Honest, Horrible, Humbling Humanity

I keep asking myself why I started a blog. When I read other blogs or Google blog topics, I find a lot of material similar to what I’d expect from magazine articles. You know, DIY projects, health and beauty advice, endless how-to articles: how to take the most inspiring Instagram pic of your microscopic lunch, how to color your cares away in books conveniently for sale now on Amazon, how to disguise self-promoting sales pitches as altruistic advice, how to write the same boring contrived bullshit everyone else writes so you can finally “matter” to the world.  Just remember that blogs aren’t about sharing your diary-style diatribes, because no one gives a crap. Sorry Anne Frank, you’d need to learn about search engine optimization and selfie skills to be read these days.

Ack! I sound so bitter. I’m sorry I brought Anne Frank into my rant. (I love you.) I’m just sick of hearing that the only way people can be heard and “matter” is by buying into the notion that they have to offer practical advice. I get that we’re in America and people are about self-interest and reading something directly applicable to their own lives, but then why do they (well some of them) read novels? Or watch sitcoms, or dramas, or go the movies? And how did Jenny Lawson become one of the most famous bloggers ever?

More than anything, I think I’m angry with myself for believing this notion that you have to sell a skill to be read or to matter. A big reason I haven’t been writing is because I didn’t believe anyone wanted to read the real, honest, no fun daily struggles of another privileged middle class American white chick. And maybe they don’t. Ok. But does that mean I just tuck my tail between my legs and hide away like I’m not overflowing with thoughts and feelings that I’d really like to just let out already?

I can’t really dump all the responsibility on “society” or “norms” because if I’m being totally honest, I don’t like displaying the tough emotions like anger, sadness, or fear. I’m ok sitting on them in silence or steeping them in sarcasm.  I suppose I’ve bought into the popular notion that those emotions betray a weakness that is all too human. Sometimes admitting to being that human seems too damn difficult. Not to mention that exposing my humanity means exposing my flawed self to fun feedback from anonymous strangers or worse, my friends.

I’ll talk about the crap feelings if it is to dispense advice, information, or reactions to the myriad world events that evoke those emotions. But when it comes to my own intimate, personal daily struggles, I run like hell from acknowledging them or discussing them. I run to diaries I can lock away, to music, movies, books, denial, and fantasy worlds. I developed this withdrawal coping mechanism in early childhood and I’ve used it to keep others at a distance as far back as I can remember. I had good reasons to do so for a long time. I’m sure there will always be reasons for all of us to self-protect. I mean, the world we’re in just isn’t safe. But it won’t be safe regardless, so I may as well suck it up and spill some truth beans now and then.

The reason I started blogging was because I express myself most authentically and clearly in writing and because, despite my formidable defenses, I want to be known and understood and heard. Writing that out in the open is terrifying because for so long I have wanted the very opposite. At least I thought I did, or thought I was supposed to want that. But not being seen, not telling my truths, and hiding behind the concocted and unconvincing images of normalcy has become exhausting and alienating. I’m tired of believing I need to be quiet about my past, my story, and myself. So while I will remain reticent regarding stories that are not mine to tell, I will speak my truth. Because Oprah said I could, dammit.

That being said, I’ll answer honestly now the question some have asked in the past few months. “How are you?”

I’m adapting to and enjoying my new job and I’m relieved to have stopped moving and unpacking and to have settled into a new home. But winter is difficult for me. My anxiety and depression symptoms worsened and recently, my antidepressants have stopped working. So I’m now coping with antidepressant discontinuation syndrome as I’m weaning off my Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor (SSRI).

Breaking up with my medication has been rough. I feel like I’m drunk but without the positive side effects of giggling at everything or deciding I love EVERYONE and needing to proclaim it for the entire world to hear (I’m talking to you random cab driver). No, it’s not so bad. I just feel tired, and nauseous, and dizzy, oh and then suddenly sad and then pissed off, all within ten minutes of waking up. So really, maybe it’s like I’m drunk and pregnant all at once but without the fun buzz or the adorable baby. But luckily for me, this ordeal should only last a month or two, not a better part of a year.

I also didn’t do myself any favors with my reading material this winter. I read some amazing and highly recommended books, but also dark and disturbing books that could have waited until spring or summer when my mood is more manageable. I’ll get back into my book review writing again soon, but for now, I’ll just say I recommend the following books if and only if you’re ready for some traumatic truth bombs: Kindred by Octavia Butler, 1984 by George Orwell, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Atonement by Ian McEwan.

