Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Somewhat related thoughts

My blog, my thoughts, my canvas. Right? Right.

I've been accused and given accolades for my "sunshine and lollipops" approach to life and blogging. Generally, this approach works for me. I prefer to think of the glass as 3/4 full. There are times, though, when reality overwhelms me and I can't abide lollipops (can't dis the sunshine, though; we've waited way too long for it!).

So here are some of the things that have been on my mind today. Sorry, there's a few of them. But if you've ever wanted to get past the fluff and see what makes me tick, then you're welcome to come along for the ride.

First - Was it really worth it?: I had my gastric bypass two and a half years ago (I can't believe it's been that long all ready!) and I've lost 120 pounds. Since the day I had the surgery, people have asked me if I think they or a friend should have it. I always say that the answer is different for different people in different situations, but the one thing that anyone considering the surgery must remember is the things that got you fat will not go away just because you have the surgery. Eventually, the need to eat to deal with life will return and eventually your body will have healed enough to support the behavior. I have reached that point. And it scares me. Horribly.

In the last two months, I've gained five pounds. If I say this to anyone, they just smile and tell me not to worry; it's no big deal; everyone gains and loses five pounds; I'm just normal. I don't think my husband is even concerned. And yet, I feel powerless. I know the problem; it is snacking. I know why I'm snacking; I'm stressed. Thankfully, I still can't eat a ton and if I really listen to my body then I stop eating. But constant, low-level snacking throughout the day doesn't fill me enough to make me stop but fills me enough to feel inured to the stress. The only thing is, I am opening myself up to the stress about my diabetes and getting fat. I'm used to those stresses, though, so maybe on some level I am choosing to trade that stress for the chance to inure myself to the current stress. Or maybe I am just a weakling who is too dumb to stop myself. I don't know. I only know that I must find a way to stop this in its tracks. I worry that I won't be desirable to my husband. I don't worry that he'll stop loving me; I had that before I lost weight, but I worry that he'll be disappointed in me for failing. I worry about making my diabetes worse. I have been fat and I refuse to go back. I may not be beautiful now, but I am average and normal and healthy and by God, I am NOT giving that up. But if I fail, was all the pain and trouble I've gone through to get here worth it?

Second - Yes, it was worth it: Last week Sweet Girl's school put on a spring concert. Champs wasn't able to come since he's out of town on his job on Tuesday nights, so it was just her and me. Ohmygawd, she was so cute and all the kindergarteners just made you want to melt! Of course, I didn't get to post about it because she woke up sick the next morning and I was a little preoccupied after that! Anyway, when I got there, I dropped her off with the other kids back stage and then made my way to the front row where there appeared to be one available seat.

After confirming that no one was saving it, I put my jacket on the back and looked at the seat. It was flimsy - really flimsy! This was the kind of small light metal and plastic chair that I've spent my entire life avoiding so that I wouldn't have to suffer the embarrassment of having it collapse under me. I was pushing on it and testing the "give" in the legs when the man in the row behind me said "don't worry, you can sit there". He was a big guy - probably over 6 feet and 250 pounds. I chuckled lightly. "I know." I said, "It just looks kinda flimsy." He looked me over and said with a smile, "Oh, don't worry. You're a little thing. It's holding me; it'll hold you no problem." That man will never know what a little gift he gave me. Believe it or not, those four little words "you're a little thing" have allowed me to turn away from temptation many times this week. I want them embroidered on my brain! So yes, it was worth it.

Third - Welcome to my quiet circus of chaos: My top five strengths (and synopsis, from Now, discover Your Strengths) are, in order:

1. Communication - Ideas are a dry beginning. Events are static. You take the dry idea and enliven it with images and examples and metaphors. You want your idea to survive; your word pictures pique people's interest, sharpen their world and inspire them to act.
2. Strategic - This theme enables you to sort through clutter and find the best route. It can't be taught; it is a way of thinking. You ask questions, play out scenarios, ask "what if", making selections until you arrive at your chosen path - your strategy. Ask "What if?" Select. Strike.
3. Empathy - You can sense the emotions of those around you - instinctively you share their perspective. You don't necessarily agree with, feel pity for or condone each person's predicaments or choices, but you understand. You help people give voice to their emotional life.
4. Woo - Winning others over; strangers are not intimidating, they're energizing. You derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection. Once you make the connection, you're happy to wrap it up and move on. In your world there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet. Lots of them.
5. Input - You are inquisitive. You collect things because they interest you. You find so many things interesting. You keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It's interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one one day some of it will prove valuable.

Why do I tell you this? Because with these strengths, I am in my element organizing, directing, planning, connecting and generally making things happen. I can explain things in a way that my audience always understands. I feel confident in my ability to navigate change; I can gather the information I need, create the networking contacts to find my resources, meet the people who can either help me or direct me to someone who can and chart a path to success. In the past, this has proven both powerful and troublesome. I can be intimidating to others, especially when I know the path and I charge full strength ahead. I don't normally let that stop me.

Until now. I feel so damn overwhelmed! Our move to Illinois is only 4 months away and the list of things to do is so long and overpowering that I fear I can't get my hands and brain around it and get it all done. Although I am good at finding a path, I don't feed on overwhelming challenge the way some do. I work well under a deadline, but eventually I do break down. It's been at least 12 years since I felt this overwhelmed (and Champs didn't know me then, so this kind of emotional territory is new to him).

