Tag Archives: motivation

Time

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I mentioned last post about how I’ve been trying to not use my phone when I’m doing social stuff, because I want to be a part of things. It’s harder than you’d think, because we’re so conditioned now to document every meal and moment, and to take and re-take photos to prove our spontaneity. There’s a place for this, yes, but for me? I’m trying to be more in the moment.

But sometimes, I really do not like the moment.

This morning was the icing on a particularly nasty cake I’ve been baking for a while now. I was running late for a cycle class, and I do not cope with being late. So I took what I thought was a shortcut, and found myself going straight past the gym. I turned around and promptly repeated the exact same sequence of turns, and again… going straight past the gym.

As I sat at the lights waiting to do a third u-turn, I heard myself say something. Actually, it was pretty loud. Chances are the person waiting at the lights next to me also heard it.

One thing I am good at doing is talking to myself in ways that I wouldn’t dare or even dream of talking to other people. And to prove a point, I have turned what I said into a beautiful meme:

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And looking at those words, I feel ashamed of myself. I would unleash total fury at anyone who dared to use those words towards someone I love. Even towards someone I don’t know. You don’t talk to people like that, not in my world.

Except… I do. To myself.

And I’m sitting here, writing this, and I just want to cry. Because I know I meant it, at the time.

Time.

When I eventually got to the gym, I pushed myself through a big cardio workout, because I’d totally and utterly missed the class I wanted to go to. I was stretching afterwards, and a woman who’s become a good friend plopped herself down opposite me to chat.

We talked about time. About how moments are so important, and without investing in the importance of time – instant, immediate, now time – life kind of loses meaning.

It reminded me of a conversation I had last night, where again time was the topic. Don’t rush time, don’t force yourself forwards into things you can’t possibly predict the best outcome. Don’t worry about things that you don’t have the information about yet. Just be now. Time.

Which reminded me of a conversation I had on Sunday. Time. Time doesn’t exist, you just have now as your guarantee. Don’t let anxiety mess with now.

Time.

I need to remember those words I said to myself. Not because they’re true. But because of the horrific cruelty behind them, that I directed to myself. And I need to remember how I spent that moment, that time. Because life is so fleeting. I cannot put more time into talking that way to myself. Because fuck.

I might hear me.

I thought about things that I have heard other people say about me.

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photo by @kimmi_joy

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There comes a point where you can make a choice.

And I choose moments. I choose now.

And as hard as it’s going to be to change the thought patterns of a lifetime, I choose to remember that I have done something amazing. That I am strong.

And that I am about to help other people set themselves free.

 

 

Back to the start

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The most common question I get asked is, “How did you get started?”.

Now, I know they’re not asking questions regarding how I was conceived because god knows I don’t want to discuss or imagine this. No, generally this question is asked when people see photos like this:

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Undesirable No. 1 

As an aside, people look at me fitting into one leg of my jeans or shorts or in this case, jean shorts, and comment that I’m half the size. In terms of weight loss, no. I’ve now officially lost over a third of my body weight. So I’m not half the size. Or half the person. Maybe that’s my brain being factual, or maybe it is the actual facts in answer to a statement where I have missed the point. Anything is possible. But my money would be on the latter option.

Anyway, how did I get started?

For me, the answer is this: Find a reason.

It needs to be a good one. An overarching reason. A reason that will make you tie your shoe laces and go, even when it’s cold or you’re sad or too busy or too stressed. It has to be a big reason, a reason that resonates with the core of your being and your will.

Nudging obesity related health conditions was not a big enough reason.

Being in constant pain was not a big enough reason.

Slow, unfit, hugely overweight: not big enough reasons, not for me.

Hating my body, and myself for what I’d let it become? Still not there.

Because all of these reasons, which are good reasons, weren’t enough for me to act.

For me, the big enough reason happened 14 years ago. But I didn’t turn it into a reason until July of 2015. Almost two years ago. So it took twelve years to realise the reason was there. It also took a considerable mind shift.

