on the shelf

Posted by on Aug 7, 2012 in Family, Learning, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

The prompt for this poem was to show sadness… A patina of dustdulls the lace of my shawland fringe of my mob-cap.My bare feet poke outfrom faded yellowhand sewn cotton.Where are my shoes!Doesn’t she think howcoldmy feet must be?No—she doesn’t. I stare and see herpass by myline of sight.Let’s play, I cry.Her grown up earsno longer registerthe pitch of my voice.She walks by.Tears wellin mymoss green eyes.I long to blinkand let themtrail a streak ofgrime down myporcelain cheeks.Would she noticethen?Perhaps pick meup inonce miniaturemother practicinghands?Wipe my faceand smile downat mewith those samemoss green eyes?Cradle me on hershoulderand pat the dustfrom my dress? Months after her birth her mother saw my head—only that, in a display window. She told us she froze in place— the face on the head, (my head!) was the spitting image of her baby girl’s. Her mother said she waved her baby’s photo wildly —the clerk gasped. The cost was steep and so she chose a plaster body that would fit. My head. I was whole wrapped naked in a box. I was a giftshe longed to earn.I yearned for hertouch and watchedher grow fromafaron a similar shelf.When pudgy armsand legsshot into skinnycoltish limbsthe day came thatI was birthed,wrapped in swaddlingand laid in the armsof my newly bornMother.She christened meTammybut pretended I wasBaby Jesus.My lacy bonnetdoes not hideclose cropped hairfrom a scissorexperiment  gone awry.My bald china pate sportsa spiderwebof cracks frommany breaks.Fallswe took together.Elmer’s was awell used tooland Ibear the scarsof being loved. Years I waited.Watching from on high.And was rewardedwithnew dresses andhats and slippers.Tea parties,carriage rides, thentwirlingto loud music.Secrets. Stories.Shy smiles.Even lies andtears.And some daysyellinginterspersed withcurses.Peace prevailedbut our time togetherdwindled. Until now.I sit.Barefooted.Measuring thedustwith unblinking eyes.Achingly anticipatingthe moment her handswill lift me downlike a broken birdand swipe a softrag over my body.Erasing my pain.Her humming will falter,her voice willcrack likemy head—Oh baby, look atyou.Let’s clean you up!I’ve endured the ache ofbeingforgottenfor this moment.In her handsI...

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Posted by on Jul 27, 2012 in Conscious eating, Family, Food and Drink, Learning, Moving your body, Wholehearted | 1 comment

A week before my forty-eighth birthday I removed my rose colored glasses and looked myself in the eye. My upbeat and positive attitudes are a natural extension of the way I see the world and choose to live my life. Most of the time. I met my reflection in the mirror with a sigh. My journey to self-love would not have been possible without a conscious effort to release negative habits of self-sabotage or beating up on myself. Yet, as I squinted at myself in the glare of the overhead bathroom light I admitted that some of those old habits had slipped back into my life. Sigh. Once an emotional overeater always an emotional overeater. Releasing pounds and incorporating exercise didn’t magically erase that tendency in me. There’s no cure only free will. It’s a choice I make every day. Every meal. Every hour. Every minute.  And as my commitment to myself slipped so did my decisions. They were apparent in the scale and my lethargy and apathy—I was going through the motions of fitness. That’s all. I’ve been a CrossFit athlete for a year as of April and I gave myself permission to eat more and move less because I had worked so hard and I deserved a break and my muscles were so sore I could hardly squat to sit on the couch without being a drama queen—ooooowwww! And forget getting up and using my quads or glutes until I was direly close to peeing my pants! I never combined my CrossFit workouts with healthy eating and balanced activity the rest of the week. I did the workouts. I did not quit. I am stronger. I did not gain twenty pounds because I was doing CrossFit three times a week. I did gain ten, and no they are not muscles. I’d have to grow Mr. Universe type muscles to account for a weight gain from muscle mass! A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same but muscles take up less space, a lot less space under your skin. This is why muscles make your body look toned and firm instead of jiggly. I'm stronger but I'm still jiggly! The decision I made staring at my hopeful face was that I was done with being stuck; stuck in the cycle of feeling negative and eating to feel better and feeling worse and eating some more to feel better. It. Doesn’t. Work. I was done with being stuck and choosing to move forward. Again. Yes, again. And instead of seeing the negative aspects of starting again I chose to celebrate any step forward I was willing to make to get out of the quagmire. Serendipitously the timing of my self-talk coincided with the release a week later of ActiveLink from Weight Watchers. I don’t depend entirely on external motivators to nudge or lead me back on course because internal data is more vital to me: how I feel, my happiness quota, an increased energy level, craving protein instead of carbs! But I was excited by the challenge this tool represented and intrigued to see if it tracked as lauded. (We’ve been employee guinea pigs, reporting our experiences before it becomes available to our members.) After an eight day assessment Active Link labeled me an ‘occasional athlete’ and encouraged me to move more consistently throughout my day. I don’t earn activity points only for ‘workouts’ but for all my activity combined all day by using a technology similar to that used in a Wii controller to track movement. Cool, eh? The ActiveLink graphs show my activity...

