Judgements

I did not go to work today because I had a nasty “stomach” and… well… let’s just leave it there.

After calling in sick, I went back to bed for a while, then made some phone calls (will the phone calls never end), then took another nap. By this time, I was feeling well enough to trot the dog around the block. And then I decided to “enter the studio.”

Career Day

Last week I took a couple hours off to go give a talk “as an artist” to Walker Middle School (6th-8th graders). Frankly, I don’t know what I was thinking. Is there a harder age? I created a PowerPoint (Decoding the Arts) and brought a box of paper and various mark-making equipment. I figured if the talk failed, I’d just throw art stuff at them.

All things considered, it did not go badly. I WILDLY overestimated the time before they started squirming (I had 50 minutes, I planned a 30 minute talk; 20 minutes would have been optimistic). But the part about “Black Panther” went well and the kids that were inclined to do so enjoyed the various supplies.

Watercolor

However, I was scolded once. I was trying to explain to the kids that one of the key requirements of being an artist is being brave, taking chances, and also accepting criticism (not that I’m an expert). I showed them a bad painting of mine as an example and the kids started to giggle. The teacher came over with a sign. “In this classroom,” she rebuked me gently, “we don’t put down our own art.”

Point taken.

It was an interesting day, but it had the effect of TRASHING my studio. So, I entered and started to put away the piles.

Studio Archeology

Eventually, under the mountains and forests of my studio tables, I was able to find work in progress.

I left off at an attempt to start the 50 bird paintings I must completed if I am selected for the Community Supported Arts & Culture program that I applied for. In December, I prepared for this job by purchasing a couple of packs of mats and envelopes; now I need to fill them.

I’ve started with these.

I was tempted to tackle some larger projects, but 50 bird paintings is a daunting task. So instead of actually working on that, I worked on finishing some of the smaller pieces that were on the lowest level of the archeological dig that is my studio.

As you can see, I had a little too much fun with the turquoise acrylic (I’m not sorry). Because I have trouble wasting paint, I ended up applying another layer (another…) to this painting.

One of these days I will figure out what to do with that thing.

Cherry Blossom Festival

Above an around all these activities, I have spent serious time working on the Artist in Action (AiA) Cherry Blossom Festival events, which I am heading up this year.

The first event is called Parasol Parade. Essentially, artists sign out a rice paper parasol, decorate it, then give it to a business to display for a month to promise the Cherry Blossom Festival which happens in mid March.

This year, AiA added a poster contest. This was my idea. I thought a show would be easier to arrange than having dozens of artists deliver parasols. I thought (and think) that if this is successful, the parasol project might be terminated.

I was working on organizing all this, just getting to the real details, when Mom got sick and then died. By the time I was functioning again, there just wasn’t enough time to make all my visions into reality. And this is the week when all that is being sorted out.

A version of this always seems to happen to me. I have a vision, I do lots of organization work to make it happen, and then on the actual “day of”, I fall to pieces. People don’t read directions. They don’t do what you ask. They don’t volunteer. They have their own ideas. And I end up flustered and agitated.

This pattern has happened… well, all my life. In school I would do all the work for the group project and then at the last minute, everyone else had an idea. When I was running Pawsitively Clean, customers and employees would trample over my carefully laid plans. Dog shows and art events inevitably end up with me strung out and hysterical.

So as I was patiently (I hope) listening to an artist explain why the plan for that piece wouldn’t work, a thought flitted through my mind.

“Maybe I’m just bad at this.”

And then a feeling of relief swept over me.

If I am bad at this, I can stop doing it.

I tried to explain this epiphany to a friend, but she said, “Oh, Tara, you’re a terrific organizer. You just get frustrated with people.”

People. That’s the problem. Or…

“Maybe I’m just bad at this.”

I asked a different friend and she mulled it over. “I don’t think you should put it into terms of good and bad. You just can’t be successful in this role.”

I love that friend.

