Monday Musings

Welcome to another edition of Monday Musings.¬† You know what’s been on my mind this week? Wondering how much wet, sloppy, soggy, foggy, soupy grey weather you have to be in before your feet start getting webbed.

I’m seriously so over it. I took off for a run on Friday, like I just don’t care anymore. Either run, or lay on the sofa and drink coffee.

Nah not really.

I’d do strength training or some other indoor activity. Ha rowing! That is an appropriate activity for such hideous weather.

We’ve had more grey, wet weather than sun this year.

South Texas people. This isn’t Seattle but the weather gods don’t seem to know that.

But today… as I write this… we had sun.

Sweet glorious, beautiful sun. Blue skies. Warm air.

I wanted to just act like a huge lizard and lay out in it but alas, I had projects. Fortunately for me, I could do those projects outside AND enjoy the spectacular day before it’s creepy counter part returns soon.

What projects you may be pondering?

If you’ve read the past few weeks I’m having fun doing some furniture flips.¬† You can find more on it in this post….https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/02/19/monday-musings-4/

I should be noted that I only seem to manage to go get said furniture on some of these sloppy, grey, foggy days.

I’m becoming a pro at it.

So my recent acquisition I scored this last week.

I had been stalking a dresser on an online site. I loved the lines of it and the cute, big mirror, not to mention the nifty vintage hardware that it had.

Oh and she wanted 100.00 for it. Of course I was fully planning on negotiating that price with her. I can bargain like a fisherwoman ūüėČ

Anyway, I was asking her a couple questions on it one morning and she just changes the listing price to 50.00! Ok I couldn’t message fast enough I was coming to get it.

Coming to get it in the wet, cold, pouring rain.

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Dragging home my newest find

 

So I got the piece and¬†headed home to unload it in the rain and I realized that I wasn’t¬†“feeling it” and by that I mean when I get¬†a piece I usually am already formulating a plan or vision for it. I’m excited over it. I¬†am eager to get started.

It bothered me that I had gone through all of that and wasn’t feeling in love.

It was like trying to feel something in a relationship and nothing is there.

Oh no!

I decided to wait a day or so and go back and look at it again to see if I felt differently. I thought the weather was putting me in a bad mood ( haha) I made the determination if I didn’t start “feeling it” I could just flip it in it’s existing condition ( I bought it knowing it needed repair but that doesn’t bother me) and at least double my money.

Ok well…. after a day or so going by… and looking at it again… I saw it with fresh eyes. All the things I loved about it to start with. I realized what was bugging me was the horrible re done stain and¬†varnish job someone had done to it. I also realized that with my skills it would look totally different when I got it finished.

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A 50.00 vintage find… and it does look cute and I can hardly wait to start

 

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Then there’s the cool hardware. I loovveee the lion heads ūüôā All they need is a little cleaning

 

Ok and one other object I acquired this week. A friend actually gave it to me, it had been her mom’s, and her grandfather made it. It’s like a little kitchen type thing. She knows I have girl grandbabies and thought I might be able to fix it up… I’ll let you take a look at what I started working with….

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I’ve lovingly named it the Green Goblin

 

So I do have a vision for this piece and I think it will be SO cute… but first… I have to get it to a place a can work my magic on it… so I spent the sunny afternoon outside making it look like this….

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Better now, yes? That orange and green was awful to cover up

So now I have a clean slate to work on, more or less. I can hardly wait to transform it. You’ll have to check back to see what’s up with it.

Gathering up furniture is work…

One thing I’ve learned I am grateful for… being strong. I’ve been dragging things around and sometimes I don’t have much or any help so it’s nice to handle things when I can.

One thing I’ve been focusing more on are movements that are good for upper body/core strength.¬† I’ll share a few moves I’ve been adding into yoga for that…

 

I’ve been focusing on moves that really target my shoulders and upper body… planks and push up’s¬†of all kinds are also kinda handy for that ūüėČ

I wanna make sure I keep building upper body strength for life AND fetching old furniture ūüėČ

Doing all that work makes me hungry….

Can I share some new recipes with you I experimented with this week that everyone went crazy over? Tasty and overall pretty simple… even better.

 

 

So

 

Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve figured out if I throw something in the crock pot, I can work on my projects longer and not stop to do a lot of prep for dinner… shhhh ūüėČ

Really though? A hot tasty meal that’s slow cooked all day? How can you go wrong?

Speaking of meals, this week we’ll look at tasty inexpensive ones that are also healthy. Of course there will be some more spotlight posts, fitness stuff and whatever other goodies may come dancing out of my head.

Tell me. What’s been new in your week? Tried any new recipes? Do¬†you use crockpots? ¬†Pushed yourself a little more athletically or tried a new workout?¬†

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Monday Musings

Wow.  Is it Monday again? Time for another edition of Monday Musings and what not in my life.

