Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Visitor - A Tale for Valentines

I've often likened myself to an island.  I love people, and I love music.  Those two things quite suffice.

However, one of dearest friends in Liverpool said something that got me thinking way back when.  She said, "Sarah, you know, it's strange - I'd consider you one of my best friends, but I know very little about you."

She was right.  I know so many people and could chat the day away, but as excruciatingly social as I am, I am also intensely guarded.  I've always figured that I had a certain amount of transparency and that people could just inherently "know" me.  Well, they may, but I'm not the greatest at getting very close with people.

I'm even worse at using the word boyfriend.

I am a lover of humans.  I thrive on human interaction, and am happy to galavant about and join in whatever people just might get up to.  It is as though the entire world is my boyfriend.  

I had an odd thought lately, but I'm going to share it with you anyway.  You should expect this by now.  

When I'd started dating someone a bit back in the day in Liverpool, a friend of mine said, "Sarah - it's just strange.  And this isn't meant to sound horrible, but it's almost like you're asexual.  I just can't imagine anyone being attached to you."

I thought that was hilarious, and actually quite accurate!  As I said, it is as though the world is my boyfriend.  It's almost as though I have this silly sense of duty to the world to love everyone and be everything I can be for them, so to have someone, one person, who I call my boyfriend or even, maybe, you know, fall in LOVE with, would just be ludicrous and a huge disservice to all of the lovely humans.

I did tell you it was an odd thought.

But, here's the thing.

This island had a visitor.

The visit was far more brief than I'd have cared for it to be, but it happened.  Someone got to this island.  It was good.  It was fun.  He was lovely.  I wasn't expecting it, and I got more out of it than I could have possibly anticipated.  Even when it ended, it ended with a three hour, wonderful conversation that literally ended a phase of chaos and helped me learn a great deal about myself.  

I'm not an island, I suppose.  And letting someone get to me, while possibly a disservice to all the other humans in the world (oh gee, laugh out loud, etc.), turned out to be wonderful.  

A few things that I got from this:  

I know even more lovely humans.
I learned that it turns out, I'm a pretty good girlfriend.
I learned that I don't have to worry about being able to handle work, working out, dieting, a social life, plus having a companion along for the ride.  I can do it.
I was reminded how wonderfully we all deserve to be treated and can't wait for it to happen again someday.

I also got Mister Breakfast.  It just happened, and we had to elaborate...  See below.

I'm spending Valentines Day running around town in a red polka dot shirt my Mom got for me handing out silly Lego Star Wars & holographic kitten and puppy valentines with candy hearts in them to all of my favorite humans, and probably a few I don't even know.  And then I'm going to have dinner with one of my favorite ladies in the world.  And then I'm going to smile for a moment and look forward to when I have another island visitor to share it with someday.

I do have copious amounts of love for you all.  Have the happiest Valentines Day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Feeling good feels good.

It's impossible to not feel slightly more good after listening
to this.  Walk down the street playing this in your earbuds
and tell me you don't smile.  Impossible!

It's funny how life has its ebbs and flows.  This is nothing new, but somehow it seems like an epiphany over and over again.  When you're in the thick of it, some part of you is very logical and aware that it will most certainly pass, but another part of you just can't see past it.  It's hard to remember how to get back to feeling good again.

Once I got the hang of tracking my food, eating healthier and exercising regularly, it got to be second nature. It seemed so easy.  It was the norm.  It wasn't a challenge.  It was my way of life.  It was all so simple and so good.  

I forgot how easy it can be for that to not be the norm.

After a summer and an autumn of struggle, things are finally getting back to normal.  Being the person of extremes that I am, I expected to just start back up and rule the world as I remembered doing before.  But, therein lies the problem!  I had to break my mindset of trying to get back to where was.

THERE anymore!  That was then.  This is now.  Move along.

A lot has changed since then.  But, things have settled down and I'm in a better place in every way now.  I love it when you finally feel something break, something give way, and you know that you're on the right path again.  Well, it's not even that you're on the correct path again - you're at a great pace and making some serious headway towards whatever intersection, bend, bridge or whatever might be on the way.

I met up with a friend last Sunday who is a dietitian.  The initial plan was to talk about food, get some good ideas for new ways of eating, and new things to eat.  It ended up being a great conversation about where I'm at in life in general and what I've got to do to progress.  

It was a healthy dose of divine intervention.  Even though the things we talked about are things I already knew, it sometimes takes the right person at the right time saying something they didn't even know they needed to that hits you, breaks you down, builds you up, and propels you all at once.

I keep forgetting that life is a process.  Things don't magically find a perfect groove forever.  You may have a good stretch, but you'll have rough ones, too.  And they will come and go, and then come and go again.  

I'm finally starting to get it.  

I don't have to do it all at once!  There are so many things I need to do, both at work, and for myself.  But I've been working on a few things at a time.  This week, my goal was to go grocery shopping and return to my regular eating and exercise habits, remembering that even if I only get a half hour of something in, it is better than nothing.  I've also tried starting my days with 10-15 minutes of some kind of exercise.  One morning, I did a 10 minute Pilates video.  Another morning, I did a bunch of core exercises.  I've overcome my urge to buy peanut butter, because if that's in my house, well - it's over.  

I've also done necessary but boring things like scheduling appointments with doctors and insurance agents, rethinking my spending habits and reworking my budget, getting organized, and figuring out a regular schedule of exercise.  I just might start going to bed earlier, too.  

You've heard me say this before, and I will say it over and over again.

It is amazing what happens when you make calculated, boring, conscious choices to simply do things.  

I'm learning that feeling good and being content is not as simple as "feeling" good.  Right now, I've got a lot to work on.  But feeling good is a choice, and it's choosing to make good decisions that will lead to a life of good, not a season of good.  

It's a new kind of goodness, but nonetheless, it feels good to feel good once again.