Saturday, January 25, 2014

Decision: Go to the gym or cancel the membership?

I'm in the middle of a refinance on my house. This is a "post-divorce, must cash out half the equity for the ex-husband" refinance. So far it's going well, credit approved, closing date about to be set, now just waiting.

I have to come up with a significant amount of cash for the closing costs (which of course, is all out of my pocket and must be paid up front). I've been brutal with my budget, really cutting back on things I deem unnecessary.

When I saw the $32.00 monthly gym membership withdrawal in my checking account last week, I questioned myself, is this really a good way to spend my money? I've been averaging a once a week visit to the gym. That's about $8 for 45 minutes of exercise a week. I walk a couple times a week at work during my lunch hour. That's been it for my exercise for months now.

So I've made a deal with myself. I have to go to the gym three times this week, starting with today. If I can't get my butt to the gym at least three times in this seven-day period, then I go to the gym one week from today and cancel my membership.

The thought of canceling the membership makes me sad. It feels like I gave up on trying to exercise. I keep telling myself it's only $32.00 a month and maybe I'll start going again on a regular basis. On the other hand, it's stupid to pay for something if I'm not going to use it.

Maybe I should use the cookie versus my foot mentality on the gym. If I don't exercise then I'll most likely gain more weight and get diabetes. Which is worse, going to the gym or losing my foot? I sort of suspect losing my foot is much worse then exercising a few times a week. In fact, there's no comparison.

I promise to post back here next week on how this goes. My intention of course is to go to the gym at least three times this week. But that's been my intention for months, and I haven't done it. Maybe a public announce will do it for me. Let's hope so. I feel like something needs to click for me.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Do I want a cookie or my foot?


Or...


Every year the month of January is dedicated to the same topic on all the television shows. Our heads are filled with suggestions on how to get healthy with weight loss and exercise.

I've heard it all, but this year it seems more intense. It's more urgent this time around, or maybe that's just me. Maybe I'm feeling more urgent. I am pushing 60. Okay, technically I'm only "58", but the years are passing me by quickly. I'm still not at a healthy weight.

Even my cancer diagnosis didn't convince me of the importance of eating right and exercising. Of everything that could convince a person to get on a healthy track, you would think cancer would scare the pants off of me (or rather, the fat off of me!).

I let the fear of my cancer returning control me for a few months. I banned sugar, white flour, choose only organic. I was even paying an arm and a leg for free-range, organic fed chicken, only to be told free-range and organic doesn't always mean what I thought it meant.

A couple weeks ago I heard something on a morning news show that jolted me. It was an actress talking about her 60-pound weight loss. I don't know her name, and even tried to go back and find the story so I could give her credit, but I can't find anything on the story.

Her story was a familiar one and perhaps one we've all been through. She was about 60 pounds overweight and borderline diabetic. She is a single mother of a young child. The actress' own mother had died of diabetes when the actress was only eight years old.

This actress said something very profound that has stuck with me since I saw the interview. She said that when she wanted to go off her diet and eat something like a cookie, she would say to herself, "Do I want that cookie or my foot?". She said the answer was easy, she wanted her foot of course!

I'm not pre-diabetic, at least not yet. I had my blood work done in December and everything was normal except the crazy cholesterol numbers. I still don't know how my cholesterol could have jumped 80 points in just six months. I go back to the doctor in March to have my blood work done again.

Back to the diabetes. I could easily become diabetic because of my weight. I had three aunts that were diabetic. One even had both of her legs amputated before she passed away from complications from the diabetes.

So my new mantra to myself lately has been, "Do I want <insert bad food choice here>, or my foot?". As creepy and morbid as this sounds, it seems to be working for me. I've really cut back on the sweets.

In fact, I've cut back on a lot of things but the weight isn't budging. I know it's because of the obvious, I'm still eating too much and I'm still not exercising on a consistent basis. My only exercise is a walk during lunch at work two or three times a week and once a week gym visits. It's not enough. My body needs more exercise.

