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Bucket Lists

Monday, April 21, 2014

My daughter, who is 23 years old, informed me this morning that she is building something called a cafe racer -apparently some sort of small, fast motorcycle. I was horrified, but that's beside the point. When I asked her (repeatedly) why she'd do something like that when surely there were other things yadayadayada, her reply was that it was on her Bucket List.

Ever since that annoyingly depressing movie came out, everyone I know has constructed a bucket list. So I thought I'd come up with my own.

Bad idea.

The only thing I can think of is "get all the laundry washed, folded and put away." Maybe "organize the holiday decorations." Not thinking big enough? All right, how about "get all four sides of the house painted at the same time"?

I've had accomplishments in mind over the years. Once I decided to read the Bible from cover to cover, but bogged down somewhere in Leviticus. I did better with the dictionary, but kept getting off track by their, "See thus and so" instructions, so I never finished that either. There's no point in reading the encyclopedia (yes, children, I still have a set) because most of the information in it is no longer relevant and all the countries in Africa keep changing.

People have "Travel!" on their bucket lists. I've been from Newfoundland to Key West, although for some reason I've never been west of Cleveland. I've thought about wanting to drive across the country, but so much of it is flatness and corn and dirt and rocks...I mean, why would anyone want to drive across Iowa or Texas? So you can get to the other side of the country and meet people who are just like the ones you know at home, only tanner?

I used to want to take a cruise somewhere, but I developed an ear thing and now get seasick really easily (I used to be virtually immune to motion sickness) so now a cruise sounds like spending three days feeling dreadful so I can get to a place where rum is $50 a bottle.

I've done lots of outdoorsy stuff, driven a ton of miles, met plenty of semi- and for real famous people, eaten exotic food, learned a foreign language, written books, driven cars really fast, painted (very mediocre) paintings, completed 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles. Am I really that boring that I can't come up with any Must See or Must Do things? Heck, they don't even have to be legal - I'm flexible.

Sure, I suppose Nepal would be interesting, but the chances of successfully arranging (and paying for) a trip there are pretty far-fetched, and composing a Bucket List of things I'll likely never be able to do sounds pretty depressing and self-defeating.

How do you feel about Bucket Lists? Do you have one? And if you have any suggestions for me by all means, let's hear them (and remember, SP won't let you post naughty words.)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINDSWEPTACRES 4/23/2014 12:11AM

    No bucket list for me either. I couldn't have planned most of the things that have happened to me over the last five or six years. Sometimes life's surprises are a lot better than the things we had planned for ourselves.

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FITBIZZZ 4/22/2014 12:16PM

    lol. You've just created the anti-bucket list. ;-)

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NORASPAT 4/21/2014 11:09PM

    Great. Blog Karen. My walking buddies made up a bucket list where we all should go in Maine. Most of the Places they want to go to I already went with our kids. My walking Buddies have walked all over Europe.
I just like to get away out of the house but DH wants to stay home. He was in the army so he got go lots of places.
I did a lot of stuff in my youth. Our kids have mostly seen Maine. I just want to be happy and pain free. HUGS Pat in Maine. I guess I am boring too. Thanks for straightening me out. HUGS.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/21/2014 9:59PM

    We are definitely sisters in another life - sharing the same bucket. I don't have a bucket list either but I loved some of yours. Organizing the holiday decorations would definetly make me happy. Getting all sides of the house stained at the same time would rock.

My hubby read the Bible twice and I felt and urge to do the same and they begating seemed to go on forever and I quit. I know it wasn't much of an effort but I'm not long suffering and I really wanted to get to the good parts. Hubby reads dictionaries and encyclopedieas too. Same problem again with me - short attention span.

I am ambivalent about travel. I would love to do it but I would have to leave home.

I thought I wanted to cruise too and then norovirus and SARS came about and other maladies and I was cured.I can get sick here and puke my socks up without having to pay for it.

Re Nepal? I have a friend who is from Katmandu and he left there anr really, really, really never wanted to go back. It's not a fun place. I'm not into mountain climbing.

My bucket list would be to get this place in some kind of order.

