Saturday, October 20, 2018

Not Your Timing

I've been taking better control of my health and self-care since the beginning of August. Some days, it's an upward slog!  But I'm doing it. 

I finally found a new "why," and that's helping.  I haven't really had one for a long while.  I'm not positive it's an entirely healthy why, but it's strong enough to keep me going for now.

I've had a really good string of weeks' worth of weight loss, with 6 weeks in a row of 2lb losses.  I know I was due for a mini-plateau.  That's just how my body works.  Lose, lose, lose, OMG YOU'RE GOING TO STARVE TO DEATH I AM NOT LETTING GO OF A SINGLE OUNCE!, oh we're not dead, fine, lose, lose.


When you're making the right choices, you impatiently want all the right results NOW. Even when you know that's unreasonable.

So I did lose this week... but it was 0.2 -- which is basically nothing but a good pee and not 2 lbs at all.

So today, I am taking solace and comfort in these things:

  • My food choices were on point.
  • I got 6 blue dots this week. (Which is WW-ese for 'I made reasonable healthy choices all week.')
  • I earned 100+ Fitpoints -- moving a crapton of firewood and running twice.
  • I've already mealplanned for next week until we leave for a mini-vacation.
  • I'm running again.
  • My leader/coach/longtime friend came up to me in line this morning and whispered, "I can SEE your weight loss" in my ear. I can't see it yet, so that was really really nice to hear.

Earlier this week, I was reading an Instagram post of a WW ambassador who was sort of in the same place I am today.  She made great choices all week, worked out multiple times, felt great about the choices she'd made -- and the scale rewarded her with a 2lb gain.  Suck!

But a comment someone left on it caught my eye: "Have faith. The scale has its own timing." -- And that stuck with me.

So, relax, Impatient Me. Keep making choices that you know are good for your body and soul. Have faith.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Boy Shopping

At the coffee shop I frequent, there is a big oblong table in the middle of the room with several stools around it. You often end up sitting with others -- while I try not to eavesdrop, it's hard to not hear what other people are talking about, and I often find myself chatting with strangers.

Last weekend, I was having my Saturday morning breakfast and doing some brainstorming, sitting next to two late 20-something girls. They were scanning through pictures on one girl's phone.

I couldn't quite tell at first whether they were perusing cute guys or looking at make-up pictures.

"Those eyebrows, though!"
"That looks nice!"

But when one of them murmured, "Oh. Do YOU need a baby momma?" -- I busted out laughing.

Definitely cute guys. Caught, they laughed with a touch of chagrin.  This girl had an entire Pinterest board full of guy photos. I laughed.

"It's okay," I reassured them. "When I was in high school, and I was having a hard time, my mom would go, 'Come on, let's go boy shopping.' We'd hop in the car, she'd drive me to the local college campus, and we'd just tool around looking for cute boys on the frat house lawns."

"OH. MY. GOD," one of them said. "Your mom is AWESOME. Is she adopting??"

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Thursday Tales: Game Over

She stifled a scream as the arrow pierced through her skin.  She knew this one had hit its mark.

Liza crumpled against the wall, feeling its cold seep into her skin, and with her last short breaths, she remembered.

She remembered being a child.
She remembered being young and carefree.
She remembered her first love and all the loves that had come after.
She remembered the people she'd walked over, and the people who had walked over her.
She remembered the pain of both.
She remembered all the things she'd love to live again, and all the things she wished that she'd chosen differently.
She remembered everything she'd sacrificed to come to this moment.
She just remembered.

At the last moment, her vision sizzled -- as it sizzled every time -- and the words flashed before her eyes.


She always chose "Try again."

Monday, October 15, 2018

Believe in the Impossible

But, to live in a world where fairies are real is to live in a world where dragons are, as well.

Dragons and Monsters and Trolls.

And Heroes.

Definitely heroes -- because every hero's story is imbued with a tale of redemption. Trial and failure.. and ultimately triumph. Whether that comes in the form of a jubilant return home or a the dragging a wounded self out of the rubble to a new reality.

And you need that. You need to know that your trial and your failure can become redemption and triumph.  And maybe just the redemption is enough.

