Well, so much for exercising at home while I am rehabbing my injury and wearing BUB (BigUglyBoot - thanks for naming "him", Sparkler Jitzuroe ; ) I had the best intentions, so much so that I blogged about it. But, I have proven to myself once again that I am a person who does much better exercising in a gym and exercising outdoors. I haven't given up on the thought completely, and I have a great little workout planned out, thanks to suggestions from my 9 year old son, and from some of you Sparklers. I ran into the trainer who owns the gym I go to, at a social function, and he suggested I NOT exercise (can you believe it) because of the instability issue that comes from wearing a boot, and because of the possibility of re-injuring myself. Not exercising, of course, does not mean stapling myself to a couch for the duration of my rehab period. I found an alternative to formal exercise, that still involves getting sweaty and breathing heavy (no, I am not talking about THAT, you naughty minded Sparklers). What I am referring to is cleaning and organizing. I have been on a roll. No closet, no drawer, no nook or cranny is safe from my "get it in order" fervor. It is amazing how much energy I have to spend when I am not going to boot camp, or for a run or a hike or a long, fast walk. For me, being idle too long causes me to go into a funk and I knew I could not afford that. So, I began my quest. I have taken so much stuff to the Goodwill, lately, that I think I am developing a relationship with the hard-working people who do the thankless, overwhelming job of accepting and sorting donations. I have taken a couple trips to the city dump -my 9 year old says it smells of 'diapers and rotten fish'. I have to agree and, again, I am very impressed with the hard working souls who labor there and I hope they get paid a LOT! I have done the relatively painless jobs, like sorting through the Tupperware cupboard (are all the containers hanging out where lost socks live? why so many homeless lids?) and I have done the emotional chore of sifting through my children's memorabilia and decided what is to be kept (any sweet note they wrote, favorite books that were lovingly read over and over, beloved 'blankies', awards they worked hard for) and what can go (thanks-for-showing-up&being-o
n-the-team type trophies, random CD's, school papers). And, I even tackled one of the scariest jobs. We have a huge desk that contained old paperwork, and outdated computer supplies, and random things like numerous phone books and bus schedules. Every time I looked at that desk, I would get a little case of procrastination paralysis, and I would put off the job of cleaning it out. I am actually a pretty organized person, overall, but like most normal human beings, I have areas of my home where stuff would accumulate and I would avoid it. Part of the problem, of course, is not wanting to throw out something that might "someday" prove useful, or getting rid of something that we paid good money for, or.....well, you know, all the normal reasons. But, I detest clutter more than I hate waste, so out it goes, either to bless someone else or, if it truly has no use for anyone, to the landfill. Much as I hate the thought of cluttering the planet, trash is trash whether it is in the downstairs of my home, or in a landfill so it might as well go where it belongs. Anyway, I sat down on the floor and I began the dreaded task of tackling the stuff in the big desk and, VOILA! I did it. I can walk by that desk now, and have a good feeling of accomplishment instead of that little jolt of dread I used to get whenever I looked at it. I have more to do, but I have already done a lot. What on earth does this have to do with Sparkpeople and our quest for fitness and reasonable weight? Well, for me, it has a lot to do with my quest to be healthier. When I am avoiding my life, I eat more. I eat foolish amounts of foolish food in a quest to distract myself from what needs to be done, and how I am feeling about avoiding what needs to be done. When I am busy and productive and taking care of the business of daily living, I have far fewer cravings and I eat more sensibly and I experience less stress and anxiety. So, I will continue on my "organizing as exercising" campaign. The Big Daddy of organizing projects awaits me. PHOTOS! Hundreds and hundreds of loose photos, dozens of old photo albums, numerous photos that are framed but sitting in a stack. Yikes. This one scares me but I have been gathering tips and ideas on how to tackle it, so I will bravely proceed ; ) I appreciate any tips you have, by the way. I primed myself for this big task by tackling a box of my mother-in-law's photos. By the way, I think I deserve a daughter-in-law medal for tackling that job. Her ex-husband was a hunter and there were graphic photos of his "trophies" - ugggghhhhh, so nasty. Anyway, I got through that job and it gave me incentive to tackle my own photos. Some things I learned by going through her photos:
1. Don't take so !#@ many pictures!
2. Just because you take a photo, doesn't mean it has to be developed.
3. Just because a photo is developed, doesn't mean you need to keep it, esp if it is blurry, or unflattering to someone, especially if it is an awful picture of your daughter-in-law who is doing you a big-@$$ed favor of cleaning out your apartment, and your storage unit, and your THOUSANDS of photos!
4. I love short hair but I look better when it is a bit longer.
5. When I thought I was fat, in my 30's and early 40's, I actually had a nice figure. I wish I had it today because, I promise, I would appreciate it. We must appreciate what we have when we have it!
6. I thought my children were breathtakingly gorgeous and the most exquisitely adorable babies, toddlers, etc. I was right! My mother-in-law thought her kids were the most exquisitely adorable - she was also right!
7. Youth and beauty, which some people in our culture apparently seem to think they will possess forever, is oh-so-temporary. My mother-in-law was a stunner as a young woman, think a less exotic looking young Elizabeth Taylor. Really, she was a petite beauty. Now, the lifestyle mistakes that she very candidly admits to regretting, show up and they show up hard. Obesity, loss of mobility, loss of teeth, onset of diabetes related dementia - the bill came due on her bad habits, and it is huge. She has been generous about sharing her regrets and I have been grateful to learn a lot from her.
8. You do not need to possess youth and beauty to be lovable - humility and gratitude will do nicely. I feel more loved now than I did when I was 20something and tiny and cute. My mother-in-law, in changing some destructive behaviors and becoming much more honest, now has her family lovingly gathered around her after a period of painful estrangement.
So, more lessons to come as I tackle my own enormous amount of photos (so that my daughter or daughter-in-law(s) don't have to : )