster that is our healthcare industry, who is going to do anything to REALLY stop them? we get sicker, they make more drugs/treatments/specialists. who profits from that? not us. we just spend, spend, spend to try to band-aid our way to 90 years old.

i can’t believe that i couldn’t figure all this out on my own. that WE collectively couldn’t figure this out. processed foods are not good for you! added chemicals and preservatives are not good for you just because they are legal to put into food! and guess what? WE DON’T HAVE TO EAT THAT CRAP! and i don’t want to. not anymore. it’s not to say i’m never going to eat an oreo again or that i’m not going to give in to mcdonalds fries once in a while but 95% of the time, i’m not going to.

what michael pollan says, it just makes too much sense. i feel like he stripped away the fancy packaging of the food industry and tied it naked to a pole in the town square at high noon for us all to see if we are brave enough to look. how would i ever have been able to know, in 2 brief pages, what white flour really is and why it is so worthless to your body? i never would have understood that so simply.

yes, i know there are 2 sides to every story but really, it will be hard to argue with the facts he presents because it’s so logical.

i’ve been irritated for years by the food offered in my son’s schools. it’s TERRIBLE! chicken patties, hamburgers, fries, country friend “steak”… all of it mass-produced and full of unhealthy things other than actual FOOD. ug, i can feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it. and seriously, they give out candy at my son’s school as a reward for doing something good. it makes me want to throat punch people. who are YOU to make those kinds of decisions about what my kid eats? hell, even my kid is finally grossed out enough by what they serve at school that he packs his own lunch, a choice he made on his own.

not to mention what the industrialization of food has done to local and family farming… and those slaughterhouses? oh my god, gross. but that is a whole other can of worms (or other gross contaminants) all together.

i’m still in the beginning stages of acquiring knowledge about this topic but it already has me wondering if this is the path i’m to follow. i’ve never felt so passionate about a topic. probably partly because it hits so close to home with regards to obesity/weight gain… but part of me thinks it’s just because duping all of America just seems so wrong. we deserve better from our leaders and from each other.

i hate that money is so much more important that people, than our physical and mental health. doesn’t that seem wrong to you to?

back to school

12 January 2010

school starts today, my second semester of college. why did it take me 15 years to go back to school? it’s embarrassing and shameful. everyone has told me throughout my adult years that i’m smart enough and i know that i am but i also know i’m terrified of failure and frankly, i’m not sure i believed that i deserved to go to college. sounds strange but if your upbringing was like mine was, it might make more sense.

my first semester was a good one. i took english and scored an A and photography which i scraped a B out of. i’m about 99% certain it was a gimme from my teacher. i turned in every assignment late which, for the last 3, automatically docked them a letter grade. that means if my work was perfect, the best i could have scored was a B on those assignments and as rad as i am, i know i wasn’t doing A work every single time. but hey, i’ll take it!

this semester i’m taking intro to sociology and intro to music which is an online class. the online class thing has me nervous. i already knew that time management was not my strong suit and that 1st semester photo class proved it. i hope i’m able to stay disciplined enough to stay on top of things because according to our instructor, LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. (and yes, to make the point clear she posted it in all caps and in bold. i get it, i think.)

anyway, wish me luck. first lecture starts in 30 minutes!

4 degrees

5 January 2010

computer hobo chic

that’s the temp outside right now. inside, i should be warm and toasty, right? hmph. then why am i wearing these while typing?

