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Marching forward... watching backward

Thursday, March 01, 2012

First of a new month, time to assess.

It's been a while since I took a progress photo, and it's a work morning, so I haven't today, either. I need to soon, though, because I'm one of those folks who doesn't "see" the image in the mirror... too influenced by my mood.

The raw statistics:
From a year ago?
Up 4.6 pounds.

From the first of the year?
Up 1 pound.
Waist is up half an inch to 28.5.
Hips, similarly up half an inch, to 35.5.
The rest of the measurements are the same.

So, my rocky maintenance is continuing, a bit up from a year ago, but then again, a year ago I was further along in my training for the half, not having been sidelined by those illness issues I experienced in January and February.

All in all, I can't feel terrible about where I am in my "self-assessment", especially as I have resumed training. It has an amazing positive influence on my mood.

I was reading LeanJean's blog this morning, and she mentions a goal of 5 pounds in March. That's certainly do-able, and worth striving toward. If I *were* to achieve it, I'd be back at training weight range. So, here it is, the March goal... to pursue the walking time and distance training plan, and though the scale will do whatever the scale will do, eat at enough of a deficit to support weight loss this month.

Life is good, no matter that 'tis busy. Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 3/1/2012 11:37PM

    Good plan, I would need one as well! emoticon

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_LINDA 3/1/2012 6:24PM

    Nothing like being free of illness and feeling those exercise endorphons rolling in to get your March kickstarted!
No looking back now, its only full steam ahead for you!
Spark Steamroller coming through -look out March!!!

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WATERMELLEN 3/1/2012 4:52PM

    Forward March!! Left right left right . . .

You don't want to look backwards too long because . . . you don't want to march into a wall. Yeah. You're resolved, committed, and that's all it takes.

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MSLZZY 3/1/2012 2:37PM

    Right on! SPark on! March on!
I'd also say "Game On!" Go for it!

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SUE_2U 3/1/2012 2:31PM

    Spark On! March On!
You're not just surviving... You're Thriving!

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KRISZTA11 3/1/2012 1:07PM

    Looking forward to see your progress photo!
It's great you got through all that illness.
Spark on!

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KATHRYNLP 3/1/2012 9:24AM

    emoticon SPARK-ON!!!

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KALIGIRL 3/1/2012 8:39AM

    Here's to the 'the walking time and distance training plan'...
Sounds like marching forward to me!

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FITFABJENN 3/1/2012 7:45AM

    Sounds like a solid plan. Despite a very slight gain, you have made significant progress in the last year. Spark on.

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Nine and a half weeks

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

That's how long I have until the Lincoln Half Marathon.

Now it is all about training time, and building distance, so that it will be "a party" and not a torture. Monday I went 3.5 miles on the treadmill, last night 4.5. Nine and a half weeks is enough... just have to start incorporating those longer walks into the weekend. It's do-able. May have to drop some of the other training elements, because one cannot do it ALL. I have gone through the mental adjustment to "I'm walking it this year." Save the knees, people.

THIS I can do. emoticon Are you psyched? Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOBYCARP 3/1/2012 6:29AM

    Nine and a half weeks for you. You can do it, absent injury. And you're helping me adjust to the thought of "just" walking, in a world where it's no longer a given that I can walk that far.

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SUNNY332 2/29/2012 9:19PM

    So proud of you.

You are such an inspiration.

You go, Girl!


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ANDI571 2/29/2012 6:15PM

    You are so awesome. emoticon

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_LINDA 2/29/2012 5:57PM

    If I remember correctly from your last race -your 'walking' is an awesome accomplishment, passing by even slow joggers. Great decision! And yes, why hurt those knees?? You are going to rock this!
Strut your stuff!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MIZCATHI 2/29/2012 3:09PM

    I have to hand it to ya, walking that far is a major accomplishment. Rock on!

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KALIGIRL 2/29/2012 10:17AM

    Walking! emoticon
I I can get over my fear of drowning - maybe we will do the TRI!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 2/29/2012 9:46AM

    You have obviously turned your bus around, Barb. I'm trying, though the bus sometimes wants to make a U-turn. But I'm not going to let it. I like how you've adjusted your thinking and have decided to walk so you can save your knees. Great thinkin' Lincoln!

