Tuesday, February 15, 2011

[New Tradition--Monthly Update?]

I've noticed a pattern lately--one update a month.  It's not planned, and I honestly mean to write more, but somehow, before I know it, a month's gone by and I haven't written a word.

Hmm... time speeding up... I must be getting old.

Anywho, today was one of my glorious migrainy days; in fact, I had to cancel the afternoon's student conferences when the dizziness kicked in, because I knew that the symptoms could very well lead to one of my doozies.  However, I did manage to ward most of it off by laying down in my darkened bedroom for a couple hours, though as the evening has progressed, I've started getting a bit achy.  Naturally, since going to bed with the start of one usually leads to a multiple-day one, I took some pain meds to nip it in the bud before conking out, and also quite naturally, as I sit down to write this, the goofies are starting to kick in.

So, in other words, if as this entry continues it loses coherence, you'll know why.  Still, write I must, because the need is great, and it'll probably be more entertaining for all this.

Recent updates: Sassy and I have acquired a treadmill.  Sassy's been somewhat reluctant to accept it with joy, but I've been using my most Cesar Millanish dog whispering skills, and from day one, I've managed to get her to surrender to it, if not overjoyed about the experience.  Two-ish weeks in, and she'll get on without collar assistance, stay on without a leash, and walk across it if she thinks she might have left a crumb in a crevice somewhere (she gets rewarded with a special treat for walking on it for a half hour or more, which, with her energy level, is akin to sprinting down one stretch of sidewalk for 30 seconds).  That's my little champ! Even weak little old Niki has been getting on and walking (no jogging or running--since my last surgery, jarring movements, even after emptying the bladder, tend to lead to leakages) for anywhere from 20 minutes (brisk) to a full hour.  In fact, a day or two before getting the treadmill, Sassy and I went for a walk on a trail here in Springfield, and I came home utterly winded and headachy.  Yesterday, we went on that same trail, and if I hadn't so gracefully managed to fall on my arse in some freshly melted snow at the end of the trail, I could have doubled what I'd done last time and would have felt only somewhat pooped.  Oddly, though, my waistline seems to be expanding despite increased activity and lower calories.  Go figure.  Perhaps, though, it just seems that way relative to my gradually shrinking thighs and hips.  I hope.

This semester, so far *knock on wood* has been less stressful. I'm still a bit wigged out about finances, but having taught this class sooo many times before, and therefore having most of my activities planned out outside of needing to update due dates, I'm getting a lot more winding down time.  Only in the past two days or so have I been having mini-anxiety attacks, and that's probably due more to this slowly building headache than anything.  I have things I could rant about, naturally, but I think I'm going to keep those mostly isolated to my handwritten journal for awhile.  Lately, it seems every effort to vent to friends and family leads to well-intentioned advice-giving from them.  There are days, I must confess, when I miss Facebook's existence as a college student/alumni-only site.  Not always, though, since I love being in touch with long-lost friends and family, and let's face it, I am LOUSY with email and phone correspondence. Heck, look how spotty I've become with my precious blog!

New addiction: Forty Thieves Solitaire.  It's maddeningly difficult, but still within my realm of ability to beat about 5% of the time (it really is that hard), and if I get into a losing streak, I can't seem to quit until I win one. Thank you, smart phone.  Then, if I'm doing well, I want to follow it up with a second win. Take my advice: don't even try it.  It'll suck you in like quicksand--subtle, until it's too late.

Social life updates? Nada. More pitiful than normal, in fact. It might not be so bad if I only felt comfortable going out on my own, but since the attempted break-in in November, I'm still mildly paranoid, and with so many of my friends now married, usually with kids, and the ones who aren't being busier than me with work, it's really not much of a surprise that I end up a bit isolated.

All the same, it wasn't too bad this year for V-Day.  My Sassy was the perfect valentine by cuddling up to me most of the day.  She's become a lot calmer and more affectionate in the last month or so.  It seems that when we get more alone time without others playing "leader" role (*ahem* Mom and Dad, though they mean well when they spend 3/4 of a month at my house), she becomes a lot more attentive to me, and a lot more obedient.  Of course, what that might also mean is that when allowed to be so, independence really boosts my confidence.  I do love my parents and love when they visit, but I do also recognize the same pattern that occurred when I started at Truman.  I became self-sufficient and my self-esteem skyrocketed.  Moving back home, necessary though it was after Truman and then grad school, caused a lot of regression.

This, too, may be a playing factor in my staying home a lot more than normal (even from church--sorry, my darling church! I know it's been awhile)--the need to get to know myself again.  I think I lost a lot of identity when I didn't have to make my own decisions.  Even now, I have a hard time doing things, big things, like buying stuff I know I could use, without checking in with my parents, which usually leads to one or both of them trying to talk me out of it or into postponing it.  Vicious cycle, really.

In the past week or two, though, I think I've started to come back around to who I was becoming around graduation 2006.  I don't feel so disconnected.  I went through a, well, not a crisis of faith, but a big round of questioning, but now I feel I've gotten to where I can reconcile a lot of things I was struggling with, keeping my faith, but now able to think more independently.  Part of it, I guess, is backlash from fundamentalism, and it's a matter of finding that happy medium where I have the peace of faith in Christ and where I can still approach my understanding of the Bible intellectually (better knowledge of context and realization that some of it can be taken with a grain of salt knowing that, even if it was inspired by the Spirit, it was written by humans with an agenda, yet He can be found there).  In other words, it's continuing to develop into a real faith and not a blind acceptance of what I've been taught.  At any rate, that's where I am right now, and I'm, you know, I'm content.

I could make some other confessions, but it's after midnight now, and I start conferencing again in just over 12 hours.  Somewhere between then and now, I need to sneak in about eight hours of sleep, and anything more in the way of verbal diarrhea (or as I now say, thanks to Top Gear, the [verbal] trots) would simply be overkill.

Happy Singles' Awareness Day, everyone.

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