Posts Tagged ‘Thankfulness’

Well, it’s Thursday again, and that must mean I’m thankful.

Actually, I should amend that, because lately I’ve been paying a little more attention to being thankful all the time. However, today is the day I actually post about thankfulness.

Yesterday was my anniversary.  I have now been married to DH for 14 years; we’ve been together for almost 16.  That means a lot of things, but one that keeps coming to mind is that in just four more years, I will have spent more of my life with DH than I spent without him.  (I was 20 when we met.)  I think that’s pretty amazingly cool, I must confess.

It hasn’t always been easy.  That’s sort of a no-brainer.  Marriage isn’t easy; but then, life isn’t easy, and marriage is part of life.  So if you really think about it, the hard parts are going to be there whether you’re married or not.  They’ll just be different hard parts.

I have learned so much from this man that I couldn’t begin to put it into words.  (But you know me, that never stops me from trying.)  I’ve learned about love and acceptance and self-sufficiency and caring for myself and for other people.  He helped me to grow up and be a decent person simply by assuming that I would.

He’s my reality-check and my anchor, and he accepts without criticism my tendency to float away into dreams and intricate philosophical concepts.  He is a wonderful provider and father to my children, and partner and friend to me.  He’s no-nonsense and down to earth, and funny as hell in a smartass sort of way.  He has loved me through the ups and downs of my depression and anxiety, my battles with my weight and the attendant health issues, and more rants about job stress and other frustrations than I can count.

Okay, I suppose he’s not perfect.  Well, neither am I, which (in a quantum sort of way) makes him absolutely perfect – for me.  Sixteen years ago, I somehow sensed that and my certainty on that count – through all the ups and downs – has never wavered.  You know how some conversations stick in your brain forever?  I remember one that occurred when we’d been dating for about six months and were already engaged.  We were standing in my mother’s hallway, and I think we’d just finished having a fairly spectacular argument about who-knows-what.  He told me he wasn’t perfect, and I said, “I know.  But you’re perfect for me.”

No one ever knows what the future holds, but I do know this: I was right.  And come what may, I will always know that I made the right choice.  And today, I am thankful for that choice, and everything that has come from it, because I am a better person today.  And so, so blessed.

I’ll leave you with a picture of my “anniversary flowers” – every year, DH sends me one rose for every year we’ve been married.  Appropriately enough, in the background is my “Gratitude Board”.

And a song:

My tea’s gone cold, I’m wondering why
I got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window
and I can’t see at all
And even if I could it’d all be grey,
but your picture on my wall
It reminds me that it’s not so bad,
it’s not so bad

I drank too much last night, got bills to pay,
my head just feels in pain
I missed the bus and there’ll be hell today,
I’m late for work again
And even if I’m there, they’ll all imply
that I might not last the day
And then you call me and it’s not so bad,
it’s not so bad and

I want to thank you
for giving me the best day of my life
Oh just to be with you
is having the best day of my life

Push the door, I’m home at last
and I’m soaking through and through
Then you hand me a towel
and all I see is you
And even if my house falls down,
I wouldn’t have a clue
Because you’re near me and

I want to thank you
for giving me the best day of my life
Oh just to be with you
is having the best day of my life

Have a wonderful day, with much to be thankful for!


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What am I feeling thankful for today?  A lot of things.  A coworker was telling me this morning about the funeral service for her cousin, a Green Beret who was killed last week in Afghanistan.  I won’t elaborate, but let me tell you this:  if you can listen to a story like that and not feel absurdly thankful for everything in your life…I probably don’t want to know you.

