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They call it Labour Day because . . .

Sunday, September 05, 2010

yup, have a lot of work that I've got to get done. The usual laundry/groceries stuff, some dog grooming, a little attention to the garden -- but mostly "work work".

And today I whomped my way through a big whack of that.

With another round scheduled for tomorrow. (Highly time-sensitive deadline lurking, situation that would have to matter to anyone who cares about people at all . .. ).

But: tomorrow I'm committed to knocking off by 4 p.m. or so whether I am finished or not -- and heading to the golf course.

It's supposed to be a beautiful day!

PS

How was it that the "labour movement" somehow bypassed my area of endeavour? No union, no overtime, no benefits: all the joys of self-employment!! And meeting payroll every week!!

Truth is: once had a unionized teaching job, and although I loved to teach, I really did not enjoy the resulting workplace politics. I do prefer being my own boss, doing whatever I need to do to get things done in accordance with my own OCD personality -- and then taking time off freely when pressures lessen. By and large, it suits me most of the time; particularly when I have got it done. Just another example of after-acquired motivation, I guess.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 9/8/2010 7:09AM

    I hope you had a fun time out at the golf course and enjoyed your day! :) You sound very happy with life, work, family, charlie, everything else and you! Have a beautiful day!

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KALIGIRL 9/7/2010 1:55PM

    Glad you took time for golf!

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DREMARGRL 9/7/2010 7:18AM

    Hubs was a teacher for 38 years and loved it most of the time, but spent his time in the gym instead of the teachers' lounge! lol. Worked for him.
I ran our businesses and I agree with you wholeheartedly....I LOVED BEING MY OWN BOSS. Sad to say....I also didn't have all the benefits one is accustomed to when working for someone else, but, hey.....I don't care! I retired myself 13 years ago and have loved every single minute. I sold antiques on Ebay for a few years, which was fun and lucrative.....Now....I just travel, clean, cook, take care of my family and play. It's wonderful and I hope you get to do that, too, one of these years. I'm glad you went golfing. Playing helps a lot! XO MaryAnn emoticon

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TRYINGHARD1948 9/6/2010 6:05PM

    Good idea to have a set time off and get out on the golf course.

Had just finished reading your blog Ellen and then looked at the Huie's motivational sayings for the day so thought I should share them with you:

Life grants nothing to us mortals without hard work.
- Horace

The end of labor is to gain leisure.
- Aristotle

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.
- Anne Frank

They just seemed to fit. Have a wonder filled day.

Comment edited on: 9/6/2010 6:08:26 PM

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WALKINGANNIE 9/6/2010 1:21PM

    Hope you have a productive work day and then really enjoy your time on the golf course.

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TBANMAN 9/6/2010 12:52PM

    Have fun golfing today! It's pouring rain here.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 9/5/2010 10:38PM

    Wishing you a productive day and lots of fun on the golf course. I'll be thinkin' of you!
Usha xx

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SLENDERELLA61 9/5/2010 9:09PM

    Congrats on being so productive!! That being your own boss stuff is cool, too.

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WINE4GIRL 9/5/2010 8:16PM

    WOW - do you sound like me!!! I feel your pain - gardening, house bits, etc. You're right - if you work for yourself, the work doesn't stop, because we find something else to do!

Hope you get some down time - on your non-Labor day!
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Tomorrow's Lunch Salads

Sunday, August 29, 2010

. . . all made, sitting in the fridge ready to go to work with me.

And it includes: spinach, avocado, green beans, shelled fresh peas, radishes, carrots, red pepper, sliced brussels sprouts, large shrimp. I'll add lemon poppy seed dressing.

For my chopped fruit, I've prepared: fresh pineapple, small peach, blue concordia grapes, sweet cherries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries.

My my: this nutrition tracking requires so much deprivation and self-sacrifice. Not!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 9/8/2010 6:41AM

    YUM!! So healthy!

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FROSTIERACES 9/8/2010 6:41AM

    YUM!! So healthy!

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WINE4GIRL 9/5/2010 8:17PM

    YUMMY!
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TRYINGHARD1948 9/4/2010 6:26PM

    I see you are really doing this the hard way. emoticon

Lovely to see you and be able to drop by again. emoticon

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BRIGHTSPARK7 9/2/2010 11:26PM

    Thanks for helping me with my grocery shopping list! emoticon
SO GLAD you are taking exquisite care of yourself.
xx
Usha.

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IMAGINE_IT 8/31/2010 9:13PM

    Im coming over for Lunch!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PENNYAN45 8/31/2010 8:03PM

    I'd love to have some of that in MY refrigerator! Sounds deelicious!

