Posts Tagged ‘health’


Taking Stock: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

April 2, 2012

My brain’s been on overdrive lately, and it occurred to me that I could probably classify a lot of these random thoughts as the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (warning: some brooding ahead! Perhaps not in number, but the Good indeed outweighs the Bad/Ugly). (And how can you not dig that theme song? They don’t write ’em like they used to.)


It’s damn nice in DC these days. Friday was a little dreary, but I took a friend to Ellicott City for some antiquing and cool-little-old-railroad-town-adventuring. Sunday was lovely and my first trip to the National Arboretum lovelier. Seriously – what a gem! I’m embarrassed that I’ve lived in the area for almost six years and only now made it out there.

Some of the azaleas are in bloom out at the arboretum. Judging by the number and size of the plants out there, when the entire azalea garden is in bloom, it's like a 5-year old's tea party exploded in the woods.

It’s good, damn good, to adventure locally.

I get to adventure not-so-locally soon, too! In two weeks I’ll be in Columbus, MS. It’s not near anything and apparently the town could stand some more attractions, but I have friends in the Air Force who are stationed there, and I’m excited to have a random week off to visit them. Looking forward to a week of relaxing, hanging out with my friends’ awesome baby, and heading up to Memphis. I’d like to, nay, neeto go to Graceland.

Why the random week off?

I start a new job in three weeks. This is a good move, but there’s a little bad involved, too. I’m trying to embrace the uncertainty inherent in transition and roll with the punches. It’s an incredible opportunity, but there are some challenges…


I’m going to be exhausted for the foreseeable future. This new opportunity is awesome, but pretty intense. Having recently finished grad school where I worked some crazy hours while trying to do school, too, I’m OK with intense. I’d feel more comfortable if the following weren’t also true:

My physical health is crap right now. The hip/knee/ass pain/crap/bah is bad right now. I know I shouldn’t run, so I haven’t been, and it’s starting to make me a little twitchy. Not because I think I’m some amazing, super runner girl or something, but because I’m a little stressed finishing up my current job and getting ready to start a new one. Running relives my stress. Much better than my historic alternative:

Hello, gorgeous. My mouth waters just thinking about you.

When the going gets tough, I get going in the direction of dark chocolate-covered almonds and cupcakes. Until recently, when I went in the direction of my running shoes and a nice trail.

I went for a walk with a friend today at lunch, and I was lamenting my current limited activity and pending maelstrom of life changes (oh, did I mention? In addition to changing jobs, I’ll need to move, too! Just a local move, but one more layer of things to think about). I told her that I was upset that I’d come so far (lost 30 pounds, gained ability to run double-digit miles), and I didn’t want to regress. Her response? “You’re not the same person now that you were 30 pounds ago.”

Trying to keep that in mind…not interested in growing backwards with time (excellent song; not an excellent direction for my waistline). In the past, I haven’t always managed transitions well, slipping back into old (bad) habits. It bothers me that I feel like crap. I’m a little anxious about diving into this new adventure when I don’t feel so great physically. Trying not to let the physical blah turn into a mental blah.


I’m struggling to alleviate the pain. This is my only ugly, but it’s a big one. I’ve never had pain that I couldn’t alleviate. I can lay down or apply ice and feel better for a bit, but since going off of the prednisone, I think the pain is worse. I called my doctor today, and she’s out of town. So while I wait for her to come back, I’m to have my hip x-rayed. And…wait, I guess. I’ll try more foam rolling, stretching, etc., but nothing seems to make the discomfort go away. Sometimes it’s not quite pain, and I’m grateful for those times. Other times I wake up at night because it just freaking hurts.

To throw a small wrench into the problem (small because I’m grateful I have insurance at all), right now I have health insurance that I buy…and I haven’t made my deductible yet. So treatment is potentially quite costly. I’ll have new health insurance with the new job, but I’m not sure yet when that will start…and I hope that if I start in on a treatment that seems to be working, I won’t have to interrupt it because my insurance changes.

I’m a problem solver, a fixer, and not knowing what to do to ease what’s going on has me stumped.

[That crush on Eddie Vedder from 1994? Yeah, I still got it.]

I don’t know what I did, but I wish I could undo it. Ctrl-Z, Ctrl-Z!!

Except for the "good" things. Keep those!

Sorry for a somewhat Debbie Downer post. In general, I’m optimistic, and I keep reminding myself that I can choose my reaction, it will all work out in the end, blah blah blah [insert trite motivationalspeak].

Bitching won’t help. Really, I just want a gin and tonic, a damn chocolate chip cookie, an uninflamed leg/hip/body part, and the knowledge that if I go pick up a new pair of running shoes, they won’t just as soon end up back on the shelf. I’ll settle for just trying to keep my head up and enjoying these damn fine days, one day at a time.

Would happily accept gifts of gin and cookies, though.


Three Things Thursday: Gratitude

January 6, 2012

The adage to have an “attitude of gratitude” simultaneously inspires me and grates on my nerves, probably because it has become trite. I know I need to be better at practicing gratitude, though, and was all the more inspired to do so when I read this seemingly harmless advice column in the NYT about food and dining. I hope that FloFab is joking when she suggests, in the third response, that the writer bring her own dishes and silverware.

But, really, it just pisses me off to read the question from the third writer. If you’re appalled that someone would use disposable dishes and silverware at a holiday and question whether or not you would spend time with family if it means facing such “treatment” again, well, madam, you’ve missed the point entirely. I wish FloFab had simply said: Be grateful for time spent with family, precious as it may be, for we know not when we may be so unfortunate as to have neither family nor feast.

Which brings me to being more grateful…

With my mom and sister. We are normally not as fancy as the tree implies, but it's fun to pretend, right?

1. The obvious: good family and friends. I was grateful to spend the waning days of 2011 with family and friends that are like family. I have no poetic words for what they mean to me, but friends and family are always on my mind and in my heart, and I marvel – probably not often enough – at how absolutely rich I am in this department.

2. Good health. Sure, I’ve got a nagging hip and occasional knee pain, but I’m reminded every few days about a friend, family member, friend of friend, etc. with serious health challenges. And having felt chronically sick for most of my youth, I don’t take it for granted that, these days, I am rarely sick. (Related aside: I attribute much of my current good health to moving to an apartment with hardwood floors, running regularly, and eating more fruits and vegetables. I’m a poster child for what “they” always tell you.)

3. The times when I didn’t feel very grateful. Looking back, they seem ridiculous, and that helps me dig out of the muck when I’m prone to self-pity or when I otherwise lose perspective.


And, finally for today, apropos of nothing except that I just read it and I think it’s awesome: please direct your attention to this great post over at orangespicedrop on her “Couch to Backpacking” program. I like couches. And programs that get you off of them. And, kudos to her for reminding me that I need to go backpacking again this year…which requires more feelings of gratitude to get over my lingering feelings of anger toward Southwest… gratitude means I won’t post a picture of the Great Southwest Debacle…today, anyway.