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April 27, 2013

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Life’s Like a Walk at the Beach-II

April 14, 2013

Just a few more musings from my time at the shore-intended to provide some quiet reflection and relief from the busy-ness of life. Here’s some more thoughts about how life can be like a walk at the beach-

Someone was kind enough to leave us a visual treasure!

Someone was kind enough to leave us a visual treasure!

  • Take some toys! Make sure you have some things along with you that are just fun! Whether it is an uplifting book, a game to play with kids or grandkids, some brain-teasers, or a swim suit- or other appropriate wear for the occasion. I never thought that the offer of a kite would light up my college-aged son’s eyes! Purchase a kite, we did, at the local tourist store and he was smiling all the way back to the beach! Take a look back at the Kite Flying Antics blog if you want more details there. Everyone needs a little comic relief at times, to lighten the mood and gain a fresh perspective!
  • Save room for some treasures! I mentioned last time that I had found a few priceless shells and mini-sand dollars. Even my son collected a few “special” items. On my credenza, I actually have several small shell collections, and I can pinpoint when I gathered them- that trip to Hawaii, the beach at South Carolina, and with it come the memories of fun times. Each beach has had somewhat unique types of shells available. Each stop in life will have unique little “gifts” you can treasure.  Join the fun and excitement of youth taking a cross-country trip.  See if you can’t find that pressed penny collection and take a trip down memory lane.
  • Take your camera!  These days almost every has a “camera”- if not a “professional” looking type, maybe the one encased in the handy cell phone. Photos stop time, the instant they are taken.  If you take the time to print them in some format, then they are easy to go back to and review.  As we were traveling home, we were trying to remember what route we had taken, and when had we passed that way before.  Sure enough, a quick review of my collection of family newsletters that are part of my “album” collection, I found the pictures and news related to when we had passed that way before. We can’t keep in the present, those loved ones that have died. We can go back to the pictures we took and be reminded-almost instantly of the love and relationship that was shared. Shooting a camera means you have to slow down, but that’s not all bad either!

Life will always be busy, and we may not always enjoy what is before us. With just a small investment in time we can make sure to include a few toys, treasures, and photos to remind us of joy that has been before, and inspire us to pass that way again- if appropriate, and when we have a chance.  Don’t delay- treasure today.

Enjoying memories past-a future to look forward to.

Enjoying memories past-a future to look forward to.

Life is Like a Walk at the Beach-Part 1

April 7, 2013

Recently, as you might have guessed from my latest posting I had the awesome opportunity to spend a week at the beach. There are lots of things on my Top 10 list in life, and time on/at the beach is on this list. As I was walking the sand, enjoying the wind and sunshine and smell of ocean perfume, I had time to reflect and it occurred to me that there are similarities between time on a beach and the time we do in life.Image

  1. Often you can find gems! They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. At the beach it might be a quarter-sized sand dollar, that is still in tact. Or a lovely shell that seems to be shaped perfectly, or have that attractive hue. In life- maybe it is the person that passed on a kind word or deed, sent that special note that picked up your spirits. Even the day you get through town and the lights are green as you approach, can make the journey through your day less hectic and worth breathing a little extra prayer  of thanks for the small token of favor.


    Seaside Gems-Photo compliments of MG Photography

  2. Yep, on the beach, you will find fair weather and poor weather. It’s always helpful to bring a windbreaker, and sometimes an extra sweatshirt. Sometimes, one just has to postpone the trip to the waves until the storm lets up, knowing the sun will be out again! True also for life- Both the literal weather and the emotional climate. I’ve taken to referring to our New Mexico weather as Sunny and dry, or maybe even “dusty”. Guess that is better than the flooding that is happening elsewhere. At least most of the time it is not so dusty that I can’t see the mountains or the house next door. Sometimes the emotional climate around us becomes a little charged. A recent article that I read suggested that we not take life too seriously. If we slowed down, and waited a few, maybe the person who is upset would settle down and get over it. One mom says that by the time everyone is dispensed to their room for a bit of solitude, perspectives change and things are not so intense, and normal enjoyable relationships can be carried on once again.
  3. It can take effort to get there. At the beach, we could either drive a bit and find a place to park- 4 Wheel drive was occasionally helpful as the sand was deep in spots, or we could take some time and walk- which was about a .5 mile. Not bad really, in the scheme of things. Life takes effort, especially if you haven’t slept well the night before. Or you had all the inpatient people at your counter at the same time. This too will pass. Maybe you’ll sleep better the next night. Surely there will be different people to look after in the coming days. Putting a smile on your face can improve your mood as well, even if you don’t initially feel like it. Try it!
  4. The beach looks different, depending on what time of day you get to enjoy it. I missed shooting the beautiful colors of a sunrise on the waves, because we started out one morning before sunrise and I didn’t calculate correctly that the sun would be up before we returned from our daily walk. Life too, has it’s seasons. Thankfully your two-year old has annual birthdays, and with each one, his age appropriate tasks change. For years, while I enjoyed helping out in the children’s departments, I was willing to move on to other activities. Sure enough. My son is becoming an adult, and I am no longer spending as much time with the little ones. Good, bad? Not sure. Just different. As they say, nothing lasts forever, and often times, that can be a blessing. Though I must say, I was willing for my days at the beach to last longer!

