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I See a Ship in the Harbor

Monday, November 01, 2010

The name of this song is "Blue Monday", but this Monday is anything but blue. Even though my knee hurts.

Many lovely things to tell.

First off -- the song is not only because it's Monday but also because it's now in my running rotation. I used it for the first time on Saturday, when my husband and I ran the Oak Scare 5K. This one quite literally goes right past our house. It made perfect sense to do it as an extra race this year.

And it was a good run. My final time (44:27) does not look too awesome, but there was a good twenty seconds or so in there where I had to wait at a street corner for a cop to let me cross and continue (the whole race takes place on the streets of Brighton). But I won't shave that off the "official" time.

The running felt good. Really good. In fact, there was a downhill part that was so much longer and more delicious than any downhill we normally have in 5Ks. And I was hearing a song where I'm normally going UP a hill. Once I realized that, I started to really go. FAST. So fast, in fact, that I bounced enough to have a, heh, sports bra malfunction. Nothing showed, but I ended up with the bra under my armpits. I will not draw you a picture, dear readers. Suffice it to say there's a good reason why I wear it with a tee shirt and not by itself. Heh.

But the whole thing (despite that) felt good. It felt, not like when I normally just kinda jog along, barely getting my feet up. Instead, it felt like, ha. It felt like I was running like a child. Now, I am well aware that I was assisted quite a bit by gravity. And that's fine. And, I am totally paying for it today as my left knee in particular is asking me why I flat out ran for about 3 1/2 minutes two days ago.

But it was still great fun. It was still a YAY moment.

And here's another YAY moment.

My company is in the finals for a business plan/presentation competition. As in, the top three of a field that was originally some 46 or so companies. The actually final is on November 9th, when we will all get totally dressed up (I have a black velvet dress that I will probably choose) and the boss will present and we will all hand out business cards and smile and be on our absolute best behavior.

And there will be some $$ awarded. Even the company that comes in third will get something. Plus, since we have to finish the business plan for November 9th, that will free up other things. We have some other things coming that will only come with a completed business plan, so da boss and I are working on it this week.

This week's plan is: I will go to the gym three days. Starting today. And I will then shower and head on over to da boss's and we will type and confer and figure out what we're doing. Plus we'll continue to work on his presentation. He knows it really well already but needs to talk a bit slower. There are places to pause and let certain comments sink in so we need to practice the timing.

When the money comes -- for I am feeling it is no longer if, but when -- I will go permanent, full-time with them, most likely in Q1 of '11, as the VP of Marketing (yes, I am getting a promotion or at least a fancier title).

Oh and yeah, the weight loss thing? Down another .8 today, and almost all of my measurements are down. So fat is going back to muscle. Another YAY moment.

Oh, I see a ship in the harbor all right. I do believe it is, as they say, my ship coming in.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLISCIOUS 11/7/2010 1:17AM

    Great news on all accounts!

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LBEEKMA 11/4/2010 11:17PM

    Congrats on all of your positive news! I love it when a song pumps me's like magic. Who doesn't need more of that?!

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MY_HEALTH_BABY 11/2/2010 9:56PM

    Positive thinking and sheer will !!! Always works out~~ I am happy for you!

Still laughing over the bra malfunction


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MARCHMAID 11/2/2010 7:48PM

    Have to agree with the Queen. Things are where they should be. Word of caution: you better preview the kids' get ups. . . Do they know how to dress appropriately?

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IFDEEVARUNS2 11/2/2010 4:15PM

    I hear you about that knee! I'm suffering too, and trying to ignore it. Not sure I'm being too smart.
So glad things are looking up - you've had some interesting times this year!

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LAB-LOVER 11/2/2010 5:56AM

    Congrats on another 5K. Sorry about the sports bra malfunction... I am guessing that banana hammocks also malfunction from time to time. heh!

And congrats on regaining your focus. I've got mine too and it feels good! Let's beat the odds and actually LOSE this holiday season!

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TRACYZABELLE 11/2/2010 5:12AM

    Run Jes run, lol~ I wish I could do a 5k.. heck a 1 k I will settle for, lol

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DMPRIDER 11/2/2010 12:14AM

    I'm sorry your knee is hurting, but I'm glad you had a good run.

And thanks for sharing such excellent news! We're all pulling for you and the robotics boys. I hope everything goes to plan and wish you every success!

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DDOORN 11/1/2010 11:58PM

    Kudos on reaping all your sweet, sweet rewards!

So well deserved and earned!