I am leaving a job I love (as a Communications Specialist - big surprise, huh?) and leaving the security that comes with it. I finally completed my commitment to my current position today, leaving me free to apply for any job in the company I want. I know I'm a damn good employee and I could secure a great promotion and move farther along the communication path, but it's not worth it with only four months left at the company. They aren't in our new hometown, so I can't transfer, either. I have to package my skills in a way that will speak to a need at one of the bigger employers in my new hometown.

I am leaving my mom. It should matter that I'm leaving my family, but it doesn't; not really. I don't see my brothers and sisters often. They never call me unless they need something. But my mom is different. She lived with us for two and a half years and I worry that she'll be OK. I worry that my dead-ass brothers won't care for her the way she needs. I worry that she won't take care of herself.

I'm leaving my best friend. Of all the friends I've ever had, Geekwif is the only one who has been unfailingly loyal and patient (remember the intimidating thing? Well, she's immune. Must be the Geek; he and I actually have frighteningly similar personalities, so obviously she handles both of us well). I don't worry about leaving her much since they're moving to Wisconsin anyway and we're both incredibly comfortable with all the electronic communication devises available to long-distance friendships these days.

I am happy to be moving in every other way. I'm exciting about living in the same town as Princssis and the rest of Champ's family. I am looking forward to the schooling we've chosen for Sweet Girl. We've decided that we want to build a home, so I am looking forward to that. I'm really looking forward to living in a state with more reasonable taxes (!) and I'm even looking forward to the challenge of a new career. We've prayed and prayed and we both believe that this move is the will of God for our family.

It's just the transition that is scaring the pants off of me. Or should I say, the chocolate into me. I know this stress is the reason for my eating lately. But I don't know how to succeed right now. I can't see the path. I can't communicate my need clearly to my husband. I can't understand all that he is feeling because I am too full of my stress to gauge like I normally do. I have the names of people to contact who might help and I can't bring myself to contact them. I have tons of job-finding resources building up that I haven't had the time to go through, catalog and put into action. All five of my strengths are mired in this circus of chaos. I want out! I wish I could quit my job right now and just focus on our transition. Or I wish I could call of the move and focus on my job. In the end, I know I will get it all done - the resumes, the taxes, the budgeting, the interviews to set up, the housing to find... All of it. But man, oh man, how much weight will I gain in the process and how do I let someone help me with all of this when I feel like it's all my responsibility and if I don't succeed, everyone will suffer for my failures?

Yeah, so much for lollipops, folks. It's just as well I don't have any tonight. I'd just eat it.

Don't worry, the confident Blond Girl you're used to should return soon. If she can kick some organizational butt and get a few successes under her belt in the next couple of days, that is.

Oh, and here is a quick, fun thought - full of lollipops and sunshine: A once in a century event will happen in about 2 hours: at 01:02 and three seconds a.m., the time and date will be: 01:02:03 04/05/06. Fun, huh?

Here's some comments from this post:

Praying for your Prodigal said...
Sending hugs...and prayers your way. You have a lot coming up on your stress chart! I hope you will be able to stay connected with your loved ones...with frequent phone calls, lots of e-mails, daily blogging, and yes, weekend retreats to and fro....just the girls! If you have to leave your mom and your best is worthy of scheduling some long weekends right now!
And regarding your positive will take you much further in life...than an pessimistic underpin. Stay just the way God created you! You are a blessing!

Elizabeth said...
Totally know where you are coming from on the optimistic attitude. I never get any comments on my blog and my people always say its because my attitude is tooo fluffy. "LIKE COTTON CANDY" but if I dwell on the bad things in my blog I will continue to dwell on them in my life and that gets you NOOOOOO where!!!!
Enjoyed reading!!!

Geekwif said...
First - Never ever call yourself dumb or a weakling again, okay? I might have to open up a can of whoopah on ya.
Second - You are beautiful. Trust me, I know it's not easy, but we girls have got to stop comparing ourselves to the wrong people.
Third - Of course Champs will never stop loving you! One of the reasons you married him is because he was a sure thing. You knew he was constant and that is an assurance you can rest in. (Rest is a good way of relieving the stress, by the way.)
Fourth - Delegate!! I know you know how. You tend to take everything on yourself, but you're not the only one moving. Let Champs take on some of the responsibility. He may not be the expert in some of these areas, but I bet if you and he sit down and look at it together you'll find there are jobs he can take off your shoulders.
Fifth - You are way too sweet. You make me sound too good. :) And I'm going to miss you too, but as you say, technology will keep us together.
Sixth - Pray pray pray. And I will pray with you.

kenju said...
Find something to focus on so you won't give in to the temptation. You are so positive (which I love) and I think your strengths will come back as soon as you have a handle on the move. Good luck!

princssis said...
BG - I read this last night but didn't comment then. Today, as I was waiting at jury duty, I was reading Joel Osteen's book, "Your Best Life Now". I came upon a section called "Speak Life-Changing Words". In it, reads, "'For the Lord grants wisdom! His every word is a treasure of knowledge and understanding. He grants good sense to the godly - his saints. He is their shield, protecting them and guarding thier pathway. He shows how to distinguish right from wrong, how to make the right decision every time.' I cannot tell you how many times....God supernaturally protected us and kept us from making mistakes."
"The ball is now in your court. If you want success, if you want wisdom, if you want to be prosperous and healthy, you're going to have to do more than meditate and believe; you must boldly declare words of faith and victory over yourself and your family."
BG - don't listen to those that criticize you over your "sunshine and lollipops". Those words are the positive words to keep your mind and spirit focused on the good things in life - the good things God has in store for you and your family. Keep up with the positive attitude! It will keep God's blessings flowing!
BTW - I'd recommend the book!

No comments: