There Are No Coincidences

Sometimes things just come together and leave you scratching your head and thinking, “Well fuck me naked!  That could never happen again in a million years!”

That happened to me this weekend.

As you are well aware, I’m trying to get my shit together this year in some old (nutrition and exercise) and new (therapy) ways.  That means there’s a lot of work to do in the inside as well as the outside.  In fact, the longer I’m into this navel gazing, the more I realize that if I don’t get the inside right the outside will never be right no matter what it looks like.

I know I know…DUH.

Anyway, I was getting ready to take the dogs on a long walk Sunday so I decided to find a podcast to listen to during our journey.  I wanted one by Brene’ Brown but it turns out Brene’ doesn’t do her own podcasts.  However, while looking I found this woman Koren Motekaitis who does a regular podcast called “How She Really Does It”.  I scrolled down the hundreds of recordings until my eyes landed on one that said “Weight Loss After Menopause”.  Well, well, well I thought…this is right up my alley.

I had no idea.

I swear to you this woman being interviewed could have been me.  Seems that Koren is a life coach who conducts a “circle” on weight loss from time to time (www.howshereallydoesit.com ) and this woman she was interviewing was part of one of her former circles.  Everything that came out of that woman’s mouth felt like my words.  From her struggles with typical “diets” (they don’t work) to her conclusion that she had to get in touch with why she ate her emotions (therapy) to her preferred form of movement (walking).  It was really kind of spooky.

As I listened to her discuss how she took off 30 pounds I realized that my gut has been right all along (pun intended).  If I can learn to listen to what my body wants and needs I can work toward recognizing and then making peace with the emotions and feelings that send me to the pantry in search of salt or sugar, and then maybe I can find my body’s natural weight and perhaps, along the way, make peace with food.

Huge run on sentence and even huge-er goal.

Of course all of the above assumes that I can cut through all the crap I tell myself on a regular basis and create a kinder and more compassionate dialog with myself.

That’s where the second half of my day kicks in…

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m doing Brene’ Brown’s e-course that accompanies her book, “The Gifts of Imperfection” (www.oprah.com/brenebrowncourse).  I’m on week three of six and its been extraordinary thus far.  This week did not disappoint.  I don’t want to give anything away in case you’re thinking of going through the course but suffice to say my biggest takeaway from week three was this…

“I will talk to myself the same way I talk to the people I love.” ~Brene’ Brown

Just another version of what one of my good friends once said to me when I was using my patented self-deprecating humor.

“Never say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend.” ~Sherry’s Friend Patricia

Hear that?

That’s the sound of the brick God threw landing upside my head.

“There are no coincidences.  Only Divine bricks chucked from above.” ~Sherry

Hear that?  No?

That’s the sound of quiet determination.

Namaste

54 at 54 Weekly Update – Week 8

Walking

First, and most importantly, today I am wearing a pair of jeans that, two weeks ago, were incredibly uncomfortable.  So much so that I had to wear a big flowing top and do the “rubber band trick” on the button.  (You know what that is right?  It’s when you loop a rubber band through the button-hole of your pants and then around the button itself.  Depending on the rubber band it can give you an extra 1/2″ to 1″.  Those rubber bands that come on broccoli at the supermarket are perfect for this.)  Today they are not only comfortable but a little baggy.  Yesterday I had to tighten my belt twice because the pants I was wearing were threatening to leave my body – and not in a good way.

I’ve also started working out in…wait for it…the morning.  GASP!  I know…I’ve tried before and given up but the fact that this treadmill is right in my bedroom and that basically all I have to do is put on a bra and shoes is definitely a bonus.  Plus, I just get home too late at night to do the nightly workout that’s been my staple all of my adult life.

But things change.

When I was 16 I wanted to take off some weight (well – since puberty I’ve wanted to “take off some weight”) so I bought a record album of exercises that came with a wall chart so you could see how to do them (yes…I’m old…don’t judge).  I fell in love with it.  Over the years that morphed into gyms and aerobics classes (Jazzercise anyone?) and personal trainers and lots and lots of VHS tapes and then later, DVD’s.  My library was extensive and for a while I belonged to a kind of “club” where you could trade videos you’d grown tired of or that were not a good fit for you.  Working out at home to videos with Kathy Smith, Karen Voight and Petra Kolber (to name a few) became my fitness routine and lasted for about 20 years.

