Thursday, June 28, 2012

the great wedding disaster... *sigh* ...help?

I'm so good at doing things that alleviate stress and clear my head (like writing on the blog) when I'm not super stressed. When life is unloading on me, it's much more difficult to see through it all and realize that maybe I desperately need that run or that half hour spent writing about myself. Tonight I skipped ballet class because I had two work-related fires to put out just as I should have been walking out the door. After an hour and a half of sending emails and making phone call after phone call, I was really sad. In the back of my mind the entire time was the thought of how good it would feel to stretch my muscles and how missing a week means less practice at getting back up to speed. (Side note: I just started dancing again and my first class was a disaster, but I was in heaven.) Yesterday was a bad, bad day of anger, frustration and stress that's been building up for the last week and I could feel myself going south again, so I closed the computer and B and I hopped on our new bikes. We rode till dark and then I came back in, put him to bed, and decided it was time to come talk to my blog.

Dealing with PCOS has been very hard on my psyche. My weight and weight distribution consume me like no smart, feminist 27-year-old woman should ever be consumed. I read, I discuss on forums, I read some more, I juice, I supplement, I avoid cameras and mirrors. I think it consumes me even more because it's easier and less scary to dwell on than my health and fertility. My job is wonderful, and it's getting easier, but it does wear me out. I spend a lot more hours on it than I should and even more hours feeling like I should be doing more. It's that startup culture (like the non-profit culture I used to work in) that makes you feel like you need to be constantly working because you care about the company and want it to succeed. I work from home and yet I have a hard time remembering to eat meals and take my supplements and exercise because work is sort of always happening. So, yes, I'm stressed and some days I love the challenge and I'm grateful for it, while others I'm whipped and just want to sleep for a thousand years (or eat an entire cake). 

Last Saturday I was having lunch with Taso's family and feeling very relaxed (and happy to be eating good food that I'm allowed to eat), when his aunt casually brought up that we should double check that our wedding date of October 13th (which we were just about to order invitations for) doesn't fall during the State Fair of Texas. I whipped out my iPhone and found that it did, in fact, but that's okay! That could be a fun thing for our out-of-town guests to do! A little more investigating and my heart sunk: October 13th is the date of the Texas-OU football game. The worst thing that happens in Dallas every year, in my humble opinion, would be happening right on top of our wedding venue on our once-in-a-lifetime day. We've been over it and over it but we agree -- there's no way we can do it. Our venue was a lovely urban loft space with a beautiful view of downtown and on-site valet, but I can't imagine asking our guests to deal with the traffic and the drunk/rowdy crowds. We have people coming in from all over the world, many to Texas for the first time. Taso's family in Greece is coming to the U.S. for the first time. I don't want us to be anywhere near the noise, the fights, the traffic, the flags, the bar parties or the bros with their beer bellies painted. I don't want Reunion Tower lit up with Longhorns colors in the background of my pictures. It's the opposite of everything we are and everything we want.

So here we are, less than four months from the date, most of our vendors booked... and no venue. Every single venue in Dallas is booked, way too expensive (I'm talking like $10,000) or makes you use their whack, overpriced catering (which in the end makes them too expensive anyway). I mean, try me. I've called EVERYONE. My wedding planner sent me tons of ideas and I had already tried all of them. I even called the chapels and country clubs and places I would never in a million years want to get married just so I could get to know the market. I know what I'm doing and I can say with authority that there is nothing out there. All along as we were planning this I hated looking at Dallas venues. I didn't feel comfortable enough here to book a place and be psyched about it, so we settled on the best we could find. It had the urban loft feel of TriBeCa, the spaciousness of Texas and the best view we were likely to find. It didn't have the date we really wanted available, but it would work. But now here I am wishing a spot would open up on a farm or a vineyard or ANYTHING, because at the moment we are screwed. Our only other option (on the date we originally wanted at a place we like) is now no longer an option because we booked vendors for the new date and now they're booked up. Every day this week I've gone over and over the money and time that we're losing by canceling what we have booked, but I know we have to. We only get one chance at this, and I don't want to waste all this money on something that none of us (our families included, not just the two of us) are happy with. When we talk about putting it off, which neither of us wants to do, we go, month by month, and realize there is no other good time for it unless we wait almost another year. We've planned our lives around this.

