Allergic to the Sun???

To add to all of my weird aliments and crazy, strange allergies to the most random things, I now believe that I am allergic to the sun or maybe heat.  It’s hard to say.  It started about a month or so ago with a random rash on my hands.  One hand was worse than the other and it seemed to come and go.  It wasn’t like hives, though.  It was large red spots that seemed to spread out over my hands, fingers, and wrists (see pictures above). I had not been in the sun with this one, but I did notice it was worse after showering. Maybe I am now allergic to water too! Who knows?  I showed it to my doctor at my last appointment, and she thought it looked like an autoimmune rash and tested me for a ton of things that of course all came back negative.  This is actually the second time I have been tested for an autoimmune disorder in the last year because of a weird rash.  The first time (see above), I had these dark red marks all around my ankles.  My doctor said it looked vascular, which is why she thought autoimmune then too.  Anyway, when I went to the beach with my friends a little over a week ago, I got another weird rash. Within 5 minutes of being on the beach it appeared all over the lower part of my legs.  It looked partly like hives and partly not.  It is hard to describe, but it isn’t like the normal hives I get when I have allergic reactions to medicines.  There were larger red spots and then tiny dark red spots that almost looked like razor burn but not exactly.  I had not shaved that morning before going either.  Anyway, it was weird.  It started out on the lower half of my legs and then slowly moved up my leg until it was covering the whole leg on both legs by the second day we were there.  My friend likes to say that the rash was caused by COVID and that I was the original source of the virus that spread to the rest of the world.  She’s so funny, isn’t she?!?!? <insert eye roll> The rash stayed there for several days after I got back home before fading away.  I can only assume that it was either from the sun or the heat because I was not using a new sunscreen or any new lotions. Some of my friends thought that it might be a sun sensitivity caused by some of my medications, but I don’t think that it is either.  I have been on the same medications for years with no issues, and I’m pretty sure that isn’t a side effect of anything that I take anyway.  All I know what that I was walking around looking like I had some contagious disease.  I’m glad that we couldn’t go anywhere in public for anyone else to see.  

I actually had a virtual visit with my doctor this morning and showed her the pictures of my legs from the beach.  She is just as baffled as I am and has referred me back to my dermatologist to take have her take look.  I’m thinking that I may need to see an allergist as well. I have never had any type of allergy testing done, surprisingly.  Most of the things that I know I am allergic to are medicines, and those give me very obvious hives.   I did develop an allergy to adhesives a few years ago and cannot use Band-Aids or paper tape for any length of time without breaking out with a localized rash that makes me want to claw my skin off.  You don’t know how unfortunate that is until you have to have things cut out of your skin all the time and have to have bandages to keep those spots protected until they heal.  I won’t even get into all that today because it’s a lot.  Then, we all know the fiasco from a little over a year ago when I suddenly became allergic to some brands of hair dye and my head was on fire for days.  I guess my skin and body are just super sensitive to things. I have no idea! I wish I knew the causes and how to prevent these crazy reactions. Why must I have the most random things? It really is quite comical to sit around wondering what strange thing is going to happen to me next! Every doctor I have ever had says that I am a unique case and that they like trying to figure me out.  I guess I will just continue to be their test subject. Maybe I should donate my body to science when I am gone.  Haha!

Anchored,

Full Speed Ahead

Wow! June came sailing in with a bang for us.  We went from zero to sixty is just a few short days. To have had practically nothing on my calendar for the past 3 months, I have to say that my June has filled up pretty quickly.  We’ve got things like doctor appointments, hair appointments, remodeling, trips, and cheer starting back up all at once. It is crazy to think about how we went from the insanity that our lives were at the start of 2020 to the absolute standstill of the past 3 months.   I had hoped that we would slowly ease back into life and that things would not get to the level of insanity that we have been living for years.  Things haven’t fully opened yet, we are not even two weeks into phase 1 of the reopening, and we are already full speed ahead.  I should have known better than to think we would ease back into life.   That is just not how we operate in our family.  The past 3 months was a very much needed break from the extreme chaos, but I am ready to get moving again.  I am praying that full chaos mode doesn’t completely return, but I guess we will just have to wait and see.  

