, , , , , , ,

I tend to blog more when I’m upset, but I don’t want y’all to think that everything is always doom and gloom and panic and chaos, because it’s not. It’s just that when I feel well, I’m usually out living life, not writing about it.

Awhile back I started a gratitude journal, which is helping me keep a more balanced perspective on life. And there’s so much more to be thankful for than I could ever blog about. Really. So for the sake of balance (ha!) today I’m going to write about a few of the amazing and wonderful things that have been going on around me, despite the hormonal hurricane that just never seems to let up.

I’ve lost 60 pounds! I’m back to the size I was 5 years ago, and it’s marvelous. I still have a ways to go, but I can finally see my collarbones again, have only one chin, and actually recognize myself in the mirror. A size 12 is a real triumph after a size 20, and 32G is cause for champagne after 32J. I’m totally winning the love-my-body game! Well, aside from the evil ovaries.

Shorter than my hubby's hair!

Our card catalog is full of cameras.

I also have a really cute haircut. Instead of beating myself up about being utterly nonfunctional after a total hot mess meltdown on one of those wretched dysphoric days, I wiped my tears and went for a trim. Sure, I was trying to re-exert control. So what? I hated the haircut I had, so it was totally legit. I took in a picture of Ginnifer Goodwin’s adorable pixie cut, and the girl went utterly whackadoodle, leaving my hair about a third of the expected length. But I love it!

We went to the zoo this weekend, taking advantage of truly glorious spring weather, and I pished a bored kookaburra into responding! Pishing is a dying art in the age of mobile apps loaded with recorded bird calls, and in my opinion, less unethical than making a bird believe its territory is being invaded by a rival. Or in any case, less unkind than horrible little children screeching at the poor critters while their parents egregiously misinform them (read the signs, people – kookaburras are from Australia.)

But last weekend, I did sort of help harass some birds, all in the name of science and conservation, when I visited a bird banding station on Lake Ontario. Before anyone gets all PETA on me, it doesn’t hurt them and most birds are totally like whatever about it. Banding a small fraction of the migratory bird population gives us very important insights into biology and ecology; federally-licensed banders record the birds’ sex, age, weight, wing and tarsus measurements, and their fat stores – crucial for migration – are checked by gently blowing on their breast feathers.

Me and "my" wee chickadee!

Me and “my” wee chickadee!

Best of all, I got to hold a wild chickadee to release after banding! The spunky little chickadees are more aggressive than most larger birds, and she tried to bite my fingers. I listened to her tiny heart beating at an unbelievable pace that would spell instant death for humans: 550 beats per minute at rest! But that hyperactive heart is exactly right for the 12g of pure attitude that was my little “chubby” chickadee. Nature is amazing!

The field trip was part of an awesome class I’m taking. One of North America’s leading bird conservation institutions is in Central NY, and every spring they offer a field ornithology class. I waffled over spending the time and money, but Mr. Chickadee said I should do it because I’d regret passing up the opportunity. He was so right. I have to drive quite a distance and spend overnights nearby to minimize sleep deprivation (it really is a substantial commitment) but it’s been great. It has also encouraged forced me to unplug for 18-24 hours every weekend, which is good medicine.

So there you go. I wouldn’t exactly say it’s all sunshine and lollipops, but there have definitely been bluebirds singing this spring. Eastern bluebirds, as a matter of fact. 🙂