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The roots of anxiety

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I read an article once that talked about the things that leads to the most stress in life. It used the acronym NUTs. What drives one crazy, it said, are the Nagging Unfinished Tasks. So it is no wonder that I'm waking up this morning feeling anxious and stressed and wanting to go back to sleep.

At work I have hanging several such things. I will start in on a "thing" (multi-part) that needs to be completed, just a part of the big project I've mentioned. Or maybe it's something independent of the project, just something else among my responsibilities. And I'll get interrupted in the process, by something else that requires "urgent" attention, or is given to me as a higher priority, or sometimes just to help someone out.

Normally, I consider myself an "interrupt driven" processor (IT folks will understand that term). I grab the highest priority task, give it the attention it needs, and move on to the next. However, if I get to the end of my work day, and I never got back to the first thing I was doing to complete it? It remains a Nagging Unfinished Task. I can handle SOME of this, force myself to leave, live my life, saying I'll get back to it tomorrow.

But tomorrow is TODAY now, and I have meetings all over my calendar. The NUTs will remain NUTs... and this is how big holes can end up in work product.

The plan to deal: remember that the PROCESSOR (me) needs to be given priorities. One of those priorities is self-maintenance. So...

1) Drink that water
2) Remember that the cookie at the coffee kiosk and the candy bar in the vending machine won't help in the long run
3) TAKE THOSE BREAK WALKS EVEN IF IT MEANS LEAVING THE NUTS AS NUTS FOR A WHILE.
4) Remember that your value as a producer is worthless if you kill yourself doing the producing!

YOU are worth it. Once in a while close your eyes and remember to breathe!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 4/26/2013 11:40PM

    Oh, my life is a lot of nuts all the time...I needed that perspective so thanks!

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LEANJEAN6 4/25/2013 6:37AM

    so true eh??--What you "'want"" to get to---or have half finished, drives one nuts!---And you know what?--It usually gets done in time!------We worry-----for nothing---*S*----Good morning Ba emoticon rb!

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OVERWORKEDJANET 4/25/2013 5:21AM

    Barb,
Thanks for describing my life right now.

The stress has given me sleepless nights, cardiac palpitations and ...the dreaded overeating monster again!
Vicariously yours,

OVERWORKEDJANET emoticon

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KARRENLYNN 4/24/2013 10:23PM

    I hate to say it but I think I am fairly easily distracted. Real pain when you're trying to get certain things done in a timely manner. I'm definitely a stress / boredom / mindless eater, also not good.

I'm rooting for you success in your producer plan!

Karen

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_LINDA 4/24/2013 9:49PM

    Ob boy do I get where you are coming from here. So many tasks, so little time. What to get done first. What will be needed first of course. But some tasks are more interesting then others and you rather leave the unpleasant ones as long as possible. But frantically doing them the night beofre they are needed is unproductive and adds to more sleep deprivation and continuing the vicious cycle. In a perfect world you won't get another task dumped on you before the first one is completed. but of course that never happens, there is always something coming up.
Fortunately, I never let anything get in the way of my exercise. But unfortunately, the stress eating needs work. Maybe I need a time management course. Or to learn to say N.O.
Taking deep breath.
Spark On!

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DALID414 4/24/2013 9:29PM

    emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 4/24/2013 9:15PM

    Good for you for having your plan in place to deal with those nutty NUTs. UGH Used to drive me crazy too.

HUGS

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WATERMELLEN 4/24/2013 8:38PM

    I'm thinking that maybe remembering to breathe could be permissible oftener than once in a while . . . this situation does sound awesomely NUTZZZZZ.

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KARIDIAN1 4/24/2013 8:34PM

    I live that term NUTS. I have a bunch of them so many days.

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MSLZZY 4/24/2013 8:25PM

    I have a deep pile of NUTs only my desk right now. I hope I can handle it as we'll as you do.

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PATRICIAAK 4/24/2013 6:24PM

    Great that your priorities are right! If you don't take care of you, you won't be able to tackle the NUTS.
In my life, I put God first and ask His help in taking care of me and His people.

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LESLIELENORE 4/24/2013 5:53PM

    emoticon

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LJCANNON 4/24/2013 2:37PM

    emoticon "Nut" is a Very Good term for those tasks!!
Thanks for sharing your 'Processing' with all of us!!

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FIFIFRIZZLE 4/24/2013 2:07PM

    Amen to that! Before I took this break I managed to finish a NUT from weeks ago and am amazed by the feeling of lightness and refreshment when I went to work, simply from getting it done. It was lower priority than everything else but still up there, but just wasn't shifting from my list of things to do. I had no idea of the drag effect it was having on me until I got it out of th way.
We are and will remain low staffed at my work and I realize i am going to have to find a way t deals with this situation. Perhaps even reprioritise those NUTs tasks to get rid if the drag effect, because they do affect my productivity.

