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9-06-08


Saturday, September 06, 2008

This comment was in one of yesterday's sparkpeople e-mails:

"The groundwork for all happiness is good health." (Leigh Hunt)

There is another old saying that goes, "If you have health, you have everything."

I want to disagree with both of these statements. While good health is a wonderful gift, and being without it can be miserable, health does not necessarily ensure happiness, and neither does ill health have to guarantee misery. I have known a number of people who have had great health, reasonable financial security, and stable relationships, and they were still ungrateful, spoiled, selfish, unhappy people who would fail to be happy no matter what they had. I have also known people in poverty and illness who were filled with contentment, gratitude, and peace. Granted, the latter situation is a really, really difficult one to pull off. I know from personal experience. I'd much rather try to be happy in a position of abundance. To quote an old song: "I've been poor, and I've been rich, and now that I know which is which, I'd rather be rich!" Suffering in any form wears on the spirit which can, in turn, further drag down the body...a cycle of spiraling diminishing returns. But what is the ultimate value of and destination of our spirits? Are we designed for this physical realm alone? Just food for thought.

Meanwhile, the sun is shining over Northeast Louisiana today for the first time in a week. My Mother, brother, and uncle are still without a landline phone, and they were on generator power through Thursday evening. Water came down the chimney in torrents, ruining the living room carpet...it was like the wind drove it right through the bricks themselves! Here in my city, there were scattered power outages, wind damage, and flash flooding all over the city. One man was attacked by a huge gator in his front yard...made the national news...we don't see many alligators roaming the neighborhoods in this part of the state! There were cottonmouth moccasins slithering all over the place...again, they don't frequent the more civilized realms of the city...made me grateful to be holed up in my non-luxury third floor apartment! I hope those of you facing Hannah and her boyfriend, Ike, fare at least as well as I have.

Speaking of alligator (were we?)...I tasted the critter for the first time last weekend in my stay in Natchitoches. Had "Blackened" Alligator: marinated in a blend of Cajun spices and sauteed, served floating in a pool of buttery, peppery sauce...it was pretty darned good!...kind of a cross between chicken and veal...very tender, melt in your mouth, rich and light at the same time. The small portion didn't even run up the calorie count in too horrid a fashion! Besides, I don't eat like that very often, so I thoroughly enjoyed it!

On the diet front, I've been trying to cut back on the dairy products I'm so addicted to. I fixed a spinach and tofu fritata for dinner one night this week...w/tomatoes, bacon, (a teensy bit, just for flavor) mushrooms, and onions and used less than half the cheese I would have normally used. I've used soy milk in my breakfast protein smoothies to replace 2/3rds of the yogurt I'd normally use, and so on. The plan is to see just how much dairy I can phase out entirely and whether it makes any difference in my food cravings...especially sugar...and calorie count over the long haul.

I've gotten in 20 minutes on the Nordic Track 3 days this week. I'll hold steady at that level for several weeks and see if the CFIDS will allow me to keep it up. I hesitate to write about my small successes, since I am so used to having to give them up to the greed of this disease. But today, I am going to enjoy them and be grateful for them. That is a choice for joy! Cheers, everyone!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THEGRACE2B 9/9/2008 11:25PM

    Thanks for the update and great work on the Nordic Track! emoticon

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ROYALETBONE 9/8/2008 5:52PM

    I hear you. Very powerfully said.
Injuries and loss can make powerful friends when we embrace them. Ahh, to hold close, and know our enemies, love our enemies, and know death is over our left shoulder.
Easy to lose track of this, easy to cling to silly stuff...
And! Congrats on the Nordic trac! Great job on the cutting down/out on dairy!
You are so beautiful. Thank you.

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JIBBIE49 9/7/2008 5:52PM

    Thanks for stopping by to say "HELLO". I've been stressed today wondering if Hurricane IKE is coming to Pensacola. Had just 24 hours of RAIN BANDS from Hurricane Gustav, so I'm sorry your family is still without the phone, etc. AND HERE a couple of summers ago, we had a DROUGHT. emoticon

I'm glad you liked that alligator. I've had frog legs, as my F-I-L use to go down to the lake and get them at night and my MIL would "fry them" and they were like chicken. I grew up on a big farm where we had a lot of food, so my father always saw that as "poor." I knew people who ate raccoon, opossum, rabbits, etc. but we didn't. Remember "THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES" where Granny was always wanting to get a "critter." emoticon I saw a little of it on Channel 12 the other day, and thought "GOSH, Granny looks younger than ME." emoticon

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TRECECOOKS 9/7/2008 4:03PM

    Yes, enjoy and be grateful!! Hooray for small victories!!

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LUCRECE 9/7/2008 12:31PM

    maintaining small meaningful changes is important. it's the foundation for bigger things to come. keep up the good work.

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MOJO-REAL 9/7/2008 10:05AM

    Ah yes, I too would rather have all the comforts of life but I agree that is not the formula for happiness and contentment. How many people have I watched struggle and struggle to hold on to what they think is their "rightful place" in the world, only to lose it all and THEN find happiness and contentment in their lives.

The character I am playing right now appears to have literally nothing in her world but TV, memories, and food and yet her moments of self-pity are fleeting. As she says, "No use crying over sad things and disappointments... A lot of folks have it much worse that I do."

We've been watching Hannah, of course (they say it will remain strong all the way across the ocean to northern Ireland and Scotland!) and I've been keeping an eye on Ike as it comes roaring into the Gulf. My heart goes out to Cuba (third direct hit) and I pray that it loses steam before it bears down on the Gulf Coast or Mexico.

If seeing alligators and water mocs in your neck of the woods is strange for you all, I can only imagine what they must be thinking when they wake up and discover they've left the swamp far behind and now they're in some guys suburban swimming pool!

We're living in some wild times...so to speak.

Good for you on the Nordic Trak. If you can do that 3X a week then I can certainly go for a walk. You've inspired me!
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Comment edited on: 9/7/2008 10:05:28 AM

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STARTSPARKING 9/7/2008 1:39AM

    Sorry that your mother's place is without a landline phone. I am also sorry that her living room carpet is ruined. I'm glad that you are safe living on the third floor.

Hmm... Alligator meat, huh? I have never tried it. Is it on the nutrition tracker? Good for you for doing so well on the Nordic Track. I admire your positive attitude. Keep up your great work!

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