Every day.

This is just a theory, but maybe God does His best work in us when we stop trying so hard. When we decide to take a moment or two every day to sit and listen, and ask for his help. Every day. Over and over and over. Now, we do lots of things on a daily basis – brush our teeth, go to work, do laundry, wash dishes – and we don’t think about it. We just do it. Because it’s important. So why does spending time with our creator and savior seem so difficult sometimes? I’ll never know the answer to that, but dang it I’m gonna keep at it. Because I need Him. Like the air I breathe, I need Jesus. Every day, all day.

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Winning-ish

Still fighting back that depression. I’m better though. I’m not sleeping excessively. I take naps when I need them, but I think about it first when the urge comes. Does my body need rest or am I just trying to escape a dark feeling? If I determine I’m just wanting to sleep to escape, I go the other way. I pick from my list of “pick-me-ups” and go from there. Drink water. Have a snack. Get dressed. Wash my face. Text my mom. These things help to serve as a way to sort of reset and redirect. And it’s working. Every day I’m standing a little taller and am feeling a bit lighter.

My brother and sister and I went out a week or so ago to celebrate my birthday. It’s a tradition we used to have, where we all met for the other’s birthday. The birthday guest picks the restaurant, the other two pay the bill. We had let the tradition slide for many years but we recently decided to pick it up again. We went out for drinks after dinner and talked for hours. It was wonderful. The three of us share a pretty special bond because our parents divorced when we were very young. Through all the changes that situation involved, the three of us were the constant. We always had each other. And I am so thankful that’s still true.

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While out for drinks with my siblings we talked about running. They are both avid runners, having run 5ks to marathons, ultra-marathons, Ragnars, you name it. And I admire them both, and look to them for encouragement and inspiration. I want to be a runner. I don’t love running the way they do, but I love the satisfaction that comes at the end of a good run. I love that I am able to run. I find it worth doing. I say all that, but I had not been running regularly since I sprained my ankle just after Christmas. My ankle is fine now, so I don’t know what I have been waiting for. However, today I managed to get myself on the treadmill. I walked/jogged for 40 minutes. My body hated it, of course, having had a solid three months to loaf around. But I continued moving until I reached my goal time. See, I want to work up my endurance so that I can run a 10k race this fall with my brother and sister. I am not sure if my body will let me do it, but I’m gonna put it to the test anyway. I’m going to keep working up my endurance as far as I can go. Let my body tell me I can’t do it.  When I think about actually running a 10k I don’t really feel up to the challenge, but I’m taking it in steps. After all, there was a time not long ago when I thought I would never run, period. Today I moved for 40 minutes. By next week maybe I will be able to do 50, and maybe next month I’ll be able to run for 90. We shall see.

I do expect and hope that getting back to regular exercise will help finish off this depression once and for all. I know it should help my pants to fit a little better, and how can that not make me happy, right??

Depression looms

I struggle with depression. Back many years ago, I didn’t struggle with it, I just gave in to it. That’s never a good thing. Thankfully at the time I had some wonderful friends who spotted what was going on with me and encouraged me to get help. It was because of that experience that I can usually sense when depression is threatening to take over again. And thankfully I’m not afraid to be open about it with my loved ones, and I know how to ask for help.

For the past month or so I’ve been sort of dipping my toes into the pool of depression again. It’s not a game I like to play. I can drive myself crazy analyzing the potential causes, searching for solutions. It’s all a bit futile, if you ask me. There are so many factors that make me a potential victim. Family history, multiple sclerosis, recent trauma… oh, and can’t leave out living in Michigan where there is a severe lack of sunshine. I need my sunshine.

I’ve been sleeping a lot, and it concerns me that I could let that go too far. I do feel rested when I sleep, so I’m trying to listen to my body’s cues and determine when it really needs rest or when it’s just the depression killing my motivation. I made a list today of some coping mechanisms. This is based off of what I learned from my housekeeping hero, The FlyLady, a long time ago: you can do anything for 15 minutes. So I have a list of the things I can do for 15 minutes, so that when I’m lacking motivation, I don’t have to think about what I can do. I just have to pick from the list. These are all things that tend to make me feel better or motivated to stay up and out of bed, like crocheting, washing dishes, journaling, showering, paying bills (no kidding lol), and blogging. On the really bad days when I can’t muster enough oomph to do even those simple things, my short list of motivators is to wash my face, get dressed, take my medicine, and/or drink a glass of water.

