1halffull's Blog

Change is Never Easy
February 28, 2010, 12:45 pm
Filed under: Change, Jenny Craig, Uncategorized

As I get older, I realize more and more that situations are not what they seem.  Either that or people have just become better at spinning the truth to suit themselves. 

It seems to me that people are much less willing to take responsibility for what they do, what they say, how they act.  While they don’t say ‘the devil made me do it as was once popular, they certainly behave as though someone besides themselves made them do it.  (Side note:  it couldn’t have been the devil anyway because no one believes in him anymore.)

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of doors slamming.  No, not the kind of doors that you hear slamming when your kids get mad, although there have been a couple of those.  These are the doors that close on certain parts of our lives for one reason or another.  The doors I’ve been hearing are in my head (yes, I am somewhat crazy – ask my husband).  We begin to hear doors close when we need to make changes in our lives.  I think that God is telling me that I need to make some changes in the way I think, the way I act, the way I live.  Hence my closing doors.

Change is never easy.  In truth, it can be very painful.  When you’ve lived this long behaving one way, it’s hard to adjust and begin to live another.  If only there was a Jenny Craig for life change, eh?  It would be so simple.  You’d call her up and say “Hey, how much will it cost me for you to send over a new life module?  I want the one that turns me around and makes me a better person without any pain involved!”   Voila!  It would be done for you.

Of course,  it doesn’t work that way.  It’s a matter of discipline, of reminding yourself everyday that you’re not, in fact, responsible for what everyone’s doing.  That’s God’s job, not yours.  You can’t control the actions of anyone but yourself and you’re not even doing a very good job of that!  It’s not your job so you have to stop trying to do it.  Funny, isn’t it,  how the one thing you’re willing to be responsible for you can’t be responsible for?

As hard as it will be, there are also benefits to these changes.  I imagine I’ll be more relaxed and I’ll have much less to think about.  I hope to take off my judges robe and just let people be who they are.  After all, they’re on the same journey as I am and they have just as much right to make their own mistakes, experience their own successes, as I have.  If they want to slide on the ice and risk a life changing spill, it will no longer be up to me to interrupt that process.  But it also means that I no longer have to watch them do it, either.  Now that will be really freeing!

I’m not sure how, but I hope somehow I no longer have to listen to people who want to dump all their garbage in my lap “because I have to put it somewhere”.   Listening wouldn’t be so bad if you knew the person would move on after dumping.  The hard part is watching them go off, pretending like everything is allright to everyone else then coming back to dump the same load over and over again.  What do you do about that?  I guess I’ll just pray God will find a way to slam some of their doors shut as well.

I know it’s dangerous to say out loud that you’re going to make changes.  Once you do, everyone is watching and ready to pounce every time you mess up.  I ask, in advance, for your patience as I begin to swim in these new waters.  I’m sure there are choppy spots out there that will be harder to navigate than I might have hoped.  Be patient with me.  I believe I’ll get there.  I know if God brings me to it, He can pull me through it.  It’s just up to me to not let go.


New Olympic Sport: Dieting
February 27, 2010, 6:01 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

    A lady in an office near mine decided that she would try the Cleveland Clinic soup diet.  She was told she could lose up to 17 pounds in just one week if it worked for her.

     I asked her what she planned to do following this diet?  She explained that she wasn’t sure yet; this diet was just a jump start, that she hoped that if she did lose the 17 pounds she’d then be motivated to keep going.

     How many of us look for the quick fix?  We spend years adding pounds to our mid-riff and backside and then want to lose it in 20 minutes!  Well, friends, it doesn’t work that way.

     Let’s think logically about the possibilities of losing weight in some different terms.

     Say you get home from work at five o’clock and you’re starving.  After peering into the freezer, you decide you want to eat the steak that’s frozen solid.  Now, you wouldn’t pull it out and begin to gnaw at it would you?  Probably not.

