“Grief can take care if itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.”  ― Mark Twain

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I’m Grateful

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As we move through mister’s Shingles outbreak, I can say I’m grateful for…

Oct 29:

Medications like antivirals, helping to abate the Shingles virus.

Time with the mister, and the ability to serve him while he’s sick.

Beautiful days in NEPA, like yesterday.

The chance to pull back from problem solving for family, if only for a short time and because of sickness.

An improvement in my sciatica;  I’ve been 4 days without pain killers!

Sunshine.

Deer that keep hubs animated as he gazes outside from his recliner.

Oct 30th:

Family that brings Sudoku books and venison/veggie soup when sickness strikes.

Our God, who sustains us in times of trouble.

The ability to refrain from stress-eating while under duress.

Little grey schnauzers who love us unconditionally.

Oct 31st: 

Another beautiful fall day in NEPA!

Continued opportunities to live simpler lives by freeing our home of stuff.

A good report from the eye specialist, although some concerns remain.

The Healing Journey classes. I love the group dynamic and the feeling of hopefulness this class leaves with me.

The sense that there is an unseen Hand guiding us through this shingles process.

Fellow writers who trust me to provide feedback on their writing.

Poems and music that move my soul!

This blog.

 

 

TGT-Sept 15

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As part of today’s blog post, I’m going to begin a new format with my Thursday goal and habit formation posts: TGT, or Three Goals Thursday.  This new format will include four sections.  Each section will have a header, and those headers will read:

LAST WEEK’S GOALS-where I will remind you of what my goals were this past week.

HOW I DID!-Where I report my progress, both successes and failures.

OBSERVATIONS-Offers more details and insight into my struggles and achievements.

THREE TEENY, TINY GOALS-New goal list for the new week.

……………………………….

LAST WEEK’S GOALS

As you know, I had three very small goals last week. They were:

1 Pursue a path of recovery with the new chiropractor, doing all he asks me to do in order to help myself in the most effective and efficient way.

2  Continue to learn new methods for paring down, in order to minimize my propensity for indecision.

3  Eat as cleanly as I can, incorporating as many veggies as I can and as much water as I can into my Action Plan for the week.

HOW I DID!

We’ve had another great week over here in NEPA!

Goal No. 1  EXCELLENT!  I can confidently report this week that I have followed the path of recovery laid out for me by professionals, and I have done all my chiropractor asked me to do.

Goal No. 2  EXCELLENT!  I have started to feel very comfortable with picking a different simple living project to focus on each weekend, while through the week I continue to read and study about minimalism and share what I’m learning with others.  I’m so thrilled with this new phase in life that I’m sure everyone is thinking, “Will you just shut up about all your cleaning. It’s just cleaning, for crying out loud!”  Little do they know how much deeper this thing has gone with me than mere cleaning.  I’m developing a whole new perspective on life because of this new understanding I’m gaining of what it means to be materialistic and how the the trappings of life can cut off the flow of joy.

Goal No. 3 STELLAR!  I didn’t give myself an excellent rating on this goal because I don’t have an Action Plan that is formally styled, typed, and hung on my wall.  Those things matter to me for some reason.  I have made concerted efforts to eat the rainbow this week though, and water consumption is up!  I do have an Action Plan.

OBSERVATIONS

FaceBook is a pain in my backside some days, and yet so addicting.  I have one person who asked me to add her to my friends list a while back, but never ever indicates that she has read my posts, or gives any encouragement about anything I share there.  I’m not sure why people ask to be included in my life when they don’t want to partake of it.  Thinking about what I should do about this, if anything at all.

My chiropractic treatments have not been achieving success quickly enough for me.  On Thursday of last week, I had this extended gripe session with myself.  I’m impatient for this therapy to work so I can get back to some form of exercise on a regular basis. I complained that I don’t see any appreciable difference in my condition/pain levels past those first two days of treatment, when I slept so well.  I’d been at this for all of three weeks and figured I should be feeling better. Of course I logically know this is not the case, but in my emotional brain felt like this was taking too long, and asked myself, “Why am I wasting my time and money on this, and why am I giving myself false hope?”  Yeah, it was bad.

