Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Healthy Living Goals

I have never been one to acknowledge a new year as a new starting point but this year, why the hell not?

To me healthy living is much more than just eating healthy or not being depressed. It is the whole of my being. It is getting me to interact with people when I want to be a hermit or getting me to not binge or just taking five minutes to appreciate myself.

Many people get caught up in one aspect of healthy living not letting it encompass everything. One decision at a time involving everything.

In 2012, I want a new start. I am going to take this new found optimism and make do with it.

1. Knit More

Why? I haven’t knit in a few months. Nothing. It is cold and time for knitting. It is time. It soothes me. It gives me confidence. I like it. I need to knit more. It helps that I am making a trip to the local yarn mecca, Webs, in a few weeks.

2. Take 1 day at a time and be binge free.

Food has long been a companion of mine. It is time to wean myself for good. Having a goal of one month free of binges is overwhelming. Taking it one day at time is best. When I eat healthy, I feel better. Period.

3. Be Compassionate

Sometimes things are bad. Mom is sick. Dad has been sick. We have made some big decisions this year. I made the best choices I could at the time. I need to stop beating myself up. Another 1 day at time thing to think about compassion.

4. Take More Photos

I carry my Droid and a digital camera all the time. The phone is attached to me and the camera is in the bag. Both are good at taking pictures. I even have some cool photo apps for my Droid. It is time I use them. I do a lot in one day and I see a lot. I vow to take 1 picture of something I see every day and I will post them here.

5. Blog More

I try to blog here every day but sometimes life gets in the way. I just started my new book blog to write about my love of books because I could do it here but it needs its own focus.

6. Laugh More

It is amazing what you can’t do when you laugh. I should do it more.

7. Try new things

I have never had Jamaican food or Russian food or Cape Verdean.

I have never been skiing.

I don’t know how to swim.

I still haven’t used my broiler.

Crocheting and needlepoint baffle me.

8. Make Eye Contact

Yes, as a native person from Eastern Massachusetts, I tend to look down. Looking in someone’s eyes denotes weakness and we have a gruff reputation to live up to. I am going to keep my eyes up. I may be looking at you.

9. Stop Worrying So Much

It will happen no matter what. Let it go.

Yes, it might be a lot but they aren’t overwhelming. I am not going to worry about it.

What are some of your goals for upcoming year?

Thursday, December 29, 2011


One more day until the long weekend.

Guess what, since I have been talking a lot about books and reading here, I decided that I needed a separate place to write about it. All of my reading life will be at Jen Reads and I will be fixing it up over the weekend. It is one of my goals for the new year that I will be talking about.

I am somewhat optimistic (yes, me pessimistic Jen) for 2012. I think some good things will come my way.

I have been feeling better since Christmas. The malaise of Christmas has passed for now. Here’s to hoping my optimistic mindset lasts!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday TV Binge

My long holiday weekend was oddly filled with TV.

On Christmas, my father turned the TV to a Firefly marathon on cable. I became intrigued and in between checking the food, I started to watch it and like it. Too bad I did not know about it when it was on TV. I continued to watch it after they left.

I watched the 1st disk of the Camelot show from Starz, via Netflix. It was ok. I will continue to get the DVDs from Netflix.

I also got the 1st DVD from the first season of the BBC’s Robin Hood, and I liked that a lot more. I will have to get the other 10 or DVD’s in the series.

Of course on Sunday night, there was another Downton Abbey episode. I can not wait until the 2nd season starts. I have my tea, warm blanket and a pillow ready and waiting.

Today was more animal and nature day. First off with Viking Wilderness.

I had a hard time not crying after the bad fox ending. I get so emotionally involved in these animal shows.

Then it was on to Wild Russia.

Russia is very wild. I learned a lot when I first saw this show.

Finally, it was on Dr. Pol and his crazy vet practice.

I love the show, The Incredible Dr. Pol, on Nat Geo WILD.

I besides all the random stuff I caught in between. I don’t think I have watched this much TV in a long time.

Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 Christmas

I survived Christmas 2011 mostly intact.

There was some family drama but really, what is a holiday without family drama?

It just would not be the same.

The drama this year was over my estranged sister. We have gifts for her kids and normally she comes over my apartment after dinner. Well, in my quest to be nice, I said that we could go over there. Big mistake. Secret Sister, who was disappointed over Christmas gifts even though she said she was happy, along with Dad,  were pissed off over this faux pas.

They felt that she did not deserve that treatment since she has virtually forgotten about us, which is true.

I apologized profusely and we went over there. Grumbles followed on the way out.

