Wednesday, February 24, 2010
If you are one of those who also read my other blog, you will be aware of these things.
First, we are facing a summer and fall of no work for my hubby. He works in the Oil and Gas industry and the company he is contracted to is in a position to lose much money this year. As a result, they are not doing any new work. Well, they haven't done any new work for nearly a year. Jim's been working on abandoning and maintaining existing wells. This work is beginning to peter out as well. We've been told we can expect no more than 3 - 5 days a month until October, then for 3 months there will be work and in January 2011 things will shut down again. In the midst of this, he recieved a call from the company he worked for in Louisanna during the winter of 07/08. They want him back.
This, of course, is good news.
We feel that we are to go ahead and make preparations to take that job but we have not made a firm decision.
IF the officers at the boarder grant him his temporary work visa, living in Louisianna is not our first choice. Not that we have anything against Louisianna (except the weather in the summer) but it is SO FAR away from our family. On the other hand, we loved our time there and loved the culture and people as well. But it is not our home and our family is here.
Most of our family, anyway. That is something else that is happening......my daughter and her husband will be leaving for Zambia on June 15, taking 2 of my grandchildren with them. I do not know how long they will be gone, but it will months - if not a year - before we see them again. If we take the job in LA, we would be leaving about March 15, taking much of the precious time we have left with them here at home.
Whether we leave or not, there is much to do to get ready...besides the visa preparations. Our trailer needs some work on the brakes before we pull it across the continent...the furnace/air conditioner needs repair....and it will need to be 'packed' with our clothing and the things we use on a daily basis - including materials for me to engage in hobbies to keep me busy while Jim is at work. I will need to work out a system with someone here at home for keeping the bills paid here in Canada.....At least we've done this before, but I think the system could be much better - still need to think on that one. I have an ongoing list of things that need to be put back into the trailer and things that we would want to have with us.....once we are there, we will be traveling back and forth by plane, so whatever we take now is what we will have. Since I'll be driving my car down, and Jim will be driving his truck and pulling the trailer, I need to have new tires put on my car and make sure all maintanence work on both vehicles is up to date for the long trek.
There is a big weekend farewell campout/party for Vinjelu and Kathryn scheduled to be held at our place on the long weekend in May. We will have to be here for that, of course. Vinj and Kath will take care of most of those details, fortunately.
My basement has been STUFFED full of 'stuff' and boxes and bins to the point that it is completely unusable. I made a goal to have it purged and cleaned before the party so that if the weather is not nice, there is a place for the various children to play.
Now, with our departure date coming before that time, I've been working frantically to have it completed before we (possibly) leave.
You might wonder why we would NOT take a confirmed job offer when there is no work in our own province....well, you have to understand one principle.....nothing is ever for sure in the oil patch - except that nothing is ever for sure. We do not want to go to the extra expense and all the hassle of maintaining two households thousands of miles apart and in two different countries and then find that we could have worked at home.....this is something Jim has to weigh. Fortunately, he is a man who knows how to hear from God. And God, our Father, knows the end from the beginning. He will direct us.
All this to say that my days have been full.....mostly working in the basement.....for the past few weeks. I am hoping to have all the boxes purged by this weekend then have my kids come over and go through the stacks of things in my 'give away' piles before packing them up for me to take to GoodWill. I'm sure there will also need to be a trip to the dump since our garbage pickup only comes by every 2 weeks. They were just here today and emptied my bin but I have enough garbage stacked to almost fill it again already. Normally, with just household garbage, we only need pickup every 6 weeks or so.
Also, I just realized that Kathryn has a trip to BC planned for next week to visit her good friends there. That means that 5 of the few days I have left to spend with her she will be gone....so, I am going to take a few hours each day to go visit her - meaning I'll have to work later into the evening in order to meet my goals. (She planned this trip before news of our possible departure)
Can you tell that I dread having my kids living on the other side of the world? I do, although I am settled in my heart that this is what they are called to do right now. They will be working with Youth With a Mission in Lusaka, Zambia...running schools and working in Community Development as missionaries. Kathryn has a plan for a couple businesses.....photography and making/selling cloth diapers. They hope to be able to become self-sufficient through these ventures. As well, they have their music....they write and perform a unique blend of lyrical and rap songs. (They have one song for sale on iTunes.....look up 'Weeping' by Another Way and download it to your computer or iPod) They will be working toward having their music provide for them as well. When they will have time to do Community Development and YWAM schools, I do not know, but this is the way they live here, too.....always with far more involvement and projects than 4 average couples.
My oldest kids have purchased a house. They will be moving in a few days after we leave (if we leave). This is something else that is pulling at us.....to miss out on such an important event will be very sad.
My second son has applied to the city police force. He has been preparing for this application for a year now. If accepted, this will mean big changes in their household. We like to be around for our kids at the crossroads of their lives.
