Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Mouth is Magical

I am a problem solver.  It's part of my job.  Glasses don't fit right?  I have the solution.  Can't see good?  I can fix that too.  When my kids or my husband need something fixed, mechanical or emotional, I usually have a creative fix that satisfies all of us.  I'm a natural-born fixer.
Today, I was adjusting a pair of glasses for an elderly lady, you know the type, all of about 90 pounds, in a polyester pencil skirt with gaudy buttons on.  She was very sweet, and was kind enough to cram her glasses to one side to indicate to me how crooked they felt on her face.  By my expert eye, they needed to be tweaked about 2mm.  The first adjustment I made had them sitting nice and square on her face, that should have been the end of the story.  But when people become accustomed to wearing their glasses incorrectly, it is difficult for them to get the feel of having them on correctly, so she asked me to adjust them a little more.  With the second adjustment, I over-corrected the tip, setting them low on the opposite side she was originally complaining about.  To me, looking at her, it looked ridiculously low on one side, but she kept wanting to push that side lower and lower.  I reassured her that I would make them fit just how she likes them to fit, but she meekly said that she thought it would be OK, and left with a pleasant smile, unfixed.  Clearly it was not easy for her to get around, she walked slow and calculated with a walker, her boney arms shaking with the effort.  Why was she so meek?  Why didn't she stay and demand that I get them to feel how she wanted them to feel?  I could tell she was disappointed.  And I was too. If she had been making the request on behalf of someone else, I'm betting she would have stayed and insisted the were adjusted to the wearer's liking.
As unfulfilling as that encounter was (I like to be the optical heroine), I learned from it.  Being passionate or sure about what you want doesn't mean much if you are too meek to pursue it. 
Lately, I have been letting my stress drive me into binges, and I am so frustrated that I don't have the wherwithal to sidestep what are turning out to be major obstacles for me.  I know stress is so harmful to the body.  I know that I always find a way to resolve the stress eventually, but in the moment, when I am overwhelmed by it, I succumb to the intensity of the emotional/hormonal response and shove food down to try and calm the internal fires.  And it relaxes me for a while, but it doesn't make the original problem go away.  Putting a band aid on my stress is only a vague form of procrastination.  Eventually, I have to encounter the real issue causing the stress.
Yesterday was another learning experience.  I have been dealing with a personal stressor for several weeks now, and displaying my meekness in all it's glory, I just kept my feelings inside and never really confronted it.  Yesterday, by way of an odd coincidence, I finally got to explain my feelings to my stressor, but it was by e-mail, so I didn't get an instant resolve, even though I got my feelings out.  All day, it stressed me out, the waiting to see how it would be received.  Lunch time came, and I didn't have time to make one, so I came to a huge stopping point, where I had to decide whether to go to Mc Donald's for lunch, or my planned Subway.  The decision tortured me.  The old-hat me said, I'm so stressed out, McD's would make me feel a little better, and I could get some ice cream.  The trying-to-remember-who-I-was-one-year-ago-me said, I have a choice and I have control; it won't make the stress go away, it will just smother it in fat and sugar.  There were a varying degree of other options considered such as getting a salad from Mc D's or getting a less healthy lunch at Subway.  I literally spent ten minutes of my lunch break on the dillema before I decided to go to Subway.  I still hadn't decided how I was going to write the ending of that story until the words actually came out of my mouth, turkey breast salad with spinach, double turkey and load me up with veggies.  Decision made.  Yay me!  It brought me back to a place where I always made the healthier choice, no questions asked, and I was never meek about taking what I needed and wanted in order to make my goals happen.  A seemingly small, quiet victory (that almost wasn't) felt like a major triumph for me.  And the stress was right there waiting for me when I got done eating.   And when I picked up my kids from the sitter a few hours later, we made a quick stop to purchase a basketball, and I just gave in and got a small sweet treat and a bag of chips to share.  I felt like my stress was peaking, because I knew I was going to have to face my stressor very soon.  I ate the cookies and a few handfuls of chips, then a sensible dinner.  Then, a little conversation for dessert.  And in the end, it wasn't what I put in my mouth that released my stress, but what came out of it.  Finally, a deep sigh and a huge lesson learned.  I hope I can remember it the next time stress rears it's ugly head.  Junk food does not fix anything.  And that is something a fixer should know.
Happy Thursday readers!  Hope it's fantastic!

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