Because when we don’t follow through with them – it registers in our mind as a failure. At least in my mind it does. Which is why I was kicking myself up the arse all night on New Year’s Eve when I realized the  New Year’s Day “Commitment 5k” that I’d registered myself and my children for was a potential failure for the very first day of the year.  I’d been watching the weather – the very cheery weather woman (just what do we call these people??) stated it would be “brrrr! a very cold New Year’s Day!!! Temps will drop to zero!”. She said it with all the enthusiasm of a woman riding a high of chocolate ecstasy  Seriously, wtf is so cheery about freezing temps?? I googled ‘frostbite’ and discovered children should not be out in temps below 13 (that’s  -10c which sounds downright arctic).

That began my dilemma. Forego the 5k and start off the year with a ‘failure’ or be a potentially bad parent and drag my children to the event. After telling my children that I thought we were going to have to cancel (cheers from the oldest), I changed my mind (yes, can’t have a child happy enough to cheer in this house), and we decided frostbite, blizzards, Yeti’s, whatever the world could throw at us – we were going.

7 a.m. the next morning: Oldest is dry heaving and moaning as if in the midst of his final death throes. (Insert deep breath). My greatest obstacle: obstinate children. I grabbed the other one (the more agreeable one) and we threw on enough clothes to survive a REAL apocalypse and headed to the race.

I’m not necessarily one of those over-happy people – you know the ones you secretly think of mowing over in your car while yelling, “take that you over-happy motherfucker!!”. But, I can say my daughter might be the grumpiest. There were really only 2 times during the run that I seriously thought about ditching her and her 1001 complaints.

“My foot hurts!! owowowowowowow!!”

“My legs are itchy!! Mylegsareitchy! Mylegsareitchy… I’m dying!”

“Mom!! (insert seething tone) stop doing Gangnam dance or I’m going to die!” – how can you not do that dance when they play the song?? geez.

“ohmygod I’m dying….” – which was followed by either, “my head is on fire”, “my hands are sweating”, or “I’m dying”.

I will say that there are a few tactics that work on motivating little people. Pointing out a smaller child of the same sex and saying, “Oh wow! look at her go!! I think she’s even younger than you!!”. Umm… not a good way to go. This only resulted in my own child stopping in the middle of the road, arms crossed, glaring at me and yelling, “YOU HATE ME!”. (watch for a future blog titled: when your children are smarter than you).

Oh my god. The drama…. it’s only 3.2 miles FFS.

As we approached the finish line, I looked at her and said, “We have to run. It’s the law. You have to run across the finish line”. And took off running – if she wanted to argue my point she’d have to catch me first. Amazingly, it worked brilliantly and as I reached out to tap her head in a “Yay!!” type of way, as we both cross the finish line, she turns and yells, “YOU HIT ME!!”.

Gah. Happy Fucking New Year.

It was the right thing to do – I’ll accept a challenge over a failure any day and after the race I took her out for breakfast and after she’d refueled on: hot chocolate (sugar), french toast with some amazing buttery cinnamon syrup (sugar), and bacon (food of the gods) – she was my sweet little bunny again. I even got a hug and a big thank you for taking her to the race.

So far – one day down…. 364 to go. Seize this year by the motherfucking balls and make it your bitch. That’s my motto for this year.

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I was sitting outside today, feeling the wind blow through my hair, when I realized it had been a really long time since I’d waxed or shaved my legs.

I began my rebellion of shaving my legs a few months ago when my skin, also began a rebellion of it’s own.  After spending a business trip in San Francisco trying to scratch the epidermis down to the bone with no relief I realized that shaving was possibly a thing of the past.

Not a big deal you say? To someone who’d been shaving their legs everyday since they were 12 it was. Well, actually that first time I shaved my legs, my arms, my stomach, my face and would’ve tried to shave the dog if I’d been able to get it to hold still long enough – shaving was a sort of magical power. That was, until my mother, in horror of viewing the ‘Cousin It’ that was left in the bathroom, pointed out that shaving any thing other than my legs would potentially result in  “prickly stubble”. She stabbed her point home (yes, puns are sometimes intended) by showing me her own prickly legs. I’d seen less sinister spines on the creatures in “Jurassic Park”, so, heeding her warning, I stuck to shaving only my legs (and occasionally strips of skin…. holyhell that hurts).

