Friday, May 30, 2014

Endless Revolving Door

Unemployed - again.

No love life – still.

No children – ever.

Dream job – not likely.

It’s frustrating and it makes me sad and angry. And I’ve had lots of bursts of anger and have voiced those frustrations more and more in the past few years. I can chock it up to peri-menopause, or pre-menopause or whatever it is. But in the end I just feel hurt and more frustrated.

I can cry about it & I have, but then I just feel drained, tired, and have little to no ambition. I don’t want to do anything other than sit in front of the TV and be numb watching the same shows that I’ve seen numerous times already. I don’t even watch anything new that will make me engage more.

I’m trying to get out of the funk, but it’s becoming harder and harder each day as I sit in my little cottage, surrounded by more stuff because I had to get rid of my storage (which I did want to do). But now I am stuck here because funds are so low that I need to conserve gas because I won’t have money until the 18th since my next unemployment check (which I am thankful for) is all going to pay my rent, leaving me with $5 for another 2 weeks.  And, I need to save that gas to get me to interviews. It's aggravating and depressing, and I can't believe I'm in this type of situation - again.

I shouldn’t bitch and moan about it since I have a friend whose unemployment ran out and she has 2 kids, and absolutely nothing coming in but welfare that pays her rent. I’m trying to be grateful because it’s only bills that will be late. Bills that I myself made and am responsible for – bills that are still there year after year because of this endless revolving door I seem to find myself going in, and around and around again.

I’m just tired and drained. Every day I wake up and the situation just smacks me right in the face. It’s like getting up, turning the corner and walking headfirst into a wall. SLAM! OOF!

I have lived here for almost 9 years and I’m still not settled in. It’s not a sanctuary, and your home should be your happy place – the place to unwind and relax and rejuvenate.

People have been telling me to move back East, or at least suggesting that I think about it which I am. But what happens when I move back and am still miserable? I can’t just pack back up & head back out West again.  I know the weather isn’t a reason to stay, but it does make things lighter. I can go to the harbor or the beach, and take a walk near the water and look at the beauty and the boats and just mellow.

I need to find a place that is home. Someplace where I can make a life that is fulfilling. And find something that fulfills me. It’s not going to come from having a family of my own. That ship has just about sailed and is never passing this way again – at least not in this lifetime. 

At this point I don’t think it’s going to come from a “Dream Job” because I’m so desperate (again); I’ll just end up taking any job that’s offered because I have to (again). I’ve been going round and round in circles for years with only temporary pit-stops where things seem to be headed in the right direction (whatever direction that may be).  And then, it comes to a crashing halt…or it just slips through the cracks and sneaks up on me.

I know. I know. Most of this is a temporary setback – again. But I’m just so tired and my brain is so foggy and refuses to clear itself up. I can’t seem to shake it away and dust myself off. I’m usually good about turning it around and lifting myself out of my ruts but this one has seemed to go on for far too long and it’s really starting to piss me off!

I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a curse, but because I am who I am, I will keep on trucking along – even if it’s around in circles. I’m an optimist at heart and that’s what will get me through. It’s up to me to choose how I handle everything that’s been thrown at me - or maybe the problem is that nothing has been thrown my way in quite some time. Maybe all I needed was to do a “brain dump” and get this off my chest and out of my head. Who knows? But we’ll see because I’m done pouring myself out and it’s time for bed.

Tomorrow IS another day.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Jennifer’s Way: My Journey with Celiac Disease-What Doctors Don’t Tell You and How You Can Learn to Live Again – A Review

I didn’t watch “Spin City” very much, and I only watch “Blue Bloods” when I am with my parents (but it’s a wonderful show), I have never seen “Crash”, but I did watch "Samantha Who?", yet Jennifer Esposito is such a strong, natural and profound presence in her acting - I remember a wonderful show she was the lead in that lasted only a season “Related” - that I immediately asked my mother when we were watching “Blue Bloods” earlier this year where was she. She said that she had some disease – maybe MS or Parkinson’s. She had no idea.

So, when I had the opportunity to read and review her book for my blog, “Jennifer’s Way”, I jumped at the chance. Jennifer’s Way is not only a book and a bakery, but a foundation for Celiac education.

I do not have Celiac disease (definition at the end). And until I read Jennifer Esposito’s account of her experiences, I would never have thought twice about it unless I knew someone who had it, and I think I may know a handful of people who are “allergic to gluten and/or dairy”, as well as other foods, or who have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, or have Lupus, and have a few other symptoms but may never have been thoroughly diagnosed or even misdiagnosed. I don’t want to put them in a panic, but I will be encouraging them to read this book.

But, according to Jennifer, I probably wouldn’t know if someone is a celiac because it’s a disease that sufferers will most likely keep quiet about other than telling people they are allergic to or can’t process gluten. I didn’t realize everything that does or may contain gluten until I read the book (Chapter 17 is filled with a plethora of information on foods, products, and strategies to take).

I have to be honest here, for those of us who don’t suffer from any food allergies (or none that I know of so far), most probably really don’t know the first thing about it other than once in awhile eating or drinking something that “doesn’t agree with us”.  It’s hard for me to imagine how to test for a food allergy since in my mind it could be something else you ate earlier or a combination of food and drink. I have to admit, I’m 47 and I don’t know really, how long it takes for food and drink to digest fully.

