Bucket List – Grand Canyon

Pretty much everyone I know knows that I am big on setting goals, making a plan and achieving those goals. That includes bucket lists. Everyone should have one. If you don’t, start one. Spend the $0.50 and get a cheap notebook or spend more and get something better, but do it. Some people do electronic but for this I think physical paper is best. There is something very satisfying about actually crossing it off and seeing all you have done.

I started the bucket lists back in the late 80’s early 90’s before a bucket list was a thing. It was just a list of things I wanted to do someday. Through the years I have added things and crossed others off. In some cases my ideas or goals changed as I grew older so I took some items off because they were no longer important to me as an adult. I have lost track of how many lists I have had through the years as notebooks filled or fell apart and I copied my items left to a new book. I have since dedicated a whole page to some items (like see all the California missions and all the California lighthouses) so the goal is at the top and all the items needed to achieve the goal are listed under to be crossed off as I go to them. (A note about the missions…ask for a mission passport in the gift shop at the first one you go to and get the stamps at all the missions as you visit. I went to 4 before I found out about this)

You may wonder what all that has to do with the Grand Canyon…well it has been on my bucket list since I started my bucket list. Then when I went to Vegas for my 21st birthday I saw a brochure for helicopter flights to the Grand Canyon where you actually land inside the canyon, have a picnic then fly out over the Vegas strip at night. OMG I was in LOVE with the idea but that price…ouch. It went on the bucket list where it sat for 26 years.

You read that right…26 years. In May 2022 I finally achieved that goal and it was every bit as amazing as I thought it would be. Flying in over the desert, dropping into the Grand Canyon and flying through below the rim so you can see all the little slot canyons that branch off to the sides… it was every bit as amazing as I dreamed and totally worth waiting 26 years to do rather than just giving up because the price was too high.

The point is no matter what the dream is you can achieve it. It just takes planning and determination. No one needs to know you are working on it. Even if you just put $1 a week into an envelope to save up for something special you will eventually get there. Make a list. Make a plan. Achieve your dreams. Time will go on if you achieve your dreams or not so you may as well be amazing!!

Where we stopped for the picnic
Flying through the canyon
My hubby and I posing for a photo on our anniversary in the Grand Canyon.

Public Artwork

In the beginning of the pandemic my Mom was starting to loose her mind with the endless lockdown we had here in California. She started to make a list of things she can do that do not involve anything being open. One of those things was a series of public art exhibits in the Napa Valley area. recently we made the drive.

For starters, the articles online were not that good. We got lost looking for the 2nd piece of art and by lost, I mean really lost. But in a time when people act like everyone has the plague we met some very nice people starting with the park ranger at the entrance to the park…That we drove past twice lost and asking for directions. He let us go into an area we were not suppose to go into as long as we promised not to go farther the 3rd time we stopped to talk to him. (We were SOOOO close). As it turned out we were not very far from where he parks his car and he never noticed the artwork. After a bit he ventured up to us and we talked to him for about 30 min. Lots of laughter. It was refreshing to talk to another human and not only that but a kind one.

After leaving the ranger we moved on, only getting slightly lost this time and met another group of ladies checking out the art trail. They had a MUCH better map than us and pointed us to the visitor center where they got the map. We all took group photos of eachother and talked about where we were from and our plan for the day. After the photos we went to the visitor center that they pointed out to us to get a better map.

What we thought would be a quick in and out turned into a much longer visit. The woman working inside was a wonderful, friendly and knowledgeable lady. She was a wealth of knowledge and we left there with more information than we ever thought possible.

Our stops along the way took us longer than expected but we met some great people along the way. We took a quick break for lunch then went on down the road to the next place on our trail only to meet another nice person who volunteers keeping up the field for people to enjoy the artwork. As with the lady in the visitor center we spoke to this man for at least 30 minutes and found out about a few other hidden gems in the area that we didn’t know about.

All together we only made it halfway though our planned route but we found several nice people along the way to talk to. It was so nice to see faces and smiles out in the open air with only about half the people out still wearing masks. You don’t realize just how much you miss seeing the kind smile of a stranger until it is taken away for a few years. Even three years later roughly half of Californians are still wearing masks outside their homes or at least that seems to be the case where I live. The more rural you go, the less masking you see.

