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Reality Bites

Monday, February 21, 2011

I am flying to Florida tomorrow. I will be there less than 24 hours. I am going to attend the memorial service for my real-life guardian angel who passed away from breast cancer in December. Long story short, I was not able to go to her funeral.

I am so relieved that I will be able to celebrate her in the company of others who adored and cherished her as I did. There's no way I can describe how much I miss her everyday. I am sure her spirit is floating around me somewhere -- simply because I feel it. Call me crazy, but I still talk to her -- out loud (a benefit of living alone!). It helps. Once (so far), she answered loud and clear -- in a way that no one but me would recognize.

The grieving part overwhelms me. Because I didn't go to her funeral, I could almost convince myself that nothing has changed. Silly? Yes. I know. Tomorrow is going to make everything so undeniably real. I have to just let it come.

I can't be afraid to cry. It will free my mind of sorrowful thoughts.

And life goes on......

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YOMAMA128 3/6/2011 1:01PM

    I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. These special guardian angels that go before us -- we miss them so!! It's great that you still feel a connection and that she reassured you.

We're flying west a week tomorrow for a memorial for my husband's father. We're in a similar position, where the reality of it is still to be deeply felt. It's important to be with others who truly understand who you're missing.

Life does go on... these losses are hard to bear. Take good care.

emoticon Karen

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Popsicle Sticks & Remote Controls

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I must confess something.

I was completely dreading, avoiding, ignoring, and trying desperately to forget about opening my closet to figure out what I am going to wear on my first day back to school tomorrow. Last Spring, I was wearing only baggy linen capris with an elastic waist, because that's all that I could fit into. I had two pairs -- one in black and one in gray. I had baggy linen tops to complete the outfit. Though the clothes really were nice, I still felt like a hippo wearing them. I couldn't fit into any of my cute skirts or colorful summer frocks or tops. I didn't even put shorts on this summer...because, you guessed it. None fit.

Given that tomorrow is D-Day (no kids until after Labor Day), I can put it off no longer. I don't want to start the first day stressed and grumpy and frustrated -- if it's going to happen, I might as well be prepared and give myself at least a small chance to figure out a PLAN B. And, knowing me, it's best NOT to problem solve at the last minute (which always makes things 5 million times worse). I have this vision (nightmare, more like) of me tomorrow morning, standing in front of my closet. I take out a skirt, put it on, and struggle to to zip it. I can't, so I throw it on the floor. Repeat until I'm breaking into a sweat, there are no skirts left in the closet, and a big pile of now wrinkly clothes on the floor. Forget the tops -- if no skirt fits, what's the point of trying on a top? The only one who wouldn't laugh or run away if they saw me naked (even only the top half!) is probably my cat. emoticon

You know where this is going, right? Read on.

Every skirt fits! Not just one, not just two -- EVERY! They're not tight, but there's not a of a lot of room either. Put it this way -- I could slip a popsicle stick (maybe 2) between myself and the skirt, but probably not a remote control. (No, there is no reason whatsoever for me to put a remote down the waist of my skirt, but you get the gist, right?) I didn't try to tuck -- don't have to. For now, untucked is okay. That, I am brave enough to try tomorrow morning. They will fit even better as soon as I get these last 5 or so pounds off. WHo knows, maybe I'll go for 10. (One step at a time, Ali, one step at a time!)

At some point during the last 10 days or so, lots of things started to click -- my nutrition awareness (not just calories, but also how to balance the food groups), my exercise plan (not just cardio, but also strength building exercise), my big effort to nip my negative thinking in the bud and replace it with positive affirmations every morning. (Honestly, that's been the hardest part for me -- AND I'm doing it!)

I feel in control. (If you only knew how hard it is not to add a "but"...)

Time to distract myself...

I am thrilled! I am proud of me! I am so pumped to keep going! Most importantly, I can exhale, rest easier, breathe a sigh of relief, and maybe even have a good dream tonight knowing that when I open my closet tomorrow morning that everything will be okay. (Just watch, I'll get a flat tire on the way to work!)

