I usually observe Sundays by spending the day quietly, reading, writing and enjoying
the lack of obligations I make for the day. Although I don’t write in this column on
any specific day, I do write another blog every single Sunday and have for the last
eight years. It is a commitment and although I consider myself a writer (without any
books published or money stream generated by the activity), I find that I spend very
little time actually writing than I do researching or finding ways to not do any
writing because I am second guessing myself all the time.
A friend of mine passed away recently. His dream since I met him 15 years ago was to
be a filmmaker. He went so far as to lay out the entire script every time we met up for
coffee or a chat. Finally, one day, I asked him why he didn’t just go ahead and make
his film already, on a low budget if need be, but do it already!
He and I shared a birthday so I could understand some of the traits that made him unable
to just go ahead and film something (procrastination, paralysis by analysis, etc.) and
I eventually gave up on expecting something from him to really materialize on the big or
small screen. Still, his death was a blow to me and all of us who knew him because he was
only 62 years old. The saddest thing for me is that he died without every externalizing
his script, without making a family, without a circle of real friends who knew the deep
personal anguish he was living on a daily basis.
I feel sad today, but in a way his death has caused me to think about getting down to
business and really pounding out my novel, the book I want to read, the character I want
to create that will make people fall in love with the story. And of course, I still
want to continue to live, take care of my plants, my pets, my family (not necessarily
in that order) and of course enjoy all the things my life is offering me. I am the only
one responsible for making sure my work and thoughts get out there. They may never be
best-sellers but they need to be out there and read by others, not in my head and heart
and dying with me.
Bing.com free to use image
I begin this last entry of 2016 filled with some nostalgia; the year that ends has been filled with many losses. I suppose that can be said of most years but this year, I lost an aunt and two of our four furry friends! One was 15, the other 17 1/2. They died almost four months apart and it broke our hearts.
The many thoughts I have had this year about food, portions, calories, the scale, the dress for my son’s upcoming wedding, etc. seem senseless when compared to other people’s really heartbreaking tragedies and I have found myself feeling selfish and superficial about stressing and losing energy over nonsense. I believe I am a much wiser woman as I end the year and begin 2017.
All of us are focused on making those lists that we hope will contain items we can master during the year. I am happy that I have my good health; that at my age (61) both my parents are still alive; that I have a wonderful group of friends and close relatives that I know I can count on when I need. I will devote 2017 to daily meditation, 15 minute sessions of decluttering, writing with the intention of publishing or being paid for my work and a great deal of fun!
May all of us enjoy the good things in life while we can. Let us take a look around and notice the little things in our life that bring us joy. For me, it is glancing at the horizon and finding myself enveloped in the layers upon layers of mountains that surround me; feeling the warmth of the breeze as it brushes past me; gazing on the emerging flowers of my many African Violets and knowing myself in good health and loved.
Happy New Year!
I will retire next year when I turn 62! It is a decision that took me a bit
of time to make but one which I am glad I have taken. This means that I will
get out of the pro-bono community work I have been doing for the last +20 years!
I feel a little guilty, knowing I have many more years and many more ideas to feed
to the county but I also feel it is time for someone else to have the chance to
improve life around here as I have tried to do for years.
Now, of course, I am left with the task of finding things I can do. I will no
longer have the excuse of “working” to procrastinate on writing my “novel”…well
maybe not novel but certainly some uplifting and inspiring non-fiction especially
geared to the ever-increasing aging population.
Ah, what a relief!
Picture bong.com free to use image
A few years ago, I read a(nother!) weight loss book in which the author talked
about how much weight she once gained that forced her to wear one sundress for
many months as it was the only thing that fit her. These days, I am often a little
scared to go into my closet to look for something to wear that won’t pinch or
look tight (we already know I can’t stand to feel tight clothes on me). Naturally,
I get very upset with myself for allowing this to happen, remembering how nice it was
so many years ago to pick anything from the closet without apprehension because all
the clothes in there fit me well.
Those days, I was working a 9 to 5 job, eating regular, low-calorie meals and generally
having my work ‘cut out for me’ on a daily basis because I had more structure in my
life. After I stopped working outside the home and had my children, my habits and
routine changed but I still managed to stay at a healthy weight and felt pretty
good about myself.
These days, I think constantly about what I am putting in my mouth, knowing full
well whether they are good calories or not such good calories and almost challenging
my body to maintain its weight while I overeat! Although I learned early on in my
life that fad diets don’t work for me and rarely try any gimmicks, sometimes I am
tempted to just stop eating for a week and see what happens.
Today, though I decided to be kind to myself and to honor the chubby body that has
been supporting me through thick and thin (sorry about the pun!) instead of being
nasty to it. Yes, I have a muffin top, but nothing hurts me and I am able to do a
lot of things that younger, thinner friends can only dream about. For today, I choose
to be kind to me.
I got a little lazy and repeated a picture on this post but that’s because
Sunday is a day of rest and I realized suddenly that I hadn’t posted at
all this week and felt a bit like I had let myself down.
So that’s all I have to say and tomorrow is another day and another chance
this week to make up for all the lost days of writing on this blog!
Sometimes thinking hard about the direction our lives are taking is a very good thing.