My mantra (interior as well as exterior) for volunteering to chair events (I’ll still work, I just don’t want to run anything) needs to be, “I’m not successful in that role.”

Finally… judgement

This theme of judgement is one I am struggling with right now. Mom was my great sounding board. I would run most things by her to make sure they seemed sound. Without her, I find myself struggling to come up with how to shape the boundaries of the world around me.

It isn’t that I don’t trust myself to be smart or to make good decisions. I’m finding it hard to know how to feel about things. Like evaluating my own art, there is a fine line between realism and harshness. There is a place for unwavering support, but there is also a spot where I need to put down the mantle of things that I don’t do well.

While I’m not done grieving, I’m starting to feel like moving forward is a good thing. What I’m discovering is that story telling is different than it used to be. I can’t tell this story to my mom, so how do I want to tell this story to myself?

That’s a big lift.

Hold your applause

I want to show you my accomplishment over the last three days.

I know. You just gasped in shock and amazement. Your heart filled with envy. I am sure you wish for a corner for your very own.

Yeah.

What’s exciting about this corner is that it does not have three boxes of paperwork left over from Mom (as well as a computer in need of decommissioning.) Instead, those three boxes have been filed in my filing cabinet (along with my stuff), shredded, or generally tossed out.

And that took me the better part of three days (plus the last two months).

Through a flex plan at my job, I get every other Friday off. I like to use this day to run errands, go to the doctor, and other little tasks. The theory is that it leaves my real weekends free to do other things.

As a theory, it’s a good one. The flaw is that Friday goes according to plan, then I spend Saturday and Sunday cleaning up the mess of what didn’t get done, or got started but not finished, on Friday.

Here is what Friday looked like (I’ll admit I lost track around 2pm).

  • Trim Key’s nails
  • Walk
  • Unload car from art talk on Thursday
  • Take back cans for deposit
  • Laundry (3 loads)
  • Fill up bird feeders
  • Fill up little free library
  • Unload dishwasher
  • Unload items in my studio from art talk on Thursday
  • Clean counters
  • Call NW Natural (Mom’s estate)
  • Call Point Pest Control
  • Call Medicare (Mom’s estate)
  • Get art from River Gallery
  • Lunch
  • Library
  • File (includes shredding and labels) (repeat…)
  • Email (repeat…)
  • Artists in Action parasols (emails)
  • WSO (emails)
  • Balance checkbook
  • Pay bills (repeat…)

I was still working on various things on my to do list at 10pm when I decided to go to bed.

The next day, I took Key to a nose work trial (he got his Level 1 Exterior and Level 1 Vehicle titles!) When I came back, I did more filing and paying bills.

And then today, I volunteered at the nose work trial. And when I came back, I got groceries, took out the trash, did another load of laundry, and did more filing and emailing and finally got the last of the boxes gone.

Doesn’t that corner look FABULOUS?

Yeah, I think so too.

Progress Report

I’m tempted to start off this blog post with an apology for the length of time since my last post, but I’m afraid I can’t really be sorry. So much is going on that any day I get dressed is a small victory. I am making progress on various areas of life, but I’m afraid that much of it is just too tiring to talk about.

Tonight’s post is just to break the “radio silence” and give an update about various things. I have some photos to make it more interesting.

Key

Last weekend, Key got his NW2 title. He was wonderful, but his handler was more than a little scattered. Still, a title is a title!

This weekend I chose to putter around the house because we have several big weeks coming up, including two nose work weekends. Key is delighted to report that puttering included an exploratory hike in Silver Falls State Park which was covered in snow.

Snow?

Yes, my friend.

Art

I’m not sure I ever reported that my art is in the Wild Women Show currently happening (for another week) at the River Gallery in Independence.

I’m equally unsure if I reported that my piece, “Page 1”, is hanging in the Salem Reads show at the Salem Library.

As far as upcoming news, however, I am delighted to report that my painting, “Loss”, was selected for the Spring WSO show.

