Tuesday, September 27, 2011

According to Me....

I heard this song the other day and it got me to thinking:

Let's just say it hit a nerve and move on from there.

I was thinking about the old me.  I was fat, lazy, unmotivated, unsuccessful, uninspired, unattractive and unfunny. 

Do you know what has changed?  I am still within the 'obese' category on that Godforsaken BMI Chart.  To what will surely be the shock and dismay of any member of my team who may be reading this (sorry coach) I really would rather nap than exercise.  I have the same job, the same skin, the same hair (basically) and the same sense of humor.   But I am now surrounded by a different group of people.  And these people think I am amazing...and therefore, I am.

If someone would have told me that the biggest change I needed to make was in the company I kept, I would have said that I didn't deserve to be in company better than I was. And, truly, there was nothing WRONG with, well, MOST of the company I was keeping....select few liked to tell me how worthless I was, and by believing it, I became it, and that's probably what I projected even to those who didn't build their own self esteem on the broken pieces of mine.

I thank God on a daily basis that the negative influences are out of my life.  I'd love to say that I woke up one morning and said 'ENOUGH!' and caused this change myself, but I didn't.  It just sort of happened, but I can and do own the fact that I have embraced and continued the momentum.  Now that I know this self-fulfilling circle of  "you think I suck I think I suck you think I'm great I think I'm great", you can bet your bippy that I am surrounding myself with people who see the good in me rather than only the bad.

I'm not saying that we have to entirely base our self-worth on other people's opinions of ourselves, but trying to develop it in the presence of negative people is about like trying to build a skyscraper, on a foundation of toothpicks, in the middle of a hurricane. It's freaking hard.

If you're reading this, I probably know you personally.  And according to me, you are awesome.  Don't argue with me, you will not win.  So if you have someone in your life who makes you feel like you are less than amazing, it is up to you to make that stop.  I can't tell you how to do that (alas my wisdom does have it's limits) but I CAN tell you that if you think you don't deserve any better, you are wrong. 

Think Imma go paint my fingernails purple.  Tootles.

Today's lunch...this awesome veggie bake.  It's a very complicated recipe.  Go to your refrigerator, empty out your veggie drawer, throw away the fuzzy stuff, cut up anything that's left, put it in a casserole dish, drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 350 for an hour.  Add a crapton of mozzarella cheese.  Bake again until melted.  Enjoy with wanton abandon.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Woo Woo

My blog entries usually kind of write themselves, but this one, even though I've felt it fighting to get out for a few days now, is just not coming so easily, so you'll have to pardon me if the flow is off.

The subject feels new to me, though it’s actually recently rediscovered, from a time I have tried to block out of my memory.  Part of why I've been having such a hard time writing about it is because I can't really explain it in terminology outside of some obscure reference, barely amounting to more than personal shorthand from a long-lost relationship.  Almost a private joke.  But in my head, it is simply The Woo Woo.

It isn't entirely made up.  It's in The Skeptic's Dictionary, though I didn't know that until just now.

adj. concerned with emotions, mysticism, or spiritualism; other than rational or scientific; mysterious; new agey. Also n., a person who has mystical or new age beliefs.

So yeah, I guess it’s not so hard to explain if you're the writer of a dictionary.

Of course!  You know...The Woo Woo

I first began to believe in The Woo Woo back in the fall of 2005.  I thought I had found the man I was SUPPOSED to be with.  He felt it too. A pull.  A sense of rightness.  The Woo Woo.  We both said we didn't believe in it, but sho'nuf there it was.  We were new believers in The Woo Woo.

But The Woo Woo failed me.  He decided that the obstacles to us being together were too great and we parted ways.  And I decided if it had really been "right"...if The Woo Woo existed, he would have moved mountains to be with me.  Once you find The Woo Woo you don't give it up!!!  So clearly it didn't exist. 

Death of The Woo Woo.

Over the following years I tried to focus on the practical things in life.  Yes I fell in love again.  And for a long time it was good.  But it was different.  Less magical.  Less like it was "meant to be".  I decided that there was no one right person for anyone.  "Love is a verb" became my mantra.  If I loved enough, it would work.

It didn't

But The Woo Woo wasn't to blame because, after all, it had gone the way of the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.  Blaming The Woo Woo for my failed relationship would have been like blaming the Easter Bunny for the five pounds I gain every spring.

So he left.  And I was crushed and terrified and you already know most of that sad story.