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CANDOK1260 4/21/2014 8:47PM

    i too don;t have a bucket list

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 4/21/2014 6:46PM

    Like you, I have a fair amount of contempt for the "bucket list" concept because I fear it creates snares and delusions. I sometimes envy the people who have so much passion that they have such strong desires.

Before I knew the term, I guess my "bucket list" was to go to London and I've done that. Right now if I had to say I have a "bucket list" it would be to read certain books that I know I can read easily and soon. My bucket list is to get my home cleaned so that I will leave a tidy corpse, metaphorically. "Things" and "accomplishments" matter less to me as I age.

My bucket list if I had to have one is to see my children occupied with something in life that goes beyond sheer drudgery and tedium.

Your blogs always provoke much thought. emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/21/2014 6:21PM

    I guess I'm fairly boring. I have no bucket list and no real desire to make one. I have traveled a bit; not my favorite thing to do. We are going to London/Ireland in a couple of months. It's my dream trip so I guess you could say it's on my bucket list (soon to be checked off). I'm content doing what I'm doing and living my life as positively as I can.

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AJDOVER1 4/21/2014 5:00PM

    No Bucket List for me -- I can't cope with a grocery list most days....

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SCOOTER4263 4/21/2014 4:24PM

    You all, as usual, have made me very happy. I actually hadn't thought of it as having lived my life the way I wanted to, as I came to it, but you're right - that's what it is.

My great-uncle (second uncle? removals? I don't understand those things...anyway) Al Close was a very good poker player and one of his favorite sayings was, "It's not the cards you're dealt, it's how you play them." I agree wholeheartedly.

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SLIMMERJESSE 4/21/2014 3:07PM

    As usual, you make me smile. When I read your title, I immediately thought of two things - 1. I think bucket lists are ridiculous 2) My main priority - maintain my sanity throughout today. Then I read what you wrote and it's similar. (smiling) Like you, I've travelled my little hiney off and done a variety of other adventures. Big hug, Scoot.

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 4/21/2014 3:01PM

    Instead of a bucket list, I just do what I want to do. I live life in a way that gives me joy. There is not many if any places I want to travel. I did take a cruise in 2003 with a friend. It was just after I retired and it was something my husband wanted to do but we never could afford. But I chose to take the trip while I had the money to do it. I never thought of it as part of a bucket list.

Most of my life I just have tried to live in a way that I had few regrets when I died. If I felt if I did not do something I would regret it later--I would do it. So far I have very few things I have regretted. I guess the bucket list is a list of regrets you have later in life. If so, I do not have such a list. I have enjoyed my life even with the tears and pain.

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SHERYLDS 4/21/2014 2:28PM

    I've been following the South Korean Ferry disaster...no cruise for me thank you. But I can't afford my bucket list. I would love to move to Hawaii. Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of money and I don't think I can earn a living as a hula dancer. emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 4/21/2014 2:19PM

    I must be pretty boring, too, because I have no desire to have a bucket list. But I really enjoyed reading about your lack of one! emoticon

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LOLAINSC 4/21/2014 2:16PM

    If I have to force it, then it isn't worth putting on my bucket list. If it was something unforced that deserves being put on my bucket list, then I've probably already done it.

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MNNICE 4/21/2014 1:35PM

    I'm pretty boring myself. I do have a bucket list, but there's only one thing on it. I'm afraid to do it because then I would probably die! :)

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HARVESTER54 4/21/2014 1:27PM

    LOL you brought a smile to my day. I have a short BL I have taken my trip to Israel the main goal LOVED it. It is a joy to read that you are so content with your life and what you have achieved. Blessings.

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Quicky explanation of the term "blood moon"

Monday, April 14, 2014

Apparently some folks are concerned that seeing a "blood moon"means the earth is going to end or something like that.While I have complete respect to anyone and everyone's religious beliefs, this time science can come to the rescue.

There is a full lunar eclipse tonight. This means that the moon, the Earth and the Sun are all lined up with the Earth in the middle - the moon is in the Earth's umbra, or shadow. The moon isn't completely invisible though - because of the angle at which the light from the sun passes through the Earth's atmosphere, the moon appears reddish. This is where the name "blood moon"comes from. There will be another total lunar eclipse sometime this autumn - I forget exactly when. There are between two and five lunar eclipses each year, although not all of them are full eclipses.

