It's snowing here. We've got about 4 inches. In Buffalo, this would be to laugh at -- but here, where road clearing is less reliable, drivers are even less reliable than that, and the roads in the hills and hollers don't get cleared (or more likely, melted) for days and days, this is a big deal. There are accidents on I-40, things in Knoxville, down off the mountain, are all closed up, and when I went out a few minutes ago to the grocery store and bank, there weren't very many people out and about. I've never seen Kroger's so empty. When I went in, I parked by a car left with its lights on. I told the customer service desk, but they didn't announce it. When I came out, the lights were still on, but it seemed to me they weren't quite as bright. So I was a good Samaritan and turned them off. Glad the car was unlocked, and there was no alarm on it!
Back porch (this was last month -- I brought that pot in so it wouldn't freeze & crack)
Front porch -- again, this is last month -- the wind wasn't blowing just the right way this month, so it doesn't look like this today.
And off the porch to the front yard, which looks almost just like this, except even though I shoveled the path, there's a layer of icy snow/sleet on it.
A bit ago I went out to the bank and the grocery store, before it all gets worse, as the forecast predicts. All my meetings have been canceled, so the plan is another cozy day at home (like yesterday). I'm thinking of a walk in the woods (with dogs or camera, I can't manage both). I'm thinking of building a snowman (it's nice, wet, moldable snow). I'm thinking I'll do lots of reading and journaling. I'm thinking I'll get to watch Oprah today. These two days off have been a gift, after the stress and busy-ness of last week -- stressful finance meeting, very large funeral for a much-beloved parishioner, breaking in a new parish secretary. Nothing soul-destroying, just busy and stressful, with weather that was uncertain. I love mini-vacations, especially when they're an unexpected gift!
I'm still succeeding (by the grace of God) with FA (Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous). In my first month I lost 9.4 lbs (can I round up to 10?), and I'm 28 pounds less than I was at my all time high last March. Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, I'll be more than 30 pounds lighter than last year by the time March rolls around again. The whole point of this program is not just the weight loss (some people have weight to gain) but sane eating and sane living. Now that I'm not acting out by stuffing myself, I'm having childhood memories of self-soothing with food, and plenty of insights about other addictive patterns in my life. On their web site I read the motto: "I got in it for the vanity and stayed in it for the sanity." That makes sense to me. I'm being pretty honest when I say it's not primarily vanity for me at this point, though looking better and wearing smaller, normal sizes would be wonderful. It's mostly about how I feel, and about my physical health. My kidneys aren't good, and I want to decrease the stress on them. My cholesterol and triglycerides aren't great, and I want to control those. I know that Type II diabetes is rampant in our culture, and I have Type I in my family history (maternal aunt) -- I don't want to tempt fate by overworking my pancreas (produces insulin). I also want to feel something more like I feel in my dreams. I don't mean that facetiously at all, like "in your dreams"; I mean it literally. In my dreams I'm not aware of being particularly thin or beautiful or sexy -- but my body does whatever I need it to do with relative ease -- I can run, walk, climb (even fly -- but I'm not expecting that, truly!). It's just a serviceable body that doesn't obsess me or cause me concern. I don't have those "feet stuck in mud" or "trying to move through water," or "I need to run but my body's too heavy" type dreams.
As far as FA goes, I'm attending meetings on Friday morning, committing my food daily to the woman who is acting as my sponsor, and doing daily reading, meditation, and journaling. My clothes are getting looser. I'm not starving, and not even cranky (though I was the first week). I am more aware of "sharp edges" inside when I'm under stress -- sharp edges that I used to soften with food. Now I'm forced to cope in other ways, and right now the journey's about being aware and finding other ways to cope. My assignment this week is to find a sponsor and to "network" -- making at least one phone call per day to someone in the program. As an introvert, it's not easy for me to just call up people I don't know for myself. If I'm calling for the church, I've got much better at doing it -- I can talk to anyone on behalf of the church, and I love public speaking and small group work. But to do it for myself -- to reach out for support, especially to a total stranger -- that's going to take some practice!
So my doggies are sleeping, precious pups that they are. Buddy's here in the study in his worn leather chair, and I'm sure Clementine is on the sofa, where she's not supposed to be. I'm feeling cozy now. Everyone who can, stay warm -- or have outdoor winter adventures and come home and get cozy. I'm off to finish my journaling and ponder. Heck, I might even start to put away my Christmas paraphernalia!