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Ds – Death

Thursday, June 09, 2011

I did not think I would start the ‘D’s discussing death, but my dear colleague’s dad died yesterday. She sent me a marvelous e-mail thanking me for allowing her the time and freedom to see him complete his journey.

I am certain she would not mind me sharing some of her words, “Dad passed away peacefully today at 4:30 PM in the home of his birth. He left us from the room which was the heart of the home, where he played as a child, his children played, as did his grandchildren and their children.”

As you can tell, she is a remarkable woman and I am blessed to call her a friend.

I am also blessed to call many of you friends. While we have not shared death journeys, we have shared life journeys. We have told each other our hopes and fears. We have asked for guidance with our goals and gratefully accepted advice and appreciation. We have reached out to similar-stage, newbie and oldie Sparkers and found friends at every turn.

It often takes a death to make us realize how precious life is…Here's to being ALIVE! "full of energy and vigor, with a zest for, and interest in life"

L’chaim my friends.

“When being together is more important than what you do, you are with a friend.” - Connie McMartin

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRYSTALJEM 6/10/2011 11:11AM

    Thank you from the very bottom of my heart. Perfectly timed, you too are precious. Namaste.

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NEW_PARADIGM 6/10/2011 9:09AM

    Beatifully said, thank you.

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SUNSPARKER 6/10/2011 8:40AM

  May your friend find comfort in the love and support of family and friends.

Each day of life is indeed precious--a gift to be appreciated and enjoyed.

Thank you for sharing these heartfelt thoughts with all of us.

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SLENDERELLA61 6/9/2011 10:57PM

    Death makes us realize how precious life is --- You are so right.

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SAGE150 6/9/2011 10:55PM

    Yep. Here's to being alive!

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WATERMELLEN 6/9/2011 10:50PM

    This is a wonderfully touching blog. I like to think of your colleague's father dying in that room: what a comfort it must have been to him, and to her to be able to be present there with him.

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ONEKIDSMOM 6/9/2011 7:18PM

    Blessings to you, and L'chaim!

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BLUEBIRDSFLY 6/9/2011 4:54PM

    May all of our passings be as peaceful and full of love.
Lechaim and may your friend and her family be spared further sorrow.
Thank you for writing this beautiful blog.
Naomi (Bluebirdsfly)

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_LINDA 6/9/2011 4:31PM

    That is wonderful when they can pass away in their own home at peace, very, very rarely happens..Your colleague is remarkable and handling her loss exceptionally well. Thanks for sharing this.
Thanks also for being a friend..
emoticon emoticon

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HIKINGSD 6/9/2011 3:52PM

    Thank you for sharing. Very touching.

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IAMGLENDA 6/9/2011 3:43PM

    Thank you for sharing. Having only lost my dad a few weeks ago, I've recently been reminded how precious life really is. And you are so right; friends make life that much more precious.

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JENNYJENN18 6/9/2011 1:38PM

    Beautiful and compassionate. Thanks for sharing.

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PEACEFULONE 6/9/2011 12:41PM

    Thank you for sharing.

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Cs - Commitment = time and energy

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Commitment – “something that takes up time or energy” (Encarta)
How nicely does that sum up the word?
Synonyms: promise, obligation, dedication

Commitment to exercise is my Achilles heel. I’m a ‘naturally’ thin person, so while physical activity helped me reach my goal weight, size and shape, I don’t ‘need’ to work-out to keep out-ward appearances. (It’s amazing how much clothes hide – even ‘small’ clothes.)
But what about the inside? What about the bones that are demineralizing; the muscles and organs (and maybe soul) that are atrophying?
I ‘know’ my ‘inside’ needs exercise – mental and physical; but just like I ‘know’ I’m going to die someday, for some reason I don’t internalize it. Maybe by avoiding, I’m denying and by denying, I’m pretending I will live forever. The funny thing is if I did live forever, I’d be in terrible shape…
I will be ‘wearing’ this marvelous machine called a body for the rest of my days. If I want those days to be ALIVE! "full of energy and vigor, with a zest for, and interest in life", I need to take responsibility. I need to commit to meditate and strength train daily. With my family and friends’ support, I will succeed.
May we Sparkers make a promise to ourselves to become healthier (whatever that may mean); may we remain steadfast in our journeys; and may we treat our goals as life-long contracts.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESSIEJUICE 6/9/2011 12:39PM

    Just the boost I needed :). Commitment to exercise has always been the hardest part for me as well but you are so right- I will be 'wearing' this for the rest of my life- I had better make it a strong one!

