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When you look inside...

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

and the page is blank...

it is good to remember that "emptiness" is not always hunger.

Just for today... follow the plan. Maintain that line in the sand. And remember to breathe.

Because even on days like this, LIFE is good. Spark on. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 2/7/2013 1:19AM

    Emptiness is just your calm before the coming storm. Embrace it, relax in it, and enjoy the peace before the bomb explodes..
Good luck with keeping on an even keel at work!

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PATRICIAAK 2/6/2013 10:28PM

    Emptiness allows us to enjoy 'being', rather thay 'doing'. After all, we're human beings, not human doings.

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MSLZZY 2/6/2013 10:11PM

    Even emptiness has a place in life. HUGS!

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KARIDIAN1 2/6/2013 6:49PM

    emoticon

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ANDI571 2/6/2013 6:06PM

    So true! emoticon

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LJCANNON 2/6/2013 5:35PM

    emoticon The Sparked Life IS A Good Life!!

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DLDMIL 2/6/2013 5:30PM

    emoticon emoticon

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AURORAMILLET 2/6/2013 5:00PM

    emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 2/6/2013 4:51PM

    emoticon

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KRISZTA11 2/6/2013 2:47PM

    So right about the emptiness!
I wish I remembered this at times when I feel it...
emoticon

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FAT2GAINHEALTH 2/6/2013 2:15PM

    emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 2/6/2013 1:52PM

    Great! I need to remember that.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 2/6/2013 10:00AM

    Great thoughts!

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MIDROAD 2/6/2013 9:41AM

    Awesome insight thanks for sharing! emoticon

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DEBRITA01 2/6/2013 9:35AM

    Well stated! emoticon

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GABY1948 2/6/2013 9:24AM

    emoticon and SO true!

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CONCHA77 2/6/2013 9:10AM

    Great Blog!

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KANOE10 2/6/2013 9:02AM

    Good blog. I am feeling rather blank today with the blahs.. There is nothing to do but carry on.

emoticon

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ROXYZMOM 2/6/2013 8:57AM

    Awesome! Love the line in the sand analogy!

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KALIGIRL 2/6/2013 8:40AM

    A hole does NOT equal hunger...
emoticon
Here's to balance!

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LEANJEAN6 2/6/2013 8:34AM

    I love it Barb!!!!!-----Enjoy the moment--Life is good!!! (better than the alternative!)--LOl-Lynda emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 2/6/2013 8:30AM

    What an eloquent blog! So much of my life was spent filling the "hole" with food. It takes courage, but looking for the REAL reasons behind that empty feeling helps us grow emotionally and atain our goals!

HUGS

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SLENDERELLA61 2/6/2013 8:09AM

    Yes, we can. Thanks for a short but POWERFUL blog.
emoticon
Just what I needed today!!

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TCANNO 2/6/2013 7:57AM

    emoticon

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Pep talk for the work week

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

So the new project is kicking off. Every new revelation of a requirement is more daunting than the last. There is going to be a LOT of work, and a lot of temptation to stay late to get "just one more thing done". There is going to be the temptation to shelter your team because "they have lives"... and the temptation to put your own needs last. There are mandatory deadlines and a bunch of oversight pressing.

It's going to happen. But temptation does not have to lead back to the dark places in life. Your health is more important than getting that "one more thing done", because if you undermine it, there will be even more things that do NOT get done, when you get sick or stressed to the point of breaking.

So... pace yourself. This project is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to get the most important bits done each day, and report honestly where the progress is. If it requires overtime on the part of others, they need to pick up their piece of the load. Don't try to do it all yourself.

There... think that will do it?

p.s. Don't forget to take those break walks. emoticon
p.p.s. The donut on the food table will NOT make it go away. emoticon
p.p.p.s. Ariel the siren treadmill is calling you for after work! Answer the call.
emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATRICIAAK 2/6/2013 12:07AM

    Keep focused on doing the small steps consistantly that will lead to the completion of the project.

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KARIDIAN1 2/5/2013 10:02PM

    I can relate. Hope your project goes smooth.

