I Think I’m Sick, But I Can’t Really Tell

I woke up on Saturday not feeling well. I had a really bad sore throat and was sniffly and sneezy. I was all, “Aleeexxxx, I’m siiiiiick!” but he countered with, “No, you have allergies.”

He spoke with such authority that I decided he was probably right.

See, with the exception of a few sneezes and sniffles last year, I’ve never had allergies, so I don’t have a lot of experience with them except to hear other people complain about them. I’ve always felt vaguely sorry for them, but, you know, it was never my problem, so I didn’t ask a lot of questions about headaches vs. ague-like symptoms and whatnot.

Suddenly, such questions are of huge interest  to me.

I have spent the last three days asking Alex if my symptoms are those of allergies or illness.

Me: “Is a headache a sign of allergies?”

Alex: “Sometimes.”

*hours later*

Me: “Is fatigue a sign of allergies?”

Alex: “Sometimes.”

*hours later*

Me: “Are body aches a sign of allergies?”

Alex: “Sometimes.”

*hours later*

Me: “Are chills a sign of allergies?”

Alex: “Sometimes.”

At some point I started to suspect that Alex was just trying to convince me that I wasn’t sick so I couldn’t complain.

Joke’s on him. I complained anyway.

So anyway, I’m either dying of the common cold or I’m dying of allergies. I feel a little bit as if you all could help me (a) with a confirmation that I have a cold so I know it will go away in a few days, or (b) tell me how to make my allergy symptoms stop.

Make this go away. Please.*

* If you could make Alex wrong as you do so, that would be even better.

Call Me Sleepy, the Most Boring of the Dwarves

It turns out that if you shovel copious amounts of caffeine into your system for a period of…decades, your sleep system and levels of tiredness get all sorts of fucked up. And, it seems, the only way to make it even wackier is to quit said caffeine totally cold turkey.

If, in the past decade or so, you have asked me, “How are you?” chances are that I said one of the following:

• “Tired.”

• “Good. But tired.”

• “Hanging in there. Tired. You know.”

• *bursts into tears and runs away*

My dominant fucking emotion is tired.

For a long time I have assumed that all the caffeine I drank made me paradoxically more tired because I am sure it interrupted my sleep cycle and kept me up too late and all sorts of vaguely bad things that I attribute to caffeine.

I also attribute some of my sleepiness to having to share a bed with a man who fucking insists on breathing no matter how often I kick him in the shins and tell him to shut up already. Seriously. All night, every night. Sometimes he snores too.

Since quitting caffeine, however—day nine! can I get a what what!—I spent several days waking up with eyes crawling with sleepiness and the desire to take at least one three-hour nap every day, often beginning at 8:38 am after my last kid gets on his bus.

(Is it a nap if you take it that early or does that count as a less slothful sounding “going back to bed”?)

Problematically, taking long naps during the day makes it harder to go to sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow at night. This is a problem because bedtime is like a race to go to sleep for Alex and me. Well, it’s kind of a one-sided race that Alex doesn’t know or care about. I always want to fall asleep first because that way breathing/snores have to wake me up to bother me instead of keeping me from falling asleep/making me want to murder Alex while he slumbers.

Alex has a job though, so Alex doesn’t nap, so Alex falls asleep almost immediately. Not to mention that lying in bed trying to force your mind to fall asleep will make your mind do almost anything except fall asleep.

I used to set my white noise machine on foghorn at top volume and put it right next to my head to drown out the sounds of quiet breathing. It’s a serious problem.

All of this is to say that I’m tired. And I am tired of being tired. And Alex is tired of being kicked in the shins.

Today is the first day in a long time that I not only haven’t taken a nap, but haven’t felt as if I’ll die without a nap. I sure do hope this is a sign of things to come because, frankly, if ditching caffeine doesn’t make me less tired, methamphetamine use is my next option. Fingers crossed!

Reach the Beach and Why I Hate Past Stimey

About a year ago, Past Stimey’s friend asked her if she wanted to run a 200-mile, 12-person relay race in New Hampshire in September of 2013. Past Stimey thought that sounded like a blast and after all, Past Stimey didn’t really have to worry about actually racing in said relay race (Reach the Beach) because that was Future Stimey’s problem.

