Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Gather Ye Rosebuds...

...I was going to quote this famous poem by this poet for this post. I was just thinking of it in terms of wishing I had made some different choices in my youth. Instead, I am now having to deal with and accept the fact that my body just isn't going to do what it could have years ago.

So I looked up the poem and read it and I'm thinking, oh yes, this will be good.

And then I read some of the commentary about what certain words meant in Victorian times and decided... nah, I'm not gonna do that. Instead, I'll stick with the metaphor my doctor used... the age old story of the tortoise and the hare.

At 20something, if I had decided I was going to work hard to get into shape, I could have worked out hard and often and seen quick results.

At 40something, I decided to work hard to get into shape. My body screamed NO WAY in the form of shin splints and a painful knee. I talked to the chiropractor about the shin splints and came up with a plan. I talked to the doctor about the knee and he obliterated my plan.

No jumping jacks.
No jumping rope.
No lunges.
No daily exercise.

Now, this wouldn't be necessary if I was already accustomed to exercising. It's the fact that I am 44 and grossly out of shape combined that are making my knee hurt. There is no specific injury to it. It is just getting worn out. Nothing is going to change that.

Instead, here is my new plan: Aleve once a day while the knee hurts. Once the knee stops hurting, I can do fitness walking for 10 minutes at a time, three times per week.

30 minutes a week for cardio.

If I do that for a month and my knee doesn't hurt, I can add two minutes to each session. Two minutes. Not five. Definitely not ten. I'm not strictly limited to walking. Dr. LUE says that (for me) legs are for walking, stationary bikes, elliptical trainers (maybe), and swimming.

This new plan is depressing. I need to lose weight and exercise because I am not feeling well and a number of the issues that are contributing to that are weight/fitness related. I want to make some good progress--NOW. But Dr. LUE says that I need to look at the long term picture. I need to be the tortoise, not the hare.

So if you see a tortoise gathering rosebuds by the side of the road... that will be me. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sleeping with Bread: Memories


Sleeping with Bread day.

I did not want to write a post today. I had a migraine yesterday. I actually woke up and couldn't see straight because of the aura I get right as a migraine is starting. THAT is a bummer of a way to begin the day. It was also my second migraine in just a few days and it takes a while for me to get back to a state of equilibrium after that.


I am trying to be more consistent in my SWB posts... in posting in general so I am going to try to write something coherent. Bear with me.

I think as I look back over the past week, memories have brought me both consolation and desolation.

With all the coverage of Michael Jackson's death, I've been revisiting some unresolved issues from my past. I know... that sounds a little weird. It's just one of those tangential things. It isn't Mr. Jackson's death itself. It's the wondering about his life and what you make of it and then thinking about other people's lives and wondering what to make of them. Some dead Greek guy once said something to the effect that you should not judge a man's life happy until the end of his days. Along those lines, I'm wondering how you judge a man's life at the end of his days. As people debate the true legacy that Michael Jackson leaves behind, I've been thinking about a person in my life. He died a long time ago and I will not go into the details here, but I STILL do not know what to do with his life... was he a good person? a bad person? a victim? someone who victimized others? all of the above? none of the above? The reality is that I will probably NEVER be able to sort all that out. Never. But it HAS been on my mind this week and it makes me sad.

Still, remembrances of the past, have also been pleasant this week. On Saturday night, I went to go hear some friends perform at a local restaurant. My husband was playing guitar for them and one of Marley's teachers joined me for a grown up night out. The band that followed them, a group called The Sorries, includes a number of acquaintances. The drummer was the first person who lived with our family when we moved into this house. He needed a place to stay for a few weeks and that turned into a few months. He was a great guy. He still is. He plays drums for our church once in a while but I had not seen him in a band-type setting for a long time. He reminded me of our first months in this house, my son before he started school, our dog (Bob!), and my job working with college students at the church.

The bass player was part of a band that Paul and I both enjoyed very much. They were great musicians, FUN (FUN!!!) guys, intelligent. That band broke up and the guys--for the most part--got married and "settled" down. The bass player reminded me of the community of musicians that we knew for a long time. So much talent, but more importantly, so many good people. People who cared about others, were creative, and enjoyed life.

Finally, the guitar player is someone I've known since he was starting high school. His family was part of our small group from church for years. This small group was such a joy for our family. Although we journeyed together through many sorrows, there were also many celebrations. There was such an acceptance amongst this group of people. There is a passage in the Bible that often gets quoted to describe the ideal Christian community and our small group embodied many of these characteristics:

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)

What fun it was to be reminded of all those people and experiences just by watching one band perform!

Thanks for reading my ramblings, which may or may not have made any sense!


There are other Sleeping with Bread posts to be found here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sleeping with Bread: Sourdough

As faithfully as I have published regular host posts at the Sleeping with Bread blog, I have not posted often my own Sleeping with Bread reflections. There are a number of reason for this. . . Twitter and Facebook distract me. . . I feel like I've been repeating myself. . . and physically, I've been in a funk for a long time. While I can breeze through Twitter and Facebook updates, writing authentic reflective pieces has been difficult.

