It Got Real Really Fast

Weight Loss Endeavors No. 11

I must offer a sincere apology to my faithful readers. I haven’t posted a “Weight Loss Endeavors” update in two weeks; because my schedule changed and I hit a bit of a down period due to PTSD triggers.

I’m also going to have to change the day of the week that these posts hit — once again. (I know, I know… but I truly appreciate those of you who have stuck with me, as the previous shift was made.) I will now be posting these pieces on Fridays — when I am free of academic obligations.

So let’s get started with the nitty-gritty.

Weigh-in History

Thursday, August 18th: 264.2 lbs
Sunday, August 28th: 263.4 lbs

Contrary to the thought that I had gained a little over half a pound, I actually lost a lil’ more than half a pound. Seems I was stewing over a mathematical mistake (due to the unstable memory of an aging brain) rather than my weight πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ.

Unfortunately, that brooding caused some unhealthy food choices over the past week; so I’m not sure that I’ll see an additional loss on the scale the next time I sack up and step on to the damn thing. Sigh.

Fast Food and Snowballs

I’ve been so busy with school that I can’t honestly recount what or when I’ve eaten over the past week; but I can remember what I ate yesterday.

After school, I was craving salt and fat; so I had a twenty-piece McNuggets, french fries, and a Hi-C Orange drink. It tasted good for all of about a nanosecond, and then I just felt icky and sluggish for the rest of the day (a sentiment that Mitchell shared).

We didn’t make dinner due to exhaustion and the previously mentioned “icky” feelings; but we did snack throughout the evening. I had Chex Mix, pretzel sticks, Snowballs and Krispy treats. (I know, why would you eat all that junk when you’re feeling like crap? Because you have a binge-eating habit that’s really hard to break.)

Needless to say, I wasn’t very happy with myself by the time I went to bed.

I’ve mentioned before that counting calories doesn’t really work for me, because I view it as a challenge. (i.e. If I can eat 1700 calories/day and lose a pound each week, then I will eat 1700 calories/day! Hungry or not!) But I think I can somewhat modify this type of thinking.

I’m hoping that if I pay attention only to the unnecessary items that I eat, like Krispy treats (they really are my favorite thing in the whole world), and then add those calories to my workout (if one treat is X calories, then I need to work off an additional X calories the next day), I might end up with a better understanding of how these poorer choices are affecting my weight. I could also decide that an extra X minutes on the recumbent bike really isn’t worth that next sugary snack.

So here is my promise to you Dear Reader: I will keep track of the calories I’m consuming that truly aren’t needed for my everyday activity level, and will add them to my workouts this week… at least, until I get dizzy and fall off the treadmill 🀣. I will report back to you about how much additional time it takes to keep the Krispy treats from taking up residence in my already-sizeable thighs… and we’ll decide together if it’s really worth it.

Shifting My Perspective

It would be easy to sit and mull over the fact that I haven’t lost a great deal of weight over the past couple of months, despite my toiling at the gym… and I did do that for a while; but recently, I thought about the history of my weight.

Over the past five years, I have put on approximately twenty pounds each year. This year, however, I’ve managed to maintain my weight. I may not be losing, but I ain’t gainin’ either… so my efforts have not been for naught.

I know this isn’t a grand revelation or anything; but it’s enough to keep me moving forward.

Workout Review

This is a review that covers all the time between my last workout posted (Monday, August 15th) and today. To say it’s “dismal” would be kind. Due to the fact that I’ve been drowning in a swarm of new activity, I’m not going to bother with the days I didn’t work out, just with the ones that I did.

Friday, August 19th

Bike: 30 min 6.66 miles 235 cals burned
Treadmill: 35 min 1.81 miles 262 cals burned

Sunday, August 28th

Bike: 30 min 5.95 miles 192 cals burned
Treadmill: 35 min 1.77 miles 258 cals burned

Monday, August 29th

Bike: 30 min 6.22 miles 224 cals burned
Treadmill: 35 min 1.74 miles 255 cals burned

Wednesday, August 31st

Bike: 20 min 4.39 miles 138 cals burned
Weight Lifting: Upper body 35 min
Treadmill: 25 min 1.23 miles 179 cals burned

Trekking Across Campus

Four days each week, I’m climbing several flights of stairs and hauling my butt across campus with a backpack slung over my shoulders. It isn’t technically working out, but believe me when I say that my forty-four-year-old body can’t tell the difference. LOL!

The Missing Piece

Mitch hasn’t accompanied me to the gym in a while. When he first returned to his day schedule, we talked about hitting the gym when he got home from work; but that hasn’t exactly worked out. By six in the evening, Mitchell has worked a twelve-hour day; and I’ve been running all over town and studying for hours. We’re both exhausted, and neither has the get-up-and-go that would inspire the other to action.

Since I’m the cheerleader in this particular arena, and due to the fact that Mitch can’t go to the gym without me (a thrifty glitch in our membership details), I need to summon the courage to change this. So this week, I’ll take the first step; and talk to my husband about what he is capable of doing during the workweek.

He still goes on weekends, and I’m grateful for that. It is much more fun to have him with me, and I’m more motivated to go with him than I am without.

The Ever-Looming To Do List

It honestly seems that the more I do the more I want to be doing, which can sometimes lead to total paralysis. I start thinking about another task I’d like to be doing while doing the task in front of me, then an additional item on the to-do list jumps to mind, followed by another and another… and I start thinking, “Holy shit! I don’t have enough time left in this life for all this shit! I got started way too late.” Which, inevitably, triggers a brief — but overwhelming — mental and physical paralysis.

This past week, I did get back on track (somewhat) with the laundry; but I have yet to work in my other household chores.

I would also like time to truly enjoy recreational activities; and right now, that just doesn’t seem possible.

I have not been this tired since Bug was a baby. I did not anticipate how exhausting it would be to walk around campus in the sweltering heat of the Sonoran summer. I couldn’t have guessed how mentally taxing one of my courses would be (due to an unruly student and a professor who seems incapable of reigning her in). And I surely didn’t think I’d be falling asleep in the living room, often before eight o’clock.

But! The only way out is through… and so, my lovely readers, I shall persevere. I may never get everything on the damnable to-do list done; but I plan to cross as many things off of it as I possibly can — and just maybe, a few on the bucket list as well. Wish me luck!

