Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Discoveries and Unknowns

This has been a week of discovery.  Some of it good, and some of it random, and some of it just plain annoying.  The routine has remained the same: work, some sort of exercise, bed.  Except for Wednesdays, when I drive Dad to work, and Mom spends the day with me.  And Tuesday and maybe Thursday afternoons I drive over to see my aunt after work, and see how she's doing.  Maybe bring her some cash, or pick up a prescription.  This week I picked up some new towels at Target for her.  They go nicely with the color scheme she has going on in her room - aquas, greens and beiges.  Oh, and a really cute white bathroom rug so she doesn't slip getting out of the shower and bump her noggin.  We're all about safety at the assisted living home.

The next project with her is to get her some new shoes.  Heaven help me.  I feel like I must pick them out so they'll be cute, but I also need to rein it in and not get too bossy about it.  It's a delicate balancing act.  We talked about going to Macy's - hundreds of shoes to choose from.  But then she got off on a tangent about going to JC Penney's to get a catalog.  Do they even have catalogs anymore?  And if we're there, why do we need a catalog? So before my brain exploded, I changed the subject.  Maybe I'll  just grab the bull by the horns, take a huge gamble, and order her a pair from Zappos.  Free shipping, free returns.  Can't beat that.  So what we discovered here is that a trip to the mall with her may be biting off more than I can chew.

We (my siblings and me) are throwing my Mom and Dad a belated 60th anniversary soiree.  It was actually last June 3rd, but we weren't all here in town then.  My brother in Utah and his family will be here the first week in April, and so we'll do it then.  We'll have dinner in a nice room at Big Canyon Country Club (hosted by my middle brother and his wife) and then we'll adjourn to another room to be joined by a few of my parent's friends, where we'll have dessert, a magician (my dad will love that), and a singer who will sing a few love songs in Mom and Dad's honor.  My sister in law, Jill, asked if Mom and Dad had any favorite songs.  Hmmmmm.... well.... Dad is tone deaf, so that's a no there.  Except for he always used to sing "On The Road To Mandalay" to us.  Because he's tone deaf, I don't know the real tune - only the awful one he would sing.  I don't think that's a love song anyway - not to most people.  And Mom?  I was stumped.  I have no idea, but that is one thing I need to discover tomorrow when she's here.  What are her favorite love songs?

I am in charge of the gift.  I have the main idea of what I want to do, but I need to ask some questions before I'll really be able to picture the result.  Which makes me a little nervous, because I feel like I'm winging it.  I can't tell you what it is because my mom sometimes reads this, but in a later post I will include a picture of the finished product.  I think they'll both like it, taking them back to a time when they discovered each other, and their whole life together was just beginning to take shape.

During all of this planning I discovered I need a dress.  For the party.  For Easter.  It's been years since I bought myself a dress for Easter.  This made me kind of excited, as I love to get new clothes.  But then I rediscovered the fact that I am a little thick through the middle, and most dresses just aren't going to look like I want them to on my Pillsbury dough boy body.  I'm in an almost-60 slump, I think.  And then I remembered that I hate to shop.  And when I say that, I mean that I don't mind walking into a familiar boutique and quickly picking something out.  What I hate is a store like Macy's.  Or Nordstrom.  Department stores, where the choices are endless, and the hunt is exhausting.  And where I have very little patience.  I discovered I wanted a personal shopper, but that I wasn't likely to get one.  So you can kind of see that this is going to be quite an adventure for me.  If I score The Dress, we'll all have a little celebration back here, shall we?  And if not... well, we won't think about that.  No point in considering defeat.

And after The Dress, I will need shoes.  Of course.  I do like shoe shopping so that part will be fun.  Even if I can't wear heels anymore.  It's less fun, yes - but still fun.

I also need some new jeans, but not for the anniversary party.  I just need them.  Those will be less fun to find because of the aforementioned thick body.  Did I mention that I've lost 7 pounds?  It comes off very slowly these days - every pound a struggle wrapped in sacrifice and denial.  I find myself inventing reasons to get up out of my work chair every few minutes, just so I'm moving more.  Why take only 1 trip downstairs when you can take 2?  Or 3?  Sometimes I'll hop on the stationary bike for 5 minutes to take a break from the computer.  Take an hour ride after dinner.  I've given up breads and crackers and cereals.  Goodbye rice and pasta.  My pasta of choice now is spaghetti squash.  It feels good, and I feel good in general, but still the pounds are so reluctant to leave their cushy existence on my butt.  But I have discovered that nothing happens quickly at my age.  The days of losing 10 pounds in a week are gone forever, but at least I'm forging some good habits, and discovering some new tasty ways to eat.  There is indeed life after Fettuccine Alfredo.

