Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 - The First Day

It's Saturday morning, January 1, 2011. As I sit in my kitchen, drinking my first cup of coffee of the new year, I remember my first post of 2010. I recall writing that the new year starts when I decide it starts. That remains my philosophy, but I've decided to begin this new year today. It's a choice I'm happy to be able to make. I'll get to how that came to be, and who helped me adopt what is, for me, truly a new outlook, shortly. First, a little history.

My life really did begin anew rather late in 2010. In August, I decided I needed, desperately, to lose weight. I weighed more than I ever had. While I was not morbidly obese (at least to the same degree that I equate with morbid obesity), I was at least 70 pounds overweight. So, I started what I thought was a diet. That diet turned into a new lifestyle for me. I've not yet achieved my target weight, but I'm well over half the way there and, despite a holiday detour, heading in the right direction.

Losing weight was the objective, but better health was the byproduct and I realize, of course, should have been the objective all along. After a bit of a fright shortly after starting the South Beach diet, it became clear that my new lifestyle was paying dividends in terms of a healthier me. I'm no longer taking medication for high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and high cholesterol. Those problems resolved themselves through my healthier diet.

I suppose it was the remarkable change I've felt and seen since August that has changed my attitude about new beginnings and about controlling things that once seemed beyond me. There were external forces at work in changing my attitude, people who probably have no idea how much they contributed to altering my world view to the extent that I started making better decisions. Many, though not all, of these people are friends I've not met face-to-face. They are people whose comments and experiences have played out in a virtual world, through their blogs or other forms of online presence.

Let me start this new year by acknowledging and expressing my appreciation to the following people (bloggers all), whose words and experiences contributed to my “new” way of thinking: Ellie, Phil, Bev, Robin, Teresa, Kathy , Betsy, Tara, and Audra. Most of these bloggers occasionally come by my blog.

There are many others to whom I owe appreciation for their contributions to whatever newfound wisdom I might have collected during the past year: Clay, Joan, Kathy R., Woods, Tom, Karen, Libba, Cathy, Jane, Jim, Vicki, Maggie, Jennifer, Rebecca, Kim, Julie, Anne, Jeff, Joyce, Elle, and (I am sure) others. My wife, of course, if key among them (she is not a blogger and does not read my blog...maybe she knows something no one else does).

At the core of it all, for me, is this: each of us can control one thing and that one thing is our response to the world around us. We can decide what to do, how to react, and what to feel at each moment. Someone suggested to me that the words of Ram Daas encapsulate that philosophy: Be here now. I like that, but I also like contemplating what I can make of life tomorrow. Whatever I make of it, and whatever it throws at me, I can control my response to it.

I wish everyone a peaceful and productive 2011, filled with opportunity and abundance.


bev said...

I'm honored to be on your list of bloggers who have inspired you new approach to life. If there is one thing that my own experiences have helped me to see, it is that just about anything is possible. Also, that it is often our unwillingness to let go of what seems easy or more comfortable, that prevents us from experiencing something new and life-changing - and I mean that in a good way. Silly as it seems, it really is possible to turn life's lemons into lemonade.

YourFireAnt said...

Well, thanks for your good wishes, ya big softie.