10 April 2006 Tomorrow, itís back to work. Iím actually looking forward to it. Somewhere along the way, I learned that my worth is in my work. I donít even know how to go about changing that perception. Something to talk to Kevin about. Two months is too long between visits with him. I cycled 10 miles, and it feels good. My stamina is increasing. Itís a lovely overcast day. My allergies are wreaking havoc. Itís the worst Iíve had them in years, but then Iíve not been outside this much in years. Itís enough to drive one absolutely buggy.
11 April 2006 Added another mile to my ride today. Itís a little bit safer, as I avoid the worst of the freeway traffic (entering and leaving) for one more intersection. It was difficult to do my work as I was distracted for much of the time. Going to bed early tonight. I dislike irresponsible pet owners. Some guy was out with his pit bull without having it on a leash. He kept telling me she wouldnít bite, and I kept yelling at her to get away. How does he know she wonít bite? She may not usually but that doesnít mean it canít change at any given moment. MissB is pretty docile, but I generally donít promise she wonít bite, especially another dog. She does not like other dogs and never has. I couldnít get it through this idiotís head that I wasnít actually worried about his dog at all but how MissB might react. Never mind thereís a leash law. I must admit that Iím embarrassed for myself, as I used to walk MissB off leash. Iím older and wiser and have been for a number of years now. God is merciful, even when we are foolish, so I suppose I need to learn to be merciful too, but that doesnít mean Iíd have handled it any differently.
12 April 2006 I had come to the realization that I have done what I could and needed help beyond my own. I needed to not just bury my irritation, frustration and anger, but truly release it. I know the only one able to accept such a burden is God, so I spent a great deal of time in thought and prayer, asking God to help me. Iím realizing that this past week I was slipping back into a lot of old habits and patterns. It was just so easy. As Dumbledor says, ďNow is the time when we must choose what is right or what is easy.Ē It seems to me that I really do need to eat something, even on short ride days, first thing in the morning. This surprises me, to be honest. Iíve done without breakfast for most of my life, largely because I found it so unappetizing. We had whole wheat mush, and Iím allergic to bran. Apparently, this is one of things about becoming someone new: now, I need to eat first breakfast! Taxes are paid, so thatís one less worry, just to have it done. Interestingly, work has picked up a bit. At this rate, I may even be able to make a bit of a living, with a little left over for savings. It feels good. And how grateful I am for friends who raise me up and share the good times and the difficult ones. I also find I feel better if I go to sleep with Josh Grobanís Closer playing. :-D
13 April 2006 Taking another page from FlyLady. She said that you shouldnít keep anything that you donít love. If it doesnít make you smile and lift your spirit, then let it bless someone elseís life. Iíve been clearing out books, and found a Mary Higgins Clark I hadnít read yet. I started the first few pages and realized that though I enjoyed her once, I donít like the creepy feeling I get reading her stories now, so Iíve put in a bag to be sold to Bookmanís. Then I picked up Harry Potter, The Sorcererís Stone, and read the first chapter. What a delight to read it again after so many years. A keeper. Funnily enough, it got me thinking about Martha and Mary and how Martha was busy getting the house and dinner ready for Jesus, while Mary was sitting and listening to Him. Martha needed FlyLady. LOL! Then the house would have been company ready (not perfect!) and the meal planned ahead so she could enjoy her company. These 23-mile days are tough. Iím so tired.
14 April 2006 Did a 10-mile ride today but tried a slightly different way home. Iím so glad I did. I passed a home that was completely decked out for Easter. Beautifully painted wood Easter bunnies were placed in the yard with huge (the size of basketballs or larger) Easter eggs ďhiddenĒ in the bushes. I think Iíll take my camera tomorrow (if it isnít blowing like it is now) and take some pictures. It was simply adorable. I have come to realize that becoming someone new is more encompassing than I ever imagined. I didnít eat breakfast growing up very often, nor did I eat lunch very often (it being whole wheat bread for the sandwich). Just eating three meals a day is a huge change for me. And then make them relatively healthy meals and my body is just about ready to go into shock. LOL! I broke down and did a chocolate instant breakfast drink WITH my croissant. It was delicious! :-) Iíll be doing that on a more regular basis. Then add to it, listening to Josh Groban singing in Spanish or French and just for a moment, Iím somewhere else, magical and serene. Iíve added another arm exercise to my physical therapy. Iíve come to the realization that doing this bike ride is not going to be easy, no matter how much I prepare, but I can train simply so I can finish.
15 April 2006 Last night, we had an evening the likes of which would have impressed even Winnie the Pooh. I didnít dare take MissB on our last, short evening walk, as I was afraid the wind might blow her over. This morning, I woke to a sky hazy with dust. The airport flight path is just two miles north of here, and I could barely see the planes taking off. I went on a 10-mile bike ride in spite of it. I needed it.
16 April 2006 Happy Easter! This morning I found myself contemplating the purpose of this season: The Atonement. If one accepts Jesus Christ into their life, then He changes them forever. And I find myself wondering if Iíve truly accepted Him. For so many years my life did not change at all. I think that now my life is truly changing, slowly but surely. I get frustrated when I slip into old habits that do not serve me and instead hinder me, and I never even realized. I know there is a part of me that wonders if I truly believe. I know that Christ is able to overcome all things, but I also know that I can get in the way of His efforts. I endeavor to remind myself that God accepts even the smallest effort on my part (the grain of a mustard seed, which is very small indeed), and yet there is a part of me unable to fully embrace what He offers. I think part of my rejection actually stems from rejecting myself, forgetting that God created me. I remember that God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance and forget that He forgives and remembers no more the instant I turn to Him in repentance. Iíve long felt that this Race is much more than just a long bike ride. Perhaps the truth of the matter is that if I can make the changes necessary to do this Race, then the Atonement truly can take full effect in my life. God loves me and is aware of me down to the last hair, and now He is using whatever method available to teach me to be aware of myself because itís difficult to change what you do not acknowledge. If He can teach me to accept myself, warts and all, then He can teach me to love myself, and it is only through loving myself that I can truly serve His purpose. He seeks for me to become like Him, the source of all love, light, and truth. I can only change if I can see the truth, and thus begin weeding out the lies the Adversary has so skillfully and carefully interwoven so it seems to belong. However, if I turn to God and trust Him, He will show me the way. The Master Gardner will teach me what is blossoming flower and what is choking weed, if I open myself to His guidance. I suppose this is the Atonement at work in day to day living. There is the might change: The desire to follow Him, and then the daily art of living: allowing Him free rein.