Saturday, February 28, 2009

Disappointments and Setbacks

I scarcely know where to has been a batshit crazy week and the hits just keep on coming.

I guess I will go in order of events.

The boy reappeared. Not on a white horse offering to rescue me and take me far far away, oh no. He texted me, the new passive aggressive way to do just enough that it seems like you are making an effort. This was Tuesday night and I had just fallen dead asleep- right around 11pm. The overall theme was he was very sorry that he freaked out (again) and he had some personal issues flare up (again) and he has his family in town so it is hard to slip away and get a private moment to call. He also said he still thinks I am hot and wants to get together.

So on the one hand I know I need to tell this guy to go fuck himself (and I hear you all yelling, "hell ya you do") but on the other hand.....that damn other hand. He is still pretty and shiny and I want very much to play with him. You have to understand where I am at mentally I guess to really know why. It's not about wanting to torture myself (kinda) but he is HOT and he WANTS you know how long it has been since a guy that smoking wanted me? Ummm, never. Not that the guys I have dated in the past haven't been good looking- some have and some haven't but to me its all about chemistry and who cares what the package looks like. Especially given that I needed people to look past my flaws, who I am I to judge? But this guy? THIS guy is smart, and sexy and there is tons of chemistry between us and he wants me. That is intoxicating and irresistible. I can't let it slip by.

This is not to say that I have gone brain dead because a cute (albeit emotionally challenged) boy likes me. I have dramatically lower my expectations and shields are up. I do think to my past year though and I wouldn't want anyone judging me overall on how I have acted the past few months (emotionally) so perhaps he deserves a chance and some patience.

We will see.....btw, 2 days and no further texts but he did say he wanted to get together next week after work one night. Stay tuned BatFans....

Next up- politicalgate 2009

So the night of the Presidential debate I innocently posted a comment about looking forward to listening to a Presidential address I could actually bear to listen to....who knew that would set off a keg of dynamite??

To be clear, I am a liberal girl. Very blue girl in a very red state. I want gay boys to get married because I don't see how we have the right to tell anyone they have less rights than anyone else. I also think women have the right to chose and we need more programs to help people who need help. And yes, I enthusiastically voted for Obama because I want a change even though I live in AZ so my blue vote didn't even count since we are McCain red here. Blah Blah Blah.....

So a few of my blue friends left comments which is fine- and then the right and the left met on the battlefield and went to town on each other all on MY profile. It was nasty and personal and was like watching the Bill O'Reily show play out on my profile. I went to work and by the time I got home there was over 15 comments all more toxic and hateful than the next. It was crazy....

I spoke to both parties and both said they got carried away and deleted their comments so there is no recap to be given. It is just interesting to me how when challenged how some people take the high road and others lash out and cut where they know it is the deepest felt. I know both parties are intelligent and passionate all I call for is for everyone to respect and honor the different points of view we all have.

Customer service nightmare...

Some of you may have seen my FB status go to Defcom 5 this week and here is THAT story.

Once a year, when I get my tax refund I treat myself to getting a cleaning service. I have done it for 4 years now using the same place each time. I always feel so guilty doing it.My middleclass upbringing kicks in screaming that as I am perfectly capable of cleaning my own damn house that I should do so. Well fuck that, I like getting a maid so I treat myself....let's face it. It is the only way the bathroom will ever be really really clean or the floors will get scrubbed.

So I call and book a cleaning for Thursday. I get a confirmation call on Monday telling me they will follow up on Wednesday to confirm the time. Perfect. I get home on Wednesday and remind myself that I need to put my keep out for the cleaning team when it hits me I never got a call and as I do not live in the highest end neighborhood I did not want to leave a key under the mat for no reason. So I called and they confirmed. No problem but a little annoying I had to call and follow up.

I leave the key under the mat in the am and leave excited at the thought of coming home to a clean house.

I get a call from the maids after I get to work confirming again what I had called to confirm last night. Fine, thanks. Then I get another call where they tell me they are going to send a 3 person team instead of 2 which will cost more but since they will finish quicker it will all shake out, is that ok? Ummm, no. How about you just send me what I booked and not bait and switch me. Then I get call #3 from them telling me they are running late is that ok? I explain that I am at work so as long as it is done before I get home I don't care and stop calling me unless it is urgent!

