The End of January

The End of January

I cannot believe how quickly January has passed!  Today is the last day of January and I am so proud because so far I have kept my promises to myself.

If you read my post on my New Year’s Resolutions you know I kept it simple this year in that I tried to be true to my own needs and wants.  Basically I want to be the healthiest I can be and to get organized.

I don’t just mean organizing my closets, I mean organizing my LIFE to have more space, time, money and happiness.  So far, 30 days in I’m getting the job done.

What’s different this year? I found a reason behind making my resolutions.  And my reasons are purely selfish ones. Not selfish in the sense that they would hurt anyone else, but when thinking what I wanted to change in my life I concentrated purely on myself.

I wanted to make changes that I could measure–and not in pounds but in outcomes. And I accepted the fact that changes in one part of my life would create changes in other parts of my life.

I am doing the things I love: Reading, writing, learning new things, relaxing in the life I have created and enjoying my family and friends. I am also discovering things about myself and all those around me.

Getting healthier has been quite a learning experience.  I am learning all about nutrition and exercise–something that has interested me for a long time–and learning options for healthier living.

Decluttering my house has been a journey of really finding the things that I truly use and love to surround me at home and in making these changes it has made me feel lighter and free.

These small changes have already made an impact in my life.  I have noticed that as I have become healthier in body and home my spirit is also becoming healthier.  I no longer accept people around me with a negative attitude. And It happened quite by accident.

A person I work with began with her daily litany of complaints and I simply smiled at her and walked away. It was very nice not to have to hear about her views of what is wrong in her world. After all it’s not my world.  My world is looking quite rosy!

So today at the end of January, although the days may pass quickly let’s plan to enjoy each one of the them! I hope your New Year’s Resolutions or any changes you want to make in your life are going strong. Don’t give up! Your best life is in front of you!

What changes are you making in 2018 to make your life healthier and better? How are you overcoming roadblocks to your happiness? Post a comment below!

Have a great day and have fun!

Changes, Changes, Changes

Changes, Changes, Changes

I knew  once I was an “empty-nester” that everything would change. That I would change. And that things needed to change.

Change is inevitable–it happens everyday and sometime we don’t even know we are changing.  Most of the time change is for the better–sometimes though we don’t change or we resist change with all of our being and I wonder why we do that?

2018 is my year of massive change–from accepting that my birdies are becoming independent, to decluttering the house of past “stuff”  (and I am in no way from being finished!), to rethinking my future plans, and generally trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up!

Who knew all this change would feel so good?  If I had known I was going to enjoy it so much–I would have changed many things, many years ago!

I am meeting new people and having new experiences and generally just having a ball.  Who knew?

And so I wonder why we, as humans, resist change so strongly.  Why we push back when things change, and why we generally have a bleak outlook that somehow “change” will be bad.

Imagine if nothing had changed in the last 30 years.  I certainly would not be writing a blog right now–since it would not exist. Nor would you be reading anything like a blog on a smart phone, laptop or tablet.

Communication between people would still be, well–unchanged!  We would be talking on a telephone that is ATTACHED to a wall–by a CORD! And we would only be able to talk to one person at a time–getting a busy signal if you tried calling a phone number that was already engaged!

By the way, all our phone numbers would be written down in this little alphabetical diary called a Phone Book–not saved in Contacts!

(For those who are young enough to have no idea what I’m talking about, suffice it to say that you are living in a spectacular time of amazing technology!)

Things have changed so much! And we mere humans have changed with the things–whether we wanted to or not, or whether we consciously noticed we were changing in the first place.

Who would have thought 30 years ago that we would be buying bottled water!  We used to drink it right out of the tap–without filtering it! And now we don’t even think twice when we plop down $1.25 for a bottle of WATER!  

I used to pay 10¢ for a cold Orange Fanta in a glass bottle!  Ah, those were the days–but these days are phenomenal!

Change is everywhere and it ensures that our minds are engaged in learning everything that is new. It opens new horizons for us that we never thought possible.

We are better informed and better able to locate information than ever before!  If we don’t remember something, don’t know something or need a step by step video on how to do something we can just go out into the internet and “Google” it!

Even if we are unsure what to type in to find the right result–we could just ask SIRI–and she’ll be happy to find it for us!

