dominique disenchanted…

August 17, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Posted in Improvement | 1 Comment

So, the THIRD attempt at a plasma donation didn’t go as planned either.  I took off from work 45 minutes early, drove down there, sat around there for over an hour PAST my appointment time, peed in a cup, got poked and prodded, and was disqualified when my pulse was too high.  Of course it was too high.  I was scared my purse was gonna get stolen or the many many crying children of the crackwhores in the lobby were gonna get loose and run into the parking lot.  It was a stressful and unsuccessful experience, but oh well.  I can’t decide if I should try again when I’m in a better frame of mind or if the universe is sending me a sign and I’m just a slow learner.  The cash is nothing to sneeze at, as John says, and would really be helpful.  But this place is so sad and depressing.  We’ll see how I feel on Saturday.

Now I’m going to watch some cheesy sitcoms, eat some chocolate, and start again tomorrow.  I will not let this extremely negative experience ruin my entire week.  Everything will be better tomorrow!

a rocky start…and a new plan!

August 15, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Posted in Improvement | 3 Comments

**Saturday –

The plan WAS to go to the grocery store last night after work and then do tons of laundry and straightening up around the apartment so I could effectively begin the de-cluttering today.  Why?  I don’t know, since I was going to de-clutter today and that would just mess everything up again anyway.  Things always get messy in the process of cleaning out junk.  The plan didn’t quite work out.  I ended up staying at the office MUCH later than I had planned and came home absolutely exhausted.  That change of plans and subsequent delay would have sent the old Dominique into a spiral from which the weekend could not have been recovered, but things are changing! 

Woke up this morning and attempted to do the plasma donation.  Turns out they need approval from one of the doctors for me to donate because of a medication I’m taking.  The doc always approves people taking this medication, but he wasn’t there today, so no go.  Will do it Monday after work.  Went to the grocery store and got lots of fruits and veggies for the half-ass fast, which is, by the way, in full swing!  Thinking I’d do the plasma donation this morning, I had an apple and a big glass of blueberry/pomegranate V8 for breakfast.  Lunch was roasted asparagus and steamed corn.  Yum.  Am also taking a little aspirin (now that I know I’m not donating blood today) to hopefully stave off the caffeine headache which should be arriving momentarily.

Still need to get to the laundry and cleaning.  That’s coming up shortly.  Instead of my delay causing me to abandon my clutter-free weekend, it is now going to be expanded into a clutter-free week.  (The fast will just be the weekend, most likely.  The caffeine detox may be permanent, however.)  The cleaning and straightening up will continue this weekend.  The upcoming week, however, will be devoted to clutter removal.  Every night when I get home from work, I am going to fill one box or one bag (or more!) with junk I don’t need, don’t want, don’t wear, and don’t use.  Then at the end of the week, I am taking it all to the Salvation Army, located…helpfully enough, very near the plasma donation site.  It’s as if it was meant to be!

Will keep you all updated with the rest of the weekend’s progress and the fast.  I found some really great stuff at the store today.  TWO new types of V8 (one I think I’ll love and one I think I’ll hate, but I’m gonna try ’em both!) and a pluot!  A pluot is a cross between a plum and an apricot.  I’ve never seen them around here, so I’ve never tried one.  I also don’t know how to pick a good one, so I had to ask the very sweet ladies putting out the produce in WalMart this morning.  They looked at me like I was nuts and then said, “Oh!  You mean the Pluto plums?  They’re great!”  Evidently those ladies believe they’re called plutos, but they aren’t.  They helped me pick a good one and I’m gonna try it later too.  I already learned this past week that I do now, as an adult, enjoy cherries.  Not the neon-super-disgusting-maraschino cherries, but the real fruit with stems and pits.  Love ’em!  Hated them as a kid.  Told ya.  Things are changing!

