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.
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.
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?
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