Triple Woo HOO's! :-)


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    Under your armpits? Hmm.

Everything else in this blog is where it is supposed to be. I am soooo glad you are back on a losing streak. Now life will truly be rewarding as you succeed at all your goals. I even bet that knee will begin to ease up as the weight falls off. You are awesome.

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MS.ELENI 11/1/2010 5:26PM

    I am so glad everything is looking so much brighter. Congrats on everything emoticon

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KSGROTHE 11/1/2010 4:35PM

    emoticon on your run, the job prospects, and the weight and measurements loss! It sounds like things are going well!

Keep up the good work! emoticon

- Karen

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GREENLILY 11/1/2010 1:24PM

    Awesome Flying J! :) Your strength and experiences always seem to make my day... Keep up the good work, Ms. VP... :)

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AESOPSREED 11/1/2010 10:04AM

  What a fabulous uplifting post. I'm so glad to see things going well for you! Congrats on all your hard work paying off!

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    I knew exactly what song it was when I read your title! Great song!
So glad your run went well, besides your wardrobe malfunction. :) And YAY for fat turning into muscle!!!

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Don't Turn Around

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sometimes, I just need a fix of some 80s silliness, hence the song.

I am kinda tired from the weekend. It was a two-day company event and I was mainly on my feet, and not in the best of shoes. Despite how I generally feel, it is not easy to do that much meet and greet and not feel the aftereffects. Gym will be either today (after I see a potential customer who I think just wants to flirt with me) or tomorrow, plus Wed. and Thurs. That seems to be paying off -- a nice loss this week.

This weekend is one 5K, next week is another, then that'll be it until December, and the December one will be the last one for the year.

So I am on track for exercise, and it paid off with a two and a half pound loss. I am going to have to keep this up, despite fatigue, despite everything. There is always some place where it gives, where you push down hard enough and it's like a game of Whack-A-Mole, something else comes up and you try to clamp down on that as well. And, for me, going to the gym is actually close and easy and relatively fast! It's the aftermath that kills.

But it's gotta get done.

One of the things Spark advises is, make yourself an unbreakable appointment to get your fitness in. I have a schedule for blog entries. Friday I go into the office. Events spill into evenings, weekends and, like today, lunchtime. Cleaning is all but abandoned. Somewhere in there, we go food shopping, pay bills and get the laundry done. And, in the middle, I get in the fitness minutes.

I have some 85,000 fitness minutes or so. Which is insane. But I have it because I've been here nearly three years and I record just about everything.

But I also have that figure because, without fail (some exceptions for when I was right outta surgery), I have done ST and at least tried to pull on resistance bands. The day doesn't start, not officially, until ST and resistance bands are done. There may be no other working out. I may spend the rest of the day lying back and watching TV. But at least that part gets done. It's the least common denominator.

Which is funny, because the least common denominator used to be, of course, doing nothing.

Now it's getting harder and harder for me to envision doing absolutely nothing. Hmmm.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 10/25/2010 11:31PM

    The Spark way of life: just gotta DO *SOMETHING*! :-)

A lot of things have fallen to the wayside...things I don't miss, like TV...absolutely have NO clue as to the TV schedule, shows and actors / actresses these days...and I don't really care.

But I've lost touch with my guitar playing, which I miss. How to make all of this work....? Hmmm....


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    2 lbs! Yes! And of course the best part is that ticker is going the right direction. Tick Tick Tick.

I love that idea about getting the exercise into an unbreakable appointment. Great idea. Thanks.

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TELERIE 10/25/2010 6:00PM

    I didn't know there was another version of that song, I remember Falco doing it in the 80s.
And what a change not being able to envision doing nothing. I know the feeling, and I am proud of us because of that!
I believe it actually helps me to have been so overweight, because there's no WAY I'll go back down the road of lethargy and doing nothing if I can help it. Better make unbreakable appointments of activity to be on the safe side.

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KSGROTHE 10/25/2010 2:57PM

    emoticon on fitting in some exercise and losing some weight this week!

I would say your lifestyle change has stuck if you can't envision doing absolutely nothing! Good job!

By the way, I have to say that you gotta love the '80s hairstyles seen in videos like this one!

Keep up the good work! emoticon

- Karen

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CAROLISCIOUS 10/25/2010 12:01PM

    I liked the whack-a-mole analogy. So true. Congrats on the 2 pound loss. This journey is so much sweeter when it works!

