BESSHAILE   51,771
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THANKS! Every day. For friends. For family. For memories.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Thank you all for your sweet kind loving support yesterday. Mama is improving and though she's still in hospital, I am sure she will be released soon. And truth is - Mama doesn't mind being in hospital. She loves to be waited on and she loves to lie abed. And she is a former nurse so she likes to chat with the nurses about the way things have changed.

It struck me yesterday that I would like to begin a journal to write down the things I want to remember about my parents. they were challenging parents and yet typical of their era, and yet magically special. My relationship with my mother was not just life shaping but wonderful. I can count on one hand the times she and I did not get along. My dad was extremely difficult and yet .. also very special and he gave me things I treasure to this day.

I suspect most of us have this feeling ... that our parents were the best or at least the most colorful ... or most gentle or most whatever it is we value in them. It isn't as if I've forgotten the darker side ... and there was one ... but that I don't have to keep that part. I can just keep the precious stuff while knowing there was trash I threw away.

But the truth is, I know there are things I've already forgotten, though I love to pull out happy memories and savor them, look over them, enjoy them, as if they were jewels in a Queen's vault - and I'm the queen! So I believe I will start writing them down. Maybe someday there will be a grandson or granddaughter who would like to read them. Or maybe, like in a Nicholas sparks novel, one day my son will come to the nursing home and read them to me.

So. May you go to your Place of Thinner Peace today and pull out a treasured memory.
And may you feel the thanks I feel that you are my friend. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOOOOW 4/6/2010 11:10AM

    I never cared for journaling because we always assigned them to students and then had to read them; however, this is not a journal but a written history that you are also discribing. I like your idea.
Pris emoticon

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CRAVE_FREE 4/6/2010 8:37AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 4/6/2010 8:35AM

    So glad to her you mom is doing so well.

I also have always gotten along really well with my mom, but my dad and I . . . often oil & water. We're too much alike. And yet I also see my husband in him (or him in my husband I guess) and we're so different.

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MSLZZY 4/6/2010 8:31AM

    Writing down your memories will keep them fresh and what a precious gift to children and grandchildren! Happy writing! emoticon

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SHEILA1505 4/6/2010 8:24AM

    What a great idea - it's a while since my parents were here and I still want to tell my Mum things I've seen or done - but it would be great to be able to leaf thru a book of anecdotes about them. Hmmm another projectW

With love

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ALEXTHEHUNN 4/6/2010 8:10AM

    So very true. Relations with parents are always a blend of the good, bad, the glorious & the indifferent. Today, my mother is being relieased from rehabilitation following her back surgery and it's truly with mixed feelings that I see her return to her retirement condo.

I wish you and your mom all the best.

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You never know where help will come from

Monday, April 05, 2010

because all the messages I've been receiving about making choices and living my life from the watcher point of view and calming Custard, my inner lizard, and soothing my inner dictator ...

all this for the express purpose of losing weight by living in a calmer state

coalesced into a huge security blanket - or support beam - yesterday when I spent 8 hours in the emergency room with my mom - who, it seems, suffered a mini-stroke sometime yesterday, just before Dad and I got to her place for an Easter lunch.

When it became apparent to me that she needed to be seen by a doctor, the rest of the day ended up being one of those excruciatingly long stretches spent in the grey helplessness of an emergency room. the 2 hours it took to see doctors on a holiday seemed almost generous but the 6 more hours spent waiting for her to be admitted dragged on forever. I had lots of opportunities to go to my watcher place and think about life and death and sadness and joy and what I could possibly find to eat after 9 pm on Easter Sunday, when I would finally be able to leave the building and head home.

And that peaceful state ... that allowed for the possibility of death but didn't panic - that heard the WildChild say "Cake! Me wants Cake!" and thought about it and said "okay, if it's only 200 calories worth of cake you can have the richest gooiest cake you can find at Seven-11" Which it did. and which turned out to be about 1/4 of a slice. But WildChild was perfectly happy to throw the other 3/4's away since she got the piece she wanted.

And mama is much better. But she is very old and there will be an ER visit that doesn't have such a good ending. I'm just glad it didn't turn out to be yesterday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 4/5/2010 11:10PM

    I'll be praying for your mom and you! Hope all is getting better!

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CRAVE_FREE 4/5/2010 1:33PM

    You are amazing and inspiring. I am glad your mother is doing better. I like the idea of Thinner Peace and I'm wondering if I should run out and get this book you are reading!

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JLITT62 4/5/2010 1:18PM

    I, too, am glad that you don't have to associate Easter with a ER visit with a bad ending. If you can ever call an ER visit a "good" visit.

You did extraordinarly well. I'm sure your mom & your dad are very proud of you -- and for lots of reasons other than winning the struggle with food.

Here's hoping your mom can make a quick & full recovery.

