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I hope you all enjoy my efforts here!

Dec 27, 2008

Faster than a Speeding Bullet!

I had a funny incident today, when I was out to lunch with some of my good friends. They had their little baby along. She's a cutie, even if she was probably teething and cranky as a result. Anyhow, as she was being held, her by her daddy, her arm reached out and knocked his soda over in my direction.

It was so funny! I could almost see the glass of soda in ice being spilled in slow motion! In my mind as soon as I could tell the pop was going to go over, and it would spill all over me, I said to myself, "I wonder if I can move this body fast enough now to get out of the way?"

Lickety split, faster than a speeding bullet I slid out of the booth and jumped into the aisle! The result? I was 98% successful! I got just a tad on the side of my pants that was closest to the spill. That's it! All over my seat, that I was sitting was a huge puddle of ice and soda. It was also all over the table and leaking down continually after the initial spill. On me, hardly any! Three years ago, I would've been soaked with a lapful of soda and ice!

I am amazed! I can move fast now! Woo Hoo! Now that I'm faster than a speeding bullet, do you think I can leap tall buildings?

(By the way, thanks Staci for the idea to blog about this!) :-)

Dec 24, 2008

Strength through Gratitude?

For probably the last six months or so, I've been on a journey, following Oprah's recommendation (which she got from a book), where each day I write 5 things that I am grateful for that day. I've noticed that over time, slowly little changes are happening in my thought processes.

When I look at my day, to evaluate what I'm grateful for, I find I have to push away the thoughts of any bad or negatives of the day, in order to find what I'm grateful for. Sometimes it's really hard to do that. Sometimes writing my gratitude blog at night is almost a chore. At other times, it's really insightful and fulfilling. Despite the differences in how I feel day to day, I find some days I spend my days looking for things to be grateful for. When I do that, I experience more joy in the day. On other days, I don't think about it until doing the blogging gratitude log. Having to in essence "wash out the bad" as I look for the good, helps me to define my day more positively. Doing so every day is teaching me to change my outlook on life, as well as to truly live and appreciate so many little small things each and every day.

I have learned that we only have now. Tomorrow never comes, yesterday is but a memory. The memories are pleasant and joyful, when I was truly able to appreciate my experiences when they are happening, "in the now". The worries about tomorrow are less, when I realize I have no control over it, and the worries have the power to ruin my now. The truth is though, life has it's challenges, and sometimes it even has it's tragedies.

Recently, I found out a friend of mine lost the small baby she was pregnant with. I read the blog she kept during the weeks long ordeal that led to the loss of her precious son. What really clicked with me, was an entry she wrote in the midst of her ordeal. She was in the hospital, and suffering. Her post read like the most precious gratitude log. She thanked so many people, stating in profound terms all that she was grateful for. It was clear that even in the midst of tragedy, she found a way to be grateful, to appreciate all that she DID have, and all the help and love coming her way. While reading her blog, it is clear she is dealing with this tragedy in her life with such strength and such love. She is also relying on her faith as well as her family through this.

The particular entry that she wrote, which seemed to me in essence to be similar to a gratitude post has struck a chord in me. How much of her strength has come from really appreciating her life and all that she has, rather than railing at the fates and God for what she is having to endure? Maybe gratitude helps to replenish one's very core and soul. Regular readers of this blog, and/or family members, know that my brother-in-law Dick, taught me great lessons as he fought and and lost his great battle to live. One of the things that he taught me was to treasure life. He found a way to be happy and be grateful for all that he had in his life. He truly treasured every moment. While he didn't write gratitude logs, I know he lived a life feeling gratitude and joy, as well as giving service to others. I wonder how much of strength he had in tragedy and through trials came through his ability to be grateful.

