Revisiting days gone by

For another blogging project, I have been revisiting old posts from 2015 and 2016. It’s something I rarely do, and now after having done so, I wonder why I don’t more often. Well, there’s the typos and wrong word choices and maybe I could have stated something better, but with my stream-of-consciousness blogging style I suppose it should be expected. And really, those should be small cakes issues in the larger picture of taking a peek back at what I memorialized here on the blog.

It made me feel good about my life and it’s progress. I reread some of the comments received and was touched all over again by how great my readers. It’s an emotionally squishy time for me right now; I get that I am likely to be more moved than usual by words and acts of kindness that mean a lot to me. Still, while bawling is a little overreactive, I do not take you who read me for granted. Sometimes the reminders of where I was, where I presently dwell, where I will venture is so overwhelming and positive.

Life is fluid. Sadness will not last forever. While friend J is irreplaceable and I miss him terribly, I am grateful for so many other old and new friends who fill up my life.

But right now, work is slamming me, as is concern for C and A out in Tampa and experiencing their first hurricane season. We are concerned, of course, but not precisely worried. What can we do from here? They work at the same company and their center closed at noon on Friday and will not reopen until at least Tuesday, so they are hunkered down in their apartment and stocked up with recommended supplies, batteries, flashlights, water, food, etc. They have bags packed and the animal carriers at the ready for the fur babies if they are told to evacuate. If there were more we could do for them, we would, but it is simply a hope for the best, plan for the worst scenario right now. And from clear across the country, we just read the news and text back and forth.

So just a brief post today, because I need to get to the gym and then onto a very long work weekend ahead. No complaints, though. I would much rather feast and feel the pressure of work than famine and feel the pressure of not enough.

A case of the sads

Something happened at the office today that is a rare, rare occurrence: I cried. Not just a little eye leakage, the big, wracking, ugly sobs of grief and loss. The sads of December arrived early this year.

Sunday marks a year since my dear friend James died. While I have missed him this past year, the last few months I feel the empty chair at my mental and emotional table with other stresses from other things.

I am not especially sentimental, and while I feel the loss, it is not just the first anniversary that set me off on my remarkably embarrassing emotional breakdown. A very happy and grateful client came in today bearing gifts – a couple of bottles of James’ favorite single malt scotch and cigars for the gents, scotch and chocolates for me. Always through our long friendship, this is what James would give me every year. Every “girl” needs at least a couple of vices to be interesting, he would always say to me with a wink. When his wife was alive she would give him an eye roll and playful tap on the arm, to stop embarrassing me with his flirty, dirty-old-man schtick. They are both gone now, and I miss them both.

The whole emotional breakdown thing is supremely embarrassing for me. I work in an office with mostly men, and I am typically the calmest person in the whole firm. No matter what the crisis, I tend to maintain my composure. Not today, apparently.

I tried to fix my face, but crying takes a toll. One of the partners came in to see if I was okay, and the water works started again, only more neat and confined this time. I told him it was kind of a rough morning in the gym, that I was struggling with upper body exercises, and after my great triumph yesterday it was kind of a let down to not feel supremely confident about something else. It’s absolutely true, but not worth crying over, not anymore. He knows it. I know it. But the sads of December manifest in mysterious ways.

To this big ball of weeping, my daughter’s birthday is tomorrow, and for the first time she lives almost 3000 miles from me. She and A went to DisneyWorld yesterday for an early celebration, and had it not suddenly hit me again with the bottles of single malt staring at me from across the room, I would have been fine today. I am not an overly involved parent, I miss them being just a few exits down the freeway, and we will go visit next year.

If I’m going to burst into tears, I am going to throw everything I have at it and get it over with, so ot all got wound up in the crying bubble today. Things are better now, though. Staff have been tip-toeing in and out of my office to reassure themselves that all is well. It reminds me that my role here is not just to ensure things run smoothly; I have become part of the fabric of this firm and my atypical behavior is unnerving.

While I really want to go immerse myself in the kitchen’s abundance of sugary goodness, I am restraining myself. Parents of one of our associates were in the office yesterday and brought these fabulous date pinwheel cookies, and I must restrain myself from seeking out more.

Instead I am contemplating a 2017 yoga challenge with my daughter-in-law. To the depths of my soul I know I have no business seriously considering it, yet here I am, looking at my schedule and thinking about it.

Yep, lost my mind. Maybe my common sense will return and I will not decide to add another commitment to my schedule. Then again, maybe time is really precious and memories we make now will be part of all that sustain us later. Maybe I am thinking through my heart rather than the head that compartmentalizes and schedules.

Long into the future, will I remember the work I was doing or the books I was reading or the dawdling that consumed chunks of my days? Unlikely. But K is persuasive that success or failure, trying this challenge together will be memorable, if only for attempting to fit one more thing into our schedules.

How timely that she texted about it today, reminding me of the importance of time and making memories with those we care for and about.

