Endorphins or Cortisol?

You mean I could choose which hormone I wanted. It’s that simple? Why didn’t anyone tell me this before? Never mind endorphin and cortisol, adrenalin is coursing through me – I’m looking anxiously around the room wondering and my responses to the questions are becoming more and more clipped.

And she’s persisting on asking me about the last time I weighed myself and each time I say to her I don’t weigh myself I go on how my clothes fit, she’ s not getting the hint. And then she condescendingly explains the difference between cortisol and endorphins? I tell her that I get it.

She asks about stress and by now she’s stressing me out and to save myself from punching her I get up to leave but not before I do that dreadful thing of measuring her with my eyes  all her blooming youthfulness and say to her when you are as old as I am and you do as demanding a job as I do – let’s talk about stress and being able to choose between endorphins and cortisol. The dark side’s pull is strong.

I should go back and apologise for losing my temper. But I don’t feel like it. I am Lady of the dark side. However, I believe that Waves needs to understand that they have at least two distinct clienteles – bored non-working women who spend a lot of their time eating and shopping and stressed working women who spend a lot of their time eating and shopping. Within these groups each person is an individual so they should be able to individualise their approach.

Before any of my readers begin to have adrenalin issues – my definition of working is broad and also self selective – if you work either in the house or out or both then you’re in the latter. Additionally, if you live in this part of the desert you understand what I mean by the former group.

But normally after such a stressful session, I’d do the clichéd thing of eating my body weight in something calorific or spending loads of money I don’t have on loads of things I don’t really need. But I did not, I went home and did a Tae Bo DVD – had to blow off layers of dust …

And I had an eureka moment – I could get fit by using the DVDs I have and YouTubing other workouts like Zumba. It worked for a week and then last week I kinda fell off the wagon…

Have you found an innovative solution to a tricky problem?

Weighty Issues


I am turning to you as a last resort though I know you should be my first port. In the past I have tried to deal with getting fit on my own strength and only cried out to you when I needed a quick fix.

I so want quick fixes because I am so very impatient. So at my lowest and possibly my ‘unfittest’ I turn to you as Healer, Provider and my Tower of Strength.

I am accepting my weight as a trial set by you. It is also a mountain I have been around many times, almost as long as those refugees fleeing Egypt so many years ago.

I surrender: thoughts of unfairness and it won’t work; all past failures and mistakes; all future trips and slips; and all comparing myself to others.

I surrender: the time pressure around it and pray for detachment from the outcome. I know that the process and the journey is as, if not more, beneficial than the outcome.

I surrender: the temptations and accusations that will creep up in my conscience and try to sway me from this path.

I recognise that this will take more time than I want it to. Your timing is not mine.

I recognise I will have to surrender these and more, several more times.

I recognise that I am dying as I write these words.

This bold decision is like a spoon stirring the cauldron that is my emotions: the fear of failure and of success; and envy at those with magical metabolisms or lifestyles that allow access to the luxury gyms of the Marriot or Sheraton.

I did check out the Oryx Rotana hotel with its 24 hour gym. I enquired about a 3 month membership and personal training 2 days a week. I even asked if the trainer could do 5 am in the morning. They have not gotten back to me and its just as well – it was fanciful thinking as it would cost £2k which is £2k more than I have at the moment.

Lord you know I have my doubts whether Waves is right for me because it seems too low intensity. But I am so desperate I want to give it chance.

You also know that I am an all or nothing kind of person. Please help me to see that if I do this there is nothing stopping me from doing additional exercise.

Last time, I think, no I know that I gave up just before my dawn, please help me to remember that though weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning.

I wrote this prayer last week, before going out to sign up with a women-only gym which I will refer to as Waves. The last time I tried to join this gym was 18 months ago. I’ll fill you in on how it went next week, InshAllah.

 Have you abandoned a dream or a goal because of disappointment?

Is there an abandoned dream or goal that you feel you need to return to?

Plan Paralysis

I have had to set new timescales for the two projects I’m managing as part of a much wider program. I’ve been procrastinating making these changes to the plan because I see this as a personal failure. Though the reasons for the change in timescales are largely outside of my control, I still feel a sense of shame.

I choose to ignore the actions that have been completed on time. I choose not to derive any satisfaction from having had some achievements.

This has so paralysed me that I felt sick and had to ask my manager for an extra day so I can rework the plans. See how I let what I can’t do get in the way of what I can do. Alan laughed at me and told me to get on with changing the plans and then start doing the things that need to be done.

This is a recurring theme in my life – being stymied by what could have been and what should have been. Having a tantrum or more likely a paralysis when things don’t go to plan.

Yet again this is one of the joys of having a child. This week being half term I’d planned to take some time off so Kwame can have some friends over. Because his friends and their parents have their own plans  – how dare they? -their plans have not entirely fit in with my plans. Breathe! Its okay, I have to remind myself.

With a few texts to parents and my manager, I was able to rearrange my time off  – so instead of having 2 days off, I’m having 1 full day off and two half days off and instead of 2 friends coming round on 1 day, we now have 3 possibly 4 friends coming over the 4 days.

So the reworked plan give a much better result than my original plan – as often happens and I so often forget.

Now, I planning what to feed them, so I have to make a shopping list and plan what games they could play. So must really stop this post.

How do you respond when you have to rejig your plans?

Late and Winging it

I’m a planner. I make lists to make lists. I plan being spontaneous. You get the idea. I am a bit of a control freak who found my natural outlet through being a project manager. Never mind ‘there is nothing like a deadline’ – ‘there is nothing but a deadline!’  Actually that’s just a part of me and I believe that this was an extreme response to being admonished for daydreaming, in class more regularly than at home. But that’s another story for another post.

So I have a very fixed way of prepping my posts, drafting and redrafting throughout the week. Printing out on Thursday – (equivalent of Friday in the Middle East) – letting it marinade on Friday and Saturday and doing my final polish late Saturday and publishing on Sunday.

Last week that did not happen for a number of reasons. So now I was sent into a spiral of self condemnation and doubt and it’s taken me until today to let it all go and post what will be a stream of consciousness barely revised.

Why? Because I am troubled. Over a week ago a friend of mine got into a situation that is so specific to this area in which we live in that it may as well be happening on another planet. This event crowded my mind so much that every time I tried to write on the topic I had planned , his plight kept coming back to mind.

But I know I can’t write about it and that bothers me. Because now that we’re into the week before carnival – yes in Venice, Rio and New Orleans but of course above all else Trinidad and Tobago – I can’t help feeling like I’m letting the side down.

For a unique aspect of Trinidad carnival is the calypso – no not the party soca tracks but the ‘true’ calypso – of social commentary in which freedom of speech is gilded. I also think of the fact for 20 or so years I lived in the country that gave the world Spitting Image, Have I Got News For You and The Office.

But as an economic migrant who has 2 dependents, I must be wary, so now I think of it as my ‘1st lost post’ – as I’m sure there will be many more.

Off now to start prepping next week’s post because I have an image of an organized and in control person to uphold and this rant of consciousness and winging it, is deliciously seductive to a closet ‘leave it to the last minute daydreamer’.

Does freedom of speech come at a price? Is it a price worth paying?