It Sucks To Say Goodbye (I Don’t Like It When My Friends Move Away)

I’ve lived in LA for almost 17 years (more on that next week when it’s my anniversary of moving to LA), and in those 17 years most of the friends I’ve made here have stayed here. In college, I didn’t have a ton of friends who were in school with me. And a few of them have moved away from LA after college or after a few years of working in LA. And the friends that I have met outside of school have almost always stayed here.

I understand it can be tough to live in LA. It’s not easy for me. If I wasn’t pursing acting and didn’t love LA I could have a much better financial quality of life living somewhere else. The money I make at 1 job would possibly be enough to support myself on instead of having to hustle and find random jobs to fill in the gaps. But I love living here and the struggle is worth it. But I’m also single and don’t have kids so I only have myself to think about. And when my friends have had to move away, it has always been for a reason that makes perfect sense and I know they are doing the best thing for themselves and their family.

Because it’s not that often that I have friends who move away, it is tough when I have to say goodbye to a friend who is leaving. And unfortunately, that was the case this past weekend. 2 of my friends (who I know through the group that I attend all the epic parties with) and their kids are moving back east. They  have family there and it will be awesome for their kids to be raised near family. I know they don’t want to leave LA, but they have to do what is the best thing for their family and right now moving away is the best thing.

Of course, there was a party to say goodbye to them. It was a smaller gathering than most of them because they wanted to focus on saying goodbye to each person who attended. And it was nice to have time to talk to them and the other friends of mine who were there. We were all enjoying watching their kids play with all the other kids at the party (one day kids are going to outnumber the adults there!) and we were saying how there are so many ways we can stay in touch even though they will be living far away.

Social media has made it easier when people move away. You can stay informed on what is happening in their lives and still feel connected. And since karaoke is such a big part of these parties, we realized we could do Skype karaoke while they are back east! We could project them on Skype on the wall of the garage (where the karaoke lyrics are usually projected) and they can participate. I brought that idea up to Marie and Chris and I think they love it. I can’t wait to see the first party that involves Skype karaoke and I think that maybe more people who can’t attend the parties in person are going to take advantage of it!

Everyone was trying to stay upbeat, but you could tell there was a bit of sadness with everyone not wanting to say goodbye. Like I said, it’s not something I have to do that often and it’s not an easy thing to do. I cherish my friends so much and it’s never easy to know that I won’t be seeing one of them as often as I like to. But I also am happy that they are going to be moving to be closer to their family and that their kids are excited about it (although I wonder if they understand it since they are little). And I also know that a move doesn’t have to be forever and there is a chance they will move back to LA one day.

Also, I have a feeling that eventually they will come back to LA for a visit since they have so many friends here. And if it’s around a party that normally happens they will be at the party like normal. And if it’s not around a party, I know that a party will be created for them because having them back in town will be a reason to celebrate! And when we have a reunion of our party group, it’s going to be an epic party and I can’t wait until that happens!

An Almost Free Meal (or Amazing Food And Crazy Dating Stories)

I don’t have a ton of birthday traditions, but one that has been a part of my life for quite a while has been getting my free birthday meal at Truxton’s. I have been doing the free birthday meal pretty much since the restaurant opened in 2006 so I’ve been doing it for 11 or 12 years. And it has been a tradition with my birthday twin Joanna for about a decade now (we aren’t totally sure when we started going together).

Since we’ve been doing this I don’t think we have missed a year. It’s too good of a deal to skip! In the beginning it was a free entrée and a free dessert for each of us. That was a ton of food but we had fun with it. Then a few years ago it changed to $20 of free food for each of us but they would combine them on a single bill so it was easy for us to plan to spend under $40. Then it had to be on separate bills and we had to be strategic. We realized that it was going to be too difficult to have a totally free bill, but we still only ended up owing a dollar or two.

Going into our birthday dinner this year, we had every hope that we could go for a totally free meal. We went to dinner the day after our birthday and I was so excited to have a great dinner and to hang out with an awesome friend!

Since now we aren’t restricted to a free entrée and dessert, we usually get an appetizer to share, an entrée for each of us, and a dessert to share. And for our appetizer we almost always get Monkey Bread because it’s so good! Since we knew we’d be getting that plus a dessert, we picked out our dessert to figure out how much money we would have for entrees left over.

While we could have gotten things cheap enough to make everything free, nothing that we wanted was in that range so we had to decide if it was worth getting things we weren’t totally wanting in order to have a totally free meal or if it would be better to get what we want and owe a little bit of money. We both agreed that we would rather have a meal we wanted and owe a little bit. We both were craving burgers so we got those with the parmesan garlic fries that I love!

The Monkey Bread was awesome too and we got a churro sundae to split as our dessert. We were both pretty full when we were done but it was so good and we were so happy to have a great meal together.

We also took a while to eat because we were busy catching up on life with each other. We both have had some crazy dating stories lately and we were going back and forth sharing some of the weirder ones. She was telling me a story of a guy who seemed like he was trying to gaslight her but was making it so obvious that he just sounded insane and confused. I was telling her stories of some of the guys who have ghosted me recently and how odd it was that someone could go from texting me every day to disappearing and not feel like they should say they aren’t interested. I will never understand guys who ghost, but at least we were both having a laugh in sharing our stories.

