Monday, May 31, 2010

A Letter to my Corporeal Self

Dear Bag of Bones I Live In,

Really? This needs to stop. This... thing you have is going on week three here. I know society calls it bronchitis but I call it a wry twist of fate. Whichever it is, it needs to end. Now.

You see, thanks to all of this coughing you're doing, you've done something to one of the ribs. It's really not happy right now. And you're continued coughing is making it much worse. I don't have health insurance, and there's nothing you can do for a busted rib anyway, save wait for it to mend on its own. Which it's never going to do until you stop coughing.

I know you're just trying to get it out of your system, but could you please choose another way? I quite literally cannot keep on like this, and if it turns into pneumonia, we're both screwed. You're making this way worse for yourself than it needs to be.

Quit being a martyr and get better already. You're not impressing anyone, and you're only hurting yourself in the long run.

Sincerely,
The Rest of Us in Here

Friday, May 28, 2010

Gah!

So... the apartment I really wanted has raised the rent to something currently out of my price range. I'm convinced that I'll have a new (and better paying) position soon at an area spa or chiropractor's office (or something) and that whatever hardships the rent raise will have will be short-term.

They want someone (ie my Mom) to co-sign on the lease.

I am so insulted. I know and understand where they are coming from, but damn it I'm 36. At this point in my life my mother should not be co-signing jack squat for me.

I'd gotten my hopes up about this place too. This is really all that's standing in my way about this apartment. My pride. But, is this place really worth the price increase? Sure, it's an amazing spot and still cheap for the location, but there is no parking to speak of, no laundry on premises, no dishwasher even. Hell, there isn't even a bed room - just an alcove! Is it worth it then? No. Am I trying to justify my decision? Yeah.

I am also desperately waiting to hear back from a place that I interviewed at on Monday. They called me yesterday, and I returned their call this morning. Still waiting to hear back. I am nervous. I need this job. Any job. I need to be making more money in order to survive on my own. I've sent out two more resumes just now - both to local spas, and I need to drop of my resume at another spa soon.

I. Need. A. Job.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Upon Hoarking up a Lung.

I have bronchitis. I know this not because I went to a doctor, but rather because I would get it virtually every year growing up. Once a winter, without fail, I would spend a solid month coughing and hacking. After you've had it a few dozen times, you learn to recognize it. And there worst thing is, there is really nothing you can do about it - you just have to ride it out.

I haven't had bronchitis in years.

I am angry that I have it now. It means that I've let myself get so run down and exhausted that this childhood relic found a way through my considerable defenses. I've tried fighting what started off with a cold with lots of vitamin C, tea, miso soup, other kinds of soup, steaming hot baths, you name it. I haven't slept well in days, first because of the cold and then because of the coughing.

Yesterday, after having a coughing fit at work, I said enough was enough. I bought some Nyquil and its little sister Dayquil. I had a job interview today. There was no way I was going in with no sleep and an unsupressed cough. As it is, I had another coughing fit at work today, this time with three people waiting to check out and another on the phone. One of them actually grabbed the bottle of Purell off my desk and used it right in front of me.

I should not be here right now. Not because I'm particularly feeling ill (that's the irony of bronchitis: aside from the side-splitting coughs, you feel fine) but because I'm not going to get better until I can finally stop and let myself heal.

But I can't. When I don't work, I'm at school. When I'm not at school, I'm at work. And on Thursdays, I do both. My body, my mind, every last fiber of me is friggin' exhausted. And I can't stop.

I am so tired.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Randomosity

1. This is the time of year where people are planting their gardens. Well, if you're further South (which practically everyone is) you're probably starting to see the fruits of your labor. We won't start seeing actual veggies aside from early lettuces, asparagus and garlic scapes until mid to late June. The strawberries should be out soon.

