Glass Half Empty Day

Some days I just want the glass to be half empty.  Is that so wrong?


Take for example this past Wednesday. Hump day.  There was no particular reason for me to want to curl up on the couch and remain there for the whole day, but that’s really all I wanted to do.  It was a bright sunny day, a balmy -3 degrees outside and I had the whole house to myself.  I could have worked on numerous home projects or even got out my daughters art set and painted some crazy water colored mess that I like to pretend is art. But I didn’t.  After sending my children off to school I curled up on the couch with a pillow and blankie and two oversized dogs and started watching one of the Wednesday NCIS marathons on USA channel.

There were plenty of things that could have been done:  dishes, laundry, vacuuming, daring to enter the abyss of my children’s rooms to look for dirty clothes, dirty dishes, recyclables, and skeletons, whatever.  Not to mention, writing, blogging, the 13 original colonies (see below), check book balancing, paying bills (including my $20 parking ticket because I paid for spot 1404 but was parked in spot 1405).

See these are some of the 2,000 things swimming in my head at any given point in any given day: finances, home repairs, home improvements, medical bills, job stuff, kids activities, schedules, global warming, world peace…..  And I’ve only shared the tip of the iceberg.  I could keep going and going and going.  So sometimes (actually more times than I care to admit) I just need to completely veg out and concern myself only with the complexities of DiNozzo and Ziva’s relationship.  Or wish I was as smart as Abby or as kick ass as Ziva.

By 1045 the guilt was starting to creep up the couch.  The dogs are immune to that guilt – I need to know their secret.  There was this nagging inner voice that kept saying, “You need to get up and go walk at the Rec Center.”  It was followed by “If you don’t get up and walk at the Rec Center you’re going to dislike the pictures that will be taken this summer at your nieces wedding that make you look like every ‘before’ Jenny Craig picture ever taken.”  DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE HOW MUCH I DISLIKE THAT NAGGING VOICE!!  But it’s there.  Along with the one that tells me to go online and pay the bogus parking ticket (which now is $40 because there is a $20 fee assessed if you don’t pay in the first 7 days – always read the fine print) and do the dishes and the laundry.

At 1055 I had managed to peel myself off the couch and start to pull on sweat pants.  I was actually irritated as the voice of my doctor entered my head, “Exercising is good for you because it releases those endorphins and increases happiness.”  I DON’T WANT TO DO HAPPY TODAY!!  Then at 1058 the salvation text message:

Wanna do lunch? Jimmy John’s 15 min.

This is why I love my husband so much. He saved me from exercise… and technically the couch of self-pity and sorrow.  Ok true I was heading out to eat my negative feelings but negative feelings taste really good in the form of an oversized submarine (hoagie, grinder, whatever).  I spent 10 of my Weight Watchers points but it was worth it.  After all it did get me off the couch.  It’s what happened next that still really irritates me.

So I left Jimmy Johns and had a decision to make.  Turn left to go home and back to the couch or turn right and go to the Rec Center.  SIGH.  I have sweat pants on, I have my phone, my headphones, my Rec Center pass, and I just ate 10-points worth of negative emotions …. SIGH… turn right.  Dragging myself out of the car I went up to the walking track.  I’m only going to walk 1 mile and no treadmill or elliptical or peering into the exercise rooms to see if I want to join in on yoga or Pilates.  Walk … Walk … Walk… Damnit I just smiled at the cute older couple shuffling along.  Walk… walk….walk… Damnit I really like this song.  Walk…. Walk… walk…. Damnit now I’m smiling at the Silver Sneakers Chess Club players.  I HATE YOU ENDORPHINS!!

After walking my mile I even went to the grocery and bought some fruits and veggies and yogurt (yeah I think endorphins actually make you high), and the movie The Breakfast Club – because my daughter wanted to watch it.  I went home and did dishes, one load of laundry and made dinner (frozen pizza counts as dinner in my world).  We watched The Breakfast Club – my daughter likes to think of the 80’s as pre-historic so watching with her was entertaining.  She has seen several TV shows and movies that reference The Breakfast Club and she wanted to watch it – so we did.  Then we went over the 13 original colonies…. AGAIN.  Because she has to take a test on them … AGAIN.  Today will be her 3rd attempt to get a C or higher on the 13 original colonies.  In case anyone is wondering they are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia – no I didn’t have to look them up.  She knows the states – it’s placing them on the map that becomes the issue.

For 2 ½ weeks we have gone over the damn 13 original colonies.  She has to pass this test to pass social studies.  Somehow she always manages to misplace one on the map and that throws her whole game off.  But those endorphins must have still been kicking because I wasn’t irritated at our 3rd attempt to put 13 colonies on the map.  Now she knows every word to “Don’t You (forget about me)” by Simple Minds and sang it perfectly(ish) at the end of The Breakfast Club, but 13 colonies elude her.   SIGH.

All I wanted was a useless non-productive day on the couch with my friends from NCIS, 2 dogs, a pillow and a blankie.  A day to put all 2000 things – including the original 13 colonies and my diet – at the very back of mind where they aren’t annoying me.  Then those endorphins kicked in.  Those stupid happy hormones that make you believe all the stupid happy sayings you have on your Pinterest board.  I JUST WANTED TO LOOK AT A GLASS OF WATER AND SAY ITS HALF EMPTY!!!

