Interfaith Struggles

My conversation with my wife the other day, talking about Hanukkah:

Me: Speaking of Hanukkah, usually each person in the family gets their own menorah. I know you’re not interested in Judaism as a participant, but would you like a menorah?

Her: I don’t need a menorah, love.

Me: Well, it’s not a matter of NEEDING one. I’m just asking if you want one.

Her: I don’t want one.

Me: *instant depression*

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I know, I shouldn’t have asked because I KNEW the answer, and I don’t want to force her to do anything she doesn’t want to do so I didn’t force the issue. I just let it go. But honestly I was sad about it. It’s really hard for me because I so badly want her to participate with me– because I need someone close to me who can do this with me so I don’t feel so alone in it. It’s hard being the only one in my house lighting candles for Hanukkah, or Shabbat, or whatever it is I’m doing. It’s one of the major reasons why I haven’t been able to get myself out there and find a congregation. I’ve been too scared to go on my own. I want someone close to me to be by my side as I do it. Also, holidays should be spent with family, and I end up spending all of my holidays alone. And I hate it sometimes! I love my wife, and there are many benefits to an interfaith marriage, but sometimes I find myself upset that she doesn’t want to share religious traditions with me. She wants no part in any religious or spiritual activity, even the fun ones. Not only does it make me sad, it leaves me confused– because I’ve grown up in religious environments (and loved it), so I’m sitting here like WHY ISN’T THIS STUFF YOUR FAVORITE?! Followed by HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU DON’T LIKE IT IF YOU’VE NEVER TRIED IT?!

I need to find a space to do this with other people. Solitary ritual has its place, but I’m human. I’m a social being, and I just know I’m meant to do (most) ritual with other people. It’s how you create and maintain a spiritual community, and it’s a really meaningful and powerful way to commune with the divine. I’ll find my place one day, hopefully soon.

Apples and Pomegranates

In case you didn’t notice, I’ve changed the name of this blog.

I first called this blog the Seeking Place. I thought it was a nice name because I’m seeking answers to my faith questions, I’m seeking a place that I can call my spiritual home. And although that still holds true, I have expressed many times here that I feel I have my feet placed in two homes– one being Paganism, and the other being Judaism. I chose a new blog title to reflect that.

DSC06823 Continue reading

Bad Body Day

Some days I look in the mirror and I think WOW. I’m one beautiful boss lady.

 

Seriously, there are days where I’m honestly a little surprised about how good I look. Those are my good “body days” where I’m just totally feeling myself, where I’m not nitpicking about each little flaw. Where I think I’m beautiful WITH my flaws. Where I can eat without all the accompanying emotions (frustration, boredom, sadness, embarrassment, shame, whatever), and just be totally in love with myself. That’s what I imagine self actualized people feel like on the regular.

Today is not one of those days. I’m really starting to struggle with weight loss on this preop diet (I keep fluctuating instead of consistently losing, I feel like I’m losing the same damn five pounds AAAARRGHHHH), and every time I put something in my mouth to eat I am constantly second-guessing: will this facilitate weight loss? Does this have too many carbs? BLAH BLAH BLAH ALL THE TIME. Or I will eat a piece of candy and feel totally mad for hours. My body FEELS large, like I’m super conscious of the amount of space my body takes up today. I feel like I’m too big for everything. Days like today suck. I’m so over it.

I have my preop consultation with one of the surgeons at Kaiser on December 8th. I’m freaking out a little because it feels like a deadline. When I first met with Dr. Z, the psychologist (who made me cry) he told me that I could “easily” lose 50 pounds by our next appointment in January– 20 pounds in the first month, and 15 pounds for the second and 3rd month. Well, I lost 20lbs the first month, and Dr. Z called me saying he was really impressed with my progress so he made me the appointment with the surgeon. Now I’ve got to lose another 15lbs by the next appointment and I don’t know if I can. Keep in mind, he didn’t actually say, “Lose 50 pounds by January or you don’t get the surgery”, he just said I could easily lose that much weight. So…. I don’t know if that’s an actual requirement, or if he was just trying to be encouraging. Either way, it’s causing MAJOR amounts of anxiety. And as I get closer and closer to the 8th, the more freaked out I am because I’m NOT losing weight. I’m gaining and losing, back and forth like ALL THE TIME.

