Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Pictures

I admit I am finding it harder to blog than I used to. In days past, I'd have thoughts in my head I wanted to explore or experiences I wanted to share and I'd just sit down and it would flow. Now, I feel sort of stuck in my head about some things, and I have feelings I find very hard to put into words. In fact, I feel like I am having some kind of... I dunno... mid life crisis? No, not crisis... maybe a mid-life rethinking of how I have spent my years, and how I want to spend the future. A lot of rethinking, reframing, reflecting.

I went downstairs to my office tonight and just sat in the chair for about fifteen minutes, looking around the room and asking myself,

what do you want?
no, what do you *really* want?
what would you do if...?
what is holding you back?
what are you willing to do?

It is not all about weight, or even physical health. It's about life and the jarring realization that we *really* cannot count on tomorrows, and the stark truth that I have wasted a lot of potential waiting, wanting, but not doing. Planning, sitting on the edge of everything, but not dropping off the edge. In *lots* of things.

There is a plastic tub of framed photographs in my office. It has no lid; it catches my eye whenever I go in there. The pictures are tossed in there with a chunk of driftwood my kids found on the beach when they were little. There are pictures of my ex-in-laws, my babies, my first wedding. There are paintings of Jesus and portraits of a family that no longer is. I look at that tub and it is a symbol of all the putting-off and waiting that I have done in my life. Sixteen years gathering dust, because I needed to clean the frames... because I was going to paint that wall before I hung pictures... because I didn't know quite where I wanted to hang them or how to make the arrangement look nice or which hooks and anchors to use. Sixteen years ago those pictures were valid in my life. Now, most of them are not. Now, it is too late. Now, the time for hanging them has passed and if I want to hang pictures, I'll need to find some new ones. It would just be too weird, I think, and sad for me, perhaps, to hang the ex-in-laws and the portrait of the family that no longer is and the Jesus from the church I am not in anymore. I have a different family now, a different Jesus, too, whether you can understand that or not. I had a different wedding, yet never hung those pictures either.

That's how it is, from where I stand: I wait too long, for just the right circumstances and just the right time and just the right emotion and motivation, and it never comes, it is never quite right, and then I turn around and it's a decade later and my intentions are no longer relevant. Like the pictures. Does that make sense?

I have spent the last week making peace with myself. It's a process. I never realized how much I need to acknowledge this stuff and forgive myself. But I do.

I am looking at everything in my life with fresh eyes: the people, the things, the intentions, the actions. All of it. I am evaluating in a new way what belongs and what doesn't. Some things I have been hanging onto due to fear or insecurity are going to get tossed. Some beliefs, some thoughts and actions are getting tossed, too.

I am going to hang some new pictures in my life. It is time for that to happen.

14 comments:

Patty said...

Beautifully said! I wish you well. :)

MargieAnne said...

Oh this is so scary. It sounds so like me.

I'm hoping that as I get settled into nutritional ketosis I will find some Mojo and get a lot of things sorted out. If not, our little house will become increasingly untidy and cramped with clutter, unfinished projects and stuff I haven't found a place for.

I used to make lists and lists and work through them. Now that we are retired and have all the time in the world procrastination seems to be my first name.

It really is important to do at least one thing more than the essentials each day to get sorted out. I watch people who get stuff done and know that they are not worried about having everything perfect. It's really hard for me to understand the difference between excellence and perfectionism.

OK this might not be quite the best reply to your post but these are the thoughts triggered as I read.

All the best as you think through what you really want to do and how you are going to get there.

blessings.

Carolinehopkins.com said...

I have followed you for a few months now and your story has inspired me and helped me along the way. Your struggles I think are most of ours, so when reading I feel I'm reading what I feel too some days. Thank you for being you and being honest. (if you want, look me up "CarolineHopkins.com" Thanks - I wish you health!!

Jac said...

