Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Year 2/29/16

I remember when leap year was a big deal.  Now - not so much.  I have given up on the Sunny Dawn Johnson detox program.  I got so far behind being so violently ill a week ago.  It is a good program but when something becomes a pressure to me, it turns into an anxiety for me.  I am trying to get back into my OA routine.  That is what is helping me now.  I will try the detox again at another time.

It was a good weekend.  My husband and I went out and did some shopping.  We went to the hardware store to look at moulding and doors and things for when we build our little tiny house.  Since we are 1000 miles away from where it is going to be built we are having a bit of stress knowing we can't be there to choose items and see it.  It was my first time since surgery getting in and out of the car on the passenger side.  So I have some skin pain.  Getting in and out on that side of the car really stretched my incision site.  Which in the long run I think was a good thing.  Showed me that I am not getting enough exercise.

My weight lose isn't going great but I am still down 30 lbs since December 2014.  Now that I have released myself from the detox program I feel better.  I need to lower my sugar intake again.  Before surgery I was doing the Take Shape For Life diet program.  The food is disgusting unless it is the cookies and bars.  I don't think that is the right program for me.  It is like eating candy bars all day long.  I don't think that is good for my mental being.  I think I did better on Weight Watchers eating good food not all this processed junk.  While I can't afford WW right now, I did learn the tools to keep going on my own.  So I am having my WW breakfast this morning.  I will count my calories for the time being.

A tidbit of knowledge from OA For Today - Compulsive Overeating is largely a solitary pursuit.  

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

2/24/16 It has been a rough few days.

I didn't give up on the detox program, I have just been violently ill.  I don't think it was the flu.  It felt like food poisoning but I ate the same things my husband did and he is fine.  (Warning: Too much information coming)  I threw up for 12 hours starting Saturday evening.  I had the most severe abdominal cramps.  I probably should have gone to the hospital but I just hate doing that.  It was so painful.  What I didn't throw up is still working it's way through my intestines and so I am still having mild cramping.  On Sunday I went to bed every couple of hours and slept for a couple of hours at a time.  I had a horrible headache too.  Every muscle in my body aches.  On Monday I was just limp.  Like I mentioned I am still having mild abdominal cramping and I am trying to drink liquids and not eat too much solid food.  Hopefully this will pass otherwise it is off to a doctor.

Here is the next detox day:

I Let Go Of:
Unhealthy social media habits – Focusing on social media, instead of being social. since I moved to the east coast, I am quite isolated.  Maybe social media is a contributing factor.  I didn't need to make friends here.  I just kept my old ones through facebook and I plan on going back to them. 
I am harmonious in my relationships. I do not hide from relationships by focusing on other people's lives. It is healthy for me to have an interest and connection with a variety of people. With the internet at my disposal, I can now have this connection all over the world. There is are healthy ways to be a part of social media, and I know when I am not in alignment with them.  True
“I am communicative and expressive in all my relationships, both in person and online.”  I can be a very closed person.  My co-worker M - the bigot is a good example.  She tries to get me to open up to her but I really don't like the garbage she spews so I try to keep my thoughts to myself so her poison opinion doesn't get in my head.  Her bigotry knows no bounds.  It is everyone.  Yesterday it was the people that build rocket boosters for NASA are all idiots.  See what I mean..why was that even a necessary thing to spew at me.
Today, I will notice my behavior around social media. Do I look at my phone while having conversations ... check Facebook while at dinner ... jump on Instagram while in a meeting ... write my blog while visiting with family or friends? I will be a loving witness to my habits, actions and feelings as I observe myself as I engage - or disengage. I will then take some time to really sit with, journal on, and ask myself this question: Am I truly present - for myself and others - in ways that honor us all?  If the answer is yes, I will congratulate myself and carry on. If not, I will take action to be more aware and present by sharing this intention with at least one other person.  I think I should put my phone down in the evening.  There is really nothing critical on it.  It is mostly the desperation to be connected to the people in Wisconsin.
Personal Experience:
I LOVE technology and believe in its ability to advance our forward progress – but I also recognize how much easier and more comfortable it is for me to text someone than to call them, or stop over for a visit. My technology has become an extension of me … and while I believe it is a great instant communication tool, I recognize there are times, and moments, to lay it down … put it away and connect physically with family, friends, etc. Being fully present in the moment is challenging for me … because I am used to external stimuli and my mind is addicted to the constant movement. When I am waiting in line, I am checking email. When I am out with friends waiting for dinner to be served, I am checking my Facebook page … seeing what my friends are doing, or my family. While the instant communication I believe is of great value … so is the present moment – right here in front of me! I see how I miss out on living in my own life by witnessing others living theirs instead; and it is important to me to change this, as I have seen my own personal relationships suffer because if it.
Journal Questions:
What keeps me from connecting in-person?  The fear of opening up and having someone be critical of me.  
Why do I distract myself while in the company of others with checking my Instagram/Facebook page?  My one sister and her kids are really bad about this.  It makes me realize that when I am in the presence of humans, I need to put my phone away.
Have I become too dependent on texting rather than calling?  My husband prefers texts.  I would so much rather he just pick up the phone and tell me what he wants instead of a bunch of texts.  It would be so much quicker to just talk to me.
How has technology hurt my personal relationships?  It has kept my old ones going strong. But I think it has hindered me making any new ones.  

