Saturday, October 18, 2008

I have simplified!

I find that I cannot keep up well with more than one blog at a time, so please take a look at


Monday, January 14, 2008

No Regrets

My youngest sister, Cyndi, forwarded the following to me today. It had special meaning as a friend of hers had just passed away. It brought tears to my eyes and I thought you might benefit from it.
I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn't hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 57 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories. He often came with me and almost every time he'd pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I'd always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands. He knew I loved yellow roses. With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since he had passed on. Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two.

Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how he had loved his steak. Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blonde, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large package of T-bones, dropped them in her basket... hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks. She saw me watching her and she smiled. "My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don't know." I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes. "My husband passed away eight days ago," I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. "Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together." She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away.

I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products. There I stood, trying to decide which size milk I should buy. A Quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone. I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front. I saw first the green suit, then recognized the pretty lady coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile I had ever seen. I would swear a soft halo encircled her blonde hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine. As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my eyes. "These are for you," she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms. "When you go through the line, they will know these are paid for." She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again.

I wanted to tell her what she'd done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away as tears clouded my vision. I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn't alone. Oh, you haven't forgotten me, have you? I whispered, with tears in my eyes. He was still with me, and she was his angel.

Every day be thankful for what you have and who you are.

Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings. Thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.

Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible. Thank you, Lord , that I can see. Many are blind.

Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising. Thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden.

Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, tempers are short, and my children are so loud. Thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.

Even though our breakfast table never looks like the picture in magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced. Thank you, Lord, for the food we have. There are many who are hungry.

Even though the routine of my job often is monotonous. Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job.

Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest. Thank you, Lord, for life.

A friend is someone we turn to when our spirits need a lift. A friend is someone to treasure. For friendship is a gift. A friend is someone who fills our lives with Beauty, Joy and Grace and makes the world we live in a better and happier place.

YOU ARE MY FRIEND! God bless you and yours."

Saturday, January 5, 2008

To make resolutions or not to make resolutions

So, are you among the majority of Americans who will make at least one New Year's Resolution for 2008? Weight Loss, relationships, job change, etc. What is the area in your life in which you would like to see significant change? I found the following information at:

"Regaining Your Ability to Choose is Key to Breaking Habits
A habit is any action that we have performed so often that it becomes almost an involuntary response. If we consider this habit to be undesirable then we may label it a "bad habit". People spend countless hours and dollars each year attempting to break these bad habits and often do not have any success. Why? Because there is no magic bullet. Change is hard work and there is no short cut to achieving it. The steps a person needs to take, however, can be very simply outlined. To effect a change in habits, one needs to bring the action back into the realm of consciousness and regain the ability to make choices.
What's the Payoff?
The first step in breaking a bad habit is to look at why you find this action so compelling. In other words, what's the payoff for doing this seemingly negative thing? Since you've already classified this as a "bad" habit you may be tempted to say there isn't one.
look closer. There is always a payoff. Let's say your bad habit is yelling at your kids. What's in it for you? You let off some steam and feel a little better for the moment. Or you have a bad habit of leaving the dishes unwashed? The payoff could be that you get to spend more time on the Internet!
What's the Trade Off?
Next, take a look at the trade off. What is it that you are losing by exercising your habit? This step should be easier. Just think why it is that you consider it a bad habit in the first place. Yelling at your kids is a bad habit because it leaves everybody feeling tense and tears down your children's self-esteem. You are trading a temporary release of tension for the emotional health of your children. Leaving the dishes undone is a bad habit because your kitchen is a smelly mess. To have more Internet time you are trading off having a pleasant living environment. When you look at it that way it doesn't seem like you are making very wise choices, does it? There has to be a better way.
Time to Make a Choice!
Now that you've weighed both sides of the issue--your payoff and your tradeoff--it's time to make a choice. It's no longer an involuntary act because now you know that you are making a choice every time you perform this action. You are choosing what you value more: the payoff or the tradeoff! Each time you start to do whatever the bad habit is now you have to actively choose. Which do you value more? Do you value more the relief you get by yelling at your kids or do you value their emotional well-being? Do you value more having more Internet time or having a pleasant place to live?
Substituting Better Behaviors
The whole reason you formed your habits in the first place is that they filled a need. You had tension that needed relief or you had a desire to surf the Net. As you break the old patterns you still need a way to fulfill these needs. You will be not only making an active choice to not do the old action you will also be making a choice to perform a better, alternative action in its place. Instead of yelling at your kids you might decide to go for a run every time you are feeling tense. Instead of letting dirty dishes pile up you may decide to use paper plates when you are eating alone. What the new habit is that you substitute isn't so important as whether you feel good about the choices you have made. After all, the reason you consider it a bad habit is because it leaves you feeling bad about yourself.
It's Up to You
By now you should realize that the only way to continue with a bad habit for very long is to sink back into denial of why you are doing it in the first place. Each time you begin to resume your old patterns the thought will pass through your mind that you are trading X for Y each time you perform that action. You will be forced to make a choice, whether good for bad, about continuing your habit. What choices will you make? The one that makes you feel bad about yourself or the one that makes you feel good? It's up to you."

I have found that it is imperative to have an accountability partner; someone who will care for you through your challenge, but who will also not be afraid to ask the hard questions. This is the basis for the success of Weight Watchers (r) meetings. It is proven that people who attend the meetings lose 3 times the weight than those going it alone. This is due to the accountability principle.

So, figure out what bad habit you would like to replace with a good habit - make it specific (i.e., I want to lose 20 pounds this year - I plan on doing that by cutting down on fat, drinking plenty of water and exercising 60 minutes 3 times a week), then choose your accountability partner and get started!

May 2008 be filled with abundant blessings for you!