Yes, change is good! It’s exciting and dynamic.  Everything that is not changing or resisting this natural change is being left behind, falling apart or doing severe damage to the people it affects.

Embrace the changes in your life–it is good,  it is necessary and it’s fun!

What changes are you enjoying the most? What changes have been the most challenging? What do you wish had not changed, and why?

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My Favorite “F” Word

My Favorite “F” Word

Happy Friday everyone!  I was thinking how most people love Fridays!  And I have to admit I like Fridays too because it is the end of the work week for me and gives me a chance to recharge my batteries over the weekend.

But really Thursdays are pretty good days and I don’t mind Wednesdays too much.  And if I have an exciting week planned–Mondays don’t bother me at all!

So I was thinking of the TGIFs in my life.  Why TGIFs?  Why Thank God it’s Friday?  I thank God every day–that I got another day!

And I started thinking of the “F” words that I like–french fries, frogs, frequent flyer miles…and I landed on my favorite: Family.

My favorite “F” word is Family. As long as I can remember I have had a very close bond with family, my family and with my husband’s family as well.

That is not to say we like everyone in our family–we love them, but you know, we don’t always like them all.

After all, Families are really just a collection of people either related by blood or some legal process like marriage.  And people, you know…are all different, regardless of the blood they carry or the piece of paper that binds them.

Some of my family, who I hold dear to my heart and adore, are not even my family–by blood, paper or any other way.  These are my life long friends, some are my parents’ life long friends, who have known me all my life, and who have been there for my children’s lives–who are like my aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters and cousins!

These family members are often closer to us than family family–not because we love them more, but sometime simply because of geography, proximity and frequency.

They are special to us, because they know the “us” we were as children. They may be people who walked along with us and shared our childhoods. They watched us grow and go through awkward times. They were witness to our triumphs. We leaned on them when we needed someone to hold us up and push us forward. Without being asked, just because.

That is what family does.

And once in a while new friends come into your life as well that you do not know for a lifetime–that don’t remember the “you” from grade school with the big buck teeth, the high school “you” with the big hair (ah, the 80’s!) or the “you” you were when you made some big blundering mistake in life–and you click!

They become the new additions to the family–that you know will be around for the next phase in this wonderful ride of life.

Now, I’m not talking about people that come and go through our lives that we may know for a short time.  I mean the people we share a bond with, that we care about, worry about, celebrate achievements with and those we help when help is needed.

I’m talking about the people in our lives that call us up right when we need them to, help us through our own journeys, smile, laugh and cry with us.

Those folks get the title “family” in my book–because like my own real blood family–we can disagree, argue, enjoy, annoy, have fun with, feel obligated to, responsible for–and no matter what–they are our people.

And so on this Friday–I celebrate the “F” word–my family, in all it’s messy, confusing, incomprehensible, wonderful, fulfilling and crazy glory we live in.

Take some time today to reach out to your family–and let’s make this a TGFF (Thank God For Family!) day!

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A Flight of Fancy

A Flight of Fancy

While in Pensacola, Florida last summer we did one of my favorite things!  We went to the museum!  I love museums–but there is one in Pensacola that is one of my favorites!

The National Naval Aviation Museum is one of the best military museums I have ever seen.  I had visited it once before–over 10 years ago–and this time around it was even better than I had remembered.

It chronicles the history of Naval Aviation and has many beautiful restored airplanes on display, as well as cockpit simulators you can get into, and a giant screen theater that shows breathtaking movies about the magic of flight and combat missions from our history.

A whole other part of the museum has exhibits of the Apollo Space Program which has always captured my imagination as well. And all are free to the public at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola.

We had two wonderful treats while at the museum.  The first was a gentleman who is a retired Lieutenant Commander of the Navy who stopped to talk to us about the airplanes we were looking at from WWI.  

He told us all about the planes and the pilots and the challenges of flying in combat during this time. He told beautiful stories of our heroes and the death defying feats they performed and the planes that brought them home.

The second treat is that the very next day the Blue Angels would be doing their practice show and the public was welcome to come and watch!

