Personal Growth · Uncategorized

My Break UP With Food

junk food

I have had my fair share of bad relationships.  Relationships based on a sense of need, insecurity, infatuation.  I have struggled with letting go and not believing that I am worth being treated well. Currently, I am in the best relationship of my life.  My husband accepts me with all of my flaws. He loves me in spite of them.  I think he embraces (he will let me if “embrace” is the wrong word choice) them as just part of who I am.  I know that I challenge him especially when some deep hurt bubbles to the surface and snaps at him undeservedly.  I think, for the most part, I am done with unhealthy human relationships.

The relationship that has haunted me for years and is perhaps the most destructive, is my relationship with food.  I have struggled my whole life with my weight.  Since I was 12 years old I have been on diets.  As a small child, I was alone a lot and so food was my friend.  It kept me company. It made me feel safe and comforted.  As a teenager, I rebelled against it.  I stopped eating it and I won, for a little while. At 45, I am just now starting to understand the hold that food has on me.  I get now that my relationship with food is about habits.  I have taught myself that any emotion can be shoved down by food at least for a little while.  I go to it like a baby who needs a cuddle with his mama and I have been doing that for 30+ years.

So next week, my husband and I are going to start the Whole 30 program which is supposed to change your relationship with food, rewire your thinking about food, reset your metabolism etc. That is, if you can do it.  Now I know my husband can because he has amazing will power.  I am the weakest link here.  I have ruined many diets for him.  He is probably only over weight because he is married to me.  I am a terrible influence.  This program (not referred to as a diet) requires preparation both mentally and physically.  You have to clean out your cupboards and your refrigerator.  You have to get ready to change your eating habits. You have to want to make a change.

I am putting a lot of hope and faith into this one because the thing is, I don’t want to be skinny.  I want to be healthy. I want to feel good. My son is about to finish high school and my part two is about to start.  I want to get the most out of it.  The creators of the program say that you should make the commitment to this program and then tell people about it.  So here’s to making a change, being mindful about what I eat and when, and finding some peace as I end this unhealthy relationship. I will keep you posted on how it’s going.

Uncategorized

My Father Never Read to Me

u11649841When I think back to days as a child I can fondly remember sitting on my dad’s lap, my head on his chest, trying to match my breathing to his and listening to the vibration of his deep voice when he spoke.  There was no safer place.  I remember sawing down Christmas trees, setting up camping tents, working in the yard, learning how to shine shoes, and watching him shave. But there are no memories of him reading to me at bedtime or any other time for that matter.

There are snap shots and snip its here and there like small flashes where a flood of emotion grabs me by the arm and then lets go all too quickly. It’s like a little shot of nostalgia and when it goes away I find myself thinking come back, give me more, another hit please– like an addict jonesing for a memory.

All of my favorite memories are now boiled down into this tiny pot. I can scoop them out when I need to and drink them in but they don’t last long.  And when I am done, I am always hungry for more.  But my bank of stored moments gets smaller each year that he is gone and I find myself trying to scrape up tiny bits and crumbs of sound and smell wherever I can.  If I could just hear his voice, smell the scent of his cologne, I could take it in and hold on to it for another ten years.

There is a giant crater gaping wide within my heart.  My father never read to me and I don’t know that I ever cared  until this moment when I desperately wish I could hear his voice, wish that I had a bigger tub of memories to sink into and bathe myself in.

creative writing · inspiration · Uncategorized

A Mother’s Love

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My son will be 17 soon.  I am completely confused by the passing of time in relation to his life.  It seems as though something strange occurred between the day he was born and this present moment.  I find myself fighting back tears whenever I stop to realize that he will soon be considered an adult, that he will leave my home and create his own, that he will become a man and do the things that men do.  Although I was here for it, I feel like somehow I missed it.  I thought I was paying attention but if I had been truly paying attention, how could it feel like a surprise?  No one tells you at the moment you bring that little person into the world, that you should not blink, you should not sleep, because in a minute, it will all be done.  It will feel as if your mothering is over when of course a mother’s work is never finished but it will feel like that.  My heart is full of so much for this person who at this moment in time really wants nothing to do with me, as teenagers are known to do.  It is the ultimate practice in letting go and holding on at the same time.  It is a dance in which a mother’s toes will ultimately come out bruised. It has been my great honor and privilege to guide this little boy to manhood and in secret I will forever mourn this bitter sweet passage of time.  At the same time, I am eternally grateful for the gift of a love that has filled my heart and soul beyond belief.