I’m looking forward to the Portland convention that will accompany it. #traveloregon

I also have some deadlines coming up that I hope to make, so things are going apace.

Birding

I’ve been doing some birding. Here are some pictures from the last month to prove it.

Grief

Mom’s estate is in probate (it’s just me, so it’s really a formality). Occasionally something comes up and I have to do another round of notifications, but things are definitely slowing down. I’ve met with the lawyers, the money people, and the CPA. In less than two months I’ll do her memorial, which will be another little rite of passage.

People ask how I am doing. I think it’s best to answer this question in the form of a graph.

How sad I feel on any given day.

Generally, I am getting less sad. I miss Mom. I find I miss her advice and the ability to bounce ideas off her. I miss filing away little stories to tell her about my day. I’m slowly finding ways to deal with this. My resilience to stress if very low, which is a problem; something happens and it will take me much longer than normal to get over it. I think that will return, but it will just take time.

Thank you all for your support!

Disheartened & overwhelmed

Through the process of Mom dying, I rarely got stuck. When I started thinking, “I can’t do this,” my inner voice would say helpful things like, “Just make the next phone call”, “Take a minute to breathe”, or “You don’t have to fix this, you just have to be here.”

Over the last month, I’ve gone through some of the grief stages I know I must go through. I spent the first two weeks in a tired fog, and when I came out of that, it has been to the acknowledgement that this is going to be a very long process (practically and emotionally) and I’m just going to have to deal with that.

Frankly, there has been a lot of procrastination. Whenever it felt like too much, trying to take on the next form or sort through another website, I pulled a Scarlett O’Hara.

It’s been pretty effective. In the last month, I’ve  accomplished a lot. Probate started, insurance claims filed, banks contacted. But Mom’s house has been the “big thing” that I  have been dreading facing.

From the beginning, I knew that I wasn’t going to make a decision about the house (whether to keep it or sell it) for at least a year. (To recap, Mom’s house is at the Oregon Coast. Mom and Dad bought the lot before they had me, built it from scratch with their parent’s help, and I’ve been in and out of it all my life. While I was growing up, we’d go down there about once a month for a little break, and Mom and Dad retired there in about 2004. It’s been extensively remodeled and is well set up for retirement, being a single-story home with two handicap-accessible bathroom.) My original, long-term plan was to retire down there, but that was when I expected Mom to live until at least 2030.  Right now, my best guess for my own retirement is 2035 (and that’s an early retirement.) I don’t know if I want to “carry” the house for another 16 years.

Regardless of my eventual decision, the house needs to be cleaned out. Perishable food is really all that has been addressed. You can imagine the other details.

A few weeks ago, I sat down and with Marie Kondo‘s help, drew up a plan for tackling Mom’s house.

And then… well… I procrastinated. I had “too much to do” or “was too tired”. Or had to pet the dog. (Note to self: Now, look, it’s only been a month, and you know it. You get a break whenever you want.) At heart, I didn’t want to go down to the beach and do what had to be done. I knew I’d go down and work myself until I was sore and tired. I’d get emotional. I’d forget to eat and then have low blood sugar problems. Then I’d come back and have to to back to work on Monday and be reasonably professional.

Finally, I asked a friend (the amazing Gretchen) to come down with me and help me by saying things like, “Have you eaten?” and, “Let’s take a break.”  So, Friday I picked up Gretchen and we took off. The plan was to stop by Baskett Slough before heading down to the beach. Once there, we’d go for a walk with the dog and then start on the two tasks, per Marie Kondo.

The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.

Gretchen, Key (the dog), and I got down and did our walks, and then we hit it. I set Gretchen the task of rounding up clothes and books, then I started on bagging up Mom’s clothes. Gretchen kicked butt. It turned out that Mom’s clothes were very well organized and essentially in one room of the house. The books were scattered around, but easy enough to identify and bring to the designated area. It was hard, but in the end it wasn’t difficult to get rid of things when they don’t fit and are not your style.  They needed to go out into the world.

