Monday, December 23, 2013

Thinking Back, Looking Ahead

So, as I sit here thinking about what the future holds for me (for instance, hitting my goal in about 5 pounds), it dawned on me that I really should take a few minutes to reflect on how the journey has been, so far. The road sure wasn't easy, but as my new favorite saying goes: if it’s easy, it’s not worth it; if it’s worth it, it’s not easy. What I've discovered over the past 2 years is that just because something is difficult doesn't mean it’s not enjoyable. Really, wouldn't life be terribly boring if everything were simple? Where would the feeling of accomplishment be? Where would the feeling of victory be? Facing a difficult task and kicking it’s butt allows you to savor that victory even more.

When I started these road trips (both the WW program and this blog), I wasn't real sure how I was going to keep them interesting. For the program, how was I going to stick to it and be successful? For the blog, how was I going to keep coming up with new and fresh ideas to keep you, my faithful readers, entertained? Now, I have intertwined both legs of this journey into one, larger course. I stay on the plan because I want to keep writing witty and interesting blog posts and I find interesting and witty things to post because I’m successful with the plan. I like to think of it as a virtuous cycle, rather than a vicious one.

As I close in on my goal, I've got to work harder than I ever have in my life. What I have been doing has worked  so far, but I have to give just a little bit more of myself in order to find that higher gear. The end of this particular road trip is near, but that just means that I get to start another one, soon. I've never really given much thought— at least until 11 months ago, when I sat down to write my first entry— to the fact life really is a series of road trips. After you finish one, you start another. I wish I had realized that earlier, not that I have any regrets, I just think that I would have looked differently upon some life events. 

OK, back to that reflecting thing I mentioned earlier— it’s no secret that I've lost over 10 stone (yes, that’s British!), but this isn't just about what I've lost, it’s also about what I have gained. One thing that I have gained is knowing that I shouldn't stare into the rear-view mirror, just merely glance. The past is about learning from what you've lived and the future is about living from what you've learned.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Here's Your Sign

Everyone thinks that driving is easy, that it doesn't take much thought. In my opinion, it doesn't take much conscious thought, but it does require brain activity and since most of us have been driving since we were about 16, all of our actions are second nature. We sort-of go on auto-pilot when we get behind the wheel of the car. That can be a very dangerous way to drive. When you do that, you miss a lot of things along the way. Some of the things you could miss may seem unimportant, but I bet there are plenty of important street signs and landmarks that are missed on a daily, repetitive drive. It is important to pay attention to those street signs, especially when it’s a drive we could probably do with our eyes closed. As almost anyone who has ridden in a car with me will tell you, I have a habit, not necessarily a bad habit, but a habit none-the-less: I tend to read, aloud, street names. I don’t know why I do this, although I have noticed my Mom does it, so I can only imagine where this activity originated! It’s funny, I’ll be driving down the road, alone or with passengers, and if I pass a street name, I just say it out loud.
My point in sharing this random tidbit of information is that sometimes it is important to read those signs and know where you are. I think that often times, we are presented with signs that we ignore because we already know the path we are taking, so paying attention to the signs is probably a fruitless task. However, those signs can actually help us get back on the right track. For instance, before I started my journey, there were many signs my body was giving me to tell me that I was not healthy: I didn't want to know how much I weighed, I refused to look at myself in the mirror, I didn't want my picture taken, my knees hurt, my back hurt, I got winded after walking the shortest of distances, hmm, I could go on and on about all the signs I ignored, but I think you get the picture. There are probably some signs I missed altogether because I had blinders on and didn't feel the need to see anything other than what was in front of me.
Then the day came where I finally decided to take off the blinders and I realized that I should have been reading those street signs all along. Who cares if others think it’s a peculiar habit?  That little idiosyncrasy keeps me focused on the task at hand. It is important that we pay attention to the signs, because they not only tell us where we are, but if there is danger ahead. Would you really ignore a sign that said “Bridge out”? Probably not. So why ignore the signs of the Universe? Soak in your environment, pay attention to the journey and just make sure that you read the street signs aloud as you continue down the road.
I will share with you a cosmic sign that I received just yesterday— I was catching up on Dracula (I’m seriously behind on my TV watching right now!) and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers’ Dracula (or Alexander Grayson, as he is also known) said to a young ingĂ©nue: When it comes to dreams, one may falter, but the only way to fail is to abandon them.” Now, normally I would halfheartedly acknowledge the quote and move on. However, on the same day, Weight Watchers had posted a Confucius quote: “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” So, in the words of Bill’s your sign! Now, it’s up to you as to whether or not you will heed it!