Friday, February 01, 2013
I went back to work yesterday. It's not as though I did not know this was coming up, but suddenly, it's here. The next big project is about to kick off. I will have a key role in it. That's what they always say to everybody, because there is a lot of work to do and a short time to do it in.
It will consume the organization for the next year. It will have a bunch of oversight at a level that will probably keep a lot of pressure on all of us.
What the heck does that have to do with Spark? Well, as many folks know, a mentally challenging, absorbing, yet sedentary job can suck the energy right out of you! Overtime in such a capacity, even more so. This leads to "bagging the workout" and collapsing on the couch... if one lets it.
Seriously, this kind of work scenario while trying to train for a marathon? Not my dream... my nightmare. Because it's hard to keep the balance.
Nevertheless, rather than immediately "bag" the marathon (remember I still have the option to drop back to a half), I need to meditate and pray and seek guidance and balance. My goals are important to me. My health is important to me. Health, even more important than my work. I believe I am a better worker when I keep my balance.
So my pep talk to myself is in the title... yes, there is a lot of work. Yes, it is a short time from now 'til January 2014 (in my line of work it is truer than you'd think - 11 months can fly by). But it will do NO ONE any good if I throw myself so deeply into the front of the race that I lose steam (or keel over from stress / inactivity induced health issues).
So... WADE in... assess. Plan. Keep your balance, Barb. Listen to your body, and know when it needs to be active and let the mind run free. For sure make good, sound, nutritious food choices. And hydrate... in short, take care of the body, where the mind lives. Don't try to force things. A fresh mission at work is ONE part of LIFE, which is good.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Folks who are reading over my shoulder are probably saying, "what do you mean pause... you've been at this life-stopped point for a week". And that would be true. Even though I have kept being active and eating healthy, the magnitude of the changes in the past week have truly kind of stopped the calendar in its tracks. I woke up to the Sports station talking about the upcoming Super Bowl and kind of said, "when did THAT sneak up?"
I'm about to step back onto the merry-go-round of "normal", as I head back to work today after taking my pause. The subject line is my pep talk reminder to breathe, contemplate and appreciate, every day, not try to "catch up" because I've been gone for a few.
Yesterday noon at the funeral lunch, my son accused me of "looking at me funny". His cousin nailed it, "She just can't believe you're really here." Yep, that's it... I'm so relieved he's home I could sing. It got all jumbled up by the coincidence of time stopping to say good-bye to his aunt, but now that we are past all the official ceremony... for me, it is time to relish his being here.
I expect over the next few days he'll drop over to visit and collect his car (it's been sitting in my garage since he left). And I will cherish every hug, as I have the ones I've gathered so far.
For now, the healthy habits hold... lunch packed, healthy breakfast consumed, determination to take the break walks in place. It shall be a good day.
Because LIFE is good. Now let's all go LIVE it. Spark on!
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
So after my "ex" vent yesterday, I went out on foot in the chilly damp morning to find a flower shop, because I wanted to see the physical blossoms I was ordering in ex and son's names. And it gave me a nice 3.44 mile walk in weather that was "bracing". Sometimes bracing is good. Heck, almost always bracing is good.
Then it was a day of waiting on the airlines, watching the flight schedules and alerts, and that mixed emotions hug at the airport. So relieved son is home! One last hug in the garage, sending him off with his wife for their own homecoming... I think I saw her turn the car toward the house they are buying for a drive by on their way home.
He was so exuberant on that last hug, though, he showed off, by lifting his mom off her feet. It's an odd feeling, being picked up by your offspring. But he's young and strong. And home.
Ex called about an hour later because he was fretting over the weather and flight delays, too. NOW it's hitting him that he's not going to be there. He said he didn't think he could take seeing her empty house. Sigh.
Later in the evening Son called to make arrangements for us to go to this morning's funeral as a three-some. So I went to bed in the comfort of knowing that whatever the weather was going to do, we had a plan.
This morning, clear off then get over to the kids' apartment in a few hours, and we shall proceed to the church. I had to snap a picture of God's laughter, or "today's workout is sponsored by Mother Nature":
Public and catholic schools are closed, but I don't think that applies to funerals. So... this weather wimp had best get her rear in gear and get that driveway cleared. Judging from the neighbor's drive half handled, we're talking about four inches, kind of wet and heavy... very pretty. And a workout.
Live today, TODAY, in the moment. Spark on!
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!
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.
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