Fiera's Diary

Fiera

Active member
Funny. I really came here to write another bit of "Fiera, the Fat Vanquisher".

Today was another sweltering humid day. I have gone since Sunday, I think, without a run and it is Thursday. C25K slipping away, and have a 5K fun run in a little over a week. Soooo I got out there around 10A feeling that at least the humidity would be a bit better. But it was really bad in the forest preserve and I ended up quitting in the middle due to overheating. Boy was I red. Even 20 minutes later I was very flushed. I think wearing glasses traps the heat against your face.

But! Here is where I vanquished the fat...

I went over to the indoor track and finished up! Whew. Glad I remembered that option. It wasn't even crowded and they have finally dropped the mask requirement.

No concert tonight. It is a long distance and I finally decided the only way I would go is if a friend was driving and I could ride along. Too much driving, too late at night (with outdated glasses), too much stuff ahead on the weekend. I felt at peace the minute I put up a post looking for a ride. And I didn't get one and I am ok with that outcome. I listened to my instincts.

Went to the bank then the LG cafe lunch. Made some butternut squash ravioli and a salad for dinner. Now can do dishes and laundry and clean up house a bit. S coming Monday for several hours. Too bad it will be sweltering again.
 

Llama

Well-known member
Well done on finishing that run regardless! I understand what you mean about the memories now, I think, and it sounds like repeatedly winnowing things down would be helpful. For me anything that still evokes strong feelings can stay while the rest has to go. The process in itself helps me take stock of where I am now.
 

Fiera

Active member
Thanks Llama. It is nice to hear that the process of natural attrition seems to be workable for you as well.

I am realizing that there are four main categories - of "stuff".
1. Memorabilia/prompts
2. Unfinished projects which stalled in the middle
3. Stuff I am getting rid of but need to sell/donate
4. Stuff which might have some usefulness in the future

I tend to leave them all out in the open because I don't want to one of those people with a basement full of accumulated stuff. Instead, I have it mostly in my living space! Dining room, living room etc. Yesterday I went through a pile of home maintenance stuff in the dining room (on the floor), tucked away next to the buffet and the window A/C. It grew over the past couple of years. I will call it the "pile of good intentions". Some of the bits were unused leftovers from the toilet reworking I had done last year - like a tank ring and valve the guy didn't need. Grout from the touch up in the bathroom. But that stuff had been all jumbled in with the projects which hadn't been done yet along with leftover supplies from last fall's winterizing push - window cord, caulk, foams, tapes, old AC covers which are now "useful for something else", etc. Then paints, scrapers, rust remover, rubber gloves, safety glasses for some painting projects. A new lighting fixture for the bathroom. All together in boxes and bags. I never went through and figured out how to store it where I could readily find it down in the basement.

I point out that this is exactly how I organized my desk at work. Everything that I wasn't completely "done" with stayed out on my desk. Every once in a while I would go through and make a file folder for stuff that I could close out, or toss some things which were no longer relevant, and I would put active projects into a rack, but generally things were on my desk as a sort of system. Stuff that was finished = D.O.N.E. done, project that was closed out and we needed to keep a record - those would go in filing cabinet or desk. Stuff that I needed to finish, that had been pushed aside waiting for me to get back to it, would sit on my desk as sort of a prompt that I needed to come back to it.

That stuff used to be in the guest bedroom but it got moved into the dining room when S came to visit and now Proggy uses when he stays over. In fact the painting stuff went back and forth a few times before permanently joining the A/C covers and winterizing stuff in the dining room.

I really have avoided moving things into the basement. The stairs for one are pretty steep and you have to always have one hand on the rail. So things you plan to use you don't want to store down there, Things you DON't plan to use - if you move them down there, you just have to deal with getting rid of them later, So....Everything just stays upstairs in my main living space.

Well. This was a refreshing visit on this topic. Last night I put the winterizing stuff in the tool room in the basement and cut the dining room pile in half. I finally tossed out a bunch of old supplements I haven't used in a few years. Realized that tossing out most of my grad school stuff will free up some shelf space in the basement where I can store some other items.
 

