A Revolution Update for June - Yay Me!

June 22nd, 2008

On April 15, 2014 I started a one-year experiment to see how many positive changes I could bring to my life in one year. This is a month two update.

A West Coast State of Mind

Yay me! I’m leaving on a jet plane. Or maybe in a U-Haul, but I’m definitely leaving Minnesota. I’ve had my fill of nine month long winters, tater-tot casseroles, and Midwest reserve.

I pulled up roots from Lake Tahoe, CA and moved to Minneapolis in 1991 to raise my kids. The cost of living was within my means as a single parent, and the education system was one of the best in the country. I don’t regret having lived here, but it’s hard to be a transplant in Minnesota, even in the metro area. The culture of “Minnesota Nice” is a subtle reticence I’ve never quite grasped, and in too many ways, I’ve felt like an impostor for the last eighteen years.

Mostly though, it’s the winters. Yes, I’ve lived in snow and liked it, but Tahoe snow was different. It was warmer, dryer, and appeared in only one season of the year. I could walk out of my house in January with a sweater. I could also drive to the ocean in a single morning, or take a trip to San Francisco and back over the weekend.

I knew I was missing the California sun, but when my friend Linda recently came for a visit, I realized how much I missed the openness of the culture, too. And since no revolution would be complete without at least one daring trek, I’ll embark on the adventure of moving after Elisabeth gets married in January. By next Spring, I’m determined that I’ll be writing this blog from some redwood deck underneath the California sun.

Speaking of Writing

I really did know better at the time, but I went ahead and took the advice of an editor who told me that there were too many first person novels on the market and that she felt my book would do better if written in the third person. I don’t normally write in the third person because I don’t like the distance. I like to be my characters while I write them, feel what they feel, and think what they think. Holding them at arm’s length makes them less real and less genuine to me. Still, I’m not an editor, and the business of publishing is not my forte. (Okay, I really find it kind of stifling, revolting and anti-art, which doesn’t exactly endear me to the many Dr. Robert Stadlers of the literary world). After 160 pages, I finally hated what was happening enough to take the alien bug out of my ear. I’m back to working on what I want to write, without any concern other than using my own genuine voice, and telling the story I want to tell. Yay me!

Remember those Jeans?

First, they got a little longer. Then they began to fall farther down my waist and off my hips, and finally I no longer needed to unzip them to take them off. Inside my head, a happy little chorus broke into song. I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it. The Pointer Sisters, my secret soundtrack. Well, not so secret anymore.

My feet giddily jumped onto the scale yesterday and whoa, wait – I had to move this thing to more level ground. I had to check the batteries. Okay, it read the same, so it must be right. 25 pounds gone. Yay me! My body has shed the equivalent of five bags of flour. A huge watermelon and a couple of cantaloupes. A gigantic holiday turkey, or a fourteen month old child.

I jumped back into my fat clothes and ran out the door to do all that needed doing. A lunch date, a dentist appointment, shopping. I half-expected that everyone I saw that day was going to notice the thinner me. EXCEPT NO ONE NOTICED! It didn’t really bum me out, but sobered me up to a reality that was even more motivating. I haven’t pared enough of the excess to make an impactful visual difference. Like removing 25 sheets of paper from a ream of a hundred, the difference isn’t all that perceptible — yet.

I feel lighter, though, and I am definitely noticing some changes. I’m seeing the hint of collarbones. My biceps are beginning to show. Even my shoes are looser. So other people not noticing doesn’t really matter. I’m still saying “yay me” and celebrating! Tonight, with a delicious chickpea salad and a fat-free banana milkshake for desert.

While I was out shopping, I realized that wearing loose clothes makes me feel delusionally thin. It sends a signal to my brain like some false mission accomplished” banner, when I’m actually in the neophyte stages of a long journey. Not a battle, not a war – I absolutely refuse to lug around that whole “your body is an enemy” burden. I wonder who the hell thought that idea up? How can we despise the very thing that keeps us alive, even when it’s not in the best shape? It’s like saying we hate our eyes because we don’t like the view. The view is always changing. Bodies can certainly change, and in reality there can’t be any separation between the body and life itself. Our bodies really are ourselves.

