Saturday, August 31, 2013

Rule Number 28 is a biggie for me. I've always had a problem with this but I have to admit, painful as it's been, I'm getting better at it....'bout time, huh?........Start concentrating on the things you can control. – You can’t change everything, but you can always change something.  Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation.  Invest your energy in the things you can control, and act on them now.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sail On


    Rule 27: Start actively nurturing your most important relationships. – Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis.  You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people.  Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty.  Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.
    Certain things have occurred in my life these past few months that have led me to reevaluate who not only my true friends are but also my true family. I've said before that the problem with family is that you are forced into relationships with people you often have little in common with and sometimes wouldn't even like if you weren't related to them. If one blessing has come out of this latest "episode" in the drama that has been my extremely malfunctioning family for the last 57 years I've been in this world, it is that I finally see the dynamics and personalities clearly for the first time. 
    A few days ago, I was driving back from a visit with my dearest, oldest friend who is dying. Her sweet brother, who is also like a baby brother to me, had just told me that the hospice nurses are saying she probably only has a few more weeks. I tried to remain strong and supportive in front of her but I lost it on the way home. I was driving that twenty miles of extreme curves with blurred vision and a distracted mind. But it wasn't sadness and grief that was occupying my thoughts or making me cry. I started having vivid flashbacks of when we were kids. I saw her sitting under the old mimosa tree that sat in our front yard and she was talking about her dreams for her life. They were very bittersweet memories. 
    I felt like I was experiencing Post Traumatic Stress because her's weren't the only memories that started to come back in high def clarity. For the rest of the evening, I kept getting flashes that almost felt like enlightenment. During this entire rejection, exile that has been imposed upon me by my sister and enforced by her by what ever means and lies I'm sure she has to tell to turn the rest of the family against me, too, during it all, I've had such a tangle of emotions. I can't sleep at night, I wake with a sense of dread, a heavy heart and my stomach feeling as if it is tied in a hard square knot. I'm sick every day, I'm tired every day and all when I least need to be. My chest and head both hurt constantly, I feel foggy brained and light headed most of the time and all of this is happening when I'm both trying to be as much help and support for my friend and her brother as possible and also trying to launch a new business....in other words, at the worst possible time. The worst part has been the tangle of emotions that feel to me like all of that tangled mess of ivy that covered my yard and house last year and seemed such an impossible task when I first attacked it. I thought two things on that night of flashbacks, one: I'd been wasting my time feeling guilty over upsetting my sister because however unintentional and however misinterpreted my words were, she was twisting them around and using them to her advantage and I could defend myself till the day I die and everyone else involved would still have their doubts of me. So for get that, can't do anything about it and besides there is realization number two: looking back at my life and how I've always had to tap dance to my sister's whims and manipulations, I realized that I was the one who should be resentful and angry. Her emotional "injuries" were usually only imagined or all part of her "I'm the only one who matters" mentality. I was always the one who couldn't lie (she's told so many that I don't think she knows what the truth is and she's told them so many times that even she believe her lies are reality.) I was the one who bent over backwards trying to keep her happy and not angry at me and tried to sooth things over when she was angry at someone else for some slight she perceived.  I was the one who she resented and was jealous of for anything I got or did even though I had to work my ass off to achieve whatever it was. I was the one who didn't get to attend a lot of the activities in high school or get to go off to school after high school like all of my friends and had to delay college until I could pay for it (which my oldest sister still resented) because my parents were supporting that same sister who told me that I should give up on my little art projects and get a regular job and that it wasn't fair that I didn't have to go to work sick like she does. My parents were paying off all of the bills she ran up, the damages from a wreck she had, even the bills for the births of her two daughters. My parents allowed her and her family to move into the apartment behind their house and my sister later told everyone that she'd moved in to care for my parents and none of the rest of us would help out. I even had someone I'd always considered a good friend tell me that she was proud I finally came to help when my dad was dying. I told her that I'd been helping out for at least six months and she said, I know better because your sister said none of you would help and I would have seen your car in front of the house....not when my sister told me that I had to park behind the house because she didn't think there was room for me in front. Like the trusting idiot I am, I did just that without question even though there did seem to be plenty of space in front and even though I had to walk through the dark, unlit alley every night to get to my parents' house. Yes, she is great at lying and convincing people that she's not only a better person than what she is but that whom ever is her adversary, and it seems like I'm on the top of that list now, is considered as vile and evil as possible. 
    So, in summary, my eyes are finally opened and I've decided that she can play all of the games she wants to. It's her choice for me not to be in her life and that both hurt and upset me....even more so after she turned her daughters who I love so much against me, too and then no one else in the family seems to be talking to me. I won't lie, it hurts. It hurts even more for knowing that it is all based on lies but I'm through making myself sick over it. I've decided that I'm the one who has a righteous reason for anger because trust me, not only is her reasons from turning against me unjustified but there is a laundry list of things that she has done to me over the years that should have angered me, should have hurt me but I continually turned the other cheek and then tried my best to be loving and supportive to her. I guess, both of our true colors are showing in the end and I'm much happier with who I am than who she is. Yes, there are people I've cared about that she's lied to and made them think I'm someone I'm not but I've truly found out who my real friends are. There have been so many who have told me that they believe in me and they love me. So many true friends out there and one who lives here with me, my husband, Steve. He listens to me patiently and he sees the situation more clearly than I do. He's helped me to view not only this incident but my entire life and familial relationships with much more clarity. So, as for those tangle of emotions.... the guilt wrapped around the anger and hurt.......I've finally realized that it is all just a game to my sister, a way of getting exactly what she wants through manipulation and control and I've also realized that my guilt over my anger and hurt are just part of her game. I fell right into it for sure but I'm not giving into it. If she wants me to walk away, that is exactly what I will do but I'm leaving the guilt and anger behind with her and the rest of them. Strangely, once I toss those off, the hurt and the sadness and the grief disperse, too. I have my life to live and I refuse to be anchored to the past. 
    As for Rule 27, I am definitely doing that now and it is much easier since I know who my true friends and true family are. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

"Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us." Stephen R. Covey 
Rule 26 might be the hardest one yet. "Start taking full accountability for your own life. – Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them.  Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will.  And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own.  You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life.  And no, it won’t always be easy.  Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them.  But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles.  Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence." I think most people let the circumstances of life, the problems and obstacles that arise control them, direct their path or keep them from moving at all. There have been several things that have happened in my life in recent years where I've felt that the troubles or complications were insurmountable. I've actually turned the responsibility over to others in some circumstances. I've said, oh this or that isn't done because they won't take care of it, instead of handling the situation myself. From my own personal point of view, I think it's time I finally grew up at 57 and stopped expecting someone else to always take care of me and make it better.  I can't do anything about past mistakes and I certainly can't feel guilty about them because that is counter productive. No, all I can deal with is the here and now and the problems, obstructions right in front of me. If certain aspects of my life aren't as I would like them to be, I have to take the steps to change them and I've got to figure out on my own what those steps are. No one is going to advise or guide me from the sidelines, I have to be my own coach and I've got to take action if I want things to be accomplished. So, I'm going to be inspired by Rule Number 26 and this stick is going to get out of the mud by pulling itself out, lol.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My poor, dear friends have gotten first hand experience with Rule number 25 lately. I'm sure they must all be fed up with my soul searching but it has done me a world of good, lol. Nothing like a sympathetic ear and opened, caring heart to make you feel better and help you work out your problems. I am very grateful for all of my loving friends who care and let me know I am loved even when I'm not feeling very lovable.......25. Start being more open about how you feel. – If you’re hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it.  Talk to those closest to you.  Tell them the truth about how you feel.  Let them listen.  The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again.

Thinking of signing up for two 5ks in one day......or do you really call that thinking? haha I would have less than a month to get ready but one is right in my back door and benefits STARS, the therapeutic riding center in Lenoir City. It's actually on the farm where Steve grew up that use to  belong to his parents. It is a horse farm now.

The other 5k is in Oak Ridge and on the same day but at night. I'd be walking it with my pal, Gary and his sister. It's called the Neon Vibe and it is one of those where they throw paint balls at you.....Yeah, I know but it is supposed to be lots of fun.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

 Here is a great little E-book on controlling and eliminating anxiety and it is free! Just click on this link and then click "Like" on the page...LINKI have a dear friend who has trained as a Buddhist healer. She tells me that all emotion is energy and we just have to change the way we think and feel to change our lives. True, this is not easy to do but the free E-book available at this link is helping me a lot... as is another dear friend who has taught me so much and offered me so much guidance, comfort and spiritual healing. That friend has told me numerous times another of the steps contained in the little E-book, accept your emotions and feelings, all of them, good and bad. It doesn't make us bad because we get angry or have bad thoughts, it only makes us human. And all emotions and all situations in life both the good and bad, have something to teach us. As the book says, "noticing, admitting and then naming what you're feeling is an important step in releasing anxiety."

Rule 24: Start working toward your goals every single day. – Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen.  Get out there and DO something!  The harder you work the luckier you will become.  While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only an astute few of us actually work on it.  By ‘working on it,’ I mean consistently devoting oneself to the end result. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sorry to have skipped a few days but it was a very busy weekend. I had my first wedding shoot on Saturday. My nerves kept me up the entire night sick but in the end, all went well. Not to say that there weren't bumps in the road but it looks as if I have plenty of good shots to start editing today!

A family reunion with Steve's family on Sunday brought us together with some new friends and family and others that we haven't seen since we were young. It was so much fun, the food was delicious and we laughed a lot. I'd woken up to a horrible dream where my sister and her girls had just left a bowl of things I'd given to them sitting on my truck and I was watching them back their car away from me as I cried and they just stared silently, coldly back at me. Wouldn't Freud have a field day with that one? I woke up heartbroken. It seems that every morning I wake up with a feeling of dread, fearing what the day will hold. That is a terrible way to start the day. Still I say my gratitudes and then pray for my sister and others that I love who are in need of comfort, healing and peace. And I do the 11 breaths meditation that my friend Jacki gave to me. And pray again that I might find a new consciousness and new perspective to alleviate some of this pain and heaviness in my heart. Yesterday morning, the heaviness seemed worse than usual, most likely because of the dream, and I wasn't wanting to go to the reunion at all. In the end, I'm so happy that I decided to go. It was wonderful to be surrounded by so much love. All of those hugs and kisses were very healing.

Okay, we are all the way up to RULE Number 23 and this one applies so much to me. I think my current difficult to impossible relationship with my family is at least partly to blame on the fact that I have always been such a Pollyanna. I want my life and the people in it to be perfect. I don't mean that I expect perfection from them actually. What I want is them to be who I imagine/perceive them to be, not perfect but a perfected version of themselves.... if that makes any sense at all. People are seldom who we want or hope them to be. They don't always return the love we give to them. They often misinterpret our words and actions or doubt our motives. After my mom passed away, I expected my family to remain but it really hasn't, it started dissolving almost immediately but sadly it's taken me 23 years to realize that my mama was always the glue that held us together. Without her, it seems that the good that was in each of us, the good that was all her influence began to fade away. Oh well, enough soul searching for one day. It's time for rule number 23...... Start accepting things when they are less than perfect. – Remember, ‘perfect’ is the enemy of ‘good.’  One of the biggest challenges for people who want to improve themselves and improve the world is learning to accept things as they are.  Sometimes it’s better to accept and appreciate the world as it is, and people as they are, rather than to trying to make everything and everyone conform to an impossible ideal.  No, you shouldn’t accept a life of mediocrity, but learn to love and value things when they are less than perfect.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rule 22: Start noticing the beauty of small moments. – Instead of waiting for the big things to happen – marriage, kids, big promotion, winning the lottery – find happiness in the small things that happen every day.  Little things like having a quiet cup of coffee in the early morning, or the delicious taste and smell of a homemade meal, or the pleasure of sharing something you enjoy with someone else, or holding hands with your partner.  Noticing these small pleasures on a daily basis makes a big difference in the quality of your life.....what was that song from years ago?...It's the small things that make life worth living? I think that was the lyrics and I agree. Someone else might have a bigger house or fancier car but in the end, those are all just window dressing.

