Archives for posts with tag: eat less love more

In life, generally, there is an implicit expectation that we each “pull our own weight”, or “handle our share of the load” – basically, to do our part in our family life, our community, and even our world to create, maintain, and nurture the world we want to live in, and that we want to provide for our loved ones and descendants. That seems almost effortless compared to the more practical, less metaphorical, pulling of my own literal weight around each and every day.

I weigh more than I’d like, more than I find beautiful based on my own aesthetic, and more than is ideally healthy for me, personally, based on my own experience of movement, fitness, and comfort each day. This morning I am sipping my coffee and rather rudely chastising myself for finding losing a few pounds (and keeping it off) more difficult than building world peace, or overcoming poverty, privation, and disease. Ludicrous. So… while we all work on those other much larger issues, I’ll also work on making my issues with my weight much smaller – and thereby making myself somewhat smaller, and probably quite a bit healthier, and even reducing the burden on global resources in some minuscule way simply by consuming less, and more wisely. SomeΒ of my chronic health concerns would be eased, possibly resolved, if I lost the excess weight I’m dragging around, too… which sounds like a great way to reduce my health care expenses, as a further “value add” to getting fit.

So. Another journey begins again. This is a hard one for me, for a number of reasons that are intertwined with the chaos and damage. It’s time to set down more of the baggage, shed unnecessary pounds, and walk on. I even know I can do this – because I’ve done it before; I haven’t always been overweight. This morning, I practice bringing more mindfulness to my yoga, and to my physical therapy routine. It’ll be an every day commitment to be successful, and I expect to begin again any number of times… there are verbs involved, and I know my results vary. I’m very human. Still, it’s a worthy endeavor, so I begin again. Again. I fall back on practical basics that I know work: gamification (SuperBetter is a great tool!), accountability (talking about it reduces ‘get away with something’ opportunities), and mindfulness – both with regard to consumption and with regard to tracking data. “What gets measured gets managed” still works for me. And… there are still verbs involved.

…In the three plus years I’ve been writing this blog, I could easily have reached my fitness goals several times (and got really close once). I’m frustrated by that, sure, but I understand that incremental change over time does really work – it’s those pesky verbs! The verbs are not avoidable, and must actually be lived, done, performed, acted upon, otherwise they remain only words in sentences, becoming, perhaps, thoughts and never becoming achievements. It happens. I know – I happened it. πŸ™‚ (Or, rather, I didn’t.) It’s time to begin again – it’s nearly always quite an ideal time to begin again. It’s not necessary to save it for a Monday, or first thing in the morning, or perhaps on the first of the month, or for a New Year’s resolution, and in fact I’ve often been surprised to find that handling something that way (by selecting some opportune seeming beginning point in the future) resulted in failure more often than success. Failures are okay – steps on a journey – but they can be quite a buzz kill, and that’s more to deal with.

Each time for the first time, each moment the only moment. ~Jon Kabat-Zinn

Each time for the first time, each moment the only moment. ~Jon Kabat-Zinn

It’s funny something so practical as losing some weight can be such a challenge… I think we probably all understand that doing so requires fewer calories, more carefully chosen to meet nutritional needs, consumed in the context of the most active lifestyle we can comfortably maintain for our overall fitness. So many verbs…but hey, no fancy diet is actually required, and it doesn’t cost anything more to eat far less, generally. Choices. Verbs. Incremental changes over time. It’s tempting to see this journey as being “about” the destination (losing the weight), but this too is more about the journey itself, is it not? πŸ˜‰

Practical thoughts on a Thursday morning, likely the result of practical thinking generally as I begin to shift gears from living largely at leisure, painting and writing, toward something more commonplace, with a commute, regular hours, an income, expectations… and yet another beginning. It’s enough to be who I am, in this moment. It’s enough to be here, now, content and relaxed, and still aware that there is more to do on the journey of being the woman I most want to be. I’m okay with that; it’s about the journey, after all. πŸ™‚ Today is a good day to begin again.