By the end of Saturday, Gretchen and I had loaded up the car twice to go to the thrift shop. I had given all baking items (including ingredients) to the next door neighbor and Mom’s friend Nancy had been excited about the Keurig. A total of twenty-five 30 gallon bags had been removed (in addition to the 10 bags that had been removed at my house.)

And I was nearly hysterical over the mountain photographs and memorabilia.

As Gretchen had been scoping around, she kept saying things like, “Do you want this photo album, too?” or “Gosh, this trunk is filled with genealogy papers…” And I kept saying, “Yeah, bring them out and put them on the bookshelf. That’s where I’m keeping the sentimental stuff for the last stage.”  Gretchen kept finding photo albums, Aunt Carol’s genealogy stuff, Grandma Eunice’s diaries, and Great Grandma’s family Bible.

What am I going to do? I am an only child. I will not have children. My mom had a sister, Aunt Carol. She had two children. While both my cousins have gotten married, neither has had any biological children. Aunt Carol was very into genealogy and over the years amassed a huge collection of material about both her family and her husbands. Neither of my cousins have shown any interest in it. My dad had a brother. Uncle Darrel had two children, and both of them have had children. However, they have always said they aren’t interested in any of the older photos and memorabilia that has been kept around.

In short, for whatever reason, I am now the owner of a huge collection of historical items that I have neither the time or interest in cataloging.

I can’t do this. I am just completely stopped. I can’t figure out the next stage for that pile.

Technically, the next stage in KonMari is Lesson 3: Papers. Mom was excellent at accumulating and keeping papers, so that’s going to be a very big task. I may cheat and do the easier (for me) kitchen lesson. Items like these photographs are Lesson 5; in other words, the end. The theory is that with everything else straightened up, you’ll know and understand what you really feel about things.

But still, that mountain awaits. And it’s really discouraging.

Five lessons from a Little Free Library

As I approach the anniversary for my Little Free Library (LFL), I have been pondering a few things I’ve learned from the experience.

1. Enjoy your surroundings

On the advice of LFL, I created a Facebook page to go with my LFL. It’s my understanding that these kinds of FB accounts are better received if they post occasional updates. I have incorporated the idea of “Shelfie Saturday/Sunday” (going out and taking a picture of the shelves on either Saturday or Sunday). I occasionally make a recommendation based on my own reading. Once in a while I post a funny “pro-reading” cartoon.
And I post pictures of happenings in my yard or around the neighborhood.

This has made me more aware of what is happening in my little segment of the world. I’ve posted pretty flowers, interesting skies, and children’s chalk art. Berries, birds, and books. Vistors, vegetables, and vines.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy coming across a pretty little site on walks around the neighborhood and snapping a quick pic on my phone to post later.

Many times over the last year I have seen families  come down the sidewalk, mom, dad, stroller, dog, and kids. They selected several items and I had a nice chat. I was so happy “my” Little Free Library was a local family stop. Since adding a geocache to the library, new people come around and a few minutes later I’ll get a nice little email with a complement about the library.

2. What is value?

Books are an odd thing in terms of value. To a bibliophile, there is little more precious than a good book. However, the surest way to put me in a foul mood is to recommend of a bad book. The value of the reading experience of any given book clearly outstrips the retail price of the item, whether for good or ill.

Then there is the retail price. Books are a physical item with a price. But all you need to see to question that is to go into a used bookstore and see copy after copy of “Twilight” or “50 Shades of Gray” to ponder the issue of value versus price.

And then, regardless of value, I am giving books away. What does value mean? What else am I holding onto as “valuable” that ultimately is just an object.