When we got our bills, we knew we would both owe a little bit. But we owed so little for our dinner that it was like we had a free meal!

Plus, we had free parking at meters since we had a later dinner so we saved money there! If we had to pay for parking, it would have been more than the cost of the dinner! And another one of our favorite things about this free (or almost free) birthday dinner is that we can leave a bit tip and feel like we are doing something great. Our bill was basically $40 before the discount and we each left $10 for a tip. So we were able to tip our server almost 50% on our meal! I know that some people don’t tip well when they get a discount, but we want to do the opposite since we know how much servers depend on tips. It also makes us feel like badasses because we can say we tipped 50%.

We stuck around after dinner chatting and catching up some more (we didn’t feel bad because there weren’t people waiting for the table and our server seemed fine with us hanging around). It was nice just to chat and have fun with a good friend. And I really did like that we were sharing dating stories because sometimes it feels like the crazy things only happen to me. While I don’t wish that anyone else has to deal with what I deal with, it does make me feel less weird and alone when I hear a friend has similar situations with the online dating world.

Joanna and I don’t really get to see each other in person that often because our schedules are crazy and we aren’t usually in each other’s part of LA. But I’m glad we have this tradition as well as our holiday time tradition so we do get to see each other at least twice a year. And I know that in a year we’ll be doing our almost free birthday meal again!

So Grateful To Work From Home (or Just Getting Through The Day)

Despite the fact that I have had to deal with my horrible hormonal nausea issues for almost 2 years, it still takes me by surprise many times when it hits me. Sometimes it’s because I thought maybe I’d be escaping the issues that month and sometimes I think I forget how bad things can get for me. I have multiple remedies and prescriptions to help me, but it doesn’t always work. I’m continuing to work with my doctor to find what other things I can do, but since the best remedy (any form of hormonal birth control) is not an option for me it can be tough to figure out what I can do. It’s a lot of trial and error and it can be a long process to find what will work.

I knew this week was potentially going to be a bad week for me, but since it wasn’t that bad for me last week I was optimistic. I am grateful that I track things so that I am aware when I might feel horrible, and it’s always a pleasant surprise when I feel completely normal. I woke up on Monday not feeling so great and tried my best to do what I could. But I was getting sick and in a lot of pain and just had to suffer through it. I was able to reschedule a dentist appointment I was supposed to have then because I was terrified to get sick there (so I guess that’s one good thing my nausea got me). It wasn’t the worst I had felt but it was also not nothing and I just had to take it easy and hope I would feel better the next day.

When trying to sleep on Monday night, I was miserable. Nothing I had was helping me and I know that I didn’t get a lot of sleep. I was tossing and turning and getting up every 30 minutes or so to try to stretch out or take some painkillers. Tuesday morning I needed to work and I don’t know if I’ve ever been more grateful to work from home. We are at the end of our slow season so there was a bit of downtime between customers. I spent that downtime laying on my couch or on the floor to try to feel better. I was moving my body around to find how to make the pain go away and I know I looked crazy.

If this had happened at any of my old day jobs, I don’t know what I would have done. This pain is the exact reason I was put on the pill to begin with. I didn’t want to have to suffer while in school or trying to work and have to miss several days of whatever I was doing to stay home. I’m so grateful that I’m at home while I work so I can do all the crazy things I might need to do to try to feel better. All of my remedies are here so I can try whatever I need to. And worst case, I can bring my computer and phone with me into my bed and I can work from there. But I try not to do that since it is so much easier to type on a desk than on my bed.

I hate feeling like I’m complaining about this because I know that some people have it much worse than I do. But I’ve also noticed that when I have written about things like this that people reach out to me saying they have the same issue. Sometimes they find something in my post that helps them and sometimes they have something to recommend for me to try.

I am cautiously optimist that things might get better from me. When I starting dealing with this all again, I was averaging almost 2 weeks a month of pain and nausea. The last few months it’s been closer to a week or a week and a half of issues. And last month was just a week. I don’t think it will ever go away completely but if it could stay just a week or be more mild than it has been in the past I would be so happy. I hate the feeling that I’m missing out on things or not able to do what I need because of something that happens every month for me.

But for now, I’m just trying to make it through however many days I will feel like this and will try to figure out any other things I can do while working to try to feel better.

Birthday Botox! (or Technically Birthday Xeomin But That Doesn’t Sound As Cool)

My entire life, my eyes have been sensitive to light. When I was a kid and still wore glasses, I had an extreme version of transition lenses. When the light was too bright, my glasses would darken. This was all the time when I was outside and they would sometimes darken a little when I was inside in bright light. They darkened so much that as a kid people would ask my parents if I was blind.

Once I got contact lenses when I was 9, I wore sunglasses outside when it was bright. It could even be too bright for me when it was a cloudy day and I would be wearing sunglasses then. I always have sunglasses on me and have several spare pairs in my car. But even with sunglasses, my eyes are still sensitive to light and sometimes it bothered me.

I didn’t realize it until recently, but I started to squint a lot in bright light. And when I squinted, I furrowed my brow. That was fine for a while, but then it started to cause me some tension headaches. I thought maybe I was overusing the muscle in-between my eyebrows and the headaches were more about the muscle being sore. And the last time I saw my dermatologist, she confirmed that my idea was very likely what was going on with me.

