Category Archives: empowerment

Slept Like a Baby

Ana Maria Navarro Leitao

I absolutely LOVE this photo. I’ve kept it in my pictures on my computer, enjoying looking at it for days and days now, and wanted to share it. I’ve never really been sure where the expression, ‘sleeping like a baby’ actually CAME from, since in MY experience, it was always a very short-term RELIEF when our babies slept and we could rest, too, but –

Since it means that you slept really well, I’ll happily tell you that that was the case with ME last night. I awoke feeling rested before the alarm was due to go off, something that always puts me in a good mood.

We’re supposed to have a cold front and thunderstorms today! (We’re right below and to the right of Fort Smith on the map.) I say this happily because the heat indices have been pretty hard on us, and we’re ready for some relief – kind of like when babies finally get to sleep – you’re SO happy with whatever you can get. :0)

Jessica Gavin

I’m going to make beef stew in the crock pot for our dinner tonight – much heavier on the veggies than I used to make. My husband really liked the last batch I made, so it’s nice that we can meet our veggie needs with a dish we really like – plus I’ll make enough we have some good leftovers to heat up another night or two.

I feel empowered this morning! I solved a problem with my computer for which I used to have to go to my husband for help! I have two monitors. (I move things all around from screen to screen when I’m working.) This morning my left-hand monitor was dark and wouldn’t turn on. It’s the MAIN monitor, so all the controls for the computer are on that one. The right-hand monitor only turns on when the LEFT one is on. So I concentrated on not panicking.

I tried rebooting the computer. It came on, but I still had the same problem. I got under my table and checked the connections in the back of the computer box. All good. I checked the connections on the front of the box. All good. I carefully checked the connections on the monitors. Right one good. Left one LOOKED good, but one connection was a bit loose. The monitor finally winked on! Then the right one came on. Windows had added upgrades and rebooted my computer – the reason all wasn’t as I left it, but I FOUND the reason the monitor wasn’t working. All is restored now and I DID IT. :0) I’ll try not to be insufferable. :0)

123RF-Anton Dotsenko

Have a wonderful Sunday!

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, DIET!, empowerment, Thoughts on a ________

Stop Waiting

flickr.com

Even if I had read this years ago, when I was in junior high, I wouldn’t have been smart enough to heed the wisdom of it.

I’ve spent most of my life waiting. When I was in junior high (14 years old) I met my husband-to-be just before he joined the Marine Corps. I waited for a letter each day. I would watch out the window for the mailman. He knew I was in love – and was a wonderful guy – so he would break the rules and put the red flag on the mailbox up if there were a letter from him for me. He would grin ear to ear as I came flying out of the house, running down the driveway to get the mail.

I waited for my husband-to-be to get leave from the Marines, when I could start to live again. We were inseparable, of course, watched carefully by both sets of parents, until he had to leave again. I remember one leaving-taking in particular, when my mother-in-law-to-be allowed me to ride to the airport with them and see him off. I cried my heart out, nose against the glass as his plane went down the runway.

When he got out of the Marine Corps, I went to Oklahoma State University. He went to the University of Tulsa, so I waited for weekends and holidays. My parents said I had to finish school before we could marry. They finally compromised when a program opened up where I could do my practice teaching in Tulsa, and we were married. I waited so long to marry him that I cried on the way back down the aisle that we were finally together and I could begin to live.

I feel stupid typing this. I wasted so much of my life ignoring what was around me, focused on the next time my life ‘would start.’ How much I missed, marking days off the calendar until the next “big thing” in my life. I’ve spent a lot of my working life wishing Mondays away, waiting for Fridays. Waiting for vacations. Wishing days, weeks, months and years away.

So, even though I was too stupid to realize what I was doing, or unable or unwilling to change my behavior if I DID realize, I think living in the moment is THE most important thing I have ever learned. Better late than never. Better some than none.

NOW is what is important – the people you are lucky enough to know and love – what is happening right – this – minute.

Wring every drop of joy out of whatever you are lucky enough to have.

Appreciate your life.

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Amazing Idea

I’ve told you over the years how proud we are of our son, who lives and works in Thailand.

To give you one example of why we are proud –

flashcards

He is really good at languages and keeps finding ways to improve his skills.

He speaks English, of course, and also Mandarin and Thai.

When he was home last time, he showed me that there was an app on his phone where he could help people with the language. People wrote in, asking for a translation, or ‘how do you say,’ questions. He would read the question and then answer it. Sounds simple? Sometimes the writer was Chinese, sometimes Thai, sometimes from an English-speaking country. He had three keyboards on his phone that he used to answer in the language of the writer, telling them how to say ‘—-‘ in Thai, or Chinese, or English. I would have happily watched him doing this in real time forever.