Saturday, February 20, 2016

2/20/16 Saturday

Yesterday was a good day food wise.  I was very busy at work. I like to be busy but not stressed busy.  I am
still catching up on 5 weeks of being gone.  I have a ton of filing but as I file I am making sure all the dues are posted to the right account, and all the invoice have been paid, etc.
This morning I was up and grocery shopping and back home before 9:30am.  Just took my sweet time too.  Since I have been home I am mostly goofing off.  I did find a job opening in a community bank in the town we will be moving to in August.  I was in banking 28 years before moving to the east coast.
Here is today's detox:
                                                  I Let Go Of:

Fear of {spiders, heights, failing, succeeding, people...} – Allowing fear to hold me back in many areas of my life. 
I am stronger than my greatest fears. Fear is nothing more than the story we tell ourselves to keep us in the unhealthy, although familiar, patterns we have created. It is simply an obstacle we have created in our own minds. When we fight our fears, they chase us our entire lives. When we face our fears, we are free our entire lives. Interesting concept.  But I can see a couple spots in my life where this is absolutely true. The choice is ours.
False Evidence Appearing Real: “Fear is nothing more than the story we tell ourselves to keep us in the patterns which we have created.”
Today, I choose to face one of my fears, big or small. I will no longer give it the power over me. I will share with someone the fear I am facing and what step I am willing to take in order to take my power back from the fear that I have so freely given to. I will take action today and let go of the False Evidence Appearing Real … I will create a new reality TODAY and will replace that fear with FAITH!
 Personal Experience:
I am afraid that I am truly just not worthy of love. That is a very true sentence for me.  I think growing up with a mother that called me useless, stupid, ugly may have had a lot to do with that.  I have a fear that says I am not good enough. I have created stories within myself to confirm that I have no value and/or worth. That I do not deserve love or success!! I have looked for experiences with other people, within my work environment, within my intimate relationships, within my family … to validate this truth for me. A truth that I have created within my own mind. I look for any experience that I can manipulate into seeing from my lack mentality, so I can create the evidence that says… “See I am right - I am not loveable, I am not worthy, no one cares, so why should I?” Today I am re-writing my story ­– and it is one of success!! I am willing to face these fears that tug at me and allow myself to achieve all of who I am meant to be. As I was updating my resume today, I realized that I am not a loser, I have done well.
 Journal Questions:
What stories are playing out in your head to support your fears?  More of a can't do anything right, you are such a loser.
Are you creating scenarios that come from a place of lack, pain and judgement so you can be right?
Has your fear taken away your power?  Yes. I think that is another reason why I get paralyzed into NON action and procrastination. 
What can you do to release those fears?  Follow the Nike ads and JUST DO IT!

Friday, February 19, 2016

2/19/16 Friday - Let's smile all day long.

I started out the day in a negative frame of mind.  Our car did not start AGAIN.  My dear husband is so negative.  He went into a tirade and it was only 5:30am.   I called roadside assistance and then walked over to catch the shuttle.  I don't care to ride the shuttle because I am so short and the first step is over 12 inches from the ground.  The climb into and out of it is not comfortable with all my arthritis.  But you gotta do what you gotta do.  So I got to DC and stopped in at the little deli downstairs from my office to get a bagel.  The eye doctor that has offices on the same floor that I work on was there.  He was so happy to see me back that he bought my bagel. What a bright spot  in my day.   I got to my desk and called into the OA meeting, a little late, the reading that caught my ear was "Be optimistic...look on the bright side."  I am going to keep smiling no matter what else happens today.  I choose to be happy.

