Archive for the ‘whining’ Category

Stuffed (not food-related)

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Only last week I was thinking to myself that I hadn’t been sick this year. In Januarys past, I remember learning how to make dashi for noodles and souping myself to health. Seeing colleagues fall ill one by one as the week went on, I was grateful and a little proud of my system’s fortitude.

We’ve all know where this is headed, right? What started as slight congestion and an early-morning offness has bloomed into full-blown snottiness. Early application of my neti pot yesterday did not prevent today from descending into a deluge of tissues and sneezing at my desk. On the plus side, I’ve tried my hand at mixing my own sea salt and baking soda solution. However, here I am sick. And, as often is the case, it rougher now, as the day ends. Luckily, it’s mostly congestion and I’m not incapacitated; simply a little worn down.

Watching The Deadliest Catch isn’t helping me feel any better. (You can’t catch a cold from the TV, can you?) Maybe I should just get in bed and read. I know two snore monsters who’d be more than willing to keep me company and warm. Dry and on land with loved ones.

Previous post lost

Sunday, January 13th, 2013


Thwarted by phone typing. I lost a better version of this post. Thank you for the nice comments yesterday. And I apologize for not making time to properly compose thoughts and do my typing on a keyboard. It was lovely to hear from Scotland, Quebec and B.C. I’d better up my game, eh?

I have to head to bed, so I can’t recreate everything I had previously written. Instead, I’ll leave you with an article I’ll be chewing on for many day to come:

There’s More to Life than Being Happy from The Atlantic.

I’m no hedonist, by any means. I want to focus on being content with what I have, not necessarily more happy. And mindfulness is something I’m trying to cultivate. Searching for a higher meaning or calling wasn’t on my agenda. I’ve simply wanted to cut down on my own negative self-talk and irrational sense of failure. Now I’ve got to find some other reason to live? Oh, the pressure.

Thumbs up

Friday, January 11th, 2013

I don’t really have much to say. Better yet, I don’t want to say much. I’m typing on my phone and it’s a bit tedious to correct typos. I don’t think the same way using my thumbs, as opposed to proper typing.

Sure, I could get off the couch and walk across the room to a keyboard and compose my thoughts. Or myself. But I’m tired. It’s bed time and it’s been a long day. And I’m full of delicious Ethiopian food, and there aren’t any kind of deep thoughts coming out tonight.

Heck, I don’t even have a picture. So I can’t prove I was at Aday’s bday with Cookie A among other friends (her name for the rhyming scheme). We skipped the dancing part of the evening and had ice cream on the way to drop Sonya home.

So that’s Friday night in the big gay city. Sleep tight.

Up and down. Repeat.

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Yesterday: no run in the morning = grumpy day.

Today: run up and down the same hill 4 times, plus a longer climb for good measure = chipper day

Lesson learned: skipping the scamper may result in the day going downhill (not in the good way). Life’s ups and downs can be best faced with more practice ups and downs.

(And I thought I hated hill training.)


Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

I originally started this post in mid-December. Fitting or ironic that a post on sustaining and finishing things has lingered in draft form all these many weeks.

So I ran a marathon a few weeks ago. Yeah, I finished and it’s great to be back at it after a decade of not racing, even with 15 miles in a downpour with headwinds. But I haven’t run since. Sure, I had plans of easy recovery runs a few days after the race, alas, I chose lounging in bed with the dogs and my iPhone each at 6:30 a.m.

I noticed the same thing during my training. Leading up to our trip to Iceland in October, I was running four times a week. I barely missed any workouts. I even ran before we caught a cab to the airport at 8:00 a.m. and on the first morning that we work up in Reykjavik. Then, because it was too cold or I told myself it was supposed to be vacation, I took a few days off. Which eventually became three weeks off. The fact that they were the three most important weeks of high-volume and the longest long runs would eventually show itself during the race.

