Monday, April 25, 2011

And Now I Blather

In October and November, I was really working daily on my health. I was walking a lot more and tracking my food. I was doing yoga weekly and attending OA meetings. But still I wasn't losing weight. Then the holidays hit... and I began doing less and less. By the time March rolled around, I was ready to recommit. I was going to focus on getting off 30 pounds by the time June rolled around. And it's the end of April... and I've gained 18 pounds. Seriously?? The thing that kills me is that I can eat a totally normal day and still gain three pounds overnight. If I were hanging at buffets or a Girl Scout cookie factory, I would accept it. But this just seems so unfair.

So, spring is literally "busting out" all over and I'm not thrilled. The bout of sickness in February and March really seemed to do me in and I'm just really feeling the effects of the extra, sudden weight. Plus I'm just pissed- I know many people have trouble keeping weight off, but really- to gain 18 pounds when I am trying to lose. Ugh!

We spent a lot of time this weekend at my mom's house, which is a small ranch. She has four dogs- three are big and one is decidedly furry. I can usually only stand about three hours before my sinuses rebel. We spent a big chunk of time Saturday and Sunday there and the combination about killed me. By the time we left Sunday evening, I was so inflamed and congested that I felt as if I had the flu. I had a fever and was having a hard time breathing (which makes me a tad cranky). We got home and I took Benadryl, which knocked me. That might have worked okay, except I mean it literally took me out of the game before I had time to get ready for bed. Plus I had tons of work to do, so when I woke up around midnight, I was not pleased. I tossed and turned until about 5:30, at which point I got up and started fighting the work demons in my head. But I still have allergy hangover and the current weather isn't helping. I have felt very inflamed and unhealthy and it's time to get on the ball.

So, this morning I went for a walk around a pond close to my house. It was harder- just a few weeks off really makes a difference. And I was bummed to find that it wasn't two miles, like I thought, but rather 1.5 mile. While not perfect, I have tried to eat better today. Besides a few sips of coffee, I haven't had caffeine. And I ended the day with a yin yoga class and a healthy dinner of salmon, rice, and green beans (with amino acids and tons of garlic). Yep- I'm trying to bring down my inflammation levels. I find if I focus on treating specific health issues- instead of just the omnipresent jaba-the-hut- weightiness that I do better. It's more like a science experiment.
I googled "Jabba the Hut in Drag" but it just made me mad.
So we are going with the cat version.

So now I am just chilling with some green tea (courtesy of the husband, who I have to give props to, for he did bring me a little heating pad and the tea upon request.)

I was thinking again today about my many different- and disparate- dimensions today. I definately have a strong streak of hippie-alternative yearning (yeah- that's the best wordsmithing I can come up with right now, as I am listening to the neighbor roaring up and down on the four wheeler outside my house while my monkey boy & man-child jabber on and sing Mexican Christmas songs. Yes, really). Anyway, where was I? Oh yes.

One of my earliest memories was of doing yoga in the living room with my dad. My mom worked third shift and we would sit on the carpet in the front room of the ranch, listening to Cat Steven and doing yoga in- yes- the actual light of the moon. This remains a sacred memory for me and I can remember the smooth cover of the"Tea for the Tillerman" record. Listening to Cat Stevens, John Denver, James Taylor and Fleetwood Mac still takes me back and can literally lower my blood pressure.

This being the late 70s, my dad also had left over vitamin supplements and self-hypnosis tapes from some entrepreneurial venture, and I listened to those growing up. We also have some Native American ancestry and that colored my world view, so that when I was old enough to make my own decisions about religion I ended up with both a Christian worldview and a strong interest in the concepts of Hindu and Buddism, with special focus on karma and the balance of yin and yang. In fact, I wear a tiny yin yang in my right ear and it serves to remind me to recognize the sacred balance of energy. I don't see this as an either/or endeavor- I believe in a God mighty enough to reach his many peoples through many messages of truth.