One of the sweetest outcomes of the choice to live alone is how much more obviously precious time with my traveling partner is. There’s little to share about last night. It was an intimate connected evening spent having dinner, hanging out, and enjoying conversation…about life, about love, about the future of our shared and individual endeavors, about recent appointments with doctors…words, shared between lovers. It was a lovely evening, and ended gently with time left over to spend in the studio inking details on a landscape, still thinking about love.

Practice the practices that take you closer to being the human being you most want to be.

Practice the practices that take you closer to being the human being you most want to be.

One of the things I most value about a strong partnership is the mutual support for individual endeavors. So many conversations amount to “Can you…?” “Yes.”, and “Will you…?” “Sure.” – and we know that other person so dear to us isn’t just throwing empty words into the space between us; they’ll really be there, as indicated. We offer ourselves, our time, our thoughts, to each other. We nurture the best within ourselves – and the best within that person we so adore. It’s a rare and beautiful thing, and it involves a lot of choices, and a lot of verbs. Totally worth it. It also turned out to be less about finding some ideal human with whom to have such an experience, and a whole lot more about being a human with whom someone can have such an experience. (Thank you, Love. It’s a journey very worth sharing.)

Getting here was a journey - it is a journey to sustain love, too; there are verbs involved.

Getting here was a journey – it is a journey to sustain love, too; there are verbs involved.

I sip my coffee and continue to linger on the recollection of last evening. I consider where life is taking me, and what choices ahead could most benefit me while also supporting my partner’s long-term needs. I think about these things in the context of community, of enjoyment, of sustainability, and of lasting-value. Mostly, I think about love and loving. I think about retirement; timing that carefully might result in being able to step away from the corporate grind into a handful of years supporting my traveling partner’s business directly, before retiring in earnest to paint and write full time. Suddenly, the idea of buying a little place of my own – our own – takes on a new dimension for me; how best to also serve my partner’s long-term needs becomes an important question. It’s a lovely morning to think about love, to ponder a shared future with someone so dear, and to enjoy my coffee with no agenda but my own. My choices matter, and it feels very good indeed to be so well loved, so thoroughly considered, so completely respected and valued, so heard, to be dealt with so openly and with such compassion. I enjoy the reciprocity in our partnership; my needs are as important, and as thoroughly discussed and supported together, as my partner’s are.

I smile when I realize my writing this morning reads a bit like a love note to love… Seems reasonable, really. Isn’t love worth a few words? πŸ™‚

As I near the end of my coffee, my thoughts turn towards more practical matters. I get no criticism about that from myself; there are tasks to handle, things on a to do list, and stuff to get done. I find all the fuss and bother of adulthood a bit more manageable if I organize my thoughts – and my activities. I consider my limited time, and the priorities of things needing to be done. What matters most? How important is it? Is there a matter of time or timing? I find myself less fearful and overloaded if there is more than one thing that just must get done in any one day than I used to be. (Many thanks, Google Calendar, Mint, and SuperBetter!) I even feel as if there is just a bit more time in each and every day… although… to be fair… I did move so close to work that I can walk there in less than half an hour, through a beautiful park, which cut my daily commute from a 3 hour+ round trip each day to less than a hour – I do have ‘more time in each and every day’. πŸ™‚

Taking care of me has been a journey about choices and practices. As it turns out, taking care of love has been a similar sort of journey – fraught with choices and practices, growth and change – and enduring affection. It was the affection that was missing from my journey with the woman in the mirror, for far too long. How powerful it was to make that connection, to revitalize my experience of life with and for myself – and how delightful that the result has been how much more I am able to love, and enjoy being loved in return. πŸ™‚

A thread in my tapestry, a color in my palette, so much of life is fueled by love.

A thread in my tapestry, a color in my palette, so much of life is fueled by love.

Today is a good day to love, to be loved, to share love – to choose love.