Of course, we returned the next day to watch the amazing and terrifying acrobatics these brave pilots perform at amazing speeds and at very close proximity to each other. It was truly awe inspiring and I caught myself holding my breath more than once as they practiced their maneuvers.

Those young pilots practice and hone their skills to be the best in the world!  And their pride shows when, after the show, they sign autographs, take pictures and talk to the people they serve, protect and honor with their very lives.

Just thinking about the experience now brings the excitement of that day back and puts a smile on my face!  Go Navy!

Has there been a day when you experience the exhilaration of watching our military performing at their best?  Don’t forget to thank an enlisted person or a Veteran–it is their sacrifice that keeps us free!

Comment below!  And have fun today!

 

Let’s Take a Trip

Let’s Take a Trip

Being in an empty nest helps fuel the imagination.  I think it is the extra time and the quiet house.

It is very liberating really to be able to think about things we really enjoy that we hadn’t had time for before…like traveling.

I love to travel! I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to visit many diverse places.  I haven’t been to as many as most, but certainly more than others.  

And while I haven’t been to as many places as I’d like–we are planning on taking advantage of all the experiences that the places we visit have!

While I am extremely afraid of flying…I do fly!  I have to talk myself into it each time, do a lot of praying and once on the plane will have the tears fall–especially as we take off or are coming in for a landing. But I’ll still do it!

It is the whole plummeting to earth idea I am not cool with!

I will go off to distant places if the opportunity presents itself, and it has, and I have! However, my favorite type of travel is by car!

I love America’s highways and how different and beautiful the regions and states can be. At the same time, for me, traveling around the United States is very familiar and comforting. Because no matter where I am, I am still home.

Last summer, my husband and I drove to Pensacola, Florida from Corpus Christi, Texas to visit family and we had a great time!

The road trip itself took us 2 days to get there and 2 back, mostly because we were enjoying the scenery and were in no hurry.  It was very relaxing and since we had our two doggies along we made frequent stops so they (me) could go to the bathroom.

It was great to have that time with my husband, we got to talk about many things which I think keeps us connected as a couple and brings us closer.  I am very lucky to be married to my best friend and so even quiet times are wonderful!

Along the way, we appreciated the changes in the vegetation, the colors and the smells and how the miles just went on into the horizon. Time was our own and we were happy and fulfilled.  It is a very good place to be!

I took pictures of the Welcome signs as we entered each new state: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.  We went from the coast in Texas to Piney Woods, through swampland and over the mighty Mississippi River and eventually back to the coast of Florida.  The traveling was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

Spending time with family, also, to me is priceless.  As I have gotten older and hopefully matured–I am not necessarily looking for the most glamorous or adventurous place to travel to.  I am looking for that sense of belonging and relaxation.  

I enjoy the sight-seeing, the meals out and the meals in that we make together with love, conversation and especially lots of laughter.  There is also just getting to know a new place and seeing things we haven’t seen before.

Traveling is not just a special place but a special moment in time.

I am hoping, in my empty nest years, to do a great deal of traveling and experiencing. Especially as I travel to see the ones that I love the most as they create their own lives!

Have you been on a trip recently that you enjoyed?  What was your favorite part of the trip?

Comment below if you like, and join my Facebook and Pinterest–but most of all have fun!

Decluttering the Mind, Body and Soul: Letting Go

Decluttering the Mind, Body and Soul: Letting Go

This last post in the Decluttering the Mind, Body and Soul series hits very close to home for me, because it is so fresh. It is a constant work I do with myself.

I want to talk to you about decluttering your soul and this is going to be hard.  As any new or experienced empty nester knows, one of the hardest things to do is let go.

Letting go of our children as they started their own lives was hard enough but letting go of some of the baggage we carry around in our soul is even harder!

Our soul, in my eyes, is where we carry our value systems and beliefs. It also houses our fears, anxieties and burdens.  It is a hard organ of the body to explain–since no doctor has ever found it, no person has ever given it to another, but we know its there by the pain and joy it causes.

In the end of it all–our soul is our essence.  And we should keep it as pure as we can, if possible–and of course I mean, decluttered.

As we declutter our physical world we have to find a way to declutter our soul as well. This is extremely hard because we can’t just fill up a box of stuff, put it in the back of our car, and drop it off at Goodwill.

