Seeking Normal – Day 9

Day 9 prompt:

People talk about the “new” normal. What was the “old” normal?

Did that label ever fit you?

My answer:

Well once again I could not have known when I wrote this prompt that I would one day be answering it in a world where the “new” normal is a daily condition. My “new” normal is working from home, seeing my grand-babies every single day or better yet as my husband reminded me today, spending more time with my spouse now than in the 24 years we have been married! Ha!

So what was the “old” normal; well the obvious answer would be the world as we knew it. Working weekdays, lounging weekends, socializing with friends and family and sometimes so routine that it felt like a dreadmill that we called “life”. Now I get the benefit of looking back and wishing for that “dreadmill” of “life”. There is something about deprivation that makes you want back what you took for granted so easily before.

If I am being honest with myself the “new” normal has become the “old” normal that I did not like. I always preferred weekdays as I found my life more routine and my habits more disciplined. Weekends lacked structure and a sense of urgency and now my “new” normal is like a never-ending weekend. I mean, it is different, it is more chaotic, it is more, simply put it is “more”. There is no break, because the environment stays the same 24/7. I am less health-conscious which is so ironic because I certainly have the time to do more; exercising is doable, eating right is accessible and yet I am doing neither. Why?

“New” normal, “old” normal; what does it really matter? Well it does because normal is truly defined as, “the usual, average, or typical state or condition” and in this world nothing is usual, nothing is average, nothing is typical and the only state we are in at this point is a state of stillness to the point of stupor. Those that are truly among the disciplined maintain their “normal” despite the environment and that is what I now long for; that is my new goal. Better said, I choose to create a normal that is neither “new” or “old” but expected despite the environment.

Wishful thinking for a “new” normal – L. (HA!)

Bariatric Boomerang

Today is my monthly session at Celebration Health to speak to the Bariatric Info Group. As I have reported before I like to sit in the very back of the room, where I sat for the first time four years ago. I am always in awe of the courage in the room; the 27 ppl sitting here looking for the answer to a problem that they cannot solve on their own. I will stand up in front of them and tell them why I made the decision to have Gastric Bypass almost four years ago and hope that my image and my pitch will inspire them to do the same.

…and what this room of courageous people cannot know is that I am still working at this every single day! I am currently on a carb binge that is shameful and addictive. Carbs have had to become my diet because of complications from this years procedures. But now I am healed and should be back exercising and following a healthy diet…but…I am not.

So here I am sitting in the room hoping to find the inspiration I need to be a boomerang of Bariatric protocol. Integrity is key, I cannot stand here and purport success and yet go home and eat a bowl of pasta. But I will. Who knew it could be so hard to start again. It’s an amazing reality to be faced with starting over again after thinking you had mastered something. While you may have mastered it in the truest form of knowledge the habits are only maintained through consistent practices.

The message that offer is honest and transparent because I will offer nothing less. I tell them that I sat where they were four years ago so nervous about my pending decision. I tell them that I did it and they can too. But then I tell them that I am still struggling. I admit to them that last night my night ended with a bowl of Lucky Charms. Yes for someone that cannot tolerate sugar that is an awful choice. I tell them that the reason Gastric Bypass is still my choice is because of the reaction from my body after eating Lucky Charms. I was sweating, sick, shaking; not exactly the luck of the Irish but what I had coming to me.

I still belong here, I will always be a Bariatric patient. I will always be a student of Bariatric and by sitting in the back of this room I am once again “Always Starting” because I decided four years ago I was never “giving up”.

Life as I live it…one-day-at-a-time…L.

What It’s Like…

The song by Everlast always serves as a reminder of why I have learned to embrace my journey instead of hide it. I have been through more than the average bear in 48 years and some of those tales are not ones you put on BLAST! But it has made me WHO I am forget about what…it’s irrelevant…I am absolutely someone that know “what it’s like” to live in many environments. I have seen the worst of the worst and I have wined and dined among the best of the best and ultimately I love where I am, I love WHO I am because I do know “what it’s like”…

  • to be in love with an addict and lose
  • to work for it and win
  • to have to decide and to have to choose
  • to be fat and thin, healthy and sick
  • to be poor and to have enough.

