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Saturday, February 02, 2013

It is Saturday. My son had called me Thursday after I got home from work to talk about when to pick up his car. His wife goes back to work on Monday, and he needed it by then.

I selfishly suggested the weekend, when I might have a crack at being awake and rested when he did. So today, after my morning appointment, I called and woke him up. He had instructed me to call when I got home, and he was honestly surprised he had been able to sleep that late. He's still adjusting time zones.

He said "I'll call you back in 20 minutes" and after he'd awakened a bit more, did so. We went out to brunch together. I had a two egg white, low-fat cheese omelet, he had the full test version. We then came back to my house where he continued with tales of his past year... and thoughts of what's next... and his obviously maturing thought process in decision making.

We went for a walk in the neighborhood, and eventually got back to the business at hand, which was starting his car (it behaved like a champ, considering it's been sitting in my garage with minimal exercise for nearly a year), and sending him off to go home to his wife and his life. The visit left me soul-filled and grateful. He's home. He's intact not just physically, but seems to be adjusting well emotionally and mentally as well to coming home.

And after this past couple of weeks, you can all imagine me heaving this huge sigh of relief. Time to keep putting one foot in front of the next, keep on keeping on... because life is good.

Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 2/4/2013 5:50PM

    emoticon emoticon Wonderful News!!!
Congratulations on the Homecoming & Hugs!!

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KALIGIRL 2/4/2013 8:52AM


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RONNIEHUEY 2/4/2013 1:18AM

    emoticon he's home safe and sound.Bless him and all our service children/We wouldn't be free with out them emoticon

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MEXGAL1 2/3/2013 10:49AM

    woo glad your son is doing so well.
Have a terrific Sunday.

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LEANJEAN6 2/3/2013 9:46AM

    oh Barb-so good to have yer son#1 home----Life is truly good!-Lynda emoticon

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CONCHA77 2/3/2013 8:30AM

    Sounds Perfect!

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-STARRYEYED- 2/3/2013 8:22AM

    emoticon I am happy to hear DS is adjusting after deployment. Yay!

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GABY1948 2/3/2013 8:20AM

    Life IS good! So glad your son is home and that is one concern off your plate! Have a GREAT Sunday!

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ROXYZMOM 2/3/2013 8:10AM

    That is awesome! I love the sound of "peace" in your blog.

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_LINDA 2/3/2013 12:40AM

    So very glad your precious boy is of sound mind and body and safe on home soil once again. Enjoy his safety and proximity and finally relax and rest easy.
Life is Gratitude -I am thankful for those who gave it to me and for those who are keeping it safe!

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KARIDIAN1 2/2/2013 9:24PM

    Sounds like a wonderful time spent with your son. Your right, life is good.

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1CRAZYDOG 2/2/2013 8:05PM

    Smiling from ear-to-ear sharing your joy that your son is home! That's wonderful that you got to spend time w/him. Gratitude: that one word really does sum it all up!

HUGS and do thank your son for his service. Hugs and prayers for all our soldiers and families.

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ANDI571 2/2/2013 7:57PM

    I'm so happy for you Barb. I can only imagine the relief you are feeling. emoticon

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MOBYCARP 2/2/2013 7:31PM

    This is truly something to be grateful for! I'm glad he is not only back, but adjusting well to civilian life.

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    So, glad to hear that your son is back safe and sound.

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WATERMELLEN 2/2/2013 7:03PM

    Perfect! It's not just physical survival we want for our kids . . . but their emotional survival, their psychic survival and their positive flourishing and maturing and . . . all of that.

And now you know. He's OK.

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MIRAGE727 2/2/2013 6:13PM

    Excellent, please thank him for his service from Darren & me! I'm so glad he's back.

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DLDMIL 2/2/2013 6:04PM

    You should be very proud of him. You can now relax and enjoy the precious moments that you get to spend with him. So thankful that he seem intact all the way around. Have a great weekend. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 2/2/2013 6:00PM

    emoticon Sounds like a wonderful day!

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MNTWINSGAL 2/2/2013 5:39PM

    You are such a great mom. For me it takes every ounce of will power I possess to not want my son all to myself when I know in my heart that his wife must come first. I need to take a page out of your book!

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SLENDERELLA61 2/2/2013 5:27PM

    Gratitude is the perfect word for "his obviously maturing thought process" and "adjusting well emotionally and mentally ... to coming home". What else could "One Kid's Mom" want??

Beautiful blog! I'm so glad you are through those tough weeks. I'm sure your emotions are still very high over everything, but now I know without a doubt you are handling it very well. Good for you!!

