Friday, April 27, 2012
I came across the following blog today and thought it was worth sharing. Enjoy!
37 Seconds To Read: May Change Your View For A Lifetime
Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.
His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation..
Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats.. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days, weeks and months passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed. It faced a blank wall.
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, ‘Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.’
There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.
If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy.
‘Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present .’
The origin of this letter is unknown, but it positve energy expands when you share this.
Monday, November 01, 2010
It has been too long since I have addressed my goals. Today I volunteered to come up with a team challenge and decided to address holiday goals partially so that I had to do it myself. As an update, much to my amazement I made my birthday weigh loss goal. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as exciting as I had thought it would be. I would gladly trade the accomplishment for a few weeks of feeling good and having the ability to enjoy the Spark the way that I did several months ago.
I think part of the letdown is because I have not felt well enough to enjoy the process (other than weight, my goals have been neglected) and part is because I’ve had a run of bad luck. My birthday celebration was a fiasco to say the least. My beloved family passed a stomach virus around during our week at the beach (it is pretty funny in retrospect and I definitely didn’t gain any weight). There were also multiple problems with the cottage we had rented which wasn't a big deal, just a pain. Despite that fact, it was good to share a few healthy days together and to get the chance to play with my three beautiful granddaughters.
While the weight loss didn't provide the WooHoo I had expected, I was reminded of a life lesson that I probably needed to revisit before the holidays. That lesson is simply that we really do need to enjoy the moment and that it is the journey that is important and not the specific goal. Because I have not been feeling well, I have been ignoring the good habits I have developed and have learned that they really are the source of much of the satisfaction that the Spark process offers. Even though I made the goal, without the exercise, the streaks, and working on other goals the weight loss itself felt pretty empty. I know that this lesson is not new and that I will probably have to be reminded of it again but it definitely a good reminder for me just before the holidays. Too often I get so caught up in getting things done for the holidays that I don’t enjoy the process, don’t live in the moment and miss what I value most. I frequently end up sick on the important day or immediately thereafter. For that reason my goals this holiday season focus on taking care of myself, living in the moment and to enjoying the process.
My goals for November and December are:
1. To review the Spark November calendar this week to get ideas for becoming happier. I know I need to renew an old commitment to focus on the positive and not what I can do and this seems like a simple way to start.
2. Start a gratitude journal for real…..I have been promising myself to return to this habit for a year and am going to commit to three entries a week and aim for daily entries.
3. Identify a volunteer project related to Thanksgiving that my husband and I can do together.
4. Continue to eat healthy foods and to return to a focus on fruits and vegetables and to count these daily.
5. Return to focusing on water intake. I have gradually substituted other things for water because I haven’t felt well and while I won’t set myself up for failure I will promise myself to drink water whenever possible and to start tracking my water intake again.
6. Do some type of cardio activity at least three times each week.
7. By the end of the week, make a to do list which ensures that shopping is complete by Dec. 1 and which makes time for baking and freezing ahead of time.
8. Work on saying “No” when I know that I should not be doing something.
9. Identify at least one activity that is pure fun to do each week.
These goals are far less ambitious than my previous goals but they are based in my current reality. When I start feeling better I will set the bar higher but for the time being I need to do what I can and enjoy where I am right now.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Despite my good intentions and positive vibes my health continued to put me on a roller coaster during August and I was not able to accomplish what I wanted to. My exercise remained much lower than it had been and I was disappointed in my lack of progress. I am stuck in a weight plateau that seems like it is becoming permanent and am running out of weeks to make it to the big birthday goal. That being said, my goals for September are very much like they were in August. The only good news is that I am finally starting to feel better but it is tenuous at best so I don't know how far I can push myself! While my goals are pretty much the same as last month hopefully I can be more consistent with their execution and get better results this month.
• Cardio—Daily cardio of at least 5 minutes and at least 30 minutes of cardio three times a week.
• Strength—2 days a week with the goal of adding a third day when able
• Try the Qi Gong DVD that I have ordered from the library as soon as it becomes available.
• Increase length and intensity of exercise as soon as I am comfortable with what I am doing in an effort to move off of my month long weight plateau.
• Drink 8 or more glasses of water
• 5 servings of fruits and veggies—goal of 3 veggies
• Continue junk food ban, logging all food, and using nutritional guide
• Get 8 hours of sleep a night.
• Try to provide meaningful challenges to the Butterfly team during Sept.
• Identify a new volunteer project within the next two week.
• Continue to seek out help when getting discouraged
• Plan to start group for better sleep project after vacation in October
• Continue to explore meditation resources.
• Weight loss of two pounds by the end of Sept. This would be 132 instead of the original goal of 129.
I need to experience some success again and fast! Sure, it isn't life or death but it feels sort of like it is. We are having a family gathering for my 60th birthday and I need to see results to help overcome the shock of being sixty. So any prodding, poking screaming, etc. is welcome. I have until October 5 to get some results! I come to you with heart in hand because I need your help with my plan. The original plan was going better than expected until I got sick. Unfortunately the plan has since been blown by lingering issues and by my inability to get back on track. So if anyone has a long hidden desire to be a drill seargent I have an opportunity for you! You would be welcome to nag, scream, do whatever it takes as long as it gets some more weight off by October 5th! Seriously, any suggestions and support as you look at my goals and progress would be appreciated!! The wolf has gotten me way off track but I still need to see some progress this month!