My third son is in a hard place right now....harder for us than for him, I think (unfortunately). He has discarded the faith in which he was brought up in order to please himself. The event that precipitated this change was the abandonment by his wife of 5 years. It has been nearly a year since she walked out (with no warning) and he's had a rough time of it - including losing his house. It would be hard to be away from him at this time. At least he will have his older brothers.
Our youngest, at nearly 21, had plans to move into his own place in town for the first time. We've had to ask him to put those plans aside so that there is someone living in our house while we are gone. He will have responsibility for our dogs and for the yard (no small thing in the spring/summer). I feel bad leaving him saddled with this, but I am thankful that he is a loving, giving man who looks only on the positive side of this arrangement. He is just entering manhood and his closest confidants are his sister and BIL - who are leaving for Zambia.....and if we are gone too.......I guess I just have to trust God. And him. And his brothers and SsIL.
Have I convinced you that there are good reasons to not want to be so far away?
There are reasons to look forward to the adventure, though....as I said, we loved LA - the people especially. We loved taking 'mini holidays' to see places and things that are almost foreign to us. We loved having the time all to ourselves - with few responsibilities to distract us from our own relationship. I would have time to scrapbook, write, paint, study.....all the things I want to do but cannot seem to find the time for.
We are trusting in the leading and direction of God.....and will put our children in their various places of life into His hands.
With all the hours I've been spending in my basement, I've not felt like cooking for myself and have not been eating well (or much). The other day I took time to cook a meal (with leftovers for another meal) for myself. The numbers on the scale came down immediately. I know this about myself.....if I don't eat enough, I gain or stall out. As soon as I eat more normally, I begin to lose again. What I really need is a maid/cook to look after these every day tasks while I tackle the big project downstairs.
Anyway, that is a brief update on what is going on in my life, now on with the next 'essential to feeling your best every day'
" By forgiving yourself and others for past and present mistakes, real or percieived, you will gain freedom from negativity and guilt that will strengthen you and those you love"
Forgiveness is an important aspect of a peaceful, happy life. The well-known prayer that Jesus taught his disciples says "Forgive us our tresspasses, AS WE FORGIVE those who tresspass against us." Many passages in the New Testament instruct us on the importance of forgiveness to our relationship with God.
Even secular writings and wisdom emphasize that in order to be really happy, we must let go of the past...forgive, in order to be emotionally healthy.
A lack of forgiveness leads to bitterness, which eats at your mind, your heart, your soul....and even your body. Yes, bitterness can lead to disease.
One thing that stood out to me in the paragraph I quoted above is "by forgiving YOURSELF..."
I think this is something that those who struggle with weight have a problem with. At least, I've had this problem. We beat ourselves up for the choices we've made that led to our current weight problems. We trash talk ourselves for 'slipping up', for 'sabatoging' our own efforts. We do not like ourselves because we are fat.
We do not forgive ourselves for being what we are.
The fact is......It is what it is.
I made bad choices over the last 40 odd years. I got fatter and fatter. I beat myself up over this more every year. I could not forgive myself for not being a trim, slim, in shape person.
It was not until I forgave myself for my stupid mistakes and behaviors.....and especially for harboring unforgiveness toward myself that I began to be able to take some control of my lifestyle in regard to eating.
When I begin to beat myself up, to be unforgiving toward myself, I turn to those foods and behaviors that made me fat in the first place.....I tell myself it is 'comfort', but really, it is punishment because 'I am a bad person' to let myself get fat.
Last night, I came to a box of my clothing that I had kept, hoping to one day 'get into' again. As I pulled out the dress I bought for my daughter's baby shower almost 25 years ago, I was shocked at how small it was! Holy Smoke! If I could have had a forgiving heart toward myself at that time, I might have gotten even smaller - and I most likely would NOT now be struggling to lose another nearly 80 pounds to just get to a size that will probably not be much (if any) smaller than I was then.
Let's take this 'essential' to heart.
Forgive those who caused you enough hurt that you turned to food for 'comfort'.
Forgive those who taught you bad habits or contributed to your bad habits.
Forgive and live.
PS....I did NOT keep the dress - or most of the other things in that box.....when I get down to my goal weight, I'm buying an ALL NEW wardrobe, not pulling out 25 year old clothes! (I put away money each month toward that day)
Sunday, February 7, 2010
The next 5 essentials to feeling your best everyday may surprise you. The first 5 had to do with physical health....
MOST of those are no-brainers to those of us who have spent any time at all in an effort to change our life style and lose weight.
There is a topic that has been discussed here and there on some of your blogs - the fear of being thin and the resulting self sabotage. (An 'unhealthy' state of mind.)
Also, consider this.....does being thin and fit make you necessarily feel your best?
Will being thin make you feel good inside and out?
Are thin people happy and healthy people because they are thin?
Can you feel great BEFORE you are thin?
The answer to all these questions is, of course, that we are not just a body. We need to care for our bodies, yes, but we also need to care for our 'inner person'...... our emotional being..... our spirit.