So I get home.

I look under the mat to grab my spare key. I look. And look. No key....I am freaked out and furious instantly. I unlock my door only to find out it is already unlocked.

I burst into my house and nearly trip over the chair they left in the middle of my floor after stumbling over the rug they had wadded up on the floor. I do a quick scan and while every single thing in my house is not where it is supposed to be nothing seems to be missing.

I call the service and get the owner on the phone. He asks what my keychain looks like and he says he is holding my key and he had just left a vm for his team to ask why they had it and now he knows. He asks me to explain what happened on my end and as I am talking to him I am inspecting my house. Blinds were opened but not dusted (and left all jacked up) sinks were not cleaned. Their dusting method was to swipe around things but not actually move them. The more I saw the madder I got. Needless to say I did not pay for this service, will not be using this service again and I chewed the owners ass until I was kicking a dead horse.

When will people learn to not fuck with me? When that day comes my life will get much better...

And speaking of people fucking with me here is the grand finale of my week.

My diet left me.

I did not leave the diet it left me.

You may recall that I mentioned the diet program was going through changes just as I hit my month of maintenance. What happened was the 2 docs who former Smart for Life split and one took the cookies and is now selling them online (Dr. Siegals Cookie Diet). These are the same cookies I was on but 1200 instead of 800 calories cuz you can't sell a low cal diet like that without direct doctor's supervision. Smart for Life became Natural Weight for Optimized Living and they had to come up with all new product. When I was informed about this I naturally was concerned and they assured me that they could get the old product and continue to help me reach my goal. So I did the maintenance thing and then on 2/8 came back and started the new cookies.

They did not work for me.

As it turns out they are still tweaking their formula and the side effect is the new cookies have too much fiber and caused major constipation issues for me. I would have to take a bunch of laxatives which made me sick and crampy pretty much all month. You can even look back at my blogs and see how my mood and energy have steadily gone down hill all month.

So I have been hounding the center director to call me and talk to me about getting the old product and after many many calls I finally got ahold of her yesterday. She was very defensive about the product and their efforts to fix things and talked over my the whole convo and then she said they are legally not able to supply me with the old product and the only place I can get it from now is New York (and I'd have to pay shipping to get it of course).

So after 10 months and more than halfway to my goal my diet program left me. I didn't quit it- it left me.

My options now are this:

1. get the product from NY at double the cost

2. go on the Dr Siegel cookies which are more calories

3. do what I was doing while on maintenance and do the rest on my own

I am mad, frustrated, freaked out and anxious. I feel like I have been floating on a raft on a lake and now my raft was taken away and I am a long long ways from shore and not a strong swimmer.

I don't know what will happen next.

What I do feel certain about is I probably won't hit my goal by June, which is fine but now its all a big question mark. This is a huge set back and I don't know what is going to happen next.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

That's just BS

Two things are rolling through my head right now. One is the emotional roller coaster I went on this past week as I let myself get super excited about a boy only to have him flake out on me- for the second time.

The second is addiction- I have been TiVo'ing the series "Sober House" about a bunch of reality-celebs getting out of rehab and struggling to live in the real world now as sober individuals.

What ties these two things together is they both come down to just a bunch of BS....belief systems. I have mentioned before that I have taken a lot of leadership development classes and this comes directly from Rapport Leadership International (I want to give credit where credit is due). We all have our BS that we drag around with us. Our belief systems talk to us constantly. They tell us who we are, what we deserve, what we can and can't do. They are the little voices that whisper things to us. They can be disgusting, evil bastards that tell us- we can't, you don't deserve, you aren't worth it.

Or they can lift us up- you can, you are, you will. It all depends on what your BS looks like.

Oh, and you didn't get you BS on your own. For that- you can blame your parents.

You grew up and as you did you were taught or had passed to you your parents BS. Yep, blame away- they did it to you. However, before you go to far blaming your parents please realize they the same thing happened to them. They got -their-BS from their parents, and so on and so on. The BS we were given as a child from our parents (or even siblings) got hard wired into us. It is part of our most basic and carnal identity of ourselves and all our constructs about who we are and what we are capable of go back to this BS we have about ourselves.

