Wednesday, August 27, 2003

I never learn. Saying 'yes' too many times and getting overwhelmed is a vicious pattern I keep repeating. At least this time, I've stopped myself early, before the damage got too high. So instead of my stress level continuing to go up, up, up, it's heading down to a more manageable level. How I'm doing it:

Yoga - I haven't exercised regularly in forever. I could keep beating myself up over that, or I could start exercising. I've done yoga 3 of the last 4 days. Sure, it doesn't burn the calories of cardio, but it does calm me down. And my back feels much better. Right now, calming down and removing guilt is enough.

Volunteering - I contacted the MS Society and let them know I just don't feel ready without the training. My contact understood completely and was very supportive of my decision to hold off. Now instead of freaking out that I'll mess up, I can get the training I need to feel more comfortable. Deep down I know I wouldn't mess it up if I started now, but I was so anxious about it earlier this week that I know I need to give myself a break from that stress.

House - I'm practicing my delegating skills here. Tim is quite capable of handling a lot of things, and I'm letting him. For example, he's the main contact with our real estate agent. I'm also breaking down what I need to do into smaller blocks. The current block is focusing on what we need to decide before our next design meeting. Once that's over, my focus will shift to cleaning out and decluttering our current place.

Fun - I'm making sure I have it, but I'm not letting it stress me out. For example, we received loads of invitations for Labor Day weekend stuff (and most of them came in on one day!). We decided to do all of the evening activities, so that I can sleep in as needed and get things done during the day. Friday night, we may be having dinner at a friend's house. Easy call there, only have to bring some wine, and we'll have a blast. Saturday we opted to tailgate and go to a football game that night instead of heading to a water park all day. The water park would have been fun, but it would have been tiring. Some friends wanted to get together for dinner on Sunday, so we're going to do an easy dinner at our house. Given the menu I'm considering, easy is the key word there. So I know I'll have loads of fun this weekend, but there will be time to bathe dogs and get some much-needed rest.

Monday, August 25, 2003

My husband was asked at church when I was going to be updating my blog. Well, I had meant to update it but...I know, if wishes were horses than beggars would ride. So now I'm sitting down and actually writing.

Training Teleconferences, etc.

Well, I the volunteer training has been rescheduled for October, so hopefully I'll get to participate in it then. I also missed last week's complementary and alternative medicine one. Last week was a bear at work, and I was a bear at home because of it. Since I actually had a nice day at work on Thursday (the day of the teleconference), I decided to cook a really nice dinner. Thursdays are the days I pick up my fresh produce, and this time I also bought some fresh pasta and some cookies from another farmer. Then I headed to the health food store to get some fresh fish. By the time we finished fighting with the grill and actually had some dinner to show for it, the teleconference was already half over. Oh well...the food was awesome (if I do say so myself). I won't miss this week's, though.

Even though the volunteer training has been postponed, the volunteer effort hasn't. I've already been asked to get started in Peer Support. I've been nervous about it. I had a "lightbulb moment" on Sunday, though. I thought back to when I've struggled with my diagnosis and thought about what I needed at those times. I didn't need someone who had the exact perfect thing to say, I just needed someone to be there. I needed people to understand that sometimes, I just don't have it in me to do what I always used to do, or to follow their agenda. I can offer that to someone else. So even though I won't have the exact perfect words as I volunteer, I'll do all right. When I was at church on Sunday, a woman told me about someone else at church who had been diagnosed with MS and mentioned that she had given this woman my name. I was pleased. I do want to be a resource for others. In a way, it's a chance for me to have something positive come out of this stupid diagnosis.

House Update

There's actually progress on the house! We had our first design meeting on Friday. I can't wait for it to be built, because it will be completely gorgeous. I know there will be times I will be frustrated by this whole process (I've already had some "get me out of this deal" moments), but for now I'm psyched again.

Exercise Update

Let's hope that Saturday was the start of a beautiful friendship between me and my exercise video collection. After working a good portion of the day (let's not go there, OK?), I got some chores done at home and then popped in my Yoga for Weight Loss tape. It lasted nearly an hour, but I made it through. I just wish I would have remembered to put on the awesome yoga pants I bought on sale a few weeks ago. I like this tape because there are four levels of modification shown throughout. I go back and forth between the fully modified and mostly modified pose, depending on which body parts I'm attempting to contort. My legs were sore that night, but Tim gave me a massage. Another benefit of exercising - Tim gives great massages.

Now it's just a matter of making time in my schedule to exercise more regularly. I've already identified Sunday mornings as good opportunities to do a yoga routine. Once choir starts up in September, Tim will have to be at church 30 minutes before I will. I'll get up when he does and head down to do the AM Yoga for Beginners routine (wonderful tape, BTW). Then I'll still have plenty of time to get ready and be in the pew before the service starts. Since I've made some sensible choices for meals this week that don't take long to prepare, I should be able to fit in some after-work time too -- as long as I stop working weird hours. I am not working this weekend, unless the pager goes off.

Writing Update

I'm going to be published next week! I've started writing for a spiritual e-zine, and I've submitted my article for the September issue. I can't wait to see my article in print. I've already seen what the next two topics are (it's published 6 times a year), and I'm excited about the assignments. The reality show column that I write wrapped up last week (since the show's over), but I'm trying to figure out another topic for my satirical skewering. I'm sure I'll find one.

I'm also going to try and do a better job of keeping this updated. It's hard, sometimes. After all, some days the only thing I have to say about my illness is that it's still here and I'm dealing with it. That gets boring. I hate being boring.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

OK, I've definitely fallen down in keeping this thing updated. I'll try and do better in the future.

Medical Update

I've had every sort of appointment you can think of under the sun during the past month and a half. Now I'm caught up on all of my doctors' appointments. All went extremely well, with the only less than fabulous news being a look at my cholesterol level. I liked my doctor's attitude during the physical when we were talking about my weight gain: "You've taken care of the disease, now you can take care of yourself." She also gave me the name of a dietician, in case I want to talk with someone about modifying my eating habits. I've started a food diary right now, so that I can give the honest answers if I go, instead of talking about the good stuff I remembering eating and selectively forgetting to talk about the rest.

Dog Days of Summer

It's started getting hot and humid here - the typical NC stickiness is in high gear now. Fortunately, I can limit my time outside, so it's not that big of a deal for me.


I haven't been able to participate in the training teleconferences, since the date got switched from Thursdays to Wednesdays. It's OK, though, because they're going to send me tapes that I can listen to once all of the sessions are done. I've also gotten some articles in the mail that I get to read for continuing education credit. I'm required to get 12 hours each year as a volunteer. The two articles I've gotten so far count as 4, plus I have some teleconferences coming up, so I have no doubt I'll easily keep up with that number.

Thursday is teleconference day in August for me. This Thursday, the topic is Alternative & Complimentary Medicine, hosted by a doctor from the Rocky Mountain Center. He spoke at our chapter's annual meeting last year and provided a wealth of information. I'm looking forward to picking his brain again. Next week's topic is Nutrition & MS - obviously, another important topic for me.

On a non-MS note, I've also agreed to be the assistant chair for the Advisory Planning Committee in Junior League this year. This is my first "in-league" placement - in prior years, I've worked with community agencies. I got the assistant chair moniker when my friend who's chairing the committee asked me if I was any good with databases, since we're doing a survey this year. Databases are my job, so I said yes. (I hope I'm good at them, since they are my job!)