Friday, January 15, 2010
Several years ago, within 2 1/2 months, we lost three members of our small family.
First, on October 29, nineteen-year-old Ryan was killed in Indiana when an impaired driver crossed the road and hit Ryan's car. Those of us here in Florida couldn't go to his funeral because Mom was severely ill and in the hospital.
On December 21, Mom passed away. Relatives in Indiana couldn't come here for her funeral because her brother, my last uncle, Bud, Ryan's grandfather, was gravely ill. He died on January 13.
It was, and is, a sad time of year for us.
But now, since that period has passed on for another year, I can focus on living a life they would have been proud of:
Volunteering to help others, rescuing stray dogs and cats, trying to uplift as many people as I can through SparkPeople and overall being a responsible, mostly mature adult.
If it's true that life is for the living, then let's make the most of our time left on earth.
Why spend it in depression? Yes, times are tough, but we can still be happy for what we do have.
Anger? Bitterness? Hatred? Why bother with negative emotions? As we found out -- Dad died at 48, sister Diane at 51, two uncles at 42 and 44 -- life often comes to an unexpected and early end.
Yes, they are all in a better place without pain and misery and those of us remaining recall them with love.
But to honor them, and your lost ones, we need to be upbeat and positive and follow what the Boy Scouts taught me so many decades ago:
A Scout is:
Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.
Leading this kind of life may be the highest honor we can bestow on loved ones who have passed on.
Won't you try?
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I received this in an email and thought it important enough to pass along:
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9. Sleep for 7 hours daily.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.
11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts over things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't overdo. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake.
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner of his/her past mistakes. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
25. Call your family often!
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come.
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your inner most being is always happy. So, be happy.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
A few evenings ago I watched a young boy, perhaps 4 years old, at a restaurant. He had such a fun time with everything he did, especially when he ordered a cheeseburger without the cheese.
"So you want a hamburger?" the waitress asked.
"No," he giggled, "I want a cheeseburger without the cheese," and he burst out laughing. "Pleeeeaaassseee," he quickly added.
The server and those seated nearby also burst out with smiles and laughter.
As I watched this young man, I noticed that he enjoyed absolutely everything about being in the restaurant -- the balloon he was given, the coloring book and crayons, the French fries that he marched like soldiers through the ketchup.
But it was the look of pure fun on his face that made the night special.
Then I began to wonder -- who took the fun out of our lives?
If we, as adults, were to order a cheeseburger without the cheese, the server would likely think we were bring smart-alecky. So why is it a cute event when a youngster does it but an act of immaturity if done by an adult?
And, if we, as adults, were to ask for a balloon and coloring book? Better call out the straitjackets and take us away for we would be viewed as abnormal.
How many times do you walk past plants outside of a business and reach out to touch the leaves, simply to feel their texture and marvel at their color?
How much time do you spend in your yard watching the clouds pass by? Or any of the other things we did as children to pleasantly while away the hours?
No, can't do those things now. We're adults. We're grown up. People will think we are immature and acting silly and not acting our age if we do silly things.
So sad when you think about it, isn't it? Random moments for fun run through our daily lives and we refuse to take advantage of them because of what other people might think.
Well, I do reach out to stroke the plants and still sit outside to watch the clouds and even play chase with the dogs. Pure, innocent enjoyable times. I refuse to let others take the fun out of my life. Even it is watching the world through the eyes of a four year old.
How about you?
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
There is nothing that is a more certain sign of insanity than to do the same thing over and over and expect the results to be different." Albert Einstein
* * * * *
Have you noticed how innovative young children are? A simple cardboard box becomes an invincible fortress. A sawed-off broom handle turns into a magic sword. A towel tied around the neck and spread over the shoulders allows a child to fly, even if only in his or her imagination.
But then the child becomes an adult and is afraid of being embarrassed by such innovative thinking. Except for companies that thrive on new ideas such as computer and cellphone firms, many businesses and, consequently, their employees, are stifled and taught overtly and subtly that being different is frowned upon.
We are trained to obey rules. At home, at school at work and in society in general. Often this is good, such as with laws and rules of the road.
However, doing things as they have always been done simply for the sake of continuing the status quo is stifling, restrictive and boring.
What's wrong with eating a sandwich or spaghetti for breakfast or cereal for lunch?
What's wrong with doing our circuit training in the gym in a different rotation than usual?
Nothing, except for our fear of not doing things the "right" way.
Who's to say, though, what the right way is?
Take the simple game of tic-tac-toe. Winning often seems impossible. But winning at this game is easy if you use innovative strategies such a "wild-card" where you can use your opponent's symbol to create your three-in-a-row winning pattern. So what if you have two "X"s and a "O"? Who says the game can't be played that way?
Many people play Monopoly by putting fines in the center of the board and paying it out to whomever lands on Free Parking. But, that's breaking the rules, isn't it? Makes the game more fun, though.
So, when it comes to eating and exercise and life, think like a child and don't be afraid of breaking the "rules."
Often, it's good to be innovative.
Monday, January 11, 2010
"All great achievements require time." David Schwartz
* * * * *
Are you a patient person? Or do you want results, NOW? Are you disappointed when a week's worth of workouts and eating sensibly only results in a small weight loss and clothes that are still too tight?
Remember that it takes time. The end results do not always follow the effort we expend. Haven't you had those days or weeks where you felt you had pigged out with your eating and slacked off on your exercise and the scale went DOWN?
How to explain it? Likely an accumulation of positive effort that's finally caught up with you.
"Success consists of a series of little daily victories." Laddie Hutar
It is too bad that results do not follow lock-step in proportion to our effort, but day by day, exercise by exercise, meal by meal, success is built.
Keep the big, long-term picture in mind. Don't hope for instant success like in the scam ads when they tout "Lose 14 pounds in a week without dieting or exercise."
Sorry, it doesn't work that way. We must put forth the work, often causing sore muscles, and we must control our eating, and we must do this constantly throughout every day and then, when we least expect it, results will appear. On the scale, in looser fitting clothes, from a compliment paid by a co-worker or friend.
As Saint Francis de Sales said, "Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
"Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly start remedying them - every day begin the task anew."
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