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06 February 2014
Thursday - February 6th. The snowfall has finally slowed from 'total blizzard mode' to 'slight flake distribution' but the temperature isn't rising and more flurries predicted later today and tomorrow. My reservations for the out of town trade show and hotel have been cancelled; while I know car wrecks do still occur in sunny weather with dry road conditions I think getting out in this mess would just be asking for trouble. It's a four hour one way drive heading north; nothing good can come from that. And I'll confess, I'm actually relieved; I had agreed to do this venue in a weak blood sugar moment or something. Glad an act of nature got me out of it gracefully. The organizer told me to consider 2015 tables paid for ~ maybe my attitude toward that lengthy a business commute will change by then.
On that same path, I can't remember if I've shared my latest 'time killer when I need a break' activity. Fantasy hotel shopping. I put in a search for 'Five Star Hotels in ....' and just enjoy looking at the suites, reading the menus in the restaurants, etc., without having to ever pack or tip the valet. It's pretty cool. On the other hand - these hotels are never anywhere near the locations I have to go... what's up with THAT? I want to have the cake of the business deductible expense and enjoy it too :-)
And I'm trying to loosen my life long grip of aversion to the idea of a Bed & Breakfast. I've never stayed in one - it just seemed to have ' Spending the Night at Grandma's House' written all over it. I did find one this morning that was a 1300 sqft suite with a private entrance very close to one of my destinations but although they had a link to their own pets (explaining there are cats on the premises but promised they won't go into the guest rooms) their policy stated 'no pets, we cannot accommodate.' I considered playing the 'companion' card but really don't want to be such a bully as to make someone uncomfortable in their own home. I may phone and ask and listen for a hint of hesitation.
Something else I realized, and if you're wondering where the 'All Things Food' comes into this journal entry, here it is in a subtle way. It's akin to 'doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result' insanity definition. I realized I kept looking at some of the lodging choices as 'Meh.. It's only going to be One Night... what do you care?' and while I do have standards (I think I've shared my idea of 'roughing it' is when the hotel doesn't have valet parking) I can't ignore the extravagant cost of a specialty or themed hotel for, again, just one night.
So here's where my sanity Angel spoke to me, "uhm... it no longer HAS to be one night... you know?' Oh, yeah, right! Of course, there's an issue of securing the inventory for the show but ... oh, yeah, I can stay two nights; even three? Time to move forward to a different way of living. Just as I had to move forward with a different way of eating.
Two side bars related to 'that' topic. ONE ... I was sitting here at my desk and noticed Stacy (Blondie's friend who's staying with my grandson's next door while they're gone to the funeral) and the boys go walking by... I waved and they came inside. They were walking to the store because, of course, Blondie left them with NO FOOD and naturally NO MONEY. So Stacy was going to buy the food (and did not ask me) but I looked at their list and pulled 99% of it from my pantry. Plus a little extra. I think I gave them 4 grocery bags of food.
It was all processed food that I don't eat and hope to never return to eating so I felt a bit like my friend Evelyn with her project Clean Sweep. It also reminded me that I'd retained some of it 'here' because I'd feed them 'here' with it but after last night I just don't see many "Meals at Mama's" in the near future. Even if they are .. I don't like having to cook 'my' food (fresh, unprocessed) and then serve them that food here. So piece by piece I'll let it go. I may load the rest up and take it to a deserving food bank.
And yes, I know that seems mean or selfish but I am aggravated at Blondie's, again, lack of manners. Asking her friend to give up 5 days of their life to sit with the boys (I was planning to be out of town for the show, remember?) and then leave the pantry bare. But I'm not shocked, I'm not even appalled. This is totally in line with her character, or rather, lack of it. So while I make sure the three of them DO eat while there without the responsible 'parental units' I'm NOT going to stock their shelves for six months ahead (and in all likely, emptying my pantry would) because they won't do ANYTHING positive with the extra money it won't cost THEM. I'd sent two bags of groceries home with my son-in-law over a month ago and still can't get him to come over here and take care of one simple little 'guy maintenance task'. There's a difference between unconditional love and free groceries. And the 'free ride' of Bellawood is O-V-E-R!