Today, I am feeling particularly thankful for…

  • My husband…my beautiful, wonderful, endlessly patient and stoic and accepting husband, and the balance we’ve developed over 14 years (well, 14 years next week) of learning to live together and understand and accept one another
  • My beautiful daughters, who (while frustrating) give my life an extra dimension and have taught me that my “self” is not limited to my physical body, but can encompass an unlimited amount of territory and number of people – because wherever they are, a part of me is, as well.  They are my faith and my joy, both of them, and well-named.
  • My home, and the fact that I can go to bed every night knowing that, barring some bizarre event, my family will sleep safe and wake up the next morning.  In many countries it’s not just the soldiers who don’t sleep safe or wake up the next morning or go home to their families.  I am very thankful that I am here, even with all the myriad and complex issues America has.
  • The fact that despite the currently terrifying state of our economy, we are able to keep our home and pay our bills and feed ourselves, without undue worry.  Yes, we’re worried about our retirement (or what used to be our retirement) and yes, we’re worried about (what used to be) the girls’ college funds.  Other people are worried about dinner, and where they will sleep.  We are blessed.

The list does go on, but those are the things that are foremost in my heart and mind today.

On a less serious note, I am also thankful for a respite (however short-lived) from the sinus headache that has been plaguing me for a week.  And I’m thankful for the fact that the hard work I’ve been putting in the last couple of weeks is paying off.  I was worried that I didn’t put in enough time last night (I did an hour of cardio, but it was a little lower-intensity and I did no strength training at all) but my Body Test today was a pleasant surprise.

I’m interested to know, as always – what are you thankful for, today?

Have a great one!

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Happy Thursday, everybody!  Look, this is me, findingmaking time to blog!

At three in the morning.  Hm.  Perhaps not the best time management.

But as they say, there are no problems, only opportunities.  I do not have an insomina problem.  I have an opportunity to catch up with all of you!  Someday, my stress will decrease, and I will once again be able to go back to sleep after the cat wakes me up at 1:30 to be let out.  But until that happens, I shall take this golden opportunity to once again fill the blogosphere with many random words that will hopefully end up having some meaning.  Stay tuned to see how that one turns out.

I had no wisdom for you yesterday – or rather, I had no opportunity to coherently share any.  So I’ll do it today, and it may not be very coherent, but I think it’s worth sharing anyway.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with a number of things.  Not the eating and exercise, ironically – those are going very well.  But the rest of my life has been a challenge.  Work has been brutal in a way I cannot even express in words; the Daughters have been dealing with their own challenges that (naturally!) become mine through Mom Osmosis; and DH has been – well, okay, actually DH has been phenomenal.  No complaints there.  Have I mentioned how much I love him?  But everything else has been a little nuts.

So last night, my neighborfriend (wow, there’s another friend category for you!) B. called me to go walk.  We haven’t done this in far too long – I’ve been relying mostly on the WiiFit and my treadmill for my workouts – and it’s something I’ve missed.  So I inked it into the calendar and arranged the evening to fit around it – something I rarely do.  Mostly, things have to fit into my evenings as they stand or the things just don’t happen. More on that later, I promise, it all connects.  🙂

So on the walk, one of the first comments B. made was (paraphrasing, here) “I’ve been really trying to be joyful and live in the moment lately, so I’ve built this partition in my mind and everything that is not part of this moment goes behind it.”  (Okay, massive paraphrasing, she was much more eloquent than that.)  And I, who was mired in endless-loop negativity, did a mental double-take.   Have I not been striving (or saying I’m striving, anyway) to Be Present?  Have I not been making a real effort to deal with my stress in a positive way and not let it overcome my life?  And yet, look – here’s my mind:  no partition.  All the hurt and frustration and stress and anger just floating around in a giant Ugly Soup.  So I decided then and there that she was right, and I needed to just set all those negative things aside and concentrate on enjoying the walk.

I couldn’t seem to manage it.  I found myself, as I eventually put it, clinging to the angst and negativity with all my strength and resenting the idea that I should let it go.  I wanted to be miserable, because it just felt like I had the right.  Wow.  I thought I was beyond all that.

So that was sobering, and a bit depressing.  But over the course of the walk, things shifted.  One of the great things about B. – there are a lot – is that she is very insightful, shares a lot of my philosophical leanings, and can generally cut through the BS to the core of an issue with a few well-chosen words.  In short, she has a way of helping me see things more clearly than I even knew was possible.  She did that last night.