I know the importance of a plan when it comes to getting healthy, and then following the plan. At the moment, I don't have a plan.

I dropped out of Weight Watchers. Just like everything I try when it comes to losing weight, it works for a while, then I get bored with it, and it doesn't work anymore. I don't know what the next big thing is for me.

If there's anyone reading this that has found something that really works for them, please drop me a comment and let me know what is working for you. I'm just sort of at a loss right now. I need a plan! Keeping my feet is a good plan, but I need something more.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

It's a new year and a new life

So much happened to me last year that it almost seems like it happened to someone else. In spite of the really ugly parts, I'm glad I made it through it.

If you've been reading along you know the year was filled with despair and pain. Starting in late 2012 with a physical assault against me by my husband of 24 years, followed by a long year of waiting for the case to go to trial and then it being dropped at the last minute by the prosecutor. Not enough evidence.

During that year I was in the middle of a bitter divorce battle with my husband. True to his word, he had told me many times that if I ever divorced him that he would destroy me. Well, he tired but I'm proud to say that I'm officially divorced as of December 31,2013, and I'm still standing. He didn't succeed at destroying me even though he gave it his best effort. In another post that I plan on writing someday is the flaws of a community property state, but I'll save that for another day.

Throw in the cancer, a rare, deadly and aggressive cancer, Uterine Leiomyosarcoma and two cancer surgeries to remove it, and you get the picture my last year.

On the other side of all of this tragedy something wonderful happened. I fell in love with a wonderful, kind and loving man. I'm not sure if I would have made it through this year without him. He held me as I wept over my cancer diagnosis. He nursed me through both of my cancer surgeries. He commiserated with me over the unfairness of my divorce settlement and the stupid community property laws in this state (Washington). He's gone with me every Sunday to see my disabled sister, when we both put on a happy face for her to make sure she has a good time on her weekly outings with us. He is a good man, and I'm very lucky to have him in my life.

My weight has been on the upswing. I weighed in at 207 this morning. That's 33 pounds from my highest weight of 240 and 55 pounds from my low of 152 about three years ago. I'm fat. There's no question about it.

2014 is going to be my year to get healthy once and for all. I don't have a specific plan on how to do it yet. I'm still working on the details. Exercise will be key since I know that's essential not only to weight loss but to a happy spirit. It's the best antidepressant I know (and it's free with no negative side effects). More on the details later.

Today I'm recovering from the flu. Two days of 102 temperature and pretty much feel like I've been beaten up. I'm exhausted and every part of me hurts. Normal temperature this morning so I'm getting better. For now I'm just resting and taking it easy. By Monday I should be on track with a new plan.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Life goes on

My last post was sad. It's so sad that I can't even read it myself. I wanted to delete it, just like I've wanted to delete many of my recent posts. I've decided to leave it. These posts are chronicling my life, even if they are somewhat devastating for me to read. Someday I will look back and this and laugh at myself and all of my melodramatics (at least that's what I hope I feel...someday).

Right now I'm doing "okay". Okay can mean a lot of things, but I think it's better than "not bad". I'm relatively happy for someone who has no idea what the future holds. I don't know where I'll be living next year.

I also don't know how my finances will be affected by my divorce, although I'm sure it will be a negative impact. Washington state is a community property state. I never knew what that meant exactly. I was under the impression it meant a 50/50 property split. I didn't realize it meant my 401k and my pension plan were up for grabs at 50/50. My husband doesn't have a 401k or a pension plan since he's never had a permanent job for more than a couple years and also chose to not work for about half of our married life. I've worked consistently for the last 30 years at the same company. We've been married for 25 years. He's "entitled" to fifty percent of my retirement accounts accumulated by me for the last 25 years. It's a state law. It isn't fair but there's nothing I can do about it.

