Ticket to Happiness

19 Mar

I just got back from first walk in five months.  Once upon a time, about seven years ago, that never would’ve happened.  I would’ve been walking all winter long.  Once upon a time I used to walk up to 2 hours a day.  My co-blogger (innerww) and I were pretty dedicated to this.  But as you can see she has continued our routine where I have, well…not.

I could say that I don’t have time.  I could say that I’m never home.  I could say a lot of things, but they’d all be excuses.  Let’s face it, I still get up early.  Now I just walk my butt to the couch and watch TV, tweet, blog, and pin.  Although I am pretty busy, I am actually home quite a bit.  I’m not jet-setting around the world.  Or taking off for the weekend at a drop of a hat.  So those excuses just won’t do.

The truth?  This is pretty hard to say, and I think I’ve hinted at it in different posts, but I’m just going to come right out and say it.  I am miserable, and my misery has spiraled me into this quasi depression where I have no drive to follow through on taking care of myself.  I work out in spurts.  I eat well in spurts.  I even sporadically clean my house.  Not exactly the signs of a happy go lucky person.

Where the hell has the perky girl gone, and can she please return?  A question I have been asking myself for quite some time now and one I am determined to rectify.  Now some may say that exercising and eating well will help you regain your happy self.  Sure, they can help.  But not if you’re ignoring the root of your unhappiness.  And that’s why I have decided to take a huge risk and eliminate my problem: my job.

Am I nervous about it?  Sure.  Am I worried with the current economy?  Sure.  Do I know what I will do when I grow up?  Not quite.  But let me share a secret with you.  The times in my life I’ve been the most fit and healthy are when I have been happy in my job.  It may sound silly, but for me it’s necessary.  And let me tell you; since I have made the decision to quite possibly end my career, I have been … happy.  I’m happy to know that there’s possibly something else out there for me.  I’m happy to have decided that I’m worth more than what I’ve grown accustomed to these last seven years.  And for me there’s no better feeling than happiness.  I’ll board that train!

What’s Luck Got To Do With It?

5 Mar

The other day, someone asked me: “You look like you’re in great shape. Are you just lucky?” Ironically that was after rushing home from a full day of work, helping the kids with homework, making dinner, quickly exercising and running off to a meeting. I didn’t know whether to be irritated or flattered. This “lucky” question really caused me to self reflect.

Here’s what I don’t do…I don’t calorie count. I don’t do points. I don’t do low carbohydrate. I don’t do fat free. I don’t do sugar free. I don’t own a scale. I don’t weigh my food and I don’t obsess over nutrition labels. I don’t take diet pills. I don’t drink diet shakes either. I don’t workout for hours a day. I don’t run marathons. I don’t even belong to a gym. I haven’t had surgery and I am certainly not blessed with a fast metabolism.

What do I do? I stopped worrying about being on a diet. I do watch what I eat, but I don’t go crazy anymore. I ditched the fad diets and try to eat in a way that supports my shape and my goals. Oh, and most importantly…I work my butt of – at home. I realized there is a vast difference from being thin and being fit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a struggle and I still struggle with staying motivated with exercise and conscious of what I eat. But since I adopted this mentality, I’ve found that I am in better shape then I was when I belonged to a gym. No more hefty fees or fighting over the last locker. I realized I don’t need fancy equipment to get a good workout. All I need is an exercise DVDs, hand weights, and a place to run. In my case, either outside or on a treadmill.

It seems as though being lucky is something people assume. Why don’t they assume people work for things? It won’t come for free, but it starts at home; literally and figuratively. So ditch the excuses and the words “thin” and “diet” from your vocabulary and start moving; your body (and mind) will thank you for it.

Bring It On!

3 Mar

No, not the teen cheerleader movie (which I love, by the way).  But, my life.  Or shall I say, my mid-life crisis.  Some time last year I discovered that I was grossly unhappy, or more likely dissatisfied.  I made some attempts to do something about it, really just move from one job location to another, but that was unsuccessful.    And despite that I continued on hopeful.  Until…something changed.

