Wednesday, April 29, 2009

PROJECT LESLIE

Set priorities to facilitate decisions on how to spend time and energy.
1. Me
· Spiritual
· Physical
· Mental
2. Family
3. Work
4. Church Family
5. Home
6. Friends

I am a fortunate woman. There are so many people who love me, and whom I love. They all bless my life in an unbelievable way.

So if I’m so blessed why do I need to re-evaluate and prioritize? Well, I have a few health issues that I find more convenient to push to the back of my mind rather than looking at head on. It is kind of scary to actually list them, but if I do then I might realize how important “Project Leslie” is. So here is the nasty, scary story:

Lupus Fortunately affecting my joints and muscles, not my organs, at this time.
Fibromyalgia Feels like the muscle ache you have with a nasty flu.
CFS Chronic Fatigue Syndrome If I ignore the pain eventually I end up so tired I cannot lift my arm.
Prolapsed Mitral Valve Creates symptoms similar to heart attack, palpitations, vertigo, anxiety
Glaucomito-cyclitic syndrome Scarred eye from something that can reoccur in either eye.
High Blood Pressure Genetic, stress, weight induced.
Arthritis Joints, back, neck
Back Pretty good actually….considering 20 years of pain and surgery.

These are the major issues but there are minor issues that make me feel even older than my 61 years. For instance; hard time breathing when walking fast or very far, sore ankles and knees, skin discoloration, hair loss, and sleep apnea. Currently I have a sore left shoulder, arm, chest and back area and sore left ankle from a fall I took at my Mom’s house.

I consider myself to be a pretty “emotionally” healthy individual, but there are some issues that could stand some improvement, such as; feeling like I stand out in a crowd (not in a good way), anxiety about sitting in an amusement park ride, seat on an airplane or movie, getting through the grief process, balancing my life, time, and money, functioning as a single woman, keeping my home clean and organized, empowering myself.

I recognize one of my strongest attributes is the capability of seeing a problem, analyzing it, setting a new course of action, making mini goals, and moving forward.

The problem: I am becoming unhealthy because my life is out of balance. I am a reactive person rather than a proactive one. I love life and tend to make the best of it. “Bloom where I’m planted”. So…..I love being wherever I am, doing whatever I’m doing, with whoever I’m doing it with. As I said in the beginning I am blessed with so many people to love, and be loved by. Where is the problem? If you call me and ask me to go somewhere, do something, I am there…too many times I leave myself no time to rest, recuperate, and rejuvenate. I need to get myself in balance so I have time to eat healthy (rather than out all the time), exercise, spiritually grow, and get the proper rest.

Jim called me one day to give me a website to look at
http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/. That is the coolest name for a website! Anyway, on the site there is an explanation of Lupus called “The Spoon Theory”. I’m not going to reiterate it here, but it made me cry when I read it. I cried because I identified with it big time, because Jimmy cared enough to find it and understand it, and because I realized how far down I had pushed my pain, and my exhaustion from the pain. Just keep going, just keep going, just keep going….had become my mantra. I loved everything I did, and who I did it with. I just was barely functioning within the parameters I had set for my life. Crazy lady!

To start balancing my life I am going to limit my social engagements to one evening a week (proactively Wednesday, but flexible) and two Saturdays a month. I will be aware of my priorities.

Spiritually I am going to plan on attending the temple at least once a month. I am going to blog or journal several times a week focusing on positive steps that I am taking, and goals I am achieving. I am going to enjoy reading scriptures and uplifting books, and listening to good music. I will read my lessons and get my visiting teaching done early in the month.

Physically I am going to exercise with a friend on Tuesday evenings, exercise with Richard Simmons Thursday and Saturday, and I will walk the dog daily, I am going to shop for food I love which happens to be all the healthy things, I will plan 6 small meals a day, proactively preparing them for work. I am going to start drinking lots of water and I will enjoy drinking it more than nasty, disgusting, aspartame loaded diet coke.

Mentally I am going to spend more time outdoors enjoying the sunshine, I am going to listen to Tony Robbins, Steven Covey, and other motivational movers and shakers. I will plan field trips to cultural venues that lift my spirits. I will allow myself time to keep my house clean and organized which will give me a sense of peace and freedom. I will speak affirmations and enjoy being proactive in my life. I will use all this balance to rest, recuperate, and rejuvenate.

This will be fun! I’m 61 and I can still reflect, adjust, and grow!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Lord is my constant!

A friend recently told me that she had never seen anyone get through the divorce process as easily as me. A family member asked me how I managed the emotions during my recent trials. There have been other questions and comments indicating people are surprised at my survival. Believe me there have been tough times, alot of tears, questioning myself, my life, my choices. After watching.....and totally crying through conference this morning, I became certain that the reason I have survived is because the Lord is by my side, and I am aware of his presence every moment in my life.

When the kids were out of the home I wondered if Bud and I would continue our activity in the church, or did we go as an example to our children. Of course the gospel was a part of our life. Even when we moved to Virginia we immediately found our place in the church. Our life actually became consumed with living a righteous life.
So when Bud left our home I wondered how strong my testimony was. Would I have the faith on my own to continue going to church when no one was around to remind me? No one would know if I went or not. What I learned about myself was that my faith, my testimony is not predicated on my children, my friends, my family, or even my husband. It is mine. Whatever happens in my life or with those aorund me the gospel is true, and I am never alone.
I am so grateful for the knowledge that I AM a child of God. I know my Heavenly Father loves me. My picture is on His refrigerator and in His wallet I have no doubt. I recognize the beauty in this world that He gave us to remind us of His presence. His greatest gift was allowing His son to come to this earth. I am so thankful for my Saviors teachings, His example. My heart is full of gratitude today. I am grateful especially this week for His sacrifice. That He chose to understand MY pain, and die for MY sins. I know His walk was lonely, and because he knows loneliness He does not want me to be alone. I feel His presence, and the ever comforting presence of the Holy Ghost. I also know He wants me to feel joy. I count so many blessings that give me joy.

There are so many angels that respond to the Lord's promptings when I hit those difficult moments. I am so thankful for those who are receptive to His call to serve me. I am also blessed when I have the opportunity to go outside myself and serve others as well.

I am blessed indeed. The gospel is precious to me. Even though my children are not all active in the church, and Bud may not be. I can see the influence that being raised in the church has had on them. They are such good people with such strong standards and ethics. I am proud of them and I am eternally grateful for the plan of happiness, the prophets who guide us so wisely, the Savior, and my Father in Heaven. I am not alone, and I have so much to be happy about, and so much life to live. Even though it isn't the life I planned. We aren't able to control everything about our lives, but there are so many choices we can make, we have power to BE!