I turned 48 a couple of weeks ago. It’s really hard to wrap my head around. It simply doesn’t seem possible. Some years I get freaked out about aging, but this year I really didn’t give it much thought. Life has just been so busy, I didn’t think much about my birthday at all. I usually have plans lined up and some plan of mental attack of dealing with it, but this year I was more focusses on travelling for my sister’s wedding the following week. It was a nice day, though. It’s always great to hear from friends and family. I received some thoughtful messages, cards, and gifts. The celebration continued into the vacation where my friend treated me to an estuary excursion and returned home to a sweet card that had been lost in the postal system. In all, I feel blessed to still be on this earth and have so much love around me.
My baby sister got married last weekend in Costa Rica. I had never traveled out of the country by myself, and I had some serious anxiety about it all. This wasn’t helped by a storm that was supposed to hit the area the night before I traveled. I had to cancel my trip out of Chicago and had to fly out of Milwaukee. Luck was on my side, though, as a friend was changing her travel plans (to FL) because of weather also. We got a room the night before in Milwaukee and it was so nice catching up with her during the drive/stay. The flights were quite rough and ended up getting in late as they had to change flight patterns. Once we arrived I was so relieved that most signs also were in English. We had been warned not to take taxi and best for private transportation, so I had arranged for my own driver. It was exciting to see someone out there holding a sign with my name. I’m not a fancy person, but I felt fancy. The feeling continued once arriving at the resort. It was stunning. I was rooming with a friend who wasn’t due in until later that night, but luckily, I ran into friends and family right away. From the start, I was at my most comfortable – even in another country. It has always been hard for me being so far away from everyone, but I’m grateful that it’s as if no time has passed whenever we meet up. A large group of us had breakfast, early in the trip, and I appreciated the moment for all that it was. I felt complete.
My lifelong friend Caity and I roomed together. It made the experience all the more better. We just have an ease around one another and a trust that has been built over our entire lives. We have traveled together before, so we knew we would mesh well. We had a family of monkeys that was living in the tree outside our patio and had the best time just watching them. 50 people came for the wedding and most of us stayed at this same resort. A lot of time was spent by all in the pools up by our room. There were 2 swim up bars. It was 90-95 every day we were there, so the pool was heavenly. I did do some exercises each day in the pool, as I knew I was consuming a shit ton of calories. I knew how bad those pina coladas were for me, but it didn’t stop me from drinking then 😉 There were a lot of family meals and adventures. Zip-lining in Costa Rica had been on my bucket list for years (I even have a couple doing it on their honeymoon in my book). I was freaked out in the beginning as it was hella windy and you had to use your hands to hold on to one line and the other for the brake. My hands don’t always work well, and I don’t trust them, but I got over my phobia about it on the first run and had an absolute blast! The experience was made better by doing it with my sister Nealy’s family. They are some of my favorite people.
My weight is not where I’d like it. I’ve still got quite a ways to go in my journey. It was on my mind before the trip, but as always, being around close family and friends – I just forgot about it. In the craziness of canceling/booking new flight and having to leave my house earlier – I forgot to pack my swimsuit. A new friend that I met on the trip, offered up a 2 pc suit to borrow. I was like…fuck no….but she was so encouraging and I’m so happy she let me wear it. I felt so free. I was one of the biggest people there, but I didn’t even think about it. I just enjoyed it all. Nealy had given me a dress for my birthday (for the wedding). It was sleeveless and I brought a sweater to cover my arms. My army are super flabby. My neck has really limited what exercises I can do with my arms. I’m really aware of how fatty they are. By the night of the wedding, wearing the sweater wasn’t even an option. I was completely comfortable in my own skin during the whole trip.
The wedding was absolutely stunning. Brooke is the most beautiful bride I’ve ever seen. A wedding at the ocean, during the sunset….perfect. Brooke is so happy and it just made something so wonderful – even better. The whole night was a pure celebration of love, not only between Brooke and Tony but for all of us in attendance, love and appreciation for each other. We danced the night away and I can still hear the laughter from it all. It was just a magical night.