Soundtrack: “Bucket List” by Mitchell Tenpenny

“Yeah, life is like a first kiss
You don’t know how long it’s gon’na last
All you get is what you get
And it gets real really fast

I’m a love a lil’ more, dream a lil’ deeper
Leave all the leavers, keep all the keepers
Find peace of mind in the time the Good Lord gives
I’m’a cross one off, put two more on it
Say I love you ‘fore the moments gone
And never have to ask myself what if
When I get to the bottom of my bucket list”

It’s Never Too Late, Exhausted or Not

I’m tired this morning, even though I got plenty of “quality” sleep last night. I’m so tired, in fact, that if I could, I would do nothing today; but since I can’t, I’ll have to get moving eventually (by 1:00 p.m. at the latest, if I want to make it to class on-time… which I do).

Why am I so tired, you might ask. Well, returning to campus for my courses this semester has been a bit more challenging than I imagined it would be…

You Have to Get Dressed… Go Figure

First, taking online courses doesn’t require that you get up every morning and make yourself presentable for the world; taking courses in person requires that, at the very least, you shower and throw on something other than clean pajamas.

Clashing Personalities

Second, online courses don’t really require that you interact with your peers. Occasionally, you have to email one another or comment on someone else’s work; but you do all of that from behind the anonymity of your laptop screen. In person interactions take a lot more energy, and require that you deal with many different personalities (some of which will grate on your nerves, and test your ability not to slap a bitch).

Outdoor Obstacles, Fitness and Coordination

Third, you need only go as far as your living room to attend online courses. In person, you have to trek your chubby middle-aged behind (in my case, anyway) up and down multiple sets of stairs, and across wide swaths of campus. This journey also requires that you be somewhat coordinated (an area in which I am sorely lacking).

Yesterday, for instance, on my way to my creative non-fiction writing class, I walked under the low hanging branches of a mesquite tree and managed to get the thorns tangled up in my braid. Eventually, I had to throw my bookbag down and attempt to free myself from said branches with both hands… but only succeeded in making things worse. Thankfully, a very nice young man stopped and helped me to get clear of the nefarious tree. As I picked all of my things back up and expressed my gratitude, the savior student said, “No worries. My mom does that kind of stuff all the time.” LOL! (When I later recounted this story to Mitchell, he laughed and said I was lucky people didn’t stop to film “the weird old lady who managed to get attacked by a tree”; and I realized, he had a good point. πŸ˜‚)

When You’re No Longer Young

Fourth, online courses offer you the option of whether or not to disclose your age. In person classes do not, because everyone can see that you are obviously older.

When we did introductions in my literature analysis course last week, most of the students said their names, their ages, where they came from, etcetera. Here’s how my introduction went:

“My name is Cassie and I am majoring in Environmental Science and Creative Writing…”

Another student immediately interrupted, and asked, “How old are you?” He was sincerely curious, and meant no harm by asking; but my professor jumped in and said, “Rude! You don’t have to answer that.”

To which, I laughed and said, “I don’t mind. I’m forty-four.”

“Do you have kids?” the same student asked.

“As a matter of fact, I do. I have a grown son.”

“How old is he?”

“He’ll be twenty-five in November.” In response to this answer, there were several audible gasps, and one whispered, “Holy shit!” from somewhere behind me.

“That’s awesome!” said the student who was asking the questions.

After class, my professor apologized for this scene; and I laughed again and said, “It’s really okay. They’re just curious, and if I’m ever uncomfortable with something, I’ll be sure to say so.” She then asked if I would prefer to be called Ms. Alegria, to which I said, “No, Cassie’s just fine.”

I will admit that it’s a lil’ weird to have professors that are younger — far younger — than me; but I still view them as knowledgeable professors, deserving of respect (a perspective that is not shared by all of my younger peers).

Finding a Balance That Suits the Dog

Tocho has had a very difficult time adjusting to my new schedule. I’ve been home with the fuzzy lil’ bugger every day since we adopted him earlier this year. Sure, I’ve left to go the gym; but I was never gone for long and always made sure to run my errands afterwards, so that I was only gone once each day.

In order to return to my workout schedule this week, I’ve had to leave in the mornings for the gym; and then once more in the afternoons, to attend class. As a result, Tocho has been more anxious than usual and has greeted me with a sullen, moody air about him when I return.

Thankfully, Mitch and I anticipated this change and stocked up on chew toys, which Tocho has been very good about focusing his anxiety on (instead of chewing up the rest of the house, as he did when we first adopted him).

Tocho-Bear Giving Me the “I’ve Got My Eye On You” Stare

He does well on Tuesdays and Thursdays, because I have a morning class and just go directly to the gym afterwards; but on Mondays and Wednesdays — when I’m forced to leave twice — Tocho’s far less pleasant to be around.

This past Monday, he planted himself in front of the door to the carport and staunchly refused to be moved (even when I physically attempted it). Eventually, I had to shove him aside by opening the door; and I could hear him crying (which he never does, he’s very quiet) as I pulled out of the drive.

It was heartbreaking; but I have faith that he will come around and accept that Mommy, too, has to leave on occasion.

The Spirit is Stronger Than the Body

My middle-aged knees are also adjusting to the rise in recent activity.

On days that I work out before going to school, my knees stiffen up as I descend the stairwell in the parking garage; and grumpy, sloth hamster shouts, “Hey Lady! We already did some physical activity today? What the hell?!” 😜

The upside is that on the days that I don’t have the energy to make it to the gym, I still have to rise and hike around the campus for a bit. It’s a tiring win, but a win none-the-less.

When It’s Over, You Have to Do It All Again

Exhausting as it all is, it’s nice to have somewhere to go each day… to have a schedule that forces me to adhere to an even stricter schedule behind-the-scenes. Laundry must get done between workouts and class. Workouts have to be more carefully planned into my daily routine. I’m eating more often, because I’m up and moving around and hungry at more regular intervals. I’m also in bed by 8:30 at night, but hey… my streaming content isn’t going anywhere.

All-in-all, being perpetually worn-out hasn’t been as terrible as it sounds. I’m a lil’ older than most at the university, but my dream of acquiring a degree is as vibrant — maybe even more so — than that of my peers. It’s never too late… and I need to hit the gym before I hit the books today!

Soundtrack: “Smiling When I Die” by Sasha Sloan

Yesterday felt like my first day working
Now I’m not the youngest on the clock…

Don’t wan’na look back
Thinkin’ I could have done this
Or I could’ve tried that
Don’t wan’na look back
‘Cause it’s goin’ by fast

I’ll be smilin’ when I die...”

