BE-THE-CHANGE   110,849
100,000 or more SparkPoints
BE-THE-CHANGE's Recent Blog Entries

The Opposite of Loneliness

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

You may have already read about Marina Keegan in the news, or read her essay "The Opposite of Loneliness" but if you have not I urge you to read it:

This young woman wrote the essay to her classmates who were graduating from Yale but as I read it I started crying because she spoke to me, too. We may not all be this young, but certainly the same is true for all of us at any point in our life.

"What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that itís too late to do anything is comical. Itís hilarious. Weíre graduating college. Weíre so young. We canít, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, itís all we have."

Sadly, Marina died in a car accident this past weekend ~ rest in peace.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JCDUBEA63 6/3/2012 11:59PM

    emoticon emoticonFor sharing

Report Inappropriate Comment
COMPUCATHY 6/2/2012 9:12AM

    Cool writing...and I can't help but think that the word that must be the opposite of loneliness is SparkPeople! Glad you are here. Glad we are not alone. Glad we are doing this together! Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! Spark on! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NOTGIVINGUP49 5/31/2012 8:57PM

    So wise and so young to be gone so soon.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BAYBELIEVER 5/31/2012 8:29AM

    Thanks for sharing this.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DIFROMWYOMING 5/30/2012 10:49PM

    How lovely. I want to share this with my kids...all of them...thanks for sharing this.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAWNWATERWOMAN 5/30/2012 10:46PM

    What a lovely piece. Thanks for sharing it. I feel inspired tonight. Love you, Dawn

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMXTINA 5/30/2012 10:43PM

  Great article Thanks

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEWME0519 5/30/2012 10:15PM

    Thank you for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SEASONS__CHANGE 5/30/2012 9:28PM

    Thanks for sharing this Deb... very inspiring and sorry to learn of the horrible accident.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DYNAMICDEB53 5/30/2012 7:12PM

    Beautiful words and sad that she could not see them fulfilled for her. But we can remember her by remembering them.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SCRAPPY_RN 5/30/2012 5:19PM

    Very eloquent and I am so saddened that her life ended so young....

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRAVELNISTA 5/30/2012 3:36PM

    Beautiful essay! Sad outcome for one so young.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAE_LEIGH22 5/30/2012 1:37PM

    What a fantastic essay! I can see how it would touch so many people.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CINDYKC2000 5/30/2012 1:20PM

    What a wonderful piece. And how sad that her life ended so soon and so tragically. It reminds us of how short life really is so live your best life today. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SOUTHSHOREGUY 5/30/2012 12:56PM


This hit me hard, and touched me at the same time. I honestly don't know how to put how I feel about it into words, except to say what you said: it is me. I hope you don't mind, but I shared your link.

Best Wishes,


Report Inappropriate Comment

Nephew Update

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Merrill continues to make progress at the Children's Institute. His left eye is blurry and the doctor felt it might be part of his balance problem, so he is now sporting an eye patch. He has an appointment with the eye doctor on Tuesday, and depending on the results, he may be coming home in a week or so. He will still need to have someone with him at all times, but it is certainly forward progress.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and well wishes.
emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCRAPPY_RN 5/30/2012 5:22PM

    Great news!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEBLYNN323 5/30/2012 7:42AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
LOOZINITNOW 5/29/2012 10:45PM

    Glad to hear the good news! Very cute pic!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEWME0519 5/29/2012 10:06PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
MKPRINCESS007 5/28/2012 9:09PM

    Great to hear it Debbie! :) Love the picture...........makes my heart happy! :)


Report Inappropriate Comment
DYNAMICDEB53 5/28/2012 9:01PM

    Wonderful news for your family!!! :D

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRAVELNISTA 5/28/2012 8:59AM

    It is so great to see him smiling! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATTYS74 5/27/2012 7:54PM

    great news Dj....he is adorable

Report Inappropriate Comment
MACMOM57 5/27/2012 5:08PM

    Great news so glad to hear that.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SEASONS__CHANGE 5/27/2012 4:38PM

    YAY! and love his cute smile!

((whew)) such good news!


Report Inappropriate Comment
NAYPOOIE 5/27/2012 2:59PM

    Glad to see him looking so good.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 5/27/2012 1:54PM

    Wonderful news!

And tell Merrill he looks totally hardcore. (I checked my "teen lingo" with my sons and they approved this message.)

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAE_LEIGH22 5/27/2012 1:50PM

    That's fabulous!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILLALEX70 5/27/2012 1:50PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
BAYBELIEVER 5/27/2012 12:02PM

    Awesome. That is definitely forward progress!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MRSBUMP09 5/27/2012 10:51AM

    Great news!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAWNWATERWOMAN 5/27/2012 10:21AM

    Wonderful news!!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNNANN43 5/27/2012 10:04AM

    I went to a great balance doctor:-) They really do help.

