Thursday, May 28, 2009

Moving on?

Just right this minute I made a decision.
As I was opening this window to write, it came to me.
I'm going on strike. Taking a stand. Hanging my head out the door and shouting, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."
From June 1 to Sept. 1, I'm not going to worry about my weight. I'm just not going to do it anymore. I can feel weight lifting from my shoulders as I type these words.
You know, if people spent as much time trying to -- oh I don't know -- end world hunger as they do worrying about their weight and appearance, there just wouldn't be any world hunger. We'd probably have peace and and end to poverty.
I'm going to challenge everyone in my life to take 90 days off. Spend the time you would normally spend worrying about how "fat" you are (even though you're probably not fat) and do something else. Read a book. Volunteer at the local library. Find something, anything that brings you joy and do it.
Here's the catch: you have to check in with me weekly and tell me what you've been up to. Leave it as a comment or something or send me an e-mail and I'll post it here.
Feel the freedom. Wow --
Ok -- Now having paranoid thoughts. Can I really do this? I've tried it before, but always fall back into old destructive patterns. It's going to take a team effort folks. We must keep reminding each other to stay on the freedom path.
Oooh! Let's make it a movement -- let's spread the word to our friends and families. For 90 days don't worry about your weight. Stop comparing yourself to other people -- especially their appearance. Just be who you are and be comfortable with it. Bless you body by doing something that you enjoy that is physical, if you can. Don't put anything in your mouth unless it really blesses you. If that piece of chocolate makes you happy, and you're hungry, enjoy it. Allow yourself to live in joyful peace with your body and food.
This is not forever -- you can back to judging yourself by what it says on the scale in September.
In the meantime, how cool would it be if we all judged our self by what we DID instead of how we looked? What if your self worth was connected to our true spirit instead of our pants size?
Dang -- this might be fun.
Let me know what you think!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memories of me

It's Memorial Day.
We've spent the day with family. Very nice. Very blessed.

As the "unofficial start" of summer, I often spend this weekend contemplating the summer's activities. How can I work as much fun into the summer as possible? Can I get all the projects done I'd like to get done? How can I use this unstructured time to its highest potential?

I might spend an hour or a day planning, fussing, contemplating -- but is it worth it all?

Would it be better to just take each day as it comes and not get over planned?

Is there a balance?

The last couple of summers have been difficult at best. I have a good feeling about the coming season and don't want to get any more overcommitted than I normally am. There's so many things I want to do -- projects to finish, adventures to share and as usual I'm having a hard time controlling my ADD. I want to do it all. Do it well. Do it now.

So I spent the better part of the weekend nestled on the deck of our cabin in the woods and lost myself in a book. I decided distraction would be the best way to avoid over planning.

I am aware that I can set myself for disappointment -- usually by trying to get more done in a day than most people get done in a week. Then, wondering why I'm not getting all the items on my "to do" list done.

If I could just relax this summer -- do the things that bring me joy -- wouldn't that allow me to get the best of my "to do" items done? Wouldn't that allow me to do so without killing myself and making those around me crazy?

Here's the problem -- I suck at that.

I thrive on chaos. I keep reminding myself about my "Opposite Day" plan. Surley, somewhere inside me is the ability to embrace the "now" to do the things that bless me and not those which only feed my ego and the chaos!

Here's what I know -- in those moments when I have, in fact, allowed myself to pursue joy and follow my bliss -- great things have happened. I've felt great -- doors opened to new opportunity -- and then -- I can't really put my finger on what happens... I stop.

It's as though I have a fear of success.

I used to think the fear came being afraid I'd raise expectations -- and then not be able to live up to those expectations -- but these days I'm not so sure.

After all of this time -- all the things I've been through in the last few years -- could it be I'm still not comfortable enough in my own skin to allow myself to just ... me?

Sometimes I wonder if it's my marriage -- which is never very stable. My husband does, indeed, make me crazy.

But I keep thinking I can rise above that discomfort -- I want to exist outside of his expectations or anyone elses for that matter.

Are my own expectations too high -- is it me self sabbatoging?

What would be so wrong - what's there to fear about being me?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Terra Therapy

Hello all --

I've been working a project for -- actually several. As part of one swap, I'm keeping a journal which I will send to a swap partner next month.

Thought I'd share it with you... just for fun.

Saturday May 16, 2009

I got hurdled by a lamb this morning.

Thus began a crazy, busy day.

I got up early to put the finishing touches on some petit fours I made for a Girl Scout tea party. I’d always seen them in magazines, but I’ve never actually made them. I was quite impressed with myself.

The kids had to load up their 4-H animals. My oldest daughter has a dairy calf project, my other daughter has two lambs. They’ll raise them until late July, when they’ll be sold at the county fair and the records and books they are keeping will be judged in competition with other kids. The calf is fairly tame and easy to maneuver on a halter. The same holds true for one of the lambs – named Hailey. The other lamb is smart and ornery. For the last ten days this lamb, named Janel, has managed her way out of harnesses, escaped capture at all turns and in general tried my patience at every level.

