chronic pain, fitness, goals, sugar-free

Sugar-free and Me

I have tried alot of methods to lose weight and some have worked. Actually, worked well. Of course, mixed with an active lifestyle. One that failed not once but twice was keto. Not me. But with my recent health setback and literally from active to a coach potato by necessity, I need some change. I needed some research both to keep me busy and my own convincing to take the plunge, well the second plunge. I did this once with success and just went off. No reason. It was easy and felt great. So here we go…sugar-free is me…is now born.

My reasoning is completely to decrease inflammation. Which is still present. The absence of sugar is key as the white stuff spikes inflammation. Bye. Now, I could bore you with data. But not my style. Just enjoy my meandering stories and real life messages. Saying ciao is hard. I had pizza last night and quietly chewed our breakup story. I am ready. My life in the absence of pain will win and be my constant reminder along with societies vast array of sugar free choices if a sauce or an ice cream is truly needed. As for bread hello, ezkiel…and I love it. In moderation. I am good but it will be tough. I began today and promptly ordered supplements for sauces and chips. Sauces from Primal and G Hughes, carrots, cottage cheese instead of flavored yogurt, and Rx bars instead of premier protein etc, etc, etc. Just a bit of shopping adds combined with some everyday needs will make this tasty life without misery. #goals

On any road taken no one is perfect and I will not be. Nope. I will travel, learn, explore, investigate, concoct recipies until I get this right.

And I will…

family, life

Love

I have never been a cook. Nope. It is a running joke in our home. This has never bothered me as I learned the craft from my Sylvia. She had the love but not the touch. My grandfather and I just smiled and lied through our meals, as she enjoyed cooking just had zero ability. But oh, the lady could sew, clean, and wash clothes like nobody’s business. But cook. Nope. For some reason she raised me to think I did not need home skills. So I have none. I meander my way through our daily needs with exasperation and the wish of a fairy godmother. Thirty-three years later I do my best. No one complains but they do avoid my cooking. It’s ok. Enter the air fryer. Now, I am a gadget queen. Anything that makes life easier I am on it. We have vacuums and mops that wander our home and I replenish them with the newer models asap. They break. Easily. But the air fryer is a gift from the heavens as my cooking is now tolerable. The hubs is using phrases like, “let’s put this meal on repeat.” Yup, repeat. In all our years a second of anything has never been requested. So, my air fryer and I are on the best of terms. Meat, a bit of oil and spice plus the right settings and we have dinner. I even chopped the other night. That does not happen. But I did. I love my new friend. I named her Sylvia. I truly believe if my grandmother had this golden device she would have rocked our nightly meals.

back pain, chronic pain, family, life, retirement

306 Days

Let’s first explain the title. I am taking this rather random number based on my physiotherapist’s ramblings on how long it takes to heal a back that is herniated. Tah-dah a title is born. Of course, the number might be wrong as I was medicated at this first meeting. Or is it? This back disaster is my current state combined with vertigo. I got super lucky. Weeks later, I can chuckle a bit and feel a bit of pride to be the star of an EMT horror story of difficult patients. Let me explain, while riding in the ambulance after having my husband stuff me with a protein bar, because he thinks water plus protein cures all ills, I vomited everywhere. Everywhere. Several times. On a happy note the hubs scrubbing forced his hand to promise me new flooring. Of course, a request since year two in the house, but heck eight years later is great. Back to the story. So, this sweet EMT, who sported a training badge, kept rattling on with stupid stories, that were keeping me from killing all of them in pursuit of pain meds. Anyhow, he held my vomit bag the entire way to the hospital. At our goodbyes. I thanked the kid and grabbed the captain and asked him to sign his papers and pass him for the day. Or did I ask for meds? I don’t know? Probably both. The captain promised he would happily sign him off as he peeled my hand out of his and yelled, “Take her away.”

