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Life and Spark intersect

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Yesterday afternoon, I stayed at work a little longer, about 45 minutes, to get things wrapped up before I left. I had made the decision with the family uncertainty about travel arrangements and my role, I would be better off just planning to not come in today as well as the day of the service itself.

I got home to an e-mail from my ex that he's NOT making the trip. So, no 4 a.m. train meeting. It dawned on me this morning that I am both disappointed that he's not coming and angry that he's not making the effort. So many emotions from the past.

I know, intellectually, that I can't live someone else's life, or make their decisions for them. Yet for 22 years of marriage (and some time before that) I believe I may have been (heck with the "may have been" - WAS) trying to "fix" his life and make him happy.

You can "wish" all you want for someone else to "do something"... but it's NOT your job to manipulate them into doing it. Yet it would be foolish to allow them through their inaction / unhappiness to manipulate YOU into paralysis, waiting for them to settle on and start pursuing a dream so you can share it. In my case, I would have been waiting forever. I am sad that he is not taking control and making things happen in his life any more now than he was back before we wed or while we were married.

I thought over the mistakes of our relationship. I could not seem to stop short of getting out of the marriage. I grieve over that, too.

===== the Spark intersection ========

In Spark this morning, I found the featured article about whether we should SHAME the obese into losing weight, the way the social stigma related to smoking reduced the rate of smoking. While this may work for some people, for others I honestly believe that the social stigma attached to something they don't believe they can change can make things worse. Statistically it might work well, but for certain individuals (including myself back in the day)? No way. Is it worth the sacrifice of those individuals to get a statistical result? Obviously some folks in public policy / health must believe so.

I pondered over the differences in how people are motivated. Some of us need to be given slack / give ourselves slack, permission to not be perfect, therefore freeing us to action. Others need to be told to "man up". It's all so very internal. One might find inspiration in others, but in the end, the action step has to be taken by oneself. As sad and angry as I might become over the choices of someone I care about, they are his to make. And I must let go all thoughts of control, and make my own.

So today, I shall LIVE this day, jumbled emotions and all. The choice is for LIFE. Which is good, even when it is sad. Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OVERWORKEDJANET 1/30/2013 6:03AM

    Our fellow Sparkers have said it all.
Ditto.



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PATRICIAAK 1/30/2013 5:34AM

    Sure related to the ex and less-than-desirable choices. I remember when I clearly 'interferred' with one of his choices. It involved one of the children. Would do it again - a mother will do what it takes!

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KARIDIAN1 1/29/2013 10:09PM

    You have done the best you could. His choice, his life.

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DLDMIL 1/29/2013 9:29PM

    I have also been there with the ex's (yes 2), and am very thankful that I got out when I did in both marriages. Hang in there Barb, he will regret not coming in his own time. All you can do is worry about yourself and your niece today and tomorrow. Hugs and prayers to all of you.

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ROXYZMOM 1/29/2013 9:01PM

    Just like being a parent of a teen!! We have to let our kids make their own choices. Sometimes we don't like what they choose, but that's how they learn.

Your ex needs to go down his own path. Don't worry - do what you need to do and take care of yourself!

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WATERMELLEN 1/29/2013 8:23PM

    Thanks for so clearly flagging that intersection, Barb . . . many of us have loitered on the corner!!

All best to you over the next couple of days . . . it's tough, but you can only do what is right for you (and you do, you do).

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FROMNDTOGA 1/29/2013 5:16PM

    I disagree with the 'experts' who are saying we need to 'shame' fat people into loosing weight. WOULD NOT work with me. I need positive reinforcement, not negative reinforcement.
Don't stress too much about the 'what might have beens'.
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DALID414 1/29/2013 2:59PM

    Life is good.

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ANDI571 1/29/2013 2:57PM

    "make him happy", boy did that statement hit me. There are several in my family that I have tried so many times in the past to do just that. My dad was one of them. Nobody can make us happy except ourself. I have learned that in the past few years, and since letting go of trying to make others happy, I have became more happy myself.

You are so good at saying what a lot of us feel. Thanks for sharing and take care of yourself during this difficult time. emoticon

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LJCANNON 1/29/2013 12:26PM

    emoticon Sending Hugs and Prayers as you get through this part of your Life.
emoticon I have not read the Spark Article yet, but if it is saying that Shaming Someone to influence them to Change a Behaviour seems Wrong, not to mention Ludicrous to me.

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LADYJ6942 1/29/2013 11:35AM

    Sounds like a roller coaster. Hugs, hang tight.

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CELIAMINER 1/29/2013 11:19AM

    Blessings as you send off your loved one and PRAISE for your epiphany and the clarity of mind and spirit it has brought you!
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BUGGYS 1/29/2013 11:14AM

    I watched my sister in a marriage that fell apart because she tried to mold her husband into someone he was not. She is 8 years older and I was able to take from her valuable lessons from her mistake and found my best friend who I would not even think of changing for the world...we have been together 45 years, married for almost 42 and yes, there have been ups and downs but we respect each other for who we are and what we bring to the marriage. You are so lucky to have realized that you couldn't "fix" your ex...my sister wasted about 10 years of her life but later found a wonderful man who was everything she deserved, and better! emoticon

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_LINDA 1/29/2013 10:18AM

    So very sorry you had to meet and live with someone who turned out to be so bad in so many ways for you. You can be very proud you overcame your struggles, produced an amazing son and know you have the strength of character not to react badly to any more disappointments from this person who was such a major part of your life. You are strong and found your own way to fight your emotional battles that is not destructive to your health and mind. Well done!!
We are all individuals and this article suggesting shaming is just ludicrous, especially when they are trying to stop bullying in schools where it all starts!! Where on Earth do they come up with these gems??? Nope. If you ask me, they should make Sparkpeople a mandatory class in school!! Learning to pay attention to what you eat, learning to love exercise, learning to control emotional eating, all kinds of articles to improve your life, whats not to like? Better then some of the stuff they are teaching these days!
You are an inspiration in all ways!
Hang in and be the Spark Warrior you are!

