7.26.2016

I Still #FeelTheBern But I'm Not #BerineOrBust

So I stayed up WAY too late last night watching the first night of the Democratic National Convention. And it was totally worth it.

I'm a political junkie and have no problem admitting it. I love the conventions (well, OK, I love the DNC...the other I can do without). For the rest of this week you'll find me on Twitter each night. ;)

Here is what I'm currently thinking about the election: I wish Bernie would have won the nomination. Woulda. Coulda. Shoulda. He didn't win. Do I think the Democratic party worked behind the scenes to make sure he didn't win? Yes. I do. I think those leaked emails show as much.

Does that mean I'm going to vote for someone other than Hillary?

No.

Why?

Because:
1. I'm a Democrat. Always have been. Always will be.

2. Hell would have to freeze over for me to even consider voting for the Republican candidate (the one whose name I refuse to type).

3. I'm not going to pout about Bernie losing. Hell, Bernie isn't pouting (at least not in public) and I still believe in him and if he's OK supporting Hillary then I'm OK with supporting that ticket too.

4. I don't want to imagine what this country would look like with that egomaniac sociopath narcissist asshat running the show.

Look, it's simple: I wish Bernie would have won the nomination. I think he would have made a great president. But he didn't win. We have to move on. We have to unite as one party if we're going to win in November. We have to stop acting like spoiled petulant kids who just want to take their toys and go vote for a third party candidate who has no hope of winning.

As Sarah Silverman said last night to the #BernieOrBust people: You're being ridiculous.
Seriously.
Stop being ridiculous.

Democrats are no good to anyone if we splinter our party. Do I think Hillary is the best person for the job? Right now, probably yes. Am I happy that it has come to this? Honestly, I'm not thrilled about it.

But if Bernie can go on stage last night at the convention and speak to Hillary's experience and tell everyone that he thinks she's the best candidate for the job...then I can vote for her in November.

However, I'm still leaving my Bernie sign in my office window. ;)

7.20.2016

Another Day in FibroLand

Hot and humid days are no longer my friends, thanks to fibromyalgia.

Not that I really ever enjoyed the heat and humidity during the summer months, but at least B.F. (before fibro) I could tolerate them.

Now?
Well, now I know when I wake up what the weather is going to be like that day.

Yesterday it was warm (almost hot) and not too humid, but I woke up feeling "off." I was achy and tingly and my brain was frazzled for most of the day. I basically hated everyone and wasn't afraid to tell them.

Case in point: after spending several hours in the heat watching (from the comfort of my golf cart of course) the girls golf  I was done. Guy rolls past me in his golf cart, dressed head to toe in all black (it WAS 90 degrees after all)..and all I could think say out loud was this gem: "Who the f*ck does he think he is, Johnny Cash?"

I couldn't help myself.
Apparently fibro = no filter anymore.
Mom says I need a new blog: Things Fibro Makes Me Say.
Might not be a bad idea.

Today the heat is rising and so is the humidity and I can feel it in my arms and hips and knees. It sucks because I can try to tell people how I feel but I know they don't understand. After the girls' golf match today I'm sure I'll be completely spent.

Tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday they are forecasting a heat index each day between 100 and 110 degrees. Me? I'll be staying inside. Hibernating.

Ah, another day in FibroLand. ;)

7.18.2016

Do What You Love. And Love What You Do.

It's been FIVE YEARS since I walked out of my office at the after dealing with horrible bullying for six months (out of the 12 months that I was in that job). You can read all about my experiences here, here, and in this post where I post my "eff you" resignation letter.

The day I quit my job five year ago my Facebook status was: 'FREEDOM!!!'

To say that my time spent in that office was a nightmare would be an understatement. What happened to me should never happen to anyone in the workplace (or in school or well, ANYWHERE). The bullying nearly broke me and made me question everything about my professional life and friendships.

It took me more than a year to recover from the bullying (even though you never really "recover" from it but you are able to eventually put in in your past). For a long time I questioned my ability to find a job, my abilities as a writer, and what I really wanted to do with my professional life.

And then, 3 1/2 years ago I started this job that I love. By the end of this year I'll have worked at this job longer than I've worked at any other job. EVER.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

People often say "do what you love and love what you do" and let me tell ya something - they're right.

I am doing what I love and loving what I do.
And I work with the most amazing, talented, incredible, kick-ass, and supportive group of women.

But you know what else?