Time.

Ever notice how funny that is? It’s a commodity we all have and are all given the same amount of each day. Sometimes it seems to crawl by, like when you’re stuck in some god awful boring meeting. A few months ago I was in such a one and I felt myself settling into that “to comfortable zone” as in, if I didn’t start moving around or do¬†some active deep breathing I was going to take an unscheduled nap.¬† I glanced at my watch and scrolled to my heart rate.

49.

My heart was getting just as comfy and relaxed as the rest of my body haha

But then there are occasions when time seems to fly like when you’re with people you really like or are doing something fun. Time then moves all to swiftly.

Deadlines make time seem to move faster.

Being stuck behind a driver who doesn’t know where the gas pedal is makes time crawl by.¬† ūüėõ

I think, as we get older we are much more mindful of it than when we lived careless days as children.

Speaking of time, it¬†makes me think of seasons. This in turn makes me hopeful that spring is in the near distant future. It’s been a whole lotta grey, misty, dreary, foggy and overall gross days here in the happy land of south Texas this winter season.

I’ve tried not to think that last February I was running in shorts a lot and by March was rocking a decent enough tan that people thought I was using a tanning booth.

That. Will never happen.

I assured a lady my golden skin was a by product of spending time outdoors on bike or foot, not a tanning bed.

All that to say the other day I actually got to hit the road in shorts and I forgot the pure freedom of running with less stuff hanging off me. It was glorious and reminded me that sun and daily sweat sessions will be here before I know it.

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Hello sunshine! What a wonderful treat

I’m not whining. Oh no, I’d never be a whiner, but it will be nice to really start logging some miles again and not have to worry about safety issues ’cause of fog and sloppy roads.

If I complain when the humidity cranks up again and its nothing but sun and I’m sweating out the weight of a small child on a run, you may nicely remind me I asked for it.

In the context of time management

When I hit the floor in the morning my mind is already spinning for what I’m doing in the day ahead. I sometimes worry if I have ADD as I can be wanting to do ALL of my projects, errands, and necessary house requirements at the same time.

What I have started doing is writing down all the things I want to do and picking one or two in my day alongside everything else to get it done. I try and get the necessary, not usually my most fun things done, ( like cleaning) out of the way then I can work on my fun projects.

Like my furniture shenanigans.

Last week took me into the big city to this seedy little¬†dive in pursuit of a 1930’s china cabinet I had spotted online.

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Yep, that’s my big game in the back ūüėČ

 

 

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Here it is in all it’s glorious disarray…waiting to be transformed.

Oh, so when I’m at this little hole in the wall shop which, really, was a time warp of treasures from decades, and decades gone by ( I am planning a field trip back¬† there) the only person working was this short little older lady wheezing and huffing telling me she should probably be in the hospital ’cause she might have pneumonia.

WHAT?!

Of course I’m thinking, “she’s the only one here who is supposed to help me get this out and loaded??” She mentions having a dolly, I ask her to get it, thanking God at times like this I’m strong and capable and I wheel it out making jokes I should get more of a discount since I’ve gotta load it too. I did get them to drop it 35.00 ūüėČ

Anyway, she was able at least to help lift the other side with me into my vehicle.

Yesterday I spent more time prepping it for it’s transformation. Sanding, cleaning, dusting, digging (leaves??) out from under the drawer, doing a little repair work ( the decorative wood in door needs replaced. Once upon a time it had glass but I’m not putting glass back in it) removing the hardware etc. it’s so close to starting the fun part.

But before we leave this topic… I also got the cutest little cupboard… I tried to leave it behind I just couldn’t. I managed to get it for half of what it was marked ūüėČ

It looked like this…..seriously though… how CUTE is it??

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How sad IS it? The obvious before pic.

 

It didn’t take long for me to catch a vision for it. I finished it today. I am totally, completely in love with it.

What do you think about it’s make over?

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The ugly duckling transformed

 

I will share some more adventures on this topic in upcoming weeks ūüėČ I have a couple pieces in the works.

 

In some final musings…

Have¬† you ever wondered why foods you thought were so good when you were a¬† kid, don’t really taste good at all when you grow up?

My youngest son had brought home a half gallon of premade chocolate milk one day.¬† I never drink chocolate milk unless I’ve come off a long hard workout then it’s a delicious instant recovery drink. But I always make it, you know with milk and chocolate syrup… yeah I’m bad.

Anyway, I opened the fridge and there it sat… and I thought …heck yeah.. I’m just gonna have some.

The first chug it was like…. ACK! It tasted like and reminded me of, the way the school cafeteria had smelled.

Which was not good, I might add.

Weird, I know. That chug was all I got in.