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MSLZZY 2/29/2012 9:39AM

    With your attitude, anything is possible.
And yes, save those knees!

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SUE_2U 2/29/2012 8:24AM

    You will do it and you will finish and it is a huge accomplishment to do that! Be proud and Spark On!

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MAGGIE101857 2/29/2012 7:58AM

    You can do it! I know you can! AND walking a half marathon is nothing to be ashamed be proud!!! emoticon

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Beginning year 24...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Yesterday I went to work conscious of the 23 year anniversary of my long-ago rising awareness of "how to take care of my body". The intervening years have taught me much, but as with all of us, the journey never ends. There is always more to learn.

"When you're green you grow. When you're ripe, you rot." Yep, still green. Still learning.

Last night I got on the treadmill for 3.5 miles, which is a start back to thinking about that elusive half marathon in early May. I've already spent the money, after all. Funny how financial motivation will keep many of us moving. I think that may be one of the reasons the commercial weight loss programs stay in business: we think that spending the dollars will give us more commitment to the process. And in some cases this is true!

But not in all. How many of us have paid for gym memberships or diet programs far beyond the "I gave up" point... thinking we'll get back to them? emoticon Raising my hand here. I think my average time to continue paying for something that isn't quite working for me any more is about a year.

Spotting when to change it up is one of those lessons I'm seeking to learn! Maybe this is the year for it!

Have a great Tuesday, all! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 3/1/2012 11:47PM

    I think that to me itīs sort of "No pain, no gain" - if I pay dearly it will work. I have paid a gym membership and gone three times in a year , same with weight watchers. Nowadays I will try to find shorter commitments when I try to start with something.... but the gyms have learned, there is not possible to buy less than a year at a time...

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_LINDA 2/29/2012 12:59AM

    I joined this program called Physician's Weight Loss Center. Very expensive, very restrictive had to buy all their supplements and vitamins. Because it said 'Physicians' I thought it would be safe for someone with my health issues. Well the only physician I saw was my own, to get clearance. It was not supervised by a Dr. although they did wear nice white lab coats *smirk* Well, I did lose the 64 lbs in 6 months I needed to, and would have continued on their program, but whammo -out of business! So no maintenance plan, no what to do going back on normal food with no supplements, etc. I mean this diet was severe -lunch would be a pear, half a slice of bread, one processed cheese slice and their soup supplement! I still have their meal plans and I can sure see why we had to take all the extra pills to make up for the nutrients we weren't getting. That was the last time I would ever pay for weight loss again. Well naturally, I slowly went back to my old habits and the weight crept back. Then I lost some more on my own, just giving up the pop. But it wasn't until I came across Sparks and learned about the importance of watching the calories that it finally all came together. So I have not had the experience of paying for something I am not using. I am cheap and will make sure I use what ever I pay for.
Sparks says to change up your programs/exercise/routines, so the minute something no longer interests you, its time to ditch it and save the wallet paying for something you are only going through the motions with..
Good luck with it!!

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PENNYAN45 2/28/2012 11:06PM


Yes, I used to think that just the process of paying my money and joining Weight Watchers would somehow help me lose weight. I did that several times, in fact.


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LOVE_2_LAUGH 2/28/2012 3:46PM


Yup, me too!

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WOLFSPIRITMOM 2/28/2012 12:38PM

    Yep! We have a gym membership and have had it for years. I don't think of the money spent though. When I miss the gym I think how I don't want to miss working out.

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JAVAJO47 2/28/2012 11:32AM

    Ahh yes....Weight Watchers has been the thing I used to pay for well beyond the commitment I put into it. Not anymore! :)

Changing things up a bit will definitely boost your metabolism and give you a new outlook. W2G!!!

Happy Tuesday to you!
Jo Ann

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MSLZZY 2/28/2012 10:17AM

    I have tried to think of a time when I paid for something
and didn't use it. DH's gym membership is one. He has
the key but doesn't go. Well, it is his money, not mine.
Have a great day! HUGS!

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KATHRYNLP 2/28/2012 10:08AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MAGGIE101857 2/28/2012 8:27AM

    Love that quote! Still green, still growing! Hopefully will never stop growing in positive ways!

