Monday, June 7, 2010

A rich and full Monday

The weekend was a healthy and sane one overall for me.  Eating was imperfect Saturday but okay, and Sunday was pretty good.  My weight this morning was acceptable and positive and tells me I'm hanging in there pretty well and snail-pacing in the direction I desire to go - which is DOWN.  And I just found out that I won one of Helen's giveaway items...a copy of South Beach Supercharged, which thrills me no end!  I could've won a copy of "Changing Tires for Fun and Recreation" and been happy as I've never been one to win stuff.  But I know I'll find some good recipes and interesting inspiring reading in SBS.  Thanks Helen!

I mentioned yesterday that I had friends coming over to watch The Blind Side and have a healthy lunch...we had a great time and really loved the movie.  What a completely uplifting movie - funny, serious, thought provoking, poignant.  And the food was great...tuna salad and a big tossed salad with some Sesame Semolina bread from Panera.  One of the friends brought a half of a bar of dark chocolate from Trader Joe's that we each had 2 squares of for dessert.  It was great, because it wasn't too sweet, but was rich and creamy and totally satisfied without setting up a craving for more.  And since there wasn't any more, that worked out well.  I've been known to hit the Wawa, our local convenience store, to extend a sweet fest that has threatened to peter out due to running out of resources, shall we say.  But this not too sweet dark variety did not compel me to want/need/desperatelyseek more. 

I found out yesterday that the 56 y/o father of one of my son's good friends died suddenly while biking in Valley Forge State Park with one of his sons (the one with whom my son is good buds).  Apparently he had a massive heart attack, and paramedics were never able to get him back at all.  The 23 y/o son who was with him must have tried CPR and everything he possibily could until EMTs got there, and I've been so sad, shocked and upset since hearing about this, esp. how excrutiating it must have been for his son to witness whatever he did and not being able to change the course of events.  This dad was one of the good guys - soft spoken, a Boy Scout leader (both his sons were Eagle scouts), great husband, in good health.  Always a person who did the next right thing, including taking care of himself.  His only risk factor was family history of heart disease, which played a role in how he cared for himself and his family.  A huge shock, an event that seemed impossible, and now the lives of his loved ones are inextricably altered. 

What a perspective jolt this kind of tragedy brings.  My husband went to a Phillies game a couple of weeks ago with this man and a couple of other guys, and recalled that while they were in the car, the subject of someone dying in their late 40s in much the same manner was mentioned.  The same fellow who just passed away on Saturday remarked, "It just reminds us to live each day as though it was our last."  It's so easy to glibly arrive at that conclusion.  Almost trite.  And then tragedy hits closer to home and that notion of living each day fully becomes one of the only comforting thoughts I can find to navigate the immense sadness.  It truly makes me want to live more boldly, extending more care and love and service outward.  I feel compelled to it, but I also know that as the days pass, the wisdom and urgency of the call to live each day as though it is my last will dilute as my own life continues to unfold with the mini-dramas, joys, pain, struggles, and busyness of daily life.

Those thoughts bring me rather tidily to something I referred to yesterday that had given me food for thought.  Chris from A Deliberate Life had commented to my Friday post about working my food plan one day at a time.  It was short so I'm going to repeat it:

"It is a one day a time thing...but those one days turn into weeks and weeks to months and months to anyone past thirty knows...the years go and go and  Go all in."

Having been a "one day at a timer" for many years  in AA, I've heard that before a zillion times.  But when I read Chris' comment Saturday morning (before our friend's death), it struck me with a new awareness; that each one day at a time is a single unit of the many days we are given to live our lives for however long they last.  I'm not doing what I do today at point A so I'll get to point Z eventually and then begin to REALLY live the way I want to.  I need to make it count today, and if possible, make it count with joy and gratitude that I'm still able to look up and observe a clear blue sky as backdrop for amazing trees, rooftops, birds moving through.   Make it count by loving who I love and letting them know it.  Make it count by eating, moving and living today the way I want to.  And if I don't, not take it too seriously... but seriously enough to remember that this isn't a dress rehearsal. 

For example:  I made the URL of this blog "willswimagain", because it's been my deepest desire to get back into the water and be nurtured and restored by it's properties.  I've resisted for years because I've felt too fat to get into a bathing suit or even to live at times, and have done so a handful of times only since starting this blog; still with trepidation, dread and shame.  The crazy judgement and mindset this represents really screams at me when I think of it with different perspective.

