SLENDERELLA61   158,803
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SLENDERELLA61's Recent Blog Entries

One Down; Preparation for Next Time in Order

Monday, March 08, 2010

Well, the grant proposal is in the mail, with all the required forms and signatures. Relief. Natalie is napping and I'm sipping decaf tea. Relax. Relax.

In The Spark, Chris Downie says, "Avoid stupid stress," on page 42. He demonstrates how planning and preparation can help you avoid stress in many situations. He writes about losing car keys and feeling stupid, and ironically, I left my car keys at the bank this morning in the middle of trying to get everything assembled and in the mail. I refused to feel stupid, though -- just waltzed back in and picked them up with a smile! Maybe it helps that the tellers know me and weren't surprised. Or maybe that is too telling.

But now I'm trying to decide if there is anything I can do to prevent getting so stressed out over similar projects. In this particular case, I should have started earlier, especially to get the letters of support. Looking back on it I probably had out of state company when I should have been starting to get things lined up. That's partly a reason and partly an excuse. I didn't jump right on it after they left, either. Well, live and learn. On the positive side, I think it ended up being a strong proposal with a good likelihood of it being funded. Time will tell. (Live and learn... Time will tell.... Some of my favorite comforting, trite expressions.)

I weigh one pound over what I want to weigh according to the scale this morning. Not bad. I'll try to be careful for a couple days. It will be easier now that I am relaxing. -Marsha

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYANNSCH 3/8/2010 9:10PM

    I love to read your Blog

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KALIGIRL 3/8/2010 7:28PM

    What's the other old saying? Best laid plans?
Sounds like everything went well and only time will tell.
You amaze me with all you do - I'm glad you have some time to relax.

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PO_PAZZA 3/8/2010 5:27PM

    I used to have a little sign that said, "Organized people take infinite pains. And give them to others."

I've since determined that my life improves dramatically when I'm organized. It gives me peace and more time for cups of tea. So, congratulations on working to add that peace into your life. And for reminding me to do it, too.

Mary

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WALKINGANNIE 3/8/2010 5:22PM

    Congratulations on completing the proposal before the deadline. I'm impressed by your self-analysis - as one who has always functioned best under the stress of 'just in time' submissions!

Congratulations also on your attitiude to the 1lb gain and taking it in your very capable stride.

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Focus Vs. Balance

Sunday, March 07, 2010

My meditation reward last night was truly restoring. It helped me relax, as I aim to have balance in my life. I tend to focus. Focusing rather than achieving balance has gotten me in a lot of difficulties throughout my life. Like either I'm dieting (eating healthy) or not. Either I'm exercising or I'm not. Either I'm almost a constant whirling of productivity or I'm not accomplishing much.

I have had a lot of success as a grant proposal writer, but I find it stressful. I almost always want to quit at least once during the process. Usually the proposals are collaborative and the proposal writer tries to coordinate a lot of different people/agencies/programs in a way that the potential funder will find appealing. Also, the agencies involved need to be able to do the program and deliver the outcomes. Anyway, it is time consuming, challenging, obstacles occur regularly, and there is always a "drop dead" deadline looming. I often struggle to remain true to my cheerful and positive self during the process. Much of me just really wants to be retired now, but that may not be best.

Anyway, my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter usually come for a home cooked meal on Sunday evening. That sounded like it would work. I wanted to totally focus on finishing the grant proposal Sunday morning while I was fresh and get it done in time to cook. The goal is to mail it Monday morning with letters of support I still have to get signed on Monday. Well, my daughter and family had a commitment for Sunday eve and asked if they could come for Sunday lunch. I really did not want them to, because I wanted to focus. Hubby really wanted them to come. So, he offered to do a lot of the lunch and I took him up on it. Meditation allowed me to relax enough to at least act unstressed while they were here. Actually, I really enjoyed the break.

I'm waiting on a call from the new agency director with feedback on the proposal. I can't wait to have the proposal in the mail, but I know that balance rather than focus is better for me. Balance is what I am working toward. Meditation will help me as I strive for balance.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYANNSCH 3/8/2010 9:10PM

    you are doing great

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AMANDAJCD 3/8/2010 8:50AM

    I know just what you mean about balance vs. focus. I know it's a good general reminder, and for me it's a very good specific reminder of what kinds of goals I need to set.

