Thursday, November 19, 2009
Recently I've been feeling a bit 'off' and out of sync. And as I've said before, when things get hectic, I tend to put myself at the bottom of my priority list. This is a habit that I'm working on changing! A few weeks ago my hubby bought me a laptop so I can sit outside and Spark. Since we live in Florida, and he knows that I enjoy the weather AND Spark, he thought that it was a great idea. He was right! However I haven't been on here as much as usual, and even he noticed. At the end of his work day he checks the status on my Sparkpage and reads my blogs, and is ALWAYS positive and encouraging. The last couple of days he's mentioned that I haven't written anything, and asked if I was okay. That's when it dawned on me that I've been feeling out of balance.
Balance is a funny thing, if you're not careful you can fall on your face. Lately I've been trying to maintain my balance, but it hasn't been easy. Last night I went out for a bike ride, and as usual, cleared my head. I found myself thinking about how sometimes life feels like a balancing act, and all of the different things during the day that need to be balanced. The first balancing act I thought of was 'the calories in versus the calories out equation', and how I'm doing on that regard. The area that needs work is the calories consumed part. Yesterday I didn't have breakfast, and today I didn't eat anything until noon. Last night while I used my tracker (which I love) I realized that my calories were too low, and that I needed to add more food to my daily total. So yes, this is an area that needs attention. I can work on this!
My DH has always been my greatest source of encouragement, however my friends and extended family are the opposite. When I discussed my weight loss with my 2 closest friends, I was met with silence! They offered NO support and not one single word of encouragement. I did NOT get a 'Way to go' or a "Good for you'. NOT a single word, not even a grunt - just silence! So I stopped talking about it, which left me feeling sad and kind of alone, because this is SO important to me. I felt that since I was always there for them, that they should be there for me as well. I realized that things don't always work that way, and can be one-sided, and not balanced! I still have hope that they may come around, but if they don't, so be it. But I realized that I'm NOT alone, I have my DH and my Spark friends, and that's all the support I really need!
Recently our cat, Dewey wasn't doing well. He has IBS, chronic diarrhea, and severe food allergies. He is only 2 years old and has the sweetest personality, and is such a love. My DH and I fondly call him our 'poop rocket' because after he uses the litterbox, he takes off like a rocket. His previous vet didn't offer much hope, so I found a new vet that is wonderful. She has a more holistic approach and like me, was determined to find an answer. She suggested feeding him a raw diet or lightly cooked turkey. And since we have 3 cats, we need to feed them all the same thing. Well a 3 day hunger strike followed, as the little buggers wouldn't even touch the food. I did hours of research and told the vet that I was going to feed them canned duck cat food, which is a limited ingredient diet. She gave him a steroid injection for the inflammation in his gut, and I changed his diet. It worked! I'm happy to say that things turned around completely! But during this time my one friend told me to 'just put him down', and the other friend didn't even acknowledge what I said when I told her how worried I was, as she was so intent on talking about herself. Their lack of compassion really bothered me, as I'm always there for them. My DH has pointed out that I give far more than I receive in my friendships. Another area that's off balance.
Then I thought about the time that I spend on Spark. Until recently I spent many hours each day on here. The friendship and support were almost addictive, as it was filling a void from what was missing in my real life. But instead of maintaining balance, I jumped in with both feet, and let some of my responsibilities take a back seat. So the last couple of weeks I've been trying to play catch up with the stuff around here that I slacked off on. When the dust-bunnies can be mistaken for a cat, you know that you need to do something! LOL-I am exaggerating, they weren't THAT big!
I have made progress in other areas, and to honest, I'm proud of how I handled myself. I recently let go of a friendship with a male friend of ours because he disrespected me, and crossed a line. I also put my MIL (AKA. the Malicious, Insane, Lunatic) in her place. WOO HOO! She called here one night and tried to pick a fight with me, and I stopped her in her tracks. I told her that I had enough of this crap, and that I'm not tolerating it anymore! I want no part of the drama and turmoil that she creates, I'm DONE!!! I handed the phone to my DH, and said 'here, she's your mother, you deal with her'. And boy did he! Another area in need of some work is our social commitments on weekends. Yes, it's nice to be invited and included in social gatherings, but it's become too much. We're both basically home-bodies at heart, and we really enjoy our time together, but it seems like there is always someplace we have to go. So we decided to set limits on socializing so that we have more time for us.
I've realized that being off balance is part of the reason I'm here in the first place. Because when you're not living a balanced life, you're not taking proper care of yourself. So the project I'm working on is ME! I'm trying to restore some balance and take better care of myself. So there may be times that I need to take a step back and figure out what's best for me, and how to proceed. I think that it's part of growth and understanding myself. Last night I thought how riding my bike is also a balancing act. If I maintain my balance I can move forward, but if I lose my balance, I'll fall on my butt! There may be times that I fall, and I'll simply brush myself off, and hop back on. But I'm going to do whatever it takes to maintain my balance and continue moving forward on my journey! I can do this!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Have you ever felt like you've taken two steps forward, and one step back? The last 2 weeks, that's how I've felt. I haven't been on Spark as much as usual, because I just haven't had the time. NO, that's NOT accurate, I haven't 'made' the time! My one step back has been NOT 'making' myself a priority. I thought that I finally had a handle on that issue, but it's obvious to me that I still need to work on it. I've had a life-long habit of putting myself at the bottom of my priority list when life gets hectic. And that's just what I've been doing again!
