Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Day

The last 72 hours have been a whirlwind.  Often we are reminded how quickly life can change.  Well, what an understatemtn.  Friday evening I received a text message from someone I care for quite deeply. 

The text expressed good news and sorrow. 

As a result, today I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of a Child Welfare licensing worker to approve my home for emergency foster care. 

As I read so many end of the year post, I can't help but feeling a little disjointed.  I'm not ready for it to end.  I am not ready for what will come tomorrow.  Who ever is?  And while thoughts of uncertainty and apprehension are ever present, I am overjoyed and humbled with what tomorrow will bring. 

For today, I am staying present in the moment.  Reminding myself to take it one step at a time and to leave it with my Father in Heaven.  His plan will come forth. Prayer is constant as I seek guidance and understanding.  This event not only brings questions about the choices my loved one has made but it has caused even more to question the choice made to ask me to care for this child in her absence.

Being asked to love someone else's child is not something a person aspires to.  However, when asked . . . you get ready.  You prepare for those that don't think you adequate.  You prepare for those that think themselves a better choice.  You move forward honoring the request of your loved one.  You evaluate your capacity.  You evaluate the capacity of family members in the home.  You pray.  You smile.  You move forward.  You breathe.

I don't know exactly what will come from today or what will unfold as the next few weeks advance.  One thing I am certain, I will move forward prayerfully in faith taking it one day at a time. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Shame Loves Secrecy

This post has been simmering for a while.  Always there.  Always in my thoughts.  Never really able to bring myself to serve it up.  At moments of energy I would visit the pot, give it a quick stir, smell the ingredients, take a little taste and think it is just about right.  Then, somehow between putting the lid back on and going to the cupboard to retrieve bowls, I paused.  Questions started to roll.  Uncertainty left me feeling no one wanted what I had to give.  It wasn't ready.  Something was missing. There was to much of something else.  It had not cooked long enough.  Now it was to mushy to serve. 

So I hid.

My creation was neglected. I let it crust over. Dry out.  I couldn't even bring myself to clean everything.  It just sat there.  Abandoned.   

Until . . .

On the day after Christmas, December 26, I opened my For Today daily reader from Overeaters Anonymous.  There I found the following:
Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.
     F. Scott Fitzgerald
What injustice to think myself a failure because I have to begin again!  So I slipped, or relapsed; so what?  Starting over is what all creation is about; it is part of the fabric of success in enterprises ranging from spinning a web to splitting an atom.  Willingness to make a new beginning is a sign of growth.  It means I am returning to the program with a deeper understanding of myself and my illness.  Far from wanting to hid in the back of the room, I feel I have something of value to contribute.
The words spoke to me.  I felt them.  I was hiding.  There was no denying I had gone to the back of the room. Thoughts of writing, coming back, filled my heart.  I went to my laptop.  Nothing came.  Tears.  Tears came.  Sorrow.  Shame.  Fear.  Emotions filled me that I was not prepared to feel out.  I was not ready to try them on.  My laptop was closed.  The emotions were silenced.

Although I wasn't ready to write or talk about what was going on with me, I did feel the need to make some changes.  Thursday, December 26 (after three months of indulgence) I ate clean.  Feeling in a complete state of chaos, the desire to get back to serenity, to peace led me to my practice of abstinence found in OA.  There is no longer a local group.  Phone meetings are the only way I can connect with a group.  That day, at different times, I joined two phone meetings.  I just listened.  Their words filled me.  That night, I went to the gym.  Not prepared to get in my gym clothes, I hid in the shielding support of a water aerobics class.  The class was great.  Feeling and pushing my body felt thrilling.  However, at the same time, I was clouded with overwhelming shame.  When normally I feel water to be restorative, hiding my body in the water brought sorrow, guilt and anxiety. 
Friday morning I decided it was time to weigh myself.  Hiding from the scale needed to end.  My clothes were no longer fitting.  My skin felt uncomfortable.  Movement was restrictive.  It was time to face the scale. 
261 lbs
Yep, that's right.  I was exactly 20lbs higher than my lowest of 241 lbs in June.  The number was crushing, yet I already knew.  My body had told me over and over what was happening.  Never could I bring myself to listen.  
During my lunch hour I started reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. My therapist had been encouraging me to read her work for the last few weeks.  Finally, after receiving her book as a Christmas present to myself, I took advantage of a few minutes to begin her book.  On page 9 I found myself in a realization that had been forming for a while.  I read the following: 
Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story.  It hates words wrapped around it-it can't survive being shared.  Shame loves secrecy.  The most dangerous thing to do after a shaming experience is hide or bury your story.  When we bury our story, the shame metastasizes.
Being in a dark shame place (for not days, not weeks, but for months) was getting me further into a place of shame.  After work, I joined in on another OA meeting.

So what am I saying?  Where is this going?

I can no longer hide in a dark place of shame in the back of the room.  I need to wrap words around my shame.  This is not news to me.  For a long time, sharing my story was a way for me to work it through.  The struggle released its grip on me when I shared it with others.

