Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Lesson learned

My life has been running away from me. My four children are currently in two different schools and although I realize this is very normal for many families. I am apparently a big baby and am barely holding my life together these days. It's also an hour round trip of driving each morning and afternoon.

My oldest has an incredibly busy schedule with school sports and for some reason I am compelled to attend every game in its entirety. I just completely love watching her team grow and learn how to play together. I am blown away seeing their composure as they play volleyball and might have a bad hit or pass but immediately get ready for the next pass and not getting flustered. I remember volleyball as being the cause for a lot of self deprecating comments haha. I did play on my college team which is kind of hilarious since I was b.a.d. other than having a very consistent serve. Underhand. This grade 8 girls team that I have spent watching over the last two months are amazing--mostly doing killer overhand serves. And the excitement to watch them grows as they've continued to be undefeated all season (except for a silver at one fun tournament).

What I have observed in my life and that of my overscheduled child is how difficult it is to remember God in the moments of busyness. We had a very easy pace last school year. And what I had considered to be busy, is laughable now. We had such a chill summer. We love being home. Now it feels like we are barely home. It was easy for me to spend time studying God's word, going to my beloved Wednesday Bible study, Tuesday morning prayer at school and Friday morning chapel. That was my spiritual routine. All of those things have been cut out of my regular routine.

I have been pondering if that year of ease was preparation for what God had instore for us this year. How do I support my family in fulfilling God's call on their life now? We pray together before school. I encourage them to shine God's light, to be a blessing to those around them, to have good attitudes and good character. We are in the fire now. New schools. New relationships. Can we stand out or stand up for what we believe? I sure hope so.

I have been so encouraged by the coach. How she remembers to pray after each game with the girls. Her way of calling them out to be good examples when we stayed in Victoria by keeping clean rooms and being respectful of the hotel. Coaching can be really hard at times but she is so calm.

I really enjoy coaching and know that last year I would get so competitive that I would forget to pray with the team or that it would feel awkward because it wasn't a proper habit but randomly done. This year I am trying to learn and have been observing quality coaching and hoping to apply that when I get the chance.

I'm trying to soak up all the lessons God has for me in this busy season and figure out how I can minimize my commitments while still doing what I'm passionate and hopefully good at! I hope that all my children will attend the same school so I can cut my driving in half but until then, just trying to learn what God wants for me in this.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Cloudy Puddle

I've recently been going through some counselling and learning about Values Mapping. Its pretty fascinating to think that I have some innate values that cannot be changed and were not likely taught to me, but were a part of who I was in the beginning...

It takes some time and some discussion to figure out which values pop out and often its when we get offended that we can identify which value is being challenged or upset.

I have a value for being authentic, which is why "fake" people or passive aggressive people really trigger my authentic value.

I am seeing myself as a bit of a puzzle and trying to get myself put back together...if I ever was totally together!

The annoying thing about counselling is that its like stirring a puddle, and all the mud in the bottom gets disturbed and starts clouding the water. I'm definitely in the cloudy puddle phase right now.

Monday, November 09, 2015

The Scale

I have struggled with wanting to lose weight for years. I've started and stopped many different approaches to improving my health. I was working hard at working out and was proud to say I worked out 5 days a week for 30 minutes. Then I got a bunch of tests done to try to figure out why I was so tired, and why I cannot seem to actually lose any weight--my cardio was good, but my weight remained high, too high for my comfort. The doctor informed me that all my results came back normal (thyroid function, cortisol, diabetes, etc) EXCEPT that I had elevated levels of bad cholesterol--meaning I don't exercise enough. WHAT?!! I was doing my 30 minutes a day! Thats the recommended amount! Obviously, I was only maintaining, but still, I was trying! And, knife in the wound, if you lose weight, your cholesterol levels should improve. Thanks :S

I started to cry. I really wanted a "reason" for why my weight wasn't just falling off. I didn't have one. So, to me, that meant, I'm clinically depressed. Thats why I'm so tired. Thats why I can't stick to a plan. So I asked for antidepressants. I rushed home and filled my prescription and started that day. I felt terrible. I felt nauseous and foggy headed. I didn't feel well to be driving. I couldn't sleep. I had long long periods of awakeness and then feeling terrible again the next morning because I couldn't sleep. I had to limit what I would do with my kids because I would lose my temper from being so fatigued.  I only took the pills for 4 days. Thats all.

I talked with some loved ones and asked if it made more sense to wait since the kids had just gone back to full time school (after summer break) and my youngest was even going to be in Preschool two afternoons a week--giving me a break. I decided that I had jumped the gun and that having all the kids in school would likely help me to experience some actual rest and refreshment and maybe even get to a place of energy again. I also realized that the thing that was depressing me the most was my scale.

