Stirrups

When you wake up on the morning of your annual well woman exam (what a cheesy name), you know it’s just not going to be a comfortable day. My experience has certainly changed over the years from my first attempt when I was 19 and thought I needed an exam to get BC to have sex, so went to my general practitioner who had been my doc since I was like 10 and he asked if I was sexually active (I wasn’t, I was planning ahead) and explained he didn’t want my first experience to be with a speculum (so awkward just remembering this convo), so he gave me a prescription for the blood clot causing patch and sent me on my way.

I’m much more comfortable talking about lady issues now (obviously since I’m writing about it for all the interwebbers to read) and fortunately I have a doc I love so much that I drive 45 minutes to see her, as I did yesterday.

The appointment started with the nurse telling me my doc had a student with her today and would that be okay, which it was. The student came in first to chat and do the beginning of the exam and she looked familiar, which I guess is a good thing, but it was an awkward first few minutes trying to decide if I actually knew her before she started poking around. I didn’t.

Then I had to have the awesome convo where I admit I stopped talking my birth control pills because of “lack of need” and when I said I was thinking about going back on them, she asked if I had any new potential partners on the horizon, which was really a nice reminder that this might be the most action my vajayjay sees all year.

Gone are the days when I shave and prepare and worry about if I should keep my socks on (I wasn’t wearing socks anyway). It was the day before my wax appointment, so literally the situation was as bad as it gets and I didn’t shave my legs, so the now TWO women staring at my cervix probably understood why there was a lack of need for birth control at this point.

My doc asked if the student could do the exam, so I said sure, but of course she had a problem with her tool (my vagina apparently has this effect on people), so she poked for a while before they switched midstream and my doc finished up. Fantastic.

But, when I went to check out I had no co-pay and I still don’t really know why (the new healthcare laws that also cover BC now maybe?) , but that did help that I didn’t have to pay for the awkward encounter!

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Late Night Thoughts

On Sunday night, I could NOT sleep. I had a productive weekend and thought I was feeling great, but as soon as the lights went out, my mind was racing and mini-panic took over at the things I feel overwhelmed about.  I guess being productive with little stuff distracted me from the big stuff.

The big stuff:  my first maintenance issue at my house aka, my first time not being able to just call the management company; Lucky (things are still flipping 180 about every other day); puppy; work.

I was so happy when my alarm went off and I could get out of bed, even knowing I was going to be dragging, but at least I’d be moving forward.  I went to yoga and set my intention on action. 

I found two quotes yesterday:

Do not fear mistakes, there are none.

Which I needed because I’m afraid I’ve misstepped or I’m afraid to move forward because I don’t want to misstep.

And:

Stop waiting for things to happen. Go out and make them happen.

Which I needed because I know worrying about those things will get me nowhere and all I can do is my best to get things moving in a better, more calm direction.  Action > sitting still.

I did take some steps that will help me feel more in control, but in the end, Monday kind of won and I let it…waving my white flag and taking to bed EARLY, promising myself that it might not all come together today or tomorrow, but eventually things will even out and I guess that thought was comforting enough because I slept well.

What do you say in a moment like this?

After I posted on Tuesday about talking about uncomfortable feelings, I noticed my cousin had posted on the status of one of his friends.  His friend had basically posted a suicide note.   

There were some, “don’t do this” messages and a few, “hey man, give me a call” messages and a couple, “I hope this is a joke” comments as well.  It turned into a huge thread trying to locate him to stop anything from happening. 

I don’t know the guy, he lives in San Diego, but I was engrossed and followed it for the afternoon.  A group was created and discussion about his mental state and the issues he’s been dealing with lately were all discussed (including the idea that he’s in some legal trouble or has made a mess of his life and may or may not simply be faking a suicide in order to disappear). 

I guess it just made me sad.  Although a few people were mentioning that they had recently seen him and he seemed fine, I just wonder if he had tried to reach out to friends or family in the past few days.  Funny how something so definitive opens up the conversation about mental illness a heck of a lot faster (although you could still kind of sense the discomfort from some of the commenters and the fact that they were talking around him, still not to him).  To the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t been found one way or another yet.

My sister works in the mental health field and each year, she rounds up the fam to participate in a local charity walk for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The idea behind the walk is to destigmatize talking about mental illness.

