Category Archives: Confessions

That One Time I Went To The Dentist

Confession: Until my most recent visit to the dentist in January, I had lived a cavity-free existence.

The dentist tried to make me feel better about one of the fillings I was slated for, because he has the same one.  When I told my mother about this she put him on The List because, why would you encourage such behavior?  Cavities are basically personal failings.  There is no room for mercy.

So I went ahead and scheduled an appointment for the Day After Valentine’s Day, because why not go back to the dentist, the day after you have eaten the most sugar ever?  I feel like the Valentine’s Day treats were a good opportunity for me to pour one out for my teeth, if anything.

When I got there, I was sort of on the verge of nervous tears/sort of not because why did this have to happen to me now?  I had such a good streak going.  So I hung up my coat and asked the Dental Assistant how all of this was going to go down because it was my first time and she gave me a sort of confused look because DUH YOU ARE AN ADULT.

But once that expression left her face, we proceeded straight into accidental attempted strangulation with the sanitary bib because it’s not physically possible to place one of those over/around a crocheted infinity scarf without choking to death.  But bless her heart for trying to allow my accessories to stay intact.

Once we removed the offending scarf, it was time to get started.  Very ominous, I know.

Anyway, I got the laughing gas and the music in addition to the novocain because why would you want to be fully lucid for any of this?  Billy’s response to this was that he had not experienced the gas since he was like 8 years old.  We can’t all be heroes, Bill.

I feel like we have to talk about the gas, only because it is a well-known fact that in life I have a three drink limit and I assumed that this sort of situation would probably go the same way.  So when they started me at a 50-50 mix, it only took me three minutes to declare that I couldn’t feel my feet, I was feeling pretty hammered and by the way we should probably dial it down a little bit.

Surprise.

I will be honest, the only way I could keep track of time was by the music I was listening to.  Hysterically, every time the dentist tried to talk to me, I would turn up the volume of the music because I don’t know, it just seemed like the right thing to do.  Based on this experience alone, I am fairly certain that there is only the finest of lines between getting a tooth drilled and going out.  26-year-old me is fine with either option, really.

And then there was the Open Wide Incident of 2014.  While I was busy inhaling gas and the dentist was busy drilling, I was basically in outer space, right?  So when he said, open wider, instead of going an inch, I went the whole extra mile and channeled A Python.  Because I was going to be The Best Patient In The History Of Patients Who Have Ever Had Dental Work Done.  This is just the completely non-lucid truth.

That was all right and good until I woke up from my afternoon nap and realized that my mouth will never open the same way again.

This is to say nothing of the fact that my eyelid was somewhat numb for two hours following the procedure. Can’t say that I saw that one coming, so we’ll just file it under Party Favors.

Have you had any ridiculous experiences at the dentist?

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Being Gentle To Myself

As per my post on Healthy Living Resolutions, last week I really tried to focus on #3, Be Gentle To Myself.

That might sound really hokey.  But what is The Blog for if not exposing my most broken bits and pieces?

Backstory: During Reverb, Sarah discussed Self-Compassion during Prompt 18 and pointed her readers towards a quiz on it.  Y’all know I’m A Joiner and I was curious as hell to find out if data would confirm what I thought I knew about myself.  So it was zero percent surprising to me when my results came back stating that I was generally self-compassionate, I ranked EXTREMELY high in the area of self-judgement.

Self-judgement.  I do it best.

While I was preparing for job interviews senior year, I had a hell of a time trying to figure out the answer to the classic question, What’s your biggest strength and what is your biggest weakness? 

But my mother had the answer almost immediately.  I am a painful perfectionist.

Perfectionism, like most dictatorships, can get the pyramids built or the mass games organized.

And self-judgement, when not abused, can be used constructively.  The slave-driver in my head pushes me through long runs and compels me to do things that don’t necessarily come naturally, like cleaning the house the things that like to re-circulate at the bottom of my to-do list.

