Monday, March 31, 2014

Walking the Yellow-Brick Labyrinth

Have you ever walked a labyrinth? It is the trippiest thing. My church brings our Coming of Age class, eighth-graders on the verge of graduating from middle school, to walk a labyrinth every year, and I've gone with them twice now. The first time I was asked to go with my daughter's class because she was presenting as silent, withdrawn, and unhappy, and the teachers wanted some suggestions from me on how to get her to feel more part of the group.

So I walked the labyrinth, this twisty path painted on a church floor in Medford, holding one question in my mind: "How can I help my daughter be happier?"

And when I came to the end (it's a long, steady process), I had my answer — though it wasn't the answer I'd been hoping for.

In short: I can't.

Hey, I was a moody, introverted 14 year old. What could my mother have done to make me happier? Nothing, really. I just needed her to love me and be nice to me and be there for me — but I had to get through it myself, and so does my daughter.

And she's mostly through it. She's way better, anyway, though we still have some dark moments.

Last night I went with my former OWL class, the kids I taught sex ed to, and it was so great to see them again!! I loved sharing this experience with my sweeties. This time my question was, "Why am I not devoting more time and effort to losing weight, when it is the thing I want most?"

And again, I got an answer that surprised me.

The answer was: "Because it's not the thing I want most."

Sure, in an overarching Life Goals kinda way, yes, being thinner and being healthier are right up there with getting my novel published. But in a day-to-day choices kinda way, work (including volunteer work) and family are way more important to me, and I structure my day to make sure I do everything I want and need to do in those two areas. I also make sure I do something fun and soothing for myself (take a bath, read a book, watch a movie or TV show) every day, so I don't feel like a martyr. And I would not give up any of that for a chance to lose a pound. If I can squeeze in exercise and food-logging, I will and I do — but not at the expense of work commitments or family time.

Probably some of you are saying, "Duh," but it was a revelation to me.

Labyrinths are amazing!

In other news, I've got a little pile in front of my computer again, so let's see what I've hoarded here.

As I've mentioned a million times, I love taking quizzes, and this month's Good Housekeeping offered me "How Easily Can You Let Go?" I rocked this one! Even though I am not remotely easygoing, nonetheless, after a squazillion years of therapy, I am very good at not stewing over things I have no control over.

Which leads me to another Good Housekeeping gem. You may remember that I have — ahem! —  well-formed opinions about party-guest etiquette (Writer Jenny delighted me by quoting from my list of expectations at my recent Hollywood Game Night), including that potluck contributions should require nothing from me; bring your own serving dish, in other words; don't make me have to take care of you, adult guest. Brunie will be happy to hear that etiquette maven Peggy Post says "Potlucks are informal — hosts should take unexpected activity in the kitchen in stride."

I'm adding "potluck party guests in the kitchen" to my list of Things I Have No Control Over. Officially letting go now.

Hey, want to read something funny? A Betsy-Tacy friend directed me to 16 Classic Children's Books Retold for Adults. Here's a sample from my most-loathed children's book, The Tree Who Loved Its Abuser (A Child's Guide to Sado-Masochism):

In two weeks I'm auctioneering at our biannual church auction, and I plan to wear the fairly revealing dress that Mrs. Cynicletary gave me for my birthday last year. I haven't lifted weights since I injured my knee four weeks ago, so today I'm starting a modified 14-day Boot Camp, mostly focused on my arms. Arms are awesome in that they respond quickly to attention, so I'm feeling positive. Weights! Wall push-ups! And register for zumba again, I still haven't done that — these are my goals for today.

(Walking the labyrinth did aggravate my knee a little — arggh. Ready to be healed!!!!)

— Lady C


  1. I HATE that book! Everyone thinks I'm crazy. But that is one freakin' ungrateful kid and it infuriates me every time I read it. I knew there was a reason I loved you. And it's not just because you have taught me to always bring my own serving dish.

    1. YES that is one God-awful book!! Yes yes yes. We are sistahs.

      Ah, you say you love me but I know for a fact you won't marry me, and I am still dealing with that pain. But I'm making a Best Party Guest crown for you to wear, and that keeps me busy.

  2. DUH!!!!

    <3 <3

    -- SDF