Heartbreaking, Joyful Inheritance

Yesterday turned out to be a good day (which was surprising, considering how it started).

After finishing my post, I got off my duff and went to the gym for the first time in more than a week. It was discouraging to see that I’d lost a lil’ bit of my edge — i.e. my target heart rate was reached at lower levels of effort than before — but it felt good to move (something I’d been blatantly avoiding).

I didn’t want to get on the scale (because I feared my week of fast food and junk snacks had gone directly to my thighs); but I did it anyway. It turns out, I’d put on less than half a pound. It wasn’t a loss; but it still felt like a win, all things considered.

I shared yesterday’s blog post with my husband — which he read while on the road to Phoenix — and it served as both an apology, and a window into what I was feeling. When he returned in the evening, he apologized for not having invited me to go with him, and gave me a great big bear hug. (I also later received a killer lower leg massage — to relieve pain from shin splints and plantar fasciitis — which Mitch excels at giving!)

But the true joy — and heartbreak — came with a visit from my son, Bug (a nickname that he’s had since he was a lil’ guy). A visit I was in a good mood for, thanks to my early morning efforts to sort myself out.

Bug inherited his quick, dry wit from Mitchell; and he can always make me laugh. After a time though, he grew a bit melancholy; and when I asked him what was troubling him, we had a long conversation about how his anxieties and Pure-O (a rare form of OCD) are affecting his relationship with his girlfriend.

The Sins of the Mother, Visited on the Son

As I’ve mentioned here before, I come from a long line of persons affected by mental illness (addiction, especially); and as such, I feel responsible for my son’s mental health afflictions. (He, too, has struggled with alcoholism.) It’s really hard to watch your child grapple with struggles similar to your own… and to be helpless when it comes to soothing the effects of their own mental health issues. The best I can do is to share my own experience with him; and often, it does little to quell his anxieties.

What I may not have mentioned before is that (in addition to being a lil’ nuts) I am a serial cheater — something that Bug and I have talked about, at length, in the past.

I have never been in a relationship in which I didn’t cheat. (Mitchell — thank the universe — is the only one that ever loved me enough to stick around in the aftermath of such deceit). As such, I taught Bug very early on to be wary of women and their wily ways. I thought it would serve to protect him; but instead, it planted a seed of mistrust in his partners — a mistrust that he carries with him to this day.

I apologized for this, as we conversed yesterday; and he explained that he appreciated our talks about sex and women, but that he also believed they started too soon. (I started talking to him about sex and relationships when he first started asking questions at around nine-years-old.)

I then told him that though I have loved him with an unbridled ferocity since he first lived in my body, his father and I were too young — and very ill-prepared — to be effective parents. To which, he gave me the killer smirk that I have always adored, and said, “No shit, Ma; but I know you did your best. You’ve gotten a lot better, by the way.” (Score! πŸ˜‚)

As has he. Bug is a smart, funny, good looking, die-hard romantic (qualities that he inherited from all of us — me, his biological father, and Mitchell). He has struggled with addiction, and has managed to find a way to drink like “normal people” — for pleasure, and not for black-out escape. He has grown in maturity, has returned to school, and even bought dinner for Mitch and I last night (something I’ve never been able to do for my own parents πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ).

His current girlfriend is also very different from his ex-partners. She’s wildly independent — both in spirit and finances — and she doesn’t seem to need him like the other’s have. (He’s very fond of a “project”, and is always try to fix people for the better.)

They’ve gotten very close; and Bug feels as if he’s finally “settling in” to their relationship. So when his girlfriend went on vacation this past week, Bug spiraled into a rabbit’s hole of fear and anxiety based on his previous relationship experiences. (i.e. “When she comes back, maybe she won’t want me any longer, Ma.”) But, as I pointed out to him, he was dealing with that anxiety in a much more healthy way than he would have chose to in the past.

I wasn’t able to soothe my child into a place of serenity (a curse of parenthood, if ever there was one); but I was able to help him sort his thoughts, and to examine whether or not his fears were justified. We talked about not viewing his current relationship through the lens of past experience; and by the end of the conversation, we had worked out the particulars of the conversation he hopes to have with his partner about his anxieties.

Bug was also able to cuddle up with Tocho-Bear (our rescue pup); and there has never been a stressor too large for our fuzzy lil’ guy to somewhat pacify.

The Best and the Worst of Us

We all inherit traits from our families; some of those traits are fantastic, and some of them far-less-so.

It’s disheartening to watch your child make the same mistakes that you did, and to be able to do nothing about them. It makes you heart-sore to hear him explain how your household and relationship dynamics have affected his own; and to not be able to provide advice on how to change said dynamics (because you’re still learning to navigate them yourself).

Becoming a parent also gives you a new perspective on your own parents. In my life, it has brought me closer to my folks; and I often call them up just to apologize for having done to them what my child now does to me (a curse and a blessing bestowed upon all children who have their own child).

Bug has taught me the power and freedom of forgiveness. When we fight, we fight as my parents and grandparents did before me — with passion, and (sometimes cruel) honesty; but we also bounce back more quickly, and we don’t harbor resentment toward one another.

I have learned more from my child than I probably taught… and I look forward to the next obstacle that allows us both to grow in some positive way (as yesterday surely did).

Soundtrack: “The Greatest” by James Blunt

For Bug… who has surpassed my dreams and expectations in every way.

“I feel that you deserve a chance to know the truth and to be better than…

…and people will try
To take you down too
But if I was a betting (wo)man, I’d put all my money on you…”

Swing and a Miss

Weight Loss Endeavors No. 9

This past week was challenging. I wasn’t necessarily “low” (mood wise); but I was definitely in some sort of slumber mode. I didn’t have a lot of motivation to leave the house, and felt like I might have been fighting a bug of some sort. Then again, it’s monsoon season in Arizona; and it could just be that my allergies are kicking my ass.

Tracking Last Week’s Goals

As far as last week’s goals? I only hit one of the targets I set. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

I went to the gym four out of seven days — versus five. (Miss.)

I did get to gym on Saturday with Mitch; but I did not make it on Sunday. (Half a miss.)

We did not get out and walk Tocho, because it’s been showering in the evenings and our boy does not like to get wet. (Unavoidable miss.)

I ate more than once each day a couple of days, but not consistently. (Miss.)

