Self-Care Diary, Last Day: Sunday, 11/24/2013

Retro 10Welcome to Day Seven, the last day of my experimental series, Self-Care Diary. All week, I’ve been sharing the things I’m doing to maintain my health and well-being. Thanks for coming along with me on my journey!

So how did it go? Writing this public diary has been a heartwarming exercise in trust for me. No matter how innocuous the entries, there remains the vulnerability that I naturally feel on disclosing both large and small details of my daily life. Awake one night very late, I imagined myself writing very bad verse:

Oh, what will they think? —
All that coffee I drink!
Does caffeine make brains shrink?
Tut! I won’t sleep a wink.
And is there some clear link
Between hearing the clink
Of those cups by the sink
And a mind on the blink?
I’ll just have to rethink.

But truly, I do appreciate having had this chance to explore the lessons I’ve begun learning this week. To feel publicly accountable for my behavior, especially my choices of food and exercise, is a salutary lesson for me, both personally and professionally. After all, I devote a significant portion of my energies at work to encouraging other people to follow their doctors’ orders.

I’m also grateful for being able to write a little about the help I’ve received as a member of Overeaters Anonymous. The language of the 12 steps, recovery, abstinence, one day at a time, let go and let God, all the phrases we repeat, even the jokes we tell, all these words and concepts and stories are like the folkways of a particular time and place. When I first began going to meetings I felt both an instant kinship and a sense of shock. Here were people telling the truth. Here were people listening to those truths. I kept coming because I felt the need of spiritual nourishment. It was the nourishment of belonging. And very, very gradually, as I learned to use the tools provided, I began to heal. The weight loss, over 50 pounds gone, became a side benefit. The important part, just for today, is being able to share the truth.

To my clients and their families, I thank you for welcoming me into your homes. It’s not an easy choice, to invite a stranger inside your personal space, especially if ill health or infirmity has disturbed the natural currents of life. You’ve acted with courage. May I continue to earn your trust.

Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving!

 Mary Ann 

Sunday, 11/24/2013

Breakfast: 1 c brown rice, 1 1/4 c soy milk, 1 oz cashews, cinnamon, nutmeg, and star anise; 4 c coffee.

Social and spiritual support: I exchanged text messages with friends.

Singing: 15 minutes of chanted prayer in the tub.

Lunch: My husband Steve’s Enhanced Spaghetti Sauce on whole-wheat ziti.

Companion-animal love: Dear Ginsberg Kitty, you are so inspiring. As I used to say to Murphy, our previous beloved cat, cuteness counts. But please: no cats on the table!

Dinner: 5-cup Big Bright Salad with minor variations, as usual. (See Monday’s diary for details.)

Art: I love color, and one of my great joys in blogging is choosing colors for text and illustrations. Here’s a new resource I found this week:, a site entirely devoted to color, pattern, and color palettes. You can vote for the Color of the Year. I voted for Harmony, a lovely green.