Detox Day 4
I Let Go Of:
Resistance to exercise and moving my body. 
 This is a big problem for me.  I discussed this with my sister.
I see this as a family trait and I come from a family with arthritis.
I think we stop moving because it hurts and it is happens unconsciously.
Which is ironic because moving is the best thing for you.  I also think
we come from a family full of depression but everyone is in denial.
Movement keeps me healthy and strong and I enjoy moving my body. When I move my body in loving ways, it responds back to me in loving ways as well.  I believe this to be true but I have not gotten to a place where I feel it as good.  I WILL keep going!
“I move my body in ways that feel good to me. I no longer use the excuse that I can’t … or compare myself to someone else - or myself of 10 years ago!”  AMEN
Today, I will do something to bring in movement. I can even try something new if I want to, like yoga, walking, stretching, running, or lifting weights.
Personal Experience:
As I get older, I am realizing how important it is to move my body to maintain flexibility and strength. My muscles were built to move and stretch … and when I get wrapped up in life and my To Dos, then the first thing to go out the window is my own self-care in the form of exercise. Plus, sometimes, I’d rather stay working than get up and go work out … or I’m too tired to drive to the gym.  So I really have to make a conscious effort to get up periodically during the day and move my body … and stay committed to an exercise regimen where I work out at least 3 times a week. I know I feel better when I have some movement in my body.  So true.  And I am blessed enough to have an exercise bike in my home.  I just need to get up and get on it.
Journal Questions:
What stops me from exercising consistently?  I really find no enjoyment in it.  I am envious of people that actually like to exercise.  I probably have never stuck with it long enough to find the joy.  I would rather sit and stitch.  I must do better!
What am I afraid of, if anything, in regard to physical movement?  I don't think it is fear.  I really think it is laziness.  But maybe it is fear that keeps me from moving.  But fear of what? Pain?  I really don't have a clue on this.  I will have to give it some serious thought.
What does exercise mean to me?  Dread!  A way to stay healthy.
What forms of movement could I enjoy?  Walking in a pool.  Going for a walk with a friend.  

Thursday, February 18, 2016

2/18/16 Thursday

I didn't go into work today.  It is part of my every other day off for 2 weeks.  But I think I am better by working every day.  I go back tomorrow and then I am suppose to have one more week of every other day.  But I really think I will go in every day.  I really think it is good for me.  Like today, I haven't really done a thing productive.  I have been SLOWLY going through a stack of papers and bills, etc that I have ignored and just stacked up.
So below is Sunny Dawn Johnston's day 3 spiritual detox:
I Let Go Of:
Being trapped in my head, and having my mind never shut off. I had this problem last night.  I just couldn't shut off all the stuff I hadn't finished and stuff I needed to remember.  Ended up getting up and emailing myself reminder notes.
It is safe and healthy for me to be quiet within. My constant mind chatter has served me well in the past; however, I am in a different place now. I am aware how this chatter has kept me distracted from what I truly wish to accomplish at any given time. My mind assists me in manifesting my dreams and desires. I put my attention on my intention to serve the highest good.
“I choose to focus on peace, calm and harmony.”
Today, I will take twenty minutes to meditate, pray or visualize. I can trust that even if it feels like my mind is louder and louder, it truly is benefiting me to go within. 
 Personal Experience:
I have a hard time meditating. I can pay attention to my breath … and then wonder if my package will be delivered today. This is so me. I can feel the bubble of energy moving up through my feet … and question whether I turned the heat down before I left. I can sink into the stillness within … and remember that it’s time to get the dogs bathed this week. Welcome to the chatter in my mind. But what I do know is that it’s better than nothing. I do know that when I give myself space to stop analyzing, and thinking, and planning and figuring it all out – well then I just might actually get a spark that my brain never came up with in all of its warp speed, hyper-drive activity. And I do know that it doesn’t have to be meditation in a dark room, chanting Om. For me it can be journaling to empty my brain onto paper to get to the clarity beneath. It can be pulling weeds in the garden, cutting the grass, walking the dogs or singing in the shower. It’s all a part of creating the SPACE to let the Busy Bee Brain go away and the Divine Inspiration to drift in. It’s in those moments of insight that I see that taking the time to get quiet is all worth it!
Journal Questions:
In what ways do you allow your “active brain” to shut off and your “inspired brain” to kick in? I tend to use reading to shut down.  But I am using it to escape the real world.
Take some time to recall an occasion where a solution or an unexpected opportunity came to you when you did NOT try so hard to figure it out, but instead focused on the desired result and allowed the path to appear.  This happens a lot to me when I am in a seminar.  An idea that is being talked about will trigger a thought about how I could solve or do something better.  I usually come back from a seminar with a notebook of stuff that has nothing to so with the seminar.
How could you incorporate meditation into your daily life?  When I go to work or come home.  I have a half hour each way that I could take to meditate.  I could pay attention more to my OA phone meetings.  sometimes I am barely tuned into them.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

2/17/16 Wednesday

My first day back to work.  Feels good but I haven't walked that far in 5 weeks so was a bit of a challenge.  So nice to be here.  I have so much backlog and filing to do, that I feel a bit over-whelmed.  Luckily my co-workers come  in later then me so I can get busy early.

