Game On Update

I can’t believe its been six weeks since I started my first round of Game On!!!  Where did that time go??  Anyway, I thought I should give an update / report.

I’m sorry to say that, in the end, I really feel like it made zero difference.  I suppose the fact that life here was turned sideways by the fires has something to do with that.  Its difficult to focus on healthy eating, exercise, making new habits, letting go of old habits, drinking enough water and sleeping enough when the county is on fire (not literally the entire county but that’s what it felt like some days), people are losing their homes and livelihoods, my Mom is living with us, and I have extra dogs running around – all because of fires.

And then, October 1 rolled around which means I get to eat these:candy corn

I really, really love candy corn.  And its only allowed in our house during the month of October (even if its in stores earlier).  I’m one of those “OHAAT” people . . . “One Holiday At A Time”!!!!!  So, since I only have 31 days of candy corn, I have to get my entire years’ worth in.

And then, all that Halloween candy comes home!!!  candy

Have I mentioned that I really like sugar??  My kids have Halloween candy from last year left over!!!  So they certainly don’t notice if a piece or two or three (or four) are gone each day.

With all of that being said, I’m starting a new round of Game On tomorrow.  I’m certainly not feeling geared up for it, motivated, or anything else.  But I’m going to give it a go nonetheless.  Hopefully, the next five weeks will be calm and smooth and, this time around, I’ll actually make some new healthy habits.  Or at least lose a couple of pounds.  Or at least decrease my candy consumption to one or two pieces a day.  I’m hoping for all of those things.  But I know its going to take more than simple “hope”.

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How to be Different

Apparently, I need some lifestyle changes.  After collapsing at work out of the blue (caused a huge commotion), I went to see my doctor yesterday.  (I refused to go to the ER with the nice paramedics.)  My doctor called me a “textbook case of the healthy person who drops dead from a heart attack.”

Well, hmmmm . . . She was concerned when I looked puzzled at her order to “spend the rest of the day doing something for myself.”  I have plenty of things that I’d really like to do for myself but they never seem to happen.  For example, 3 days ago I picked some fava beans, found a recipe and have been wanting to make soup.  Fava beans are still sitting on my counter and they don’t seem to be making soup themselves.

How is that possible?  How can I not even find time to cook food that I want to??  What the heck do I do all day?  In my opinion, I don’t do much.  But when I tell my girlfriends, “I did this and this and this today . . . nothing!” they’re like, “wow, you did all that?” My doctor says I tend to minimize.

So, o.k., I need to lessen my “constant state of stress and anxiety” (more doctor quotes) and that’s great but HOW??  How do I just start being different?  How do I make space for myself?

I think I’ve asked this question before here in my blog.  Maybe the better question is: How do I not feel guilty about making space for myself?

I mean, we’re not talking about me going on a shopping spree or something.  We’re talking about soup!!!  Healthy soup that the rest of my family could eat.

I did finally announce to my 12 and 14 year old kids that they get to make their own school lunches and unpack their lunch box when they get home this year.  My husband was thrilled at this declaration.  I’m not exactly sure why – he rarely if ever made their lunch; he just seemed to be upset that I made lunches for the kids.  The kids were less than thrilled.  Me?  I felt guilty.

When Your “Happy Place” is also Your “Sad Place”

I love my horses and I love spending time in my barn.  Its where I do my best thinking and, even though I often forget it and neglect to spend enough time there, hanging out with my horses truly makes me happy.

But its complicated.  While my barn is most definitely one of my most happy places, its also a sad place sometimes.

My horse, Stormy, turned 28 on June 13.  I was hanging out in the barn with him and, for some reason, my thoughts turned to my beloved first horse, Tori.  Pretty quickly, I was sitting in my barn, balling my eyes out.  I had to put Tori down on September 3, 1997 – that was a long time ago!!!!  But oftentimes it seems like it was yesterday.  Is it always going to seem like that?

