New Job & The Covid

It’s March 31, 2020, and we’re still in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. For the most part, most of us in the USA are in a “shelter in place” recommendation, where we are encouraged to stay home as much as possible. I’m at home alone with occasional visits from Ted (on his weeks when he doesn’t have the kids) and I only leave the house to go to the pharmacy, supermarket/ take-out, and walks. I went to Ted’s on Sunday for a movie and dinner, namely to see the kids because I hadn’t seen them since our spring break trip in Feb to Florida.

In the middle of this illness, a lot has happened on a personal level. On Thursday, I gave my notice to my job that my last day will be April 17th. I am leaving for a new position at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA as a director of development on the “grateful patient” team. It’s bittersweet. I’ve really enjoyed my time at my current job, but since they wouldn’t consider me for the senior role there, I knew I had to move on. As one of my donors said to me today, “You’re nobody’s number 2!”

I have so many thoughts and emotions right now, but not quite ready to put them out there. Still mulling things over. All I can say is that my new job is a great next step in my career. I can tell I’m going through the stages of grief with my current job. I’m working towards “acceptance.”

More to come!

A Whole New World

I wish my title was an homage to Aladdin, but it is actually an nod to an epidemic hitting our planet called the Coronavirus or COVID-19 (link to the Aladdin song in case you need a pick me up!).

Over the last few weeks, a deadly virus began sweeping quickly through China, and spread to many European countries and the United States. It’s too hard for me to write how many cases because it keeps changing, but here’s a link to CNN’s live update.

I want to focus this blog post on the sociological and psychologist ramifications of an outbreak, though, and less on the medical components, which are namely low grade fever, deep dry cough, and the like. People are panicking. There has been a run on hand sanitizer, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and milk. Why? My belief is that it is something that is within our control. If we can’t control where and when the virus strikes, we can control that we have ample toilet paper or milk, lest we forget that milk eventually spoils. And does everyone drink milk these days, anyhow? I already had plenty of toilet paper and tissues at home, so I didn’t worry about that. What I did worry about was making sure I have enough cat food in case I get sick and am quarantined and enough food in my freezer. I also went out and bought a thermometer to see if I have a fever at any point. It’s a good thing to have on hand anyhow. Of course the only one left cost $45 but fortunately I used FSA money to cover the costs.

People tend to panic when things are out of their control and there is a level of unknown. Because there has been such a polarizing political climate, I’ve seen people blaming the President or other politicians on social media for the epidemic. Listen I am not a particular fan of our President but I also need to remember that this is technically an unchartered territory for all leaders. Would I prefer if there was someone who was less of a narcissist in charge? Yes. Am I concerned that this will be 100% politically-motivated? No. At some point, I have to believe in our leadership and that good choices will be made in order to keep people alive. End of story. I heard a snip-it on the news this morning where the President tried to sugarcoat the fact that our stock market has crashed. It’s his defense mechanism. Anyone who follows the news and the market knows why it has crashed. And we also need to have faith that it will rebound. Do I wish he’d be more transparent about it? Yes. But I have to rely on my own wherewithal here and see through his bullshit.

I wasn’t planning on getting into politics here, but my point is more so that politicians need to rally together at a time like this. Fine, I know it is an election year so let our candidates shine and show us what they got (I’m looking at you, Joe Biden!).

Ok, back to the social stuff. Please do me a solid and don’t just read headlines or click bate. Take the time to listen to the experts, who are frankly not necessarily your friends or family. Look for reputable sources, like the CDC, to get your information. I’ve also been listening to the New York Times’s podcast, The Daily, which seems to give thoughtful information. I also tend to trust my physician friends. Anyhow, those are my thoughts. More on this, I am sure!

The 4 Agreements

For a variety of reasons, I’ve started seeing a job coach again. I’ve been struggling with my place at work and where I want to land. My self-esteem has been very low and I don’t want it to affect how I perform in life and in work. With that said, I’ve already reached my fundraising goal, but I digress….

I’ve only had one session so far with my new job coach but she does seem to have very good intuition. I can drone on and on, and she seems to get the point in a nutshell. I appreciate that very much. I recently got feedback that I was “chatty” which is completely true, And it is something I’ve heard before. So I thought it might be something to work on. I’ve been reading a very interesting book called You’re Not Listening by author Kate Murphy. i’m getting some good takeaways about how to be a better listener, which ultimately, I think, will make me a better communicator in general. Kate attacks this topic very intellectually, including a lot of scientific data, which I really enjoy. I’m in the middle of the chapter that talks about actual listening with your ears and which ear is more receptive to different types of conversation. I’m definitely going to be more observant when somebody leans in to listen to a conversation, looking to see which ear it is.