Like I said, it would not be the same without some drama.

Was your Christmas drama free or a drama in the making?

Other then that, it was good. I cooked some new dishes, one apple and cranberry stuffed acorn squash and a root vegetable casserole with real cream and cheese. It was a hit food wise. No pictures of course because I was to busy cooking, chopping, peeling to bother.

I had a quiet Christmas eve. I didn’t do anything except watch TV while feeling very lonely and staring at the Christmas tree. Not sure what came over me. I have been feeling that I am missing out on things and that I need to be more open. I must send “don’t bother me” vibes a lot.

I am going to post some 2012 goals this week. I need to think up some fun stuff.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Happiness: Offbeat Christmas

I was driving home from working today and I heard this:

It made me smile.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. I have 4 days off and I am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Blissful Gifting

This week’s 6 Weeks of Bliss topic is what health and wellness item is on the top of my list this year.

If I could have ANYTHING to help me become healthier, I would want a normal brain.

One where I could have high self esteem.

One where I would not think of myself as worthless.

Most of my problems have been wrapped up not so nicely in depression and self-hatred. I want to be free but like most of life’s problems, they won’t go away with the EASY button.

I wonder what life would have been like if my brain was on my side for once. Since I can’t go back in time, I would love some true healing, even if  just for a little while.

I am going to give myself the gift of taking care of myself.

I do care about myself.

I could use books or lotion or a purse, but really I NEED to treat myself better and that is my holiday gift to myself.

Today was a day I could have used the self esteem fairy.

My stomach was doing flip flops all day at work and I felt just blah, which is a trigger for my wandering brain.  I felt this overwhelming feeling a hopelessness. It helped that I was allowed to leave a little early but this year, the holiday is having a real feeling of loneliness this year. I am not sure what is bringing it on.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Sometimes I feel like I am a on a seesaw going up and down. Depressed thoughts come and go and come again. Today they were mostly gone. I was in a good mood and topped it off with dinner with a good friend. Can’t be beat.


I won’t have another therapy appointment until after the New Year.

I have been thinking of 2012 goals that I can achieve. I will post them when I think of them all. I need some thing to motivate to get stuff I want to do done. My attention span has gone downhill lately.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sparkling Procrastination

Are you aware that Christmas is next weekend? I don’t want to think about it yet so let me ignore it a bit longer.

Lately, I have had sparkling wine dreams, not champagne since all I dreamed about were from California. I went to a Fireside Chat at The Fireplace in Brookline over the weekend with some friends and procrastinated some more about the impending Christmas holiday. What better than to procrastinate with sparkling wine?


They gave us a paper to write the wines we tasted down. Did I bother to write anything down after the first one I tried? No.


The first one I tried was Barefoot Moscato Spumante, on the left, and it was by far my favorite of the afternoon. It is also the most reasonable priced, a double bonus. I like my sparkling wine on the sweet side and this foot the bill.

We also tried 2 Schramsberg sparkling wine, Blanc de Blanc and Blanc de Noir.


They look the same but I preferred the Blanc de Noir, being a pinot noir fan.

The final two we tried were from J Winery and Vineyards, a Vintage Brut and a Cuvee 20.


These were a little to dry for my taste. I might have added some St. Germain to them. (The horror!)

In between, we were told about the wines and why you should not take a sword and slice off the top of the bottle.


All for $25, not a bad afternoon on a cold December Saturday. They are having other Fireside Chats but I am especially interested in the Colonial Drink ones, being the history buff that I am.

Doing these type of things definitely kept that creeping feeling of loneliness away for a little while. I may have to get some Barefoot Moscato  Spumante to help with that loneliness feeling this weekend. I know, drinking will not help, but it is an excuse to drink some of it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Am Back

With my internet problem fixed for now, I am back. I am going to have to snake it up on the walls since my one telephone outlet is about 15 feet away from my computer and it crosses hallways. I had gone a while without chewing instances so at first I thought I forgot to pay but when I investigated the line, I saw the bite marks.

I did get this horrible bitter apple spray which I sprayed before on the line but it attracted him. Somehow I got it on my fingers and into my mouth and I could not get rid of the taste for a week. It was really bitter. Enough about Boots and his chewing problem, at least he has left the Christmas tree alone for the most part.

I am feeling rather cold and down tonight. I am just going to lay down and relax before work begins again tomorrow. I had lots of posts planned for the last few days, put off by my issues, so I will post them this week. I just don’t have the brain power tonight.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Technical Difficulties

The determined beast chewed another cord but I was not able to grab one today. This blogging from the phone thing is hard but I wanted to check in.