Cate

Long-term member.
Well. This was a refreshing visit on this topic. Last night I put the winterizing stuff in the tool room in the basement and cut the dining room pile in half. I finally tossed out a bunch of old supplements I haven't used in a few years. Realized that tossing out most of my grad school stuff will free up some shelf space in the basement where I can store some other items.
Well done. I must tackle another section of my house too!
 

Fiera

Active member
It has been super busy over the past week and I am on a roll...sort of.

Not a diet and exercise roll...but a general life roll.

On diet and exercise:
Fri PT was deep tissue instead
Sat 6M brisk hike (walk) on riverfront trail w @A. Hurting all over by eve.
Sun Run bonk, On feet all day; pains in legs kept awake all night camping; swelling; fluid
Mon Gentle walk; foam rolling
Tues Foam Rolling, PT, much better
Weds Busy on feet. Run bonk; 2M walk. Knees and feet not having it. Should have rolled again.
Thurs Busy feet. Nada. Not even stretching or rolling, Legs thick, swollen.

Couple of things.
1. Eating things I shouldn't and too much of them - need to purify
2. If I "can't run" then I need to join a gym/use elliptical or bike
3. If I exercise early in the morning I will be least swollen and beat the heat

Lifey stuff OTOH has been great.

@A seems like a potentially good friend fit; walking, outdoorsy, smart. Some secrets there however and those seem to be guarded. Will see how things unfold.

Saw Dad & Peaches Sunday (Father's Day). Made tuna/mac salad for my Dad. Took KDog to camp over night at state park.

Picked up S at her Dad's Monday. It was super hot so we stayed in and did organizing tasks and caught up with each other. Unpacked, picked up house, vacuumed, did dishes and laundry etc, Grabbed Italian beefs for dinner, yum. I told her "I had to choose between camping and cleaning the house before you got here and I chose camping." to which she heartily agreed.

Tues PT had me feeling much better physically.

Weds I was starting to notice a mental energy shift. I felt joy that I walked rather than drove the mile to get toothpaste. It was just getting dark and still hot out but the reason I tried to run and failed was my knees and feet. But I got a lot of stuff done. Finally organizing the maintenance records for my SUV and going and getting a 6-pack of appropriate oil seemed to take a weight off.

Thurs was a blessedly awesome day. The WX was finally cool enough to turn off the A/C and open the windows. It was fine and dry. (Too dry, I sprinkled the lawn all day). I put oil in my own car for the first time in many many years. I double checked myself to make sure that yes, that was the correct place to put it. The cleaning lady was here. CC cancelled so I had the *entire day* with not a single commitment on my calendar. And I just kept doing things, knocking them out. Setting up the hose in the front. Getting a plan in place to repair/replace adapter on handheld massager. Getting recently acquired baseball charm onto new leather necklace. The highlight was tackling the window between the den and bedroom which has been stuck open for 20 years where I could not wash the glass panes. Getting that open and lubed with a beeswax stick I picked up 2 years ago and then getting the glass washed and shutters dusted was such a satisfying feeling. Now I want all my windows washed. 🙂

This morning I cleaned window screens while having my matcha...the sun streaming in was making the screen-fuzz glow.

I guess the feeling is that I have come into a "bias towards action" mode where whatever is in front of me, I tackle it instead of avoiding it. I seem to have a bit more confidence. I love the fact that I went camping on a last minute whim and didn't overly stress about checking the batteries and all that first...I knew I had a working flashlight and a working tent light and my phone with a backup charger...I grabbed some fresh D cell batteries and hope that was the right size. I got prepared with pepper spray.

So many little accomplishments and details but I don't really want to spend more time in the telling. I need to roll/stretch and have therapy and PT. I am glad that I am "landing airplanes" and getting projects done. I kind of don't care much that I have fallen off my 5K training plan. It was so gosh darn nice to have a week without doctor visits (other than PT).

And an early summer day where I didn't have to listen to the drone of the A/C units! And long hours of daylight/solstice. I am staying up until midnight finally!
 
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Llama

Well-known member
Physical health is of course super important but after how you've been feeling I think it's almost more important that your mental health seems to be doing so well!
 

Fiera

Active member
Thank you LaMa. Weds I finally FINALLY felt the simple joy of walking to the store and seeing a pretty sunset and noticing a resonance with a previous experience watching traffic from the bridge. Shooting pictures. Being kinder to people. Taking the stairs up and over the train tracks just to get some stairs in.

