One week left of October and then we're deep into autumn around here. Not that you'd be able to tell it by the weather. If you close your eyes, shutting out the golden flames of fall colors, you'd only notice the warm weather - shorts and t-shirt weather - take the kayak out weather. Which I did on Thursday and had the loveliest paddle through the marshes. Ducks and geese are crowding the water around here and there are pretty little white feather boats floating everywhere. The river is clear and only cold - not frigid.
It's been a high stress week, as I had to do something with DH that he was keyed up about and I was conflicted over - but all went off smoothly and, whew, it's behind us now. That was smack in the middle of the week, so there was an anxious lead up and a bit of a crash down. In addition, I am working on portrait commissions with deadlines on them. Plenty of time, mind you - but deadlines, nonetheless. These are fun to do - but my skills at this point are not secure enough for me to jump in with confidence. I've had to do some practice - some warm-ups before I was ready to start on the actual paintings. I keep telling myself that it's the process - that it's just paper - that I can start again if I screw up this one, all of which is true, but those words are merely cheerleading chants - positive self-talk, as they say here on Spark. Sooner or later I had to put brush to paper.
Funny how, as adults, we tend to think we ought to get it right the first time - and every time.
We already do so many things right, we forget that when we started doing those things we made lots and lots of mistakes. Think of the first time you cooked a dinner - or taught a class - or took on a client. I remember starting to play the violin as a 5 year old and how exciting it was to play it. I have no idea if I was any good. I was just having so much fun. Whenever I get that frightened, daunted feeling I try to pull up that memory.
And eventually I plucked up my courage and began to paint. A few times this week I've been surprised at how well it's turning out. I hope I'm always able to be surprised by art, but I'll be glad when my technical skill doesn't surprise me quite so much. I'm about 45% of the way through - still plenty of time to screw up - but then - no particular reason to think I will.
As an antidote to the stress of painting on demand I did a little playful doodling with a Sharpie pen on a pumpkin.
Of course - what does this have to do with trying to reach those weight loss goals I set a month ago? Well - you know as well as I - that this weight thing has many components. The strain of working through conflicts or the anxiety about performance can prompt excess eating. And you understand how demanding we can be of ourselves to get it right the first time. And you know you have to cheer yourself on when you begin to doubt - and to practice the skills you haven't honed to perfection. You've long since learned you have to be willing to try again - to take a break - to be playful. Most of all - you don't quit. On the days I overate - and there were a couple when the over was waaaay over - I just didn't quit. I got back to a healthy regimen, tried a few new little tweaks, just plain kept on keeping on.
And the scale showed a loss - actually showed it a few days ago. I know it's not the only reward - but it is a nice one. So here's how things look on the chart:
Days at points limit: __1_ 2_2_2_3
Weeks within total points:__0_1_0_0_0
Days with adequate water:__6_ 5_6_5_7
Days walked:_6__6 plus 3 DVD workouts_5_3_6 plus kayak&canoe