My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 80 Worst Advice Ever!

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 80
261. What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given?

The worst advice I’ve ever received?  That’s an easy one.  I’ve been advised by more than one person to be grateful that I was never able to have children.  It’s sometimes baffling to me to think that people would actually advice someone that was never able to have children that instead of being sad about it, they should embrace it and be grateful.

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Photo by Rene Asmussen on Pexels.com

The interesting thing is that the people that have said this to me are all parents.  I know deep down it is probably said during a difficult parenting day because there are very few parents in this world that would actually say they wished they never had children.  I’m sure it’s said out of frustration or tiredness, but it is still crazy to me that anyone would think this is good advice to give an infertile person.

Being in a minority of childless people, it is tough sometimes when people say things that are clearly inappropriate.  How do you even respond to that?  Do you smile and say, “yes, that’s great advice.  I’m so thankful I don’t have one of those!”.  Or do you call them on it and question if they realize what they are actually saying?  Do they seriously think I should be grateful that I never was able to become a mother?  Do they wish that for themselves?  Highly doubtful.

There are so many dysfunctionalities when you live the life of a childless person.  So many stereotypes you have to conquer and so many stupid comments you have to learn to not take to heart.  I wish I could say it gets easier over time, but it really doesn’t.  You learn better ways of dealing with it, but it’s definitely not any easier.
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My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 79 Places I want to visit

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 79
42. Five places you would like to visit are:

It would be impossible for me to pick just five places I want to visit.  I have a list of hundreds of places, so narrowing it down to 5 would be difficult.  Although I have traveled and have had the opportunity to visit so many wonderful places, there are still many areas just in the U.S. alone that I want to go.  I won’t even mention the international places that are on my list to visit because that would up that list by a few hundred more.

As part of my surgery recovery “kit” I have purchased several books (I know, I’m old school.. I still love the feel and smell of good old fashion books verse Ebooks).  One of the books that I bought to go through while I’m stuck in bed is this “USAs Best Trips: 51 Amazing Road Trips”.  I have this desire to travel the United States.  By car would be amazing since I do have a fondness for road trips.  I could find over 100 places I want to visit just from this book alone.
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From the California Coast to Key West, I am looking forward to getting out and seeing all of the amazing places this country has to offer.  Give me any national monument, national park or site with any historic significance and I am a happy girl.

I am very much looking forward to the days when Don and I are both retired so that we can do some of these incredible road trips (I have a ways to go before I retire, so I’m hoping we can do at least a handful of them before that time).

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 78 Making yourself happy

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 78
169. What is the last thing you did just to make yourself happy?

The last time I did something to make myself happier just happened today.

I decided that I would take a few hours off of work tomorrow to just come home and decompress and spend some quiet time by myself.  I’ve been experiencing an excess amount of anxiety the last few days.  I’ve had to talk myself out of numerous panic attacks just within the last 24 hours.  One of which was at 2:00am this morning.  I know my anxiety is about at it’s max capacity when I wake up in the middle of the night and I’m not able to go back to sleep because I feel so anxious and panicky.  This morning was one of those times.  I woke up unexpectedly and before I could will myself back to sleep, my mind started racing about work and life.  It’s always seems to be that  my fears are overexaggerated tenfold in the stillness of the night.  So, I decided that it’s important during this time of trying to get through these health issues that I take some “me” time. I made the decision to go into work this morning and explained to my boss that I would like to take a much needed half vacation day tomorrow.  At first I thought of all the different errands I could do during this time, but then stopped myself and had to remember that I was taking this as mental health time.  So the plan is to just come home, change into PJs (yes, even if it’s only 1:00pm in the afternoon) and either put a favorite show on TV or just recline in the chair and put some music on and shut my eyes for a few hours until Don gets home.  However small, I think this little act of kindness to myself will bring me some of the comfort I am desperately seeking right now.

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Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 77 Accomplishments

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 77
95. One thing I want to accomplish TODAY is….

One thing I want to accomplish today is to feel like I’ve actually accomplished something.  ANYTHING!  Just one thing!

From the moment we found out my surgery date on April 1st, I’ve been running around both work and home like a chicken with my head cut off.  I am trying to do the impossible and that is to have everything fully organized in all areas of my life prior to the surgery.  To be transparent, I am a control freak.  Which means I have a very difficult time letting others handle things I feel I should be doing.  Although I am learning to slowly let go of things at home and let Don take on some of the responsibility (which he is more than capable of doing, if I would just let him), I have a much harder time with this at work. Everyday I go into work with a full list of “to-do” items.  Although I am making some progress on getting a back-up trained for when I am out, I am making very little (or more accurately… none) progress on getting anything done that I want to accomplish before I leave.  This is causing unnecessary anxiety that I just don’t need right now.