My doctor gave me 2 options to work on fixing this. The cheaper option was a type of medical tape that I would wear on my face to train my face not to squint and furrow my brow. But I would have to wear this tape almost all the time for several weeks and it wasn’t something that I could really hide. The other option was to get Botox. Getting Botox would paralyze the muscle and after a few rounds of injections my face should be trained to not do it anymore.

For me, there was no question. I was going to get Botox. I didn’t want to have to wear tape on my face for weeks and even though I hate needles the injections still seemed like the easier option for me. I discussed with my doctor about if my insurance would cover it. But I would have to have several appointments with a neurologist to approve the injections and those appointments would be more expensive than what going to a medical spa would charge me. So I decided to ask around for recommendations from friends to get it done outside of my insurance coverage.

I have a friend (who I am not going to name because it’s not my business to share what she does) who has been getting Botox for a few sessions already and was going to go back to the medical spa that she goes to for some other injectable procedures. So she offered to call them and see if they could make an appointment at the same time for me to go in. I really liked how her Botox had been done because her face was not frozen at all. I’ve seen bad Botox and I was terrified that mine would be overdone. Even though I was doing this for something other than wrinkles, I wanted a doctor who believed less is more.

Fortunately, that’s exactly the mindset that the doctor my friend goes to has. So last week after work, we headed to Hollywood to go to Skinny Beach Med Spa (they are mainly based in San Diego, but they have a Hollywood office now too).

While I was excited about this because it was going to help with my headaches and I looked at it as an interesting adventure, I was also pretty scared on the drive there. I hate needles and I knew this was a needle. I didn’t want to faint even though it’s been a little while since I’ve fainted with a needle. I didn’t want this to hurt a lot and I didn’t want to have something go wrong and have to wait 4 months for it to wear off before I looked normal again.

When we got to the office and met Dr. Staley, I felt a bit better. He was very calm and said that it should be very simple for me. Based on my research, I read getting your “11” lines (your frown lines) done is usually between 10-20 units. I figured I would be on the higher end of things because it was for headache relief. But Dr. Staley said that I didn’t need that much and it would only be 8 units for me. Also, he told me that he recommended doing Xeomin over Botox. They are very similar but Botox has a protein in it that your body can get used to. So Xeomin is preferred so you don’t need more of it over time to have the same effect.

Originally, I wanted my friend to go first so I could watch her. But that wasn’t the way things were going to go. So I handled my phone to my friend so she could take photos and I sat in the chair. I tried to keep my breathing calm, but my friend said she could see how freaked out I was. Dr. Staley has a little buzzing device that helps to keep the pain from the injection lower and that’s the gold device you see above the needle in the photo.

The entire thing maybe took 10 seconds. I did have a moment where I blacked out a bit (what has been happening with needles but I don’t faint and am normal again quickly), but it was seriously so easy! I warned my friend that I might cry because of how much I hate needles and I think she was shocked that when it was done I was crying a bit. But I was able to calm down quickly and my friend got in the chair for her injections.

I was taking photos of her process being done, but I also couldn’t stop trying to squint and frown to see if I felt a difference. I did notice there was a bit of resistance in my forehead and it was a weird feeling. The full effects of the Xeomin can take up to a week, but even comparing how I looked before to how I looked 1 hour later shows a big difference!

I don’t really care if it gets that much better than how it is now. I didn’t do this for the wrinkle reduction and I have noticed that I’m not getting headaches the way I was getting them before. And hopefully the headaches keep getting better and soon I won’t have them anymore at all. The goal is that after a few sessions of Botox of Xeomin that my face is trained not to do this anymore and I won’t need it after that. From what I’ve read online, that can be between 4-6 sessions and you get them done every 4 months. So for right now, my plan is to go back at the beginning of December for another injection and see how things go.

I never really thought I would ever get Botox or something like it, but I’m so glad I did. There’s nothing wrong with getting it done for wrinkles if that’s what you want to do. That’s not my plan right now, but I’m glad I know what it’s like in case in the future I do want to do that. There is some stigma with getting Botox or other injections and that it makes your face look weird, and I’m glad I found a doctor to do this who believes that people should look natural and I still have so much range in my expressions.

Not Too Much Progress (or Just Being Happy With What I Can Do)

I’ve had a lot of great workout weeks lately. I’ve been so happy with the progress I’ve been making and it really has made me feel amazing about myself. But this past week of workouts, I didn’t really have anything amazing happen. In the past, this probably would have gotten me down. But now, I’m just still so happy that I’ve been doing what I can and I know that it’s still better than where I started from.

Monday’s workout was a bit of a tough morning for me. My hips were bugging me (although nothing as bad as the week before) and it was an endurance day so we were on the treadmill for a longer time. The blocks were all pretty short at 6.5 minutes each, but I knew that it was a day that I was going to do power walking only and trying to run was just going to be too painful for me.

Each block had a similar format with starting with a longer push pace followed by a 90 second base pace. Then we had a 30 second push pace, 90 second base pace, and a 30 second all out pace. The first block had a 2.5 minute push pace as the long one and each block went down 30 seconds. I kept my incline for all my push paces at 6% and I did do my all out paces at 8%, but it was a struggle for me that morning. But I’m glad I just stuck with walking and didn’t try to run because I think that would have made things worse.

