Taking Time

Stormy clouds over the foothills above the hiking path
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Taken from my solo hike last Sunday, you can see the rain is coming. I hurry in front of the storm. The clouds form dramatic vistas this day and suit my pensive mood.

Notice: I’m going to be away for several days celebrating my big *gulp* 56th year on this planet. So please post away, send audio and keep the lights on for me. I WILL answer and incorporate some of your thoughts and comments into another show when I return. Older, a little wiser, and totally more fabulous!

Sometimes good intentions can go to the devil!

When I got back from my trip home to Washington State, I FULLY intended to unpack, do laundry, then strap on the recorder and head up the mountain to record a show. Instead, I felt exhausted, weepy, and we heard about the passing of Leonard Nimoy. Top that off with the fact that I got a blast from my unhappy past on FB (not that person’s fault), but it still rocked my world to face ANOTHER painful part of my history so soon after dealing with my emotions this last trip home.

I also had a TON of house chores to take care of (and as you know, my FAVORITE thing is cleaning – NOT) and even my beloved blog and show and BCs loomed as a huge chore instead of a joy.

What to do? I had asked all of you to comment and send audio and to keep on keeping on. And you HAD. I should reply. It had been over a week since the last show was released. I should record a new one. The SHOULDS started piling on fast and furious. Wanting to do right by you AND by me, I came upon a rather novel approach to my dilemma.

What would Laurie Do?

Now, in no way am I equating myself with the holy person that usually inhabits the above quote, but this weird thought popped into my head. If I were a listener and I asked “Laurie” of Compulsive Overeating Diary, what should I do, what would “Laurie” say?

OMG, I am now elevating compartmentalizing oneself into an art form! However, I got an answer from “Laurie” of Compulsive Overeating Diary.

You need to take time for yourself.

Wah? HOW CAN I TAKE TIME NOW YOU IDIOT???? Don’t you see ALL I have to do? Everything that is UNDONE? All that is ON MY FRIGGIN’ PLATE?

You can’t meet the needs of the many until you meet the needs of the one.

Great! Now you are throwing SPOCK references at me. Don’t I feel badly enough today?

Appropriate. Mr. Spock did what was needed when it was needed. It isn’t emotional, it’s rational. You need time and space to process. You cannot be there for others when you have an empty emotional battery.

Hmmm, “Laurie” of Compulsive Overeating Diary is obviously an unfeeling robot today.

Oh yeah, if I were so unfeeling you loon, I’d just go along with all of this “Should” nonsense and let you work yourself into a frazzle whilst I enjoyed obsessing over stats and counting likes on FB!

Sigh. When I’m right, I’m right.

Running before the storm

Appropriately enough another deluge was predicted later in the day. But I predicted I would have time to hurry up the mountain, spend some quality decompression time at the Upper Zen Spot and return, safe and sound, and undrenched before the storm hit.

And…I found several Zen-like moments to appreciate life and to find gratitude on the journey.

Small purple flower blooming in a rock crevasse

I was encouraged by this flower pushing up through the rocky soil. Its beauty in tough surroundings inspired me to keep looking for the good and the gratitude in tough times.

Laurie in hiking hat shows the camera her mandarin tangerine

I munch my favorite hiking snack at the Upper Zen Place. One gratitude I have is that I can pluck organic Mandarin oranges off of my own tree in my own yard.

Prayer rocks on the fence of the Upper Zen place

These off balance prayer rocks are for Leonard Nimoy. His character, Mr. Spock always strived for balance. I sent him gratitude and love for the lessons he taught me, though I never knew him.

Blue skies about the hiking trail filled with strange white cloud shapes

One my way down the mountain the cloud ballet commenced!

Blessings are there when you look for them

One gratitude I have on my list EVERY day, is that I have such a warm and wonderful band of BCs to hear me, to support me, to rant with me and to understand my silence as well as my endless ponderings. Thank you dear BC, for being on this strange and wonderful journey with me.

