Sunday, December 21, 2014

just checking in

Good morning friends.  Just want to check in and say Good Morning. I have been extremely busy this week trying to get things ready for Christmas. The holidays happen at the same time every year and yet, I'm always scrambling at the last minute to get things done. Many of the things on my "to-do" list can't really be done too far ahead of time, but still, I could have did a better job managing my time to avoid some of this stress. Nonetheless, I am confident that everything will get done, I'll arrive safely at my destination, and this will be a joyful holiday season...because regardless of what happens, I recognize that I am truly blessed and I know that NONE of the things that I am concerned/fretting about really have anything to do with the spirit of Christmas.

It’s been a week of parties and holiday gatherings and I’ve been surrounded by goodies. As I mentioned last week, I had three celebrations in one day last week. I managed to stay on track though and yet, still found ways to participate. When my  colleagues gathered for breakfast at a local café, I ordered plain oatmeal. They had an oatmeal item on the menu but it came with a fancy bread and a lot of high-calorie toppings. I knew that essentially those “extras” would turn my “good choice” into a ‘not-the-best” option, so I politely asked the waitress if I could get just a side order of plain oatmeal. I had a small pill bottle of sugar free vanilla creamer in my purse so I used that, along with some cinnamon and sweetener and I was good to go. Others at my table order a breakfast parfait; a Big-man’s platter; and other good-looking items, but I was happy and satisfied with my oatmeal. Although my friends’ plates looked a lot better than mine, the satisfaction I felt about making a good choice lingered throughout the rest of the day….and motivated me to remain strong at the next challenge.  Confidence is gained like that; you are successful in one thing and then the next is a bit easier, much like walking the first few steps or block. Once you know you can master that….perhaps not perfectly….but SURVIVE….you begin to believe that you can do anything!  You very likely ARE going to be in a situation at some point where you find yourself in a similar situation at a restaurant. My advice is this: Don’t be afraid to be ‘different” or the ONLY ONE choosing a healthier option and don’t be embarrassed about asking the waitress or chef to accommodate you.

Later that day we had a pot-luck at the office. This one was bit more difficult, not because of the sight of the food, but the smell. There were crockpots set up all morning outside my office door and the smell of the food filled the air. I kept reminding myself that no matter how good it looked; how good it smelled; or how good it probably tasted that NONE of that even compared to the ability to walk after being immobile for a lot of years. It always comes down to this: What do  want MORE….a Christmas cookie or piece of cheesecake or to continue to enjoy this new life.  The choice was very easy when I put it in that context. I said a quick prayer thanking God for the miracle, and then took my Greek yogurt and apple and joined my coworkers at the table, focusing not on what others were eating around me, but rather on the conversations taking place.

This coming week will not be easy and very likely I will be more relaxed and allow myself some wiggle room to enjoy the festivities, but in my head I am already preparing to be successful and am confident that I will be strong…..because….. I have done it in the past and I am mentally, emotionally, and physically preparing for it. Being on a life-long journey is not easy….not in the beginning….not during….and especially not now….but it is WORTH IT. Trust me….it is worth being “different”; it is worth the extra effort to prepare/pack some things that are on your plan; it is worth being “embarrassed” to speak to the waiter or stick out amongst your family/friends….and it is worth the effort.

Please remember that whatever YOU decide to do this week; whatever choices YOU decide to make; and whatever happens….it is not the end of the world. Don’t let guilt or bad feelings of any kind rob you of the peace and joy of the holidays. In end….like the fact that for the first year ever, I didn’t get any Christmas cards out or I’m not happy with my gift purchases…NONE of it really matters that much. We just have to keep starting over and trying harder. 

a peaceful day today; mine will be very busy…but I’m filled with gratitude.