Thursday, 21 June 2012

Memory Lane

I am so blessed to have three amazing sisters who provide inspiration, encouragement and clarity to my current journey to health.  Over the past four months I have been able to visit all three in their own corners of the world and re-connect over stories of our youth - the good, the bad and the ugly!  But even more important I have come to know them as people - wonderful, caring people who, willingly or not, share a history with me that influences so many of my choices and perception of life.

Facebook has become the corner coffee shop where I can drop in from time to time and catch up on their families and whereabouts, their accomplishments and activities and generally, get a glimpse of their life.  My PEI sister is amazing, logging 50 kilometre bike rides, posting professional-quality photographs and applying her wisdom to learning to live without her beloved Jacques.  My Manitoba sisters are both pursuing healthier life styles with weight loss and increased activity that have spurred me on to continue this journey myself. 

Earlier in March in PEI and again this past few weeks I have been able to laugh with my sisters like I never did when we were kids growing up in our little village in the back of the bake shop we called home.  Our age differences in those early years separated us in interests and life situations.  But, the common ground of our community and parents has connected us on a subconscious level that has only recently risen to my consciousness.  We talk alike using many phrases and words that identify us as Glenboro girls - words like "dainties" do not exist in sunny Alberta - at least not with the same meaning as those delicious squares and sweet treats we enjoyed at many a CGIT tea or church bridal shower. 

Then there are those family traits - dunking donuts, toast, cookies - into our coffee - now, that should be a mennonite tradition but my very British father was the most prolific dunker of all!  My mom has unknowingly passed on many habits that were absorbed into our child brains with no effort.  The morning I found myself taping a bag to the edge of my sewing machine to catch the many threads and material bits from my latest sewing project I had an epiphany of understanding of how much a mother can influence her children long into the future and ever after her death!

With a two week vacation immersed in the past, talking to high school friends for the first time in nearly 40 years in one case plus visiting villages and buildings that at one time were my whole world has provided some insight into why I am who I am.  I experienced flash backs to my own attitudes that served me no purpose but to hold me down and memories of many moments that caused others to laugh or cry.  This was good because through it all I have strengthened my resolve to be authentic in all  do.  It is the only way to live like there is no tomorrow - to suck up all the amzing life that is around me today and to leave the past in the past while carrying forward the lessons learned along the way.

This week, I was able to meander along the Assiniboine River in Minnedosa, Manitoba, pound the pavement in Winnipeg seeing the beauty in the architecture, the waterways and the jazz music on the street and then, in a few days, find myself hiking to the Spirit Sands - the most northern desert in North America - huge strides forward to my couch potato winter nursing my painful knee.  I am elated that I can walk up and down stairs, hike 3 miles in sand and dirt and wander at will in an urban setting of concrete and pavement - all with little pain.  My walking poles saved my joints from injury in the sandhills and continue to impress me with their versatility and usefulness.

So, I head home on our last leg from Medicine Hat with great excitement to see my Calgary grandkids, celebrate my sweet Lisa's BIG 40 birthday and check out how much these rains must have made our little garden grow.  Home always looks good on the journey.

Next, an increased effort to include exercise into my day AND a good look at my diet. 

The weight loss has been slow and will become more of my focus as my body continues to heal my joints.  Eating right and getting some exercise in the great out doors over the next few months will spur me on closer to the goal to annihilate my obesity once and for all!

Special additions to my life:  Melaleuca Omega supplement, joint supplement and vitamins.