Monday, December 31, 2012
2012 was....a challenge. BUT, it laid the pathways to a lot of great things as well.
I narrowed in on my career passion and am working towards it. I resolved the question of do I or do I not want kids (I do ). I made changes to some of the priorities in my life and as a result am living even more in line with my values (the right friends, my marriage, art, music, creative expression). I lost 8 pounds and gained many fitness minutes and the voice to speak up for my health needs (even with myself) and as a result I am getting healthier everyday.
However, I firmly believe in everything for a reason. The challenges I faced this past year will only lead to big returns in 2013, as evidenced above, they are in many ways already paying off.
I also believe in "thoughts become things" and so I am wasting no time in working towards solidifying my thoughts and ensuring they are on the "right path" as much as is possible.
I have already re-set my weight loss goals for 10 pounds this coming year. I will nail this. How can I not? I have an excellent support community on Spark, I have learned what my body needs at 34 in it's current condition, I love being active and I have to keep up with my husband and dog. So this is in the bag.
I will re-set my fitness minutes. Turns out I am more active than I think I am and I don't track certain activities I could/should. As a former athlete, I think you are fairly hard on yourself and it takes a long time to adjust to the idea that even though you are not working out at a competitive level you are not a complete slug. So I will re-set my minutes for 5 hours a week and I know I will meet this easily.
I'm training to be a Life Coach. Working to inspire others means having a life that others want to emulate. You need to walk the walk and talk the talk. I do this on many levels but my kryptonite is twofold.
I am and always have been terrible at budgeting. I am now on day 4 of a new budget. The longest I have ever stuck to one. Yes, 4 days. Thus far I have not burst into flames or gone running into traffic screaming. It's even felt kind of good. It feels grown up. I might even SAVE money one day. Whoa, I just tried that thought on and my brain went into hysterics. Ok, more time on the budget to go before my mind revisits the concept of "money just sitting there".
I'm not the best at stress. Well, that's not entirely true. I have a wonderful ability to handle obscene amounts of severe and unusual stress without going nutter or dying my hair pink and wearing a paper bag to work. Growing up with such a stress capacity has given me tremendous survival skills. You can say pretty much anything to me and I will not bat an eye lash. I am your lady in a crisis. Client off his meds and attacking me with a Bic Pen? No sweat. But that doesn't mean it is healthy or good.
I've dabbled in meditation here and there, every time afterwards going "WOW, just WOW - that was so good" but just do not commit to it on a regular basis. Yesterday it hit me. How ridiculous it was. 10 minutes a day that's the minimum I need. Do I waste 10 minutes a day? Heck yes! It suddenly occurred to me that I was not making time for something in my life that was critical to my personal wellness and yet finding time for many other unnecessary things. Silly.
So health, mind and money....those are the goals or resolutions this year.
I wrote down others such as "Finish my Management Development Certificate" but with being already enrolled in my last two courses and having never not completed a course before, I am going to try on something new and consider this done. I will not doubt its conclusion or entertain any "what if" fears. In a very short time, I will have my certificate.
The other was "Complete Level One Coaching Certificate and get three clients" but again, with being already enrolled and with having people already approach me for sessions, I am going to tell myself that this is a reality it IS happening, it is not something I need to create a goal for, hope for, plan for. It is happening now. I give myself permission to accept, feel and revel in that.
Phew, wow, that feels good!
C'mon 2013! This is going to be a big year. If you are good to me, I may even start saving...
Saturday, December 29, 2012
Most folks who are vegetarian do so by giving up meat while hanging on to eggs and dairy. This year, I discovered I am allergic to eggs, grains and dairy. Effectively, I'm now a reverse vegetarian.
When I am in a situation where I can't help but explain my semi-peculiar dietary restrictions to others the first thing I witness is their sheer panic: but what do you eat?
A whole lot of things actually.
