Thursday, May 27, 2010
Virtual Journey Update: 63 miles from Eureka. Today being a school night is usually a day when I get over 12K steps, but I woke up feeling really sore from yesterday's walking. I decided to take it easy today. I still walked and was on my feet a lot, but I shortened the walk at lunch. Even with that modification, I got in 10,015 steps. Amazingly, the stiffness did not last all day, but the soreness did.
I ended up eating within calories, but over on carbs and under on calcium and fat. I am surprised whenever everything is within balance. It's a work in progress!
The one day challenge today was to be calm and relaxed in the face of irritating drivers and other situations like that. I started the day, before I even read the post, with that mindset and it carried through the entire day! What a piece of heaven that was!
I found out my coworker Charlotte died Thursday morning from, probably, an undiagnosed heart condition. Her youngest is not even a year old. I don't know how old the other 3 children are, but their loss is incalculable. I emailed her husband, introduced myself, made a few comments about Charlotte, offered help and said he does not need to respond unless I can help - I didn't want him to feel any more burdened.
Yesterday, I mentioned the school a few blocks away from my house that was vandalized. My company is sending $1000 towards an alarm system, the admin council is working on sending copy paper and the IT and legal teams are discussing whether we can donate older laptops. I have been given the awesome opportunity to work with my coworkers for any other donations. I have dreams of getting some of our technical staff to go to the school (probably next fall) to do a career fair - something to show these students what they could do, what they could become. The school is a magnet school for science and I work at a science think tank. The school teaches the basic English, history, math and science, but in all the coursework, the focus is science. I am hoping the career fair would ignite some possibility thinking for these youngsters. (Kindergarten through 8th grade). I told the VPs who approved all this that I could not feel more ecstatic were this for my benefit. I am just so thrilled to help out this very poor school!
My class was short because the judge is the duty judge this week and he had to go sign a search warrant. He gave us 3 cases to read over this coming long weekend, so I can add that to the other 3 cases to read for the paper I need to write. I'll be stuffing my mind with no time to stuff my face this weekend! HA!
What a great day! Made all the better by the comments and feedback from you, my Spark family!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Virtual Journey Update: Over the past 3 days, I've logged in something over 8 miles, so I am now 67 miles away from Eureka. So much has been going on, I've forgotten to keep up....
Today was no exception. I was on my feet all day, off and on. I took a longer walk at lunch and thoroughly enjoyed it. I marveled that this was the longest distance yet and I STILL had time to eat and Spark before the hour was up. I walked for 25 minutes! When I started this journey, 5K steps a day seemed insurmountable. Today was 15445 and tomorrow is my day when I get a lot of steps normally (school tomorrow night). A long way to go, but I have come a long way. Walking is becoming a daily event and I can feel myself getting stronger.
I saw a news article today that the school a few blocks away from my home was vandalized for the second time. I live in a very poor part of a rich part of Silicon Valley. I sent a note to my Sr VP of Legal asking if my company could do anything and she told me to call the school, find out what they need and the company would make a donation. It probably won't be a big one, but when our experts get paid a speaker fee for a seminar, that money goes into the charitable fund and that's what she is authorizing for a donation. I called and asked for the principal after I found the phone number and her name. She was not in, but, when I told the receptionist why I was calling, I could hear how overwhelmed she was, so grateful!
This is a technical charter school and I'm also wanting to find out what they focus on. If it's an area in which our scientists have expertise, maybe I can persuade them to do a career day for these children. As Plutarch said, (paraphrasing) A mind is not something to be filled, it is to be kindled. That would make some good come out of the damage. Every classroom (13) was vandalized - stuff was broken, stolen and even plants that the chilren were growing were distroyed!
I had a big lunch today after having half an egg and cereal for breakfast. I've noticed when I have protein at breakfast, I usually don't get quite so hungry. The lunch was big in terms of calories, but not extravagant. I still have plenty for dinner. I did not have my usual 2 snacks, didn't need them.
As I think about the past few days, it has been rewarding to look at all the support you have given me. I was pretty close to giving up late last week. You kept me going. My Sparkfriend was verbally abused and left and I still feel horrible about that, but y'all supported me in my blog comments about that. My coworker died suddenly and you all shared in my sense of sorrow for her family - how could I be anything but grateful?! or, more to the point, I LOVE my SP community!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful support on yesterday's blog. I still ache for the young woman who left SP under such lonely circumstances. I know I was right to say something, and I would feel that way even without the support that I received.
I stepped on the scale yesterday after not having done so the previous week and was glad to see I'd lost 2.7 lbs. I am nervous about this week. For 3 consecutive days, I have been well under the nutritional range. Just not hungry. Quite a different feeling for me!
Today was going to be a day of getting completely back on track. By accident, I did get in over 10K steps, even without my lunchtime walk. I went to luch with a friend and, despite an unexpected menu change, managed to eat a good meal. My local KFC no longer makes their great grilled chicken salad. I had a piece of chicken, a small green salad with about a 3rd of a packet of dressing and a biscuit.
