Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Read this on my LinkedIn account today (if you have an account, you probably saw it, too):
"Stay committed to your dreams and you'll see them reflected in your future."
and the image that came with it - very cute...
Have a great day!
Thursday, July 03, 2014
Since putting my then 66-year-old father in a nursing home full-time last year due to his Alzheimer's disease, my mother has not had a break -
* She remodeled the basement of her home, which was 'almost' an apartment, to make it into a livable apartment.
* She moved into said apartment (still being worked on), getting rid of most of her furniture, boxing up everything, painting, etc., and is still surrounded by boxes
* She cleaned out her closet and struggles with getting rid of Dad's stuff
* My brother and family moved in to the main part of the house, so now she's sort of laughing about being "the mother that lives in the basement"
* She has a half-empty bed where her husband lied with her for nearly 48 years
* Her life revolves around when to go see Dad, making sure he's being taken care of, that his medications are right, etc. She has taken only a few nights off from seeing him for nearly a whole year but hasn't left home for a single night, making sure to eat dinner with him every night and spending most of all day on each Saturday and Sunday at the nursing home with him.
So as my husband and kids are camping (I'm more "indoorsy") I told Mom to come stay with me for a few days or as long as she wants. She lives 2 hours from me, so it's not like a quick jaunt around the corner. She took me up on it (surprisingly!!!).
Tuesday - I met her at an outlet mall then we had lunch. She followed me home.
Tuesday night - I took her out for tapas at a Spanish restaurant. She claims it was the best sangria she ever had.
Tuesday late night - watched and "slept-watched" the movie "Young Frankenstein" on DVD, a favorite of ours.
Wednesday - up and drank coffee and chatted for about 2 hours. Went and got spa manicures & I got a pedicure too (FABULOUS!!!!), with my fingers painted "Ruby Slipper." Wandered around the shopping area and bought a few things. Had lunch at Brio.
--BTW, I rarely do my nails. It felt so good I wanted to melt. I told Mom I was inches away from getting a designated driver home I was so relaxed. :-)
Wednesday night - as I attended a funeral, she simply relaxed (with my dog :-) and read while laying down for the few hours I was gone. When I got home we had some semi home-made stir fry then watched the movie "Easy A" - I love it, but because I'm a John Hughes fan (child of the '80's). The movie is a fantastic tribute to John Hughes (Ferris Bueller, Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, Can't Buy Me Love, Say Anything...) but definitely with a 2000's vibe with cell phones and more liberal language.
This morning - went to the local market which has gourmet foods, a coffee bar, etc., and had a 2 hour breakfast. She's driving home right now.
Hard habit to break, enjoying food. And not just with her, anytime. If I only enjoyed food on our few visits together, that would be different. :-
Regardless, she said she slept really well, which is what I was hoping for. I really hope she felt relaxed and like she's finally had some time just to get away and re-energized a bit because of it. Even though we've asked her on vacation with us this summer, she doesn't feel right going without Dad. I certainly understand.
She's amazing. You know when you don't FEEL strong but when other people see you as strong you're surprised? I think she lives her entire life that way. She just does what needs to be done then later looks back and wonders how she got through it. She's a faithful woman, so she knows God gets her through everything, but from the human side, she still wonders how she doesn't just break down sometimes.
I was thrilled to have time with her. I'm more happy that I felt like she really had a little vacation of "me" time for her, that she was able to relax without being surrounded with reminders of all the things she has to get done.
I already miss her.
Hug your loved ones.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
I watched an episode of "Extreme Weight Loss" tonight, quite by accident. I'm traveling, and was flipping through channels in my hotel room as I sit at my computer. I came across it, and watched.
And cried, of course.
I'm learning what the difference is between a person on "Extreme Weight Loss" and others of you out there who have lost 10 lbs, 20, 30, 40, 80, or whatever amount of weight, and me. The difference between all of you and me?
You don't quit.
Despite all the obstacles, the rough schedules, the emotions, the personal challenges, the wanting to slide back into bad behaviors, you simply DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOURSELF.
You don't lose sight of your goal.
You don't give yourself reasons to eat mass amounts of 'comfort' food.
You don't make excuses for not moving.
You don't make excuses for not tracking.
You don't make excuses for not eating right.
You go at the weight loss like a job: whether you like it or not, you show up.
Day in and day out, you commit, and you don't lose sight of your goal.
You don't give up on yourself.
The fact is, I am choosing to be an undisciplined mess, eating sh*t whenever I want, and ultimately sliding back down.