So here is a sampling of eating Reverse Vegetarian (Giving up eggs, dairy and grains, keeping meat):
Smoothie (Coconut Milk, Berries, Protein Powder)
"Cereal" (Coconut Flakes, Almond Flakes, Protein Powder, Berries - warmed on the stove or in the Micro
"Granola" (Soaked Pecans and Applesauce in the food processor and dehydrated) and Coconut Milk
Grilled Tomatoes and Bacon
Almond Butter/Applesauce "Pancakes"
Veg and Hummus
Apple and PB
Soups/Stews: African Peanut Soup, Beef Stew, Pea Soup, Curry Chickpea and Potato
Chili with potato crackers
Cuban Pork Chops with Lemon Dilly Green Beans and Salad
Dijon Tarragon Salmon, Balsamic Glazed Asparagus and Salad
Spaghetti Sauce served on Spaghetti Sqaush
Peanut Thai Pork Kabobs with BBQ'd Pineapple
Open Faced Chicken Pot Pie with Almond flour/flaxseed crust
"Chicken Fingers" (dusted with almond flour), yam fries and salad
(I could go on, there are SO MANY good recipes!)
Coconut Milk "Ice Cream"
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pumpkin/Almond Butter Cookies
I admit, there were many false starts in the beginning. I would forget that "Gluten Free" bread still has eggs in it for example. But now that I am on a roll, I genuinely do not miss anything that I ate in my before life with so many flavors and varieties to choose from.
The bonus is my cholesterol has lowered significantly as has my blood acidity and of course the lack of allergic reaction is a tremendous benefit.
Feel free to hit me up for any recipes you might be curious about.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Late one night, or perhaps it already very early one morning, my husband and I chased the xenon glow of our headlights into a yawning maw of black.
The wind was in my hair, stars blazing above when suddenly something swooped up from the ditch on the glowing edge of my headlights. The Mothman? A Phantom? The instant before my shiny fiber-glass bumper made impact I saw the animal in its entirety: a Great Horned Owl.
The sound of Owl impact shattered my sensitivities and I instantly began to cry, at the same time, I am certain its death caused a tear in the universal order and I was at that moment cursed. Morgan jumped out of the car to inspect the animal and our front end, I sat and moaned and sobbed.
“Is it dead?” I whimpered
“Do you think it suffered?”
“Well, I don’t think it enjoyed it.”
Morgan to his credit, did not laugh nor raise an eyebrow but merely hugged me until my storm of despair subsided. He then drove the rest of the way home trying to distract me from the Owl parts flying over the hood and past our windows. We parked the car outside that night.
Over the summer, the horror of that evening began to fade and I felt that I may one day be able to set-out bird feeders and bird watch without feeling like a murderer. I would find a way to make it right.
Later that summer, I was riding my bike one sunny morning, well entrenched in my mental zone, my legs spinning quickly, when suddenly – WHAM! Something hit the back of my helmet. I scrambled to stop the bike and stop whatever it was from making off with my noggin. I flailed my arms, swiveled my head side to side and caught a glimpse of wing. A Hawk! It was trying to lift off, my helmet securely in its talons, my neck stretching like under-cooked spaghetti. Finally the bird released its clawed grip on my head and I was free but thoroughly shaken: my helmet was trashed. I pedaled swiftly home with a nervous eye on the sky.
My friends later said that the Hawk likely thought the design on top of my helmet was a small bird, but I know, I know: it was avenging its Owl brother.
A few years later, I was sure my torrid bird encounters had passed. They flocked to my feeders, chirped from my trees and flaunted their plume for my pleasure. Certainly I had been forgiven? I could not have been more wrong.
Driving through Custer State Park one beautiful September evening, sun going down on the planes, backlighting the stolid forms of the Buffalo as they grazed, I felt an immense peace, the kind that only comes from quiet moments communing with nature, enjoying its undefinable splendor. Then, it happened again! A white flash of wing, a swooping movement and impact!
The Dove careened off the supporting pillar of our windshield and was gone in seconds. Was it tired of carrying the incredible burden as a symbol of peace? Had it sacrificed itself to make a statement to me? I was shaken; surely this was a bad omen. I hoped that the bird’s reasons where its own and had nothing at all to do with me, but I feared this was not the case. Moments later a crack spread its fingers across our windshield in a crooked, arthritic pattern. The birds weren’t done with me yet.
Weeks later, once again on my bike, I was attacked once more. The Pigeon was furious in its onslaught, throwing itself bodily against my shoulder, back and helmet. The attack was brief, but full of rage: a promise, a taste of further retribution to come. The Hitchcock theme played in my head and I contemplated never stepping foot outside again.
In Yellowstone a few weeks ago, I did it again. I ran over a family of Partridges: bearing down in our Legacy, headlights highlighting their panic, they scrambled and dodged, but were no match ultimately for my (apparent) lust for bird murder. I don’t even know how many birds sacrificed their lives for my sickness. Certainly, I am now a serial killer.