When I look in the mirror, I think I look pretty cute. I have a cute body. Its got some curves and of course, some flaws, but its not crazy-out-of-control. I like it. Then I would step on the scale, see the numbers close or at 200 and then say "You're so fat! How could you let yourself get here?! Whats your problem? Why can't you lose weight?" And I would immediately feel terrible about my cute body. Its obviously not cute if it weighs 200 pounds.

So, after some good soul searching, I decided that I have disordered thinking when it comes to food and weight loss. I get anxiety or panicky when thinking about eating--afraid to eat--feeling like this whole weight loss thing is a trick. I've been on programs where you eat what seems like way too much, but you lose, so trying to just eat what feels right, seems like it could never work. Then people will say, don't do too much cardio, lift heavy weights, but then my heart and stroke foundation info, says to make sure cardio is a regular part of my week so I don't die young. So much to balance, but yet conflicting. I finally had to just give it all up. I also got to add anxiety over my elevated cholesterol--thinking no more fried foods or butter (I've been anti-margarine for a few years now) and was literally walking around thinking "I'm going to die. This is going to kill me any day now." I'm only 37.

So, I shared this with a group of ladies at a Bible Study and said I was going to not look at my scale for one month, maybe two and just see how things go. One of the women asked me to give her my scale. I thought that was unnecessary but then decided to just do it, because she is trying to be there for me, so why not let her (since I am trying to establish relationships in a new church).

So I did. I gave over my scale. Thursday October 22 (although I stopped using it earlier that week). I released myself from the judgment and pressure of stepping on the scale. Its a bit of a miracle for me. I was OBSESSING about my weight, about my eating, about my exercise--I am not obsessing anymore. I am exercising. I am resting when my body is sore. I am eating healthy foods and treats. I'm going for walks when I feel like it, or the weather is nice. I'm going rock climbing again. I am not punishing myself with food choices or exercising to exhaustion. I am FREE.

I love my body. I think its cute. I still hope to get smaller, and fit into my clothes better, and be lighter for climbing, but for now, its so entirely attractive to be FREE. Whatever peace I can have in my mind, and lower levels of anxiety--I am all for that!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

trying too hard

I love many things about my life. I am uncomfortable with my feelings about several others things in my life. I think I am lazy. I feel like my life is too hard sometimes. Its too hard to keep the house clean to the standard that would give me peace. I desire a simplistic life but it will take so much work to get there. I am buried under the weight of responsibility. I pretty much hate certain parts of my "job"...because I feel like a perpetual failure. I think I am responsible for teaching my kids to clean up after themselves and treat one another kindly--that job description brings a huge amount of stress into my life. Is there an alternative? I don't see one. 

I have been struggling with postpartum depression and possible regular ol' situational depression for at least 7 years. Thats a long time to feel like i'm in a perpetual state of trying to feel normal and sometimes achieving it, often not...it gets pretty old, pretty quickly and thats part of the problem. I am always trying so hard to just feel okay. I need renewal, I need long periods of rest and I do not get that. And for those who struggle with depression, even the breaks you get sometimes don't help and just make you feel more guilty that they didn't work!

7 years. Maybe this is the year to have a clean slate? 7 years is often the cycle in the Bible where debts are forgiven, fields are left to furlough, things get a rest. I had an amazing time this morning of feeling really run down and then realizing God was encouraging me to let go. That He is meant to be my strength, that my Hope is in Him only, that my focus is not meant to be on me and my life but on Him. These things are not easy to do. I could feel myself letting go, little by little, trying to give it away completely. I thought of "I'm trading my sorrows, I'm trading my pain, I'm laying them down for the Joy of the Lord" and thought how I really do hold on to my sorrows, I hold on to my pain. I want to lay them down. Why would I want to hold on to those things?? 

I also had the thought that its time for a new beginning--we are at a new church and I'm ready to let go of the pain from leaving our beloved church family for a new place. Establishing new relationships or growing some friendships and learning a new system of how things are done there. This lovely couple prayed for me and it was something I've been wanting for years--I was crying and trembling a bit, the tears were dripping down my face and off my cheeks or chin, then I really felt this calm, some hope, maybe some deliverance, and then I felt okay. I didn't feel all worn out the way I normally would when I cry or have some unresolved emotions. It felt resolved. 

