One chapter begins as another ends…

I was casting about for some pithy way to start this post and hit upon this quote

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

Frank Herbert

I have several friends who are moving into the next phase of their life – going to graduate school, getting married, adopting kids, fostering kids and having kids and changing their career to name but a few.

These are all exciting things to happen but do not come without a level of stress- I learned in college all about “eustress” which is defined here-

  1. Eustress is a term coined by endocrinologist Hans Selye. The wordeustress consists of two parts. The prefix eu- derives from the Greek word meaning either “well” or “good.” When attached to the word stress, it literally means “good stress”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I don’t know about you but I don’t generally think of stress as associated with good things but isn’t that the ultimate in reframing a situation? I am a big fan of that phrase and practice because let’s face it there are lots of situations in life that are not as we wish them to be, so in reframing you can paint it with the brush you like instead of the brush you have. For instance, I can look at today like, man I am tired and don’t want to go work out today, or as my good friend Jessica says, I have the “opportunity” to be tired because I am busy living a life I love and I have the “opportunity” to work out because my body is a working, breathing instrument that I am blessed to have working for me.                                                                           

Is that a little “being pollyanna” or viewing the world in “rose-colored glasses” YOU BET.. and most of the time it’s how I choose to view my life. Mark me, this does not exclude hard circumstances and real-life difficulty, but there are real opportunities every day to look for the happy rather than the annoying aspect of a given situation.

For example, I could look at my friend going to graduate school and moving away from Austin to become a professor as very sad and focus on the fact that he is moving away.

Yes, there is a level of sadness that goes with it, but I choose to focus on all the students he is going to impact and help live more enriched lives and the things they have yet to experience in his as yet unfilled classroom. This also gives way to the opportunity to stay in touch whether that is by email or even (gasp) a paper and pen letter.

Perhaps we could all stand to have a change like that. What chapter do you need to bring to an end to get YOU to your NEXT chapter?

Think about it…

Health is a gift…. Do not SQUANDER IT!

Dear Readers, Some of you may have noticed a post missing last week some of you may not have.. Well I was sick which really made me mad because I got a flu shot, am exercising, (not as much as a should) but exercising, drinking water.. getting enough sleep.. (well again not as much as I should) ah wait, I am beginning to see a pattern here.. are you?

There is nothing like a bout with sickness to make you appreciate health. We all know what we are SUPPOSED to do for good health.. but we don’t do it.

Get 8 hours a of sleep.

Drink 64oz of water day.

Eat good for you food.

Exercise.

So when I did a personal inventory I have to admit I was pretty lacking in all of these areas, so I am renewing that effort with a vengeance. I know, I know, its not always possible to get 8 hours, kids (kids sickness), work demands, life demands but try. I tell you what, just do one thing on the list. Hydrate more.. even if it is just one of the things. Exercise– Take the stairs once a day, and take them slowly but take them. Yes, the elevator is faster, but what is your hurry? It’s your life, ticking away one minute at a time. Don’t rush, take your time. Stop and smell those roses.

I see people around me dropping like flies so I fought the good fight, I drank orange juice and did all the things I do when I get sick but I truthfully think it was my body saying, ENOUGH! I will force you to take care of yourself and if this is the only way, SO BE IT.

Don’t let this happen to you, do something to embrace your health today, its a great gift we ALL take way too much for granted.

Think about it!

It’s all in how you look at it-

Dear Readers,

Roughly a year ago, I decided to buy a treadmill to take away my excuse to not workout and actually get in shape and be healthier. We already had the healthy eating thing going and were actively working on eliminating debt from our lives.

On Saturday I ran what turned out to be a 3K not a 5K but because my goal was a 5K, even though I saw the cheering fans and signs for beer and water I kept running till I got the 5K done. This sounds really inspiring and it is, but it took someone else saying it to me to get me to see it. Why is it that someone else has to say, “good job” or “Congratulations on that presentation” for us to recognize our worth?

So on Saturday, I walk/ran the 5th 5K I have done in a year. When I consider where I was this time last year, that is nothing short of amazing– a brief recap–

You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. -Zig Ziglar

The first one was January 18, 2014 – Vern’s No Frill’s 5K- I walked more than I ran but I did run for a while and hey as the guy writing times down said, “last place is asleep”

Second 5K was “The Biggest Loser 5K” and I ran it and walked it with my good buddy Susie Gidseg- my time for that was a little shorter and I felt exhausted after it was said and done but very accomplished

Third 5K was the color run which I ran walked with Jessica, Adam and their son Pierce which represents just a lot of fun, but for me, I hate being dirty or messy so I was breaking past a comfort zone on this one so it was less about exercise and more about mess but came together to represent both–

The Fourth 5K was “CASA Superhero 5K which was a huge milestone because my husband decided to do that with me for his FIRST 5K ever so I actually walked it with him and we created a Team “Haston Helping Hands” to help raise money for CASA http://www.casaforchildren.org It was very hot and probably the hardest 5K I have been until the 5th one.. which just happened-

