Sunday, December 30, 2012

Out With The Old. In With The New.

Him:  "I hear you are going to Vietnam".

Me:  "Yes".

Him:  "You are taking our trip".

Me:  "Yes".

Him:  "I am so jealous.  I still want to go, but I only want to go with you".

Me:  (nothing)

That was the phone call that I took on my birthday back in early October, pre-trip.  That's how it began.  There were more questions:  If I may ask, who are you traveling with?  Are you taking a tour?  How long will you be gone?  When do you leave? When will you get back?

Him:  I want to see you when you get back, to hear all of your stories and I know you will have a lot of them.

Thus, my anxiety began.  He called or texted regularly, wanting us to get together so that he could see the pictures and hear about the trip.  I sent him the link to the fully annotated slide show.  He called back and said that wasn't enough.  He wanted narration by me.  So I agreed to see him after Christmas, while we were both off of work.  I hadn't seen him since that day in March 2011 when he said he didn't want to be in a romantic relationship with me.

This has been the undercurrent to my life for the past three months.  As the meetup approached, I realized that there was still more processing for me to do.  I had been avoiding contact and when he would reach out,  it would throw me off.  So instead of avoiding, I leaned in.  Really leaned in, for the first time since the split.  I did something I hadn't done. I went digging up bones. I went through every picture we had taken and I read the years of email exchanges.  Yes, I'd archived them.  And I was glad that I did.  Several things became clear(er) - I wanted an emotionally intimate relationship with a man who wouldn't/couldn't/reason-doesn't-matter have one, at least with me.  There's no evidence that he's ever had one.  And I spent years twisting myself inside out trying to get something from someone with nothing to give me.  Where I went wrong was taking it personally, as there was something lacking in me - that if I was thin enough, pretty enough, had bigger boobs, sweet enough, special enough, talented enough, the list is endless.  The truth is, I'm all those things - well, except for the boobs part ;-).

And for my part, I couldn't accept him just as he was.  I wanted him to be different - someone other than what he told me/showed me he was everydamnedday.  This is not about finding blame with him, this is about finding out why I was so attached to him and his approval (yes, there's a book for that and yes, I've read it).

So I made my decision to see him and I'm glad I did.  I got to be reminded about how life really was with him.  He brought SadieLu over with him (at my request) and he took me out to lunch.  We came back to my house and went through the slides.  He left soon after.  I shed not one tear.  That was Thursday.

Yesterday, I got to spend one of the nicest days I've had.  I went to a great meeting.  I had lunch with six wonderful women.  I then went on a cold, but fun, bike ride with three of my die-hard biking friends.  I then hosted a potluck here in my beautiful little cottage for those riders and a few others who weren't up to braving the cold for a pedal around the lake.  At the end of the day, I realized that this is where I am supposed to be.  This life that I've built over the last three years is the life that I am supposed to be living.  And David was the vehicle to get me here.

I regret nothing, absolutely nothing, from my past with him.  He will always hold a special place with me - and me with him, I suppose.  So the question is "What's in it for me?" should I wish to try to forge a friendship with him in the future.  I don't know the complete answer to that - but not much, I suppose.

Happy New Year!

Peace - inner, world, and sugar snap,


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day

Or rather de-boxing day.  I spent part of the morning removing the Christmas detritus - including the box that the vacuum cleaner that I bought myself came in.  I'm such a romantic - a vacuum cleaner for Christmas.

The holidays didn't turn out quite like I'd planned, but I've learned to set my expectations low and then be surprised.  For reasons that I have yet to understand, my mom and sister opted out of Christmas Eve dinner (at NOON! on Christmas EVE) I was supposed to have here - after, of course, I had bought all the groceries.  So I called Pebbles to apprise her of the situation and she suggested I just come to Dallas for the afternoon and then we'd all come back to FtW later in the evening.  I declined, not wanting to spend four and a half hours in the car over the course of the day.  She called right back and suggested that I just load up the groceries and hop the train.  Now that I was willing to do.