Now, 7 hours later, I am home alone with kids. I was doing well for the first 3 hours, working on the house, cleaning, good energy level and then now, getting tired again. Getting sick of all the kid arguments, whining, the usual annoying stuff that happens when we are alone together. 
I can tell I am getting very frustrated now, probably partially from trying to focus on writing this and partly because I have been on my own doing something "good" that also requires a lot of energy and parenting. So now I'm going to do something that is good for my mental wellness and attempt to go for our first family bike ride in our neighbourhood. My youngest (age 4) just learned to ride without training wheels while we were away last week so that has allowed for the possibility of biking in our hilly town.

wasting my life

So, I've recently discovered or decided that I am wasting my life. I spend so much time watching shows (mostly on Netflix) and they are interesting. Some are challenging. Some are just fluff, to pass the time. I am alone in the evening often (with kids in bed) and so the only thing I feel like doing after having an exhausting time putting them to bed, multiple times, is to relax and watch a few shows.

I keep getting slivers of inspiration--to write (like this) or to sew (which could be a source of income or just repairing a few items that have been sitting around for months waiting for me to sew them) or to play music (guitar--I learned the basics years and years ago and then never had that obsession that causes some people to play for hours and hours into and through the night to the point where they become an expert). Watching a show is so much easier. I am wasting away, being a bad example for my kids and fuelling my fire of fatigue and laziness and depression. Its a very big fire.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Trouble with Facebook

Facebook is addictive. It makes me feel like there is information I need to know and if I don't check on it now, it will overwhelm my newsfeed and I'll be scrolling for hours just to catch up.

I must admit, this is not the life I had envisioned for myself. I don't know if I would have even imagined myself as one to want to read for pleasure. Or to scour the local newspaper from very front to almost very back (including obituaries...I figure I know so many people, there might be someone related to someone that I'd know...mostly not, so far).

I have discovered that I am a news junkie. Local news, odd news, world news, web news, tech news, friend news, etc. It is just too much information for my brain. I don't know why I'm so hungry for information and news, but I am. I do believe, it is a grand waste of time. What can I possibly do with all this news? I will likely forget much of it, I will share tidbits in conversation, I may learn from it.

Now, the trouble I have with Facebook is, the plethora of "9 Ways to Live Your Life to the Fullest" and the "5 Ways to Incorporate These Health Tips into Your Day" and the "8 Things You Must do to Make Family Life Fulfilling" and so on and so on...  Any mathematicians out there? I'm pretty sure I have about 16,000 things a day that I've been suggested or supposed or challenged to do! That seems like way too much for me. I enjoy those articles, I do find them challenging for the moment, but then nap time comes and goes, and do I even recall those tidbits? Those fascinating tips? What's an overloaded brain to do?

I guess that's one reason why The Bible and Bible study in general gets to be rather repetitive after reading/following for nearly 30 years (this year it will be!). Its because humans are forgetful! We need basic principles to live by, and then we need to be reminded of some aspect of them daily, weekly, to actually live them out practically!

Not to mention the absolute mystery of the Living Word of God which teaches us NEW things, from a very well read and previously studied passage. It is truly amazing and captivating. And because it draws me closer to God, and sets my feet back on the narrow path to which I love and am committed, it also feeds me and inspires me to keep going. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time, moment by moment.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Story of my life...again

It has been so long since I've been blogging.

I created http://thesalmons.blogspot.ca way back when I was pregnant with my first child. Somewhere along the lines, I began this one for my more personal thoughts.

Today, I'm finding it difficult to see why I have two blogs ha ha. I know I intended one to be more about the family, updates, brag book, type of thing, but now I am wondering if having a family blog, would also encompass my thoughts on building my family up and interesting articles I might come across.

This blog was a place for me to document my weight loss journey (which I am on AGAIN for the last time hopefully, now that babies and surgeries are all done).

I guess I'll just wait and see. I also changed my email address at some point so many of the articles are said to be written by "Derek" when they are really not. I'm not sure how to change that yet, but if I figure it out, I'll fix that.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Repair Work

I am a little nervous today...I only have one more hour of drinking "clear" liquids (although for some strange reason, coffee is OK) before heading to the hospital for my second umbilical hernia repair surgery. I had one back in 2009 after my 3rd pregnancy. Then after doing well and going to the gym regularly, I felt the hernia tear open while i was lying on a body ball on my stomach. I had found out I was pregnant with my 4th baby only five days earlier...so I was quite sure they would not be able to do anything. My 4th pregnancy proved to be my most painful and the herniated area was so painful throughout.

This time, I have a new surgeon, and am going to a hospital I have never been treated in before. My previous surgery was in the same hospital where I had delivered all my kids, so it was a little familiar.

Its funny how not being allowed to eat seems like it will be so difficult (especially since I'm a snacker and a "must have breakfast" and "must have my multivitamin, Omega-3-6-9, B50, and Aerius" every day kind of person).

Feeling nervous kind of kills the hunger.

I also have the task of trusting my husband to do "my job" and I'm hoping he has a good attitude because if he's stressed out by the kids, I know I will feel stressed. I will try my very best to relax, rest and recover...but trust me, for a control freak, that will be a challenge!