After I got sober and started thinking about getting back into shape (one other than the one I’m currently in) I dusted off those old tapes and DVD’s and got to work.  The problem was that where they once energized me and made me happy, they now bored me and made me feel bad about myself.  So I stopped using them and started my search for my next fitness path.

One thing that has never changed in all my life is that I love to walk.  I will walk anywhere for ridiculous amounts of time.  My normal gait is at about 2.7 mph (yeah…it’s hard for people to keep up) but I’ve been known to walk as fast as 4.2 mph if I’m really pushing it.  I prefer walking outside but when I’m out there I tend to walk slower and just enjoy the outdoors.  I can listen to some “beat” music and match the pace – but for me, having earbuds in takes the joy out of my walk.  (Plus if I’m in an unfamiliar city it’s dangerous because I need to be aware of my surroundings at all times…you can take the girl out of the hood but you can’t take the hood out of the girl.)

Which is why this treadmill is such a godsend.  Last weekend, after my run-in with my compassionate boss (yes…that WAS sarcasm) I feeling pretty low so I did what I love to do – I walked.  First on the treadmill and then outside with the dogs.  Saturday and Sunday I exercised self-care and just…walked.  I didn’t try to run or match any pace or even care if I sweat.  I just moved my feet.

And it was glorious.

So this week I’ve been getting up early and walking first thing in the morning which sets the “pace” (HA!) for my day.  I’ve decided that if I never learn to run that’s okay…I can walk.  If I never run another race (5K, 4-miler, half marathon) that’s okay…I can walk it.  If I never fire up my c25K app again that’s okay…I can walk while binge watching TV series and let the iFit application on my treadmill do the work (and make ME work in the process).

I’m happy with this program.  I logged food all week and did pretty damn well I think.  I walked and walked and walked…with my own unique brand of quiet determination.

And that is perfectly imperfect…and just enough.

Stats:  74, 442 steps for 30.9 miles – 10,635 daily average steps – 4.41 daily average miles.

Namaste

54 at 54 Update – Week 5

Running shoes

My son is a genius.  Okay, all of my children are geniuses (as well as my grandchildren…duh) but this particular son is an Athletic Training genius.

My youngest at home (by 21 minutes thank you very much) is an Athletic Training major in college.  He’s very passionate about it and it shows in his accolades and grades.  What’s the old adage?  Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.  I think this is it for him…at least for now.

I’ve been texting and calling him for weeks now to help me diagnose what in the hell was wrong with my right knee/leg that had me in pain as I walk/run and then limping the next day.  The pain started on the inside of my knee and ran down my leg.  It was really beginning to bother me because it was keeping me from running AT ALL and I could only walk at a speed of 2.5 mph (which, let’s face it, is barely a stroll).  I was watching all my hard earned dollars spent on that treadmill going down the drain.  More importantly, I was watching all my dreams for this year going down with it.

I was really depressed…old…out of shape…no hope.

out of shape

I asked him to come home and take a look at my leg as well as help me find words to explain to a doctor (if necessary) what was happening.  I needed to determine if this was pain or injury and if I should be resting/icing or working through the pain.

He came home last Friday.  He sat me up on the kitchen table and began palpating, twisting, pushing and pulling on my leg.  He asked me what kind of shoes I wore and whether they were neutral or correcting for something.  I told him that a couple of years ago I was fitted by a local running store to correct for under-pronation or supination.  I could see that this confused him.

Then he told me to stand in front of him, barefoot, and march in place.

“Mom.  Not only are you almost flat footed, but you pronate…not supinate.”

Wait.  What?

Holy screw-up Batman!  Are you fucking kidding me?  We spoke for a while longer and although I was still skeptical (I mean seriously – he’s a kid in his second year of college for god’s sake) I agreed to return the shoes that had just arrived and order a new pair with arch support and mild pronation correction.

