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changing everything carefully

Sunday, March 27, 2011

We had snow here last night, but by noon it was all melted. When I spoke to my Dad this morning I told him about the snow and he said “It’s kind of late in March for snow.” I am delighted that at 97 he is still oriented enough to know that.

The following poem speaks of “changing everything carefully.” For the last year and a half that’s what I’ve been doing – changing everything carefully – not all at once, not big changes, but real changes.

This is one of my favorite poems for spring.


Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and from moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOYATLAST 4/20/2011 8:19PM


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PENNYAN45 4/4/2011 11:13PM

    Thanks for sharing this poem. I had not seen it before.
Springtime is indeed 'changing everything carefully.'
So is the time leading up to retirement.

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CHARMIAN2 4/1/2011 4:51AM

  Like your attitude

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COACHPENNY 3/30/2011 9:27PM

    Lovely poem. Blessings to your!

This poem could also be used to signify the type of change we are seeing implemented by President Obama. Changing things carefully to avoid breakage?

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CJD2000 3/30/2011 10:52AM

    Lucky you to have your dad.

Another enjoyable poem.

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CHARMIAN2 3/30/2011 4:22AM

  Your Dad sounds great!!

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COLEENCOLE 3/29/2011 8:51PM

    How amazing that you have such a sharp dad at 97. What will be your retirement activities as it could go on for years if you are anything like your dad.

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LIZARDREAMING 3/29/2011 11:59AM

    Thanks for the Spark Goodie! Double thanks, cause it brought me to your blog. Love the poem and the attitude. Great to hear about your Dad still being with it! Sorry about the snow - we're supposed to be in the 80's this week! Too soon, but we get what we get. emoticon

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ALIBROM 3/29/2011 12:18AM

    That poem made me laugh, especially the last line. I love it. I enjoy coming to your page and reading your blogs and poems. It is like an "Inch of" fresh spring air, LOL! It is a blessing that your dad's mind is still sharp at his age.

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KALISWALKER 3/28/2011 9:05PM

    I walked Kali outside today, still lots of snow but a good start at getting back at it.

You are right your dad is really on the ball!

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JCORYCMA 3/27/2011 10:23PM

    Careful changes tend to last (unless you are talking about Iowa weather!) As always I love the poems!

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SARAWMS48 3/27/2011 5:01PM

    "Who pays attention to the syntax of things will never wholly kiss you." My favorite quote of e.e.cummings from back in the spring of 1970 when I first discovered his writing. Thanks for the reminder.

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TYEASLEY 3/27/2011 4:09PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

We got snow yesterday, too. It's mosty melted now. The best changes are made slowly instead of abruptly. That's a very wise approach to life. Daily blessings are revealed. I love that your dad still has his wits about him. I agree, it is too late in March for snow. However, Mother Nature thinks otherwise.

Here's to sunnier days and to not breaking anything. Have a great week, hopefully no more snow, only sunshine and blue skies.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/27/2011 4:10:20 PM

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MOM2ACAT 3/27/2011 3:52PM

    Beautiful poem!
That is great about your dad.
We still have snow here, but that is not unusual for Michigan; we've even had snow storms in April some years.

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JUNEAU2010 3/27/2011 3:37PM

    Wonderful note about your dad! I'm smiling!

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SHOSHANADP 3/27/2011 3:18PM

    I agree with your father; it is too late in March for snow.

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EGRAMMY 3/27/2011 1:10PM

    emoticon Beautiful, thank you for sharing

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What Do I Want to Be?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

When I was young, I wanted to be an architect, an actuary, or a physical therapist. I was actually accepted into a graduate program in physical therapy, but I met my husband and got married instead. I have never regretted that decision, but it did change my life. I started working for the Federal Government in 1973, and except for a few years off when my children were born and we lived in Bermuda, I have worked there ever since. My job is interesting, challenging, sensitive, and well paid. I have a thousand stories, but I can’t tell them. I’ve been a front line manager with my agency since 1989, and anyone who has ever managed other employees knows that adds a whole new level of challenge, as well as a lot of stories.

