Operation Fit for Geocaching

Warning, this post may be TMI (too much information), but I’m going for honesty and authenticity

It’s that time again… the time I decide I’m going to start eating better and exercising more.  But this time I have a specific reason in mind and a fitness oriented reason.  GEOCACHING!

Last week, March 20th, was my 2nd year as a member of Groundspeak Geocaching website, and I wanted to write a bit about my hobby, and I will later, but I need to write about this first.

Today I went out geocaching, after yesterday having a depressing time with 3 DNFS (did not finds), I had better luck today.  I found a few easy ones off the trail, one that took a bit more hunting and muggle (non-geocacher) dodging, and was picking up some Munzee tags to boot.

I saw a location on my GPS where there was both a cache & a tag, so I head over.  It seems the tag is on one side of this specific area, while the cache was on the other.  I didn’t locate the tag (but I didn’t look very hard) and decided to walk over to pick up the cache. A magnetic key holder, so it should be fairly visible…  I spot it, and reach up…. and couldn’t touch it.  I tippy toe and still can’t quite grab it enough to pull it down.   But there’s a brickwork ledge, I could hoist myself up on it, grab & sign the cache, looking fairly inconspicuous.  I hoist.  I don’t even know how much I may have gotten off the ground but my hoisting causes another issue.  Stress incontinence.. aka I freakin’ pee’d myself.   “DAMNIT”, I thought.  But oh well, one more try to lift myself up on the ledge.  Hoist again, still an epic fail and yet pee’d a little bit more.  I have no idea how much may be soaking through my jeans, so I decide to call it a day and walk quickly back to my car.

So… one of the causes for stress incontinence, apart from being a female who has given birth (3 times over in my case), is obesity.  I don’t recall having a problem with stress incontinence until I hit the 180 lb mark, and now, I’m around 220 lbs.

I hate the idea of tracking what I eat, and I believe in Heath At Any Size.  I also don’t believe stress incontinence is normal or should be accepted as normal. I want to be able to climb trees, crawl under trees, grab caches in terrain with a higher rating than 2.  I may lose weight, I may not, but I want to get fit.

I’ve taken my measurements and wrote them with wet erase marker on my bathroom mirror.  I’ll see those numbers every day with my note “Fit for Geocaching” to remind myself what I’m working towards.  I’m going to log everything that I eat, although I hate doing that, because it helps me to be mindful of what I’m eating and why.  I’m a stress eater, yet chocolate, diet sodas, french fries and ice cream isn’t a diet to produce energy  or strength to find the next smiley.

My goal is to walk 30 mins a day, and geocache as much as I can when I have a few hours free.  There are a lot of parks nearby with tons of caches where I could spend a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.   I’ve also noticed since I’ve stopped belly dancing I’m losing flexibility so I also want to incorporate a morning yoga routine and meditation.

Yoga in the AM, walking (and eventually running) in the PM, geocaching on weekends and tracking my food intake.   It sounds like so much, but to be able to hoist myself up on a brick ledge to grab a cache is totally worth it!


Getting Comfortable

I just has a realization.  I grabbed some magazines and sat at my art desk beginning to cut out meaningful words and phrases.  As I was sitting in the wooden straight back chair, I began to fidget.  I can’t lean back and get comfortable in the process. It isn’t work I need to sit forward and concentrate on, I want to relax and mindlessly clip pictures & words to use for journalling later.

My “art studio” chair is uncomfortable!! I have resisted working in my only little art space but I couldn’t place my finger on exactly why.  I thought it was lighting, and I tried to re-arrange the space so I could use the sunlight from the windows, instead of having my easel set up against them and getting sunblind whenever I try to work in the afternoons (since the windows fast West).  I thought there was too much clutter on my desk workspace, so I bought and painted shelves to put some of the lesser used items upon.

It’s the chair!!   So it’s a relatively easy fix, maybe I’ll get some cushions for the chair, or set up an alternate more relaxed art space near my recliner (where I tend to sit with my Chromebook as I’m writing).  Space in the art studio (aka dining room) is a problem, so a new chair wouldn’t be practical right now, but maybe a rolling stool?  I could clean out the space under the desk I’m using for storage, and keep the stool there, plus I’d have a place to stretch out my legs.

So now I’ve brought the magazines, scissors and plastic storage tub to my recliner, so once I finish this, I’ll go back to clipping words & pictures.