     You’d take it out, set the microwave to defrost, and toss the steak in for at least five minutes.  You might also decide you want a salad so while the steak defrosts, you take out various veggies and begin to break them down into bite size pieces that you throw in a bowl.  BEEEP!  The steak is thawed so you take it out, pound it a bit, season it up, heat up the grill and finally throw it on to cook.  You finish making the salad, serve up the steak and voila!  You have dinner – about an hour or more later.  Even though it took awhile, preparing the meal was worth waiting for because it’s delicious, right?  Ummmm.

     Well, loosing weight is like that, too.  A diet is an event.  You work hard during the event to accomplish the goal – loosing weight.  Badda bing, badda boom – you reach your weight loss goal!  It’s a deliriously happy day and you celebrate – with a hot fudge sundae.

     The next morning comes and what do you do?  The diet (event) is ‘over’; the weight is lost.  Time for some bacon and eggs?  Wrong.

     If you want to loose weight and keep it off for good you need to turn this one-time event into a lifestyle change, one that you can live with, one that can last for the rest of your life.

You’ve got cancer. What’s next?
February 20, 2010, 6:02 pm
Filed under: Cancer, Healthcare, Life, Uncategorized

Let’s talk about cancer.

I think we can all agree on this idea:  Pretty much, it sucks.

If I may, I’d like to share some practical information so that, just in case you find yourself sitting in a doctor’s office and he says to you or  someone you love, “I’m sorry, but you have cancer”, this information will pop into your mind.  It’s meant to help you at a time when you may not be able to think clearly.  

It’s important to know these things ahead of time so that when you are faced with such a diagnosis you won’t allow yourself to be caught up in the terror of the moment and get treatments that ultimately may not have been appropriate for your condition.  Just like when you build a house, you start with a foundation before you put on the roof, so you must lay a plan for a solid treatment foundation to optimize your chances for remission/cure before you embark on carrying out the plan.

First of all, the moment you hear the word cancer – whether it’s yours or the person you love most in the world – I guarantee you won’t hear anything after that word.  Life will stop in that moment as the word cancer goes bouncing around in your head as though it’s a superball.  Typically, while your world has just suddenly flipped upside down, the doctor’s hasn’t so he’ll keep talking.  He’ll be saying things like percentage of cure, you need more tests, you’ll see a surgeon or an oncologist or both.  Pretty much what you’ll hear is your brain screaming at you “You have CANCER” over and over again.  You’ll try to focus, but all’s you’ll hear outside yourself is ‘blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’

The office staff will either want to make appointments for you or they’ll give you cards with names on them of people you should see and talk to.  Given how you’re feeling in this moment, you’ll feel this horrible sense of urgency like you not only want all that information, you want to be able to walk out of this office into the treatment center and get this thing out of you RIGHT NOW!  It’s understandable and a very normal reaction.

That’s why you need to read this next part carefully:  unless you’re in an end stage or have an extremely aggressive cancer, it can wait for a week. 

Why would you wait for a week?

First, you need to digest the fact that you have cancer.  You need for your brain to unfreeze from that first statement:  You have cancer.  You need to be able to restart your heart, take in some air and express your thoughts and feelings first.  What you don’t need is to be rushed into a bunch of procedures that may or may not be right for your personal condition.

If there are more tests that need to be done, begin to have them done.  In the meantime, do your homework.  There is no one better to manage your case than an educated you!  That being said, it is also good to find a family member or friend who cares for you enough to invoke some common sense and good judgement on your behalf.  They need to be your listener and advocate.  This means that they will go to appointments with you and take accurate notes so you’ll be able to review what you heard after the appointment. 

Next you should find out the following:

1.  What is the specific name of my cancer?  Where is it located exactly?

2.  What hospitals and physicians are specializing in my form of cancer?  Where are they located? 

3.  Can I get an appointment with one of them after all my testing is done for an evaluation specific to my case and the cancer that I have?

4.  What are my best treatment options?  Would the specialist prescribe my treatment and work with a local doctor so I could receive my treatment locally?