As much as I love the trip and should’ve stayed longer, it was nice to get home to Brian and the boys. I really wish they could’ve experienced it all with me. As much as I cherish adventure, I thrive on routine. I was exhausted this week and thought it was from the trip but woke up in the middle of the night Wed, to a cycle that decided to wallop me. I had some emotional moments last week, and thought it was from leaving my family but I think it was mostly the dang hormones. I’m so lucky it didn’t hit while I was on my trip. I didn’t eat all that terrible on the trip (with a few exceptions). I ate a ton of fresh fruit every morning. I was mindful but also knew I was taking in thousands of calories in alcohol. Also, when you’re eating out 3 meals a day, it’s always worse than one thinks. I had prepared to pull it together when I got home but the period got the best of me. The night I usually eat my baked potato with broccoli and cauliflower, I had a double butter burger with cheese and fries… Still, I pat myself on the back for staying away from soda (since Nov). I was up over 5 pounds over those 2 weeks, but I’m okay with that. In my life, I’ve never been close to being okay with a gain. I know I’ll work it off. I was good with food choices yesterday and also hiked. Today I’ll do the same. I’m so grateful to be in a healthy head space when it comes to the scale. It has taken me a lifetime to get here, but for now, I’m here. Thank God.
My prayers have been quite full for a while now. They are not only full of gratitude for the love and good health in my life, but for so many I’m close to, along with loved ones of close people to my life who have been going through some serious health issues. I’m not close to many people at work. I just kinda do my thing. I get along with people, but I’ve treated this job much differently than anywhere else I’ve worked. In saying that, there are a few people, including Toy, our receptionist (I’ve mentioned her on here before – the most genuine soul I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing). She had some serious issues in November, and did try to return to work for a short while but it is out again. One of the closest people in my life, also came to work where I am and has been going through his own serious health issues. He has also been out for a while and am not sure if he’ll be able to return. Another man, Barry had been in my prayers for many months. Barry is a corporate manager and not in our location. I haven’t worked directly him that many times, but I’ve always really liked and respected him. He’s so damn smart. I’d heavily considered going to work for his department and felt so privileged that he thought highly enough of me to want me on his team. Barry was released back to work after beating lung cancer. At the end of summer, he was out here and we had great all-day meeting and group of us went to nice dinner that evening. Barry was sitting across from me and we talked wine, food, etc. I was so happy he was back and well. He ended up flying back to NC in the middle of that night as intense pain had started in his back. From there, he’d been to hell and back and eventually finding another tumor. It was removed and after spending couple months in hospital/rehab (the tumor had taken away his ability to walk). He was released a few weeks ago and we were all hopeful for full recovery. Pneumonia set in immediately and he passed away a couple of weeks ago. Barry was the direct boss to the person I’m closest to at work and I felt so badly for him and all Barry and his family had been through. I was crying when I found out and as if she knew (although I had not told her anything about Barry), the bff text to say hi and check in. I told her what happened and she said, WTF is happening all around you? She’s right – I’ve only mentioned work friends. It has been much more than this. It has been a lot to carry and there are moments I’ve totally broken down in feeling helpless to help them. My prayers have never been so full. Still, some prayers have been answered for some and hope is there for others. I’m so grateful in that I have only had smaller moments of depression in the last several months. It’s controlled through luck, diet, therapy, dialogue, on and on. I’m always vigilant in working on my mental health. When I feel myself going down, I fight – knowing how lucky I am. I thank God every single day. I know what so many are going through, and my life is incredibly blessed.
I know this post was all over the place, but that’s life – for all of us.
Here’s wishing you a wonderful Sunday and awesome week. We all have so much to be thankful for.
Here’s the new Dixie Chicks single. They have always been one of my favorite bands, and I can’t wait for May 1 when this new album drops. My therapist introduced me to the term, “gaslighting,” a while ago. I know we’ve all experienced being gaslighted at some time or another. Enjoy.