I, recently, managed to make it about 2 weeks without shaving my legs, screaming into pillows to avoid the maddening itch of it, and gingerly stepping into my running pants to avoid shredding them to pieces (I eventually avoided this by canceling all future workouts) until I decided waxing might be the answer.

I’d only seen one other person get their legs waxed and thought she was, quite possibly, being tortured to death. But, the great thing about watching a friend almost die from something is that we secretly feel we are tougher and could ‘almost die’ a bit less (certainly with less screaming). So, I perused the aisles at Target for their selection of leg waxing options. I settled on ‘Veet’ strips and headed home. No reason for everyone in a salon to hear me screaming.

Now for any of you that know me – you know I’m fascinated by anything that is somewhat gross. Waxing my legs was going to be right up my alley (and apparently my daughter’s). After applying first some baby powder, I warmed the strips (under the bum works better than rubbing them between your fingers – especially if your fingers are a step above icicles on any given day), and carefully applied them to my legs to avoid cutting myself. And pull. Oh for the love of jellybeans and buttered toast – ouch. But! the skin was smooth and the wax strip held an interesting type of science experiment of some indiscernible mammal. Perfect!

So after repeating that same procedure and getting (most) of the hair from the legs – who sees the backs of my legs anyway?? I am hooked. No more crazy itching from shaving and no more daily ritual of shaving, wasting water, time, and skin in a never-ending battle against Cactus Legs. Who cares if I’ve got wax strips stuck to every surface of my home 😉

My recommendation? Wax or embrace your inner Yeti.

What? You’re a man? Ok… well, maybe just shake hands with your inner tough girl (yes, to your horror she’s probably in there somewhere) and don’t make direct eye contact 😉

I’ve heard so many stories about women having out and out battles with their inner… errr… umm…. (said in a hushed tone… bitch). My inner B and myself are good friends although, she does, have a propensity for wanting to kick someone’s arse.

I’ve tried hard to tame her with ‘Oms’ and meditation (wow, nothing sets her off more than being forced to sit for a mere 5 minutes while I try to better our mind and body), we do a lot of yoga (as a yoga teacher, that’s not really that shocking). I’ve stopped eating gluten, dairy, shellfish, sugar and have even incorporated an herbal coffee. However, she has become aware of that and there was much toe tapping and crossed arms this morning so we’ll probably have to go back to regular coffee (wink wink). We exercise, we’ve taken combat classes, we blast loud music (here I’ll add a shout out to my girl Rosemary) and will sometimes finally give in and just let her have her moment of fury.

Please keep in mind that her moment of fury usually involves typing and deleting and typing and deleting and typing and finally deleting a post on Facebook or imagining really letting someone have it… sometimes I’ll even let her write a nasty letter then while she’s off getting another tattoo, I delete it.

Yet, in all her fierceness, she is only trying to protect me. She protects me better than any man I’ve ever known (besides my brothers). She’s the one that reminds me to stand up taller, to always walk with confidence even when I’m scared, to make direct eye contact, and be aware of my surroundings. She’s the one that researches how to “survive a bear attack”:http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/how-to-survive-a-bear-attack on our hikes, she’s the one that says, “you will not yield, you will never quit”. She builds me up and when I need her… she is there without hesitation. She never calls me a wimp or criticizes me for crying or feeling weak although, she will often hand me a small gift wrapped in tiny gold box – I don’t get these often but when I open it I hear her say, “Get up. Dry your tears. You’re strong”. I always appreciate those little gifts.

However, it hasn’t all been lovely “holding hand time”. My Inner B and I used to be arch enemies. She was constantly undermining me at every turn. I would practice peace and love and she would point out why no one deserved love and peace was over-rated. Then, as if the world was at her mercy – something would happen and her point would be proven.
But one day, after she’d shown me that people can be rude and mean that they can hurt you and then laugh about it…. I turned to her while she said in a rage “SEE?? I told you so!!”. I gently (and quite cautiously) wrapped my arms around her and gave her a hug. “Who cares what they do” I whispered in her ear.

