Rants, Ramblings and General Diary of Juliana Wathen

Posts tagged ‘health’

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Diving in Naked

It was early morning on Padre Island and I had already decided to get on the road and make the 6 hour drive home to Houston after ringing in the New Year with one of my oldest and dearest friends on South Padre Island. The weather had not been our best friend this trip, high winds, cold temperatures and rainy skies had kept us from venturing out too much. The low hanging clouds had engulfed the island in a blanket of gray with only brief moments of sun light streaking through every now and again. In retrospect, it was a blanket I needed. It comforted me in familiarity with my kindred soul, a sister from another mister as they say. A sister of choice who I shared my mother with. We went to church on Sunday at Chapel by the Sea. Kim sang out all the hymns I didn’t know as I remained quietly standing beside her. I translated the preachers words almost instantaneously in my mind as my perceptions and understandings of the scriptures he read and stories he told didn’t quite mirror my own beliefs but at the core still resonated.

Afterwards we brunched with ladies of the isle 30 and even 40 years our seniors and I was amazed at their combined history and journeys as they sipped mimosas and devoured sugar dusted donut balls. Over the next few days we shopped, napped, read books, solved the worlds woes and fed each others spirit with gentle nudges of truth and observations. I was in a safe harbor to laugh, cry, explore or to do nothing more than be if that was what I needed.

Several years back we had spread my mother’s ashes on the north end of the National Seashore. We hadn’t gone out there this trip and it seemed odd to not go and pay some sort of homage but it just never happened with the rain and cold. I was just resigned to it I think.

And then my friend asked me as we sat perched high over the gulf of Mexico from our “Ivory Tower” , watching the gray waves wash in and spotting a few bundled up beach combers searching the sand for treasures, “Are you sure you don’t want to go see Wanda?”. It was like one of those brief breaks in the clouds where the sun comes shining thru, if only for a moment, like a spotlight on center stage. I knew where I needed to be and what I needed to do. Not for Wanda, but for me. I had spoken about it briefly a few days before. The need for a cleansing, a chance to wash off the previous year and start anew. A clean slate for the new year ahead.

I grabbed a few beach towels and still in my Vera Wang PJ’s we headed to the north shore. The wind was howling and you could feel the gusts push the jeep from side to side every now and again as we traveled down the main highway. We reached the beach entrance, sand dunes piled high on either side. The sand was wet and deep but no real challenge for a jeep. I rolled down my window and breathed in heavy doses of chilled salt air. We passed a few fishermen who where stubborn enough to brave the cold and rough surf in the hope of catching a few silvery pompano. Two heron stood watch as if they had a vested interest in the fisherman’s success and it made me smile.

We drove further up the beach until we saw the spot we loving call “Wanda’s Beach”. The tide was coming in and there we were. There was a frothy foam on the top of the water from the constant battering of waves. I laughed to myself and said a silent thank you to Wanda for the soap! A prayer of protection and a silent meditation and then I stepped from the jeep and began to disrobe. The sand was cold on my feet, the wind bit at every bump and bulge and yet I continued to undress. Here I was, rapidly approaching my 56th birthday, 225 lbs of insecurity and a slight fear of water, marching into the waves. I didn’t run or plunge but with a steadfast purpose walked into the ocean. Letting it take me one step at a time, one wave at a time to a new year. Not a new me but a truer me. Not as scared, not as insecure, not as mournful for the loss of my mother who was my best friend in the world. The waves were rolling in. One minute waste deep the next up to my neck and floating, my feet swept up off the sandy floor but still capable of moving forward.

That’s the choice….to move forward. A wave lapped over my head and I knew, forward can be many things. I embraced the waves and now it was time to embrace the chilling air. I turned and made my way back to shore just as slowly and deliberately as I had walked in. And there, on the shore, was my soul sister to welcome me, wrap me in her blanket and arms and share the moment. My heart was beating through my chest and I gasped for air as I clung to her. I never felt warmer or more alive.

This was why I was here. To acknowledge that feeling of vulnerability and insecurity you are left with when orphaned on earth with the lose of a parent. To finally take all the things they had taught you and instilled in you and use them on a daily basis without their prodding.

I am stronger than I give myself credit for. I am brave. I am kind. I am that I am. And so my sweet, are you.

I love each and every one of you.

Juliana

Copyright Juliana Wathen 2019

Living life 8 seconds at a time…..

thVOHSAJ9TThis week RODEO HOUSTON gets underway and you will find me every fourth night volunteering in the Main Corral Club at NRG Center. To get in the mood I have dropped more than my share of semi-expendable cash at Cavender’s Western Wear, had my boots polished and have spent the evening being a slug watching The American Rodeo on RFD-TV. Giddy up and go cowgirl!!!

