Work, Tabata, ALL THE BURPEES.

Well, it’s me. Here I am, at my sad, lonely, little blog. I’m not even sure that anyone reads this anymore. I feel kind of bad for neglecting it so, but life has been busy.

I’ve been at my new job for about six weeks now, and I love it. I am challenged nearly every day and I am part of an awesome team of smart, dedicated, and hard-working people who make me want to push myself to do the best job that I possibly can. The management team is encouraging, positive, and are just generally awesome.

I’ve also started taking advantage of my company’s gym and more specifically, the afternoon workout class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I’m still not back to running since hurting myself at Run For Your Lives so I decided to jump into the class to get some cardio in. I figured it’d be easy; I had been watching them from afar for a little while and I figured I’d jump right in and be fine.

Oh my god. I was so wrong. Mondays are weight training days so for the first time in my life, I’m doing bench presses, squats with weights, rows, dips, and dead lifts. Wednesdays and Fridays are Tabata days, and I’m fairly certain that Tabata stands for “TORTURE ABSOLUTE BALLS ASS TORTURE ALWAYS”. Every Tabata session starts with 4 minutes of 20 second jump rope intervals, which I thought would be easy but again: WRONG WRONG WRONGY WRONG. It’s so hard. After jump rope we do sets of random, horrible exercises designed to light our muscles on fire and make us consider either suicide or homicide. Today we did an exercise called “Roxanne”, to which the other members of the group were like AHHHH SHIT NO NOT ROXANNE and I was like “What’s so bad about Roxanne?”

Let me tell you what’s so bad about Roxanne. The song “Roxanne” is played and you do jumping jacks the whole time, except for when they sing the word “Roxanne”, and then when they do that, you do a burpee. In case you don’t know what a burpee is, check this out. I am fairly certain that the exercise was created by Satan himself to punish everyone forever.

Anyway, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY TIMES THAT ASSHOLE SAYS “ROXANNE” DURING THE COURSE OF THAT SONG? I just Googled it and got conflicting answers but the general consensus is between 26-29 times. SO MANY BURPEES. Seriously, listen to the song and imagine doing burpees every time they say “Roxanne”. Or instead of imagining; do it. It’s harder than you’d think. Toward the end of the song, I pretty much just put myself on the ground and stayed there until it was over.

That’s how life has been recently work-wise. Long story short, it’s been amazing. I’m struggling to get these last 20-25 pounds off and am stuck at a 27 pound total weight loss. Hopefully these “Roxanne”s and “squat circle”s and “Satan burpees” will help me lose this last chunk of weight and get more fit overall.

Writing for is taking up most of my writing time and creative energy. I haven’t been investing as much as I was in the beginning, and it’s showing in my work. My last columns have been kinda “meh”, but hopefully I’ll be able to change that. I’m still freelancing, and have actually been doing some printed copywriting which is really awesome. It’s just little pieces of copy here and there, but there is something thrilling about reading something that I wrote. That came from me; from my mind. It’s pretty amazing.

I was also interviewed for a story on about my experience with Run For Your Lives. Also awesome and thrilling.

I think this might be the most boring blog post of all time, so if you are still reading it, thank you. Thanks for sticking around and listening to my rambling.

Getting Help… An Update.

I had my appointment yesterday to have my annual pap smear and talk about my symptoms of depression. The woman I saw is an ex-midwife, and while she no longer delivers babies she still deals with women’s health in all sorts of different ways. I’ve always been to big offices with lots of nurses and doctors scurrying to and fro, so being in a smaller office with only two staff members was very different.

I met with B, and we started talking. She asked me a lot of run-of-the-mill questions (are you allergic to any drugs? Do you smoke? Do you use your seatbelt?) and I answered them. She caught me off-guard when she suddenly asked, “Do you go to church?”
“Well, no..” I replied. This question always makes me uncomfortable.
“Why not?” she asked.
“Well.. We’re not exactly Christians.”

I expected a lecture, or a judgmental glance while she scribbled something on a piece of paper but she didn’t skip a beat. “That doesn’t matter,” she said. “There are lots of different churches for people of all sort of different faiths. I believe it’s important to nurture your spiritual side and to have that community and family. You keep looking; you’ll find a place for you.”

