For the Love of #$!%…Pet Peeves

So lately I’ve been thinking a lot about writing my blog, but doing very little actual writing. Hmmmph. In the meantime, I started a list of the #$@! that just bugs the crap out of me, otherwise known as my pet peeves. Who knew there could be so many? But when you actually start to jot them down – it may surprise you.

1) People who sing in public places. Ok, so you think you’ve got talent. Or you just feel the urge and absolutely just can’t stop the noise from coming out of your mouth. Whatever your reason – if I wanted to hear you sing, I would’ve asked you or gone to your concert. So shut the $%#! up. Get to a choir practice, lock yourself up in your room or your car, belt it out in the shower, but keep it to yourself. You’re not really as good as you think anyway and I’m not in the mood for mediocre entertainment!

2) Girls who wear gym shorts that could double as bikini bottoms. Two points here. Number 1: yes, your body rocks and I am jealous as hell, but number 2: are you going swimming or lifting weights? Make up your mind. Either way, I don’t need to see your ass.

3) Flip flops on lazy people. Just because you have on less of a shoe doesn’t mean you can drag it around. Pick up your damn foot and stop slopping around. It’s annoying. If it’s really that much work, I suggest you go barefoot.

4) Changing rooms in stores with a 6 item clothing limit. For the love of God, do you want me to shop or do you want me to SHOP? I’m not a thief and I’m a much bigger spender when I have lots of options to try on and choose from. You are cramping my style!

5) Crotch sniffing dogs. A literal pet peeve. Get your snout out of my crotch. It’s none of your damn business and you are making me feel like I’ve got something to worry about down there!

6) Bad song remakes. Listen, if you are going to copy someone else’s work, you’d better make it good and put your own spin on it. If you can’t be creative, don’t bother.

7) Commercials at the movie theatre. This is just plain wrong. Previews = movies and commercials = TV. I paid a good $10 to avoid them, not to mention whatever I paid for a few snacks. If I wanted commercials I would have waited for the TV release. Have a little respect for your audience.

8) Committing to do something & then as it gets closer, not wanting to do it. Big problem for me lately. Things sound great in the beginning, but then later it’s really just a drag and I want out. Can anyone say attitude adjustment?

9) Technology in general. The constant reminder of why it would be so helpful to have a man in my life. I’m a late adopter and would rather have someone else figure it all out first.

10) The songs (especially the sloppy romantic ones) that remind you of your youth & days gone by.  Making you want to re-live your those carefree days of no responsibility and a full life ahead. They suck and only succeed at making one feel sad, old and pathetic.

11) Improper steam room attire. Umm..excuse me, you are no longer working out. You are in the steam room. Sneakers and full workout gear not required. Towels and nakedness will suffice. Get a grip. If you are too shy to show a little skin in the steam room, you don’t deserve to be there.

12) Fitness instructors or trainers who lie about how much work is left for you to do. Nothing will piss me off more than a fitness instructor who tells you ‘ok, 8 more. let’s go. Push it.’ You kill yourself, sweating your balls off knowing it’s the last few reps and then she springs this on ya – “Ha. Just kidding. We’re not done. Keep going,” and proceeds to take you down 8 more rounds of 8 reps each. Listen, bitch I just busted my ass for you and gave you the last bit of gas in my engine. Play fair. This is soooo not motivational.

13) Celebrity magazines that talk about how much weight women have just lost after a baby. For one thing, most women have a tendency to lose the baby weight. It’s not so miraculous. Secondly, I don’t think half of those women really even had a baby. They faked it with a surrogate, so of course they still look fabulous.

14) TV shows that start mid-season or have 12-18 month hiatus between seasons or claim 6 shows as a season. Really? You are losing me here.

15) Flight Control App. That stupid game is highly addicting and I can’t ever beat my highest score. Son of a bitch.

16) Manicures. For me, they only last like 3-4 days max before the chipping begins. A big waste of money and time. On the plus side, I’ve just discovered Shellach. I swear it’s the newest and greatest invention since the IPOD! This stuff is magic. My manicure lasted 3 1/2 weeks and my nails grew a ton with no breakage. Love it!

What’s your pet peeve? Share away!