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EDWINA172 4/5/2010 12:29PM

    Sorry that you had a rough day. My prayers are with you and your momma.

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AEBROWNSON 4/5/2010 11:45AM

    So sorry about your mom. I lost my dad last year...he had had a series of mini-strokes over the past 10 years.
I'm so glad you were able to control Custard. That's a great be able to eat the foods you want, and in quantities that satisfy but are not out of control.
Blessings on you!

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SHEILA1505 4/5/2010 11:15AM

    Oh Bess - I am so glad that your introspective couple of weeks had the required effect and that you were able to handle the heart-rending events of Easter Sunday. And I am happy for you that you and your Mom have managed to fend off the inevitable for a while longer so you will be able to spend some more invaluable time together.

Keep strong and try to keep smiling

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MYFEETHURT 4/5/2010 9:32AM

  Oh, this brings back memories of our first trip to the ER for the same thing. Scary is the word that comes to mind for me. For me...back was a cigarette that kept calling my name. Thankfully those are out of my life now. That SMALL piece of cake you ate is actually a VICTORY. You had the taste...a welcome reward of relief for that very hard day...but not the whole cake. That, my friend, is HUGE. So happy your dear Mama is o.k. Hope she continues to improve. emoticon mary

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ALEXTHEHUNN 4/5/2010 9:08AM

    I'm glad your mother is OK for the moment. Glad you were able to be introspective and self-aware enough to satisfy the immediate need without letting the situation spin out of control and into a nutritional mini-disaster.

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MOOOOW 4/5/2010 8:25AM

    I lost my mother 20+ years ago after many trips like yours. I truly know what you are going through. All of your blogs have been such an inspiration to all of us, I so hope that your insight is giving you the strength that you need. My thoughts are with you.
Pris emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 4/5/2010 8:17AM

    I love that you were able to get what you wanted and needed at that point in time. Sorry it came under such circumstances, though.
I'm glad too that it wasn't yesterday, but you know that one is never ready, but one handles what must be handled. Just as you did so ably for yourself yesterday.

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Living in Thinner Peace

Sunday, April 04, 2010

More Martha Beck talk today - because when Bess is struck with what her Big Darling calls "Bess' Passions" she really likes to share.

So - Thinner Peace is that state when you have calmed your Wild Child and reassured your Dictator ... when you say to them "May you be well. May you be free from fear. May you know that I love you as a part of me that helps keep me safe."

Just typing that starts the peaceful juices flowing through me so I think I will spend a lot of time in the Place of Thinner Peace. PTP. (oh. dear. I am SUCH a sucker for acronyms.) It's rather fun to go there and just look around - ask myself, once the two warring factions have called a truce, "How do I feel?" Not JUST as far as food goes, though I spent a LOT of time there yesterday asking those questions, but also about work, or about being ticked off at Someone who might be sucking up my limited home time asking for help with his hobbies. All sorts of stress type triggers can be looked at from the PTP and seen for what they are, not what either the frightened the Wild Child or offended the Dictator thinks they are.

In fact, this trick of stepping back from the emotions I'm feeling seems a lot like what my Lenten Project was about. If you remember, I was to snap a rubber band whenever I got ticked off at someone or some thing or some situation, and then write out ways to deal with it. So I see now that I was headed in that direction all along. A little Dictator-ish with the rubber band snap and all, but still headed straight.

I had lots of opportunities yesterday to ask myself "So how do you feel about food right now?" and sometimes I was hungry and so I ate, and sometimes I wasn't and so I didn't. But never once, even in the 50% off Easter Candy Aisles in Walmart where I did have to get some Other Things yesterday, did I feel attacked or in any sort of food danger. I just breezed by, armoured in my cloak of Thinner Peace.

And as this is the day of the Prince of Peace's triumph - I wish all of you who celebrate Easter a special peaceful joy filled holiday and for those who do not, may you have the peace and joy as well.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAXBALLARD 4/5/2010 7:07AM

    It was a blessed Easter! Thank you for sharing about PTP. It really makes sense. I've got Beck's book on request at the library.

Congrats on maintaining PTP yesterday.

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JLITT62 4/5/2010 5:19AM

    My biggest problem lately is that it doesn't much seem to be about the emotions, it's about the appetite.

I've been working hard to eat healthy, get in more whole grains & greens -- been successful -- but am still just way hungry. Which isn't a sustainable healthy lifestyle. Maybe it has to do with some of the limitations of Passover . . .

Well, anyway, I am glad you have found your PTP. May you continue to be cloaked by it!

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MSLZZY 4/4/2010 10:16PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MOOOOW 4/4/2010 10:39AM

    I am now familiar with Martha Beck, I will look up some of her writings. Again a very good blog and I again thank you.
Pris emoticon

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JAYJO64 4/4/2010 8:10AM

    I really like Martha Beck's writings. Finding Your Own North Star is one of my favorites.