<————–

yes, i’m wearing fingerless gloves at my desk and no, it’s not easy to type with them on. thank baby Jesus for the Fn+delete keys. while i’m at it, i might as well also confess that i also have a chartreuse fleece Ikea blanket on my lap as well. i look like a… booger? a very, unhealthy booger. people might say i should see a doctor… for more reasons that one.

anywho, i started getting a sore throat yesterday and this morning, it was worse. not bad enough that i took anything but you know, annoying. oh well. i’m going to keep eating well and drinking lots of water (i’m on about 60 oz so far today) and hope that it goes away.

school starts next week and i’ll have class every tuesday night so my plan for the next few days is to get on a M/W/F workout schedule with yoga on T/Th or at least on the weekends. hopefully some cardio on the weekends too.  but for tonight, i’m onto Workout B out of the Big Book of Exercises. i think that’s core, glutes/hams, shoulders, biceps and quads, i think. call me crazy but i’m kinda looking forward to it.

but, and this is a big butt (pun intended), i have a problem. see, i’m embarrassed to workout where anyone can see me. and at home, that “anyone” would be my husband so that really shouldn’t be a big deal.

but to me, it is.

i’m a novice at this stuff and he’s johnny know-it-all (not in a mean way, he just has his routine and can do it blindfolded) and though i’m fairly certain he’s not secretly judging/laughing at me in his head, i think he is. it goes back to that wonderful self-loathing thing i have going on. i think i look stupid/fat/ugly/gross. i don’t want him to see how i look in my workout gear when i’m flexing my glutes… (remember the photo from yesterday? um, yeah.)

but it’s not really healthy-minded OR realistic to not share the home gym with my husband. i’m sure some people would just say, “get over it,” and believe me, i wish it were that easy. the majority of my anxiety would melt away if i could just “get over” any number of the things that cause me anxiety (did i mention before that i have anxiety issues? well, i do). i WANT to be able to share the space with him and have him there for moral support but my brain just says all these judgey things and… *gah*… it just goes to a bad place. me no likey.

actually, i don’t mind if he’s there when i’m on the treadmill, it’s the weights and squats and pushups and whatnot that are embarrassing. partially too because i’m a complete weakling. (*waves at her modified push-ups from Day 1*)

i gotta figure it out, right? i mean, it’s 4 degrees out right now but soon enough, that’s going to be 74 degrees and i want to feel good about my arms in that tank top and my legs in that skirt. so, i’ll chip away at it all, inside and outside.

progress that is slow is still progress.

[ l i l y ]

not a resolution, but an intent

4 January 2010

i have lots of good intentions… i intend to eat right. i intend to be nicer to my husband. i intend to be a more private person. i intend to exercise regularly and i definitely intend to say no to that 3rd glass of wine. how often do i follow through?

not often enough.

i severely lack motivation. hell, i’m even to lazy to capitalize. i guess fear is supposed to motivate you or some desire for a greater good but I’m a simple woman and these factors don’t even play into my daily thoughts. I’m still trying to motivate myself into brush my teeth before bed. (gross, I know.)

at any rate, i’m going to try this here blogging thing out again. i’m not going to tell anyone about it because every time i open my mouth about something i intend to do, i promptly cease doing whatever that all important thing was.

so there you have it. the warm up…. now here’s today’s info.

i’m way fatter that i’d like to be. when i get naked (something i avoid at all costs), it looks like someone has spread a layer of land o’ lakes 2% cottage cheese over my stomach, butt and thighs. sex-say!

apply liberally to entire bodyi would like for this to change. not enough that i’ve regularly been doing something about it but, you know… i think about it a lot. and that has to count for something.

or maybe not.

so anyway, i was doing the whole Couch to 5K program for a while and actually keeping up with it. could have just been “Runnner’s”* high, but i actually felt like my body was starting to change, even just 5 weeks in. well, then it starting getting cold out and i’m a complete wuss.

so, i quit.

for a couple months i did nothing… then i started getting depressed again. the mirror was once again my worst enemy and those annoying, mean voices started up in my head again. time to do something, again.

about a month ago, i got a wild hair and signed up for my first 5K. my husband was kind enough to agree to do it with me and so, we did. i won’t go into the details of what makes the “winter waddle” hell on earth, but let’s just say that my time in this cross-country run though ankle-deep snow was a very unimpressive 51:04. (my husband’s was 36:33, show off) at least i got the first one out-of-the-way, right? and really, i can’t possibly do any WORSE with my time so there is that.

anywho, milestone one, accomplished. now what?