$37,294

I recently spent $37,294. Ever wonder what this amount of money can buy you? I think of things like a down payment on a house. New car. Stock in Apple. New furniture and a kitchen remodel. Real estate investment. Buying a small business. Trip around the world. Maybe two years of a college tuition. Taxes in a bad, bad, bad, year. Twenty years of gas or maybe only 10 with prices skyrocketing. But no, I didn’t buy any of those things. I bought eggs. Yep, eggs and I’m not even sure how many eggs I’ll be getting. Who pays that much money for something without knowing what they are getting? Welcome to the world of infertility! I’ve faithfully devoted a whole lot of cashola to buy the eggs of another woman, so they can be fertilized with the sperm of some guy I selected on paper and then implanted into me for the ‘growing and harvesting.’ All in the name of baby. Geez! All that money – you’d think I would make an effort to avoid the painful part as well – like labor! But I am a glutton for punishment. As if deciding to get pregnant and raise a child alone wasn’t difficult, now I am faced with what seems like every possible challenge in my attempt to even GET pregnant. Must persevere. It’s like do or die at this point, after 2 1/2 years, 4 inseminations, 3 IVFs, 2 sperm donors, more than $100,000 and the emotional drama of a roller coaster, I can’t even think about giving up. Not an option.

So I selected my egg donor and wrote the big check. Let me tell you, picking an egg donor is a heck of a lot harder than picking a sperm donor. It’s somehow more personal. It wasn’t about identifying some guy with a good health history, attractive personality and potential. It was about finding me in someone else. I was obsessed with the egg donor’s looks. She had to look like me, using only baby/young girl pictures and physical descriptions as a reference. I wanted her height, weight, hair, eyes and overall looks to reflect me. I was looking for the spitting image. Unfortunately, I can’t get exactly what I want  – after all, no one else is me. So, I have to sacrifice some elements. Even managing the challenge of actual selection, I still faced egg donor drama. The first donor I picked (consulted with friends/family and agonized over) was no longer available by the time I informed the clinic. This actually ended up being ok, because the second donor I found was my identical match as a child. I mean, she looked just like me! I loved it. Fate had spoken. This was the one. The clinic contacted her. Her schedule was free and she was ready to go. Great! Everything working out as planned. Two days later, family emergency and she is off-line for 4-5 months. What?!?! So back to the drawing board to pick my third donor. This one stuck. And things are now underway with an egg retrieval planned in May. It’s kind of weird to think that someone out there…in my backyard, so to speak, is growing my future. Everyone says, in the end, it won’t matter. Your eggs, not your eggs, your genetics, not your genetics – it will be your baby and that will be all that matters.

Silence is Golden.

I’ve not blogged these past two weeks. I feel a bit like a student who has not done her homework – feel guilty, but wondering if I can squeak by a few more days with no one noticing or without my grade being impacted. I’ve recently had a lot of feedback from friends on my blog, which has been super. I think the last entry “blogger’s rejection” guilted people into responding.  (Ha! How’s that for manipulation?) A lot of people have praised my honesty and vulnerability – which is what I was going for – so I’m glad that’s coming through. But these last two weeks I’ve decided that I hate vulnerability and could definitely live without it.  Writing (i.e. blogging) felt too personal and I have not been willing to put something out there.  I think I’m starting to come out of my shell a bit now, but honestly, vulnerability sucks.  I think I need to read up on why vulnerability is supposed to be good. I mean, really, is this a trait we have to live with? I guess it’s human nature and part of the bargain, but I am not a fan.

So let’s define it. To me, vulnerability means being honest and open with your feelings (a.k.a. weakness and whining). To the average dictionary, vulnerable is defined as:

          a. Susceptible to physical or emotional injury.  Yeah, this doesn’t sound so good.

          b. Susceptible to attack.  Again, not sounding like my cup of tea.

          c. Open to censure or criticism; assailable.  Ok, better.

          d. Liable to succumb, as to persuasion or temptation.  Back down the ‘thanks, I’ll pass” road

So what do the experts, i.e. ‘quote’ authoritarians of the internet, say about vulnerability? Well, apparently when not discussing how vulnerable their business, computer software or the global/US security might be, the experts seem to suggest that if you aren’t vulnerable you can’t love or be loved.