And I was sobbing into my bowl of ice cream and telling my woes to a friend via text message and she told me to pray.

Pray?  Fucking seriously?

I didin't. 

And then my mom died.  And I just didn't know how I was going to deal with anything else going wrong.

And again, my friend told me to pray.

This may have been the phenomenon of 'hitting bottom' that people talk about, because honestly I would have done a rain dance in my bloomers in my office parking lot if someone promised me it would make me feel better.  I was terrified.  Irrational as it was, I was just sure that my life was going to continue to be just a series of personal catastrophes that would eventually end in me losing my son, my job and my mind.

So right there, in my little home office, I got down on my knees.  I folded my hands on top of a little two drawer filing cabinet and I asked God to please, please help me.  I just cried and begged for help.

Asking for help does not come easily to me.  I have caused myself physical harm during times of illness rather than ask for help.  I can be a stubborn pain in the ass.  And here I was begging my Higher Power to do something, anything, because I just couldn't deal on my own any more.

I don't know how long I was on my knees, sobbing.  But I haven't had that feeling of hopeless fear since.  I still had to bury my mom.  I'm still broke.  But I'm more at peace than I have ever been.

To some it may not sound like I have "found God" because I can lump this experience in with The Woo Woo, but it is all part of spirituality and a belief in miracles that eluded me until recently.

Faith in the face of failure is the truest faith of all, or some such rot.

Since that afternoon I have been brought into to a group of people who are encouraging me to become better than I ever thought I could be.  Their faith in me makes me believe I can achieve great things just by being true to myself, by working hard and by believing in myself as much as they do.

Since that afternoon I have found an energy and a drive and an enthusiasm beyond anything I've ever experienced before.  I've gone from believing that I would just coast through the second half of my forties, into my fifties, welcoming old age and all of the mediocrity that I believed came with the second half of life.  Now I know that I have only begun to live how I am supposed to live. 

Woo Woo…don’t fail me now.

Today's lunch:  I suppose I should abandon the "today's lunch" portion of Blog Over Lunch.  Until further notice... Chocolate Shakology. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Biggest Tragedy of My Day Was the Fact That I Couldn't Blog.

Here's what I had planned for today:
  • Observe a moment of silence in memory of those who lost their lives on 9/11/01
  • Master the first workout in the ChaLEAN Extreme series.
  • Mow the yard
  • Give the dogs a bath
  • Write something brilliantly poigiant about 9/11, patriotism and America...later resulting in a Pulitzer prize for...something....and rendering my day job strictly optional.

Yeah...we make plans and God laughs.

First I slept through the moment of silence. 

When I finally got up, this beautiful, ridiculously well built woman named Chalene Johnson pretty much beat the snot out of me through my TV. 

I cried a little. 

I texted my coach and, bless her heart, was talked back into my big girl panties.

Yes I mowed the yard.  One thing went right.

Then the power went out.

So I weeded a little, I visited my neighbors, I gave the dogs a bath in the kitchen sink since it was pitch dark in both bathrooms. 

I realized my dogs are too big to bathe in the kitchen sink.  

I cleaned up.

Then I spent a good deal of time in my car, with my phone charging up, trying to catch up on text messages, phone calls and, of course Facebook.

I realized I could never be Amish.

And now it's almost bedtime, because I'm a wuss, and my Pulitzer will have to wait because, frankly, I'm whooped.  It must have been all that time sitting on the lawnmower that wore me out.  Right?

But I feel like I've been neglecting Blog Over Lunch.  I've written so little lately.  And I really do have a deep love of my country and feelings about that beautiful and horrible September day which would be difficult to put into words in my best form.  And, Sugar, today I am not in my best form.

So I dug out something ten years old.  I was 35 and it was the first thing I had written since my legendary article on the Student Council race of 1982 in my High School paper.  It won't win me a Pulitzer but it was from the heart, and it still is.

And it is not lost on me that the biggest tragedy of my day was the fact that I couldn't blog. 

         The Change

I don’t complain any more about what I can’t have
I feel now that I have more than I deserve,
and so much more than many.

I don’t wonder anymore how others think of me
I know that my family loves me
And we’re together, and I’m grateful

I don’t think anymore about wrongs that have been done to me
I know now that it doesn’t really mater anymore
We’re all in this same terrifying boat.

