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Trying to stay in "today"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's hard when you are anticipating some joyous event, or even when you are dreading some unpleasant one, to stay anchored in "right now". I noticed this in myself this morning. It's been going on for a while now. It's the whole son coming home from overseas thing. Anticipation: good and not so good.

He could be in transit even as I type. Or not. It's hard to tell, and of course they can't tell you: security! And uncertainty, for that matter. Haven't seen his presence on line since Sunday, and have not heard from my daughter in law either (when she gets the phone call, she usually passes that kind of news along)!

The problem, emotionally, is that I so deeply desire a particular outcome: safe arrival, obviously. And at the same time, there are unknowns: how will he have been changed by his experience? We've been in this situation with him gone for close to a year... how will re-integration turn out?

So, hovering around with this anticipation uppermost, I'm up early. I'll pamper myself with a veggie omelet for breakfast, since I have the time. Maybe head to work a little early and get an extra walk around the block in the cool of the morning. Whatever it takes to anchor me in the present... because part of me wants to get to the future already! emoticon

On the note of time passing: it's the first day of school here! Remember to drive carefully!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESTSUSIEYET 8/18/2010 7:20PM

    Hope today has been good -- I like your pro-active attitude for focusing on TODAY! God Bless You & Your Family!! emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 8/18/2010 4:18PM

    I hope that blogging about these very natural feelings gives you some sense of release Barb.

You are giving yourself sensible advice about a difficult situation. You can't change the circumstances but you can work on your responses to it - which is just what you are doing.

It's not easy and my thoughts are with you.

emoticon emoticon

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NURSIE8 8/18/2010 2:47PM

    Hang in there Barb. You have got to be in one of the most trying situations as a mother but you certainly have the right attitude to handle it!! What a wonderful experience it will be for you and your family when your son is home!! emoticon

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BURKEBRIZ 8/18/2010 12:13PM

    My favorite reminder is Philippians 4:6-7
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and tank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

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ANDI571 8/18/2010 9:53AM

    My little saying under my computer screen says: I cannot relive yesterday, and tomorrow isn't here yet, so I will just deal with today.

That is so hard to do when it comes to our children. The worry for my daughter can unravel me quicker than anything. I am learning to pray, God take care of this situation, because I can't.

You hang in there, we are pulling for you.

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DEBRITA01 8/18/2010 9:48AM

    Sorry, having computer problems...duplication.

Comment edited on: 8/18/2010 9:49:29 AM

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DEBRITA01 8/18/2010 9:43AM

    Thanks for the reminder to live in the moment. With so much on our minds each day, it's hard to stay present. I'm sure it's especially difficult for you.

Praying for a safe return for your son and wishing you a sweet reunion.

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SUNNY332 8/18/2010 9:26AM

    I would have the same problems you are having. Hang in there and do let us know when he arrives home.

I will be thinking about you as you go through the day.

Hugs, Sunny

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BUGGYS 8/18/2010 9:07AM

    Embrace today and the fact that your son IS coming home...

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/18/2010 8:59AM

    Hi Barb ~ I think you're suffering from what I refer to as "the mothers' curse." Once a mother, we're always thinking about our children, and it doesn't change when they're adults with lives of their own. Add to that the fact that he's been overseas in a very dangerous situation and I think your worries double (or triple?). I pray that he arrives back on US soil safely and soon, and that you'll have a happy reunion.

Focusing on today is key. But often times we look ahead or dwell on the past. And in doing, so, we miss today. I'm guilty of that a lot. Thanks for the reminder -- for today, I'll try to focus on today.

Have a great one!

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KALIGIRL 8/18/2010 8:31AM

    Glad you're taking those extra steps to stay present and excited he's coming home!
In a few weeks life will settle into a routine - new, old or some mix of both.
Good thoughts coming your way!

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PEGGYJEAN13 8/18/2010 8:08AM

    Mothers seem to worry no matter what the situation. We have to leave a lot of what happens to our kids up to them and God. It is the hardest thing to do as a parent since we want everything perfect for our kids. Have a wonderful homecoming.

