Saturday, November 27, 2010

Confessions of a Middle-aged Chocoholic

In January 2008, my brother was deployed to Afghanastan for 4 months.  I wrote this email on April 30, 2008 to my friends… It’s old, but I thought it was worth sharing…

I feel as though I should start this  with… Hello, my name is KP.  It’s been 120 days since my last bite of chocolate…

However, as most of you know, I WILLINGLY and PURPOSEFULLY gave up chocolate (and all sweets/desserts/candy) on January 2 of this year in support of my brother in the military.  Chris went to Afghanastan right after Christmas, and I decided that if he was going to give up his time with his family as part of his duty to our country, I could give up something that I love as a show of support.  So, when he landed in Afghanastan, I stopped eating my beloved, much sought after, heavenly, satisfying chocolate.  He was expected to begin his trip home on May 5, and I planned to have my first bite of chocolate as soon as his butt hit the airplane seat.  As good fortune would have it, he left Afghanastan this morning at 9:30.  His replacement came early, and he was allowed to ship out 5 days early.  Yay!  So, I thought I would share with you all some of the many insights that I have come upon during my 120 day journey through HELL! 

I’ve learned that:
  1.  A promise is very easy to make, but really, really hard to keep.
  2. It’s a whole lot easier to accomplish things when you commit with your heart, instead of your head.
  3. Sometimes things that seem like really good ideas at the time, don’t feel like really good ideas when you’re trying to execute them.
  4. Sometimes, even small sacrifices that don’t seem to matter can really make a difference to other people.
  5. Sometimes, people need to know that you’re on their side, and that you stand behind what they are doing.
  6. I have always said that I can do anything for 12 weeks… Did you know that 4 months is actually 16 WEEKS!!!
  7. Giving something up for 4 months is like having 3 years worth of Lent all at once!
  8. Sometimes, rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (oops, I dropped some chocolate on the keyboard – just kidding!J).
  9. Your true friends are quick to lend a hand when they think you’re doing something worthwhile.
  10. Your kids really do notice what you do, and every now and then, it’s good to set a GOOD example.
  11. Being disciplined is really hard work!
  12. There are a lot of people out there that make incredible sacrifices every day - for us and for others.  You really appreciate the selflessness that’s out there when you try to do something outside your comfort level once in a while.
  13. Sometimes when you work hard to accomplish something good, you actually accomplish something better.
  14. Making a commitment and keeping it feels really great!
  15. Life is crazy, and many things are beyond our control.  But, if you’ll take control of even one little thing in your life, it can totally change your attitude.
  16. Believing in your ability to accomplish something is just as important as actually accomplishing it.
  17. When you are anxiously waiting for something to happen, it seems to take forever.
  18. However when that event happens a few days earlier than expected… it’s time for a happy dance!
  19. 120 days without chocolate is a whole lot easier than 125 days without chocolate!
  20. I now know that I can give up chocolate for 120 days, so I never, ever have to try THAT again!

It’s 1:00p, exactly 3.5 hours since my brother left Afghanastan.  I have learned that I can wait a little longer before I have some chocolate.  I think I’ll change my motto to ‘I can do anything for 16 weeks.’ 

Remember…. Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive, well preserved body… I plan to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, margarita in the other, totally used up and worn out, screaming ‘WOO HOO! WHAT A RIDE!’ –  Maxine

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