Even though my Mom took a couple spills, we had a great time and will plan another day to finish the second half of the art trail soon. Our day was made much brighter by the smiles and friendly conversations with the strangers we met along the way. This shows not only are there still kind people in the world but that kindness is contagious. I challenge all of you to take a minute and smile at a stranger. Say “Hello”, take the time to give someone directions or hold open a door. Try a random act of kindness. Make a difference one act of kindness at a time.

My wellness journey – back to the grind

I feel as if I am starting a grand adventure with no idea of what challenges I will encounter along the way. On this journey I have some friends this time. I have hedged my bets for success and set up a few different support systems to hopefully make this time a roaring success.

To be successful I felt like I needed to put some supports in place with those that I am around the most so at least that way they are less likely to tempt be by being embarrassed if they fall off the health wagon. I always have an accomplice with one of my oldest friends who lives on the other side of the planet from me. She gets me. Even though I live just outside San Francisco and she lives just outside Melbourne. We are always sharing our workouts and meal ideas and out successes and failures. This has gone on for years as we have seen each other through ups and downs we are always there to support each other. But we only see each other every few years even though we message each other constantly and even talk via facetime when we have a lot to say and it isn’t the middle of the might for one of us. But I needed to get those on board that I see daily.

My next accomplice is a friend of mine that has just as much weight to loose as I do who also has some similar challenges like a special needs child at home and a few health challenges of her own. We are both motivated to get in shape and have healthy outings where we make healthy choices and go for walks and even find time to chill out at the float spa and oxygen bar as we sip our tea. We are both in it and will be for a while. Neither of us are going to win any speed races but I can lend her a steady hand for steps to help her stay stable and she doesn’t go so fast that I need my inhalers.

Up next I needed my co worker to be on board. We share an office and I can’t have her eating unhealthy snacks while I munch on carrots and celery. Well, a few days ago she made a pact with one of my other co workers to start going to the 5 AM class at a local gym starting on Jan 7th for their 3 month challenge. If you make your weight goal and check in for a certain number of workouts in that period of time your gym dues get refunded to you. It is not cheap so they are motivated. This is awesome for me because we should all be up and going to the gym at the same time and will have a group text between the 3 of us to keep us motivated. It double works for me because the person who is budding up with the one I share an office with is the other person who starts an hour before everyone else with me. We are literally the only people working in the building that early.

That leaves me to my home. I had to get my husband on board or all that work with my friends can be ruined with one binging weekend with him. I put my foot down just before New Years and told him no more takeout. We either go out for a date night or out with friends for a sit down meal or we make food at home. Take out is dead to us. I them socked up our freezer with individual frozen meals of all kinds so if we are hungry but too tired to cook we just pop one of those in the microwave for 5 min and call it a night. But NO TAKEOUT. I am also in a fitbit step challenge with him to always get more steps average per week than he does but I am not telling him we are in a challenge until I average at least a few thousand more than him consistently. He is a stay at home dad and has time that I just do not have to workout. If I tell him we are in a challenge then he will get off his butt and I will never have a chance of catching him. I need my habits in place first before I throw the challenge out to him. Sneaky? Maybe a little bit. But I got the idea from him who secretly was in a challenge with a friend of mine who was running a 5K every day before work.

So now I have Home, Work and my social life taken care of so hopefully this will set me up for success. But I still wanted something to challenge myself to stay on target so I started a dietbet. You may not have heard of dietbet. What does is let you bet against yourself in a weight loss challenge. I did the short one that lasts 4 weeks where you loose 4% of your starting weight. You weigh in with a photo with the secret password that is sent to the judges who then approve your weigh in or have you re-do it if something seems fishy. You then start your challenge. You weigh in weekly to get a chance at various raffle prizes to track your progress in the same way as your initial weigh in. Then you weigh out at the end of your challenge. If you make your goal not only do you get your money back but you split the pot of money from everyone who did not make their goal. I have done the challenges before. Sometimes I win, sometimes I loose. I really don;t mind if I fall short of my goal and loose because I have still made progress toward my ultimate goal of loosing the weight and getting healthier…but is is nice to win.