14 years ago, my mum died very suddenly.

She had some health issues, and was overweight.

There are things I won’t ever forget from the night she died.

It’s easy and natural to be stuck in grief.

But the thing is, I knew I was heading down a path to recreate this moment for my people. I was barrelling down the road that was going to put my people through the same thing. And when I looked at them and thought about them, I couldn’t understand why I would put them through that. For some of them, it would be the second time they would have to confront these experiences.

And so that cloak of mourning and grief had to be changed.

It became the hand on my back, pushing me forwards. It became the reminder on to the too cold too tired too hard days. It became the furnace that rose up from the pit of my belly and told me I could do this. It became the momentum behind my walking and running, the power in my weight lifting, the reason to scan my gym card or to sign up for yet another fun run.

When I hit the 50kg gone point, my aunt told me that I had realised mum’s goal.

And as my health improved, as well as my fitness, I had realised my own.

I’ve dodged a bullet, not only for myself but also for my people. And it comes down to that reason.

Essentially, my reason was love.

My reason was about changing the way that most painful moment changed my life. It took 12 years to get there, fortunately that was OK. But I don’t know how much time there was going to be to find that reason. I have no idea where I would have been today if I hadn’t started.

It’s a sobering thought.

Here’s something I know, though:

If you find a reason – and it must be a big one – then you’ve started. From there, it’s about moving. Find something you’ve enjoyed in the past. Walking? Swimming? Skipping? Set those beginning goals low. Walk to the mailbox and back each day. Walk in water if you’re sore. It’s not about speed, because you’re not racing anyone. It’s not about distance, because even marathon runners start small.

It’s just about starting.

And then remembering why you started.

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I won’t ever stop wanting my mum back. But I also know that the last thing she ever gave me was the power to save my life.

Which seems fitting, given she gave me that life in the first place.

 

But “no fear April” is not as catchy

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It was funny, I was sitting in the gym car park this afternoon messaging a friend and openly told them that I was sitting in the gym car park. I was maybe 20% thinking I would just go home. I was tired. It’s been a few weeks of not a lot of sleep. It’s also been a pretty full on few weeks. Worlds get rocked sometimes.

But that other 80% of me dragged my bottom into the gym. And as I opened the stairwell door, I was confronted with hordes of teenagers from one of the local high schools traipsing down the escalator to the gym.

Friday afternoon sport.

To be perfectly honest, I automatically turned around and walked back to the stairs that would return to me to my car.

But I didn’t go up the stairs.

I turned back around and joined them on the escalator and went into the gym. As I went to get changed I had a little voice in my head whisper, “You know you packed a singlet to wear today, don’t you.”.

Now, singlets. They’re kind of my nemesis. I look at myself in them and see wagging, saggy skin; the way they cling to the skin on my tummy, the bulgey bits from my sports bras (yes plural, the girls are escape artists). But I’ve been getting braver.

And remembering I had packed a singlet when the gym was full of high school kids again made me contemplate the cleverness of my decision to push on with getting changed and doing a workout.

But I got changed. Walked through the selfies taking place. Went to my treadmill. Then to the weights. Stretched. Had a good workout.

And came home.

The No Fear November thing was awesome. And I’ve tried to keep it in mind as I’ve gone through the Cert III, and start the Cert IV next week. But it’s hard to change almost 40 years of thinking with one hash tag, which is why I tried to change my thinking just for November last year. The thing is, I discovered that I quite liked being brave. I enjoyed not being governed by fear and doubt. So yes, I tried to hang on to No Fear November.

But now it is April and No Fear April is nowhere near as catchy.

So instead, I think it’s going to come down to reminding myself not to be scared. Of life, of teenagers, of singlets.

It seems to be more of  a remembering what I’ve done and who I am thing, and remembering that my old responses aren’t how I need to respond now.

And just like that, this post has become more of a thought vomit.

