BEATLETOT   78,218
SparkPoints
60,000-79,999 SparkPoints
 
 
BEATLETOT's Recent Blog Entries

Those Anchors

Thursday, November 20, 2014

In early October, I wrote a blog about my anchors. I kept adding to the list (which started out at about 12, I think) until I had two dozen things that in some way or another "hold me down." Here is the list:

1. My student loan debt
2. My sentimentality
3. My strong sense of nostalgia
4. My dog (hinders traveling)
5. My weight
6. My old clothes that must fit someday
7. My tendency to procrastinate
8. My anxiety
9. My funks
10. My absentmindedness
11. My one-track mind that needs somebody else to point out better ways of doing things
12. My lease
13. My tenants' lease
14. Diet Dr Pepper
15. My "stories" (the TV)
16. My stupid job
17. My income, which is much lower than what I was making before
18. My husband's unemployment
19. My irritability with my husband
20. Keeping grudges - not knowing how to forgive or forget!
21. My inexplicable loathing of my husband's sister-in-law
22. Social media/the Internet (yes, including SP)
23. My lack of momentum and motivation
24. My headaches

I'm glad to say that number 14 is gonzo. I quit drinking pop about a month ago--had one after I got a coupon for a free fountain drink a couple weeks ago, and it's been fine. I still want one everyday, but I haven't had withdrawals or side effects. It's just a "want." I was worried that quitting it would be quite like quitting smoking, with terrible withdrawals and side effects, but no. It's been really okay.

I've lost a little weight since I stopped, too. Last time I quit for a couple weeks, I got down to my lowest weight in years...I've since gained quite a bit, so I can't say the same now! But I wonder if there is something about soda that makes you "hold onto" weight. I'm eating about the same, so I don't really buy that theory about it making you crave sweets. You know the one, "scientists don't know why people who drink diet soda weigh more, but they think..." I also don't really eat sweets, AND when I did crave sweets, a diet soda helped. Or maybe the fact that I accomplished what I considered a pretty difficult goal moves into other parts of my life. Is "If I quit Diet Dr Pepper, I can certainly go to the gym today" or something similar knocking around in my subconscious? I don't know.

Number 12 is almost gone. My lease ends in 10 days. Number 13, too. We (well, the property manager) notified the tenants that they gotta go. We also said that they can leave early without penalty if they give 30 days notice, so I hope they exercise that. They have two kids, so I would imagine it would be easier to move them over the winter break than in the middle of the semester. I don't have kids, so I have no idea--maybe it is easier to move when the kids are gone 7 hours a day! But once they're gone, we're gone, too! Hooray!

Number 16 will be gone soon. I am so excited!! And nervous. I had to take a personal day last week, because I had been panicky for several days about the whole thing. And I got weepy-eyed in front of a coworker who doesn't know what's been going on, so I had to invent a cover story.

Because number 16 is almost gone, number 1 is worse. I had to modify my payment plans, since my income is dropping. But I want very badly to throw all my extra money at that once life gets better. Because it will get better, right? I have to believe this, no?

So I needed to figure out which one I would work on next...or first, really, because the others have been only a matter of time. Even Diet Dr Pepper--I'd been cutting down on it for about four months, because I was terrified of withdrawal from the aspartame. So this is the first one I'm looking at my anchors and saying, "What shall I work on?" And so I did what I normally do when I need to decide something relatively small--I went to a random number generator. And the winner iiiiiiiiiis...number 20! Which is way easier than most to deal with, I think. Some Googling, if that doesn't work, maybe therapy when I'm in a better place. I'll get started right now.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TENNESSEEWALKER 11/23/2014 3:13PM

    Great blog, and great comments. I use lists and picking priorities to shape my days and weeks. That random number generator certainly has a gift for picking humdingers! It's a lot of changes and challenges in your future. But they are changes for the better in the long run. Keep working hard and looking forward, and you will soon be crossing off more emoticon items and choosing new anchors to release.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOOMSHINE 11/21/2014 1:52PM

    Love your List of Anchors! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for your successful journey. Your attitude is great, so you're bound to succeed. Believe it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SEAGLASS1215 11/21/2014 5:04AM

    I like how you made a list of 'anchors' that hold you down...I may do one of my own because I think seeing them in print will help me deal with them (some, anyway, like my irrational dislike of certain people and my seemingly constant self-sacrifice at work. Thanks for helping me see things in a new light, good luck to you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BUTTONPOPPER1 11/20/2014 10:09PM

    BEATLETOT, it sounds as if this is a time of big changes for you. You seem a little anxious, but I think the overall tone here is of hope and excitement. If I were you, I would be excited, too, especially to be making that career change! I know it must be hard to accept the financial uncertainty, but I have a feeling that if you start to do more satisfying work, the other areas of your life will improve as well, and the financial matters will be manageable and cause less worry and stress. (And America needs to LOWER the financial burden on university graduates, by the way!)

