Wednesday, October 03, 2012
I was looking forward to catching up with a friend last night. It seemed like forever since we talked. I knew from the first hello that something wasnít right. Her boyfriend found himself in the unenviable position of not only losing one job but possibly two. You can only imagine the stress. Going from three incomes to one in the blink of an eye can set you into a real quick tail spin. I see many of you nodding your heads. Youíve been there, so have I. Itís the fear the unknown brings when it comes-o-calliní. Things that were inconsequential last week now seem to be a matter of life and death Ė and in many cases they are. So I did what a friend does, I listened.
After a bit I sort of scratched my head, contorted my face in one of those half-crazy looks and said. ďYou realize youíre one of my heroes donít you?Ē There was a long moment of silence. ďLook at everything youíve endured in your short life, and each time youíve always been much stronger.Ē My friend spent most of her youth and adolescence caring for a parent who was chronically ill. She missed out on a lot of things you and I take for granted, coupled with the unimaginable stress of not being able to help a parent get better. Eventually she had to make the tough decision to remove life support. In a phrase she amazes me and I reminded her yesterday.
Iím not discounting how tough life may be for her in the immediate future, I just reminded her of the reservoir of strength within her. That same reservoir resides in you and me. I felt a bit small as I lie in bed last night thinking of my friend and her plight. She can summon the courage to deal with life altering events and I fall apart trying to restrain myself from eating a donut. Itís not that Iím weak Ė far from it. I am ignorant of the amazing positive strength, resolve and love that are inside of me. I refuse to look in the mirror and see that warm glow that emanates from me; I only see the warts, the fat and a body that is slowly aging. I fail to take note of the amazingly strong person staring back.
So many times during the course of my day, people will tell me how great I am and I just donít see it. Thatís because Iím not looking hard enough. Thank You ďAĒ for showing me that even in the things of life we find hard to deal with there is a moment of light and life to help us grow.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
I saw a cartoon the other day that pictured of an attorney talking on the telephone. The caption read, ďIím sorry mamí I never heard of anyone suing a mirror manufacturer.Ē Iím not a huge fan of mirrors. They point out things Iíd rather not see. They point out the here. Iím not always in the mood to deal with the here and now. Let me create a vision of the future. Itís much less threatening and easier to manage. Iíll only get a negative payoff from the future when it fails to come to pass and Iíll blame myself, just like I do for everything else that goes wrong in my life. Remain positive, listen to uplifting music create a collage of everything you always wanted and allow it to collect dust somewhere. Itís not real.
Wow John, thatís an awfully dim view of things. Iím making a point. We are so, so caught up in the latest and greatest feel good that we neglect to look in the mirror and love and appreciate the current version of ourselves. What do we think that weíll learn all that positive behavior and loving appreciation of ourselves once we reach our goals? We view it as a reward. ďI can finally beÖÖ.Ē Everything else in our world suggests practice makes perfect. We donít hop in a car at the legal age and take off down the road. We practice, we study and we gain experience.
Itís hard to look in the mirror and see the real value we offer this world. Weíre too caught up in reading other peoples stories and wishing that we somehow had the wisdom to ďbe like them.Ē The here and now cries out ďHere I am, warts and all. I have something unique and special to offer you.Ē Some days the mirror is clear, some days dusty and some days I swear itís cracked, but itís MY mirror, created just for that amazing, yet often flawed version of me. There is no before and after, there is only now and the now should be embraced, warts and all starting today.
On my bulletin board this morning: ďMy name is John. I am warm and witty and Iíll be the best friend you ever had. I am charming but I also believe that at times there is no one who knows any more than I do. My smile and booming voice fills a room when I enter. I do not suffer fools patiently and often wish the world moved at my pace. I take time to share part of me with everyone I meet because I know what itís like to feel abandoned and without a friend. I am a compulsive over eater, an emotional eater and I struggle almost daily with the fear brought on by panic/anxiety disorder. They are fears that almost never come true. I love to smile. ď
SoÖÖÖ.What about you?
