4
Mar
2017

After my cardiologist yelled* at me, back in late November, about gaining instead of losing excess weight, I have ramped up my exercise.  I’ve worked up to the ability to walk three miles without feeling terrible afterward. In fact, I can walk a lot longer as evidenced by the 7.5 mile trek I took with my sister a couple of weekends ago.  When that little junket was complete, my feet hurt so badly in the evening, I thought I would never walk again. However, a new pair of walking shoes has remedied that issue.  When shoes wear out, you really do feel it.

Now, for the past couple of days, I’ve had a painful sensation in my lower back.  It is more pronounced when I am sitting than standing, so I suppose I need to keep moving.  But, it feels as if I jumped out of a high window, landed on my heels, and jarred my back.  I just wish it would go away, because I want to be rewarded for improving my health, not punished!  I suppose, I am just getting older and experiencing some wear and tear.

On the positive side, though, I have met my first goal of 5% weight loss.  I am losing pounds very, very slowly, may about 1/2 pound per week, but as long as it is consistent, I am happy with that.  I looked back at my history, and I am now only 2 pounds heavier than when my mother first received her cancer diagnosis that scrambled all of our world, greatly.  I think when I hit that benchmark, then I can look forward to the next goal of getting into one of my evening gowns.   I have three evening gowns that I absolutely love, each one size bigger than the previous!  So, if I can get back into those, one at a time, over the rest of this year, I’ll be ecstatic when the time comes to really wear one again.

Happy trails, y’all. Now that the weather is warmer, I will see you outside.

*Actually, he didn’t yell at me; he was fussing at me.  But, he’s from Georgia (Eastern European State, not Eastern Atlantic State), so he has this terrifying sounding accent.  “Zhou MUST NOT Gain Ze Weight!!!”  He can say “Good Morning,” and it sounds malicious. But, he is a very nice and professional man, or I wouldn’t continue to go to his practice.

1
Mar
2017

One year, not many moons ago, I decided to challenge myself for lent.  I mean, really choose something that was a sacrifice and would be non-trivial to follow through on.  I chose to forgo shopping for myself whether in stores or online.  No little treats, no clothing, no books.  I would also donate a weekly amount of money to represent my non-shopping savings to charity.

I remember announcing this to the family when they asked what I was doing.  My daughter’s eyes grew really big, and she gasped, “NO SHOPPING? HOW WILL WE EAT?”  I soothed her upset by explaining that it did not mean I would not do the grocery shopping, just that I would not be treating myself to the unnecessary items that seemed to find their way into my basket.  Like those little irresistible nail polishes you find on the endcaps.

I was successful. The last two weeks were rough.  And the hardest item to eliminate purchases of was books.  I spent a lot of time in the library checking things out.  Too bad that habit didn’t stick for long.  I love them too much not to own them.

This year, I am trying to similarly challenge myself.  I am toying with the idea of forgoing eating out in restaurants, but that might be a tad too rough, as it puts a damper on the occasional meet-up with friends I don’t regularly see.

25
Jan
2017

What is it about the DOW hitting 20,000 that is such a monumental milestone?  Is it really all that different from 19,981?  For the past several weeks, I’ve watched the talking heads and anchors on the major business channel outlets, gush and huff and breathless, “watch the DOW to see if it hits that HISTORIC NUMBER!”

Why is 20,000 historic.  It’s one point higher than 19,999 which at the time was historic.  I guess we humans are just comfortable with nice, round numbers. Orders of magnitude are important to us.  Thresholds are fun.

Like my husband said, when I commented on the inanity while sitting on the couch watching the speculation, “Honey, the DOW is just leveling-up. That’s all it means.”

Well, okay then.

14
Jan
2017

My mother died in September, a little over a year after her Stage IV cancer diagnosis. She never came to terms with the necessity of moving into a nursing home due to her extreme physical de-conditioning and medical care needs.  Also, especially the last 6 months or so, she was exhibiting more and more cognitive impairment.  This didn’t help the fact that she couldn’t understand the situation; she was very angry with me most of the time.

Since she passed, I’ve been having occasional  nightmares about her.  Not necessarily scary dreams, but they disturb me and interrupt my sleep – I’ll be cranky and tired the next day or two, as well.

These dreams almost always take the form of being in an institutional like setting.  The most recent seemed like we were sitting in a school cafeteria, crafting, in a brightly lit area at the long tables.  In every dream, she is in her wheelchair, looking like she did soon after her diagnosis, before she became really frail.

Usually, I have a vivid feeling that she is there, and she is glaring at me with her mad face (I saw a lot of that in real life), and she is very angry with me.  She doesn’t say much to me, just pierces me with dagger eyes, until something snaps me out of it – my subconscious tells me, this isn’t real. She’s no longer here.  But, I wake up feeling sad, and terrible, and just defeated.

So, I was telling my sister about it recently.  She offered the idea that Mom was maybe in Purgatory, working through her anger and it was coming through to me.  I said, but why do I have to be there with her? Do I at least get credit when it’s my turn?

And, my sister said, oh,after this past year, you get AP credit.  You definitely get AP credit.