Past Stimey can go fuck herself. This comes straight from Present Stimey, who has to run this motherfucking race THIS COMING FRIDAY AND SATURDAY.

Here is how the race works: It is 200(ish) miles. There are a bunch of us on our team. There are 36 legs of varying lengths and intensities. Each of us runs 3 or 4 legs. I will, over the course of 30-something hours, run three legs of almost 7 miles each.

I am freaking out.

I am in an all-day, every-day, full-body panic.

I mean, I’m going for one last run Wednesday, before I fly up to New Hampshire on Thursday, so there is still time for me to sprain an ankle or get hit by a car or something.

As George Costanza said, wishing his fiancée would get in a plane crash before he had to marry her: “It’s something. It’s hope.”

At least I have a buddy.

He's wearing a reflective vest so he can help out on the night legs.

He’s wearing a reflective vest so he can help out on the night legs.

You guys. I for reals want to cry or throw up every time I think about it. I know neither of those things are all that much out of character, but it’s still kind of a bummer.

Here’s the thing: I can run the miles. I know I can do that. As far as putting one foot in front of the other, that will happen.

However, there are a number of other things that Past Stimey didn’t consider when she so flippantly agreed to take part in this race. I could list all of these things, but it mostly just comes down to my issues with socializing, with needing downtime, with worrying about letting my teammates down because I am so goddamn slooooow, about being autistic in a little van with a slew of other people and a plethora of what are sure to be interesting smells, about body image issues in a field of fit runners, about (my) control issues, about not knowing what to expect, about…

Well. I could go on, but I think you get the point.

I would probably be less stressed if I were supposed to run a marathon this weekend (something I am nowhere near ready to do), because at least if I were doing that, I wouldn’t have eleven other people counting on me. I am not, how you say—a team player. In fact, I have spent most of my life avoiding team situations. I’m really mad that Past Stimey forgot that about us.

Here’s something else though: I know this is going to be good. It is going to be so fucking good. My teammates are good people. My team doesn’t care when we finish, we just care that we finish. I have been mentally preparing myself to put my head down and push through the lack of down time and my social issues, knowing that I can come home and decompress.

I know that this race and the people I do it with are going to be one of my favorite memories. I know that I will come home on Sunday wanting to race again next year. I know all of these things, but that doesn’t stop my anticipatory anxiety.

I have to walk through this anxiety to get to the good part.

Near Future Stimey is going to be really happy. Near Future Stimey is going to have an adventure and a ton of fun this weekend. Near Future Stimey is going to have a million stories.

Present Stimey, however, is going to panic. That’s just the way it is. I know it is going to be great. I really do. Still, if I make it to the start line without puking, it will be a minor miracle.

Humor me, tell me I’m going to be awesome, share a great running song, and make me laugh with a suggestion for a race hashtag? Wish me luck, okay?

photo-2Keep track of my teammates and me on Facebook and Twitter.

The Five Stages of Grief as it Pertains to Luggage Loss

Something terrible happened to me on my way to BlogHer. Southwest Airlines lost my suitcase, something that had never happened to me before. It was extremely devastating to me and threw me off kilter for a solid day and a half, maybe more.

I imagine that it was less traumatizing for Southwest.

Upon realizing that I had arrived in Chicago but my luggage had not, my first instinct was to cancel all my conference plans and immediately board a plane back to DC where I could live in the sweatpants and t-shirts that live in my drawers and were not en route to some undisclosed location.

I spent a chunk of time shuffling back and forth in one place going over the pros and cons of the run-home plan before I began to work my way through the five stages of grief.

The five stages of grief is the common term for the Kübler-Ross model stating that when faced with the reality of an extreme, awful fate, an individual will experience a series of emotional states: denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance.

In case you aren’t familiar with Ms. Kübler-Ross’ work, I will walk you through a simple (extreme, awful) example prior to describing the luggage debacle.

Let’s say your two male gerbils have babies. Let’s go with that extreme, awful example.