Live Long and Prosper

PS, I did get a show out yesterday, so it all worked out!

Comments box:

25 thoughts on “Taking Time

  1. Cheryl

    I am still reeling from Spock’s passing as well. It’s like a whole culture I believed in (Vulcan) got shot to hell.

    But you are right, Laure, to take the time if you need it. I decided that for myself last night (while recovering from a 103.9 fever and a trip to the ER). There’s only so far we can push ourselves before our body shuts down. I have enjoyed blogging so much since October, but I was worn out. After two courses at WordPress I had added so many new friends and blogs to follow (60+) that I was not only NOT being able to keep up, I was falling way behind. (If you wondered where I was, that’s what I was attempting to do.)

    Last night I cancelled my blog subscriptions to half of them and changed the notifications on most of the rest. Kind of broke my heart, but I forget how easily my body can be broken, too.

    So do what you need to do, girlfriend. I’m in this with you.

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Yeppers GF, I soooo get that. My measure these days is all about the energy a particular task or activity gives me. For example, killing myself to clean many rooms exhausts me. Cleaning one gives me a charge of pride and enjoyment. I follow a few blogs too, and podcasts, but I can’t follow every one that crosses my path. I DO go check out every one that a BC posts about to see if it is something that resonates with me. It is a tricky balance. But even chores can add to energy in the right amounts. It is hard for me to let things go, but I am learning. I’m glad you had fun with blogging class and got exposure to new people and ideas, that will always fuel your creative juice. But you are right, that you can’t just let it add to your time burden to be “nice”. Even I, desirer of comments and feedback, realize that people have real lives and priorities. I feel that there are times when communicating and supporting here give BCs joy and comfort. Other times, it may be a burden. My desire is that you skip the burden times and come around for the joy. xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

      1. Cheryl

        You know those blogs…it wasn’t that I was being nice, I found them all (that I had followed) incredibly stimulating. I think I’ve lacked that for so long I overdid it. Like binging, just not with food.

        Have been in bed on the wrong antibios since last Monday. Bran finally insisted on taking me back to the clinic. Couldn’t keep anything down, shakin’ like an ice machine at a cheap hotel, then barfed all over the bathroom (which he was gracious enough to help clean up). Our thermometor (sp?) was a wee bit off. I had no idea my temp was that high. Sent me right to the ER where they promptly determined I’d been put on the wrong antibio.

        Still not sleeping and now I’m lookin’ around at this house thinking, wtf did they do while I was sick. The answer is obvious. I don’t know where to start.

        1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

          Hugs, Hugs, Hugs. How scary to be in that situation. I so hope they have you on the right meds and course of action. I think we just may be messy house twins at the moment – only I can’t say anyone did this but ME this time. Mr. Mark has actually been pretty awesome keeping up with the parts of the house that he cares for, and I have been the lackluster, let it slide one. Pretty weird to reverse roles like this. But for me, it just shuts me off to consider the enormity of the entire task. Today I just washed the bedding and did dishes and counters. Tomorrow I’ll do a light vacuum and the smallest of declutter. Mark and I decided to review our entire house cleaning situation when we return. We really need a schedule, and possibly some help. Good job Bran to be there for you and for cleaning up the bath in that situation. I’d count that as love for sure. I know what you mean about your blogs. Even a good thing can be too much if it puts the rest of life out of balance. Sending you good sleep vibes. Something that has been helping me, is I dug out my old under the pillow speaker that I took to the hospital and use my iPod at night to pipe Sleep Soundly music by Steven Halpern. The under the pillow speaker lets me just hear barely anything, but this music seems to do the trick. Oh, and I wear a sleep mask too. I found I am VERY sensitive to light and any light wakes me. xoxoxoxoxox

          Here’s a link to the speaker I have, it used to be on Amazon, long ago. But not right now.

  2. Sue

    Oh Cheryl, I’m so sorry to hear about you needing to go into hospital. I hope you are starting to recover and the new antibiotics are starting to help.

