Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Challenge of the Year

It's almost midnight here in middle earth. What the heck am I doing up at this hour? There is a ton of stuff to be done tomorrow! I know why I'm up...I know everything will work always does. Also, Rock is coming home soon and I just want a minute to say good night to him as he trudges up the stairs to his room.

We talked Hero into driving out tomorrow morning instead of tonight. He worked a full day and didn't need to be on the road for two hours...exhausted.

This year's holiday will be a little different. I love making little changes each year... just litty itty bitty ones! We will all sleep in (except for the dog...and Retro.... and me) and have breakfast around 11:00. Since Rock forgot to ask for the day off, he will go into work from 2-6:30pm. We will start cooking mid-afternoon and plan to have everything ready around 7:00. Everyone has a dish to make and the bird will cook itself in the rotisserie. (Well, it looks good on paper!)

We are so thankful to have the opportunity to be together, to eat a great meal, and sit around in a warm comfy house. I know how lucky we are! I pray that in some small way, everyone reading this, and everyone they know, and so on, and so on, will have at least a few minutes of comfort, happiness and a light heart as this day of Thanksgiving unfolds.

A blessed Thanksgiving Day to you!

p.s. The weight management website is down and I haven't been able to register so I can track my progress. It must be a sign.... I commit to eating smaller portions during the day, and walking the dog at least twice! It's going to be a tough challenge, but I'll bring my A game to the dinner table and, with a little help from the Big Guy, I will succeed!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let's Get Organized - Part Deux

As some of us are beginning to prepare for our Thanksgiving holiday this week, lists and more lists are being made, crossed off, and/or simply thrown out. Whatever works for you is the way to go. Some people like to go out for Chinese or Italian! If the family is together, then you've succeeded. It doesn't matter where you are, even if it is a warm beach in Mexico.

If you are staying home, make a timeline for when certain tasks need to be done. Delegate some of those tasks to other members of the family. In my family, Rock makes the mashed potatoes, the girls prepare the Waldorf salad, and Hero does the vegetable (which is usually something frozen that needs to be heated up). The bird cooks itself in the counter-top rotisserie. This year, Hero and Retro (Dad) will make the stuffing. We tried this stuffing for the first time last year, and everyone loved it. It's made with sweet Italian sausage, fresh herbs and cheeses and a bunch of seasonings that I will never use again. But, it is gewwwwwwwdddddddd!!

Staying focused is another way to improve organization. Don't let the ADD settle in. If you feel it coming, take your meds. If you are not on meds, then chocolate is the next best thing. What? It works for me!!! Find that little spot on the wall that you used during Lamaze...(palleeeeze, I thought I blocked all of that out!) If problems or gliches arise, take care of them immediately. Don't bother arguing about whose fault it was, just fix it!

Keep your communications to a minimum. Telephone calls should have a few ideas scripted out ahead of time, but allow for improvisation, if necessary. Use an egg timer or a song on the radio. When <insert your favorite song here> is playing, end your call as the last note is played.

Learn from your mistakes, and really try not to make them again (unless you are like me and have a memory span of about five minutes). One mistake I seem to make over and over is "not" saying "no" when I should. Try to never take on more than you can handle, even if you are "Super Mom of the Year!" Know your limitations and be humbled by the fact that you really can't do everything....all of the time!

I have many of these suggestions embroidered on my dish towels (not really) so that I am constantly aware of them. I hope that some of you can use these (many of you already do) and find your days just a little less hectic than most.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Great Change-Up

Boys and Girls, can you tell me what caused this particular reaction in this picture? Is it...

1. Mom, after too much sugar, white flour or chocolate;
2. Mom, after blogging or working on her writings into the wee hours;
3. Mom, the morning after the seventh day of the Seven Day Whoopie Challenge (please see for explanation);
4. Some, or all of the above.

We all have those days when, no matter what, we end up in this position after some sort of overload. The word for today boys and girls, is: Change in moderation. Just because it takes you 15 minutes on the phone with the the bank telling you to "please say..." or "please press..." before you are speaking to a human being, it doesn't mean that you must reward your patience with an entire gooey cake, two Grands Cinnabon Rolls, a chocolate shake and a custard cup full of M&Ms. Along with the same idea, it's not healthy to eat to suppress your desire to shove the telephone down the throat of the human being on the other end. It really is okay to have those fantasies...the food ones, as well as the shoving ones!

Food, glorious food, is something some of us use on a regular basis to deal with incompetence, anger, frustration, disappointment, sadness and even, joy. We push those puppies down low with food. It's numbing out, sort of like an alcoholic or user would do to avoid dealing with the challenges of life. When we are almost out of room inside, we realize that something's got to give. A change needs to be made. We spend so much time of our lives living with bad habits. For some of us, change requires us to turn inward to find out who really lives there. When we do, we get to know the most interesting and wonderful people.

The most amazing person one can meet is oneself! When we are able to truly see who we are, it is then that we can decide what we need to keep, and what needs to be discarded. Letting go of something we've owned for so long can be heartbreaking... like a favorite toy or book. Once we realize that the things we need to release are the same things that keep us from growing, it doesn't seem like such a hard thing to do. With the negatives out of the way, the possibilites are endless. We could be the Princesses we've always wanted to be!

It's the journey that matters. As long as we keep moving...every day...doing something that brings us closer to our goal, we can feel good about ourselves and our accomplishments. We are still going to have setbacks, but we can deal with them differently. Instead of eating, drinking or about writing, playing, exercising, walking away from the situation for a while, or in some cases, confronting the challenge head on. "You want a piece of me? Come and get it!"

