Rush Rush Rush

The world is always in a hurry.

Today on my drive home from work, I am stopped at a red light. The light turns green. I am actually paying attention to the fact that it has turned green. I look around to make sure nobody is going to T-bone me if I pull out into the intersection. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

Really? The light just turned green. I am not waiting on a particular shade of green. I just want to make sure moving forward won’t send me to my death because of a red light runner.

During Christmas vacation, my daughter and I went out shopping much later then we normally would. Traffic was very light. We came to a red light. I stopped with the intention of just briefly stopping and then turning on the red light. There was no traffic coming. The moment my car came to a complete stop, the driver behind me lays on the horn and pulls around me. I wasn’t camping out here, buddy. I was simply stopping at the red light. It is the law, you know.

Then there are those people that pass you like you are standing still, only to see them again when they get caught at the same red light.

Don’t forget the people that are complaining when there is one person in front of them in the checkout line.

I have a friend that once told me she is always rushing. Even when there is all the time in the world to do something, she can’t turn off the rush mode. She didn’t know why she was always in a hurry.

I spend more time trying to hurry along my teenager then actually hurrying myself. I try not to feel rushed. I wait patiently in lines. I try to leave in plenty of time to get where I am going. On school days, we are sometimes running late but once we get in the car, I am going to go the speed limit and not pass people like a mad women to try get there faster. Sometimes it means I am a few minutes late for work. Luckily, my employer is very lenient about those kind of things.

Most of us have to much stress in our life. Simply slowing down can reduce it.

My daughter says it best. When I tell her she is out of minutes for something, she tells me we are never out of minutes. That is almost true. As long as you are breathing, there are more minutes.

Dodging the Bullet

I had a doctor appointment this week. When I left, I felt like I had dodged a bullet. In spite of being morbidly obese, all my lab results were just fine. I am sure the bullet will eventually hit me if I don’t change my ways. Like Ebenezer Scrooge, I have seen the future and it is not a pretty sight.

One of my goals for 2015 is to lose weight. I can’t say I’ve been trying yet. I have been walking. Not the 5 times a week that I envisioned, but regularly. I am going to work my way up to more days. My daughter walks with me. She encourages me to go even when I don’t feel like it.

I have also been trying new recipes. That was also one of my 2015 goals. Most weeks I have exceeded my goal of one new recipe a week. Most of the recipes I have tried have been Asian. Some are keepers, so are not. All have been deemed edible by my picky teenager.

Now I need to put some effort into losing weight.

I have done Weight Watchers successfully in the past. I never stick with it long enough to get to a goal weight, though. One of my coworkers does Weight Watchers right now and she is not happy with the changes they have made recently. I pulled up an app I have on my phone and it is still using the program prior to the changes. I’m not sure if that is really what I want to do.

For the next week I want to commit to the following:

  1. Lay off the candy. I have been eating way to much of it lately.
  2. Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day.
  3. Limit Diet Coke consumption to 1 a day.
  4. Make/Bring lunch and breakfast 4/5 days.
  5. Walk at least 3 times.
  6. Exercise some portion control.

What are your plans this week?

 

Paper Beads – The Learning Process

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I bought some new bead making tools. I like them so much better than the gadget I was using before. I have so much more control over the paper as it is rolled.

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I love this marbled paper. After watching a few youtube videos, I decided to buy a cutting mat, metal cork backed ruler, and an Exacto knife. The woman demonstrating the technique made it seem so simple to cut without making lines to follow.

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I had a bit of trouble in the beginning. I had quite a few cuts that weren’t quite right. Apparently it isn’t as simple as it seems.

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After a while, I got the hang of it. Running the Exacto knife down the side of the ruler is much faster and straighter than trying to do it with scissors.

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Most of the beads are shaped like I wanted, small and round. There are a few rogue ones in the bunch that were made with paper I cut wrong.