Denial: Two boys can’t have babies. Two boys can’t have babies. Two boys can’t have babies. Two boys can’t have babies. Overwhelming visual evidence be dammed.

Anger: The pet store sold me a boy and a girl but told me they were two boys. I should firebomb the pet store, but instead of throwing Molotov cocktails, I will lob hamster balls full of infant gerbils.

Bargaining: If the mother gerbil doesn’t have any more babies, I promise to never put an embarrassing hat on a gerbil again. I’m sorry, gerbil gods. I’m sooooorry.

Depression: I am going to end up with eighty thousand baby gerbils.

Acceptance: I am going to end up with eighty thousand baby gerbils.

Are you clear on the five stages now? Good. Let’s discuss these five stages as they apply to arriving in Chicago for a blogging conference with no clothes but for those on your back and no toothbrush but for those on sale at Walgreen’s.

Denial: Huh, I am the only person standing here at this baggage claim carousel. I’m sure that just means that I’m early. Or late. Don’t worry, Stimey, your bag is going to come. That one suitcase sadly traveling around the carousel wasn’t mine last time it went around, but maybe this time I will be. I should check the luggage tag again. My suitcase isn’t lost. That would be absurd. Airlines specialize in getting luggage to where it is supposed to go. My luggage isn’t lost.

Anger:  My luggage is lost. What’s that, baggage claim lady? You don’t track the luggage? You won’t know where it is until you find it in the wrong place? You have no idea where the suitcase is or how long it will take to get to Chicago? You will deliver my suitcase to my hotel when you find it MAYBE tonight? Look, baggage claim lady, I know you didn’t personally send my luggage to American Samoa or wherever it ended up, but you are making it really hard to not yell at you right now.

The great thing about the Anger stop on the Kübler-Ross scale is that you don’t have to choose just one target. Nor do you have to be rational about it. After Alex was less than supportive about my great loss (i.e. he did not teleport to Chicago to FIND MY LUGGAGE FOR ME FIND IT NOW I CAN’T GO TO BLOGHER WITHOUT MY LUGGAGE FIND IT FIND IT FIND IT FIND IT NOW!), I turned my rage on him in a series of passive aggressive long pauses between hostile texts. It’s an art.

Bargaining: If my suitcase arrives before I go to sleep, I will never ever roll my eyes dramatically when an airline wants to charge me $12 for a small packet of peanuts and two ounces of vodka. Okay. I will still roll my eyes, but I do promise to always give my trash to the flight attendant when she walks through the cabin before landing instead of stuffing it into the seat pocket in front of me. And I promise to stop stealing barf bags and ripping out photos of dogs that look like my dog from the in-flight magazine.

Depression: This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. Everything is gray. They will never find my bag. ALL of my cute clothes were in there. My running shoes were in there. I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO RUN AGAIN. I am sure going to miss my favorite hair brush. I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO BRUSH MY HAIR AGAIN. Whhhhyyyy does everything bad always happen to meeeeeeee?

Acceptance: It is 10pm. Not only is my luggage not at the hotel, but the people at the airline still don’t even know where it is. My luggage is not coming. I will go to the Walgreen’s down the street from my hotel to buy toothpaste, underwear, a new hairbrush (sob!), deodorant, and boxer shorts to sleep in. I will also think that I bought a toothbrush, but will actually not have done so, leaving me to brush my teeth by scrubbing them with a washcloth smeared with toothpaste. I am prepared to wear the same purple shirt and old jeans for the next four days. It will not be okay, but it is happening.

And that’s how you deal with luggage loss.

You will be pleased to know that I was woken at 1 am with a phone call from the airline that woke both me and my roommate from deep sleeps. The woman on the phone told me that my suitcase would be delivered sometime between 1 and 5 am.

“Do I have to be in the lobby to get it?” I asked.

And then the woman laughed at me. “No,” she said. “Go back to sleep. We’ll leave it with the front desk.” Then she laughed some more, no doubt imagining me in my boxer shorts and washcloth-scrubbed teeth sitting forlornly in the lobby at four in the morning.