One of my dearest friends and biggest fans will read this post.  She is due to give birth to her first child any day now.  I know that her pregnancy has brought forth some intense memories and big emotions for me.  It has inspired me to reflect and to write, to cry and feel overjoyed for the simple fact that she is about to meet the love of her life and there are no words to express how her life will be changed.

creative writing · inspiration · Personal Growth · transition · Uncategorized

Keep On Dreaming If You Can…

New Dreaming Tree Banner (Text)

When I started this blog it was March and my spring break had begun.  I had loads of time.  I was feeling inspired and free and creative.  It lasted for one week and then reality hit me like a ton of bricks.  Back to school and the end of blogging.  I did not plan it that way but as soon as I set foot back in my classroom, my blogging days were over.  I thought about it all the time but just could not get myself to do it.  The inspiration had left my body completely.  Now here I am again.  It is summer break and I am feeling almost inspired enough to write.  However, I feel that the reason for starting my blog and the reason for continuing my blog, are no longer the same.

When I started this blog, it was because I had this plan for my future.  My mobile shop was brewing in my mind.  I was excited about it.  I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  I wanted to do this thing so badly.  The blog was going to be the place where I could talk about it and plan for it. The blog was going to make it feel real. Again, Mr. Reality pops up and stomps on my dreams. I hate that guy!  I soon realized that while this was a great long term plan, it was definitely a far off dream.  Financially, this is not in my near future.  Now the challenge for me is holding on to my hope and staying committed to my dream.  I don’t do that very well.  It is much easier for me to talk myself out of things.  I would like not to do that this time.  We will see how long I can hold on to it.

So, in the meantime, I am interested in continuing to blog.  I enjoy this process.  It gives me some purpose.  It allows me to be creative.  The question is do I have anything interesting to say?  I guess we will find out…

 

career change · creative writing · entrepreneur · Personal Growth · transition · Uncategorized

Experimenting With Time

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If I had only known when I was 20 that I would soon be 44, I mean that is how it seemed to happen, in the blink of an eye.  I think I would have lived life with a greater sense of urgency.  I am now a mom, a wife, a teacher, a friend and sometimes a creative soul.  But all of a sudden it is like every second counts because in another five minutes, I will be 60 and then 80 and then….So I am at a crossroads with no sign posts and while I am very excited to take a leap of faith and challenge all that I have known, there is always this little voice whispering and taunting and sometimes even crying because it is so afraid that I will make a mistake.

But what if you could turn back time?  What if at 44 you could find all of the courage that eluded you for all of those years and harness it?  What if you became that person you imagined, the one who opened her own business, took charge of her time, regained the energy to move mountains, and created something that you believed in, that served a purpose, something that people loved?  And what if in doing so, the time that had gathered on your face and in your bones, just melted away?

I mentioned in my very first blog post that I am an elementary school teacher.  I have been teaching for seven years and while there are many things I enjoy about teaching, the job itself is heavy, invasive like the most aggressive weed, and utterly impossible to do without giving up some part of yourself.  I see teachers who have been teaching for 30 years and they can’t wait to make their exit (understandably), many of them holding on as long as possible just to be able to retire with a pension that would support them adequately.  I see new teachers coming in and I want to say, “don’t do it!”  I want to tell them that it will steal from you because even if you give it everything it wants, it will still want more.   Teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world but it is truly a job for superheroes.

So as I ponder and plan and quietly visualize a new path, the one that will help me to reverse time, I am really quite elated, to the point of not being able to sleep and terrified, to the point of not being able to sleep.  You get my point.  I feel more alive because there is this light beaming at the end of this very long tunnel. At the same time I feel weighted down by this massive learning curve and never ending list of things to do, research, understand, create etc.

So the experiment is about how life feels when you change it like a new pair of shoes half way through the day.  Is it like suddenly walking on a cloud in your favorite pair of slippers or is it like having an annoying pebble stuck under your heel? Does it make every outfit look amazing or are you walking barefoot by the end of the night anyway?

It seems like the only real way to find out is to jump in and swim hard against the current without giving up when your arms get tired.  Maybe my teacher cape will work in other places too so I can take it with me and use it on this new adventure.

The best outcome I can imagine is that at the end of the experiment, I will be able to prove that dreaming and hard work pay off no matter how old you are and that it is never too late to start anew.