Thursday, January 28, 2010

William James Quote of the Week

Last year my father introduced me to William James and his philosophy/psychology. Of course I had heard of him because he is one of the famous James brothers. (Henry is a novelist that writes like a psychologist and William is a psychologist that writes like a novelist.) I still found that I didn't know much about him.

 My dad mentioned the idea that if you want to change act "as if" you are already that changed person and then you become it.  I choose to believe that he mentioned that to me in passing, not because I needed to act differently! Anyway--that is beside the point as usual. The point is, I looked him up (William) and his quotes are quite amazing, so here we begin the William James journey.

Quote #1

"I don't sing because
I'm happy;
I'm happy because I sing."

Doesn't he look happy?!

Disclaimer: I don't think this applies to medical conditions such as: clinical depression, bipolar disorder etc. It's a little too simple for that, but I have found that in times of trouble acting happy can lead to feeling better!

I'm taking William James word on this today though. It is January after all and I believe happiness may reside in Hawaii. (Although I wouldn't know I've never been--tragic I know.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nutrisystem--What is it with all the portion control?

I’ve been on Nutrisystem for a week this Saturday. It has been really fun and hard. Every meal is like a new adventure. Sometimes it’s like going to the DMV adventure and other times its worse (It’s not all that bad—I’m saving that discussion for another day). The most striking thing is that nothing has to be refrigerated! –Perfect for food storage. It all comes in this large box with three cardboard tiers separating breakfast, lunch and dinner (and desserts mixed in). In case you can’t read they are color coded as well. It looks great in my pantry.

I laid out a whole day for you. I wanted you to see what it comprises. The bowls are full of veggies. So here is breakfast (muffin with a protein--egg) Snack is a fruit and milk. Lunch is freeze dried black bean soup, two servings of veggies and a fruit. Next snack 1 oz turkey and an apple. Dinner is a Nutrisystem entry, salad, veggie, fruit. Then in the middle at the back is a little desert bar.  (The five Diet Cokes in the picture our my own lovely addition)

I find myself always a bit hungry. I know that I need to get a grip on the portion control but seriously. I guess it is a major reality check. So in addition to the food they send you get to supplement with protein choices (dairy or meat), a little fat, fruit and lots of veggies. This diet actually reminds me of Weight Watchers with the portion sizes and the emphasis on fruits and veggies.

I also wanted you to get a good look at the food. I don’t think it looks much like the picture on the boxes.

Wish me luck—I’ve bought a month’s worth and I have to stick it out.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Led Zeppelin--Proof Positive of a Parallel Universe

A few years ago my life turned upside down and it never righted itself. It wasn’t as if something terrible happened, life just shook me up and made me take a good long look at myself. Reality turned out to be—my reality and not necessarily the reality of others close to me. It was good to realize this—humbling—but good.

I thought it was not big deal at the time, but looking back 6 or 7 years I can see that I entered a parallel universe.

How I know it's a parallel universe:

1. I started not caring if I was late. I had always been 5 minutes early to everything in my life--now I'm usually on time, but I've lost the ability (or will) to always be on time.

2. I moved from Bountiful, Utah to Holladay, Utah. Same state--different planet. (Although the people in both places are remarkably attractive.)

3. I started taking cello lessons. Which doesn't seem weird because I've always loved the cello, but playing the cello opened my mind and caused my left brain to communicate with my right brain.

3a. Unintended consequence: I started to write like crazy. The next thing I knew I’d written a book and had ideas for others.

3b. Unintended consequence: Writing filled up my brain and I no longer had room for other thoughts. For example: What time does my daughter’s ballet start? Was cub scouts today? Am I supposed to clean the bathroom? Am I supposed to be nice? What were you saying? What was I saying?

4. I stopped worrying what my house looked like when people dropped by. This was HUGE!

5. Dropped out of PTA.

6. Gained a remarkable amount of weight--(Thus the diet a month agenda).

7. Became a brunette after a lifetime of blond

8. Not as sure of myself--but a lot more relaxed.

9. Went to work.

10. Although the real reason I KNOW that I am in a parallel universe is that I can listen to Led Zeppelin without going bonkers. This may not sound big, but it is definitely the proof.

During my adolescent years I truly thought Led Zeppelin was evil. I'm not kidding, Evil (note capital E). Plain and simple—no debate—the worst thing ever. I couldn't listen to them for a minute without feeling really creepy and a little disturbed. My husband is a huge music guy and Led Zeppelin is his favorite. When we were dating he would try to trick me into listening to them and I always changed the radio or popped out the tape. Usually without even realizing it was Led Zeppelin, I just became irrationally annoyed with the music. I couldn't even stand an Eric Clapton song that even sounded remotely like Led.

I can now listen to Led Zeppelin. Sometimes I even enjoy it and I appreciate the artistry. (Even having the ability to write that sentence surprises me.) Proof positive that I am not in the plane of existence I was before. So you tell me, should I try to get back?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fitness Is Fun To Do! Yee Haw!

I've had a few things that I've wanted to do for years--literally years and years in the sports and fitness field. I've decided this is the year! Are you with me? If you are, comment about what your want to do, then we can keep each other honest.

Eden's 2010 Fitness To Do List:

1.  I've lived in Utah all of my life and I have never been snowshoeing. Who wants to go--call me!

2.  I cannot do a lay-up in basketball. I've always wanted to. My husband has promised to help me--remind him.

3.  I want to hike Mount Olympus again. It has been years (probably 15). It is time, especially since I can walk straight up the mountainside from my front door.