This week marked the end of the incredibly insane 2019-2020 school year for my kiddos.  Yesterday was their last day.  While I know the school year was extremely challenging for many and certainly wasn’t ideal, I think our school system did the best they could under the circumstances.  One of my children did better than the other with the situation, but that is just a reflection of their personalities and learning styles.  Overall, though, I think they both did ok considering how drastic everything changed.  I hope things look different in the fall, but at this point, no one really knows what it going to happen.  Today I am taking my oldest for an SAT evaluation so that we can get her started in an SAT prep course over the summer.  She isn’t too happy about taking a 4-hour test on her first day of summer break, but I am certain this will help set her up for taking the SAT next year.  It is crazy that we are having to thing about SATs and college already.  

Tomorrow marks a day I have been waiting on for weeks.  I finally get to go have my hair done, and I am soooo excited.  It should be interesting to see how it all works with wearing a mask while they try to color and then wash and cut my hair.  I can just see it getting in the way or getting dye all over it.  Honestly, I could care less, though.  I just can’t wait to get the weight off my head.  This thick hair has got to go! 

Another exciting event that has been added to my June calendar is my annual girls’ beach trip with my besties.  We usually go in May just after Mother’s Day every year, but it got canceled this year due to the virus.  There was a time when we thought we were going to have to miss it this year, but we were wrong! I could not be happier that we have been able to reschedule for later this month.  I am counting down the days.  That trip every year is a non-negotiable for me.  No matter what is going on in our crazy schedule, we make it so I can go.  This year is no different. It is cheer tryout weekend for my girls, but my husband has agreed to handle it all so I can go.   The beach trip is my time yearly to recharge, and I think I need it this year more than ever.  It is also often the only time I get to see some of my besties each year, too.  I don’t even know how many years the 9 of us have been doing this yearly beach trip, but it has to be close to 10 years.  We always kid that we will be little old ladies hobbling down to the beach years from now.  

If you have been following me for a while, you know that we have been slowly doing some remodeling in our new house.  We have already redone the hardwood floors and kitchen cabinets and a few other odds and ends.  This week we started the renovation of our fireplace that has been a sore sight for me.  I hated the ugly 1980’s green marble and gold trim from the moment we first looked at this house.  The remodel started on Monday and the green is officially GONE! New tile is going in today and I cannot wait to show you all the transformation.  It looks nothing like the outdated eye sore that was there before, and they aren’t even done.  

The final exciting thing that is filling up my June is that next week, both girls will be able to get back in the gym once a week.  I cannot tell you how excited they are to get back at it.  While they have made the best of their virtual workouts, I know they would much rather be in the gym in person with their coaches. It won’t look exactly the same as there is going to be no contact tumbling but anything is better than what they have been doing.  

Who knows what else is going to be added to out June calendar, but I am happy that things are somewhat getting back to normal around here. We are ready and it’s full speed ahead!

Anchored and Rambling,

Hair Talk, AGAIN!

Has it occurred to anyone besides me the unfairness of men’s hair vs women’s in the midst of this pandemic?  My husband was able to order a hair clipper (or whatever the proper term for them is) not long into the shutdown.  He then had me watch YouTube videos on how to use them and eventually insisted that I cut his hair.  As I mentioned before, I was a nervous wreck the first time, but I did it. It turned out alright, I guess.  I have since cut his hair a second time, which was a little easier but still not something I was comfortable with.  Fortunately, the worst-case scenario if I screw it up is that he can buzz his hair and move on. I have seen so many photos of men who have done just that to get through the last few months.  While it may not be the most ideal hair cut to shave most of it or all of it off, this is an option that is acceptable for men.  

Women on the other hand are not as simple when it comes to hair. I would never dream of having my husband cut my hair like I did for him no matter how many YouTube videos he watched!   Most of us would never even imagine cutting all of our hair off or giving ourselves a buzz cut. That is just not acceptable for most women. For women with cancer, losing their hair is one of the hardest parts of chemo.  That is because hair for women is a part of our identity.  It is sad that society puts so much weight into hair, but it is an unfortunate part of our reality as women.  Our hair and how it looks tells a lot about us.  It often gives people their first real impression of who we are. No matter what your hair says about you normally, it is likely screaming right now to have something done to it. We have all be stuck in the same boat with not being able to go to a salon for months, and I know many who are looking forward to that changing soon.