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PEGGYJEAN13 8/18/2010 8:07AM

    Mothers seem to worry no matter what the situation. We have to leave a lot of what happens to our kids up to them and God. It is the hardest thing to do as a parent since we have control over so little. Have a wonderful homecoming.

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A10TIVTRTL 8/18/2010 8:03AM

    It's always a challenge for me to Stay in Today, so I often use that as a sort of personal mantra. I'm sending blessings to you and your family.

Comment edited on: 8/18/2010 8:04:01 AM

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ANONALEE 8/18/2010 7:58AM

    Even without the pressure of a special event, it is sometimes hard to stay anchored in the present, but your consciousness of the situation is serving you extremely well. Fingers crossed for your son's arrival sooner rather than later! No sense in testing your "live for today" ability too much!!



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JHADZHIA 8/18/2010 7:43AM

    I hope your son gets home safely and is okay!
Enjoy your omelet! With a crispy 7 (44F) morning here, a hot meal sound heavenly! Not the first day of school here in Canada.

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Goals - do YOU set them?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This is inspired by a blog this morning by JUST_TRI_IT, where she observed her own goal-orientation.

Goals are a slippery thing for me... I'm not sure HOW I feel about them at this point in my life! Goals can become obsessions with me. And once met, an emptiness... what do I do now?

One problem: I'm a competitor at heart - I want the A, I want the applause, I want to be first... but the reality is, I am NOT gifted in every area of life. I learned in childhood that I would rather "not try" than come in second! I could lie to myself "If I really wanted to, I would win".

Also, from youth I'd been taught that it was WRONG to brag or put oneself above others. So there is this internal conflict between wanting recognition and achievement and NOT wanting it, if you know what I mean.

Consequently, I have issues when people begin to compliment my successes, and I will tend to self-sabotage. At the same time, I love to encourage others in the common struggle... because we really CAN do this, and it's important for our collective health and well-being.

Human beings are complex things. A huge win for me was learning to compete not with others but with myself. That works great when you are young and fit... as I get older, I fear that even competing with myself might become a problem! After all, my personal best 5K time is getting close to 20 years ago. I haven't competed in one in many years.

When I said I wanted to do this one in November, because it is a meaningful cause... I had to be very careful to NOT set up expectations in myself of beating that 20 years ago time! So... my goal at this point is to just DO it. Old ad campaigns rule.

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 8/21/2010 3:30PM

    "Human beings are complex things."
Ouf! That sure is true! emoticon

Have a Sparking week! emoticon

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NELLIEC 8/17/2010 3:19PM

    In general I don't like competition. Yet I am willing to compete with myself to do better. That is my answer to the goals where I try to better a previous achievement -- within reason. When I had my surgery last January, I expected to be weaker for a while.

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WALKINGANNIE 8/17/2010 1:34PM

    This sounds like productive self assessment.

I struggle a bit with the goal metaphor and recognise your observations about competition, although I hadn't really thought about my older self competing with my younger self until now!

I try to think about positive progress with SMART objectives - specific, measurable, achievable, realitic and time-bound.

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KALIGIRL 8/17/2010 1:10PM

    Recognizing your nature and re-framing your goals into 'non-competitive' internal action sounds like a winner to me. Just 'doing it' is a huge step for all of us.

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SUNRISE14 8/17/2010 11:02AM

    I have joined the 10 minute exercise challenge for 30 days and got a trophy for last month and joined again this month. I like this be cause for me its doable! I basically lose about 2-3 lbs on 1200 calories a day so i only get weighted once a month which will be Aug 31st ! A week from today! I'm not hard on myself i know if i don't lose lbs i will probably lose inches and if not i've gained more sparkfriends and no how to do this on the site. So it's a no brainer i am a winner either way! I hate dissappointments and won't set myself up for them! When i was a child someone was always saying i could do this or that then laugh and say i didn't tell you that so since i growed up i won't let that happen anymore ! If you plan on a set challenge say to your self if it doesn't happen at least i am going the right direction! If i can help you in anyway please let me know i am here everyday!!! emoticon

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ANDI571 8/17/2010 10:26AM

    I only set my goal weight, and then set small goals getting to it. I try to concentrate on five pound increments. When I started at 183, I first wanted to get to 180, then 175 etc. That was one reason I was so excited at 165. I had finally reached that small goal. Now I am back up from that, but at least it is attainable to get back to it.