I have been a single Mom, I have stood in a food stamp line, I have sat in a clinic to get care for myself and then my child, I have worked for every single thing I have achieved and this is why I can understand. I have the privilege of having the depth of an understanding that while attaining it I could never have known I would look back with gratitude for the experience.

Walking in the many shoes I have worn has helped me in my roles as mother, wife, daughter, friend, leader, neighbor and any number of other hats I wear. I understand things that others are quick to judge. I get it. My empathy is real. My mess has always been my message because they were momentary; every setback always had a comeback.

I conclude with my favorite line in the song, which no surprise is; ” You know where it ends, yo, it usually depends on where you start”.

Life as I live it – L.

Monday…the day to start?

Today is Monday, the day we START everything we put off. Why is this the case? It is the classic “start everything” day, especially for diets and exercising. As I recall my 30 years of dieting, EVERY diet would start on a Monday. That meant that the binge would be ON all weekend! YUM!

As noted, Monday is the classic starting day but then what do the other days signify? Do you check yourself on Wednesday (Hump Day) and when Friday comes is any of that discipline left in tact?? By Saturday or Sunday many of us are talking about how we are going to start again on Monday…ha!!

I asked my family their thoughts on this and…

Gary said that we start everything that feels like work or takes effort on Monday’s because that is naturally the day that we start work. That might explain why we put off until Monday those things that we dread.

Cameron notes that Monday’s have not had quite the same meaning as his schedule in the F&B world never starts on a Monday so it has no “beginning” significance. He also notes that his life lacks routine, not discipline, but the routine of most lives that start hon a Monday end on a Friday, play all weekend and do it all over again.

Molly reminds me that the calendar actually starts on a Sunday. Hmmm…this girl always throws a wrench in it!

Brendan notes…well Brendan notes nothing because Monday’s are a gaming day, just like Tuesday, just like Wednesday…well you get the idea. The life of a gamer!

The way I see it is as follows; Monday is a great day to start again but so is Tuesday, Wednesday or any other day for that matter. The love of Monday is that it is the weeks way of starting us over; refreshing us. The same goes for the first of every month, New Years and our birthday’s.

I hope this Monday has served you well. Offered you a fresh start to a new week! Enjoy the rest of today; we have a few hours left in this MONDAY – embrace it!

p.s. Music loves Monday’s, name the artist:

  • Manic Monday
  • Blue Monday
  • New Moon on Monday
  • Rainy Days and Monday’s
  • Monday Monday

Why Always Starting…

Last night I launched my official site, my blog and then today, just now I put it out in MY world. The world of my friends, family, colleagues, onlookers, stalkers…ha!…I could only hope I am interesting enough to stalk!

This idea is part of a bigger cause/project as I have finally decided to write. The reality is that I have been writing for YEARS but I have not shared any of my writing, thoughts, journals and sometimes f’d up streams of consciousness until now. This is a big step, tonight feels monumental.

My journey thus far has been long and varied but in the last year it has been the very side of life that I try to avoid at all costs…the darker, sadder times that we all experience whether we want to or not but typically not in ten short months! I have picked up on many themes in the last ten months as I try to find some form of “normal” through what has been abnormal in every way. I would hear myself saying “I just wish I could get back to normal” and then with that I would attempt to start again with whatever “normal” was defined as in that moment. in these stops and starts I have started many new phases, albeit most short-lived due to circumstances beyond my control. Some of those phases of new starts included running. walking, eating (yes, eating, can you believe I ever stopped!), working, journaling, reading and many, many more. The fact is not that I have to restart because I stop or God forbid quit but because life has had other plans. I have learned a lot about plans as the old Yiddish adage goes “Man plans and God laughs”!

I texted my Aunt Susie last night who has been my biggest supporter and the one to get me started on this writing journey and said, “I think I am going to name the blog “Always Starting” and she came back with “add ‘The Art of Never Giving Up” and that is how two great minds come together to get it right. The reality is that I “always start” because I “never give up”. I am a doer, a fighter, disciplined to a fault and will try anything but more importantly won’t stop until it’s done. This resolve has served me well in my life but it hasn’t been all positive; sometimes succeeding is knowing when to give up; this too has been a lesson.

I hope that you will take this journey with me. As noted above it will be varied as I have a lot of thoughts that I hope to explore with you my follower, my critic and for now as invited the “loves of my life”. Always Starting…yet again…let’s do this! #Word