Anyway, I envy gardeners for three reasons: 1) You have a batch of dirt to call your own that you get to play in; 2) you get to eat the fruits of your labor all summer long - and longer if you know how to put them up; and 3) you can actually make things grow. I struggle to keep my Christmas cactii alive. Gardening is one of the things I have learned that I need to avoid, like sewing. Life would be much easier if I could both, but since I can't I leave it to the experts and appreciate their respective handiwork.

2. Last week I was going on about this sort-of cleanse I was doing. It went really well. I was going to see if I could continue it on while going out with a friend Sunday evening. I had a plan and everything. But the restaurant we were going to go to was closed. Sigh. So instead of continuing my cleanse with a hearty bowl of miso soup with veggies, I broke with a veggie burger and fries. Oh, and a hard cider. DAMN but it was good.

3. I am currently sick. Again. I've been sick more times in the last nine months that I have in the last four years. And I know it's from pushing myself too hard. I actually felt the "pop" of it Sunday night while I was out having fun. I remember thinking - see, I've just officially pushed myself too far. I'm gonna regret this. Whatever, evening outs with friends should never be regretted. Usually.

4. I've got a bead on an apartment. One of my coworkers is moving out at the end of June, and they have a sweet deal on an apartment. There's no parking to speak of, but it is right in the middle of EVERYTHING. I'm filling out the application form for it now, and I don't foresee much of a problem. At some point I should probably go and look at it though.

5. I'm going on another job interview on Monday. It's a group interview. I have never been on one of those before in my life. Have you? If so, please let me know what it's like. Because all I know of group interviews is what I've seen on TV for like Miss America or something. Basically, there's a bunch of people in a room and you hope they ask someone else a question first so you can hear what they say and then say the exact opposite. Am I wrong?

6. I have no more practice massages left to do. Yay! That means my Saturday mornings are my own again. Which, also means (of course) that I woke up at 7:45 this morning. D'oh! Well, at least it will give me plenty of time to putter around and clean my room, which desperately needs it. It's small so it gets messy fast. Especially when I'm running from one thing to the next and don't have time to do anything aside from throw things on the floor.

7. I really wanted to go to yoga this morning. But with this congestion it would be a bad idea. Not only would I be coughing and hacking my way through the asanas, my nose would drip all over my mat. How embarrassing.

8. I could totally got to the farmers market right now. Like I said earlier, there isn't much in the way of veggies or anything yet, but I could look at all the flowers and seedlings they have out. Of course, that would require me combing my hair and changing out of my pj's. Um yeah. I don't see that happening any time soon.

9. I've been out of coffee for the last week. Sob. I've been drinking English Breakfast in the morning so luckily no withdrawal symptoms, but it definitely wasn't the same. Finally bought some more yesterday. Also found a little mini Ghiradelli chocolate hazelnut coffee for cheap. Has about 8 cups worth in the little packet and I am breaking my coffee "fast" with it this morning. Deeeeeevine.

10. Because I just couldn't end this on 9.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Massage, My-Style

So, we're in the final stretch here at massage school. We're doing "clinicals" right now. Basically, complete strangers come in and they get a massage from us, real-life style. We had our first one waaaay back in January, but our second and third are back to back, last week and this week. Well, okay. Tomorrow.

Last week's clinical was a tough one for me. While I received great marks from both clients, the first one left me reeling. In a nut shell, he wanted more than I could give. Massage-wise. Get your head out of that gutter.

I've been really examining myself since that massage, because really the problem is *my* reaction to the massage. He gave me good marks and left feeling satisfied. But my overwhelming need to be perfect has had me negative self-talking since it happened.

However, somewhere in the last couple of days someone said something about integrating our personal preferences and styles into our practice sessions. And that's when I realized something. It wasn't that I gave this person a bad massage - but rather I went outside my personal styles and preferences in order to do what I thought I was supposed to do.

