Category Archives: Family

Happy Thanksgiving!

My heart is full as I think about all of the many blessings in my life.  This past week has been one of reflection.  I learned that a good friend has a brain tumor.  She is so positive and full of faith.  I’m grateful for her example and pray for things to go well for her as she faces this challenge.  I also learned of the death (self-inflicted) of another acquaintance.  We hadn’t spoken in a while but the last time we did her struggle was evident and I’m so sad that circumstances brought her to the place where that became her reality.  My heart aches for her loved ones and I will miss her bright smile and enthusiasm.

Life isn’t easy.  As I’ve thought about these two situations, I can’t help but think about the fleeting nature of this earthly life.  We just never know how many tomorrows there will be or what kind of challenges will face us.  My only conclusion is that I need to live my life with more purpose.  I want to make every today the best that it can be.  I don’t want to find myself at the end of my life, be it next week (let’s hope not) or 50 years from now, regretting wasted time.

Of course, wasted time will be defined differently by each of us based on our priorities, goals, etc.  I never consider time spent with my family or friends to be wasted, although there are times when I could frame that time in a way that better serves us.  And I guess that is what it basically boils down to–am I using my resources (time, money, knowledge, food, my physical body, by spiritual nature, etc.) in a way that really serves the life I want.

On a separate but somewhat related note:  I do not eat in a way that is likely to help me reach my weight loss/health/fitness goals.  I really have some food issues that are fairly deep seeded.  But mainly….I just really like it.  Thanksgiving is my favorite of holidays.  I’m already salivating over my brother’s pumpkin pie, and the chocolate pudding dessert my mom makes, and dressing, and creamy whipped potatoes in the same bite as succulent dark turkey (you see the problem to which I refer?).  Well, as a counter measure I have agreed to photograph every thing (yes, every single thing) that I eat or drink (except for water) that I consume between Thursday and Sunday.  So….look forward to some fairly boring, but really tasty looking (albeit small portioned 🙂 ) photos of everything I put in my gullet.  🙂  Have a great holiday!

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R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Find out what it means to me….(lalalalala…you know I always have a song in my head 🙂 ).

I don’t even recall what got me thinking about this lately, but my mind keeps wandering back to thoughts about the tie between what we value (or purport to value) and how we utilize our related resources.   Perhaps it came from recently viewing the movie “In Time” (which I highly recommend—I saw it ten days ago and I still find myself thinking about it).  In the movie, people stopped aging at 25 and their currency was time. They were paid for their work in time (actual hours that appeared in a digital clock in their arm).  They paid for their life’s necessities with time. If they ran out of time—they died.  How they used their time and making sure they always had enough time was life or death.  There was a great disparity between those who had a lot of time and those who lived day to day. (I have to admit it also got me thinking about our actual currency and the difference in our current society between those who have and those who have not and the pathway for improving ones position or squandering ones resources—but that is a different post for a different day.)

Time is our one great equalizer.  Everyone gets the same 24 hours in their day.  We can’t bank it.  We can’t give it to someone else. We can’t borrow it.  It is ours and it is fleeting.  Which turned my thoughts to whether or not I appreciate the time I’m given and if how I use that time shows the appropriate respect to both the time I have available and the things I want to accomplish—the person I want to be.

How we choose to spend our time is a great indicator of what and who we value in our lives.  Am I giving the proper respect via my use of time and resources to those things and people that matter most to me?  I say that my faith and relationship with God is my most high priority, but do I give it the proper respect via the time that I dedicate to prayer, learning, and service?   When was the last time that regular consistent fervent prayer was really a part of my daily life? Do I study the word of God regularly? Do I serve in my church callings and my fellowmen with happiness or do I murmur?

I say I want to get out of debt, but do I really show my hard-earned money the proper respect by how I choose to use it?  Do I sometimes (or often) spend without thinking about my long-term plan and showing respect to this valuable resource?  Am I more interested in immediate gratification or in the big picture?