Color is another difference in both men and women when it comes to hair.  No one really thinks much of men going grey.  That is accepted and often considered a source of attraction and maturity.  On the other hand, as soon as a woman starts to go grey, she starts freaking out because grey hair is viewed as a sign of aging in women.  Consequently, it is something most of us try to hide. It is certainly a double standard, but it is reality. Some women are comfortable with coloring their own hair at home, butI don’t think I could ever attempt to do it myself. I would likely screw it up and ruin my hair.  

Most women that I know obsess over their hair and finding the color and style that best suits them.  Not being able to get our hair done has been one of the hardest parts of the pandemic shut down for many of us, including me.  I am one of those people that always has to have perfectly styled hair.  It is just my nature and a part of who I am.  As someone who prefers to have my hair cut every 4 weeks and colored every 8 weeks, not having anything done to my hair in over 13 weeks is making me crazy.  I am way overdue for a cut, and there is more grey hair showing than I care to admit.   I have shared many times before that I have extremely thick hair that grows crazy fast, which is why I prefer to not push it past 8 weeks between cuts. My hair is currently so big that it looks like a bush! Even my husband commented on how big it was the other night.  It’s not frizz. It’s just really big and poofy because it is so thick.  I need it thinned out even more than I need the length cut.  On the days like today when I wash and dry my hair, it is massive! I have to flat iron it as much as possible. I swear it grows throughout the day too.  I will flatten it in the mornings and then by the afternoon, it is massive again!  I watch all these hair videos that pop up in my social media all the time, and the person doing the demonstration is always talking about ways to get more volume to your hair.  I sit there in disbelief hoping someone will one day do a tutorial on how to get rid of volume. The point is, I NEED to get my hair done soon! 

Our governor had started with phase 1 of reopening the state for everyone except for those of us in the northern tip of the state back on May 15.  Our numbers here had not supported the reopening then.  This week the governor officially announced that we could begin phase 1 here starting tomorrow.  Following that announcement, I got the best call yesterday! It was from my hair stylist letting me know that they would be opening back up tomorrow with restrictions.  While some may think that I shouldn’t, I went ahead and scheduled an appointment.  Her first available appointment wasn’t for a couple of weeks, which is evidence that others have been scheduling them too.  Yes, I know that getting my hair done is a risk, but it is one I am willing to take at this point.  I have faith in the precautions that they are taking, and we will all be wearing masks.  We can’t all live inside in fear forever, and we have to get back to normal at some point.  For the most part, we will continue to stay home for now, but I think we will start to venture out little by little. This will be my first dip into the world again, and I cannot wait!  

Anchored,

My Life in Music

I was challenged by one of my friends in one of those Facebook challenge things to post 20 albums that have affected my life or have shaped my taste in music.  I don’t often participate in these kinds of things, but this one got me thinking back over my life.  Instead of posting album covers for the next 20 days on my personal Facebook page, I thought I would share them all here.  As I look back over my life, there are so many songs that come to mind that I loved or that remind me of a specific time in my life.  As you will see from the list below, my taste in music is kind of all over the place.  Being from the south, I grew up on country music as that was what my parents always listened to.  There was a time in my youth, though, that I tried to rebel against their taste in music and listened to more pop music. I even tried to say that I hated country music and would die when my parents would put it on in the car.  However, if you were to ask me today what my favorite genre of music is, it would most definitely be country mixed in with a little contemporary Christian music.  

