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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Resolutions (written several weeks ago at the beginning of the emotional "down-turn...")

New year…
Time for new beginnings.
Resolutions are all very well,
but options are thinning
along with my grey hair.
Speaking of thinning,
my waistline isn’t.

I am pasting a quote here from Mare's blog again...(I love the way her mind works...working minds are so rarely encountered in this world.)

"...accept yourself- as you are today- as dough to be
kneaded, to be worked on, so that it rises fresh to the
new day. So that we can take the heat and pressures
that come up, and just become better and healthier!"

I've been helping a friend move this past week. She has Lupus, diabetes, and fibromyalgia...husband came in several days before Christmas and announced that he "had found someone he 'loved'," and was filing for divorce...Merry Christmas, darling! So she is radically down-sizing her entire life...been there, done that...how could I say, "I'm sorry, but my life doesn't have room for helping you survive your's right now...maybe later?" But I am exhausted, frustrated, and yes, depressed over the seemingly endless stream of "interruptions" and "rearrangements" to my own needs. I'd like to move someplace where I truly don't know a soul...at least for long enough to "catch up." The yeast in my own dough seems insufficient right now...Life is too much for the leaven to hoist.

This truly is about health and weight-loss, folks, because life can't be segmented. Spirit, mind, and body all intersect and flow in an out of one another to create "health." Oh, well. Today, I guess I am an example of how stresses siphon off focus and strength.

So today, I voted...presidential primary (that's depressing...), and local officials...took a walk along the river...the weather is glorious...stopped at the library to return a few books, came home and cleaned off my desk. The walk and the desk cleaning were life-giving. I'm going to put on a load of laundry, listen to my son's hockey team win their last regular season game here in a few minutes, and meanwhile I am brewing some potent spicy cabbage soup to address the dietary crisis. There, I feel better now. I just need to "accomplish" some little something now and then. (earning money would be good...smile.)

And I will be thankful that I am at least past the emotional trauma of the crisis that my friend is currently enduring...and that because I got through it, I can be some small degree of help for her...(she's actually stronger emotionally than I was when I got fired from my lifetime executive homemaker position!) Life can be survived, one tiny step at a time.

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ROYALETBONE 2/9/2008 11:11PM

    The Buddhist Monks take empty bowls out of their temple, and walk the streets begging for rice.
Not because they need rice- most temples have ample. They do it so that the citizens of the town can have the blessing of giving.
I probably read that on Spark recently- but I love it, love the concept. You were blessed to be needed by someone.
I hold out my bowl to you- you overflow with grace and well written thoughts, and I come away full.
Thank you.

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

My son's ice hockey team (He coaches at the university level) was engaged in conference tournament play this week end. In one sense, they did not do well...4th in regional standings...but in another, I am very proud of them. In 4 games in a 48 hour time span...grueling!!!...they won 1, lost 2, tied 1; but two of the three were decided in sudden death in overtime against their "bitterest" rival, and the other was a very close call against the ultimate conference champion...I think the character these boys showed in being able to keep going in the face of defeat and disappointment and fatigue is remarkable, and I am proud of them. (not to mention, of my son)What does the old adage say..."Failure isn't in falling down, but in failing to get up again."?? I'm trying to remember that, since my cursed scales show a gain of 4 lbs. this past week. (I can see some muscle definition where there wasn't any before, though, so maybe...?)



Monday, January 28, 2008


Unfurl for me flower,
but last longer than a day.
My eager wish would coax you from your sheath,
deprive you of the struggle that gives you strength
to thrust your face in brazen gratitude, drinking in the sun,
no certainty, save that with darkness, you will curl and die.
You do it anyway…the cost of those few
hours of His shining, deemed worth your all.
I’d make your struggle less, your glory longer,
and so, less precious.
Change is all that’s sure, for sure,
and struggle shapes us.
I’ll be hanged if I like it.
The heart’s chief concern is its own comfort,
even in loving. We love when it’s joyous,
when we seem magnanimous in our own eyes,
not so much when it hurts and carves us out.
But change is unknowing…vulnerable…discomfort.
Lifting one foot from the spot we’ve found just barely tenable…
we plant the other in unmapped country…inching forward
while time itself rips past in moments that can’t be held
or savored…or maybe even recognized.
Maybe the hibiscus has it right, after all…