Once you have as much information as you can get, make a list of additional questions that you wish to ask each doctor.  Let them know at the beginning of your appointment that you have the questions and you aren’t leaving till all are answered. 

A good physician or specialist is one who is going to want you to be completely engaged in your treatment program.  Run away as fast as you can from anyone who will not answer your questions or who tells you not to worry, he’ll be the one to make those decisions. 

Remember these two things: 

1.  While the doctor is (theoretically) the one with the knowledge and experience, the life he’s messing with belongs to you.  It is your right to get the information you ask for. 

2.  You hired him to work with you.  You’re providing his paycheck and you can fire him anytime you wish.  There are many other doctors out there who will be willing to work with you and receive that paycheck!

Finally, remember that there are alternative, complementary medicines that you can also tap into to help enhance traditional medicine’s approach.  A good resource for these can be found through the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.

I hope you never hear the words “You have cancer.”  But if you do, remember what you’ve read here.  May it serve you well.

What is it about Thursday?
February 12, 2010, 6:20 am
Filed under: Happiness, Humor, Jobs, Life, Work

If it’s Thursday night, it must be Friday morning!

Make sense to you?  If it does, then you must be suffering the same ‘malady’ as am I!

About a month ago, Thursday dawned in a happy manner – with the realization that tomorrow was Friday which would be followed by Saturday, a day without formal, outside-the-house work.  So I went to work that Thursday with a spring in my step and a hum in my mind, happy to be in the midst of Thursday.

When I got home from Thursday, it was like I’d been shot with the glitter of a rainbow.  I made ‘real’ dinner – as opposed to those fake ones made up of either left overs or stuff from cans – breezed through the evening to my favorite show at 10 – Burn Notice – then found that I didn’t even want to go to bed yet.  So I fooled around on the computer, watched more TV, goofed off in the bathroom then landed on the couch to lull myself to sleep with TVLand’s favorite show:  Roseanne.

When the buzzer went off signaling Friday morning, I was glad to greet it!  It was FRIDAY! which could only mean that tomorrow was Saturday, the day I didn’t have to go to work.  What a great day!  What fun I’d had….for once.

Unfortunately, Friday night found me snoring on the couch by 9:30.  I didn’t care!  It was worth the price to have had Wonderful Thursday!

Then there was lovely Saturday and Perfect Sunday followed by, you guessed it, Ugly Monday.  Mondays are often difficult where I work.  You walk in and rather than take off your coat and have a few minutes to settle in, you’re hit with who didn’t show up, what has to be picked up, whose project needs to be started up – you know, the usual first day of the work week stuff.  Suddenly you find yourself thinking about the other end of the week and wondering when it’s coming?

Next it was Tuesday, then Wednesday.  Before I knew what was going on, it was Thursday.  ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL THURSDAY.  Ahhhhhh…….

Again, I woke up so happy to be at the beginning of Thursday.  What a wonderful day.

Just like the week before, the day breezed by.  There was another real meal, some friendly competition on the Wii, some computer time, the 10 p.m. TV show.  Then there was no sleep!  Who needs sleep?  It’s Thursday after all, that lovely day that precedes Friday – again.

What makes it seem even more wonderful is that I’ve been giving in to my body clock on these Thursday night romps.  You see, while some people’s bodies are programmed to arise from their beds by 6 a.m., mine is not programmed that way.  When others want to chat their way from the edge of night to the bright of day, I want to snuggle under the covers sleeping until I might naturally awake about 10 a.m.  When some are crawling into bed at 10 p.m., I would adore staying up every night until 2 a.m.  My body lives for those days.

So, that’s what’s been taking place on Thursdays.  It’s such a luxury, dare I say even a thrill to indulge myself in staying up on lovely Thursday, anticipating Wonderful Friday.  My body feels happier and so do I!

So, what about Thursday?  It’s just the very happy day before Wonderful Friday, the best day of the week!