Saturday, January 18, 2014

Winter - AGAIN?

Well, maybe I overreacted a bit LOL!  Today Luckie and I set off for our daily walk, which is really moving up there - I started my Map My Walk app to see just how far we were walking, haven't done that in a while.  But before the final step of harnessing Himself, I put on TWO sweatshirts (it was 55 degrees and slightly breezy, after all!), one of which had a hood, and a crocheted cap that someone made for Rachel, because if my head is warm, the rest of me isn't so cold.  Oh yes, sweat pants and sneakers too, LOL!  So here we are, toodling along, and I'm getting HOT!  I guess 55 degrees is warmer than I thought.  And not only was my head warm, it was DRENCHED with sweat!  So I came to a dead stop, pulled off the hat, stuffed it under my sweatshirt since I didn't have an available pocket (which gave me an absolutely charming shape, I'm sure), put the hood back up and resumed our walk.  So, walk walk walk walk, walk walk walk walk...I was listening to "The Goldfinch" and wasn't doing much drifting off thinking.  But suddenly it occurred to me - my glasses were tucked into the neck of my sweatshirt when I started the walk - and checking, there were NO glasses!  Grrrrrr!!!  I didn't want to turn around, I wanted to walk the whole route I had planned.  I was standing there on the sidewalk feeling myself up and down, hoping against hope that they had somehow lodged inside the sweatshirt (nah).  Then I did the same thing 2 or 3 more times with the same sad result.  So - about face, forward march.  It was a LONG way back that I did the cap/hood switch, but I wasn't sure exactly where I did it.  Luckily, I had The Goldfinch to keep me occupied and keep me from grumbling at myself.  But the farther we went, the more I thought I wasn't going to find them.  I thought about the fact that I *do* have contacts I can wear, but I can't see to use the computer if I'm wearing them, and I can't see the TV without them, and how long would it take me to get a new pair of glasses anyway?  But I kept going and lo and behold, there were my glasses, shining brightly in the afternoon sun, saying "ha ha suckah, your best laid plans just went awry!"  It didn't matter though, I was just happy to have the glasses back.  I only take the glasses on the walk to make sure there aren't any wild dogs charging us - I don't even wear them on my nose, I keep them on my head when it's not covered in hats and hoods!  But all's well, glasses are home, we walked 2.36 miles at a pace of 19.1 minutes per mile (which is way off because of all the time I spent stopping and panicking, besides all the stops Luckie has to make to check his peemail).  Tomorrow I will take the (new) regular route, with my glasses stowed somewhere safely, and see how far that route is.

In other news, yesterday I was working on my apparently lifelong quest to move info from Old Computer to Newish Computer.  I was moving the My Documents folder, and took a few minutes to poke around there to see what I could possibly have from 10 years ago that I still needed.  Well!  I came upon a folder of writing from a Creative Writing class I took at Valencia - and there was actually some writing in there!  Not GREAT writing, but several things that could be the basis for something better, maybe even novel material?  I was really excited - how is it that I can forget about things I write?  Does Steven King go back to Carrie and wonder if it was really him who wrote those words? (Well maybe that's not a good example since he has admitted he doesn't remember writing his first 6 novels in an alcohol-drug haze).

Peace and love to everyone!
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Extremes

The fabulous Billy Joel wrote this song about me.  Sadly the black extreme is not my favorite and seems to come around way more than I want it to.  I could list so many lyrics here that fit perfectly.  Too high or too low, there ain't no in betweens.  It's all or nothing at all.  Joel identifies himself as a manic depressive, and says that it actually comes in quite handy when writing songs, as there's not a lot of material in moderation.  Pray that I'm not out there too long.