No need to try to pick me back up. I go here way too often, and if you look at my January blog, you'll see that I've done it for the past 5 years I've been on this web site (and far longer than that). I just am not sure why I give up on myself when I clearly see and feel results when I do the right thing for myself.
I'll let you know when I decide to get my head out of my "I don't give a sh*t" funk. It will probably take some photos of myself to really see my reality, to recognize that what I see in a photo is not what is what I see in the mirror (a trick mirror where I decide I look thin when I'm not). Photos show the harsh reality.
The difference is simple. You don't give up (so why do I?)
Good night Sparkers. You are awesome.
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Because I have a song from the Beatles on my brain, and nothing ends in "USA." Anyway...
I took a trip to the UK. It was because of work that I went, so I took some extra days and an extra person (my husband) and we took a few days of enjoyment. I felt like it might have been the only chance for us to go together - there's no telling if it will be our only chance. And our lives are busy enough that we can't just say, "Hey, I know! Let's go to another country!" So trust me, take the chance when you have it! (For those of you who know my father is 67 and in a nursing home b/c of Alzheimer's - he didn't plan for his life to go that way, and Mom can honestly say she's glad they took the adventures and made time for them - so take them when you have the chance!)
Here's a pic of me and hubby. Behind us is the Queen's Tower, known as Big Ben. "Big Ben" is actually the bell that chimes. It's a part of the buildings of Parliament. We are on the other side of the Thames River, so the walk over the bridge got us closer to the tower.
Right next to it is Westminster Abbey, more of a museum than a church even though they still hold services inside. You may be able to see the two towers of it (to the right of the Queen's Tower) if you look closely enough at the picture.
We spent a day in London, then I worked the next few days. The first big touristy thing we did was ride "The London Eye" which is the big ferris wheel you've probably seen. A bit of trivia that it is not a ferris wheel because it is only anchored on one side when a ferris wheel is anchored on both. Each hub on the Eye is a glass-enclosed area with a bench and walking room, enough room for 25 people. It spins more slowly than a person would walk, so it doesn't feel like a ride at all. It was a gorgeous sunny day so we saw all of London, being wise enough to buy a 360 guide so we could understand what we were looking at.
Hubby got to see more of London the next day, then went to Stonehenge the next during the days I worked. We then went to Liverpool by train where we took a day to explore, going to the Beatles museum (wishing we had gone on the Beatles Tour), taking a "hop on hop off" bus around Liverpool, and visited the Liverpool Cathedral and ate dinner at "The Phil" which is a fancy pub across from the Liverpool Philharmonic, and not far from the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) where Paul McCartney went to school and continues to invest in its present and future.
As for my health, I've put it on the back burner once again while I let everything else take over my life, and I've allowed myself to eat through the changes. I haven't weighed myself nor do I plan to anytime soon. My exercise has been scarce besides some major landscaping with hubby doing most of the work, with my efforts toward painting and moving furniture, as after 5 years I'm finally starting to make this house look like a home. I feel the effort toward myself coming, as the inner voice is growing louder to be good to me. Maybe that will be the prevailing voice at some point...??? I'm opting to do more projects and housework in the evenings instead of watching TV or sitting at my computer, so that will cut down on the snacking and provide activity which should help me sleep better.
The day before we left for the trip I took training from the Alzheimer's Association so will give some speaking engagements when called upon. I need to study the materials, though, so hope to do some good in my life beyond toting my kids everywhere and paying bills.
The rest of this month has me toting kids to baseball, work, basketball, looking for a 'new' car for me (daughter should get license this week and she'll get the current high-miles paid-off car for her work use), ending the kids' school year, signing up my son and toting him to and from sports & day camps, getting rid of old furniture, two work overnight travel trips, daughter's wisdom teeth pulled, getting a new front door installed, among other things.
I'm having a hard time eating right through this inconsistent schedule, so I need to find a way to reach for the healthy stuff and not let my stress lead to eating more crap. Right now I'm seeing myself as a person full of excuses. I can't claim baby-weight now that my son is 9!!!
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
I put on a pair of summer shorts this past weekend and at first was angry about them fitting. These are the shorts I wore last summer, the shorts I wanted to have shrunken out of.
But then I realized that had I not lost the 10 - 15 lbs that I gained from the time I wore them last year, those very shorts would have been too tight for me to even button.
And this morning I put on work clothes. Note I work from home 99% of the time, so sweatpants become the norm, and dangerously so. And they fit, too, which is a relief because again, that extra 10 - 15 would have meant I would have been up the creek for today's meeting with a customer!
So here I am. A little dose of reality helped me realize that even though I have a long way to go, that 10 - 15 "drop in the bucket" really makes a difference.
Keep on keepin' on!
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