The other food related thing is trying to find my own balance between 'eating when hungry' and 'tracking calories'. As I continue along this path to 'eat what I love and love myself afterward' without regaining the weight... I cannot help but realize my weight loss stalled at the same time I stopped recording my daily intake. I THOUGHT it would continue as I'd realized seeing those surplus available calories on my RDI led to me thinking more about food; reminding me I could eat ((instead of my body doing it.)) So either I'm at my set point to be this weight, love myself, and be healthy ... OR ... I could still stand to lose a few pounds by just tightening up the intake a bit? My conclusion is .. if still at the same weight four months from now I MAY try to record it... I don't know. I remember being frustrated by the calculations ... ala... 'good grief, I had a 40k caloric intake to energy used deficit last month and that's recording all of my energy as sleeping and I was up and around so that should have resulted in at least a 10lb loss but it didn't so what the heck is going on here!'
Trying to return to the magic of math to get the 'final twenty' off may make me insane again. That's why I'm not trying it while in the toddler phase. I will likely push it to at least two years; if I still haven't gained, that is. I can live with this maintenance for now.
Well, six hours, five frivolous phone calls, three food beggars, two cups of coffee and not a single customer all day. I think I'll blow this pop stand and go take Ms. Mushy for a walk. Ironic little puppy that she is - she loves snow. Hates rain and water. Love's snow. It's her Mommy that hates it. Oh yeah, me. I think I'll just go curl up in the recliner and blow thru the third season of Downton Abbey on Amazon.
Hope you're all dry and warm in your world. I am and hope to stay that way.
Make Peace with Myself
05 February 2014
Wednesday Evening - February 5th - and wowza what a weird couple of days. All things food? Going okay - one weird blip where I felt I needed a homemade burger at bedtime last night but I'd eaten very little all day so that's understandable. Fortunately no reflux or indigestion. And if I make it to bed sanely & binge free after the meltdown I had this evening I'll consider it a victory.
In a nutshell - I told Blondie to 'grow up and get some f'g manners!' In Bellawood, dinner at 6:30 means we EAT at 6:30; those invited are expected to be here at least by 6:15 at the latest to allow time to get things around. This has been a reinforced rule far too long and tonight I just lost it. Enough is enough. I let them know I was ticked off! I finally calmed down and feel eerily calm about it now. I didn't stuff my dinner; I took several pauses and walked away from the table a couple of times to think about my hunger and mindful eating. So far, so good.
Yoga last night - kicked my behind, by golly. Not really, I was exhausted already when I arrived and stretched out on my mat asking if we could do Sevasna the entire session.
The skeevy married guy came back yesterday; this time he brought his wife and I do believe he's trying to convince her I'm a lesbian to alleviate his suspicious behavior about me esp if she caught him hunched over the table writing my name on the cash. He asked me three times, 'do you know 'so & so... she's a lesbian..' I don't even want to waste my imagination trying to figure out what lie he's told her. I just shook her hand and told her I was really glad to meet her and gave him a look that would make an ice glacier shiver. Creep.
Then Stick came by and had a bit of a breakdown himself; his wife has been sick for many years too so he needed to vent. I poured him a glass of wine and let him whine. And cry. Then another customer came by and told me all about his real estate disaster and bad loan issues so I made him a cup of coffee and let him vente latte. At least he did spend some money before he left.
Then the final customer that just left me shaking my head... sadly.. because he was wearing oxygen and a bit confused. I told him of Cutty's passing and after business and sharing a few 'back in the day' stories he gave me a $5 tip. Weird weird weird. My profession is not one that is tipped. He said 'this is for taking care of me all these years' and I said 'Thank you, but I'm not going anywhere nor are you...' But he wouldn't take it back no matter how many times I pushed it back across the counter; that Lincoln was moving back and forth faster than a Ouija wand. So I gave him free merchandise in exchange. Then he asked 'so are you still single?'
I'm not kidding. I thought for a minute maybe he was confused because my appearance has changed and said, 'Uhm, I'm Cutty's wife, you know?' and he said 'yeah, but you said he passed away.' Yikes.