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BUSYBEE37 4/24/2013 12:15PM

    Well now, you described my work likfe to a T! NUTs, I like that. Thanks for sharing.

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DEBRA0818 4/24/2013 11:06AM

    There is no question that when a big pile of NUTs happens, I have to remind myself to slow down (not go faster), breathe (good idea for all living creatures) and whisper a short prayer (Thy will, not mine, be done). I repeat this until I don't feel nuts anymore. It helps!

emoticon TO emoticon in no time!

Comment edited on: 4/24/2013 11:07:00 AM

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PATTYR81 4/24/2013 10:00AM

    You are telling my life story!

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CONCHA77 4/24/2013 9:12AM

    From one nut to another, have a super day!

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DLDMIL 4/24/2013 9:08AM

    AH, yes I have several NUTs sitting on my desk, and they will sit there until I return from vacation, and then the big NUT will be Union negotiations.OH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for posting another great blog. Let us keep the processors well and happy.

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SLENDERELLA61 4/24/2013 8:58AM

    Very interesting blog. I totally understand how NUTs can drive someone nuts. Best wishes for treating the processor well! You are definitely worth it. I personally had a melt down this morning worthy of the two year old -- all about shoes. Anyway, sometimes I find I can stress out over nothing important at all. So at least you can comfort yourself knowing that you are stressed out over something -- something I suspect would stress anyone. Happy processing and producing! Wishing you fewer and fewer NUTs-- and happy acceptance of those that have to be pending. Happy walking and water drinking!! Wishing you restorative rest in moments of breathing and closed eyes for anxiety-free hours. Anxiety is the enemy. It does not help us produce. When we can master it, we are happiest and most productive!!

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ALOHAEV1 4/24/2013 8:20AM

    I have a stack a foot high of NUTs myself.

I'm going to share this with my daughter, she is facing a lot of the same NUTso stuff you are as the month comes to a close, think she will benefit from it.

Love your background pic by the way!

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KALIGIRL 4/24/2013 8:07AM

    Love your acronym - here's to caring for the processor!

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GABY1948 4/24/2013 7:59AM

    Makes sense to me! That really is the reason for most anxiety...that's when I sit down and make lists! Thanks

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KELLIEBEAN 4/24/2013 7:56AM

    No wonder I am NUTS, I have a few NUTS hanging around! I do believe this. If I could just focus sometimes, life would be better. I'm working on it!

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A "hmmm" moment

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I have deliberately started to schedule my consultations at the JC center for after work on Monday. This is to force myself to leave work!

Once again, I've been blessed by an observant comment by an angel wearing skin... this time my JC consultant. I'd had a great week, in terms of healthy behaviors... and she asked about it. I mentioned how the events at the Boston Marathon kind of whupped me upside the head back out of self doubt and worry, and to the need of LIVING and appreciating each moment of life.

What she said: "You seem to do better in the face of stressful things you know you cannot control. The problems arise when you believe you can control what's stressing you!" Whoa! Another meaty mind-meal!

Seriously... I think it's a little step further: I tend to fall apart on the healthy coping when I believe I am EXPECTED to control things and I will be judged when I cannot. I may be perfectly aware they are out of control. This could be an element of the people pleaser in me.

So, once again, insight to the rescue! Another little tool for the belt.

Today: remember the water, stay hydrated. Eat what's in the bag, that's why you packed it. Do what you can. Make each decision independently.

And LIVE, because LIFE is good! Spark On! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 4/24/2013 8:40PM

    That's a great insight for me too, thanks . . . if I could not have been expected to control it then as yucky as it is, it's not "my problem". Next step -- to refuse to accept someone else's label that this particular thing IS within my control And to say loudly an firmly: "No, it's not." When it isn't. And maybe sometimes even when it's borderline!!

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_LINDA 4/24/2013 12:21AM

    More words of wisdom to wonder about! Hmm indeed!! Thank you JC Consultant! Thank you Barb for sharing!

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PATRICIAAK 4/23/2013 9:16PM

    Super insight from both of you! Ponder on.

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SUSANNAH31 4/23/2013 7:47PM

    Great expression: Meaty Mind-Meal!

I think we all would feel stressed when we are judged on how well we control something that is out of our control. Ouch! That's a tough one.

Thanks for another great blog.



