I decided to begin blogging about some of my personal journeys. This first post is about trying to lose weight and about the search for purpose in my post-pandemic world. All of my journey postings won’t be “journal-style.” The information I wanted to share for this blog seemed best by following my journal.

Today is February 17, 2021. My weight is close to an all-time high. My motivation is close to an all-time low. Winter and the pandemic life have practically paralyzed me.

Today is April 10, 2021. My weight is at an all-time high. My motivation is close to an all-time low. Winter and the pandemic life still continue to keep me down.

Today is April 21, 2021. My weight is at an all-time high. I went to the doctor for the excruciating pain in my right knee. Feels like the meniscus tear I had repaired in the left knee. I’m supposed to start physical therapy. Some motivation and losing weight would certainly help.

Today is April 24, 2021. They call it languishing–the place between depressed and okay. I read an article about how so many of us are and have been in this state because of the pandemic. Languishing is characterized as being lethargic, unmotivated, and unexcited. That’s where I’ve been parked for much of the last year. Often I feel like I’m at the bottom of a gravelly hill and I just can’t get a good climb to the top. I get close to the edge sometimes, but the gravel begins to loosen, and I’m back down near the bottom. Luckily I have reached the top edge several times, and experienced excitement, motivation and energy in fits and starts. It’s just that I can’t seem to really keep the upward momentum going. Thank God we get a fresh start to try to improve each day. I think part of my problem is that I haven’t completely figured out my post-pandemic purpose yet. I know getting healthy and taking care of myself is top on the list.

Today is May 11, 2021. We’re back from the Big City. We just moved Emma into her apartment in New York City. It was a rough trip for me. Not for the reasons you might think, though. I had a difficult time because I couldn’t walk much. The knee was painful, and I felt like a burden. So, because I get to start over each day, I made up my mind to begin walking today. It took a lot for me to get through the pain, but I made it .64 miles in 13 minutes.

Today is June 1, 2021. Thank God again, for fresh starts. I added NOOM to my walking. I want to return to NYC in August, and be able to get around and experience the City. I have continued to walk regularly and am up to 1.72 miles in 32 minutes! I seem to be getting to the top of the figurative gravelly hill more often these days.

Today is June 28, 2021. It took me way too long to complete the weekly menu and grocery list this morning because I became completely sidetracked. Feeling good on top of that hill, I hastily decided to order some clothes and make an appointment for a haircut. I saw a really cute shirt online several months ago. I showed it to my BFF Vicky and told her it was an incentive to wear it after I lose weight. She said, “why not order it now and look good while you’re losing weight!” That’s why she’s my BFF. I ordered the shirt today.

And, I am finally getting rid of my pandemic hair. It’s really a big deal because I have not had a haircut since February, 2020. While I know I should have cut it sooner, I just wasn’t ready. I think it was my way of saying that the pandemic wasn’t truly over for me. It took a trip to New York, some exercise and healthy food to pull me up and off of that languishing hill. Can’t wait for my haircut on Wednesday!!!!

Today is June 29, 2021. While it’s hot as hell outside, I still walked. It’s been going really well. On a good day recently, I walked 2.94 miles in 52 minutes. Today, I met Katie and her son. We’ve been passing each other in the neighborhood for months. She runs with a stroller. I’ve admired her dedication, so I decided to stop and tell her how great it is that she’s out on a day that feels like 99 degrees. She said, “Well, so are you.” I paused for a moment, and thought, “Yes, yes I am.” She made me think about what I’ve been able to accomplish in recent months.

Today is July 21, 2021. I’m walking regularly these days, and have very little pain in my knee. Weight is down a bit, and I’m enjoying the healthy food! Now that I’m not languishing anymore, (although I’ll probably slip down that hill occasionally) I’m feeling renewed and ready to go. It now feels safe to ponder my role–my post-pandemic purpose. I had coffee with a friend recently. It was a great catch-up. She is on the cusp of marrying the love of her life, and she was doing some pondering about her own future. She is a talented, smart, hard-working, independent young woman, who has the wisdom of someone much older. This is a gal who owns and maintains her own home while some of her contemporaries are probably still fighting off their dormitory habits. With the wedding coming up, she was thinking about what will make her feel fulfilled. She’s thinking about career, a home business, children…all of it. While we’re about 40 years apart, it’s interesting that I’m thinking about the same things…ok, not the children. The idea of feeling fulfilled is something that I think about often now that I’m not working.

As parents, Sean and I feel fulfilled. We so enjoy our 23-year-old daughter, and love being along for her exciting ride through life! Career wise, I felt fulfilled as an academic advisor. I felt respect and appreciation from the students I worked with. I think I helped many of them.

Fulfillment now seems simpler for me. I think I need to satisfy the basics. I left my job during the pandemic, and don’t think I’ll look for another position soon. I keep myself busy with gardening, cooking, crocheting, painting and completing various craft projects. Because I’m wired to think I need a job to be fulfilled, I have to resist feeling inadequate at times. My sense of satisfaction, when I finish a project, or make a delicious dinner quickly chases those negative feelings away.

So for now, my post-pandemic purpose and my road to fulfillment is a little blurry, but while I’m working on getting it into focus, I at least know that I will continue with the weight loss journey, and will continue to cook, garden, paint and crochet.

Stay tuned…