I did choose healthier snacks (Score!); but as I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m still eating too much in the evenings (healthy or not).

I am posting on time again; so I suppose that’s something (even though I didn’t necessarily set that as one of my goals).

All in all? Not a great week.

The Numbers Just Ain’t Addin’ Up
Weigh-In History

Thursday, July 28th: 263.2 lbs
Thursday, August 4th: 266.4 lbs

I’ll be honest, seeing that I had gained weight (working as hard as I’ve been) was extremely discouraging. Mitch says not to let it bother me — that building muscle mass takes time, and that it will mess with the numbers on the scale for a while; but I think the man’s just being kind.

The bottom line is that I’m consuming more calories than I expend… and I just can’t reign in the habit of binging in the evening. I try and I try… but often, I find that it’s more difficult to fall asleep if I don’t indulge my cravings (which just rattle around in my head until I act on them).

It is better that I’m eating snacks that are lower in fat and carbohydrates, but I still have to manage my calorie intake… and I just don’t know that I have the strength to overcome in this department. Ugh.

Workout Review

Normally, I find joy and pleasure in my workouts. But this week? I just couldn’t find it. All I could think — while riding the bike and stomping on the treadmill — was that I’ll have to start doing multiple workouts a day if I want to lose weight. As it stands, I’m working out to maintain my weight… and I’m not happy with how heavy I have become.

The numbers on the scale went up; and my excitement about cardio and weight training went down. I honestly haven’t had any enthusiasm when I’ve been at the gym… which leads to me tapering off, and sulking around the house.

But here’s what I did accomplish (half-heartedly):

Thursday, August 4th

Bike: 20 min 4.45 miles 154 cals burned
Weight Lifting: Lower body 25 min
Treadmill: 28 min* 1.44 miles 213 cals burned

*The treadmill I was on went to pot near the end of my workout, so I just decided to end it a lil’ short.

Friday, August 5th

Bike: 30 min 6.93 miles 228 cals burned
Treadmill: 35 min 1.75 miles 257 cals burned

Saturday, August 6th

Mitch was with me on this one.

Bike: 20 min 4.41 miles 151 cals burned
Weight Lifting: Upper body 55 min
Treadmill: 35 min 1.76 miles 258 cals burned

Sunday, August 7th – Monday, August 9th

Nada.

Tuesday, August 10th

Bike: 30 min 6.28 miles 202 cals burned
Treadmill: 35 min 1.76 miles 259 cals burned

Wednesday, August 11th

Nada.

Success is Directly Correlated to My Motivation

What I learned this past week is that measuring success — and then achieving it — is an instrumental part of my motivation faculties.

If I know I’m going to — or maybe, just might — fail, I’m far less likely to try; and after last Thursday’s weigh in, I stopped trying.

Mitchell has stated that the scale is a poor source for tracking my progress… that it’s more important that I focus on what I’ve accomplished; but what the hell have I accomplished if I’m gaining weight?

I feel like a failure; and therefore, start to act like one. Which, I know, makes absolutely no sense what-so-ever. Do I honestly just want to sit here and continue putting on the pounds? No!

Do I feel like my efforts have all been in vain? Yup.

I got’ta get out of this cycle of self-pity and self-destruction… but it’s easier to give in to the melancholy.

The one thing I will say is that I did not judge myself on those days when I just stayed home. I tried to show myself a little kindness and leeway; but I do need to find a way out of this stupid, dismal pity party.

Cowgirl, Up!

Clearly, I haven’t been to the gym today yet (because my mood does not reflect the fleeting happiness of the endorphin rush); and I just need to suck it up and get off my duff. But today is weigh-in day; and I’m dreading the numbers on the damn scale. (Avoidance is one of my many talents. 😜)

Mitchell’s long weekend is coming up; so he’ll be home tomorrow through Sunday… and I want to go the gym with him; but I don’t want to go to the gym with him. Partly because I’ve been skirting my weight training, and sticking mostly to my cardio workouts. But! If I want to build strength — especially in my core — then I need to get back to it.

Also, I want to have a better progress report for you next week, Dear Reader… so it’s time to don the yoga pants and Cowgirl, up!

Sigh. Adulting is such a drag.

Soundtrack: “A Little Bit Off” by Five Finger Death Punch

Where Were YOU?

Those of you who follow politics in the United States know that women’s rights (along with minority and LGBTQ rights) are currently under siege; particularly after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade. This decision abolished federal protections for reproductive rights, returning the issue to each individual State.

In response, the state of Kansas addressed this issue in their primary election earlier this month; and there was a record voter turnout, where many voters voted only on the abortion issue. Thankfully, for women, the choice to keep the State’s constitution in tact (and preserve abortion rights) won by a landslide vote… but I can’t help but wonder: Where were these voters before we got to this point?

Does My Vote Really Count?

I’ll be honest, I fall into the “my vote doesn’t honestly count” side of the answer to this particular question (especially in Presidential Elections, which are determined not by the popular vote but by the Electoral College); but my husband believes that every vote counts, and as such, I have voted in nearly every election since marrying the man.

Mitch taught me how to research the candidates (and their voting records) and the issues; and in doing so, I found that it takes far less time to educate oneself about these things than I previously imagined it would.

For instance, in the most recent Arizona Primary (2022), it took me ninety minutes to do the legwork required to make informed decisions about our representatives at the state and federal levels.

I choose not to pay attention to slanderous campaign ads; nor do I subscribe to popular opinion about the candidates. Why? Because once you start paying attention to how our representatives actually vote (which can be found in the public records), you’ll find that many of them do not keep their campaign promises.

So… is voting in a democracy a frustrating endeavor that often leaves one feeling as if their voice goes unheard? Absolutely. (i.e. My choices won’t always win in the end.) But if we don’t participate in the democratic process, then our voices most certainly go unheard.

In the 2020 Arizona Primary, only 36.44% of registered voters cast a ballot. (This is the most recent voter turnout reported by the Secretary of State’s Office.) That means 63.56% of the (registered) voices in Arizona chose not to speak on their own behalf.

63.56% more ballots cast most definitely would have made a difference; and it would only have required — at most — two hours of the voter’s time (to research the candidates, travel to their polling place, and cast a ballot).

In my opinion, that’s not a lot to ask of us as citizens of this nation.

Pay Attention BEFORE It Goes Up In Smoke

It’s important to remember that many, many smaller decisions happened before the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade.

