Friday, March 31, 2006

Here comes the sun....

Maybe I have seasonal affective disorder or something, but I feel like a different person when it is warm and sunny out. Tim and I walked the neighborhood last night, and it was just wonderful.

It's the little things in life that keep me going--volunteering with the disabled kids at the barn every Tuesday totally recharges my batteries (no, we don't let the kids play in the horse poo. We put them on the horses, who poo while they are riding. It's the most exciting thing these kids have ever seen. Poo!) I love taking walks, and soon we'll be able to eat dinner outside on the deck again. I put all the screens back in the windows and opened up the house, and it was completely terrific.

I think I am going to have to move somewhere warmer for residency, even though I love living close to family. Maybe I can convince everyone to move south with me. Not like Florida south, where they have hurricanes and bugs bigger than your head, but like Maryland or Virginia or North Carolina south, where you still have seasons, but that nasty one called winter is very short and mild. It baffles me why anything north of Cleveland is even inhabited. In my world, that's the north pole. Heck no. I'm a beach type of girl.

Aah, sun. Yes, it's going to get colder soon, but hopefully, we're done with the snow for the year. It's been pretty mild overall, which is a nice change, since last year was the snowiest winter ever in Cleveland.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Same old stuff, different day

So this week has been relatively boring--busy, but boring. My boss is out of town, which means that I haven't gotten done nearly what I wanted to, but I think I am so burnt out from the monster hours I have been putting in that I just needed a break. I left an hour early to get a haircut (a not very good haircut--too short and fluffy. I look like a poodle. This is why I end up with six months between haircuts). Today is looking so gorgeous it took everything I had to just not blow off work completely. I'd probably just end up staying inside to clean anyway, but hey, at least I'm not at work.

Every night has been finishing up stuff for the bridal shower this weekend--buying gifts, buying last minute necessities, buying food (two nights of that!), and then I've got to finish my gift and then prep all the game stuff. It's organized, which is good, but massively time consuming. At least it isn't work--everything is fun in comparison to work.

I did have one thing this week that made me think. Monday night we were out at Target, and I spent $50 on two pairs of pants and four shirts. No biggie, right? Yeah right. I haven't bought more than one piece of clothing in over a year. I just can't spend money on clothes--I feel totally guilty. Tim buys four times as many clothes as I do (but in all fairness, he actually has to look nice for his job. I don't). The last item of clothing I bought was a pair of black pants at Kohl's I think, about eight months ago. Thing is, I needed black pants, and they had a pair four sizes too big on clearance for $7, or a pair my size for $35. I bought the pair four sizes too big. I wore them once, and they just look ridiculous. I am going to give them to the Salvation Army. So, even though they were $7, it's a waste of $7. I just can't buy myself clothes at all. My jeans are three years old, I've worn the same pair of New Balance shoes for over a year ($30 at Marshall's, and they don't technically match. They are just slightly different styles. Didn't realize that till after I bought them). I have two pairs of dress pants, including the khakis I just bought off clearance on Monday, and most of my shirts are stained. It doesn't help that I have about six different sizes of clothes, some of which date back to high school (umm yeah, I'm almost 26).

I know I need clothes, but I just can't do it. When I have to go back to third year med school in a few years, for which I have to dress up, I'll lose my mind.

I do have a gift card at Kohl's from Tim's mom that I got for Christmas, but I am saving that for a real bathing suit for the beach this summer. I have a habit of buying the cheap $10 ones (actually, the one I still have was $7--I bought it for the honeymoon three and a half years ago), and they don't fit right. So I am going to buy a decent suit, which is expensive, but I know it's worth it.

I just have such particular tastes about what I like. I am a t shirt and jeans girl at work (or pretty much always), but I like my jeans and t shirts just so. They can't be too tight, they have to be just the right length, etc. I end up buying most of my shirts in the guy's sections because the women's ones are too short and tight. I hate that. So, guy's clothes it is.

Why I can spend $75 a month eating out at a restaurant, which I enjoy for one evening, and not spend $50 on clothes that will probably last a few more years, makes no sense to me. But I make no sense about so many things...

