Mile a Minute

Friday, August 29, 2014

Do you ever feel like your mind is going a mile a minute.  My brian the past few days has been going non-stop and bouncing all over the place.  If this is what people with ADD feel like all of the time I am very very sorry for them.  Luckily I've managed to be super productive in spite of all of this, but I have occasionally checked a mirror to make sure smoke wasn't coming out of my ears.

Here's a sample of just an hour of my day:

How much does it cost to ship a car?
Are there any side effects to the medicine I'm on (and have been on for two months already)?
Do I need to bring anything to my volunteer session tomorrow morning?
What day is my doctors appointment?
Does getting a filling hurt?
Should I write a blog post about how my mind goes a mile a minute sometimes?
Did I do that PO for work?
I wonder how many episodes Roswell ran for?
Oh, only 61? Can I watch them all this weekend?
Shoot, still didn't do that PO for work.
Wow Emilie De Ravin was in Roswell?
I should start watching Lost from the beginning, too.
Oh, and Buffy!
Shit, that PO.
I want to move to Guam.
What am I going to have for dinner?
I hope my family left me some pizza.
I need and oil change.
Uggggh that PO!
Oh wait, I did the PO.
When did I do the PO?

On and on and on.

Some times I feel like a crazy person.

Hopefully History In The Making...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

I'm not sure how wide spread the news of what was going on over here in New England was, but I am happy to report today that the Market Basket debacle has been resolved!

A quick recap for those who don't know:

Market Basket is a local, family own grocery chain based in New England.  It was known for having the lowest prices, but also paying their employees well with good benefits and bonuses and yet still turning a high profit.  Two months ago the Board of Directors ousted the CEO who is generally given credit for the all around success of the company. 

The employees rebelled.  Deliveries stopped, shelves were not stock, and employees spent their shifts on the sidewalks holding signs instead of working in the stores.

It wasn't just the employees, though. Knowing that the change in management would lead to higher prices, and knowing that it was their friends and families that would lose their benefits and good pay, the customers rebelled, too.  They stopped going.  We've gone through an eerie two months where the parking lots of almost all Market Baskets were completely empty. 

It's finally over now.  After two months of losing profits, laying off all part time workers, and essentially running their own business into the ground, the Board of Directors has finally and officially agreed to sell the company back to the previously outsted CEO.

I'm happy to be able to finally go grocery shopping again, but more importantly I think this is an awesome little piece of history that I hope we will hear about for years to come.

This situation was basically the little people standing up to the man and winning.  I've heard it compared to the Boston Tea Party on more than on occasion.

I've been hearing on the news and on the radio about the economic recovery and how (on paper) everything is doing great.  The stock market hit a record high yesterday, unemployment is creeping down, and yet ask any average American and they'll tell you they don't know what recovery you're talking about.  I mean I for one (at the age of 26) am living in my parents basement because I simply can't afford to live on my own.

So there is more money around, but not in people's pockets.  Why?  Because of people like the MB Board of Directors.  They see places where they can cut back from their employees and put a few more pennies in their own pocket.  I'm hesitant to throw out the phrase "corporate greed" because I feel like it has been used so often it is almost meaningless now, but I really think that is the best way to describe it.

There have been talks about raising the minimum wage, and many companies have come out and said that, should the minimum wage go up, they would have to cut employees loose and unemployment would go back up and people would become poor and the world would fall apart... more or less.

When in reality what would most likely actually happen would be minimum wage goes up, corporations stomp their feet and fire a bunch of people, then their deliveries are delayed, shelves don't get stocked as regularly, customers get pissed off for having to shop in unkempt stores so they start going else where, corporations start losing money and decided to hire more employees to clean up and better maintain the stores.  Yes, this would require them to lower their expected profits a bit but if they want any profits at all they have to start recognizing that they are dependent on their employees and their customers, not the other way around.

There are too many people out there who are more focused on buying their second yacht than to give their employees enough money to making a living wage.

I do not necessarily have high hopes that the movement started by Market Basket will spread, but I think if it did, we'd suddenly have a lot of hugely wealthy companies realizing that with a little reprioritization they could actually find a middle ground that would keep them, their employees, and their customers happy.  And what do happy well off people do?  Spend money!

This is, of course, just my unprofessional opinion and I have no qualifications whatsoever to comment on the economy but to me this just kind of seems common sense.  Maybe that's just me though.

Morning Running

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I never thought I would be the type of person that could wake up and work out.  In fact, I was so convinced that I wasn't "that type of person," that I never even bothered to try it.

In my last few weeks at my apartment I figured, why not?  I didn't have to leave for work until 8, and I hated having to come home from work and go straight out for a run when it was still the mid 80s out so I decided to try running in the morning.... just for a week.

I was amazed to see that I actually enjoyed it.  For one, it is still cool in the morning.  Even in the middle of summer, the early morning is cool enough to run without feel like I'm going to pass out.