The airlines taught me a valuable lesson that day. They taught me that I should avoid checking my luggage at all costs. They taught me that if I do have to check my luggage, that I should put my favorite hairbrush, pajamas, and one change of clothes in my carry-on bag. Also, if you have to re-buy your toiletries, double check that a toothbrush makes it into your shopping bag.

That is the lesson the airlines taught me. The lesson I learned is that the airlines lost my suitcase once, which obviously means that I’ve paid my dues and that it will never get lost again, so I should start packing my valuables in checked luggage all the time. It’s how probability works, people.

Sometimes It’s the Little Things—the Shallow, Ridiculous, Little Things

Can we talk about my hair for a minute? Because I really need to talk about my hair.

Growing up, I had very straight hair. My hair was SO straight, in fact, that when I tried to perm it (as every dumb young teen born in the ’70s did), it never held the curl very well. My hair had a hard time holding braids or curl from curling irons. My hair wouldn’t cooperate with teasing to make my bangs stick up (as every dumb young teen born in the ’70s did) nor would they “train” to sweep to one side or the other.

My hair was straight. Straight, straight, straight.

Then I had kids.

With every child—or maybe it was just every year—my hair seemed to get curlier.

See? Curly.

See? Curly.

It’s hard to tell in these not-so-flattering-or-high-quality photographs, but very few people actually take photos of me, so they’re the best I could do. If someone had a photo of the back of my head, you would agree that my hair fell somewhere between very wavy and lightly curly.

I was mad as hell about it too. I had finally seen the joy of straight hair and I was distraught that it had been taken from me. It is the single thing that I am angriest at my kids about. And they’ve broken a lot of my stuff, so that’s saying something.

I inquired at hair salons over the years about various straightening techniques, but no one seemed to think it would work on my hair or the techniques cost $500 and lasted for three months, which was a higher percentage of my family’s yearly income than I was willing to spend on my hair.

I tried to embrace the curls.

Embracing said curls would have been easier had I had better curls. A mix between very wavy and lightly curly isn’t awesome, especially when the hair at the very front of my head, which would probably be my bangs if I had them, was actually mostly straight. (Which is similar to “mostly dead,” but worse.)

I got to thinking about hair straightening again last fall when a friend of mine was posting on Facebook whilst getting a Japanese hair straightening treatment. This is something that she regularly has done. I have seen her hair and it is really pretty. Naturally, I was intrigued.

In addition to re-piquing my interest, she had a guy. This guy would do the straightening for $300 and claimed that it lasted six months.

I did some quick calculations in my head and determined that if I eliminated things like the vegetables I put in front of my kids and then threw away, I would feel comfortable spending $600 annually so that I could feel content about the state of my head again.

I had to drive to Virginia the day after the last presidential election (I remember, because most of the people who wandered through that shop—which was basically a strip mall barber shop but for the amazing guy working on me—were NOT pleased with the election results), but it was worth it. My hair was soft. My hair was beautiful. My hair was straight.

I spent the next several days executing dramatic hair flips whenever possible.

I also spent the next several days not washing my hair or putting it in a ponytail, which made the hair flips less pleasant than they could have been, but MY HAIR WAS STRAIGHT SO WHO CARES?

The first time I washed it, I was afraid that the curls would spring back. The first time I put it in a ponytail, I worried that I would be left with a permanent ponytail elastic bump. After three months, I started to look for signs of returning waves.

Every time, my hair stayed straight.

Eventually six months passed and my hair was still straight. I thought about making an appointment for a touch-up, but that seemed absurd, considering that MY HAIR WAS STRAIGHT.

Through all of this, my hair was getting longer and longer. When I got it cut a couple of weeks ago, I was worried that the removal of the weight of all the hair that I left at the salon would allow latent curls to spring back up.

(I was also worried that the change in my hair would alert my stylist to the fact that I’d cheated on her, but when you only show up every 9-12 months, evidently stylists don’t remember your hair texture.)

You guys. It has been eight months—NovemberDecemberJanuaryFebruary MarchAprilMayJune—eight solid months.