(Note: As of 4/4/06, I decided to return a pair of pants and a shirt that I didn't love the way they fit. That totals $20, so I spent $30 on clothes.)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Amazing what a weekend can do

I decided not to come into work this weekend, and it made a huge difference. Friday night was the second applicant dinner (revisit weekend, as we call it), and although the visiting students seemed nice, things were pretty boring. It wasn't nearly as much fun as dinner Thursday night had been. So I got home late on Friday and just chilled. Saturday I slept in, and then about noon I met up with mom to get everything for the wedding shower this weekend. We went to the outlet mall first, and mom and I just bought kitchen goodies for ourselves. Mom got the same knife Rachel Ray uses for a killer price, and that just made her day:) We went to Marc's after that and killed on prizes for shower games. We were having such a riot looking for things! Then it was lunch/dinner at Chili's, then the Dollar Store, where we found little plastic swans six for a dollar. It was too funny! Mom wanted to take a swan into Acme so we knew how many butter mints fit in them. She named her swan Matthew/Sam, and we were just laughing hysterically the whole time we were in the grocery store. They didn't have the butter mints, so we decided to hit Sam's Club for candy of any sort. We found these hershey's mini kisses--they are like M&Ms almost--and then after we had gotten three huge bags, we saw the butter mints. We took an informal poll right there in Sam's Club, and the verdict was chocolate over the butter mints. We got some ribbon and wire flowers at Michael's, and then we headed back to my parent's place.

Tim met us back at my parent's about 7ish or so. He was just watching mom and I fill swans, and we were just being completely silly. It was hilarious. We then went into the family room and watched "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" while we wrapped the prizes. We didn't leave until 11 something. It was a riot.

It was so great to go out and just chill with mom. I got caught up on life stuff with her, and we just really had fun with the girl time. That's something I've got to do more often. Although poor Tim--he was home alone Friday night, and then he was home by himself Saturday, and then the plans he had Saturday night fell through, so he was bored out of his mind. Tim can't be still for very long, and he just doesn't handle being somewhere by himself. I've learned to adjust, after all his years of taking evening classes, but I thought Tim was going to crawl out of his skin.

Sunday I slept in and went to noon mass. I got home, read my paper, and then we decided to nap. Aah, naps. I missed them so. We slept like 2:30-4:30, and it was wonderous. The only down side--we need curtains or blinds or something in our bedroom. It was so light out that it was tough to fall asleep. Of course, I am asleep when it is light out maybe once a month, so that's why we've gone four years without blinds.

We headed down to Tim's parent's for dinner about 5:30. It's always fun to get together and let the dogs play. Macgyver was well rested from his nap, and poor Tippy just couldn't catch a break. Macgyver was on overdrive the whole night!

We got to check out the progress with their basement renovation, and then we just chatted about life over lasagna. It's always good to hear what's going on with people. Tim and I try to stay in the loop, but people have so much going on in their lives that it's nice to get the scoop from family now and again.

We hung out at his parents' house until about 11 or so, and then it was back to sleep. Really, it was probably the most relaxed weekend I've had for a long, long time.

When we were at his parents', we did talk about two things that aren't quite resolved. The first was the house saga. That house we put an offer on is still on the market, and so we talked about if we should take another look at it, and if so, if we should go about it a different way (like hiring a buyer's agent). I'm not sure what we are going to do, especially since there is still a contingency on the property until early June, but we're talking about it.

The second thing was what's going on with my MD/PhD stuff. I filled them in on my dilemmas of the past few weeks: potentially running out of funding, which means I have to work wicked overtime, but nothing's been working, so I may have to change projects in three months anyway. I mentioned how I've debated about whether I should stay in the PhD program or whether I should just go back to med school (especially after reading what Sarah has been going through). A lot of it is disappointing myself that I couldn't finish something. A huge part of it is the financial aspect (all of a sudden I go from making 20k a year to owing 40k a year). And some of it is that I am unsure what I want to do in the long term. I like science when it works. I am just really frustrated at the situation I am in now. So, I think for the next three months, I am going to really work at my project and see if I can make any headway. If in three months I have a committee meeting and they want me to start over, then I may seriously consider going back to med school. It will have been two years this summer since I entered the PhD phase, and wasting two years by starting a new project is just something I am not sure I can face.

But anyway, it was nice to chat with both sets of parents, and I really appreciate how close I am to my family. I know that I may move away, and heck, Amy's the world traveler, and she's doing well, so I know it's possible. But it's so great to have family close by. I wish I had more time to just hang out with them, but life has been so hectic recently. I don't know what I'll do when it's time to decide where to go for residency, but I am sure that family will play a big role in where we choose to go.

Time to check on my gel. Maybe I'll actually get an experiment to work for once!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Breaking up is hard to do....