Sometimes the full moon in October is called the Blood Moon. This, like another traditional name, the Hunters Moon, is referring to the fact that October is when animals were slain to prepare for the long winter ahead.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRABBIT 4/16/2014 2:58PM

  Thanks for the explaination!

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AJDOVER1 4/15/2014 10:37PM

    Thanks! I love stuff like this.

The world can't end today, it's already tomorrow in New Zealand....

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/15/2014 8:19PM

    Thank you for the info!!

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MOM2ACAT 4/15/2014 7:13PM

    I never heard about til this morning, until I was in my doctor's office and heard the staff talking about it. I wish I would have peeked out and looked at it last night, would have been a cool sight to see!

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 4/15/2014 10:58AM

    Educational. Thanks!

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WILSONWR 4/15/2014 8:31AM

    Thanks for the great explanation!

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KARENE10 4/15/2014 7:06AM

    Nice Science lesson~ emoticon

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MTRACHEL 4/15/2014 12:00AM

    so glad you reminded me to wake in the night tonight!



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MCJULIEO 4/14/2014 11:25PM

    Thanks for the explanation!

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_UMAMI_ 4/14/2014 10:03PM

    Here's a link to times, etc. for those interested:
http://www.skyandtel
escope.com/astronomy-news/obser
ving-news/aprils-total-eclipse-
of-the-moon/

And now I must go listen to Klaus Nomi.

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_UMAMI_ 4/14/2014 9:15PM

    Also, there is the thing where all four blood moons will occur on Jewish holidays (2014-2015?). Yes, the end is nigh. (Said she, who got married during the scary days of Y2K.)
***
I SWEAR I saw a blood moon when I was nursing my eldest, and my period came back (first post-partum), and it was really weird. Now I can't find anything that coincides with that. AM I CRAZY??? Hmmm....maybe it was second child?)
***
Anyway, enjoy it if you're having one of your sleepless nights. I'm going to attempt to rise mid-sleep, get my youngest up, and have a gander. Trying to muster my sense of fat-but-adventurous.

emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/14/2014 9:16:29 PM

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/14/2014 9:02PM

    I wish I were up for the eclipse but it's right during my sleep time.

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SOUL2SHINE79 4/14/2014 7:31PM

    Hahaha! I didn't know about the blood moon..thanks for letting us know! I was wondering what phase the moon is in today though, because i've been a crazy lunatic! It's all starting to make sense! : ) emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 4/14/2014 7:09PM

    I also think some are concerned about the unprecedented number of them that are supposed to appear in a relatively short time? Thanks for the info, Scoot.

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 4/14/2014 6:47PM

    Thanks for the explanation!

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POSITIVEHOPE 4/14/2014 6:36PM

    Thank you for the explanation and science lesson. You did a nice job without visual illustrations. I am not afraid that the world will end but it is nice to know.

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So...April goals.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

- Well, the first one is to walk 10,000 steps per day, although I recognize that the way my life goes I'm more likely to have 20,000 step days mixed in with 2,000 step days. If I get 50K or 60K in a week, I'll be happy.

- The second is to track the food, no matter what. I can do that for a month.

- The third, and final, is to do the Exercise of the Day, or some variation thereof.

I thought about making a big workout schedule, but I really can't - we all know I'm not going to lift on the same day that I split wood (and wood is weather dependent) or do other heavy-duty farm or landscaping jobs. I'd like to swear that I'll do yoga four times a week, but I may or I may not achieve that, and I refuse to promise things I doubt I'll fulfill.

I thought about resolving to eat clean, but again, we all know that one day I'll be on my way home from a really long day and I'll limp into a Subway for a Veggie Delight, which we also know I'll probably wash down with beer.

And there are a bunch more monthly goals that I haven't even mentioned because they have nothing to do, really, with eating and exercising. Goals that have to do with artistic aspirations and personal improvement of a more subtle variety.

I'd love to be all righteous and make loads of promises, but somewhere along the line I've gotten a little more realistic. Maybe this is setting myself up to fail, giving myself excuses - we'll just have to see how it works out.