And it’s not just limited to physical activity. I can get on a roll with knitting, plowing through inches of a project for weeks at a time. I finished a lopapeysa for Chris a few nights ago (after a month-long sprint), but the armpits still need to be grafted shut and some ends that need to be woven in. I haven’t touched it since I bound off the last stitch. Instead, it joins a mega-fringed lopapeysa, a outerwear coat and a cowl-neck pullover, all of which need buttons, pockets and flaps attached, or a single seam sewn. Basically, by the end of this weekend, I could have four new garments (technically three, but I plan on borrowing Chris’). In the sock department… well, let’s not even go there.

According to Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of motion, if an object experiences no net force, then its velocity is constant. More often described as intertia, this is the concept that an object in motion tends to stay in motion or an object at rest remains so unless an outside force acts on it. My question is, what is the force that’s changing me?

It could be the motivation that was sufficient to start a project or compels me to run is not sufficient or even related to what’s necessary to sustain it. The “getting over the hump” carries me pretty far down the path, but that desire is sated before the end goal is achieved.

Self-pity aside, much of this post’s whining is irrelevant now, as evidenced by the picture above of the aforementioned fringed monster of ends to be woven in. C’s sweater is also complete, however the other two remain. I did finish a pair of mitten-capped fingerless gloves started during my first year of knitting before the end of 2012. So I’m feeling slightly more bad-ass in the completion department.

And, for the time being, I’m a week back on the running wagon.

Worth a thousand words?

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Everyone seems to be up in arms over the new Instagram terms of service. I am as well.

It’s disappointing to see how being purchased by Facebook has made them turn away from their users and towards the gods of profit and advertising. We have until January 16 to take amazing pictures before the changes go into effect. After that date, they can use your new photos for any old purpose they’d like and not tell you. Heck, they can make money off pictures of my dogs and loaves of bread and I’d never know. Not cool.

I’m bummed, as Instagram has become my go-to social media distraction. I enjoy digesting friends lives and sharing snippets of my own with a quick phone picture. Square images are a fine way to frame memories. I’ve shot more because I enjoy the quick hit of clicking and tapping to like friends photos.

I’ve posted many an Instagram photo here, although I guess it’s never replaced the tried and true Flickr account that’s doubled as my storage and posting tool. However, I never immersed myself into Flickr’s community. Instagram feels more pedestrian or common than Flickr. A bit more connected and less technically formal.

I wonder how Flickr will benefit from this corporate misstep? Their new app certainly has generated a bit of buzz and a flurry of new contacts. I guess there’s only one way to find out.

Feel free to find me on Flickr and I’ll see of I can take my picture making a bit more seriously.


Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

While my lentils simmer, let me tell you about quitting. Barely 48 hours in, and I feel like I’m done.

Before I begin, I realize the walking cliche that I am, posting about eating or not eating or changing my eating. Whining is one of my least favorite activities, especially in the written form. What’s more self-indulgent than complaining about a situation that I brought upon, nay, I paid for to be brought upon myself? If you came here looking for knitting or adorable French bulldog photos, move along. All you’re going to get is a bowlful of vegan soup and some roasted beets.

I forgot about the caffeine withdrawal. It makes it difficult to focus. Like a slowly closing vice on my skull. My brain feels like Luke and Leia as the walls were closing in. This was the worst part of the cleanse last time. I even chundered on the first day. While at work. Midday. I’ll always remember the day because that’s when I learned that word. Chunder. (The nice lady who said, “You better not chunder on my Marc Jacobs bag” did not like that I took to calling her “chunder thighs” after that, but who would?) I’ll also forever remember the cooked apple, zucchini and quinoa, but that’s a little much to dwell on right now.

The caffeine’s iron grip moved from the base of my head to the front. There were points today that felt like my eyeballs had been scooped out with a melon baller and placed back in the sockets. I had a dull ache behind my face. Not the best state for copy editing. All this pain has caused me to question coffee. Not to worry, I’ll be drinking it again soon enough. But, if something can wreak such havoc on your body to give up is that reason not to consume it? Or reason not to quit it?

