I reached a significant milestone this week. Since I started my blog back in September of 2020, I have managed to accumulate 302 followers. In fact, carlie, you helped me reach the big 3-0-0 and I’d like to thank you for that! I’ve been at this for ten months solid and although it hasn’t resulted in anything from a financial standpoint, it has helped me make sense of a number of things which previously eluded me as well as navigate some difficult times I’ve had in recent months. Taking the time to write every other day has brought me a great deal of joy as well. I’m rather mystified that it took me so long to ‘find my way back’ as I had always intended on being an English major. I also endeavored to become a renowned artist but it no longer speaks to my heart. Nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed reading and writing and ‘words’ for as long as I can remember. They’ve helped transport me to other worlds. But somehow, despite my desire to go on to college and get my Bachelor’s Degree, ‘life’ got in the way. Joining the military was the first detour I took and then that turned into meeting my husband, getting married, and having babies. When my babies came along, I had to put college on the back burner. Trying to take classes, write papers, and study for exams proved too difficult while looking after little ones.
Eventually, I was able to complete my Associate’s Degree program but it was achieved much like a patchwork quilt. With a quilt, by adding or patching together block after block of scrap fabric, eventually a ‘complete’ product will be the end result. With my degree, it was much the same. They took a little bit from my time in the service, a little bit from courses I’d taken at a different college, a little bit from my volunteer work, a little bit from my gym membership, and then clumped it all together with the classes I was previously and currently enrolled in (at their institution) and were able to turn it into a two-year Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts. I never did get my Bachelor’s Degree and I honestly don’t mind at this point in my life. I did enroll at a university and attended for one semester, but it didn’t light my fire so I never took any additional classes after that. I know some people go back to college later in life but the idea doesn’t appeal to me. I’d rather get out and experience the world rather than spend another minute sitting in a classroom for ‘in person’ instruction or at home through ‘distance learning’ options.
How’s another degree program really going to enhance my life at this stage anyway? For those people that do go back once their hair has lost its pigment and their skin has lost its elasticity, good for you! Knock yourself out! I like to continually learn but not if it’s going to result in thousands of dollars of student debt and a lot of stress (due to deadlines). I achieved a significant milestone when I completed my two-year program and that’ll just have to be good enough in this lifetime. As far as other milestones I’ve reached thus far, I’m at a bit of a loss. I’ve never been one of those people that looks (or thinks) too far ahead. When I used to fill out those questionnaires that asked what I envisioned for myself in five years, I never knew what to say apart from being ‘thinner’ or ‘financially stable’ or ‘happier’. In all honesty, I’m still pretty much working towards those three things to this day although some might say I’ve achieved being ‘thinner’. I would love to announce to the world that I’ve conquered my weight battle and will never get heavy again but I don’t want to set myself up for failure.
It’s only been 1 1/2 years since I dropped the weight and I know better than to declare victory. I’ve done that multiple times and it always backfires. I still crave sweets and chocolate (especially when I’m stressed) so I’m not over the hump. Even though it’s more of a record, I guess I could say that keeping my weight off for a year and a half is a milestone because it is the longest I’ve been able to do it, but I don’t want to get too cocky or confident because that’s when I tend to let my guard down and forget how hard it is to stop eating sugar and chocolate once I start. The last time it happened, it started out with a slice of chocolate cake once a week. That soon became chocolate cake a la mode. In time, other toppings were added until the caloric count was in excess of 2,000 calories. A slice of cake is one thing, but a slice of cake with three scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, broken up York peppermint patties, whipped cream, and two cherries on top is another. It’s too much of a slippery slope. Before I knew it, I was eating sweets multiple times per day and experiencing a lot of self hatred.
No, I don’t want to start down that path again, it leads to so much regret. It can also lead to a new (plus size) wardrobe if I’m not careful. And speaking of regrets, I’ve been having a few. I wish we hadn’t increased the price on the house (after listing it) because ever since we did, the showings dried up. It’ll have been on the market for 4 weeks this Friday and as of this moment, there have been no offers. I also wish I hadn’t been in such a hurry to get rid of the carpet squares we had stored in the shed because if we don’t sell the house, we’ll no longer have the material to replace the ugly pink carpet in the sunken livingroom. My husband was going to install them before placing the house on the market but all of the realtors we talked to said not to bother because ‘the new owners would probably just rip it out and replace it anyway’. I never considered our house wouldn’t sell so when I sold the carpet squares via Craigslist, it seemed like a wise decision. I was actually quite pleased with myself after the last one was carted off. It freed up a ton of room in the shed. I just hope that decision doesn’t bite me in the butt.