Most notably? The Senate blocked President Obama’s Supreme Court appointments, and then approved those of President Trump.

Therefore, voting for your House and Senate representatives is even more important than voting in the Presidential Election. Why? Because the President can’t get shit done without the approval of the Senate, and the Senate depends on approval from the House of Congress.

It’s also incredibly important to vote for State representation within the State itself. And just in case you haven’t been paying attention up to this point, your State’s government now controls access and/or denial to reproductive rights. (And not only reproductive rights.)

Education is also currently under siege. The conservative right has waged a war against science education and critical thinking; and if you don’t vote for the Superintendent of Public Instruction in your state, then you’re blatantly ignoring the only opportunity you have to guide what kind of education your children will receive. (And even if you don’t have kids, making sure that the next generation is educated is vital to our survival as a democracy.)

The bottom line is that we need to be voting before we lose our rights.

It’s all well and good that women are turning out in record numbers at the polls; but if they had bothered to do so before now, we may not have ended up at this point.

Make YOUR Voice Heard

Humans — in and outside of the polls — like to be heard. We are social animals that thrive in a pack. Sure, each person’s pack may be different from another’s; but we have more in common than we don’t.

To cast a vote isn’t only a right of the pack; it’s a privilege. It ensures our survival against other packs, all competing for the same rights and resources; and if we can’t be bothered to choose our pack leaders, how can we expect to thrive as members of said pack?

We have the power to change the course of history, and to shape our circumstances… but only if we show up at the polls and use what little influence we have.

Please, exercise your right to vote. I don’t care if you disagree with me at the polls. I only care that you show up and harness the power of your own voice.

Revelations

No. 1: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

I pulled myself out of my pity-party long enough yesterday to give my best friend, Ronnie, a telephone ring. She recently lost her father, and had to travel to Spain in order to deal with the loss. I knew she’d gotten back on Saturday; but I hadn’t felt up to speaking with anyone. Honestly? I didn’t feel like speaking to anyone yesterday, either; but I vowed to do at least one selfless thing… and so, I dialed her number.

We talked about her trip, her grief, and the struggles of her recent move; and then the girl turned the conversation on me (as she always does).

Ronnie is amazing in that she never takes, “I’m fine.” as an acceptable answer. She’s really good at asking questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. Instead, she asks things like, “How are things between you and Mitch?” So inevitably, I ended up spilling my guts as well.

Before saying goodbye, she said, “Remember that I know you. Don’t go into your doctor’s office and tell him everything’s okay, you hear me?”

“Yes, ma’am.” (But in truth, I felt better just for having talked with her.)

No. 2: Psychiatric Revelation

I saw my psychiatrist yesterday afternoon, and spoke to him about the (rather recent) increased frequency of my down days. I explained that I tend to have two-to-three really good days (lots of motivation, positive attitude, action towards goals), immediately followed by one-to-two down days (lack of motivation, apathetic attitude, sans action).

He asked if the down days included periods of suicidal ideation… no, they have not.

He asked when these down days tend to occur… on the weekends (i.e. Mitchell’s days off).

He asked if I was getting enough sleep… six-and-a-half to nine-and-a-half hours per night.

He asked if I was eating more than once per day… nope, not usually.

Then he asked why I eat only once each day. I explained (again) that I suffer from IBS, and do not eat during daylight hours in order to avoid the consequences of an attack. “What does that look like, worst case scenario?” he inquired.

“Well, imagine that you are already described as ‘the old lady’ by your university classmates; and add to that the fear that you might lose control of your bowels during class. I really don’t want to be described as ‘the old lady who shit her pants’, ya’ know?” This made him laugh… something I rarely see him do.

Then he asked if any of my medications and/or lab work had changed. No med changes; but I have had an increasingly elevated liver enzyme (ALT) since the first week of February (something my primary care physician attributed to weight gain, even though there has not been a significant gain in that time).

In response to all of this, my shrink explained that both the increase in down days — and the ALT level — could be a result of the overwhelming stress over the past couple of months (February was when Mitchell rotated back to his night schedule, which kept him away from home for a week at a time). He suggested that I might tend to crash when Mitch is home, simply because I can (i.e. giving over responsibility for the household). He also stated that my serotonin and dopamine levels are probably adjusting to my new workout routine, which could throw my psych meds a bit off balance.

All-in-all, he said not to worry. Hang in there for two more months, see what happens when school starts up again, and we’ll revisit the issue at that time.

There was a bit of a relief that I wasn’t prescribed new and/or increased medication (and/or diagnosed with yet another mental health disorder); but also a tad of frustration that this undulating mood-cycle may continue for another couple of months. (Ah well, it’s nothing I haven’t already survived.)

No. 3: Let the Light In

Previous to my brief outing yesterday, I hadn’t left the house since Friday. The house is rather dark out of necessity (we use solar-blocking window treatments to combat the summer heat of the Sonoran Desert); so if I don’t leave it, I rarely see sunshine between the months of May and November.

Surprisingly, I found my mood began to lighten the moment I pulled out of the driveway. It felt good to be out in the sun (though not the sweltering heat); and I was motivated enough to hit the gym following my afternoon appointment.

I think the next time I’m feeling a little cranky, I may just pull open the curtains for a lil’ while.

No. 4: Fluffy People’s Happy Hour at the Gym

Because I put off going to the gym until after my appointment, I turned up there around four o’clock in the afternoon; and I was amazed at the difference!

It turns out that all of the younger, beautiful people workout in the morning (when I normally visit the gym), and all of the middle-aged, fluffy people congregate in the afternoon! Who knew?!

I felt much more comfortable and confident surrounded by “my people” than I ever have when submersed in the sea of well-muscled, spandex-clad (and often, half-naked) folks in the early hours of the day.

And, bonus! An older gentleman told me that “staring at my booty inspired [him] to stay on the treadmill for an extra ten minutes.” I laughed and told him that he’d made my day and (flashing my ring at him) my husband’s. He said he saw the ring, and was just “a harmless connoisseur of fine booties.” It was a nice contrast to the guy I posted about earlier in the blog… the one who pointed at me and my husband and said, “It could be worse. We could look like them.”

No. 5: Trying to Remember “This Too, Shall Pass”

It’s easy to grasp this concept when you’re on the other side of whatever it is you need to pass… but I tend to scoff and sneer at the sentiment when I’m in the midst of an existential crisis.