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MSLZZY 2/5/2013 9:14PM

    So that is what I was hearing. I was beginning to
think we had a fire call and it was just Ariel. LOL!
Make sure you resist the urge to do more just
because. You need to put yourself first-once in a
while. HUGS!

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EBEAMS 2/5/2013 7:41PM

    Remember ... the donut really isn't going to taste that great ... and the walk on the treadmill is going to feel fantastic cuz it's a commitment to yourself! You just inspired me to MAKE SURE I get on our treadmill tonight! Thanks, Barb!

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DLDMIL 2/5/2013 5:48PM

    You can do it, Barb. Keep up the great attitude. emoticon emoticon

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ROXYZMOM 2/5/2013 2:55PM

    So...where are you posting this?? Bathrooms, refrigerator, office???
Don't forget!!

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_LINDA 2/5/2013 2:49PM

    Great pep talk!! Now make sure you live up to it and get others to do their fair share too!
You go girl!!

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FIZZYBALL 2/5/2013 10:52AM

    So true

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JAKESOMA 2/5/2013 10:37AM

    Thanks, I needed that! emoticon

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MEXGAL1 2/5/2013 9:55AM

    Best of everything to you as you tackle this project.

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LESLIELENORE 2/5/2013 9:40AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GABY1948 2/5/2013 9:27AM

    THIS is a emoticon blog! I am going to hang onto it for the next BIG project I have! Remember:

emoticon emoticon and then at the end we can all tell you, and you yourself can tell you emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 2/5/2013 9:25AM

    I have that tendency also to push myself too hard and pick up more of the load to protect others. It has gotten me into serious problems before, including ending up in the hospital once. have to draw those boundaries for yourself. Besides, you'll be more productive over the course ofthe whole thing if you take good care of yourself than if you exhaust and burn yourself out.

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MAGGIE101857 2/5/2013 8:41AM

    You've got this!!! No emoticon ; ignore those Dunkin commercials!!!

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KALIGIRL 2/5/2013 8:34AM

    Here's to pacing, planning and Ariel!

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1CRAZYDOG 2/5/2013 8:31AM

    Overwhelming msg is taking care of YOU is priority. Good for you! You're right . . . the donut on the table isn't going to make (the work) go away! LOL

HUGS

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BROOKLYN_BORN 2/5/2013 8:15AM

    Great attitude. Stick to the plan!

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LEANJEAN6 2/5/2013 7:59AM

    The donut on the foodtable will NOT help Barb!--LOL--- Hope you enjoy the project----You sound like you hava great attitude about it-----1 step at a time----Hugs Barb-Lynda emoticon

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DEBRITA01 2/5/2013 7:53AM

    And, don't forget your line in the sand. Taking care of you is #1 priority

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SLENDERELLA61 2/5/2013 7:52AM

    Great talk! Those donuts won't make the work go away.Very true. Ariel is a great siren!!

I can remember more than one work challenge in which I just ditched the healthy living attempts and focused. It was a mistake. Your approach is much better. Best wishes.

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ELRIDDICK 2/5/2013 7:44AM

  Thanks for sharing

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Keeping the 26.2 dream alive...

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Despite all my being pulled in multiple directions, motivationally, I have not given up on the marathon distance. Today it was dark (at 7 a.m.), cold (20 F), and potentially had icy patches outdoors and I wimped to the extent of answering the call of my siren treadmill (I call her Ariel). emoticon

14.12 miles at varying speeds, final time including warm up and cool down was 170 minutes. And I feel good after stretching and showering. It's 91 days to the big event... if I can keep building distance... I still hold that hope / dream alive. And ... despite what I know the work scene is going to be like in the months ahead... running is still an incredible stress management tool.

