Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sketches In Stillness

There is so much sadness in the world these days.  So much hatred, negativity, judgement, cruelty, ignorance......... I can't watch the news or read the paper as sit depresses me and makes me feel so anxious with all the "bad" news that is out there.

But everything *will* be alright..... right?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Week 17: Goals

I have such mixed feelings about goals.  On the one hand, they're awesome!  I love being able to set a goal and make a list of steps to help accomplish it.  Crossing off each item on the list gives such a satisfying feeling, making reaching the goal all the more gratifying!

On the other hand...... sometimes my life is too chaotic for goals.  Lists overwhelm me.  I set goals and watch them fly by with little to no dent made in achieving them.  Sometimes my goals feel ridiculous, like getting out of bed, or getting into the shower. 

When you're dealing with an eating disorder, or depression, or anxiety, or any other invisible challenges, goals can feel impossibly painful, adding to the suffering.  Thankfully, they can also feel incredibly uplifting, bringing brightness through the clouds.

Right now, I'm working on eating.  Again.  Still.  Whatever.  I have been struggling a lot with getting in the appropriate types of foods, and getting enough of them at that.  It's not fun.  I feel like I've taken ten steps back in my recovery, even though my team would disagree.  I'm living the "one day at a time" mindset, or at least I'm trying to, in all areas of my life.

Sorry fellow readers, I'm kinda feeling stuck right now.  If I wrote this post in a month, it might be totally different.  In fact, I just might do that!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 157 - Thursday 4/24/14 - Super, super happy to see the progress my students have made this year, and even kinda happy to see the progress I've made, too......

Day 156 - Wednesday 4/23/14 - Kinda shocked to see that all this therapy work is making a noticeable difference, as evident by my response to a nasty attack from a colleague.  Instead of fleeing the situation, I waited it out and survived!

Day 155 - Tuesday 4/22/14 - Happy to see how much progress my class is making on their final projects!

Day 154 - Monday 4/21/14 - My therapist said I should be quite proud of the way I handled my family during the three-week visit that ended today.  Time to learn how to be proud, I suppose.....

Day 153 - Sunday 4/20/14 - Saw my first firefly tonight!  Big smile!

Day 152 - Saturday 4/19/14 - Enjoyed a beautiful day at the ballpark, my first of the year!

Day 151 - Friday 4/18/14 - Grateful for the sunshine that wrapped up the day, it made for a beautiful evening walk with the Pup.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Week 16: Giving

I actually quite love to give - give time, gifts, talents, lessons, ideas, whatever I can give to make others smile.  There are so many quotes out there by wise philosophers that preach the importance of giving, and remind us that what we get out will come back to us.  Heck, there are songs written about this very topic!  So many people in the world "get" the message.  But do we follow it?

I've always been a giving person (unless you ask my family.)  Over the last seven or so years, I've become even more conscious of what I put out into the world.  I try to be a kind, giving person, that people can like.  I made the choice to give of myself selflessly.  I've spent countless hours helping colleagues and peers, friends and family, with everything from house chores to parties to technology to organizing to shopping - you name it.  And I've done so, most of the time, without complaint.  Would that be considered "good enough" giving to get good back?

No.  Why?  Because I gave everything I had, without boundaries.  While that *is* giving, it also trained people to take advantage of me.  People know that I never say no (unless you're my immediate family.)  People know I'll help them with just about anything at the drop of a hat.  This type of giving, that I lived for so long, taught people to take advantage of me.

It absolutely put good into the world, lots of it.  I made lots of people happy with my choice to limitlessly give.  But I wasn't feeling any of the "good" anymore.  I knew people were taking advantage of me, but I didn't want them to not like me, so I couldn't say no.  So things started feeling really bad inside.  Despite that, I continued to give.

Enter my incredible therapist.

The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein
It is through my work with her that I have learned how to truly give.  Yes, I was giving before.  Yes, I was giving without expectation of return.  But I was doing so in a way that taught people there was no reason to give back to me at all.  I taught people that they could happily take from me what they wanted, and leave me with little.  So my therapist taught me to set boundaries.  She taught me how saying no doesn't have to be the painful experience I once thought it was.  She helped me see that when I give of myself without giving up on myself, then, and only then, does giving feel light and freeing.

While I continue to give of myself to others, I now save some of me to give to me.  Not easy.  Worth it.

555 Posts!

Wow!  Can you believe it?  Five hundred fifty-five posts!  Thanks to all who continue to read and comment, you warm my heart with each note!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 150 - Thursday 4/17/14 - Lovely evening barbeque, complete with roasted marshmallows for dessert!