A lot of self-judgement and unyielding perfectionism means that the girl you see when you look in the mirror isn’t the girl who other people see.

So every day this week, I’ve been taking an extra minute in the mirror.  The dazzling piece of glass where, from my shoulders-down, the only thing I ever see are flaws.  Imperfections.  Shortcomings.

No, this is not the enlightened-sort of nonsense where I look at the pouch of fat on my stomach and muse that someday this is the fat that will help me to develop a healthy baby.

I’m sorry.  I just…can’t.  It’s too much.  I threw up in my mouth a little bit thinking about it.

You probably did too.

It’s okay.  We’re together in this.

But I have been taking in these personally proclaimed flaws of mine and consciously engaging in the act of replacing loathing with acceptance.

What I want need to do is cultivate the mentality that Good Enough is right now.  There is no later.

Once upon a time, there was a later.  But now?  We’re kind of, mostly, here.

This is the show.  The curtain has already lifted.

On Sunday morning, as Emily and I ran around Lake of the Isles, I found a profound amount of clarity.  I remembered something that Brady shared with me when we sat down for coffee in November.

Compete to complete.

Yes, we were discussing it in the context of racing, but I think that the heart of the idea behind it reaches out to touch a lot of things.

The only person worried about my performance is me.

The only person out to tally every single one of my imperfections and shortcomings is me.

The only person who can put that kind of pressure on me is, well, me.

So if something is going to change, it has to start right here.  Inside of me.

How self-compassionate are you?

p.s. It’s not too late to register for the 5k Running Clinic at the Uptown Running Room!  If there was ever a winter to start running, this one is really it.

Reverb 11 | Prompt 9 | Cry

Some of my absolute favorite ladies Sarah and her partner-in-crime, Meredith are leading a December blog series called Reverb.  I can’t explain it nearly so well as she does except to say that it involves reflecting on the life you’ve lead over the past year.  The highs, the lows, the changes and your hopes for the year to come.  I told her I would love to join in for a post or two when the prompt felt right.

Prompt for December 9: Cry.  Where or why did you cry?  Did someone make you cry?  Was it happy or sad?  Describe a good cry you had in 2011.

Confession: Running makes me cry.

If you would have told me that when I was in the middle of tying a double knot on the laces of my running shoes for my first outing on the treadmill, I would have looked at you like you were speaking in tongues.

I don’t know what it is about running that brings me to this place where all of the layers I wear to protect my emotions have been stripped-bare.  What takes me to the edge.  The place where everything feels better on the outside instead of pressed-in.

I am left joyful.

I am left humbled.

I am left in awe.

My eyes welling with tears during one of my last long runs in August.  I looked up at the telephone line above me to see the three vigilant Turtle Doves that watch me every time I run outside.

I am never alone.

Calling my mother a month before the marathon to choke out the words, I can’t run, in between gasping sobs.  Spending two weeks wiping tears from my eyes behind the steering wheel.

Pain.

The last 5k of the half-marathon where I ran for the girl who could not run a 5k.

Gratitude.

My heart, pushing its way up into my throat as I turn the corner of Summit Avenue to see the Cathedral at the top of the hill and the finish line that rests below.  The last .2.

Joy.

Your turn.  When is the last time you had a good cry?

Week Two of Six

Confession: I thought the transition from running to…not running would be more shocking than it has been.  Mind you, this is only week two of six and I’m still trying to figure out what a life without running (for now) even looks like.

In the spirit of my 25 by 25, I decided that I would take a whack at trying to get on-board with #2 Take-Up Pilates.

You know, since I should be enjoying this stress-free, no-pressure time of fitness.  I thought that if I committed to trying it out for a week, then I would have a better idea of how it “fits” into my life.

Verdict so far?  I have absolutely no idea of whether or not this is going to do anything for my arms.  There seems to be a lot of…flapping involved and instead of feeling sweaty, mostly I feel confused.

