Sunday, December 26, 2010
Happy Boxing Day to you all and no, Boxing Day isn't named after people fighting over after-Christmas sales....although it would seem rather apt. Here on the island, our stores are not allowed to be open on Boxing Day but Tim Hortons did re-open this morning so off John and I went. There were several really excited children there but one little boy really stood out. He was in the line up and couldn't keep still so finally his father told him he could go up to the display case and wait there. We were chatting him up and asked him what he was going to have and he said, "either one doughnut or five timbits". His father said, "no, the deal is four timbits or one doughnut". The little four year old boy pipes up with "but its Christmas and Santa said I could have five this time" (we applauded his negotiation skills). But the funniest thing was when his father warned him that Santa was still keeping an eye out on little boys and girls and the little boy puts his head on an angle and said, "Daddy, everybody knows Santa is sleeping all day today".
Anyway, we are off to spend our evening meal with family and to exchange our presents. Maddy and Lou have to stay home but a neighbour will walk them for us. I walked 3.5 km last night despite a really sore throat....maybe not the wisest thing to do because the dampness certainly didn't cure my throat. My husband is wishing my voice would go....just for a few hours...or so he says! Ha!
Have a great day!
P.S. Timbits are the centres of doughnuts for all you non-Canadians!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
I'm sitting here in my living room with a full tummy, two happy but tired dogs, a napping husband, and so much to be thankful for! The gifts are all unwrapped but even if there wasn't a single thing under the tree, I'd still be content.
I think this is contentment stems from Spark and the many, wonderful friendships I have made over the fall. When I started Spark, I was very anxious most of the time, was definitely not happy, was sleeping either too much or two little, loathed working, and basically only dressed myself to avoid being nude in public!
My brother called from Australia this morning and we were talking about gifts. Both Gary and his partner got on the phone and told me that they think the best gift I could ever receive is the one I am giving myself....a healthy makeover. That really meant something to me as they are both physically in shape and are loving their lives to the fullest.
Over the past months, I love myself more. I take my time getting dressed....for my own sake rather than anybody else, I am more aware of what I eat, I notice how my skin responds when I drink lots of water, I'm able to enjoy the outdoors more and I can't wait for each day to begin. I generally am much more relaxed, I'm sleeping better, I play with my dogs more, I am more in love with my husband than ever before.
So, it looks like I was already handed the perfect gift....no wrapping, no cost.....I received the gift of Spark!
P.S. On a side note, I think I really did pull the wool over Santa's eyes this year by the looks of the wonderful presents I received. My husband and I bought ourselves Blackberries which we are still trying to turn on (!), but which I think will be dandy keeping me more in touch with Spark. I also received the DVD 30 Day Shred and some stuff from the Spark store.....including the 2011 calendar!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Well, I'm sure if you are wondering why in the world I have my blog entitled that on this one of the most important days in the Christian calendar.
For those who are unaware the Siege of Leningrad began back in the early fall of 1941 and lasted for 900 days. It was during this period that the Russian city lost over 1 million of its residents to starvation. There are reports that on Christmas Day alone in 1941 that over 4000 people succumbed to the lack of food and lack of heat.
Again, you are wondering what this has to do with you. Well, when you sit down this holiday season with your loved ones I am asking that you pause and thank God or whomever you believe in, for the food you take for granted. There is so much starvation on this planet and so much blatant waste and over indulgence.
I'm not lecturing you. I mean, I didn't get this big from facing food shortages (smile) but I am becoming more aware of eating sensible servings and not being a total glutton!
Happy Holidays to all!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
As of yesterday afternoon I am off work until January 4th and boy, am I ready to be off. I know I don't have half the troubles or the stressors in my life that most of you have but I think that each of us has their own stress limitations. Maybe is is because I have faced mental illness throughout much of my life that I can say that.
Don't get me wrong, some stress is good for me but I can tell when things are rapidly getting out of control. It is then that I really need to step back and have a good talk with myself. Unfortunately, I don't always listen to myself and try to push myself and push myself. One of these days I'm going to push myself off a cliff!!!! Ha!
Last week I let my whole Spark Plan slip by the wayside. I walked once and used the excuse that the time I was walking could be better spent on the tasks that really needed to get done. I ate a lot of take out for the same reason and deep down I think I gave up drinking so much water because heaven only knows how much time I could save by not spending it in the bathroom....please say you are laughing when reading this....
Anyway, it was 9:00 last night and I looked at my husband and said, "I'm going for a walk in the woods...are you game" Thankfully he was, so off we went armed with our flashlights. There was a heavy mist falling, we couldn't see the road to save ourselves but boy was it nice! The dogs, of course, just loved it although we've discovered that Louisa is afraid of the dark while Maddy would take on the devil! I felt cleansed after I arrived home.....probably because that morning's makeup was probably washed off my face by the mist.....but regardless I felt great.
So here is to making exercise a priority and not something I only do when I'm feeling good! Lesson learned....I hope!
Saturday, December 18, 2010
I'm writing this blog today to talk about something that has really been bothering me lately. A lot of you have made comments on my SparkPage that they consider me a good friend, etc. Well, while I really appreciate the votes of confidence it made me pause for thought.
If ,for example, I was given the opportunity to go back to just being a soul, would I choose the same physical and personality characteristics that I have now?
Several years ago, I would have screamed a resounding "NO" because I was under the impression that if this or that was different about me I would finally be happy. If I was taller, if I was thinner, if I was smarter, if I didn't have depression, if I didn't quit university, if I didn't date so and so, if I had studied this subject, if I had been more disciplined...you get the picture!
At the heights (or should I say bottom) of my depression, I was referred to a wonderful no-nonsense psychologist. In the first six months, I'm sure all I did was complain about things that had happened in my life until finally one day she stopped my "pity party" (her expression) and was told to rethink the past. These things were all in the past and yet I was dragging their memories along for the ride much to the detriment of my mental well being.
It was like a light bulb went off in my head and slowly I became to accept those things about me that I didn't like and realize that those very experiences made me into the person I had become. I could have continued to berate myself for quitting university (I eventually went back and graduated), for not being smarter, for not being at the stages that my friends were all at, but for what? I would have developed into a self-loathing individual and that very self-hatred would have eventually destroyed me.
One of the very first things I was told to do was to write down things a good friend would like about me. This was very eye opening and allowed me to see me as others would and not as my inner critic. Believe me, this journey didn't happen overnight and I continued to see the psychologist for three years until she retired this past spring.
But now, if I had to go back in time and could start life over, I really think I would choose the same physical and psychological characteristics that I was born with.
I'm not perfect, I'm not great, I'm just me! I have come to appreciate my rich inner life because my mind is always active. I have come to know my limitations and I view them as self-preservation rather than excuses. I've come to realize that I'm not very important in the grand scheme of things but I am very important to me!
It is funny how the more laid back I am becoming with myself that my urge to take care of myself is becoming more pronounced. I thought it would be the opposite but that isn't the case. I've recycled my "all or nothing" attitude into one of "every bit counts" and it is working.
Hopefully I haven't bored you with my ramblings!
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