Thank you, my new SparkFriends, for "getting it" -- makes all the difference in the world! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

INBRAZILFORNOW 10/2/2010 11:02AM

    This was so much fun to are a great writer! Congratulations on this success and I love your Marie Curie quote. Thanks for bringing a big smile to my face! How's school going?

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    DITTO ON ALL THE COMMENTS. I could not say them any better. Keep it up!

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OPTIMISSPRIME 9/14/2010 8:05AM

    WOOHOO!!!! Fitting into your clothes is an AWESOME feeling! It's like getting a new wardrobe, with so many new outfit possibilities!! emoticon WAY TO GO!!!

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YOMAMA128 8/31/2010 10:18AM

    Yahooooo! Yes, the Best feeling in the world, and you can enjoy it every day you open your closet!

YOU did it! Congratulations, Ali.



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SHASHEE71 8/30/2010 9:06PM

    WooHoo!! What a great feeling that is! I think it really depends on the remote control, though....really! lol We have, like, 5 remote controls and they all vary in sizes and I would BET that at least one of them would slip nicely between you and your skirt!!

YaY! I am so happy for you and I bet you looked fantastic today in your skirt! I absolutely love your attitude and am just hoping...strongly hoping that your fitness will rub off on me a bit!! I need to get that in there!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NAMSMOMMY 8/29/2010 6:50PM

    That has to be the best feeling in the world! Fitting into something that didn't fit at all. Awesome.

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CUSTOMERANGEL 8/29/2010 6:27PM

    I love hearing about days like this! Rock those skirts at school this year! Celebrate and be proud of your accomplishment because all of your Sparkers are very proud and happy for you! emoticon

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CASSARM1 8/29/2010 5:48PM

    Awesome!! Keep up the great work!!!

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Friday, August 20, 2010

My (First) Vision Collage

First, let me say how much fun I had creating this work of art. I felt like I was kid working on my project for school -- brought back some fun memories...and powerfully reminded me how much I truly love to create. Not only did I have a grand old time cutting and pasting and browsing through magazines with my cat laying where else but directly on top of my collage, but I noticed some twinges of "I don't know what" rumbling around inside -- sadness maybe? Yep, that resonates. Sad because I really felt how much life I missed because of being an overweight, under-confident, way too over-protected, smart but head always looking down kid who never really trusted herself to take risks. Sad because even though I lost 45 pounds 7 or 8 years ago (& recently gained about 9 of it back), I'm still that same little kid inside -- only now I'm a grown-up and little kid stuff doesn't work anymore. A few heavy sighs...

Moving forward...I also felt empowered by being drawn to hopeful, strong, substantive words, pictures and quotes that I don't believe I ever would have included in any kind of self-description before this moment.

My favorite quotation (it's right near the photo of the swimmer gliding thru the water -- kind of blurred in the photo): "I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width as well." (Diane Ackerman) That's powerful, isn't it?

My favorite adjectives: fun-loving, beautiful inside and out, made for play, guided (who? me?)

My favorite pics: a colorful gathering of friends smiling, eating, and enjoying the moment (I want experiences like that to be a regular part of me), the photo of a woman (on the top) with her head thrown back in total joy (don't have that feeling often enough -- want it more!), two hands gently yet strongly holding on to each other (to know and be part of a connection like that...isn't that what it's all about? Something for which I yearn...I'll find it one day...) emoticon

My favorite goals (I reserve the right to add as many as come forth b/c I know they will!) : Living my Best Life, a strong healthy body nourished by wonderful food, and traveling (for me, half the joy and excitement of travel is to share it with someone that I just haven't found...yet)

Thanks, SparkPeople and new SparkFriends for inspiring me ... truly, you do. I am reminded of the necessity of community, connection, companionship, consistency, creativity and courage every time I look at this fantabulous creation that came from within me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CUSTOMERANGEL 8/24/2010 8:24PM

    Very cool Vision Collage. I can totally relate to the joy of making one and feeling like a kid again. I can also relate to not wanting to miss out on anything by living an unlived life. The words unlived life were a milestone for me I think the book that they were in was by Dawn Markovoy??? maybe she is an amazing woman works with Mary Jane Ryan who was a coach of mine for a short time (couldn't afford her for to long LOL) but well worth the investment.

