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Turning stress into determination

Saturday, September 10, 2011

This has truly been a chopped up week. I let stuff get to me on Monday and had a fatigued, lazy, anxious, grazing day. Tuesday I handled things better, getting back into my program and pepping myself up. Had a dental appointment that morning, and work is going crazy, so a part of me stresses over even time off for health care.

Wednesday I broke a tooth, requiring a second dental visit. He took care of the broken tooth, thankfully not needing to put on a crown. Almost as soon as I was done with that and put my stuff away at work, it was back across town to be extra ears for my sister at the Cancer center.

The decision she'd been struggling with was taken out of her hands by the recommendation of the doctor we were talking with... his recommendation for her continued therapy was clear, it does not include the option she would have to fight the insurance company over... because of something in her pathology. So... thanks for all the prayers for guidance and wisdom... looks like they worked! Another layer of stress removed.

Back to work only to get faced with a challenge to another project that I had thought was going well. More stress, and a choppy day. But I had done my bit... I had written my pep talk to myself, and I was mentally prepared.

The work bottom line is that I've decided I need to go to work today. I did find an important code bug, and fixed it, but testing turned up another misinterpretation of a requirement on Friday. It is in code someone else wrote, but that coder is not available, having been moved onto another priority. I had not resolved it by end of business yesterday. I wisely came home and got a good night's sleep.

Today, I pick up my race packet for the Buffalo run tomorrow. emoticon I may just end up walking the whole thing, and that's OK. emoticon After I get my race packet, I will go to work, to catch up on status reports and maybe give that second implementation problem a look. If I get it, OK, if not, I've given it a shot.

And tomorrow? I have a great Autumn Day for a morning walk in the park, and quite possibly a distant view of the air show. We've got the Blue Angels here for the weekend!

Life is good... I am determined... let us all Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 9/11/2011 2:19PM

    Sometimes it's all a juggling act, ain't? But it sounds as tho you are maintaining a pretty even keel, so - yep, so far, so good!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 9/10/2011 9:38PM

    So glad that your sister's treatment course has been resolved without need for a battle. And re the code bug . . . good plan! I often find that when I'm stressed over a work problem, if I put it on to "simmer" while I work out (not consciously thinking about it -- leaving it on the back burner) by the time I"m in the shower I've got a new idea to try . . .

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BARBAELLEN 9/10/2011 8:38PM

    I'm so glad you blog. Your determination and focus are incredible, and I don't know if I'll ever get to where your are. But, when I see how much you've achieved and how you haven't become complacent, I'm always reminded that this needs to be a lifestyle change, not a diet. Haven't completely internalized that yet, but working on it.

Enjoy your run tomorrow in your cute and functional shorts!!

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DEBRA0818 9/10/2011 11:39AM

    Your story reminds me that many of the things that make us anxious never actually happen. If only we could let each day's worries be sufficient to the day thereof (loosely quoting the Bible). On the other hand, tremendous worry then leads to great relief, which feels really good. Gah!

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_LINDA 9/10/2011 9:59AM

    Way to focus and get back into it! Nice to hear some of the stressers turned out not to be the worst that could happen.. Good luck with that code, and may you have some great weather for your race! Hope you do get to see some of the air show!. I saw some of ours as the planes formed up outside of the show area which just happened to be over my Mom's house, which is close to the airport..
We can all take a lesson for your determination to not let things build up and get to you!
Keep up the great work!

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JUST_TRI_IT 9/10/2011 9:10AM

    Determination is in your soul:) sounds like the week was filled with a lot and you still stay positive. Enjoy your run:)

D

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ANDI571 9/10/2011 9:09AM

    I still haven't turned stress into determination, but I am getting there. You are doing great, keep up the good job. Prayers for your sister..... emoticon

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Sparked by TAMMY411

Friday, September 09, 2011

I read a blog this morning, in which a Spark person contemplates walking in her first 5K. She mentioned the fear of judgment of others and my mind went back to a 5K I ran back in 1991, I think it was. I may have blogged about it before, but it bears a revisit.

This particular 5K was in Canton, Pennsylvania. It featured a course that was pretty flat for the first mile, almost straight uphill for the second, and a huge breezy downhill to the finish, rounding a corner to cross the line.

