Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Where I Have Been

Hello NewsBlogAlums,

Jen here. I'm sorry I've been away for so long, and will probably disappear for a while again also. However, I wanted to stop in and say hello and give folks an update as to where I've been.

First, let me explain that in the months leading up to Gilly's death, I can't believe (and I truly mean it) that I managed to keep my job -- which was and still is going through major changes -- and most of my health, and my sanity -- as well as run the blog. The first month following the funeral was rough also. Let me apologize now to everyone who send condolences that I didn't reply to directly -- I got over 2,000 emails which was very, very touching but also made it impossible to reply to individually.

Right now, I am trying to give Gilly's family some room, and have not been in touch -- I feel like a raw reminder of his death to them, and really don't want to bother them. I'm here if they reach out to me, but right now, I don't want to make what must be an awful situation (post-death legalities, etc) worse.

Along the way between that awful February 21 (the day Gilly went into the hospital for the last time) and today, lots has happened with me. Among other things, I gained stress-related weight and now seriously have to just start watching what I eat again -- main things are portion control and not binging on cheese and other tasty but fatty stuff when I get home from a (very) long work day. Yes, I have a plan in place and I seem to be sticking to it. My goal is to get into That Pair of Pants by this time next year, which is well within normal weight loss guidelines.

I also developed -- and continue to have -- sympathetic illnesses which I'm trying to manage. Among other things, some outstanding Female Plumbing Problems that I've always had have gotten notably worse -- to the point where I went and got a full ultrasound and blood workup. Thankfully, nothing seems out of sorts more than usual, but it's still always scary when symptoms suddenly ratchet up. Actually, it was my trip to the ob-gyn that got me back on a scale, and made me realize the weight situation.

Also, for the first time in my life, I am developing and getting stomach problems and other digestive issues. So, I am trying to control by just eating more slowly and less at a time. Scarily enough, I am in the process of recovering from what feels like a total case of irritable bowel syndrome -- basically if I eat ANYTHING, I have bad cramps/aches for hours. It feels like someone beat my chest and stomach wiith a broom handle. I took a sick day recently and it's kind of scary. I hope this one passes.

All of this is being exasperated by my job situation -- I love my job, and things are going OK, but we've had staff reductions that mean more work for me and more people to deal with. I'm trying to make sure that I get out after work -- and I do -- but it's a matter of me trying to cram too many hours into each day. I am also taking a mini-writing course after work.

On the apartment front: Believe it or not, I wound up not moving. My summer was too fucked up by Gilly's illness and passing, and I could NOT get ANYTHING comparably good space-wise anywhere near a subway for what I am paying now (I have a junior 2BR on a top floor for $1281 a month). Yes, my landlord is a harassing asshole who still can't get his shit regarding the hot water together. However, I looked in Manhattan and found NOTHING worth living in for even as high as $2100/month that wasn't an even longer commute and less convenient than what I have now. I saw one nice place in Astoria that was a PALACE -- truly gorgeous brand new everything, huge, tons of closet space, utilities included, elevator building, laundry on each floor -- for $2050/month. But at the end of the day, I would still be in Queens, and out more than $800 a month extra. Also, I figured out that it would be at very least $6K to move, which would mean eating into the money that I'm saving for a down payment on my own place. That would be $800 a month more, before I take a single taxi, or eat a single meal out.

I had to sit myself down and see what I really wanted to be doing with my money, and spending it on more rent for a tiny little studio (or "junior one-BR -- a studio with a wall down it -- most that I saw had a "bedroom" that was literally 7'x7' -- as in room for a mattress, nothing more) and ADDING the expense of living in Manhattan wasn't it.

Yes, my landlord is still a confrontational dick who is a lazy fuck. But the apartment is large, cheap, and QUIET, and I don't think I can deal with the disruption of a move right now.

The bottom line is, I need to slow down. That's why I need to step away from the blogsphere for a while, if not permanently.

I never went onto Gilly's blog with the intention of even being a headlined writer -- it was an honor that he bestowed upon me because he wanted to encourage my writing. Then I wound up running it, and wonderful folks like Jim and Jesse and LM and Hubris stepped in.

Now, I need to step out a while. I know I have to do LESS for a while before I can start doing MORE of the right things (like going to the gym and slowly setting some boundaries RE my time in the office). It's like cleaning out a room and rearranging the furniture -- you have to take ALL the crap out before you can put it back in.

I hope this all makes sense. I may comment on the blog once in a while, but as far as being a regular contributor, I just don't see it happening.

Thank you all for your support and understanding, and thank you to everyone running this new blog.