When I met my husband, I was pretty much back to being a country girl, but he had the total opposite taste in music than I did.  He has opened my eyes to a lot of music over the years that I may have never listened to if it hadn’t been for his influence. However, I will also say that a large majority of the music he listens to, I really hate. The rap, alternative, and heavy metal music, as well as some of the newer pop music that he loves gives me a headache or gets on my nervous tremendously.  On the flip side, he can’t stand to listen to what he calls my “Jesus music.” He is much more a traditional hymn kind of guy.  While he did turn me on to some of my now favorite bands like Sister Hazel and Counting Crows, I was able to turn him into a country music fan.  When we were dating and first married, he used to love playing this game with me where he would say that he would give me a dollar if I could tell him who was singing a particular song on the radio.  Of course, I very rarely got it right since I didn’t grow up listening to the same music.  However, it definitely made me more aware of songs and artists in ways I had never thought of before.  I used to just like songs and not really care, or sometimes even know, who sang it.  That wasn’t as important to me as it was to him.  Now I do pay more attention to particular artists and styles of music.  I would say that we have complimented each other musically pretty well over the years.  

I am not going to give you a reason why I have chosen each of the albums below other than to just simply say that they all remind me of a specific time in my life that was important to me and who I am.  I know that some of these may surprise you and some may not.  Some may even date me, but that is ok.  I actually thought it would be hard to find 20, but I ended up with more than that and am going with 22. It was really cool to think back about some of the songs from these albums and what was going on in my life when I was listening to them on repeat. I do think this is a good representation of where I came from and where I am now, though. Here are the 22 albums that have played throughout my life.

Anchored,

Oh, How I Long…

Onyx Necklace/Ellora Necklace/Radiant Necklace/Pear Drop Hoops/Top and Cardigan (Lularoe)

I am seriously struggling to think of things to write about these days.  We have been doing this quarantining/social distancing thing for 6 weeks now, which means my life has been pretty boring.  Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the slow pace for the most part. It is certainly something that we needed, and I hope we don’t go back to the insanely busy schedule we had before this all started.  There have definitely been those days when I have gone crazy from it all, though.  There is only so much binge watching, reading, and cooking that I can do before it becomes monotonous.  I have only left the house to make quick runs to the store for groceries, and there certainly isn’t anything exciting about that.  Everyone is wearing masks and trying to avoid others as they hurry down the aisles to get what they need and get out as fast as possible.  I need more to do than just the hectic run to the store. Today I am daydreaming about all the things I want to do when this is all over. 

I have decided that the first thing I want to do is to spend endless hours strolling through Target without my family.  It is my favorite store after all, and I think I am having Target withdrawal. I also love my family, but I really need some me time right about now.  Oh, how I long to try on new clothes and shoes and peruse through the home section.  Scrolling through things on their website just isn’t working for me anymore.  I need the real live thing. I need to touch and feel things at the store (without gloves on).  I honestly don’t even need to buy anything (although we all know that I will), I just want to look.  

The second thing I am longing to do is something that most women are dying for about now.  I can’t wait until I can go to the salon and get my hair done.  That is another thing I need for a little me time.  It has only been about 7 weeks (thankfully I went just before everything shut down), but with how fast my hair grows and how thick it is, I need a hair cut fiercely.  Trust me when I say, I lose weight when I get my hair done.  That is how much hair I have!  Let’s not even talk about the grey hairs that are starting to show too.  Oh, how I long to have someone else wash my hair and massage my head.  There is no feeling better than getting your hair done.  It makes me feel so good and refreshed each time.  

The third thing I want to do is to go on a date night with my husband out to eat at a restaurant.  At this point, I don’t even care what restaurant it is as long it is not in my kitchen and I didn’t have to cook it. Since we moved here almost 2 years ago, we have been having a weekly date night while the girls are both at practice.  Before the quarantine, it was pretty much the only time we actually had time to really talk to each other.  I looked forward to it every week.  Now that we are home and he is only going to work every other day, we have tons of time to talk.  My longing for a date night isn’t really about getting time to talk as much as it is about dedicating time for just us and getting to eat a meal I didn’t prepare. Oh, how I long to sit in a booth with just the two of us. 

The final thing that I can’t wait for when this is all over is to see both of my girls getting to do the sports they love so much. I know that they both miss the discipline of it and the time with their friends.  Their coaches and teammates are like their family because they spend so much time together, and they are really missing them all.  Virtual workouts just aren’t the same.  I love watching them both.  I am amazed each time at all the things they can do.  Oh, how I long to sit on hard benches and have my hearing damaged! I’m not sure I ever thought I would say that! LOL! I just miss watching them perform and seeing all of their hard work pay off.  