On the floor we had 3 blocks that all had the same pattern. We had 3 exercises plus burpees. The first block had rocket pushups, bench tap squats, and bench hop overs. The second block had regular pushups, skier swings, and low rows on the straps. And the last block had atomic pushups, ankle reach crunches, and swimmers. For the burpees I was able to jump my feet back and forth by using the bench for my hands. I’m really enjoying doing my burpees that way and I feel like I’m getting much more power out of the move. For the other work, I was toward the middle of the weights I usually use. We had a lot of reps for many of the exercises so I had to be careful about not doing too much weight. The floor went better than the treadmill which was nice since I ended with floor work.

Wednesday’s workout was a 3 group workout and it was a switch format. We had a round of 5 minute blocks, a round of 4 minute blocks, and a round of 2 minute blocks.

On the treadmill, the first block was a 2 minute push pace to a 1 minute all out, a 1 minute walk, and a 1 minute all out pace. I ran the first minute of the push and then walked the second so that block ended up being 1 minute run/walk intervals. The second block was a 1 minute push pace, a 1 minute all out, a 1 minute walk, and a 1 minute all out pace. I walked the push pace so I had 1 minute intervals again. And the last block was a 30 second push pace, 30 second all out pace, 30 second walk, and 30 second all out pace and I ran all the push and all out paces. It was a good amount of running considering I’m still getting back into it.

On the rower, the first block started with a 300 meter row and then 30 squat to presses with the medicine ball. Then it was a 150 meter row and 15 squat to presses. The next block was just repeating the 300 row with 30 squat to presses and the last block was repeating the 150 meter row with 15 squat to presses. My rowing was pretty slow and I’m not exactly sure why. I felt like I was going quickly but I wasn’t getting a lot of power and I couldn’t seem to fix that. So I tried not to focus on my times and just focused on getting the rows done.

And on the floor each block was 2 moves. The first block was incline chest presses and squats. The second block was incline chest flys and half get ups. And the last block was 1 minute of a side plank on each side (I guess technically that’s only 1 move but it counted as 2). I was going heavy on the weighted work although not the heaviest weights I have used. But for some reason the incline chest work compared to when you are flat on the bench are harder for me so I didn’t feel comfortable with the heavier weights. And because we were moving so quickly through the blocks I didn’t get a ton of rest time so I had to take it while doing the floor work.

Friday’s workout was an endurance day and I really thought I’d just do all walking because of that. But when I saw the format of the workout, I realized it would be a good running day for some of the blocks. And it ended up being a good basic workout to be my first workout of being 35!

All of the treadmill blocks had a similar format with repeating push to 1 minute base paces. The first block was 30 second push paces, the second block was 45 second push paces, and the last block was 1 minute push paces. The first and second block were good ones to run since they were short intervals, but by the last block I was getting a bit tired so I did that one walking for the entire block. But I still ran more than I honestly thought I would going into the workout so that was still good for me.

The first two floor blocks were using the mini-bands. The first block was squat front walks and bench tap squats. The bench taps were a bit tough since I would have liked to not have had to squat as low, but I challenged myself and did it. The second block was hip bridges and knee tuck abs. And the last block was ab rollouts using the ab dolly and rolling sit-ups on the bench. My floor work wasn’t anything spectacular, but I worked hard and felt good about all my efforts.

Saturday’s workout was a strength based one and I knew that I would be doing all walking on the treadmill so I could do the hill work. But it also allowed me to try some things out that I haven’t really done in a while.

Since I got back to the treadmill, I have been using a slightly reduced speed. Before, I was walking at 3.5mph. Since going back I have been walking at 3.4mph. But this workout, I decided to bump it up and go back to my old speed. It’s weird that I can feel the difference even though it isn’t much, but I’m glad I did it because I proved to myself I could!

And I continued to do some great work when it came to the hills too! All of the treadmill blocks were the same with progressive hill work. Each block had hill work that was supposed to be between 6%-9%. I rarely go above 8% but I decided to go for it and try the 9% incline too and while it was hard I did it! I even was able to do some of my all out inclines at 10%! I don’t know if I will keep doing the higher inclines when we have hill work because a lot of hill work has longer intervals than what we had in this workout, but it’s something to keep in my mind.

The floor work was interesting. We had different exercises to try lower weights with and higher weights with. In the first block we had bicep curls and tricep work. For the lower weight for my bicep curls and triceps, I did 15lbs and for the higher weight I did 20lbs. The second block was the same idea with doing bent over low rows. For those I did 30lbs as my higher weight and 20lbs for my lower weight. In that block was also had ab work. And the last block was 200 meter rows with lunges between each round of rowing.

Overall, I’m happy with what I did in this past week of workouts. I would have loved to have had something amazing to write about with a crazy accomplishment, but that wasn’t what was in store for me this past week. But I still did great work and that’s something to be happy about.

A Disney Auction (or An Amazing Collection)

I’m a huge Disney fan, but I know that I’m not the biggest fan out there. Sometimes someone else’s fandom totally shocks me but I’m always impressed by what they collect or know. I also love hearing about how some people own pieces of Disney parks that they won at an auction. I’ve heard of the auctions before, but for some reason I never really looked into them that much.

But when the auction that was happening this year was announced, somehow I couldn’t avoid hearing about it! And when I saw that there was an exhibit of many of the items for sale that was free to go to, I knew I had to go. I was just going to go to check out all the things since I knew everything would be out of my price range. I asked around to my Disney friends to see if anyone wanted to go with me, and my friend Justin was able to meet me at the exhibit this week so we could check it out together.