Just before lunch, the company received an email with sad news, so I was quite distracted at lunch, but did not realize until later in the day how distracted I was.
I put in more than 2 hours overtime tonight and, as I got ready to leave, I realized I did not have my car keys! A momentary panic set in. Then I remembered I have my spare key at work. I drove to the KFC, praying all the way, and, sure enough, they had my keys in the safe! Prayers of thanksgiving, I assure you!
The reason I left them there was being distracted by the email. We learned that one of my coworkers died suddenly late last week. I saw her Wednesday or Thursday and had a fleeting thought that she did not look well. The email did not say what happened, but I learned she leaves a husband and four children, the youngest still being nursed.
This is the second time I've had that sense. Several years ago, I saw my friend Pam at work. I had been working at another office for two years, been transferred back to the HQ and she was showing me her new car. As we parted, I thought she did not look well. That was Thanksgiving week and she died of a heart attack during the weekend. Seeing the email about Charlotte brought back Pam's loss front and center. I knew Pam and her father and worked with her, so the loss was greater.
I did not know Charlotte well, but we said hello in the halls and I thought she had a lovely smile. The privacy room where she would express her milk was near my office, so I saw her several times a day. We worked in completely different groups, so there was no professional interaction. But I've now missed the chance to get to know the woman behind the smile and I am diminished by that loss. My heart aches for her family, for her husband, for those children and everyone else for whom her passing is a tragedy.
One of my SP teams has a goal of practicing random acts of kindness. I think, instead of doing that now, I am going to make a point to say something nice to someone different every day. Not to assuage any guilt, but to bring some sunshine in someone else's day.
I wish I did not have such a sad reminder that we really need to share the good thoughts we have while we have the chance.
Rest in peace, Charlotte!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I just have to say this to get it off my still-ample chest.
I saw a note this morning that a SparkFriend is leaving the site in response to some really hateful comments and personal attacks for something personal that she shared in her blog. I an grieved for her pain, not just for the circumstances that gave her reason to share the blog, but I am ashamed, embarrassed that Sparkers would attack her.
First off, I am sure it took some courage for her to even share about the issue. Secondly, when she did, I can guess that she was hoping to find online the support she is not receiving in the people around her. Collectively, we let her down! Instead of offering support, she was verbally assaulted by Sparkers who chose to use the site as a platform to hammer her with their own religious views. There is a time and a place for such discourse, but I think the attacks were ill-advised.
It sounds as if the attackers were focused on the issue in an abstract sense and forgot to consider the person who was reaching out for help. As I told her, I experienced very similar responses in my earlier life and it is for those reasons I don't share my own opinions about religion, politics and.......other things. So now, what these Sparkers have done is inflicted more hurt than she was already feeling. They have driven her from the site and, in so doing, made her feel all the more isolated than she was.
The purpose of this site, as I understand it, is to give all comers a place where they can find SUPPORT on their lifestyle change journey, LEARN how to make better choices about nutrition and other aspects of life, FREEDOM of speech, within reason, to share what they are going through. It goes back to what Mother always said, if you can't say something nice, don't say something at all.
We all know that working on our food issues can have a positive impact on other areas of our life. We need to RESPECT each other enough to think before we speak. Don't focus on the issue so much that you forget there's a person behind the words to which you are so vehemently reacting. Another rule of thumb is to put down what you have to say, but sit on it for time before you send it. If you still feel that way after time has allowed cooler heads to prevail, then by all means have the courage of your convictions. But, CONSIDER the possible consequences of sending that note!
I am mindful that this blog may garner negative response. I will see who my true Spark friends are, I suppose. I came to this site with a lot of trepidation, hope and some measure of despair. I have learned and grown on this site. I have a lot more self-knowledge about my food issues and other issues, but I still have a tender heart. Say what you want to say and I will exercise my freedom to read (or not) and respond (or not). One of my values is to offer support and encouragement and to speak out when I think something has gone wrong. I am mindful that I don't know the whole story, but I also saw that the damage has been done.
My heart breaks for that young woman and I just had to respond.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I am not proud today. It was an unintentionally blown day. I had a list of things to do, including exercise, and none of those things happened. I am tired, mentally, physically, emotionally. The reserves are gone and I am not sure the Spark is even flickering.
I guess it is flickering. I would not be posting were it not. Not sure how to get the flame and passion back!
Today, my little old cat Cilantro is 14. We almost lost her 3 years ago with that tainted food scare. I spent far more money on her medical bills than I ever thought I would. The vet wanted to put her down, but Bill was not ready. (She is his cat, a real daddy's girl!). As it turned out, she rallied and we have been BLESSED to have had this bonus time with her!
Please don't think this blog is merely for points or fishing for pats on the back. No, neither is true. I am sort of thinking out loud...
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