Sunday, March 9, 2014

Icicles dripping in the sun

Over the years I’ve known people who, for deep psychologically unbalanced reasons, were content to be “sick” in mind, body, or spirit because they craved attention and suffered from emotional problems, but I don’t know many people that enjoy having a cold. I certainly don’t and I’m not happy about the one I have either. I hate them, not just because they make me feel miserable, but because they zap my energy and I have too many things to do to feel ”icky.”  ­­­­­­
I spent a bit more time than usual in the lazy boy chair yesterday looking out the window. ­The sun was shining and the feeders were just loaded with hungry birds. Even the deer were out milling around the backyard yesterday, so in spite of how I was feeling, the view was actually quite lovely. The thing that captured my attention most of all was the icicles dripping from the roof.  As I’ve shared before, this winter has been especially harsh here in the north woods, and there is at least a foot and a half….closer to two I think, feet of snow on the roofs of my house, garage, and out-buildings. Each day there seems to be another home or business that caves in because of the weight of the snow, and people are a bit anxious these days, wondering if their roofs will bear the weight.  For many of us, yesterday’s sunshine was an answer to prayer, even though the temperature didn’t rise above freezing, because it meant that some snow would melt under the intense rays. We are expecting more of the same today.
I was captivated yesterday by the continual drip, drip, drip of melting snow. The rhythmic dripping was soothing and fun to watch, but at this rate, it will take weeks to melt it all, especially when it gets so cold at night (right now it is 1 degree) and it freezes back up at night.  My human nature just wishes I would wake up and it would be spring and all the snow would be gone (minus the weeks and weeks of mud that will accompany the snowmelt) and the daffodils would be poking their heads through the soil. Wouldn’t that be lovely????  I know, however, that a very quick warm-up would be disastrous and would cause severe flooding, roof leaks, impassable roads due to mud and potholes, and septic systems saturation, among other things. This is a case where….too fast….is not good.
I couldn’t help but think about my journey and how similar it has been, and continues to be, like those dripping icicles. In the beginning, I just wanted all the weight to be GONE…quickly and without work. Why couldn’t I just lose like 10 pounds a week???  ­At this rate it’s going to take me years! Gosh, it is SO SLOW…I’ve been doing this for MONTHS and I’m still in the same size!  Thought after thought like that. You’ve been there, come on admit it.  It’s human nature. We are impatient and we want what we want when we want it. And yet, weight loss, wellness, addiction recovery, relationship building, training for a 5K or lifting weights….any of our issues or life changes…..don’t just “happen” overnight. It takes day-to-day, slow, continual effort to make progress. Long-lasting change is a slow and gradual process, much like the dripping icicles on my eave. Too much too fast, especially with weight loss, leads to a whole slew of problems. Slow and steady….a little at a time… drip, one pound, one thought, one step at a time. 
Those icicles are frozen solid this morning….no progress at the moment….but I have faith that they will eventually start dripping again….maybe not today or tomorrow….but some time. I know that the snow will eventually melt and spring will eventually arrive and the daffodils will eventually bloom….but only after getting through the mud, spring rains, and thaw-freeze-thaw cycle that accompanies spring.  Likewise, I know that YOU and I will eventually get to where we want to be in our journeys. We will eventually reach our goals……but in the meantime, there will be weeks where progress seems to halt, there will be plateaus, there will be days when we just want to quit and give up…..BUT WE WON’T!  Why????? Because we KNOW that like the seasons, life is a process, and we are works in progress. Change does not happen overnight……no matter how much we whine, or complain, or want it to.
If you happen to live in a cold climate, take a few minutes to look at the icicles next time you see them and remember that slow and steady wins the race. Be patient….and trust that you will get there!  Keep on fighting the fight! You can do it!!!!