Sunday, July 10, 2011
Chatting with my brother over breakfast... I cooked us a nice, healthy veggie omelet, and the topic of how good it is to see one another is never far away. He gets out here (1100 mile distance) only every couple of years. His comment was that each time he comes and stays with a sister (often the other sister in the photo on the front, this is a first staying with me)... he observes us living and incorporating healthy habits into our lifestyles. Then he goes home and does a little bit better.
How like Sparking! We learn from one another and incorporate changes into our own lives as we can, a little at a time. From him I learned some financial management things. From sister #1 (front page), I learned the "one thing" principle a couple years ago, but have only started really using it recently. On those occasions when we *do* get together, it is usually a sharing of the things that are working in our lives at the moment. Then anyone who has a need can pick up the positive and run with it in their own life.
One of our younger sisters got a new job recently, and we shared stories of strategies that worked in landing it (sage advice for anyone who is in a similar position). We shared our confidence and encouragement in her ability to get up that steep learning curve she's now facing.
Last night we all drove up to the Mellerdramas together, and we got, ta-da, a five sibling photo op. Our youngest sister's hubby kindly took the shot for us:
And we talked a nice stranger into taking a shot with some added offspring and spouses:
We've got him for today and tomorrow, then he's headed back. Tomorrow is a work day for me. So much of this is attitude, but I like to think that Mom and Dad are in heaven smiling. This is what makes me feel slightly sad that I have only one child.
Saturday, July 09, 2011
I have three sisters and a brother. This morning the elder grouping of us decided we wanted to move while we visited, and we walked around a nearby lake while doing our in-person catch-up. Took a couple of photos that grace the front page for today, anyway... the backdrop is the sunrise over lake... ahhhh! The people are the sibling group in which for eight years of my life I was the "middle child"... after that I just became "one of the middle children"... I'm number 2 of 5 if you count those kinds of things in personality profiles and such.
In any case, I love the way we operate together as siblings... and we had a great time, pausing to take whatever snapshots struck our fancy and swapping tales from our lives. Ah, yes, sometimes one has to feed the soul. Hope all my fellow Sparkies are doing the same: balancing our lives to include exercise, social support, and healthy habits.
Friday, July 08, 2011
A year and a day after mom passed, our family was blessed with the birth of my youngest niece. Tomorrow is my eldest niece's birthday. Happy Birthday to both! Isn't it such a blessing that life's sorrows have balancing joys?
Which brings back the ongoing theme of balance. The days with a little more indulgence, the days with a little more vigorous activity, the days that encourage order, the days that encourage fun. Recognizing all that life has to offer and living in the moment is a healthy way to live. Listening to our bodies and what they really need... nurturing our inner child and parenting ourselves.
As I await the arrival of my brother I rejoice in having taken the steps to encourage a more orderly home. I hope that this effort will become the same kind of ongoing thing that grows into "maintenance" of another sort.
Don't you love how Spark gives that criss-cross effect in all areas of life?
Thursday, July 07, 2011
This is a word that my sisters have introduced to me. Literal translation: Year Time. It denotes the commemoration of the date of someone's death. Today is our mother's Jahrzeit. She passed away in 1996, exactly three weeks after my husband's brother passed, and about seven weeks before his mother. What a summer that was, fifteen years ago, now.
Anniversaries of various types have differing impacts as the years pass. Many of us who have fought the weight / food / addiction issues track to the day so many milestones: I remember to the day when I started my first "last straw" effort to learn how to get healthy, "for the rest of my life". I don't remember so much the exact dates of subsequent "day 1" restarts, but I do remember the most recent one... because I think this time it really *is* forever. At least, that is my resolve, my prayer, my desire.
I've learned a thing or two over the years. Things like it's OK not to be perfect. That one slip doesn't have to become a long slide. That it gives no pleasure to do some of the things that contributed to the weight problem any more. That weight doesn't serve the purpose it once did in my life (believe me, it *was* serving some purpose or I would not have held on to it).
I *enjoy* my new way of eating and moving and breathing and accepting. Life is good... and it is really all about attitude and gratitude... oh, yeah, and acting on it.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Sometimes our journey to health and fitness seems to be a bit of a winding path. I think of it like a labyrinth, winding back on itself. Many of us are on this journey, and we are at different places in the labyrinth... sometimes they come close to one another, then suddenly diverge. Sometimes we appear to be on opposite sides of the circle, and then a few steps later... side by side! To get through the path, though, one has to keep moving, slowly, meditatively, and learning, rather than try to shout directions to another, as we cannot see his or her path, only our own.
Nothing brings this out more than holidays, and the periodic get-together with family. One may be in a very beatific (peaceful, blessed) state leading up to such a gather, then find others at places in the journey, and be tempted to give them "instructions" or advice on how to walk their path. Or, perhaps someone else is giving YOU the advice!
As an apparently successful loser of pounds, I am occasionally asked by people who apparently NEVER had the pounds to lose how to motivate their husband or friend or some loved one or other to "do something" about their weight / health.
I have found it most helpful, in my own journey, if people just left me be! Why? Because there is this little rebel in me that doesn't want someone else living my life! It is, as the adolescent yells at his/her parent, MY LIFE!
So... a little poll: those of you who have lost significant weight and become fit... did anything anyone else did or said truly positively influence you to "do something" about your issues? If so, what did they say? Did it hurt a lot? Or it it free you from hurting? Or did your motivation have to come from within?
We must walk our own path. Those who are nearby or on a parallel course may be able to talk about the view, but may not see the next twist in your path. Those who have walked your path before may have something to say about how it looked as they passed by, but not know how the vegetation has changed with a passing season. The best we can do is encourage one another that the journey is worthwhile, that the path has much to offer. And we can listen to what others have to say about where they are on the path... with compassion and gratitude... and keeping advice to ourselves, unless it is asked for.
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