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MEXGAL1 1/29/2013 10:00AM

    everyone is different for sure and reacts differently. What motivates some certainly won't work for others.

Getting out of a marriage that isn't working is one of the bravest things one can do. We can't be responsible for someone's happiness. I have learned that with counseling regarding my Mother. She just isn't a happy person.

Take care of yourself during these tough times.

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1CRAZYDOG 1/29/2013 9:49AM

    Would that we could "make" someone else decide on better choices, but you're right. That is never going to happen. The only one we can change is ourselves and our reactions to those situations where we perceive (and rightfully so!) that a not-so-wise choice is being made.

As for the shaming . . . definitely generally has the opposite affect. I always felt "judged" when I was fat, that made me angry, led to more self-loathing and just a vicious circle. Lesson learned on the way: no matter what -- there is ALWAYS going to be someone out there who judges us, but it's our job to put it in perspective. While they are entitled to whatever their feelings are (doesn't make it right, but it is their right) we do not have to accept it and can move on. As long as we love ourselves, we can make any changes that we need to in order to make US happy and healthy and feel loved by ourselves.

What a great blog. I am sorry that things didn't go as you thought they would, but so proud of you for coming up with your plan B and working it! You're awesome, Barb.

HUGS

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EBEAMS 1/29/2013 9:44AM

    I completely disagree with shaming people into losing weight. Isn't there enough negative already in the world? Don't people realize that most of the people who are overweight already bear the conflicting emotions of being unimportant and invisible while thinking everyone is focusing on everything you put in your mouth and judging you for it??? Oh yeah, we live in a society where unhealthy is worshiped as normal ... I almost forgot ... sigh ...

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LESLIELENORE 1/29/2013 9:38AM

    emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 1/29/2013 9:28AM

    I don't think shame will work, most of us have shame and that is part of the problem, theyw ouldnt ever learn to love themselves. I equate that with jillian and being a bully in my opinion on Biggest loser to her now this past 2 weeks.
What works for some wont work for others.
Sorry your ex cant figure to come, sad but it is what it is, as you say you can't live it for him
HUGS to you as you go through the next few days.


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SLENDERELLA61 1/29/2013 9:14AM

    Barb, you are so right! Shaming would not have worked for me -- I felt extremely intense shame over my obesity for years. It made me strive for impossible - at least for me -- perfection, and every time I failed, (and I failed many times a year, sometimes daily for months,) I felt more shame and disgust. When I figured out that I didn't have to be perfect to succeed, I could!!

So good to go back and get in touch with old decisions, and in your case, figure out you did the best thing possible, even if it was sad. There were some decisions in my life just like that. There were others I would change if I could, but my best option now is to let it go and go forward. It is really hard not to blame my mom for raising me as an obese infant and child and teen. And then she refused to admit that the obesity was a limitation in my life and she expected me to date the doctor's son and have straight A's as well as numerous extracurricular areas where I excelled. I find myself repeatedly needing to forgive and look forward. I wish I could once and for all let it go, but I'm not there yet. It still is releasing it little by little. And a way it helps and in a way it doesn't help that mom is now not the same person, now old and forgetful, but still demanding and with unrealistic expectations. Oh, well. See what your blog brought up in me?? Thanks. You have great wisdom and great ways of expressing it.

Wishing you the best during this trying time. Can't wait for those mommy hugs!!

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KALIGIRL 1/29/2013 9:10AM

    Such an intersection - oh my!

I am sorry he's not coming, particularly since you prepared yourself for the possibility, but would like to share a story that may ease your grief.

I spelled my sis as my mom was dying from cancer - We spent 4 days together and Mom was not happy with me as I asked her not to take her pain meds unless she was in pain (she said she wasn't - I'll never know) because they knocked her out. She made me play hundreds of hands of cards (beat me every time), but was awake and alert when her grandson came.

We said goodbye (I knew it was the last after arranging for hospice) on a Wednesday and she was gone that Saturday. She waited for her sisters to visit and my favorite aunt derided me for not coming. I told her we said our goodbyes and I wanted to remember my Mom 'alive'.

I'm a chicken (big time) and part of me regrets not seeing my mom leave this world, but I think I made the right decision for me. I know Mom thinks so, because she didn't wait for me, she took her last breath after her sisters left.

Whatever your ex is feeling, he's facing his loss in his own way and more importantly he knows you are there to represent his love for his family.

Namaste my friend.
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SHSCHLEIN 1/29/2013 9:04AM

  Thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Thank you for everything that you so openly share with all of us here on SparkPeople.