On this dreary Sunday I have lain up in the middle of my pretty-pretty princess bed surrounded by a large assortment of pillows and a sleeping fur ball and watched four-legged and two-legged athletes alike put it all on the line for a buckle and a paycheck. The toughest of the bunch stake their entire existence on just 8 seconds.  8 seconds.

I started to think just how long 8 seconds must feel like when there is a pissed off 1000lb bull with his nut sack cinched up to Jesus and back, trying like hell to make this is your last day on earth. How many decisions does that cowboy have to make in 8 seconds do you think? His entire life can flash before his eyes, he has time to second guess the bull’s next move and prepare for it and he even has time to think about what the future will hold and how he will spend his money if he makes to buzzer. All in 8 Seconds.

I feel the pressure some days of all the choices I have and need to make in living this life. Some days I feel like I’ve spent more time tossed to the dirt than riding high. So I sat and pondered, what if I only gave myself 8 seconds to make a choice. What if I only allowed myself 8 seconds when I wake up in the morning to get out of bed? I’d be UP AND MOVING. What if I had to make decisions in 8 seconds on food choices and exercise as if my life depended on it.  Ohhhh wait…it DOES!

Bells and whistles go off in my head…..I spend too much time having casual conversations with myself day in and day out, rationalizing bad choices. I talk myself out of getting up, getting out and living life. I wait on others to be motivated and use more excuses than a politician seeking re-election. The time has come to COWGIRL UP Ladies!!! Time to take the bull by the horns and make some better choices. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

I love each and every one of you.

Juliana Wathen

Copyright 2015

I Hear ya Loud and Clear

I am human….now, what the hell. What does that mean?

Does it mean I am a person? An emotional being? A conscious participant in life? HUMAN…it is such an ambiguous term.

Take for instance, if you heard over a loud speaker in a hospital Emergency Room….HUMAN in exam room 24″ …Well, it tells you someone came in and they are sick. No details though – you don’t know if they are male or female, young or old, or even how sick.  All makes sense to the doctors, right? They are sick – go see them. And if you are the patient in exam room 24 you’re thinking,” Thank God! I’m in exam room 24, help is on the way. I’m NEXT, I’M NEXT, I’M NEXT!!!!”

What if you heard instead  – over the load speaker ” Morbidly Obese, Female, 48 with CHF and history of PE in respiratory distress room 24″. OUCH! Really? That is something you feel the need to announce over to the whole, entire ER? It felt like they were putting out an alarm. Warning! Warning! Fat Lady in 24~repeat FAT lady in 24″. I already felt like crap so it was just piling insult on top of injury at that point. It made me uncomfortable. And to deflect attention from my size I engaged the health professionals as little as possible and instead focused on texting and reaching outside the ER for some sort of comfort or validation that I was indeed a person, a friend, a daughter, an employee, a girlfriend. Anything I could be BEFORE being MORBIDLY OBESE. Nothing chased away the thought. As fate would have it, I would be placed in isolation and have three days to chew on this thought and how it made me feel. THAT is what humans do. We FEEL things and then we try to figure out WHY we feel them.

What I came up with is: I don’t want my life to be defined by my size. I don’t want my size to be what everyone notices first. And yet it is. I’m that “big girl” everywhere I go.

I looked up the morbid obesity chart and I would have to lose 82 lbs to just be considered OBESE and drop the “Morbidly” intro.  Can I do it? You bet your sweet ass I can. A few years back, I didn’t think I could do a lot of things on my own and I have proved myself wrong. I am out in front of the crowd and I am standing tall. I am stronger than I have ever been in body, mind and spirit. I don’t NEED what I thought I needed. I have walked through fire and come out on the other side. I am reborn and take flight like the Phoenix from the ash. To do that I had to LOVE MYSELF where others could not.I had to express that love in new ways that I had never experienced before. I had to forgive my inner self and embrace that chubster in a hug like no one else had ever felt. And I did.

I realize now that life is a symphony and the people in our lives the notes on the page. Sometimes you experience the full orchestra and sometimes just the simple , tight melodic tone of a horn solo echoing over the masses. Each instrument plays an intricate part in the overall concert and evokes a different emotion. Life is beautiful. Music is beautiful. Being HUMAN can be beautiful if you start with loving yourself.

Love yourself TODAY no matter what your size, shape or condition. Hearing myself referred to as MORBIDLY OBESE was just a reminder that was NOT who I wanted to be.

As you love yourself, so shall you become more beautiful to behold.

I love each and every one of you

Juliana

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