Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I'm A Lover Not A Hater...Or Am I?

I started out making two lists. Things I love and things I hate. Like/Dislike. Things that give me joy, things that cause me grief. I found that many things (and people) are on both lists. 

People who end friendships or relationships without an explanation: Most of us have probably either said this or had someone say it, "I really like you. I just don't want to date. Let's just be friends." It usually happened in person, unless the person was too chicken, then they'd call. If teenagers twenty or thirty years ago had the nerve to at least say something, why can't we as "mature" adults do it today? You know, break it to me gently. Let me down easy. But I really still love those people. I can't help it. I still miss them. Still wonder if it was something I said or did that made them dismiss me from their life and leave me like a wounded puppy by the side of the road. I hate that.

Cell phones/Texting/Technology:
So when we did this breaking up over the phone thing, chances are someone else in the house overheard or eavesdropped on the conversation. We didn't have phones in our rooms. The closest we got to having any privacy was covering the mouthpiece and whispering. We didn't have texting, tweeting, instagram, Tumblr or however else they communicate today. Try asking a kid who they have been texting for an hour and a half and they'll say, "a friend." I have liked learning some technology, even though I'm pitifully inept.  I like having a cell phone, ancient as it is. I think it's called a stupid phone because it's not a smart phone. I don't like texting and driving. I don't like that it's too easy to be misunderstood by high tech communicating. It didn't take Satan long to weasel his way into technology. Pornography married technology. Cheaters, swindlers and hustlers use it to scam people, mostly elderly, out of money. I hate that.

Kids: They monopolize our time, money, thoughts, and conversations. Just listen to a new mom talk. She can't do it without rambling on about how her sweet baby takes a three ounce bottle, burps, spits up, sleeps and poops. It doesn't change much as they grow. Then we brag about how mine is the only one in preschool who can count to one hundred without help. That would have been my Rachel. I'm sure I told at least a dozen people who were nice enough to smile and nod. Or how the Choir director puts her in Advanced Choir, before she really should be, because she's so good. Rebecca. Or a teacher says she wishes all the students were as polite and quiet as James. We adore them and want to make sure you do too. But that which gives us the most joy, has the capability of causing us the greatest heartache. 

Jobs: Even if you are lucky enough to love your job, some days you'll hate it. Ever have a co-worker who thought it was their job to work your nerves for eight hours straight? What about a boss who thought you should have the ability to be in six places at once, doing six different things? If you've held a job more than a week, you've probably thought, "I don't need this. I quit." Then it occurs to you, "Oh, I forgot. I do need this. I can't quit." We would have all walked off a job if only we didn't need it. As my brother says, "Every job sucks in it's own special way." Jobs provide more than a paycheck though. They give us a routine, a purpose, a feeling of pride and accomplishment. We get to socialize and make friends. We become part of a little community. We are teaching our kids to have a work ethic when we go to work even when we are tired or have a headache. 

Getting Older: Creases where there used to be smooth skin, bellies that were tight and flat become soft and cushiony, fillings that were put in teeth when you were twelve all crack and break, eyes grow dim, hair grows thin. Physically, getting old is not pleasant. Fortunately, there are advantages. We actually get smarter. With age comes wisdom. We learn a few things about life. Lessons we can pass on to anyone who will listen. I've learned to filter my words. I haven't mastered this yet, but I'm much better than I used to be. Don't gossip. I've learned that when you hug someone, let them be the first to let go. You never know how much they need it. When someone talks to you, make them feel like they are the most important thing in your world. Look them in the eye. Don't check your phone. Turn the tv down. Give them 100% of your attention. Trust your instinct. You really do have a little voice inside your head, but usually it just gets ignored. Listen to it. It is God giving you direction. I've learned that people will hurt you. It's inevitable. I've learned to forgive them. It's also inevitable that I will hurt people. I hope they can forgive me.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


My last blog was about an ax I have to grind with the church. The one before that was depressing as all get-out. So on a more positive note, and at the risk of jinxing myself, I'm ever so slowly winning the battle of the bulge. 

As a kid, my dad's nickname for me was Twiggy. That lasted til puberty hit. Since then my weight has been up and down. Mostly up. 

Where I work, nothing is too personal to ask a co-worker. When it's normal to ask someone when their last bowel movement was, nothing is sacred. Most people who have noticed don't just stop at, "You've lost some weight!" They follow up with a dozen questions. ("Excuse me, are you my doctor?") That goes along with working in a hospital I guess.  

"How much have you lost?" Honestly, I don't know. I didn't weigh myself one day and start a diet. Near as I can figure, 25-30 pounds since January, but most of it in the last few months.

"Are you sick?" It would never occur to me to ask someone who has lost weight that, but again, these medical personnel are a strange breed of cat. 

"Are you trying to lose weight?" Why yes, I am. I'm not fortunate enough for the fat cells to just decide they were tired of hanging around, so they'd pack up and leave. The struggle is real.

"How are you doing it?" Four words. Eat less. Move more. How's that for making it seem simple? 

This journey began in January. My blood pressure sky rocketed. I have lousy genes when it comes to blood pressure and weight both. If I got my weight under control, maybe the BP would improve and I could go off the Lisinopril. I made a couple changes then. I gave up my late night snack of cereal and milk. Oh, how I miss you Special K with your delicious chocolate chunks. Since then, I've just figured out what works for me.

I have a hard time being enthused about meetings of any kind, certainly not one where someone is recording my weight and I have the possibility of being ashamed and embarrassed if I gain a pound. Sorry, Jessica Simpson. No Weight Watchers for me.

The idea of eating packaged, overpriced food is nauseating. It may work for Kirstie and Marie. Not me. 

I'm not accountable to anyone. I don't count calories or points. I don't measure or weigh food. I don't pop pills. 

I don't have enough self control to stick to one plan or diet rigidly. My plan is simply made up by me. No name. It's sorta, kinda, but not really a low carb diet. While I have cut them down, I still eat apples and other fruit and veggies which are not allowed on Atkins. I've eliminated processed junk food and sugar. I eat more protein. Cottage cheese, tuna, chicken and peanut butter. I get the all natural, no sugar added peanut butter. It tastes like cardboard, but I figured out that if it's refrigerated it's not as bad and I can choke it down.

I do some stretching and moving. I'm not sure it would qualify as exercise since I don't break a sweat. Maybe I'll get there soon. 

While I'm liking the changes I see in my body, some have me rather baffled. Have I always had a freakishly long neck? It's the first thing I notice now when I walk by a mirror. I asked Cliff about it and he said it seems longer because it's skinnier and doesn't have a double chin covering half of it. I can feel my collar bones poking out now. I have ribs too. 

I'll keep working on this and in a couple months post some before and after pics. It won't be Twiggy though. Just a stronger, leaner, healthier version of me.