They picked me up at the train station and we went back to their house and hung out all afternoon/early evening.  It was really nice AND it meant they didn't have to haul The GrandBeast to FtW, as they weren't going to be away from home that long.  We snacked and watched movies.  Let me just say right here that I owe Shelley an apology.  I had rolled my eyes at her love of Will Ferrell and I would have bet the farm that I had actually seen Elf in it's entirety.  As it is Pebbles' favorite holiday movie, we had to watch it again.  Turns out, I don't know what the hell I'd been doing all those times that sucker was popped into the DVD player, but watching it wasn't one of them.  I can't say that I love WF in anything else, but he was absolutely born to play Buddy The Elf.  Super cute movie.

We headed back to FtW about 8pm to go over to my aunt's to play games.  Oh my goodness - what fun.  Pebbles brought Apples To Apples to play, but someone got 5 Second Rule for Christmas, so we played that instead.  It is my new favorite game!  There were 9 of us playing and it was a barrel of laughs.  So, all in all, even with the changes in plans, it was a nice Christmas Eve.

The original plan called for me to go back to Dallas and spend the night and then, at Slater's request, we were going to go to the spa for Korean food and relaxation on Christmas day, followed by a movie.  I decided earlier in the week that I didn't want to spend the night, as I get up so early and they sleep late and I'd rather rattle around in my house in the pre-dawn hours than in theirs.  And then the weather came.  I didn't really believe that it was going to get bad, but it did.  So no spa for me.  I just hung around the house and napped, watched Netflix and generally had an enjoyable day.

As for exercise, there has been none.  And I did okay with the whole food thing - staring down platter after platter of treats and goodies at my aunt's.  Oh, I indulged some, but I didn't over-indulge.  So no guilt.  Still no diet coke.  I'm toying with the idea of going completely caffeine-free for 2013.  I've already switched to decaf coffee, so we'll see.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Think outside the box.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas From The Fam-O-Lee

I cannot tell you how happy this song has always made me.  I hope it brings you that same feeling.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate - Happy Holidays to those who don't.

Peace and Love,


Friday, December 21, 2012

The Perils of Pralines

I almost made it.  I'd run the office gauntlet in spectacular fashion this week, dodging all sorts of treats and goodies, parties, deliveries and homebaked goods.  Until today, when an evil-doer of the sugar pushing variety gave me my very own stash of pralines.  She makes THE BEST pralines in all of the land.  Seriously.  These are apocolyptically good.  So I took all the little goodie bags I'd received, including the pralines, and created a treat plate over in the office kitchen AKA Candyland.  But I kept two pralines for me - and I ate them, I enjoyed them and I don't feel one bit bad about it.  They are worth it.  If I'm going to have a treat, let it be exquisite. 

We get sprung from the office around 3pm today and I've still got some returning to do re:  It's Art If I Say It's Art aquisition.  Plus, some boots that I ordered online that just don't work.  I'm a cowboy's dream - I gots fat calves - so I ordered wide-calf boots.  Lawdamighty, I couldn't even get my pants down over the legs of those boots - it looked like I was wearing culverts, not boots.  So back they go - teach me to buy sight unseen. 

I didn't go to the gym this morning, as I needed to fix something for a birthday breakfast in the office, and now the gym is closed for the holidays.  I'm looking for some drop-in yoga to fill my need for stretchy, stretchy - and hopefully the weather will allow some cycling.  I am getting so spoiled to riding with the b'shells that I kinda hate to ride by myself these days. 

I will be participating in the good-thing-in-a-jar challenge that's making the rounds these days.  I already have my container picked out.  I'll also be participating in Ellen's Hate Loss Challenge as well - it's always interesting and informative to see what Ellen comes up with.   
That's all I got.
Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Choose Wisely - make it worth it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

S.I.T In Thursday

I've had a decent week Staying In Today.  I've downloaded  Simply Being for my 'droid and am meditating at a more regular interval.  I can set the app for 5, 10, 15 or 30 minutes, choose the background music/sound and sit through a guided meditation whenever I'd like.  So, so helpful.  Consequently, my anxiety/tension/about-to-scream-cry-rip-someone-a-new-one-kick-a-kitten levels are way, way down.

