Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Feb 28, 2012

Wow...yet another year has passed, and I'm still a honkin' ball o' fat. Ugh.

This time, it's smacked me straight in the face in the form of pictures from an event I just spoke at. There is something truly awful about being proud of what you've said/done - then seeing yourself in photos and thinking, "Who the Hell is that fat woman using my hair?"

Um, yeah...she's ME, and this is rather suckish.

OK, so here's the thing. I'm not going to tell a nittin' soul about this. Well, that's a fib, my kids are going to have to know, so they can throw themselves between me and the peanutbutter in my weaker moments. Maybe me and the bread...spaghetti...baked potatoes.... Crap, the list is long. Anywhooo, the kids know, and I'm going to sneak here and post for my own sanity - but I'm not full out advertising this for a while. I've failed so MANY times. I'm not terribly sure my feeble self esteem can handle another public capital F.

Why am I bat crazy enough to attempt it AGAIN? Because cancer kids don't give up. Corny, I know. But Christina is on her 4th or 5th relapse, and she's still fighting like Hades to stay alive. If she hasn't thrown in the towel, then neither can I. Am I likening my pudge to her cancer? Good grief, no. But I have relapsed, in judgement - in resolve - in determination. My will power has flown the coop too many times to count. And well, the Buckeyethon kids shamed me immensely this past weekend. I'm not a fan of that, so it's high time I "Buck up" and do something about it.

The kids were kind, wonderful, supportive, and loving - in SPITE of my physical appearance. They accept me for who I am, and I am incredibly humbled by that. But, they also shame me with their determination for 'my' kids. They raise money, dedicate their time, and go through physical torture for cancer kids. Damn it all, it's high time I step up and really put my arse where my mouth is!

Heaven help me - it's Day One of my 90 challenge. May God and the food nymphs have mercy on my pathetic soul...

Alicia - the Crazy Cancer Mom who cares - but sucks and following through.

PS - yeah - the language in this particular post was less-than-academic or politically correct. Bite me.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 6 "Carry Me"

OK, so the actual blessing for Day 6 doesn't really say "Carry Me". And come to think of it...at my current weight, that would be quite a feat! No, the actual Blessing is ever so much more general in nature...but reality says I'm going to have to lean on you wayyyyy more than I should if I have any hope of conquering this 'health crap'.

Here's the real blessing: Day 6: Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." - Galatians 6:2

I won't delve deep into my belief that the thought of helping your fellow man isn't solely a Christian requirement. I did my 'philosophering' bit over on Avalon's site. Here, I'm going to stick to figuring out how to beg you for some camel time...

Yep. I'm a weak-minded simpleton. I have the stick-to-it-iveness of twice used tape and the will power of a fly in a dung heap. I'm plain flat pathetic!

What in the Hades is your secret? No...really...what is your SECRET? How do you go about your daily lives not eating or doing the things you shouldn't? And before anyone tells me to go 'exercise' when I feel like eating something, I need to point out that my guts have been scrambled THREE times in the past few weeks. Attempting to sew (which I failed miserably at, in case you care) started cramps-a-plenty. I've managed to work up to going up the stairs twice in a day - but I've ended every day this week in pain. Horrible cramping in places I'd rather not cramp, thank you very kindly. (hoo-ha cramps suck eggs - just so you know) So...exercising away my temptations is NOT an option at the moment. Would love to, can't. Not for a while at least.

So...what are your brilliant suggestions for NOT eating the things that are my vices? Oh sure, I've tried the count to ten thing. Close your eyes, take deep breaths...slowly count to ten...

What happens? This: One...little mini-wheat won't kill me. Two...really, they're small - why not have two? Three...oh heck, I've already ruined my metabolism for the day, why not have 3? Or a bowl? Four...now I'm stressed, I've fallen off the wagon. Five...stress getting worse, cravings intensifying... Six...damn. I'm going to eat an entire bowl of mini-wheats, I know it. Seven...yummm....they're going to taste sooo good and crunchy. Eight...well, hell. If I've already blown it, I might as well have some peanutbutter on celery. Nine...this breathing thing makes me lightheaded. and...Ten...mini-wheats here I come!!

Yep, that's about how it goes. Breathing: 0 Failure: 1 I need a better option.

Also, can we please figure out how to band together to somehow magically remove all other stressors from my life? Oh my, wouldn't that be grand. You see, I admit I'm a stress eater. Preferably chocolate or salty if I really feel bad about something. Case in point - the Quilt from Hades. Sit back and let me fill you in...