I do not know what the birds have in store for me, but I do know there is something. I know these latest atrocities will not go unanswered. I will pay for my fowl history.
Monday, August 06, 2012
Day 1 - Monday, July 23
Woke up with a cold at 4:00 a.m., bandied about the wisdom of going across the border when ill, decided 2 days of driving would be enough to get through the worst of it and after all, it was JUST a cold
Headed West on Highway 2 to parts of the Province I have never seen before, quite pretty!
Got to the Border early afternoon at the Peace Gardens. Always a jittery experience and for some reason every time Morgan crosses the border with me we are searched. Clearly I look like I am up to no good or something. We pull ahead, Guard does a cursory search and we're off! Um, nope, wait, um....the car won't leave park...um, wow, some muttering from Morgan, turn off the car, turn it on, try again, nope.
Get out, rock the car, try again, nope. Morgan cursing now and guards starting to gather round.
"Having some troubles?" Guard 1 says,
"Nope, just like the view here, thought we'd hang for a bit.
"Well, if you are here for more than 5 minutes we give you a blue uniform."
"Does it come with a gun?" I say
I'm too sick to get the drama of it, looking at the ditch and thinking: "That would be a nice place to sleep."
Morgan asking for the manual, I fish around the glove compartment, hand it to him....he can't concentrate enough to look at it as 6 guards are now offering various advice: "Have you tried this? This? This?" "Yes, yes, yes"
Finally, Morgan has a stroke of genius: he sticks the key into a small hole on the gear box and voila! Whoopee, phew, hurray!
We now have to leave the car in neutral with the parking break on every time we stop. Morgan is stressed and proclaims a sudden hate for the car.
Later on that day, as I am in and out of sleep we run over the Partridge Family. The trip may be cursed.
The sun goes down and the skies cloud. For a full hour approaching Miles City we watch the most incredible electrical storm. Lightning in every direction hitting constantly, making the sky look like day. Maybe we are not cursed after all...what a blessing.
We pull into Miles City for the night. 7 Hotels to choose from, as much as we have a bad track record for finding hotels on a whim in the States, surely this city should have one on a Monday night. First two hotels are booked, the second checks their computer. There are 2 rooms left in the city, at the Super 8, we rush over and get the last one. It could be a cardboard box, I don't care, but the room is clean and cool and quiet.
I cough myself to sleep. Tomorrow we have less than 6 hours to drive.
Day 2 - Tuesday, July 24
Incredible start with breakfast at the Main Street Grind in Miles City served by the most friendly Pippy Long-stocking.
We decide to take Red Lodge (Cool town!) to Bear Tooth Pass (Great views!) into the park. Our less than 6 hour drive turns into 11 and we get to our campsite after 9.
Had to use the key in the gear box trick twice and left the car in neutral the rest of the time. Morgan is ready to sell it RIGHT NOW.
Day 3 - Wednesday, July 25
YAY!! First day in the park today....or not. After being greeted at the Gates by a friendly ranger we drive for only 10 minutes before coming to a complete stand-still for 45. Is it animals? Construction? Doesn't matter, one of us needs a washroom NOW. So we turn around, both disheartened. So far, the car is broken, I am sick, we hit a family of partridges and now we can't even get into the Park.
We head back to West Yellowstone and into the Bear and Wolf refuge. I get to see animals and the day seems rosy again.
Later that afternoon we take another run at the park and see the artist paint pots. Suddenly everything feels worth it and we are feeling better about life.
Day 4 - Thursday, July 26
On the way to Old Faithful we are stopped by someone who tells us our tail-lights are out. I am so feverish, I can barely read his lips never mind respond to the news. Morgan grips the steering wheel and I think he is counting to 10. Fortunately the service station at Canyon has fuses and we are back in business. He resolves to sell the car as soon as we get back and is non-plussed by Old Faithful. We get ice cream to make us feel better.
Day 5 - Friday, July 27
Morgan has a brain wave. The tail-lights must have burnt out when crossing the border and that is why we couldn't get the car out of park. He resets the system on last time and the issue is fixed!
Over the remaining days we see everything the park has to offer and it is truly incredible. However, by Monday with my fever at 100 and coughing so bad I am bent over gagging, it's just time.
The Canyon, Mammoth Terraces, Paint Pots, Mud Pots, Springs, Museums and wildlife were truly cool, but the trip is done for us.
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