Monthly goals seem a lot like New Year's Resolutions - all full of bright promise and all out the window in a week or so. I decided to only set as goals the absolute minimum - really, just to do my best every day - and then, in 30 days, see where I stand. And if that doesn't work, I'll try something else.


So far today I've done the Exercise of the Day and gotten a little better than half the steps. Hey, it's a start.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 4/13/2014 8:59PM

    Honesty is a MOST valued strength and you've flexed LOTS of muscles with that!

I always have high spirits and fantastic goals then I don't achieve all of them and feel like a slump ~a~doo. emoticon

I now consistently aim to walk those damn 10,000 steps and eat clean. Anything beyond that is all gravy! I refuse to do the food tracker...always say I will...never ever follow through..it's just who I am...call me a food tracker rebel! emoticon

No WONDER I never have enough spark points to give out dazzling goodies to my friends. emoticon I think there is a conspiracy for higher spins and bigger bonus spins to those food tracker devotees..and bless their little food tracking hearts..they deserve em! emoticon

Good luck on your new goals...I'll be cheering you onward and upward! emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/13/2014 9:02:01 PM

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SUSANNAH31 4/6/2014 11:38AM

    I, too, hesitate to make a whole lot of goals -- for the week, for the month, and especially not for the year!
What I do is make suggested goals for the day - something I would like to do this day. That way, i can feel as if I have achieved a goal at the end of the day. And then each morning brings a new chance to achieve it again.

I am in total agreement with you about the need for being flexible.
Rigid structure makes me want to break free! LOL



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THECRAZYMANGO 4/5/2014 7:26PM

    emoticon

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AJDOVER1 4/3/2014 11:18AM

    Sounds like you're off to a good start!
My daily goals are low, but my weekly/monthly goals are more ambitious -- who knows what's going to happen on any given day, but I can generally make it all average out.
Tracking food gets easier over time.
Best wishes to you!
emoticon

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 4/3/2014 6:51AM

    Now that the weather MAY be getting better, setting goals is a good idea. I plan to begin with a calendar setting up a goal for each day.

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JUSTYNA7 4/2/2014 1:32PM

    Awareness and looking for opportuntities sometimes has a better effect on consistency than any plan. Happy birthday by the way. Just do it! emoticon

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WINDSWEPTACRES 4/2/2014 11:37AM

    Goals for April:
Wake up every day.
Keep breathing.
Keep the house presentable -- make sure the phone numbers written in the dust are current ones.
If something is following me around the house, offer it food, water, or a hug.
Try to do one productive thing every day; hint: naps count.
If all else fail, remember that April is a short month.

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HIPPICHICK1 4/2/2014 9:52AM

    I've hooked myself up with a marketing club so I can stay on track with my business plans. One of the things we've learned is that we usually find something that gets in our way of achieving our goals no matter what the goals are.
They are:
Forgetting
Fear, self-doubt
Procrastination
Ge
tting stuck & having questions
Lack of support

I think I can relate almost every one of these things to every area of my life. If we recognize that we are procrastinating we can take measures to...for the lack of a better phrase...just do it. But then there are other areas like fear, lack of support and forgetting that are a little more difficult to overcome, yet if we are to improve our health we must try to overcome these obstacles.

I usually schedule things in, but like you often times things like splitting wood will happen on a strength training day, so it's not as if you will have the energy for both, however if you aren't splitting wood for several days then you CAN schedule in something for ST.

In my experience yoga can be a great ST session and it also stretches everything wonderfully, thereby taking care of two things on your list and NOT wearing you out for wood splitting.

I haven't done any weight training since my back injury of two summers ago when my RMT told me to stop running and lifting heavy weights. Now the only weight I lift is my own body weight while doing yoga and 50 lb boxes of clay. Let me tell you something. Yoga is the $hit. You should see my biceps! You should feel my quads and see my calves all cut and sculpted because of yoga. My back feels so much better too. In fact, yesterday I tweaked my back while twisting and bending over to pet the cat. I got up and I could barely walk. I did some yoga right away, babied myself for the rest of the day and then did some yoga before supper. JF ran the thumper on my back for 15 minutes last night and this morning I can walk without pain, but I can tell that I need to do some more yoga, twice a day if necessary. I have a really long week ahead that will last until next Tuesday or Wednesday now and I can NOT do it with my back in crisis!! Yoga to the rescue and yoga therapy balls too. And foam roller. Foam roller is also the $hit.

