Another year almost over.

Today offers me a brief lull in life.

No travel, no shopping, no real obligations other than a couple of meetings that could not be avoided, but nothing more to prepare for them, so all is good.

We are in a moment of stasis between festivities.

Three holiday gatherings have filled our lives with laughter and our bellies with too much food. And two more are coming up within the next few days.

Soup, healthy eating, maybe even some exercise will bring me back to earth and help me start to feel better. We bought a new scale, and realized how off our old one was. This means renewed exuberance for the weight loss and healthy lifestyle choices journey we began in September.

I have also realized how much sugar affects me. Badly. Really badly. So, now I have to put out a request to those who graciously provided me with lovely snacks as gifts over the past week and a day [ it has only been a week!?!] that I cannot accept them. Or that I must pass them on to others. And there is another dilemma.

How do I justify passing along something that I have rejected as unhealthy/unwanted for me. If I have reached the point that I believe that sugar and white flour are really bad, and I mean really bad, for a person to consume, how can I condone the consumption of these unhealthy “foods” at all?

I’ll calm down soon, I am sure, but I really have had to explore my own reactions to holiday foods, both physically and psychologically.

I love the texture of those little squares with coconut, chocolate chips and condensed milk – other stuff too, but that combination makes me drool! A butterscotch pudding dessert was served that I had to have two pieces – and I am sure it was dreamwhip or nutriwhip on top, but I just gobbled it up!

I am off teaching dance for another 2 weeks; the ice on the sidewalks has finally been scraped up enough that I think I can go for a walk, but really, exercise over the holidays seems to involve a bit of hand to mouth motions, and maybe some carrying of packages from the car to the house or, in reverse.

And on to 2009…

I cannot say what resolutions I might consider making for 2009 as I have never really followed through on what tends to turn into goal setting exercises in futility.

I must hit a wall, realize that my choices can be amended, and then follow through with self-awareness and a dose of forgiveness for the transgressions that will inevitably ensue.

Moments of self awareness that have helped me make changes:
1 – I have no willpower.
2 – I know what works for me.
3 – I can find win-win solutions if given a moment or two!

How did these revelations help me?
1 – No willpower refers to eating crap [ read: sugar, chocolate, sweets of any sort, high calorie foods, etc..] So I don’t buy it, I try to not be around it, and then I won’t be tempted. I may moan and groan about wanting it, but if I really want it, I must make the extra effort to go out to get it.

I also can work this well when @wtl and I go out to eat. If I really want something I cannot afford calorically, we share it. But it has to be wanted by both and therefore enjoyed by both.

Bad days are when I just go ahead and order the excessive food and eat it all myself! Forgiveness required at that point and a bit of extra exercise!

2 – I know what works for me refers to my approach to life, especially when interacting with others.

When I am planning my own adventures, I have an idea of what will keep me sane, and what might cause stress so if I have to deal with adding other people into that equation, I plan accordingly to make it work for me.

I know I like to be places early or on time, so if I don’t want to have stress around that, I won’t offer to pick up those who are always/often late. Or I plan to be at their place early to allow for that time lag.

If I know someone else’s home will likely have stress inducing stimuli, I will make sure I have an escape plan/ exit strategy established before arriving – just in case!

Selfish? possibly… but it also translates into number 3 in most cases.

3 – Finding win-win situations.

Such a cheesy phrase, but it is a very accurate description of that which can be achieved with a bit of consideration and thoughtful awareness!

Think about what keeps you sane, and think about what the others involved need to keep themselves sane. Find the balance point between the two and run with it.

Having some flexibility also helps, but knowing that you are the better person for considering their needs too can really help in those self-righteous moments!

I am happy to put others’ needs on equal footing with my own, or even on occasion putting their needs ahead of mine. But not always – this leads to resentment or martyrdom! And sometimes it is okay to put my own needs first – especially if it means I am happy and that way much more pleasant to be around!

Maybe those are my main life lessons from 2008 – passed along to you for your consideration.

I wish everyone the blessings of enlightenment, awareness and opportunity for 2009!  May you see every moment with clear vision and anticipation of the joy it may bring!