I have to applaud Jennifer Esposito for her candid, honest and openly sharing her story with this hidden disease and her perseverance to push through and rebuild her life. Since she is a public figure, it’s even more brave and giving of her to open her heart, pass on her experience and share her wisdom so others who may, or may not have celiac disease can come out of the shadows and take the bull by the horns and be heard.

I admire her persistence to find out what exactly was wrong with her, and her tenacity to take charge and change doctors and practitioners who weren’t working for her, and her courage to tell the world her story and to pass on vital information.

She’s right. You know your body better than anyone else does. Go with what your gut, so to speak, is telling you and you can’t go wrong.

I never listened to my body unless I was in pain, sick or bleeding. I’d be more aware if I woke up but still felt tired all day, was drained of energy, had a foggy head, had achy muscles, or if I was in a funk or fog that I couldn’t seem to shake…for me, it’s usually my over-taxed, over-thinking, over-stressing mind playing nasty tricks on me!

Over the past 15 years or so, when I started having my own tummy issues, I opened my ears and started listening to my body and can now tell when something isn’t quite right. I started focusing on what I ate, drank or if I was over-stressed – I tried to distinguish any patterns or triggers. Wednesday’s were the only consistent variable for awhile - although I'm still not sure why. But to this day I still listen and learn what my body is trying to tell me.

And, you have to be tenacious and persistent with your doctors. That is one thing I am going to be next time I visit a doctor. I have a few ailments I’ve been bogged down with for years and have been brushed off by doctors who are too lazy, really don’t care, or just don’t know enough but are too proud to admit it to pass me along to someone who may be able to serve me better.

I highly recommend Jennifer’s Way for anyone who is challenged with Celiac disease, knows someone who has it, as well as anyone who wants to read one woman’s account of how you should be aware, engaged and open about what is going on with your body, and to be proactive in finding out what is really going on and to take action to rectify it.

The information in Chapter 17 and the Resources section are worth it – for everyone. I’m going to take this information and pay more attention to what I put into my body, as well as see if any of the vitamins, supplements or strategies work for me. I luckily don’t suffer from celiac disease, but this new knowledge I now possess will be passed on to those I care about, as well as help me to be more mindful.

I think restaurant owners should also read this book and hopefully become more aware of people with food issues and understand fully about cross-contamination that could happen even when they are preparing food for folks with special diets if they even choose to serve these people, as well as food manufacturers and packagers, to understand what truly gluten-free is if they make these products and to take responsibility…not to just make money on the fad diet of the day.

Thank you to Jennifer Esposito for giving back and sharing – your journey, your bravery, your tools, your courage, your knowledge, your tenacity, your recipes, your insight, your advice, your power, and your heart. I personally wish you all the best health and happiness, and do hope that you will stay in the public eye and grace us from time to time with your rare acting gifts.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. What does this mean? Essentially the body is attacking itself every time a person with celiac consumes gluten.

Jennifer’s Way
My Journey with Celiac Disease--What Doctors Don’t Tell You and How You Can Learn to Live Again
Jennifer Esposito with Eve Adamson
Pub Date: April 22, 2014

Perseus Books Group, Da Capo Press

Disclaimer: This book was provided to reviewer from the publisher, Perseus Books Group, Da Capo Press through NetGalley for the sole purpose of reading and review.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review of: Laughing Your Way to Happiness: Laughter yoga and the new science of health and well-being

I cannot wait to find a Laughter Yoga class & take it!!!

Laugh Your Way to HappinessJust reading "Laughing Your Way to Happiness" and Leslie Lyle’s adventures makes me smile…and spontaneously laugh! When I think about it, laughing really does make you feel immediately better – instantly! So why not create a yoga structure around it to improve health and well-being.

I've been sitting in my big red chair reading and enjoying, shifting a little so often trying to get comfortable because I can never get in the right position to just be still & read. Usually by back starts to bother me, and I get a pain or a cramp down my hip & leg.

The last few days when I’ve “picked up” this book (it’s on my Nook) – I still fidget a bit to get comfy, but my lower back has been FREE of this knotted PAIN that I’ve basically had most days for over a year!

If I can feel better just by reading the book and reviewing the many exercises the author added to get the reader laughing, then just imagine what it’ll feel like laughing every day – strategically laughing with purpose and passion.

Some of the exercise may seem difficult to get into and understand, especially alone, but many people will probably feel silly doing laughing exercises in a group. It definitely depends on your personality. I know I wouldn’t feel silly, but I can think of a handful of friends who are a little more on the introverted side when it comes to doing certain things in public (even if it is in a “safe” environment such as a laughter yoga class).

The only thing I felt was missing were more in-depth instructions/examples – they just touched the surface. The example and links to other reference materials included in the book are plentiful. I think this is an excellent jumping off point of reference and a valuable introduction to a different kind of yogic practice – and one I’m looking forward to exploring more!

Laugh Your Way to Happiness:Laughter yoga and the new science of health and well-being
Leslie Lyle
Pub Date: February 28, 2014
Watkins Publishing

Disclaimer: This book was provided to reviewer from the publisher, Watkins Publishing through NetGalley for the sole purpose of reading and review.