But I have become re-acquainted with my hip flexors and have learned a couple of good breathing techniques.  If nothing else, I’m 100% positive that it will help with my yoga technique.  I’ll have to give y’all the full report next Monday.

For a full report in the here and now, say what you will about power walking, but I’ve found that the upside to this arrangement is that I’ve been able to enjoy Really Excellent Post-Workout Hair.

Vanity comes first.

I’ve also been trying to re-embrace Intuitive Eating.  Now that I’m out of training, I don’t need to worry about eating enough, I just need to make sure that I’m eating well.

During the week that’s a pretty simple proposition.  Between work, working out and cooking dinner, I have a routine.  I have time to listen to my body.  I have meals planned out.

There are MANY mugs of tea.

But on the weekend?  All bets are off.  There are friends.  Scavenging for leftovers.  Happy Hours.  Glasses of wine.  And bread.

Did I mention the bread?

Because bread seems to be a most definite side-effect of my weekend adventures.

Even though I wouldn’t have it any other way, there’s definitely room for improvement.  Giving myself the opportunity to make healthy decisions is key.  For now we’ll just have to put another tally in the Will Report Back-column.

Are you a bread person?  A potato person?

I used to think that I was a potato person, but we make them so often for dinner these days that they no longer hold their spell over me.  It’s rare that a dinner roll makes an appearance at our table.

The Unthinkable

Confession: Tonight, I am a terrible person.

Once upon a time, Earlier this week, Marcus and I discussed going out for dinner.  I had promised him that after weeks of making other (more important) plans we could go to Chimborazo, and we had a few errands to run.

So simple.

It was supposed to be relaxing.  Fun.  The first of many weeknight dates that we can now have c/o my new schedule.

Right?  I love that idea too.

The reality?

There was one waiter.  I watched our appetizer sit under the warmer for 10 minutes.  He didn’t bring out the requisite green sauce for our entrees until we were forced to ask five minutes later (which at this place was basically the same as not offering BBQ sauce at a rib joint).  He offered Marcus a second beer after he had finished his meal.

Fine.  Manageable.  I’m usually fairly flexible when it comes to service, because I get that there are places you go for service and then there are places you go for food.

Life goes on.

But then things became unmanageable.

Seated to our right was a young couple with an infant.  Happily feasting away.  I didn’t even see the little one until we had been there for twenty minutes.  I know.  I was impressed that they were embracing date night and getting out of the house so soon…I tried to figure out if I would have the guts to do the same.

That was that.

To our left?

MAYHEM.

I completely understand that sometimes the little pups have off-days.  That they get tired.  That some ages are more “energetic” than others.  That some ages are more compatible with public spaces than others.

When I’m at the grocery store, I try to flash Stressed Out Mom a nice smile and do the shoulder shrug.  Make way for her in the aisle.   Steer my cart out of her children’s path so that they can make a clear run for the money.  Because someday I hope that someone will do that for me.

I like to think that it keeps the karmic balance in-order.

But using a small restaurant as a playground to run-down your collective six children (ages 4-8) who are shrieking at the top of their lungs/physically running around the entire restaurant,  while you have a group date, is completely unacceptable.

Not only are your children being naughty, but you are a bad parent for enabling this behavior.

As Marcus and I walked out of the restaurant (after I swore up and down that I will NEVER go back), I said what should probably be unthinkable.

I hope that every single one of those children wets the bed tonight or projectile vomits over something those parents love.

I know.  How dark.  I don’t even know where I found the words inside me, but suddenly we were standing on the sidewalk where I was nearly in tears out of sheer frustration and they just spilled out.

Retrospectively, I’m sure that these words condemn me to one of the circles of parenting hell.

But the moment after those words left my mouth?  Actually felt quite cathartic.

What is the worst behavior you’ve ever seen out of a parent in a public area?  A child?

Do you do anything to try and make life easier/less stressful for parents when it’s apparent that they’re so desperately trying to hold the situation (and themselves) together?

