Tuesday, August 31, 2010
A stiffness in the left side of my neck. It was a strong enough feeling that it scared me a bit. I thought I had an injury.
Took me a few days to understand.
And the only reason I did (figure it out) is yoga has taught me to do everything evenly to my body - up and then down - front then back - right side then left side - pose and counter pose.
The answer to the neck?
I was watching TV in the evening always on my left side. So I was tilting my head/neck one way and not the other. I now divide my night evenly, first one end of the couch and then flipping to the other, and my neck is fine.
The next person to bring this same thing to my attention was a woman in Zumba.
She had been on the left side of the room for as long as I had been at my new dance studio.
One day, she moved to the far right.
When I asked why - she said - stiffness in her neck and shoulder.
And she figured out that she was never evening things out in Zumba. By standing on the left, she was always looking to the right (at the instructor).
So her plan was to move to the right side of the room and look left until her neck loosened. And then to alternate sides every other class to stay balanced. And it worked.
I would imagine people balancing a phone between their shoulder and ear have BIG issues with this neck thing too.
If you have any other examples - including hands, feet or any other parts of the body - would love to hear.
Monday, August 30, 2010
If you need a refresher,
here is part one
and here is part two.
This, part three, was all set to post the day after the second part, and then I chickened out.
I was sort of afraid it was too much. Three posts in three days about one event. I felt a little fixated, like I needed to have more perspective.
And talking about my aunt's family made me feel uneasy. I always know there is a risk that someone (real life) will accidentally find me. (I am making myself a note to talk about a specific 'outing' incident, with my husband, another day.)
I changed almost nothing in this post, between when I wrote it and today, as it is published. I just fixed a couple typos, added this 'forward' section, and let it roll.
As you can tell, I have been cleaning out my drafts box. It accumulates very quickly and every once in a while, I go through this delete it or post it phase. I very rarely delete any more. In the past, and now, sometimes the ones that cause me the most hesitation are the most important ones for me to reread and embrace.
My aunt is (approximately) 63, her husband is a little older, their kids are 36, 33 and 30 (approximately).
Oldest is a girl and is married with 2 kids (5, 3).
The middle is single guy with a really good job. And he is to the lake cottage almost every weekend all summer with the extended family. He often brings friends with him. This is the same one that sat with great grandmother while she was slowly dying.
The youngest is a girl married with one 2 1/2 year old. I have never met her husband. But the whole family likes and respects him. He was layed off for part of the winter (construction) and is now working 7 days a week while there is work.
Aunt's middle and youngest seem to have very good foundation.
The oldest cousin (from this family) married a man who was divorced with a (currently) 12 year old boy. There appears to be a reason this man was divorced. He is an absentee father and husband. He earns enough $$$ to take care of his own expenses and his child support. He does nothing around house or yard. He does things that are fun - travel, activities, etc - by himself. He is not 'difficult'. He is not mean. He is very happily doing his own thing.
Cousin has turned out entirely passive (like my mother and my brother).
And in my extended family this is referred to as 'nice'.
But, while they refer to her as 'nice', my aunt and uncle and the other two cousins totally realize her kids are not doing as well as they might ('nice' mother does not believe in discipline of any type, she thinks it is mean, and she is an inner city, grade school teacher, so go figure).
And they realize husband is not a good provider and is never around.
So, like I said, while they see her as 'nice', they also realize this all is not working very well.
My mother is just starting to get a glimmer there is a relationship between what she sees as 'nice' and dysfunction.
This is partially because every time she uses that 'nice' word, I say - that is actually just avoiding responsibility.
Part Three of the Lake story:
That day at the lake, MY youngest (12) picked up on these two (grand) kids immediately. My youngest said - how come they acted sort of odd/immature and how come it was their grandma (my aunt) who kept guiding/correcting them all day and not their mother?
I asked my aunt and the male cousin about all this in private, because I had picked up on the oddness of the kids too.
And my aunt said - no, it is not your imagination and then sort of filled me in on their lives.
That weekend the husband had flown to Florida to stay with one of his best friends. And maybe he had never gone to Florida before, but I am given to understand it is always something like that.
And every other weekend, and every Wednesday, his focus is on his 'original' kid (as it should be).
It made me wonder if the only way of getting him to pay attention to his kids is to have assigned visitation times.
My aunt is very worried about my cousin who is basically a single parent,and is down to skin and bones and looks very tired.
I have heard other moms say in the end it was actually easier to BE a single parent, because then expectations are more realistic. Would she ever divorce him or make him tow the line? Highly Doubtful. She is even 'nicer' than my mom. (My mom did divorce my dad, so stranger things have actually happened. But then my mom turned right around and married the old man next door. . .)
Youngest was in front seat with me all the way home from the cottage. Other 3 kids were in back seat with headphones watching movie on a laptop.
Youngest and I talked very quietly all the way home. The niece and the nephew had noise cancelling headphones so their heads never popped up to say - what did you say? But the middle's did and I just shooed her back to her movie. This was youngest's time.
Youngest was sorting out in her mind, the repeating patterns in families.
She was also sorting out how things are read through different eyes. And people presenting things as 'nice' or 'mean'. And parents not teaching kids, or not recognizing dysfunction.
After sorting out the two grand kids thing, one of the points my youngest brought up was my dad who is a narcissist, who she has never met.
I have always been very blunt with my kids - when I decided to get married and have kids, I stopped all contact with him so they did not have to have him in their lives. I have explained narcissists are raised (not born) and there is NO fixing them. That even if narcissist wanted to be 'helped' (which they never do), there was no going back, correcting. And I said they are very confusing and difficult and only take away, never give.
And youngest said - your brother recognizes your dad is a severe narcissist doesn't he?
And I said yes, but he chooses to have contact with him. And when he has contact with him, he accepts all my dad's very bad behaviors. (my mother would say my brother was being 'nice')
And my youngest said - his kids (niece and nephew) think your dad (their grandpa) is a GREAT guy.
And I said - yes, narcissists have a very charming side to get what they want and to control. But they also lie and cheat and steal and manipulate with this same charming manner. They are very good at what they do/want. And my dad is a really skilled one.
And my youngest said - so your brother KNOWS and lets his kids think their grandpa is a great guy?
I said - Yes, and it gets even worse. Niece and nephew also have a strong narcissist for a mother. And they think she is great too. Brother always presents her as wonderful person.
And then we talked about how my mother was raised by one and then married one. And then my brother was raised by one and married one. And now his kids are exposed to BOTH of these narcissists and told they are 'great'.
Youngest totally got this. Did not understand WHY someone would KNOW and repeat, but totally GOT it.
And yes, history will probably repeat itself.
I did pretty well at the lake.
I think partly because I see that my aunt (and her kids) did not end up with a charmed life either. Aunt has one kid that has dug herself a very large hole. And there is a lot of work to be done there. I do not rejoice in the fact that things are not going well. I just see the circle of it.
I had three moments where I thought I was going to burst into tears (and then lay in a fetal position on the floor.) But I never even got to the 90 second mark, no tears, no fetal position. I was able to accept that was how I felt and take a breath and move on well under 90 seconds.
Two of these moments were at the lake, and to my knowledge, no one noticed.
The third one was in the car and the youngest noticed immediately.
She said - do you hurt?
And I said - yes, but didn't injure myself (at my house everyone thinks lower back when they see pain on my face). It was just like a spasm of leftover pain from my childhood came back with seeing a key place from my childhood (was at the lake all the time with my beloved grandmother visiting my great grandmother who lived there).
And that 'face' is what led to our hour and a half long discussion on the way home.
And to be honest, I think she would have chosen the discussion over the (backseat) movie. She got a lot out of it.
My husband would see this type of talk as negative. I do not. And I don't think my kids do. I think all of us see it as interesting and important and relative. It is what it is. Neither positive nor negative, but reality.
Parts of it youngest has understood before, but there was something that Saturday, with everyone there, that really showed her the cycles and circles.
And talking about it all, factually, with her, helped me too.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
This 'flags post' is a good way to look at my old adage:
What do I mean to be doing?
What am I actually doing?