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WOLFKITTY 10/25/2010 11:24AM

    I can't "do nothing" either. I've all but given up TV. Your strength training is admirable. I have said so often how I need to do this or that for ST, and never really did it. Thanks for that glimpse into your routine.

Hugs! I hope there is much success to b e found from all of the time put in at working.

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MARCHMAID 10/25/2010 10:51AM

    Sound like both of us are picking up our routines! Onward!

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MS.ELENI 10/25/2010 10:47AM

    Sounds like you have had a busy weekend. You are right about the exercise. I am limited to chair exercises but it is one thing I can do every morning and I make sure I do at least 10 minutes.i know.Thats nothing compared to others but some days that is all my body will let me do.
Always enjoy your blogs emoticon

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Our Thoughts are Traveling Faster

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gawd, I have not had a great time of it lately when it comes to weight loss.

I have been gaining, mostly. Today, I am up over 5 pounds since last week. Yep. Almost the same weight as April.

Of 2009.

So, that sucks.

Mr. J and I figure at least a part of it is little ice cream cups we've been eating a lot of. While I am still tracking them, they are not doing me any favors. So we'll finish out the last ones (he is, after all, not on a diet) and not buy them again until next Summer. No need now, when it's 40-something degrees in the morning anyway.

And, it's frustrating. Despite little ice cream cups, I HAVE been in calorie and nutrient ranges. I've kept the salt in check. I've gone to the gym twice a week. I've done weight training every morning. I've gotten enough sleep at night. My measurements are meh, could be better, could be worse. So I am not really building muscle with the weight gain.


I'm just, for whatever reason, gaining fat.


This is helping to spiral into the thing that I admitted to him yesterday, which I will tell you all as well -- I can feel I am getting depressed again.

So I'm back on St. John's Wort. I don't love medicating myself, and SJW is mild. It's not really a happiness pill. Hard to describe -- you just stop giving a damn about certain details. So that helps. You just let some things go. And, by the way, I've been through therapy before. Not interested in it this time around.

And I am well aware that losing weight does not bring happiness, per se. I understand that a size does not define my mood. It does not define ME.

But it's still hard to be on this end of things.

It's not like I've never gained weight before. It's not like I've never gained seemingly inexplicable weight before, either. But it doesn't really get any easier. It continues to suck.

Another thing, though, I know, is that this time of year (which prompted the first song on the video, and then the second one fit in rather nicely, so I went with both) is a transition and I don't love transitions. I have patience for a lot of things, but transitions tend to take a lot out of me. And weight loss is one big, fat (heh) transition. I just want it to be over with already, and it's not.

Some of it feels (and this is absurd, but it's the truth) like it's unfair. After all, I was doing my thing, then I relaxed, then the old scale broke way earlier than I knew, and I was lured into a trap of too much food, not enough exercise, and then the evil was done and I was 40 pounds up and now I'm approaching fifty up from where I thought I was, even though the reality is that I'm probably more like twenty up.

But, ha, that's stupid.

No other really good word for it. It was a scale, a piece of equipment. It didn't define me, and neither does the new one. And it does not decide whether I eat more, or worse foods, or exercise less. Only I decide THAT.

So, one other thing Mr J and I also decided is that there is an aspect of work that is giving me stress. Not the robotics company. There's a much smaller company that I also blog for. And, while I am more reliably paid there, I just don't like it. It does not interest me, and it splits my focus too much. It is a chore to do it, and now the guy from there wants to talk long-term strategy and I just plain feel trapped. So I am going to draw that one to a close. I don't really get a lot of $$ from it and it's not worth the dissatisfaction. Plus I suspect that the robotics company is going to be going places, and soon. I'd have to quit the other place, anyway. Hence I may as well ditch this company. I barely make enough to cover my gasoline expenses. It's not worth how trapped and stressed I feel.

I don't know where all of this is going to lead, and that's a real chore when I am feeling like this and stuck in the middle of a transition. I hate not knowing, hate feeling out of control and lost. And I don't even know what's good for me. Tough love? Sympathy? Helfino.

I do value honesty.

My body has not caught up with my brain or my wishes. The company where I work has not caught up to my hopes and dreams, not yet.

Dammit I hate transitions.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWIFTSEATURTLE 10/22/2010 4:47PM

    Sorry this transition is tough. I've been through major depression - I lost weight because I had no appetite. When I came out of the depression, it was Halloween 2008, and some character marshmallow lollipops were the first thing I had to eat that I remember liking, in about 2 years. Since I weighed less than I had in 5-8 years, I didn't reign in the appetite for the candy.