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Itís hard to believe September has already come and gone. Itís time to account for my September health goals. I wrote a blog in early September where I told you, my dear friend and reader, that I was going to concentrate on three areas of improvement. I felt if I was successful in each area it would reflect when I stepped on the scale. Letís see how I did.( Iím as excited as you guys are!!!)
My first goal was practicing portion control. Iíll give myself a solid B in this area. Plastic measuring spoons and cups arenít all that expensive!!! For me, it was creating and taking the time to accurately measure and not saying ďYeah, that looks like a half of cup, donít it?Ē Was it a pain? Yes indeed it was, especially for the first week ,but like anything else we repeat it became a habit. I received a pleasant surprise at mid-month. Our daughter Katie is a lifetime Weight Watcher member somehow ended up with two digital scales. She gave us one. This is a major benefit for me. It accurately weighs anything you desire. During this time I began to practice substituting, also. I love butter!!! I started using butter substitutes and this will be one of my goals for Rocktober. (More about that tomorrow.)
My second goal was to keep moving. Joan and I swim each morning before work and I walked and cycled also. I took one day a week off and it can best be described as a ďfloating day off.Ē Iíd work it in around my schedule. The more I move the less anxious I am and the less anxious I am the less likely I am to abuse food. I am an emotional and compulsive over eater and I always will be. If I choose to be healthy, wealthy and wise I have to develop strategies to maintain a good balance in my life. Keep moving is one of them. I exercised no more or no less than 30 minutes each day. I give myself an A here.
My third goal was creating at least ten minutes of ďquiet timeĒ for myself each day. This goal was the most difficult to work towards. I give myself a C here because Iíd get so busy that Iíd look at the clock and wonder where the day went. When I took time to meditate for ten minutes each day I found I slept better and had a clearer focus. Taking time to accomplish this is taking time to slay the excuse monster deep inside of me that bleats out things like ďBut youíre a busy dude, dude.Ē or ďThere are only so many hours in a day.Ē Ten minutes, minimum, thatís all Iím looking for. I didnít attend the yoga class Iíd planned on. Well, let me say I went to one class and saw it as being much more advanced than I was ready for. No worries. When the student is ready the teacher appears.
So letís see how I did, hey? (Drum roll please!!!) During the month of September I lost 14.4 pounds. For a man thatís not a lot, BUTÖÖÖÖÖÖ I donít feel nervous, anxious or pushed into embracing the ďDĒ word. I feel pretty balanced right now. Tomorrow Iíll share my October goals.
As always thanks for your love. Namaste
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Weíve been working with a young couple; helping to plan a banquet. They work for the facility hosting the banquet and in the last six weeks between meetings, phone calls and email, weíve come to know them pretty well. She is an administrative coordinator and he works there part time. Heís in graduate school studying to be physical therapist. They have the cutest six month old son. They are struggling. Joan suggested we get a gift card from one of our grocery stores and mail it to them in an anonymous fashion, so to speak. I reflected on this in the wee hours of this morning, when all my cares and woes decided to visit all at once and a voice, very clear, but gentle spoke to me.
ĎWhat if youíre the answer to a prayer?Ē
This journey towards health can be a very selfish one. Itís often a ďMe,me,meĒ sort of thing. MY weight, MY diet, MY exercise, MY accomplishments. Yeah, we have teams and challenges and warm fuzzies to make us continue, but often we put on blinders to the rest of humanity.
Havenít we suffered enough, though? Donít we deserve to devote that time we squandered in the past solely to ourselves? We have our own worries and woes, right? What if, in all the struggle, and pain and confusion our lives produce; what if during all the aches, pains and plateaus, God, however you conceive Him or Her to be calls on you to be the answer to someoneís prayer?
Itís not all about ME and I struggle with that until an angel or two, in the form of a physical therapist and his wife, remind me that WE are often the answer God supplies to anotherís prayer.
Get An Email Alert Each Time JOHNTJ1 Posts