What’s that? Zombie blog? That’s right. All I want is your braaaaains…
Well, anyway. This is the first moment since the beginning of February that I have to sit down and write. I find myself nostalgic as I remember the days when I had little else to do but sit at my desk and tap keys to communicate. That time is a little more than a year in my past, now! Though my brain is restless and dreams of new writing/gaming projects, and of those I have yet to finish, my body too often finishes its days tired, sore, and in desperate need of actual rest. Truthfully, I’m doing my best not to stress about it, though my success has been partial at best. I was so happy to see my career as a writer and developer heading in the right direction before this weight loss journey began, and it kills me to delay doing the thing I love most in the world – even if I know the cause is righteous and will enable me to write many, many more stories before a much older and grayer me leaves the real world for good. Someday – perhaps someday soon – I’ll get back some of the time I’ve put into changing my habits, my health, and my life. Until then… the journey continues.
Life here is… action-packed. John has been working hard as the new head of his current project and team at work, which involves a lot of new learning and adjusting for him. I’m proud of everything he’s accomplished, and I’m doing my best to cheer him on while helping to ease the stress of the transition in these early months. My life has been a combination of frustrating minor illnesses, unexpected but thrilling social anxiety triumphs, and a big shift in my responsibilities to my family. As I think I mentioned in a previous post, I had plans to schedule short monthly trips to Tucson starting this year, in order to spend more time with my mom and help with some of her care. This was my way of trying to balance my desire to honor and care for my family, with my desire to protect and live the life that I’ve fought so hard for here in Washington. The trip that John and I took together in February was the start of that plan; I just recently returned from the first solo flight that I’ve had the courage to take for many, many years. (Spoiler: nobody died.)
My mom’s health continues to decline, and these trips are becoming more necessary as time goes on. I’m a little bit overwhelmed by the sudden enormity of it all – while I knew that they would be important when I planned them, I didn’t expect that to become clear so soon! Chalk it up to another of my weird moments of intuition. All of us are working hard and doing our best to keep her fighting for what recovery she is able to attain, but it’s slow going, and up a very steep hill. The frustration I feel at coming down with colds or migraines on occasion must be a small fraction of what she feels; when you can’t even rely on your legs and feet to take you one step at a time, even the little things seem impossible. If you know my mom, and/or you are able to contact her in any way, I would deeply appreciate any love and encouragement you can send her way. In the absence of that, prayers are always needed every day. After her most recent health scare, anything is possible, and there may come a time someday soon when it is too late for us to say or do the things we’d like to. Much of her future is still in her hands, but it is also in God’s, and being grateful for the time we do have is most important now.
John and I are continuing to focus on weight loss, though John is reaching the point where he needs to consider switching to maintenance! While he is still the man I married on the inside, it is almost impossible to recognize the person he used to be when I look at the happy, healthy, and handsome guy in front of me now. Both of us now have lots of visible, defined muscle in places we didn’t even know we had, and we’re starting to be mistaken for people who have always been fit and active. (Ha!) While his body fat percentage is now well into the healthy range, I still have 20-30 pounds to lose before I can qualify for a safe pregnancy. Every day brings me a little bit closer though, and watching the slow, steady journey is still a joy! I will admit to a couple of days of despair when John told me he was thinking of switching to maintenance, but I couldn’t be happier for him – he’s more than earned this, and I’m going to do everything I can to learn from his example while he shifts his focus. The maintenance process is what we were supposed to learn during Phase 2 of the program, but because we both still had weight left to lose at that time, we ended up missing that part of the lesson. I have every faith that our 20/20 teams can help guide us in the right direction. We’re still checking in with them on the reg!
Speaking of 20/20, we finally went in for our formal photo shoot last Tuesday! (That’s right. I did TRX moves and deadlifts in full makeup and it was delightful!) They got lots of good pictures of us, and of us with our trainers, doing all the stuff that we usually do. We don’t know when we’ll see the final result yet, but that will be our chance to look at the draft of the article they’ll be running about us, and make any changes we’d like. I’m pretty sure that they said we’d get access to the photos for our own use too, so I’ll be happy to share those with you all as soon as I have them! We can also try to get extra copies of the Pro Pulse issue we end up in. (We don’t know which this will be yet, though.)
Between all of this mayhem, there has been some time for fun, too! We have had a fancy new couch on order since before Christmas, but delays in manufacturing meant that it wasn’t expected to arrive until May. Imagine our surprise when we woke up a couple of weeks ago to a shipping notice! We had to scramble to get our old Ikea sofa and loveseat hauled away so that the new beauty could come in. We’re now the proud owners of a charcoal-gray leather sectional that fits together to form a giant “couch pit!” It can make normal couch shapes too, of course. That’s the beauty of a sectional. But there’s nothing like having a couch surface larger than a king-sized bed to watch movies or play games on! So far (knock on wood) the cats have taken well to the change, and they seem far more interested in sleeping on it than scratching it. We’ll hold them to that! It’s by far the most expensive couch we’ve ever owned, and it’s really exciting to feel like adults with a nice couch instead of the Ikea special. We’re even light enough now that it shouldn’t collapse in two years!
We’re also still seeing the occasional show in Seattle. Our most recent venture was to see The Illusionists, a stage production featuring five magicians performing magic acts right in front of us. We had a great time, and it definitely brought back the kids in us – both of us remember loving stage magicians as kids, and John wanted to be a magician about as badly as I wanted to be an assistant – or Melinda, the First Lady of Magic! (Such a pity she’s on break with no official plan to return… we need more famous lady magicians!)
Prior to the show, we made our way out to Seattle and the Pike Place Market area in search of World Spice Merchants – a local spice shop known for having any kind of spice you could dream of – and several dozen beyond that. We showed up about an hour before close, and promptly wished we’d brought three more hours and a suitcase. The staff treated us like kings and had tons of great recipe ideas to share, and I can’t wait to go back to try even more of their spices and blends. The current front-runner for new favorite has to be urfa biber, a Turkish pepper that brings heat, smokiness, and a hint of tobacco flavor to anything it’s used in. Move over, chipotle – this is where I’m living from now on! The nicest part is that the last time John and I attempted to handle the steep hills and inclines of the market area back in 2011 with my parents, we nearly died from overexertion. It wasn’t a pleasant trip for anyone. This time, we only had to stop once in our mad dash around the area looking for food before the show – and that was at a pace that would have terrified us last time. It’s amazing how times have changed for us!
I’ll go ahead and end this the update here for now. Tonight is a rare quiet night at home for me – John is out with a friend, cheering on the Mariners at their first game of the season! As we cut the cable cord years ago, I’m keeping a distant, online eye on the game while I use the time to take a long bath and some notes on my latest writing/developing ideas. Even if I know I’m going to be slow in creating things for a few more months, I want to use what time I have so that I can hit the ground running when I’m ready. The first stop will be completion of The Looking-Glass Girl… but after that?