One of the things we talked about was the necessity of “you time” – an issue I’ve been having a lot lately.  You Time, for me, is limited to exercise.  I can justify that.  It has a Purpose.  It’s a Must Do.  See, most of my life centers around what I need to do.  Work, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, etc.  I live for the Must Dos.  I stress and worry over the Should Dos.  And the Want Tos?  Feel like sins.  I have come to think of anything that does not have a measurable, specific goal as decadent.  If I’m reading a book, and not also eating a meal or taking a bath, I’m wasting time.  If I’m watching TV, and I’m not also working out or folding laundry, again, wasted time.  If I’m going out with friends – what?  Why would I do that?  What does that accomplish?  Oh, sure, if they need me for something – maybe a friend is having a hard time with a relationship or it’s his/her birthday – then I’ll make time for them.  Of course.  But just to go out?  Just to have fun?  Who has time for that?  I mean really! (Yes.  That’s sarcasm you smell.)

I had not realized until very recently how insular and goal-oriented my life has become lately.  I do not do anything that does not have a purpose and an “end result”.  And yet, I seem to achieve and accomplish less than I ever have.  There are stacks of junk mail and filing sitting around my house.  I can’t tell you when the last time was that I cleaned out our home office and filed things away.  I still haven’t managed to have a very important conversation with YD that’s weeks overdue.  I’m behind at work.  I have regained some weight – not a lot, but some – and lost muscle tone.  I have a novel that’s years old that’s gathering dust.  And I haven’t seen some of my friends in literally years.

So if I’m so goal-oriented and driven, why isn’t this stuff getting done?  That’s a question I haven’t been able to answer and it’s been one of my biggest sources of stress – no matter how hard I work, I don’t make any progress.  I’m like a hamster on a treadmill.

The answer is actually pretty simple, and it’s something that DH and B. have both helped me to put into words.

I’m not accomplishing things because I’m not Present.  I’m not giving anything my full attention.  And I’m not giving anything my full attention because I’m not giving myself any attention.  Exercise and health-oriented actions are great, and I need to be doing them – but they’re still very goal-oriented.  I’m not giving myself any time to recharge.  I am not doing anything for the simple purpose of enjoying it.  As much as I hope and strive to live life joyfully, and as much as I try to take joy in everything that I encounter – I have made no time, and no effort, to do things for no other reason than the simple joy of them.  And that is contrary to everything I believe and preach.

If I take a walk, it’s a power walk, to burn calories.  If I read a book, it’s with a view toward improving my own writing or to learn something.  (I do read for entertainment – but not much, and I have trouble doing it for very long any more.)  If I take a hot bath, it’s because my muscles are tight and tense and I spend the whole time working to relax them.  (Working to relax.  Only I could come up with something that self-contradictory and pointless.)  I can’t even sleep just for sleep’s sake – it’s “I need to take a nap to get rid of this headache so I can concentrate on what I need to be doing” and “I’ve got to start getting enough sleep because if I don’t, I won’t lose weight”.

Dear GOD!  At what point did I forget what life is supposed to be about?  Yes, there are things that I must accomplish.  I must go to work, I must take care of my family, I must be healthy.  But all of those things will be the better if I build in some time to just Be.  Some time to have dinner and laugh with friends.  Some time to – as B. said last night – have a 2-hour phone conversation with a girlfriend just because, not because someone has a crisis, not because we’re planning an event, but just because.  Some time to watch mindless TV and laugh at people with odd hair trying to sell houses.  (Love you, Miz. I truly do.)  No, I don’t want to do these things to the exclusion of my responsibilities – but at some point, doing these things becomes a responsibility, to myself as well as to everyone else.  Because if I don’t, if I don’t take some time to be me, to remember who that even is, then I have lost myself, or at least part of myself.  And that is that much less that I have to give anyone else.