P.S. There is nothing wrong with a veggie delight washed down with a beer.


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LULUTU 4/2/2014 9:40AM

    I agree with you - there is new advantage (and a great deal of harm) in setting yourself up to fail. I'm with you - eating clean is great, but it's not going to happen all then time. I don't plan my exercise too far ahead because I know that my schedule might change. And as for 10,000 steps, like FRABBIT, I'm going for an average of 10K not 10K every day.

Your April goals are great - you can do this!

Lulu

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RRUDEPARANORMAL 4/2/2014 5:35AM

    As a woman who has, perhaps, made a few too many April resolutions, I deeply appreciate the simplicity of your approach. You've got the important bases covered here. And I'm glad to hear that your thinking about your art too.

emoticon

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FRABBIT 4/1/2014 11:24PM

  Great job being realistic. My big goal is to average 10,000 steps per day for the month. And I did track all my food today (even if I had pasta carbonara for dinner). Great job keeping realistic goals.

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TIME4DEE 4/1/2014 9:16PM

    I love your blog. Very smart to keep your goals simple and the fewer the better, You've got this! emoticon emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 4/1/2014 8:31PM

    I say the more promises you make the more you have to break!! I think you're being realistic! Why make huge promises that you know are not practical? I think this sounds great; realistic, doable and good for you!!!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 4/1/2014 6:45PM

    Yes, you can do it. As Morticia says, you don't have a lot of grandiosity. I love your wallpaper!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/1/2014 6:25PM

    ROFLMBO!! I totally luv ya! You make me laugh. Thank God you aren't making a bunch of grandiose promises. I've read enough of those today.

I make simple ones, such as, I promise not to drink out of the toilet bowl. Of course I would never do something this gross but this ensures that I can successfully achieve one goal. emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/1/2014 6:52:14 PM

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New moon, new month (soon), new week, new FitBit(!), and maybe a new me.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I'm another year older (59, God help us all), and probably no wiser, but still in there swinging.

I'd lost a few pounds with the Winter 5% Challenge, but choked towards the end for reasons not entirely clear to me. Honestly, I think I was (and am) just so sick of being cold. I know it sounds like an excuse, but I think it might actually be a reason - it was simply too cold to stand in my kitchen (where no refrigeration is necessary, thank you) and cook healthy meals, so I opted for grabbing whatever was at hand and making do with it. Often these things were fine in and of themselves, but were never meant to be a "complete diet" - like innocent pizzas made on na'an with healthy ingredients.

Okay, washing them down with dirty martinis is my fault. 'Nuff said.

I did discover something that put a bit of the fear of God into me - I did a sort of deep-knee bend (lower shelf at the library) and couldn't immediately stand back up. I don't remember this happening before, and it kind of shook me up. My weight isn't different, but apparently my fitness has been going somewhere in a handbasket since the last time I paid attention.


Still, I haven't given up on this quest for renewed health. All it really means to me is that I have to get serious if I want success. I've hit that same place in other fronts of late, too. I sold my beloved pick-up truck, because I needed the money, yes, but more because I want to move on from that spot in my life. I've given up my post office box (in favor of home delivery) for the same reason - too much of my energy is stuck in the past. If I want to be a successful writer - whatever that means - I've got to write more. If I'm going to farm, I ought to be greasing the tractor and mentally laying out plots of land.

I don't really know how to deal with inertia. Tragedy, drama, sure - all those things I've got down to a science, but this treading water thing is new. I'm not drowning, but I'm not going anywhere either. I have to get unstuck somehow. I suspect that the way to do that is the same way you do anything else difficult - you just do it. (And, we hope, without so many mixed metaphors. Forgive me - I've been up late watching basketball.)

Spring is a time of renewal, and I'm going to focus on listening to Spirit for whatever guidance I can get from that source, but at the same time, I'm going to move my feet - specifically, 10,000 steps per day. I got a new FitBit (a Flex this time, having lost 3 or 4 Ones) and I'm ready to use it. If that has me walking in place in my living room for half the night, then so be it.

