Category Archives: Healing

November Reboot

Wow, it’s been a hectic start-of-the-month, from Band competitions winding down, to my birthday, to the self-stressed Anniversary of my first night in my apartment (and thus, logistically “Separated” even if legally still married).  November is traditionally a limnal time for me, and more-so these last two years.   I’ve developed some good habits, and some bad ones.

Today, on the new moon, I have been working towards a Reset button for the last two weeks, and am Hitting it today.
reset

This blog entry is to keep myself accountable, and track my Progress.  No need to follow along, but comments are always welcome to boost my ego Offer Encouragement. 😛  This may change once I adapt to the new habits, and the overall Arc of Change crystalizes better.

Baseline:

  • Weight:  189lbs.    Ugh.  Goal is 168 which I was when Tammy was doing her Fitness challenge, and I was unofficially keeping up, though this also was “stress not-eating” post divorce-separation also.  Still, this felt like a good weight, in terms of knees being happy, and clothes fitting well.
  • Jogs:    a block or so before feeling winded.   UGH!! (still can’t get stamina up, doctor just says exercise moar)
  • Schedule:   On average, finally asleep by 10pm at most, alarm set at 4:30am.  Usually can’t fall asleep earlier, even if in bed by 8pm. Brain whirrs too loud. …for hours.
  • Drinks:  Still wanting daily, some days powerfully.

Goals:

  • Drink less.
  • Read more (facebook/etc does not count as reading).
  • Get better sleep.
  • Eat better food.
  • Exercise more.
  • Grumble Less.
  • Projects more.

 Details:

  • Drink Less.   For the last year, I have gotten into the habit of drinking at least a beer (usually with a shot of scotch, or a martini) every night before bed.  Every night.  To the point that if I do not, I start eying up the cough syrup or counting pennies to grab a case of Yuengling or such to “carry the week”.  I don’t really tend to get Drunk, but will have at least 2 beers in quick succession (or the martini, etc) to feel nicely relaxed and lightly buzzed.   Less than that is “not enough”.
    At the full moon(ish) I stopped drinking.   I didn’t quite go cold-turkey like I wanted to, but consulted with my doctor and went a few days off, with permission to “finish the bottles I had” if needed.   That third day, I needed!  After a good week of SEVERE irritability and longing glances at the hand sanitizer bottle (eek!) I am now able to sip a beer with friends, nad stop there, and fall asleep without feeling buzzy.  Takes me a good hour to do so (see below), but the day I had my beer I fell asleep much more soundly.  So it’s still in the Learning Curve stage to reset that habit.   Still flashes of irritability or Scotch-would-taste-SOOO-GOOOD moments, but it’s definitely a phychological addiction-feel than a “must get buzzed” or longing for it at work, or something.  It’s definitely the Nightly Habit that is needing to be broken as a “pre-sleep-ritual”, in a sense.
  • Drink Less:   Due potentially to lack of sleeps and mild dehydration (hangover?) and over-tiredness in the morning, I am burning through a pot of Coffee a day, myself.   After the morning Perk-me-up-cup, I tend to sip it iced, in a big thermos mug through the entirety of work.  Weekends when it’s just the sprog and I, I can tell I get rather cranky and headache in the later afternoon.  Having a caffeinated beverage then for dinner perks me right up again.   This should
  • Read More. I used to work at a library.  I used to get picked on by my parents for not knowing where Anything was in town, because my nose was in a book as soon as my butt hit the car. (not while driving mine, while travelling in theirs!)  I used to read a solid hour before bed and Dream Wonderous Dreams.  I kinda lost that, and feel sad about Adulting too much lately. Reading is important. Not just for escapist fantasy, but for mental health and exercise.  Read more, instead of browsing Facebook/Netflix in evening, is my goal.  Less commercials and ads in books, anyway.  😛
  • Get Better Sleep.  See benchmark above.  My routine lately has me so wound up and alternately  stressed or Relaxed with free evenings ot Get Stuff Done, that even if I am technically in bed by 8pm on off nights, I cant actually fall asleep until closer to 10pm.  My alarm is set for 4:30am to get ready and into work on time. This involves a 20 minute snooze after the first alarm.  (I work 6am-2, but like to leave the house closer to 5:20).   Weekends when I can sleep In until whenever, I relish.  Usually still wake up around 4-5, but the best feeling is going back to sleep and waking up naturally around 9-9:30am!   guess I need more sleep!
  • Eat better food. This one is moving forward quite well, actually.  Lately, I have been making lots of “leftovers” for lunch, instead of bringing meat&potatoes every meal, with chips or trail mix, or other high-calorie foodstuffs.   My current favorite is “Jonerobi” salad, named after a co-worker.   Broccoli, red onion, carrot slices, bell peppers, feta cheese, and a mixture of black beans, garbonzos, and red kidney beans, Tossed together.  Each morning, slice some cucumber (or maybe mushrooms, or maybe both) into that day’s portion and dress with a homemade lemon balsamic vinaigrette.  I can make a huge container of this for the entire week, for under $7 and it keeps me full all day, and seems healthy enough!  Add a cup of yoghurt and granola for “breakfast” (interspersed with a fried egg to keep it different), and I already lost 5 pounds in 2 weeks.   Blood pressure (which was WAY up) has already simmered down too, with this one real Intentional change. (and almonds as snacks, instead of chips/pretzels/saltyCrunchies)
  • Exercise more.  Self explanatory.  My dear friend Nettle started running a while ago, and I am continually inspired by her progress and fitness (and figure).  Time to “step up”, pun entirely intended, and get moving myself too.  I started the Couch-to-5K process about 4 times now, but had the convenience excuse of “kid’s band/karate/scouts/etc Schedule” to keep me from it every other day.  I could probably swap the hour I watch Netflix and snack/drunk before bed to get some Physical Activity instead.  Tonight is day 1 of that.  🙂
  • Grumble Less.   Simple as that.   Practice Gratitude, and smiles more.  🙂
  • Projects more.   With the habit of chilling with Netflix and a beer, or long scrolls of Facebook in bed, I think I could probably do more Productivity Things with my time.  This one’s pretty open-ended, but is meant as a mental reminder to “Do Productive Stuff”.   It could be things that some may feel are not Important, such as “work on RPG game”,  or “Play Minecraft/Skyrim to finally finish that darn unfinished Quest”,  or “finalize the Treasure Hunt Things I started”,  or even “outline NateHouse floor plan, for 1000th time”, or “blog more”.   Regardless, these are things that give Me a smile, or Feel Productive, in the larger scale of things, compared to passively reading content from others, and intention is important.   I guess it’s like Artists and the advise to “go make Art”.   I need to make my own Art more, as I define it.