To add insult to injury my husband just filed for a 90-day continuance of our divorce trial. It was scheduled for November 19. His divorce attorney withdrew from the case. I had to sort of laugh about this. Even his divorce attorney divorced him. Unfortunately for me, this means another 90 days of paying his bills. Including health insurance, car insurance on his two cars and numerous credit cards in both of our names. Again, ordered by the court because he was unemployed until three months ago. It's all very frustrating.

Okay, enough about my miserable divorce. Other than that, I'm really doing okay. My CT scan was all clear. No sign of the uterine leiomyosarcoma cancer returning in my body. It's only been six months since the surgery to remove it. It usually takes seven to eighteen months for it to return and metastasize in another location, usually the liver or the lungs. So I certainly don't consider myself off the hook yet. Sometimes I wonder if my husband is hoping he can wait out the cancer and I'll die before we get divorced. He'd certainly be better off. Especially since the court wouldn't let me cancel my life insurance policy with him as the beneficiary, a rather large insurance policy. He has a very small one with his mother as the beneficiary. That tells you something right there about our marriage.

My "roommate" is awesome! I'll leave it at that. Someday I'll write more on this topic, but I can't now.

Diet and exercise...what can I say that hasn't been said a million times? I'm trying, but that's not good enough. It's better than I've been in past years, but I'm not exercising enough and not tracking my food. Usually when I get to this part of my post, I quit writing and shut my computer I have several unpublished posts that prove this point). Today I'm just going to leave it at that...I'm trying. I haven't given up. I'm not eating crazy amounts of food or unhealthy food (well not very much with the exception of Halloween), but I'm eating too much and not exercising enough. Like I said, I'm trying.

I'm still reading your posts but I'm finding that many people have simply dropped out of sight. People that I read for years seemed to have just vanished out of sight. It makes me a little sad. I miss them. But to those of you still out there, I love reading your posts. Even if I don't post a comment, I love keeping up on your lives.

Take care everyone and have a great holiday, that honors our veterans. That reminds me, I need to go put out the flag!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

You do not know me

The criminal case against my husband has been thrown out. The assistant prosecutor called me Monday and told me. He is very young and inexperienced. He told me that he didn't think he could win the case. He said it was a "she said/he said" case. I guess the bruises and scrapes on my body, the hair that fell out in clumps the next day from my husband pulling it out, don't mean anything.

Today I read what he wrote about the case and why it was being dismissed. I was devastated. I was called a liar, that I didn't sound like I was afraid on the 911 tape. I finally stood up to the bully and because I didn't run screaming from the house in the middle of the night that what happened to me was my fault. I don't even begin to understand our justice system, but I can certainly see that it's flawed.

I want to send this to the little twerp that's the assistant prosecutor, but I'm not going to. It wouldn't serve any purpose. However, writing it here has helped me.

To the assistant prosecutor on my case --

You do not know me

You do not know the pain I've endured during my 24 years of marriage to a tyrant and a bully.

You do not know how many times I was screamed at and called names like "stupid fucking bitch" or how many times my husband  told me that I was an idiot, that I didn't know anything.

You do not know how many times I was shoved and pushed by my husband. Or how he would stand an inch from my face and called me names that I can't even put in writing, screaming at me so loud that his spit would hit my face.

You do not know about the time my husband ripped the collar on my bathrobe as he jerked me around like a rag doll.

You do not know about the time he literally tore down my locked bedroom door in the middle of the night so he could scream at me.

You do not know how many times he would come into my room in the middle of the night while I was sleeping, yelling obscenities at me. The next day I would have to go to work while he slept.

You do not know about his relationships with other women during our marriage or his porn addiction.

You do not know about his 10,000 emails and chats over the last two years to a woman that was his high school sweetheart. His main topic was me and how much he hated me and that I was stupid.

You do not know about all the years my husband spent not working, always finding an excuse to avoid full-time employment, going for months at a time staying home and watching TV or sleeping or instant messaging his girlfriends and viewing porn. While I worked full-time the entire time of our marriage. I was the main support of the household

You do not know that I was raised by a good family on a homestead in Alaska with wonderful parents.

