Monday, August 01, 2011
At stressful points in my life . . . and this is one . . . I focus on optimism.
Because: optimism is the essential ingredient of resilience.
What helps most in willing optimism? For me, it's a deliberate "paying of attention" to how beautiful the world is. Persistently beautiful. Consolingly beautiful. Fascinatingly beautiful.
I know that I can be irritatingly Pollyanna-ish. A bit of a Victorian botanist lady in my love of flowers. (Purple phlox, nasturtiums sitting beside my computer: powdery and peppery fragrances mingling).
But it's noticing the world which works best to take me out of myself, my own pesky stresses and trivial (or not so trivial) problems. And I can choose to do that.
The full grown speckled seagulls squawking at the parent seagulls on the beach, demanding to be fed. And the exasperated parent seagulls flapping away.
A little girl proudly showing her daddy how she can swim. But wanting to make sure she doesn't have to swim too far. "Don't move back, Daddy." And plunging confidently towards him, kicking vigorously. The dad, thirty years younger, grins over at me: he knows I'm remembering.
Charlie, sitting on the verandah with his chin resting on the fretwork, watching a Russian blue cat (the neighbour's) crouched on our lawn. Tail thumping lazily as I tell him what a good dog he is. But never taking his eye off the cat. Which is watching a chipping sparrow under the mock orange.
The golf course sparkling with dew. Sparkling. While over our shoulders to the west, thunder mutters low. And then the sky is black. And we race for the clubhouse. Coffee on the balcony till it's over, and we can head back out. The heady scent of soaked grass. Soaked cedars. Soaked lavender and thyme and salvia. Racing clouds. Then sunshine again.
"The world is so full of a number of things/I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings."
(Or maybe queens).
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I read an interesting article in the National Post last Saturday about shoplifting. Nope, shoplifting doesn't tempt me at all . . . but this was a review of a book by psychologist Dr. Will Cupchik about the reasons why people shoplift. Cupchik says shoplifting is not just addiction. Here's the link if you want to read more:
Cupchik thinks that all of us can be pushed to do too much of something in order to cope with various stresses. The stresses that interest him arise from losses and especially when there is a perception that such losses are unfair. Some of us eat too much, or work too much, or run away too much, or party too much; some of us shoplift (any amount of that would seem to be too much). In other words, if we don't cope with our losses appropriately we're going to "act out" -- inappropriately.
So: even though I'm not a shoplifter, it's absolutely the case that I ate too much for a very long period of time. Worked too much maybe as well.
To compensate for losses? Doesn't entirely resonate with me, frankly.
Shoplifting as a compensation for loss: there's a pretty clear connection. And Cupchik says that shoplifting is most strongly associated with otherwise upstanding citizens coping with the ultimate loss: death.
Eating too much or working too much as a compensation for loss? Hmmm. Of course Cupchik also acknowledges that some stealing is just rebellion: not all stealing is the loss-triggered "shoplifting" phenomenon. So presumably that's also true of some over eating, over working etc. etc.: there are other motivations for these behaviours.
Just helped my DH with a couple of 20 kg (44 pound) bags of salt for the water softener. Hard to believe I used to weigh 2 bags of salt more than I do now!! The loss of 90 pounds?? A good loss!! No compensation required, really: and especially not overeating!!
(Although come to think of it, and given only about 5% of losers actually maintain weight loss . . . maybe there's something there! A return to overeating to make up for the "loss" of all that food that other people can unfairly eat without gaining weight? )
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Scored: two new tankini style suits, identical (one purple, one black) so I can "mix and match. And at half price! Two for the price of one.
Wore the purple one to the beach yesterday and it's much more "swimmable". I hadn't bought a new suit for at least 10 years -- and at least 20 pounds ago!! Even my smallest was a size 12, and with the loss of elasticity over time as well as the weight, no longer doing the job. Droopy. The other three were 14s, even older, and even droopier. Especially in the bosom area.
The new suits are snug and secure. Simple v neck top with a bit of a twist at the front. Lingerie straps, so adjustable, and with a pretty chrome buckle. Decent length so the belly button isn't hanging out. Decent coverage in the bottoms too.
Not mumsy, not matronly. Really really exciting? No, probably not. Pretty plain, actually.
But still, giving me a lift -- literally AND figuratively!
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Chilling in my fridge, a big pot of summer soup. Should be icy by the time I get back from the gym!
Found in my fridge and cupboards this morning:
2 cartons Imagine chicken broth, low sodium
a full tub of fat free Greek yogourt
2 raw beets
1 pound of asparagus, lightly steamed and chilled
small bag of shredded carrots
package of mini cucumbers
tube of fresh chopped dill weed
half a large tub of baby spinach
two fresh ripe tomatoes
I used the food processor with the pulse chop feature sequentially, so there's still plenty of texture. Added some water at the end.
It's a pretty pink colour thanks to the beets! I'll stir in a little salt and grind fresh ground black pepper onto each serving . . .
No idea, of course, of the calorie count -- but it's gotta be low, and relatively high in protein, and full of vitamins.
And I'm betting pretty delicious too.
OK: 400 calories to burn on the elliptical (about 34 minutes probably) and upper body weights workout next!!
Post sampling report: yes!! delicious!! I picked up some crunchy sea salt with my groceries . . . and I also stirred in some red chili pepper flakes for a bit more zip. It was fun to serve over ice cubes!!
(Spent a couple of hours at the beach, too: gorgeous sizzling hot day!!)
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