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BESTMEICANBE51 6/7/2011 8:30AM

    I LOVE THIS ! ! I especially liked 'wearing this marvelous machine called a body'. I think I'll use that as a reminder to myself of what I do or don't do to/for my "marvelous machine".
Thank You for inspiring so many of us. emoticon

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SUNSPARKER 6/5/2011 8:29AM

  I had just finished leaving my previous comment, when I came across the following quotation (it was SparkPeople's Healthy Reflections quote for today):

"A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse."
- Stephen Dolley Jr.

This will be one of those quotes that I save in my journal. It will be good inspiration for me when one of those "convenient" excuses arises.

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SUNSPARKER 6/5/2011 8:09AM

  Thank you for an especially meaningful post. Commitment does takes strength and dedication. Whenever I find myself making an excuse not to do something (and by something, I am referring to something that is "good" for me--such as exercising), I remember to ask myself if the reason behind my excuse is truly "legitimate" or simply "convenient". I am now better able to recognize the difference between the two, although actually dealing with those "convenient" excuses whenever they arise is sometimes a challenge.

I always enjoy reading your comments. For me personally, they are insightful and thought-provoking.

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SILLYHP1953 6/4/2011 9:28PM

    You do explain things really well...

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PENNYAN45 6/4/2011 9:00AM

    It is so much easier to keep a commitment if you enjoy doing it.
I'll bet there is some physical activity out there that you can find pleasure in.
Let that be your foundation for exercise - and then build upon it.
And have fun!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon.gif" alt="emoticon" width="42" height="42" border="0"> emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/4/2011 9:01:40 AM

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LIFEISSWEET2 6/3/2011 8:33PM

    Sometimes I think that it's not really about the commitment to exercise but the commitment to love and cherish the amazing body we've been given.

You can definitely do it!

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_LINDA 6/3/2011 2:29AM

    You may not have to exercise to keep thin, but the one thing about it -you can't beat the energy it pours into you! A high feeling like no other!
So take the time to find a physical activity you could enjoy doing and have fun with! You can do it!!

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IAMGLENDA 6/2/2011 6:28PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 6/2/2011 6:15PM

    What I love about keeping commitments is that it gives the energy BACK to you! So take that time and energy to keep your promise to yourself and I promise you'll be glad you did!


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NEW_PARADIGM 6/2/2011 4:13PM


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Memorial Day and our Military Families

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I was going to continue with ‘C’ words on Monday, but what words are appropriate for the American ‘celebration’ of Memorial Day; Carry, Courage, Compensation, Culmination, Cost?

James Martin Davis wrote his 31st op-ed piece for the Omaha World Herald, "Remember families along with war veterans". It is well worth reading and I took the liberty to quote parts of it below.

“Today is the last Monday in May. We call it Memorial Day. It is a day when America pays tribute to those soldiers who were as humble as they were heroic, and whom America asked to accept the fate of eternal loneliness… It is a day of solace when we need to remember their families as well. For them, Memorial Day is not a day of celebration; it is a day of suffering and sadness.”

The fact that the US has been at war for 10 years is heartbreaking to me. I lost my brother during the Vietnam War, so know families are irrevocably damaged by the loss. But more importantly, our families who have members serving today live in fear, not only for their loved ones, but of losing their homes and savings.

Thanks to people like Holly Petraeus (former director of the BBB Military Line program), military families will face less financial crises.

I am heartened she will direct the Office of Servicemember Affairs which opens for business in July.

In addition, “Joining Forces” allows those of us in the US to send a message of simple thanks to our military families.

Here’s my hope some American Sparkers will join me in helping to ‘carry the cost’ our military families face, and send them our thanks – not necessarily today, but later when they might feel forgotten.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 6/4/2011 9:35PM

    I want peace on earth.