This auction is a collection of memorabilia that is owned by one man who has collected these items over the past 25 years. It’s incredible to see the things that he had and when Justin and I walked in we were instantly overwhelmed and beyond excited. So we tried to look that things in order as you walk around the room because we didn’t want to miss anything.

While there were a few things that are estimated to go for about $100 that I might watch the auction for, the things that got me the most excited were the crazy things that will probably go for more than what my car cost. If I had the room and money, I would be wanting to get a lot of things. But for now, I just had to admire them all and be jealous of who got to buy them.

I have no clue what I would do with this neon “D” from the Disneyland Hotel, but seriously it would be amazing to own it! I’ve heard of celebrities buying other Disneyland letters and putting them in their yards, so I’m guessing that’s what will happen with this one too.

Or this serpent from the old submarine ride. The new submarine ride does have a small tribute to the serpents from the old ride, but for some reason in my head the serpents were not nearly as giant as this was! I was shocked to see how long it was and could only imagine the fun ways to put this in someone’s house or yard.

They have one of the Jose animatronics from the Tiki Room that still works and has the soundtrack with it so you can make it work just like it does when it’s in the show! I didn’t think it worked when we saw it and Justin asked one of the employees there if it did. I thought it was a joke but she was able to start it and it moved just like it was in the park! They also had other animatronics from the Tiki Room up for auction.

I’ve been looking at miniature replicas of the stretching room portraits from the Haunted Mansion for a while and I have a feeling I’ll buy them eventually. But those are cheap (and tiny) compared to these actual ones from the ride! It was just so fun to get to look at them up close and not while I was rushing to get onto the ride.

One of the things that made me laugh so hard was seeing the different Disney trash cans that were up for auction. I noticed them first and then the signs that were on them saying they were not to be used for trash. I wish these weren’t going to go for so much, but I have a feeling that a lot of people would love to own a Disney trash can!

And there were ride vehicles up for auction too! I have no clue what I would do with any of them, but I would love to have one! There were so many more ride vehicles for sale than I got pictures of, like a Doom Buggy and Space Mountain car. But I think the People Mover car was one of my favorites. There are so few left out there so I’m sure this will be one of the most expensive items.

And because the auction company knew that this exhibit would draw a ton of fans who weren’t necessarily looking to purchase something, they catered to the fans by having a few fun photo spots. I know we missed some, but I loved getting to be in the ride car for Mr. Toad and in the old Skyway car.

We ended up doing about 2 laps around the room because we wanted to make sure there was nothing we missed and we wanted to take some more photos. And of course, there was a gift shop. They had some fun things related to the auction like shirts, but there were also other memorabilia for sale that were just for sale at a set price and not going to be up for auction. Some of the things were more reasonably priced and I debated about getting an animation cell that I would have loved to have, but I knew that I didn’t need it so I walked away.

I did end up buying the auction catalog that has all the items that will be up for auction so I could enjoy that. It would be incredible to own some of this Disney history, but to have a book with photos and descriptions of the items is still pretty awesome too. Many things for sale were posters or blueprints for rides so it’s fun to have that information to look at over and over.

If I had unlimited money and the space to put things, I know I’d be getting at least a few of the items up in the auction. I do have it as a goal in my head that one day I’ll be able to buy something in one of the future auctions. But for now, I have to just be happy that I was able to experience the exhibit and see all the amazing Disney history that someone has collected. And that was still pretty incredible to see.

A Milestone Birthday (or I Have A Feeling 35 Will Be Awesome)

Today is my birthday. I’ve shared on here each year about how my birthday is something I love to celebrate. And I’ve done some awesome things for milestone birthdays in the past. For my Sweet 16, I went on a vacation to Catalina with my mom, my grandma, and 3 friends. For my 18th birthday, I got to get a limo and go to a musical and dessert in San Francisco with several friends. My 21st birthday was a little bit of a bust because of my work schedule, but I still went out for my first legal drink. And even though I didn’t do a huge party or event when I turned 30, it was still celebrated with friends.

Last year I wrote about how I was excited to see how 34 would be for me. I had ended a streak of what felt like bad luck and really thought things were turning around. And even though I had some setbacks and some things that weren’t the best in this past year, I think I had a pretty amazing year. I did so many things that made me feel more confident and that bettered myself. Looking back at 34, I think it was a great year and I don’t have many regrets about things.

Today I am 35. There’s no way to deny I’m in my mid-30s now. And this is a milestone birthday for me, but I don’t feel like it’s that big of a deal. This isn’t me thinking it’s not a big deal because birthdays don’t matter for some people as they get older (I still love my birthday as much as ever), but the idea of it being a milestone because of a number versus what I was able to accomplish at a certain age just doesn’t sit right with me anymore. And I’m not freaking out over my age or anything so to be in my mid-30s isn’t something that bothers me.

But I’m so happy with how I am going into being 35. I’m in a much better place in my life than I have many times in the past and I think that will make this year so much better for me. I don’t care as much about what other people think about me so I’m not stressed out about pleasing everyone. I am putting myself first in many aspects of my life and making sure I’m happy before trying to make someone else happy. I know other friends have talked about how they start caring less about making other people happy as they get older, but I never thought I’d feel that way because I have always been a people pleaser. I’m glad to see that it’s true for me as well and I’m focusing on prioritizing my happiness.

