Sunday, October 16, 2011
Today's motivational message was about 'giving it your all'. Actually,the quote was 'Finish Your Day and Be Done With It', then the concept was elaborated on by discussing giving your tasks your all, so your day can truly be behind you.
I have a slightly different take on the concept of completing tasks so you can leave yesterday behind you. Yesterday, the last hour, the last minute, and soon the present will be behind you no matter what. When it's done, it's done. It is the important reason to live in the present, to make good use of each minute each day, to show your love to people each day, and to spend time on things you love each day.
Giving it your best is a slightly different issue to me, but then I have OCD tendencies so I may be way out there on this topic. If my task is to complete my work tasks so I can leave work at home, I COULD technically half step all of my tasks, which would be complete and adequate - but would I have given my best? The same with household chores (which I freely confess to half stepping on because they are low on my priority list during the school year), I can get them done, and the house looks adequately clean and organized. Not spic and span, which I would dearly love.....IF someone else would do it.
It seems to me that giving it your best is part of living in the moment, really being part of what you are doing as you are doing it, rather than a motivation for being free of the task later in the day, or free of it tomorrow. Even housework, which I do not intrinsically enjoy, if I find ways to enjoy getting it complete, I improve my present. An iPod with some good music or a book on tape, or even 'working' meditation can launch a tedious task into something pleasant.
Now that I have admitted to being a not-so-hot cleaner of the house, I have to say that in general, I do not understand not giving things your all. When I had a personal trainer, she would tell me how much fun it was to work with me because many of her clients wouldn't really try. Really? Why would someone go to the time and expense of having a personal trainer and not put in the effort to get stronger and healthier? The same with music lessons, martial arts, etc. Why would I take the lessons if I didn't want to improve, and why wouldn't I spend practice time methodically (and joyfully) improving my technique? Some of this is the OCD factor, I know, but most of it is not letting other things enter my focus so I can experience the joy, and sometimes the frustration, of learning and perfecting something I love. If I loose my focus thinking about something I should be doing, or something I should have done, I am taking away from the thing I am doing right now.
'Nothing is ever achieved without enthusiasm.' Ralph Waldo Emerson
Monday, October 10, 2011
Mondays are nature exploration and (mental) reflection days; off to the nature preserve we went, my class and I. What a blessing to have the nature preserve as a resource quite literally in our back yard!
There are quite a few more leaves down this week, than last. In fact, the slightest breeze sets free a golden tumult.
The light filtering through the pawpaws is so magically golden.
If you have not seen pawpaws before, this photo gives some scale. They are almost tropical in appearance, which fits with the flavor of the fruit. The fruits taste almost tropical as well, kind of a flavor combination of banana and mango.
The little green hepatica leaves are a pretty contrast with the golds and brown autumn hues.
"Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it." ~Lao Tzu
"With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Enjoy the beauty of each day. I am soaking up fall, it is so decadently stunning this year, but it is always so fleeting.
Sunday, October 09, 2011
I don't usually pay too much attention to other people's shopping carts at the grocery store, I am too busy concentrating on my own groceries shopping. I have my own strategy for shopping that I took from something I read a long time ago about healthy shopping. First I shop around the perimeter of the groceries store, which is where the fresh foods are located. I start with my fruits and veggies and go from there, selecting from my staples plus what is is season or what looks especially appealing. Then I move around to the dairy and meats. I have a list for what I need in the center aisles, usually beans, pasta, fresh pesto, coffee, tea, and cleaning supplies. I buy frozen fruit to in the freezer section to add to my smoothies. It is an efficient system for me, and keeps me from passing the chips, cookies, etc. which are particularly appealing when I'm shopping. Those are the things that if they are in the house, I WILL eat them, and in quantities greater than I should.
Yesterday the check-out line was particularly slow. There was a man around my age (maybe younger... I wondered if he was aging faster than me) graying, tired looking, with a very large tummy. His clothes were worn, and the heels of his shoes were worn down on one side. He looked poor and single and downtrodden. As I said, I don't usually spend time considering what was in people's carts, but it was actually the the contents of his cart that drew my attention to him in the first place. Along with a jumbo pack of toilet paper, he had around 24 Lunchables, one bag of chopped iceberg lettuce, and a bag of grapes.
It made me sad thinking of him sitting alone in his house, eating Lunchables for his lunch (and dinner?) with a tiny salad and some grapes. His health already did not look good. Those Lunchables are jam packed with sodium and preservatives and totally lacking in nutrition. And they taste terrible, besides... I have tried a taste of some that the children bring to school when they offered me a bite.
I wanted to take him through the store to pick out food that would taste delicious and be healthy for him, yet cost the same as what he just spent. Recently there was a spot on the news featuring the effect on economy on poor people. The person they interviewed was an obese woman, crying that she did not have enough to eat. I thought this was an unfortunate person to choose to interview because people would laugh and be judgmental. She's obese, so she's getting plenty to eat. Right? Wrong! So often people with very little resources purchase food that is 'inexpensive' in terms of initial cost, but not in terms of health and well being. Information about good nutrition is out there, but not everyone receives it, or understands how to apply it. While people cut corners on food quality (and sometimes quantity) to meet their budgets, they are adding to the cost of their health and well being.
I am grateful to be able to have a home where I can grow my own veggies in the summer, and have free range chickens to produce healthful eggs, to have the financial resources to choose organic food over food grown with hormones and pesticides, and to have the knowledge base to select healthy choices over less optimum choices. The lack of knowledge of good nutrition and how to achieve it on a very limited budget is pervasive and very sad.
We are fortunate to be part of this wonderful community where good health and good nutrition is the centerpiece of all we do. There is a wealth of information here about nutrition and healthy choices, recipes, and a way to track to see how we are doing nutritionally. We have the opportunity to share our progress, ideas, and recipes with each other. How very lucky we are!
Feel free to share your shopping strategies here. I know we all have our own ways to increase our healthy food choices, either shopping or eating out. It would be great to read each other's ideas and tips
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Annie Oaktree, ancient, but standing strong.
Meadow with asters and fall color.
Stella, hoping to find a few more deer to chase.
It was a lovely day today. I want to say I squandered a couple of hours of this exquisite day napping, but I really needed the rest and it felt so good lying in the recliner in a sunny window. I went to Body Pump this morning and got a good workout, plus a brisk walk with Stella.
My guitar practice is kicking my tush. I am trying to increase the speed of my tremolo by incremental increases with the metronome. It's been frustrating going. I know that I will have a breakthrough, but I want it NOW.
Being more focused on eating this week has paid off in losing 2 pounds. Three more to go to finish losing what I had gained a couple of weeks ago. Apples, good, Graham crackers, bad.
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