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/31/2010 5:47PM

    Wow. Yummy!!!

What deprivation?!!

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1BIGDREAM 8/30/2010 12:21PM

    YU-MMM-Y!!!
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KALIGIRL 8/30/2010 9:33AM

    Sounds divine.

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WALKINGANNIE 8/30/2010 5:04AM

    Nom, nom, nom!

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Journey of Life: Five Travel Tips

Sunday, August 22, 2010

There's a fun article in the Saturday edition of the National Post about a recent travel writers' conference put on the by the Cuba Tourism Board . . . with a rebellious travel writer who decided pretty much not to participate in the programme laid on. Here's the link if you want to read the whole article:

http://www.nationalpost.com/search/index
.html?q=tao+of+havana

But what I liked about the article most were the five "travel tips" he picked up on his alternate exploration with another travel writer. Which have general applicability beyond the travel context:

So here they are, in brief:

1. Wherever you are is where you're supposed to be.

2. Ask for what you want.

3. Trust your gut.

4. Smile as often as you can and as genuinely as you can.

5. The people you meet create the paradise you find.

Yeah, there it is. Why do we travel anyhow, except to find ourselves. And to re-create ourselves.


Maybe my "Murrican" friends don't get to Cuba very often -- and in fact although lots of Canadians love Cuba, I've never been there myself.

But probably all of this can be done, with the desired effect, from where we are right now.

Which is after all (see above, first tip) where we're supposed to be.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNACFIT 8/26/2010 9:10PM

    great blog,,let me get my pen to copy down those tips :)

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VALERIEMAHA 8/24/2010 1:39PM

    1. emoticon
2. emoticon
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5. emoticon

Love'em! Thanks...and I hope to make it to Cuba. I have a friend who lives now in Hawaii and studies dance in Cuba. She's bringing one of the teachers to HI for a workshop:
http://cubandanceworks
hophawaii.weebly.com/

xo
x
Maha

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KALIGIRL 8/22/2010 9:25PM

    Sounds right to me.
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WALKINGANNIE 8/22/2010 4:18PM

    These are great tips for any journey.

Thanks for sharing the article.

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DANCINGGARDENER 8/22/2010 11:40AM

    I may be "Murrican" but I hale from the northern mid-west... or as we call it "The United States of Canada"

http://uncyclopedia.
wikia.com/wiki/United_States_of
_Canada

Spenidng some time this morning doing some mental strength building by memorizing these five amazing pearls o' wisdom. Thanks so very much for the tips.

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SLENDERELLA61 8/22/2010 11:21AM

    Great wisdom! Thanks for sharing.

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TBANMAN 8/22/2010 11:16AM

    Wonderful advice - thanks! I'm off to read the article now. emoticon

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PENNYAN45 8/22/2010 10:50AM

    That is good advice! Thanks for sharing the list with us.



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DREMARGRL 8/22/2010 10:45AM

    I love those rules.....and try to live by them.....traveling or not. Thanks for the post and hope you have an amazing Sunday full of sniles and genuine love. XO MaryAnn
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GWENFITNESS1ST 8/22/2010 10:22AM

    I am traveling now and can really appreciate your comments. These are great travel tips. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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VENISEW1 8/22/2010 10:18AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Point Pelee: Canada's Sanibel

Friday, August 13, 2010

We took a little break last weekend to travel to the southernmost part of Canada, Point Pelee. This is a peninsula jutting into lake Erie which extends below the 42nd parallel -- more southerly than Rome or Barcelona.

As a bird and butterfly sanctuary it reminds me quite a bit of Sanibel Island off Fort Myers -- except with a north/south rather than east/west orientation -- and no shells, dolphins pelicans or manatees!

I particularly enjoyed the boardwalk through the marsh on the east side -- the soothing sighs of wind in the cattails, the explosions of brightly coloured warblers in the willows, the swamp milkweed full of Monarch butterflies, the herons stalking frogs.

The west side has some great sand beaches, and the tip of the peninsula is sculpted by currents and riptides which it's easy to see are very powerful: visitors are warned not even to wade into the waters.

Interior areas are forested with Carolinian species that don't grow elsewhere in Canada -- tulip trees, a semi-tropical oak, lots of jungly vines. And there are cacti too!

Specialty fish in the area include yellow perch and pickerel. At a nearby restaurant we enjoyed a fish fry under a loggia smothered in trumpet vine -- a creamy orange variant which I've never seen before.

