Recapping 2012

Yes, I know the New Year was over a month ago. Yes, recapping 2012 and giving it a proper adieu is a bit blated. Oh well. Overall it was a good year and, belated or not, it deserves a proper send off. And then hopefully I’ll finally welcome in 2013.

rebuilt

Okay… when last I posted I was moving to the BIG city (BIG relative to where I was living), and it has been the best move of my life. Within a month or so of the move, I found myself anxiety attack free. My stress level dropped to nil and my blood pressure is the lowest it’s been in about 10 years. Those things alone are proof enough for me that “stuck” is not a healthy place to live.

That’s where I was for 10+ years… STUCK. True, I made some strides in unsticking myself through sheer force of will, but eventually the continual trying wore me down and I found myself in a place of surrender to a numb half-life that was slowly stealing the last tendrils of joy and peace in me.

I hear a lot about how we can’t let our circumstances define us but sometimes they get the better of you and there’s no choice but to change your circumstances. If, after trying to bend yourself to circumstances, you find you’ll break if you contort yourself any further, say “fuck it” and move on. There’s no shame in setting a new course.

So here’s what has been going on in my life in the last 6 months:

  1. Moved to a new city.
  2. Joined up with OA again.
  3. Started attending church so I could meet people (the meeting people, hasn’t worked out quite as well as hoped, but I am finding church to be quite nourishing).
  4. Broke up with my boyfriend, but thankfully we have remained friends and have more fun now than when we were dating (so glad we had that sort of resolution).
  5. I started putting myself out in the dating world.
  6. Because my first date experience was with someone WAY out of my league, I realized I needed to level up my life so I started working out again and taking steps to drop weight. I started my efforts with the Morning Mile Challenge over at Nerd Fitness and have dropped 15 lbs so far.
  7. I discovered the band Mumford & Sons and because of their awesomeness am resolving to learn the banjo this year.
  8. I renewed my permit to carry a concealed weapon. This goes along with the .40 cal Berreta my dad gave me for Christmas.
  9. I discovered the band Imagine Dragons and the song Radioactive will be added to my life’s Soundtrack.
  10. I’ve made a new friend (potential boyfriend?) in my dating efforts and he is also teaching me the game “Magic The Gathering.” God help me. NERD ALERT!!

I’m happy to report that I feel like I’m living life to the full. I actually HAVE A LIFE. I’m not sitting at home every night watching television and wishing my life would start. And I’m not planning to slow down in 2013.

Looking ahead to 2013 (yeah I know – already two months in – better late than never?) … It’s time to take the bull by the horns and get myself out of debt once and for all. I also want to learn the banjo (mentioned above) and I want to take up archery. Call me crazy, but I want to be a capable of handling myself in sketchy situations and to be able to handle weapons if necessary. Weight is always a battle but I think I’m having success there – if I can just keep that momentum rolling.

So 2012 started with a whimper. I was a bit of a mess and at the end of my rope but God has carried me through.

I have loved you with an everlasting love.
I have drawn you with loving kindness.
I will build you up again,
And you will be rebuilt.
And go out to dance with the joyful.

Jeremiah 31: 3-4

I feel like this promise was handed to me at the end of 2011. It has carried me through 2012 and will continue to be my courage in 2013. My life is evolving, I am growing, and I find myself caught up in a breathtaking adventure.


Kitty Like: One – Answer

So I’ve started a fun thread called “Kitty Like.” It’s random and silly and hopefully will have more than one installment. If you have ideas, let me know!

Yesterday was Installment #1 of Kitty Like with the following picture:

Here is who I think KITTY ‘looks’ LIKE (drumroll please):

That’s right… Jim Gaffigan.

Tell me I’m wrong. I dare you.

How’d you like the first installment of Kitty Like?


Kitty like: One

Ha… so this might be the only installment I do of this… but, I’m going to post photo’s of cat’s who remind me of a celebrity… then I’ll post the photo of the celebrity they remind me of.

Installment #1

Who does this cat remind you of? Give me guesses… drop them in the comments. I’ll post the answer tomorrow.


OMG Independence!

Bazinga! Apparently after a few consecutive rages I need to go on hiatus. I might be back. We’ll see. Don’t want to over -commit myself or anything. I can’t even stick with a blog for more than a month of fairly regular posting… what am I going to do if ever faced with marriage?

By the way, I know that “Bazinga” above is totally out of place. Roll with it.

SO… in 6-8 weeks I’ll be relocating to a new city. Yes… in case you haven’t picked up on the not so subtle hinting (maybe hinting is the wrong word), I’m moving.

TO. A. CITY. An actual metropolis (at least when compared to the podunk-back-woodsy place I’m in right now – minus the actual woods).

When I decided to seek out relocation 6 weeks ago, it seemed like an event out “there” in the future somewhere. You know, like obtaining my ideal weight. It was a “someday” kind of thing. Nothing firm, but something I was slowly meandering towards – without a very meaningful plan.

But suddenly it’s very real. My office-space will be set up in 4-5 weeks, waiting for me. Finances probably won’t allow me to get moved that quickly, but I’m starting to realize this is really happening.

HOLY! CATS!

The number one thing I’m feeling right now about this is FEAR; gut-wrenching, heart-pounding, anxiety-inducing FEAR. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to all the extra amenities that will be available to me and all the activities I can get involved in, but I’m realizing this is really, truly my first attempt at independence.

Yeah. Feeling a little pathetic over this realization, but it’s true. This is the first really, truly independent thing I’ve done in my life.