3. Ponder social justice

There is something inherently odd about the idea of putting out an item for others (who you may not even know) to take. The first time I acknowledges this was when I took out a book I had really enjoyed (The Spellman Files), that I had kept for several years, but felt I did not need to keep any longer. I put the book on top of a pile of lesser books to take out and paused. I didn’t want the book to go. But I didn’t want it to stay either. As I thought about it, I realized I wanted it to go to a “good home” and my reluctance had more to do with not being able to choose the home than about releasing the book itself.

I still grapple with this idea. I try to focus on the books getting to good homes, not the books being sold to support a drug habit or a homeless person’s hoarding. And even in those cases, it’s only my ideas about what people “deserve” that makes me feel bad.

There is an entire system behind the individual choices we make. LFLies are the tiniest DROP in an attempt to make that system better.

Some people add a “community box” to their library, where people can deposit food or other needed items. I am thinking about adding one soon.

It’s still hard to see the books disappear.  Before I got a stamp for my LFL, one day I took out a batch of my personal books that I was ready to release. The next day, all of them were gone. Someone had come along and taken all the “trade paperbacks” and newer books, the kind that sell pretty easily at the local bookstore. I ordered a stamp, but I still mourn that none of my neighbors got to read “The Hidden Lives of Owls.”

4. Let go of your expectations

I’ve always wanted a LFL, but I really didn’t know what to expect. I just loved the idea. Books going to people and neighbors and children. I quickly learned that you can’t count on what will happen with your “customers.” As I mentioned before, my library has been cleaned out several times. I never expected adults to use it, but I have a gentleman who comes over a couple of times a week and carefully selects a book, but only a certain kind. I’ve had to start shopping Westerns just for him.

My proudest moment was when a neighbor told me that her grandson finished his first book ever on his own, and it was a LFL book. My most confused was when I went out one morning to find the little metal owl I had affixed to the post had been ripped off, the jagged remnants mournfully poking out.

5. Embrace the new

From the first moment, book turnover in my LFL has been good, but periodically things just started sitting there. After a few weeks of no movement, I’ll swap books with another nearby LFL or my inside stash and things began to “sell” again. From the beginning I’ve tried to keep children’s book in stock, but there are weeks when nobody touches them and it’s all about the adult books. Then I’ll get a few new items and suddenly there is a run on board books.

Here’s to another year of “Books on Breys: Little Free Library Charter #67289.”

Please, be halfway through

This weekend marked the third Women’s March, and (hopefully) the half way point in the worst American Presidency in recent memory.

The highlights? Frankly, it’s hard to know where to start. Insensitive and tone-deaf statements and actions? Corruption allegations that turn out to be startlingly true? The systematic dismantling of a budding environmental conservation hope? A government that is 1/4 shut down for the longest period in history.

History, folks. The American government may “only” be 243 years old, but it’s still a grim statistic.

There are some bright spots on the horizon. In the “mid term elections”, Congress became noticeably more diverse, particularly on the Democratic side. And… well, so far there haven’t been any nuclear incidents, but I’m not holding my breath.

Due to digestive issues, I did not attend the Women’s March on Saturday. But I feel it’s necessary to restate my objections (see above) and my action plan (see below.)

Action Plan

  1. Ignore the Trump PersonaMr. Trump and his team have lead a world-class, Machiavelli-worthy press scheme that keeps the media focused on the trivial. I’m not going to engage anymore.
  2. Take it down to its rootsWhen something posts with an abuse, don’t engage it as a problem with Mr. Trump. Look at the reason it can happen and engage with that.
  3. A Marathon (Not a Sprint)Baring incident, we will have four years two more years of this. 1448 days 731 day and counting. In addition, we can look forward to whatever the national election has in store for us starting (probably) in just a couple of years (if not sooner) now.
  4. VolunteerVolunteer early and often.
  5. The funnier sideAmong the more important things, I believe, will be to find the funnier side of this situation. Bring it to the surface.

I’ll sign off with this thought, originally posted just under two years ago.

I, Donald J. Trump, am exhausting. It has been 11 days, Stephen. 11 [expletive] days. Eleven. The presidency is supposed to age the president, not the public.