My job coach suggested that I read a book called the four agreements. I have to admit it’s not written very well, it is not for a highbrow audience. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t be open minded. The four agreements are as follows: be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. I think these are good agreements to live by. I try to be good to my word and not bullshit. I often take things personally but I am working on that. I try to use cognitive behavioral therapy to avoid making assumptions and catastrophizing things. And I’m pretty sure I’m always striving to do my best. So it’s that little thing about taking things personally that seems to get me. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Update 2/12/20

It’s been a week. Mom had a scan, and remains cancer free, but the waiting for the results was “stomach-tied-in-knots” agonizing. I had a big grin today knowing that we don’t have to worry for the time being.

Just got back home from a staff retreat in NJ. Over the weekend, mom & I did a Marvelous Mrs Maisel tour of NYC. We had a lot of fun!

And I came home to this….

You can’t make this stuff up!

Bariatric Surgery, 1.5 years later.

Gross post, alert! Read at your own risk.

So, I had a long awaiting appointment with a new GI doctor today to discuss my constipation issues post-surgery. For those of you who aren’t squeamish and have been following along, you’ll recall this has been a problem since June/July. The doctor put me on a new regime of over-the-counter treatments and will see me in 3 months. With a small stomach, it’s hard to gulp down water or other drinks so I am not drinking enough water. I can tell because my lips are incredibly dry and my contact lenses fell out of my eyes twice this week (lack of moisture in my eyes). It’s been hard for me to take care of myself lately because I’ve been working so much. I told my boss I need to cut back on it, and he agreed, which is a first step in self care. I learned this the hard way at my last job when I worked an 80-hour week and then traveled to Rome, and ended up with bronchitis for about 4 weeks! I have had 2 cold this winter, and it is clear to me that it is stress-related. I know my body well enough to know the telltale signs!

Other things are brewing in my life that I won’t get into here, but some are good, and some aren’t. Working from home (aka Starbucks) today helps as I have on a hoodie and jeans since I’m not meeting with any donors and just catching up on very delayed data entry and busy work. I’m comfortable, which helps!

Ted and I had dinner last weekend with some of his friends, and when they asked how long we’ve been together, he said, “2 years in May.” Wow! I can’t believe it has been that long! And I love him more than ever 🙂

3am

It’s 3 AM and I’m awake because I’ve caught another terrible cold. This is the second one that I’ve had this winter. Some years, I can remain relatively healthy, but when my immune system is compromised, I tend to catch whatever is in the air. Unfortunately my assistant came to work with a cold so I may have caught it from the office. It’s interesting, because I usually credit getting sick often to being vulnerable from stress. I’ve been working long hours the past few weeks, with little downtime. We are down one staff person in my office so I’m working double time to compensate for this. I know there are interviews happening for a second person in the office, so that provide some comfort that things will calm down at some point. Of course, adding a new personality into the mix doesn’t always mean “comfort” but sometimes it’s just out of your hands!

In the meanwhile, I’m here, wide awake with my thoughts. and my tissues.  my main thought is, “thank goodness for Ted.” He is so supportive of everything, and frankly, gets me through every day. I’m very lucky to have him in my life. He has become my rock.

Despite not feeling well, every time I see someone I haven’t seen in a while, they say “you look really happy on Facebook.” It makes me laugh! Everybody looks happy on Facebook 🙂 but, they’re right.

I hope you have enjoyed my 3 AM thoughts! Good night!

Tackling January day-by-day

Sitting at Whole Foods, having a salad, before I head to a doctor’s appointment. This morning I went to an event on parenting offered by one of my former employers. Since Ted and I have made a commitment to each other, I think it is important that I learn a bit about parenting since he has a pair of kids (in all seriousness, I want to be a good influence on the boys, who I adore). It was nice to be reconnected with my former colleagues, who all welcomed me with open arms. The person who replaced me as the lead fundraiser greeted me with a huge hug. How incredible was that? Even my old boss gave me kudos for making a difference at the organization. The wonders never cease. I commented on how great I’m doing, etc.

