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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Joy Chaser's Guide to Surviving Visits from your Ex


10 Things to do/not do when your ex pops up unexpectedly at your door

1. Do be gracious and resist the urge to say what the #@c& do you want. That would not be very ladylike. Instead wait for him to explain his presence.

2. Do not step outside for conversation. If things go downhill there is no need to give the neighbors a show. Plus allowing him in gives you the opportunity to tell him to “Get to Stepping” in true Martin Lawrence style if he gets out of line.

3. Do not offer him anything to eat or drink. An unexpected visit from the ex is not the time to showcase those hostess skills. Save that for invited visits from new suitors :-)

4. Do not inquire about his relationship status nor reveal yours. You do not care because he is an ex and your status is none of his business.

5. Do disregard number 4 if you have a fabulous new boyfriend (FNBF). Then feel free to say things like it’s a shame FNBF is not here or I’d introduce you, when FNBF and I were on vacation we…, FNBF and I just love it when… you get the idea.

6. Do feel confident about your looks, state of your home, etc… If you don’t feel confident; work on these things now before your ex pops up. If he pops up and you don’t feel confident this is the time to fake it.

7. Do inquire about the well being of relatives of the ex that you were fond of. It is not their fault they are related to ex.

8. Do not encourage any bonding between the ex and your pets. Also don’t freak out if pets seem happy to see ex. Said pets may go to ex for a rub or two but they know where their crunchies come from.

9. Do not! I repeat do not give in to any of your more carnal urges regardless of how much attraction there may be. Sex with an ex = bad idea.

10. Do be as sexy as you can without being obvious. It is fun to make him miss what he used to have. And it should not be too hard considering he’s the one who popped up at your door.

I used this top 10 list this weekend when my ex popped up. I survived his visit basically unscathed Joy intact.

Has your ex ever popped up at your door? What did you do or not do?

Monday, May 23, 2011

No Rapture!? Guess I'll Keep Chasing Joy


Since we were not all taken to Heaven as part of the Rapture or left behind in turmoil and despair it's best I not lose focus and continue Chasing Joy :-)

In the 15 months since I raced out of the starting blocks Chasing Joy I have been anything but bored. I have been a joyful ballerina, had a not so Joyous volunteer experience, Chased Joy to Bermuda, experienced the Joy of being a Red Head, Set a goal and reached it... can you say 5k!!!, danced in the mirror naked, and realized I am worth the Cheese Dip.

So What's next??? While I have completed a 5k I was not able to run the entire thing. Should I focus on running for Joy? Continuing to work towards running 3 miles non-stop would be a good idea. Keeping up with the running will help towards my goal of getting down to a single digit dress size. Should I turn my focus to weight loss? I've lost a little already and am feeling pretty happy with what I see in the mirror. Am I confident enough for that Boudoir picture. Or maybe Joy is around some corner that I did not see before. Perhaps a partner could help me Chase Joy even faster. Should I focus on dating? Or maybe doing better at work would give me a little bit of Joy. Should I focus on my career.

Choices, Choices, Choices.... The good thing about the rapture not having taken place is I have still have time to Chase Joy in whatever way I choose.

What do you think I should focus on next? What are you focusing on as you Chase Joy???

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chasing Joy Across the Finish Line

I did it! I did it! Can you hear the excitement of my words??? Yesterday I did my 1st 5k Run. That's right I said run. Not a 5k walk but a run.

When I first started Chasing Joy over a year ago one of the first thing I put on my Devil's Workshop list was to be able to run 3 miles non-stop. This may be easy for you seasoned runners. But for me, a non-runner with a good amount of weight to lose this is a challenging goal.

Last year I Walked for Joy doing several 5K walks with friends and got familiar with the distance. As my friend and I watched the runners race past us towards the finish line we said "we should run this next year". That's exactly what we did!!!

We started training in February meeting every week to take on the treadmill.
Eventually I upped my training to include some running outside. I dug deep in my pocket and spent more money than I've ever spent on a pair of sneakers. I'm talking 3 figures here $$$

After several weeks of training my stamina still was not there. I was doubting my ability to run the entire distance. I was regretting having registered and even more so I was regretting having made a public commitment to myself and my friends to run the race. I wrote here of my regrets and you responded with comments here and on Facebook with words of encouragement. You told me not to be concerned with running every step of the race, make it my own race and not to be afraid to do run /walk intervals. So run/ walk intervals it would have to be.

