Tuesday, February 23, 2010



Lately I am feeling like I am just living each day. I don't mean that statement in the positive, Zen way in which it might be interpreted (though I believe that there is certainly something to be said for living in the present and enjoying each moment.)

I mean that I am not taking a global view of my life or working toward any medium- or long-term goals. I just get up each morning and do what I must do to get through that day: go to work, eat, sleep, walk dogs, hygiene, etc. Lather, rinse, repeat as needed. Humdrum.

This is not to say that I don't enjoy most aspects of my life. To the contrary; I am quite content. I am happy in my marriage. I love my dogs. I have great friends and family and am getting along fine with all of them and seeing as much of them as is reasonably possible, given everyone's schedules, distance and finances. I have lots of "me" time, and I have been making an effort to relax and read more in the evenings, once my "to be read" pile grew to over 15 books shortly after Christmas.

Work is the same as ever: some aspects are interesting, some less so. I still don't love billable hours, but I have realized that they are a necessary evil of my current position. I recognize and acknowledge the many positive aspects of my present job, and I know that, given the state of the economy and the job market, now is not the time for me to be looking to change jobs, even if I were that frustrated at work (which I'm not, most days).

I just feel ineffectual and directionless. To an objective outside observer, I would think my life looks pretty good. And no doubt, some third party would probably tell me that I have accomplished plenty in my life. From my perspective, though, I am the same fat, out-of-shape, disorganized person I was when I started this blog over four years ago. . . . honestly, I have been that same person for much, much longer.

I am OK with being in a somewhat stagnant place at work for the moment. I anticipate I will make a job change again at some point when the job outlook is better. I have some ideas about that but am totally aware that now is not the time. Looking at things from a broader perspective, I am even OK with being a somewhat mediocre lawyer. I still prefer it to my previous career.

But my acceptance of the current state of affairs with my career shouldn't mean that I have no goals on which I can focus. Quite the opposite. In fact, remaining in my same position while not having to learn a new one, and not job-searching, should free me up to focus more on other things. . . . things like exercising more, eating right, getting more organized at home, writing the novel I've often talked about and never started. Instead, I find myself as stagnant in my non-work life as I am at the office.

I am at a loss about what will shake me out of my complacency. I've tried baby steps. I've made attempts at a slow return to exercise a few times already this year. I am gung ho for a few days and then peter out. I start out most days with a healthy breakfast and a plan. Some days I actually stick to the plan, but as many days, I don't. I've tried doing "just 15 minutes" of cleaning and decluttering, and while it has kept the house from falling into complete chaos (along with MM's more regular cleaning routine), I have not made much progress.

Perhaps I need therapy? A cattle prod? To hire a "life coach"? I don't know.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The scale lies


I was totally perplexed by the number I saw on the scale this morning. I was out of town all weekend, so today is the first time I'd weighed myself since Thursday morning, when the scale showed 220.0. I did not have a good weekend food-wise: I attended a baby shower on Saturday and ate brownies and cake (among other things). Yesterday's food consisted of huevos rancheros and a caffe mocha for breakfast, a sub sandwich for lunch, ice cream & chicken strips for an afternoon snack, and ramen noodles for dinner.

I know I didn't drink enough water either day, and I didn't get enough sleep either. I didn't exercise at all.

Yet in spite of all this, I am, at least on the scale, almost two pounds lighter today. It makes no sense! I weighed myself three times in different positions on the tile, and each measurement was the same. So odd.

Oh, and by the way: I certainly don't look or feel any thinner. Nope, I'm as fat this morning as I was last Thursday.

As I was driving back to Phoenix from Tucson yesterday, I was thinking about the fact that my 40th birthday was a mere 13 months away and figuring out in my head how much weight I would have to lose during that timeframe to be at a a healthy BMI on my 40th birthday. (Yes, it is a long, boring drive, and I have way too much time to think while making it.)

In order to weigh 150 on my 40th birthday--which would give me a BMI of 25.0--I would have to average nearly 6 lbs of weight loss a month from now until then, or 1.25 lbs per week. This goal would be well within the guidelines for healthy weight loss.

Something to think about. . . .

Friday, February 19, 2010

Magical thinking

We all engage in magical thinking from time to time. I was aware of it just this week while watching the Olympics. . . . like somehow my holding my breath or yelling "look out!" will help a downhill skier who's about to crash or the figure skater whose landing looks wobbly.

This afternoon, I have been engaging in another type of magical thinking. . . . thinking that I somehow caused something bad to happen to someone, simply by thinking about it.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a message I'd like to send to my "first" (I will call him "E") on Fac.eb.ook about hoping that what he did to me didn't happen to his daughter, who is now the same age I was then. The post spurred comments about whether I had been raped, and I was quick to point out that what happened between this guy and me, while reprehensible on his part, due to his older age and greater experience, was not criminal.

I had lunch today with E's sister. We were in the same high school class and were friends (notwithstanding her brother's mistreatment of me). During the planning for our 20th high school reunion a couple of years ago, we learned that we both live in the Phoenix metro area, though at opposite ends. We work around 30 minutes from one another and have had lunch twice since then.

