May. 13th, 2017

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I charged all 3 20v DeWalt batteries Wednesday afternoon and first thing Thursday morning, I was out to finish whacking the weeds that ring the outside of the property. Yeah, there remains plenty within the fencing to take care of, but this is the stuff the neighbors see and I want to be on good terms with them all. I made it perhaps a 1/5 of the way around the west side of our land before the third battery gave out. I'll continue to do the same daily till I've finished. Slowly the place is looking more like a homestead, than an abandoned ruin.

Also Wednesday morning my contractor took 15 minutes to get the baseboards nailed in within my closet. Thereafter I went to the garage, in hunt of my clothes. I didn't bother with the box labeled current wardrobe. It was current when it was packed in January, but that was 38 pounds ago. I did locate a bin I packed away perhaps a dozen years ago of both jeans and office slacks/Dockers/khakis. Jackpot!

Moreover, I know there's another box floating of pants around somewhere, with the next 2 sizes down so I should be good for another 4 months or so. There's no longer a need to shop for pants any time soon.

Yesterday, Oana (my friend & former office manager) came to visit a yard the place, her 11 year old in tow. Zeb was an appropriately bored pre-adolescent who went not hiking disappeared into a portable video game on the phone; even he fell in love with the view from the front porch and it's swing. We hiked a bit down to the lake, taking a path my husband knew, but one I had not taken before leading to a well worn dock two properties to the west. I'm grateful to see my gym work has paid off; I made it down and back up the steep hill without difficulty, breathing a bit hard back near the top, but carrying a conversation with no trouble.

After they departed, I went on the hunt for more clothing to put away. Having found a small box of 2Xs the other day, most of which now fit, I remembered there's a box somewhere of Levi's denim shirts I'd like to find. I'm dead certain those will not only to wear now, but will serve well as light jackets or over shirts once nights grow cooler again. A quick survey of the garage yielded zip, though much remains inaccessible for now. On the off chance they might be in the barn, I looked there. No go on the denim, but I did find a box of long forgotten 2Xs, both dress and casual shirts. Fortunately for me even though they were in the barn, which was damp most of the winter, I'd put them in vacuum storage bags before boxing them up. Every last one of those fit. After essentially living out of a suitcase for the past 5 months, having a couple of dozen shirts to choose from in the morning feels like an embarrassment of riches! It's also now time to pack away all of the 3's I can still get away with wearing most of them, but more and more I'm starting to look like a kid in his dad's hand-me-downs. Why do that when I have stuff that's the right size now? I've set aside 1/2 a dozen of the 3s to send off to a friend up north who apparently likes knocking around in oversized shirts. He's likely to read this so hopefully I'll have them in the post shortly (once I have a mailing address). The remainder are in the process of being folded and being sealed in those vacuum storage bags. I'm going to hold on to them for now. Once I'm certain they've outlived their usefulness for me, I'll divest.

Why not let go of them now? It's a combination of fear and practicality. While the trend for me has been downward with my weight for the past 3 1/2 years, I went back up for a while. The discovery of my gluten intolerance causing my psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, put me into remission and allowed me to start moving again. In 2 years time, I went down about 80 pounds. Then time went to hell in a handbasket and for a year I had no time to exercise at all. While I was putting in 65-70 hours per week, I stayed gluten free and without the inflammation that had hobbled me, but due to time constraints I was once again physically inactive. I regained 35 pounds of what I'd lost. With my time once again under my control, those 35 pounds are gone again, along with another 30. I have no intention of becoming inactive again, but stranger things have happened. Who can foresee the future? What happens it my arthritis returns for some reason? What happens if I am forced to hunt for work again, which remains a possibility. The 'what ifs' are nagging enough that for now, these shirts are going to be put into storage. I let go of the 4's, confident enough that those would no longer be needed, just as once before I let go of the 5's.

I did have an OMG moment Thursday evening in the garage. In rifling through boxes looking for shirts, within the space of ten minutes, I came across the two extremes of what I still have. I'd held onto both of these as reminders of what I'm capable of doing; I found the largest and smallest pants I've worn as an adult. The smallest date from my sophomore year in college (1974), while I was both running and doing yoga. They're a pair of Levi 501's, with a 32" waist. I held them up and first thought they were my husband's. Then I recognized the patch I'd sewn on them. I can scarcely believe they ever fit me. The other pair was from my heaviest weight in 1990, a green pair of cords. The purchase of that pair drove me to start out trying to change my life. The waist on them is 64", double the size of the jeans.

Today I'm 172 pounds lighter than when I bought those cords, but 90 pounds heavier than the day I got those jeans. Thinking about that simply floors me. Admitting it is hard to do, but I need to own it. I held onto both these garments as reminders, not just of what was but what's possible.


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