Don’t you know, on the following Saturday I had no pain all day!  No numbness, no hot spots, no tingling and with no pain meds, all day and through the night! Bamm!!!  Take that, Lori!!  The bad news is that the pain returned on Sunday and it was there Monday, Tuesday….you get it, but, I am in less pain.  I am sleeping better.  My mood is improved.  I guess I best focus on being all I have to be thankful for, hunh?!!!!

As my pain has been decreasing, my spiritual sense of well being has been increasing!  A decision I’ve made to not buy anything I don’t need has been an unexpected source of joy.  Silly, I know, but I feel joyful about not spending money.  Weird.  Temptations to buy have come and gone, but I have not bought things I didn’t need. This is HUGE and I’m guessing can only impact life in a positive way for me and hubs.  We want to travel to GA this coming February, to stay with friends over a long weekend. The money we save now can be used then to enjoy that time and make memories.  Yeah, that brings joy!

As for the glimmers of inspiration, this:  I have written a well-received Friday Fiction short story, I have produced some penetrating and fearless journal entries that have addressed personal issues with me in a satisfying way, and I have experienced a rare piece of intuition that although it was not spot-on, led to the fixing of a hidden problem with our car that could have been a serious issue. Serious enough that I would have had to purchase a new car.  These are true encouragements to my soul and are helping to bolster my faith in the process.

THREE TEENY, TINY GOALS

Keeping goals the same for one more week.  These are too good to mess with right now!!!

What are you doing to improve your odds this week?  What is one goal you’re willing to work on as a project of self-care?

Over-the-Moon with Joy!

Today kicks off the holiday weekend and a series of festivities on the hill.  This week’s weather has been incredible in NEPA. Now, if it just stays that way through tomorrow evening I will be happy.  Make that more than happy. Make that giddy, thrilled…over-the-moon with joy happy!  I want so badly for us all to have a good time together and when the venue is outdoors, that means good weather is a necessity.

This morning we began our weekend of family fun with a Galentine’s Day Ladies-Only Breakfast, the first where I played hostess for the event.  It went really well!

Woohoo, I love it when a plan comes together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is a picture of the lovely ladies that shared breakfast with me this morning:

DSC_0708Aren’t they gorgeous?!  These are the fems in my fam, and I love them all.

We did have a few Y chromosomes in the crowd this morning. Pa had to work during our breakfast hour, so the wee boys were forced to join our group. They were well behaved for wee boys, and I think they enjoyed the Galentine’s theme as much as the gals did, especially the edible heart-shaped candies I distributed around the table top—you know, those kind you get on paper and you have to peel them off with water to put on your cakes at birthday time.  The boys enjoyed gobbling them up, as did a few of the ladies.

Here’s another pic, this time with me in the mix. I’m half way down the table on the right hand side.  I think I need a new hair style.  This one looks out of sync with my personality these days, plus it is hard to maintain.  I might go shorter. What do you think?

000at the tableI left the house early this morning so that I could decorate before any of the lovelies arrived, but wouldn’t you know it, a few came early.  I’m never early, so I rarely expect that of others!  It all looked so nice when I was done, but keeping it real, I want to share some misgivings I had before I went to this event.

On the drive down the hill to the venue, I kept thinking, “I should have done this.  Why didn’t I do that? What I’ve done is not enough!” I’m the queen of second-guessing!  I went so far as to stop at the Dollar Store to pick up some trinkets on the way, but as I was filling my arms with junky junk, I said, “Stop!” I put the things I had in my arms back and left the store.  I was frustrated with myself. That’s when I decided I needed to check in with my Friend in the Sky.