Well said, Marsha :)

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MONTY68 3/7/2010 9:46PM

    Marsha,
A wonderful blog. I am glad you started your Meditation yesterday. What a clear writing with your thoughts on balance and focus. Having both makes life work so much smoother. I think it is wonderful to have focus but I think one must have balance first in order to stay focused. Look how well today really went and because you were in balance. You are such a exceptional person and everything you write is benefiting anyone that reads your blogs. Thank you so much.

Monty


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JOHAL52 3/7/2010 6:30PM

    Oh Marsha I LOVED this blog! Like you, I tend to focus too as I am a last-minute person. I usually do all the prep work but never actually "do" it until the last minute. I fell apart over this a few years ago when I was at the dissertation stage of my doctorate. Now, looking back, I see that if I had thought more about balance in my life rather than focusing on one thing at a time, I might have completed it.

Anyway, I loved your blog and I loved your description of grant proposal writing, something I often wondered whether I could do.

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PERSISTANT123 3/7/2010 5:32PM

    You are doing so well!

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KALIGIRL 3/7/2010 5:25PM

    I'm so glad your meditation helped you center and enjoy the company of loved ones. (I'm also delighted your husband pitched in to make your life more balanced.) While I agree focus is an important attribute, it has its place.

Sending good thoughts your way for your proposal (although I know it's superb.)

All the best! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/7/2010 5:26:15 PM

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UUCEEJAY 3/7/2010 5:05PM

    I'm another "all or nothinger". I have also done some grant writing and know what that involves. emoticon I too am trying to find the balance, but as someone who is pretty goal driven, it is hard to move smoothly from one thing to another. Sure seems like you are making progress. emoticon

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AQUAGIRL08 3/7/2010 4:53PM

    I hope you get your grant proposal finished and in the mail so you can relax. You and I are a lot alike. I tend to focus and just work until a job is finished regardless of how long it takes. I get really wound up and it is difficult to relax. We had some neighbors over this afternoon to discuss some neighborhood stuff and I vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, wiped down the kitchen counters and polished the kitchen sink. They never even went into any of those rooms. But inside my head, I knew that they would be clean if they did. Once I get going, I'm the same way with exercise. I get in the groove and am constantly working out. I think I'm compulsive with exercise. Moderation is key! I'm working on relaxing and on getting seven or more hours of sleep per night. Believe it or not, since I joined SP I've been successful!


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WALKINGANNIE 3/7/2010 3:48PM

    Good luck with the feedback.

You have zoned right in on the core of my past mistakes in weight control - an all or nothing attitude. It's great to know that you're tackling similar challenges and sharing your experiences so that others can learn and develop alongside you.

Thanks as ever,

Annie

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Just For Me

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Today's Love Yourself Just the Way You Are Challenge: Do the Team walk at Lake Morton, 9:30a.m., this morning. Later, do something special just for YOU. Share what you've done or write a blog about it.

The Team walk was great this morning! It was a gorgeous sunny day with cool breezes. The swans swam sedately as a dozen team members walked the perimeter of Lake Morton. I should have stayed to walk a second mile just for the companionship, but I was feeling energetic and wanted to burn calories fast. So I went on to the YMCA. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and 20 on the stationery bike and got home just in time for to greet Natalie. Both her parents worked today, so I had her noon to 8pm.

There was much today that was special, like unsolicited butterfly kisses from Natalie, and the way she laughed when in response to her complaint about it being cold, I warmed her potty seat with the hair dryer!

But as far as what I am going to do special just for myself, I have decided that I am going to meditate. Maybe just a few minutes or maybe longer depending on how it goes. I used to meditate regularly, but have kind of gotten away from it. I have a big work project and several other concerns taking up much of my brain space. I need to limit the concerns to their proper proportion, and connect with my true calm and confident self.

Well, I'm about to get started. You know, it just might work!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANNIEWANNIE 3/7/2010 9:29PM

    Your mind is grateful for the rest from worry. Good job. Hugs from J

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WALKINGANNIE 3/7/2010 12:11PM

    Thanks for this joyful and uplifting blog Marsha.

What could be better than unsolicited butterfly kisses and laughter? The hairdryer trick was very resourceful!

It would be great to meet up with other SparkFriends and your walk sounds lovely.

