Thursday, January 9, 2014

Find the why . . .

I’m listening to a CD of Darren Hardy (publisher of Success Magazine) “channeling” Jim Rohn (considered America’s Foremost Business Philosopher who died December 2009) to talk to him about some of his lessons. Jim wasn’t the first personal development teacher, but he was one of the most recorded, and many successful, very wealthy people considered him their mentor, even though some of them never actually met him in person.

One of his lessons was finding the why of your goals. Why do I want to lose weight, why do I want to retire wealthy, why do I want to . . . Once you have the why, find a how, and the why will help fuel the how.

Darren told of a lady who was overweight and wishing she could run a half marathon like her friend. Darren told her she could, and he suggested baby steps. It took her 7 months to run the first mile, but she didn’t stress out over it or hurt herself trying. She started small – first day – map out a mile. First week – walk the mile 3 times. 2nd & 3rd weeks walk the mile 3 times a week. 4th week, run until she was winded, then stop and walk the rest, until she could run the whole mile. It took her almost 2 months to run that first mile. Then, each day, she added 1/8 mile to the distance she ran (300 steps).  In 9 months, she ran a whole half marathon distance. Now she runs full marathons.

That was the how – her why – her class reunion was coming up, and she wanted to look good.

One of the things Jim said over and over (I’ve listened to his tapes thousands of times) is shoot to reach your goal. Do what it takes. Your reward isn’t only in reaching the goal, it’s in who you become while working to reach the goal.

If I think about the half marathon in the way Darren broke it down, it seems like it would be easy to accomplish. I don't know if my why is strong enough. Do I even have a why? I don't seem to have a burning desire for ANYthing lately. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happiness Jar

I found something on Facebook that was a jar with a note on the front that says "Starting January 1, write good things that hapopen to you on little pieces of paper

  • Surprise gifts
  • Accomplished goals
  • The beauty of nature
  • "LOL" moments
  • Memories worth saving
  • Daily blessings
  • Something that made you smile
  • Anything good that happens

If you list 3 a day, you'll have more than 1,000! Then, on December 31, open the jar and read all the amazing things that happened to you in 2014."

I made up 5 jars, one for myself, my daughter, her husband, and one for each of his parents. I've been faithful about writing good things that happen; I don't know about the others.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! and Holiday traditions

Although 2013 sucked big time, I'm not giving up!

The end of the year was very hectic with an almost impossible deadline at work, shopping, decorating, parties, website updates, and a newsletter deadline. Time flew! Before I knew it, it was Christmas Eve.

New family traditions are starting to form, and I like them. I just wish I could do more at my house with my family - maybe next year!

One of my personal traditions is helping with the services at church. As an Altar Guild member, I volunteer to fill in the gaps for the services for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This year, I went to the church early Christmas Eve to set up for the 5:00 service. While I was there, I decided to polish the brass on the sanctuary doors. After an hour of polishing, I realized that I wasn't going to make them look like new (who knows when they were polished last?), so I just did the best I could.

Our family traditions start with Christmas Eve at my sister's house. This year, I was able to take my granddaughter. Because she hasn't been a part of this family activity in about 8 years, she was a little nervous that she couldn't remember everyone. It didn't take long for her to be part of the family.

My sister and brother-in-law go to the early service, and her whole family and mine converge on their house for a fantastic spread of tamales, chili, chips, dips, cookies, sausage, relish, and veggies. Once everyone is there and fed, we open our presents.

My dad used to be Santa, then my brother-in-law. Now their sons have taken the Santa torch, and they hand out the gifts. It's funny how we go from calm to craziness in seconds, then it's all over in about 2 minutes, and we are up to our knees in wrapping paper, bows, and gifts.

Some families open their gifts one at a time - not us! Once the Santas hand out the first gift, the ripping begins. Half the time, the kids don't even know who gave them what because of all the craziness.

I usually leave my sister's in time to attend the 10:30 service, which is a beautiful service with lots of Christmas songs and a candle-lit version of Silent Night. This year, after I cleaned up and reset for the Christmas morning service, I went to my daughter's house to spend the night.

Christmas morning began at about 7:30 when my grandson woke up. For the day's activities, he was dressed in the cutest Santa outfit. Then after breakfast, my son-in-law's parents arrived, and we opened Christmas gifts.

After the gift opening, I went home and crashed! When I finally woke up, I was late for dinner at my son-in-law's parents house. They had quite a spread of wonderful food. Again, I overate.