I hadn't seen her in over a year. She had alluded to 2009 being "a tough year for our family" in her email to schedule lunch, so I knew she had some bad news to impart. She told me first about her financial struggles and her other brother's impending divorce, which has been a long time coming. (They were having marital problems when I saw her last, and they weren't new then.)

Then she told me something that gave me a sick feeling in my stomach. After telling me about her younger brother's divorce, she said "But that's nothing compared to what happened to E" and proceeded to tell me how his 15-year-old daughter was basically raped by the two older brothers of one of her friends. E and his daughter live in a small town--even smaller than our hometown--and the parents of these guys are friends of E and his wife, people they have known since childhood.

Apparently while E's daughter was sleeping over at her friend's house, after the parents went to bed, the four teenagers started playing drinking games. E's daughter--who my friend describes as "a good girl" and her favorite niece--was unaccustomed to alcohol and soon passed out. While she was semi-conscious, each of the guys, her friend's brothers, "took advantage of her."

The girl didn't tell her parents for a few days out of fear of being punished for drinking, but E finally found out what had happened when he noticed significant changes in his daughter's behavior and probed further. The police are involved, and prosecution of the assailants is being pursued.

Once he learned about what had happened to his daughter, E fell into a deep depression. My friend said he would keep her and his mom on the phone for hours, talking about all the "bad things" he had done in his life and how G-d was punishing him. She believed he was suicidal at one point and had their father force him to seek help.

E is now on antidepressants and doing OK, but their ordeal is far from over. The case is still making its way through the courts, and E's daughter may have to testify at trial. Meanwhile, one of the guys apologized to the girl for his behavior and the other has been sending her hateful text messages calling her a "slut."

I know that my thought of "I hope no guy does to her what you did to me at her age" did not cause this--it happened before I even wrote that post, in fact--but I couldn't help the eerie feeling I had while hearing about this. I think anyone would be horrified to find that a 15-year-old had been raped, but my feelings went beyond that. I felt guilty, even though I did nothing to cause this.

Given the tenor of my previous post, one might think I would take some perverse pleasure in knowing that E had to go through something like this, but I don't. Maybe I don't really hate him as much as I thought I did.

Maybe I just find it impossible to take any pleasure in something so awful happening to an old friend's favorite niece.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Like a broken record

220.0 (ugh)

  • I have been filled with self-loathing the past several weeks as I have watched the scale creeping slowly and inexorably up, up, up. However, my self-loathing has provided me with little to no motivation to stop its climb. (Why I even bother to weigh every morning is beyond me.) My eating habits, while never great, have not really changed that much since Christmas, and yet I am now gaining weight where I wasn't before. Perhaps it's middle age? I have made a couple of starts at resuming regular exercise, but even those have been short-lived and motivated more by avoidance of pain/injury than by a desire to get in shape and lose weight. WTF is wrong with me?!
  • I am enjoying watching the Olympics. I'm not a big fan of most winter sports, having grown up in the desert and not ever participating in them myself, but I LOVE women's figure skating especially. And Lindsey Vonn is originally from MM's hometown, so of course we've had to watch the downhill skiing.
  • I continue to be plagued by headaches. I woke up with a migraine yesterday and had to use heavy-duty drugs. I had a little residual headache this morning which, happily, has responded to a single dose of Ex.cedrin.
  • My dad is having some health issues. (Actually, he lives with several chronic conditions, so he is always having health issues to some extent.) He had to be transfused with three units of blood yesterday for a very low hemoglobin/hematocrit, and the doctors do not know why/how his blood counts got so low. They are going to have to run tests to try to figure out where the blood loss is coming from. Meanwhile, Dad is tired, weak and short of breath as a result of being so anemic. He also just got over pneumonia which was diagnosed just after New Year's. Dad will be 68 years old on March 15, so these problems are more than usually concerning.
  • I am looking forward to a fun-filled but busy weekend in my old stomping grounds of Tucson!
  • The weather here in Phoenix this week has been absolutely beautiful. . . . the kind of days I'll want to think of fondly in July when it's 110+ for weeks at a time.

Friday, February 12, 2010

You decide

220.6 (OMG, I really weigh 220)

A certain couple I know recently had a disagreement about a minor issue, but I want to get my readers' take on who was in the right and who was in the wrong.

"A" and "B" are a married couple. (I am purposely going to refrain from telling you the genders of either spouse to avoid gender bias.) Because A knew that B was only working four hours today and would not be going into work until 1:00 p.m., A asked B to take A's car to have its emissions testing done. The car needs to be tested by Monday, which is a federal holiday, which essentially means that the testing needs to get done this evening or sometime this weekend.

In the interest of not cutting into time they both wanted to spend together over the weekend, and knowing that the wait times at the emissions testing centers are the shortest on weekday mornings, B (grudgingly) agreed to switch cars with A for the day and take the car to the emissions testing center this morning before going to work. A and B left their cars respective keys out for each other on the kitchen table prior to going to bed last night.

This morning A left for work in B's car, as arranged. A had been at work less than an hour when B called to say that B had left B's wallet in B's car. B has no cash, no ATM card, and no ID, since they are all in B's wallet. B cannot write a check and cannot get cash at the bank without ID. Thus, B has no way to pay the $30 for emissions testing for A's car.