And I am, for the most part, but when I got back to my office, I felt incredibly drained and depleted of all energy. I realize that although I’m doing well with this winter’s potential blues, it’s not completely out of the picture. I don’t have the same level of energy that I do on a bright and sunny day. After a few hours of being an extrovert, I’m spent. Perhaps it is because I haven’t had a day off in about 10 days? 12 days? I can’t remember anymore. All I know is that I’ve been working nonstop since we are down one employee in my office. I’m working hard not to burn out, but it isn’t easy. Ted and I are heading to FL in February with the kids, but to be honest, I’ll have to be “on” as we’ll be staying with his parents. As I’ve said to him, I need to just get comfortable picking my nose in front of him. I don’t mean it literally, but it’s just to say that as someone who has lived alone her entire adult life, it’s an adjustment being around other people 24/7. I’m “on” for work and then I can go home and be “off.”

I’ve learned the best thing is to be really honest with Ted about this stuff so I don’t feel like I’m hiding anything. He’s been super supportive (not surprising if you know him) and I don’t feel like I have to always be “on” when I’m with him. That’s all for now from Whole Foods!

Lowering my dose

I’ve been taking the same dosage of antidepressants now for about 10-15 years. Month after month, like clockwork, I fill my 2 prescriptions with their $5 copays. And each night, I swallow my 3 pills so that I can get through each day. 40 mg of this, 75 msg of that. Clockwork. Rinse, repeat.

Today, my doctor said she’d like to consider losing my dosage. Picture my chin nearly hitting the floor. I’ve honestly never thought my dosage would change, or if it did, it’s only increase over time. To be mentally in a good place is surreal. I attribute it to Ted, having a pet, and having a flexible schedule at work where I can get access to the sun if/when I need it at these darker times of the year. I’m financially sound, my mom is in remission, and I’m fairly peaceful with life.

Will it hold up? I will use this place to monitor my moods and with hope, I will be able to lower my dose come May, when I have my next appointment. But this is seriously awesome! 😃

45 🥂

It’s erev my 45th birthday. For my non-Jewish readers, “erev” is Hebrew for the “night before.”

I can’t believe I’ll be 45 tomorrow. Seems old. Aren’t I still 21?

I saw my therapist today and we took some time to reflect on my last year. It’s certainly had some high highs and some low lows. But, fortunately, it’s wrapping up on a high. Things with Ted are great. In fact, we both took tomorrow off from work to spend it together. 😃

Mom is doing amazingly well. She’s back to Broadway trips, travel, planning for the future.

And I’m enjoying my job. Our big boss sent me a note today to tell me how great I’m doing at work. So nice. And my immediate boss sent me a gift of chocolate covered pretzels. Yum!

Spending Friday with my two besties for dinner.

Things are good. Here’s to 45! 🥂

The next morning

I wanted to write this morning to comment on how much better I’m feeling after my evening of anxiety. While I did have some insomnia, I feel less stressed this morning and ready to tackle the day. I thought it was important to show the other side of anxiety, that you can get through it. In the moment, it can feel all consuming. but sometimes, you wake up in the morning, and you just feel better. happy Friday!

Snap out of it

Ted was over earlier, and I was dealing with some anxiety, and we joked about being able to “snap out of it.” I shouldn’t say that I “was” dealing with anxiety when I “am” dealing with anxiety. I try not to get too specific about my job here, but I will say that my anxiety is related to my job. I’m currently holding down the fort at my office, without a change in job or title, which leads me to feel extremely vulnerable. While I know I’m working hard, there is a lot of mess to clean up and I can’t seem to tell sometimes if I’m coming or going. Yes, I can see progress, but as an overachiever, I want to see the fruits of our labor coming quicker.

It’s funny. I virtually heard my own words coming out of a lay leader’s mouth today, and it made me feel really good to know that he had bought in. but of course there’s that small part of me that knew they were my ideas coming out of someone else’s mouth. Perhaps that’s what my job has to be right now.…Being a sort of silent partner if you will.

I can’t tell yet if my hardwork is going to pay off. I’m hopeful, but I’ve been disappointed before. I don’t wanna be a fool and stick around just to be overlooked. I guess I don’t have to make any decisions tonight, but I thought it was important to get my thoughts out on my blog.

Self Care Tip: Advent Calendars

OK so I know I’m Jewish but I can’t get enough of advent calendars! I’m not talking about the ones that come with chocolate Santas or Christmas ornaments. While those are lovely, I am talking about the ones that allow you a little taste of “self care” every day. Last year I treated myself to a target beauty advent calendar, but I opened up all of the compartments at once! Oops.