    Laurie, your conversation with yourself reminds me so much of the things I have been learning in the last couple of years about Transactional Analysis. The “shoulds” and “oughts” are such tyrants. We know you will respond when it is appropriate but in the meantime nobody is going to suffer if it takes longer than usual. You are modelling that it is important to take time out for you – to mend, to self protect, to have fun, to experience life off-line to the the full.

    Different expectations re housework and other chores can be a right pain. Speaking of which, I have some ironing to do before his nibs goes back to work after the weekend and it is better done whilst I have some energy. Let’s hope I can make it to church today as I missed the last two weeks due to illness.

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      HAHA Sue, Mark would FAINT dead away if I touched an iron. I’m afraid we are a wrinkled family in more ways than one 😉 But thanks for your message. I’m thinking it IS a good thing to model self-care in all ways I discover it. More and more of my personal journey is letting go of what doesn’t contribute to my energy, my values or my happiness. And I’m finding that is not black and white. Some activities are great to focus on for awhile, and then it makes sense to move on to another priority. These things change, just as appetite does. I’m amazed to see that I am really hungry some days and others, not much. I am so used to thinking that every calorie day should be the same, and it spills into my routine too. Some days I NEED to clean up more, other days, it really doesn’t matter. Some days I’m enthused to do the show and have lots I want to say, or the BCs have shared something I’m excited to share. Others, I don’t feel the need to self-reflect, or the BCs have been off doing other things, and nothing new. I’m just now starting to feel ok with finding a rhythm in my life that works for me and not feel guilty, I know Mark is happy about it, because I compulsively used to push him quite a bit since I had such urgency around every task and item. Now I am MUCH more laid back. And, since I am, Mark has stepped up much more than in the past. Hmmm. That is an interesting side benefit, no? Mark needn’t rebel against my demands as I don’t make any anymore. Thanks again, I fully intend to enjoy our trip away and to see new things and to relax. I hope you made it to church and you were able to recharge your spirit. xoxoxoxoxox

    2. Cheryl

      Thanks for the well-wished, Sue. We are playing hooky from church this morning. I finally got a whole3 1/2 hours sleep all at one time after 3:15 this morning. I laughed when you said “his nibs.” I loved it. What exactly does it mean? Perhaps I need a different word for “his lordship.” Been wondering, ironically enough, if I’m giving away a little bit of my power every time I use it.

      As I was reading through your comments Laure, I started to wonder how much of the change to self-acceptance and self-awareness has to do with age. Made me wondered if we’re hard-wired to start running down after those young/middle years of nesting and careers. Maybe that’s why these needs seem to crop up more and more as we age. We just have an instinct about it. Something to think about anyway…

      1. Sue

        I’ve just realised that I hadn’t replied to your question about “his nibs”. Unfortunately it is more scathing than I had remembered:
        Someone who gives a command or makes a demand, often one who acts in a self-important manner, sometimes one with authority; – used mockingly as a jocose term, as if a title of honor, but not usually in the presence of the person referred to, and usually indicating resentment or contempt.

        Maybe that isn’t quite what I meant!

        I hope you are feeling much better now.

        1. Cheryl

          ROFLMBO!!! Your reaction to that was so precious. Makes me wonder exactly what I mean when I say his lordship!

          I am finally feeling better after having slept the whole night last night for the first time in nine days. If this is an indication of how getting sick is going to knock me on my butt now that I’m getting older, I think I’m in big trouble!


      2. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

        I started to wonder how much of the change to self-acceptance and self-awareness has to do with age

        I think that age has been a GREAT asset for me. It kind of pushes the ‘if not now, when?’ button as well as makes me realize that many of my body image wishes are plain unrealistic. They probably always were, but now it is a bit of a relief to know it for a fact. There is some grieving too, I think. I will never be a ballerina, for example, but I will be a singer. It is nice to accept what’s real as it gives us freedom to explore current options without the anchor of past expectations. Thanks for the interesting thought 🙂

        PS, prayers for you and B xoxoxoxoxoxox

        1. Cheryl

          Thanks for the wishes, Laurie, for Bran especially.

