Sunday, July 31, 2011

Holy crap!! I'm 38!?!

I woke up super early this morning and I have to admit it may have been because today is MY DAY to get pages full of birthday wishes on The Facebook and I couldn't wait to sit and watch them roll in and feel all special and loved and the center of cyber-attention, which is way more fun than actually being the center of attention in like real life or something like that.

I also had the opportunity to spend 52* glorious minutes alone with my coffee and my thoughts and my 2 cats and the dog and ponder the meaning of life and bemusedly watch as the dog and the cats struggled with the concept of the Screen Door and how they can't seem to see it or understand that they can't walk through it. Heh.

Anyway, I digress...when left alone with my thoughts this morning, I got to thinking...HOLY CRAP...I AM 38!?  I don't know why 38 sounds so much older than 37, but it does. I also know that I don't FEEL anymore 38 than I felt 37. I feel about 26 or so. Some days, I feel 16 or 12 or maybe about 9. I most certainly do not feel old enough to have a husband and a step kid. People and animals who rely on me. A house. A car. Real responsibilities. My own bank account. When did all this happen? And when does one begin to FEEL like an adult? Or is it just me?

I read an article yesterday in Self Magazine about birthdays. One woman related each birthday to a percentage of in yesterday I was 37% awesome and today I am 38% awesome. I like this. Even though that is like barely 1/3 means that well a) I'm awesome, b) I get awesome-er every year and c) there is plenty of room left for growing awesomeness. Yessss.

Awesomeness seems to be my word lately. I checked out the Urban Dictionary definition and it says "An unmeasurable amount of awesomenimity something can produce." I also really like the word "awesomenimity". Nice. Urban Dictionary also provides 2 quotes from Barney Stinson of How I Met Your Mother fame:

1) Job Interviewer: "What´s your best quality?"

    Barney: "Awesomeness!!"

(I wonder how this would go over in a real life interview?)

2) "When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story."'s my birthday and a start of a new year. I better stop blabbing and go be awesome!! Later all!!

* at 52 minutes my solitude was interrupted by a hungry talkative 7 year-old. Sigh.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

This is Not a Pretty Post

I am PMS-ing today. Moody, emotional, sensitive. But the truth is I almost always feel like this. I am sure there are plenty of things I could blame it on: the stress of moving, being unemployed, being a new stepmom. But, I blame it on prednisone. Prednisone is the bane of my existence.

According to the Mayo Clinic, high-dose prednisone use can cause elevated blood pressure (check), fatigue (check), mood swings (check), fluid retention (check), weight gain with fat deposits in your abdomen, face (moonface) and the back of your neck (camel hump) (check, check, and check), increased appetite (check), thin skin, easy bruising, deep purple stretch marks (check, check, check). Oh...and the sweat. I sweat like a marathoner...only I'm not running. I'm walking from the first floor to the second floor and my clothing and hair are drenched. On top of this, I am tapering off the drug (for the ump-teenth time) and with that comes its own set of "fun" side effects including: severe fatigue, weakness, body aches, nausea and vomiting. Good times. Add this to the above-mentioned life stressors and we have a recipe for one very depressed, weepy, (did I mention sweaty), and not-so-fun-to-be-around girl. 

Since starting prednisone in May of 2010, I have gained approximately 30 pounds. Some days I feel like this is mostly in my face, but my clothing size tells me that he rest of my body has also been very affected. I went from being a slightly overweight, but active fit girl, to being an obese girl who can barely manage the stairs. I am miserable, hate to look in the mirror and grapple with self-acceptance on a daily basis. Fatigue, sweating and heightened blood pressure/heart rate make it difficult to stick with much of a workout routine, though I try to do some mild form of exercise each day when I can muster it.

With exception of my husband, family and a few very close (and majorly patient and loving) friends, I suffer mostly in silence. I often feel the need to "warn" people who haven't seen me in a long time about the physical changes. I feel like I have to explain why I look like this. I don't recognize myself in the mirror. I am surely my own worst enemy. Though it certainly doesn't help when acquaintances walk up to me and say "Why your face so fat?" or ask me if I am "expecting".  I take it with a grain of salt. I know that deep down, most people mean well. My stepdaughter told me recently, "I see that your face is bigger, but I just pretend it isn't. You should do that too." She makes a good point. 

I am writing this today really just to get it all out of my system. I know, realistically, that whining and complaining and feeling sorry for myself won't change the fact that this is happening. It simply is what it is and really in the grand scheme of things I am still pretty damned lucky. Those who love me have loved me through this. Thank God. I am often amazed that my husband (of less than a year) hasn't thrown in the towel or kicked me to the curb for being so crabby, insecure and self-deprecating. Hopefully, I haven't pushed away any good friends for being so whiny and "me-oriented" this past year and a half.   

Tomorrow is my birthday. I really want tomorrow to be about hope. I write this today as a farewell to feeling sorry for myself. Tomorrow, I will look in the mirror and try to see only awesomeness. I will try to love myself through this the way so many of my family and friends have. This is temporary and fleeting in the grand scheme of life.

Here is a pictorial timeline of what prednisone has done to me on the outside. (For some reason I can't figure out how to post them in any other fashion.) I hope that I can see past this reflection of myself and remember that the true me lies beneath and is really a force to be reckoned with. Sayonara self-pity.

September 2009--Before prednisone entered my life
My wedding day Aug 2010--4 months into prednisone

March 2011--11 months  into prednisone

 June 2011--13 months into prednisone

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

TP: An Artist is Born

I have been catching up on my blog reading a bit, which has given me some blog-spiration to do some blog writing again. Phew. I know I took a longer break from it than I was actually blogging this time and well...that is just so un-bloggeress of me. So sorry. I suck.

BTW, I am particularly enjoying catching up on Mommy Wants Vodka. She is hysterical. Though she does have a potty mouth, so if you are sensitive to that kind of thing, do not click on her link above. Also on my latest and greatest list of blogs to read when I don't feel like doing what I should be doing is The Blogess. Brilliant. Potty mouth as well but notasmuch. So funny.

Anyway...I have been on a "break" from stepmomhood whilst my hubs and I move into a home in our new little community (which by the way is totally awesome and friendly and pretty and it has sidewalks and a playground and a park and trails and a it.)

While my stepdaughter is with her mom down south, we have been Skyping with her nightly, which is decidely loads of fun (for my stepdaughter and I anyway...hubs seems to think we may be a bit childish. Sheesh.) ANYWAY, my stepdaughter is something of an artist. Seriously, this kid blows my mind with the things she creates. Amazing-ness. And, last night, while on The Skype, she asked her father and I to help her name some of her latest drawings, which were created on post-its. (She uses whatever she has available when the mood strikes her).

Drawing # 1 was of a boy, but when she held him up the webcam he had no head because she had run out of room on her post-it. Tee hee. We named in "Justin Beiber". Why not? He's everywhere anyway. She also had a drawing of a baby koala, which we named "George" and some thunder/lightning/raindrop that we named "Stormy". Eh. Pay attention though...cause seriously...these sketches might end up in a museum someday.

So somewhere down the line of these presented drawings, we struggled with naming her sketch of the Pyramid Egyptian Warrior, so I suggested (I am so beyond brilliant) that we call it "PEW". You know for Pyramid.Egyptian.Warrior. Acronyms rock.

After that she decided to name her next and last drawing "TP" for Toilet Poo. That's right. True story. My stepdaughter drew a picture of a toilet with poo in it. I love this kid. I love her whimsy. I love that while pondering what to draw she must have thought to her little 7 year-old self "I think I will draw a toilet with some fresh poo in it". And so, an artist is born.