Changing the Scenery

Since I ran this morning, as I was driving home I set my heart on doing my yoga practice outside.  Even though I read about people doing yoga on beaches and in parks all the time, the idea didn’t even occur to me until about a month ago when I saw a particularly pretty sunrise.  Today, the weather cooperated stars aligned.

Since I have zero experience with yoga on any surface other than a mat over carpet, I was romanticizing the idea of bare hands on wood…big time.  You know, being one with nature and all that.

After asking Twitter, I was informed that trying to go without a mat would only result in splinters and tears.

Splinters and Tears ≠ Harmony

Because I swap mats as the mood strikes, today was a pink day.

Fancy studio, huh?

In case you’re wondering, both of my mats are from Target – I inherited them from my parents about two years ago.  They had purchased them for a Community Ed yoga class and discovered that the ancient art was absolutely not their thing.

Obviously I didn’t complain when I took up yoga and it was absolutely…free.

I keep on telling myself that someday as a reward for maintaining a successful practice, I’ll splurge and treat myself to all sorts of expensive yoga gear.  But then my practical half intervenes and I’m reminded that not only am I a solo-artist (I practice on my own in our basement), but my gear actually works pretty darned well.

Mats and gear aside, after I managed to tune-out the hum of our air conditioner, I really did find it to be more peaceful than what you can achieve indoors.

Confession: It’s not all glamor all the time.

Sometimes, the 21 Day Yoga Challenge involves you rolling into the house around midnight, doing a downward dog in your walk-in closet and hopping into bed to fall into the deepest of sleeps.

THAT pose was sponsored by Paulaner’s Hefeweizen.

I’m just trying to keep it honest, kittens. 😉

Have you ever practiced yoga outside?

Where do you get your yoga mats/apparel?

Mother Nature vs. Pop Culture

Before we get down to business, a few of you have been asking about what kind of planner I carry.  I got a myAgenda by momAgenda.  If you want to see a snap of what it actually looks like in the flesh, check this post out.

I got the desktop size, which is an absolute beast.  So if you were to size-down (provided your handwriting isn’t especially loopy) I’m sure you would be more than happy.

So, there’s that.

Confession: When I found out that the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills would be coming back in September, I practically jumped for joy.  I missed those girlfriends.

They keep it real with their Calypso-St. Barth’s frock/tunic arrangements, spa days and the glasses of wine that they NEVER seem to finish.  Toss in a pair of Kendra Scott earrings and they’re ready to roll.

They keep me grounded, kittens.

And after that brief wave of jewel-toned nostalgia, I realized that September is almost…uncomfortably close.

The light is starting to change, for crying-out-loud.  My evidence?

An epic craving for canned pumpkin.

Yes, I have a giant can stashed away in the pantry from last fall.  No, I won’t be taking it out just yet.

I feel like we’ve only just entered the part of the Minnesota summer where we can FINALLY eat our own sweet corn like it’s going out of style (it is).  I refuse to give that up.  You have nothing on me, Mother Nature.

But it’s kind of on the same level as that one time last March where I couldn’t stop eating sweet potatoes.

Not good.

So to embrace the last month of summer, I sourced  new wallpaper for my phone.

I know most people do something a little bit more low-key.  Like tan.  Wear swimsuits.  Mow the lawn.  Eat popsicles.  Make popsicles.  Seek shelter.

I needed something that came with a little less commitment.

As it turns out, less commitment actually looks a little bit garish.

But I’m still obsessed.

I will say that even though Dandelions are Hell On Earth as far as keeping a well-manicured lawn, the way their seeds waft around at the end of the summer is one of the prettiest sights.

You know, once you get over the fact that you’re basically watching an invasion take place.

Have you had any unseasonal cravings lately?

I’ve also been dying to braise various cuts of meat with a ferocity usually reserved for buttercream frosting.  Where on earth is my head at, right?

What shows are you looking forward to watching this fall?

I’m also looking forward to the return of Boardwalk Empire on HBO as well as the beginning of a few new shows on the Food Network.