here.

Hi.

I’ve been a stranger.  Like. TOTALLY a stranger.  Like. WOAH WHERE DID YOU GO stranger.  And it’s not that I didn’t want to visit.  In fact, I would have been here more often if I could get Siri to write my posts for me while I am driving.  Because I write LOTS in my head then.  Like at LEAST a post a day.  And then somehow, I start to work or hit the gym or text or SOMETHING and then I forget.  But please note.  I totally feel guilty.

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So. I applied for graduation and as of today – this moment – I have 234 days until I am finished. (I have a countdown on my phone that have to talk myself out of checking because I obsessively want to look at it every day. And I totally can’t help myself and I look again.) Two classes this summer, and two classes this fall. Pray. This semester I have taken three classes – Chemistry, Macroeconomics and Business Communications. And it utterly kicked my ass – not all the time, but definitely in waves. And I think that I have learned a little more grace for myself and for other people. In college (like real college when i didn’t have two jobs, a social life, a mortgage, rent, car, insurance…you get the picture!), I never understood how people could forget something so simple as HOMEWORK. I mean, just WRITE IT DOWN for crying out loud. And then now – twice I have gone to two different professors and explained that I forgot homework. Just forgot. Not that I didn’t want to do it. Not that I couldn’t have found time (something that I have this crazy talent for). Just plain ole’ brain-fart forgot. Neither one of them would allow me to turn it in late. But hey, oh well.
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So I find myself planning EVERY second of every day Monday through Friday. To the nano second. When I get home at 8 or 9p, I usually have an hour’s worth of stuff to do (laundry, dishes, prepare food, get my bag together for the next day, try to remember how MANY pairs of shoes, panties, and workout outfits I will need for the next day). And it becomes my power hour. I cannot sit down, I cannot stop moving until everything including washing my face and brushing my teeth is done. If I do, I cannot get back up. But with this regimented schedule during the week, I find my weekends EXTRA carefree. I have always been a fairly free spirit when it comes to playing. If I have the gas in my car, I will go do it. And for the past 3 months, my weekends have been super fun. Boo moved to Atlanta in March, I’ve been to Denver, the beach, dinner, railroad park, Regions stadium, bars I haven’t been to in years, random nights where I stay out later than I am used to, on blind dates and have just been happy. My poor roomates have remarked that I have the strangest schedule. Truth.

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Speaking of roommates, I moved into a house in February with some really awesome girls. Super sweet, super easy, and they handle my weirdness well. Nothing like roommates to make you realize how not normal you are. Or is that just me? I love having the company – and the ease of good roommates. I can only hope they say the same thing about me! I try…

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I’ve made some new friends lately. They are my age, single, and love to sweat it up. And I am starting to feel like me again. It only took me 6 years to get back to this point. But I know the journey from 24 to 31 has made me into SUCH a better version of myself. Kinder. Softer. Hopefully a little more knowledgeable and definitely more forgiving.

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March 6th was the 2 year anniversary of my divorce – and I can truly attest that divorce has a half life. It was some time in the last few months that I just felt, well, NORMAL. Not damaged, not angry, not blaming others, just normal. Praise God from whom all blessing flows, because without His Mercies, I would be in a ditch. I went to a Capitavating conference in Denver in March and it reminded me (as I need reminding EVERY DAY) that only God can put my broken heart back together. There are STILL times – few. FAR BETWEEN. But times that I get overwhelmed with the feeling of how damaged I am which leads me down the path of no one will ever love me into I’ll be single for the rest of my life and right back to how irreparable damaged I am. And don’t get me wrong. This heart has been shattered by SEVERAL men in my life and it is ugly and black and lifeless on its own. But God promises to repair it. to make it whole. And He assures me that I am beautiful. That He DOES see me, that HE is and will be everything to me that I’ve seen fail in the past.

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I also turned 31 in March. Don’t worry, I still continue to tell people that I am 30. I think that is a mix of not feeling 31 and how crazy packed life has been. My sweet loves took me to the beach for what was the best Birthday in a long while. It was FREEZING cold. But we drank wine, played Maajong, shopped (of course I was the ONLY ONE who bought anything), slept, watched Downton Abby, jammed to good tunes, cooked, and laughed. It was SO good for my heart. And there was this ONE cheese plate – I can’t stop thinking about it! Best meats, best olive oil, best cheese, best nuts…I mean. To. Die. For. And we drank more red wine than most people drink in a year. Not really. Well, yes really. Whatever. It was good.