I swear he is a rabbit disguised as a cat.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sleepy Time

I swear some days I just want to curl up and hide under the covers. Today was one of those days. Given the chance I would sleep my life away.  I did begrudgingly get up and get ready for work. With my daily overdose of coffee, I was ready to face the day.

I am working on setting up some stuff to look forward to in 2012. I am going to also put together at 2012 to do list and stick to it. I don’t do resolutions but I will do a fun to do list.

I decided to get a ticket to the Philadelphia Bloggy Boot Camp this year. I went to the one in Boston last year and hopefully, I have continued on what I learned there.  Since I have been wanting to get to Philadelphia, I decided to go again.

I am going to get my Blogher ticket this weekend once I get my Christmas bonus. I will have my two blog conferences this year all settled.

If you have a blog, are you going to any conferences in 2012?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Getting Away to Find Bliss

My quest for 6 Weeks of Bliss continues tonight. Our topic this week is getaways. Over the last few years I have travelled to Ireland, Canada, Louisville, San Diego, Pittsburg, Chicago, New York and Florida but my travel bug while it is quenched now, was not always quenched.

Growing up, we never travelled anywhere. We never went camping or away for the weekend and it was not until I was a teenager that we even actually went away, to Washington, D.C. To satisfy my never ending need to get away, I started to grab business mail reply cards from the back of travel magazines and send away for each and every pamphlet listed.

Yes, from Fiji to Belgium, this then 10 year old got come travel to someplace pamphlets in the mail. I could not get farther away then school but Fiji called me. I would stare at maps of the world in wonderment. I would flip through the books and said to myself, “Someday.”

It only stopped when I began to consider college and the travel pamphlets became college pamphlets to far away colleges, just a different type of travel.

Another way I sought to get away growing up was through reading. It started with Richard Scarry’s Busy Town books and grew from there.


From there, I read everything I could get my hands on. Books that transported me to far away places or back in time. I could get away for a little while and forget the disintegration of things around me.

To this day, reading still takes me away. Far away. Last night I was reading, Wonderful by Jill Barnett, and I lighted so much for the first time in a LONG time that it hurt. I forgot that Mom is sick and that work is busy. I forgot everything for that hour that I read. I could get away without breaking the budget.

Honestly, as I plan my next vacation far away from home, I like to take these mini getaways right at home or where ever I happen to be. Reading takes me away.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Tree

I am not excited about Christmas this year. I debated getting a tree. Secret Sister’s school sells trees and she was going to buy one but I decided, after the decision to get a tree, I went to Target and bought a fake one.


Notice the menacing presence under the tree…..




I am off tomorrow for that mental health day. I may do a bit of shopping. I don’t know. I have my first pre-surgery weight loss group tomorrow evening.

Television this week will be good. It is Big Cat Week on Nat Geo WILD with lots of big cat information and Downton Abbey returns, with the first series rerun before the second season starts in January. To round out the week, there is a new Grimm episode. It makes me want to run out to read The Household Tales by the Brother’s Grimm, which is close to the original translation.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

5 Things: Happy Single

I was asked three times this week why I was not married. After getting over the uncomforting thoughts brought about by that question and being slightly angry, I decided that I need to embrace my single status and know that at 38, it is not the end of the world.

Last night, I got home late and was too tired to type a post, so today’s 5 things is also my happiness post because it good that I am not reveling in bringing myself down now.

It is good to be single and here’s why:

1. I can go anywhere, at anytime, with anyone, doing anything.

I answer to no one, except maybe Boots, the cat. I can go away on a whim or leave on a moments notice. A man is not holding me back.

2. I can flirt with the handsome guy at the coffee counter if I want to and go out with him if I so choose.

3. I can talk to my cat in my kitty cat voice and not have someone laugh at me.

After all, he is the true ruler. All hail the kitty.

4. I can meet the jerks who actually ask those type of “What is wrong with you that you are not married/engaged/whatever” and thank God, I am not with them.

5. I can enthrall everyone with my dating stories of men who get arrested on the date or have OCD or are attached to their cell phone during the date, etc.

Hard to talk about on going dating hell, when you are married.

Honestly, my mind can go on a rampage thinking of why I am not loveable or marriageable. I am thinking on the positive side of things. Being 38 and single is not bad and there is NOTHING WRONG WITH ME.

Anyone who says they aren’t quirky or that they don’t have baggage at my age is lying.