I never thought about the self-sabotage thing, but I wonder if I also do that. Why would I be so excited about the 165, then go and eat and gain it back. You may be on to something there. But the question is, why would we do that?

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/17/2010 10:00AM

    I set goals internally. Usually with no firm end-date, however. I do not post them to the public because the whole accountability issue with doing that stresses me out. So I guess I'm a yes/no on the goals thing. I know what I want to achieve and where I want to go, but I don't pressure myself with goals like losing X amount of pounds in X amount of time.

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KATHRYNLP 8/17/2010 8:31AM

    I use small attainable goals now. And I stopped thinking that I was a Perfectionist. Not only did that make me sound arrogant, but it set me up to be a failure, No one is perfect. emoticon

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RITAROSE 8/17/2010 8:11AM

  You blog is very timely and interesting for me as I'm having trouble resetting my goals.
With some big life events that just took place a few weeks ago, I got off my exercise and eating plan to some extent and have been thinking I better get some goals to work on to get me back on track as I have a long road ahead to reach my ultimate weight and fitness goal.

I didn't know anyone else self-sabatoged themselves. Guess I didn't give it much thought, but I hate it when that happens. SP has helped to keep me motivated, inspired and has given me the tools I need to work the plan, but then life got in the way.
Thankfully, I haven't gained and I am still exercising, just not as consistently as I was before. I hope this food for thought will get me moving in the right direction.

Have a super day! Thanks so much for helping me through your blog!

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CONCHA77 8/17/2010 7:59AM

    I like the "Just Do It" approach. For me, it is a huge accomplishment and I think the end results are just as good. I think it's wonderful that you will be doing the 5K, that's terrific. Enjoy!

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PEGGYJEAN13 8/17/2010 7:42AM

    Goals can give us a challenge but it is hard not to put the "end" in site and miss the fun along the way. I think I am more about the trip getting there, since making the goal is sometimes disappointing. Anticipation is the best part the majority of the time.

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JUST_TRI_IT 8/17/2010 7:40AM

    I think that a goal of "just DO it" is a pretty exciting goal. It seems to open up such possibilities. However we just DO it is a matter of personal place and personal preference.

I'm excited ot hear more about how the 5K goes and about your just getting in there and enjoying the experience. emoticon

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Not so fast!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fessing up: I got cocky with how well I'd done with the cheesecake on Saturday, and on Sunday succumbed to nervous nibbling. I was craving salty things. And I had made the mistake of purchasing some of those "100 calorie" packets of things like cheese curls and baked chips.

Got news... I'm sure NOBODY knows this... but 100 calories is still 100 calories and one little packet nibbled after another can add up in a hurry. I was well over my limit by the end of the day and am paying the price this morning for the excess sodium with swollen sinus passages. Funny how the consequences show up so much faster these days.

So, halo slipped there. Time to take my own advice and treat myself gently and get back on track starting right now. With my steel cut oats breakfast and a gentle but firm attitude toward that inner toddler who was pressing her limits yesterday!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYJEAN13 8/17/2010 7:47AM

    I have to keep telling myself to "take the healthy choice." I have to make sure I have lots of healthy snacks like fruit around because I get that urge for sweets often and if I have something good for me I can satisfy my sweet tooth in a healthy way. My will power is nonexistent so I don't bake or buy snacks unless there are other people to eat them and then they go to work with my husband when everyone leaves.

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DEBRITA01 8/16/2010 4:58PM

    If I eat something that's not on my plan (like birthday cake) and find that, hey, I'm still okay....nothing bad happened (no binge, no weight gain), then, I think I have a handle on this and I stop being as vigilant. Marenamoo is so right, you have to be ever vigilant....once your guard is down and you start feeling too comfortable, the old habits slip right back so easily. I so relate to everything you wrote.