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DOGLADY13 4/23/2013 7:10PM

    I've had a couple of moments lately. I'm not ready to blog about them. I can't even talk about them with The Hubster yet! But reading your blog is making me think some more. I may just blog a second time today. To get it out of my head.

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KARIDIAN1 4/23/2013 3:21PM

    Great observation by your JC consultant.

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DALID414 4/23/2013 3:16PM

    Life is good!

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CASEYTALK 4/23/2013 2:00PM

    It's amazing how life lessons hit you when you're not looking for them.

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MSLZZY 4/23/2013 1:57PM

    Your consultant sounds right on the money. I will have to keep this in mind for suture stressful incidents. Thanks for sharing. HUGS!

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DEBRA0818 4/23/2013 11:52AM

    We are tempted by the things we cannot control but think we have a shot at controlling aren't we?! I am learning a little bit each day to give up more and more control (or to admit I never had any in the first place). What an astonishing revelation it all is!

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HEALTHY4ME 4/23/2013 10:02AM

    Every day you make me smile... at the Eat what's in the bag, that's why you packed it!!
LOVE it. you have a great day!!
HUGS

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 4/23/2013 10:01AM

    Oh, how I can relate. Your JC consultant is a very smart woman. Very interesting and definitely gives me food for thought.

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LESLIELENORE 4/23/2013 9:41AM

    Def something to think about.

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1CRAZYDOG 4/23/2013 9:36AM

    DEFINITELY a meaty mind meal!

Makes me think of me, honestly, because I do better "under pressure" too.

HUGS

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CELIAMINER 4/23/2013 8:57AM

    Great insight! I'm going to let the control vs. stress observation roam around in my brain today and see what pops up.

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BUSYGRANNY5 4/23/2013 8:13AM

    Enjoyed your blog! Keep on keeping on!!!

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LEANJEAN6 4/23/2013 8:04AM

    So yu worry??----Oh I guess we all do----Exercise helps a lot-----Rain here to-day---already did a bit of Dreadmill!--I hope yu have a great day at work!!!! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 4/23/2013 7:56AM

    Here's to independent decisions and controlling the one thing we can - our attitude!
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MAGGIE101857 4/23/2013 7:34AM

    Good thoughts to ponder today! And yes, eat what's in the bag!!! emoticon

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Monday after a full weekend

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's funny, but attitude is everything, right? The weekend was productive AND fun. I slept really well. I feel energized and ready to take that energy to work. Reminders to self:

* Do the best you can. Neither immediately judge a task impossible, nor blame yourself if it doesn't all get done today.

* If you start to get anxious, remember that the cookie at the coffee kiosk and the candy bar in the vending machine will NOT make it better in the long run.

* TAKE those walking breaks, even if they don't happen at the "normal" time.

* Leave on time! That's why you made that appointment for after work on Monday!

LIFE is good, and we are worth it! Spark on. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 4/24/2013 8:42PM

    Totally with you on all of these except (for me) "Do the best I can." I can't do the best I can all the time. And not everything is worth doing the best I can anyhow. Sometimes good enough is gonna have to be good enough. And sometimes . . . not at all is gonna have to be good enough.

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_LINDA 4/24/2013 12:15AM

    Way to push past it!! This is why you are the inspiring success you are!! I was just reading a great Spark article about putting the 'I' into your sentences. I make the choice to have a donut or not. I make the choice to exercise or not. I do not let external forces push me around as I am the only one who can manage my time.
Here is to taking charge of your journey and rocking it!

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KARIDIAN1 4/23/2013 3:28PM

    Good advice.

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1CRAZYDOG 4/22/2013 8:30PM

    Love the advice! Great job.

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MSBEKANATOR 4/22/2013 7:46PM

    Love the advice!!!

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PATRICIAAK 4/22/2013 7:26PM

    Great attitudes lead to higher altitudes on the ladder of successful living.

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LESLIELENORE 4/22/2013 6:29PM

    You have a great attitude!

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DLDMIL 4/22/2013 11:16AM

    Yes, attitude is everything. Leaving work at work is also very important and taking your walking breaks will destress you for a few minutes. emoticon emoticon

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DALID414 4/22/2013 10:38AM

    Attitude is everything, that's why we must pick a good one!

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GABY1948 4/22/2013 9:17AM

    emoticon

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CELIAMINER 4/22/2013 9:04AM

    Great advice!

Happy Earth Day!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


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DEBRITA01 4/22/2013 9:03AM

    A great weekend can carry over to the work week...have a good one! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 4/22/2013 8:58AM

    Here's to emoticon decisions along the way! Thinking about showing up @ the Running Co - if not just to cheer them on their way...

Thanks again for our healthy outing.