This was my hair this afternoon after I washed it, wet-combed it, and let it air dry:

All the worry about my hair has ironically given me gray hair.

Ironically, all the worry about my hair has given me gray hair.*

People. My hair has been scared straight.

I have no idea what kind of voodoo that guy in Virginia did to my hair follicles, but they produce straight hair now. For all I know, there is a painting of me hanging in an attic over that hair salon and its hair curls more every day. I don’t care.

I know that one day I will wake up and some terrible hair tragedy will have befallen me (Perma-frizz? Curly roots? A comb-over? Bangs?) but that’s cool. Because it will have been worth it.

Also, I completely accept my shallowness (shallowosity?) in re: the hair issue. That’s okay. Sometimes it’s okay to be shallow.

* That is a lie. I have had that streak of gray hair since 1997. Lucky me.

Edited to add: This is the guy: http://www.yelp.com/biz/japanese-hair-straightening-salon-fairfax-3 His name is Jian. He is my favorite person.

I’m Chubby But I’m Tough

Or maybe that title should read, “I’m Chubby and I’m Tough.” Chubbiness does not preclude toughness.

In case you missed the billion photos of me covered in mud that I posted all over Social Mediaville last weekend, I thought I’d let you know that last Saturday, I ran Run Amuck, which is a mud obstacle course put on by the Marine Corps Marathon people and which takes place on the Marine Corps base at Quantico. Also, in case you’re wondering—and even though I have Marine Corps blood passed down from my father—I am nowhere near badass enough to be a Marine.

Yet.

:)

So. Run Amuck. I’ll be telling you about this in detail, because I like to remember details from races like this. This race (and I use the term “race” loosely because it was untimed—and any event where you have to wait politely in lines to reach an obstacle can’t fairly be called a race) was one of the most fun things I have ever done. In case you’re wondering, read the “Obstacles” section on the Run Amuck course page for a rough idea of what we ran through.

Or you could look here. Click to enbiggen.

Or you could look here. Click to enbiggen.

For a more specific idea, read on here.

The race started with an inflatable obstacle course. In other words, a moonbounce. But this moonbounce said “semper fidelis” on it and featured the Marine Corps logo. I really enjoyed that. I did not, however, enjoy the moonbounce itself as one of its features was an inflatable wall that you had to hurl yourself over, but it was impossible to climb because it and my feet were wet. I mean, it was impossible for me—there were plenty of people who managed to get over quite well. I don’t feel too bad though because I watched a lot of really fit people not be able to get over as well.

My failure here worried me for the only other obstacle that I was worried about, which were the monkey bars. It’s funny that the only obstacles I couldn’t hack were those that are common on children’s playgrounds.

I’ll have to do some thinking about that.

After my failure right off the bat in front of gathered crowds, I hurried away to the next obstacle, the slip ‘n’ slide. Huh. Maybe this race wouldn’t be so tough after all.

Of course, immediately after that fun experience, they made us do a stair climb out of the stadium we’d just slipped and slid into and then run through a tire course, which is more awkward that I had imagined. From there, it was a fun rappel down a steep hill back into the stadium.

The “great” thing about this race is that, in addition to the obstacles, there were also stations where Marines yelled at you to do various quick exercises. The first was a set of crunches. Which I ROCKED, by the way.

Then we had another stair climb back up out of the stadium, but not up stairs this time; rather we had to climb the seating benches, meaning that each stair was 2-3 times the height of a regular stair. I think I surprised the Marine at the top of the stairs when I ran up those bad boys like a pro. I actually really love running stairs. (See also: chubby but tough.) I did stop to stare incredulously at the guy when he told me to run faster, but when I got to the top he said that I did such a good job that he wouldn’t yell at me for stopping for a second.

From there we ran under a firehose that was pouring water onto the road. It was less of an obstacle and more of a quick, intense shower with your clothes on. It was also the last section of the course that took place on pavement.

We headed off onto a muddy trail that presented us with a series of fun little obstacles, such as an A-frame wall, a hay bale jump, a flutter kick station, more tires to run through, and a pipe crawl. Piece of cake, baby.