His newest thing is flashcards. You notice there is no English on them. These are for Chinese people trying to learn Thai. He is using these to refresh himself on Mandarin and learn how to spell Thai words. (He knows how to SAY many more Thai words than he can write.) He will work with these every day to increase his expertise in both of the languages.

I have no idea where he gets his ability to learn languages. His mom and dad still struggle with English from time to time (I’ve heard word retrieval problems are one of the perks of getting older.)

He considers learning a language well as respect for the country and the people where he is living.

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Be

Tabby Cat-omegaste.com

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Always

lifehack.org

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Magic

Nino Chakvetadze-Zen to Zany

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Striving

The Little Engine That Could

This was a classic book when I was a child. It’s all about striving – trying to reach a goal. The little engine kept striving, all the while saying, “I THINK I can, I THINK I can…” finally reaching the top of the hill due to never giving up and his fierce determination.

I’m ‘thinking I can’ now, on DAY 5 of my new regimen of eating right, raw veggies and a bit of dip for an afternoon snack, a bottle of water, and yoga each afternoon in an effort to lose my lard. I lost a bit yesterday, so that’s encouraging.

I also FEEL a bit better due to the yoga. Some of the positions are getting a bit easier. I’m able to slowly stretch a bit more. Some things will take some time. WHEN I make it to Monday of next week – with my daily yoga practice – I’m planning to add some work with dumbbells to my yoga practice Mon, Wed, and Fri.

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, empowerment, Encouragement, exercise

Confidence

thefunnybeaver.com

I don’t know why, but when I was growing up, I felt that I ‘should already know how to do things’ before doing them out in public. If my class at school announced that we would have a roller skating party, I would beg my mom to take me to the rink so that I could practice before the party, in a panic about the idea of embarrassing myself in front of other people.

Gradually, over the years, I gave myself ‘permission’ to admit that I had no clue about certain things, that I had never tried something, etc. It still bothers me a bit, but I’ve FINALLY learned to try the new thing to see if I enjoy it, rather than ‘standing back in my own mind’ seeing myself falling in a heap when everyone else seems to be able to do it with no problem.

I don’t know if others share my lack of confidence, but it caused me to miss out on several things when I was young. I still admire people who seem to be fearless, who throw themselves headlong into whatever it the situation is, with a ‘can do’ attitude, or the idea that it will be fun.

One thing I did that helped me deal with this was when I was teaching swimming each summer from the time I was 14 through college. We taught beginning swimming to young children, but we also taught older, experienced swimmers who wanted to work on their technique, stamina, or just wanted the workout.

My favorite thing was our “Mothers Classes.” These ladies sat on the benches in the hot, steamy, indoor pool area so that their kids could learn to swim. What we discovered was that the reason for this many times was that THEY were scared of the water, had never learned to swim, and wished they could. I ended up with some impressive scratches sometimes from women who were petrified, but I felt that the time we spent getting them over their fear was priceless for all of us. We taught them to relax and let the water hold them up. We showed them that they could actually float! Helping women find the confidence to try to overcome years of fear and avoidance helped ME, too. Seeing them learn to swim across the deep end on their own, laughing with joy, made me see my own problems in a different, more healthy light.

Are you with me? Got your T-shirt?

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Action – Reaction – Truth

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February 13, 2021 · 10:22 am

Our Job

L. R. Knost – SayingImages.com

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I Voted

Bay Tech Label

My husband and I voted yesterday. Early voting started Monday in Arkansas, but when we went to the fairgrounds on Monday, there were a zillion cars and a long line out the building and all the way to the parking lot.

We tried again yesterday. We were going to be out two different times during the day and thought we might luck out. We did – the first time!

There were only a few people in line, so we only had about a 10-minute wait.

They were very careful. There were big red dots on the floor inside the building showing they were serious about social distancing. They didn’t take temperatures, but there was a sign about wearing masks. Everyone inside the building was wearing one. The people who verified your identity were in plexiglass cubicles. I was asked to put my driver’s license in a little slot on the outside of the cubicle so the lady could read it. She asked for my full name, date of birth, address and phone number. Then she asked for my signature and compared it to the one on my driver’s license, as well as a previous time I had voted. She then gave me a ballot.

The voting machines were spread out nicely. They gave us stylus pens that we used to vote, rather than having to touch the screens. We then took the finished, printed ballot to a machine at the door and watched as it was sucked into it.

We didn’t get a sticker this year. My husband was particularly disappointed because he usually wears his on his forehead for whatever errands we have after we vote.

