Thursday, June 5, 2008

My own worst enemy...

Am I the only one who immediately thought of scrumptious sweets from Paris when seeing this book cover? Please tell me I'm not the only one!

Recently while struggling through one of my assignments for writing class (Who knew I would struggle for content? I though I had such great stories to tell!) I found myself reading through posts from earlier in the year and saw my New Year's resolution: "Be good to yourself." How are we doing on this?

Things were going great until recently. I made it through the two month running program, managed to get brave enough to quit my job and was then rewarded with the opportunity of a lifetime: a year living in Europe. Then the appendicitis got me and I went through a rough patch.

I joked recently when talking at work about quitting and going to Europe for a year that I don't deal with change very well so I like to get it all over with at once. Kind of like the year that I quit my steady job, moved out of my hometown, traveled internationally for the first time and got married (I went to the doctor and told them everything that happened said I was worried that I was depressed, they replied, "I'm impressed you're still standing after doing all that!"). I guess I needed to get a little bit more in this round so, like I said, appendicitis struck and I found myself suddenly unable to do the two things I'd been spending most of my time on: working and working out. I went from an extremely social work setting, I interacted with probably hundreds of people a day, to being stuck at home not wanting to move for a good chunk of a week. At first I was a little bit outraged, I was robbed of my closure! But I'm looking for lessons and signs in life right now. What can I take from the way things played out? The message I hear is, "Get over yourself and move on." I had decided to work a full month after giving notice only to have my body cut it down to the standard two-weeks. It was time to go. I had these grand ideas of somehow passing on some sort of wisdom in the store, but the truth was it probably wasn't going to make a big difference, get over yourself and move on. So my ego had some healing to do along with my body.

At first the plan to go to Europe was exhilarating. Then I was distracted for a while by the quick changes in my present situation. By the time my attention came back around to what the year has in store for us the month of May was pretty much over. After a fantastic camping trip (yes, that's right, I had a good time but hey, it included martini glasses filled with pink cocktails and I got to shower in the middle of it), Ms. D departed for her summer in Alaska. I was sad to see her go, I won't see her again in person until November. The day she actually left I was struck down with thoughts of what it's going to be like to have to say goodbye and leave three months from now. I freaked out, I cried, it was all finally sinking in. I'm scared out of my mind. I still know it's the opportunity of a lifetime. Moving five years ago broke me down for a while, but I came out of it stronger and better. This will likely to do the same and could crush me harder than ever, but will the rewards be that much greater?

I wallowed it in for a few days and then somehow woke up last Saturday knowing that it was time to pick myself up and dust myself off. CF was on the same page with me. We have been tightening down on the diet habits, each of us determined to head to Europe as fit as possible. Some women would be horrified if they got within 15 pounds of their husband's weight, but they'd probably still be lighter. I am the heavier of the two, but I have never in the long fifteen years been so close to his weight. Of course the moment he started paying attention to what he was eating the pounds started falling off of him right and left (men!), I've got my work cut out for me trying to keep up. I eased back into exercise with an hour walk up our hill and then managed to get a little running done at the gym. Tomorrow I have my first appointment with LT since the morning she basically diagnosed my appendicitis and told me to call the doctor. I expect to her to kick my butt back into shape in no time.

Congratulations, if you've made it to this point in the post then you get to help answer an embarrassing, tough question I was asked recently. The life coaching sessions, which I originally purchased to help me find career goals, have become more about being an authentic, complete individual. I agreed to a semi-cheesy visualization exercise that involved visiting myself twenty years from now and led to some surprisingly clear revelations. It was just before Memorial Day so I had friendships on the brain, but before she even asked who else was around when I visited my twenty-years-from-now self I knew certain friends were there. It felt really nice. But then I hit a snag, "What do they call her? If there was a nickname you can hear if she walks back into the room?" "Ugh, knowing my friends it's something about Fabulous." Why ugh? I don't know. I put the word in my own darn subtitle and yet it makes me cringe. I try to laugh it off. I start to wonder what it means... am I superficial, vain, prissy, delusional, shallow? I think it's mostly said as a compliment but I often feel somehow scoffed at or chided and it leaves me wanting to yell, "There's more to me than just that!" But I know there's good stuff behind the label as well. Funny thing is, this is something that's really come out of the last several years. No one called me Fabulous when I was pushing 300 pounds. I know it's related to my self-confidence increasing, and yet it's ahead of where I am now. I don't have the confidence to carry this label with pride yet. So I need help in figuring out what it all means, can I let go of the silly side of it and embrace the truly fabulous? Any advice would be much appreciated. No rush though, I've got twenty years to learn how to "own" it.


Leslie said...

Did I ever tell you what my mom said about me when we moved to California? "She always gets emotional and worried and upset and drags her feet but as soon as it's happened she adjusts to any change." Apple/apple tree?? And...I think it's fabulous that you're working on/thinking about so much...what started as just a word is evolving into total reality!

Chasing Travel said...

That was an amazing post. I know you are struggling but I am so proud of you for not giving into the pressure of all the questions you have about yourself and where you are going. You are fabulous, I have never connected that with anything shallow.

Leanne said...

Only someone who doesn't know you could think you were shallow. You are an amazing person and I love bragging about my smart and cool big sis!

jess said...

ooh, macaroons....

You're awesomely fabulous, M, because you so obviously love life and pull everyone around you into your enthusiasm. As I remember someone saying once,"You like everyone." which is actually the best compliment I can think of.

I miss your enthusiasm and cheerfulness and sense of humor. Vain or shallow are the absolute last words I could think of to describe you.

Don't worry, Switzerland will be an amazing adventure!!! (easy for me to say :)

space-monkey said...

Your writing and your posts always move me. You are so in touch with yourself and it makes me jealous. 20 years from now?! I have trouble thinking 5 years down the line. I have difficulty with change, too. It throws me off balance and makes me cry (whether the change is good or bad). Hang in there. When you look back on your life, it's not the destinations that are important - it's the journey.