I'm really good at relaxation massages. I regularly put people out. I consider this a great compliment. What I feel I'm not so good at is therapeutic massage. However, at some point today I realized that I'm really not so bad at the latter, I just don't approach it the same way everyone else does. And there's nothing wrong with that. I can address the therapeutic aspect while still honoring the relaxing aspect as well. What I can offer has distinct value. I shouldn't compromise what I can do for what I think I should be doing.

I have Clinicals again tomorrow - my last one. We are supposed to once again offer "therapeutic" massage. This time, however, I'm not going to approach it with fear or nervousness that I'm not affective in this format. I'm going to approach it my way.

And this time, hopefully we'll both leave the building feeling like it was a worthwhile experience.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"Cleanse" Update.

So this is Day 3 of my self-developed "cleanse." Which is really just very healthy, very light eating. But whatevs. When you've been junking it up eating healthy is a cleanse. It's been going really well. I feel very light and satisfied. I've noticed that it takes less to make me not hungry - note not full. I'm not eating to fullness, I'm eating to satisfaction. Which many in the weight loss community would say is the key between being a healthy weight and packing it on. I've been keeping to the plan very well. Mainly because I'm not actively saying I can't have anything - I'm just not eating it. That subtle distinction seems to be the key for me. Otherwise, I get all rebellious and want to eat what I "can't."

Anyway, I think I'm going to continue on with this until, well, I run out of vegetables I guess. Last night I did have some beans and rice - mainly because it was late when I got home from work and I was wrecked. I ate much less than I normally would have and was satisfied with it.

Tonight I'm going out with one of my friends for dinner and a show. We're having dinner at a nice pan-asian place and I'm having trouble deciding between their amazing miso soup (with tons of veggies floating in it), and one of their rice or noodle dishes. I suppose I'll see how hungry I am when I get there. I won't feel guilty if I choose one of the noodle dishes, as my original plan was to just do this for a couple days. One noodle dish isn't going to derail me! Especially since I've followed my plan all day and will do so tomorrow as well.

Although, I have completely run out of tofu, so I may need to stop at the store....

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Own Worst Enemy

I am a perfectionist. For a very long time I denied this fact, but it's true. I somehow believe that I am capable of some godlike ability to do everything exactly right the first time around.

Ha.

This actually gets in the way of me trying a lot of new things. Because if I can't be successful at it right off the bat, I don't want to bother. Learning curve be damned. Apparently I'm supposed to be able to learn everything through osmosis and don't need to practice or sit and learn or anything. Like in the Matrix where they just download everything into your brain. "I know Kung Fu!" Indeed, Neo. Indeed.

Again I repeat. Ha.

So obviously this is a source of stress for me whenever I'm not "as good" as I'd like to be. Most times, I am actually pretty good at whatever it is I'm trying to do. I'm just not "as good" as what I feel I should be. I am getting better at talking myself down from the "you suck you can't do this" ledge, but it gets tough sometimes.

Yesterday, we had Clinicals at school again. I gave two massages, and the first was a doozy. This guy was easily a foot taller than I, possibly more. You could bounce a quarter off his fascia, it was so tight. He kept imploring me to go deeper and I was struggling to reach the depth and pressure he needed. I was very tempted to just get up on the table and stand on his back (I haven't learned this by the way - I was just that desperate). In the end, it all worked out and he generally gave me good scores, but this threw me. To the point where I carried it into the next massage - an easy relaxation one. I had thought I'd let it go, but apparently not. Hell, I'm still carrying it around a day later.

The reality is, both gave me good marks and felt they received good massages. They had some constructive feedback for me, which all made sense considering. But I feel like a failure. I feel inadequate and like I can't do this.

Which is absolute bull.

The reality is, in this business you will occasionally see people who are really better suited to other practitioners or modalities. I managed to help the guy, but what he needed was really outside my personal scope. I did the best I could, and that is enough.

Getting feedback does not equal abject failure. Not giving The World's Best Massage in the History of Massages does not equal abject failure.

It makes me human. And there's always tomorrow.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Cleanse. Sorta.

