SABLENESS   57,725
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Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Friends, thank you for well-wishes this last week or so. I have worked to exhaustion, eaten far too much on the run, slept poorly because I kept waking and thinking of things to do, and am finally winding down after running an estate sale of my mother-in-law's things. I can surely say that I've gotten my exercise!

The sale was successful by any standards. The stuff literally tossed out of the attic onto the garage floor, mostly metal, old tires, and boxes of papers, attracked multitudes of males from miles around. These guys went dumpster-diving for 25 cent and $1 items that were destined for the trash. Amazing how much we made out of literal garbage, and the metal wasn't anything of value, just STUFF. We wondered how many men got chewed out by their significant others that evening: "You bought WHAT?" "Another ___?" "You paid money for THAT?" and "What IS it???"

I'm taking a last small carload to a thriftshop this afternoon, our Bagster is scheduled for pickup, and the only things remaining are whatever family members are keeping.

Now I can focus on my choir trip. This weekend, the choir of St John's Episcopal Church in Hyde Park, Tampa will sing at St Thomas 5th Ave in NYC on Sunday, and then go to Washington DC to sing two Evensong services at the National Cathedral. We sing at 11 at St Thomas, and there will be a live webcast of the service within an hour or so of our doing it.

I need lots of rest before I go. Still much to do, but now I can turn my efforts away from sale and on to trip preparations.

PS: Most of my books sold, as well as my two bookcases! I'm down to nine.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHICKYBEE 6/20/2012 7:14PM

    That is one more stressful task under your belt. You take of yourself so you can have a great trip.

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SAGEMYST 6/20/2012 11:40AM

    Glad the sale was a success. Get some rest and have a great time on the choir trip.


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POETLKNG2LOSE 6/19/2012 8:38PM

    Glad that your estate sale went well and that you are going on a trip with the choir. Hope all goes well and that you have fun. I have never been to New York before.

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MUSOLF6 6/19/2012 8:38PM


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ROXYZMOM 6/19/2012 7:48PM

    Are you traveling by bus? Is you husband able to go with you? Sounds great after the week you just had. I love NYC!! I hope you get some time to enjoy it!!

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KAI_ZEN 6/19/2012 3:27PM

    Whew! Crazy week for sure. Rest up for your great choir trip. I'm looking forward to hearing how that goes!

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SLIMMERME13155 6/19/2012 2:27PM

    You certainly need a moment or some to just flop. These things take moreout of us than we imagine. Who needs a gym!!!! Not you I guess

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JLR080500 6/19/2012 12:53PM

    It is amazing how normal life adventures takes so much out of us and provides and opportunity for movement!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

I am a self-confessed bookaholic. At present, there are 12 bookcases in my house, the smallest a few feet high and the largest two ceiling height, that hold who knows how many books. Two of the bookcases are my husband's, but I claim responsibility for the other ten. I've been a voracious reader ever since I learned how.

In the last couple of years, I've inherited several other people's libraries, one collection as vast as mine. I sold some on ebay, sold some to Amazon, sold some to a book buyer. I've given away countless more.

What does a bookaholic do with all those books? Read 'em, of course! I'd say my biggest contributor to weight gain over the years is sitting in my favorite chair reading with a box/bag/carton of munchies. One of my major wake up moments happened while I was reading a modern translation of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola. I came upon the following words: "Our only desire and one choice should be this: I want and I choose what better leads to God's deepening life in me." I looked at the box of munchies in my hand and thought, "This is NOT leading to God's deepening life in me."

What else do I do with all those books? For over 20 years, I have led women's spirituality groups, given retreats, presented programs. Many of my books are my source materials. Those are keepers. I am also a spiritual director or spiritual companion. As a graduate of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, my already large library grew extensively during the several years of my studies. Many of those books are gems that I continue to use. As a spiritual director/companion, I listen to people's spiritual stories, noticing together the direction of a person's spiritual life, hence the name; it's not about "directing" people or telling them what to do.

And then, there are the other books, yes, the large number of things unread. These are often books by favorite authors. "Oh, I see s/he wrote that. Sounds good. I need to order one." Oooh, that's gotten me in a lot of trouble! In the last few years, I've tried very hard to convince myself I don't need to own every interesting book I encounter. I've made an effort instead to work my way through the ones I already own.

