Hi! Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog. Let me introduce myself. Online I go by the name Lake Girl. My parents gave me a more traditional name but you have to admit Lake Girl is kind of catchy! I live in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of Central New York. In the summer I spend as much time as possible at my family cottage on one of the lakes. This blog, “My Little Blue Kayak” is named after my happy place. I go to “My Little Blue Kayak” both figuratively and literally to get grounded, to center myself and to relax.
Over the last several years I have spent quite a bit of time in my happy place, figuring out what is important to me and strategizing how to live the life I choose. I have never learned the art of dreaming big (although I strive to do so) and have come to embrace my simple aspirations. In My Little Blue Kayak I am paddling toward health, wealth and happiness. Life is filled with choices and I choose health, I choose wealth and I choose happiness. This blog documents the daily choices I make to stay on the path that I have chosen. Life has a habit of getting in my way and pulling my kayak off course. But I am in the one with the paddle, I am the one with the ability to make small corrections to get back on track.
I have a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and over 15 years of experience supporting people to reach their goals. Most of my work has been with adults in nursing and rehabilitation facilities who have been released from the hospital but are not yet able to return home. My work can be quite satisfying as I support my patients to get stronger, to improve their balance, to increase their endurance so that they can resume their life with as much independence as possible. It is a wonderful feeling to say goodbye and good luck to a patient going home for the first time in months.
Thru my work I have come to an understanding of what life can be like for people who are not healthy, wealthy or happy. They often face health obstacles such as morbid obesity and uncontrolled diabetes, live paycheck to paycheck and are so deep in a rut that they see no options and come to believe they have no control over their life. Every day they unknowingly make choices that keep themselves stuck in that rut. They have no happy place to turn to get grounded, to center themselves or to relax in. They do not believe they have the power to choose health, to choose wealth and to choose happiness.
Sometimes in my role as an OT I have to figure out how hard to push someone who has essentially given up. Do I give them a day or several days to feel sorry for themselves, to blame others, to make excuses for their situation or do I gently prod, push and cajole them to pick up the paddle right now, dip it in the water and take control of the kayak?
I always choose to gently prod, push and cajole myself to live my life on my terms by choosing health, wealth and happiness. For me personally, this does not mean I want to run a marathon, be a billionaire or be euphoric all of the time.
Choosing Health: To me means I eat healthy food (not processed) that I make myself (not microwave from the freezer). It means I grow some of my own vegetables as nothing beats a fresh tomato from the garden. It means I strive to be physically capable of doing any activity I set my mind to.
Choosing Wealth: To me means I live debt free. I spend my money wisely and in alignment with my values. It means I prioritize my future by having an emergency fund, contributing as much as possible to my retirement funds and health savings account. It means I have a few different income streams to supplement my per diem work as an Occupational Therapist.
Choosing Happiness: To me means I work a flexible schedule that allows me ample opportunity to play in my kayak, sit in the sun, read, write, play ping pong with my honey and to enjoy my life. It means I take time every morning to close my eyes, quiet my mind and listen to the AHA moments of insight that I often experience. It means I choose to listen to my inner optimist and not the voice of my inner pessimist or the negativity of others.
Every day we have to make choices that may have a positive or negative impact on the course we set as our personal destination. I don’t have all of the answers nor have I perfected the rhythm of the strokes of my paddle. I am however making adjustments as I go by developing good habits, listening to my AHA moments and gently prodding, pushing and cajoling myself to stay on course. So grab a kayak (not the blue one), grab a paddle and join me in choosing to be healthy, wealthy and happy!