Sunday, February 28, 2010

Journal Cover

I've finally had time to do more to my journal. I'm taking an on-line workshop on journal making and our first assignment was to decorate our journal cover. What a great way to "kill two birds with one stone" as my dad would have said. The workshop was offered through Art Trader Magazine (a free, on-line publication: They offer some great classes and the magazine is full of eye candy! So, I haven't done any more entries, BUT I did get a beautiful cover done! I'm also posting several of the "process" pictures on my flickr page:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Physical Activities Collage

The next exercise to discovering my authentic self was to create a collage of physical activities that make me feel "joyous". I'm not sure I've ever experienced any physical activity that made me feel joyous (except when it was over - unless sex counts as a physical activity), but I'm trying to be open and receptive to all kinds of possibilities, so I played along. What kind of physical activity could I endure long enough to help the thin person inside me peek out? As I flipped through magazines I did find four activities that I've enjoyed in the past (not sure if they made me feel "joyous").

#1 - Swimming - I used to enjoy swimming and I know that it is good exercise, but I'm a self-taught swimmer and don't feel very confidant. We live close to a lake, but I prefer a pool where I can see the bottom. I seldom get out over my head (could this be a metaphor for my life?). There is a gym in town that caters to the 50+ set. Unfortunately, I now qualify for membership. The advantages - everyone there is old, wrinkled & probably as overweight as I am, so I could actually wear a swimsuit. The disadvantages - town is 25 miles away. Advantage - I work in town and have to drive in every week day anyway. Disadvantage - after spending 7 hours with 4th graders I'm not sure I have the energy. Hummmm - at least this is something to give some consideration to. I know I'll never be a size 4, but I would like to be smaller than a size 24. I know from experience that eating right isn't enough, I know I have to exercise if I want to see any real shrinkage of my rotund self. And after hubby suffering a massive heart attack and spending almost a year in the hospital, I'm more motivated to do something that will be good for my heart.

#2 - Dancing - I used to love to put on my favorite music and boogieing around my bedroom when I was a teen. (I know - boogie sort of dates me). While my collage features Fred Astaire and Antonio Banderas (impossible dance partners)I would like to get back into dancing. Despite my weight, I am pretty graceful and when I used to do step aerobics, the instructor thought I'd had training as a dancer. I think I'd like to learn to salsa. The music has a great beat and I could really move to it (reminds me of American Bandstand - "Dick, I'd give that song a seven"). Another real possibility.

#3 - Walking - Many of my coworkers walk around the building after work. Our P.E. teacher measured it and it only takes five rounds to equal one mile. I tried walking with one teacher for a while. I enjoyed our conversations, but she was in better shape than me and could easily out-walk me. I'd end up huffing & puffing! This is a possibility, but doesn't have the appeal that swimming or dancing hold. I suppose I could get a small CD player & find something interesting to listen to. Music would be okay, but a friend introduced me to the Janet Evanovich "Stephanie Plum" mysteries and I find them laugh-out-loud funny. Walking would be palatable if I listened to some of those stories. Okay, okay - walking might be a choice as well.

#4 - Gardening - I love to garden and since we finished building our log house two years ago, I've started building some raised flower beds from the native stone. There is SO much stone on our property and most of it is only a few inches under the topsoil, so in order to be able to plant bulbs, I have to build raised beds and haul in planting soil. Our local garden center sells a square yard of soil that is 1/3 top soil, 1/3 sand and 1/3 mulch. This just fits in my small Toyota Tundra pickup bed and will fill a 3' wide X 8' long X 18" tall flower bed. Last year my son-in-law helped me by building a bed from left over logs and decorated it with steel wagon wheels. I ordered about 100 bulbs from Breck's when they had a big sale and last spring we were treated to the most beautiful tulips, crocus and some funky little yellow flowers that were freebies. The biggest problem is that I don't work hard enough to raise my heart rate. I guess it's still good for me because I stretch (darn those weeds!) and get lots of fresh air and some sun. So I will definitely continue my gardening, but I'm not relying on it to get me in shape.

So, what have I learned about my authentic self? I do have healthy activities that I enjoy doing and have access to them, so getting in better shape is doable. I need to schedule time for me. The hardest thing about this is learning not to feel guilty because I'm making time for me. I have to come to truly believe that I am important as well.