I am happy and yet in the back of my mind I want to know why. Why is it mentally easier to do things? It is because I don't want to exercise so I am staying busy to justify that? Is it the weather? Sunshine? Shift in hormones (period last 2 days)? Missing evening progesterone and PM psych med the past few days? Doing stuff I need to do for myself simply building momentum? Free time to LIVE instead of all the stupid MUSTS?

I am not asking you of course. And I don't want to dwell on it, I just wish I was like this all the time. Or at least a lot more consistently.
 

Fiera

Active member
The last couple of days have been a much needed respite of free time. CC cancelled the Covid booster again and AN cancelled a get together due to having been in a car with someone who tested positive.

I picked up some furniture off a resale page. Sometimes it works out but not always. My new coffee table is a big improvement. I just spent over 2 hours picking up a headboard which didn't fit in the SUV so I have to tie it down and drive it back with the hatch open. I noticed only after I arrived home and went to take it out of the truck that it has an odor, most likely people who never washed their sheets, or had pets/litter box in the bedroom, or both. :( I am not optimistic that it will be salvageable but I have left it outside for now and will ultimately give it a good wipedown with cleaning vinegar. If it airs out enough that I can bring indoors then put it in a room with bowls of vinegar that will probably do the rest. If not, I only paid $30 for it and can chalk it up to donating to a nice younger couple who are heading to a new life in CA today.

Still...time is precious. I need rest and I need productivity and I don't need to waste it.

It is restrictively hot again. Even in the shade. Everything is parched and the ground is cracked. I don't like to run the sprinkler but I am doing it again today. I can't find my drive to run/walk. Which is surprising since the 5K last weekend was genuinely fun. I seem to just not handle the heat when I am overweight. I have been waking up late and when I wait for things to cool down at night I walk KDog and that's about it.

Not even going to pretend to wish for motivation. I don't have it today or at present. I am having a difficult time even getting in the shower. I don't feel depressed actually, But I do feel like not being able to wear contacts, and the heat, are two factors I am not managing very well.

Eh, I am going to work on some chores so that when the WX cools off I will be ready to have fun.
 

Llama

Well-known member
It's probably hotter where you are than it is here but I'm struggling as well. It's so hard to move for anything less than life-threatening situations...
 

Fiera

Active member
(Weds Eve late)

I am really pleased that today I accomplished a task that I have been avoiding. Specifically, going at the rust on the hatch brackets on my SUV with a Dremel. The idea is that getting the rust off and painting it with Rust-Oleum will extend the life of the brackets to the +50K more miles I want to get out of this SUV. The cooler weather and free time helped, but somehow I just had the mental energy and focus and absence of fear to tackle this task today. Maybe it was the extra spring in my step from new running shoes. 👍😃

Why does this feel like something to celebrate, I wonder? I guess it's similar to last fall when I took command of caulking the windows, doing it imperfectly but at least getting it done when there was no one going to do it for me.

Use rotary power tool and attachments hereretofore only used for dog nails
Empowered myself to work on my car (beyond wiper blades, oil)
Desire to move forward was > fear/aversion
Fear of the hatch failing was a major concern for road tripping in heat w K dog
Cost of hatch failing is in the numerous thousands
Fear of getting rust in my eyes or injuring myself were not as bad as imagined
Ultimately discovered that the rust was really surface; more confident now that it is not a road trip impediment. Fear worse than reality.

I have been living with this for a year and a half. The first dealer told me it wasn't covered but to just leave it. If is failed it would mean a new hatch. 8 months ago another dealer told me to do what I am now finally doing. It has been making an occasional binding noise lately which had heightened my concerns.

*****************

(Thurs)

New shoes are Brk Glyc which have 10mm drop instead of 12mm of the Ghost. It feels right to be backing off the heel drop. I move to a higher heel drop in 2018 ish after consulting a running orthopedist about achilles tendon swelling. But the switch to a forefront strike has always felt like there was a loss of power and more stress on the knees and hips. This is just a small adjustment but overall I like it.