One life lesson I have learned from this experience is that it is OK to adjust your expectations or goals. So I accepted the fact that I would not be accomplishing my Devil’s Workshop goal of running 3 miles non-stop with this race and shifted my focus to doing my absolute best and running as much of it as I could.

The day before the event I reached out to friends for advice on what to do or not do before the race. Here are some of their awesome tips:
- Drink lots of water
- Get lots of rest including two nights before the race in case nerves keep you up the night before
- Bring a camera
- Smile and throw your hands up crossing the finish line
- Know you are only trying to beat your own record
- Wake up earlier in case extra potty time is needed because of nerves
- Wear clothes and shoes you have run in before
- Eat a healthy meal the night before that includes a baked potato
- Go slower than you think you should the first 5 minutes
- Have fun

I took in all the great advice and then it was off to the races. I was filled with a mix of fear and excitement up until the horn sounded to start the race. Then it was one foot in front of the other. It was REALLY REALLY HARD. But I just kept going. I ran as much as I could and then I walked when I needed to catch my breath. I used the clock on my heart rate monitor and never walked more than 2 minutes.

It was great doing this with my friends. Three of us ran and two others walked. The fastest of us slowly pulled away. I stayed focused on her pink shirt ahead of me until I could not see her anymore. The race route had us turning around at the halfway mark and continuing back on the same street. I got a little energy boost as she passed me headed to the finish. Another boost as I passed my other running friend on my way to the finish. And yet another boost as I passed the walkers. All of us encouraging each other.

When I got close to the finish line I picked up the pace. I had to finish running. I looked for my mom and my friend who was ahead of me and. I found them as I crossed the line and through my hands up and smiled. Hands up reaching for Joy. A genuine smile of happiness because I was done. The race was over and I DID IT!!! It was an emotional moment for me and I teared up. This is without a doubt the hardest thing physically I have ever done. I’ll be doing it again this fall as I continue to work on my goal to run 3 miles straight.

I finished in 47:35 and came in 982nd place out of 1108. I Chased Joy for 5 Kilometers and captured a bit of Joy as I crossed the finish line.
What is the most difficult thing you have ever done, physical or otherwise and did you capture your own bit of Joy???

Friday, May 13, 2011

Joy up in Smoke

I was checking out some of my fellow bloggers pages and decided to join in on the image prompt posted on The Red Dress Club’s blog. The prompt was to write about the first or second memory that comes to mind when viewing the image above.

The first memory that came to my mind was of me in elementary school. We were having a special guest. I don’t remember who the guest was but I remember their message. Do Not Smoke!!! I remember the talk of cancer (did not know what that was), coughing, and BLACK LUNGS. I remember feeling panicked and afraid because my mom smokes.

I can honestly say this feeling of panic and fear has never left me and probably won’t unless she quits. However as I have grown up some other feelings have developed, making things more complicated. Many people like to smoke. They enjoy it, receive pleasure and stress relief from it. They are well aware of the risks and still have no desire to quit. To a non-smoker this sounds a little crazy. But to them it is simply a choice to do something they enjoy.

The internal conflict arises for me in that I honestly want people to experience all the happiness and Joy life has to offer. Although this is not a politically correct thing to say, for some people Joy is lighting up after a meal, after a stressful day, or while out socializing at the bar with friends.

Daily I wrestle with this mix of emotions. Am I afraid for my mom’s health because she smokes? Yes. Do I want her to quit? Yes. Does it make me frustrated that she is choosing this risk? Yes. Does she know all this? Yes. But I also don’t want to be her Joy Thief. She is a grown up and can/should make her own decisions, even decisions that I may not like. Everyone else gets to decide what gives him or her Joy. Everyone gets to decide what risks they are willing to take on in exchange for that Joy.