Well, now I am thinking seriously about retiring within the next year, and it suddenly occurred to me that if I live to my father’s age I will be retired for 35 years. What am I going to do with those years? What do I want to be now?

It’s too late to be a physical therapist, but not too late to do volunteer work at the County Recreation Center in the adapted aquatics program. I can’t be an architect, but I have a new camera and I can learn photography. I have my health back. I could move to California and bug my daughter full time. (Just kidding, dear)

So tell me – what did you want to do when you grew up? Did you do it? If you are retired, what are you doing to keep busy?

Here is a poem by John Engman about wanting to be one thing, and settling for something else.


I wanted to be a rain salesman,
because rain makes the flowers grow,
but because of certain diversions and exhaustions,
certain limitations and refusals and runnings low,
because of chills and pressures, shaky prisms, big blows,
and apes climbing down from banana trees, and dinosaurs
weeping openly by glacial shores, and sunlight warming
the backsides of Adam and Eve in Eden ...
I am paid
to make the screen of my computer glow, radioactive
leakage bearing the song of the smart money muse:
this little bleep went to market, this little clunk has none.

The woman who works the cubicle beside me has pretty knees
and smells of wild blossoms, but I am paid to work
my fingers up and down the keys, an almost sexy rhythm,
king of the chimpanzees picking fleas from his beloved.
I wanted to be a rain salesman , but that's a memory
I keep returning to my childhood for minor repairs:
the green sky cracking, then rain, and after,
those flowers growing faster than I can name them,
those flowers that fix me and make me stare.

I wanted to be a rain salesman,
carrying my satchel full of rain from door to door,
selling thunder, selling the way air feels after a downpour,
but there were no openings in the rain department,
and so they left me dying behind this desk—adding bleeps,
subtracting clunks—and I would give a bowl of wild blossoms,
some rain, and two shakes of my fist at the sky to be living.
Above my desk, lounging in a bed of brushstrokes flowers,
a woman beckons from my cheap Modigliani print, and I know
by the way she gazes that she sees something beautiful
in me. She has green eyes. I am paid to ignore her.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOYATLAST 4/20/2011 8:35PM

    Retirement is a lovely time to throw yourself and all your strength behind the things that are near and dear to your heart.

It's like the romance stage of marriage evolving into an unbeatable team with purpose and fulfillment. These things take time!!

Here's to 35 years of efficient direction.

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ALLIEINSHAPE 3/23/2011 12:13PM

    What a powerful poem! I feel I never had the opportunity to explore what I could be. I got straight A's in biology and would have been happy doing something related to plants and trees. However, my mother pushed me into teaching and I got a degree in Elem Ed and too late realized this was not something I was cut out to do. Since that was all I was trained for I worked in day care for 8 years. It was a low pay job and I had a part time job for 5 years at a bookstore to supplement my income. I had to get out of that dead end field and was able to get an entry level position in investment accounting at a pension fund, had a few promotions, and was stuck in a little cubicle like in your poem for 29 years. I stayed at this extremely unsuitable stressful job in order to get a pension and benefits at 60 but at a great cost to my physical and mental health. Spending so much time at the office, exhausted after I got home late at night, plus looking after my mother for many years until she died, also cost me a personal life.

Now in these two years after retirement I am finding out who I am. The most difficult adjustment is being without a strict daily schedule. I was back on the computer for many hours each day as I was so used to sitting in front of that screen, it was a familiar place. I am limiting my time there now, including on Sparks. Instead, I am taking various courses for seniors, including landscape painting in oils and acrylics, and I am enjoying using my digital camera to take photos of flowers and trees in the nearby park. I am even having a little show of my photos at a bookstore gallery in May. I am in a bookclub at the local library and have lunches out with friends, go to new exhibits at the art gallery and museum. Other then day bus trips with seniors groups, I do not have the money or energy to travel now so I am glad I had opportunities to do that earlier. I would recommend that anyone who retires should do some volunteer work to give back to others, and keep connected with people, but after those busy years at the office I find I cannot handle any stress now, and the OA in my knees limits mobility. Part of my pension money is allocated to monthly payments to various groups like Doctors without Borders and Nature Conservancy of Canada so I feel I am doing something to help.