To know that your wounds are not for nothing, and your pain is for a purpose. To know that there is something bigger at work, and that there are things worth fighting for. Worth surviving. To know that you can rise again.

And perhaps, really, this is what belief in the impossible is for -- for what we come to believe is possible gets smaller and smaller when it needs to instead become larger and larger.

The hero we can be needs to believe in the impossible to become.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Where the Fairies Live

Leaving the house on Saturday morning, my spirits high, my trip to the car was interrupted when I spied these little darlings growing next to the walkway in our garden. I couldn't resist pulling my phone out to snap a couple pictures of them.

Later in the day, as we were sitting on the couch watching football, I pulled them out and showed my little friends off to my husband like they were new kittens (which I also have now!)

"Look what I found outside! Aren't they cute?"

Humoring me, he said, "I suppose that means you don't want me to weed them out, then."

"NO! But they're so little! Besides," I argued, reasonably, "you can't pick them. That's where the fairies live."

My darling logical analytical computer engineer husband rolled his eyes. "They are not. Fairies aren't real."

Now... I don't know. 


I mean, if I were to use only my logical analytical brain (which is a waste of half of brain, btw), I don't know if fairies are real. Or leprechauns. Or ghosts. Or Narnia or Middle-Earth or Gilead. Or unicorns or pegasuses. (Pegasi?)  I mean... I guess.... probably they aren't. Maybe.

But... I like to live in a world (and a brain) where they could be.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Storms and Stories

I sit by the window, wrapped in a blanket, a cup of something warm in my hand and the storm rages outside. I stare into it, its force hynotizing me with its strength, mirroring the storm that rages in my soul.

If I stepped outside - as I will eventually have to do - I know the winds will do their worst with me, whipping my body this way and that, threatening to wrest me into its center.

The whirlwind of my thoughts threatens to do the same.

But, for this moment at least, I am content to sit by this window.
Wrapped in this blanket.
Clutching this cup of tea.

I am content to be sheltering out of the storm, watching it from a place of safety.

I know both storms will need to be dealt with. I know they are not over.

But, for now, the peace inside is a welcome respite.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A New Adventure at 42

It feels weird to say that I'm 42 and I'm not really sure what I like to do. It's something I've been thinking a fair bit about the last couple of weeks.

I have these journalling cards that I bought forever ago called "Life Coach in a Box."  Sounds silly, I guess, but it's just a bunch of introspective questions to help you revamp different areas of your life.  I was flipping through them while at the coffee shop and my eyes landed on one of the first questions on "Recreation."

To be honest, Recreation wouldn't be the first area of my life that jumped out to me as something that might need to be tweaked.  But, the first question was about brainstorming the things you liked to do as a child... and it made me think about what I enjoyed doing... and how I wasn't quite sure what that was anymore.

I don't know if that's weird. Part of that, I know, is that I've been a manband fan for the last ten years, in a slightly psychotic 250% fashion, and I'm at the point now where I'm finally ready to put that aside.  But it's taken up a good part of my thoughts and time and emotion in that ten years, so now I'm a little bit, "Well, now what?"

But, part of it, too, is just where I'm at. My kids are all high school juniors and seniors... it's not long before they all start flying the coop in one fashion or another, and I'm starting to wonder who I am, what do I do when I'm not actively raising teenagers, driving them around, making memories, doing what they like to do. And maybe a lot of it is that I'm not quite sure who I am when that's not my primary focus.

So maybe it's not totally weird.  Maybe the process of figuring it out again could be fun. Maybe the things I liked when I was a kid are still the things I like now.  Maybe they're not.

And maybe the game of finding new things could be an adventure worth savoring.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Collector of Advice

I am a collector... of advice. Probably because I harbor too much self-doubt. Too little self-trust.

Am I understanding things correctly? Am I missing something? Am I being unreasonable? Is this even the right thing or am I going to regret this in two days? Do I even know what I'm talking about? Am I being unfair? Am I expecting too much? Too little? 

The tape plays on.

And so I collect advice. Some comes from peers. Some comes from my mentors. Some comes unsolicited from people who don't really know the full of it but would like to contribute anyway -- which I generally toss, but not really, because it floats around in my head for longer than it should, all mixed up with the doubt and the trust.