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Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

So if I were to say just ONE thing that I want to accomplish TODAY alone, it would be to mark just one item off of my work to-do list.  I still have a few hours to try and accomplish this.. wish me luck!

 

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 76 A perfect Spring Day Continued

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 76
171. Describe a perfect spring day and activities on that day… continued

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I am going to do something a little different today.  Instead of getting a new topic for the day, I’m going to continue yesterdays topic.  I think I am just so excited that it finally feels like spring around here and the rain has let up for a while.  Today we were out and about for another perfect “spring” day so I thought I would just add on to yesterdays topic.

One of the things that Don and I enjoy doing once spring actually hits and the weather starts to clear up is get out on our bicycles.  We do a charity bike ride every year to raise money for the American Diabetes Association.  The past few years this ride has been held in the beautiful Napa winery area.  The past rides we have participated in were 25 mile rides.  This year, they have changed the venue and it will now be in Sonoma (still a beautiful location) and they upped the mileage from 25 to 30.  This is going to be a challenge for me since I am not going to be able to do many training rides due to the upcoming surgery.  Surgery is April 1st and per doctors orders, no bicycle riding for me for at least 6-8 weeks.  The charity ride is scheduled for June 30th, so that is going to leave me just a few weeks to work my endurance back up to be able to do a full 30 miles.  Especially having just recovered from this rather aggressive surgery, I am not sure how feasible this is going to be.  But I’m willing to give it a shot.  So, you can imagine how excited we were to get out today on this beautiful pre-spring day to get in a little riding.

Now, before I go any further, I do have to clarify that Don enjoys bike riding much more than I do.  I don’t necessarily dislike it, but I definitely do it more because it is something he enjoys and wants me to do with him.  Some people are just better equipped for certain physical activity.  He is a super bicyclist when it comes to endurance and enjoyment (he isn’t going to be riding the century ride (100 miles) are anything like that, but he is way better than I am).  Me… If we rode for 10-15 miles and that was it, I would be fine with that.  I am not one that feels like I need to push to the 30 or 50 miles rides.  I do the 30 mile for him, because that’s what we do when we love someone.  It’s the same as when he gave Zumba a try for me (which was hysterical because the boy has zero rhythm).

Today was a perfect bike riding day.  The sun was out, but it was not super hot.  The weather was a beautiful 70 degrees.  Due to all of the rains recently, all of the hills and meadows were so colorful.  I wanted so badly to stop and take pictures every 50 feet.. but I didn’t want to hold up the group so I didn’t.  I will be forever sad that I didn’t stop to get a picture of a goat sitting up on a tracker looking like he was driving it.  I could kick myself because what are the odds of seeing that again anytime soon?

Overall it was a good day.  I had a tough time with the ride though.  It was hard on my legs and now that we are home, I am so sore.  But Don is happy and that is what matters.  🙂

 

 

 

 

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 75 A perfect spring day

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 75
171. Describe a perfect spring day and activities on that day

Although we are still a few days before it is officially spring, I am going to have to say that today was probably what I would describe as a perfect spring day for me.

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Being a spoiled California gal, I am used to some pretty typical weather conditions.  That would be blue skies and mild temperatures.  Although we do get a few really cold days (really cold in California terms) and a handful of really hot days, the majority of our days are average temperatures.  70 degrees is a pretty standard temperature around here.  It seems that this year we have had a large influx of wet weather.  This is good in some degree since California has been going through a drought for several years, but at the same time, there have been whole weeks that have just been rainy and overcast.  It has been a while since we have seen a full day of sun.

Today was that day and it was amazing.  I was very grateful to get out and absorbing some of that vitamin D.  Although, I did end up coming home with my arms completely burnt.  It’s been so long since the sun has been out that I completely forgot to put some sunblock in my purse.  I have extremely fair skin so it does not take much for me to burn.

My perfect spring day consisted of spending the day at the little league park watching my adorable Grandson playing T-Ball.  T-Ball in itself is just so fun to watch because the kids are all so little and are not yet old enough to be fully into the game.  So you get to watch the majority of them picking grass in the outfield or talking to each other while they stand on bases.  It is probably one of the cutest things I’ve seen in a long time.

 

The sun was out and shining, but yet it was not overly hot, which is perfect (I’m not a fan of the heat).  My favorite season is spring because I love when there is sunshine with a nice cool breeze.

I also love how the hills are so green and pretty this time of the year.  It won’t be long before these same hills are fully brown.  Another reason to enjoy ever second of spring while I can.

 

 

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 74 Being Creative

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 74
384.  How much time can you realistically dedicate to your creative work each week?

