Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New year, same me

Last day of the year is usually the time most of us get retrospective. Everything we have gone through, what we want to accomplish next year. New years resolutions. I believe I said it last year, I don't set resolutions. I make goals. This year, I don't even feel like I have that in me.

I had lost over 80 pounds. Then I had to have surgery and derailed everything. I got lazy and complacent. When I tried to get back on it, I didn't lose any weight, just maintained, but that was okay. I was happy where I was. Then came the excuses. It's too hot to cook. I don't have time to meal prep. Went on vacation. Wasn't going to stick to keto while I was in Florida. Come on! It's Disney, bring on the sugary goodness! Came back, said I was going back to my dietary lifestyle. Got strep. Oh, here comes the holidays. Why restrict myself around Thanksgiving and Christmas?

I gained nearly all the weight I had lost back in slightly over 5 months.

I felt awful. Upset at myself for giving in when I was so strong for so long. I had fully embraced the keto lifestyle, it was more than a diet. Then I fell back into the same nasty routine that got me overweight to begin with. The health problems returned. I work in a call center and while reviewing one with my manager, I could hear how heavy my breathing was. My asthma was back. I was tired all the time. The migraines have returned and seriously kick me in the tail. Woke up one morning barely able to move because my back was in so much pain. I wouldn't even take Christmas pictures with my family because of my failures. I became someone who would ask how someone was doing as I was walking away, not because I didn't want to know their answer, but because I didn't want them to ask how I was doing. I just wanted to hide.

I stopped caring about myself. I'm not even sure when that happened. I began to feel resentful. I'm always someone who puts others before myself but even then, I allowed myself to fall so far down I couldn't see it. My husband does. He sees the change in me and is worried.

It's more than just the weight gain, although that's the easiest thing to see and point at. I feel insignificant to just about everyone but my husband. I feel like I could disappear and no one would notice. I wouldn't really be thought of either. Not by friends or most of my family. I would cross Brad's and a handful of others minds. I couldn't pull myself out of my funk to send the "Merry Christmas!" texts. Of course, I was working anyways. Some of my friends reading this will suddenly remember that I didn't text them. Then they will remember they didn't text me either. Or they will check to see if I had texted. Anyways, will be working on New Years as well. Can't even ring in 2020 with the person I love most.

I have failed so much and so hard this year that the little victories don't seem to matter. I don't matter in the grand scheme of things. Times when I'm in a genuine good mood seem fleeting. All too often my smile is fake, unable to fully meet someone's gaze out of shame. Shame for my failures, shame for how I feel. All too often I push through, having to gear up for the fight that's inside my head. It's exhausting.

I'm middle of the road at best. Decent enough writer for some to have purchased a few of my books. Decent enough employee, but not great enough to really be considered for other opportunities down the line. Always just average or just below. What's the point in working hard anyway if in the end you don't even get the satisfaction of a job well done?

It's doubtful I will post a link on Facebook or Twitter to blog. Although maybe I should, if only for those who care to know what I've been going through for a while. I'm writing this because I feel like if I don't, these thoughts will drown me. Mouthfuls of water gurgling to get out before disappearing under the bubbles. This isn't for sympathy or a chorus of "Of course you matter!" comments. I'm not looking for affirmation. I just don't want to drown. Maybe if someone else reads this who is going through something similar will know that I understand. And I'm here. Just bobbing at the water's edge.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Enemy Within by Liza O'Connor

                                                By Liza O’Connor


MAC, the computer that controls the SkyRyder Corp discovers that soldiers within its ranks wish to stop its Breeding Project to make superior flyers. When a great many of these special talents are murdered over a two-week span, MAC quickly gathers the remaining assets, modifies their fingerprints and alters their looks, then sends them to the last place in the world that anyone would look for them.
Welcome to Fort Dismal, Alaska,
The absolute worst fort in the Americas.



Eliza woke to excruciating pain. However, beyond the pain, she could feel someone holding her hand. She opened her eyes to a very worried Captain Hudson. She was disappointed it was not the colonel, but he was a battle soldier. She could not expect him to spend his time waiting for her to wake up. She tried to smile at Captain Hudson but smiling hurt her lips too much.
“Don’t try to talk,” he said. “I just want you to know that the girls who hurt you are no longer here. You are completely safe now. I’ve brought you both paper and pencil.” He smiled. “I know you will be terribly bored, sitting here with nothing to do. Therefore, I’ve placed a mathematical problem on each of the pages to keep that wonderful brain of yours challenged.”
She wrote, thank you, on the paper.
He pressed her hand to his lips. “You are more than welcome, Eliza. I only wish I could have prevented this.”
“She’s awake?” Colonel Polanski’s voice spoke from the door. Just the sound of his voice brought a smile to her face, which caused her to groan in pain.
The colonel leaned over her, examining her face. “I know you’re in pain, but it’s damn good to see you awake.”
Captain Hudson excused himself, giving Eliza’s hand a gentle squeeze before leaving.
The colonel stroked her hair. “I see I’m not the only one you’ve mesmerized,” he teased. “Well, lucky for him, he will be accompanying you to your new place of residence. Captain Hudson’s job will be to make certain you remain focused on your studies, and my job is to ensure you are safe and secure.”
Eliza stared at him in surprise and then wrote her question on her pad: Am I not going to college then?
“No, this attempt on your life has MAC concerned. He wants you better protected, and I’ve been assigned the onerous task.”
She wrote: It will be a task requiring frequent rewards.
He smiled. “I imagine it will.” Then his eyes saddened. “But first you must heal.”
For a bunch of girls, they sure did hit hard.
His face turned dark and frightening. She imagined this was the man the enemy faced. She squeezed his hand bringing back the man with the sparkling eyes.

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About the Author
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, skydive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet throughout her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

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