Hell, I was even calm when I discovered someone backed into my pristine MalibuKen in the parking lot at work.  I was like "Oh, well, it's only sheet metal" - which is progress in me recognizing that not everything is a catastrophe.  Somethings are just an inconvenience.  Getting my "problems" right-sized is a new skill I'm learning.

I made the choice not to workout yesterday morning.  I woke up at 2:00am and couldn't get back to sleep, so I opted for a sleep aid and sleep - figuring there is nothing I can really do to make up for lack of sleep.  So while I won't give myself a star for it, I will give me credit for listening to what me and my body needed the most and gave myself that gift.

I do get a gold for surviving the office Christmas party and stayed on my program.  Actually, I didn't feel much like eating yesterday.  I worked through breakfast, wasn't that hungry at the party and was all booked up in the evening so I grabbed a really light dinner.  Which is good, as I took my mother and sister to one of those drive-through light displays and my mom brought along gourmet popcorn.  I thought I was going to explode before I got home!  But we had a fun time.

I picked up my new art piece on Tuesday, but I don't have it put up yet. I'll wait to hang it until Pebbles is over on Christmas Eve and we'll do it then.  I'm also in the market for spring green sheets (queen) if you happen to run across any in your travels.

Tonight I'm making the haul out to Talia and Noah's for dinner.  That is always a good time.  I don't have anything out of the ordinary planned for Friday (last day of work for the year!!!) and Saturday, well, on Saturday I'm attending an early morning (as in 6am - wedding) fun details to come.

Mostly, I've just been kind and gentle with myself and tried to slow down the pace and be in the moment.  Mostly, it's worked.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Be kind to yourself.  If berating and badgering ourselves worked, we'd all look like (insert your favorite fit body here).  But we don't because treating ourselves that way DOES NOT WORK.


Monday, December 17, 2012

The Art Of Regret

Years ago, twenty, now that I put an actual date to it - I ran across a necklace in a shop in a small town outside of Fort Worth.  It was a piece unlike any I'd ever seen before - from a green semi-precious stone whose name escapes me - native to Australia, I think.  I tried it on, left the store, came back later and tried it on again.  It was an expensive piece, for me at the time.  I mean, I could have paid for it, but the $125 dollars that the piece cost was a real stretch for me.  

I have lived with the regret of not buying that piece.  It was so "me" and so classic and I would have worn it so often that the cost per wear by now would be just pieces of pennies.  I still look for a piece like it, but nothing has ever come close, at any price. 

I'm in a nesting/creative phase again these days.  I've been shopping for a few smallish decorative items to really finish off the house.  I guess I haven't posted the picture of the small ink drawing I brought back from VN and had framed.  Finding the perfect place for that piece launched a chain reaction in "what if I moved this over there?"  So when Pebbles needed to be in town for an early dentist appointment, she offered to come over yesterday to help.

And by help, she really meant shop.  We spent the afternoon scouring home decorating stores and junk stores, high-end and low.  We passed by a new antique store fairly close to the house and vowed to work our way back to it before it closed at 5pm.  And we did exactly that.  There was a cluster of establishments that we went though, one being an artist collective.  And that's when I saw it.

A piece of art that absolutely sent my heart racing - it spoke to me in a viceral sense.  Organic and graphic.  Both very masculine and extremely feminine - or perhaps strong/striking, rather than masculine.  I was standing there looking at it when Pebbles said "that piece is absolutely you".  I gave her a dollar figure that I was willing to pay for it and she stepped forward, looked at the price and laughed and said "Not hardly".  And so we left to see the other establishments.  We returned to this one and I looked again.  Again, the same reaction.  But too much money.

I could not get the piece out of my head.  I went to bed thinking about it and I woke up thinking about it.  I thought about the dollar figure that I was willing to pay right then and the distance to the asking price.  I looked at the collective price of the cute trinkets that I had purchased the day before.  Things that I liked well enough, but were in no way special.  I mentally calculated adding that total to the price I was willing to pay - if I decided to return everything that I'd purchased.  I was still a ways away.