It is necessary, critical, and right to take time to recharge.  To let the mind rest.  To let the body breathe.  To simply be, without the need for a purpose or a goal.  To go and have fun, to waste a little time in the interest of freedom and joyfulness.  It is in those moments that we find beauty and joy and love for life and the world around us.  There are so many people who need us…and so much that they need from us.  Is it better to give four hours of grim, dry presence – or is it better to give one hour of beauty and love?  Quality time may be an overinflated concept built by our generation to lessen our perpetual parental guilt (that’s a whole other blog post there, about how we cling to the chains of guilt and how it’s all the Quakers’ fault)  – but it’s got a core of truth.  If I don’t care for myself, the care I give to others is lessened, cheapened, and made sterile and stale.

This is not a new lesson.  This is not something I didn’t know.  But for whatever reason, while I excel at point this sort of thing out to others, I stumble when it comes to applying it to myself.  Not because I’m great and self-sacrificing – but for a much darker, uglier reason.  Deep down, after everything I have learned and done and as much as I have grown, I still don’t really like myself much.  There is a fundamental core of self-loathing there that still remains.  It’s not like a dandelion that you can dig up and root out.  It’s more like crabgrass.  You can kill the plant, but the roots are ineradicably intertwined in the basic soil.  Crabgrass takes a lot of killing.

But that’s okay, and that’s another thing B. helped me realize.  Because if I rail and rant and weep about that – about how hard I’ve worked to love myself, and how I haven’t managed it yet – I’m feeding that self-loathing.  I’m not going to do that.  I choose not to.  I choose, instead, to recognize that there is still work to be done.  And that’s okay.  Because I’ve got time.  I’m not going anywhere.

I’m still a work in progress.  And look!  I already knew that.  My tagline says it.  🙂  So I guess it’s all right.  And today – it being technically Thursday – I am thankful for that.  I’m thankful for this chrysalis stage.  I’m thankful for the lessons I’m being taught.  I’m thankful for the amazing people in my life who help me learn and help me realize what it is I’m learning.  And I’m thankful for my friends, some of whom I am going to make time to contact today because I haven’t in too long.  So today, I’m going to take some time to just Be.  I’m going to findmake the time to do something pointless and silly, that I love, but that serves no purpose.  And it won’t be surfing the Web.  It’s going to be something that makes me laugh like a five-year-old.  And this weekend, if I can make it happen, I’m going to set aside time to have lunch with an old friend.

I hope that all of you (look, Miz, nary a comment about how I’m amazed if you’ve read this far!) have a wonderful day, and that at some point during the course of it you find some time to just Be.  And laugh like a five-year-old.  🙂

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Well, happy…Thursday?  Wow, already?  Time flies when you’re going completely insane from stress having fun, huh?

Well, so I’m a day late with my “wisdom”.  Under the circumstances, I’m just glad I have something to offer…better late than never, I guess.

I’ve been following a detox theme with my Wednesday posts, based on this, and my thought for today is based on numbers 1, 2, and…well, most of them, actually.  It’s sort of a generic catch-all, really:  Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Most of us have heard of this phrase, which was actually coined by a computer technician and instructor named George Fuechsel to refer to the propensity for computers to act on whatever BS instructions you give them, and produce feedback accordingly.  But I’ve heard it used a lot in the health and wellness field as well, and I think that’s good because it’s just as applicable to the human machine.

It’s pretty simple.  You get out what you put in.  Think about the fact that our bodies are constantly renewing themselves, with nearly every cell being replaced at least once in the course of your lifetime, and some of them far more often than that.  So your body is constantly making new material for itself – and where do you think that material comes from?  That’s right – you have to provide it.  It comes from everything around you.  The air you breathe, the food you eat, the water you drink, the sunlight you absorb through your skin…

As the old saying goes, you are what you eat – and what you drink, and what you breathe.  Your body can only work with the raw material you give it – so, if you’re taking garbage in, guess what you’re going to end up with?