I’m not in the best place financially and I’m still single and dating, but those are both things that I’m not necessarily in control of and I’m making efforts to make things better. I think part of what is making me happy is knowing that I am working on them and not stressing that things are perfect right now. I also know that money and having a boyfriend or husband isn’t going to make me happy on their own. I need to be happy with myself before I can be happy with outside things.

Even though this is a milestone birthday age, I’m not really doing a big party or a hangout to get drinks with my friends. Everyone has such crazy schedules and any dates I could find would make it so that several people I wanted to celebrate with couldn’t make it. So instead of doing just one party, I’m trying to do a birthday month where I do lots of little gatherings. This will also allow me to spend more time with each friend and I won’t feel as overwhelmed about feeling like I need to be a good hostess to everyone. Also, I’m fine with celebrating my birthday over the entire month because I love birthdays!

I feel like 35 is going to be a great year for me. Every year I feel like things keep getting better and better for me. They aren’t necessarily turning out exactly what I thought they would be like, but each year I find new things that make me happy that I didn’t consider before. So while I do have ideas of what could make me happy this year, I’m not going to focus too much on making those happen. If they do, that’s awesome. If they don’t, I know that other things I wasn’t expecting will happen and I’ll be writing about those in a year with how happy they made me.

Today is going to be a day just like most days. I’m working and I’ve got other things I need to do. I’m not able to take the day off and honestly even if I could I don’t know what I would do. I know that all the amazing things that happened last year happened while I was working and doing my regular routine. So by doing the same thing today maybe something awesome will happen that I wasn’t expecting. But I will be celebrating as I work and throughout the month!

A Super Easy Therapy Appointment (or Just Doing A Check-In)

It’s been a while since I’ve seen my new therapist. I actually have only had 1 in-person appointment with her when she started treating me. A month after that appointment I had a phone call appointment with her to check-in about my new medication dosage and to discuss any issues. After my phone call, I was supposed to have a video chat with her for my next appointment, but I had to change that. The time I originally set up for that was no longer a time I could be at my computer and when I called in to reschedule I was only given the options to do an in-office appointment or another phone call. I figured it was easier to do a phone call so I went with that.

My call with my therapist was this week and I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect out of it. Since my other phone appointment was more about checking in with the medication, we didn’t discuss much else beyond that. And I’m used to my appointments with my other therapist where medication wasn’t really something we discussed beyond that I was doing ok. I was much more used to discussing everything else in life and getting homework. This new therapist is still new to me and I don’t feel like I know her as well as I knew my old therapist, so I just was trying to stay open-minded and keep plenty of time open for this new phone call.

The first thing my therapist asked me about on the call was how I was doing on my medication. I told her how the adjustment period was much longer than expected but that I was feeling pretty normal now. I do still feel like it is helping me although I wish it helped even more. But I realize that it is just an aid to help in binge eating and not a cure so I still have to do work on my own. But even knowing that, it would be amazing if it was a cure and it would fix everything for me.

After letting her know that I’m doing ok and I think that this is a good dosage for me, my therapist let me know that she was a bit hesitant about things because in her experience most patients don’t have positive results or feel like it helps enough. She kept me on it before because I was on it from my last therapist and just wanted to do what she felt would be an appropriate dosage to have me really see if it helps. I don’t know if she was expecting me to say it’s not helping or I’m not happy, but I’m glad that it does work for me and that she is willing to work with me on things.

We really didn’t discuss too much outside of the medication or my eating disorder. We didn’t discuss any new or old stresses in my life, but I honestly feel like I have been dealing with them in better and healthier ways than I have in the past. Even with the bad things that have happened lately I feel a bit more calm and rational when dealing with them. Or if I don’t feel rational and calm, I’m not as rash to act on them and I usually let it sit until I can deal with them in a better way. I know my medication has nothing to do with this, but it still is a positive change in my life that I’m happy with.

My call with my therapist was very brief and I was surprised by that. I’m sure if I had more to talk about with her I could have had a longer call, but I didn’t feel like that was necessary. I discussed the few things I needed to with her and she feels comfortable with keeping me on my medication and at the dosage I’m at right now. She ordered my next refill for when I need it and will approve the refill after that (those refills will get me through the next 6 months). It’s what I wanted out of the appointment and I’m glad it was very simple to get that.

My next appointment with her will be in 6 months. Because that will be a year after the last time she saw me, it has to be either an in-person appointment or a video chat. It was easier to schedule the video chat, plus it saves me the drive and the parking costs, so I’ll be doing the video chat I was supposed to do this time. That will be my first video chat with my therapist so just like with this call I honestly don’t know what to expect out of it. I’m not worried about what will happen or think that she will think anything is wrong with me, but it’s still a bit of an unknown.

But for now, I’m just happy I got this super quick check-in done and it went well. I wanted to make sure she felt ok with me continuing with my plan and that’s exactly what I got out of it. I know that I’ve done a lot of work on myself outside of therapy and I don’t feel like it’s stuff I need to go into super detail about with my therapist because it is going well. But it’s good to know that I do have someone I trust and feel is really looking out of me if I did need more than what I am getting now or if things take a turn that I’m not ok with.

