My Patience is Wearing Thin

I WANT PATIENCE AND I WANT IT NOW Poster | carson.c.smith | Keep  Calm-o-Matic

I don’t have much patience for much of anything these days, springing up from a variety of sources including but not limited to politics, social media, body aches, cold weather, rain, weight loss stall, bad hair, gray wet skies, and covid stress. Isolation is probably a factor, too, although I don’t feel all that isolated since I go to work and talk to people every day. Still, it’s been exactly a year since Covid was first discovered in the U.S. and it’s changed everything we do and how we do it.

Today specifically I was ready to bite the head off of people in my Facebook group for people with much to lose. I know that January is the month for starting diets – I started Noom last January, too – but it’s making me crazy when I see post after post after post talking about how they are “stuck” after not losing any weight for 3 or 5 or 7 days following a 10 lbs loss in two weeks. This is called NORMAL. It’s a body adjustment. Losing 10 pounds in two weeks is wonderful and motivating and not in the least sustainable. Yet they keep asking and don’t read other posts from people who are asking the EXACT SAME QUESTION.

I think my problem here is really one with social media a.k.a. stupid media. And it’s generational. I don’t pop onto a group and ask a question without doing a simple check to see if anyone else had asked it recently. If so, I read their question/answer and if I still have questions, I’ll ask. I don’t think most people do this, though, and it both puzzles and saddens me. And then it makes me mad at myself for being annoyed.

I’m the oddball and yet I expect others to use this tool the same way I do. I suspect my librarian friends do because we are good researchers and don’t like wasting other people’s time. Though maybe I’m just an old fart there, too, and would find that Millennial librarians do the “pop up and ask without checking” approach, too.

I’m also impatient with my poor technology skills. Oh, I’m good on the computer but I still haven’t figured out how to set up my TV for Internet streaming. It can’t be that hard and I’m smart but the longer I go without using a stick or streaming service or whatever, the more annoyed I am with myself. I have a smart TV but am not a smart TV owner. I don’t do well just reading instructions. I do better when I can watch and ask questions. YouTube lets me watch but not ask. Maybe I should hire a teenager to explain all this to me.

My patience for just plugging on losing weight is pretty low right now, too. I’m just really so tired of thinking about food every waking minute. And I’m tired of seeing all of these new dieter people chime in with their starting weights about the same as where I hope to end up after losing another 60 lbs. It’s not a competition, I know that, but it can get discouraging to think that no matter where I end up, I’ll still be fat, at least in my own head. And naturally that makes me want to eat chocolate if I can find it, even if just a little. It’s not a good solution and I can do better.

Maybe I need to give myself permission to take a year or half-year off from trying to lose. There are other ways to mark and celebrate change and progress than the number on the scale. Whether I lose more or not, I want to MOVE more and to enjoy it. To WANT to go to the gym and to be able to do things with people when Covid settles down enough to make that real. I’d still like to learn how to line dance, though with the knee I know I need to be careful. I’d like to try Pilates and to find a bathing suit that fits and use the pool without feeling embarassed. I can do those things if I let go of the fear and just take the first steps

And then there were Girl Scout cookies

You know the story: a child, or grandchild, or niece, or neighbor’s daughter, or the granddaughter of someone you work with puts out word that “It’s Girl Scout Cookie Time!” Those boxes are only $5 each even if they have fewer cookies in them than they used to have. The tastes bring back past delights – Thin Mints and Samoas (now called Caramel Delites, but the same cookie), the Lemon ones, and Tagalongs (now called Peanut Butter Patties, which is a pretty dull if descriptive name). New faves S’more cookies that are JUST like chocolate covered graham crackers but with a little super thin layer of marshmallow.

I want to eat them all. Sometimes I’m strong enough to give them money to support the troop or to pay to send boxes to military or a shelter or some other good cause that’s not in my mouth. This year was not one of those years. I am hyper stressed and Girl Scout cookies fit the moment perfectly. And my mouth, too, if not my food plan. Definitely not the food plan.

I was a Brownie for a year before “crossing over” and becoming a Girl Scout in my green uniform with round patches of badges for things like Knitting, Cooking, and First Aid. Now of course they have badges for Robot Making, Genealogy, Basic Coding, and things that I’m not exactly sure what they are. But it’s exciting that they’ve kept up with the times. Cookie sales are still a Thing, though, but they’ve changed the process to provide buyers with immediate gratification of Cookies in Hand.

Back in my day we put on our uniforms and went door to door in the neighborhood and up and down nearby streets, ringing doorbells and knocking on doors, pulling out our best sales pitch to convince people who didn’t need cookies that they Really Needed These Amazing Cookies sold ONLY by Girl Scouts but which they couldn’t have yet. Then we sent the orders in and the Cookie Mom’s house was packed with cases and cases of cookies that had to be divided up to match the orders. The girls then picked them up and delivered them, often lugging Red Flyer wagons full of cookies around the neighborhood.

It was work. And we had to do it all ourselves. I don’t remember that anyone in my troop had help from parents asking their work colleagues to buy boxes of cookies. We didn’t set up outside stores with boxes of cookies to sell with our winning smiles – because we had to order them all before we actually had cookies in our hands. My mom was my Girl Scout leader and was also the Cookie Mom for at least two years. I think it made her crazy – I know it would me – in part because my father, who adored Thin Mints, might pop down and walk off with a box that he’d eat in secret so Mom wouldn’t know what he was doing. Thin Mint breath usually gave him away.