When I'm laying in bed at night going over and over this in my head, I know in my heart that it's not important to me to even have a big wedding. I know that all I want is to travel and see the world, see the country that bore my future husband, and walk around the neighborhood that Agn├Ęs Varda still lives in. But I know that we have people here that would be hurt if we didn't have one, and I know that it's important to the other half of this equation... So I sit here, ripping out my hair, between a rock and a hard place. 

I feel better having written out my meandering thoughts. I have no idea what is going to happen, but I would love advice if you have it to give. There has to be something I'm missing, right?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

27

June 19th came and went and I'm 27 now. I started this blog when I was 23. I have to type the numbers out or I wouldn't believe them. Time flies.

This birthday was one of the best I've had in a long time. Maybe my favorite. We went to dinner at Greek Isles over the weekend and feasted. Gus (the owner and family friend) gave me a rose and made me a STRONG Kostas Coffee and everyone sang to me in Greek. It was very low key and nice.

Afterward we went to visit cousins that just had twin baby girls. I've never held two babies that small at the same time. It was overwhelming and beautiful. They slept in warm little cocoons in my arms the whole time and I was sad to give them back and leave.

On Tuesday I was awoken to two gluten-free, vegan carrot cakes (sweetened with agave) that B made from scratch. My kid is talented, let me tell you. They weren't much to look at but they were delicious and I didn't feel too bad about all the extra slices I had. It was his idea to make my birthday cake fit within my new diet, and he spent an entire Saturday working on them. I love him SO much. 
Taso got me tickets to every rebroadcast of the Royal Ballet (you know how they broadcast opera or ballet in movie theaters during the Sunday matinee time) and a lamp for my desk that I love. Everyone pitched in to get me the fanciest bike I've ever had (or seen). Everyone else got bikes too, so I guess we're all sharing my birthday now. Anyway, I'm looking forward to family bike rides and a new mode of transportation to the farmer's market. On the following Sunday we went to my mom's house for tacos and then saw Brave on the biggest screen ever. I loved it, of course, and will write about it soon.
Sorry for the lack of communication around these parts. Things have been crazy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

working (it) out.

I'm sitting here with the weight of a thousand emails on my shoulders. I've had the feeling lately of being out at sea, my head just barely bobbing over the waves, I'm grasping for anything that will keep me afloat as I try to make my way back to the shore. My body is getting tired and I feel like every day I get pushed a little farther back. 

It could be worse. I'm not talking about being sad or sick or truly lost, just being tired and overwhelmed.

Here's where it starts: I have polycystic ovarian syndrome which is the lamest thing to have. It makes you fat and tired and at high risk for diabetes and cancer and all sorts of other not fun things. It makes you hairy and hormonal and makes it difficult to become pregnant. It messes up your cycle and your life. It explains a lot about the health and weight problems I've had since puberty (I've never been extremely overweight but I've also never really been able to lose weight after a certain point - even at the height of ballet and intense workouts), but it frustrates me to no end because it feels like no matter how hard I work, I will never be thin, fit or healthy. Of course I worry about the other things, too, I'd just rather not think about them as much.

So we've been trying to get me healthy. I've cut out gluten and eat a plant based diet. I've always been vegetarian, and I don't want to cut out grains entirely (corn, brown rice and quinoa are important to me) but I am 100% ruling out gluten. I try not to eat sugar. It's hard but I've cut way down. I never drink sugary drinks and I guzzle water. I try to not eat processed foods (corn tortilla chips are the only thing I haven't been able to quit) and my mom gave me her Vitamix so I can drink my dinner every night. Every single weeknight I blend a leafy green, a little fruit and some cucumber (which I've even started growing in my little garden) with a cup of water and drink it while B eats his dinner. I eat dinner on the weekends, but I don't get a fresh croissant at the farmer's market anymore, so give me a break. I'm only human. B yells at me when I want to sneak a cake ball or espresso and Taso tells me to go to sleep and go to the gym even though I get angry and it starts a fight. He's right, of course, and he should be encouraging me to be healthier. It's just hard and, though part of me wants to hear it, the louder part of me doesn't.