Billy Joel Sings I Go To Extremes



Monday, January 13, 2014

Dreams and Juan Pablo

For some reason, I've had some incredibly detailed and complicated dreams for the last 4 nights.  This IS my blog, and I suppose I could write all about them, but that would bore even me.  So I'll shorten them - there was first the one where David and I were at a convention in a hotel and we got separated, so I spent the whole dream looking around for him and he was off running around with a guy he had just met who he called his friend (like nothing that would happen in real life).  The second one was another hotel dream and part of this one also involved looking for David, but I was looking for my car too.  The third one involved being at Walgreens and trying to buy a scanner.  Somehow Adam Shankman, of So You Think You Can Dance fame, showed up and was trying to help us buy the scanner, which we did not manage to get before the end of the dream.  Okay so last night (Sunday) Rachel and I watched the first week of The Bachelor with Juan Pablo, and that apparently influenced my sleep state, because I dreamed that I was one of the women on the Bachelor with Juan Pablo, though I was questioning why he would want a 59-year-old married chick hanging around when he had all these gorgeous 20-somethings surrounding him.  He sent me home at the second rose ceremony.  But before I left, who should show up but - ADAM SHANKMAN!!!  He gave me his personal email address so we could finish figuring out which scanner to buy.  Darn, forgot to write it down though.  I am waiting to see if I wake up tomorrow morning with a new scanner at my bedside LOL!  Okay that's enough babble about crazy dreams.

David and I had a fun time this morning, I had to go to Florida Mall to get my hearing aids looked at (and fixed for more dollars than I wanted to spend).  When we were done, we decided to walk a lap around the mall since I am trying to get 10,000 steps a day in (using an iPhone app called Move that tracks all of your steps automatically by GPS).  We had a lovely stroll around the perimeter of the mall, seeing all the new (to me) stores that were there - did you know there are 2 Best Buy Mobiles and 2 Victoria's Secrets there?  Yes?  Well did you know that there's a place you can get eyelash extensions?  Sheesh, I don't even know what eyelash extensions are! Sounds like just another day, but we had a great time.  I REALLY love that man!!!

Tonight Rachel and I are hanging out on the couch watching another episode of The Bachelor with Juan Pablo, eating Chipotle's, our normal Monday night dinner, working on our computers, and having a lovely time!  Luckie's passed out between us, and all is right in the world for me!

Peace and love to everyone!
Saturday, January 11, 2014

Autumn in Orlando?

Happy Saturday!  We are enjoying Paradise here in Florida today, it's 84 degrees!  I came home from my walk with Luckie totally drenched in sweat - we are working up to longer walks, and I think I bit off a few more steps than I could chew today, we were both panting by the time we got home.

Apparently our winter weather this week brought on a bit of fall - I saw this gorgeous leaf lying on the sidewalk:


I usually don't stop to take pictures on our walks because Luckie isn't too patient, but today he stood quietly while I snapped this one.

I'm knee-deep in a project to get all my digital scrapbooking files transferred to my new-ish computer.  I've been spending at least 2-3 hours a day for the last week because it's not going very smoothly, but that's a LOT better than the countless hours I spent indexing everything in ACDSee in the first place.  I am dying to get to digiscrapping, so hopefully I'm about done with this seemingly endless project.  I think ACDSee is the best program to organize digital scrapbooking files, but there is a LOT of upfront work to it, and then transferring things to a new computer is a huge pain.  I just have way too much stuff to walk away from it, and I don't know of a better way to do it.

I'm off now to visit Miriam, Bear and Nell - I hear there's homemade chicken soup for dinner!

Peace and love to everyone!

Friday, January 10, 2014

ACTION!

It has been 1 year, 10 months and 23 days since I paid any attention to my lonely little blog (that's 694 days - REALLY?).  I must admit there are long periods where I don't even think about it, which is great because then I'm not kicking myself for not writing here.  I mean gee, if I define myself as a writer, I could at least write on my blog, right?  Well today I'm a writer because I'm writing here!

Looking back over some of the last few posts I did, I'm immediately struck by how much my life as changed.  For one thing, I can see from the pictures is that I have lost an appreciable amount of weight - I'd estimate that I weigh 45 pounds less than I did then, and that's a big deal!  Today I am a Weight Watcher, and I still have about 35 pounds to get to my goal, but I'm on the road, and I am taking ACTION!