It’s not like I drink copious amounts of the stuff, but two mugs are a regular part of my morning. Weekends can see a latte plus a cappuccino or two, and maybe the random after-work rendez-vous. I don’t “need” it to wake up or take care of other coffee-related business. However, clearly, my body makes no bones about having a difficult time of letting go, regardless of what I consider to be in the realm of reasonable. It does give me pause to only drink coffee when it’s really good. In general, unless I’m on a roadtrip, I’d rather go without than drink something that’s not going to be good. I’ve been known to go out to breakfast, only to leave the brunch joint un-coffee’ed to order a latte across the street. This kind of hurt is not worth sub-par swill. (After today, I doubt I’ll attempt this gastrointestinal retreat anytime soon.) Withdrawal is for quitters. And, I just can’t quit you, cup o’ Joe.

I knew things were getting bad when all I wanted to do was lie down for a nap. Even the thought of knitting does not bring me respite. I just want this feeling to go away. I am not myself, right now. Although there are plenty of healthy habits that come along with what I’m doing (yoga, meditation, sipping buckets of hot water, eating mindfully, freshly-cooked meals, soups), my gut’s not cool with hitting the pause button on everything it knows. Just cutting out snacking and focusing on 3 meals a day has been a bit rough. Granted, I’m not doing it by the letter of the law, otherwise I would have eaten three hours ago. Sure, I’ll suffer and let it slip on time, but I will stress over whether to eat butter, because the focus of our meals are vegan, except the ghee. (That’s clarified butter.)

Heck, maybe it’s not just coffee. It could be me. I didn’t do my self-massage with oil. (Minds out of the gutter. I really liked it back in the fall.) I was supposed to exercise beyond my yoga, but how I felt prevented me from running. The timing of my meals is off. (That said, I’m feeling better now as I hunger for overdue dinner than I did when I was eating lunch on time. I understand the slippery slope of cleanse into eating disorder. No fear of my falling off that cliff. There’s plenty of bread and caramels and seafood in my future.) I could beat myself up about not doing it perfect enough, but that’s not the point either. Food for thought. Or thought for thought.

The towel’s not thrown in, but I’m definitely considering it.

Spring Cleansing

Monday, April 18th, 2011

It’s clear to me that I don’t have the most altruistic and / or spiritually-enlightened reasons for doing this cleanse. Deep down inside, I’m hoping it a silver bullet to drop 15 pounds (very unreasonable over 10 days) and a kick-start to a life of healthy habits. If that was true, why am I doing it a second time? Shouldn’t the yogic living already be ingrained in me from the first time around? Why am I so upset by numbers on a scale? A scale that I have read (and experienced personally) to be inconsistent in reporting numbers. Nonetheless, I am. I know that doing this reflects a deep unsettled feeling or inadequacy in my psyche that I am attached to. Maybe I can just work on letting that go and let this be about 10 days of trying something new and developing a closer relationship with my body and learning how to listen to it more closely.

Heading over to the first class for the cleanse, kind of an intro meeting / dinner / mini yoga class, I was very stressed out. Of course I was running late, but the reason I was delayed was I had misplaced my wallet. Even upon calling the place where we had lunch, then figuring out it’s possible I left it at the coffee place, I felt unsettled, upset and not wanting to be there. I knew there was nothing I could do about my wallet at that moment and that I wasn’t going to devote the time to call up the credit cards to cancel, but still I was stressing. (Not to worry, it was found at the coffee place and they tweeted my dog to let me know.)

Walking into a yoga studio can either be calming or nerve-wracking. It could be a blissed out intuitive sanctuary. Or, it’s a new space, where I am not a regular, so I don’t understand how the flow of traffic, I can’t figure out where to put my stuff and change. Because of my own mind state and the oddly curtained narrow hallways and multiple doors to bodywork rooms, I was more of the later. Even before stuff began, I felt like I was wasting my money. That I would just fall off the horse again. That I was fooling myself and not really going to get a lot out of this because look at my life: it’s a series of failures and things I have quit. (I know none of this is true, but that’s how my mind works.)

That all said, when we stood up on our yoga mats, even in my jeans, I had a moment of feeling home. Look, I know I’m a honky who grew up in an evangelical Christian background, and that I dabbled for ten years of (really good) yoga at work, but never sustained a home practice. So it wasn’t so much that the yoga studio or the modality of movement (and we did minimal stuff) was perfect. My body was just really grateful that I was moving a little. It gave a little grin when I ate the dinner of rice, mung beans and simple salad. A whispered, silent “thank you” for doing something good for me on a deep, no, deeper level.

