Thursday, July 5, 2007

So? I've had a bad day.

How come when you're feeling bad, maybe even feeling a little sorry for yourself and just when you decide to go with it, feel crappy, get through it and move on - there's always someone who is there to remind you. "Well it could always be worse." Yup, I could be dying, I could have no feet, I could a lot of things. But this is MY bad day and MY feelings and don't make me feel guilty - I already feel bad enough!

I DID lose a little bit of weight. But it's only a little and not nearly as much as I would think considering the fact that all the food I have been eating has been healthy! E-e-e-e-w!! Sorry but I'm a big fan of preservatives. The longer shelf life it has - the more of a guilty pleasure it is likely to be. I don't really mean that - but it sounded good. :)

When I got home from work after being in a funk there, I had to fight the urge to go to McDonald's. Now mind you, I don't even LIKE McDonald's that much! But I got the idea of a Quarter Pounder meal with a Coke in my head and it just wouldn't go away. I had to stop and ask myself, why am I doing this to myself? I have been force-feeding myself all this fruit and yogurt and low fat reconstituted healthy -ahem- food - working hard - and the day I weigh myself and discover I have actually lost a little bit of weight - I want to sabotage myself. Hmmm. What the hell is wrong with me?

I had to sit and think about it for a while. Do I want to fail? Am I hiding behind weight? I'm fat so I can't .... what??? I don't know. If you're thinking I'm going to end this with some profound insight you will be sorely disappointed. I just don't know. Obviously I am not eating just because I'm hungry. So why when it should be good news, do I try to make it bad?

Work was a drag although I must admit seeing Joan's face light up like a little kid when she saw me was a treat - she came over saying - "I miss you so much when you're not here!" It's nice to be greeted that way. Nothing horrible or momentous happened, I think I was reminded about how much I used to love my job. For about 16 years I truly loved my job. I was busy - sometimes crazy busy but at the end of the day I felt good. It was a "good kind of tired" to quote David Letterman. When everything else in my life had gone down the crapper for a while there - I could always go to work and feel good about myself because I loved the people I worked with and I was good at my job. I cannot tell you how many times a day I would answer that phone and hear relief in the voice on the other end and "Oh I am SO glad I got you!!" Because there were clients out there who thought I was the only person who could help them with their problem. I called it 'instant attaboys'. How many people get bunches of those in a day?

But about 4 years ago things started to change. As the company has gotten bigger, it has become less personal and very much about the bottom line. It's sad. The calls I used to take got sent to a regional help desk and we were asked to help those 'co-workers' and give them as much assistance as possible. Basically train the people who were taking our jobs. And we did it too - we never blamed the help desk people themselves, they were just doing their (our) jobs. It's the company. Slowly things are being taken away from us and we are feeling quite under-valued - as well as downright DE-valued.

I've never understood the American corporation - isn't a happy employee a better worker? Isn't an employee who feels empowered and trusted and valued going to give everything they possibly can to their job? Instead as things have changed we were actually told (by a supervisor who is no longer our supervisor) that we should just be grateful we have jobs. We ARE grateful. But we would also like to maintain our self respect and know that - in my case - my 20 years of experience means something.

Losing a huge contract at the end of last year prompted layoffs all over the country, my business unit as well. We all walk on eggshells because we are just waiting for the axe to fall, our time is coming. Thank God if it does happen I will be eligible for about 6 months of severance. It may not happen soon, but we just don't know so we are all uncomfortable all of the time. Working in a climate of fear every day is not a good feeling. Add to that a new bosses boss who is a micro-manager and you have some very unhappy people.

The other funkified place in my brain is that spot that thinks about where I live. I rent a house. I cannot afford to buy one and most likely never will. I had a house once, my ex bought it for me basically as a good bye gift when he knew he had fallen in love with his girlfriend. I know. Not a nice thought but at the time - I didn't know there was a girlfriend. We got a huge mortgage and I trusted him implicitly - he always handled the money. When we headed for divorce and he promised my child support and maintenance would cover the mortgage, I believed him.

When I was a little girl we never talked about careers in my house. Matter of fact I don't think we talked about the future -about what any of us wanted to do when we grew up. I never planned for anything other than being a wife and mother with a husband, a home, and children to raise. I think I always assumed I would have to work outside the home some, but never thought about getting an education or having any direction other than having the whole white picket fence ideal.

When I finally got my house - oh it was beautiful. To me anyway. I loved it. Nice neighborhood, great school just down the street, the kids could run right outside and play. I could hang things on the walls and they were MY walls - nobody could tell me I couldn't paint or hang pictures or change the tile in the bathroom. It was mine. I was in serious denial about my marriage at that point because I was terrified of being alone with 2 kids to support. It was easier to just not let my mind comprehend what was really happening.

When I got divorced and the ex was out of work a few times and couldn't pay me, I used my credit cards to keep the cash for the mortgage. I got in real trouble that way and I was so naive about money I did everything wrong. The first thing I should have done was to sell that house and buy something smaller with a more manageable mortgage, but I was romantic about it all. It was my house. My first house. My notion of a home was always - where you raise your kids and live forever - so your kids can bring their kids to visit and tell them - "this used to be my room." You didn't just sell your home or move your kids because of a divorce! Well, I really needed to.