I am updating my blog at 1:20pm.  And I am so tired.  I haven't worked this hard in a long time and I am still so far behind.  It is rough having 5 weeks off work.  But I like to be busy so it really isn't a complaint.

Below is today's items for day 2 of the spiritual detox program from Sunny Dawn Johnston.

I Let Go Of:
Being an emotional eater – Stuffing emotions with food.
In the past, when I would feel emotions that were uncomfortable for me, I would eat. I now know that I was pushing those emotions down, in order to not feel them.
“It is safe for me to feel.”
Today, I will take the time to tune into my feelings. I will take ½ hour to journal about how I feel..
Personal Experience:
This is a constant issue for me. Growing up, I learned to not express my emotions and to stuff them down with food. Food became my friend … and a way to soothe myself when I was hurting. It was much easier to eat a bowl of ice cream then it was to feel the pain I was feeling inside. Food soothes … emotions are painful. That has been my belief system. Amazing how she puts into words how I grew up. I realize that it is a moment-by-moment conscious choice to allow my feelings to surface rather than smooth them over or push them down with food. I have also found that being present in my feelings is important, because oftentimes I eat from a place of automatic reaction and I am totally unaware of my feelings. When I am eating, I choose to really practice presence and tune into what is going on in me and around me – am I eating because I am hungry, or am I eating because I don’t want to feel? I realize that just because I learned these behaviors as a child, they do not have power over me. I can simply make a new choice. It doesn’t feel simple … or even like a choice sometimes; but it is. This is a place I want to be.
Journal Questions:
Is food your friend? No, in some ways it is my enemy.  I would stop eating all together if I could live like that.  So I need to turn to God and ask him to help me control my food intake.
Has food been your safe place, or the one thing you could control? Food has been a safe place.  I eat because it is a pleasure not a necessity of life/
Are you afraid to feel your emotions … like you will drown in them, or get stuck there?I think I can say that I am afraid of my emotions.  I know that me and my siblings have my mother's hair trigger, fly off the handle temper.  I have do anything I can to not let that happen.  Therefore I think I eat.  We also inherited her high anxiety, so I eat to calm down.
What were you taught about expressing your emotions? Around mother it was not wise to show emotions or even talk.  It was better to stay out of her way and be as small as possible.  It was better to be ignored by her.
What makes you fear or dislike feeling emotions?  Fear of losing control.  Fear of looking stupid.  Fear of being laughed at.  Fear of being disliked.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

2/16/16 Tuesday

I didn't go to work today.  We had an ice storm and I am not that stable on my feet yet.  I feel really guilty though.
It is hard to believe this month is already half over.  Because this is going to be a year of big changes, it seems to be going fast.  We are retiring to Wisconsin in the fall.  In the spring we are building a tiny house in Wisconsin while we live in Virginia so it is going to be very stressful.  Just plain moving is stressful but we are quitting our jobs.  My husband has a pension so there will be a small income coming in.  I will need to find a job.  Mostly to feed my cross stitch projects and book reading.  I am starting a mental spiritual detox program my sister recommended.  It is by Sunny Dawn Johnston.  I am not going to be able to follow it verbatim because I don't believe as she does.  Today is the first day and she references praying to the Arch Angel Michael.  I believe that the Arch angel Michael is Jesus.  I also believe that you pray only to God in Jesus name.  See what I mean by not being able to follow "to the letter".

So here are her journal questions for the day.

What does maintaining your own energy mean to you?  I take this to mean I am or should be in control of myself and do what I need to do to stay "in tune".  Although I have to admit I really don't know how to go about that.