I didn’t work out on Friday, Saturday or Sunday and iced my knee all three days.  On Monday I wore a pair of really, really old running shoes to walk, albeit slowly, through my workout.  There was no pain.  Just from switching shoes.  My new shoes arrived on Tuesday and I ran on the treadmill through my c25K program and then walked another 30 minutes at 3.2 mph.

No pain.  Not on the treadmill.  Not that evening and, most importantly, not the next day.  I’ve continued to work out hard the rest of the week and there is no pain in my knee.  My arches are sore but I need to work those muscles so I expected that (he gave me some exercises to do).

So you see?  My son really IS a genius!  Okay, okay – but he’s really good at this shit and I’m really proud.

Moving on…(Literally!  Get it?  Ha!  I slay me!)

My co-worker is off to Disney today to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon on Sunday morning.  She wants me to run it with her next year.

I think I just found my next goal.

disney-princess-half-logo
2016 here I come!

 

Also, I’m back to tracking my food.  I just seem to lose my mind when I’m not paying attention to what, how much and when I eat.  I tried to use the Weight Watcher app again but I just don’t like that point system plus it’s 20 bucks a month.  I’m much more comfortable with My Fitness Pal which sync’s to my FitBit and has every single food under the sun in it.

Still no significant weight loss.  Whatevs.

This week’s stats:  64, 111 Steps/21.29 miles

Namaste

Nom Nom Nom

I see my therapist again today.  I’m nervous.  Last time I left him with my letters to my abuser and my little girl self.  There were things in those letters that only one other person on the planet knows (the hubs) besides me.  My grown up self knows that the things I wrote about really aren’t that big of a deal.  My little girl self still carries the shame and humiliation of those things.  She still owns them.

She’s afraid and embarrassed to face her therapist today.  Fortunately my grown up self is up to the challenge and almost eager to move this process forward.

Over the last two weeks, while I haven’t done any actual homework, I’ve thought about this process on a daily basis.  I’ve asked myself, “What the fuck are you doing?” many times.  I’ve wondered, for the millionth time, if I’m making too much out of a series of events that happened over 40 years ago.  I’ve considered giving up and just stuffing it all back down and walking running away.  I’ve avoided writing letters to my mom and my grandmother because, in my grown up head, I’ve forgiven them.  I haven’t really checked in with my little girl self to see if she’s forgiven them…

That’s how I know I have to keep going.  If I’m going through all of this thought process and it feels this uncomfortable…then I must need to face this part of my life and work through it.  Accept it.  Surrender.

There are also some interesting things happening to me.  They are subtle, almost whispers, and if I’m not paying attention I might miss them.  But they’re there…and I’m noticing them.

For instance, I’ve always hated my name.  I don’t know why…just the way it is.  It’s not that common and, as I got older, the “e” sound at the end sounded too juvenile to me.  All of a sudden however, I love the sound of my name.  I noticed it the other day when someone called me by name and I was filled with – oh hell I don’t know – joy?  Whatever it was it felt good.

Then there’s my face.  Never liked that either.  Long story.  Now I’m not minding it so much.  I’m looking at myself with a little more kindness these days.  I’m actually thinking of myself with a little more kindness these days.  Maybe it’s the therapy or maybe it’s the bump in my meds or maybe both.  Whatever it is I hope it continues to improve.  It feels good.

Now on the not so good side of things.  I’ve noticed that for the last three or four days, every time I start thinking about this appointment I want to eat.  Not just eat a meal…I mean EAT…nom nom nom eat.  Comfort eat.  Junk food eat.  Chocolate eat.  No cravings for booze…just food.  Cheeseburgers and French fries and cake.  Shit I NEVER eat.  And chocolate – oh for the love of God who in the world decided that Valentine’s Day was a good time to tackle these issues – fucking chocolate EVERYWHERE!

