Category Archives: Encouragement

Really Listening

Deidre’ Wallace – LinkedIn

This is an ongoing challenge for me. I recognized that my mother was challenged, too, but it was SO much easier to recognize it in someone else.

I used to make excuses for myself – that if I didn’t blurt out what I was thinking at the first breath the other person took, I would forget what it was I wanted to say. Now I realize that if I can’t remember it, it wasn’t that important to share in the first place. Besides that, it’s rude, and that really has NEVER been my intention.

My goal now is to leave knowing a LOT more about what’s happening with the other person, and what they think about things. If they want to know something, they’ll ASK.

I really want the other person to know that I care – that I want to be with them – HEAR them. An ongoing challenge, but I think a very worthy one.

 

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A Candle

“A Candle”*

Poem and Photo by Kelly Mizell – LinkedIn

 

A candle is but a simple thing,

It starts with just a bit of string,

Yet dipped and dipped with a patient hand,

It gathers wax upon its strand,

Until it’s complete in colors and white

At last it gives a lovely light.

 

Life is so like that bit of string,

Each deed we do is a simple thing,

Yet day by day if on life’s strand,

We work with patient heart and hand

It gathers joy and makes dark times bright,

Giving at last a loving light.

Kelly Mizell

 

*Kelly published this on LinkedIn this morning. I was blown away and asked her for her permission to repost it here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

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Change

Mary Engelbreit via sayingimages.com

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I’m Not Sorry

Purple Clover via Cathy Ruggiero

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Be You!

Linda Sweigart via Cathy Ruggiero

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Irresistibly Contagious

Charles Dickens via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Exercise Notes

Science ABC

“I didn’t make it to the gym today. That makes five years in a row.”*    

My current exercise plan of doing ‘yoga-and-exercises’ one day and the elliptical trainer the next seems to be a good fit for me.

If I try to do both in one day I get overwhelmed since I’m a couch potato for some awful number of years now. I’m also trying to go through my over-30-year-old house, purging/donating/cleaning/reorganizing room by room, plus working out in the yard when the weather is cooperative, so I’m getting a good amount of other exercise on a daily basis, as well.

I envy folks who ‘discover’ exercise, quickly becoming addicted, feeling ‘off’ if they miss exercising one day. I envy folks who actually reshape their bodies with exercise, looking gorgeous in their cute little exercise outfits. I’m not dead yet, so I can really admire (and do a little bit of quiet drooling) over men who routinely rip their shirts off to expose their six-packs and bulging arms.

Reality is a whole different story, though. What I am going for – since at 71 I’m getting a bit long in the tooth – is

  • balance – I don’t want to get tottery and pitch headlong down our stairs, and we have them everywhere here. I want to keep walking like I mean it, not hesitantly, as if I’m walking on eggs stiffly, as I see in so many older ladies.
  • flexibility – I get stiff and sore at the drop of a hat, so I want to do all I can to get more flexible and then stay that way.
  • lessening of pain – I would rather not be dependent on pain relievers in pills, gels, oils, or whatever. I would prefer to exercise my way to feeling as good as I can.
  • loosening – this is probably weird, but as I exercise, my body is feeling ‘looser.’ I can feel my stomach muscles when I walk – a new feeling for me, believe me. My body is moving more easily.
  • strength – One of the many ‘perks’ of getting older is getting weaker.  I can accept that there are certain things I should no longer be trying to do, and that’s okay, I guess. But I DON’T want to accept giving up what I consider regular things and I will fight to strengthen my core muscles, my arms and legs, etc. in order to continue doing most of the things I would like to do until I croak.
  • general health – as I get stronger, I’m healthier. I don’t get sick nearly as much. I feel better every day (unless I’ve killed myself overdoing the day before) and then MORE EXERCISE!
  • new, smaller clothes – I also freely admit that I’m enjoying fitting into clothes that have been hanging in my closet – some of them for YEARS now – without being worn because they were too small. I’m enjoying almost being down 4 sizes in jeans at this point, with the thought that I might actually need to buy smaller ones in the future. :0)  I like being able to look at clothes I really LIKE, rather than mainly concentrating on whether they are large enough to cover my bulk.

It’s okay that I will never be like the crazy people in the exercise machine commercials who seem to be in a sexual frenzy while bicycling. That would be wonderful, but it’s not gonna happen. What I FEEL happening is good. It feels good enough – along with the sweet little gold stars I give myself on my calendar each day when I do my scheduled exercise – that I want to continue. That’s good enough for this old broad.

“I decided to stop calling the bathroom the “John” and renamed it the “Jim”.  I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.” *

* Quotes were sent to me via email by my good friend, Marsha Koenig

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Remember

Anthony J. D’Angelo via sayingimages.com

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Give Love

Ram Lumbhani – LinkedIn

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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report -11/29/2018

Popsugar

Short answer –

I’ve lost 30.6 pounds and 29.55 inches on Nutrisystem. When you add what I lost on a low-carb emphasis before that, the totals are 43 pounds off and 45.95 inches off.