My grandmother died.  And upon her death I remembered a lot of conversations over the years she and I had, which then prompted memories of conversations I have had with my father and stepfather.  I began to ask myself what I was doing (not politely though, the truck driver in me came out).  I was asking myself because I realized that I was no longer unhappy or dissatisfied, but miserable.  And once I began thinking about it I was honest about why.

  • I don’t recognize who I am.  I am not the same open, kind, and upbeat (there’s a reason why I was known as the perky girl) person I used to be.  Sure age can change some of that, but not to this degree.
  • I have been compromising for far too long.  I have very strong personal and professional beliefs that I have been pushing aside to appease others.  To the point where I have become the negative environment (see above).
  • It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.  Yes, really.  This is more than a song about drinking; it is a way of life and my stepfather lived by it.  Enjoy what you do and make sure it allows you to do the things you love.  Um, yeah…I got a passport some-odd years ago and have yet to use it.
  • You can do anything you want, just put your mind to it.  That has always been my father’s advice.  I bet if you asked my father today, ‘miserable cow’ would not be what he had in mind when he said that to me time and again.

In talking to friends and family I know that I am not alone.  There are a bunch of us in our thirties grossly dissatisfied to the point we feel as if we are losing our ever-lovin’ minds. Do you want to do something meaningful and feel challenged (or do you feel undervalued and stifled)? Do you feel like you are not living up to your potential?  Do you feel like you could be doing something more or more important?  (via Marcia Reynolds) If so, I’m happy to tell you that you too are experiencing a mid-life crisis.

Why happy?  Because first, you are not alone.  Second, what an awesome opportunity to be the best possible you!  And to do it, by listening to yourself!  Do you know why George Lucas is George Lucas?  He had a vision.  He did everything possible to ensure that vision became a reality.  He knew what he was capable of doing and never once listened to those who said differently (the haters).  He believed in himself.  Steve Jobs’s story isn’t all that dissimilar.  And I am willing to bet that neither is Bill Gates’s.  Don’t we all owe it to ourselves to live the same way?

If a mid-life crisis means honoring yourself, I say bring it on.  If a mid-life crisis means following your heart, I say bring it on.  If a mid-life crisis means believing in myself when no one else does, then bring it on.  If a mid-life crisis means knowing another’s impossibility is my possibility, then bring it on! If a mid-life crisis means that I will no longer tolerate unkindness, then bring it!  That is why, beginning today, I am no longer experiencing a mid-life crisis.  I am on a quest.  A quest to re-claim my identity.  A quest to fill the craving for my potential.  A quest to be the best possible me.

Shower Keyboarding

24 Feb

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I wish I could take credit for this idea, but can’t. I saw it somewhere about ten years ago and have been using it ever since. I love that it not only teaches kiddos how to use a keyboard, but they can move around the board and practice spelling while doing so! I know that so many kiddos can just do the real thing on a computer, phone, or tablet, but for me it’s about the movement. Below are what I can remember of creating this.

  1. cut a shower curtain in half
  2. measure out 5 equal rows
  3. mark out the keys; the space bar is equivalent to 5 letters & others are equivalent to 2 letter key
  4. outline the keys in chisel point permanent marker
  5. label each key in chisel point permanent marker
  6. store in giant Ziploc bag, after folding flat

If kiddos have to keep their shoes on when using this, make sure they understand that they need to walk on it. If they can go barefoot, they can hop around from key to key and it will still in tact. I’ve used it for kiddos to practice spelling, collaboration skills, Morning Meeting Activity, and for kiddos who need a bit of extra movement in their day.

Two other ideas, that the kiddos brought up today were to also make a calculator to practice facts and a clock to practice time.  For the clock, their arms become the hour hand and their legs become the minute hand.  I’ve done this with hula hoops in the past and they love contorting themselves to tell the correct time! 

This is a cross post from my other blog vr2ltch & wanted to share for teachers & parents alike!

I Scream for SodaStream!