I went to AN's yesterday evening to sit for lighting setup. Afterward we took a quick walk thru the nearby farmers market and walked up the street before settling on an old Italian standard for dinner, I had wanted to sit outdoors but it seemed like he was losing track of what we had discussed a couple of times and his brain was just stuck on what was easiest. We did however walk around afterwards, then moved my car to his place and walked to the lake. There was a little bar there, uncrowded, and the sounds of solo jazz guitar along with wind-turned waves and breezes was pleasant, Watched a bunny eating leaves in the park for a spell. "Beanskin". He has the ability to make me laugh out loud. Sometimes however it was hard to follow his stream of consciounesness type of ramble. Walking back we had a nice long hug and kiss and held hands for a few blocks. The connection is still there even if a relationship is not possible. I had a realization that it is the same feeling I had with L. A mixture of attraction and love combined with a cold hard slap in the face of reality and necessary restraint. Maybe I can handle it with more grace and candor than I did with L.

********************
The Cleaning Lady is coming this morning so I need to temporarily wrap up and go pick up the house. There is more to do than I thought.
 

Fiera

Active member
(Fri)

After go-go-go busy-busy-busy for the past several weeks, I am enjoying a quiet morning with the windows open and the birds chirping. Coffee maker is gurgling and brewing. The neighbor has a 2-man crew building a deck so the quiet is being punctuated with sounds of drills and power tools. I choose to let it simply be part of the experience. I have so little relaxing alone time, why would I want to waste it being annoyed?

No Curly Bubbly today, just PT later.

Thankfully, S, who is turbulent atm over a relationship, is on a work trip this morning. I think I clocked 7 hours in 3 days of phone calls, to a point where I skipped a run, was late to meet AN, and just generalply create extra noise in my life. She is an important and valued friend but I have to find ways to set better boundaries, as I also do with Proggy.

Being with AN the other night reminded me of what it is like to be around someone who has a sense of humor that comes out of left field and catches you off guard. Life is a lot more colorful when you can laugh. A range of emotion is nice. It is one of the drawbacks of being on certain meds and avoiding substances. Life is easier in some respects but it doesnt feel very meaningful when everything is flat and the days are primarily a series of chores and logistics. Even the good bits are so surrounded by logistics that I am not fully present in the moment. Maybe that is just how my mind is wired. But I am feeling the need to really *feel* something again. And I don't want that to be about attracting a man or starting a relationship, quite the opposite, I want to go see volcanoes and glacies in Iceland...or sit in a pasture in Ireland absorbing the endless green against a puffy blue sky...or go to Big Sur or dip my toes in the Atlantic.

Lately, I feel less anxiety - about everything. The house, money, loneliness, vulnerability. How much of this is tied to PT, doc, exercise? Summer, sunshine, longer days? There is so much terrible news in the world, incomprehensible violence, food and water shortages, climate crisis, financial and political turmoil. But mostly I just focus my time and mental energy on my to-do list, my dog, and my friends/family.

*********************

It is blissful to feel a little breeze blowing through the den, rustling the leaves of the maple and gently swinging the pine branches. The heat and humidity have been oppressive lately, meaning that there has only been a limited amount of time we can spend outdoors. The constant hum of the 2 window A/C units is numbing and I think that affects my thinking and focus. It's all you can hear, all day long, unless you get out of the house or decide to turn on tv/music even louder. Well...i am just happier with the birds and breezes lol.

*************************

I keep wanting to write about the realizations I have been having...how the controlling parents, the indifference of my father (my way or the highway), the lack of attention to wants, needs, and desires all led to me learning to swallow wants/needs/desires, become a people pleaser, and not have boundaries of my own. I became conflict avoidant and unpracticed in defending myself. Normalized highly conditional love. Needing to be "seen" above all and yet having to hide huge swaths of my identity.

Then the bullying and marginalization I experienced in my corporate job over a long period of time reinforced all of that. I really don't know how to clearly define what it is that *I* want and then set boundaries around that. I am afraid that if I put demands on people they will simply leave (the highway). And being naturally introverted and more recently low physical and mental energy, I am grateful for the people who accept me. The problem is, that I shrink from my authentic self and my needs if I think it means I will lose someone's favor. And I put myself right in the middle of BG and Proggy...unable to satisfy them both and my own self as well. (I still haven't fully gotten to the bottom of that one, but as my head clears I think I will eventually, and then I will know what to do).

