Done with 2014.

Almost a year since I blogged.  WTH?

Quick self-indulgent catch up from 2014:

1.  Bring on February – new job.  The best move I’ve made of recent career life.  I had no idea how much stress I put my soul and my body through over the last five years…until I stopped doing that old job.  Cool.  How much I learned about being a manager once I was no longer a manager.  Every manager should give that a go.

2.  Bring on 40 – April.  That whole month was rotten.  And not because of the number.  I have never felt so young (and not in a good way) as I did when I turned 40.  That was my lowest point of the year.  BUT, I still had a rockin’ brilliant party.

3.  Bring on some minor flares that speckled the entire year.  Grrrr.  The beast that lives within likes to remind me that she’s there.  From fatigue to pain to increasing eye problems….she lurks in the shadows waiting to rumble with me.  But nothing too serious.  Thank God!  On this topic, I also added acupuncture to my regimen.  LOVE it!  Saturdays  – after boot camp… 😉  Oh, and I switched treatments officially to three shots/week.  Grrr, but way better than seven.

4.  Bring on BOOT CAMP.  Best thing I’ve done for myself over the last nine years – I began working my body a month after turning 40.  Whoooweee – so much fun.  So hard.  I love it.  This was one of the few times that I didn’t over-think joining HB Fit Body Boot Camp, and then followed the trainer to Ultrafit Boot Camp.  Talk about a life reset.  My body loves it.  My soul loves it.  My energy levels have improved, my muscle spasms – so much better, and my overall well-being = almost brilliant.  I have muscles now!  I think all my friends are beginning to roll their eyes, when I start out with…”At boot camp…” >> every conversation includes a boot camp mention…I love it that much.

5.  Bring on the first BIG road trip of my life.  From Huntington Beach to Portland.  Trips to Vegas don’t count….Though, I wouldn’t mind one of those.  2100 miles in 8 days.  Brilliant.

6.  25 miles on the bike.  Bring it.  Been there and did that in October.  For MS.  YES!  Also a top Bike MS fundraiser – second year running.  Can’t wait to do the ride again this year.

7.  Bring on writing.  Another 50K words slapped down on the page, and I’m 9K words away from completing my first official rough rough draft of 110K words.  Note to self:  DO that.

8.  Holidays at home with our kids.  Mwah.  Though this year, I know I’ll be itching to get away…sorry fur babies!

9.  Wine club with the girls.  ‘Nuff said.

Hello 2015.  The hub and I will celebrate 10 years of married bliss in July.  Ha!  What’s up for you in 2015?

xo

PS.  Hardly any proof-reading on this one…so forgive me.

dreaming.

As 2013 begins to close out, I dreamed of a burning overstuffed kitchen trashcan this morning. The flames licked the papers and trash, dangerously close to spilling onto our wood floors.  I desperately looked around for water to put out the smoke-less fire, but could not find any thing to douse the flames.  In frustration and fear, I attempted to close the plastic trash bag around the flames, but ended up irritating the fire further…

I then woke up poking my husband in the arm to please tell me that he put out the fire in the kitchen? Only answer I received was a string of chuckles.  Apparently, I have been sleep talking this week.

(Time away from work-work does that to me.)

This wasn’t my first burning dream, but it’s been at least a decade since the last one.  Long time ago I had repeat dreams that an errant cigarette smoldered under the sheets in my bed…

During a time when I was experiencing massive change in my life on many levels.

I am, of course, curious to find out what this means to/for me now, a decade later, when life has been relatively stable. (Er., outside of MS joining the party along with too many family losses.)  Or is this simply the result of leaning into Stephen King’s masterpiece, On Writing?

But, I have a hunch there is change yet again on the near horizon…Year of the Horse will soon be upon us and my first book (draft) complete by end Q1.  Oooh, I just got goosebumps typing that.  Can’t help it.  Do I dare share my draft title?!  Uh.  Not yet.  😉 Let’s just say it’s chick-lit, laced with some self-help woo-woo and maybe a unicorn or two.  Er, writing a book within a book is d*mn hard!

Huh.  Change.

Book?  Changes with work?  Back to school? A Master’s degree?!  New friends?  Turning 40. (No ? required for that last one.)   Travel?  New home?  All appear to be waiting up ahead, but oddly…things feel closer than they have in the past.  Whooo hoo!  Bring it!

What fires you up ahead in 2014?!  Do share!!

