Tag Archives: Obstacles

The Rocket

He’s gone.

My son. My first baby.

My Little man, that somehow became a man when I wasn’t looking. He got on a plane…and he left me, for real this time.

He left me standing here crying and wondering how to sort out these feelings between relief and excitement that keep washing over me like waves that I don’t see coming. And as I stood there watching him check in his baggage, I was lost in a whirlwind of other moments, from a hundred other points in time when I had watched him go before.

Continue reading The Rocket

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Relinquishing Rapunzel

We’ve all been there before. Post bad haircut, second-guessing our decision to be brave, and waiting for it to grow out with painstaking regret..and a new hat.

It’s only hair, right?

It will grow back, right?

I get that, I really do. But in order to understand why it’s so much more than that, you have to also understand what it represents, what it symbolizes, and why losing it and letting it go are two totally different things.

Long hair in literature is well documented as a sign of importance for various reasons. Samson’s hair was the root of his virility and strength. Lady Godiva would not have been half as memorable without her trademark long tresses. And of course there was Rapunzel.

But what about Rapunzel?

How would she have ever been rescued from the tower without her long flowing locks to aid in her liberation? She probably could have freed herself by chopping off her braid and using it mount a daring escape… but that’s not how the story goes. Actually, that’s not how any of the stories went when I was growing up.

Barbie had her Ken, Sleeping Beauty needed the Prince’s kiss to awaken her, Cinderella waited for Prince Charming to scoop her up out of abject servitude, and Snow White relied on the Seven Dwarves to protect her from the wrath of the jealous evil Queen.

But I always felt a little bit more like “Snow Off-White” in my early 20’s. I was the designated good natured chubby friend that was relegated to entertaining the awkward third wheel friend of the cute guy that was flirting with my gorgeous Malibu Barbie roommate. Making tedious conversation to pass the time, sipping wine coolers until she was ready for me to drive her home. Sadly, back then, the only (real life) Seven Dwarves that I ever encountered were Itchy, Scratchy, Burpie, Sleazy, Humpy, Gropey, and Prick.

I grew up envying Farrah Fawcett’s long feathery locks, the perfect coiffes of Charlie’s Angels, and Christie Brinkley’s flowing mane. Not to mention every Whitesnake video featuring a wild haired token beauty with her lustrous tendrils blowing in the wind in hair band  slo-mo. Even Daryl Hannah in Splash, with her shock of blonde Mermaid hair adornment bewitched and beguiled me.

I wanted Mermaid hair.

I wanted what I never had.  Continue reading Relinquishing Rapunzel

Fat(ish)

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Sometimes when there is no known word for how you feel, you have to invent one…

Fat•ish

[fat]-iSH    

Noun:

-a defeatist state of mind achieved by a downturn in critical morale

Ex: The fat(ish) took over.

Adjective-

-having the characteristics of; or outwardly resembling one’s perceived fatness

Ex: She could no longer happily wear that dress because it made her feel fat(ish).

Verb (archaic):

-to make or become fat(ish) by falling back into old habits

Comparative synonyms

-Busted can o’ biscuits

-Sausage stuffed into a casing

Antonyms: Skinny•ish

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Our mind/body link is a force of nature.


How you feel on the inside is directly connected to how you present yourself on the outside. And it becomes harder to manage it the worse you feel. Often times it’s so involuntary that it evolves without notice.

Having dealt with weight issues even as a child, and having been overweight/ morbidly obese my entire adult life, I had adjusted to my state of being in a way that found me complacent to its challenges.

I had “adjusted” to my limitations and found a certain level of comfort in it.

But once my weight loss began…

Once I started feeling differently in my body…

Well, I started to feel “skinny(ish)”.

It was a state of mind that was created by a boost in confidence that had allowed me to picture a new reality for myself.

And even though I knew that I still had a long way to go, the tide had turned, and the feeling was palpable.

With every pound lost I began to feel thinner. Even when nothing physical was noticeably different, I felt the change manifesting from within.

I knew I wasn’t “skinny”, but I was skinny(ish), and that was a million dollar feeling.

But, once I reached my weight-loss goal, and the hovering began, I noticed that that feeling was harder and harder to hold onto.  Continue reading Fat(ish)

The View From Here


Seeing yourself from the inside-out can be challenging.

Sometimes, seeing who you are in a multitude of perspectives can give you a much more comprehensive view of yourself as a whole, and give you much-needed insight as to what you’re made of, down a deep, where it really counts.

When I started my weight loss journey it felt like I was standing at the base of a monolithic mountain and looking up to the summit and thinking “That is impossible. I cannot climb that.”

But sometimes you’re not aware of what you’re capable of until you have to be.

Until you step up to that plate and take your swing, you may not even  know if you can hit the ball.

It’s easy to get tunnel vision, and to corner yourself into a narrow way of thinking that does not allow you to see outside of the parameters that  you have established. What’s not easy, however, is to harness the ability look at yourself differently than you have become accustomed.

Viewing the world in a different way can open you up to ideas and practices that you may have never entertained otherwise.