I saw a promotion for a $20 beauty advent calendar from Trader Joe’s, where I buy most of my soaps and shampoos and the like. So I hopped over there a few days ago and treated myself to the calendar. I am only opening one compartment per day so for 12 days, when I get home from work, I get a little treat!

It’s an inexpensive way to give yourself a gift every day. try it!

Goodbye and Thank you

This is been a very surreal evening. Around 3:30 PM, I received a phone call from one of our board members that the chair of our board from my job passed away. He had actually been acting as our chair for the last two years while we looked for his successor. I literally sent out an email last Friday transitioning him out and our new chair in. I knew he was sick, but when I spoke to him last week, he told me he was improving. Perhaps he said that to everyone to ease our worries.

These are the type of moments that remind me that work is more than just work. Even if we sit behind a computer we are still interacting with other people, living and breathing and existing. While we may have a different personality at work, we’re still living and breathing and existing. So when someone passes away, it’s hard not to feel. This was one of the nicest man, a true gentleman. He will be missed and I will remember him fondly for his kindness.

Take Care

It has been a whirlwind few weeks. Visit to NH with Ted’s family followed by a visit to my family and Philly to meet my friend’s little sweet baby (shout out!), and in between, I’m covering about 2.5 jobs in the office since my boss quit in July and my assistant left last month. This weekend my parents will meet Ted’s parents over brunch at my place so trying to clean and get ready. Oh, and my big boss is coming to Boston and we’ll throw an event at a private home.

My therapist asked me when I’m going to fit in time for myself. So, tonight I’m writing as my nails dry. Me time. Then, I plan to watch some Hulu and play games on my iPad. Ted is with the kids tonight but he came over last night & we just hung out, which was nice!

I feel like life is passing me by right now and I’m not able to live in the moment. So, I’m doing that now. In this very moment, I’m taking care of myself. Because if I don’t, who will? (Yes, Ted, I know you will 🙂 )

One year later, would I do it again?

It has been almost one year since I had my bariatric surgery. As writer Roxane Gay said, “this surgery is barbaric when you think about it.” Did I mention she said that directly to me? See how I threw in that name drop? Yes! I met Roxanne last Friday at a conference, and I raised my hand, and asked her about how she was doing since she had the gastric sleeve (same as me). She said that she is happy that she did the surgery, and I agreed. She said that she misses being able to “eat her feelings” and I nodded. Food is fuel. Repeat after me. Food is fuel. Here, Roxane writes about her feelings on the surgery.

So, one year later, would I do it again? 100% yes. Now, if you secretly think it is an “easy way out” of obesity, I will say that having 75% of your stomach surgically removed through five small incisions in your body is anything but easy. The recovery time is fairly swift (back at work after 2 weeks), but it took me a few months before I really got the hang of my newly-renovated organ.

Last night I went to the support group at the hospital where I had the surgery, and it was the “meet the starts” panel of people reporting to pre-surgical folks about what to expect. I went because some folks have been doing some diet talk around me lately, and it is bothersome on many levels. I wanted to ask the group how they handle it. I learned that everyone’s recovery is just a bit different but there are some commonalities. Here’s my list for curious readers and people contemplating the surgery:

  1. Everyone’s recovery from bariatric surgery is unique.
  2. Protein is crucial. With a tiny stomach, protein provides slow and steady energy. And make sure that protein is moist. Dry stuff tends to get stuck. Honey mustard, ranch dressing, etc are perfect accompaniments to grilled chicken, steak, salmon, etc.
  3. You may have to say goodbye to your favorite carbs, like rice, pasta and bread. I can’t remember the last time I had sushi. Before my surgery, I ate it religiously. Now I go for a teriyaki salmon instead when heading to a Japanese restaurant. Still delicious.
  4. Your shoe size may change! I was a solid size 8 for years while heavier. I am now a 7, maybe a 7 1/2. I’m slowly replacing all of my shoes. If you’re a size 8 and want to raid my closet, give me a shout out before I sell them all on Poshmark!
  5. Speaking of Poshmark, resale websites are a great place to get rid of clothes that are too big. I also do a lot of donating via the Vietnam Veterans of America, who pick up at my front door. I’ve sold about 7 bags to ThredUp as well.
  6. Many people will comment on your body changes. Some won’t. It’s good to decide up front how you want to respond. My general response when someone tells me I “look good” is to say, “thank you, I feel good.” I did this to feel better and be healthier, so my response is appropriate. I do not mind if people comment. It happens. I don’t sweat it.
  7. You do not need to be so open about how you lost the weight. While I am open about having the surgery, others just tell select friends and family. Totally fine too.
  8. Your tastebuds may change. I can immediately tell if something has added salt now. At first, I can’t stand it but after a few bites, I am usually ok.
  9. Going out to restaurants can be incredibly stressful. Since I’m open about my surgery, I usually say to wait staff, “I am going to eat a small amount of food, very slowly, and take the rest home. It doesn’t mean I didn’t like it.” I find this allows me to eat in peace. I do not do this to help the wait staff. I do it to help me. Remember that if I say this when I’m out to eat with you. It helps me eat in peace.
  10. People are curious and generally uneducated about this surgery unless they know someone who had it. People will think you had a lap band or a bypass. It’s an easy thing to clarify. Don’t sweat it. And I don’t mind answering questions for curious minds.
  11. Not drinking enough can really be detrimental to your body. You’ve seen my previous posts about “severe constipation.” Drink up. I’m sipping on a Powerade as I write. No sugar gaterade-type drinks are fantastic to help with this problem.
  12. Speaking of drinking, be very careful when you drink alcohol again. I will only take a few sips when out in public because you can get drunk very quickly. No one wants a DUI.
  13. You can gain the weight back. The human body is a miraculous beast – that stomach can stretch, you can fill it with ice cream and then fill it up again shortly thereafter, and suddenly, your weight can go up again. So, it’s good to be mindful about food intake.
  14. Exercise is important to one’s success. I wish I could say I’ve been diligent in this area, but I’m trying. Wanna take a walk?
  15. Despite the stats, relationships can survive the surgery!

 

L’shana Tova 5780

It’s the Jewish New Year today so for those who celebrate, Shana Tova.

As I reflect back on 5779, I can’t help but think of my mom & the year we’ve been through, starting out rocky and ending with a sweet new year. Pour the honey on those apples! But the irony isn’t lost on me that after services, my parents went to visit the oncologist. It’s that nagging reminder to be joyful, but don’t be cocky. (Jewish guilt, anyone?).

At the same time, 5779 brought me a stronger bond with Ted & his boys. And, 5779 was my surgery year, where I lost 85 lbs but more importantly, gained so much strength. And I adopted Nermal this year (she just growled at me because I pulled the iPad charger out of her mouth).

It’s the time now where we ask for forgiveness, before Yom Kippur. May we forgive each other as we’re humans with flaws & just doing our best. I’ll even cut Nermal some slack despite probably needing a new charger!

Sunday

It’s Sunday night, a bit after 9 PM. Today, I worked most of the day, helping with an alumni event for the University where I work. It’s really nice to work with such great people who really respect me and appreciate my hard work. With other jobs, it was assumed that I would work until exhaustion. Like, for example, I ran a board meeting this past week and many of the members acknowledged that I am doing the work of three people until we replace my boss that left and my administrative assistant who is leaving soon. My organization is committed to helping me be successful. It’s quite refreshing!

I had a really nice time with Ted this weekend. We went to see the new Downton Abbey movie, and we both enjoyed it. Even though we’ve been together for about a year and a half, we realize this is the first time we’ve ever gone to the movies together! It was really lovely. We shared a drink and a popcorn. It was so nice to be there with him.

I’ve been busy gathering my fall wardrobe, which has been so fun. I love wearing calf high boots, so I just ordered two pairs online in the hopes that they fit. I’ve gotten some new blazers and I’ve been feeling good about myself. I also chopped off my hair the other day and it is, in my opinion, cute and more stylish.

So, I will conclude this blog post, by saying that this is one of the Sunday nights in a long time where I don’t dread Monday. Have a good night!

9/7/19

On the train on my way to NJ to see my folks before heading into the city on Monday for a work retreat. Yesterday, one of the founders of my office called me and said during the call, “So, you survived the cut.” Everyone has their theories about why the staff in my office are gone. I leave them guessing – not my place to share or feed into the gossip. Just trying to press on and do a good job running the office until the next shakeup occurs.

Saw Ted last night. He came over after work, and cooked a delish dinner. We haven’t had a lot of adult time together so it was good to have a date night with just us. I got a bit drunk from the wine we drank. It was fun to let loose, even for a short period of time, but I’m good on the drunk part for now. I couldn’t stop laughing. It was uncontrollable. Very different experience than before my surgery.

