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The experiment + planning ahead for the inevitable insomnia

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CZARINA_TV 9/27/2010 5:26AM

    I definitely sleep better when I exercise. I always tell people to take care of themselves, but for you, it's an order!

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CHRISTYK08 9/26/2010 11:25AM

    emoticon on exceeding your Spark America goal! I tend to forget to be thankful for the small steps. However, all those steps add up to progress!

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CTEMPLE 9/25/2010 6:24PM

    Dear Ruthie congratulations!
I quit the sleeping pills and I'm taking melatonin that I bought in the US and it woks well (over the counter).
At least you don't have chronic pain that stops you from exercising!
Congrats again and yes the most important thing is to keep the spirit in good shape.
Thanks for my goodie!

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BABY_GIRL69 9/25/2010 4:31PM

    I love it!! We all have to remember that there is only one of us & no two snowflakes are alike its true in people. So you can make & keep some committments but remember to get that mani/pedi or massage to just relax yourself. God bless & take care! Dee

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When a therapy session makes me grumpy

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! emoticon

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTYK08 9/26/2010 11:22AM

    Wow--you are learning so much! It took years of developing those patterns, as you recognized from your childhood. It will take time to change them, so be patient with and kind to yourself. You are doing SO WELL! I am grateful to be able to share in your journey. emoticon

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CZARINA_TV 9/23/2010 9:01AM

    I constantly wonder about that line. Am I letting people get their way because I don't care right then or am I not standing up for myself because I'm lazy and complacent?

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BABY_GIRL69 9/23/2010 8:35AM

    I will enjoyed going to therapist while I had one. It was pretty cool to be validated in my own feelings. She was 150% for me but she also called me on my "stuff." LOL So take it stride & whatever you are feeling make sure you address it with the therapist next week.

God bless & enjoy Thursday!


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CTEMPLE 9/23/2010 3:19AM

    Oh Ruthie if you knew the number of times I walked out of a session thinking how can this problem still be bugging me? I have had therapy all my life on and off and I'm 57! But there you are, some issues are deep and they come up at different times for different reasons, so we have to tackle them each time. Nothing else to do than go with the flow and try to make it better.

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LINDY2202 9/22/2010 11:56PM

    Go for it. I like the way you are thinking, you are a priority and you must do things for yourself. I have to start reminding myself of that too. We can do it, we are worth it! emoticon

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DAMARIS89 9/22/2010 11:55PM

  Good luck! It sounds like a very worthwhile experiment! :)

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Desugaring report

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTEMPLE 9/20/2010 1:14AM

    Congrats on making th effort to have the GP and yes beware of little slips, that's how it starts.

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SHANSHE 9/12/2010 10:56PM

    I too am glad you still had your garden party! You are doing great with desugaring!

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CHRISTYK08 9/10/2010 11:05PM

    It sounds like you are doing very well and that you have loving and supportive friends in abundance. emoticon

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CZARINA_TV 9/9/2010 11:57AM

    I'm glad you still had your garden party! I know a lot of the times when I go through something big my first instinct is to hide from people. The descriptions on 43t always sounded good...

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RASLALIQUE 9/7/2010 9:12PM

    Congratulations on making it this far with your de-sugaring challenge. Your poetry garden party sounds like it was great fun! Wish I could have been there.

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(Non)sugar partner

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. emoticon 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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTEMPLE 9/20/2010 1:13AM

    Yes I know that problem well and once was off sugar for years in my OA time. I went back to it but I abstain from chocolate as norm. I feel so much happier and liberated when I don't have to go through the "should I? or shouldn't I? I don't and that's it. Many years of trying to eat it moderately without success. Sugar with my chemistry always a problem.
So well done.
Things sound so much better!

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SHANSHE 8/31/2010 8:17AM

    It sounds like you had an awesome weekend! Congrats on that and I imagine life WOULD have some ups and downs to work through.

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CZARINA_TV 8/30/2010 10:16PM

    No one ever wants to see any marriage fail, but yours sounded, um... out of wack? Better that you move on with your life than live with those same problems for the next thirty/forty/fifty-something years...

I'm glad that you were able to get away and get in some creative time on the beach. Things like that will slowly heal you.

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I want chocolate

Monday, August 09, 2010

But I'm NOT going to go downstairs to get a Snickers bar!

Why not? Because I like myself & I'm remaking my life!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTYK08 8/12/2010 10:07PM

    I like your reasoning!

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CZARINA_TV 8/10/2010 11:48PM

    Good for you! I almost started grazing tonight and decided that I just needed a mini-meal instead.

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SHANSHE 8/10/2010 3:32PM

    I should have read this yesterday... proud of you!

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