Friday, September 6, 2013

Adventures in Housewifery, a Meltdown, and a Hard Hat

WHOA! Two posts this week...that is CRAY. (alright...I left this in there because I thought it to myself, started laughing, typed it, and laughed even harder at the fact that I sound incredibly stupid saying that...just go with it...)

Yesterday I went ballistic in the kitchen. When I was done, it literally looked like a housewife had exploded. Crockpot, cookie sheet, fry pan, mixing bowls, cheesecloth, multiple glass food-keeping containers, kombucha kit, cutting boards and knives...that's a lot for the kitchen of a 624 sq ft apartment, I will tell you that right now.

When I listed all the things I did, it actually didn't really justify the explosion of housewifey-ness. The crockpot had been used to render lard. The lard got poured into a jar, the crispies (WOW YUM) went onto the cookie sheet and truly crisped in the oven. The chicken carcass with part of its breast meat went into the crockpot, with some melted lard still in the bottom, along with some water, carrots, onions, and spices. Bone broth. The two GIANT bundles of kale from last weekend's farmer's market got stripped of their stalks, massaged with olive oil and salt and garlic powder, and onto the cookie sheet to make three batches of kale chips. The kombucha is ready to go, but we haven't started it just yet...I'm super excited to do it though, I LOVE kombucha and it's so expensive at the store.

So, to recap, all I got out of the housewife explosion was kale chips, lard, and chicken broth...

Fast-forward to bedtime last night...complete meltdown. I'm not even going to try and sugar-coat this by saying it was a mini or minor or baby meltdown - we are talking absolute raging storm of a meltdown. I attribute this to one thing, with many contributing factors: STRESS. About everything. Stress, embarrassment, feelings of failure, worry, hormones getting back on track after giving up my Rx...all of these things, and more, contributing to one BIG STRESS.

The only thing else I'm going to say about this meltdown is that I'm damn relieved that we did sledgehammer swings at the gym this morning. It didn't solve all my problems, but it gave me an outlet for the cortisol build-up to be utilized. Man, sledgehammers are an AWESOME workout. In addition, I killed 135 lbs in a couple dead lifts, 115 lbs in several more dead lifts, about 35 pull-ups, and some serious battle rope slams. So, go me. Everything else is crumbling around me, but I am KILLING IT AS A WARRIOR WOMAN.

Oh, and earlier this week I got promoted to my blue shirt. [There's a progression of colored shirts we are working through; promotion happens via participation in challenges (fitness assessments, must have improved since previous) and regular attendance to reflect dedication to the mission.]

Then a couple hours ago I found a great blog post by the wonderful Steve over at Nerd Fitness. I enjoy his blog because he really doesn't focus on labels of lifestyle, he seriously is all about motivation and creativity and dedication. This, he just seems to always have a post that picks me up right when I need it. Not that Friday is a great day to need a pick-up, since it's the start of the weekend and supposed ultimate relaxation, but still. This post is actually from the other day, but I didn't hunker down at my Feedly reader until a couple hours ago, so here it is!

He's calling it a 30-Day Hard Hat Challenge. It basically says: stop it. Stop whining and complaining and stop feeling like a failure, put your damn hard hat on and get through it. Pummel or crawl or whatever...just get through it. If you go through a single day without getting through something you know you need to do, that's too many days. BETTER NOT ALLOW IT TWO DAYS IN A ROW. Pick yourself up, put your hard hat on, and do it.

If you haven't clicked on that blog post at Nerd Fitness yet, I highly suggest it. In fact, I suggest reading all or most of his posts. Some can seem repetitive because he's basically finding different analogies to help motivate people, whether with regard to health and fitness, profession, or just life in general. BUT, there's always one for whatever off-day you're having. So it's kind of nice that it's repetitive. And who doesn't need to be reminded once in a while to just do it. And if it's worth doing (read: worth stressing out about NOT getting it done...), do it ALL OUT. No half-assing this business. Crawl if you have to (metaphorically, of course). But do it and make it your best crawl ever.

Anyway, I think that's all for now, loyal readers. Haha. Thanks for reading, and enjoy this nice little bit of sunshine trying to poke through the storm from this morning.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Pinterest-Perfect Household

This is going to be another post about Pinterest. But not just about Pinterest; about the things and feelings it implies, inspires, and invokes. (Wow, I'm not a writer but I'd say the use of three "i-" words in a row was kind of awesome. I digress.)

