Saturday, January 31, 2015

"Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river." --Laozi

Focusing on stressing less has done wonders to my little world.

With only a few days until February 2nd (Imbolc), and 47 days left until Spring is here in the valley of milk & honey-- I have really embraced stressing less, and accepting help, and as the weather has been kind I've also have gotten out of the house quite a bit.

Some of the things I've done recently have been small, and simple things, but have helped with my disposition quite a bit. I've been walking to work a lot more regularly, and enjoying how the fog travels through the West Eugene neighborhoods. I love smelling the wood burning stoves, and where I once cringed at the idea of the clouds clinging to my bones, I've been really embracing the healing powers being in Oregon has always held for me. I can't help feeling so lucky to be here.

Bradford and I went to see a play at The Very Little Theatre called Other Desert Cities. My old roommate, and friend, Brett French, was cast as a lead in said play, and we couldn't think of a better reason to get out and enjoy the theatre like supporting Brett. My biggest complaint about said show was I needed more Brett French in it!

I have had a hooping friend over a few times, and we've even utilized using my apartment complex's indoor basket ball court to get in some hooping with music. I have been trying to make this practice a little more common, and it feels nice having someone around who enjoys it.

I've been really trying to enjoy all my activities, and moving my body-- not just focus on having to workout, and feeling the pressure of putting back on weight. Since I've been stressing less, I am working on my 120th day of logging into MyFitnessPal, and also logging my food, even if I don't complete it that night, I go back and finish it later. I am still maintaining the goal of not stepping on the scale until the first day of Spring. My reason? I really don't want that to be the main focus for my over all well being. I want to really focus on non-scale victories, as I celebrate the gift my body is.

One way I am celebrating is the other day Keith, and I got some hooping video for the first time in a while. I am excited, and proud of myself, because I am not the same girl I was a year ago after my last hooping video I made and posted on Youtube. I have gained weight, because of the hormone imbalance my last two pregnancies and miscarriages caused. I do, however, feel my most comfortable with a hoop on my waist, and I don't want my size to stop me from being proud of being a good hula hooper.

Thursday, was a great day over all. Skye, Keith, and their daughter, Juliet, picked me up, and we drove to Florence and had some A&W, and then drove up towards the Heceta Lighthouse, and hiked the Hobbit Trail down to Hobbit Beach-- we all took pictures, got our feet wet, enjoyed the sun and the sand, hula hooped, got some video (like I mentioned), found Sand Dollars, and enjoyed baby laughs. It was a perfect Oregon Coast day in January.

I also did a 4 mile river walk, down by the Delta Ponds at the beginning of this week with the Ten Eycks, and that was also a great time. When I got home from said walk Bradford and I talked about making it a goal to hike Mt. Pisgah, Spencer's Butte, and Skinner's Butter-- since he has never done any of those hikes, and they are all within Eugene city limits. Bradford and I are also planning a special Gervais day-- nothing says love like making it a priority to spend time with one another, and caring for each other's well being.

Other than that, I have been taking things 15 minutes at a time. I have a daily routine that keeps me on track, and keeps things from getting too overwhelming. Using the Household Management Binder has been helpful in keeping household projects on track, and helping maintain household finances. If I am having a day where things are too much, and there are a million things that need to get done, and I have work-- I set a timer and I work for 15 minutes. If I do that in segments it's crazy how easily the house stays picked up and clean.

Moreover, I've noticed since doing this it is also easier for me to be accepting to my partner's help. And, I have an amazing partner. The other day Bradford let me sleep, after having a few off nights of sleep. I was in bed for at least 16 hours and he vacuumed the entire apartment, went grocery shopping, picked up and cleaned the kitchen, and then brought me a Mexican Mocha in bed before I got up went to work, and babysat. My sweet man, also baked biscuits so I would have homemade biscuits this morning.

I am learning that having a partner that is a good fit for me means my life is just a little bit more tidy. And, I like that.

I still feel that my over-all health is my responsibility and that my body is a gift, but part of really appreciating that concept is knowing that with PCOS taking back off the weight is going to take time, but I feel like I can do it again, if I first concentrate on my mental health, and while I am not ignoring my physical well-being I rather focus on the many mini blessing I have surrounding me in my life, than get upset every time I step on the scale.