The Last Show Of The Season (or Ending On A High Note)

This past weekend was the last show of the current season at the Pantages for my group. It’s been a pretty amazing season and I’ve loved having these Sunday adventures with my friends. The next season for us will be starting in 5 weeks, so it’s not that much of a gap between this season and next. But one of the members of our group won’t be joining us next season. She is going back to school to get her doctorate so she won’t have the time to commit to the season. We do have another friend who will be joining us, but it was still a bit sad to know that this was going to be the last show for this group that has been together for 2 seasons.

We started our evening out at Wood & Vine like we have for so many shows. We love going there for dinner because it is always great and the staff spoils us there. But they also just got a new menu (they change the menu seasonally) and we really wanted to see what the new offerings were and checking out what some of our new favorites would be.

I had looked at the menu before going and had picked out a few things I knew I wanted us to get, but I still took a look to see if my mind had changed. And our group quickly decided that we wanted all 4 main dishes that were on the top row of the menu plus the street corn. We thought all 4 of those main dishes were new ones, but it turns out the lamb burger has always been on the menu and we just never got it!

Our veggies came out first. We ordered the corn but the manager also wanted us to try the salad.

The salad was nice and fresh, but the corn tasted so luxurious! It was perfectly seasoned and the creme on it was delicious! We quickly ate it all and were excited to get the main dishes we ordered.

The 4 things we got were the pork belly tacos, the lamb burger, the pasta with prawns, and the tequila chicken.

Without a doubt, our absolute favorite was the tacos. The pork belly melted but was also nice and crispy. It was so good that I wish I was having it again right now because my mouth is watering! The lamb burger was a bit spicy so I only had a small taste of it, but my friends said that it is a must-order for the next time we have dinner. And the pasta with prawns and the chicken were amazing too! We all were tasting everything and most of the time we were eating we were much more focused on the food than talking.

And the dessert menu at Wood & Vine was expanded recently and the manager wanted us to try 2 of the new desserts.

I don’t like pineapple (it hurts my mouth), but I loved the ice cream in the pineapple sundae. And my friends said the pineapple was beautifully grilled and tasted amazing. And I loved the chocolate truffles! They were really rich, but the perfect size to enjoy them and not feel stuffed.

As always, the food at Wood & Vine really amazed us and we were having the best time having dinner there. I have a feeling that we will continue going there for dinner before our shows multiple times in our next season. The manager also told us some ideas they were thinking for the fall menu and we cannot wait to see what they go with and try out all the new things!

After dinner we walked across the street to the theater to go to our show. This time, we were seeing “Waitress” which was one of the shows I was most excited to see this season.

I love the movie “Waitress” and it’s one that I watch over and over. The story behind the writer, director, and one of the actors is a sad one and that makes the movie even more special for me to watch. She created this amazing movie and was waiting to find out if it got accepted to Sundance but was murdered before she could find out it got in. The movie was critically acclaimed and she never got to experience that. And I love that her legacy is continuing with the musical being loved by so many people.

Since I was familiar with the story and characters, I was excited to see what changed they made from the movie to the musical. Sometimes adaptations skip some of my favorite parts or I feel like there is something missing. But this time I was so happy with how the musical took elements from the movie and expanded upon them. I felt like so many characters were built upon and they were even more lovable. And the main story and plot was very true to the movie and that made me happy too.

I’m so glad that this musical didn’t disappoint me since it was something I had been looking forward to since this season was announced. It’s not that often that I am disappointed by a show, but it can happen and I’m always a little worried that something I’m really excited about will do that. But this wasn’t that situation and it really helped to end our season on such a wonderful high note!

I’m already so excited for the next season and the season after that will be announced in a few months. Hopefully that season will be another one that many of us want to go to and the tradition will continue with getting season tickets. I’ve said this pretty much every time I go to a show, but going makes me so happy and I’m just grateful that I have friends who do this with me and make these evenings feel so special.

Good Days And Bad Days (or Proving Myself Wrong)

This past week of workouts was seriously up and down. I was all over the place and thinking sometimes I was having a horrible workout week and at other times thinking that I’m killing it in my workouts. It was really odd and a bit unsettling but in the end I think things were more positive than negative.

Monday’s workout was a tough day for me. I slept poorly the night before but thought maybe it wouldn’t be affecting me too much. Unfortunately, the lack of sleep also meant I was going to have a bad hip day. I felt it pretty quickly and debated about going on the bike, but I was just hoping it would get better as I walked.

It was a strength based workout so it was all incline work on the treadmill. I kept things pretty basic for myself and I did all my base pace inclines at 4% and all my push or all out pace inclines at 6%. We had 3 blocks that all had a similar format of decreasing push paces with increasing inclines (except for me keeping my inclines the same). The first block had a 2 minute, 90 second, 1 minute, and 30 second push pace. The next block eliminated the 2 minute push pace and the last block eliminated the 2 minute and 90 second push paces. And every block ended with a 30 second all out. I really struggled with my hip issues and it was annoying at times, but it was one of those mornings where I just figured that doing something was better than nothing.

The floor was 2 blocks and the first block allowed us to decide how many reps we did for each exercise. We had deadlifts, bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, and push-ups and could to 6-10 reps for each thing. I decided to go heavy on my weights and try to do 8 reps each thing. We had 3 rounds of doing those exercises before we went to the rower for a 500 meter row. My row time was decent considering it was a longer row, but nothing amazing. And when I got back to the floor to keep working on the exercises I went down to 6 reps for each exercise. And we ended the workout with a core blast which I had to modify a bit because anything with my feet in the air is tough on my hip.