I'll actually share publicly (vs. privately in my gratitude blog) the things I'm grateful for today, since it fits the theme of today's entry. I'm so grateful that I have a wonderful home and family to share a life with. The moments with the children, as we smile, laugh, play are moments of their life that I'm honored to shared. I'm grateful to wake up in a household and see people I love every morning. I'm grateful to my siblings who share their children and grandchildren with me. I'm grateful for the awesome friends that I have. Most of my friends are long time friends. They've stuck with me through the good and through the bad. Through the bad, I had to have been a terrible friend, as I wasn't happy, and wasn't able to truly appreciate them. I'm grateful for having some of the best friends in the world, as they're still my friends despite it all. I'm grateful for the technology we have today that allows me to connect with, and to share in a small way, parts of life with family members far away. My blog has made me closer to a couple of very special nieces. My recent joining of the Face book community is starting to connect me with nephews who live further away, and with whom I ached to connect. I'm thrilled at the connections coming through this awesome technology. I'm grateful for the gift of hearing. My cochlear implants allow me the joy of sound, the ability to not only hear, but to over hear. I'm grateful for former students of mine who have grown up and still manage to be in my life. Some of managed to stay in my life for years, honoring me with their friendship, others lost touch, but are re-connecting with me on Face book. How grateful I am to realize the lives that I've been fortunate to share some small part of. I'm grateful that despite all my shortcomings and challenges in the past, I was able to touch some lives. One young man who I just reconnected with on Face book, told me I was his best teacher ever. How awesome to be remembered by someone that way. I'm honored. I'm grateful for my parents, who are long gone. I miss them greatly, but their strength, integrity and love have allowed me to have so much strength in my own life. I have parents who I always knew supported me in any way they could. They "had my back". I'm grateful for the many giants in my life, the people who teach me just by how they live their lives. I'm grateful for life itself. I'm grateful for every day having the opportunity to "start over". If I make a mistake, make a bad decision, or need to learn and grow, each fresh morning provides me the opportunity to do so. I'm grateful for holidays, as an opportunity to just spend time with those you love and appreciate them. Happy Holidays everyone.

Dec 21, 2008

Opinions Wanted

Okay! So I was deciding I couldn't afford to go get a makeover. I played online and found some virtual makeover tools. With much creativity (meaning I didn't sign up and pay money for any of these virtual makeovers, so I had to be crafty with how I got a photo), I was able to print (not save) one of my sessions, then scan it. Below is the idea that I'm kind of playing with. I like the color, and may even consider going a little darker brown. The color is a golden brown, but some ash browns seemed to look good. I kind of thought the style was flattering. Who thinks I ought to toy with this style? For current hair style, go down look at my entry around Thanksgiving time with photo. Does anyone like it as much as I do, or do you have better ideas. Keep in mind my hair is thin and fine. So nothing curly or full of body works.

One Day Later:
I just decided to add this part of the post a day later. I receive some comments to the photo above on facebook, and one comment was about having the hair darker. I also wondered about whether the hair should be longer. So I went back and redid the picture with darker hair and longer. I think I like the shorter hair the best, but if I get this hair do, if I go to long between hair cuts (which I'm apt to do), the one below may happen. Should I have darker or lighter hair? Still wondering why no one comments here!!???

Dec 18, 2008

I've Fallen and Can't Get Up!

Sorry for the absence, for those who missed me! :) I've been saving up some "post titles" in draft form, so I could remember some of the things that I wanted to write about, when I was up for writing again! For some reason, I needed a "posting holiday", from both this blog, and my private "gratitude blog" that I keep.

Now I'm back! Anyhow, wondering what's behind my title? One of the things that was so awful about the size that I once was, was that when I fell, I couldn't really get up with the large unmaneuverable nearly 400 lb body I was living in. I have one bad knee that is "bone on bone". I'm convinced there's a familial tendency towards knee problems, due to the prevalence of problems in my family and all the artificial knees. However, in truth, the weight surely didn't help.

Because of the problem with my knees, it would hurt so much, that I couldn't even tolerate the short few seconds I would have to be on them, on the way to getting up, at any time that I fell. I'd have to come up with creative ways to get up off the floor, the very few times I fell. I don't know why I fell, as it doesn't seem to be something I have done for a loooooooooong time! Maybe I had worse balanced with that body, or maybe I'd trip and not be agile enough to catch myself. Anyhow, I'd have to do things like scoot to a couch, use my arms and try to pull up to the couch, and go from there.