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_LINDA 6/1/2011 2:23AM

    It is so sad so many must suffer this loss and that these wars never seem to end :(..I am sure grateful the military keeps us free, but do feel sorrow for those who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting us and the profound effect on the lives of those left behind..
All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart, my American and Canadian heroes..

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WATERMELLEN 5/31/2011 8:51PM

    We celebrate Remembrance Day in November. However, our Canadian prime minister has been visiting our troops in Kandahar the last several days and extending to them our thanks for their role in bringing peace and redevelopment to Afghanistan.

Some of our vets have licence plates identifying that they served -- and people occasionally put a sticky on their car windows just simply saying "thanks" with a remembrance poppy: there was a letter to the editor tonight about that.

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YOUNGNSMYLIE 5/31/2011 3:17PM

    Thank you for remembering Memorial day and blogging about it. I have an almost 90 year old grandfather who is a WWII veteran and landed on the beaches at Normandy. He served, was wounded, and lost many friends. Yesterday, he wore his WWII cap out to the grocery store. He said only one person thanked him for his service, and he became very upset later in the day when I talked to him. He asked me if I thought people have "forgotten" the fallen. I will be sure to tell him of the many people here on Spark who have not, and never will, forget. THANK YOU! emoticon emoticon

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SUNSPARKER 5/31/2011 1:51PM

  It is truly overwhelming to know how much a "heartfelt handshake" or "appreciative thank you" can mean to the members of our Armed Forces -- and their loved ones.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/31/2011 1:51:28 PM

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Cs - Choices have Consequences

Friday, May 27, 2011

Seems like the perfect time to move to the ‘C’s.

Encarta defines choice as “a decision to select one thing, person, or course of action in preference to others”, but it also can be defined as “the best or most desirable part”. Consequence is defined as “something that follows as a result, a logical conclusion or outcome.”

We Sparkers are faced with choices every day, some are automatic, others carefully selected; some are within us and some are outside us; some we ‘control’ and some we don’t.
After waking we:
* get out of bed (or we don’t)
*meditate/exercise (or we don’t)
* eat breakfast (or we don’t)

It took me years to choose “the best or most desirable part” from just the preceding short list. (As an adult I never ate breakfast. I don’t remember the convoluted rationale, but I was amazed when the 2:00 slump ‘magically’ ended.)
If I convince myself I need a few more minutes of sleep, I decide not to meditate. If I decide not to meditate, I decide not to strength train. And if I don’t meditate and/or train in the morning, I don’t do either later in the day.
The 10 second decision I make first thing in the morning sets the pattern for my day. If I chose to RPM (rise, pee and meditate), I hot wax my hands (a reward in itself), sit for a half hour, followed by alternating days of Callanetics & my trainer’s exercises. The consequences – soft, pain-free hands, and a generally calm, energy filled day. So why would I consistently choose to stay in bed? What part of ‘logical conclusion’ didn’t I get?
Choice in itself suggests power. We don’t have to ask permission; we have the ability to make a decision. But what about ‘owning’ our decisions; what about taking up our plan, idea, cause, or practice and using or following it? There’s where the true power lies.

While we may continue to struggle with commitment (next ‘C’ word), may we Sparkers choose the ‘best part’ and ‘own’ our goals, with the result being health-filled journeys.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESTSUSIEYET 6/2/2011 10:23AM

    Kaligirl, I always enjoy your blogs! This one truly resonates with my heart! Thanks for reminding me of what I already know ... Why do I not always follow the path I know is best?
(Thanks for your words of encouragement on my status so often! Always good to see your name in my inbox!)

Comment edited on: 6/2/2011 10:25:49 AM

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BILL_CLECKNER 5/29/2011 12:43PM

    So, today I have the "choice" NOT to follow my will/my way and therefore to NOT suffer the "consequences" that that poor choice has resulted in over the past few weeks.

Today I can make the radical choice to surrender my will completely and just wait and see what might happen as a result of my NOT trying to make it happen. Very interesting, Thanks.


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SILLYHP1953 5/28/2011 7:49PM

    Hmmm...you make a fine point. I will try much harder in the morning when I feel like I want more sleep, because then I usually don't meditate either, which then does lead on to more of not doing things.