As always, I appreciate your support on my blogs as well. -Marsha

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MSLZZY 2/2/2013 5:24PM

    Savor every moment. You have survived another
test of courage and patience WITH courage and
patience. I can feel the relief in each word. Now
you can go forward with life as it comes, knowing
DS is home and safe. HUGS!

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HEALTHY4ME 2/2/2013 5:19PM

    I feel as if he is my own. I too am so thankful he is home, he is fine mentally as well as physically. HUGS to you and your family.

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PATRICIAAK 2/2/2013 5:19PM

    wonderful. I cherish times likr that.

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Diving in... no, wait... wading in.

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.

Spark on! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Yep, what you said.

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LEANJEAN6 2/2/2013 8:09AM

    Wading is good Barb--Don't jump in-------Lynda

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_LINDA 2/2/2013 12:43AM

    Yikes! Nothing like work overload and stress!!! Exercise is a great stress reliever but doesn't do any good if you are too exhausted to do it :( Here is hoping you are able to find some kind of balance and can keep up with your program. A full Marathon is maybe asking just a little too much of you during this time...It will interesting to see how you 'run' with this! As always, a great inspiration, I am sure, what ever solution you find!

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PATRICIAAK 2/2/2013 12:29AM

    I've been out of balance in Jan.
New month, new resolve.
Your blog hit the spot!

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KARIDIAN1 2/1/2013 9:23PM

    Wading in sounds better than jumping in the deep end right off the bat. I have a sedentary job also and seems things from corporate never end. Would love to have a breather for a change, or be able to finish one thign before the next promotion starts.

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WATERMELLEN 2/1/2013 8:23PM

    Love my job . . . and like you try to keep it in balance with all the rest of my life. Life is better with meaningful work: work is better with a meaningful life!!

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DLDMIL 2/1/2013 3:32PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANDI571 2/1/2013 2:40PM


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LESLIELENORE 2/1/2013 1:47PM

    Balance and moderation are two difficult nuts I need to focus on cracking.

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SLENDERELLA61 2/1/2013 1:21PM

    What a great pep talk!! Balance, Barb. You are absolutely right.

I wonder now if I was working if I could manage a more balanced approach. I always found myself way overfocused on work. I did lose a lot of weight while working, but I didn't really learn maintenance until I was a part time worker and then retired.

I admire your commitment to balance your life with work and fitness. You can do it!!

Hey, where is the picture of the mommy hugs? Just too personal? If so, that's fine, but I'd love to see you just where you ought to be, hugging on your son and him hugging you!! So glad he is back. Perhaps he can be part of the way to help balance your life and work.

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KALIGIRL 2/1/2013 11:40AM

    Well said - balance is the key - as is maintaining your health (both @ and outside of work).
Namaste my friend.

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1CRAZYDOG 2/1/2013 11:30AM

    Such an excellent blog! We definitely do have to weigh our options . . . always . . . and change up our options as time goes on . . . . if needed.

HUGS and good luck!!

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MNTWINSGAL 2/1/2013 10:51AM

    I remember those days of work deadlines.....I hate to say it, but yes.....fondly. But I know how stressful it can be on your mind and body, and this is a long period of time, even though it won't feel like it. So please be kind to yourself, but also strict with yourself in staying the course. Come marathon time, you'll be glad you did!

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EBEAMS 2/1/2013 9:55AM

    You are totally on the right track ... and you are right about time. I've told two people in the last couple of days "Christmas is 10 months and 3 weeks away". It helps me keep in mind that time really does fly by ... and things don't actually "sneak up" on us. Often we just chose to ignore what we don't want to deal with because we don't have the time, energy or desire to engage in the work it takes to accomplish a task. You, though, you've got that basic foundation firmly in place that gives you the ability to recognize YOU have to come first ... your eating, your mental health, your physical health ... knowing that NO ONE else can do that for you. What we often sacrifice for the "organization" is often more than we can really afford to give up if you look at it from the "me" angle instead of the "them" angle. Good thought process ... good plan ... emoticon

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NELLJONES 2/1/2013 8:53AM

    I hate to tell you but 11 months flying by happens to us all no matter what we do, as we get older. I'm still trying to figure out where the last 20 years went.

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GABY1948 2/1/2013 8:40AM

    emoticon blog...and you got the answer right on the nose..."meditate (on the Word), pray, and seek Wisdom! You will be victorious, Barb... emoticon

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DEBRITA01 2/1/2013 8:24AM

    Continue to take it one day at a time....remembering your line in the sand. emoticon

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MSLZZY 2/1/2013 7:45AM

    Dig in deep and don't give in to the pressure.
Keep your balance. Focus on what needs to be done.
First things first. Losing your health will only make
it harder.

