It’s a Good Friday

It’s a Good Friday

On this Good Friday, like each year, Christians observe the crucifixion of Jesus. For some it is a day of mourning and fasting before Easter and for others it can be a time of expressing gratitude for the sacrifice given on the cross.

As a Christian, I do observe this day and it brought to the forefront thoughts of becoming a better me every day.

How can we become a better person each day?  If your goal, like me, is to live a full meaningful life, becoming a better person each day should be a simple task.

I believe it starts with gratitude.  Being grateful for all you are and all you have each morning will start your day in a way that will bring to you more of that for which you are grateful.  

Sometimes, when we are going through a particularly difficult time we may find it hard to find things to be grateful for.

I remember a story about a soldier I heard recently.  An American soldier that had come back from the Middle East was being asked some questions about how medical professionals could help him if they were to provide him with a prosthetic arm. You see, he lost his left arm serving his country.

The young man was very optimistic and upbeat and thankful that the doctors were looking into a prosthetic arm that could have the range of motion that a real arm would have.

He was so thankful to the doctors that when they thanked him for his time in that session and for his service–he turned to them and said “I am just so grateful I didn’t lose my good arm”–you see he was a righty, so he could still use his right hand and arm.

As he backed his wheelchair away from the table the doctors were very moved by his gratitude and the fact that he had also lost both legs.

Gratitude then becomes a much larger proposition when we think about how lucky and blessed we truly are.

We do not have to strive to be as grateful as that soldier–but to be better each day, we should be grateful and acknowledge those things in our lives that are so wonderful.

Secondly, to strive to be a better person each day–we should live with a clear intention. An intention that will guide not only your day but how you want to live your life each and everyday.

An intention may be harder to come up with and fulfill on a daily basis–if we put too much pressure on ourselves to “intend” the right things.

Many times my intentions are very simple ones: I intend to do no harm today, I intend to turn the other cheek if I am offended, I intend to smile at someone who may need a smile today.

It does not have to be hard or perfect.

To become a better me everyday, I just need to remember to forgive myself for my mistakes of yesterday, have gratitude for the new chance this day gives us to be different and to intend to do the best with that opportunity.

I am an imperfect person. Good Friday reminds me that I am already forgiven.

On this Good Friday, I leave you with this: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Enjoy this day. Be better than yesterday and have fun.

Duh Mom!

Duh Mom!

Part of my ideas for navigating the empty nest years and beyond is to remain relevant and authentic. I don’t want to lose touch with my kids even though they have grown up and left the nest.

Most of our communication as you can imagine is by text—-although I am loving FaceTime and make sure I always have my lipstick on in case they “face” me.

Learning the new text lingo and all the new technology platforms is hard!  The fact that I know the term “technology platforms” is a big advancement for me!

So because I know that practice makes perfect–I thought if I really want to get good at this I need to use it.  And I used my two daughters as my guinea pigs—-I mean—-teachers. Here is how it went:

Daughter one:

Me: How are you doing?

Daughter: Good mom.

Me: LOL!

Daughter: What’s funny?

Me: What? I can’t say LOL by itself?

Daughter: No mom. LOL! Comes after something is funny. It is a response.

Me: OK. Well were good. How’s School?  OBTW–I got new curtains for the family room.

Daughter: School’s fine. It’s not Oh, by the way mom, it’s just BTW.  

Me: LOL!

Daughter: Better mom, but not really. Talk later.

 

Daughter two:

Me: How are you doing?

Daughter: Good mom, what’s up?

Me: Nothing is up. Just thought I’d text.

Text silence (is that a thing?)

Me: I heard a good joke the other day and I was LMFAO!

Daughter: You know that has a bad words in it right?

Me: NO! Which letter?

Daughter: The F and the A.

Me: Oh.  Not like LOL!?

Daughter: Nope.

Me: OK. So OT I got some new curtains for the family room—they look RG.

Daughter: What’s RG mom?

Me: Really Good!

Daughter: No, Mom, not a thing….BRB.

Me: Bad Really Bad?

Text Silence–10 min later

Daughter: Sorry mom I meant Be Right Back.

Me: Oh. You busy? We can TML…

Daughter: TML? Mom what are you doing?

Me: Text More Later? I’m making dinner.

Daughter: No, I mean what are you doing with all the letters…

Me: I just thought I would practice the text lingo, I guess I’m not very good at it yet.

Daughter: DUH.

Me: What does DUH stand for?

Daughter: Just Duh mom. Talk later.

 

And so with two utter fails under my belt—I sigh and continue to reinvent myself and navigate through this crazy new language in the texting world.

Communication is changing so fast and more words are being added to the dictionary every year than ever before and online you can even access an urban dictionary! (A city dictionary–I wonder what they use in the country? A rural dictionary?)

