Ended March With A Bang, and Ready For Spring

If you’ve been reading here at all since November you know I’ve been on the downswing of a very rough mental health cycle. It’s not unmanageable, although I’m looking to embrace a different program that I’ll report on when it’s more solid, but it’s been kinda shitty. I’ve been even more of a downer in person than I’ve been online so you guys should really feel for my family. And then, of course, I hate March for a million reasons relating to my Dad and then I lost my aunt and come Friday I was ready to bid farewell to the month from Hell.

Friday (the last day of March) evenging we went and saw a house that is great in a lot of ways and we were going to put an offer on it (there’s some “long shot” elements to it) so we were celebrating that step at dinner when we THEN found out (10 days early) that Nikki got into the magnet program she’s been targeting for over a year. So, yeah, we bid farewell to March in epic style.

I ran 3 hours/13 miles Saturday on a beautiful first day of April. I had great conversation with friends and then spent the day eating smart and being productive. Sunday I did a 6-mile hike on my favorite trails on the mountain and was even more productive and ate even more mindfully…skipping out on several opportunities to make bad decisions. I have my bag packed for the YMCA where I’m heading this morning to hit the treadmill for the first time in MONTHS.

Three days into April and it’s already looking good. I have a big race weekend in 4 weeks so I have to stay on track and hopefully start working my way back towards my race-day body which is currently over 20lbs away. I need to get there definitely by the BIGGEST OF ALL THE RACES Labor Day weekend, but any leaner than this is better as this body feel VERY clumsy running around and I’d like my running body back.

It was just a good weekend. The weather was PRIME which plays about 100% of a factor in my mood this time of year. I also had several opportunities for good conversation and felt very productive (I even worked on Saturday which I never do) so all-in-all it was a GREAT mental health weekend. There are several factors that can keep me in the Mental Health Green Zone – Friends, Productivity, Exercise and Mindful Eating are all ones that help but I’ve been failing at lately so this weekend was one of the best mental health stretches I’ve had in awhile.

I’m ready to shake of the funk of the crappy Winter and roll into a revival this Spring. Thank you for tolerating my funk and for reaching out so many times when I need it. The roller coaster of Mental Health is constant and it’s nice to know other people stuck on the same ride.

Here’s to a good day amidst the thunderstorms.

I’m running late to get to the Y and therefore haven’t proofed this entry and I feel it’s a bit scattered anyway but know things are good today. Thank you for rooting for me.

Back To Reality. Again.

Coming back from vacation is hard. ESPECIALLY when you made a point to disconnect for an entire week. But we came back Friday, I left for Knoxville on Saturday to visit my aunt in the hospital, she died that night so I came back on Sunday to work for ONE DAY and close on my house and then I left again on Tuesday to go back to Knoxville where we had non-stop services and time with family and then we left to come back home yesterday and I woke up this morning having no clue about what day it was or what time it was or what city I was in or what time zone I was in and WHY IS THIS DOG SNIFFING AT MY FACE?

Oh yeah. I’m home. I have to walk my dog.

We all curled up on the couches last night to catch up on our Superhero TV (Flash and Supergirl) and so I stayed out of the world of “reality” for a little bit longer. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on in the news or even in my friend’s and family’s lives. I’ve opened social media just enough to share out photos of family so other family could see and to update everyone on where I was. I was going back and forth so often, no one could really keep up with where I was.

So today I need to spend time tethering myself back to reality in some way because I’m very out of touch. I’m not sure the best or most organized way to do that. I had a routine before two weeks ago: News, politics, blogging, work, home, etc. Now I’m just frazzled. Part of me almost wishes it was Monday because I’m going to start the “re-tether” process and then BAM! it’s the weekend.

But I’m back. It was so great to see family and I wish we had more happy occasions to celebrate so we didn’t just gather at funerals. It was great with cousins and with aunts and uncles and most importantly: I got to see my brother and his wife and kids who drove 22 HOURS to Knoxville. WITH TWO SMALL CHILDREN. CAN YOU IMAGINE?

And it was also great with Nikki. She wanted to go with me. She actually went with me to visit Marie in the hospital last Friday and then I came by myself Saturday and she came back with me to the services. It was great spending that special time with her. She heard a lot of family stories and memories, she experienced a Catholic Mass, she met a WHOLE LOT OF NUNS, it was great.

The one BIG BAD thing that happened was in the chaos, she left her pillow pet at the hotel when we checked out and when we called they didn’t have it. I guess someone stole it? We know that’s where she left it (it was pretty soon after we checked out that she remembered) but they don’t have it anywhere and she is DEVASTATED. And dude – I get it – I still have my “animal” from my childhood and I’m 41. I’d be broken-hearted it if disappeared. She’s too old to “trick” with a new one and hers had been loved too long for a new one to suffice. We’re going to try to get a replacement SOMETHING, but we’re not sure what. But even that idea isn’t appealing to her.

So – please send thoughts out into the universe that the hotel finds the pillow pet and calls me. I’ve lost hope as it’s been several days. And think of me re-tethering, my anxiety is such that it snowballs when I’ve had too much chaos in my life and I can feel myself at that brink now so I need to re-connect to the people and the obligations and the things that keep me grounded as I feel like I’m floating away amidst a whirlwind of travel and sadness and memories.

Here’s to settling in to normalcy. It’s been awhile.

The End Of A Long Saga.