Then there’s things like fish sticks. boxed macaroni and cheese, most cheap sugary cereals, and bad thin crust boxed pizza.

Ok true and well, I’ve grown up, but I think I really enjoyed that as a kid. Thank goodness my tastes have changed.

My kids are adults… they complain since I “got healthy” I don’t buy fun foods anymore. This translates to ” crappy, walk in pantry or go to freezer and grab pre made foods and snacks with zero nutritional value”.

They can go buy their own minced, diced, chopped, prebaked fish sticks and what not..

Is it just me? What about you? Have you left foods behind that aren’t seemingly as tasty as they once were?

In the way of food… this week coming up we will be looking at healthy cheap meals, and of course a few spotlights on various fruits and veggies (’cause ya’ll seem to dig those posts),¬†fitness,¬†and as always a little sassy, cheeky attitude to go along with it.

You’ll just need to check back in here¬†and see what’s up ūüėČ

Now tell me…

What are some favorite foods that hang on from childhood? Do you have any new healthy foods you’ve tried this week?

This Is Me

“I am who I’m meant to be, this is me, look out ’cause¬†here I come and I’m marching on to the beat I drum, I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, this is me…..”

So I finally got to see “The Greatest Showman” this weekend when hubby and I took off for a date night. I’d read¬†the¬†reviews and seen my friends posts and assessments of it, but really, you won’t get it till you go see it.

greatest showman

 

The movie is a musical so if that’s not your gig than you might go see Star Wars or a current documentary or something ūüėČ

One of the songs called “This Is Me” resonated with me, and I know probably many others. I have a few songs in my arsenal on my ipod that are what I think of as my “fight songs”.

No. I don’t go beat people up.

I mean they are the songs that stir my blood, stir my passion, make me think deeper into myself, make me consider all I’m made of. These songs push me and challenge me in the depths of a hard workout or when I need to remember who I am and all I’m capable of doing.

In an interesting way this ties together quite well for my Monday Musings, a safe place for my otherwise random thoughts to come bouncing out all in one place. This is a rather new thing so if you’ve missed previous weeks, it’s short reading for you but you can find them here….. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/01/22/monday-musings-2/¬†¬† or here….

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/01/15/monday-musings/

So today’s musings.. this might be a rant….fyi……

I¬† recently saw (again)¬†another article that was titled something like “ Make up tips for women in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.”¬† There are other similarly stated articles I’ve seen,¬†just change it up to “fashion” “exercise” or whatever.

All for women in those decades.

Mind you, not that if I did read it I would do what it says #rebel but I’ve just always laughed ’cause it’s like if your out of the 40’s,¬† older than that¬†well, you’re just a lost cause. We’ve got nothing to offer you, sorry.

I find it vaguely amusing.

Oh. I should make a disclaimer here to all my guy readers. This post might be more “girly” than what I usually dial up… so if you wanna leave…well I understand. ¬†Do they have similar things for men?¬† Tips, fashion ideas etc for your age group?¬† Please tell me if they do cause I’m like…curious. I’m pretty sure guys don’t deal with all that stuff, nor do they mostly care.

Some others¬†that amuse me most circulate through Facebook and it’s all about posting photos of yourself to proclaim your beauty and tagging other beautiful women so they can say the same thing.

Recently there’s been one ( undoubtedly started by an older woman) basically acknowledging all of the glorious beauty of being a 20 something woman,¬†but pointing out being older means we’ve earned wrinkles, given¬†birth, raised¬†kids, had years of¬†no sleep and caffeine deprivation¬†and grey hair and all that crap… meaning like, ya know, ¬†we’ve lived life. Then you post a photo and put your age.

It’s like in a backhanded way of¬†apologizing for not being young. Like really.

I guess because I’m not a follower and¬†“march to the beat I drum” I have no interest in participating in a copy and paste¬†status ¬†someone else¬†started to justify my age, or worse yet, apologize because I’m not a younger age?

Maybe it’s because if I do a creative photo or one that seems rather striking or fun, I simply share it because it pleases me,¬†If others like it, well that’s cool too. I do it when the mood strikes me. I enjoy being creative, clever and fun.

Maybe because of the age I am, I just feel less and less like I need to apologize for having lived life or that I’m doing life,

No, I’m not 20, 30, or 40 something. I’ve lived all those and done it fairly well. Those years were all good, would I go there again ?

Probably not.

Those years have brought me to where I am today… who have made me who I am. To have lived those years has allowed me to own myself more, to be more confident in who I am, to express myself freely ( in whatever form I choose to) to worry less about others opinions, to live freely and boldly, unapologetically.