A dear friend, Suzanne, asked me to help finish a quilt she had made to be auctioned off to benefit our local charity, Kids N Kamp. I would do ANYTHING for Suzanne. She has been the absolute most amazing friend to me the past several months. When I suddenly began bleeding while at our Mom's Quilt Weekend, it's her hotel door I knocked on in utter panic. She's the one who got me to the car and who explained to my wonderful friends what had happened. She's also the first to have danced when we found out the baby was fine.

Move forward, Suzanne is the first person I texted when we found out we lost our son. Somehow, in my mind, she kind of 'owned' a part of him. I know, crazy...but it's how I felt. Suzanne is also the person who took me to the OB a few weeks ago, and then helped me get admitted to the hospital. She welcomed Avalon to help in her Shoot-A-Thon basketball fundraiser for Kids N Kamp, and has spoiled my littles at every chance she can get. Brass tacks, I adore this lady. Finish a quilt for her? No problem! I'm in!!

Um...huge problem. The damn quilt is possessed. I'm convinced of it. I couldn't work on the quilt the first few days I had it. I'd had to clear off my sewing table, get supplies together, and that sent me into cramping. Crap. Then, I started putting on the binding she brought me, and...well, I didn't like the look of it. I grilled my teen daughter (the quilt was being sold to teens) and her boyfriend, and they agreed, it looked odd. So....I asked Suzanne if I could do something different. She had no problem with it, as she herself was 'done' with the quilt, frustrated beyond belief. Next, I had to cut the fabric and try my new method of binding...which...FAILED miserably. Crap squared. Then came hours upon hours of tearing off yet another binding. Fun...not. And finally, I threw in the artistic towel and attempted to sew on the original binding, only to find a) I didn't have enough of it for the entire quilt, b) I couldn't make the corners look good, and c) I utterly bombed the entire thing. Crappity crap CRAP.

I had to call my friend, the woman who had bent over backwards for me to be helpful, and tell her I let her down. ACK! Suzanne never batted an eye, she was perfectly fine with it. (making the guilt ten times worse...) But I wasn't fine with it, not at all. Not only was it the worst sewing failure I'd had in a couple of decades...but it happened when I was trying to help someone who trusted me. Big whoppin' boatload of a failure. Can you say 'chocolate' anyone?

Oh yeah, I got up from my accursed sewing table, marched straight to the kitchen, dug out left-over-from-Christmas chocolate chips...and melted those puppies down. I then proceeded to chocolate cover a banana. Yummmm.... The whole time I'm searching/melting/coating/refridgerating, I was thinking, I know I'm eating this because I'm stressed. I KNOW I don't need this. Why do I want it SOOO BAD?! Awww heck, I'm a failure, I let Suzanne down, I might as well eat...

Don't even say it, I fully realize those were the ramblings of a fruit loop left too long in the sun. Just because I'd blown it with the quilt, does NOT mean I needed chocolate. The problem is, I need to find a good disconnect to convince my brain of that, when the sugar/wheat/salt/peanut voices start talking to me. They're kinda loud... Pretty pushy too... I'm...w..e..a...k......

As for the quilt, I called Suzanne and apologized deeply. I will likely do so 100 or more times. I also plan on having a mutual quilt-master friend of ours show me what I did wrong, and teach me the proper way. I will then make a quilt to be sold with hers at next year's auction. I do NOT like being beaten, and this particular hunk o' fabric has pummeled me mightily.

In the meantime, I need my camel-people (my burden-carriers, if you didn't get that) to help me with my load. Do you have any great, brilliant, insightful, fit-for-a-nutjob suggestions of what to do when those mini-wheats call my name?

Ahh-leeee-sshaaa....you KNOW you want us. We're crunchy goodness... Ahhh-leeee-sshaaaaa....just one little bowl won't kill you. We're good for your colon...everyone knows it. Ahh-leee-sshaa...come get us.....

Yep, I need help.

Psychiatrists need not apply.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 5 - "God and Laughter"

Day 5 - "Of all the things God created, I am often most grateful He created laughter." - Charles Swindoll

Good grief. I spent all day yesterday, and a ridiculously large amount of my should-have-been-sleeping time thinking about how I would ponder these words yet again. This 'duel personality' double blogging thing is hard! While it's frighteningly true that I seem to have a bit of a split personality, even I manage to feel like I've said it all sometimes. Such was the case yesterday. Until...

