Monday, December 31, 2012

Snowing - A Change of Attitude

wet, heavy snow is falling
on this final day of the year
not sticking yet
temperature just at freezing
will it accumulate?

worry accumulates in my mind
cold, like snow
fear of being trapped
can't get out when it snows
thick ice forms on the hill

fear of slipping, sliding, falling
out of control
my old friend "control"
taps on my shoulder
whispers of jail by snow

another voice is shouting
but we have food
and water and wood to burn
we have things to do
we are safe in our home

let both voices be heard
let me accept this white jail
  comforting fear with understanding
like all things
it will not last

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Contemplating the New Year

I have never been good at and have always resisted "goal setting."

I've owned my own business for more than 25 years... never wrote out goals. For the 10 years before that, I worked as a department manager for an expanding company... hated goal writing, procrastinated, delegated, produced only the briefest goal reports.

To the best of my memory, I've never written a list of personal goals.

So, when the end of the year rolls around, and I start feeling peer pressure to set some goals, I go right to the kitchen, seeking solace in food. Why?

Ten Possible Reasons for Not Wanting to Set Goals:
  1. Fear of failure. Fear of failure. Fear of failure. (Do I make my point?)
  2. Not wanting to be controlled, even by my own stated goals.
  3. Love of an improvisational life style. Desire to be free to follow my nose at any given time in any given direction. Impulsive personality?
  4. Lack of training and/or experience with how to write realistic goals.
  5. Dislike pressure.
  6. Feeling of irreversibility involving this type of list. This point has to do with a preconceived notion about what goal setting "should" be.
  7. Could there be something in childhood? Some "lesson" that setting goals is asking to be "thwarted?" Maybe.
  8. Could I have learned from my mother that setting goals results in disappointment?
  9. The farther out the goals (as in setting a 5-year or 10-year plan), the more angst I feel about it. Is this a trust issue? Do I not trust anything about the future?
  10. If there's a 10th reason, I'm blocking it...
Is it OK to not set goals? It must be... I've gotten along in life in a way that satisfies me without ever writing out a list of resolutions or goals. I don't have regrets. There are many things I don't do that I wish I would do, but nothing that could be called major regret. I make commitments  to myself and others, but don't think of them as goals. Life goes on in a pretty good way.

Guess I just need to count my blessings and stay out of the kitchen during the week right around Jan. 1st. That's a commitment!


Thanks to my visitors for your comments on my 2 previous posts. I'm totally blown away that I've had any visitors at all after not writing for so many months. I'd love to hear your thoughts about goal setting.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Big Girl Panties

Trying to Time to put on my big girl panties. Grow up. Get over it. Let go. Turn it all over to HP.

The truth is I'd like to be in control. I started writing because I'm upset. I just checked the Amazon reviews of my new book, which previously had all been 5 stars. Now somebody (somebody I know personally) gave it only 4 stars. OUCH! I'd like to be in control.
  1. I'd like to fix the index of the book, which the publisher did... and in my opinion didn't do well.
  2. I'd like to change the table of contents to include "quilting with beads"... (how did that get left out? my bad for not catching it during proofing?
  3. I'd like to change the "Look Inside" pages shown on Amazon.
  4. I'd like to delete any Amazon reviews that aren't 5 stars.
  5. I'd like to punish our local book store owner for saying to my face, "Oh [read with disregard], it's a craft book [read with disgust].
Yes, I would like to be in control.
  1. I'd like to follow my food plan to a T.
  2. I'd like to do arm exercises, every day.
  3. I'd like to walk at least 2 miles, every day. 
  4. I'd like to "uneat" 2 cookies, yulekaga, and pumpkin bread so I could put my abstinence counter back where it was at over 800 days.
And while we're at it...
  1. I'd like my husband to sleep less.
  2. I'd like to change a whole lot of things about him.
Is this starting to sound ridiculous? Why, yes it is.

Time to put on my big girl panties. Let it all go. Breathe. Be grateful for all the 5 star reviews. Be grateful that the publisher finally activated the "Look Inside" feature. Be grateful for all that my husband is and does. Be grateful that I exercise some days and follow my food plan sometimes.

year's end
a turning point
big girl
with gratitude

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

After Christmas

A friend says, all the stuff to eat on Christmas is like bombs going off...

I think of it as a WWII movie scene, where the whole city is being bombed by pies and cookies and cakes and pastries and more than anything else,

I’m down there scrambling to avoid being hit. Whamo! One lands 2 inches from me. And another! And yet another! There’s no shelter; I’m in one H of a mess.


Well, today there are fewer bombers overhead. I’m grateful for a little respite in the deluge.These past few weeks, I have not kept to my abstinence program. I have eaten 2 cookies, 1 slice of pumpkin bread, several slices of yulekaga, a bunch of crackers with butter and honey on them. These things are not on my program.

I need to reset the counter. This morning I had a slice of yulekaga. A little of the loaf (given to us by a neighbor) remains. I will probably finish it off later today. I am making a commitment to reset the counter, back to zero, as soon as the yulekaga is gone. Wish I could do it right now and leave the remainder for my husband. Could I do that? Maybe. I feel weak and helpless.... and sad.

It's a sad thing to reset a counter when it has 818 days of abstinence on it. That's 2 1/4 years of not eating one single bite of chocolate, cookies, pie, candy, cake, ice cream, or pastries. Gotta pat myself on the head for that one! Looking at the positive side of the relapse coin, at least I realize I am sliding deeper into relapse mode... eating more, edging up to the abstinence items by eating sweetened yogurt (how is that different than ice cream?) and crackers (the ones that are closest to cookies) and sweet breads (close as I can get to pastries).

There is light and good news in this story. I have not nibbled chocolate in any way. Chocolate, for me, is the most addictive substance of all. So far, I am still abstinent on chocolate. Although many times in the past few weeks, the little devil has sat on my shoulder saying, "It's OK! You've blown your abstinence program, you might as well have me as well. You can go back to abstinence some other day, later, maybe tomorrow. But just for today, you can have me. I come in many new, delightful forms, especially right now. You wouldn't want to miss that, would you?"

So far, the OA group consciousness, correspondence with my OA friends, and the unseen hand of my HP have helped me resist the devil chocolate's insane temptation. For this, my gratitude is huge.

For weeks (months?), I've been avoiding writing here in Words Paint. Why? I think it's because I've been straying more and more from my eating program, not caring how much I ate for each meal, eating/snacking between meals, gaining weight, edging slowly toward the abyss, the dark place where daily binges, self-disgust, self-loathing, and morbid obesity tear me apart. I know, because I've been there... more than once.

In that place, I care for nothing but to consume. In that place the tools of OA, the support of my friends and family, mean nothing to me. And so, as I slip toward that place, I begin to miss meetings, and I stop writing.

Today I am here. Saturday I will go to the meeting. I will reset the counter. On my knees, I thank God that I have not yet tumbled fully into the dark place. I thank God for this day, this Words Paint place of honesty and hope.