I pulled into a secluded spot in the parking lot and took a minute.  It was right, good, and appropriate for me to do so.  So many times we women think we are not enough. We have to do more, be more, perform for the world.  I hate that!  My Friend does too!  We do not have to do that. We are enough.  Our love is enough.  That we eeked out some time in our lives to celebrate with our loves is enough.  Finally, I was satisfied, and guess what:  I went, I saw, and it was—ENOUGH!

One other thing:  In preparation for this Galentine’s event I created little prompts to share with the ladies; questions written on little pieces of paper.  I asked each lady to take one.  I wanted us to make an effort to know each other better.  We live miles apart and life is ever-changing, so I thought it would be neat to create a way for us to connect on a deeper level at this breakfast.  These questions did the trick.  They got people sharing-personal stuff, deeper level stuff, encouraging stuff, and relatable stuff!  Yay!

Ironically, my piece of paper said this:  What is your recipe for continued joy and happiness?

What?!  Can you believe that?  We didn’t have time to get to my question, and I’m kinda glad we didn’t because you know I struggle to find joy in my life, and holding on to it—forgetaboutit!  Getting that question this morning from the grab bag, though, it helped me see that my greatest joy is experienced in those moments when I invest myself in other people, particularly those people I love and with whom I share a history.  These were MY peeps, and these were MY JOY!

I think that Joy-Loan I went looking for earlier this week may have been delivered to my door step without me knowing.  I’ll letcha know when I come back next week and report on our Saturday Family Shindig on the Hill.  Until then, have a safe and happy Fourth of July!!  😀

What will you be doing on the fourth of July?  When have you been to an event that really hit-the-spot for you?  Why was it so right?

 

 

Bringing Balance Back

I’m away from the office and on the road with the Mr today. We changed our vacation plans for this weekend, but that doesn’t mean we can’t eek out some alone time over the next four days.

Part of my new goal list this week includes efforts to bring back the balance to my life. How am I doing that? By finding time to pursue activities and relationships that bring me joy.  This guy does!!!!

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Where are you finding joy these days?  What are you doing this weekend?

Goals for Another Week

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THREE TEENY, TINY GOALS WERE SET LAST WEEK

They were:

1 Drink green tea instead of coffee in the morning at least 4 days this week.

2 Listen to more Dean Ornish videos and contact his organization to learn more about his program.

3 Eat oatmeal every day and exercise every day, following routines already established.

HOW DID I DO?

1 FAIL. I drank green tea only once for my morning beverage, and didn’t even remember this goal had been set for most of the week. Ugh! I had to look it up twice, to see what that third goal was, and on one of those searches I didn’t drink the green tea even though I knew it was a goal of mine.

2 SUCCESS!!! I listened to more than one Dean Ornish You Tube video presentation this week and I read most of his web site info. I did not contact his organization, but since I did so much good work regarding his eating plan and my diet, I’m calling this a win.

3 YES, YES, YES–I DID IT!!! I ate my oatmeal every day but today, cuz I ran out and was too lazy to make more last night, cuz I had company, and when they left I was tired, and I still needed to get my exercise in, and blah, blah, blah. Excuses abound, but since I ate right all week except for today, I’m feeling pretty good about this goal.  I also exercised every day/night this week. Most of it was done on the bike. Often I did more than 15 minutes.

THINGS I LEARNED WHILE WORKING ON MY GOALS THIS WEEK

I need to spend more time practicing self-care.
Vitamin D levels that are not right are dangerous.
When HDL levels fall below 40 exercise will bring them up quickly.
Even small incremental changes produce big benefits.
Any change is an improvement over no change.
If nothing changes, nothing changes.
Action, Action, Action is the word!!!