Wishing you the most happy, healthy, and abundant year ahead!  I am so grateful that you take the time from your day to read my nonsensical keystrokes!  I still giggle any time someone finds my blog when searching for INFJ Death Stare…which happens almost every other day…

Have a safe New Year’s out there people!!

xox

two years.

wow.

the fact that today marks the day I was diagnosed with MS didn’t hit me until I was prepping myself to do my 3x/week Copaxone shot tonight.

(Tuesday night’s was a beast.  I still have an extremely tender two-inch red lump on my right thigh.)

tonight’s was easy breezy…fyi.  thank you God!

so yup, my two-year anniversary didn’t hit me until tonight.  I must have been distracted by all that is – including today being Talk Like a Pirate Day.  after this realization struck me, all I could mutter out loud to the dog was shit…and then laugh at myself.  no wonder the hub was being extra lovey this morning and appreciative of my appearance as I bounced out the door in my new white swan blouse and red suede heels.  love that blouse.  he even texted me after he got to work:  how you do today baby?  that didn’t even jog my memory.  he remembered though.  what an amazing man!

wow.

I officially forgot about it…

two years to make that happen.

xo

month one. is done.

saw the clinical researcher yesterday.

showed him the photo of the massive reaction my bod had on Tuesday night.  still there.  but getting better with some numbness on top.

five-inch hot red raised welt.  with tiny raised bumps sprinkled across my skin like tiny stars.

ouch.  that one hurt!

what am I putting in my body?

my thoughts spiraled as I eyed the dangling welts from the last two weeks.

what am I doing to my body??

lots to consider.  pros/cons.  ifs.  buts.  whats??

bit too much for this girl.  but at the moment, I’m appreciating the fewer shots.  giving the dailies up for the day after joint pain.  and massive red welts.  huh.

we’ll see what and how I feel the next time I put on a bikini.

and watch my brain flash by in black ‘n white images after my next MRI.

and work my body out.

MS is kinda sucky.

but certainly the awakening I am awaiting.

week one. done.

week one on Copaxone 40mg/3x/week is DONE.

and all I can say is, I’m completely…no, utterly sold on the new freedom 3x a week is bringing.  and I just feel better all the way around.

so much freedom, the hub and I are considering doggy #2.  (we’re crazy, I know.  but no babies, so fur babies are a good replacement.)  this guy is older – ten – and needs a home.  we’ll see what doggy #1 has to say about this.  she’s got the floor on this one!

back to the clinical trial…

other than my regular nasty red welts that take 48+ hours to go away.  nothing is different.  well, the only thing that’s new is some joint pain day following injection.  related?  don’t know, but keeping tracking track of everything in my Teva diary.

that’s the latest scoop from my neck of the MS world.  pretty darn grateful.

what’s new with you?  do tell.  😉

xo

the halfway point.

talked to my girlfriend last week, and she made a point that has made all the difference.  both in my working and personal life…ahem, whose work life isn’t personal?

she said, we can only meet people at the halfway point.  the other half is up to them.

that’s their business.

you can’t control them and force them to meet you in the middle.  and who looks like the fool when doing that?

um.  yours truly.  sorry honey.

I had never looked at things like that.  I always have felt like I needed to pull more weight  and do more.  and make it my fault when there wasn’t anything given back.

at various times in my life when it was clear I wasn’t getting back what I invested, I silently defected.  (turns out I’m not a big fan of confrontation.  yet still blamed myself.)

why do I keep doing that?  I ask myself.  I have even asked my current posse of best friends not to let me do this(!)…

looking at that…it occurs to me….why should they be responsible for my behavior?  uh huh.

I know this has more to do more with my fears and my issues than anything else.

so now, I give it to my stopping point (right at the edge of my comfort zone).

and then actually stop.  and un-attach from the outcome.

and if I happen to receive in return, I fully embrace it with immense gratitude and love.  and embrace that I even have the opportunity to give it in the first place.  😉

and if there is nothing to receive.

that’s okay too.

xo

slippage.

how easy it is to slip into the company of unhappy when it comes a JOB.

both the mental unhappy – why aren’t things different?

and the emotional unhappy – why can’t I do more than just this JOB?

er. because this is what I signed up for…hello!

…and how super easy it is (for me) to slip in the yuck when someone else is feeling fearful.