I have so many friends who believe, because of their BS about who they are, deep in the heart of hearts they KNOW that they are only ever gonna earn "x" income. They only are ever gonna live in "x" size house. They are only ever gonna have "x" achievement in their lifetime and they are ok with that. It is the box they live in and it is their comfort zone which is consistent with their BS system. If it wasn't within their BS system those little bastard voices would be doing their work to bring you down to where they think you should be.

This is why getting out of your comfort zone is so uncomfortable- it pisses off your BS and when they get pissed they get evil. They are the ones that make you feel sad and insecure and they are the reasons you sabotage yourself and get in your own way. Do what they say and you will be comfy but will never grow and never have the hopes of changing your BS to include a different idea of yourself.

Yes, you can change your BS. Those addicts I was watching last night are making different choices that are driving their BS (that they are addicts and powerless over their disease) crazy and when your BS is challenged all kinds of emotional drama gets shaken lose. To change your BS you have to recognize where it came from, acknowledge it and understand it and then know that you can choose to listen to it OR make another choice. Sound easy? It's not. This is the hardest thing to do in the world and this is why so many people give up and nothing ever changes for them.

My BS kept me from taking control of my weight my whole life. I am fat, most of my family is fat. It is who we are and how I saw myself. Period. It wasn't until I really understood that that box I had built for myself, those walls that I lived within? I had to understand that -I- built those walls. Not only did I build them but I could move them.

So I did.

Some time way later I realized that not only could I move those walls, but the truth was......there are no walls at all!!

(think the Matrix, there is no spoon)

This is a huge huge huge step to take and most people will be so afraid to go against what their BS is telling them that they will never get there. They will continue to live in their comfort zone, their safe little box and that is OK if that is what they want to do. But if you ever allow yourself to climb a tree and get out on the skinny branches you will see the highest and clearest view you have ever seen and know that you are more than your BS and you can do anything.

Not that the BS ever goes away. This week I let myself get carried about my the thought of a hot sexy guy who wanted me. It was everything I want and know I deserve but my BS was there whispering to me the whole time that it wasn't gonna work, I can never get a guy like that, it was all gonna crash and burn and in a very sick, twisted way I was allowing myself to get my hopes up as a punishment and justification that I will never get what I want. I was letting my BS sabotage me and it did a fantastic job. See? This is what happens when you dare to hope, says my BS, now go back to the couch cuz you are always gonna be alone.

I know better, I know I have so many more chances. I also know that whatever is going on with my boy has nothing to do with me- that is his BS at work. He has something holding him back, sabotaging him from getting what he wants and for that I feel very very bad for him.

I learned the whole "that had nothing to do with me" lesson when I was living in Chicago. I was doing the online dating thing and met this guy who lived in the city. We talked and hit it off. He was flying back from a business trip and I took the train (I lived in the suburbs) and met him at the train station. He picked me up in his town car (complete with his own driver) and we went to his brownstone. We got a bit cozy and then walked a couple of blocks to this Chinese place around the corner. He got very weird when we were walking and saw his pants in the window of his dry cleaners and started freaking out that he needed those pants for a meeting right? We get to the restaurant and ordered and he was way fidgety. He got up suddenly, said he had to make a call and walked outside. I sat there. And waited. A few mins later the waitress brought over a note from him. It said "I can't do this" and had $100 cash in it.

I was mortified. Horrified.

I bolted just as our food was brought out. I paid and told them I didn't want the food, they tried to wrap it up for me but I just had to get away from the scene of the crime asap. I got in the taxi and gave the driver the rest of the $100 as a tip. I didn't want his money and felt like a cheap dirty whore. I got to the train station and called him leaving a scathing message then ripped up his number (for my own sanity so I was never tempted to call again) and got on the train to go home.

A few days later after the initial sting wore off I realized that the whole ugly scene had utterly nothing to do with me. It could not possibly have been me, he didn't even get to know me. Whatever went down that night was all his crazy BS and with that I could let it go and save the lesson I learned but let go of any other feelings about the experience.

So that is today's lesson kids....spend some time thinking about those voices that tell you no and realize that is all just a pile of BS and then, make a different choice!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Blah Blah Blah Theory

Ok kiddies, gather 'round cuz Aunt Tracey has a VERY important lesson for you all to learn. I can't take credit for it, that goes to a college friend but I have incorporated this lesson into my life and while it does not fix things sometimes it just helps to put a label on things...

