It’s Thanksgiving week and I am officially overwhelmed. Not only am I still fighting my usual chronic health problems (I need to call two of my doctors tomorrow for some follow-up information), but I also have a lot of other things on my plate right now. I haven’t written about most of them yet (not being secretive, just waiting for the dust to settle), but they have been dominating my time nonetheless. And of course the holidays are front and center right now which doesn’t make anyone’s life any simpler. First of all, there’s Thanksgiving on Thursday. I am running a combination 10K/5K turkey trot in Dana Point that morning, and then heading to dinner at my best friend’s house in Pasadena in the afternoon. In order to make the food preparation a little less stressful I whipped up my homemade cranberry sauce last night. Two batches even – one with diced apple and pear, and one without (to cover everyone’s dietary requirements). I also signed up to make a couple of desserts so those have to get done by Thursday afternoon. ‘Tis the season for time-consuming holiday obligations! And that’s nothing compared to the rest of the year. I swear time speeds up starting on October 1st and the next three months pass in the blink of an eye. As much as I love it, this time of year is very difficult. The shopping, the parties, the decorating, the eating, the travel, etc. Even with most of those activities being thoroughly enjoyable, it all piles up. And I’m already fighting exhaustion 24/7! So in an effort to minimize the drains on my already dwindling energy reserves, I am taking a break from blogging until January. Since I still have quite a few subjects that I want to write about I will continue to craft posts whenever I find the time and inspiration, but I don’t plan to publish anything until 2019. Hopefully this respite will make the last six weeks of 2018 a little bit easier. So here’s wishing all of my readers a lovely Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. Let’s make the rest of this year the best it can be!
Life has been getting harder lately with my not yet fully explained medical problems. I sleep an unbelievable number of hours, which means that I miss a lot of work, and I hate it. My boss and my co-workers have been very understanding, but that doesn’t make me feel any better for not living up to my own professional expectations. It makes me feel lazy and helpless, but trying to force my body to do things it doesn’t want to do hasn’t been at all successful. It’s so frustrating. I feel like I should be able to snap out of it and make myself feel normal again, but of course that’s ridiculous. Something is physically wrong with me (maybe several somethings) and I have to find the solutions before there will be any improvement. In addition to missing work, I haven’t been able to take part in too many enjoyable things in my free time either. In a previous post I mentioned cancelling my recent Disney World trip, but that’s not the extent of the losses I’ve suffered. I also decided that I wasn’t anywhere near healthy enough to go to Las Vegas this weekend with my girlfriends for the Rock N Roll half marathon. On top of all that, I cancelled a business trip to Florida next week that I was really looking forward to. As I’ve said before, I know this situation is temporary, but that doesn’t make it any less miserable.
As far as my search for answers goes, there have been a few developments since I last wrote about my health. On Wednesday I decided I needed to see my GP about the possibility that my antidepressant is at least partially responsible for my overwhelming exhaustion. There is an outside chance since one of the potential side effects of Lexapro is drowsiness. I was fortunate to get an appointment to see a nurse practitioner that same day, but the outcome wasn’t at all what I expected. The nurse decided not to change my medication, at least not yet, but he ordered some additional blood work to test for autoimmune diseases instead. Even if progress is slow, I was very grateful to see a medical professional who was concerned enough about my well being to go down a completely different path of investigation and not just throw more drugs at my symptoms. I had to have four vials of blood drawn, though, and it was more of an ordeal than usual. The technician had to tap both of my arms to get enough blood for the tests. I very nearly passed out when he was done! That’s not all I did this week either. I also completed my second sleep study last night. Overall it was much more pleasant experience than the first one (better facility, better room, slightly better night’s sleep), but still not an activity I’d like to repeat. (Although I’m sure I’ll have to before this is all over.) Hopefully this one night’s discomfort will provide my neurologist with enough information to take the next step in my journey to a diagnosis. I have an appointment with him after Thanksgiving to go over the results. Maybe the blood work by my GP will provide some insight as well. I should find out this week. I’ll let you know the outcome of this waiting game when they are available.
“I find it poor logic to say that because women are good, women should vote. Men do not vote because they are good; they vote because they are male, and women should vote, not because we are angels and men are animals, but because we are human beings and citizens of this country.”
