Thursday, November 18, 2010

Health - Part II

For me, cutting out gluten caused a total turn-around in the direction my health was going.  But, there must be more.

Which brings me to healthy eating.

Healthy eating is a pain when you are gluten intolerant.  All of those standard quick and easy meals that I could through together in my sleep are a thing of the past.  I'm still figuring out what and how to prepare food for my family.  The difficulty is compounded by the fact that some of my children have food allergies.  Sadly, several ingredients that are commons substitutes for wheat are foods that a child is allergic to.

I have figured out a few tricks to help, though.  I've found an excellent gluten-free pasta that we can all eat, and I have succumbed to frozen gluten-free meals.  They are expensive, and some of them taste terrible.  But on those days when it's an hour past lunch time and I can't decide what (or if) I can eat, a frozen meal gets food in my tummy.  The good thing about frozen gluten-free meals is that they are made by companies who care about health.  They are usually low in fat and sodium and are often made with organic ingredients.  If it tastes too awful, I just dump on some shredded cheese to get the ol' fat & salt content up!

Another thing I have found that seems to really help my happiness and health is to take vitamins.

Good old Vitamin D is the one that the body makes when exposed to the sun.  I have fair skin and I'm not very fond of the sun, so my chances of making a lot are pretty small.  I've started taking Vitamin D and find that it has a tremendous affect on my emotional well-being.

I'd suggest that you toddle on down to the local purveyor of vitamins and get some for yourself.

I am not a physician, nor do I play one on TV.  Take all medical advice with a grain of research and speak to your doctor before making substantial changes in your health regime.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Health - Part I

Every. Single. Happiness book I've picked up, says that the road to happiness is paved with healthy choices.

Exercise.  Sleep.  
Healthy eating habits.

But, I don't wanna exercise!!!  I don't like to sweat!!!

Okay.  I got that out of my system.  In recent years, a lot of my unhappiness has stemmed from poor health.  I had painful joints, painful muscles, and was exhausted.  Due to lack of sleep, I felt stupid waaaay too much of the time.  At first I attributed it to peri-menopause.  When I realized that I was falling asleep at red lights, and that my oldest daughter was living in terror that I was dying of cancer, I knew it was time to get some answers.

I went to my doctor.  He ran lots of tests and sent me for a sleep study.  I was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea and told to sleep on my side.  That helped a lot.  Later, after additional review of my sleep study, he said that I have restless leg syndrome and gave me medication for it.  I also was diagnosed with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, mild Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and depression.  My doctor checked me for Fibromyalgia, but didn't think I had enough symptoms for a diagnosis.  My gyno put me on low level hormone replacement because my levels were dropping.

I was taking lots of medications and feeling somewhat better, but I certainly didn't feel healthy.  As my marriage spiraled deeper and deeper into the pit, my depression worsened and symptoms of all of the above increased.  I went back to my doctor and he put me on a SECOND anti-depressant.

That second AD was what I needed more than anything.  It gave me emotional energy to look at my marriage realistically and see that it was over.

Even though I was happy to be ending a really bad marriage, many of my symptoms of poor health remained.  I realized that I was having tremendous muscle pain and knew that there had to be something more than just arthritis.

I kept researching the possibilities.  Over the past several years, a few of my friends have being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, which is an inability to digest gluten.  (Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye.)  On a whim, I decided to try going gluten free for a while to see if I felt any better.  Within just a few days, I felt like a new person.

That was about nine months ago.

I don't have an official diagnosis of Celiac Disease and probably never will.  With current testing protocols I'd have to go back on gluten for a several months before I could even be tested.  It's not worth it.  My doctor agrees and told me to stay on the GF diet.

The best thing about gluten intolerance/Celiac Disease is that the "cure" is to simply stop eating what's making you sick.  There's no drugs to take, no surgery to endure.  Stop the poison and you feel great.

The first step on my Happiness Project was identifying and treating my major health problem.  It's done and I'm much happier!

Unfortunately, to continue on the path to good health, I need to do more than just stop eating the bad stuff.  Coming soon:  More on health.

Monday, November 15, 2010


It's time for me to start focusing on my happiness project.  I'm not sure where I'll go in my search for happiness.  I feel like I'm standing at the door, but I'm not quite ready to open it.

What is happiness?

How will I find it?

Will I find it?

These are the kinds of questions I'm asking myself as I try to figure out the future.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


The legal mess that is my divorce is in a state of kerflooey-ness.

I have wisely chosen to go into full-on midlife crisis and denial, and left my teens and young adults home to fend for themselves for 24 hours so I could go to lunch in another city with my middle-aged girlfriends.  I had a marvelous time!

We ate burgers and gourmet popsicles and talked.  And talked.  And talked.

Then I came home and promptly dropped my contact lens down the bathroom sink.  Oopsy.  I wear disposables and that was the last one for that eye.  I was overdue an eye exam anyway, so I'll be toddling off to the ophthalmologist as soon as I can get an appointment.