“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.” –Paulo Coelho

“Don’t keep your heart safe. Be vulnerable.” -John Mayer

“In the beginning, people thought that vulnerability  made you weak, but it does the opposite. It shows you are strong enough to care.”  –Victoria Pratt

“It is so sad how can we go through life hating people, thinking they are so different from us. It is only when we see them at their weakest point, seeing their vulnerability, that we start to realize how similar we all actually are to one another.” – Unknown

“When we were children we used to think that when we were grown up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability. To be alive is to be vulnerable.” – Madeleine L’Engle

So basically, if I don’t get my act together soon and embrace my vulnerability, I’m going to be alone and immature for the remainder of my life with the rest of the cold, calculating, uncaring, emotionless bitches out there. Great. Like I wasn’t already feeling vulnerable enough! It’s like trying to outrun a collision with an oncoming train, like this stupid guy. Whatever you do, don’t fall on the tracks! That makes you vulnerable!

A Blogger’s Rejection?

I started this blog not too long ago and I really believed I was putting myself on the line. I was offering my true self up to the world for all to see or for a few thousand to see, ok a few…well my subscribers are still in the double digits…so a few tens to see. I decided to be over the top, public, open and honest and say more than I would normally share with friends, family, acquaintances and strangers. The decision to not only publish a blog under my full name, but also connect it to my Facebook and twitter account was not done lightly. I could have gone with anonymity, but where’s the fun in that? In any event, I have proclaimed  2012 my year for creative freedom, so I thought this blog should really be all or nothing. Why continue to hide what I really felt about certain things? Make those opinions known! So what if that old work colleague clues into what I am doing now with my love life? Who cares if my high school friends learn about my dark world of bad health and constant struggle to get healthy? Maybe I’ll find a baby daddy with all this baby drama? Who knows, right?

I guess you could say that I had expectations. Yes, that damn dirty word that can throw your mental balance and happy-go-lucky outlook into devastating pieces….expectations. I mean, let’s face it, if you don’t have expectations you won’t expect certain things to happen a certain way and you certainly won’t be disappointed. Much better to live without them; which I will try harder to do from this point forward. 🙂

Since I had decided to be so open with this blog and ‘advertise’ on Facebook, I thought my friends and family would line up to follow, subscribe and enjoy. Yeah, not so much. Some have, don’t get me wrong; and some friends who I haven’t spoken to in a long awhile have actually sent me personal notes commenting on how much they like the blog or how much they can relate. That definitely means a lot. Big shout out to those folks (you know who you are)! But I have a couple of close friends, my Mom and my siblings who simply have not read my blog even though they know about it. WTF? I think my Mom doesn’t want to intrude on my personal life, so believes she shouldn’t read it. When I asked my sis, she said I needed to give her a break, she was too busy. I have tried not to take offense, but over the weekend I realized I was kidding myself — that these few people who I consider  ‘close’ to me can not take a few minutes to read a few paragraphs of what I consider to be me – vomiting up my life in words – kind of ticks me off.

But that’s no good for anybody, so I had to analyze it some more. Hmm..why was this a big deal to me?  These people of which I speak already know about the deep, dark drama in my life. They live it with me, most of the time. They are privy to the ins and outs on a regular basis, and they support and love me through these endeavors. So why would they want to read or re-live the trials and tribulations on paper? Why would they need to? And so I realized, it isn’t that they don’t care, but rather that I expected them to show their love of me by reading and following my blog. To me, that action shows they care, but of course, that is only what it means to ME and it’s not the only way to show their love. I love my blog and I’m proud of what I’ve done so far with my brutal honesty. I want them to be proud and I want them to love me. Ah-ha. But, they already do. So, I guess I am late to the game in learning the importance of accepting the ways other people show me they care and to stop ‘expecting’ them to fall in line and react in the way I think is right. Well, better late than never. After all, the only alternative is to get some new friends and family and at 40+ years, that is no longer an easy task. I think I’d rather stick with who I’ve got!