Again, I do not long to be as busy as we used to be.  I like that this has forced us to slow down and give our bodies and minds a much needed break.  I love that we have gotten to spend time together that we were so lacking before.  I want to have more time together as a family more consistently when this is over, but I do want to be able to do the things we love doing as well.  I wish we could have the best of both worlds.  Maybe we can.  I pray that we can figure out how.  Until then, I am enjoying what we have now and longing for the things we don’t. 

Anchored,

Time Passes too Fast

On this day 16 years ago, I was awakened at 3:00 in the morning in what I suspected was labor.  I was 37 weeks pregnant with my first child.  Instead of waking my husband to tell him I thought I was having contractions, I got up and went to lie on the couch.  I wasn’t really sure they were contractions, but I knew something felt different.  I tried timing them but there seemed to be no regularity to what I was feeling.  When my husband got up a couple of hours later for work, I explained to him that I thought I was in labor.  He asked if I had been timing the contractions, and I explained that I had but that they were anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes apart.  Since I wasn’t doubling over in pain, he didn’t think I was really in labor.  We both decided to get up and get ready for work. I showered, got dressed, put on makeup, and did my hair all before deciding that maybe I shouldn’t go to work just in case I was actually in labor.  I had this fear of my water breaking while I was working with students, so my husband left for work and I stayed home.  All through the morning I continued to have those weird feelings but with no consistency.  Around 3:00 that afternoon I had this sudden feeling that something had popped inside me.  I immediately thought that it was my water breaking but quickly realized that I was hemorrhaging.  I immediately called my husband at work and then my doctor.  They told me to come into the office.  I waited for my husband to get home and then we went to the doctor’s office together.   When we got there and they took me back, I was still hemorrhaging a good bit.  I was dilated 4 cm, 100% effaced, and in active labor. They sent me straight to the hospital.  It was only a few short hours later in my hospital room that a nurse suddenly came running in my room, pushed a button on the wall, called for a doctor, and my room was quickly full of people telling me to turn this way and that, including getting on all fours without telling my what was going on.  Apparently, my baby was in distress. Her heart rate had dropped significantly, and they were moving me around to try to get it back up.   It was then that they decided it was time to get her out.  Using a vacuum and with me only pushing 3 times, I delivered a tiny little peanut weighing only 4 lbs. and 8 oz.  It turns out that the bleeding and that popping I felt was caused by a partial placental abruption.  Despite being so small and a little early, she was perfectly healthy.  She had a little bit of a hard time keeping her body temperature up at first but a short time under the warming lights and she was fine. 

This morning I awoke again at 3:00 AM. Of course, I wasn’t in labor this time, but I think my body or my mind must have remembered that time 16 years ago.  As I lay awake so early this morning, I thought back over the last 16 years.  It is hard for me to believe that in just two short years she will be heading off to college (I hope). She has overcome a lot in her life…a 5 day hospital stay at 4 months of age where we discovered she had urinary reflux, 2 years straight on antibiotics, delayed motor skills, surgery at age 2 to correct the reflux, swallowing a penny at age 3, a learning disability, a couple of broken bones, and 4 moves, 5 different schools, and 3 different gyms. It may not seem like a lot to some, but each thing was a new challenge that she navigated with an unbelievable strength.  Although she makes me want to bang my head against the wall sometimes, I am surprised daily by her ability to roll with the punches.  I can tell you that she has handled our last move, the summer before her first year of high school, way better than I did when my family moved when I was the same age. I am so proud of her strength.  I see a lot of me in her sometimes, and then I see the complete opposite of me at other times.  I can say for sure that she is her own unique person, and she brings a lot of laughter wherever she goes whether it be with her or at her craziness. I am looking forward to seeing how she grows and changes over the next few years as she enters her adult life.  Lord, help us all! LOL!    