She also has her own personal history of mental health issues. That’s why it was even harsher that she was one of the ones this weekend who ignored my comments that I was unhappy and lonely. The friend I reached out to also has had bouts of depression.  And perhaps my mom’s avoidance of my comment was a silent suggestion that I take up her method of coping with uncomfortable emotions?

I’m not saying feeling unhappy and lonely = checking into a psych ward, but I’m saying feeling unhappy and lonely and wanting to talk about it but being shot down = amplifying those feelings and feeling like they are wrong or bad and that I’m more alone than I thought.

Now, I’m sorry to say, but yes, I read Get Off My Internets (sometimes it crosses the line to just plain mean, but I like how it makes fun of the ridiculousness that is blogging). Yesterday I read a post critiquing fashion bloggers’ advice to “spruce yourself up to shake off depression,” to which partypants says, “Because when you suffer from clinical depression so crippling that it’s a monumental effort just to go to Walgreen’s for tampons, the least you can do is put on jeans and lipgloss so we don’t have to look at you.” 

I’m the first person to try to make an effort with how I look, to fake it til I make it to get out of a funk, but I realized with those words that I don’t know what a serious mental illness actually does to you.  A funk is not depressed.  Yes, I get sad, yes, I get lonely, but when I step back, those uncomfortable emotions make me happy to be alive to feel them because the alternative is not something I’m interested in. 

This one time, at church camp (yeah, I said it), a girl said she’d never kill herself because she likes herself too much.  She was made fun of for being so…well, I don’t know really…confident?  What? Like it’s so cool to be depressed and not like yourself?

But, that stuck with me, I guess because I feel the same way. Even if it makes me conceited to admit, I like myself.  I’m awesome.  And I’m fortunate enough to have balanced mental health that allows me to feel the uncomfortable emotions, but not let them take over.

But I still think the world would be a better place if people could talk about their emotions and if people would listen and talk back. Why not start with you?

Abstinence is a pain in the neck.

I have been to two chiropractors four times in a week and a half.  My back/shoulder/neck is still in just as much pain as it was when I started.  I moved my desk around so that there’s 0% strain to work at my computer.  I’ve been hitting the Advil pretty hard and spent much of this morning researching acupuncture and cupping before settling on a deep tissue massage.

As I was prone on the table listening to the masseuse’s mix CD turned up awkwardly loud to drown out the sounds of the gym that the clinic was attached to (and also listening to the sounds of the gym  because the CD wasn’t working), I wondered just how many 26-year-old women end up on that table because they’re on the cusp of breaking their very own no-sex record.

I usually just say I carry a lot of stress in my shoulders and that every now and then I need someone to help me pull them away from my ears (meaning the chiropractor, not a tall, dark and handsome man and his penis) but it’s bad this time around and that’s the only thing I can think of!

Sex not only helps reduce stress, the oxytocin and endorphins released during the mattress mambo are pain reducers as well.  Hello!  Need some of that in my life.

I’ve debated back and forth between doing it just to do it and holding out for another six months and throwing a party to commemorate my first year as a born again virgin.

Luckily for me, until one wins out, I learned a long time ago that exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy and happy people don’t kill their husbands.  They just don’t.  Hopefully happy people also don’t need to keep spending $150 weekly on medical treatment. 

Condoms are much cheaper.  A LOT of condoms are still much cheaper.  That’s A LOT of sex + oxytocin + endorphins. 

However, since oxytocin has this other, more obnoxious effect on me, tonight I’m just going with beer, a heating pad and my favorite new show, Happy Endings.

The Line

I’ve often wondered where my line would be if I started gaining weight.  This weekend I found it.

I don’t feel like I look like I’ve gained weight but I know I have because my jeans have gotten uncomfortable.  That was easy to blame on them just coming out of the dryer.  I thought about buying new jeans so I could be comfortable, but I don’t particularly like jeans and really have no use for them for the next seven months. 

Perhaps when you’ve given up on wearing your jeans in favor of flowy dresses, that could be the line, but it wasn’t.