Depression is real, man. A dragon that is so unbelievably difficult to slay. But one day at a time, I’ll be fighting it. And if I can’t kill it, at least I’ll leave it seriously wounded, while I move on with my life.

Happy birthday to us

Today is my 40th birthday, and many of my friends and family know I’m pretty excited about it. A lot of people dread this milestone, but not me. I’m excited to join the 40s “club” and put my 30s behind me. They were quite a roller coaster. I had some babies, I went back to school and FINISHED, praise the Lord… but I was also diagnosed with MS and then later lost my hearing and vision. So, lots of ups and downs. I know I can’t count on the next decade being all ups, but I can look each day in the face and hope for the best. And I feel like I’m learning how to do that as I get older. The maturing that happens with aging is such a blessing. And that is why I’m happy to be 40.

But I also came on here to talk about my husband. It is also his birthday today, only he is one year older. It’s a neat little tidbit about us that people find just fascinating. People ask, “man, what are the odds?” Well, the answer to that is 1 in 365. Because days in a year, folks. There are only so many. And while I know mathematically that’s a correct answer, I still want to say the odds that we would fall in love and still be crazy about each other all these years later are much, much higher. It sure shoots holes in those astrology theories, that’s for sure.

Earlier I was thinking back to the day we discovered we shared a birthday. We weren’t dating, we were just out to dinner at Denny’s and were in the “getting to know you” phase. We were asking each other basic questions until he asked me when my birthday was. Here’s about how it went:

Mike: So, when’s your birthday?
Me: March 3rd.
Mike:  No, really, when’s your birthday?
Me: March 3rd. Why would I lie about that?
Mike: Seriously? Let me see your license.

I think he asked to see my ID, that part I’m fuzzy on. I know he didn’t believe me, that’s for sure. He thought I had peeked in his wallet and was playing a joke on him.

That was more than 20 years ago, and here we are, old people lol We joke that 40 is old but it’s just that, a joke. Because you’re only as old as you feel and old is such a subjective term. My prayer is just that we’ll always remember to embrace life, be present with our loved ones, and in everything look to Jesus for guidance.  Happy birthday to us! Today I’m praising God for life.

 

 

One Day More!!

I know I should be listening to my Les Mis soundtrack because I’m going to the show tomorrow!! I’m so freaking excited I can’t even say it without exclamation points!!

I was listening to it, until my daughter came home. I had to take a chill out break and pull out my old Billie Holiday CDs, because she came home yesterday and was so excited to tell me they had learned about good old Lady Day.

I hadn’t listened to these in probably a decade so it’s interesting to hear how they sound with mechanical, bionic ears. It’s not pleasant, but it’s not terrible either. I’ve had to lower my expectations with music. The melody, the jazz, is quite soothing. I could get used to this, I think.

Anyway, back to Les Miserables!! We’re going tomorrow!! Though it’s the first day of March, so of course it’s supposed to snow. Typical Michigan. In like a lion. Bleh.

I’m not a food photographer

I like taking pictures of my food but sometimes I am so excited to eat, I forget. So here is the aftermath of my lunch today, roasted asparagus with a garlic vegan cream sauce. Made all by myself and it was delicious!! I don’t even like asparagus, really, but you throw on a the right topping and I’m good to go. I found the recipe for the sauce on Pinterest and it looked easy enough to manage so I gave it a shot. I’m so glad it turned out I’ll probably make it again tomorrow.

I’ve been doing more of this, taking risks with food, trying new things, and it’s been kind of fun. I still wouldn’t say I enjoy cooking as a whole, but I’ve discovered one thing I do love making: Soup! With soup you can throw things in and it doesn’t matter how it looks. Timing isn’t super important so there’s no rushing involved. It’s very relaxing, and when you’re done, you have a warm and comforting meal to either share with loved ones (if they’ll touch it) or to supply your lunches for the next week!

Now to find some dessert…

She sniffed out our hiding spot, apparently

I have the box with the extra squeaky Kongs hiding in our bedroom closet. The only access to the closet is through our bathroom, so Piper doesn’t ever go in there because she’s afraid of our bathroom scale (watch the video, you’ll see what I mean). It’s good logic, right? Well, somehow she got a whiff of the Kong scent because she won’t stop whining at the bathroom door.

I decided to let her in (i.e. remove the scale) and sure enough she walked straight up to where the box was. Of course it’s on a shelf so she can’t reach it. And yes, I’m sort of torturing her, but it’s really for her own good. If I give her another ball, she stops eating and sleeping.