Monday, June 20, 2011

run fat girl run

I am a chunky girl. I've always been on the bigger side, but now I am most certainly fat. Medically obese even. And I don't like it. But instead of doing nothing about it, I decided to get off my fat ass and move. So, today for the very first time, I did. I ran.

Want to know a secret about running?

It's dumb.

It's extra dumb when you have breasts the size of watermelons and there are bugs out trying to suck your blood while you're sweating in humidity and drizzle. I woke up this morning all jazzed up to run just to be greeted with a thunderstorm. After bitching with Erin this morning and cursing the weather gods, the rain finally stopped and I went for it.

I want to tell you how invigorated I feel. I want to tell you that it was easy and I didn't walk a few times when I was supposed to be running. I want to tell you all of these things so I don't look like such an out of shape chubster, but I won't lie. That sucked. It hurt and I sweated and swore and I was damn glad when it was over. And I didn't do the last 60 seconds of running either.

But I still did (most of) it. And I'm going to do it again the day after tomorrow. But this time with bug spray.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

healing a cynic

I'm what you would call a cynic. I generally don't believe that good things are coming or that life is peachy and lovely. I'm a firm believer in things sucking. There's a slight glimmer of hope in my reserved for very few things in this world. I hope to see the Cubs win a World Series before I die and I hope that one day my husband's eyesight comes back in his left eye. That's about it. I don't really believe in hope and I have a lot of trouble with faith as well.

Maybe if I sat down with someone and discussed all of this we'd discover the source of all my problems. But I tried therapy once and I thought it was dumb. Because I don't like talking about my emotions either. Luckily I have friends. These friends have enough love, hope and faith to make up for my doubts and cynicism. Not only do they make up for it, but they actually find ways to give me hope. They make me believe that there might be some good and love left in the world.

I think I've changed a lot over the past year or so. I'm not as angry as I use to be. Nine.. okay Seven days out of ten I can say I'm happy with my life. And there are times when I look around and I'm amazed at how lovely and bright my life has become. There have been so many good people who've come into my life in the last year. People who inspire me with their love, people who make me laugh and people who love me. I didn't know it until something came in the mail yesterday.

I love my friends. The one who sent this, the others who have told me how much they wish they could help me. The ones who have listened to me cry and rant about the struggles we're going through right now. Some of you have prayed and some of you have paid for a lunch when we've spent time together. All of it. There is no little and big. Every single thing my friends have done to help me means the world to me.

What you've all done is something I didn't think possible. You've made me a believer in hope, love, possibility and faith. All of that blackened stone around my heart is being chipped away rapidly. There's no chance I'm going to go out tomorrow and sing about how much Jesus loves me... Oh wait. Yes I am, but that's only because I'm going to VBS again. Still. You've all had a profound impact on my life and I love you. All of you. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

had myself a ball in a small town

I've never really lived anywhere but here. I might have moved around from house to apartment to trailer, but I've always been here. I've always had country roads to blast down while my music is turned up all the way. I've always had friends who live "just down the road" even if that road is 20 miles long. I've had country fairs, beaches, block parties, drive-ins, small communities and so many more things that I wouldn't have anywhere else.

Last night I went to a movie in the park. (Or the courthouse square since the park is still under construction.) We sat in the grass, talked and laughed and waited for the (free!) movie to start. People were handing out popcorn, families were mingling, kids were playing and it dawned on me how much I love my little city. The population of Valpo might make it a city but it's events like last night that make it a town. A small town filled with small town people who value what it means to have a community.

Growing up I wanted nothing more than to MOVE. AWAY. I didn't want to stay in Valpo forever because it was so small. Ten years later (oh hi, I've been out of high school for ten years) I realize that I love how small it is. I love knowing the name of the woman who owns my favorite cafe. I love being able to walk around downtown and ducking into my favorite shop to see what they have in this week. I love how comfortable it feels. My small town is changing a little, but I'm happy for it. It's evolving without losing it's charm that makes it feel like home.

I grew up in a small town.

I'm probably going to die in a small town.

That's good enough for me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Surviving Unemployment

Being unemployed sucks. I'm one of those people who like working. I enjoy having something to think about during the day. Sitting at home with the tv is dull. Honestly being unemployed is more stressful than working in a law firm and if you've ever worked in a law firm you know how hectic and stressful that is. Today I found out that after two long months of waiting for my unemployment pay to come through I have to wait an additional two weeks before I'll see any money.



So how am I surviving this? It hasn't been easy and aside from a few breakdowns (like crying on the phone with the supervisor at the unemployment office this morning) I've managed to stay happy and not do bodily harm to others. A monumental feat. Are you wondering how I pulled it off? I'll tell you.