Look forward to hearing about your meditation.

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GATOR12 3/7/2010 9:28AM

    What a wonderful day you had. Thank you for sharing it so descriptively, so tht we could visualize it with you. I agree with prestated views, You were "head start" on your meditation before you decided to. Being present, in the moment and enjoying the blessings of nature God has given us is most peaceful to me. emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/7/2010 8:21AM

    I am thrilled you chose meditation as your reward and delighted to learn you used to practice. It is indeed a small world...
emoticon

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JOHAL52 3/7/2010 12:17AM

    Sounds like a lovely day and it sounds like you've already had a head start on meditation too!

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PERSISTANT123 3/6/2010 10:16PM

    I'm sure I don't have to tell you that clearing your mind, will bring a point of view you couldn't see before. Glad you had a great day!

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Paquita, Zumba, and Fun!

Friday, March 05, 2010

I did my first Zumba class this morning and found out why so many people have told me that it is great fun. The reason? It is great fun!

Zumba is Latin dancing exercise. Our instructor, Paquita, calls out the steps in an authentic Spanish accent. She is full of pep and fire, and I could easily imagine her doing the flamenco. Step, stamp!! Sometimes she'd just put her fingers in the air to tell us how many reps to do or motion a cut at the neck to tell us to stop. I can't say that I got every step, but I can tell you I kept moving with a smile on my face for the whole 45 minutes.

The class was big. I'd estimate 50 women and I worried sometimes that I would run into someone when I turned the wrong way, but it didn't happen. There was also one brave man in our class. I admired the way he seemed to fit in with everyone.

Naturally Paquita has a shape that screams fit. I saw her in the weight room after our session and introduced myself. She was kind and encouraging, just a delightful, happy, person and you can tell she has a mission to help everyone get fit. Just loved her!!

They have other Zumba instructors, and I may check them out. But I'll be sure to go back to Paquita's class.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POLARBEARSCAT 3/9/2010 11:17AM

    I love zumba too! I have been doing it twice a week for since January. I can see it is growing in popularity too, because my health club has added two more classes! I have two different instructors, and each has his/her own style. I think one class also uses music from several different cultures, including India and Israel. It is a great workout that's fun at the same time!

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LORING102466 3/9/2010 9:47AM

    I love Zumba! I have been doing it twice a week (weather permitting) for the past 6 weeks and while I am not the most graceful, it is really fun. There are 2 ladies in the class that are very large and have not finished an entire class yet but they still show up and try. I figure if they can do it then I had no excuse. For anyone looking for a class, go to www.zumba.com and search by your zip code.

emoticon

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OOLALA53 3/7/2010 1:23PM

    I've been doing West African dance--Africa is the mother of most Latin music and dance-- for about 14 years, and I know what they mean when they talk about fun. Rhythm can make things happen that wouldn't ordinarily. If I didn't have my dance classes to go to, I would definitely search out Zumba. Hope you can keep it up! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 3/5/2010 5:40PM

    Zumba zounds like zum fun!!

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DOXEYLOVERX2 3/5/2010 4:35PM

    I have wanted to join a class at a local church near me for some time now. I guess I feel I'm too heavy right now to keep up and actually do the routine. It sounds like SO much fun!! I will now do more checking into this! Thanks for the info... emoticon

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PO_PAZZA 3/5/2010 3:15PM

    Wah, I can't find a class around here, and I've heard on SP and WW that it's great fun.

Mary

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PO_PAZZA 3/5/2010 3:15PM

    Wah, I can't find a class around here, and I've heard on SP and WW that it's great fun.

Mary

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PERSISTANT123 3/5/2010 3:13PM

    A friend here told me about Zumba. She is trying to get them to do a class at our local Rec Center (only gym in town). Sounds like fun, and I think I'd like to give it a try if they start a class..

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WALKINGANNIE 3/5/2010 1:09PM

    This sounds great fun and a good stress buster. Glad you enjoyed it.

Thanks for your kind comments on my recent blogs. I love how the ideas seem to swirl and grow between various Sparkfriends as we all make strides to better health - or in your case today steps and stamps towards greater fitness!!


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RAYLINSTEPHENS 3/5/2010 1:07PM

    I bought Zumba but on my own it is too challenging - I am happy that you have Paquita to tell you what to do!

emoticon

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WILD4STARS 3/5/2010 12:30PM

    Sounds fun. My sister-in-law has been raving about it. I may have to try one.