Speaking of ACTION, I have chosen this as my One Little Word for 2014.  I am a champion thinker, planner, dreamer, "imaginer," but often I neglect the last step of ACTION.  Even with only 10 days elapsed in this year, I've made a good start.  Here are a couple of things I've already done:

-  Joined Tangie Baxter's Art Journal Caravan at Scrapbookgraphics.  This is something I participated in for the years 2010 and 2011, and when Tangie said this was the last year she was going to do the Caravan I decided to take it on for this year too.  (If you browse back far enough in my blog you'll see some of the pages I created in those years.)  I only just joined, so have not yet done any pages, but I woke up in the night several times last night with ideas.  There are amazing prompts to use as a jumping-off spot each week, great inspiration from the other Caravaners, tutorials for both digital and hybrid art journaling (hybrid is using a combination of digital and physical products to create your journal pages), and wonderful friendships and camraderie.  Hopefully I will be posting some of my pages for this year on my lonely little blog, so stay tuned!

- Trying the new Weight Watchers Simple Start plan, where you choose from a list of foods that you can eat to satisfaction, rather than counting points.  This is my first day with this new plan, so we will see next week how it works.

- Joined an online book club studying the book that is studying What Are You Hungry For?: The Chopra Solution to Permanent Weight Loss, Well-Being, and Lightness of SoulWhat Are You Hungry For?: The Chopra Solution to Permanent Weight Loss, Well-Being, and Lightness of Soul, by Deepak Chopra.   I love his writing and hope this will be a growth experience.

- Doing something at the time I think of it, instead of thinking "Oh, I need to do such and such" and then putting it off, and off, and off, and off until there are some sort of negative consequences.

I know there are more - like the fact that I actually wrote on the blog today instead of thinking I "should" write on it.

So anybody want to wager on how often I actually write here? LOL!

Love and peace to everyone!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Dream Job

The title of my dream job is "Transitions Specialist."  In this job I am present with people in transition - much of it is related to females, but men are welcome too.  Transitions such as birth (with mother, father, baby or any combination of the above, also older siblings), onset of menstruation (mother and/or daughter), onset of menopause (woman), graduations, wedding (bride), breakup of relationship (woman), religious ceremonies (man or woman), retirement (man or woman), loss of a pet (anyone) and death (dying man or woman, family, friends).  This would involve just being present for people, holding their hand if appropriate, grounding them in the moment, help with fighting through fear, helping to recognize and act out joy.  I would not be a consultant on how to experience these life-changing events, just with how to be grounded in the moment and experience the most growth.  To me, having someone holding my hand during major life events like these would be tremendously meaningful.  I put out my intention to the universe and ask that the opportunity be given to me in a way that I can be of greatest assistance.

I can become a hospice volunteer to realize part of this dream, and I know that can be an all-encompassing experience, and even though lengthy is definitely transitional in its most succinct definition.  In fact, I don't see this as a traditional paid profession, rather an exchange of energy, where I give my support, love, attention and intention, and my clients give whatever might mean the most in return.  Ultimately I will gain as much or more than I give, by experiencing life in its crossroads moments, and my life will be deeply enriched as a result.

It's obviously not something to be advertised in the Orlando Sentinel or Craigslist.  I hope by writing this intention in a place that goes out to the world in whatever way, that I will be placed in the situations that allow me to be of the most help.



Peace and love to everyone!
Sunday, February 12, 2012

What I Learned Running 26.2 Miles


I was recently reminded of this story, and thought it might be interesting to someone else.

The year I turned 50, my goal was to participate in a marathon, 26.2 miles of running/walking goodness.  I decided in April that I wanted to run in the Walt Disney World marathon the next January, so that left me plenty of time to train if I was devoted to it and didn't blow off running days.  At my brother Randy's recommendation I bought a book by Jeff Galloway (actually I think he sent me his copy!) and started following the training program he laid out.  Jeff is a proponent of a running/walking system rather than trying to run the entire time, and that worked out well for me.