And that is how we finally became fast friends. Because in the end, it’s just not worth getting all worked up over. Even though she is my Inner B and it is expected of her to get a bit wild-eyed at times, it’s always good to remember that all of that “fight” and in her case “more fight” (as opposed to fight / flight) only hurts us.

We’ve decided we are saving up all that energy for a bear – ok that’s a total lie. I will scream until the bear’s ears bleed and will most likely end up spraying myself with the bear spray. Anyone that knows me this is the most likely outcome 😉

 

 

 

Hopped Up on Happy

10/21/2012

Recently while driving from point A to point B, my son, who happened to be in the car with me, began pondering the complexity of happiness.

Happiness used to seem like a given. I would wake up, the sun would shine, I would of course, hate going to school, but would love to see my friends and even found joy in my class binder (usually puppy themed) or a new pencil my mom had bought me. Life was simple and for the most part, life was good.

However, now seem to be bombarded with ads for reasons why we might not be happy. Are we really unhappy because we actually _are_… or because we’ve been told to be? (I do love a good ‘mind control conspiracy theory’, throw in a zombie with a moustache and I’m completely elated) 😉

Is there a secret formula to happiness? I can imagine, for me, it’s a gentle mixture of creativity, yoga and exercise, that gut chuckling laughter, receiving as many hugs from my children as possible, and being the best version of myself.. so far none of those involve possessions… yet, a box delivered from Amazon makes my heart skip a beat (or 3).

So, what makes you happy? And, what, if we were mad scientists working on an absolute certainty of … would that look like to you?

We are in a pondering mood today 😉

 

 

 

 

I honestly don’t know.  Although, enough evil is done in an attempt to gain more money.  I use the word ‘evil’ loosely as I’m not a “good vs evil” kind of person.  To me… it’s all good or it was until I realized I didn’t have quite enough money for what I want to do this morning.

I’ve recently had the opportunity to look back on my life, dissecting every decision, every choice that led up to another choice and on and on.  This is an exercise in stupidity mostly as who really knows if making different choices would have led to a different life.  We make choices, we adjust, we move on.  Or do we?  I’m fairly certain that no other choice would have led me to more money but part of that reason is because I’m not really comfortable with money.  We didn’t have any extra money growing up, things were difficult, but because of this, I decided to never live that way.  VOWED to myself, I never would which then put me in a vulnerable position (as deciding you MUST have something always does).  I had been a nanny for a period of time for a wealthy family with a large number of boys.  They had lots of money and seemed happy although, I did notice that shopping was part of that.  Being able to shop can make us happy (temporarily).  The problem with shopping is that there is always something else you need or want.  Something else that will make you feel fulfilled… temporarily.  And then it can become the ‘where’ are you shopping as well as ‘what’ you are purchasing.  I had somehow got it into my own head that my clothing should come from one particular high-end store and no others.  However, I always felt like an interloper in the higher end stores, so, therefore, almost never shop and when I do I come home with random things I don’t need:  a pair of thigh high boots and hiking socks.  Riiight.  So, what is this?  In truth, I almost never enter the mall or stores anymore because there will surely be something I think that I MUST have and will try to figure out a way to get ‘said’ object only to end up regretting the purchase or will love it (aka: juicer) and use it every day for 2 weeks and then watch it collect dust.

I often wonder if people that have all the money they could want… are happy because they certainly all don’t look happy.

I posed this question to my psychiatrist friend (who is well known in his field and a person I trust to give me a straight answer on things – even if I do secretly wonder if I’m being analyzed in the process).  His reply was something like:  “Most of my clients are wealthy, and they come to me because they are unhappy in their relationships.  I have a few poorer clients and they come to me because they are depressed about not having money… but, they are happy with their lives and relationships.”  Curious.