You will find there is a big lifestyle change and period of adjustment when you retire. You will keep thinking "there is something I am supposed to be doing now". But as time goes by you will find your own rhythm, the activities that keep you learning, and bring you joy, and the freedom of choice is exhilarating. This is an exciting chapter of life! Woo Hoo!!

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PENNYAN45 3/22/2011 9:09AM

    Retiring is an interesting transition. It comes with losses and gains.

I found that it was important to know what really mattered to me and what contributed to my sense of well being.

I was a teacher (of gifted children) at the elementary school level for 20 years when I retired.

I LOVED teaching.

After I retired, I began teaching part-time at the local community college.
This was a very good decision.
The college position required that I learn new skills for the new population I was serving and the new subject matter I was teaching.
It also provided me with flexibility in my schedule so I could travel with my newly retired husband. (I teach only during the fall semester.)

Because of that schedule flexibility, I have also had plenty of time to pursue other interests: photography, learning Spanish, cooking, crafts - just to name a few.

The key ingredient for me is to feel that I am doing something worthwhile - that I am making a contribution. Also, I want to feel that I am still learning and growing - that I am being challenged.
Finally, it is important that I still feel connected - and very much a part of - today's world.

As a retiree, you will no longer have the managerial status - but neither will you have the responsibilities.
You will no longer have the daily structure to your life and the built-in contact with other people, but you will have the time to try your hand at some of your old interests --as well as some new interests.

Current technology can open doors for us that have never been available for earlier generations.

The opportunities are limitless.


Comment edited on: 3/22/2011 9:10:57 AM

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ALIBROM 3/22/2011 12:56AM

    Wow, what a funny, quirky poem! I love it. I guess I am odd in that I never really wanted a career. I wanted to be a wife and mom, and that is what I turned out to be. I did want to be a teacher, though. I still have my cursive penmanship paper from third grade in which I stated that "I want to teach the children to read and write." And that's what I did for my three children whom I homeschooled for various amounts of time. Now both my older kids are in college, and my youngest son, who is almost 12, does his homeschooling online. When he goes to school one day, perhaps I will start drawing and painting again. I don't really think my B.S. in biology would be of any use to me at this point. BTW, my daughter wants to be a physical therapist! You have to get a DPT (Doctorate of Physical Therapy) in order to practice now, which is 3 years beyond your B.S. They make things more and more difficult!
I think you will have no problem filling up your time when you retire!

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JCORYCMA 3/21/2011 10:48PM

    At the conference I recently attended, I met so many women with more education than me doing what I do for higher pay. If I had to do it over, I would become a nurse practitioner. I'm older and couldn't work long enough to recoup the school loans. I am privileged to do what I love to do each and every day though. If you had asked me at age 20 if my life's dream was to diagnosis and treat urinary and fecal incontinence I would have said "Uh - what's incontinence"? When we retire we can travel the world together - two skinny sisters - and reminisce about taxes and bladders :)

Comment edited on: 3/21/2011 10:48:38 PM

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CJD2000 3/20/2011 6:26PM

    Well, I wanted to be a teacher, and that's what I was. After retirement I've done some volunteer work and also taught at our local college.

The possibilities are endless. Your blog and its comments have made me think that I need to get back to "doing something" since I've been recovering from back surgery and a broken leg and have been lingering in my house.

Thanks for the reminder.

Have a wonderful day!

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JET150 3/20/2011 5:05PM

    I wanted to be a librarian most of all, but could not afford grad school. Now that I'm on the verge of retiring, I am hoping I can work part time in my little branch library. I already volunteer there. There are a few other places I'd like to maybe volunteer, and I can audit classes at UW. The last thing o expect to be is bored!
If you do retire, I bet you will love it!!

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LINDARUTH46 3/19/2011 1:31PM

    I loved your post, and the poem. It seems so bittersweet. (You wanted to be an actuary? Really?)