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HARPERLADY 4/4/2010 7:47AM

    happy easter emoticon

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You always have a CHOICE - same message, two voices

Saturday, April 03, 2010

And my first choice is to thank you all for your laughing support yesterday, when my brain was on STOOPID. Things got beter as the day went on, culminating in a sudden, surprise, 2 hour holiday, a gift of our county administrator via the Governor. We closed at 4 o'clock and skeedaddled.

But TheUniverse has been trying to get some information into my head these past few weeks and it just upped the wattage on its electronic brain drill this morning with the article from Dean Anderson about Mastering the Mysteries of Motivation.

Lawsee - I keep reading paragraphs I want to cut and paste here so it's better if you just go read the article yourself. If you're having trouble with motivation, that is - which - in my case - is the ONLY issue I have with weight (or pretty much anything else in my life)

You see - at my age I know enough facts to figure out how to always eat healthy and be slim and strong. (or how to organize my desk at work or prioritize my TTD lists or keep the house clean). One learns the facts if one lives long enough. The issue - the ISSUE - is getting myself to do the stuff I know is GoodForMe.

"Many people seem to think that "being motivated" means not having to struggle with opposing desires. Not so. It is our nature as human beings to pursue both the gratification of our senses... and the psychological gratification of achieving meaningful but more abstract goals ... As long as you and the world remain less than perfect, you will have to struggle with this conflict between immediate and long-term gratification.

Things go much better when you see motivation as the ability to give yourself the chance to make conscious decisions and take responsibility for these choices. Therefore, the main "enemy" of motivation is the tendency to see yourself as the hapless victim of forces ... over which you have no control. " ... see Anderson, linked above

And here we have the crux of my issues with weight (and organization and procrastination and any of a host of other things).

I see myself as the helpless victim of DNA - I come from a fat family. I will never be thin.

No. I know this isn't true. But do I believe this is not true? Do I believe that I have choices - that I MAKE choices - that move me here and then there and sometimes I am slim and sometimes I'm fat and sometimes I'm organized and sometimes I'm disorganized and sometimes I am thin and disorganized and sometiems I'm fat and disorganized ... most of the time, actually -

Only that's not true. If it were I'd be draped across a sprung out couch on the broken front porch of my shack at the end of a dirt road - the focus of a Jeff Foxworthy joke.

I have been reading Martha Beck's two books Steering by Starlight and her diet book The Four-Day Win and BOTH of them say the same thing as Anderson - though in different, more humorous, words.
As she puts it - we have our Wild Child (lizard brain flight or fight instinctive stayin' alive crave-woman) and our Dictator (We hefff waze uff mekng yooo ztop eeeetng woman who will whip you into shape with her Things To Do lists and calories-in-calories-out charts)

But we also have our Watcher - who sees the value of both - who can soothe them both, assuring them both that there is enough food and the rules can be followed - who loves both for the gifts they bring into her life.

Ms. Beck offers a host of exercises, tools, tricks and tips on how to call the Watcher self into action, promising the Wild Child she won't be starved, reassuring the Dictator that her rules are good. Do this enough and not only will our behavior change and our bodies - but even the molecular structure of our brains!

And I think ... If I can change my brain I will stop choosing to believe that: From Fat I Came and To Fat I Will Return.

Because, really, I do have a choice - and so do you.

Glorious Happy Saturday to you ALL - and another thank-you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EDWINA172 4/3/2010 11:21PM


Love this!

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MOOOOW 4/3/2010 5:29PM

    Again you hit an issue we all have to face. I think this is one blog subject of yours that I will take to my class and tell my students to apply to their everyday lives. Thanks.
Pris emoticon

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JKTENTATIVE 4/3/2010 3:25PM

    I really like that you share these inner thoughts and can relate. Never thought to have someone articulate some of the stuff I think about...but there you go again.
-- And, I have to believe that as you help us readers of your blog deal with some of this complicated stuff, that you are also making big progress on your own.

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SHEILA1505 4/3/2010 9:35AM

    Thanks for the link - it was good to see again that if we stress about hitting a plateau we'll end up getting even heavier because the stress causes us to hold onto it all!

I also like the choice between instant gratification or long-term results - when it's put plain and simple like that, it's really a no-brainer isn't it. But we still find it so very hard if we don't pay attention at all times.

with love

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SHISHYCAT 4/3/2010 9:26AM

    Thanks for the great post. I've been in the throes of "do nothing, it's too hard" side of the equation for a couple of months now. It's amazing how quickly that creeps up on you! I love Martha Beck and have read the "4 day Diet" and you've inspired me to pick it up again! I love how she admits that sometimes doing anything! in the right direction is hard, so just show up for 4 days. So, if your goal is exercise, commit to doing the absolute minimum (even down to like 30 seconds) but for the first few days, just get up and sit in the place that your going to exercise. Then get on the machine, etc... That is just so true to my experience! I can't get all gung ho because I've done that before I peter out! She is much more realistic. I really appreciate you writing about that!