4.  I don't want to be the last one to the top on our annual hike from Alta over to Brighton. I want to keep up with the 10 year olds and my incredibly nimble father (who is getting up there in years, but fitter than ever).

5.  I want to run a 5k.

6. Every Thanksgiving break we like to go to my uncle's ranch in Emery Utah. At that ranch there are two parts--there's a working part and then a hospitality part. As the crow flies they are  not too far apart, but if you use the roads it is about 5 miles. For years I have wanted to jog from one to the other--this is the year.

7. Beat my husband at tennis--He won last time.

Don't leave me hanging, tell me what you want to do.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

But MY Grandmother Was A Boden

Blog Housekeeping

I'm adding a bit of structure to my blog. I work much better with a deadline.

Tuesdays: "Various Topics of Dubious (Debatable? Distinct? Devastating?) Interest"

Thursdays: "Health, Diet and Fitness" or as I like to think of it "Square Two" since last year I made it past square one.

For 2010 a new diet each month continues. This is solely to keep myself marching forward. It will not be as strict and if a diet is really working I may stay on it longer than a month. I start NutriSystems as soon as the food comes--sometime this week. I will extend my reach into the health discussion by testing exercise gadgets as well as actually exercising. Who knew that it was important to exercise? What a surprise!

Weekend: "My Wit, Wisdom or Weakness Concerning Word Craft" or something to do with the "Elusive Craft of Writing."    Disclaimer--you may be exposed to my poetry or prose--proceed with caution.

Now onto Tuesday's "Topic of Dubious Interest"
You know when you think you've discovered something and then realize that you were actually about the last person on earth to discover it. I think this is something that happens to everyone with the Beatles--at least all my children. They listen intently to the music and create this intensely personal relationship with it and then cannot believe that anyone else's relationship could be as strong or insightful. Which in all actuality is probably true--for them. I've had long discussions (fights) with many of my children over what songs really mean, who is the best Beatle and who really is to blame for the break-up. It's amazing that a band can cause so much discussion 40 years later.

The same goes for pregnancies. If you hear anyone talk about their pregnancy & births--they were either the sickest person on earth or the healthiest. It was either the hardest delivery or the most beatific. Life is intense and personal and it is so hard to see beyond that somehow.

Well, about a year ago I discovered the Boden Catalog. It was love at first sight. It is classic, individual, quirky and the clincher is--its English! Even the name was just for me--my Grandmother was a Boden. Never mind that the clothes aren't great for anyone with hips, of which I have ample supply. I still love it. It's a little pricey for me so I bought a couple of items on sale. I then went to church. Walking ten rows in front of me was the vest I'd coveted displayed adorably on a model like 18 year old girl. It was distinctive enough that there was no way I could buy it. Then I went into Primary and the music leader was wearing the shirt I just bought. Then in walks another primary worker and she is wearing the other vest and skirt I was thinking of buying next. Drat! They all looked fantastic!! Double drat!! I certainly didn't want to be caught in an US Weekly style--"Who Looks Better Comparison."

How depressing to have everyone in the neighborhood have such good taste!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Circus Leaves Town

My two college aged girls leave again this week. One heads off to Manhattan and the other to an internship in Washington D.C. These two rushed into my life 19 and ¾ years ago like a hurricane. (Sorry—I know I’ve written of this before.) I was 23, had been married a year and thought I was ready to have a child. It sounds so impossibly young now. My sister-in-law had just had twins and I remember thinking, “I could never do that.” I wasn’t one who had ever fantasized about having twins; I’d hardly even fantasized about children.

I had a good job and had worked out a way that I could work part-time from home—and then the fates laughed and laughed. I was so sick at 7 weeks the doctor made me come in and then for some reason decided I had to have an ultrasound and there they were—two little fish! Twins! I had hysterical giggling fits all the way home, between waves of wrenching nausea. In one second everything changed. At 7 months I was put on bed rest—it wasn’t scary it was just a precaution. I wrote in my journal, padded around the apartment, read a ton, and watched soap operas with the sound off. They are quite entertaining that way, with all the gesticulating and such. It was actually quite a lovely, quiet time.

Then the time came for them to be born. I went to the doctor, he started an epidural and everything went smoothly until it took way too long for Baby A to be born. She decided to approach life ear first, the doctor had to use forceps and she was this bruised little butterfly. Then after another hour or so of labor Baby B just decided to relax and NOT join us at all. I ended up with a c-section. She was this perfect little butterfly. I loved it all—what a way to experience everything all in one go.
Anyway after the quite of pregnancy came these two beautiful, high strung, colicky, movers and shakers—I felt like I’d run 90 mph into a brick wall. The circus came to town baby! It was time to strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. It’s been joy and noise ever since. They’ve had this super sense of what is right and wrong from the day they were born; they see life with more clarity than I ever have, but on everything else they are polar opposites. I’ve never been able to tell them what to do and boy oh boy have I tried. (We’re all a little strong willed.)

It’s nice to see them get ready for their adventures. I like the thought of them both being in the east together. The house will be quiet, the other three children will be able to talk again and there will be fewer dishes. It’s a little like when we moved from living on a busy road to a bedroom community in Bountiful. Everything was peaceful and quiet, but I felt like I was missing out on something.

I feel the same this week as I felt when they walked into pre-school at 3 years old. Have I taught them everything they need to know? Are they prepared for what’s out there? Probably not—but that’s all a part of the adventure. Like the day they were born they will do it in their own style, their own pace and that will be the right way.