Wish our camera had been working . . . I'd have liked some pictures. Although those warblers were way too fast for me! We'll have to try and get back for either the fall or spring migration, which is apparently quite spectacular, with Pelee functioning as a funnel: last resting place for departing species in autumn, first landing for arriving species in spring.

Point Pelee was all laid out for cottage development in the 1920s. Some 300 cottages had been built before the government purchased it as environmentally protected parkland. All the cottages were removed and strenuous efforts were made to restore the natural flora and fauna -- including flying squirrels. I'm so grateful this special place was preserved.

For now, the monarch caterpillar I'd found locally about 10 days ago has made its chrysalis -- an elegant pale green with shimmering gold spots -- and I'm just waiting for it to turn transparent and reveal the butterfly inside. A summer tradition for me since I was very small . . . emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASXONTHEMOVE 8/21/2010 7:38PM

    Loved Pelee when I went as an undergrad as part of one of my physical geography courses at Waterloo. Now I want to go back. Thanks for reminding me that its there! (3 degrees to the south!)

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STLRZGRRL 8/21/2010 7:02PM

    Erie is south of Barcelona?

Rilly?
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Poor Barcelona.



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TKADEEPBREATH 8/16/2010 8:34PM

    As a girl in Northern Iowa, milkweed plants grew everywhere and the Monarchs were drawn to them. I was always so fascinated by the way the chrysalis looked with the little gold line around the top. I thought it looked like a jewel hanging under the milkweed leaves. How exciting to wait till transformation comes and the jewel spreads it's wings. Some things (many things really) I miss about the mid-west. The place you visited sounds so pristine. I loved your description. I love it when words take you somewhere else. I can always count on you to do that.

Have a good night. Jan

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FROSTIERACES 8/16/2010 4:31PM

    I agree..who need pix - you've described it beautifully.

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/15/2010 1:59PM

    Wow. How descriptive - who needs pictures. It sounds wonderful.

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PENNYAN45 8/14/2010 9:07PM

    Thanks for the word picture of this place. I have been to Sanibel - but have never heard of Point Pelee. Will check it out!



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WALKINGANNIE 8/14/2010 5:00AM

    Wondeful descriptions as usual Ellen. Hope you are having a good break and that your toe isn't hindering you too much.



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BRIGHTSPARK7 8/14/2010 12:15AM

    Love your word painting of this wonderful place, Ellen. I get a glow from seeing wildlife, too.
I am amazed that you have a monarch chrysalis. The transformation from caterpillar to butterfly is magical. Waiting with you ...
Hugs,
Usha.

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KALIGIRL 8/13/2010 9:37PM

    Sounds idyllic -cool and placid.
Hope you are having a marvelous time.

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After-Acquired Motivation and Sunk Costs

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

"Watermellen knows motivation happens AFTER the workout -- not so much
before".

Motivation gets a lot of air time on SP blogs and message boards, And that's a recent status for me -- which kinda hit me all of a sudden. But having posted it, it felt right, and so I've been thinking about motivation a lot.

Because I'm realizing that motivation isn't something I usually experience until I've already done whatever it was that required the motivation in the first place -- which has got to be bit perverse.

But true to my experience. And true for both big and small "motivation-requiring" events.

Working pretty hard at my job, for example. When I have to motor through a weekend (as isn't uncommon in my line of work) I can't say that I wanna do it, ever!! A large part of the motivation for the career focus is what it cost me (money, effort, time, absence from family) to retrain and to acquire the qualifications to get back into the workforce after an absence to raise kids. So I can't waste all of that-- especially not if clients are counting on me to try my hardest. That's after-acquired motivation!

Getting along with my DH and my kids: I'm not a saint for sure and so don't always feel motivated to "bite my tongue" at the time one of those inevitable irritations of living with other people (yes, even well-loved other people) happens to arise. But: a large part of the motivation to do so is reflecting back on 31 + years of generally very happy marriage and family life. Much of it the product of previous judicious tongue-biting. Which quickly helps smooth things out and put that temporary annoyance into perspective. Sunk costs!

Work and family are the big stuff. What about smaller stuff, then? Do I feel motivated to go to the gym? Never -- until after I've been to the gym. Before I go to the gym, and while I'm slogging away at the gym, I have to remember how good I'll feel after I've been to the gym. And in addition, with a recent memory of how hard it is to burn off even 100 calories on the cross trainer, it's post-gym that I'm most motivated not to grab just anything and stuff it into my mouth. I've got the "sunk costs" of the workout I've just done to motivate me.

