BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Ten Tiny Steps to Clutter Control

We moved into our house two and a half months ago. I used to be able to make that statement in weeks, but like the mother who claims that her little one is 42 months old, I need to face reality and admit that some time has passed since the blessed event.

At this point, it’s no longer ok to be surrounded by clutter and partially unpacked items. It’s time to finish the job of settling in. After all, one can’t decorate a mess, and a slew of holidays are right around the corner. 9155Jack-o-lanterns on top of piles of paper are more annoying than decorative, and I’m not about to drape lights over half empty boxes in the living room. I just don’t think that would impart the holiday ambiance that I’m going for.

In order to make headway on this daunting task I’ve decided to tackle the mess one tiny bite at a time. This morning it was my bathroom vanity. I’m telling myself that if I just take care of 10 items I’m making progress, and it’s true. Slow progress, but still progress. Besides, I usually go beyond 10.

The sad thing is, there’s no place in this house that feels “done.” Every room needs work. Every surface has stuff on it. Every closet feels full. Every box that’s still around has stuff in it. I don’t feel like there’s a single serene spot in my house. Oh, and the indoor temperature has been hovering around 85 degrees since the air conditioner went out a few days ago. It just doesn’t feel comfortable to be home. I need to change that.

Fortunately the ac guy is coming tomorrow, and the family room isn’t TOO bad. I think I’ll head there next. My work in the bathroom this morning was quick and yielded good results. After all, it’s not hard to throw out three items, place two in the hamper, one in the medicine cabinet, and four under the sink. I can do that. If I just keep doing that, the house will be put together in no time.

Hmm, maybe there’s a lesson here. A lesson about health and diet and exercise and weight loss. Maybe I don’t have to do it all at one time. Maybe I can make tiny changes to help move me in the right direction. Of course I know this to be true, but it’s difficult to resist the Halloween candy. I swear I’ve only eaten four pieces of it, and they’re the really small ones. Maybe I should put the bowl in the freezer? Out of sight, out of mind? Except that it’s in a weird place now and I have no trouble remembering where it is. Still, I’m not a big fan of frozen candy.

Now I’m off to the tackle the coffee table. It’s not too bad, which is good, since it’s a work day. Wish me luck as I try to move forward ten tiny steps at a time.


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To NaNo or Not to NaNo

crest-bda7b7a6e1b57bb9fb8ce9772b8faafbNovember is rapidly approaching, and I’m starting to get lots of e-mails from the folks over at NaNoWriMo. For those of you  unfamiliar with NaNo, it’s short form NaNoWriMo, which in turn is short for National Novel Writing Month. The NaNoWriMo folks have claimed November as theirs, and invited the whole wold to join them. Last year I accepted that invitation, and I wrote the manuscript of a young adult novel. In a month. Yes. I did it.

That manuscript is still very raw, in fact I haven’t done much of anything with it. I know so much more about writing now than I did a year ago, and what I’ve learned has left me feeling somewhat overwhelmed at the prospect of all the revisions that lay ahead. Gulp. But does that mean I can’t write something new? Of course not!

Completing NaNoWriMo was a huge accomplishment. It showed me that I did in fact have at least one book in me, and that I could find the time to create it. It also showed me that even when I was feeling stuck, I could make myself move forward. It was an important lesson. Of course it wasn’t without its freak-outs along the way.

Another lesson that it taught me was that I spend too much time on activities that give me nothing in return. I think many of us do. My main time sucker (and maybe yours too) tends to be surfing the internet. Watching tv is a big one for a lot of people too. Still, no matter how busy I felt, I was always able to at least put in at least twenty to thirty minutes on work days, then fill in with some extra time on the weekends. I knew that skipping days would stress me out too much in the long run, so I avoided it at all costs.

So now here I am, Mid-October, and decision time is looming. Yes, I think I’ll try it again, and this time I’ll incorporate some of the information on story structure that I’ve learned over the past several months. I have a new character that I need to get to know, and I need to create some really interesting things for her to do and say. I also need to stock up on Hot Tamales, they are my go to candy for writing inspiration and energy.

Hopefully this year’s 50,000 plus words come more easily than last year’s, but I’m not counting on it. Writing a novel is a really difficult process, but by announcing it, I’ve just taken the first step. Wish me luck!


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Why Being Fat Sucks – Round Two

Seriously, it’s no fun. Here’s the next installment in the being fat sucks series (see part one here).

 

1. Socks dig into your legs.

2. Your bra side panels sometimes get sucked into the caverns created by your back fat.

3. You have to strategically plan your path through a crowded room.

Trust me, the fat woman is mortified.

Trust me, the fat woman is mortified.

