FINDINGREALME   17,134
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Time for renewal

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I've been away from Spark for about a month now. It was a pretty ugly month but that is in the past and there is no value in the self-pity party I could throw for myself here. Instead, I have been focusing for the last week on the idea of renewal -- in several aspects of my life.

Each weekend, my family goes to the house and works to inventory our personal belongings. It gets entered into a spreadsheet, pictures taken and then into the dumpster it goes. This has been a difficult process for each of us but for different reasons. For me, it is the sentimental items that have caused the most pain...my mother's dining table, the Waterford crystal that I worked so hard to buy in Ireland and get to the US in one piece, my son's first Xmas ornament. For my husband, it's his IT equipment that he worked for several years to configure and make work. For our son, it was all his toys and video games (somehow he doesn't miss his books which proves he is not really MY son). So we are each sad at different times but why?

These are just material possessions and do not define who we are. But rather they prove that we had truly accumulated a lot of stuff. Stuff that we hardly (if ever) used and we hung onto for some "reason". Even though I no longer have her table, my mother is still with me and I can finally get past my petty issues and see that. Would I like to have my son's xmas ornament back...yes I would...as I had it specially made with the date and his name engraved. But I have him with me and after seeing the devastation to the basement that he was in by himself that day...I realize how truly lucky I am to have him with me today.

As part of the self-renewal process, we are looking to simplify our existence...none of us are in big hurry to acquire a lot of things and we are being more selective about what we bring into our home. Personally, I see that this event has the potential to knock me sideways and send me into a permanent spiral. I started down that spiral and self-medicated with lots of junk food and apathy.

Then I started to feel really crappy -- tired, listless, couldn't sleep. Hmmm...wonder why? Decided I was disgusted by what I was becoming...joined a gym last week and each night my son and I go for an hour to exercise. Amazing...I am sleeping like a log now. As for those extra pounds that crept back on...well I have given them their eviction notice as well. I will not say I am perfect or "on plan"...each day is an adventure right now...as home life is very stressful right now and work is equally so. But I am getting up each morning and doing my best to rebuild healthy habits. It truly beats the alternative.

Just to prove that we are adjusting fine to the new lifestyle...here's a pic of the dog...if she's happy everyone's happy...forget that old adage about Momma.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRALLEN 4/22/2010 9:43PM

    hahahaha about the dog. I'm so glad to hear things are getting back to normal for you. Well as normal as they can be considering what you are still going thru. I'm particularly proud of you for getting back on track. This whole ordeal would throw anybody off the program and I don't blame you. You've got a good head on our shoulders and know how to use it.

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SUNNY332 4/22/2010 7:38PM

    Welcome Back Beth. I have been thinking about you and was so happy to see you post on my blog today. Sounds like you have had lots of things going on but so glad you are back.

I also sleep better when I am exercising.

Take care, my Friend, and emoticon Back.

Hugs, Sunny

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BIKERBABE2BE 4/22/2010 4:21PM

    Welcome back. I am working on divesting myself of all the junk I've held on to over the years and it's hard. I can only imagine how hard it must be when forced to do so. Extra hugs to you and your family.

Good for you and your son for exercising and for trying to get back on track. You'll make it.

I love the dog picture. We had a cocker and I have a soft spot in my heart for them. Yes, the dog is content and you will be too.

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TERRI289 4/22/2010 2:40PM

    so glad to have your back!! I hope that things continue to improve. You have a such a strong heart and a good brain in that head, we are lucky to know you!!

Be well, Hugs, Terri

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BUTTERFLYEMERGE 4/22/2010 1:55PM

    You are doing great, my sweet friend. You and family are gonna be just fine! I read it in everything you say.
Hugs,
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Stuff Happens

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Last Monday is a day my family will not forget for a long time. Our house caught on fire and is a total loss. Thankfully, everyone is safe and we have found a new place to live for the next year or so. It will take some getting used to being back in an apartment but it close to our house which allows us to keep my son in his same school and doesn't really change our routines.