The cookies are for sale now and I have four boxes in the garage. I’m not sure why I bought this many except a friend was helping her adored granddaughter with sales. I could have said “No” but I didn’t. My plan is to freeze them and hope that does the trick of “out of sight, out of mind.” Except for the ones I’ve already opened, of course.

It’s a cookie kind of day.

Feeling Fragile Today

Did I mention that I fell again this week? This time it wasn’t my knee or a balance problem. Instead, on a beautiful snowy day (which was really lovely for this transplanted New Englander to have), I drove home and promptly slipped on a puddle of slush and fell with a crash to the garage floor. The very cold, very wet concrete floor. My head jerked, I smacked the left elbow on the golf cart, and hit hard on my right hip. Yup, that side. The same one with the neuropathy in the foot and the torn MCL. Now my whole right side is very stiff and sore and sitting for any length of time, even on a soft cushy pillow, is very uncomfortable. Falling on carpet was a lot easier. Note to self: Work on not falling at all.

So my body is feeling fragile. My ego is, too, because I lost an election to the club/HOA board. I knew going into it that there was at least a 50% chance I wouldn’t win: there were 6 candidates for 3 positions. And honestly, I’m happy that I’m not going to have to deal with actually being on the board for the next three years. But there is still some hurt that I lost, though I’m in excellent company with the other losers. Enough hurt that the last bits of my chocolate stash are gone today. Note to self: Don’t run again. Lesson learned.

And my soul is fragile today as the president was impeached for inciting the insurrection and attack on the Capitol last week. They did so today in what is a crime scene. I am terribly afraid of what is going to happen next. I’m baffled by the many who still believe that the election was unfair just because he said so without any evidence. I’m feeling so lonely here in East Texas, feeling like a lone Maine blueberry in a great big bright red cherry pie. So I watch TV news, knowing I’m watching too much of it but unable to look away. Because I don’t want the world to blow up around me without my understanding why.

Where Were You?

When Kennedy was assassinated, I was sitting in the auditorium of the high school in Westfield, New Jersey, watching a play with a bunch of other elementary school kids. I don’t remember the play, but I remember the teacher coming out, white faced and shaking, to tell us that the president had been shot and we were being sent home. I was eight.

When the planes hit the towers on 9/11, I was in the gym in Boston, watching “Top Gun” on a big screen next to a screen showing news. I thought my movie was an Air Force scramble to respond to the destruction and terror on the other screen, as bodies fell from the sky and smoke billowed and the towers finally crumbled. I later learned that someone I knew slightly was on one of the planes that hit the towers. It was a searing image, a searing day. I never thought I would see its like again in my lifetime.

When the Capitol riot happened on January 6th, I was home watching cable news, waiting to see what the senators would say to challenge a fair and just election. Suddenly people swarmed around Mike Pence and wisked him away, and crowds started to scramble. All the news broadcasters were talking over each other – and then we saw shots of outside the Senate chamber. OMG. It was a dangerous, terrifying afternoon with armed thugs scaling walls, pipe bombs and tear gas, assaults of police, chants of “Hang Mike Pence” and “Trump is My President” and Confederate battle flags – and members of Congress and their staff scrambling to get to safety amid broken glass and angry, focused rioters.

They were unmasked white faces. I mean, how stupid can you get? Of course they were white – they were revved up Trump supporters who believed the falsehoods that Trump has been spreading for over a YEAR that the only way he could lose was in a rigged election. And of course they were unmasked, because wearing a mask is something that Democrats do because they don’t believe in individual liberty and the right to spread Covid as broadly as possible.

I knew what was coming would be bad but hadn’t expected this. The Capitol is a symbol of our democracy, of our form of government, and it was overrun by people with evil intent – who looked like me. If the rioters had been Black, they would have been shot. Instead, they took over the place and went peacefully home, only to be tracked down by digital detectives because, hello, they were unmasked and took selfies as they rampaged. Granted, not everyone at the Trump rally before the riot followed the crowd to the Capitol. But enough of them did that all of them are tarnished.

I am proud that the Congress went back into session and stayed late into the night to finish their work of confirming Joe Biden’s win in the Electoral College. I am angry with all of the senators and representatives who took it upon themselves to challenge elections in other states even after almost 90 court cases and recounts found no fraud. My Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Louie Gohmert need to resign or be expelled for their positions which helped convince people that the crazy fraud theory was true when it patently was not.

And I am very afraid of what is coming next. The inauguration is in 8 days and in the meantime, credible sources tell authorities that armed insurrections are planned for all 50 state capitals this weekend. I will be sticking even closer to home than usual, and sending up more than the usual prayers.

No Gain Campaign Result

Six weeks ago I went to the gym and weighed in for their No Gain Campaign. The goal was to motivate us to not gain weight over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays when usually foods (and sweets) abound. I did a lot of crazy stuff (remember the 14 dozen cookies?) but in spite of ups and downs, I thought I’d held my own. This week was the final weigh-in. On Monday I stopped at the gym with my physical therapy referral and hopped on the scale to see if I needed to give it a few more days before it was official. Much to my surprise, considering that it was after lunch and I was wearing shoes, I’m down 3 lbs since my weight on November 18th. They’ll notify winners next week but I’m already a winner, whether I get a reward or not.

UPDATE: I won an Amazon gift card! My favorite present 🙂