Birthdays are less fun in your thirties

When you’re young, birth­days are a thing to count down to, some­thing to antic­i­pate with excite­ment. What could the day bring? Who would you see? What presents would there be?

Once you’re out­side of the teens, it sort of goes down­hill from there. If you’re into drink­ing, than 21 is a big deal — I’m not, and it wasn’t. After that it’s, 25? 30? Nothing much really hap­pened on those years. I threw myself a birth­day party last year, and while I had fun — it’s less fun when you do all the plan­ning, cook­ing and clean­ing to pre­pare for it, and then get every­thing put back together after.

This year, I took the day off from work, which is a big-ish deal because I haven’t used more than a cou­ple days off all year (aside from the reg­u­larly sched­ule one day per week, or a national hol­i­day where the library is closed — but those are usu­ally made up for by an extra long day later in the week). I did have a nice day, but it was like any other day off with a lit­tle more say in what we do all day.

We went apple pick­ing, and it was beau­ti­ful weather out.20150926_120125[1]

We stopped for lunch on the way home. I did some plan­ning and plot­ting for my novel for the after­noon — inten­tion­ally not doing the house­work that needed doing. Then we walked down to main street for some frozen yogurt with extra top­pings at Orange Leaf. A nice day, but noth­ing over­whelm­ing or excit­ing like child­hood birthdays.

Being 30 wasn’t that bad, it wasn’t really all that good of a year though, which didn’t have any­thing to do with my age. Generally, age doesn’t really mat­ter to me — just because of how my mind works, I usu­ally keep a men­tal list of how old every­one is just because I can’t keep the stu­pid details out of my head, but that’s about where it stops. I don’t care how old peo­ple are and I’ve mostly stopped car­ing that every­one who guesses doesn’t really know how old I am. It used to bother me that no one thought I was an adult, any­one who tried put me as about 10 years younger than real­ity. Now, it’s usu­ally about 8 years younger, or rarely 6 years younger. But, it only both­ers me because it’s done in a way, at work, where they think I don’t know what I’m doing because of my lack of age. That’s a dif­fer­ent prob­lem, and it’s not mine either.

I don’t feel much like an adult, but I know that I do plenty of adult things because I have to and no one else will do them for me — which is my def­i­n­i­tion of being an adult.

I’m hop­ing that 31 is bet­ter than 30 was, as far as things hap­pen­ing. I started a yoga class that I enjoy, and the hus­band and I are con­sciously try­ing to eat bet­ter food choices. I’m mak­ing a lot more of an effort to fin­ish my novel’s third draft before my next birth­day. To do that, I need to write more and spend less time rest­ing my brain with the noth­ing­ness of twit­ter and tum­blr. The last cou­ple weeks I’ve been doing a lot of novel plan­ning, and a lit­tle think­ing about blog­ging. I tried blog­ging for a month  at my “author blog” site, but made it about two weeks.

I dis­cov­ered that I just don’t want to blog that often, or about writ­ing, that much. So now, I need to fig­ure out what I want to blog about, how much, and where. I don’t have an answer for that, and my ini­tial reac­tion is to con­tinue on the not blog­ging train and just con­cen­trate on writ­ing my book. There’s only so much time in a day, and that is what is most impor­tant to me.

House built in 1850 slowing falling apart

I’m sure there’s a say­ing that things in the old days were built to last. That they stood the test of time. etc etc

I dis­agree. My house was built in those old days, and it’s falling apart.

Everything is wrong with it.

The pipe in the base­ment doesn’t drain in win­ter. Today, the tile holder thing for soap fell off.

So, there’s a hole in the wall of my shower.

Luckily there’s some extra tile in the base­ment. We picked up some adhe­sive and can just stick the tiles where the holder was.

But this house is most cer­tainly not stand­ing the test of time.

Weekend Away

Last week my hus­band was on vaca­tion, and this past week­end I took Saturday off to head to the beach. It was the most relax­ing doing noth­ing we’ve had in a long time.

We drove up Friday night, and thanks to Google, had no trou­ble find­ing it. He loves hav­ing a map that he can scroll through and see where turns are com­ing up and plan­ning out what lane we want to be in. It saves so much frus­tra­tion for both of us.

We arrived and the room was pretty nice, not big, but had every­thing we needed from it. Except wi-fi! It was being upgraded so wasn’t work­ing in the rooms. :grr:

We would have liked a DVD player, but we had books so it wasn’t a loss to not watch a movie before bed. We walked down for din­ner, (and it was super expen­sive D: ) then walked back along the beach.