I started logging my foods and drinking more water a few weeks ago so I would already be in the habit by New years. That leaves my skincare goal. Most of the time I fall short because I am so tired in the morning I forget my moisturizer. So I solved this problem by just bringing another set of my morning skincare into work and leaving it in my desk drawer. I have no idea why I didn’t think of this a long time ago. With that problem solved I am down to my stress management…always a challenge for me.. So I purchased a membership for a monthly massage. I don’t like to be wasteful so this way I am forced to take an hour out for myself every month and chill out. Add this to the quarterly float theorthern Light spas with my friend and I am off to a good start. Leaving my last challenge to fit in 15 min of stretching/meditation in the evening. I decided to do this when I got upstairs to get Pjs for my kids in our quiet time before they go to bed.

Overall, it is not a perfect plan, but it is a plan. I started parts of it back in December and I am sure I will modify it more as time goes on and I see what works/does not work. I have a basic plan and I will modify it a little every month either fixing things that are not working or increasing my workouts or changing them up as needed. This is not a quick 10 or 20 lbs. I have over 100 lbs to loose to my goal weight. This is definitely a long journey and one that will probably take me a few years to complete but I am hoping to have lost at least 100 lbs by New Years 2024.

This is my Journey. I will take it one day at a time.

The Road (less traveled) to Lake Tahoe

In an effort to make the most of my time on Earth I decided to take a little road trip with one of my best friends. Just one night in Tahoe, CA but we were going to take the road less traveled to get there and hit Apple Hill on the way home. Awesome ideas right? Yeah, it was mostly an awesome plan. Her sister has a condo in Tahoe we can stay at for free so it really seemed like a win-win situation.

Our trip started out awesome. I have fallen in love with the Roadtrippers website and app for planning journeys. We had this down. So we start out and get a bit lost looking for the covered bridge. We ended at a dead end road with no bridge in site. So we backtrack to an area where groups of people were gathering to go white water rafting that we passed on the way in and ask them if they know where the bridge is. They point behind an giant abandoned building. Yeah, it never occurred to us to search behind a giant abandoned obvious horror movie in making building in the forest with no one around to hear our screams. Yeah, it sounds like a horrible idea. So we head off in our capris and flip flops to the giant abandoned building…because why not?

As we get closer to the building we see a small ranger station off to the side (a good sign) but they are closed and do not open for a while but without any fencing to keep us out we head off down the path to the spooky building and the bridge that lays beyond. We instantly decide that the building is the PERFECT set for pretty much and B horror movie, post-apocalyptical movie or a gangster or crime movie where they either hide bodies or kill people. But, we are determined to find this bridge so we continue on.

As we round the far end of what is left of the massive structure we finally see the bridge and what appears to be the old dirt road that use to cross it that looks as if it meets up with the dead end road the GPS took us to around a familiar looking hill. bushes, trees and tall grass have since grown over the parts of the road farther from the bridge explaining why there was no sign of it or the river below from the dead end. We have arrived! We wander around the area exploring, cross the bridge for a look from the other side and find a nice picnic ground that you can access from another road that would have made a much easier route than the one my GPS took us on.

As we are leaving other people start to show up and we stop at the ranger station on the way out and look at the cute museum about the gold rush, mining, logging and the wildlife in the area. There is even a photographer taking portraits of a couple models outside the abandoned building. We continue along our journey stopping at anything that looks interesting and eventually stop for lunch.

After lunch the small towns thin out and we start to see more signs for camping and little to no signs of civilization. then all of a sudden we round a bend in the road and the road thins out to one wide lane and a truck is coming straight for us. We scream and pull over. But we can still read the street signs so we figure this was just an idiot that didn’t realize or didn’t care that this is obviously only one way and he was going the wrong way.

About 30 min later we are desperately looking for the end to this road from hell. It is indeed 2 way, with apparently no rules and a massive cliff on both sides one going up and one going way down (on our side) there are no shoulders or guard rails just a fall to your obvious death on the lush green carpet that is actually giant trees that are so far down they look like shag carpet. We are obviously going to die.

