Month: September 2021

Good by Lois Hewitt

Most of my life so far has consisted of sugar, fat and loads of preservatives. I always considered eating right as being boring, expensive and restrictive. That is, of course, until my body could no longer survive under these conditions and started to break down.

My body had been whispering to me for years to start rethinking food and I chose to ignore it. I loved sweets, fried food and basic garbage food and stubbornly refused to change.

While doing this I would wake up every morning feeling like I had not slept at all. I had to think about everything I did during a day and planned activities (like walking from the car to the grocery store, yes that was an activity for me) according to current energy levels which we always near empty.

I became easier to just sit, eat, drink and smoke. Of course the more I lived like that, the less I could do. Add a heaping serving of depression and anxiety and it is, truly, no wonder I didn’t have a heart attack.

Then along came Covid. I ended up ill from something else during the lockdown and when my legs were too weak to hold up my own weight, the voice inside went from whispering to yelling for change.

Since I could do barely anything else I started researching healthy diets. Not the ones where you need all sorts of special ingredients, but rather eating simple and fresh foods cooked properly. I started off slowly and with each change, no matter the size, I started to actually feel better. I wanted more!

Then I started to cut out unhealthy foods. I then added new tastes, textures and spices. I learned to make things by hand whenever possible so that I could control what I was eating. I learned ways to cut costs and not quality. I learned about planning meals and shopping as well as prep ideas. Now I’m obsessed with going further.

Food and all that goes with it has become my new obsession. A quite unexpected by product of this has been my new found joy in walking and doing some exercise–that was NEVER me.

I never understood good tasting food as my taste buds were perverted by all the sugar I consumed. Once I got away from that I started to crave healthy foods and certain spices. I lost my taste for meat and fried foods. Eating out used to be, basically, my only hobby. Now I want to cook or bake all my own food.

It certainly was easier when I wasn’t working and I feared that I would go back to my old ways when I went back to work. Truthfully, I fell off the vegetable cart a few times but now I think more critically. I made decisions not based on laziness but on good and solid options.

My life has literally changed completely. I still struggle with depression and a few physical problems but I cannot believe the difference. God gave us food to nourish and to heal. Yet we like and crave food which does neither. We have to be mindful (I’m sorry, such an overused word but fits in this context) of how we live. Where and how we buy our products, the best way to consume and store our food and how to quit making excuses for bad behavior.

I do not want to go back. That once beautiful, frosted, shimmering glazed donut now looks like not feeling good, becoming bloated and hurting my health. The “reward” of the taste is no where worth the risk. Never would I have thought this could be me.

Today I thank God for all the small local farms that are raising healthy nutritious food. That are fighting the big farms that only care about making money. I thank Him that organic foods are not just something you find once in a while. Not buying junk food has allowed me to afford more organic foods. I thank God for all the sources out there where, if you are willing, you can find recipes and tutorials for cooking for free.

A lot of things are going wrong in today’s world. I have learned to enjoy cooking and cleaning as my therapy and meditation. It used to be a chore I felt oppressed by, now I love the process and the final product of something cooked with love and care.

Today I hope you find that thing that feeds your soul and if it feeds the body too, all the better. I’m off to make a curry! Enjoy this day!

Words by Lois Hewitt

Words, they can comfort, encourage, teach, show love and caring. One kind word can overcome a hundred harsh words. Words can change a life.

I love words. I love to put them together in all kinds of ways. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But I love them just the same.

I once had someone in my life that used words to control me and belittle me. Those words stayed with me for years. I used to be careless in my own use of words as I did not know the power they held. Thoughtless words thrown about carelessly can do as much damage as a physical attack on someone…perhaps even with more lasting damage.

As I grew older and started to write more as a way to heal myself, I learned the value of words as well as the value when not to use any. That last lesson took a lot longer to learn. Words, to me now, are sacred. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be pompous. My vocabulary today is still not as developed as I would like and is heavily peppered with profanity. Very Oscar Wilde!

I am saddened by the lack of reverence for words and the effect they can have on others. I understand fully how easy it is to use degrading and hurtful words from behind the curtain of anonimity. The words I read, not even directed at me personally, on line shocks even my sensibilities.

I do not remember much of my years in high school. Pot fog, regret and bad memories have erased those years. I do remember my English teacher from high school (I never mention anyone without their consent so that is why I have not named her). She was a beautiful woman. How I envied her beauty and grace. She introduced me to reading and, ultimately, started my love affair with words.

It has gotten so easy to just blurt out anything that pops into our heads. I used to be the biggest offender of that verbal crime. Now I see the errors of my way.

One of my favorites lines in the show Longmire is when Vic turns to Walt and asks Whatcha doing? Walt hesitates for a moment and says “Thinking. I do that sometimes before I speak.” I hope I wrote that correctly. But you get the idea. It was brilliant and how I gauge my speech now.

Today’s world moves so fast and if you tend to contemplate your words too long you may not get a chance to speak at all. That’s why I love to write. I can say my peace and you can read it or not at your leisure. What a beautiful thing.

I hope there is a shift back to pausing before words are used. I hope that more thought goes into their execution and considerations are made for the end results of words used. Then a shift in the nastiness will be made.

As we get used to a slight lowering of verbal expectations, let’s push back a little bit and remember how powerful the written and spoken words are. They truly carry with them an ultimate power that should not be misused. We take for granted the power of an automobile and the damage it can do if it is not properly respected. The same with words. They can be a blessing or a curse. How will you use yours?

Platitudes, No More by Lois Hewitt

I used to be the self-crowned queen of platitudes. I, as with most people, spewed them with only the best of intentions. I wanted to be helpful. It wasn’t until I actually experienced them did I start to wonder.

