19. Harry Potter marathons
This one has a bit of a double edge to it. Of course I love watching Harry Potter, I will even deal with the billion commercial breaks which turn an hour and a half movie into a three hour time-suckage. What I don’t love as much is trying to explain the third and fourth Harry Potter movies to someone that is only barely watching and interested in the first place. Yes, Mum, I’m talking about you.
Saturday, jet-lag hit me unexpectedly and I had to cut short our ‘City Hop’ around Cleveland. On our return home, it was late enough in the day that I didn’t want to take a nap and then wake up at 9 and be wide awake until 3 and then try to sleep. Getting the body clock right in the first instance is hard enough. Luckily, there was a Harry Potter marathon in progress and my favourite of the early movies was just about to start. I settled in with a blanket and a kitten and let the wonderfulness of Harry Potter and Gary Oldman wash over me. Who needs dinner when Harry Potter is on the telly.
I am more than happy to try and explain the intricacies of Harry Potter if you are truly interested in getting sucked in. I would be so happy to that I could probably whip up some PowerPoint slides and timelines to aid in your education. However, looking up from the knitting from time to time and asking a constant stream of questions and providing commentary about the unbelievability of the scenes before you (of course it’s unbelievable, it’s a story about kid wizards!) is not so welcome.
Regardless, Harry Potter offered a bit of comfort and home when I was wiped out and there is always room for a little dose of the Weasley twins. And yes, the identical red-haired boys standing with the red-haired family are part of that family. So is the red-headed girl. (Sorry Mum, I couldn’t resist.)
18. Weight Watchers
But not because of the lost weight, although that is nice. Sunday I was thankful for Weight Watchers because of the renewed connection with my physical self. What I gained from Weight Watchers was a respect for my body and health and an understanding that taking care of my physical health contributes greatly to my mental health. About a year ago I was in a deepening hole and there were so many things I was unhappy with that I couldn’t see any way to grab hold of something to be happy about. I felt I was failing in so many ways. Shortly before my birthday last year I read a blog post in which a woman encouraged her readers to try Weight Watchers if they were feeling unhappy about their weight due to a change in the point system. This was one of the facets of my failure, in my eyes. So I decided to pluck up the courage and find a meeting near me and just show up and sign up. If nothing else, I thought it could provide me with some social contact. I don’t know if I can explain how hard it was to make that decision and actually get out the door and on the bus to the meeting.
The first week was hard, but at the first weigh-in I had lost three pounds. It was only a drop in the bucket, but it was something. It had been hard, but not impossibly hard. It was more about paying attention. So I kept on and eventually I was at a stone lost!
I headed off to our Cruise feeling fabulous and healthy. In the past three months I had lost 14 pounds and started running. I was also happier. Not just because of the smaller sizes in clothing but, in hindsight, because I had gained control over some aspect of myself. When I joined up in November, I had not felt in control of any aspect of my life.
Yesterday, almost a year since that first weigh-in and a few pounds from my ‘goal weight,’ I was running my 5K and could feel my muscles moving in synch and could feel their strength and was very thankful that I took that first step 12 months ago. It was a catalyst for so much healthy change and I was feeling so good I decided to go for 6K (which I have only done twice before).
I did it easily enough and celebrated by wearing my new bright red trousers to the theatre that afternoon!
(the rest of the day I was completely wiped out and could barely enjoy the matinee with Grams and Gramps, but we’ll focus on the positive.)
17. The bookshelves
In my parents’ house there is a room with floor to ceiling bookshelves. The books displayed here are not, by any stretch, all the books in the house, but it is the critical mass of the collection. There are artefacts from their hippy days and travel guides too old to be useful, legions of children’s storybooks and old theatre texts, a complete set of the Illustrated Classics and of course the Tolkien series from Silmarillion to Return of the King, two Complete Works of Shakespeare, a vintage Our Bodies Our Selves and even a pocket Declaration of Independence.
Having finished the book I brought with me I turned to the shelves with a mind to find something new to read for the next few weeks. I ended up grabbing Gone with the Wind. Not so new. As a teenager I read this book at least twice. The one I read had onionskin pages and was printed with text in two columns on each page, ‘like the bible.’ Not a few days ago I had been telling my Mum I had recently watched Gone with the Wind again on TV and it had lost none of its magic.
After the first few pages, I can tell you, the book hasn’t either.