Just keeping up and keeping relevant is going to be a tough road. I’m doing well on the authentic part though—-I’m authentically confused and starting to feel my age!

Luckily, I don’t think I’ll lose touch with my kids because they are so good about correcting—-I mean teaching—-me the new ways to communicate when I get things wrong.

But I do think I have entered that time zone in which people of a certain age—-me—-have fallen into the generation gap and we are viewed as OMG—-old!

In order to feel better of course, I called my mom. I told her about my practicing the new text lingo with the girls and my failure.

“Mom” I said, “I think I’m starting to get old!”

There was silence for a moment and then she said:   “DUH!”

 

How are you coping with the changing language, texting, messaging and emailing skills needed in this 21st century world?

Drop me a comment and let me know!

The Changing Work Ethic in Cyberspace

The Changing Work Ethic in Cyberspace

As American life changes so does how we live that life.  The majority of our years are devoted to serving others and to work.

And work is changing very rapidly.  This is a very exciting time as we will be able to witness major changes in our working lives and the exchange of products and services for money, outside of the traditional brick and mortar businesses.

The internet has opened whole new worlds and ways of shopping, ordering groceries, even how we access books, magazines and newspapers.

It has also opened new opportunities for sole proprietors and small businesses to rise up out of people’s homes.

Some of the work ethics from yesterday are being left behind due to these changes. Being on time to work for example, means a whole new thing in the cyber workplace. You can literally sign in to your workplace and be “on time” and still be in your sweatpants.

So what does “having a good work ethic” mean in today’s changing world?  Some things, so far, have not changed–thankfully–and it proves to me that we live in a society that still works hard to provide a product or service that adds value to its customers.

Here is my take on the work ethic that will not get lost in cyberspace:

Integrity–the ideas of honesty and trust seems to be holding true even behind the computer screen.  For new businesses and business relationships to work consumers have to trust who they are doing business with.  When businesses promise the quality of the product, shipping times, and refund policies and follow through with them it creates customer loyalty and even better–good reviews for those businesses!

Responsibility and Quality–responsible businesses will not only make sure that the daily tasks are completed, but that they are completed in the best way possible–providing quality service for the customer but also for the employer, which many times is themselves.

For sole proprietors–this sense of responsibility is quite literally the “make it or break it” efforts taken to keep the business open and thriving. Providing quality work can mean the difference of having new and repeat customers come back to you or not.

Professionalism–being a professional and behaving as such means that you are working hard to serve others with integrity, responsibility and quality. It means that you are fair and courteous in your dealings. It is as simple as that.

It is not about wearing a power suit, impressing the right people in the organization or knowing the right buzzwords of the year that help impress those above you as well as your subordinates.

It’s completely about how much work you actually do for others, that you treat them with respect, that you set boundaries for your business but that you treat your customers and clients with fairness and with a spirit of service and dedication.

The new work ethic seems to be also making people who work in cyberspace happier because they are doing something that has meaning for them and that provides them with the satisfaction of doing a job well–without the politics or the fluff.

As you do business over the internet–whether it be shopping, receiving information for a fee, or receiving services–how has this changed your life?  What are the most important types of services for you as a customer to receive?

Enjoy this new world we live in–where goods and services are just a few clicks away–and have fun!

 

Serving Others

Serving Others

For all us humans, our lives are about serving others.  We don’t always like to think of it this way, but it is in fact what we are doing. Some people may react and think: “I was not put on this earth to serve others.” because we see it in terms of some menial task or job.

That’s not what I am talking about. What I am talking about is our purpose. Everyone’s purpose–in one way or another–is to serve others.

And it is exactly what we are supposed to do. It is how we serve that defines who we are, how we provide that service and what ultimately makes us happy.

Wait–What?

Yup, we are all on this earth to serve others to find our happiness–and for those of you who think I’ve lost it and there is no coming back from this one–let me explain.

Children serve their parents: as a source of love, joy and many times comic relief. After all–they did not ask to come here–we created them.

Parents–serve their children by providing love, security, safety, guidance and yes–loads of embarrassing moments!  (It is character building, kids–you’ll thank us one day!)

In school, students serve as being fountains to fill with knowledge in order to create an orderly society, a future workforce and the next generation of innovation.

Teachers in turn serve the community by educating those students and preparing them for life, the world outside and the many challenges that an education can help them overcome.

Politicians serve to keep our society civil, orderly and they are the referees of the “fair and square” in the world of law.

Doctors and nurses serve people who are sick or who want to prevent illness.

Husbands serve their wives by being a partner, a helpmate, a provider and by supporting the process of raising children and maintaining the home.

Wives also serve their husbands as partners, providers, the moral education of their children and the keepers of the home.

Churches serve the communities through religious teachings, being a moral compass to their members and providing spiritual guidance.

Our Military serve us by keeping us safe at home and abroad from bad actors that may want to physically harm us and our way of life.