Happy Tuesday! Going through serious withdrawal here after a few days of no running, and possibly Day two of NO exercise - feeling crappier than yesterday. I don't like this! emoticon

Re: Game of Thrones...can't wait until April!!!

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SUNNY332 2/28/2012 8:23AM

    Green is good.

We all relate to paying for something long after it quit working.

Do have a Terrific Tuesday.


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SUE_2U 2/28/2012 8:12AM

    That's all so very true, and so very well said! And I'm still green, myself! Hope to always stay green and growing! *grins*

I wanted to thank you for mentioning Game of Thrones to me. HBO has season one up and we're hooked. We've been watching two episodes a day and we're both loving it! Wow, it's spectacular! Plus something new to do when stuck in bed with my knee propped up and my resistance bands going! hahaha

You go, Girlfriend! Spark On!

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RSSSLHB 2/28/2012 8:02AM

    emoticonblog emoticonfor posting

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Patterns of life, and detecting self-deception

Monday, February 27, 2012

As I sit here looking at the scale, I see that I'm up, compared to a year ago. I also see, looking at the broader picture, beyond the scale, that I'm back into a pattern. My patterns run really long, as I tried explaining to my doctor about three years ago.

He had asked me if I tended to gain in the Winter and lose when it got nicer out. I said to him, no, when I gain, I gain for a long time, and when I lose I take a long time doing it. What's hard is the maintenance of a loss... I'm usually doing one or the other. Losing or gaining.

Here's one of the problems with the beginning of the great slip and slide back into gaining: you HAVE been successful. You have met your goal (or got real close to it). And maybe even gone beyond it, which caused you to lower your concept of what the goal is. In my case, the original goal was 150. Then I found I was not ready to stop, kept eating at the same range and being active, and my body found 135. I said "it's time to stop", but it didn't stop. As I continued to be active, I got to 125, and even a little lower, to where my training weight was 122.

I was being quite the active athlete last year: 10 miles, half marathon, 5K, Mud Run, 5 miles, another 5K. Then I did something I can in retrospect recognise: I raised the expectations bar for activity.

I signed on for a half marathon this year, and have had my sights on a triathlon for this Summer. I hired a personal trainer, AND worked out a blended training plan to cover the two major events. Again, in retrospect, I can see this was a bit much for me.

Why? Because OTHER things in life make demands on the most scarce resource we all have: time. Work demands, body caving to the stress with illness... you know the drill. My activity dropped to give my body recovery time. And now? It's hard to start back. I know I have to drop the intensity and ease back in... but I recognize the patterns from years back.

Weight has crept up... back to the 130 range. Ouch. The urge to binge eat comes with the work stress. I know what I have to do, but I have a hard time making myself do it.

Then the little emoticon intervenes and tries to call itself "kind" when it says: your original goal, even your second original goal, are still here. Don't be so hard on yourself... maybe this is normal. Remember after you dropped all that weight in '89? You gained ten pounds the year after that... and dropped another dress size while you were at it!

But that didn't stay with me... and eventually it all came back. What I'm trying to do now is stop that regain. I think I have to do it better... I've been through this phase at least 3 times, where I over-extended, then gave up. I started "phoning in" the workouts, still did the events, but was truly wearing myself out.

Time to stop deceiving myself about several things: what the goal really is, for one. I am not out to be a top athlete. I am in this for a HEALTHY level of fit. I am in this for self-nurturing, not competition. Slow down. Draw that line in the sand. But don't cross it.

Let the body decide what the scale shall say... by eating within range, and keeping that moderate activity level. Thus we shall weather the storms of life.

Which, as I keep saying, is Good! Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 3/1/2012 11:42PM

    Love your insights and it will be really interesting to follow your progress!

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COMETER 2/28/2012 10:22PM

    The pattern you describe sounds a lot like mine.

Right now, it also feel like I'm at a point of seeing re-gain happening, and needing to stop it before it becomes another long trend, so your post was great timing for me.

I'll be interested in your progress, and learning about what helps you.

Best wishes to you!