SOOOOO happy for Merrill's progress!!! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CINDYKC2000 5/27/2012 9:24AM

    That is awesome news DJ!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Working on the Positives

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I bought myself a notebook yesterday and I listed 5 positives for the day. It was a bit of a push, though, to come up with 5.

I don't have anything written down today. I haven't left the house all day. Well, I did make progress in my office and I paid some bills online, so I guess that is two positives for the day. Now to think of three more....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I would have trouble with a positive journal too. I have a Gratitude journal that I write in each day one thing for that day I am thankful for. It has been a wonderful tool. However, there have been days when I struggled to come up with even one thing I was thankful for.
If you knew how your kindness affects the people on this website, you would have nothing but positives about yourself!

More power to ya!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 5/27/2012 2:56PM

    Hmmmm. What kind of positives are we talking here?

Positive actions?

~Posted on SparkPeople
~Paid bills
~Persevered even though didn't feel particularly positive
~Progressed on office work
~Positively looked for positivity!

Positive things about you in particular?

Hmmm. What 5 things would your DH or your kids or your good friends list? I kinda think they could come up with quite a few more than 5..... How about God? I'm sure God sees some positives as well. It's just all in your perspective.

You know that old question about perspective, right? Is the glass half empty or half full? Well, it depends on the speed of the bartender.


See? Perspective!

Comment edited on: 5/27/2012 2:58:19 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAYWEB555 5/27/2012 2:08PM

    You got up and took breath of life !
You ate healthy for the first meal!
You are contacting friends with encouragment !
You show your best side to the world !
You paid your bills !

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAE_LEIGH22 5/27/2012 1:48PM

    That's absolutely fantastic! What is better than positive reinforcement? I have noticed when I look for the positives my day always goes better -- or great! As long as I don't let the positive mindset turn into a negative one by getting annoyed by someone else's behavior or anything similar, things go very well.

I read in a book not too long ago that when you're feeling any type of negative emotion it's helpful to just STOP and start thinking of every possible thing you can relating to gratitude. I'm sure you have a million things in your life that you love, not just about yourself or your weight, but also about your family, friends, the clothes you wear, the eyes you have to read this, and so much more! It sure helped my aunt lose 30 pounds and still going!

Recently I've told you what a great and motivating person you are. You've got this, girl!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNNANN43 5/27/2012 10:08AM

    I shall help you finish...

3. Your infectious smile.
4. Your amazing devotion to your friends & family.
5. You huge, loving heart:-)

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARILOUIE 5/27/2012 9:23AM

    I find my journal to be one of the most useful tools for me.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRAVELNISTA 5/27/2012 6:48AM

    emoticonidea and share! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
RUN2MYDREAMS 5/27/2012 4:05AM

    You simply amaze me! I SO wish that we lived CAN do this Debbie!! Hugs

Report Inappropriate Comment
NOTABOUTHEFACE 5/27/2012 12:22AM

    Pretty good idea girl! I'm afraid with my snarky nature mine would start getting ridiculous on less productive days. 1) Exercised 2) Hit Calorie Range 3) Hit Water Goal 4) Admired toenails 5) Didn't die

Report Inappropriate Comment
LBENEDICT7 5/27/2012 12:10AM

    great idea !

Report Inappropriate Comment
DIFROMWYOMING 5/26/2012 11:28PM

    I think I can always think of 5 positives if they are about the world or people around me...but if I had to list 5 positive things about me specifically...that book would be pretty empty! Something to ponder...thanks. Love you, Di

Report Inappropriate Comment
LKEITHO 5/26/2012 11:19PM

    Sounds like a great technique!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOXIE-IN-MOTION 5/26/2012 11:10PM

    This is a really good idea.....far too often, we focus on the negative.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAWNWATERWOMAN 5/26/2012 10:57PM

    I love this idea. I think I am going to push myself to do this with you! SERIOUSLY! Love you, Dawn

Report Inappropriate Comment

Challenge Review

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I have been participating in a challenge for the past 10 weeks. My weight loss goal was to lose 22.4 pounds. At my weight that was definitely reasonable. However, I am going to be lucky if my weight is the same tomorrow as it was 10 weeks ago. Once again, I used lifeís sorrows and disappointments as an excuse to stray from my plan.

My goals for the challenge were fairly reasonable:
- stay off sweets and baked goods
- plan my lunches
- make a basic plan weekly before shopping
- keep a positive mental attitude

As my results show, I pretty much did not accomplish any of these goals. I was doing OK for a while, but since my nephew had his accident, I let the addition of his 6-year-old brother to my household and list of responsibilities just through me over the edge. And I have not had class the whole time he was with me Ė that changes on Tuesday!