Weight is THE Number, But Not the Only Number

The downside of the forty plus decade age is that you start to notice your body does not quite operate the way it used to or the way you think it should. In my younger days, I heard those ‘older’ folks complain and frankly, I could not relate. I had no sense or worry that this would ever happen to me. Ah, the joys of being young and ignorant! But whether you have something sagging in one area, creaks in another, aches and pains that never used to exist, less energy, performance issues (I’m just saying..it can happen) or you are staring at a mid-life crisis, the 40+ decade seems to have some pitfalls around health. And if you aren’t paying attention, they sneak up on you and attack like a bat out of hell!

I’ve never been skinny. I have struggled with my weight most of my life actually, so maybe it shouldn’t have come as a big surprise to me when some lab results in January proclaimed problems with my cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides and thyroid. The previous six months I hadn’t been working out and was  living under very stressful work conditions (ok, who are we kidding – that was true for the last 18 months really!). I didn’t feel excessively tired or sickly. I felt ok. I was getting by. I was surviving. Quitting my job late last year was one step in the right direction for change and I began to enjoy some well-deserved relaxation.  But lab results like these and the term ‘pre-diabetic’ jolted me back into a different sort of action. This combined with the fact that it’s difficult to get pregnant with a high thyroid and all that other stuff creates a not-so-swell baby environment. It has been nothing if not a challenge to bring the baby dream into reality (insert groan here).

So I was off like a firecracker with the P90X and weight watchers.  Lost about 10 pounds in 7 weeks, but felt myself plateauing. And for those of you that can relate to emotional eating….well, if I’m not losing and seeing a difference then ‘what the hell am I doing all this for??  Might as well enjoy that beer or those M&Ms after all.’ I am well-versed with this pitfall, so I signed up with a dietician and a trainer for some serious one-on-one behavior change therapy. And this was just what I needed even though I have developed strong, unkindly feelings of dislike towards my dietician. My dietician, Janelle, is the nicest person, but she is also in the position to tell me things that I don’t want to hear  and often, don’t want to do. (Lucky gal!) I don’t protest to her face (that would be rude after all…gotta suck it up), but after our sessions I’m usually cussing her out under my breathe or to my trainer (where not surprisingly, I get NO sympathy). I have learned that it takes me a couple of days to process her comments and suggestions. And don’t get me wrong, she’s not an ogre. She is just doing her job. So every week she reviews my food journal and comments, tweaks, sighs and offers advice. Last week she talked about starting to wean off processed foods. Say what? Sounds bloody impossible. And I always have homework for the next week, which usually involves doing something else I don’t like, i.e. cutting out something else from my diet.  And so it goes.

After 3 weeks with my dietician and my trainer, I was complaining bitterly that I had not lost a single pound. Instead the scale seemed to go up and back down again. Utter frustration. I resisted covering my ears with my hands as they counseled about how it takes time for a body to adjust and change, and weight is not the only number in play here; its about changes on multiple fronts. I tried to remember why I was really doing all this and keeping up the effort of 6 days a week, sweat your balls off, workouts – searching deep down for the motivation. Yeah, blah, blah, blah. Ultimately, I have come to realize how fixated I can be on the number. You know, THE number – my weight. It has become such a focus for me. For most of my life, my weight has often determined how I felt on a certain day. Talk about giving up your power to some non-existing entity. Geez! So, as you can imagine, it was driving me crazy not to see a result. Then, I noticed I was pulling my belt tighter another notch and I felt a little more energized.  Hmm…this is interesting. Next I got some new lab results which showed my thyroid had returned to normal levels (thank you drugs), sugars had decreased and my blood pressure was also normal.Of course I had to refrain from running to the scale to see what THE number had to say. I lasted a week. But, hey, that’s good for me 🙂 When I finally jumped on, I had only lost one additional pound from my previous plateau. I had an instance of feeling disappointed, but then I thought NO! I’m not going to let this tamper with my day. I’m doing good! So I mentally patted myself on the back and went on my way.  Maybe some of what my dietician and trainer are preaching is finally getting through. I do have a thick skull and a real bitch of a voice inside my head. I feel I have made some progress, even though it’s all happening much slower than I would like. But what do I expect after 25+ years of dieting and poor eating habits and yo-yo weight gain; that’s it’s all going to change in a matter of months? Yes, I’m impatient. But now I’m also committed. The hardest part may be marrying the two so that I can make the difference in myself that I want to make. Ugh! (insert another groan)

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