I kept playing leapfrog the whole way with a speedwalker, while I jogged. I put in my personal best and was on a huge high. I had lost 80 pounds and was in the best shape of my life then-to-date. I hung around the finish line cheering the remaining finishers on.

One of the last finishers was a very large woman. She reminded me of myself during the journey. She walked the whole way, and as she rounded the corner, I muttered aloud (remembering well my own fear of judgment) that it took a lot of guts for her to get out there and do this. My admiration for her courage was bigger than her body size, for sure!

Some jerk nearby quipped for his friend, "Yeah, in more ways than one!" I wanted to punch him out. But seriously, there were far more people whose hearts were touched and spirits soared seeing her out there, than those who were shallow judgers. And here's the kicker: will we let those who hold jerk attitudes prevent us from fulfilling our dreams?

NO WAY! If 90% of life is showing up? Let's not miss out on that 90%. Let's go ahead and "just do it". Let the rush of doing it overpower the opinions of the small-minded. We are worth it, every last Sparker of us!

Life's good. Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 9/10/2011 3:19AM

    Most times I have a dismissive attitude about that kind of comment - 'moron' - and forget it. Every now and then, I engage in an internal dialogue with questions like 'Why would someone say such things? What would they get out of it? Can they only feel better when they are - even in their own minds - humiliating someone else? Do they think they sound witty? Clever?' and so on.

There are no answers, of course. If you confronted such a person and asked 'Why do you say that? What's in it for you?' they wouldn't know. At any rate, you wouldn't get a straight answer.

DEBRA0818 is right: best to leave it to them. But it surely can be strange how the world works...
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MEDDYPEDDY 9/10/2011 3:04AM

    It is easy to forget to support the small things that others do that might be HUGE to them, thanks for reminding me.

Lately I have bee occupied with thinking about those bullies and snide remarkers... I suddenly see their fear and despair. Not that it is an excuse but experiencing it takes away my own fear of being bullied.

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_LINDA 9/10/2011 12:55AM

    It was great of you to stay around and cheer the last people on in that race! You will find shallow minded jerks every where you go. Today, I actually had some guy across the street from me lean out of his car and swear at me because of my scooter, I didn't understand it at all. I have been put down and cussed at because of my appearance many a time, but what he had against my scooter and me, I couldn't understand. I wish I could enter those races, but pavement walking causes me pain big time and that is all they run on here. I was able to do Relay For Life because it was set in a nice grassy area.
I admire anyone who can run, they are so lucky to be healthy enough to do it.

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KARIDIAN1 9/9/2011 5:42PM

    Nice cooments on your blog. Very well written.

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KARIDIAN1 9/9/2011 5:41PM

    Nice cooments on your blog. Very well written.

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KARIDIAN1 9/9/2011 5:41PM

    Nice cooments on your blog. Very well written.

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SUNNYWBL 9/9/2011 5:15PM

    What hurts others, hurts us all!

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ANDI571 9/9/2011 8:50AM

    Such words of wisdom. I definitely want to show up for my life. emoticon

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DEBRA0818 9/9/2011 8:38AM

    I am often reminded of the OA saying: What other people think is none of my business. When I make it my business I usually get hurt, frustrated, angry. Best to leave it to them.

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KALIGIRL 9/9/2011 8:25AM

    Reminds me of one of my StoryPeople favorites in reverse.

"Being Bigger
they only look small, she said, if you're someone who's fond of being bigger than everyone else"

Here's to 90%!


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KATHRYNLP 9/9/2011 7:48AM

    Excellent Blog!! Fat Jokes and Blond Jokes are just as offensive and hurtful as all the other Ethnic and Minority Jokes were. But they are still an excepted way to put down others. I should know..
Born Blond and Smart.. LoL emoticon

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When something's got to give, what gives?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Anybody over the age of 25 has probably had at least one or two moments in life where the limits were reached: Something has to give! If you haven't, guess you're a Teela Brown (an incredibly obscure reference to a Science Fiction novel called Ringworld by Larry Niven... she was a character who lived a completely charmed life).

So... when you reach that point, where something has to give, what gives?

At various points in our lives, different things have "given". For many of us, our efforts at self-nurturing "gave", as we threw our all into some other aspect of life, or even several aspects of life, juggling the balls and dropping that one.