I strive to do this every day especially on bad days when nothing seems to be going right. That is when I really start looking for those silver linings, those little hidden miracles.

I didn't walk yesterday but we did move the round pen which I think must add up to three or four walks. I was soaked with sweat and filthy by the time we finished....not a pretty site. I fixed a quick supper of cheddar topped eggs and bacon with a side of saute'ed zucchini, spinach and garlic. It was good but it wasn't long afterwards that I fell in to bed and off to dreamland faster than I have in weeks thanks to the exhaustion.

Busy, busy day today, so I'd better get started so I still have time to look for those blessings and small moments of beauty. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rule 21: Start being attentive to your stress level and take short breaks. – Slow down.  Breathe.  Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose.  When you’re at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity.  These short breaks will help you regain your sanity and reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they’re in line with your goals.

Lots going on in my life right now and my body is feeling the stress levels. My friend Jacki is a Buddhist healer and she said that she had a vision of me being chased round a mulberry bush. That seem very appropriate considering the week I've had but I sure hope I'm the monkey and not the weasel. She gave me a wonderful meditation to help me deal with stress and adversaries. You envision your problem or adversary who is adding worry and stress to your life and shrink them down until they fit in the palm of your hand. Then lean close to your palm and breath in saying their or its name and then breath out saying LOVE. It is supposed to work like magic bringing the end to conflict and worry. I don't know if it  has done any good with the "adversaries" I've been facing but I know that it has certainly helped me to quiet my mind and heart. Considering how I've been erupting into violent shivering with no obvious cause, I think this soothing meditation has come at just the right time. May we all experience peace in our lives and hearts, may we all be appreciative of the many blessings around us especially the small ones that are so often overlooked. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Rule 20: Start listening to your own inner voice. – If it helps, discuss your ideas with those closest to you, but give yourself enough room to follow your own intuition.  Be true to yourself.  Say what you need to say.  Do what you know in your heart is right.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


I love finding new ways to serve veggies. We just tried the grilled zucchini salad for the first time....made up my own variation of the salad with spinach, walnuts, parmesan and bacon tossed with some olive oil and vinegar and Mrs Dash Garlic and Spice and some Joe's Dirt seasoning . Steve grilled the zucchini for 2 and a half minutes on each side. I added the zucchini to the other ingredients and hand tossed until it was well blended. We LOVED IT!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Well, the restart and new good habits are paying off, I've lost four pounds this week! Don't go getting all envious of me because I probably still weigh twice as much as all of you but it's a start.

Difficult day yesterday. I have a friend who is very sick and she was readmitted to the hospital yesterday afternoon. There's not much to say, it's hard. She is amazing though and she's handling all of this better than the rest of us. In fact, she is concerned over all of us. She's the sweetest person I've ever known, the best friend I've ever had. Love her much, pray for her constantly.

Got home late last night and didn't eat dinner or do my second floss...at least I don't think I did that last one but know I didn't do the first. Also didn't walk but I guess we are going to have days when time and life just won't allow us to do even the every day things for ourselves. Today's a new day and I will try to make up for the walk and the flossing. I will just let the not eating thing go though, lol. Have a great weekend everyone. Keep looking for those silver linings.

Rule 18 has hit home with me, too......Start forgiving yourself and others. – We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others.  And while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long.  We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go.  Forgiveness is the remedy.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened.  It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Whoa...Number 17 on the list of rules really hit home.... Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations. – When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope.  Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times.  And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right.  Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.

My friend Jane is right, I'm grieving. I'm grieving the relationship with my sister and I'm so afraid that I'll never speak to her again. My husband told me last night that it was most likely that I will never have a relationship with her again. I know he's right but it's not so easy to hear. I realized yesterday that I have been going through the stages of grief. At first there was denial, how can this be happening. Then there was bargaining, if I'd just kept my mouth shut. Then there was a whole lot of anger, I was angry at her, I was angry at me, I was angry at this disease that not only is taking her from me but has driven a wedge between us. Now, I've entered the depression stage and I know from past experience that this sucker holds on like a hungry tick. I keep saying that, come on final stage, come on acceptance but I know I'm not ready for that yet and sadly, I know it might be a while. 

So, I look for those silver linings. I see the good that has come from this, my other two sisters are closer than they've ever been in their lives, for one thing. I've realized what good friends I have and that I'm not as alone as I once thought. I've learned to keep my mouth shut occasionally and put some thought into my words and actions and that ain't bad for a 57 year old. I'm trying to concentrate on the work I need to do and the friends I have, my wonderful husband and those sweet horses and my pup. A big silver lining last night although I admit worry wart me thought something might be wrong with Mouse. She was acting oddly, so affectionate...which is not the diva's way, lol. But I finally realized that she was feeling my pain. She's been able to actually pinpoint my physical pain in the past, nuzzling me on worrisome body parts. This time she just kept wrapping her head around me, holding me close, and letting me know that someone loves me. That makes my breaking heart sing. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

RULE 16: Start cheering for other people’s victories. – Start noticing what you like about others and tell them.  Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places.  So be happy for those who are making progress.  Cheer for their victories.  Be thankful for their blessings, openly.  What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.

This is a good one to keep in mind. When we are feeling down or our own life seems to be in shambles, it is easy to envy others and what we perceive as their successes. But the truth is, we have no idea what trials they are going through in their lives or how much they had to struggle to achieve their dreams. My mom used to tell me to give flowers to the living and not to save them for the dead because the dead couldn't appreciate them. We need to show our appreciation and love every day to the people that we love. We need to let them know how proud we are of them. 

Lots of New Beginnings and a New DAY TWO!