For the first time however, I’m actually noticing that I’m turning to food for comfort.  I’m uncomfortable with what might happen in this appointment today and I’m looking for food to make me feel better about it and help me cope with the feelings I may have to face.  It’s an actual feeling in my stomach…one I’m mistaking for hunger but couldn’t be farther from it.  I’ve been wondering why I’ve been so hungry, why is it that all I want to do is eat and now I think I’ve figured it out.  So while this sucks because I don’t have a flipping clue what the hell I’m supposed to do about it (except maybe break out my old sober toolbox) and even though it’s uncomfortable, I feel good because it means I’m more mindful of my feelings and my reactions.

So for now I’m going to roll with all of this.  I’m going to keep going down this path and facing this with tenacity and grit but also for with love and kindness which is new for me.  Usually I find an obstacle, barrel through it head first and just obliterate it to smithereens never stopping to see what damage I’m doing to myself – just hell bent on getting through the problem and moving forward.

Um…so how’s that workin’ for ya?

Time to take a softer approach to my issues.  Maybe ride a cloud or two along the way to freedom peace of mind.

Namaste

54 at 54 Friday Update – Week 2 (again)

I’ve been keeping my Wellness Journal since my treadmill showed up and, in that, I just wrapped up week 2.  I’m getting old people – I can’t keep one week count on the blog and one in the journal so I’m on week 2 again.  Don’t judge.

It’s been a really good week.  I walked over 64,000 steps and watched whatever the equivalent of that is on Scandal.  On Wednesday evening I had a therapist hangover (that’s when I feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck because of the emotional work I have to do) and I REALLY did not want to work out.  I mean really, really.  In fact, all I wanted to do was go home and climb up into bed and sleep.

BUT I DIDN’T WANT TO MISS MY SHOW!

So I got on the treadmill and walked for an hour.  I felt amazing after of course and so damn proud of myself.  You might wonder why I didn’t just crawl up into bed with my iPad and watch.  I mean really…it’s available to watch anytime for god’s sake!

Because it’s against the rules!!!!  No watching Scandal unless I’m sweating on my treadmill.  Hey…whatever works right?

...unless you're watching Scandal.
…unless you’re watching Scandal.

I’m “running” a four miler on Sunday morning.  Fortunately my coworker (who is 29!!!) is running it with me.  She’s training for a half-marathon at Disney at the end of the month.  This is my first official race.  I have encouraged her to leave me in the dust…she definitely won’t hurt my feelings.  The only thing that has me nervous is that they say you have to complete it in under an hour.  I don’t mind NOT completing it in that time since this is my first and I will likely be walking a lot more than I’ll be running but I’m a little nervous about what happens after an hour.  Do they follow behind you in a car and shout that the race is over and by the way, you’re a loser?  Do they pack up the finish line and take it away at the end of that time?

Seasoned runners out there…please tell me what humiliation awaits me when I get my first DNF.  It won’t stop me from running.  I just want to be prepared.

women running

Diet.  Meh.  Healthy whole foods.  No fast food (I never eat that anyway).  Still having chips but a lot less sugar this week.  In fact, almost none.  That’s a biggie

Weight?  Down a pound which is the goal.  But I’m not getting on the scale again until I finish a month on the treadmill.  They say it takes 4 weeks for you to see changes in your body, 8 weeks for family and friends and 12 weeks for the rest of the world.  That sounds like great timing for weigh-ins as well.

You all have a beautiful, warm and safe weekend.  Oh…and wish me luck!

Namaste

Like Walking Into a Hurricane

 

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post
Photo courtesy of Huffington Post

I’m off to the therapist this afternoon.  I did some of my homework but had to stop after a while.  It was just getting to be a little too much.  The more I thought about it and wrote, the more confused I got about memories and what happened when and to whom.  I started feeling things about places and times that I can’t be sure are real.  I had to shake my head to clear the cobwebs and just walk away.

When I wrote my letters for my 4th step I felt cleansed after I finished.  It was cathartic.  I cried.  I raged.  I wrote.  But then, I was done and I truly, truly let it go.  I was hoping that this would be the same experience.

Not. Even. Close.

