EJB2801   25,652
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EJB2801's Recent Blog Entries

The Slow Down Challenge

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sometimes when I discuss slow tempo with music students, I talk about an event held annually in India. The goal in this event is to move the slowest on a bicycle. Moving slowly on a bicycle is quite an accomplishment, and so is consciously slowing down for life in general.

We, or a least I can speak for myself, believe that we can accomplish so much more if we push ourselves. Frankly I do need to do that most of the time, especially for repetitive tasks. Speaking of which, one reason I have to push myself to get these done is that I have not allotted a sane amount of time to do life maintenance. I'm working on this in almost every area of my life. It's not easy letting go of the desire to have something done just so or of the illusion that life's minutes are going to allow me to "get to" everything. My major illusion is that these pesky little chores will get done on the fly, "just as soon as..." - and you can fill the blank in with any number of seemingly urgent things to do. And some of these really are urgent.

While I'm being frank, I may as well admit that there are a fair number of changes I should make but don't because of that nefarious character so many SparkPeople have mentioned: PERFECTIONISM. Sometimes this nixes a change because of striving to make the change just right and all at once. More often for me it is because I'm doggedly trying to get A, B and C done to a T before moving on.

Sure, it's great to finish what you start, but so often I have merely intended to start. I have researched and gathered knowledge. Life events occur that call me to a different priority. Time marches on. Sigh. It's OK to feel a little blue about the detours, but it's important to line up today's priorities with today's reality. The willingness to flex when needed was more valuable than reaching that original goal, but that the time for the projects set aside is past. De-cluttering the should-have-done list and paring down the think-of-what-I missed always exacts a price, but the purchase of time and a lighter load makes the regret short lived.

It helps to remind myself of what I "purchased" during those super difficult years. Would I really want to have traded the time responding to my children's teachable moments for a mending project? Would I exchange those precious hectic years caring for my parents for keeping things tidier? Will I exchange my personal peace in the present thinking about why I didn't get more help or what I should have done differently? Not really.

For my Spark journey today, I plugged away at several things that need to be done since one of my goals is to organize two upstairs rooms. These rooms have seen an ebb and flow of success. I did not totally finish this time, either. I worked to focus on only one thing at a time and to not spend attention on side issues, and it felt good to make progress. Adios to that twinge of angst over things I forgot I had and got along just fine without. Hello re-discoveries that might enhance this year's homeschool program with my son.

Then I got outside and enjoyed some of a clear summer day while gardening. In some ways I did not really slow down my activity, but I did slow the pace of the "shoulds" enough to enjoy the sun and soil and to tuck away a new memory. Tomorrow I plan to spend some time just walking, maybe not even fast. Just walking to see what there is to see. Then I'll come back in and have at some more dust bunnies!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 8/17/2014 2:18AM

    I love old photographs for the tiny slice-of-time they capture. You have captured a slice-of-time with words - good blog!

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Turtle on the Road

Monday, July 21, 2014

I had such a busy weekend. I took my son and brother out to Columbus OH so we could attend my nephew's wedding reception. I felt really good that we had been proactive enough with packing that I did not start the trip already tired. That's a rare happening, but we started getting everything together early in the week. We always have to pack food for my son since he has a laundry list of allergies. My daughter helped organize my brother, and she cleaned his kitchen since he'll be staying with my other brother for a week.

We knew almost no one other than the newlyweds and their immediate family since most of our relatives had been at the actual wedding several weeks ago. But the advantage was that we met our nephew's newly acquired in-laws and enjoyed getting acquainted.

Then on the way home I had a jolting surprise. I decided to stop for lunch and fuel. I checked my purse...and....no card holder! Where was it? My son and I searched the many tote bags we had. We ransacked the cooler. We pondered whether or not we had seen it lying somewhere back at my Columbus brother's house. I knew I didn't have enough gas to get back there.

On top of that, some years back I had had to be rescued by the same brother when I plain out forgot my wallet driving to Philadelphia with my daughter and her friends for their first summer camp. I really didn't want to have to appeal for help for the SAME mistake, that is, if the cards were even at his house!

Just then I thought maybe I hadn't looked under the seat. Voila! There they were. Oh joy!