I do love Pinterest, but I spend entirely too much time repinning other peoples' pins. Most of the time I don't double-check where a person got something that I'm repinning, so I probably have a TON of pins that ultimately aren't that useful. That said, I also find it quite useful as a catch-all for things I find all on my own - like articles about food and wellness, craft ideas and things, and all the other interesting things I want to save to come back to from my Feedly reader.

I love it for the inspiration that comes out of it. I like to think of myself as pretty crafty, but I don't always have the imagination and vision that I wish I I use my pin boards for ideas, designs, patterns, printables, etc.

There's always a fashion pin board. I wish I could say that I could go back, click on the site, and add to my closet...but I can't, and I don't, and even if I could, I probably wouldn't. It's one of those fun boards that is just that - fun to look at and add to, but not all that useful. A lot of the photos are from blogs anyway (I think), not to the site for purchase of said outfit or accessory or item, so's just there.

I have gone back through my Reading and Watching board, because I tend to keep blog posts that I want to go back to and read again, videos that I want to reference or watch again later, books that I want to read (this board is definitely NOT all-inclusive, just some that I don't have written down elsewhere), books that I recommend (again, not all-inclusive), movies I like or want to see, etc.

I do pin my own findings quite a bit, because I hope that as I accumulate more pins and my boards and pins start showing up in peoples' searches or browsing screens, I can help people by sharing that piece of information with them. Whether it's health and wellness, a funny, a craft idea, or whatever, I hope it helps someone who's looking for just that something.

Okay, so onto one of the things about Pinterest that is frustrating. I'm totally guilty of doing this, too, I know it. There are a million trillion gazillion pins of ABSOLUTELY PERFECT parties, weddings, furniture, cupcakes, living rooms, wrap-around porches, gardens, closets, YOU NAME IT.

Here's the thing - ya, it's great to dream and gather some inspiration for planning, brainstorm...but it's not great to get caught up in what we think is the IDEAL event, house, whatever. Having a goal or idea in mind for finished product - awesome. Being completely unsatisfied and depressed because we aren't as perfect as these Pinterest mamas and wives and people because we don't have the time to build a sweet sandbox-swingset combo with flags and whistles and retractable rooftops and all of this - NOT AWESOME. Or being sad that our wedding day didn't turn out the same as all of these Pinterest weddings; or not having the time or resources to throw our sister or best friend the cutest, most detailed, intricately-planned dreamy-perfect baby shower...

I'm about to wrap up here, but before I do, this blog post over at So Wonderful So Marvelous is what inspired this post this morning...

So, yes, I pin a lot. More than I should. I may have a problem.

But what resources do I have with which to make these dreamy unrealistic ideals come true IN MY OWN LIFE? I have me. I have my husband. I have my dog, who doesn't like to sit still for the perfect photo op. I have my crafty abilities, and someday, I will have a little bit of disposable income with which to fund my projects and events. But do I or will I have an unlimited bank account? Do I or will I have a personal assistant or two or three to be my party planners and seamstresses and bakers? Will I ever hire a party planning company for my two-year-old's birthday party? GOD I HOPE NOT!

Like So Wonderful So Marvelous said, if you are THAT WOMAN, more power to you. Congratulations, you won the dream life. Or maybe you were born into it, that's fine too. I know a small handful of those women. But most of us are on our own. We've got priorities that we need to keep straight without the help of a personal assistant or party planner or tailor.

All of this, and I don't even have my own kids yet! Imagine trying to do all of these perfect and Pinterest-worthy things WITH KIDS. AND A JOB. Shut the front door. For the vast majority of us, NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

I do enjoy Pinterest, obviously, if you follow me - I spend entirely too much time on there right now. I should only allow myself like 20 minutes a day on there, but ya know, I don't have that personal assistant looking over my shoulder to hold me accountable to that. The important thing to remember is that hey, while these pics and ideas of super parties and decor and houses/McMansions might inspire us to do something different or add a little touch of something elegant, do these ideas invoke resentment towards others with more resources, do we feel less than adequate because we aren't the super cake maker or bow tie-er, does Pinterest make me feel ungrateful for what I DO have?

I admit - sometimes I do feel some of those things. But then I snuggle my precious Doxie who's been curled up in my lab this whole time, and I come back down to Earth and can still appreciate reality.

That's all for now, hope I didn't bore you too much! Thanks for reading! And DO check out So Wonderful So Marvelous, I quite enjoyed her post.