This is like walking through tar – all sticky and thick.  It feels much heavier and I want to give up about a hundred times an hour.  Shut that door and lock it for good.  Protect my heart.  It feels like I’m walking into a hurricane head on…and no matter how hard I push, something keeps pushing against me saying “Stay back!  Turn Around!  Danger!”.  I know it’s just my psyche trying to stuff shit down again but damn…I’m strong.

I know have to get through the hurricane in order to see the sun again and this feels like a big one.  One that levels shit and leave nothing but destruction in its path.  This motherfucker feels like Katrina.

For now the emotional part has been…well…meh.  Not intentionally.  I just haven’t had any really strong feelings about anything yet.  It’s like I’m muted.  Muffled.  Well except for anxiety and adrenaline.  Every time I “go there” my heart beats faster and I feel a little like I can’t breathe.  Like I’m in a crisis and I don’t have time to stop and deal with stupid emotions.  I have stuff to do and until it’s done I can’t stop to process feelings.  How on earth will anything get done if I do that?

Yeah…I know.

Part of the problem is that I have no idea what I’m doing here.  I’m a planner.  I’m a Project Manager for christ’s sake…it’s what I DO.  But there’s no plan for something like this.  No instruction manual.  No one to tell me if I’m doing it “right”…because there is no “right”.  It just IS and apparently I have to deal with it or I’ll just keep trading addictions out like they’re playing cards.

Namaste

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you to give you hope and a future.        ~Jeremiah 29:11

Again

I got some truly amazing comments on my post yesterday about The Before.  It resonated with a lot of people which made me happy because, well that’s why we’re all out here right?  That, and the cheap therapy.

One comment in particular has been stuck in my brain since yesterday and I have to write about it or it will be up there tumbling around unaccompanied until it drives me batshit crazy.  So to avoid all that drama – I’ll be writing about it here.

Josie over at The Miracle Is Around the Corner commented that she feels like she’s in The Before when it comes to her eating and exercise plan and that it feels just like it did when she was in The Before of her drinking career.  She and I have discussed this, so she knew I would understand (which I DO).  Pop onto yesterday’s post and check out her comment – it was awesome.

The reason I get it is because it’s the same for me.  The only difference is that this particular Before has been going on for me since fucking puberty.  It’s been rolling around in my brain and making me miserable since I was about 12.  That’s almost 42 years of bullshit brain activity (or approximately 336 dog years). 

What the what?

This is my 474th post on this blog.  Of those posts, I would estimated that at least 1/4 to 1/3 of them are about eating, exercising, dieting, body image, etc.  That means between 119 and 158 posts have been written about my struggles not with alcohol but with FOOD.  That feels like a lot to be on a blog that is supposed to be about sobriety.  Maybe it’s not.  What the hell do I know?

What bothers me is the up and down in and out back and forth of the whole thing.  One day I’ve got this killer eating plan and I’m exercising every day, the next day I’m stuffing my face with Oreo’s and Halloween candy and my self-esteem is in the toilet.  One day I’ve sworn off thinking about food and I’m just going to learn to love myself the way I am, the next day the doctor calls me “obese” and I’m crying in my Diet Pepsi.  One day I’m meditating and practicing self-care and telling myself only good things, and the next I catch sight of myself in a mirror and I swear I’m not going to eat until my 55th birthday by which time (in 2016 btw) I will have lost approximately half my body weight and have to check into Betty Ford for an eating disorder.

I’m not making fun of eating disorders by the way – I’m saying that thinking like this IS NOT HEALTHY.

Where does it stop?  Unlike cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or gambling, WE HAVE TO EAT!  What’s more, food is one of the greatest joys of life.  Sharing a meal with friends and family is a beautiful thing.  Sitting down to a table of food made with love (including dessert and bread) is a blessing that I never take for granted.  (There are too many people in the world that never have enough to eat.)  All this bullshit going on in my head ruins that joy if I let it get away from me.

Which I do.

Often.

I wish that for once in my life I could make peace with sustenance.  I wish I could find a happy place that was free of guilt or shame or self-righteousness (when I’m doing well I can get very self-righteous).  I wish I could learn to treat food as sacred and, in turn, treat myself that way.

