Crossed Paths of Love

Mark and Laurie close up at an outside table. Mark is making a silly wide grin with wide eyes and looks happy.
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Mark and I went up to Ventura last week to ride some bike paths we hadn’t yet explored. We stopped at a new place for lunch and have fun being silly – even BEFORE we had some mimosas!

What Inspires Love?

Sometimes I think I get all in my head and judge myself harshly. I also get wrapped up in minutia of schedules and plans and what ‘I think should happen’ or ‘how I THINK I should react’. This is a tough habit to maintain, being retired, where one is supposed to ENJOY the fruits of freedom and to go with the flow. I think that one lesson I’ve learned lately is to let go more and to enjoy the moments as they come. For example, here’s a video I posted to Instagram just so you can experience the waves and the sound of the sea at sunset.

#Sunset #soundOfWaves #Ventura

A post shared by Laurie Weaver (@lauriedreamweaver) on

OK, so when you are gazing at SUCH GRANDEUR who has time to nitpick? ME, that’s who! I catch myself constantly thinking about what I need to do and prepare for the NEXT activity, whatever that may be. I think about when and what I’ll eat, even if I am not one bit hungry, I think about what outfits I’ll need and did I pack enough, I’ll wonder where we are going next and get anxious if I don’t know exactly where the next restroom is going to be.

Did I mention that I have a compulsive-obsessive mind apart from eating?

I believe that one of my stumbling blocks with food lately is also a long term stumbling block in my life. I don’t allow love in. I push it away with busyness AND I cover up fear of rejection with body obsession (old topic). It is hard to explain the differences in my perception now. I still have these issues and I still have behaviors that block my progress, but they are not so automatic.

What inspires me about the changes I’m trying to make is that I now realize love is all around. Do I sound like some sappy music is playing? Let’s think about love for a moment.

In the USA, and probably in much of the world, love in the romantic sense is portrayed on screen and in poems and in music as that giddy butterfly feeling of sexy newness and soul mate discovery that we are taught to long for. After almost 21 years of marriage, love feels different. And I used to miss out on knowing how much I was loved since I didn’t identify all of the acts of love that came to me on a regular basis.

Cupid and Red Baby

This is a great example.

Bike on a rack on the back of a red convertible.

Mark takes the bikes off of the rack on our convertible. I LOVE to drive this car. But since I retired, I rarely do. We use it primarily for road trips.

See this car? This is MY red convertible. I got this car because Mark knew that I would love it forever. He knew this car met the secret dream in my heart like no other. I didn’t even consider this car back in the day when we bought it (circa 2005). We had saved partially enough to buy another car when my then current car bit the dust and became too expensive to repair. We probably would find a new (for us) car that was a couple of years old (much cheaper) and reliable and practical. To drive to Los Angeles where I used to work isn’t long in miles, but traffic can make it long in time. Angelenos love our cars because we spend a lot of time in them, but my commute wasn’t such as I deemed it worth the money to spend more than required to get me to work safely. Did I mention Mark and I are savers who pay cash for almost everything? This car was not one where we could pay cash. Mark had never purchased a new car in his life. He worked long hours in his job. A hard, physical job. He enjoyed the idea of early retirement. That was his dream. Bobbles such as a fancy red convertible would delay that dream. Big ticket items were discussed, dissected and put off as long as possible. I too wanted to retire, but not with the passion that Mark had. We test drove a car like this for fun. The one we drove was white and I longed for a red one. Back in those days, the demand for these convertibles outweighed the stock. You were lucky not to pay way over sticker price for the privilege – and you took what color you could get, IF you could get one at all. I sighed and dreamed and played ‘what if’. But I knew we would go the practical route. This car fits ME perfectly, but Mark, being much taller, hits his head a bit when the top is up. This is NOT a comfortable car for Mark.

Despite that, we decided, again, ‘for fun’, to call the AAA car buyer program in the slim hope that this wildly popular and hard to find model would be in that year’s program. This is a great program where AAA negotiates a set price for their members with certain car dealers. Usually the best deals there would be found on models the dealers wanted to move. We knew there was no hope that we could swing the premium way above sticker that was the going rate. This was a pie in the sky move. A way to dream a while longer before hitting the earth with hard reality.

As you can tell from the photo, my car WAS part of the program that year. We actually got a discount AND I was able to get a red one. I had to wait months for it to be built in the factory, but it was exactly what I wanted. The day she was built our salesman called me at work to tell me, my car was being built that day. I remarked to my co-workers, ‘It’s just like a baby is being born! It’s my red baby!’.

Now discount and all, this still cost much more than what we had planned. Mark rarely drove it when it was new, but he kept it clean and polished and shiny for the joy I got out of driving it. It made me SO happy to drive Red Baby. It still makes me smile. I love Red Baby as much today as I did the first exciting minute we drove her off the lot.

