Tiny Eden

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Enough lites to decorate Buckingham Palace!

March 15th was the deadline to my first month of my Happiness Project. Did I meet my deadline? Nope, but I came pretty stinkin close! The basement is my nemesis! I worked on it for several weeks, but it is taking much longer than I thought. Yesterday, I spent most of my afternoon sorting through boxes of Christmas lites. If you have ever seen the movie "Christmas Vacation" than you will have an idea of what each box of lites looked like. They were all just huge balls of knots. I took the time to untangle each one and re-wrap them. Had there only been 5 or 6 strings of lites, this would not have taken a long time. Unfortunately, we have about enough lites for our house to be seen from space if we put them all on. Also, we have 2 sets of decorations. We have our red and green decorations and we have our lite blue, white, and silver decorations. That is so we can alternate our theme each year. Oh, wait! Then we have our combo decorations which are the ones that we use no matter what the theme is. This year when we took our fragile decorations down, we didn't do such a spifferific job wrapping them and putting them in their original packaging, so throw that into the equation as well. We have a ton of Christmas decorations that get scattered thru the house, so those had to be resorted. Anyway, you get the point. Needless to say, I am thinking that one more good day down there will get the task completed. I am going to use it towards my goal for this month. How you ask? Well, if you saw the amount of crap that has to be moved around and carried upstairs 2 flights to our office or brought to the garbage/recycling. I am sure this is going to be a large amount of exercise!

I am technically in my second month which will be working on moi! To kick-off my month, I started by taking all of my measurements. I am not looking to lose weight. I will start off by saying that. But, I would not mind seeing some changes in those measurements for the better. I think as soon as I said, "I do!", my metabolism said peace out! I am down to one pair of dress pants and one pair of khakis. As for my jeans, Sam thinks they look better on me, but I feel like I am walking like I just got off a horse.

I did attempt to take Cheyenne for a walk. We walked one mile in one direction and then Cheyenne pooped out on me. The other mile consisted of my carrying her back home. There were people that honked, people that pointed and laughed and one bright light who rolled down his window and yelled, "Well that gives walking your dog a whole new meaning!" Now, I am an animal lover and if I saw some girl huffing and puffing down the street carrying a 40 pound dog, I would assume that there was probably something wrong with this picture. Maybe I am naive, but I would probably pull over and ask if she needed some help and if something was wrong with the dog. But I guess Southern hospitality is a thing of the past!

Aside from working out, some of the other things that I am working on have included flossing daily, putting on lotion after I take a shower, straightening my hair if I am going out somewhere, and putting on makeup more often. This does not include when I go to work. I do put makeup, but the last thing I want is to have my hair fall into someone's oozing wound or a diaper full of poo. That is really not cute! I have sorted thru my wardrobe and gotten rid of clothes that I know that I will never wear again and should have been shot for purchasing in the first place. My diet has been a little healthier for the most part. Every once in a while, I indulge - who am I to turn down a piece of pizza.....or two? More vegetables and fruit have made an appearance into my diet, so I am happy about that.

I feel like my mood has improved some in general. I am trying not to get so stressed out at work. Currently, I am precepting a nursing student and she is awesome! She is way ahead of where I was when I was in nursing school and she is not afraid to try new things. It is nice to have someone that I can teach new things to. It helps with my confidence level. On another note, I had my review at work and got moved up to the next level from Novice to Colleague. We are required to join a committee at work and I am on the Professional Development Council, CF Core Nurse, and Journal Club. I am also the secretary of the Professional Development Council. This year, they needed someone to be a representative from Egleston for the Great Strides Team (A fund raiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation) so I am doing that now as well. If you have any questions about how to donate, let me know! When I am involved with something, I feel like it boosts my mood and keeps me occupied.

The weather has been up and down, but I am enjoying the beauty that spring has brought with it. The lawns are green, the birds are chirping a little louder, baby squirrels are bouncing through the yard, flowers in full bloom....what more could anyone ask for? Oh, I know! A new baby nephew. Spring has sprung and so has Matthew Joseph. He was born on my Grampy Joe's birthday, 3/30 at 5:28 am. My sister woke up with labor pains at 4 am and Matthew was here at 5:28 am at 9 lbs 13 oz with no epidural. My sister is a champ! Big sister Stina is just loving her new baby brother and is looking forward to her 3rd birthday!!!!!

As for Sam, he is still on home iv's and he is working harder than ever. The steroids are helping to give him some extra energy, so that helps quite a bit. For those of you who don't know what a day is like for the average person with cystic fibrosis (CF), I will give you a quick run down. Depending on how sick Sam is, he takes anywhere between 50-65 pills that are spread out throughout the day. Out of those pills, he has to take 6 enzymes with each meal and 3 with each snack. Having CF makes it difficult to absorb fat and nutrients from food, so the enzymes are what helps him absorb it. At his last doctor's appointment, he was up 3 pounds. WooHoo! He does 3 breathing treatments a day - the first and last ones take about an hour each and the noon time one takes around 30 minutes. So when his co-workers come home from work after working 13 hours a day and are crawling in to bed, Sam is hooking up to IV's and doing an hour long breathing treatment. When they are able to sleep in an extra hour in the morning, Sam is up doing his breathing treatments way before the sun comes up. During busy season, he wakes up at 5 am and goes to sleep at 12 am. Sleep is so important for CF'ers because it is the time their body has to rejuvinate, so Sam is not getting that much needed rejuvination. We cannot wait until busy season is over so he can get that much needed rest. He is like the energizer bunny. He just goes and goes! Not once does he ever complain and he never looks for sympathy or special treatment. Sam wants to be "normal". That is the only things he ever asks for.

