ewwww, david. no.

(from Life.Church)

Do any of you have any phrases that you say to yourself just out of habit? I do. It’s usually under my breath, and almost always after I’ve done something dumb or I’m overwhelmed. It is always, “Oh my goodness, Sarah. What in the world.” (Not a question, just a statement.) I have said that a LOT lately. I also keep repeating Alexis’ line from Schitt’s Creek, “Ewwww, David. No!” almost anytime I have to do something I don’t want to.

To start, some updates. So far the infection has been gone for 1 week, and even with constant rechecks it hasn’t returned. H-O-O-R-A-Y. That’s the good news. The bad, the scar tissue on my cornea is just horrid. I think I’ve finally found the perfect description of what it is like. Imagine trying to look through 6 pieces of saran wrap (cling film). Everything is warped and distorted. Driving is awful and brings me a lot of anxiety every time I have to get behind the wheel. But I’m making it, adapting, learning how to groove with what I have. Our bodies are kind of amazing. I’m not sure the timeframe on all the healing I have remaining, I just keep being told to have patience. As any woman knows, being told to “Calm down and relax” is almost always going to give you a very different reaction. 🙂

Elimination diet…haven’t talked about it for a while. I had made it through the full 9 weeks having concluded that food is not the cause of my discomfort. I did, however, glean some pretty great info on foods that DO cause some kind of reaction in me. Because of that, and because I was just so used to the diet by that point, I kept it up and I’m still staying pretty close to it even now. I eat very little grains/gluten. Very little legumes. Very little dairy (only some hard cheese…I told you I love cheese.) Little to no eggs. I will forgo all of these rules at Thanksgiving because there are just some things you get at holidays that you can’t enjoy any other time throughout the year.

So what am I doing now? I’m trying to smile every day. I’m surrounding myself with people who care about me. I’m not running outside yet due to the eye (depth perception is not great at all), but I’m doing yoga and loving it. I’m not sitting home alone every night. I’m putting myself out there and allowing vulnerability in a variety of ways. I’m intentionally trying hard to be encouraging to others. I often am reminded of the Brandi Carlile lyrics in one of my favorite of her songs, “do I make myself a blessing to everyone I meet?” I even have that on a t-shirt. 🙂

This weekend I heard the phrase, “A waiting season is not a wasted season.” Oh so true! All of this is going to add up to something…and it might be where I am currently. Like I’ve said over and over the course of this year…I have to be ok with where I am, otherwise the human in us is only going to see the darkness and how far we still have to go. Where I am now, EVEN WITH MY JANKY BROKEN EYE, is better than where I was. Every single time someone tells me, “You are different.” I am smiling. Because I am.

TODAY I LOVE: The Netflix show “Schitts Creek.” I LOVE THIS SHOW.
SONG OF THE DAY: “That Wasn’t Me” by Brandi Carlile

a sight to see

Where do I even begin? When I last wrote my birthday was on the horizon and I was super optimistic about October and the goals I was ready to smash out. Yeah, so none of that really happened. Ok, my birthday happened. But that is it. I am indeed 39 years old. Father Time decided to kick me right in the right eyeball.

If you follow me on any social media channels you know that I’ve been fighting the worst eye infection EVER. But Sarah, how did it happen? That seems to be the most prevalent question I get asked. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Truthfully, we kind of have no idea.

One morning I woke up and went to work and my right contact was bothering me. No big deal. We had a big weather front moving in and my sinuses were full of pressure and protesting so I didn’t even think twice about my eyes. Both eyes were watering and my nose was running, all from sinus pressure. I got home that night, took out my contacts, and went to bed. I was woken in the middle of the night by pain in my eye. Searing, something-is-stuck-in-my-eye pain. I tried everything I knew to do to flush out my eye. It felt like I had a piece of glass under my top eyelid. I couldn’t sleep the rest of the night for the pain. I called my eye doc the next morning and got in that afternoon. There was nothing in my eye, but it had a pretty nasty corneal abrasion (fancy term for I cut my eye). Doc put a contact bandage on it and loaded me with antibiotic drops, as I was supposed to fly to Florida the next day for a work trip. Needless to say, it was dramatically worse by the next morning so I didn’t leave.