Sandy toes :D

A photo posted by Amanda (@notquitepetite) on

I love putting my toes in the sand and let­ting the water run over them. After a long day at work, then dri­ving for two hours, it felt nice to get shoes off. Although my new san­dals, while cute, scraped the side of my foot raw :(

Foot pain aside, we ended the night early after reading.

Saturday we slept in, got ready, and had break­fast before walk­ing along the shops, com­ing back for lunch then head­ing out for mini golf. I did really poorly the first time out, on the kid’s course. The sec­ond course we did, the chal­leng­ing one, I did really well! My hus­band did amaz­ingly on every­thing, as usual. But I beat par five holes in a row toward the end, and it felt nice. We walked out along the beach for ice cream and saw a rest­ing seal. We couldn’t get too close, and it was near­ing dusk so we couldn’t see well, but it was pretty cool anyway.

Sunday we got up early and it was pour­ing, so our plan to go to the Zoo was dashed :( but we did walk around in the rain at another beach before stop­ping at the out­lets to pick up some shirts for the hus­band and head­ing home to our cats.

Such a lovely week­end. I’m glad we were able to spend the time together, we don’t often see each other much, and it’s hard, but we have to work so we make the best of it.

All or nothing

I have a lot of inter­ests, and a love/hate bat­tle with hav­ing things all together, or noth­ing together at all.

Sometimes I want one place to put every­thing. Sometimes I want every­thing to have it’s own place.

Mostly I just want some­thing sim­ple. But by try­ing to orga­nize it all, it’s just a mess in either case.

I want to do so many things, and end up doing noth­ing. Write a novel or five, read a book a week, but also have friends online and offline — inter­act with them, see what they’re up to. Draw or color, or sew, or cro­chet, or paint. Remodel the house, plant a gar­den. Blog about it all.

We’ve decided to start try­ing again, and I’m wor­ried that this back and forth, all or noth­ing approach to life is going to have me falling flat in any attempt at san­ity once a small human is intro­duced to the mix.

On the one hand, I’m look­ing for­ward to it. When you have too many balls to jug­gle, but one more is tossed in, you catch the one that’s the most impor­tant to you. On the other hand, I’m ter­ri­bly unco­or­di­nated and I’m wor­ried about just drop­ping every­thing and giv­ing myself a black eye.


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I had a miscarriage

… and that shouldn’t make me feel like I’ve done some­thing wrong, or that it’s some­thing to hide, but it does.

The whole preg­nancy and mis­car­riage expe­ri­ence is some­what shrouded in mys­tery. But, it really shouldn’t be. Until I went through it, I never knew how many oth­ers had also been through that pain. After read­ing about, or hear­ing their sto­ries, I feel lucky that it went as “smoothly” as it did.

It did not.

But it could have been much worse.

We found out when I was 8 weeks, that the baby had stopped grow­ing at 6 weeks. The Dr. rat­tled off three options over the phone, 1) wait 2) med­i­cine that may not work 3) surgery with a name I didn’t catch, because panic — we’ve lost the baby. I was in shock and didn’t know what to do, what to think, so I chose to wait. He said not to call back for at least 3 weeks and that was the end of that.

3 weeks later, I still felt preg­nant, or the same symp­toms I’d had for about two months.  Nauseous like I’d just stepped off a roller coaster, but not enough to throw up. Just a con­tin­u­ous yuck. Exhausted beyond the nor­mal exhaus­tion I always feel. If I ate any­thing, I could only force down a few bites before feel­ing over­stuffed, but in a max­i­mum of 2 hours I’d feel like I was starv­ing. If I went more than 2 hours with­out some food, I’d get such a belly­ache. I never slept well. The whole time period just sort of went by in a blur. I wasn’t really men­tally around for any of it.

I lost about 8 pounds through­out the 3 months I was going through all this. I also gained a cup size, and a big­ger belly pooch, so I don’t know exactly where I lost it from.

I’ve kept off about 5 since.

After those long 3 weeks, I called the Dr back, ready for any­thing to make my life nor­mal again. I just wanted to not feel sick, to not be late to work, to make it through a day.

I had the D&C surgery a lit­tle over a week ago. I felt bet­ter, a lot bet­ter, almost right away. Every day I feel more and more like myself. I’m still deal­ing with some after effects, but I can go to work, feel like I’m doing a good job, come home and be able to do some­thing else.

And that’s huge. I had no idea just how awful I felt until I felt bet­ter again.

My point is this: I went through a trau­matic expe­ri­ence and only told peo­ple when I couldn’t find another way out of it (my mom because I needed a ride home after surgery, my boss’ because I needed to use sick leave). It shouldn’t be some­thing to hide, to lie about, or be kept stig­ma­tized in secrecy.