4. You bump into every single person along the aisle of the airplane as you walk by.

5. What looks cute on your friends looks absurd on you.

6. Getting out of bed is literally the first challenge of the day.

7. You learn to avoid mirrors, thus failing to notice spinach in your teeth and other ugly details.

8. Your seatbelt never sits quite right so you’re always adjusting it.

9. You worry about riding in other people’s cars, also because of the seatbelt issue.

10. Zip-lining? Forget it.

11. You actually read the weight limits on ladders before you step on them.

12. You avoid folding chairs like the plague (and keep your own super duty chair in the car, just in case).

13. You imagine you would kill the poor mule if you were to sign up for the mule ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

14. Your feet hurt.

15. You get winded far too quickly.

16. You avoid being in pictures, even of events that you want to remember. When you are in pictures, you dislike what you see.

17. Clothes generally either feel tight or sloppy.

18. Even purse straps seem too small.

19. You feel like servers judge your order in restaurants.

20. The sides of chairs leave marks in your legs when you get up.


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Throwback Thursday – The Candy Store

There used to be a store in my neighborhood where a kid could ride his or her bike and stock up on candy for very little money. It was located about two blocks from my home, and about a block and a half from the high school. It was owned by one of my classmates’ parents, and the store shared their family name. In fact the family lived behind the store in the same building. That place was important in our neighborhood, from childhood right through graduation. A lot of kids spent their allowance and their lunch periods in that store. Here are some of things I remember buying there as a kid:

1. Wax bottles- Who knows what exactly those tiny bottles held, but they were so darn appealing.

2. Candy dots- Yes, you always ended up with paper in your mouth, but somehow it seemed worthwhile anyway.

3. Wax lips- No need for Botox with these around.005c124e59a58256

4. Fire balls- From spicy to sweet the pain was delicious.

5. Candy necklaces and ring pops – High fashion for the sugar loving set.

6. Bazooka Bubblegum- It was usually hard as a rock, but the comics were hilarious.

7. Cracker Jacks- Although I didn’t like peanuts, I loved the little prizes.

8. Fresca- It came in a tall glass bottle, and nothing was better on a hot summer day (never mind the saccharin).

9. Bottle caps- These little candies were shaped like soda bottles and were fun to eat.

10. Comic books- I usually went for the candy, but once in a while I picked up Archie or Richie Rich.

Thanks Mr. and Mrs. B, for running a store that a generation of kids holds in their hearts.


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I Didn’t Want to, But…

The actual real banana bread on my counter.

The actual real banana bread on my counter.

Here’s an update to today’s earlier post. I was in an oh-so-lazy mood this morning, but for whatever reason, I ended up having a fairly productive day after all. From my don’t-want-to list I managed to get the laundry done (yes, even put away), empty, load, and run the dishwasher, and buy (but not build) the storage cubbies.

Not only that, but I also managed to get some anchor charts done for reading and writing lessons for school, and I even picked up some medicine and a few groceries. I know. You’re impressed. You should be.

From my want-to list I messed around plenty on the internet (facebook: check, pinterest: check, candy crush: check, pet rescue heroes: check) and I managed to watch a movie with my sweetheart. I also baked a banana bread, which isn’t exactly the kind of decadent thing I was imagining, but it sure turned out delicious. I also spent some quality time with my puppy girl, even if it wasn’t on a walk. Then I finished out the evening by reading more of Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why. All in all a successful and relaxing day, I’d say.

Tomorrow we return to school after our week off, and I have my lessons ready to go (for the most part). I also have a new strategy I want to implement with a particular student who has been have some difficulty lately with behavior, and I have a fun activity planned for my after school math group. It’s going to be a good day. I can just tell.


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I Just Don’t Want To

lazy.jpg
All those good intentions I have? Screw ‘em.

The still packed boxes from my move two and a half months ago? Forget about them.

The laundry that needs to be washed? The dishes that need to be put away? The groceries that need to be purchased? Nope, nope, and nope. I don’t want to deal with it. Any of it.

I also don’t want to deal with the fact that I’ve been doing a crappy job of caring for my physical well-being. There, I said it, but I’m just not in the mood to deal with it. Stupid, I know. But true.

My mental well-being, on the other hand, has been pretty good, thanks in large part to the fact that I’m just finishing a week off of work, part of which I spent with my son exploring our beautiful state. Still, there is a little too much chaos around me in my home for me to really feel settled. I don’t like having lots of stuff around, which is ironic, because I have lots of stuff.

Here’s what I SHOULD do.

1. Wash and put away all laundry.

2. Empty the dishwasher.

3. Fill at least two boxes with donations (clothes that don’t get worn, those curtains I’m never going to hang from two houses ago, that set of knives I’ve never opened, those ugly picture frames I’ve somehow accumulated, they all need to go).