Often we think we'll pick it up again "once this big push is over". Only to find when this big push is over, another crisis or big push follows it. Sometimes it seems the ball has suddenly become much heavier and unbalanced, and it's not all that easy to pick it up again.

Resolved: Not going to let that happen any more! If something has to give, it will have to be something else. Because my health is worth more to me now, and I no longer take it for granted. I may dial things back a bit, change the plan a little, but there is a point beyond which I will not give up the ship:

1. I will not give up my 30 minutes of walking each day.
2. I will not give up getting sufficient sleep.
3. I will not give up eating well-planned and balanced meals and snacks (even if it means I buy pre-packaged and convenient single serving sized foods... I will read the labels).

Because I'm worth it! What about you? What's going to "give" in your life, next time push comes to shove?

Life's good. Spark on!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 9/9/2011 9:27PM

    Yup: not gonna stress-eat. No matter what.

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KASEYCOFF 9/9/2011 3:47AM

    It's so hard to prioritize when a half-dozen things all seem to demand prominence at once, to my mind. This is one of those 'I work at continual improvement and probably will for the rest of my life' categories. But as you seem to do, I try to put 'my health' at the top of that list, simply because without it, nothing else can work. With it, everything else has at least the potential to work.
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MOBYCARP 9/8/2011 7:40PM

    Sad to say, I probably won't find out what gives until I face the choice. I just hope I can choose wisely when that time comes.

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DEBRITA01 9/8/2011 3:21PM

    In the past, when something had to give, I spent less time for & on myself....that has changed. Lately, when something's gotta give it's usually my sleep...I'm working on changing that. I'm also working on balance and moderation...and I'm embracing the realization that *hey, I can't do EVERYTHING* (you know how that goes). emoticon

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HOT4FITNESS 9/8/2011 3:12PM

    Television is what has to give.
I will not give up my exercise time
I will not give up my healthy eating habits. So guess the TV is the thing thats gotta go

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_LINDA 9/8/2011 2:41PM

    Looks like my sleep -I never get any :( But when I am exercising, I won't even answer the phone :)

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GOHUSKERS2 9/8/2011 1:44PM

    You are so determined and that is fantastic!

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DEBRA0818 9/8/2011 10:53AM

    I'm with you on the list of intractables -- the rest can be rescheduled!

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ANDI571 9/8/2011 10:17AM

    Words to live by. It does seem that the first thing that gives, is me. How much better we would be if we would just learn when we give up on our goals everyone loses, especially us. emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/8/2011 10:17:08 AM

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KARIDIAN1 9/8/2011 10:04AM

    I like it! You are focused.

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KALIGIRL 9/8/2011 8:40AM

    emoticonThat's what I call COMMITMENT!

Life IS Good!

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KIKI0531 9/8/2011 8:21AM

    This is where I have the problem. I am usually the one to give up my plans for myself. I need to work on that. My mother, whom I love dearly, is a giver. She waits on and does for everyone before herself and still does to this day. I watched her do this my whole life AND I am very much like her. Hence, why there was resistance from my family in the beginning of my healthy journey. They have come to be much more supportive - especially my 14 yr old daughter and even the 3 yr old (she loves to exercise w/ me ... lol).

BUT, I still have a really bad habit of chucking my plans if something comes up regarding one of them. I have started getting my workouts in the a.m. and that seems to help a lot - no distractions. I will have to keep the points you made in mind. emoticon

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Blogging: journaling with benefits

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Blogging is an interesting exercise. It is a personal journey, taken somewhat publicly. The writer controls what goes in to each entry, and most of what I journal (blog) about is "me", my life, how I'm coping with what comes down the pike. This helps keep me on track.

There is a benefit to being public (within the semi-sheltered scope of Spark People). It opens one up to the comments of others, which could include criticism, advice or comparison... and that can shake up one's world view.

I am a believer in allowing the help I get to come from whatever source happens along. I take the comments / advice / experience of my Spark buddies seriously, because like a step meeting where one shares experience, strength and hope... that's what comes across in the comments. I am most deeply grateful for all the comments on yesterday's blog about the unstructured time / fatigue "pattern" I deal with.