I do have a few rules for keepers:
1. Keep the ones I enjoy rereading--Harry Potter, Horatio Hornblower novels, Susan Howatch's Church of England and St Benet's series, favorites I grew up with, and the like.
2. Don't buy if I can easily get it at the library. This applies to books I know I'm likely to read once.
3. Keep anything that would be hard to replace, like first editions, out of print, and hard to find.
4. Don't loan anything I can't replace easily.

Do I stick to my rules? No! I admit it; I still have too many books. However, I am very proud of myself. I set myself a goal of having one less bookcase in 2010--and made it. I emptied and gave a small bookcase to a friend who wanted one for her bedtime reading. I set the same goal in 2011. It took me several months into 2012 to accomplish it, but I now have one less medium-sized bookcase. I'm hoping to do the same again by the end of the year. Then I will have only nine!

Fellow bookaholics, I'd love to hear from you. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELSCO55 6/14/2012 9:01PM

    Grea blog. I also love to read and have a hard time letting my favorites go

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  I'd love to browse your book collection! We share some interests and I'd bet there are some intriguing titles on your shelves.

Alas, I'm letting my little collection go, with a blessing that they will find their way into hands and minds that appreciate the wisdom contained within their covers.

I have and appreciate the Kindle given to me by my son, but sometimes I can't resist getting my hands on a REAL book!

Thanks for writing this blog!

Comment edited on: 6/12/2012 6:07:50 AM

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CHANGING4ME49 6/11/2012 2:52PM

    Truly love this blog! I like your book rules too. From one bookaholic to another thank you for sharing.

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KAI_ZEN 6/11/2012 10:38AM

    My book rules are similar to yours, but my collection has been shrinking in preparation for moving. I'm sure once settled it'll grow again.

Thrift stores and garage sales are a great source!

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MUSOLF6 6/11/2012 10:21AM

    I am a bookworm myself, I just donated about 10 boxes of books to the public library. My husband bought me a Kindle and now I have about 400 books on there collected. I just love to read. emoticon

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NAPLESNANCY 6/11/2012 9:51AM

    I have a good friend who enjoys the same types of books I do so I often pass my books along to him. I also put them in our annual community garage sale. I refuse to pay retail so I often shop thrift shops for books. I also donate books to thrift shops and deduct them on my taxes. Just a few suggestions. Good luck!


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My Big Fat Gratitude List

Friday, June 08, 2012

1. I'm wearing a pair of SHORTS and matching top that haven't been wearable in ages!
2. I feel a lot better than I did yesterday, no more upset stomach, much more energy.
3. For sticking with this site for 9 1/2 months!
4. For the nearly 30 lbs that's stayed off
5. For the 30 or so I'm going to lose
6. For the nice haul of thriftshop clothes I got last weekend
7. For mini-challenges that have done the trick to get me back to staying within my calorie range so I start losing again
8. For being so much stronger than I was.
9. For SP challenges that keep me motivated and accountable
10. For my Sparkfriends without whom I'd surely have dropped out by now
11. For the free SP videos that take all the planning out of exercise. Just turn on and do!
12. For my wonderful supportive husband who never never criticizes
13. For all the rain we're getting this week. Husband's organic garden (and the grass) is thriving!
14. For dear friends and family
15. Especially grateful that most family is nearby
16. That my daughters have a great Father's Day planned
17. For a much needed retreat in April
18. For a much needed vacation in May
19. For an exciting choir trip in June to sing in NYC and the National Cathedral in DC!
20. For 9 years in my current home. I love this neighborhood!
21. For SparkGuy for doing all this for us
22. For my various faith communities--the church I belong to, the church I sing at, my Quaker F/friends, and the lovely folks at the Franciscan Center of Tampa Bay
23. For my entertaining cats
24. For my large library; no boredom here, ever!
25. For this day, for life and health. Amen!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROXYZMOM 6/10/2012 12:32PM

    I love it! Optimism at it's best!

