Weighty Matters

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Happiness Happens Day

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. – Mahatma Gandhi

It seems like there’s a special day every day.  Take today for example.  Apparently it’s Happiness Happens Day.  I don’t know who decreed it.  How did someone decide that there needed to be a Happiness Happens Day?  Maybe it’s meant to counteract Sh*t Happens, which apparently doesn’t wait for a particular day but randomly and spontaneously occurs whenever it darned well wants.

I don’t want to quibble but if I held the office of She Who Decides What Should be Celebrated On What Day, I’d have amended this one a bit.  Instead it would be Make Happiness Happen Day.  I don’t want to wait around and hope that happiness will manifest.  If, as Gandhi said, what we think, what we say and what we do need to be in harmony, then I want to be the choir director or the voice coach that brings these things into harmony in my life.

I’m going to be the catalyst for my own happiness.  Today has been an excellent example that this is possible.

The weather was absolutely perfect from the very beginning of the day.  I woke up and got ready for Tai Chi class and realized that I could ride my bike instead of taking my car.  Between the knee injections, several weeks of a lot of windy conditions, and then my time in the boot, I have not ridden my bike in more than a month.  I couldn’t wait to pump up the tires and pedal away.  It felt great.  So did Tai Chi.  Oh, I missed doing the moves and the set when my foot caused so much pain and then was encumbered by the boot.  The two forms of exercise early in the day reconnected me with how much I enjoy being more physically fit and actually capable of doing these activities.

But I wasn’t stopping there.  Not today.  You all know how much I love going out on my boat, that I adore being on and in the ocean.  Sadly, one of my boat engines has a problem that will take a little doing to fix, so planning a trip out today was definitely not an option.

Yesterday, I thought about it a lot and knew that I had a choice to make.  I could sit around for the rest of the day, stare at the water and be pissy that I wasn’t out enjoying it… or … I could find a way to get out there.   This morning when I woke up I realized that I could play like a tourist.  I booked a trip with a snorkel/dive charter company in the afternoon.

Oh, how happy I am that I took this action!  It was an absolutely glorious trip to a part of the reef that I’ve never visited before, but have been wanting to.  I spent two great hours in the water swimming around gazing at beautiful coral formations and lots of colorful fish.  Just the rides to and from the sanctuary area gladdened my heart as I gazed at the turquoise and sapphire water or up into the bright blue sky.

On the way home we were approached by a small group of dolphins – moms and babies!  It was close to perfect, I tell you.

I’d have photos to show you but my card reader isn’t working at the moment.  A slight annoyance on an otherwise wonderful day.

Through it all, I also maintained my food plan, including when I got home and made a healthy dinner.

Right now, I’m pleasantly tired, deeply relaxed, and so calm and happy in my head that I spontaneously smile just because.

Happiness happened today.  I thought about what I wanted and needed; I said to myself that it was possible to attain; I did it.  I made it happen.

Knowing that I have this ability, that I can choose and act to make myself happy, is something that I need to remember.  It isn’t something that needs to be limited to just today.

***************** Edited to add photos.  I got the card reader working so here are a couple of photos from the snorkel trip yesterday.

P1010198 P1010200 P1010180 P1010156

 

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Feeling Fit

A couple of friends and I went out on my boat today. Two out of three days on a holiday weekend with boating felt great! The wind was up a bit and the water was a lot more choppy than on Friday but we went out to my favorite snorkeling spot, hooked up to a mooring buoy and jumped in.

Never has exercise been so beautiful. With the choppy swells and the current, I got a workout snorkeling around. I thought more than once how I would never have been able to do this activity as confidently or strongly three years ago. I wouldn’t have had the breath for it, not to mention the muscle strength or endurance. Now, today, the less-than-perfect conditions didn’t keep me from enjoying the lovely, underwater view.

I’m still learning to have confidence in my body. Even though I’m much more agile on my boat and my overall balance is also better, thanks to Tai Chi, I still look to hold onto things to steady myself. I guess it’s okay to err on the side of safety, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to test myself either. Even while I type this, I find I’m qualifying and writing words tinged with self-doubt. Old habits, or in this case old thoughts, die hard. I want those old thoughts to give up the ghost, so to speak, so I’m going to list my physical fitness positives with true statements.

I am strong.
I have stamina.
My balance is steady.
My agility is greatly improved.
My cardio-ability lets me walk/dance/swim without huffing, puffing, losing my breath, or feeling like my heart is pounding.
I move with ease.
Flexible? Yes, I am!
It bears repeating – I am strong.

As simple as it was, that little exercise really helped. I not only feel fit in body, but reminding myself of the improvements helps me feel fit in my mind and spirit, too.

Here are a few of the photos from today’s snorkeling excursion!

Beautiful fish that I believe is a blue tang.

Beautiful fish that I believe is a blue tang.

CP-0706-24 This four eye butterfly fish was a challenge to photograph but cool to see.

CP-0706-13 The grouper did its best to hide.

CP-0706-10 Nurse shark!

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Independence Day

Before I go out to join friends for dinner and then we all come back here to watch the city’s fireworks, I wanted to jump on and wish everyone a Happy Independence Day. I’ve had a wonderful day so far. My friends and I were off from work and had planned a couple of weeks ago to go out on my boat today.

I woke up to a perfect morning of sunny skies and a very light breeze. My three friends arrived and we loaded our cooler and snorkel gear onto my boat and headed out. I had a particular spot in mind, located in a marine sanctuary area, and we hoped to get onto a mooring ball. I’ve said before how much pleasure I get out of being on the water and captaining my boat. These particular friends hadn’t been out with me before. One is an experienced boater who goes all of the time with her husband. The other two are infrequently passengers on boats. All of us were game.

Luck and timing were with us. We arrived at the snorkel spot just as one of the commercial snorkel boats ended their morning trip so we latched onto the mooring ball that they gave up. The water was the near perfect temperature with excellent clarity. I think after we first went in we swam around for at least an hour. Good exercise. I’ll post some pictures at the end of this post but we saw colorful fish, beautiful corals and were right over a sea turtle! When we climbed back on board the boat for a snack we saw a dolphin in the distance! (No photos, alas.) After lunch, we jumped back in and snorkeled for about another half an hour.

At one point while I was swimming, I brought myself totally into the moment. I didn’t just look at the beauty around me, I tapped into how I physically felt. I noted the strength of my legs propelling me through the water and how strong I felt swimming event against the tide. I listened to my easy breathing. When it was time to get out, I felt the ease with which I navigated the boat ladder. Even before that, when loading things on, I’d smiled at how I no longer have difficulty climbing in and out of my boat.

This was how I celebrated my personal Independence Day on this 4th of July. I enjoyed my freedom from most of my excess weight and from struggling to do anything the least bit physical. I was free from worry and stress over whether I’d be able to do something – like climb out of the water up the ladder. Free from joint pain.

I was there as an independent woman who didn’t need anyone else to run her boat and take her out to do an activity. Instead, I was the woman who could take her friends out so that all of us could enjoy the time and experience together.

Thanks to my weight loss and increased physical fitness, I am so much healthier and stronger. I am liberated.

Here are some shots from our snorkeling excursion. Beautiful things to see under the sea!

Parrotfish

Blue Parrot

Corals on structure

We're still debating whether it was a loggerhead or a hawksbill.  I'm not a good turtle identifier.

We’re still debating whether it was a loggerhead or a hawksbill. I’m not a good turtle identifier.

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