How is it working?
two new yoga classes in the evening
my mixed up day with a major nap
getting back on my feet
got to the pool, went to get in and the water was COLD (this is a heated pool). I looked at the life guard and she said - we don't know why - the heater has been running, but not warming. And then she said - there is no one in the baby pool and the heater IS keeping it warm as it is so shallow. So yes, the three of us took our noodles and floated in the baby pool (it is probably 2' deep at the far end and is bigger than you might be picturing, there is also a splash pool with a fountain for the really little ones). No kids were in the baby pool and it was as warm as a bathtub and we loved it.
free weights and yoga
got a text from middle that said she had a bad ear ache. Took her to ENT after school thinking she had wax build up with water behind it (4/2009 this had happened and as soon as they vacuumed her ears out she was fine). He said ears were clean, but swelling behind ear drum - oral and drop antibiotic.
If you think you had a busy week - free weights instructor son got married this weekend. So Thursday night (day of class) was rehearsal dinner, Friday was surprise 50th anniversary party for her parents (brilliant as everyone was in town for the wedding and it truly was a surprise), Saturday was wedding, Sunday was brunch at her mom's house, and then she cleared her schedule for the following week and was going to her lake house with her sister who was in from out of town. She said it is the after that always gets to her. So she did everything the week OF and then was going to relax the week after.
a different yoga class (power)
new (to me) instructor who was hard. No actual breaks. We moved with a breath the whole time. If we stopped moving it was to hold something hard, not to 'rest'. I sweated, but I kept up with her. And Helen would have liked her - she roamed the room - correcting positions and posture the whole class. And it made me think of Kate, one of my original yoga instructors. She used to say, The Eye of the Observer Changes the Observed . For those of us who are experienced, but ever 'practicing' - just having the instructor look our general direction dramatically improves our positioning. If the instructor walks toward us, we improve ten fold. It is like magic.
Middle went to school for most of the day, but felt worse.
We went to the pool - she didn't get in, but read book and said fresh air and lounge chair felt good.
Was up most of the night with her - spread to both ears and really hurt.
Middle was a wreck - called physician on call for ENT and they put her on stronger Antibiotic.
Was up most of the night with her again.
one of my husband's brothers called yesterday morning to say that his/their mom (ovarian cancer, hospice, at home) was not eating/drinking anything. Literally. So all three brothers got ready to go see her again. Same brother (the only one that has not been there this summer/fall) called back to say he had called hospice nurse and his/their mom was still eating/drinking the bits and bites she has been. It was easy to see why he was confused. First of all - not the brightest penny. . . And then that IS what mom said to him. She just didn't mean it like he took it. So my husband was getting ready to go back down again (this week) and now he is not. Now, he is letting each of the brothers go back. And then will go after that (12 hour drive one way, no even remotely good flights, it is the sort of thing where it is two connections to get there). Close friend of his/their mom's is staying with her now, and then the other three sons start rolling back through. I had VERY mixed feelings with the first call. Did not want my husband to be gone (again) this week and next weekend while oldest is home (he is home working labor day weekend) and while middle is so sick. But I realized he had to go. I have been very worried about how tired husband is. But yes, moment of relief with first call to think this might actually be drawing to a close. We keep talking about carpool dad from a couple years ago, metastasized lung cancer, who was READY for it to be over, in terrible pain, just tiny, tiny bits and bites and made it 6 mos after he (and family) didn't WANT to make it any more). And my great grandmother decided she was DONE, refused all food and water (literally), and went almost 2 weeks. And that was at the age of something like 98 where you would have thought in a couple days she would be done. My aunt's middle child (single, boy) sat with great grandma much of that 2 weeks. He has always been very family oriented. Still is.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Taking care of ourselves, our own problems is kindest thing to do for our kids - history just repeats itself if positive, healing action is not taken
I originally wrote:
My post on smoking made me think of this one, from a slightly different angle.
I once knew a blogger whose mother had ALWAYS been after her about her weight. This was not a mother who taught her kids to eat and exercise healthy.
This was an 'eat artificial (non-food) to keep the points below a certain level and the weight below another certain level' kind of mom.
This was a 'sighing mom'.
This was a mom who prided herself in being able to monitor her own food intake. This was a mom who stayed slim and trim.
This was a 'smug mom'.
And these factors are all actually not the point of my post - but I thought it would help you visualize the mom.
The point is
after many years of hearing about the mom and the past control issues of the blogger's childhood
the blogger just happened to mention
And I thought everything the mother has ever said about (non) food and exercise and the scale is now null and void.
and HOW DARE mom have been going on and on, and in the blogger's face, for all these years over food issues when mom has addiction in a different package.
A worse package.
The mom gets to voice no opinion on anything the blogger ever does in her entire life.
Mom can just clean up her own backyard.
And this totally explained (to me anyway) WHY the mom was so controlling over the years - negative busy work to keep from dealing with her own issues.
All the anger and feelings (of the mom) were directed at the blogger. And when this started the blogger was just a child. I heard about it mostly when the blogger was an adult. But there was a LONG history there.
I have no tolerance what so ever for parents not recognizing and dealing with their own dysfunction and then inflicting it on their kids.
And this is (without a doubt) exactly what had gone on with this mother.
The blogger (I am sure) HAS the weight problems in huge part to the mom not dealing with her own issues.
The most dangerous parents (IMO) are the ones who do not recognize their own dysfunctions. And many times, then take it out on their kids. Anger is very telling. Disapproval is very telling. It says more about the person than it does about the 'victim'.
And this puts me right over the top (in case you hadn't noticed).
We all (as parents) have our issues.
And we all have made BIG TIME mistakes.
But I am 'okay' with all of that as long as there is onward and upward movement.
As parents, we didn't know what we didn't know.
But when we knew better, we did better.
We acknowledge the mistakes, learn, improve.
And the mistakes can be real learning points for the whole family.
But often, with this, we have to leave our egos at the door.
And learn to deal within ourselves first.
And that is hard.
It also can be a very positive growth experience.
Empowerment for us, and for our kids.
Friday, August 27, 2010
And then I waited a bit more, until I had more of the story set earlier in the summer, and then more recently I added this piece.
So now today, here is the mirror post.
What I originally wrote:
I waited until I had a chance to tell my therapist this story.
So if she had said my perception was skewed -
I would have told you the story
with 'attention skewed thinking' thing noted.
She said - not skewed.
A little gift background will help set the stage.
My husband is REALLY bad with gifts. Like if I give him a very specific list - he still messes it up. So gift receiving sort of has me on edge in general (which I realize didn't help).
I just stopped trying (gifts from him to me, and also gifts from kids to me as he is involved in that too) many years ago. And my mother is bad at buying gifts for anyone. I do all of her shopping. It is easier to do hers then to have to return and redo it. I buy things for me from my mom. It just seems silly to do that for my family too.
And all this doesn't REALLY bother me. It is just reality. Remember I don't like complicated and I don't chase my tail.
I buy stuff (for me) during the year. I just don't (usually) for the holidays. So no big deal.
Except, I did do birthday gifts for myself this year (March 27, 2010 was my 49th birthday). I paid full price for a short denim jacket that was stellar. And I bought several short necklaces from my beloved bead shop. I had long necklaces, but these were short, designed to fall just at the throat. And I gave these to the middle child to put away for my birthday. Then the day of my birthday was jammed packed. So I 'opened' them the next day. I was saying things like - I had forgotten how lovely this is - and my husband said - can't you pretend you have never seen them? and I said - I don't DO pretend. (pretend is part of the reason I now have a weight loss blog - which helps me deal with reality).
So here is the mirror story
(with my insight apparently on track per my therapist):
I very rarely will get involved in Christmas gifts for myself. I have a lot to do during the holidays. I do a very good job shopping for everyone else. It just seems silly - with everything else going on - to buy for me too. So I don't.
This year (December 2009) my husband wanted to buy (me) things.
And I actually made a short list.
And one of the things on the list was a full length mirror.
I wanted this mirror because
1. I was down to end/goal
2. I have a fascination with full length mirrors at hair stylists
3. I was starting to work on my closet
4. kids would like full length mirror also
My husband and I found a full length mirror at Lowe's. It was in a nice frame and was BIG. (Not the kind that goes on the back of a door, yes that is foreshadowing.) It was just what I wanted. We had the wrong car that day. My husband went back and got it another day. It was sitting in the living room by the tree waiting for Christmas.
Accept these as givens please:
1. my MIL's voice lived in my head for many years. My therapist and I worked (hard) to stop it. It didn't matter that the voice always said foolish/wrong things. I still heard it comment. And taken one at a time, these would seem like little things. But this is a relentless person. And the relentless person had a relentless voice in my head. And I am sure you have encountered relentless people in your life. And even when relentless people are wrong (like 99.9% of the time) or don't have a good track record themselves - they can still be very destructive.