I've been retired about 7 years now. Last year, I went back to see my friends at a Founder's Day celebration. We were all sitting around, and one of them asked me if I was bored being retired. I smiled and said no. I don't think they believed me; I think I even saw some pitying looks. But I couldn't explain it; it's just that your days fill up, and there's no hurrying. And they fill up with things that you are personally interested in. Spending time with family and working on projects (I'm a scrapbooker), just enjoying life. It's not perfect, and it's not stress-free, but it's very satisfying. I didn't get to be a stay-at-home mom, now I'm a stay-at-home grandma (I call myself a grannynanny) and I'm never bored! I worked hard, and I deserve to enjoy my retirement, as you do. Good luck with whatever you decide. emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/19/2011 1:37:02 PM

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    Exploration IS a career path. I have been lucky enough to have a completely different path every 10 years or so... I figure I have one or two more 10 year paths to explore before I won't have to worry about the path paying enough to support my family.

The difference between having a job and having a career: when you feel like it's too late to get a new job, you have a career. May I never have a career

Thank you for today's little mental barbell... "and I know by the way she gazes that she sees something beautiful in me. She has green eyes. I am paid to ignore her. "

Oh, the places you will go now that you will no longer be paid to ignore her!

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ASPENHUGGER 3/18/2011 4:20PM

    That is just awesome! Most of us never do get to be what we wanted to be when we grew up. What a shame, what a loss! And this poem tells that so sparely, so elegantly.

Thanks for shraing it!

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STLRZGRRL 3/18/2011 6:38AM

    Hey! I thought there would be no test!!

Such a pensive way to start a FRIDAY!!! IT'S FRIIIIDAAAAAY! FINALLY FRIDAAAY!! Wait.

The fact that I'm so freaking thrilled about it being Friday kind of implies I'm having some salaryman issues of my own, huh?


When I was young I wanted to be a horse.

But because of certain diversions and exhaustions, I became a government hack instead...

Now I think I'm going to be a rain salesman...

Keep it up, CM, and YOU will become a career counselor!!

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COACHPENNY 3/18/2011 4:04AM

    I wanted to be a writer and in my own way I am.

Professionally, I've been a maid, a waitress, an insurance agency secretary, a restaurant manager, a restaurant owner, a landlord, a QDA food taste tester, a playground supervisor, a swim and water aerobics instructor, lifeguard and LG/CPR instructor and............. a wife and mom.

I certainly haven't followed a traditional career path LOL!

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COLEENCOLE 3/17/2011 7:54PM

    I am trying to figure out what I am going to do next. I have lots of activities to keep me busy, but I am alone alot and get lonely. Thanks for the bluberries.

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RUTHIEBEAR 3/17/2011 3:36PM

    From the time I was in sixth grade I wanted to be a teacher. I fulfilled that dream and loved teaching. WHen I had my own kids, I retired and became a full time mommy. Now I am a fulltime grammy. I love kids and love being with my grandson.

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TYEASLEY 3/16/2011 11:23PM

    I'm still working on what I want to be. I'll let you know when I get there. Great Blog!! emoticon

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NADJAZZ 3/16/2011 9:58PM

    I wanted to be a nurse, then realized computer programming was my passion. I eventually moved into management, and hated it! I'm now back to programming, and every day at work feels like playtime. I do look forward to retirement, and hopefully, being a grandma. No grandchildren yet!

I absolutely love the poem! Captures the life of a cubicle-dweller so well.

Comment edited on: 3/17/2011 9:09:50 PM

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JUNEAU2010 3/16/2011 9:48PM

    I wanted to be a nurse, then a doctor, then a surgeon. Then, a music therapist. Decades later, I became a paralegal!

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CANDOK1260 3/16/2011 9:23PM

    i WANTED to be THE 1ST WOMEN govwnor an no I didn;t make it LOL , Next year I will be losing my job and need to find a new career so maybe I will find the anser thenv

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SHOSHANADP 3/16/2011 6:19PM

    You may not move to California. If you move to California than your daughter would have no reason to come to the East Coast every year and I wouldn't get to see her. As for what to do? I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be.