Grocery shopping and Super Bowl ahead... although given the kickoff time and how long the games usually drag... I'm likely going to fall asleep before the game ends. Still, looking forward to putting my feet up and enjoying the coverage, secure in knowing "my workout is in the bag!"

emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OVERWORKEDJANET 2/5/2013 6:04AM

    I enjoyed the Puppy Bowl instead.
More laughs, cute fuzzy things and no power glitches. Only potty breaks! emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 2/5/2013 3:33AM

    I envy your energy, sweetie - and your dedication!
emoticon

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CASEYTALK 2/4/2013 3:21PM

    With your growning commitments at work, this will be tough, but you are tougher.

For me, when I schedule the exercise, it makes it in. You're right that it's easy to bag the workout and as marathon workouts are going to be long, endurance affairs, it's going to be essential when you're planning your week that you plan for those workouts.

I schedule workouts for MWF lunch hour at the workplace gym, and Saturday and Sunday at home in the morning. If I can't make a workout, I have to reschedule it, just as I would any professional meeting.

Something tells me that you and Ariel are going to be best friends or dire enemies before long. Best friends, more likely.

emoticon

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MEXGAL1 2/4/2013 10:00AM

    Keep warm.
Hope you enjoyed the super bowl.
Have a terrific week.
Sallie

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KALIGIRL 2/4/2013 8:45AM

    Here's to a 'super' workout!

Way to balance life my friend.
emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 2/4/2013 8:11AM

    Wow! Lotza miles put in Barb!----And son#2 the [pilot just called-is back ib Toronto--just stopped in Montreal to refuel--then had to take all those passsengers back to Toronto---got to his bed at 1-30am after a long flight which started at 6-11pm---Thanks for your comments---Lordy! I do hope this weight budges soon---Lynda emoticon

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ANOTHERMOMOF2 2/4/2013 7:59AM

    Good for you on getting your mileage in!

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PATRICIAAK 2/3/2013 11:47PM

    Enjoy your positivity

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DETERMINEDLOSER 2/3/2013 10:14PM

    What a postivie outlook on things. I think you made the right choice by exercising on your treadmill and steering clear of the ice. You are doing great and I love to hear your progress! WTG!

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LJCANNON 2/3/2013 8:15PM

    emoticon Having the Workout "In The Bag" is an AWESOME Feeling for You!!

emoticon And knowing that YOU are SAFE is an AWESOME Feeling for all of us!! So glad that you made the Safe Choice!!

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WATERMELLEN 2/3/2013 5:26PM

    Good decision: you do NOT want to injure yourself slipping on that ice!! And you're building distance/reducing stress!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 2/3/2013 5:13PM

    You made the right choice. A slip on the ice and it would have been quite a setback. I agree with the post that if you can do that distance on the tm, outside will be a cinch. Good for you!

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_LINDA 2/3/2013 3:46PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
So glad you haven't given up on the emoticon and emoticon
Its not being wimpy to play it safe and not go out in potentially dangerous weather. You so cannot afford any injuries when its so close!!
What an amazing strength of character to take this race on while facing a big bomb at work! You are one of a kind!
Rock Star!

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ROXYZMOM 2/3/2013 3:33PM

    Wow! 14 miles on a treadmill! Good for you! I am excited for you! You are going to do this!!

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1CRAZYDOG 2/3/2013 2:49PM

    You did one awesome job, Barb!!! Keep pushin' ! HUGS

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AMARILYNH 2/3/2013 2:38PM

    You can do it!! Running over 14 miles on the treadmill???? That takes WILLPOWER!! Running the same distance outside would be a breeze!! YOU CAN DO IT!!

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DEBRITA01 2/3/2013 2:24PM

    Awesome workout...keep your dream alive! emoticon emoticon

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DALID414 2/3/2013 2:21PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 2/3/2013 2:17PM

    You got it done early and now have the rest of the
day to devote to YOU! WTG!

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LESLIELENORE 2/3/2013 1:59PM

    Woohoo! I really want a treadmill of my own, but went outside to walk this morning. It was definitely bracing!

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DLDMIL 2/3/2013 1:50PM

    emoticon emoticon Barb. I am not a football fan, but I did get up and get my 5k in this morning. I may even do it again later this afternoon. emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 2/3/2013 1:47PM

    Great workout!! Great plan!!! I see you ... nearing the 26.2 finish line in May, right?? Glad you are keeping your dream alive ... and working to make it a dream come true!!