**Sunday –

Progress has been made!  Today was 5 loads of laundry, tons more fruits and veggies, zero caffeine, a call to John, a call to Dad & stepmom, 2 movies and some reading.  The fast is officially over.  No, it hasn’t been an entire 48 hours but I want some real food.  The whole point of this was to get a good fresh start on the new changes and we’re there.  I’ve had tons of fiber and vitamins and minerals and phytochemicals and whatever else that you get from plants.  That’s a good start.  It’s been well over 50+ hours since I’ve had any caffeine.  The aspirin yesterday really helped.  The headache never quite grabbed hold, so I think I’m in the clear there.   And it’s not like I’m ending the fast to go to McDonald’s, I’m ending it to eat a Lean Cuisine with more veggies.  So I’m ok with that.  Meanwhile, the rest of the plan is progressing nicely!

attainable goals…

August 12, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Posted in Improvement | 4 Comments

If the first step was acknowledgement, the 2nd step is a plan.  Right?  That’s what Oprah & Dr. Phil have led me to believe, so let’s just run with it and not put too much thought into their influence. 

I’ve decided that, at least in the beginning, I need to set goals for myself that are RIDICULOUSLY EASY.  Let me explain.  I know myself well enough by now to understand that I need to be good at something in order to want to continue.  The “wanting to continue” has been lacking in previous attempts at really…anything.  (See the ‘About Dominique’ page re: cooking & knitting.)  For Dominique and her not-quite-BFF 30, success breeds interest.  With this in mind, I am going to design myself a plan for the next month or so wherein it will be IMPOSSIBLE TO FAIL.

Here’s the plan –

For an immediate rush of gratification and to feel like I’m really doing something, this weekend has taken on the theme of CLUTTER-FREE.  I have clutter.  In my environment, in my mind, in my ass, you name it.  There is excess junk that needs to go.  This weekend I am going to do the following:  clean out miscellaneous junk from the apartment, spend some time talking to John & my family which always re-centers the junk in my brain, and I am going to do a half-ass fast or “cleanse” to be super pretentious ala Gwenyth, my idol for pretentiousness.  I say half-ass cause I’m totally eating and drinking.  That BS where people deliberately do not eat…30 and I frown upon such foolishness.  Instead, I am going to eat and drink plenty of water and vegetables and fruits and juice.  There will be no meat, no dairy, no starches, etc of any kind.  (I really like the Green Giant frozen singles though, and there’s a little bit of butter and cheese sauce in those.  My view is that the good of eating corn and broccoli, respectively, outweighs the tiny bit of butter and cheese.  So those don’t count.)  Harder still, I am attempting to go without caffeine.  This may lend a very “on top of the clock tower with a gun” slant to any blog posts this weekend, so consider yourselves warned.  It’s 2 days.  I can do it. 

In the longer term, probably a month or so, I have planned the following goals. 

Health – I am going to walk or work out in some form or fashion at least twice a week.  I’m not even addressing “dieting” yet, cause a) I hate that word, b) I am trying to eat MORE fruits and veggies and not worry about eating LESS of anything just yet, and c) I’m making this stupidly easy for now.  Two workouts a week is an easy start.

Education/Finances – I am going to donate plasma twice a week.  I already do this nearly every weekend anyway, and then I found out there are people who PAY FOR THIS?!?!  I feel like the prostitute with the lowest rates.  I’ve been giving it away!  I have found a few places here in Baton Rouge that pay for plasma and I’m going to investigate one on Saturday.  The first visit is the longest, taking upwards of 2 hours, so I’m gonna do that Saturday morning.  The subsequent visits shouldn’t take nearly as long and can be done in the evenings after work, freeing up my weekend.  (This is also part of the reason for the relatively easy workout schedule.  2 nights a week will be devoted to this.)  And before any of you start worrying too much, let me be super clear.  I am not so broke that I desperately need to sell fluids.  I have a good job that I enjoy and it definitely pays the bills.  This is about getting AHEAD and helping people.  A few months of this and one of my, albeit tiny, student loans will be off my back for good.  That’s exciting!  Plus I’m really good at it.  No fainting here.  Beats a part time job any day!