I left it at that and didn’t push the issue, but Josh and I haven’t really ever been ones to seek a “spiritual community” because we do have very alternative beliefs. The closest I’ve ever come is a Unitarian Universalist Church and even that’s too organized for me. We’re just not big fans of organized religion. Anyway..

She asked me more questions.. About how I came to be in Chattanooga, about my family, about my relationship with my parents and brother. She took a lot of time to ask and listen to my questions, and I appreciated it. I never felt rushed or hurried like I have at other OB/GYN offices before (and that is not me saying that OBs are evil, I liked my last one just fine). She gave me a “depression self-assessment” and had me fill it out. When I was done, she explained to me that it was in no way a diagnosis, but based on the answers I’d circled it was a safe assumption that I had moderate symptoms of depression. She wrote me a prescription for a very low dose of Zoloft, and said to call her in three weeks if I didn’t notice a difference and we’d talk about where to go from there.

My exam was a pretty normal, uneventful yearly exam. She did tell me afterward, however, something that surprised the hell out of me. I had mentioned that during ovulation, I sometimes felt pain and discomfort on my left side. Not every month, usually every other to every two months. And only on my left side. I have had at least one ovarian cyst that I knew of in the past (when I was pregnant with Nellie, in fact) but have suspected that I’ve had them before. I actually suspect that I’ve had one rupture in the past. She told me that my left ovary felt firmer than my other one, and that I shared some characteristics with patients she’d seen before with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). She said that she was in no way making a diagnosis of PCOS, and wasn’t even concerned enough to investigate it further unless the pain I felt around ovulation was hindering my enjoyment of life (it’s not). But she said that some of the hair around my pubic area is darker than usual, and the way I carry my weight is reminiscent of many women she’s seen with PCOS. I was really surprised, and asked her if that could be why it took us almost a year to get pregnant with Nellie. She said yes, and said that it could have also been a reason we miscarried. She said that it was possible that the ovary had produced a bad egg that could cause a miscarriage.

When all of that was over, I told her that I was interested in beginning counseling/therapy and asked if she had anyone she’d recommend. She gave me the names of two people she refers her patients to, one of whom I am a little hesitant to see because she is a Christian faith-based counselor. However, she is also very cheap. I am really, really not interested in Christian based counseling, because I am not a Christian and don’t ever plan on becoming one. I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet.

Overall, I’m happy with my visit. I’ve got my new medication and am hoping that it can help take some of the anxiety and depression edge off. I know that medication is not a cure-all, and that I need to begin to see a therapist. I have a lot of issues to work out in regards to my past, and I feel like maybe I’m ready to finally start doing so. The thought of facing down old and ugly demons scares me, I’m going to be completely honest. I’ve built up a pretty good wall around those emotions the past 13 years or so of my life, and I know that when I start to chip away at those walls it’s going to be hard. But I need to. I need to be the best person that I can possibly be for my daughter.

Thanks for reading, and thank you for all of the great support from my last post. It means more to me than you guys know.


The Missing Remote

Our TV remote has been missing for a week now and by missing, I mean it’s fucking gone. I haven’t seen the damn thing in seven days and I don’t have the first idea what happened to it.

Josh first noticed its’ absence on Saturday when he asked me where it was. I shrugged and told him I had no idea; I hadn’t been able to locate it the night before. He was out playing Warhammer and I was home alone with Nellie. I remember her having it at one point and then it’s like aliens came and sucked away that specific portion of  my memory that contained the whereabouts of my remote control. They didn’t take anything else; not long division, not movie quotes, just what happened to the remote after Nellie had hold of it.

We searched high a low. We looked in all of Nellie’s usual hiding places: buried at the bottom of the toy box, under the couch, the seat of her ride-on toy but our efforts were fruitless. Still no remote. Josh started feeling very agitated about the whole ordeal whereas I found it kind of comical. He’d start looking, getting frustrated and asking me why I didn’t care that the remote was gone. I just figured that it would turn up eventually, someplace funny of course and we’d both get a good laugh out of the whole situation.

