Okay…time really does fly. Or in my case, it just goes by faster than I thought. I can’t say that it has all be fun and games. To be honest, 2018 was definitely a year of transition for me. I left a job, enrolled in school and tackled my health head on. Hmmm…that seems like a lot.
So last year I made the decision to leave a job that I loved in the beginning, but by the end, I knew that I needed to leave for my own health. I’m sure some people would have a hard time understanding that, but trust me, when you work your butt off and are then given the duties of employees that don’t work, it creates anger and hurt feelings. It also creates tremendous amounts of stress. Some people excel at stress. Me, I am not one of those people. I tend to internalize stress and it can consume you.
Walking away from my job after another disappointing meetings with the higher-ups who listened to what I had to say, but I knew they were just going to continue on, so I continued on right out the door. It was the best decision that I have made in terms of work. My plan was to go back to school and try to learn something new that might lead me in a new direction. I will admit that I took a few weeks to try to de-stress and did nothing but relax, sleep and try to find me again. Apparently it worked because my husband said that he is finally seeing the person that I was instead of the person that I had become in my job. Good to know that it was working.
Last summer I enrolled in school and started my classes. I have completed two and will be starting the next class next week. I still worry that I made a mistake. What if I can’t find a new job? What if? What if? There will always be doubts when you are facing major life changing decisions. Things are going well and hopefully I will end up with a new job to show for it.
I have also been getting healthier. While I had started eating cleaner and cooking more at home last year, I still didn’t address my doctor’s concerns that my blood sugar was higher that he would like it to be. I was just of the mindset that if I didn’t address it, then it really didn’t exist. Of course, I know that isn’t how it works. Ignoring things only makes them worse. So I decided to tackle that issue head on and get rid of food that might spike my blood sugar. I am now home everyday, so cooking has been something that I do all the time now. In October, after we returned from a very short vacation, I started cutting out foods that don’t work for me or just aren’t good for me and it is working too. As of this morning, I have lost 45 pounds and feel better than I have in more than 10 years. I still have more to go, but for the first time I feel positive that I am doing what works for me.
One of the reasons that I refuse to use the word “diet” is that I realized that every time I would say the word, all I would think about was what I couldn’t eat. So for me, if there has to be a term for it, I guess you could say that this is a lifestyle change. A lifestyle change for the better. My blood sugars are down and clearly in the normal range. I also learned that when I stopped eating foods that were sweet, when I did eat something sweeter than usual, it just didn’t taste good. I even made holiday cookies with sugar substitutes and didn’t even finish them. They just didn’t taste good anymore. There are studies that say that people’s tastes change quite often and that just because we don’t like a food now doesn’t mean we won’t like it the next time we try it. I actually made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas and still lost weight.
So, I’m back. Hopefully it will stay that way. I plan to start blogging again. It really is something that I enjoy and I am sad that I let it get away from me for so long. So what’s everyone else been up to while I’ve been gone?
I am not one for New Year resolutions. I feel that resolutions are things that I never complete. The intention is there, but they always seem to fall by the wayside and then I feel like a failure. Instead, I have put together my Wishes for the New Year. After all, wishes can come true.
I Wish to Find a Healthier Me
I have tried to adopt a healthier way of eating. This year I want to continue making better choices and maybe reach a point of doing it without having to think about it. Vegetables are still my biggest struggle, so I will continue to try to find ways to prepare them and hopefully they will get easier to eat.
I Wish to Say No to Dunkin
Okay, I love Dunkin Donut’s coffee. The only problem is that it is hard to stop at ordering just a coffee when you are presented with all the delicious donuts that just go so good with the coffee. So, I have decided to stop visiting Dunkin. I will take my coffee from home and just keep on driving. It’s the only way I’m going to do this.
I Wish to Drink Less Coffee and More Tea
It is hard to believe that I didn’t used to like coffee. That changed when my husband would leave for work. He would fill up his thermos and take a travel mug with him, but there was always enough coffee left in the pot for a cup. So I began to drink coffee. Unfortunately, I have never been able to drink coffee without sweetening it and adding yummy, flavored creamers to it. I have decided that I need to find more flavored teas and replace my second or third daily cup of coffee with the teas. So far, I haven’t been doing too bad. I found a tea by Stash called Christmas in Paris and it smells like Andes Candies Mint Chocolate and it tastes good too. It is a special edition for the holidays, but I am going to try other brands and hopefully will find others that I like as well. I don’t have to add all of the added sugar and flavored creamers, so I am saving calories, which is a good thing. And is should be pretty easy to do if I succeed at the one above, stop going to Dunkin :).
I Wish I Can Drink More Lemon Water
I recently read an article where it said that drinking lemon water has many health benefits. The first was that it works to ease inflammation. If it can ease the pain in my joints that I have it will be worth it. It is also supposed to help with digestion and keep you hydrated. More positives in my opinion.