You do not know that I'm a Christian and believe in God and Jesus as my Savior. I was raised in the Baptist Church and was taught to be kind, to follow the ten commandments and to be a good person and live a good life. I was taught that divorce is wrong and that God hates divorce. However, considering my marriage I'm pretty sure I have God's blessing for my divorce.

You do not know that I have a college degree and work as a software developer engineer.

You do not know that I have worked for the same company for 30 years.

You do not know that I have close girlfriends that I've had for over 25 years and that my husband's only friend is someone he met a few months ago.

You do not know that I'm the legal guardian of my disabled 74-year sister who suffered a debilitating stroke two years ago. She can't speak or walk. I visit her every Sunday and take her out to a movie and dinner.

The most important thing that you do not know about me is that I'm not a liar. What I said happened on the night of November 7, 2012 was the truth. The man I had lived with for 24 years put a loaded 357 magnum between my eyes and said:  "You stupid fucking bitch, do you want me to blow your fucking head off?! I will, I will! I'll do it you stupid bitch!". I didn't make this up. It's embarrassing to me to even repeat those words.

He crossed the line that time and that's why I called the police. That's why I reported this because I finally stood up to the bully.

For you to throw out this case after eleven months and say it was my fault because I yelled at my husband, that I didn't sound scared when I was on the 911 call, and that there's no case is reprehensible. You should be ashamed. You're a disgrace to your office.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I can still laugh



Probably almost everyone has already seen this video since it's gone viral on the internet. Everyone I know has posted it on their Facebook page. Yet it still made me laugh.

My last post was dreadful. I even thought about taking it down. I'm not going to remove it because I think it's important for people to know how the justice system is flawed for the victims of crimes. Delaying the court date four and now possibly five times is ridiculous. Being verbally abused by someone who is the defense attorney (the attorney of the criminal) is just plain evil.

I'm okay now. My roommate is at work today so I sat by the fireplace in my pajamas until noon. Watching stupid stuff on TV, crying, feeling sorry. I continue on with my life, do what I have to do. Work, live, love, laugh.

These are tough times but life goes on no matter what. I have a lot of good stuff in my life too. The assault, the criminal trial, the divorce - these things do not define who I am. I am more than any of these things. I am better than the defense attorney. At least I can live with myself and I don't hurt people or try to make them feel bad. I wonder how he sleeps at night. I bet he has to take sleeping pills or drinks to get to sleep.

Regardless, it's all good. I survived this past week and the week before. I will survive next week too. Hopefully I will live a good and healthy life.

Watch the video, The Fox. Live. Laugh. Love.

The worst day of my life

I've been having a lot of "worst day of my life" episodes in the past few years. I could start a TV series entitled "Worst Day of My Life".

Yesterday goes down in my book of life as a really bad day. I've gone over it in my head a hundred times reviewing what happened and how I could have handled it differently. I wish I could have a re-do of yesterday. Sadly, what happened is permanently implanted in my brain and my heart.

It started with me renting a U-Haul van to deliver twenty boxes of belongings to my soon-to-be ex-husband's divorce attorney's office. These were computer books and software and the delivery was court-ordered.

Next, I got ready to head to the prosecutor's office for an interview with my husband's defense attorney for the criminal trial scheduled for next week. It was something I didn't want to do, but I was not given a choice in the matter. I knew it would be hard, reliving what happened on November 7, 2012, but I had no idea just how much it would hurt.

The interview was my worst nightmare. It was at the prosecutor's office with the prosecutor and my advocate by my side. My husband's attorney was tenacious, delving into every part of my life that he thought would hurt me. I became angry, but tried to maintain a calm exterior. The bottom line is that he made me out to be the criminal and my husband the victim. It was really unbelievable.