We stop at every area that allows us to stop and catch our breath getting out of the car to see all we can of this area we are NEVER coming back to again. We also understand why the road is closed in high winds, rain, fog and snow. Totally makes sense. It is a death trap with no cell service. We finally make it out and almost cry with relief after several close brushes with death over the last few hours. We scrap the rest of our stops on our trip and just go straight to the safety of the condo in Tahoe.

The rest of the trip was uneventful and we decide to go back to Tahoe (staying on 50 and not taking the “road less traveled” ever again) to explore more of the area. It is beautiful and the condo was perfect for us. I am currently pondering a gag gift for my friend for Christmas to do with this road trip. I am not sure what exactly I will come up with. Perhaps a travel mug with “I survived Ebbetts Pass” or something. We were kinda hoping for a gift shop at the end with such items and were sad when there wasn’t one. I now feel the need to create an item of some kind for her with that sentiment. I had to take a LIVE A GREAT STORY photo at one of our stops along the way. Because we absolutely got a story out of it! We even have video of some of our 360 degree turns with death defying drops just inches away from the edge of the small, steep road. It was obviously made for horses and not cars. But, hey…If you are feeling adventurous in good weather give it a go. Make sure you have a full tank of gas, an empty bladder and steady nerves before you go.

Living with Diabetes

It is my first holiday season as a diabetic. As I enter into it I’m still pretty bitter about being mandated to get the covid booster that almost killed me and every time I stick myself I’m reminded of this fact. I’m trying NOT to be bitter and move on but it is difficult as the holidays approach and I’m constantly checking my sugars to make sure I didn’t go overboard with all the fatty, carb filled bits of deliciousness that make the holidays so decadent.

So far I’m managing pretty well. I survived thanksgiving keeping my sugars in range. Tonight I have my first holiday party of the season. Christmas Day will be the biggest challenge for me since we are having guests over and tons of food and desserts…and probably lots of leftovers hanging out in the house to tempt me in the days following.

I still need to get back to the gym. I have not exercised since returning to work a month ago. It’s just so dark and cold in the mornings. I know I’ll be fine once I get going after a couple weeks but sticking my toes out from under the covers at 4:30 AM to fit in a workout before work is not as appealing as keeping them under the covers until 5:30 and getting an extra hour of sleep. For decades getting up early was not a problem for me at all…but I have struggled with getting back to it since the pandemic threw me off my game.

The pandemic may be an excuse. But when everything was closed for 1.5 years I got out of the habit of going. Then things were iffy and opening with limited hours when they did open because there just wasn’t the staff to be open. My gym just opened back to its regular pre-pandemic hours a few months ago. I leave for work at 6:30 AM so their 7AM opening time just didn’t work for me so my membership was on hold until they changed the hours.

Now how do I get my groove back? How do I not only keep my eating habits and blood sugars under control but drag my butt out of bed and work out before work again? How do I manage the insatiable hunger when you first start working out again with managing my sugars? How do I fit in my evening yoga again when the studios have closed? Do I just do videos at home? Where do I practice? Downstairs is out with the dog thinking I want to play. The garage is out because it’s freezing out there in the winter. Maybe rearrange our bedroom to make space?

Recently, my husband brought up the idea of creating me a space in the backyard and putting in a “she-shed”. We have a corner that is surrounded by mature trees and nothing seems to grow in the shade there. Could this possibly be a solution? What would I do with the space? Greenhouse? Not likely since it’s too shady. Art studio? Possibly. Yoga studio? Possibly. Combo of the two? A better possibility. I’d need power out there for a space heater/fan and light. In my mind I’m picturing an adorable “tiny house” structure similar to our current shed.

I guess only time will tell if the she-shed happens or not and what I do with it…but while I wait I better figure out how to get up early and get my butt to the gym.

Reno

I recently turned 48. I am trying hard to believe that I am no longer young and I am staring down 50 that is approaching faster and faster every day. I have had a rough relationship with celebrating birthdays because for the most part it depends on others and I prefer to be selfish on my birthday and just relax or go somewhere amazing and have a one in a lifetime experience. No one ever actually listens. That changed this year.

Several months ago my husband said “lets get away for your birthday this year” Now I am picturing lounging on a beach somewhere with a tropical drink with a little umbrella in it. He says he will plan everything. It will be amazing. I am a bit worried about this because I am the traveler. I am the planner. It is my thing. He is so excited that I agree to leave it all to him. Then he tells me we are going to Reno, NV.