So back to the ocean and non-existant life raft. The truth is, going to the gym and going to sleep at night are ESSENTIAL to my health. To the extra 10lbs that won't quit, my ability to get pregnant one day and my life. For this last year after grad school I was working out hard off and on. I did boot camp and then transitioned into spin class and/or pilates daily. Not only did nothing happen, I ended up swollen and feeling heavier and more bloated than before. It was so frustrating that I had to stop. I had to take a break, read everything I could about dealing with PCOS and reevaluate my approach. Now it's time to get back in the saddle and I just can't seem to find hours in my day to do it.

Evaluating this problem (as I am right now), I have to look honestly at the other problems in my life: I'm working way more hours than I should be and not getting enough done, I'm not sleeping well and my life is off-balance. I never see friends, but worse, I can't remember to return personal phone calls or texts or emails. I can't focus on more than one thing at a time, I'm moody and forgetful. 

The answer always lies in a fresh approach. If what you're doing has stopped working, do something else. Ultimate life hack. Answer to everything, in my opinion. So, I've got the eating thing down (except for the chips and salsa, but I promise I'll work on that) and I'm doing this stupid colon/liver cleanse thing and I'm taking B12 blah blah. Now it's time for me to get off of this computer and sit down with my pen and paper and make a list. That list will start with 8 hours of sleep EVERY night. Then one hour at the gym every morning. Then yoga every evening. Then cutting off work after 8 hours (or my last account wraps up around the 8 hour mark) and going outside with my kid. Then priorities at home and work, then wedding planning, then goals. 

This may seem vague, but even just taking the time to type out this blog post has helped me immensely. When you're in the thick of stress is when it's hardest to see what's wrong and how you can get out of it. Right now the most important thing for me is to find a way to fit everything into each day. Sleep, meditation, exercise, work, family, juicing, yoga, sleep. That's not so hard. For so long I've had this distant dream of dancing again but I know it's not possible right now. But what if it was? What if I got in good enough shape and caught up enough on work and sleep that I could function enough to take a ballet class? See, goals. 

Thanks for listening while I use my public blog like a personal diary. One day, maybe in 10 years, I will have one of those "Look What I Did, You Can Do It Too!" blogs and I will link back to this all like, "aw, look how far I've come," and PCOS will be a non-issue and I'll have two children and be talking about that time I tried out for So You Think You Can Dance and made it to Vegas... or something. For now, I am off to list make and sleep. If you have PCOS too, or just want to be healthier, let's be friends.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Peace out, 4th grade!

I made B's teacher a "summer kit" to say thanks for totally getting him and being the most patient ever. Just a few necessities: fun beach towel, shades (that I am a little jealous of), straws for poolside libations and a magazine. We love Ms. Perkins, yes we do.

Some fun end of the year facts/mom-braggin': B grew 4 inches and 11 lbs in the course of this school year, he tormented his poor music teacher long enough to almost get banned from music class (it's true) but made a miraculous turnaround in the last six weeks and ended up with a Satisfactory - we'll take it! - he was one of the few students to get an award for turning in homework like a champ, he had about a billion tardies because his mom sucks at mornings, he matched the school record for sit ups and quadrupled his own record for push ups in P.E., he got the highest scores possible on all of his gifted and talented projects, he was given a fake reading level because he reads at a higher level than they have in place for elementary school, and... HE ENDED THE YEAR ON THE A-HONOR ROLL. Ce-le-brate good times, come on!

Next year we'll be at a new school and working on Operation: Booker T. (Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts), which is exactly what it sounds like. B has set his sights on getting into a performing arts high school, so we're going to try to help him. If I can convince him to replace more video game time with piano time, that might actually happen. For now, bring on the summer!