So again, is money the root of all evil?  Well, what does evil mean anyway?  Dictionary.com defines it as:

"Evil"

The devil? high taxes? (I’d say that one is accurate which then leads me to wondering who is in charge of taxing us… yes, agreed, those people are definitely evil), a supernatural force? a nasty bathroom smell??  Okay, well, let’s address the first one:

1.  The Devil.  Sadly, I don’t believe the devil takes money, checks, cash, credit so no… no amount of money can help you with that one.

2.  High Taxes.  Umm… I believe that might actually help you since our government is whacked enough to think that you should pay more taxes the less you make (of course this changes daily so I may be wrong about that).  So, having more money (like oodles more) might help you afford taxes (and insurance… but don’t get me started on that).

3.  Supernatural Forces.  Again, I’m thinking this one might be like the devil.  I mean, what would a supernatural force do with money?  Could they possibly use it to buy extra supernatural powers?  Maybe hire a “make objects move” tutor?  I don’t know, that one sounds suspect, I’m going to have to say, No.  Money won’t help you with Supernatural Forces.

4.  Nasty Bathroom Smells.  Yes, money can definitely help you with this.  So this one wins fo-sho.  You could buy flowers, cans of chemicals to kill not only the nasty smells but yourself and any other living creature nearby (which, btw, will end up costing you more money), you could put in more ventilation… maybe even a window… you could work on stinking up all of the outdoors for virtually no money whatsoever.

So, I have to say, that even though, I myself could use a little more money to get where I need to go… not much (but that is all relative to each individual), I still don’t think it would make me any happier.  Having less money means I need to be smarter.  And, being smarter makes me feel good… about me! For free.

Thoughts? On money? Evil? Nasty Bathroom Smells? 🙂  Please refrain from making me vomit if you insist on talking about ‘nasty bathroom smells’.

I’ve never said ‘STFU’ to anyone.  Mainly because if you were to say, “S-T-F-U” out loud, well, you would just sound stupid.  I’ve also never said, “Shut the f*** up” to anyone… oh, well, there were those mere 102 times but that hardly counts and I’ve never said it to my yoga students.  I’ve never even thought about saying that my yoga students.  Yet, I recently came across an article where a yoga teacher goes on to say, from what I could understand of it, that she sometimes feels like telling her students to: STFU and that she has actually snapped at her students.  Seriously?  I get that we all have ‘limits’, however, my yoga classes are not places where I decide to unleash fury.  Wearing a tank top, yoga pants, and a red angry face don’t really say “yoga” or “om” to me and I’m not sure if my students would have cowered or laughed (I’m thinking the latter).  I like to torture them in other ways like, “ok my yogis and yoginis!  we are going to hold this pose for-EVER”.  This would give me a giggle and give them the chance to unleash their own fury in my general direction.  It’s all good, I can handle it. What became my biggest obstacle with teaching yoga and I haven’t really shared this with everyone… so I might as well share it with EVERYONE, is that I had a hard time finding a ‘place’ for myself.  I would see the other yoga teachers completely high on their om’s and talking as if not a single hateful thought had ever breached the bright light of their 3rd eye.  I would secretly wonder if they went home to kick their dogs. I would show up nearly every morning, shaking, white knuckled over some asshole who’d pulled out in front of me (since I obviously OWN the entire highway) while I was driving recklessly to get to class.  As if!  Imagining that suddenly my car was a tank and I could somehow run this person over for having committed the horrible crime of interrupting my  need for speed.  Breathe.  (I actually own 3 shirts that say, well, they don’t actually speak, t-shirts don’t talk, but ‘read’ “breathe”).   Yet, I watched in awe and listened to my own yoga teachers and their very zen like qualities of speech… how graceful they moved and how almost ‘angelic’ they seemed and it all just made me want to punch a pillow. I’ve bought books on ‘how to be a better yoga teacher’, how to find your inner ‘om’, how to balance your chakras, Buddhism, Buddha, Mudras, Peace, Peace and Love, Peace and Light, Ashtanga Yoga, Yin and Yang yoga (just about any kind of yoga style you can imagine).  I became Reiki certified, although, it still seems odd to me that  I could be “certified” in something so important that could be attained in one afternoon.  This is perhaps where I struggled with my yoga teaching the most.  Teaching yoga seemed like this amazing gift that I could give to others.  I am not a ‘yoga expert’, I can’t bend myself into a pretzel even though I am flexible (depending on the day), and I love each and every one of my students…. With the exception of the one lady who decided to protest my class (in the middle of it) by standing at her mat, arms crossed, glaring at me (I might not love you too much, lady), but, I also didn’t become angry with her.  In fact, what I found to be interesting was this strange ‘pull for power’ that I felt in the immediate students around her.  It was almost as if they weren’t sure what to do and kept looking back and forth between us trying to decide who to follow.  There are some things that I feel fiercely about… making someone participate in class is not one of them.  Plus, she took my class again about 6 months later and came up and told me that it was the best class she’d ever had.  Victory! Yoga teachers are, I don’t want to say ‘required’, but, you definitely sense that you are held to a much, much higher standard than others.  There are rules to follow (being a vegetarian one of them, although, not everyone follows this) and I was constantly beating myself up for eating chicken…. which is practically vegetarian if it only consumes seeds in its lifetime, right??, for feeling the need to play some kind of get-from-my-house-to-yoga-class-faster-than-the-last-time game, for just not attaining some brighter ‘light’.  But the truth is – I’m not really comfortable in the “all Zen” area.  I tend to embrace the Warrior side of yoga a bit more enthusiastically.  Is this a bad thing?  hell no… and if you care to argue with me then I’ve got 4 letters for you “STFU”.  You can make fun of me later for actually saying the letters as opposed to the words (I really don’t like to swear at people) and then, maybe afterwards we can rub our 3rd eyes together and practice our “Oms”.  😀