I know there’s a root to this issue that I’ve yet to uncover.  I’ve read book after book on the subject.  I’ve scoured the Internet and plunked down lots of cash in an effort to understand what’s going on with me and food.  I’ve been to nutritionists and spas and doctors in a desperate attempt to right this ship.  And here I am typing about it again.

I often talk about wanting to get back to the way I was when I was in my 30’s and early 40’s.  Now I’m not so sure.  While it’s true that I was at a healthy weight and was extremely fit, the fact is that I was not happy.  The shit going on in my head now was there then – a constant stream of consciousness about what I was eating, where, how much and how much exercise I needed to do.  That’s not healthy.  It also wasn’t very joyful.  It was, in fact, a Before.

There really is no point to this post.  No pithy comment that will make you think, “Yes!  That’s it!”  Only a recovering alcoholic, ex-smoker who would love, for once in her life, to find peace of mind on a plate.  I have no idea how I’m going to get there or even if I’ll ever get there.  I just know I have to keep trying because, as I said yesterday, The Before is no way to live.

Namaste

No Thanks…I Don’t Like Roller Coasters

Image

First…you guys!  Guess what?  I’ve been Freshly Pressed!!!  My post on Facebook was selected for Freshly Pressed!!!  (Can you tell I’m excited?)  Never in a million years did I ever think that would happen and yet…WOOT!  Thank you Krista for noticing me and pressing me…you’ve made my blogging year!

Now…on to today’s post.  

Earlier this year I wrote a post about eating cleaner and breaking the cycle of obsession that had been a part of my life for as long as I remember.  The obsession with food, with the scale, with how I look, all of it.  I was able to break that awful cycle.  I was able to set myself free.  Free from getting on the scale every freaking morning and letting it have the power to decide my attitude.  Free from waking up every morning and thinking, “I’m going to eat well today.  I shouldn’t have eaten (whatever) last night.  Ugh…I hate myself.”  Sound familiar anyone?

I broke that cycle until…until that bitch rude nurse poor uninformed woman at my doctor’s office used the “O” word.  Obese.

I said I wasn’t going let it affect me.  I said I was going to stay on my path to healthy, clean eating and moderate exercise.  I said

…doesn’t matter what I said.  What matters is what I thought and what I did.

What I did was jump right back onto that motherfucking roller coaster.  I started weighing once a week…and then once every three or four days…and then every damn morning.  I started tracking my calories on MyFitnessPal.com and using my FitBit to not only track my steps, but to give me back some of the calories (you can lync the FitBit to MyFitnessPal).  Before I knew it, I was right back into thinking about food either consciously or unconsciously every minute of every day.  I was dreaming about food!  Shit!

This morning I woke up and my first thought was, “Okay..today’s the day I’m going to eat better.”

And I stopped in the middle of my bedroom and thought, “STOP!”  Which reminded me of my day in my closet when I yelled the same thing (out loud that time).  Which made me realize that I have let one single solitary word uttered by a woman who didn’t give it a thought put me back into a place from which I fought to remove myself with every fiber of my being.  I let that word not only impact my eating but my thoughts about who I am and what I look like as well.  One simple word unraveled all that hard work, and I mean HARD work.  Double SHIT.

It felt like a relapse.  Not a relapse back into drinking but just as harmful to my well being because I have worked very hard in recovery to cultivate peace and quiet in this crazy head that sits on my shoulders.  AND I WAS THERE!  Sigh…

Here’s the cray-cray part, the more I let those voices in, the worse I ate!  Potato chips every night (I counted them of course).  Candy (counted). Cake (counted). Banana bread (counted). Fried chicken, full fat dressing, blah, blah fucking blah.  Plus?  Not one single pound lost…not an ounce!  In fact, I’ve gone up two pounds (and then back down…whatever).  All why counting every single calorie and staying below my target.

Prior to jumping back on this nightmare of a roller coaster I had lost the weight I had gained at Christmas and leveled out.  I knew Spring would arrive and I’d get more active and then – well then I was fully prepared to let my body do what it needed to do while I was feeding it only good things and moving it in a moderate and responsible way (i.e. not making my already bad knee worse).  I WAS THERE!  