I also cannot speak highly enough for getting the run over with before I start my day.  When I would plan to run after work I would constantly be thinking throughout the day, "ugh, I still have to run." Or going back and forth between whether I really wanted to or if I should skip.  Now there is no thinking about it during the day.  No debating or dreading or going back in forth.  Actually, the only time I think about it during the day is when I think, "Woo, I've already got  my run in for the day!"

There were always 100 different excuses  I could make when running after work.  Grocery shopping, taking the dog out, being tired, having a doctors appointment... so many things could get in the way (if I was looking for an excuse).  There is nothing I am ever doing at 6:30 in the morning, though.  Other than really really wanting to sleep in, there will never be a conflict at the time so I would have nothing but my pure laziness to blame it on.

So, even if you think you are not a morning person or if the thought of waking up early for exercise makes you cringe, I would recommend trying it out.  It  still isn't my favorite thing to do at 6:30 in the morning, but I've found that making the time in the morning instead of waiting has improved my mind set and my dedication to exercise drastically.

Bachelorette Weekend

Monday, August 25, 2014

This weekend was spent down on the Cape celebrating the impending nuptuals of my wonderful cousin Kayla.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:


Thursday, August 21, 2014

I just finished reading a short blog called "Dead at Noon".  It contains only 4 pages of text, and it was written by a woman about to commit suicide.

This woman, Gillian Bennet, suffered from dementia and, at the age of 85, decided to take her own life instead of slowly drifting off to a point where she no longer remembered anyone or anything.

I have this goal to live until I am 113.  When I was in 8th grade my hometown was having a Tricentennial celebration.  Part of the celebration was a story writing contest. The winner's story would be placed in a time capsule in the town center and would not be opened on the town's 400th birthday. I won that contest and vowed to stay alive to see it pulled from the vault... somewhere around my 113th birthday.

I want to live until I am 113, however I under no circumstance want to live that long if I am a burden on any one else.  I want to be myself at 113, not a body in a bed with no awareness of what I have done in my life or of those I love.

I'm only 26 now so maybe as I approach and older age my views may change, but I think what Gillian did was amazing. I find it honorable that she not only chose against becoming a burden on her family and her country, but she also got to choose the time, place, and location of her last breath.  She got to decide what she was wearing, what her last meal was, and who was by her side at the end.

I would consider myself lucky to live until 113, but I would consider myself far more lucky to be blessed with going out on my own terms.

Despite knowing that I was reading the words of someone who was recently gone, I felt nothing but happiness for her and her family.  We will a die at some point.  It is sad and it is painful and in many cases tragic, but as Gillian shows, it is possible to do it in a strong, dignified, wonderful way.

I've never really had a strong opinion on the topic.  When I think about old age I think to think of myself as an awesome sassy old lady that tells way too many stories but is too awesome for anyone to hold it against her.  That would of course be ideal, but when the time comes that I feel like I can't be the awesomely sassy little old lady, I hope that I might be as strong as Gillian.

Oh, I'd also throw a kick ass party before I go.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

No, not those kinds of drugs.  I mentioned a while back that I had gone to the doctor for feeling exhausted all of the time.  I have a 45 minute commute to and from work and I was finding myself falling asleep at the wheel.  Like, actually nodding off while zooming down the highway.  This was going on for long enough that I knew it wasn't just me not sleeping well for a week or the weather or any outside factors like that.

At the same time I was also finding myself suffering pretty regularly from migraines.  I had never really experienced one until about a year ago.  I found that I was getting at least one bad one a month and had milder headaches pretty much nonstop the rest of the time.  Some were bad enough where I had to either go home or stay home from work.  I couldn't track them well enough to figure out what was triggering them, but after many months of dealing with the migraines and the two months of fatigue I finally went to the doctors.

The obvious first step was a blood test.  My doc tested for everything under the sun and everything came back perfect.  Wooo!  She also gave me a prescription for Propranalol for the migraines.  It's actually a blood pressure medication, but she said it had also been shown to stop migraines.

At my follow up appointment a month after the blood test I found that I hadn't had a migraine, but was still super tired.  We both agree that it may have been an antidepressant/anti-anxiety medication (Lexapro) I was on.  She offered to switch me to another brand but I've decided to just try coming off it all together.  It takes a few weeks to correctly come off Lexapro but I've finally done that. 

I wasn't sure if the Propranalol was actually doing anything but forgot to take it both Tuesday and Wednesday.  Thursday evening I was hit with a massive migraine.  I had to call out of work Friday because it was so bad.

Guess it's working.

Of course because I was out of work Friday and then went into the weekend I really haven't been able to test my fatigue but I'll try to do that over the next couple of days before my third doctors appointment for all of this.