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GABY1948 1/29/2013 8:56AM

    Barb, you hit the nail right on the head in this blog. The first part of your blog, I could have written myself years ago...but for me the marriage was 27 miserable years!

But I agree with you 110% about the second part...I believe no one should EVER use belittling or shame on others...think of the HUGE epidemic of "bullying"...there is enough SHAME in the world...and I also believed at one time that "I just CAN'T do it".

GREAT blog, dear friend! Wish everyone could read it...

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DEBRITA01 1/29/2013 8:28AM

    Your blogs are so insightful and are of such value to me. How often do I feel the need to "help" (aka control) loved ones when ultimately, it's not my choice. Whether one takes action or not is up to each individual...and it is when they are ready. Bless you as you work through your feelings and thanks for sharing. emoticon

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Pep talk for the week ahead

Monday, January 28, 2013

Unexpected things happen all the time. The best deal is to have a plan, but not be so tied to it that anything "unexpected" derails it. And be committed to the spirit of the plan, even if the letter of it gets screweed up.

This week I have hanging over my head the possibility although not the liklihood of my ex showing up and calling at an odd hour. He lives 1200 miles away, and doesn't fly, has lots of excuses for not driving, had talked about possibly catching a train. I offered up housing and local transport should he make the effort to come.

He's always been unpredictable and it used to drive me crazy (one of the reasons we are ex-es). But this is his sister that we are bidding farewell and godspeed to, so for this week the rule is "cut him some slack", but don't let him get in the way of taking care of my own health needs.

I also have the uncertainty of whether my son will get released on leave early enough to make the service... I mentioned that yesterday, but he's 95% hopeful at this point, and I look forward to his homecoming whether it comes in the midst of or in the wake of the funeral activities. But we don't control the airline schedules or the speed of the military wheels.

Woven in around all of that are the normal events of life, attempting to *be* normal. I will go to work in a few moments... meetings to have, topics / puzzles to distract me... potentially interrupted by requests for support in the efforts to expedite getting home from my son. If those happen, my workplace already knows what I'm facing, and is incredibly supportive... for which I, in turn, am extremely grateful.

At times like this, the big times... we see it coming and brace ourselves with the stability of an eating / exercise plan. It's a ritual of self-care habit that underpins as the rest of life swirls about.

But is this not also true of EVERY week in our lives? Every week has the potential of disruption. Taking care of ourselves, accepting that we cannot control every little thing, and letting God or other people take care of their part is a key to living well... and to recovery from compulsions.

This is life. LIVE today! Spark on. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RONNIEHUEY 1/29/2013 12:39PM

    emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/29/2013 12:40:02 PM

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LEANJEAN6 1/29/2013 8:12AM

    no--Yu cannot control everything--and how nice of yu to offer the "'ex"" a room---I dunno if I could do that --so I admire yu!!-----I continue to hope and pray yer son#1 will make it home to his Mama----*S*---Hava great day Barb!Lynda emoticon

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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/29/2013 6:06AM

    Of course they are supportive. They have you and know your worth! emoticon

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PATRICIAAK 1/29/2013 12:57AM

    The best laid plans . . .
Praying

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MEDDYPEDDY 1/29/2013 12:08AM

    Yes - live today. Spark on!

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KARIDIAN1 1/28/2013 10:25PM

    Everything will work out, just doesn't always work out perfect, but it will work out. Hang in there.

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KARRENLYNN 1/28/2013 9:46PM

    I hope your son comes home soon. Flexibility is absolutely key to living your best life with the least amount of stress. I wish you the best during all these things going on.

Have a great week,

Karen emoticon

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DALID414 1/28/2013 9:03PM

    Yes, flexibility and open mindedness are key.

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MSLZZY 1/28/2013 7:47PM

    Once again, right on the mark. Each day presents it's
own challenges, distractions and interruptions to a
normal life. Make the best of it and keep moving!

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EBEAMS 1/28/2013 6:37PM

    Yes, ma'am ... that's the way of things and nothing we do can change it! I am wishing your son Godspeed and miracles in closing the distance between his body and your arms! emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 1/28/2013 3:33PM

    emoticon

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DLDMIL 1/28/2013 1:51PM

    emoticon emoticon to you and the entire family during this week. Congrats on being prepared for the week and hope your son makes it home.

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KALIGIRL 1/28/2013 11:25AM

    Every week does have the potential for disruption, but not to the degree of emotional disruption (I hope) you are currently undergoing.
My not showing on Sunday would fit into the everyday/every week kind...
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The only peace I can offer is that Wednesday will bring some certainty and closure and I know you will handle whatever comes with grace.

Namaste my friend.
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LINDAKAY228 1/28/2013 11:05AM

    We never do know what's going to happen from on moment to the next. We can make plans but we also have to be adaptable. Nice of you to offer to help your ex. Hope your son makes it in time but I know that whether he does or not, you're very soon going to have that happy reunion with him!

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4DOGNIGHT 1/28/2013 10:30AM

    Life certainly does get in the way of our plans. God bless and take care.

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MEXGAL1 1/28/2013 10:15AM

    thinking of you. do take care of yourself. You are a good person to give the ex a little slack.
Peace be with you!

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CELIAMINER 1/28/2013 9:48AM

    Sorry for the loss of someone close, but wow, you are WAY more accommodating to your ex than I would have been with mine (he has passed) or would be to my husband's ex. Great example of taking the high road (I'd be mired in the mud).