This year, I got lots of good things - a night gown, knee socks, dark chocolate, butterfly necklaces and earrings, bracelets, a scarf, Toyota flip-flops, kitchen linens, a sign made from a part of the siding of the little house we lived in when I was 1-5 and my dad lived in when he moved back to Selma, a starter kit for my Kindle, and a basket of snacks. I even got a gift from my son's ex-girlfriend! That was such a pleasant surprise.

I went to a party at a dear friend and high school classmate's house Saturday night, and I also went to a New Year's Eve party with ladies from my church.

I still have gifts under my tree from friends that I'll open next Sunday (Epiphany). That will be the official beginning of the end of the Christmas season. Until the tree is down, the decorations are packed, and the thank-you notes are sent, I'm still celebrating the holidays.

My mom used to say that whatever you do on New Year's Day, you'll do the entire year. I've avoided cleaning house and shopping because I didn't want to spend the year cleaning and spending money. Consequently, I usually spent the day just hanging around the house.

Today, New Year's Day, I ate black-eyed peas for breakfast, shopped, took a nap, worked on a New Year's gift for myself and family, and I watched 2 of my favorite movies - "You've Got Mail!" and "27 Dresses." What a holiday season!

Now I have to get back to my pre-season weight! I can't believe I've eaten as much as I have. I've been surrounded by sweets and things I shouldn't be eating - much of it my fault. It's back to reality. I hope that by this time next year, I'm at my goal weight. Being halfway there for about 6 months has been frustrating. I have to do something - and I guess exercise is the key.

I'll find some exercises to help get rid of the Shar pei skin I have after losing 50 lbs. I can imagine what I'll look like after I lose 50 more if I don't begin now to do something to tighten up.

So, here are my first New Year's resolutions - lose the other 50 lbs and exercise. I also plan to get out more, travel more, and blog more.

I've already started the travel resolution by making reservations to go to Phoenix and Atlanta to visit friends. My daughter has an appointment to have her baby Feb. 3, so 2014 should be busy, busy!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Robbery versus burglary


I was told Friday night that I wasn't robbed - I was burglarized. It's robbery if a gun is involved. If not, it's a burglary. Either way, I was traumatized.

The only thing I've replaced so far is my scale - can't live without that - and I had some Avon jewelry that I bought as samples. I dug them out of a box so I'd have some earrings.

2013 Sucked!

Every year I write a Christmas newsletter to let my friends and family know what's happened during the year. It's going to be tough to write about 2013. This year has been one of the most eventful in my entire life, and not all the events were good.

Normally, I organize the newsletter by members of the family and what they're up to. This year, I'm going to do it chronologically.

January - By January 2, I was 35 pounds lighter and feeling awesome.

Then on January 15, 16 days before his 5th birthday, we lost Roc. It was one of the most heart wrenching things I've ever been through in my life. He was one of the most awesome kids ever. His service was beautiful, and friends and family filled the chapel to standing room only. Even the service at the cemetery was filled with family and friends. It ended with a balloon release. On his birthday, January 30, there was a worldwide balloon release. People from So. Korea, Florida, Washington, Colorado, Georgia, and all over Texas released balloons to Roc in heaven. We all had so many plans for him, but God's plans trumped ours.

February - Andy moved to York, Pennsylvania, February 1, so I'm back to being on my own. He's taking online courses, studying to be an English teacher, and he's doing his best to maintain a high GPA. I spent February getting used to living alone.

March - Kaycie turned 31, and Andy turned 29. My babies aren't babies anymore.

We lost my Dad on March 28. He seemed to be getting better, but before we knew it, he was gone. We didn't even get to enjoy having him back in our neck of the woods because he was in and out of the hospital from October until he died. He wanted a simple service, so we only had a visitation and a private burial. I really miss him. He had some great stories, a great laugh and a great sense of humor. He's with the love of his life now.

April - Katherine turned 11! She's taller than me, and she's still making good grades, and she's very busy with extra-curricular activities.

One afternoon, toward the end of the month, I was turning into my street and was rear-ended. My Jaguar withstood the impact pretty well. My lower back and neck - not so much. I visited the chiropractor through May and June, and I was released the end of June. My doctor and I were surprised that I healed so quickly. I think it was because of all the work I was doing on my house, and the fetching and toting.

