upheaval benefits

Anyone who has followed life under The Big Top of late knows much has happened in a very short time:

  • my darling husband turned 53 and got really, REALLY, REALLY lucky in a car versus motorcycle accident so that he could enjoy celebrating turning 53.
  • Fallon now enjoys making direct eye contact with Mima’s camera and is literally counting down the days before she begins pre-Kindergarten…it’s coming y’all in DAYS!!!
  • Daniel is back to school in 8th grade and we are all pretty certain that I will be that mom as this is the last time ever for me to have an 8th grader who will be graduating 8th grade nine months from now. I’m already teary y’all.
  • And in one weekend, Abby and Jodie both moved out. Jodie moved back for another year at Arizona State which means that she won’t be home for dinner tomorrow or the next day or even the days after that. Abby ran away from the circus to her own apartment shared with her best of friends. She is not far but she is definitely off doing adult things like grocery shopping and hanging pictures and dealing with apartment maintenance trouble shooting a leaky dishwasher.

One would imagine that I am here just wanting to settle back into a quiet, calm, easy, normal routine.

Are you kidding?

It’s quiet around here…it’s even quieter than I might have ever imagined when all these kids of mine were home and noisy and loud and everywhere and underfoot and standing on my last nerve. This is too calm, y’all.

And so I decide to challenge myself with a little change or two or more.

Why not?

Yes, I know that I am late to the Whole30 party…but I am not the only one. Truthfully, I might have never given it a second or third thought were it not for the inspiration of two people I am acquainted with, two very busy moms of four. I watched them both take on the Whole30, making all the changes in their kitchens, their routines, their diets…and they did not go bat-shit crazy trying to balance Whole30 into everything else that busy moms of four kids under 12 must do. On the outside, they both looked better reporting inches and pounds lost, better sleep, better skin, hair and nails…and for one, who has dealt with a number of health issues after a major medical crisis a few years ago, dramatic improvements in her overall health.

Hmmm…

Why not look into this. I am a woman of a certain age now…menopausal with all the fun and games that comes with that bull-shittery. Sleep well? I am a a nurse who works 12 hour night shifts…please. But positive health changes and inches and pounds lost aside, it’s too quiet around the Big Top and I need a challenge,,,soo…

Of course it takes time, planning, patience and support from people around you. It might seem hard but as Melissa Hartwig phrases it: Quitting heroin is hard. Fighting cancer is hard. Childbirth is hard. Drinking your coffee black is not hard. I’ve birthed more than my fair share of babies…which doesn’t come close to beating heroin or cancer but I get it. This is a challenge but it is a do-able challenge.

The initial pantry-stocking shopping list will likely hurt but you got to start somewhere. The dreaded first week might have been hard except I had a killer summer cold to distract me from feeling miserable without sugar and pasta and bread. Let’s just say they both made me miserable. But I did survive Bill’s birthday cake by letting his children serve it up.

Ultimately, it wasn’t as hard as I imagined it to be. The circus that remains under the Big Top has literally never eaten better. I didn’t miss Bill’s birthday cake or bowtie pasta with pesto sauce or even the big bowl of Jelly Bellies in the break room at work. I enjoyed feeling full between meals, improved sleep and energy levels. My skin literally has never, ever looked better.

The Whole30 is not really a diet but more of a dietary reset. Eliminating excess sugars, dairy, grains and over-processed foods resets your gut allowing it to heal and then work the way that it is designed work. Still people think of Whole30 as a diet and, of course, want to know what are the results? How much weight did you lose??

Well, 30 days later I am happy to report that along with all the other positives I have lost a little over 9 pounds and 8 inches and yes, that is pretty cool too. And now, 30 days later, where do I go from here? Whole60? 90? Whole30 forever? How about Whole30ish. I’m liking the overall changes in my health and physical condition and I imagine that I, like other mere mortals, will need more than 30 days to see far dramatic results…like the end to these ridiculous soaking hot flashes because menopause happened more than five years ago….so I will continue to maintain following Whole30 guidelines with the exception of treat like when a coworker brings in a Nothing Bundt Cake to share or wine or a Moscow Mule or an ice-cold glass of chocolate milk after a 5 mile run because, literally, there is nothing better than that!

my heart in San Francisco

Literally.