So this morning, I emailed the artist and made an offer.  She accepted.  I pick it up in the morning.  I choose not to live in regret over this piece.  I shall see it and I shall love it for the remainder of days.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Don't buy throw pillows when what you really want is a new couch.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Dirty Little Secrets

My Three Gold Star Performance over the last 24 hours is courtesy of my dirty little secrets - my hacks to staying on target because I am the laziest person alive and I know it, embrace it and work around it.

DLS #1.  I keep my workout gear at the ready in my bedroom - hanging on the back of my door.  My willingness to blow off a task because it's too hard is legendary.  Pulling together something to wear to the gym falls in that category for me on early mornings.

DLS#2.  I put it on immediately upon waking - even before that trip to the bathroom - even the shoes.

DLS#3.  (the dirtiest) I wear the same workout clothes for a week.  This isn't so much about tips and tricks to get me out the door to the gym in the morning as it is of two other factors - 1.  I am off the "play clothes" generation and 2.  I absolutely hate to do that much laundry.

That Christmas party last night was a real dud.  I don't know what I was expecting, but ho-hum.  I mean I enjoyed Marti and Ellie, but otherwise not entertaining.  So I'll know better next year.  I did manage okay with the food choices - not perfect, but certainly within the realm of okay - given that the buffet consisted of rice and beans, cheese enchiladas, tacos, fajitas and nachos.  Besides, I'm not in hardcore weightloss mode, I just want to feel/be at my best and that's not a scale measurement if I don't want it to be.

I say all of this about the secrets because it was hard for me to get up this morning.  I was sleeping hard and I woke up really tired and groggy.  Again, I am amazed at what both carbs/gluten do to my body - even if I wasn't coming anywhere close to over-eating.  I slept through my alarm this morning.  I'm usually up an hour before the thing goes off.

Take care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Find what works for you.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

All Signs Point To: NOW

"The habit of exiting, of escaping into thoughts and daydreams is a common occurrence. In fact, fantasy is where we spend most of our time. The Zen teacher Charlotte Joko Beck called these flights of fancy "the substitute life."

Of course, we don't have to be meditating for the mind to wander off to this substitute life. We can be listening to someone talking and mentally just depart. The person is right in front of us, but we're on the beach at Waikiki. The main way we depart is by keeping up a running internal commentary on what's going and what we're feeling 'like this, I don't like that, I"m hot, I'm cold', and so on. In fact, we can become so caught up in this internal dialogue that the people around us become invisible. An important part of meditation practice, therefore, is to non-aggressively drop that ongoing conversation in our head and joyfully come back to the present, being present in the body, being present in the mind, not envisioning the future or reliving the past, but, if only briefly, showing up for this very moment."

(From Pema's book Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change.)

Everywhere I look, it seems that I am being sent these messages:  Stay In Today.  Be present.  Listen.  Meditate More and Think Less.  I am so guilty of this "substitute life" thinking.  I've also heard it called "rehearsing" - having escapist, fantasy dialogs in my head about what might be said sometime in the future.  I am really beginning to see how pervasive it is in my life.  I mean, having a good internal dialog with YOURSELF is empowering and uplifting and can be very motivational.  Having an internal dialog with someone else is like punching a ticket to Obsessiveville. 

I was thinking just yesterday about all the important communication lessons I learned in improv class - and it addressed this very thing - eliminating that internal commentary and to be present and not to anticipate what is being said or to be too busy formulating a response.  I think increasing my meditation/mindfulness practice is a way to exercise my S.I.T. muscles, so I will be looking at practical ways to increase those areas in my life. 

All good.  I've got a cycling club party to go to tonight - with Marti and Ellie.  Janice is supposed to be there as well, according to the guest list, but I don't know if she's sitting with other folks.  It's Tex-Mex, so that part will be a challenge, but I've already been to the gym today, so as long as I don't take a header into the sopapillas, I should be good. 