Thanks for sharing!

emoticon emoticon

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CHICKYBEE 6/8/2012 8:14PM

    You have been a wonderful inspiration to me, and your gratitude list brought a few almost-tears to my eyes! Lots of things on this list that I take for granted in my own life, thanks for the reminder... and congrats! on the up-coming choir concert! emoticon

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CHANGING4ME49 6/8/2012 6:06PM

    What a wonderful list. You have a lot to be truly thankful for. I am so glad you hung around this site. You have been a blessing in my life. Thank you for your continued friendship!

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KAI_ZEN 6/8/2012 5:25PM

    This is awesome! Thanks for sharing your list. Gratitude is contagious!

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ANGGEL40 6/8/2012 3:12PM

    emoticon I love it...doesn't it feel good to be able to wear something that you hadn't in years...Keep Sparkin' my friend! emoticon

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GRANDMA_STATUS 6/8/2012 2:13PM

    Congratulations! I LOOOVE gratitude lists like this. The little things can give us so much cheer. ♥

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Support and Motivation: A+

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

emoticonI could stop right there; that emoticon says it all! Thanks to MAMAWLINDALOU, I just realized I too have just had my emoticon. In that time, I've lost 30 lbs, regained 5, and am back on track to lose the next 30. My recent blogs reflect a level of fitness and activity that I never thought would be "me". Since January, I've been doing SparkPeople Officical Challenges and videos. I so appreciate the free resources here, since my budget does not stretch to include a gym, personal trainer, Curves, expensive equipment and the like. With so many videos to choose from, I don't get bored, and I know those things have made a huge difference in my strength and stamina. How else could I have biked over 26 miles in two days without being winded and without sore muscles?

I've had a several months stall foodwise but am ready now to get seriously back on track. I'm doing the 10 Min Daily Fitness Minutes Challenge, and two other little challenges. One is with a couple of members of the Triple Threat Team. We've committed to tracking our food for the next three days. My personal twist on that is not only tracking, which I do anyway for better or worse, but to stay within my calorie range and get myself solidly back into that habit so the pounds will start dropping again. The other little challenge is a 60 sec fitness challenge from one of the daily Sparkblogs. 60 seconds sounds like nothing, but I've already added two minutes to my fitness tracker just by moving while waiting for my computer to come on, reading my email, etc. Any minutes however small add up and reinforce my fitness habit.

Friends, you are the best! I know if I were doing this on my own, I'd have quit by now, another possibly short-term success followed by another failure. Reading your stories, receiving so much encouragement, staying connected with others who face the same daily challenges I do, swapping goodies for fun and support, accountability--all these are what's keeping me going. I could look at those 5 lbs I regained and say, Aw, I knew I couldn't sustain this forever--but it's not true. I really believe it's not's true. You, friends, keep me here. I want to be one of SP's many success stories. I already am, having dropped 30 lbs and 2 sizes, and having gone from obese to overweight. I'm going for the rest of it, whatever it takes to get to NORMAL/HEALTHY. Together, we can do it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANGING-TURTLE 5/30/2012 3:59PM

    emoticon emoticonNine months wow how time flys. you have lost 30 lbs that is really some thing. Gaining 5 lbs back is nothing you have gotten back on track that is the real wow. emoticon

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BACKTOTEN12 5/30/2012 3:27PM

    We are doing this and will attain our goals.A little side trip now and then will not deter us. Thanks for being a great sparkfriend. Every day is a new start on our road to health and fitness. You have accomplished so much. Keep it up!! emoticon emoticon,too!

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ROXYZMOM 5/29/2012 9:48PM

    I love this blog!! You have such a positive attitude -- you are a success story!!


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BLUE42DOWN 5/29/2012 5:13PM

    HAPPY HAPPY emoticon!

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KAI_ZEN 5/29/2012 12:27PM

    You said it - you ARE a success story already, and you're back on track to reach your goals. What a good feeling to set challenges and then meet them day by day! That's a great way to build confidence and momentum to achieve - and maintain - the normal/healthy weight (and lifestyle) you're heading toward.

"Together, we can do it! " You bet! Let's do it!!