Maybe I needed this time to truly understand why I need to share my story.  I had originally gone into hiding thinking I simply needed a break.  Parts of my story were to hard to expose.  I wasn't ready to face them, let alone share them with anyone else.  I refuse to speculate if that choice was right or wrong.  It happened and here I am.

I am returning with a deeper understanding of myself and my illness.  I can no longer pretend, I Got This.  I am powerless over food and my life has become unmanageable.  It is my belief that a power greater than my own can restore me.  The decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God has been made. 

Today is Sunday and I am half way through my fourth day of abstinence.  My thoughts are clearer.  The chatter in my head has diminished.  I don't know if any lbs have dropped.  I won't be weighing until 7 days abstinent.  Right now I am just focused on getting back, making the daily actions of my plan part of every day. 

I am reading.  Praying.  Meditating.  Moving my body.  Eating clean nourishing food.  I am being mindful.  I am getting on OA phone meetings every chance I get.  I am opening myself up to the idea that I am not in control.  I am finding grace in the knowledge that my mistakes bring me deeper understanding.  I am connecting with individuals that only want for my success.  I am withdrawing from relationships that cause me angst.  I don't have the capacity to refill each time they drain my energy stores.

Today is a good day.  As I wrap up my post I turned to today's reading.  This book is always perfect in bringing me what I need when I need it.  In closing I leave with you the reading from For Today:
As I see and feel this moment, all else in my mind is blocked out.  I am free of the past and the future.  I am living in the now.  Aware of sounds and colors, light and shadow, I look outward from myself - and that is freedom.  I can notice another, listen with energy.  I live life a moment at a time, leaving the moments lived yesterday and those to be lived tomorrow where they belong.
Joy comes from living in the NOW.
For today: I free my mind of yesterday's mistakes and tomorrow's hopes.  I live in this moment.

 Today is an abstinent day.  I am living in this moment and this moment is good.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Our Second Annual Turkey Trot

Last Thanksgiving a good friend of mine introduced the kids and I to a new tradition. This year I was determined to make it happen again and share the event with even more people I love.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Starting Line

Race Partner/Kindred Spirit
I love this girl!!

Ready to Make Memories

Two of my brothers
My two boys.

Little one was not wanting to wake up.

Here we go.

"Moo"tivation along the way.

Someone didn't read the rules.

Finish Line- 47 minutes

Won a raffle prize.
Probably should have ordered the x-large shirt
Large was just a little snug.

Little one crossed the finish line on her own.
She wasn't exactly very happy at this moment.
A little on the cold side for this racer.

Sister, Mom, Brother

Boys ran back out to bring Keaton in.

For this moment....my reason.

For someone that grumbles at all my requests for activity,
this boys entire body shouted pure joy after he crossed the
finish line.

This is us.  My loves.  My life.

This photo makes my heart happy. This photo is like a great book.  There is the main storyline (the picture as a whole) but a great book also has just as wonderful multiple story lines playing out.  Those stories are not mine to tell.  Even now, I look at this photo and my heart swells with joy.  The relationships shared, the friendships strengthened, the injuries overcome, the personal victory won, the gratitude for a body that does what I ask it to do, the three generations present, memories made...that is what I see in this picture.

The Turkey Trot was a wonderful part of our Day of Thanks.  Already planning for next year.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Oh, Happy Day

As I put this day to rest, I can't help but feel joyful.  It wasn't an extraordinary day.  I didn't win the lottery.  None of my kids won some big award at school. My house didn't just clean it self.  No, it was a normal typical day and because of that, I am filled with much happiness as I sit here and reflect.

Like it or not, here you go for a day in the life of Tara.

7:45 make it to work on time, a few minutes early in fact
8:30 make a fruit smoothie at work

12:30 take my mom to ShopKo during lunch to utilize her senior citizen discount while purchasing coats and other items for my boys....saved me over $45
1:00 lunch brought from home

4:45 got up the nerve to invite all my coworkers to join in on my December squat challenge (figured I wouldn't look nearly as funny found in my office doing squats if everyone was doing them)  All but two people on my floor agreed to participate!!!!  I AM SO EXCITED!!

5:00 off work, pick up littlest from day care, honey picks up my boys and they all go get haircuts, I then pick up 10 year old daughter and we run to the store to get shoes for her dance costume
7:00 dinner of pancakes, homemade syrup, eggs, turkey bacon and oranges- My son Keaton and I only had eggs, turkey bacon and an orange
7:30 as a family dishes unloaded and loaded, started and then a game of Uno

8:30 prayers and little ones to bed
9:00 Myself, honey and my boys all to the gym-
  • my workout- 5 minutes on the stair climber, 30 minutes elliptical, 45 minutes of weights for     chest and triceps and abs
  • oldest son- all swimming, he had weights at school today
  • next son- one mile on the elliptical, completed his 35 squats, swimming
  • honey- did first mile with Keaton on the elliptical and squat challenge and then went on to continue on elliptical until I was done and then weights with me

I am going to bed with peace and a very happy heart...for so many reasons.  Just wanted to share my ordinary spectacular day. 

Ate clean today.  Moved my body.  Built memories.  Shared health with my family, friends and coworkers.

I like ordinary days.

How was your day?  What made your day spectacular?

Good night all.