I've spent way too long walking by this computer, whistling, trying to figure out what to write. I feel I should have come to some sort of epiphany by now, but no. I'm still thinking in circles. The "last day" of work has come and gone. I'm still working - and it's been crazy busy - but I really do believe that my "for sure" last day with this company will be next Friday the 19th. Hard to believe. It's been a pretty good ride, and I got paid way more than I ever thought I would over the years. But it's time to rein it in, slow down, and enjoy life a little more. I have one iron in the fire. A possible part time job - just a couple of days a week that could possibly work into more. But first I need to get just that couple of days a week - then I'd feel a little more relaxed.
In between worrying and wondering, we took a trip to Utah about 3-4 weeks ago. I got to see my brother and his family who live there, and of course, our Andrew - who was the main purpose of our trip. L's little online company is now getting enough orders every day (Clean Screen Magic! - the best cleaner for your devices, TV, glasses, etc. that you'll ever find) that we were able to drive the shipping operation up to him and let him take over. It was a good feeling for everyone. Now L doesn't have to worry about it, and it gives Andrew a job, so it's a win/win. I spent the better part of the time there (what else?) working in the hotel room, but I did manage to get in a wonderful visit with Nancy and Michelle, who are two old friends from way way back. It was hilarious, and healing, and good for the soul. We laughed and carried on just like 20 years hadn't gone by. Because in our heads, it hasn't. We are the same girls we always were, and even better.
And, of course, my brother and his family. He is my youngest brother and I don't get to see him often enough. They're building a beautiful big house and it was fun getting the tour from Ariana, his 8 year old, through the framed structure. His wife, Greta, also introduced me to a lady who runs an apothecary shop in Orem. All kinds of essential oils and herbs and books and... I was overwhelmed. After a short conversation with her about my health woes, she told me I needed to get off grains for 90 days and showed me the diet plan in one of her books. So I bought the book, started the diet, and here we are, 1 month into it. I hadn't felt very well up to that point. My joints - especially my knees and hands were constantly swollen and sore. (I was in the process of changing medications, so that didn't help.)
I'd be telling whoppers if I said I didn't miss bread, and doughnuts, and all of that deliciousness. But it hasn't been as difficult as I thought it would be. There's a lot of help out there on Pinterest, people. And I've found recipes that even my husband thinks are wonderful. And they're grain free. Too soon to tell if it's helping - I've read that it takes a couple of months, and even the full 90 days. The interesting part will be seeing if a) I feel better by that time and b) I can introduce things like brown rice back in, or even wheat once in a while if I'm careful about the source. On this diet you're actually supposed to go both grain free AND dairy free, but I knew I'd never be able to do both at once, so I just chose the grains. I don't drink or use milk, but the cheese... the CHEESE! Hard to completely stop that goodness.
Also on our trip to Utah, I stumbled upon the best little organic cafe and herb shop. The "master herbalist" there told me to try one concoction made from marshmallow root to help calm my immune system down, and another capsule made from turmeric, ginger and cayenne to help with inflammation. And dang if they didn't make me feel better! They smell horrible, and the ginger/turmeric/cayenne ones give me the worst hot heartburn if I don't take them with food - but it all has really helped to just chill everything out. Sooo wonderful after having swollen knees and digits up to that time!
I had a couple of blogging friends I was hoping to catch up with while in Utah, but it didn't happen. My work got cray cray, and what little time I had to get out to do other things, was spent doing the above. It just gives me an excuse to go back, right? Maybe in the fall, when it's not so hot.
I also had a birthday. A quiet little 61 year old birthday. I talked to my friend Marion on her birthday a week before mine, and she said that 61 was a little boring, and that it sounded much more exciting to say you were 65. She's right. 61 is a little mousey. Not a lot of pizzaz there. Both of our "special days" were pretty quiet, but we plan to celebrate properly in a few months when she FINALLY moves down to the Central Coast of California from Olympia, Washington. I'm looking forward to that - not only because she'll be closer, but because it means that there will be another good excuse to visit the Central Coast, which is one of my favorite areas to visit - San Luis Obispo, etc. It's so beautiful, and the pace of life is just a bit slower. I love it there.
I've been doing some shopping with my birthday money, but its surprising how hard it is to decide what to buy when your paychecks are on the verge of drying up. Like, whatever I get, I really want to love it. I know, I know... I'm being a little overly dramatic, like I'll never see another dollar again. But that's how I feel. Kind of. I like to be a girl with a plan, and (at least today) I'm not that girl. Yet. But I'm keeping my eyes open. Nothing too crazy, but just a little something to keep busy and have my own money. Yes, I'm still doing for my aunt, and my parents are needing more attention, so like I said - nothing too crazy, as I need time for them as well. And time to go see the little ones, and my big ones too. The kids have kids. But I also need money for that - see? It's like a crazy circle, and I'm the monkey in the middle.
So let's see... ending job, searching for something, but not sure what. Trying to find my way back to better health, but some days it's really hard, and not as tasty as I'd like it to be.
But I am finding that, in my (boring) 61st year, I am finding a discipline and resolve that wasn't there before. So I CAN do this diet, and get through it. I forgot to mention that I'd done a 6 week health challenge with my daughter Katie (who, while on her 10 year anniversary weekend, crashed on her moped and broke her ankle. And she can't walk. And she has 3 kids. And stairs. And Drezden just started to walk. A story for another day.) ANYWAY - We couldn't have soda or alcohol or anything to drink except water. For 6 weeks. And you know what? I don't miss those Diet Cokes any more. So maybe, just maybe, I'll get to a point where I won't miss my sweet treats so much. I'll give it a good try, anyway. Because swollen joints are just not fun, and I'm tired of that party.
Are we all caught up now? I've been a bad, bad blogger. Now I need to go and catch up on reading what all of you have been up to. As I embark on a new chapter of life, I have to say I never thought not having a job would give me so much angst. I remember when having the job gave me angst. We've come full circle. Wish me luck as the last week looms. It just feels so awkward and odd. I really am anxious to just get through it and have it over with. Then maybe it'll be easier to move on. In the meantime, as I evolve toward better health: zucchini noodles, anyone?