May/June - I started renovations on my house. It started with new attic vents. After they were installed, we had to paint them, and the paint I picked didn't match the house, so the whole house ended up being repainted. We broke the garage door, so it had to be replaced. Then I decided to redo the inside of the house as well. At the end of May, my house was completely emptied. Except for my dining table, microwave, a blowup bed, and a suitcase of clothes, everything was in a POD on the driveway. We completely stripped the floors of carpet and linoleum, pulled all the wallpaper down, painted the entire house, ceiling to floor, including the trim and all doors, acid stained the concrete, and moved everything back into the house the end of June. I got new appliances and granite counter tops; we painted the kitchen cabinets and added handles. Then we installed bookcases in the front room. I now have the library I've always wanted, and my house is awesome! I love it!

June 2 - Rex was baptized at St. George. My pastor Fr. Ram, who officiated at Kaycie & Jeff's wedding, made the occasion very special with a beautiful sermon. We celebrated with delicious barbeque and cake afterward.

July - Rex turned 1 year old July 9. Kaycie and Jeff had a 'stache party for him. Mustaches were everywhere, including on some of the guests. The invitations were adorable, and the house was packed with kids and friends. Rex had a good time. He's so good natured and absolutely adorable.

The next week, Kaycie announced that they were pregnant, due Feb. 24!!

I spent $5100 on the Jaguar in a month, and when I was driving it home after another trip to the shop, the transmission started acting up; that was it! I lived the dream, and it was now a nightmare. I traded it in the next day for a 2011 Toyota Camry. I was amazed at how smooth and quiet the Camry is compared to the Jaguar. That's when I found out the value of the Jaguar dropped significantly because of the accident, dang CarFax. Now, instead of making me feel like the Queen of Sheba, my car is like every other one on the road. But it has a good service record, and the gas mileage is awesome!

August - Carolyn, my sister-in-law, lost her 5-year battle with cancer. She was 52 years old and bigger than life. She was really an amazing woman with drive, personality plus, and a great sense of humor. We will miss her.

September - It was time to take a vacation! I visited Joyce, a long-time friend, in Atlanta, GA. My visit there was only 3 days, and I had a blast. Joyce is a great hostess, and we enjoyed catching up with each other.

Then I went to Jacksonville to visit with my mother-in-law. I stayed there a week, helping her get ready for a neighborhood garage sale, visiting St. Augustine, shopping, catching up, and playing with her 3 adorable dogs. The school where Carolyn taught dedicated a climbing wall to her because she fought to find it, get it, and build it, and I was there for that ceremony. The things everyone said about Carolyn were inspiring. I began to feel pretty insignificant.

October - Back at the ranch, we replaced the tile in the front entry and the front porch of the house with a beautiful multi-colored porcelain that goes with the walls and the floors. We changed the front porch step into a raised stoop. It really is beautiful.

For Halloween, I went to Kaycie & Jeff's. Rex was the Cookie Monster, and he was adorable. He figured out the routine early on and didn't mind going up to doors to get candy. I manned the candy bowl at their house again. When they returned, I answered the door wearing my Halloween mask, which is clear except for eye make-up and lipstick - really pretty scary. All 3 took a step back, and their eyes were huge.

November - I got back home after babysitting Rex to discover my front door had been kicked in, and my TV was missing. All doors and drawers except in the kitchen and bathrooms had been opened. My dresser drawers were all out and dumped on the floor. A pillowcase was used to take my laptop, Chrome book tablet, TV, all my jewelry, my digital bathroom scale, and my Cabbage Patch doll. I felt so violated. Now I have a working alarm, a new front door and a keyed storm door, plus we replaced the door to the garage. I also had a Strike Master installed in the front door frame to thwart kicking it in again. I feel very safe and secure. I haven't replaced any of the missing items yet. Although insurance replaced the doors, my deductible on the missing items is so high that I didn't get enough to replace anything that was taken.

On November 25, I celebrated 36 years at SwRI. Yes, I'm still working. According to TIAA-CREF, I should work another 7 years - dang! I planned to work 6. Plus I had to add another $200/mo to my account.

I got to spend Thanksgiving with my sister's family and my daughter's family in law. All in all, it was a great day.

It's December, and I'm ready for life to settle down a bit. I put up my Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, (the usual day after Thanksgiving ritual). It took a week or so to put ornaments on it. In addition to the tree, I decorated a few tables. My grandfather's mounted antlers that are hanging by the front door now have ornaments hanging off them. So cute.