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TRACSGOAL 3/16/2011 4:12PM

    I think about this a lot, what do I want to be when I grow up (and I'm 40). Life got in the way of college and one thing I've wanted to do is take some college classes now just to figure out what the classes will be on.

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PLAYBLUES22 3/16/2011 3:33PM

    Sweetie I just retired in 2010 when I started Sparks always wanted to be a writer so now I go to the University and take classes in creative writing on the Extended Education for Seniors, I mentor street children , volunteer for Salvation Army, the Community Food bank , and the VA, so my life will be booked up for the next 35 yrs emoticon

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SARAWMS48 3/16/2011 3:24PM

    Almost two years ago, I was laid off at age 61. When I was young, I wanted to teach writing and for one year of my life, I did. For four years, I taught Special Ed and for 4 years I worked with victims of crime at the State's Attorney's office. I was blessed to have four daughters and two sons. These days I'm a wife, a mom, a grandma, a niece, a cousin, a sister, and a friend. Now and then, I'm a gardener, a seamstress, an interior decorator, a literary critic and a genealogist. All in all, I like it.

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Everything Round is Good

Monday, February 21, 2011

I never hated my body, even when I weighed 70 pounds more than I weigh now. I was disappointed that my body was breaking down, health-wise, with the high blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure. I was bummed out when walking up a flight of stairs left me winded. But I never hated myself for being that way. My body was still capable of some wonderful things and I appreciated it. Oddly enough, I think that self appreciation actually helped me in my weight loss. Once I made up my mind to be healthier and look better, I knew I was worth it, I knew I was capable. I loved myself enough to make the effort.

Today I'm sharing a poem by Jane Yolen .

Fat Is Not a Fairy Tale

I am thinking of a fairy tale,
Cinder Elephant,
Sleeping Tubby,
Snow Weight,
where the princess is not
anorexic, wasp-waisted,
flinging herself down the stairs.

I am thinking of a fairy tale,
Hansel and Great,
Bounty and the Beast,
where the beauty
has a pillowed breast,
and fingers plump as sausage.

I am thinking of a fairy tale
that is not yet written,
for a teller not yet born,
for a listener not yet conceived,
for a world not yet won,
where everything round is good:
the sun, wheels, cookies, and the princess.

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JCORYCMA 3/2/2011 11:15PM

    When I was over weight I never chastised myself because of my appearance, but because I felt like I should have better self control. Putting my health at risk by not shedding the weight was much like one putting their credit at risk by not paying their bills. Thanks for sharing the poem. You always find the best!

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CAROLINE1000 2/27/2011 11:42PM

    Fantastic. I do think we have to look at round and soft as being as nice and comforting as round soft things are. Great one!

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ALIBROM 2/27/2011 12:20AM

    Great blog. I really like the fact that you didn't hate your body. I guess I didn't really hate my body when I weighed over 200 lbs., since I could still do some cool things. But, I hated the way I felt. I felt inferior, ugly, self conscious, and lacked confidence. I do feel a lot better now. I don't know if I could ever feel my best being overweight. But I do agree with you that it really helps you to lose weight if you learn to accept yourself and your body and get rid of the self hatred. Like you say, "I loved myself enough to make the effort."

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CANDOK1260 2/25/2011 4:39AM

    great poem hope you doing well my pal

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ASPENHUGGER 2/25/2011 12:39AM

    Love it, of course. Jane Yolen is aweseome, isn't she, no matter what she writes!

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SHOSHANADP 2/24/2011 11:01PM

    I love the poem! I think shopping with you and Beth have taught me to love my body more and not be concerned about the number (the size...and sometimes the price) but more concerned about how it looks on me.

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CANDOK1260 2/23/2011 6:54AM

    love the poem and the attuidue

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TELLITFORWARD 2/23/2011 12:14AM

  We must stop hating ourselves for our shapes, features, etc. Some things we can change, but if we don't love ourselves as we are, we'll not love ourselves when we're thinner, healthier or anything else. We'll never measure up. I struggle with this.

