I hear a lot of people talk about getting older or how short life is or things of that sort. They phrase it as jokes, the getting old thing. It’s weird. Why do that?

But recently I have found my mind wandering around the stories of my life. Maybe it’s because this will be my 45th birthday? I have no idea. But what I’ve concluded is that sure, life is short…if you allow it to be.

I’m ONLY going to be 45 this year.

I was 17, almost 18, when I graduated high school.
Since then I was married when I was almost 23 and was married for 12 years.
I went to college. Twice. And earned two different associates degrees.
I worked at my first real job for 14 years. Based on that alone the person that was in charge of going through resumes at my current job wrote “old?” on it.
My marriage ended 10 years ago.
I lived in West Virginia 23 years.
I lived in Virginia 14 years.
I’ve lived in Arizona 8 years.
I’ve been in my new job for 8 years.
In the years since my marriage ended I’ve had 4 relationships of various degrees of seriousness.
In the past 9 years I’ve been to Ireland, Russia, England, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Colorado, California, Oklahoma, DC, Yellowstone, several roads trips around Arizona, and likely other places I’m not thinking of.
My sister became a mom, making me an Aunt, 13 years ago.
I’ve had my friends visit me at least 5 years for ComiCon.
I became a hiker 3 years ago.
I hiked the Grand Canyon 2 years ago.
I met my current guy 2 years ago.

And I’m ONLY 45. That is a whole lot of living in that time. And I have a whole lot more living to do from this point forward.

Life is short, sure. But you can also make it so full that it feels like so many different lifetimes. You can live and focus on being alive and happy and in the moment, even the small moments. My one life has had so many different lifetimes in it and I am amazed and grateful for all of it.

Life is for the living, you guys. Get out there and live it.

Things I Learn About Myself

Last week I had a strong hankerin’ for tacos so I went to the store and I purchased the ingredients for tacos for I am an adult that does what she wants.

Since I am one person that means I had tacos every night for dinner that week for I don’t mind leftovers and I don’t waste food.

I arrived home from work one evening super excited for my last night of taco dinner so I got right on the routine tasks of letting the dogs out (yep, that was me. I let the dogs out. /dad joke), feeding the dogs, changing out of my work clothes, and then finally fixin’ the tacos.

As I’m eating my tacos, I get severe chest pains. Like, so severe I couldn’t sit up straight. So severe my eyes watered. So severe I said out loud, to my dogs I guess, “What is happening right now?!?!”

But I kept right on eating my tacos because I’ll be damned if tacos go to waste.

I finally stood up to see if I could stand up straight, and I couldn’t. But I could drink water. I could, of course, eat tacos. I could breathe, but that felt labored. And I could talk. So, I told myself what all moms tell their kids. Even though I’m not a mom and I’m just talking to myself. “It’s just gas.”

So, I chugged some water. I burped. I could stand up straight. I went to the bathroom. It all went away.

So, yes, it was all just gas.

But now we all know that if I do ever find myself having an actual heart attack I may not realize it, care, or stop eating. Especially if it’s tacos.

Moral of the story? I ate tacos and didn’t die so I pretty much win.

Manic Monday

Let’s catch up, shall we? This might take some time. Get a snack.

I went to Spain for a week. The week before I was a bundle of nerves and didn’t walk a lot then I went to Spain and did ALL THE WALKING!


Then I came home and had all of the jet lag and did none of the walking.

But somehow I managed to hold steady at my lowest weight of the year. GO ME!!

I have no idea how this is possible. Because the week I was in Spain I ate Spanish chorizo every day, Spanish ham, English ham, bread, olive oil, eggs and potatoes, drank Spanish Coke daily, Spanish hot chocolate, many paellas, seafood, and ice cream. The food, you guys. THE FOOD!!! It was amazing. And I’m now that insufferable person that’s angry I have to eat food here and went to Whole Foods yesterday and bought rice imported from Spain, olive oil imported from Spain, and a double pan made in Spain so I can make Spanish omelets and paella here at home. I’m the worst.