I am really excited to see what the next 47 days hold, and what goals I can accomplish between Imbolc and Ostara.

2015 you're good.

Brad and I in Florence in November

Brad enjoying some of the Oregon Coast

Juliet Ten Eyck happy sunshine girl

I was standing in the Pacific looking at the forest I just walked through to get to the ocean, appreciating the moon. 

I found 13 whole Sand Dollars Thursday. This wasn't one of them. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"Every second brings a fresh beginning, every hour holds a new promise, every night our dreams can bring hope and every day is what you choose to make it."

Last night I had a dream that I called The Compound, and was chatting with the kids. Jess was down stairs finishing getting ready for the day, and the kids were entertaining me with their conversations. What was spectacular about said dream was I talked for about five minutes, then there was a tap on the door while Kieran was telling me a story, Jess hollered up to Kieran to grab the door for her, and when he opened it I was there on the other side talking to him on my cell phone.

Kieran and Violet cried in their excitement, and despite their size and age Violet was determined to stay in my arms. Liam was excited too, but in his very Liam way. He was quiet, and we got in our good hellos, and snuggles, but it was sans affection at first as he warmed back up to me.

And, Jess was just so excited. I had her laughing the entire time I was at The Compound, which was only a day in dreamland. We ate, and cooked, and walked around the backyard as I watched her point her hose at different spots in the Earth as she excitedly told me what plants would be erupting from that spot. I did things around the house that she was waiting for me to come take care (this doesn't seem too far fetched, because there are certain things I rather take care of, regardless of me not being a legal owner of The Compound), and after we got the kids to sleep I hung out on the sofa with Jessie, eating Breyer's.

I woke up back in my apartment. And, things are the way they are meant to be.

The dream left me feeling really happy in my heart, and reminding me that things are so good.

Slowly my life here is growing. Getting here May 2014 was like planting a seed, and roots are starting to grow, and as Spring slowly approaches I feel my life coming together, and it's only a matter of time before budding, and blooming.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It will hurt, it will take time, it will require dedication, it will require will power, it will require sacrifice, there will be temptation. But, I promise you, when you reach your goal, it's worth it.

Perfectly, perfect.

So, one of the things I wanted to do at the beginning of 2015 was share a recap of 2014, and the things I've learned-- to help share some sort of amazing transformational story. Something that would end with some sort of cliche that reminds us all to trust the (weight loss) journey.

As I've been taking the time to breathe easy, appreciate all the wonderful, small things in my life that make it great, and recognizing the need for kindness in my heart and daily activities, it has also shown me that it's okay that I don't have grand words to paint 2014 out to be something more than it really was.

It is okay that in my grief and anguish from 2014 in review, that I can find the time to feel excitement in this coming up year. There were good things that came from 2014, if one were to read through my status updates on Facebook from last year at this time I was dying to be out of Utah, and I've been shown time and time again, that when life gets hard the Oregon air, soil, rain, fog, greens, sun, rivers, and ocean wrap me up tight in her healing arms. And, 2014 brought me back to the very, very beginning, to get me healthy and rebuild. And, it really has been hard dealing with PCOS, and my hormone imbalance.

PCOS/endometrial bleeding has been a big, hard part of my life, for many years. Studies show over, and over how difficult it is for PCOS sufferers to lose weight, and the different ailments that go along with having Polycystic Ovaries. I know that being stationary won't fix the pain that surrounds the illness. And, though I feel that it's frustrating not allowing my reflection, and the scale reflect the work I've been putting into my health, nutrition, and workouts, I also know that nothing will change, while doing nothing.

So, even though I've been undeniably sad about my inability to take off weight, and the constant weight gain I've been experiencing since November 2013, when I experienced my miscarriage from that pregnancy, I've been working towards none weight-loss goals, that are still health related. I want to lower my daily stress, take the time to shower my body with love (I've been really advocating the need for self-care in our home lately), I've been really focusing on low-impact, daily activities; walking, and hula hooping, and I've been organizing my life to help de-clutter the cobwebs in my mind.

I've been trying to read, and listen to music more, I've been using the camera around the house (I'll share some pictures at the bottom of this post), I am still waiting to hear back from the state about insurance, but plan on finding a good therapy match soon, and I've begun keeping a Household Management Binder that will hold my coupons, household monthly budget, menu, events, yearly, monthly, and weekly goals, and also recap overall household Need To Knows.

