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.
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.
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.
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. www.marthabeck.com/books.php
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.
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. I 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.
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