Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Well Manicured Lawn

My Zumbalicious friend recently reposted a quote on Facebook that read, "if the grass is greener on the other side, maybe you're not taking good care of yours." How amazing the power of this collection of words, and how amazingly appropriate it is, given our currently belief system regarding just about everything we consume - including love.

I read somewhere last week that Gen X babies are less apt to divorce because they remember with clarity what they went through during their parent's divorce. And yet, divorce is rampant in our society. We treat everything and everyone as dispensable property without concern because, where there's one of something, surely a better one is just around the corner.

This is how I approach donuts, after all.

Data compiled by geniuses tells us that we Gen X'ers approach divorce differently - yet we are still divorcing. Why is that? I happen to fancy that it's because when the going gets tough, it is easier to fly instead of fight. It gets too monotonous to work on the relationship. We've got jobs, kids, money issues, and all the other stresses that go on behind closed doors. And walking away sounds like the way out.

I'm right there with the rest of you. I'm not married, so I'm not talking about walking away from a marriage, but things are difficult in my personal life just the same.

Allow me to play pity party for a bit.

Don't worry, I've got extra party hats - and the occasional feather boa for good measure.

Oh, and I've got vodka. Lots of vodka!

Right now, my life feels like it has been in a tailspin, about to plummet into the earth. Dramatic, right? I've got the flair for it. But it's true. For the past month and a half, I haven't had much opportunity to be in my normal routine. Blog posts have been nil, I haven't written more of the book, I've barely cooked, Princess has been gone, I've been to the fruit stand just twice, and although I've been going to a trainer three times a week, I've barely seen any difference.

I've even taken to having crazy dreams about standing in front of a tornado without being afraid and elevators that reach the top floor but get stuck. (The elevator does reach the top floor in my head, just so you know. It's not a metaphor for my intelligence.) All this boils down to the fact that I, myself, haven't been taking very good care of my life lately, and it's starting to surface in my dreams.

When our life is out of whack, our subconscious makes every effort to grapple with the chaos by working through it in our dreams. Fear about forces that may destroy everything I've worked so hard to create, manifests itself in a tornado that I approach with fearless abandon. Worry about whether I'll finally break through and realize success both in work and personal realms creates an elevator that brings me to my destination but won't quite let me out.

How can I free myself from all this insanity?

Easy - take care of my own lawn instead of looking to just let it die out. I need to get my weed whacker out and start yanking out those dandelions, then mow, trim, water, and fertilize my heart out. How can I expect things in my life to start getting better unless I take the time to cultivate and develop? We Gen X parents need to set a similar precedence for our kids, only this time, it will be to fight, fight, fight.

It's natural to let your habits go when stress takes over, but I've come to the realization that I'm not going to let stress win. This weekend, I scrubbed the apartment from top to bottom. I went to the store and picked up fresh fruits and veggies. I made out a menu and a grocery list for the next two weeks so that I can cook dishes I haven't made in quite some time. I'm writing the first of many blog posts and I'm moving on to my book after this. My work schedule is in place for the next month and all projects are laid out with a timeline for completion. And as for working out, the Fitness Nazi will have a more focused client from now on.

This is where it starts - with me, making small changes. Changes that may be small on the surface, but big enough to impact how I approach life - and hopefully how my daughter reacts to stress in hers.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Splish, Splash

Oops! I've done it again. (Britney Spears is playing in my head now...)

And I did it to myself, no less.

So before I get to my immensely important point that I know all of you are now waiting on pins and needles to hear, I have to tell you a joke.

Okay, ready? Here goes....

Every time I hear "done it again" I think of a small town in Northern CA named Dunnigan, and I always say, "oops, I Dunnigan".

I know....really bad joke. You can unfriend me on Facebook now if you want.


I'm in my third week of training with the Fitness Nazi. The first week was so bad that I contemplated quitting every time I attempted to do something ordinary like brush my hair...or sneeze. It got to the point that I secretly designed schematics to install a handle bar on the wall in front of the toilet to facilitate getting up and down. After all, I should not have to do Lamaze just to "take care of business"!

Day one was triceps and abs, which are currently my weakest muscle groups, or at least this is what Fitness Nazi believed because we spent a lot of "focused energy" on these groups. I'd like to "focus some energy" on a swift kick to a soft part of his body. (If only I could lift my leg to do so without sobbing.) I knew that I would be in pain for the remainder of the week simply because when I was driving home, I had to use both hands just to put on my seat belt and to turn the steering wheel. Trainers say that your muscles should reach failure, or that point at which it becomes difficult to lift even a paperclip.

I, however, reached epic failure. You like how I build suspense?

Day two was two days later. We worked chest and shoulders even though the day before I had just done Pilates.

Ahhhh....Pilates. Another word for "you'll discover ass muscles buried deeper than the tectonic plate".

I did cardio for an hour after my session and then took my very sore self home for a soak in the tub. By that day, my whole upper body was barely able to move. Funny thing about sore, half-working muscles, soppy wet clothes, and a nearby bathtub full of water - it's all bound to be the fodder for a great lesson in Murphy's Law.

Anyone else out there have a stubborn sports bra that is extra-tight when you're done working out? I have one that becomes like shrink-wrap once I sweat in it. Add in a heaping teaspoonful of triceps, biceps, chest, shoulders, and abs that really aren't functioning at full capacity, and pretty soon, you're standing in your bathroom, sports bra halfway off, arms flailing about, boobs hanging halfway out, bouncing up and down and crying like an over-tired three year old because you can't get the darn thing off.

And then I slipped and fell in the bathtub.

Face first.

Legs up.

Sports bra still halfway on.

Okay, I'm kidding about that. But it would've made this story so great, right?