I shall try harder to remember that bad days are just that — bad days. They won’t last forever; and I am not an utter failure for having them.

Of course, the next time they roll around, I’m sure I will be inclined to scoff and sneer once more (Isn’t that what writing’s for? To bitch and moan about the hard times?! πŸ˜‚) ; but until then, I’ll work on who I’m meant to be.

Soundtrack: “Who I’m Meant to Be” by Anthem Lights

“Everyone is on their way, but I am standing still
Comparing my behind-the-scenes against their highlight reel.”

– Anthem Lights, “Who I’m Meant to Be”

I love this particular part of the lyrics, because I am so guilty of thinking that way. I forget that we all put our best foot forward — and don our happy masks — in public; but that we all have not-so-great shit going on behind-the-scenes as well.

Move Over, F*ck It Hamster!

Weight Loss Endeavors No. 5

I am totally unmotivated this morning. I did wash my face and brush my teeth upon awakening; but I haven’t showered since Tuesday afternoon, and have yet to return to the gym (haven’t been there since Friday) and/or my chores (which I abandoned Monday).

It’s a bit odd to have apathy linger this long… especially when I had a good day yesterday. Bug (my son) came over in the early morning to do his laundry; and we had a very nice visit. Rige-o (my baby brother) called in the afternoon just to chat (a rare treat); and we had a great conversation full of laughter. Mama texted me throughout the day; and we also had a fun conversation. Mitch came home after work and did the dishes himself; while we joked and poked fun at one another.

So what the hell is my problem?!

The First Law of Physics

“An object will remain at rest or in a uniform state of motion unless that state is changed by an external force.”
– Newton’s Three Laws of Motion

I’ve been at rest (though some of that rest was beyond emotionally taxing) since Mitch and I had our fight on Sunday morning.

This is not to say that Mitchell is at fault. On the contrary, he has asked “Are you going to the gym?” every day, before leaving for work. And my response has been, “No, I don’t think so.”

Instead, I’ve sat in the recliner — day after day — binging “Shameless” on Netflix, while occasionally corresponding with friends.

I haven’t been eating during daylight hours… which turns into shame-inducing sugar binges after our evening meal. (Last night, I ate a box of Crunch ‘N’ Munch toffee popcorn, a Mr. Goodbar, and a bag of Skittles. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ )

When we visited our primary care physician on Tuesday afternoon, I weighed in at 266.9 pounds — the heaviest I have ever been — and one of my liver enzymes is out of whack due to obesity. (Causing me to think, What the hell is the point of working out if I’m not seeing any results on the f*cking scale, and my fat-encrusted liver is being uncooperative?!)

Add all of that up, and the sum total is this: I’m disappointed with myself, and think I don’t deserve to feel any better than I already do… which is not very good at all.

What Did I Do?

I find that when I feel like this, it’s good to take a moment to reflect on the positive things I’ve done.

So, I know it’s a little late this week (I should have posted Tuesday); but here is my week in review.

Workout Review

I did find the courage to lift on my own (while Mitch was at work) last week.

(Side Note: One of my readers emailed me and inquired about the equipment at my gym. All of the cardio and/or weight machines are produced by Life Fitness.)

Tuesday, July 19th

Bike: 20 min 4.10 miles 150 cals burned
Weight Lifting: Lower body 25 min
Treadmill: 35 min (“Hills” Level 2/Speed 3.1 mph) 1.77 miles 256 cals burned

Wednesday, July 20th

Bike: 20 min 4.43 miles 150 cals burned
Weight Lifting: Upper body 40 min
Treadmill: 35 min (“Hills” Level 2/Speed 3.1 mph) 1.77 miles 255 cals burned

Thursday, July 21st

Bike: 20 min 4.25 miles 159 cals burned
Weight Lifting: Core 35 min
Treadmill: 35 min (“Hills” Level 2/Speed 3.1 mph) 1.77 miles 256 cals burned

Friday, July 22nd

Bike: 30 min 6.56 miles 227 cals burned
Treadmill: 40 min 2.01 miles 292 cals burned

Saturday, July 23rd

Intentional day of rest.

Sunday, July 24th – Wednesday, July 27th

F*ck It Hamster was at the wheel; and I gladly let the fuzzy lil’ f*cker drive me off my motivational cliff. Bad Cassie! 😜

Food in Review

This is seriously not a topic that I wish to review… too many nights spent sugar-binging in the midst of a self-pity party.

Goals for the Week Ahead

Ugh… do I have to?!

Yes. Yes, I have to… because if I don’t get off my duff and become the external force needed to change my current state of utter inertia, then I am doomed to continue feeling disappointed and ashamed of myself. (Is that really what I want to feel?!)

Thus, it is time to let the fuzzy in and turn on the cartoons (Tocho — my rescue pup — likes to watch cartoons in our absence). Time to once again don my workout gear, tie my hair up, and find my way back to feeling better about myself.

So.

This week I will go to the gym at least five out of the following seven days. I will limit myself to one sugary item after our evening meal. I will eat more than once a day (and snarfing a bag of Goldfish crackers doesn’t count as a meal). I will pull myself out of this damnable downward spiral and be the change I wish to implement in my life. I will continue to post weekly updates; but the day will be changed from Tuesday to Friday.

I’m getting out of this chair, I promise.

Soundtrack: “Work B**ch” by Britney Spears

Want a Partner, Be a Partner

All did not go according to plan yesterday (…stupid sheets).

I got a late start to my day, due to issues with my stomach and the bone-deep exhaustion that I’ve felt as of late (fricking COVID, and its lingering effects).

I didn’t get to the gym until after ten, and did a slightly extended cardio workout; so I returned home even more tired, and well past noon.

I walked into the kitchen, stared at the mountains (note the plural use of the word there) of dirty dishes… and felt a despair so deep, I convinced myself that I couldn’t possibly approach the task of washing them all. I thought, “Mitch let them pile up; Mitch can deal with it, as he promised to do.”

I sat in the recliner for a bit, chewed over the commitments I’d written about in yesterday’s post, and then got off my butt and started the dishes (cursing my husband — more than once — for allowing them to pile up the way he had).

Forget two sink-loads! Three hours — and five sink-loads — later (allowing for occasional fifteen minute breaks here and there), all of the dishes that were in the sink — and on the countertops — were washed, dried and put away. I scrubbed the shit out of both sides of the sink with Ajax, and was so worn-out that I had absolutely no anger left within me. I just felt proud of my accomplishment, and hoped that Mitch would appreciate the gesture.