Early mis­car­riages are more com­mon than I ever knew. If I had known, I wouldn’t have felt so ter­ri­ble about telling peo­ple. I wouldn’t have felt like I was ruin­ing things, or that I’d be writ­ten off as a fail­ure, or dra­ma­tiz­ing things for atten­tion. It wouldn’t have taken away the pain of the loss, but it would have helped to have some­one to talk to.

My hus­band has been a sweet­heart through the whole thing, but there’s noth­ing like some­one who’s been there to under­stand. And that’s what this comes down to, if as women we talk to each other about these types of things, than we’ll feel less alone. If we don’t feel alone, or dif­fer­ent on top of every­thing else we’re feel­ing, than it won’t be as bad. It may still be bad, but at least we’ll know it’s not just us.

It’s not easy

I hate the phrase you see over and over in begin­ning help posts about fit­ness. It’s always some vari­a­tion of “it’s not hard, just do it.” It’s like every­one in the fit­ness blog­ging world works for Nike.

Well, it is hard. If it wasn’t, more peo­ple would run marathons on their Sundays.

You’re not sup­posed to make excuses, but really, some­times it’s just real­ity and facts. Sure, I could push myself to do more, to go out and run, or to lift weights, and maybe I’d even feel bet­ter after.

But start­ing is hard.

When your body is tired, worn out and just not up to any­thing, then it’s not just hard. It’s not just mental.

I may not be that over­weight, and I may not even be that out of shape. But I’m exhausted.

I’ve been sick since January for unre­lated rea­sons, and that has sapped every­thing from me. My energy, my spirit, any moti­va­tion I might have had.

It’s also made it really essen­tial that I start tak­ing bet­ter care of myself. I’ve cut back a lot on my sugar and processed foods con­sump­tion. I still need to work on pack­ing bet­ter lunches, but mostly I’ve just con­cen­trated on get­ting through a work day. My work days are long, and there are six of them all in a row with a day to play catch up on house­work before doing it all over again.

It’s not easy.

A few months ago, I started wear­ing a step counter. On my lazy at home days I aver­age about 8000 steps, on my busy work days I can eas­ily clear 14000 steps. That was just a base­line. With this sick­ness I’ve had, I’ve lost 5–7 pounds. Mostly from eat­ing smaller por­tions and giv­ing up a lot of sugar.

I don’t have a plan. I’m not going to say that I’ll get out to start walk­ing more, or that I’ll start using my tread­mill. Since I prob­a­bly won’t. Just like with eat­ing bet­ter, I’m only going to con­cen­trate my effort into mak­ing bet­ter choices as I face them.

Then we’ll see what hap­pens. Maybe when it’s nice out, I’ll decide to go for a walk one morn­ing. Maybe I’ll just stroll around the nearby park. Maybe I’ll enjoy that, and decide that on Thursday morn­ings I’ll start going for walks.

We’ll start with that in mind: no pres­sure, no dead­lines, no stress.

Room progress

Last week­end, I had an actual week­end! Two days off, in a row. It was amazing.

So, I cleaned my room. I now have actual space on my desk. There are no papers on the floor that the cat likes to lay on.

Hinata on star rug

Hinata on star rug

She lays on the clean floor now.

There are actual files in my fil­ing cab­i­net — one of the draw­ers anyway.

I still have plenty to do. My book­cases need some help, I have two bro­ken chairs which are hold­ing blan­kets, and I’m using a din­ing chair as my com­puter chair. My desk, no mat­ter how much of it I uncover, is still too small.

But, it’s a whole lot more usable than it was before.

I can’t say the same about my laun­dry room.

ugly frozen sink

ugly frozen sink

Yuup. This is how we do laun­dry in a house built before laun­dry machines. Except, add a space heater. So, since I had to get my hus­band to explain what was mak­ing my wash­ing machine not drain, this is what’s going on:

That lit­tle u-bendy white pipe is the drain for the big-olé cement sink. The black pipe is the direct line to the sewer/drain out of the house. The yel­low insu­la­tion all around doesn’t actu­ally insu­late any­thing because that white pipe keeps freez­ing. Also, the big cement sink has a crack down the back side of it which is only patched halfway up. On a nor­mal day, that’s fine, because the sink will drain the water before it reaches the crack.

It hasn’t been a nor­mal win­ter. It’s been cold. So, with insu­la­tion that doesn’t do it’s job, and a cracked sink, the pipe freezes, so it won’t drain, so the sink backs up, and rises enough so that it starts leak­ing out the top and down the back of the insu­la­tion. The bucket is to catch the water, but under­neath it is just dirt so I’m not sure why we bother. Probably because the ground is frozen and might leak onto the wood floor.

