Thursday, September 5, 2013

Is summer really over?

I had to give myself a little “pep-talk” this morning because I’ve been feeling a bit melancholy this week about the rapidly waning summer.  Labor Day always does that to me. Every year I say this, but it seems like summer just flew by.  This morning the temp is in the 40’s and the furnace just kicked on as I’m drinking my coffee. Yikes! Is summer really over? A few weeks ago at this time of morning (a bit before 6 am), I was drinking my coffee outside on my patio, watching the sunrise. Today, I’m snuggled under a comforter, with 2 kitties on my lap, listening to the furnace run, and gazing into the darkness.  Fortunately, it is supposed to warm up for the weekend, and perhaps…just perhaps….I’ll get another day or two of floating in the pool before it’s time to close it up. 

While having a “pity-party” of sorts, I started to think about all the things that I had planned/hoped to do this summer that I “never got around to”.  This includes:

·         Going to the zoo

·         Going to Comerica Park for the first time to see the Detroit Tigers play

·         Taking a day-trip drive up to see the Mackinaw Bridge

·         Taking my bike to the Pere-Marquette rails to trails bike path

·         Visiting Dow Gardens in Midland

·         Starting my book

·         Visiting my cousins/uncles up in Indian River

·         Cleaning and organizing the garage

·         Listing a lot of “fat clothes” on EBay

·         Learning to dance

·         Spending time on the boat with my brother and his family

·         Writing at least 1, preferably 2, letters to far-away friends/relatives

The list goes on……sigh……

It’s easy to be down when I think about all these…could have, would have, should have’s……But in reality, even feeling ONE BIT SAD about my summer is absurd, because although the items on the list above are still…Hope to, want to…going to do’s someday, I had a truly amazing summer!  So instead of focusing on what “I didn’t get to do, or what I don’t have, or what I wish …”, I’ve decided instead to focus on “what blessings, what experiences, what joys” I have been given!  

So…I’m making a list of all those incredibly wonderful….often unplanned and unexpected….things/blessings/joys that I did enjoy this summer:

·         Attending the wedding of my long-time, very dear friends, Theresa (age 73) and Philip (age 87) and being privileged to help the bride dress/prepare for the wedding ceremony, not to mention getting out on the dance floor for the first time in more years than I can remember and “dancing like nobody was watching” because I was truly JOYFUL.

·         Taking a trip to Dayton, Ohio to see a very special high-school friend, Joe, for the first time in 22 years, attending my very first “in the park-outdoor” concert….and fitting in the stadium style seats for the first time in 2 decades.  Climbing to the top of a 50 foot tower overlooking a gorgeous nature park, catching up, laughing, visiting, just simply enjoying myself for a few days.

·         Garage saling multiple times…finding lots and lots of treasures, mostly clothes and shoes….in size 10/12/M’s and being able to go from house to house for hours without tiring or depending on a walker or cane!

·         Buying and riding a 2-wheel bike for the first time in 30 years…and biking between 5-7 miles on a regular basis….Oh yes, I can!!!!!

·         Sliding down a child’s play-set slide…..after my 11 year old niece said…”You can’t do that, Aunt Terri”… Well…let me tell you, YES, I CAN!

·         Flying a kite for the first time since I was a kid.

·         Building the winning float for the family’s annual Lake of the Pines 4th of July parade. Participating in all the activities/games that I’ve been instrumental in planning for the Brinkmeier Family week-long camping/reunion, and not having to sit and watch others have fun.

·         Building, digging, designing, planting MULTIPLE perennial gardens in my yard….massive landscaping projects.

·         Learning to do a cartwheel!

·         Turning “50” and beginning my YEAR OF JUBILEE.  Going on an incredible day-trip to the Sleeping Bear Sand dunes with a dear friend, seeing them for the first time, climbing/hiking to the top of the dunes/bluff….just enjoying the best birthday of my life!

·         Taking a ride on a Harley Davison motorcycle!  And a dune-buggy….and a Polaris all-terrain vehicle

·         Going to the river….having a lot of special times with my ‘other half”

·         Repairing/rebuilding/renewing/ relationships/friendships… meeting a lot of new friends.

·         Having the privilege of sharing my story with Woman’s World magazine!

·         Launching a website

·         Taking multiple “days off” to use up accrued vacation time

·         Laughing, loving, learning, growing

The list is endless……so much joy!!!!!

After all of that….why on earth would I be sad about things “left undone?”  I’m not one that ever believes that “another day” is a guarantee, but as long as God continues to bless me with the gift of life, and I stay focused and motivated to keep the weight off, there will be opportunities to do some of those things that I’d still like to do….maybe even in the next month or two. On the other hand, there will also be a lot of “unexpected” and “unplanned” blessings that will come my way in the future. It’s absurd to dwell on anything but the blessings of the day….and to look with hope to the future.

SO….in terms of our journey….. I encourage you to take a few minutes to think about those things that you would like to do…..perhaps, it will contain many things that you can’t do now because of weight, immobility, finances, life situations, addictions….whatever……and then think about WHAT you have to do….WHAT changes you have to make….WHAT behavior you have to alter….in order to make it happen.  Two years ago… I would have never ever imagined that I’d be able to do ANY of the things on either list above. It just wasn’t possible/feasible at 400+ pounds.   You might not think that you will EVER be able to the things on your list either....BUT TRUST ME…..YOU CAN!  You can make the changes necessary….lose the weight, break the habits, get stronger, beat the depression….whatever…..and YOU CAN do whatever it is that you want to.  Make that list….use it as motivation…use it as inspiration…use it as a goal….and JUST DO IT!  IT might take a long time to get there….gosh, it took me 22 months….but little by little, day by day…meal by meal…choice my choice…YOU WILL get there! But you have to START now….or CONTINUE on.

BUT…in the meantime….don’t fall into the ‘blues” or “be depressed” as I found myself dealing with. Instead, focus on WHAT YOU CAN DO…WHAT YOU DO HAVE…WHAT JOY/BLESSINGS God gives you each day….WHAT YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED…..AND CELEBRATE that!  Tomorrow may never come…Rejoice in today!  AND most important…Don’t give up!