I don’t remember when we first started talking about selling our house. That house was supposed to be our “Forever Home” – we were going to fix it up (like we did our old house) and have maybe one or two more kids in it. But my last miscarriage made us decide maybe we’d had too many losses and we were sick of trying, and we started putting our time and money into doing endurance training and E showed every indication that he’d be getting out of Alabama AS FAST AS POSSIBLE upon college graduation. All of these things meant we had to accept the house was not going to be our “Forever Home” like we had planned. I think we finally had that discussion about 3 years ago.

Long story short? We finally closed yesterday. We no longer own a home.

This has been such a weird stretch of months. I’ve been dealing with a lot of new anxiety following the election in November and then the home sale and 2+ months of delays and now my aunt has died during the month that is ALWAYS terrible because it’s the month my Dad spent in hospice and – OH YEAH – my kid graduates from college in May and he’s trying to find a way to live/work in NYC immediately afterwards. So, you know, he won’t be a weekend drive away any longer. And I’m not sure I’m okay with that.

I’m not sure I’m okay with any of it.

I plan on life settling back down this weekend. I’m driving to Knoxville (again) today for the funeral services for my aunt and then driving back to Alabama (again) on Thursday and THEN! Then I can finally get my shit together and maybe shake off this funk. There’s always the post-vacation funk but add that to the funeral-funk and Month Of Grief funk on top of the Political Anxiety Funk and HOLY SHIT, I HAVE A LOT OF FUNK AND NOT AT ALL THE GOOD KIND.

Sidenote: Speaking of the good kind of funk, I saw George Clinton and the P-Funk Allstars back in 1995/1996 at Montevallo. It hit me that it was in the same theatre where I just watched E do his stuff a few weeks ago. THAT WAS A VERY SURREAL REALIZATION.

So here’s to being free of a mortgage for a little while. And free of cleaning my home. And free of worrying about all of the things that come with all of that nonsense. After the last “delay” of the closing Donnie said, “I don’t want to every buy or sell another house ever again.”

AND I KINDA AGREE.

The only thing keeping us from staying in this apartment forever is the fact that A) We’re sick of walking the dog and B) Nikki would really like to sleep in a room with a door.

So we’ll pay off our student loans (Yes. We still have student loans.) and then we’ll start looking for a MUCH SMALLER home. One that we could actually maintain with our current level of time and money. I’ll avoid travel for a little while (I HATE TRAVELING. I HAVE BEEN DOING SO MUCH OF IT.) and get my schedule back on track.

No mortgage. We’re going to sit on that a bit.

A Real Vacation.

We’re leaving tomorrow for Asheville, North Carolina to enjoy our first ever Spring Break trip. We’ve never used Spring Break for a vacation before but we decided we needed a getaway and we found a cabin in the mountains and we leave tomorrow and come back Friday. We have no concrete plans while we’re there, although we’d like to hike some, tour the New Belgium brewery, and go to Biltmore. But truthfully? We’re taking our D&D character sheets and planning on just spending some good quality time together away from the world.

If I can pull off a huge day today of “catching up” (I’m so behind at work right now) then I’m hoping to make sure my email inboxes are empty in the morning and then not checking again for an entire week. I’m going to take Facebook and Twitter off of my phone and just use Instagram to share pictures from our trip. I can keep up with people on Instagram without getting sucked into the world of politics or local drama. I’m going to read the Washington Post app every morning and listen to the NPR morning news roundup. But beyond that? I’m not keeping up with ANYTHING. I’m going to take my laptop just so I can write about our adventures if I want/need to, and so I’ll have it IN CASE I’m needed.

I’m going to read. Hopefully everything in this stack!

I’m going to walk and sit in the hammock and bundle up in the cold mountain air and drink coffee on the porch and maybe light a fire (I’m a bit phobic when it comes to fires) and just cuddle up with everyone and soak up time together and love. And hopefully just recharge because the state of the world has had me frazzled and I just can’t shake the blues permanently. Time in the sun, time with my friends, time with my family, I get small reprieves but the general feeling of dread just taints everything and I really want to just escape. I know some say, “Don’t even check the news!” but I have never EVERY just NOT checked the news, I have to at least know what made the NPR roundup in the morning, or what made the Washington Post. I can’t hide from the world entirely, not in it’s current state. But I will limit it to the morning coffee.

(If you don’t know this, I check the news/twitter every time I go to the bathroom during the day. I can’t walk down the hall to the toilet without checking in with my news sources on Twitter to see the latest comments on healthcare or immigration bans, etc. I’m connected that that ALL DAY because I PEE A LOT, GUYS.)

Anyway. It will hopefully be fun and hopefully I can shake this funk. I have a lot to do today to “prepare” so that I can truly relax and I hope I can get it all done. In the meantime, if you need me? I’ll be on instagram. I might write here if we have any fun adventures to tell you about, but I also might not. We’ll see how I feel!

Have a great week, everyone. Here’s to friendship guiding us through the darkness.

Photos and a Question.

I did a lot this weekend. I failed at a marathon. Took a girl’s trip with Nikki. And celebrated her birthday with some family. Unfortunately I also have my FIRST DAY OF BOOT CAMP TODAY ACCCK! And I want to try to get there early to run a bit first so I have no time to write about my adventures. I’m going to just give you a FEW pictures as a place holder but there are STORIES TO TELL!

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Finally – unrelated. Those of you who have heard me talk about our behavioral challenges with Wesley (anxiety triggering severe anger) can you email me if you had a similarly challenged child? I have a question I want to pose to the audience but at this point I don’t like dumping his stuff on my blog anymore since he’s gotten older. But I could really use some counsel, so those of you who have reached out with great advice in the past – I’d love to ask your advice! (Especially if you’ve made it through the other side of the war.)

WISH ME LUCK.