Monthly Archives: January 2011

Nothing is ever simple.

 

Some days are just like this.

 

Life sometimes grabs you by surprise, and when you least expect it, just when things are rolling nicely along. a moon pops up just as you are jumping for joy.  Today was that kind of day.  I am a bewildered cow today, just hanging on, waiting for the recuperating weekend.  I have taken to bribing myself with special evening and weekend rewards-just for making it through the rest of life, you know, the driving in traffic, working, managing a house and finances, not to mention the extreme amount of maintenance it takes to keep up appearances.  My reward preferences are:

*A lingering visit to the gym that includes not only the mandatory walking and lovely yoga, but a special sauna and nice long, on someone else’s dime, shower complete with Kiehl’s soap and shampoo.

*A facial, anytime, anywhere.

*A massage, ditto.

*A pedicure (OK, I guess it is obvious I want to be pampered)!

*A walk on the path between Will Rogers Beach and the Santa Monica Pier (I am saving up for a cool cruiser bike)!  Advice anyone?  Best brand, best seat, gears or no gears-I’d like to take it to Mammoth to cruise around this summer too.

*Sitting in the movies with my hubby, escaping into an adventure, another place or another person’s life.

*Reading a good book.

*Writing while sitting on my worn green sofa with the holiday lights that frame my window casting a soft glow.

*Dozing on the above mentioned sofa with my darling dog, Charlie (he is the reason the sofa is worn and we have given up getting him to stay off the sofa) who is spoiled beyond belief, but also very helpful in helping me achieve my 10,000 steps as his favorite reward is to have me get up and walk over to the sliding door to let him in and out every 5 minutes.

So, the mug in the photo, with the bewildered cow, belonged to my mother.  She often encountered the surprises of life, and rewarded herself with a cup of coffee and the chance to read anything and everything.  I miss her, and the talks we had in the afternoon when I got home from work.  She was an ever-present ear to my venting and even if she tired of hearing me vent, she never made me stop until I was finished.  I miss that unconditional love, unending companionship and understanding.  I still talk to her, but the part I miss the most, is the advice and answers she held for me.  Sometimes, the answers to my ponderings are whispered to me by a little voice I can only assume is hers.  When your DNA is entwined with that of another, it is inevitable that the connection is permanent.

 



 

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Ah, The Sweet Smell of a Good Book!

 

Heaven

 

I have to admit that to me, there is nothing that smells as sweet as the smell of a new book.  It can be fresh off the shelf of a bookstore, musty from the library or passed along by a good friend, but the anticipation in combination with the warm, word-filled pages, fills me with happiness. For me, real books are more desirable than their high-tech cousins, though on the treadmill, I really appreciate the iPad’s flat ability to stand on the small provided ledge, the ease of turning the pages with the flick of my finger and especially the ability to make the print really large, and there is something nice about being read to while driving about in the car via books on tape, but real books will always be my favorite.

I often long for the entrance into another world, a journey that takes me away from reality and into another reality with new friends and problems to solve.  I will read almost any book, any genre, but my favorites are the novels with characters aching to become my forever friends.  It is for this reason that I was filled with glee when I opened up my email this morning and saw an email from the public library announcing that a book was being held for me.  I had been number 300 something on the waiting list and had almost forgotten that I had placed the hold on this book:

 

Escape at last!

 

 

but now it is in my hands, all 292 pages wrapped in a lovely turquoise blue cover.  I have to smile that the author’s name, Aimee, is mine spelled in the fancy way I always wished for. A kinship already!  So tonight, everything is on hold.  Tonight I am cuddling up on the sofa for a much-needed escape to places unknown.  I can’t wait!

P.S.  If you are reading this, please post a comment with your current favorite read!


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Addicted

 

OK, it’s official and I really never thought that I would say this, but I am addicted to exercise.  If you knew the family I come from, you would be equally shocked because I grew up without an exercise role model and was not encouraged to take pricey after school dance classes, or to participate in athletics at school.  I have had to learn on my own.  As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have committed to a 10,000 Step a Day program in the quest for improved health in 2011.  I have found it nearly impossible to acquire the required number of steps without a good solid hour walk, on the treadmill, or outside, weather permitting.