Spain was great. Just really, really great. I cannot fully put into words how much I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed traveling around the country to visit multiple cities and having a friend/family member with us that is from the area to give us a more local flair was beyond perfect. I feel that I really got toe experience Spain in a much deeper manner than if I’d simply gone there as a tourist. I’m forever thankful to her and her family’s kindness in hosting us.

I’m not posting photos or doing a recap, however. My Flickr stream is linked on the sidebar to the right and if you’d like to, please feel free to visit and go through the Spain album!

Last week, as I said, I was jet lagged like a mofo and it took me until right about Friday to feel normal again. So, I only managed to do my office hallway walk twice last week and I did my neighborhood walk Saturday morning but, for some reason, could not make myself do it yesterday. The temps this week in the evening should be manageable so I should get those walks in AND I should get back to my gymming schedule, too. I won’t hover at this weight for much longer if I don’t get back on the stick, y’all.

So, here is to being back to real life and normal and routine!

Different Drinks, Same Bar

My weight loss has stalled and I have nobody to blame but myself and all of my excuses. Excuses are aplenty around here and I feel like they are legit but, really, if things are important to you, you make the time. And right now expending my nervous energy in ways that aren’t my evening walk seem to be taking priority even though they shouldn’t.

I always get a bit twitchy before a trip. I have no idea why, it’s just what my brain likes to do. I’m twitchy as fuck at the moment. My nerves and emotions are juuuuuuuust under the surface ready to come out at a moment’s notice. Last night that manifested itself physically by making me itchy all over my body which, really, only made me more easily irritated. But I recognized it and I said to everyone in the room, “please back off for a moment while I reset….I’m having an attack of some sort.” And everyone did and I reset and no incident occurred and I am pleased. Other than not being pleased that this is my brain in the first place.

I think my dogs have felt this energy coming before I have. This entire week they have been so much more clingy. They are usually happy simply being on the couch with me. This week, they are both just on me immediately upon sitting down. On top of me and on top of each other and while I suspect they think they are helping, they are not. The constant need to be RIGHT THERE ON ME ALL OF THE TIME is making it worse. But they are just little dogs. How do you explain that to them? Especially when you just really know in your heart that they are trying to help you? There’s a language barrier that sometimes just cannot be bridged there. So, I let them be on me and I breathe and I feel their hearts beat and I feel them breathe and I calm down eventually. Once I just let it.

I wish I could get to the “just let it” part in all areas so much quicker. My life would be easier more often if I could.

So, my weight loss has stalled while I deal with my pre-trip nerves and my goal is now to just make sure I don’t go up. I can do that. That seems less stressful to me at the moment.

I envy people that are able to just be.

Moving Right Along

back on track

The only day I didn’t come close to the goal was Saturday. And I was so damn close on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday that I should be ashamed of myself for not getting there. But I am not because I am too busy being happy that I was, mostly, back on track and that I’m only up half a pound.

This week I plan to eat salads for lunch and have small dinners to hopefully shed a bit more than the usual in a week to set myself up nicely for my vacation. Vacation is good for walking but, also, bad for just eating what you want. Which I shall. For I’ll be in Spain and you do not go to Spain and say no to the food.

My frame of mind is pretty good other than the new info that I may have to put on a swim suit in public but whatever. That won’t kill me.

And that’s your Monday update.

Your Head is Under Water

This will be the only year that I mark the death of Prince. I’m not one to remember the day loved ones die. I rarely can even recall which year. That doesn’t make them less or more dead and I, personally, find it to be quite unhealthy to focus on someone’s death. Instead, I remember them fondly in moments that happen organically. I don’t look for signs or create moments. Something will happen and my Granny will come to mind. On her own. I don’t have to conjure her. I guess I’m saying I don’t dwell.