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GABY1948 1/28/2013 9:45AM

    You are doing emoticon in my book! Keep up the Good Work, Barb! emoticon emoticon

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FROMNDTOGA 1/28/2013 9:30AM

    Though the situation is one of sorrow, I am so glad your son is back from deployment and will be there to support you - whether he makes it for the funeral or later! You are so right - it is all in God's hands. Praying for you . . .
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DEBRITA01 1/28/2013 9:20AM

    You are right. Each week or even each day can be uncertain...no matter how much we try to plan. Anticipating what can happen leaves one more prepared for the possibilities though. Taking care of our self is the one thing we can do/control when life "swirls about". Your pep-talk blogs not only benefit you, but the rest of us and remind us to keep sparking even when times are hard. God bless...

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WATERMELLEN 1/28/2013 8:43AM

    Great planning and anticipating. Such grace in being prepared to offer your ex a place to stay, and also accepting the unpredictability of his arrival/DS's arrival (or not). Tough. The predictability of the exercise and nutrition commitment are hugely helpful for me in a situation of pending chaose too . . . .

Love your pep talks. Thanks for permitting me to eavesdrop on that interior space!!

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HEALTHY4ME 1/28/2013 8:37AM

    You are right, we can't control a lot of things but I have to ge control over what I can control!!! Thanks for the good blog, hope you have a good week, your son gets home on time and your ex doesn't give you any grief.

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1CRAZYDOG 1/28/2013 8:33AM

    ((((((HUGE HUGS))))) to you, Barb. You have a solid plan, so no matter what happens you know what to do. I pray your son gets released in time. BUG PRAYERS.

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MIRAGE727 1/28/2013 8:16AM

    Barb, I believe, no matter how the week unfolds, that you are ready to address the unexpected. That is rock solid. Wishing you best over the week!

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SLENDERELLA61 1/28/2013 8:15AM

    "It's a ritual of self-care habit that underpins as the rest of life swirls about." You are so right. Your ritual will help you through this uncertain and trying and wonderful time. So many mixed emotions. If you can get through this, Barb, you have passed some major test. "LIVE today! Spark on." I'll live vigorously and spark on partly because you do, Barb. Thanks.

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Yesterday's memory run

Sunday, January 27, 2013

I posted on my status that I ran / walked 12.35 miles yesterday, but the numbers only tell such a small fraction of a run. I was running with Carol (my sister in law who passed) on my shoulder. I was talking with her as I ran. And my choices of where to turn and continue were partly guided by the process of dealing with life.

I ended up taking a turn into a neighborhood I hadn't been in to in a long time. Down that street was a house where I babysat as a teen. The mom of that family happened to depart too soon, too. At the end of that same block, the house where a math teacher I had adored had lived. He, too, it turns out, passed way too young.

I kept on running, up toward a Mall, by the site of a church (that is no longer there, neighborhood's changed) that was the place of much of my childhood Sunday School training. Past a nursing home, and into another neighborhood, where one of the church ladies who was widowed the same year as my dad had lived. Then to the gym, and back around the lake one more loop.

It was a memory run. A good opportunity to contemplate, process, assimilate the events swirling around, and for that matter, life in general. Some tears in spots (someone commented yesterday about runs with tears streaming)... not the first such run I've done. But also some smiles as the sun would break through the clouds and warm my back or my face.

Got home, stretched, showered, made the family phone calls appropriate to the day, and chilled 'til bedtime. Funeral is not until Wednesday, it will be touch and go if my son gets home, but he's working with his command chain to get exempted from one mandated class and home a shade early.

In short... took care of my own grieving needs, and made sure others have their "oxygen masks" on, too. It was a good day.

And we shall weather these life events... living them in the moment, and moving onward. Spark on, dear friends. Hug your loved ones. And nurture yourselves.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CASEYTALK 1/31/2013 10:06AM

    I missed far too many of your blogs and am reading back. You are one of the most emotionally healthy people I've met. This memory run was just what you needed, I'm sure. Your attitude about your ex -- cutting him slack but accepting that he is responsible for his choices which, though they make you sad are not your responsibility -- is healthy, too.

You are such a remarkable woman.

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PATRICIAAK 1/29/2013 1:47AM

    Thanks for sharing the memories.
You and your family have my condolences

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LEANJEAN6 1/28/2013 7:50AM

    Very Thereapeutic Barb--yer run!! emoticon

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MEDDYPEDDY 1/28/2013 12:31AM

    Wise thoughts, liked them!

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EBEAMS 1/27/2013 10:38PM

    I love that running is a way to work through life stuff. So sorry for your loss! Many, many hugs ... emoticon

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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/27/2013 9:04PM

    Thanks.

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ROXYZMOM 1/27/2013 7:26PM

    What a great run!! And totally what a run is intended to do! I love those the best!
I am glad you are taking care of yourself andvthe memories!

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LESLIELENORE 1/27/2013 6:19PM

    emoticon emoticon

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RUN4FOOD 1/27/2013 5:50PM

    Thanks for sharing your memory run.
Hope your week goes well.


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WATERMELLEN 1/27/2013 5:19PM

    Memory run . . . I totally get this. We can process a lot while working out and it's one of the great reasons to work out, actually. You've been dealing with a huge amount of emotion, and it can't be coincidence that your feet took you on that particular journey . . . .