As a side note, I went to Emory about 2 weeks ago and gave a speech there about what it is like to have a husband with CF. This is a speech that Sam usually does 2 times a year, but he was in the throes of busy season, so they asked if I could do it. Plus the fact that I am a CF nurse helped quite a bit! It was great and everyone was so receptive. I love to talk to large groups of people, so this was right up my alley. The larger the group, the more I love it! I am sure that I did not do as good a job as Sam usually does. But I think I got the point across.

I am hoping that once Sam is done with busy season, I will be able to focus more on my Happiness Project. With him still being on home IV's and in the midst of busy season, it is really hard to focus because I have a lot more on my plate at home. I know that is not an excuse, but our world is kind of upside down right now. My third month is going to have to be pushed back a little, but it is something that I do not have too much control over. To keep the suspense, I am not going to let you know what the next month is just yet. It is something that we have already started on, but we have not gotten too much into it just yet. No, it is not a baby. Just to clear that up!

If anyone else is doing the Happiness Project, please let me know! I am enjoying mine and would love to hear your success stories. Or even if you are not having success, feel free to share and give me some pointers. Also, people, I need some more followers, so make sure you sign up as a follower! Thanks for the positive comments and for reading my blog!

You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. -Desiderata

All seasons are beautiful for the person who carries happiness within. -Horace Friess

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Screw the deadline!!!

While I am going to write about my Happiness Project, I wanted to start out by writing about something else that is a whole lot more important to me. Sam is still on home IV's. While I know that he is going to get better, it is still something that is very stressful for both of us. He is a CPA, so he is smack dab in the middle of busy season, when he goes to the doctor, he has to stay at work even later than he normally would, he has to do iv's literally morning, afternoon, and nite. His weight has been flip flopping and his appetite has been less than stellar. I am not going to lie and say that this has not all sent me into a crying spell just about every other day.....or sometimes every day. Sam is usually not around for these little tear fests because I feel like it is not fair to him. He already has enough going on and has expressed to me that he already feels badly that we have to go thru this. Alot of my crying focused around obsessing about Sam having a shorter life span. What will happen to me if I am left by myself, what if we have kids and I have to raise them on my own? It is bad enough when I have to sleep in our bed alone when he goes into the hospital, but there is always the comfort of knowing that he is coming home. As much as I love to sleep sprawled out, I don't ever want to have to deal with a permanently empty bed. Sam always tells me to not worry about it. One day, I got into such a frenzy about it, I was just sobbing uncontrollably - my face was all red and soaked with tears, my eyes resembled Kermit the Frog's eyes, my nose was running like crazy and Sam reached his breaking point. He did something that he had never done before. He started to yell at me about it - telling me that I need to pull myself together, stop obsessing, stop crying. My actions were only making it difficult for him to deal with everything. He told me that he was too persistant to give in to some stupid disease. He grabbed my shoulders, looked me dead in the eyes and told me that he would never ever leave me alone. He will fight and he will keep fighting. He will never get tired and he will never give in. After that conversation, I have looked at him differently. If you look up the word persistant in the dictionary, you will find a picture of Sam. He is a fighter, my hero, my role model. Sam wakes up at 5:15 am Monday thru Saturday and never complains about it. He works 11-12 hours a day for 5 days a week and 6 hours on Saturdays and never once complains about being tired. He is my superman!

My Happiness Project is going very well, but I am running a little behind. At first, I was stressing myself out because I wanted to be on schedule and I did not want to disappoint myself, Sam, or the readers of my blog. I realized, though, that this is my project, so if I want to spend a little more time on an area, I am more than entitled to. Everyday we have to meet deadlines - paying bills by due dates, getting to work on time, getting to bed early, taking the dog out before she pees on the floor, and even finishing the milk before it starts to smell funny! Deadlines don't make people happy. They make you stressed out and this project is all about decreasing stress. I am enjoying clearing out the clutter, donating things, and throwing things away. I tackled my arts and crafts closet the other day - there are a ton of items in it, so I am not complete. There were several projects that I puchased things for, but I never started the projects - never the less finished them. I can guarantee that it will be a while before I set foot into a craft store to buy something. It is quite possible that I could open my own store. Once I am done with my arts and crafts closet, on to the basement I go. That is one area that I am eager to start working on. It will take a few days to sort thru everything, but I feel pretty confident that I will feel like a huge weight is being lifted off my shoulders. Realistically, I would like to be done by March 15th, so I am challenging myself to finish off this month's goals by then.

On a side note, we are having a major mold issue in our house. We had a mold guy come over this morning and he quoted us over $5,000 to get rid of it all in the basement, first and second floors, and the attic. Obviously we are not going to go with the first person and we are going to get some other estimates, but this is a really big job. The mold is something that has been weighing on both of our minds, so I am hoping that once it is taken care of, we will both breathe a little easier - Sam more than me!

Please update me on your Happiness Project progress. You can do it as little or as big as you would like. I got an e-mail from the author of the book the other day and she said that her book is going to be coming out in paperback soon. It is well worth the purchase, people!!!!! You only have one life, so live it to the fullest and make it the happiest! Next month, I will be working on improving myself physically and mentally. Stay tuned!!! But, Tamila, that does not necessarily mean that I will be coming to work all dolled up :-)

Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use. ~Earl Nightingale

The flower that follows the sun does so even in cloudy days. ~Robert Leighton quotes