I still stop and question my abilities from time to time. I find myself thinking "You can't do that."... or "That's a dumb idea." ... and then I remember that the voice telling me that is the one that took up residence in my brain when I worked for the Girl Scouts and even though she's quiet most of the time, she's still hanging out and being a real bitch every now and then.

But now, five years later, I know that voice is wrong. Very wrong. I am good at what I do (honesty, not arrogance, people). And I can do anything I put my mind to.

As much as those bullies tried to break me five years ago, they failed. And they failed in spectacular fashion.

7.06.2016

Wednesday in FibroLand

When people ask "how do you feel?" I'm not sure if it's easier for me to say "today kind of sucks" or to say something along the lines of this:

Today when I woke up, I was stiff from head to knee. My ankle was wrapped in a compression sock because it was swollen twice the normal size last night (continued tendonitis issue). I took a few minutes to VERY SLOWLY sit up in bed, stretching my joints so I could actually get out of bed. I walked downstairs - stiffly - and as the next 30 minutes wore on the stiffness wore off. But I could still feel the aches in my limbs and joints. For me, the shoulders, elbows, and hips are my worst points. Today I felt the most pain in my shoulders. It's a constant ache, it never really "goes away." If I sit for too long at my desk I stiffen up from head to toe. It's a good thing my Apple Watch tells me stand every now and then, otherwise Kevin might come home to find me stuck in my chair. Tonight as I'm typing this both of my arms are tingling from shoulder to fingertip. You know that tingling feeling you get when your feet fall asleep? Yeah? Imagine your arms feeling like that. Or your whole body. It isn't pleasant - my arms felt like that for an hour. Now it's just a dull tingle combined with a dull ache. Joy.

Of course, that's just how I felt today.
Tomorrow will be a different story.

I've been wondering if this whole tingly-feeling is me being "crazy" or if it really is a "fibro thing." According to my rhuematologist (who is so effing cool)...it's "normal." Or at least it's normal for my fibro.

See, the thing is - according to my doctor and other things I've read - everyone's fibro is different. Some people don't have a lot of pain, but they have debilitating fatigue. Some people have pain so severe they can't get out of bed.

Me?

Apparently I am overly sensitive to the sensation of "touch" ... among other things like the whole body tingling feeling. (Maybe this explains why I'm not that big on hugging). My doc says not everyone with fibro has that sensitivity .. but I do. And to be told that I'm not crazy for that was a bit refreshing.

So there you have it - a day in the life of me as I try to navigate this fibro thing.

Onward and upward....

7.02.2016

Diagnosis.

OK, here it is you guys.

The moment you've all (and by "all" I mean the two people other than my mom who happen to still read this blog) been waiting for.

Drum roll please.

Remember how I mentioned a few posts back that I've been dealing with some "medical stuff" but didn't want to delve into it at the moment?

No?
Well, trust me, I did mention it.

Long story super short: I've been dealing with odd aches and pains since about January, maybe earlier. I've also been feeling "off" and "out of sorts" and more tired than normal. And I've been sleeping for CRAP.

I'm talking the worst sleep ever - even worse than when I was 9 months pregnant and sleeping on the couch because I was so uncomfortable. We're talking about horrible, shitty, awful sleep. Waking up in pain at 3 a.m. every f*cking night kind of sleep.

Oh, and my moods? Holy Toledo I've been a bitch.
I mean....more so than normal.

So...(remember this is the short version)....I went to my doctor who ran some blood work, thinking I had Rheumatoid Arthritis. Blood work came back "not normal" so she sent me to a Rheumatologist. He examined me, did more blood work (tested for RA, Lupus, Vitamin D deficiency, and thyroid disease) and.....the final diagnosis?

I know you're on the edge of your freaking seat, aren't ya?

Well...I don't have any of those diseases.

Nope.

The "good news" according to my rheumatologist is that I have Fibromyalgia.

(I have to note that spellcheck doesn't even think Fibromyalgia is a word. It's underlined in red as if I spelled it wrong or made it up. Trust me, I didn't).

So yeah.
There it is.
After months of wondering WHAT THE HELL was wrong with me and why I felt like total crap...I have an answer.

Can't say it's the answer I wanted.
Not that I wanted ANY of those illnesses.
But I'm not really happy about this one either.

Bright side: at least now when my shoulders, arms, elbows, wrists, back, and hips hurt to varying degrees EVERY F*CKING DAY I can blame it on Fibro. And when I forget why the hell I went downstairs I can blame it on Fibro. And when I NEED to go to bed at 8:30 at night on any given night because it hurts to move/walk/breathe (and I feel physically sick from pain like I did Tuesday night), I can blame it on Fibro.

