Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I wasn’t feeling too well yesterday. I had planned on staying in my flannels and my Chicago Cubs tee shirt all day and giving myself permission to be lazy because I was sick. This means you can watch television all day and not feel guilty, or read for three hours and not have that nagging feeling you should be doing something more “productive.” Isn’t it amazing we have to get sick sometimes to feel good about ourselves and what we do?
But I digress.
The phone rang around eleven or so. The party on the other line “needed” to talk to me. He “needed” to have lunch with me. I told him I was not feeling well but I might as well have told him I was fourteen feet tall with a rotating head. I wouldn’t categorize this person as a friend, because a friend would have told me, “Let’s do it tomorrow! It can wait.” He is not really a client. He is just a child of God, which means guilt forced me into the shower and down the road to the one place I have avoided for over two months, a local pizza parlor which has killer food ---- literally and figuratively.
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the very same thing over and over and expecting different results.
I knew two things before I even got out of the car. One, no matter what was “ailing him” he would discount the advice I gave him and get really defensive. This would be followed by a litany of my short comings. Since he doesn’t really know me that well I am not really sure how he knows all of them. Two, I would pay for lunch. His reasoning and logic is that he works for a not for profit company and doesn’t have any money, etc, etc. I wouldn’t mind so much if we alternated but I never invite him to lunch, he always invites me. As I am walking into the restaurant I am holding a conversation with myself that is questioning why I am there. Me and my box of Puff’s sit down and wait. There is a third thing I know about these encounters, he is at least fifteen minutes late, always!
Everything went according to script. He complained and moaned about his life, his wife and the people who worked for him. Thank goodness for him or the entire galaxy would collapse upon itself………..
There are “toxic people” in this world. I believe that they are like hazardous material. You need to stay away from them and not involve yourself with them or you will become toxic also. I don’t believe anyone is born toxic, I believe that after a period of time they make the choice to live that way, and……………….. If we are who we hang around with, well you complete the sentence.
We are as dependant on these toxic people as they are dependent upon spewing their poison. They might be an aunt, an uncle, a parent, a child or a spouse. And after all aren’t we called to love?? Mostly what we see ourselves being called to do is avoiding any situation that is uncomfortable to us.
Now I’m not sure if it was because I felt just plain crummy or if I had a moment of enlightenment, but after we had finished eating I stood up, looked at him and said:
“Joe, I have really come to value the relationship I have created with myself. I am healthier and happier than I have been in years. But here’s the deal: I should have not eaten with you today because I felt really sick but you didn’t seem to care, you never seem to care. So I am really angry right now, mostly with me. When you want to have a relationship that is based on honesty and give and take call me and we can start over. Till then I think way too much of me.”
I picked up the check and walked to the counter, told the owner to split it in half and told him Joe would be paying for his half. Then I left.
Honestly? I felt bad all the way home. But after sitting in the living room for an hour and just reflecting on the whole situation I believe I did something very healthy for me. I took care of me.
See, we just don’t have toxic relationships with people; we can have them with food. I mean haven’t my cookies, cakes and pies always been there for me? And now you want me to abandon them and become a healthy and happy John. The nerve of you!!! They have always been there. Can’t you here my arteries closing as we speak?
Health is a choice and sometimes the choice isn’t always filled with sunshine and tulips. Sometimes it’s making that first step towards sanity that takes you down a new road. It’s pitfalls and setbacks and some days lots and lots of tears.
But let’s wrap this up on a positive note.
Remember when I told you I avoided this pizza joint because of its very own toxicity? Well for lunch today I had a large salad with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, some hardboiled egg and 2 tablespoons of bleu cheese dressing. I had ONE piece of pizza that mostly veggies. I am pleased.
I love me. I love me a lot and I believe I would do anything to make sure that love stays healthy and grows healthy. In a very healthy way, I hope you love you too.
Monday, February 22, 2010
The more positive you think, feel and believe, the more positive your life becomes.
I am sick.
Not just a few sniffles and a runny nose but the fever, achy, “I wanna die” sort of sick. In a word I feel miserable. There is another part of me that is at peace with all of this. Don’t get me wrong I do not enjoy being ill. I am not sweating the details. I am not stressing. I am letting go.
I will not work out today. That would be suicide and its okay that I don’t, work out that is. Maybe tomorrow I will feel better and I will pick up where I left off Saturday morning. We got home last night and I started feeling bad. My plan was to go to the gym, instead I went to bed.
I have been doing too much, working at a pace quicker than my resources could supply and I got sick. As the saying goes ‘It is what it is.” I am letting go.
Letting go, to me, means that all the junk that clouds my mind gets put on hold and I simply exist for a day or so. I am starting to see that I am not what I accomplish, I am not how many friends I have or don’t have. It’s not about what I look like or the size of clothes I wear. It is about respecting me. It is about being present to myself and mostly its about trusting God, whatever you perceive Him or Her to be.