(Not thinking that there's much likelihood of xc skiing in a Nebraska rain . . . but if you get a chance to try this winter, it's all in the kick/glide/pull with the pole synchronization!)

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GABY1948 1/27/2013 5:07PM

    WHAT A GREAT walk/run, trip down memory lane! You did a wonderful job of dealing! emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 1/27/2013 4:55PM

    Sounds like a great run and memory trip. Hope your son can get home ahead of schedule.

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KALIGIRL 1/27/2013 4:31PM

    Wonderful way to deal with your grief and honor you SIL @ the same time - sorry I bagged the walk today - something about the dampness that chills me more than cold temperatures....

Sending peaceful thoughts my friend.

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DALID414 1/27/2013 4:11PM

    emoticon

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DLDMIL 1/27/2013 12:33PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANDY_54 1/27/2013 11:59AM

    What a wonderful blog to read. And a wonderful way to honor your sister-in-law. I love contemplative runs like that, they seem to mean so much more. Take care, emoticon

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KATHIC2 1/27/2013 11:52AM

  Hang in there. I am dealing with something similiar. Movement quiets the mind and helps healing.

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_LINDA 1/27/2013 11:34AM

    It seems like you were guided during that run, a wonderful way to honor Carol and others who were lost before their time..hope things work out for your son to get there in time.
May you have a calm and peaceful day of rest today..

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1CRAZYDOG 1/27/2013 11:28AM

    Good job, Barb. The only way we can take care of others is to make sure we take care of ourselves first. That's a wise decision.

Sounds like you had a very thoughtful run yesterday. That's such a great way to work through things in life.

I pray your son can come home in time! HUGS Barb. Hang in there. So much to deal with.

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LINDAKAY228 1/27/2013 11:18AM

    That was a wonderful way to honor those who have passed on and to work on your own grief. Each of us works through grief in different ways. Yours is a great way for you to do it, based on your lifestyle and who you are. Running sometimes is the way I deal with thinks but more often hiking. And being outside helps us too. Hope your son can make it. Prayers for you and your family and her family.

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LJCANNON 1/27/2013 10:58AM

    emoticon That seems a Fabulous Memory Run and a Wonderful Way to Remember/Honor your Sister In Law and Others who have Passed Too Soon!!
emoticon Nurturing Yourself and then helping Others with their own "Oxygen Masks" is such a Beautiful Image!! And Very Good Advice!!

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MNTWINSGAL 1/27/2013 10:42AM

    This was a wonderful idea. Sometimes I like to go back into my old neighborhood and just walk the streets that I habited as a child and teenager, my schools, etc. So many of those things are gone now. It's sad to see the changes in some ways...but also, change is good.

What a great reason to do a memory run -- and I'm sure are right....your dear SIL was there with you every step of the way.

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MEXGAL1 1/27/2013 10:29AM

    what a wonderful way to honor their memories. Good for you. And so good that you are taking care of yourself so you can be strong to help others.
Have a good day today.
Sallie

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4DOGNIGHT 1/27/2013 10:11AM

    Hugs to you! Are you running in NW FLorida? emoticon

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MIRAGE727 1/27/2013 9:03AM

    What a concept! A memory run! Awesome, Barb! Reflection is a beautiful thing as we embrace the moment and what we've learned from it. Thanks for sharing.
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DOGLADY13 1/27/2013 8:38AM

    Sounds like you had an excellent run and lots of company, too.

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WARMSPRINGDAY 1/27/2013 8:34AM

    Beautiful
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SLENDERELLA61 1/27/2013 8:29AM

    Thanks, Barb. I definitely will hug the loved ones. I admire your memory run very much. The grieving process is really quite beautiful and there are so many ways. Thanks for sharing some of your way. Very beautiful.

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DEBRITA01 1/27/2013 8:11AM

    What a touching memory run. Life is way too short but our memories last forever. I'm praying that your son will be home with you by Wed. emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 1/27/2013 8:05AM

    What a great blog, sitting here with tears. HUGs and a great memory walk. I am looking over at my mums urn and thinking gee wish I could have her here just one more time.
HUGS

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MSLZZY 1/27/2013 7:53AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAGGIE101857 1/27/2013 7:19AM

    Sending you emoticon emoticon and more emoticon . This is a beautiful walk down memory lane (the word blog doesn't do it justice). Thank you for sharing it - although it is your story, we can walk it with you and bring to mind our own loved ones. Treasure the memories always.

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LEANJEAN6 1/27/2013 7:14AM

    Oh Barb! That probably was a good memory run!!! I do hope yer soon makes it home for yu!-Lynda emoticon

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Motivation transition

Saturday, January 26, 2013

For all of 2012, as I did event after event, I invoked two names at the starting lines. One was my sister in law's, the other my son's. Son is now safely stateside. Sister in law has passed at long last, peacefully with her daughter by her side.

This morning, when I leave the front door for my long run, my training run... it will be with her on my mind. The workout today, is in her honor and memory.

A strange transition has happened for me mentally in these, the Spark years. Some "bad things" have happened around me, I won't repeat them or count them, over these years.

In some years (my youth and young adulthood) I let bad things that happened paralyze me... I sank into myself, with the food, felt bad for those who were affected, but used this odd form of self-punishment as my way to feel a common bond, I guess. Because I felt bad that the bad thing happened to someone else, and guilty that it was them and not me. Warped, yeah.