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BESTMEICANBE51 5/28/2011 4:11PM

    I think we need to remind ourselves of that,choices have consequences,the next time the number on the scales isn't what we wanted. emoticon

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YOUNGNSMYLIE 5/28/2011 12:05PM

    "Choice in itself suggests power." Yes it does! Great blog! emoticon

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AMYROSEC 5/27/2011 10:48PM

    great blog thank you for sharing

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HIKINGSD 5/27/2011 10:28PM

    Well said!

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SUNSPARKER 5/27/2011 8:30PM

  Excellent blog -- Well stated and very interesting.

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WATERMELLEN 5/27/2011 7:34PM

    "Choice" is a very interesting word; we need to choose what is indeed the "choice" option on offer!!

Thanks for your comment on my not-smoking blog: I think that there is a social component, a "fiddly" physical component and just plan an addictive component to nicotine hitting the bloodstream . . . the conversation with friends covers the first part but not the other two parts so much. And of course people enjoy smoking solo too!!

But: I choose not to smoke. Because that's the "choice" option, really!! And I have to remind myself of that regularly. Even after well over 3 decades . . .

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/27/2011 6:42PM

    Another great addition to the series, Kaligirl! The shorter the time from choice to consequence, the more immediate the lesson. Funny, when I was a kid, it seemed to take a lot longer to suffer the consequence... what's up with that?


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LILYBELLE8 5/27/2011 5:18PM

    Boy, oh boy - have you ever got that right!! Choices do have consequences - and sometimes we don't like what we have "earned" by making the choices that we do. I've often thought if we could "see, feel, or hear" the consequences first, we might be convinced to make better choices - but then, maybe that is what our inner dialogue and self-talk is supposed to be taking care of for us?

Either way - I think you've sent a great reminder to all of us, and especially me. Thanks!!

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VALERIEMAHA 5/27/2011 2:57PM

    Powerful, provocative words, worthy of serious and careful consideration.

Thanks. You really "nailed it!"

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NLS2013 5/27/2011 2:45PM

    Terrific Blog! emoticon

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Bs – Beneficial Choices

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I love the serendipity of this site. (Will be one of my ‘S’ words.)

BESTSUSIEYET talked about having ‘blinders on’ when (not) making beneficial choices.
Choice in itself suggests power. We don’t have to ask permission; we have the ability to make a decision… (but I’ll leave that discussion for another blog.)
Encarta defines beneficial as “producing a good or advantageous effect; useful, constructive, positive, valuable”.

The synonyms for beneficial offer us different options, different levels of motivation:
* useful – serving a purpose
* constructive – meant to be helpful
* positive – producing good results, affirmative, assured (more of those wonderful ‘A’ words)
* valuable – having great importance, highly prized, cherished, esteemed

SparkPeople gives us:
* useful information to lose weight, gain strength, sleep better – whatever our goals may be
* constructive suggestions to stay motivated, dig a little deeper, learn more
* positive reinforcement to explore, develop and maintain healthy lifestyles
* valuable growth opportunities, support groups, teams, friendships

When you combine the resources of SparkPeople with our power to choose, they ‘sky’s the limit’.
May we Sparkers use this site to assist us to make useful, constructive, positive and valuable choices as we continue on our healthy journeys.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESTMEICANBE51 5/28/2011 4:04PM

    The sky's the limit ! Thank you for another wonderful letter of the alphabet.

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SILLYHP1953 5/27/2011 12:41PM

    The only thing I really remember from my very first college course, Philosopy 101, was that we always have a choice (Sartre). I'd gone through years of my life back then feeling like I had no choices.

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_LINDA 5/26/2011 11:29PM

    It has been beneficial for me to interact with friends like you who show a new dimension to living life! Knowledge is power!

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WATERMELLEN 5/26/2011 8:49PM

    Very beneficial blog too: thanks!!

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/26/2011 7:07PM

    I love that thought... we HAVE the power to choose. We HAVE the power to change our lives for the better.

I'm really enjoying your alphabet! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 5/26/2011 12:16PM

    I found this blog to be useful, constructive, positive and valuable! Thanks, Marsha

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