If this is true – and I definitely believe it is – then it only makes sense that if you eat healthy, clean, nutritionally balanced food that provides you with the entire spectrum of nutrients that you need, you will have a healthy, strong, clean body.  If you consistently consume empty calories and insufficient amounts of the nutrients you need, you’re going to end up with a weak, tired, rapidly aging and degenerating body.  It’s a fairly simple concept, which is probably why most people dismiss it.  In today’s society, we like complicated.  We are conditioned to think that the more sophisticated (read: difficult to understand and nearly impossible to implement) a concept is, the better.  So something like GIGO seems just too simple to be worth bothering with.

I think it is worth bothering with, and I would take it a step further.  I am a firm believer in the mind-body connection, and I think that real health is dependent upon more than just what you eat and how much you move.  I believe that what you see and hear, what you observe, what you allow into your mind and soul are as big an influence on true health as anything material.  It’s a demonstrated fact that meditation and relaxation techniques can lower blood pressure and relieve various physical symptoms of stress.  This isn’t too hard to believe.  The ramifications of it, however – that there is a real and concrete connection between the mind and the body, and it isn’t just the body affecting the mind – are not universally accepted.  For whatever reason, while we may be ready to believe wholeheartedly that mental and spiritual issues like stress and anxiety can create physical problems – heartburn and ulcers, anyone?  Headaches?  Fatigue?  Teeth grinding? – we are not so ready to believe that we can use that connection to fix things.

Whatever your beliefs on this subject, however, I think we all can agree that your mood can be influenced by things you see and hear.  Anyone feel a little sick after watching the news recently?  Anyone get depressed after reading a grim novel?  Ever find yourself feeling a little bouncy after listening to an upbeat song?

Take it a step further.  The cumulative effect of all of these things – what you watch on TV, what you listen to on the radio, the conversations you have around the coffeepot at work, the books you read – will stay with you, often longer than you even remember having seen or heard them.  Literary works are often referred to as “edifying” or “mind-broadening” – in other words, they affect the mental and spiritual status of the reader.  Well, so do trashy romance novels.  And gossip magazines.  And reality TV.  🙂

I’m not saying that there is no benefit to any of these.  Often, the effect isn’t necessarily negative at all – reading a trashy romance novel can be a massive decompressor when you’re dealing with enormous stress in your job or your home life, and a good giggle while watching a really, really awful contestant on American Idol might be just what you need.

But think about the distribution.  How much of this are you taking in – and does it comprise most of your intake?  Much like that really amazing cheesecake from the bakery down the road, a little can be very beneficial, for balance and sanity.  But a lot is going to make you sick, and it’s not going to help your health if you’re scarfing it down all day, every day.

So what I’m pushing today is moderation in all things.  If you’re finding yourself feeling down, lethargic, maybe your mood is suffering, you don’t have much energy, or even if you’re just finding yourself always saying negative things – maybe it’s time to detox the mind a little.  Turn off the TV…put down the US Weekly (yeah, I love it too, gotta see what Brangelina are up to this week)…step away from the circle of people bashing the Office Victim of the Day…and detox.  Read something beautiful – go check out something by Maya Angelou or Thich Nhat Hanh – or listen to some classical music.  Take a walk outside in the quiet, open air.  Meditate.  Spend a little time saying good things to, and about, people.  Oh yeah – and stop surfing the Net for a while.  🙂  (That’s my personal addiction.)

Garbage in, garbage out.  In all aspects of your life, work toward balance and moderation, and focusing on taking in mostly good things.  “Good” doesn’t, in this context, mean the things that make you feel better at the moment.  (Cause, you know, nothing makes me feel better when I’m down than a cheesecake and an US Weekly, to be honest.)  It means positive, life-affirming things that help rather than harm, and that focus on the better aspects of life.  Things that you wouldn’t mind telling your priest/yogi/rabbi/pastor/therapist/mother/best friend about.  Things that, if you were standing at the Pearly Gates (or your personal equivalent) today, you’d be okay with seeing on that List of Deeds.  You don’t have to save someone’s life or volunteer at the local shelter…but come on, who wants to see seventy-seven pages of “Watched Dancing With the Stars…ate a cheesecake…flipped the bird to that psycho b***ch in traffic…gossiped about a co-worker…complained about the in-laws”?  Why don’t we sprinkle that with some “Appreciated nature…played with the kids…baked a cake for the neighbor’s birthday…shopped for organic produce at the farmer’s market…hiked for an hour with a friend…laughed and blew bubbles…played in the rain…danced wildly and joyfully and with complete lack of regard for who might be watching”?

