Thursday, June 21, 2012
When I feel overwhelmed is an especially good time to make a gratitude list to restore some perpective and keep me going. This has been a tough week, too much to do, too little sleep, and not so great eating on the run. I have only today to do a multitude of things before leaving on my choir trip tomorrow morning. At the moment, I'd like nothing more than to have a good cry and go back to bed.
1. My new Nook
2. Husband who helps me figure out new things such as new Nook
3. Sparkfriends who support me even when I've been too busy to be much support myself
4. Good quality sleep last night, though not enough quantity
5. Being able to squeeze in a haircut last night; wasn't sure when I'd get to that
6. Free city guide apps for my trip
7. A good breakfast which I just realized I haven't finished, milk and vitamins still to go
8. What I did get done yesterday that isn't on today's list, thanks be
9. My family and new grand-nephew, born Monday
10. My cats, even the kitten who was in disgrace this morning. Even when she's bad, she's adorably cute.
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.
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.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
I could stop right there; that emoticon says it all! Thanks to MAMAWLINDALOU, I just realized I too have just had my . 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!
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