1) Get creative. You can make a lot of meals with beans rather than meat and frozen veggies are cheap. Rice is awesome and if you mix it all together it turns out to be a meal. Spices are the cure to any cheap meal. I've made some many "skillets" while we've been poor. Also chicken legs are love. They are less than two bucks a pack and you feel like it's a real meal when you can't afford chicken breasts.

2) Wine. A glass a day keeps the murderous rage away. Feeling extra stabby? Have two glasses. And if you catch wine on sale then stock up so you're always prepared. Being unemployed suck and drinking makes things suck less. The plus side is you don't have a job anymore so you don't have to worry about going into the office hungover.

3) The Library. Free books, free movies and free music? Plus they have air conditioning for the days it's super hot outside and you don't want to pay a fortune to cool your house. Did I mention how entertaining libraries can be just for the people watching? I adore my public library system and it's gotten me through a lot of stress. (Especially when certain Librarians run awesome twitter accounts and encourage/support their patrons. Love them.)

4) Doctor Who. Shut up. If you watch Doctor Who you can't be in a bad mood. It's a fact. The Doctor always comes through in the end and the world makes sense again. And you'll giggle like a little kid because he is just so fantastic.

5) Cleaning. No, really. Do you know how much time it takes to clean? Lots. And then when it's all said and done and things are pretty you feel better. Normally I wouldn't recommend cleaning to anyone under any circumstance, but in this one (and only one) instance, it works. You'll burn off your frustration and stress and the end result will make you feel loads better.

6) Swearing. I do it daily. I'll go so far as to say that people who swear are happier than people who don't because swearing relieves stress one curse word at a time. Say it with me, friends. Fuck. Shit. Damn. See? Don't we all feel better?

7) Friends. But only the ones who are funny. If you have a friend who is always down and mopey, don't talk to them while you're unemployed. Or ever. Surround yourself with funny, smart assed, crazy people who will take your mind off your troubles. And if you have friends like my friends you're sure to laugh until you cry. And laughing makes you happy.

8) Ranting. Are you the person who hates complaining about their problems? Get over it. Call up someone and talk their ear off until you're out of breath. Go over every stupid, little and dumb thing that's preventing you from finding a job. Don't censor yourself and savor each hate filled, cynic and anger covered word that falls from your lips. Keeping it all bottled up inside is just going to make you gain weight. Yup. Words are heavy and if you keep them in you'll get fatter. So you'll really be unemployed, angry and fatter. And you won't be able to buy new pants because you have no money.

9) Accept help. This is the hardest thing for me personally. I'm a proud person. I don't even like that I need to be on unemployment let alone accept help from family and friends. No one wants to look like a failure. But think about it. When your friends and family are struggling, do you think they are failures? If you answered yes to that question then you are an asshole. We'd probably get along really well. Still, take help from people. It'll make you feel better because it is one less thing to worry about and it will make them feel better because they can stop fretting and worrying and offering to shove food down your throat every ten minutes, MICHELLE. (I kid. I love you.)

10) Laugh. Laugh at the fact that you've been working for six, ten or twenty years and you're buying ramen like a college kid. Laugh at the fact that you still wake up at 5:30 in the morning when all you're going to do that day is fold towels and watch Maury. Laugh because things suck so much and you've got nothing else to do. Laugh that you have a college degree and you're considering applying at McDonalds, but find out that you're over qualified to make french fries. Laugh when your student loan officer calls and informs you that you need to make a payment for the loan that got you the degree that makes you over qualified to cook the french fries you can't even afford.

Being out of work sucks. It does. I hate it and I know other people hate it too. But it could be worse. No really. It could be loads and loads worse than it is. On the days when you're at you're lowest and feel like you can't keep going just list off all of the things you do have. And if you don't have shit left, well then you're good and fucked so sit back and enjoy the show as the world falls apart. You can always pick up the pieces later.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

sounds of summer

blue skies, smiling at me.
nothing but blue skies, do I see.

I spent a few hours at the beach with Shelli today. It was more than wonderful.

Relaxing. Free. Warm. Joyful. Perfect.

The night before had been tough. I was upset for various reasons and I wanted to stay curled up in my house all day and sulk. But then Shelli suggested we go to the beach and it was the best idea ever. Because what could be better than soaking up the sunshine and laughing about seagulls with your best friend? Nothing. It wasn't a fancy day. But it was just what I needed.

I needed the sunshine.

I needed the sound of the waves slapping against the sand.

But more than anything I needed those precious hours where I didn't think about bills, finding a job, family, friends, housework, school or the three-hundred-and-eight other things that circle around in my head every day.

Today was just what I needed.