Day 149 - Wednesday 4/16/14 -  Much appreciation to an awesome colleague for making it possible for me to be on time to an unexpected appointment.

Day 148 - Tuesday 4/15/14 - Therapy.  Much needed.  Much appreciated.

Day 147 - Monday 4/14/14 - Grateful that the family Seder was unusually calm tonight.

Day 146 - Sunday 4/13/14 - Finally!  Slept in!  Thankful for that, and wishing I didn't have to go back to work tomorrow so I could do it again :)

Day 145 - Saturday 4/12/14 - Loved spending the evening celebrating my favorite 7 year old's birthday!

Day 144 - Friday 4/11/14 - Went to what was my favorite museum as a child, for the first time in two decades!  It is still my favorite!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Week 15: Higher Power

 Ugh.  I remember this being a tough topic the first time around.  Definitely not any easier this time.  However, finding this quote reminded me that the natural world is full of miracles, which can only be caused by *something* that is more than meets the eye.

I may never understand why there is so much cruelty and war, cancer and hatred.  I will actually probably never understand that.  Then again, if I look at the fact that I'll never understand how the trees know when to pop their buds, and how the leaves know when it's time to change colors........... it's better to believe in the possibility of a higher power than in the chaos of human-ness sometimes......

Thursday, April 10, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 143 - Thursday 4/10/14 - Enjoyed not one, but two walks with the Pup today!

Day 142 - Wednesday 4/9/14 - Happy to have enjoyed a delish dinner from my favorite Food Trucks on this sunny day!

Day 141 - Tuesday 4/8/14 - Had fun just hanging out with my BFF today. 

Day 140 - Monday 4/7/14 - Therapy.  Such needed therapy.  Thankful always.

Day 139 - Sunday 4/6/14 - Enjoyed catching up with an old friend getting a baby fix, too!

Day 138 - Saturday 4/5/14 - Glad that lunch went smoothly.  When at restaurants with the family, it doesn't always go that way.

Day 137 - Friday 4/4/14 - Hello, spring break!  'Nuff said.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Week 14: Gratitude

This is such a timely topic for me.  See, my sister is in town visiting.  For a while.  And things have been interesting.  She's not "used" to life back "home" anymore.  In her mind, everything here should be the same, despite the fact that she hasn't called "here" "home" in over five years.

She was very disappointed that the world continued to move, that people continued on with their lives, and that people weren't catering to her.  Which led to temper tantrums.  Yes, from an adult.

What does this have to do with gratitude?  Well, these days? My sister is the perfect example for "anti-gratitude" which is so not fun to be around.  We go out to dinner?  She hates the restaurant.  She gets to pick the restaurant?  She thinks it's over priced and wants to eat at home.  All she has done, essentially for the past five days straight, is complain.

Her behavior reminds me of what I don't want to be like.  It reminds me of what may happen to me, if I choose to stop working as hard as I've been in life.  If I were to quit therapy, quit with my recovery, quit with everything except for going to work, I'd be very ungrateful.  I'd become a complainer, too.  Well, maybe not, cause it's just not in my nature to outwardly complain, but, you get the idea.

I am so grateful for so many things in my world.  My therapist, my dietitian, my doctor, my whole treatment team, actually.  I'm grateful for the Pup.  I'm grateful for my home, even if it isn't the "perfect" home, it's works well for me.  I'm grateful for my job, even if the stuff that goes on outside my classroom is very unpleasant, inside my room, with my students?  Awesome stuff happens and for that I'm grateful.  I'm grateful for chocolates, I love the sweet treat.  I'm grateful for my friends - few but mighty.  I'm grateful for the gift of blogging, and for my readers.  I'm grateful for clean air to breathe, even if some days, I'd rather bury my head in a pillow.

There's a lot to be grateful for, if gratitude is what you're looking to find.......

Thursday, April 3, 2014

365 Days of Giving Thanks - Year 2

Day 136 - Thursday 4/3/14 - Appreciate the perspective shifting conversation today.  Quite helpful in understanding a challenging student situation.

Day 135 - Wednesday 4/2/14 - So, so, so grateful that my therapist had a cancellation today.......

Day 134 - Tuesday 4/1/14 - Glad that I made it through a very uncomfortable meeting at work without shedding a tear.

Day 133 - Monday 3/31/14 - Baseball is back!  Yahoo!

Day 132 - Sunday 3/30/14 - Enjoyed the first barbeque of the season!

Day 131 - Saturday 3/29/14 - Happy to have reorganized kitchen cabinets, courtesy of my sister.

Day 130 - Friday 3/28/14 - Grateful that this long week ended on a very positive note.