Currently, I am on week five or day 271 of my current holding position of rest, PT, and more rest. I am off all meds that caused me to forget what I read, watched, re-read, and re-watched during my time of bedridden status. With the pain away but in a wet- cement state, I wait. I wait to start my life again. I am on pause. I long for the simplicity of my life that I led. I teach. I miss my kids. I spin. I miss my Echelon/Peloton app life. I am stuck in the house because I can’t drive due to the back and the vertigo. I miss people. But with all the things I miss there is so much more I have learned in the silence of my waiting. Serious thoughts have come my way while crying in pain. Religion. The importance of family. Work and my need for my social and intellectual growth plus monetary needs. Along with the harsh truth that I am easily replaced, especially at fifty-nine. There were also thoughts that can be filed under the not so serious. Cue the meds folks. Days of reality TV nonsense, movie upon movie, and many attempts at new binge shows. Note. Not a Bridgerton fan. Probably the only human who could not get through episode 1. All I could think of was the pain the actresses endured with their corsets. While the mundane entertained my mind, it was the big thoughts, that truly got me through the day. Not my twelve orders of athletic wear to make dressing easier or the endless scrolling and the constant attempt to find anything to take my mind of the situation at hand. Nope. The big stuff. Religion, family, and work. Repeat. It made the struggle of each day and each small success sweet.

Religion became my anchor. I prayed, read scripture, and talked alot to the man upstairs. I felt his presence, cried, and kept praying. For the first time I felt his guiding hand. Truly, in the darkness of our room I was not alone. Ever. This gave me hope and a feeling that my herniated disc came at a time that had no reason, but had every reason. I renewed my faith and my belief that I am never alone if I just give my life over to him. I have. Completely.

Family. Oh my. So many days I have taken my family for granted and allowed the little stuff to aggravate me, but once you need them to walk you to the bathroom, there is a new respect. The little annoyances in life are gone. Who cares about the toothpaste or how the dishwasher gets loaded or not. Or my control issues with my son. My crew rallied to just get me through the day. They became my daily cheerleaders, my rock during bad moments, and my everything. Family replaced my long list of wants and it still needs some soul searching as to why my control issues and wants superceded my families love. But I will continue on this path much after my pause button has been removed.

Work. It has been five weeks since I have seen my kids. I can’t imagine their current state. I just can’t. But since this was an extended leave I was caught off from school until I return. I have turned over all things I control with fervor to a state of “you do you” and I will pick up the pieces upon my return. While, I do not think I am replaceable. I am. Perhaps, my replacement does not give the quality I gave daily, but another has taken my place. This hurts. But before I officially retire, the discussion did happen the day after my hospital grand entrance. A bit soon. But needed. There before me stood a man that gave me the world almost thirty-four years ago, and he was doing it again. He put aside all worries of money. All. I cried as I listened to our future together which requires my health not my teachers salary. There were no tears about the end date. Just hopes and dreams of a healthy life both in Neebish, Mexico and our time here in the valley. I thought even the the discussion of leaving the workforce would hurt. Nope. Just gave me a world of options. I want to leave healthy. Not stuck in bed. So while I will return very shortly, I won’t kill myself. I won’t. Just be the best teacher and let the other BS fall to the wayside. How did I get into this situation in the first place by killing myself. No more.

Today, the vertigo is disappearing. The back needs one more appointment and possibly shots along with a full drying of my wet-cement. But I am coming back to my status of Go, go, go but never forgetting this time of pause and what I am graced with in my life.

epilepsy, fitness

Keto Part 2

Well, I tried. Fell off the wagon and it took a very bad day of seizures to get me to recommit. Here is the problem. I love carbs. All of them. So, I am good for a few weeks and then a bagel catches my eye. I eat one and it is over. Way over. Then I catch up for lost time. Bagels, pizza, extra sugar etc. Back to feeling like crap, a few more seizures and the cycle starts again. Now, to stick to this my goal is a carb percentage of 20% not the 5% that some in keto can function with…I just cannot. Nor do I cook. So, life has to be simple. Pre-made salads (without the packaged dressing), pre-packed carrots, keto snacks, yes. Pre-packed. Dinner’s meat and frozen veggies. Dull but easy. I do not prep for the week. I tried. It is truly a chore no one needs, so I pay higher grocery prices. I am good. On Sunday to meal prep or watch my shows. TV for the win. My need to check out rest before the week of teaching is real and cooking is not rest. At least not for me. So, here I am after a very bad seizure day on day one. Again. A big plus in life is the no carb bagel. If toasted and covered with cinnamon, it is ok. I also found no carb bread, Cloudies, we shall see and a keto waffle. At least these will be my fake bread. It will help get me beyond the two weeks. I hope. Today, I won. Finally, after a long day and healthy foods, I feel better. This is what I have to remember every single day. I think I can.

education, family, granparent life, life

Sisters and Stuff

Long ago in a text far, far away organized sisters came up with an idea to reunite. Our last time together was twelve years ago. While, I was part of the committee, I was just the commenter. Nothing more. Others had this and were focused to the finish line. Their vision was superb and a good time was had by all.