100 calories of foods that don't fill you up or satisfy, are just that. I was buying the 100 calorie packs (and often eating more than one) which was great in that it was portion-controlled but, it didn't satisfy me and got me craving other foods, as well.

Isn't it amazing how the body reacts to these types of foods? The body knows best, and we do better when we listen to it...I've had more than my share of food hangovers (I'm a slow learner, I guess) and now I listen. My daughter & I were just talking about that very topic today...we agreed, it's not worth it.

Okay, your halo "slipped" but, you made the adjustment and it's back where it belongs emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/16/2010 5:02:49 PM

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SUNRISE14 8/16/2010 4:41PM

    Don't be so hard on yourself you wasn't cocky you were proud there is a difference! We will win some and lose some if you can't handle one or 2 packs of 100 calorie snacks don't buy them! I buy things i'm not fond of or our kroger store has 33 cents single packs of snacks and i buy 1 or 1 donuts go home fix coffee and enjoy and i'm not being cocky ! HA!!HA!! I am just learning what i can and cannot handle! emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 8/16/2010 4:06PM

    I think we have all been through a version of this scenario - and probably will do again but it IS funny how the consequences show up faster these days. What on earth were we doing to our bodies before and just not registering? Perhaps our better attuned bodies are a good defence against going completely off the rails as we become more accustomed to eating more healthily or suffering immediate consequences and responding appropriately?

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BUCKHOLDT 8/16/2010 2:01PM

    I liked your post to the wall "Bump in road looks like mountain to turtle?"

Gentle works sometimes; just don't make it a habit. Those 100 calorie packs are never enough. Except the ones that taste like cardboard.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/16/2010 10:15AM

    Good for you, for getting back on track. I think this is a common "symptom." At least it is for me. I can plan and behave and really be proud of myself for doing well with a treat, but the next day (or a few days later) I fall down flat on my face. I think, for me, I somehow am happy I was successful, but deep down, I'm wishing I had eaten the whole thing. And that little "niggling" at my brain eventually causes me to cave-in. So, I don't know what's worse, eating the whole thing, which will lead to a good self-beating which in turn will probably lead to emotional eating. Or, doing well, enjoying the feeling of success, and still falling flat in a day or two. I somehow think I'm better off with Option 2. If I experience the joy of success enough times, perhaps the falling flat, in time, won't be worth the feeling of failure afterwards. That's my story. And I'm sticking to it!

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ANDI571 8/16/2010 9:59AM

    Welcome to the "Slipped up Club". Isn't it just a little scary how easy it is to slip back into those old habits. But the good thing is, that we do slip right back into good habits. There was a time, a slip up could mean not eating right again for years. Sounds like a blog doesn't it, lol.

Comment edited on: 8/16/2010 9:59:53 AM

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KALIGIRL 8/16/2010 8:57AM

    Isn't it incredible how our healthy bodies let us know when we're off track? I wonder if they did before and we just didn't listen?
Here's to halo slipping (@ least you have one!)

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TYGRLILY 8/16/2010 7:46AM

    At least you are recognizing where you made a slip and next time will have that little extra oompf to resist!! We've all be there! Just remember each day is a brand new start and a new chance to keep on track!! You can do it!!

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Daydreams and real life challenges

Sunday, August 15, 2010

First off, thanks to all the Spark friends who dropped by and had comments / suggestions about going "car-free" yesterday.

I enjoyed reading the suggestions and I'm adding them to my ponderings. I already do several of them (like walking to the pharmacy, or the bank, or the doctor's office). The big ones that scotch the plan: work related. So, I probably will replace this vehicle. I hope that it's the last time before I retire!

On to today's topics - real life challenges:

My daughter in law had a recent birthday... and yesterday we went to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate. Sounds decadent, no? IS decadent, yes!