Anyhoo, here is me in my singlet. Middle finger up, because you know what, I didn’t need to do this gesture at all at the gym. There were no giggles and no snide remarks. Instead it is up at the old thought patterns that still threaten to taunt me every now and then.

Fuck them.

I’m wearing the singlet.

#nofeareverymonth

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Change the World

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Yes, but change your undies first.

Wait, hang in there with me on this one. This morning as beloved left for work, I wished her an amazing day, asked her to be safe, and finally, called out to her back as she walked out the door with her lunch in one hand and keys in the other, “Change the world!”. As the door closed I had a little giggle to myself and added, purely for the dog’s benefit, “But change your undies first”. This was not because beloved has a tendency towards wearing substandard underpants. It was more because as I turned, I saw the washing hanging on the clothes horse and spotted her superhero undies. So yes. Change your undies first.

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Not beloved’s actual undies. Image from reelgirl.com

But as I bustled about putting groceries away, I had a little think about the phrase I had uttered so flippantly, and it wouldn’t go away. Change the world, but change your undies first. It’s a giggle at first but then it takes on a different weight.

For me, life can be very black and white.

Big public actions of love or justice rarely impress me. Maybe I’m turning cynical or maybe I miss the point (a very good chance of this one, actually) – but for me, your public acts of love or justice mean nothing if you are an arsehole at home. This is where I am not talking about beloved anymore, by the way – she’s not an arsehole at home.

I hate talking about politics, mainly because of this arsehole analogy. Sure, sign the public papers and make your public speeches, but are you honest? Could someone ring you, directly, if they were in the middle of a crisis and needed help? Would you return an email or a phone call? Do you treat the people who you interact with on a day to day basis with the utmost respect? No? Then put the pen away and step back from the microphone, go and change your undies.

I think this little theory comes down to being who you say you are. Being who you want people to think you are. Being your public persona when you’re at home doing the dishes.

 

I’ve always been the kind of person who wonders if they’re good enough, nice enough, caring enough. One of the things I’ve learned in the last 12 months has been that actually, yes I am. I am good and nice and caring. But in the interests of changing my undies, I need to treat myself with goodness and niceness and caring-ness. And I’m doing it, kind of. Certainly better than I used to.

Because I think it comes down to, essentially, how you are behaving towards yourself. I think that’s the absolute core of changing your undies.

It’s been a peculiar thing, the learning and unlearning that has gone hand in hand with reclaiming my own fitness and health. But it’s not that I suddenly became worthy of these new outlooks as I lost weight, not at all: it’s more that to even kick off the process, I had to do things that were scary and hard for me. I had to take on challenges. I had to continually readjust the parameters I had fenced myself in with. I guess the more you engage with life, the more life engages with you. And to be in that reciprocal relationship with life, you have to be OK with the boundaries you have in place – enough to be able to be confident, but also enough to have to be brave.

That’s when I think you can actually change the world. But yes. Change your undies first.

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sparkpeople.com

 

Just Be.

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I have a friend, a woman who has been a part of my world for years and years. And the most consistent thing she has told me is this:

Just be.

Whatever the situation. Whatever the moment or mood or swings or roundabout or event. It’s always the same. Just be.

I think as we live more and more on social media, documenting ourselves doing life, those two words become more relevant. I’ve been making a conscious effort to not use my phone when I’m with friends, and to resist the urge to take photos of every moment. Mainly because I want to experience things in real life, rather than through a screen. And as I write this blog post I’m aware of the irony because I’m writing via a screen and it will be read via a screen; and there are plenty of times where to zone out I’ll play pointless little games on my phone; and when I need to be distracted I’ll again connect dots or scroll through music or word games.

But I’m learning to be. To just be.

Accepting where I am, what I’m doing, what I’m experiencing, and just being in that moment.

No regretting, no resenting, no longing for something different. Just being. And the more I just be, the less I am actually regretting or resenting or longing for something different. Life is, generally, very good.

I have big things in mind for this year. I’m working on a second book. I’ll be kicking off the study towards being a personal trainer. I’m taking on #nofearnovember as a way of life, and rising up to just do the things that scare me. And it is good. I’m seeing again and again that I can do things.