I remember one incident where I tripped and fell in front of the classroom in the junior high I was teaching in. I had my oxygen tank connect to me as well. I sprawled in front, I can't get up, the kids are watching, necks craning, watching the "spectacle". There were two other teacher's in the room, thankfully one a man, who probably had some muscles. Anyhow, they had to come help pull me up to a standing position, bypassing my knees. That had to take some muscles to do. It's a pretty embarrassing situation if you think about it.

It wasn't until about 6 months ago that I finally allowed myself to get on the floor. I figured I should be at a point where I was agile enough to take advantage of some possible ways to get up from the floor without having to go onto my knees. I was surprised at all the different ways I could get up, without going on my knees, now that I have a much smaller, more agile body. One thing I avoided still was the knees. My hands had to take the weight and I was able to get up from there, push up style or any other number of ways I could think of! I no longer have the "falling, and can't get up problem. I'm no longer afraid of getting on the floor.

A few days ago, little Mackie wanted me to read to him (2 1/2 years old). I don't know why, but he likes me to sit on the floor in my living room in a certain spot. I was holding his little 2 month old baby brother. Mackie was pretty upset and having a hard day. He was crying a lot and wanting attention. He let me know he wanted me on the floor, reading to him. So I went downstairs, sat in our spot as I held Finnley. Mission accomplished. However, when we were done, I realized I had a dilemma. Full arms! I couldn't use my hands to help me maneuver my body up. There was no ands or buts about it, I needed to use my knees. Bracing myself for the coming pain, I went onto my knees and then up. Shocker of all shockers, NO PAIN! Nothing! What just happened? Despite my bad knee, still bone on bone, it turns out maybe a lot of my knee pain was just supporting those 222 extra pounds. Wow! Great dividends! What joy to see the things I can now do, that I thought I'd never do again, including being "on my knees"! :)

Dec 5, 2008

Successful week!

Yep, it's Friday, my Jenny Craig appointment day. I wasn't sure how I had done last week, as I went off program a little. I was afraid to look at the scale and see what the numbers were. To my great excitement, I lost over 3 lbs last week! My new total, 222.3. Now I'm 7.7 from goal! I'm thrilled with the progress! I'm so close I can feel it, and wearing my high school coat to my appointment and subsequent weigh in was GREAT! :)

Dec 4, 2008

High School Coat

Yep, here's a picture of my high school coat! (I apologize for the poorly lit picture. I may take a better picture tomorrow with a better camera and replace it if I get a chance.) I bought this in my junior year of high school, with my hard earned money. I don't know why I kept it all these years. I guess it reminded me of when I used to be able to fit it. I do remember that I bought it my junior year of high school. I had lost 40 lbs to become "thin" over the summer before my junior year began. I was working in my home town hospital lab part time, which allowed me to buy all of my own clothes.

Why did I keep it all these years? Did I really believe that I would someday fit it again? Was it a memento from my high school thin year? It was only one thin year. I put the weight on and more in time for my senior year, and never wore it again. In the 35 years since I bought this, I've moved at least 15 times that I can remember. I really am not a pack rat and have hardly any memorabilia of any kind. The things I've kept from the past are scarcely few in number. It's beyond me, but somehow, I chose, move after move to keep this coat.

I'm sure glad I did! It took me 35 years to do it, but I'm able to wear my high school coat! I bought a good quality coat as I found it very warm. Yesterday I attended The Nutcracker Ballet, wearing the outfit from my picture in the blog entry below, and this high school coat! I saw my friend's adult daughter, who loved the feel of the coat and kept running her hands up and down it, enjoying the texture of the faux fur type of material.

I can't believe at 51, an age many would call middle age, I'm enjoying the wonderful, warm winter coat I bought as a 16 year old teenager! What FUN! :)