I know down deep that with the help of my team I am going to pull this off if not all the way at least come close enough to walk away with my head held high and my tummy not pumping too close to the ground:)
Monday, August 09, 2010
The month of June was a good one for me. I was able to achieve more in terms of exercise and other goals than I had been able to in ages. So, I guess it should come as no surprise that when I started planning ahead for July I set my sites high. I thought I could conquer the world, or at least my little corner of it.
Since I am just now addressing goals for August, I guess it is already obvious what happened. Yes, I fell pretty flat on my face. Mind you it wasn’t due to lack of motivation; in fact I had to work at not beating myself up over my shortcomings. It was because a chronic illness became more active and I was reminded that I am not entirely in control of my plans, but then none of us are. I am far from sainthood and these issues have gotten me down. I have been discouraged but I am marching forward, make that crawling forward, and eventually will have another June. In the meantime, today I am going to look at what I was able to accomplish in July and try to set flexible and realistic goals for August.
Evaluation of July Goals:
• Exercise goals were pretty well shot.
• I did finally learn to listen to my body and to feel ok when I am not able to exercise. I now have a system in place for know when to push and when not to push myself.
• Nutritional goals have also lagged as I have struggled with nausea this month. Goals for water intake and eating more veggies were not achieved throughout the month.
• I found a volunteer project that I can do from home and am participating in this on an ongoing basis. I am also helping out with one of my Spark teams.
• I have found sites for meditating but am waiting on pursuing this project until my energy levels pick up.
• I have found a sleep challenge on Spark that I am going to use when I start to take on new things again.
• Spark favorites were organized as planned.
• Weight loss—
Plans for the rest of August:
• Exercise: Cardio—3days a week
Strength—3days a week
I know that it isn't the best way to state goals but I am not setting a time goal or specific days of the week until I am feeling better.
Reevaluate these goals in 2 weeks.
Back to drinking 8 or more glasses of water
5 servings of fruits and veggies—goal of 3 veggies
• Continue working on volunteer activity.
• Continue junk food ban.
• Weight loss of 2 pounds by the end of the month.
• Look at starting either meditation or sleep project again in 2 weeks
• Working on not getting discouraged. Perseverence and flexibility will be key
to my success as will reaching out to my Spark support network.
Without a doubt I would have given up if it had not been for Spark friends during the last month. I can't thank you all enough! I hope I don't have to repay the favor but I am happy to if it is needed!
Friday, July 09, 2010
I never cease to be amazed by the messages that the universe sends to me. For some time now I have been meaning to renew the old habit of doing a gratitude journal. Oddly enough, I was trying to think of some way to change my status to reflect my need to reflect on my feelings of gratitude when I clicked on a message from Skinny Vibes and there it was--today's challenge is to blog about 5 things I am grateful for. Well, obviously I needed a kick in the pants (as usual) to get me moving and there it was. And thus, without further delay, I am going to list the first five things that come to mind in hopes that I will revisit this at least every few evenings. In the past, I found that it was a great mood lifter and opened my eyes to the abundance that surrounds me. It only takes a few minutes and is time well spent.
1) Family: Without a doubt family comes first on my list. I have been blessed with two beautiful granddaughters this year and also have a delightful 3 year old that is a living example of how to love life! Moreover, I am blessed with a husband who has supported me through a trying illness, who will do anything for anybody and who loves the entire family. My son and daughter are the joys of my life and they have done a phenomenal job of choosing spouses and of becoming good parents. I am blessed!
2) Nature: I revel in the beauty of the outside world. I love the beach but I enjoy trees, flowers, and all kinds of animal life as well. I am lucky enough to live in a wooded area where wildlife is abundant and when I look off of my deck I am in the top of trees. I need to take the time to enjoy this and reflect on its beauty more often. I am blessed!
3) Food: I do a lot of complaining about eating veggies but I know down deep that I am lucky to have food on my table and to be able to afford to buy healthy foods that are good for my body. I need to take more time to reflect on what I am eating and to express my gratitude for the wonders of how it fuels my body. I am blessed!
4) My dog: As strange as it may sound I feel blessed to have my buddy, Ms.G by my side. For several years I was pretty sick and spent weeks at a time confined to bed. She is a pretty active dog and I am grateful that her instincts told her to sit by my side and just be my buddy. I still have plenty of bad days and she frequently sees them coming before I do. If I am in pain or experiencing fatigue, she is there. If I am not she is ready to go! I am grateful for my Ms. G and the joy she has brought to my life. I am blessed!
5: Spark: It may sound corny but I am grateful that I found Spark. I wasn't looking for a diet or for a health program. I stumbled on a Spark ad on a website and don't even know why I clicked! It has totally changed my eating habits and has gotten me to move. I am never going to be an athlete or have tons of energy but I am doing better, I am happier, and my pants fit. Moreover, the people I have met on Spark have mad a world of difference in my life. Since having to quit work I had pretty much cut myself off from the world. Leaving a career I loved was hard and the blues set in. Having an illness where I don't know how I am going to feel from one day to the next has caused a mutual withdrawal from many friends. The support, understanding and humor I have found among the Spark members has made more of a difference than I can express. I feel connected again and I am feeling more like myself than I have in years. I can't say thank you enough to any of you! I am blessed!
There are many more things that I should mention not the least of which is the fact that if I listen the universe it will tell me what is missing in my life and what I need to be doing to move forward. Today the message was to pay attention to all that I have been blessed with. I am truly blessed! I am grateful! Today I give thanks!
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