Awwww my old familiar route along the West Side Highway! Remember when I used to live over there? I guess not, because I didn't really have this blog up and running yet.

My Happiness Hat Trick

Date: April 7, 2014 at 9:09 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 37

When you’re sick, weekends suck. It’s not like, “Oh, sweet, it’s the weekend, I can get lots of rest and feel better by the time the workweek returns on Monday!” No, not at all.

Instead, being sick on the weekend means being stuck inside, in most cases, doing nothing (or doing everything…in the bathroom, at least), while the rest of the world does everything you want to be doing.

While you’re up early because your maddening stomach pains woke you up, everyone else is up early to engage in hours of exercise.

You are still sick in bed = everyone else has already Instagrammed pictures of their legs + Garmins. Sorry. Your life sucks.

You are still sick in bed = everyone else has already Instagrammed pictures of their legs + Garmins. Sorry. Your life sucks.

By the time you’re on your third roll of toilet paper (I never claimed to be subtle or sexy), the rest of the world has successfully run 20 miles on the most beautiful day, followed by a much-deserved hot shower, a fancy brunch with friends and a sweet afternoon nap.

No one tell Brian that this is on the internet. He might not love it. I don't know. I certainly didn't ask permission to post this. #ethics

No one tell Brian that this is on the internet. He might not love it. I don’t know. I certainly didn’t ask permission to post this. #ethics

While your life sucks, everyone else is having the best weekend ever.

And not to be all negative or whatever, but this “hypothetical” weekend scenario was my life for the past, what, millions of weekends? Rough estimate.

The weekdays were easy. When I was healthy enough to make it to work, I had a nice distraction. If I had to stay home, at least I knew I had plenty of crap on the DVR to get me through the day.

LOOK AT THIS TABLE I BUILT! I did this during a sick day. Pretty impressive. Every day when I walk in the door, I expect it to be on the floor, broken into a million pieces. Clean that up when it happens, Brian.

LOOK AT THIS TABLE I BUILT! I did this during a sick day. Pretty impressive. Every day when I walk in the door, I expect it to be on the floor, broken into a million pieces. Clean that up when it happens, Brian.

But I dreaded weekends. I hated watching the rest of the world at play, and I had to really avoid social media because it led me down a dark, scary road of anger and sadness.

Three weekends ago, though, something happened.

I finally started to relax. And my body seemed to follow suit.

I woke up early on Saturday morning and went to a 7:45 AM yoga class. And then I ran home.

Awwww my old familiar route along the West Side Highway! Remember when I used to live over there? I guess not, because I didn't really have this blog up and running yet.

Awwww my old familiar route along the West Side Highway! Remember when I used to live over there? I guess not, because I didn’t really have this blog up and running yet.

By the time I got back to the apartment, Brian and I agreed: “Let’s get out of the city.”

We rented a car and drove “out east” to my very happy place: the North Fork of Long Island. We got to our sweet little Hilton Hotel, took a long late-afternoon nap and then went out to dinner with Brian’s mom at one of my favorite restaurants in all the land, the North Fork Table & Inn (do it).

We slept in deliciously late on Sunday — hotel beds are my favorite — and then embarked on some hardcore outlet shopping. On the way back to the city, we stopped for a big ol’ steak dinner.

I went to bed back in our apartment that Sunday night feeling the happiest I had felt in months. All it took was being OK enough to leave the apartment.

Just five days later, it was time for another weekend.

This time, it was off to New Jersey for my cousin’s wedding.

FANCY AS SHIT. Even fancier, actually.

FANCY AS SHIT. Even fancier, actually.

I got to spend an entire weekend with my family at another one of my happiest places: Ocean City, NJ, where my aunt lives.

Pretty typical, really.

Pretty typical, really.

And unlike all 10 or so of the weddings I attended last year, I was able to fully enjoy this one. As in, I spent the entire night on the dance floor…not in the bathroom. How’s that for progress?

Remember being little and being a Girl Scout and having those Father-Daughter dances? Those were special. My dad always got me a corsage and it felt very fancy. WHERE WAS MY CORSAGE THIS TIME, DAD? What a load of crap. I got nothing.

Remember being little and being a Girl Scout and having those Father-Daughter dances? Those were special. My dad always got me a corsage and it felt very fancy. WHERE WAS MY CORSAGE THIS TIME, DAD? What a load of crap. I got nothing.

The weather all weekend was crappy, but I still got out for a little run on the boardwalk in the middle of a downpour. I had the whole boardwalk to myself and it was perfect.

This past weekend marked my third getaway in three weeks — this time to Saratoga Springs, NY. Brian had a bike race up there, so I tagged along, if only for the promise of a hotel bed and a hot tub. The abundance of competitive spandex-clad boys racing bikes doesn’t hurt either. (I only have eyes for one in particular, but ladies, if you ever want to tag along, I’m tellllllling you, there are men a’plenty just looking for a nice girl who wants to talk about watts and power meters and other seemingly boring bike stuff.)

Photo credit: ME! They ride bikes and I get to play with the big, fancy camera. It's how I earn my steak dinners and hotel beds.

Photo credit: ME! They ride bikes and I get to play with the big, fancy camera. It’s how I earn my steak dinners and hotel beds.

Brian and I got back to the city around 5 PM (after making a pit-stop at the Woodbury Common outlets, because I can’t not) and I felt really relaxed for the first time in so long.

