Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pulling back to move Forward?


Going backward.  Generally speaking, it is not often a good idea.  Both literally and figuratively.  It is however a continuous temptation in many areas of our lives.  I have had a couple of "going backward" situations recently and I am further convinced it is not the best direction for me. Sideways and forward are really a much better bet.

When I stop and really think about it, almost every time I go back, I regret it. And I am not just talking about the major go backs, like relationships or jobs. Even the simplest backward steps can get you in trouble.  Like last weekend when instead of taking a step forward into my canoe while boarding, I stepped back with the outside foot instead to avoid the unbalanced tipping caused by the inside foot and I slipped on a rock underfoot and took the backwards splash into the water.  Normally this would have been no biggie, except this time I had my iPhone in my pocket...now a defunct iPhone. That canoe adventure was the most expensive one of my summer. Not only did I have to pay for a new iphone (albeit at a reduced cost), but I lost hundreds of photos that were not backed up.  These are lessons learned the hard way that could have been avoided had I moved forward rather than back out of the canoe. 

This past week, I took a trip back in time to the city where my daughter was born, where I became a first time home owner, where I married her father, where I have many happy memories.  We visited the old hood and I took her to see where she lived until she was 3 and showed her the parks where she went from wobbly baby legs to a running and climbing toddler. I wondered if any of these visuals would prompt her memory, but she did not have any recollections.  No sirree, all the memories were mine and mine alone.  And it was bittersweet. The views and vistas of my beloved Deep Cove were still intact, but my old house was run down and hardly recognizable.  Ugly in fact. All the hours and passion I put into the garden and trying to turn a fairly ordinary house into something more seemed wasted.  The follow up owners clearly did not care or possess the talent or money to improve on what we had created there.  It occurred to me that the house had followed the same path as my marriage.  The garden had not been tended.

Spending too much time looking back does not really do much good either.  It seems to keep you stalled in limbo. Best to look to the future.  A place where you can apply all the lessons of the past at least. The tendency to paint the past with pastel watercolours is easier than facing the unknown and possibly harsh colours of the future.  Of course, all the current wisdom encourages us to try to live in the moment but that concept is easier said than done.  As much as I try to just be here and now, the future and past are relentlessly pulling me backward and forward these days.  It's exhausting. 

I have come to the conclusion there is only one area of my life that I actually want to go backwards. Yes, the place where we all (well most of us anyway), want to go back.  Backwards on the bathroom scale. Backwards and a bit even.  What are the chances? OK, so I will never have that 16 year old waistline again, or breasts that will pass the pencil test, but just once in my adult life I would like to step on a scale and be happy with the number.  Satisfied. Even at my lowest weights over the years, I have always wished the number would be lower. Will I ever let it go?  Will that critical voice ever shut up?  She is sooooo annoying.  Every now and again these days, I have moments of clarity on this in my mind. I look in the mirror, standing in all my naked glory and actually feel (dare I say it?) beautiful. Then as this fleeting feeling hovers over me, I find myself thinking..."yup, this is me now, less than perfect, flawed by time and the odd scar, take me or leave me world!" And for one brief moment, this defiant, glorious, powerful voice inside me moves me forward for one more day.

Bathroom scale be damned.




Thursday, August 15, 2013

Beware that Evil Ice Cream


I don't think I can take it anymore.  Am I crazy, or is everyone getting sick and tired of all the bloody "shoulds" in our lives?

It seems that every day there is a new SHOULD appearing in our in-boxes or on our Facebook newsfeed, or rolling of some well-meaning friend or relative's tongues, or on just about every form of media.  It is enough to make me want to run off to a deserted island just to turn it all off. Shut up! Bugger off! Leave me alone!   So for the record....

...I intend to stop worrying about the following:

Fluoride build up on my Pineal Gland...seriously...WTF?

My Carbon Footprint...it is not all that bad...I do try to go easy on this planet of ours.

My carb/protein/good fat vs bad fat ratio...just listen to my body...it always tells me.

The hidden danger of underwire in my bra...these girls need help getting a lift at my age!

Organic everything. Who can really afford this option? How about half and half?

Hot Yoga. OMG! I don't like drowning in a cesspool of my own sweat...so sue me. Whatever happened to regular yoga in normal room temperatures?

Bucket List Pressure.  I may or may not have time to get to the whole thing...shit happens. Or how about instead of emptying your Bucket List...just fill it over your lifetime with each new experience...and YOU choose the size of your bucket.

Detoxing. How about whatever needs detoxing in your life...you just stop adding more to the mix. 

Flip Flops are bad for your posture and back.  Don't care...still wearing them.

Too much sun is bad for you.  Then explain why a day spent outdoors in the sun always makes me feel better and look healthier? 

Animal products are bad for you. I tried going vegan once and I gained weight from too many carbs.  Nothing against all you vegans and vegetarians of the world...but my body works best with a little animal protein.

Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day.  This is a struggle.  I admit the more water I drink the better I function, but it requires discipline and the availability of toilets and that is not always an option. Will 4-5 glasses do? And I don't understand why tea, coffee, beer and wine don't count. 

Gluten is bad for you. Dairy is bad for you. What has the world come to when you cannot enjoy a piece of toast or an ice cream cone and having said indulgences fills you with guilt. And why the sudden onset of celiac disease in every other person you meat? Ooops...Freudian slip there.

We live in a world full of healthy and unhealthy choices.  Most of us are aware of what is good for us and what is not.  It is not rocket science.  I just wish we were not constantly bombarded with the messages and we could all just relax a bit and enjoy life.  Lay off the obvious threats to your health like smoking, over drinking, over eating and drugs.  Move your body. Go outside. Take a walk. Listen to your body. 

Instead of detoxing my pineal gland today, I think I will drive my SUV to the mini-golf course with my daughter who still likes to do this as much as she did when she was 7, and we will do it in the sun, in flip flops and follow it up with a non-organic, dairy-laden ice cream cone, go for a swim wearing a bikini top with underwire, in a fresh water lake that may or may not contain minor pollutants, breathe almost perfectly fresh air, stop at a local farm and pick some ripe peaches that may or may not have been sprayed with insecticides...and if I live to tell the tale, I will add this simple enjoyable day to my half-filled bucket list with joy and gusto.

So there.