I Wish I Can Find Exercises That Don’t Hurt
Two years ago I fractured my hip. Don’t ask me how. Neither I or the many doctors that I saw could tell me how or why. Some said I could have sneezed or coughed too hard. Another said I could have bumped it several years ago. Regardless of how I did it, the goal is not to do it again. So I have had to limit the way I exercise, which means not doing anything that can cause a break again. I want to find something that allows me to exercise without a big impact on my bones and joints. It is a work in progress.
I Wish to Learn How to Crochet Left-Handed
I have always wanted to learn how to crochet. My mom and grandma tried to teach me, but as they were right-handed and I was left-handed, they always became frustrated that I couldn’t learn from them. I have done simple crocheting in the past, but I want to learn how to do more complex patterns and maybe make something. I found a website that teaches how to crochet left-handed, so I am going to find time to watch and learn. First, I have to see if I still have my crochet hooks and then pick out yarn. I’m looking forward to that.
I Wish I Can Find a New Job
I have decided that it is time to look for another job. I had hopes that things at my current job would get better, but they have not, so it is time to find something else. I want to be happy at work and that is something I am not any longer. I will write about what has happened recently and then I will not write about work until I have something new to tell.
I Wish my Family and Friends Continued Good Health and Happiness
I originally wrote a post about changes that are coming to work, but I took it down after reading it again and realizing that it was mostly negative. I didn’t like that because I had made it a goal to try to find something positive from each day, but it was becoming harder and harder to find something positive. Negativity was becoming more prevalent and I wanted to figure out why.
Really, I knew why. The reason is that my workplace has become negative over the past few months. To briefly explain, my manager, who told me I should consider taking a job elsewhere, has taken a job elsewhere herself. The decision came after she had confronted a nurse about something that had happened in the clinic and the nurse not only defended herself, but a doctor and another nurse basically told the manager that she was wrong and to back off. The manager ended the conversation by telling all of them to get out of her office. Shortly after we began to hear that she was interviewing for another position, which she got, and she will be transitioning out of the department. Unfortunately, things are not going smoothly and the atmosphere of the office has become negative.
Now that everyone knows that the manager is leaving, some have become passive aggressive with everything they say or do. I know that it is a power play, but it creates tension, which morphs into anger and before long everything seems to have a negative feel to it. Where I used to enjoy going in to work, I find myself dreading it. I have started going into work earlier than usual so that I can get things done without having to deal with others and their issues. Staff has started talking about looking for jobs elsewhere and that means that a department that has run so smoothly in the past, is now at risk of breaking apart.
I want to be positive that things will get better once a new manager is hired, but that may be wishful thinking on my part. The first candidate interviewed last week. They currently work in our department. The staff took part in interviewing her and when asked how she would handle the communication issue within the department, she replied that she would tell the staff that the gossiping needed to stop. She works in the department and to her, the communication issue is gossip. How she doesn’t think that information not being disseminated to the proper people isn’t a communication problem is something I just can’t understand. She works in the department, yet she has no idea what issues are affecting the rest of the department.
I have gone back and forth about starting to look for another job. My husband wants me to try to get out of the medical field and look for a position with the government. Candidate number two will be interviewed next week. He is a project manager, so maybe someone with no ties to the department will be a better fit. There are supposed to be two more after that. Things will get better. I just need to say that every day to and from work. Maybe saying it enough will make it happen. Fingers crossed.
One of the things that my husband wanted to do during the winter was go through the boxes that are stored in the basement and sort through them. We have boxes from our very first move twenty-five years ago and every move since. He is all about organizing and he wants to go through them, tossing out or donating things that we no longer want or use. He then wants to sort like items with like items. So all of the cards we saved in one pile. Photos go in another. Initially, the idea was to gather up all the little souvenirs that we accumulated over the years and select those that we would like to put out to look at. We wanted to get a curio cabinet, but it really is hard to find those in stores anymore. Heck, it’s hard to find actual furniture stores anymore. Over the winter, we always seemed to have something else to do and when we thought about it, we were usually doing something else, so it didn’t get done.
Last weekend, my husband set up a table and said that he was going to go through one box and began sorting things out. Since he wanted my help, I began tossing out things that I had brought from my parent’s house, most which were really worn and falling apart. Those things that didn’t really hold any emotional ties to it went into the trash. And it was there that we ran into the first issue. My husband began questioning everything I tossed out. “Why are you throwing that away?” “You don’t have to throw anything or get rid of anything. You know that right?” My reply was, “If I don’t want it anymore, or haven’t thought about it in more than two decades, it’s time to get rid of it.”
I realized that my husband really wasn’t okay with that. He seemed to think that I was just tossing things out because I wanted the task of sorting through the items to be over. But for me, some of those things no longer held the emotional attachment that they once did. And because of that, I didn’t need to keep holding on to those things. After several comments by my husband about what I was not keeping, I asked him why he couldn’t accept that I didn’t want or need those things any longer. His reply, “I just don’t want you to regret it later on.” I get that, I do, but it would be my regret, not his. And some of those things I tossed have more bad memories now than good. For me, it was something that I needed to get rid of and I didn’t realize it until I saw those things again, but it really felt good to get rid of it and move on. After all, we have a lot of memories and the good ones are what I want to focus on.