I know I will be to strong, to outspoken or bold for some. I will be to energetic and to athletic for others.¬†Some might think I don’t say or do the right thing. ¬†I¬†do not follow middle aged rules and that really can trouble some. I will not and have not stayed in “the box” for getting older, and gosh some don’t like it when you don’t play by those rules. I’m far to edgy for others. I don’t have to fit in molds of other women. ¬†I can be deep and reflective as easily as I can be cheeky and sassy,¬† those who choose to really know me, will know that.

And really, it’s¬†all ok… “I make no apologies, this is me..”

I don’t have to be less.¬† I don’t have to shrink away or be quiet. ¬†I don’t have to be “younger” to prove my worth or value or anything else. I don’t have to act like anyone else. ¬†I don’t have to do a copy and paste status to justify my age,¬†having laugh lines,¬†or being beautiful.

I don’t need news stories or society¬†telling me if I’m over a certain age I can’t do something, wear certain clothes or act in certain ways.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned by now at my… advanced age ha… I can do whatever floats my boat.

So that’s where my random musings have been this week. Pondering why there is the ever present need society places on¬†women to justify who we are or where we are in life, or worse yet, apologize because we aren’t younger. prettier, smaller, taller, more educated, more talented,¬†or anything else you wanna add to this list.

If we’re fortunate and blessed we will see many decades and we will become stronger, more confident and powerful in knowing exactly who we are and what we’re about.

My only wish is to age gracefully, to love passionately, to continue to have fun and be energetic, to see the unique beauty of others around me, to embrace all of life, to not be afraid of speaking boldly, and to be unapolegetically myself, laugh lines and all.

My hope is that you too will embrace who you are, where you are right now at this point in time and live freely in it, man or woman, no apologies.

“I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, this is me…..”

 

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Monday Musings

Good morning beautiful people! If you’re reading this, then it means my mission was successful on Sunday night of actually sitting down and churning something out for you while you toss down your coffee and eat a stale bagel. Welcome to my Monday musings.

I can’t contemplate the week ahead without feeling some level of success over the past week.

A good week back on with my workout schedule and getting to¬†a more focused eating plan. I just feel better when I’m in my normal routine after all the holiday festivities.

Speaking of that…. am I the only one who ever wonders… does anyone REALLY use those little replacement bulbs for those strings of lights? I have like… 10,000 of them. I can literally guarantee you I have zero patience with the idea of going through bulb after bulb trying to find the dead culprit.

None. Nada. Zilch.

I just wanna meet someone who might actually have the skill level and the patience of multiple saints to sit and do it…

It’s not this chick.

Oh. And I finished getting all of my Christmas decorations down and put away so there’s that. I’m just bummed¬†when it’s all taken down. It looks so empty and non-festive. If you read my Christmas post you’ll know I enjoy decorating a little…ha.. well…a lot….¬† https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/12/08/the-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year/

I did a few new things this year I loved so much. They were of course, the last things to go.

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I’m still having coffee in my fun Christmas mugs though.. ’cause why not ?

 

 

However, once it’s all put away I do enjoy a fresh start and re-doing things and changing the house around. Sometimes, this confuses hubby who is a creature of comfortable habit. I’m sure though, he will adjust ūüėČ

I got to work in the Batcave today¬†( my newly married son’s room he’s now vacated) so I’m excited over finally getting to do something fun with it that doesn’t reflect “20something bachelor guy lived here”

I’m also chomping at the bit to get back to a new interest I picked up at the end of the year… chalk painting. I’m a little bit hooked on it now that I have a couple projects under me (like my bathroom cabinets that look stunning) and I now have a list of things to do.

Seriously, that paint can make the ugliest thing ever look rather amazing. Perhaps I’ll do a fun lifestyle post on it sometime.

in other news….

my blog for my keto- dash diet review I wrote last year is still trending at the top of Google search so there’s that.¬† Seriously, ya’ll out of millions of¬† postings on this topic I’m currently #2… actually it bounces between there and #1 but I’m good with both….so I think it’s just a bit super cool.

You can find it here if you’ve not seen it…. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/07/21/keto-and-dash-diet-review/

I’m working on a book review for the new release of the paperback “Lean Habits”¬† which will be coming to you soon.. right here… so hang around for that.. or you can read my first review while you wait…¬† https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2015/10/07/lean-habits-for-weight-loss-book-review/

Pinterest is at the top of my focused list so I’ve been pinning and learning more about working that avenue. Find me there as well and follow my healthy food boards. I’ve got some tasty things pinned.. check it out… @sassyfitnesschick¬† If you’ve got any good blogging tips with it, offer them up, please.

Speaking of tasty. I’m doing a fun little project on my social media experimenting with different veggie recipes with the hope someone might want to eat more of those yummy morsels. On my experiment list is cauliflower.¬† I know you’ve heard of all the crazy things you can do with it besides you know, eat it in it’s given form ūüėȬ† I decided once and for all I’m going to see if it can really be used to make pizza crust or my new interest.. cheesy breadsticks???