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MIZCATHI 2/28/2012 5:27AM

    Self reflection is a weapon in the destruction of repeating cycles. Just because you recognize a pattern, doesn't mean you are destined to repeat it. So you are in the 130 range and are up from a weight of 122, hmmmm... just because you got that low doesn't mean you are a failure for inching up from a fitness weight you were in the fighting spirit for. Like in all things, you relished your older body at peak performance. Fine. It sounds like you are in a learning curve - determining what is healthy both mentally and physically for YOU. My friend, you are in an enviable position, and have learned a good deal about yourself in the years since you lost the weight (and gained it back) YEARS ago. Now you are wiser and in many ways stronger, and you will ride this wave like the trooper you are.

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_LINDA 2/28/2012 1:40AM

    The yo yo diet, in slow motion. I was a little quicker with it as my life tends to be all fast forward. I wish you all the best in taking stock, and finding your true 'sweet spot' that you will relax and stick with rather then try to overdo. Unfortunately, we are past the age they consider prime (38), so we need to respect our older bodies and treat them with kindness, good food, moderate exercise as they do go a long way. My Mom was never into athletics and never ran a race, but she can hike ten miles in a day :) Consistent walking every day and lots of activity means she is one of the fittest 75 year olds around:) I hope I am the same way when I make it to her age.. Its a great goal to shoot for..

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WATERMELLEN 2/27/2012 8:07PM

    Detecting self deception: yeah. And knowing when to back off "overdoing" because it's counterproductive: yeah again.

You've recognized it. And now you'll figure it out. Because you are smart smart smart in the way that counts: using your brains to make your life work.

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MOBYCARP 2/27/2012 5:26PM

    It's always interesting to read your blogs wrestling with stuff like this. I wrestle with some of the same stuff, and don't have problems with some of the stuff you wrestle with.

The problem is recognizing which parts you write about echo in my life. It's definitely not all, but it's more than I would have thought when I started with SP. I wonder if I will have my own version of long cycles. Certainly I've done stuff like that with fitness; but I still on the first cycle of controlling what I eat.

It is a puzzlement, how to keep doing what is needed when Life Happens and more attention is needed for other things than diet and exercise. I hope you do will with figuring that out.

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WOLFSPIRITMOM 2/27/2012 10:34AM

    emoticon Sounds like you are doing all the right things.

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MSLZZY 2/27/2012 9:53AM

    If I were perfect, I would have skipped reading
this. But I needed to read it because I find myself
doing the same thing. This is okay, this works,
this is fine. No, I have to get my head back into
the game. Snacking will get to me in the end.
I need to focus. Be persistent and consistent.
Yep, better get to it. HUGS!

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SUNNY332 2/27/2012 9:51AM

    I so relate.

Hang in there and give it your best. That is what I intend to do.

Hugs, Sunny

Off of here and headed to the treadmill and bike. No Excuses today!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 2/27/2012 9:35AM

    I can see myself in parts of this blog -- mostly the trend to gain weight over a long period of time and then lose over a long period of time. Either gaining or losing -- never maintaining. I think, in some respect, that we can blame our all-or-nothing tendencies. If we're going to to do something, we're going to go all-out and do it well. Whether that be losing, gaining, or activity level. Today is my "Day 1" (again) and I had to force myself to get off the elliptical at the 20-minute mark. I felt motivated to do much more yet realized (and rationalized with my inner demons) that to do more would, in the end, result in sore/tired legs/hip and/or a good chance that I wouldn't want to get on it again tomorrow.

Marking the line in the sand and not crossing it are good words to live by. Here's to setting reasonable goals and doing what it takes to achieve them without pushing ourselves too far and beyond realistic limits.

Happy Monday!

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MAGGIE101857 2/27/2012 9:21AM

    Sort of a vicious circle, isn't it? We aim to get healthy by losing weight and eating right, then we start to feel so darn great that we decide to challenge ourselves and end up taking a step back. What is great about what you have written is that laced throughout the entire blog, is the overall sense that you have learned so much about yourself, your habits, your body (and it's cues), and you are listening!!!

Stay focused, continue listening!!! I am here for you!!! emoticon

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FROGGGY13 2/27/2012 9:00AM

    I think you hit the nail on the head - moderation is key here, not perfection. Time is our most precious possession in these times; we can't keep giving and giving in every area of life, eventually something gives out and we tend to completely give up on some areas. Trying for balance, rather than all-out commitment to some of our goals has got to be the answer.
The fact that you are blogging all this is wonderful, and you will get back to wherever your balance lies.