But if I work out, will that generally sustain my motivation not to overeat? Nope. Not reliably enough. It helps that I've also got the "sunk costs" of the size eight wardrobe, which I acquired after pretty arduous not overeating over the past nine years. And I want to be able to continue to wear those items. And I know how very quickly any relaxation of the eternal vigilance will result in 10 or 20 additional pounds. So again, "sunk costs": the monetary cost of acquiring the clothes, plus the effort costs of exercising/nutrition tracking.

In general, I don't have much motivation to do anything I don't want to do. But it helps to have the pragmatic realization that a whole lot of my life has been (and will continue to be) doing a whole lot of things that I don't want to do. Preferably without too much drama or self pity. Because I can remind myself that I will be enjoying the benefits of having done them, after the fact.

People tell me from time to time that I look like a highly-motivated self-disciplined person.

When actually not so much: I just do an excellent imitation of a reasonably motivated, reasonably disciplined person. Mostly because I don't want to waste all the effort I've already expended. So this is an approach that may work for me: but I don't fool myself that I'm particularly virtuous. What's going on is a pragmatic calculation.

The action comes first. If I waited to "feel motivated" I'd . . . still be waiting.

For me, motivation is after-acquired. It's generated by the "sunk costs" of gritting my teeth and making myself just get on with it !! Worrying about motivation, how to get motivated, why am I not motivated etc. etc. for me tends to be a dead end. I'm manufacturing an excuse, telling myself not very subtly that I don't have to do it because I'm not motivated, or at least until I'm motivated.

So when I catch myself doing nothing because I'm not feeling motivated? I'm going to have to remind myself from here on in: for me, motivation is after-acquired. AFTER I've done it!






  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STLRZGRRL 8/21/2010 7:00PM

    Well, I'm late to this party but sunk costs are something I argue about in the office ALLA time!

In my own "real" life... I have NEVER EVER EVER loved the exercise... I have ALWAYS loved HAVING EXERCISED.


Ya. Once again, Ellen, I feel ya, Woman!!
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FROSTIERACES 8/16/2010 4:30PM

    "Mostly because I don't want to waste all the effort I've already expended."

This is great...no, this is BRILLIANT! Exactly true and wow..I really need to remember this. Why go backwards? when the pain and agony of getting there was such effort! Move the body...the mind will follow are words I tell myself often. Whether it works depends on my level of self pity...or stubborness....... :) Focus forward as the rewards of motivating are wonderful! Awesome blog!




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NANCY- 8/16/2010 8:07AM

    It is a bit perverse... but generally rewards do come after action. And a body in motion... well you know that one.

Great blog!
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MSSNOWY 8/15/2010 11:56AM

    What a splendid explanation of exactly how motivation works for me, too. I'm not quite as good at you are at it, though. I'm going to have to work on that. Thanks for the insight!

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SUCHAHOOT 8/15/2010 11:38AM

    This is GREAT! It seems so obvious, but one of those things that I hadn't come close to thinking through. Thanks for laying it all out there so nicely!

I should have read it yesterday! I'm in a 31 year marriage also, only didn't do such a good job of biting my tongue this weekend!

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IMAGINE_IT 8/6/2010 7:02PM

    Great Blog Ellen..as always...i am the same way..if i would 'wait' or 'look' to see if i am motivated..lol...i would never ever exercise...so yes..i just have to do it (the exercise) otherwise Motivation never really comes knocking on my door!! emoticon for your thoughts..thank you for this Blog....good to see that i am not the only one who has 'After Motivation' emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/6/2010 7:03:25 PM

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TEENY_BIKINI 8/6/2010 4:43PM

    Wow. That was totally interesting. I never really think about motivation though. It is interesting to be aware of these sorts of things. Well done.

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LUNADRAGON 8/6/2010 11:22AM

    Interesting thought. Thank you.
It always has bewildered me why some people are motivated, and others are not.
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BETHIE-22 8/5/2010 10:43PM

    This was great to read - I can relate! Thanks for sharing!!!

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WALKINGANNIE 8/5/2010 5:11PM

    Ellen, your blog helped me very much today. Thank you for your self-awareness and openness. It struck a chord and made me able to put some things into perspective.

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SLENDERELLA61 8/4/2010 11:47PM

    Very interesting blog. I certainly can understand not wanting to waste all the effort up to present. Good motivation. I also find that many times when I don't feel motivated, I can still do what I need to do to succeed. Motivation is kind of illusive. I had never thought of it as "after acquired", but I'll give that concept some thought. I think you are right not to pursue motivation, but to pursue the actions that you need to succeed. -Marsha

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