Let's see, what else? Showed one of the commercial buildings to a potential tenant this afternoon so will send prayers to my real estate Angel and think positive thoughts. Stopped in the boutique and picked up a couple of new blouses and pair of pants. I'll start packing for the trade show in the morning. This one is an overnighter; my first in a long time. In fact, I think this is the first I've been away from home overnight since my 48 hour pass last August. I keep making checklists; you'd think I was going to the Moon.
And that's about it. Thank you for visiting with me. Stay warm. Today's Journey to the Heart can certainly be used to make a case for 'loving yourself, unconditionally, today' instead of waiting until reaching goal weight, hmmm?
Learn to Live with Unfinished Projects
Whether your project is sewing a dress, reading a book, writing a book, building a home, or learning a lesson on your journey, team to live comfortably with unfinished work. Whatever you’re working on, whatever you’re in the midst of doesn’t need to be finished, in perfect order, with all the loose ends in place for you to be happy.
For too many years, we worried and fretted, denying ourselves happiness until we could see the whole picture, learn the entire lesson, cross every t and dot each i. That meant we spent a lot of stressful time waiting for that one moment when the project was complete.
Enjoy all the stages of the process you’re in. The first moments when the germ of the idea finds you. The time before you begin, when the seed lies dormant in the ground, getting ready to grow. The beginning, and all the days throughout the middle. Those bleak days, when it looks like you’re stuck and won’t break through. Those exciting days, when the project, the lesson, the life you’re building takes shape and form.
Be happy now. Enjoy the creative process— the process of creating your life, yourself, and the project you’re working on— today. Don’t wait for those finishing moments to take pleasure in your work and your life. Find joy all along the way.
Make Peace with Myself
04 February 2014
Tuesday - February 4th. Cold and raining here today; is expected to be raining on Friday when I am to load and drive to another trade show... but I'll not get ahead of myself on my worrying about that. I'll proceed this week and hope for sunshine and safe travel.
All things Food are going well several days in a row now. I'm pleased as I spoke about the weight loss in person Sunday. Usually that backfires late at night as it wakens the rebellious 'how dare you expose us to the rest of the world?' Sundown Snack Stalker.
I recognized, during the discussion, I took my explanation of 'eating healthy' to a different level: an actual 'truer' level than ever before.
In the past, during my failures, I would credit the massive losses to 'eating healthy'. In reality it was anything but considering the disordered eating.
I've long been the type of person who can lose weight easily with disordered eating; but I regain it just as easily. My ad-rep was using phrases like ecto, endo and mesomorph the other day (as he's into body building) but I'm not sure within which category he placed me. But the point is, I can lose 100+lbs within a year but in the absence of being truly healthy would regain back to morbid obesity (based on history) within 2-3 years.
So when asked, 'how'd you do it?' and I answered 'eating healthy' the immediate follow up conversation consisted of 'foods'. I just calmly shook my head and said, 'yes, food is a huge component of it but for me I had to begin thinking about how to be healthy all over - mentally, physically, emotionally and culinary. And I do believe this approach is going to serve me much better than any 'diet' has in the past 40 years.
The Ad-Rep was discussing how he has 20lbs to take off and he just wishes he could 'get it off now' via whatever means necessary (bipass, sleeve, etc) and then use his current lifestyle change to maintain it. The thought of such 'quick fixes' sets off alarms within me as I know how many times *I* have failed with the starvations, purgings, pills, etc., that did indeed take the weight off fast but without addressing the rest of my health, didn't last.
I think that's why I continue to ... just... paddle calmly right now. I'm not losing, but I'm not gaining. It's been the same 5lbs up and down since July and I'm not panicking. Odd too. In the past I would have lost another 20lbs by now. So either my metabolism has slowed with age or I'm feeding my body what it needs to maintain. But unlike last January when I felt so frustrated, so aggravated and imprisoned by the plateau that only lasted a month... I'm oddly serene and accepting of this one.