4. Get that additional storage cube thingie and build it so I can fit my stuff into my studio appropriately.

5. Unpack the last few boxes.

6. Take the dog for a nice long walk.

7. Work on revising my manuscript.

I know that if I did those things I would feel more settled and accomplished, and less at odds with my environment. I have no desire to do any of it, though. Here’s what I really feel like doing instead.lazy-dog-pool

1. Spending the day in my pajamas.

2. Playing Candy Crush and Pet Rescue Saga.

3. Reading ( This week I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and Butter by Erin Jade Lange. Now I’m reading Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Yes, they are all Young Adult novels. I don’t care.).

4. Creating a menu of delicious meals that a) someone else should cook, and b) are sinfully unhealthful.

5. Baking (and then eating) something extraordinarily decadent.

6. Pinning all sorts of cool stuff on Pinterest.

7. Sewing with some of the great new fabric I added to my stash during my road trip.

8. Hanging out with my sweetheart, maybe catching a movie on tv (pajamas, remember?).

9. Loving on my doggy.

10. Stalking all my facebook friends. Nah, not really. I comment on their stuff a lot.

The reality of the situation is that I’ll more than likely do things from both lists. After all, it is the last day of my vacation, so I want to enjoy it, but stuff needs to get done, so I might as well suck it up and do it. I still have all day stretched in front of me, so why not?

 


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Alone vs. Lonely

I am home alone. This is a rarity. If the whole family isn’t home, I’m usually either with my son or my sweetheart. Occasionally I get home from work first on a day that my son is with his father, so as I’m puttering around, unwinding from the day, I may have fifteen minutes to myself, but they are full. I come in, put my work things away, let the dog out, feed her, use the bathroom, check the mail, and *poof* the alone time is gone.

On the days my son isn’t with his dad, I’m his driver. We walk out together in the morning, and we walk back in together in the afternoon. When he’s gone for the weekend, my sweetheart and I spend a lot of time together. We like it that way. We run errands together, we go on dates together, we do projects around the house together, and we just generally enjoy each other’s company.

55171_20130814_162130_tumblr_magk3i9S7I1ru61w7o1_500_largeMy family, however, understands that I’m a bit of an introvert, and that I need some time and space to myself.
I have a wonderful “studio” in our home where I can retreat for a bit. After a while one of them might wander in, and that’s fine. I’m not a hermit by any definition of the word. I love them both dearly, and enjoy spending time with them.

There’s a difference between being alone by choice and being alone by circumstance. I learned that lesson when I got divorced. I was okay with the idea of being divorced. I wasn’t thrilled about it, but I understood it, and figured that in the long run it would be best for all involved. It has been. But what I didn’t understand, just couldn’t wrap my head around, was the idea that I should be forced to be 100% utterly alone as a result of circumstances that were beyond my control. I’m talking about my son’s time with his father, of course. My rational brain knew that they deserved to spend time together, and that my son needed his father in his life. It was the primal brain, however, that screamed out, “THIS IS UNFAIR!”

The weekends he was away were torture for me. It felt like the most horrible type of punishment I could imagine. I went from what I considered a normal family life, with a husband and a son, to a completely single entity for those ghastly weekends. How could I be a mother for x number of days a month, but not a mother for the rest? Oh sure, I was still his mother, but I couldn’t parent him. I tried not to think about it too much. I tried not to be critical of his father’s parenting (he’s not a bad father at all, in fact there are a lot of things that I think he does really well in terms of his relationship with our son). I tried to just separate myself from the whole situation when he wasn’t with me. I was always available for my son, but he didn’t need me when he was with his dad. It’s been several years now and to this day I rarely speak to him when he’s with his dad. It’s not that I’m not interested in what he’s doing, but I don’t want to infringe on their time together.

That first year or so of that utter and complete aloneness when he was gone forced me to make some decisions about how I wanted to handle myself. I could have spent those entire weekends in front of the tv, binging on movies and ice cream. I didn’t. I started to find things to do and people to connect with. It started to hurt less and I started to find peace in the alone time. Still, I didn’t like it. I loved having a family. I loved going on outings and sharing family dinners and playing in the pool together and watching movies and celebrating holidays and going on vacations and all of those things that families do. I was heartbroken that it all came to an end, both for myself and for my son. I felt like we were being robbed. Still, I had to make a decision to either wallow in it and make myself even more miserable, and take my son down with me, or deal with it. I’m a grown up. I dealt with it.

Time has passed, and there is a new man in my life, and family has a new definition. No, we’re not married, but the three of us are a family, just as my son’s father and his extended family are still part of our family. It’s not what I expected, but it seems to be working out okay for us.

Long story short, I enjoy those few hours alone at home when nobody is around, but I enjoy them because they’re not forced on me. I’m alone, but I’m far from lonely.

 

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