We also had an assignment to set some additional personal goals about half-way through the challenge. Again, mine should have been reasonable and achievable (especially since I did not have class):
- put away all the papers that have accumulated during tax season and my current class
- get caught up on reviews that I have to type up and get rid of that paper
- clean out the pantry and refrigerator/freezer
- set up a work out area in my office

Again, pretty much did not get any of these done. My class notes are put away but I have two boxes of papers that need to be filed, as well as a pile on my desk that has accumulated over the past two weeks. I have done just a couple of reviews and keep carrying that paper from home office to work office and back again. I had made a dent in the pantry but with the addition of Nelsonís snacks and school lunch supplies, I have a bigger mess than I had before. I also made one change in my office to accommodate a work out area, but it has been negated in the past two weeks.

So where do I go from here?

I developed a general outline doing our last assignment for the challenge:
1. Start positive self-talk.
2. Start a journal for positives (and carry it with me every day).
3. Start making time for exercise every day. If I am honest, I do feel better when I exercise.
4. Start eating in a way that makes me feel better mentally and physically.
5. Start speaking up for myself - don't let people walk all over me.

I will be taking a day off on Friday because Nelson has a 1/2 of school and I am off on Monday so that gives me a good 4-day block to get these things done. I need to be in a good place before I start my next graduate class on Tuesday - it promises to be intense.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAE_LEIGH22 5/26/2012 10:24PM

    You have incredible goals -- attainable but effective. I love the part about positivity!

It's difficult to not let "people walk all over you." I personally am such a people pleaser that it makes it difficult to stand up for myself. I've been consciously working on that for a while, and it seems to really take time. But it can be done!

I also love the part about eating in a way that makes you FEEL better. I think if a person can find a way to feel good NOW, even before they're at their goal, things go much more smoothly.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BAYBELIEVER 5/25/2012 7:51AM

    Positive self talk?? Hmmmm. Maybe that is where I should start. Because, truthfully, I probably don't even know where to begin. Saying something like "You are beautiful" just makes me cry.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEENY_BIKINI 5/24/2012 4:04PM

    Debbie, you are amazing and it sounds like you have a great plan in place.

Have a super fab holiday weekend :)


Report Inappropriate Comment
SOUTHSHOREGUY 5/24/2012 11:33AM


It seems like you are facing one obstacle after another. But I just know that you will overcome. Stick with it and you will attain your goal. You may not make it when you want, but you will get there. I do have one question, though. You said your goal was to lose 22.4 pounds. Can you please tell me just where that 0.4 pounds came from?

Report Inappropriate Comment
BAKER1009 5/24/2012 9:00AM

    Life has certainly provided it's challenges for you lately!! Hang in there, Deb! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLUESKIES139 5/24/2012 8:02AM

    I am so glad I was part of your team! Even though you strayed away at times you still stayed strong for your family. Sometimes things happen and there is not a whole lot we can do. I have a feeling you will reach your new goals you have set :D

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEWME0519 5/23/2012 10:50PM

    Many of us are in the same boat as you. You're definitely not alone!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAWNWATERWOMAN 5/23/2012 10:14PM

    I'm proud of you. Your honesty & openness is exemplary. Keep your eye on your new goals & you WILL reach them. I KNOW that you are SERIOUS! Love you, Dawn

Report Inappropriate Comment
FITGRL124 5/23/2012 8:48PM

    Positive self talk sounds like a great place to start!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 5/23/2012 8:28PM

    I love the "positive self-talk" goal! That will energize you and make it easier to get other things done!

FlyLady loves to use post it notes as reminders of all kinds of things, and some of those things are to "Take Time for Myself" and "Give Yourself a Hug".

I lean toward MKPRINCESS's thought of just picking 1 or 2 small goals and master them first. I absolutely HATE failing at something and I channel stress a little too well, so succeeding at a couple of really small, doable goals makes me feel better than struggling with 5. And I'm really really stubborn, so it takes me a long long time to establish habits and routines. (Been working on taking 3 supplements once a day all month, and STILL keep forgetting. I actually took them in the middle of the night once when I woke up and realized I blew it again!)

Report Inappropriate Comment
SEASONS__CHANGE 5/23/2012 8:17PM

    Love the positive self-talk... I do this myself. It takes some practice, but after doing it for awhile it becomes a habit.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MRSBUMP09 5/23/2012 7:05PM

    One day at a time, one challenge at a time, one goal at a time, one pound at a time.

