Tag Archives: Life

May’s Goals

It’s a beautiful Beltane morning!  It’s sunny and cold here but it’s sunny.

I didn’t complete much this month though.  Mostly, I was focused on going to Chris’s graduation and then not burning a book.  That was the surprising part and almost caused another reading slump.  This month, I’m focusing on getting another job and marking some of the travel things off my list.

  • Miles reached for Walk to Mordor: 1,457.87.  321.13 miles to Mt. Doom!
  • Weight: 250.2 (up 2.4 lbs)
  • Books read: 16 books.
  • Blog Posts: 5
  • Vlog Posts: 7

May goals:

  • Reach 400+ miles.
  • Get under 245.
  • 10 blog posts.
  • 15 books.
  • 10 vlogs.
  • Finish edits my NaNoWriMo book.
  • Attend a Writer’s Workshop in Bend, OR
  • Buy a lottery ticket.
  • Visit California’s North Coast (Eureka and Crescent City, CA).
  • Complete a 24 in 48 hour readathon.
  • Defensive Driving Class
  • Plan my trip back to the East Coast.

Really need to clean this list up; some of these things have been lingering too long.

Happy Tuesday.

Listening to:  Office noises.  Trying to wrap a couple things up before I leave to go do other stuff.

Reading:  The Lost by Vicki Pettersson and American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Quote of the Day:  “Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.” ― Oscar Wilde

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Filed under 1001 Days, Bucket List, Goals

Reading the Signs

In the last two weeks, I’ve dropped symptoms of what happens to me when I eat sugar and cake-like things to people.  My mother-in-law askThe most recent was pecan pie.  It looked really good and when asked if I wanted a piece, I explained that my hands and nose get numb when I eat things like that.

This coming after I had a cookie for breakfast (OMG was it good) and then got told, at work, that I looked blank faced.  I don’t know if that part goes hand-in-hand with each other but it was weird to have someone say that to me while I’m at work.

Same person asked if I was diabetic or hypoglycemic.  I know the stuff runs in my family, but I was not diabetic before I had surgery and most people say that post-gastric bypass, their diabetes goes away.  What if it doesn’t?  It just shows up as something else, or manifests as something else after surgery.

My symptoms:

  • Passing out about 30 minutes after eating cake, pie, etc. I’ve been very lucky with cookies although after yesterday morning, they are now regulated to afternoon/night time.  Also, paleo cookies didn’t cause issues from what I remember.  I bounced off the walls with those.
  • Cold fingers and nose.
  • Brain fog. I know brain fog; post-surgery, it bugged me.  Felt like I couldn’t care about anything or anyone.  I guess I would compare it to being mentally numb.
  • Mood Swings. These happen a little more than normal and I have been attributing them to other things like weather changes and S.A.D.

I haven’t gotten tested though and the last time my panels were drawn, I was fine.  What if I’m not?  Two people ask you the same question for the same symptoms…

Research time!

Symptoms of hypoglycemia (which normally shows up two to three years post-op):

