Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Memories and the Mystery

This weekend I went through the very last drawer of Tom's - it was the top right-hand drawer where he kept his treasures and keepsakes. It is the drawer where I added his jewelry box, change caddy, cuff link holder and other such "top of the dresser" items when he died.

It was its own journey - through his life, through our life, through joy, through loss, through love.

What did I find? A school picture in a frame of Tom in the third grade - still the same smile. The velvet box that held his wedding ring - how he loved that ring, it was a circa 1880's antique, made of rose gold. There were pictures of our grandchildren; gold collar pins in special little boxes; his airforce identification card from 1961; the appraisal from the three-stone ring he gave me for Valentine's Day in 2004 - quite the surprise.

So many things both large and small. The essence of Tom. How careful he was with all his things. How he treasured cards and little momentos that Olivia, our eldest grandchild, made and sent to the grandpa she adored.

One day we are here - the next, we are not. What do material things mean? That has made an indelible mark upon me - things are stuff - pretty meaningless.

Holding those treasures in my hands brought what has meaning for me - love, memories, spirit, connectedness, family, friends, the great mystery, the Now.

My jewelry is now in the drawer - the dresser is neat and organized - just the way Tom liked it, me too.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Twenty-Four Degrees

Toto, are we really still in Minnesota? It is 36 degrees warmer than two days ago! Oh happy day. I have been inside cleaning - so, excuse me while I get outside. I know for those of you who are accustomed to more southern climates, 24* F sounds really cold. Don't worry, I am going to wear socks with my running shoes.

Have a terrific Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Twenty-One Months

Oh happy day - yesterday was the twenty-one month celebration of my new habit as a non-smoker!! That's right, it is no longer my quit anniversary - it is the day to mark the creation of a new habit in my life. Being a non-smoker was a habit I had longed to develop - here I am.

For some reason, thinking in terms of acquiring a new habit, instead of commemorating the breaking of an old habit is liberating. I have now put the habit of weight training in my life. I am working to acquire other new habits as well.

For a long time, I have been more focused on "breaking bad habits" than cultivating a heightened awareness of my focus on developing more positive routines and customs in daily life - new habits.

Just for perspective, here are my "stats" from Quitnet as of 6 am yesterday:

Not smoked: 9,951 cigarettes (based on smoking one-half pack per day, 20 cigs)
Money saved: $2,160 (based on $4.50 per pack)
Lifetime saved: 2 months, 13 days, 6 hours
Quit date: April 23, 2006

Celebrate the positive in our lives!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cold Outside - Time for Indoor Activities

It is just plain cold here - ok, ok, I know it's Minnesota, but for heaven's sake, this morning it was 15 below zero.


For a week, I have been reorganizing my office/den - cleaning files, sorting, tossing, making a donation bag.

I redid this room in 2005, when I did the whole house remodel. At that time, my business partner had a desk from IKEA that was sitting unused in our office. It was convenient so I brought it home and installed it in my home office.

That desk is mammoth. Three levels of shelves and a desktop that is 60" by 36". While it was convenient to have all that storage for art supplies, pictures, office supplies and other craft items - I had little space for to do yoga, pilates, meditation, etc. It was time for a change.

Last weekend, I got two rolling chest of drawers and put them in the closet to hold smaller items. That helped to organize some of the clutter quite a bit.

Last night (when it was only 3 below zero at 5:00 pm) I went to Target and purchased this little desk - it is perfect. The old desk was very tall and covered part of the window - this desk is the right size for my cinema monitor, my little MAC G4 and a few office supplies. The bins under the desk are art supplies - everything else is organized in the closet. I LOVE it.

Tonight it is supposed to be -12 to -17, with wind chills of 30 below zero. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm - I'm home with kitty - snug, warm and enjoying my new space. I think I'll get a pay per view movie, read my book, and just relax. I am so grateful for this life of mine. My meditation practice is going well and I can feel the balance it always brings. If you are in the cold - snuggle in, be warm, enjoy - it's Saturday!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Living Progress

This blog is 31 months old. When I began to write here, it was without a thought that anyone else would ever read here. I was broken - the blog was a place to unload my heart so I didn't discorporate.