There have been days that I've skipped lunch all together, or just scarfed down an apple on my way to the next thing on my to-do list. There have also been days that I haven't even come close to eating the minimum number of calories for the day. No wonder the scale didn't budge last week! I've been feeling tired and kind of 'slug-like' as far as my energy level goes. It really started to dawn on me last week when I was eating my oatmeal at noon, because I didn't take the time in the morning to eat. And the days that I did eat lunch, I didn't even sit down to eat. I ate standing up to get it out of the way quickly. I've wondered why is it that when my time is limited and I'm stressed, that 'my' needs are the first to go? Why was it so easy for me to do this, and fall back into old habits?
What really got me was when I realized that I take better care of our cats, than I do of myself sometimes. I think that the most important thing for me was seeing what I was doing, and correcting my behavior. I need to work on 'keeping' my goals at the TOP of my priority list, and not letting life side track me. My Spark friend, Yvonne refers to the small improvements as 'baby steps'. I think that it's a good way of looking at things. So I may have taken one step back, but I didn't allow it to become two! Occasionally I may stumble, but I will always pick myself back up, and take the next step on my journey! I'm still moving forward on this road to wellness and improving my life, and NOTHING is going to stop me!!!
Thursday, November 05, 2009
At first I thought that I was alone in my dislike of that evil, back-stabbing, fake-crying, stringy-haired shrew, Tracey! Oh please forgive me, but I forgot one - LIAR!! First I had one friend, then there were two, and now three, that can't stand her. I know that I'm venting, but to be honest, I DON'T care!!! I'm normally a calm person that doesn't use foul language. Well, not much anyway! But Tuesday night I was like a person with Turret's Syndrome, it was just flying out of my mouth! My DH laughed as I yelled at the TV. He can't stand her either, and had a hard time even looking at her. We both wanted to see her get the boot! Oh happy day, dreams do come true! I know, I know, I'm NOT being 'nice', but I can't help myself. This isn't some sweetness and light positive blog, but sometimes a girl just needs to bitch! Last week when Abby was voted off, I got choked up. That woman was kind and honest, and endured so much grief and pain in her life. During her reveal, I was so happy to hear that she feels like she is living again. And she looks wonderful to boot! BUT, as for Tracey, when she was given the boot, I jumped up with my hubby, and we both did the happy dance! Yes, I know that it's just a game, but I have a HUGE issue with liars! Especially liars that look you in the face, and smile! UGH!!! I wish her no ill will, really I don't. But, KARMA baby!!! It has a way of coming back and taking a BIG bite right out of your @ss! I would bet that Tracey's keister is feeling a bit sore right about now! Anyone else agree????
Thursday, November 05, 2009
As I rode my bike early this morning, I was thinking about the value of friendship, and how it can enhance your life. When I came home I jotted down my thoughts in my journal, and decided to turn it into a blog. I think that there are different 'levels' of friendship. We all probably have at least one childhood friend that we stay in contact with, or have great memories of. Some are life long friends, yet others come into our lives for just a brief period of time, when it seems like we need each other the most. Some are more superficial and seem to be around only for the good times. But if we're lucky, we have deep friendships. The ones that are still there when things in your life get difficult, and everyone else disappears. These are true friends!
Sometimes however, we need to say goodbye to a friend. Recently I had to face this with a male friend of ours. My hubby has known him for years through business, and we started socializing with him a few years back. Since I had 'guy friends' since I was a kid, I didn't see the harm as he and I became friends. He called several times a week to speak to me, but I never got together with him without my DH. Our house on various holidays is filled with a group of people that have become make-shift family, and we included him. So I thought that he and I became pretty good friends, until recently. All of a sudden his conversations became sexual in nature and NOT appropriate. I got uncomfortable with him and told him 'that for the sake of our friendship, do NOT speak to me like that, it's disrespectful and I won't tolerate it'. He kept it up, and I stopped taking his calls. My DH had a talk with him and set him straight. He apologized to my DH, but has yet to apologize to me. Since I never spoke to him in such a manner, or used that kind of language, I just couldn't understand his behavior. We haven't spoken since. So it was time to say goodbye and part ways.
We're social animals, we are not meant to live solitary lives. Whether it's a best friend, a fair-weather friend, or the dreaded so-called friend, we learn something from each relationship. The good friendships enhance our lives and bring us joy. The bad ones are just draining. As I said goodbye this year to a so-called female friend, and a disrespectful male friend, there will be a couple of open seats at our house on the holidays. It's not always easy to part ways, but in order to make room for the positive, you need to clean out the negative. As I'm feeling better about myself, I clearly see which relationships either enhance my life, or detract from it. I never expected to learn so much about myself on this journey. Every week there is a new lesson for me to learn, some easier than others.
