Thursday, May 26, 2011
The big life question: who am I and what is my purpose on this planet?
Huge question, huh? What does it have to do with Spark?
Spark is disguised as a place to work on nutrition and fitness and healthy habits (which it is)... really is a place to work on LIFE. One of the first things the book "The Spark" has a person do is figure out WHY he or she wants to ... "lose weight" or "eat healthy" or "get more active". That has to do with what is personally important.
What is personally important is all wrapped up in the subject question: "Who am I?" "Why am I here?" "What do I hope to get out of this?"
Spark encourages us to examine our values, our deepest sense of what's important to us. The hardest times in life (for me) are when I question my own assumptions about myself. I don't know about the rest of the world, I'm only one woman. Maybe some people never ask that question.
For me: the large questions and doubts have to be faced at some point, and re-examined from time to time. I have choices about how I handle these times of doubt, same as anyone else. I can choose to numb the thought process for a time: and my usual tool to do this has been food. As I work toward an athletic goal, I can defer the thought process by giving myself a "substitute" goal (like completing a 5K, or the half marathon). Weight loss can be a "substitute" goal or an intermediate one, as well. So can attaining a certain level of physical health. Why? Because they are steps on the path to achieving our purpose in life.
When an intermediate goal is reached, we get back to the big questions of life: Who am I and why am I (still) here? My mom once asked a spiritual adviser this question, and received this answer: "You have something more to learn, or something more to give."
It has been three and a half weeks since the last "finish line". I have kept myself busy, and I have had some little(?) emotional tantrums during this time. For the most part I have weathered them without heading down the road of relapse, but I've felt physically lazy, and emotionally stressed.
I've kept on Sparking. I've blogged or posted status. Because I've learned this: it's important to keep nurturing me physically while I figure out the other parts!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
There is a lot to be said for the desire to be better than we are at any given moment. It's part of the stress that moves us to actually *do* something about it.
There is something also to be said for looking at the moments in our lives that we regret, or even the patterns of behavior that disappoint us. Without looking at it, how can one even begin to formulate a plan of change, training, or improvement?
But there is little point in staying there in the place of regret for too long. The past is the past and cannot be changed. The future is an unfulfilled promise. We have only this moment... but if we have a plan, a strategy, a goal to go with our desire... this moment can lead to a brighter future.
Yesterday's sadness was a good part regret over my own behavior and certain behavior patterns over my lifetime. I'm a slow burner, people. I appear to be so laid back and tolerant (to myself) and then out of the blue, something will trip my trigger: usually associated with a perceived injustice toward other people that I have chosen to care about. Definitely if anyone questions my motives! And once in a great while when I'm just plain tired of always being the dependable one.
I had such an episode on Sunday, and I found myself lingering over the analysis of it Monday and even into Tuesday, when it settled with this horrible cloud of sadness over my own inadequacy! And when one is already focused on how inadequate one is (and we all fall short, so says the Bible)... it's easy to pile on more and more as your day and the normal pressures of life occur.
In "the old days"... this kind of thing would lead to days, weeks, months of self-abuse with food. Which allowed me the pattern of transferring my disgust with ANYTHING ELSE to disgust with my overeating!
How much better to let the real issue come to the surface, be faced, accepted, a plan for it brought forward... and soothe myself in ways less self-destructive or abusive. When you read that sometimes the people who most need love are those who seem the least lovable? How about we start applying that to ourselves?
I am pleased with how yesterday turned out. I hope to move forward loving myself, warts and all, and accept that the desire to be better is mother to the ability to do it.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Because it was a work day, my food was packed and structured for me. Habit is our friend in this regard. Despite that horrible cloud of "sad", I packed it.
I was feeling pressure and anxiety associated with work, and the sad combined with that... but work is a great tonic... because you are *doing something* about the feelings. I made sure to take my break walks, during which I consciously breathed, paying attention to the fight/flight response to the feelings. Breathing is a good thing... in for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale for eight. Very calming.
Feelings *do* fade over time. When I got home, I "did something" about one of the sources of the sadness... once I figured out what it was. And I decided to cut myself some slack for being human.
I'm on my way to being "me" again!
Monday, May 23, 2011
When my son was deployed overseas, he came home on leave for 15 days, about mid-way through the deployment. It was harder putting him back on the plane to return to his duty than it was putting him on to go the first time.
I'm kind of having a reprise of that kind of feeling with the pet-free home. When the dog had to be put down in early March, there was this sense of emptiness to the house. I made my son promise not to take me to any shelters or rescue places or pet shops for the next year, so that I could adjust, assess, and make a conscious decision about whether I want the work of another pet.
However, I didn't say I wouldn't help out with HIS pets! And of course, regular readers have seen the fun I had hosting the two kitties that are my fur-grandkids. Their regular humans came to collect them on the way home from the airport (see, I'm not the ONLY one attached to them)... and the house suddenly felt emptier than it had before they came.
So, once again, I have to establish my firm resolve to not rush out and fill that void! And it seems harder than it did with the dog. It's Monday, so back to work is the best strategy.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
We've been here three days, now. My brother, Kalimdor is a plotter against the humans. I am a one-human cat. That human is my Dad. He wasn't even in my life until I'd been living with Mommy for months. He came home wearing this funny looking thing they call a uniform... all speckled colors so he blends in when he's outside. I adopted him as soon as I realized that as chunky a cat as I am, he will pick me up, put me on his shoulder and carry me around so I can see things from his tall vantage point.
I am still mostly hiding from that grandma person. But I do come out to chase the laser spot that dances. I don't know how it followed us to her house, but I have to chase that thing away every day... several times! Grandma keeps muttering about how I need to go on a kitty Spark program and then that spot shows up and I MUST chase it.
My brother is exploring the house... he even went up the stairs to all those closed doors, and down the stairs to look at the closed doors there, too. The first night I found a place to hide where grandma couldn't find me but while she was sleeping I snuck back to the under couch-cave. But, hate to admit it, both of us have succumbed to purring for the Grandma person.
And we have discovered that the food dish refills... just like at home! Yesterday a funny ringing sounds started the Grandma talking to someone who wasn't here. She said that we were fine, and that she had outlasted our sulk, whatever that means. I kind of suspect she was talking to dad, she called him "Son".
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