We had a party recently, something that generally fills me with dread. And it did, but fuck it, I took it on. I also went to a BAR that I had never even heard of before, and it was awesome. And I saw my GP about a couple of things that had been worrying me, and I feel so much better knowing that she’s got things under control.

Just being. Rising up when I can and when I need to, and finding out exactly what I am made of.

And I am learning and realising that what I am made of is probably the opposite of what I used to think I was made of. I’m strong. I’m brave. I treat people well. I care about the underdogs. I’m stubborn, but I use it well.

I want 2017 to be the year that I am guided by what I am made of, instead of what I am afraid of. It’s going to be the year where I learn more about what I am made of, and then just be.

This song, Steer, by Missy Higgins. It’s on my playlist when I am at the gym, and it’s currently on high rotation in the car. These lyrics are the theme song for 2017 for me.

“But the search ends here
Where the night is totally clear
And your heart is fierce
So now you finally know
That you control where you go
You can steer”

Thanks, S.

 

No Fear November

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I decided that November would be about doing things even though I was afraid; about not letting fear get in the way of taking on challenges.

November has been a good month.

Here are some of the things I did in No Fear November:

  1. Walked into a spin class late.
  2. Dealt with a frog without running away.
  3. Went to the dentist, and booked a follow-up appointment.
  4. Went to different classes at the gym with unfamiliar instructors.
  5. Wore MAKE UP and FAKE EYELASH THINGIES and did a saucy photo shoot for beloved.
  6. Wore a singlet in public.
  7. Drove beloved’s big dyke truck car a lot.
  8. Dealt with Medibank after they screwed up my health cover, without getting overwhelmed and just letting it go.
  9. Made a list with nine items on it, instead of an even and pleasing ten.

The thing about fear is that it’s relative. What sends me into a blind panic may not barely cause a ripple for you. So my list might not look like much. For me, though, these are things that would not have happened if I didn’t have #nofearnovember in my head. Or they would have, but with so much anxiety and panic that I would have been projectile vomiting the entire time.

Just accepting that I was absolutely going to do something even though it scared me removed that element of power that anxiety can have over me. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t always pleasant. But I bloody did it.

So what now? Do I go back to letting anxiety be the boss?

No.

I discovered that I actually kind of like letting my stubbornness be the boss instead.

No Fear November is going to lead in to No Doubt December. For December, I’m going to believe in myself.

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Beloved, the flatmate who isn’t the flatmate anymore and I all completed the Santa fun run on Sunday. It was incredible to do the 6km with these two women by my side: Beloved, who has stood by me and loved me and even put special cream on my chafed bum. The flatmate who isn’t the flatmate anymore, who has been my best friend for over ten years and has seen me at my absolute worst and loved me through it. I had wanted to use the run to see how my time had improved over 12 months. I wanted to run as much of it as I could, and use to prove to myself how much had changed.

Here’s what changed:

I had no nerves. I was fine in the crowd and chaos. These things are routine for me now. I didn’t huff and puff at all. Walked and enjoyed it. Didn’t take many photos – I just wanted to soak it all in.

It wasn’t about the time. Or the agility or the speed.

This one, after 12 months, was about being thankful. For what my body has done. For the journey so far. And for the people by my side.

With those things, but especially the last one, how can I have any doubts?

No Doubt December. Are you in?

What would you do?

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I’ve come up with an idea.

It’s based in that feeling. I don’t know if it’s a feeling only I get, or if other people get it too, so bear with me and I’ll flesh it out for you a bit.

You know that rising jittery feeling you get in your tummy when something you’re scared about happens? Or even looks like it might happen? What about when all paths seem to be leading to you having to compromise on things that you have avoided because they make you anxious? Are you like me, and refuse to do things because you honestly don’t think you can? Or, commit to doing something, then pull out at the last minute because it’s just too scary and confronting?