Today I’ll be mindful of my discomfort, pinpointing the causes and seeing what I can to do rectify the situation.  Maybe sometimes I won’t be able to lessen the discomfort and I’ll learn to sit with it and grow from it.

I love life!



Talk to you Later, Daddy

Friday I received a phone call from my sister-in-law. My father had surgery on Monday, never regained consciousness, developed pneumonia and was experiencing kidney failure.   It wasn’t the pneumonia that bothered me, but “kidney failure”, in my experience, rarely has a good outcome.

I turned my phone on airplane mode when I went to bed. I knew there would be phone calls in the night I didn’t want to take, and any bad news could wait until morning.  I dreamt that night, telling my dad “It’s OK if you have to go. I love you and I understand”.

When I turned on my phone the next morning, I had 2 missed calls, and numerous Facebook notifications.

I think I was in shock.  I called my mom, told her and decided to stay home instead of the shopping trip we had planned.  I texted my brother in Michigan.  He called me later in the afternoon, after his shift at work.  He had a shitty morning too.   I talked to one of my cousins as well.  As someone who really dislikes phone calls, I spent a lot of time Saturday on the phone.

I spent Saturday and Sunday sleeping.  It’s what I do when things are too much for me.  I cried off and on but never really let loose.

I went to work on Monday, luckily I had a LOT to keep me busy. I fought back tears throughout the day but again, never really let loose.  A situation in the afternoon triggered more of a response and I told a co-worker about my dad.  The manager of the dept came in and chatted with me a bit, so my secret was out

Yesterday, Tuesday, I don’t know exactly what caused the tears to fall, but they began to come in earnest.  I finished up my work and asked if I could go home.  I got home, took a bath and as I was beginning to thumb through Everyday Matters by Danny Gregory, the floodgates were washed away.  Hard sobbing cries, snot & drool dripping everywhere, the “Ugly Cry”.  I couldn’t stop.  After 20 mins of crying, the doorbell rang, “damnit, I’m in the bathtub”… knock knock knock…  “Ugh, fine”, I composed myself enough to throw my loungy clothes back on as the door bell rang again.   I opened the front door, it’s a flower delivery guy. I signed for the flowers, read the card.  Sympathy card from my workplace, beautiful lilies, snowball flowers  or more properly hydrangea (my grandma had a bush in her front yard) and tulips.  The tears flowed again, hard and heavy.  I texted my husband if he would come home for lunch.

David brought me Diet Dr. Pepper and french fries. We watched The Incredibles.  David went back to work and I went to take a nap.

I feel better for finally having cried.  I looked at Daddy’s Facebook page last night, read the messages people have left there.  I’m not avoiding it now.   My cousin mentioned the “talkers” in the family never say “goodbye”, they say “Talk to you Later”.

Talk to you later, Daddy.


New Phone Life Reset

David & I got new phones.  I always look forward to getting a new phone because it means a completely clean slate.  The only thing I back up are my photos so with a new phone, I only install the apps as I use them, and end up cleaning out a bunch of things I don’t need.

When our new phones were activated, I noticed mine began to auto-install the apps I had on my old phone.  I was so glad a few days earlier I had deleted a bunch of apps I never use, and information I could look up online.

But yet, I set up what apps & folders I had in the exact same places on my screen.  I like the idea of completely fresh start, as long as things stay the same, and the excess muck is wiped away.

I look at how much excess muck is in my life and I wish I could wipe it away as easily as a factory reset or a new phone.

Frozen Pipes and Stress

A week ago today we replaced the water heater.   We were refunded the full price of the broken one, so with a little bit out-of-pocket, we were able to get a brand new water heater with a new 12 year warranty.  My dad came up and helped get the old one out & returned and the new one installed.

Later in the evening we started receiving freezing rain, changing to sleet on Sunday, and then over Sunday night & Monday it snowed.  I stayed home from work, the kids were out of school. It was nice to have hot water for a long relaxing soak.

I went back to work Tuesday, while the kids were still out of school.   I get a call from Lachlan around noon saying “We’ve got a problem. I hear water rushing & the dining room is flooded”  I instructed him to turn the water off to the house (so nice that the main valve is in the garage) and to call David.  I used my lunch break to rush home to see how bad the flooding was.  The dining room is where my ‘art studio’ is and we have to really watch the spring storm season to make sure the gate is open so water flows out and down the side of the house.   I’m hoping the new drainage they’ve put in behind our house helps that this spring.