The reason that I, Donald J. Trump, am exhausting is that every instinct and fiber of my pathological self-regard calls me to abuse of power. I want — no, deserve — not just your respect but your adoration. Parades with the tanks and the synchronized dancing, and why can’t they train 10,000 doves to spell out “Trump” in the clouds? How hard can it be? They’re already flying.

I, Donald J. Trump, am exhausting because it is going to take relentless stamina, vigilance and every institutional check and balance this great country can muster to keep me, Donald J. Trump, from going full Palpatine, with the lightning coming out of the fingertips and “fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate.”

We have never faced this before. Purposeful, vindictive chaos. But perhaps therein lies the saving grace of my, Donald J. Trump’s, presidency.

No one action will be adequate. All actions will be necessary. And if we do not allow Donald Trump to exhaust our fight and somehow come through this presidency calamity-less and constitutionally partially intact, then I, Donald J. Trump, will have demonstrated the greatness of America. Just not the way I thought I was gonna.

 

Out of the fog

The last few days, I have been noticing that I feel a little clearer. Concentrating seems a little easier. I feel less raw and emotional.

Of course, this isn’t to say I don’t feel emotions. I am still tired (as an emotion), but it’s getting better. It seems to be replaced with irritation or anger. I’m not sure it’s an improvement.

It’s been the better part of three weeks since Mom died. And just over two months since “the diagnosis”. Time marches on.

I’ve made good headway on working her estate.

  • Notified banks
  • Notified life insurance
  • Gone through bills
  • Identified and called medical/prescription issues
  • Changed and cancelled auto-pay items (except for house)
  • Identified a CPA (done early in process)
  • Meet with estate lawyers (today) to start probate

As for the physical side of her stuff, Mom has essentially been moved out of the Salem house, though there is the beach house to address. Sigh.

I had intended to go to the beach this weekend, but it’s just too busy, so it’s on the schedule for next week.

I recently read Marie Kondo’s book, and I’ve decided to try to use it (heaven help me) to go through this process. My goal is to sort all my stuff, Mom’s stuff, and my various grandparent stuff (4 in all) into one house of things that I love and value. It won’t happen overnight, but I’m trying to take steps so that over the course of the next year, I can achieve my goal.

2019 promises to be hard. The trick is to keep things as simple as possible (yes, I hear you laughing along with me). But maybe by 2020, I’ll know where I’m headed.

Healthy Steps – 4.39

Because I don’t push my “healthy steps” set of blogs out to Facebook, my sense is that this set of blogs is mostly my own. That’s okay. It’s really just my log to try to keep myself motivated and accountable.

Wednesday, at check in, I had gained .2 lbs. There are several reasons that is a big victory.

I took a fall on Monday and I was on painkillers (known water retention) and stiff and sore (known water retention). So, that gain felt like a win because it was so small.

Since then, I feel like I have been making strides toward getting back on track. My work desk is no longer filled with candy, the house is out of ice cream, and I’m generally getting back to eating “normally” which is to say not staggering around eating whatever I want.

I sat down this evening with the solid intention of recording all that, but I also had been thinking a lot about time.

I’ve been (continuously) on Weight Watchers now for almost 5 years. April 21 will be that big anniversary. With my weight and history, I have accepted that WW is just going to be part of my life now.

So this week, I changed my “numbering system” of these posts so I could keep track of years and weeks. I could have just said “247 weeks”, but it feels hard to remember when a year hits.

I’m not sure that this is a stellar plan because immediately I have started to worry about “how much time has passed.” But here’s the deal.

This has been the ONLY 5-year period in my life, since I was 13, when I did not GAIN weight.

So, that’s enough for me to keep trying. I know it’s hard, but it’s also important.

My goals:

  • Eating my prepared food
  • Hit 10,000, taking at least one break/lunch walk
  • Tracking breakfast and lunch
  • 2 Frappuccino per day

I actually toyed a little with the idea of increasing them, but I’ll see what I can do about nailing them before adding more.