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SUNNYSIDEUPMARY 2/3/2013 1:45PM

    Good for you! I like your attitude!

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OPTIMIST1948 2/3/2013 1:44PM

    I've been a woosy pants about running outside since wint er has kicked into full gear. Way to go! Keep the dream!

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Gratitude

Saturday, February 02, 2013

It is Saturday. My son had called me Thursday after I got home from work to talk about when to pick up his car. His wife goes back to work on Monday, and he needed it by then.

I selfishly suggested the weekend, when I might have a crack at being awake and rested when he did. So today, after my morning appointment, I called and woke him up. He had instructed me to call when I got home, and he was honestly surprised he had been able to sleep that late. He's still adjusting time zones.

He said "I'll call you back in 20 minutes" and after he'd awakened a bit more, did so. We went out to brunch together. I had a two egg white, low-fat cheese omelet, he had the full test version. We then came back to my house where he continued with tales of his past year... and thoughts of what's next... and his obviously maturing thought process in decision making.

We went for a walk in the neighborhood, and eventually got back to the business at hand, which was starting his car (it behaved like a champ, considering it's been sitting in my garage with minimal exercise for nearly a year), and sending him off to go home to his wife and his life. The visit left me soul-filled and grateful. He's home. He's intact not just physically, but seems to be adjusting well emotionally and mentally as well to coming home.

And after this past couple of weeks, you can all imagine me heaving this huge sigh of relief. Time to keep putting one foot in front of the next, keep on keeping on... because life is good.

Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 2/4/2013 5:50PM

    emoticon emoticon Wonderful News!!!
Congratulations on the Homecoming & Hugs!!

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KALIGIRL 2/4/2013 8:52AM

    Wonderful!

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RONNIEHUEY 2/4/2013 1:18AM

    emoticon he's home safe and sound.Bless him and all our service children/We wouldn't be free with out them emoticon

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MEXGAL1 2/3/2013 10:49AM

    woo hoo....so glad your son is doing so well.
Have a terrific Sunday.

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OVERWORKEDJANET 2/3/2013 10:04AM

    Le'sigh

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LEANJEAN6 2/3/2013 9:46AM

    oh Barb-so good to have yer son#1 home----Life is truly good!-Lynda emoticon

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CONCHA77 2/3/2013 8:30AM

    Sounds Perfect!

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-STARRYEYED- 2/3/2013 8:22AM

    emoticon I am happy to hear DS is adjusting after deployment. Yay!

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GABY1948 2/3/2013 8:20AM

    Life IS good! So glad your son is home and that is one concern off your plate! Have a GREAT Sunday!

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ROXYZMOM 2/3/2013 8:10AM

    That is awesome! I love the sound of "peace" in your blog.

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_LINDA 2/3/2013 12:40AM

    So very glad your precious boy is of sound mind and body and safe on home soil once again. Enjoy his safety and proximity and finally relax and rest easy.
Life is Gratitude -I am thankful for those who gave it to me and for those who are keeping it safe!

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KARIDIAN1 2/2/2013 9:24PM

    Sounds like a wonderful time spent with your son. Your right, life is good.

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1CRAZYDOG 2/2/2013 8:05PM

    Smiling from ear-to-ear sharing your joy that your son is home! That's wonderful that you got to spend time w/him. Gratitude: that one word really does sum it all up!

HUGS and do thank your son for his service. Hugs and prayers for all our soldiers and families.

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ANDI571 2/2/2013 7:57PM

    I'm so happy for you Barb. I can only imagine the relief you are feeling. emoticon

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MOBYCARP 2/2/2013 7:31PM

    This is truly something to be grateful for! I'm glad he is not only back, but adjusting well to civilian life.

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DETERMINEDLOSER 2/2/2013 7:29PM

    So, glad to hear that your son is back safe and sound.