Whenever I start to get sick, I recall all the “familiar feelings” that come on so suddenly. The fevers, the night sweats, the aches, the frantic bathroom runs…even if it’s been a while, the minute those factors come back into play, it’s like they never settled down to begin with.

But the same is true with these happy feelings.

I’m not running much, but when I do get out there, every step feels so precious (ew, I just said precious…”Yeah, I can’t call you that…” anyone?). I am so deeply grateful for every run I get to take.

Happy places abound in this post!

Happy places abound in this post!

Today, I took the subway — the downtown 6 train — from my apartment down to my office. It was the first time in months I did an entirely underground commute (as opposed to taking a cab or taking the bus, which is less stressful because it’s not underground).

Some days lately have still sucked. At one point last week, the night sweats came back with a vengeance and I just about lost my mind in a state of panic.

People ask how I’m feeling, and the easy response is, “good!” The truth, of course, is that my standard for “good” is horribly low. What passes for good for me these days is still a poor quality of life, but it’s better than where I’ve been in the very recent past, and I’m not complaining. I wish “good!” didn’t mean “I still spend hours in the bathroom every morning, I still can’t really eat anything without pain or discomfort and my greatest fears are spinach, salad and restaurants with single-occupancy bathrooms.”

My days lately are filled with little victories, though — taking the subway, not having to leave the room during yoga, sleeping through the night or going out with a dear friend to a real restaurant.

Photo credit this time: Sara! Reunited and it felt pretty good, until I thought I was OK enough to order that second glass of wine (uhhh, the most I've had in more than a YEAR, people). Then I didn't feel so good. I also didn't feel so good the next day. Or the next day.

Photo credit this time: Sara! Reunited and it felt pretty good, until I thought I was OK enough to order that second glass of wine (uhhh, the most I’ve had in more than a YEAR, people). Then I didn’t feel so good. I also didn’t feel so good the next day. Or the next day.

So I’ll take the “good,” whatever that means, because it sure beats all those sad weekends.

WHERE’S YOUR HAPPY PLACE? Let’s talk, because I’ve been missing you. Where’s your weekend “gotta get away” hot spot? And can I go there with you? I’ll bring snacks.

Comments (37)
 
For my 22nd birthday, the guy I was dating at the time took me into New York City (I was living in Connecticut then) to take me to dinner at the Loeb Boathouse. He was so pissed that I had never heard of it. He also turned out to be a total dick, so it's fine. My mom is not going to be happy that I just used that word. She hates it.

The Triumphant Return Of Thankful Things Thursday

Date: March 20, 2014 at 10:52 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 88

Big things are happening. Huge. On Tuesday, I ran to work! It was cold and wonderful. My first morning run! On Wednesday, I fully reacquainted myself with public transportation. I rode the subway three times and took the bus once. […]

 
Look at that stunner!

!!!

Date: March 12, 2014 at 9:27 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 70

Last Friday morning, I was taking my usual obnoxious expensive cab to work, and the driver asked me the most annoying question a cab driver can ask, which is, “Which way do you want to go?” (I always think they’re […]

 
This seems better than any side effect-filled drug, no?

My Great Escape

Date: February 28, 2014 at 10:43 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 108

This is a “15 Thing Friday,” if you will. I had a post ready to go that ended up being just another “I have Crohn’s and I hate it so much every day lately” update. Boooooring at this point, right? […]

 
OH GOD, THAT IS SO BEAUTIFUL.

February 18

Date: February 18, 2014 at 9:39 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 26

I was going to stop by the internet today to tell you about the very disappointing failure that was February 10. About how I showed up for my appointment, so excited in my tracksuit, and Study Lady was just shocked […]

 
You know what helps with a bad breakup? Girlfriends and booze. And finding a handsome new dude to kiss.

I'm So Excited...I'm So, So Scared

Date: February 10, 2014 at 7:49 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 49

Ladies and gentlemen, Jessie Spano. So today’s the big day. In just a few hours, I’ll be at the doctor’s office, getting what is either a drug that may heal me and give me the relief I’ve waited for for […]

 
I SHOWERED THAT DAY. I had to go to work, so it was a big deal. I put on mascara, too, and also a bra.

Survival Of The Sickest

Date: January 29, 2014 at 5:57 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 108

This post was going to be so happy and so positive, you don’t even know. And you never will. But sit tight, because you’re going to get that whole story. Lest you think things are all dark and scary in […]

 
I haven't forgotten about you, CP! You're in my heart every day. And I hope to run all over you soon. (If I can remember how to run...yikes, it's been a whiiile.)

Those Familiar Feelings

Date: January 15, 2014 at 6:27 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 71

Let me take you back in time to a week and a half ago. The weekend had not been awesome. I’d attempted a yoga class Saturday morning, and I had to leave the room twice to use the bathroom. It […]

 
Resilience. On a CitiBike.

Resilience

Date: January 2, 2014 at 7:47 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 51

First I wrote the “Lessons I Learned in 2013” post. I’d been taking notes throughout the year, so drafting this bad boy was a breeze. But the lessons were predictable (People love to be offended! A good couch is a […]

 
It's pretty before it turns the city into a slushy mess!

It's Christmas Time In Contoocook

Date: December 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 33

It’s been a while! The excuse-truth for being anti-blogging: I’m Crohnsing pretty hard. I know I know I know I know. It’s the never-ending shitstorm, and that’s not even supposed to be a pun. Though the puns are practically unavoidable […]