I have to be honest. I joined a walking track on DHC a few weeks ago because I thought it was the motivation I needed to finally get out there and start walking again. Well, it has worked but it has taken a while, lol. At the same time I joined the track, my life turned upside down. A family member who is going through a horrible illness is angry at me. Of course, I realize that she is really angry at the disease but I was the target of all of her fears and rage. And you know what? That is okay. She asked me to get out of her life and I have but it hasn't been easy. I've been going through a roller coaster of emotions. I've been deeply concerned about her, I've been angry at her, I've felt hurt not just by the rejection but by what seems like the unjustified reasons for it, I've felt guilty for hurting her in any way even though it was unintentional, and I've grieved. I've grieved our relationship and I've grieved my sister because I know this disease might take her life before she ever forgives me or wants me back in her life. My heart has ached and I've done nothing but cry and basically sit around and try to make it through the day. I've tried to do a few of the walking challenges I've been given but couldn't make it through many of them. I filed them away to do later because I knew that this would pass and I would survive even if I didn't feel like I would at the time. When I started the walking track, I also started this 30 day of change challenge to myself. Of course, I got way more change than I'd expected. But even though those changes seem absolutely horrible and they were, there were still good changes that came out of the last few tumultuous weeks, too. Yesterday, I decided that, at least where the walking and other healthy changes I wanted to make are concerned, I can hit rewind and I did. Yesterday, I walked twice, a mile the first time and nearly three the second. You know what? I felt so much better after my walks not only physically but emotionally. The exercise seemed to bring me clarity and I was able to look at my situation with my relative from different directions. I still hurt but it isn't as excruciating a pain as I had before; the weight on my heart is lessened. I'm no longer angry or offended. I no longer feel alone and orphaned because I realized that I have good friends behind me, supporting me, understanding me, loving me. I still worry about my sister, I still grieve our closeness, I still love her and pray for her but I realize that this isn't about me. It's about her and if my being out of her life makes her life easier, I'm willing to do as asked and back off. Walking did that...and a whole lot of prayer and the support of friends....but still, walking really helped me to find that peace of mind and heart. I think I'm ready to literally get back on track. Yesterday, I also ate healthy and flossed my teeth twice. See, two more habits added already.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

DAY 19....or maybe DAY ONE

Day 19....When I started this 30 days of change, I had lots of habits in mind that I either wanted to start or stop. I haven't had a lot of success with that. The last 19 days of my life have been tumultuous and events have taken place that are totally out of my control. There have been dramatic changes in my life because of these events and outside forces. That type of change is certainly never easy but I've learned a lot in the process and the obvious changes in my life are not the only ones. I've changed because of all the bad things and I think I've changed very much for the better. I'm ready to move forward now and I'm very much ready for some good changes in my life. I had an epiphany this morning and the feeling of renewal it gave me makes me think that perhaps, I'm ready to declare this day ONE on my journey. I'm starting all over and giving myself a second chance to get this right without all of the conflict in my life that has been holding me back. So, I'm hitting rewind.

God is in Charge

Great advice with today's "rule": Start competing against an earlier version of yourself. – Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time.  You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself.  You are competing to be the best you can be.  Aim to break your own personal records.

I'm not really certain what day we are on any more. I've had a very upsetting couple of weeks. I had no idea when I started this 30 days of change what monumental changes were going to take place in my life and how none of them would be within my control. My oldest sister who is battling cancer has decided that her life would be better without me. I could argue all day about how unfair I think this is and that the straw that broke the camel's back was something that was said by me and not only misinterpreted by her but never said with the intent of hurting her. In the end, it doesn't really matter what I actually said which was so different from what she heard, it doesn't matter that even what she thought she heard was said out of ignorance of certain facts and not intended to be hurtful or malicious or that I was trying my best to show her love and support. No, all that matters in the end is what she thinks I said and how it has affected her. And if that means that she is better off, more at peace, without me in her life, then so be it. I won't say that it doesn't hurt. I won't say that I don't still worry or love her. I won't say that I don't contemplate her true motives and get a wee bit angry because I'm coming to learn that there is nothing wrong with being legitimately angry; it's only human nature. But I have decided that she has people to support her and if my presence in her life was only causing upset, then it is better for me to step back like she's asked me to do. The good news is I've lost close to three pounds (talk about looking for a silver lining) and I had an epiphany this morning that is really the good news. I was walking back from the horses and thinking about what a good friend said to me yesterday when I was so very upset over being exiled from my family. He said, people come in and go out of your life but I truly believe that everyone in your life at this moment is there for a purpose and supposed to be part of your life. As I was walking across that field with the hot sun beating down on me, I started thinking about family and how no matter how much we love them, they are still relationships that are forced on us by the accident of birth. And often times, these are people we have little in common with except for shared dna. Familial relationships are so complicated and what we think disputes and conflicts are about are rarely the true causes. Often the root of our problems are buried under years of resentment and bitterness, real and imagined slights and faults. I realized a few months ago that I've been trying to turn my sister into who I want and need her to be.  I was also constantly seeking her approval. I know now that I was never going to get either and I think perhaps it was actually me trying so hard to gain her acceptance that actually drove the wedge between us. The epiphany came when I was thinking about what my friend had said about the people in my life right now being the ones who should be in my life. I've been blessed over the past few years with so many wonderful people coming into my life and I realized, this morning, that these are all people that I not only love and admire but aspire to be more like. I feel like each of them is a gift from God and each has added so much to my life. I don't have to struggle with them, I don't have to grovel for acceptance, pretend to be someone I'm not, or even overlook characteristics I don't like or turn the other cheek when struck. Both loving and liking them is easy and they give back as much emotionally as they take. They even seem to sense when something is wrong with me even though miles might separate us. They genuinely care about me and I care about them. They are my family now. I don't believe that people come into our lives by accident. Most have lessons to teach us and God has blessed me with so many good friends who bring only good lessons into my life. I'm so very grateful for each and every one of them. I always think when these epiphanies come, that it is God talking to me because no matter how upset or worried I am, how heartsick or hurt or full of fear, when I hear that voice, it quiets my mind and takes the pain from my heart. That's what I felt this morning and I know that God is in charge. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rule for today: Start giving new people you meet a chance. – It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you’ve ever made.  People and priorities change.  As some relationships fade others will grow.  Appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work.  Trust your judgment.  Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory.  Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.

