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.

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