Friday, September 02, 2011
These little pep talks I give myself? They really do work. Yesterday I blogged about the recognition of my own needs, and how it was my job to make sure they were met so that I could then fulfil my other roles that include helping others.
When I wrote it, it was in recognition of getting close to the edge, with concerns about people I care about being high, and my usual work persona of allowing others to interrupt, making their priorities higher than mine for a bit (don't want someone else staying "stuck" on their project, as the whole team's work is important). But I had got to the point where I wasn't getting my own work things done! And by Tuesday afternoon late, I was just about ready to snap. There was NO WAY I was going to stay late. I wanted to go see for myself that my sister really was OK.
I found myself saying "no" at that point to an interrupt request for help, and then falling into the old pattern after the fact of feeling bad for having done so, stewing over the feelings the interrupter might have had.
Then Wednesday night I was in bed and the phone rang. Rather than going downstairs to look at the caller ID, I picked up. It *could* have been my sister or my son, both of whom are high on my priority list right now. But, it was NOT someone I know and care about... in fact, I have no clue who it was, probably some poor tele-surveyer or marketer or charity solicitor... but when they asked if I was available I snapped at them: I was asleep! If you don't know me personally, you should NOT be calling me. This number should be on a "do not call" list!
And again, rolling back over in bed... I had those bad feelings about having snapped at this poor person whose job it is to make those calls. What if it was some organization that I *do* regularly support? Or a survey I volunteered to take and gave my phone number to?
When I get to the edge like this, it's a sign that something is out of balance. I'm *not* prioritizing correctly or keeping things in perspective. Yes, it is also a bit of a sign of the stress I'm not handling as well as I'd like, too.
So, deep breath, write the blog. Remind myself that a) it's OK to put me first sometimes, and b) taking small moments and putting some interruptions off for a while is not only OK, it's my job to prioritize... this reminder helped me get through the day and back to a better balance point.
Today, I will have time for work, time for me, AND time for the people I care about. Oh, and I *will* remember to BREATHE.
Life's good. Spark on!
Thursday, September 01, 2011
What does all of that have to do with weight and fitness (and for that matter an orderly home life)? Again, forgive a mature gal for taking you down memory lane, while I give myself this morning's pep talk.
When I was seven years old we moved to a new town, and acquired new neighbors. One of the neighbor children was a girl my age, so naturally, you'd think we'd become friends and play together. Which, yes, to a degree, happened.
However, I was (and remain) a bit of a dreamer. I loved just sitting with my thoughts and imagining things, making up stories. Example: after seeing the movie Toby Tyler, bouncing on bedsprings and pretending I was riding barebacked horses... fantasizing that Roy Rodgers would bring his horse Trigger to town and I'd get to ride him... as you can see, yes, I had the young girl - horse thing going, as well as being the self-centered star of the fantasy.
Anyway, my friend next door was shall we say more grounded in reality than I was? There were times when I just plain did not want to play, prefering my solitary fantasy to the work of socializing! But I was a "good little girl", and didn't like to say no to people, either. One can see the conflict, in retrospect. There were times when "Chrissy" would come to the front door, and I would sneak out the back to hide so I wouldn't have to either say to her face I didn't want to play or actually play. Avoidance behavior is deep in the reperatoire of a people-pleasing introvert!
Here's where it gets really warped: my mom would give me a hard time about avoiding my friend! I know she probably had a different life lesson in mind, but what I learned was to do things I didn't want to do or if I did what I really wanted to do, I should feel guilty. I learned that "other people's needs (Chrissy's need for a friend to be there) are more important than mine (time alone to think)."
Over the years and decades since then, of course I've grown up, learned a few of these things about myself, and developed other ways of coping. The underlying conflict of needs remains. I am an introvert who needs a certain amount of time to process real life events into my mental universe... and that time has to be alone time.
Other introverts "get" this, and in our family, we are pretty good about saying when one or another of us is "over-peopled" as we laughingly call it. But there were years and decades of eating the guilt of having said "no" to an invitation or request for help, or eating the resentment of having said "yes" when I really wanted to say "no". Others might recognize themselves in there somewhere.
Having done this little reverie, I need to remember today to ask for what I need, and feel OK about having done so. I need to remember to prioritize and that it's my job to do so. I need to nurture my body with appropriate food and activity, putting that first, so that all the rest works. Because letting one's own needs go unmet for too long is not good for ANYBODY... even those we seek to please.
All that said, Life's good! Spark on!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
First thanks to all who have prayed along with me over my sister's surgery. The initial went really well, and they sent her home to recuperate while waiting on post-surgery results. They should know by Thursday, according to my niece, whether follow up surgery, radiation, or chemo is the next step in her journey to wholeness. For those of you who missed it, we're talking breast cancer, here, caught early, slow-growing, with all the signs as good as they can be under the circumstances.
The "one thing" effort has been flagging a bit the past few days, but I'm going to have to step it up as I've offered my house for the Labor Day gather if we have one at all.
Dealing with the "finish line" of the Mud Run? Deanna (HOT4FITNESS) has once again spurred me to sign up for another local outing... the 5 mile Buffalo Run. It is only a couple of weeks away, and I'm not in shape to run that far, but if Deanna can speed walk those hills... I can certainly give it my best shot! Besides... gotta keep the fitness up in case of half marathon dreams for next year, or at the very least that triathlon I keep promising myself is on the bucket list.
And while I was at it, I also signed up for a 5K in mid-October. So... no slacking allowed! Mr. "you can relax now" has been kicked to the curb. I have ZERO expectations of medals or placement in either of these outings, because they are ones where the real runners show up. I've had my moments in the sun. Now's the time to just show up.
Life's good... Spark on!
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Forgive a "mature" gal from going down memory lane, but I'm taking you there. Many moons ago, when I was I think 16 years old (MobyCarp can correct me, he was there), I participated in a 20 mile CROP walk. For those who may not have been exposed to these, they are charity walks... you get your friends, neighbors, newspaper customers, whoever you know to pledge money per mile (I think back then it was like a penny a mile)... you do the walk... you go back and collect... and the money goes to the charity.
This particular walk stretched between two small towns in Nebraska, from Milford to Seward. It was mostly on gravel roads past cornfields and it was hot and by the end of it, I had significant blisters on my feet. But I felt accomplished. Our parents picked us up at the finish and took us out for dinner at a well-known steakhouse in Seward. I knew nothing about training or nutrition or stretching or taking care of my body. Or what I "knew" was flat out wrong. I just counted on my body being able to do whatever I asked of it. Ah, youth!
Yesterday's mud run was over similar terrain... out gravel roads into the county, along a creek bed through its treeline, near open fields, but of course with the "fun" obstacles, and a lot shorter. 5K is only 3.1 miles. After my daughter in law got off work last night, the three of us went out for a steak dinner.
In my mind, I still associate steak with celebration. And particularly with the celebration of a completed athletic accomplishment. So that is the same.
1. I now train for athletic endeavors. I do not take my body's abilities for granted. I encourage and build or preserve them.
2. Steak dinner? The size of the steak has considerably reduced. It used to be 12 or 16 ounces. Now I order the 6 ounce size. Frequency is still about the same. Portion size, and choice of sides is different. I skipped the bread and butter, carefully chose how much butter and sour cream to put on the baked potato, carefully chose how much of the deep fried onion I would consume, and had a garden salad, dry as my other side.
3. I looked up calorie counts and composition on line before we went, and planned how much of what I would have... and I stayed within my maintenance range, given what the body media fit told me I burned during the run.
It definitely tasted like a celebration. And this morning, my scale said, "you've got it, girl!" to the question: "Am I at goal and maintaining?"
Life's good. Spark on.
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