Would I like to catch a glimpse of slimmer, better defined image of me on the security camera? Sure. I am of the generation that is bombarded with twelve year old girls gussied up like mature women on the covers of magazines and thinking that is the size I should be. But then, I'm also of the same group, I hope, that looks at style in a magazine and feels $1800 for a pair of 'simple black slacks to toss on to look stylish while running errands' is a little pricey. (Claire Magazine). Slim Physique and High Fashion: It's all fantasy far beyond the reach of my short, stubby, badly in need of a manicure fingertips.
Additionally, I'm quite proud of myself that I haven't gained weight, especially in the past two months. I continue to experience, especially yesterday and probably again today with the gloomy rain, a hollow emptiness. But that is one of emotion, not physical hunger. Countless times I repeat that phrase to myself. All the pizza and wine in the universe won't fill that void. It didn't in the past; there has to be a better way. Maybe not as easy, but better.
And with that, I think I'll dress and begin my day. I may not go out into it but I'm going to try to sing & tap dance a little inside Bellawood and bring myself some joy and make peace with Mother Nature today. Hope you do as well in your world today.
Journey to the Heart for 2/4: See How Powerful You Are
People who believe they’re victims get to be right. Each experience they have convinces them of that. They don’t open themselves to the lessons, the growth, and the beauty of each situation they encounter. All they can see is their victimization.
Many of us have done the hard work to shift our belief system about being a victim. As we did that, we noticed that the scenery in our lives changed. When we believe something different, we get to see something different.
People who believe they have powers get to be right, too. Although we know there is much in life we can’t control, we also know we have the power to think, to feel, to choose, and to take responsibility for ourselves and our lives. We’re discovering our creative powers, and our power to love, including our power to love ourselves. We’ve embraced our power to grow, to change, to move forward. We know we have the power to claim our lives and take responsibility for ourselves in any situation life brings. Although life may deal us certain hard blows, we’ve learned to see beyond that. We see life’s beauty, gifts, and lessons, and its mysterious and sometimes magical nature.
On the road to freedom we may have made a stopover. We believed we were victims and we got to be right. Now, our journey has led us someplace else. We know we have powers; we know we have choices. And we no longer need to be right. Just free.
See how powerful you are!
Make Peace with Myself
02 February 2014
Sunday - February 2nd. I just did an internet search to see if Punxsutawney Phil was awake and making predictions yet today but instead found an article revealing, based on statistics, he was wrong more often than right. Dang. Hate having my lifelong beliefs shattered so that's it for me and research. If I read there are truly no leprechauns with pots of gold at the end of the rainbows I'd just have to crawl back in with Phil and cover my head. I need these rays of hope to keep me going.
All things Food Saturday? Total 'duh me' moment when I realized about an hour in at the trade show I'd left my 'cold food' ((a wonderful chopped fresh squash salad and snack of celery stalks)) home in the fridge. Luckily I had one of those foil smoked salmon packs and some almonds and plenty of bottled water to hold me over until I returned home. That and the now learned knowledge that I really 'wouldn't' starve by skipping a meal time.
Interesting food related 'trigger' realization (victory actually) as I initially thought 'I'm going to just lose it when everyone starts hauling in their usual fast food burgers, pizza, etc.,' and even considered calling to have something delivered to me. But then, once the room did fill with the aroma of Whataburger, Chick-Filet and Pizza Hut I was so put off by the mingled odors I didn't have that salivating reaction. Sensory overload I guess. Homemade chicken and dumplings for dinner. Oatmeal with a spoon of peanut butter at bedtime. Not too bad all in all.
The Good, Bad & Ugly of yesterday? (( Can you tell I'm still running Wild West theme's in my head?)) Not just good but great revenue at the show. Mostly from already established customers but it's a local show and I did have a few people react with interest when I handed them my business card ((instead of tossing it back on the table or in the nearest trash bin when they walked away)). The fee to be an exhibitor at that show is very inexpensive and I really do it merely for the 'in person' advertising so I consider 'any' sales at that show icing on the cupcake. Yesterday was total frosting.
