Saturday, May 08, 2010
My day has been one of joy and despair, of happiness and sorrow.
I learned how to replace a front turn signal light bulb today. I love the staff at Advanced Auto Parts for being so helpful. Such a minor job but when you are as un-mechanically inclined as I am, every little thing turns into a huge, frustrating project. But now I feel empowered and almost want the right side bulbs to go out so I can show how fast I can change those little devils.
Then I was tempted to take a nap but looked at the mini-jungle in the back yard and decided to make a dent in mowing. Finished the entire yard but now my back is cramped and sore. A good sore of accomplishment. Took about two hours to stop sweating what with the 90s temperature and heavy humidity we're having here in Central FL. But, the yard looks nice and the dogs are enjoying being able to run easier. Plus, it counts on SP as cardio!
Went out for dinner and tried to start the computer to do some work before the meal arrived and it wouldn't turn on, Reset button didn't work, nothing. This computer's problems have been ongoing for a month now but it worked fine before I left the house. Tried to find the positive and could only think of the decluttering I could do if it didn't work at home and the editing that needs to be done. Got back home voila, okay again. Go figure but praise the Lord. And, I was able to give a musical angel snow globe to one of the waitresses, something of Mom's I appreciate but I have nowhere to display it.
I've been thinking of Mom today since tomorrow is Mother's Day. Sadly, she passed away in 2004. Hard to believe it has been so long. With both grandmothers also gone, there is only my aunt Alice in Indiana to wish a Happy Mother's Day to. Plus, of course, all of my s who have been so encouraging and supportive and inspirational during my time here.
Please cherish your Mother as the treasure she is. Thank her for all of the things she has taught you. Mostly, though, tell her how much you love her. And may you all have a wonderful Mother's Day tomorrow.
Friday, May 07, 2010
We all encounter days filled with stressors. Many times these are major health, financial and physical problems. Other times our stress comes from a series of troubles, trials and tribulations that may appear minor in comparison but which are no less mentally and emotionally exhausting and frustrating
When we are faced with stress, how do we overcome it? A bedrock of positive thinking is a beginning, trying to find the positives in all situations, allowing us to put our problems in proper perspective.
But we frequently need more. Many experts suggest exercise to help overcome our stress. Something as easy as walking for those physically able to do so. Weightlifting, bike riding, yard work, anything to get us out and moving and focusing on something other than our immediate problems.
Others recommend meditation, tai-chi, yoga, prayer or some reflective sessions to calm our minds.
I have even heard a suggestion to list on paper both the problems and what could be done short- and long-term to resolve the problems. This lets us see the problems in their entirety and to see a bigger picture of possible resolutions.
I have also read that when we are under stress we could benefit from taking a nap, if possible, that being asleep releases us from conscious thoughts about our difficulties.
Of course, talking to a trusted friend or family member is always a good way to solicit advice and a fresh outlook on things.
Or, primal scream therapy, best done at home rather than in a store or parking lot. :)
Whatever of these or other methods or a combination work for us, what is of vital importance is that we do not allow ourselves to wallow in the pit of despair, that we try SOMETHING.
It helps, too if we remember that rainbows do not appear until AFTER a storm, when life always appears brighter.
Thursday, May 06, 2010
What is your stress limit? Have you ever reached it? Mine is pretty high --I can handle a lot of troubles -- but tonight I reached my limit, for a short time.
First, the car's turn signals went out as I drove to a lunch meeting today. I had my laptop and power cord with me to do some work before my lunch friend arrived. Then got drenched in the rain going back to the car after lunch. Later, after a doctor appointment, got home and got a call to meet a different friend for dinner. When we get together, while we're waiting for our meals and then afterward for a while, he usually writes more of his book in a notebook while I use my computer to do some book editing.
Got wet again in the evening rain while going into the restaurant. Then the power cord would not plug into the laptop. I stressed out big time worrying about being without a computer for the second time in a month, the expense of a new power cord, just the frustration of this and all else that had gone wrong in my life lately. I was ready to cry and scream. Me, a grown man. But I had had it and couldn't take any more and wondered why couldn't just one thing go right?
The waitress said it looked as if the cord was missing a piece on the end that would adapt to the computer's power outlet.