As a parent, I have had been privy to a multitude of refreshing moments and perspective changing conversations with both of my boys, and sometimes you can forget that the world can be viewed in many many different ways.

But every once in a while, as a grown-up, you have a particular moment where you get a glimpse into the mind of someone that redirects your own thinking. And on this particular occasion it was through the “fresh eyes” of my seven year-old son.

While driving by a local bookstore, we had stopped at a red light, and my son, who had just learned to read, was peering out the window.

There was a large banner in front the bookstore that read, ‘Giant Book Sale!’

My son, after reading it aloud, then turned to me with a perplexed expression and asked, “Mom, why are only the giant books on sale?”

It caught me a little off guard, but then I realized that to him, it was a valid question.

And after trying to explain to him that it was the word “giant” was referring to the size of the sale and not the size of the books, I stopped myself, and just tried to look at the sign from his perspective.

I suppose it would have been less confusing if the sign has simply stated “giant sale on books”. But because most things in this world are left to our own interpretations, and the English language in itself is fairly complex, we are left with our own deciphering of the world around us to help us make sense of our surroundings.

So rather then correcting him, I gave him an answer.

I told him that perhaps they had too many giant books, and had run out of room, so maybe they needed to sell more of them to make space for the smaller ones. He seemed satisfied with that answer, and that was that.

That particular encounter had prompted me to begin thinking about the value of true perspective.  Continue reading The View From Here

The Maid in the Mist


Niagara Falls.

I had always wanted to see it for myself.

Several years ago, while visiting the East Coast and getting ready to leave Baltimore, we found that on our way to Philadelphia we still had three days before we were expected at a family get together.

So we sat in the parking lot of the Civil War Memorial near Antietam Maryland and tried to decide where we would go.

The Captain and I have long since practiced a little something we call accidental tourism, where we will just randomly pick a direction or destination and head out without so much as a reservation and the fervent hope of seeing where the adventure will take us. 

So we started looking at the map and trying to decide which direction we would head.

And there I was, waiting for some kind of sign from the universe, when a delivery truck drove by with the logo for Tim Hortons donuts emblazoned on the side.

*cue slo-mo montage…

It was like that moment when the clouds part, and a ray of sunshine breaks through to a chorus of euphoric accolades.

What? We love Tim Hortons! I did not even know that they had stores in the US, I thought they only had them in Canada! Living in Washington State, we were frequent visitors to Vancouver B.C on the western side of Canada, and sometimes we would even go across the border just for a coffee and donut run. Lemon crullers for me and apple fritters for The Captain. And then, we always got a box of assorted TimBits donut holes with a few extra cherry chip ones for the road.

This might be a game changer.

I started feverishly looking on my phone for the nearest Tim Hortons, and found that in upstate New York they had one in Buffalo.

It was decided. We would be heading north.

I looked at the map. I had wanted to see the eastern side of Canada, and I had always heard about how beautiful upstate New York was.

Done. Let’s go.

And then I spotted it. Right there on the border… Niagara Falls.

And as it so happens, that one was on my bucket list. Continue reading The Maid in the Mist

Connected

Image courtesy of clipartpanda.com

Countless inspirations,

From a myriad of souls-

With the strength of an army,

All reaching for goals.

We are flowers finding sunshine,

And blossoming with room-

All sharing the same garden,

Helping one another bloom.

Like a game of Red Rover,

We link hands in kind-

So send the next one right over,

To this family they will find. Continue reading Connected

The Legendary Saga of Brokebutt Mountain

It had started out innocently enough.

“Let’s go tubing,” they said, “it’ll be fun,” they said…

Liars.

That mountain became my nemesis.

That mountain humbled me.

That mountain gave me a reality check.

I went in there with a head full of fun and frolic, and I left with a limp, a whimper, and a cracked tailbone.

The night had begun uneventfully enough, with a fierce quest for adventure and winter time thrills.

I had never once considered the dangers. Especially since I had gone tubing before, and enjoyed it quite a bit.

I had also dipped my toe in many another endeavor without pause. I had skydived, and zip-lined, and navigated the roaring whitewater rapids in a raft…

I had jumped in headfirst into so many an adventure, that a night out tubing at the pass seemed harmless.

Not so.

We had arrived to find a bit of a snow/rain mix, and everyone was scrambling for the tubes, and rushing to catapult themselves down the icy hill into oblivion. So I grabbed the first one I could get my hands on, and quickly got in line.

The first time down, I definitely felt the rush. It was pretty slick due to the dense snow pack, and the light rain had added an invisible layer of slippery ice. But the tube I had chosen was a bit over inflated, and since I couldn’t nestle securely down into in it, I felt a bit vulnerable. And as I was going down the hill, I felt as though the tiniest bump might bounce me out of my vessel.

I furiously clung to the handles for dear life, and white knuckled it all the way to the bottom. Like a bolt of white lightning, I had rocketed to the base of the run.

And my very first thought after reaching the bottom of the hill, was that I needed to trade in my tube for a better one. 

A safer one.

But what I did not know then, was, that decision would drastically change the next ten months of my life… Continue reading The Legendary Saga of Brokebutt Mountain