I thanked everyone for being there to help us vote. I was concerned that maybe we wouldn’t be able to vote early this year because of lack of volunteers amid the Covid. I should have known that the people of Greenwood would step up.

I’m very pleased that Greenwood has early voting, giving us from the 19th through election day to make our voices heard.

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Defying the Idea of Aging 6

 

 

 

GrowingBolder.com

 

 

 

GrowingBolder.com

 

 

 

GrowingBolder.com

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Defying the Idea of Aging 5

GrowingBolder.com

 

 

 

GrowingBolder.com

 

 

 

GrowingBolder.com

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Defying the Idea of Aging 4

GrowingBolder.com

 

 

 

GrowingBolder.com

 

 

 

GrowingBolder.com

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Defying the Idea of Aging 3

GrowingBolder.com

 

 

 

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GrowingBolder.com

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Value Yourself

Ayn Rand – SayingImages.com

This doesn’t have to mean HUGE changes in your life. It can mean carving out a bit of time for yourself each day. Use it to do something you really enjoy, something that brings you pleasure, brings you peace, makes you smile. If you can’t DO something, you always have your mind and your heart. You can escape for a bit, if you need to – listen to music, read a book, sit in your chair with your eyes closed.  Be sure to do something each and every day.

“Learn to value yourself, which means:  Fight for your happiness.” ~ Ayn Rand

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Determined

ExplorePic.com

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Stones

DreamsQuotes.com

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Planning for FUN

Freepik

Managing stress is super-important.

Stress crawls into all your nooks and crannies, wreaking havoc in your mindset, your health, your ability to function. It colors EVERYTHING – painting with a broad brush.

I’ve been having some, due to various things, such as having to have one of our dogs euthanized due to cancer and health issues with my husband. I’ve been aware of it, but have just shoved it down deep, staying busy – rather than actively trying to deal with it. I finally decided to get proactive when my doctor asked how I was and tears sprang up.

Now I am thinking of ways I can help myself. My situation is not going to change. In fact, it will get worse. I’m actively gathering ideas for what I can do to take care of myself so that I will be strong enough to deal with whatever is ahead.

  • Value the family members and friends who care. They allow me to vent whenever I need to – I try not to abuse the privilege – but knowing they are there is everything.
  • Make a plan for each day, listing ONE thing I would like to accomplish. (Today it is listing my newest earrings on EyecatchingEarrings at Etsy)
  • Eat right and exercise daily ( we are on Month #2 of the South Beach diet. DIY dinner tonight – bacon-wrapped chicken breast and salad – now that the main yard cleanup is finished, I’ll go back to my elliptical trainer and yoga)
  • Dive into a good book daily – I’m enjoying the Rise of the Iliri series by Auryn Hadley. I’m on book # 6 now.
  • Spend time in my art room – Even if it’s just messing around, something usually grabs me. I play some of my favorite music while I’m up there, making it a double-escape, creative time.
  • Work in my garden or flower planters. Right now we’re having a bit cooler temperatures with lower humidity, so it’s lovely outside.
  • Listen to music. I either arrange a mini-concert of some of my favorites via YouTube, or spread out in my recliner and plug myself into my MP3 player.
  • Actively plan for FUN daily – something that brings me pleasure – for the moment or longer term.

AND, as I do these things, my problems lessen – allowing me to get a better perspective and be thankful for all I have.

I hope that YOU can plan for some FUN in YOUR day, too!

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Suggestion

Mark Twain via keepinspiring.me

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Finding Happiness

Penny Yaffe Krakow

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A Son’s Love

 

Our son is giving me some lessons on how to get the most out of my iPhone.  I have access to a tutorial, but I never seem to give it first priority. Last night we sat down together and he showed me about six different things I didn’t know I COULD do –

  • I have moved the icons I use most to the first page where I can find them more easily.
  • I have learned to pull down from the top of my phone to access search.
  • I have now used Google Maps to enable the GPS function.
  • I can swipe from the bottom up to access airplane mode and other useful things
  • I learned to use the button on the side of the phone to switch my phone from ring to silence, and back again, rather than going about it in a totally more bumbling, laborious way.

We’re going to continue my lessons, and I have to say I am feeling empowered!

Besides my phone lessons, I’m getting my hugs bucket filled. I’m laughing so much my stomach hurts at times. He makes me feel calm and better able to deal with a health issue our family is facing. My husband and I are SO lucky to have a wonderful, caring son. We treasure every minute with him.

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Since We’re Talking Fireworks….

Josh Billings via Kelly Mizell – LinkedIn

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Overwhelmed

Psychologies

My poor brain is overflowing with good suggestions for how to make my new Etsy shop better.  I’m feeling totally overwhelmed right now, not knowing which way to jump.