Ready? You may recall back in December I wrote a little post about a couple of guys I had dated and one in particular really got my hopes up....let's call him Bob (cuz that is his name). In my post he was Bachelor #3 and we had a great date, lots of chemistry and made plans to see each other again. Then the next day I get an email saying he has no intention of ever seeing me again. Total bummer but I got over it and while I have thought of him occasionally I had pretty much gone about my business and that was that....or at least it was until Sunday.

On Sunday I am checking my online profile. I have kept it up but don't really do anything with it...and lo and behold, guess who checked my profile? Yup, my hot sexy date from last November. It was cool to see him so I shot him an email saying hi and wishing him well. He replied and we ended up talking and he apologized for "freaking out" before and said he freaked, then felt like an ass for freaking out then was to embarrassed to apologize but has kept my number this whole time and was just waiting for the right time to get back in touch. He said he thought I was sexy and complimented me on my progress since I saw him last as he had been looking at my pics. We talked about what we are looking for- something fun and casual and no drama. Just hang out until it doesn't feel good anymore but be respectful of the other person....basically he showed up out of nowhere and offered me my ideal situation on a silver platter.


We had made plans to go out on Wednesday (hence my happy status updates) but he got called to go out of town on business so we rescheduled for Friday (as in tomorrow). We spoke Tuesday night and all was good. Yesterday I sent a few texts and got one at the end of the day saying he was beat and would call today- no worries, he is working, I totally get it. So today I get a text that he can't do this, sorry things got so serious and oh yeah, he is going to be gone for 3 weeks but we are friends and don't be upset.

I am waiting for him to call to explain this sudden change so while we wait for this to play out let me tell another story....

There is a girl named Jenny. Jenny dated and lived with this guy for over a year. They had a bad break up and she moved out. Several months after she moved out she had some need for her set of spare car keys and realized she had left them at her ex's place. She calls over to ask if he has the keys....yes he does. She asks if she can swing by and grab she can't. WTF? Why not she asks? Because I am going to keep them he says. Why? Are you ever going to drive my car again says she? No, he says. So why do you need my keys? Just because I want them- is his answer.

Ok, step over to the large white board with me if you please.....

On the one side you have a girl and car keys. She needs the keys. He has the keys. He does not want her, but wants to keep the keys.

The gap in logical thinking this example shows is the blah blah blah theory.

I have your keys. We broke up. blahblahblah....I am keeping your keys.

SOMEWHERE there is a reason that makes sense to him. Somehow those things are logical, make sense to the point where it seems no explanation or clarification is needed.

This is the blah blah blah theory. That missing bit of logical that connects bewildering acts.

Back to me....went out with you, think you are hot, kept your number, have had hot steamy convo's and texts all week long....blahblahblah....this is too serious we are friends don't be upset.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lap Dance Anyone?

Laps are handy....I say this because having one is rather new to me and I am quite enjoying it. I mean...there's all kinds of things you can do with them. You can set things on them. You can use them as a desk. You can set your hands ontop of them when you don't have a better place for your hands to be... they are great and I highly recommend them.

It's true. I have discovered the wonderful world of laps- just one more thing you can add to the list of new experiences I have gone through. For most of my life my belly was a poor substitute for a lap. It had to since it took up all the room that a lap normally occupies. Belly's are not as good for writing things on, much to soft and squishy. They do a fine job of a place to rest your hands however yet it is not the same pleasure I get from being able to sit up straight and fold my hands neatly in my lap (Miss Manners would be so proud of me).

So I am happy to join the ranks of those who knew this wonderful world of laps- its great to finally be here.

And now that I have room in my lap...I wanna know more about the dances you can apparently do in them. Anyone??


Week One- again

Where to begin...

For those of you who are paying attention to details you will already know that I have now gone over 100 blog entries. I don't know what is significant about that other than it is odd to think of how much of my life has been poured into those 100 entries. They contain an ocean of tears, a mountain of pain and a ravine of confusion. But they also have a beacon of light shining straight through them all and that light is a cord that has connected me to you all and that has given me so much strength. I thank you for that and only hope you feel like you have gotten something out of it in return.