I’m basically obsessed with losing weight and improving my health.  Is this reflected by how I utilize the time available to me? Do I respect this amazing body that God has given me by feeding it healthy nutritious food or do I drown it repeatedly in diet Mountain Dew and other less healthful foods?  Do I get adequate sleep? Do visit the dentist as often as I should? Do I exercise appropriately in relation to how much I value a healthy body?

I value my personal relationships. I think I do a bit better in this area than in most, but am I really doing the best that I can?  Would I be further ahead to, on occasion, turn the T.V. off and go visit someone I love?  Do I know more about what is going on with Castle or the people on Survivor than I do about my brother, or my niece, or my friend?

Do I nurture those talents that I know I have been blessed with, or do I squander this precious gift either by wasting my time or doubting my abilities? Doubt and fear often cause me to be tentative and let time slip away while I’m questioning my abilities.

These are just some things that I have been thinking about lately.  If I were to give myself a grade on how well I do with showing the appropriate respect to the things I value and to the time that I am given, I would have to say that I’m well below average.  Too much T.V.  Not enough planning-which allows me and my time/money/resources to be influenced by and shift with the tide, the wind and anyone with a stronger agenda/plan in place.

But, that is the one great thing about time.  Once it is spent, there are no refunds—but if you haven’t used it yet, you can change your plan and utilize it better.  Luckily we don’t get additional time based on how well we have used our previous time. We do get to start fresh everyday with a new 24 hours.  Money’s a little tougher, but with time and commitment the mistakes can be corrected.

Does my use of time/money/resources reflect what I value? Am I using them in a way that helps me be the best version of myself?  If not, am I willing to change it? How can I best show respect for those things I value?

I’ll be thinking about this a lot.  If you have any insights I would love to hear them.

Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time.  Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” ~M. Scott Peck

Perspective

My thoughts today have been lingering on perspective.  Is the way I see myself how I really am?  I live alone.  I have a lot of friends who love me and an amazing family.  I spend time with them frequently, but I do spend a good deal of time alone.  And even when I’m not alone, I’m talking to myself in my head as if I were (we all do it–I’m just bravely admitting it for all to read) ;).

I spend a lot (not all, but a lot) of that time making a running list of what I don’t like–how I don’t feel well, comparing my weaknesses to other people’s strength, sometimes feeling sorry for myself, how I can improve, how I can learn from my failures (keeping the focus mainly on the failure).

Every summer, my nieces spend a long weekend with me.  We watch chick flicks and make cookies and sometimes go to a play.  We bring all of my mattresses into the living room and have a giant slumber party.  It is SO MUCH FUN!  I love spending time with those girls.  I hate to see the weekend end.  I hate to take them home.  I believe part of the reason I love it so much is that I can totally feel their unconditional love and acceptance of me.  By the end of our time together I’m giving very little thought to my weight or how I compare to Jane Doe down the street.   Their love for me and how they perceive me is reflected back at me so strongly that I become, even for a just a few days, that reflection.

This past week I spent a full day with my youngest brother and his family and then the next day my other three brothers came to help me with a project at my house (totally have before and after pictures to share in a later post–AWESOME).  My brother that lives near by brought his sons and his wife popped in from time to time.  I so enjoyed sharing some time with them.  As the weekend progressed and I interacted with them, I had the same feeling that I do when I spend time with the girls.  These people see me in such a better light than I see myself.  I believe that they rarely look at me and see a fat person.  They see their sister–a spunky, silly, smart, likeable person who wins at the gross out game, has a good sense of humor, is politically savvy, etc.–and it changes, if only for a little while, my own perception of myself.

And so what is my point?  I’m not really sure how to express it.  I’m just feeling like I want to feel like that all of the time–not just when I spend a concentrated period of time with those who know me well.  And that will mean working on that inner dialog that I have with myself every single second of every day.

So many of my supposed flaws are simply a flaw in my perspective and my perspective is something that I can change.