Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Brushy Mountain Trail - GSMNP
November 10, 2012
I could write about successfully navigating the next six weeks while remaining true to your healthy eating plans, but it seems everyone else is writing those posts and there is absolutely nothing I could write any to offer anything different and certainly not better. For me right now, the issues seem to revolve around another set of priorities causing me to take stock and carefully consider the ways in which I am spending my time. What are the things about which I am most passionate and are those the BEST things? What, if anything, has become a time gobbler (pun intended!!) that needs to be refined or changed?
In the 2 1/2 years that I've been writing this blog, I've only been through a "blog" crises once, but knew even at that time (as I know now) that stopping wasn't an alternative. I love writing the blog and have no desire to leave BlogLand anytime soon. If anything, the ideas keep coming and I look for ways to expand. But I've got to do a better job with time management because, as we all know, writing and reading blogs can become quite addicting at the expense of other real life things calling for our attention.
For me, the thing that suffers when my BlogLife gets out of whack is my morning quiet time. For decades, this ritual has been the most important hour of my day. As my morning devotional time goes, so goes the rest of the day. Until the blog came along, it was a non-negotiable. And it is STILL a non-negotiable. But over time, I've developed the habit of "checking the google reader" before settling in with my Bible and/or whatever devotional material I'm working with at that particular time. And funny, how there's so much good stuff in the reader that I glance at the clock and an hour has past. It's time to get Bill up, make the smoothie and head out for our walk.
So there's priority check #1 - Nothing else happens until the morning quiet time is done. On busy days, this may mean I NEVER get back to the google reader or to a post I'd planned to write. I reinstated this priority a week ago and was immediately able to tell a difference in my attitude, actions and behavior.
Tomorrow, I will reach my 350 mile 2012 hiking goal and that's another explanation for my very sporadic blog posting. I am hiking the heck out of these two feet and loving every minute of it. We've had a phenomenal autumn with ideal hiking weather and it's not over yet. Remember that there was a time back in September and October when I was questioning whether I'd be hiking at all because I was in so much pain from an unexpected Rheumatoid Disease flare-up. I am so full of gratitude for the turnaround that I make no apologies for the fact that being outside right now is a top, TOP priority. Those who truly know me, understand that I feel most alive and in touch with both myself and my creator when out on a trail. I am thankful for a spouse who doesn't fully "get it" about the hiking, but knows he experiences the same "high" when he steps out onto a stage and raises that conductor's baton to lead a group of musician's in a masterful performance. He goes with me when he can (as long as it's not over five miles - LOL!), but has NEVER minded my going with others or resented the time I spend on the trail or the amount of gas I use getting there.
Priority check #2 - I will maximize every opportunity I have to spend time outside. Everything else can wait. I'm a good organizer, planner and disciplinarian. The laundry will get done, the bills will be paid, we won't starve and no responsibilities to anyone will be neglected. I'm not selfish - I just know that I'm better when this passion is fulfilled. You either understand this or you don't!!
Priority check #3 is going to be a bit harder to explain, but I'll try. In the past year, I have lost the extra weight I had regained since my 65-pound loss in 2006-2007, I have now maintained at or very near goal weight for several months. I am thrilled with those new healthy eating habits. I became ecstatic in July when Bill joined me in changing some habits and starting a regular walking routine. Not only did he feel better almost immediately, but it gave us a built-in 40 minutes every morning to communicate with each other.
But the one thing that doesn't seem to have changed is that my life and thought patterns still revolve almost 100% around food. Yes, the thoughts are much different, but I'm still TIRED OF IT! I can't get away from it whether it be my surroundings or my own mind. Over the past year as I've reassessed and reevaluated, I've come to learn that I am actually a very simple eater. I don't need or demand a three-course dinner every evening. I'm not, nor will I ever be, passionate about cooking even though I've come to realize that it's something I can do well when I choose to. I'm just as happy with a bowl of cereal for dinner as I am when Bill (an excellent cook who LOVES doing it) prepares one of those three-course dinners. Problem is, I can't get away from it. Everywhere you turn, it just seems as if life revolves around food.
Disclaimer: Please don't anyone take offense. This does NOT in any way, shape or form apply to any of you, my precious friends who write about food. That is the focus of your BLOG. For the most part, I only know that aspect of you. There is much more to you than your blog and I strongly suspect, there is more to your life than what I see you write.
So my last Priority Check for today is a concentrated effort to reframe my mind and my conversations towards subjects other than food.
I want to wish each of you a joyful and happy Thanksgiving. I hope that it is a day you anticipate with a smile and warm memories. We certainly do. For us, this Thanksgiving has taken on a more somber note as twice in the past two months, we've personally dealt with a tragedy in life of someone we care about. On September 16th, this accident changed forever the lives of two people we've known since they were teenagers. Jeff's wife, Kim, who was driving in front of the van and witnessed the accident which killed her husband, was a member of the youth group at a church Bill worked at during the 80's and early 90's. Jeff came along a bit later and as you can see, they had grown into adults working as Youth Directors in a church of their own. On Monday, one of Bill's students was killed in a horrible house fire leaving her three children without either parent. Music majors, because of the time required spent together, become a tight-knit group and this was no exception. Bill is totally exhausted after two days of dealing with his own grief while helping bewildered college students (many of whom this is their first experience with death) begin to cope with theirs. Kristina was with them one day, gone the next.
I don't write any of that to be morbid. Thanksgiving is a day of joy and these things serve to make us even more grateful for the gift of being able to approach it in that way. My family is healthy and happy. My heart almost explodes to think about it. I have friends here and all over the US who love and care about me. What more could I possibly want? Absolutely nothing!
But that isn't the case for everyone. Somewhere close to you is someone who looks toward the holidays with dread, sadness or a myriad of other emotions. I'm asking you to think through your life and find at least one person who might NOT be looking forward to Thanksgiving and even less, to Christmas. Make a call, give a hug, write a note, do SOMETHING! Just don't close your eyes to the suffering around you while luxuriating in your own pleasure!
Share with me one non-food related priority you'd like to reevaluate!