Yes, there were drinks, food, cake, pictures, glow sticks, and memories. All melted into one giant pansy of the past that formed our present. However, it was the stories that sung to my heart. Current chatter about this thing called life. The struggles, the obstacles, the frustrations and the delight of our children as we watched them grow into the humans they became no matter what we imparted into their upbringing. Mostly stories of delight but some utter heartbreak. But all of us raising them in our own giving/neurotic ways. Some more than others. Of course, I top the list in neurotic as an Irish Catholic/Jewish insane mom who watched a bit too much, but ended up with a different type of greatness that is still sorting out his own path as a father, photographer, and small businessman.

Aging. Ugh. I was one of the elders. We are all in the same place. Fighting the good fight and looking pretty good for 40 plus years since pledging our life to a house that changed our worlds. Surrounded by laughter, tears, formal dresses, parties, and occasionally classes. ASU has changed to meet the times and many of us with our partying ways of the past would not survive the ASU of today. Ok. At least me. I had fun and let loose from my odd upbringing. I met normal families, friends, and found my own way. I survived, thrived, and while did not become a famous broadcasting giant or an attorney, as I dreamed. I went for the brass-ring of happiness. Wife, teacher, mother. Fantastic trade. Almost thirty-four years later we are still a thing and while life is never easy, divorce was all around this weekend, so our survival made me feel blessed. Those that did make it through the marriage finish line felt the same way. Life is life and how it unfolds is anyone’s guess.

Life, death, sickness. None of us immune. This just hurt my soul. Some have struggled, all fear the struggle, and all aware that the next reunion some will be gone. That’s enough. More reunions, trips, lunches, contact in any form. Why? We all understand each other and we are going through the same chapters. All of us have seen each other at our most confused, ie college and perhaps we are the ticket to surviving our current challenges and delights.

Coming home after two evenings that delighted and drained me physically, as Netflix as become my go to of excitement. My reflection of the past, present, and future was mixed with all the love of a three year old grandnugget who paid a special visit. Which was better. You be the judge. Until again.

Delta Love, T

grey hair, life

The Many Faces of 58…

This year I struggled with a number. It is my beginning to a new decade. I took less pictures. I thought way too much about my looks. And probably smiled less. However, my smile quota is higher than the average persons smile quota. But less is less. I am a happy person but the number 58 brought me down. So, with a new year and an honest discussion on aging, with a friend. I realized how stupid I sound about this wrinkly stuff. So, eff 58, 59, 60, and beyond. I finally am ok with my age. Took me long enough. As you read this don’t do what I did. Embrace your age. Now. Don’t hide or shoot botulism into your face. Or do the biggie. You know. The lift. To be honest, I would do my neck. But turtlenecks and scarves work. A bit. Frankly, I am just scared. So natural it is. Back to you…Just accept, age naturally, and move on. Even in a world where everyone looks fake, filtered, and frankly perfect on social media. Keep it real. Now, during this process of accepting your number, social media will screw with your reality and the acceptance of your aging process. Hang in there. It is akin to growing out your grey hair. The mess passes into silver wonder. Trust me.

Really, trust me on the grey stuff!

goals, granparent life, grey hair, life, retirement

Gave Up Influencing

My mid-life crisis seems to come and go depending on the day. It should be over. Technically. But mine has hunkered down to stay. I am either acting younger than my age (three instagrams and my flirting with influencer) keep laughing. I am back to one and grounded in the reality silver influencer is not happening. Or I am acting a bit over my age. A shopping at Chicos moment hit me right after devouring an Old Navy sale (love their stuff) for teaching. But truly the Chicos stuff is cute. Sigh. Or is it “the me” I am running from? Too many questions before coffee or my food that I consistently track to lose pounds that might have moved in forever. No Keep tracking. They will leave. Did I mention I spin? Yes, the cool girls exercise that blasts fat. Or in my case keeps it for the cold Arizona winters. Ah, 58. My new tread compounded with the bike will guide me through this mess. I think. Have to buy it first. Which brings me to Christmas. I overdid it. For everyone. It brought me true joy. The hubs not so much. It’s ok, on a teachers salary I will have this paid off by retirement. I got this. Screw the money. I made people happy. By people I mean the grandnugget. He was in heaven. His face. Every child should have his Christmas. The kid was thrilled as well, as he does not buy anything for himself, so I felt good. Like a magic elf bringing joy. While, not a fan of debt. This was worth it. Especially, for the hubs, as I brought him into 2022 with earbuds so he can retire the string hanging from his phone. The horror.