I had to get away from all the sappy Christmas movies I've been watching so I could get something done. I recorded enough to watch for a year.

My social life has picked up a bit. Of course, it's taking some doing on my part. Doodle.com has become my friend. We are all so busy, and if I've learned anything this year, it is that we have to live in the present. We HAVE to make time for those who are important to us.

I set up dinner with a few friends at Zio's, and we had so much fun catching up. It has been more than a year since 4 of us have been able to get together, and that's toooooo long. I invited 5 to join us, but one had the flu, and the other had other plans already. Another couple of friends and I have struggled to get together, so I set up a meeting with them using Doodle.com again. It's a great way to find out when people are available. A high school friend is having a party that should be fun. It's awesome to have a group of people who are the exact same age (within a year) to visit with. We have some of the same histories, some of the same health issues, family issues, etc.

A couple of work friends came for lunch last week, and that's when I realized I have to find all my dishes. I didn't have any glasses to serve drinks because I gave away all the jelly and the 25-cent Walmart glasses, but I forgot to replace them.

I lost 35 pounds between Sept. 7 and Jan. 2, and I've only lost 15 since then. Actually, I've lost and gained the same 5 pounds for 6 months. 2013 was painful, and my nutritionist has been such a big help. She offered wisdom when I needed it.

I don't want to wish the rest of the year away. Life is not perfect, and it can throw a few curve balls, but it's all we have. None of us is going to get out of it alive. I plan to make the best of the rest of the month so I'll have a good start to 2014. I might even exercise.

Thank you for your love and support through this past year. I couldn't have done it without you. Having someone to talk to, spend time with, and share a hug means so much. I am so rich because of my family, my church family, and my dear friends. Let's not be strangers.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

a funny thing happened on the way to church

This past Sunday, I couldn't decide if I wanted to go to the late service (10:45) or not go at all.

Then I started thinking that there probably wouldn't be very many people there because it was cold and rainy, and I did have Bible study between the services . . . So, at 8:01, still in my pjs and getting another cup of coffee, I decided to go to the early service, which started at 8:30.

I went in to overdrive, put on my clothes, fixed my hair, washed my face, brushed my teeth, and was out the door by 8:20. Notice, I didn't mention make up. I figured it was better to be there for most of the service with my natural beauty than to arrive really late.

As I was driving to church, not too far from home, I realized I hadn't put on any moisturizer, and my eyes really need moisturizer in the morning. I quickly looked in the mirror, and I was horrified at what I saw - large bags and even larger wrinkles under my eyes. I looked TERRIBLE! I wasn't going to go back home - I had to do SOMEthing, so I dug around in my purse. The only thing I could find was chapstick. I rubbed the chapstick on my finger and dabbed it under my eyes. Of course, it did NOTHING to alleviate the problems. But I tried.

I decided I wasn't going to rush on the roads. I would just take my time, drive carefully, and get there when I got there. I was only 10 minutes late, so no one really saw my face. Not bad . . .

The good thing is - no one recoiled when they did see me. They probably thought I had a rough night. As a matter of fact, I completely forgot about it and went about my busines like nothing was wrong.

I now know that I need to put some sort of lotion in my car, just in case.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Back on the journey to 135

This has been one tough year. I started going to Perfect Solutions Sept. 7 last year. I lost 35 pounds by January 1. I was ready.

Then life happened, one thing after another, and before I knew it, it's November 20, and I've only lost another 15 pounds.

When I weighed in last Thursday, I had gained 1 pound. I swore to Cecilia that I followed the plan. Then I started some soul searching and remembered that I had 2 ice cream cones, 2 orders of cheddar peppers, and countless Dove dark chocolates throughout the week. Well - No wonder!

I have to do something to get off this merry-go-round that's going nowhere. I seriously considered some options and where I've gone wrong. I decided to cut my calorie intake to 1,000 until January 1 - except for 2 days - Thanksgiving & Christmas.

I've been pretty good at it, as a matter of fact, with all the vegetables and calorie counting, I've actually kept the count to below 1,000 for the most part.

I've lost 2.5 pounds so far, and except for a couple of instances, I haven't been hungry at inappropriate times. That's a good thing.

Weigh-in is tomorrow, so we'll see how well it worked. I would love to be at 170 by January 1. I've been bouncing between 187 and 184 for at least 2 months, probably more.

Wish me luck!