Twenty Nineteen

“Where did feelings go when they disappeared? Did they leave a chemical trace somewhere in our minds, so that if we could look inside ourselves we would see via the patterns of neurons some of the important things that had happened to us in our lifetimes?” ~ Evelyn Lau, Inside Out: Reflections On a Life So Far

So, here I am.  Back again.  It is now 2019.  I cannot believe that the last time I was here was in 2017.

Much has changed since the last time I wrote.

For one, I am significantly older.  In many ways.  Physically, emotionally, mentally.  2018 was the year of growing up.  I left a great job in the early part of last year, and went on to an even better job.  The new job is challenging and has brought me to what I thought were my limits, but I have been able to shatter previous ceilings and reach for higher elevations.  It has been an exhausting but rewarding ride, and I have graduated to the next level of my career.

Last year was also the first time that I noticed the middle-aged pouch developing around my midsection despite my attempts at healthy eating and moderate exercise.  I had to step up my game, and so I decided to join a gym in October.  This week will be my third month, and I am proud to say that I have been able to workout at least three times a week.  So far, I have not lost any weight, but I feel better and my clothes fit nicely.  My posture has also improved, and the increased circulation seems to have brightened my complexion.

Mentally and emotionally, I have made significant strides.  I am less depressed and I feel more positive in general.  I have been battling bouts of depression my entire life, and I am sure that I will have those down cycles again, but for the moment, I am grateful that I am feeling good, and without any chemical help, thank you very much.  Consistent exercise and eating well have been effective at healing my mood swings, and I will do my best to stay on track.

For those of you who have been following me from the very beginning, my daughter, G, is turning twelve in March.  Remember how I used to call her Baby G?  Well, she is now Tweeny G.  She is almost as tall as I am. She is spunky, smart and quick-witted, and unfortunately for me, good with the clapbacks.  There have been moments when I have pictured strangling her for how she talks back to me, but deep down I am proud that she is a person who will not accept BS or abuse from anyone.

I promise that I will do better in coming back here as often as possible.  Please let me know if you are still around.  I hope to reconnect with all of you.  Cheers!

Chin-Up

“Just be you-strong and honest. The rest falls into place if you do that. It always has. It always will. Remember that. No matter what happens over the . . . centuries ahead of you, remember to be honest with yourself. And if you fail, forgive yourself. You’ll make mistakes. The whole world is new, and they have so many more years in the then you.” ~ Melissa Marr, Fragile Eternity

Last year was a fairly good year.  It was the year that I finally was able to travel.  I traveled to California in the late Spring, and during the Summer, I went to the Philippines, and then to Italy.

I am thankful for those travel opportunities, as I know that travel and vacation are not available to everyone. Certainly even for myself, they were not options for the last few years.

At the end of the summer, I traveled down to Washington, DC and stayed with my brother for a few days. He had made a comment about how I had gained weight over the summer.  I was not upset at his observation, and was even proud to say that I was happy that I had enjoyed the summer so much, traveling and eating different, foreign, and exotic foods.  

His comment, however, did stir up my passion for health and fitness, and since December 25, I have been committed to exercising regularly and eating healthily.  I received a chin-up/pull-up bar for Christmas, and it is now my goal to be able to do five unassisted chin-ups by June 1.  When I first started, exactly one month ago now, I was not even able to do one.  As of today, I am able to do one full unassisted chin-up.

As for my eating habits, I eat everything in moderation.  I do not deny myself any treats, but rather focus on learning to make healthier food choices, and eating in moderation all those foods that may not be so good for me.  I mean what’s a Friday night without pizza?  Life is too short to deny myself simple pleasures, so I still enjoy my favorite foods.  I eat hard and I work out hard.  It’s all about balance.

Speaking of balance, I have been juggling work and home commitments.  I received a promotion at work at the end of October.  The new position has been both fulfilling and challenging, but it also has demanded a lot more of my free time.  And my free time?  It is almost non-existent.  The weekdays are a non-stop rat race, my life lived minute to minute, and the weekends are chauffeuring G around with her various activities.

In my personal life, last year was the year of growth.  I learned many hard lessons in the past few years regarding love and relationships, and last year, I let go of a lot of bad energy and unloaded baggage that had been weighing me down.  I feel much lighter this year and ready to grow even more.  I traveled a rough road, but now I see the path ahead of me and it is looking much brighter and smoother.

Plans

“New Year – a new chapter, new verse, or just the same old story?  Ultimately we write it.  The choice is ours.” ~ Alex Morritt, Impromptu Scribe

Just a few weeks ago I was complaining that I had not traveled anywhere in almost two years.  Now I have three trips planned for this year, with one already booked and confirmed. 
Next month, G and I are going to Los Angeles for a few days to visit a cousin of mine who recently lost her husband.  She is now a widowed mother of three young sons.  We are flying out west to give our moral support.  I also want to show G where I had spent some of my childhood.  Although I am now very much of an East Coast girl, my roots are actually West Coast.  Once upon a time, I was a California girl.
In the summer, the plan is for G to spend her break in the Philippines.  She and I will fly there at the end of June.  I will stay for about ten days, and she will come back in August with my mom.  Before she returns, I plan to vacation child-free and by myself to Greece and maybe spend a few days in Italy to visit old friends.
Money and time are still tight, but sacrifices can be made and adjustments can be arranged.  I have to do what I can to make things work.
I deserve this. 

Dr. Suzanne

From: Dr. Suzanne
To: Nova
Subject: NOVA, THIS is why you’re fat – Please don’t be disgusted though, it’s NOT your fault.

Hi NOVA,

My name is Suzanne, and I’m a real doctor that would like to show you why you may be “fat” and why you’re unable to lose weight no matter how hard you try.

First off, please always know that it’s not your fault…I would like to show you the disgusting truth right now as to what is keeping you fat!

Press here to see the disgusting truth that is keeping you from losing fat: http://www.wrong.info/disgusting

After you see what the problem is, I will then show you how easy it is to finally lose the fat that you want to lose.

Thank you!

Dr. Suzanne

~~~

I swear. They really know how to hit you where it hurts. Who is this Dr. Suzanne and how did she know that I’ve been having body image issues?

I check my junk mail folder only because sometimes “real” emails get re-routed there by accident. There are always all kinds of different advertisement emails, ranging from fake watches, sexual performance enhancing medications, to winning lottery numbers. I wonder, do some people take these junk emails seriously? I have to admit that the email above did get my attention, partly because it addressed me directly, and partly because I have been trying desperately to lose weight. When I was in the Philippines two months ago, all my relatives couldn’t get over how fat I’ve become (I was a size 6), and they did not hesitate in telling me so. So, as soon as I came back home to NY, I’ve been exercising every day. In the six weeks or so that I’ve been exercising, I have managed to drop down to a size 4. It is not my pre-Baby G size (2), but hell, considering I had a 40-inch waist the day before I gave birth, I’m not doing too badly.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.