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Posts Tagged ‘blogging is the new therapy’

Dear Baby,

Get out.

I’m sorry, that was rude. You’re new here (or, at least, you will be), so maybe you don’t know the rules yet.

When someone invites you over (with an expected end date), feeds you, houses you, and doesn’t complain (much) when you kick them in the ribs or squeeze their bladder, it’s only polite to leave at the appropriate time.

Maybe you’re nervous about the next steps, or maybe you’re just incredibly comfortable, which is all understandable. And that’s why most hosts, myself included, will be flexible with a day or two.

A full week is pushing it, my friend.

I am tired. I am tired of lugging around 30+ extra pounds, and running out of breath going up and down the stairs.

At this point, I would gladly trade waking up in the middle of the night to feed you, for the current situation of waking up multiple times to pee.

I’d like to be able to stand up from the couch, without needing a nudge from your father.

And I’d love to be able to walk anywhere without waddling.

But mostly, Baby, I just want to meet you. So does Husband; so does Manny, though, in fairness, he might think you’re a toy at first.

See? He's anxiously awaiting your arrival.

See? He’s anxiously awaiting your arrival.

You also have two grandparents already here to meet you, and one on her way shortly. And you do not want to keep any of them waiting.

I know it’s been a long, cold, snowy winter. And maybe you’re just making sure that spring is real before you make your debut. Maybe you’re waiting until the Phillies have a winning record (don’t – we don’t have that long), or until Manny’s birthday, so you can always share a party. (I wouldn’t recommend it, though – he’ll always go after your cake.)

But I want you to know we’re ready for you. As ready as we’ll ever be.

And there are countless friends and family members (pets included) who are also anxious to meet you and sniff you and hold you and love you.

So don’t think of this as an eviction notice, but as a gentle nudge toward the outside world.

I promise it’s not so bad out here.

I already love you,

Mama

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To the thief/thieves at the Herndon dog park on Sunday:

I hope it was worth it.

brokenwindow

I hope the whopping $20 in my wallet and the $10 in coins (meant for our son’s first piggy bank, by the way) completely made your day and changed your life.

And while you were at it – rifling through my bag, and likely tossing everything you couldn’t spend immediately (hopefully you didn’t overlook the Home Depot and Crate and Barrel gift cards) – I hope you took a minute to appreciate the things that you acquired in your crime of opportunity.

  • I hope you appreciated all my old school IDs and licenses, that I kept as a little trip down memory lane. And good luck trying to pronounce my name if you decide to try to use it for anything.
  • I hope you appreciated the family photos in my wallet. I had senior portraits of my parents and my brother, and one family photo of the four of us. Not to mention Husband’s baseball card.
  • I hope you appreciated the sonogram photos of our first baby. You now have his very first picture – the one that I cried happy tears over when I found out I was really, truly pregnant.
  • I hope you enjoyed the magazine article I kept tucked in my wallet: “10 Reasons You Still Need Your Mother.” And I’m sure you’ve noted that breaking someone’s car window is not on that list.

And I hope you enjoy the other odds and ends that you found – the sunglasses that I’ve had for seven years without sitting on, losing, or breaking them in any way (a record!); the purse itself, that I got while studying abroad in 2005; the planner that took me forever to buy, because I’m just that picky; and the Kong that I was going to give Manny on the way home from the park. Congratulations – you stole from a puppy, too.

I hope all of that is useful to you, because none of it is worth anything at this point to anyone but me (and Manny).

I know you won’t read this. I know you won’t give me a second thought. But I will think of it every time I drive to the dog park and there are no other cars there – I’ll turn right around so that I’m not a sitting duck.

I will sink into myself a little bit more whenever someone sidles too close.

I will lock the front door when I take the dog for a walk, even though it’s only 15 minutes.

And I will startle easily if I hear a strange sound outside, when before I would have attributed it to nature or the neighborhood.

I will remember that these are not the suburbs I grew up in, and that might be the most upsetting part.

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It’s no secret that I love hot yoga. And when I head to a class, I make sure to prepare myself. I have two towels, two bottles of water (at least), and likely an extra shirt. Plus the mindset that hot yoga requires – it will be hard; you’ll sweat your ass off; and you’ll probably slip on the mat or floor at least once.

Last night, however, I chose a non-heated class.

I wanted something a little less strenuous, a little less slippery, and a little more centering.

Of course, I was stressed from leaving work late, rushed to the class and forgot my water bottle – not the best start to a lovely meditative practice. But I lay on mat, trying to relax and focus – secure in the knowledge that this class would be far cooler than I was used to. Just what I needed.

Not even 15 minutes in, I was already sweating.

Okay, I thought. There are a lot of people; it’s a smaller space. But the instructor is adjusting the thermostat – I’m sure he’s making it cooler.

Which was quickly followed by, but then why are there puddles around my mat? And damn me for forgetting my water!

I started wondering if it was even possible to do non-heated yoga in the DC summer. Maybe the heat and humidity just permeate everywhere. Maybe there’s no escape.

Until the instructor announced, “Sorry everyone. The thermostat isn’t working. I have the air on, but it doesn’t seem to be doing anything. Don’t worry, though. I’ll report it to the building management.

And suddenly all those little puddles made sense, and I was back to cursing my lack of water.

I tried to get back to my intention, but my mindset was all off. All I could think of was powering through, cooling off, and changing into clothes that weren’t dripping.

There was a moment during the final resting pose that I thought I might have found my center again. The room was dark and quiet, and I’d just gotten a grasp on my intention.

But as soon as the instructor asked us to sit up, all too soon, I might add, my first thought was, What a shitty shavasana.

