Archive from April, 2013
Apr 30, 2013 - Humor, My Story    1 Comment

Holey Lessons

I learned a valuable lesson from my sock today.

Here’s my story: I found a pair of work shoes I’d forgotten I had last week.

shoes

They were in good shape, and felt way more comfortable than I remembered. I thought I’d struck gold! New, comfortable shoes, right there in my closet! Why had I buried them in the back? Why had I stopped wearing these shoes?

hole in sock

Oh yeah. That’s why.

These shoes are sock devour-ers. I’d forgotten about this unseen side effect.

But this silly example, with it’s casualty of one sock, got me thinking. What else have I forgotten? How else do I idealize the past and forget the struggle, the pain, the holes in my heart? I think more often than I’d like to admit. We all are at risk for this type of thinking — with past relationships, or previous jobs, or former housing situations. We can forget the difficult, strenuous, or tumultuous times and long for what was. I want, instead, to remember the struggle and be thankful for where I am now. I learned a lesson from my sock today.

The Struggle is part of the Story

Apr 29, 2013 - Health    2 Comments

My Default Recipe

Three years ago I made a New Year’s resolution.

Resolved, to make one new recipe a month. Resolved, to get out of my boring dinner rut!

I discovered the joy of roasting vegetables last year and I haven’t turned back. It opened a whole new world to me beyond baking or steaming. Here is one my favorite recipes. It’s easy, healthy, and yummy. Do you need more convincing?!

Start with some veggies. You can roast pretty much anything, but here are my favorites:

Veggies Raw

I love sweet potatoes – but watch out and get a sharp knife or they’ll do you in! Green pepper, onion and carrots are my other go-to’s. I’m a big fan of the crinkle cut carrots. They roast well and seem to give it a dainty, fancy flair too!

Chop everything up in bite-sized pieces and place in an oven safe dish.

Veggies Prepped

These spices are your new best friends.

spices

Drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil (EVOO for the Rachael Ray fans) and dust with garlic salt and cayenne pepper. WARNING: I didn’t at first realize how potent cayenne pepper was and my first batch of roasted veggies literally made me cry! I had to make a second full batch without any seasoning and mix the two together to make it tolerable. My advice for a tear-free dinner would be a 2:1 ratio of salt:pepper and go lightly… you can always add more later!

Stir well and put in the oven at 425 for about an hour.

temperature

Here’s the other key: turkey sausage. I like the veggies by themselves, but think a little more protein takes this dish from a side to a main course. I love Jimmy Dean’s turkey links. And they can be displayed alluringly as well.

JImmy Dean Sausage Links

I cook the links separately and add them at the end, stirring them together with the roasted veggies.

dinner completed

You get a full plate of veggies, a very filling meal, for only 8 points. But here’s the key ingredient to me. This dish tastes delicious with Chick-fil-A sauce. I’ve been known to go to CFA just to get more sauces! I save them up and ration them out for my roasted veggie meals for months.

Chick-Fil-A Sauce

I had it for dinner tonight! Delicious yet again. If you’re stuck in a rut, try something new. It has been huge for me as I’ve gone on this weight loss/health seeking journey to actually be excited about what I’m eating! When I look forward to dinner I’m less likely to snack throughout the day and I savor everything more.

What are you having for dinner? Are you excited about it??

Apr 26, 2013 - Health, My Story    7 Comments

Smart, Funny or Beautiful?

“Fluffy, big-boned, hefty, heavy-set, solid, thick, well-nourished, overweight, big girl.”

Everyone has their euphemisms for what’s really going on.

And I was tired of it.

I was tired of being unable to keep up physically. I was tired of being unable to shop in the misses department like my slender, petite friends. I was tired of spending so much effort to hide my stomach. I was tired of looking at my patients and wondering when I’d be the one having heart trouble or a stroke. I was tired of literally insulating myself from the world with a layer of fat.

Kelly's Fat Photo

So I did something about it.

I joined Weight Watchers eighteen months ago and started a new journey.

The first few weeks were rough. But not in the way I’d expected. Yes, I had to learn the rules, how to use eTools and how to calculate PointsPlus values. But that wasn’t the hard part. What was more challenging for me was learning to reopen a door I’d shut in my heart long ago. At some point in my life I’d decided that I was the smart one, the funny one, but that I would never be the beautiful one.

But now that is different. Now I am different.

Eighteen months later, I am nearly seventy pounds lighter. My blood pressure is within normal range. I have fewer headaches, aches and pains. I sleep more soundly. I am training for my fourth 5K — with obstacles! I’ve started “no elevator days” at the hospital where I work – on the eleventh floor! I’ve been excited to see changes in myself and have created a culture of health all around me. I’m famous for sharing recipes with co-workers. For encouraging others to make small changes that add up. I’m excited to keep up in ways I never could before. I’m thrilled to show off my new figure -it’s the visual aide for my success story.