It was not planned ahead, so there I was looking at a menu the size of a small town telephone directory. My choices: I had a BLT salad skipping the bleu cheese crumbles and the dressing. I haven't had bacon in several months, and this was a great flavor treat. I left about a quarter of it behind (I swear there was a half a head of lettuce on the plate, at least two hard-boiled eggs crumbled, two slices of bacon and a medium sized tomato diced)... this was an "appetizer" salad. Then we split a slice of Kalua Cocoa Coffee Cheesecake with whipped cream.

Sounds horrible by old good/bad food diet thinking, but here's the part I'm proud of: I savored each bite, the sight, the smell, the texture, the taste, and got to a point of satisfied, not stuffed. There was an inch of cheesecake left on the plate. I emoticon'ed! Yes, stopped... put down the fork and let the server clear those last three bites away.

I didn't feel I had to chase after it, or eat the whole thing. I didn't feel I had to clean my plate. That's the personal triumph here. I adjusted my eating the rest of the day, and I'm moving on to my regular nutritious plan today. I blew my fat and cholesterol counts for the day, but balanced over the week, I'm still OK. I don't feel like a failure.

Intellectually I know it's OK to splurge and treat yourself with special foods ONCE IN A WHILE. If I know I can do this again sometime, and I don't tell myself "I'll never have cheesecake again"... I am free to stop with a satisfying portion.

Yesterday, the intellectual knowledge turned into emotional fact. I found a way to feel good about my choices while still feeling treated. I wish I could bottle the emotions surrounding this celebration meal. I'm putting it on paper to remind myself for the future times when this may once again seem hard.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 8/15/2010 5:16PM

    emoticon emoticon
Intellectual to emotional and maybe back to intellectual - feeling good and knowing you did good.
You did great!

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WALKINGANNIE 8/15/2010 1:26PM

    Well done Barb! Turning 'the intellectual knowledge turned into emotional fact' is probably my biggest remaining challenge. You did realy well in expressing this so well and acting on it so very effectively.

It is OK to have treats. We will not get fat from occasional splurges and eating like the slim people that we have become. I know this intellectually but I need to truly feel it as you have.


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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/15/2010 12:17PM

    How great is that?! You mindfully enjoyed a treat you'd been planning for and looking forward to. And you know? I think the secret is simply that you allowed it, you enjoyed it, and you didn't feel like, as you said, you had to chase after those last few bites. You were satisfied and able to leave some on the plate. GREAT adventure, Barb!

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JUST_TRI_IT 8/15/2010 10:48AM

    That is awesome!! I think it is important to enjoy those splurges and times out with family without the guilt-- make it work into the plan overall. Glad you relished and adjusted!


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GOHUSKERS2 8/15/2010 8:59AM

    You did fantastic! I L-O-V-E cheesecake, any flavor, any ingredients....just love it. I probably would have declined the invitation to go so I wouldn't embarrass the family by licking the plate! LOL

I really do think you are doing great!

Have a happy Sunday!

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SUNRISE14 8/15/2010 7:39AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon You are getting it and so am i! DH and i go to the flea market every saturday and we go to this ice cream store every time. All summer i have only had i think 3 kid cones in a waffle cone so yesterday i wanted one i got the waffle cone and a kids dip ate half of it and was satisfied DH finished it cause i said i was gonna throw the rest away! Sometimes i will just take a bite of his ! But i was soooooooo in control! It feels sooooo gooooood ! I am 59 years old and have been fighting weight since i was 22 years old when they put me on heart meds. I went from 132 lbs to 215 lbs and quit looking in just about 2 years ! But thanks to sparkpeople and sparkfriends i have the tools and support and i am down to 159.8 and get monthly weigh in Aug 31st. I am so in control it's scary! emoticon I am happy for you if i can help in anyway i am here daily!!!Just drop past my page!!! emoticon emoticon

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Day-dreaming of living like grandma

Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's the budget crunch that's got me thinking about this, but what if you could combine fitness with regular life activity? You know, like grandma used to live.

