Thirty-one years of Marriage.

On September 10, My Man and I will celebrate thirty-one years of marriage. Confession: I had to stop after typing that and 1) do the math to make sure I was correct, and 2) have a moment. Here is a list of things thirty-one years of marriage will give you (or us, to be correct):

Three adult children. Only one of whom has moved out. I don’t know about you, but when I see the word, “adult” I think old; living under one’s own roof and not the roof of one’s parent; and taking one’s dog with.

Money to burn. Apparently. Case in point: the convertible hot rod sitting in our driveway; granite counter tops in the works; estimates for complete yard redo. Why now? Why not back when we could easily get in and out of said hot rod and actually have the strength to work in the yard?

Dinner, just the two of us, in a fancy schmancy I-talian restaurant. At 4:30 in the afternoon. Also known as The Senior Citizen’s hour. By 6:30 we were fed, home, in our jammies and tucked in for the night watching Batman Begins on HBO even though we have it on DVD.

A whole lot of memories. Only some of which we actually remember. Apparently, we have arrived at the age where we argue over who’s memory is the best. Or, the worst. In any case, we rarely agree on how said past event went down. I only see this getting worse. It’s kind of fun, really…adds a whole new set of memories that never actually happened because he has them all wrong.

Lots of new things to talk about. All medically related. New aches; new pains; bowel and respiratory ailments; who had surgery; who refuses to have surgery, but should.

Expertise. On everything. Just ask…we will tell you.

Thinking we might actually get to retire. Some day. Up until now, retirement has only been a Disney fantasy to dream about, sing about, laugh about. Now? Could actually happen.

Talking about selling the home we have lived in for 20 years. In front of the children. And making it sound like it could happen any day now. Can you say, “panic?” *see the first item on this list for reference*

Lest you think I’ve forgotten, the most important thing thirty-one years has gotten us is A Best Friend Forever. The original BFF. Someone you decided a long, long time ago to love unconditionally; to stick around and make it work; and when you don’t feel like sticking around and making it work you go to your separate corners, regroup, and come back out with a smile.

Because you have totally forgotten what it was that so irritated you in the first place.

Thanks to those of you who have stuck around with us these last thirty plus years. We could not have done it without you.

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You Asked for it…Part 1.

Welcome to my You Asked for it Series. Today’s post is the first in this series. Future ramblings will possibly include: Surviving Your Child’s Senior Year or as I like to call it: The Year I Consumed Mass Quantities of Black Dog and Cried…a lot.

Okay, so maybe not, but today, whilst I enjoy my morning sitting in my second favorite place in the world, The Back Porch, I’m going to reflect on the following post idea suggested by my friend and neighbor, Mrs. D:

If I could change one thing in my life, what would it be? 

My vain and flippant side immediately reached straight for the impossible to attain: my current age. I quickly tossed that aside, however. Not because it is unattainable. Because I actually don’t mind my current age of 45 53. It is true, however, that I am definitely not happy with the current state of my health, weight and stress level at this ripe age of 53. And while that is definitely something I want to change, and I am in the process of changing, that still is not the topic of today’s post. Buckle up. It’s going to get bumpy.

Regret. Not for things I did do. For things I didn’t do and should have, could have done. With each thing I regret not doing, it all came back to one thing: fear. I was, and still am, a big sissy when it comes to new things; to stepping out of my comfort zone. And, trust me on this, my comfort zone is the size of a postage stamp…anything outside of that…forget about it.

There have been periods of my life where I allowed…yes, I…allowed the fear to Consume. Me. Going off to a huge university (pre-med at the University of South Florida) after spending the previous two years in a very tiny DoD school overseas, I was completely overwhelmed by fear. So much so that most days I struggled to leave my dorm room. Obviously, I didn’t last long there. But worse than that, I had no idea what was wrong with me. And clearly, I thought, something was seriously wrong with me, which only compounded the problem. I didn’t know who to talk to about it…couldn’t talk to anyone about it. I mean, it was so obvious to me that I was mentally unsound…no one else I knew vomited at just the thought of trying to make her way across a campus of 23,000 students to sit in a classroom of 600 to listen to a lecture. No one else I knew never went to a single lab class because they got lost finding it the first day of classes and were too afraid to ask anyone for help.