Get some good stuff in there, because you get out what you put in.  And you all deserve to get out the very best.  Oh, yeah, and while I’m at it?  You Are Beautiful.  Yeah, I’m talking to you.

Have a wonderful Thursday, and on today’s normal topic, know that I’m thankful for you all.

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Good morning, my lovelies, and welcome to another glorious Thursday!  I hope you’re all doing splendidly.

It’s glorious here, I say, even though it’s massively rainy.  It needs to be, though; we’ve had very, very little rain this summer, and that’s odd for an area that eclipses Seattle for annual rainfall.  (Seriously.  Seattle?  38.25 inches.  Charleston?  44.05 inches.  I know, right?)  So it’s good that it’s currently dripping like a kindergartner’s nose in flu season.  (Yummy analogy, no?  Thought that one up just for you guys! You’re welcome.)

But my mood does not, for once, match the weather.  I feel good, I’m positive, and my neck is currently only causing me mild agony. (That will change after an hour or so at the desk, but I’m taking the good while I can.)

Last night was monthly grocery shopping night, in preparation for DH’s mom’s annual visit, so the house is chock-full of healthy food.  That always makes me feel stronger and more motivated.  I feel thin today – I’ve felt that way all week, and I have no idea why, but I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth because that motivates me, too.  I am still terrifyingly swamped at work, but I’m slowly making progress and I have a whole three-day weekend in which to clear out the inbox.  (Yeah, how crazy am I that I’m looking forward to working on a holiday weekend?  Dedication, my friends.  That’s why they pay me the big bucks.  Hah.)  I woke up today next to this really amazing, wonderful, delightful man, with whom I evidently am lucky enough to get to spend, I don’t know, the rest of my life.  Oh, and also?  These two absolutely adorable, wonderful young ladies were inhabiting my house, and evidently they are also going to stick around for a long time.  What a morning.

No, I promise, I’m not on crack.  Just, you know, appreciating freshly how very blessed I am.  Which is very, very blessed.

So today I’m thankful for nothing in particular and everything in my life.  I could list another dozen things – my job, my great boss, my wonderful friends, the fact that my mother’s health is good and steadily improving, and on and on ad infinitum.   I’m thankful for all the good that the universe sends my way, and for the lessons I learn and the strength I gain from the bad.  (And I’m extremely thankful to be once again actively working toward getting my book published, thanks in no small part to the marvelous MizFit.)

And as always, I wish for you all a beautiful, blessed day, with many things for which to be thankful.  Have a wonderful day!

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Yeah, that one threw you a little, didn’t it? 🙂 It’s absolutely true, though. Today I am overwhelmingly thankful for my age.

For the record, I will be 36 in two weeks and a few days. Some days it still shocks me to realize that. When I was younger (read, early twenties) I had this picture in my head of the other side of 30. There was always an associated sense of decline, of being “past the prime” so to speak, of being on the downhill slide. I pictured myself at 35 being pretty much done with the fun part of life and just kind of dragging myself through the remaining, oh, 50 years or so.

It’s obvious, saying this now, how completely absurd and stupid that was. If the average female life span for an American woman is 79 years (which it is), then I am less than halfway through. Now, I will grant you, no one is promising that the last 20 years or so of that will carry great quality of life, but if one is in reasonable health with good lifestyle habits (which I am), there is no reason to assume they won’t.

So I’m not even past the halfway mark yet. If I take very good care of myself, it’s entirely possible that I’m only a little more than a third of the way through. (Not entirely likely, but not impossible either.) Why in the world would I think that the best is past? Silly, but I guess it’s not unusual for a barely-adult to feel that way.