I believe I've talked before about a fruit and veggie fast I got of the Weight Watchers vegetarian message boards a few years ago. Essentially, you take a weekend and eat nothing but fruits and veggies. Minimal oil, no fatty condiments, starchy veggies like potatoes are limited to one a day. No grains, no real proteins unless you absolutely need it. You can eat 'em hot or cold, preparation is up to you.

I very much like the idea of this, but the reality is my body isn't as keen as I am. Some people can eat like this with no problem. I am not one of them.The shear load of fruits and veggies with no protein or carbs to dilute them makes me starving, cranky, and crampy.

Aren't you glad you know that now?

I've been feeling for a while now that I need a cleanse of sorts. I've been eating a LOT of carbs and processed foods. And cookies. Have I mentioned all the cookies I've been eating? A lot of cookies. So, since it's spring and all I thought a little internal cleansing would be good for the ol' pipes.

So what I'm doing is modifying the fruit and veggie fast for my system. Mostly fruits and veggies. No bread or grains at all, save for rice once a day if I feel I need it. Potatoes are allowed more than once a day as they fill me up and last longer. Tofu for protein. Small amounts of healthy oils (like avocado) are okay. Beans once a day, again if I feel I need it. Popcorn at the end of the day if I feel I need a nosh. Yes, I know popcorn is a grain. But if I keep this in, then I won't feel deprived and thus I'm more likely to stay with this gig for more than 20 minutes. But for the most part, fruit and veggies are the stars of this program.

I've been doing it all day today, and so far I feel really good. I eat when I'm hungry and go to fruits and veggies first. Potatoes and/or tofu if I'm feeling like I need something a little more substantial. When I get home from work, I'll have some rice and beans or maybe a yummy veggie stirfry, depending on my mood. I'm thinking maybe the latter.

I'm planning on only doing this for two or three days. Just a little something to get myself off this cookie kick I've been on. I've been feeding my stress and frustration with sugar and processed foods lately, and I'm pretty sure it's making things worse. I feel like I am doing something very positive to support myself with this. Let's see how it goes!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

McRandom.

Found out in class today that my feet are seriously effed up. Well, okay I kinda knew that. But in addition to being pronated (I walk on the outsides of my feet) my arches are also beginning to fall. Not good. I've been kind of suspicious of that for a while now, but to have confirmation of it is a little depressing. A dancer with fallen arches? Not me! Well, yes apparently, me.

The good news is that I think it's been caught pretty early. There are exercises you can do to help strengthen your tibialis posterior (one of the muscles that helps hold up the medial arch of the foot) and I really need to pay more attention to how I'm carrying my weight when I stand/walk. Basically I need to retrain all of my leg muscles. Fun fun!

And just so you know, I spent the last 20 minutes wiki'ing tibialis anterior, posterior and longitudinal versus medial arches of the foot. Because my brain will retain nothing. Dear god how the hell am I going to make it as a massage therapist if I can't even keep my arches straight. "Oh, you mean that crazy thing dangling there is your arm? And those grippy things are fingers? Really? Cool!"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Today is my birthday. I am 36 years old. I didn't do anything special today (unless you count a 2nd interview for a job which went extremely well) and I didn't have any cake.

But today, I am 36. Today is my day.

I'm still trying to figure out how I got to be this age. I mean, somehow I just can't fathom it. No believes I'm that old when I tell them (most figure me to be in my late 20's). I'll take it, believe me. But I don't feel 36. I feel like I'm in my late 20's.

Well, except when I get up in the morning and everything creaks for a bit before it gets started.

I am 36.

Holy fuck.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cross Your Fingers!

Tomorrow (on my birthday, no less) I have a second interview at an area chiropractic office. The position I am interviewing for is a Massage Therapist/Chiropractic Assistant. The office firmly believes in an integrated approach to treating clients, and by all accounts it seems to be an up and coming business. It would be a part-time position, but it would go a long way to giving me my weekends back. I would cut my hours back at the salon (or find another part-time position) until I can obtain my National Certification.