Reno.

Dirty old Reno.

I hate Reno. I’m a beach person not a desert person and I don’t like the smell of cigarette smoke or gambling. What is he thinking? He is so excited (like a kid on Christmas morning) so I plaster a smile on my face and ask him if he is sure and what he has in mind. Then he tells me that he was watching YouTube videos about the best day spas in the united states and the Peppermill in Reno has one of the top 10 so we should check it out.

Ok, Reno is sounding better now. But, when I was last there in the 1990’s it was not exactly a nice place to go. It lacked the dazzle of Vegas or the natural splendor of Tahoe. I ask him how old this video was that he watched. So he pulls it up. It is recent. Then he pulls up a video of the Peppermill and it is reminiscent of the Belagio or the Venician resorts in Vegas. I am intrigued, but still not excited because, well… it’s still Reno.

A few months go by and he has made all the arrangements. We have childcare covered for the time we are out of town. He made reservations at an Italian restaurant and a steakhouse for our two nights there. We are spending all day in the spa relaxing on my actual birthday getting pampered and relaxing. I’m still skeptical and he is still super excited.

The day finally arrives for us to depart. We load up the car and head out…to Reno. I’m expecting to see beautiful fall color, but no one told the trees. We get to the peppermill and it is busier than I expected to see on a weekday. They are hosting an educational conference for veterinarians. It actually was nice inside. It was super clean. The staff was friendly. Our room was amazing. The food was great. If they were short staffed, it sure didn’t show at all. That was something we have not seen here in California for years. The weather was even perfect. He did an amazing job.

I guess it is time for me to let go, stop being such a control freak and trust that the man I have been married to for 11 years actually knows me pretty well and is capable of planning a trip for us that I will enjoy. Maybe I don’t always have to “do it all”. Maybe I can let go a little and relax and know that everything will be ok.

I know that sounds a little odd. But, I have spent most of my adult life only being able to rely on myself through my first marriage to an alcoholic who cared more about his TV programs and his next drink than me and in my single years. Relying on anyone else almost always led to me being let down and me scrambling at the last minute trying to do it all myself. I forgot what it was like to be able to just let go and know things will be ok. I’m slowly learning to let go and accept that others are capable of doing things too. I do not have to always carry the burden. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Live A Great Story

Let me just start by saying I am an old dog. I am not very good with learning new tricks. I can learn them…only it takes me a minute and possibly a couple google searches and some YouTube videos to work it out. I start with that because a few years ago I hit influencer status with my Instagram. I did not know it. I just post a “photo of the day” and let it go. I have a “super fan” aka…stalker on there. But living in the San Francisco Bay Area weirdos are kinda common so as long as they didn’t get too psycho, It doesn’t phase me.

Then one day out of the blue I get an email asking me if I am interested in doing promotion for influencers. I laugh it off because…well, I’m just a Mom. I’m not famous. I barely know how to run my social media. So (since I have no idea what they are talking about) my co worker asks me how many followers I have. I look (and it takes me a minute because I have never used the app) and I have over 10,000. She is shocked. I ask her if that is a lot and she…well she says things I shouldn’t type out here. So I google influencers and find out I actually meet the criteria. I agree to it and they send me miniature leggings. Apparently there people didn’t look too hard into me because I have not been a size that could fit into those pants in probably…well 30 years…maybe longer. We all got a good laugh from that and life moved on.

Recently I got an email from LIVE A GREAT STORY talking about their brand ambassador program and asking if I would be interested in a collaboration… Ummm… ABSOLUTELY! I love the concept and have written about my love of both LIVE A GREAT STORY and MOM, I’M FINE on here before. This is a collaboration I can really get into!

So I agree. They send me my login information and I literally spend roughly 4 hours trying to figure it all out (old dog and all). But I am all set up now and I am happy to announce that I am now a Live a Great Story ambassador! My first box of swag just came today. I’m pretty excited. Two sweatshirts and a bunch of stickers and buttons to get started. It is so much better to work with a brand I actually like and believe in than one that I have never heard of.