That last novel brought up some issues for me because it dealt with a child’s misreading of sexual situations and the strong desire to atone even when the course of events has rendered absolution impossible. For now, I’ll just say it stirred up some forgotten feelings about a friend who I didn’t know I didn’t know. My little eyes were not grown and could not see her as she was before she had to go. But now my eyes are swimming in wide open Oh!s.

See what I mean? Reality blows. I’m going to go stick my nose in a happy fantasy book.



A Crescendo of Counsel: 2016’s Life Lessons (From Least to Most Important)

  1. With hard work, a little planning, and a lot of luck, it is possible to properly prepare for your period and avoid staining your clothing and/or furniture each month. Use one of the myriad available apps to track your cycle and when you begin to crave cheese and chocolate and/or tear up when someone raises their voice a decibel, that’s the time to stuff some tampons and pads in your purse and start wearing the old undies.
  2. It makes no sense to wash your car before a road trip. Even though you may be excited to show the world you are the responsible kind of person who (a) knows where to find the car wash (b) has a spare $10 to spend on a wax and buff and (c) takes pride in a shiny, happy junker, you’ll be throwing your money away on something you’ll have to pay for again at the end of your trip. So screw appearances and drive dirty.
  3. Also, don’t take a 24-hour road trip by yourself when you’re a young female with little to no muscle mass and an anxiety disorder that causes you to carry mace into every gas station and pull over to text your entire family every hour after sunset. It’s just not a vacation if you’re worrying about sexual assault at every rest stop.
  4. It is possible to survive job interviews without shaking out of the hot seat or sweating through your pantyhose. But I recommend preparing as much as possible beforehand. That includes getting enough sleep, eating well, and accepting that you have little control over the questions asked or the outcome. Also, be prepared with at least 5 questions to ask them and take notes during the interview. Treat it like a first date and keep in mind you’re interviewing them too. You don’t want to be stuck with a boss from hell for years of your life. Screen for them.
  5. Don’t make plans with people outside of your immediate family or close circle of friends on major holidays like Christmas day. It won’t work out and you’ll either feel like an asshole for making the plans at all or you’ll make the other person feel like an asshole for making room in their day of family fun for someone who was OK flaking  on them at the last minute.
  6. Back up your hard drive. Just do it. Right now. Before Microsoft or Apple or whoever has the chance to send out an update. Do it, and I’ll take some small comfort that my sacrifice was not in vain.
  7. Even hot rock gods like David Bowie and George Michael are mortal, so take the time to really appreciate their hotness and general awesomeness while you can.
  8. Any article or headline you see about Kanye West or Lena Dunham are not worth your time. Keep scrolling.
  9. Racism, sexism, class discrimination, violence, homophobia, general intolerance, ignorance (and even Nazis for crying out loud) are still present in our country and spreading messages of hate and fear. Combat this with kindness, compassion, and empathy with yourself and others.
  10. No matter how inconvenient your god-given personality may be to you at times, it isn’t realistic or wise to attempt to suppress it to make way for a false persona that you believe will be more accepted and/or financially secure. Financial catastrophe struck in my life, and in the lives of many of my loved ones, after my graduation from college in 2008.  I emerged from those struggles with the new belief that financial security and literacy was my new number one priority.Never again would I find myself sharing a tiny house with one coworker, one “traveling salesperson” who constantly had people in and out of the house exchanging cash, and their newborn son squalling his head off at all hours of the night while I ate Ramen noodles or set rat traps in my bedroom.  From 2009 to 2016, I climbed the little ladder of my small community bank and tried like hell to convince myself that I was practical, business-minded, and tough. And I made myself pretty miserable in the process.

    This was more convenient than admitting that I wanted to spend my days taking photographs, writing, and reading. I thought it was time to grow up. My mistake was thinking that meant giving up my interests and passions and burying my voice and myself in the back corner of a vault where no one would ever find me. This year I realized that growing up meant accepting myself and following my own goals and dreams, while also accepting the reality that in order to do so, I will need to serve my time performing less-than-thrilling tasks at a day job that comes with little pay or prestige. The necessities are taken care of and I have time for the inexpensive hobbies that give my life meaning. That’s worth a pay cut and even a second job.

