Tuesday, November 17, 2009
This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is well worth reading, and a few good chuckles are guaranteed. Here goes...
My father never drove a car. Well, that's not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car.
He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.
"In those days," he told me when he was in his 90s, "to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it."
At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in: "Oh, bull----!" she said. "He hit a horse."
"Well," my father said, "there was that, too."
So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars -- the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford -- but we had none.
My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines, would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.
My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we'd ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. "No one in the family drives," my mother would explain, and that was that.
But, sometimes, my father would say, "But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we'll get one." It was as if he wasn't sure which one of us would turn 16 first.
But, sure enough, my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown.
It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn't drive, it more or less became my brother's car.
Having a car but not being able to drive didn't bother my father, but it didn't make sense to my mother.
So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father's idea. "Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?" I remember him saying more than once.
For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps -- though they seldom left the city limits -- and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.
Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn't seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage.
(Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)
He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin's Church.
She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish's two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home.
If it was the assistant pastor, he'd take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests "Father Fast" and "Father Slow."
After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he'd sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I'd stop by, he'd explain: "The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored."
If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out -- and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, "Do you want to know the secret of a long life?"
"I guess so," I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.
"No left turns," he said.
"What?" I asked.
"No left turns," he repeated. "Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic.
As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn."
"What?" I said again.
"No left turns," he said. "Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that's a lot safer. So we always make three rights."
"You're kidding!" I said, and I turned to my mother for support.
"No," she said, "your father is right. We make three rights. It works."
But then she added: "Except when your father loses count."
I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing.
"Loses count?" I asked.
"Yes," my father admitted, "that sometimes happens. But it's not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you're okay again."
I couldn't resist. "Do you ever go for 11?" I asked.
"No," he said " If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can't be put off another day or another week."
My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90.
She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102.
They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom -- the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)
He continued to walk daily -- he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he'd fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising -- and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.
One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news.
A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, "You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred." At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, "You know, I'm probably not going to live much longer."
"You're probably right," I said.
"Why would you say that?" He countered, somewhat irritated.
"Because you're 102 years old," I said..
"Yes," he said, "you're right." He stayed in bed all the next day.
That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night.
He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said:
"I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet"
An hour or so later, he spoke his last words:
"I want you to know," he said, clearly and lucidly, "that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have."
A short time later, he died.
I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I've wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long.
I can't figure out if it was because he walked through life, or because he quit taking left turns. "
Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So love the people who treat you right.
Forget about the one's who don't.
Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a chance,take it & if it changes your life, let it.
Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would
most likely be worth it."
ENJOY LIFE NOW - IT HAS AN EXPIRATION DATE!
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Just as dieters can create a list of why they want and need to lose weight, most people can match it with a Christmas list worth of reasons NOT to lose weight.
While your reasons to lose weight may be to have more energy, to lower your cholesterol, to get off of certain medications for conditions related to obesity, to keep up with your kids, to be a better partner, to increase your self-esteem, and to fit into smaller jeans, the reasons not to lose weight may not be as obvious at first. Self-sabotage is common among diets. Fear of losing weight prevents dieters from reaching their weight loss goals.
Self-sabotage occurs on a subconscious level. “No matter how motivated you think you are, none of your reasons for losing weight will work for you if the subconscious reasons for keeping the weight are stronger,” (Jordan, 11). Shed light on your reasons for staying fat by analyzing and challenging your excuses for validity. Find out why you are standing in the way of getting what you want so badly.
Methods of Self-Sabotage
•Telling yourself that dieting is too hard and you aren’t disciplined enough to follow through.
•Worrying how you’ll be accepted at your goal weight.
•Letting fear of life without the fat barrier get the best of you.
•Being afraid of how you’ll respond when people show they are attracted to you.
•Fear of losing yourself to the new, slim verson of you.
•Fear of failure and fear of success.
•Wish not to deal with jealous friends.
•Fear of having excess hanging skin after you lose a lot of weight.
•You won’t be able to use fat as an excuse to stay on the sidelines of life anymore.
•You think people will have higher expectation of you after you lose weight.
•You are unhappy and feel undeserving of success.
