Friday, October 21, 2016

October 14, 2013: "There is no substitute for hard work or integrity..."

After work today, Bradford and I spent $12 on a little date. We've been trying to make the time to explore, adventure, get out, and smile a little more often. So, this late afternoon/early evening we took advantage of some spare time we had.

We drove to the Florence drive-in A&W and grabbed a couple of burgers to go, then headed 5 miles North out of town to Darlingtonia Natural Site. The little state park is the only Oregon state park dedicated to the protection of a single plant species-- and, Darlingtonias are awesome, interesting, carnivorous, and pretty!

We ate our burgers in our little two door car, as the rain hammered outside. Once finished, I was grateful I had changed into my hiking boots while I was still at work, because my Columbia boots are well insulated not to mention water proof. We spent a good portion of time looking at not just the cobra lillies, but at different mushrooms growing wildly on the 18 acre park. After hiking around the bog and peat, Bradford and I drove up Mercer Lake Road up to the boat ramp, and saw beautiful views of clean, clear blue waters, as the fog started to roll in.

We took that fog as a sign to start heading East, back to Eugene, to enjoy a much deserved weekend.

I think it is really neat how easy it has been for us to find things to do, look at, and enjoy. We've done a couple different trail heads at Sweet Creek Falls, we have plans to travel to Triangle Lake soon so we can look at the Salmon at the rock slides (fish ladders, yo, look it up), there is a county park that we often stop at on our way from Florence, that we are constantly enjoying, because of the changes in the Siuslaw River, and little hidden trails, and I imagine it is only a matter of time before Bradford discovers the endless new things to see around the Siuslaw forest-- including, my fear of him deciding he must see Drift Creek Falls for no other reason to look at the suspension bridge.

It has been fun getting to know our soon to be new town. Bradford goes for walks, almost daily, on the Oregon beaches. It makes me jealous most days. He recently was hired full-time for a new position that he will be starting soon. I can't help feeling a little sad that I'll no longer have him all the time. He does a really fair job of catering to my needs with the high stress that comes along with my job. It has really made me appreciate him. The caregiver's caregiver.

Honestly, I have a great deal of appreciation for the support I have received since starting this job. I've been combating the negatives by being a little more social with friends, and it has been nice. I see Skye, and Juliet the most (proximity), but I have been lucky enough to see my friend Stephanie and her husband a few times, and I had supper last week with Brett and Colbi and may have also watched Dances With Wolves.

In the meantime, I've decided to take a break from hashtagging everything "Fit Girls Guide." It isn't that great, or interesting a thing-- it is simply not for me at this time. 

Last Jumpstart, I mentioned (on IG) wanting to try FGG stylechallenge for no other reason than thinking it would make Jessie happy. I participated in twelve days of both fitgirlsguide's photochallenge, and of the FGG stylechallenges, and I started to take note of a lot of things I did not enjoy. First, participating in both challenges for that short period made me realize how much time and effort was being invested online, instead of being present with my partner and friends when I am in my off time.

I've mentioned before that I work a four day on, two day off rotation, however I also work twelves, and pick up shifts, within reason-- in a four day span of time (that's 96 hours)  I worked under sixty hours, when you add on top of that the 9 hours and twenty minutes of driving we did during that time that only leaves me with 29 hours of free time. Naturally, I slept during that time, so, really I have no free time during my work week.

Doing the challenges was a type of shallow stress I couldn't handle. And, for me, it does feel extremely shallow to spend that time on social media when I could be doing yoga, walking Jack, spending time with Bradford, meal-prepping, balancing my hard work life with brevity and time with loved ones, and legitimate care for myself versus being one of many just "friend" collecting under the guise of being supportive.

I haven't been online much, but when I have my social media accounts have been getting an overhaul-- my Instagram in particular has been whittled back down to a manageable number. My feed still has a lot of the Fitgirls on it that I have met over the past several months since finding the community, because despite my inability to focus on some aspects of challenge, I still long for community and support, but it's a lot more legitimate fitness orientated men and women, a lot more positivity, more workouts, more outdoors, and meal prepping ideas, and a lot less foolish selfies and licking one another's taint for drinking a glass of water.

It is the stuff I need to see to keep me focused on my goals of caring for myself without the pain and anguish I feel as I desperately struggle to keep up, and stress when I can't participate the way I want to. So far, I've liked this jumpstart better, so far, doing my own thing while still enjoying watching the community participate. And, hopefully, soon, I will be participating to some degree again, but until then I am feeling happy, and free setting and smashing the shit out of my goals, a little more quietly.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Go, Go, Go -- Action at The Raisin Ranch

Yogi wisdom

Four days on, two days off schedule rotation has me renaming the days of the week to better suit me. That is one example of how my life has changed the last 28 days. Funny enough, the last 28 day Jumpstart began on my first day of work at my new job as a caregiver.

And, things have changed, drastically, and I find myself reeling from all of it sometimes. The biggest change can not be seen-- my faith has been awaken after eleven years of sleep, and it feels surprising, new, insincere, and jarring.

I guess it's not overly surprising, seeing that I have a clearly agnostic view on life, and I have quite a few spiritual practices I do on my own-- mostly honoring tradition, and seasonal change. I guess the surprise is the feelings that I feel at work.
Owens Rose Garden

I see truly miraculous things every single day at my work.
I see truly ugly, and heartbreaking things every single day at my work.
It has been 28 days of personal growth, new adventures, discovery, new stories, unexpected change, and real, quiet reflection.

If I weren't shaken at times from the experiences I've undergone the last month then I would be heartless.

In the meantime, I've been really struggling with the fitgirl community. I honestly feel that the struggle must be stemming from jealous feelings; I want to commit and participate 100% in the group challenge, however with adjusting with my new schedule I fell behind on the photo challenges. Then I started feeling angry, because I see a lot of the same girls being featured on fitgirlsguide, and the more I viewed things as a weird popularity contest the more I felt put out by the idea of participation.

What originally attracted me to the community was the go-at-your-own-pace, happy comradery. I don't feel that anymore. I feel like unless you are online constantly, non-stop then you are not part of the community-- which was fine when I was miserable in Utah, however being happy in Oregon, and with the new job now certain aspects of participation feels shallow. Which is funny, because for the most part, I LOVE my instagram feed during my breaks, because my feed is full of fitgirls and positivity, and is a million miles away from shallow.

So, here I sit, feeling grateful for meal prep days, grateful for being active, and grateful for the commitment I feel toward my health, but feeling like it's okay to need the space from Facebook and Instagram to focus on human connections versus the approval, likes, and validation of strangers. I love social media for making far away people feel close, but I hate how social media makes me feel, and overall fitgirlsguide is all about social media.

My time lately is precious, and I've been making it a point to keep some resemblance of a social life to help balance work. Normally when I work this much, I counteract that with sleep only. Lately, I've made it a point to work 40+ hours a week, have over a two hour commute a day, meal prep, yoga, hoop, and walk, along with trying to visit friends from time to time, and keep up on our home as we look for a new place closer to where I am working. And, soon, Bradford and I will be studying again together!
Partying down at Stephanie's house
We've both been so active (Bradford and I), and so excited about moving soon (fingers crossed, happy thoughts, prayers, and warm wishes welcome while we look). I've been trying to enjoy flowers more, hike as much as possible, participate with Jack Harvey as much as I can, appreciate every moment I am on the beach looking at the Pacific, take pictures when I can, and now that my phone is activated(yes, it was disconnected for a little while) I want to make it a point to send more texts to my family more often (pictures included), and I plan to start writing to Jessie, Ian and the kiddos again once we are in our new place, and I can have a writing area for myself.