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SLENDERELLA61 4/22/2013 8:06AM

    Hooray for great sleep! WooHoo for good attitude! Love the fun and productive weekend. That's the way to live. Keep up all your smart and healthy efforts. You know just how to do it. Thanks for being a great model of dealing with great stress and still taking very good care of yourself. -Marsha

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ANOTHERMOMOF2 4/22/2013 7:43AM

    Have a good day!

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MIRAGE727 4/22/2013 7:40AM

    Solid! Thanks for sharing, Barb!
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Ahhhhh!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Yesterday's outing with Becky (KALIGIRL) had a LOT of conversation, but you know how one or two things in an encounter stick out to you? Maybe make you make a different decision over the course of the next few days?

Well, Becky, thanks to something you said in the car on the way, I ended up in the pool swimming laps this morning before TV church! It felt WONDERFUL!

I'm not sure she even remembers saying this... how many of us do remember every comment we've ever made to a friend? But as we were talking I mentioned it had been a while since I swam. And she was giving me the kind of encouraging feedback we're used to getting from our Spark friends: well, it wasn't your favorite sport, and you are still being active... or words to that effect.

Whoa! That got tucked away to sit up and take notice to later. Not my favorite sport? First, is that true? It's not my best performing sport, that's true. But I've always viewed swimming as a kind of "reward" activity! And here I had been with-holding it from myself! That's what got me thinking.

So this morning, I decided I was not going to let anything stop me from rewarding myself with a swim. I was not going to let fear of not fitting in the suit... I was not going to let procrastination... and I was not going to let forgetting my padlock... stop me from getting to the gym and getting my swim in.

Have I lost some swimming fitness since the triathlon last summer? You bet I have! I swam 36 lengths (900 yards) in rotations of my 6 distinct strokes... in 30 minutes. I don't think I could have done it as "all crawl". And it felt... WONDERFUL.

So now I'm back home, with my favorite TV church service to keep me company, and I'm about to get back to the laundry I started earlier.

And with this blog goes a great big THANK YOU... to all the people whose stray comment, or blog, or question... makes me think... re-evaluate... and enrich life!

Which, as I keep saying... is GOOD. Spark on! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 4/22/2013 9:33AM

    So glad to here a comment enriched your life - your comments certainly enriched mine!
Here's to choosing life!

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LEANJEAN6 4/22/2013 7:17AM

    It sounds so like yu--to try to enjoy yer swim even tho its not yer favourite type of
exercise!-------Yu sound good Barb!!--Spring is exciting eh?-Lynda emoticon

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_LINDA 4/22/2013 12:29AM

    Wow! Sounds like some pretty darn awesome swimming to me!! Way to get it on!!
So glad Becky helped you rediscover the joy of the pool. Always the note -exercise should be fun and enjoyable or why bother?
Keep up the great Spark!

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PATRICIAAK 4/21/2013 10:59PM

    It's amazing how snippets are so vital to us being our best!
(I like to think of it as God's way of blessing us while remaining anonymous.)

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MSLZZY 4/21/2013 9:29PM

    Rediscovering an activity you enjoy-priceless!

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MOBYCARP 4/21/2013 7:52PM

    You'd think that if some activity is both a *reward* and *good exercise* we'd do a lot of it, right? Guess we humans aren't always terribly rational!

I'm glad you figured it out and got back to swimming. May it help keep you physically healthy and emotionally nurtured.

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LESLIELENORE 4/21/2013 6:58PM

    emoticon Don't you love how that works?

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MIRAGE727 4/21/2013 4:27PM

    emoticon
Sweet, Barb! Stay strong!
emoticon
I start my swim training for my Triathlon this week! I have my pool and the Gulf to wear me out. Oughta be fun!
emoticon

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DLDMIL 4/21/2013 4:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DALID414 4/21/2013 2:57PM

    'Just keep swimming' -Dori, Finding Nemo

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DEBRITA01 4/21/2013 1:14PM

    One never knows when a comment or statement will be the spark into action....friends are really good for motivating or helping us evaluate. When life gets busy, we often "forget" to include things we enjoy...glad you got your swim in today. emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 4/21/2013 12:09PM

    That's wonderful that her words got you back into something you enjoy! WooHOoooo!

HUGS and have a great Sunday.

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RONNIEHUEY 4/21/2013 11:52AM

    I have to get back to swimming! I love to swim and haven't done it in several years

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 4/21/2013 11:44AM

    Good for you, Barb! Why is it that we often skip those things that we often view as being treats or rewards? Is it because we often times don't feel we deserve them? Or is it because in our busy lives, it's easier to give up those little moments of pampering/rewarding so we can live up to others' expectations of us? Most likely a combination of both. Glad you were able to get that swim in and enjoy it so much!