So while I take no Joy in smoking or watching others especially friends and family smoke, I also take no Joy in trying to convince them to quite, feeling like a nag, and making them upset. So I remain conflicted. Balancing my desire for my mom to quite with my desire for her to be happy and live her life on her own terms. Sometimes (maybe often to her) hinting, suggesting, and offering motivations for her to quit and other times remaining silent and respecting her right to Chase Joy with a cigarette in her hand.

How do you deal with any conflicting feelings you may have regarding how the people you love choose to Chase Joy? If their drinking, smoking, eating, spending, or sexual habits bring them Joy but you stress how do you handle it?

Picture Source

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Thief Amongst Us… A Joy Thief!!!


Well I am sure by now you are well aware of Joy Thieves. The stress they cause. The anxiety they invoke. The displeasure they bring. We all know them. (If you don’t, consider yourself lucky. You can read up on them here.) We work with them, go to school with them, and attend church with them. Maybe your are even related to one or two of them. The point is we are often thrown in to situations where we not only can’t avoid them but are forced to deal with them often.

Well that is the situation I am in. There is a Joy Thief that I am forced to deal with very regularly. I am usually able to avoid or keep my distance from Joy Thieves but not this time. Joy Thieves are highly contagious and some of her unhappiness has been wearing off on me.
So I sought the help of a trusted advisor. Her advice…. “You are just going to have to treat her like a 2 year old” A two year old? Really ???

How about a comparison:

2 year old - screaming “No” at inappropriate times
Joy Thief - Yelling and refusing to perform assigned duties

2 year old - having a fit of temper if he/she doesn't get his/her way
Joy Thief – Stopping around and cursing when she doesn’t get her way

2 year old - ask for something that is not really wanted, just to see if he/ she has enough power to get it.
Joy Thief – placing unusual and unnecessary demands on others to demonstrate superiority or initiate a power struggle.

2 year old – Hitting and Kicking
Joy Thief – So far no signs of this behavior.

Hmmm… I think my advisor is on to something.

So how does one handle a two year old? I don’t have kids yet. Parents this is where I need you to jump in. Here are a few techniques I remember from my babysitting days:

Ignore the out bursts – I can actually do this pretty well. Although, it is much more challenging to ignore a 100lb plus adult Joy Thief than a chubby faced 2 year old.

Discipline – Unfortunately I think the Joy Thief has outgrown time out and spanking will definitely get me into trouble. Although a good swat may be temporarily gratifying. Lol

Bargaining - Sadly I don’t think the Joy Thief will respond to a piece of candy or a new toy. Perhaps a pack of smokes and a drink will do the trick???

HELP!!!! How do you handle your two year old and/or the adults who act like them???

Picture credit

Saturday, May 7, 2011

5 Answers from Chasing Joy


I stumbled upon this 5 question post on My Little Life and figured it be a good way to let you know a bit more about the girl you are Chasing Joy with. So here goes:

1. Have you ever had roommates?

Yes, 3. I am the only girl of four children so I did not experience the Joy of roommates until college. Of the 3 roommates I had during college only 1 was crazy. My 1st semester Freshman year I roomed with two girls the crazy one and the non-crazy one. The non-crazy one actually apologized for moving out and leaving me alone with the crazy one for the 2nd semester. I was sad but understood her decision to go. I’ll just give you a couple small examples of the craziness. She was a senior and requested to live in the freshman dorm. She told me her television was broken. Then she moved it to the floor in front of her bed where I could not see it from my bed and watched it using head phones the remainder of the year.

Luckily I met another non-crazy girl at school who also needed a new roommate for sophomore year. We ended up being roommates the remainder of college and are still great friends.

2. How many names do you have? (i.e. Prince Charming William Phillip Arthur Louis John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt)
I have a first name and only 1 middle name. Most people call me by my first name, Arlett. A few nicknames I go by are Letty, Lett, R, and Candy (childhood nickname). I am named after my aunt. I think it is cool that my nieces and nephews call me Auntie Arlett and my aunt Aunt Letty. I wonder if the kids have realized we have the same name.

3. Did you watch the Royal Wedding?
Not technically. I had no desire to wake up that early. However the TV footage was everywhere. I saw her getting out of the car, the royal kisses on the balcony, the prince waiting for her to walk down the aisle, and the Queen in her yellow multiple times and on every news show!!!