Prince’s death, however, dwelled for a bit. Which doesn’t make sense to a lot of people. And that’s fine. My life doesn’t have to make sense to you, thankyouverymuch. I stopped listening to music. All music, not just his. But then that went away. The tears stopped falling as soon as I was reminded that he’d died. It got easier. It got better.

Today there are reminders everywhere and I’m fine. I am having my own Prince Only Music Marathon in my car and at my desk today. And I was fine.

Until “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” came on and I was singing and dancing and then suddenly I felt my voice catch in my throat on that sad lump of realization that I will never ever again be in the same space as Prince to sing and dance along with hundreds of other people while he’s on stage exuding the most joy I’ve ever been in the presence of. The man was ALIVE on stage. He was doing what he loved and there was no doubt. He loved music. He loved performing. And, oddly enough, he loved us.

I grew up in a really small town in WV so I didn’t have a lot of the same opportunities as others. He didn’t come there to do any shows and my family couldn’t have afforded to send me where he was going to be. I didn’t even have a way of finding out where those places would be. There was no Internet. I have no idea how information was even disseminated back then. It’s a mystery to me and I lived through it.

Once I was married, money was still tight. I sacrificed a lot and didn’t allow myself to partake in a lot of things. Like, when the Internet did become a thing and there were Prince fan clubs that he ran. You had to pay a fee. I didn’t feel that was an expense I should add to our household. But through the years I’ve read about how he participated in the forums. He got to know his fans. He became friends with them. He did special things for them. He offered them advice. He was a friend. And I missed out on that. Which is fine. That’s how life is, really. Growing up the way I did I understand that life has sacrifices and times that aren’t easy. That’s not how life works. But I can’t help but read these stories with a sense of regret. That’s likely just part of my grief.

Instead of holding on to those regrets, however, I am going to hold on to the memories of the shows I did get to attend. The times I was in the same space as him being part of something magical. Something joyous.

I will likely never forget where I was when I found out he had died. The first reading of the news that something was wrong at Paisley Park. The demands I made in my head for it to not be him. The chat I was having with my friend, Randi. All of the texts, phone calls, messages pouring in from people that know me and care about me in some kind of way. The people that simply love drama that wanted to create it in my life and be part of it. The closing of my office door so I could silently wail about this deep sadness that I was not expecting or ready for. My boyfriend contacting me immediately after the meeting he was in to make sure I was ok. Him going to see “Purple Rain” with me, despite him not being a Prince fan in any regard. The compulsive buying of any magazine I saw with his picture on the cover. Never forget. But hopefully the specific day itself will fade from my memory like it has for all of my other loved ones that are no longer here. Because life is for celebrating, not mourning.

Life is for living. Go crazy, punch a higher floor.




This morning I got on my scale at home, which is a thing I very dumbly do every damn day. But this morning it indicated that I’d gained 4 pounds in a day and put me right back where I started.

After I set fire to everything I sat down in the smoke and thought about things logically. There is no way a person can gain 4 pounds in one day. The battery in my scale is dying. I have to tap it to turn on multiple times before it finally does and this is the last symptom of a dying battery. I don’t feel heavier and I would if I’d put on that much.

Once logic grabbed hold I put out all of the fires and continued to get ready for work. Once at work I got on the scale and saw something much more realistic. An increase, from my last official office weigh in, of just two pounds. That is expected. That is realistic. I will now buy a new battery for my home scale to protect the world around me from flames.

I have been feeling, um…backed up recently. So, I used my flame rage this morning and went to McD’s for breakfast to help get things moving. I now have high chest pains that are quite likely gas related and I think that was a good call. In my period induced dizziness last week I increased the amount of iron containing foods I’d been eating and that likely did this. Now I have to counter balance that. Great.

Next week I’m going to take a page out of Randi’s book and have salads for lunch. I’ve not been eating as healthy as I could or should the past two or so weeks and I just don’t feel super great. I think I need to reset and refocus. And so I shall.

I don’t know when this became a journal of my periods and poops but there you go. Enjoy the riveting drama of Andrea and her body.