Of course, a pipe leading out to the backyard spigot had frozen at a joint and cracked.  I’m so thankful Lachlan was home and woke up when he did. The flooding was minor and a plumber was out that afternoon to assess what repair would be needed, and came back the next day to do the repair.

I hope this is the end of the stress inducing house repairs.

Hot Water Heater and Stress

Sunday evening as I was doing laundry, or changing cat litter, I heard the plunk of water dripping.   I opened the door to the hot water heater and saw the drip pan was filled with water.  There’s a drain sticking up off center of the drip pan so luckily nothing has flooded.  Yet the water has dripped almost continuously for the last 4 days, at least.

So maybe that’s why my Shower Challenge didn’t show any savings but that’s not the point right now.

David, my husband, called the manufacturer since its in year 7 of the 12 year warranty.  They told us to do the hot water heater equivalent to “turning it off and back on” again.  Which was basically, turning off the pilot light & burner, letting it sit for a few hours, and turning the flames back on, to see if it may be condensation.  A full drip pan isn’t condensation but we humored them, and when David called them back yesterday and said it’s still dripping, they said it’s unrepairable and gave us an authorization number to get it exchanged.

We purchased it at Home Depot, 7 years ago as I said, but I cannot for the life of me find the receipt.

I’ve found the receipts for the other appliances we bought that same year, but nothing on the hot water heater.  I’m not sure if they’ll need the receipt to do the exchange, since we have the authorization.  My husband said they’re the only place that carries this brand of heater, but still, having worked in retail, I know the power of the receipt.

I feel the stomach twinges of anxiety beginning, and I start to criticize myself as quickly as the water is dripping. Why aren’t you more organized?  You should have saved all your credit card statements.  Now how are you going to prove you bought this at Home Depot?   

This happens at the time we’re getting a bit of extra money to spend on fun stuff, and I had planned on getting the family new cell phones.  That’s haunts me too.  You can’t spend money on frivolous things when you have repairs to do.  You don’t REALLY need a new phone, and the boys can just deal with the crappy ones they have.  If you didn’t have so much credit card debit this wouldn’t even be a problem.  You know you need to have a savings account for emergencies.

Then the cherry on the self-depreciating sundae is the fact that I have started attending a Science of Mind church. “Change Your Thoughts and Change Your Life”  I’m intrigued by it, but at the same time very questioning.  It seems any type of problem or challenge is because you’re not ‘thinking right’, and I’m trying to figure out which of my thoughts caused my hot water heater to drip.  Of course, it couldn’t be faulty manufacturing, a weak seam,  or anything structural.  It’s MY fault, because I had a wrong thought.  Because I don’t have right understanding, and if I did, I wouldn’t have this problem, so maybe if I believe the hot water heater will stop leaking, it will.

WTF!?  No wonder I’m experiencing anxiety and of course, anxiety is my wrongful thinking too

Today I feel like I can’t win.

Wordless Wednesday

Looking Into the Mirror

Back in the fall, I purchased Thrashing About With God by Mandy Steward at a book signing.  I had seen her name and had earlier in the month helped another friend out with an art show to raise money for Oklahoma Mothers Milk Bank where she had some art showcased.

After purchasing a signed copy and saying hello to Mandy, I went to my favorite tea house to relax and begin reading.

i didn’t get very far.  I read a bit when I could but it was painful, it was like a mirror being held up and I wasn’t ready to look at the face reflecting back.  I set the book aside for a while.

With the new year, I’ve felt drawn to authenticity. I’m tired of living for other people, and I picked up Thrashing About With God.   It’s still hard, tears well up and I easily cry at some point in each chapter.  Now the book is reflecting to me a face with wild eyes. The eyes searching to break out of a prison of my own making.

Even as I try to write this post, my youngest son is wanting to make some hot tea and is yelling at me from the kitchen he doesn’t know how. The instructions are on the label and he makes himself iced tea all the time.  As I try to write and answer him, I get words mixed up and he starts teasing me.  I just want some quiet time to write but I have to put his needs first, and I’m mocked in my confusion.  He’s a extrovert and thrives on what I see as chaos, and I ask him to please be quiet, as I’m trying to write.  He goes into a teenage angsty tirade on stapling his mouth shut and having to drink through a straw like a mosquito.  Tears are welling up in my eyes, and I text my husband I’m experiencing sensory overload.  As my son walks past me to his room, mug full of tea, I tell him that I love him… Silent treatment as response.