Dieters often find success on a weight loss plan for a short time before they reach a plateau or come across a trigger that causes them to get off track. What they don’t realize is that giving in to junk food cravings, skipping their exercise routine, or reverting to old eating habits is your subconscious controlling your brain and your weight loss, or lack of.
Find your personal payoff for being fat to learn the reasons you overeat and sabotage your own effort of losing weight. Create a plan to control emotions so you won’t make excuses not to lose weight and cause self-sabotage.
* * * * * * * * * *
I copied the above from an article I found while googling "Fear of Success- weight loss"
Some really interesting things here, so decided to copy them and post them here so I can look further into these.
There were a few things that stood out for me, how about you?
so I will continue to work towards finding the answer, then start moving in a forward direction with my journey towards my goals.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
This is the question that my weight consultant keeps asking me every Saturday morning when I get on the scale and it stays the same, or goes up.
And every week we try to figure it out, we do come up with reasons or like she calls them excuses.
So this morning was no different than any other Saturday morning, I get on the scale it goes up, okay, let's talk about it, what's going on. I wrack my brain once again. First off we discuss the food I ate over the weekend, yes it was off track, why? I don't have a reason why I just did it (yes I love to eat) but right back on track from Monday to Friday. But then she points out the carbs I'm having at supper time. So my excuse is.... it's hard not to eat carbs.
We talk a bit more, and time for me to go home. So the trip home I keep going over and over my past conversations with Tammy, and the reasons/excuses we have come up with over the last few months.
1. Stress in my life
2. stopped putting myself first
3. Too hard on myself, I am my own worst enemy
Here are a few that we came up with.
On the way home Shannon calls, and wants to know how I did today and I told him not good, his answer"we'll discuss this when you get home" So I knew what was going to happen, now it's time for him to kick my butt, and I deserve it. After all I'm forking over good money to go to a weight loss clinic and if I'm not losing weight, then I'm throwing good money out the window.
So we have the discussion and I told him, I knew it was coming and I totally deserve it, cause it's not fair to him that I am taking money to waste, if I'm not going to lose the weight. So we keep on talking about what is going on. He told me to stop whining and crying about it and just do it (sound familiar Anne?)
I looked at him and said you are right, I totally stopped following my weight loss program, and started doing Barbara's program. I stopped believing in the program.
light bulb moment..... I don't believe in myself, I don't believe that I can lose this weight, I don't believe that I can reach goal.
Why is this......
I have so many people in my corner, so many people wanting me to succeed, everywhere I go people are cheering me on.
Everytime I get on that scale and I stay the same and report it I'm expecting to see that look in their eyes letting me know that I'm a failure, added stress to me, and then the tape starts to play in my head "you are a failure, you have always been a failure, all your life you've been a failure when it comes to your weight"
So then I start to prove it to everyone, "I am a failure"
Starting tomorrow I will prove this to be wrong, Tammy is so right, I am my own worst enemy, nobody called me a failure, it's my own insecurities.
I will get up tomorrow morning, get out my daily journal and write in it my daily menus for Sunday, and every day I will do the same. I will make sure my Suppers are only 4 oz chicken, or fish, and at least 2 cups of veggies.
No more cheating all weekend ! My cheat day is lunchtime after my weighin and no other time !
I know I can do it, I have already done it.
Yes Pixie, I will get into onderland and use my tattoo coupon !
Tomorrow is the 1st day of November and I have 2 months until the end of the year and I will be successful in 2009 !
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
This past month has been extremely busy for me. As many of you know I chose to lead a Spark's Class team... Oct.11-17/09. This has been a wonderful experience and one I'll never forget. Introducing new members to the great world of Sparks has been alot of fun, but overwelming.
It's kept me very busy, especially where I have a full time job also. So now I get to the point of this blog. It's time to refocus on me and my Spark's journey.
No I'm not giving up on my new team, I'll always be there for them, however I am moving myself up to the top of my priority list, which is where I need to be in order to stay on track.
I will be focusing on me and my goals. Take time to smell the roses once again.
Now for my POA- continue to drink 10 glasses of water daily, focus on my daily food intake (no more extra treats), focus on my workouts (no more making excuse why I won't)
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