So, the plows are still going up and down the road, and it's very windy up here on the hill. But Spring is also a state of mind, a turn of The Wheel more than the turn of a calendar page, and I/m ready to renew my efforts.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 4/13/2014 8:50PM

    This has been the winter from HE** so many of my Northern friends tell me.

I feel for you in the cold tundra...but if it makes you feel any better I just heard that in 20-25 years Miami might be the next Atlantis...where ever Atlantis might be.

Seems the sea level is rising year after year and eventually it will wipe out huge portions of the coastline and we'll have to make like Veneticians paddling around in gondolas. emoticon

Sooooo I guess there is really no place in the world that can truly escape Mother Natures deep wrath and pay backs for how man has plundered her landscape.

Can't say I really blame her and I know this makes you feel a tad bit better about missing that Florida sunshine....you may be cold...but at least you are on solid ground! emoticon emoticon

Heck this may even make me rethink Iowa...the dreaded childhood home land that the hubs and I escaped from shortly after our marriage...the first night we met each other we sat down and said "So-how are we going to get OUT of this state?" Mutual buds from that point on!

BUT good ole' Iowa may be looking better and better in another 10 years or so. emoticon I'm not a strong swimmer. emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 4/10/2014 6:38PM

    Scoot, I am at a loss in dealing with inertia as well. I just sent you a sparkmail about it.

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HIPPICHICK1 3/31/2014 9:51PM

    Here's to springing forward towards renewal!
emoticon

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AJDOVER1 3/31/2014 4:29PM

    emoticon
Happy Monday!
What can I do to help you?
I'm sick to death of trying to improve myself. It seems you've got a lot of potential. What can I do to make myself useful to you?

Comment edited on: 3/31/2014 4:31:57 PM

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/31/2014 3:47PM

    Happy birthday!! You're still a spring chicken. LOL.

I love na'an bread!! i have to avoid it. LOL.

My body seems to be screaming as well - mad at being old and fat.

I agree with you about the enertia. Life can be so overwhelming. Taking the first step is often all it takes but I often balk at it.

I want a Fitbit but worry about losing it too. Let us know what you think about the Flex.

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 3/31/2014 3:14PM

    This never ending winter is getting the best of me. I was doing fine until the past tow weeks when The winter just won't let go! Even yesterday we had snow, sleet and rain with cold and ice. Today it is warmer but I am afraid to think spring is here and be disappointed yet again.

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TERI-RIFIC 3/31/2014 8:37AM

    This loooong winter HAS been rough.Here's to all of us making that first step to get out and get going and get ready for summer. Dare we hope.

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BETHGILLIGAN 3/31/2014 7:58AM

    I believe sometimes you need to stand still until you see the path. It sounds to me like you are ready to take the step..to move forward. It's an overwhelming thought.....moving out of your comfort zone. And, it may be hard to let go of the past that you know and love. You will find your way. You are a tough, committed woman! You have been through so much; this is just a pause in the action. You will be fine!! HUGS!!!

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MADEIT3 3/31/2014 5:26AM

    This has been a very long winter and many people I know are exactly where you are, treading water, waiting for what's next. That sense of renewal is now in the air - at least here - and we're getting four days of rain - predicted - to wash winter away. So maybe ... Meanwhile, it sounds like you know what needs to be done!!

emoticon

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SUSANBEAMON 3/31/2014 12:52AM

  every day is an opportunity to start up or start again, whichever you like.

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NORASPAT 3/30/2014 10:56PM

    I cannot wait for a day of sunshine, also a day over 50 degrees,
I had to make the dogs from Nevada coats so they could get outside to make yellow snow.
The Chihuahua was out just a minute or two and it was shivering almost convulsively and the coats were almost $50.00 so I asked our son to use his phone to give me an idea of the shape. I had to cut patterns out of fabric. The dog is interesting it is a Miniature Doberman and a Chihuahua cross so even though it is small it has lots of muscle and a deep chest so it became a challenge and now I know those in the store would never fit her. She climbed the stairs but turned round and rolled down the stairs.
Scooter you can do it and you will when Spring is really here. HUGS Pat in Maine.
HUGS and much love my friend. Pat emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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In Praise of Snowy Winter Afternoons

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

(I may have stolen that title from someone...possibly Alexander McCall Smith.)