I can't write much today because I'm very upset. Someone I love has shut me out of their lives. They are very sick and they said that I hurt them really badly by mentioning another friend who is very ill and they just couldn't get over that insult. I don't understand because, if I said something hurtful, it was said out of ignorance of the facts not with intent. A lot has to do with this person's personality and less about me but still, I'm terribly, terribly hurt and feeling guilty at the same time even though I never intended to hurt them. They won't allow their daughters to speak with me either which hurts even more because these girls, now women, have always been more like little sisters to me. Yet that brings me to today's rule and something a wise friend said to me, I have the friends in my life right now that I need and maybe it is best to just abide by this other's wishes and stay away at least for a while. That started me thinking about how odd it is that I've had several extraordinary people come into my life in the last year. I'm so very close to them and they seem to understand me so well. I spoke with both of them today and feel so much better for it. But a year ago, I was actually wondering why I was being blessed with these extraordinary friends. When my best friend, who's like a sister to me, was diagnosed with inoperable cancer a few months ago, I thought these friends must be sent to me to help me get through this but Candis, bless her, is doing that herself. She is going out of this life with as much grace and as kind a heart as she's always had and she's helping the rest of us cope. No, I think very few things happen by accident. I'm not saying that God planned this but He is all knowing, all wisdom and despite the free will we're given, I think He probably saw this coming way before I did. So, if I'm exiled from my family, I will make new family, I will lean more on Steve who is always there for me and I will continue to pray for this other while I do everything I can to make my dear friend Candis comfortable and loved in her final days. My heart is breaking today, I've cried all day. I've cried for Candis, I've cried for me and I've cried for the other. I have to admit that I'm angry, too. It doesn't feel good to be unjustly accused but I also can have empathetic understanding. If she needs me to be her punching bag, I will serve that purpose. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

DAY 17

Not a good day for many reasons and it's a monday, too. I can't go into detail  but very little of it has to do with me but with friends and family. So much heartache lately, so much conflict, so much worry and absolutely nothing I can do about any of it. I'm struggling this morning. My friend Gary told me yesterday to just walk away from it all for a while and try to forget and that is what I'm going to do. That may be my only goal for today but it is a whopper.....be happy, silence the worry. Honestly, I've had a headache for over a week now and when I try to exercise, I hurt in my chest. Another task/goal for today will be calling the doctor and making an appointment. I need to find out if this chest discomfort is my heart or my upper GI track like I think it is. Need to rule out the heart anyway before I move forward. I hope everyone's Monday is off to a great start....or at least, better than mine. :)

We're already up to Rule 12 on the 30 things to do for yourself..... Start believing that you’re ready for the next step. – You are ready!  Think about it.  You have everything you need right now to take the next small, realistic step forward.  So embrace the opportunities that come your way, and accept the challenges – they’re gifts that will help you to grow.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

DAY 16

My high school class lunch was yesterday. We had loads of fun. It's been nearly 40 years since we graduated but when ever even a few of us get together, it's like we are kids again. Only 15 showed up, 21 counting friends and family, when I was expecting possible more than 30. Still, very happy for the ones who did make it and looking forward to the big 40 year bash next year!!!
LHS Class of 1974
I was very good at lunch, grilled shrimp, rice and steamed broccoli. I didn't even feel like eating dinner....until 11pm when I got hungry and ate a cheese sandwich. Bad Sande! 

My friend Gary completed his first 5k yesterday at Color Me Rad. Everyone was dressed in crazy costumes and they had color bombs thrown at them. Gary, brave man, donned a purple tutu which was really quite becoming. All joking aside, I'm very proud of him. He said that the people who ran with him were pushing him in a wheelchair five months ago right before the surgery that saved his life. He's worked hard to get into shape for this race and there was much more to this victory than just crossing that finish line! 

I just put on vegetable soup for my lunches next week. So, I guess one goal for today is accomplished. As soon as I was my dishes, put on a pork roast, cut up pineapple for breakfast and marinade the steaks for dinner, I'll try to get a few hours in on my class assignments. So, I guess I'd better get up from my break and get busy.

Really love the rule for today....Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance. – In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance.  You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.  Most of the time you just have to go for it!  And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be.  Either you succeed or you learn something.  Win-Win.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

DAY 15

By the end of this day, I'll be half way through my month and I can't say that I've made a lot of progress on the health and fitness front but I have been making progress on my work. I finished up my website yesterday....Yay!!! It took longer than I thought crunching those numbers and trying to come up with prices that were fair to me and my customers...and to give the brides a discount on their packages and prints. I also have been researching various vendors for my books and wedding albums. I applied to the top photo book maker in the world. They are the ones that all of the top photographers use and they make museum quality photo albums and books. Which is all good and well but I was so excited when they accepted me (they only sell to the trade) and I couldn't wait to check out their prices. I was not expecting what I saw.....ten pages cost over 350 dollars....wholesale!!! Sheesh! Needless to say, I'm going with my first choice who do excellent work and their price tag doesn't seem so high any more. Actually, the pro only printers I use do wonderful work on my prints and now they are doing books also and at a very reasonable price. I may just have to order one to see how it looks. But enough about things that none of you have any interest in. I'm sorry about all of that, it's just what has been totally occupying my mind for the last week but now, thank goodness, the website is fini'! Hallelujah! Now I can get on with my life! Today that will include my Class of 1974 lunch. It should be fun.

Today's rule is full of cliches but I can't really say that I disagree with any of them.
  1. Start creating your own happiness. – If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re missing out.  Smile because you can.  Choose happiness.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow.  Happiness is often found when and where you decide to seek it.  If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it.  But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, you’ll find that too.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.