Comment edited on: 2/27/2012 9:01:04 AM

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MNTWINSGAL 2/27/2012 8:44AM

    Wish I had some words of wisdom, other than "hang in there!" But you are so committed, and so will figure out the right balance. Maybe it's not 122....maybe it's more like 130. Whatever the "right" place for you to be, you will find it. Stress wreaks havoc on the mind and the body....cut yourself a little slack and try to de-stress a bit. (I know, I know....easier said than done!)

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KALIGIRL 2/27/2012 8:22AM

    Here's to listening to the body - and mind.

I'm swimming and starting the couch to 5K - not sure my knees are meant for running, but we'll see. As soon as the sun rises early in the morning, I'll see the bike back. As far as the TRI this summer, I'm waiting for the last minute to decide - talked to too many folks who participated when someone drowned. Not a crowd person and as you said, am more than happy with "self-nurturing, not competition".

Namaste my friend.

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On being ready to learn

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Brother MobyCarp gave me the springboard for today's reverie, when he included these wise words in his response to yesterday's blog: "we all learn when we're ready to learn".

Yep. True words. So what can we do to prepare ourselves for learning those lessons that we might want to resist? How do we encourage open-mindedness in ourselves?

Well, for one thing, we allow ourselves the time to do so. Ever see the recommendations that you take half an hour a day for yourself? To center on what it is you want/need? Whether that is prayer or meditation or just plain "me time"... it's a vital part of being ready to face what life throws at us and being ready to learn those lessons. It's the time when we figure out what we HAVE learned, or start to put together the answers.

I don't know what everyone else's church services are like, but one of the parts of a service I'm fond of going to is "preparation for prayer". It reminds me of the starting steps of meditation, as well... quieting what's around us, so we can truly listen to what one's higher power or the universe or however YOU define the answering voice to be.

Truth emerges from this quietness. Even if I fear the answers, I need to hear them. But most of the time? The answers are kind!

Here is to quiet time... and to being prepared to learn.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEANJEAN6 2/26/2012 5:46PM

    I like Quiet time-- I began meditation to-day-- hope it will help with thye Stress of life--Good blog!!! Lynda

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WATERMELLEN 2/25/2012 8:21PM

    Gotta prepare to learn. And also be prepared to learn over and over again! The tough stuff requires multiple lessons, at least for me . . .

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KARIDIAN1 2/25/2012 6:46PM

    This weekend is me time for once. Sharing it with my husband, relaxing and having fun.

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CONCHA77 2/25/2012 1:46PM

    Wise blog!

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_LINDA 2/25/2012 1:16PM

    So true. Hard to learn life's lessons when you are going through it full speed ahead, dam the torpedoes. For sure need to stop and smell the roses and let everything sink in! Otherwise its just momentum, which can come to a screeching halt when faced with an immovable object like sickness, death, work hassles, take your pick.
Enjoy your 15 minutes of reflections. Speaking of which, I am really missing that Healthy Reflections newsletter. It always seemed to have some timely witticism that spoke to me. That was my moment of reflection..

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APRILLSCOTT 2/25/2012 11:49AM

    I loved this blog! You are so right the "Me" time I am finding is so very important to me. Trying to get any can be the problem. I have just started making it my priority. I have discovered if I don't get it other priorities will just fall to the way side. Strength comes from this time! emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 2/25/2012 11:16AM

    Amen! Well said.

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MSLZZY 2/25/2012 10:20AM

    Quiet time to calm the soul and prepare the mind to
receive the wisdom. Only in the peace can you really
hear the message. HUGS!

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SUNNY332 2/25/2012 9:41AM


I could not agree with you more.

Years ago, I read an article about the most important 15 minutes in a day and it is the 15 minutes a person sets aside for quiet contemplation. It is a time for me to count my blessings, say thanks and make plans for the day. Without this time, I hurry into the day and sometimes feel frustration. With it, I feel more at peace about the day and what lessons lie ahead for me.

Here is to quiet time and being prepared to learn.

GREAT post today!


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