And speaking of butts, I had to show mine in all its glory to my dermatologist yesterday. Let’s just say I was not prepared to do that. Ordinarily, she only looks at my face and arms and hands but today went much differently. “The doctor would like to do a full body skin exam,” the nurse announced after I perched upon a chair in the exam room, “But you can leave your underwear on.” Ack! Full body?! Oh, yes, she said ‘full body’ and she meant it. She investigated everything from the tip of my toes to the top of my scalp, and everything in between. I thought since I got to leave my underwear on, that area was off-limits, but I was mistaken. “Do you mind lowering your underwear so I can look at your bottom?” the doctor asked after checking the back of my legs. Oh, Lord! I know she was just doing her job and (to her credit) she was very professional, but I still didn’t like the idea of exposing my derriere. I will now have to lump the annual visit to see my dermatologist in with all of the other doctor’s visits I loathe. Namely, the ones that involve pap smears and mammograms. Those are the times when I blush crimson red and think to myself, “Can this get any more humiliating?”
There is nothing quite like feeling or being humiliated. It’s happened enough times that I’m able to recognize it right away. Throughout my childhood and into my adult life, every time I lost control of my bladder, I felt it. When I’ve been publicly scolded or had someone question my intellect or my parenting abilities, I have felt it. When I worked at the college and every single staff executive except for me was invited to attend a conference in Vegas (all expenses paid), I felt so humiliated that I wanted to crawl under a desk and never come out again. I also felt it whenever someone would assume I was pregnant when I was just plain fat. Those were significant things that occurred that I’ll never forget. But I have to tell you (on a lighter note), I did something a couple of weeks ago that I never thought I’d do in a million years! Honestly, when I compare it to the instances I just shared, it’s practically nothing. However, I never imagined I would become one of ‘those people’. Yes, ‘those people’ that wear their clothes inside out. To my knowledge, it had never happened before, but when my husband and I went to visit our friend at a marketing event a couple of weeks ago, I wore my shirt (for several hours) with the tags on the outside. Ugh.
Thank goodness that the friend I went to visit is a good friend and very discreet. After noticing my large white tags sticking out, she pulled me aside and quietly suggested I find the nearest restroom in order to ‘fix my wardrobe’. Oops! I did feel ridiculous, especially after her husband made a big ‘to do’ about it, but I recovered pretty quickly from the mishap. I’ve had to apply a fair share of grace to myself ever since my kidney transplant. I just don’t think as clearly as I once did, primarily due to the cocktail of prescription drugs I take each day (to prevent organ rejection). Anyway, back to milestones. Because I brought up my transplant, I probably should include it along with the other milestones I’ve mentioned. It’s probably the most significant because it saved my life and changed it for the better. A lot of people with end stage renal disease (ESRD) never get a kidney and require dialysis in order to live. I was lucky. I had a brother who loved me enough to share one of his. Because he did, I never had to go on dialysis. What I think is really special is that we’ve always been close, and because of his ‘gift’, he will (literally) always be a part of me.
Boy, when I just read back what I wrote, I noticed that I covered quite a number of topics and swung from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other. The stuff I discussed when I brought up ‘humiliation’ really struck a nerve. At least it’s all behind me now, including the ‘full body skin exam’. My primary care doctor’s been on my case about scheduling my next mammogram, but if I can help it, I’m putting that damn thing off for as long as I can! I haven’t recovered from the last time I went in. I’m pretty certain the technician/nurse was a sadist. And ‘speaking of’. No! I won’t go there! But where I do intend to go is to bed because I’m planning on travelling to see my unhappy mother tomorrow and I need to get sufficient rest if a road trip is in order. Oh, wait. Before I go, I’d like to mention one more thing. I thanked carlie earlier for being my 300th follower, but I meant to thank all of you for taking an interest and providing ‘likes’ or supportive comments from time to time. It means so much to me that you enjoy what I have to share. Alright, now I’m out of here! Thanks for stopping by. Have a fantastic day and (hopefully) I’ll see you tomorrow.