Who Are You?

06/02/2012

I sometimes wonder if this is what those forms that say, “Tell Us About Yourself” really want to know.  I have a wide variety of standard answers that would fit into the little box that they offer, however, I find myself stating the usual (safe) suspects of, “dependable, honest, trustworthy…” when, in fact, what I would really like to say is: I would love to ride a dragon. I often fantasize about being a Samurai (and fighting in a battle where I win).  That I never quit and I rarely yield. That I believe Laughter is a cure for almost anything. That I want to be fearless and fierce every day of my life.  I want to lead.  I’d declare that I place the most value on my happiness… and on true love.  I want to inspire and be inspired.  I’d write how I too struggle with my own identity and insecurities.  I’d say how I try very hard to follow the Buddhist way of not holding onto things but it’s something I have to remind myself of frequently.  I exercise mindfulness and although I teach yoga and love to teach…. I often don’t make time for my own practice.  I’d add I believe that brilliant things can be learned in silence.  And, I’d end by saying, that a long time ago…. I was my own hero and that knowledge makes me fearless and fierce (almost everyday of my life).

There is no amount of space in a box that could possibly contain “Who I am”.  It changes every day.  But the one thing that never changes is that I always hope and strive to be the very best version of myself.

So, that’s me…. at least me right now 😉

Who Are You?

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The Accidental Run

02/27/2012

I wasn’t always a runner.  I was on the track team in grade school but spent a lot of my time tying my shoes.  I hate to admit that I really hate to run except when I’m actually doing it and then I love it.

As a child, running was something I did naturally and was quite fast.  I could run barefoot and out run most anyone that I knew.  I wanted to be on the Olympic team and race around the track barefoot just like Zola Budd.  As with most things in my life, I excel at them easily until it becomes something I must do and then it becomes a chore and generally something I will begin to loathe.  And, so began my love and love to hate relationship with running.