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I need some more practice. They are not exactly symmetrical. I don’t think the small beads are as pretty as the paper they were made out of.

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I made a batch of bigger beads to see if I liked them better. I think the larger ones do look a bit better.

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I think next time I need to trim the point of the triangle before I start rolling the bead. That will make them look a bit cleaner and neater.

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Which do you like better?

Tattoos and Depression

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Last summer, to celebrate my 45th birthday, I got my first tattoo.

I have wanted a tattoo since I was 12 years old. This was about the time my parents separated. My father was not a traditional kind of guy. He had a long hair, a full beard, a few tattoos and drove a Harley Davidson. Yep…my dad was a biker. He drove that Harley right up to our state capitol with his 12 year old daughter behind him to spend a week with hundreds of other bikers to protest the helmet law.

The group, which for the record was not a gang, camped together for the week. The highlight of the trip was a helmetless convoy to the capital building where we filled the observation area and sat in on the legislative session. I don’t know if it was the House or the Senate, but I do remember the sound of hundreds of bikers chanting, “let those who ride decide.” One of our government representative held up a piece of paper that said, ‘ helmet law sucks.’ I wish I knew who that guy was.

There were two tattoo artists set up in the camping area. All week I watched people walking around with their brand new tattoos. I begged my father to let me get one. I wanted a mushroom on my shoulder. As unconventional as my father was, he wasn’t going to return his preteen daughter to her mother with a tattoo. Regardless of whether or not either of the artists would have done it, the answer was no.

So my tattoo got put on hold.

When I was 19, I was close to getting one. I was hanging out with a guy that had a couple. A few days before my first date with the man who would become my husband, I watched my friend get another tattoo. I started thinking about what I would want. When I shared this information with the man who would become my husband, he was less than enthusiastic. That was probably when I realized there was a certain stigma attached to women with tattoos. Ladies didn’t do things like that back then. If you had a tattoo, you probably weren’t a lady in mainstream societies eyes.

So my tattoo got put on hold.

I really didn’t think about it again for over 20 years. I started considering it again about a year before I got it. I shared this information with my husband and he was less than enthusiastic. However, I could do what I want.

I went to a consolation. I put down a deposit. I made an appointment for a week later. What a long stressful week. I gave my husband the opportunity to be the voice of reason, but he wasn’t going to tell me I couldn’t do it. Right or wrong, it was my decision to make. Up until the moment the needle made contact with my body, I wasn’t sure if I would go through with it. Once the needle made contact with my skin, I knew it was to late to change my mind.

Then a funny thing happened. The world stopped. The music that was to loud faded in the distance. The only two people in the world at that moment were the tattoo artist and me. He was in his own zone once he started tattooing. The feeling was so amazing that I understand why people want to do it again and again.

Then it was over.

When it was over, I felt shell shocked. I drove home in a daze. I was very self conscious about the tattoo and there was immediate regret. What was I thinking.

Once it healed, I started the plans for my second tattoo. I can’t do a sleeve because of work, but I have tossed the idea of getting my whole calf tattooed around. I was obsessed with thinking about it.

Then a funny thing happened. I started taking antidepressants and the urge to get another tattoo is gone. I have half heartily attempted to research if there is a connection with getting tattoos and depression without much success. The only thing I saw was an unconfirmed source stating a medical organization grouped tattooing into the self mutilation category, the same as cutting yourself.

I no longer regret my tattoo. I am no longer self conscious about it. It is a part of me. I am no longer planning another one. Not to say it won’t happen, but there is no uncontrollable urge to get another.

Pretty in Pink

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When I was in my teens and twenties I cross stitched. When I was in my thirties I bought cross stitch charts…lots of charts. I bought them all with the intention of doing them one day. Most were for big elaborate pieces. I got rid of them in my forties. We remodeled and I purged a lot of things in the process. It still hurts a bit. It is like unfulfilled dreams. Even if I wanted to cross stitch now, I couldn’t. All those tiny squares and symbols are to much for my forty five year old eyes.

