Endings and Beginnings

“It is totally new, wholly unexpected

and almost palpable aliveness

that wakes me on this Easter morning…”

These words, from a poem I wrote more than 20 years¬† ago (titled “Easter 1986”)¬†could easily have been written this very morning.¬†¬† I woke, before my 7:00 a.m. alarm, and lay in bed, wondering what I would write today about this journey we’ve been on together since Thanksgiving.¬† And as I contemplated, I was overcome with a feeling I couldn’t name¬†at first, but have finally¬†recognized: ¬†joy.¬†¬†

To say that this has been a life-altering experience would almost be an understatement!  Some things that have altered for me? 

  • I feel, underneath the daily ups and downs, a constant sense of well-being.¬† As I have fought bronchitis and sinus and ear infections these past few weeks, for example, I have continued to feel emotionally centered and happy.
  • Rather than feeling lonely much of the time, I feel connected to others even when I am alone.¬† I know my peeps have got my back!
  • I find myself saying “Yes” more often than “No”.¬† Yes to new experiences, yes to new friends, yes to risks and challenges.

When you spend much of your life¬†in hiding — under layers of fat,¬†writing in journals that no one¬†else ever reads, pretending that you are fine and happy so no one feels sorry for you —¬†coming out of¬†your hiding places is really scary.¬†¬†I didn’t know that’s what I was doing when I started this challenge, though I got pretty nervous as soon as it was time to post my beginning weight.¬†

I also¬†didn’t know, back in November,¬†that what I¬†was emerging into was a place of love, friendship, support.¬† You have walked with me every step of this journey, listening to my story and gifting me with yours.¬† There is literally no way to express the magnitude of the gratitude I feel.¬† Thank you.

I have been asked if I will continue to blog and/or post my weight now that this 18-week odyssey is over.¬† I will do both — with today’s weigh in I am 100 pounds lighter than I was four years ago.¬† The next 80-90 pounds will hopefully take less than 4 years!¬† I will be continuing on the journey to become the person I wish to be — I’m taking on a new 3-month challenge at my health club, and I still have Run The Flood to prepare for.¬† I do not expect that each of you will continue to read, though¬†I invite you to share — in comments on this blog or via email (or in person!) your journeys and challenges so that the support and positive movement can be mutual.

I also pledge to continue to support hunger relief — and have set a goal for myself to complete at least 60 volunteer hours specifically for hunger relief between now and next Easter (I’ve suddenly become goal-oriented…never expected that outcome either!).¬† That’s about an hour a week (rounded up).¬† Not much, but more than I’ve committed to in the past.¬†

Our donation, currently at $1394 (at the per pound rate of $41), will include the difference between the $3 per pound and $300 minimum donation I said I would make — which puts us over the $1500 mark!¬† WOO-HOO! Thanks to those of you who either voted or donated your votes to me.¬† Our donation will be going to the local Meals on Wheels organization.¬† I would like all our donations to go together to Meals on Wheels, and will send specific instructions to sponsors via email.¬† There will definitely be a blog post with the final donation amount when that is made!

It is so fitting to be celebrating the close of¬†this ¬†journey on Easter — the day we celebrate resurrection into new life.¬† Thank you for helping me to launch a new life for myself and¬†for contributing to those who would otherwise go hungry.¬† May this season of resurrection bring new life to each of you, as well.

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i thank You God for most this amazing

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
wich is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

— ee cummings