Oh dear, I wish you well on number 20! I have problems with this, too. Thinking about this now makes me realize what a good idea it was for you to make this list. If you don't try to tackle these things consciously, you might end up doing nothing about them at all. There are things from twenty or even thirty years ago that still bother me. Most of my grudges are of more recent origin, but holding on to them is very self-destructive. And in my case, "holding on to grudges" includes a desire for revenge, which I understand is very wrong, not only because we all know that forgiveness is best whenever possible but also because it's energy-draining and time-wasting. I wish you success in removing "grudge" from your emotional landscape. I'd like to do that, too, along with impatience and resentment--not completely possible but it doesn't hurt to try!

Thanks for this blog. It's an interesting concept. I really enjoy hearing about your progress and look forward to hearing more.

Report Inappropriate Comment
EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/20/2014 11:37AM

    What a great blog this is.
1. I feel ya with the student loans. I'm pretty lucky that mine were all consolidated at a decent rate and mostly federal ones anyway. I have some friends who have crazzzy loans and I really feel bad for them. I would love to pay mine off sooner, but at this point I feel like it's manageable debt that is OK to have? but hopefully soon I can start throwing more money at it. I just want to save for things like a house that I'll never be able to buy bc I live in stupid Los Angeles. Ok back to you...
2. Yay to giving up the soda! I actually had a diet dr. pepper last night! I only do that once ina while so it was a treat, but I should prob give them up altogether, too.
3. Forgiveness/letting go of grudges can be hard. I think it depends on the person you're dealing with/the transgression/etc. As I've gotten older I'm better at just compartmentalizing some of my relationships, and just recognizing that maybe my relationship changed with the person I was mad at -- I won't hate them or hold grudges, but they won't be my BFF anymore either. I guess it depends on the grudges you're holding though!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BRAINYBLONDE5 11/20/2014 10:26AM

  forgiveness is the HARDEST. but the point of forgiving is to do it when the person doesnt deserve it - its for you to let go and move on. As for the TV I have seen a lot of "commercial break" type exercise plans that are made just for the commercial slots! I truly believe that once you are back home and at a job that makes you happy, things will fall back into place!!! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FEEDTHEHUNGER 11/20/2014 9:12AM

    Learning forgiveness is top of my list in ways to aid my life and my weight loss. It is hard to believe, but the lack of forgiveness that I show to others, I also show to myself. And, how do I punish myself traditionally? With food. I believe that gorging on food is a way of punishing myself with obesity (and the things that go with that) while convincing myself I am comforting myself. The comfort lasts a moment; the obesity is an all day every day pain.

So, yes, #20 by all means!

Report Inappropriate Comment


Basically the Same Blog

Monday, November 03, 2014

I'm quite sure I have written this kind of thing and had these thoughts about commitment and stick-to-it-tive-ness, and how this SparkProgram I've been doing for 7 years would work if I actually DID it, rather than "doing" it. But maybe the fact that I saw myself in someone else will make a difference.

Last night, I got a notification that one of my groups that there was a new message board topic. It was a new person. The person introduced herself, and she said that she was "going to try" to lose weight and "hoped" that this website would help.

I am a member of another site for people who are quitting smoking (I'm over two years quit). Out of habit, my intial response to this post was to say, "You can't 'try' and 'hope.' You have to be committed!"

Oh, wait.

I am in no way able to show my shining example of success in the SparkPeople system the way I can say I'm two years quit. I am not an example. Yet.

But I can be. I can follow the program. It's not a hard program, and it's worked for lots and lots of people.

So let's get started...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TENNESSEEWALKER 11/4/2014 11:05PM

    I think your being two years off the cigarettes is AWESOME! You deserve to stand up tall and take credit for quitting smoking and staying quitted from smoking! You rock, girl!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BUTTONPOPPER1 11/4/2014 9:42PM

    First of all, congratulations on your success at quitting smoking! Both my parents were smokers. My father was able to quit, but my mother smoked until the very last time she was admitted to the hospital, after which she went into a nursing home, where smoking was, of course, not allowed. On her very last morning of freedom (before that final hospitalization), the last time she ever drove a car, it was to go get cigarettes at the Smile Store (the ironically named convenience store out on the bypass in my hometown). Then my mother smoked the entire time while I drove her to the hospital, which was an hour away. She was addicted to cigarettes to the very end!