Much of it just swirls in my mind ad nauseum. Some of it gets saved forever.
Don't go back ..... Eventually they will f*ck you over, they always do. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it's C'est la vie, sometimes you're so ready for them to go it's just a massive relief.
Some of it doesn't make sense at first... Or it does cognitively, but I don't understand it enough in my heart to put it into practice. Sometimes it takes years until it gets there. Sometimes it's advice that I know is well-meant with love, but that I know I'm not ready to take -- so I've kept it.  Until I am.

Until I lose my doubt.
Until I trust myself.
Until I'm ready.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Top Ten Goals for Fall 2018 and beyond

I have finally (fingers crossed) gotten all my children back in school (of one sort or another), and it was time for me to think about what I want this school year to look like and where I want to put my focus.


My Top 10 Goals for the Season

  1. Get kids back on a normal sleep schedule. 
  2. Put activity back into my lifestyle.
  3. Foster a priority of better self-care and calm.
  4. Consistently eat on-plan.
  5. Take the time to read more.
  6. Find some time to visit home, Amanda, Kendra.
  7. Give yourself space to write.
  8. Experience this year the best that you can.
  9. Make space for the activities you love.
  10. Delegate. You're not the only one who can do dishes.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Thoughts and Ramblings: Lesley Pike and "Honey and Rust"

"Good luck on your new album... Is it superstitious to say that? .... And as your new music takes shape, I hope the process of writing finds you well and happy. I've always really liked your songs that left me feeling sort of empowered - I hope it all goes well."

I sent that to Lesley Pike two years ago when she announced she was starting to write for another album, intended as a kind message of something resembling closure. Which I am obviously really bad at, as that message ended up turning into a friendly relationship of sorts. I'm more hesitant to claim friendship with people than I once was. Just because I think of someone as a friend doesn't mean they think of me that way. But we'll say friendly, at least.

This is filled with a touch of serendipity for me. Something I didn't plan for, but needed. A shared love for a certain genre of reading, but not just... I needed someone to talk to. Someone I could be butt-honest with about things I had always avoided saying out loud or even admitting to myself. Someone who wouldn't tell me I was being crazy or unfair. I needed a listening ear and a soft place to land when I inevitably crashed.

Musically, I like Lesley for the same reasons I like Kina Grannis. For the same reasons I love Miranda Lambert's "Weight of These Wings" or Kacey Musgraves or Christina Perri. The music I play the most over and over, especially from female artists, is music I can find myself in, music that has depth to its source and something for me to sink my teeth into. And I kind of think that the only way you can make music like that is to put a good chunk of yourself into it. I'd heard Lesley's last couple albums... I knew she was that kind of songwriter.

"Honey and Rust" came out while I was in Ireland. I downloaded it one morning and listened in the early morning hours while waiting for a teenager to wake up, and then a few more times while we flew to Liverpool. I flipped to a song I knew would be on there first out of... if I'm honest, probably curiosity and a little bit of trepidation. Is it possible to be disappointed in something you already know? ... but then flipped back to the top to listen through like a normal person.

Some songs made me smile... Who can resist a snappy song of redemption and triumph over the trials that threaten to bring you down?  Phoenix is that song, and is frequently in my head. (Sorry, People of Target.) Muscle Memory, more than anything to me, pulses along the lines of the Mindfulness I've been trying to capture over the last couple years -- balancing between obsessing about the past and worrying about what might come next to center on what is.

My favorite is probably In the Blood. It's simple, it's heartfelt...  it's easy to find myself in it. And that's not a very long analysis, but it's the nicest thing that I could possibly say about any piece of music I loved.  I listen to it a lot.

I mean, y'all...

I can see you looking for love in those places
Searching in everyone's face and everywhere it can't be found.
I can feel you running away from what heals you
Spinning your wheels, trying to keep your feet up off the ground
Darling, I'll be here when you come down.

Two years have gone by since that message, Lesley... and the music has taken shape... and a lot has happened... and I hope the writing has left you well and happy and resilient.

Thank you for listening to me.
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