************************

Well, this has all been pleasantly indulgent but I think I will get OUT of the house now and take KDog for a walk. She is no doubt happy too about the cooler weather and the A/C noise being off. Peaceful.

I am not sure it is possible to feel serenity with the A/C noise on.
 
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Fiera

Active member
Lots bubbling under, as I feel like I need a good cry. It won't come, or hasn't, yet.

Peaches had a trip to the ER and was admitted yesterday around lunch time, and I packed up and went to stay w my Dad. Am very glad of course that she is back home and doing well....so much so that I was able to come home tonight after dinner,

I guess two things bubbling under is processing how much my life is becoming comsumed by these two adults and I can assume it will only get worse. That my window of freedom is already closed before it really got started.

I don't have boundaries or built in excuses. I am happy to help but when will I break? At what point do I have to make radical change, like move or rent closer to them, and give up what I envisioned for myself? I need this to be simpler. I need my own home to be on auto pilot if I am going to leave it sit for periods of time....and I apparently need a travel kit and checklist, not unlike what I had for work travel or for camping, including duplicates of certain things if it simplifies things. Insist on keeping a dog bed at their house for KDog, or a supply off her meds and PB and her turkey lunch meat in their freezer. Maybe a weeks' supply of my vitamins/med. Just so that when I have to get out there I don't spend an hour plus packing every time. Maybe I just purchase a tote that can be stored in a closet or the garage. Will work on that.

The other thing was that I have not boundaries around food and am more than happy to let their dietary habits blow me right off food and fitness regimen, Of course when I am just there for 1-2 days and time is short and I have no pre-set plan, I just out my own needs ("shoulds") aside for what is convenient or what other people need (dishes, laundry, walk the dogs, get this or that for my dad, shop, etc). Failure to plan is a plan to fail, right?

And while I used to be able to power through things, I don't have that energy any more. I am depleted. Spiritually. Mentally. Emotionally. And I know that if I don't take care of myself I am going to not be any good for others, But I don't khow to make it happen any more, that restorative time and space. That deep breath like I enjoyed the other morning, it was not nearly enough.

I know that MANY other people have it far harder, and are far more depleted. I wonder whether I have wasted too much precious time when I could have been doing more and now I am stuck playing a hand I shouldn't be holding (maybe).

I hope that I can find what I need to replenish my spirit. I haven't given up on myself but each passing month and year makes it feel like that girl is just someone I used know.
 

Llama

Well-known member
Just because you don't get a gold medal at the suffering Olympics doesn't mean you don't suffer. Boundaries are practice, and many if not most people struggle with them sometimes. Your plans to make things easier sound eminently sensible.
 

Fiera

Active member
What a difference a couple of days makes. Yesterday I found myself at last with some nice weather and no commitments from afternoon onward, so I went to a ballgame. I thought today was meetup brunch w Saylor but when I looked at my calendar I saw it was tomorrow and the only imperative was making sure the yard was clear for the lawn service, which took 5 minutes,

I woke up at 4:30 which gave me lots of time even before the early sunrise. I put away dishes and messaged my primary doc during coffee time. He wants me to try a muscle relaxer for my leg aches. I foam rolled and stretched for the better part of an hour. I picked up the yard and trimmed some ivy which had overtaken a bush and was starting to climb the pine tree. It occurred to me that I have been doing this dance with this same ivy for nearly a quarter of a century, It may well outlive me.

I cleaned old food out of the fridge and make up some chicken salad for later, Just missing tarragon.

KDog has been a bit out of sorts and needed a good walk but the sun was getting hot and there was no breeze. I decided to pack up and head by the lake where it was cooler with some air. We had a good little walk with a rest break/photo session in the middle. Then went and got some water and a breakfast sandwich for me. Afterward we went back to lake and sat in sun for a bit with my portable bluetooth speaker, playing 80's music, singing, watching a storm cell pass, and occasionally greeting people who seemed to want to be social.

Afterwards, we got home and I ended up falling asleep sitting up for a minute. The good kind of tired.

There is nothing like spontaneity, lack of obligations, and nice weather to set the stage for a bucket-replenishing day.
 