Anxiety-Induced Insomnia

When I started this blog, I thought I would do more raw first-person writing about my anxieties and how I deal with them. After all, the title of the blog has the word “Anxieties” in big, bold letters. But the truth is, I’m anxious about writing about my anxiety. I don’t think it is a weakness. I know it is a chemical, biological, scientifically proven… thing. But I’m afraid to talk about it even though it’s something I’m constantly dealing with. I mean, I talk to my family about it because they all totally get it and won’t meet my rants with concerned looks as they slowly back away from me a few feet. They’ll enthusiastically exclaim, “Oh my god, me too!” when I tell them I had nightmares for a week after watching the first episode of Black Mirror or that I’ve started to sanitize my library books because I’m afraid I’ll get a paper cut and then contract HIV from some random stain left from the previous borrower. Oh, and then I’ll research the progress made in HIV/AIDS treatment for an hour online.

My default coping mechanism is to  withdraw, it’s definitely not writing my feelings in a public blog for all to see. I mean, a few sentences alone will give me hours of anxiety time later on. Did I punctuate correctly? Did I overshare? Do I need to work on my boundaries?  Is there any way to make more readers find my blog but fewer of my known friends and family members find my blog? I mean, whenever I see anyone I know, I’ll be silently wondering if they’re judging me for some random comment I made in my blog. Then they’ll make a face that affirms my suspicions and I will remember the exact expression of smug dissatisfaction each night as I lay awake trying to do the stupid mindful breathing my therapist keeps assigning to me. 

It’s so much simpler to write book reviews and hide behind sarcasm and jokes that get me through my life than to pour out the thoughts that necessitate those defenses. But I started this blog in an effort to start being authentic and unapologetic in my anxiety. So, even though I had notes on a book review, here I am.

Sleep for the Strung-Out

One of the worst parts about my anxiety disorder is the effect is has on my sleep. I absolutely love sleep and pretty much everything about it. I love pillows, pajamas, slippers, curling up to say goodnight, tucking myself in and turning out the light, spooning my boyfriend, and letting the cat under the covers to curl up by my chest. You’d think a bed fanatic like myself would be able to fall asleep, right? Oh, no. Anxiety makes me work for it. Hard. But over the years I’ve discovered some tricks. Maybe they’ll help you too:

  • Eat a bowl of whole-grain cereal before bed. Apparently the combination of calcium, carbs, magnesium, and tryptophan are a proven remedy for insomnia.
  • Avoid chocolate, soda, coffee, alcohol, sweets, (pretty much anything really tempting and yummy after 5pm) or it will interfere with your sleepy-time.
  • Speaking of which, I highly recommend any “Sleepytime Tea” before bed too (plus bonus! cute bears on the box). Just make sure to leave a little time between drinking and hitting the hay or you’ll just have to get up to use the bathroom. Then the problem starts all over again.
  • No bright lights an hour before bedtime. Try to unplug before bed by turning off the smartphones, pads, tvs, futuristic watches, etc. Our crazy monkey brains see that bright light and think it’s prime hunting time or running from mammoth time, or whatever our caveman versions did.
  • If you need TV to lull you to sleep, I recommend documentaries or Bob Ross videos. But don’t be fooled by some of those nature documentaries, it can be stressful watching penguins freeze and and ice caps melt. Learn about climate change in the morning. Bob Ross on the other hand, has a very soothing deep voice and a positive outlook that is difficult to resist. Always a comfort.
  • But I recommend audio books or reading before bed above TV or movies. Ideally a story heavy in dialogue narrated by someone with a British accent.Or a classic like Jane Eyre  or Jane Austen. Anything involving a Jane will do. Just make sure to use a soft reading light conducive to nodding off mid-chapter.
  • Exercise for at least 20 minutes, preferably a cardio exercise that gets your heart rate going for a bit. If you’re like me and find this difficult after a day on your feet, try a morning walk or yoga to start your day off right. (My anxiety tends to be highest in the early morning so these exercises work to calm me down and ease me into my day. It also gives me something to focus on besides everything that could possibly go wrong in the next 24 hours.)
  • Keep a worry journal by your bed. If you absolutely cannot turn off the endless “what-ifs” or “why did I’s?” then just getting them out of your mind and on paper can really help. You can also return to it the next night and reality test your fears. How many of those concerns came up today?
  • A warm bath. There are certain products that seem to help me more. I respond best to lavender and vanilla scents but you can experiment to see what works best for you. Worst case scenario you just got some good relaxation time and you come out smelling all nice and flowery. (If you’re like me and you worry about water conservation, try to find ways to conserve in other ways like cutting down on laundry or running the dishwasher.)
  • If you’re really desperate, try this song. For some reason the transparent reverse psychology works wonders on me.