SAY WHAT?!

I’m gonna be your lab rat and will report to you my findings.¬† I will admit, at this point, to being rather skeptical. I guess we’ll see.

Regarding my athletic shenanigans, I’m pretty sure I did my coldest ride, ever, on Saturday.

By that I mean it was in the low 30’s with a wind chill dipping into the mid 20’s. That mind you, was if you were standing still, NOT flying down the road at fast speeds riding a bike in it like some crazy fool.

I only did 13 miles but it was better than nothing and anyway by then my extremities were numb so that made it a lot of fun too.

Coffee was really…really… good after that… but when isn’t it?

And in regards to coffee.

Topping my list of new favorite things for the week, Starbucks is¬†featuring their Blonde roast right now and I’m kinda into it. Have you tried it?

And speaking of my lovely bike. I ordered a new saddle that should be here any day and a fun bag to stash my random stuff in while I sail down the road… like my camera for those on the run selfies.

Because #socialmedia, right? Keep up with me there on Instagram and Pinterest as well as my Sassyfitnesschick page on Facebook.

Now here’s to Monday and a week of new opportunities!

 

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Hello Monday!

Birthdays And Reflections On Another Year Older

A New year begins today.

New goals. New perspectives. New opportunities to love, laugh, play, and breathe life in.

I’m talking about another birthday to celebrate, specifically mine.

Humor me. I can do that since I’m the birthday girl today, right ? ¬†ūüėõ

Birthdays get me a bit reflective some years. Not in a weird “OMG I’m getting OLD!!” way. ¬†I’ve never really had “issues” with hitting any certain age… I’m just happy to still be invited to the party, know what I mean?

Chronologically, I know what the calendar says and it technically puts me somewhere between “getting old but not as old as dirt” status. That chronological thing is set in stone for all of us.

However, how I live my life and the things I do with myself determine how young I feel and to a great extent, how I age.

My reflections on the past year have made me smile and tear up almost all at once.

In this last year I welcomed a beautiful new granddaughter into my life, and lost my dad to a battle with Alzheimers a few months later. Only two months after that  I walked the path of grief with my daughter in law through the loss of her father.

In between those months of loss, my oldest son announced he would be getting married later this year.

There have been many “up’s and down’s” that also go along in a families life and a married life.

There have been¬† those “normal” kinda days that you realllllyyy cherish and appreciate on days that are hard. And there were days that were very, very hard.

Life and death.  Joy and tears. The past and the future. New goals and plans. Hope and anticipation. Excitement and disappointments.

And suffering. If I’m writing an honest reflection to you today, I will say there has been a lot of that in this year too.

Birthdays remind me that I’ve been privileged to experience it all…. the good, bad and everything in between. They aren’t a guarantee or a given to any of us.

This is my fourth one without my Mom and it still makes my heart ache to not have her with me for it, or have her make my cake ( although my daughter does a great job making me one ūüôā or receive the beautiful cards she used to give me.

I’ve embraced every new year I’m given. I don’t think about age as I find it irrelevant to whatever I want to do nor do I give much thought to it.

I have a fun group of young friends. They don’t see my age either. They like me, think I’m “cool” and give me a hard time about my athletic shenanigans ( as in, they tell me I’m crazy¬†¬†ūüėõ )

I find them refreshing and their enthusiasm and sometimes out right craziness makes me laugh.

We learn from each other.

They talk about¬†their struggles and dreams,¬†or family or whatever is on their mind. I’m old enough to offer life wisdom to which they sometimes ask for. Sometimes, we just talk about deeper¬†things like… ¬†music. ūüėõ

I have friends my own age because it’s only those who’ve walked similar paths with you who can truly relate to some of¬† the struggles you may be currently in or offer advice that only a “older” person might offer.

I’ve found though that age is a number and that there is great maturity in many of my young friends, just as I’ve found great immaturity in people older than me.

Like a¬†kaleidoscope it shows me different¬†colors of life… beliefs, thoughts, opinions, and personal view points.

I believe you are richly blessed when you have a wide circle of people who care about you and who add a fullness to your life.

On the topic of learning…

I’ve made it a point over these past years to learn about the people who interact in my life.

The checker at the store, the baristas who happily serve me coffee, a random customer I engage in conversation ( ahhh maybe more than “a” person hahaha)

Why? People matter and¬†my life seems richer when I do. Because I often walk away with a new perspective being around people from my “usual” circle. Different thoughts and views can be a good catalyst to make me really think about what¬†I believe and why.

I’ve learned to freely give away a smile to a person I walk past, I have no problem dishing a compliment to a woman I think looks pretty or has something on I think looks like the bomb. I’ve had it done to me and I know what an unexpected “gift” it is to receive.

