Build a Bonfire
Saturday, November 23, 2013
I'm a voracious consumer of information. I've found myself confiding in friends at times that I know a little about a lot of things, but not a lot about any one thing. That statement, of course, is my self-deprecating nature intervening.
In truth, when I take something on, I learn all that I can about it and SparkPeople has been no exception. The beauty of SparkPeople, though, is that all that I can know and all that there is to know are two ends of the same, very long stick; SparkPeople has been a continually evolving entity since the day I joined in mid-2012. Candidly, I hope I never catch up enough to know everything that there is to know on SparkPeople.
Still, I can say with confidence that there are principals I learned early on that are as valid today as they were the day I signed on to a healthier lifestyle. These lessons have as much to do with my psychological health as they do my physical health. Chief amongst them has been the necessity for stress management, since my unhealthy lifestyle emerged and evolved over a lifetime of not managing stress. I discovered in the process that, for me, there were five distinct areas that needed - and continue to warrant - the most attention:
I needed faith in myself to make one real attempt at finding
members of my birth family (I was adopted when I was only months
old, and tried once or twice before to find my birth family. When I
finally got some leads, though, I got cold feet and discontinued the
search for decades). This time, I gave it the effort it
deserved - and I was successful. I now have met both my biological
mother and my biological sister in person. I also have a beautiful
relationship with both.
I've been a list-maker for years, but lists are only as good as my
ability and willingness to complete them are. Now, instead of long,
unachievable lists that go unfulfilled and lead to self-shaming, I make
both a short-term list that I know I can and will complete, as well as a
long-term list that I concentrate on only when I need to. Anything
in-between gets put on the wall calendar and dealt with
when it comes up. Period.
Recently, I cleaned out my kitchen cupboards in frustration over the
apparent lack of space (I cook most things from scratch, so I have
many more items to help in this endeavor than many kitchens were
designed for). In the process, I found 15 lids to containers that are
long gone, and more importantly, that the digital scale I've been
looking for had been hidden beneath my tortilla press for the past few
months - woops.
· Time Management
Keeping up with housework in the first place is easier than the
"slash-and-burn" approach I've been guilty of for years now, but that
wasn't enough to talk myself into changing my approach until I
started working out. Now, I do take some time daily to wash the
dishes, drag a dust cloth across a few pieces of furniture and sweep
up the daily dog hair deposits from my Fox Terrier.
For some, this is the difference between hating their job and finding
peace with it. For me, this is - well, should be - so much easier, yet it
evaded me for years. Smile. And Laugh. I now make it a point to smile
at as many people as possible everyday, be they strangers or long time
friends. I also go out of my way to make others - and myself - laugh
every single day, even if I'm "laid up" in the hospital.
These all amount to individual sparks for me. The resulting lack of stress - and addition of satisfaction in it's place - has, in the process, provided the kindling for these sparks. And at the end of the day, as I look back, these little sparks have joined together and ignited the biggest, brightest bonfire I've ever seen!