Longer answer –

We are still on the plateau from Hell, but we’ve been eating homemade beef stew and bread for dinners three nights in a row, so I guess it’s amazing we didn’t GAIN weight this week.

The larger point is that we are AWARE of what we’re eating now. We’re incorporating flex meals (where you eat something other than Nutrisystem meals) into our lifestyle. We’re SUPPOSED to eat ONE flex breakfast, ONE flex lunch, ONE flex dinner, and ONE flex snack per week. We’re going to have to continue doing some changing to be able to eat only ONE meal of beef stew and then freeze the rest for other weeks, rather than simply having a bowl each night until it’s gone.

Other changes noted

  • I’m ALMOST down another size in jeans. I say, ‘almost,’ because I have four pair of the next size down and I’m only able to get into one of them. (I’ll claim victory when I can get into all of them.)
  • I can again wear a fuzzy brown vest we bought in the Grand Canyon Gift Shop umpteen years ago. I wore it for that winter, but then it has been WAAAAY too small to even get on, much less zip it up, ever since.
  • I am incorporating a bunch of abdominal exercises into my yoga practice every other day. My husband started trying to do sit-ups when I was on vacation. He’s a former Marine, and was able to ‘give me 50″ at the drop of his superior’s hat easily. That was some 55 years ago now, and he was appalled that he couldn’t do ANY. He is now up to about 10. I discovered I was equally challenged, but I’ve been working at it about 6 months longer than he. I’m up to 30 now, plus am doing leg lifts, and whatever you call the exercise where you’re lying on your back and you have your arms folded behind your neck and try to touch opposite elbows and knees while in a sit-up pose. We’re trying to cheer each other on in our efforts.

Most of our progress lately has been in attitude and confidence that we CAN lose the lard and get stronger with persistent effort. We have made a lifestyle change, trying to be aware of what we’re eating, the portion we’re eating, and modifying the rest of the day if we overdo at one meal. We’re consciously trying to move more and gain strength and flexibility. I’m also working on balance stuff, but have a long way to go on that, too. I’ll feel as if I’ve REALLY made progress when the hardest thing is NOT getting up off the floor from my exercising! :0)

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, Encouragement, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, quality of life, taking care of yourself

What Do You Think?

Martin Kornfeld via You Have the Right to Remain Healthy via Cathy Ruggiero

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Be Yourself

Oscar Wilde via SayingImages.com

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While You’re Here…

Wilferd A Peterson via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Laughing

Zen to Zany

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Ordinary?

Waldorf Today via Desiree Angelique Hackett

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Laughing Out Loud

source unknown

We’ve always thought that being able to see the humor in most situations is something that helps us through life. My dad did this, and I’ve always been grateful he instilled it in me. I can’t tell you how many times being able to stand back and see what is happening as though it’s happening to someone else has diffused possible strife in our home, saved friendships, and made for saner people (at least we like to think so!)

Lately, we have a LOT to laugh about –

  • The Internet God is unhappy with me for some reason. She gives me access only to snatch it away without rhyme or reason, without warning. We have a new modem that we can see is working. My husband has Internet. The problem seems to be in MY computer – though we put in a new network card, new cable between my internet card and the modem, unplugged, rebooted, etc. It all boils down to HER mood…
  • Our smart thermostats are old and tired – but still smarter than my husband and I. Today we’re tackling trying to reprogram our two thermostats once again. We follow the directions step by step, think we have them programmed correctly, and then find out we’ve either screwed up again, or they just don’t work with our geothermal system the way they should. Our geothermal checkup guy is looking into our options for replacing our thermostats with ones that are more compatible with our system. We got these when we had heat pumps. Our geothermal system doesn’t need “emergency heat,” but our present thermostats don’t seem to understand that….
  • It’s too cold to change to our snow tires on the truck – hopefully, when it warms up a bit Friday and Saturday, we can make the switch without freezing our parts off – and then we probably won’t need them until December or January…
  • At the grocery store I saw a young, quite flexible girl cleaning out a shelf at the head of one aisle. She was sitting with her knees bent, one leg going one direction and the second leg bent in the opposite direction, moving around quite comfortably, concentrating on moving the cans around. I got down beside her and told her that I envied her youth, her flexibility and agility, and the ease with which she moved around. I laughed when I admitted to her that in my yoga sessions, my biggest problem – once I finish folding myself into a paper airplane – is getting up off the floor!