B believes that this is A's fault and that A should have noticed that B's wallet was in the car when A got in the car to drive to work. B is angry with A for inconveniencing B even further, because now B will have to take A's car to the emissions testing center this afternoon, when the wait times are bound to be longer than they would have been this morning.

A maintains that this is B's fault. B knew that A would be taking B's car for the day. It was therefore B's responsibility to ensure that anything B needed out of B's car was removed. A believes that this task could and should have been accomplished when the parties exchanged keys last night.

Thoughts? Who do you think is right?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Yet another sign that I am a terrible person


As is likely apparent from previous posts, I spend a little time on Fac.ebo.ok every day. (OK, some days more than a little.) One of the features of the site is the "news feed" which informs you about the activities of your "friends" . . . . like their status updates, whether they have posted photos or links to websites, and--most germane to this post--whether they have changed their relationship status.

Fac.ebo.ok offers a few choices for relationship status: single, married, in a relationship, and the ever popular "it's complicated." Fac.ebo.ok's reporting of changed relationship status was the way I first learned of a friend's break-up with her fiance shortly before Christmas. Today I noticed that a high school classmate of mine who I'll call "C" had changed his status from "married" to "it's complicated."

Interestingly, I had lunch with C's sister last summer (she was a friend of mine in high school; small town), and she had mentioned that he and his wife were having marital problems. Now, given the change in relationship status, I am guessing that they are getting divorced. They have been married pretty close to 20 years, I think; I know they have a son who is nearly 18.

I know it's wrong that my first thought was to let my divorced high school friend know that C may soon be back on the market. My friend was in C's class, and I know she has always found him attractive. There is an "all 80s" reunion for our high school in June, and she will no doubt see C there, assuming he attends (and I see no reason why he wouldn't, given that he still lives in New Mexico).

I guess I figure, hey! My friend didn't break up their marriage, and there's no reason why she shouldn't pursue an opportunity.

Yeah, I'm probably going to hell.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

February's not off to a good start

On February 1, I had to leave work after only a couple of hours due to a worsening migraine. . . . and then deal with an additional "headache" trying to get my prescription migraine medicine that our insurance decided it will not pay for.

On February 2, I woke up with a red, painful right eye which grew worse through the day. By afternoon, I'd decided I needed to go to the eye doctor and was diagnosed with keratitis of the cornea. I'm glad I didn't follow my first inclination and just wait it out because it can lead to blindness if untreated. A $40 office visit and $40 worth of 4-times-a-day eye drops and I'm told the eye should improve soon. I can't wear my contact lenses for at least a week.

Today, February 3, I've woken up to gray skies with a slight headache, some lingering discomfort and redness in my eye, and a complete disinterest in going to work, where I have to spend the first three hours of my day attending a Webinar on Managing Law Practice Risk which is required by the firm's insurance carrier.

I am manning the "Woof Line" for Rescue a Golden this week and having difficulty even remembering to check the number once a day (no calls yet, though, thank goodness) and have been dealing with a non-working home phone that has required me to make two calls to the company which provides our phone service.

On top of all this, I started my period yesterday and have cramps.

Yeah, this month is not off to a good start. . . . .

(On a positive note, I did my second session of Pilates yesterday evening and went for a brisk 30-minute walk. Yea me!)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

So. . . .


Recently I received an invitation from a law school classmate to participate in the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk this November. I was gung ho to do something for a great cause. . . . until I started thinking about what preparation for this event would actually entail.

The 3-Day consists of walking 20 miles a day, 3 consecutive days, for a total of 60 miles. There are rest stops along the route with water and snacks. From all I have heard, it is a very well-managed event.

In addition to devoting three days to walking, I would have to raise $2300 in donations in order to participate and pay a non-refundable $90 processing fee.

But it's not the distance or the donations that have me hesitating to sign up. It's my fear that I would not do the training required to prepare and would thus find myself physically unable to do the walk. It would be completely in character for me to wake up on October 1 and say "Oh sh1t! It's only 5 weeks until the Walk, and I haven't been training!"

A law school friend who did the 3-Day in '08 told me that it takes 16-24 weeks to train, depending on which program you use. You have to walk six days a week. You start gradually, only walking about 2 miles a day, and work up to walking 16 miles by the end.

When I mentioned that I found this prospect daunting, she said "Well, you probably exercise six days a week anyway, right?" Yeah. Uh, no, I don't already exercise six days a week. I know that I SHOULD exercise six a days a week, but I don't. (Let me also mention here that this friend has two small children, a 2-year-old and a 4-month-old, in addition to her full-time job.)

I then feel doubly ashamed for being afraid to commit to this. There is absolutely nothing preventing me from training for this! In fact, the majority of the training schedule would only consist of my doing what I should already be doing anyway: walking around a half hour, six days a week. (The doggies would love that, too.)

I hate that I am such a lazy slug that I can't even commit to doing this for a worthy cause, not to mention being unable to motivate myself to do it for my own health.

So tell me I should do it and how to make myself do the training.