And the Rest?

It’s all a work in progress, but two months and one week into my personal revolution, I feel great! I haven’t reordered matter or discovered the meaning of life, but I am making positive, long-term changes, pulling up roots that don’t work for me, and gaining energy by being energetic. Yay me!

And yay you, who have been encouraging, enlightening, and kind enough to share your own ideas, thoughts, and stories. I’m going to ask “what’s on your mind” more often — I just loved your responses!

23 Responses to “A Revolution Update for June - Yay Me!”

  • Why is it that I am so very sad that you will be moving? Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand your rational and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t contemplate it each and every winter but I like the idea of you being nearby, that just possibly we may bump into one another on a street corner…and now that will never happen.

    You have taken the bull by the horns with this revolution, Jane, and you are someone I look up to. As they say, you walk the walk and talk the talk. I LOVE THAT! I wish I had your willpower, fortitude and wherewithal that you do. And to think, this is just the start! You’ve already earned a big CONGRATULATIONS!

  • Oh my goodness, I don’t really know you, certainly not in real time, but I am so PROUD of you! I know how hard it can be to stick to a commitment made to oneself, and seeing those results and rejoicing in them is a wonderful thing. It is a manifesto for joy in our own lives, I think, that when shared gets even better.

    And for taking the back the reigns on your writing project … gonod on ya!

    I gotta get back to packing, but as usual, your blog post is wonderful and inspiring. By the time you get to the West Coast, we will be settled. I hope that we can meet over a latte some day to talk about life.


  • When I visited Minnesota I missed the openess of California,too. I also missed the food. But, let’s make a trip back just for the Mall of America! I can’t wait for you to get here.

  • Great progress in a short time! It’s good to have a plan for future contentment. Bravo - keep up the good work!

    Cheers to You!

    Pamela :)

  • Jane I never could see you living in the midwest. I cannot stand the closed mindness of it and have never wanted to return since I moved to Mass. I too have lost 25 lb since april but a nutritionist told me to take vit. D because lack of it causes insulin resistance which is not the same as diabetes. Almost immediately it began to work. In MN you don’t get much sun in the winter. I wonder how our country can ever really be united with so many areas thinking so differently.

  • yay you!!!

  • Free
    Only want to be free
    We huddle close
    Hang on to a dream . . .

    Got a dream to take her here
    She’s comin’ to California!!!

  • Jane - way to go! Congrats on your moving forward in your journey. i too am working on losing weight AND changing my perception of me. And, looking forward to your move to California!

  • I am inspired by your positive attitude and your enthusiasm. I left Wisconsin for New Mexico 10 years ago-and have never regretted it. Keep moving forward, I applaud you.

  • I was lucky enough to be here when you posted your fiction, and am still in awe of the Vangough story and the one about the steely woman who secretly cut herself. I hope you never change your style to suit others, becuase you’re stories are powerful as they are.

    I’m enjoying hearing about your year, and hope you’ll post more! Congrats on the healthy path! It feels great, doesn’t it?

  • Wow Jane! I don’t know you at all….but after this brilliant, inspiring post all I can think about is, I want to know you!!!!

    I love the way you write here….can only imagine the way you spin a story!!!

    Thanks for the motivation…but at the same time, I’m a bit heart broken. It’s been my dream since I was little to leave here. But here I am…still!

  • Yay ! Yay you. Go somewhere you love.

    I left NYC for Vermont, and after 7 years still am baffled by the culture, although Burlington probably have more of a Coast influence than Minneapolis. It’s not the culture of niceness here (which I’ve seen in Indiana and it really freaked me out) In Vermont it’s something else, something elusive. Usually I j give up trying to figure it out, and just try my best to be myself in a non self-conscious manner. Which is hard to do, when you think about it. I do love Vermont, though. It’s so -well, it’s so Vermont.

    cheers. Liza

  • Jane, you need to come see people you haven’t seen in a LONG TIME because they (me) will most defintely notice!
    Hey, since I visit your blog everyday, and love what you write, I guess that makes YOU my blog crush. :-)
    I’m sad you’re leaving us, but I know MN hasn’t felt like home for you….and I know (hope!) I’ll get to see you a few times before you go.
    {{{{{Hugs}}}}}} to you!

