There’s something that I noticed about my grandfather this weekend: he works with purpose. He clearly feels like crap and is tired and weak. Always a quiet man, his voice is a fraction of what it was. He has lost his taste for food and lost his passion for playing cards–a family tradition that’s been around since long before I was even born.

But he still does it. He eats with a mission: to get the strength it will provide him. He plays cards with a mission: to keep his mind sharp. Does he want to do it? No. In fact, we asked him several times throughout the weekend if he wanted to play cards with us and he turned us down repeatedly. When my aunt noted that reading the paper and playing cards will keep his mind sharp, he seemed to ponder that for a bit before suggesting we play cards after his therapy appointment Saturday.

He played with purpose. We played Skip-Bo and he was more focused than any of us. If there was a Skip-Bo (wild) card on top of the pile, he always remembered what number it was replacing and could play off it without a hitch. I always needed to peek at the card under it to remind myself what it was.

As I’ve struggled to stick to plan in all of this craziness and worry, I’ve been reminding myself of this mission and commitment. It would be easy to be indulgent. For my grandfather, that means allowing the sickness and weakness to win, to not fight against it. For me, that means fighting the urge to consume mass quantities of coffee, committing to avoid desserts at lunch in the dining hall, forcing myself to perk up enough to get my scheduled run in and avoiding the mindless tendency to comfort eat.

Lunch right now is my biggest battle. Monday’s entailed a pastry, yesterday’s involved a chocolate cookie… I’m contemplating packing a lunch since my ability to avoid the stuff that isn’t good for me isn’t working right now. Today I’m going to eat on my own and bring my Chi Running book so that my focus is on the book and my eyes and hands aren’t wandering over to the dessert station.

The good news: I’m logging. Yesterday, I was at 1410 calories. 110 calories over my calorie goal. Sugar and carbs were too high. (BTW, that Cooking Light pork and apples recipe was delicious–I substituted center cut pork chops for the loin since that was what was on sale.)

So, what I’m missing is my mission to be healthy and fit. Time to keep my eye on the prize.


3 responses to “Commitment

  1. FYI: I’m singing Counting Blue Cars now… She walked with a purpose in her sneakers…

    My heart aches for you and your grandfather. Mine was incredibly musical. I miss that.

    I know it’s hard to stay focused, but I’ve learned the last few weeks that I create my success. And I thrive on it. I try to set myself up for success. I do the best I can. And I feel proud.

    Do your best. Be prepared to be flexible. Walk with a purpose in your sneakers.


  2. Love this post. It’s so hard to keep the mission in the forefront of your mind. Delayed gratification is so hard when you are basically a hedonist like me. My favorite quote right now, which I keep retweeting daily to remind myself is by Jim Rohn…”Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret.” Thanks for reminding me to keep the my eye on the prize today.

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