Well, a week later and there is absolutely no sign of the remote. It’s not the end of the world, we can still work the television but now I’m wondering..

Where the hell is the damned remote control?!

It’s like it vanished into thin air. Blinked out of existence. Teleported itself into a different dimension. Was abducted by goddamned remote control gnomes. I DON’T KNOW, BUT THE DAMN THING IS GONE.

It’s not so much the fact that we have to manually turn the TV on and off as much as not knowing what the crap happened to it. Josh gave me the side-eye the first few days that it was missing because I’m known to misplace things in odd places. Cell phone in the cabinet, sunglasses in the freezer, that sort of thing. But we’ve looked in every unusual place that we can find and have found no remote. I have no clue where the freaking thing is, but I hope that it re-materializes/comes back from its’ alternate dimension holiday/is returned by the gnomes before Josh and I both lose our minds.

Perhaps we should ask Nellie. This is the face of someone who knows more than she is letting on.


For a Minute, There

For a minute there, I lost myself. I lost myself.. — Karma Police, Radiohead

When I was pregnant, I knew everything. I believe I’ve mentioned this before. One of the things that I just knew was that I wasn’t going to lose my identity when I became a mother. I’m a firm believer that a woman’s identity doesn’t lie solely within the boots she wears. Wife boots. Work boots. Mommy boots (shout out to myself! Is that lame?). Too often when a woman becomes a mother, that becomes her life. Her identity. She identifies as “Jack’s mom” or “Sophie’s mom”. While I am very much “Nellie’s mom”, that’s not all that I am.

…….. But it is kind of all I’ve become.

Most of my dialogue is about my child, because my life revolves around her. I am not saying there is anything wrong with this but it does make it difficult to relate to people who don’t have children. One of my best friends (and coworkers), R, has a baby who is two weeks – TO THE DAY – younger than Nellie. She and I talk all the time. We talk about our relationships with our respective partners, about the frustrations of trying to keep our places clean, about the funny shit our kids are doing right now. Conversation between the two of us comes very, very easily. I have noticed that when I’m around friends of mine who don’t have kids, I struggle to find something interesting to say where I used to be able to talk the ear off of anyone whether they liked it or not. Now? It’s “Nellie does this” and “Nellie is so funny when she…”

Again, nothing wrong with it but it makes me feel uncomfortable. Awkward. Like one of those parents I used to roll my eyes at. You know the ones. The ones that can’t shut up about their child. YEAH. THAT’S ME NOW.

So how do I find myself again? Where did I go? I feel like I’ve lost myself in a mixture of sippy cups and Cheerios. Of weight gain and frumpy clothes. With my new “mom exterior” (frizzy hair, no makeup, body fat) I find myself so much more self-conscious, wondering if people are talking about me and commenting that I shouldn’t be wearing my pants tucked into my boots because I’m too fat. And honestly, I probably am too fat but it’s fucking cold and the boots keep my feet warm.

Even the chorus I used to be so passionate about singing with has taken a backseat to Life. I cannot dedicate even half of the time I used to and it’s got me feeling sad. When I do make it to rehearsal, I find myself feeling detached. Like an outsider. Don’t get me wrong the ladies are wonderful and still welcome me but I’ve missed so much, I feel like I’m an imposter. Like I don’t deserve to be there because I haven’t worked hard enough. Chorus has always been my thing. My hobby. And now it’s just another pile of work on top of my already-busy life… I just can’t find the time to work on my music and it sucks.

So where do I find Natalie? Where has she gone? I know that I’ve changed. I have become less interesting, less funny, more judgmental and stressed out. Maybe it’s a little bit of residual PPD, maybe it’s just typical of being a new (ish) mom.. I really don’t know. But I feel isolated and anxious a lot. I struggle to find things to say. I feel annoying.

Maybe I’m just crazy. But for several minutes, here, I have lost myself and I’m not sure where to find me. I’m trying to be kinder to myself; washing my face twice a day so I don’t break out. Eating better. Taking a multivitamin. Stretching in the morning. Treating myself to something that’s just for me once a month.

But it’s hard. I still feel off. I still feel lost a lot of the time.