Over 40 lbs. later, it's still candy that's my biggest problem.

I read your post looking for a coleader on the Quirk team. Nobody is quirky enough for the spot, I guess.

I hope life smooths out for you soon!

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STRINGS58 10/20/2010 6:44AM

    My therapist brain kicked in wondering if there was a seasonal issue, if there was something other than weight, but you may have hit on it, the disempowerment. You depression may be a clue that you've had as much unhappy as you really want to handle. Transitions are. If we don't transition, we lose important parts of the process. I don't know if you can entertain yourself creatively while going through a transition. I think you're on to something with the music though, a but there's my bias: my undergrad degree is in Music Therapy!!!

I hope you get to jiggle and jive to some good music several times a day while you deal with the culprits of your feelings and weight gain. You have been a powerful influence on your body, and you've been through suckier transitions (I 'met' you when you were going through surgery recovery!). Here's to a great day! emoticon

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LBEEKMA 10/19/2010 10:25PM

    Good for you for being willing to break free from time consuming/stressful situations that offer little return. I hope letting go helps. I really believe that weightloss is 90% in our heads. Don't let that 5 lbs. get to you. You will recoup. We're here for you!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/19/2010 4:35PM

    You gave me an idea. Why not compete with my 2009 self to get back down to goal? So I'm doing it. Here's the blog about it. :-)


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DDOORN 10/18/2010 10:33PM

    Keep putting it out there, somewhere ideas will come, feelings will be felt that help you to pull through...!


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CAROLISCIOUS 10/18/2010 7:16PM

    I took a gander at your tracker to see if I saw anything out of line. What's you SP calorie range? Most days you are 1700 or higher. SP gives me 1200-1550.

I think I asked you this before, but do you use an HRM? Your are certainly showing plenty of calorie burn. Just wondering if it's per SPs calculations or an HRM. I strongly recommend an HRM.

So sorry you got the blues...but glad you are taking action. We will get through this...

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MADZIE 10/18/2010 5:27PM

  Ahhh Jes, I feel for you. It must be the time of year. Many of us are feeling the same. You are still keeping up with the exercise, which is GREAT!!! Hang in there! Oh, what's with all the ads I see saying 3 servings of dairy a day help with losing weight? Doesn't this mean 3 bowls of ice cream? : ) Don't we wish!

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KSGROTHE 10/18/2010 2:48PM

    Sorry to hear that you're struggling a bit right now. Hopefully your plan to quit the stressful job will help. emoticon

I, too, am struggling to keep from falling into a depression. I'm not in transition at work yet, more like limbo until I find something to transition into. Bleh!

Hang in there! I know you can get back on track!

- Karen

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/18/2010 12:07PM

    Maintenance is a biyatch. It gets old. Real old.

And it doesn't help when the devices we use to help monitor ourselves fail.

I'm up too, since March. I'm almost where I was exactly a year ago, weight-wise. It's because I abandoned my routines using the excuse of all the kayaking and training for the triathlon, etc. Now I'm going back to the regime I had last year.

I know I can get back down to where I want to be - I did it once before. So now I need to do it again. Perhaps it'll help to have a contest with my last-year self, LOL

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FIT_TERI 10/18/2010 11:15AM

    Very little is worth feeling stressed and trapped over, IMO. I hope making the job change makes things a lot better for you. I don't like transitions either, but I do like what VEEJAY3 said about looking at it as a journey. I may "steal" that one.

I'm so glad that you have someone to work through your feelings and devise a plan of attack with. Sounds like Mr J is always there for that. I have that too. I suspect we also both *are* that person, when we need to be. It's an important tool in your arsenal that not everyone has.

And, of course, you have all of us.

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TELERIE 10/18/2010 11:13AM

    Hey, it must be going around SP - you're writing MY blog for me!
I'm also a bit up and weigh what I did last Christmas. Also trying to stay upbeat while it feels like my whole world is in transition and limbo and whatnot. We keep on re-structuring things at work & I sincerely wish we were closer to the finish line on that front at work but I don't envision anything like normal state until 2012 and I don't know it I can last that long here...
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you're not alone, I am here for you and we CAN do it. We are AWARE and ACTIVE, which I wasn't when I lived in Denial and Depression. THAT's a big fat (heh) change.
BIG hug!