I’m also excited that it’s not over! I’m not a goal weight, but I am so much closer than where I started. My past success drives me to achieve more. I’ve become a better version of myself. Through this journey, I’ve learned that I can be the smart one, the funny one, and the beautiful one.

IMG_0179

Note: I’ve been hesitant to share my weight loss journey openly because I do not want IThinkOnPaper.com to be solely a “thin-spirational” blog. But this journey is a part of me. It consumes a good portion of my thoughts. It requires planning. I would be remiss not to share this large part of my life. May you be inspired to be healthy and make small changes that really do add up!

Ch…ch…Changes!

Now that everyone has that song in their heads… I have an announcement to make!

No, I’m not pregnant.

No, I’m not engaged.

No, I’m not moving.

Now that we’ve gotten those out of the way, I want to tell you about a journey I’ve been on for many months. I knew last year about this time that changes were coming and I tried to talk about it. I asked repeatedly for direction and clarity and provision and I was repeatedly told to wait. It’s been a year of prayer and waiting and budgeting and seeking. Many doors were shut, but one was opened.

(Have I dragged out the opening long enough?) Drum roll please!

I will be starting a new job in May!

I will move from being an Occupational Therapists working mainly with adults after neurological impairments to an O.T. working in the Neonatal unit and in pediatrics! I am excited about this for many reasons. Here’s a sampling of my extensive pro/con list:

1. I get to wear scrubs to work every day! And sneakers. This isn’t a new thing, but I’m appreciative for it nonetheless. Comfort level=maximized.

2. I will care for the least and the littlest of these and provide sensory input, play, and healthy stimulation unlike anyone else in the health care field. I started as an O.T. in pediatrics. So in a way this is coming home. I still miss my kids and wonder how they’re doing six years later.

3. I will be full time! With Benefits! Can I get an “amen”? This is the crux of where my mental journey started. I’ve been working for years as a per diem employee. So I got more per hour, but without any benefits. I began to feel the budgetary strain of paying for my own benefits and wanted to make an adult decision. I’m giving up flexibility for stability. That’s not an easy move, but I think it is right. After several interviews and months of asking, seeking, and knocking, my new boss thinks it is right too!

4. My back will thank me! I will now be lifting patients who can fit in my hands, slightly less effort than my typical patient now!

5. Less working weekends! I’ve been on the Saturday rotation for six years. This new job will be Monday through Friday with occasional weekend days. I will have two days off in a row and likely won’t know what to do with myself.

But it’s also new and different. I’m leaving a ridiculously cool team of committed, knowledgeable, and talented therapists who can both brainstorm how to rehabilitate a patient and make me laugh with an impromptu dance party. Or a where’s Waldo Holiday photo:

neuro team

Any change is scary. This new position will require some training and be significantly different from what I do on a daily basis now. But overall, I am excited to get started, looking forward to more learning, and so thankful for provision. I fret a lot. I think about how I could provide for myself, as a single person, if I were to get injured or fired or ill. I fret about the rising cost of benefits and housing and food. I constantly do calculations, mental simulations, and hypothetical imaginings about the future. I’m trying to take time and be thankful. God has provided a job with a population I love in a familiar location with benefits and a committed and energetic new team.

God sees and knows my needs.

I am thankful.

P.S. This is my 100th blog post — and somehow that just seems poetic! Thanks for reading, friends!

Apr 20, 2013 - My Story    3 Comments

Bam!

I feel like Emeril.

Concocting something delectable that others can enjoy.

emeril bio image

But I’m not making a meal for you all; I’m writing a story.

I try to practice my craft independently of recognition. Some posts that seem to get fantastic traction are the ones I spent just a moderate amount of time on. Whereas others are often ignored and overlooked and I consider them my Magnum Opus! (Opi? since they’re plural??)

Today — after wrestling with WordPress for an hour to get my new computer up and running to be able to blog (hence the silence this week — sorry!) I finally was able to log in and I checked my site statistics.

3,000 views.

Bam!

Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing with me again and again that I’m not talking to darkness! That I’m not sharing my world, thoughts, and words with just anyone. Thank you for telling me that when you’re nursing your infant in the middle of the night, www.ithinkonpaper.com keeps you company in the wee, bleary-eyed hours. Thank you for writing me private emails to tell me how lonely you feel on Sunday mornings – it’s good to know that other people get it. Thank you for encouraging me in this. I really do feel healthiest when writing, but I still need encouragement for “butt on chair time” to actually write!

In short, and I’m rarely short, thanks for allowing me to have my Emeril “BAM!” moment tonight.

You’re rad.