I’m just saying, in this moment right now, I’m totally discouraged. I’m so worried that I’m going to fuck this all up and then I won’t be able to get the surgery. And I have no one to talk to about this.

Battling/Loving Christmas

Alright, it’s officially mid November now. Samhain has come and gone (and it turned out differently than I thought it would). Now we’re balls deep into the “Holiday Season”. Now, I know what you’re thinking: it’s not even thanksgiving yet, how can we be “balls deep”? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but all around us Christmas is basically punching us in the face with its cheer. Starbucks Christmas cups are already in circulation, some of the stores I frequent have had Christmas decorations out since OCTOBER (wtf, too soon), and I’ve already seen like 5 stories about the War on Christmas 2015. The holiday season is happening now people, we’re in it RIGHT NOW.

So, what’s a pagan/jewish-ish girl to do? How am I navigating what some might call a hostile takeover of the winter months by a fat man in a red pantsuit?

I’m eating it up, y’all. EATING. IT UP. Continue reading

One month down, two to go (WLS Update)

It’s been just over a month since my psych appointment and my preop diet restart. So far I’ve lost 20lbs and inches across the board, which is nice to see (not gonna lie). I learned at my weigh in that if I want my weight to reflect the goal I’ve achieved, I have to lose just a bit more over goal– I typically weigh myself naked to get an accurate reading, but obviously I have to wear clothes at the doctors office! I weighed my clothes that day and let me tell you, it all adds up. Anyway, I’ve been mostly sticking to the plan, with some exceptions. It’s been okay overall.

Just kidding, it’s super hard and I have to take it day by day. It’s a really restrictive diet– I have to weigh all of my food, document it in my log. That alone takes some commitment. But beyond that, it’s just hard to not obsess. I feel like I am thinking about food all the time. What am I going to eat for breakfast, what am I going to eat for lunch, is this protein permitted on this diet or is it too high in fat, is this an acceptable starch, when is lunch, should I wait 30 more minutes before dinner, blah blah blah. I feel like food is just totally all up in my face these days and I hate that. I feel like it runs my life right now. I also feel like, because of that train wreck of an appointment last month, that I have something to prove. I have to show this asshole that I can do this. And that’s a lot of pressure. I feel like my life is in his hands, because this is a life changing surgery and he decides whether I move on to the next phase. I don’t even get to meet with a surgeon until this guy clears me TWO MONTHS FROM NOW. And I don’t even think he cares! He told me that he would email me every month to check in and remind me to do my weigh ins– I haven’t heard from him since our appointment. I honestly don’t think he actually believes I can do this, and honestly I think he is intentionally trying to set me up for failure.

As you can see, I’m still holding quite a bit of anger from our previous interaction. But beyond the anger is fear and grief. I’m grieving the fact that my timeline for this process is destroyed and my path is now uncertain. I fear that I will not get this surgery, and I fear that I will fail.┬áSo I have to take it day by day. Every time I have a good day I celebrate it, and every time I have a bad day I do my best to stay positive. And yes, I’m still having bad days– I will never EVER be rid of bad days. I don’t binge, but I’ll have a snack when I know snacks aren’t part of the diet. I do great on weekdays but weekends it feels like I’m hungry from the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment I fall asleep at night, it’s maddening.

Anyway, one month down and two more months to go. I have 30 more pounds to lose before my next appointment, so 15 each month, and it’s holiday season. I’m trying not to freak out about it, but it’s a dieter’s worst nightmare. Pray for me.