I used to love to have conversations with people about the universe and all it's mysteries. I didn't mind being the freak- I just thought everyone else was kinda conventional. I gave a presentation in eighth grade about reflexology and did astrological projections with my step-grandmother. I experienced mind mapping and reflexology tanks and all sorts of things that people deem madness. I wasn't searching for some deeper truth that I didn't feel that I had. Instead it was just... interesting. I like exploring. In fact, I would say that it my strongest characteristic. I want to explore the psyche, the inner-space, the dimensions of people's believes, their histories, the journeys, their possibilities, the interactions between us.

More than ten years ago, I conceived of a nonprofit utopia that I wanted to start. I called it Sanctuary. And I researched. I dreamed. I explored. I wrote. I created a business plan. I toured possible locations.

And slowly, steadily, over the last ten years I have let my dreams seep out of me, one drop at a time. I have become more and more conventional. I haven't lost who I am... I've just let is sink deeper inside of me and in front of it I have placed the vestiges of the roles that I have played as a fundraiser, a wife and a mother. But most of all- a provider. For I have had to be the provider for the last eight years as my husband works on his own dream of a doctorate in clinical psychology.

And I still struggle with it. Did I do this to myself or let it be done to me? Was I too weak to fight for my dreams? Too scared to chase them? To sacrifice all to achieve them? Did I let the fact that my family didn't see the beauty of my dream discourage me? I remember walking into pre-marital counseling with the preacher of the church we had joined. When we started talking about the future, I was already frustrated and emotional about not feeling supported to pursue my own dreams and being dismissed because hubby "didn't even know what they were." And that was right long years ago.

It's strange how so many others knew my dreams in all their techno-colored detail. Last year I reconnected with a friend who I had worked with in 2001. We were both trainers, but she was exceptionally talented in cake decorating. So I encouraged her. I helped her design a portfolio and pushed her to interview. It was awesome to me to be a part of helping someone make their own dreams come true and when one of her cakes was published in a bridal magazine, I was as proud as a parent. When we reconnected, she wrote me a touching letter thanking me for helping and encouraging her then. And then she wrote about how she hoped that my dream of Sanctuary would come true.That stopped me in my tracks. Ten years had passed and I was no closer. Ten.Whole.Years. Not only that, she remembered. She knew. She cared. She believed.

It's always funny how I start one subject and end somewhere different here. And I can't help but feel that I am painting a picture for myself, a sort of psychological color by number of truth that I can only see when I'm done. And yet, it's all perfectly interrelated. My health. My beliefs. My sacrifices and my balancing of identities. What I have tucked away in order to make others happy. This is my place to pour it out, even if it doesn't make people smile or laugh.

So what will I write in another 10 years?


  1. Speaking to the health aspect, the best way to reduce inflammation is to find what foods trigger your specific inflammation. Try the elimination diet. I would recommend starting with gluten, because often gluten sensitivity can create lactose intolerance, which is resolved after going gluten free. I can specifically speak to this, after being gluten free for almost a month, I no longer have trouble tolerating dairy.

    As far as the conforming struggle, here's the deal; you are a rare gem in a society structured around what is expected and tolerated. Allow your true self to seep out in between conforming to prevent the straight jackets from coming. continue to write, and express yourself as much as possible, and know that someday, when your children are raised and gone,and you are retired, you wont care what other ppl think, and you will have the time and ability to do whatever the hell you want, and your only responsibility will be to yourself and your family....

  2. You know I'm behind you 100%. On the health thing, on the dream thing. I suspected long ago that buried under that fundraising mother/wife that there was someone truly different lurking, just waiting for the opportunity to burst out and build a yurt or shake her tambourine. I love people with their offbeat dreams - the ones who DON'T conform. I'm like that too, but have had to bury that under a woman with a job, financial responsibilities and family life too. I think that may be why women in their 50s are suddenly free of society's shoulds and able to express themselves more readily. I'm less than a year away from 50 and I don't see anything changing anytime soon (as I was a late bloomer, I suspect my "free" time will come later too), but I'm looking forward to breaking out of my coocoon in a few years...

    Your time is coming. Believe that. It may just be later than you thought.