I am very excited about this opportunity. I will learn so much here. It will really help to augment and reinforce all I've been taught to date, and it will give me plenty of real-world experience.

Cross your fingers for me at 12:30pm EST on May 11th!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Wanna Know a Dirty Little Secret?

Next Tuesday, I will be 36. Yes, that's right. The last year I can officially say I'm in my mid-30's. After this, the long slow slide to 40 starts. I'm not looking forward to 40. 30, I liked. I had no problem with 30. But 40? That's like seriously adult. I mean, no going back there. If you're not acting like an adult at 40, then you're just sad.

So, with that introduction, here are the things in my life that I'm dealing with that, as an adult who's in her mid-30's, I feel I should be exempt from:

  1. Dating. At this point most of my compatriots are quite happily married/paired up with various amounts of offspring running about. I'm just done with the dating song and dance. Are you a relatively good looking guy that doesn't smell, has a halfway decent ability to socialize, and has a job? Great. You're hired.
  2. Moving. I'm going to have to move again, by July 1st. I am not looking forward to this having already moved once back in January. I've culled a lot of my stuff down so it shouldn't be as bad, but still. I should have a settled location by now. I'm too poor to own my own house, so I must rent. At this stage in my life, the only reason I should be moving is because I've found a killer deal on a new house or I've just found a killer job in Hawaii. Pretty much the only good reasons to move.
  3. Drama. So over it. Don't need it, don't want it, don't appreciate it when it's created out of nothing. 
  4. Roommates. See 2 and 3. At this stage, the only acceptable roommate is the guy from 1. And if he doesn't pull his own weight then see ya. Once upon a time, I enjoyed living with other people, too. Sigh.
  5. Scrambling to make ends meet. And I know there are a LOT of you out there who would agree with me on this one. I think my generation will be the first in a while who did not have it better than the generation before. On some level we did - more education, more opportunities - but on so many other levels, we're all of us living day to day looking for a good job that will pay the bills and not emotionally wring us out. Maybe that's the reason - we're not willing to settle for a salary if we have to sell our souls to get it. Still... I'm not sure I'm ever going to retire.
  6. Having to leave the apartment to do the laundry. Even if laundry facilities are still on-sight, leaving your home to do it gets old fast. I want a place with a w/d, damn it! Is that too much to ask? For what I can afford... apparently.
  7. Having to pay my dues. I paid 'em once. I don't have any desire to pay them again, thank you very much. Such is the risk of changing careers, though. No wonder our parents and grandparents stayed in the same companies for 30 years. You only had to start at the bottom once.
Well, that's all I've got for now. Whine whine whine.... maybe if I had some wine I wouldn't be so whiny. 

Oh well. Off to get my clothes (which are probably still damp) from the dryer which is not in my apartment.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I got nuthin'.

Okay, well obviously I got sumthin', I just don't know what.

Sorry for the lack of posts lately... hasn't been much to post about since my last one. I had last week off from school so I was trying as hard as possible not to think. Spent some time at my mom's, then came back and worked the weekend. Did some schoolwork after I finally owned up to the fact that it actually needed to get done by Tuesday.

Got some stuff percolatin' here and there, but too soon to tell about any of it. Although, I'm sure at some point I'll muse about it esoterically and y'all will go away scratching your heads wondering what the hell I was talking about.

Much like this here post.

Oh! I had my second tutorial at school on Friday. It went really well. This teacher intimidates me a little, as fabulous as she is, so her positive feedback went a long way to boosting my confidence. Also, I got some really good feedback from the externship as well. So, things seem to be coming together nicely. Just about a month left of this program. Then I'll be sitting here wondering what the hell my next step is.

This is Two.

Monday the 21st was our 2-year wedding anniversary. We build the Matrimonial Pizza, with my brother officiating and my Chick of Honor wat...