But the turtle? That was yet another interesting sight. As we resumed our journey, I looked ahead and saw a large lump that seemed to be moving. Yes, it was a good sized turtle! Miraculously the traffic was light enough that it seemed to have made its way across at least one lane of interstate, last I could see in my rearview mirror. I hope it survived the rest of the trip!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MILPAM3 7/21/2014 11:32PM

  emoticon We used to have a pond/swamp/bog between our property and the golf course. Turtles would come into our front yard to lay their eggs. Never did get to see them hatch though.

Glad you missed her on her way back to the water.

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Goal Ponderings Again

Saturday, July 12, 2014

I still have the same goals: to lose 40 pounds, to actively seek emotional fortitude, to eke out some proactivity every day.

for weight loss: get some movement for the first loss in a LONG time!! through strength training - immediate goal would be three times a week

for emotional fortitude: exercise, planned pleasures, time management on at least a few things - immediate goal would be to focus on structuring the day to make an earlier bedtime more likely

for proactivity: plan the exercise time, plan week-end meals, tweak food budget and plan, and continue to ponder long-range goals so as to better prioritize short range activities

That's all folks!


Practical Community Help

Monday, July 07, 2014

I am almost at the year mark for actively participating in SparkPeople. A number of things have changed for the better. However I'm much further from my goals than I had hoped to be. Of course, there are still the on-going obstacles that I have yet to surmount. My time is generally not my own. My husband and I are working and working and working with very little margin. We live in an economically depressed region, and every year our main employer backs out of a little more of the job benefits. This is where we have struggled to break even since 1995. And we have various family responsibilities that we thought would be shared...but...

But what I really want to put out here is a request for practical tips to benefit from the teams. I've been a lurker and occasional contributor on several teams. I even went so far as to become a team leader on very inactive team. I don't really "get" the team huddle and the team points and how to access the team camaraderie that is said to be part of a successful bid to truly change one's lifestyle. Some of this is because, I think, that I just eke out enough time to buzz through the SparkCoach pages and read what's on my Friend Feed.

Which brings me to another point: I've noticed that some folks seemed to have gone missing. Mostly when I've checked, I see that these individuals have not been active for a while. I wonder, will I also taper off? Will I lose this tiny spark of positivism amongst the many things pressing upon me? I am afraid!

So to summarize: I hope that someone savvy in team and community lore will clue me in on ways to build support that will make a difference for me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSP90X 7/8/2014 12:49PM

    My time is getting less and less as well. I have decided to just concentrate on 1 or 2 time challenged teams. At the moment I am on 3, but I will have to discontinue 1 or 2 when the time is up. The BLC25 is in its 25 round that goes for 12 weeks made up of many teams. I am also on the BTS 10 week team. It gives a concentrated focus and a very active team. For me. it makes the most out of sparkpeople. The one team I will NOT give up is my CAMO team within the BLC team. I have found a "home" on that team!!

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KASEYCOFF 7/8/2014 4:37AM

    I've been a leader of various teams over the last (whatever) years, and every time I've lost my enthusiasm. Part of the explanation may well be the lack of interaction: it seemed no matter what I did I seldom got a response from team members; when I did get responses, it would be from the same tiny handful. Very seldom would any of the other team members contribute.

Ultimately, I would step down from the team leadership. A couple of those teams are still going with the leaders who replaced me, but they are no more (or less) active than they were when I headed them.

SP doesn't like to address the lapsed membership. I suppose the numbers are detrimental to the advertising sponsors (understandably so), but at the same time, it makes working with the involved membership - however small - difficult.

What to do?

Beats me. The team leader forums are full of exactly this type of query, involving lack of activity... lapsed membership... pointers for energizing teams... and especially, pleas for SP to set up a method to easily determine active from inactive, even if dormant members are not deleted.

Personally, I find it demoralizing, and am at a total loss as to how to overcome the problem.

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challenge discussion

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Yesterday's challenge was to eat only when hungry. It went well, but I think that a schedule works better for a family. I just have to be sure to pay attention and stop eating when I'm satisfied. I also need to be sure that food is portioned out and leftovers put away before we eat.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UKNOWITNOW 6/14/2014 9:14PM

  Because I am diabetic I should eat every few hours. So I only get hungry If I did not eat enough healthy foods at those times.

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