While this isn’t the sweet 16 we had planned for her, we will do our best to celebrate her today from home. I was able to get her a small cake and ordered a couple of presents that luckily made it in time. We will figure out something special to do for this milestone once we are able to celebrate with other family and friends. It is hard to think of her as a 16 year old, but I have loved every single moment of each of those years and can’t wait for all the memories to come.

Anchored,

Longing for the Crazy

You may have noticed that I have only posted once so far this week.  I have to admit that is due to our current situation.  When you are stuck at home social distancing and quarantining, your life can be pretty boring.  Unfortunately, that means that my creative juices are struggling.  I sat here on Tuesday staring at my computer for over an hour starting sentences and then erasing them before I finally gave up.  Sometimes I guess I just don’t feel it, and that is bound to happen more and more if things don’t change.  I need a little more excitement in my life to have something to write about.  I’ve lost count of what week of this we are on (or what day it is, honestly), but I am getting to the point of stir crazy as I am sure many of you are too.  It was so nice the first couple of weeks when this started.  We went from a crazy busy life where we barely had time to breathe to NOTHING.  The break was a welcomed change.  However, now we are all struggling a little with the drastic difference of our lives.  When you go from going nonstop to not going at all, you start to feel a little lost and out of place.  While I am enjoying the time together as a family and getting the much needed rest for all of us, I really am starting to miss our crazy life.  I miss watching my girls doing the sports they love. I miss the quiet of the house when they are at school and I’m the only one at home.   I miss having a structured schedule.  I miss going to Target and to restaurants.  I miss our old normal.  I know that I am going to regret those words as soon as all of this is over and the craziness is back.  Right now, though, I miss it.  

Just when I am starting to long for our hectic life, the time has come when we have to make the decisions to determine what our life will look like in the next year. Today we have been talking to both girls about continuing with their current sports.  It is that time of year when we have to make the decision whether or not to continue for the next year. We have to decide if the craziness of life is going to continue or not. Cheer tryouts are coming up next month (if allowed), and gymnastics commitments are due then too.  It is hard to say if this unusual break will have an effect on their decisions or not.  I think one of them is wavering, and it is ripping at my heartstrings.  This is when we have to truly listen to our children and what they desire.  Putting our own thoughts and desires as parents to the side is hard.  Allowing them to make their own decisions is so difficult, but these are decisions that they have to make on their own.  They are both old enough to choose what they want, and we have to trust that they will do what is best for them.  I refuse to push them to do something that takes up so much of their time, if their heart is not in it.  This is honestly the first time that I haven’t been certain of what their answers will be.  This may be one of the hardest parenting challenges we have faced.  Allowing them to make their own decisions even when you don’t think it is the right decision (or you think they may regret it) is extremely difficult, but it must be done. 

As I sit here longing for the old normal in the midst of our new normal and making decisions about the future, I am in awe of where my life is now.  Despite my wishes for this to all be over, I still am able to see the good in it. We are so lucky that we have the ability to stay home right now when so many can’t afford it or don’t have a choice.  We are lucky that our children are healthy and have the ability to make their own decisions about where they want their lives to go. We are lucky to have food on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes on our backs.  In the middle of a pandemic, I am grateful for the opportunity to just be together as a family when so many can’t. We are truly blessed beyond measure, and I am so thankful for all that we have.  Even though I want the crazy back, I am grateful for the boring.  It gives me time to reflect on where we have been and where we are going.  The only thing I know for sure is that wherever the “normal” takes us, we will go together as a strong unit.  We’ve got each other no matter what the future holds, and that makes the future look pretty bright to me. 

Anchored,

Sanity Call

I have written before about this group of friends that I have that consists the craziest group of people coming from all different backgrounds and personalities.  Some of us are polar opposites, but somehow, we all meshed together to form this beautiful friendship over 10 years ago.  We just have this incredible bond with each other. Not only is that unusual in itself, but there are also NINE of us.  I don’t know many that could say that they have a group of best friends that big.  We all started out as teachers in the same elementary school all those years ago.  Now four of us are no longer teaching and none of us are still at the original school where we all first met. Sadly, I am the only one that moved away.  To say that being away from all of them is hard is an understatement.  We all went from seeing each other every single day to sporadic get togethers for all of them and only once or twice a year for me.  One thing always remains the same, though.  When we are together, it is like we have never been apart.  We do communicate with each other pretty regularly through a group chat on Facebook messenger, and then we have our annual trip to the beach every May.  I’m not sure what our current situation means for our beach trip this year, but it will break all of our hearts if we can’t do it. 