My coworker like to think of me a Dr. House patient and we spend a good portion of our day trying to figure out the deal with all of this stuff.  It's great to know the meds are helping my migraines, but it still doesn't tell us why I'm having them in the first place.  And hopefully coming off the other meds will help with the fatigue, but what if that doesn't work? 

I'm hoping this all gets sorted soon since it's a pain trying to get to the doctors every month just to be told "lets try this" and cross our fingers and hope it works.  Hopefully third try is the charm!

Back to Basics

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fall is coming.  The air is cooler, the sun is setting earlier, football has started.

This past winter was rough, but I can't help but get a little excited to feel fall in the air again.

It has always been my favorite season and I think a huge part of that is because it has always been a time of new beginnings.  Back to school, my birthday, new wardrobe... lots of good things tend to happen in the fall.

I finally feel like I'm getting settled again and I can get back into some routines.  I will be the first to admit that I fall out of routines quite regularly, but I don't hold it against myself.  More often than not any disruptions are caused by something bigger or better taking precedence so it's almost always worth it. 

But now it's time to refocus.  I'm somewhat settled back in at my parent's house (still mostly living out of a garage but I at least have my own space).  I'm slowly working my way back into running.  I'm making sure I spend some time each day for blogging and more importantly, writing.

It just feels good to be doing all of the things I love again.  Yes, I actually thought to myself yesterday "I love running."  I don't think I've ever said that before, but having gone so long without a run made me realize that I really enjoy just having that time to myself and feeling my body do something other than sit. 

I know there will be times when one or all these things fall by the wayside again, but I know I will eventually find my way back to them like I always do.  I think it might even be the break from them that makes me appreciate them as much as I do. 

2+ Months

It's been over two months now since Josh left for his deployment.  It's been just over two weeks since he's left the country to go to his duty station.  It has been hard.  Other than the two days it took for him to get to his base, we've managed to talk at least a bit each day. But, considering he is 7 hours ahead of me, it is hard to talk for long.  For the few hours we are both awake at the same time, I am at work so communication during the week is limited to online messages. We get to video chat on the weekends but sometimes that makes it even harder.  Being able to see him but knowing he is so far away just kind of amplifies the feeling of distance.  Having the ability to at least do that is a godsend, but after two months not being able to see his face regularly has taken a toll.

I think we've both had our fair share of "how the hell are we going to do this for xx amount longer?" moments.  Luckily, I think we've been good about taking turns with the sad feelings.  I'm afraid to even think about what it will be like if we are both feeling that down at the same time.

I know we still have a long way to go, but we're in the home stretch.  He's where he will be for the rest of the deployment and he can finally settle in and focus on what he needs to do to get through it, instead of constantly having to think about the next step in the process.

I really don't know what else to do but take it one day at a time.  I keep thinking about what things will be like when he gets back, but I've found if I think about it I just get sad that he's not here now.  But, at the same time, one of the things that keeps me happily busy is planning things so I keep falling back into too much thinking mode.

Only 8ish months left....

$60,000 in Debt: Month 3

Monday, August 18, 2014

Whoops.  I meant to post this a few weeks ago but with all the moving going on it fell by the wayside.  It amazes me how easy it is to spend money without noticing it.  There were a few items I bought that were definitely not necessity, however leading up to moving back home I think I was trying to cope via spending.  Not something I want to happen regularly, but I let it slide in this case.  Hopefully the month of August has a little less spending.

The New Digs

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Well, I am official out of my Lowell apartment and kind of moved into my parent's basement.  It's been a long few weeks of transitions since the basement wasn't done before my lease was up, but we're almost there!

Back on March 27th I took this picture.  I had just asked my parents what they thought of finishing the basement and letting me live there for a while.  They didn't want me to move out in the first place since they know how expensive rent is, but our house was just too small and crowded.  If I could have my own space (beyond just a bedroom) it would be much easier to handle.  Luckily for me, my parents had wanted to finish the basement for years and this would be the motivation they needed to just get it done.

Unfortunately, my lease was up less than 4 months from the time I asked this.

This might not seem unreasonable to most people, but anyone who has ever been in my house or seen how my family functions will know that the average time to completion of a project is around 10 years.  So yea, four months was kind of crazy.

I don't know how they did it, but they more or less made it happen (though I did spend two weeks sleeping in our camper in the driveway).  There is still more work to be done (the bathroom has nothing in it, the trim work still needs to be painted, etc.), but I was able to move my bed and tv down there.  We still have a final inspection that needs to be done so I can't move most of my belongings in for a while more, but after the last few weeks, I'm just happy to have a roof over my head that isn't made of aluminum.

Happy Birthday Miss Nevaeh!

Monday, August 11, 2014

I cannot believe that this little girl is already 2 years old!  It really feels like just yesterday I was sitting at a restaurant in Dublin checking my phone every 30 seconds waiting to hear that that she had been born. 

She has become one of the sweetest, most friendly, most fun people I know and I'm so excited that I get to watch her grow up.