  • Fast heartbeat.Many things in addition to hypoglycemia can cause a fast heartbeat, including excitement, stress, exercise, or ketones associated with high blood glucose. This can make it harder to notice fast heartbeat as a potential sign of hypoglycemia, but if you are having a fast heartbeat when there is no apparent reason for this to occur, you should check your blood glucose level.
  • Looking pale.You or those around you may notice that you are paler than usual during hypoglycemia.
  • Hunger is a useful symptom of hypoglycemia since it usually leads a person to eat and consequently raise his blood glucose level. However, you may be in the habit of ignoring the initial symptoms of hunger at work or school if you’re in a meeting, engrossed in studying, or attending a lecture. This is a dangerous habit to have, because the longer you ignore hunger, the hungrier you get and the more likely you are to overeat when you finally eat. In addition, if you wait until you have moderate hypoglycemia, your judgment may be affected such that you eat the first thing you find, whether or not it will quickly raise your blood glucose level.
  • Weakness and fatigue.These symptoms are directly related to your body not having enough energy (glucose) for both physical and mental needs. It may be tempting to take a nap when you feel weak and tired, but it’s important to monitor your blood glucose level if you feel this way at a time of day when you are not usually tired. If hypoglycemia is causing your feeling of fatigue, your blood glucose level may go even lower during your nap, and you are unlikely to be able to detect other symptoms of hypoglycemia while asleep.
  • Having a headache often signals that you had hypoglycemia earlier in the day or have had it for some time. For example, if you wake up with a headache or leave a movie theater with a headache, you may have been hypoglycemic for some time. If the headache is severe enough, you may have nausea. You should treat yourself with carbohydrate and plan to monitor more frequently for the rest of the day. If the hypoglycemia has lasted a long time, the body’s stored sugar may have been used up, and you are more prone to repeat episodes of hypoglycemia that day.
  • Impaired vision.Double vision and tunnel vision are two types of visual disturbances that may occur with hypoglycemia. Like headache, impaired vision also often signals that your blood glucose has been low for quite some time. Your brain routinely takes two pictures from two eyes and formulates the pictures into a single image. When your brain does not have enough glucose, the brain loses the ability to coordinate vision. You may see fine with one eye closed, but quick action is needed to prevent the confused state that will follow if you don’t raise your blood glucose level.  Enlarged pupils can also be a symptom of hypoglycemia, but you are unlikely to notice them unless you’re looking in a mirror or someone else takes a close look at your eyes. If you are becoming hypoglycemic while reading, you may notice that you cannot find the correct line or that you see fewer words with each glance.
  • Difficulty communicating.Difficulties with communication can range from not being able to remember a word, to speaking in a monotone, to only responding in simple words such as “yes” or “no.” Some people describe feeling that the words they want to use are just out of their reach.
  • Difficulty absorbing new information.Without adequate glucose, your brain has trouble taking in new information. If you find yourself reading the same paragraph over and over or listening to someone speak then realizing you missed what was said, perhaps because you were daydreaming, you may have hypoglycemia.
  • Dizziness is another symptom that occurs after a person has been hypoglycemic for some time. You may have trouble walking a straight line or changing body positions. This is one of many symptoms of hypoglycemia that may be misinterpreted as drunkenness. If strangers or the police find you swerving while walking, medical identification in the form of a bracelet, necklace, or wallet card may save you from a misunderstanding and get you the treatment needed to stave off severe hypoglycemia.
  • Numbness or tingling.Numbness or tingling in the face or hands may be symptoms of hypoglycemia. Sometimes the numbness is first noticed in one spot, such as the upper lip, then it spreads across the face.
  • Unusual behavior.Anxious, giddy, confused, and irritable behaviors are important symptoms for friends, coworkers, and family members to learn about. These symptoms may occur when you can no longer judge that you are in danger. Your blood glucose may be so low that you no longer recognize family members or authority figures such as the police. You may argue, cry, yell, or fight.

Reading these after I copied them into my “working document” scared me a little bit.  Hello doctor’s appointment and panel work-up when I get back to Maryland.  And I guess new recipe board on Pinterest.

Shaking my head, but definitely not regretting surgery.

Listening to:  2007 Hits Playlist on Amazon

Reading:  Dear Martin by Nic Stone and The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

Quote of the Day:  “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.” ― Shirley Chisholm

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Filed under Advice Column, Weightloss

Personality Types

For the record, I’m 30.  That may seem old to a lot of people and very young to others.

I’ve not been quiet about my need and desire to find a new line of work, maybe freelance work like writing or opinion-based journalism (although lately what’s the difference?) or maybe travel agent/dreamer/unrealistic goal setter.  Take your pick.  A deep, secret part of me would have picked librarian or successful author.  I have a book finished; just can’t bring myself to finish editing the damn thing.

One terrible thing about me with this whole “wanting to change careers” movement is I research things to death.  Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that I research until things aren’t fun anymore, or don’t do enough research…although not sure how that happens.  I’m pretty focused on things and once I dig my nails into something, it’s very hard to get me to not do it.

The first article I came across about switching careers at 30 gave the reader the advice to figure out their personality type before moving forward, since making any type of career change now means finding a career that makes the person happy and going for it.  At 30, with the standard 62 year retirement rate, I’m looking at spending 30+ years (if I finally find something at 32 that I love and qualify for) working in that career field.

So personality tests:  Myers-Briggs.  That’s the go-to for any type of personality test that I know of.  And Pinterest, the best procrastination tool out there, is littered with explanations about the types with memes, lists, why a type might hate you, etc.

Damn it if I didn’t come out as an INFP (Introverted, Intuition, Feeling, and Prospecting).  I will say that the N could have easily been an S (Sensing/Observant) and the P could have easily been a J (Judging).  I don’t know what questions would have gone the 2% in the other direction and I kind of don’t want to know.  The other two, I and F:  no question on those two.

So at my age, with no degree, what jobs am I looking at?  Pretty much novel writing.  What can I do that makes what I make in a year?  Nothing without a degree.  I mean come on!  I have to have a degree to be a librarian, and a Master’s degree at that.  That is a dream job, doesn’t pay much starting off, but as a bibliophile, in a perfect world, that’s what I’d do.  Experience though counts for almost nothing.  Note:  My high school volunteer work and summers were spent at the library.  See?  Already looking at that route.