I would run an hour on Tuesday through Saturday, then on Sunday was my long run.  I started with a long run of 10 miles, then increased it every week until I ran 24 miles - actually Jeff says you only need to do a 20-mile long run, but I wanted to experience as much of what the marathon was going to be like as I could.  I really loved the long runs!  Santa and I were both training, but in November he was injured and had to drop out.  I thought I was going to hate running by myself, but I didn't at all - it gave me a lot of time to think and meditate.

On one of my long runs, I was thinking about all of the training I'd put in thus far, and how there was no way I could do this if I had started a month or two later.  In fact, I realized, every single person running in that marathon had to put in a significant amount of training if they intended to finish 26.2 miles - nobody can get up from the couch and run that distance.  It doesn't matter how rich you are, how persuasive you are, how beautiful you are, how witty you are, it won't get you over that distance on race day.  Everyone involved has to do all the footwork and all the training that is required to complete that distance successfully.

This was somewhat of an epiphany for me.  Because I am smart, and talk well, and even have been cute at some times in my younger days, I've attempted to do things without following the rules that everyone else had to follow.  Sometimes I was even successful, but not very often.  But I always harbored a hope that I could get by with less than the rest of the world was having to do.

That day on that long run, when I had that major realization, it changed my world.  I didn't have a need to hold myself apart as special - although yes, I *am* special, so is everyone else, and no matter who we are, we have to follow the rules - either laws created by man, laws of nature, politeness, respect, and such.  Now I could be a member of the human race.  I had never felt so grateful, and yes, so accepted.

Race day arrived in January, and I was set to go.  The race started at 6 AM in the Epcot Center parking lot.  I was there plenty early.  I didn't know anyone else running the race, so I didn't have to worry about keeping up with anyone.  I was in one of the back corrals because my time wasn't fast, so it was a good 15 minutes before I actually went across the start line.  I had been tracking my pace with a wristband GPS, and somehow I managed to mess that up right before the race, so I had to just go along and trust that I was going at the pace I needed to go.  I stopped along the track several times to get pictures taken with characters, and had one stop with my family where they helped me change my socks to prevent blisters.  I was in heaven during the whole race, having the time of my life, almost flying because I had set this really really high goal and was accomplishing it.  As I approached the finish line, my family was there to cheer me on, and my son Eric jumped onto the course to cross the finish line with me - we did it singing "The  Final Countdown" by Europe.  That moment is etched in my mind with crystal clarity.

I had what I thought was a huge disappointment the next day though.  I went to the website to see my name posted as finishing the marathon, and it wasn't there.  I could not believe my eyes!  I checked everyplace I could imagine, and it just wasn't there.  It took me a while, but I finally figured out what had happened.  You see, there was a 7-hour course limit, after 7 hours the course would be closed.  Although I have no way to know for sure, I think I must have missed that 7-hour limit by no more than a minute or two (and there's still a tiny part of me that wants to think that I really did make it, they just made a mistake).  I was crushed.  But my family who loves me so much helped me see it differently - I had achieved my goal of participating in the marathon and finishing it.  I had enjoyed myself, had no injuries, and was so proud of my achievement.  What difference, really, was it if my name was on that list or not?  Only thing is, if some future descendant is looking to verify genealogical information about this, they won't find my name - maybe they will find this blog entry though.

So that's the story of how I learned that I have to follow the rules just like everyone else does.  And when the rules are about how to become a writer, that means showing up to the page every day, day after day, and writing.  Because that's the rules.  I can't get a book published just because I say I want to be a writer.  I have to work for it.  And even if what I do ends up being leaving wonderful memories for my children's children's children, I will have followed the rules - and succeeded in my goal.

I recently moved a bunch of pictures to my external drive, and that included all my marathon finish line pictures, but I did find this one, back at the hotel afterward and proudly sporting my medal.  This picture is incredibly precious to me - take a look:
Peace and love to everyone!