Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Brighter Side

I’m back in Minneapolis for work this week and back to fighting with negative thoughts…it just doesn’t seem fair to experience a delightfully warm, sunny, spring weekend with my dear husband and then be thrust back into 30 degrees of clouds and windy dreariness while living in a hotel room.
So I’m sitting here, staring at a grey sky, missing my home and my husband and I’m determined to turn my thoughts to a happy place. Here’s what I think about recently when I need that boost.

1.     Our Honeymoon (in approximately 47 days)
     7 days in St. Lucia...with a private pool. And a butler. And SUN. And books. The  most common phrase you hear in our household on any given day from either me or Z is "I can't wait for our honeymoon..."

2.     Our new bikes. Z bought me a new bike for my birthday…and apparently I bought him a new bike for his birthday too. All I know is, I came home to a new bike in the garage with bows on it. And then another new bike conveniently placed on the other side of the garage. Sneaky.

No, actually we had talked about this and tried out a few different bikes before Z made the purchase (the timing and bows were the surprise). We’re super excited to enjoy springtime in DC on our bikes and (more importantly) to enjoy the many trails Germany has to offer. Also, since I can’t drive a stick shift and that’s the only car we’ll have in Germany, my bike is also my new car!

3.     Our 3 weeks “at home” in Georgia. We get to spend three weeks with our extended families in Atlanta before we leave for Germany. It would be an understatement to say I’m ridiculously excited. I am SO thankful that we will have time with our families before our extended time apart. I can’t week for those few weeks of relaxation and fun with the people we love the most.

There. I feel better already.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Today, I am cranky.

Actually, every day I might be cranky…it’s just a matter of how much strength I have to overcome that and tell my crankiness it doesn’t get to win, not today.

But today, cranky wins. I don’t even have the strength to fight it. Today, I invite cranky in for tea and he gets comfortable on the couch, takes his shoes off and before we know it it’s “what do you want on your pizza?” and “should we get a movie?”

I’m the kind of cranky that sits in front of my laptop and internally argues with every work-related email that comes in. “Oh REALLY, Adam? You comment on that issue and now I’m getting an email update telling me that you commented? I don’t care. I’m not even going to READ your comment. Deleted.”

“Oh, Tina is coming up to the conference room at 1pm? IS SHE?! IS SHE REALLY?? I’ll be sure to NOTIFY THE PRESS”

I’m the kind of cranky that eats an “everything” bagel for lunch and decides NOT to use mouthwash or chew gum afterwards. Don’t get near me, World. There was ONION on that bagel. You’ll be sorry, but I’m not.

This kind of cranky leads to a dangerous place. Misery loves company and when crankiness is allowed to get comfortable, he invites bitterness. This kind of cranky leads to thoughts that are not true or valid or warranted. Thoughts of bitterness that I have to give up my job (and really the ability to have any type of steady career with inevitable moves every three years). Thoughts of anger and sadness and fear about how hard it will be to transition into life in a foreign country without any friends. Thoughts that have no target but are trying to figure out where (or towards whom) they should be aimed.

Writing is place for me to process and chronicle and share and exaggerate and try to be funny. But it’s also a safe and honest place for me, and if nothing else, that’s why I share that today is plagued by tired, dark, ugly thoughts.

But if I’m being honest, I know that I don’t REALLY feel that way. I’m simply giving in to crankiness and allowing negativity to go one step farther than it should. I’m entertaining crankiness and he is not a good guest. I’m hearing lies that are born out of hunger or hormones or lack of sleep or the fact that I haven’t seen the sun in the four days I’ve been in Minneapolis, away from my husband and home cooked meals and my own bed.

Today, I just want to go home. And stay home. For more than a week at a time.

The one comfort I get out of all of THIS is that I’ve realized how much being with Z has become HOME to me. And with that knowledge, I feel more confident that I’ll be “ok” in Germany. Even if the transition is hard, even when I miss friends and family, even when I inevitably have more days like today… at least I’ll be home.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Regret...but it did get me out of Paleo

I’m still trying to recover from my husband-less weekend. My ability to sleep, cook, clean…simply FUNCTION…was rendered useless. I don’t know what happened. I successfully lived alone and with roommates for years before being married. I successfully travel alone to new cities for business week after week. Yet one weekend at home by myself and I’m reduced to a hot mess. You saw what happened Saturday…(although, admittedly, that could be blamed on Mr. Willis. You understand.)

I did NOT enjoy being home alone. I didn’t sleep well. I wandered the house, unshowered and uninspired. I watched a LOT of tv. I ate a whole box of Kraft Mac & Cheese (which is probably not Paleo, but I can’t prove that). By Saturday night, I had to give myself a major pep talk. “You can’t live like this! Pull yourself together! Is this how you’re going to act during the next deployment?! You disgust me!”

I find that I respond well to verbal abuse self-motivation in my stream of conscious conversations with myself.

So, I devised a plan of attack for Sunday. I WOULD be productive. My day would start at 9:15 (which is early for me on a weekend) at the gym. From there, I was not to sit on the couch until the laundry was done, I had cooked enough Paleo-friendly food to get Z through the week while I was traveling (super wife), and the house was clean.

Sunday rolled around and I was ON IT. An hour at the gym, four Paleo meals cooked and in the fridge, clean laundry, clean house! BAM! Champion of Productivity. AND I showered! Killed it.

So after all of that, I finally sat down on the couch to relax. Then the worst thing happened. I decided I needed something sweet. A little treat. A small reward for being a successful human being on Sunday. We had nothing sweet in the house (curse you, Paleo). So I go to the gas station. And proceeded to get Skittles.
AND a Nerd Rope.
And a Sprite.

