Reflections Of A Lackluster Life

The Random Thoughts Of A Captive Midwesterner

Costs March 24, 2011

Filed under: Running — The Shelly Belly @ 8:44 pm
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Upon reading an exceptional post by Annabelle Winters about fitness planning and goals, I went out for my morning run with thoughts of the post still in my mind.  Normally my runs are filled with daydreams.  I imagine that I’m actually running in the marathon I’ve been training so hard for.  I picture how my family will be there at the finish line.  I try to imagine the cheering crowds and energetic atmosphere.  Basically, I let my mind do anything it can to take me away from the reality of the brutally cold, wet and windy weather that has been plaguing my runs all winter.

Today, however, my head was not full of happy thoughts.  It was one of those runs… everyone has them.  Only 5 miles long, it felt like 15.  My feet hurt, my legs were tree trunks, my lungs weren’t working, I was tired.  Battling the wind took every ounce of my tiny supply of energy.  So instead of thinking about the happier aspects of my running, I started thinking about costs.

I know what I’m gaining from this, and it is a lot.  I’m losing weight, feeling better about me, achieving goals, gaining respect, etc etc etc.  I am becoming a new person, it’s hard to describe what that feels like.  But you can’t become a new person without leaving the old one behind, or at least large parts of the person you once were.  As much as I disliked who I used to be as a whole, there were parts that I really liked that I am giving up for my new goals.  To ignore this is ignorant and to cling to these things is holding me back from becoming who I want to be.

So in an effort to further my fitness and life goals, I am going to acknowledge the things that I am giving up for this new life and attempt to let them go.  I might grieve these losses briefly, but if I didn’t believe it was worth it to leave them behind, I would never have started this in the first place.

__________________The Costs_____________________

Drinking. Let’s be frank, I like to drink… a lot.  When I think about relaxing and having fun, I rarely picture it without a drink in my hand.  I still consider one of the best times in my life to be the year that Kiel and I spent every Wednesday night at The Spot, a local Karaoke Bar with our good friends (the lovely Annabelle included)!  We closed the bar down every week, stumbling down the stairs and making our way to someone’s abode or the nearby train station.

For the majority of my adult life I could be counted on to always be up for a beer.  And now I just can’t do it.  Don’t get me wrong, I will occasionally on Sundays indulge in some white wine after a really long run, or enjoy an ice cold Corona with a slice of lime after a mid-summer 90 degree run, but my days (or nights rather) of sitting around watching TV (we’ll get to that in a minute) and drinking are essentially over.

Now that every aspect of my life revolves around my running, I am going to bed early and waking up earlier.  I can’t get up at 4:30 and run 10 miles if I have been up past 9 or have had even a glass of wine.  I need to be at my best pretty much all the time.  I am sure that when I am not training, I will indulge a little more often, but considering I’ve signed up for two marathons this year, I’m not going to have a huge break from training.

And then there is the issue of my tolerance… I have none.  I used to be able to drink most people under the table, now I’m feeling pretty drunk after a glass or two of wine.  And don’t even get me started on anything stronger (just ask Peter about the Vodka in Barcelona).

So, to my party/binge drinking days, I must say goodbye.  It was fun while it lasted, but I need to let it go.  As one of my good friends Allison told me recently, “there comes a point in your life when being happy is more important than having fun”.  Wiser words were never spoken.  From now on, nights of drinking and debauchery will be reserved for the off season and special occasions.  I’m sure that my liver thanks me.

Buffy.  Ok, not Buffy specifically, but that’s the one I feel the most.  I miss TV.  I used to get home from work every night and chill out on the sofa in my PJ’s with a beer (or a case of beer) and marathon episodes of Buffy, Alias, Greys Anatomy, Angel, Bones, Sex In The City, Dollhouse and The OC.  The only breaks I would take were to get up for mass amounts of food and smokes.  Now, I’m lucky if I can find time to catch up on the Grey’s recordings on my DVR.  I won’t even start new shows because I don’t have time to watch them.

I lived for TV.  I spend hours wishing that I was like the girls on my shows.  Instead of living my life, I was watching fictional people living out theirs.  Part of it is my over active imagination, I am captivated by stories.  I love to get caught up in other worlds, it truly is an escape.  But when it becomes a regular thing, it’s not an escape anymore, it’s a trap.

Now I’m not saying that I want to go back to living for TV, but I do occasionally find myself longing for a stretch of two days when all I have to do is eat and drink and watch Buffy.  I need to get over it.  I might have those days occasionally in the future (likely every time I see Peter), but that kind of lifestyle doesn’t mesh with who I am today.  I probably wouldn’t even enjoy it as much as I remember, but the feeling of nostalgia sometimes nags at me, specifically at 4:30 in the morning before a 10 mile run!