In fact, I was going to mention to everyone, please feel free to leave comments on this blog. Many of you ping me on Facebook but you can leave any thoughts, comments, questions here as well. I am sure you have had some questions or maybe wanted to know more about something I mentioned....ask me here. You might be helping someone else out my asking.

So I am back on the diet full strength and this was week one. I think I mentioned before that the program I am on was called Smart for Life and has since changed its name and products around and is now known as Natural Weight for Optimized Living.

They are still in transition on alot of things but I can say that the cookies are much tastier now. They are smaller and you get more of them and they have more nutrients in them so I am taking fewer supplements, which is good. My favorite flavors so far are the PB&J, the chocolate muffin top and reg old chocolate chip.

Part of being on break was it was also a chance to let my body reset before the final charge to the finish so I had my blood checked last week and just got my labs results back.

When I started the diet my cholesterol was 240 and now is it 163 (normal is under 200) .

My LDL was 166 and now it it 115 (normal is under 130).

My HDL was 20 and is now 34 which is still low..should be over 45.

Triglycerides were 163 and is now 85 (normal under 150).

Also- while I was on my break I still lost 13 lbs of fat and gained 8lbs of muscle for a total overall loss of 8lbs.

So as much as it is exciting to talk about buying new clothes- and it is, I ended up going back to the store and buying a few more shirts. Remind me to talk more about this later....The bigger picture is I am clinically MUCH healthier than I have probably ever been in my life.

In fact, on the heels of this good news I checked in with my lymphodema therapist and told her where I was at with the diet and how much physical activity I had been doing. She said I could begin to cut back on wrapping my legs every night to 3-4 per week and see how my legs do with that.

I have been skipping every other day this week and I have to say it feels very very odd. I have kept them wrapped 24/7 since last July and have grown accustomed to the bound-up feeling. It's a pain but also oddly comforting. When I slipped into bed with bare legs touching my sheets it felt like I was being very naughty and breaking some kind of major rules! It was actually hard to sleep at first it just felt so odd. I can only think that it is like an animal that is on a leash, you can take the leash off but for awhile it won't move, still feeling the ghost of the leash around them.

I am happy to report though that so far so good with the every other day thing. There has been no swelling at all when I leave them unwrapped and I am going to check back with my therapist in a month and if it is still doing well maybe I can scale back even more!! I am still wearing the compression stockings during the day because as nice as it is that I can relax my routine a bit- this is still a chronic disease and I will never be fully rid of it. But that's....ok.

It feels weird to be back in the grind of doing my daily routine with the cookies. I get 3 bags of them for my daytime eating. I did well with exercising during the break (35 mins a day on the treadmill) the doc doesn't want me to drop that so I am doing 10 mins a day while my body gets used to the new cookies and I will ramp back up to where I was. Because of the exercise I do eat some extra protein during the day. I have either 2 oz of deli meat or a cup of tuna before I go home and get on the treadmill. Then my dinner is the same as it was before 6 oz of lean protein and 2 servings (1 cup) of veggies.

So after being back on the diet for a week where am I at? I lost 10 lbs this week and am now 244lbs down 175lbs total.

It's crazy. Totally crazy.

I don't know what is was about taking a break. If it was a physical rest or a mental rest but I feel such a major shift now and my body looks so different. That's why I went a bit overboard buying a few new clothes but I can't keep wearing my 26/28 clothes when I am now a 14/16 without looking at best sloppy and at worst homeless. I flat out refuse to buy a new jacket (I live in AZ after all) but the one I have literally falls right off me....what can ya do?

So that is my down and dirty update....there will be a few more sub-postings to come but this is the high level stuff.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

One year

Happy Anniversary to my little blog! It's been a year now that I have been floating out my story for those who care to read along and share my experiences. To celebrate I went back and re-read my first couple of entries (feel free to do the same, go ahead, I can wait). I was so innocent back then...just kidding (kinda). I had no clue what a roller coaster this past year would be. I may have had some inkling but there is no way I could have known or prepared for the heights and depths my soul would have to endure to make it to this point.