While sometimes I curse the scale because it can have such an influence over a day, I’m glad I have it because the scale doesn’t lie and you can’t make excuses for it.  Without it, maybe I would have bought those bigger jeans and then another pair and then another.  Without the scale, I might have been one of those people whose wake up call is a picture of someone she doesn’t recognize until she double takes and realizes it’s her.

I crossed the line when I climbed on the dreaded scale on Sunday and saw 126.  I kinda always thought my line would be 130, but 126 was all I needed.  Yes, it still falls in the “normal” range for my height (5’3″) and yes, I know a lot of people would love to see 126 on their scale, but this is about me. 

The me who was at 122 after the holidays and pledged to lose five pounds in January. FAIL.  The me who thought I would at least lose those five pounds by the end of the WWW Challenge.  FAIL.  The me who works out six days a week.  NOT FAIR.

I promptly threw the scale under my bed.  Don’t get me wrong, it will be back with weekly appearances, but I’m not going to weigh myself daily anymore.  

I didn’t want to do a weight loss goal for the Spring Fever Challenge, but now I think I might because I don’t feel as clueless.  At the beginning of the year, I honestly thought it was holiday weight that would melt off on its own.  Now I can admit it’s going to take more work. 

I see the path that got me here and (I hope) I see the path that will get me back.  I’m not ready to write about it yet, at this point I’m just ready to say I found my line and I’m retreating.

A Good Week

After a funky start on Sunday, I had a good week.  Was it because it was only a four-day work week and I have been looking forward to forced family fun in the form of Dad’s birthday celebration + Steelers in the AFC Championship game this weekend? Perhaps.

For the most part, I was just in a blessed and happy mood all week.

My extra day off started with me being a lazy bum, sitting on my couch, but as I looked around, I thought, I really love my apartment, so I went shopping for some pretty little art pieces to express my love.  I’m quite noncommittal when it comes to art, so having these additions is huge!  I also FINALLY got a nice coffee maker

My knee started bothering me last week and has not quit.  On my Wednesday run it left me quitting early and mostly limping home (because it knows I should just give it a break, but I struggle with breaks).  This leisurely stroll when I was supposed to be training  and sweating killed me, but it did give me time to look around and realize I’m so grateful to be in Scottsdale and that it’s the prettiest place I’ve ever lived. My part of Scottsdale is more deserty than any other city I’ve lived in in Arizona and has an amazing view of the mountains.  I know someone from a different part of the country might not get it, but it’s beautiful to me!

And…my first date last night went really well!  I’ve come to not expect too much from the guys I’ve met online, but after a few duds and douches, I karmically earn a good one (it’s a scientific fact) and he was it.  Good conversation + good sushi.  Although I told him my theory about two-phase first dates (I don’t like them, I don’t do them), we took time after to stroll through some art galleries in Old Town Scottsdale (conveniently, every Thursdays there’s an ArtWalk I’ve always wanted to go to).

By the end, we had made a friendly wager on the game and we were talking about a few ideas for future dates without having to catch ourselves and tack on the awkward, “well, if you want to hang out again.”  It was nice to know that we had both pretty much settled on date #2 and knew that the other person felt the same (for me, barring him pulling out any huge red flags during the remainder of the date, I was pretty sure I’d want a second about 30 minutes in).

Today at lunch, I got new running shoes. Since being serious about running is a relatively new thing for me, I don’t realize the miles I put on my shoes and I have to remind myself that they need to be replaced often (hopefully that will help prevent any more injuries).  They’re cute, but they’ve promised to stay in their box until my knee actually feels better this time.  Or until race day.  Because next Saturday I’m running no matter what.

Tonight, I’m having Friday night pizza like when I was a kid thanks to a freebie coupon I got for donating blood last month.  I miss TGIF, but Army Wives Season 3 on DVD will make a fine substitute.  Oh, hello, weekend!

Unplugged

I’m going off the grid (starting yesterday).  During the holidays I took a little time away from technology by default, but this week I’m making a conscious effort to unplug for no reason at all (well, it is on my 101 list).  I imagine I’ll be well-rested, well-read and my shoulders will move away from my ears.  I’m going to be social.  Imagine that.  I might also attempt to figure out my life and create a plot to eliminate senseless crimes against the English language.

I’ve scheduled this post and tomorrow’s WWW update to go up while I’m on detox.  If they bore, feel free to abort the mission, but come back next week when you won’t be reading posts I cranked out in one night!

