Wednesday, November 24, 2010
My nephew Jim called last night. He’s Joan’s oldest sister’s oldest child. His dad died about ten years ago or so and since then whenever he has “issues” he calls me. His dad and I were close and I don’t think there is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss him. He died suddenly of heart attack. Jim is getting married for the first time at age forty. The hardest thing for me to swallow at age fifty seven is that I have a forty year old nephew. (I guess it could be worse. I do have a sixteen year old great niece, LOL.)
His bride to be has two children, both boys, both teenagers, from a previous marriage, and the biological dad is not in the picture because he chooses not to be. Predictably, both boys don’t care for Jim and the fact he is marrying mom and they are, to use the appropriate parlance of today’s vocabulary “acting out.” Jim is at a loss on how to handle all of this so he called me. As he stated a couple of times during the call he believes I am “wise.” Given that the last six weeks of my life have been one little failure after another I didn’t correct him with any false humility. Towards the end of our discussion Jim seemed a bit despondent. He was hoping to be perfect and it just wasn’t working out the way he thought it would.
“You’re so wise,” he started. “All this stuff comes so easy to you.”
I reminded him that the only way we gain any wisdom at all is through failure. He seemed incredulous. He had a hard time believing I had ever failed at anything or made the wrong decision. I told him I had; more times than I cared to think about and if I had any insight at all into anything it was because I failed so often in reaching out for that ever so elusive success. We wished each other a good evening and hung up. I sat in my chair and started thinking about the real wisdom of what I said. It HAS been a rough last few weeks but I am starting to see the horizon and the sun is shining. I made a few bad choices. (One involved an illicit relationship with a pan of brownies.)Every time I made a poor choice, I regrouped and went back to the process that has been successful for me in the past, but a bit wiser because of my failure.
I have hated the gym, my trainer and my running buddies for a little over a month now. I wondered why I couldn’t click my heels three times and be thin and svelte and all those other alien terms. I cussed and fussed and carried on….. This morning I sit here with a goofy grin. My granddaughter throws herself on the floor and pitches a fit, so to speak. I just did it in a much more sophisticated manner. I got mad at me, and as a wise Spark friend told me once “Nuthin’ changes till somethin’ changes.”
I owe a lot to many of you. There have been so many “I love you’s” and so many “hang in there’s,” that I felt encouraged to move on. I am back on track. I’m a bit bruised and bumped and certainly a bit wiser. There is a real blessing in failure. My trainer reminded me that in exercise terms a muscle never, ever gets stronger until it reaches the point of failure.
Just like me and you.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Some mornings I have enough to deal with and then, out of the clear blue, I have to take on being honest with myself. Is there no end, I ask you?
I read a blog this morning about self-image and how we aren’t always honest with ourselves about how we look. It was timely for me because I had a whole weekend of people who haven’t seen me in eight months or so going “Oh my gosh do you look good!!” or “I follow you on Facebook and my gosh I think its great someone your age has started running.” (I didn’t know being 57 qualified you for an assisted living facility.) The problem is, when I close my bathroom door and take a good look all I see is this obese man. It’s more than disheartening, it’s disgusting!!! That’s what I see. I don’t see the four pants sizes I have lost. I don’t see the sixty four pounds that took a lot of hard work. I see what’s left. I see the negative, the fat, the obese…………. Call it what you will.
I don’t think I will ever understand why some of you want to be my Spark friend. I mean I look at your pictures and see how fit and attractive you look and I do an OMG!!! I sneak a quick peak at me and almost need CPR from holding in my gut to look moderately presentable. I sat back in my chair and got ready because when I get this feeling I just know an inspiration, whether I want it or not, is looming on the horizon. “It’s why you haven’t put up a picture of yourself in forever,” the wonderful voice said. “It’s because you are ashamed.” A moment of thought………… I had to agree.
Oh great, I was feeling low enough as it was and now I have to tackle all this? Yeah I do. I mean I don’t but I do if I want to take the next step in a journey that doesn’t seem to want to end. I have had a bunch of stuff, none of it good; go through my head in the past thirty minutes or so. All of the silly beliefs I have about me and then the realization that along with being an emotional eater, an eternal people pleaser, and a control freak I discover that I suffer from massive inferiority about my appearance.
Be careful what you ask for John. Sixteen hours in the car in a three day period gives you a lot of time to reflect and pray. I asked for wisdom, strength and courage to keep on this journey. The answer I got was this small, yet strong voice saying: “You need to get out of your own way. We both can’t sit in the same seat and drive the car.”
I start a spinning class tomorrow night and a relaxation yoga class next Monday. I’m worried how I’ll look. It’s silly or is it? We all have demons inside of us, those pointy tailed imps that bedevil us and irritate us at a moment’s notice. They know exactly what button to push.
One foot in front of the other I keep repeating “You are worth it, you deserve it and thank God I hang around with you guys.”
Sunday, November 21, 2010
There are so many things in my life that I am grateful for. If you are reading this blog consider yourself one of those things!!! If it weren’t for the encouragement, the Goodies, the Spark mails and the affection each of us shows each other I believe this journey would be rougher than it is some days. I believe without the support of those who care and who believe in me this journey would be impossible.
I don’t always take the time to say thank you as properly as I should, so in a really feeble effort to acknowledge your love I am thanking each of you now for being my friend, supporting my efforts and encouraging me along the way. I don’t always have the chronological time to sit at my key board and respond to you one-on-one. Please know that my daily blogs are often that response. Because you have loved me I have grown and because I have grown I have thoughts, ideas, and experiences I want to share with you in return.
As sincerely as one can do through the written word you are appreciated, loved and prayed for on a regular basis. If I have lost touch with you please know it was not be design. One of my goals for 2011 is going to be to get a better handle on my time.
I do not have many friends that I can sit down with face-to-face and just chat with. Please know that all of you have filled that very large, cold void inside of me.
You Are Loved And Appreciated
Saturday, November 20, 2010
I have a tendency to quickly scan those mass emails we all get from well intentioned friends. I look at them and delete them. Rarely do I "pass it on to five friends." This morning was different. My friend Becky sent me what I posted below. Five years ago this month Becky lost her closest friend in a freak November tornado. I knew people who lived one hundred yards on either side of Becky's friend who came through unscathed. Since that time, no matter what the situation in my life whether it be a weather issue or a family illness issue I can count on a text message or phone call from Becky just to see "if we're okay." I see Becky maybe one a month. I consider her one of my closest friends. I hope this has the same effect on you it did on me.
"Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.
I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible..
How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word 'refrigeration' mean nothing to you?
How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?
I cannot count the times I called my sister and said , 'How about going to lunch in a half hour?' She would gas up and stammer, 'I can't.. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain' And my personal favorite: 'It's Monday.' She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.
Because People cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!
We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Tommy toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.
Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,' and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit.'
When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.
My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-Decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.
Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to...not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? ;And why are you waiting?
Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you.
Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask 'How are you?' Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.' And in your haste, not see her sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say 'Hi'?
When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over."
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