Bye for a little bit
Sunday, May 20, 2018
I have logged onto SparkPeople every single day, sick or well, at home or on vacation, happy or sad, every single day except for two, since 12-13-2012. I have learned a huge amount about many things through all the articles, posts, teams, and recipes. I have Spark Friends that I truly care about, even if I didn't make time to every single day search out if each and every one had blogged or posted a status update and comment on them.
What have I gained from SP for 6+ years of logging on? I have not gained weight (which is no mean feat for a foodie who loves to prepare and to eat great food, is a member of the "clean plate club" but has the metabolism of a post-menopausal 61 year old woman!), and I know a lot more exercises and how to do them without hurting myself. I know that walking and moving actually feels really good both during and after, physically and mentally. I know that, once you start regularly drinking all the water you are supposed to every day, you will feel like someone beat you up all over and wonder if you are maybe getting sick, the day after you don't drink all that water for one day. I have learned a lot about myself emotionally. I have made some amazing friends that likely I will never meet in person but they have changed who and how I am and have enriched me immeasurably: a farmer's wife in Iowa who is at peace with herself and her life but works harder than most folks can when they're in their 20's; a Canadian Dr's wife with a rich memory of family, a wicked sense of humor, a will of iron and a heart big enough to save any animal that crosses her path, even a pitiful, scared, stray cat that now is a queen in that home; a content creative designer at peace with herself, who devotes herself completely to those she loves both two and four legged and is appreciative of every golden moment; a strong & wise educator who has a heart as big as all of the sky and is always there with a great quote that encourages love, accountability and personal responsibility; a hula hooping minister that fosters faith and joy to all she encounters with the innocence and enthusiasm of a wide eyed child; and so many, many more folks that I keep trying to keep up with every day because they are important to me. All these people and things are riches beyond words.
What have I lost with 6+ years of logging on? The time to exercise and get tasks done at home before I start my 11 to 13 hour work day 6 days a week. Satisfaction and peace of mind. I feel that I am always behind, always fighting the clock, deciding between taking care of my house, sleeping, reading a few pages of a book to relax and unwind, or checking on my SparkStuff during the precious few awake hours at home. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my work, it is my joy, my passion, and I probably put more of myself into it than many would consider wise or maybe healthy. (That, I feel, is their problem, not mine--what I do makes me happy and satisfied and feel that maybe the world just a wee tiny bit better than if I wasn't here.) I feel that I have made my Spark People activities such a "must do" habit, that other, more immediately important things in my life are getting lost and misplaced and left undone. I know this sense of obligation comes from inside me, it is a psychological issue that bears working on. It does not come from Spark People. I have this crazy drive to "not break the streak", and "not miss something important" and not "miss learning something that will REALLY help me" and "not break a pattern" . And I don't think this is good for me. So I am going to step out of my habit, my comfort zone, my almost obsession to maintain and continue a pattern, and do something different. I am going to take a sabbatical from SparkPeople. Not "goodbye", just "until later". I need to get back to actually, physically, actively, living and engaging in life's responsibilities and activities, rather than sitting in front of my computer every workday morning, eating breakfast while I scroll and spin and type, and every Sunday morning into early afternoon, madly typing, catching up, until there is not really enough time left for me to get ready for work or do most of the things on my "not-work to-do" list. I am going to start developing a new rhythm in the mornings, because this sense of being behind all the time is really weighing my soul down and making me feel sad and inadequate, even though I know I am capable, adequate, no, I will honestly and bravely say it, extraordinary. (Just like every single other person who is alive!)
I don't know when I'll be back, but I know I will be back at some point, because yes, there is a lot on this site, in this community that is wonderful and enriching and beneficial and good. I know that i will feel lost at first, because this is over a 6 year old habit I am stopping. I know I will need to be brave to do something different, instead of a comfortable, predictable, established and reinforced routine. I know I will need to be more self-disciplined, too, as I won't have the "I have to login to SP" excuse to not do the things that need done in the morning, and on Sundays (the only day a week that is (mostly) mine to do with as I see fit.
I hope the sun shines brightly on all of you, with only enough rain to make the blossoms open and leaves to sprout, green and strong. I hope you all know that each living thing, and especially you, are part of something so wonderful, so strong, so important, so universal, that you happily and gratefully smile every single day when you open your eyes. I hope you are grateful to be who you are, where you are, doing what you are doing, with enough strength and determination to change any part of yourself or your life that does not fit your most cherished dreams and goals.