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ROXYZMOM 2/1/2013 7:27AM

    I think that it is great that you have the marathon goal during this time. It will keep your health on your mind and not allow you to go into a health "slump".

Good for you!!

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RUN4FOOD 2/1/2013 7:26AM

    Good luck in staying active and eating well while needing to be focused on a work project. Keep those priorities in order.

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MAGGIE101857 2/1/2013 7:15AM

    Good advice - we all have the tendency to rush in like fools! I like the concept of wading in emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon much better!!!

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Let's just pause a moment

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! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 2/1/2013 8:20PM

    Such joy! After such pain, and such worry . . . Pause and enjoy every moment of it.

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    Definately a difference between stop and pause.

Take a deep breath and plunge back in.

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MOBYCARP 1/31/2013 8:56PM

    I'm glad Sgt. Nephew made it back, safe and sound. He'll just have to put up with funny Mom looks from time to time; it comes with having a mom who cares.

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KARIDIAN1 1/31/2013 8:50PM

    I understand. Life just felt like it went on pause after my mammograms last week. Yesterday finding out everything was okay and no biopsy was needed on Wednesday just made me stop and appreciate everything.

Am taking Saturday off to spend the day with hubby. Just thought some us time would be nice for a change.

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PATRICIAAK 1/31/2013 8:14PM

    Super pause

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GABY1948 1/31/2013 6:49PM

    You are so right...let's all go LIVE it! I am so glad you are back in the swing of things again...and a son coming home is SURE to do that! GO! Girl!

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MSLZZY 1/31/2013 2:46PM

    Sometimes moms just can't get enough looking, especially after long and stressful absenses beyond our control. Soak up every detail! You are so
grateful to have him home and so blessed. HUGS!

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LESLIELENORE 1/31/2013 12:16PM


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DLDMIL 1/31/2013 11:24AM

    It is that look of "when did you change" look. It is hard to figure out exactly what has changed, but they have. I still do that to my son and he has been home for over a year. Hang in there and pause when you need to. Glad to hear that you made it through yesterday and that you are back to work and moving forward. Hugs and prayers.

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SHESMITH1 1/31/2013 11:18AM

    As always, you are so inspirational. I think you have this "living thing" down! You know how to care for yourself no matter what life throws your way.

I trust that the days ahead will be as filled with joy as the days behind were filled with sadness.

God bless you~


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LJCANNON 1/31/2013 10:20AM

    emoticon Thank Your Son For his Service & Sacrifice for all of us. And Thank YOU for sharing Your Journey - Including The Pauses! - with all of us!

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CASEYTALK 1/31/2013 9:59AM

    He's home he's home he's home he's home! Of COURSE you're looking at him every moment you can because you can't always just look over and see him and you're enjoying it while you can.


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1CRAZYDOG 1/31/2013 9:27AM

    so happy he's home. there really is no other greater feeling of joy!


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ANDI571 1/31/2013 9:22AM

    I am so glad your son is home, and what good timing. Enjoy those hugs! emoticon

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4DOGNIGHT 1/31/2013 9:17AM

    Enjoy your son and his family as you move on from this sad event.

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HEALTHY4ME 1/31/2013 9:13AM

    I am so so so happy, relieved, just content for you that your son is home safe. Enjoy him. Tomorrow my son will be 35. Where does the time go!

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AMSPARKER 1/31/2013 9:03AM

    I have been reading and follownig every one of your blogs, not doing so good with the comments, but Barb, please know that I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU THAT YOUR SON IS HOME! ENJOY HIM! And continue to take care of yourself!

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LEANJEAN6 1/31/2013 8:34AM

    Oh Barb!!--He is home!!!!--No wonder you are just looking at him!!!--So nice for yu!!!----Hug him from me too!!! And thank him for serving for us too!!----You deserve that "pause""----Lynda emoticon

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RUN4FOOD 1/31/2013 8:12AM

    Carpe Diem! Enjoy your son being home and getting somewhat back to normal.

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SLENDERELLA61 1/31/2013 8:07AM

    I'm so happy for you to have your son home. Glorious joy!! Embrace him; embrace the experience. You are right there. Love that you are breathing and taking a few minutes to appreciate and know where you are. Very good that you are mindful that you don't have to catch up all at once, but should ease back into work, with your lunch packed and your break walks scheduled. You are doing great! You should be so proud of yourself to come through this most challenging time with your motivation for healthy living in tact and still a top priority!!

Again, thanks for responding to Borobabe. Her son is about to go to Afghanistan and she does not totally have her healthy lifestyle in place yet. That's a challenge I'm sure you understand.

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KALIGIRL 1/31/2013 8:02AM

    "breathe, contemplate and appreciate, every day" - Can't do much better than that!