Then, there is always the Big Guy upstairs! Yes, I mean God. Let him help out when we feel trapped. We can give him our frustration, anger, sadness and disappointment. We can then ask him to simply tell us what it is that he wants us to do. The answers will come.

We need to remember that we can change our lives, one habit at a time, and, we don't have to do it alone!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Better Day

I attended a healthy lifestyle (weight loss) meeting on Tuesday. It's a class that meets once a month. We are supposed to log onto a Weight Management web site and set up an account to track our food and exercise. It looks good on paper, but is this writer up to the challenge? Can she be accountable to a web site? Is she ready to commit to becoming a healthier writer? We shall see!

In the past, being accountable to another person has been helpful for me. I joined a support group about 20 years ago and worked with a food sponsor. I called her the "General." She made me account for every minute of the day, every piece of food that went into my mouth, and every piece of writing I accomplished. The bottom line is that I lost 50 pounds in six months. I've never been back to that weight, that sponsor, or that feeling of accomplishment. But, I have never given up hope that I could make changes. It's just so darn hard!

The way I see it, it's a matter of intake and output. It is really quite simple. Why do we drive ourselves nuts with all the sidebar stuff? If one consumes 3,000 to 4,000 calories a day, one must run a marathon every other day...right? Piece of cake, no?

So, I commit to tracking my bad-girl behavior for the next six months. I commit to lowering the calorie intake, and increasing exercise. Ewwwww...I can't believe I said that!

I would be more than happy to support anyone out there going through this type of lifestyle change, and likewise, would really appreciate anything coming this way!

Hope your day is healthy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Let's Get Organized - Part 1

I'd like to share some information that I found in a workbook about getting organized. For me, organization is the key to start making changes in other parts of my life.

There are a dozen or so steps involved in becoming an organized thinker. One of the steps involves sitting down at night (after everyone else has gone to bed and it's just you and the dog) and planning the next day. Make a list of things you want to do on separate index cards. Then put the cards in order of priority. Make sure you have a card for shopping, meeting your bff for lunch, and getting a massage by Raul. Some people like to use blank business cards as these are easier to slip into a pocket or purse.

Another idea is the "do-it-now" system, where you don't put anything in a "pending" stack. Deal with paper and phone calls when they are first acquired. This will involve making instant decisions on some matters, but once dealt with, they're DONE! For instance, tell the collection company that is calling, you "just don't have time" to pay the bill! When reading mail or listening to messages, try scanning for major ideas to determine importance. If food, prizes, or gifts are mentioned, it's probably junk mail and you should immediately dispose of it. (Remember to shred anything with your name and address on it so that the info does not end up in the wrong hands.) If a phone message does not need a response, delete it and go on.

A "Lesson in Honesty" is to always do what you say you will do. If you give your word to complete something by a deadline, make sure that you keep it. If you can't keep your word, cry, plead and rant until you are dismissed. Then make a new deadline. Follow through on promises made. People remember who they can count on, and Kids remember...everything!

In communicating with others, be concise. Don't jerk anyone around. Write memos or emails instead of letters. Keep your words in memos and telephone calls to a minimum. Avoid long explanations or reasoning, as it sometimes alters your original idea. Say, "I can't go to lunch," instead of "I can't go to lunch because I've got so much work to do, and I have to make a doctor's appointment and pick up the dry cleaning, and yadda, yadda..."

Lastly, try to not spend your entire day blogging or on Facebook! I know it's addicting, and there is so much exciting stuff going on, but if you set a time limit for the computer (like we do for our kids with games, TV, etc.) AND stick to it, you will feel content that you participated, and still had dinner on the table by 6:00.

Good luck. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Blog!

Please come visit my other blog, bizzymissliz. Just click on my profile, and then on the blog at the bottom!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ugh! I Think I'm Gonna Be Sick!

Why do I always over-indulge at Halloween? Maybe it's because I don't drink, so I don't over-indulge at weddings, birthdays, game days, New Years Eve, graduations, baby showers, etc. When will I ever learn that this body is just too old for chocolate. I like chocolate, but it really, really, does not like me. I figure it's God's little hint that I should stop at one Milkyway, not 21!

I loved looking at all the cute Halloween costumes that kids were going to be wearing when they went Trick or Treating. Awww...those were the days. The days of coming up with four new costumes every year, and there was always one of the cherubs who would change their mind at 4:00pm the afternoon of Halloween! Lots of hand me downs, my old ballet costumes, old soccer and baseball uniforms torn to shreds so we could be zombie athletes. I'm glad I kept the dress up box, because we could always find something in there to mix and match, and then make it a zombie!

One year we used an old toy container that was a plastic trash can. We cut out the bottom, glued rotten fruit and milk cartons to the outside, and actually won for "most unique" costume in Kindergarten. (If I can get my feeble hands on that picture, I'll post it sometime before next Halloween).

So here are a few of past Halloweens....(please bear with me...I'm so still learning how to do this!)

I actually sewed white felt on black sweats to make this Power Ranger dream come true. This costume was dumped at 4:00pm and "Santa" became the Trick or Treat costume.

This was a fun year; everyone stayed with their original idea. Mr. "white jammies" is Luke Skywalker; "fighting girl" is Zena, Warrior Princess; all black "Kupie" is a kitty; and "red-coated short stuff" is Kenny from "South Park."

Hope your Halloween was a blast!