Center: still lost.

I’m already signed up for several more classes next week – all non-heated – so here’s hoping that they fix the thermostat in time.

Or that I remember my water.

But preferably the thermostat. And a longer shavasana.

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Thanks to the wonder (or devil, as you like) that is Timeline, I can unequivocally say that today is my 8 year Facebook anniversary.

More than anything else in my life, that makes me feel old.

More than friends having babies; more than getting married; more than the Beloit mindset lists.

More than my impending 10-year high school reunion; more than 19-year-olds in major league baseball.

More than babysitting a kid who says, “Whoa! You were born in the 80s??” with a mix of wonder and horror.

Social networking is what does it.

Congratulations, Facebook. You win.

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When I write out my birthday lists, a year always seems like plenty of time to do everything I want to do.

Then there’s one month left before my birthday and half the list still unchecked, and I remember that I’m a born procrastinator.

This year is no different. I’m scrambling on some things (Duck Tour, DC United), and missed the window on others (Colorado visit, Phillies playoffs *tear*). But there are also a few that I’m not quite sure how to evaluate, because they’re actually ongoing projects. Like these two:

17) Be slow to judgment.

18) Let go of old grudges.

I’ll be honest, #17 could be going better. I still judge. But am I slower to judgment than I used to be? Does progress count? I’d like to think it does. And I generally feel better when I’m less judge-y.

(Although, as I wrote that I remembered an extremely cathartic bitch session with a classmate about the rest of our class…so maybe it’s too soon for progress.)

Letting go of old grudges has been slightly more successful. It’s still an ongoing process (and I’m excluding sports grudges because, well, I just am), but it’s been freeing. But again, is it truly something I can just cross off, dust off my hands, and say, done with that?

The concrete things on my list, those I can check off (or push to next year). But the attitude adjustments, well, maybe that’s just a whole separate life list.

And you know me, I love a good list.

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To say that I struggle with my weight would be an understatement.

In addition to changing my diet and exercising, I have tried countless diet pills, juices, and fads over the years. In fact, the first time I lied about my age wasn’t to get into an R-rated movie, impress a boy, or buy cigarettes; it was to buy diet pills at GNC.

About six years ago I decided that the best way to diet was to simply count calories, eat healthy, and go to the gym every day. And it worked. In the course of a summer I lost about 15 pounds.

And I was living off roughly 1000 calories a day.

At the time, I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. I was thrilled that the weight was coming off like that! And I reveled in the days that I made it all 24 hours on less than 1000 calories. It became a game.

A very dangerous game.

I should have known that it wasn’t sustainable. That summer I was living at home, not going out much (if at all), and working more than 40 hours a week.

I had no life, but by god I was skinny!

And then it all went to shit when I re-entered the real world by studying abroad and going back to college. The pounds came creeping back on and I became more and more frustrated, and more and more restrictive with my diet – an unfortunate method that has had lasting effects.

Not only had I severely slowed my metabolism, according to the nutritionist I was instructed to see, but my entire view of food was warped. I’d eat the occasional cheese fries (because my self-control was also shot), but I’d constantly be thinking about what I couldn’t have because of that indulgence. Or how many miles I’d have to do to balance it out. I thought of foods as expensive (lots of calories) and cheap (not so many), and it was exhausting.

I’ve been dieting for 6+ years without ever again seeing the number on the scale that I saw that first summer. And it made me feel like I was failing.

Until now.

Because now, at the risk of sounding like a commercial, I’m on Weight Watchers. BNF and I have been doing it for the past month (inspiration: less than five months ’til the wedding!) and we’re actually seeing noticeable results. The difference between these results, though, and the ones from six years ago is that I don’t feel like I’m punishing myself this time around.

I’m not so much restricting what I eat; I’m just making better choices. As a calorie-counter, I would have limited the fruit I ate during the day because it adds up. As a points-counter, I’ve been snacking on fruit and veggies so much that the amount we buy never makes it through the week. That’s a good problem to have.

I’m finally happy with this method, and I haven’t really been able to say that since I started my dieting career.

While part of that happiness is spurred by the number on the scale, I ultimately just feel better in my own skin.

And that never happened with the calorie-counting.

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This morning, bright and early, I registered for classes for my very last semester of grad school.

The current semester will be over in just 5 weeks, and in 5.5 months I’ll be completely finished and able to add “M.A.” after my name. That doesn’t seem so very long in the grand scheme of things.

Of course, that doesn’t account for the final papers, the presentations, or the foreign language exit exam (anyone want to practice speaking French with me?), which I’m sure will make the months feel longer, but there is an end in sight.

I never have to register for classes again!” I told BNF triumphantly this morning (or, at least, as triumphantly as I could muster before I’d had my first diet coke).

Yeah,” he said. “Just wait until you decide to get your PhD.

No way. I don’t even want that.

You say that now – but, that’s just 26-year-old Elizabeth. Who knows what 36 or even 46-year-old Elizabeth will want?

Now, I’m sure that he’s wrong. I’m sure that I’ll remember this feeling of being so close to done, and I won’t want to go back. But, just in case…

Listen up, future-Elizabeths:

You do not want your PhD. You do not want to be a professor or an academic. You don’t want to write a book that some poor future grad students are going to be forced to read. It’s not for you.

And when you think, oh, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to go back to school…just remember how much you love your free weekends.

Plus, think how OLD you’ll feel trying to pull an all-nighter at 46. If you can’t even do it now, there’s not a lot of hope for you 20 years down the road.

Stay sane.

Love,

26-year-old Elizabeth

There. That ought to do it.

Now – is it April yet?

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