October 16, 2015

New Look, New Beginnings

I could try to convince myself that changing the look of this blog after - oh- 6 years was because I decided I like pink all of a sudden.  Ha.  No such luck.  I wanted a fresh start and am ready for one.  Let's be honest though and real for a quick sec;   I'm also really bored at work today, a rare occurrence indeed and I likely just jinxed myself for the rest of the day by typing that.  But I have always loved hummingbirds, and thought blush was a more appropriate shade of pink for a woman my age, so voila.  Changed layout.

Honestly though, it has been a year of transformations and new beginnings for me.  They haven't come easy, they haven't come overnight, and they weren't prompted by my sudden desire to do good, be good, blah blah blah.

A year ago next week, I saw my boyfriend of 8.5 years for the last time. I didn't know it was the last time.  I didn't know that a month later, he'd break up with me with a nasty text message and no reason behind it.  No phone calls, no communication, no explanation of any kind.  Just a text that said - well, 'later'.  A year ago I was 30 pounds heavier, was still trying to pass my 4th degree black belt test, and wasn't sure I was happy with my career.  And then I got that text.

I don't think I realized it on that lovely fall day - the last time I saw him in person - as I sat with friends at the Virginia Gold Cup, hosting a rather awesome tailgate (if I do say so myself), but I was on the brink of a mid-life crisis, and the moment he kissed me goodbye and walked away, I fell over that cliff, straight down into the tar pit.  Getting the text a few weeks later just confirmed that my ass was stuck in that tar shit and just like the poor animals out in the La Brea tar pits that I visited as a Los Angeles school girl all those years ago, I was going DOWN.

So - 8.5 years.  Yep.  Painful. We'd had our moments during all that time where I'd briefly gone out with someone else, because we were in a 'holding' or 'time away from each other' pattern.  Those never lasted too long, and try as I may, I could never give my whole heart to anyone else.  We always ended up together again.  So to get a text message saying 'don't bother me and don't call' again was not only shocking and infuriating, but such a sad ending to what had been such a huge part of my life.   My heart broke, my family's hearts broke, my friends didn't know what to do.  And I just sort of gave up for a while.  It was sad, and I don't remember that much of the early weeks.   Minus the legal battles, quite frankly, I feel as though I have gone through a "lighter" version, if you will, of a divorce.  I spent the first 2 months limping through the holiday season - my least favorite time of year, because my ENTIRE life this has been the 4 month period where every break-up I've ever suffered has occurred.  I mean, I HATE Thanksgiving, I dislike Christmas (which is a bummer, because frankly, I want to love Christmas), and Valentines Day? Jesus, don't even get me started.  So I made it to January, and I woke up a bit and I let the anger take over.  Holy shit, but I was pissed. I let my anger fuel me into training for my test in March, and I'll be damned if I didn't knock that test out of the park.  I nailed it.  I'm not the prettiest martial artist, I'm no Rhonda R., nor am I the fastest, most technically correct or the most talented.  But I am now a 4th degree black belt, people, and no one can ever take that away from me.  I fucking earned it.  Every thread of that belt earned with every hurt, every competitive loss, every delay, every moment in physical therapy, every asthma attack, every journey to another event that I didn't want to go to, and every memory of my first instructor saying "you suck".  I fucking earned that belt.

So for a few days, I was happy.  But then I got home and suddenly the anger was gone.  In it's place was exhaustion, and confusion and then a bit of fear.  I'm in my mid-40s, I've never married, and suddenly the man I thought was "the one" was gone.  I might be a black belt, but what else was I?  Um, apparently, a fat ass.

I got on the scale the day I got home. I felt light and strong. I really did.  I was overwhelmed to see the number on that scale.  Shit.  Anger and sadness had apparently meant a few too many bagels.  I went in for my annual "lady parts" appointment and by the grace of God, my Dr. - who knew - was also an addiction counselor, and a weight-loss management doc.  He had a plan.  He is also a black belt and he said, look - I'm proud of you. You earned it.  But you have an addition to food and we can fix it.  Most importantly, you need to fix it.  Your blood sugar is bordering on high, your cholesterol isn't great and you can be so much better.  Let me help you.

There haven't been too many folks who have said that to me.  Let me help you.  Let me be someone to lean on.  Go ahead, let yourself - ALLOW yourself - to be guided and counseled.  You can do this, and I will help you.  I didn't know how.  In fact, I know I'm terrible at it. I'm the one who takes care of everyone else, right?  What's this concept of letting someone else help ME?  Forget it.  But I was sitting there trying not to cry and I had to take a deep breath and say to myself "you have to try.  Let yourself try."

So I started his plan.  Nothing too crazy - mostly low to no carbs, low to no sugar. Goodbye bread, pasta, corn, potatoes, rice, Starbucks, soda, and a host of other minor things. I'm 6 months in, and I just hit 30 pounds. It has been hard, and I have had days where I said fuck it, and drank my latte anyway, or ate the peanut butter cup. But my blood sugar dropped more than a point (which is somewhat unheard of or so I'm told) - I'm well within healthy range now, and my cholesterol dropped 50 points! Again, both good and bad? Well within normal.  My workouts are a bit easier, I'm sleeping better, my skin is better, and I'm only 6 months in.  As they say, it is a lifestyle change, and without the emotional drama of my relationship, I have allowed myself to actually focus ON myself.  And I'm liking this new lifestyle.  I'm at a point where I'm thinking "hey, I can do this. I can actually DO this."

