Monday, January 2, 2012

Expecting A Surprise!

Bradley Fork Trail - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
December 30, 2011

So much about which to write!  So many possibilities in a brand new year!  So much to do that I can't settle my mind enough to think about what I want to write!  And I mean the part about "so much to do" in a GOOD way!  All of those are things I want to do RIGHT NOW!  But in spite of all that, I've agonized over a title for this post.  From me, you were probably expecting January is for Joy and that would be o.k. - it would fit.  But I didn't like it!  You might also have been expecting a post about New Year's Resolutions, but if you've read Gains and Losses for any length of time, you'd know that although I'm a huge fan of goal-setting, I'd never in a million years, do it on a day when everyone else is or when it's "expected."  

But the one thing I can't ignore is how often the word "surprise" has popped up in my vocabulary and life since yesterday morning.  You know that my day always begins with a period of Bible reading and devotion.  A book which means the world to me with its ever appropriate words and application is Bread For The Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith written by Henri Nouwen.  The daily meditations are short, but powerful and applicable to ANY life no matter what your belief system.  Every year, I try to convince myself to utilize something new as a companion to my morning Bible reading, but every year, I revert back to this.  And EVERY day, there is something new.  

So imagine my SURPRISE, when early yesterday morning, I open my book to January 1 and read these words: 

"Each day holds a surprise.  But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us.  Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy.  It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity."

Read it friends!  Read it again and again.  Because within those words lies the only "resolution" I need to make.  By fully embracing every word of that mantra and living it to the very core, I truly believe that all other "issues" will slowly "resolve" themselves.  

In 2012, I will:

Look for a SURPRISE in every day.
EXPECT steady results from a healthy eating plan and efforts to have a normal relationship with food.
RECEIVE love, friendship, gifts and kindness without question from those who choose to give it to me.
Embrace JOY with every thread of my being.
CELEBRATE my own successes as jubilantly as I celebrate those of others.
SHARE my life, my time, my money and my possessions in creative ways that are new and extravagant.

We had a quiet New Year's weekend and in my usual fashion, I was in bed fast asleep by 10:15 on New Year's Eve.  Mr. B and I spend New Year's Day taking down the Christmas decorations, finding a home for all the gifts and talking about plans for 2012.  Last evening, we met friends for dinner at Fleming's Steakhouse and enjoyed that immensely.  Mr. B will return to school on Wednesday and things will return to normal, whatever that is!!

On Saturday afternoon, December 31st, at approximately 1:30 p.m., I reached my second hiking goal of 350 miles.  I am still incredibly amazed and grateful for the ability to do this and the fact that I persevered last week to get it done.  For once, everything worked in my favor and I enjoyed beautiful weather, amazing views and the availability of friends who wanted to hike with me in order to get the miles hiked. I would've done it solo, but already in keeping with what I wrote earlier, the joy was compounded by celebrating and sharing that feat with others.   Have I set hiking goals for 2012?  Not yet - I'm working on it and will share when I do.

The 17-Day Diet plan is (unbelievably) still working for me in a big way.  I do not understand it, I do not know what clicked in my brain, I cannot BELIEVE I am following this plan.  But I know that it is healthy and there must be something there that works with my psyche.  For now, that's all I'm going to say about that because it is the subject of my next post.

I ended the year down 4 pounds from the start of last year.  As is often the case, that number doesn't even remotely tell the story.  I've been UP as much as 9 pounds from 1/1/11, so the 4 pounds really reflects a 13 pound loss.  I'm very proud of that!

In 2011, I walked a total of 609,783 steps as recorded by my pedometer (which is on my person every second I'm not in bed) and my average weekly steps was 11,751 as calculated by the spreadsheet on which I record steps daily and then average at end of week for "weekly average total."  That represents a goal achieved as I truly wanted to average no less than 10,000 steps per week.  

As I remembered from re-reading last year's posts, I began 2011 with such a sense of joy, motivation and anticipation, but that went downhill quickly as I ended up spending the first three months of the year sick, sick sick with a variety of ailments no one could identify and therefore, difficult to treat.  It was mid-March before I was able to truthfully say I felt good again.  No one has any control over things like that, but I do pray with every fiber of my being, for good health this winter and will fight for all I'm worth to stay well!  

