Stray Genealogy Bits and Pieces

I have two boxes of pictures and decades-old printouts and notes on assorted people in my tree. I’ve been working on my lines for over 50 years and some of this stuff dates from the early days of my research which has been either confirmed or thrown out the window by subsequent research that’s properly sourced. Many of the pictures are duplicates of things I’ve already scanned, filed, and added to my tree. Others aren’t but they’re of people I barely know – and if I don’t know them, I know my brother won’t have a clue who they are. And we’re the only ones left.

I find myself wondering why I’m bothering to review all this stuff again. If the boxes disappeared, no one would know what went with them. I’m not sure I would know after all this time. And I’m not sure that anyone would care. You have to know what they are and whether they fill missing holes to care. I’m the only one who knows what they are and even I don’t care about most of it.

So why am I doing this? Really, why? Is it not enough that I have better images already scanned and sorted? I understand the value of all the scraps of paper that have given me genealogy treasures in the past. And it’s not THAT big a project to go through them all, search online, check files, etc. to see if I already have these pieces in a digital form.

But I just don’t want to do it, which is why they’re still sitting in their folders and acid-free boxes waiting for me to look at them again. I took the first step and moved everything out into the living room, but I still don’t want to do it. Maybe tomorrow.

There’s Been an Attitude Adjustment

Light SwitchIt’s like a switch was thrown inside of me.  Instead of treading water in an endless spiral of griping about being fat and eating food I didn’t really want or need, I’m going somewhere – and for the first time in a long time, it’s not backwards.

I rejoined Weight Watchers, yes.  But I already knew all the WW drill, as well as every other diet and foodplan option on the planet.  Okay, maybe I missed one or two.  Knowing the information, the reasons,  the medical complications, and consequences of failure aren’t enough until you actually want to do something to change.

I don’t have a timeframe or even a real weight goal.  Right now it’s about getting comfortable with making changes and then following through on them long enough for them to become new habits.  Little things and big things that you know as well as I do — journal, eat less, healthy food groups, moving more.

But it’s also about being balanced and not feeling deprived.  I don’t deal well with that and don’t have to go there; there are plenty of options that let me feel satisfied and happy as long as I take the time to explore them.  One thing that’s critical for me is the balance between what I eat for lunch and what’s for dinner.  Lunch is my most social time, when I go out with friends and colleagues, and I want to be able to have choices at a variety of places we’re likely to visit.  Voila!  I do.  In exchange for eating a larger lunch, I eat a lighter evening meal.  Planning the night before lets me do both.

Obsessing over food never was healthy for me and it feels paradoxically as though I’m being more aware and careful while also not thinking about it every waking minute.  The weight will come off in due time – but first the attitude had to change.  It has.  And it feels good.

I Don’t Blog My Whole Life

Dear Staci,

Thanks for the “thoughtful” comments on my last blog post. For those who missed them, you said:

Mmm… nothing says “mature, self-directed and dermined woman” like cutting words out of magazines and making a collage. Then photographing it. Then posting the photo online. Then discussing it..

and

I still don’t get it. In all the time you ladies have spent cutting images out of magazines and making collages, you could have spent taking *real* steps towards losing weight like driving to a gym, taking a tour of the facilities, signing up and doing a workout. Or making up a food plan and shopping list, then buying the food. Or maybe you like making collages so you won’t have to think about actually exercising or dieting?

Let me explain something to you.  I don’t have to, but I’m annoyed and want to set the record straight.  I don’t post on this blog every day.  I have a real life and spending a lot of time blogging about everything just isn’t what I do these days.  When I do blog, I do it for myself and not anyone else.  I’m not trying to be an example, just to put some words to what’s going on.  I found over the last three years that blogging every day, and talking about food all the time, was not helping me stick to a foodplan and actually lose weight.  So I don’t do it now.

Collages are useful for me and for others to help sort out thoughts.  Hey, it’s not for everyone.  Criticizing us for doing it doesn’t help us though it may make you feel a lot better and more superior.  If I sat around and make collages every day, I’d agree that it was a pointless thing FOR ME to do.  As it is, I made one collage in three years.  How is this a problem?  It isn’t.  For me, anyway, though it seems to be for you.

You wanted to know why we didn’t get off our butts and DO something.  How do you know that we didn’t? That I didn’t?  In fact, I rejoined Weight Watchers last Saturday and have been carefully following the food plan all week – for the first time in a long time.  I’ve been cooking and eating careful meals with measured portions of healthy things.  I already belong to a gym and yeah, I could have gone this week but didn’t.  I’m walking at lunchtime instead for now.  Not your idea of a workout?  It is for me, who haven’t moved much for the last two years.

I’m not pretending to be someone I’m not.  I’m also living my life, not blogging it.

Sincerely,

Anne

Making a Thought Collage

Thought collage
Thought collage

I’ve been in a stuck place for quite a while now where my weight and body are concerned.  I know what to do, and I wanted to want to do it, but I just didn’t.  I finally got tired of it and decided to get my act together and take a step.  The one I chose was to go back to Weight Watchers, which I did last weekend.  I’m not particularly concerned about time frame or goals; I just want to refocus and take one step at a time to get healthier.

One part of that was sitting down and creating a new thought collage.  I used to make these every 6-12 months, or to mark a particular point in my journey.  Some were happy, others full of rage and pain.  Although I’d cut out things a year or more ago, I never got around to finishing the collage, which is the final part of owning the thoughts and feelings.

I collected some magazines and cut stuff out yesterday, adding in some that I found in the envelope of previously snipped pieces.  Most I couldn’t use because I’m simply not in the same place anymore.  This is a much healthier place  to be.

Since I’m busy posting motivational things today, go take a look at the lessons from the road in Do You Suffer from Diet Rage? over at Sparkpeople.com.

Do the Things Left Undone

angelIF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER – by Erma Bombeck
(written after she found out she was dying from cancer).

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed  less while watching television and more while watching  life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance  in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me  impetuously, I would never have said, ‘Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.’ There would have been more ‘I love you’s.’ More ‘I’m sorry’s.’

But  mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute.look  at it and really see it……. live it and never give it back.  STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!

Don’t worry about who doesn’t like  you, who has more, or who’s doing what. Instead, let’s cherish  the relationships we have with those who do love us!