The Fifth 5K was the “Trail of Lights Fun Run” which I don’t know how I got the notion it was a 5K but it’s not. It was a 3K which I discovered much to my chagrin as I saw the signs for the finish line when the voice in my ear said, “3K completed” “2 to go” so that was frustrating, it was at night as well which made it very hard to see, I was worried I was going to fall down at any moment and it really became the struggle to find a place to run amid strollers, walkers and gawkers! (it is Trail of Lights after all, some of that I should have expected) but I will know better for next time-

At the end of the day, my takeaways from all these are they each represent a 5K that I have completed, I intend to (deep breath) eventually run a marathon but its still pretty far off but as my life of late (baby steps, baby steps) have been celebrating the small steps that we take as we walk nay run in the journey of life. I need to make sure I stop along the way to appreciate that which I wanted to do and worked towards and not keep looking ahead to “the next thing”… very easy to get discouraged doing that so this is my attempt to avoid negativity and be positive. It’s worth noting that this time last year (I checked my social media log) I wasn’t working out consistently and now I work out 3 times a week most of the time.

I could get down on myself for not being further down the track but I am choosing to focus instead on the fact that tomorrow is Workout Day 89 and I am going to keep at it, because every baby step I complete gets me closer to Mile 26.

Think about it! 5KTrailofLights

It’s scary till you do it.

“A life lived in fear, is a life half-lived” A great line, taken from “Strictly Ballroom” which is my favourite movie, ever.

I could be talking about several different things. I purposely write in the most vague way possible to allow for my readers to apply it to whatever they feel strongest about at the moment of reading my post.  In this way it allows you to read into it what you wish.

So for today, It’s only scary till you (fill in your blank) For me, it’s scary to walk/run a 5K. After you have, you know what to expect and how hard it will be and what the challenges and wins are. I myself have not run a 5K yet, I am training for it now. Tomorrow, when I do my work out, in the preparing stage, I will be running for a minute and then walking for one minute. I have done this intermittently but not at a full stretch before. In order to ready myself for this Saturday’s 5K experience (slow jog for the first half and then walk for the second half) this is what I must do. In thinking about that, I realize that at one point or another, everything that I have done that filled me with fear, I somehow “felt the fear, and did it anyway” and after it was done, it wasn’t so scary. A few examples include:

1. Moving from New Orleans to Austin.

2. Changing my major from business to drama

3. Changing my lifestyle to paleo.

So far, these things have all been hard but worthwhile. I am finding that to be true about exercise as well.

Happiness is not always what you think it looks like

Hello dear readers. This morning I got up at 5:15 a.m and worked out in my living room. Two things I DETEST! I did have a brief flirtation with liking “working out” after a dance class a few months ago but it was just that, brief.

I remember when I was younger, I dreamed about being an adult and able to eat cookies any time I wanted to and going to bed super late and looking very forward to all of it. I dreamed about a certain kind of job I would have and winning an Oscar (still plan to by the way 🙂

My life, thus far, has not turned out like I imagined.

It’s better. Lots better.

“Let me explain, no wait, there is no time. Let me sum up”

I have a husband who is wonderful. So wonderful, in fact that it was his suggestion that we get up early today and work out and you know what, I had fun and you know why, because he was there and we were working on our goals together and that makes a big difference.

Knowing you have a partner, whether its a friend or a spouse or an accountability partner makes a huge difference in the pursuit of your happiness.

Who is your partner and why do they rock? Tell me about it!

How good is your word?

When you draw a line in the sand, prepare to be tested.

After almost a month of no working out, I said to myself, I am going to work out Friday, no matter what. In fact, I even told my husband, do not let me back in the house until I have gone to the gym. He laughingly agreed.

I absolutely did not feel like going to the gym but remembered my promise to myself to work out. Well, I went to the gym and as I walked in and swiped my card, (indicating that I was going to work out, and not just pay for a membership this month!) the fresh-faced guy behind the counter says, oh sorry, we are closing in 10 minutes. Mildly annoyed, but politely I say, Oh, well is there a 24 hour gym I can go to? He says yes, just down the road in fact, I ask, “Are you sure?” He says, “Yes”

So you can probably tell where this is going but hang on my story gets better-

I go to the gym further up the road where I see a man standing by a closed and obviously locked door. Infuriated, I look at the sign to the right that says Monday-Friday 24 hours, Saturday-Sunday 8am-8pm. I see an employee inside who I flag down and I inquire as to the discrepancy. (not really a discrepancy, but an error on my part, but more on that later.

He explains that the 24 hours applies to Monday through Friday till midnight, then the gym closes and reopens again at 8am on Saturday morning (way too late to do me any good right now!) Frustrated, but seeing his logic, I head off to my car and drive home.

So I failed to workout, despite my best efforts, and while I think a lot of people would have been deterred by the first gym closing, I did persevere to the next gym but I did give up before actually working out so while the effort was expended, I didn’t keep my promise to myself. No big deal, right? I can always work out another day. Well the truth is, your word to yourself is the first promise you make, and its a good indication of whether your word to others is worth. Think about it, if you can’t keep a promise to yourself, how good will a promise to others be? I take a great deal of pride in the fact that if I say I will do something or I will be there, it gets done or I show up.

How about you?  How much integrity do you have when it comes to work, friendships and relationships? Are you able to be counted on for keeping your word or is it shaky?

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
John Wooden

Think about it!