Friday, August 19, 2016

Intervention necessary


Mural in Northern AZ - Cornville, AZ  (2007)

Weight gain/loss - how to take off the lbs
Eat vegetables. Eat smaller portions.  
Keep the calories at 1200 daily. Exercise 40-60 mins. daily.
Considering with my current position - 
i am on my feet moving (walking) 2.5-5 hours, 5 days a week 
and I've not dropped a lb in 6 weeks, 
it has to be my caloric intake that needs an intervention.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Life is like street art






Albuquerque mural  - photos taken in 2009
Wild and vibrant street art - indicative of so much of life since 2010.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Looking back - 2014 - Evermounting changes

Since June 2013, much has changed in family life, my work life and in the world.

In August 2013. I began employment with Mutual of Omaha as a security guard.  It was quite demanding physically, and took some getting used to, but i really enjoyed the physical demands of the job and got along well with my co-workers.  Things got off to a good start. 

In October 2013, my beau and roommate was blown off course and remained adrift for what seemed like, from my financial perspective, forever.  Without two incomes, our relationship tossed and turned, facing some of our toughest times, yet, together.

In February 2014, my dad, Brian Utter, quietly exited the stage of our lives. Over the next year, my brothers and I had the opportunity to explore his life and living environment, as we worked to sort out all his belongings.  There was so much to sort through, at times, it was completely overwhelming. Through the process, each of us came face to face with various aspects of our own relationship with our father and his relationship with each of us - this reckoning, at times, drew us closer together, and other times, left us estranged.





February 2014 was a mind fog.  Watching a parent's physical life end and planning his funeral and all that entailed was odd on one hand and unreal on another.  Doesn't seem real to this day - almost like my father is just somewhere on a long trip.

February was a month of change, in yet another front, as my beau gathered the momentum to start anew - found a job and began contributing, once again, to the household income.  But just as it seemed smoother sailing was ahead, a tenuous tug of war cropped up between us.  Now. it was my time spent away from him with family and at my father's property that threatened to unravel the uncertainty, in our relationship, even further.

April 2014 with extra cash from my father's more than generous gift to each of his kids - opportunities presented themselves,   I decided to make a trip to Wichita to spend time with my brothers, Curt and Andy, and their families.  I believe this was my first visit since arriving in Nebraska in 2010.  It was time well spent, with such dichotomy - the shortness of the visit and the distance in relationships (on various levels), yet the fascination of spending time with their children and experiencing their world, always has left me wanting more, but unsure of how to attain it.

I, also, saw this trip, as an opportunity to gather my belongings from the far ends of the earth, namely Albuquerque. Ahhh...to go or not to go?  That was the question.  A totally impulsive idea, driven by my growing desire for cycling and fear that something would happen to my belongings.  Though it was a mission accomplished, this trip and the aftermath brought more changes - changes that may not have outweighed the gains. And then splitting up the trip to Wichita, with this additional trip, compounded the losses felt.  Sometimes it is hard to know what is best to go or stay - and the timing of it.  This would be the ever present theme for the remainder of the year.

Summer 2014, us siblings each spent considerable time at our father's property/home in Milford, NE, alone and together.  The time I spent at Dad's property allowed me to work through the grieving process and to address and even discover my father's impact on my life and the lives of others.  I believe having access to his place and taking the time i did to spend time among his belongings, allowed me to heal in regards to our relationship and estrangement. 


As each month of 2014 passed, I received one confirmation after another that the life my beau and I were living, was not what I had hoped it would become.  My beau and I had very different views about our relationship and about "the good life".  No matter our attempts to talk it out, we were unable to reach a consensus that was appealing to both of us.

Finally by the end of the summer, I knew for my own mental well being, I needed to distance living arrangement from the companionship.  I was not open in moving out when the time came to do so, as all manner of thoughts went through my head about how it would play itself out.  Once leaving was finally out in the open and a foregone conclusion, the tension mounted between us.  We both acted a fool with one another and said and did things that hurt the relationship.  