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Paper beads are getting me back in touch with my former crafty persona, the crafty Candace I once considered myself. In the years since my daughter was born, crafty Candace peeked out once in awhile. My daughter was a active Girl Scout for 9 years. I was very active with her. I was even the troop leader for her last year of Juniors. That was a very crafty year. I also learned to crochet several years ago. I have to force myself not to horde yarn like I used to horde those cross stitch patterns.

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The bead on top was made with my bead making gadget. The bead on the bottom was rolled with just my fingers. I prefer the bottom one. It is tighter and more even.

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I am looking forward to the next batch already.

One down, eleven to go

Something odd happened. I blinked and January is almost over.

Overall, I am pretty happy with how things have went. I feel like a totally different person then I did two months ago…before antidepressants. I read that you might not be sad anymore once you start on medication, but you aren’t happy either. You are just feel numb. I felt like that for a few weeks. Lately I have felt so happy that it is slightly annoying at times. I know that sounds weird. I am so happy I annoy myself. It isn’t lasting annoyance, just a brief moment then it is gone. I will take it over the uncontrollable anger I felt before.

 I have had more energy, too. I have been channeling it into some walks with my daughter and a daily to do list. I keep an index card on my desk at work and add things to the list throughout the day. I usually don’t finish everything on the list, but I am doing more around the house on a daily basis then I have in years.

This week we had to replace our dryer. After a year or so of squeaking, it decided it was done. It will be delivered tomorrow. I wasn’t ready to buy a dryer, but at least I can cross one 2016 goal off my list.

Paper Beads

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For Christmas I got this nifty little gadget to make your own paper beads.

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Today I took it out for the first time. Basically you cut your paper, slide the end of the paper between two metal prongs, and turn the crank to wind to paper into a bead.

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This is some paper that came with the gadget. It has lines to cut on. I need to buy a ruler to help me cut my own paper out.

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Here is my first bead. It is going to take some practice to get good at it. It felt good to be crafty again.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!!

I’m Candace. I have been a wife for 21 years and a mother for 15. Somewhere during those years, I lost who I am.

2015 was a trying year. I don’t expect the beginning of 2016 to be any better. My fifteen year old daughter and myself are battling depression. When it finally got bad enough for me to go to the doctor, I was immediately put on antidepressants and suddenly my world is a lot better. Unfortunately, it has not been that easy for my daughter. It has been several months since we started the process with her and we are still going thru a series of appointments with different professionals trying to get her the relief she needs. It has been frustrating to say the least.

I will continue to advocate for my daughter’s health in 2016. I would also like to devote more time to finding myself. Here are some goals I am setting for 2016.

Myself

  • Walk at least 5 times a week (I was told by my doctor and my daughter’s councilor that it would be beneficial.)
  • Be diligent about taking my medication. (I take the antidepressant and something for lowering blood pressure. Before the antidepressant, I was kind of sporadic about taking the blood pressure medication.)
  • Turn off electronics 30 minutes before bed.
  • Be diligent about my periodontal maintenance. I have had some issued. I need to floss daily and use the special rinse that I was told to use 5 months ago and have only done about twice.)
  • Bring lunch from home at least 4 of 5 work days.
  • Lose weight. (I know, very cliché. I need to lose about 100 pounds to be on the high side of a normal weight range.)
  • Save $20 a week from my weekly ‘allowance’ to use for rewards for losing weight.

Family

  • Try a new recipe every week. (My daughter is sick of the things we have regularly.)
  • Have a family vacation with my husband’s sister and her family. (I have mixed feelings about this.)
  • Save $20 a week to help defray the cost of said vacation.

Household

  • Buy a new dryer.
  • Be more diligent about keeping things tidy.
  • Grow something edible in the garden.

I look forward to spending 2016 with you. I wish you and yours the best the world has to offer.