At that point, the tag line on my blog was, "when you're going through hell - keep going." Approximately one year ago, I changed it to, "walking through grief and loss one step at a time."

This morning, I changed it again. Please notice, I have not "reclaimed my life", that life - with all its hopes and dreams - is gone, it died with Tom. It takes a very long time to come to terms with that fact.

Until the day I die, I will have a profound sorrow for the loss of my mate AND the life we shared and dreamed together. However, that life and its aspirations cannot be acted upon. It is the past.

Today, I say very clearly and joyfully - I claim my life - Right here today, tomorrow and for the future.

Friday, January 11, 2008

It's Friday

This has been one busy week. Back to work, lots of meetings, new and exciting projects on the horizon.

Meeting my goals - claiming my life.

The weekend is just ahead. Enjoy your Friday.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Weekend Report

What a lovely weekend. My debilitating gym soreness abated. I worked out yesterday and had my massage this morning. I am feeling great. Tomorrow is my gym day and I am happy to be back on track.

My massage person says the increasing muscle definition in my legs, shoulders and back is obvious - it is so reinforcing to hear those kinds of things. I can tell when I carry heavy things up the stairs or look at my biceps that I am changing. This whole thing is a process. I am hooked - I kicked the nasty ciggie habit and have developed a weight lifting habit.

Soon it will be two years of not smoking - I can't imagine sucking that poison into me now. Yuck!

If anyone reading this is trying to quit smoking, please, please, please visit the best support website ever. Quitnet is free, available 24/7, and has every type of resource, including many types of bulletin boards and some of the nicest and most supportive people ever. It was a boon to me in the first year. I still drop by at times to check in.

I have had such an enjoyable couple of days. Went to the library, did my meditation, watched a movie on cable, cooked a little pot of beans and baked a pan of whole grain cornbread - just the everyday stuff that life is made of.

I am looking forward to a productive week. Hope your week ahead is wonderful. More soon.

Friday, January 04, 2008


I am soooo sore today from my workout yesterday. How sore? When I yawn, my chest muscles hurt! "Your mouth muscle's connected to your neck muscles, your neck muscles' connected to your pec muscles, etc, etc, etc."

Seriously, I can feel my workout in just about every single muscle fiber. Not a doubt that it was effective. I do not feel strained - just sore.

Today was my "day off" from weights. Tomorrow morning, I will be back in the gym. I am sure I will be less sore when I awake. The good news, my massage person comes on Sunday morning for one of my twice monthly massages and stretching. Ahhhh, sweet relief. The first body work of the year.

Just goes to show - don't take a break from the workout routine. Later.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Back in the Gym

Feeling really good tonight. Did my weight lifting routine today after three weeks out of the gym and I lifted at the same level. Hooray. I will be sore tomorrow but that means it's working!!

Good news on the Minnesota front, it is going to be twenty-eight degrees tomorrow and nearly forty over the weeekend. Whooo Haw - darn near flip flop weather in this neck of the woods.

Meditation is done - blogging (check) and weight lifting for today. Hope you don't mind if I give myself a little pat on the back. Here's one for you too - meeting our goals, feels terrific.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Happy New Year to Everyone. Back to work today in the REALLY freezing cold, substantially below zero degrees at 9:30 am.

I have set some intentions for the weeks ahead. They are

- Back to the gym for three times per week weight training
- Minimum of 20 minutes Cardio AT target heart rate at least 3 days a week
- Be mindful of my food portions and cut wine with dinner
- Meditation every day

This is my twelve week project. I really put the weight training into my weekly routine and made it habit. I am now ready to do the Cardio as a regular part of my fitness routine. I will not/refuse to diet. I do however need to be more mindful of portions and only eat when I am really hungry. That old oral deal from quitting smoking is really hard to break. It will be two years on April 23 and I am dedicated to working on the weight I gained during this time. I am so much more healthy and feel great - now it is time to do the next steps.

I have other intentions for 2008 - these are the first I want to post. I have been mentally preparing for this for the past month or so - here we go.