It appears the fire started from a space heater being too close to the sofa the night before and it smoldered until the morning when my son noticed the smoke. Thankfully he got out of the house and was waiting for me when he saw it burst into flames and then called 911. The fire engines arrived very quickly but it was too late.

Last week, I felt that I had gotten a handle on life and was going to get back into my routine and then that happened. In spite of the stress, I did my best to focus on the positive aspects of my life. The love and support of several neighbors warmed my heart which helped me ignore that another neighbor was videotaping the fire and laughing with her friends. Funny thing there...the other neighbors were shocked by this and told me that they were uncomfortable around her after that. Moments like that expose a person's true colors to be sure.

All of my exercise equipment is gone and the apartment complex has a gym but the equipment is pretty anemic...going to sign up at a gym this week and keep moving towards my goals.

Here are a couple of pics of the inside of the house...they are kinda grainy as I took them on my cell phone but I think you will get the idea.







  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEKSUNSHINE 3/27/2010 8:20PM

    So sorry for this. I am so thankful no one was hurt. You know if there is anything I can do just ask. I'm coming up your way pretty regular this spring and summer. My daughter WOBEEGONE, another sparker, wants you to know you are in her thoughts as well.

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FROGGERHKC 3/25/2010 9:02AM

    So glad you and your family are safe!!! Best of luck to you, keep up the good work with your goals!

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VIDABONITA 3/23/2010 7:08PM

    So glad you and your family are safe. emoticon

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DEBDOINIT 3/23/2010 7:03PM

    Like many others, I'm so glad you and your family are okay. You will be in my prayers.

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TERRI289 3/23/2010 6:50PM

    Oh sweetie, I am so sorry. What a tragedy!! Thank god that you are all ok.

Take good care and I will keep you and your family in my prayers and my thoughts!

As for your icky neighbor, I will kick them in the ankles, tell me when and where!!

Comment edited on: 3/23/2010 6:52:46 PM

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GRALLEN 3/23/2010 3:55PM

    OMG Beth! I'm so sorry. I'm so so sorry. But THANK GOD no one was hurt and that truly is the bright side. Shame shame on that neighbor. I don't understand how people can be so cruel in times like this.

I'm pleased to hear you are still doing your best to stay on your weight loss committment. I have to admit, if it were me, I don't know that I would still have kept that in my focus. You are truly groing as a person and I think that's great. I'm so glad you had good neighbos who were there for support.

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BIKERBABE2BE 3/23/2010 2:32PM

    HUGS!!! I'm so sorry, but thankful that you are all OK. You can get more stuff. Take care!

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MSWEEZER 3/23/2010 2:29PM

    Glad you are all safe. Although a bummer indeed, it is all just 'stuff' and is replaceable. And sadly, for your neighbor, she will likely find folks won't think much of her and could be left out in the cold one day. Sending you a big hug!

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ESMERM 3/23/2010 2:12PM

    I am so sorry, but glad that everyone is OK.

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BUTTERFLYEMERGE 3/23/2010 1:47PM

    You continue in my thoughts and prayers, my dear friend. I wish I were there to help you through this. I'm glad you've got good neighbors to be there. You are a survivor!
(((Hugs)))
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RENA1965 3/23/2010 1:40PM

    Good to hear you all are safe, hope things sort themselfs out..

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MRE1956 3/23/2010 1:19PM

    A pox and all possible bad karma on that $#!#@ neighbor and those who choose to support her! My extended family suffered from an apartment fire a few years ago - complications of contractor renovations (careless workers, you know that deal).....they ended up in a hotel room for the better part of a year and had to deal with all kinds of nasty stuff (welfare families and the like - they even had to witness a drug bust a few doors down from where they were staying!).....I'm heartened to know that you found something reasonably decent......so often, folks in your situation don't.....

Please take care and be gentle with yourself - I know the stress of this situation can be almost unbearable at times (and I wasn't even immediately involved - this was only my extended family).....

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THALIAY 3/23/2010 1:15PM

  God bless you& your family!! May you be like Job in the Bible, where he received back more than he had lost. I will pray for you!