‘BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO CAN LAUGH AT HIMSELF, FOR HE WILL NEVER CEASE TO BE AMUSED.’ (UNKNOWN)

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Starfish Story

My sister-in-law, Mary Lou, emailed me the Starfish Story. It is definitely food for thought, so I’m happy to post it here –

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”

The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.

— Adapted from The Star Thrower
by Loren C. Eiseley

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What Makes a Relationship Successful?

happified.tumblr.com via sayingimages.com

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I Woke Up Happy Today

wallpaper-gallery.net

I avoid exercise DVDs where the people are SO pert, SO excited, exuding the joys of moving – telling you how GOOD it all feels. They make me hostile. Likewise, I greet cloyingly sweet pictures and people with at least a silent snarl.

SO – you may react that way to ME this morning, because I woke up happy.

Though things are far from perfect, I have a pretty great life. I fell in love with my husband almost 60 years ago. We’ll celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in June. AND we don’t just love, we’re addicted to each other. That doesn’t mean – by ANY means – that I don’t want to punch him in the face on a regular basis, but we chose to share our lives and it was definitely a good choice. We lost a daughter when she was 2 months old to SIDS – but we made a son who makes us proud of the generous, caring man he’s become, who loves us, reaches out on an almost daily basis from halfway across the world, just to check in and make sure we’re okay. And we might spend Christmas together this year!

We have two dogs, Molly (a sweet, elderly cocker spaniel/schnauzer cross) and Amber (a 95 pound yellow lab PUPPY) who drives us nuts and makes us laugh every day; two cats (Abby (a tortoiseshell fat cat) and Smoke (a sleek grey hunter); plus 4 goldfish who have tripled in size since we added them to our family.

We have a home we built over 30 years ago on top of a ridge line in Arkansas and we still love it. Since the initial building, we added a shop, then later doubled its size, plus built a greenhouse that so far hasn’t succumbed to wind and rain. We’re reasonably close to town, yet enjoy complete privacy up here, a really nice combination. We have a view of several ridge lines – and since we can see them, seeing the seasons change – we can pretend we own it all. :0)

Our health is improving as we get some of our lard off and are trying to exercise. I’m mainly doing my elliptical trainer and yoga stretching for old folks. My husband is doing better and better trying to do sit ups. We are consciously trying to move more.

We are retired, so many days we can do what we want – or don’t want to do. I can try to be productive or enjoy curling up in my chair with a good book.  I can choose to check things off my to-do list or play in my art room. We have good friends who make our lives rich.

I woke up happy today. I hope you did, too.

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Standing Out

Lisa Hurwitz at Expanets via zen to zany via cathy ruggiero

I may be more ‘mature’ now, but I vividly remember how STRONGLY I wanted to be like everybody else when I was a young teenager.

One super-vivid memory is that my mom made me an outfit from corduroy – a skirt and top that went over a blouse. The skirt was some kind of pattern with yellows and green and there were four large black buttons on the front, forming the corners of a square. The top was green. My mom bought me a pale yellow blouse to go under the top.  She was an amazing seamstress and the outfit was beautifully made.

The problem? Back in 1492 when I was a teenager, the saying was, “Yellow and green on Thursdays means you’re queer.” (or something similar.) This shows you that – as messed up as our country is NOW as far as being inclusive and embracing our differences, 60+ years ago, it was worse!

Of COURSE my mom wanted me to wear the outfit on Thursdays and told me how ridiculous it was that I would care what other people thought. This caused really bad scenes in my household, as my mom was strong-willed and I was stupid and wanted to fit in so badly I would have almost rather died than cross the ‘group.’

Another thing was tennis shoes. New ones, clean and white, meant you were a nerd. NOW I would be proud to be called a nerd – maybe I could have become a gazillionaire and had enough money I could make a difference – but THEN I would go out and purposely get grass stains and dirt on them the minute they came home from the store.

AND – for some unknown reason – I felt that I HAD to be good at things IMMEDIATELY or I wouldn’t be ‘accepted.’ I think ‘what CRAP!’ NOW, but I sure didn’t THEN. I remember a pool party where everyone was doing some kind of dive off the diving board. My mind has blurred the details of what dive it was, or even who I was with. My turn came. I gave it my best, but ended up with a huge, painful SPLAT on the water. I remember swimming under water to the shallow end of the pool (I was a good swimmer, but couldn’t dive). Someone was along side, yelling at me to find out if I was all right. I lied and said I did that for comic relief.

I substituted at the local schools for about two years, trying to get a job in the Greenwood School System, substituting for kindergarten through high school boy’s P.E. and was saddened to see that everyone is trying NOT to stand out. If you’re a good student, you try to be quiet about it. Everyone dresses alike, talks alike, give the same blank look when you ask them questions about the subject they’re studying, the book they’re supposed to be reading, etc.