This morning, the lamb and I were going to come to terms. My daughter and I developed a plan. She would walk the lamb into the barn, I would corner it, and get a new harness on her. The plan worked pretty well, at first. My daughter walked Hailey the lamb into the barn. Janel knew something was up. She kept bleating and willingly followed my daughter into the barn. I thought we had her. I hunched down to catch her. The lamb took one look at me and leapt over me.

Only I would get hurdled by a lamb.

Eventually, I did catch her and she along with the calf and other lamb got hauled down to the fairgrounds for a preliminary weigh-in. 

Then, off to the Girl Scout Tea Party. Last year, I expected 30 people and 100 people showed up. This year, I prepared for 100 and 30 people showed up. Go figure.

In general, though I think it was a  nice event. I think I’m going to create a board of directors for the Girl Scout troop. I don’t think the adult women in this community feel like there’s enough opportunities to mentor young women. The willingness is there, but no formal structure. Will work on that over the summer.


Left the party in a mad dash to pick up my son from Farm Safety Camp. Thankfully my sister met me part of the way. Turned around to drive the 35 minutes home to meet my sister-in-law and her family. She was dropping of her son for the week. My husband decided to go to some stupid Extreme Fighting event early. He stayed until I got home – must have got the message I wasn’t impressed with his decision to leave before I got home and while his sister was visiting. Perhaps it was when I screamed into the phone and hung up.

Took the kids out for Mexican food, then back home for a movie. I chatted on line with friends till the weeee hours of the morning. I’m so thankful for old friends… and for facebook … the comfort of cherished friends is such a tremendous blessing.


May 17.

Woke up without power. When the power goes out I have no water. I can cook because I have a gas stovetop. But you can’t  wash your hands, flush the toilet – it’s like camping.

The power stayed off until 11 so we passed the time by working in the garden and yard. I came to the conclusion that gardening must be a lot like raising children.

You work the soil – adding positive elements like fertilizer and additional soil when needed. You til and til and til until it’s ready for planting. Then you carefully plant seeds and water and care for those seeds until they’re ready for harvest.

I’m not anywhere near done raising my kids – but I find I’m in the improving the soil phase. I’m adding things here and there to improve my seedlings chance for survival. Books I think they’d love. Family vacations. Meals around the table.

The garden provides a quicker return. Just as I’m fascinated by the evolution of the plants from seed to table – I’m so enjoying watching my children as their personalities really start to take shape.

This year has been pretty incredible so far – I feel like I’m closer and closer to being comfortable in my own skin. I think the garden’s going to play a role in that – if I let it. I’m calling it Terra Therapy and hoping that when each shovel full of soil turned over I’ll find a part of myself. Something hidden beneath a crust that has been allowed to build over too many years of neglect and stain.

So far I’ve managed to till most of it – taking care to protect the onions which grew voluntarily – they were already there.   In the morning I’ll rake a few more weeds away and begin planting. I’m nervous. Each year I try to garden and each year I fail.

Something about this year is different though. I’m not sure I could name the difference – but I feel it. I’m not secure in this thing yet – but it’s there.

In the same way, I’m feeling stronger about myself and where I belong. I’ve seen glimpses of this here and there along my journey, but have always returned to the safety of the known – the chaos that has ruled my life. But I can see growth on the horizon and anticipate a bountiful harvest.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Back in the saddle again

Ok -- so I fell off the Opposite Day wagon. 
It's seems I leaped off the Opposite Day wagon and jumped right on the self sabotage express. 
Don't you ever wish that you'd wake up one morning and you'd just get "it". That colossal "IT" -- the goal -- the you can take care of yourself and stop putting yourself on the backburner and do all the things you intended to do before some stupid switch clicked off in your brain and you -- oh, I don't know -- shoved copious amounts of food in your mouth or forgot to pay the bills (again) or forgot to pick up your son -- or whatever.
I have great ideas and pretty good intentions most of the time -- and then I get lost somewhere in the must do's and wannabe's of my life and I don't accomplish the simplest of goals. 
"Write every morning" -- I oversleep, get sidetracked on Facebook, or realize I forgot something that "just has to be done right now" and I don't write, journal, blog or anything.
"Cut back on sugar" -- Are you kidding? Like a moth to a flame I can see and smell sugar at a distance and then can east huge portions -- even though I instantly have a headache and gut-ache  and I KNOW I feel so much better when I eat sweets in moderation.
"Stop identifying myself as old and fat" -- It's a great excuse for not being myself right? If I comically complain that I'm old and fat -- then people don't assume I don't know what I look like. I make fun of myself before anyone else ever gets a chance, right? I can read your mind -- I know what you're thinking. You think I can't climb the stairs because I'm too fat to carry my carcass. It has nothing to do with the arthritis in my knees -- I probably got that because I'm fat anyway. 
I don't know what it is sometimes -- what it is that causes me to act in a way I know doesn't work -- It's like I'm stuck in this victim role and I create situations in which I can be the victim of.... whatever....
But again -- if I can embrace my "opposite action philosophy" I know what that victim role feels like -- so, it would seem I could switch directions without too much confusion.
It's Mother's Day, so I got up early to write and the purging of the words in my head has lifted a bit of the pressure. So for today, I'm not going to be a victim of my thoughts.
I'll head the other direction and find a new path ... who wants to join me?