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Look at how pretty this PSL is! Now I'm going to DRINK IT!

Look at how pretty this PSL is! It can’t be THAT bad for me… right?

The last couple months have been more eventful than I can cover in one blog post. Between health shifts and family drama, my life has been one resurrected evil twin away from a daytime soap opera.

However, that hasn’t been the main reason for my writing hiatus.  No, it’s more due to the fact that I can’t drink coffee anymore. At least, I can’t drink caffeinated coffee which is really the only kind that matters.

A couple months back I figured out that I had adrenal fatigue. Nothing deadly as long as you get it early but it means I had to cut sugar, caffeine, and alcohol right out of my diet. Unless you’re close to death I would never recommend doing this. I’m not going to sugar coat this guys, (haha, sugar coat, get it? Get the pun? *sobs*) not having caffeine or wine in my life has been a major life change. I’m not saying I’m an alcoholic but I will fully admit to being a caffeine-addict.

The thing is, these two things were my basic gifts to me. Neither of them costs a lot (though wowza, it adds up over time) and they both made me happier on bad days and pretty danged spiffy on the good days. I relied on coffee (Soy Americano Mistos with chocolate and cinnamon on top, specifically) and a good glass of wine as my stress relief and gratification for being an adult. Do you know what it’s like to have the two things that hit that pleasure center in your brain taken away??? Sorry, I sound intense about it but that’s because I AM INTENSE ABOUT IT. I essentially had to retrain my brain to deal with stress, sadness, anxiety, and the concept of rewarding myself in a completely different way.

I honestly don't know how parents do it. I can barely take care of myself!

I honestly don’t know how parents do it. I can barely take care of myself!

So now, I watch Bubbles longingly as she drinks wine and I drink decaf coffee. Yes. Decaf coffee. I make sure it’s swiss water organic and you know, it’s not… all bad. I’m not going to tell you that I want to drink it forever but every night I relax with a cup of decaf coffee and I’m grateful to at least have that.

The other downside to not being able to drink real coffee (other than not being able to drink real coffee) is that I really wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to write. Coffee has always been half of my muse. Anytime and every time I wanted to sit down and write I had a good cup of coffee beside me. In fact, I normally went through a couple cups of coffee in one writing session. It got my brain going and my fingers moving. It made me focused and sparked my imagination to create, invent, and breathe life into stories and characters. It opened up whole new worlds of possibilities.

edb6cb91d065fa2c135fcb8f9538d830Without coffee I was worried all the words were going to turn to dust in my head. I wondered if all the voices were going to go silent and all the colors in life would seep away. It terrified me. Writing has been a part of my life since I was 12 years old and probably before. It’s part of how I process and a huge part of how I cope. It also simply makes me happy.

I didn’t even try to write for those first two months. Frankly, even if I’d wanted to I didn’t have the energy to know where to begin. Without my constant stimulant I was exhausted and left to deal with the reality of my energy levels, which were beyond low at that point. Everything was overwhelming. Getting up, getting dressed, and going to work seemed like Mount Everest. The fact that I had to feed myself seemed an unfair and impossible task. I was exhausted. I was also rather grumpy.

But I did it. I started drinking insane amounts of green tea since it was the only thing not banned on the list and I started getting healthy in a way I’d never tried before. I’m not saying I’m quite there yet. I still have at least 3-4 months to go before I can even begin to contemplate having some of my favorite treats again (though I do cheat here and there. Come on, Pumpkin Spice Lattes came back to Starbucks! Cut me some slack! I made it decaf AND half sweet!) but my energy levels are so much better than they used to be that I feel like a brand new person. And that person is less likely to take the quickest answer and more likely to really look for the right solution, even if it takes some time. 

I’ve also learned a lot in the last couple of months. I’ve learned how to slow down and have more patience, not just with myself but with the life around me. I’m beginning to understand that good things can take time and those things are definitely worth waiting and working for. It’s so easy to get into the grind of rushing through things without taking the time to experience life and really appreciate the smaller things. Besides all that it did sort of fit into my, “Learn how to love me” year. No better way to learn about yourself than to take away all the things you rely on.