Until I wasn’t…

To show you how bad it got (is),I ordered “Rockin Body” from Beachbody and led by Shawn T.  The same Shawn T from P90X and Insanity.  Really?  While I could probably do the exercises and might even like it because it’s dance and I spent a good part of my life doing aerobic dance, I am sick of worrying about when I’ll do it and if it’s going to work and should I start getting up a five am and do I need a knee brace and what if I can’t do it and feeling guilty if I decide to walk the dogs instead and UGHHHHHHH!!!!!  STOP!

So I am taking my overweight (NOT obese) ass off this scary clown, Stephen King, haunted, carnies with three teeth among them, rats and snakes and roach filled roller coaster.  I’m doing it intentionally.  I’m sending back the videos.  I’m deactivating my Myfitnesspal account.  I’m going to take the few minutes I have in my day to myself and do what I want to do…walk the dogs, yoga, meditate.  I’m going to go back to putting clean and healthy things in my body and give myself a fucking break.

Then I’ll reassess.  Stay tuned…I’m a work in progress.

Namaste

Still Hibernating

I’ve been thinking that I’m in a rut.  I don’t want to do anything.  My weekends are spent reading, or watching crap TV or cooking for my family, or playing the new Bejeweled Poker (OMG!!!).  I’ve been feeling bad about not doing yoga (like I said I would at the beginning of the year), or meditating (see prior parenthetical statement), or exercising, or deep cleaning my house, or redecorating or…well…you get the picture.

But this morning as I looked longingly at my meditation bench a thought (a whisper from the Big Guy perhaps) entered my brain.  What if this is all okay?  What if I’m doing (or not doing) this because it’s what I want and need to do (or not do).

This is the kind of growth that fucks with my head big time.

In my former life, this would never be okay.  I never stopped moving (except to drink of course).  Every free minute was spent cooking or cleaning or doing laundry or driving kids here and there or exercising or whatever.  I actually had an Excel spreadsheet that planned my days, weeks and months.  I was always running running running.  I think I was running away from being still because I was afraid I’d catch up to myself and implode.

Well…that kind of happened didn’t it.  All this work I’ve done in sobriety has taught me that it’s okay not to be all things to all people all of the time.  Now…it certainly helps that my husband is retired and takes care of the house and that the kids are all mostly grown and doing their own thing.  I mean, no way I could have even sat down to write this post even five years ago.  But if I were still the old me, I’d be filling every weekend of the year with projects just to keep from facing myself.

I’ve noticed this winter that I’ve slowed down and have allowed myself to hibernate and I was thinking this morning that it will all end soon.  My hibernation will die a natural rather than forced death and it will all be okay.  The sun will come out and the weather will warm and before you know it I’ll be purging closets, washing windows, planting flower gardens, building decks and repainting.  I love doing yoga with the windows open and a cool breeze blowing…same with meditating.  I’ll be walking the dogs every day (even in the rain) and searching out opportunities to be physical outside.  And it will be okay.

As I pondered this I realized that this was a much more organic approach to my life and that I could get used to it.  I mean…do what you feel like doing and don’t beat yourself up over what other people think you should be doing.  Well there’s a novel concept.

It’s gray and rainy and cold here today.  So guess what?  I’m not going to worry about the bushes in the front of the house that need to be torn out because the snow destroyed them…they’ll still be there when the sun comes out.  I’m not going to walk the dogs and get chilled to the bone.  I’m not going to empty any closets or storage spaces until I can fill a trunk and deliver its content to the Salvation Army or the dump.  And I’m certainly not going to paint anything until I can open the windows.

This mama bear is going to hibernate just a little longer.  I’m going to paint my nails and my toes, watch HGTV, have dinner and paint pottery with my BFF and then get a good night’s sleep.  Tomorrow I may go shopping for backspash tile…or I may not.  I’m still eating right and getting 8000-10,000 steps a day so I’m staying healthy.  Hibernating is healthy…just ask a bear.

Namaste