Oh yes, there is nearly always an until in my world...

I wasted the day trying to think of new ways to say how we use laughter to get through tough events. I turned my brain inside out, shook it up, and even tried a power wash or two...but I couldn't get anywhere. Then, as I laid there trying to sleep, feeling ever-so-awful about how much I'd eaten yesterday...it finally dawned on me. OK, maybe it more like smacked me upside the ripples of my fat rolls... But, 'dawned on me' sounds so much better, I think I'll go with it.

What I realized was that there is one more huge, glaring reason I appreciate that God made humor, my butt. Or rather, the width of my seemingly ever growing back of my front. Then again, my front is far too sizable as well, so count that as yet another reason. What the blazes am I rambling about? In short, I appreciate God making humor because I'm going to need a whoppin' boatload of it as I try to tackle my seven deadly sins again: food, food, food, food...aww, you get the idea.

Yes, I figure I might as well go for changing my body as I try to change my outlook. Way, WAY easier said than done. You don't get to be my size by occasionally over-indulging. No, there is a fair amount of STRESS eating in my world. And worst of all, there is MORE than a fair amount of food sensitivities going on here. It's not fair. In fact, it stinks worse than month-old Limberger cheese left in a heating duct.

I really wish I could tell you I've porked up because I've enjoyed 6000 calorie days of Big Macs, bon bons, and baked Alaskas. Seriously, I wish I could say that, it would have been a lot more fun getting here. No, my vices are far less interesting, and dang it - I've never had that much fun. Contrary to what the skinny, judgemental people of the world think, not every overweight person consumes truckloads of low-brow fare. Sometimes, it's more about the what eat, and the how much our bodies hate it, that matters.

As for me? My contentious old bod hates wheat, yeast, potatoes, peanuts, cashews, sunflowers, and sugar. It's not fond of rice, corn, bananas, and dairy. Personally, I dislike most meat (I'm a very bad carnivore). Which frankly....leaves extraordinarily little on my 'good' list. In the few times I've been able to entirely remove the 'badduns' from my plate, I really do feel better. But good golly miss Molly...that's a whopper (yes, every pun intended) of an order!

To say I've been stressed the past few weeks would be as collosal an understatement as, Mt Rushmore was slightly challenging to complete. I think I've reached Mt Fuji sized heapin' quantities of stress. Therefore, it shouldn't be a giant leap of logic that I know I've been 'stress eating'. Does that mean I've been wolfing down gallons of ice cream, piles of doughnuts, and bucketfuls of chocolate? No.

My personal demons? Frosted Mini-Wheats. No, really, I'm serious! The little crunchy buggers are like crack to me. Little bit of sweet, LOTS of crunch....ooooh...heavenly. I've also, horror of horrors, been eating peanuts and the occasional spoon of peanutbutter. Gads! I've even gotten so decadent as to have a slice of toast twice. Both with peanutbutter ON them! Oh the inhumanity of it all...

I've indulged in dried apricots, dried cranberries, and raisins. I've eaten potatoes, baked and in the perfectly perfect form of those around a meatloaf. I've even dipped into that terrible pot of homemade stew, ripe with potatoes and corn. Shame, shame on me.

Doesn't that list of evils look terrifying to you? Aren't I a shameful pig? I don't think so either. Only a large part of population automatically assumes I am when they see me. I must be indulging in creamhorns and canolis - after all, whole grains and fruits and vegetables couldn't possibly make someone as fat as me... Consider that laughing point number one - the jokes on them. Their stupid whole grains are possibly the worst for me!

Laughing point number two? The fact that so many healthy things hate me. C'mon, it's funny. I'm one of the few humans on earth who LOVE Grapenuts, Shredded Wheat, and All-bran cereal. Admit it, the rest of you eat it to keep your crapper happy. I actually like it. And yet? I sends my body into a tailspin. No fair I say. NO FAIR!

So, here it is. I'm going to embrace the idea that God gave us humor, by begging Him to provide me with an abundance of it as I try my best to detox and reset my tastebuds again. It usually takes a few months to convince myself I no longer want the terrible things. I will likely have dancing bagel dreams and shredded wheat surfing fantasies. But I might as well tackle it all now - while I'm working hard to get my head and heart retrained in other ways. Misery loves company, so to speak.