Enter, the bikini. A.K.A. The Ultimate Motivator

when your [thoughtful, sweet and generous] husband decides to give you the gift of a winter getaway to Cancun, the word bikini once again enters your daily internal dialogue (along with lots of swearing).

after the initial “squeeeeee!” some math happened (I have to wear a swimsuit in HOW many days???) and then some thinking about working out happened and THEN a mild panic set in. I can’t go to Cancun looking or feeling like this. what followed that thought? Thoughts of action, yes ACTION entered my head. (i was as amazed as you are.)

Then action actually happened! (No, really, it did!)

For Jesusmas, both my husband and my stepmom picked up a copy of The Omnivores Dilemma for me (read it!). Now, as much as I like reading about the things I didn’t know that I didn’t want to know about my food, I don’t need 2 copies of the same [hard to stomach] book. So, gift receipt and book in hand, I went to Borders to find some chic lit or trashy magazines to replace it with. And lo, I found myself in the health and fitness section. While trying to look like I wasn’t really looking at books in this section, I found “The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises”.

(Guys, they make one for men too!)

I thumbed through it and was attracted to all the big, colorful, pretty pictures so I bought it. Over the next couple of days, I gazed at the perfectly toned models doing serious exercises and reading the simple to follow exercise explanations, all the while psyching myself up to working out. (there’s that intent again)

This past weekend, I spent part of each day mapping out my plan, photocopying some of the pages and digesting the info. I had also picked up a workout journal at the bookstore so on Sunday afternoon, I did something very frightening; I took my measurements.

So here are how things looked, Day 1:

(for reference, I’m 5 feet tall with a medium frame)
Weight: 133
Chest: 36″
Waist: 30.5″
Hips: 40.5″
Bicep: 11.25″
Thigh: 24″ (2 feet! my thigh is 2 feet around! egads!)

Holy depressing… But MOTIVATING!

Here is the workout I crafted for myself with the help of the book.

Warm-up:

  • 4 minutes combined of the following:
    • arm circles
    • jumping jacks
    • head rolls
    • static quad stretch
    • static hamstring stretch
    • butt kicks

Strength Training:

Circuit 1

  • plank (hold for 30 seconds = 1 set)   3 sets

Circuit 2

  • single leg hip raise     8 reps per leg     3 sets
  • dumbell row w/ 3lbs  10 reps     3 sets  (this was too easy. will use 5lb weights next workout)

Circuit 3

  • swiss ball squat     10 reps     3 sets (this is a sissy squat but i wasn’t sure i could do a real squat. i’ll try them next workout)
  • modified push-up    8 reps     3 sets (again, sissy move. i’ll go for the real push-up next time)

Cardio:

Interval Training on treadmill

  • warmup
    • 4 minute easy walk
  • intervals (repeat for 4 sets)
    • 60 seconds at 60-75% max
    • 2 minutes at 3.5mph
  • cool down
    • 4 minute easy walk

I’d love to be able to tell you how many calories I burned but I appear to have misplaced the transmitter for my heart monitor ($&*#@&*!@&*!!!!!!!!!) and I might need to order a new one. I would guess it was around 350 to 400. The workout took me 55 minutes but I was a little slow since I kept referring to my handy-dandy cheat sheets. : ) Overall, it felt GREAT! Today I was even reminded that I had some muscles because some of them were sore. (What? Are those obliques I feel? Who knew I had obliques!)

So, I call Day 1 a success. And while I’m at it, I’m gonna call Day 2 a success too. Tonight is supposed to be a “rest” day but I did 40 minutes of yoga. (And thus was confirmed just how inflexible I am. Yahoo!)

Now let’s see if I can drag myself out of bed at 5:30am for Day 3.

– l i l y –

* i use the term runner VERY loosely. i’m still a wagger meaning i walk a little, i jog a little. but hey, at least i’m trying!