It’s so untrue, though. In the past ten years, I have changed and grown so much, learned so many things about myself and the world around me, and become an entirely different person. I am more than I ever dreamed. I am stronger. I am happier. I am light-years more confident, and sexier as a result. I am so much more secure. I am more compassionate, and (I hope) wiser. There is more life in my little finger right now at this very minute (exercise-induced aches and all) than there was in my entire body when I was 26. And a lot less fat. Not in my finger. In my entire body, I mean. 🙂

But you know the really great thing? Every year, it gets better. Every year, there is more to love and cherish and be joyful about than the year before. Every year, I am happier and more comfortable in my skin than the year before…and every year, I come closer to being a person I would want to know, if I were someone else. (Did that make sense? Hey, I never said I was getting more coherent.)

Getting older isn’t – or doesn’t have to be – about declining. It isn’t about decay and degeneration and looking back at what you could once do, and being sad that you can’t. Getting older, for me, has become about getting better. Physically, mentally, spiritually…I am better now than I ever was. And I have every reason to believe that this trend will only continue.

I was talking with a friend last night about getting older, and how we always see ourselves as young. It’s true; when I say “I’m almost 36” it sort of takes my breath away. How did that happen? Was I asleep? And more importantly – why don’t I feel 36?

Because 36 isn’t what I used to think it was. 36 is awesome. 36 is amazing. 36 is the best age yet. And 37 will be, too. And 38…and 39…and oh, I can’t wait to celebrate 40.

I know, it sounds a little deranged, and probably sounds like I’m trying to reconcile myself to the inevitable. But the truth is, I have this enormous sense of freedom in realizing, over the past few years, that I don’t have to fear aging. Yes, there will be parts of true old age that I do not look forward to. I understand that. When that happens, I will accept it and adjust to it, hopefully with grace. But that is a long, long way away. And today, I’m very thankful for that realization.

Yep, I’m getting older. But I really am also getting better. And I love it.

Have a wonderful day!

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Happy Thursday!

First, the Random Tidbits:

Today, of course, is the end of the Birthday Challenge – and a gloriously Happy Birthday to my girl, Bex; I hope you have an amazing one.  And y’all stop on by and wish her a Happy Birthday if you have a minute, would ya?  🙂

So, today is also the end of Phase One of my self-imposed weightlessness, i.e., life without a scale.  I’m fairly pleased with how I’ve handled it; I haven’t cheated once, even though there’s a scale downstairs at work (a hundred years old, but I know the differential between the reading and the legitimate number, oh, yes I do), and I’ve only had scale-cravings once or twice.  Never enough to actually go looking for it.

I debated whether to weigh in…and decided that if I felt anxious about it this morning, I wouldn’t do it – in other words, if I felt like the number was going to have any impact on my mood or well-being, I would abstain.  I finally decided to go ahead, because I wasn’t feeling like I cared much either way.

170.6.  Hmm.  I looked at the number and realized I couldn’t decide how to feel…which meant I didn’t have feelings about it.  Which, after all, was sort of the point.  🙂

Logically, it’s an okay number.  It’s up 2.4 pounds from my last weight.  Okay.  I’m currently entertaining my good buddy TOM after a six-week hiatus.  I can live with it.  Also, the body fat and hydration numbers hadn’t changed, and I am extremely happy about that.

So I think maybe I’m getting there, “there” being a place where I don’t live by the numbers.  I know that I’ve been extremely lax in behaviors, and I know that in the past week, I’ve turned that around enormously.  That is what I should feel bad and good, respectively, about – and that’s actually what I do feel bad and good, respectively, about.  I’m making progress!

