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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mind, Body, Spirit

Wesley shot this photo of me on Christmas Day, 2005. I have always liked this photo, I like those jeans a lot. I can no longer fit into those jeans and my hair has a whole lot more gray in it than it did then, and I am not feeling as great as I used to. I will soon be at the end of my 50th year in this world, a half a century lived. I'm having a hard time adjusting to some of the things my body wants to do and some of the things I want it to do that it refuses to do. The scales are approaching a number I never thought would be possible, I need to make an appointment with the eye doctor, and thanks to a lot of rock concerts (mostly from Guns 'n Roses) I have to ask people to repeat what they said a lot. My child will be leaving for college in 14 days, I am mentally preparing myself for that and so far I'm doing ok. I didn't even cry at her graduation, pretty good I think.
So, I have decided, if I am going to live another half century I need to make some changes. I have given up caffeine, sugar, beer (not completely, just not every day at 5pm) and sweet tea. These are my over indulgences and they are causing my body to feel less than great. I have started doing yoga every morning, and so has Wesley. I meditate for a few minutes after that, have some green tea, home made granola and yogurt with blueberries and then start my day. I am also changing my diet. I read a great article about the most important foods for your heart and I am including them in my meals, if not daily at least weekly. They include: blueberries, apples, mushrooms, dark chocolate, red wine, flax, pomegranates, cabbage, eggs, almonds, avacado, fish, and garlic. For example, the past few days my meals have gone like this: granola with blueberries and green tea, blueberry, banana, apple salad with almonds, raisins, and walnuts, flax chips, quinoa with broccoli and mushrooms, baked sweet potato and snacks are almonds, cheese and my favorite a green apple with parmesan cheese slices and a small glass of red wine. I'm not feeling the need for an afternoon nap anymore, I am having headaches from caffeine/beer withdrawal, but I can deal with that, and I have lost two pounds in a week!
Now, I am left to think about where I go from here when Wesley leaves. I have been accepted into two great guilds this year and I need to work really hard to have enough for those shows. I think I know where my work is headed, at least for now, although sometimes that self doubt comes creeping in. There are so many potters around here that are so much better than I am, and sometimes I feel like it's ridiculous to try and compete in this over saturated potter's market. But I do make something that none of them make and what I make sells, so I guess I'm doing ok. This insane heat has slowed me down though. I just can't get motivated to go out and work more than a couple of hours. Mentally, I feel like I am in a good place, older, wiser, more sure of myself than ever. Physically, not so much. I have spent the last eight years working my ass off to become good at this craft and I have let a lot of things go, like physical fitness. I used to be a really good rock climber, white water paddler and backpacked all the time. Pottery is hard work, labor intensive and at the end of the day after working with clay all day, who wants to go to a gym? Gerry went climbing with some of his friends this past weekend, they were all in their 50's and one of them was 69 and they were climbing 5.8 and 5.9 routes at Moore's Wall. So. I am getting back in shape, damn it! I want to feel good for a long time to come and I am getting back into those jeans by Christmas Day this year!!!

21 comments:

Ron said...

Hey. That is a good photo of you. Growing older has really been on my mind a lot lately. I think it has to do with putting my grandmother in assisted living and seeing all those folks there. It's pretty sad and I kinda wish I could just push a button when I get ready to go. Anyhow....I have been exercising more and watching my diet. I'm cutting out stuff too and have played around with the Paleo diet a bit. I want to be healthy and fit. You're right though, it's very hard to want to do anything after a days work. Or it is for me anyway. I know some people live for that.
I think meditation is one of the best things for good mental health. Sitting just 10-15 minutes a day can help me in learning to be present throughout my day.
Okay, Well good luck. I totally support you 100%.
I hope things go well when Wesley goes off to school. It's good that she'll still be somewhat nearby.

Anna said...

Here here! I'm totally there with you...48 and counting. And lets not even talk about the scale. BUT this summer I've started swimming three mornings a week (1/2 a mile, in my younger days I would have done a mile....oh well.) and avoiding beer during the week at least. And MORE VEGGIES. Coming from a vegetarian that is strange...cause I don't like them much....but I am trying to fix that too.

Remember you are doing what you love. That is success in a nutshell. (Especially if you can make a little money at it!)

DirtKicker Pottery said...