Since then, I have missed out on so many jobs, trips, and even relationships, due to that one thing I wish I could change. Because I still struggle with it. I still fear new situations, meeting new people, and even hanging with people I do know. For example, I went to a neighborhood end of summer party last night. I felt the old familiar apprehension creeping in all day and I chose to ignore it. Periodically throughout the evening I could feel it rise up and I would push it back down again. I caught up with ladies I’ve known for 20 years, but haven’t spent much time with, face to face. I truly enjoyed myself and am so happy I went. Was I completely comfortable while I was there? Nope. Not in the least. But, I did it.

Reading back over this, it all seems so silly…this fear thing. The worst part is that it is so stinking real. Some days I feel like it is an old friend that, initially, wraps comfort around me to warm me and keep me safe, before quickly tightening to strangle me and cut me off from life.

Today, I am choosing to fight back. And, as Mrs. D. admonished me a few days ago: to live…abundantly.

Keep those suggestions coming cuz this one was so very easy to write about…not…

And, oh yes, you can bet it took me quite a long while to get past my fear and push the publish button on this one.

An update on the New Thing.

So…the New Thing.

On August 1 I joined One Fit Widow (1FW). Check them out. I have been following them on Facebook for a year or so. Since August 1, I’ve been detoxing…cutting out the sugar, the fried foods, the dairy, the bread and wheat and the wine. Disclaimer: I did eat sugar and wheat on August in Thanksgiving aka ChrisEasterGiving and I had a glass of Chianti two nights ago and two bites of vanilla ice cream with hot fudge another night. And guess what? I could tell. It didn’t sit well on my gut; I felt like crap. And I didn’t sleep well. BOOM. Ah-ha moment.

So. What have I been eating? Everything else! Lots of veggies. Fruit. Small amounts of lean protein. Whole grains. Salmon and tuna. Yesterday for lunch I had about 10 chips and freshly made guac. It was perfect. I ate the the rest of the guac with a fork after my allotted chips were done. I’ve been drinking tons of water and unsweetened, organic Green Tea. I’ve been walking and I’ve been hitting the gym. Ten days in…3.5 pounds down. And my morning coffee? One cup only. With a scant teaspoon of coconut palm sugar and a small splash of cream. Not half and half…whole cream (the only dairy I have). I’ve been taking a light iron supplement every other day since I was iron deficient at my last check-up. But eating dark leafy greens several times a day is slowly replacing the iron supplement. I do take my calcium, Vitamin D and my B’s. Magnesium helps my fibro. And I’ve been taking Fish Oil.

The best thing about 1FW? The support. The women on the (closed) board. The coaches. The accountability. The encouragement. So many of them have suffered loss, whether a husband or otherwise. They. Get. It. They get the need to comfort with food. They get the need to vent and be heard. They get that it’s several days of great and one major crash day. They get picking yourself up again and moving forward.

Some of the tools I’m using. My Fitness Pal. If you are honest with MFP…and yourself…that alone will hold you accountable. It was quite eye opening. No more eating mindlessly. I put everything…every bite I take of my own food and someone else’s (i.e., ice cream). I log every sip I take, water or otherwise. I have a workout plan. I have a (sketchy) meal plan. The meal plan I am still working on. I’ve been wearing my FitBit Force. It tells me how many steps I’m taking during the day and I have to tell you that the first week…I was shocked at how little I was really moving. It tells me when I have a really active time during the day. I had zero. Zip. I mean…crazy wow.

Things I’ve noticed already. I. Feel. Awesome. I haven’t had a detox crappy feeling at all. My fibromyalgia? What fibromyalgia? It is crazy. It is not a coincidence. Going into August 1 and the first couple days, my fibro was in overdrive. The last few days I would still crawl out of bed sore, stretch and feel better each passing moment. This morning? I stretched out in bed, chatting with the kitties, and I realized I wasn’t stiff. I was pleasantly sore from working out. I jumped out of bed and didn’t have to do the bent over, granny shuffle. Ten days people. Ten. Days. This morning I had an extra half cup of coffee cuz it’s Sunday, The Lord’s Day and we all know He made coffee for us coffee lovers. And a smoothie made with unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened coconut water, fresh blueberries, a scoop of vanilla hemp protein powder and two big handfuls of power greens…kale and collards. No sweetener of any kind, not even honey, although I did toss in a teaspoon of bee pollen. Top off with a handful of ice and my Ninja did the rest. Yummy.