© Dana L. Veach/2008



Sunday, January 27, 2008

Thinking...always a dangerous activity...that last bit I wrote about weight and flab not being the "enemy"...that's true. Neither is "food" the enemy. It is a gift from a good and gracious God, to be enjoyed and benefited from. I thought of this this morning as I fixed Blueberry Cream Cheese Blintzes and coffee for myself for breakfast. This is not a "diet" option, necessarily, and over and above that, I did not have a "gluten-free" recipe for crepes until this week, so although this is a luscious treat I used to love, I have not had it in nearly two years. I did not use "low fat" products...I hate them, hate them, hate them...so the caloric intake on this little luxury was sizeable. But, oh, my goodness! Did I enjoy them!!! I was nearly weeping with pleasure and gratitude. And that's when it hit me. I truly was thankful! I had a choice in this matter. I could eat the blintzes, be truly joyful over getting to do so, and move on into my day without beating myself up in guilt and regret. I accepted that this will not be an every day/every meal indulgence, but that it was, none-the-less a real gift to me for this moment of this particular day. I don't have to have all the lbs. off by tomorrow morning, for Pete's sake! If I continue to steadily, consistently pay attention to a generally healthy, well balanced diet of adequate, but moderate caloric intake, along with the amount of exercise my body will allow me to habitually tolerate, I will make the progress I am capable of making. That is all I can ask. The main point in all this is to find God's stability and joy in the journey.

I say "stability" because it is so easy to soar to peaks of giddy determination and hope over successful efforts only to crash on the rocks of grim despair when I enter another health relapse phase and find that I am once more in a state of forced convalescence and recuperation. Pacing is paramount. And gratitude over even indulgences is part of that. When I accept such a luxury as a gift rather than as a foe to be beaten back, I acknowledge that God is a God who wants me to succeed at being the unique individual He has designed me to be. I accept that He has placed me in a world full of lovely gifts...including delicious food...I realize that He desires that I learn to discern among the potential choices for good, better, best, or "Nope, not even remotely acceptable" that exist for me, and I accept responsibility for my choices and responses. I also stop fearing "deprivation" and am thus, less likely to feel "compelled" to "gobble and stuff" myself with every opportunity. If food is a gift from a God who desires to supply me with all of it that I need, then I don't have to eat it every time I see it as though I will never see it again! Sigh...I do that, you know...the buffet line at parties and restaurants, for example...holiday gatherings, etc...."Oh, my goodness, this looks so good, and I don't know if I'll ever be faced with such abundance again, so I'd better take advantage of it!" Do I really need to sample 3 varieties of chocolate truffles along with the brownies, 4 cheese balls, the crab and shrimp dips, those spicy Cajun sausages, both potato chips and tortilla chips, 4 kinds of crackers, with guacamole, salsa, and ranch dip, (let's eat the fruit and veggie crudites for good behavior...) the nut sandies, 2 kinds of punch, the pecan pie squares and lemon squares...!!! It'll all be here next year (count on it) but I may not be if I develop diabetes and hypertension from the added weight!

So right now, I'm delighting in the fact that I got to sleep in this morning,,,even though it's Sunday, and I would normally join friends at Church...(another story for another day) and that I had a special treat for breakfast. Now I'm on into my "normal" day, and having been allowed to feel it, think about it, and record it has hopefully worked the lesson into the fibers of both body and spirit. I think I'll be more likely to retain it now. Amen!

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ROYALETBONE 1/27/2008 10:52PM

    Blueberry Cream Cheese Blintzes - well, YES!
I agree!
This is a lifestyle- not a blitz war on our bodies.
Let's do it with grace and love.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I just had to copy this from MF's blog entry of 1-21-08...it is a very beautiful and insightful paragraph about the lessons learned in being still enough to truly listen and see the passages of our lives. She wrote:

"I think the manzanita trees have something to say to me. I've
been talking with them. I've been very quiet and listened to them.
Something about rootedness, and growth, and change, and how
life and death are both beautiful, and blessed, and I can hold and
love all the changes, the grey worn, the black death part, and the
red, red deep color of the pushing and growing and life that bursts
in to the vibrant green at the top, and I am trying to feel it, and live
it and love it all."

Glenn tried to teach me this, but my panic drowned his voice and all voices of "stillness." So I am taking time to listen to my life...and to my body as it rearranges its hoarded stores of fat in a last desperate effort to fend off the change I am asking of it. It thinks perhaps that if it shifts them around enough instead of simply dumping them, I'll get discouraged in my pursuit and just allow them to remain until they can drift back to their original lowland berths that mire me in the mucky sucking silt of inactivity again. But I also refuse to be driven into frantic battle against the lbs. That would exhaust and defeat my forward movement. Baby steps, if need be, but I will keep moving. The weight...and even the flab...is not the ultimate enemy. Ingratitude to God and unbelief of His desire to make my life a work of His love...that is the enemy.

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JIBBIE49 1/23/2008 3:06PM

    I was checking back in to see how you are doing. I see you are signing into SP every single day. I've signed in now for 103 days and I've lost 24#, which has been slow, but I'm happy as long as I never ever gain back a single pound of it. We can do this!! It has been so upsetting to me to check on people and find they never really got started or they have quit signing in to Sparkpeople. This is so important to care for our health and well being.

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