2. I wanted my image (of myself in the mirror) to be a positive/accurate thing.
3. I wanted BIG mirror like at stylists.
And then, just before Christmas, my husband was having a phone conversation with his mom and in the process of thinking of things to say - he (accidentally) mentioned the mirror.
And she went off on an endless tangent about how unnecessary it was - that a $5 one on the back of the door was fine. (yes, there are $5 ones out there, really distorted image)
The BIG/framed one was $80 or so (which we thought was a really good price).
And then he (accidentally) mentioned this mirror conversation to me.
And the mirror became tainted in my mind.
I didn't want it.
Even though I knew that it was just another foolish comment (by her), I knew that every time I looked in that mirror - I would have a voice in my head (again).
His point in mentioning it to me was not to make trouble. His point was actually that no matter how simple or a personal decision something was - she really goes off - And that it is hard to remove oneself from it. She will not listen and she then brings up the tiny thing for years. And the stock pile of tiny things is unbelievable.So the mirror went back to Lowe's.
And I was VERY SAD about the whole thing.
And I was able to explain this all to my husband in a way that he really did understand. I didn't poor me over it (much) and I didn't kick him over it (much) and I didn't woulda-coulda-shoulda over it (much) .
AND remember - I had a REALLY tough holiday season this year and this mirror thing did not help!
And when I explained all this to my therapist - she said - of course it had to go back.
And now I am thinking: THAT mirror had to go back.
But many days - I sort of still wish I had a really nice, full mirror like the ones at the stylists.
So I am wondering if another BIG mirror, that isn't tainted, might be okay to come live at our house with positive images someday.
And when I am ready to do that, I will. But not ready yet.
PS - if you are wondering about the other things on my Christmas list - he couldn't do those. He tried - but they were beyond him. My mother said - good heavens! - because the list was simple enough that she could do it - which she will tell you is a statement in itself - so she bought me a few things - I can't remember any now except for a pairing knife. And it is wonderful to have a sharp, nice knife.
PPS - I just remembered another one - a full size (bib) apron - which I ordered myself after Christmas.
PPPS - Sharla sent me a box of pears - which I dearly loved!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
It said - Junior Detective.
He asked if I knew what it meant. I didn't. I asked what teacher had given it to him. When he told me, I said - youngest had that same teacher in 5th grade, maybe she will know. She didn't know either.
At my extra therapy appointment Tuesday, as we talked, that certificate came to mind. I went in with a whole bunch of odds and ends and said - I feel like I am sort of crashing today and I am not sure why. And as I relayed all kinds of information, therapist zeroed in on a point which surprised me.
I mentioned in Tuesday's post, I took two 'mystery' yoga classes on Monday night.
And when I described the second, meditation yoga class, the therapist said - that is a very intense practice.
And I mentioned in Tuesday's post that six years ago I would not have been able to stay still with my mind clear for a full class (was supposed to be an hour class, but I think it was more like 45 minutes). I don't think I could have sat, with just myself, for even 5 minutes. And I would have been sort of a mess after even trying such a class.
Now at the time, Monday night, I did not feel much anxiety.
I did feel a little. At the time I attributed it to my position.
Since I didn't know what the class was, I didn't realize we were meditating the WHOLE time in one position. I thought we would meditate for a while and then stretch. So, I started out on my back on my yoga block. I find this position very comfortable. After about 30 minutes (which is a long time for a yoga block between one's shoulder blades), I quietly rolled off the block and stayed on my side for the rest of class.
So I wasn't (exactly) struggling to keep my mind clear. But at some point, I was distracted by my physical discomfort. It will be interesting to see what happens in this class next week with a different, constant, comfortable position.
When I left yoga I was intensely hungry for something fried. I actually craved the grease. And that very rarely happens. I also have been out of avocados. I went through drive thru and got something. This also rarely happens (like can't even remember the last time). And it did taste wonderful to me and was worth the calories. But I wondered 'where' that came from as it was so unlike me.
And then I went to the grocery store and bought milk, cottage cheese, and sliced low sodium turkey (deli).
I picked up middle child from her college class and we went home.
I did not sleep well Monday night. I was up and down and around.
By the time the girls left for school Tuesday morning, I was sort of a wreck.
I literally could not make myself go to exercise. And this sucked because it was my free weights, yoga, zumba push day. I went back to sleep. This hardly ever happens. I slept (hard) for four hours until the phone rang. I think I would have slept all the way through my 2:45pm therapy appointment if the phone had not woken me.
And after being woken, I took care of something bothering me. I went through my email inbox. It was up to almost 200 items. There was only one upsetting thing. I had missed an important email message from a fellow blogger. I sent her a note of apology. And besides that, it did feel good to clear my inbox back down to -0-.
And I ran the dishwasher (we were out of flatware again, which is a clear sign of too much going on in my life). And I took care of a whole bunch of phone calls. That was all sort of making sunshine out of rain (empowering myself with the extra bit of time instead of being upset about being woken).
When I got in the car to go to therapy, I discovered the perishable groceries were still in there. I had to pitch it all. And that is not like me at all (to forget them).
So I sort of walked into therapy feeling like - what on earth is the matter with me?
And therapist said she was positive it was the meditation. That even though I didn't FEEL upset, and could see the marked contrast to how I would have done years ago in this same class, it had set something loose.
I stopped and went back through drive thru for the same thing on the way home from therapy. And I also stopped by the store and re bought the pitched groceries and this time remembered avocados and tomatoes!
And then I had an upset time with the middle child.
I had asked her to call her carpool ride (youth group meeting Tuesday evening) to remind them she needed a ride. She didn't. They forgot her. It blew my evening time apart to have to take her both directions. It didn't phase me they forgot her. It bothered me that I asked her to call and she didn't. And this is very unlike her.
We went flying out the door so she wouldn't be late. It is always an hour and a half or even two hour meeting (which is 30 minutes from our house). I got there and realized I did NOT have shoes, a phone, anything at all to do. I didn't wait for her (which is what I normally do if I drive both directions, this is the same meeting where youngest and I played scrabble one night). I returned home and had enough time to load all the dirty flatware in the dishwasher (I have extra flatware baskets). And when I left again, I had shoes, phone and something to do. So that was actually all very empowering. Another making sunshine out of rain.
And to be honest, on the way to retrieve the middle, I stopped through drive thru a third time (in two days). I did not get the same thing as the first two times. I got a drink. And part of it tasted good. And after just a bit of it, it didn't taste good and I pitched it while stopped at a red light (the contents, not the paper cup).
I did not feel sick after any of the drive thru encounters. And it sort of feels like that is done. But I will be hyper vigilant for the next 3-4 weeks (I personally think that is how long it takes to be truly past ONE non-food encounter,and yes, I know how many people are not even past one sort of run away encounter before they are piling on one after the other. Like how many 3-4 weeks sets are accumulated exactly?).
I had huge trouble falling asleep Tuesday night. I went to bed late (knew I had slept 4 hours that morning). But still had trouble. And then I didn't stay asleep. I was up and moving about at 4:45am.
And I remember the vicious cycle of all of this. Exercise, have energy. No exercise, no energy. Sleep at the wrong times, get really messed up patterns.
It is absolutely amazing how fast everything can fall into disarray.
PS - Wednesday was a little better. My food was fine all day. My water was not. I did not let myself take a nap, even though I wanted one. And I took care of some more phone calls and also some typing for my school projects. And then I made the blue sheet for Sabrina and ran and got both her set and my set laminated. And then I took care of several questions in the back parking lot (the big one) while I was waiting for kids.
To be honest, I think my big school volunteer projects sort of keep me sane each fall. I don't think I have been reacting to them. I think they keep me very busy during this transitional time and then by the time they are done, I am very ready for them to be done and to get on with normal life.
Wednesday night, youngest had sniffles and sore throat. She got up this (Thursday) morning still not sure how she felt. She is sleeping an extra hour or two and then I am running her in to school late. So, that means I am missing at least the first part of my exercise morning - free weights. Before she even got up and said all this, I was not at all sure I was going (again). It just feels too vulnerable. So after she got up, I thought, maybe I can just go to yoga and then zumba. Maybe I can handle that much.
In the end, youngest went to school on time. And in a weird way that helped me. Because first I thought, not going to any exercise. Then thought, dropping youngest off and going to part of exercise. Then thought, maybe I CAN make it to my full morning.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
New yoga class, did one sided nostril breathing ( plug right side gently from side, inhale in left, exhale out left, plug left, inhale right, exhale right, repeat alternating sides).