I am hoping with a little time and effort being put into myself, I'll be able to redefine my health goals each month, keep my over-all well being as a main priority, and really work towards wrapping up our life here in Eugene in preparation to relocating to Benton County (in about 9 months)-- which I am really looking forward to. I've been studying up on PCOS (trying to decide the best diet, and/or best exercise plan), and really teaching myself the importance of balance in my life.

For the first time in my entire life I feel like I have a relatively good balance between a good work life, a good balance of house work, enjoying my relationship and feeling so glad to enjoy our space together, and self-care. And, I think giving some much needed self-care will be key in helping reach daily smiles. I still need to follow through with setting up a writing spot, and getting a few house things in order, but I plan on posting recipes in here again, and hopefully sharing some success in what I learn while using my Household Binder-- last night I had $40 in savings from coupons.

I am looking forward to a possible visit and hosting my sister, Amanda, and her little family in my little apartment in West Eugene sometime this Spring. It'll be really nice to maybe get to watch Zoey, my niece, for an evening so her mom and dad can go out for their Anniversary. I am looking forward to cooking for more than just Brad and I, and maybe getting to spoil Zoey a little, and hopefully we'll see our younger brother for some Maple Garden too.

Plus, I am excited for Bradford to meet more of my family. It's been so nice, that even with the distance, he has met my sister, Hayley, my brothers, Devon and Andrew, and will soon be meeting my sister, Amanda, we'll get to maybe play some board games with her and her husband Ryan, and I will be able to spend some time with Zoey for the very first time since she was 9 months old.

This morning my meditation has been about not glorifying this past year (being grateful it's done), and embracing this slow, new beginning. That my life is on the road to being perfectly, perfect.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sari101: The Good Life

So, since my last post I think Bradford and I have a little more of an idea of what we would like to focus on in the next couple months. We haven't made any for sure plans, but are both excited over the prospect of Brad finishing school. He has two years until his undergraduate work is completed, and I think if we put our nose to the grind, down-size our expenses, we have a real chance of getting ourselves in a financial safe place, and take the steps to get Bradford back to OSU.

Oregon State University is very obtainable, and if we wait until Autumn he will officially be an Oregonian, and will no longer have to pay out of state tuition.

I am going to work towards a new goal; start doing the things I use to participate in while living in Salt Lake City. I've been mulling a few things over in my head, and I feel as if it's time to start doing the things I love. I am going to get an area set-up for my laptop, so I can start writing a little more regularly, I want to put the time into using the cameras I have, I want to cook and experiment and hoop, hoop, hoop. I want to love my job, thoroughly, and then come home and enjoy managing this space.

I miss living stress-free. I miss loving my job, like I loved working at Old Navy. I miss a kitchen that I have the freedom to experiment in. I miss taking pictures, with an actual camera. I miss making nutrition an everyday importance. I miss having dance be a daily practice. I miss fitness, and managing my time.

There are so many things that I love about my new, little, shiny life that I thought it was wrong to want anything from my "old" life. I worked so hard to obtain a life I loved, and there were so many things in Salt Lake that were good, and they were all my things-- it is time to introduce the good of the old, into my brand new dazzling.

I've expressed to Bradford needing, and wanting certain things, and like a true friend he's been helping me make sure that I do certain things in a timely manner-- for example, I have completed my paper work for insurance, and I am eligible for the Oregon Health Plan. Depending on what plan I am on, I am hoping to get back into therapy, to help reinforce the good decisions I am making in pursuit of happiness, and hep sort some feelings, along with different coping skills I've lost over the last few months.

In the meantime, to eliminate stress I am going back to focusing on the things in my life that are immediately important, drawing in my circle, cutting down on negative things in my life, cleaning up my Facebook, and downsizing my friend groups on different websites. I am celebrating 100 days of logging into MyFitnessPal, and I think it's important that I continue with this practice, and I really want an easier time celebrating the positive.

What better way can I do that than reminding myself daily of all the good in life, and what better way to focus on the positive than really surrounding myself with only positive?

