Sunday, February 21, 2010

Non Scale Victories and other musings

It has been a while since I posted any non-scale victories. A couple of months ago in the midst of a lot of shopping I bought the wrong size tights - small. I meant to return them but forgot. They were navy and the only navy tights I had. The other day I decided to go ahead and give them a try because I really needed navy in order to wear a particular outfit. They fit really good. All day I had the joy of knowing I was wearing a size small over the biggest parts of my body! Yea, maybe the sizes run big and they stretch well but I tell you what - small in a stocking/tight/legging etc. is a real event for me.

Also - found that the gym I joined has another location about five to ten minutes from work!! Woo hoo! Lunch workouts again! And I didn't even know it when I joined!! Evenings have just not lent themselves to going to the gym but I can sneak away on occasion from the office and then just stay a little later that day. I am elated at the thought.

I am much more calm at home these days because I meddle less in other people's business. Both my teenagers have recently shown strong talents in art. I look for the good things in people and my life and focus more on that. There is always something. My sister visited with her family yesterday and my grown son spent the night before with us. In the morning while I was at my meeting he cleaned the whole downstairs. It was so wonderful just to be able to come home and not rush around and clean, etc. I was so happy. We had some quality family time. I love having people to my home when it is tidy. It is roomy and there are lots of places to sit and socialize. I liken it to a coffee house. In fact, that's the atmosphere I wanted and I believe I have achieved it.

I spent some time with my high school art teacher last night because that's where my sister stays when they visit. She took me down to her studio and we talked about a project I have been wanting to do for a long time. It was great. I am going to make it a point to see her more. She is a real joy. He husband taught social studies/government. I had them both as teachers in high school. It is always a pleasure to see them again. Usually it is just when my sister comes but I realize now that I don't have to wait for her to come, I can have a relationship with them myself.

Happiness for me involves accepting things as they are but searching out the good, and finding ways to improve, being open to change, looking for what makes me calm, happy etc. and doing it. Staying grateful. Grieving the losses and appreciating the joys.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Moment of Gratitude

I went to the gym three times in the past week, a record for me lately. I am maintaining my initial five to six pound loss.

Weeks seem like months lately. So many things crammed into them. My son and I had a trip Tuesday to the small town courthouse for his first bond appearance. I considered it quality time spent together. Looking past the initial chaos that ensued shortly after I brought him home I can see many beautiful things. First of all, to have a loved one in maximum security prison for almost 13 years takes a toll on a person. Especially your own child. It is hard to articulate. We dream of the day we can do simple things together, cook a meal, go for a drive, sit on the couch and watch a movie. Hug, touch, love, speak freely, have all the time we need. Give to each other. I had given up on some of those dreams over the years. Leaving a person behind in a prison is hard. The desire to set them free is so great that it is painful to even think about sometimes.

So, I realized some of those dreams, many of them in the past month. As I stood outside the heavy metal l door waiting I could hear my son talking to the guards while they got him ready to leave. He did not know I was coming and that he was going to be able to come home. I paced and worried something would go wrong at the last minute. But the door eventually popped open and out he came. I will never forget the sound of the popping of that lock. I have heard those locks so many times as we moved through the passages of prisons, feeling like prisoners ourselves, in order to spend a couple of hours with our loved one. I think we were both in shock but it seemed so natural, driving together to long drive home. I kept taking wrong turns and getting lost even though I knew the way. He used my phone to call family and friends. I remember him telling a good friend he was riding in a car, drinking a milkshake, talking on a cellular phone. Simple things we take for granted.

I got to take him shopping and buy him clothes. I got to bring him upstairs and knock on his son's door and surprise him with his father no longer behind the walls of a prison, or the glass of a visiting room window. I got to cook a big dinner that we all sat down together and ate. We had coffee together in front of the fire in the mornings on the weekends while the kids were still asleep. I don't want to forget these things and take them for granted. I never thought we would be able to do these things together.

Yes, there was the period when his addiction flared which I did not think we would survive, but we did. And things have calmed again and we all have help and support. I am learning to let go. Learning that as much as I love a person I cannot control their destiny, protect them from themselves, or manage their life and activities. I can still love them, and I can take care of myself. I work hard to learn how to do this until it comes naturally. I never have to go through anything alone.

I have gotten to know my son better. I have seen him loving and affectionate and patient. Even in the rough weeks he was always loving to us. He never lost his temper with me even though I was very confrontational, angry and verbally out of line. It made me look at myself harder and it made me want to be a better person. I still have not had the luxury of time to reflect on things like I used to but I have moments to take like now to see how there are good things happening. Life is not a fairy tale but it can have happy moments, and if we choose to look for them, to recognize them, appreciate them and cherish them, we can endure the hardship with more dignity and faith.

I did not know what I was going to write about today but I wanted to post. I feel like I have been through a tornado but the rebuilding of my life in the aftermath will reveal an even better life beyond my wildest dreams.

Yesterday I celebrated 21 years without drugs or alcohol. I was an addict and alcoholic from the age of 15 to 30. It's been a long journey but I am grateful today that I have chosen to stick with it. I understand many things and I have compassion for others because of my experiences. I try to use my experience to help other people whenever possible.

More will be revealed.