We’ve got more boxes to go…to be continued…
We are finally seeing the last of the snow melt from the massive storm that hit the mid-Atlantic a few weeks ago. We had a few small snow events that added a couple of inches since then, but those melted off the roads and didn’t create much of a problem. You can still see the occasional pile of snow, mostly along the highways and pushed off to the sides in parking lots. It is still winter and still cold most days, although the temperature is slowly moving upwards and today we are supposed to be near 60 degrees (Fahrenheit), which isn’t too bad for February.
But as the snow slowly disappears around our house, underneath the snow, the first flowers of spring have begun to poke up through the soil. The daffodils and tulips are starting to come up and they will surely grow bigger with all the rain we have been having. Last week it rained several days in a row, very heavy at times, and what is left behind is grass that is mostly brown and puddles of mud everywhere. It is at this time of the year that you begin looking for signs of spring and the flowers are a sure sign that it will be here eventually. Of course there is snow in the forecast for the end of the week, but since the daffodils and tulips started growing underneath three feet of snow, a little bit shouldn’t make much difference. Here’s hoping we might have some pretty flowers for our Easter table.
Every once in a while you come across something on the web that touches your heart. Recently I learned about Love Your Melon, which is an organization that provides children with cancer with hats to keep their heads warm. The organization was started several years ago by two college students from Minnesota. The website sells items with the Love Your Melon logo, such as knit caps, scarfs, baseball caps, t-shirts and coffee mugs. When you purchase an item, you are donating money to provide hats to children. The hats are then presented to the children by Super Heroes, which are usually local college students in full costumes. The children have a blast and so do the heroes that deliver the hats. If you know of a child that is undergoing cancer treatment, you can request a hat for them from the site as well.
If you get a chance, stop by the website to see pictures of hats being presented to children around the country. You can also see what else the organization is doing for the children. They also donate a portion of each item purchased to the Pinky Swear Foundation and Cure Search for Children’s Cancer. When you purchase an item, it asks you to select the crew that you would like to receive your donation. There are crews around the country, so chances are you can find one near you. Items on the site sell out quickly, so you may see a countdown display to let you know when the next batch of items will be released. Spread the word and tell your friends to “Love Your Melon.”
As we moved into the New Year, it seems the question that everyone kept asking was, “What is your New Year’s resolution?” If I replied that I didn’t have any or didn’t make them, some looked at me like I was from another planet. One co-worker replied that “Everyone makes them.” Of course my reply, with a hint of sarcasm was, “Who is everyone? I want a list.” To me, a resolution is something that you must succeed at, and when you fail, as I have done in the past, I end up feeling like hmm, a failure. And for me, I do not want 2016 to be a year of failures.
So instead of things that I knew I would fail at, I thought of things that I would like to do or try for the new year. If I try something and it doesn’t work for me, then that isn’t a failure. It is a success because I will have tried something I haven’t done before. If it is something I end up liking and decide to keep doing, then that will just be success times two. I made lists of things that I would like to try for 2016. Some of them were to focus on the positives, find ways to relieve stress, make health a priority and focus on family.
I realized that negativity always has a way of bringing me down. I tend to focus on the negative and then it starts causing all sorts of issues, from stress headaches, stress eating and not being able to sleep. One of the ways I decided to deal with the negativity was to not focus on it. Instead, I have decided to try to write down something positive each day. Whether it is something someone said or just a positive quote that will carry me through to the next day. I have an inexpensive journal that I picked up for the holidays, so I have started to put the positive things in there. I realized that I missed a couple of days, not because nothing positive happened, but because I wasn’t used to writing things down. So I have put writing in the journal a part of my daily routine. I actually had several sticky notes that I put in my lunch box to remember to journal after work, so hopefully it will be something I can do every day.
As for things I would like to try in 2016, I want to try to eat healthy vegetables that I usually avoid. My plan is to try one new veggie a week. I know that it is all about the taste, so I plan to search out recipes that are not labor intensive and if they taste good, then maybe I will add them to our list of healthy foods. If they aren’t then I will have tried something I haven’t before. So far, I am learning to like sugar snap peas and green beans (as long as I have some low-calorie ranch dressing to dip them in). There are many foods to conquer and many weeks left in the year.
I also want to find things that help in stress relief. I had read an article a few months back about how coloring books for adults were becoming popular for stress relief. My husband and son bought me several coloring books and pencils for Christmas, but I haven’t used them yet. My son asked me why and I explained that I was stressing about choosing the right colors for the flower. His response, “I don’t think you are supposed to stress about coloring. That would defeat the purpose.” And of course he is right. I did find a free app for my Kindle that allows me to color. If I don’t like a choice, I can click the back arrow and it disappears. I finished one pattern and it let me email it to my husband, who printed it off and hung it on his bulletin board, so I have colored something, and it did make me feel better, so that is a positive.