In my humble opinion, our 'spirit man' suffers when we do not care for our bodies BUT our bodies also suffer when we do not care for our 'spirit man'. We are complex beings.
So, with that in mind, I continue with the list of 'Ten Essentials to Feeling Your Best Every Day."
#6 GIVE AND RECEIVE LOVE
"As you give and receive love, freely and generously, you will be blessed with meaningful, lifelong relationships and cherished memories that will bring joy in happy times, and strength and peace in difficult times"
Most of us have someone we love.....a spouse, significant other, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, friend, pet....
I challenge you, however, to think of love not as something you feel for someone, but as something you do and live.
You can live love all the time, giving love to every person you come in contact with because love is not just hugs and kisses and a special feeling. Yes, it encompasses those things, but it is so much bigger.
Love is actually more a verb than a noun.....it requires action.
You can live love by being patient and kind with each person you come in contact with.... including the jerk who cut you off in traffic. Even harder, we live love when we are patient and kind with our children and husbands no matter how 'jerky' they are.
We live love when we are unselfish.... when our focus is not on pleasing ourselves, but on serving others.
Read 1 Corinthians 13 for the classic and most concise description of Love.
Note that this 'essential' is not only about giving (or living) love, it is also about receiving love. Sometimes we have a hard time letting someone love us.....I'm no psychologist, but I know there could be hundreds of reasons to reject love - just as there are hundreds of reaons we withold love.
In order to really be healthy and happy, we must be able to live love and recieve love.
We can do this no matter what size our jeans are.
Without this essential, it won't matter how skinny you are - you will not be truly happy.
With it, our happiness is not dependant on the scale and let's face it......a person who is truly happy and full of love is one that others want to be around.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
The Fifth Essential to Good Health is....
"Your body was created to move - and move often. Activity increases your circulation, speeding oxygen, nutrients, and water to your cells. Your Lymphatic System requires activity to purge your body of deadly toxins. Activity also triggers your brain to release health-giving hormones and enzymes, which lift your spirit while they bolster your immune system. A small investment in daily moderate activity will enable you to reap tremendous health benefits." (from the TriVita philosophy.....see post on Essential #1 for detail)
If you have been around this blog for awhile, you know that 'Exercise' is not something I easily incorporate into my life. My passions are all sedentary....reading, learning, crafting, art, photography, writing. HOWEVER, it is not that I do not like exercise, because when I actually discipline myself to get started on some kind of exercise routine I enjoy it quite thoroughly. I think the problem is in the sentence before where I note my 'passions'. Exercise (or activity) has never been a passion in my life. I'm not a person who absolutely MUST be outside or who LOVES to play golf or walk or swim or garden even. (It is no wonder that I've spent my entire life battling extra weight.) Because it has never been a passion, I am easily 'derailed' from my routine.
Here's a thought, though......if I've spent my whole life trying to lose weight, and EXERCISE has been something I've been told I must do in order to lose that weight, then how could it ever be any more than a discipline? Something I HAD to do, whether I wanted to or not. Nobody had to tell me, as a child, to go out and play Run Sheep Run with the other kids in the neighborhood....or go ride my bike for miles every day, exploring the town and visiting my friends. (Of course, I was a child many years ago - it was safe for kids to have more freedom in the 60's) No, I was active without being told to be active. I was having fun, not 'exercising'.
As I grew into my teens, it was no longer 'cool' to be running around or riding my bike all over town and I began to put a little weight on. It wasn't a whole lot, really, but I felt like I was huge.....too fat to go swimming. Too fat to play ball. Too fat to ride a bike or go hiking or any number of things that would have been fun. So, because I thought I was too fat to be active, I gradually became too fat.
During this whole time, the only kind of activity I felt even close to comfortable with was what was considered 'weight loss exercise' because of course, you are never too fat to lose weight, right? But the exercise classes, gym memberships, home gym equipment all served to emphasize to me what I thought I knew.....I was too fat, and (as my blog title says) a failure.
Exercise became a punishment for being fat.
What if I could change my mind about activity/exercise? What if my focus wasn't on how much weight I might lose or how many calories are burned, but on the health benefits of activity. (As the above quote focuses on) Would I begin to think differently about movement?
A HEALTHY lifestyle is my goal, afterall, not a specific weight.
I've never thought about how activity aids my body in the work it was meant to do (other than making my muscles stronger). Everyone has heard that exercise increases the 'happy hormones' that 'lift your spirit', but I've never heard before that exercise actually boosts the immune system.
There's a new H1N1 remedy.....exercise.
Want to avoid having colds this winter? Go for a walk.
Want to 'cleanse' your body of toxins? go dancing.
Feeling depressed? Ride a bike.
Want to live longer? Exercise.
I'm not saying I won't use the exercise equipment, weights, or DVD's.....just that maybe if I start to focus on the health benefits more than the feeling of exercise being a 'punishment' for being fat, just maybe I can become a person who includes some kind of activity in her list of passions.
How about you? Is exercise a passion or a punishment for you?