I digressed. Alot. Sorry. But the above frames my mid-life panic. Yesterday. I became a real-life tutor Mrs. L’s Tutoring and an Avon lady. Why? Oddly, not money. Ok. None of that would hurt, but a rich Avon lady is not my fantasy. Nope. Both digressions from the eventual retirement. As I can’t do this teaching thing forever. It is my calling, so to speak, without collar and celibacy. But everyear gets worse. I quit my weekly theater group, as $20 bucks a week is clearly not my scale. If you want the arts, I got you, but a real stipend please. Not babysitting. Just can’t. I am better than this. Sorry, if this offends those woke individuals worrying about the students feelings. I am too. But basically free ain’t working for me. Bring on the eyeliner.

I can picture retirement two ways on the cheaper end. Shoot me. Or with cushion. I want cushion and a full life of writing, tutoring, and possibly Avon. It’s fun. Why not. Now I need to try the product. Yesterday, in all my crazy stressful moments of overspending, I gained a true pause on what I want. That’s good. I want retirement, I want travel, I want the quiet of Neebish, the outlandish fun with the grandnugget and the ability to say no on my terms, not my bank accounts. This pushed me out of mid-life crisis into acceptance of my age and my desires to always be busy…busy…busy.

Now, back to my book (on chapter 2) and the moral of this chaotic dribble. Know your age, accept your age, do anything that makes you smile, spend too much, save, do you…and enjoy everyday. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow and my many tomorrow’s ahead will be readying for a lifetime of Chicos. And that’s ok! Good-bye midlife confusion. With my new acceptance and creation of a plan for the after-life of teaching, which includes, my writing, my forever tutoring, spinning, treading, Neebish, and my Avon…If throw in Paris and the hubs and this is a winning combination!

BTW here is my store. If you use the product. Please order. My top picks: eyeliner, and waterproof mascara. Give it a go or please share.

https://www.avon.com/repstore/TLivingston?rep=TLivingston

echelon, fitness, goals, life, Peloton

Tread on The Cheap

I feel like a giddy schoolgirl waiting for the cutest boy in school to walk by my locker. Or something like that. Feelings of long-ago now compared to a piece of equipment. About right. My Echelon tread is heading my way. I can’t wait. Currently, a proud owner of the Ecehelon Sport, which has turned my exercise experience upside down and made me a true believer and one who needs my daily dose of the benefits of fitness. This, alone was my ah ha of the year.

I learned to exercise and like it, enjoy it, or at least tolerate it. Nevertheless, of the category of delight or not. It is a daily habit. Most of the time.

To push myself I found virtual races. Yes, you pay. But that medal and your group keep you going. You ride, walk, run whatever and log your results. Currently, I have wandered through Colorado and next up Ireland. Never in my life did I think I would ride 118 miles. If I can do this anyone can. During this time, I lost weight, felt fitter, and slept better. Not miracles, just work with my Peloton App (Bless these instructors) and my gear. Lesser than my bougie friends and riding partners…butmaybe someday. If not that is OK as the ride is the same. It is. I tried the real enchilada and the only thing I want is the screen. That’s it. I can wait.

To up my game, enter the tread, my new baby. Still enroute. My goal is a mile or two every morning on the tread and my daily 5-9 miles on my bike in the afternoon. Picture fabulousness in my goals of slimming. I am.

So, wherever you are in your fitness journey. Hang-in there. Challenge yourself and enjoy! It worked for me and one year later I am still at it with a vengeance!

caregiver, echelon, family, fitness, life

Injured Not Out

Oh, I went boom. Metaphorically. In reality, I turned. Yes, turned. Insert ouch and two days in bed and nursing my back that has felt this pain before. On the third day, I rose to 1790 steps, and soreness. But I walked with the obvious delight and desire to get on my Echelon aka Peloton light. I am addicted. While tomorrow is out I will be back. Soon. Still not today, during this continuation of dribble, but soon.