The bad & ugly included: knocking a lamp off my display case in the shop (causing it to shatter), dropping a heavy item on my right foot while setting up at the show (and yes, while it didn't weigh 40lbs I did reflect that karma was giving me a lesson for the other day) and the weather dropped from a balmy 74 degrees in the morning to 45 degrees by noon so after the show promoter urging maintenance to 'cool' the room DOWN to 65 early in the day he wasn't able to get them back to 'warm' the room back UP to 65 so it was miserably uncomfortable. I finally locked my cases an hour early and came home to thaw out. Poor Mushy's ears were cold too. I'd taken a fan instead of her heating pad. I was wearing a tank top under my jacket instead of a turtle neck.
But back to the Good: I was aching all over and felt akin to that Jergen's commercial years ago when the woman was so 'dry' from the winter cold she turned into a dead brown leaf and crumpled. So I enjoyed a very nice candle lit soak in my spa tub later last night while sipping a hot cup of decaf coffee with froth; so decadent but nurturing as the Calgon moisturizing bath beads bubbled around me. The muscle spasms in my legs and feet finally released and stopped cramping as well as the throbbing in my injured toe. More good on that: I came 'thisclose' to wearing my new sandals yesterday instead of boots; so relieved I'd worn the latter as I'm sure there'd have more damage than bruising.
I brought the bulk of my inventory home yesterday so naturally today people will be asking for 'it' today; never fails. But then again, I didn't realize today is Super Bowl Sunday until late last night so I'm not predicting that much traffic anyway. So more good news is that I don't have as much to haul home today; I may just lock my cases and go do a little shopping (the show is at a Mall) mid-day before I finally pack and leave.
I was reflecting on something yesterday as more people learned of Cutty's news and then proceeded to share their sad stories with me. One reflection is I still need to work on my 'truly connecting with humanity' as I recognized I was often just allowing them to talk, nodded along indicating my sympathy but wasn't really listening. It was a little depressing to me. I'm sure the universe is sending these messages my way for a reason and I need to experience them. I'll try better today.
But the other thought I was considering last night was 'cause and effect'. The general conversation in the shop and shows still goes along the lines of:
"So how's Cutty doing?"
'Cutty passed away at Thanksgiving.'
"Oh my, I'm so sorry to hear that."
:::Nod::: 'Thank you.'
"Well, he'd been sick for a really long time.. "
'Yes, he's finally at peace now. Thank you.'
This is the point where they launch into their story of their own health issues, people they've lost, other tragic stories. I try to listen and let them have their release. But later I wondered 'how many times have people said they avoid 'thatperson' because it's depressing to be around them but now question 'who' is the depressing one? I couldn't help but imagine after 15-20 minutes of sharing their sad experiences with me they likely walked away with 'Gosh, that Widow Bella is so depressing.. must avoid her at the next show' when my entire contribution to the conversation was tearless and lasted less than 30 seconds.
Well, still cold today; no prediction of warming so I'm going to go layer up and pack Mushy's bed warmer and meander down to the show. I'm so glad you comment you enjoy the 'Journey to the Heart' passages I'm sharing from my book. Today's was so spot on.
Have a wonderful Super Bowl Sunday. Hope your favorite team wins.
Cherish Today’s Lessons
“I’m brokenhearted about my divorce,” the man said. “I’ve spent four years searching for a new wife, trying to recreate my family, trying to jam the pieces of the picture back in place. All I’ve gotten from my desperate search is more pain and anguish. It’s hurt other people. It’s hurt me. I’m tired of trying to manipulate other people to meet my own needs, to postpone my own grief.”
Some of us may be desperately trying to recreate the life we once had. But fear, pain, and desperation won’t attract the answer we’re seeking. Desperation attracts desperation. Pain attracts pain. And so the downward spiral goes. Yes, loss hurts. Sometimes life hurts, too. But loss can’t be negotiated. Becoming obsessed with putting the pieces back in place is an understandable reaction, but it won’t work. Yesterday cannot be superimposed on today. We need to go one step further.
Feel the obsession, and let it go.
Feel the desperation, then release that. Come back to the lessons of today. They’re different from the lessons of yesterday, but just as valuable.