It was four-thirty by the time I finished; so I opted to take a long, hot shower… and left changing the sheets for another day.

Captain Oblivious Risks Getting Throttled

(Side Note: Mitch has to walk through the kitchen to enter the rest of the house.)

Mitchell got home shortly after my shower, hugged me, sat down on the sofa and exclaimed, “You look utterly exhausted, Babe. What did you do today?”

Astonished is the only appropriate word to describe the way I felt about this comment. I scoffed and said, “Really?”

My husband gave me a quizzical look and said, “Yeah, really.”

“Why don’t you go back into the kitchen and look around, Honey.”

“Did you wash the dishes? Damn it, Cass. I told you I’d do that!”

To be fair, he did tell me he’d do that. He’s been telling me he’ll do it for more than a month — with absolutely no follow through.

“I know you did, but I figured it was easier for me to do them than to continue being angry at you for not doing them. I didn’t get to the pile of dishes on the floor near the stove, because I didn’t see them until I had finished the others; but I will.”

“No. Don’t do anything else in the kitchen. It’s just another damn thing you’ll resent me for.”

Surprisingly, I was able to keep myself from biting at this particular bait.

“Mitch, Honey, the stove still has to be cleaned, and other things still need to be handled. I’m trying to help, to create an environment in which we’re less stressed out.” At this, my husband heaved a sigh while rolling his eyes.

I responded with, “Don’t worry, I didn’t throw out any of the Tupperware this time. Moldy and disgusting as it was, I just washed it until it was clean.”

This has been a sticking point for us in the past. I throw out anything that has started to sprout mold; and Mitch has a hissy-fit because it then has to be replaced.

“You could have just thrown it out. It’s all cheap.”

“Aya, Babe. In the past, you’ve thrown a fit when I do that.”

“Was there a lot of mold?”

“Yep. At one point, near the bottom of the pile, the smell was so bad that it made Tocho [our dog] gag. Honestly? That part cracked me up.”

Truth! It made me laugh so hard, I had tears in my eyes.

Mitchell sighed again and said, “Just… don’t do anything else in the kitchen, okay? I’ll handle it.”

At this, I just smiled. If he does handle it over the weekend, great. If he doesn’t, I’ll tackle it while he’s at work next week. Why? Because I felt so much more peaceful today when I walked into the kitchen that the relief was palpable… versus walking into the kitchen, and simmering with anger towards my husband.

A couple of hours later — after we’d eaten dinner — Mitch said, “Thank you, Babe… for everything you do around here. You had a really productive week, and I appreciate it.”

And this morning? When I walked into the kitchen? Mitch had already washed the dishes used last night. Progress, not perfection!

Using a Different Lens vs. Building Resentment

I know that my well-intentioned, but deeply procrastinating, spouse means well when he promises to do something. I also recognize that he is utterly exhausted at this particular moment in our lives; and sometimes just doesn’t have the energy to follow through.

Mitchell is the sole earner in our home, and the designated chef (because I stick tin cans in the microwave without thinking, and have literally set the kitchen on fire more than once — a trait that amuses both my husband and my son, to no end πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ).

When my mental health issues send me into a spiral, Mitch is the one who patiently pulls me out of it… often obtaining a few mental bruises along the way.

He’s supporting my efforts at the university with unbridled enthusiasm; and he’s always willing to take a drive around town when I need space.

Mitchell makes all of the grocery and errand runs in the summer months, because I just can’t deal with the extreme heat of the Sonoran Desert. It increases my chances of having a seizure and/or migraine; and Mitchell recognizes this with unconditional kindness.

So rather than focusing on what my husband isn’t doing (i.e. “Goddam it all to hell, look at this sink full of dirty dishes! Why are the weeds so out of control?! Damn it, Mitch!”) I have decided to focus on what he does do.

I’m toying with the idea that if I lead, he’ll follow — and last night, he washed the dishes we used, so maybe it’s working. (And when it doesn’t, I still have my own two hands to work with.)

The Moral of the Story

It’s taken me a long time to get to this point — a point where I can honestly see things through my husband’s eyes, instead of making it all about me. (Though I’m certain we’ll still struggle with this issue, because it’s a recurring theme in our marriage… but I’m working on it.)

Usually, I would feel resentment for being forced to take on my husband’s share of the chores. I would’ve made a snarky, snarling comment like, “Well, you weren’t going to f*ckin’ do it; so I had to, Buddy!”

But yesterday, when the thought to say something like that crossed my mind, I took a deep breath internally, and tried to show Mitch kindness instead; and surprisingly, that also helped me to reframe my perspective, leaving resentment out of it entirely.

It’s easier to act like an equal partner when you feel you have one… and while I have felt a bit abandoned in this realm for some time, it never occurred to me that Mitchell might also feel somewhat alone.

Taking up more of the mantle at home has provided comfort to my spouse — comfort that I can see on his face, and measure by the lessening arguments in our home.

Do I wish Mitch would do more around the house? Absolutely. Does Mitch wish that we had a second income, and an easier road to financial stability? I have no doubt.

But since neither of us has the fortitude — or the practical means — to fulfil those wishes at this time, we have to make do; and I am more than willing to do my part. (I just hope that I can keep it up!)

Unmistakable Signs that Signal Change

The past couple of days I’ve been struggling with the desire to act out in self-sabotaging ways. I don’t want to drink and/or use; but I’ve thought about reaching out to ex’s (behind Mitch’s back), joining dating sites (again, behind Mitch’s back), and/or attending AA meetings that I know are not good for me (ones full of chaos and misery, rather than strong recovery).

I recognize these desires as a sign that something deeper is bothering me; and I have kept my feet moving in an attempt to ignore the whirling hamster wheels in my mind.

The problem with that is that eventually the feet get tired and I’m left listening to the endless squeaking of madly spinning wheels. And they’re always squawking about the same damn thing…

A Problem I Cannot Solve Alone

Mitch and I have not had sex in over twelve years, for many reasons: Mitchell is diabetic and has sustained a lot of nerve damage in his wrists and hands. He’s morbidly obese, which complicates sexual functioning. And, after four years of marriage, he declared that he was a-sexual (a decision he made without consulting me).

He has also stated that I was always the instigator in our sex life (and upon reflection, I found this to be true); and now that I am sober, I find it really hard to take on that role.