So glad you are starting on a new chapter in your journey of 'normal' - starting with your precious son home. It will be glorious as you are right - Life is GOOD!

Comment edited on: 1/31/2013 8:03:29 AM

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Tuesday was a full day - glad I bagged work

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! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 1/31/2013 12:50AM

    emoticon So happy for you that Your Son is there with you. I feel terrible about the Snow and the Pre Funeral Workout, though!!
What a blessing it is that you were able to get out and walk over 3 miles in the midst of all you are going thru!! Those Endorphins better be doing their Job, making things a Little Easier.

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MSLZZY 1/31/2013 12:00AM


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KARIDIAN1 1/30/2013 9:59PM

    Your photo looks like it was here on Sunday evening when we plowed all the driveways. Glad your son is home and all is well.

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    My, my what ups and downs.
Enjoy the return and embrace the farewell

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RUN4FOOD 1/30/2013 7:55PM

    Hope you day is good, even with the snow.

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DLDMIL 1/30/2013 7:25PM

    So glad that your son was able to make it home early. Prayers and hugs continue for your family.

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OPTIMIST1948 1/30/2013 6:35PM

    Alpha and omega

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LESLIELENORE 1/30/2013 6:14PM

    So wonderful that your son is home! That picture is beautiful... as long as it isn't where I am.

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PATRICIAAK 1/30/2013 5:52PM

    Glad your son is home safe.
Sending condolences

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_LINDA 1/30/2013 4:41PM

    How wonderful you finally got that long awaited hug!!! Thats a good idea to go all together when the weather is like that.. That photo is like a picture postcard -very beautiful actually!!
Thoughts are with you..

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SLENDERELLA61 1/30/2013 3:56PM

    So glad he is HOME!!! You got your mommy hugs! Hooray! Can't be anything better. Live life! Be joyous in this day -- whatever day you find yourself in. (It's 80+ degrees here.) Again, congrats on the son being home. There will be some grieving in there, too, but embrace the joy!! You made it!!! -Marsha

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KALIGIRL 1/30/2013 1:45PM

    So glad he's home and most of the family will attend the funeral - blessings Barb, blessings.


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FROMNDTOGA 1/30/2013 1:04PM

    Wonderful your son is home! Praying for you today.

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HEALTHY4ME 1/30/2013 11:45AM

    So thankful that your son is home safe and sound. Love those hugs don't you? I find my sons hugs are so fullfilling for some reason, more so than my daughters. Not that I don't love them both, as she would say yea you love him more lol

Hope you all made it safe and sound to the service and it gave you some closure and memories.


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MNTWINSGAL 1/30/2013 10:22AM

    Tears sprang to my eyes when you were describing your hug with your son....tears of happiness for you, and tears of longing for's been too long since I've been with Jeff, and I miss him so. But I feel your joy --I guess in a way I am living vicariously through you.

Today will be emotional, but you are strong. And bless your wonderful son for being there for you. It's so much nicer being part of a threesome instead of going solo.

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MEXGAL1 1/30/2013 9:45AM

    thoughts and prayers

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DEBRITA01 1/30/2013 9:29AM

    Glad you have your son & DIL there for support during a difficult time. You have a lot to process lately...bittersweet, I'm sure. Thinking of you and sending emoticon

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GABY1948 1/30/2013 9:18AM

    I love your attitude. And SO glad your son is home...and relieved FOR you! emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 1/30/2013 8:50AM

    OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! HE'S HOME! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I am so glad that you will be able to attend the funeral with your son and DIL. Prayers work!

Yup . . . Mother Nature is definitely providing work out opportunities here too. Oh well. Winter . . . not surprised!

Prayers and many, many hugs, Barb. So happy for you!

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MAGGIE101857 1/30/2013 7:29AM

    Sending you lots of hugs as you go through this difficult time. So happy your son make it home!!! Enjoy your time together!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon ,,,,,,,

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JSTETSER 1/30/2013 7:20AM

    We have a 2 hour delay in Hillsborough, NH. I'll be heading off to teach in a few minutes.
Have a great day!

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WATERMELLEN 1/30/2013 7:20AM

    Love that "today's workout sponson" line!! So amazing that your son can lift you off your feet!! I'm just thinking of the amount of regret your ex must experience in his life about so many things . . . . and thinking about what "he" can bear (i.e. tolerate the burden of) rather than what he can bear (i.e. share the burden on others of . . . ). We attend funerals to show respect for the deceased but primaily loving sympathy for the living. Our silent presence says it all. Surely it would have helped your son to have his father "manning up" and showing up. However, looks like your son has figured out how to "man up" somewhere else, somehow!

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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:


    Our fellow Sparkers have said it all.

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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 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.


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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


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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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