It's going to be a rough start though. I've already started today on the wrong foot. I ate two dried apricots. Bad, bad dieter...

God help me.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 4 "Laughter and friends"

Day 4: "Laughter's the shortest distance between two people." - Victor Borge

As I said on Avalon's site, I truly believe in this. Normally, I enjoy making people laugh. But as a dear friend holds her son for his last hours...there isn't much joy in my heart. Before I go about the business of this entry, I want to share Jen's most recent Caringbridge update with you.


"Matthew is still here with us. He has always done the opposite of what the doctors and nurses think! I have been holding him in my lap almost every minute. I get this strange ache in my arms if I put him down. I know I'm going to have that ache for the rest of my life so I'm holding him as much as I can now.

Our pastor came over yesterday and prayed with us for Matthew to go to Heaven. As much as we don't want to lose him, we also know that the Matthew we know and love isn't really there anymore. We are praying for a peaceful transition for him, from our arms into Jesus' arms. Thank you for all of your prayers. "

Am I going to try to find something funny to say after that? NO. But I do have a point to make....

Matthew is exactly the reason I want to pursue becoming a humor writer. Does that seem counter-intuitive? Well, it's not.

Actually, I knew I wanted to be humor writer years upon years ago. When my oldest, Aurora, was an infant, I would write columns to amuse myself. I've probably written thousands of columns through the years, most of which were never written down. I write columns as I drive. I write them standing in line in the grocery. I write them as I fall asleep at night and mull over the events of the day. 99.9% of the time they're darned funny, and frankly, about exactly nothing. I'll see something that tickles my funny bone, and my head goes straight to what I would say about it, how I would structure a column about it. When I was a first time new mom, the columns centered around diapers, spit up, and the sudden realization that life revolves around bodily functions. Gee, I wonder why?

Long ago, in the days before (before I ever even knew there would be an Avalon, much less the world she would introduce me to), I wanted to write to show people that they take themselves too damn seriously. I wanted to be the next Erma Bombeck to shout to the world, "Take a chill pill, folks! Life is FUN, stop stressing over stupid stuff!"

I still want to do that. Only now, I feel a quiet desperation to do so. Now, in the after, I want to stand on rooftops and scream to the world, "YOU DON'T KNOW HOW GOOD YOU HAVE IT!! STOP GRIPING AND ENJOY LIFE!" I want to spend every day reminding people that life is hysterical, if they'd stop kvetching long enough to look around them.

But that's not all of the story anymore. I now have an insidious, sneaky secondary reason that I want to be heard. I want to make people learn to like me...so they'll listen to what I need them to hear. It's true, laughter does bind people together. If I can figure out how to make thousands of people laugh on a regular basis, then every now and then, when I need to get serious...they just might pay attention. Crazy, isn't it?

I'm not looking for fame and fortune. I'm looking for fame alone. I don't give two poots for fancy cars, big houses, or any of the other trappings of fortune. I want fame - because with fame comes credibility. Is that fair? No, but it's the reality of our society. There's a reason charities clambor for celebrity endorsements. People listen to celebrities. They identify with them, imagine themselves as 'friends' of the celebrities, and they LISTEN to what they have to say.

Let's face it, I'm never going to be body beautiful, and I'm at least a few decades late to begin my Oscar-winning acting career. My singing voice approximates more of an off-tune macaw than a lilting nightingale, and my fashion designing prowesse is limited to designing Halloween costumes for the 8 and under set. I'm nearly positive none of the above will win me accolades or national attention. But I can write. I can take a normal day, find the funny in it, and share it with people. I can also take a day and show you the poignant side of life, and why you need to learn to see it. It's taken me years to have the courage to say it, but I...can...write. Now I need to figure out how to do it for the masses...

So why do I seek fame so desperately? Because I want to grab that elusive golden ring of credibility. I want people to seek out my words, so that when I need to, I can say something important. I want to bond with millions by making them laugh, so that I can grab their hearts and make them hear the heartbreak of one more mother...as she holds her child for the last time.

I want to celebrate the laughter and joy cancer kids bring to their loved ones, and the anguish of the silence when they leave. Laughter can bring us together, so that we stand as one in its absence.

I want to make people laugh...because I can't stand the thought of one more child dying in silence. I want someone to listen...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 3 - Unique

Hah! I'm back on track. It's the eve of Day 3...and I'm here to pester you. Mwuaa haa haa... Oh yeah, I'm on it.

