It’s a common thing. Have you taken this drive in your car? Car binges. Car overeating. Binge/restrict. Restrict/binge. Many, many people have done this and still do. Eating disorders are a real thing. They are very prevalent in our society. It can be super hard …
I’ve challenged myself to try new things, go on adventures and get my brave on. Well, I can’t really go on many adventures because 2020, but I have been putting in more time learning and more time working on me. Self-development they call it. I’m …
noun: nostalgia; plural noun: nostalgias
- a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.
I was having coffee this morning and thinking about what I wanted to write about. Nothing came to mind. I mean absolutely nothing. I kept trying to find a trigger. Something I could grab hold of. A word, a thought, a sign. Nothing. I hate when that happens. It can be hard for a writer to get going sometimes. It’s hard to grasp that tiny piece of thread to start the unwinding of the tale to tell. For me anyway. I would imagine writers are like that. Beginning ones. Me ones.
I just let my mind go. I was curious to see where it would end up. Ahhhh, the library. The Carnegie Library. The kid library. I remember spending hours and hours at that library. I loved the card on the inside cover of the book. The librarian stamping the due date, with the rubber stamper, filled with blue ink. I wandered for what felt like hours, looking and searching for books.
The library was officially opened in March of 1905. My birthday month. I knew there was special meaning to this place. It served as the public library until 1972, when operations were moved to the Rawlins Municipal Library.
I visited the library mostly on Saturdays. Walking through the doors and down the steps. The smell that immediately hits. That dark, damp, book smell. I LOVE the smell of books. I walked down the creaky stairs to the kid section. Just walking and looking and feeling at peace. Books, books and more books. The key to learning. The key to life. The key to disappearing.
By definition, that is exactly what the library meant to me. Happy personal associations. I loved it there. The librarian, whose name I cannot remember, was a tiny little lady. I can see her walking, she had distinctive walk, kind of a shake to the head as she walked and her heels clippity-clopping on the hardwood floor. She always wore a dress, tied at the waist and always a print. She had glasses too. Stereotypical librarian, I suppose.
Our house was built in 2000 and we completed the moving in process in 2001. We had an amazing carpenter. He was meticulous with detail. Very OCD if you will. He knew how we appreciated the past. We loved old treasures from long-forgotten, abandoned buildings in town. We have columns in our house from the old Flame Room. We went with him and dug through the upper floor of the building hunting for the treasures. His name was Sharky. He kept an eye on us. He noticed how much these things meant to us and how much the history meant to us.
He built the mantel for our fireplace and he built the bases for those columns. The craftsmanship is stunning. His work ethic like no other. Meticulous, precise and thorough come to mind when remembering the building of the house.
During the process, he absolutely floored us with something I will never forget. He told us he had salvaged the shelves from the old Carnegie Library. He asked if we wanted him to build our home library with them. Ummmm, yeah! They are a true work of art. The wood is gorgeous and so smooth. Not a bump or a flaw anywhere on them.
Every time I am in our library, which is where I sit right now, as it has pretty much turned into my home work space, I look at those shelves and I am reminded of the nostalgia of my youth. I am reminded how much I loved that library. He brought my past to life in those shelves. It was a true gift. He was a true gift.
Sharky passed away on February 7, 2014. He was 62. Sharky was his nickname. His true name was Mark Drees. I still see him roaming through the house, t-shirt and jeans, pencil behind this ear and giant cup of coffee. His voice was distinctive. His laugh was contagious. The talent was crazy amazing. I pulled up his obituary and in reading through it was reminded of the history surrounding his work. So many places lucky to have his touch. He is definitely missed.
This post started out as the library and turned into the craftsmanship of a man we were very luck to have met. Thanks for the history Sharky. We will never forget it.
Yesterday was Christmas. John, Tayler and I took the dogs to LaFramboise Island for a Christmas Day walk. The temp was beautiful, around 45 degrees. We timed it right. By the time we left, the parking lot was almost full. We walked for about an hour and 15 minutes – 3.65 miles. The dogs did great. Once we let Jack off the leash he was much happier. He is a hunting dog through and through. Nora did well considering she is afraid of everyone.
The coat I wore was one I have had for a while. Pretty much a down liner jacket. It served its intended purpose. Perfect layers for the day.
Once we got back home I was taking off the jacket and pulled a dime out of one pocket and a receipt out of the other. The receipt was from December 15, 2019. Two things were purchased. I have to laugh at this because it shows how much I have improved my food relationship. And it also shows what I have been doing for the last year. Diet Pepsi and donuts. There. My life has consisted of Diet Pepsi and donuts over the last year. Seriously, though, I eat nutritious foods most of the time and throw in the donuts and cookies once in a while. I also coach people to help them find their big picture life. Changing my mindset has improved my coaching so much.