A social life.  This one has to be the worst.  I miss people.  I haven’t seen most of my friends in months, between my job and my training schedule I barely have time to cook dinner or grocery shop (and don’t even ask about the cleanliness of my house) let alone go anywhere or see anyone.

The last time I saw Jessica was on my birthday, back in January!  I have been trying to schedule a dinner date with my friends Jennifer and Nikki for months.  I haven’t actually SEEN Annabelle in about a year.  I don’t even have time for “date night” with Kiel.

Being a runner is often times a solitary and lonely thing.  I wake up by myself and I run by myself.  I see Kiel for a short time after my run while we are both getting ready for work and then I go to bed at night before he gets home so I can get up at an obscene hour of the day.   I just miss being with people.


So that pretty much sums up the big costs for me.  And I am happy to pay them!  Because what I am trading them for is something much much much more valuable.  This year has been a test for me and will continue to be that until winter.  I wanted this and though I seem to have to remind myself of that more and more often lately, I still remember why I started all of this in the first place.  I know I can make it.  I will run my races and be more proud of myself than I have every been.

Once I am done with these races, I will take some time to re-evaluate where I’m at, what I’ve achieved and what my new goals should be.  And for now, I will concentrate on bidding farewell to the old me and embracing the new me.


Tired July 27, 2010

Filed under: Just Me — The Shelly Belly @ 12:24 pm
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I don’t think I have ever been this tired in my life.  It’s not just a one day thing, it’s been every day.  Being a morning person is something I have ALWAYS been.  Usually I wake up before the alarm bright eyed and bushy tailed.  Never have I been able to understand those people who just sleep and sleep and sleep, there are things to do so get out of bed you lazy ass!  Now, I feel like the lazy ass!  Right now, my eyes refuse to open all the way, my body is halfway numb and my muscles don’t really want to work.  I am simply tired.

The reason?  Of course it’s the move, the single most difficult and stressful thing in my life right now.  The good news?  It’s almost over!  Really… we are so freaking close to being out of here I can taste it!  That’s for sure where the tired comes from, Kiel and I are up every night until at least midnight taking care of the last minute details.  It’s not like there are  a lot, in fact I am quite proud of this move.  Because  I planned ahead so well, I had the majority of our things packed weeks ago.  Even after 99% of the boxes are packed, ever single one has a label and there are not “junk” boxes.  There is nothing left in my possession that I don’t need or use, I have thrown away so much stuff!

What used to be our living room… a view to the window

Every single item in my house is in that living room.  We moved the furniture and all the boxes out of the other rooms and stacked them up there.  “The Great Wall Of China” other wise known as my entertainment center has been taken apart and put into a box.  Our TV has been moved to the bedroom where our bed is serving as a make shift sofa.  Tonight, we are taking apart the bed frame.  We even packed up the kitchen, leaving just one spoon, fork, knife, plate, bowl and cup per person.  People… we are seriously ready to move, and what’s more?  When it comes time to actually do it, it will be a well organized and fast move.

Hopefully, this well be my last boring post on the move, and I’m sorry for writing about it so much lately, it’s just that it’s kinda the biggest thing in my life right now and it’s hard to think about anything else!  I look forward to giving you all a tour of the new place once I get it all set up!


Work June 30, 2010

Filed under: Just Me — The Shelly Belly @ 3:22 pm
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I think it might be a negative reflection on my vocation of choice when every time I receive an a-mail from a client I think to myself “oh my God!  Her/him again?  I hate her/him!”.  I really have no patience left for customers.  That might have a lot to do with my lack of patience for really stupid people.  Or my abhorrence of human beings that have no respect for other people.  Or it could just be that I have been in a really really really bad mood lately due to the stress of life.  I mean seriously!  These last couple of weeks I have made Glorificus look like completely sane, loving, nurturing person who likes to frolic in fields of daisies and converse with the butterflies (again, if you don’t know Buffy you are really missing out on half of my analogies).

So why have I suddenly turned uberbitch?  There are so many reasons, I think it might be helpful for me to list them.  Maybe they won’t seem so bad if I list them?

1.  I’m moving.  Dear God, I’m moving.  Again.  That means packing and cleaning and lifting and carrying.  All of that I could handle.  What I can’t handle is the time table.  Our current lease is up on July 31st.  We have until midnight that day to be out for good.  Unfortunately, the apartment we are moving into has a tenant that has until midnight on the 31st to get out too.  So when does she plan on leaving?  According to her, the current plan is to be out by midnight on the 31st.