Fiera

Active member
I worked on a grant application for a couple of hours; one which has proven problematic. Finally at 8:30 I knocked off and made a bonfire and played some more music while chatting a bit with Proggy, cutting some ivy, texting a bit with S. I really like the music service and my newish portable speaker. It was really a nice end cap to a relaxing day. Thanks Ma Nature for the cooperative weather.

Glutes, hamstrings, hips, calves, lower back, inner thighs are all a hot mess. Training is off the rails, Muscle relaxer script arrives today or tomorrow but I have reservations about going there.

The inflation reports and the stock market are so bad I am just sticking my head in the sand. I don't have the energy to get upset about it. Either I am going to be OK or I am not. It does seem as if my timing has been terrible. At least I am capable now of getting and holding a job if I want to, which is comforting as well.

Time to hop in the shower and meet Saylor for lunch.
 

Fiera

Active member
Friday morning. Spend a good chunk of time yesterday after lunch picking up the house and doing laundry, preparing to go up to my Dad's place again today, leaving at 2PM. In a way I enjoy it. On the other hand it's happening so often and I am not quite figuring out how to use it to my advantage....I guess because the whole point is to visit and help out with health issues, and my dad won't leave the house unless it is to go out to eat at one of a couple of regular restaurants, or a movie. It's limited mobility plus a need for predictability in the experience, I think. But I *am* bringing my hiking gear.

I managed to irritate/hurt both Proggy and AN within an hour of each other, It started of course with not feeling like talking, esp while trying to get ready to go out of town for 3 days, and so being short and inattentive and annoyed with them. It's really a shitty way to go thru life. I am guilty of that thing where I am trying to manage other people's feelings instead of saying no, now is not a good time, I take full blame. It is simply not Ok and I am always riding this line between wanting time to myself and wanting to have friends. And feeling somehow that if I don't show up and meet their needs well then I won't have them any more. But at the same time it can been too demanding esp when I am busy or tired or just want time for myself, Bottom line...I need to take care of my own needs first or I can't show up in a satisfactory way for other people. Duh. Same old same old.

Its simply a fact of life that my dad and his partner are going to need extra attention from now forward and that I have a big role to play in that. Maybe I just simply can't be there for S and Proggy and AN, or more likely - I have to put time boundaries around the phone calls and frequency, Proggy still wants to talk after work and at night. I realized today that with his new job being mostly isolated, he doesn't get that sense of community at work, and he is probably super lonely and depressed.

Am enjoying matcha on the couch with the windows open. A much-needed gentle rain is falling, too light to really do more that make the grass a bit glossy looking. We need a good soak. But the sound is so pleasant, one can hear the individual drops hit the leaves and awning. The birds are chirping their approval.

KDog seems depressed about going to my Dad's. She got super upset last time when I left her shut in the spare bedroom. Even with a small dose of 1/2 trazodone. We have to start experimenting with giving her more access.

My SUV continues to go through oil at a rate which alarms me. It is not dripping anywhere that I can tell. It is already 1/2 quart down 500 miles after I topped it back up. I just feel in my gut that there is something going on other than burn rate. I don't know what else to do. The dealer has told me that an engine replacement in this vehicle would be over 10K. That would just be pretty stupid financially. Well...perhaps I will get out there looking. At least get a feel for prices.
 

Llama

Well-known member
If it's any consolation saying "now is not a a good time" upsets a lot of people as well, especially when they're used to having your ear whenever they want...
 

Fiera

Active member
Ya, and funny enough, I am just back home from my Dad's. Thinking about getting in touch with AN right away; already have connected w Proggy and S regularly while away, though not at any length. I was thinking about how put out AN is when he doesn't get my priority attention, and how people pleasing it is for to think about contacting AN before I have had a chance to decompress. And that saying was just running through my head about the people who get upset when you set boundaries are the ones you need them for. Then I open up my journal and plunk right back into the topic. Proggy. AN. S.

So. Am going to just be in my own space for a couple more hours. Quietly sitting. Decompressing, Was there an extra day as dad had some worsening medical issues but seems today to be heading in the right direction.

Feel sleepy. May nap. PT was pretty tiring. In addition to some dog walks every day I did some run-walking on Friday and 6 miles of hiking with bench step ups yesterday. So think I need some recovery. Very hot here also. Perfect nap time.

All Star Game tonight.
 
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