I think a few things are contributing to this:
- I have grown up and know who I am and understand my place in society and think that it is good. It took me a lot of years to do this. (I ain't finished yet) I have had visits from old friends who lived in HK many years ago. I saw them in November for the first time in 20 years for one and 13 years for others. Speaking with them and reliving old stories really showed me how far I have come (grown) and I have a real appreciation for this perspective.
- I have been exercising regularly for almost a year and the endorphins are keeping me 'up', positive rather than negative.
- For the first time in my life I am really listening to the good things people say about me - and I believe them.
- I am finding out who my friends really are and have started making great new friends. (and letting go of friendships that don't work) I recently learned a really important lesson about friends: I was always hurt in the past because friends would leave Hong Kong. I held on to them as if they were an extension of myself. I realized recently (after 28 years in Hong Kong) that I did this because I was trying to create an extended 'family'. Some are still friends, some are not. Recently I've realized that I don't need to hold on for dear life anymore - I have a family and I'm not needy. I can be friends with people who come and go into Hong Kong because I know I already have my family in place. I've grown up. (I did come to HK way too early - so it's taken me a long while to learn this)
- I regularly go to a really great church now and for the first time in my life - I like going. I feel more positive and more accepted, more hopeful and more grounded... and way more grateful. I have never felt this way about going to church - I truthfully never liked it before. This is a great relief to me that I finally feel this - I never thought I would.
- I really know I am married to a really great guy. I can live with him not being as groovy as me and he seems to be able to live with my inability to do math and my great ability to create artistic clutter. I am stunned every day that he goes out of his way to listen to me and works hard to make me happy. I hope he feels that I am doing the same.
- My kids are doing well and are kind, thoughtful people. I never dreamed when I was young that I would have the incredible family I have.
- I have much less angst and way more lightheartedness when it comes to food and eating. I still am not dieting well but because of being more relaxed about it and eating a pretty good diet overall, I am 1 pound over my weight when I returned from Utah. I had gotten up to 8-9 lbs over, but now I'm back down. I will lose this and be more serious one day soon, but my coasting at the moment is okay.
During this time, I've continued going to the gym and have exercised even when travelling. Pat bought me an early Christmas present - a Life-fitness Cross Trainer. It is very nice. My left heel has acted up (Plantar Faciitis) and it becamse worse from doing the Cross Trainer so much (45-60 min each time) so I've had to give it a rest (and have done the bike at the club). BUT, I'm better now and am back on it for 35 min per session. My left knee has hurt a lot lately.... but what do you do? Just exercise anyway.
Am preparing for Christmas and am really grateful for the way I feel right now.
the picture at right is of me and an old friend, Anthony, whom we have known for 26 years. (Part of our Hong Kong 'family'). This picture was taken at our Thanksgiving dinner recently.