Save your spoons for the important stuff.

That was a reminder from my dearheart Julie today. She told me that a month ago and it was something that completely slipped my mind.

Save your spoons.

Bide my time. Sit this out until it all blows over, or act on my increasing madness and do something stupid that sets my recovery back about a month.

I’ve been attempting the latter. Its been hard, way hard. While the energy is up, the body is still at about DEFCON 3.  Any physical exertion past a certain point and I am pretty much guaranteed no sleep and anxiety through the night and the next day. If I sit on my ass, however, this does not happen.

It is absolutely killing me to sit on my ass. Sitting on my ass is not a mode that I have anymore. I thought I was doing ok with some light cycling or enjoying our newly purchased kayaks out on the lake, but even those activities have become too much.

It is killing me and yet I gotta do what I gotta do. Save my spoons.

I got a raise at work this week after only 5 months of employment. I guess I’m doing something right there.  D wanted to take me out to dinner to celebrate, but I am like, no. I have no desire to get gussied up and appear in a formal environment right now. It is one of the many, many internal issues I am dealing with.

Instead, we gathered up the outdoor gear and he cooked me dinner at the park where we’ve been launching the kayaks. There was steak and potatoes and asparagus and cannoli and a lot of sitting and just be-ing. The waves have been rather high lately, but we’ve been digging it like that. D flew solo today.  D is probably going to have to fly solo for a while.

“You know, we can get ice cream, too,” D said. “I checked with the Rule Maker.”

Save your spoons.

First off, I want to thank all of you who have contributed to my Fitspo gallery. All of you are lovely and awesome and it was incredibly generous of you to help. This is a growing project, so those of you who have not and want to contribute, please feel free to do so anytime.

And now the grits.

groundhog dayThe movie Groundhog Day was playing on the TV at the hair salon during Boog’s epic haircut of awesomeness yesterday. It was all too coincidental considering that is what I have been calling my life for the past few months.

Wake up, check clock. Is it 3am? If so, wait for hot flash and anxiety to set in. Congratulations Batty, you’re now up for one of those longest days in your life. I usually end up really needing sleep by about 1pm but its kinda hard to do with the day job and all.

If its not 3am, rejoice a little bit and spend the next hour in the just-waking-up phase hoping maybe today is the day the brain fog lifts a little. It doesn’t. Path back to 1pm when I really am in need of sleep but its kinda hard to do with the day job and all.

Make a lot of stupid mistakes at work.

Count the hours until 5, power through dinnertime because the fam needs to be fed. Make an attempt at taking a walk, or at least going outside. Brain fog is usually screaming at me by this time. Oh, and I can’t do anything that my body would sense as hard physical exertion because that pretty much ensures I’ll be up at 3am the following morning.

Its shitty. I WANT do do All The Things but this is allowing me to accomplish Zero Things.  Its like what took a mindless effort before now takes all of my brain plus about 5 extra.

All day, every day. Wash, rinse, repeat. Groundhog Day.

I am truly, truly appreciative of friends sending their love and well wishes and get better soon cards. There have been, however, been a few well intentioned comments of “well thats ok because you’re freaking ripped!” and let me tell you, my friends, that couldn’t be the truth right now.

And therein lies the extra conundrum of my present condition. The anxiety. The depression. The severe aversion to being out in public. The disdain for my current physical appearance. Blaming myself for fucking everything up. There’s been horrifying weight gain and the stress acne is incredibly unpleasant. A tornado of every physical and emotional malady has sucked me up and I am praying to all that is holy that I don’t fall apart any more than I have already. I am searching for that belltower that I can climb up into and declare Sanctuary and pray for a fucking rainbow to appear among the parting stormclouds.

It is not a pretty picture right now. I am getting help for the emotional issues because I fully recognize that telling myself that I am not allowed to enjoy life because I am physically revolting isn’t really productive.

And as much as I’d like to be unicorns and rainbows and marshmallows all the time, today I am not.

 

Forget shopped, flawless models that make you feel like you shouldn’t even touch a barbell. Here are real people – just like you, just like me – kickin’ all kinds of ass in all kinds of ways.  This is your real inspiration.

A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to do this.

Would you like to contribute to my gallery? Here’s how.

This gallery is lovingly dedicated to our homegirl, Sarah “SparklyDevil” Klein, badass in more ways than human.  You were the best.

cleaning

boog-spf

Boog in front of the Space Power Facility. My dad’s office was somewhere off frame to the left of this photo.

