Almost boring truths from a mostly boring life

  • Be careful reading emails. I woke up Tuesday morning ready to post my Ben & Jerry Day Ice Cream flavor only to receive an email that said “RJ Light, we know it is time for your unhealthy fat to go.” Needless to say, that put a little damper on my B&J day. How did they know? 
  •  Goals are flexible. I was planning on working on my jogging goals only to be hit with a totally crazy week filled with, as you would know from my last post, various calls and searches and visits to senior housing facilities. My writing schedule, exercise schedule, sleeping schedule and even meal schedule was left behind.
  • Celebrations can be messy. Today, we found a great place for my mom and to celebrate I took my two youngest ones to Jamba Juice to get a “healthy” milkshake. We happily bounced out of the store carrying our frozen chocolate concoctions and got into the car. My daughter decided she didn’t like the bear in the back seat and tossed it to the front seat crashing it into my cherished Jamba Juice which flew out of the car and onto the pavement crushing the bottom of the cup. I don’t know how she could have hit it at that angle–it was physically impossible! I gave my daughter my stern look and told her I was rather displeased and then ran into the store and asked them to pour it into another cup (it landed okay, just with a bottom hole). The Jamba Juice maker-extraordinairre said that he wouldn’t put it in to another cup but make me another one. I told him to make it smaller than the last one–he didn’t listen. Maybe if I explained about not meeting my jogging goals he would have listened? I saved some for my husband, honestly I did.
  • Don’t go to the store when all you ate for the day was a Luna bar and Jamba Juice . When you are only going to buy a few ingredients for dinner and you are ravished you will come out of the store with not only the pasta and bread but also with the guacamole dip, Girl Scout Cookies (they accosted me at the door) and a protein bar–which you want to immediately shove into your mouth because your are so weak but you don’t want to go through the checkout line and pay for an empty wrapper because it would be like paying for nothing. You will also look at every item that has “New Flavor!” on it with utmost desire.
  •  The proper bath structure is important. After a great dinner of pasta salad, fruit salad, and warm Asiago cheese garlic bread it is nice to take a hot bath. It is especially nice when the bath is designed in a way to encourage relaxation. It is not nice when the bath is apparently designed for the military and you need to be at attention the entire time or risk permanent neck damage. Who sits upright in a bathtub? Well, my toddler so that he can push his boat. I came to the bathtime unprepared– I had no boat, just a magazine–what was I thinking?

Return Line in Spain

I hated returning anything in Spain. Customer service is nonexistent when you want to spend money–hopeless if you are returning something. The customer is never right; the customer is barely important. You can find quality, but sometimes it might take a few tries. I still miss Spain and love the Spanish people, but I don’t miss shopping in Spain–I miss the fresh bread, coffee and chocolate–but not the shopping experience.

If you want to match a color, make sure you have enough paint.

We were so relieved in our first few months in Spain when More

Improving Communication and Meditation

A day in the life of my son:

 “How was your day?”football-meditation.JPG

“Not good. We lost in football and the other team cheated.”

“How did they cheat?”

“They had 40 kids on their team, football is more like with 9 or so; that’s the school rule.”

“Did you have fun playing football?”

“I was so angry throughout meditation.”

“Meditation? Where do you have meditation?”

“On the floor.”

“No, I mean who leads the meditation?” More

Who Wants to be Like Water?

I’ve been frustrated with my blogstipation today. I’ve been writing, but it hasn’t been “post-able.” I had this great humor idea, but I couldn’t get the picture to be clear enough for anyone to see — because the humor was in the visual it had to be clear or it wouldn’t have been funny. But, let me tell you, if I could have gotten it to work you would have laughed, and laughed, and laughed and — okay, at least you would have smiled or grimaced.

Before my funny attempt, I wrote two paragraphs of I-don’t-know-what. Yes, I hit the wall with a thud. My husband came to the computer in the midst of my angst, and I asked him what he wanted for dinner. He takes that to mean that I want him to make dinner; which he, of course, then interprets to mean he needs to go buy pizza. I went into the kitchen, opened the freezer and went back to my room. It seemed I was fresh out of any ideas on any thing, so I consulted a magazine I had laying around. I didn’t find any recipe ideas, but I read a great article.

The article was in Real Simple February issue (2007) and was written by Gail Blanke, a life coach. She related a story about when she was a little girl and had returned home from a birthday party crying. She was upset because a friend didn’t like her. Her mom told her that the only thing everyone likes is water — because it has no taste. She then asked Gail if she wanted to be like water just so everyone would like her.

A very simple concept I know, but it really hit home to me. I am new with this blog stuff and love that I am writing consistently again. However, I am also very competitive and a perfectionist (which is why writers so often drink heavily and use chemical stimulants) and want my blog to get tons of traffic. I often read different “experts” on blogging and sometimes implement their suggestions. Sometimes I feel like water (only no one needs me to sustain life) trying to please all the potential readers instead of being myself.

Who am I? I’m a little bit country, I’m a little bit rock n roll — oh, no, that was Donny and Marie. I’m a humor writer because that is how I view the world. I also find such enjoyment just out of encouraging and motivating people; sometimes that works through humor and other times it’s in a different type of blog. So, the battle I find myself in is what kind of blog is this? Can I laugh at the world and offer advice and encouragement at the same time? Can I truly be myself in this crazy blogosphere or do I need to be water. I am not water–no way. I’m closer to a smoothie, but sometimes I’m a soothing cup of tea. Hopefully, I am always, a-muse-ing.

What about you? Are you being yourself and what does that look like? There is only one you and, fortunately for the world, only one me!

Light changes — exercise

Everyone’s busy. We don’t have time to make major changes in our lives, and we need to stop beating ourselves up when we can’t do all that we want to do. If you are a mother, you know how hard it is to find the time to go to the bathroom, let alone have a regular time at the gym. I try to exercise regularly and every year I tell myself that I’m going to get up at 6:00 am and exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. I go strong for a week and then I spend the rest of the year a bit defeated because I quit.

As women, in particular, we are too hard on ourselves. I think of the movie, What Women Want, and how Mel Gibson’s character discovers how much women are constantly solving the problems of the world in our heads. That is so true! We need to lighten up!

One of the things I loved when I lived in Spain was how much the communities were walkable. I could walk to the hairdresser, pharmacy, kid’s school, and a small grocery. My lifestyle included exercise and it wasn’t that hard to stay active. So this year let’s not worry about how often we don’t go to the gym. Let’s work on a light resolution that we can feel good about. Instead of a resolution to go to the gym 4 times a week, let’s make a resolution to bring more exercise into our lifestyle.

Here are some tips to make your lifestyle more active:

  • Crazy Cleaning — take 15 minutes and give your house a fast and active clean
  • Power Shoveling — get out and shovel that snow, listen to your ipod as you do it!
  • Mail Sprint — run to the mailbox, jog in place for a few minutes and run back
  • Grocery Dash — shopping with a purpose: get exercise and food
  • Play Ball — throw the ball outside with the kids or even a Nerf basketball indoors
  • Swing that partner — put up the music and dance with your kids or partner
  • Quick stroll — get that baby in a stroller and go around the block a couple of times
  • Shop and walk — park your car far from the store (even better, leave the car at home); and always walk your cart back
  • Heart rate up — yep, take those stairs

I am sure you can think of other ideas. The point is by just adding spurts of exercise in your day you will still reap benefits of exercise and you will feel better! You don’t have to stop there either — you can always add more. It is better to get out and do something than to aim higher and get discouraged when you aren’t as perfect as you want to be. Kick those feet up instead of using them to kick yourself!