Here's the Blessing: Day 3: "Thank God for the way He made you. You are special, distinct, and unique. You were not made from a common mold.” - Erwin Lutzer

I've already delved deeply into my support of this notion on Avalon's site. I don't feel a great need to repeat myself, so I want to approach this from a different angle as we chat this evening. Rather than constantly having to remind people they were born unique...I want to ask,

"Why in the Hades does the world keep trying to make us all ALIKE?!"

I mean, seriously, think about it. We all go about our daily lives wishing we were just like HER. (or him, or her again I suppose ~ if that's your flavor...) Every damn thing we watch on television, see in a magazine, hear on the radio...tells us there is something dreadfully wrong with us if we don't eat like her, dress like her, drive a car like his, think like him. Every ad, every talk show, every self-help book says the same thing. 'Do this, think this, act like this...or you're doing it WRONG."

Phhhthhhtttt... to all of them that insist so 'insistingly' that I'm wrong. (In case you don't read phhhthttt, that's a gigundus raspberry, and it's aimed directly at all those do-gooders.)

No really, I couldn't be more serious. Who in the Hades do these people think they are? Oh sure, they have fancy degrees and umpteen zillion years in school, purgatory, or whatever torture chamber they willingly tossed themselves in. BUT...they all seem to be missing a gigantic slice of the pie of intellect. People are DIFFERENT.

I don't two figs and hooter what they think. There is a reason we learn about the 'bell curve' in even the simplest of statistics classes. Any group, of any thing, for any purpose, will NOT produce perfect numbers. When you gather data about a group, that data will cluster. But thing about the cluster is that it's NEVER a perfect stack above one value. Noooo-ooooo my friends. A "bell curve" means that data will stack up around one value...but that it will also exist and taper off both below and above the most popular value. It's not possible to stack all data at one point...so WHY do we keep telling people they have to squeeze themselves there?

Should people value their families and spend their every waking hour shaping the lives of their children? Nope. Heck, a good number of humans I've met would be much better off if they'd forgo the entire notion of reproducing. But noooo, society says they must, so off they go. Why force that? Not everyone should be a parent. Why aren't we as supportive of non-parenting? Why force people into roles they don't want, and won't be good at?

Should people get an education? Duh. I'm not advocating dropping out and taking up beer swilling as an occupation. What I'm saying is that college isn't for everyone. Each person needs to choose their path - and not feel one bit inferior if they take the road less traveled.

Should people try to be as healthy as possible? Super Duh. But damn-it-all, each of us inhabit a different vessel. Some of our vessels fight us at every turn. 'Eat less, move more'. I LOATHE that simplistic statement. I've eaten as few as 600 calories a day (on the advice of a DOCTOR), and exercised vigorously every one of those days...and gained weight. To whit, the specialist who ordered the diet (along with my family doctor at the time) accused me of lying. Did either Dr. try to help? Did they listen to my pleading, my despondancy? Nope. They crammed me right smack in the middle of that stupid bell curve. When the reality is, I'm a floatin' somewhere waaaaay out on the rim. I needed rim answers, not hump-a-dump easy ones.

I could go on ad nauseum...but I won't. I think you get the point. I believe God DID make each of us unique. My problem is that it's become socially unacceptable to be distinctive.

I'm a 43 year old stay at home mom. I have waistlength hair and a love of funky jewelry. I adore beautiful shoes, but hate pain. I'm quite comfortable in my combat boots, so I wear them. My favorite skirt came from a Rennaissance festival. It's nearly floorlength, and is made of hundreds of small patches of brightly colored fabric. I wear rings on almost all of my fingers because they were given to me by people I love and they make me happy. I'm way overweight, and struggle mightily with food on a daily basis. (I'm allergic to everything - food hates me) I'm also intelligent, witty, loving, and passionate. The problem is, the last statement is often lost in the facts that came before it. Society says I can't possibly be smart or personable....I dress weird and I'm fat. I must be simple.

I'm sick to death of it! Who cares if I'm over 40 and have long hair? I swear I don't spontaneously gobble up small children and store them in there. And what's an extra few rings to people? Last time I checked, I've never used them as a set a brass knuckles, so what's the big deal? Why on earth does staying home to enjoy and educate my children automatically classify me as a subhuman blob? Heads up, I'm mensa qualified. Super ultra phhhthhhtttt to those who question my 'smarticle particles'. (Suite Life on Deck joke - tossed in for my kids) I might walk slightly off the beaten path...but why in the name of Budda's butt should that matter to anyone?

