Fifty

There’s a heat wave going on around here. It is a reminder of why I dislike summer so much. It is closer to an intense hatred than a dislike, to be honest! Sweating is not my thing. Watching others sweat? Equally bad. I should be counting down the days to fall, right? I do know we lived the longest day of light in 2021 already; going to bed in the light and walking up in the light is already very old!

There’s a hot breeze blowing. Sun in abundance. A beach lovers paradise, only without the beach. I like the beach as much as I like summer heat. Not my idea of a good vacation spot. My vacations occur between October and April, and if I could find a cabin in the snowy woods, I would book a month. But see, I don’t want to go outside in that snowiness. I want to sit in a large window seat and read by the fire, watching the wildlife outside. So I guess, if the beach had an air conditioned house and I could sit and watch the going-ons, that might be acceptable?? But no sand, no bathing suits, no deck sitting in the sun.

A new week has begun. I work two and a half days. But, after that, I am on two weeks straight, as my coworker is on vacation. It is not my favorite thing, working 8.5 hours every day, but the pay will be good, and since grad school is coming fast, extra pay will be a blessing!! Grad school plus loss of child support, which my ex-husband has so graciously continued since Little Lovely has been living at home for her undergrad years. But she will be living here only on weekends starting in late August, and while I am sure that my child support was less that what I actually spend supporting her, it will still seem odd and undoable in the beginning. It is one of those things that I have to wade into before I can envision how it will work. I am a tight budgeter and I will need to redo my current spending plan and tighten up for a party of just one. I have started that process. The hard part will be weekends when she is home. This could be a budgeting nightmare!! Hahaha, no it will be fine.

I am still trying to make a decision about a new car. With only 68,000 miles on my car, I think it has some decent life left in it. So I think I will trust in that possible longevity for now. I have put my car payment amount in savings each month since I paid it off, and if I keep that up, I could pay for a new car eventually in cash. God will make it clear when it is time to make a change. I think I will take it in for a “check up,” because I know at least the AC needs some TLC. I have no desire to put a lot of money into an older vehicle, but some money to keep it at its best is probably warranted.

The arthritis in my knees is so annoying; I should call it the unbendable-ness of my knees. Usually they don’t hurt, but they are unwilling to bend AT ALL on so many days. Maybe they don’t hurt because I don’t often require them to bend!! Today I had to do some stairs, and more stairs. And it made me realize how annoying it is to be arthritic!

And, of course, it is the result of asking my small frame to carry around so much weight for so long. So that just makes it all doubly frustrating, maddening and sad.

My excess weight started as pregnancy weight that never left my body. Then 4 kids later, it started to expand with stress weight. Like, life-is-falling-apart-weight. Eating for all the wrong reasons. Learning habits that would not serve me well where food was concerned. I forgot how to eat for health and nourishment. I forgot that food has rules and limitations. I have learned that good health is not a given, and there might come a time when it is not regain-able. (Hint, hint, self!)

I had baby #4 late in life; I was 40. I had a marriage that I knew wasn’t going to survive. I had three teenagers who were flat-out tired of their dad. I lived in a foreign country (which I loved) that was far away from any support I might have had if I was in the states. So my solution was to eat?? And with no one around who cared, it became the way it was.

But I have had decades to correct this fallacy. DECADES. And now that I am hurting all the time and just mostly miserable, it seems to be impossible without heroic efforts that I am not capable of making? Or should I be saying “not willing?” I honestly wrestle between those two every single day.

So, while I am going to continue to do the best I can do, it seems so often to be a no-win situation? One week I will lose some pounds and the next they will have been found. It is a roller coaster that never seems to straighten out. I would not know how to live life without obsessing about food. It is such a part of me, both a success part and a failure part. Once, when I was a mom of one, I buckled down and lost ALL the weight that I had gained: 60 pounds. But that was the only time I did that, so it kept building up. I lost it by exercising and counting calories. But I was 25 years old. That makes all the difference.

If I had a message to shout to the young generations it would be to develop good health and nutrition habits from the start and make those a priority. Be willing to spend money on GOOD food, because junky food is cheaper and calls everyone’s name. Loudly. Establish an exercise habit DAILY.

I grew up with no one to guide me into these better habits. So as older adults we need to be examples to those starting out. I tell myself often that if I can figure out how to lose the weight and get to a better health spot, I will not be silent. I might even be obnoxiously loud; like, lose-friends-loud.

But for now I continue to rest in that place of don’t-follow-my-example. And honestly, that needs seen too, because bad examples often push us toward good habits.

Until next time,

Debi

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