Anyway...

Sometimes, I think, we need to set aside all the striving for self-improvement, just for a moment. I realized the other day that it had been ages since I read something that wasn't trying to fix me in one way or another, weeks since I watched something on Netflix that wasn't a TED talk, and months since I hadn't guilted myself into eating a balanced diet or exercising properly. Even as I write this, my inbox is receiving mail from Martha Beck. And it gets wearying.

So today, despite all my shiny plans to attend to important tasks, eat only fresh and preferably raw meals and finish the latest book promising to cure me of some character flaw, I decided that -10F - in March, no less - was a good enough reason for a Day Off.

I haven't gone off the rails entirely. My lunch of na'an (a whole one, not a half) with a basket of fresh grape tomatoes sliced on top and covered with three (three!) slices of provolone - then baked for 10 minutes at 375 - still fits into my meal plan if I skip the potato with dinner. And I acknowledged my eBay sales, even though I won't get them mailed until tomorrow.

But instead of berating myself for not working on this or that, cleaning up the other thing, I decided to spend the afternoon on the sofa with my four-legged friends (I have a kitten purring in the crook of my elbow as I write this) and read a cozy mystery - no graphic violence for me, thanks - and *gasp* maybe even indulge in a nap later. Possibly a cocktail before dinner (which remains a healthy portion of chicken breast and a whole lot of carrots), because I'm just so tired of being Good all the time.

The hard part isn't the doing - I've gotten bad behavior down to a science over the years - the hard part is allowing myself to enjoy this afternoon, guilt-free. Like a lot of us, I think I tend to "misbehave" while la-la-laing loudly enough to prevent me noticing what I'm doing.

But if we can be mindful and in-the-moment while doing all the positive things for ourselves, surely we can be mindful of the other times as well, those times when we just want to indulge in a teeny bit of, well, self-indulgence: fiction, for example, or a carb-heavy lunch.

Tomorrow is soon enough for all the righteous activities - the two hour exercising, the filling out of forms, the visiting of government offices, the eating of green vegetables. Just for today, I want to simply "be" and "enjoy." Maybe some day I'll be evolved enough to combine those two states; I'm sure I have a book here somewhere that will explain the process to me. But just for this one cold, snowy afternoon - early spring, really, rather than the winter it so looks like - I'm going to lay that all down.



(Yes, those are my other constant companions in the photo - the Mac and the ever-present stack of newspapers. I could have Photoshopped them out, but you may as well know me for who I really am.)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIPPICHICK1 3/9/2014 3:19PM

    I have recently taken to having my weekends entirely freed up if I'm not working - at a craft fair, for example - freed up to do nothing in particular. I'm feeling quite good about it because it seems that I'm kind of learning to relax.
So today, in the spirit of self-indulgence I'm going for an afternoon walk in the sunshine and fresh air, then back home to some movies and popcorn with my man who is currently outside fixing his car. (You know, I love a guy that can fix $hit.)

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AJDOVER1 3/6/2014 11:26AM

    This blog sent my mind racing. Lately I've been struggling with overwhelming feelings of guilt. I know I'm not doing enough and what I am doing is not my best. I'm capable of more if I would just work harder, smarter, faster....

Here's Lent: 40 days to focus on being a better person in some area, deprive myself of some pleasure, become more spiritual....

Summer is coming! Time to drop that weight and tone those body parts....

A new phase of goal-setting and career charting at work: I need to examine where I'm falling short, find ways to educate myself, be a team player, distinguish myself from the rest....

Am I spreading the Spark? Encouraging my teammates? Welcoming newcomers? Motivating anyone? I've got to write a blog....

Better file those taxes this weekend....

I'm weary.



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APPLEPIEAPPLE 3/6/2014 9:07AM

    Making time for yourself is necessary. It creates balance in your life--something we all need. Enjoy your day!