I blogged last month about taking the bus while my son's car was in the shop. It was truly an expedient thing at the time; I can, after all, only drive one vehicle at a time! BUT, yesterday when I took my car in for an oil change and they identified an additional $$$$ amount of maintenance work that it needs... I got to day-dreaming.

What if I gave up my car? Seriously, if it costs me $$$$ in maintenance every time I bring it in to change the oil (I opted out this time, I already spent more than that fixing up son's car)... I should be either replacing it (it's 12 years old) or looking at giving it up completely.

So here's the daydream: give up the car! Walk where I can walk: the doctor's office, the dentist, the grocery store. OK, there are some transporting "stuff" issues with the grocery store, but I used to have a little pull-cart to handle that... I could do it again. The haircut place is within walking distance. And there is my bicycle that's been gathering cobwebs for a while in the garage... it could be pressed into service for "medium" length trips.

Work is a stretch, but there are buses. It would take a little more time. I could combine a morning walk to the farther bus stop to get some exercise in. The buses don't run on weekends, and I would not be able to drive to work in the middle of the night to support stuff if the remote connection went down. OK, that's a bit of a problem.

I would look a little weird to my neighbors... oh, wait... I already do!

What would I NOT be able to do? I wouldn't be able to drop in on the kids unannounced (not that I would, or do - so no loss). I wouldn't be able to provide airport taxi service to them (unless they lent me their vehicle to do so). I wouldn't be able to do those "pick up and go" kinds of errands... kind of a pain where the kids are concerned.

I wouldn't be able to just pick up and run to Wal-Mart or the mall... so, I wouldn't be spending money! If I really need something, I can order it online and have it delivered to my door! Speaking of money, just think what I'll save on gas and parking! Probably replace that with the occasional cab fare and of course my bus pass (which is about the same as my monthly parking).

Anyway, if I DO replace this car, it will probably be my last pre-retirement vehicle. And in the meantime, I can dream of a car-free life!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 8/15/2010 10:44AM

    Whenever I am in Portland, I think of this as well. It is an adventure to not have the car... a different kind of adventure.

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KALIGIRL 8/14/2010 10:09PM

    Love it.
I've been riding my bike to work 3 days a week (golf the other 2), but we're lucky enough to have a shower @ the office. I've ridden it to get my hair cut (much to the dismay of my stylist) and to the grocery on the way home.
It's empowering to be car free and maybe a little healthy too?

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PENNYAN45 8/14/2010 8:49PM

    I lived without a car for a year when my husband and I lived in London. In a large city like that, there was lots of public transportation available all the time - so we could go wherever we needed to go.... UNLESS we wanted to go into the countryside. That was when we rented a car.

One of the things I noticed was that I carried a larger handbag - because I wanted to have things on me that I otherwise could have left in the car.

Also, I carried shopping bags with me to fill with any purchases I made.
Making a purchase required me to decide if it was going to willing to carry the item around with me for the rest of my outing that day.
It was a real problem when I bought large items (like mirrors) for my flat. I had to lug them on the bus - and walking from the bus to home. That was a struggle.

Weather was more of an issue for me when I was walking and taking public transportation. I found that I would take a jacket or an umbrella - just in case I needed it later in the day.

We didn't have a hardware store on our High Street - and so I had to take a bus or the tube to another section of town whenever I needed anything from a hardware store. That was a real nuisance at times.

Here in the States I live in the suburbs - so there is never any thought of living without a car. I did enjoy having the car back again when I returned home.

Just one other thought - my husband bought a new car for his parents after his dad retired. They used the car only once in a while when they really needed it. Otherwise, they let it sit in their garage.

You could just decide to have a car for emergencies - and for some conveniences. The rest of the time you could use public transportation and walk.

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WALKINGANNIE 8/14/2010 4:20PM

    Another thought-provoking blog. Going car-free also has environmental benefits. I'm conscioulsy walking more for local errands. In fact, my definitition on 'local' shops has expanded because more are in my new walking range.

I'm not ready to give up my car yet but I use it less than I did.