Whatever is happening in your life right now– stay steady. Likely, it too will pass. Maybe sooner than later, maybe not. But don’t take yourself or life too seriously. Take a walk somewhere fun when you can and get a better perspective, and know that you don’t have to walk this road of life alone if you choose not to!

Kite Flying Antics- Is Your Tail in a Knot?

March 24, 2013

There is nothing quite like a day at the beach, or preferrably a week. Sunshine, windblown hair, feet sandy from padding along in the surf. Add a colorful kite, and the day just gets better- until. The kite takes a nose dive and crashes to sandy, wave washed earth.

And the breeze was too much!

And the breeze was too much!

How about a week that seems to mirror the above. Everything is headed your way. Life is good. You know God and your co-workers and family are on your side and there is nothing stopping the good times from rolling. Except that roll over you and on past you, leaving you in a heap on a windy, sandy, unwashed floor.

What’s a person to do? Give up, go home? Pack the kite away, put away the planned picnic and given in to defeat? What about you? what has been your response? My son was undeterred by the potential set backs of not keeping a kite in the air. After consultation with wise and older father, and a camper kitchen cupboard, the solution was found.

Several plastic grocery bags and knots later, the errant kite had tails, and yes, those sported knots. When the first trial with too few bag tails failed, it was back to the knot tying board and soon the kite was aloft and proved to be able to carry it’s weight, and that of a camera. And none the worse for the care and tears.

It’s the same in life. Don’t let it get you down. Tough times hit? Hit the tough times with reinforcement. Consult your Heavenly Father. Raid the Bible promise cupboard. Find respite on an unoccupied stretch of beach, or house, or- wherever else you can park for a bit of reflection, and benefit from the resources available to you, anytime, anywhere!

Soaring Once Again

Soaring Once Again

Wonder if my Kite Tail is true? Check it out!

Texting With the Right Equipment

March 3, 2013

The Right Stuff for Tea

Some of you may recall that about a year ago I wrote a piece about an experience I had, receiving a text from my son, in the middle of my morning errands. At the time I had one of those phones that is not conducive to texting. Some still have one- one of those flip phones. Mine was a 2006 vintage, as I was reminded when I took the opportunity to upgrade my phone last fall. The phone was no longer working quite as well as I thought it should, and I decided to see what I could do about it.

Aahh, what a change. My new phone has a key pad and all sorts of extra stroke options that allows me to whip out a message, to those who would likely benefit from my communication. My son was soon commenting that my messages were actually readable and I was getting “good” at this, whatever that relative term means. It certainly is less fustrating communicating by texting now.

My point today would be that now that I have reasonable equipment for the texting job at hand, I can in fact do the job at hand, and I have reduced any previous “wrong equipment” barriers that I encountered in the past. Yes, actually, I do text more than I used to, but I try not to let it interfere with the necessary face to face communication that is essential to my well-being.

Do you have the right equipment to eat right and be physically active? Years ago we had a gym membership. There was nothing wrong with the gym, actually it was really nice to have a spot to go play racquetball and use some of the equipment. But then the racquetball games began to cost an incredible amount of money. If I could only get to the gym more often, it wouldn’t be so costly. The only thing really wrong with this picture, was that the gym was 20 minutes away, not in my driving path, and certainly not available, given the schedule I was keeping. Hence, we eventually started “building” our own gym in the house, and actually, we do not confuse it with the laundry room or storage unit.

Our “work out room” truly is just that. We both use the equipment on an almost daily basis. And unlike years previous when I had the membership and the monthly or twice monthly game that we played (and cost us the month’s membership fee), we regularly use our equipment and by now, have certainly gotten our money’s worth. In fact, I would say, that like the new phone I  now sport, I have the right equipment that supports the physical activity that I need and actually want to participate in.