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WATERMELLEN 2/2/2013 7:03PM

    Perfect! It's not just physical survival we want for our kids . . . but their emotional survival, their psychic survival and their positive flourishing and maturing and . . . all of that.

And now you know. He's OK.

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MIRAGE727 2/2/2013 6:13PM

    Excellent, please thank him for his service from Darren & me! I'm so glad he's back.
emoticon

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DLDMIL 2/2/2013 6:04PM

    You should be very proud of him. You can now relax and enjoy the precious moments that you get to spend with him. So thankful that he seem intact all the way around. Have a great weekend. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 2/2/2013 6:00PM

    emoticon Sounds like a wonderful day!

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MNTWINSGAL 2/2/2013 5:39PM

    You are such a great mom. For me it takes every ounce of will power I possess to not want my son all to myself when I know in my heart that his wife must come first. I need to take a page out of your book!

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SLENDERELLA61 2/2/2013 5:27PM

    Gratitude is the perfect word for "his obviously maturing thought process" and "adjusting well emotionally and mentally ... to coming home". What else could "One Kid's Mom" want??

Beautiful blog! I'm so glad you are through those tough weeks. I'm sure your emotions are still very high over everything, but now I know without a doubt you are handling it very well. Good for you!!

As always, I appreciate your support on my blogs as well. -Marsha

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MSLZZY 2/2/2013 5:24PM

    Savor every moment. You have survived another
test of courage and patience WITH courage and
patience. I can feel the relief in each word. Now
you can go forward with life as it comes, knowing
DS is home and safe. HUGS!

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HEALTHY4ME 2/2/2013 5:19PM

    I feel as if he is my own. I too am so thankful he is home, he is fine mentally as well as physically. HUGS to you and your family.

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PATRICIAAK 2/2/2013 5:19PM

    wonderful. I cherish times likr that.

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Diving in... no, wait... wading in.

Friday, February 01, 2013

I went back to work yesterday. It's not as though I did not know this was coming up, but suddenly, it's here. The next big project is about to kick off. I will have a key role in it. That's what they always say to everybody, because there is a lot of work to do and a short time to do it in.

It will consume the organization for the next year. It will have a bunch of oversight at a level that will probably keep a lot of pressure on all of us.

What the heck does that have to do with Spark? Well, as many folks know, a mentally challenging, absorbing, yet sedentary job can suck the energy right out of you! Overtime in such a capacity, even more so. This leads to "bagging the workout" and collapsing on the couch... if one lets it.

Seriously, this kind of work scenario while trying to train for a marathon? Not my dream... my nightmare. Because it's hard to keep the balance.

Nevertheless, rather than immediately "bag" the marathon (remember I still have the option to drop back to a half), I need to meditate and pray and seek guidance and balance. My goals are important to me. My health is important to me. Health, even more important than my work. I believe I am a better worker when I keep my balance.

So my pep talk to myself is in the title... yes, there is a lot of work. Yes, it is a short time from now 'til January 2014 (in my line of work it is truer than you'd think - 11 months can fly by). But it will do NO ONE any good if I throw myself so deeply into the front of the race that I lose steam (or keel over from stress / inactivity induced health issues).

So... WADE in... assess. Plan. Keep your balance, Barb. Listen to your body, and know when it needs to be active and let the mind run free. For sure make good, sound, nutritious food choices. And hydrate... in short, take care of the body, where the mind lives. Don't try to force things. A fresh mission at work is ONE part of LIFE, which is good.

Spark on! emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OVERWORKEDJANET 2/2/2013 9:07AM

    Yep, what you said.


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LEANJEAN6 2/2/2013 8:09AM

    Wading is good Barb--Don't jump in-------Lynda

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_LINDA 2/2/2013 12:43AM

    Yikes! Nothing like work overload and stress!!! Exercise is a great stress reliever but doesn't do any good if you are too exhausted to do it :( Here is hoping you are able to find some kind of balance and can keep up with your program. A full Marathon is maybe asking just a little too much of you during this time...It will interesting to see how you 'run' with this! As always, a great inspiration, I am sure, what ever solution you find!