LIVE A GREAT STORY means something different for everyone. For some people it is a reminder of the travels they have taken. For others it is the live they are living after overcoming a grave illness or injury. Others are starting over after a tragic loss or life changing event. We all have a story. We write another page every day we wake up. Sometimes we just need a little reminder to make it great.

If you are interested in picking up a reminder to LIVE A GREAT STORY yourselYou can check out the whole LIVE A GREAT STORY line here and save 10% with free shipping over $50. liveagreatstory.com/sunshinejodi13 or use coupon code sunshinejodi13.

New Year – New you – 2023

I have not made any secrets that 2021 was rough on me, particularly all the overtime. Everything kinda fell apart as I struggled with 60+ hour weeks. That ended up with me off work on stress leave and struggling to get my life under control.

The year ended with packed schedules triple booked to try to get patients seen before I’m off work for a couple months for carpal tunnel surgery. We knew it was going to be hard on my co worker and myself but it was best to do what we could…then she got covid. I then had a completely unrealistic schedule and now I have to cover her as well. Let’s just say it was tough.

In light of the hideous work schedules, stress and my overall health I decided to make 2022 the year of me! No more putting myself last. I started off my year by finally having my carpal tunnel taken care of. Then planned on using my time off to reset my life and get back on track. Well, it kinda went off track pretty quickly. Now There were some great times, but there was a lot of really bad too.

2022 was a mixed bag, good with the bad. One of my best friends died suddenly in February. It was awful and heartbreaking to take her off life support but I was thankful that I was off work recovering from my carpal tunnel surgery so I was able to be there her last days and as she passed. I was also able to help sort through her things with her brother and boyfriend and be there when we laid her ashes to rest in one of her favorite places in the world. Should I have been at work getting off work for that would have been difficult with how short handed we are.

That was followed by me having a severe reaction to my mandatory covid booster. I am a big believer in vaccines and they do save lives. but I am against mandatory vaccinations. I believe that health decisions should be up to an individual and their MD. This was my view since before the first mandates. I voluntarily got my first 2 covid vaccines and I reacted to the first one and worse to the second one. I had no intentions of getting a booster due to how bad i felt after the 2nd shot. But I work in healthcare and our governor feels that everyone who works in healthcare must get a mandatory booster too or loose their jobs. No one else in the state needs to even be vaccinated and it is even optional for state employees but if you work in healthcare it is mandatory, not by our employers (who just recommended it, but it was not mandatory) but by the state that mandated it. Well, I reacted and even worse than my first two shots. To the point that I am lucky to be alive now. Near death or death is the only way to qualify for an exemption (my reaction to shot 2 was bad, but not bad enough to qualify for the exemption under the mandate) so I now am exempt for any further mandatory vaccine because if I get one again it will probably kill me. So yippie for not dying.

To take the good with the bad, It was actually fortunate that I was off work with my carpal tunnel surgery so I had time to get my health under control for the most part before returning to work. Was not at 100% but at least I was at probably 80% by the time I went back to work. Without that time off it would have been near impossible to fir in all the testing and appointments I had at the beginning to figure out just how extensive the problems were and get them under control. I had appointments almost every day for a few weeks, sometimes I had multiple appointments in a day. By the time I got back to work I only had appointments about once a week. Now I am doing much better and only have appointments every couple months and lab work. No one knows if I have to worry about future flare ups or other complications or anything because the vaccine is so new. But hey, I am still here.

Now 2022 was not all doom and gloom. I did have some good points. I had a couple road trips with some friends. I reconnected with an old friend that moved away a few years ago. I also checked off a bucket list item that has sat on that list for 26 years. It was just as amazing as I dreamed it would be.

So where does that leave me for 2023?

In 2023 I am again trying to focus on my health…again. I will be working on getting in shape and managing my stress. I will also be checking another item off my bucket list and finally seeing the Northern Lights in February. I was suppose to go in February of 2021, but it got bumped to 2022 then 2023 because of Covid. I was starting to feel like it may never actually happen. But I am very excited that it looks like it is actually going to happen in 2023!

My husband and I had a talk just before New Years about our goals and wishes for the upcoming years. I am excited for the plans we have made. We are both looking forward to a healthy, rewarding 2023 and an even better 2024.