I’m complaining because now I have to get off my duff, finish my Bachelor’s, and start working on my Master’s in Library Sciences.  Yeah to another two to three years of school and another three years doing what I do now.  At least I’ll hit the eight-hour leave category by then right?

Listening to: Wish You Were Here by Incubus on repeat (Thank you Amazon!)

Reading:  Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop and A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Quote of the Day:  “The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.” ― Max Lerner

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Filed under Advice Column, Goals, Writing

Change in Location

There have been few opportunities where I can change my life for the better.  One was going to DC, then having some amazing people who were great and supportive of my life and my career.  Another was meeting Ray.  I know I talk about Ray a lot but she’s pretty freaking special to me.

Then, just when life feels like it is going to break you, the Universe (or whatever external divinity you believe in) reminds you that good (and even great) things are out there.  You just have to be brave enough to take them.

Currently, I’m typing this on my laptop at a table 3,000 miles from home.  I’m still coming down off the high of even being given this opportunity.  I thought it wasn’t real up until I got told there was an action in the system for it.  Still didn’t believe it was real as I was driving out this way.  It probably won’t hit me that this is really happening to me until I get to work tomorrow and get settled.

Every missed opportunity from before…  I want to say has led to this moment.  It hasn’t though.  I screwed up on an interview years ago for almost the exact position in a different location.  Then there was Portland.  I had my hopes up and everything, only to have it land in my face 24 hours later with two words:  Not selected.  I kicked myself a lot for those, but I wouldn’t change the way all that happened.

Life is good and things are awesome.  And someone was willing to take the chance on me to allow me to the chance to work in the field.

All because I put my name in the hat to do something different.

Listening to:  Down with the Sickness by Disturbd

Reading:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling and Lirael by Garth Nix (Tim Curry is an awesome narrator!)

Quote of the Day:  “The most important thing is this: to be able at any moment – to sacrifice what you are, for what you will become!” ― Eric Thomas

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Filed under Advice Column, Bucket List, Vacations/Travel

Chances

Tomorrow is my paperwork based one year anniversary at my job, even though I actually started two weeks later.  I’m not sure why I’m mentioning this other than I wonder sometimes what would have happened if I had stayed in my other position.

I had to ask Ray for a topic this morning because I couldn’t think of anything to write about.  I was going to write about setting goals but that didn’t flow as well as her topic is.  Her question was, “What have you gained and lost by taking chances?”

Gained?  A lot.  Lost?  Maybe some of my sanity.

My chances or risks have been pretty successful for the most part.  The last few months have been rough, with both of us questioning things, but for the most part, things have been good.  The biggest chance I took:  Coming to D.C. for Job Corps.

You never really think about one decision changing the course of your life.  I’ve screwed up a lot in the last 12 ½ years, but that one decision rolled in with a whole lot of others.  Taking the train home, starting a conversation with someone who is still in my life, people who have come and gone, all of that leading to one major chance that further changed my life:  Meeting Ray.

I’ve said this before, but it bears a lot of repeating.  Writing about the people you love is easy, even if it gets a little bit tedious to others.

I hadn’t wanted to go to that party, and I was pretty pushy.  She didn’t want to have much to do with me, and after looking at old pictures, I wouldn’t have wanted to have much to do with me either.  But we took a chance, and we’re still taking chances on each other.  There are days I wonder how I got so lucky.  I love that woman like there is no tomorrow.

And there are days I wonder if we made the right choice, if I’m missing out of something by being with her and settling down.  I get that from my dad, the not-quite-settling-down part of him that made him never stay long in one place.  I’m like my dad in some ways, but the choices I’ve made make us different people.  My dad wasn’t ever really afraid to take chances on his dreams, even if the family unit suffered.

My dream might be easier without people there; I’d love to travel more.  I’d love to do the European Tour as a solo traveler, just once.  But there is one thing that I noticed during Orlando, walking towards Ray with food in one hand after making her walk through Epcot.  Traveling the world may be more expensive with two people, but the experiences that those people share are priceless.  You never know how priceless without taking a chance on a future with that person.

Had I not taken that one chance, I wouldn’t have everything that I have in my life today.  Life may suck somedays, but the only wish I have was that I would have met her sooner and saved both of us some heartache and life lessons.

Listening to:  Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Reading:  They Both Die in the End by Adam Silvera and Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Quote of the Day:  “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” ― John F. Kennedy

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Just because you can…

…Doesn’t mean you should.

I’ve referring to borrowing books, not something tragic, like opening my mouth to someone who doesn’t need to know what’s really going on and just dropping all my emotional baggage onto them.

No, I’m talking about borrowing audiobooks and books fitting the reader’s state of mind.