We support each other and love each other unconditionally.  We share our struggles (vent sessions are a regular occurrence), our hopes and dreams, our heartaches, and our triumphs.   We look out for each other, we lift each other up, and we bring out the best in each of us.  We have struggled through the challenges of parenting, marriage, loss, and careers together.  We’ve cried together more times than I can count, but most of all, we laugh together.  Without them to lean on through some of the toughest times of my life, I don’t know how I would have made it through.  Now is no exception.  It is times like this when we need each other the most.  As we struggle through virtual learning as parents and as teachers, as we worry about loved ones, and as we get bored to death of the isolation…this is when we have to rely on each other the most for our sanity.  

They may kill me for this picture, but it was hard to get a good one where everyone was looking and smiling!

I decided a little over a week ago that we needed more than just our direct messages back and forth in our group chat.  I felt like we needed to “see” each other, especially now that our annual trip is hanging in the balance.  I needed to see them in a fierce way.  I set up a Zoom call last Wednesday so I could do just that.  It is hard for us to all find a time when all nine of us are available, but I figured some was better than none.  We got on the call that day and six of us joined in.  I cannot tell you what a boost that gave me.  We talked for over an hour, and it meant the world to me.  We decided that at least for now we need to make it a point to “see” each other once a week.  My husband calls it my “sanity call.”  He is so right, too.  They do keep me grounded and sane! I was so happy yesterday when seven of us were able to join in our second virtual call.  It truly warms my heart to see their faces in real time and to hear their voices.  Again, our call lasted close to 2 hours.  Our biggest challenge is not being able to talk all at once. We can get pretty loud when we are all together. LOL! My hope is that by next week, all nine of us can tune in.  We need each other so badly.  We thrive off of each other.  Seeing and talking to them makes the challenges we are facing right now so much more bearable.  I truly wouldn’t trade this crazy group of ladies for anything in this world.  

I encourage you all to have your own sanity call with your friends while we are stuck social distancing.  Whether you do it on Facetime, Zoom, or any other platform doesn’t matter as long as you do it and make those connections. I promise you will feel better if you do.  It is sure to brighten your mood. It certainly gives me the strength to get through the next week. Although, I’m thinking we might need to bump our calls up to twice a week. I may need a little extra sanity these days! <wink, wink>

Anchored and Sane (mostly),

 

Put Your Best Face Forward

Pullover Tunic/Necklace

Raise your hand if you are reading this while still in your pajamas or loungewear with no makeup on and haven’t brushed your hair.  I bet many of you have your hand up right now. I’ve seen it all over social media. Guess what, though? My hand is not up.  I got up this morning like I do every single morning, took a shower, got dressed, fixed my hair, put makeup on.  I even put on some cute Trades of Hope jewelry because I am always wearing HOPE. Even though I am not going anywhere and won’t see anyone except my immediate family, I still get ready every day.  With everything that is going on in the world and all of us being confined to our homes for days, the easy thing to do is to let yourself go and not get ready every day.  What is the point, right? Trust me, I understand.  There are days like today when I am not feeling my best and want to just lounge around all day.  I have the urge to just lie in bed and watch TV for hours.  Even on those days, though, I force myself get up and get ready anyway.  I will argue with you anytime that getting ready each day is important. It is especially important in times like this. You may be thinking that I am nuts, but I promise you (at least in this instance) I’m not.   