Our Police Officers/Fire and EMS personnel serve us in keeping us safe and providing order and protection in our communities.

If you really think about it everyone and everything we do is in service for others. Yes–many of these examples are also called jobs and we get paid to serve. True. But most of these examples are underpaid, underappreciated and undervalued.

Yes–even the politicians. (Well maybe not the underpaid part)!

Regardless, this is the way it is supposed to be and how we keep an orderly world and smoothly running society.

When I sat down and really thought about this and its implications it became very clear to me why some people are happy and others are not so much.

If you don’t believe me, just look around and decide if many of society’s–and the world’s problems–would not be more easily corrected if everyone lived a life of service to someone else or to their community.

The ripple effects of this would be tremendous and it would help many people find a sense of their purpose.

When we have a purpose–a true desire to live the best life we can–it always includes some type of service. Follow your purpose–serve others and be happy!

How do you serve others in your life? How have others served you? What changes can you make in your life to bring you closer to your purpose?

How can I serve you?  Comment below and let me know what you would like me to write about!  And have fun today!

Slowing Down in the Fast Lane

Slowing Down in the Fast Lane

We do a fair amount of highway driving to visit family and the two birdies that have left the nest.  My husband does most of the driving but from time to time I take the wheel.

I have to say my husband is a much better driver than I am.  I often say that I do many things well–but driving is not one of them!

Most of the time my husband drives in the fast lane, not because he is driving fast–to my frustration he usually drives the speed limit–and eventually (a lot) he will come up to another driver that is also going the speed limit.  And there we sit for a mile or two neither of us going anywhere because neither will move over to the right lane and pass or be passed.

In the same situation I simply go around the individual on either right or left and keep going on my merry–albeit speedier–way.

Why am I always in a hurry to get to my destination when I enjoy the drive so much?  I have no idea.

I am learning to question these things that I do to myself that rob my joy.  I mean I really enjoy driving the highways–taking in the scenery, and relaxing in the rhythm of the car. It gives me much needed and much loved “think time”.

My best guess is that I do everything (driving included) fast so I can do more stuff. So I can accomplish more tasks each day and be the hero.

But the hero of what?  The hero of having all the dishes done, the laundry folded and the meals for the week planned?  All necessary things for sure but I don’t think they give you a cape for that! Hero of Zero!

So at this point in my life I am learning–many times the hard way–to slow down and do the things that are important.  To slow down and think of the most efficient way to do things. To slow down and let others do some of the stuff.

I am finding that slowing down has some very positive advantages:

You will actually do less work. Have you ever noticed that the more you do quickly and efficiently the more work you are given or expected to do? Employers do this to you and so do family and friends.

Until the moment or the day you stop–don’t worry they won’t be too disappointed–they’ll find someone else that is in a rush and will do it.

Once you have slowed down and taken care of your priorities–the remaining tasks just won’t seem so important. And because you are doing less work…

You will feel more rested. Doing things slower means you can do things with more attention.  Sometimes you will surprise yourself that you are actually enjoying the task at hand and you will be more clear minded about the things you actually want to work on.

This will make you feel energized and valued by the most important person in this whole equation–You!  You will be able to rest and not feel drained all the time! And when you are rested and doing things to your best potential…

You will be able to concentrate your talents.  What things do you enjoy that use your talents and your gifts. How can you use those talents to really serve others in a way that also makes you happy?

Finding these answers are very important to each of our lives, it will help us find the purpose we are here to fulfill and that on the flip side will help us feel fulfilled. That’s a win in my book! (Even without the cape!)

So as we are driving down the highway of our days–slow down, enjoy the “think time”. Take in the scenery–the destination will be there when you get there and it will be exactly where you were meant to go.

As we drive through our lives are you in the fast lane? Or have you learned, like I am learning to enjoy the slower lane? Do you feel that slowing down also means slowing down your progress?

Comment below and let me know how you feel about where you are right now in your life.  Whether you decide to slow it down or speed down the highway–always have fun!

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The Journey to Becoming a Health Coach

The Journey to Becoming a Health Coach

Sometimes we go looking for opportunities and sometime opportunities come looking for us. In this new empty nest chapter of my life I made a commitment to myself to keep growing and learning new things–like photography.

I love taking pictures, cataloging pictures and creating albums and other crafts with photography–but I never have felt that I am very good at it. So one of my goals is to get better at it–faster and smarter!

My motto of living my “post-raising children life” faster, better, smarter is not to DO more but to BE more–mostly for myself– and the benefits of that will hopefully go out to others.

So as you have read me explain before: Faster means learning from those who came before me.  Better means how can I do this differently that will serve me better.  And better for me means if it served me better–can it serve others? Smarter means finding the best way to do whatever you want to do.

On top of that I realize I am a “fixer”.  I like to “fix” things or help people if I can. I do not like injustices or wasted resources.  But I also realize that people are not perfect–I am not perfect–Thank God.