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CTEMPLE 2/22/2011 6:33PM


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LINDARUTH46 2/22/2011 12:50AM

    I really liked your poem, thanks for posting it. And thanks for commenting on my blogs, it makes me feel good that someone is reading.

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NADJAZZ 2/21/2011 10:24PM

    Great poem, and so timely for me! I just started reading "The Self-Compassion Diet", by Jean Fain.

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BRIDIE5 2/21/2011 3:59PM

  Great point..I think we first have to love ourselves in order to succeed in our efforts toward wt. loss, fitness and good health..when we love ourselves, we recognize we're worth it the effort required.

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DAYHIKER 2/21/2011 2:45PM

    Cute poem. Our preacher has often teasingly said that if there are calories in heaven, mark him disappointed. emoticon

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METAMORPHOSIS36 2/21/2011 1:17PM

    I love the poem :)

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JOYATLAST 2/21/2011 11:34AM

    I worked hard to love myself and the marvelous body God gave me. I can tell you it makes all the difference in the world!!

Love the poem!

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COLEENCOLE 2/21/2011 10:55AM

    Cute poem!

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PENNYAN45 2/21/2011 10:45AM

    I'm all for real people and real bodies.
Self-love is what it is all about.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Try as Hard as You Can Every Moment You're Given

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I got three books of poetry for my birthday this year, so I decided to share a poem from each one of them to help me get started blogging again. This poem is from a book my son gave me called The Poets Laureate Anthology, which was developed in association with the Library of Congress. My son works at the Library of Congress, and he knows I love poetry, so it was a good choice. In days to come I will pick a poem from each of the books my sister gave me.

I opened my new book at random and found the following poem by Rita Dove, who was Poet Laureate from 1993 to 1995. There is a lot of good stuff in this poem. I love the line: Don’t let a little pain stop you; try as hard as you can every minute you’re given or else sit down and shut up. I also like the idea of measuring a life in deeds.

See what you think.

This Life

My grandmother told me there’d be good days
to counter the dark ones,
with blue skies in the heart as far
as the soul could see. She said
you could measure a life in as many ways
as there were to bake a pound cake,
but you still needed real butter and eggs
for a good one—pound cake, that is,
but I knew what she meant. She was always
talking around corners like that;
she knew words carried their treasures
like a grape cluster around its own juice.
She loved words; she thought a book
was a monument to the glory of creation
and a library…well, sometimes
just trying to describe Jubilation
will get you a bit tongue, so let’s
leave it at that. But my grandmother
was nobody’s fool, and she’d tell anybody
smart enough to listen. Don’t let a little pain
stop you; try as hard as you can
every minute you’re given or else
sit down and shut up—though in her opinion,
keeping quiet in noisy times was a sin
against everything God and democracy
intended us for. I know she’d like
where I’m standing right now. She’d say
a man who could measure his life in deeds
was larger inside than the vessel that carried him;
she’d say he was a cluster of grapes.
My grandmother was only four feet ten
but when she entered a room, even the books
came to attention. Giants come in all sizes:
Sometimes a moment is a monument;
sometimes an institution breathes—
like a library. Like this halcyon day.

Rita Dove

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLINE1000 2/15/2011 9:34PM

    Beautiful. Thank you. Let's all be giants!

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JOYATLAST 2/8/2011 2:04PM

    emoticon If you don't mind, I'd like to copy that and bask in it awhile.

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BRIARROSE30 1/5/2011 1:09AM


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PENNYAN45 1/2/2011 7:56PM

    What a gift - an anthology of poetry by Poets Laureate!

And I love that grandmother who "thought a book was a monument to the glory of creation" and who talked about measuring life "in deeds."

Thanks for sharing. I hope you will post more in future blogs.

Happy New Year!!

emoticon emoticon

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ASPENHUGGER 12/29/2010 11:06PM

    As usual, you have stunned me! Thanks!

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COLEENCOLE 12/29/2010 1:01PM

    Such a way with words. Thanks.

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ALIBROM 12/28/2010 12:53AM

    A nice strong, motivating poem! Thanks for sharing.

