“Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.” Thomas Kinkade

The three things mentioned in the title — balance, peace, and joy — are not things I have felt much in my adult life. That’s not to say I have not achieved any success in the last 20 years, I have, and they are things that are important. And that is also not to say I haven’t experienced any balance, peace, or joy, it’s just so little has been felt for myself…mostly felt for others. I had a long list of things I wanted to do, very specific things that needed to be in place by age 40, very little on that list has been accomplished. I am certain all the stress that has accumulated over the last 2 decades that has come crashing down on me recently has played an enormous role in my inability to loose weight. Also, I sleep next to a chronic snorer, I’ve barely slept for these last 20 years except when he’s been gone, the sheer volume of the snoring is deafening (I’m not exaggerating, my two older girls who sleep downstairs from us can hear him — on an entirely different level in the house)!

Let me give you a firsthand example of how stress can affect your weight loss (or lack of)… I have been so angry and stressed this week, I have had no appetite, I had to keep forcing myself to eat a little something here and there and drink water. I started feeling really run down and sluggish Thursday, as the day progressed the fatigue was horrible. I took 2 Advil and went to bed early. Still felt tired and run down all Friday and eventually started running a fever early Friday evening. Fever and fatigue have continued most of today (Saturday) until I felt the full-body ache start to subside a little this evening. So, eating maybe 1,000-1,200 calories each day all week and lots and lots of water — I GAINED 5 POUNDS THIS THE WEEK!!! By all accounts, this shouldn’t even be possible for someone as fat and gross as me. That’s not starvation mode where a body is being so deprived that it clings to all the fat to protect the body, I was eating/drinking and taking in calories and nutrients and right in that sweet spot where weight loss is kickstarted. But I lost nothing, I GAINED. The only thing that sticks out of my stress was so sky high, I could barely relax to fall asleep — and even then it’s lousy sleep anyways because it’s too loud to sleep in my room on account of the snoring. So, I need plans in place immediately to reduce this stress.

Plan #1: Now that the kids are out of school for the summer, I can still get up at the same but go to the gym and workout instead. I’ll still have plenty of time to get home and shower before any daycare kids arrive. I reinstalled the C25K app on my phone, so I can run through that program first thing when I get there. Then, they have a great machine that combines all 3 motions of a treadmill, elliptical, and stairs with preset workouts on it. I’m going to hurt like hell for a few weeks but it’ll be worth it to gain some muscle so I can start burning fat more efficiently.

Plan #2: This is less on the diet side and more on the life side, I need to sort through every last statement, account, bill, etc. and figure out why we are living paycheck to paycheck. It makes no sense being as we make the most income we’ve ever made with our combined pay, yet we have nothing. We are one big house or car repair away from not being able to pay bills, and I have no clue why. This issue sits heavy on my chest every day and I feel a constant uneasy, queasy way about it. It needs to change. Now.

Plan #3: This house needs decluttered, STAT! As hard as I work to try and constantly sort through clothes as the kids outgrow them, throw away broken ornaments each year as I pack away the Christmas decorations, keep leftovers from getting out of control in the fridge — my efforts are never enough. Tomorrow, it’s garage day. This is a mess that I — and the whole neighborhood — see every time either or both of the garage doors are open. It’s embarrassing and humiliating. A kind soul from my Buy Nothing group gifted me a nice IKEA cabinet with doors that I can store all hazardous materials in out in the garage (doors were important so I can lock the cabinet for daycare). Another equally kind soul from the same group gifted me a set of metal shelves that I’ll be putting all the grill/BBQ/smoker supplies on. I need to figure out how to get an old bunk bed frame out of there, it’s too big to fit in any car and haul to the dump, it needs to be hacked into pieces…I’m sure I’ll figure something out…I always do…by myself.

Plan #4: If not tomorrow, then by Monday for sure, my piece of crap dishwasher will be taken out, taken to the dump, and the new one that has been sitting in the garage since we moved here will be installed. By me. By myself. Like always.

Plan #5: THIS PLAN IS ALREADY DONE! I found a way to get myself a new computer. This did alleviate some stress right away. I have already begun writing one of my books on here, it’s just flowing out of me and I feel like I am doing something that has been a long time coming. Next, I need to transfer all my daycare records to my own computer and take care of my own business, I’ve let my husband do it since the beginning and I should never have done that. It’s my business, my responsibility. Plus, he has his computer on him at all times and I never have access to it. Don’t even know his password and he sure as hell is never going to tell me…not sure why, there shouldn’t be anything on there to hide. Right?

My mood has improved a little since yesterday’s blog, but not because I have big change of heart after I had the chance to calm down. This eerie calmness I feel while lightning is crashing outside my windows right now is because I know what needs to be done. It’s going to be a process, I’m not sure how long of a process, but I know things won’t and can’t happen overnight. I need to get myself straight first, I need to take care of me (and obviously my kids, they always come first, that should go without saying). After I’ve defragmented my life and everything is in order, everything is in plain, clear sight — then, I will move my life where I know it needs to go, where it probably should have been all along. It will not be without some heartbreak, but I am prepared. People will be angry with me, but I am prepared. One person in particular will harbor a lot of resentment towards me (probably forever), but I am prepared.

A lot of people may be caught off guard and confused, but to those people I will say this — women have perfected the art of putting on a smiling face to the world when their own lives are falling apart behind closed doors. When we receive no affection, we are given the silent treatment for unknown reasons, no one telling us “I love you”, no one doing anything to help us through our struggles, no one asking us what’s wrong when they see us cry, no one attempting to understand the permanent hole we feel in our hearts from loosing a baby, no one looking up from their phone screen when we try to pour our hearts out to them and tell them what’s wrong. We’ve done it from the beginning of time because society expects it of us. Except now we have to means to connect with the others in the world suffering the same unfulfilling lives we are, and we are stronger because of it.

Tonight’s song is going with the theme of being completely submerged under water, literally and figuratively. Manhattan, KS is experiencing more torrential downpours at the moment and is under a flash flood warning until 1:45am — lovely. But also, you know that feeling when you’re really deep down under water and you can feel the weight of all that water on top of you? Yes. And how all sounds are muffled and distorted as your ears fill with water? Yes. Justin Timberlake’s “Blue Ocean Floor” off his The 20|20 Experience album fits the bill perfectly. I’m ready to slowly start floating to the top, no excess weight or emotional burdens pulling me down, and all the sounds of the world falling crisp and clear on my freshly dried ears. Time to start over.

~~ Amie




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