I grew up in an area known as BFE.  There were a lot of cornfields and dirt roads and running in almost any direction would certainly get you chased by a dog (or 5).  We had two kinds of dogs where I grew up:  mean and meaner.  The farmer’s dog up the road was a huge, mangy looking Cujo, only he was lightening fast.  He may not have been that fast it may have simply been that as soon as he jumped from the bushes my shoes would turn to lead and although I could look down and see my legs working harder than any cartoon, I would swear they were going in reverse. He wasn’t the scariest dog…. just the biggest.  Nooo… the scariest dog in our neighborhood lived on the other side of the lake.  I preferred running in that direction because the road would open up towards the railroad tracks and a larger road, whereas, heading in the direction of scary, mange dog led me deeper into the country and in my mind, possibly more dogs where they could eat me for dinner and no one would ever hear my screams.  Have I mentioned that I had an over-active imagination?  The scariest dog in the neighborhood was named ‘Brownie’ or ‘Chocolate’ or maybe it was ‘Tiramisu’ I can’t remember although I’d scream it enough as I ran away in terror.  It seemed like all dogs at that time had names of desserts.  We had a Shar-Pei named Mai Ren which is not any kind of dessert as far as I know.  For fun, we will call that little bi… ahem, that dog, my favorite dessert Key Lime Pie.  One of two things would happen when you were running by Key Lime Pie’s house.  Either Key Lime Pie was already waiting by the road (if this happened, it was best just to turn around promptly and take another route) or Key Lime Pie was up near the house and wouldn’t have time to get to your ankles… oh?  didn’t I mention that the scariest dog on the PLANET is a cocker spaniel?  no?  stop laughing, she was really very scary!  and she had spittle!!  All of the scariest dogs (like Cujo) have spittle that flies through the air and crazy eyes.  Key Lime Pie definitely had spittle and crazy eyes.  I used to wish she’d trip on those long ears but she never did.

Eventually, I moved away from there and was able to live on my own in a place that did not have any scary dogs.  I went to college and joined the track team.  I continued to run (off and on) for the next few years, running alone, running in the rain, running in the cold until my legs itched so bad I couldn’t stand it.  I ran while pushing my son in the baby jogger (which was ok until he turned 9 and then he was just way too heavy…whew).

When I was thirty something I got tired of running and decided that utilizing the equipment at the gym was much more fun since I could read my book AND burn calories.  Sure I would sometimes give running a try but something happens to the body when you haven’t run in awhile.  It’s almost like parts of your body have solidified and your legs find running about as natural as wrapping around behind the head (but at least you could sit down to attempt this).  It was during this time that my dear dear friend who found much glee in torturing me (she was also my personal trainer) asked me to run a 5k with her.  I’d never run a 5k and 3.2 miles certainly didn’t seem like very far so I agreed.

I was so excited about the run that I was the very first one there. You think I’m joking… I’m not.  It was still dark out and freezing.  I called Kara to find out if she was on her way…. she was still sleeping.

I knew I only had a limited amount of time to run the race because I had to teach a yoga class across town immediately after.  I was ready to go at the start and we took off.  I was running so fast and it felt like I might die.  Trying to keep up with Kara proved to be harder than I thought and I took a slower pace and told her to go on and I’d catch her on the way back.  I settled into my pace and kept a look out for Kara.  It seemed as though a lot of time was passing and I still hadn’t seen Kara.  I did see a number of people coming back around and knew that I must be close to the “end”.  I wasn’t.  In fact, I ended up running my first 10k that day.  How might one go to a race to run a 5k and end up running a 10k?  Well, you see, you would have to miss this GIANT white billboard that says “5K TURN AROUND”.  I think if it had maybe said, “yes, you!!” that I might have realized it was for me.  But I didn’t and so I ran on and on and on until I got to the turn around point for the 10k (by that time, I was just thrilled to be turning around).  Stopping wasn’t an option because I had to teach my class.  As I was running back towards the finish line (the last 3.2 of my 10k) I was considering how one misses a turn around sign when an 80 year old man with an oxygen tank passed me.  He was in fantastic shape… like ‘Iron Man’ shape (this is what I have told myself since that day so please do not question my little piece of fiction).

After that day, I couldn’t deny to myself that when I pushed myself that I could do it.  Whatever “it” was, I knew I had it inside myself to succeed and that felt really great.  Who cares if a few old people with oxygen tanks pass me up…. sheesh!  There are worse things… like Key Lime Pie. 😉

Not.  Just put the chocolate milk down and step away slowly….

What IS our obsession with dairy products??  Ok, well, maybe it’s MY obsession with them but sadly, my love affair has come to an abrupt end.  How will the dairy companies survive without me??  (*sob… I miss you yogurt).