I used to have that all or nothing attitude and I used to be a food snob. Boy, have I changed. Now, I know I can eat donuts and fit them into my day and I am not ruining any progress I have made. I know that if I eat a donut I didn’t wreck my eating for the day and then go off the rails the rest of the day or even weeks after. I learned that I don’t have to restrict these foods, because come on, we all know they taste absolutely amazing. I have learned that I can eat this stuff and still maintain my over 40 pound weight loss. I don’t have to be ashamed if I eat this. I don’t have to feel like a big failure if I eat this.
I can be me. I can enjoy the foods I want. I don’t have to feel guilty for eating things I love. But, the thing is, it took me a long time to get to this point. It takes time to change. Change isn’t easy, but it’s definitely worth it. I work on myself every single day.
I used to talk crap to myself if I ate things like donuts or cookies or chips or pizza. I felt like I had to be all in all the time. I used to restrict, restrict, restrict, and then of course that can only go on for so long until the binge happened. I never actually binged according to the definition of a true binge. That was in my eating disorder days. Now, it would have been eating all of those foods that I had been restricting. I just wanted more and more and more of them. See, that’s the thing, as soon I told myself I couldn’t have a certain food or types of food, all I thought about was those foods and how much I wanted them. So, when I learned to build those foods into my plan, that pressure came off. It made it a lot easier to control what I was eating. I didn’t lose any progress I had made and I was happy with my food choices and with living my life. The food is never going away. It is always going to be around.
So, what helped me change? I got a coach. Yes, coaches use coaches too. That lasted about a year or slightly longer. The accountability part is huge. I learned how to track macros. I had never really tracked anything previously. I remember in junior high tracking calories because of gymnastics. Which, by the way, is where my disordered eating began. But, other than that, I always thought just eating clean would do it for me. So not true. Because I definitely overate clean foods too and ended up needing a big life change. I learned to believe in myself. I empowered myself. I looked for the good in myself. I left the self doubt behind and tackled my health head on. Instead of wishing and hoping and saying what if, I jumped right in and saw the big picture. The best picture and the best I could become. I set myself up to do better and to be better.
Worth It? Yes
Long Game? Yes
We always have choices.
How are you? Such a simple ask. The auto response. Fine. Always said in haste. Always said automatically. But are you really fine? Think about it. Stop going through the motions. Start really thinking.
What if you aren’t fine? We’ve all had a rough year. I closed the doors to my brick and mortar. I lost over half of my income. Is that fine? Maybe not, but it was a choice I had to make.
Did you have some hard choices to make this year? Think about being fine. What does that look like? My emotions and feelings have been mixed. Anxious one minute. Relaxed the next. Gaining weight one day. Losing weight another day. Eating all the food one day. Eating none of the food another day. The navigation has been hard. It’s different. It’s hard to know what is happening. It’s hard not to look to the future and be anxious about it.
Giving thanks and having gratitude helps. Thanks for the hard. Thanks for the lessons. Thanks for the outlook. Thanks for the time. Thanks for the clarity and thanks for the fuzzy.
Everything matters and nothing matters. It all matters or none of it matters. Right? Weird how that works. So many things we want not to matter, matter. And so many things that do matter to us, shouldn’t. We focus on things we can’t control. We don’t take the time to work on ourselves where we are. We are constantly looking down the street. We are constantly looking for help. We are wishing and hoping and what if-ing. But what if we looked at where we are with compassion and love? What if we loved ourselves for where we are and what we are right now?
We are told we should change. We are told we aren’t good enough. We are told we aren’t skinny enough. We are told we aren’t pretty enough. FOR WHO???? It’s a trap. Go to the mirror and look at yourself. Look hard. Tell yourself how you feel. Be kind. Be loving. Be compassionate. It takes a long time to get to I love me, but it’s there. It’s in there. Sometimes it’s deeply rooted and takes a long time to come out. Start unwrapping. Start saying nice things. Start looking for her. Start looking for the person you once knew. The one who is fun and carefree. The one who wants to live and enjoy life. The one who does’t care what other people think. Do this for yourself. Only you can help yourself. Nobody is coming to save you, except you. Take a step. Take action. Little by little those steps will turn into big progress. It may take a year. It may take a month. It may take two years. The time passes regardless. Start loving yourself where you are right now. Start looking into your own eyes with compassion and love. Start seeing you. Start loving you no matter what.