Some people learn this lesson early, and it is a natural part of them. For me, it had to happen after age 50. We learn our lessons in our own order. Lesson one is the recognition that I can't wish bad things away. They are a part of life. I can't undo bad things that have happened. Lesson two is the "what can I do?" part: I can go forward to honor those who have suffered or are suffering. I can't live their lives for them. But I can hold them in my heart and do the things I can.

I need to take care of myself to do those things. And in the end, I run because I can. But I can run *for* those who cannot. Whole different mind set.

And it honors both that life is good, and that the bad is mixed in, and it's OK. Spark on, dear friends. Take care of yourselves, and honor LIFE! Namaste.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 1/28/2013 8:43PM

    Wonderful blog, Barb. Thank You. Know I am thinking of you and rooting you on. Hugs emoticon .

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MEDDYPEDDY 1/28/2013 12:33AM

    I am still in the state where I feel ashamed for surviving while other suffers...great blog!

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KALIGIRL 1/27/2013 4:47PM

    Here's to running because you can - I can't think of a better reason!

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KARIDIAN1 1/26/2013 10:05PM

    What a nice way to honor your family and loved ones.

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RUN4FOOD 1/26/2013 7:14PM

    Running helps to deal with the challenges life throws at us. We can choose to eat, get depressed or run with joy. I choose run with joy. Running for me is usually a spiritual time.

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SLENDERELLA61 1/26/2013 7:02PM

    Honor life!! Love your message, Barb! Yes, we honor life by living it for those who can't; by running for those who can't. So glad you are running. It is such a freeing and glorious thing to run in your 6th decade. It makes me laugh and gives me great joy; and you, too, I suspect.

There have been times that bad things have overwhelmed me and I have fallen into food without thinking, and looking for a way not to think, looking for comfort. I have not been tested like you have since adopting my healthy lifestyle. I think and hope I've found better ways of coping that will get me though those inevitable tough times. I'm sure time will tell and I'll think of you, coming through, in victory!



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LINDAKAY228 1/26/2013 6:17PM

    I didn't learn some of this until late 40's/ and 50's. Sometimes I have to stop and relearn.

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DLDMIL 1/26/2013 3:52PM

    Namaste. emoticon emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 1/26/2013 3:13PM

    Hope you had a good run. emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 1/26/2013 3:10PM

    What great analogy and true too. Takes us all diff times and ways to learn lifes lessons. I was going to explain something I used to do but don't know how to write it. LOL oh well not important.
Hope you had a great run and good memories to go along with it.
HUGS

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DALID414 1/26/2013 2:34PM

    Namaste emoticon

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GABY1948 1/26/2013 1:11PM

    What a beautiful and heartfelt blog, Barb. THANKS!

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WARMSPRINGDAY 1/26/2013 12:03PM

    Wow, you have sparked me!
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DOGLADY13 1/26/2013 11:53AM

    I hope your run was fruitful: both physically and spiritually. For me, those are the best ones. I can recall more than a few with tears streaming down my face, feeling grateful for the time alone to sort out the stuff. The run becomes the conduit for something more powerful.

All the same, I will think of you often, today, and that beautiful picture that you posted of your sister and sister-in-law and your nieces. The world is a giant, mystical net and I will do my best to send loving, powerful signals your way.

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KASEYCOFF 1/26/2013 10:40AM

    To stop learning is to stop living - your star shines, Barb...
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WATERMELLEN 1/26/2013 10:37AM

    Life is joy and pain . . . and we honour those we love most who are experiencing pain by living our lives with the joy they once had. Because otherwise life has no meaning.

So glad your son is safe. So glad you have your motivation back in hand . . . that motivation thing is always in transition!!

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MEXGAL1 1/26/2013 10:15AM

    I am so sorry or your loss but good that she is no longer suffering. Thoughts and prayers.

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MIRAGE727 1/26/2013 10:07AM

    G'Morning Barb! Interesting that I posted that photo sign on my last blog. I've always embraced that sentiment. Thanks for sharing. I truly believe that we realize a healthy body, mind, and spirit when we embrace our Journey's lifestyle! You also show that we inspire and motivate others as well. D & I are so happy we had the opportunity to meet you in real time. Hope to see you soon. Namaste.
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ANDI571 1/26/2013 9:47AM

    We never get to old to learn, do we? I have often said, if anything happens to me, live the life I no longer can. Go for it, and have a great run!

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_LINDA 1/26/2013 8:52AM

    So very sorry for your loss, but relieved her suffering is over. You do honor her memory By living your life the healthiest you can and taking advantage of using a body that is working fine, nourishing it well and challenging it with feats of fitness to ensure you will have healthy bones and a healthy heart and will live a long time!
Enjoy your run and enjoy that body that works so beautifully and carries you to wherever you want to go without pain, discomfort or any issues. Yes, you do run for those that can't and inspire those of us that can't to make our own fitness goals a reality within the sphere of what we can do!
Spark On!
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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/26/2013 8:28AM

    Nice to know I have friends with similar lives.
Vicariously yours,
Janet emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/26/2013 8:28:41 AM

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DEBRITA01 1/26/2013 8:27AM

    Learning comes when we are ready to receive the lesson (for me, many of them came after age 50, also). It's what we do with the learning that counts...Namaste emoticon

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ALOHAEV1 1/26/2013 8:12AM

    Another wonderful and enlightening visit!

