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Virtual Friday

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tomorrow is a holiday that is often the butt of jokes in the wider world. Well, it is what passes for it since the State of Nebraska decided to move it off its traditional April 22nd (J. Sterling Morton's birthday), to make it a "4th Friday of April" deal. I speak of Arbor Day, the celebration of planting trees.

The weather this year doesn't seem to coincide with the way it normally is this time of year, but I get a day off work anyway. Rather than trees this year, I shall have seed put down on my lawn, since I managed to kill it rather thoroughly through not watering during last year's drought. At all. Almost seems an exercise in futility, doesn't it?

Still, it will make the neighbors a little happier and me feel a little less guilty about my yard being a "blight" on the suburban landscape.

And now, for today's little pep talk:

1. You can declare victory for surviving your high-anxiety day of meetings keeping you away from finishing your NUTs (Nagging Unfinished Task, for someone who trips over the blog without having read yesterday's). Feel good and reward yourself in a healthy way.

2. Drink your water.

3. Eat what's in the bag, it's why you packed it.

4. Remember to take those breaks. Even if not at the normal time. Walk.

5. And, as always, remember that the cookie at the coffee stand and the candy bar in the machine... will not make it better in the long run! Maybe not even in the short run.

Spark a healthy day, my friends, because LIFE is good. Live it well! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKFRAN514 4/26/2013 2:07PM

    thanks for the tips and you are so right about the cookies and candy but sometimes they call our names so loudly emoticon emoticon my grass love water but still to cold here to water yet

Comment edited on: 4/26/2013 2:10:46 PM

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OVERWORKEDJANET 4/26/2013 5:59AM

    I have the brownest lawn in the summer and am proud of it. I do not water my grass, only my plants and they are hand-watered. Saving the planet and such.
You go, brown blades.

Your bro mentioned zoysia, it does tolerate less water. Dad had it at his place and it was like a thick pile carpet in the summer and in the sun. Didn't grow at all in the shade.

As for NUTs, I now have squirrels living under my desk!

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_LINDA 4/26/2013 1:53AM

    Sounds like you need to move to a xeroscape. Lots of rocks and pretty stone and a few drought hardy shrubs to please the tree huggers.
I never get even the weird holidays off here. The bridge club never closes down except for Christmas Day. So I work every Monday unless its Christmas :P
Enjoy your rest day! I enjoyed my day off and bridge with the Probus club members, especially as it was actually warm enough outside all I needed was a light jacket because of the strong winds! Not normal temps yet, but creeping close and higher (hopefully)

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MSLZZY 4/25/2013 10:03PM

    Love the reference to the cookie and candy bar. Thankfully I stock the coffee room and no snacks there. Enjoy your day off. I want to plant grass on Saturday, before it rains next week.

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KARIDIAN1 4/25/2013 9:55PM

    I got all my NUTS done today!

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PATRICIAAK 4/25/2013 9:24PM

    Hoping you have sun to enjoy as you rescue the landscape.

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RAINBOWMF 4/25/2013 9:06PM

    No help here

Enjoy your Friday

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MOBYCARP 4/25/2013 8:58PM

    You might want to consider zoysia grass for the sunny part of your lawn. It's fairly low maintenance, tolerates the heat well, and won't grow where there's shade. Your older sister would be more of an expert on it than I am, but I got a good 5 year run out of it on 69th St.

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WATERMELLEN 4/25/2013 7:33PM

    Lawns: what a lot of attention they demand!! Ours is definitely not the approved "monoculture" carpet of green . . . lots of thyme, stonecrop, clover, and weeds.

Glad you're getting a day off tomorrow: you deserve it for sure.

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FIFIFRIZZLE 4/25/2013 1:43PM

    Over here on the other side of the seasons have a lawn rescue day of my own ahead of me today.
emoticon

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CASEYTALK 4/25/2013 11:57AM

    Have you considered clover instead of grass?

http://www.sheknows.c
om/home-and-gardening/articles/
965457/new-options-for-your-law
n-alternatives-to-grass

Or something else:

http://www.hotgardens.
net/replacing_your_lawn.htm


I'm a lazy person. I don't like watering, fertilizing, or mowing. :)

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PRINCESSAMY 4/25/2013 11:47AM

    Have fun on your Virtual Friday!!!

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LESLIELENORE 4/25/2013 10:49AM

    I like Arbor Day.

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1CRAZYDOG 4/25/2013 10:41AM

    **SIGH** I feel your grass pain! Our lawn is a blight too for the same reason! My neighbors all around "dutifully" water the heck out of their lawn, had provessional landscapers mow their lawn (NO WAY, JOSE!) and we didn't. Sooooo, have to do some TLC out there as well.

HUGS and good luck.

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DALID414 4/25/2013 9:58AM

    Happy virtual Friday.

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MIRAGE727 4/25/2013 8:38AM

    I'm so excited that I'm in Lincoln for Arbor Day!
emoticon
Dunedin, Florida is also celebrating by giving away free trees to grow!
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SLENDERELLA61 4/25/2013 8:10AM

    Best wishes with reestablishing the lawn. Guess we're lucky. Ours can look dead, but the rains come and it springs back to life. As always, love your pep talk. Interesting that you point out that the cookie and vending machine treats may not even help in the short run. Good point. Enjoy your day off! You definitely deserve one - or more!

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SUSANNAH31 4/25/2013 8:09AM

    Here's to greener lawns and a great outdoor day tomorrow.

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KALIGIRL 4/25/2013 7:55AM

    Ah - sounds like spring is in the air @ your house - we have to accomplish some weed control @ the street - hot concrete and grass just don't seem to mix...
emoticon

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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!

emoticon

  
  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!

emoticon

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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.

emoticon

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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!

emoticon

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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!
emoticon

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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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