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I’m trying not obsess about next steps. Here I am about to get my degree. Finally. Something that has kind of held me back. But not really. But kind of. And all my jobs in the past have been to push the ceiling on how far I could go without a degree. Like, DUH I don’t need one. But now? What do I want to do? I’ve utterly downgraded my life. And I wish I could downgrade it even more! So I don’t NEED to make money like I used to (staying in a job just to pay bills for stuff I don’t want. What I want is out of that cycle!!) You know that question? What would you do if money was no object? Yeah, I don’t know the answer yet. It’s mulling in my brain. And it looks REALLY different than what I thought it would be. I had planned on going to nursing school. Full. Speed. Ahead. Not that I won’t do that – I am not scared of it – that I won’t be able to finish or I am not smart enough. But as I pray desperately for God to help me see my path, what I DO hear is “wait”. Like, just get through this ONE step. Get to December. Get through 234 days. Just that. So. That’s what I am doing. Pray for that? Pray that I can figure out next steps. Or that I would be able to wait. How ever you want to pray for me – I will take it!

So here I am, friends. Back.

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{Day 9} through the fire….

And into the Frying Pan.  Metaphorically, of COURSE.

I did it!  I made it past that TERRIBLE portion where I think, dear HEAVENS why in my right mind would I give up cheese and spirits!  CHEESE AND SPIRITS!  CAN YOU HEAR ME, OH CAVEMEN???

And.  I ate Tuna for the first time this weekend (I won’t mention how MANY packets I ate…)

and with pickles and this mayo (yes, HOMEMADE).   I made two versions.  Dill and Celery Salt and a Spicy version (Garlic Salt and Chili Powder).  I cannot wait to play around with this recipe!

I made THIS Chili, passed on the recipe to 6 co-workers and my family.  I ate it over a sweet potato….spaghetti squash…with an egg.  Oh, and over the left-over breakfast casserole that I was not in love with.  I am a FREAK about veggies, so I added Swiss Chard and Mushrooms.  It is delicious.  DEEEEEE-lish!

I’m into cooking on Saturdays right now (awesome tips for efficiency and success!!).  Not quite the WOD Paleo food challenge, but its close!  Its very therapeutic for me.  And I feel productive instead of sitting on the couch or totally spending the whole weekend in the gym.  For me there is not much in the middle.  And I get tired of cleaning the house.  There is only so much base-boarding I can do!

OH OH OH!  I almost forgot to tell you!  GUESS WHAT I DID!  Rode my bike!  RODE MY BIKE!  It was super fun to get out and spin my wheels.  AND I didn’t forget how to do it!  I have been so worried about stopping and starting, what would I do if I had a flat tire (ummm, change it?), would I fall, do I remember HOW to change gears??  (Sidebar – I still am the LOUDEST Gear Changer around.  I could never sneak attack on anyone.  Still finessing that one, but it kinda follows through on the rest of my life, right??).  I am currently testing out my fitness level (Yes my PT knows about this) – taught a bazillion classes last week, upped weight in BodyPump, took a few extra Yoga classes at The Yoga Circle, rode my bike, and stayed out of bed all weekend!  SG (my Physical Therapist) said that I am DOING WELL which I am so happy for.

SO.

In CONCLUSION.

Let me share with you what I have noticed on Day 8

  1. Sleeping better.  Like better than I have before my divorce, before troubles, and probably before I got married!  All the way through the night with MAYBE one time waking up.  (Gotta get the roommate on the non-noisy schedule with me.)
  2. Skin is clearing up!  Despite the fact that I am 30 in 6 weeks and 5 days….(give or take a few minutes ;-)) I have acne!  Its from the gym, hormones, etc etc etc.
  3. I haven’t hit the deathly-hunger yet!
  4. My energy and smiles are through the roof!
  5. Despite being tired, my BRAIN is functioning better.  For example, in BodyPump last night, I can tell when I get tired because my coaching just goes out the door, and I call an elbow a knee or say 3/1 when I mean Singles….or totally say something that makes NO SENSE at all (and make myself laugh later on!).  Last night, when pushing hard on the last set of lunges, I actually had a better flow out of my mouth!  It was awesome.
  6. I am wearing a skirt today that is LOOSE.  Woomp.

Here is my question for yall.  Why do we (myself included!) choose to indulge in behaviors that make us feel worse!  It’s funny how we ALL get caught up in comfort, in old behaviors and can’t break out of it.  I am OBSESSED with finding the better version of myself right now.  What does that look like for you?