So what am I going to do about this?
Well, I'm not going to take medicine.

I'm sure you've seen the commercials for various Rx meds for people with Fibro. I'm not taking ANY of them. Why? (1) Because I detest taking medicine and (2) because they are only going to mask my symptoms. There is NO CURE for this illness.

I am stuck with Fibro for now and forever.

So what am I doing about it?

Well...(here's where you might laugh)
I'm going to start yoga.

...Namaste bitches. ;)...

And I am going to try acupuncture ... because being stuck with needles sounds so pleasant.
And I'm going to drink healthy smoothies for breakfast.
And I am eventually going to switch to half-decaf coffee. 
And I am going to lose some many LBS.

And I'm going to keep on keeping on and NOT let this drag me down.

I refuse to let Fibro define ME.

I'm still me...I just happen to hurt every day and take sleeping pills now to help me sleep (they don't help). But I'm still alive and standing and dripping with snark and sarcasm. I'm still doing what I was doing before this stupid diagnosis - working, doing laundry, cooking meals, playing with my kids, golfing (poorly), and going out with friends. I just happen to do it all with Fibro tagging along like that painful bitch she is.

Also, if you ask me "how are you doing today?" I'm probably going to tell you "I'm fine" even when I'm not (unless you're my mom or sister or husband and then I'll bitch and moan about all of it and how much it all sucks so F*CKING much). And maybe on that given day I really am "fine" (like today...today was a freaking ah-mazing day). Or maybe I'm not fine. You might never know.

So there it is.

And if you're so inclined and want to learn more about Fibromyalgia you can visit this website.

6.12.2016

Madness

You'll have to forgive me if this post starts to ramble or is full of non-sequiturs...it's been one of those days. 

Yesterday I returned home from an amazing and wonderful week at sea with my whole family. We had a great time and ate too much food and visited countries that while beautiful really made you appreciate what you have at home. Driving through Cozumel I was struck by the beauty of the ocean and the bleakness of the interior. Gas was more than $4 a gallon. I saw moms and dads driving really small motorbikes while holding very small kids. We saw ramshackle houses where people clearly lived in poverty. I even said to my husband "this really makes you appreciate what we have at home."

Today I woke up to the news of the mass shooting in Orlando. I saw a post on Facebook first that said 20 people killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Then I turned on the news and watched the story  unfold. By early this afternoon that number had risen to 50.

50 people.
Shot dead.
50 people out for a night of fun who will never return home.

The headlines read: Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History.
There should probably be an asterisk after those words:*Until the next one.

Cynical?
Yes.
Realistic?
Probably.

I have to wonder what the people of those countries we visited - Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico - think when they see the news about today. I bet they appreciate what they have, even if it is just a little slice of paradise dependent on the tourists dumped on their shores by mega ships.

I bet they are thankful that they don't live in a place where 50 innocent people can be murdered by a madman wielding an assault rifle in a nightclub. I bet they are thankful that they don't live in a country where tomorrow the politicians and pundits will once again be debating "the right to bear arms" and arguing how it is a "Constitutional right" to buy an assault rifle. I bet they are thankful for their islands in the sun.

Me? I'm appalled and saddened about what happened in Orlando. I am repulsed by those who continue to argue that everyone should be able to buy guns. I'm sick of turning on the news and hearing about another mass shooting. And I'm quite certain that when the Second Amendment was written it was not meant to be interpreted as giving everyone the right to own an assault rifle because that is PURE INSANITY.

What happened in Orlando (and Sandy Hook, and Aurora, Colorado, and San Bernadino) should not happen. Ever.

It most certainly should not happen in a civilized country.
But there's the rub, isn't it?

I'm beginning to think that our country isn't so civilized after all. The amount of vitriol and hate and anger spouted on a daily basis by the presidential candidate who shall not be named and just about everyone else on the news and social media is astonishing. And sad. And exhausting. And I wonder where it will all end.

Here's hoping for peace, love, and understanding in this mad, mad world.

5.31.2016

Life of a Dance Mom

I joke a lot about being a "dance mom" because honestly, sometimes - mostly when I'm backstage surrounded by shoes and makeup and drama - it does drive me just a little bit crazy.

But for the most part I love being a dance mom. Especially when good things happen to Olivia.

Let's talk about Olivia and dancing for a bit, shall we? Olivia started dancing about 4 years ago when she decided she wanted to take ballet. It became clear very quickly that this was something she LOVED.