Well, duh me for not noticing. But was it at home, at the first restaurant, in their parking lot, in this restaurant's parking lot, in the car? So, out in the rain to check the parking lot and my car where I found it on the front seat.
How, for the first time in seven years did the cord's parts separate I'll never know. But back inside with a lighter mood and a lessened stress level, but still wet.
It was nice to get some work done at dinner and to be able to use the computer tonight at home as usual.
It was even nicer to say, "Thank you Lord for helping me find the attachment."
A certain amount of stress is needed in our lives, health experts say, but once in a while we reach our limit, maybe over major life issues, maybe over a series of seemingly innocuous tribulations.
But the real test is how we bounce back. Tonight I realized I had allowed life's negatives to influence my usual positive attitude. I had lost my positive focus. It is a lesson that will not soon be forgotten.
And the next time troubles pile up? I'll give thanks for them and offer a prayer for guidance and direction on how to handle them. Then, I'll look not at the problem, but at the positives in the situation.
Yes, even high stress limits can be reached sometimes. It is how we react at those times that is important.
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
I ran across a newspaper cartoon that showed a drill sergeant speaking to his basic training recruits about using a rope to swing across an open pit.
“That there is a rope,” he said, pointing at the rope. “That there is a pit,” he said, pointing to the mud-filled pit. “And that,” he said, pointing to an alligator in the pit, “is your incentive.”
It got me wondering about our incentives for our weight loss and fitness journeys. Was it for improved health, for improved personal appearance or better fitness and mobility? Whatever our incentive to begin, where is our incentive now? Have we maintained sight of it? Or, discovering that this is not an overnight success trip, have we lost it?
With most aspects of our lives, it is difficult to be "up" every minute of every day. Sure, being positive should be a bedrock of our mental foundation, but there is only so much emotion in us. When we first begin a task, we are so very gung-ho and our excitment level is at an all-time high. Then, as long-term reality sets in we sometimes find our motivation, our incentive, our enthusiasm, waning.
So what do we do then?
I suggest we go back to the beginning and remember how excited we were when we set up our SparkPeople profile page, then joined several groups and began adding friends. When these down times hit, let's go back to the basics and recall how inspired we were when fellow members started posting comments to our page and sending us Goodies and words of encouragement. Let's go back to the start of our journey when we asked for help and received caring words of support from others in return.
Then, let's see where we are now. Have we lost ANY weight? Are we more educated about nutrition and fitness because of reading all of the site's articles, blogs and posts? Do ANY of our clothes feel looser? Have we received ANY compliments on our appearance? Has our mobility improved? Has our confidence increased?
Yes, it is easy to view the rope that will swing us across the chasm of where we started to where we want to go but let's not lose sight of the reasons we embarked on our journey in the first place.
Let us not lose sight of our alligators.
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
As a co-leader of a religious group on SP, I learn of many people's problems. Add in members' blogs detailing financial difficulties, emotional concerns, children conflicts, floods and a plethora of other calamities and it is easy to appreciate how many people need our compassion and understanding.
Do you believe in the power of prayer? Even if you don't, I am convinced there is an energy in the universe that responds to positive thoughts. Either way, many of our friends and team mates and fellow SP members need reinforcement. They need to know they are not alone dealing with their difficulties. They need to know that others care about them.
No one enjoys feeling as if no one is concerned. The feeling of being alone is a demoralizing and depressing feeling that no one should have to experience.
Think about your own life and how buoyed your spirits would be if a friend said, "I understand and I'm pulling for you. You can get through this. Be strong."
It is easy to appreciate that many people are hurting today. They are frustrated and are sometimes without direction and hope for a better life.
That's where we come in. Within the vast membership of SparkPeople and within our framework of friends and family and acquaintances are people waiting for a kind, supportive word.
Won't you take a moment when you hear of someone you know or when you read a post or a blog about someone dealing with tribulations in their life and write them a note and tell them you are thinking of them and hoping for the best for their situation?
A kind word goes so far with those we know, but may trigger an even larger ripple affect among our virtual friends we have yet to meet.
One thing is certain, at some time in our life we will encounter difficulties that seem unsurmountable. When that occurs, won't we apreciate and benefit from a kind word, a prayer or a positive thought?
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