24 hours apart

I went back to the eye doc that next morning and you know it’s bad when they say, “Holy s*&^, it’s literally getting worse as you’ve been sitting here!” Within 24 hours my eye went from normal to zombie. There are no compound pharmacies open on the weekend, so the doc had me putting antibiotic drops in my eyes every 30 minutes – all day and all night. You got it, no sleep. They just didn’t want it to get worse. And it kept getting worse. And the PAIN. You guys I can’t even describe the pain.

By Monday they had me working with an Eye Disease & Injury Doc and a surgeon. Alternating.

I’m in week #3 of the healing process. We are in the middle of a delicate balancing act. I still have infection in my eye that we need to treat with some super-charged-cost-as-much-as-a-house antibiotics, and also dealing with my newly mangled cornea. You can’t really do both at the same time. Nobody knows yet what the fallout to my vision is going to be once we get the infection eradicated and determine scar damage on my cornea.

But Sarah, how did this happen? I seem to get two answers. I guess this type of thing is relatively common with contact wearers, although no doctor I’ve spoken to yet has found any fault in my procedures. I’ve worn contacts for probably 20 years. Second, water. Everyone keeps freaking out about water. And I flushed that eye out with water A LOT when I thought there was something stuck in it. Hey guys – don’t do that.

All that said, I’m trying really hard to make the best of it. It’s hard to have a great attitude all the time when it’s very hard to see and I feel like I look like a troll. My friends have been ah-mazing. There is no way I could have done this without my friends and family and co-workers. I have a very long list of thank-yous to write. I’m mentally and emotionally in a good place. I’m thankful that if this had to happen to me, I’m glad it happened now rather than earlier this year when I broke.

So. I’ll leave October with a kiss on the cheek and a wave. Maybe a small smack on the back of the head. GOOD-BYE. I look forward to SEEING you, November. I have good feelings about you. 🙂

TODAY I LOVE: steroid eye drops…manna from heaven
SONG OF THE DAY: “Killing you, Killing Me” by Jamestown Revival

My 39th year

Hello hello! We are at the END of September. Can you believe that?! I certainly can’t. I keep saying it over and over, but I can’t really believe how fast it feels this year is flying by. Before I know it we will be celebrating Christmas and then the arrival of 2020. C-R-A-Z-Y.

I’m sitting here doing a little bit of prep work for the coming week; it’s going to be pretty busy one for me. On top of the normal month end / quarter end / reporting that comes with an old month and a new month, I’ll be busy prepping for an even busier week following this one. So as I’m sitting here sketching out some plans to make it all happen, I’ve somewhat drifted to the personal side of things. This week I will celebrate my 39th trip around the sun. C-R-A-Z-Y.

Birthdays aren’t really a big thing to me anymore. It’s really just another day. (It’s a day I can have a cupcake with literally no shame.). They do, however, make you take stock of where you’ve been and where you’re headed. For the first time in many years and months, I really like the direction I’m going. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t remotely how I thought my life was going to be. It isn’t what you plan when you’re fresh out of high school or college. But I believe there is a purpose for all of it. The best is definitely yet to come.

So I’m making some goals for the month of October, month #1 of year 39. Some of them are ambitious and will challenge me. Some of them are “minimums” just to get me in the habit of doing some new things. All of them will make me a better Sarah for whatever my future holds.

I challenge you to set a few goals for this coming month. Strive and stretch and grow and reach. What else can we accomplish by the end of this year?

TODAY I LOVE: kettle corn from the fall festival
SONG OF THE DAY: “A Safe Place to Land” by Sara Bareilles

random friday stuff: vol 7

Hello, my friends! Is everyone putting on their favorite music and having a mini dance party? No? Just me? Give it a try. I guarantee you’ll smile: if not out of happiness then at your pure silliness.