Me v. Me

I was really excited about signing up and creating a training schedule for my half-marathon.  It’s now three weeks away and I’m still excited and still on track, but it’s been hard!  I’m sure November 26th Emjaye would be in awe of January 8th Emjaye and the paces that I can now run, the distances I have covered, but January 8th Emjaye is not feeling so confident. 

Sometimes the runs feel great, but sometimes the numbers themselves are daunting and totally psyche me out before I even lace up.  Earlier this week, I had a restless last hour of sleep because I kept thinking I was missing my run that I was trying to fit in before work.  Then my alarm actually went off and I got up and headed to them gym and struggled.  Being sore from strength training was my excuse, but in reality it was largely mental.

I ran three of eight, went back and tried to sleep for thirty more minutes.  Then I took the mental health day, stretched and rolled because my legs actually got worse (note to self, weights OR power, not both, especially when I’ve been phoning in the strength for too long) and the next day I exchanged my rest day for a do-over.  Take that. 

Today it’s 12.  And (with my new Garmin on my wrist) I can do that too.

Eating Like a Grownup

Ugh, enough with the relationship crap, am I right?  I really am not always thinking about exes and future-exes and boys, boys, boys, I swear!

Case in point, today I wanted to switch gears and talk about wellness and food and all that good stuff.  One of the themes running through my many lists for 2011 is wanting to cook more and ensure that I’m eating healthy meals.  Yeah, we’re only a few days in, but so far, not so good. 

What types of things am I passing off as meals lately?  Christmas turkey leftovers, mustard and swiss on a Wasa cracker.  A Full Bar followed by string cheese and yogurt.  Coffee.  A crab cake and a handful of M&Ms (kind of separately).  PB&J (um, delicious, but I feel silly taking it to work because I am not actually 4).  McDonald’s.  Cereal for dinner.  Ugh.

And that’s all SINCE the new year started. 

Um, boyfriend?  Anytime now…I’m STARVING over here and need you to a. take me to dinner and b. come over so I can cook for two.  Oh, that’s right, we’re not talking about boys today.

You see, I’m not good at eating real meals.  It’s a convenience thing, a money thing, an impatient thing, a history of my relationship with food thing, a not wanting to eat the same leftovers for days on end thing.  It’s also an immature and unhealthy thing.

Even though that’s what I grew up with, it’s unusual for me to eat a vegetable if I’m not at my mother’s house.  My meals are usually more one-dimensional.  A burrito is my pièce de résistance and I don’t do sides. 

Generally I start snacking  and have a hard time stopping because there’s no real plan.  I really wouldn’t consider it a binge because I’m not stuffing it in mindlessly until discomfort.  It’s just a handful here, a snackie there and there’s no signal to my brain that I’ve had dinner. 

I’m 26 and I’d like to eat like a grownup now please.  Thank you. I’d like to plan meals, not munch while preparing them, sit down to eat, package up my leftovers for a thoughtful lunch the next day, maybe have a simple and small dessert and then move on with my evening.

I started small last night with pasta, zucchini and garlic rolls (although I did snag a roll once they were done).  I’m lusting after the delicious, but simple and healthy meals I see my foodie blog crushes making and eating and take note, collecting recipes for my once a week goal for the Winter Wonderland Challenge.  My body wants real foods and I’m going to be better about obliging that request.

Five Minutes

Reverb 10, Day 15  5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

The feel of my little cousin’s hand in mine at my grandmother’s funeral.

Running in the rain post-break up.

A girls’ weekend on the beach, that included falling asleep to the sound of the ocean and waking up for a run on the sand.

Dancing at my best friend’s wedding.

Trying just ONE MORE TIME with the absolutely wrong guy, but having a great and crazy weekend in Las Vegas regardless.

Summer night kickball.

Camping with my growing family and being a part of my sister’s engagement story.

A lot of 2010 was spent on job search websites and reworking my resume. Getting a new job was worth all of it.

Stolen moments with TROUBLE.

A solo trip to the beach.

Falling for someone without even considering a safety net.

Hitting the ground.

Running my first 10K and getting race fever.

Slow dancing in a dive bar with someone who makes me smile.