That is exactly why I asked the leasing agent BEFORE I signed the lease “when will I be able to move in” and I was told that the current tenant would likely move out a few days early and I could move in.  A few days later, he advised me to plan my move for August 1st.  Joy.  Because that doesn’t leave me homeless for a night with no where to put my stuff and no where to sleep… and certainly no where to put my 5 pets.  Joy.  Joy of joys.  So we will wait and see how that one unfolds, but I am really hoping that bitch gets her ass in gear and vacates at least a day early.  Which will make it almost impossible to schedule professional movers, but I am in Chicago, so it will not be  a problem to find a smaller unprofessional company that charges by the hour to cart our stuff up and down.

2.  When I moved into my current apartment, I had to pay a lot of money all at one time.  I had to pay 1st months rent, last months rent and a security deposit for myself and my pets.  Thanks to our tax refund that year (the one good thing George W. ever did for me) and my generous father, we managed to get all the money put together.  When we re-singed the lease for another year at a 5% rent rate increase, we were charged $55 to go towards the security deposit and another $55 to go towards the last months rent.

Fast forward to today.  I get a bill from the landlords for rent this month.  Wait a sec… what was that?  I’m pretty sure this qualifies as my last month and I’m preeeeeeeeety sure I payed for that already.  Apparently though my landlords are as retarded as I feared and they have no record of that.  They claim I owe them this month.  So now I have to send away for all of my banking statements for the past two years to find out how many checks I have written them so I can prove that I don’t owe rent this month.

The part that really chaps my ass?  The fact that I have to do this at all.  Aren’t they supposed to stay on top of this?  Why am I wasting MY time on this?  Isn’t this one of the things I pay them for?

So this one will probably work itself out, but you know how it goes.  Even though I KNOW I’m right, there is that small voice in the back of my head going “What if you didn’t pay last months rent?  What if you owe them money?  You’re going to look like an idiot when you turn out to be wrong…”

Stupid little voice….

3.  I have come to re-define the meaning of the word alone.  I used to think I was lonely when I was in college.  If there was a day when I didn’t really see many people, that was a lonely day.  If I had to spend an evening on my own in the apartment when Kiel was at work, that was a lonely evening.  If only I had known what my future would hold.

I spend almost every minute of every day alone.  I get up and see Kiel for about an hour when we are both getting ready for work.  Then he leaves and I’m alone.  Then I go to work, where 99% of the time I am the only employee present and the rest of the time I am alone.  Then I come home, to an empty house and I am alone.  Then I go to bed.  After I’ve been in bed for an hour and am most often sleeping, Kiel gets home and comes to bed.  Then we sleep.  Then I wake up and start the lonely all over again.

I’m just tired of being alone.  And because he’s working so much, that means I do everything.  I am responsible for everything.  And that is just way too much stress.

4.  Money. Money. Money.  No more explanation required.

So that’s pretty much it.  My list of shit.  I’m hoping that by next month, my life will look considerably better.  It kinda has to right?


Crappy Day May 25, 2010

Filed under: Just Me — The Shelly Belly @ 3:57 pm
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The only word that can sum up the day so far is CRAPPY.  I don’t have a nicotine patch on today and I can really tell.  I’m just cranky and stressed, not a great combination.  I’ll be ok of course, I’ve been here before, it’s just aggravating.  I want nothing more than to be chipper right now.

Being in this type of mood by itself isn’t so bad, right now I’m alone and can just be bitchy.  But when my boss gets to work, it’s going to be different.  You see, I like my boss, most of the time.  He’s a nice enough guy and because I work at such a small business (we are the only two people here) we know each other pretty well.  But sometimes, and it seems like he picks the days I’m already in a bad mood, he can be a real jerk.  Most days I can handle it, because I know he doesn’t mean to be a jerk and he doesn’t realize how the things he says upsets me.  But on a day like today, everything that comes out of his mouth will seem like an insult.

You would think that because I KNOW what is going to happen, I would magically be able to prevent this.  Sadly, I have not yet developed a thick enough skin.  Which is kind of funny.  Most people who know me would tell you that I take crap from NO ONE!  I’m a go getter who stands up for myself and the people I love, sometimes I even enjoy confrontation.  I am good in an argument, I know just what to say to strike you down and cut you to pieces.  I know, I know, it’s not really great to brag about that.  I don’t abuse my power I swear!  But some people (the cable company, the shady landlords I rent from, Sallie Mae, etc.) really really REALLY deserve to be bitched out on occasion.

But the one person I can’t stand up to?  My boss.  And I don’t really know that I will ever be able to.  It’s not like I want to tell him off, again, I really do like the guy.  But some days I just want to say “I’m not an idiot because I make mistakes.  You make them too and I would appreciate it if you didn’t make me feel like crap for every single one of them.”  That really shouldn’t be so hard.

Oh well, enough with the pity party.  I will just make it through this day and go home for some quality time with one of my girlfriends, Glee and a glass of wine.  Only 7 hours to go…