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2012 April : Challahbear

Archive for April, 2012

Reverse Retail Therapy

I had a stressful day yesterday. As I recently posted, I’ve been struggling with managing stress lately and even with an evening trip to finally see Hunger Games with Kirios and a friend, yesterday was a difficult day. This morning I found myself dragging a bit more than a typical Monday morning. While it doesn’t help that I’ve cut back on my caffeine consumption at my cardiologist’s request, I know that my morning blues are a byproduct of a non-relaxing Sunday. So in an effort to change my spirits this evening, I plan to partake in some reverse retail therapy.

It just so happens that Kirios and I went on a major TJ Maxx & Ross shopping spree on Saturday. I had never actually been to a Ross’ before, and I’ll admit, I went a bit overboard. But what woman doesn’t love a new dress that compliments her curves? And at only an additional $15, how could you not buy a second one? Truth be told, I purchased a total of seven dresses, ranging from casual to professional to little black dress. I also purchased two skirts, a pair of shorts, and a handbag which came with a matching compact umbrella. I know, I know, a bit overboard.

Kirios and I returned to his house just before 10 pm. We stayed out shopping so late that we missed out on an opportunity to attend a party downtown, and we still hadn’t had dinner. We were both excited about our purchases, and the prospect of future occasions to show them off around town. I knew that Kirios’ parents would be home and eager to see what we returned with, and I was more than a little embarrassed by my Santa-sized sack of clothes. To my delight, rather than suggesting I return some of the items, they ooh-ed and ahh-ed at each item, agreeing with how nicely the dresses matched my turquoise sandals, or jewelry Kirios has given me. When I was done with show-and-tell, Kirios’ mother even reminded me that if I had gone to a department store, I could have easily spent the same amount of money on just one or two dresses.

My shopping trip moved to the back of my mind when less pleasant things filled my thoughts yesterday. So tonight, I plan to try on all of my clothes again. Of course, it’s reasonable to try them on again before I take the tags off and wash them to make sure I chose wisely. But I’ll admit it, twirling around in a new dress (or seven) seems like just what the doctor ordered to send my bad day blues away!

Blogging while Mad or Sad

I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged… I’ve struggled with it a bit lately. It’s easy for me to write about the nice things in life – trying a new restaurant or a new recipe in the kitchen, visiting friends and family, and celebrating life’s special occasions. But some days I’m mad, I’m frustrated, or I’m feeling somewhat deflated. And on those days, even if I have the time, I usually don’t like to blog. It’s not that I want everyone to think that my life is full of rainbows and fairy dust all of the time, but I’m afraid to say something which will hurt someone I care about; to complain when so many people have it so much worse; or for some tidbit of information to be googled and used against me at a job interview or in court or something else crazy off into the future.

I have a friend who’s living abroad while in the Peace Corps. She sends out email updates from time to time, and I am always impressed by the way she shares and communicates her experience. She talks about the trips she makes, and the beautiful sights she sees, and the relationships she’s forged. She also discussed the cultural differences she’s found, and the projects she’s hoping will help the community in which she serves, and she discusses the poverty, lack of medical care, and sex tourism which plague the area. She frequently discusses how she’s coping with the experience, giving a glimpse into the immense emotional and physical demands which plague her. Her emails show determination and optimism, frustration, and acceptance of an imperfect situation. They give me a very real sense of how she’s doing, for better or for worse, and they make me proud to be her friend.

I suppose what strikes me the most about my friend’s emails is that despite being a mass communication, they share a level of honesty most of us reserve for intimate meet-ups and phone calls. When you run into someone on the street and ask how they’re doing, how frequently do they tell you that they’re struggling? Usually, we just say things are going well. My Zaydie struggled each and every day after my Grandma, the love of his life, passed away. Every time we spoke, for almost a decade, I’d ask him how he was doing, and he always replied, “I’m doing the best I can.” He never said he wasn’t doing well, and yet, he could never say he was doing well either.

Since my last post, I have been doing well… Kirios and I have cooked revithia, chickpea stew; savory whole wheat herb crepes; and delicious soutzoukakia, Greek meatballs (with some alterations to make them kosher). We’ve gone to birthday parties, explored the National Park Seminary (a very strange and interesting place worth reading about!), and even saw a high school musical! I traveled to Portland, OR for a business trip, gorged on extra-large sushi pieces, and then flew out on the red-eye the next night so I could spend the beginning of Passover in Pittsburgh with my parents, brother and sister-in-law, and Kirios. I am lucky to have so many wonderful adventures, large and small, on a regular basis.

Also since my last post, I have I have struggled… I won’t delve into the different stressors in my life. They are mostly outside of my control and normal, albeit unpleasant things, similar to those that all people deal with at times. But mostly, I have struggled with managing that stress. It’s easy to say “stay calm and carry on,” but honestly, my mind and body seem to have the opposite idea these days. My blood pressure went up again, and I’m once again taking medication for that. This past week I learned that my platelets are also elevated, and I need to see a hematologist. (This is likely being caused by the Crohn’s Disease, and I don’t believe it’s an indication of a more serious problem, so please, don’t worry.) Between this news and my Passover diet last week, my Crohn’s wasn’t exactly cooperating with me either. It’s easy to get frustrated with life sometimes, but things definitely aren’t all that bad, and I’m doing the best I can.

Hopefully this will end my Challahbear hiatus, and I’ll start to blog more frequently again. I anticipate that I’ll continue to post about good times, good people, and good food. After all, those are my favorite things. But if I need to, I just may share when I’m having a bad day too.