But I had finally done it - distanced my self from the pain, in an attempt to develop a home that would meet my needs. The fabulous thing was - I found a place across the street from my job that was big enough to move in all my things.  No more storage.

Welcome to my Dewey apartment.  
I was definitely nervous financially due the car still in my name that belonged to my beau, still making payments.  It was going to be financially stressful, no doubt.  On one hand I was nervous about this new beginning, and on the other relieved and hopeful

In my beau's mind, it was a betrayal. and he was convinced that I had not only found a new place to live, but a new man.  What he didn't know - was that couldn't be farther from the truth.  I still loved him dearly, despite the disappointments, frustration, and anger.  I didn't do a good job communicating with him, obviously. I allowed my anger to overwhelm me and erect massive barriers between us.  

So as the weeks went by, and the stress between us ebbed and flowed - my beau not wanting to believe any of this to be true if I loved him, insisted that I would/should return to our apartment/relationship as it had been.  I let it all just wear me down and the stress took its toll, as it often does.  

What started the end of October as minor, but persistent back pain (that I thought was possibly a pinched nerve) ended up sending me spiraling into weeks and months of excruciating pain.  I was unable to work, barely able to walk, sit, stand, or even sleep without the pain.  

I began physical therapy immediately and eventually when the pain would not ease, ended up at a doctor for medical intervention.  After Xrays and an MRI, the results were in - spinal stenosis.  The doctor had little that was good to say and the prognosis, according to him, was dismal.  

My attitude was "whatever, this can't be, and I will beat this!

It took a bit before I was able to find relief with the drug - Gabapentin.  I owe my initial recovery to that medication.  It was the only intervention that allowed consistent relief from my pain, allowed me to do my physical therapy, to progress, aided my sleep and recovery, and allowed me to return to work, not to mention to later travel and spend extended time sitting, which initially was impossible.

I was a fiend with my physical therapy, was all about managing the pain in my daily life, loved my new place, began shedding pounds, and was hopeful I was on the mend.  Spending time with my beau, I think, also aided my recovery, as we began to work out and accept our differences - living apart, but still finding time to spend together.

I had little contact with family through all this, as I could not travel and was in a mode of pain management so that I could remain employed.  I had been off work for 6 weeks after only one year of employment.  It definitely made me concerned about remaining employed, but felt a physically active job was preferable over one where I would be required to sit.  Yet some aspects of the job became troublesome - particularly emergency response.

On top of that I had medical bills pouring in left and right and was in over my head financially.  I was nervous about my future but was fighting to remain hopeful.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Mindfulness solstice

Taking advantage of the longest day of the year to practice mindfulness.  How one does that in a sea of people in Times Square, in one of the busiest cities in the world, one can only imagine.  But then why not that? Why not New York City?




And around the world, June 21st is celebrated, welcomed, viewed in a variety of ways.

Today is summer solstice which occurred, actually, at 5:04 am utc (which was at 12:04am in Nebraska, I believe??). To think, I was awake during the solstice and didn't even realize it.  Having access to information and attempting to digest it one day at a time. So what is the solstice? Get informed. Some say "knowledge is power", but i say "knowledge enlivens, invigorates, and gives meaning to life".  Selah.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Owl City...lyrical talent






Here is an example of Owl City -
just what a girl with a "glass half empty" 'tude needs to be listening to...over and over!

Owl City dispensing hope



Really enjoy listening to the lyrical word play of this artist.  Love it!  
and so easy to sing along, catchy tunes that make me think and smile!  
He gives me hope that maybe someday 
I will find the right outlet for the artist held captive within!



Friday, May 24, 2013

No Words Needed





No words needed indeed.  Music is, has, and hopefully will remain my inspiration, my balm of Gilead, my heart and mind massage...how grateful I am for the gift of hearing such beauty.

My favorite music channel on Pandora these days is Classicals for Studying and it is introducing me to phenomenal musicians.  My refuge when I am so utterly frustrated with life (and myself).