I like this photo. I think I look jaunty.

I like this photo. I think I look jaunty.

tires

I’ve taken enough unflattering race photos to learn that you always smile when there is a dude in a fluorescent vest with a camera near you—even if you are trying to run through tires that are far too wide for a normal stride.

After all of that, we arrived at a water station. They were hydrating us before they tried to kill us.

At this point, I should mention something. It had rained for, like, an entire two days prior to this race. This took a situation where the race creators had planned a route, added extra mud (seriously), then the rain made it even worse. From this point, which was about one and a half miles in, to the end of the race, we ran up and down a series of steep hills that were thick with the slipperiest mud I have ever attempted to stand on.

One highlight of this hilly section was the mud crawl, which consisted of trenches full of muddy water. To get into the water, you had to duck under a tarp, which had the result of making sure you submerged entirely in the water. Then after trudging through the sludge, you had to climb out using a cargo net.

It was...messy.

It was…messy.

Then hills. More hills. Lots more hills.

You know how in cartoons, characters try to run really fast and their legs run and run and run but their bodies stay in the same place? It was like that. I had to trample on the greenery on the side of the path to get traction in order to prevent myself from walking in place.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Or, rather, stumble, summit, sigh deeply when you see the next hill.

Along this stretch was a rope spiderweb to pick your way through, jumping jacks, an ammo can carry, and what they referred to as the “low crawl.” The low crawl was a long stretch with ropes crisscrossing the trail a couple of feet above the ground that you had to crawl under. It was not that big of a deal, even in the mud, but for the fact that the dirt was populated by hundreds of tiny, sharp rocks. I’m still scabbed.

At one point, I realized that the thicker the mud, the more cushion there was between me and the rocks, leading me to deliberately crawl through the deepest mud puddles. I then ran the rest of the race with a nice set of mud gloves.

Next up were the monkey bars. The monkey bars were the thing I was most worried about in the whole race. See, no matter how steep the hill, I can get up it. No matter how gross the mud, I can slog through it. No matter how many rocks on the ground, I can crawl over them. If I fall, I’ll stand back up. But monkey bars? With muddy hands? No way in hell.

Fortunately, there were three sets of monkey bars and there were hay bales under one of them that made it so I could just walk across the hay and reach the monkey bars without having to use any arm strength at all. I didn’t feel bad about it one single bit.

Well, I felt a little bad about it when the Marine standing there looked at me and said, “Cheater.”

But whatever.

It was somewhere in this stretch that I started to fall down a lot. With good reason (slippery, remember?), but still. It also started to rain. I have never been less concerned about being rained on in my life. We ran through a mud pit and had to use a cargo net to CRAWL up another hill.

There was a push-up section as well, which I mention only because the sign said, “5 push-ups,” but the Marine there was all, “We are doing 5 two-count push-ups, which is basically the same as 10 push-ups, so do 10 push-ups.” Then he told us that he wished he could make us do four-count push-ups, but “they” wouldn’t let him.

Now, I don’t know what a four-count push-up is, but I know enough not to argue with a Marine, even if what he is saying is in direct contradiction to the sign posted RIGHT THERE. Ten push-ups later, I was on my way.

The most bizarre obstacle was the one they called wrecking balls but that was really just hippity hop balls hanging from more monkey bars. The last obstacle was another low mud crawl, which was more of a mud roll to get under the ropes.

Then it was just down a few more slippery hills and recovering from a few more falls and near-falls and I was across the finish line.

There is NOTHING more flattering than wet clothing adhered to all the contours of your body.

There is NOTHING more flattering than wet clothing adhered to all the contours of your body.

Run Amuck was challenging. I was for sure sore for a couple of days afterward. The thing is, I think almost any of you could have completed that course too. It was definitely hard, but if you have stamina, you could do it.

And you should. Because it was so. much. fun.

There are a lot of gimmick races out there these days. I’ve done a couple of them now and I have learned that I am far more interested in straight running races. That said, I know I will keep doing certain mud/obstacle races because they are just such a blast.

Also, I am going to start working on my monkey bar skills because next year, I am not going to cheat. I am going to be less chubby and more tough.  I am determined.

