Tuesday, March 30

Be still my heart

What good is a still heart? Reason I've been thinking about that is that my stress test showed that I've actually had a heart attack sometime in my life. Sounds strange, but apparently it's not uncommon for people to have one yet not know it.

I've got some meds to take and need to exercise more slowly and lose weight faster than I'd been doing. While at first I was afraid to go to sleep for fear I wouldn't wake up, I've come to see that the only thing that's changed in the last couple of weeks is that I'm now in touch with reality. Information is power, yes?

That news came just in time for me to commit to my 2nd set of mini-goals for the next 15 weeks. They're "very mini" because these are in addition to my original mini-goals and I'm still practicing fitting a fuller life into a work week.

My additional goals for 3/23/10 to 7/6/10:
  • Physical: Working in the yard 10 minutes, 3 times weekly
  • Social: Either have a friend over or participate in a church or community social activity 2 times monthly
  • Emotional: Express a feeling, where expressing it is out of my comfort zone, 1 time weekly
  • Intellectual: Investigate alternatives for becoming credentialed in my field, researching 1 alternative a week
  • Spiritual: Meditate for 10 minutes, 2 times weekly
I'm really enjoying the process of changing in small steps. Typically, I'd have waited until the weekend when there's more time to work in the yard but by puttering a bit last evening, I discovered the first blooms on the groundcover. A little reward hidden in the leaves.

Here's to making each week a bit more interesting than the last!

Thursday, March 18

Fun can be...fun?

I'm having a good time this week.
  • My iris in the front yard are starting to show signs of buds so it reminded me to get ready for spring planting. Bought a bunch of seed packets for flowers in the backyard beds. Seeds are the only way to go with two puppies (ok, 80 lb doggies) skampering around. Soon as we're past the snow-risk time, the seeds are going in the ground. Can't wait to smell the mulch. Dig in the dirt.

  • I fell for an iPod Nano (purple, of course!) and so have been listening to music while I draft papers and work out. Love music and listening with half an ear to familiar tunes while engrossed in other things. Am planning to load my CDs this weekend and also get a speaker thingie to go with it at home. So...toys aren't just for kids/guys.

  • Speaking of toys, I went to the dentist yesterday for my 6-month cleaning. No, the dentist is nice but not a toy. I'd bought an electric toothbrush a day or so after the last cleaning and because of that, this cleaning was a breeze. In and out in no time. For some reason, I'd always thought that electric toothbrushes were toys, an extravagance. Who knew they have a legitimate purpose supporting good health? Well, you, most likely since I seem to be the last to know.

  • After finding a new primary care doctor and getting a variety of tests run, I got some good results. Still pending results of a stress test but received good marks on cholesterol and a bunch of other factors. Have some work to do (exercising) to avoid hypertension and getting any closer to having a problem with type 2 diabetes. But it could be a whole lot worse considering that it's been nearly a dozen years since I saw a doctor other than a GYN. There's something invigorating about tackling all of that, getting it done, and getting the information.

  • Tomorrow at lunch I meet with a volunteer organizer and a young lady they're matching me with under a mentor program. I don't know much more than that but can't wait to meet her and come up with a plan, think of things to do.

  • Today I started drafting my second set of 15-week goals, mini-goals, pondering various possibilities from the standpoint of how do I want my life to change over the next 15 weeks. Because I can see now that I can change my life, a few small steps at a time.

Fun times in a calm, um, dare I say serene definition of "fun." Am excited about what may be over the horizon.

How about you? Have you had an interesting week?


Wednesday, March 3


The thing I love most about spring: the bright yellow daffodils and, um, Rubbermaid mop buckets. You're thinking I've lost it, right?

In my quest to become more active and social, I've started participating in activities that present themselves to me as opposed to reading about them and thinking, "Wish I had the time." Thing is, I have the time. The time is steady. The thing that changes is what I do with it.

Because I work at a faith-based health organization, there are a lot of discussions about spirituality, wellness, etc. that I've usually avoided but am now finding are full of thoughts that support me in the process of change. Such as this thought from a paper on servant-leadership from the Greenleaf Center:

James Hillman, in The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling, describes the "invisible source of personal consistency, for which I am using the word "habit," psychology today calls character. Character refers to deep structures of personality that are particularly resistant to change."
I tend to think of character as reflected in decisions of morality but expanding that view to include "habit" somehow elevates the mundane.

I've started paying more attention to the details of my life: laundry, dusting, polishing, vacuuming. Finding ways to enjoy doing them, whether it's listening to music, or adding new scents or polishes, or finding that bright yellow beauty (not being sarcastic, I love it!): a Rubbermaid mop bucket on wheels. With a bright blue mop that you wring out. And Green cleaner that smells just clean, nothing stronger than clean.

Somehow, spending just an hour puttering, cleaning, in one room or another each morning or night, makes me feel better. Cleaner rooms, refreshed thoughts, more productive habits, stronger character. I'm starting to see how all of those are linked.

I hope you enjoy your day!