A Most Inclusive Prayer
Brother Phil Aaro’s prayer, given during the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshops,
part of which comes from Praying a New Story by Michael Morwood:
Let us pray
Good and Gracious God in this season of Easter and Passover we give thanks for Your Driving Force at work in our Universe that is visible in Your extravagant generosity and celebration of life.
We give thanks for our awareness of this Driving Force at work in our lives, mindful that it is beyond the names we can give to it, beyond the images we use to describe it.
Source and Ground of all Being
Whatever name we use, we acknowledge that everything in existence gives expression to this Reality we call God
We rejoice in a universe abounding in extraordinary generosity where disintegration and death lead to new possibilities of self–expression and humor
We give thanks for the wonder of human existence that enables us
To speak and sing\to laugh and dance\to paint, plan and build, to imagine possibilities
To appreciate, celebrate and rejoice
We celebrate Erma (Bombeck) and others throughout history who have lived life fully with faith and humor.
ERMA BOMBECK WRITERS WORKSHOP 2018
Breakfast Menu at the Marriott on the Riviera in Dayton, Ohio
Thursday, April 5, 2018 – Menu: Free range eggs available.
Can you envision those little eggs rolling all over the range, free and unencumbered?
This thought tickled me throughout the most incredible 2018 Erma Bombeck Writers Conference. This was my fourth conference. I didn’t think I should go because of the costs. I quit my job in October 2017. Since then, our money has been tight.
To go or not to go?
That question haunted me. However, I knew I had to go. It’s life or death for me. Yes, I’m a drama queen, but at EBWW, I do indeed find MY TRIBE. It is like going to Michigan where my family roots are deep. It is coming home. I need home desperately.
So, on that December day, 12:00 p.m. My hands flew across the keyboard. Bam! I was in, as was my partner in Erma crime, Denise Denton Thiery.
Denise thinks funny. I admire her talent. My brain doesn’t quite work that way. I can write humorously about what I know. Denise makes stories up. She tells me she can’t keep them inside of her, she has to write it.
I’m going to try to think more like that. I may go sit in a restaurant and just listen to conversations. I’ll take a steno pad and write what makes me giggle. We’ll see how that goes. At least for today’s post, I did find something humorous in the eggs. They tasted pretty good too.
I reckon free range eggs are easily caught.
Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord – Confessions
Hello Dear Readers,
After a week-end of invigorating, emotionally draining, spiritually exciting and musically thrilling experiences, I can say I’m feeling rather overwhelmed – in a good way
Here is my confession – I am not ashamed of faith or that I believe in God, Higher Power, the organized Cosmos, the Potter, the Wind or LOVE. After this past weekend. I confess, I am wondering what God wants me to do now in this sojourn we are walking together.
Just like every person’s fingerprint is different, so is our concept of who or what God is. My belief is that people should see God in my life without words. They should see God in my behavior and actions toward others. God should be seen in my ability to forgive others, to be kind, patient, joyful, good, merciful, and have self-control. I’m working on the latter, with the help of the Creator.
It makes me sad to think that Christians have been muddied by doctrines created by human beings. I enjoy studying all religions. Christianity is a young religion in comparison to others. Similarities are remarkable. Some Christians may be shocked to learn I respect all beliefs. Yes, I know the scriptures. I can spout them as quickly as anyone. My Bible is highlighted in every color known to humankind. I can tell you the law. I can share the prophets. Jesus did not come to abolish the law – but to fulfill it. What he meant by that is – if we all love one another, without condition, the law becomes life. If there is No hunger, no lack of clothing or shelter, no killing, no imprisonment – the law becomes LOVE!
The song, Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord, from Godspell, resonates with me because of the excitement that we can prepare by learning to love. When the disciples asked when Jesus would be returning, he told them not to worry. As they as long as they were doing God’s business, they would be fine.
God’s business is so simple its hard. Love one another. The Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Watching my Grandson search for his Easter presents was as exciting for me as it was for him! We have good news to share. Love is shared. Joy is shared. Take a moment and share yours with someone!
Here we go again.
Ten years ago, in October 2008, I had surgery to insert a lap band. The plan was the band would help my eating disorder and obesity. I thought the procedure would change my life and health for the better.
It did not.
In many ways, the band made my health worse. In these past 10 years, I’ve had 10 surgeries. These surgeries were a direct result of mistakes that happened in preparing for the surgery as well as the surgeon seeing an issue and not fixing it during the procedure.
I recently discovered the surgeon also placed the band too high. It did not create a pouch in my stomach. Instead, whenever I had the slightest fill in the band, I swelled and choked. Once the fill was removed, I felt better. The problem was, I could eat again – like a normal person, they said. That’s the problem! I’m not a normal person when it comes to what my body does with food.
Where did it begin?
I started the fight with food when I was a young child. I wasn’t aware of it until I was 12 and someone told me I was getting pudgy. I asked my mother to take me to Weight Watchers, which she happily did. I wish she had paid for dance lessons instead.
At any rate, my external and internal relationship with food has been a lifelong issue. I will reflect on the journey as this blog evolves. I hope you will join me in the story as I walk through how small steps can make a difference.
