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We See What We Choose to See.

Where is your focus?

 

Which way is she spinning?

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Now, as a rule, I’m not really a “holiday sorta girl.” I’m just. Not. It’s not that I don’t love my mom, and it’s not that I don’t feel loved as a mom, but, I dunno, I sorta feel like there’s a great deal of pressure to show and receive affection in a particular way on a particular day, when it’s better to show and receive affection that way – every day.

So, there’s that.

But, there’s also the very real fact that I don’t like to be disappointed, and I hate not having my expectations met. “If I can’t have it my way, I don’t want it any way.” (Really attractive quality, isn’t it?) Now, truth be told, I’m recovering from this “all or nothing” way of thinking, but it’s still ingrained, and it still rears its ugly head sometimes. Especially on: HOLIDAYS.

Fortunately, in my house, we never really make a big deal of Mother’s Day, which means I don’t have to be disappointed.

Well…*suspicious* emotions and motivations aside, THIS particular Mother’s Day was different. It was truly different.

For starters, my 21-Year Old daughter (Hannah) BOUGHT ME A MOTHER’S DAY CARD (yes, with her own money) – several days BEFORE MOTHER’S DAY. It is an adorable card; so her; so me. I love it. She also handmade me a super-cute “CERTIFICATE OF AWARD” which entitles the bearer (me) to – wait for it – 1 FREE HAIRCUT!!

Heck, yes, I’ll be using that.

Ahh, but it didn’t stop there. MexiKen bought me a super cute card that is completely contrary to those typical, sappy Mother’s Day Cards (did I mention I don’t like sappy Mother’s Day cards?) Anyway, he got it for me because the cartoon on the front of the card has a woman in these cute pumps with sparkly stones on the toes. He said it reminded him of me. (Love that).

To top it all off, we took a lovely 18+ mile bike ride up the canal and back, then dropped by the grocery store to pick-up some salad fixins’ before heading home. It was a delightful afternoon.

And that was the good stuff. Got it? Cards. Certificate. Bike Ride. All good.

BUT…what I didn’t mention is, before the cards, certificate and bike ride, we (Hannah, MexiKen and I) went out for breakfast to a place I had hoped wouldn’t be crowded (I was mostly right): Panera. Now, Panera is pretty much ALL BREAD; ALL THE TIME – something I don’t do. BUT, they do have a Mediterranean egg white thing (which I order sans ciabatta bread), and they also have a soufflé (which I can eat about half of) – so, that’s what I typically do.

Except for yesterday.

Yesterday, they were sold out. That’s right, they were sold out of everything my pouch could tolerate. So I had: NOTHING. My family ate (because I wisely had them order first), but I had…crappy coffee. (I don’t like Panera’s coffee, but I didn’t want to just have a glass of water…I don’t know why not.) At some point, I decided that maybe I could try some black bean soup. (For Mother’s Day breakfast….right) but, I really was not in the mood for black bean soup…so I hated it.

And then we headed home.

I was deflated, to say the least. I felt cranky and cheated and disappointed. It wasn’t “fair” I thought. Why couldn’t I eat the way everyone else does? Of course, I already answered my own question, (Because I chose to have bariatric surgery as a tool to combat precisely that sort of unhealthy behavior – at least eating like that every day) – But..that didn’t make me feel any better. Sometimes…like on holidays…I really resent my Bariatric After Life™.  Sometimes, I just want to be: NORMAL.

Fortunately, that’s what pity parties are for. So I had one. For an hour. I frowned and groused and just felt pitiful. It was delightfully self-indulgent.

And counterproductive.

So, I decided I’d had enough of that, and changed my attitude. Yup.I pretty much started over and changed the way I looked at my day.

Okay, so I didn’t find anything that would work for me at the restaurant. Big deal. I had a protein shake when I got home. And then I ambled back to my computer, where I began to create a wonderful video for Las Vegas (which felt pretty good). And then…well, THEN, I decided to DO SOMETHING that I really wanted to do. Something I NEVER would have done in my “Before” life: I decided then and there that we should go for a bike ride, and that is precisely what we did.

Guess what? We had an incredible time.

So, how did I go from pity to party in 10 seconds flat? I changed my attitude….my outlook…my perspective. I changed the way I looked at my day, my options…my life.

Here’s what I’ve learned: There are many different ways you can look at a situation. You can focus on the negative, or you can focus on the positive. You can see only what you can’t do, or you can look for the things you CAN do. You can step away from the situation and look from a different angle or, you can get closer. Whatever you do, in those times when life looks dreary or down, the best thing to do is find the UP.

And that’s why I put that picture of the pirouetting girl at the top of this posting. Because there are always different ways to see things – and, while one is not necessarily “wrong,” sometimes, there are better ways.

Which way is she spinning?

This Mother’s Day, I chose to focus on what made me happy, rather than what made me sad. (And, yes, I called my mama, sent her a card, texted her, post on her Facebook wall – and sent her a Facebook message. I covered all of my bases, and we are going to celebrate together over Memorial Day weekend.)

Now that I’ve told you about my day and my struggles, I want to know what you do when you’re feeling down and all you can see around you is failure or roadblocks? How do you deal with disappointment? Do you get resentful? Do you give into it, or do you change your point of view and enjoy the life you’re given?

I know why I chose bariatric surgery: To live.

How about you?

3 comments

1 Angela hall { 05.15.12 at 4:18 pm }

This was a really good blog! I try to be positive but sometimes people just really piss me off! It takes a while for me to get over it but eventually I do! I can relate to wishing you could eat more at times but like you said we CHOSE this life and now we have to live it!

2 bariatricafterlife { 05.15.12 at 5:16 pm }

Thank you, Angela 🙂 You know, I think it's okay to get pissed off sometimes – that's what living is all about. I'm just learning to be aware of my feelings so that I'm being more responsive than reactive. I am learning to examine my emotions to see if they are appropriate in measure to the intensity of a situation and, if they aren't, figure out what I'm TRULY getting worked up about. This is going a long way towards my progress in recovery from obesity. Hey, if we can figure out WHY we're upset, then determine the reasonable level of agitation, perhaps we'll let off steam in healthy ways, rather than EATING. At least…that's my goal. Thank you for reading and commenting and drop by anytime!

3 foodstoriesblog { 05.24.12 at 5:40 pm }

I have been following you for some time now and I'm a bariatric surgery recipient (VSG). I just wanted to stop by and nominate you for my NEW Food Stories Award for Excellence in Storytelling. You can check out the details at my site … http://foodstoriesblog.com/food-stories-award/ … Have a great foodie day!

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