Tonight, though, I am challenging myself to write this post before heading over to the SWB blog to write the host post. I'm feeling a little less funkish tonight. It is a beautiful breezy, cool night here. My husband is back in town after a long business trip. There was a good sermon on discipleship at church this morning. I've been inspired by reading about the life of Simone Weil. Whatever the reason, I am up for this task tonight. So here I go:

In the last however long, what has caused you desolation?

My Body, My Self. Working against the weight I've gained, the continued struggle against the infernal CPAP machine, middle-age hormones running amok all contribute to feeling like I'm going through my days trying to walk quickly through quicksand. The hormones have been bad enough that I'm actually thinking how nice a hysterectomy would be. This coming from the woman whose always believed that hysterectomies are often unnecessary and should only be a last resort. Now? Getting rid of that thing sounds like a nice idea sometimes.

She's not my little girl any more. I've also been experiencing some grief--that maternal grief that comes as you watch your children grow up. Marley has moved from being a little girl to a full-fledged tween. Her body, her face, her words, her humor... all of it is changing and I just want it to stop. I don't feel quite ready for all of this. This grief has probably been accentuated by the fact that she just finished her last year in her multiage classroom. Instead of just leaving third grade to go to fourth grade, she left the classroom, teachers, and classmates that she has been with for four years. It seems to throw the changes she is experiencing into greater relief.

How clean is your house? Well, I think those British ladies from the television show would have a heyday in my house. We are a family of sloths and there are too many other things I'd rather pay attention to. Still, my house is messy/dirty enough that it is not conducive to getting school work done, having people over, just feeling like I can really relax in my home. This problem is very closely related to the feeling-like-cr*p problem.

Wah, wah, wah. . . Let's take a look at something positive. . .

In the last however long, what has given you consolation?

Twitter! I know, I know, it doesn't make sense. However, through Twitter, I am able to connect with people and have some fun conversations. Seriously. There are a few of my Twitter friends--I hesitate to call them Tweeps--who I get to spend part of any given day or evening chatting about recipes, television shows, child rearing, etc. The long ago phenomena of neighbors talking to each other over their backyard fences is what I get out of Twitter. I actually enjoy it more than Facebook connecting. Hi Twitter friends! XXX OOO

Today's church service. I don't end up sitting in the church service all that often. It's one part working in the nursery and one part being too lazy to get myself there. Today, though, everything lined up. I was ready on time. I wasn't schedule to work in the nursery. The worship was wonderful and the sermon challenging. (According to my son, it was too intellectual and academic, but hey, I kind of like that approach.)

My living room is clean! I marshalled the LUE family troops and we picked up the living room, pulled off the couch cushions and cleaned out all the junk, moved the couches and cleaned underneath them, swept and cleaned the floors and put it all back together. How is it that cleaning what you cannot see can make you feel better? I don't know but it does. I am sitting in my living room as I type and it FEELS good. One room down, eight to go.

The weather. My favorite times of the year in California are at the turns of the seasons. When the air is crisp, either from beginning to cool down or beginning to warm up. We are having warm days but the mornings and evenings are cool. It is so nice to have the doors open, listening to the sounds of the neighborhood, feeling the breeze. So peaceful. Ahhhh. . .

The Dreaded Shred. I started working out to Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred video two nights ago. It hurts and it's hard. I decided to do it weeks ago but it took this long to get going. I am doing it with a friend. We live too far apart to actually do it together, but we are connecting with each other for accountability. I don't know if I am actually feeling physically better from just two days or if I am just feeling better because I am finally doing something. I'll take it, either way.

And finally. . .

Reading! I finished one book on my summer reading list and am in the middle of an introduction to works and life of Simone Weil. She was a fascinating person. There are some ways in which she reminds me of Vincent Van Gogh. They both had this intensity, passion for the poor, and a ability to withstand physical suffering. So far, the excerpts of her readings have been very interesting (She had some interesting points of views on rights/obligations.) and when my intellectual juices get going, it gives me energy. Reading just the excerpts while reading about her life makes it all much more accessible. I'm bright enough, but no intellectual giant.

So, I start a week actually having done my spiritual bread baking! Now, I'm off to get into my exercise gear. The Shred awaits.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Look who I met!

I finally got to meet a blogger buddy! I've always been a little envious when I've read about the different bloggers I read meeting up in groups of two and more. I've never even been to a BlogHer conference. Today, though, after several weeks and a few Facebook exchanges, Riley over at All Rileyed Up and I met for lunch... That would be Ruby of Ruby's Diner in the picture with us. She didn't have much to say... or maybe Riley and I were monopolizing the conversation.

As much as I've always wanted to meet some of my blogger friends, I will confess to having some anxiety worthy of a teenage girl before a first date at the thought sometimes. "What if they like the blogger me better than the real me?" "Will we have anything to talk about?" "Am I cool enough?" Those anxieties were pretty much in check before Riley and I met up. I think because we just live about a half hour apart from each other. I don't know. Maybe I just knew that it would work out all right.

And it did.

We talked about life (current circumstances, kids, spouses), the universe (from education to parenting philosophies), and everything (how long have you been blogging, etc.) I can say that I really enjoyed talking with her and getting to know her in person. Sadly, she is moving out of the area soon, but I have hopes that on some of her trips back to the area to visit family, we might get together again.

Who's next? Now that I've got one meet and greet under my belt, I am ready for more!