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MAGGIEBONGO 3/5/2014 11:30AM

    Wow, that was a great blog. I'm this close to sending emails to my superiors saying I have to take a sick day. I have a couple of murder mysteries calling my name! And three cats and a dog. I really need a day!
Thanks for a great reminder. (And since I'm a grownup, I won't run home right this minute, but I am going to take a real day off. Soon. Eff the miles to go..)


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FLORIDASUN 3/5/2014 8:11AM

    A woman after my OWN heart! Let's just BE...I get so crazed between the consignment gallery, the circle of needy friends, the blasted COOKING for this diet! The pampering of the hubs...gosh he SHOULD be able to pick out a pair of socks by NOW shouldn't he? I'm all for a 'just be' getaway!

And....a fantastic book to snuggle with 'The Goldfinch' by Donna Tartt...I'm seldom jealous of a writer's prose...but she has the ability with the way she weaves her words to actually turn me a little green. emoticon WHAT a writer!

You are right up there on my list too baby cakes! emoticon emoticon

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SOXYINMO 3/5/2014 7:00AM

    Well said!

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RRUDEPARANORMAL 3/5/2014 2:46AM

    I SO appreciate this post!! Beautifully written, beautifully expressed.

I'm feeling tired and in need of some down time too. And, from what I gather here, I haven't been nearly as Good as you! (I love that capital G on good ... it's just right somehow.)

I think what you've describes here is a perfect example of taking good care of oneself. This sort of gentle but mindful afternoon is crucial to long term success.

Well done.

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_UMAMI_ 3/4/2014 10:45PM

    Sister, you are preaching to the choir (oy, sorry to borrow an overused phrase, but I'm SO TIRED today!).

There are just so many things to check off the list(s) and NOW my kids are getting on MY back---hello?!?!

I'm making a point of telling them that *I* have done my work for the day, I *ask* them what they need help doing, then I'm DONE. I'm not ON CALL. (I do like *that* about working...am I losing money or making money. And how does it help me make my kids make decisions about how they are spending their time? My parents are Depression era parents/Grandparents---I hope something trickles down. MAKE GOOD USE OF YOUR TIME. But then again, take downtime, of you have been productive.

BUT, not the lack of allowance for creativity and free time. I think I lost out on that, because my parents didn't deem it worthy. After seeing Jared Leto in "Dallas Buyer's Club", I'm willing to cut my kids a lot more slack. ;-)f

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SLIMLILA 3/4/2014 9:31PM

    BE and Enjoy, what great advice...... Hope you did it and nothing ELSE

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BUNNYCATS 3/4/2014 6:17PM

    emoticon I did some kitty snuggling today, too.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/4/2014 5:49PM

    I wish I had a snuggle kitty!!!!

I probably indulge myself too much. Today I was trying to get some things done but didn't get everything done I needed to. And I feel guilty about it too. LOL.

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SUZYMOBILE 3/4/2014 4:51PM

    This just makes me feel so warm and cozy, something that can't be accomplished in Florida, even with a small dog plastered against one in the back of one's desk chair.

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JULIAMOONCHILD 3/4/2014 4:16PM

    Well, I for one agree with your thoughts about our needing to be just as mindful of one type of moment as we are another kind. Here Here!!
And with the insight that you obviously have and the mindful allowance you have given yourself today to "simply be", I surely don't think you have need of another book telling you how to live this life and how to incorporate "righteous activities" with plain old everyday, or occasional, JOY .... cuz you are writing the book - your book - for yourself.

And now I'm heading over to Amazon to buy it for ME! emoticon

ENJOY the heck out of your day!

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MOM2ACAT 3/4/2014 4:06PM

    Awwww; love the sleeping kitty!
We all need to take a day off sometimes, and do only what we feel like doing, with no guilt!

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NEWCHINELO 3/4/2014 3:41PM

    We need a break sometimes. . . YEAH,YES!

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SHERYLDS 3/4/2014 3:37PM

    to know ya is to luv ya emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 3/4/2014 3:15PM

    Instead of doing something really constructive today, I puttered the afternoon away. I enjoyed it but wish I had followed your schedule!! Sounds like a wonderful day!! Good for you!

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RD03875 3/4/2014 2:39PM

    Way to go! I LOVE days like that, complete with cat(s) ENJOY your day!

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