I did this in a yoga class six years ago and discovered I could get NO air in or out through my left nostril.
Yoga instructor happened to be Kate and she said I needed to be seen by ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat).
I did and had nasal sort of reconstruction surgery within a couple weeks.
It was not an injury, my nose had always been that way. Had never got air in or out, but no one ever knew.
Add severe asthma on top of that and you can well imagine many, many years of my life.
I have been in classes where we have done breathing exercises since my surgery, but none brought that first (it doesn't work) day to mind as much as last night's class.
And before this class, walking in the door, I had NO idea of structure or level of class. And I didn't really care. I couldn't think of (much) we might do in class that would be totally beyond me. I am very comfortable in my own 'yoga skin'.
BUT, walked into class to find a very buff young guy (taking class) and a very fit young girl teaching class. And then two more very fit young girls walked in. And I thought - I might have my work cut out for me. We moved it - lots of lifting and holding and lowering and holding. But nothing too much for me.
And that was a full circle moment too. Because six years ago, my mind would have been all over the place in that class. And last night, I just let it come and flow over me without really any concern. It was an hour class. I figured, by the time we take out time for warm up and warm down, I can handle whatever comes in the middle. And I did.
Second yoga class was non-moving. We got propped on mats and then stayed put for 45 minutes. It was all meditation. I had no problems with this and was able to keep my mind pretty clear the whole time.
The store next door was doing something that caused intermediate banging (sort of like a large refrigerator door closing and banging the whole unit into the wall). One of the ladies in class evidently was internally FUMING over that sound the whole class.
After class, she sort of went on and on about it (the sound invading her time/place/space). And the yoga instructor tried to explain to her that any sound that presents itself, is just part of the meditation process/experience. Lady did not hear yoga lady - was too caught up in her own mind.
And I was not. I totally acknowledge the sound was there. But I was able to let go of it after the first couple and let it be. And I was able to do the same thing to any thoughts that flitted across my mind.
I can't tell you how far this is from where I started 6 years ago. I would have had HUGE troubles keeping my body still and my mind empty for 45 minutes 6 years ago. Even without the banging sound, I would have found that very tough.
As I said, walking in, I had no idea what either one of these classes were. And I was okay with that fact.
You can see why last night was such a full circle thing for me.
Monday, August 23, 2010
And what I mean by the 'half a year and the other half the year' thing is very specific. It means spending half the year dreading something (that is coming). And then the other half the year recovering from the 'trauma' of what happened.
And if you think about that for a moment, if the event happens every year, then those two things overlap. So one is recovering from one event, while one is dreading the next event. Double whammy.
My girls had a rough week last week. They both started back to school. And the oldest was getting ready to depart. And my husband was gone with his mom. (Those two things couldn't be helped.)
BUT, I was here. I was with the girls (body, mind and soul) when they were out of school (before and after) each day. So yes, the 'boys' were sort of changing things up within the family, but I (the steady rock) was same as always.
Remember the day middle had an evening youth group meeting, the youngest and I very happily played Scrabble in the car (beautiful, cool night). And I made sure my errands and exercise were during the day (while they were at school) the rest of the week. We did things together all last week. And I kept everyone's stress level as low as possible. I think mom's really set the tone for the whole house.
So while all was as stable as it could be (I was here, they slept in their own beds, life was very normal), they still had a lot of 'adjustment' with the school variable.
And when I saw how much adjustment they had, with everything else held as 'normal' as possible, I really understood how much I was 'under' as a child.
My parents used to travel once a year. My dad worked for an insurance company (after he worked for the police department as a cop) and he used to win 'trips'.
They would travel each year in the spring, right around my birthday. (I didn't realize until I typed that line that I am sure this is the start of my just ignoring my birthday).
Absolutely this (travel thing) could have been done in a positive, empowering way. But it was NOT.
I was farmed out. And no one dealt (or taught me to deal) with the anxiety all this caused.
I graduated from high school in 1979. And these trips were all through my grade school years. Planes were not seen (by me anyway) as very safe. There were hijackings on the news (a lot) in the early 70's. And we lived in an area where we got Chicago news. Planes were sort of dropping out of the sky on what seemed like a fairly regular basis at Ohare in those days.
Those trips of my parents really added to my childhood anxiety.
Trips were always over seas - Spain, Switzerland, etc. The visual of flying over an ocean did not help with my anxiety. And since I was farmed out - I had NO sense of what would happen if they did not come back.
This (trip thing) all started RIGHT after we moved away from my beloved grandma.
If we had stayed in our original town, I would have just lived with my grandma when they were gone and she would have taken me to and from school (she lived on a farm, but worked in town). And honestly, if that were the case, I would have had no fears about them not returning. Because, I would have just kept right on living at my grandmas. She was my rock.
But since my dad had isolated us in another town, and my grandma worked full time in her town, I was left with different people each year. And they were never people I knew well. Often I was going to someone else's house to stay. Sometimes it was a house I had never been in before I stayed.
I think my mom probably thought as long as there was someone to feed me and a roof over my head, it didn't really matter WHO it was.
I think she still thinks that about children in general.
When my niece and nephew come and stay with us each summer, they spend the night at her house. And she provides a bed and feeds them, but that is about it. I have them stay at her house for two reasons: to give all the kids an ending time, down time (or the party would continue 24/14 as they are here for two weeks) AND so they at least SEE my mother. If they stayed here, I don't think they would.
My brother grew up sort of wandering the streets of our neighborhood. It was a tiny town, he was fairly safe. But he would tell you that he doesn't really remember anything about my mom from his childhood, even though they lived in the same house. He would also tell you that his whole world was turned upside down when my/his/our dad moved out and the old man from next door moved in. . .
I remember reading about a child watching her mother pack up the valuables and hide them because she was getting ready to travel and someone they barely knew (couldn't trust) was coming to stay with the kids. That philosophy fits here. My mom would have thought people in general were trust worthy. And that is why you have heard me say - there are so many people who could have gotten 'ahold of me' as a young girl.
And my sleep issues were huge problem, even then.
And my asthma was totally untreated at that time.
And I had just changed schools, middle of first grade, again.
If you can't remember: school 1 for preschool, school 2 for kindergarten, school 3 for half of 1st grade, school 4 for the other half of first grade through 5th grade, school 5 for 6th grade only, then junior high (7-8), and then high school (9-12).
And my brother had been born by this time this started (we are six years apart, so he was born when I was in 1st grade and these trips were between 1st and roughly 6th grade). He was in and out of a children's hospital in Chicago, so I was farmed out a lot then too.
I didn't realize it until I typed that, but when these trips started, my brother had already been born. And I have NO idea where he was while they were on these trips. I can only remember one time where he and I both stayed home and my father's mother and sister stayed with us for the week (at our home). All the other times, I sort of remember where I was, but do not know where he was. So, we were farmed out in two different places (no, they did not take him with them on the trips).
And then just after all of this was sort of resolved (my dad changed jobs, so no more trips) is when we moved again (the new school for 6th grade) and my mom went back to college and was gone (classes, labs, studying) all the time.
I sort of never caught a break. And I can SEE where this would have been too much for me.
I wrote something about I could SEE the difference in my pictures. I could see I was okay and then wasn't okay. My therapist said she would have seen it, just by looking at my childhood pictures (on my side bar to the left), even if I had not mentioned it to her.
So I guess my main point, is I have really come to understand:
The pattern of WORRYING was REALLY created at this time. And literally the 'half the year, the other half the year' thing started when I was very young. Too young to cope with the volume of all that very real fear, doubling up, all year, every year.
HUGE abandonment issues. HUGE FEAR issues.
And fear generates anxiety and anxiety means worry.
The pattern was set very young.
It is a familiar pattern to me.
A negative one. But a familiar one.
And when I see how hard a very 'normal' week was for my two girls, last week, with just the new school year pattern, challenges, issues - I really feel for the little girl me.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Body Image - and if you are looking for it later, this is the one with shifting percentages and the fat/muscle/skin talk
At my therapy appointment this (past/last) week, regularly scheduled one, we talked a lot about body image as one loses weight. (Pictures)
1. I have had people, here in town, think that I have lost more weight in the last few months (since adding back free weights).
2. Some, who are used to seeing 'padded' bodies, have thought I was too thin.
What they are (both sets) seeing is tone.