I suspect that my friend who died this weekend while biking with his son would have found that an acceptable way to go...doing something he loved, with someone he loved (minus the trauma that his son likely endured in witnessing the event, of course).  But having been fully in connection with his son, with his body and its physical abilities, and with himself. 

When AA was in its early years, the founders were forever deliberating over things like who to allow in to the fellowship, what they had to believe, rules, regulations or lack thereof...all kinds of human ego-driven stuff.   Eventually they arrived at what is now know as Rule 62 - Don't take yourself too seriously.  That referred to AA as a whole, but also to individuals.  Thus another of the endless paradoxes of life - don't take ourselves too seriously, but recognize that there is no "big show" that we're heading for.  Life is the big show.  If I want to be lean, healthy and strong, I live lean, healthy and strong today.  Not when I finally get there.

That said, I AM going swimming when I get off work, and I AM going to languish in and relish the feel of the water surrounding and moving over every molecule of my body.  Then to my church's Strawberry Festival which is an annual BIG FUN DEAL in our community.  I will eat 2 charred hot dogs from the grill, on buns, with yellow mustard and chopped onion.  Also some unsweetened strawberries.  And that will be dinner and the end of my eating for the day.  It's going to be a good day - I feel it in every cell of my being!


  1. Anonymous07 June, 2010

    I get so much out of reading your blog! SO much!!

    You enjoy that pool. You deserve to enjoy the water no matter what you weigh. You are is too short to miss out on opportunities because of the shape of our bodies.

    Swim Leslie Swim....

  2. Remember that avocado-cottage cheese dip I told you about? That's from the SB Supercharged book!

    You know for the last 8 years my sister-in-law lived like she was dying and that thought has comforted me so much over the last days. While she went way too soon, her life was rich and full and happy.

    The trick of the one day at a time thing is to string the "one days" together isn't it?

  3. So sorry about his death. That is scary to think someone so seemingly healthy could have a heart attack. Reality slaps us in the face sometimes. Oh that poor family. Especially the son who was with him. That must have been so hard.

    Good for you for deciding to go swimming. Who cares? You can do it!

  4. I have a file where I bookmark a few posts that touch me deeply... this just went in there. Thank you.

  5. you just feel it girl! in EVERY molecule!

  6. I hope you have fun. I'm jealous of the strawberries. Sorry for your loss.

  7. I just love this blog...and your writing and your spirit. You and your words inspire me....thank you for that.

  8. Wow, that's sad. Similar thing happened last year to one of the nicest men in our parish. Such a terrible shock and loss to the family and the community.

    Enjoy the water. Swim it out.

  9. Leslie, this post brought back some tough memories for me. The statement live every day as if it is your last is really something we need to follow. Congrats to you for doing so today!

  10. So sorry about the dad. You made some great points about living each and every day to the fullest and I needed that reminder, so thank you. Also, Rule 62? Best.rule.ever.

    P.S. I love your term "snail-pacing" - that is the perfect description of my weight loss ever since I hit 100 pounds back in November. But even a snail eventually covers some ground, and that's happening for both you and I, so yay us! :)

  11. you wrote:
    Rule 62 - Don't take yourself too seriously

    I think of it as 'leave your ego at the door'

  12. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, Leslie. And here I am visiting you and reading your lovely post.

    As it so happens, I'm a 12-stepper too, though for my weight. After being in program 10 years, and trying to make sense of the senseless things that have happened, but also knowing that I have a benevolent, loving HP, here's what I've come to believe: that there's a plan both for my life and for the end of my life and what looks incomprehensible here may not be somewhere else. That's a thought that is very comforting to me since my dad died the exact same way as your friend 35 years ago.

  13. A stark reminder that yes, we should live each day to the fullest, fully be aware of our beautiful surroundings and the good in life, and tell people that we love how much we care about them, so....I love you. :)

  14. I really am so sorry about your son's friend's dad's death...

  15. I can relate to the 'one day at a time' thing. I read a sentence on another blog that I love and live by "my tomorrow starts today".
    It's hard to believe when someone passes fast like that. We had a healthy neighbor walk out of the gas station and die of a heart attack right there. My heart goes out to your sons friend and his family.
    Oh, and I must say I LOVED blind sided!! Great movie, and I forgot that it was Tim McGraw in it after 5 minutes into it..he was amazing :)