Since I’ve been posting on the 1FW board, I haven’t updated my facebook page much, but will do so starting this week, I hope.

Love you guys.

Recognizing the Perfection.

I began writing this post two days ago. I’ve brought into real-time the things that need to be, but left others, such as July 30’s stunning weather description. It’s my blog so I can do what I want, right? Or as we say in our family now:  It is what it is.

I wish you could feel how wonderful The Porch is today.

Let me see if I can describe to you what it feels like this July 30. A light breeze is blowing in non-stop waves. The sun is out. The sky is blueblueblue and there isn’t a breath of humidity to be found. I’m sitting on The Porch and, although it is 98% shaded, in the dead of Summer…read NOW…it is normally way too hot to sit out here at 5:00 pm. Today….perfection.

This? Perfection.

Pretty much describes my life right now. Perfection. And because those two words, life and perfection, don’t really belong together I will explain what I mean. Perfection, according to my google online dictionary means, “the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.” Or as free as possible…*emphasis mine.*

I’m trying to recognize, more, the perfection. And less of the flawed, the defected, the painful, the ugly.

I’m an admitted amateur at this perfection viewing. For me, the flawed, defected and painful is way more easy to focus on I have never been an optimist. I married one. His momma was one. I would say of my three darling children, only one is a true optimist; one flirts with optimism after first jumping head long into pessimism and the third one is just a grump most days with not much that is positive to speak of. You figure out which is which.

I am finally feeling like I am getting a handle on things around here. On me. Notice I did not use the “C” word, Susan D….control has been eradicated from my vocab. Today, however, I feel almost on top of things…work, relationships, my health (knowing what I need to do and mapping out a plan to get ‘er done…I’m a huge planner, fyi. Follow through…not so much.) My house, well, it’s all a work in progress, right?

This weekend we are having Thanksgiving in August. Some have been mocking the event, but really, what’s not to love? Turkey (assuming I can actually find a whole turkey in August), stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn pudding, pie and more pie, cranberry sauce, gravy, all of it. Even my own foodie children were making grumbling noises about it. One even asked if this meant no Thanksgiving in November. Where did I go wrong with these brats children?

Pulling together all of The Wild Boy’s college gear…Pretty much have it all purchased just need to wash it up, organize it…as if that will matter to him. We head to Roanoke on August 21 and move drop him and run the morning of August 22.

Have I mentioned to y’all that I am giving up wine the month of August? That’s in two days. I’m giving up the wine, and I have my food plan working and my workout plan lined up. Been doing it all sporadically. Need to focus on a month of Just Doing The Thing. The healthy eating, getting serious again about working out. It’snotforeverIt’snotforeverIt’snotforever. Am I the only one who has to say that to myself? I can give up food or coffee or whatever if I tell myself that today I am not eating this but I can have some tomorrow if I want to.

My only cup of coffee this morning: half coffee, 1 tsp raw sugar, heated and whipped lactose free half and half.

My Facebook peeps really have me thinking about the running thing. A few years ago, okay maybe ten, when I lost a ton of weight by working out 2 hours every day and pretty much starving myself…I’m not condoning it, just being real…I was getting bored with walking 3-5 miles and started throwing in some jogging. I didn’t hate it. So give me some time to start walking regularly again and I will look into, seriously, the running clubs/programs y’all recommended. Although I don’t understand why I would consider it after long-time runner Diane S was running, took a nasty fall and broke bones just last week.

We have a humongous storage unit that is paid for through December. My In-Love’s stuff and, truth be told, some of our own stuff so that we could actually move around in our basement. Between now and December, that will all have to be pulled out, gone through, gotten rid of. My Husband is now using the term, “down-sizing.” *shudder* I pretend to be on board but honestly, we had to go through his parent’s stuff and help my mom and dad go through their stuff and why shouldn’t we torture bless our own children with the task? Okay, I get it. Down-sizing it is. I’m totally on board. Not.

So that’s enough for now, I guess. For those of you counting, there are exactly 20 days until the umbilical cord is cut and my baby moves in to his dorm at Radford; 145 days until Christmas (No, I have not started playing Christmas music yet…give me some credit. I wait until September.); and 351 days until the 2015 Annual Smith/Secrist Beach Week at OBX.

Thank you, by the way, for all of the love during the last few weeks. We know we have The Best Family and Friends and are truly thankful for you all.