When I get these 'too thin' comments, it does not bother me. I totally understand I have changed percentage brackets.
My weight (134-136lbs) now puts me in the 9th percentile (5'6" and age 49). So, 91% of the population weighs more than I do (based on height and age). And the people making comments are used to seeing all of those (91%) bodies as the 'norm'.
If you are curious, at 215lbs I was in the 83rd percentile (5'6" and age 43, six years ago when I started).
Yes, I have switched ends of the continuum.
My weight has stayed within my 2lb range since I dropped the last bits of my last 20 lbs (that process was June-November 2009). So with both these sets of people, my weight is pretty constant, it is their perspective that has changed.
I was telling my therapist - I do not see THIN when I look at myself (now). I did for the first several weeks after I hit my 134-136lb maintenance range last November.
Last November, maybe into December, I saw VERY thin. And it was weird to me. I would catch sight of myself in mirrors or chrome trim and be startled.
Now I just see what looks like the regular me to myself.
My therapist has an over sensitivity to thin, because she works with eating disordered clients all day every day. And when I went back to her (March 2010), she was a bit startled by my thinness. She had not seen me in a year and was seeing me minus the last 20lbs. And that 20lbs made a big difference.
At Monday's appointment, she said now that she has gotten used to seeing 'this me' - what she sees is FIT and HEALTHY. She still sees thin (more than I do), but not the kind of thin she sees on her anorexic patients. I have major tone and I have really good posture. (And I might add wear a really good bra!). And I take care of myself. She has copies of my blood work. She knows how I eat and sleep and strive to stay EVEN.
And all of that is background, perspective for today's post:
As I lost weight, there was a definite shift in my perspective.
There are times, as I got smaller, where I felt bigger.
This alternating perspective falls into two categories for me.
The 'muscle pushing the fat out' thing
'the excess skin' thing.
While people around me have the perception I have gotten smaller as I have toned, I can sometimes have the perception, I have gotten bigger (due to both of the 'things' listed above in blue).
And it is another form of shifting percentages.
The muscle pushing the fat out thing:
On my body, there is a wall of muscle. This wall has developed over the last 6 years. And the fat sits on top the wall. So the development of the muscle 'pushed' the fat out and made it more defined. So even though I was losing weight and was (over all) smaller, there were many, many stages where I felt fatter because with the muscle definition came the fat definition. You have heard me talk about this many times.
The excess skin thing:
Simplified, skin is pretty thick. Excess skin can seem like fat. And it is just skin. While I have had massive skin shrinkage/tightening, there is still too much (skin) in general. So as my tone has increased, the body under the skin has gotten smaller. Since the skin is so thick, parts of me feel fatter as this happens. I have said before, never is this so apparent as when I am pulling up a bathing suit. Enough skin for a whole other person, appears to start at my groin and pull up my torso. The excess skin on my belly can SEEM like a fat belly. Add any amount of excess (above 1200-1500 mg per day) sodium to the equation and we are talking serious 'fat' feelings.
I have really understood both of these blue facts all the way down the scale.
But I have not deluded myself with them.
I have not had a lot of "I am so thin I can eat whatever I want with no consequences" moments in the past 6 years. Yes, there have been a few. But they have been mostly solitary events and did not trigger a days worth of events.
I understand reality.
PS - we also talked a lot about the fact that I have found my voice. You all know that because you read me. And if you have been with me since the beginning you know I REALLY struggled for a long time. I have grown into my own now. I have found strength and I have found perspective. I am 49 years old. And I think I now live like a 49 year old. And I seem to be the 49 year old that 'should' have emerged from the college me. It is like I have put things 'right'. And my therapist will tell you, mostly I have done this myself. There was no magic. And there have not been many/any factors in my 'real' life that have directed me. It is more like I have found my own way. And the things that have supported me, I have kept. And the things that did not support me, I ditched. I have been my own best friend on many levels. And I SOOOOOOO didn't used to be. I got out of my own way. And I helped myself move forward, toward positive. And if you have been with me for a long time, I know you KNOW this. If you have been with me for a short time, you might think I am different (than others in weight loss/maintenance blog land). But what you are seeing is shifting percentages. You weren't with me when I was at one end of the continuum. You are with me, now, at the whole other end. And that is important to keep in mind.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
This past week was a seriously busy one. Both girls went back to school. And it is crunch time with my volunteer jobs at school.
Remember, a week ago, last Sunday, my family went to Chicago for a very long day. I was seriously tired on Monday. That tired feeling continued all week. I was up and moving by 6am every morning. But I had a hard time getting to bed early. The habits of summer. No time for a nap all week. And I wanted one, all week. I normally take notes all week (for this post), but this week didn't. I can see how taking notes all week helps me have perspective, because when I sat down to write this, the week was a blur.
youngest first day of school and therefore I know there were a lot of parking lot calls. It was a taking care of kids day with lots of odds and ends. I know I didn't stop moving all day and was absolutely dragging from Chicago trip.
my regular free weights and yoga. I fell asleep at the beginning of yoga and the end of yoga. All the way to zumba, I debated on whether or not to go. When I got there, it was a sub and I thought, this is really a waste of my time. So I ran errands all the way home. There were a lot of them and I have to say, it was a better use of my time. The errands were hanging over my head and it felt very good to get them done. Husband left for his mom's (for the week). Middle started school and then had a youth group meeting (that night). Thought the meeting would be 1 hour, so youngest and I played scrabble in the car (cool evening). Meeting was 2 hours long. (at a different parish that is about 1/2 hour away). Found ride for middle starting next week. Ride will deliver her to meeting and then she will call to give me 1/2 hours notice for pick up.
started working on my coodinating volunteers project at youngest's school. I got things layed out and ready to go. So I was at school much of the day. After school, it was another busy kids (my own) day. Youngest also had after school doctor's appointment.
free weights and yoga. It was stations at free weights and was seriously hard. I tried not to take a rest between sets, but to just move on to the next station quickly and start. We went around twice and I had sweat rolling off me by the middle of the first time around the circle. Stations tend to me harder on the mind than the body. But at the time, it seems all body. Did not go to zumba. Ran errands and another busy kid day and phone call day.
On Thursday a woman called to help me with volunteer names. She was someone that would have been more of a hindrance than a help. But that phone call prompted me to call another woman who would be a help. She was available to help all day Friday (and next Monday). We cranked on Friday. Got all the way through a big part of the job and left ourselves in very good shape to finish on Monday. And she is going to take over this job for next year. So Friday not only helped me (toward finishing this years work) but also trained her for next year. Empowering, but I am not sure I would have actually taken this step, this year, if non-helpful woman had not called (so she was helpful in her own way). So, I will be totally done with this job this year and be job free youngest's 8th grade year (as planned).
Kids and I went to pool for a couple hours after school. And we went out to eat. And then to mall sun glasses shopping for all 3 kids. I think they tried on every pair at the kiosk. Seriously fun.
When we got home, the kids played Candy Land and Shoots and Ladders for old times sake. (Middle had them out for an art project for school.) Oldest then packed and finished laundry. Husband called to say he started for home. He planned to drive 4 hours Friday and then stop for the night and drive the rest (8) on Saturday. Girls and I toyed with the idea of riding to school (college) with the oldest and then having husband pick us up (college is on his way home) to return home. That would give oldest company on his drive to school and then husband company on the last bit of his drive home. And we would get to see oldest's apartment.
The big question (as I got up Saturday morning and wrote this) was whether the 3 of us would fit in the car with his extra stuff. Pretty big pile by the back door.
Oldest loaded his (car) trunk and there was still a fair amount in the pile (kitchen). So, all 3 of us girls are staying home. Youngest is headed to a friends house. Not sure what middle and I will do after he goes. It is raining - no pool today. Good thing we went for a long time (3 kids and I) yesterday.
It is hot and humid out, but nice in house. I am still tired and therefore cold. I got long sleeved top and cords out of closet to wear in house. I have to tell you, really love my cords. Have not had any on since probably last March. Was very glad they fit (yes, still have that sensation when I have not had something on for a long time, even though my weight stays constant).
Oldest heading out the door soon. He will be home in two weeks to work for Labor Day weekend. So he will be home, but not around very much (those 3 days).