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Finding the path

Sunday, March 14, 2010

After a very busy couple of weeks, I am starting to find time to breathe and spark. Last month, I started logging my food in a notebook...not making specific decisions about what to eat and what not to eat. But more to pay attention to what I ate and why. I wrote down what happened during the day and what I was feeling/thinking. It was very illuminating. I know that I am an emotional eater but I thought I had developed some techniques to deal with life and not dive into food but it appears I lost those techniques somewhere along the way.

My hubby is now traveling during the week on a project in Texas and will most likely be doing so for the rest of this year. In the past, I have actually been more focused on my healthy lifestyle when he is out of town because I don't have to buy food for him and food for me. But not this time. I have found myself buying more junk at the store than I used to. I had some dental work done and said I need pasta because it is soft food...well beyond the point of where my tooth still hurt. I don't necessarily feel lonely but feel overwhelmed most of the time -- hence the need for one of my favorite comfort foods:-)

In my notebook, I paid attention to interactions with people as I know that is one of my major triggers. A month ago was my father's birthday. Lots of my friends know I have a somewhat estranged relationship with him. All week before the birthday, I saw the reminder on my calendar and kept thinking that I should get a card but I failed to do it. Then on the actual day, my family was very busy and I did not think to call him. I realized that I failed to do anything because I wanted to get back at him for the pain he has caused me. It sounds so petty now. But at the time, I was very proud of my actions. Then I ran across an old friend on Facebook that knew me back when my Mom first died and my Dad started dating his current wife. This friend reminded me of how my father and stepmother behaved towards me back then and said that I was acting no better than they did. I thanked him very much for his "kind words" and privately seethed for about two days over his nerve. How dare he suggest that I am no better? I was so mad so I stuffed and stuffed my face. Started to feel like crud and the exercise started to get less and less regular. I blamed it on my son's schoolwork and the time I needed to give him but no I was in a funk and slipping further and further away.

So what do I do? Give it up and say that I cannot deal with life and its problems without a bag of chips? Am I proud of my behavior and the fact that I hurt myself because I am mad at someone else for hurting me? Hmmm...

As my work pants are getting snug again (thanks to the five pounds I am now up), I went through my "fat" pants that I had proudly dumped in our spare room. Yes, I could wash them and wear them. They would fit looser -- for a while -- but then they would also be snug. I know this because they were snug once before.

No, I choose to dig deep and pull out those techniques that worked so well for me before and get back on the path.

I am not here to say I am back because I have done that too many times in the past to only fall down again. But I am here to say, I am not giving up.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IXCHEL23 3/14/2010 8:20PM

    That's the attitude you need! NEVER GIVE UP!!

It's what I say each time I fall, as long as I keep standing up after I fall each and every time!

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SIGLED 3/14/2010 6:39PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I started back on my SP journey Feb 15th!

GO FOR THE GOAL!

Comment edited on: 3/14/2010 6:39:56 PM

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MSWEEZER 3/14/2010 5:52PM

    emoticon and YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!

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SEKSUNSHINE 3/14/2010 5:13PM

    Good for you! Now get back on the track and start making some progress. You can do it.

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GRALLEN 3/14/2010 4:17PM

    I'm so glad you are not giving up. The things you have learned here on Spark is paying off by implementing those lessons now.

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BUTTERFLYEMERGE 3/14/2010 4:16PM

    I'm glad you are not giving up. YOU are worth so much more than that! Glad you are figuring things out. And YOU are figuring them out!
Hugs, my sweet friend,
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Putting the wrong thing last

Monday, March 01, 2010

Life has been crazy since the start of this year and I have fallen into a bad habit of putting everyone else and their needs first. In some cases, they were a priority -- like my son and his school work which had fallen down...hmm...now that Dad is working in Dallas during the week...maybe there was a connection because Dad wasn't at home to remind him to do his homework? LOL Now, he calls me each afternoon when he gets home and we go over his assignments and things look like they are back on track. But that isn't the real reason.