There ya go,  we’ll see what parts of this spaghetti sticks to the wall, and what sloughs off into the floor for ashes and Composting later.  🙂

p1010254.jpg

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Filed under Foodage, Healing, Health, Questions

Patterns…

Well, this morning a combination of icey/slushy roads, inappropriately placed Deer, and my car interacting with them both, changed the daily plan & schedule quite suddenly.  Nothin bad, I was not going too fast, and missed the deer, but spun around between the guardrails with a complete face-lift for the car now.  No airbags, no injury, it was surreal slow-motion “spin, wheee, cruuuunch, spin,  wheee”  about 40 mph.  Still messed up the car and needed a tow.

I immediately called my former spouse and THEN called  the AAA service to arrange a pickup/tow/etc.   She came out with the sprog, and waited with me while a passing policeman helped setup a flare, and avoid any other cars coming around the corner and smacking my badly-placed vehicle.   That’s what we do.  We alert the significant other, and they help out.

However, after the initial shock wore off, we were talking and she mentioned the fact my car was mostly fine, I could have asked the Tow-truck driver for a lift, or otherwise walked the rest of the way to work  if it were a dire emergency.  There were other options, and I didn’t technically NEED her to pick me up at 5am.  I agree.

 I initially took it as grudging agreement, then pride-smacked irritation that she just didnt’ want to help?!?  But that passed almost immediately.   It was something else.   It was us both realizing that we fell into the same pattern we had as a married couple.   We aren’t married anymore (for all intents and purposes, until paperwork clears to make it official).  I don’t live there.  We talk daily, but are sorta seeing other people.  We are former spouses, and Friends, and awesome co-parents (this confuses soem people since we are friends and don’t fit the mold of angry exes)

The dynamic has to change, though.   This is a goodthing.   It’s opportunity for growth,  both for me to stand on my own feet and handle stuff myself, WITHOUT seeking approval from her.  It’s opportunity for her to have the space we both needed to make things work, and remain best friends.   But it’s funny how quick we popped back into that routine.  

Old habits die hard, they say.    I kinda agree.

It’s interesting to be able to see that though, without too much judgement, and springboard off the realization into New Routine.   It will take time, I’m sure.   Today was a good lesson.

(I just wish lessons weren’t so costly sometimes.  I just paid off the car last month,.  it’s mine now.  Dents included!     Wabi-sabi.)

Update:   granted, I like the fact that she came to help.  I’d do the same for her.   This post was more a reflection and “reminder” to myself for the navel-gazing that happened afterwards.   Helping friends out of a snowy ditch is good.  The pattern and initial gut-reaction was what was interesting and blog-worthy.   I still hold a torch for her, and for better or for worse, this is how I’m processing Divorce feelings.  🙂

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Filed under Healing, Uncategorized, Work

Strong-Arm Stew, by chef Douglas

One of the kid’s favorite recipes that he “created” is Strong Arm Stew.
The Chef at Work
So named because chopping the veggies and ingredients helps build arm muscles, plus, eating such healthy food keeps you strong and healthy!

