December 11, 2009
Did you hear that Tiger Woods is appearing today on the Oprah Show? He’s going to sit with Oprah, unveiling his broken tooth and facial lacerations as well as his shame, grief and remorse as he tells us EVERY detail of EVERY transgression, then, if all goes as planned, he’ll ask his wife, his family, his mistresses, his fans and all of us, of course, for forgiveness. THEN, Elin will be brought on from backstage and we get to listen as she cries, and perhaps briefly, hopefully (fingers crossed) rages at him and eventually agrees to, if not forgive him right on the spot, then to at least try. She’ll try. But don’t forget the 80 million.
Then maybe if we are lucky, he’ll jump on her couch as Oprah throws to the camera for a commercial break.
Actually this is not really happening, I was just teasing you. Please tell me you did not run to the TV just now. But you must admit, it does not seem like such a ridiculous next step.
Do you think we would all feel better for having every morbid detail? Hmm, for some reason I don’t think so.
One word comes to mind:
satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune.
According to Wikipedia, a New York Times article in 2002 cited a number of scientific studies of schadenfreude, which it defined as “delighting in others’ misfortune.” Many such studies are based on social comparison theory, the idea that when people around us have bad luck, we look better to ourselves. Other researchers have found that people with low self-esteem are more likely to feel schadenfreude than are people who have high self-esteem. If this is the case then we Americans must rank as some of the lowest esteemed people on the planet, because we sure are gleeful about Tiger’s whole mess.
We’ve all been whipped into a schadenfreudian frenzy as more and more girls tumble out of his one little fender-bender. Those of you who have never cheated and/or been cheated on by someone that you love and/or who loves you, feel free to throw the first dumbbell.
I have a better idea for all of us. Go get your kids right now and drive to the nearest theatre and watch the newly released movie “Invictus” with Morgan Freeman and the newly hunky Matt Damon
It’s the story of Nelson Mandela’s attempt to heal a country’s racial rift. Many critics have panned it but after two weeks of listening to the unraveling of Tiger Wood’s marriage and life, hearing about radical forgiveness is like balm to my golf club battered ears.
The film’s title is taken from a poem I’ve never heard before by William Ernest Henley, who was left disabled after about with tuberculosis of the bone. It goes like this:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Mandela used this poem as a source of inspiration and strength when he was at his darkest times in his 27 years of imprisonment.
It reminded me of the importance of developing discipline, discipline of the mind, whether it is in the gym, alone with the Doritos, at work or perhaps with a flirtatious co-worker behind the water cooler.
My husband’s advice to our kids about about athletics has always been that practice is discipline in motion. This is true for many things, especially exercise. By getting on that treadmill or strapping on those Easy Spirit walking shoes every day you build the character-strength of discipline. It takes mental fortitude to DO things we do NOT want to do, like exercising or flossing or carpooling and in the inverse way, (listen up,Tiger) it also takes strength to NOT do what we DO want to do, like when we need to STOP eating or STOP drinking or STOP ….doing what Tiger was doing.
So go see the movie and feel your heart open to the life-changing power of forgiveness. Remember the words of my minister Hillary Bercovici, “Forgiveness is not earned. Forgiveness is given.” and then make a vow to stop following the Woods family tragedy and leave them in privacy to find their way to some form of forgiveness.
December 4, 2009
This is a hypothetical journal of what I hope and imagine YOU’LL
be doing this holiday season to stay on the Fitness Good Boys & Girls List.
Just for the record I will be checking it twice.
*YOU’LL decide now and make an inner pact with yourself to workout X number of days per week throughout the holiday season. Pick a number of workout days that are reasonable and stick with it. No matter how fat you feel or how hungover you are.
*YOU’LL put on your own life mask first in order to better rescue others. This means YOU’LL
LET IT GO
and take de-stress breaks when you feel holiday panic as in
“OMG!! I forgot to go online at 5:59am to get in a virtual line of 51,000 other (better) moms to enter the lottery to get one of the last twenty Tickle-Me-Elmo’s that I promised I’d get for little Suzy cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die!”