We also have massive trust issues in our marriage that we are trying to overcome. Mitch is really bad at keeping his word (regarding anything to do with us — chores, plans, finances, attempts at intimacy, etc.); and I am an addict who relapsed on drugs and alcohol, and had multiple affairs after ten years of forced chastity.

My husband has said that he understands the role he played in my relapse. He has apologized for being MIA emotionally when I needed him most. He has granted his forgiveness for the affairs, and says that it no longer bothers him (but I have a hard time believing that in light of the fact that we still have not broken any ground towards repairing the sexual rift in our relationship).

I have also forgiven Mitch — and continue to forgive him — for not keeping his word; but forgiving is not the same thing as forgetting. I find it hard to trust him; and I know he must feel the same way about me. And trust is a really important part of intimacy (in all of its many facets).

A Difference of Opinion

When we argue about this issue (and blessedly, we haven’t for quite some time), Mitch is fond of saying, “Cass, there is so much more to marriage than sex.”

I agree with him; but I also point out that sex is an important part of marriage — and that I need it to be a part of ours.

In response he always says, “I’m working on it. Soon, I promise.”

Apparently though, his definition of “soon” is different from mine. As a result, I’ve spent another three-plus years in forced chastity; and it’s beginning to take its toll.

Stepping Up

I have started to gain a deeper understanding for Mitch’s inability to keep his word in regard to chores.

The man works twelve hours a day, five days a week. He is perpetually exhausted; and since I am now obese myself, I have a greater appreciation for how easily one tires when carrying around an extra one-hundred pounds (and Mitchell carries much more than that).

To help in this department, I have started stepping up my responsibilities at home.

This past week, I vowed to do at least one load of laundry each day — meaning all the way through from the washer to putting clothes away (vs. leaving them in the dryer for days on end) — after returning home from the gym. And you know what? I’ve kept that vow, and feel incredibly accomplished for having done so (those of you who battle with your own mental health afflictions know that these small victories mean more to us than most).

After a couple of days of that routine, I found I had a bit more energy; so I decided to start adding one other household chore per day (i.e. I scrubbed the shit out of the powder room — something that hadn’t been done in many weeks — after doing the laundry yesterday). This morning, I plan to change the sheets and to tackle at least two sink loads of dirty dishes (sadly, we do not have a dishwasher in this damn house).

True, the kitchen is supposed to be Mitch’s responsibility; but clearly, it’s a chore that he just can’t handle at this particular moment in time. He does make dinner each evening; and for now, I have to allow that to be enough.

I’m hoping that if I stick to a routine — dishes each day, powder room once a week, dusting once a week, etc. — that my shame and anger regarding living in a home I am not proud of will dissipate. That the arguments about these things will grow fewer and farther apart; and that ultimately, Mitch will follow my lead and do the few things around the house that I cannot (i.e. yardwork is impossible for me in the summer heat of the Sonoran Desert).

Already, my efforts have given my husband a sense of pride and gratitude that I rarely see. He has thanked me for keeping up with the ice trays (we make ice the old fashioned way, and often, I just neglect it and leave it up to him). He is astonished at his closet full of clean clothes. He marveled at having a “floor he did not stick to” in the bathroom, and generally seems more relaxed when he’s at home.

For my part, I have a renewed sense of accomplishment and self-confidence (both of which are hard for me to obtain). I’m also starting to reclaim the satisfaction of having a clean home (something that is far more important to me than it is to Mitch).

Practice Makes Perfect (Or Closer to Perfection)

It occurred to me that if I think of intimacy as an art, then it is something that has to practiced and maintained.

Mitch and I haven’t even kissed one another with our mouths open for more than a decade. It’s a skill of sorts that we both threw aside… waiting for the other to make a move.

I have always been the leader in our relationship, and Mitch the follower.

Perhaps if I make a greater effort to make my husband feel desired, things will start to turn around for us. I know that when I feel sexy and wanted, it’s easier to act that way.

I haven’t felt that way in my marriage for a very long time; and it breaks my heart on a daily basis… but maybe, my husband feels the same way (and I’m well aware of the fact that if he does, he’d never say it).

Mitch is fond of saying, “My wife is the one that gets in the ring and fights. I’m just a spectator, always wondering where she’ll jab next.”

I suppose it’s time for me to put the gloves back on.

Soundtrack: “Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts

This is “our” song — Mitchell and I.

F*ck It Hamster’s at the Wheel

I woke up this morning feeling apathetic, which is a pretty predictable cycle in my world. I tend to have two really good days, followed by a lower one. (And thus far, my psychiatrist is at a loss regarding how to explain it.)

For lack of a diagnosis for this phenomenon, he has been encouraging me (for several years now) to return to traditional “talk therapy”; but after I was betrayed by my last therapist — which did significant damage to my professional life — I haven’t had the heart to look for another one.

Trust, in my world, is a deep and complicated thing. I give it freely — and upfront — in all of my relationships; but once that trust is broken, a person becomes dead to me (unless they’re family, and can’t be easily tossed aside). Thus, my track record with therapists has left me not wanting to re-enter that type of an association. (This, unfortunately, is a common problematic theme with Borderlines.)

I’ve also been dealing with moderate back pain for the last couple of days, and was forced to defend my “agnostic” approach to twelve-step programs last night in a meeting (which I did vehemently)… add all of that up, and the steering wheel that guides my emotions was rife for the taking — and it seems F*ck It Hamster was eager to step up to the task.

This same time yesterday morning, I was already back from an extended workout at the gym, showered and doing laundry. Since I’m not in that same position today, it’s tempting to flog myself emotionally for not adhering to my usual routine… an activity that will lead to negative direction and/or choices, rather than positive.

The only rational thing to do is to summon the energy to overthrow the fuzzy lil’ apathetic bastard currently directing my train of thought, and fight my way towards the opposite path… but right now? I just can’t seem to summon the energy needed for such a coup.

I’d rather sulk, and hit the mod with an unbridled enthusiasm for a nicotine high… but sadly, that doesn’t seem to be improving things much either.

Sigh.

If I want things to get better today, I have to hit the mark for at least one of my goals; because as Mitchell Tenpenny sings, “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades,” and sadly, I have neither.

Let’s see if I can summon the strength required to knock the arrow, pull back the bowstring, and hurtle myself out of the recliner, shall we? Ugh…

Soundtrack: “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades” by Mitchell Tenpenny