It's amazing what changes can happen in just a few short years. Mentally and phyically my 40's have been a challenge. My Girls left the nest, I ended a 22 year long career and I got a spine injury. Life changed too much too fast. Thank God I found clay :) I think it's great that you are preparing for the changes that are coming your way. Diet and exercise is huge. As far as Wes leaving the nest, everytime you feel sad about it, immediately force yourself to turn the sad into proud and get busy thinking or doing something else. I think you are doing all the right things. You're a beautiful stong Lady (( Hugs ))

cookingwithgas said...

Hey Tracey! The first week is the hardest. I keep telling myself this. And week two is hard as well- but week 3 gets better.
We gave up a few things in this house after realizing how easy it is to reach for the remote, cookies and anything with sugar.
We have given them up here as well along with getting rid of satellite TV- the first week is the hardest.
Withdraws -yes- big time.
But we are reading more with weekly trips to the local library, eating as fresh as we can and trying to sleep more and one day soon start walking again, the first week is the hardest.
I think we are in week 3 and I am losing the craving for sweets, the first week is the hardest.
And enjoying a feeling a bit better.
I have this genetic thing I have to deal with and with a check up soon I am trying not to just focus on the cause.
Best of luck it will all work out in some form or another- the first week..... is the ...hardest- breath!

Hollis Engley said...

Good luck, Tracey. It's a battle. At 64, I completely understand. No time to write now, gotta go out and get the daily bike ride in.

Dennis Allen said...

I asked my Doctor if I gave up alcohol, smoking, and chasing women would I live longer.He said at least it would seem longer.Seriously, wishing you great success with the new plan.

cindy shake said...

When I tell people I am 49 (really, and will hit the big five-oh next year in September) the response since I turned 45 has been "huh, really, is that all?!" GEEZE PEOPLE, I've had 3 kids, cancer, a couple of husbands, several dogs, multiple jobs and live a very FULL life on the last frontier! I've EARNED THIS GREY HAIR, DARN IT! I'm wearin' it and my "relaxed fit" levi's PROUD.

Don't go off of the deep end Tracey and give up those few vices we EARN at the end of each day -all is well and don't worry you're hot ;o) xox

Sister Creek Potter said...

I have not much to add to the discussion--in spite of being the senior in the group so far (74). I have become very grateful for having been blessed with a good body--I did not have the sense to begin to 'take care of my body' at age 50 in hopes of being well still at 70--but I am still well and can take no credit for it. I do think a lot about that button that Ron is wanting to have to push when the time comes. It is just really hard to know when the time has come--speaking from observation not personal experience yet! I admire you guys who are taking responsibility for your life-long fittness NOW! Stay on track.

Michele said...

Lovely. I am fifty as well, and my biological clock is ticking. There are so many things I want to do, and so little energy. I need to give up sugar, but I think that is my only addiction, and it's HARD to let go of. So keep posting about your renewal program and you can drag me along. Then maybe my own thighs will return, because I don't know who these belong to. And I just learned two years ago what a muffin top is - ugh. And there is always room in the world for more beautiful pottery. Keep doing your part in crowding out the mass-produced dreck.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Ron, thanks for the words of support! Growing older can be ok, I look at how much fun my 80 year old mom is having right now and know that there is a bright side to aging. Anna, good for you for getting out and swimming, that is one of the hardest things for me to do, I don't float! Cindy, when I looked at the date on this photo I couldn't believe it had been so short a time, and I have gained more than ten pounds since that picture! Meredith, yes one week at a time for everything! I'm going to the library a lot more too and we are considering giving up TV, there is nothing there.Good luck with the checkup! Hollis the bike riding is working, you sure don't look 64! Dennis, again, I suggest stand up for you :) Hey Cindy, I would say you have definitely earned the right to any dang thing you want! So have I, but some of my over indulgence (mostly sugar) is starting to make me feel bad, so it's gotta go, not worth it! Gay, you make 74 look very young! My mom is a newlywed at 80 so we are all just getting younger and younger, and as Ron said in his post today, larger! The teens at Wesley's school are amazons! I feel like I must be shrinking....

Peter said...

If I could still bend down to count my toes, I would probably be able to remember how old I am... and if I walked every day I might be able to see over my middle! There is an unkind suggestion that I might be 52, or was it 53...? But such things get harder to work out these days! To be honest, there is a sad place that I sometimes end up in where I do grieve for what I haven't managed to do, feel sad about what I have done, and feel fearful of the shortness of the time that might be ahead! It would be delightful to have the sunny optomism of a 7 or 8 year old, with those long, long adventurous days! With a twinkle in her eyes, my Maternal grandmother used to say "A little of what you fancy does you good!" So, whilst I do sincerely agree with you about taking care of the body and the mind.....I'm off to brew some coffee!