I still haven’t shopped for all of my groceries for the next four days of gentle eating. I’m relying on the crutch of the eating plan to drive my consumption. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to be holding onto a hope that this is temporary and that I’ll see infomercial-type results in the next two weeks. I’m already looking forward to a return to pizza, burritos, nachos, beer and bread. I don’t feel like I’m 100% ready to follow this to the letter of the “law,” and I’m afraid of doing this alone, without the support of my coworker Michele, like last time. Heck, I’m not even faking it until I make it.

But somewhere deep down, there’s that quiet voice. Maybe it’s even an invisible nod. My true self’s approval of living a little more in my body. Not going for the quick hit of superficial pleasure, but instead orienting myself on a path that is just a little more right. It’s not really about losing weight or cure-all’s. It’s a nudge towards more balance. A meaningful gift to my body and mind. A break from the easy way out and a moment in something truly better. It’s too soon to say whether this is going to be a miraculous transformation or the theme of my 38th year on the planet. And it may never be said. I’m just going to hop out of the way of indulgence and try to savor the joy and satisfaction and fulfillment mindfulness can bring.

I’m sure there’s a way to mindfully enjoy a beer, once a week. But that’s not part of this here and now. Not for the next two weeks, at least.


Monday, August 16th, 2010

I almost didn’t get this in. Too focused since 4pm. Wow, just realized that was 9+ of work. The weekend ended over an hour ago and I’m just headed to bed.

I would like to master shorter, more frequent bursts of productivity. Much progress tonight. More to do, however, this pace isn’t sustainable. Work- and wool-wise.

The coming week may prove to be a doozy. C is off to shoot OR by himself. I’m single-parenting and hoping to be social. A big launch MIGHT happen this week, assuming an agreement gets signed tomorrow (which is already today). And, then there are the challenges of feeding myself and leaving for/from the office at reasonable hours.

Perhaps not so much typing practice this week. Let’s wait and see.

Not quite right

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

My left foot.

It hurts. Been hurting for over a year. Mostly at the start of the day. It’s often so bad that I limp.

I assumed the pain would simply go away. That perhaps I bruised it jumping down off the rope at circus class and it needed time. Then, I thought it was simply tired out tootsies from being on my feet all day teaching at Sock Summit. Around New Year’s I tried to run it off. Push past the pain.

I tried to treat it with ice, rest, massage, acupuncture, ART. I could get the joints in my foot to pop at times when rubbing them. When I started rolling it in a golfball, I was struck by a recovered memory. There was that one day I had accidentally kicked the metal leg of the couch. Really hard. Barefoot, of course. Was that it?

The hurt is difficult to describe. My first steps in the morning burned on the sole. Like a fascial irritation but centered on the ball of my foot toward the outside (unlike plantar fascitis). But there was also a dull ache on the top of the foot, but deep. The bones felt congested, as if there wasn’t enough room for all of them. I wanted to break open the foot and spread everything out.

As I haven’t seen any major progress as months went on, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I may simply have to live with this. Another ache and pain as a result of getting older. My running and athletic days were over. C’est la vie, non?

Something just wasn’t right in my foot. If it had been broken, I assumed I would have been in excruciating agony. Instead, I couldn’t point my toe as well and never felt comfortable in any shoe nor barefoot.

Lately, my only solace has been five-toed socks and toe stretchers. They bring circulation and sensation to the area. I may have ordered some freaky looking slip-ons that should come later this week (they now come in wool!).

Looking at my foot today (being home from work), I noticed how off my “ring finger” toe is. Like a mis-mounted stitch, it has a different orientation than all the other four. One of these things is not like the others… Why did it take me a year to see this?

No wonder things feel out of place. No, I haven’t gone to see a doctor or had it x-ray’ed. I know what good used to feel like. And I miss it. I want it to get better. My foot is sending a message that hurt is not sustainable. I need to get aligned.

(this is also a metaphor.)