These are the things that have governed so much of my life. And at 38, I’m calling bullshit on those things. They are valid – this is not about saying you shouldn’t be scared or anxious or any of that. Because those responses are always valid. You’ll get some gurus who tell you that fear is irrational, I call bullshit on that, too. Fear is totally rational. It’s generally based in experience, or research, or gut instinct. Three things you cannot refute.

But what if it didn’t control your life. What if?

Just over 12 months ago, I made a choice to change my life. I suddenly had an ankle that wouldn’t let me down. And I had realised that unless I worked on my health – seriously worked on it, getting my weight under control and increasing my fitness – I was signing up my family to the heartache of another sudden death.

So, I made a choice. And it was a choice. I had two options: keep going how I was, convinced that my body wasn’t able to do anything to help me and to continue to be lost in grief; or just test out what my body could do, and turn that grief for my mum into a motivator.

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It was not easy. It. Was. Not. Easy. Not at first. But slowly, it became routine. Get up, go to the gym, walk slowly on a treadmill. Or get up, get my shoes on, and walk slowly around the block. I started where I was, probably at less than where I was, so convinced was I that I couldn’t do anything. But the thing is, I started.

Which leads me to now.

Throughout this experience, the biggest thing that has held me back has been fear. Even now, when I know I can do all sorts of stuff. It’s almost like a habit, to doubt myself and come up with reasons to be scared.

But imagine what we could do if we removed fear from the equation.

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I have deemed this November to be NO FEAR NOVEMBER. I’ve challenged myself to turn off that fear reaction. Because ultimately, I still have those doubts about what I can do and how far I can push myself.

#NofearNovember is about doing things anyway, until I find out that I can’t do them.

We’re 9 days in to November, and so far?

I’ve gone to a different class at the gym, with an instructor I don’t know, and been totally fine.

I changed plans and rescheduled stuff, and been totally fine.

I organised a confronting Christmas gift for beloved (big shout out to Style By Divine and Pearl Davies), and been totally fine.

On Saturday I’m taking on my first Park Run. And I’ll be totally fine.

The thing is, I’m still scared doing these things. But I guess there comes a time when you have to again, make a choice. Be stopped in your tracks by fear, and regret the fuck out of the things you don’t do.

Or.

Do them until you find out that you can’t.

#nofearnovember

Are you in? Use the hashtag and show me what you’re going to take on. Or, search it on your social media to see what I’m up to.

A HUGE thanks to Josephine, Suzi and Alice who have all gotten behind me with the Variety Fun Run – you can still donate, the link is here!

 

Yesterday and Today

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Today, I woke up early. It was cold. It still is cold.

Swung my feet out of bed and was surprised that they didn’t shatter like glass when they hit the ground, it was so cold.

Pulled on some clothes. Tied up my laces. And went outside for a walk.

 

Yesterday, I woke up slowly.

I woke up and felt defeated before the day had even begun. I had a doctor appointment to get some results, and I was terrified I’d have to get on the scales.

The thing is, despite continuing to train and eat properly, last time I weighed in I had gained weight. Just a couple of kilograms. But a gain. This sparked off a series of blood tests (and a 24 hour wee test, which I spilled on the bathroom floor prior to discovering my coffee machine was dead – but that’s another story), and the mention, the suggestion that it might be time to explore other ways to continue my weight loss.

I’ve been doing this for 11 months.

Working my arse off. Investing time and money and choices and decisions into every single step along the path to make myself fit and strong and healthy. And my proudest thing along the ride has been that I have done this with no short cuts, no fad diets, nothing that isn’t wholly and solely down to choice. So to even consider, for a moment, that I might have achieved all that I can this way – devastating. To hear the gentle suggestion that it might be time to consider medications or even surgery? Destroying.

For a week, I’ve sunk to the depths of defeat. I’ve worked my arse off, and it’s not good enough. I can’t do this my way.

Then yesterday, I went to get the results of these tests.

