There’s a story that is told of an old man sitting on his porch with his hound dog. The hound cries out every few minutes, but the old man does nothing about it. A passerby hears the dog and says to the man, “Your dog sounds like he’s in pain. Is he hurt?” The old man replies, “probably, he’s laying on a nail and I can’t get him to move, and he’s not motivated enough to get up himself.”
Isn’t that the case for many of us? We know there are changes we need to make, but we aren’t motivated enough to go through the pain to reach the benefit of the change. Exercise is a big one that many of us struggle to make a part of our schedule every week. Over and over we hear that exercise is good for us. Exercise isn’t just about losing weight or having a buff bod; it’s about taking care of the vessel our souls must live in while on earth. How badly do we want to keep it healthy? We need to make the commitment, and then be determined to keep it.
Exercise is just one example of a self-imposed change. There many other changes that are within our control-a job change, a personal habit, or relationship changes-all need to be healthy choices for our lives.
What is one change you need to make? Don’t be the hound dog.
Welcome to February – a month where we focus on love, because quite frankly once you get past Ground Hog day (please don’t make your spring plans based on his prediction, #groundhogday) and outside of Valentine’s Day, it’s a pretty bland month. It’s the “middle child” month of winter. Around here, we can have a lot of cold, grey days. BUT, it does only have 28 days. So, what can we do with this month? Create a new habit.
As part of building healthy habits, I gave up soda pop for the month. It’s 28 days. I can do this. On day 23, we will have our biometric screening for health insurance so why not purge of whatever stuff is in sodas that’s not good for me. I’ve also committed to maintain at least an 8,000 step-a-day average and start working arm strength exercises. Three W’s — water, walking, and weights.
Although I’m not one for getting headaches without it, a daily Coke (#shareacoke) has been my caffeine source. So as to not throw the system into full shock, tea, chocolate, and a little mocha coffee will be my caffeine as needed. These will also prevent any sugar meltdowns.
The walking part is easy. On any given day I can do 6,000 steps just with my normal activity. Add regular walking breaks at work and a trip or two to the gym and I’m good with an 8,000 step average.
Now for the hard part, weights. This is a little harder to implement because it doesn’t happen within my normal routines. So, I have to make this happen. Every day I have to remember to pick up my hand weights and spend a few minutes lifting and curling. Today is the eighth and so far, I’ve not done well. So, with you for accountability, today I begin this part of the 3-W approach to healthy habits.
Here we are at the end of January. Twenty-eight days of the new year complete. How are those New Year’s resolutions (#newyearsresolution) holding up for you? By now, many have given up. As I’ve shared with you, I’m a little behind on things and had to give myself permission to take the month to catch up. So far, so good.
For example, if the goal was to get a book traditionally published, well, that requires a publisher to accept it etc. But if the goal is to get my book completed, edited and sent to a publisher, then I am the only one who controls the success of that goal.
Another consideration was that some of the goals were really more like behaviors. A goal (#goals) might be to lose 10 pounds. A behavior change is to do something like eat healthy meals. Perhaps a behavior change will support accomplishing a goal. It’s too easy to write down a bunch of goals that will later overwhelm you. This year write three or four real goals to accomplish, but then commit to one or two behaviors you would like to change.
It has been a while, it’s been a mixed-up couple of months. Just this week I’ve started to feel like I’m coming out of the surreal and back into whatever my new reality will look like. Between December 12 and 22, I lost two very special people. One a good friend, the other my mother-in-law. One was expected, the other eminent, but not expected so soon. These on the heels of encouraging a co-worker through the death of three family members and oh, did I mention having my appendix removed?
What felt so unreal was that I had spoken to my friend just a couple of weeks before and I had spoken to my mother-in-law earlier that day. They were here and now they aren’t. Life is precious.
A few days after my mother-in-law passed away I listened to a voicemail she had left me earlier in the month. I just wanted to hear her voice before saying a final farewell. Some might find that morbid, but we all mourn differently. Then I deleted both from my contact list. But neither has gotten very far from my thoughts.
Needless to say given the timing of both of these deaths, our holidays were less than relaxing. And starting the new year, well there has been a trail of things to clean-up and finalize. It has taken me 19 days into 2018 to begin to feel like I’m getting order back to my home, and back to living somewhat of a routine-driven life.