But guess what endorphins…. I found other ways to unlock you.  Several ways Dr. Healthy Pants (no offense I really do like my doctor) didn’t mention before.  EATING dark chocolate releases endorphins.  EATING spicy food releases endorphins.  LAUGHTER releases endorphins.  So my plans for my next hump-day-glass-half-empty-NCIS marathon-couch potato day include: Eating Dove chocolate, Taco Bell and watching We’re the Millers, Season 4 of Friends and quite possibly the American Pie series.

“Hey it’s Casey, not dead in a ditch (picture of a whale) #YOLO”




Calories Should Be More Flammable

If I researched my family tree I have a feeling that it would be a pear tree.  I come from a long line of pear-shaped women – this includes both sides of my family.  So I could be classified as a “super pear” shape.  This is not a flattering shape to have unless you are 18 and still have the metabolism of an espresso drinking chipmunk.  Certainly not a flattering shape at age 40 and after sitting in a chair for the better part of your life staring at computers thereby causing your metabolism to slow down roughly to the speed of a 3 toed sloth with 4 broken legs.

The only way to combat this problem is Diet & Exercise.  Both of which should be considered cruel and unusual punishment.  Although I have gotten a much better handle on the diet part by finding foods I like that fit into my daily allowance of calories – I hate exercise.  I know I should feel so much better about myself after walking 3 miles (uphill both ways – no really you can do that on a treadmill) or after finishing most/some/part of Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred but all I feel is out of breath and the need for ibuprofen.  Unfortunately exercise is tethered to diet in some kind of weird and inseparable relationship like peanut butter and jelly or peas and carrots.

So aside from needing an inhaler and the Sam’s Club size Tylenol why else do I hate to exercise?  Well……. Jillian Michaels would be a topper on the list.  If I wanted to work out like a Marine ….. I would have joined the Marines.  And since most of her motivation revolves around showing off her abs and saying “if you want abs like these you gotta push it harder.”  Here’s a tip Jillian –  I have never had abs like yours even when I was skinny and since having children leaves a permanent layer of marshmallow fluff just below your belly button I’m guessing I never will have abs like that even if I do 1000 sit ups a day.  Since I detest the Jillian workout so much I found the Denise Austin Cardio Party DVD and thought I would give that a whirl.  Cardio and Party are two words which should never be used together – which should have been my first clue not to buy it.  About 1/3 of the way through it I was begging my daughter to get me water.  At 3/4 of the way through it I wasn’t entirely sure the food I ate 2 hours before wasn’t going to come back up.  But Denise was cheery and smiley and upbeat and positive the whole way through.  I’m not sure who I hate more the Drill Sergeant or the Cheerleader – I think it might be a tie.

Then there’s going to the gym.  Or in my case the community recreation center.  It’s not fun to be passed on the walking/running track by an 80-year-old man three times in a row.  Granted he looks like he’s been running marathons his entire life, but it still doesn’t change the fact that he’s 80 years old.  I have also noticed that I’m not very exercise fashion conscious.  I do not own several spandex bra-shirt things with matching yoga pants – I feel lucky to find a clean sports bra, t-shirt and sweatpants or shorts.  If they actually match in some way it’s a fluke.  Then comes the calorie counter.  The treadmill display likes to taunt you with how many calories you have burned.  Uphill (both ways) for 35 minutes at about 3 mph will burn maybe 250 calories.  The caloric equivalent of a candy bar.  Calories are tricky little things because you have to “burn” them off.  Unfortunately they have the flammability rating (how easily something will burn) roughly the same as flood damaged bricks.  So if you eat 2 candy bars – you have to walk on a treadmill over an hour to burn them off.  I think it’s just a mind trick myself – but I fall into the trap because I don’t want to walk for over an hour just to enjoy a package of m&m’s or Milky Way.  Unfortunately I will skip eating real food for breakfast and spend 30 minutes on a treadmill to have a small McCafe Carmel Frappe.

I’m thinking if I could come up with a way for calories to burn quicker — say if they had the flammability rating of something like gasoline– I’d solve the obesity problem in our nation.  I mean think of how great it would be if to burn 250 calories you only had to walk 5 minutes on the treadmill instead of 35.  Unfortunately I think that is biologically impossible – and if it’s chemically possible I’m not the person to discover it because I barely got a C in high school chemistry.

So for now I will still cuss at the TV while attempting to keep up with Jillian and Denise, and spend 35 minutes walking (uphill both ways) on the treadmill in my dreadfully unmatched t-shirt and shorts because I did enjoy buying some smaller sized shorts recently.  And I did get to laugh hysterically as I was leaving the rec center the other day.  I passed one of the exercise classes where the girls were all trying to do side leg lifts while balancing on giant bouncy balls and the instructor was counting off “1 and 2 and 3 and 4.”  Suddenly an image of the little Minions from Despicable Me doing an exercise class popped into my head.  They all had their little matching outfits and matching bouncy balls and were following along “1 and 2 and 3 and 4.”  Maybe we’re all just little Minions……….