Sugar. Binge.

I was so ashamed that I didn’t tell Z until a few days later that THAT’S why I was awake at 2:30am complaining that I didn’t feel good. Skittles. Nerd Rope. Beer. Miserable. Oh, and the Sprite. Never again.

He has officially released me from Paleo. It’s for the best, really.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekend in Review: Role Reversal

So Z is out of town and I’m all “FREEEEDOOOOOM!!!”

Just kidding.

But Z IS out of town and this is the first time in our marriage that he has left me at home…usually I am leaving him, what with all the business travel I’ve had to do. As he was getting ready to go, I asked “are you excited?” since he’s going to NYC for his friend’s wedding. Basically a bro reunion for him and his West Point buddies. His answer really surprised me. He said “I’m a little bit sad…I’ve never left you before!” And because I’m really nurturing and caring I said “HA! now you know how I feel every time I leave! And you wonder why I whine about traveling!” But this isn’t about me…

Anyways. So off he goes.

This is what I’ve done with my husband-less day so far:

·         Not showered

·         Cooked an entire package of turkey bacon

·         Ate 2 pieces of said bacon

·         Put a Boston butt in the crock pot

·         ate some yogurt

·         ate some cheerios

·         ate some Thin Mints

·         found a Die Hard marathon on tv

And because of that last item, the rest of my day is shot.
Because…you know…Bruce Willis.

Turns out I have a thing for bald, muscle-y guys…so in the absence of my bald muscle-y man, I suppose it’s therapeutic to sit here and watch 6 hours of Bruce instead.

Monday, March 12, 2012

For the cause...

There are 5 boxes of Girl Scout cookies in my home and my husband wants to start the Paleo diet. In two days.
The Paleo Diet, aka the caveman diet. Meats, fruits,veggies. Nothing processed. No dairy. NO CARBS. No fun.

I get anxiety just thinking about this. Twofold anxiety…first, because I LOVE cheese. And bread. And french fries. And chips. Secondly, because I don’t know how I’m going to plan and prepare meals without carbs. Off the top of my head I can only think of so many combinations of fish or chicken and vegetables before I get bored and wander to the pantry for a cookie. FURTHERMORE, every recipe that I see on Pinterest that looks amazingly delicious contains everything we won’t be allowed to eat.
I have enough trouble as it is planning meals that don’t include cereal. Now this?!

I made a grocery list today and immediately had to cross off the first three items when I realized we shouldn’t have Cheerios, beer or peanut butter in the house during our 45 days of AWFUL.

The thing is... Z has been talking about doing this since before Christmas. He wanted to start in February. But when February came and went and we still had made no moves to start this torture, I started to relax. We weren’t REALLY doing this. It was just good intentions. It was a “fun” idea. But about a week ago, Z casually says “March 15th…that’s when we’ll start Paleo”.


Turns out he’s serious this time. When I asked why now, he explained that trying to maintain such a strict diet from February through the end of April was probably too much. So we’re doing 6 weeks instead. In my opinion, trying to maintain this diet from noon until 6pm is probably too much, but that doesn’t seem to sway him. Conveniently, these 6 weeks lead up to our St. Lucian honeymoon that we’re taking at the beginning of May, so that is the only motivating factor for me. And that’s not super motivating, I’m sorry to say.

So, we’re doing this. Although, I’m already thinking about my upcoming two weeks of business travel and how I may have to bend some Paleo rules. “Bend” meaning “ignore completely”, in this case. Until then, I’ve taken it upon myself to purge the house of all non-Paleo foods before we embark on this…thing. And since I don’t like the idea of throwing out food, I’ll be eating it. No, no, it’s not some noble sacrifice on my part. It’s just doing what anyone would do…for the cause. I'm no hero. 

Get over here, Thin Mints.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Dentist (and why to avoid it)

So today I went through yet another doctor’s appointment in preparation for THE MOVE. The Army wants a lot of paperwork proving I won’t be a health liability in Germany. Over the course of two weeks I have approximately 8 appointments scheduled. Some of those may or may not be haircuts and massage appointments, but my calendar is full nonetheless.

Today was the dentist. I hate the dentist. I avoid the dentist at all costs. I floss regularly just so I can avoid the dentist. In my mind, that’s how it works. Flossing means you don’t have to go to the dentist.

The Army made me go to the dentist. So I go, wondering if I can just sweet talk the doctor into signing my form and letting me go without putting his hands in my mouth. But that did not happen. Here is what happened instead:
·         18 x-rays. This felt as excessive as it sounds.

·         1 referral to the orthodontic surgeon. Because I’m nearly 26 and still have my wisdom teeth. “They have to come out sometime, Katie. I pull teeth here, but I think I’ll send you to the surgeon where they’ll sedate you real good since you still have bone covering the teeth…” I think he said more stuff but I passed out after “bone covering teeth”.

·         1 fitting for a nighttime mouth guard. Apparently I’m a “cheek-biting grinder”. Which sounds like something a concerned preschool teacher would tell a parent about their misbehaving child. “Does not play well with others; cheek-biting grinder; frequently disrupts naptime”.

·         1 follow-up appointment. For good measure and probably just to mess with my head. Little do they know that I’ll consider two dentist appointments in one year sufficient to cover for me for the next 4 years at least. Winning.

All that to say is, I still didn’t get the one form I needed signed off…proving, once again, that the dentist simply exists to ruin my life.