Last month, my mom, Boog, and I had the fortune of being invited to observe SpaceX’s testing of their rocket fairing at NASA Plum Brook. Not only was this especially awesome to witness, but it was a rare opportunity to show Boog a bit of his history. My dad was an engineer at Plum Brook for years, and I haven’t been behind those gates in decades. I have a lot of childhood memories from there. I caught my first fish there. I fuzzily remember my dad’s work desk. My childhood artwork archive is full of drawings of the MOD-0 on the back of discarded dot matrix printouts.

So I was especially geeked that Boog was able to be there. And geeked he was over the 72″ flat screen monitors in the observation room. While he understood that there was some kind of test taking place, that was about it for him. The only wish my mom and I had for him was that he remembered the experience.

Afterward, we got a small tour of the SPF. We saw set remnants from the Avengers movie. We got to see a segment of the chamber that was not being used, and our guide pointed to Boog and noted that it was the place where his grandfather would have helped with the testing of the Centaur shroud.  Later on, he jokingly pointed out the technical issues they had with the SPF as it is over 50 years old.

And with that statement, my brain cells began colliding in odd manners. My childhood memories became grandma’s perfectly preserved-in-plastic couch. They might still be as fresh and spotless as the day they were made, and maybe still usable. They are, however, outdated. These memories had their time. The memories of my dad at his work are over 30 years old. Generations of people have changed what I remember, time has changed what I remember.  How I remember things as they were are not still how they are today.

It occurred to me that there were also bits and pieces of the past – iterations of me, friendships, notions – that I might have been keeping as the present for whatever reason.  Maybe I got a little overboard with the nostalgia. Maybe I was a little bit in denial because I so desperately still wanted them to be true, despite them wearing out long ago.

Every single one of these pieces had some significance in my life. However, it is still important to understand when it is time to let go a little. Maybe put these notions back in the archives to visit from time to time, which gives a little extra room to allow what is present to come in.

I’ve been working with my archives.  As much as I’d love to float back to previous save states, some of them are no longer compatible with the current technology, and I just might miss out on some crucial updates.  As painful as it it is, some of  these archives need to stay archived. I have tough times with endings sometimes.

And I still hope this experience becomes part of Boog’s archives.

Boog told me he totally knew how to kyak because he does it on Wii Sports. It turns out that he totally does.

boog-kayak

I was going to also do a quick update on my health, but dont want to mar this post because what I have to say is rather depressing. I will do that later. Instead, just marvel at the awesomesauce of my child. I know my dad is.

Boog just came home and handed me my Mother’s Day gift. In tears.  As he is apt to do, he got a little rambunctious on the walk home, tripped, and my traditional Mother’s Day flower pot broke into pieces. He was devastated.

I gave him a big hug and told him that I loved it and he did such a beautiful job on the painting. We’re going to fix it and find a new flower to plant in it.

Things that break due to an epic fuckup are still worthy of love. Don’t forget that.

In the last post where I blathered on about my food and exercise, I think I kind of made it seem like the skies opened and everything is calm, cool and happy and I am just going about my life. Truth be told, things aren’t as hunky dory as they seem.

(more…)

I was on a walk at lunch the other day when I came across a stray cat lying on the side of the sidewalk. She didn’t look too hot.  Her fur was wet and nasty, her mouth was horrible, and she should not get up.  But she did give me the friendliest meow when I bent down to greet her.

I knew she was in a bad situation, and at that point I had no abilities or resources to take her anywhere, so I called the APL.  I left a message, and what seemed like a zillion eternities later, got a call back. They were on their way to check her out. I gave them the specifics, hung up, and just prayed, trying really hard to not think of the impending storms.  Or the fact that she couldn’t move. Or sick.  Or that the particular area she was in wasn’t the best. I didn’t hear anything else from the APL, so I just convinced myself that they got to her and took care of her so that the ‘what if’s would not take my head.

I got calls from two different people from the APL the next morning. They were able to get kitty, but she was deteriorating from FIV and sadly had to be put down. But they agreed that she was a really, really sweet kitty.

I am glad they were able to get to her. I am glad that she didn’t spend much more of her life suffering the way that she was. I am so, so glad that the APL is full of loving people who cared and understood enough to reach back out to me to let me know what happened. It might not be on this earth, but kitty is safe now, and for that I am glad, too. I sent them a donation this morning.

There is good in this world and sometimes you have to look really hard to find it, but it’s there.