I have been given a wide selection of things to ponder and assimilate. Thank you.

Life's good. Spark on!

Oh, oh... and fellow maintainers, have you seen? Spark has introduced a whole selection of new tickers to choose from, including: ta-da... a maintenance range ticker! I'm trying it out. It doesn't show the loss, though, so I may switch back at some point, because I like to encourage others who may have a similar large mountain to lose.
emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYWBL 9/7/2011 7:26PM

    Good to know! I'm nowhere near maintenance tho!

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_LINDA 9/7/2011 10:51AM

    I have always appreciated the help and support I get from my Spark buddies on this website. I also feel I have had a lot of experience dealing with health and nutrition and can dole out at times some useful tidbits! Thanks for the info on the tickers! I stopped using it because I was on maintenance. But that is a good idea to stay with it just to show how much you have lost as an inspiration to others.
If you don't let people know you have a problem, you can't get advice or help with it..
Blogging really does help people on here..

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DEBRITA01 9/7/2011 10:44AM

    Blogging can be beneficial to the blogger...and to those who read it. We can all learn from each others' experiences and insight. Thanks for sharing yours... emoticon

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ARLENE_MOVES 9/7/2011 10:10AM

    I too love getting support, good or bad, from fellow Sparkers. I have enjoyed all of your blogs and the comments on them. You are a very interesting person -- thanks for sharing you with us!!!

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KALIGIRL 9/7/2011 8:56AM

    So true - part of the gratitude cycle is getting back what we send out
(I personally believe we get more back...) emoticon

Thanks for the info on the maintenance tools - will check it out.
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KARIDIAN1 9/7/2011 8:49AM

    Thanks for the tip on the tickers. especially the maintenance ones for when i reach that goal.

Have a great Wednesday!

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MSLZZY 9/7/2011 8:11AM

    All the advice and comments by other SParkers is indeed helpful and blogging adds a
different dimension as to how we should view our successes and failures.
I'm checking out the new feature today. What a great idea!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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Emotions, structure and why retirement scares me.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

This morning I read a Spark Article that purported to tell one how to avoid weekend over eating. It talked about celebration eating and social eating. What it didn't talk about was fatigued eating, anxiety eating, unstructured time eating.

Honestly, I do worse with emotional eating when I'm home alone. Especially on those days when I have "loose" plans, i.e. I'm waiting for a phone call from my son and I have no idea if/when he will call or what our final plans will end up being. Yesterday was such a day. I was tired, woke at the usual time, got up, and kind of walked around in a fog until about 1 p.m. Did a little yard work, but was deliberately trying to have a restful day, all the time trying to conserve energy for whatever he would want to do, even just dropping over for coffee.

At this point I took a nap... my son probably was getting up about that time. This is a danger time zone for me... I'm tired, he's energetic. But he didn't call. When I got up from my nap at 2, the grazing started. It didn't stop until around 7 p.m. And he never called. I was still fatigued, and went to bed on time, and slept in this morning, making me wonder how much of my over-indulgence yesterday was self-sedating with food, i.e. fatigue related.

What bothers me most is that this is a pattern. I know I need the "down" days to recharge my batteries, but I'm reluctant to admit to the anxiety that the lack of structure, anticipation of needing to expend more energy brings. Which is why retirement scares me: having no plans is not good for me. But having too many is also not good.

I hope someday I figure it out. For now, it's virtual Monday. Structure and work return. Next weekend I have an athletic outing planned. But emotionally, I'm disappointed in me and my seeming inability to change this pattern. I'm living with it for now, I know how to recover from it. But retirement scares me, and it's only a decade away.

emoticon of a new effort. Spark on.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 9/9/2011 3:52AM

    I'm not sure I view retirement as such any differently from any other stage of life: it's all about balance, and moderation, and good choices. If you lay the groundwork now, experimenting with ways to spend the 'downtime days,' you will be better prepared for retirement.

What engages your interest? What do you find relaxing? What makes you restless? Bored? Energized? Refreshed?

Trying some new things during this approaching-end-of-professional-lif
e will help you find rewarding activities that will fill those niches - fitness, learning, interests, discoveries - that can be so rewarding.
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PATRISNA 9/8/2011 2:54PM

    I liked LJ Cannon's, Mobycarp's, and Sunnywbl's comments the best. I always learn something about you (and often myself) from reading your blogs. I always read the comments and really appreciate them.