Hanging out with my current horses – Stormy, my retired old guy; Slewy, my gorgeous off-the-track Thoroughbred I can’t seem to ride; and Holly, the kids’ mini – is certainly comforting.  But, sometimes I’m in the barn and I’m just overwhelmed with how much I miss Tori, how he was supposed to still be here with me (I know he’s always “with” me).

Compounding my sadness is the fact that I feel like I’m failing Tori daily by not riding Slewy.  Its as if all the time we spent together and all the skills he taught me is somehow being wasted.  That, though, hasn’t been enough motivation to get me back to riding Slewy.

Because Slewy’s not Tori.  They’re both Thoroughbreds and I put Slewy’s bit on Tori’s bridle, hoping that would help. They have similar personalities – sweet, kind, inquisitive, always in your pocket.

I just know that somehow, in my slightly nutty head, this is getting in the way of riding Slewy again.  And I’m just not sure what to do about it.  Logically, I think I would feel better if I were riding.  But logic doesn’t seem to have much to do with this.  If it were all up to my logic, I would have been riding years ago.

My happy place being my sad place makes it complicated.  And difficult to move forward.

Mired in “Do-Nothing-ness”

I was making progress on a few of my goals.  I was spending time in the barn, practicing Spanish (occasionally), walking the dog, feeling healthy, and, in general, just getting things done.

Yet once again, it has all come to a screeching halt.  It started with end of the school year activities, my son graduating from 8th grade, etc.  Then I got sick and was down and out for about 10 days.  Since then, I haven’t been able to get back on track.

I’m frustrated and upset about it.  But mostly, I’m just tired.  And not quite sure what to do.

Last week I took my son to the doctor for his summer camp physical.  I hopped on the scale . . . and was dismayed to find that I’m the heaviest I’ve been in a long time.  136.5 at 5′ 4″.  Ugh.

I haven’t been walking my dog so he has a ton of energy and is up all night roaming the house, which is keeping me awake at night.  So . . . not sleeping well.  Plus, we’ve gotten in this pattern of not going to bed until midnight or so and then sleeping in.  Also, not good.

I came up with the idea that I would be back on my horse by September 3.  That’s the 20 year anniversary of my first horse’s death (thoughts of Tori still brings me to tears, nearly 20 years later).  I lunged Slewy exactly twice and that was going on three weeks ago not.  So much for good intentions.

One of my new excuses is that its harder with the kids being out of school.  I don’t have a few hours to myself every afternoon.  And I’m a person who desperately needs a few hours alone most days.  But with the kids not in school, 1) they’re always around so there’s no down time for thinking, writing here in my blog or my journal, or much else of my own and 2) I do things with them (which I love and am not complaining about) – we go to the pool, go shopping, or who knows what.  So, again, very little time to myself.  Right now, this afternoon, I think is the first time since June 1 that I’ve had any time home alone.  And I’m spending it writing and playing Hay Day rather than really accomplishing anything.  But I’m so, so tired.  I feel like I just need to sit for awhile.

O.k., so no answers really.  Just complaints.  Often writing helps me to sort things out in my head so maybe this is a way to start again.  I don’t know.  I’m tired of “starting again.”

Do Something . . . Anything

I have reached complete overwhelm.  I made a new to do list, hoping that would re-focus and organize me.  It just made it worse.  Looking at my schedule the next few days and the list, I’ve got absolutely no idea how its going to get done.  And these are things that really have to be done.  I can’t just not return work phone calls!  And we have our annual end of the school year swim party on Saturday.  I can’t just ignore that!!!  I’m kind of freaking out.  I really would like to just sit here at my desk and color.

My dog is sitting next to me, whining.  He wants to go outside and play or go on a walk or something.  I wish he would be quiet.  The property isn’t 100% fenced so he’s not allowed to go out without me.  And apparently, for some reason, sitting on the back deck isn’t good enough for him at the moment.

I must have put on three different outfits this morning while trying to get dressed for work.  One skirt that I haven’t worn for awhile didn’t fit.  I mean, like didn’t fit to the point where I wondered when it had ever fit me.  That was upsetting.  Just before I tried to get dressed I was sort of complimenting myself for having things pretty together.  So much for that.