Well, it shouldn't. Erwin Lutzer was dead on. We ARE all unique, distinctive, interesting creatures. It's high time we appreciated that in each other. Society needs to stop cramming we octagonal pegs into the square holes. We 'ain't gonna fit'. No how, no way. And there's not one thing wrong with that.

Pffffttttttt.... Nope, that wasn't another raspberry. That, my friends, was a virtual fart. I pass gas in the general direction of anyone who attempts to mold me into the mass image.


Day 2

Day two of my quest, and I already had to break my 'Avalon morning/Blubber Blog' evening thing. Darn teenager, darn old router. Aurora had a HUGE journalism project to finish, and she bogarted the internet signal until long after this old broad had to go to sleep. Remember that road of 'good intentions'? Yeah...it's another layer thick. Poop.

Here is the blessing for Day 2: "A man leaves all kinds of footprints when he walks through life. Some you can see... Others are invisible, like the prints he leaves across other people's lives. " - Margaret Lee Runbeck

I started this morning by re-reading my entry on Avalon's site about the blessing. Wow...what a pompous twit I can be! OK, the whole bead chain thing is 100% true. Our family has invested a ridiculous amount of money in the beads, hoping that they will someday be a legacy for Avalon. I really do have a long mental list of 'heart' people and 'square' people. All of that is honestly what I try to share with people when I speak publicly.

But, cripes all mighty, I really didn't mean to come off as a pious preach-a-lot when I talked about myself. I honestly DO try very hard to be friendly with everyone I meet. That's the truth. But it's also very, very true that I'm an opinionated, control-freaky Wench-o-matic sometimes. I am NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, a highly evolved uber-calm ocean of tranquility. No, no-no, nooooooo----oh. Huh uh, nope, no-friggin' way.

I really don't want anyone to get the wrong impression here. I honestly, whole-heartedly DO believe in being kind to people. I really do committ acts of kindness and do things like stop store managers to tell them their cashier or stock clerk went out of their way to be helpful. BUT...there is a flip side to that. I'm also the one who will pitch a whoppin' fit if someone is a turd to me. I see it like this, if I do my best to be courteous, and go the extra mile to report kindness, then dag-nabbit I've earned the right to gripe when someone oozes fecal matter my direction. So there.

I do my best not to yell or swear. I do...my...best. That, however, is not always good enough. As my kids would happily rat me out on, I DO often lose my cool and yell. I try not to...but my word, I think Gandhi himself would yell at my kids sometimes. You know those sappy my-house-is-a-place-of-peace people? Liars, one and all. Every parent on the planet loses it sometimes, it's a fact. I know, it's a sad fact. After all, our kids' hearts are the place we tread the heaviest...

I guess what I'm trying ever-so-awkwardly to say is...a) I'm not perfect - don't ever think for 1/2 a second that I am, b) we ALL make mistakes, and c) we should probably think long and hard about how to deal with our lapses in judgement. After all, we do leave footprints on the hearts of our fellow man.

Doubt the impact you have on other people? Google 'rude people' and see how many zillion sites come up! Stand in the 10 and under line at the grocery, behind someone with 28 things...and see how you feel. Wait patiently for a parking spot, and watch some guy swoop in before you can make the turn. Have a cashier ring up your order without ever speaking to you - and scowl at you when you hand her coupons. C'mon...you've all experienced these moments and a million other ones. How did it make you feel? How did it affect your day?

That's right, one rude twit can ruin your whole day. How many of you have logged onto Facebook to see a friend's status update about some hateful booger who recently wronged them? How many times have you had your feelings hurt and spent the next several days replaying, re-replaying, and re-re-re-playing every detail of the events in your head? We're all human, and somehow we manage to glob onto the negative stuff with much more fervor than we do positive things. I don't know why, maybe it's some collective genetic flaw. No matter the 'why', the fact is we're all 'globbers'. It logically follows that when we send negative out into the world, there will definitely be some poor schmo just waiting to grab onto it and have a bad day.

So, why not try to send less ugly into the world to give people less to velcro onto? Why not make a concerted effort each day to toss a positive pebble into the Big Pond - sending ripples of good into the world? Why not? Because it's hard! That's why not. It is difficult some days, but it's oh-so-worth it.