In the end, we did ride part of the way with him. My husband called the oldest to say he had gotten a very early start and was within a couple hours of the oldest's university. So husband was going to be at the university long before the oldest. They agreed to meet at a restaurant along the way. Oldest then discovered he could fit most of the stuff from the remaining pile in the passenger/front seat. And we three girls could fit in the back if we were willing to hold his pillows (we were). So we woke the middle child and all got ready and jumped in the car and away we went. Husband still beat us to the meeting place by nearly 1/2 an hour. We all ate and then hugged the daylights out of the oldest.
By the time we got home again - I was seriously tired again. Girls and I finished Firefly series (netflix on wii).
And I am still dragging today (sunday). I worked on laundry on and off all day yesterday. Continueing on today. And doing cook/prepping for the week. So mostly taking it very easy.
Friday, August 20, 2010
I thought my arms and my legs and my middle parts were mutantly disporportionate.
I remember the frustration of that feeling. I can very vividly FEEL that feeling.
Especially runners stretch with my hands on the ground. My arms were not long enough (I thought, but actually my torso was too big. My arms were the right length.)
I (me personally) have the mind set that Kris or Kate, in the very beginning, could have just said to me - honey it is the fat. All your parts are the right size. Your fat is just in the way. When all the fat is gone, things will fit.
And I would have been okay with the science behind that statement. I would not have taken it personally.
And I think it might even have been a comfort. I used to spend a lot of time thinking I needed an extra inch of spine here, and an extra inch of arm there. That was lottery thinking (no extra bone is magically going to appear). And those thoughts occupied my time on the yoga mat when I was supposed to have a clear/peaceful mind.
Now that the fat is gone and I am more flexible (that was part of it too, but the FAT was the 'biggest' factor, hahahaha), everything feels like it is where it is supposed to be and is the right size. Now my parts are pretty much proportional.
Currently when I have those thoughts, it is all about my tight hamstrings. But I realize it is the hamstrings. I no longer picture skeleton remodeling.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
If you video taped him getting ready to leave each morning - and fast forwarded it - it would look like constant zooming between his closet, bathroom, computer room, kitchen, his office upstairs and garage - since he covers the whole house - there is sort of no where for me to go to get away from it. (And it drives me nuts.)
I told my therapist - visualize a cup of dried beans in the bathroom sink and the goal is to get them all in the car. But only moving one bean at a time. And then accidentally leaving them in all the other rooms as you go and having to go back and look for them. And maybe the beans are all numbered and have to be moved in order, but you lost track of which bean is where and you are trying to rearrange them, but can only move one at a time.
I got my hair cut months ago (hair cut before the one I got a while ago).
And out of the blue hair stylist said (sort of the same thing) husband driving her nuts in the morning.
Her husband is a school teacher and is home with their (3, all grade school age) boys all summer. She said she hopes every day that he sleeps in until she gets out the door. If he is up, it really bugs her. She said it is little things - like he closes doors. So as she is scooting around the house - she hits (not literally) closed doors - pantry, laundry room, bathroom. And he is underfoot - like in the bathroom or kitchen.
She is someone that does not over analyze and does not have an elephant's memory and she actually lets things roll off her back.
She is sweet and kind and very positive and I would say content with the world.
I am very jealous of most of (all) of those factors. (She is a bright penny - but not one of the brightest. I equate that with being happier. Do you see that in those around you too?)
So when she, from her 'content with the world' status, voiced being really bugged by her husbands' monring habits - I felt a bit better.
My husband's habits - would drive most of the world nuts - the wearing trails in the floor boards level of his habits - are over the top. So, I do not think it is 'just me'.
I have thought about doing housework (perish the thought) while he is doing his taking forever trails thing each work day morning. Sort of like channel the feeling and get it out on dirt. But it is almost like it is too much negative to deal with at the same time.
If I was a runner - I would go out and run for an hour each morning. But not interested in putting that much strain on my metatarsal foot nor my lower back. I am afraid I would then not be able to do my regular workouts and I would rather do my regular workouts. The pool is not open that early - or laps would be a really good idea.
I am not a good sleep in person (I usually am up by 6am) so that is not
really an option either.
But I realize I DO have to figure out something - so that my anxiety level doesn't climb over the next few months. And so I enjoy the moment while everyone is here, but do not crash when they are all gone again.
That (above) was what I wrote and never published.
And I have sort of adjusted to his morning habits.
My exercise schedule switched around again and now I leave the house between 8:30-9am each morning. Sometimes he is long gone by then. Other days he is still here.
I do a dishwasher run, a laundry run, and eat breakfast.
And I get my things out for the day (I put a pile by the backdoor, on the rug).
And then I get dressed so I am ready to walk out the door (if I lose track of time).
And then I work on paperwork or blog, in the computer room, with my back to the rest of the house - literally. And if he is having a particularly 'making trails' kind of day, I can close the computer room door.
The downside of this is I am sure he thinks I spend much of the day on the computer. But it seems kinder to let him think that - than it does to say - you drive me nuts.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
this is (an old post) about me adjusting, going into summer and it helps me have perspective as I transition out of summer
Here is what I originally wrote:
Both girls are done with school and home for the summer. I am sort of already in the groove of having them around all the time. The pool was closed all the holiday weekend (mechanical problems). We are eager for it to open so we can get into our daily swim habit. But I am adjusting well to having them home. My girls are (mostly) fun and easy going. They are (mostly) considerate. I work hard to keep us on the same side of the fence. I set a lot of the tone for the house. I think most moms do.
My husband flew out on Friday (5/21/10) to meet the oldest in Europe and travel.
They have been in Ireland, England, Italy and France.
They had a really good time.
One of the girls (from oldest's university) took his luggage with hers when she flew home to USA. Oldest paid the surplus luggage charge. So his luggage is a couple hours from here and he will drive and get it when he gets home. For their multi countries trip, my husband had a very small carry on and the oldest had a backpack. They had oldest's lap top, a tiny bit of clothing, and a few essentials (shared a thing of deodorant and toothpaste, had their own tooth brushes and that was about it). I think they did laundry once and I pictured them standing in the laundry mat in their underwear with their meager bits of clothing all in the same washer.
The girls and I pick them up from the airport Tuesday evening (they will be home by the time you read this).
As I write this on Monday morning,
I have very mixed feelings.
I am used to oldest being gone.
I am used to talking to him on skype all the time.
That is the new norm for me.
I have the half humorous thought of him being upstairs and my being downstairs and talking to him via the computer or we just stand and stare at each other in person.
I went through this with my husband also. When we were married, we lived in two different states for 6 mos (we couldn't decide who was moving, this was not hostile 'couldn't decide' we had originally thought he would move but then decided it was better if I moved). At that time we had been living in two states for about 2 1/2 years. We had a phone relationship during the week and saw each other on weekends. It was hard to adjust to having him around all the time. It was easier to talk to him on the phone. And if you know me well - this will all give you a chuckle - because I don't talk on the phone now! Skype just is different - one because I can see oldest and two is because it is the oldest.
If you have not been around here (my blog) very long, you might not know the oldest had a wee hours paper route for years (7th-12th grade, he is now going to be a junior in college) and I went with him every morning. We have always been very close.
(With the oldest) there is that 'new norm' component PLUS the fact that he will be gone again in a couple months. So I have this feeling of not letting myself get too used to him being around the house.
And the oldest is going to have a few adjustments of his own. He was in Ireland for the semester and traveling most weekends (Spain, England, Scotland, France, all over Ireland itself). Adjusting to life at home is going to feel weird for him.
To be very honest, I normally am very happy when I have a break from my husband. But this time I did not feel that way (while husband was in Europe with oldest).
Every time I turned around I was wishing he was home to DO something. And these somethings were not all house/yard work related. But there was a lot of that - with my asthma and my lower back - I am not nearly as independent as I would like to be. And he would say that he has the muscle and the back but he needs me to figure things out and have a plan. So we are sorta two halves at this point.
Food was actually harder with him gone.
If it were just me all the time - that would be my normal cooking thing - and I would be over it. but I am used to splitting with him and I had a 'what's the point of cooking for one?' thing going in my head for the first several days he was gone.
The girls commented that the three of us do not eat a lot - we really stocked up the refrigerator with the boys coming back this week.
So, overall, I (sort of) missed having husband home.
But my stress level was much lower with him gone. He does everything the longest, most difficult way. And that is stressful.
I don't feel alone in any of these feelings. I think some level of these feelings are common, even for people who do not have to put as much effort as I do, to stay balanced.
I have a feeling of lost opportunity too.
Because (I think) I thought the girls and I would CRANK while the boys were both gone. And we sort of wandered.