I have a tendency to jump right off the high dive with ‘em… whaaat?

can feel my heart beat quickening.  but not in a good way.

my pulse pumping blood through my veins.  I know my BP increases when I feel this way;  if I look down @ my chest, I can see how fast blood is pumping in and out of my heart.  not my heart beat.

but the pressure-full blood moving in and out.

do I jump??  do I?

and then my ego, lizard voice begins to chime in.  or did she show up first?

huh.  she begins squawking out of my mouth.  well, she said x, then y, and can you believe it, that ZZZZ happened?  the ego pushes me right out there so I can be there with my friend…and what she’s going through.

not what I am.

my fear partner in crime chimes in and says, really, say more! with her eyes wide open.

and then the dialogue continues in a somewhat stilted symphony, until it reaches a crescendo that overwhelms both of us.

and we take pause.  and I realize what I’m doing.  she realizes what we’re doing.

we look at each other.  and laugh.

without saying anything, we both realize how nut-so ridiculous we are being – who wants to be the whiner?

but it bonds so gracefully.  😉

we pause.  and breathe.  and begin to rejoice all the good that a JOB brings us…

and then everything returns to baseline.  phew!

I see myself doing this almost every day.  it’s so easy to slip into the negative – yet I hate going there, it feels crappy.  when all I really want to do is coast the sparkly rainbow highway.  which is always overhead.  and certainly not over-rated.

do you do this?  I know I can’t be the only mulligan or corporate junkie who does.

come on, and share.  I’ll jump right in there with ya.  😉

xo

seven lives.

I laid my kitty, Chloe, to rest this week.

ooooph.

how it hurt.  how I cried.  and petted her lifeless body.

the vet hugged me when it was over.  how did she know that was exactly what I needed?

just moments before, Chloe had turned to me, and rolled over on her back for me to rub her.  just as she had done when she was eight weeks old.  back in 1995.

she knew then that she found a lover for life.

and, at the end, she also knew it was her time.

what an honor to do this for her.  it was so peaceful.

she was suffering.  blind.  deaf.  unable to jump like she used to.

and senile.

didn’t know where the box was.  or what that white wall wanted to do with her.  she would howl at it endlessly.

until I would pick her up.  and she would try to mew, with no sound.

I would plead her to tell me what she was seeing.  no such luck.

I made this decision for her, which was stricken with guilt.  sadness.  and freedom.

whaaaat?

the trifecta creeps in daily.

but, I have reconciled that this was right.  and that she is up in heaven with her sista, Delilah, and brotha, Jr.  though she never liked Jr.  ;-(

my sweet Chloe girl was my first kitty choice.  and she went out my last kitty.

four days in, I still look for her.  and expect her to be balled up next to me on the couch.

there’s a tale here.

interspersed with six other cats.  but not tonight.

she was my first, and my last kitty.  who lived through three (at least!) falls from our loft.  the last one, six inches from me, as I was standing below.  she was a stubborn delicate trooper.  a grey cloud of fur.  my grey spirit.

may she rest in peace.  sweet Chloe girl.

xoxo

fiction #8? the bookstore. Jillie finds the first book that might help.

“Ann Boroch?”  I repeated as I stared numbly at the title of the book in my hands, Healing Multiple Sclerosis.

“Do you think it’s a hard ‘k‘ sound?  Or a swoosh type finish? OR is it like chai tea?”  I asked Anya, annoyed at everyone who has ever had a hard last name to pronounce.

“What does it matter?”  Annie asked.

“It matters to me,” I said with an edge to my voice.  “Why can’t anything be simple with this beast?”

I turned the blue soft-hard-back over, looking for a hint of some sort of solution without having to read the 300+ pages.

“Here, you read it first, you’re a fast reader,”  I said shoving the copy into Annie’s hands.

“Do you want me too?  Why don’t we read it together?  We can hold a mini-book club meeting once we’re finished.  Or even check in as we read.  Come on girl.  You gotta read this stuff.  I’ll do it with you,” she said softly.

“Fine.  I just hope I don’t have to jump on the green juice wagon or whatever it is that’s popular with you kids these days – if I do it, you’re doing it too.” I said stiffly grabbing a second copy.

xo

three strong women.

Annette Funicello.

Lilly Pulitzer.

the Iron Lady.  Margaret Thatcher.  PM while I was living in England.  (she definitely wore her catsuit to work every day.)

Annette didn’t make it quite as long as the other two.  she was 70.  and died from MS complications.  what those might have been…we will probably never know.

huh.

sad day today.

whatever your connection to MS might be.  fashion.  or politics.  may they all RIP.

xo