We face many losses along the way. People we love disappear from our lives; we may lose a career, money, or something else we valued. We can lose our dreams, too. But looking for quick replacements as a way to avoid feeling pain about the loss won’t work. And we’ll miss the lessons. Before we can go on, we must feel our sadness about what we lost. Losses demand acceptance.
Eventually life will send you new people and new dreams. Cherish this time to grow and learn. Cherish what the universe is teaching you now.
Make Peace with Myself
01 February 2014
Saturday - February 1st. I slept very poorly last night and have been awake since 2am. I would whine that I'm now dreading the trade show but sleepy is sleepy regardless of where I am so the SSDD acronym today would be Same Stuff Different Destination, I suppose.
All things Food yesterday? Pretty darn good. Chicken soup mid-afternoon; fresh squash & cucumber salad with balsamic vinegar for dinner and oatmeal for bedtime snack. Evelyn's blog has renewed my desire for fresh salads these days but I'm also considering the roasted vegetable recipe this evening if I don't go out to a restaurant. No Night Stalker Snacking; the plan B of putting the tonic water in the bathroom paid off when I woke with foot cramps at 11pm.
Yesterday I realized the reason I was able to remember the 'silent listening' successfully with the Yoga situation was because I've been reincorporating it in my own shop and life. Sandy, I think 'active listening' is when the listener rephrases what they heard for the talker to confirm they understood the agenda.
I realized I'd let this skill go the past couple of years as I was being watched and timed on the security cameras and criticized for letting the customers waste my time. I'm finally beginning to just relax and reconnect with the humanity of the person sitting across the desk from me. I even initiated a conversation with a stranger last night; something I used to do all of the time; nice to bring it back.
I'd always agreed 'this ain't no bus station hangout' and am quite comfortable standing up, shaking their hand and bidding them on their way when the next customer arrives. It just finally sank in I no longer needed to chase off a customer because they weren't flinging money at me from the doorway. Building a good long term customer relationship takes time.
I received what I considered a really great compliment the other day because it reinforced what I've been attempting to achieve. One of my tenants came by to discuss a situation and as I was getting her a cup of coffee she commented, 'You know.. along with losing the weight, you are really very stylish now.' I like that. I've been working toward this 'journey' being about more than the number on the scale. It's not about wearing the next size smaller in jeans for me. It's about cultivating a look and style that is unique yet flattering.
Speaking of coffee and the Keurig, it occurred to me this little device of convenience has erased yet another social nicety in a way. I'm sure it can be spun into something more positive but I was thinking about how when I offer visitors a cup of coffee they'll say, 'Oh, that sounds wonderful but please don't go to any trouble..' and I say, 'No trouble at all, I have a Keurig.'
It just doesn't have the same 'tone or ring' to me as saying, 'I just brewed a fresh pot of coffee, would you like to join me?' Meh, it's probably an old lady thing.
And with that, I guess it's time to start gathering myself around for the show today. Thank you for stopping by to visit with and please know that even though I don't come back and respond to your comments on my journals they are all appreciated, read, incorporated into my thoughts, and loved. Your kindness and support does not go unnoticed. It's wonderful to get feedback and interaction.
And, once again, the Journey to the Heart seems written just for me today. I love them so .. and share them with my friends.
FEBRUARY 1 Transcend Your Limitations
You’re free now, free to take the journey of a lifetime. Free to experience life, in its newness, its freshness, its magic— in a way you never have before.
The only limitations on you are the ones you’ve placed on yourself. Your prison has been of your own making. Don’t blame or chastise yourself. Life has created certain challenges for you. But the purpose hasn’t been to imprison you. The purpose has been to set you free, to provide you with lessons, experiences, circumstances that would trigger growth and healing. Life has been provoking, promoting, urging you to grow, stretch, learn, heal. Life has been trying to break you out of your prison.
Set yourself free. Let yourself go on a journey of love. Take notes. Be present. Experience. learn. Love and laugh, and cry when you need to. Rest when you’re tired. Take a flashlight to help you see in the dark. But most of all, take yourself and go.
Go on your journey of joy.
Make Peace with Myself
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