Overall, they were testament to the work I have done. Sugars are normal. Cholesterol, well lowered. There was one element that had improved but is still an issue – but it had improved.

But all I could think was, “I am getting nowhere, I’ve failed”.

You see, the issue for me is that I want to look like I’m having that ongoing success. I know it isn’t just about the scales – but the reality is, I want that damn number to go down. Because let’s face it. We judge people based on their appearances. My beautiful beloved told me to not make it about the scales, and to remember the health benefits. I growled back at her that she could only say that when she had to haul my ten tonnes of fat around with her. Look, I was really not in a good place at the time.

I tried to get to the gym, but couldn’t get out of the car. Sobbed and sobbed. My legend trainer messaged me to find out where I was, I tried to explain what had happened but just kept saying “I can’t do it” over and over again and I was starting to believe it. Finally got myself into the gym and she mopped up my tears and told me to get on the bike.

That night, I had a think.

And I remembered.

I remembered this:

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And this:

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And this:

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And I remembered the fun runs. The kilometres walked. The hours lifting weights. The fact that I don’t have to even hesitate when I look at a new physical challenge. That my driver’s seat in the car has to be forward now so I can reach. That I have lap for friendly dogs to sit on. That I’ve been able to ditch medications and reduce doses. That my lung capacity is enormous. That I am fitter and stronger than I have been ever before. That I don’t have to look for the absolute biggest sizes in shops now.

And I remembered my beloved. And my friends. And my family.

Which is why I did this in the first place.

And so, today, I woke up early. It was cold. It still is cold.

Swung my feet out of bed and was surprised that they didn’t shatter like glass when they hit the ground, it was so cold.

Pulled on some clothes. Tied up my laces. And went outside for a walk.

The things

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It’s late, I’m lacking motivation and have an excessive need to sleep. I know I should blog about the book launch, and I will. But not tonight.

Tonight, I am blogging about the things that have happened since the launch.

You know. Just in case you thought temporary fame might change me.

1. Shut fingers in a door. One door. Two fingers. Two swear words used in multiple ways to express the discomfort of the moment. And yes. This was on the hand that has had two operations in three months.

2. Washed the same load of washing five times. Fear of the musty smell that wet washing gets was the motivation behind this. Fear of rain was the motivator behind not drying it. A messy room was the motivator for washing it in the first place. When my room is a mess, I find my emotional state swiftly emulates it.

3. Felt the frustration and trepidation associated with cleaning a toilet. Now, I don’t mind this job. I pretend to be a dentist, polishing my patient’s veneers. But here is the troubling part: in an all-female household, how the actual fuck does the underside of the toilet seat get so grotty?

4. Held my neighbour’s linen for ransom. It was hot. I wanted a slurpee. Sadly, we still have the linen and I still have no slurpee.

5. Bribed my neighbour’s daughter with a slurpee, large sized, layered with two flavours.

6. Created art on the computer, signed it with the dog’s name, then posted it to his Facebook account. Yes. He has his own account.

7. Told an insurance company that my middle initial is ‘V’. They asked if I had said D for delta. No, I replied. V for – – -. It was at this moment my mind went blank and only one v word came to mind. Yes. That v word. And no. I did not think to just say my middle name. And no. That v word is not my middle name.

8. This is the achievement I am most proud of, post book launch. My partner is a shift worker, and upon her return home at 2am, she discovered the entire household fast asleep. Including me. As she curled up beside me, apparently I let loose the loudest, longest, noisiest fart she has ever heard. It woke me. It woke her daughter in the next room. Her daughter was so concerned as to her mother’s welfare that she sent a text. I awoke mid-passing of wind, and I have to say I am not sure if I saw love in her eyes. It wasn’t admiration, either. After the dust settled and I excused myself, I curled back up to sleep. Rolling over, I reefed my pillow with me into a more comfortable position. I heard a small thump. She’d been sharing my pillow. And now she possibly had a small concussion from banging her head so firmly against the bed.

Who says I’m not a catch?

posted from the befuddled mind of Kel…