Just last Friday a close friend sat in my living room, holding her newborn, while her 3 older kids ran around playing with my 3 kids. We were talking about getting family portraits done. She said it had been ages since anyone had taken even a good snapshot of her family, and she really needed to convince her husband it was time for pictures.
Three days later her 2 year-old died in a drowning accident.
Don't wait, Lyn. Like you said, we can never count on tomorrow.

Amy said...

Love the analogy/parallel. So many of us are waiting on a moment, and letting time pass. And yet, the beauty of life is that "it is never too late to become what you might have been."George Elliot.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn, I have been reading your blog for a while now, and you have made me realize I am not alone! I have started back on Medifast, this is my 3rd go-round. never could manage to stick with it the first two times. Hoping this time is different. I LOVE your recipes. They have done wonders to break up the monotonous lean and green meals. I am also a fellow sparker. Was wondering if you have entered any of your recipes on spark.
And as far as your post "What is wrong with people"... I AGREE!!! What is wrong with people! Seems you have a "fan club" of people with obviously no life, so they obsess about yours. Just so you know, for every one hateful person that wants to bash you, there are 100+ people out here that you give hope to. We usually stay silent, (something that is learned early in life to "hide" from the cruel ppl) but we are here. Shake off the haters:)
And thank you for giving me hope!
Praying for you!!!

Jennifer

Lyn said...

MargieAnne~

so true. If we just do the essentials each day, or don't even get those done some days, it really piles up. Sometimes instead of sorting the piles, we have to throw them out. :)

Jac~

oh no, how terribly sad. So tragic... sending prayers and thoughts for your friend and her family.

Amy~

good quote, so true.

CatherineMarie said...

Maybe you can repurpose some of the pics, and make a collage showing where you have been and how far you have come. That is what I am trying to do with my own life. I found a lot of old class pics tucked away, and I am considering framing them all together....

I have a bad habit of negating myself and my accomplishments... and I also have piles and piles and piles of papers and stuff that I don't get to. But I keep working at it slowly.. and now the garage is cleaner, the basement is cleaner... the yard is making progress... just remember to take baby steps. We are all products of our pasts.

Steelers6 said...

The speaker at my son's college grad was talking about taking risks. It really resonated with me. I wish his speech was online so I could read it again. Maybe I'll see if I can contact him for a copy.
Anyway, while looking for his speech & risk inspiration, I found a few quotes. I am not saying or suggesting anything about your life, I just found them inspiring.

“...maybe sometimes it's riskier not to take a risk. Sometimes all you're guaranteeing is that things will stay the same.”
― Danny Wallace, Yes Man

"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."
— John A. Shedd, Salt from My Attic

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
— Robert F. Kennedy

Have a swell weekend.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn, Sorry to hear about your test results. Wonderful alternative cancer site is 'Cancer Tutor'. Great information.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn
It sounds like you are ready to move beyond weight, weight-loss and food as a focus and just live. So many things we put off for the right moment or till we reach the right weight. And then realize how much we lost waiting. Whatever you do, I hope you keep writing, it's a real gift.
Regards
Marianne

Anonymous said...

PS from Marianne: Not surprised you're doing this soul searching considering your health scare. Best wishes for a good diagnosis.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,
I agree with everything you wrote today. I have recently decided that my wall of "studio family photos" is coming down.. it is being replaced with photos of my family living life...action shots at Easter Volleyball game, On the beach in Maui; the kids vegging in their chairs eating ice cream. I want pictures of us LIVING...not seated with a colored drape behind us. And the wall is not perfect, in fact some paint would do.. but now, because of you.. I am hanging these pictures !
Renee

LHA said...

Beautifully written, Lyn. It is important for all of us to take stock, to see where we have gotten off track, to know that time is passing and to reassess what is most important to us. All of us have tubs of pictures (figuratively speaking anyway) that are gathering dust somewhere. We have parts of our lives that don't mean anything now, or parts we would like to forget. Trying to live each day the best we can is all we can do. We are never going to achieve perfection in everything but finding the joy in even the imperfect is what makes life worth living.

Thanks for an inspirational blog and for taking the time to continue it.