Wednesday, November 11, 2009
First I want to thank everyone who left me encouraging comments on yesterday's post. It's simply wonderful to feel the kindness of your thoughts - the sympathy and understanding. Thank you so much. I am substantially better today than I was yesterday.
If you have ever taken a Myers Briggs Personality Test you'll know there are E people and I people. Extroverts and Introverts - and the defining attributes aren't sociable friendly people vs. unsociable unfriendly sorts. The difference between an E and an I has more to do with energy levels and problem solving styles. E's are energized when others are around and solve problems in groups. They make superb committee people. I's, otoh, find their energy sapped by crowds and are the type to go off, like Jack Horner, into a corner, and come out with a plum of a solution to any problem. I am married to an I who can focus for months at a time on a project, in his corner office and come out with a 900 page book! I am an E. I NEVER try to tackle a problem by myself. If I don't have a committee, I'll scoop up strangers and pump them for their opinions and viewpoints.
My job takes me out into the public every day - the RANDOM public which means not just friends and co-workers, but anybody who walks into the library. But it was those friends who came in yesterday who helped me so much as I wrestled with my sadness, my mortification, and my worries. Each one of them got to hear me puke out my story and as each one listened, nodded, cooed sympathetic sounds and patted me or hugged me they lifted some of the pain out of my heart, carried it away with them, and, since it wasn't their pain, tossed it in the trash on their way out of the building.
My favorite minister just happened to walk into the library while I was standing in the foyer. My knitting group met for lunch at the library. A Virgo Sister Friend called me out of the blue and we commiserated over how the world had suddenly grown unfriendly. You - dear spark buddies - posted encouragement here on my blog. And by the end of the day I was able to stop hunching over my aching heart and stand up straight.
And after work I went to the gym and began walking around the indoor track. I didn't want to pump it up too much because I had a speaking engagement later in the evening and I didn't want to get too sweaty. But after a few laps my blood began to flow - and then surge - and after maybe a half a mile I suddenly felt the endorphins kick in. My eyes felt awake - felt like the light had gotten brighter. My shoulder blades began to pull together, lifting my chest even higher. By the time I'd done 2 miles I could smile brightly at people as I changed and checked out.
ding ding ding ding ding
That's the Duh Bess Bell going off in my head - saying Earth To Bess - Don't ever underestimate the mental health value of exercise - When your heart is in pain - walk - or run or swim or use the elliptical machine - but whatever you do - MOVE. Move your body and you'll end up moving it away from heartache.
I knew that. I was just testing you.
Thank you for reading and thank you for commenting.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I always tease my husband and tell him that the best wedding gift he gave me was his cousin H. She was just a little girl when I came into the family as a 19 year old girlfriend-with-staying-power. I'm in between the generations of my husband's precious, but a little stolid and proper family. I bridged the gap between parents and children - the "glamorous big girl" who played with the little ones.
And yesterday one of those little ones died of a massive, unexpected heart attack. He was the brother of my best friend and best gift H. He was 46. We are still trying to wrap our brains around this devastation because nobody plans for something like this. To our knowledge he had no heart disease symptoms, though heart disease runs strong in his family on both sides. Eveyr man in his mother's generation has had a heart attack and two have died from it. It looks suspiciously like the DNA is active in our children's generation too.
When a death comes suddenly and to someone who hasn't yet moved into the "old" category ... a category which seems to be extending further into the future every year I add to my own Not-Yet-Old category. I laugh at myself sometimes when I remember how utterly ancient I used to think 60 was and how, when my brother in law died at 69, of a HA, I was horrified that Someone So Young should actually die. Especially someone who ate properly, exercised, was smart enough to get good health care and who had enough money to pay for it. How could HE die so young in this day and age?
Imagine the difficulty in coming to terms with losing someone 11 years younger than I?
Swirling all around this personal tragedy though, are all the Other Things that life was planning on, demanding and expecting of me, marching inexorably towards me . Things I am scrambling to do in my darling H's stead because she is the next of kin and must take on more pressing matters. Things I was supposed to have done yesterday, last week, two weeks ago, but put off because of our own health surprises. And worse than things - there are MISTAKES I have made in my haste, distractedness and sadness. Like - forgetting to name an important sponsor of a festive community event I am hosting this Friday and so angering him that he withdrew his sponsorship. No apologies will satisfy him and for that I'm deeply sorry. But the event still must go on as planned. I will plaster a glassy eyed smile on my face and plod through the weekend - it's only gift for me now the fact that, come Monday, it will be behind me instead of looming up ahead.
And so. I am going to use a trick I figured out some years ago when I had some dreadful thing I had to deal with in the public arena. I asked myself - what will be the final result if everything goes wrong. The answer? I would come home. My husband would wrap his arms around me. My dogs would wag their tails and lick my hands. My cozy house would smell like love inside 4 walls. My work would be there on Monday morning. Somewhere out there in the world there would be people who didn't like me - who thought I was worthless and stupid. But they would be only SOME out of billions of people and right here at home there would be people who loved me ANYWAY.
And what would be the result if everything went surprisingly right?
I would come home. My husband would wrap his arms around me. My dogs would wag their tails and lick my hands. My cozy house would smell like love inside 4 walls. My work would be there on Monday morning. Somewhere out there in the world there would be people who didn't like me - who thought I was worthless and stupid. But they would be only SOME out of billions of people and right here at home there would be people who loved me ANYWAY.
So the end result is pretty much the same. Out there in the world I may blunder or I may step deftly but I can always come home to warm hugs, licked palms, and cozy walls. I guess there isn't really that much to worry about after all.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
You know what they are - those moments when you realize you can wear that pair of jeans - buckle that belt around you - look good in dangling earrings - hear a compliment. It's not something you were expecting but it fills you with triumph. And I had one this week - which is a good thing since I did NOT have a scale victory.
My triumph? Ahh well. I have a favorite jacket - it's orange corduroy, fitted, short, and it is my all time favorite piece of clothing. Because it's fitted and shaped I can toss it on over almost any garment and turn it into a serious, if casual business look. I can wear it to a department head meeting and feel professional in spite of the bright color and relaxed fabric. I am a library director - I'm supposed to be sort of arty. But because it's corduroy, I can wear it over jeans and still look sporty. And because it's cotton, I can wear it throughout our upper south fall and winter and spring as outerwear, yet keep it on indoors most of the time. It is the most versatile piece of clothing I own and sometimes I wear it every day of the week.
And sometimes I have to wear it unbuttoned because it is too small for me. It's fabulous cut means you can't tell if it's too small for me when I don't button it - but if it's chilly out and I can't button it, ahhh. Then I don't feel fabulous in it. Then I feel fat-ulous and somewhat miserable. And I know about what weight I am when I have gotten too big for this jacket - which is within a pound or two of where I am now. So, though I'd brought it out of summer storage a few weeks ago I hadn't yet put it on.
"It'll be too tight and I don't want to feel bad right at the beginning of my spark people journey" I told myself. "I'll wait till the scale puts me back in the 'fit' zone" I thought. "Not yet"
Only yesterday I really did need to look professional at the department head meeting. So I pulled it on over my skirt and blouse.
And then I buttoned it -easily.
And I let out a whoop of joy because this was a real victory. One month of working out, 3 weeks of fitting in weight training twice a week and 2.5 weeks of getting serious with the SP meal plan and nutrition tracker and look at me. That scale may have not moved a hair this week but this body is definitely taking up less space in the world and that favorite jacket fits me like it was made for me and buttons up with a little wiggle room to spare.
A True Non Scale Victory! Yippee!!
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