It would be wonderful if children were encouraged by adults – and especially their peers – to be DIFFERENT – SPECIAL – UNIQUE.  To CELEBRATE the things that make them stand out. To be CONFIDENT – CURIOUS – with PASSION to seek a unique place in the world.

 

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Apologies

sayingimages.com

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Dog’s Life

Robert Falcon Scott via sayingimages.com

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Mantra

Wilferd A Peterson via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Goal

sayingimages.com

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

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Dreams

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“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.” 
― Gloria Steinem

Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.- Ashley Smith

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Reminder

sayingimages.com

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The Sweater-Jacket

I found this sweater/jacket 5 years ago or so and simply loved it. Sadly, it was too small, but I TOLD myself that I would lose some weight and finally be able to wear it. I’ve moved it back and forth from the guest closet to my closet, trying it on once a year since then, with the same result. Even with my determination to get rid of things all over the house, including clothes that don’t fit, I just COULDN’T part with it.

Deep purple is my color. Whenever I see a group of things, all the same except for color, I’m drawn to the dark purple one. The fact that this sweater-jacket had leather on the front, with cut out flowers, made me drool (though I was careful NOT to on the sweater!)

 

This is the back. It can be worn as a top or added as a jacket.

 

Here’s a close up of the flowers.

 

I haven’t lost poundage or lardage this week. The scales are still flirting with 30 pounds off, but I’m not there yet. My measuring tape is unimpressed, showing the same as last week, even though I’ve been working, cleaning, and exercising. The one thing that stands out is from my switching from summer to winter clothes and trying things on.

I have a full leaf bag now of tops that are too large AND my sweater/jacket finally FITS.  YES!!!!!!

I’m about half way to my goal in weight loss and inches now. It may take the rest of my natural life to get there, but I’m on my way!

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Filed under Cause for Celebration, Challenges, DIET!, Encouragement, exercise, Favorite Things, Healthy Eating, opportunities, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Decluttering – Cleaning Out – Celebration!

Cosmopolitan

I told you recently that I’ve started on Phase II of decluttering my home. It’s been awhile since I’ve made any progress because I’ve been working out in the yard. Now that we’re having a rainy weekend and first of the week, I started on the master bedroom and bath.

With the sudden coolness,  yesterday we got the upstairs vacuum working well enough to clean both rooms. I found myself grabbing a hoodie to keep warm, so today I started on my closet in earnest. I moved the hot weather clothes into the guest room closet and the cold weather clothes into my closet. Now I’m doing sessions, trying on everything and deciding whether it’s wearable and I like it, or if it’s in good enough shape to donate to the Thrift shop, or…

A truly wonderful thing is that I’ve been moving a sweater with a leather front, leather flowers and a front zipper back and forth for at least 5 years now because I loved it, even though it was WAAAAAY too small.  Today I tried it on and it FIT!!!!! I got my husband to come upstairs, put it on, and even HE thought it looked really good. He said, “Not only can you get into it, it fits WELL and looks GOOD.” :0)

I like loose tops. I’ve found several, however, that are SO loose they’re either falling off my shoulders or come down so low in front I might as well not bother wearing anything. Woo HOOOO!  I have a pad and pen and some trash bags up there to receive the donations now.

I get tired and out of patience quickly trying things on and taking them off again, so I’m spacing out the sessions. I’ll try to finish things by this evening.

It really feels good to be celebrating getting rid of clothes that are TOO LARGE, as well as purging my closet in general.

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Attitude

sayingimages.com

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Ahhhh!

Institute-for-Therapeutic-Massage-massageprogram.com

I’ve gone back and forth over the years on whether massage is a total luxury or absolute necessity. For the past several years I’m definitely leaning toward necessity.

My massage therapist, Lynn Moody, is a miracle worker. I always threaten to just stay on the table, refusing to leave after she kneads me into a relaxed puddle.

We talked today about why it’s so hard to relax. It doesn’t matter whether you really have problems that would tie anyone in a knot or not. The fact remains that we have trouble letting go. I consciously have to talk to myself (hopefully not aloud) saying, “relaxing jaw,” “relaxing face” as my DVD yoga instructor tells me. I don’t realize that I’m clenching my teeth and jaw, or that I’m not allowing myself to actually relax until I DO. It feels so GOOD!!!!

After Lynn tunes me up, I have more energy. My mood is much, much better, and I plan what good things I can accomplish when I get home.

If you’re considering massage a luxury you have trouble justifying in your budget, please stop it. If you don’t take care of yourself, you get sick. You hurt. You might bite the members of your family, lashing out basically because you’re uptight and can’t let go of all the things every day that tie us up.

If finances are tight, you might budget for this – acting as if it’s a trip to the doctor. You’ll thank yourself for it.

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Sunshine

Anthony J. D’Angelo via sayingimages.com

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