Reviewing ones life is like peeling an onion. The knowledge and awareness is shed by layers. Stinky layers that make one cry. Several years ago I started a blog about my feelings and thoughts about my experiences. I haven’t reviewed them all yet, nor have I added the photos, but I will.
In the mean time, The night before the surgery in 2008, I wrote this free verse poem:
One Last Hurrah to the Fat Girl
Let’s give one last hurrah to the fat girl.
She’s fought and struggled her whole life to make a place for herself.
She never found it.
Sure she’s surrounded by friends and loved ones, but she never felt completely comfortable in her own skin or life.
She is a fragmented person who now seeks to find wholeness and agreement with herself.
So how do you say goodbye to the fat girl?
She’s the one who kept you company.
She’s the one who dried your tears.
She is the one who cuddled your heart at its greatest sorrow.
Yet, now she is killing herself with internal blight.
So where will she go when she isn’t needed anymore?
How does she become the person she thinks she ought to be?
How is a healthy relationship with self, created from the sallow greed she encompassed?
She flagrantly enveloped organs that needed space.
She covered marks of pain with her sluggish waste.
Is she not needed?
Can it be one last hurrah for the fat girl?
What does one do when the fat girl is me?
Will I disappear?
Will I become a better person?
Will I become a harbinger of hope or omen of futility?
I am the fat girl.
I am the one who laughs at herself, ignoring the pain.
I am the one who finds strength in being unacceptably different.
I am the one who knows that her weaknesses make others comfortable and I like that.
Now how do I say goodbye?
Is this really the last hurrah for the fat girl?
What will I do with the fear?
What shall I do with the pain?
How will I see the future?
How will I bear what will be?
What control do I have over destiny?
None, I say.
So, can it be one last hurrah for the fat girl?
She is me and I am her.
We must celebrate our unity and give the cheer for what must be.
Goodbye tired view of reality. Welcome unexpected joy.
For today we must clamp down on what will be
One last hurrah for the fat girl.
One last hurrah for the seeker who will never likely find her real self.
Let’s see what comes next.
Five months of happiness – Five months of Fat
Fred and I have been married five whole months today. In that five months we have been busy remodeling and recovering. I’m ready to move forward.
I went to the doctors today. I have a slew of appointments next week for blood-work and the like as I prepare for a new adventure in body shaping. Oh yes, I’ve gained 30 pounds back since the wedding. Good grief! Now for you thin folks that may seem like a huge amount, but really, it’s pretty typical for me to lose and gain that much in a short amount of time. It’s like my body wants the fat to be there. I’m a carb sponge. Eat a carb, it goes to the omentum (or belly,) just like a beer drinker.
I’m going to start moving again and see if that 30 won’t fall off as easily as it came on.
I can pray for miracles and take action too, right?
Click on the link to read a story that was in the Enquirer. It really hit me.
I think people look at those with anorexia as sympathetic creatures who are dying for beauty’s sake. I don’t think people look at the obese in the same way. We tend to be the ones that people mock and judge as having character flaws, lack of discipline and we should be ashamed. People with anorexia are thought to be sick, they need help. So do the obese. Psychological, physical and wholistic help.
My obesity is an illness that I can’t control. I’ve determined this within the last week and this story validated it. I have spent thousands of dollars and now have the lap band in me and still find myself struggling beyond belief.
A person with anorexia cannot eat. A person with obesity cannot stop eating.
I’m going to see the doctor today to try to stem the tide of the symptoms….again. I’m adding a new program to the band. I don’t know if it will work, but it’s worth a try. I’m kicking back into the exercising mode, slowly, but surely.
The term “mind over matter” is something I wish I could maintain consistently. The mental health issues surrounding all of this is burdensome. I don’t know what it’s like to be diabetic, but I’m sure the people who suffer from it wishes it would go away, but it never will. I’m beginning to believe that’s the case for me. I have to treat my obesity like a chronic disease. It will never go away. I have to medicate it using the current knowledge. Does a diabetic feel guilty for having the disease? I don’t know. Does a person who has any chronic condition feel guilty about it? There is such a stigma with the overweight. I hate that.
Fred and I have finished the “man-cave” and I am really happy. The room is anything but caveish. I wish we had taken “before” pictures. Every time I look at the fireplace I smile. It was hideous before. I hated it so much I wouldn’t let anyone in the basement to see what was there. Besides the mess of the office, the fireplace was disgusting. Now, it’s beautiful. This picture above does not do it justice, but it will give you an idea of what it looks like.
We are very pleased with the results. Last night we played Wii bowling. I beat Fred mercilessly. I nearly broke 200, 10 pins shy. Now the match is on!
As for the lap band saga…..
I continue to be “non-compliant”…as they say. I am going to the doctor this week to start a new 6 month program that will hopefully, nip this addiction in the bud. I am amazed at how many blogs there are about people who gain all of their weight back and then some with the band and with the gastric.
My Aunt Joan sent an article to me about such things back before I had the surgery. I believed it when I read it. I want to prevent me from going in that direction. It’s like our bodies want to be big. We aren’t satisfied with the food we eat and need more and more. I know I’m like a hungry crazy person until I get a good amount of carbs and sugar and then I’m satisfied. But the weight goes up. It’s crazy.