Wonderful news that your son is stateside...the waiting never gets easier but we will all celebrate with you as he hits your front door emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 1/26/2013 8:03AM

    You are so right Barb! In everyone's life, there are the good, the bad and even the ugly things that happen, but we have to learn that life is about moving forward, as you have learned. It is NOT easy, because sometimes our brains get "stuck" when those bad or ugly things happen.

As Depak Choppra teaches, if we let those things get the better of us, it's like not breathing and we end up suffocating!

Great blog and your SIL would be proud of you. I know your son is for sure!

I am so happy for you that he's stateside. The waiting is endless I am sure, but hang in there.

HUGS!

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SWEDE_SU 1/26/2013 7:56AM

    you teach, you inspire... namaste!

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MSLZZY 1/26/2013 7:43AM

    Your blog is filled with wisdom and truth! Thanks for sharing! HUGS!

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LEANJEAN6 1/26/2013 7:40AM

    Hi Barb---Himself did a bad thing this morning--He WATERED down my coffee!!! Now I pretty much only have 1 cuppa coffee a day and lately, Ive been telling him, the coffee has no flavour--Well!! Guess what??_-I caught him putting water in my cup----""Thems"" grounds for divorce!!!!!---His reasoning was--""the cup wasn't full enough""-----I'm telling you Barb, life is a bit tough at times and completely bewildering-----specially as one ages--as he has (NOT ME!_LOL)-----Lordy be!!!!--So-----the day has begun and I'm trying to tell myself to carry on--LOL--=but--I sure yelled and screamed at him!--Marriage isn't all it's cracked up to be------Lord Love a Duck!!!--For such a smart man--it makes me wonder!!=--Lynda emoticon

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Once upon a time

Friday, January 25, 2013



Once upon a time, we were all young. In this photo are two young moms and their dressed up little ones. It was taken at my wedding reception in 1981, by my dad. In it you see on the left, my sister and her daughter, on the right, my groom's sister and her daughter. I always thought of those two babies as two standards of beauty, and I have always loved this picture.

Overnight Wednesday, the mom on the right hugged her now grown, strong woman of a daughter good-bye for the last time, and continued on her journey spiritward. My niece called first my ex, yesterday morning, and a while later me.

As I have observed in the past, my first reaction to huge news is "I can keep working"... I'll just drive on. Five or ten minutes later, it becomes the to-do list... who I need to call. What I should do about relatives who may not be on my niece's first-call list... etc. I had trouble contacting my son right away, and finally accepted that no, this is not something I want to do here... and left work for the day.

I ended up having a long conversation with my ex, remembering his sister as a young, vibrant, capable single mom, courageous and strong. Remembering her as a grandmother, me tagging along as she took her granddaughter to the symphony kids' concert, or out to our local broadway musical in the park in Summertime. He reminisced on a trip they took together in 1999 back to some places of special meaning to them as children, in upper Michigan.

Later, as I was climbing into bed, my son was able to call and we chatted. While he's sorry he won't make it in time for a service (kind of hard to speed up military de-mobilization, and they likely would not for other than a parent, spouse or child), we knew this day would come a long time in advance and made sure he visited his aunt before he left. What he really would like right now is to get home to hug his cousin, and that will happen in its own good time.

So, as he told me, he'll be OK, I should take care of the others.

Anyway, on the Spark front, believe it or not, all that food tantrum stuff that went on for a couple of weeks? Kind of got the tar slapped out of it and I've been back on track for three full days, today would be the fourth. Exercise / training got really dialed back to the line in the sand, but I'm holding that line.

We shall see where I end up in a week or so, motivationally. 2013 could end up looking quite different from 2012... but, you know what? That's OK. This is LIFE. And life is good.

Spark on my friends, I'll be OK. Really. emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBARAJ73 1/27/2013 3:06PM

    Thinking of you emoticon

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DOGLADY13 1/26/2013 11:48AM

    I am truly sorry for your sadness and grief. I hope you continue to find comfort in your memories and family.

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KASEYCOFF 1/26/2013 10:43AM

    One day at a time, sweetie... That's a truly lovely picture.
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_LINDA 1/26/2013 10:05AM

    That is a wonderful photo and a great way to remember her. Wise choice to take off work, something you need is your privacy at a time like that.Its so very sad when a person dies before their time :(
Thinking of you as you deal with the emotional after effects in the coming weeks, months and years..
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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/26/2013 8:25AM

    I'll be thinking of you the next few days.
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KARIDIAN1 1/25/2013 10:15PM

    Sorry for your loss, my thoughts are with you.

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PATRICIAAK 1/25/2013 8:55PM

    My condolences

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LADYBUG1943 1/25/2013 8:10PM

    What a nice way to honor your sister in law. I loved the picture, too. The ease and suddenness in which a person leaves this life is astonishing. My mother died Valentines Day, 2012, and just the other day I was thinking something and my first instinct was to call and ask Mother (she didn't like being called "Mom"). She's just gone. Hard to understand for your sister in law, too, expected or not.