WW makes a big deal about knowing your “Why”. There are a lot of reasons I am still working on this. But here’s one from a few years ago that still touches me.

Not so in order

I have a habit of writing emails and posts  that contain numbered lists. Occasionally, I find this a little obnoxious, but there is something extremely comforting about a list.  I had 18 things I wanted to accomplish this weekend. At the same time, I’m having trouble remembering how doors work.

Friday

Friday was day two of the replacement of one side of the backyard fence. For once, I stumbled across a contractor who kicked rump! He started on Thursday and was done by end of day on Friday! Wow. Should I b buy a lottery ticket?

As though to prevent too much good feeling, Friday night I had to hurry over and pick up Mom’s ashes and her death certificates. While the ashes are, essentially, just sentimental, not too much can happen without the death certificates.

On my way home, I stopped at Minto Brown with Key and enjoyed the evening light.

Saturday

Both Saturday and Sunday the highlight was pretty much walking the dog. I took my camera out and got these photos.

These things happened too.

  • Deep water exercise class
  • Laundry
  • Took dog for walk
  • Paperwork for Mom’s estate
  • Little Free Library restock
  • Reseed grass seed around NEW fence
  • Worked in studio

Sunday

Though I  had the best of intentions for art, the day went very similarly to Saturday.

  • Groceries
  • Food prep
  • Laundry
  • Paperwork for Mom’s estate
  • Go to the library
  • Took dog for walk
  • Go to church
  • Worked in studio

But even though I tried to hit the deadline, I missed entering the NWWS show by 75 minutes (I thought I  had until 8pm, but it was 6pm). This is what I would have entered…

Page 1

Loss

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

On the bright side, I did manage to enter the Wild Women show (don’t know if I got in) and I finished my application for Community Supported Art.

This week I’ll continue to work on the things I didn’t get done.

  • Vacuum
  • Mom’s estate (target insurance)
  • Haircut and pedicure
  • Entering the Coos show
  • Entering the WSO show
  • Play in studio

This coming weekend is a 4-day weekend and my original idea was to head to the beach to work on the beach house. But I have to meet with the lawyers on Friday, Saturday is critique group and the Women’s March, Sunday is nose work class (Key has some shows coming up), and Monday is an appointment with the therapist, so I’m not sure I’m going to make it. I’d like to start clearing out some things, which I think might help me get closer to figuring out what to do.

But I suspect that it’s just going to wait. As I remind myself daily, there is no hurry to make decisions.

Healthy Steps – Weeks 51 &52

Wednesday (January 9) I checked in at WW. When I did, I realized it was a big day. It has been 1 year (and 4 before that) since I said I was serious about working on a healthier lifestyle.

So… have I done it?

While I am currently on an upswing, I have lost a total of 22.2 lbs this year. At one point, that number was closer to 40, but the point is that I made progress.

A year ago I was saying this:

I am morbidly obese. This last year has shown me that this burden is going to get harder as I age.

  • My feet hurt; I’m still struggling with plantar fasciitis.

  • My knee hurts: I have a torn meniscus.

  • My breathing is not great: I’m recovering from the flu, but also just fat.

  • My back hurts.

  • My hips ache.

With Mom’s death, I am starkly aware of the burdens obesity puts on the body. When I was closer to -40, I have to say most of those had improved a lot. Currently, I can only report that most of these things are better, but not where I want them to be.

So, looking forward to another year, am I willing to keep trying.

Hell, yes.

It’s been 12 days since Mom died, and I can’t promise to really get into this yet, but even over the last week, I’ve made steps. And for this week, I’m going to work on being kind to myself and adding these goals.

  • Eating my prepared food
  • Hit 10,000, taking at least one break/lunch walk
  • Tracking breakfast
  • 2 Frappuccino per day

I started a year ago with these two thoughts.

Indeed. I’m signing up for a few more steps.

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