End of Winter Update

At least it better be the end of winter.

50 weeks ago today I broke my right hand. Approximately 47 weeks ago I left for Djibouti. Close to 9 months ago I began a fitness journey that would lead to 30 pounds lost, amazing muscle tone gain and a shocked primary care physician.

I suppose the summer of 2014 was a significant one in my personal history, and maybe, with luck and inspiration, 2015 will continue to be a transformative year.

But first I must survive the winter. The Northeastern Coast of the United States has experienced a brutal winter. I maintained a good attitude about it until last week. Now I’m ready to sell my house and move to Africa.

My friend counted four storms last week. They slayed me. I spent an hour a day shoveling various increments of winter slop. Thursday I shoveled snow for twenty minutes before work (around 6 a.m.) and my husband drove through the snow storm at lunch time to get me home. I shoveled for 45 minutes after work, about six inches of snow soaked with water run-off and caked with ice. Then, when I had the street half done, the plow came through.

The plow pushed a thick wall of ice onto the end of our parking pad so I shoveled that. Then I started working on the plow pile at the end of the alley. 

On Friday– after two snow days in a row– our local school district changed their two-hour delay to a closing. My back was sore at this point but I ignored it.

I had a 6 p.m. appointment in Washington D.C. for my interview to approve my global entry/known trusted traveler application. I walked out my front door and ended up crouched on the sidewalk in pain. 

So many recent displays of strength and endurance and I overdo it shoveling.

But I made it to D.C. and thanks to muscle relaxers and codeine, I made it to the Reagan Building and commiserated with my agent about our back pain. He perused my background and seemed puzzled not by my trip to Yemen or expired Algerian visa, but by the fact that I work retail.

I’ve been fingerprinted and have been approved.



After a delightful dinner of thai food and the delectable pastries of La Caprice for breakfast, my husband and I headed home. Not much can be done in D.C. with limited mobility.

But now, as my back slowly returns to normal (I’d say 90% today), I lament my pathetic fitbit numbers. Yesterday I walked a mile. That’s it all day. My lowest day ever. Friday and Saturday were about three miles. My weekly tally is 55,000 steps. I was over 100,000. 

I have a seven hour shift today so hopefully I don’t reinjure myself.

Finally, on another topic, still researching grad schools. I am interested in taking Arabic locally here in the Lehigh Valley. I also found a local university that offers a graduate certificate in women’s studies, an area in which I wish my portfolio was stronger. I have another school in mind for history, yet another for international relations (I’m considering an MSFS and/or conflict resolution), and also investigating Africana studies.

And on another note, I am a chapter away from finishing my third fiction manuscript.

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