Friday, August 9, 2013

DAY 14

The 13th certainly applied yesterday, I was sick and just off for most of the day. I can't say that I accomplished anything but making it through the day. Hoping today will be better. Woke with some odd stomach area pain and thinking I'll finally make that appointment with my GI doc that I've been promising to make. It's Friday and Steve is off so I've been doing some office work for him but plan to get back on those classes soon. I don't know if it will be humanly possible to finish them before the deadline but I will try. I have a busy weekend ahead with my class lunch tomorrow and then Steve and I might just drive up to Kodak to Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge on Sunday. I know the trip to Kodak isn't necessary and I should be working or finishing those class assignments but in a way, a little time away, even a few hours, with Steve is very important and necessary. It will be something to look forward to along with tomorrow's lunch that will help ease the stress while I crunch minutes for the next six days.

One good thing about yesterday, this beautiful
double rainbow that ended the day & how it
reflects so beautifully off of Mouse's wet coat.
Rule 9: Start enjoying the things you already have. – The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life – a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc.  Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you’ll likely have a new destination in mind.  You’ll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now.  So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.....I do try to do this, gratitude to start each day, but I don't always listen to myself. I'm a planner and a goal setter which usually leads to frustration and disappointment rather than any sense of accomplishment because I'm never able to live up to what I expect of myself. I think it's time for mind reset. Let's turn this planning, scheduling and expectations machine off for a while. When the screen freezes or the curser goes bananas, often all it takes is a reboot to get things running smoothly. So, I'm rebooting myself, lol, and hoping that my mind quiets a bit and I start worrying less and appreciating more every minute of every beautiful day. The rainbow that ended yesterday reminded me to take time to embrace at least one, hopefully more, absolutely wonderful, amazing thing about every day of my life. I think I might even start journaling them. So yesterday, it was the double rainbow and how it reflected off of my lovely Mouse's coat and then to the other side of the pasture was this amazing sunset.....now, if that doesn't cause you to pause with gratitude, I don't know what will.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

DAY 13

Day 13?....I'm not overly superstitious but huh oh. Finally had an epiphany this morning about where this unaccounted weight has come from. What has been different about the last few months? One thing that I've had in abundance....and no, it is not the Talenti's Salted Caramel Gelato. The word I was looking for is stress. Yes, I knew it would happen one day, my family has made me fat!

All joking aside, does anyone know how to lose like...mmmm....seventy-five pounds in two days? There has to be some crash diet out there that offers results like that.....heeehee. Seriously though, my next high school class lunch is on Saturday and there are people attending who I haven't seen in nearly 40 years. They won't believe how old I've gotten much less how fat. I'm sure they all look just like they did in high school. Reminds me what my friend Jane said about attending out first class lunch (we have at lest one a year.) Jane said that they told her what room we were in at the restaurant but when she walked up and looked in the room she thought, "That's a bunch of old people. That can't be them." lol Sadly true, it's like the John Prine song so beautifully sung by Bonnie Raitt, "her old man is another child that's grown old." Yesterday at the grocery store a woman ordered her son to get out of my way and told him he knew better than to step out in front of an older lady. She kept emphasizing the older part. Sheesh, she wasn't exactly a new Spring chick. And there I was feeling good about myself because I'd gotten this new haircut. Paula and I spent a long while pouring over her hairstyle books deciding on the cut. I LIKES it! Paula is the best! And she isn't just an amazing hairstylist but a wonderful friend and person. Love her. :)
So, my challenge today is to finally finish the assignments for one of my classes. I have paying work that needs doing, too but there is no more time on this class work. They are all due in by next Wednesday. Which brings me to something else and certainly something I wish I could flip during this 30 days of change challenge I've given myself. Artistic procrastination:
My DHC Challenge is to walk faster than usual for five minutes and then practice "belly breathing." The challenges lately have been well, challenging for out of shape me but this one, I might be able to conquer!
How to do it
After 5 minutes of walking at your typical speed, walk quickly for a few minutes until you're at a pace that has you breathing faster than normal. As you breathe and continue your walk, focus on using your diaphragm, the muscle between your abdomen and your chest. To figure out if you are belly breathing properly, place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest. For each breath you take, the hand on your belly should move, while the hand on your chest should remain still. If your belly fills up like a balloon when you inhale, you're doing it right! Return to your normal speed at least 5 minutes before your walk ends for a quick cool-down period.
Daily Challenge
Why it matters
Want to get a lung up on your walking workout? Strengthening your respiratory system can improve your endurance, allowing you to walk farther without fatigue. When walking and running, most people revert to shallow, rapid breathing. But using your diaphragm carries more oxygen to your muscles, and as a result, your legs and arms tire less quickly, too. Breathing deeply also reduces stress and enhances relaxation.
And finally, RULE 8...Start being more polite to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. You must love who you are or no one else will......what would I do? Well in the past, I just put up with it but lately, I'm learning to stand up for myself and walk away. Sadly, the walking away part is the hardest because I upset them so by just saying I wouldn't accept them talking to me that way that they were the ones who turned their back on me. Oh well......definitely their loss. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

DAY 12

I'm nearly halfway through this challenge to change myself. Time does fly whether you're having fun or not but most of it has been fun. I've just been almost too busy to breath. I was up until 1AM again last night and woke up again after only five hours of sleep. I thought about lying back down but instead, I spent the last hour making sure that every one who hadn't responded to my high school class lunch, which is coming up this Saturday, was invited or reminded. It's time to start planning our 40th reunion also....talk about time flying! I am excited about this lunch because several people who have never attended or have only been able to attend once or twice because they live out of state, will be there...Yay! Nancy Lowe-Knuth is coming down from Michigan and bringing her granddaughter, Allen Powell will hopefully be able to make it down from Bristol, our class celebrity, movie star and philanthropist, Cylk Cozart tells me that he's hoping to attend, Ginger Peak-Davis and Joe Mike Hodge may be coming from Middle Tennessee and my bestie from high school, Debbie says she thinks she can make this one. It sounds as if we're going to have a great crowd but I'm starting to worry because the room I was able to get at Calhoun's only holds 30 but that's okay. If we overflow, we'll just take over one of the dining rooms. :-)

Yesterday was so busy. I've booked my first wedding shoot and it is coming up in two weeks. I spoke with the bride-to-be briefly on Monday and told her that I'd have the a'la carte section up on my website by last night so that she could put together a custom package. Well, all of those best laid plans and all, I was working until 1AM this morning revising and tweaking the site and my pricing. I hope I got it right. Pricing is so hard especially when you are just starting and trying to build a clientele. The communication is hard for me, too. Too many years of just having the horses and dog to talk to. I'm finding it not only hard to talk to clients but debilitatingly scary. I don't know when I became such an agoraphobic but I have. Which is probably why this line of work will be good for me. It forces me to get out there and interact but slowly, on client at a time. :-) Yet another goal for this 30 day challenge.