Does that mean that everyone needs to replicate this scenario? No- it just means that you need to settle on what “equipment’ will work for you and make it happen. I have a friend who recently- a few months ago- found a Zumba class that works for her. She has been able to be very consistent in attendance and thus consistent in making progress on her own weight control goals. For her, the class has become the “right equipment”.

Spend some time figuring out how you can make your goals work, and if necessary, start setting aside a little money on a regular basis to help you accomplish that seemingly unreachable goal. I’d love to hear how you come along on it!

Have You Already Decided?

February 10, 2013

Once again I was at the counter of a department store, ready to make my purchase. Pleasantly, the clerk asked if I didn’t want to sign up for their store credit card, and thus, along with my $10 off coupon, I could receive another 20% off my purchase that day. “No” I assured her, I didn’t need a card and would pay the going rate for today’s items. Well, that was easier than the last time I was at the same store weeks before.

It reminded me of my little fiasco around Christmas time, a little over a year ago. Once again I was ready to seal my purchases at a different department store, that promotes special perks with getting their different style store credit card. This time I had over $100 worth of goods, and if I just signed on, the clerk said, I would get this great price reduction for the day and I could tally up the savings I would receive in the future. Okay, I thought, this is harmless, I can do this. It is not really a credit card, and I could use a cut on the my expenses for the day. I completed the required paperwork, completed my discounted purchase and started making my way out the door. Image

It must have been the fresh, sunny air that hit me, or, without the press of the promotion clerk and the waiting line of shoppers behind me, I could suddenly read the fine print. I could expect monthly statements, and all the other paperwork issues that came with this new card, along the with it’s promising discounts. No, this really was not going to work, and even if I had to pay my most recent discount, this had to stop, right now. I turned right around, found a kiosk in the store and amended my ways. No card, no discounts, but a clean bill, and no unwanted paperwork in my future. Now, was that so hard? That was when I finally made up my mind- I would not succumb to store checkout promptings to sign on for the latest and greatest.

My point for today? Have you decided what actions you are going to take regarding your health? Case in point- I have decided- as you might have guessed if you have read any of my recent blogs, that I am going to exercise, every day that I am not going to work earlier, aside from my chosen weekly day of Rest. Now, when I get up in the morning, I don’t have to succumb to my feelings of tiredness, ‘don’t feel like it today’, or any myriad of excuses that might tempt me to shun my physical activity engagement. It is not automatic- I mean, I still have to make a conscious choice to put on the work out clothes, go to the equipment, turn it on, or get on it, and start pumping away- but the hardest part is over- THIS IS WHAT I DO, and today I am once again doing what I need to do.

So, I encourage you to make a smart decision, in the broad daylight, with all your wits about you, and choose what you need to do. Plan it out if you have, but make provision to get started- now. Then don’t waffle, as I did, when the latest temptation to just forgo that healthy habit action comes along. You can do this! Take charge of your health!

Next time- Texting with the Right Equipment

I Kept a Record-My Challenge

January 20, 2013

So I did what I set out to do in December. I kept a faithful record of the days I hit the workout room and did my stuff. The bad news? I managed to do so 14 out of 31 possible days. Guess I have room to improve there. The good news? I totaled 119 miles- 111 on the bike, and almost 8 miles on the treadmill- for about 560 minutes total of exercise time. Don’t forget the 112 push-ups and 300 curl-ups- can’t forget those abs and arms/pectorals. So, considering it was the holiday season, and I was just checking things out, I feel like I have a basic handle on what I can do. So what am I doing from here?

  • I liked it so much, I have a record going for January. 
  • Already I have tabulated over 90 miles and 560 minutes- just over 2 weeks into the month!
  • I have a sort of challenge going on- can I beat my mileage-to-date, on a day-to-day  basis- given the time I dedicate to the task?
  • The other day I was short on time, and having been attempting to get closer to 60 minutes, when I only put in 30 minutes, I realized I really had more energy and almost felt the need to push further/longer. That was a new concept! I must be developing those aerobic conditioning muscles?!!
  • Above all- this is also my devotional time. I love the quiet, focused time that I have to devote to communicating with my Sovereign. I know you never really develop the “habit” of exercising, but this added benefit certainly adds incentive to taking the time to put in the effort toward physical and spiritual and mental health.
  • Yes, this has been a great idea, and I have benefited from the hard and fast knowledge of what I have done and provides impetus to continue and even push the envelop a little.     Image

So how did you do? Anyone else try this?

And by the way- if you are looking for some easy, wholesome recipes that are tasty and good for you, check out the growing selection I have compiled with the help of a great supporter- Tasty Recipes

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