As I left the gym this morning I was smiling and had a jaunty little bounce in my step.  All that walking seems to have a positive effect on me.  I know the endorphin theory and I am a believer, but this afternoon when I pondered a second trip to the gym, or perhaps just a walk around the block, I knew I was hooked.  I am craving it!

As addictions go, exercise is a nice one to admit to.  I don’t think there is even an organization for exercise addicts-haven’t heard of Exercisers Anonymous.  I am just going to continue to bask in the sweaty after-glow and contemplate the addition of running to my regime.  I am considering the Disneyland 5K.  Join me?

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Treadmill

It is always there waiting for me...

Treadmill

I approach you, with your gleaming sides and surefooted surface,

Somewhat more confident than when I first met you.

Now, I know your conveniences: iPod plugs, headphone jacks, book rest and TV monitors lined up at attention just above eye level.

I can watch your “track” to monitor my progress, raise and lower speed and incline automatically

and walk,

rain or shine.

I’ve become comfortable with you

and enjoy your company.

I always feel better,

elated even,

after spending an hour walking,

and have taken to bringing

reading material

to allow for multi-tasking.

I listen to background music,

read,

walk.

I am on the road to 10,000 steps a day

And the treadmill is my new best friend.

Life has a lot in common with a treadmill.

It keeps moving and you just have to hop on and keep stride,

though you can set your own pace.

Sometimes it can be all uphill,

but you do get stronger for the effort.

Sometimes there are lovely distractions.

Most of the time, there are just your thoughts to keep you company.

Some may think a treadmill is pointless because you just stay in the same place and don’t go anywhere,

but it’s not true.

By taking the time to walk, I am getting somewhere I want to be.

The treadmill comes with certain guarantees:  availability, consistency, and options.  Just like life.

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Create 2011

Dreams and a Plan 2011

My New Year’s Day tradition is to create a collage visualization of my hopes, dreams and plans for the New Year and so this afternoon I sat down at the kitchen table with my husband and youngest daughter (who is 19)  and spent a pleasant couple of hours scanning magazines for inspirational words and photos.  My 2011 collage has a theme:  Create.  That is also the word that popped into my head during a Winter Solstice meditation with Diana Lang two weeks ago.  I take it to mean that I can create the life I want, and it doubles as inspiration to create art and the written word.  My plan has three categories:

1.  Create health & peace of mind

2. Create and maintain relationships

3.  Create art

I will create a more healthy lifestyle by developing the habit of exercise at Equinox and Curves and integrating it into my daily life.  I have chosen the 10,000 Steps walking program and I have my spiffy new pedometer to track my daily steps.  I have realized that if I walk (either on the treadmill or an extended walk with Charlie, my dog) for an hour, I can rack up the steps fairly easily.  I am also committing to yoga at least twice a week.  This also helps with creating peace of mind, but is definitely a good strength training routine as well.  I will continue with resistance training to help build bone strength.  The big news is my recent re-acquaintance with Weight Watchers.  I am attending weekly meetings and making daily use of eTools to track my food. I have come to the conclusion that tracking creates the discipline I need to succeed.  I am proud to say that In the past month I have really become mindful of the food I eat and am excited with the 5 lb. weight loss!

Charlie, my walking buddy, on the way home from his bath. Note the cute scarf?

I will create peace of mind by tracking my spending and saving habits too, and will continue my money education and devotion to becoming money-wise.  By tracking my habits on mint.com I will have a realistic visual of where my money is going and how I can gain control even in these tough economic times, taking into account  furlough days and the cutbacks imposed on education by lack of State funding.

I am open to creating new friendships and devoted to maintaining those I have.  I will continue to nurture the friends and family I am blessed to have in my life presently and appreciate these relationships.  I am taking a positive path to relationships and plan to focus on positive aspects of relationships while attempting to eliminate gossip and other negative habits that are detrimental to honest friendships.  I will practice patience, support and giving.

I will create art by focusing on my writing through my classes in the UCLA Writers Program, this blog, a daily 2-minute journal and various writing experiences.  I will expand my creative experiences through any art form that becomes available and will be open to opportunities to  express myself through music, art and crafts.

This is my new nifty 2-minute timer.

2011 is a blank slate, a new beginning and a chance to “Embrace the art of living.”  My vision is clear and my plan is in place.  Feel free to share your plan for the New Year!  May it be a truly happy year for us all.

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