Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Good thing I made a plan!
When insomnia strikes, it's almost always the early-waking variety. I don't know what time it was when I woke up this morning, but it was well before my alarm was due to go off. I stayed in bed & went back to sleep after quite a while--& then when I heard the alarm, I realized groggily that it had been going off for some time & had been some other kind of repetitive noise in the dream from which I'd just awakened. I was still half-asleep & it took me awhile to wake up fully.
But despite my short sleep, I had to get in some exercise, per my promise to myself. Not enough time to make the fast-walking round to post office & supermarket that I had planned the night before . . . I settled on just the post office, which is about 1.5 miles round trip from my home. With that & stretching I felt much better.
I considered also begging off my dinner with friends tonight--it's out in the western suburbs, a drive of more than an hour each way, & often I'm late to bed after finally getting home. But the friend who just bought a new condo is hosting & very excited to show it to us. I decided to honor this milestone in her life but make sure to leave no later than 9:00, & no turning on the computer when I get home, so that I can be in bed at a decent hour. I may sit down for a few minutes with a candle to quiet myself before bed too.
One more thing I have promised myself: no more computer games, at least for a while. I just love word games & use them to relax during my lunch hour & work breaks, but they're addictive & drain too much time. Instead of playing them I'll get back to getting out of my chair to do a bit of cardio in my office every hour, & at least one 5-10 minute strength-training routine at some point.
Planning ahead does really help!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Thank you all for your kind, thoughtful comments on my last blog post. Taking care of myself as a spiritual discipline (even putting my well-being first at this time in my life) has been really helpful these past few days for turning around some negative patterns, especially neglect of exercise.
This week I surpassed my SparkAmerica exercise goal for the year! It was a modest goal, I admit, but I'm still proud of myself.
It does help that I'm not in an insomnia jag at present. When I'm having trouble getting enough sleep, what will it mean to take really good care of myself? Maybe minimizing my outside commitments, adding a quiet bedtime routine (lighting a candle & having 10-15 minutes of contemplative prayer), scheduling a massage. And dragging myself out of bed for exercise no matter what--that will be hard, but it will pay off with better sleep.
Sounds like a plan!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Today when I walked out of my therapy session, I felt a bit grumpy. My therapist is doing a good job of pressing me to notice & acknowledge my failures to state what I needed/required during my marriage & to stand by my decisions. Eventually the discussion returned to my upbringing as a missionary kid & how I internalized the pressure to be EXTRA mature, competent, accomplished, positive, & undemanding. Those are all good things, mind you, but for a marriage to work each spouse has to be willing to insist sometimes, when something is important, & not always give in / stay quiet / let it go.
I think many women who give in too much suffer from low self-esteem. In my case it's actually the opposite: I know I'm smart, strong & very capable, & I am good at taking care of myself & finding the positive in every situation -- & therefore I am not very needy & don't mind letting others have their way.
Except, of course, that sometimes I DO mind, especially when there are abusive patterns over time.
Anyway, I was grumpy after therapy because I really thought I had worked through this years ago but now I see it's still an issue!
So I'm going to try an experiment: making TAKING CARE OF ME my highest priority for a while. What if I just didn't allow myself to go to work in the morning until I had gotten in my exercise? What if I didn't allow myself to stay up past my bedtime on weeknights because doing early-morning exercise would be the most important accomplishment of the next day? What if I took this on as a spiritual discipline--learning to insist that I really must be nurtured?
Let the experiment begin.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
In the first week, I did really well staying off sugary foods Monday through Friday. On Saturday & Sunday I was visiting my son & daughter-in-law in St. Louis, & I allowed myself some treats there. Then yesterday was my big annual music-poetry garden party, & I ate a few small treats--for example, I had to sample the squash bread (like pumpkin bread) I made with a CSA butternut squash (it was yummy!).
But it was all in moderation, & as of this morning I have lost two pounds since I started the desugaring challenge last Monday! Today I brought some cranberry-banana mini-muffins, left over from the party, to work & put them out for others to enjoy. They were tiny & didn't blow anyone's diet, I'm sure, but I was ready to return to my "no sugary foods" regimen.
P.S. The garden party was really, really great this year. It was important to maintain the tradition even though I've been having such a rough year. People responded SO warmly to my poems, & the music was just fabulous.
Monday, August 30, 2010
My yen for sweetness, especially chocolate, really has gotten out of hand. I'm wanting a dessert with each meal, plus sweets at other times of day too! It's ridiculous. So my RL friend Deb & I decided to fast from sugary foods Monday through Saturday for a time, & we are going to report to each other on our adherence. It will be good for us!
Life has been good, though challenging. I'm mostly enjoying living alone with my kitty Gizmo; there are plenty of friends to get together with--most of them neglected over the years of my marriage. Lately I've gotten back into regular exercise, always such a struggle for me, mostly because of my on & off sleep problems. I've been maintaining my weight--at least not gaining. I saw a few rear-view photos of myself walking along a Lake Michigan beach this weekend, & they weren't horrifying. I'm still within healthy BMI, just barely. But I could look even better & be even healthier, so I'm going to press on.
Over the weekend I went to a cottage close to that beach on the eastern rim of Lake Michigan, for a creative retreat with the dear friends with whom I've been meeting monthly for many years. We did some art . . . actually all of them did some clay modeling & painting on glass, & I tried both but ended up squishing my clay figure & washing the acrylic paints off the glass. It was liberating to do that--I have more than enough Stuff in my house, so it wasn't worth bringing home something new unless it was really great. I led a writing exercise, & there a poem did come, a good one that surprised me! We also did a meditative devotional together with a painting & a Scripture reading, cooked & ate some great food, made a fire & s'mores at the beach while watching the sun set, & most of all had long long nurturing conversations. It was great.
The current of sadness is still running through my days & nights--I really did not want to see my marriage fail. And such painful, disturbing events in the news, such as the Pakistan floods. But there's also a current of relief (finances are getting better, my home is peaceful) & even joy, because life is full of good things & I can rest in God's love.
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