  • There ya go again, bein’ all inspiring and stuff! Now that you said Cali it makes sense, but I gotta say, I always thought of you as an eastern girl!

    Can’t wait to see what the year brings for you!

  • I have been keeping my eye on your progress Jane. Wow you work fast, when you are on a mission. Remember, me when you come to Ca. Are you still riding your bike??. You seem happy once again, and that is great., I loved your video. Lots of fires here [CA.]right now We are surrounded by them. My friend is up in Butte County fighting them. He has been gone a week. Everything is really smoky, so its hard to be out side.

  • I lived in the midwest for eight years–the longest eight years of my life. It was a small world in a very big sprawling space and I was forever lost in it.

    I am always amazed how weight gain and loss that feels so tremendous to us is invisible to others. It makes me realize how silly my preoccupation on appearance is. No one is judging me as harshly as I judge myself. So, do it for health, do it for you, just as you have.

  • That’s great that you’re moving back! I love CA and really wouldn’t ever consider living anywhere else. Especially after spending most of my childhood in OK! If you are ever in the Sacramento area you have to let me know. We could meet and have a nutburger from the Sunflower Drive In in old Fair Oaks! They are yummy!

    Congratulations on your weightloss too! You are an inspiration!

    My favorite thing you wrote was this:

    “Inspiration just doesn’t strike from some mystical mountain top when the fickle Fates decide it’s time — it comes instead when real changes start to take place. It not only comes then, but arrives like a brightly lit and colorful parade to cheer progress. ”

    I want this to be my new mantra. Simply beautiful!

    Thank you!

  • Jane,

    I was born and raised in MN and when I moved to Florida 4 years ago it was the very, very best thing I ever did for myself! I had some guilt and the tiniest bit of regret because I left family and friends, but after spending this last winter there for my job I am sure as can be that it’s not for me.

    I too am having a health revolution and it really is great to be able to swim or walk outdoors no matter what the date is.

    Congratulations on 25 lbs! That’s just outstanding!

    Thanks for being influential and insprining,


  • “A boat is safe in it’s harbor, but that’s not where it’s meant to be.” I don’t know who said this … but it has always resonated with me. Minnesota has served it’s purpose, it’s part of you now (or perhaps the 25 pounds you’ve lost) … thank it for all it has helped manifest … and set your sails for the horizon! from the looks of the comments on this blog … wherever you go … you’ll find love!

  • one more thing … about those jeans …. YOU ROCK! Your revolution has clearly inspired many to open the closet door, drag out the junk and get rid of what doesn’t work for them any more … myself included. THANKS for holding up a mirror and reminding me that it is okay to embrace change! Hmmmm … I’m thinking in Nov: Barack/Jane has a nice sound to it. :D

  • See Jane Go… Go Jane Go!

    Ahhhh the warmth of the sun… nothing like it!

  • We’re here, Jane, in The Bay Area just a little bit outside of San Francisco … finally. And just in tme for the Pride Parade this weekend. Yesterday, I think, was the longest day of our lives. We were up at 3am, out the door at 4am, put Jack the big dog into Cargo at 4:30 ,and the little dog and we humans were on a 7am flight. By the time we got to this lovely Residence Inn, we were exhausted. But today, after some time in the pool and spa and after lots of sleep, we’re ready for a new day.

    I’m writing something for my blog now, but I want to tell you … the relocating … it’s a lot of hard work, but in the end, it’s well worth it!



  • Congratulations, Donna! I’m excited for you guys!

    Thank you everyone for your words of encouragement. You’ve all motivated me so much, and make me feel that the world is much larger, and has more room in it. . .and that the fishbowl of my present existence isn’t permanent!

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