I’m having a very difficult time putting my needs first, when for as long as I can remember I try to make everyone around me happy and comfortable, even if I’m not.   I have such a difficult time saying what I need or want, and when I do, I’m not prepared to deal with the reactions of others who are used to my compliance.

My son just came back out of his room, explaining his tea wasn’t sweet enough and we have a bit of a chat.  Things are back to normal.

I should finish the book within a week, at the pace I’m reading, and I’m reminded of the Eight of Swords tarot card. I’m trapped in my own cage, created by the habits of past behavior.  In conjunction with working on expressing my needs and thoughts, I’ll be prepared that other people will react differently to me as well.

Blue Fingernails

Blue FingernailsLast week, on the last day of my vacation, I painted my fingernails.  I don’t usually paint my fingernails, only my toenails, especially if I chose a wild color like blue.  My toes can be hidden in shoes, and safely worn to work without drawing attention to myself.

The company I work for is very image oriented. Or it was with the old guard.  So many things have changed in the last 8 months, I think the image police have other things to worry about.  Still I’ve never been one to stand out from a crowd.  I’ll easily go with whatever everyone else is doing, as to not draw attention to myself, and then I feel sad and a fraud for not being authentic.

So when I grabbed the blue nail polish and started to paint my toes, my brain screamed “NO!!!  Paint your fingernails!  Let the blue remind you of your love for color, and  the paint you get on your hands when at the canvas, and to remind you to GET YOUR ASS TO THE CANVAS, or art journal, or sketchbook!”    I may be a number cruncher 40 hours a week, but in those little bits of time between making sure numbers play correctly and balance, I can doodle, I can write a poem, and I sit serenely with the universe and feel the connection between myself and all things.

At times, it’s fun play dress up and go with the “Corporate Ladder Climber” image. Of course, that’s not ME, it’s not authentic, but when I bellydanced, wearing my bedlah and gossamer flowing skirts, with silk veils floating like butterflies with my movements gave my image as a dancer more “umph” . I could dance the exact same choreography with jeans and a tank top, but the dance costume gave me credibility . The bellydancer me is more authentic than the corporate me.

Tomorrow I have to give a presentation, so it’s the Corporate Ladder Climber costume, to be credible in my part.  I’ll even take off the blue polish.  I’m going to switch it for a really dark purply-black.  It’ll more easily go with my black slacks & jacket, but it will still remind me of the Artist Soul Heart beating within me.

Loungy Last Vacation Day

Today is my last day of PTO for this month and I’m working really hard to not plan the day out.  The rest of my vacation time was pretty well planned, or I had some type of appointment on each day, so today is absolutely nothing I HAVE to do.

However, I’m finding a lot of things I want to do, and I’m not sure I can cram it all in.

Yesterday my son & I went to the zoo, and I decided to log into the Geocaching website to see if there were any caches in that area.  I found a few, loaded them to my GPS, which would then not turn on.  FRUSTRATING!!  I’ve problems with this GPS off and on since I got it, so I tried to calm down, knowing I can always use my phone to play.

I discover that my GPS software (firmware?? What’s the difference?) is ver 1.7 and I could update it to ver 2.15.  So updating begins, which takes a while and once it’s finished, I throw the GPS in my bag, while I wait for it to restart after the updates, and off we go to the zoo.

The GPS will still not come on and never restarted.  Deep Breath   I pull the battery out 6 hours later praying I’m not messing up some update it’s still trying to run, and it finally comes on, saying the brand new fresh batteries were in the red zone.  I shut it down, put newer new batteries in it and it seems to be happy again.  The ‘red zone’ batteries tested good so I don’t know why the GPS was being cranky.   But I load it up with caches around my house, in various parks, including the one cache I’ve searched for 3 different times and could never locate.

I did plan to hunt that cache today, but discovered the park it is in is closed on Mon and Tues.  Deep Breath   So I’ll save that for Friday after work.

I’m back to really not having any specific plans but things I want to do.  It’s supposed to be a beautiful day outside and would be perfect to get out for a bit, do a tiny bit of caching.  I’m forcing myself to not rush into it. I’ll get dressed & get out later but I don’t have to rush through the day trying to shove fun into every single minute, before I go back to work tomorrow.

Deep Breath, No Rush.


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