PS... thanks for sharing so much and for your thoughtfulness, it is always a special thing to sit quietly and read your blog.

Tracey Broome said...

Hi Michele, your message posted after I left a reply, didn't mean to ignore you! I have been feeling that low energy as well, and I know it's the sugar and alcohol. They trigger hot flashes and the hot flashes keep me awake and annoy me and if I lose sleep, I can't function. Plus the sugar brings down my energy in the afternoons. I would rather feel good than have sugar! Hi Peter, it's never too late!!!! and not too difficult to grab your lovely wife's hand and take a little walk in the morning or after supper!

Patricia Griffin said...

Pretty cool reading what others wrote. Sounds like we're all on a similar path... My husband's doctor told him "Don't eat anything you pick up and eat with your hands except fresh fruit and veggies." We quickly saw that that means no sandwiches, no crackers, no cookies, no muffins, no french fries, no pizza, no big slices of cheese... you get the point. He also said that sugar substitutes are bad news. They actually can make you hold on to fat.
Anyway, we're on month 2... Even though the doc's advice was for him, we're both doing it -- and I feel great. Am also off of Diet Pepsi, which I love, love, love.
Wesley is going to do great at school. You'll be so happy for her that your happiness will overcome your feeling of loss.... Yea, right... I missed my boy so much at first. Now I'm so over it, and having a blast being me without the constant "mom" role. Plus he's so happy in his life and it's such fun to hear about it. Just got hired as a Disney story artist and it's everything we used to hope for him.
Wow, I'm going on and on tonight... We'll all have to post pictures of ourselves at Christmas in our favorite fit-again jeans!

Linda Starr said...

You look peaceful and reflective in that photo. We gave up sodas, sweets (except occasionally), fast food, and beef more than 15 years ago, but you'd never know it to look, hard physical labor, stress, and medical problems took their toll; seven doctors couldn't find out I had a low thyroid; once I gained weight I can't seem to loose it, harder to loose since I can't exercise like I used to before my back injuries, but I can't go back only forward, if I had the money I'd have liposuction or something to start fresh again. At sixty one I don't have any jeans, just my elastic wasted pants, Ha. You'd think a year long gluten free diet I'd loose weight, nope. Now we have two meals a day instead of three, breakfast and a late lunch with vege snacks. We swim every day (in season) and started riding bikes here; this week Gary's knee is giving out, he thinks motorcycle injuries contributed; Day trips and a day at a time keeps us going. I keep Ron's button handy just in case. If folks are buying, keep making, and be sure to enjoy what you can now and be kind to yourself, Wesley going off to school is an ending and a beginning for both of you all at the same time.

Tracey Broome said...

Hi Patricia, first of all, your son sounds like an awesome person, what a cool job he has! I had read about the sugar substitutes a while back, I have never been able to use them anyway, can't stand the after taste they leave. We already eat lots of fruits and veggies since that is about all Wesley will eat anyway, so it's definitely the sugar I need to leave off, mostly the beer calories! Hi Linda, Gerry and I have those old war wounds too, but biking and swimming should be good low impact activities for you guys. Sounds like you are making the effort to stay healthy, good for you!

gz said...

Looking forward to seeing you back in those jeans!
What did I do at your age? Moved from a city to the village where I'd get back to gardening and potting properly and where I'd eventually meet my soulmate (unfortunately recently he died, but the time we had was marvellous)
You need balance; stillness and movement.

UpUpAndUp said...

I suffered the empty nest syndrome pretty bad for a while and it comes back for a few days after long visits (my eldest and his wonderful wife were with us for 6 weeks this summer for the American Dance Festival in Durham).

However, I really love having adult children. They're a whole new thing - not children exactly, not like friends - something like a lot of close relationships but still different. Mine give me great advice and I can always use that from someone that loves me. They help us grow. Many good times are still ahead.

UpUpAndUp said...

Ooops, I did not mean to appear anonymously. Upupandup is David Freeman and I'm a bit of a luddite so I haven't got my picture up yet.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey GZ, great advise, and I am doing the balance, stillness, movement thing, it seemed I instinctively knew I needed it, and sorry for your loss :)
David! hi, how are you?! I agree, I get great advise from Wesley all the time and we are forming a new and interesting relationship that I like very much.

ang walford said...

heart on your sleeve again trace :)) love it! enjoy the new regime and your art too!!!

Tracey Broome said...

Yeah, time to purge a bit! Feeling good though :)