My favorite book in the Bible is Jonah. Jonah keeps running away and God keeps pulling him back. Jonah wants to go to New York and God wants him in San Diego.
Letting go. There is a real freedom in not knowing, in trusting and in waiting with real joy for the next chapter. It’s about the journey and the people we meet who fortify us. People like you.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Well I hasd a two pound plus losss this week so I am happy.
I am in Louisville today visitng my grandaughter. We havent seen her since the day after New Years. So there is no great words on inspiration form me today, except maybe this:
Enjoy your self and enjoy life and all the rest is small stuff. This journey should be a happy one. I have to keep reminding myself of that. Between balancing the carbs, the fat and the protien and getting my excercise in and comnpleting challenges and responding to every one who writes I often forget that there is a wonderful me, who should be enjoying all of this.
And.......... thank you all for being my friend. That is a priceless gift.
Have a good Sunday.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
A few years back I had the opportunity to go to a baseball game in San Diego. I am a huge baseball fan and it was my first time at that ball park. Suffice to say I was like a very young child at Christmas. Half way through the game a young man sat down next to me. He was dressed in a robe and sandals and was bald except for a top knot about six inches long coming directly out of the top of his head.
All through my life I have been one of those people who would talk to anyone about anything. I guess you could say I am blessed with being comfortable around people and I do enjoy learning about other folks. I don’t know a stranger.
After a bit I started talking to the young man and found out he was from a sect of Hari Krishna. As respectfully as I could I started to ask him questions about what his beliefs were. I stressed that I wasn’t making fun of him I really wanted to know “what he stood for” so to speak.
He and I had this conversation in 1993. What he told me, the one sentence he used to summarize his beliefs has stuck with me ever since and will until the day I die”
“Where you are, is where you should be, right now.”
In our lives there is no past, except that which we can learn from. If it’s good we repeat it, if it’s bad we learn from it and stay away from it in the future.
There is “no making things up to someone.” As much as I’d like it to be true I can’t even the scales by sending flowers, cards or candy. I thought something Tiger Woods said yesterday at his press conference hit the nail right on the head.
He said his wife told him she would judge his apology not by all the words but by his actions in the future.
There is no future, only what we are called and asked to do right now, today. In about fifteen minutes it means going to the gym with my wife and doing whatever we are going to do this morning. It means every day is a fresh page and whether people are comfortable with it or not I endeavor to treat each person who crosses my path with dignity, respect and genuine concern. It means that if I see you are doing something that’s going to hurt you I will tell you. I endeavor to do it in a way that is not judgmental.
Where I am is where I am supposed to be right now. All my mistakes of the past, my wrong turns, my bad relationships, the silly advice I listened to and gave served only one purpose: To put me here, right now.
It’s a blank page. Every day is a new day where you and I get another chance to be the most excellent us.
One of my newest Spark Friends refers to herself as a “super hero. ” Maybe we don’t run around in a cape and a mask, but how many of us can be heroes to those people right in front of us right now.
Yes there are days I wish I weighed one hundred fifty pounds, had a full head of hair and young ladies called me dude instead of sir. But I am called to be me, right now. Maybe a bit over weight a bit out of shape, but me.
So are you.
Friday, February 19, 2010
I missed my workout yesterday. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. Huh? There was more to do yesterday then there was day to do it in and by the time I finished with my work commitments I looked at the clock and it was after eight pm. I needed to be up early this morning to take an international phone call so I knew I needed to get my rest. Forty five minutes of cardio around eight thirty would have kept me up all night.
I was disappointed, but I didn’t go off the deep end. In the old days, which for our purposes here would be considered a little over two months ago, I would have despaired and eaten an entire cake. Instead, I went to bed. I realized there would most likely be other days like yesterday. I believe it is called life. I didn’t feel guilty! I woke up this morning and when I am finished writing this I am headed for the gym. I will pick up where I left off Wednesday.
The real revelation in all of this came at 3:47 AM when I popped out of bed. “That voice,” inside of me spoke. “You can never get to where you are going until you are happy with yourself where you are right now.” That was the most profound thing I ever heard. In an instant all my past failures, my misperceptions or whatever you wanted to call them made sense. I was living in the future and when the image of the future didn’t match the behavior of the present, well I gave up.
Being happy with me as I am right now is difficult. Everything around me tells me to improve to be better to work harder. Nothing tells me to value who I am right now. So I agree, it’s difficult but not impossible. I shared this thought with my wife who gave me one of those “You’re just now realizing this?” looks, in a loving sort of way.
I have my wife my family, my healthy friends who I hang around with and you guys, the Sparky’s. yes, I know we are all on this journey towards whatever it is we are looking for. Appreciate yourselves right now for who you are, at this very moment in time.
I appreciate every one of you!
Get An Email Alert Each Time JOHNTJ1 Posts