Baby Steps to Success

A few months ago these big yellow signs popped up all over my neighborhood that simply say SLOW DOWN. We live in a residential neighborhood with an elementary school and a University nearby. Parents walk their kids to school every day and college students and professors hurry to and from class.

I guess SLOW DOWN is a pretty good reminder to pay attention and not hit anyone who is simply trying to get to class.

As I was out walking Fenway today, the thought occurred to me that it would be pretty cool to post signs all over the place reminding us of our goals.

They look kind of like this

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When Doing The Right Thing Hurts

I adopted my dog Fenway 8 years ago when she was just 4 months old. She has been with me through good times and bad and I love her like crazy. If she was in jeopardy, I would risk my life to save her.

Right now my Fenway is pretty ticked off at me. If she could tell you about it she would say I traumatized her this morning. I pulled her hair, dumped water on her, and about tackled her in my arms.

This morning my Fenway got a good brushing and a bath. She hates them both with a passion. Every time she hears the shower turn on she runs into her crate and curls up in a ball. When I try to entice her out she pulls away from me. I have had to learn to get everything set up when she isn’t paying attention, call her into the kitchen for a treat and then scoop her up in my arms and carry her to the tub. Did I mention she hates to be carried?

The thought popped into my head that sometimes doing the right thing hurts. But it still needs to be done.

Just turning on the water makes her run!

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Traveling With Mother Fran

Winter is in full force here in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate, NY and that means it is time to make a plan to get the hell out of Dodge. I woke up at 3AM and the wind was blowing hard, as if Mother Nature herself was knocking at my window. The days have been cold and blowy and every time I turn around more of the white stuff seems to be flying around me.  I don’t mind snow but dealing with the ice is no fun.

So my honey and I are planning a trip to Florida  in February to visit Mother Fran and Child #7. It is nice to have something fun (and warm) to look forward to.

Can’t wait

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The Devil on My Shoulder

I like to think of myself as a simple, easy-going person. A person who is happy-go-lucky and lighthearted. I have been told however that there is a lot going on under the surface that makes me a bit more complicated than I wish to be. I guess this is true for many of us.

I often feel like there is an angel on one shoulder letting us see the good in everyone we meet and  a devil on the other shoulder encouraging us to judge others. The angel reminds us that people are human and often make mistakes. When we listen to the angel, we can take a harsh word in stride and ignore the buzz of negative energy while maintaining a positive outlook.

The angel

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Solve Impossible Problems

I spent the day in quiet solitude.

I had a few easy tasks to complete today, an interesting book to read and some thinking to do. I love days like this!

The high temperature today is 29 degrees here in the Finger Lake Region of New York State. There is a fresh coat of snow on the ground and it is calm and still outside. The sky is a beautiful blue with big, white clouds loitering on the horizon. The sun is shining brightly, reflecting off of the snow and it is blinding. Too bad I can’t find my sunglasses.

A day like this!

Other than venturing out to walk my dog, I have been inside of my house, sitting on the couch, relaxing all day. I consider myself blessed to have opportunities like this to regroup, to think, to unwind.

So many people simply don’t know how to relax. They are hyper-focused on one thing and never stop to smell the coffee much less the roses.

Take the time…

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I Challenge YOU!

One year ago I picked up a book at the library by Allisom Rimm titled The Joy of Strategy: A Business Plan for Life”  The introduction begins with: “The joy of a life well lived – our work well done, our cherished ones well loved, our potential realized. Isn’t that what we’re all after? You don’t need to leave your dreams to chance.  However achieving this most fundamental and often elusive goal doesn’t just happen. It requires a strategy. To create a meaningful plan, you need a structured approach that guides your through the process of defining what is most important to you and what you must do to get it. The world’s most successful businesses do this as a matter of course, and there is no more essential business than the business of  your life”.

I read those words and got excited. I had already been doing a lot of soul searching and had a pretty good idea of what was important to me and the type of life I wanted to live. I had already gotten a taste of freedom by moving the lake and I wanted more!  At that time, the life I so desperately wanted looked like this:

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What does your strategic life look like?

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My Love Affair

I am in a happy, loving, committed relationship with a wonderful partner. My partner is loving, kind, fun to be with and knows at least 50% of the people in our small city. So I have to be careful who I share this with – I am having an affair.

Yup, I have fallen for another. My new love is tender and warm. So easy to be with and always willing to cook a healthy meal. She is quiet, low maintenance and cleans up easily.

I have fallen in love (again) with my Crock Pot! Call it a Crock Pot, call it a Slow Cooker – just don’t call me late for dinner.

Isn't she a beauty?
Isn’t she a beauty?

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Bad News First

Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks and express gratitude for all that you have. A day to celebrate a delicious meal with family and friends. In my house the preparations would begin 2 days before with everyone pitching in to clean the house.  Mother Fran would give out instruction to ensure everything got done in time for the big meal. Desserts were usually made the night before and tucked away so as not to tempt us.

Thanksgiving is here!
Thanksgiving is here!

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Visualize This

Just Breathe

I strive to live a simple life, I imagine most people do. But lately it seems a bit more chaotic than usual. I feel stress settling into my bones and little tasks are tiring. With the holidays quickly approaching, things are likely to get even busier, and crazier.

Recognizing when you are on the brink of falling into a pit of stress filled days, before the actual fall, gives you the time to make a change.

We need to recognize stress before it becomes unmanageable
We need to recognize stress before it becomes unmanageable
If only life came with instructions!
If only life came with instructions!

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“How are You?”

How do you respond to a simple “How are you?”

Some people put an incredibly positive spin on everything. You ask them how they are and they enthusiastically respond “fantastic”! And they mean it. Other people respond “lousy” and proceed to tell you every last detail of why their life sucks. Other people mumble “good” or “ok” and give the obligatory “and how are you?”, then walk away before you even have the chance to respond.

My response could be any of the above depending on the day, my mood, and my health. I strive to be healthy and enthusiastically responding “fantastic” (and meaning it) seems like a wonderful answer to such a simple question.

I choose the one on the right
I choose the one on the right

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