In the meantime, I think I'm going to look for my bifocals.  I know they're around here somewhere.
(Today I sound a bit like my dear friend Nota Supermom.  You can find her blog listed over there in my favorite blog list.)

Since I don't have much to write about today, I'll leave you with the link to The 50s Housewife Experiment.  It's a blog written by Jen (not Jenn).  She spent two weeks following advice written to new brides from books and magazines of the 50s and wrote about the experience.

My mother-in-law was a new bride in the 1950s and that was her life.  I suspect that she was a perfect 50s housewife.  While there are many good things about that lifestyle, it doesn't work when the husband is abusive.  This is also the life that my soon-to-be-ex-husband wanted and expected to have when we got married.  Minus the weird jello molds.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Out of touch with reality

I’ve been there.  Have you? 

Have you ever tried desperately to convince yourself that life was just fine because if it wasn’t, then you were going to have to make some major decisions? 

Even worse, have you ever been the victim of someone else’s delusions? 

Here’s the kind of thing I’m talking about.

Several years ago my family walked into church one Sunday morning.  Our pastor gave a wonderful sermon about the relationship between husbands and wives. 

In both Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 we are told that wives are to submit to their husbands, and that husbands are to love their wives.  The point that the pastor was trying to make, was that husbands are to love their wives just as Christ loves the church.  He said that he has never seen a wife have a hard time submitting to her husband when he loves her with a sacrificial love—the same kind of love that Christ has for His church. 

I wondered how my husband would handle this message.  I hoped that he would take it to heart and begin showing at least a little bit of love towards me. 

Instead, his response to this message was that since the command to the wife to submit comes first, he wasn’t going to have to love me until he was satisfied with my level of obedience.  I was shocked.  The children who heard his comments were aghast. 

My husband wanted so much to hear reasons that justified his bad behavior that he honestly didn’t “get it” when the pastor called him to love his wife. 

He was out of touch with reality.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Very bad day


I've had some bad news.  There are some not-very-nice things going on with my divorce.

In the meantime, I am stopping NaNoWriMo.  I cannot concentrate on writing with all these problems swirling through my brain.

I hope I'll have something better & more interesting to post tomorrow.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sex, Lies, and Videotape

Well, not videotape.

Since the title of this blog is "The Chaste Divorcee" I knew I was going to have to address sex at some point, and here I am.

Last night I had a dream about sex.  In my dream, my soon-to-be-ex-husband and I were still together.  We had apparently bought a different house from the one we lived in as a married couple and he wanted to have sex.

There was the beginning of some hanky panky, and I was trying to get him to move to a room with appropriate privacy.  I said something about the neighbors. Then I looked out the window and realized that the houses I could see were unoccupied and the walls had holes.  I looked more and saw that all the houses surrounding our nice new house were damaged and falling apart.  Then, like all dreams, the scene changed and I went on to something new.  The new dream was about music.

Now I could get all philosophical and say that the broken houses represent my broken dreams.  Maybe they do.  But, I think that the most important thing to remember here is that I went on to something new.  Yes, I dreamed about sex, but I'm not going to dwell on it.  Sex isn't happening.

I know there are people who would encourage the woman who has no opportunity for sex, to try masturbation.  I don't agree.  In my marriage, I found that the more often I had sex, the more I wanted it.  If we went through a dry spell or my husband was gone away on business for too long, it took a while to rev those engines back up.

In my marriage, the sex was pretty good and we had sex right up until I asked stbxh to leave.  The sex wasn't worth the lies.  He lied about his faith (or lack thereof) in God.  He lied about his feelings about The Other Woman.  He lies to me and about me regularly.

I'd rather have no sex and no lies.

Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind.  
          ~Austin O'Malley

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Be yourself

Recently, a friend from a discussion forum posted this.

Opera Company of Philadelphia - random act of culture

I was fascinated.  I want to do something like that.  Barring the opportunity to do a "random act of culture" I want to at least sing some cool music.  I've started checking into joining my local symphony chorus.  I'll have to audition.  That's scary!!

All this has led me to think about the past and my relationship with music.  And my husband's relationship with music.

When we were dating and first married, I was a bit of a performer.  I had been in various musical groups in college, and joined a church after college strictly based on the quality of their choir and music program. After I started dating my soon-to-be-ex-husband he invited me to go to church with him and then we got engaged and I joined his church.

I immediately joined the choir at his church.  Every time we moved our church membership, I quickly found my way into the music program.  At first my stbxh would join whatever choir with me.  Then he stopped.  Then he asked/told me to stop.  Stop doing music.  For him.

He wanted me to stop because by then we'd had a handful of kids and he didn't think he could get them all ready to go to church by himself.  I'm not talking about newborns--I would take a break from choir during and after pregnancy.  I'm talking about when they were all little and he would have to get them ready to go without me there, since the choir has to arrive early to rehearse.