After an hour of being attacked, it was over. I felt like I was once again a victim. I was trying hard not to cry. After the evil defense attorney left, the prosecutor told me that was just a taste of what was to come at the trial. That's when they told me I would be put on the witness stand. Until yesterday I've been told I wouldn't have to testify. I was told because if they had me testify, then the defense would get to cross-examine me and if they did, they would try to destroy everything I said and make me look bad. Now I'm told because it's a "he said, she said" case that I would be testifying. The prosecutor said a lot of what my husband's attorney asked me wouldn't be allowed, but that I would be asked a lot of tough, embarrassing questions.

The advocate talked to me for a while and said it's normal for the defense attorney to make the victim doubt themselves. Their intent is to make me look bad and to hurt me. The victim continues to be victimized.

After all of this, I left the courthouse and sat in the U-Haul van and sobbed for about five minutes. Finally, I pulled myself together and headed over to my husband's divorce attorney's office to deliver the twenty boxes. When I talked to the receptionist she informs me I have to deliver the boxes to the second floor and that there isn't an elevator. The high ceilings makes the staircase twice as tall as normal. Some of the boxes are heavy. This seems like another tactic to add insult to injury.

I headed back out to the van to start the delivery process when my husband pulled into the parking lot and parks next to me. He gets out of his truck and is crying telling me how much he loves me and misses me. I haven't spoken to him in almost a year. There are three restraining orders against him to not come near me. I have to decide if I talk to him and have him take the boxes or if I haul them all up to his attorney's office.

His attorney's glass windows looks down on the parking lot. His attorney wasn't in but his assistant was waiting for me. I knew she could see the parking lot so I felt relatively safe. In hindsight, I realize now I made a really bad choice. I asked my husband if he would take the boxes of his belongings, inventory them and load them into his truck. He agreed.

The next hour as he inventoried the boxes and signed off on each inventory sheet was the most stressful and difficult hour I've endured in almost a year. Even that hour after my cancer diagnosis wasn't as painful as an hour in his presence.

He cried and pleaded with me over and over to drop the charges. I told him it was too late. I couldn't just let someone beat me, pull my hair out, put a gun to my head, threaten to kill me and let them walk away as though nothing happened.  He begged me to try and work things out with him. He kept saying how much he loved me and missed me. He repeated over and over how scared he is that he will end up in jail. I tried to keep the focus on him just taking the boxes of his belongings and complete the inventory. I told him I didn't want to talk about these things and only deliver his belongings to him, as ordered by the court.

Finally, he finished the inventory and I got in the van to leave. He looked at me through the window of the van, crying, and said "I still love you". I put my head down, refused to look at him, as he drove off.

There were no tears on my part. I felt pity for him and nothing else. I drove home feeling numb and dead inside. How did this happen to me? How did I wind up living a stupid lifetime movie?

Looking back on yesterday, I handled all of it poorly. I was not prepared to be destroyed by the defense attorney. I knew it would be difficult, I just didn't know how difficult. At least I know what to expect in court next week.

My encounter with my husband took me completely by surprise. I wasn't prepared to see him. I handled that poorly too. I should have just walked away, got in the van and left the premises. I wasn't thinking right. The stress from reliving the assault by my husband during the hour with his defense attorney sucked the life out of me. I didn't react normally when I saw my husband. I also think that it was a setup, done on purpose because the timing was too coincidental to have been an accident. My husband knew what time I was suppose to deliver the boxes to the defense attorney. Why did he show up just minutes after I arrived?

The criminal trial is scheduled for next week, on Wednesday, October 9. However, I was told by the prosecutor (who I didn't like) that it might be delayed again. It depends if they can get a judge. I'm starting to feel like this will never be over. That's it's just one long process to destroy me.

I have nothing positive to say here. Right now I feel wounded. Hurt. Sad. Broken. My roommate told me last night that I'm the strongest woman he's ever met yet I feel like I'm at my weakest.

In eleven days I have a CT scan for my cancer and an appointment with my oncologist. I'll find out if the cancer has come back. I feel like with all the stress in my life that I'm welcoming it back against my will.

Like I said, I don't have anything positive to say today. Just another episode of "The Worst Day of My Life".