4. What is the messiest room in your house?
Unfortunately that would be my bedroom. I don’t have enough closet/dresser space. My clothes, shoes, and handbags have taken over my bedroom like some sort of rare, multi-colored, unmaintained Ivy plant.

5. What is your ideal Mother’s Day?
My ideal mother’s day has not yet taken place. One day I look forward to being a mom and spending the day celebrating along with my mother

Tell me a bit more about who I’m Chasing Joy with. Take a minute to answer 1 (or all :-) of the questions.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Feel Good Friday - I Survived


Happy Feel Good Friday Joy Chasers!!!!

I know it has been a while since I did a Feel Good Friday post but I am feeling especially good today. It has been a rough week. Here are just a few of the high lights or should I say low lights: Dog poop, cat pee, crazy co-worker refusing to work with me, argument with same irrational co-worker, stress, anxiety, tension, and not enough sleep. So, I am feeling good today because I do not have to deal with any of the above for at least the next three days.

Last Friday I was filled with anxiety. I was preparing for two parties, my uncle’s 70th birthday party and a jewelry party that I hosted at my house. I was worried about how I would feel attending a family function with my dad’s siblings now that he has passed away. Would it be too painful??? I was worried about having my friends over my house? Would they be disappointed in my house or would they see the Joy of my imperfection???

This Friday all that is behind me. Both parties have come and gone. My uncle’s party unfortunately was much harder than I expected. I missed my dad terribly and had a hard time keeping my quite tears from turning into loud sobs. Thank God for bathroom stalls. My party on the other hand was a success. Many guests arrived. They laughed, smiled, ate, purchased a little jewelry and overall had a good time. And so did I!!!

This Friday I can say I survived. I put on a brave face and overcame some of my social anxieties. I cleaned up the dog poop and cat pee and still love my pets. I accepted that crazy irrational co-worker is going to be her crazy irrational self and all I can do it stand up for myself and hold on to my sanity. I deep breathed, prayed, and vented (to friends) my way through stress, tension, and anxiety. This Friday I am looking forward to sleeping in.

This Friday I am feeling good because I have no stress, no worries, and no obstacles in my way as I Chase Joy.

Why are you feeling good today???

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chasing Joy or Running from Fat!!!


As I am Chasing Joy I am not only running from boredom, I am also running from fat. I have told you of my desire to Treat My Body as My Temple and of my complicated relationship with my Joyful Food Friend. Things are going well so I am posting a few of the tips that I am constantly reminding myself.

Don't do a diet. Try to find a program that will help you develop new healthier eating habits for long term. I am currently doing nutrisystem. I don't intend to have my meals sent to me forever I am using the program to learn portion control.

Don't be afraid to try different plans. You may not find a healthy eating plan that works for your personality and dietary needs right away. Keep trying different things. Don't give up on yourself or allow yourself to feel hopeless. Just try something different. I think in the long run people who are successful learn from every weight loss attempt and end up with a personal plan that pulls from all those experiences.

Find a support system in real life and/or online. I have been much more open lately with friends/ family/ co-workers about my desire to make healthy changes and lose weight. Everyone has been supportive. Some people have even opened up about having similar goals, and frustration. I also have a great support system online at Phit-n-Phat. These are awesome women of different ages, lifestyle, and fitness level, that all share the same goal of good health, looking, and feeling good.

Exercise is a must. You don't want to be skinny fat. This is where you lose wight but don't develop any muscle tone. You'll have sagging skin and more visible cellulite. If you don't exercise you'll also miss out on the benefits of feeling stronger and more powerful and tracking progress in ways not related to the scale. (how much weight you can lift, how long or fast you can run)

Increase your fruit and veggies. The most important thing I've learned so far from nutrisystem is that instead of having a small side of veggies with my meat and potatoes I should be having a small side of meat and potatoes with my veggies. Half of every meal should be veggies.

With these tips I am down almost 30lbs from my highest weight. I am feeling lighter, looking better, fitting into my more stylish clothes and am in much better shape for Chasing Joy.

Are you Chasing Joy by running from Fat? If so what are your tips for weight loss???

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