Isn't this case fun?
The new store front is up and running.  I managed to build several new pages for my website yesterday. If it isn't finished now, it's darn close. Toying with the idea of making it mobile but also trying not to spend any money that I don't have to. Signed up with a company that makes professional grade photo books and hoping they accept me because I need a way to cut costs to my clients and pay myself for the time involved in editing and putting together a book. Their work looks fabulous and they come highly recommended. I'm also excited about the prospect of putting images on a dvd. The packaging that I can get from Pro Lab Express looks so good and I love designing things like this dvd case. That's not a real case but will give you some idea of how great they look. I can also have a custom dvd printed with my designs to put their slide show on.
Now to what I didn't get done yesterday, exercise....once again, my walk got pushed out of the way by what I had to get done. I was just heading out to feed the horses when Steve came home. So, there was no time to walk after feeding like I usually do because I had to get dinner cooked so that Steve could get to bed because that alarm goes off extra early since he started working 4 days a week. The horses did cooperate and Steve was nice enough to run to the grocery to pick up dog food for me. I'm going to be out most of the day today but Sadie needed food last night. I came back and fixed a quick dinner of shrimp scampi, steamed cauliflower and twice baked potatoes....stuffed with plenty of cheddar and bacon so forget the healthy last night, lol. Healthy or not, it was delicious, quick and not to heavy for our usual late dinner hour.

Now for today's "life rule." This one surely hits home right now. I'm hoping there are some silver linings to my mistakes.
  1. Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you. – Mistakes are okay; they’re the stepping stones of progress.  If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough and you’re not learning.  Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again.  Appreciate that you are pushing yourself, learning, growing and improving.  Significant achievements are almost invariably realized at the end of a long road of failures.  One of the ‘mistakes’ you fear might just be the link to your greatest achievement yet.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Me and two of my boys, the other one is hiding behind some weeds thinking, "I don't know what she's doing but please, don't let her see me!" Lol.....Dan is curious and Django just complacent and me, I still haven't gotten the hang of "self portrait with cell phone." haha
Danny :)

Blurry but I know you see what I mean, lol.
Handsome Django

DAY 11

Oh, my....I didn't need anything to help me sleep last night because I didn't go to bed until 2AM. I have no idea when Steve left this morning and I'm awake five hours later and honestly, not feeling too badly. Did I work on what I was suppose to work on yesterday?....NO.....Did I accomplish something?.....YES, lots. I started a new Cafe Press shop. I did four new designs for it and incorporated several of those in my Etsy shop for prints and posters as well. I also spoke with the bride whose wedding I will be shooting in three weeks (so nervous and excited at the same time!), watched a movie that Amazon.com paid me twenty bucks to review, lol, had a nice conversation with an old friend, watered the horses, cooked Steve's lunch because he came home early to help Chris cut and bale hay, and did a load of laundry all before staying up until the wee hours of today finishing up those new designs and getting them pasted on Tshirts, housewares, office supplies and stationary. Not a bad day even if I didn't accomplish what I set out to do....or get time to walk.

As for today, I just finished updating the links on my Cafe Press home page. A funny story about that, I actually wasted about six hours between Sunday and yesterday trying to add a banner to my Cafe Press home page. The uploads do not work (have no idea WHY they still have them there as an option) for banners/logos and when I asked their customer support, I was told that it was simple, I just had to add a URL of the image to the html.......yeah, right. I went to photobucket, as instructed, and added my banner so I could acquire a URL. For six hours, I attempted to add the URL to my home page. I struggled and ended up mangling the page in the process. I did discover that I could change templates just to start over fresh but I couldn't figure out where to put the URL even though I'd been told that it would say, "Put your URL HERE." Oh, the jokes I could make........Anyway, I finally wised up around noon yesterday (which explains why I was working until 2AM this morning.) I googled html code and came up with several instructional pages within seconds. A few minutes later and my shop was finally up and running......and waiting on its first design. Oy vey! The fun never ends, lol.

I'm off to grab some breakfast and then go feed my ponies. I hope I can get outside early enough to get in at least a mile walk before I start melting. Steve will be home for lunch again. It's nice to see him in the middle of the day even if it is just a hit and run lunch. 

RULE 6

This is exactly what I am trying to do. Old habits of worry and regret die hard but I'm doing my best to put 'em down.
  1. Start noticing and living in the present. – Right now is a miracle.  Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you.  Right now is life.  So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future.  Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past.  Learn to be in the ‘here and now’ and experience life as it’s happening.  Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Day 10 and Rule 5

  1. Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. – Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are.  Be yourself.  Embrace that individualinside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else.  Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms.  Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.
  2. haha...don't know why it is numbering everything...just ignore. It's a typical Monday but despite everything going wrong, I've actually accomplished a lot just not what I intended. No classes finished, client project not done but Cafe Press shop set up and three new images designed for Etsy and Cafe Press. Also watching a "movie" idea to review for Amazon.com for which I'm getting 20 bucks...not bad for just watching a movie, lol. As for above, I do have to start believing in myself and my vision and work. And that is what I'm working on, the best version of me.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Number 4 on the List of Things You MUST Start Doing For Yourself

  1. Start making your own happiness a priority. – Your needs matter.  If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself.  Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you.  And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.