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KALIGIRL 3/5/2010 12:26PM

    Sounds fun & what a great cardio workout!

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MONTY68 3/5/2010 12:12PM

    I was not sure what Zumba is, there is a sign in the clubhouse about it. It might be to late to join. Our classes usually run from Nov-April for the snowbirds You seemed to really enjoy it.

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 3/5/2010 11:51AM

    Sounds like a lot of fun. I know I've seen and heard more about it lately. Enjoy!

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ONMYWAY2125 3/5/2010 11:48AM

    I have been reading a lot about this Zumba. I am going to check it out. It sounds like REAL FUN!!! I'm totally uncoordinated but I don't think that would matter in such a large class.

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Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five....

Thursday, March 04, 2010

It had escaped my attention, obviously for years. I have donated hundreds of items of clothing to a thrift store that supports great programs(literacy/GED, financial stability, basic needs: food pantry and homeless prevention) I have been associated with. But I don't donate underwear, so it had just eluded me. However, the other day my panties were sticking above the waist band of my jeans and wading up around my waist under my shirt, so I decided I had to buy some new ones. And my new panties would not fit into my already full panty drawer. So as I sat and more or less watched TV, I sorted my panties by size.

There were size 10's. Honestly, I do not remember being that big. That must have been in 1998-9 when I was on those steroids. And there were small pile of 9s. Was that really my size at one time ?? I remember wearing 8's for a lot of years and being proud to fit into 7's. Sixes are okay now, but 5 low rise do best with jeans these days.

I'm at my destination now. The object is to stay in fives, but I'll keep my sixes for now. Sevens and up are gone. There will be no more 7-10's. But it is time for balance. There will never be a 4, 3, 2, 1 or I might just blast off!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 3/4/2010 9:46PM

    Congrats! I must be a dino, I am not familiar with panties in sizes other than small, medium and large and, of course XL lol. I was told some organizations may take underwear. I was sad when I had tossed 15 good bras thinking they wouldn't take them anywhere :(
Keep up the great work!

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SLIMMERJESSE 3/4/2010 9:28PM

    Wow, good for you! Congrats!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 3/4/2010 7:29PM

    Love it!!

WTG Marsha!!

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KALIGIRL 3/4/2010 3:35PM

    Here's to the 5s!

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MARIEBART 3/4/2010 3:33PM

    I'm focusing on weeding things from my closets. Between retiring (and having more business attire than I need) and losing weight, I have a lot to donate. AmVets is picking up next week.

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ANGELBELIEVER 3/4/2010 2:58PM

    emoticon Marsha. I did that not so long ago too. I wear size 6, which is also my ring size and my shoe size. Hmm that's an interesting thought. Good for you on cleaning out that drawer,

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WALKINGANNIE 3/4/2010 12:59PM

    Great job Marsha! This made me smile.

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AQUAGIRL08 3/4/2010 12:06PM

    Cleaning out clothes that are too big is good for the soul. Doesn't it make you feel great to know that you're so much smaller? You're doing a great job Marsha!

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PO_PAZZA 3/4/2010 10:48AM

    I amazes me how many of our experiences parallel each other, Marsha. I did the same chore a couple of months ago for the same reason. Yes, let's only buy 5's forevermore, the sexier the better. We've all earned them, whatever the size.

Mary

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CGRESS2 3/4/2010 10:25AM

    Yikes I am still wearing 10s will I ever get down there?!
Congrats on the new undergarments!

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BESTSUSIEYET 3/4/2010 10:11AM

    My dear, I can identify!! I have cleaned out the underwear drawer several times over the last year -- and the difference in sizes was staggering! Like a giant next to a child! Recently I wanted a new bra, and since I got fitted for the right size a few months ago, headed off to find something pretty. Didn't stop to try on - bad move! It was WAY too big! Came back and had to try on about 6 (in smaller sizes, not just different brands) before finding one that worked. I honestly was looking at the teen/junior section briefly, wondering if I needed to be there instead of the ladies section!

Loved your title, by the way -- you drew me right in to see what you were writing about! Keep your good sense of humor, and keep on encouraging the rest of us! Happy Maintaining!

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