Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Space Oddity

Unless you live under a rock, you know that yesterday was the big fancy solar eclipse!  I hope that you were able to get out and see it in some way, shape or form.  We were incredibly lucky, because Oregon was in the path of totality.  Where I live got about 99% totality as opposed to places like Madras (central Oregon) and the coast, which both got 100%.  Regardless of the 1% difference, it was an incredible, amazing day and I'm so thankful we got to see it!

We requested to work from home since the traffic was predicted to be pretty much apocalyptic, and I'm so glad that we did.  I originally was like 'whatever' about the eclipse, mainly because I just had major fatigue from hearing about it on the news for months on end (as you can imagine, the coverage here was nonstop since last year).  As things drew closer, we both became pretty pumped about it and decided to go whole hog yesterday to celebrate.  I started the day by making us some Eclipse pancakes with Kodiak chocolate pancake mix and Bisquick.

We did have the correct viewing glasses ahead of time, Eric thankfully prompted me over a month ago with some links to the fancy ISO approved glasses so I ordered them from Amazon and we had them ready to go.  Good thing I did, because everywhere around here either sold out of glasses or had to recall faulty glasses.  Yikes!  No one likes a burned eyeball.  The smallest pack I could get was a three pack, so I gave the 3rd pair to my boss.  They are...not fashionable exactly, but eyesight is better than looking cute.

On Saturday we went out around the time the eclipse was supposed to happen so that we could see where the sun was at and if we could view the eclipse from our yard, or if we'd have to move down the street to view it.  We were stoked to see that we'd have a perfect view in our own backyard, so yesterday morning Eric got our chairs all set up and ready for prime time.  And because we are horrible people, we cracked the two eclipse themed beers we bought just for the occasion.  It was really good!

I love making playlists for things, so I set up a really good one for the eclipse viewing.  The track list went as follows:

1.  "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden
2.  "Brain Damage/Eclipse" by Pink Floyd
3.  "The Moonbeam Song" by Harry Nilsson
4.  "Moonbeam Levels" by Prince
5.  "Space Oddity" by David Bowie

We got all set up...

And we got a hell of a show.  I seriously have never experienced anything like that in my life, and I can see why people become eclipse chasers.  It was weird, eerie, beautiful and completely surreal.  Since we didn't get 100% totality it didn't go fully dark, but was this weird dusky vibe, as though we were looking at our yard through a greyish blue film or something.  I didn't bother trying to take pictures of the actual eclipse since I wanted to be truly present for it, and since no one wants to see my crappy Android pics of it, lol.  Eric and I held hands and just experienced it for the 20 minutes or so that it took to get to 99%.  It was truly special and something I'll never forget.

The rest of the day was pretty anticlimactic since I had to go back upstairs to my office and work.  For her part, my "coworker" didn't understand the fuss, slept through the eclipse, and was very happy when it was all over so we could go back upstairs and she could supervise me again.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Getting Better

I know that I'm well overdue for an update, especially after my last post!  Things are looking up a little, I know I was really glum last time, but it was just how I was (and somewhat still am) feeling.  I'm kind of starting to pull out of it though thankfully.

I know one should never self diagnose really, but I can pretty much say with confidence after the last month that I think I have reverse seasonal affective disorder.  It's something I've joked about over the years and I've always, always hated heat/summer, but this year really kind of brought home that 1) it's serious and 2) it's a pattern.  I realized that historically during the summer I get depressed, have difficulty coping with the most minor of stuff and experience a lot of lethargy and a feeling of hopelessness.  We had a heatwave the last two weeks that just about did me in (one day it got to 108).  Nothing got done.  I didn't cook, I didn't sleep well, and felt like an utter zombie at work.  The least little thing made me feel overwhelmed and tearful, and the sound of the AC and fans running constantly was beginning to really grate on me.  I could barely pull my shit together to prep for my SIL's visit last week.  (And if I wasn't depressed before, I definitely was after I got my electric bill for July, ouch.)  Inwardly I was screaming at myself to get it together and was so frustrated that I went from being so organized and on top of my health to being whiny bitch Mary from 2007.  And 2008.  And 2009.  You get the picture.

This week the heat broke, and it's like a switch got flipped back again.  I made a weekly menu for us the way I always do, I set up my workout calendar, I've been prepping meals, eating right, I'm sleeping well and feel a bit more like myself.  I've worked out every day and have felt great afterwards. Things haven't felt like such a struggle this week and I feel more level.  Knowing that fall is around the corner is making life bearable again.  It's made me realize the difference in my attitude and that clearly I am affected deeply by the weather.  It's been a bit of a mind f**k and made me have the "maybe this isn't funny" kind of epiphany.

Of course that brings up, what the hell should I do about this long term since I shouldn't just suffer for 3-4 months of the year.  I know the logical answer is "go to the doctor", but I have an almost pathological resistance to this on many levels.  I fought harder than I've ever fought for myself medically over my stomach issues, and no telling how many co-pays, elimination diets and wasted hours away from work later, the doctors never took me seriously and my stomach is still as ridiculous as ever.  And that's something in my mind that's serious, so the thought of walking into a doctor's office and saying that summer makes me sad and having them take me seriously?  Yeah, that'll happen.  I know that's a shitty attitude, but I've been burned by so many doctors over the years that the thought of having to go through some round of trying to get diagnosed with something makes me feel tired and drained.  And then what?  Do I go on medication?  It just all seems crazy and overwhelming to me.

Anyway, I guess that's down the road stuff that I need to figure out.  For the present, I definitely feel like I'm crawling out of a hole.  Between my sporadic workouts and crappy eating, I've lost some of my strength gains, so I've been taking it slow this week and ramping up again.  Instead of doing workouts that are 45 minutes of one thing, I've been doing combinations of short workouts.  For instance on Monday I did 15 minutes of HIIT followed by 10 minutes of lower body strength training.  Yesterday I started with 10 minutes of upper body strength training and ended with 20 minutes of ab work.  Yesterday was 10 minutes of lower body strength training and finishing off with 20 minutes of Pilates.  I've been striking the right balance it seems, because I've been sore after, but not painfully so.  As odd as this sounds, it feels good to be sore.  It just means muscle tears, and when those repair, I'll be stronger.  Rinse and repeat.  I've also found that doing several shorter workouts has somehow been less overwhelming, even though cumulatively I'm still working out the same amount.  It's easy to get through a set of strength training and push yourself when you know it's only 10 minutes.  Then I click the next video and say to myself "Oh this is only 15 minutes, I can get through that."  Cue the song "Head Games" by Foreigner.

I haven't really set a goal for next month (though my ladies and I are talking about a new challenge for September) and I'm not really stressing too hard with  my weight for the moment.  When I weighed this morning I was 182, which is thankfully down from a couple weeks ago.  That's the thing, if I get back into what I know works I don't have to worry about my weight because it will start coming off again.

Anyway, that's kind of the deal with all of that.  I actually have a lot more positive stuff to update with, including my SIL's visit, but this post is already so long!  Will write more soon!