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The pressure mounts and Custard rears his worried head

Friday, April 02, 2010

Funny - because, my life is really not at all a strenuous or anxiety producing or one of those edge of the knife lives like oh, say, a brain surgeon or um, an astronaut or a leader of the free world. I'm just a middle aged librarian in a nice town with a loving husband and lots of hobbies.

So why is the old lizard brain shrieking at me that Danger is Immanent and Life is about to Explode? And why is my life so stressful? run Run RUN ..... to the kitchen where Mr. Ice Cream Box is waiting!!!

Heck. I don't know. I just know there are a lot of Things To Do on long lists that must be checked off and they're starting to make me feel enervated.

I woke at 3 a.m. dreaming about the census form that I forgot to fill out - and then remembered that there was a glitch in the house insurance bill - which I paid twice - and for which I haven't gotten a refund. and there is this morning's radio interview and that reminds me that my email to the local tv station bounced back and I really do need to contact them by phone. and the house is suddenly horridly dirty and my thick furred yellow dog is shedding whole carpets of hair on all the floors and we have guests coming next friday but I will only have Saturday to clean house because I'll be taking my parents to lunch on Easter which isn't just lunch but 200 miles of driving and then helping one wheel chair occupant get in and out of my car. It's an all day project. I get only one day this weekend and it will be filled with housecleaning. And grocery shopping.


Oh yeah. Everybody cleans house and shops for groceries. These are NOT stress inducing activities. It is not as if I don't have a vacuum cleaner or money.

Why? Oh why does all this make my lizard brain rear up in panic? I mean - these are just things. things to do. Things I can do today. I can do them tomorrow. why are they causing such stress and is it true? am I really a Type A, masquerading as a Type B+ ( I love that so much - I mean, doesn't being a Type B+ sound so comfortable? I really want to be a type B+) And now thinking about being a Type A ... which is something I don't want to be - I mean - I've never met a happy Type A person! Every Type A person I've ever known seemed to be critical and also to be sabotaging herself at the same time .... now just thinking about being a Type A is making me feel stressed too.

So is this going to make me eat all day long? My flight from Type A-dom - chased by Custard the lizard brain?



did you ever take the Myers Briggs Test and did it turn out you were an ENFP? You know, that Look A Bird ... Oh isn't that shiny object pretty? ... easily distracted sort of person? running away before she has to be committed to any long haul project? Crying "don't make me marry my job!" as she hey... isn't that a pretty flower?

well. that's how I feel today.

I think I need to do Yoga.

Oh No! Another Thing To Do!

Well. Obviously I shouldn't be allowed near a computer when I haven't had enough sleep. emoticonI hope you are all laughing because this is mostly a ridiculous vent, but ... well... there you have it. Sometimes my brain is just crazy. Fortunately, a lot of the time it isn't.

Happy Friday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WEDDWT 4/2/2010 12:04PM

    I'm going out of town for Easter and I'm feeling a tad frazzled; is there such a thing as a 'tad' frazzled?
it's a long list...

Happy Easter!

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SANDYJAS 4/2/2010 9:56AM

    Great, great blog post! I think it needs to be Custard's last stand.

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ALEXTHEHUNN 4/2/2010 7:57AM

    Simply brilliant. So well said.


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MSLZZY 4/2/2010 7:32AM

    emoticon What a wit! This was funny but still got the point across. Life is what you make it so have a great day!

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SHEILA1505 4/2/2010 7:28AM

    My Dad used to say I worried because I didn't have worries and then I'd worry cos I was worrying just like he said I did - but he was a silly old .......... what would HE know?

Those middle of the night terrors when the To Do List is going to come and smother or gobble us up are not so easily pushed aside but it puzzles me why you have that big ice cream box in the kitchen - and he even has a name!!!

emoticon emoticon
together we will get thru this!

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JLITT62 4/2/2010 7:17AM

    Oh, yes, I had a good laugh WITH you, not at you.

Here I am, finally getting my new kitchen (hopefully, he didn't actually pick up the counters yesterday), and yet it's stressful because I must stay downstairs, didn't have advance warning so couldn't prepare as I'd like to, and on top of it kicked my kettlebell, deeply bruising my toe -- and now can't even run in this lovely weather we're finally having.

I mean, I don't even work, I get to do my grocery shopping when it's only mildly busy, how could my life possibly be stressful?

So anyway, take a deep breath. Focus on what's in front of you, not what's 10 miles down the road. And know that this too shall pass.

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DAYHIKER 4/2/2010 6:27AM

    I understand! I seem to go through that sort of middle of the night brain activity when the seasons transition from winter to spring and summer to winter and the rest of the year I'm fine. Weird.


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