Times are very uncertain right now and being stuck at home all day can and will lead to depression for some.  Anxiety may be ramped up, and your fears can be overwhelming.  One small thing you can do to combat all that is to get up and get ready every day.  I promise you; it will make you feel better.  Doing something that you would typically do under normal circumstances can give you a sense of security.  Try to follow your normal routine as much as possible while you are stuck at home.  Getting dressed and ready each day will also make you feel more productive.  Even though I may want to, being dressed and ready for the day does help to keep me from lying on the couch all day.  I’m not a doctor or any kind of professional. I only know how it makes me feel.  I can certainly tell a difference in my mood and how I feel in general on days that I don’t get dressed and put on makeup compared to when I do. Now, I am not saying that you can’t have the occasional lazy day.  I do have them myself, but they are rare.  It just shouldn’t become your norm.  I know that it is easy to allow that to happen when you are stuck at home, but trust me, it is worth it to get ready each day. It is important to put your best face forward even if it is just to cook dinner or clean the house.  It will change your mood and attitude for the better.   I truly believe that it is important to keep with that daily routine for your sanity. 

Go get out of your pajamas and get ready to face the day!

Anchored,

Quiet the Brain

I want to write about something other than the Coronavirus, but that is hard since that is our reality right now and it is everywhere! I’m going to try, though.  Instead I’m going to write about something stupid. I am going to write about sleep. Maybe it will give you a laugh in this crazy time about how insane I am.  Seriously!  Sleep is so important, but it is something that I struggle with daily.  I believe that I have mentioned before that I am one of those people who really requires 8-10 hours of sleep. My husband on the other hand is totally fine with only 4 hours of sleep. He can fall asleep in less than 5 seconds and can sleep soundly through anything.  I think that developed for him out of necessity because of his life on a submarine.  Whatever the reason, I am super jealous. I was the girl in college that was in the bed by 9:00 every night and got mad when my sorority sisters where having a mini party on the front porch just below my window.  I know! Sad, right? Anyway, I need sleep to be a functional human.  However, for that past several years, sleep has eluded me.  It takes me hours to fall asleep.  I lay there forever with random things floating around in my head.  It is so frustrating, and it happens every night.  I have tried melatonin and other nighttime sleep aids, but they either don’t work or leave me feeling too groggy the next day.  

I become hyper aware of things when I am trying to go to fall asleep.  I hear every little sound despite using a noise machine that blares white noise.  While it helps and I really can’t sleep without it, it doesn’t block out everything.  Sometimes I think I imagine the sounds I hear, though.  It makes my brain go into overdrive trying to figure out what the sound was. I even become hyper aware of my breathing.  That one is partly because I have had this thumping/swishing sound in my right ear for over 10 years.  It is like I can hear my pulse in my ear 24/7. It kind of sounds like a baby’s heartbeat in utero.  I’ve been to countless doctors and no one can figure out the cause.  Anyway, I have learned to tune it out for the most part.  The only time it really bothers me, or I notice it is when I think about it or I am trying to go to sleep.  That is when it suddenly become very loud and annoying.  When I focus on my breathing and slowing it down, it slows down the beating in my ear.  I have to really concentrate on it though.

The craziest thing is what has been keeping me awake the past few nights. You are going to laugh because it is so ridiculous, and I honestly don’t even know how to explain it so that it makes sense.  I have suddenly become hyper aware of my teeth when I am trying to fall asleep.  I’m not kidding! I lie there debating whether I normally sleep with my teeth clenched, lightly touching, or slightly open.  I know that it makes no sense whatsoever, but I’m serious. It just started happening a couple of nights ago, and I can’t get it out of my mind. It’s like an obsession now.  I am having this internal argument with my brain. It makes every position of my jaw start to hurt because I am over correcting whatever position I have decided on that night.  I feel like I am losing my mind.  I really think I am going insane. I try to think about something else, but I can’t.  I don’t even know why it started to begin with, but I can’t stop. It infuriates me because instead of sleeping I am lying there obsessing over the position of my teeth.  How dumb is that? I am sure that there are some people who would say there is some underlying meaning behind it, but I’m not one to believe in that kind of stuff.  I just want it to stop. 

Basically, I need sleep. I need my brain to stop all this ridiculousness. I seriously hope that you have gotten a laugh at my expense today.  I have to laugh at myself or else I’ll cry! If anyone has any suggestions on how to get myself to stop with these obsessions and fall asleep, I am all ears. I think I may need professional help, but they may send me to the psych ward! AHHHH….

Anchored,