18 Feb

Part of my daily walk includes listening to The Nutrition Diva‘s podcast (you can also subscribe in iTunes).  Back two or three years ago she constantly raved about the Soda Club.  Everything she said about it sounded spectacular!  You could make your own seltzer water.  You could make it early in the day or the night before and enjoy it later.  Of course she mentioned the flavored soda as well, but I am really a seltzer girl & loved what she had to say just about that.

So my mother-in-law (who truly spoils me) searched high & low for this thing.  I had a feeling it would be tricky for her since at the time you could only get it online.  She did find a seltzer maker, but it was a pain in the tush & it was nowhere near as spectacular as the one I had heard Nutrition Diva speak about.  I quickly stopped using the thing & went back to buying bottled seltzer.  Fast forward to 2011.  I am in Best Buy wandering around aimlessly when I stumbled upon the SodaStream.  And wouldn’t you know it…it’s the same thing that Nutrition Diva chatted up!  I received it as a Christmas gift & have not bought another bottle of seltzer or soda since.

When I prepare my food for the day, I make a bottle of seltzer.  I throw it in my work fridge & enjoy it in the afternoon.  And it is still bubbly.  And because I am a flavored seltzer fan, I can add some flavoring it.  I really am not a big soda drinker, but once in a while I do enjoy the taste of something sweet.  Thank goodness for the diet flavors!  They are yummy!  There are more flavors to choose from if you visit the SodaStream site.  Not to mention that you can exchange your empty CO2 carbonators.  Very earth friendly.

No high fructose corn syrup.  No artificial sweeteners.  No artificial flavorings.  No artificial colors.  No aspartame (depending on which kind you get).  For me SodaStream is a no brainer!

 

Can’t Buy ME Love

16 Feb

Well, another Valentine’s Day has come and gone. My viewpoint on the “holiday” as an adult, has always been the same; just a made-up day where people are pressured (especially men) into showering their partners with flowers, gifts and anything else deemed romantic. And if you don’t have someone special on Valentines Day to share chocolates and candlelight dinners with, well…you better feel sorry for yourself and recognize the fact that your life is loveless. Do you honestly enjoy being guilted into this year after year?

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, but don’t get me wrong – I’m no cynic.

In fact, I enjoy helping the kids write out their cute school valentines, as well as surprising them with a few tasty treats.  I recognize that they look forward to this day, as I did in my childhood, and the fact that they get into the spirit of giving and creativity. But when I answer honestly about no special Valentine plans or the fact that my lovely and I don’t exchange gifts, why am I looked upon as a Debbie Downer; someone who isn’t romantic? I find myself defending my position year after year; the fact that commercialism is robbing the very definition of love itself.

Well this year was different…thank you Google for stating it better than I ever could! —> Google Video

Peace out. Love. ❤

Courtesy of Google doodle for Valentine’s Day. The Original song was “Cold, Cold Heart” from Tony Bennett

Buying for Your Body

7 Feb

Well said, Marilyn. Let’s face it though…we don’t always know what looks most flattering on us at all times. We’ve all seen those articles about dressing for our age, yet, I still see women trying to dress like they are teenagers. I’m not trying to be preachy, in fact, there are many times where I’ve looked in the mirror and thought…”what the heck were you thinking?” and wished I had a personal shopper.

Perhaps the line has been blurred in the clothing sections; making it more difficult for women to figure out what area they should be shopping in. I know I personally get discouraged when I enter a store and shop in the “women’s section” only to find that the clothes don’t look trendy. I then venture into “young misses” and grab my size, only to find that it doesn’t fit because of the brand. I then find myself peering into the “junior section” and sneakily trying on a pair of jeans, only to find that they are so low I look like I’m in the plumbing profession. To make matters worse, we are bound by a bunch of numbers or letters (S, M, L) that don’t account for our body shapes.

I have to thank my friend, whose always had a keen eye for fashion for buying me a copy of “The Lucky Shopping Manual.” Finally, a how-to for body shapes from what to wear, how to buy, where and when to spend. I have to admit, with a busy schedule I haven’t invested much time into this book, but I was reminded again of what a resource it is; especially for those of us who are not fashionistas. I’m going to utilize it before my next shopping venture and hopefully it will be a much less frustrating experience.

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