I also do not have the anxiety of buying a Christmas gift for him. That is the worst gift anxiety.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bliss Wanted

I want 6 Weeks of Bliss. Yes, I do so I decided to participate in Bliss Connect by Glam Media’s 6 Weeks of Bliss Challenge. Over the next 6 weeks, I will posting some posts in relation to this challenge. Maybe it will bring you a bit of bliss as well.

For Week 1, we are to discuss why we started to blog and who inspires us to live a healthy lifestyle.

As you may know, I started blogging when I was a low point in my life in July of 2008. I was having a hard time getting away from the constant shadow of depression with anxiety and I felt absolutely horrible about myself. I thought if I recorded some of my thoughts somewhere, I would be able to purge those thoughts from my system. While, it did not purge my thoughts entirely, it did help to fend off some of my personal demons that I had been struggling with for most of my life.

Since I have been blogging, I have been up and down and up again. I realized how much of a struggle this is and how it will not be won in one day or even one year. It is something that may be with me forever. I have discovered that I am not ALONE. I am inspired by the entire community of people out there who read and write their own stories about their struggles. I used to think that I was alone and that no one would understand. I realized how many of you struggle with accepting yourself and depression.

I have an outlet to talk about how a darn number can control my mood for days or how I feel when I go visit Mom. I know you will listen. It helps more then you can know.

I have met a lot of cool people through blogging and I hope to meet many more.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Shopping? Me?

Another weekend is over and a new work week has begun. This week is shaping up to be somewhat quiet. I am busy a lot except for Christmas. It kind of goes against the norm  but that is me.

I had a weigh in this morning. I was up a bit. Oh well. Nothing good I can say about that. I am going to start to attend a pre-surgical support group on Mondays and do the shake replacement for meals twice a day. I think that will help.

I have felt better and I felt worse. I seem to be stuck in this small rut. I really think I need a mental health day. I am going to ask for a day or two off tomorrow. Maybe a little closer to Christmas. I haven’t even started shopping yet and I don’t know what to get anyone.  I haven’t really thought about it much though. Luckily, I only have to buy a few gifts.

Have you started shopping, an early completer or like me, a tormented gift buyer that has gift anxiety and waits until the last few days?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Harpoon Helps!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in Harpoon Brewery’s Holiday Help event. It is my second year and one that made me stalk the Harpoon Helps website to see when the sign ups started. It is a popular event.

Harpoon is a local beer company and this is the 7th year they have had the Holiday Help event. The event is about going to different charities in the Boston area and decorating for the holidays. We went to a family shelter and decorated their living rooms. These charities might not have decorated without the help. Afterwards, you go back to the brewery for lunch and a few beers, (It is a brewery).

We decorated a Christmas tree. It came out rather nicely.


While we were decorating the tree, others were cutting out snow flakes and adorning entry ways.




The charity was happy with our efforts and it made me happy.

Afterwards, there was a lunch catered by Bugaboo Creek Restaurant and of course, Harpoon beer.


We were definitely in a beer warehouse!


If you are in Boston, Harpoon Helps from Harpoon Brewery is a great way to get out and give something back. I will be doing it next year, you should too.

I was in no way compensated or anything for this post and I did this event of my own volition. I am just like that.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Happiness: $1 a Bunch

This is something I never do.


I was walking home from work and passed a florist in Quincy Center . In front of the store, they had several buckets of $1 a bouquet flowers. I can’t remember ever getting flowers from anyone or even buying them for myself.

Until today. I bought 2 bouquets of daisies, my favorite flowers.

I need to buy flowers for myself more often. They smell nice and make me smile.

After I type this, I am going to go have a cup of tea and this:


One kiss that I put in my purse at my job’s Christmas party today.

Tomorrow I have Harpoon Help’s Christmas decoration event. I am looking forward to it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Depression Blank

Last night,  I stared at my blank Live Writer entry and could not put my feelings down. I was feeling pretty shitty, thinking horrible things about myself and I wanted to write about it but I could not. I wanted to get it out of my head, purged but I kept it close instead.

I have never been one to shy away from my depression and lack of self love here. Last night was a first. I felt that I was falling down the hole of depression again. I felt unlovable, hopeless, stuck….I wanted to curl up and sleep forever.

I feel better today.

I hate it. Depression is a hole that I can never fully get out of. A shadow that follows me around, sometimes closer and sometimes from a distance. I am beginning to know my triggers like pain, disappointment, fear, loneliness.

I try to point out good stuff about myself when I notice it, hoping that it brings me up. One day at time. My therapy appointment is tomorrow morning. I can’t wait to also talk about it and work it out of my system.