I have been guilty a good part of my life of doing everything to please everyone in the
hopes that when all their stuff is taken care of, I will have time to make a bit of
progress on the personal projects that I long to devote myself to. As a consequence,
I have not made real inroads into the avenues I long to walk.
Yesterday I received a surprise call from someone who in the past has taken up a great deal
of my energies and then dismissed the importance my input had on her life and projects in
a positive manner. After many months of not hearing from her, she called to ask me to do
something major (for free, no doubt) using one of my personal brand’s respected publications.
I know that in the past I would have reluctantly agreed because I did not want to be seen as
petty or immature or selfish. Something changed in me yesterday and instead of the knee-jerk
reaction (and acceptance) I actually held my ground and spoke clearly and coherently about the
many reasons I did not find the ‘offer’ enticing. Good for me!
On the subject of health, nutrition, diet, resolutions, etc. I find that it is helpful to blog every day or every other day. I find that it keeps me accountable and aware of what I am putting into my mouth and why. If I miss a day of blogging (or journaling, if you will), I find that it is easy to close my eyes to the reality that I might be consuming more [empty] calories than I really need to. Knowing that I will write about my experience on a daily basis really does keep me conscious of what I am doing and that is something that I really need when I am watching my food intake. I am not into scolding myself when I overeat, but I am certainly aware of it and can decide in the moment whether the extra hershey kiss is really something I want.
Flowers and nature make me happy. With all the turmoil and chaos that is presently going on around me, I find that nature and its absolute steadiness calms me. When my eyes rest on the flowers of my African violets (which bloom more often these days since I transplanted them into a coconut fiber medium), I feel grateful and certain that the cycle of life is still present.
I am happy that I met my personal goal of logging in today.
I’ve been having busy, hectic but happy days which have prevented me from keeping my promise to post every day. But it’s okay, one of my other ‘resolutions’ in 2015 is to cut myself a little slack too. When I go to sleep at night, although I have done many things during the day, I often still feel like I should stay up another hour or so and get just one more thing completed or started. That’s somewhat crazy thinking and I am ignoring it for the time being.
I have a new housekeeper. Today is her first day. I hope everything works out because it is the one luxury I guess I have become used to. She comes for a few hours once a week to dust and clean our home. It is funny how just knowing she is coming helps me be more organized during the week and allows me to relax if a neighbor or friend just drops by. I have been a loyal follower of The Fly Lady (flylady.net) for about 7 years and there are things I have definitely conquered (getting dressed to shoes each morning, never letting dishes pile up in the sink, not accumulating laundry, etc.) and this year is the year to get rid of body clutter (even if very, very slowly) and giving away things that no longer serve my life. It will be a plus for everyone!
The image I post above made me think of what life was like for women 100 years ago! A woman’s life revolved around the home and family and each day had a specific chore to be addressed. So much work for no pay, I always wondered if those women experienced joy and marvel at the many women of today who still bear more than 4 children (there are lots of them) and choose this life without regret. Fortunately for me, I have been able to work, have children, be a homemaker and now in my golden years, begin a new career! I paraphrase Dr. Joyce Brothers who used to say that one can have it all; just not all at the same time! And that is where I am today.
Happy New Year to us all!
The purpose of this blog is to record my own personal weight loss process. I am not going to dispense advice or offer anything to anyone other than myself. The reason I am publicly writing is to hold myself accountable for each day’s progress.
Perhaps for the first time in my life, I am going to honestly assess the reasons I allowed the excess ‘baggage’ creep up on my small frame. I am currently squeezing into a size 16 because I refuse to purchase a bigger size, and although I know that we are all loveable at any size, I realize that my approaching birthday (60) is a milestone that I had always hoped to celebrate while wearing a ranchera outfit…at my limited height (under 5′) a size 16 ranchera outfit is hard to find.
For today, I have started the day successfully: one egg with lots of veggies, whole wheat toast, banana, black coffee, lots of water, a multivitamin. I feel good.
Have a great beginning to 2015.
This blog is a departure from the kinds of writing I usually do. I am not sure
exactly where it will go from here.
I wrote the previous sentence more than 8 months ago when I was just about to
“quit” my on-line subscription to Weight Watchers…which had proven to be
a successful tool in my umpteenth attempt to lose weight and then suddenly lost
its appeal and I felt I could not justify monthly payments to something I was not
I stopped weighing myself in May, figuring I already knew the number and was
going to attempt to forget about dieting and just eat ‘what I wanted reasonably’
and ‘naturally’ get back to my normal weight (a number I have not seen in 15 years!).
My weight did not ‘naturally’ normalize, in fact, as many yo-yo dieters know, my
weight actually went up. I am not sure how much but as I have gone up two sizes,
I think it is safe to say I have gained about 10 pounds since May.
The holidays have come and gone. Today is December 31st. I have made a promise
to myself that I will turn 60 (in September) weighing LESS than I do today. Although
I have a magic number in my head, there is nothing magic about weight loss and I need
to record and make it public so that I will hold myself accountable for my promise.
Best wishes to all on a wonderful 2015, filled with surprises and lots of success in whatever
areas of your life need tweaking!