So I admire you for your achievement in beating that difficult addiction.

As for this weight-loss deal, I have been similarly confused and inconsistent, losing 20 pounds my first year here and then gaining it back over the next two years. Then when I joined the community here about six months ago, I just went HOG wild, sitting at the computer all day here, communicating with people, after being rather socially isolated (self-imposed) for thirty years. It's good to be in the community, but I should have been spending more time these past months being careful with food and exercising more. Now that I've calmed down somewhat and made some semi-enforceable rules for myself about SparkTime, I'm feeling hopeful I can re-lose those pounds and keep them off, especially because I'd like to reduce the pain I've lately suffered, largely as a result of this excess poundage.

Good luck, BEATLELTOT! I like your blogs, I like your atmosphere, and it's fun being here with you!



Report Inappropriate Comment
SEATTLESIMS 11/4/2014 12:30PM

    I love it.. you are so right. it is straight forward, I just have to do it! so here's to it! I'm getting started too!


Report Inappropriate Comment
EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/4/2014 11:18AM

    Good blog. Good on you for catching yourself, too. I got a semi-snarky message on here once about no "luck" being involved in weight loss (which obviously I know)! I just posted a 4 leaf emoticon because it was cute!

It's been so hard for me to follow the program. Even just tracking consistently is a struggle. Maybe I should stop trying and start doing.

I think we all need someone to kick us in the butts like on the Biggest Loser -- not the trainers so much, but that doctor who comes in and tells them all they're going to DIE. I need someone to tell me I'm going to DIE. Even if it's not true, maybe it would scare me enough into doing. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FEEDTHEHUNGER 11/4/2014 8:41AM

    Wouldn't it be great though, if just hanging around here did the trick?!

emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ADAPTOR 11/3/2014 10:48PM

    Now you got it Beatletot. Have that "can do " attitude! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


A Mug...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I just realized I never updated this blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4218525


Probably because I forgot I had made such a blog entry. But I have a very old update! You should read the old blog first before continuing...



Today, I am drinking from a mug. It's a black mug. It has Karl Marx's face and says Karl-Marx Universitaet Trier on it. How did I get this mug? Well, it's a story.

When that mug broke on that tragic day, I had a German exchange student living with me, so naturally when he got home, I told him about my mug and how sad I was about my poor, sad mug. He left a few months later. A bit after that, my husband broke one of my roommate's mugs from her Graduate School in the sink, and I managed to get her a new one sent to us. SO IT CAN BE DONE.

One of our exchange student's friends had met a very nice man here in the United States, and they stayed together (in fact, still have. Jens came to visit us a few weeks back and updated us that the guy had just moved to Germany with her. Three years long distance!). When she came to visit him for the first time, she was kind enough to make time to have dinner with my husband and me. When we met, she came bearing gifts from our sweet Jens. His gift to me? A Karl-Marx Universitaet mug. It was a bit of a task. He had to ask a friend who lived nearby the Uni to buy it, he sent him some money, and then the friend shipped it to Jens, because they don't ship that stuff (hence why I couldn't replace it myself). When I opened the gift, I began to cry in the restaurant.

I'd forgotten all about this until this morning. I'm trying to get back to where I used to be, and in a fit of what is probably just a bunch of woo woo superstition, I started carrying my old business cards, writing with my old pens, and yes, drinking from my old mug. But it isn't my old mug. It's a new old mug. And I just remembered that today. I wish I'd remembered sooner when dear Jens had been here. It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TENNESSEEWALKER 10/24/2014 8:52PM

    A favorite mug is such a lovely thing. I have one that I bought at Border's books. I wonder if people all over the world have favorite mugs. Thanks for updating your old blog with this heart-warming story. I'm glad you got your old-new favorite mug back. And that are sweet people in the world who will work to make things like this happen.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BUTTONPOPPER1 10/24/2014 7:39AM

    What a happy, heart-warming story! A great memory for you! I can easily imagine how much joy it must have brought Jens to be able to lessen your dismay over the loss of the Karl-Marx mug! I'll bet he really wished he could have been there to see how touched you were. Isn't it moving that someone would remember your sadness about the cup and then, a long time later, go to the trouble to make arrangements so that you could have one identical to the one you'd lost? Don't you love the replacement more than the original because of the kindness and affection it represents?

Well, as for all the cup-breaking, I can certainly relate to that. I try really hard not to get attached to breakable things, because I am so clumsy. I wanted only one thing from my childhood home after my parents died--a lamp with a base made out of what looks like Depression glass. My older brother wrapped it up super carefully and shipped it to me here in Japan. It's been on the piano in the living room these past ten years, but I have to say I regret willingly inheriting it because all I can think about is, "When am I going to break it?" It's too suspenseful.