Diet Coke Detox

Last you heard of me, I was having problems being motivated and I was spending the weekend binging. I decided that as long as I was having a hard time getting outside to run because of the weather and my lack of motivation, I might as well take the opportunity to bite the bullet and drop the soda.

Here’s where I stand right now: I decided to quit starting Monday. It has gone well. I can definitely feel my body being sad about the lack of soda and caffeine, but I haven’t had any of the really crazy quitting side effects that you will find if you Google something like “aspartame addiction.” (Don’t do that if you’re going to stop drinking Diet Coke, by the way.)

I haven’t been 100% successful though. I have had two cans of soda each day this week, but that waaaaaay less than I usually drink. There are only three or four cans left in my fridge though, so when those run out, I’ll be carbonation free!

There is no doubt in my mind that I will successfully quit. I’m sad about it—I really like soda—but I know that will fade and I will be healthier. Yay, me! Even if I didn’t do a lot of running, I would say that this was a week well spent.

That said, I will now subject you to an overdramatic, minute-by-minute retelling of the GREAT QUITTING. Because I’m me. And we all know that this is what I do.

photoSunday, 11 pm: I chug a can of Diet Coke—my last Diet Coke ever! I then lie awake in my bed until the caffeine wears off.

*****

Monday, 7:30 am: I wake up and feel sad that I can’t have my morning soda. I already miss the bubbles. I look wistfully at the fridge, but go brush my teeth instead.

7:48 am: Panic ensues. I consider quitting the quitting. I take Advil with water instead. Water is stupid.

8:39 am: I’ve already drunk 30 ounces of water this morning. Huh. So this is what being hydrated feels like.

8:52 am: I reminisce about soda. Remember how delicious it was? I miss it already. I also remember that there are several leftover cans of soda in the fridge. I decide that I will allow myself one EMERGENCY SODA per day until they run out. (We already know that this evolved into two sodas. Let’s just pretend I planned it this way.)

…the morning passes with yoga and a run and some work at my desk…

1:55 pm: I feel awesome! This is a piece of cake!

2:10 pm: Imma take a naaaaappp…zzzzzzzzzzz

5:24 pm: I feel a little fuzzy, but maybe I can make it through the day without the EMERGENCY SODA.

6:02 pm: I scream at the dog for a minor infraction. I decide to have that emergency soda.

6:04 pm: I FEEL SO GOOD!!!!!1!!

7:30 pm: I want to go to bed.

*****

Tuesday 7:09 am: Water is stupid. I hate water. Advil on the other hand…

7:45 am: I am sad. The novelty of this whole thing is wearing off.

10:59 am: I realize after spending the morning volunteering at Quinn’s school that soda was like a nice little treat that I would give myself after completing something—like volunteering at Quinn’s school. WHERE IS MY GODDAMN TREAT?! I sadly drink…wait for it…more fucking water.

11:55 am: I retire to my bed in depression and take a ridiculously long nap.

3:12 pm: I decide to drink my EMERGENCY SODA to prevent me from shrieking at my children for existing.

9:43 pm: I feel kinda…tingly.

*****

Wednesday 8:22 am: I’m figuring out that the very first thing in the morning is the hardest for me. I miss my morning soda. Water just doesn’t have the same kick. And carbonated water is the most disgusting thing on earth, so I can’t even substitute with that. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.

1:33 pm: I am sitting at my desk thinking, “I feel great! I am not even tired at all. I am going to come through this with flying colors. A++++++!!!” Then I remember that I just drank my EMERGENCY SODA at 1:00. Oh. Right.

1:48 pm: I am starting to feel extremely virtuous for drinking so much water.

1:49 pm: I get tired of taking obsessive notes on my state of mind. I decide to declare success for quitting soda even though I haven’t actually technically quit anything.

*****

And there you have it. I win life.

*****
*****

If you want to read something else I’m great at, I wrote about 10 Things Parents Know (That Kids Don’t Want to Hear) over at White Knuckle Parenting this week. My kids may not agree that I am great at knowing things.