Wandering the Wild Woods

Hi there! I’ve come back to regale you with glorious tales of my wild success on my goal list from yesterday. I know you’re waiting with baited breath on the edge of your seats so I’ll dive right in:

  1. Allow myself to relax for an hour– I did this very well. Not only did I relax in bed reading blogs and catching up on the news with my kitties, I got so darn comfy in bed that I fell asleep again until 11:30am. I seem to be slowly returning to my college routine of procrastinating and avoiding homework (or in this case begging for work) by cleaning and organizing every inch of my home. That is until 9pm or so when I suddenly realize I’m running out of time to squeeze in the things I meant to accomplish that day.
  2. Get curious about my new surroundings. So, full disclosure, I got totally lost when I went off exploring and didn’t see as much of my new town as I did the surrounding forests and towns (just like I do in Final Fantasy  and Zelda.  Me and maps don’t mix. But I didn’t encounter any monsters in need of battling so that was nice). Since my phone battery started to die during my exploration, I decided to play it safe and head back to the apartment a little on the early side. I did see a bit of the downtown area and even spotted a few bookstores I plan to visit soon when I have more than a nickel and a pile of pennies in my car for parking. (LastWordBooks &  OrcaBooks– and this one has book clubs. Bonus!)
  3. Do something fun and in no way productive to the unpacking/moving business. This didn’t happen. I mean, I had some fun on my scenic drive, but mostly I just worried about running out of gas or my phone dying before I figured out where I was. I’m trying to think of fun things I can do tomorrow. Honestly, I think relaxing with a good book and a cup of tea sounds amazeballs. So, that will be on the docket for tomorrow.
  4. Apply to one job. Ok, so I got part-way done with this one, but I kinda spaced that I need to update my resume and draft a cover letter (gotta stop doing this crap last minute when my brain is fried), so that part has yet to be completed. I also found another job prospect that sounds fun and has benefits. Oh! and I found a website, FreelancersUnion, so in the next few weeks, I want to read up on freelancing and maybe even attend one of their local meetings.
  5. Resist sugar cravings. Mission complete. But I’ve been thinking about some strawberry ice cream sandwiches in the freezer since about 5pm. My boyfriend’s in bed now, so I could easily sneak one without getting any “concerned” health or nutrition talks. It’s like he thinks I deserve to feel good and wants me to live a long life or something. So annoying. I know I’ll feel guilty if I sneak one and also, I’ll give myself the talk for him as penance. Stupid love stuff- he’s got me cutting down on sugar, moving to some strange town, and I made HIM dinner. “It’s a turvy-topsy world.”

Relaxation Results

So if you tuned into my blog yesterday, you’ll know I was a Debbie-Downer in need of some serious rest and relaxation after a crazy stressful month of moving, working, and hostessing family from out-of-town. And now I’m craving Hostess cupcakes, that’s just great. Well, since I’m still having stress-induced sugar cravings, you may be able to guess that I remain a little strung out.

I did do less today. I slept in until 9:30am or so, and I even spent an hour watching TV and playing with the kitties. However, I also made a road trip back to the old apartment to pack up as much remaining crap that would fit into my tiny trunk. Actually, I managed to squeeze in a fair amount of boxes and laundry baskets filled with miscellaneous odds and ends. My fast trip home came to a halt when I ran into the afternoon traffic. Still, I rocked out to some old CDs and made it home right before rush hour, so I’m counting that as a win.

I’m feeling better now that I’ve found a few job postings that sound interesting. Though I’m disappointed I couldn’t find any openings at a library, I figure I’ll keep looking while applying to available positions that can provide some relevant experience. I’ll happily put in a year at a job that will lead to library/museum employment and simultaneously fund my training. I’m keeping my eyes open for bookstore jobs too, but I didn’t see anything in my area. Whatever happens, I want to continue my blog and explore freelance writing possibilities.