I won’t weigh in again until my own birthday, or actually a few days before as my birthday is just after Labor Day.  So the Friday before Labor Day will be the next appearance of the scale at my house; it’s going back into hiding today courtesy of DH.  And I’m actually not remotely upset about that.  It will, however, be interesting to see if I have scale-cravings a few weeks into my good behaviors.  Are they going to be enough for me, or am I going to feel the need for numerical reinforcement?  That will, I think, be the real test.  It’s easy not to crave the scale when you’re goofing off and know the number won’t be good.  🙂

I do have a goal for my Labor Day Challenge.  It’s a simple one, and hard to quantify, but I like it.  By Labor Day, I want to see a change.  No, no numbers to hit…no pants sizes to get into…no measurements, no weight, no nothing like that.  I want to see a change.  I want to feel my clothes fit a bit differently, I want to feel more strength and muscle tone, I want to wobble a bit less.  It doesn’t have to be dramatic, just a noticeable, visible, palpable change.   It’s a completely achievable goal, I think.  And I’m going to start using my stars on my calendar again, since what I’m really shooting for here is behavioral consistency.  Today is Day One…anyone want to join me?

I had a wonderful conversation with a friend last night about the difference between being motivated by weight, and being motivated by how we feel, how we move and how we’re treating our bodies.  It was a great reinforcement of the ideals and goals we share and it went a long way toward shoring up my motivation.  It is good to have someone to share things like this with.

I did Week Two, Day Two of the Hundred PushUp Challenge last night, and it went well.  At the end, where you do as many as you can but at least a certain number, I always shoot for the minimum for the level above mine, just because then I feel like I’ve sort of gone the extra mile.  Last night, that meant ten…and I did it, even after all the other pushups I had done.  I was quite pleased.  🙂  I also did my crunches and reverse crunches.  Still no cardio…unless you count the walking I did yesterday morning when I had to move a turtle out of the road but the nearest place to pull over was about a quarter of a mile up the road.  I don’t know if I count that but it felt good to get out and move a little.

Other tidbits…I haven’t mentioned it, but I have poison ivy.  Like, everywhere.  In addition to everything else.  It’s even on my face.  My face.  It’s extremely distressing to me and for the first time ever, I’m considering going to the doctor for a shot.  But I have to say, the blackberry cobbler that I made with the berries I picked (which is where I got the poison ivy) was so, so worth it.  It was amazing.  And yet, that doesn’t make me happier about my face.

Today they start putting in the new carpet, I’m simultaneously excited and terrified.  I always question my decorating decisions horribly when the actual process starts; I’m so afraid I will have screwed up enormously and when there’s this much money involved, that makes me want to yak.  I’ve never been unhappy with the end result…yet…but I always do this.  But I’ll know soon enough and it’s too late to do anything about it anyway.

And now for my thankfulness.  Nothing profound…today, as I was driving in to work, careening down the mountain with AC/DC pouring out of the speakers at pretty near top volume, I thought, “I’m a little strange, maybe.  You don’t see a lot of 35-year-olds on their morning commute to their job in a law office, careening down the mountain with AC/DC pouring out of the speakers at pretty near top volume.  At least, not in this neighborhood.”  And then I laughed, because I really don’t want to be like the other commuters in this neighborhood anyway.

Today, I am feeling a bit thankful for individuality. Not just mine, but individuality in general.  I am so, so, SO glad that we live in a world where everyone is different.  I tend to choose friends from among the “fringe” so to speak – people who are who and what they are, unapologetically, whether that’s the same as Betty next door or completely different from anyone in the neighborhood.  I don’t tend to be drawn to conformists, or really even to people who just naturally fall into the same niche as 80% of the people around them.  I am drawn to that sparkle, that edge, that something that makes a person stand out just a little bit, and usually there’s some laughing at oneself and not taking life too seriously involved.  I like people who think for themselves, too, rather than taking whatever is served to them as the law.

I am very blessed in having met many people like this, and being able to get to know them.  I also feel pretty blessed in being one of those people myself.  So today, I am thankful for individuality and the fact that we are not all alike – and many of us don’t even want to be.

I love you all for who you are, and I hope that you do, too.  Have a wonderful Thursday!

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