Career?  I'm still with my agency, but I've been applying for sabbaticals, and I have a new offer on the table for a Fellowship, and I'm looking ahead for the first time, versus just counting the hours of the day.  And socially?  Well, this past year has been lonely at times, BUT I figure I will NEVER be able to enter another relationship with my whole heart if I don't take care of the real thing first.  That means taking care of myself, doing things FOR myself, and learning that it is ok to love who I am for all the right reasons.  I believe once I hit the 1 year mark (mid-November for the text, so that is the date in my mind) I will consider - I said consider - the thought of dating again, whether it be blind dates, or online, or whatever.  So this blog might get real interesting at that point.  Ugh.  No wonder they make TV shows out of this shit.  Women in their 40s dating again.  I'm not quite sure I am ready, but I find myself happier in general and wondering when I see people or meet nice guys, what it might be like to hang out.  I take that as a good sign.  I haven't had those thoughts in what feels like forever.

So yeah - pink.  Hummingbirds.  A different colored font.  Holy shit, world- watch out.  She's either finally had a mental breakdown, OR - the much more refreshing option - she has reached that magical moment in a woman's life where she looks in the mirror and FINALLY likes the person staring back at her, crows feet and all.

Onward and upward.


September 22, 2015

White Women's Crack & Pumpkin Everything!

I recently watched - and re watched - and then re watched AGAIN, a comedy special by Iliza Schlezinger.  Had no idea who she was before recently. She apparently won Last Comic Standing, aka a show I'd never heard of until I saw her special and read her bio.  And then BAMM - there was the show on TV this summer.

Still didn't watch it.

Back to my binge watching.  She is freaking hysterical.  I mean, she's really quite good, and I think women in general, perhaps even better, women in their 20s, 30s and 40s, who are sucking up everything to live and work and financially survive in Washington DC, might appreciate her the most.

Long story short, she does a fabulous stint about Fall, and "pumpkin everything", and then a stint about certain women's obsession with fall and Pinterest. She calls Pinterest "crack for white women".

First of all, pumpkin everything.  I laughed but I didn't really think about it again until I found myself in Trader Joes last week.  BUYING PUMPKIN EVERYTHING.  You'd think I had never seen pumpkin bread mix or eaten a pie.  I bought bread mix, and pumpkin cornbread mix, and pumpkin caramels, and pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin in a can, and pumpkin cream cheese.  I got home and said "What the Fuck?" I really did.  But when I was in the zone, all I could see, smell, think about and taste was PUMPKIN EVERYTHING.

Moving on, I did not have a Pinterest account, had no interest in one until I saw her special, and so I went online and signed up.


I have smoked pot one time in my life.  It made me have a vision of standing on the edges of a rowboat trying not to fall in to the boat and break the sugar Easter egg which was shining bright in the middle. I then threw up all over the boyfriend who smoked with me, and I have never tried any sort of illegal drug again.  I don't even drink anymore.  That may be more because I find it boring and my metabolism ain't what it used to be, but I digress.  I'm clean, and I now work to enforce laws against those of you druggies who break them.

Yeah, I'm dull.  Whatever.

The point is, I've never done crack.  So her comment about crack for white women made me chuckle but I didn't really understand it.  Until I signed up. And found that I could look at pictures FOR HOURS ON END of boots, and low carb beef recipes, and log cabin deco, and maps, and shoes, and cupcakes and wedding dresses.

I get it Iliza. And damn you for TELLING ME ABOUT THIS!!!!!

It is fall.  I should be outside making wreathes out of the carcasses of the leaves (as you say).  I should be getting pumpkin lattes and smelling pumpkin spice and taking my boyfriend apple picking.  BUT NO.  I laugh at Pinterest Fails, and try out hamburger and cabbage recipes, and buy boots I DO NOT NEED AND WHICH MAKE ME LOOK LIKE A TOTTERING IDIOT.


Iliza - maybe next time you can do a special about - oh, I don't know - ANYTHING ELSE!!!

Happy Fall 2015, peeps.

July 31, 2015

CPT's Oops

So I have been friends with CPT for about 17 years now.  Love him to pieces.  Was in his wedding party.  He's my head instructor at my karate school.  Good man, good father, good federal employee.

Last night we had a potential issue come up at our school, and as I was working late I couldn't call him back about it until this morning.  Our lives are busy - so at 6:00am, there we were - on the phone while his daughter was trying to eat breakfast and he and his wife were scrambling to leave,  talking about this issue.  At the end, problem acknowledged, have a good day, talk to you later.

On the side, he's attempting to sell some weapons left over in an estate, and last week had emailed both myself and my dad, who was potentially interested in one.  My dad asked for more info, including photos which weren't available at the time.  Apparently, CPT got some though, and so emailed both my dad and myself this morning.

Here's the rub.

In an email TO MY FATHER - MY STILL LARGE, STILL IMPOSING, STILL VERY TRADITIONAL AND CONSERVATIVE PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME FATHER, he writes "thanks for making my breakfast so nice today."  And then added a smiley face. And THEN he attached the pictures of the gun.

I sit here now, waiting for "the call".  You know the one  - the one my father is going to make asking me why my MARRIED friend is intimating that I made his beginning of the day so lovely and fabulous.  Because trust me - he won't look at the gun photos, he will READ the email...

and call me.


The only thing that made me happy about any of this, is that when I typed back to CPT and told him thanks for intimating in an email to my dad that we'd had sex, he snoked his coffee all over his desk.  Says he didn't mean that.  I told him to read it again.


It's the small things, folks.  Gotta take happiness where you can find it.  I hope his desk blotter is a mess.  Serves him right.

In the meantime...... I wait.......  What's worse? My dad may torture me, and wait until I see him AND my mother, at the Hall of Fame events in Canton, OH next week.  In which case I will live in fear until he asks - and he's been known to ask about embarrassing stuff IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE!!!!!!