Also in the Education/Finances part of the plan, I need to start reading more.  My goal will be 2 books a month, but I’m hopeful it will be much more than that once this all starts.  Donating plasma will free up a good 2 hours a week to read, so that’s a lot right there.  And the ultimate goal is to read QUALITY books, but I’ll be honest, I’m not starting there.  Some ladies at my office have really gotten into reading some paranormal romance novels and though it’s really not my thing, I’ve promised to give it a shot.  I finally dragged them both to the library in an effort to keep them from purchasing these novels that they typically only read once.  Books are great, but they waste paper and fossil fuels in being delivered to stores/homes, etc and the library is practically right next door to our office.  I made the big deal about it, so I need to keep my end of the bargain and join in the Paranormal Pervert Book of the Month Club.  They honestly aren’t terrible and they’re super quick to read, but I don’t want any laughter when I brag about completing 7 vampire/werewolf sex books.  It’s a start!

Love Life – might not be in a ship jumping phase after all.  I told John about the blog.  He read it and seems to have genuinely enjoyed it.  This proves to me that a) he has fabulous taste in writing AND imaginary-girlfriends, b) we’re both honest and mature enough to acknowledge and discuss the peaks and valleys in our relationship without freaking out, and c) he’s really on my side in all this.  He’s been super supportive and apart from a version of John in the same area code, what more could a girl ask for?  Definite continued potential there.  No men overboard just yet.

So there we go.  I will keep you all updated through the weekend.  If you want some hilarity, check in around 2am on Sunday.  That’s when I’m predicting the caffeine-headache will have either knocked me unconscious or I’ll be running around naked in the street bashing myself in the head with a frying pan and calling myself Ophelia.  We shall see!

a little business to get out of the way…

August 12, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Posted in Improvement | Leave a comment

I have to say, so far the response to the blog has been absolutely overwhelming.  So many of you have taken the time to comment here or on my Facebook, and a couple of you even contacted me privately.  The response has been entirely positive and very uplifting.  Thank you so much for your support!  It has made me feel so great.  And don’t get me started on 30.  She’s prancing around the apartment like “I’m so fabulous and everyone loves me.”  I’m gonna give her till the weekend to get it out of her system…eh, maybe till Monday.  Don’t want the poor gal to feel oppressed.  I’m a giver.

I was really quite nervous to do all this cause it’s not like I’m bragging about being an astronaut/supermodel or anything, right?  I guess I had this image in my head that everyone else’s life was perfectly together and mine was the only one that was out of sorts.  I know in the logical part of my brain that’s probably not the case, but we can’t help what we think sometimes.  I wonder why that is…that the negative thoughts flow so freely and the positive ones have to go through a MENSA-level maze to get through.  That’s a shame.  Anyway, it seems a lot of you are feeling similar to me or have felt that way in the past.  And a lot of you just want to see how I do with all this.  I hope you’ll stay tuned.  And I hope this journey is as enjoyable and hopeful for all of you as it is for me!  Thanks again!

telling it like it is

August 10, 2009 at 6:34 pm | Posted in Improvement | 5 Comments

Sometimes life hands you a slap in the face.  A lightning bolt.  A huge and unexpected sign that the current path is not the right path.  Other times, life sends you a tap on the shoulder.  A tiny “ahem” from far away.  Then there’s the 3rd option.  The REALLY BIG SIGN you see coming for miles.  You don’t want to acknowledge it.  You would give anything for it to go away, but that isn’t happening.  That really big sign is a birthday that ends in a zero. 

I just turned 30 about 6 weeks ago.  It’s taken me this long to form a viable and remotely-congenial response to 30.  Thus far, we haven’t really gotten along.  No animosity, just general indifference toward one another.  30 isn’t going away though, so it’s time to make friends. 