The middle child was just plain exhausted after finals. And she sort of sets the pace or follows the pace for the house. If I had been scurry-ing around the house - she would have too. So I sort of lazed, so she would rest. She really needed to rest. But I didn't. I needed to crank.
And my exercise classes were suspended over the holiday weekend - so no classes Friday-Monday.
And I feel like I lost the opportunity of all these days my husband was gone.
And both of those are excuses and cop outs.
What exactly would I have done with him gone - that I couldn't do while he was home?
I think this might be a bit of the write a novel while climbing mountains backwards thing. Mental TO DO lists.
We are back to the first of the month again - and I feel very behind. And I don't like that feeling.
So, I am sitting here (early, early Monday morning) wishing that we had done a bit (more) each day so that I would be further along.
The sitting here is not helping.
But the writing it all out so that I see and hear myself actually is.
And I can see I did not wallow in the woulda/shoulda/couldas. I was on the edge of wallowing, I felt sad much of the time my husband was gone. I had moments of real sadness the whole semester while the oldest was gone too. But I think I have kept myself pointed and moving.
Added Tuesday - I wrote this (Monday) and then got myself moving (more) for the time that was left instead of losing it too.
And that has been a big problem for me in the past. Adjusting to change and then not getting lost in what I might have done - keeping myself pointed in the right direction is really important. And even if they are the tiniest of the tiny baby steps - keeping that forward motion going.
In addition to middle child bra shopping, I did finish getting all the winter bedding packed in space (vacuum) bags. And I did a lot of laundry. And I took a shower and got dressed in real clothes and was cheerful and involved all day.
Middle did a lot of vacuuming. Middle child cleaned oldest's bathroom (for a DVD) and then cleaned my bathroom (for 4 print tank tops - Target and they were cute).
And the youngest sorted and organized her clothes (big job, she went through it all by herself, donation piles, give to hand me down family pile, garbage pile, need something to go with it so I can wear it pile).
And my mom came over and watched 2 shows we had recorded on the DVR for her (remember her TV system was down for several days last week). She rarely comes over so that was nice. And we were over there for a while to show her bras.
ADDED TODAY (8/18/2010):
All of that was before HE fell and we entered the nursing home/lawyer stage. Did you forget all of that as I have been writing about my niece and nephew recently? I sort of did myself.
At the time I wrote (above post) everything seemed sort of 'hard enough'. It got a lot harder at the end of that very same week.
And I can see why I keep my food and my exercise and my sleep guarded as closely as I do. I live thinking - make hay while the sun shines Nelly - every day.
I have done really well this summer. REALLY well.
And the thing I have done the best at is to just keep myself pointed forward and positive.
This post is a glance back. Not a turning around and staring back and getting lost in the woulda-shoulda-couldas. Because I have had a lot of other's people's stuff this summer and for the most part, I did not lose track of myself in the process.
And we have come full circle, because my husband left this morning for a week with his mom (who is now 'in' hospice while at home, ovarian cancer).
And the girls are both back in school and the oldest heads out Friday/Saturday.
And if this post was not left dangling in my unpublished posts, I would not have had a chance to see the full perspective of the last three months.
So it was actually really helpful to re-read it, but myself back in the thought process of 3 months ago. And apply that information as I move forward today. And this is why I blog.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Most of us (all but oldest) ate a good breakfast before we left the house at 6:15am.
We drove (an hour and a half or so) to the train station and then took the train the rest of the way in to downtown Chicago (we spent the day at the Shedd Aquarium and on the water front watching the boats and planes).
I packed a cooler and put it in the trunk of the car.
When we got to the station, I ate cottage cheese/walnuts/pineapple (tastes like a party to me) from the cooler (premeasured in a container with a spoon) standing in the parking lot (stretching my lower back) and then put the empty container back in the car.
My husband carries a backpack when we travel. Everyone's everything goes in the backpack (no purses, no bags).
I took the following out of the cooler and put it in the backpack: 4 bananas, 6 small bags of apple slices, peanut butter in a small tupperware container, 10 hard boiled eggs, 1 bag of raw/unsalted cashews, 3 bottles of water, 3 whole apples, 1 peanut butter sandwich on gluten free bread.
Yes, the backpack was FULL. It also had kleenex, camera, rescue inhaler, one Ipod, etc.
My drivers licence and AAA card and one credit card were in the oldest's wallet for an emergency. (I carry NOTHING on my body when we travel - no purse, no bag, nothing at all, if you are a mom you will totally understand this).
By the time we got off the train, the only food items left in the back pack were cashews, 1 bottle of water, sandwich and 3 whole apples. I ended up pitching part of the hard boiled eggs as the oldest sort of turned up his nose at the idea of 'packed food' - he was 'waiting' for restaurant food - and yes that is foreshadowing.
The girls and my husband munched on the cashews standing in line at various times. Ditto for the whole apples. And I realize I should have packed peanuts too (oldest can't have tree nuts, but he was turning his nose up at packed food most of the day, so it probably wasn't a factor).
The sandwich never did get eaten but was on standby for the youngest, because as a vegan, sometimes there is nothing for her to eat. And she is mostly gluten free, but will have a small piece of something on occasion.
We ate the following at the museum in the middle of the day:
youngest had a large fresh fruit cup and 1/2 a very good brownie
middle had a fruit and yogurt parfait and other 1/2 of brownie
husband had fruit and yogurt parfait
I had a large fresh fruit cup
oldest had a fruit and yogurt parfait (minus the granola because they couldn't say for sure that there were not nuts in there), a whole brownie and a Sausage (like a hot dog on a bun, but a sausage). It was the first thing that oldest ate (all day). And ended up being nearly the last thing he ate (all day). Because he was always looking for greener pastures and there weren't any.
We intended to eat 'out' in Chicago, but there weren't any obvious choices near Museum Row (aquarium, planetarium, natural museum are all sort of on a point, out in the lake, and several blocks from downtown). The train station was right by Museum row.
So we never actually went 'in' town. And what we ate was out on a terrace at the aquarium (and I thought it was very nice options for a museum).
By the time we got done at the museum (we did the whole thing, including all the 'shows') there was not enough time to go into town and look for something. We spent our extra time enjoying the views from the shore out over the water, Blue Angels were practicing and lots of boats were out sailing.
What we thought was we would take the train back to the car and then find somewhere to eat.
When we got off the train and back to the car, I ate another cottage cheese/walnuts/pineapple (second one, still in cooler with girls/my canteens) standing in parking lot, stretching my legs and lower back. Youngest ate an applesauce from cooler and drank a lot of water. There were 3 more apple sauces, but the rest declined.
And then we looked, all the way home, for somewhere to stop and eat, but there was nothing. It was Sunday night, after 9pm and everything that was a possibility, was closed (all the way home). When we got home, everyone ate (late).
And the oldest, who had put his stock, in someone/thing else (restaurant) most of the day, ordered a pizza from a place he has never used before (it was after 11pm on a Sunday and most everything was closed). And the pizza was NOT good. I tried it and agreed, it was not worth the calories of the rest of the pizza. He pitched it.
And I am here to say I ate two tiny pieces and half a bread stick (at midnight no less) before he pitched it.
And that (food response) was pent up stuff from the day, showing up in my behavior. I drove to and from the train, we were gone from 6:15am to 11:15pm, I missed my third yoga workshop day, I was surrounded by people ALL day, and oldest ordered pizza.
Would I have gone hunting for food if it had not been right in front of my face? I can't really say.
My food for the entire day ended up being:
real oatmeal/skim milk
1/2 cup lf cottage cheese
1/4 cup walnuts
1/3 cup pineapple (real, no syrup)
2 hard boiled eggs
1 1/2 to 2 cups cut up fresh
cantaloupe, green melon, strawberries, grapes
tiny nibble of a brownie
1/2 cup lf cottage cheese
1/4 cup walnuts
1/3 cup pineapple (real, no syrup)
2 tiny pieces of pizza
1/2 bread stick
Not a ton of food, but yes, a ton of carbs
And no, I do not count walking all day as exercise. I count it as not being a couch potato. If I had been walking behind a pair of oxen steering a plow or hoeing a garden/hand washing clothes all day, THAT I would count as exercise, but there really isn't any exercise built into a modern day.
And this said a lot about all of us and how far we have come.
We (most of us, not exactly oldest) counted on ourselves for our food. And we did not feel we were going to roll over and expire if we did not eat immediately (on the way home, when there was nothing that worked).