On social media I ¬†comment on something they’re doing, especially if it offers them encouragement or support, like working out or losing weight.

I mean, why not?

I’ve tried to practice the art of not “withholding”… compliments, smiles, encouragement, praise, etc. because people NEED that stuff.

It makes me feel good to offer that back to others.

The older I get the more I embrace more of what life is… all of us twined together in some form or another…

I’ve realized more than ever this past year that my tribe is¬†the most valuable gift I possess in this wild ride of life. My husband is strong, fearless, and the most patient loving, giving, generous¬†man on this planet. I’m so blessed to have him.

My kids who are now all adults have turned out rather amazing in spite of some worrisome years in the past. It’s crazy to me they are getting married and having babies and living in their own houses and all that other stuff… I can’t be that old… can I ???

Ah yes, indeed I am, and it’s perfectly ok.

I’ve never felt stronger, more energetic, fit, or fierce in my life. I have no wish to be any other age or place than where I am right now. I’ve earned these years and all that goes with them… smile lines and all… and I don’t try to hide it.

My only desire is to age gracefully, love wildly, not be afraid to take on new things, and truly¬†appreciate all I’ve been blessed with.

So I stand on the threshold of another year. To take on harder challenges, to stretch myself, and hopefully to be able to grow more in my thinking and understanding, to learn, laugh and love more.

I’m¬†surrounded by people who love me warts and all, who celebrate my achievements and challenge me to be all I can be, there is no greater blessing.

So cheers to another year, another pure gift of life, for which I am beyond grateful.

 

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50ish…. again.

 

 

 

Ordinary Kids

ordinary

 

So it’s getting to be that time of year again. Some years, I get to participate, other years I’ve been able to skip it. Those are the years we save our money and our sanity.

What you wonder am I talking about ?

Having the privilege to graduate another child out of school.

The culmination of years of homework, teacher meetings, open houses, class parties, field trips, school projects, peanut butter sandwich lunches, new clothes shopping, tons of school supplies, sleep overs, class birthday parties, band concerts, yearly school pictures,¬†dances shows, football games, fun and unexpected calls from the Principal ( if you have boys you may understand this better ūüėČ ) early morning practice sessions, after school tutoring, school dances, boy friends, girl friends, college applications, college testing…

Ok.. I could go on… the list of things you do in a child’s school career is rather vast and endless. At times you wonder if you’ll ever get to the end of it.

I can say I’m there. My final one is exiting school and heading into the big world with college in her future.

We’ve ordered announcements, taken final pictures, and done the hundred and one things that seem to come crashing in the last few months of school.

I gotta admit this. She’s the last of my big brood.¬† By this time I’ve pretty well felt like I could lead parent/teacher night. Or that I could predict with certainty that when I showed up for another year starting in dance, it would be same lines, new year. Or that some things in school just never changed much and it was comforting already knowing the drill on it.

I was the older, smarter more seasoned mom. I figured that in a few years they’d get it too… it takes some moving through the ranks before you learn you can say “no” to things.. ¬†ūüėČ

By the time¬†my daughter hit Senior status I was pretty much like… “just deliver me the necessary paperwork”.

I knew the drill for it all. Many of teachers through middle and high school had already had the rest of the crew… a new year was like old home week… meet and greet… just another new family¬†face rolling through their room.

Although in all fairness to my daughter, one of my sons had made quite a um…mark… on several teachers going through various grades.. she’d get the “ohhhh… you’re so and so’s sister?”

If you have kids then you may have one of these… the high energy, high maintenance, social, outgoing never slow down, yet charming,¬†kid.

Anyway, thankfully, the daughter child was probably a bit more quiet and laid back than previous brood members who went through.

No matter what the bottom line was this…

Get them through. Get them on that stage wrapping their hand around that cherished diploma.

I swear when middle son walked the stage it was ALL I could do not to stand and cheer and whoop like some wild woman. There were debatable days in his final year I¬†wondered if we’d make it.

Now each class has it own “cream of the crop” the “cr√®me de’ le cr√®me” right? You¬† know the ones who’ve been marked since first grade to be the Validictorian ? Every kid in the class knows it. They simply accept it as what’s going to be and move on.

Then there’s the whole “class ranking” thing which was making my daughter get all twitchy one day till I reminded her…

“they don’t hang a number around your neck when you walk the stage. No one will know, and honestly, no one cares..”

I reminded her when she’s out in the real world it will be completely irrelevant as well.

Then there’s the whole college thing. The angst of wondering if one will want her… if¬†she will “make the cut” or be found acceptable. It doesn’t help when her friends are collecting admin letters like candy at a parade.

I reminded her that she could only go to one school and she will still get her degree to do what she wants.

In a community that’s big on pushing college it’s a lot of pressure on kids ( and parents) to feel like they need to perform up to some lofty expectations.. who’s.. I’m not sure…

’cause you¬†see I have ordinary kids and it’s ok.