Prior to committing to this 365 day blog challenge, I would say that I dedicate almost zero hours for creativity each week.  Several years ago I kept a gratitude journal.  Everyday I would take a picture of something that I was grateful for and then write a small little journal entry about the picture.  That was a great creative outlet.  I guess I find that I have to challenge myself to something before I give myself permission to take the time to do the things that I enjoy.  Similar to this 365 day blog post challenge.  If I did not make the commitment to do this, I’m sure I would find 100 excuses to do other things and not give myself the time to sit down and write each day.
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One thing other then blogging and journaling that I would really like to have more time to do that helps me feel creative is scrapbooking.  I used to spend many hours scrapbooking and eventually just stopped doing it because I had so many other things going on in life.  It’s amazing how work, errands, cooking, cleaning and family obligations always take precedence over getting to do the things that we enjoy.  Being creative is so important for are sanity.  It should be just as much of a priority as all the other “life” things.

My Hysterectomy Story: Yes I am Scared

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It has now been a few weeks since I received the results of my biopsy.  So much has happened in such a short amount of time.  When I received the call that my biopsy results came back showing signs of abnormal cell (precancerous) I was temporarily in shock.  As the doctor proceeded to explain to me that I had Complex Atypical Endometrial Hyperplasia and that it would require a hysterectomy, I remained calm and thanked her for the information.  The very second I hung up and made eye contact with Don, I instantly broke down into tears.  The poor guy had not idea what was going on because I wasn’t able to catch my breath enough through the tears to tell him what the doctor had said.  I can only imagine the panic he must have been feeling while he waited for me to calm down enough to form complete sentences and tell him what was happening.

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Biopsy Time

I was instantly put in touch with the oncology department and an appointment was set to meet with the doctor who would perform the surgery.  The appointment was just a few days after I received the initial call, but it was enough time to do what you should NEVER do when you find out you have any type of illness or that you need a specific surgery.  I did the dreaded internet research.  I watched at least 20 YouTube videos about women that had gone through the surgery and their recovery.  It was all a little disconcerting.  Not that I expected to just have the surgery and be back to my normal self the next week, but watching these videos made me realize that this was a pretty major deal that I was about to go through.  This triggered a hundred different questions in my mind, so I decided to write them all down as they came up so that I could ask the doctor during my appointment.

The appointment with the doctor went well and she was more than happy to answer all of my questions and Don’s.  We discovered that I would have to have a complete hysterectomy (or what they call “radical”).  Which means that they plan on taking out everything.  Cervix, Uterus, Fallopian tubes as well as the ovaries.  This brought up a whole new world of questions, because when you have your ovaries removed, your body goes into what they call surgical menopause.  This can be apparently an aggressive menopause because your body does not have the time needed that it naturally has to go through all the premenopausal stages.  I will technically be wheeled into surgery with ovaries and hormones and be wheeled out of surgery without them.  The body will go into shock looking for it’s estragon and that could trigger some intense changes both physically and emotionally.  I’ve heard menopause can exaggerate preexisting conditions like anxiety.  I really worry about this, because my anxiety is already so extreme that if it were to intensify at the same time I am trying to physically recover from the surgery, this could be extremely challenging.  So now we are faced with trying to figure out if I should do hormone replacement theory.  At least temporarily while my body adjusts to the instant changes.

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OK… It is what it is.

The surgery has been set for April 1st.  I was doing fairly okay the first week.  I even had people at work mention to me that they were surprised at my calmness, because if it were them, they would be super stressed out.  I managed to hid my stress behind the fact that I now only had 3 weeks to get my workload in order before I would have to leave for 4-6 weeks.  I am a one person department, so it’s not like I have someone that I can just hand my work over to and walk out the door.  Someone is going to need to be trained (crash course training).  I also have to make sure that I take care of all the pending issues and the ongoing projects that I am involved with.  To be honest, I didn’t really have time to be stressed about the actual diagnosis or surgery.  I was to busy being stressed about work.

Now that we are only two weeks away from surgery, I am starting to not do so well.  Is to much information a bad thing?  I almost feel like it is, at least for me.  As much as I tell myself to stop looking up things or watching these crazy videos, I just am compelled to do it.  I have now frightened myself about the surgery, the recover and what life is going to hold over the next few months.  I’ve had several surgeries before and this is the fist time that I am actually afraid.  Maybe it’s because my last two surgeries I was in such pain that all I wanted them to do was go in and remove the problem (gallbladder and appendix).  This is different though.  Other then some minor symptoms, I feel fine.  I feel no pain or discomfort.  I don’t have fibroids or endometriosis, which I know is the cause for many people to have a hysterectomy. Other then those pesky abnormal precancerous cells, I’m actually pretty normal.   Which maybe makes the logical side of the brain think, “why are you doing this when you feel fine?”.  I understand that if left untreated this will turn into cancer.  Which of course I don’t want.  So I know the surgery is necessary.  I’m just struggling with the fears of everything that is about to transpire.  The fear of the unknown is a terrible thing to try and conquer.  I am so grateful that I have Don and my wonderful parents to help me through this, but it is not helping the fear and anxiety.  I am just downright scared.