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WATERMELLEN 4/21/2013 10:53AM

    "And here I had been with-holding it from myself!"

Yeah. How often do I do that to myself, in so many areas of my life (justifying "treating" myself with extra food, of course!!)

Thanks for reminding me too.

What a web of interconnections we have here.

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UNO 5K dedicated to Boston

Saturday, April 20, 2013

This morning KALIGIRL pulled into my driveway at 6:30 a.m., and thus began our day of adventures. It was a blast. We didn't stop talking the whole time and she dropped me back home at 11:51 a.m.

First, we drove East, and missed the turn she intended to take. I didn't notice, because I was not aware of which way she intended, and it was the same way as to my cousin's farm... so it looked familiar and proper to ME! We laughed and discovered a different route (again, talking all the way, mostly me, but I did let her get the occasional story in!)

We arrived at AkSarBen just in time. Which was good. Because it was COLD outside this morning. The sun made a small effort, but soon clouded under. We got our bibs, and lined up with the others "doing" the 5K. We were "just" walking, because that's what we needed to do today.

The territory we traversed was a park, a walking trail, mostly. It was *wonderful* catching up and briskly walking so as not to freeze (did I mention it was COLD?) After our walk, we started to walk across the field, only to discover ... squish... squish... it was rather WET... not just COLD. So we opted to go visit a nearby deli and had marvelous bagel sandwiches and good coffee.

And kept on talking, and talking... covering a range of themes, Sparkly and outside the Spark norm as well. One Spark reminiscence we shared was of the discussions of nutrition we had back in the day when we were first learning to drop the weight. We both enthused over the current state of our health and fitness and our commitment to keep a healthy lifestyle FOR life. And we missed some Spark friends that we shared that seem to have little if any Spark presence these days... we send up wishes for healthy happy lives outside of Spark to WalkingAnnie in particular, as she was/and continues to be a large influence for good to both of us.

We talked about our reaction to the events of the past week (or two) on a personal, professional and news cycle level. And we just shared a whole lot of positive feelings and healing love to spread around, so Spark buds, you get the overflow of bubbles.

And Becky gave me a tour of the UNO campus on the way home, which I hadn't seen in YEARS, so that too added to the senses of adventure.

Anyway, I uploaded the photographic proof of KaliGirl's presence (I was behind the camera, sorry, you didn't get ME... this time, anyway). This has been a great day... and it's only mid-day. And you know how I feel? ALIVE... AWARE... AWAKE!

So get on out there and Spark! You're worth it, every one of you! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 4/21/2013 2:49PM

    Good for you, Barb! Love reading about your adventures.


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KALIGIRL 4/21/2013 10:30AM

    Here's to adventures and choosing life!

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OVERWORKEDJANET 4/21/2013 8:53AM

    Sounds like a great time!

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_LINDA 4/21/2013 12:50AM

    That is fantastic you shared some good times. May have been cold there, but I didn't see the snow on the ground ;) Was watching a little light fluff come down this evening.
This sounds like something you should do more often with your running friends.
You guys rock!

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PATRICIAAK 4/20/2013 11:59PM

    super

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LESLIELENORE 4/20/2013 9:00PM

    emoticon emoticon I love meeting Sparkfriends!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/20/2013 7:54PM

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time!

HUGS!

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MNTWINSGAL 4/20/2013 7:45PM

    Oh, Barb....the minute you mentioned AkSarBen I was taken back many years, remembering how my dad loved going to the horseraces in Omaha. Thanks for the inadvertant trip down memory lane! And I'm glad you had such a nice time today too!

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MSLZZY 4/20/2013 7:41PM

    emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 4/20/2013 6:34PM

    Marvellous to share time with KALIGIRL. I too miss WALKINGANNIE.

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DLDMIL 4/20/2013 5:54PM

    What a great adventure. I am so glad that you had such a wonderful time.

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DALID414 4/20/2013 3:16PM

    How fun!

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MIRAGE727 4/20/2013 2:49PM

    Sweet! Hey, Barb! Need a challenge? Our cousin invited us to do this in September.

http://www.double
halfmary.com/

Luckily, I'm doing my first Tri, the Tarpon Springs Triathlon that same weekend!
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-SHOREIDO- 4/20/2013 2:37PM

    Thanks for sharing. Almost felt like I was there with you guys!! It's great having friends to share stuff with!!
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DEBRITA01 4/20/2013 2:21PM

    Sounds like a perfect start to your weekend... emoticon

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