At work, we went live with some changes in early January and it's been bedlam for me ever since. Something that was thoroughly tested over and over went so wrong in our production environment and I have spent the last month plus defending myself over and over. Nothing like a little bit of stress to find out who your friends are and who they are not, huh? My boss publicly blamed me to save himself and then told me how important it was that I fix this so he can stop being called into the VP's office. This after we had already discovered that my teammate failed to accomplish his task before mine (hence the really strange behavior). Nope it was my fault as I should have "known". I do not blame them as mistakes happen but I expect someone to at least admit their mistake afterwards. My mistake in this whole mess was taking someone at their word twice -- on the evening in question when I asked if it was done and then two weeks later when I asked again -- while I was knee deep in controversy. Well, fool me once...

No, this was the reason I let myself down...I thought that if I just kept working harder that I would be able to fix it. Many late nights, lots of antacid later...I have finally figured out what should fix it and we're going to run it tomorrow. All my fingers (and toes) are crossed because I am so tired of being in this hole.

Last week, I got on the scale for the first time in a long while. I was surprised to see that I was up only a pound or two. Thankfully, I have kept up with some form of activity each day --either walking at lunch with my friend or taking out the stress on my poor elliptical. But I have not logged my food in forever.

Well, today is a new month and I am giving up! Not giving up Spark but giving up letting this run my life. A whole month went by and what do I have to show for it?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSINGLINNDY 3/1/2010 11:11PM

    How creative of you to get it all figured out. You are emoticon

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GRALLEN 3/1/2010 9:38PM

    I'm so sorry you are enduring this work stress but glad to hear you have managed some type of activity in your days. One to two pound gain isn't bad considering what you have been thru.

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BIKERBABE2BE 3/1/2010 4:34PM

    Wow, what a month. Keeping all stuff crossed for you. Your attitude is great and you will come through this OK. Take care and many emoticon.

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SEKSUNSHINE 3/1/2010 2:36PM

    It is great to have you back in the saddle! Go get 'em Tiger!

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BUTTERFLYEMERGE 3/1/2010 1:42PM

    emoticon How awesome that you are figuring all of this out and continuing on. YOU are not one to quit! Wishing you the very best ... on your work project and on your journey.
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MSWEEZER 3/1/2010 1:42PM

    Sounds like you have a lot on your plate so to speak and burning the candles at both ends. Good Luck!!

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What a week...

Friday, January 22, 2010

This last week has been a blur for me. DH travelled to St Louis last Thursday for a project and ended up working all weekend and came home on Tuesday night. It is amazing how much of a routine our family had built around both parents being home and how quickly that came apart when I was again responsibile for everything.

My son interviewed for this Student Ambassador program last Saturday and there was a whirlwind of activity -- getting recommendation letters, filling out applications and practice interviews. But it was worth it...he was accepted and is thrilled to be traveling to Canada this summer. Mom...is not as thrilled...it is so far away. I will be a basket of nerves for those 10 days. But I am thinking that maybe hubby and I should take advantage of that time and do something ourselves...might just take my mind off of it. Now, I just need to get through the passport process...quickly!

Last week at work was so calm it was eerie. Usually after a new project is released, there is the whirlwind of fixing things...but nothing.

Now this week, everything came out at once and it has been crazy. For some reason, everything seemed to come through me -- hubby says that the boss always figures out who will get it done and asks me why I insist on being such person everytime? Ouch...that hurts.

I have been sleeping so poorly that I cannot get up at 5 am to do my workout so I started doing it at night when I get home. My poor elliptical has suffered because of the craziness. But I have stayed within my calorie range and logged all my food. Even managed a small loss this week. I am very happy with how I handled it all.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TOWANDA132 1/25/2010 12:52PM

    Hey Beth, good job, sounds like you really have a plan with enough flexibility to handle all the craziness life throws at you!

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TERRI289 1/22/2010 8:34PM

    Hey, you made time for all that and for checking in on Spark. You are emoticon and don't you forget it!!

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SEKSUNSHINE 1/22/2010 4:30PM

    Good for you. Those 10 days will go by quickly!

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GRALLEN 1/22/2010 3:15PM

    Good job for staying with your program during the hectic weeks.

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