From our home to yours… Happy new year everyone! May 2023 be the best one yet!

My weight loss journey-November update

It has been a while since I have updated my progress. Not that it hasn’t been on my mind but life happens…in my case work.

I’m sure I have mentioned my hatred of the insane workloads and all the mandatory overtime with all the 12 hour days and 6 day weeks. Finally September arrived and my coworker took the overtime allowing me a bit of normalcy back in my life.

Then the day from hell happened and I finally cracked. I got to work at 7:30 AM as usual and the alarm was going off. With the engineers on strike there was no one to turn them off. It took until 3:30 in the afternoon to get the alarm shut off. Also the AC was stuck on Arctic blast and our department was 56 degrees…also unable to be fixed. By the time I left work at 4:30 I was in tears. My nerves were shot. My eyelids were twitching and I had a pounding headache.

I go home and still feel like hell. My Blood pressure is high so I go to bed. Surely I’ll feel better in the morning. I wake up the next day (a Saturday) and my husband tells me “happy weekend! You don’t have to go to work today!” I start crying. My pulse starts racing. I can’t get it together. So he gets up and tells me to take my time. He will get the kids up and start breakfast.

I can’t get it under control. I try to get out of the house and take one of my kids to the pumpkin patch and start having chest pain. I think this is it. That place is actually killing me. I turn around, take my son home and go to the ER.

I get a full work up to make sure I am not actually dying and end up with a diagnosis of extreme stress, a chill pill and a follow up with my medical dr who then takes me off work and puts me on anxiety medicine to try to help me get under control.

A few weeks later I’m starting to feel human again. I made some changes at work (including actively looking for another job). I slowed down and I get done what I get done. If people need to wait oh well. Maybe they should hire enough staff to cover the volume of work that needs to be done. I’m fully booked to the end of the year. Today I started the pile of consults that need to be seen but there’s nowhere to put them. I’m not overbooking myself again so people get seen in a timely manner.

I am also waiting on a surgery date in January for carpal tunnel surgery. So I’m not booking anyone in January until I get that date. I’ll book up to that day…when I get it.

Even with all that is going on and Halloween I still managed to loose just shy of 6 lbs in October. I’m hoping I can continue to slowly loose the weight through the holidays because overtime just started up again with today as my first 12 hour day again. I agreed to 1 a week and I choose what day it is and no more Saturdays.

I’m really hoping I get the job I applied for a few days ago. It is my light at the end of the tunnel. 20 min commute vs 1 hour, 1/4 the patient load and higher pay. At first I was thinking I would maybe pick up 1 Saturday a month to help my current coworker…but my husband is right. I’m already detaching from that job in hopes of getting this new one. Once I leave, I will not be back. That mess is their problem, not mine.

Not my monkeys, not my circus.

I just keep focused on the light, think positive and hope like hell that I get that job and can move on.

It came up too fast and now it’s over…

Well, that time is here and gone. I was planning on a slim, sexy body for my brothers wedding and while I failed at that, I am about 35 lbs lighter than when I started and still looked better than if I was 35 lbs heavier. As an added bonus all the running around and dancing left me 4 lbs lighter after the 4 day weekend.

I’m not stopping here. I am still determined to get back into shape. The pandemic may have thrown me a curve ball but I’m slowly working on it. One this this weekend has shown me is that my day job, commute and lack of movement on weekdays is really what is stopping me from being fit and fabulous.

I need to figure out how to add exercise to my weekdays sans-gym. Even moderately active will be an improvement on my 3000 steps a day I get chained to my computer. I need to figure out something to get moving to reach my goal of being fabulously fit at 50. (I have 36 months to make this happen, but I’m aiming for 24 or less so I have it off for a year before my 50th)

It is said that a journey of 1000 miles begins with a first step. Tomorrow I’m taking that first step and going back to my mosquito, wild animal walks around the park and back in the mornings. I have insect repellent and pepper spray. So as long as I don’t spook a skunk or come face to face with the bobcat or mountain lion that occasionally wander our neighborhood I should be good. (I have only seen the bobcat. But my friend a couple streets over has seen the mountain lion ahhh the joys of living close to nature)

36 months to 50…

I got this!