Keep it up.... emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MKPRINCESS007 5/23/2012 6:51PM

    Hey Debbie.........I would say that you challenges that you have had during this challenge have been extraordinary! Having a loved one so seriously involved in the hospital, and taking on care of a 6 year old are no small changes. Be kind to yourself! I feel that you place a lot of burden on your shoulders and then are frustrated by everything not being achieved. I honestly had one goal for myself this month. 1,000 fitness minutes. I am going to accomplish it for the FIRST TIME since I started Spark, over 2 years ago. I didn't give myself 5 goals, just one. It worked better for me. Dive into one of these goals and one ONLY. Complete it and move on to the next. You can do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love ya!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FLUTTER-BY)L( 5/23/2012 6:33PM

    I hope that you can find a way to make it happen. I know it is hard with kids. But, I also know that they adapt to our healthier life if we can figure out how to make it work. I hope that you can make it work and it will be easy for them. Good luck as you move forward.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KBLASEN 5/23/2012 5:47PM

    Life happens, just get back on track now that you realize where you're at! Are you close to a YMCA? They usually offer 1/2 day care for school release days. It is reasonable and there are scholarships if needed. If you're anything like me the time something actually takes to do stretches and becomes huge and overwhelming then I finally do it and if I use the timer it takes 15 minutes and I realize I've wasted more time worried about not doing it and putting it off than just doing it would have been!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GAELA-I-CAN 5/23/2012 5:05PM

    It sure sounds like you are on the right track. Take it a day at a time. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Saw My Nephew Today

Saturday, May 19, 2012

DH, DD and I took Nelson to see his brother today. Their sister, Reyann, also came in from Harrisburg to visit (she lives with her dad).

Merrill has made great progress this week. He is walking but his balance is off and he needs to have someone with him at all times. He is talking a lot, although sometimes he is having a different conversation than the rest of us. His longer term memory is fine - he remembers all his family and friends. He has trouble remembering events from day to day as well as the names of the various personnel at the rehab facility.

There is no prognosis yet. They told my niece that the team meets every Tuesday to discuss the patients and their ongoing treatment plans. However since Merrill will have just been there for a week this Tuesday they are not sure they will be ready to discuss his case yet. Someone told her 3 to 6 weeks at the facility and then more rehab on an outpatient basis, but that was just their opinion based on what they have seen with other patients.

My only real concern is Nelson. I found out on Friday that he has a 1/2 day of school next Friday, which means I will be working at home that day to pick him up early. I wound up getting in touch with his teacher, because I realized there may be other 'end of the year' things going on that I was not aware of. I am afraid he will miss out on a few things that occur outside of the school day but I am going to make every effort to be there for his Memorial Day "play" this coming Friday and his "graduation" from the Y program next Friday.

Nelson's last day of school is Thursday June 7th and my niece has not made any plans for summer camp, etc. We discussed it tonight and I told her to see if there is still space in the Y's summer camp program at his school. It will run from 7 AM until 6 PM so I would be able to continue to keep him at my house in the event that Merrill is still in rehab. I hope they have room.

Reyann, Nelson and Merrill

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYWEB555 5/27/2012 2:14PM

    Keeping you all in prayer!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JCDUBEA63 5/21/2012 11:37PM

    Nice pic!! U are an awesome aunt!! I will keep ur family in my prayer hope everything works out for everyone!!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Prayers for your whole family. Love you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILLALEX70 5/20/2012 7:44PM

    Things sound like they're improving! Keeping you in prayer.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SEASONS__CHANGE 5/20/2012 5:46PM

    Very relieved that he's getting around and doing better. Still sending positive reassuring thoughts to you and your family and thanks for sharing the picture. Very cute.


Report Inappropriate Comment
BAYBELIEVER 5/20/2012 2:13PM

    Awesome picture! Glad the visit went well. And I am sorry so much is up in the air for you all right now. Prayers are ongoing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRAVELNISTA 5/20/2012 12:44PM

    I know this has been stressful for everyone. They are very lucky you are able to help them out like you are. Great news about Merrill's progress. Every day things will get better a little, it just takes time. Sending continued emoticonand emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MKPRINCESS007 5/20/2012 11:11AM

    You are so awesome helping out during this very difficult time for everyone! I am glad to hear progress is being made and wishing everyone all the best~


Report Inappropriate Comment
BAKER1009 5/20/2012 9:03AM

    I'm glad he's physically continuing to get stronger and better, Deb. I hope he continues to gain strength. What a wonderful aunt you are to help with Nelson. Thanks for sharing the picture, it's nice to put faces with the names.

Hope you're having a good weekend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 5/20/2012 7:59AM

    What a relief that he's making progress! The Y camp sounds like a great idea. They usually have a great program set up that keeps them busy and active. We had a lot of kids at the elementary school who used their after school program and they were always well looked after.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEDYBEAR2838 5/20/2012 6:48AM

    I will pray they have room! They are cute children

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 Last Page