Speaking of, I’m finally over the hurdle I mentioned previously when it comes to my digestion. I have never experienced anything quite like that – so simple yet so debilitating. I able to eat again without the repercussions. Makes like a lot easier!

Looking ahead, I have a few busy fall with a lot of work stuff, personal obligations, and little free time so I know I need to make sure I find some “me time” or “self care” time (which often includes Ted-time too). When I’m overly scheduled, I go crazy. So, finding time for nails and hair and stuff is important! How do you take care of yourself when your busy? Suggestions welcome!

Seasonal changes

For some reason, it always feels like an artificial “new year” the day after Labor Day. Many kids start school again, the weather seems to get that fall chill, and it seems like a good time to get new clothes. Oh wait, that’s everyday… it’s almost like a cycle. When the seasons change from summer to fall, you want to whip out your sweaters and pick a bunch of apples from the trees. Even Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks are on the bandwagon, introducing their pumpkin spice everything even before September 1 hits.

I used to feel like the fall became my “busy season” at work, but it seems like every season is just as busy now. With the departure of my two bosses, it’s up to me to hold down the fort. My assistant is now part time so there is a lot more on my plate. I will say that I am enjoying it though. I don’t have a short leash anymore and I’m able to accomplish a lot more, quickly, with little supervision. It feels empowering.

I’m still dealing with the side effects of my surgery that I described in my one of my last blog posts.

And my boyfriend’s kids are dealing with their parent’s divorce, which I can only imagine is incredibly challenging for a 10-year-old mind. It’s hard not to wanna hug them and say it’s going to be OK, but I do believe that it ultimately will be.

Mom and dad are doing well, which is always a relief. I’ll be heading to see them this weekend on my way to a business trip in New York.

Tomorrow night is a big event for work. It’s surprising to me how I feel more excited about it than nervous. I know I have things under control, and I’m excited to enjoy the experience. What a difference with this job and others of the past! Despite the challenges with staff coming and going, I’m determined to see it through and dedicate myself to it’s success.

That’s the update for tonight!

Fat Shaming is a no-no.

Still processing my experience being fat shamed. I had a work meeting and the woman I was meeting with made a comment about how I look more professional now that I’ve lost weight. Honestly the only difference in style of clothes was a smaller size (same style) and I was wearing dangling earrings (that cost $29 from StitchFix) versus my usual gold & diamond studs/hoops that cost, let’s just say, more than $29.

She said that they don’t sell “professional” clothing in my old size. Let’s look at some of the items I sold through thredUP, shall we?

Lots of dress pants, blazers, and dresses.

Listen, she realized what she said was wrong and later called to apologize. It was the right thing to do but some damage had been done: she fat shamed me in an attempt to tell me “how great I look now.”

It’s her issue, people said to me. But she made it mine.

I don’t want to dwell on this so I’ll leave you with these 3 thoughts.

1. No one (!) has the right to comment on your body or appearance! No one.

2. Just because someone is overweight doesn’t mean he/she is not professional, capable, intelligent, attractive, nice, funny, lazy, etc etc etc.

3. Thin doesn’t always equate with healthy, and fat doesn’t always equate with unhealthy.

Please, think twice before you comment on someone’s weight loss, appearance, or the like. 😍

8/16/19 Long Update

I know I haven’t written much lately. My writing tends to ebb and flow. Here’s the latest update.

Post-Surgical Complications: I promised never to “sugar coat” my recovery from my bariatric surgery. For the most part, it’s been smooth. But for the last month or so, I’ve been having some serious digestive issues. I went to see my surgeon this morning, and it looks like I have “severe constipation.” I’ll leave it at that and post this photo. Which one of these things is not like the others?

TMI
I call this photo “TMI.” You can’t see it closely, but there is a new eye liner in the front. Need to find beauty amongst all of this shit.

Cat: The cat and I are adjusting well to each other. She seems settled in and likes her new surroundings. She likes her new cat food, catnip toys, and scratching lounge chair. She doesn’t like not going outside, when I close my bedroom door, and vacuums. Here she is exploring her Petco box.

IMG_2459
No, I did not order her from Petco.