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MT-MOONCHASER 8/14/2010 2:09PM

    Parking your car for a while would certainly make for some good exercise. It would be hard to give up the convenience of a car for getting to those places where there are time or distance constraints and where public transport is very inconvenient or non-existent. If some of your usual cardio is walking either outside or on a treadmill you could substitute walking to a destination. It's a very good idea.

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LJCANNON 8/14/2010 10:54AM

    I have had the same idea occasionally, but cannot really Get rid of the car because of Mom's Dr and hospital appointments. But I can commit to leaving the car Parked when my destination is within a mile, and the weather is under 100 degrees..

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REJ7777 8/14/2010 10:50AM

    It's a great idea to live without a car if you can manage it. I would, however, recommend that you try to live without using the car for two or three months before really giving it up. You could even keep your car for emergencies. After I had my heart attack, I was not allowed to drive for three months. I found it harder than I thought I would. But you're right, keeping a car on the road sure gets expensive! If you change cars, you might want to get a small one that doesn't take as much gas. I'm finding that the little 2003 Echo that I bought about 2 years ago is almost paying for itself by what I'm saving in gas. Good luck! emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 8/14/2010 10:47AM

    There is a certain amount of independence attached to a car, isn't there? When I first moved here I learned to drive (on the wrong side of the road, lol) but I never enjoyed it and never really felt comfortable driving here, so when I left my part-time job (which was only five miles away) and took a full-time job in the middle of Manchester (a good half-hour or more away) I stopped driving altogether. And I don't miss it, as I never really relaxed about it here and never really liked it - always a very tension-fraught thing. But I definitely miss the pick-up-'n'-go independence of it all. I don't know if they have anything like this in NE, but here, there are 'car coops' that people join. Depending on the subscription (or membership, if you will) fee that you pay, you get X uses of a car per month. It's kind of like a rental plan, except you don't own the car, aren't responsible for maintenance, don't have to worry about housing it, etc. We have friends who sold their car and went into this coop plan, and they love it. It's not quite as spur of the moment as having your own car, because they have to schedule their use of it, but when they want to visit the kids and might not be able to get the last bus home and things like that, it fills the bill nicely. We have stuck with our Smart car. So many miles to the gallon I sometimes think we're down to pennies per fill-up. Okay, not quite, but it certainly is a money-saver. It's a little two-seater (so short you can park it endways in a parallel-parking space and not be sticking out into the street) but it's got a bit of hatchback space behind the seats so it holds groceries, or a picnic basket and cooler, or two overnight bags, etc. And while I don't like to be selfish (!) it also means we don't make any runs to the airport... if we go someplace, no one is riding with us, so we can arrive when we want and leave when we want. It's proven to be a good compromise between the larger four-person minivan we had and not owning a car at all.

Just a couple of thoughts. :-) p.s. I think Mary might be onto something about a trial - park it and leave it for a month and see how often you want to use it, how often you need to use it, and what kind of expenses you actually incur when you aren't driving.

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ANDI571 8/14/2010 10:43AM

    My cousin calls that the "Good Ole Days". I don't think I could ever give up my car, but I could get out of it to head into the bank instead of the ATM. Or get out of it to head into the restaurant to order instead of the drive thru. I am sure all those little things would add up.

I think you are on to something though since you are so close to things. Even if you did 1/2 of those things I bet you would be so much healthier.

You are working it.... emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/14/2010 9:44AM

    I think that is a great idea. Maybe not get rid of the car yet -- just commit to leaving it in the garage for a month to see how it goes. You know, people of yesteryear weren't nearly as heavy that today's people are. They used to walk everywhere and they worked hard. That's what it comes down to, plain and simple.

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EFELL123 8/14/2010 9:07AM

    We just got my husband's truck out of the shop -- $1700 (ouch). Unfortunaely we live away from the city and are car is a necessity. I think I would enjoy living in a small town where I could walk everywhere.

Growing up my mom stayed in shape through gardening,raking, housework, etc. So did my dad for that matter.

I love your idea!

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