LET IT GO.
*YOU’LL start every party with the latest bar drink called a “Mistletoe”- it’s seltzer w/a splash of cranberry juice plus lime. I made this up but if you ask the bartender for it and then splain to him what is in it we could have a drink movement started (an un-drink movement rather) then you can move on to wine, then alternate mistletoe, wine, mistletoe…do I really need to splain why?
*YOU’LL control excess calorie consumption of low NCR (Nutrient to Calorie Ratio) foods by using the delay technique. Use this for the really yummy things. Don’t say “No, I am not allowed to have that delicious yet forbidden delicacy that is only offered to me once every 365 days.” That’s just plain sad at Christmas. Say (to both yourself and your host) “I’ll have some a little later.” This is known as the Hoffinator Delay Technique.
Then see if, five minutes later, the urge has passed.
In 94 times out of 100, you don’t even remember what you passed up.
*YOU’LL get eight hours of sleep. Preferably nine.
*YOU’LL make sure your camera is charged, repaired and in your purse so that YOU’LL remember that wonderful moments sometimes happen in the church parking lot on Christmas Eve and
*YOU’LL also let someone take a picture for you so that you can jump in the shot and actually be IN some of the pictures from 2009.
*YOU’LL laugh really hard at least once a day. Tickling may be required to make this happen.
*YOU’LL focus on something joyful every day,
like your dog
or your botox
or by watching Forrest Gump
or A Christmas Story since it is on 23 hours out of every day in mid-December. It is continuously broadcast for a very good reason. The movie is true (My brothers and sisters and I actually lived a similar movie in Ohio)
and it is funny.
YOU’LL watch it and smile.
And there you have my
Holiday Fitness You’ll Log.
Use it to fill your home (and your gym) with joy,
your heart with love,
and your life with laughter.
December 4, 2009
Last year at this time, I felt the press of all the undone holiday chores I was procrastinating about and grimacing at the annoying expediency of every holiday greeting card that appeared in my mailbox. This year, on the other hand, sitting by my fireplace with exactly three weeks left before Christmas, I’m well on my way to checking things off my list and enjoying every moment of it. Hand addressing my envelopes? I just might! If I can find my mailing lists on my computer, that is. I may even bake (gasp) holiday cookies. I even had an insane moment a few days ago when I considered participating in a cookie exchange. Of course, no one invites me to exchange cookies anymore because I stink at baking. And if you still don’t believe that I am filled with the holiday spirit here’s what my house looks like.
The inside is even better. Think Griswold’s with a hillbilly twist. What’s wrong with me, you ask? It’s actually what is right with me. It started when I got a call from my sister earlier this week. There was a silence on her end of the line and then she was crying. There’d been a horrible car accident in their town and two wonderful teenage school mates of her children had been killed. It’s every parent’s nightmare. I have been alternating between weeping for these people I don’t even know and being angry about the devastating injustice of it. But after I started to comprehend a thimbleful of the enormity and immediacy of their loss (which I can’t really. Not ever everever. One instant they’re walking in the back door and tracking mud through the kitchen and the next instant—-gone? Gimme my mud back. I’ll take all the mud in the world,please.Make that double mud.)
Then, with my new eyes, I looked down at myself standing in this healthy body, and at these three ornery, yet splendid teenagers of mine, who don’t always brush their teeth or hang up their towels for the thousandth time. And I looked through my new eyes at my rascal of a husband, who even peering over his reading glasses, still floats my boat after 22 years. And I felt with my new sense of touch, the World’s Greatest Dog dozing with his head on my foot under the desk. I guess you could say I got woke up! It was just the smack in the face that I needed to cure my Bah-Humbug-itis. Suddenly it occurred to me what a miracle it is that none of us are gone- We get to be here another day! Another Christmas! Another opportunity to be alive! Not like last year when I was just chronically in need of a nap and asking my husband, “Do we get our son the XBox 360 OR do we send him to college?” This year I welcome the overwhelm. Bring on the chaos and financial strain, if only for the aliveness that it sparks in me.