On a completely different note, I don't remember the last time I weighed.  It has been months since I weighed with the idea of knowing what that number is.  I've never gone this long in my LIFE without weighing and I think I'm going to stretch this out to the first of the year.  Or maybe the last?  Or maybe not at all. 

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  There is no substitute for this life.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

S.I.T. In Wednesday

Progress report on the Staying In Today intention:  It's going okay.  This kind of thing needs a lot of practice - perhaps not in duration, but certainly frequency, at least for me.  The mindfulness bell app on my phone is working pretty well.  When that bell gongs, I can feel the tension leave my body.  As I become more aware, I continue to be amazed (and not in that good way) about how much tension and anxiety I carry around.

I've been much more aware of my anxiety lately - and at how many things trigger it in me.  Oh, not the balls-to-the-wall anxiety attacks, but at the number of things that will "crank me up a notch" - an email asking me to do something that isn't easy, having to make some sort of decision, moving against my people-pleasing nature, etc.  The really wonderful part is that I can now recognize this pre-binge.  I can see that I used food to quell my anxiety.  For the most part, my disordered relationship with food was used as an anti-anxiety self-medicating device.

The pattern goes like this - something happens that triggers it and then I start telling myself stories around and about it and it just gets bigger.  The binge becomes the thing to "release" that pressure.  Geneen Roth asks where do you "feel" the urge to over-eat?  My compulsion to over-eat begins in my chest and in my throat.  The spectacular gift in all of this is now I see this in distinct pieces.  I haven't really had a binge episode in a long, long time, but the stage gets set quite often.  I remember just yesterday feeling the physical sensations of anxiety and thought to myself "Oh, this is the I-feel-a-binge-coming-on feeling" - just being in that awareness helped me calm myself down.  Being able to suss out these individual events and then be aware of what's happening seems to be the key to calming myself.

I knew I was always anxious;  I just didn't realize how bad it was until it eased a bit.  I knew I couldn't relax and I still have problems with doing that un-aided.  But now that the roar has settled down into a drone, I have enough peace and distance to see some things clearly.  I'm sure the cutting back on caffeine has been a big part in throttling down the physiological part of this.  I now need to add a serious yoga/deep breathing/relaxation/meditation practice to really get me back to absolute zero at least once a day.

All of this may sound like a "bad" report card, but I am thrilled with this new awareness of what's going on with my body and the connections between action, stories I tell myself about the happenings, anxiety and the desire to squelch that anxiety.  Coming into that awareness is an absolute gift.

I think I'm going to have to try to add a fourth star to the mix - I'm eating my way, exercising regularly, no diet coke and I need to begin to work in some focused meditation - just sit and breathe.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Know your triggers.


Monday, December 10, 2012

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

I've been doing some re-evaluating of friendships and expectations.  Especially with one friend in particular - one that Pebbles calls an "emotional vampire".  Everyone has times (I know I certainly do) when they are more needy than others, but, in balance, well, things balance out.  So the question becomes, what do I do with this friendship that at one time was important to me?

I'm ready to move this person into the "acquaintance" column.  I've looked back at the relationship over the years and there are not a lot of entries into the asset column.  This is a relationship that's definitely in the red for me.  It doesn't mean that I won't be friendly, etc - it just means that I am through "doing".  If it's for "fun and for free" then that's fine - I just need to set that boundary for myself.  Detachment without drama.  No need to announce my new rules - just start enforcing them.  It feels good to get some clarity as the whole deal was causing me some real anxiety (Hello - my name is Roxie and I'm a people-pleaser). 

Weekend was productive - got in a great ride on Saturday and lots of work around the house over the rest of the weekend.  I decided to skip the cookie party and went to see Pl@ying For K33ps" - horribly bad movie - with Marti when she asked.  It was good choice for me - it was showing at one of those dinner and a movie places, but I opted to eat at home before going - again, a good choice for me.  I wasn't even tempted by the popcorn, which is a treat I normally allow myself when in the theatre. 