I'm talking Olivia LOVES TO DANCE. She's always practicing her positions at home or ... well basically anywhere she can. Sometimes I have to ask her to please not spin so close to the stone fireplace. She rattles off ballet terms as if I'm supposed to know what she means...usually I just smile and nod.

Ballet is what makes Olivia happy.

Last fall we switched from a dance studio to the local ballet school so that Olivia could focus on the basics of ballet and work her way toward being en pointe. She started out in Advance Beginning Ballet based on her experience and age.

All year I've watched her work every week in two ballet classes and a pre-pointe class. She works hard every single week and today the hard work paid off.

Liv received her evaluation for the year and her teachers have recommended that she continues to take Advance Beginning AND also move up to Intermediate I for one class. Now that might sound like a whole lot of nothing to most of you but it's a big deal to a dancer. It means Olivia has made progress and her teachers recognize that and have promoted her up one level.

After all the health struggles Liv has dealt with this year I'm so happy that she has some really good news.

When she read her evaluation and saw the words Intermediate I she was beaming. Like literally smiling from ear-to-ear.

"Are you proud of me mommy?" she asked.

You have no idea how proud I am.

5.27.2016

School's Out for Summer!

OK so this is just crazy.

Today is the last day of school.
What the what?!?

I think it seems so freaking WEIRD because this is the first time EVER that the girls will be done with school BEFORE June 1.

But as it is, I packed the last lunch this morning (until August that is) and I took the requisite "last day of school photos"...



And that's that.

It's crazy how much the girls have changed since August. And now we have a summer full of fun stuff planned, including the Chaos Party of 10 Cruise to the Caribbean.

Happy summer!!

5.25.2016

Yes, I'm Still Here.

My mom sent me a private message today via Facebook. On the blog's Facebook page. She wanted to let me know that I haven't blogged since May 2 and she misses my posts.

In reality I HAVE blogged - twice - since May 2. I just haven't published the blog posts. They're currently in a 'holding pattern' until I decide to hit "publish."

Long story short: I'm dealing with some health issues and even though I have blogged about it (still in draft form) - and told a few people what is going on - I'm not quite ready to publish that draft. Sorry. #Vaguebooking again. [Friends: don't freak out....I'm not SICK sick...I'll live].

As it is I have too much shit going on right now to talk about my health.

The girls are done with the school year in TWO FREAKING DAYS.
What the what??!?!

How in the hell is the school year done already? I swear that Olivia JUST started 6th grade. And now in 48 hours I'm going to have a 7th grader and a 4th grader? #HoldMe

Also right now my home office looks like the closet and four suitcases purged themselves all over the floor. We leave next week for a 7-day cruise and EVERYTHING I'M PACKING has taken up residence in my office.

Thankfully the mess is behind my desk so I can ignore it for another few days while catching up with work.

On the upside - summer break means VACATION and more time to blog (haha...excuse me while I laugh out loud at the theory...we all know how wonderful I am about blogging lately).

Anyway...here's to the end of the school year and summer vacations and staying up late and sleeping and ice cream and all that stuff that summer brings with it.

5.02.2016

So Tired.

I am so freaking tired today.

Being a backstage mom is hard work.

This past weekend was performance weekend for the 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.' Olivia was a resident of Emerald City in the cast and I volunteered as tribute signed up to be a backstage mom.

And so, beginning last Tuesday and ending yesterday I was a Backstage Mom. Yes, that IS an official title.

To give you an indication of what I lived through...last Tuesday we were at rehearsal from 5-9:30 p.m., Wednesday from 5-9:30 p.m., and Thursday from 5-9:30 p.m.. Then on Friday there was a "school day performance" so we were back at the theater from 9 a.m. until 1p.m. Saturday was the doozie of a day - from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. And yesterday I was finally able to see the show from the audience.

If you think being a backstage mom is all fun and game, it isn't. The second night of rehearsal was  rather, um, challenging and we had to be "mean moms." And then there is the hair and makeup and costume changes and making sure all dancers are where they need to be and the walking up and down the stairs to backstage.

And I am EXHAUSTED.

Last night we went to dinner after the show and when I got home I couldn't bring myself to walk back downstairs for anything. Also, I was in bed asleep at 9 p.m.

And remember my on-going mysterious health issue? Yeah. I ache from my head to my toes and everywhere in between. That part is not fun.

However, I will say that I really did enjoy being a backstage mom. So yes, I'll do it again. And again. And again.

But right now I just need a nap.
For about 12 hours.