Chiangmai (ok so I quit again Jan 1st 2011) but still it is a long way to go about finding grace.
So what have I gained aside from age, inches and wisdom? Well wisdom is not to be sniffed at when it is the kind steeped in patience and humility. Gaining control the first time around made me cocky. Having found all the answers I felt entitled to lecture people on how to "improve" themselves. What nonsense when my hold was obviously (in retrospect) so tenuous. I think maybe we are all recovering life-oholics, just one shot away from once more finding ourselves face down in the >insert excess of your choice here< binge debris. A continual attitude of watchful awareness, and appreciative presence is necessary to stay grounded. One day at a time. Now, and now, and. Now.
I also have the chance to learn to love loser-me all over again. It is easy to love yourself when you are gorgeous and bendy, less so when you swathed in fat and regrets, and held together by overly tight hamstrings and frazzled nerves. I am a mess, and (as my husband keeps telling me) I am still gorgeous. I am going to make a huge effort to believe him before it is too late and actually am what the rest of the world sees as lovely. Everyone can recognise a diamond cut and polished but only experts can appreciate them in the rough.
Opposite to that and also connected is the lesson that none of this is me, fat or thin, flexible or stiff, winner or loser... it is all ego. I am other than this - unchanging and yet constantly in flux.
And finally I get to do it all again. Only better, more firmly and with a finer mind. Last time I blindly raced towards a goal of control, this time I will keep my eyes open and pay attention to the transformation.
How truly blessed I am.