My goals for tomorrow are to:

  1. Relax for more than an hour.
  2. Get curious about my new surroundings and explore the town by car or bike. (Thanks to older sis for the suggestion. Did you know “getting curious” helps with anxiety-provoking situations? I read that somewhere. So I’ll be getting curious about the town tomorrow.)
  3. Do something fun and in no way productive towards the moving/unpacking business.
  4. Apply to one job.
  5. Resist sugar cravings (I caved and had a Dr.Pepper today).

Manic Moving Month

I’ve been on a bit of a blog hiatus this past month. As posted previously, my boyfriend got a job in Olympia and we packed our things and moved. This coincided with my scheduled vacation time. I’d planned to spend time relaxing with my mom who visited from Iowa the week of August 15th, my twin sister who visited the next week, and my dad and stepmom who visited the next week. Since moving costs so damn much, I decided to cancel my vacation and give three weeks notice at my job so I could earn money and cash out on all my vacation time.

Which means I’ve been working, packing, moving, and squeezing in fun time with family. I feel guilty for not writing even though I don’t have many followers outside my immediate family. It’s more that I meant to keep a routine and try to post a few times a week. Part of me says to give myself a break, I had other concerns. But the other part is angry that I didn’t make writing a priority. Whatever, I didn’t have anything interesting to write about anyway. Not that this is particularly interesting.

I haven’t taken any vacation days since December for the holidays. When I canceled my vacation time in order to give notice, I told myself I’d give myself a few weeks to relax and enjoy some down time. But how do I relax when I don’t know when I’ll find a job and when I’ll get my next paycheck? I have plenty money saved and my boyfriend has promised he won’t kick me out or let me starve but my anxious brain still “what-ifs?” and “worst-cases” in spite of these facts.

I’ve stayed cool and calm so far. I’m actually quite proud of how well I’ve done. I feel like a big part of my lack of hysteria so far is due to my constant busyness. Either there is no time to panic or I’m just too exhausted. My fear stems from the uncertainty and deep desire to find a fulfilling vocation, not just a paycheck. I know I’m capable and intelligent. I know how hard I work and that I’ll find another job. But will I enjoy it? Will I want to wake up and go to work or will I dread it?

At this point, I’m scared to stop and slow down. I spent the whole day unpacking and organizing the apartment. I unpacked the kitchen boxes and organized the pantry. Then I unpacked the books, CDs, and DVDs and alphabetized and shelved said items. I rearranged furniture, organized the closets, went to the grocery store, made dinner, did dishes, and then unpacked and organized some more. I didn’t stop until 10:30 pm this evening. Now it’s almost midnight and I’m tense wondering how to stay busy tomorrow.

Why can’t I just allow myself to relax a little bit? What is that? Yes, I know a symptom of anxiety is the “inability to relax” but can’t my anxiety take a vacation so I can vacation?? Well, I’ll try to relax for at least a few hours tomorrow and report back on the results. Thanks for reading my tired and anxious ramblings.


Worry Wart

A few weeks ago, I was reading on the couch when my boyfriend asked, “Want to move to Olympia?” I sleepily replied, “Oh, sure.” It’s only an hour and half away and it’s more affordable than our current suburb, so I figured why not? One week later he was interviewing. A few days later he was offered the job. On Tuesday, I went into work and gave my notice. Having recently transferred to a new branch, I was giving my notice almost exactly a month after I started. I’ve been with the company for nearly seven years, but I knew I was betraying my kind and easygoing new bosses by leaving so soon.

“Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms can vary. They may include:

Difficulty handling uncertainty or indecisiveness

Now, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but I have some anxiety issues. My therapist trained me to deal with change by focusing on taking care of myself and planning for the events under my control. You know,  do things like meditating, exercising, organizing, and preparing. The basic adulty behaviors. So naturally, I reacted this week by making three donut runs, one Dairy Queen run, a few beer runs, and binge-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As Buffy would say, I’ve been “happily vacationing in the land of not coping.”