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VEEJAY3 10/18/2010 10:56AM

    Me too, me too, me too.
Thanks for writing my blog for me! haha. I realized yesterday that I'm now the same weight I was in January. Of 2007!!!! SUX. I'm blaming my thyroid problems -- for both the weight gain and the "Debbie Downer" personna. Which is true enough: a lack of thyroid function DOES cause both of those things. But I guess the further truth is ... even though it's HARDER now, it's still POSSIBLE to lose. Which leaves me without a handy scapegoat.

All of which to say ... can you think of it as a journey instead of a transition? Just a different label, but sometimes that helps! I feel like I've just taken a side road, instead of staying on the highway, and it cost me some downtime, but I saw some interesting things along the way that I would have missed if I would have buzzed straight to success.

Helfino how to get out of MY rut, either. I'm tryin'. Just so's yanno someone's fightin' it out with ya.

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MRSTOWNS62610 10/18/2010 10:31AM

    Hey Jespah, I'm sorry that you are feeling so down in the dumps. But as I was reading, I couldn't help but wonder if some of your weight gain is actually muscle gain due to your daily strength training...despite the measurements. I think quitting the other blog could be a good idea and I hope things turn up for you real soon. Be sure to let me know if you need anything. :-)
Send many happy and skinny vibes your way!


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MS.ELENI 10/18/2010 10:20AM

    I love the way you use what i call self talk. i talk to myself a lot too. I listen to myself better than I listen to others. Quitting the other job sounds like a smart move.
I can surely relate to gaining weight back. I am now in process of relosing myself and it is depressing . It is a sense of disappointment in ourselves. But you will get it off.No more Beat-Ups.Just Get Ups. emoticon

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QUEENOTHEFOREST 10/18/2010 10:07AM

    You really do nail things don't you? Right on again. Honesty is primo. Good for you. I am fessing up to you that I have been back to the night time ice cream again. No mystery about why I regained weight I worked hard to lose. And I am going to try to be done with it like you. I want to feel good again.

Depression is danged dangerous. You are right to get on it with what ever works for you. Exercise is what cures it for me. And I am going to do that too.

And it sounds like you have made a sound choice about the jobs. It is just not possible to summon up good energy for the new startup when you are distracted and drained.

You are going to be ok girl. You know what you have to do. I am one of your greatest admirers. You have honesty and learning from mistakes made in the past. What a powerful tonic you have given me today. It is a good journey and I am glad you pave a way for me and so many of us.

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Say the Devil is My Savior, But I Don't Pay No Heed

Monday, October 11, 2010

Okay, that title is sure to alarm some Sparkers out there. That amuses me.

Anyway, a few things.

I went to NYC over the weekend. Now, I despise NYC. It's not that I don't like cities. I love Boston. I love Providence, I love Philly and Wilmington (DE), too. I love Charlotte. I like DC (not love). Hartford and New Haven are okay. Honolulu is meh (although the scenery is a delight). San Francisco is glorious. LA is fair to middling. Both Portlands are good. Seattle is great.

But I really and truly cannot stand NYC. It's possibly the combination of overly crowded streets, arrogant natives (I'm married to a native, BTW, and he doesn't like NYC, either) and a lack of basic services for any kind of a price or convenience level that approaches reason.

Anyway, enough of that.

Mr. J and I went for a gathering of people from the website we manage. And we had a ball. It's interesting, though, seeing people in their (semi-) natural habitat and not only interacting with them but also observing how they are when it comes to food and exercise.

Gatherings, of course, centerpiece around food and drink.

I had a grilled chicken sandwich. The woman sitting near me is a vegetarian so she ended up having a plain omelet. My husband had a pastrami on rye but he has those less than once per year. Our guest of honor had chicken soup and barely had a quarter of what was served (I don't think she realized how large the order would be). This was, of course, a kosher deli. As in, truly kosher, meat-style. No cream, no milk, no cheese and God knows no shellfish.

Those were the more or less healthy choices (oh and two guys did split a larger pastrami sandwich so I suppose that counts as healthy-esque, and another ate half and got the other half to go). Knishes (for those who do not know what knishes are, they are dough pockets filled with meat, buckwheat or potato -- most were potato though I did see one that was kreplach, which is ground beef), sour salty pickles, piled high sandwiches which were finished. One guy goy a turkey leg that looked like it came from a pterodactyl, it was so huge. He also got the only green vegetable -- broccoli -- which he promptly slathered with mayonnaise. Oof.

Walking? We actually walked a lot. Well, most of us did. Mayo and broccoli man left early and took a cab back to, er, somewhere. Three others took a cab to the next place although, in all fairness, one is asthmatic (but also a smoker. Huh?) so the other two kept her company. The rest of us hoofed it. And fast, too.