My three day theory has proven true again - my outlook can certainly change in just three days of righteousness.  Back to it.  Love what Cammy 's graphic said about the phone.  I've also heard it said "Oh my goodness - I've got a flat tire.  Let me just get out and slash the other three".  Same deal. 

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Get as good as you give.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Physiology Of Feeling Fabulous(ish)

Yesterday I started the day in a real emotional pit.  I wasn't able to maintain my food plan throughout the conference - not even close.  I woke up the morning before from the worst food hangover/coma.  I did okay through breakfast, but then they brought out bushel baskets of the sweet and salty granola bars.  I can't even begin to count how many I had during the day.  By days end, I was feeling phyiscally and emotionally yucky.

And as you know, the trend continued.  While I did eat a sensible dinner that evening, I was a long way from feeling better.  Here's what I did to "return to fabulous".

First, Do No Harm.  Meaning don't let the cure be worse than the disease.  There was no recimination for feeling this way, only self-compassion.  I recognized that I just needed some nurturing and it was up to me to provide it in a healthy way.  No crazy "pick me up" frivilous shopping or trolling Facebook (the equivalent of "drunk dialing").  I went to the gym for my regular morning workout.  Wasn't hungry for breakfast, so I opted for an early (and long - thank goodness for a light schedule) lunch.  I was still feeling fragile and I just wanted to be home.  So I came home for lunch and fixed myself some really nice boiled shrimp for lunch.  Certainly not my normal lunch fare, but something that is on my program of eating and feels very much like a real treat.

Secondly, part of what I was feeling was slightly overwhelmed, for reasons I don't fully understand.  So my reaction/need becomes to "get shit done" - clean something, organize something, declutter something, rip through a to-do list.  So I ripped through some of my to-dos - picked up the dry cleaning, went to the CVS and (finally) picked up the OTC vitamins and supplements that my endocrinology recommended - Citrical with D (I am way deficient again) and a B complex.  I have a real problem swallowing pills, so I have to really look to find out how big the pills are - I ended up with calcium with D soft chews and mini-B complex pills.  I then went by the hardware store to pick up some more lawn bags and to use a $5 off coupon they just sent me.  All of these things combined got me out in the sunshine, interacting with the word and made me feel productive.  I went back to work and had a good rest of the day.

Thirdly, I went to a meeting and then participated in some service work, while visiting with friends.  It was after 8 by the time I got home - had a quick dinner, cleaned up and settled in to watch an Inspector Lynley episode.  Fell asleep.

Up a wee bit too early today, but I'll manage with a nap later on in the day.  I've got yardwork planned for the morning, followed by a bike ride in the afternoon.  I'm still on the fence about the cookie party - it just depends upon how "strong" I feel I am at that time.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Be Fabulous.


Friday, December 7, 2012

The Bonnie Blues

I got 'em today.

Doing the next right thing.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Some days are diamonds.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Physiology Of A Fall

So last night's dinner didn't go as I'd hoped.  While I wasn't that concerned with what I ate at dinner, I certainly didn't need that mini-blizzard I had on the way home.  Now that, I could have done without.  But I didn't - so today, I have rendered myself miserable with a bad food hangover.  Really, much more of one that a mini-blizzard deserves, but there it is.  Even after all this time, I am sometimes surprised at how my body reacts to sugar/carbs after a period of limiting them to healthy-for-me numbers.

I get to begin sugar-withdrawals all over again today, or at least minimize the damage, as I'm in a conference all day with absolutely no control over the choices available to me.  So I will do the best I can and get back as close to my path as possible.

Gotta run - this deal starts soon.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Get Up.  Start Over.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Living On A Prayer Hair

I have got to get a haircut.  As I was in the gym yesterday morning, I was watching VH1 Classics and it dawned on my I, too, was sporting Living-On-A-Prayer Hair.  Big, bold and curly/frizzy.

