2018 – Three Words to Live By

Wow! What a year in mind, body and spirit in 2017.

As I look toward the end of this year, I would usually write the obligatory New Year’s resolutions. In 2018, my approach will be living by three words: frugality, grace and truth.

Frugality

“The lack of wastefulness” per Dictionary.com

I will turn 57 years old in 2018. It’s difficult for me to believe I will be that age. Per the World Life Expectancy Organization, the average life expectancy for a woman living in Michigan is 80.68. This average life expectancy ranks 33 in the United States with Hawaii in first place at 84.72 years of age, followed by Minnesota at 83.34 years of age. Minnesota???

Even if I move to Hawaii, I have approximately 27 summers (my favorite season) left in my life.

27 years. Think about that for a moment. How fast did the last 27 years fly by?

No time to waste

I am going to live in the present enjoying every second with people and puppies I love, but more importantly, WHO I want to be in my presence. People that share my sense of fun and frivolity, but who also share my values.

Even if I am having a shitty day, I will think of days in the summer sun and enjoy the warmth of the memories of being in my favorite places and spaces, and doing the things I love to do, and loving on my favorite people.

No time to spend

My husband, Vinny Sal and I have had a tough time financially since 2009 when I lost my job. I have been employed full-time for a year and half of being a self-employed contractor and through perseverance and hard-work, we are almost debt free.

I was impressed by the story of the 28-year old accountant who paid off $73,000 student loan debt in less than 4 years. ABC News Story – Logan Marston

“There wasn’t any kind of secret strategy or secret formula,” Marston said. “I was just living as humbly as possible–splitting rent with roommates, and doing everything I could to save money. I kept a very low cash reserve. I didn’t have any emergency cash. Whatever I saved, I paid the loans with it. No unnecessary spending whatsoever.”

Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks? Logan Marston taught me to forgo the wants and take care of the needs. By the time we are retired, our goal is to completely be debt free with no mortgages or car payments.

Grace

God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. It’s not the result of anything you’ve done, so no one can brag about it. God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10

As Thomas Merton was quoted as saying, “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.”

I will continue my personal initiative, “The Watering Can– Helping All of God’s Creatures Thrive.” This initiative is to serve others in need, to be a service resource, and to provide service development for those who want to become their own watering can in their community and beyond.

The Watering Can is a life of service built on the belief that each person and all of God’s creatures have intrinsic value deserving of love and a quality life without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, politics, gender, sexual orientation, breed or species.

Grace in action is about serving those who need my gifts. Kindness in action is living the commandment, “‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’’’ Matthew 22:39

Truth

“The state or character of living free” per Dictionary.com

2017 was a year of forced personal revelations and admissions about the state of my mind, body and spirit. I will continue to live my truth and not hide behind it anymore.

Mind

I have unloaded my conscious and soul. I am now true. The things I will continue to do in 2018 is write, blog, and journal. My mind won’t allow me to do anything else.

I started a poetry journal at the beginning of 2017. After reading through it, it speaks more clearly to me of what was happening that day, in my life, and in the world than my other journals. Poetry matters. If not for you, it does to me. I hope you have enjoyed some of the poetry I have posted here along the way. I will continue my poetry journal in 2018 because not only is good for my mind; it is precious to my soul.

Body

In 2017, I came to terms with my weight. I didn’t die from admitting that I am medically coined “obese.” I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and on my way to Type II Diabetes. I have committed to change my lifestyle to the 9-inch plate. Vinny Sal and I have joined the local 24/7-hour gym. Together, supporting one another, we are changing our health, lifestyle so we can reach, and hopefully exceed our life expectancies. Did you notice I didn’t say the word diet? I refuse to diet ever again. I am committed to a lifestyle that gives me more than 27 summers!