And that leads us to today, right here and right now as I sit, typing away at my laptop, sans caffeine. Turns out the words are all still there. The wind that my creativity rides on is still flying and frankly, I think

Lighting one bulb at a time ;)

Lighting one bulb at a time 😉

it might be stronger than ever. I have a  little less time to write now as I need more rest and I have to make everything from scratch but things are settling down and fall is here! Nanowrimo is just around the corner (National Novel Writing Month if you’ve never heard of it, http://nanowrimo.org/) and I can’t tell you how excited I am. Bubbles is planning her wedding (Woot!), the training at my new job is almost done, and there are a lot of wonderful things on the horizon. So here we go, Alons-y as the Doctor used to say, and bring on the decaf!

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  • I don’t know who Sarah Palin is. I don’t know what she stands for or represents. I know her name was thrown around a lot a few months back. I know a lot of people really do not like this woman but I honestly can’t tell you why. I think she might have something to do with politics.
I hear she has something to do with Alaska? Does it really even matter?

I hear she has something to do with Alaska? Does it really even matter?

  • I’m not thin. I will never be thin. I can be fit. I have muscles and I can hurt most guys when I punch them. Insulin and my hardy Acadian genes have ensured that I will never be a model but I’ll also never be weak. And I like it. I love my curvy body, my great butt, and how after a couple workouts I can see muscle definition everywhere. I will never wear short shorts out of the house, it makes me sad, my thighs are what they are. But as one of the estheticians said while I was getting a wax, I have strong thighs and they’ll take me far. Also, it means the “I like big butts” song is my anthem and no one can take that away from me.
  • I like rap. I like the sexy back beat and the intensity of it. I hate rap that talks about … ahem, shall we say various female body parts and all the ways they plan on… shredding them. Hate. It. It’s not just that it’s derogatory. It honestly has nothing to do with feminism. It’s that it doesn’t sound appealing. It sounds painful and horrible and dirty and it’s the last thing I want to listen to. It also makes me wonder how many STDs these guys have. Blech. What happened to buying a girl flowers for heaven’s sakes???
  • I want a guy to buy me flowers. I don’t know why. I can’t explain it. It’s completely useless. But I do.
  • I love Mindy Kaling. I love her. I love her high pitched “Mickey Mouse” voice. I love that she’s not thin. I love that she dates a lot because I date a lot. I love how she just doesn’t care about being part of the female norm. I don’t care what anyone says. I love her.
  • I also love Taylor Swift. I know she can be ridiculous and I don’t agree with her stand on Spotify but Blank Space spoke to my soul. I also have a long list of exes who would probably say I was crazy and I would also like to sing about it. That and Love Story was like the cutest, sweetest song and she makes me happy. So shake, shake, shake it off cause we are never EVER, EVER, EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER, OOOOOH.
  • I love working out. I also love sitting around for weeks at a time reading endlessly. These two things tend to conflict with each other.
  • I don’t agree with animal testing for make up. I can’t hate animal testing. If it wasn’t for animal testing I would probably be dead. Insulin came from testing it on dogs and pigs (if I have that right). What can I say, I like my insulin. It helps me do things, like keep living.
  • I want to travel everywhere. My parents are the type of people who are happy staying in one spot for their entire life. They never wanted to go anywhere outside of the maritimes when I was a kid and that didn’t even count since it was home for us. As a result I want to go to Paris, Italy, Taiwan, Korea, the southern shores of Greece, Spain, Scotland, Ireland, Texas, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and basically anywhere else that will let me in. I will never have gone to enough places. I especially want to go to Texas though.
  • I am having the time of my life being single but if there’s one thing that I hate about it, it’s cooking for myself. I don’t like it. It’s a lot of effort and I’m the only one who enjoys the food. I like experimenting when I cook, maybe because my mom never followed a recipe. I use all different kinds of spices and sauces (many of which I create myself) and I love bold flavors and spice. I hate cooking for just me. I want to cook for someone else. I want to share that with someone else. Food should be a shared experience and I hate that about being single.
  • I was a shy kid. I know, almost impossible to believe if you know me or read this blog. As an adult I’m sometimes horrifyingly honest and will be the first person to bounce up and say, “hey, I don’t know you yet. What’s your name?”. Yes. This is how I introduce myself to people in social gatherings. It works, what can I tell you. And it helps me weed out the boring people, i.e.: the ones who give me strange looks and avoid me for the rest of the night.
Me as a wee one. I loved that dress.