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SUNNYWBL 9/8/2011 12:01PM

    All of the replies addressed the question, "What to do while waiting for a call that may not come."

1. If he never calls before 'x' o'clock, there is time to plan something or somethings to do to keep you busy and that you have time to finish or put down to finish later.

2. He needs to have guidelines as to the hours he may call you. As much as you love him, it is rude or thoughtless, etc to have to be available any time he might or might not call. (At least it is only 1 day a week!)

It is much like years ago when I was waiting (hoping) for a 'certain man to call. It caused many days of angst. I finally decided I would get on with my life. If or when he called I was busy, tired, whatever I would say ,"Oh, it's a shame you didn't call earlier, I would have loved to do that, but not now 'cause I just now made plans with___. Can we plan ahead to do it on _____?

Is that something to try with your son? Just a thought.

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GOSPELCLOWN 9/8/2011 10:54AM

    I'm a list maker. I have two days off that are not shared by my spouse... so my weekend is lonely.
I have an exercise listed, a sewing project to work, usually a grocery store trip etc. It keeps me from grazing uncontrollably.

Good blog!

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BESTSUSIEYET 9/8/2011 10:30AM

    You are not alone in this type of struggle. I gotta say, I LOVE Mobycarp's advice! I'm sure i can't improve on it! Good luck next time!

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KATIE33MAHALA 9/7/2011 9:23PM

    MOBYCARP is so right on, and trust me, you might be at odds the first couple of wks, when you retire, but you will find many things to do, and eating wont be one of them. You will love it, and wish you could have done it sooner, so stop stressing over something that isn't as of yet, things will fall in place. You have a lot of energy, so once you know, your done at work, your mind will then be in auto, you will make a new path, and at a slower relaxing pace, sigh...ah... smell the roses... the Lord will give you many beautiful days!

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MOBYCARP 9/7/2011 6:53PM

    Perhaps you need to approach this from a systems analysis perspective.

Goal: Create structure for a weekend day.
Constraint: Need to be available for a phone call that may or may not happen, but will be the most important thing in the day if it does happen.

This sounds a bit like being on call for work, except you hope to get the call instead of hoping not to get the call. The idea isn't to spend the whole day just waiting (and nibbling), but to find something to do that fits three criteria:

a) It's worth doing, and will fill the day if the call doesn't arrive.
b) It leaves you available to take the call at any point in time.
c) It can be interrupted at any point in time, and returned to when the more important activities have concluded.

"Just waiting" is the easy answer that fits criteria b) and c), but you really want something that also fits criterion a).

Of course, you get to decide what "worth doing" means. If you decide that watching a day of Big Brother reruns fits the bill, nobody gets to tell you differently.

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OVERWORKEDJANET 9/7/2011 5:15AM

    I have a bunch of lost days like that. The more I wait for someone, the more I snack. I've decided to structure my days, even if it's to do nothing. That way I'll build in some "play solitaire time" without adding cheese and crackers.

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_LINDA 9/7/2011 2:23AM

    LJCannon hit it on the head. Make a list of things to do on your time off (fun things too) and do them until such time as you son calls (sorry he didn't) This way you aren't nervously wondering when he will call (when the snack monster is strongest), but are busy until he does. This way your whole day is not wasted. I know if I am waiting on something, I quickly get frustrated and anxious and it can lead to a binge if I don't find something to do to take my mind off it pronto.
Good luck with it!!

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SLENDERELLA61 9/6/2011 8:35PM

    I retired end of June. I love it!! Of course, I provide full time child care for my granddaughters so it is not like my hours are empty. I find having more time to plan, to cook, and to exercise more than compensate for the bored and tired eating that I occasionally fall into. I love having less stress. I love not having to go to work after a bad night's sleep. I have many, many plans for retirement, and I've only just begun.