To be clear, I am not afraid of getting older.  I don’t have wrinkles yet.  My hearing and memory are still excellent.  I don’t think 40 is the end of the world.  Me + aging = ok.  My problem is that the 30 that arrived on my doorstep was not the 30 I ordered from the catalog in my brain when I was 5.  Or 10.  Or 20.  Or even 25.  That 30 was supposed to be glamorous and successful.  She was going to throw dinner parties and drink martinis after work and spend her weekends doing outdoorsy glamorous things like hiking and biking and playing frisbee with her super fabulous dog.  The 30 who arrived on my doorstep is a schlub.  She is pale and pasty and sleepy.  She is definitely a candidate for “What Not to Wear” and its imaginary friends “What Not to Eat” and “What Not to Buy”.  The 30 that arrived on my doorstep must be some kind of mixup, but the company isn’t looking to take her back any time soon.  I guess it’s up to me to give her a makeover.  The first step will be to make friends with her, so let’s hope she’s friendly…and can hold her liquor.

At this moment, I am unsatisfied with my life.  This blog is a way to hopefully affect some change in that regard.  The first step to achieving any real change is to acknowledge the current state of things.  Unashamed, unbiased, totally open.  So here goes.

Right now, I am extremely overweight.  Several years ago (far too many for me to use as an excuse for my current situation) I had a very painful knee surgery and months of physical therapy.  When it was all over, I was so afraid of reinjury that I all but ceased any recreational physical activity.  The longer I was inactive, the more uncomfortable it became to be active.  Who wants to be uncomfortable when you can be lazy instead?!  Shameful.  Fun at times, but shameful nonetheless.  So now my physical condition today is: obese, woefully inflexible, and weak.  That’s going to change.  It’s time for me to be healthy, in mind and body.  It’s time for me to treat myself with the respect that I show to others.  I would never abuse a loved one or a stranger in the way that I abuse myself.  It’s disrespectful to me and to those that love me to behave this way.  The occasional cigarette that isn’t so occasional?  No more.  Weekends talking myself out of being productive to instead watch marathons on TV and take long naps?  Nope.  Vitamins and sleep aids to replace nutrition and quality rest?  Haven’t been working anyway, so why do I bother?  Things need to change.

Right now, I am not as accomplished in my career/financial life as I’d like to be either.  I never had a plan.  When I graduated high school and went to college, I had no plan.  It wasn’t that I had no ambition, cause I definitely wanted to be successful, I just didn’t know “at what”.  And my “at what” never really arrived.  I watched all my friends discover their passions and head toward them at full speed while I sat there and allowed the world to pass me by.  I felt like one of those people who are born with one kidney.  Something was missing.   I’ve sort of found it now.  I fell into HR and I do enjoy it, but I definitely don’t have the passion that others have for their careers.  Why is that?  Cause I’m an assistant.  Actually, I’m management-material in the assistant’s chair/pay range.  Why is that?  Cause I never finished those last 6 or so classes at LSU.  Why is that?  Cause when my “at what” was so late to arrive, I lost all focus and ambition.  So now I’m an assistant, I have hundreds of college hours but no degree, a good bit of debt from those hundreds of college hours, and no money to fix all this now that I’ve decided to change it.  That’s ok though, cause acknowledgement is the first step. 

And last but not least is my love life.  I have a practically-imaginary boyfriend named John.  He lives in Florida and he’s handsome and brilliant and wonderfully kind.  We met on eHarmony about a year and a half ago and we’ve been talking ever since.  We email, text and talk on the phone all the time.  Plans for visits always fall through (layoffs, health problems, deaths in our families) and so now we’re just kind of stuck.  We talk all the time and we care about each other, but we’re not really progressing toward anything.  I vascillate on who I think wants this relationship more.  Sometimes it really feels like we’re on the same page and we love each other so much and everything is just going to be perfect once the timing is right.  Other times, it feels like one or both of us are a hair away from jumping ship.  We’ve been through a lot together already (see above – why visits always fall through) so I don’t think either of us is taking this lightly.  But right now, I think we might be in a ship jumping phase.  Gonna have to work on this a bit too.  Hmmm.

So there it is.  Dominique has a yearlong houseguest and is trying to be friendly.  If you decide to follow this blog, I really do hope this will be the last whiny-fusspot entry.  The rest will be my journey to reinvent myself.  31 is just around the corner and I don’t want 30 saying bad things about me to her friends!

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