Every incarnation is slightly different, as local ingredients and “whats in the fridge” changes and shifts depending on seasons.  but overall, this stew has been consistently DELICIOUS!

The basic recipe is as follows:

  • Water (to make the broth)
  • Stock or Bullion
  • Meat of some sort
  • Any and all Veggies he can find to chop up.

In last night’s version, the total ingredients were as follows:

Pot of Water and one Bullion cube

about 1 cup of sirloin or t-bone steak chopped into bite-sized chunks.

a handfull of real bacon bits. (crumbled bacon)

4 small peices of hamburger

3 stalks of celery, chopped

a cup of corn

a carrot, sliced thin.

one half onion, chopped

a big handful of steamed Kale chopped

a couple shakes of garlic powder

one leftover baked potato, chopped

one half leftover Sweet Potato (yam), chopped

A handfull of “tater tots”

about a cup of Steamed Zucchini, sliced  (leftovers from yesterday’s dinner)

hearty dash of ” Spice”.  (see below)

The Chef at Work

*”Spice” (said as in Dune “Spiiiice”) is a concoction of random ingredients all dried and powered together for sprinkling on food. It’s basically sea salt, dulse, dried portabella, ginger, chipotle chili, black pepper, garlic powder, basil, and lambs-quarters.

StrongArm Stew

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Filed under Foodage, Healing, sprogling

Whale Whatching!

Yes, the typo is intentional in the topic.

Photos and pictures to come later, but we returned from a really fun time in Boston for a whale watch.  I’ll summarize here, and post links and photos in a second blog entry this week.  Work’s busy and the evenings are still filled with barn de-construction.  🙂

The bus left at 4:30am on Saturday, and we returned home just after midnight.   Loooong day.

Once we arrived at the harbor, we boarded the large catamaran boat and headed out to sea.   I liked all the little islands we passed in the harbor, and the view of Fort Warren.  The trip out to sea took about an hour or so, and the waves were somewhat choppy (2ft chop, they said) so there was a bit of a mini-game we played inside the seating area.   I’ll simply describe it as anti-Twister, where you tried to Avoid putting hands and feet in the coloured spots on the floor.  (I was surprised just how many people get seasick, since it is exciting to me, not illness-inducing at all)

When we got out approximately 25 miles from shore, we saw whales!!!!   The humpbacks were feeding, which was really neat.  They would blow little ‘bubble nets’ underwater, to encircle the schools of krill and little fish, then swim up into the circle of bubbles and fill their mouths before diving back down and doing it again elsewhere.   All told, we saw what the captain estimated at 15-20 whales in the surrounding area,  and at least 7 individual whales in our immediate location.   They identified one as “Anvil” but did not have too many clear fluke-shots from the bridge to positively ID others.

On the way back, around 1pm, the kid slept after finally crashing from being up since 3:30am.  The return trip to shore was much calmer as we were traveling with the waves, and a steady tailwind. Returned to port around 2:30.

After this, we went to the Boston Aquarium.  That is a really neat place, with a huge, HUGE tank in the middle, full of fish and sharks, and a few eels, and the usual “big tank” sort of occupants.  (video of shark to come!)

All around the bottom were four species of penguin, which was really neat.  The African penguin sounds almost exactly like a burro/donkey, which was very funny.

After the aquarium, we played in a big fountain in the area, which was probably my son’s favorite part of the whole trip.  Shows once again that the best things are [relatively] free!   The fountain was a big flat tiled area, with little holes all around it.  From time to time, jets of water would come shooting out of the holes, in somewhat random patterns, to heights around 15 feet or so.   The kids in the area loved running through the jets, or dashing under the spouts as they rained down again.   Luckily, we had spare clothes in the bus, but for a short time, the kid got to wear my wife’s very over-sized sweatshirt in order to cover his soaking bottom.

After the fountain, we realized we had about an hour or so before the bus arrived to take us home, so we visited Kitty O’Shea’s Irish Pub.  I had the most delicious Fish&Chips I think I’ve ever eaten in my entire life, topped by a frosty Guinness from the tap.  YUMMM!!

The bus arrived a bit late (around 7pm instead of 6:30), and most of the scouts drifted off pretty quickly.   I fell asleep for a little bit, but very restlessly due to the uncomfortable seats.   Still, when we arrived back home around midnight, I consider the trip a successful adventure.

And that real bed felt extra-welcoming when we finally sprawled into it at, fast asleep almost before our heads hit the pillow.

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Filed under Druidic, Faerie, Healing, Outdoors, Vacations