-Jo March, Little Women (1994 film)
I wasn’t surprised to find out that my least favorite blogger is against a woman’s right to vote, but that didn’t keep me from feeling disappointed by it. Even though it’s been nearly 100 years since the 19th Amendment was ratified, there are still people in the United States that think those of the female persuasion should not cast ballots of their own. I suppose that’s not a huge surprise given the diverse society we live in, but you almost never hear those folks expressing their wildly outdated opinions anywhere that the general public can hear them. Kind of like racism in the days before our current disgrace of a president. We all knew racists existed before he came on the political scene, but they were keeping their mouths shut to avoid derision. It’s sad how times have changed and empowered racists in the last few years. But I digress. Actually, the digression isn’t as off-topic as I would like. Around the 2016 election there was a scary and disheartening hashtag permeating social media – #RepealThe19th. Men (and maybe women too) who recognized that Trump would be elected president by a landslide if only males voted figured that one way to achieve their desired outcome was to float the idea of rescinding women’s suffrage. Pretty despicable by 21st century standards, but Trump tends to bring out the worst in people. Speaking of which, here’s what my least favorite blogger had to say about women voting a week before the 2018 midterm election.
“What are my thoughts on women voting? I have been asked this frequently. I am not a fan at all. Women overwhelmingly vote Democrat. They vote for big government to take care of them which means higher taxes and more laws and regulations which means less freedoms. They vote for free health care and abortions. They vote for leftist policies which are highly destructive to the family and culture.”
-My least favorite blogger, 10/29/18
So her initial gripe is that women vote Democratic, as if it’s a sin to disagree with her personal beliefs. Heaven forbid that we use the brains that God gave us and come to our own conclusions! Turns out my least favorite blogger does indeed vote, but only the way her husband tells her to. Thinking for yourself is just too much of a destructive feminist principle, I guess. Believe it or not, I don’t need a man to tell me my own mind, thank you very much. Even when I was married I didn’t consult my husband before heading to my polling place. We might not have had the greatest relationship, but he did trust me to make my own decisions in that area! Another one of this lady’s objections to women’s suffrage is that females vote for “free health care and abortions.” This is both an oversimplification and a gross inaccuracy at the same time. I don’t know anyone who believes that there is such a thing as “free” healthcare. We’re not stupid; of course we know that our taxes pay for anything subsidized by the government. What we’re striving for is more affordable coverage for everyone, especially for those who aren’t lucky enough to be covered through their employer or privileged enough to pay for it out of their own pockets. And although Jesus would most definitely be a proponent of caring for the sick and the poor, somehow my least favorite blogger disagrees with attempts to actually do so. And while we’re at it, let me say one last thing – absolutely no one is pro-abortion! Instead we Democrats are pro-choice, meaning that a woman should always have the safe and legal option of ending a pregnancy if that is her decision. Abortions are never taken lightly, even if opponents insist that they are, and often terminating a pregnancy is the hardest, most gut-wrenching decision a woman or a couple will ever make. Taking that option away would be a step backwards for this country. Bodily autonomy is something that males have enjoyed since the beginning of human history, but it is something females are still trying to achieve for themselves. We have come a long way, but there are still inequalities that need to be reconciled. This is one of the reasons I vote!
In conclusion, the United States government was founded with the concept of the separation of church and state, and women were granted the right to vote via the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920. If someone wishes to abstain from voting for any reason (religious or otherwise), that is their choice. However, no one has the power to enforce their beliefs in a manner that prevents me from casting my ballot and voting for any candidate I want. As an American woman who wants to have a say in the governing of my country I mailed in my ballot for the 2018 midterm election back in October. I did my civic duty and made my voice heard. What a concept!
“If rape becomes legal under my proposal, a girl will protect her body in the same manner that she protects her purse and smartphone. If rape becomes legal, a girl will not enter an impaired state of mind where she can’t resist being dragged off to a bedroom with a man who she is unsure of — she’ll scream, yell, or kick at his attempt while bystanders are still around. If rape becomes legal, she will never be unchaperoned with a man she doesn’t want to sleep with. After several months of advertising this law throughout the land, rape would be virtually eliminated on the first day it is applied.”
-Roosh V, “How to Stop Rape”
Back in 2015 the man who wrote this (who makes a living telling men how to pick up and have sex with women all over the world, by the way) proposed making rape legal in private property. So if a man takes advantage of a woman in his own house or in hers there would be no repercussions. (Or vice versa. I acknowledge that there are women who rape men as well.) First of all, have you ever read something so disgusting? I could devote an entire post to describing how much I despise this jerk for writing such a sexist, misogynistic, backwards “article” dripping with male privilege, but instead I want to make one particular point. The major fallacy in this dude’s hypothesis is that rape happens because women aren’t vigilant enough. Obviously he’s not female or he’d know that his underlying premise couldn’t be more wrong. Women already go to unbelievable lengths to safeguard our bodies and our property. Let me tell you a story about what happened to me this spring, which I briefly mentioned a couple of weeks ago.