I decided today that I need to break up with some of the blogs that I read. So basically, my blog reading is divided into three sections: family blogs, which are fun but not updated all that much; med school/MD-PhD blogs, which I've only recently started but I really dig; and weight watchers blogs, which go back to when I tried that a few years ago. I really only read maybe three to four blogs in each category, but I've decided that I need to quit with the WW ones.
Now, there are really two WW blogs I've been following for a long time. I am mostly a lurker--I've posted maybe twice on these blogs over several years--but they each had a post last week that really called out to me. It was about being OCD, feeling controlled by the WW mentality, and just wanting to be normal again. Well, hello! I was in therapy for a year with that. I sent them each a private email:

Hi there—I’m not a frequent poster, but I’ve been reading your blog for a few months. You touched on issues in the last week that inspired me to speak up a little bit. Let me explain.

I’m not at my goal weight—I’ve still got about 30 pounds to go—so our situations aren’t identical, but I was in therapy for a year for binge eating and emotional eating. Now, I’ve never thrown up or done anything like that, but I have a very obsessive personality, and weight watchers sent me over the edge. All I could think about was points, what I was going to eat that day, whether I had been “good” or “bad”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not weight watchers fault—their program is designed to work, and it does work, but it isn’t for people like me who just can’t let things go.

In therapy, I learned that a lot of my food control issues are about my self-esteem and my expectations, but I wasn’t making a ton of progress. Then I found this website,
www.normaleating.com. It really opened my eyes. Now, since I found it, it has gone fee-based, so you can’t get the intro information I got without signing up. However, I made a little Microsoft word book of the site when I found it, and that’s what I am sending to you. I don’t remember seeing a copyright, but basically, don’t send it around, or I might get in troubleJ

But look it over and tell me how it makes you feel. I felt free. Things like feeling hungry—I had lost all touch with my body. I couldn’t tell stomach hunger from any of my other emotions. The food log was helpful too—I made my own that I like better, but it’s the same idea. Legalizing food was the hardest for me. Weight watchers teaches you to worship all the low fat, high fiber, fake foods to cut out the points. I still love my ICBINB spray, but I forgot what real cheese tastes like. I still struggle with food stuff, especially being in touch with my hunger and stopping when I am full, but I feel like a new person.

Now, the lady who runs normaleating.com struggled with her issues too, and I think she’s a counselor, but I don’t think she’s certified beyond that. So I’m not saying take her writing as gospel truth. But pick out some of the ideas that strike you. I had to read it a few times, and even now, things jump out at me.

I’m not sure if it will change your life or anything. Really, it’s not that it changed mine—it just returned me closer to normal. I will forever have to be careful about not getting obsessive again. But I couldn’t read your blog and not reach out. Like I said, I don’t know if it will help you, but I couldn’t just sit there and not try.

I really don’t like to meddle, so if this is too much of an intrusion of your personal space, I apologize. But, if you like this, let me know.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck, and I hope things normalize.

Let me know what you think, and nice to meet you I guess :)

So yeah, I sent that out, and the one girl emailed me back and said thanks. Unexpected, but nice. She didn't post for a week afterwards, but when she did, she didn't really mention the normal eating stuff, just that she needed a break. I totally appreciate that.

So the other blog posted on the same topic a week later, and I sent the same email. Today, she posted about how a lot of people had emailed with suggestions, and she didn't want to be controlled, and how people shouldn't tell her what to do. Ouch. But, it sort of woke me up. I mean, I like comments, and I appreciate that people have different opinions, but maybe other people take their blogs more seriously. So, I wish them both the best, but I think I need to move on.

Yes, I still have food issues. Yes, I struggle. But you know what? It's not who I am. I have tried to avoid sticking to one theme in this blog. I'm not one-sided--neither is my blog. Sure, things like lab, or body issues, or house stuff, or other things pop up and temporarily consume my life, but that's not me.

So, I am sticking with the med school blogs and the family stuff, but I am moving away from the WW ones. It's weird--you feel like you get to know people after reading their blog for a while, and stopping that is a little strange. Maybe I'll find another group of blogs for another interest I have, but for know, I'm pretty ok with where I'm at.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The randomness of the internet

So I have a Xanga blog (or had, maybe) but I've heard it's easier to use something like Blogger. I don't really want to do MySpace, since I pretty much just want to blog and not much else, but I was hoping maybe moving here would inspire more comments and such, since you don't have to have an account to leave a comment. Maybe some other Xanga-ites will follow me (mostly my family), maybe not, but I thought heck, why not try something new?

And if you really want to read two years of ramblings, my old posts are at: http://www.xanga.com/ecoqueen88