How easy is it for you to observe other people’s experiences? I don't think this is a really hard thing for me to do.  But if someone is deeply hurting because of a death, I feel that very deeply.
Are you aware of the moment when you take on someone else’s energy?  I do not think I am self aware of doing this.  I think as a kid I stole people's energy to build my self esteem up.  My self esteem took a beating from "the popular kids" and mother.  So I think I turned that on my friends.  Who are no longer friends.  I also noticed that I didn't keep many friends from my childhood.  Due to Facebook, I can see that a great number of my classmates are still in their "cliques".  
Are there people in your life you avoid because they drain your energy?I have avoided a dear friend because she is draining.  I think it was a good thing I moved away.  Her marriage was always on the rocks and she has repaired her relationship and they are doing well.  Although she has stopped using his given name and calls him Chef now.  Drives me nuts but she evidently needs to call attention to his profession to feel good.  So I have to accept that.  One of my sisters can get very negative and mean, once in awhile I have to back away from her.  She is still so angry with me for leaving 8 years ago.  My female coworker is a bigot and full of self importance.  I have to back away from her a lot.  Mostly because I want to scream at her, "shut up, shut up, shut up.  There are only 4 of us in the office and I need to keep our relationship friendly so that we may work together.  If there were 25 of us in the office, I would do whatever I could to avoid her.
How can you incorporate maintaining your own energy into your DAILY life? At this point in my life I have to say I really don't know how to answer this.  Maybe that is what listening to OA meetings does for me.  Also, reading and stitching.  I just don't know yet.
That is it for today.

Monday, February 15, 2016


It has snowed again.  It is suppose to ice and rain tonight.  Washington D.C. and the suburbs can't handle this kind of weather.  I am suppose to go back to work tomorrow but extremely worried about walking to work on icy sidewalks and falling.    I haven't done as much walking as my therapist has wanted me to.  I'm not as stable as a normal person so that just adds to the fear.

I have to admit, I like not working.  I should play the lottery so I can win and never have to work again.  Ha Ha!  That will never happen.

Just looked out the window and it is still snowing.

Have a great day.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

2/14/16 What a year so far.

I wrote a huge blog yesterday.  Today when I came here it was gone.  Not sure what I did wrong.  So I am going to try again.

I ended 2015 barely able to walk with the excruciating pain in my left hip.  Not being able to get comfortable sleeping either.  On January 6, 2016 I had a total hip replacement.  I knew that when I woke up I would have no more hip pain.  What I did not mentally prepare for is the pain form the foot long incision down my left leg.  OMG!  That was intense.  The first day they got me up walking the pain was so intense I was nauseous.  I went home on day 3.  I cried for the next 7 days on and off.  My physical therapist that came to the apartment told me that was fairly normal for people who have such intense surgery.  I just was not mentally prepared.

What I was also not ready for was the brain fog.  I could hardly concentrate for the first 2 1/2 weeks.  Since I was suppose to be working from home I had all my concentration on keeping up with my job.  I had gotten a ton of books and and kitted up lots of projects.  I didn't touch them.

I am better now.  I have always fought depression but this threw me into the deep end.  I have basically been a prisoner in our apartment since we live on the second floor without an elevator and I wasn't suppose to be doing stairs.  I did get out of the house on Friday and ran a bunch of errands.

I do feel so much better.  One thing that I have noticed is I have a slight tremor.  I mostly notice it with my hand writing.  I also notice it in my typing.

My husband does not have a care-taking personality but he has done very well.  Between his days off and the storm and his tele-working I have only been alone 3 days in over 5 weeks.  While I love him dearly, I would have really liked some alone time.  I like to listen to OA in private so I haven't done that since being home on medical leave.  I will have to make a really strong effort to get back on my program this coming week.

I am going back to work on Tuesday.  The surgery made my left leg longer than my right leg and with the stiffness of the incision I have a very pronounced limp.  The doctor is very worried about my being unstable and falling so when I am outside of the apartment I still have to use my cane.  My commute is very strenuous so the doctor is only letting me work every other day for 2 weeks.

Here is a project I worked on right before surgery and I framed it in a hoop the other day.  It is for my coworker.

This project was pretty fast since it was all the same color of floss.  The color ran when I washed it but I took it to Michael's to have it framed anyway for my friend Christine.

I am going to make another tribal rooster for a different coworker but I am going to be using a DMC variegated floss.  I pulled my Mason Jar Line Up to work on.  It is the simple looking design but it is a royal pain to stitch. So much blended floss and half stitches and back stitching.  It is going to take me a very long time to finish.  It is for our new house.  I have the frame already so I am hoping to have it down by the time we move. Labor Day weekend.

I have started reading again too.  I have listed the books on another page of my blog.

I hope your 2016 goes well.