For the last several weeks, I’ve taken care of my family and I’ve worked. Two things that are a priority. But I haven’t had much brain-space for the other things I want to do — read, write and stay true to my new year’s habits consider goals for the year. Don’t worry, we will get there. If you’ve followed KK’s Candor for long, you know that I am all for setting goals and creating order. Rest assured both are coming soon.
We still have some challenges to work through. But doesn’t everyone. We will get there with faith, love, and dedication.
Thank you for sticking with me. I look forward to moving forward in the year sharing with you the anecdotes of my life.
It’s intriguing to me the plethora of commercials offering middle-aged people programs and pills that make them feel like they are 25 again (who wants to be 25 again? I was young and dumb). Or they promise to stop the signs of aging. I can’t even tell if these products are vitamins, medications or therapy. I agree that as we age things about our bodies change. Sometimes those changes mean we can’t pull an all-nighter, or after a day of yard work, we are sore in places we didn’t know we had. We pace ourselves differently. Each of us ages differently. Why are we fighting so hard to not age?
The fact of the matter is we are all aging. We are changing. It’s going to happen. The challenge isn’t to turn the clock back, it is to move forward taking care of our selves and aging as gracefully as we can. To live lives that are purposeful until our last breath. It’s too easy to let ourselves slow down. We can sit down too early and then we get stuck in routines that can be unhealthy and waste a lot of time. Parents of young children spend their days working and caring for children. That’s the season they are in. Children grow up and need less of our care. With this season, we get some of our time back. What do we do with it? Do we get sucked into reality shows and TV watching every night? That is no way to let life go. Stay engaged.
So much of what I’ve noticed about the elders in my life is that while their bodies are aging their spirit is still very alive. They get up every day and do something — go to the store, go work in the yard, they read, volunteer, spend time with friends etc. They are active. They are engaged in living. It didn’t take a pill, potion, or therapy to accomplish this active elder life. I’m not sure what to call it, other than a decision. Even when their bodies do fail their desire to keep moving, they continue to live and be as active as their bodies will allow. They know their days on this earth are waning. Instead of sitting down and waiting for their last breath, every day they get up and make the decision to DO life.
Today is the day. It’s eclipse day. The day for which millions have waited and planned. We’ve had experts predicting and sharing with us how to get the most out of the eclipse. Here are a few of my thoughts.
Have your approved eclipse glasses. (@NASA) Check out Nasa’s safety tips for viewing.
Be realistic — We live in a time of amazing scientific advances in meteorology. Today we have weather warnings that save lives and the ability to predict to the minute when events like an eclipse will occur. With all these great resources, we can’t control the weather. WHAS meteorologist, Jared Heil, @whas11jared, posted a video a couple of weeks ago with the chances of clouds on eclipse day. If it happens just remember there is no controlling clouds, how they move or where they stay.
Be in the moment — don’t waste the few minutes you have observing to try and capture the photo or video. Take in this 100-year wonder. Consider the creator.
“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” Isaiah 40:26 Think about how awesome this event is. Ponder the fact that when He set the moon, sun and stars in motion, He knew how they would orbit and when there paths would cross.
There have been two occasions recently that I found myself in the hospital, visiting not being cared for. As when anyone goes to the sit with a friend or family member it was impossible to plan for how much time is needed. What I learned about the way time works within the walls of a hospital is that the clock measurements are secondary to the events that take place.
Time is measured from having a test run to when the results come back from it. The next measurement is what will happen from those results. A CAT scan is ordered. Wait. Go have CAT scan run. Wait. Receive the results. All clear, good, breathe, next steps. Wait. The doctor will be in with the official diagnosis. Wait. Meds are offered every four or six hours. Shift change. New nurses, another round of vitals. Dinner comes at 5:00 p.m. Food services do seem to use a regular clock. Perhaps food service workers are the links to living on real-world time.
As a visitor, it’s an odd feeling to walk out of the hospital time warp and back into normal timekeeping to realize 10 hours have passed. If I had started knowing I would be there for a long period, would I have planned differently? Taken snacks? To be honest, sitting in the hospital with a family member, time really doesn’t matter, only they do and making sure they are being cared for. The time warp of hospitals is necessary to keep the health of the patient the priority. Here’s hoping for less time spent in the hospital and especially in a hospital bed.