Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Conflict Resolution

So many things you can't control
So many hurts that happen everyday
So many heartaches that pierce the soul
So much pain that won't ever go away

How do we make it better?
How do we make it through?
What can we do when there's nothing we can do?

Lyrics from one of my favorite songs.  The thing is, sometimes when you're caught in the middle of something that you have no control over, you just get this overwhelming urge to bolt.  At what point do you just say "enough", it's not worth it anymore".?

I used to think that I'd found what I was looking for.  I'd spent the first 18 years of my adult life doing nothing but working, eating, sleeping and raising my daughter.  The "raising my daughter" part wasn't so bad....  the rest of it was pretty freakin' boring.  I would rather sing than do just about anything else on this earth.  So, finally...  I did.

This..... this I did not sign up for..... or did I?  Well yes, I guess I did.  If I close my eyes and focus really hard, I can see the good things happening.  And there really are a lot of good things happening.  Why is it, then, that angry words and petty differences can so easily overshadow the good things?  And I'm supposed to rise above all of this.


The punchline to those song lyrics is ........  "We can be kind."  Sounds so easy. But if it were easy, I wouldn't be in this mess now - would I?   Will kindness help me to overcome this feeling that I'm trapped in a never-ending series of derogatory e-mails and back biting?  Oh wait, that's right. I'm doing this because I love to sing.  Singing.  There has got to be an easier way to just sing.

"We can be kind"..."We can be kind"..."We can be kind"..."We can be kind"........  there has got to be an easier way to just sing ....  I read somewhere recently that the true challenge of Christianity is taking part in organized religion and accepting the challenge to be kind to the person sitting next to you in the pew whose actions and thoughts are diametrically opposed to yours.  This can be extrapolated to cover more than just religious organizations.  These days, I'm finding the church challenge to be much simpler.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Why Write?

So, why do I write?  For the longest time, I haven't really known the answer to this question.  It's not as though I could make a living doing this.  Forget fiction.  I couldn't find a good fiction story with two hands and a map.   I can't just sit down every day and write.  I have to have something that drives me to the keyboard.

Some people like to read what I've written.  Sometimes I look back at what I've written, and I think - why?  But here's the thing.  I write when I need to get something out of me and I don't have the words to express myself verbally - or in some cases, when I have nobody to express them to.

I could have used this blog during the aftermath of 9/11.  I was desperately concerned about someone I knew who'd survived and was working at a contingency location in New Jersey.  I felt helpless.  From Buffalo, NY with no cell phone, tied to my job, there wasn't much I could do.  I chose not to eat and to run excessively(excessively for me, anyway).   I sort of floated around in a dream state for over three months.  I forced Bill into taking me to New York to see her. Having her physical presence in front of me was ultimately what put me back on the track to normal.  I can't help but wonder if writing would have gotten me through that in a more healthy way.

So, now I find myself in a similar predicament.  And I am writing.  And this is how I feel.

I wish I could reverse time for you.  I would take you back to when the biggest issue you faced was challenges on the job.   Why is it that we think that the worst things happen to us at work, until we find out the hard way that this isn't so?

I wish I could have five minutes in a room with those who are hurting you so that I could tell them how foolish and selfish and short-sighted they are.   Sometimes, I grit my teeth so hard that it hurts.

I wish I could give you what you need to ease your pain - whatever that might be.

They say that time heals all wounds.  I wish I could guarantee you time - loads and loads of time.

I wish I could calm your mind, because I know that it is anything but.

What I can offer are my eyes, my ears, my heart and my "pen".  These I give to you 100 percent and wholeheartedly.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Evil Carb

Since approximately the first week of June, I have been on an adventure called "Total Overhaul of my Lifelong Eating Habits".   Based on my track record, the odds of this actually sticking and lasting are at about 15%.  I think I'm being generous with that assessment.   Let's review my diet/exercise history:

Before I begin, remember that my weight since childbirth has ranged from 130 pounds to an all time high of 180.

 - 1998.  My first real diet.  It has no name but consists of a lot of Gogurt and brown rice.  Paired with some breathing routine which proclaims that 10 minutes of violent exhalations are the equivalent of 30 minutes of high impact aerobics, I manage to actually lose 35 pounds.   This lasts approximately 5 months, and my downfall coincides with the new "Mr. Cool" ice cream truck which makes a nightly appearance on our street.

-2001.  I discover running.   By the time 9/11 happens, I am up to 6 miles a week of full-tilt running.  After 9/11, I really plunge into it in an attempt to drive the demons from my brain.  In December 2011, we visited my friend who survived the attack, and I recall her telling me that she needed to hug "what was left of me".  I was down to 140.  A few months later, I suffered what was to be the first of many calf pulls in my left calf.

Between 2002 and 2011, I attempted to become a real runner 3 different times - always ending with my being hobbled at the calf.  From a diet perspective, I tried Atkins, South Beach, the Zone Diet, the Blood Type Diet, Weight Watchers and (briefly) vegetarianism.   In all cases, I was just hungry.  all.   the.  time.    That hunger was the common denominator among all of these diets.  And that hunger, I believe, is why they all failed.

Finally, I have faced my true demons -white flour, white sugar and starches in general.   I read that someone I knew had lost a lot of weight and gotten down to his high school weight on the Ketogenic diet.  This diet embraces "good" fat (nothing manufactured in a test tube) and animal protein.  The makeup is 10% carbs derived from vegetables and fruits,  40% protein, and 50% fats.   Based on various websites,  carbs should be curtailed to 30 - 50 grams daily.  So, I figured - what do I have to lose?

About five days in, I experienced "carb crash".   I was bone tired for almost three days.  Luckily, I did not experience the "South Beach" headache and - unbelievably - was not hungry.  The hunger I did experience was controllable with a few almonds or  cheese curds and was not accompanied by the cold sweats and weakness of past diets.   My carb cravings diminished and the abdominal bloating that I'd been walking around with for most of my life began to go away.

In July, I ventured into running again.  Not full tilt, as in the past, but a gradual build up with run/walk intervals.  So far, so good, and as I type, I have lost 10 pounds.

So what am I still fighting against?  Carb creep - otherwise known as complacency.  So I'm doing great, and eating that hamburger bun won't hurt........right?  I am already dealing with it, particularly on the weekends.  Weekends are so much more unscheduled, and that's when I feel the urge to eat ice cream or sausage buns.    Next weekend, Bill will be gone for 2-3 days, and I am dreading being alone with these cravings.  I must fill the time with something.......

It's hard to believe that I have been taking two different blood pressure pills for years just to keep my BP hovering around 140 over 80.    Eliminating bread, sugar and starches has caused it to drop as low as 111 over 70.   Even when I weighed between 140 -150, I was fighting with my BP.  Who knew?

So, this would all seem to be an incentive, wouldn't it?   An incentive to stay disciplined with my eating plan and my exercise.   History and the odds are not in my favor.  But I feel as though my future depends on it.   One day at a time .....