Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I arrived safely back in Germany this morning after Delta rerouted me through Cincinnati and Paris, lengthening my trip by a couple of hours. I almost missed my connection in Paris de Gaulle - it's a huge, complicated airport, the international terminal was literally miles from the gate where my plane to Stuttgart was to depart, and I had about 20 minutes to make the connection. If you count that mad dash as exercise, that was my cardio for the day. I was pleasantly surprised and very thankful that my luggage arrived with me. DF Wilma met me at the airport in my car. I drove home, taking the chance to get used to driving standard again after weeks of driving my parents' van.
I broke my exercise streak on Sunday after 310 days. It just didn't seem appropriate to hop on the elliptical for a workout after DF's dmom died that evening.
The dear lady had had such a hard week - round-the-clock morphine every hour. It was sad to see her go, but she went quietly in the end, with my df on one side, one of her granddaughterson the other and df's sister in the room as well. Other family members who live at a distance had all been there to say their goodbyes earlier in the week, and the local clan had just had a big dinner together at the house. I'm sad that I won't be there for the funeral on Saturday but my parents will attend.
I feel a little bit like I'm in a twilight zone now - tired from my trip, not quite "here" yet, thinking about all the things that I did and things that happened during my time in Florida. It was a very rich four weeks and I'll need more time to process all that went on. It will be good, though, to get back to some routines and see my friends and local church family again. I start back at the language school tomorrow as well. I hope I don't nod off during the afternoon lessons!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I just turned in my term paper, reading assignment log and two interview reports for my latest seminary course. It hasn't been easy getting these done while I'm here in Florida on vacation. So I could really get some focus going, I had my dmom drop me off at the local public library with my laptop the past two days. I was a "prisoner" there until I called to have her pick me up. That worked! I found a nice table in a quiet back room, plugged in the laptop and WORKED. I just emailed off the whole bundle - a day before the deadline - that's early for me! Yay!
Now I need to prepare a short teaching for a Bible study I'm doing tomorrow morning - then it will be time to start thinking about packing. I fly out on Monday, but I have a lot of things I want to do before then. Now the course assignments are crossed off the list.
Great Nordic walking tour on the beach yesterday. My camera batteries were dead so I still don't have "proof" for the folks back home or the NW team here on Spark. I may go Saturday morning, time permitting.
In the background of my otherwise happy stay, my dparents and I have been discussing aging and end-of-life issues and getting the appropriate paperwork in order. That's a big task but it's also a relief to have some things decided and in place. Also, the dfriend I'm staying with is taking care of her dmother fulltime and around the clock right now. Dmother doesn't have long to live according to the hospice nurses, so I'm trying to help in what ways I can and just be there for her and the family. Prayers are appreciated.
Friday, January 11, 2008
I almost missed a chance to celebrate again! Daily exercise has become such a habit, that I almost forgot that January 9 marked 300 days of 30 minutes a day intentional exercise.
It could be that I was forgetful because I got up before 6 AM to go Nordic walking on the beach with a group from the local wellness center. It was fun to find such an enthusiastic group of "pole walkers" here in the USA where the sport is still considered to be rather exotic. Good conversation, sunrise on the beach, beautiful weather - and my HRM tells me I burned over 360 calories!
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Still in Florida! The cold front has passed and it's slowly warming up again. The two days of chilly weather gave me a chance to wear the sweaters I got on sale. (Florida is a great place to get winter clothes on clearance because the season to wear them is so short!)
Today I went to the local Wellness Center for my first visit on a guest pass - the price was $100 for 14 visits and, after checking it out more thoroughly today, I see that it's going to be worth every penny. It's new, clean, and well-equipped. They have a pool, jacuzzi and lots of other amenities. I could literally spend the whole day there. Hey, I'm on vacation - maybe I just will!
I got in a good workout, cardio and strength and then I weighed in for the first time since the holidays. It's really impossible to know if I've gained, It's a different scale, of course, and I don't usually weigh in in the middle of day, after a workout, in clothes and after having drunk a bunch of water! But if I did gain, it looks like it might only be a pound or two. Dmom has a scale I'm going to borrow that I can use in the condo where I'm staying and maybe get a better picture. I do know that I feel great! And the size 4 jeans still fit fine :)
Monday, December 31, 2007
It has never really been my "thing" to make New Year's resolutions. I don't want to make a list of commitments that I don't really intend to keep and that no one expects me to follow through on. I think it's much more productive to think of setting goals and then taking steps to reach those goals like we do here at Spark.
But over the past few days I've been turning the word "resolution" over in my mind, and decided to look it up in Webster's. (OK, I teach English and am kind of a word freak!) I found that one of the definitions is not so bad: "the process of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones." It also means "firmness of resolve."
I also found that the word originates in the Latin word "solvere" which means to loosen, dissolve, or solve. The prefix "re" we often put at the beginning of a word to indication a repetition or show that we're performing a certain action again. So, to re-solve something could mean to loosen something that has become tight, or to dissolve something that has become hardened. It could also mean to solve once again problems that recur again and again, things that are hangovers from an old way of life.
In the Bible, Paul has something to say to believers in Christ in Ephesians 4, verses 20 through 24 (in the New Living version): "Since you have heard all about Christ and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal (there's that "re" again!) of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness - righteous, holy and true."
To RE-SOLVE old habits, loosen up and dissolve those wrong thought patterns and attitudes that have become set, and to find fresh new solutions to old problems, I'm going to need RESOLUTION - And that means determination and perseverance. I believe that if I have that firmness of resolve to do something, that God will supply the grace and strength so I can take each of the steps necessary to meeting the good goals I set for 2008. So, although I might not be making any New Year's resolutions, I AM setting goals and I'm resolved to reach them!
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