After months, really now years, of counseling with an eating disorders specialist, doctors, surgery and the like, one would think I would have this figured out and be working on behalf of myself….but no! Even being happily married to Fred now doesn’t seem to stop my rambunctious compulsions.
Maybe I starved to death in another life. Maybe I’m just a spoiled brat. Maybe this disease is really a disease that I cannot overcome, much like diabetes, only somehow it’s worse. I don’t know. I wish I had the answer. Of course, if I did have the answer, I could be a millionaire.
I know I have all the power within me. It’s just using it consistently that’s the problem.
It’s Monday morning. Fred spent all day yesterday working on the “man cave”. It has become a beautiful room. I’m very proud of him for working so hard to make it so.
I’m tired for him. It’s like I did the work, but I sat on the couch mostly watching him. I’m in a great deal of pain. I don’t know why. When I get up and move about, the pain gets worse. I know I have fibromyalgia, but this is wearing me out. I keep chalking it up to winter. Maybe when spring comes my energy will return.
I don’t think I’m the only one feeling this way. It seems like winter has been kind of rough on everyone. Perhaps its the lack of sun. Maybe its the cold. I’m just ready for it to be over whatever the reason.
I do have a bright spot. I am writing a letter everyday to Emily. I wrote for 30 days to Marks Grandma, now I’m writing for 46 to Emily. I use a scripture every day and write a thought about it. When I wrote to Mark’s grandma I found my own spirits lifted.
Isn’t it “cool” how when we reach out to someone else, we are somehow blessed more? January would have been a very long month if I hadn’t had the writing to perk me up. That’s why I wanted to write to Emily. It gives me a purpose.
Writing this blog has been a good thing too, although I haven’t been writing every day. It seems that if I wrote here every day I would be “boring.” I’m not sure what the difference is. Maybe it’s speaking from one heart to another heart. I am aware of who is reading so I am more focused. Maybe it’s because I get more of a response and I know my words are read and appreciated in a different way. Maybe I’ve simply discovered even more that I really like writing! It’s that simple.
I also know I like when people ask me questions. Again the focus is shifted and driven.
What do you want to know? You can ask anonymously. Or, you can let me know who you are and I will share my thoughts accordingly. Either way, we are on this planet together and learning everyday how we “fit”. I appreciate sharing this journey with you – very much.
As for the lap band situation. I go to the doctor tomorrow. I’m sure I’ve gained more weight. However, I will say that the “fill” inside the band must be getting back to the “sweet” spot because I can tell I’m eating less. I’m filling up more quickly and I feel restriction, which is good.
Fred is worried that I will get filled up too much again and get sick. I hope not! There is a fine line between restriction and being ubstructed. A closed and swollen stomach is VERY unpleasant. I just want to feel full and not hungry. I’m getting there.
Happy February. 🙂
Another week, another few pounds added on. My face is puffy. My knee is hurting worse than it did before the surgery. I hope I haven’t injured myself again. I refuse to have any further surgery. I will suffer as long as I am able.
Tomorrow is Valentines Day. My husband has been painting the “man-cave” and it’s getting prettier by the minute. I am so happy in my life. I love Fred bunches. But, I’m back in the mode of “I don’t deserve to be happy or loved by him because I’m too big.” It’s stupid to think like this. I know it is.
I promised I wouldn’t use this blog as a whine zone, but the process of losing weight is why I’m blogging. The process of internal growth is a long one. I intend to conquer the negativity. I am going to conquer the weirdness of my own self come hell or high water. I am determined.
Here are my reasons:
I want to be a healthy person.
I want to have energy to walk.
I want my knees to be painfree.
I want to be proud of myself and feel good in my own skin.
I want to avoid any further illnesses brought on by extra weight such as heart issues, diabetes issues, etc. So far, so good.
I want to honor my body for carrying me through this life so well. To think how it has bounced back after five surgeries in two years makes me feel quite grateful. I have to thank it by working with it and stop the internal fighting.
I want people who know me to be astonished at the accomplishment.I want to be astonished by it too!
So far, these are the goals, but parts seem elusive. I guess I need to “act as if” until it becomes a part of me.
I really do like winter. We have about 4-6 inches of beautiful white on the ground. It is pretty.
I’m grateful I don’t have to drive to work in it this morning. I’m working remotely from home. That is a wonderful gift of technology. One for which I am most grateful.
Fred has gone out to GLE to shovel sidewalks. I’m sure he will be home in plenty of time to watch the Super Bowl from the comfort of his “forming” Man-Cave.
The mess that was once in the basement is now officially obliterating the pretty office we made out of Emily’s bedroom. I will get it all put away…….eventually. It’s only been making a mess in the basement for 7 years. What’s another month or two, right?
Sometimes I think the mess reflects my true feelings -inside. On the surface, people see neat and tidy. But hiding in the underbelly or now uppermost region, I am messed up, like my stuff. I’m beginning to think we are all this way. Aren’t we?
Fred is helping me “straighten up”.
It ain’t easy, but it’s sooooooo worth it.