Thursday, January 15, 2009

Childhood memory.

It is cold! Not just cold enough to prompt a little whining but cold enough to warrant warnings that include the terms life threatening. I am not so very fond of the cold anyway and I am in the upper Midwest . . . where it is VERY cold today. They're talking -28 tonight with a wind chill that makes that even worse. No wonder there is a little fluffed up dove sitting on the edge of the heated birdbath.

When I was a child I loved to read animal and adventure books by London and Kjelgaard. Their books took me places I loved to go and most of the settings were away from towns and into the forests. They often took place up in the north lands of Canada or in Alaska and when London talked about how bitter cold it was I was always entranced because I could not completely comprehend cold beyond southern Illinois. Cold there was not going out without a coat in January and rain usually turned to sleet or ice. We hoped that lone December snow might happen for Christmas and Easter meant we were assured of forsythia and daffodils and lace anklet stockings with lace around the top.

This morning, as I walked out to the truck, I thought about those books by London I had read as a child. I remembered how he had said that it was so cold that when the man spit that the spittle had frozen before it had hit the ground. The air could be sharp and cutting and you had to respect the cold because it would kill your fingers or toes so fast that you wouldn't even know it was happening. I remember how the writing gave me images of blue and gray shadows and of dark sleep lurking just out of peripheral vision and of hearing that was heightened because of the cold air. He wrote of a love and a fear and a respect for the environment that I have come to share.

As I sat in the truck warming up the engine I smiled to myself and remembered . . . and can't really say if it was my layered clothes or my memories that made me warm and comfortable right then. Yes it's cold, but I wouldn't like living down south nearly so much as I do up here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rumor has it . . .

we have blizzard warnings for tonight and subzero temperatures by week's end. OK, this is really not my fault. Scientifically there is no relationship between admiring the pretty snow and causing the weather to escalate. There is also no correlation between this weather forecast and the fact that I just bought tickets to Albuquerque for spring break. Really . . . I'm just saying.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Snowy landscapes abound.

This morning is really beautiful. Even though I just complained yesterday that I had had enough winter and spring will come none too soon, it snowed. Yes, it is annoying to shovel and scrape and drive in but it is absolutely beautiful. It brightens the day - literally - and softens the harsh edges of midwinter's monochromatic palette. Like opulent highlights made of pristine spaces on a detail-laden pen and ink drawing, the difference in texture is marvelous. I will take my camera out when I go shovel and it will take me twice as long as it should but I will enjoy doing the chore so much more in the long run.

It will be a good day. Dad is home safe. One of my dearest friends had successful surgery yesterday. Two other dear friends may drive to our town today (roads permitting) just to play with us. My husband is a true blessing every day and I love my two fur children. Life is good.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's a pretty day . . . that cold and acutely crisp way that midwinter days can be.

My Dad is on the road today driving back to his home up north. His route crosses several state lines so I am pretty happy that the weather is fine. Tomorrow, his original departure day, we are anticipating an Alberta clipper with snow all day and he would have been driving straight through it. Bad. I would worry for anyone dear to me but he is 86 so I am probably extra protective. As it is, he has checked in periodically and he is almost there. Thanks, God.

All in all I feel quite a bit better today. Despite several irritating moments, I do not feel as combative and sensitive. Perhaps it is the lack of sugar or perhaps it is a renewed determination to let things go, but I am doing OK. I suspect trying to make behavior modifications is similar for anything that has a habitual hold on mind or body, be it addictive substances, food, drink, or attitude. For years, I have been on such a progressively downward spiral that anger, depression, and hopelessness have become commonplace. In a way, it seems a reasonable concept to yoke my endeavors to loose weight and loose the negativity into one push, because both take vigilance and perseverance to become the new foundation that all else rebuilds on. Onward and upward.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Withdrawals perhaps?

I started a 'diet' (so to speak) on Monday as part of this plan to improve. I say diet with tongue in cheek because it is really just moving away from a whole year of eating badly to suddenly eating correctly. To get through the rough transition quickly I quit all sugars, starches, and other favorite fun foods - cold turkey. I love fudge, Coke, breads, pastas, and all things comforting and last night my body had the first of several anticipated rebellions. By around 7pm I got hit with a steamroller purging that mostly involved the gastric portion of my system and lasted well past midnight. This morning I am weak and wiggly and dehydrated so water is my prime directive. Beneath it all, however, I actually feel a bit better without the endearing poisons. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Positive start for a new year.

New Year's resolutions are fairly commonplace, to be sure, and usually are about diets and bad habits and exercise programs and playing fair and increased productivity and....any number of other grandiose attempts to make a run at improving one's personal status quo. January first, by its very placement in the calendar, stands as one of those unique moments each year when we all feel enabled to embrace Tabula rosa.

I am no exception and I have thought quite a bit lately about dieting, my job, the economy, and starting a new blog with a new bent, motivation, and tone. You see, I believe that perspective can be altered by attitude and attitude can be redirected by the manual exercise of repeatedly focusing on the positive. Christians count blessings and zen masters reject negative energy, so it appears that the concept is an old and viable one - this focus on the positive. I want to begin again and this time be happier.

True, I cannot go back and undo all those things that I wish had turned out wrong, and I can't just create my own version of the witness protection program without loosing the good parts of my life so far. What I can do is try from here forward to do things the way I know they could be done. I can look to the good in people, take note of all of the beauty around me, and make a concerted effort to strengthen the positive aspect of my nature. I believe that then my perspective can swing back toward positive forward motion.

This is my goal, my new year's resolution - to get back on track becoming the best version of me that I possibly can by pulling my mind, my body and my talents into a more cohesive and well aligned spiritual being. I know that I will be happier for the effort and I suspect that anyone who knows me will be happier too.

Read along if you like. It is just one woman's attempt to effect her life and who knows, you may discover you prefer the positive too? It can't hurt.