So why did it take me SO LONG to see this was one great big I LOVE YOU from Mark?

Because just like I will tear down my body’s attributes and focus on negative comments on iTunes or people unliking my page on FB, I was focused on what was missing from my life, not on the joys of what I had.

Ventura and Santa Barbara

Mark and I drove Red Baby to Ventura because Mark found some cool bike paths we had not ridden before. This too is an act of love. Mark found us a great adventure!

A decorative railing separates the bike path from the beach and the traffic.

You can see how cool the new bike path section is! It is functional and decorative. Bikes used to have to go on the highway itself during this section along the coast. This new path is the start of eliminating that danger. It’s beautiful!

Mark takes photos on the sandy beach near the waves

Here’s a photo of Mark snapping photos!

You can see the ocean waves close by the tables and umbrellas.

The amazing view we had at our lunch stop along the new bike path.

Seagull perched on a rock near the waves, lawn from the cafe's patio area in foreground

The seagulls were aggressive at the restaurant – this fellow is resting until he can try for another bread course.

View of the wharf in Santa Barbara

Here’s view of the wharf in Santa Barbara

Laurie in bike gear in front of boats at dock in the harbor.

We stop for a moment in Santa Barbara to enjoy the harbor view.

Glowing sun melts into purple waves from royal blue sky with whispy white clouds

Sunset over the waves. We stopped the car by the side of the road to watch this romantic sight.

Ok, Mark’s a Great Guy, But does THIS have to do with Eating Issues?


Mark is a great guy. Mark also has his foibles, just as I do. And I know now, that I focused on what I percieved we lacked as a couple, not our strengths. When I let myself just appreciate him for who and what he IS instead of who I WISH he were, I am filled to the brim with love for him. Does this sound familiar?

What did/do I say about my body? If only I were thinner. If only my legs weren’t so big. If only I could fit in chairs.

I focus on what I perceive as missing about myself. The things that aren’t, in my mind, positive. This goes easily to the physical, but also to my character. I pick on myself too much. I cut myself not enough slack. I’m not in the habit of loving myself as I am.

But I’m learning. That’s what this last year has really been about. Me letting love in. From Mark, as he is, from Me, as I am.

Close up of Laurie above the waist in a swimsuit with pool in background

I”m enjoying my time at the hotel pool. I’ll never wear a bikini again, but at this moment I’m not thinking of size. I’m enjoying the way the water felt and how the sun is and how much I LOVED swimming just then.

Do I wish that Intuitive Eating landed me with a society approved lovely beach body? Sure. But mostly I’m grateful for the lessons. My body is awesome. As is. Mark is awesome as is. You Brave Companions are awesome as is. I don’t need you to be different. I love YOU right now. And for the first time, I’m starting to actually believe, that you love me too. As is.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pinkish purple roses with baby's breath

Mark surprised me with these roses on Valentine’s Day when I came home from class. He almost never buys store bought flowers, so it was a big surprise. These are some of my favorite colors and I love them!

Comments box:

7 thoughts on “Crossed Paths of Love

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Thanks Cassie for your support. I go wildly up and down in my mood some days between hope, despair, acceptance. I think it is all part of the process of me learning to feel and deal with my emotions. Your kind comments mean very much to me. xoxoxoxox

      Reply
  1. Cheryl

    You know, Pastor Diane at church used to add one special thing at the end of her marriage ceremonies. She’s said, “Love each other for who you are, forgive each other for who you are not.” The implication is that once you’ve forgiven someone — or yourself — you can really focus on that love. I’m wondering if that’s what I’m hearing you saying.

    Reply
    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      That’s a great thing to add to the ceremony! It’s also a good point about forgiveness. I think what I was really writing about that day was the need for acceptance. There are parts of ourselves, our mates, our friends, our co-workers, our family members that are just not going to change to suit us. It is easy to have blinders from our own POV. It is really difficult to actually break out of this to see the world from a different perspective. Even about myself, for all of the positive work I’ve been doing, I still wish I’d been born with the genetics to have a slender vs. stocky build. It is hard to see that this build is just as valid. With Mark, it is hard for me to see his POV is as valid for him as mine is for me, and that compromise doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me and it is just as hard for him. We are only now starting to negotiate the tricky waters of actually accepting the other’s pov as valid vs one or the other of us ‘giving in’ just for the peace of it all.

      Reply
      1. Cheryl

        You know, I think what Diane would say to that is, you can struggle and struggle to accept yourself with little success because acceptance has to start with heartfelt forgiveness. In some ways we must feel like we’ve let ourselves down. Only we can forgive ourselves for being human. That’s what I found out with my experience with mom’s death.

        Reply

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