Whether you decide to retire or not, a healthy lifestyle is a choice you can make. Working has some advantages, but not working has at least as many! Hope you make a decision that is just right for you!! -Marsha

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WATERMELLEN 9/6/2011 7:37PM

    I watched my father be "retired" for 30 years and . . . . frankly, he made it look pretty unattractive. So too do many of my former colleagues (from my teaching years) who are now all retired. Mostly doing not much. We don't have mandatory retirement in Ontario anymore for employees. But I deliberately chose, even before that legislative change, to become self-employed so that I could determine how long I wanted to work: and right now, I'm not contemplating retirement at all, for many of the reasons you describe!!

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DEBRITA01 9/6/2011 6:33PM

    I retired from teaching and after a few months decided to work a couple days a week for some structure. I have a really flexible job that is low-stress (because I don't let it) and it allows me to meet some interesting people. I thought I would like to be home and free, but now I have the best of both worlds. Once you retire, you will find lots of things to fill your day...if not, consider volunteer work or a part-time position doing something that you enjoy.

Emotional eating gets the best of all of us sometimes...That was yesterday and today you are on to a new day! Dust yourself off and carry on as you have been...you're doing great! emoticon

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BUGGYS 9/6/2011 3:27PM

    I need structure in my life and know where my danger zones are when I'm tired, stressed out, or unscheduled time. I used to run a daycare and was "on" from 7 until 6 every day. I have retired from the everyday of watching kids for money but now I'm watching my grand kids 4 days a week. The reason I love it so is that I have my routine back and know what the day will bring. When I had my summer off, although I loved doing what I wanted, when I wanted, my eating wasn't great because I seemed to do more grazing. I'm working on finding that balance...

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ANDI571 9/6/2011 2:09PM

    Being alone, anxiety and emotional eating. I have them all. It just takes determination and attitude, which I know you have. You wouldn't be where you are if you didn't. When my husband retired, we started eating totally wrong. The pizza bar at Pizza Hut became a regular event. When he went back to work full time, it gave me a chance to reflect and get back to where I needed to be. I still have trouble with the grazing when I am alone, and some days are better than others, but it can be done. You are already half way there just knowing what can happen. Have a plan in place, and I know you will do fine.

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DEBRA0818 9/6/2011 11:58AM

    Retirement seems different to me than long weekends or taking time off from work. After a transitional period where I felt guilty because I wasn't doing enough and another where I wondered what my worth was if I wasn't making money, I've settled into a domestic routine that is very satisfying to me and very beneficial to my marriage (only one of us is stressed out by work). But I totally relate to what you say about unstructured time (also feeling hurt because a hoped for phone call did not materialize). It's a better day today.

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BARBAELLEN 9/6/2011 11:38AM

    I've retired twice, most recently six months ago. My fear is not retiring, it's more a fear of getting lured back into working. I tend to turn into totally "Type A" when I take on projects, and my time ceases to become my own. I'm loving not having permanent commitments, and I'm finding that I structure my eating and exercising much better when it's my own time, without deadlines, meetings, "crises", etc.. I always hear people say "I wonder how I ever found the time to work" and it's true. There's no shortage of things to keep you involved, and the advantage is that you get to determine the structure of your time.

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WORDLILY 9/6/2011 9:39AM

    I don't do well with those nothing-planned days sometimes, either. It's not just work that adds structure to a schedule, though; structure can come from any number of sources and can be self-imposed. I have confidence that you'll find the right balance for you (between structure and down time).

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KALIGIRL 9/6/2011 9:33AM

    I agree and am recovering from one of those 'too much' yet unstructured weekends.
It is so much easier for me to stay on track when I follow the schedule a workday provides - makes me wonder if I shouldn't do the same for the weekends?
Namaste my friend.

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LJCANNON 9/6/2011 9:21AM

    You have identified the problem and acknowledged it. It looks to me like you are only One Step away from Solving It. emoticon
Maybe you need to 'structure' your down time? Make a schedule for your "Rest" days and then stick to it, just like you do with your Workouts or your Job.

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SUNNY332 9/6/2011 8:47AM

    I am not adjusting to retirement very well at all. I do so much better with structure. I am seriously thinking of going back to work part time after our upcoming trip.

A good friend said she would go back to work but doesn't want her lack of structure interfered with. She is happy not to have the structure. I, on the other hand, find it difficult. It seems to me I should be doing something.

We shall see what the future brings.

Sunny



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