Edited to add, I think that shift in thinking you mention, the belief this is sustainable, is KEY. I know I've been working on making that shift from thinking this may end up being another round in the gain/lose, gain/lose routine, to believing making permanent change is possible - not just possible, but possible for ME. That old, negative thinking creeps in from time to time, and I'm working on reinforcing the belief this CAN be my life now. Like you, staying connected and seeing others succeed is very helpful.

Comment edited on: 5/29/2012 12:50:12 PM

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CHICKYBEE 5/29/2012 11:29AM

    See! You are doing so well, and I appreciate your fortitude. I am still trying to reach that important goal... going from obese to overweight! Thanks for the reminder that just getting to that point is possible, and will be a huge success. Congrats that you are already there! emoticon

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COOKIE_AT_51 5/29/2012 11:21AM

    Great post Sableness! I "joined" SP on May 1st and I feel that I am really "starting" today. I am also doing the 10 minute challenge. I have adjusted my weight loss goals to something that I can truly maintain and I am trying to "connect" with other SP to make sure I have accountability. I added you as a Spark friend :) ... I need all the help I can find on here ... I just need to "use" this site! ~ Cookie emoticon

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MUSOLF6 5/29/2012 11:01AM

    emoticon emoticon

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HOW many miles???

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Husband and I are enjoying a wonderful vacation on one of Georgia's barrier islands. Yesterday we climbed a 129 step lighthouse, climbed to a captain's walk, the last bit of which was a ladder--ugh! and did a fair amount of walking. Today's plan was to rent bikes and ride a couple of miles to a fort where we intended to picnic. The fort was great, the moquitoes were not. So, SABLENESS says, "We passed a park yesterday in this direction; let's try there." Hm. It didn't seem that far in the car. But it was less buggy than the marshland around the fort, and after lunch, we walked a short nature trail. OK, now what? Ice cream sure would taste good. That shopping area down the road surely has an ice cream or frozen yogurt shop. ARE WE THERE YET??? Finally--and...there used to be an ice cream shop there--grr. OK, where is the nearest ice cream? We were told down at the roundabout by the grocery store. OK, another mile...and this one was no longer there either. SO--look! Burger King! The mocha thing I had was really good, and I'm sure I worked off every calorie. We could hardly wait to get back and cool off in the pool. Fast forward to after dinner and a long walk on the beach at sunset. Driving back, we looked at the odometer, added up what we'd done earlier on the bicycles--and found we'd ridden not sixteen, but EIGHTEEN miles! Granted, we were on relatively level bike paths, not as challenging as the bike riding I did while on my retreat a few weeks ago, but that was a lot of miles!

I am pleased beyond measure that I'm physically able to do what I did today--and still trek up and down the three flights of stairs to our room instead of using the elevator, except for the last time today. I feel tired but not exhausted, no part of my body is screaming, and I am pleasantly relaxed after walking on the beach. I looked at myself in the full-length mirror this morning, wearing shorts and a tank top, and thought, "Yes, I'm overweight, but a lot less than I used to be," and no way last year could I have managed 18 miles of biking and still have energy to spare for a long walk on the beach. YAY, SPARKPEOPLE!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POETLKNG2LOSE 5/27/2012 8:12PM

    That is great! i am not even to that stage yet. i am still scared of heights and haven't ridden a bike in years. What an inspiration you are! emoticon emoticon

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CHICKYBEE 5/25/2012 7:34PM

    Oh that is so fantastic! Sounds like you are energetic, enthusiastic, and as strong as a teenager! Heck, I know several teens who could not keep up with you! You should be so proud. Great going! And to top it all off, you got to have guilt-free ice cream! emoticon I am so jealous!

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ROXYZMOM 5/25/2012 6:06PM

    What an absolutely awesome day!! It sounds so perfect.
Did ur husband have a hard time keeping up with you :)

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MAMAWLINDALOU 5/25/2012 9:48AM

    emoticonYou are doing such a good job. You continue enjoying your vacation you will be ready for a rest when you get home after doing all your exerciseing on vacation.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLUE42DOWN 5/25/2012 12:24AM


Not only that, but a year ago might have even seen a very different attitude about going up the steps or renting the bikes in the first place. So nice to see changes like that!

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SRBSRB26 5/24/2012 9:22PM

    That's wonderful that you got so much exercise!

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