I am the world's worst person at going in for a haircut.  As my stylist tells me, if all his customers were like me, he'd starve to death.  I'm lucky if I get in once if five months, much less the five weeks that is recommended.  But it is reaching the tipping point, for sure.  I am very, very fortunate and I have gorgeous hair, if I choose to fix it.  Throw in some hot rollers (which is just the easiest way for me to deal with it) and I've got some big ol' Texas hair going.  And I'm hillbilly enough to like it that way ;-). I'm not good with round brushes or blow dryers or curling irons or product for this and product for that, but I flat know my way around some hot curlers.  I've got this little travel set of hair biggen hot rollers and in ten minutes I'm ready to shred my jeans and put on some big old shoulder pads, complete with epaulettes.

Speaking of blowers, I got all the parts for the leaf blower and took that thing out for a spin yesterday.  Holy Moly - it's a wonder I've got any dirt left in my flower beds!  There is some serious power to that puppy.  I gots to get me one of them.  SOLD!  Everything looks so much nicer and it's so easy!  I just blew everything out of the front flower beds, down and out to the curb and then turned on the vacuum and just sucked it all right up.  Now to get some mulch/compost down.  I'd love something that would stay fresh/dark looking for a while - I'm thinking of a compost mix to give some visual interest to the winter beds, at least.  I am not, however, putting down winter rye this year.

Still on target with the program.  Get up, get into gym clothes before even leaving the bedroom in the morning to build coffee.  Three eggs cooked in tomatillo sauce for breakfast and lunch of clean protein and vegetables.  I'm doing lots of Costco frozen seafood for dinner, along with a salad.  Throw in the ocassional cup of hot chicken broth to tide me over, and I've been doing well.  Tonight, however, is a different story.  I have a work dinner to attend, provided by a vendor, so it's a chop house steak for me tonight.  I haven't had a good steak in forever.  Looking forward to that!  

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Play to your strengths.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Go With Your Gut

pillow from sweet freedom designs
"I can make this work".  On the surface, it sounds pretty good.  Yep, whatever it is, I can make it work for me.  Makes me sound resiliant and flexible and all sorts of good things.  Except "I can make this work" has led ME to make some less-than-optimal choices.  It has led me to accept less than really wanted. It became a way of not valuing my self and it almost every situation, I can remember a time when my "gut", my instinct, my inner self was screaming "No!".  But for whatever reason, I would tell myself that I was over-reacting, that I was too picky, that it wasn't that big of a deal, "that I shouldn't feel that way".  And so I'd wade into whatever, and it always turned out that my gut was right.  But by that time I was already "in" already committed and I would, in fact, make this work.  At least for a time.

So cut to yesterday, and Bachelor #2 (name courtesy of Shelley).  The old fashioned plan worked beautifully.  He did respond to my friend, was interested in meeting me and she forwarded to me his email address, which was three letters (I assumed his initials) and the digits 1949.  Red Flag.  The profile said he was 57.  Turns out, he's 63.  He doesn't look it from his pictures, I mean, he's an avid cyclist and looks great.  His explanation is that he's in great shape and he's been blessed with great genetics and the women his age were "by and large, scary".  So under the heading of will lie when it's convenient to do so, we have Bachelor #2.  Gut says Nope and I am listening.  It feels good to be dealing from an integrated position - where everything - mind, body, spirit are in alignment and I don't have to fight intra-self battles.

Clicking right along, although last night was a bit tough.  I finally had to tell myself just go to bed because it was late and I was in a snacky phase.  It was a physiological deal - I was searching for energy to try to stay awake, as I was exhausted.  I have, however, had to make a couple of decisions because I'm not quite bullet-proof.  I was invited out to dinner last night after a meeting, but based upon where the group wanted to go, there weren't really any good options for me, so I passed.  And I was invited to a potluck and cookie decorating party next Saturday evening with some of my absolute favorite women friends.  I just haven't figured out a strategy to deal with that.  I don't know if there is one that can stand in the face of cookie-making.  I've got a couple of days to figure that one out.  I may have to go "fashionably late".  Right now, I'm acknowledging my weaknesses and trying to steer clear of situations where I'm likely to get off in the weeds.

ETA:  Appropos link.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  It's worth repeating - Go With Your Gut.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Blowing' In The Wind

What a productive weekend!  It didn't turn out as I thought it would, but it was still really great.  I had a wonderful ride on Saturday morning with Talia and Angela Pea.  Fun ride with great company.  I came home and started working in my yard - again with this spectacular weather.  On Sunday, Pebbles was supposed to come over and let me borrow their leaf blower/vacuum/shredder thingy to see if I wanted to buy one of my own.  Plus, we were going to finish hanging up some art and generally change things around a bit.  It's been the same for a while and the sitting room has not one thing on the walls.

But then, as she predicted would happen, Slater found a motorcycle.  He's been on a quest since returning from VN.  And he found just what he was looking for in OK.  So, a late night plea was made for dog sitting and they landed in Fort Worth about 11pm on Saturday night.  Their plan was to spend the night, get up the next morning get the oil changed in their vehicle, get a trailer hitch and lighting harness installed, pick up the u-tow-it and head for Broken Bow.  They did remember to bring me the Toro (or most of it, anyway).  So I still spent the day vacuuming (they forgot the sucky part) up leaves and debris in the yard.  It looks so much better.  I've got lots of rock borders made of slices of limestone and the leaves and debris get embedded down in there.  I had been spending hours picking this stuff out by hand because I didn't KNOW there was such a thing as a vacuum!  Anyway, that worked out beautifully.  I am sore and tired today, but in that good way.  I'm feeling much better about my ability to keep this place up in a manner that is pleasing to me.

They got back about 11pm last night, bike in tow to pick up the GrandBeast.  Pebbles will be back next weekend to help me get some stuff on the walls.

In the it's Raining Men category - or more actually - perhaps a couple of isolated showers - The Artist whom I was hosting last week asked me out - and not in a "thank you" way.  It was a nice ego boost, but I declined.  Very nice man and not my type.  However, my type did arrive via other means.  Valerie, who is still active on POF dating site, sent me a profile of someone she thought I should meet.  An avid cyclist, masters degree, lives in this same neighborhood, age appropriate and attractive from what we can tell.  My first thought was wow, interesting.  My second thought was, no way am I going back to online dating.  My third thought is that I will ask her to send him a note asking if he is interested in meeting me.  And if he is, well, great.  If not, no harm no foul and I don't have to enter into the crazy-making world of the online-dating.  Win/win.

Every day is a homerun.  I'm on a streak, in the zone, riding the wave.  I know it will end because to expect otherwise is setting myself up for disappointment and perfectionism.  For now, I'll take it while it's easy - coasting when I can.  There will be plenty of hills later.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Be flexible.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Discomfort Over Resentment

The above sentiment is courtesy of Brene Brown.  I love it.  It goes right to the heart of my people-pleasing and reminds me that choosing temporary discomfort is better than seething resentment.  And the thing about resentment is that it will find it's way out - at least it does with me.  So as far as these Thursday evening gatherings with Valerie and Kendra, I'm opting out. 

I need to remember that "Sorry, I can't make it" is reason enough for anyone.  And hells, for all I  know, they may be (together or separately) feeling trapped into inviting me.  So it's time to put everyone out of their misery.  I know this is the right answer, but I'd been searching around for how to say it when it dawned upon me that I don't really owe an explanation other than I can't make it.  I may opt-in for other activities, but for now, this isn't it.  Valerie likes to attend meditation with me and I'm perfectly fine with that.  I'd like to keep some relationship with her, if possible. 

I had another opportunity to practice choosing a few minutes of discomfort now, rather than lots of resentment later.  Someone wanted me to do something for them but it wasn't really in my best interest and I knew I would not be happy later with that choice, so I didn't jump right in.  And while it was uncomfortable not making someone else happy, I'm now over that discomfort and I don't have to dread anything nor resent it later.

Still rocking the rut  groove I'm in.  Further rocking will be had today as I ride with Talia and Angela Pea and enjoy this A-MAZING autumn weather we are experiencing here in north Texas.  It has to be the most spectacular fall we've ever had.  The weather is perfect and there is an abundance of brilliant fall color.  And this is December 1!

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Resentment is like battery acid.