My love of all things dairy started as a child and kraft cheese slices.  I’m not entirely sure that these are actually cheese, but, they were yummy and I would eat them one after another.  When I was little we were unaware of the sad things that companies were doing to manufacture their foods so therefore, we were blissfully unaware of the dangers of bologna (!!) and Lucky Charms (omg!!) and if we didn’t have butter with every mean (and lots of it) then, surely there was cream of mushroom soup (on something).

As I got older, I started researching all things nutrition and became an advocate for my own health.  One of the foods that I’ve always felt safe eating is:  Dairy.  And dairy may be a healthy option for a lot of people… but it isn’t for me or my family and I’ll tell you how I figured this out.

Recently, I’d been noticing that on my neck and jaw line I was getting cystic acne.  Painful (painful!) cystic acne that would cover one 1/2 of my neck, close to my jaw line.  It was impossible to cover with make up or treat.  After trying all kinds of acne treatments, mostly all natural as I don’t care much for prescriptions, I was at a loss and went to the dermatologist.  The dermatologist gave me a prescription and sent me on my way.  She, in fact, gave me 2 prescriptions because she felt that maybe my hormones were out of whack and needed some help.  The trouble with that is the prescription she gave me could cause kidney failure.  Nice.  Cystic acne OR kidney failure…. trust me as obvious as that answer should be… kidney failure wasn’t looking like such a big risk.  I decided that as tempting as it was to rid myself of this problem with one pill I would take a couple of weeks to research cystic acne and another solution before taking any internal meds.

I’d begun to notice a correlation between the dairy I was eating (large amounts of organic yogurt) and acne.  I should mention here that I tend to find a food I like and then eat LOADS of it… ok, live off of it, but, yogurt is healthy right??  Ummm… that is debatable.

I decided to cut all dairy out of my diet while I was still researching and noticed that my acne cleared up almost immediately.  It was such a noticeable improvement that I felt there had to be something to it.  I found an article about dairy and cystic acne that suggested the hormones in dairy products could cause issues in our own bodies.  Funnily, I had thought by avoiding dairy products that were not organic, substituting goat cheese for a few cheeses, and avoiding dairy products that contained rBGH that I would not be at risk for some of the side affects associated with these.  However, the article, I read made an excellent point and that is… that ALL animals contain hormones.  So whether you are eating sheep, goat, or cow, you are still ingesting hormones (organic or otherwise).  It also touched on the fact that humans are the only animals that continue to drink milk after infancy (my adult cat would like to add that he rejects this comment vehemently).

I still do, occasionally, have dairy, although I try very hard to avoid it. Another symptom of dairy that I could find (or maybe this was too much dairy) is inflammation.  Dairy can also make the body ‘acidic’ which I am learning more about.  My own body happens to be soooo acidic that I have the magical ability to turn white gold… yellow.  Therefore, I can wear nothing but platinum.  Feel free to use this excuse yourself 😉 lol

So, if you are experiencing acne or hormonal issues, even inflammation of the joints…. of course, check with your doctor first (always check with your doctor) but you might want to consider removing dairy products from your diet if your only other option is a drug that might cause kidney failure (or other unpredictable symptom).

Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor of any kind (not spin, witch, or of the “Who” variety) 😉

When I was little(r), there were three things that I wanted to be when I grew up, well, 4 if you count ‘brain surgeon’ but that was only because Doug P.  said he wanted to be one and it sounded really cool.  I mean operating on brains to a 5th grader sounds extremely awesome (ok, well, I was a little odd… ).  Besides the ‘brain surgeon’ there was, 1) a Pirate or Detective (these 2 were interchangeable in my mind), 2) a smurf or,  3) a vet.  There was certainly a lacking in pirate occupations, at that time, but it did have the possibility of being a lucrative position, the dress code was cool (minus the peg leg), and I would never have to brush my teeth! Perfect!  However, I was informed, by my mother, that this wasn’t something they offered at college.  College is like this ‘holy grail’ we hold over our children… get straight ‘As’ and you can go to….. COLLEGE.  Yeah, what they neglect to tell you is that you will continue to do basically the same thing you’ve been doing (and hating) for the past 17 years.  Plus, they don’t tell you that even if you do a half-assed job of it… you can still go to college.  However, do not tell this to my own children as I’m following in my mother’s footsteps and using the “holy grail” script (although, I myself did not finish college and am doing just fine). “But you could be doing better…” she would say.