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Posted by on Jun 26, 2012 in Aging, Authenticity, Family, Food and Drink, Gifts, Love, Self worth, Wholehearted | 1 comment

During the past decade and a half I have grown emotionally and spiritually in ways I never would have foreseen. An inextricable foundation for this blossoming has been practicing extreme self care. I shifted from a place of believing that taking care of myself was selfish and silly to a life affirming empowering practice of giving to me as a reflection of how deeply I love and approve of myself. The chasm I crossed was huge, Grand Canyonish. And so the summer days leading up to my birthday were planned around being unplugged from my purple 'puter, filled with family and friends and surrounded by delectable food, laughter, and joy. Celebrating my birthday is all about being loved, and I am blessed to be loved in so many ways by so many precious people. Then the rain started and didn't stop—it still hasn't stopped. And I learned again (wash, rinse, repeat) the grace of flexibility and spontaneity as I canceled some plans due to weather and created new ones on the spot. I experienced the truth of my coach's wise words, Whatever is good and right for you is almost always what is good and right for everyone involved. Every day Friday through Monday has been a unique celebration of my first breath and I am still reveling in the love. There are unfortunately no photos of Jeff and I at Crescent Beach huddled under our bent beach umbrella (the wind was that strong) waiting out the sudden downpours until we could sit back and read again. (I love you JS!) The ocean was wild and magnificent and my soul rose up in mirror image of nature as a force of action envisoining the endless possibilities awaiting me, in this, my forty-eighth year....

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who was I then?

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Aging, Authenticity, Celebration, Family, Healing, Love, Wholehearted, Writing | 1 comment

Day 19 of Verb Tribe we were asked to choose a childhood photo and look at it and then write, Who was I then? I have always loved this photo of me and mom but I've only looked at 'her' for clues to what she was thinking, what that hidden smile meant, how she's holding me. The photo says 1967 making me three but I look younger. I thought this photo would trigger loss and sadness but I feel only joy and love looking at it now. Here are a few excerpts from my bag: "On my God! I was gorgeous—I look like a plump angelic cherubim—my eyes are wide with wonder and I am besotted with my mother—I love her with every iota of my being and she belongs to me." "My happiness bubbles up from a hidden well and this pure joy cannot be contained—I laugh, I spin, I run, I swim, I play; I am love in action. In my heart there is only me and my mother—I am safe." My mom knew how to love and dote on me as a child—I was her life (she'd been told not to have another child after my sister, eleven years my elder). But she was relationally and emotionally unavailable as I grew and in my adolescence I fought (as only a teenager can) for my freedom and left home at sixteen. We were still close after that but on my terms. When my daughter was born she transferred all the love and doting to her. Mom became ill with dementia about ten years ago and I was finally able to celebrate the independent spirit she gave me and the example of living as a non-conformist and always doing things her way as a business owner and optimist. I did not love mom like I did in this photo until the last few years of her life as her caretaker, our roles reversed. I would always tell her she was safe and loved as I tucked her in (exactly as she had done for me, I was terrified of the dark) and I gave her my lifelong Teddy to keep her safe and I would say I love you…and often she would parrot the words back and sometimes not respond at all. But one clear night after a particularly good day I said, Goodnight mom, I love you. And she said with emotion and joy, Oh, I love you more every day. That's what this photo means to me and who I was…and who I am still today.  Mom would have turned eighty-one today—happy birthday mom!...

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to tattoo or not tattoo

Posted by on Mar 1, 2012 in Authenticity, Challenges, Creativity, Family, Intention | 0 comments

I've been considering getting a tattoo since I turned forty. HA! That was seven years ago and I still haven't committed. Back then I suggested to Brin that we get the same tattoo and she loved the idea. She already has beautiful butterflies and a huge tree on her back with 'imagine' in its branches. She mentioned 'our' tattoo the other day so I've been pondering my procrastination. One of my friends recently opened Ocala Ink & More for tattoos, body piercing, and more. Next my co-worker showed me a gorgeous Hope tattoo (her first) on the inside of her wrist that she designed. Finally this week Jeff showed me a website that had photos of tattoos made with ultraviolet reactive ink so they only show up under a black light. Kinda cool, eh? This feels big—it is a forever decision. Tattoos remind me of the novel The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant where 16th century sisters find an unsettling and intimate tattoo on an elderly nun's body after she dies. Loved this story! One day I want a tree. One day a poem. Maybe a quote. I want it to be intentional and embody a life lesson like: choose love. Choosing is the hardest part. And then there's the decision of where I want it. Private just for me or am I declaring to the world and puttting it right out there? Is a tattoo's significance related to where it is placed on one's body? I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts dear reader—if you do or don't have a tattoo, why or why not? If you do—how did you choose what and where to place it? Does it still speak to you over the years? Would you do it again? This tree of knowledge with it's roots wrapped around a book really resonates with me:...

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My hat’s off to Tilley

Posted by on Jan 11, 2012 in Connections, Family, Travel | 0 comments

Jeff researched the best hat to wear while fishing about fifteen years ago. He chose a Tilley Endurables hat and it has been his best pal on many adventures and misadventures. We even have a photo of it taken underwater in the Bahamas where it was tied to the anchor and trying to float. Yes, Tilley hats float. 😉 The owner's manual is quite humorous and written by Alex Tilley himself, here are a few excerpts: The wind cord is like a seatbelt: Useless Unless Worn. From time to time you’ll meet rather wonderful people, simply because they’re also wearing the Hat. Some may become friends, and that’s the nicest thing of all. Hold onto your hat! Here's the insurance policy that comes with specific models of Tilley hats: If your (unbleached) Tilley Hat ever wears out…we’ll replace it free. Ever? Seriously? We tested their promise by sending his old friend in for a new one, including $7.50 for shipping and a request to return the original hat. Below is Jeff's newest buddy! Awesome customer service that. Absolute customer loyalty....

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