Things have been way busy here. I’ve had a boatload of things to say but not a lotta time to throw up the words. First off, I got myself an amazing new job as a designer/creative for a small studio on the east side of Cleveland. It is absolutely fantastic and what is housed within the company’s walls is pretty amazing. Beautiful, high ceiling spaces and I have a 25″ monitor as a supplement to my 27″.  There is a couch area where we all gather and discuss the complexities of logo design. My weirdness is embraced and I am encouraged to go over the top, as I am apt to do. This is, hands down, the best job of my entire career, and what I’ve been dying for all this time. There was a moment there where I thought I was just completely burnt out on the design thing, but in retrospect, this burnt-outedness really didn’t have anything to do with my chosen profession. I know now that part of it was due to just not having the right job. The rest of this burnt-outedness is due to a wad of complexities that I am slowly now unraveling.

So, if you recall, my last post was fueled by exhausted rage.  In the last 3 months, I gave myself a lot of attention to figure out just WTF is going on. Extensive medical appointments proved everything was functioning normally, so I was thankful for that.

(more…)

This is a post that I have needed to make for a while. It’s about high time I wrote it, because the level of rage I have is immense. So, if you’ll excuse me, I need to rage like a motherfucker.

Advance warning: I AM GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT MY UTERUS.

(more…)

So if you are acclimated to the Fitness World and are on the internet, you’ve more than likely come across images like these. Images of fitness models with Random Inspirational Quote #45024214 where the intention is to get you to PUT DOWN THE CHEESECAKE, FOR FUCKS SAKE SO YOU CAN GET SOME AB DEF ALREADY.

And while I will recognize that these kind of images are inspirational for some, and just maybe they DO just give you a little pause before you devour that cheesecake. But, I also think that these kinds of images fabricate a fantasy world in which we all head to the gym with shorty shorts on and perfectly sculpted calves and hit the treadmill and watch our abs glisten with sweat. And, just maybe, there are people out there who will not do anything to better their health because they think the gyms are full of the type of people pictured above.

It’s a fantasy. It’s a fantasy that I think wrongly distracts us from the reality of ourselves and prevents us from truly appreciating the reality of ourselves.  Turning a blind eye to all the awesomesauce we currently have in ourselves.  You are still worthy even if you’re carrying an extra 10/20/30/50 pounds, or if you jiggle when you deadlift, or look like an Italian sausage if you put on shorty shorts.

I am that last one, btw. Pass the onions and peppers.

This is what I want: I want to create a gallery full of *~inspirational images~* full of us regular folks. I definitely do not look *~hot~* (I love doing *~this~* to words. Its so *~MySpace~*) when I head to the gym. When I leave, I’m sweaty, full of chalk, and my hair is sticking up.  I could possibly also be stinky.  I want to create a resource of wonderful, truthful photos picturing people of all shapes and sizes celebrating their own selves and bettering their health. You never know – that person sitting on the bench next to you could very well be battling some inner demons that are telling her (or him) that they are not good enough because the fantasy lady (or dude) in the photo keeps telling them they’re Not Quite Right.

This is what I’d love for you to do:

Take a picture of yourself at your gym. Or outside, whatever. Doing what you do – whether its lifting, or running, or walking, or Crossfit, or Hungarian Toe Sloth Hot Yoga.  The pose is up to you, but full body is preferred. There is no hiding here, there is no shame. Flaunt what you got.

Include your own *~inspirational quote~* if you so choose. It could be deep. It could be  real. It could be something you’ve learned on your own journey on this here Earth. It could be some thing like “I pee when I OHP”. Whatever.

Put that quote on your image with your photo editor of choice. Here is one available online. You could feasibly get all blingee on me, but I do not want you to block your body. If you really want a quote on your photo and have trouble doing so – send it to me with the quote and I will do it for you. Trust me, I’m a designer.

Credit where credit is due. Tell me who you are and where you’re from.

Pack that shizz up and send it to me in an email. I will collect them all and start our own regular peeps *~inspirational gallery~* that we can consult often when we come across the feeling of Not Good Enough. Because that Not Good Enough feeling is crap, no matter who or what you are.

Both Dudes and Chicks apply here, btw. Oh, and you really buff people? You bring it on, too. I will honor all body fat percentages.

Spread the word. Share this post wherever you can. I want many images of all kinds of people.  I think this could turn into an amazing project full of things that we really need – most importantly, appreciation for ourselves.

Fantasy is great sometimes. It can help with creativity and expand your horizons. But to stay submerged in a fantasy world 24/7 can lead to a deteriorated appreciation for what you have right now. That is what is truly important.

 

I look forward to your photos.

 

Much Love,

Batty