The days are going so quickly, with a lot to fill them.  I've spent so much time without much going on, that now all of these plans and duties are feeling a little bit overwhelming.  Parties, and gifts, and driving parents around, doing errands for my aunt, getting ready for a trip to Boston (pure fun there) all have their daily to do lists to prepare.  I'm also due to get some training at work for some new tasks, and I'm not sure when all of that will happen so it's unsettling waiting for the shoe to drop.  On the one hand, it will mean more work (which equals more hours, which means more money for me!) - but learning curves are always challenging.  While the work load is lighter, I will have more time to fit in all of these other tasks, and, of course, the shopping!  I've discovered that not knowing quite how things will fit together puts me on edge.  I am a planner and a list maker.  However, a little shakeup once in a while never hurts anybody.  And I'm discovering just how flexible I can be when working with a few unknowns.


  1. 7 lbs.- whoohooo!!! And for your parents to be celebrating 60 years is a wonderful achievement- congratulations to them. I know that celebration with all the family around is going to be simply wonderful!

  2. Happy 60th to your mom and dad!! That's so wonderful :)

  3. Hi, karen! I'm just like your aunt. I refuse to go to a gas station unless a smiling Mr. Goodwrench dressed in a clean, pressed uniform comes out and pumps my gas, cleans my windshield, checks my oil and tire pressure and gives me S&H Green Stamps! (LOL)

    Seriously though, as I read this post it occurred to me that you and I are very much alike. I don't like to shop in large department stores where the choices seem endless and I tire easily when shopping for clothes. I am also a planner and a list maker. I don't feel comfortable winging it. I often feel overwhelmed when I look ahead to all that needs to be accomplished.

    I just finished one of the busiest and most challenging weeks I've had in recent years. I got through it by chunking it down into manageable portions. Minute by minute I focused on the task at hand. When you concentrate on one thing at a time you perform better and gain confidence that helps you tackle the next project. Soon, the worst is behind you and you experience satisfaction.

    You have a number of exciting family activities, visits and a trip of your own in coming weeks. The deadlines and logistics involved in making each event a success will test your organizational skills. Try to smile and enjoy the chaos. Anything can be fun if you frame it that way.

    Happy Wednesday to you, dear friend karen!

  4. Your plate is so full I don't think you'll have time to eat! Congrats on losing 7 lbs! How great to celebrate 60 yrs. Of marriage for your parents. Sounds like a good time! I hate shopping too for the same reasons as you. Have a great week!

  5. Hi Karen, you and I are on the same weight loss track. I'm also at the minus seven pound mark, and you described this journey perfectly. Every pound a complete struggle with lots of denial and sacrifice. I returned from Vegas absolutely stunned that while I was there another pound had vanished. Perhaps that was because we only dined out for three meals and ate dried fruits and nuts with a serving of ramen thrown in. What I mean to say is, congratulations on your success, because this isn't for the weak! I also appreciate your choice to simplify shopping experiences. Big stores overwhelm me too. I hope you find the perfect dress! Your beauty will shine no matter what you choose.

  6. "the pounds are so reluctant to leave their cushy existence on my butt"... Sheesh. I relate! Wish they'd go find some skinny girl to bother!

  7. I would go with Zappos for the shoes. I just ordered some for our missionary and he got them and they were wrong size. Easy return, easy reorder.

    Thanks for your very nice comment on my blog this morning/last night. You made my day!!

    I am in denial that I need to stop eating cereal, bread, crackers, etc. (the etc. part of the list is long). I really need to do something because my mid section is winning the race. :(

  8. Every pound is worth 10 on our old selves. You go girl. Show us the dress when you find it.

  9. Seven...SEVEN pounds??? That's fantastic! I'd lost quite a few before the holidays but have gained the dreaded TEN back. Not going to suffer about it until after Easter. I'm with you on shopping for dresses, but luckily I needed one for Grace's christening so I'm set for Easter as well!

    I can't wait to hear what you are planning for your parent's anniversary gift! What memories you are making as you revisit their love/life!

    Have fun in Boston and STAY WARM!

  10. COngrats on your 7 ellbees! That's fantastic! Reading your post just reminded me that I too need a dress. Now I'm completely stressing out. Maybe we should go shopping together to keep one another sane

  11. I'm doing the same thing with my diet. Results are slow, but still encouraging, right?

    As for the dress, I don't like being at Macy's to shop for dresses, either. I haven't enjoyed department stores ever since they stopped putting everything by designer instead of by category. I liked when all the dresses were together in one spot!

    Loved this post, Karen. You are the master of giving us a slice of your life that never fails to satisfy.


  12. congratulations to you in the weight issue - I still living with out sugar and white flour and it help a great deal -- and your Parents - 60 - wow!! Shopping for a dress I have one word for it "dislike"..
    I read up on all your post I've missed.. What a wonderful written words --I like your style - we have a few things in common -- as with some of these other lovely bloggers here..

  13. My goodness, you do have a lot going on - and quite a lot "coming off" too. :) Good for you!


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