He might have been super annoyed with me this morning, as only a fourteen year old boy can be with his mother, when I insisted the tank top, shorts and flip flops would not work at all for a walkabout adventure in San Francisco because it’s July. Seems the boy has never heard of Mark Twain so telling him about the coldest winter spent was a summer in San Francisco would likely not be something he has ever heard. Yes, making a note to add some of Mark Twain’s works to this boy’s reading list. Book 4 of Frank Einstein’s adventures will have to wait.

Meanwhile, yes, he was irritated that I insisted he add some layers. But he was glad for it later on and told me so while we walked hand in hand, fingers laced, around the Embarcadero and beyond.

My heart!

In San Francisco!

It was a perfect day to wander around and explore with no real plan other than just seek adventure where ever we might be. Daniel agreed. But if pressed for the best moment of today he would tell you it was this.

I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco but I am quite certain that he will be back.

Soon.

just when I think getting older really sucks…

Today was my annual head to toe check up complete with lab work and boob smashing referrals. Hurray, hurray, hurray! Added bonus is a new med to take because menopause is becoming more and more of a bitch and all I can say is $140 is a helluva lot of money to charge for ONE PILL!!! Actually I can also say that I am so happy for the insurance that we have with a good prescription plan because although $10 for ONE PILL is ridiculous it is so much less ridiculous than $140.

And how in the world can I be dealing with First World Old People Problems when I don’t feel THAT old…except when I first wake up and get out of bed in the morning or when I hobble home after a 12 hour long shift?

I should really be allowed to feel sorry for myself right now.

I should.

But it could be worse.

So much worse.

On a barren seafloor, the pearlfish swims into the safety of a sea cucumber’s anus. To find a meal, the female bolas spider releases pheromones that mimic a female moth, luring male moths into her sticky lasso web. The Glyptapanteles wasp injects a caterpillar with her young, which feed on the victim, erupt out of it, then mind-control the poor (and somehow still living) schmuck into protecting them from predators.

These are among the curious critters of The Wasp That Brainwashed the Caterpillar, a jaunt through evolution’s most unbelievable, most ingenious solutions to the problems of everyday life, from trying to get laid to finding food. Join Wired science writer Matt Simon as he introduces you to the creatures that have it figured out, the ones that joust with their mustaches or choke sharks to death with snot, all in a wild struggle to survive and, of course, find true love.

 

What the actual fuck?????

It COULD be worse.

I’ll just swallow that bitter little pill of mine, find the right balance of exercise and, yes, buy Matt Simon’s book because I need to feel better about my aging self.

 

 

but if only we all were unicorns

Here under The Big Top, we all love the horses with a sword on their heads who guard all of our hopes and dreams because of course these unicorns are real…as real as little girls. So when Amazon, without prompting, suggests that you want to buy this book

you buy it! Of course you do! A little unicorn who believes in those magical, mystical creatures that are little girls? You buy this book.

And you share it with some of your favorite magical, mystical creatures delighting in the fact that THEY ARE READING IT TO YOU because they are indeed magical, mystical, amazing creatures, these little girls.

Were it not for the reality that I will be REALLY old, I can not wait for when these magical, mystical creatures grow up

and enjoy the many adventures of them doing incredible things like sitting down to break bread with and listen to the thoughts of other magical, mystical people like Brandon Stanton, the founder of Humans of New York.

As for me…well today I managed to win 20 game pieces to play in Safeway’s Monopoly game. Of course not one of them was a winner. Clearly I am not a unicorn. But I am lucky enough to declare that yes, I am related to some of these magical, mystical creatures. Close enough.

commence countdown

Let the countdown commence!

Tomorrow.

Today is the end of another NaPhoPoMo and I am happy to have managed to share a photo each day.

A sharp eye will spy Karen Warlord’s The Beauty of Different in the background. Kind of perfect that it is there. Thank you, Karen, for the inspiration this month.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. ~ Seneca