Carrying every option in a situation all the way out to its possible negative conclusion

Persistent worrying or obsession about small or large concerns that’s out of proportion to the impact of the event

Well, that’s not entirely true. I have done some adult-type activities that I was terrified of doing. I emailed my resignation notice. I explained to my managers why I didn’t want to stay with the company, therefore admitting to myself and everyone else that I don’t want to stay in banking and am capable of finding a job I enjoy more. Which means I will have to apply for jobs and go on interviews. Holy shit what did I do??? If I don’t find something I must be an incompetent, lazy moocher who can only excel at counting money and oh my god, I’m going to end up one of those ladies pushing around a cart of junk and sleeping under bridges! 

Worrying about excessively worrying

Anxiety Allie has been a real bitch to me this week, following me around and whispering “what if’s” and worst-case scenarios in my ear. Telling me how selfish I’m being by making this great opportunity all about me and my inability to control my fear. Typical dramatic martyr, turning a positive situation into a pity-party. I mean, on paper, the situation is great. The rational part of my brain does realize this. I know that the facts are: my partner got an amazing job, which means he will be happier, receive the pay & amazing benefits he deserves, and we will finally live in an area where we can afford something other than apartment rentals, and where we won’t spend hours in traffic. Oh, my god, I’m a terrible girlfriend, what is wrong with me that I don’t feel just as happy and excited for all of these good changes???

Distress about making decisions for fear of making the wrong decision

My emotional and anxious brain wants to curl up with books, beer, and/or Buffy and forget about dealing with things like packing, moving, finding a place to live, applying for jobs, interviewing, figuring out insurance while I’m unemployed, changing doctors/dentists/vets, getting used to a new job and new co-workers, learning a new occupation and being the rookie who has to ask questions instead of being the supervisor who answers the questions. Go back and beg your bosses to just take you back! Don’t risk the chance of failing in front of everyone and screwing up your dreams. 

Inability to relax, restlessness, and feeling keyed up or on edge

Difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that your mind ‘goes blank.'”

When my mind won’t allow my body to stand still enough for zoning out, I obsessively clean, pack and repack boxes, or dive into work projects I created for myself and just must get done today or the company will collapse into ruin. I feel tired all of the time and so out of it, I have trouble doing basic things like forming coherent sentences or remembering anything I needed at the grocery store. But when I try to sleep, I tense up and start obsessively running through more worst-case scenarios. When I finally fall asleep I have nightmares involving catastrophic natural disasters that only I seem to notice. Why is no one else reacting to the giant tidal wave about to engulf the city?  Run for your lives you crazy calm cretins! 



“Generalized Anxiety Disorder.” Diseases and Conditions: Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Accessed August 14, 2016. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/generalized-anxiety-disorder/basics/symptoms/con-20024562.

Part 1: Pedaling, Pokemon, and Predators

Matt and I just returned from a 6.64-mile bike ride around town. I spent a large portion of the 1.5 hours whining at Matt to hurry and catch his #Pokemon thingies and/or walking my bike up the big, stupid hills as I watched in envy as cars zoomed by. I could feel the judgment boring into my helmet as I pushed my bike along and of course, hear it from my smart ass boyfriend tossing jeers behind him as he eased up the hills. 😋 ❤️ But whatevs, I’m not the one burning fossil fuels on a gorgeous summer day and I’m not giving up when it gets hard so I’m calling it a win.

We got a peek at Bothell’s Main Street and the damage from the #BothellFire. So many businesses were just decimated, only their brick frames and foundations remaining. I’m glad no one was physically hurt, but I know those business owners will be recovering for a while. 😕

Anyway, my reason for posting is because I thought it’d be fun to start a “Sweat Out the Sad” series in which I share short snippets of my exercising exploits and how such agonizing aerobics help anxiety and depression. I’m hoping my struggles will inspire and amuse readers while simultaneously motivating myself to keep moving, even though I’d rather be reading, or watching Buffy, or even socializing.

I’ll end each story with a fact about how exercise treats anxiety and/or depression:

“Exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. In one study, researchers found that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years.”


So, even though my brain really doesn’t like the idea of huffing and puffing my way up hills in the summer sun, my brain has no clue what is really beneficial. It’s sabotage, I say! Or maybe my prehistoric brain is freaking out with fight-or-flight symptoms because it knows the body attached hasn’t run it’s butt off escaping mammoths or saber tooth tigers? Maybe my brain will calm down when I trick it into believing I just outfoxed a predator? It’s worth a shot!