My mother.  Mother.  Does not like me to speak about her in any way or fashion, so after you read this you will need to delete this blog post from your memory or… ummm… I don’t know… aliens will probe your bum.  Hmm… seriously, why in the world, would an alien probe the ‘bum’ area, sorry, “anal probing” is the correct term, I believe.  Why would they go to that particular orifice?  And, have you seen their fingers?  3 long… barely functioning fingers (according to some movie directors).  I hardly believe they can do much with those.  Perhaps they are trying to light us up (from the bum) like a light-bulb… or, maybe a firefly!  Fireflies are pretty.  Who knows… in either case, do not speak of this blog to my mother or bum probing might be the least of your worries, it will definitely be the least of mine.

I have always loved animals.  Always. Always.  And, almost equally always been terrified of them.  Cats… yikes, very scary with their long claws and their sneaky way of acting like they love it when you rub their belly just so they can latch on to your hand with those dagger-like claws and then bite you.  Yeah, those animals are very scary.  But, if I was a vet, I was positive, I would suddenly possess the power of someone like ‘the dog whisperer’ and all animals would love me.  Ok, yeah, you are correct, in my mind it was more like Cinderella or Snow White, but, either way, I was sure animals would love me.  Now dogs, were equally terrifying to me with their big teeth.  Our neighbor had Dobermans and they would chase us and eat the bunnies in our yard (no amount of resuscitation would bring them back).  We had a number of dogs growing up, my least favorite, was Max.  My parents had gone to get a dog from this breeder of some fluffy kind of dog and realized they couldn’t afford the puppies, but, were then introduced to this reject dog that they couldn’t give away.  Sold!  Max, I’m fairly certain had some impairment.  Whatever he shouldn’t be doing… he did.  He would run into traffic and he would also only poop a little so he could then run around and smear it on anything and everything.  I never knew what to do with Max, but, at least he never bit me… so maybe that makes him my favorite.  Anyway.  Rabbits were surely different creatures from cats and dogs… umm… no.  I got a rabbit as a gift when I was in highschool.  His name was ‘Foopy’ and he was the meanest rabbit I’ve ever seen.  He would chase me and bite my legs and feet and bark at me… I didn’t even know something so cute and fluffy could act so evil.  Birds…. no they peck at you.  Fish… does anyone actually bring a fish to the vet??  More like a ceremonious trip down the mouth of the porcelain god.

My mother would mention my fear of animals to give me pause when considering a career choice, at the old age of 10.  But then, she threw me a lifeline!  Some vets only work on farm animals and visit them at their homes!  Oh yes!! I could definitely do that!!  However…. horses are awfully big with big snuffly nostrils and, yep, big teeth.  Cows… they looked slow but I was certain that they were hiding behind some kind of rouse.  Geese?  nope, been chased and bit by one of them too and that (expletive) hurts! I’d also made the terrible mistake, around this very same time, of watching “Wild Kingdom”.  We only got 3 channels where I lived and that show was on Sundays, after the Disney movie, and really the highlight of my television viewing.  That nights episode was about the savannah.  It showed lions laying around, as usual, while their women did all the work.  It showed some antelope and then, zebras.  It wasn’t just any episode about zebras…. it was about mating zebras.  Here is where my desire to become a vet died suddenly and thoroughly (even though I knew a zebra would never come to the office).  I sat there… feeling as if I was watching a porn movie.  The male zebras… ahem… private part was so large that it nearly touched the ground…. many many (MANY) years later, I still cannot erase that memory from my brain.  So, at that moment in my life (of 10 years) I decided to become a nun because I was pretty positive that being a smurf wasn’t an option.

*Being a nun didn’t really work out either…. I look terrible in black.

**I should add that I did overcome my fear of dogs and cats… as I now have a zoo for a family.  Dogs, cat, tortoise, frogs… and a partridge in a pear tree.