Thursday, December 30, 2010

reflections

The year has managed to slip past us once again. And once again I am glad it is over and looking forward to the new year. More so this year because I'm looking forward to change and progress rather than trying to forget a shitty year. Because 2010 was not so bad. Well, parts of it were but the mid-to end were pretty good. I think I've finally found "normal" again or at least have gotten used to my normal. You know you feel better when you now think that winning the lottery will solve all your problems! There was a time when I couldn't even feel hopeful with that ticket in my hand. When my problems seemed insurmountable (is that a word)? Yeah, my past and future health problems don't weigh as heavy on my mind anymore. I say this as I shed a layer for yet another hot flash! And I say this a day after I dreamed I got more bc. I guess my impending breast mri is weighing on my subconscious a little.

Seriously though, these past couple of months have been pretty stressful as we've finally taken a look at the toll this ordeal has taken on our finances. Most of that toll has been from me not working and from buying expensive mental health snowboarding tickets and new bikes to sweat away our worries. At the time I knew we couldn't afford it but I didn't care. I couldn't worry about anything but myself. That's why I know things are better now. I've been under a ton of stress yet don't feel depressed at all. I feel pretty happy in fact. Spent the last couple of days applying for jobs and feel pretty hopeful about that.

I've learned a lot about stress and coping over the last year and a half and I'm trying to put that knowledge to use. Got rid of a major drain on our resources by selling our beloved truck (the honda ridgeline). It was very useful in ny and ut and so much fun to drive in the snow and on the dirt but we don't need it here. It still had some value so we were able to trade it in, pay it off and pay for most of the next three years of a lease on a toyota prius. Yup, the nerd-mobile:) Actually, when you look at the gas savings, it's almost like we are getting paid to drive it each month! Just have had it for a few days so we'll keep you updated on how we like it. Sounds dead quiet though so I do worry about running over some pedestrians who will inevitably step off the curb without looking, just like they do when I'm biking down the street! I tell you it is a relief not having that truck payment anymore.

Some of my other stresses have come and gone in the last two weeks. I passed my certification test for being a nursing assistant! The test itself wasn't worrying me, rather the fact that I didn't have my cali driver's license was stressing me out. I was afraid they wouldn't let me sit for the test because I hadn't gotten my picture id in the mail in time, but it all worked out. And then a few days before my test, my left thumb started triggering badly. What that means is that my thumb was locking in an odd position whenever I tried to use it. If you've never had thumb problems, you may not realize how much humans depend on them. From tying shoes, to opening things, putting on contacts, pulling up your pants, etc. Needless to say, a thumb problem right before my skills test was not a good thing and my stress level was off the charts. But I managed to get in right away to a surgeon who did give me a cortisone shot to try and reduce inflamation and then went to dw's chiropractor the day before the test and managed to get through the day without a problem. Since then, I've been two more times to the chiro and my thumb is not only feeling better, it hasn't been locking up anymore. Too soon to say if it's been healed but I'm pretty hopeful that no surgery may be necessary. DW's chiro is actually out on injured reserve but his fill-in, dr p, uses the same graston and active release techniques that he uses. DW swears by it and now so do I. They not only do the normal adjustments, but work on getting rid of all the old, built up scar tissue we all have from the years of wear and tear on our bodies. I would have started going sooner if I knew that my insurance covered it. Wish I had been doing this once a week instead of the pt sessions I was paying for all summer. I think the results are much better.

Another big stress that will be off my mind in a couple of days is my new insurance! Not only will my insurance (through dw's work) be free, but my mri will be too. And my drugs are going to be substantially cheaper. I think my drugs are going to cost about $100 a year rather than $1000! Hell yeah! So even though we're going to be tightening our belts to pay off some bills, the future looks brighter.

One more stress factor we are getting rid of next month is our living situation. We will be subletting an apartment from a friend and it will be in oakland. So happy about moving back to the hood and being closer to our friends and the bay and having some room of our own. It's been a godsend to be staying with the in-laws for these last few months but the new place will be a little less crowded for all involved! And ready to finally settle back into cali. A place of our own will allow that to happen. Too bad we got rid of the truck before we moved all our crap;)

With all the stress hitting me I try and remember what helped me before. Music, long walks with the dog and dw, the gym, the bike, friends, family, patience, the garden, writing. I look forward to 2011, my new apartment, game nites with friends and family, a new job, classes and a step forward to my goals, new friends, old friends, less excess, new experiences, more fun. Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

christmas in cali

It's a little different my second time around in cali. The first time I moved here it was at the beginning of the summer. By the time winter rolled around I was used to cali and didn't miss the snow too much. And I had come from minneapolis. A frozen tundra in the winter with very little decent skiing close by so I wasn't missing much. Now, after spending the last five winters in ny and utah, with an abundance of snowshoeing and snowboarding, we are experiencing a bit of loss here. The christmas lites on the houses are pretty but seem out of place among the palm trees and green lawns. We saw dozens of cars today sporting christmas trees on the roof racks. Just not the same when it is almost 70 degrees out!

We've been stressed out lately by various things and feeling a little homesick so decided to make some fun this weekend. We went and saw the movie 127 hours yesterday. It's the story about the guy that was doing some rockclimbing in canyonlands (utah) and got his arm stuck between a boulder and a rock wall and had to cut it off to save his life. We wanted to go see it so we could enjoy some utah scenery and it was full of beautiful shots of slickrock and slot canyons! Then today, instead of feeling sorry for ourselves that we have no snow and no money to drive to tahoe to enjoy that snow, we decided to take a drive to half moon bay and enjoy the ocean instead. We both love the water and are living inland right now instead of in oakland, so we don't get to see it everyday. It turned out to be a really nice day with just a little rain and pretty warm out. The leaves are still gorgeous here and some farms still have pumpkins laying in the fields. Doesn't feel like december yet here but I know all our friends and family in ny, mn and ut are saying something different!