The first few months of 2008 were mostly about losing my brother Troy and how hard it was to get through even one day. The sadness and depression were like a heavy wool blanket that was soaking wet. It was awful and uncomfortable but the pressure of it was oddly comforting all at the same time. It took a long time and a million baby steps to crawl, then relearn how to walk back to "normal life". Writing about being back home for the funeral felt very good to me and was just what I needed to cut that final silken cord and move ahead. Not that I will ever be over it and I will always love and miss my brother but it doesn't feel like an anchor I am shackled to anymore. Now I carry him in my heart and I know he is around me and everyone who loves him, protecting us the best way he can.

It's way crazy to me now to look back at the first weeks of my diet. So much of the first few months were about my lymphodema. Finding out what it was, fighting to get the correct medical care and therapy for it, learning how to maintain it and learning to live with it. That alone has increased the quality of my life 1000% percent. Now I can wear cute shoes. I don't have to shuffle when I walk because I have a spring in my step I could have never got before- I can still hear the shuffleshuffle sound my damn flip flops made when I walked and feeling like my legs weighed 300 pounds each. Ahhhh, if I had only known then what it tooks months to figure out.

I think so much of my frustration of being asked the "how do you feel?" question in the early days was that the lymphodema was such a huge hurdle to get over and get under control. At the time I had no way of knowing that it was such a major issue and would be so important to my health to get under control. Now I am free in a way I never even would have thought possible a year ago. The fact that I now look forward to my 30 mins on the treadmill is incredible to me. I never ever ever would have seen myself as a person who looked forward to exercise. But now I do....crazy stuff.

The diet itself is much more of an emotional challenge then I have ever really let myself think about. I have been in such a hard core "execute" frame of mind that I haven't allowed myself the time to really think about what it has taken to keep my focus on this when god knows a hella lot of other stuff was going on and could have distracted me. For the first time I really made my health the number one priority in my life and everything else had to come second, it just had to. This diet required me to not just restructure my life but start from scratch and rebuild. That is why I sought out such a strict program. I needed a very clear, black and white plan to follow. THIS is good, THIS is gray area. And I was so good about following it because I literally did not know what else to do. Every food choice I have ever made was wrong and I couldn't trust myself to make any choice other than what they told me so- that's what I did. I really didn't know any better way so I picked a program and full all my faith and trust into that it would work and get me the results I wanted and -it's worked. In fact, it's funny to say this now but my original goal on day 1 was to lose 100 lbs in a year. I always wanted to keep a realistic expectation about my goals and when I hit that goal in 4 months it really was incredible. I haven't done a very good job of praising myself for the work I have done but looking back I say- way to go me!!

People still ask me about cravings and I still have them. Oh man do I have them. I would fricking LOVE to go to Cheesecake Factory right now (less than 2 miles from my house mind you) and get a slice of their snickers cheesecake. Hell, I'd love to just go get a shake from McDonald's for that matter. I know I will always want that stuff but the question I do now, and will continue to ask myself is- is it worth it? And as much as I want it, and I do, if I had a whole tray of shakes in front of me right now I would not touch one. I can't. I really can't. I am terrified that if I slip just a little- everything I have done will unravel. This might be an unrealistic fear but in my case it's not such a bad fear.

So AT LAST I can answer when people ask me "how do you FEEL?" I can reply that I feel GREAT. I really do. I feel good in my skin. I can see how much smaller I am and not beat myself up toooo much on how far I have to go. I move much better. Most days when I get home I practcally sprint over to the fitness room to start my workout. I love it. My skin looks great, I have little to no acne now. I do have some hair loss which is common when you drop a bunch of weight but it looks shiny and healthy. It really is amazing how much our bodies look on the outside like what we put on the inside. Honestly the only real issue I have been having is a bit of constipation ( I know, sorry) which is a side effect of the diet and we are tweaking my supplements to help with that.

I look great, I am feeling great and here is the true, great measure of a diet that really really works. I had to break down and buy all new underwear! Everything I had was beginning to have a diaper effect and was not staying put so I went and got all new undies. Bikini, boy shorts, and yes I have even dared to pick up a thong. Jury's out so far but its good to try new things.