There is 20 days until Imbolc, and 66 days until Ostara, the first day of Spring. In the next 20 days I want to really work on destressing my life, writing The Compound a little more regularly, hula hooping 90(+) minutes a week, while sticking to a budget and meal plan. On Imbolc, I plan on celebrating the success of the last twenty days, and seeing if I can make and break new goals before Spring.

I am hoping by taking the time to breathe easy, appreciate the small things, and being just a little bit kinder in my day to day activities, I'll have a lighter heart, and a bigger smile on my face.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

"You know, there's nothing damnable about being a strong woman. The world needs strong women. There are a lot of strong women you do not see who are guiding, helping, mothering strong men. They want to remain unseen. It's kind of nice to be able to play a strong woman who is seen."

For Kieran's 11th Birthday I made him a short video with a compilation of pictures-- he really likes it, and it was emotional for me, making it, but I feel like it touched his heart along with his sibling's. It makes me so proud to know these little people, and I feel beyond blessed that even though I am not fully ready to be back in Utah, my Utah family is ready for me, and all of them really want to help me get there for a short visit. And, I must admit the idea of hugging, kissing, growling, and eating snoops really has it's appeal.

In the meantime, for the first time in a year I was given a little peace of mind this morning, and I have such a feeling of relief that it's nearly indescribable. And for the first time in a really, really long time I am seeing things through grateful, appreciative eyes-- I don't have to force myself to find the good, or remind myself daily to practice gratitude. It's just right there.

The apartment is coming together, the kids are happy and healthy in Utah, Jess and I have been able to talk a lot more (which is in partially due to the fact that she has slowed down a ton since December 24th), and as I have come to the conclusion that with my awesome support here, Eugene, my mom and dad in South Carolina, and my Utah family fiercely backing me-- I can easily make, and reach goals again, and again.

I have been focusing a lot of the things that I worked for and built up for myself in Utah-- how I felt everything I was doing was because I was working towards something; PRC, working two jobs, taking off weight, actively participating in bringing up the Littles, getting myself healthy, etc, etc. And, I did all that with a "relationship" with someone that was completely self-serving, only kind when he was being deceptive and/or cheating, and he served as more of a weight than anything else (that things were good the first 9 months of our relationship, and then it was stretched out over 4 years, because I couldn't let go of the fact that Marc didn't want to work on it being 'good'-- he found someone that was committed to caring for him, and he just let the shit show fly).

"You know, there's nothing damnable about being a strong woman. The world needs strong women. There are a lot of strong women you do not see who are guiding, helping, mothering strong men. They want to remain unseen. It's kind of nice to be able to play a strong woman who is seen." --Ginger Rogers

The last bit of 2014 was grieved over. I have missed the kids, beat myself up for choices I made in Utah, have played things through my head a million times, have been constantly working on not punishing Bradford for what someone else did (don't get me wrong it's a process, but my partner is a Vulcan, and with him reasoning is there-- even in the face of emotions).

I don't feel as loss as I did when I first left Utah, and Bradford, Jess, and Skye never treat me like I am broken-- in fact, the women in my life are always driving me forward, and lifting me up. I can talk to Brad about anything; between huge sobs, or even through sighs of relief-- and, I don't feel like I am working by myself towards something. Even though I am still an individual, I have so much support, and we still come together to work towards a future we are building together.

Currently, we have talked about how right now we feel like we are just kinda drifting-- still trying to settle into a routine, and a life, but like we need a plan for what our next step will be. What do we want? So, we've been talking about both of our educations, both of our jobs, when we do we want to start a family(?), where do we want to travel(?), should we both attend school at the same time, would it be better for Brad to just try and make his current job an actual career, and while we are talking about that I've been expressing my interest in continuing on with hooping, and maybe someday owning a little restaurant on the Oregon coast. I've told Brad things that I was always too afraid to mention in my past relationship, including the fact that I may want to stay home (especially the first six years) once we start a family.

My point to my rambling? The options are limitless, and for the first time, since high school graduation, I feel hopeful. Hopeful about the future, what tomorrow may hold for me, I feel as if I am enough in everything I do, that I have good people in my life, absolutely no outside, unwanted influences, and I can't get over the fact that 2014 is over with. I never have to go through that year again.

Anyways, I am going to end this with a few pictures of me feeling my best, as a reminder that I am closer and closer to being there again, and it's just a matter of time before I am there again!