I’m afraid I’ll never again look up at the sky and see an airplane
And wish I was on it, going to some exotic destination
I’ll see a missile, and potential disaster.
And I’m grateful that I AM....wherever I am.

I’ll never again mentally go over my grocery list
Or move my lips and not sing along
During the National Anthem

I may never again hear “God Bless America” and not shed a tear
Of pride and of sorrow
And hear the words, as I never did “before”

I don’t worry anymore how my son will do in school
Or if he’s learning the rules
For now I just try to explain all this insanity
And in the end hope he doesn’t really understand
the horror of it all
And I hold him just a little closer than I did “before”

And I may never again think in terms of years or months
Of then and now
But always in terms of “before 9/11” and “after 9/11”

I will never again see a fireman
And not want to weep
And hear the word Hero echo in my thoughts

But no matter what I think, see, hear
No matter what I’m afraid of and what I’m grateful for
I may never be as proud to be an American
As I am today.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Come Shake it Up With me

A couple of weeks ago I went to a graduation party for my dear, sweet Goddaughter Jenna.  I knew a few people, because I've known her mother, Teresa, forever.  We met in business school, shared an apartment for a year and were in each other's weddings.  Our children played together.  We have supported each other through highs and lows and watched each other's babies grow.  She is as close to a sister as I will ever have.

But the tasks of raising children and developing careers have kept us at arm's length for the past couple of years.  We have run recently in more separate circles and while I knew her other closest friends at the party, the ones who also flank her in her wedding pictures, I still felt a bit uncomfortable and out of place and, of course, fat and ugly.

In walks this woman.  She's tiny but she brings with her an enormous energy that reverberates through the room.  And my first thought...she looks like a yoga instructor.

I had no idea who she was, but as I sat alone in a chair she wandered through the living room looking a little lost.  I asked if she was looking for the bathroom and she said she was hoping to find Teresa for a tour.

Knowing my friend was at her wit's end trying to greet guests and keep everyone happy, I offered to walk her through and show off Teresa's beautiful new home.

I don't know how I've known Teresa for nearly 30 years and never crossed paths with Tina.  Apparently she went to the same business school as Teresa and I attended, but I don't remember her.  And, sure enough, she's a yoga instructor.  She has a bright smile, tan skin and the body of a 20 year old.  And I like her in spite of all of this.

Near the end of the party a bunch of us vowed to get together for a girl's night out.  She friended me on Facebook.  And this past weekend I had the pleasure of sharing a meal and some drinks with a group of wonderful women.

Tina and I swapped phone numbers, and we talked for about an hour yesterday.  Along with her yoga job she is also a BeachBody coach.  We talked about my fitness goals, what I'm doing now (not much), what I'm about to start doing (back to the gym twice a week, walking now that it's cooler out).  My issues (tendonitis, arthritis, high cholesterol).  We talked about networking, and about me becoming a BeachBody coach.  What she knew of me made her think I would be successful.  What she learned of me in that hour further convinced her.

She sent me some informaiton, I sent her the link to this very same little ditty you're reading from now.  I started thinking about either trying the system or jumping in full tilt and being a coach, but I wasn't sold.

I grabbed my keys and went to the mall.

Any blogger will tell you it is difficult to write from the heart without over-sharing one's personal life.  I've avoided writing about my current situation for just this reason but it's part of this story so here goes...I'm in love.  Again.  Yeah, I know...best case scenerio=death and all.

There was this boy, my first real love.  I was 15, he was 17.  He broke my heart. We're giving it another shot. One minor hurdle...he lives 1300 miles away.

So I'm taking a trip the end of the this month.  And I went to the mall to buy something pretty to sleep in while I stay with him and his daughter.  Something cute so nobody runs away screaming as I search blindly for coffee in the morning.  I wasn't dilusional enough to envision myself in anything sexy...but pretty would have been nice.

But the thing is, as much as I am still that 15 year old girl in my head...the dressing room mirror is a mean, hateful bitch.

I came home with a pair of cotton sleep pants and a strong sense that someone was trying to tell me "Hey dumbas....listen to Tina"

So in the very near future I will be starting, with the help of my new, dear friend and coach Tina Gonzales, a journey to become fit and healthy and help others to do the same.  I'm hoping that my success will make me a walking infomerical for the Beach Body line and for Shakeology.  Some may want to wait and see if I succeed before diving in and that's fine, but I invite you all to take this journey with me if you dare.  There will be details in the near future.

Come shake it up with me....