How boring life would be if we all knew it all, could take care of it all and basically did not need each other.

These ideas crashed into my other ideas of being the healthiest person I can be. And somewhere in the confusion and the research I was doing for myself I repeatedly came across health coaching as a thing.

I tried it. I found a health coach that would talk to me about my health goals, help me put the ideas in my head into a cohesive plan (she even provided an easy to follow plan) and she became my cheerleader! She also was there to hold me accountable.

It was worth every penny of her fee. Why? Because in our busy run around lives it’s nice to have someone think of all the logistics for you so you can actually do what you want to do–not think about what you want to do.

It was easy to schedule–all our meetings were on the phone for 50 minutes at a set time once a week–so it did not interfere with any other parts of my life or responsibilities.

And this led me to  an online school so I can learn and certify myself as a health coach so that in the future I can help others.  So–at 50–I’ve gone back to school!

This has become a journey in itself! And a scary, wonderful one at that. I am learning new information and new skills. I am meeting new people and have a fabulous cohort of fellow students to discuss new learning and stumbling blocks with. I am both nervous to reach out and help others and at the same time excited to do so.

This journey has become a very important part of my faster, better, smarter life because it encompasses all I have set out to do in my empty nest years: learn, be active, grow as a person and give back.

I know from working with my cohort that everyone is looking at this opportunity in a different way. What I feel we all have in common is that we want to help others reach their health and life goals in the most painless and efficient way they can. Faster, Better, Smarter.

We want to make a difference.  We don’t want to DO more for people, we want to BE more of a support in their journey to their more fulfilling life.

Like Dorothy down the yellow brick road–this journey is helping us find knowledge, heart and courage.  I think in the end, although this is all new to us, we will find that we all had it in us all along.

Our journeys are not easy for a reason–otherwise we would not learn–and develop–all the different parts of us that make us us.

So today I leave you with this:  I am a wife and mother. I am a daughter and sister. I am a teacher, I am a leader in my community. I am a health coach.

Comment below and tell me your thoughts.  Is there a journey that you are on that scares you and excites you at the same time? How are you managing all the hats you wear?

Like and share this post if it resonates with you and join me on Facebook and on my Pinterest page! And no matter what else you do today–Have fun!

 

 

 

Honor Yourself in Your Health

Honor Yourself in Your Health

When it comes to our health, or anything we decide to do, sometimes the hardest part is dealing with the people whose opinion means the most to us–and sometimes dealing with people whose opinion is not that important but still affects us.

Let me work backwards from least important to most important in relation to people’s opinions.  

There are strangers and acquaintances that we encounter in life that look at us–and make a snap judgement.

What is that judgement? It really depends on what lens of the world they are looking at you through. Honor yourself–regardless what they may be thinking.

Then there are our closer acquaintances and “friends.” These people know a little more about you–perhaps because you come in contact with them more often–but don’t really know you know you. They make judgments about us based on how we dress, act, speak, react etc.

We think about what they may think about us if we did something out of the norm of their belief systems about us–which let’s admit–is pretty narrow.

Honor yourself.

I know we think about these people because we care about ourselves and want to be perceived a certain way–whatever that may mean to you,  and that makes it important but we still should honor ourselves.

Then come our real friends–the people we care about and that care about us–at least we think they do. Their opinions rank a little higher on the “I wonder what they think of me” scale.

And the most important group is, of course, our closest and dearest family and friends whose opinion–for better or for worse–drive our decisions.

These two groups of people make it harder.

I am not going to say we should just forget everyone and do what we want, because the reality of life is that we DO THINK ABOUT IT and it DOES AFFECT US.

So how do we honor ourselves, our wants and desires?  This is not easy, especially when we want to make big life changes like a change in the way we eat and approach exercise.  

Many times what is holding us back from big transformative life loving change is that we are afraid to lose our relationships with others. And that is hugely important–but we have to honor ourselves first.

When you decide to change what you eat, or how often to exercise to feel better, to look better, to get over a disease or condition–it will affect everything in your life–especially your relationships.

Our relationships are going to change and sometimes it is going to hurt. People you thought were with you were only with you as long as you were like them.

People you thought would cheer you on just want to tear you down. People you thought were in your life out of love and acceptance will turn their back on you the minute you don’t conform with the pigeon hole they have placed you in.

Still you should honor yourself.

So, I am not going to say “What other people think does not matter” because that would not be the truth. It does matter or we would all be in different places in our lives by now.

What I will say is that you should do it anyway.

Better your health, reach for your goals and your desires for a physical and internally healthy self.  

The people that are meant to support you will be there and the others will fade away. It will hurt sometimes but in the end you will be healthier, surrounded by those that contribute to that health and you will be so much happier!

Honor yourself–you are worth it! And have fun every step of the way!