Right now one thing we ALL have in common is, we are Spark friends. And this is proving to be a VERY rewarding friendship! I do think that there are different 'levels' to that as well. I had people add me that I've had no previous contact with, and when I've made an attempt to get to know them, there was little or no response at all. Upon looking closer, I saw that some of these people are 'friend-collectors', and have thousands of friends. That's okay, to each his own. I say this without judgement, but that isn't what I want. I also don't want a one-sided friendship. The kind where you make contact and leave comments, and so on, without ONE word in return. So why did you add me in the first place? I recently did some clearing out on my page. I decided that if I maintain contact for 30 days, with NO response, I then delete the one-sided friend. We add each other as friends because we feel some connection. With some it may be on a more casual level, and that's okay. But with others we click on a deeper level, and that's great. We're all here to support and encourage each other along our parallel journeys. We share our laughter, tears, sorrows, joys, frustrations, and accomplishments. Your comments are thoughtful, supportive, and sometimes funny. Or so insightful and thought provoking that it stops me in my tracks. I feel SO blessed to have these friendships, which enhance my life every day. We help each other- we are FRIENDS!
Friday, October 30, 2009
Little did I know just a few months ago, that I would be feeling SO different today! I wrote this blog on paper first because it started as an entry in my journal. It was difficult to write, but it was also very freeing! I know that you can't change what you don't acknowledge, so here goes. As my body is shedding pounds, my spirit is letting go of the past, and years of sadness. I feel like after all of these years, I'm finally healing. I'm feeling a lightness from within that I haven't felt in years. It really started this year when I turned 50. I felt something changing in myself, which is hard to describe. That is why I chose my name 'Wingsofchange', which my husband came up with. I started to let go of the past, but the past 3 months have sped up the process.
I was 18 when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. The same time she was in the hospital in New Jersey recovering from having one of her lungs removed, I got a call early in the morning. My dad had a stroke while working and was taken to a hospital in Philadelphia, PA. My sister was 11 at the time, and I was appointed her legal guardian. My days consisted of running the family business, taking care of my sister, and running back and forth between the two hospitals in NJ and PA. Looking back this is when I first started losing myself. My life was put on hold because my family's needs were greater. My mom passed away 6 months later. I felt like I couldn't even grieve because I had to be strong and hold it together.
Then 4 1/2 years later my 16 year old sister was diagnosed with cancer, she had Hodgkins. She and I drove into Philly every day for 10 weeks for her radiation treatment. She would vomit in a bag while I drove back over the bridge. She went through SO much! She survived, but 6 years later it came back, and she beat it a second time. She had SO much anger in her for such a young girl, and was VERY difficult to deal with. She resented my being her 'parental figure' and fought me on everything! One night her anger boiled over while we were in the kitchen. She got physical with me and shoved me. I hit my head and came to on the floor, with one of our neighbors kneeling over me. I on the other hand had anger towards my dad. He dumped ALL of the responsibility in my lap, as he started dating this woman soon after my mom died. I could not wrap my brain around THAT one!
Everyone carries baggage in their lives, and that was mine. I'm not one to sugar-coat things, and I felt consumed by it for years. Looking back, my sister and I should have gone to therapy. But what did I know at 18? I did the best I could. My mom's family wanted nothing to do with my dad, which spilled over to me and my sister. The day of our mom's funeral was the last time we saw them. So the two of us had no support going through this, we only had each other.
My Spark friend Ruth told me something a couple of months ago. What she told me has changed me on a very deep level. As I type this, I cry, but NOT tears of sadness. It's RELEASE! She said "break those chains that bind you". That phrase is stuck in my head! Thank you SO much Ruth! If I could, I would give you a big hug for helping me see what I needed to do. Your kindness, friendship, and support has helped me take a huge step forward! Little did you know when you typed those words, that it could have such an impact. Thank you, my friend!
Both my dad and my sister have since passed away. And I've let go of the anger I had towards my dad, because I realized that he did the best he could. My sister carried her resentment towards me, until the end. For which I feel compassion for her and what she went through. I knew that she loved me, but she always had that resentment just beneath the surface. She was moving back to New Jersey, and I remember that last day I saw her. She came over to say goodbye, and we talked and cried. We told each other that we loved each other, and I can still see her face as she walked away. She suddenly died of heart failure less than 2 months later. I cried every day, and thought that the pain would never go away. That was 8 years ago, and time does help heal the sadness. I miss her! I thank God for my husband, he is what helped pull me through the darkness.
For me this journey isn't just about losing weight, It's also about LETTING GO! I don't want my past to define my future or my present. I NO longer feel stuck! I've made peace with it, finally, and put it where it belongs - in the past. My family will always be with me, in my heart, because I loved them. The past 26 years with my husband have been wonderful. I've felt that he was a gift from God. But I still carried that sadness from the past with me. I've realized that I can't live my life FULLY, if I'm burdened with sadness. I had to let it go, so that I can move forward on my journey. So little did I know 3 months ago, that I would be feeling this way! I feel myself changing and it's SO exciting! Life is GOOD! I'm finally breaking those chains that bind me, and coming out of my cocoon! I let go of the sadness, and I feel free!
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