I plan to documents my journey in hopes of helping myself (writing my emotions is very therapeutic for me), so here is to the start of this scary journey.  Thank you for all of those that will stick through this with me and provide words of encouragement.  I have a strange feeling I am going to need an excessive amount of support throughout this process.

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 73 Rest and Relaxation

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 73
125. How important is rest and relaxation to you?

Rest and Relaxation are two of my favorite words.  How important are these things to me?  Extremely!  That being said, do I actually incorporate these into my daily life?  Absolutely not.

I know the importance of getting both sufficient rest and enough relaxation.  I just unfortunately do not allow myself to do what I know I should.  My logical brain tells me that rest is vital in so many ways.  If I got more rest, I would be able to concentrate more at work, be able to boost my mood and have a better handle on my weight and health.  The strange part is that I am always exhausted.  So you would think that if you are exhausted you would be able to fall asleep at a reasonable hour and stay asleep, right?  Yet, I don’t.

I spent 18 years living with a special needs animal that would require me to get up several times in the middle of the night to take care of him.  For 18 years, I never slept a full night through.  Even when on vacation my body was just so adapted to not sleeping   that I would end up waking up several times out of habit.  Even when he was not trying to wake me, he was always wanting to lay so close to me that it could make it difficult to sleep.  I know some would say that I was crazy to put up with it, but it was my love and I did everything I could to make sure he had a happy life.  Sleep just seemed so unimportant.  He passed a year ago, and I am still not sleeping through the night.  I do get more sleep then I did when he was with us, but still do not get any good or consistent sleep.  Hopefully that will improve over time.

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That’s me… trying to sleep underneath all the cats!

As for relaxation… boy, that is a story all in itself. I have a pretty strong Type A personality which leaves little room for relaxation.  I find it very difficult to just sit and do nothing.  Even if we are home in the evening just hanging out watching TV, I am the type of person that jumps up every 15 minutes because I remembered something I need to do.  I am not one that can just say, “oh, I’ll do that later”.  When I think of it, I have to do it.  Even when we are on vacation I find it hard to just lay back and relax.  I find it hard to lay around at the pool for more than an hour before I start feeling fidgety and anxious.
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I will soon be undergoing a major surgery which will require me to basically do next to nothing other anywhere from 4-6 weeks.  This could either go two ways.  1.) I could learn that relaxing and allowing my body to heal and decompress is not such a terrible thing, or 2.) I could have a complete anxiety attack because I won’t be able to get up and do all the things that I normally do.  Hmmmm… only time will tell I guess.

Just between us… I already have a list of things I want to accomplish that won’t require me to get out of bed.  Which means I can still be type A personality and stay productive, but still follow doctors orders.  😉

 

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 72 My favorite songs

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 72
83. My top favorite songs right now are…

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I am a big music lover.  To me, music is a form of therapy.  I listen to music all day while at work.  It helps to keep me centered and lowers my stress.  I have always been a big music person.  I remember being a young teen, sitting in my room just listing to albums (oh no.. showing my age there), sometimes listening to the same song over and over.  There are certain songs that make me cry.  Other songs make me want to dance and others provoke deep thoughts and feelings about certain people or events.  Often times I find that songs say things that I wish I could express.  It’s like the song is reading my mind.. or my soul.  I’ve always wished I could sing.  I would love to be able to express myself through music.  I guess I’ll have to wait for my genie with the magic lamp that I  can rub and get 3 wishes.  I’ll need to use one of those wishes on a good singing voice, because I surely don’t have one now.

As for what kind of music I like, I would have to say pretty much all music.  I go through phases.  I am currently in my country music phase.  Next month, I may switch over to 80’s music and the next month I may get really into listening to current pop.  I listen to rock and oldies and of course, I love me a good love song (any genre).

I have several specific artists that I am really into right now.  Chester See, Justin Timberlake and my all time favorite at the moment… Mr. Kane Brown.  I have my go-to favorites that I will always crank the sound up if a song comes on while I’m driving.  Prince is an example of one of them.  If I hear “When Doves Cry”, “Little Red Corvette” or “1999” come on the radio, I am going to blast it and sing along (regardless of who may see me).

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My current play list is pretty diverse.
-Calum Scott & Leona Lewis (You are the reason)
-Jennifer Nettles (Unlove you)
-Maroon 5 (Girls like you)
-Sam Smith (Too Good for Goodbye and Lay me Down)
-Danielle Bradbery (Worth it)
-Kane Brown (What Ifs, Heaven, Good as you… basically ALL songs Kane Brown)
-Little Big Town (When someone stops love you and Girl Crush)
-Luke Bryan (Strip it down)
-Chester See (Who am I to stand in your way)
-Dan + Shay (Speechless)
-Calum Scott (No matter what)

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