I’m going to go do something else from my ever-growing to-do list and then come back and choose ONE thing to do in my shop.

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If You Stumble…

Charity Sparrow via Stephanie Youmans Wilson

 

You have to have a certain amount of confidence in order to accept this.

I don’t know why, but as a child, I felt I had to ‘master’ something – at least be reasonably good at something – before I did it in public. I definitely wanted to AVOID stumbling at all costs. I keenly felt in competition with my older brother, never measuring up.

An example would be an invitation to go bowling. Instead of just going, learning the best way I could and having FUN with it, I would accept the invitation, then go a few days ahead of time and bowl several games in order to try to avoid looking like an idiot. It was almost a panicky thing for me.

Now that I’m older than dirt, I no longer feel embarrassment at not having done something before. I won’t say I embrace completely new things with wide open arms yet, but I openly say I’ve never done something before and don’t agonize over looking silly or inept. Life is too short for that. I accept that all of us have strengths and weaknesses and that we are NOT competing – and that no one CARES if I suck at something or not. The point is learning something I didn’t know before and enjoying the experience of learning, sticking my neck out and trying something new – just for the joy of it.

Even though I may stumble a lot these days :0)  – I’m having more and more fun dancing!

 

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Make Time

Heather A. Stillufsen – via Christine Malone – LinkedIn

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Friendship

John Hodgins via Bethany Kerr

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It Feels Like Christmas!

I found a super-good deal on a set of acrylic paints a few days ago. They arrived today, and I feel like a kid at Christmas! There are 14 tubes of paint in the set and I have paid more for 4 tubes – plus shipping – than I had to pay for this set with FREE shipping. Woo HOOO!

For some reason I haven’t been up to my art room in quite a while. I felt I needed to accomplish more on my purging project to go through 30+ years of STUFF we’ve accumulated and really don’t need.

I’m beginning to figure out now that the more I go through things, donating a bunch of things to others, throwing away a bunch of things, and then reorganizing and cleaning before putting what is good to keep again, I’m in a never-ending job. The more I DO, the more I SEE to do!

I’m going to give myself permission to take a bit of a break from all the work and play in my art room this week.

 

I don’t know if I’ll come up with anything, but I’ll have a wonderful time dreaming, experimenting, and playing!

keetonsonline.com – via Sherry Dellaria McGrath

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Take What You Need

Christina L Paul – LinkedIn

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Fear

Leadership First-LinkedIn

I find this to be a really great motivator.

I don’t have many ‘fears,’ but I’ve seen lots of friends whose lives simple dwindle. Their world implodes, becoming smaller and smaller until they’ve given up old interests and don’t want to welcome new ones.

I have more interests than I have time or energy for the day. It seems I barely get started and the day is over.

This time next year, I want to be the best ‘me’ ever.  I would like to look back and feel that I’ve used my time well. I hope that I will have shown friends and family how much I love them in so many ways they laugh about it. I want to be as healthy as I can be – taking good care of myself and my husband. I want to fill each day with things that bring me joy.

Where do YOU want to be at this same time next year?

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Adventure

Medical News Today

When our son was home visiting from Thailand over the holidays, he talked about how much meditation has helped him.  He had started practicing it by himself, then went to a monastery in Chiang Mai for two weeks. He’s been practicing daily ever since, feeling much more calm, in control of his thoughts, reactions, and emotions, and feeling content.

Tonight (our time) he’ll start his newest adventure – spending time learning to meditate from a master in a monastery in Siddharthanagar, Nepal. He had to fill out a lot of forms and answer many questions to be accepted for a 3-week stay. This time can be extended with the permission of his teacher. He hopes to stay two months.

He’ll eat breakfast at 5 a.m., then meditate until lunch. After lunch (the last meal of the day) he’ll meditate until bedtime – a total of 14 hours every day. He’ll be interviewed by his teacher or a nun there daily, 6 days each week so they can keep track of how things are going, what he’s gaining, what he needs to focus more on, etc. He’ll do sitting and walking meditation.

During this time, in respect for the monastery, the school, and the concentration on this opportunity to learn, he’ll be incommunicado – OUR character-building part of his adventure. This will end, if all goes as he hopes, around the end of March.

I hope he gains what he hopes to during this two-month period. I already felt that he was calmer, more outgoing, more accepting of everything while he was home. I’m really proud of the kind, caring man he is. It’s fascinating to talk with him, learning what he thinks of life, priorities, goals, and more. He already can look at a situation with more depth than his parents, seeing it in a whole different light than we. I’ll be so interested to hear what he has learned and felt during this latest adventure.

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