Backspace and Life

“It’s quite helpful to talk with you rather than just knowing what I read in your application essay. I think it gives us a fuller picture of who you are.”
“Of course. Essays you can backspace.”

computer key Backspace

This was the dialogue exchanged between one of my fellow interviewers and one of the applicants. I stopped and wrote her words down. They are profound. Truly, it is one of the things I love most about writing. I can craft, perfect, and hone each phrase before publishing. And even then I can re-edit if I wish. I express myself best with time and typing.

Whereas, I constantly second guess my communication verbally. Every time I make an announcement or educate a patient or speak publicly in any way, I ruminate over my words and think about how I could have said it better. It’s infuriating at times! I wish I had ample time to craft a perfect response. But I have to think on the spot, respond to the best of my abilities, and keep going.

Life is more like speaking than writing. Life doesn’t have a backspace.

Yes, there are apologies and forgiveness. There is healing. But that is different than erasing the existence of an event. Even with healing there is often a scar. So how do we live in the ever flowing current of life knowing that each word counts and there is no backspace, no Control-Z option?

Sweaty Handshakes

Caught your attention, eh?

My day was full of nervous laughter, trembling fingers and sweaty handshakes.

I was asked to be on a panel of interviewers to assess applicants to the Master’s of Occupational Therapy program at a local university. First of all, the applicant pool was rather impressive. Smartly dressed. Well-spoken. Passionate students.

But, boy, were they nervous.

Interviews Waiting

It was my first experience being on the other side of the table and that three feet made miles of difference. I’ve always been the student. The one trying to make a good first impression. The one tugging at sleeves, wiping brows, and trying to appear both at-east and articulate at the same time.

It’s exhausting.

I spent hours posing questions, jotting notes, and analyzing answers. I could see myself in each of these applicants. They’re nervous. Their future seems uncertain. They want someone further along in the process to calm their nerves and tell them it will all be okay. I want that too. I want someone to look into my future and let me know the answers to my questions.

I was bemoaning my own future options to a good friend recently and asking her for advice on many levels. She wisely interrupted me and said, “Kelly, it’s not about where you’ll end up. It’s about whether you’ll trust God for your future or if you’ll choose to be in control.”

Boom. Just like that she dropped some knowledge on me.

I fret. With as much time as I spend worrying, you’d get the impression that I am a professional fret-er. I want to trust in the Lord and quit my nail-biting, energy-zapping, anxiety-craze. Because worrying does not empty tomorrow of its problems, it only empties today of its strength.

Perhaps faith in a loving and planning God is the antidote for sweaty handshakes!

Apr 11, 2013 - My Story    1 Comment

Perspective

I am incredibly driven and rarely take time to reflect on accomplishments. I take basic skills for granted. I am not thankful. I am skilled in making small decisions overwhelming. I have trouble with perspective.

I learned this about myself in a new way this week by an unlikely tutor: the stomach flu.

I was awakened in the wee hours of Monday with a queasy grumbling which quickly evolved into a gastro-intestinal exodus of explosive proportions.
 not_pictured

(You’re welcome.)

Keeping food from reappearing too early would certainly be on my short list of “taken for granted skills.” But, no longer! At least while the memory of Monday remains. I was down for the count. I did nothing more than move from bed to “throne” and back all day long. It was miserable. It took more sustained focus than a standardized test for me just to sip Gatorade and nibble on Saltine crackers. Nothing seemed to function as it should. My body was staging a coup.

But my rebellious body gave me perspective.

But today was great! I went to work (still on the mend truthfully, my energy level isn’t what I’m used to) but the normal annoyances of everyday life didn’t bother me today. Traffic. Grouchy patients. Delays. Dropped Internet signals. All were secondary to a fully functioning (and behaving) GI tract! I was able to have slightly more perspective today and be thankful. I hope it lasts.

And more importantly, I hope it doesn’t take the stomach flu to remind me every time I lose sight of how blessed my life is.

What gives you perspective?

 

 

Apr 9, 2013 - Uncategorized    No Comments

End It

Slavery still exists.

I wonder how many people know that.

And it’s not a little problem.

There are more slaves in the world today that at any other time in history. 27 million men, women and children are enslaved.

I first heard about this modern day plight at Passion 2012. I learned more of the story this past January where I, along with 60,000 of my closest friends, got to shine a light on slavery. Today, on national “Shine a Light on Slavery Day” we continue that task.

We want to rescue. We want to restore. We want to prevent.

It’s an awe-inspiringly, gigantic task. But I serve an awe-inspiringly, gigantic God! There is much work to be done and many lives to be changed.

Awareness is the first part of the work.

I’m in it to End It.

End It Movement

 

Visit www.enditmovement.com for more information and to sign the pledge to end modern day slavery.

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