Fortunately, run­ning the space heater while the washer is going seems to have fixed the sink back­ing up issue. It’s rather annoy­ing though, since it’s the one we use in the bath­room so I have to keep bring­ing it up and down stairs. Not that we can shower while the washer’s going any­way, so it’s not like we need it in two places at once.

And, yes, we have the space heater in the bath­room because the heater that’s in there doesn’t work. At least there is a reg­is­ter in the bath­room, two of the bed­rooms don’t even have that.

My room is a mess

In the gen­eral busy­ness that hap­pens as a result of the hol­i­days, my room became a dump­ing ground for every­thing else in the house that was out of place. As a result there are boxes, papers, and extra chairs in here so that I don’t even want to be in the space. I go through spurts of really clean­ing out and it always seems like no mat­ter how much I clean, it stays the same.

I’m not about to say I’m going to change any­thing. We don’t have the time or money to actu­ally do any­thing about it, but it does make me reflect on the space some and it’s use­ful­ness. It’s obvi­ously not serv­ing its pur­pose. I think that’s in part because it has to be so many things.

  • It houses my books. So, it’s a library, but with no place com­fort­able to sit in read. Somehow I’ve acquired 3 com­puter chairs, but they’re all bro­ken to some degree.
  • It’s where I pay the bills and keep track of all the paper­work. I have to clear off space in front of my key­board to write a check, and some­times have to hunt down where I last put the check­book. Luckily, it’s only a once a month occur­rence since the bulk of things are on auto­matic with­drawals, sav­ing me hav­ing to remem­ber to pay them.
  • I write in here. Well, wrote, in here, at some point. Mostly I write at work, but all my notes are in here, and my ref­er­ence books, and the com­puter where I type what I’ve writ­ten. I would write in here if I had a place to put my note­book down.
  • I have the sup­plies to craft in here, but no actual sur­face to craft on. I seem to be fol­low­ing a trend. I need a big­ger desk. And less stuff on it.
  • I also have a yoga mat, hand weights and blocks for doing fit­ness things, with the inten­tion of fol­low­ing videos on YouTube, but not floor space because of all the pre­vi­ously men­tioned boxes and papers. Also, time, but that’s not some­thing I can do any­thing about.
  • There are col­lec­tions of can­dles that I never light, and stuffed ani­mals that have sen­ti­men­tal value but no actual purpose.
  • I have a light table I bor­rowed from my Dad to cre­ate the map for my novel. I should just give it back.
  • There’s also a cat box, and bed, extra blan­kets from when we had com­pany over for the holidays.

My closet is fairly orga­nized still from the last time I fixed it up, so I’m not wor­ried about it. Although I should be. Just because the stuff is out of the way, doesn’t mean it’s needed.
I could get rid of a lot of stuff. I can eas­ily make that deci­sion for a lot of the paper that I really don’t need to save. I should do that, since it’s tak­ing over my desk.
The hard deci­sions, is what to do with my craft­ing sup­plies. A lot was bought with good inten­tions. I want to make the projects I’ve planned, but I know I don’t have time. I know that, even if I had time, that there are other things I want to do with that time. When throw­ing things away is not only waste­ful, bad for the envi­ron­ment, but it also costs $1 per bag that can only hold up to 10 pounds … that is why I hold on to things.

I’ve read blogs and arti­cles in books, which all give the same advice. To clear up a space you have to get rid of stuff, then decide what you want the room to be, and set up clear zones so that every­thing has a home. I get that, I agree with that, but … I fail at the actu­ally get­ting rid of stuff part.
So, maybe that’s my goal for this year? The goal I thought I wasn’t going to set. Get rid of stuff.

Thoughts on the upcoming year

A lot of peo­ple have had pretty bad years for 2014. I’m not sure mine was bad, but I don’t remem­ber most of it. I worked a lot, and that’s kind of it.

I had an awe­some vaca­tion, and that’s lit­er­ally the high­light of my year, one week in June.

Preservation Station

Playing with tiger cubs, pet­ting wolves, shak­ing hands with an orang­utan, hold­ing a chim­panzee, feed­ing an ele­phant, pet­ting a bin­tur­ong, snug­gling up to a lynx cub, see­ing a chee­tah, an otter, ligers, and an eagle up close.

The rest of the year is kind of a blur. I’m sure we did things, saw peo­ple, but we mostly just worked. It was bet­ter than 2013, I know that. I’m more con­fi­dant in my jobs, and was able to do some new stuff. I think if things con­tinue the way they’ve been, than 2015 will be even better.

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