I’ve never tried to make them do things they didn’t want to do.

Support them in their goals and plans, yes. Push my agendas and desires on them, no.

We learned the hard way when we registered my oldest son for a semester of college, paying cash for it so he wouldn’t have any debt. He went like… three times? and then he said something that really paved the way for the rest of the brood yet to come down the college path way…

He said “you never asked me what I wanted to do. IF this was what I wanted”

Ouch. Point made.

Did I consider him any less successful for not jumping on the college boat? Not at all. My son has always had an artistic bend and was in a band. He traveled around the country for months with them. He lived every 19 year old young mans¬†dream… being in a band in a new town every night, living for those moments on stage. ¬†Living in new places and eating off value menus and sleeping folded up in a van driving down highways in the dark of night. He didn’t do that forever. He settled down and works with his brother now in a family business.

Two of my other sons have wanted to pursue college. One went for awhile and then quit to take on a floundering business that he has turned into a success over the past few years.   One is in college right now working on his degree.

But through these years of raising kids and wanting them to find and embrace what their own passion is I realized it’s ok, really ok, for them to be ordinary.

And I don’t mean that in¬† a plain vanilla way or that they lack value, substance and intelligence because they are all¬†very bright, funny, and clever. They know how to learn and teach themselves things and they are always actively learning.

I mean they don’t have to live someone else’s ideals or expectations or get caught up in the hype with friends and feel like they are somehow “less than” ’cause they perceive the friends are somehow more successful. I don’t¬†need to have them do things to feel validated as a parent.

I saw a T-shirt recently that made me laugh ’cause it’s how I feel so often. It said:

“Worlds okayest Mom”

Maybe I need to buy it. It reminds me I can be me, can be the best mom I can without having to “do it all” or be at every meeting or every event, or get my kids into Harvard.

At the end of the day its about my kids being happy, successful, productive  adults and maybe even a bit, ordinary.

However, if they make an impact in their personal worlds and are decent human beings, I will consider them, and myself, quite successful indeed.

 

 

 

Younger Next Year For Women Book Review

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Among other things I enjoy doing in life, reading is at the top of the list.

Weird, I know, someone who writes likes to read.

Sometimes I have a hard time just being still to do it. However, if I get into¬†a good book,¬†well then, the house could fall down around me and I’d be oblivious.

Anyone else out there like that?

Ok so I’ve just finished a book I’m excited over. It’s a¬†fun, easy read, and packed full of humor and super¬†good information. I’ve been eager to finish and write a book review on it ’cause I really think everyone should read it… it’s like…that good.

It’s called “Younger Next Year For Women” . Of course, anyone can read it, but it’s really driven at the middle aged crowd. The “over 40 and pushing the Senior citizen discount crowd.”

Don’t let the title distract you.

It’s not coming from a point so prevalent in society today… trying to physically look younger with often extreme measures involved in a pursuit to look like we did in high school.

The title of the book does imply, being older but still being young at heart, strong, active, full of life and vitality. Being able to physically do things you did 10 years previously. Sometimes, doing them better.

Why wouldn’t you want to be able to do that?¬† Sign me up.

My doctor recommended¬†the book¬†to me when I was in for my yearly checkup telling me I “embodied the women” they wrote about.¬† She thought I’d be encouraged by the information since I was already doing many of the things the authors encouraged their readers to do.

Well, of course I was intriqued.  I had found it on Amazon before I ever pulled out of the parking lot.

It cost me a whole $4.00.

I realized seeing the authors names that I had read excerpts of their writings in magazines and found them entertaining, highly informative, and spot on with the truths they were preaching.  I guess because they were truths I had already been living out.

I was excited to get my hands on the entire work and not just pieces of it. Two men wrote the book, one  a Doctor, the other interestingly enough came into his life as his patient. Together they make a great team.

Meaning you have lots coming at you from a medical perspective and you have the other perspective from someone who’s walked the walk and is 70ish living a strong, healthy and energetic lifestyle.

So I’m going to just give you my personal take on it, my thoughts and observations.¬† If anything I hope you’ll spend a few dollars on¬†the book¬†and glean truths out of it that will help and motivate you to live a healthy, positive life, for the rest of your life.

Their first¬†book, “Younger Next Year”,¬†¬†was written with an eye towards middle aged men.¬† It was evidently such a huge success they had women asking them to write¬† a woman’s version of it¬†with a focus on issues women deal with.¬†¬†They did and it is appropriately titled, “Younger Next Year For Women”.

This is what my book review is on ’cause well… I’m a woman ūüėõ

On a side note, I was reading on the patio at my favorite coffee hang out one afternoon. I was intent on finishing the book. I noticed a couple sitting there when I walked out. They were “older” but looked healthy and fit. After about 5 minutes the man asks of me… “are you enjoying the book?”