Me as a wee one. I loved that dress.

As a child however I was intensely shy. I didn’t want to meet new people. I didn’t want to be anywhere my mom wasn’t. In fact I couldn’t even get through a sleep over, I’d always be up at 2 in the morning crying and then my mom would be called and come pick me up, bless her heart. Sure the other kids teased me for being a woosy but I got to sleep snug at home knowing my mommy was close by and nothing bad was going to happen. I was also afraid of trying anything new. It all seemed scary. Climbing trees? What if I fell and broke something? Running faster than the adults thought I should? What if I fell and broke something!? Doing something my mom told me not to??? What if I fell and I broke something!?!?!? Needless to say, I was not adventurous.

I think moving halfway across the country and losing everything I knew and loved changed all of that for me. I ended up in a school where everyone thought I was weird and made fun of me, my family was far away, I had no friends and no one here smiled. No one. So I threw myself into reading and decided I didn’t care what anyone thought. Then I got older and decided I spent too much time worrying about breaking things and wanted to do everything humanly possible. Especially the things I wasn’t supposed to do. Now, I’m not a rebel by any means. I never did drugs and outside of sneaking some alcohol out of the cabinet at my parents (Scotch was a shock) I was still a pretty reserved kid. But I was never shy again.

  • I want to learn how to snowboard. I haven’t because I’m afraid of breaking something. I know, I know. I’m working on it.
  • I like drinking water out of a wine glass.
  • I used to put ice in my wine until I discovered frozen fruit in wine. I like cold wine. I love cold wine with frozen fruit in it.
  • I want to learn how to drive a motorcycle then I want to buy a motorcycle. I don’t want to be the chick on the back of her boyfriend’s motorcycle, forget that! I want to have my own motorcycle! I want to be the chick who pulls up, pulls off her helmet and let’s her long blond hair flow beautifully down while she shakes her head like she’s in a shampoo commercial. Knowing me I would probably end up with sweaty helmet head and look like a freak. Also I don’t have blond hair but still, I can dream.

    Preow, right ladies!?

    Preow, right ladies!?

  • I love country music. It makes me happy. I used to hate country music. I despised it. Then I discovered Keith Urban and I thought he was hot. Suddenly country music became much more interesting. One day my dad walked in while I was watching the country music station on tv and singing along quietly (so no one would hear me) and he almost had a heart attack. He walked in, looked at me, turned around and walked out and then walked back in to make sure he wasn’t seeing things. What can I say, I like hot guys and country music has tons of hot guys in big trucks and I like that too.
  • I have two step brothers. They’re both older than me and one of them, Bernie, lived with us for a few months. I think it was the funnest time I had as a teen in my house. It was great having a brother who bugged me, pulled my hair, and threatened to show up at my school and embarrass me. We fought about things and he gave me a welt with a towel while we were doing dishes but I got him back by yanking on his short hair with the dish gloves I was wearing. We didn’t stay close when he moved out but I’ll always miss that.
  • I love driving stick shift. I can’t go back to automatic. It’s not driving. I love controlling my speed and shifting gears. Sometimes when I’m in a bad mood I really rev my gears and pretend I’m in Fast and the Furious and a total bad ass. I am not a bad ass. I drive a basic 2004 Golf. It has manual windows that I have to crank down and it doesn’t even have automatic locks. But, damn it feels good to pretend.
    I'd rather shift thanks.

    I’d rather shift, thanks.

    • One more thing, I love drinking through a straw. If I could drink everything through a straw I would. You can make as many dirty jokes about that as you’d like, in fact, I probably already have. If I could just drink liquids instead of going through the hassle of chewing I would have all liquid meals. This would also be a great diet trick to make me thin (see point 2) as well as ensure that I would never have to cook for just me again (see point 10) but being diabetic (see point 8) it would also kill me. Sigh. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy my wine through a straw and no one can stop me. NO ONE!

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