My new found love of fitness has begged Santa for the tread so I can walk in the morning and ride at night. Oh, I hope he listens. My current level of fitness saved me from this small blimp being worse. So, thank you bike, miles, legs, and my new love of sweat and Amazon Lululemon dupes. I am a teacher by day. We don’t do “real.” It’s ok. I love teaching. Fake Lululemons are fine.

But this is not about me or my Santa wishes. But I hope he reads this! Hello, Santa? Are you out there??? This is about a reminder to be kind, gentle, and patient. It is about our “back” life coming full circle.

They say everything happens for a reason. This bump had a reason. I needed to get my compassion “back,” it was lacking, it was getting cranky, it was forgetting how hard raising a little person in pain is…insert child and his degenerative disc. Um, now I remember and while you would think I do not have to remember in this type of pain, my stubborn ways forced me to relive my own back issues, to give him the type of love and consideration he deserves on a daily basis. I often forget or push or etc. etc. I am difficult at best. Not that I am wrong. Just difficult. At worst I am truly a pain in the ASS. Or back. Both the same in this house. So while I recuperate, and I am. My son will never. His pain is tolerable. But never gone. Never. It is as it is, and this recent back boom, is now forcing me to remember that and to kind. Notice all he does with every painful obstacle standing in his way.

While I oohed and oohed…my kid was by my side. How sweet. Not one complaint. Just taking care of another back patient. He knew. I wanted to hug him and just say I am so sorry to give you this, but he knows. Or I hope he knows. If not, he just read it here, first.

So while we may both be metaphorically down, neither of us are out, and I will get back on the proverbially horse of fitness he will get back on his educational journey. Yes, it had to be inserted because I am a pain in the ASS.

education

Slightly Burnt But Not Charred

I am happy here…

It is that time of the year that teachers complain, complain, and complain. I don’t get it. The job comes with a massive description, and if you have ever met a teacher, you know that you are signing up for a mental challenge that can break most average humans. This only gets worse every year due to societal demands, social media challenges, pronouns, and the loss of basic childhood play. Let your kids play. Please. Let them be bored. Please. Social media. MONITOR. I am sure a course in spying is appropriate. Need help. I am the best. Ask my kid. In spite of all the daily craziness and absolute fabulousness, why do teachers complain? Not sure. To all of you in the greatest profession in the world. Let’s Stop. No professional needs to hear negative feelings or see tears over bus duty. Nope. Say it, get rid of it, and think of all the great of the day. Please. If I hear one more complaint over pay…please…fall break, Thanksgiving, Christmas break, spring break and of course the summer months. Stop. If you want a larger check, leave the profession. We will all be happier. If you are counting days until retirement. Take early retirement. If you cry daily. Get a shrink. Seriously. Go find your happy. I am in mine but the negativity is making me slightly burned.

My other focus is on me. Yup at 58 gotta keep it going. Working out, eating right, and trying to laugh a bit more with the hubs and play, truly play, with my little nugget of a grandchild. Doing life through his eyes is my world because it was his daddy who taught me that little people would be my lifelong calling not just as a parent but as a teacher. Finally, happiness in the classroom comes from our life. While my pieces are pretty good there is one piece I want altered. My kid. ❣ it seems as if I have forgotten he is an adult. No one should be shocked. I need to get know the adult a bit better because he is amazing and that missing piece will take me from burned to a happy golden fluff ball! Or something like that. But right now I will settle for a pumpkin farm, polar express, and Santa workshop attendee. We will find our stride.

Before, I become charred from all the outside negative feelings and emotions coming from all sides, I have sent a daily intention to focus on the positive. What went right? What kid did I reach? What growth was achieved? Or how can I change my lesson to reach more? What made me laugh. The good stuff. I do not allow negativity to get me down. Now, that does not mean it has not entered this year. It has. Because of me. But after a couple weeks of extensive planning. I am good. Change of ways is good for all. Going from direct teaching to group centered is uncomfortable for a middle school teacher, far from perfect, but the seen daily growth is what keeps me on this path, which while rocky, due to a number of daily realities. Is a growing community of learners that are seeing their own growth, high-fiving me, and competing as to who comes to my table first! They want more learning and thus are working harder in all areas of the classroom to make our station rotations work. Which fills my heart and my world.

So, if you need your bucket filled. Count on yourself. Not others and remember why you do this adventure. It is for the kids and keep the door closed to negativity.