Believe me, there are days I hate the world. Do you think there was anything positive in my Universe a few weeks ago as I writhed in pain in an ambulance? No. My world was crashing, my heart breaking... But, the medic didn't cause my pain, he was there to try to help me. The nurses in the OR didn't kill my child, they were trying to help me live to care for my other children.

I had every right to be nasty and beligerant. But what would that have done? It would have expanded my circle of awful to include people that didn't deserve to be there. That's not fair. Besides, by trying my best to be civil, most of the people that helped me that night did their best to ease my pain as much as they could. Were they all kind? Um...no. But the ones that were, did such a great job...they made up for the ones that weren't. The footprints of kindness overroad those of indifference. Kindness CAN make a difference.

Again, I want to make sure I'm clear. I can be as much of a flaming female dog as anyone else. (ask my husband, he's got the bite marks to prove it) But I'm trying. I'm a work in progress, and that's all I'm asking of you.

As you head out your door to work, school, an appointment, shopping...stop and think. 'What kind of day can I have?' You can rush off irritated at the amount of work/responsibilities you have, or you can be grateful so many people need so much of you. You can ignore the fact that your cashier is human, and blather on the phone while she checks you out...or you can get OFF the phone, and smile and chat warmly with her. Odds are, you'll improve her day immensely with the second option. And who knows? The pebble you toss by being friendly, may bring a huge wave of kindness to someone you love as it spreads out.

We do all leave footprints on each other's hearts. How about we try to make them as peaceful and loving as we can?

And finally, I have to share something my wise friend, Angie wrote on Facebook. She wanted to add a bit to today's blessing. Angie's addition is in itallics: A man leaves all kinds of footprints when he walks through life. Some you can seelll Others are invisible, like the prints he leaves across other people's lives. And sometimes, even though the prints are only there for a little while and only go so far, the tread sinks far into the heart and changes the path of every footstep thereafter.

Angie's words immediately brought to mind all the cancer kids she and I have loved and lost. Every footstep on their hearts was magnified exponentially by the brevity of their lives. Every footstep on their parents' fragile hearts, will forever be tinged by the pain they've endured. And most significant, every footstep those children placed...will forever change those of us who loved them.

Be mindful as you step today...you cannot imagine the importantance of your actions.

Peace out!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 1

Holy friggin' cow...how many times have I written "Day 1" on this stupid blog? Well - pffthhttt to you blubber butt - I'm writing it again. Only this time, it actually doesn't have a whoppin' boatload to do with losing weight. I'm on a quest - and the over-sized back of my front is just going to have to come along with me.

Quick update - because if you really care, you can always pop over to Avalon's website to read the details. I last left you in Sept of 2010. Desperate to once again start an awareness campaign to drag people kicking and screaming into the world of knowing about cancer kids...I restarted my infamous 'Crazy Cancer Mom Fat-a-Thon'. As with many aspects of my life, I fully embrace the saying, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." Actually, I think I've repaved the damn street so many times, it nearly leads to Heaven now. At least...that's what I tell myself.

Anywhooo...back in September I began starving again. Of course it didn't go well, it never does. My body hates me, I hate it, it's all rather circular in nature. It's no wonder I've become progressively simpler in my old age. I spend so much time running in circles, I'm beginning to approximate the intelligence of dog. And not a real dog either, I'm getting close to one of those celebrity drop-kick-me-things that can't even walk it's so inbred..

Ack, off topic again. Big shock.

Soooo, back in September me, my good intentions and I began yet another diet. We UNbegan that diet nearly immediately after we started it. Why? Because against all reason and logic, I found myself pregnant! We were as shocked as we were THRILLED. The entire event became a huge state secret between myself and Nick - for reasons too many to enumerate here. We had a wonderful few weeks of being blissful, then our first setback happened, an implantation bleed. The bleed forced us to break the news to the kids before we'd planned. We had to tell them, we thought they might want to know why Mommy wasn't supposed to move off the couch for 3 weeks... The bleed healed, and all progressed normally, with the grand exception of me fighting off a few rounds of bronchitis and sinus infections. Bleck.

The holidays came and went, and we outed our big news to the world. We all basked in the sunshine of a new life, and made as many plans for our newly expanded family as we had arguments over who would get the most hug time. No baby was ever wanted more.