Wednesday’s workout was better than Monday’s but it still wasn’t my best day. It was an endurance, strength, and power based workout and I knew that I would struggle a bit to run but wanted to see what I could do.

The first block on the treadmill was 4 rounds of 45 second push paces and 45 second all out paces. I walked all the push paces but ran the all out paces. 45 seconds felt like a really long time to me for some reason! It wasn’t that I was tired or hurting, I just felt off. I really had such a high the past few weeks with my running and this was one of the first times I was worried that my progress was moving backwards. The second block was endurance based with 90 second push paces and I decided to walk all of them. I thought about doing 30 second intervals but decided it would be best for me not to push myself too much. But that block did end with a 30 second push to 30 second all out pace and I ran for that minute. And the last block was rounds of 30 second push paces at inclines to 30 second all outs on a flat incline. But I stuck with just walking at the inclines I set it to be at for that minute and kept my speed the same.

On the floor, we started with a longer block. We had pull-ups on the straps, fly raises with weights, plank press outs, and ab work. After doing that we had a row that started with a 100 meter row and increased each round. I went decently heavy with my weight for the fly raises but I struggled with the ab work. We were supposed to do leg raises to crunches but my body was just not ok with the leg raises. So I decided to do double the crunches and figured it counted as a good modification. I only was on the rower for a 100 and 200 meter row but I did get pretty close to my PR time for my 100 meter row! And the last block was a shorter one with squat rotations on the straps and weighted crunches which went much better than the ab work in the first block.

Friday’s workout was a 3 group workout and it was a mix of endurance and strength. We had 2 blocks at each section of the room and I was starting on the treadmill. The treadmill blocks were pretty basic. The first block was an 8 minute run for distance and the second block was a 4 minute run for distance. For the first one, I did 45 seconds of running and 1 minute of walking. Those intervals were working pretty well for me and I didn’t feel too bad when it was done.

So for the 4 minute distance run, I thought maybe I should push myself and try to run it all. And that just wasn’t going to happen. 30 seconds in I was already tired. But I was determined to do at least what I did in the longer block if not something better. In the end, I ran for a minute and walked for 45 seconds. But I still felt really disappointed with myself. I know that the progress is happening and it might be slow, but I still want to push myself and do better. I can’t help it.

On the rower, we had the same block twice. But the difference was one block was 8 minutes and the other was 4 (just like on the treadmill). We started with a 1 minute row and then we had 10 squats to lunges on each side. Then we repeated that until time was called. The rows were fine (nothing too spectacular) but squats to lunges are tough for me. I had to hold on to the rower water tanks to do them but I still had to take a lot of time to do them too. Because of that, I didn’t do as many rounds as I would have liked to.

On the floor the first block was lunges, single arm dumbbell squats to rows, Y raises on the straps, and sit ups. The lunges were fine and I was able to use heavy weights for the single arm work. The strap work was tough (I think my body was just getting tired so I was not able to be as stiff as I should have been) and the sit ups took time too. But nothing too bad. The last block was lateral lunges and tricep extensions and both of those exercises went pretty well.

Saturday’s workout was the day that made everything better in my week. The workout was a power run/row and I had a feeling I could do some good work with the treadmill work. The run/row consisted of a .25 mile run, squat presses with a medicine ball, a 250 meter row, and more squat presses with a medicine ball. And I had it in my head that I needed to prove to myself that I was getting better at running and be able to run the .25 mile run without stopping.

Considering how the day before I was struggling, this was a huge idea. But I’m super stubborn and was determined to do this for at least one round. When I got started running the first time, it felt ok when I was starting. I did feel a bit ready to walk at the 1 minute mark, but I pushed on because I wasn’t feeling that bad. And I just kept watching the distance on the treadmill and doing weird math things in my head (like figuring out that I was 2/25ths of the way through) and that helped to pass the time. And then just over 3 minutes in I did it!

I couldn’t believe that I just ran the entire thing! I was tired and had to take some time before doing the squats, row, and squats; but that time was worth knowing I ran for that distance! I was on the treadmill a total of 3 times during the run/row and I managed to run the .25 mile distance every single time.

I still know that this can’t happen every workout and I might be a bit sore this week, but it was worth it to me to prove that I could do it. I needed this mental boost and it really did put me in the best mood!

On the floor we had 3 blocks and they were all timed exercises. The first block had single arm low rows and sit-ups. I was using a heavier weight for the single arm low rows but it wasn’t the heaviest weight I’ve used for it. I really felt the effort from running when I was on the floor so I had to take things a bit slower and I felt better using a slightly lower weight than the maximum that I know I could use. The second block had pullovers and sit-up to squats and the last block had lateral lunges and pop jacks (I was jumping my feet back and forth and using the bench for my hands). I think the running was the best part of my workout that day but the floor work wasn’t too shabby!

I’m so glad that last week ended on a high note because it’s put me in a great mindset for this week. There’s no guarantee this week will go well, but every time I have a really great workout it reminds me of what I can do and I remember that the bad days aren’t the best representation of my abilities. I’m just hoping that the good days outweigh the bad ones.

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