After a few years of juggling I had to sell the house or the bank was going to take it. Horrible. I have heard it said that if you show a willingness to pay - and you call your mortgage company they will work with you. Not mine! I was on the phone with them in tears more than once - and they would not budge. Make your entire payment on this date, nothing else is acceptable.

Moving out of that house was the end of that picket fence dream for me. Not only was I broke but I was in the hole - BIG - and with what I earned and rent and everything it was always check to check, no savings. I think I mourned the death of that dream more than I mourned my actual divorce because by then I wasn't in love with the man I married anymore. And once the dream was dead - then what? It was all I ever planned for.

So after renting and moving and renting some more - I can usually deal with the idea that I will always live somewhere where someone else can tell me how many pets I can have. I am very aware of the fact that I am where I am because of a series of bad decisions on my part. As much as I would like to blame someone else, I can't. A few days ago my daughter (who works for a realtor when she is home from school) said "you know Mom, with the market so bad right now - I know an agent would work with you to help you get a house." She meant well, and I did not snap at her or anything but I did tell her that with about $1600.00 dollars in the bank - no - $300.00 after the landlord cashes her check - I wasn't in the market for a house, no matter what the market was doing - it wasn't my market.

So there I was a couple of days ago going for a walk for exercise doncha know. And when I am walking down the residential streets of my neighborhood with the mixture of older brick homes, bungalows, and big new Victorians - I can only walk and look and think and ask - how do all these people do it? I know the answer. It's the 2 income thing which I haven't had for a good long while. So I suck it up and most times deal with it. My path is my path for a reason, even if I don't know what that reason is. I remind myself of the good things - and there are many - and I'm okay.

It's just sometimes when a series of things happen all at once and I start to feel bad - I just plain feel bad. I will get better, probably even by tomorrow. Things will be seen in a different light. But today, tonight, things just kinda suck. I will get my Nutrisystem breakfast and lunch ready for tomorrow, get my tea ready for the morning. I need to remember to give Riley (the old boy kitty) his medicine. Then I will go outside and walk when it is dark and nobody can see me mooning at their houses and wishing they were mine and that the dream never died.

On the other hand, if the dream really never died, would that mean I would still have to be married to my ex-husband? Cause I'm sorry. That would be a deal breaker!

Geez. Even I have my limits.


Robin Marie said...

I can't speak on the ups and downs of two income living, or house morgages, but one thing I do understand is losing weight.

I'm no expert on psychoanalysis, but in my own experience I've found losing weight to be even more of a burden then being overweight. The thing is, once you've let your health get out of hand, and then you've reined it back in, you're likely to feel the intense obligation to keep it that way. When I first got back down to my healthy weight (after four years of steadily gaining and increasingly painful arthritis) I was freaking out and checking the scale every four hours to make sure I didn't gain any back. (This was only in the beginning of June, so it wasn't ages ago) What I've come to understand is that now that I'm healthy again my body is capable of taking care of itself more. I'm naturally more active because my arthritis isn't so bad, and my metabolism is bettwe because I'm more concious of what I ask it to do.

NutriSystem might end up being a good boost for you, but ultimately you're going to have to find ways to change your lifestyles and habits to help your body along. Start a small garden and work in it and eat from it! Find a buddy to go biking or walking during your lunch hour... Or get a few friends and family together and find a yoga instructor. (My mom's found that one two hour yoga session a week on top of walking a mile or two a day has been phenominal).

Most of all, it's okay to fluctuate a bit...And it's okay to eat french fries once in a while.

I'm off my soapbox now:) Health and weight is something I'm very enthusiastic about right now, I tend to get carried away...

Take care!

Robin Marie

The Family Jewels said...

I am glad that your hard work is paying off on the scale, but you have to remember that you didn't gain it all overnight and it would be unsafe to lose it all overnight.

We only recently purchased our own house and somedays renting and the landlord who is responsible for the repairs isn't such a bad idea. Although I am loving not having all white walls...I even drew some things on the wall in the studio.

Keep plugging away and I know your answers will come. You can come live in my neighborhood, but be warned that I like quiet neighbors who are good to their kids! ;)

BetteJo said...

Wow! Thanks for your support you guys. Weight loss (and gain) has been an issue for me ever since I gained something like 75 pounds with my first baby. My fault. But going up and down all the years after is a bad thing. Trying to get a handle on it. I know for me, walking is the key. It is my exercise of choice and works really well for me. I just have to DO it!
Also - I started back on my thyroid meds today, so that may help a tad. We will see. Continuing on after Nutrisystem will be the challenge because I'm a notoriously bad eater.
Tonia I can't tell you how cool it sounds to be able to write or draw on your own wall!! Incredibly awesome! Enjoy the heck out of it, okay?

palette48 said...

Wow, I don't know how you did it but you are to be commended for being able to raise a family as a single mom. I know it had to be tough. Also housing prices are so out-of-sight these days, I know my kids will have a tough time affording any type of house. I often wondered myself how people can afford the big houses, the fancy suv's and etc. I don't think they can, they must be living on credit cards. Anyway, I'm very sorry that you've been given a raw deal. Just doesn't seem fair.
Thanks again for all the support. It has helped a lot and continued good luck with the diet.