I really have to thank you guys for the support you have been giving me. I was a very scary thing to put all this out into the world and it is part of an issue that has showed up for me time and time again- not letting people see me as anything that is less thann perfect. I once did a 5 foot trust fall and before I let myself drop into the arms of my team I had to turn around and say to them "I trust you". When I did it that night my legs were jello and I was beyond terrified. But I did it and they caught me. For you guys who read this I say to you-I trust you. I trust you with my life, I trust you with my truths. I trust you to support and love me and I trust you to take whatever it is you get from reading this and either apply what you chose to you ouw life and/or pay it forward to someone else.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Goodbye Mr. Lyness

Dear Mr. Lyness-

I heard of your passing today from some of your former students on Facebook of all things. There was an instant rush and need to post memories honoring you and how you touched so many lives. It was such a honor knowing you and the world is a lesser place for you not being in it anymore. The rest of us can only in our wildest dreams hope that we come close to making the kind of impact your did on so many lives.

You were tough. You were probably the toughest teacher I ever had and you made no apologies for it. You set an incredibly high standard for your students and never wavered on your need for excellence. Your classes were spellbinding. I can still here the :::clomp::: sound your shoes made as they landed on the top of your desk, which you had jumped onto to demonstrate a point. You stuffed my head so full of things that I had to memorize for your tests and my reward for all that cramming was a beautifully scrolled "Nice Job" in your perfect handwriting on my test.

Even the most uninspired student brought up his game in your class. You brought out the best in all of us and pushed us to our greatest potential. I'd like to think that you and I had a special relationship but I know the truth is that everyone who knew you felt like they had a special relationship with you because you made everyone feel so unique and well...special.

You whole life was spent in some form of service and your mind was more sharp than anyone I have ever met in my life, before or since. I truly hope that you really knew and understood what a legacy you were creating with every lecture you delivered and understood what heights you lifted us to with every comment you uttered to us.

The people of Boone and the students of Boone High were privileged to be the benefactors of your knowledge and we are proud to be the keepers now of your memory. I can only hope and call on all the people who you have touched to honor the gifts you gave to us by paying forward what you have taught us. To do so is swimming in the shoes of the intellectual and emotional giant that you were but we, your students will humbly do our best.

With the deepest love and respect and prayers for your family,

(on behalf of all your students)

Tracey Herrick

Why the Superbowl makes me cry

It's not because the Cardinals lost....let's clear that up right now.

I am not an overly emotional person but I must admit I have a secret that I never share with why not post it in my blog right? I cry at the oddest times, just for a few seconds but I have these powerful bursts of emotion all the time and they move me to tears. That commercial where the little girl dances on her daddy's feet, when someone wins a NEW CAR on the Price is Right (the old school version, not the Drew Carey show) when soldiers come home and hug their kids for the first time in god knows how long.

True, raw, powerful feelings move me and I just can't help but to honor that emotion with a few tears.

The SuperBowl is all about that raw emotion. You bring it, you bring it hard. You come to win and you leave it all out on that field. You push yourself harder than you ever did before because life doesn't give you moments like this often. This is everything you have worked for and this moment will define you for the rest of your life. And fans? We get to tap into the greatness. We get to be a part of "that moment" because it may be the closest WE ever will get to having a moment like that in our lives so we watch....and get to stand on the shoulders of greatness and tap into something bigger than all of us for just one moment.

It's not even about the game really. It's a game, a silly game where a bunch of dudes chase a ball. That's all it really is is so much more. This is why I love football btw, you get ONE chance. Go out there and play the game of your life. Not like baseball where you have to endure a whole series to get to who is best. Not football. One game. One outcome. Any given Sunday anything can happen- and usually does. It takes us above all the seediness of the game (drugs, arrests, bribes) and gives it honor and nobility and that is a good thing.

I am grateful for the SuperBowl because it reminds us to strive for greatness and proves that hard work does pay off and that it matters to bring your A game to everything you do. Even the performers step it could see Jennifer Hudson take that deep nervous gulp before she stepped up and sang her heart out, knowing how many people were watching her and thinking of her recent tragedy. She let that moment carry her above that and honored herself and her family in that moment. It was glorious and a gift to us all. Even Springstein looked a little nervous and he stepped onto the biggest stage in the world- and he's The Boss.

Like Obama winning the election (a much rarer moment) this is a time to stand on the top of the world and take a break from all our worries and together, be a part of something great, something that we can all be a part of in our own way. We can all be the hero, the Champion....for just one moment.

That's cool and that makes me cry....with pride, with glory and most of all with hope.