You are doing great!!!!!!!! I KNOW just how amazing you are!!!!!!!!!!! Work on knowing that more yourself:)


Linda emoticon emoticon

ok I looked it up

I Will Not Die an Unlived Life: Reclaiming Purpose and Passion [Paperback]
Dawna Markova
Dawna Markova (Author)
› Visit Amazon's Dawna Markova Page

Comment edited on: 8/24/2010 8:26:15 PM

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SPWHITESTONE 8/22/2010 5:25PM

    What a beautiful post - so thoughtful and moving. I share with you that feeling of sadness for a youth not enjoyed to its fullest. Let's hope the wisdom we've gained helps us "live the width as well."

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CJAC24 8/21/2010 10:21AM

  hey this is cool. i want to make one too!

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LBEEKMA 8/21/2010 12:07AM

    Awesome job! I can see how it was motivating just searching for the right pictures/words to include on your collage!

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I Can See Clearly Now

Monday, August 16, 2010

My (First) Vision Statement

I want to get fit and healthy so that I can get up in the morning feeling positive about myself. When I feel positive about myself, others will too. I want to start my day with energy and optimism so that I can meet the challenges of my job, empower others, and balance all of responsibilities professionally and with pride.

I want to transform my body, make it strong, and treat it well because it is the vehicle that is going to get me to wherever I need or want to go in this life. With a fit and healthy body and a positive attitude, I will take more risks, be more proactive, stretch out of my comfort zone with others, within my family, and within myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHASHEE71 8/16/2010 9:39AM

    Wonderful way to start the week!! Love your positive message!!

emoticon emoticon

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CUSTOMERANGEL 8/16/2010 9:19AM

    Clarity in vision is just the momentum that we need! Having a struggle right now with accounting that is stressing me out! However I am not turning to food which is a good thing, I am just obsessed with maintaining and graduating with a 4.0! I barely graduated high school and I never dreamed I would finish college let alone think about getting a Masters and writing a book :) however that is my clarity and being fit and looking great on the book cover is another LOL

Have a wonderful morning and enjoy your clarity and I will get back to solving accounting emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


Comment edited on: 8/16/2010 9:20:35 AM

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Mistaks (oops...mistakes)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mistakes -- everyone makes 'em. "To err is human", after all. I have always been envious of those who can let them go, move on, and try again. I wonder how they do that. Are they embarrassed? Are they angry at themselves? Even if the answer is yes, they dust off their pants and keep going. Where does that confidence come from? I so wish I knew.

What's ironic about my curiosity is that I've chosen to have a career in teaching young children. I actually love it when they make mistakes -- it's one of the best ways for them to learn! If I notice a hint of that embarrassment peek out or a little too much self-directed frustration, we stop and take a minute to celebrate their mistakes!

"Did the sky fall down?" I ask with a little smile.

"Did I send you to the Principal's office?"

"Do you think I'll be happy to see you tomorrow?"
"You're right...because I believe that you can do this!"

Then the little smile appears on their face...they know what I'm doing...and are soooooooo relieved and more at ease that mistakes are okay!

Certainly, it's "normal" to get a little frustrated -- we want to do well, to move forward, to make others proud, to feel a sense of contentment and accomplishment; it's when that frustration becomes an obstacle to move forward that the red flag begins to wave.

I'm one of those perfectionists -- and admittedly, it's probably one of the traits I most dislike about myself. I push myself way too hard, don't give myself an inch of room to err, & judge myself much too harshly. Those frustrations build and get in my way more often then I like to admit.

Starting now, I choose to forgive my mistakes.

It's time to explore and play! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YOMAMA128 8/30/2010 7:11PM

    Love it! Wonderful approach to teaching and nourishing creativity. We can't let mistakes stop us in our tracks -- they might just lead us somewhere interesting!

Thanks for this post.

K emoticon

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