I'm looking forward to getting to know each of you better and finding new friends in BlogLand from whom I can learn and with whom I can share.  I plan to search around looking for a couple of "newbies" and a couple of "strugglers."  If you are either of those reading this, let me know and we will "share" the joy of friendship.


  1. I love the "surprise", I love the quote, and I love your goals for the year. I'll be praying for your continued good health and I'm looking forward to hiking with you some this year.

  2. Embracing surprise is a nice theme for 2012. So glad that 17 day plan is working well for you. I look forward to sharing with you are success in getting healthier and fitter in 2012. Happy New Year, Sharon, Michele

  3. Don't disbelieve that you can follow that diet plan. You did it so you can believe it. A good attitude is so important and it looks like you have one. Here's to a better version of ourselves at the end of the year!!

  4. Love the idea of surprise! You gave me a great one today with the idea of visiting with you this year. Thanks. I'll be thinking of tearooms and it's my treat!

  5. This is such a wonderful post -- it makes me smile just to read it. I can feel your joy emanating from my computer screen. I think it helps that we've spent some time together in real life so I can "hear" your voice and "see" your face light up with expression as I read your words.

    I've a feeling 2012 is going to be a good year for you!

  6. Sharon, your posts are always encouraging, but this one is particularly so! Some of your thoughts are along the same line as mine for this new year.

    Love the Nouwen quote.

    And am in awe of your success on the new 'diet' plan.

  7. Love it! Awesome.
    I don't like the "r's" either!

  8. I wish you a very healthy 2012:) And much joy and surprise and happiness.

  9. Sharon, thanks so much for visiting my blog today -- glad to see that my absence has not alienated all of my blog buddies. I remember how sick you were at the beginning of last year, and that you handled all of that illness with more grace than I seemed to be able to muster when faced with similar problems this past fall. I love your advice about looking forward to finding a surprise in every day.

  10. Wonderful post Sharon! And I'm so proud of your 350 miles! Shoo! That is amazing :) I ended the year at 275, and I'll take it :)

    So glad you have found a plan that is working for you, and is most importantly a "healthy" plan. That is exciting!

    Happy New Year! I hope this is a great year for you!

  11. Happy New Year, Sharon! And thank you for starting it out with such an uplifting post! I truly believe that there is joy and enlightenment in *every* situation (even those that seem the darkest), and it's wonderful to know you share that!

    You're going to have such an awesome year--partly because I plan to be in it *g*, but also because you've opened your eyes and heart to accept it. I think I'll (air)pop some popcorn and enjoy watching!

  12. I really enjoyed this post Sharon! I love that phrase "Embrace Joy with every thread of my being" - that is an actual choice, I've learned! I appreciate your insight, your energy, and your wisdom! I hope 2012 brings you only the best!

    God bless...

  13. Happy New Year! I love your attitude and your success! You are amazing!!! Can't wait to see what the new year bring!

    Keep focused!

  14. Happy New Year, and congrats on your success with the diet plan. I have read about it, but haven't seen the book. But, I'm all for whatever works for each individual. So it looks as if you have found it for now. Also, congrats on reaching your mileage goal. I'm thinking of setting one, but have no idea what it should/may be. Maybe I'll think big...

  15. I love that quote, Sharon. And right now it appears that you posted it just for me. Thank you for that.
    BIG congrats on this new eating plan. I'm so happy you've found something that's clicked for you!

  16. I love the 2012 goals! Awesome! Keep up the enthusiasm!

  17. Hi Sharon! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    In this stage of my life, surprises are not always good (nobody wants the surprise of learning your kid got into a fight at school!) so I don't look for surprises too often. I figure, if we got through the day without an EVENT, then let's just call it good. But maybe I need to be more open to GOOD surprises? Definitely something to think about! :)

  18. Hi Sharon - I love fun, healthy surprises!! I hope that you have a blessed 2012 - looking forward to journeying it with you through BlogLand!