Thank you for the story with the happy ending! I hope you can recapture the past somehow, or at least the feeling you're missing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 10/23/2014 4:48PM

    OMG!!! The mug! I feel like I know this seemingly irrational ( but totally NOT ) feeling well. You are getting back to your good place, I just know it. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


My Anchors

Sunday, October 05, 2014

I've been reading those self-help books again. emoticon This time, I'm reading up on decluttering, so that I only schlep what I want to schlep back home. The local women's shelter is very happy with us, as we've emptied out our linen closet and kitchen. We have been schlepping a giant plastic bag full of new, still individually-wrapped silverware around, and I have NO idea where it came from, when it got into our inventory of crap, and how it got there. I just know it has moved with us at least twice. And that stuff is HEAVY. Jeepers. We had over 30 coffee cups, and I don't even like coffee!

Anyway, in this book that I'm reading, that isn't really about decluttering, but rather, minimalism (which would be a great ideal to live by; however, I don't think I can eschew sentimentality to the point that these guys have), these two guys are talking about how they became minimalists. They were wealthy executives who made a ton of money but were still in debt and unhappy. One step toward getting to where they are now was to identify all their "anchors," things that were keeping them where they were instead of where they wanted to be. They spent one week writing down anything they thought might be an anchor, and at the end of the week, one had 80-something items, and the other had 50-something! Then, they started working on them one-by-one.

I emoticon these kinds of approaches. Not that I'm a scientist--I am SO not--but I love a nice, methodical, step-by-step process. So I started thinking about my anchors.

Now, I'm not just doing this to help me declutter, because that is a bit of a leap. But things that hinder my freedom...this includes my weight. And they're not all earth-shattering or need "dealing with," but if these guys came up with 130+ together, I imagine theirs really weren't, either.

1. My student loan debt
2. My sentimentality
3. My strong sense of nostalgia
4. My dog (hinders traveling)
5. My weight
6. My old clothes that must fit someday
7. My tendency to procrastinate
8. My anxiety
9. My funks
10. My absentmindedness
11. My one-track mind that needs somebody else to point out better ways of doing things
12. My lease
13. My tenants' lease
14. Diet Dr Pepper
15. My "stories" (the TV)
16. My stupid job
17. My income, which is much lower than what I was making before
18. My husband's unemployment
19. My irritability with my husband
20. Keeping grudges - not knowing how to forgive or forget!
21. My inexplicable loathing of my husband's sister-in-law
22. Social media/the Internet (yes, including SP)
23. My lack of momentum and motivation
24. My headaches

And that's all I have at this precise point at which you are reading. One that I thought of, because it is a huge amount of debt, is actually my mortgage, and then I realized that that is the opposite of an anchor. My mortgage is what is giving me a home to go back to in Virginia, and as an extension, hope.

So I'm going to keep adding to this blog for the next week or so until I've identified "all" my anchors. Then, I can go about working on the ones that need working on. Nice. Methodical. Step-by-step. Good stuff.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 10/6/2014 12:21PM

    Oh great blog! i love this. i tried mentally making a list and realized it would take a little more thought to come together.

Report Inappropriate Comment
AQUAGIRL08 10/6/2014 10:44AM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BUTTONPOPPER1 10/6/2014 1:54AM

    BEATLETOT, I counted and discovered that I have ELEVEN of the same "anchors" that you do!

There's too much I want to say in response to this blog (each category is material for multiple blogs, don't you think?), so I'll just comment on the sentimentality and strong sense of nostalgia. Actually, I read this blog last night before I went to sleep, and even though your blog is very positive and I applaud you for wanting to simplify your life, it did bring back a rather sad memory for me, of a time a couple of years ago when my twenty-three-year-old daughter wanted to clean up her LIFE, which she thought necessitated throwing away a lot of things from her childhood. Houses and rooms are extremely small in Japan, and we really do not have enough space to keep much AT ALL for sentimental reasons, so I agreed with her that it was okay to kiss a lot of that stuff goodbye. But there was just one thing that I WISH I had forced her to keep, and that was her collection of pink and purple soft plastic ponies, you know the ones with the nylon-haired tails and manes? I don't remember the name, but maybe they're called My Little Pony? My relatives in America had sent those to her after we had survived the great Kobe earthquake of January 1995, a time when she had been fascinated with the flying horses in the Disney movie Fantasia. It was an extremely important time in our lives, and I just regret so much that I did not intervene a couple of years ago and save those ponies, not so much for my daughter as for myself.