Here are some random things I’m stewing on this week:

  • I cannot stop listening to all things Foy Vance. If you like folk/blues/rock you’d love him. Go ahead and check him out!
  • My birthday is next week and I’m already thinking about some kind of treat I will allow myself. If you can’t break the elimination diet for cake on your birthday THEN WHAT CAN YOU BREAK IT FOR?! It will probably make me feel miserable, but I will suffer for the cause.
  • I haven’t run much at all this week due to falling in a hole while on a run Monday morning. I was oh so graceful. I rolled my ankle and then hit the ground. It’s been bruised most of the week but it’s going down now. All that to say, I’ve missed it! I’m looking forward to getting back out there and setting some goals for October. I’d like to be able to go more than 3 miles without sounding like a dying cow. 🙂
  • All my reading friends don’t throw things at me, but I’m FINALLY getting around to reading “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. I know, I know, I’m very late to the party.
  • Jeans that are too big are just as awful as jeans that are too tight. Right now I’m in the middle of every size of jean I own. I’ve also learned that high-waisted skinny jeans are likely what it felt like to be wearing a full-body corset.
  • I’m still thinking about the Downton Abbey movie. I want to go see it again. Yes, it’s pure fluff. But unlike so many movies and tv shows you see these days, you leave it light-hearted and smiling. I’ll take some more of that please.

Ok, that’s enough for today. I hope everyone has a splendid weekend!

TODAY I LOVE: the tiny pink pineapple lamp I have in my kitchen
SONG OF THE DAY: “Unlike Any Other” by Foy Vance

goals, direction, and starting to see light.

Seeing the light arriving

Greetings, my friends! And Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone is having a great and relaxing weekend. It has been raining off and on yesterday and today and honestly it’s been nice to chill for a hot minute. I did quite a bit of socializing this week and was oh-so-ready for a day to be a hermit and recharge.

I do apologize that my writing has been so sporadic lately. I certainly didn’t intend for this to blog to only be used when I’m feeling down in the dumps. Now that I’ve made great strides crawling out of the dark place, I guess I’m trying to decide which direction to take this thing now.

First things first, some updates. This week will be Week 6 of my elimination diet. As I said in my last post, I’ve been adding things in and taking them out for a few weeks now. Even though I do believe now that most of my health issues are being caused by something other than food, it has been very enlightening to find out what foods do cause a reaction of any kind in my body. I *think* I’ve found out this week that dairy actually increases my heartburn. This makes me very sad, as cheese is practically one of my love languages. Anyway, the experiment continues. After that first week I’ve managed to maintain my calories at my normal level. Cravings are gone. I sleep well (for the most part). I don’t have a headache everyday. All that to say, I’m going to keep this experiment going for a while.

Beginning September I started running again. I’ve also added in yoga (in addition to strength training.) I’m really, really enjoying it. I’m not sure what finally made the switch flip in my brain, but I’m looking forward to workouts again rather than seeing them as a chore. I’m also looking forward to setting some goals for each of those areas for October. I haven’t set any kind of athletic goal in AGES! This is great mental progress for me.

So, where do I go from here? Someone told me this morning, “Every time I see you you’re always smiling! It makes me smile.” I guarantee the gal who said it had no idea how much it effected me, and probably not even for the reason that you’d imagine. I think maybe after all these months I’m finally figuring out that it really is all up to me on my perspective of things. I’m not in control of anything and I need to stop trying to grapple for it like a lifeline. I can’t control what people think of me, I can rarely control what happens to me. The one thing I can control? My perspective. If I can do that then the lows won’t be so low. The highs are even higher. And every thing isn’t nearly so dark. Life is quite a lot sweeter when you let it happen.

I’m looking forward to this week. I’m going home this weekend for our fall festival. I haven’t been back to it in probably 15+ years. This would normally probably cause me anxiety…but it’s going to be ok. I’m going to choose to look at is as an opportunity to enjoy some folks I haven’t seen in quite some time. Plus the parade! Band nerds unite! What are you looking forward to this week?

TODAY I LOVE: dry shampoo (seriously gals, am I right?!)
SONG OF THE DAY: “Alice from Dallas” by Foy Vance

heartburn.

I changed my hair color this week. I needed change. I am obsessed with it. Red!

Hello all. I know I’ve been MIA the last several weeks and I’m sorry for that. Life has been happening.

Lots of life has been happening. Real life with hard emotions, big decisions, love, loss, and forging forward. And with all that stuff, I just needed to turn inward and work through it. I’m still working through it and that’s ok. At any rate, I don’t want to talk about it, but it all leads me to where I am this day.