I left home at 18 and went to a small private college with a lot of systems in place to welcome and integrate new students. There was a solid support system so I never felt overwhelmed by that major life change. When I finished college, I came back home and lived with my folks for about a year before getting a good job and my own place. But I was still in the same town as my folks and they were near enough to lean on if needed (as evidenced by my dad keeping me up on oil changes and miscellaneous car maintenance and then my moving back in with them this past winter).

Sidenote: Yeah for dad’s with car maintenance skills!

Relocating is going to take me away from the safety net my folks nearness has provided. I’ll be 1 ½ hours away from my nearest family members, have only a small handful of friends, and my boyfriend. I’m scared. Terrified. What will I do when I have an anxiety attack and start worrying I’m dying? How will I calm those fears without the comfort of my folks just a few miles away?

And then I remember that when I’m visiting my boyfriend, my anxiety is gone. I feel calm and relaxed and RIGHT. When I’m traveling to visit family around the state, I’m having fun, I’m relaxed, and I’m indigestion free. It’s when I’m driving home to this black-hole of a town that I start tensing and fretting. It’s when I’m trapped back in this little piece of oblivion that my panic attacks start and my stomach rolls. No matter what, I need to escape.

So then I remember all the great things I have to look forward too, and despite the fear, I’m stoked. Giddy with excitement. Do you know all the opportunities I’ll have in comparison? Let me list them out:

  • Joining OA group (there’s one in this town but my boss helps lead it and I really don’t want to be sharing such personal stuff with my supervisor)
  • Archery
  • Church hunting (hopefully can find something that is along the lines of the God Journey)
  • Dance Lessons
  • Kettlebell classes/training
  • Normal dating relationship with my boyfriend
  • COMIC BOOK STORE
  • Tons of shooting ranges
  • Opening a side business doing slideshows
  • Taking some classes at the many schools around
  • Woodworking classes
  • Cooking classes
  • Welding classes
  • Full service health food market (Eeee!)

STOKED! Plus, I don’t have to wait to get all the materials to do a DIY project. I’ll be able to find everything I need between the different craft and home stores available. And coffee. Several coffee houses to choose from. Open mic nights.


More Food Marketing Rage

Last week I brought up my dislike of marketing and especially food marketing. Rage is probably the more appropriate term. But I was reminded of another example of food marketing gone awry while reading an article at The Atlantic: How Vegetable Oils Replaced Animal Fats in the American Diet.

And this reminded me of another article I had read at the Weston A Price Foundation, The Oiling of America

We’ve been dealing with anti-fat hysteria for several decades now in the United States. Everyone has heard “fat is bad” and done their part (if they care) to reduce the fat in our diets. Even food consumption statistics reflect this trend. We Americans are obeying the recommendations of cutting out fat.

But did you know that the anti-fat hysteria actually got a toe-hold in the very late 1890’s and early 1900’s? No joke! This is when the message of animal fat being bad for us started to circulate. You know, “arterycloggingsaturatedfat.” Animal fat bad. Oil good.

The message of animal fats being bad for our health started with the introduction of vegetable oils to the market, circa 1900-ish. And technically, it wasn’t a vegetable oil that entered the market, but cottonseed oil; essentially an agricultural waste product (which, when unrefined, apparently has a whole lot of bad things going for it, including being poisonous to animals and making men infertile… see the article in The Atlantic).

You’ve probably all tasted cottonseed oil… also known as Crisco. Yes, Crisco. That perfect substitute for lard and also a connoisseur of delightfully flaky pie crusts.

The Atlantic article covers some interesting ground about how Crisco came about, an effort by a young Proctor & Gamble to come up with a cheaper means of producing soap (because lard was the ingredient du jour for soap in those days and in high demand). Eventually they figured out that cottonseed oil worked well in soap-making, and created what we know as Ivory soap.

On a side not: Ivory was marketed as the first bar of soap to float. Now who knew soap didn’t float before this? Fascinating stuff!

Back to the main focus. Through some wizardry in a science lab P&G discovered you could also cook with cottonseed oil and soon they began marketing it as an alternative to cooking lard. They used all kinds of approaches to selling the white greasy goo and part of those efforts were to seize upon the idea that it was a healthier alternative to lard.

There wasn’t an authority existing to demand honesty in marketing practices so this statement went unchecked. Eat hydrogenated oils! It’s healthier than butter and lard! Of course, we now know hydrogenated oils are the worst thing you could be putting into your mouth. Trans saturated fats anyone?

Imagine with me, if you will, a world that rejected Crisco, a world that rejected the notion animal fat is bad for you. What would our nation’s health look like today? Would heart disease be the killer it is? Would we be as obese as we are?

Because a company, more than a century ago, hocked an agricultural waste product as a healthy food stuff, and began dismantling the long-standing tradition of animal fat as cooking medium, are we mired in a health crisis? Did P&G start a cascade of decisions and thought processes that rippled profoundly through our nation’s health, to our detriment?

This is why I despise food marketing. No matter how innocently it may (or may not) have started, something reckless was unleashed. It was a recklessness that made us doubt Mother Nature and her wholeness. It fostered a trust in manufacturing processes and an idea that you can improve on Mother Nature.

But it really hasn’t worked out so well for us or our health.


Funny: Salad

Just about how I feel about salad…


Don’t Let Life Do You

Let’s start this week off with a little inspiration… brought to you by Jenn over at Girl Heroes.

I’m not sure if someone else has ever said this before. It seems like one of those “duh” things that everyone has heard or said at one point but some googling of the quote never returned someone uttering the phrase in just this way. So, thanks Jenn for such an awesome reminder!

I’d also like to encourage you to read the post where Jenn talks about doing life. Some awesome reminders in there and something I need to go reread.