My folks: Both are doing well. Mom is in remission (yay!) and dad is still dad. They’re heading for their first vacation since mom was diagnosed – a weekend in the Berkshires with friends, and then a visit to Boston to see us. We’re going to take a look at some independent living facilities – not for now, but just to be educated since many have long waiting lists. Trust me, they’re not moving anywhere soon. But it’s good to have options.

My boyfriend: Yep, he’s still sticking with me! It’s been 1 year and 3 months since we started dating. Longest relationship since college. He’s still a keeper. This weekend we’re going shopping with the kids and maybe a hike or walk. We’ll see how my “severe constipation” cooperates.

Work: It’s been a bumpy road over the last few months at work, but I’ve been reassigned to another boss – and this one is great. He lets me do my thing and seems to be supportive of my success. I needed that after the last few months of feeling beaten down. I am fully aware of how good I have it at my job – good benefits and salary, nice coworkers, freedom to do my work, ability to grow, nice office that is 5 minutes from home, opportunity to travel. As they say, the grass isn’t always greener…so unless something really amazing shows up on my doorstep, I’m going to keep pressing on at my job and go from there.

Moods: So, in or around 1999, I was diagnosed with a mysterious mood disorder, later categorized as major depression and anxiety. That was 20 years ago! I can safely say that because of medication and talk therapy, I am doing really well with it all. There’s depression and then there’s major depression. I’m not trying to take away from other people’s problems, but until you’ve experienced a major depressive episode, it’s hard to understand what it is like. It’s incredibly hard to do pretty much anything unless curl up in a ball under the covers. I don’t have many of those experiences these days. I am pretty much functioning with a balanced lens – some days are better than others, as with life. It’s a lifelong struggle.

A quick shout out to JB, loyal friend and reader, who recently had a little girl! Can’t wait to meet her soon.

Hugs and kisses to you all!

 

Nermal

It’s been a wild week. Weeks.

My boss resigned, so I’m now on my 3rd boss in 1 year. And, my assistant is going back to grad school so she’ll be leaving. So, I’ll be the last person standing besides the national team member who works out of our office (who is a delight).

I’m working on whipping the office into shape, and have asked for a promotion, but I don’t know where I’ll land.

I met the rest of Ted’s family! So lovely. I really like them all, and they’re very good to me. And of course, Ted is the best! ❤️

Mom is doing well. She’s in remission so she’s been living her best life. We splurged on Gucci purses from Amsterdam so I can’t wait to give her hers!

And me? I’m hanging in. Very tired. Sad my trip to Africa has come & gone. I need to go through my photos and create an album. Maybe this weekend??

My friend Jen and I are headed for makeovers and dinner on Sat. Should be so fun.

Oh, and I’m now caring for Nermal, Ted’s cat! Here she is:

Quick update 7/16/19

Been too busy to write about my unbelievable journey through Kenya & Uganda but will do it soon!

Came back to more changes at work – my current boss resigned, so that makes my third boss in less than 2 years! Rolling with the punches. Advocating for myself since I love my job. We shall see!

Heading to the Cape this weekend to meet the rest of Ted’s family. Looking forward to that – I miss him! Saw him a few hours when I got home, and now he’s on vacation this week with the kids.

More later!

PS came home to a pledge gift of $125,000 at work! 🙌

Vacationitis

Vacation countdown! 1.5 workdays left until I’m off from work for 2 weeks. I need this break so badly! Even though it will be a very active vacation – full days of education and discovery with 24-hour travel cycles – it will be so nice to take a breather. I can’t completely unplug because I have a work event on the Sunday when I return, so I may need to check email & whatnot.

Having lunch tomorrow with my good friend, and then vacation begins! Getting a massage in the morning on Saturday, and then spending the day with Ted. Heading to hear/see a podcast recording in the evening with another friend. Sunday will be packing/saying goodbye/hanging with Ted.

Still can’t quite believe I’m traveling across the world to Kenya and Uganda. I can’t even imagine what it will be like. That’s the fun of it – exploring a new part of the world – and experiencing it for the first time.

Want to learn more about my trip? Click here!

5 inch shorts

I bought 5 inch jean shorts today at Target in a size 14. Last summer I had Bermuda shorts from Avenue in a size 24. Listen, I rocked both pairs but the freedom I felt today wearing my new shorts, a T-shirt, and Flip-flops on an 88 degree day was pretty awesome. I had a little more sass in my step (in my ass?). Granted I wore them to pick up a slice of pizza but who cares?

My shorts (not my butt, though) 😉