DAY 9

I slept well last night and woke up feeling refreshed. So, the magnesium wasn't the culprit behind the awful headache  that woke me up the night before. I'd chalk that one up to stress. Up early this morning and already have had breakfast, washed the dishes, cut Steve's hair and swept the kitchen. I weighed myself and was let down to see the scale go up three pounds from yesterday! Hoping that rapid gain is water weight. So, now, I'm off to feed the horses and go for my morning walk which this morning requires skipping ten steps for every ten walked. Okay, I live close to a church and Sunday is the heaviest traffic because of that. I can just hear the little kids now, "Mommy, look at that fat lady skipping across the meadow." Remember Tiny Tim....tiptoe through the tulips, cross the meadow is where we'll be if you tiptoe through the tulips with meeeee." Okay, not quite the same but that's still the image that keeps popping into my mind, lol. Got all of the edits done yesterday and scheduled another shoot as well as........my first wedding!!! tada! yahoo! whoopee! Of course I'm terrified but excited all the same. I didn't get to restart my classes yesterday because the edits took longer than anticipated to finish. I am quite pleased with them and this is my first commercial shoot. I'll post some photos later on my photo page. So, I'm making progress even if I'm still not getting everything I want to get done finished or even started. The truth is, I expect too much of myself and there just aren't enough hours in the day to finish everything I need to do so I have to concentrate on the here and now and use this 30 day project to change my mindset as much as move forward. Forget the past, stop worrying about the future and Live in the moment is my new mantra. I'll keep reminding myself of it at least once a day until it finally sinks through my thick skull. Now, I'm off to the ponies and that skipping walk. Have a great day everyone....and remember to be happy! To quote another 60's singer, Donovan, "You can have a living if you let yourself be."
I didn't make very many skips because I started hurting in my chest, left side, too...yikes. I'm just starting to walk again after a long while being inactive so I'm thinking I will not push myself too hard at first and gradually build up. I will save this challenge until I am in better shape and I'll also call tomorrow to schedule a check up with my doctor just to be safe.
I forgot to turn off my GPS walk tracker on my phone once again. So it has my average pace down to 45 minutes, lol. Still, my best pace was 7:21....pretty darn good chest pain and all!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

DAY 8

Alright!....off to an extremely late and slow start this morning. My magnesium arrived yesterday. I mixed some up right before bedtime. It took a little while for it to take affect but when it did, I was out like a light.....until 4AM when I woke up with a tremendous headache. I don't think it was the magnesium since I've been fighting a headache for days now but I guess I'll know for sure tonight. Aleve wouldn't touch the headache. I finally fell back to sleep some time around 6AM, woke up again at 8:30 when Steve came in the room to get dressed, and then closed my eyes for a second and was back in dreamland. I woke up at 10:30AM which I think is the latest I have slept since adulthood without being sick. I have to admit though, once the drowsy wore off, I feel better, more alert and alive than I have in a good while. I'm thinking that, once I finish breakfast, it will be too late in the day and too hot for my morning walk but we'll see. I may just have to walk double tonight....and then probably won't be able to get out of bed tomorrow, ha. I still have a phone call to return and the edits yesterday took longer than I'd anticipated so I will finish those. Then my goal for today will be to start working on those classes again. I'm really pushing my time limit on those. Do it at your own pace and in your own free time seemed so appealing and doable when I signed up for them. The good news, the phone call I have to return today concerns what I think will be my first wedding booking...yay!....I think? I'm scared to death but confident at the same time....I think? lol

Friday, August 2, 2013

DAY 7

Wow, a week has passed already?! I've done pretty good. I've succeeded at some goals and stumbled on others. As with all things, life has intervened a bit and the week wasn't entirely good but there were quite a few victories in the mix. Today my goal will be to finally finish up on my photo edits....sick yesterday and didn't finish....and to walk twice since I'm starting my new DHC track for walking.The challenge is to count something along the way. They suggested birds or plants but since both are abundant here in the country,  I decided to count something that wasn't, trucks. Sure, there all lots of trucks in the neighborhood but the traffic is usually slow on this road. I'll walk a mile and I'll count five trucks...but keep on walking even if I reach the number before the mile. :) Have a great day everyone!

My one positive thing to start doing for myself today is number 3 on the list, "Start being honest with yourself about everything. – Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed.  Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become.  Be honest with every aspect of your life, always.  Because you are the one person you can forever count on.  Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are.  Once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and you’ll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there."  I think I'm always searching for answers about who I am and how I got to be me. The odd part is, I'm 57 years old and I'm still discovering new things about myself everyday. Some of the things I find are nice surprises while others often arrive blanketed in pain and anguish but still are enlightening and help me to grow. I think of the Indigo Girls' song, Closer to Fine and the Cat Steven's lyric, "I'm on the road to find out."

Here is the LINK to that article if you want to read it for yourself and below is the Indigo Girls' song and the Cat Stevens's song The Road to Find Out.

Just finished my walk and I think I got in 2 miles. It's hard to say for certain because I turned off my GPS tracker at 1.90 so I could stop to scratch some horse tummies and withers. Then I had to walk to the top of the hill to let Mouse through the gates so she could get a drink of water and go to bed. Steve evidently thought I planned to leave them open because he came walking quickly off the hill shouting, "Hey, I have to go through there." and I replied, "So does she." Mouse seemed to walk extra slowly, I think just to perturb him, haha. As for the trucks, I started getting worried about 3/4 of the way through my walk because the road was empty and I'd counted four vans and SUVs but only three trucks. Then in a flurry of four wheel drive and extended cabs with a few old clunkers thrown in, they all came at once. There were four coming from opposite directions and then two more and then another. Evidently, it was obvious to someone how out of shape I am and how another mile or two might have done me in.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Number Two

  1. Start facing your problems head on. – It isn’t your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them.  Problems will not disappear unless you take action.  Do what you can, when you can, and acknowledge what you’ve done.  It’s all about taking baby steps in the right direction, inch by inch.  These inches count, they add up to yards and miles in the long run.