In my 20s and 30s I tried desperately to get pregnant. In my mind, a child was going to save me from my depression and anxiety…not a healthy ideal I know.

I had, just a few years before, experienced an unplanned pregnancy that ended in an adoption. At that time, I could barely take take of myself let alone a child. Now I was more stable, married and ready to try motherhood.

Weeks went by, then months and then years and no baby. I begged God and made deals with Him to give me a child but to no avail. As the years passed, my mental state deteriorated. I was despondent.

During this time, loving and well-meaning friends told me I was thinking about it too much. That it would happen when I least expected it. It never did. I was told not to stress about it, it would just happen. It never did. Lots of platatudes filled with love filled me with anger and grief.

Not only was I living with my guilt and remorse (was I being punished for my earlier sins?) but I was living with something I could not control. That manifested in overwhelming OCD which I dealt with before but took on a life of its own.

All around me I only saw pregnant women and babies. I wanted to join the club so badly, to do it right this time, but I was denied admission to that club.

All around me I heard it would happen. I finally accepted that sometimes things just do not work out. That is when I started to rethink my personal policy on giving freely platatudes in situations I knew nothing about.

How could I tell someone that a child lost was in a better place? Or that a medical situation will always get better…or any other number of circumstances. Sometimes life is pain and no amount of flowery words will take the pain away. I’m sorry but that’s a reality.

When someone wishes you a good day, most people mean it. I am not against the kind words spoken that are said in a way to try to brighten ones day. But when someone is in pain, a platitude can minimize said pain. Telling me to just wait, it will happened, made my grief feel unvalued.

Now I either say nothing or offer my sincerest help if needed. Just listening can bring more comfort than a string of pretty words.

Please do not misunderstand me, I love comforting words. I love inspiring words. I pray for a return to graciousness and civility. I’m speaking of those moments in one’s life when pain and grief and fear have veiled them. My grief was so much at one time, my words to others seemed hollow. I could only see my pain and felt as if it was marginalized. I cannot do that to others.

So for today I will be more conscious of those around me. I will think before I speak and will try to never demean a person’s experience no matter how unintentional.

So with that said, I wish you all a good day…and I really do mean it.

If you are in pain today, please find someone near you that you can talk to. You are NOT alone!

Lies and Untruths by Lois Hewitt

Words spoken as a lie are sweet to the ear. They ooze comfort because they are what we want to hear. I remember back in my youth, I so longed for someone to love me and sweep me off my feet…to carry me away from my depression and make everything better. For a time, I believed the lies I was told by those who wanted something from me. The possibility that what I was hearing were lies did not cross my mind until the lies were revealed. It did not take too long before I started to see those words for what they were. The feeling of being jaded washed over me followed by a crushing sadness.

Isn’t it easy to believe them? Isn’t it difficult to tell them? Lies and untruths are a bitter pill. We are surrounded by them today. Everyone screaming their truths, their version of the truth. Who is right and who is wrong? I got good at telling when I was being played by someone who had ulterior motives. The lie was easy to see once I stopped craving its sweetness. But today, the lies are not as easy to discern. In fact, some lies are not even sweet to hear. It can be so confusing.

I believe in the spiritual gift of discernment. That feeling in your gut that just doesn’t feel right when a lie is being told. The uneasy feeling you get when something doesn’t seem to fit. That is a gift we have inside us, but it has to be cultivated. You have to work at it in order for it to work. I feel I am pretty keen these days, but I have still been wrong. Mostly on the other side, I may be a little too suspicious. Better safe than sorry, I guess.

This is a perfect example of the confusion of today’s world. For example, I believe that the Bible sets my moral compass. Believe me, I lived using my own moral compass and that ended very poorly. I find comfort in the words written and images that play in my head. I believe it to be truth. Now the other side of the story is that a whole lot of people think those words to be bunk, lies, untruths. I will not sway from my beliefs, but neither will they. We live in a world that is turned around. I believe I am right, they believe they are right and there are others who have completely different opinions who believe they are right.

There are a lot of people who make a lot of money twisting the words of the Bible, twisting truths, making their own assumptions. How is a person, who just wants to do the right thing, supposed to know which way to turn? I wish I had an answer. The saying “perception is reality” has never been truer. What I perceive is different than what you are seeing.

What about facts? There are always experts on both sides now, telling us what we want to hear. Someone has to be wrong, but the reality is harder to find, harder to see. Facts are being twisted into lies and untruths under the umbrella of ultimate truth. That umbrella covers us all, but the rain still soaks us because there are holes in it, it is flawed.

How can one tell when an act or words spoken are unencumbered by expectations and/or ulterior motives? Not every good act requires some sort of return on investment, not every act or word spoken carries its own baggage, yet so many do and that is where the confusion really takes hold.

So as I type my ramblings, I realize that we are all very different. Even those who believe what I do have different scopes of view. Is it any wonder we have a hard time getting along with each other in this world today? I guess we have to live with our own truths, eat the truth sandwiches that are of our own making. Nothing is a cut and dry as it used to be (maybe it never was), so all I ask is that we, as a society, try a little discernment. Words that fly into our ears with the softness of sugar-coated rose petals are not necessarily truth. Nor are the words spoken in anger, full of hate and malice. I have been trying to come up with a way to end this post, but there is no ending that is one size fits all. There is no big bow on this package. Truth is being lost in a forest of lies, and it is hard to see those lies up close.

The world we live in is a difficult one. I am praying for everyone (whether you want me to or not) that we learn new ways to deal with all the information and misinformation being thrown at us on a daily basis. All the newfound experts in every field, all the research conclusions, all the papers written and all the speeches spoken are muddying the waters. All I can say is be careful out there and stay true to yourself.