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PATRICIAAK 2/2/2013 12:29AM

    I've been out of balance in Jan.
New month, new resolve.
Your blog hit the spot!
Thanks.

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KARIDIAN1 2/1/2013 9:23PM

    Wading in sounds better than jumping in the deep end right off the bat. I have a sedentary job also and seems things from corporate never end. Would love to have a breather for a change, or be able to finish one thign before the next promotion starts.

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WATERMELLEN 2/1/2013 8:23PM

    Love my job . . . and like you try to keep it in balance with all the rest of my life. Life is better with meaningful work: work is better with a meaningful life!!

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DLDMIL 2/1/2013 3:32PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANDI571 2/1/2013 2:40PM

    emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 2/1/2013 1:47PM

    Balance and moderation are two difficult nuts I need to focus on cracking.

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SLENDERELLA61 2/1/2013 1:21PM

    What a great pep talk!! Balance, Barb. You are absolutely right.

I wonder now if I was working if I could manage a more balanced approach. I always found myself way overfocused on work. I did lose a lot of weight while working, but I didn't really learn maintenance until I was a part time worker and then retired.

I admire your commitment to balance your life with work and fitness. You can do it!!

Hey, where is the picture of the mommy hugs? Just too personal? If so, that's fine, but I'd love to see you just where you ought to be, hugging on your son and him hugging you!! So glad he is back. Perhaps he can be part of the way to help balance your life and work.

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KALIGIRL 2/1/2013 11:40AM

    Well said - balance is the key - as is maintaining your health (both @ and outside of work).
Namaste my friend.

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1CRAZYDOG 2/1/2013 11:30AM

    Such an excellent blog! We definitely do have to weigh our options . . . always . . . and change up our options as time goes on . . . . if needed.

HUGS and good luck!!

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MNTWINSGAL 2/1/2013 10:51AM

    I remember those days of work deadlines.....I hate to say it, but yes.....fondly. But I know how stressful it can be on your mind and body, and this is a long period of time, even though it won't feel like it. So please be kind to yourself, but also strict with yourself in staying the course. Come marathon time, you'll be glad you did!

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EBEAMS 2/1/2013 9:55AM

    You are totally on the right track ... and you are right about time. I've told two people in the last couple of days "Christmas is 10 months and 3 weeks away". It helps me keep in mind that time really does fly by ... and things don't actually "sneak up" on us. Often we just chose to ignore what we don't want to deal with because we don't have the time, energy or desire to engage in the work it takes to accomplish a task. You, though, you've got that basic foundation firmly in place that gives you the ability to recognize YOU have to come first ... your eating, your mental health, your physical health ... knowing that NO ONE else can do that for you. What we often sacrifice for the "organization" is often more than we can really afford to give up if you look at it from the "me" angle instead of the "them" angle. Good thought process ... good plan ... emoticon

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NELLJONES 2/1/2013 8:53AM

    I hate to tell you but 11 months flying by happens to us all no matter what we do, as we get older. I'm still trying to figure out where the last 20 years went.

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GABY1948 2/1/2013 8:40AM

    emoticon blog...and you got the answer right on the nose..."meditate (on the Word), pray, and seek Wisdom! You will be victorious, Barb... emoticon

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DEBRITA01 2/1/2013 8:24AM

    Continue to take it one day at a time....remembering your line in the sand. emoticon

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MSLZZY 2/1/2013 7:45AM

    Dig in deep and don't give in to the pressure.
Keep your balance. Focus on what needs to be done.
First things first. Losing your health will only make
it harder.

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ROXYZMOM 2/1/2013 7:27AM

    I think that it is great that you have the marathon goal during this time. It will keep your health on your mind and not allow you to go into a health "slump".

Good for you!!

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RUN4FOOD 2/1/2013 7:26AM

    Good luck in staying active and eating well while needing to be focused on a work project. Keep those priorities in order.

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MAGGIE101857 2/1/2013 7:15AM

    Good advice - we all have the tendency to rush in like fools! I like the concept of wading in emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon much better!!!

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