          Part of my identity issues right now stem from the fact that I don’t HAVE any goals. Seems all I have at this point is regrets. I need a week away to rethink my life!

          1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

            Hugs Cheryl. It isn’t surprising with all of the health and other issues you have been facing that you are feeling lost a bit. I went through much of that after my sudden retirement, where I was all at sea and clueless. For me, it was giving up goals and exploring joy. I know you love your work visiting with shut-ins and others. I know you love people. I know you love your family. Maybe it’s your turn for climbing the metaphysical mountain my friend. Where ever you explore, come here for all of the support and hugs you can desire. xoxoxoxoxox

  3. Amy from WI

    I’m really glad that you took the time you needed, Laurie. I think you inspired me to get out and for for a short walk after I post here. It is finally a decent temp out, the sun is shining, and the snow is melting. Yay! I agree that sometimes if I give myself the answer I’d give a friend, I give much better advice!

    I am in a really crappy place right now. Attempting to fast for Lent knocked me off my place of balance, and getting back on has been really hard. I didn’t expect it to be so hard, but bingeing does seem to be self-propelling. A binge in motion tends to stay in motion? Ugh! I had a few days back to reasonable eating, not dieting, but then back to bingeing. I’m so sad and frustrated. The good news is, I’m not really mad at myself, I’m mad at my eating urges. Somehow I feel like I can separate them out from myself, which is a new thing. I don’t hate ME, just hate that overwhelming urge to eat….junk, and lots of it! I haven’t been on this site in quite some time, perhaps that is also a contributing factor. So, hopefully you’ll be hearing a bit more from me as I attempt to stomp down the binges and get back to taking care of me.

    Starting with that walk!

    PS….Cheryl, it sounds like you have been through quite an awful time. I sure hope that you get to feeling better on the new meds!

    1. Cheryl

      Couldn’t help but remember, Amy, that every time I tried to give something up for Lent I ended up overdoing it something awful. Our pastor’s not big on giving something up. He would rather see us add something. So a few years in a row I did things like add a serving of fruit every day. Even went up the steps and down in our bi-level five times during the morning, five in the afternoon. I can’t say it didn’t make a whole lot of difference in my weight overall, but it did take my mind of food. Perhaps next time around you should try a new approach?

      Thanks for the well wishes. Feeling better by the moment here.

      1. Amy from WI

        Thanks for the ideas, Cheryl. Adding something in sounds like a good idea. I’ve also thought about fasting from something that isn’t food related. My challenge is that I teach at a Catholic school, so I feel like a hypocrite if I don’t give something up as is taught by the church. I’ve been doing so well in the are of eating, I really thought I was ready. Kind of a slap in the face to realize that I’m not! Onward-ho! I’m feeling better just having posted and gone for that walk 🙂

    2. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hooray that you went on a walk Amy! That is SUCH a great stress reliever and it can turn your mood right around. I hear you gal, about the crappy place you were in (at the time of this writing). I think part of it is expectation. Almost any perceived deprivation can trigger the, ‘oh yeah?’ binge response in us. If fasting is meaningful to you, personally for Lent, vs. an expectation put on you for appearance sake, I would try to reframe it next year so your inner rebel will know that it is a choice, not a burden. If you were fasting to fit into expectation, I am not one bit surprised. That would send me to the chips lickety split. It sounds like you ARE making great progress in understanding that your behavior doesn’t define you, or your character. It’s just a coping mechanism that you are working on retuning. Every day is a gift. Every challenge a chance to learn something new. (at least that’s what I tell myself if all else fails) Hang in there, dear Amy, you are worth it! xoxoxoxoxox

    1. Cheryl

      Thanks, Stéfanie. I’ve got my catcher’s mitt out! LOL

      Well sometimes, Amy, you just gotta give it your best shot. Remember, Jesus didn’t demand perfection. He didn’t seem to like those kinds of folks much. 🙂

  4. Dawny

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