The leader of the pack was walking very, very fast. He was one of the half sandwich guys. He was a little hard to keep up with.

He's 74.

Yes, you read that right.

He is 74.

Now, we did even more walking later and after a while he finally said he really could not do any more. Understandable, but we had already walked a good four miles together!

I walked a total of five miles that day, all in about two hours or so. I came back to my inlaws' apartment exhausted but glad I'd done all of that walking.

And, it paid off, with the first loss since we got the new scale. I am almost back to what I was when we replaced the old scale! So, yay me!

Earlier that week, I had gone to the gym twice, which also helped.

So, to review: two trips to the gym during the week. Humongous walking on the weekend. Careful food choices all around. Water, of course. Enough sleep. Did my best to balance nutrients and not overdo it on the salt, despite what was around me. Plus fun and fellowship with good friends.

Result: 3.8 pounds off, almost three years after I started doing all of this. And a helluva great example in the 74-year-old. I suspect the guy with broccoli and mayo is a good 5 - 10 years younger but looks older.

This stuff, dear friends, this diet, this exercise, the water, the watching, the life -- it is not just for losing weight. Losing weight is an intended consequence, to be sure. But it's actually only a peripheral. The real prize is getting to 74 and being in totally freakin' awesome shape. It's in outrunning/outwalking people who are as young as less than half your age. It is in not being on oxygen. It is in not using a cane or a walker. It is in getting there and ruling your 74-year-old (or older!) roost.

We are all gonna die.

I know, I know, that is no great shock to anyone, or at least it shouldn't be. And some of us will be hit by buses and the like. But for those who make it past accidents and suicide and HIV and warfare and murder to our elder years, to the years that are eventually eclipsed by strokes, heart attacks, broken hips, cancer and, sadly, Alzheimer's, the best thing we can do for ourselves NOW is to put those days off as long as possible.

There are three stages of being old. Young old, middle old, and old old. Young old are vigorous and alive. My 74-year-old pal. My father. Middle old are slowing down. Grabbing canes and walkers. May have had cancer or strokes. Old old need more active care and may be close to bedridden. These definitions overlap and are not set in concrete. When I was a child, my father's mother was old old, never really younger than middle old. Wanna know how old she was, by the calendar, when I was born?


Yep. And she'd already resigned herself to the end, her fate. Oh, poor her. Oh, the suffering.

She lived another 22 years but never seemed to be truly happy or pain-free.

My father will be 80 next year.

He still walks faster than I do, and I'm pretty damned fast these days.

So I ask you.

Which one do YOU want to be?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACYZABELLE 10/17/2010 3:37PM

    According to the calendar I am 47 but I feel 80 some days! I am hoping by years end I feel 70, lol

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VEEJAY3 10/16/2010 10:25AM

    Wow, Jespah! Am I ever glad I found this blog!!! I'm at that age (54) where for the first time ever, things are starting to poke me (54). Just the little teeny tiny things that go wrong that you never ever experienced before, and a little more often than you'd like. Normal stuff. But it's exactly that time in life to redouble efforts towards health so that you stay on top of things.

We have a great family friend who is a robust, vibrant, healthy 78. Swims a mile a day. He's great inspiration. (And we also have people in the family who started being "old" way too early.)

Thanks for this reminder to rise to the occasion of aging!

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    Oh Gosh I almost missed this wonderful blog. You put down here what I strongly believe. That is that we can build the quality of life. It simply is correct that for many of us and I want to be in this pack, 70 is the new 60 or even 55. Or better. Barring all those things you listed the fitter we are the higher the quality of life we can have. And even some of the things on your list can probably be improved by good nutrition and exercise.

I met an old fellow (late 80's) at the Y a few months ago who works out every day and is amazing. Just amazing.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/12/2010 4:02PM

    Dude. I'm turning 45 next month according to the calendar, but most of the time I feel like I'm in my 20s. Especially while kayaking! LOL

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KSGROTHE 10/11/2010 4:54PM

    Great blog! I love the title you chose! emoticon

It sounds like you did very well on maintaining your healthy lifestyle on your trip to NYC! emoticon on your weight loss!

Keep up the good work, and I have no doubt you'll be healthy in your old age! emoticon

- Karen

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MS.ELENI 10/11/2010 2:50PM

    You always come up with the darndest blogs.Always interesting. emoticon

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KMBERLY817 10/11/2010 12:49PM

    This is a truly inspirational story and life lesson. Thank you sooo much for sharing it. emoticon

emoticon on the loss!!!

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CAROLISCIOUS 10/11/2010 11:47AM

    Great blog JES, and great reminder of the real reason we stick with this. You did great. I'm really proud of you!

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DDOORN 10/11/2010 11:35AM

    Recently I bought a book I just LOVED!

Bike For LIFE! How to Bike a 100 when you're 100!

Here's their website (check out their gallery of photos since 1979!):


There are some AWESOME interviews of fellows who are knocking down MILES & MILES on their bikes at 90+ years of age!

On my first century bike ride a few weeks ago there was an 85 year old massage therapist, steadily pedaling along on her single-speed bike with a wicker basket nestled into the handlebars.

I told her she was my HERO! She gave some of the cyclists massages at the rest stops...wonderful lady! She allowed me to take photos which I included in my blog:


I ABSOLUTELY plan to be as vibrant and active as possible right up to my final day! Woo hoo!


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I was a Short Fuse, Burning all the Time

Monday, October 04, 2010

I have been thinking lately about anger.

Anger at myself. Anger at others.

I spent -- hell, I wasted -- many, many years being an angry person.

I don't show it online, never really have. Perhaps it was the combination of knowing that it would be more or less permanent, along with the fact that the written word can have some reasoned delay behind it. Plus I'm such a nitpicky speller much of the time, so I look over most long posts (including this one). I have a chance to think things over, so the fuse is lengthened and I don't explode as much or at least I tend to temper it with some reason. I often read long posts out loud (not in public of course). Does it sound conversational? Then go. Nasty? Then put on the brakes, regroup and rewrite.

My brother and I did not get along for the longest time, and it is still a struggle, at least on my end, to assure that we do. There is nothing wrong or very little wrong with what he says or does. I know that it is me. I am too impatient. And, we are different. We grew up apart (although we lived in the same home), uninterested in one another's lives. We are now geographically apart and still not too interested but we try. I know of people who contact their siblings -- even of the other gender -- on a weekly basis or more frequently. With my brother and me, if less than a month goes between phone calls or emails, that's amazing. And usually if there is an email, it is him sending me something work-related. There are few personal or family-related things but, we are different. I have no children. I am really not religious at all. I work wacky freelance. He has a steady job, a wife and son. He's Treasurer (maybe he still is -- or maybe he isn't any more; I truly do not know) of his synagogue. He knows all the holidays. Me? I remember if I remember to look them up. Maybe I should set a reminder for myself.

And then there are our parents, who have to navigate our disparate personalities. I was rather PO'd at them last week. They came up and through a combination of bad luck and inertia, ended up staying here, even as we explicitly kept telling them -- the house is a godawful disaster area. But it all falls into a particular place and I bite my lip and pretend like it's all hunky dory for this to be happening even though, inside, I am seething.

And yeah, this is online, and somewhat permanent, and yes, I've put THAT out there.

But, yeah, I was PO'd.

See, anger isn't an awful thing, not if it's wielded with some discretion and, dare I say it, grace. There is nothing wrong with being angry. It is as valid an emotion as happiness. In fact, they are all valid emotions, and I get ticked off when I see people so hell-bent on everyone drinking the happiness Kool-Aid that they will push everyone to smile, smile, smile even when life is just not dictating that.

I well recall a funeral. This was over fifteen years ago. My great-aunt was telling the fresh, new widower, oh, just, you'll feel better soon. Well, no. He didn't. And while I think mourning for a decade and a half is excessive (and he isn't), if you can't feel sad at a funeral, when the hell CAN you?

And if you can't feel angry when you've been wronged or hurt or slighted or ignored or trampled on, when the hell CAN you?

I think fuses that are super-duper long get trampled on. I am not saying to walk around every day with a chip on your shoulder. I am not saying to alienate the people you love, or engage in violence or get yourself fired or arrested.

What I am saying is: give yourself permission to be angry. Permission to be sad. Permission to not get along with everyone. Permission to not always see things someone else's way.

A big part of this journey is seeing, and understanding, your own value. The wealth that is YOU. And that wealth comes with things that are sometimes not so nice. And they are as real and as important and valid as the things that are nice. You have to let those in, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LBEEKMA 10/6/2010 11:33PM

    So real! I, too, have found that putting how I feel on paper just helps...and isn't nearly as toxic to me (and those around me). You have to have a place to let everything out so you can let it go. I say, "Be angry!" and then you can be freed (somewhat) from it.

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BAGGYPANTS5 10/6/2010 5:18PM

    Great blog. Rang a lot of bells with me, too.

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HAPPYWRITER7 10/5/2010 5:58PM

    It's so nice to see you, fel like it's been forever. You really hit so many nails on the head here, I cant even begin to explain. Just recently Ive been fighting with myself about how angry I can get, and I had just give up and wondered what was wrong with me, but Im going to give myself pemission to be angry and then let it go. Sometimes the problem is not my own at all and I have every right to feel the way I do!

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TELERIE 10/5/2010 5:41PM

    I've missed your blogs! Lost the subscription!! Back on now!
And you're so right! I think many of us have bottled up those "negative" feelings for too long and eaten our way out of them instead. It's important to acknowledge the feelings we have and be accepting. They're part of life and living.
By bottling up every negative feeling it's too easy to wallow in them and get sunk in anger or frustration. By allowing our emotions some room it's easier to just move on.
Food for thought here for sure!

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NOLAZYBUTT110 10/5/2010 2:53PM

    Yes its okay to cry ay funerals and get angry, but....dont stay there! We all have issues and some we can talk about, others we should just let them wash off our shoulders alone. Talking about it or writing does help! Hope it helped you. susan

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MARCHMAID 10/5/2010 8:35AM

    I used to be angry more than I am now. Takes too much energy usually. But I hear you. Mostly I get angry at the stupidity of people in the public arena, but often, personally, my strongest emotion is disappointment.

Thoughtful interesting blog--will think on it.

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    Good stuff here. I really dislike feeling badly (anger qualifies with me as a "bad" feeling ie uncomfortable, draining, dark etc) though sometimes I just have to get through it and there are no short cuts. I have tried to short cut feelings with binge eating. It is a huge temptation. Then I get stuck in that phase and can't climb out and it does nothing for the original bad feelings. Most recently last week over sadness not anger, same binge, same result. It is also true for me that if I feel bad I can usually help myself with exercise. Going to that instead of to food is a major internal battle. I have not really thought about this so clearly before. When anger festers for a while it can become resentment. One of my favorite sayings is resentment against someone is like letting that person live rent free in your head. Yep. Thanks for the blog.

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AESOPSREED 10/5/2010 3:17AM

  I'm with you on this 100%. emoticon

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DDOORN 10/4/2010 11:26PM

    Don't know about others, but a big part of my weight was all about stuffing those feelings...*especially* anger! Still not as open with anger as I would like to be, but better...!


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CAROLISCIOUS 10/4/2010 7:24PM

    Well said JES. I'm keep my emotions inside way too much. It never goes well when I express them outwardly. People around me take it personally...and that's not my intention at all. I just want to, need to, express my feelings...and have others just be okay with it.

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KSGROTHE 10/4/2010 6:28PM

    I know what you mean about giving yourself permission to be angry or sad. I spent many years bottling those emotions up, and I ended up fat and divorced. He knew I was unhappy even if I didn't express it much. It was a waste of time to bottle it up and let it fester all those years.

When he left, I was overwhelmed by the emotions, the sadness and the anger especially. I cried a lot, more than I had during the dozen years we were married. I felt like I was out of control, but once I allowed those feelings out, I found I could feel a greater level of joy sometimes, a level I hadn't felt in years.

There's still a balancing act with the emotions. I want to be a positive person, and anger and sadness do not fit my view of a positive person, of course. And I have to be careful about the negative voice in my head that turn the anger inward on myself. That voice often leads me off track from the healthy lifestyle I'm striving to live.

emoticon for sharing your thoughts! You have written a thought-provoking blog as usual!

- Karen

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MADZIE 10/4/2010 2:17PM

  Well said!! It's not good to hold anger inside. It's important to validate our feelings and express them in a way that gets our point across and of course, no one gets physically hurt!!

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CHESAKAT41 10/4/2010 10:38AM

    Anger is an emotion out of control. Since I have become a follower of Joel Osteen a lot of those emotions have gone away. I am in control and a lot happier I have become...

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MS.ELENI 10/4/2010 10:36AM

    I like this. i have always felt fortunate that if i do get angry I never stay angry. I say what i am thinking and then I am over it. And there is nothing wrong with being sad as long as it isn't long term. I have days when I have my own little pity party but one day is more than enough.

Sending some smiles your way so you can
Catch a smile - be part the SMILE of EPIDEMIC!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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250STRONG 10/4/2010 9:40AM

    Very well said. I think it's great to feel what we feel. And (most of the time) express it (with grace).

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