In the last 3-4 months, I’ve gone legally blind in the right eye. I made an appointment with the doctor after realizing I couldn’t always read the word ‘Stop’ on the big red sign at the end of our dirt road.
After the appointment,I googled my brand new disorder and found out “..[retinoschisis]… is manifested in two types namely, the senile kind and the juvenile sort”. The blurry vision doesn’t bother me nearly as much as having any part of my body classified as ‘the senile kind.’
I made a mental note to not let the teenager in the house know about this.
I was an easy convert last year to the Ministry of Encouragement over at the Facebook Open Group for Bedlam Farm organized by bestselling author Jon Katz. I’d been fortunate enough to spend the previous year being mentored by Jon at a workshop at Hubbard Hall, a local community theater and arts center in Cambridge, NY, and moving to the group was the next logical extension.
Over the last year, I’ve renewed my faith at two other workshops, by connecting personally with other members of the Open Group, and by trying to encourage other artists to follow their dreams. I’m not extroverted by nature, but something about this group and its ministry overwhelms shyness and doubt. It opens the door to a new relationship with the world. It creates possibilities that may not even have been dreamt of before.
Trying to pay it back would be like trying to pay back your parents for giving you life, something this group and its ministry has given its member artists and writers.. That’s something you can only pay forward by honoring that gift in yourself and encouraging it to grow and others.
I’ve been a committed yo-yo dieter since the first time I realized I could no longer fit into a size 12. That’s a lifetime ago (fitting into a single digit size was in a lifetime that only existed in my fantasies and even those are getting supersized). Yo-yo-ing predates any pregnancy so that the only thing that could reasonably explain my current weight is an unconditional love of snacking.
Today the yo-yo is going down as I start the second day of my forks over knives diet for the 16th time this calendar year. I actually like the food on Forks Over Knives and/or South Beach diets — especially in the summer. They both make good use of everything in my garden, and the recipes tend to be flavorful.
The problem with any of these diets is the recipes. You don’t just pop something in the microwave oven to preheat from last night. You cut and sautee and brown and separate. That wonderful salad or baked fish is a truck load of work with five or six different kinds of vegetables to be chopped, making me wonder if it’s just a coincidence that diet and work both have four letters.
I know it will be worth it when the dress hanging up at the back of my closet zips without any contortions or grunted prayers to the scale god, but right now it’s just work.