The anxiety/stress/emotional drain of all the things made all my symptoms (acid, nausea, etc.) return. Therefore, as food as been constantly the same with no changes in 4 weeks, I think it is safe to say my issues are something else (not entirely food related.) So, although this extreme diet didn’t give me the results I was ultimately looking for (solving my health issues), it DID help me know that with that variable constant, it is something else in my body that is wrong.

I’ve slowly started adding some food back into the rotation. I cannot tell you how very wonderful that first cup of coffee tasted. Best cuppa ever. It does, however, give me heartburn. It has been fascinating adding food back in and monitoring what it does to me. For instance, either gluten OR sugar make my sinuses stuff right up and make it hard to breathe. I ate at cookie and within an hour my sinuses were swollen. WEIRD. I haven’t had another one to test it again.

My next steps on my health journey will be to get back in touch with my doctor and see what’s up. Ulcer? Overactive hiatal hernia? Yeah, I don’t know. I do know this: I have GOT to get my stress/anxiety under control and managed.

I added yoga into the mix this week. I’ve never really given yoga fair shake and I kinda feel bad about that. I found an app that has yoga “classes” and I’m hoping by adding this at the end of my day and focusing on the breathing and the mindset, it will help me mentally just as much as physically. I’m about as flexible as a concrete pole, so we shall see how this goes. 😀 I’ve been practicing this habit for a week now and I can definitely say it has helped me mentally. I do it right when I get home from work, consciously trying to let out the bad and in the good and LET. THINGS. GO.

Thanks for hanging with me. I still have the note “Not Today” taped to one of my computer monitors at work. I’ve been staring at it a lot this week, remembering why I put it there in the first place. Not Today. Not Today. Today I will not give into all the feelings that brought me to the bottom.

TODAY I LOVE: savasana (corpse pose in yoga)…I can do this one.
SONG OF THE DAY: “God Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise” by Ray LaMontagne and The Pariah Dogs

sing with me

I love concerts.

I’m sitting here at home doing some work that I couldn’t get finished during the day. It was a very, very busy day. Lots of meetings that were important and required work and engagement on my part. So anyway, I’m working here at home and I’m singing. Because that is what I do. I thought for fun I’d jot down a few of my favorite sing-a-long songs that I happened to sing this evening. Maybe you’ll find one you like.

Here you go…

  • “Rich Girl” by Lake Street Dive (perfect warm up tune)
  • “Push” by Matchbox Twenty (come on high school friends…old skool)
  • “No” by Meghan Trainor (this requires dancing and hand gestures)
  • “Teenage Dirtbag” by Walk Off the Earth
  • “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On” by Mel McDaniels (come on, I am a country girl.)
  • “Take Me Home, Country Roads” The Mountainman (fantastic harmonies. Show your stuff on this one.)
  • “The Joke” by Brandi Carlile (you REALLY have to sing loud on this one.)
  • “99 Problems” by Hugo (this is a great thumping Jay-Z cover)
  • “Shake” by Nathaniel Ratliff and the Night Sweats (this is for your dance break…give those vocal chords a rest.)
  • “Better Man” by Leon Bridges (the captain of smooth…this will get you back to singing and swaying)
  • “Found / Tonight” by Ben Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda (because HARMONY PARTS and HAMILTON and DEAR EVAN HANSEN)
  • “What If This is All the Love You Ever Get” by Snow Patrol (this song is so stripped-down that you can sing so passionately and LOUD)
  • “Girl” by Maren Morris (everyone needs a girl anthem)
  • “Like a Girl” by Lizzo (dance break!)
  • “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” by The Secret Sisters (Ok, this is a hard shift from Lizzo, but this is putting the day behind you and moving on. Sing sweetly and find the harmony.)
  • “Goodbye Road” by Johnnyswim and Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors (this one is a tearjerker. A great encore for your performance.)

Gah! I almost hate giving music lists because I love SO. MUCH. MUSIC. If anyone actually saw my music library I’m sure they would think I was a nutcase. (Maybe I am. And that’s ok too.)

Have a great evening everyone! Sing a song for me.

TODAY I LOVE: when reports all tie together
SONG OF THE DAY: “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” by The Secret Sisters