Spirit

The one thing I am not proud of in 2017 is that I have not attended church on a weekly basis. I am in search of a faith community for both Vinny Sal and me.It’s my fault really.In 1018, I am embarking on an intense spiritual journey writing a spiritual memoir. As in my new physical lifestyle, I need God. I need to worship Him fully and faithfully. If you want to join me on my spiritual journey, please follow my blog, The Prayer Journals. I will be spending a great deal of time over there pursuing spiritual topics as I explore spiritual purpose.

Frugality – Grace – Truth

Sailboat Haiku 2018

Happy New Year!

The Blogging Owl

 

 

 

 

Living my truth

I am obese.

There I said it. I said it out loud. I have written it in this post.

I did not die.

Living my truth – a reality

This is the second step in cultivating the courage to live my truth and embracing who I am.

While obesity is not the sum of all who I am, it is a huge (no pun intended) mirror of how I see myself. It’s difficult exercising the compassion that comes with knowing I am made of both strength and struggle. But I have begun to start mindfully practicing authenticity of another soul-searching struggle. My weight.

If you have been a reader of my blog, you will note my many posts on varying diets and exercise programs I have started that only ended up with no follow-through and failure.I know I will never be my 26-year-old, 108-pound self again. Yet even genetics and Hashimoto’s disease aside, I own the reasons for why I am obese 30 years later.

I am beginning to nurture a lifestyle that connects a sense of worthiness that comes with knowing who I am and that I am enough. I don’t need to be perfect. I don’t need to be thin. I need to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.

Living my truth – setting the boundaries

I will never diet again.

Repeat.

I will never diet again.

I am being deliberate with sharing my weight struggle. By sharing my weight imperfection and admitting my vulnerability particularly in recent blog posts, I cannot continue to cope with my weight, nor do I believe I can conquer it, but I know I can manage it.

I have made the following 5 empowering decisions in managing my weight struggle:

1. I do not have a weight goal.
2. I do not have a time goal in which to lose weight.
3. I will not weigh myself.
4. I will not measure myself with a measuring tape or do the once-over in the mirror.
5. I will not measure myself in terms of success or failure.

I know these decisions go against every self-help, diet and exercise plan on the market today, but I say, “enough with the nonsense!!

Living my truth – a lifestyle

If living my truth means being authentic, then being authentic means living and loving wholeheartedly the person that I am during my wrestling matches between my struggles and the strength of being a survivor including believing I am deserving of joy and love too.

My new lifestyle is inviting grace, joy and gratitude into my life… like stopping at my favorite coffee shop, The Flower Bar every morning for a cup of organic coffee… and other things people may find to be an inconsequential part of their routine, but for me it’s just a small bit of kindness I spend on myself.

“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” ~ Christopher K. Germer

Another lifestyle change comes in the way of a book recommendation, Diabetes Meals by the Plate, 90 low-carb meals to mix & match by Diabetic Living. (I LOVE THIS BOOK.) I hate to cook or follow recipes. This book was written for me – simple, visual, and ‘normal’ food. It shows how to fill a 9-inch plate, one-half inch high of healthy foods all under 500 calories. The mix and match style allows me to determine what foods I can exchange for my tastes and for foods that don’t agitate my Hashimoto’s disease.

5 Lifestyle decisions:

1. I do not count calories.
2. I do not record what I eat.
3. I do not have a weekly workout goal.
4. I will not live and die by wearing a Fitbit.
5. I am committed to the 9-inch diabetic plate.

My husband, Vinny Sal joined a gym with me. I’ll go to the gym right after work or after dinner and if he wants to join me – great! If not, I will still go by myself. It’s my weight struggle, not his. I am grateful though for a supportive and a loving husband.

Living my truth – today

“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.” ~ Mark Twain

How do I know that this new lifestyle change will not end up in failure too?

I don’t.

But the sad truth is, I won’t have tomorrow if I don’t make the necessary lifestyle changes today that will allow me to see my sons graduate from college, get married, and hold my grandchildren. I want the happiness I have not known before which is just being happy with myself. That sad truth is my daily reminder to live and enjoy the poetry of today in mind, body, and spirit.

Peace