Sadly though, wanting is not the same as getting. On Dec 30, during a pre-amniocentesis ultrasound, we learned our miracle was over. We'd lost our son. Right then and there I heard my heart shatter...but that was only the beginning. Dec 31st I had a D & E surgery to clear the uterus - but there were complications. Several days later I delivered my son in an ambulance on the way to our local ER... I told you there were complications. And finally, a week after that nightmare, I had a second D & E surgery. In a nutshell, the past several weeks have SUCKED.

So what-in-the-Sam-hill am I doing coming here to the place I'm usually rather witty and a tad cheerful? I'm getting to that! Keep your pants on. (unless you don't want to, in which case I'll be quiet - I'm on a quest to be a more accepting person...) Yesterday I received a care package from an online friend. One of the things in the care package has sent me on a personal quest to find a 'new' me and a 'new' direction. After the Hades I've been spiraling through the past several weeks, the new direction thing has got to be pretty easier. It's not hard to go anywhere other than straight down. Left, upper left, right, straight up...I'll take anything.

My package contained something called "A Box of 101 Blessings for My Friend". Pretty cool, huh? At first I fully intended to rip into the box and read every darned blessing. It's important to note here, I have the patience of a gnat. I nearly always read the last page of a book before I finish the first chapter. I have always read the 'spoiler' pages about Harry Potter books and movies the day the were released (unless I could find bootleg pages even before the release!) and I have to fight multiple world wars with myself not to give people presents long before the holidays I purchased them for. Patience...of...a....gnat.

The thing is, the first card in the box stopped me in my tracks. It welcomed me to my new little world by saying, "Especially for you…a bouquet of 101 blessings to fill your heart with the fragrance of love and friendship." A bouquet of blessings? Just for me? I couldn't possibly sully that... Hmmm...maybe I could just look at one...

So, I turned the first card over and found Day One: “A friend is a person who listens attentively while you say nothing.” That's it, that's all it took. I was hooked.

For years I've come here, or to one of Avalon's websites to pour my heart out to you, strangers whom I consider my dear friends. I've begged for mental support, thanked you for prayers, and when at all possible, tried to make you laugh or leave you with a thought to ponder as you trudge through your daily life. I've been rattling your brains with my 'nothings' for years now...and yet, you've remained my 'friends'. This time, it didn't take a full-on Godsmack to get my attention. I sat up and paid attention at the loud whisper instead. (good thing too, I'm still bruised from the last smackdown..)

The plan I hatched late last night was a quest. A 101 day journey to self awareness, self acceptance, and love. Each day I will read a new card, ponder on it - and write as much as I can about how I see it, and how it affected me that day. In a perfect world, I'll write on Avalon's website in the morning, and this one at night. We'll see if I can figure out how to stick to that. (believe it or not, my random thoughts take more than a bit of mental gymnastics!) The point is, I want to be serious sometimes, and stupid silly others. I think Avalon's site is OK for family/friend/coping stuff - but my whole I'm-going-to-change-my-existence mountain is best left here, where I can swear more.

I AM serious though. I want to be a different person at the end of the 101 days. No...I will NOT adopt a dalmation each day, although as a rabid Disney enthusiast I would be lying if I said the thought had never crossed my mind... And NO...I don't envision that I could possibly lose a pound each of the coming 100 days, turning me into a svelte svengali with perfect hooters. (although dang it..that would be cool!) What I'm looking for are new attitudes, new outlooks, a new shot-in-the-butt to my self esteem and self awareness. And heads up, I'm aiming to do that for ALL of us. That's right. You're not just going to sit there and judge me...you're going to get off of your mental cabooses and join me! We're in this together, my friends. Like it or not. ;-D

Did I have any great personal epiphanies today? Um...no. I did eat a healthy, calorie conscious breakfast and lunch though. Heck, I even did pretty well at dinner. Buu~uut....I'm nearly sure my Bailey's and Creme nightcap just tanked my 'healthy eating' for the day. Yeah, yeah...what-ever... Rome wasn't built in a day either. So there.

Oh, and I lost my cool, my temper, and my resolve with my short people tonight too. I didn't Velcro anyone to a wall, so I didn't lose it too bad. And cripes, just how many times can you say, "Don't throw that, don't say that, don't touch that" before your tongue revolts and marches across the room to smack your progeny? I mean, geez, I'm only human...

Crap. I think I just tanked my good intentions for the day. Rats. Ahh well, yet another layer added to Hade's Highway. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day...

I'll see you later on FB, Avalon's caringbridge, or here...pick your poison.