Ruminations on earthquakes, stress and weightloss

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Ruminations on earthquakes, stress and weightloss

Postby Diana » October 19th, 2008, 10:33 am

Struggles are interesting things. They point out our strengths and our weaknesses. I'm reminded of the toothpick bridges built in high school physics. After the construction phase, the teacher would lead the class into the woodshop workroom and subject each bridge to the press -- the stress test. Some bridges, once the threshold was exceeded, simply cracked. Some would explode much like a ticker tape parade (thank goodness for safety goggles!).

After the '89 quake here in the Bay Area, a lot of "retro-fitting" has taken place. Some of the most interesting efforts are the changes made to some of the bridges. CalTrans (the state's dept of transportation) has done things like move the tollbooths to the entrance side of the bride instead of the exit. This means the waiting traffic is on solid ground and not on the bridge. Some have installed features that look like combs that fit together but leave enough space for movement. (You can actually see where the bridges have flexed in subsequent earthquakes.) In some cases, extra bracing was added. Some bridges have been closed permanently and new ones built adjacently. (We have several bridges in the Bay Area.)

What's this got to do with weightloss? I'll get to that. For now, I'm just watching myself type (not unlike listening to myself talk). :mrgreen:

Like the bridges, we retro-fitted our house about 4 years ago. We had 10 major cracks in our foundation which (ideally) anchors our house to quite a slope. Specialists came in, gave us options, we selected (and began paying for) one, and they went to work. They repaired and reinforced the cracks with steel bracing, cement pads, bolts and brackets, all kinds of stuff. They also reinforced the major joints in the house sometimes with completely new headers, sometimes a new brace, sometimes sheets of plywood anchoring the inside wall.

If you were an expert, you could see that the house was different -- the roof line is straighter, some of the cracks have come back together, things like that. But anyone would have noticed come the next major quake had we not done anything. (We were told by more than one contractor, "Yeah, the house is ok for now, but all bets are off when the next quake hits.")

When one looks at the bigger picture, the value we place on ourselves determines our level of self-care. And for many of us (not all, but enough to generalize), the state of our bodies often is a sympton of the emotional health and care and development. Sometimes it starts to show bit by bit over time -- a sag here, a bulge there. If it goes on long enough, we realize, perhaps quite suddenly, that capability and, yes, attractiveness are substantially diminished. And our worth has been compromised in the process.

Sometimes, that suddenness comes in the form of a doctor's report or a biting comment or a public embarrassment or simply a good, long, honest look in the mirror. Struggles, if we don't bury ourselves in the emotion that often accompanies them, can offer an opportunity for objectivity, an opportunity to step outside of ourselves and simply study the data, to see the cracks. There are occassions, though, when the bridge has exploded so thoroughly, one must first start by locating the pieces before trying to put it back together. Even here, what a wonderful opportunity to examine each piece and determine if it really adds to the construction or not.

The State of California has spent hundreds of millions of dollars (billions, maybe?) in tending our bridges after the result of catastrophic stress. We, as well, spent quite a pretty penny on caring for our home and rectifying the myriad signs of long-neglected and perhaps completely unacknowledged stress. In the midst of my own stress and struggle, I recognize anew some cracks and slippage that I've just accepted as part of who I am without acknowledging the damage they inflict which starts emotionally and manifests physically. I refuse to succomb to the earthquake. But desire and resulting statements are the easy part. If I'm serious, then I need to address those areas which need to be "retro-fitted." Resources must be spent; sacrifices must be made; sweat must be broken. And I must be open to the standards of a professional, the building inspector who (helps me to) evaluates the work. Those standards have been set not as a form of judgement but out of concern for safety, fulfillment, and continued long life.

It's time to get to work.

(Robin, I apologize for all spelling, grammatical, and mechanical errors in the above.)
Here's to our mutual success! :buddies: --Diana
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Re: Ruminations on earthquakes, stress and weightloss

Postby DogMa » October 20th, 2008, 7:31 am

Diana wrote:(Robin, I apologize for all spelling, grammatical, and mechanical errors in the above.)


Just glad to see you back here, Di.

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Postby dede4wd » October 20th, 2008, 10:24 am

Very interesting post Di. I totally get your meaning.

I feel like I've gotten the inspection, gotten the estimates, did some work on it myself, but not permanent work, picked a contractor (one who requires some sweat equity). Now with any fix-it project, I keep running into cost overlays, surprises and things not meeting the timeframe I set for myself.

What I do know is that the steps are in place, I know how to do it, I have some help and I feel though although my "house" is filled with drywall dust and parts and pieces, I see the end result and the fixes are going to make everything strong and beautiful!

Let's get retrofitting! So glad to see you posting!

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Re: Ruminations on earthquakes, stress and weightloss

Postby Mike » October 20th, 2008, 11:44 am

DogMa wrote:Just glad to see you back here, Di.

I second that. Awesome thoughts sweetie.

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