On my way home from boot camp I stopped by the grocery store. It was about 9 PM so it was dark, and there were very few cars in the parking lot that late. Seal Beach is a sleepy little town at heart so things get quiet early around here. After I made my purchases I walked out of the store to head back to my car. I looked both ways as I went outside and I immediately noticed that there was a man standing to the right of the door. This fact by itself wasn’t cause for alarm, but then out of the corner of my eye I saw that he started following me. I recognized the possible danger right away because women have learned to observe our public surroundings in order to ensure our safety. That’s why I wasn’t oblivious of the risk I was facing simply walking 50 feet to my car. I increased my pace and got to my car as quickly as I could, climbed inside (unceremoniously tossing my bag of groceries onto the passenger seat), and locked the doors. My heart was racing. My potential assailant walked around the car to stand right next to my driver’s side window and wave at me. He was obviously targeting me or else he would have just kept walking. In all likelihood he was simply a homeless man wanting a handout, but after scaring the crap out of me I didn’t give him the chance to ask. I reversed my little SUV out of its parking space like I was in “The Fast and the Furious” and got the hell out of there. It was a terrifying situation, but luckily I didn’t experience any negative consequences. Other women in similar situations are not so lucky.
I don’t know how I could have possibly been any more vigilant. Not to mention how ridiculous it is to place all of the responsibility on my shoulders in this scenario. As I read in this article on Odyssey, “And, why is it the woman’s job to constantly be on high alert? Why can there be no push for rape to stop, so that she can live without fear?” Bingo. That’s the objective of the #metoo movement. To shift the blame from the victims to the perpetrators, where it rightly belongs, so that women feel safe to come forward and make reports when they are attacked. That’s the direction our society needs to go in order to achieve true gender equality. It’s sad, but we still haven’t achieved a culture where males are consistently held accountable for their despicable actions towards females. If a woman is sexually harassed or raped by a man he should be punished for the act, and the victim shouldn’t have her life ruined for coming forward and telling authorities. However, Roosh V is advocating taking our country in the wrong direction – back towards the end of the spectrum where a man can do no wrong. We cannot allow this to happen. Listen to women when they tell their personal stories, believe women when they say they have been victimized, and don’t let their claims get be swept under the rug!
How is it November already? It really snuck up on me this year. October was pretty much a blur, and then Halloween was over in the blink of an eye. Needless to say, I will not even be attempting NaBloPoMo in 2018. I completely forgot about my annual 30-day webpage update challenge until yesterday, honestly, and by then it was already the second day of November. Far too late to post anything legitimate for the 1st. So the pressure to flood the internet with any and all of my innermost thoughts for a month is off the table this year. That’s a relief! There are far too many other, more significant things to worry about. 2018 has been quite a mess so far and I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. Mostly my health because my body is trying to drive me insane. Luckily it doesn’t seem to be killing me with cancer or some other degenerative disease (at least not that I’m aware of), but I’m still having a rough time. I’m simply not sleeping properly and it’s negatively affecting every facet of my life. In an effort to fix that, I have a second sleep study scheduled for next week so hopefully at least some answers will be forthcoming. At an appointment last week my neurologist said that he didn’t want to just throw more medications at the problem until he has more data. He wants the sleep study to check for “everything,” whatever that means. I’m sure that the bottom line is that I will have another thoroughly miserable experience, but I’ll happily endure it if that means getting one step closer to normality. Not only have I not gotten a good night’s sleep in maybe years, but there have been more tangible losses as well. I’ve missed out on more things than I can count. For example, on Tuesday when I woke up in the early hours of the afternoon I panicked. I had missed yet another day of work due to my unknown medical issues and, in addition, I was literally sleeping away the precious hours before a couple of rapidly approaching events. First of all, Halloween was less than 24 hours away and I had done very little to prepare for the annual chili cook-off at work. It’s one of my favorite days of the year and I hadn’t even made my own chili yet. But that was minor in comparison to what was coming next. I was supposed to fly to Orlando on Thursday for the Wine & Dine half marathon weekend, but how could I possibly justify that? I’ve missed way too much work already, my sleep pattern has been erratic at best, and my life in general has just been too chaotic recently. I couldn’t perceive any scenario where going on vacation, even to Walt Disney World, was a good idea right now. So I made the hard decision to cancel the trip I’d been looking forward to all year. I’m disappointed to not be there this weekend enjoying myself, but I’m actually feeling much more relaxed here at home where I can rest and catch up on what I’ve been missing. Nothing is 2018 has been easy so far, but I’m hopeful that better days are on the horizon.