3 TEENY, TINY GOALS FOR THE WEEK

1 Continue on with diet and exercise as previously established.

2 Pay increased attention to prompts to pray for others.

3 Get those blood labs done-what in the world are you waiting for?

WHEN I SHOUT AT MYSELF

When I shout at myself (see goal 3 above), it is because I’m procrastinating again. Why do I do it? So I can live in denial. So I don’t have to face the truth. So I don’t have to do anything other than what I want to do. So I can be a free spirit. So, so, so…

Again, excuses abound, but the reality of my situation is that denying means death. Seriously. I need to take action and if I don’t, consequences will ensue. As my doc said this week, “How do you know if you’re doing the right thing for your body if you don’t have labs done? If you can’t see, you can’t know that you’re doing the right thing.”

Smart Doctor!!!

Are you happy, joyous, and free? If not, what one goal could you set for yourself this week that would move you closer to that goal?

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. Together, we get better!

Busy Weekend

It was another busy weekend in NEPA.

I left work on Friday to shop for hubs, who will be away from home this week.  He has been asked to accompany his brother to Pittsburgh. They left Sunday at 6:15am.  His brother is a very sick and will be undergoing testing this week to see if he qualifies for the heart lung transplant list.  We are hoping and praying they accept him to the program, but can’t help wondering if he is not too sick to tolerate the testing. We are particularly concerned about a heart cath that will be done Friday.  Hubs is anxious, due to the fact he will be dealing with this on his own.  He hates BIG cities.  I know it will be fine, though.  Prayer Changes Things!

I started Saturday morning by saying a sleepy good-bye to that man who makes my life complete.  After that, I cleaned a little and did some laundry.  Then, it was time to shop and wrap–a baby shower was on the docket for later that day.

Around 1 o’clock I picked up mom and we headed out for lunch together.  Sunday was her birthday, but she had a picnic to attend Sunday afternoon, so we decided to do an early celebration, just the two of us.  I took her to her favorite restaurant and we broke bread together.  Yum, Yum.  Italian. Lip smacking good.

After lunch, I dropped mom off at home and proceeded to a baby shower.  The location of the shower was a thirty-five minute drive from home on roads I didn’t know, so I was a tad nervous.  We are talking middle of nowhere, roads. I didn’t know what to expect in the way of surfacing. We live in the country, so it could be paved, could be dirt, could be cow pathy–ya never know.  It was gorgeous!!!  Driving over the hills, the sky was full of puffy clouds floating in a sea of brilliant blue.  I so loved the “alone time” and the quiet.  We women don’t get much of that, or at least this gal doesn’t.  It was beautiful and I enjoyed every minute.

I included a homemade project as one of my gifts for the baby momma.

000baby giftPretty proud of myself for that one.  I customarily start projects but never finish them. This one I did, and on time. Woohoo, ya me!  It’s an original design and I did the painting and gluing myself.  It turned out pretty well, save the few snafus that occurred along the way. Her theme was giraffes.

I got her a bobble head giraffe, too, along with newborn diapers.  What mom can’t use those necessities?

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I think she liked the bobble head. Who wouldn’t? He’s adorable–or should I say “she.”  The baby is a girl.

It rained a little during the baby shower, but we had tents and a cool breeze, so it all dried out almost as quickly as it came.  I was glad I went, and that I went alone.  Again, thirty minutes back with nothing but the puffy clouds and silence to accompany me.  It was perfect!

My mom celebrated her birthday on Sunday, too.  I took her out for ice cream, my kryptonite, later in the evening, but I made sure that the treat was my supper.  She did the same.  I had also fasted for breakfast, so I had calories in reserve.  Yum and Yay!

I felt good about the food I ate this weekend. Passed up cake at the shower and concentrated on fresh veggies, fruit, and water.  Fasted one meal and ate a salad without dressing for another on Sunday.  I did exercises each day I was off work, and I kept it positive.

All in all, it was a good weekend, but a busy one too.  Not many of my usual chores got done, but with hubs gone this week I can do them in the evenings.  It’s all good, right?

What fun parties have you been to this summer?  What busy days have you had along the way?