The brownies were totally worth the calories, they were very good (I had a nibble). And 1/2 was not enough to make the youngest feel bad (stomach) as it was a very reasonable amount. But neither she nor middle felt 1/2 was skimpy as brownies were rich and good. These girls are very used to splitting something in 1/2 or in 3rds.
We scouted a lot of food venders before buying what we did at the museum - most of the other options were PURE NONfood. And eating on the terrace was wonderful.
If the oldest had not been with us, I would have packed a lot more food in the cooler for the trip home. But he REALLY wanted to go out to eat. And I went a long with that. But it backfired.
And I realize now as I type, my not packing more is WHY I ended up eating pizza. Not because I was hungry (I wasn't hungry, as cottage cheese, pineapple and walnuts were enough for me). But because the 'issue' of food was still out there dangling. The kitchen was not closed.
When we got home, I made something quickly for 2 girls and husband. And then I ran with oldest to pick up his pizza because I had 3 DVD's that needed returned before midnight. So that put me IN the car with the pizza and the bread sticks. And if that had not happened, I don't think I would have even thought about eating (so as I type, I would have been better off paying the late fee!).
And all this was helpful in the end. I learned.
And mostly what I learned was about the oldest.
He has now been 'gone' for two full years (he is starting his junior year in college). And most of my real growth has been in the last two years. I was trying to compromise too much to accommodate him. And the end result was sort of a 'bad' food day for us both. If I had packed wonderful things, he would have had a happier food day too.
Because the next time, I will be able to say - packing just in case. If there is an option that works, we will eat out, if not, we have our own food. And he will (now) not argue with that. He totally gets that most of us - cannot, will not eat 'just anything'.
And I am not beating myself up because of two tiny pieces of pizza and a half a bread stick. I am learning from it and am extra careful about the AFTER. Because usually it is not the 'during' the bites in the ass - it is the 'after'.
And I realise the day wasn't based on food. And that is real progress.
It wasn't a more, More, MORE (food) kind of day.
It was MORE about being together and doing the activities and enjoying the location, than it was about the food.
And if you think of the average event or get together, for most people, it really is all about the food. So we are progressing.
Monday, August 16, 2010
One of the BIG changes for me, was to not take something just because someone handed it to me.
And it wasn’t just food.
It was pieces of paper and projects too.
I spend a great deal of time, out in public, with my hands behind my back. Literally.
I do not cross my arms over my chest, because that is ‘closed/unapproachable’ posture.
But I simply hold my own hands gently behind my back.
This does two major things:
it helps my posture greatly and
it means when someone holds something out to me,
and I do NOT move my hands to take it,
they stop trying.
It took a very long time to learn to just keep holding my hands back there and NOT reach forward (because that is the gut response).
But it is really effective.
It is effective at fairs where people are handing out fliers/pamphlets, and at events where hostesses are handing out food.
The other person feels sort of foolish or lost to be pressing something toward empty air. They might keep talking, but whatever they are trying to press on me becomes limp and lost and ineffective.
The thing looses the ‘power’ and I have the power.
And this physical change in ‘posture’ also helped me learn to say NO and not take projects just because someone wanted me to do them. And to say NO even though I WAS the best man for the job.
I don't feel 'closed' in handling outside influences this way. I feel open to chosing.
I don't feel pressed. I am in the drivers seat.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Bev's yoga class
last one of the second summer session*
extra therapy appointment
small amount of final back to school shopping
trip to the alteration shop for the youngest - darts in waist bands and hemming. Oldest has also been to alteration shop (by himself, several times this summer) for jeans hemming.
free weights, yoga, zumba, pool
at 9pm that night, it was still 90 degrees and humid
I take a moment here to comment on the fact that I basically did 'nothing' on Monday and how that impacted me going into free weights and Zumba on Tuesday (I don't count THIS yoga class, after free weights, as exercise at all. This class is basically a moving nap for me between the other classes. Yoga is very important as it stretches me out and clears my mind, but I do not count it as work/exercise in general).
I went into this Tuesday free weights class with the thought - I will do whatever she asks of me (safely) no matter what it is, as I was a slacker yesterday and the weekend. So if she says we are holding planks for 10 minutes (she doesn't do this, but it was my example in my mind, talking to myself) - that is what I will do. No matter what we do - I will bring it. It was a good thing I had already had the conversation, as it was a vigorous class. I had to dig down and keep my mind very steady.
catch up around the house
phone calls, kitchen, laundry, mail
(another day off. and this wasn't a 'recovery day' so much as it was a 'saving it up day', as I knew what was coming the end of the week)
free weights, yoga, zumba, pool
again - bring it attitude coming out of slacker Wednesday.
(AKA as the day of much sweat and many showers)
2 Zumba classes
and I was balls to the wall for both classes (bring it)
Middle was doing service work on the other end of town from 9am - 1:30pm. I dropped off middle, went to first Zumba class, ran to the library to pick up stuff for my husband, went to second Zumba class, and then went to retrieve middle.
6-8:45pm yoga workshop.
Lead by a nationally known instructor who is in town (just for this event). This was the first time I have done something like this. This was sponsored by the new yoga studio where I take free weights/yoga class. The workshop was supposed to be 6-8pm, but he went over. And there was no break. We worked the whole time.
It did cross my mind that I was going into 2+ hours of yoga after doing 2+ hours of cardio, and that I might have been foolish. I had gone to the pool for an hour in the afternoon to float and cool down. And I had dozed on the couch for an hour in the afternoon too. And I had eaten really well (smartly). I have done 2+ hours of yoga before, and lived to tell the tale. So I wasn't seriously worried. I was more ruefully thinking that it might bite me in the butt - meaning I might have to dig a little deeper to bring it. And it was my arms that I thought might have to dig a little deeper. We lift our body weight a LOT in yoga. And my arms had to dig a little deeper in Zumba that morning - my zumba classes are very much total body. At the end of one song the very fit zumba instructor turned to me and said - my arms totally burn. And mine did too. I move it (all) in that class.
I kept up with nationally known yoga instructor, no problem. But I did sweat. I happened to be right in front of the door, and people stepped out (of the classroom, in to the foyer) on a regular basis and each door opening brought cooler air (this is the hottish yoga place where I take free weights). And the few times we got to put our head/body down for a breath or two (but that was literally as long as we stopped, two breathes) were much appreciated. But I kept up with him - positions and pace - no problem. I have NO idea how I stacked up with the rest of the room. My mind stayed very clear and my eyes stayed inward (on my own mat). This is a real compliment to instructor. His pace and positions made it very easy to stay focused and clear.
Yoga workshop part 2 (9:30-12:30).
Sweat, sweat and more sweat. I roll a beach towel in my yoga mat each day after I use it. Towel absorbs sweat and oil. I used the towel ON my mat, during this class, because the sweat was rolling off me. Really good class. Each hour was sort of a class in itself. No actual breaks. We started by rolling up all our mats and dancing to three songs. I personally think all yoga classes should start with a good warm up. And this was a good one. Really good flow - can't even guess how many times we raised and lowered ourselves. The last hour was all inversions. Full wheels. Worked on beginning steps to 'middle of the room' handstands and headstands (normally this is taught against walls).
Kids and husband and I took the train into Chicago for the day.
There was a day 3 to the yoga workshop (which I was signed up for, and then missed) but kids and husband decided (after I signed up) we were finally going** into Chicago before everyone heads back to school. Youngest starts school tomorrow. Middle on Tuesday. Oldest heads back on Friday (life guard certification, training, meetings) school actually starts the following Wednesday (8/25/10).
*I love the pace and content of Bev's classes. but she is not a positioning person. My form is better than hers and she lets people get away with really bad form. So I absolutely have to keep my eyes and mind on my own mat during this class. I never know what to think about this. It makes me miss Yoga Lisa something fierce. So I can see that I am at a turning point in regard to yoga. Have to decide what I am going to do going into fall sessions (shortly).
**Kids had been talking about Chicago all summer. But we lost most of June with HIM (my mom's husband finally getting plugged in nursing home, and oldest's wisdom teeth and middle's teaching bible school were that same month). And then settled into our real summer in July (pool, etc). And then niece/nephew were here for the very end of July into August (so that was another two weeks). The oldest works all summer and my husband has had a hectic schedule. This Sunday was the only day that worked for them after niece/nephew left, but unfortunately meant I had to give up my 3rd day of workshop. There was no way that I could stay home, rest of them would not have gone without me, so I went.