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DLDMIL 1/25/2013 5:03PM

    Prayers for you, your sister-in-law and the entire extended family. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANDI571 1/25/2013 3:03PM

    Lots of hugs my dear spark friend emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 1/25/2013 1:30PM

    So sorry for your loss. Glad you got off work and took some time -- to think and memorialize and appreciate and process. The picture is lovely and memories are cherished, so rightlly. In a way it is too bad that the emotions of this gloriously happy time of your son's return is mixed with this difficult loss. Your attitude about it being life is right and good. Life is good. So glad you'll be okay. Glad you are back on track, too. With your encouragement and support, and your modeling handling the really tough stuff, I Spark On!! -Marsha

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LJCANNON 1/25/2013 1:27PM

    emoticon emoticon Sending Extra Hugs and Prayers to You & Your Family. So glad that you were able to talk to Your Son, I know that was a Comfort.
emoticon Some parts of this Good Life still Stink! and losing Loved Ones is one of those Stinky Times - even though it may be a Blessing for her, and we do know Good-Bye is Not Forever.

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LESLIELENORE 1/25/2013 1:19PM

    emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 1/25/2013 10:59AM

    Loved ones passing is always heartbreaking. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing woman's story. Prayers for the family.

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MEXGAL1 1/25/2013 10:23AM

    many thoughts and prayers. I love the photo as well and a great way to remember her.

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KALIGIRL 1/25/2013 9:40AM

    This is not only life - as you've told me time and again - this is GOOD life!
emoticon Suncday?

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GABY1948 1/25/2013 9:32AM

    I am so sorry for your loss, but I truly believe that God can make GOOD things come from bad! Have a blessed weekend, Barb

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DALID414 1/25/2013 9:29AM

    emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/25/2013 9:17AM

    My condolences to you and yours, Barb. You wrote a touching blog and gave us a small glimpse into her/your lives "once upon a time."

Glad to hear you're back on track and doing well. One day at a time, right? Here' to a different (but exciting!) adventure in 2013!

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CELIAMINER 1/25/2013 9:15AM

    What a beautiful tribute to a woman who meant so much to you! I am saddened by your loss but heartened by the way you choose to remember.
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FROMNDTOGA 1/25/2013 8:54AM

    Prayers for you and your family.
clm

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DEBRA0818 1/25/2013 8:42AM

    A light has gone out of the world and extinguished in a very difficult way. It is a testimony to love and the human spirit that plans are being made to share memories and exchange love and the light that was your sister-in-law gets rekindled in others.

God bless, her, you, your family and her family and all whose lives are touched by illness, sadness and loss today.

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1CRAZYDOG 1/25/2013 8:40AM

    Awwww, Barb. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It is so hard -- beyond words.

I am so glad that you got to talk w/your son, and that he got to see his Aunt before he left. Even more happy that he'll be home. **SIGH** Yup, the wheels of the military turn s-l-o-w-l-y.

Wrapping my arms around you and giving you a huge hug. It's not much, I know, but hope it helps.



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ROXYZMOM 1/25/2013 8:10AM

    What a beautiful picture and memory! I love how you were able to share some memories with you ex that day. It makes one realize how important family time is. I am happy that you have so many of your sister-n-law. I will keep your family in my prayers.

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KANOE10 1/25/2013 8:04AM

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. She sounded like a wonderful person. You were wise to leave work. Take care of your self while you are helping others. Life is good and we should appreciate all of our precious moments.

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MIRAGE727 1/25/2013 7:52AM

    It's times like these, when all we can do is stay strong and focused. We also celebrate life for those who no longer can't. And we look for comfort spiritually. I try to draw strength from it all. You are in my prayers, Barb.
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DEBRITA01 1/25/2013 7:39AM

    So sorry for your loss. While you're taking care of others, please remember to take care of your needs, too. emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 1/25/2013 7:31AM

    Sorry about your loss and hugs to all the family and especially your niece and her family. HUGS

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RUN4FOOD 1/25/2013 7:16AM

    Sorry to hear about your loss.
Keep taking that one step forward and you'll be okay.

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MSLZZY 1/25/2013 7:12AM

    My sympathy to you and the family. You are doing
everything you can to help your niece and I am sure
she appreciates your efforts.
Life always changes and we need to change with it.
Have a great day. HUGS!

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BLUENOSE63 1/25/2013 7:09AM

  Expected or not, death of a loved one is always a shock. Sorry for your loss and congrats for staying on track during this time of turmoil

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KATHIC2 1/25/2013 7:07AM

  So sorry about your loss. Grief is a very personal thing.

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MAGGIE101857 1/25/2013 6:59AM

    Barb, I'm saddened to hear our your family's loss; she sounds like she was a wonderful person; she left this earth knowing she was loved dearly. emoticon

On the Spark front, glad to hear that you back on track, and perhaps in your spare time, you could slap the tar out of me??? emoticon emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 1/25/2013 6:59AM

    Congrats Barb for getting back on track--Life is short----We are reminded daily of this--Nice picture! ------Families are so important eh?------as is healthy eating and exercise--and falling off the track sometimes!---The number of times you fall down is irrelevant. The number of times you have the courage to get back up is what matters!
Spark said that! emoticon Lynda

Comment edited on: 1/25/2013 6:59:32 AM

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JGRAY76 1/25/2013 6:57AM

    So sorry to hear of your loss but it sounds like you are doing OK. You are right, this is life.

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