A couple weeks ago, I borrowed Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert from Overdrive.  I put it on my TBR and everything, hoping to get to it.  I haven’t.  In 11 days, I haven’t picked it and up and now that I can, I don’t want to.  The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, same thing.  I also have a few physical books that I want to read but I’m just not in the mood to read them.

Eat Pray Love I have read a few times over the years.  I’m not in a truly dark place in my life now, but I think I want to make notes in my copy of the book so I’m holding off on that one until next year.  The Girl on the Train may also wait, since I own a copy of that book too.

Physical book wise, last night, I had a book picked out and was going to start it after reading a few graphic novels.  Something happened between me reading them and the other book.  When I went to go pick it up, I couldn’t crack the cover, metaphorically speaking.  I just wasn’t interested in it at that point.

I wanted dark.  I didn’t want light and fluffy.  I wanted dark reading.  I had quite a few books that fit that bill.  Thankfully, the one I picked up, I haven’t really wanted to put down but had to so I could get work done.

Whether my book choices are trying to help me gear up for the last quarter of my NaNoWriMo novel or not, I’m starting to be very particular about the books I start and those I don’t.

All books are meant to be read from a place of love because all books carry something for the reader.  The string of Meh books I’ve had lately, I’ve come to understand I don’t have to finish the books I don’t connect with because there are books, like You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day or History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, that deserve more of my attention.  I took things from those books (go get it because you’ve got this!  And being said after someone dies is okay; the destructive behavior afterwards, no so much) where the Meh books just sort of where a “What not to write” warning.

Longer post than I meant it to be, but I have to do this with real life, too.  Being stuck where I am not happy isn’t good for me or those around me.  Writing for NaNoWriMo helped me pull out some tools and I’m ready to get back on the saddle and finish other books outside of just the book this month, starting with Shadow.

Happy Friday folks.

Listening to:  Little Ones by Highly Suspect.  It’s not been on repeat all day today so that’s a plus.

Reading:  The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.  Holy *&^%.  I’m not far into it, but it makes me want to grab a warm beverage and a blanket and curl up somewhere so I can just devour the rest of it.

Quote of the Day:  “Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghost of yesterday. Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. Get even with people… but not those who have hurt us, forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us.” ― Steve Maraboli

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Managing Expectations

I had a few things happen to me personally over the weekend.  They weren’t bad things just annoyances that are still hitting me today.  When I came in this morning for work, I was talking to a friend about them, and about something else too.  I forget the exact words, but we ended up talking about managing expectations.

See, I have expectations for things in my life.  When things don’t meet those expectations, I get upset.  Normal human reaction, especially for someone with control issues.  Here’s how all this came up though.

My expectations for this weekend:

  • Make between $300 and $500 this weekend ridesharing.
  • Finish at least one book that I was reading/listening too.
  • Walk seven/eight miles.
  • Pick up the remaining things needed for vacation.
  • Post two videos: One wrap-up video and one book tag video

One… One thing out of those actually happened.  The others were partly done or not done at all.

My expectations for life:  That people are open enough that my lifestyle shouldn’t bother them.

I’m gay.  I get that there are people out there that don’t like gay people, aren’t okay with, etc.  I hadn’t really met any of those people.  I’ve met people that don’t agree with my choice to not have children (at one point I did, but now I have three.  I’m good.).  I’ve met people who make comments about my day job and how I couldn’t make it in the private sector.  I’ve met people who wouldn’t even say “Hi” to me because of my size.  I’ve met people that I didn’t feel comfortable telling I was gay to while they are stuck in a car with me.  So my expectation I guess had become that more people than not are okay with my lifestyle.

Yeah, no.

I was talking about my son going to Marines this past week to a couple from NC.  When I got asked if I was a nervous wreck, I said, “No, but his mom is.”  *Confused looks*  “But you said ‘your son?’” “Yes, my wife has three boys, so that makes them mine too.”  *Subject change*

Needless to say it was awkward after that confession.  I did it to myself by being proud of my relationship and our son.  I stopped talking so much after that trip and just drove.

I’m waiting to hear back from my application for Amazon Flex so I can give up rideshare driving.  Between that instance and people abusing the system (UberPool and Lyft line are for two people per trip.  Please stop trying to get away with 3 or more people.  Please order the right vehicle for your party, too.  OMG, the horror stories people…horror stories–See this upcoming Wednesday’s post).  I liked the money but I’m over the people.

Sigh.  Come on Sunday!

Listening to:  Human by Raggin Bone Man

Reading:  A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Quote of the Day:  “There’s a certain grace in accepting what your life is and embracing all the good things that have been – but there’s still an expectation of good things to come. Not necessarily what you expected.” ― Emmylou Harris

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Filed under Advice Column, Driving