So I stopped.

I stopped singing.

Thinking about joining the symphony chorus brought all this back to me, because I've suddenly realized that my stbxh wasn't being himself when he chose to join me in the choir.  He doesn't really like to sing.  He just thought that was what a "good husband" does.  A good husband does what his wife does.

And the corollary to this is that a good wife does what her husband does.

A good wife also does everything her husband wants her to do for him.  No matter what it is.

I don't think he knew at the time that it's acceptable for a husband and wife to have separate interests and do different things sometimes.  And he still doesn't know, because that's the model his parents have chosen to follow.  Just a couple of years ago, his parents had a major, major conflict over this. My mother-in-law decided that at her age (70+), she's too old to accompany my fil when he is sleeping on the ground in a tent.  For a week or more at a time.

Right now, one of the attractions of The Other Woman is that they enjoy doing the same activity.  That's how he met her, and that's how their relationship grew.  For the last several years of our marriage and since our separation, my husband has spent many hours a week in the company of TOW, doing an activity that they both enjoy.

Their sport is something that I am totally not interested in and am physically not capable of doing.

I think that was one of the problems in our marriage.  At first he honestly tried to make himself into who he thought I wanted instead of simply being himself.  Later he stopped doing that.  I believe that he was terribly disappointed that I didn't try to make myself into a different person.  And then I noticed that he was nicer to me if I did try to be that other person, so I made some attempts.  Yes, often those attempts were half-hearted.

In the end, I was exhausted and depressed and not really sure who I was.

All of this is to say, that I'm going to work hard on being myself.  My real self.  The one who likes music and reading and writing.  I'm the woman who likes to cook and is kinda' messy around the house.  I'm distractible, and some days I'm a space cadet.  I love God and I love my kids.  And I want to be myself.  Just me.

Used book sale by the numbers

Boxes of books taken to the sale location - 25
Boxes of books donated after it was over - 10
Hours spent selling - 5
Total number of shoppers/browsers at the sale - 24
Dollars taken in - 94
Hours spent preparing - Countless
Being forced to organize the books - PRICELESS!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Writing? What's that?

I'm getting ready for a book sale instead.

I have an opportunity to clear out some of my bookshelves.  I have hundreds of books and other homeschool materials that I will probably never use again.

There is a local used book sale that I couldn't afford to skip this year.  It's on Saturday, so I'll be spending a lot of time between now and then sorting and pricing books.

It's kind of like NaNoWriMo.  There's a deadline, so you do what you've gotta do.

Cooking dinner?  What's that?

At least my kids are old enough to fend for themselves in the kitchen!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update

I stopped, backed up, and did some more planning.  Middle of the second day and I'm up to 909 words.  It's starting to get better, but I keep wanting to edit.

I hope to get up to at least 2,000 words before I go to bed tonight.

It doesn't help that I'm selling at a used book sale on Saturday.  I have to sort & price books when I'm not writing or homeschooling or parenting.

This post sounds like whine, whine, whine to me.

I want you to know I'm having FUN anyway!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

I need an outline

Well, it's 14.5 hours into my month-long novel and I have made a discovery.  A list of characters and a vague plot line does not equal a novel.

I'm 394 words in and I'm stuck.  Just 394 words??  ACK!!!

Back to writing + life.


What on earth is that?? 

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.  It’s a crazy way to write a novel. 

The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days during the month of November.  It’s for people who always wanted to write a book, but are scared by the time and effort involved. 

The very first NaNoWriMo took place in July of 1999.  Twenty-one young adults thought it would be fun to work for quantity in the writing process.  They met in groups and spent their time writing. The next year the founders changed the month to November, and the group has been growing like mad ever since.

NaNoWriMo is kind of like running a marathon.  If you go the distance in the time allotted, you win.  I haven’t found the results for 2009 on the website, but in 2008 there were 119,301 adult participants and 21,683 of them completed 50,000 words which is an 18.2% win rate. 

I’ve signed up to do NaNoWriMo this year.  If I can write 2,000 words a day, I can write a novel.  I’m excited and scared at the same time. 

Why on earth am I putting myself through this? 

Well, it has to do with my search for happiness.  I’m exploring my inner self and what I like to do.  I’m trying some of the things that I always wanted to do and have never tried. 

I may end the month of November in abject failure, but I don’t think I will.  Starting this blog has forced me to write every single day.  I’ve been warming up for the big event, just like someone who has been training for a marathon. 

The most painful part of NaNoWriMo for me, will be the lack of time to edit.  When I write, I edit and re-edit and then do it again.  The only possible way to write a novel in a single month is to get it out on (virtual) paper without making changes.  So, I will be tap, tap, tapping my way through November. 

Friends, I will not abandon you for a month.  I will still be blogging, but my entries will be relatively short and to the point. 

And. . . . . we’re off!!