I took some fabulous girls to the corn maze tonight.  We were not going to go (it was originally a Girl Scout event, but I hadn’t gotten my act together to find another parent to chaperone and to make sure my girls were all registered in time), but when I broke the news to Quinland the night before, she was very disappointed.  I decided to reframe the whole plan and decided I could still go as a civilian, just a mom taking my daughter’s friends on an outing… and I could do it with a lot less paperwork.

I had a suspicion that I was not going to be able to find anything healthy to eat at the corn maze, so I ate a rice-and-chicken bento before we left.  I had decided to allow myself a treat when we got there, if I could find something without flour or dairy.  I ended up getting hot apple cider and – okay, I know it has some “dairy” and isn’t healthy, but it didn’t have flour! – a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos.  Yummmm…..

It has become second nature to me to pass up the wheat and dairy.  I’m not saying I don’t think about eating those foods.  I do – it would be a lot easier, and I love bread products of all kinds.  But I’ve moved from a “I can’t eat that” mindset to an “I don’t eat that” mindset.  So just as I can walk through 7-Eleven and look past the 5-Hour Energy drinks and the cans of chewing tobacco since I don’t put those things in my body, I can do the same with the Haagen-Dazs and the donuts.

Five things I was grateful for today (well, really yesterday, at this point):

  1. My daughter’s fabulous friends;
  2. A corn maze that was muddy and rainy without being hellish;
  3. Deb lending me her minivan;
  4. Wine and chattiness with Raina, whom I have missed terribly;
  5. The Queen Mother, again.  I am really enjoying that book.
  • {Take good care of myself}:  It was a pretty good week, health-wise.  I exercised three four times, which was three times more than the prior few weeks; I stayed on the healthy eating plan; I got decent sleep 5 out of 7 nights (yeah, I thought I was going to bed at 11 last night, but then I felt sick, and then I had chills, and then it was 4 am…)
  • {Spend quality time with people} and {Fill my life with laughter}:  Such a fun night with the girls and with Raina!

Untitled” by J B/BY CC

Truth AND consequences

Hiding and watching
Photo by akk_rus

Sometimes it takes a real effort not to climb into bed and pull the covers over my head.

I’m pretty overwhelmed right now, between the number of things I need to do and my apparent ability to get them done.  I feel like my emphasis on personal growth might be at the expense of… well, everything else.

My house is giving me a psychic beatdown.  Everywhere I look, there are piles (I am talking about multiple-square-foot piles, not little insignificant stacks) of things to be dealt with: sell, file, give away, find a home for, burn.  I tell myself, “It’s going to get better!  It will be a rebirth!  Think of how fabulous it will be!”  But I am a pretty tough sell, and instead of being convinced, I get that wave-of-unreasonable-sadness feeling and the bed looks very very good to me.

Believe it or not, I try to be pretty upbeat on the ol’ blog.  I’m doing pretty well on my health lately.  I have gotten a good night’s sleep every night but one (which, admittedly, was a 2 am disaster) and I have been eating perfectly and exercising.  What I have NOT been doing is piling up all around me, and I am stressing out about it.

I need to face the music.  Be my own drill sergeant.  Kick my own ass, as my sister once said.  I need to call the people who need to hear from me, make the apologies that need to be made, do the paperwork that needs to be done.  It’s called character, people, and I need some, stat.  Hopefully, at the end of it all I can crawl into bed and sleep with a clear conscience.  Because right now, I’m not really feeling it.

Five things I am grateful for today:

  1. A lovely email from the church choir guy who said, “I can say with certainty that you have a good voice. So it would be great if you would sing with us.”  (I told him I was getting cold feet.)
  2. Making David so happy by finally cutting his hair.
  3. My boss told me I was doing a great job on the Very Important Report I have been working on.  I don’t even think he was trying to butter me up so I would work overtime this weekend.  Well, maybe…
  4. I got to talk to my dear friend Linda Q  for her birthday.
  5. Hyperbole and a Half.  I need to put it on my blogroll.
  • {Take good care of myself}: Exercised at lunch; ate well all day, going to bed at 11.
  • {Live in a beautiful, orderly, clutter-free home}: Worked for 2 hours with David tonight on eBay listings.

Sowing the seeds of love

New Growth
Photo by davetoaster

Patti had an excellent comment on the blog today.  She said that I should not talk so much of improving myself, because “improving” makes it sound as though I am currently flawed.  She suggested that what I am seeking is growth, not improvement.  She encouraged me to “seek knowledge and enlightenment that will open [my] mind and body to growth and maturity in a positive way that will influence [me] now and in the future.

One of my students once said of me, “She loves the dictionary.”  It’s true.  So let’s start looking up some words!

Improvement is defined as “To bring into a more desirable or valuable condition.”  My favorite definitions of growth include “A gradual beginning or coming forth,” and “A process in which something passes by degrees to a different stage (especially a more advanced or mature stage).”   Or how about this one:  “A purely biological unfolding of events involved in an organism changing gradually from a simple to a more complex level.”

Growth is a very different concept than improvement.  Do things change, often for the better, as they grow?  Certainly.  But the difference is that growth is a natural process, brought about by life events and experiences, without any of the “more desirable” or “more valuable” connotations.  Do we think of little kids or puppies as less valuable than the people and dogs they will grow up to be?  Seeds are not going to be trees without a lot of growing, but that doesn’t make it less desirable to be a seed.

I could take this tree-growing theme further.  Bonsai trees grow in a certain way and to a certain size because someone carefully trains their growth.  Perhaps that’s what I am trying to do: train myself to grow in certain ways, for certain reasons.  I just need to be patient with myself when I don’t get miraculous results overnight.  I need to be firm with myself as to my intentions and easy with myself as to the speed at which I change.

Five things I am grateful for today:

  1. Weird-looking Halloween recipes.  We are going to make watermelon brains.
  2. The Queen Mother.  (I am reading her official biography and it is fascinating.)
  3. Natalie licking my face when I dropped Lynette off after work.
  4. A sweet card and treats from my little Deb.
  5. Loose-fitting trousers.  Perhaps the eating well is beginning to pay off.
  • {Take good care of myself}:  Shopped for groceries! Ate pretty well.  No flour, sugar or dairy.  Going to bed at a reasonable hour.  Will have to make up exercise in the morning as my gut is not cooperating tonight.
  • {Live in a beautiful, orderly, clutter-free house}: Did dishes and three loads of laundry.  Processed some newspapers.