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ALLIEINSHAPE 12/27/2010 1:33AM

    Nothing like real butter and eggs to make a good pound cake. I like it. Thanks for sharing that wonderful poem! I may have mentioned it before but both my brother and niece are poets so lots of it floating around here. Enjoy your new poetry books!

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JCORYCMA 12/26/2010 9:46PM

    Oh my goodness - there are so many great lines in this poem it would be hard to pick a favorite. I could picture a grandma like that! Thanks for sharing it with us - and do re-embrace blogging. We are the benefactors! emoticon

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TYEASLEY 12/26/2010 9:36PM

    emoticon I too love poems. Happy holidays and welcome back to blogging.

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CTEMPLE 12/26/2010 7:14PM


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SHOSHANADP 12/26/2010 5:32PM

    Welcome back to blogging!

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CATLADY52 12/26/2010 3:56PM

    That is a beautiful poem. emoticon

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

I did strength training at the gym yesterday. At the end of my session, the Fit Linx system said I'd lifted 12, 650 pounds. How did I do that? If you put a box weighing 12, 650 pounds on the ground in front of me there is no way I could lift it.

On the chest press, I lift 20 pounds at a time. On the leg press I lift 95 pounds. I do 10 machines, 2 sets on each machine, 10 to 15 repetitions in each set. So I lifted that weight 20 to 95 pounds at a time. In other words, I take it one step at a time and it adds up. That is one of the most important things I've learned at Spark People - take it one step at a time. Don't try to lose 10 pounds in a week, be happy if you lose one. Don't start by running a marathon, aim for 10 minutes of walking a day. Start small and build on those small steps.

Do what's possible, and do it consistently, and you'll be amazed what you can accomplish.

Here's a sweet little poem by Emily Dickinson about possibilities:

I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of Eye –
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –

Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –

Emily Dickinson

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOYATLAST 12/23/2010 10:18PM

    Do what is possible consistently.

I'll second that! And very impressive, by the way.

I choose to dwell in Possibility. Love the poem.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.


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JCORYCMA 11/21/2010 8:35PM

    What a great blog! So inspiring! AND just the words that I needed to see. I thought I had subscribed to your blogs, but didn't get notice so I'm going to try again. I love the poems that you share.

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KALISWALKER 11/18/2010 8:14PM

    You are right, one step at a time will get you there!

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ALIBROM 11/18/2010 5:34PM

    For some reason, your blog and Emily Dickinson's poem is making me cry. I really need to be reminded of what you just said in your blog. Thank you.

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CANDOK1260 11/16/2010 9:04PM

    love your blog. great poem. Your strength sounds really hard . You doing great . emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ASPENHUGGER 11/16/2010 11:32AM

    I don't think I'd read that poem before, and it certainly is apropos, isn't it! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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TYEASLEY 11/14/2010 10:03PM


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CTEMPLE 11/14/2010 8:36PM


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TURQUOISELOTUS 11/14/2010 7:30PM

    Great blog! And so true. Little bit by little bit does add up over time. Thanks for the timely reminder - and for the poem by Emily Dickinson. One of my favourites!


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ALLIEINSHAPE 11/14/2010 6:20PM

    Good for you doing all that strength training! One step at a time adds up to many. Thanks for the lovely poem too.

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JUNEAU2010 11/14/2010 5:15PM

    I read Emily Dickinson when I was in high school, but have not recently. Thanks for sharing!

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NADJAZZ 11/14/2010 4:46PM

    Thank you for the reminder on taking it one step at a time. I am feeling overwhelmed at the moment, but thanks to your advice, I'll break it down a litte at a time. For the moment, I'm focusing on meal planning for the week, and organizing my kitchen. I guess that's enough for today.

The poem is beautiful in its simplicity, and it touched me...because I, too, dwell in Possibility. I love having choices, evaluating my options, not being boxed in...the Gambrels of the Sky for my roof! Thanks for sharing this.

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JOYATLAST 11/14/2010 4:04PM

    Love it!

And the poem is lovely.

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