The other day there was a lizard in the house, right outside my closet.  I am TERRIFIED of lizards.  Its been that kind of week.

Of course, today the kids get out of school early so I have even less time.

I’m drowning in end of the school year activities.

Ugh.

So, for the next 20 minutes, until I have to go pick kids up from school, I’m going to fall back on my strategy for when life gets like this, which is “Do Something . . . Anything.”  I’ve found that if I just start going down the to do list, its easier to continue.  Starting is the hard part.  It doesn’t really matter exactly what I do; anything is better than sitting here and staring out my window.

Here I go . . . something . . . anything.  Just start somewhere.

What’s Holding Us Back?

The other day, some of the ladies at work were, yet again, discussing their need to lose weight.  I laughed and said, “Yeah, you guys will lose weight when I speak Spanish.”  (Its o.k., we have that type of relationship so they weren’t offended.)

But it really got me thinking . . . this is a conversation I have with so many of my women friends.  The desire to do this or that . . . and the absolute lack of sustained progress.

It really got me thinking . . . What is holding us back??

In my last post, I asked “What would success look like?”  The question of “What’s holding us back?” is a little different.

I posed that question to my good friend and she answered, “Fear.”

O.k., but fear of what exactly??

I asked my Mom.  She answered that she doesn’t like to be noticed so she thinks that’s what’s holding her back from losing weight, dressing better, etc. . . . someone might then notice her if she were attractive.  To which I replied, “Well, maybe people are noticing now and thinking how frumpy you look.”  (O.k., so maybe that wasn’t very nice of me but I think it was a legitimate point.)

Back to fear.  I know that for me and Spanish (because that’s an easy example), I have the immediate fear that people are going to think I’m stupid or sound funny in my beginning attempts at speaking Spanish.  Logically, I know the people I can practice with will absolutely not make fun of me but the fear is still there.

But what’s beyond that?  What if I did accomplish some of my goals?  Would I be able to internalize that success?  Would I be more confident?  Would people then expect more of me?  And, to my Mom’s point, would people notice me more?  Am I comfortable with that?  What would my husband say if I stepped out of my comfort zone and did well?  What would my friends say?  (I know “true” friends support you no matter what, blah, blah, blah).

Aaaahhhh . . . so much unknown!!!!  So maybe my friend was right.  Maybe it is fear that’s holding us back, plain and simple.

 

What Would Success Look Like?

As I’ve said in past postings, I have a lot of goals and have been unable to accomplish any of them.  I spend a lot of time asking myself why that is.  What would reaching any one of my goals look like?  Where would that leave me?  What would others think?  Would I be happier?  More self-confident?  Just simply feel better about myself?  What would success look and feel like?

Take my goal of being fluent in Spanish?  I know why I want to speak Spanish.  First, it would definitely help me in my work.  Many (most) of my client (or at least their parents) only speak Spanish.  I have interpreters at my disposal but it would be nice if I didn’t have to use them.  Second, if I ever lose my fabulous job, speaking Spanish would definitely help me get a new job.  Third, we travel and we love to travel off the beaten path.  Speaking Spanish would enable us to go more places and go those places more comfortably.

So there’s only benefits to being fluent in Spanish.  There’s really no downside.

I have the opportunity every single day to learn Spanish.  The interpreters at work are more than happy to help me.  These are ladies that I see every single day and am more than comfortable with.  I know that they’re not going to make fun of me in my first attempts as I learn.

Yet, do I practice with them?  Nope.  Do I speak a word of Spanish – even the words I know?  Nope.  O.k., well, I might squeak out a “Buenos Dias” in the morning and an “Adios” when I leave.  But that’s about it.

Why??????

I’ve got absolutely no idea.  But I’m hoping that someday, I’ll know what its like to realize the success of being fluent in Spanish.  I just don’t know how I’m going to get there.