I'm not a very religious person, but I do have a favorite hymn. It's "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," which was written several hundred years ago by Martin Luther. There's a line in it which I remember now whenever I start to feel sad about the ponies: "Let goods and kindred go." Well, as long as I'm living I can't really let kindred go, but I can let GOODS go, as I must. I mean, I have no idea where the treasured toys have gone from my OWN childhood, so I should let my children's things similarly fade into oblivion. (But I'll ALWAYS keep the PURPLE SHOE!)

So sorry to take up so much space, but I can tell from your comments on my blogs and from what you've said here that you will understand.

The silverware of unknown origin you mention here and the big collection of coffee cups are quite different from precious children's toys, especially as you were able to make others happy by giving them away! I wish you continued luck with your efforts to simplify.

Comment edited on: 10/6/2014 1:57:03 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
FUNZ81 10/5/2014 10:28PM

    I, like you, like a step by step plan to work from. It keeps me on task until a goal is reached. Keep up the good work, and emoticon for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TENNESSEEWALKER 10/5/2014 4:13PM

    I agree with Katescape!

I also congratulate you on not putting the mortgage into the anchor category. A well-managed debt (to use a term from, I think, Alexander Hamilton) is important to give you opportunities for purchases and investments and experiences that would otherwise be out of reach. And you very rightly point out that the mortgage is what has you in your home in VA.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KATESCAPE 10/5/2014 11:48AM

    I like this idea. I breathe easiest when I have no clutter in my home, so I get the idea of purging. Must feel great to get stuff out of your house (especially since your not using it) and at the same time paying it forward. Keep up the great work on becoming the best you possible! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


Strategizing

Thursday, September 04, 2014

I'm copying and pasting a similar exercise from a couple years ago, but changing it up a little to recognize the changes in my lifestyle at this time (i.e., I don't really eat meat now).

Give 3 or 4 reasons and for each (reason/excuse on why my diets and exercise plans have not been well-executed in the past) write a strategy that will keep me on track for 8 weeks.

I really like this assignment. It is methodical and systematic. It also reminds me of the EX method of quitting smoking, which I think is nice and...dunno, comforting in a way. Familiar and friendly. Anyway, here are my answers.


emoticon DIET emoticon

***Excuse #1
"I am craving sweets."
Strategy: Tell myself I can have the particular "S" on my "S" days.

***Excuse #2
"So-and-so brought cookies/homemade banana bread/baklava/bagels...etc., etc., etc."
Strategy: I can have a non-sweet (i.e., bagel) as part of my lunch if I track it FIRST. Sweets are out, but I can take one home and save it for the weekend if I think it will be at all appetizing at that point (Thursday, maybe...Monday, eh).

***Excuse #3
"Husband made mac and cheese. Holy crap, it's sooooo good. I'm going to eat the bajeezus out of it."
Strategy: I'll have to track it first and eat out a pre-portioned amount. I'm doing okay with that lately, so that's good.

***Excuse #4
"PIZZAAAAAAAA!!!"
Strategy: Put pizza into my tracker BEFORE I eat it.


emoticon FITNESS emoticon

***Excuse #1
"I don't want to go to the gym. It's rainy, hot, late, etc."
Strategy: Fortunately, I have my trampoline, stationary bike and weights at home, so I can do something while watching the TV. Having committed to 11,000 steps a day, I have to do some kind of cardio to get that amount, even walking to and from work.

So there are those. Any tips, suggestions or additional strategies welcome!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETSTRONGRRR 9/5/2014 10:09PM

    Sounds like a good plan.

Chewing gum works for me....when I'm chewing gum, I can't eat a lot of that crap....just keep chewing (i.e., don't swallow or spit the gum out)

Report Inappropriate Comment
EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/5/2014 11:06AM

    These are good ways to combat those excuses we all make. You are going to rock the challenge!

Report Inappropriate Comment
REBECCATKD 9/5/2014 10:48AM

    Great exercise! I may have to steal that one. You are demonstrating excellent discipline and self-awareness. Keep it strong!

Report Inappropriate Comment
AQUAGIRL08 9/5/2014 4:47AM

    I love the way you address the possible excuses even before they actually happen. Having a good plan in place just in case is a very wise move on your part.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TENNESSEEWALKER 9/4/2014 9:12PM

    GOOD answers!

I don't know how many times that tracker has saved me from eating a whole bunch of goodies at night and waking up the next morning feeling awful.

Report Inappropriate Comment


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 Last Page