Decluttering the soul takes hard work and will sometimes cause pain.  But we deserve a clean and light soul! We deserve it.

The hard work is internal.  It is a conversation and conviction we take on with ourselves and sometimes with a higher power. I call my higher power God, but you may think of it differently.

So here is what I have been doing to declutter my soul–it is an ongoing process–and one I will have to remind myself of to do continually as the soul clutters itself once again:

Step 1 :  Forgive

Forgive the people, the circumstances and memories, and your own errors in judgement that have hurt you. Easy to say, not easy to do.  It is painful because we are letting go of something strong that we have been holding onto tightly.

Sometimes we are so hurt by a person or situation and the other players involved are not even aware that they have caused you pain or discomfort. We carry this around in our soul building up fears and anxieties of it happening again–with the same person or with others.

It weighs us down and darkens our spirit, making it a cold and lonely place to carry.  But if we forgive–our soul feels a little brighter and lighter bit by bit.

Step 2:  Let Go

This is even harder than forgiving sometimes!  We have to let the pain and the discomfort go.  We have to believe that people do not hurt us intentionally and we need to move on from where we are with a clean soul and be open to new experiences.  

We need to know that the hurts we have endured have nothing to do with our worth! People do not hurt us because we are bad, we get hurt because our beliefs and value systems do not match those of the people that caused the hurt.

Note: This does not mean, and I certainly do not believe, that we should accept the hurts and abuses of others. It just simply means we should forgive them for thinking they can hurt us and I firmly believe we should separate ourselves from those folks (permanently, if possible).

Letting go also means forgiving yourself for the hurt and giving it to your higher power. The higher power will take care of it and you can begin to move on.

Once your soul is lighter you will begin to see things differently and it will open you up for better, stronger and more positive experiences to fill you up with!

So do the work–forgive, let go and love the person and the soul you are! You deserve it!

 

Have a wonderful weekend.  Like, comment or share if this is something that resonates with you!

Join me on Facebook and Pinterest. And as we do the work, don’t forget to have some fun!

Decluttering the Mind, Body and Soul: Self-care for our Body

Decluttering the Mind, Body and Soul: Self-care for our Body

To continue on my decluttering journey–Part 2 of Decluttering the Mind, Body and Soul is going to be about our body!

You might ask me how I can possibly declutter my body?  My body is not cluttered!  But our bodies are, at least mine is–a little bit.

What I think about when I think about a cluttered body is really not treating myself well for optimal health. We don’t get enough sleep, drink enough water or eat the right things to keep us at our best.

Over time these bad habits we have created start to make us feel fatigue, stress and many times add a few unwanted pounds to our bodies. All this clutters our bodies–and slows us down.

I know personally, I have been trying to “declutter” the same 10 lbs for the last several years!  They don’t seem to want to go!  But it is time to get rid of them!

And this really comes down to self-care.

I know! I know! Self-care is such a “trendy” term!

What does it mean anyway? Well, really you can define self-care any way you want because it is all about YOU!  And that is what is important!  

Self care, to me, is about being in balance with my physical body. It is about eating better and getting some exercise. It is about grooming and looking good.  Because when I look good–I feel good!

Why don’t we take better care of ourselves?  Because we are busy and we have created a lifestyle of quick, fast and on the run!

So in this new life I am creating, I am going to make sure I make time for myself each day to look good.   I intend to plan good meals, go to the gym a few times a week and block off time to pamper myself.

The hustle and bustle of working, raising children, keeping the house etc. may fill our timetables and calendars but if we don’t put ourselves first, then who will?

Put yourself on the calendar–reschedule other things if you need to.  We always find the time for things that are important to us.  What can be more important than being the healthiest you, you can be!

Self-care often gets set aside while we are busy meeting the needs of others.  That proves that deep down we are selfless and enjoy helping and caring for the well being of those we cherish  in our life.

And while that is a good thing, imagine how much more we can do and help if we felt healthier, well rested and in a word–happy–with our bodies!

I am so excited to “declutter” my body to promote my well being so I have the energy, stamina and the desire to be active during this wonderful adventurous life!  Join me won’t you?

Do something nice for yourself today–your body will thank you!

Make a comment below:  What kinds of self-care do you practice?

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