Lightning and Winds and Rain and Irma

Hey everyone! It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve posted, but I promise it’s not because I forgot about it, it’s just been crazy hectic here lately.

As some of you know, in addition to my full-time during the week, I am working toward my Master’s degree in English, so this semester I have class after work on Thursday evenings. Well, the Thursday after my last blog post, I was sitting in class, struggling to keep up with my brilliant professor when my cell phone starts vibrating, I tried to ignore it because as I mentioned, my professor is brilliant and he’s also explaining things that were completely over my head and if I stop focusing on what he is saying for even one minute, I will get completely lost. Then the buzz came a second time. This time, I looked; it was my husband telling me that  tree came down in our yard and asking for the number for our property manager. I discreetly found the number and sent it to him, about ten minutes later, my property manager called me, the call went to voicemail, then he sent me a text asking for my husband’s number. Now, I am trying to hide my phone under my table, listen to what my professor is talking about and get everyone everything they need; clearly it wasn’t working. A few minutes later, I received yet another text from the hubby telling me that they had called the fire department, turned off the electricity and were evacuating! To say I was confused is an understatement. I flipped back through my text messages and noticed I had missed one very important text where he told me the house had been hit by lightning. Ok, now I have to turn off my school brain and turn on my wife/mother brain. I packed up my stuff, told my friend what I had just found out and left class to head home.  Walking out to my car, I called home, called my boss to tell her what was going on, called my parents to let them know they might have company tonight and drove like a crazy woman to get home.  I got home just at dusk, using a flashlight and adrenaline, I packed a bag and we loaded up to go to my parents house for the night. We spent the next couple of days making sure the house was safely inhabitable and assessing the damage. In the end, we lost the air conditioner, television, cable box and wireless internet router, plus the network cards in our computers. Our landlord/property manager worked hard to get the air conditioner fixed by late Friday night, we decided to do without cable and a new television for now, and replaced the router and fixed the computers and by Saturday evening, we were all home as a family.

Unfortunately, the fun was just beginning. As we were dealing with all of the house/lightning/electric/air conditioner drama, a little storm south-east of us was brewing into a record-breaking hurricane named Irma. Once we were able to take a breath and relax, we started paying very close attention to what Irma was doing, and she was refusing to make up her mind. It finally became evident, that regardless of what side of the state she was going to directly hit, all of Florida would be impacted. We started preparing for the worst case scenario and stocked up on water and canned goods, enough to get us through a few days without power. By Friday, her path was pretty clear and even though it wasn’t going to be as bad as we had originally planned for, we knew that we were going to be hit with lots of wind and rain Sunday night into Monday. We played board games and snacked on hurricane snacks most of Sunday night, went to bed at a relatively decent hour, mostly because nothing exciting was happening yet, so sleep wasn’t evasive. I woke up around 2:30 in the morning to the fact that we lost power, but quickly went back to sleep until around 9. When I woke up, the winds were starting to subside and by 11, we were able to go out and assess the damages. We were lucky – we were without power, but other than the tree that came down the previous weekend, we had no fallen trees, just an awful lot of yard debris. Our power was restored sometime between 12:30 and 1:00 and the job of yard cleaning has been taking place (very slowly) ever since. As I said, we were very fortunate. I have seen so many images of complete devastation, houses under water and I believe there are still people without power, seven days later. I am grateful that we made it out unscathed, but heart-broken over the flooding I’ve seen in my home town, just one county away.

I admit that I made some not-so-great choices and had my share of junk food during the hurricane;  white rice with my beef stew, a cheese puff or two here and there, a few Ritz Crisps here and there, and even a few gluten-free “Mint Slim” cookies (think of Thin Mints from the Girl Scouts, just not as good) but all-in-all I feel I did ok and since the scale is still going down, I must be right. Since surgery on June 26th, I’ve lost 41 pounds and 54.5 pounds since January 1st. I am 23 pounds away from my second goal, and 52 pounds away from where I think I want to be (but that can change as I get closer). I take it day-by-day, working out and working hard to make healthy choices.

It’s been a pretty interesting couple of weeks for us and there’s even more stuff happening that I didn’t write about, but I will save that for a later blog post.  If you’ve read this far, thank you so much. I know it was a lot of rambling and “stuff” but I truly appreciate your support and your allowing me (and even encouraging me) to share my stuff with you.

If you were in Irma’s path, please reach out and let me know how you fared.

XOXOX

Tossing Out the Invisibility Cloak

The past couple of weeks have been challenging. As I mentioned in my last post, my second semester of school just started and my office is going through a re-organization, two major events and since I ditched my former coping mechanism of eating, I’ve been working hard to allow myself to feel all the stress, and process it the best way that I know how without shoving chips and cake and other junk in my face.

Eventually, the stress got the better of me and I had a few days of what I call “the blahs”, where I just don’t feel so great and I start thinking about all the things I am NOT vice all the things I am. One of the things I am not, and I wish I was, is outgoing and overtly social. I have always chosen friends who had those characteristics, but I have been more of the wallflower, the wing-man, kind of blending into the background and seemingly (at least to me) being invisible.

In the Harry Potter book series, Albus Dumbledore gives Harry an invisibility cloak that once belonged to Harry’s father. This gift protects Harry as he moves around the castle, among other places, while also aiding Harry in his sleuthing and protecting him from harm and danger. I have used my fat and low self-esteem as my invisibility cloak my entire life – protecting me from making friends, getting hurt and even knowing/loving myself – and I am getting pretty darn tired of it. I want to be seen, I want to be heard, I want to feel that my voice matters. Now I know my family and friends would argue that all of those things are already a reality, but in my mind, I am not fully convinced.

As of today, I have lost just over 50 pounds since January 1st, and 37 pounds since surgery. I am finally shedding my invisibility cloak and I can’t wait to see what happens next! I am not sure exactly how I am going to do it, but I think I will start by purchasing clothes that fit and flatter, vice the black on black ensembles that I used to be drawn to, it’s time that I allow color into my closet! Then, I think I will work on actually allowing myself to have an opinion about stuff again – when I was hiding behind the fat, I tended to shy away from sharing my opinion because I feared bringing attention to myself. Not anymore, I want the world to see me for who I am and recognize what I bring to the table.

It’s time to toss the invisibility cloak side and step out of the shadows into the world, it’s time to LIVE!!