I think he’s just being polite and has no idea what I’m reading. The wife is smiling and she finally¬†says… “we’ve read those books! we thought the men/women’s were so good we gave them as Christmas gifts to all our friends!”

I had to admit it was pretty weird timing to have them sitting there while I was polishing off the book, giving me their glowing review of it.

The overall idea of the book and the truths, thoughts and suggestions contained within are on living a strong, healthy, fit, (and gasp), even still being sexy, in what they refer to as the third stage of life.

Meaning, life after menopause.

You don’t have to “get old”, turn frumpy, get fat, tired, develop diseases and then die. ( seriously, they put this all in such a humorous way…don’t depend on me to spill it all here.)

Sadly, there is a pervasive thought that this is just “what happens”…like we’re helpless¬†victims of aging…¬†and so much of it doesn’t have to happen¬†and is preventable.

I know, you might be looking at the title and ¬†seeing that sexy part and think “hey, I’m old. Sexy went away a long time ago.”¬† Define that how you will,¬† but I still want to feel good about myself and I certainly have no intention of giving up my edge ’cause I’m not 20 or 30ish anymore. I’m not quitting and turning in my woman card just ’cause I’m older.

Ok.. besides that…. what my doctor already knew about me when she recommended the book, and what I’ve figured out since reading it, is that I’ve been doing all the things they are encouraging women to do to live a strong, and healthy life.

But when I read the lines “A book of hope, that shows you how to¬† become functionally younger for the next five to ten years, and continue to live thereafter with newfound vitality. How to avoid 70 percent of the normal problems of aging, and eliminate 50 percent of illness or injury. And how to live brilliantly for the three decades or more after menopause.”¬†

Now I’m not sure what “how to live brilliantly” exactly means but I’m down for it.

Who doesn’t wanna live, brilliantly ??

From the first few pages, I¬†was hooked on it.¬† I already feel like I live an extremely active life compared to the majority of people my age.¬† My doctor teasingly calls me her poster child for middle aged fitness. I’ve been practicing an active, healthy lifestyle for quite a few years now and I know how I feel and the difference it’s made in me physically, well it’s made a difference in all areas actually.

Eating well and vigorous exercise make big impacts on our bodies and our minds.

And of course I’m interested in learning how I can keep doing the things I’m doing now…. for the rest of my life.

Who wouldn’t want to ?!

When I look ahead, I see myself doing the things I do today. I have no desire to be less active or not be able to do the things I do now.

What happens for so many is that they stop moving.  They stop using their bodies.  They gain weight and become more and more sedentary. This causes weakness and frailty as we get older. This can also contribute to the development of diseases.

The aging process.

I loved this line in the book “you do have to age, but you don’t have to rot”

That line just landed hard on me. That word…. rot….. just the mental visions it stirred up.. yuck.

I don’t want to be a part of the rotting group.

From birth, we begin an aging process. The authors point is that we all go through the aging process. We rot when we stop using our bodies. It gives creed to the jokes of “getting older and falling apart”.

Their point… it doesn’t have to happen. You will age, but rotting, can largely¬†be prevented.¬† Illnesses and age related issues that people think “happen ’cause you’re old” can be avoided.

The book is laid out in an easy¬†conversational tone¬†with the “patient”¬† Chris, and the Doctor, Henry. Each one takes a chapter and addresses different thoughts or ideas. Chris, from¬† living a lifestyle as the patient who needed to make changes and the impact that’s had on him and Henry, the doctor who basically called him out on his lifestyle and how it was affecting him. He of course brings all the hard hitting physical and medical truths to us in the book.

Their writing is humorous and easy to read. It’s smart and intelligent.

It’s also hard hitting and blunt… just a heads up. They call things as they see them and pull no punches.

Straight truth. It might make you squirm. Or convict you. It might even make you mad if it hits close to home.

Why? Because they are passionate about what they do, what they believe, and the HUGE impact they see on people who do the things they recommend.

As I’ve contemplated what to write you about this book, I’ve realized I just want to share entire chapters with you and that won’t do ’cause then you won’t have to get the book and read it!

And you should read it… remember… it’s pretty cheap information on being strong, fit, and healthy for the rest of your life.

Below¬†are¬†their cardinal rules for living this life I’m talking about. This¬†will have to do for now. ¬†They greatly expand on all these areas in the chapters of the book,¬†which you’ll have to get it if you want to learn more about what they say on these points ¬†ūüėČ

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Not just that…if you like to laugh… you’ll want to read it. Delivering anything with a stroke of humor always works for me.

But more than anything, read it if you want to make an impact on your future life.

Have you read anything¬†lately that’s made an impact on you ?