This is post number 1000!

My very first post on this blog was published on December 19, 2013. In not quite 3 years I have managed to write and publish 1000 posts. Friend J always says to me that I don’t happy dance, I happy prance. So this is most definitely a happy prance post!

I thought I would be more about personal finance, budgeting, and money. But I almost immediately found that I am not a personal finance blogger. I am a let’s-talk-about-my-life blogger. And for the most part, it’s turned out really, really well.

When I sat down and started a blog, I did not know what to expect. I figured a few of my friends would follow me. I thought may I’d find my voice, a theme, and have something intriguing to say. I know the theme thing has not happened, kind of iffy on the something intriguing to say, and voice is sort of personal and unique to me.

The best part is that I have stuck with it. I tend to stop and start with hobbies, and other than a 2 week period of not posting very early on, I have maintained my consistency with regular posting. My content might be kind of light and fluffy, but at least I get here and throw down whatever silliness is rattling around inside my head. I remark upon this fact only because I have not always been very good about sticking with things.

But that was then, this is now.

In some ways I feel like the better health quest and its components that have sort of consumed my life have become part of the focus and focal point for me. The blog does so much for me. Keeps me honest. Keeps me sane when the rest of my life has tilted on its axis. Keeps friends near and far in the loop of how I am faring in my life.

In 1000 posts I have left a job, expanded my side gig into a self-supporting operation, and taken on a dynamic part-time gig that challenges me and makes me happy.

In 1000 posts I have gained a son-in-law and I am less than a month away from gaining a daughter-in-law. While marriage my not be for everyone, I’m delighted that both my kids found someone they to love and to take that very serious step with. I truly do want my kids – all 4 of them now – to be happy.

In 1000 posts I have gotten off injectable insulin, then oral diabetes meds, dragged my A1c down well into the normal range, and become a well-controlled diabetic.

In 1000 posts I have met my superstar, uber fabulous trainer who has not only taught me how to exercise, he has caused me to fall in love with moving my body and making it better and stronger. My world is a bigger, better place since he has become part of my village and my tribe.

In 1000 posts I have found another super great guy to help advise me on my eating. RD is hundreds of miles south of me now, but he emails me regularly and hounds helps me with my eating and food choices. He too expanded my horizons and reminds me how much I value my village and my tribe.

In 1000 posts I have done some reconfiguration of my figure, lost some weight, and built some visible muscle. While I have done it under the watchful eyes of my village, I have had to do the work to make it happen.

In 1000 posts I have made new friends here and on other blogs I follow and read regularly and learned so much.

In 1000 posts I have said goodbye to old friends and mourned their absences. The blog has been an excellent outlet for me to sort out my stuff.

In 1000 posts I have mostly eliminated my brand of gym crazy.

In 1000 posts I reinvented myself with greater confidence and significantly less anxiety and fear. Negative girl will never go away completely, but I have her mostly contained.

How far will I go in the next 1000 posts? In my mind, there is no place that far and even the sky is not a limit, not really. I have no particular goals or objectives. My hopes are only loosely pinned on still being here, still writing about my life and times. Improvement is an incremental thing, no big steps forward planned or on my radar. Writing is something that enhances my life, and I hope to never become so burned out or tired of it that I take a break or walk away from it.

There is no expiration point in my future where I get a pass on being careful with my eating or an extended leave from training and practice at the gym. This is my life now. If there is a fountain of youth, if there is a way for me to move forward in life and have a long and healthy retirement with M, I cannot take the shortcuts I may want to take. I have to do the work, and I am glad to have found my happy places in the gym where I turn off all the background noise and just listen to body and process my stuff inside my head. I cannot eat the endless amounts of favorite foods, and if I am careful, if I stay the course on my better habits, I may succeed in continuing as a well-controlled diabetic. I did that. I very nearly literally worked my ass off to get this far. And within these first 1000 posts I have documented the 95% of the journey thus far.

The better health quest is important to me, and there is no end point where everything is merry and bright. And I’m okay with that. I have had so much fun, along with buckets of sweat, a few tears, and some blood along the way. My tool belt is pretty well equipped with the tools and resources to make better health continue to happen for me.

Wow! Even I cannot believe I have made it through 1000 posts. But I am so happy to be still here, still writing, still oversharing. My life, my self-contained little world, is a richly varied and wonderful place and it’s nice to download the good and the not so good as it happens.

If I paid better attention to statistics, I might be able to tell you how many views, likes, comments I have received, how many words written and published through this significant milestone. But I honestly don’t look at my stats much, and the only reason I know this is post 1000 is because sometime this month I noticed I was in the 980s and so very close. I could have saved post 1000 for my recap tomorrow, but those are significant posts to me as well and should be written and celebrated standing on their own.

So thanks for reading me, for following me, for liking and for commenting on my posts through this first 1000. May our journey continue through to the next milestone with feeling of joy and satisfaction I have right now.