Posts Tagged 'lifestyle'

How Do You Deal with the Winter Blues?

I confess that with the beautiful temperatures (low 70’s) we have, I am very thankful to be here and not in Columbus, OH dealing with ice, 5″ of snow and very slow traffic! This past Saturday, however, two special events that I was taking part in were cancelled due to the weather!  It rained and the prediction included stormy weather.  Not conducive for taking the family out for a couple of hours to leisurely stroll through a community event and certainly not fun for a women’s night out! I share this so that you know the weather is not perfect here!  No matter where you live, there are challenges!

In talking with my Columbus friends, though, I know this is a tough time: it’s January, it’s winter and most of the country is ‘very good at it!’

So how do you make it through this tough mental and physical challenge?

An article I recently read (I apologize for not taking down the source) gave a few suggestions that I further modified.

* If you are a gardener, get out a gardening magazine and begin to dream and plan for your ‘next’ garden bed.

* Start planning a short spring trip or event with a best friend or spouse. We have a corporate event in Dallas TX in late April that I know provides a great get-away south at just the right time!

* Do a closet audit.  If you didn’t wear it last spring or summer, you’ll probably not going to wear it in 2013.  Don’t wait for January 1 (2014!!) to get yourself to your ideal size! (BTW, I can help with that little project now if you give me a call…and we have a special product promotion that will help you get there.  Send me an email and let’s talk!)

One of my Phoenix Toastmaster friends, Mary Lynn Ilnitsky, is a Certified Image Consultant.  Mary Lynn gave a great seminar on Wednesday night, Ageless Style, and I picked up some great tips to ‘Live the Stage, not the Age!’   I’ll share them in another column.  One of my takeaways: many of us, even if we have unlimited resources, do not know how to dress ourselves and it is of great benefit to get connected to someone with skill and expertise in this area.  If you are in the Phoenix area, call me for Mary Lynn’s contact information. If you are not local, do your best to locate someone who can help you do a closet audit.  I’m looking forward to my time with Mary Lynn!

* Create! Take a class that teaches you a new skill.  Adult Education classes provide abundant opportunities to explore new skills in a safe, inexpensive venue, taught by experts who are typically available to take you further down the path if you find it to your liking. I plan to be teaching a class “How to Create a Happy Body” in an upcoming session of an adult education curriculum. Contact me for details if you are in the Phoenix area.

* Tackle a household job that you’ve been putting off: a closet, a spare room.  That might simply mean organizing, but it might mean painting or re-decorating it in some way. Pinterest might provide some inspiration.

* Get into some very comfortable clothes and get out some travel magazines.  Cut out pictures of your next vacation destination and post them on the fridge.

* Embrace winter!  OK, those of you who know me would agree that this was something I never could do.  It is why we are finally in the south.  However, if you cannot relocate south, then making a mental shift would be helpful: not just being resigned to winter, but embracing it. I think this might be the most difficult approach…and I believe doing this would look differently for each of us.

What do you do to handle the winter? I’d love to read your comments below.

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Making Memories

Sunday morning I had to locate my sweaters.  The temperature has been in the low fifties in the morning here in San Tan Valley, AZ.  Numbers like that require more than a T-shirt and shorts on my body!

Next to my ‘package of sweaters’ in the cedar chest was a ‘package of memories:’  rotated photoa very small  Cubs t-shirt (Nathan’s first favorite baseball team); a Dr Who Fan Club t-shirt (we were great Dr Who fans in the 80’s: the boys would ‘sneak’ into the family room after we had put them into bed to watch it- which of course meant we all watched it!); a t-shirt with a corn snake on it (Nathan successfully bred and hatched corn snakes as a 9-yr old); a blue turtleneck with trucks embroidered by Ed’s mom as well as two sweater vests she knitted; and an army shirt that Daniel wore as a 6 or 7 yr old in North Fort Myers.  (I’m sure that Daniel will correct me on the details!)

Since we have moved to Arizona, we have the opportunity to make new memories.  I connected with Erin on Thursday morning, and Greyson (age 3) and Sawyer (age 1) started on our day together.  Because we live where residential meets agriculture, we stopped at Schnepf”s Farm to visit the u-pick fields.  With Sawyer on my hip, and Greyson helping me with our wooden baskets, we slowly made our way to the fields (emphasis on slowly!).  We got to the squash row, put our basket at the end of the row, and carefully sat Sawyer next to it as the guardian.  Fortunately— he sat there very absorbed in simply watching us!  That attention lasted through our picking radishes, cucumbers, and spinach.  By the time we hit the lettuce rows, Sawyer was much more comfortable, and within a few minutes of being set down, he started crawling toward us!  Greyson and I looked at each other and knew that we were done!

We gathered everything, and proceeded to slowly make our way back to the check-out (emphasis on slowly).  On the way, we discovered a great photo op.  I took this one of Greyson—and he took the second one of Sawyer being held in place by me…

Greyson farm photo

Greyson

     Cost of the vegetables: about $2.00.

     Memories made: priceless!

Sawyer

Sawyer

We did much more on Thursday together: walked to the park with Grandpa; watched hummingbirds at the feeder cuddled under a blanket (because that’s how we did it the first time two weeks ago); listened to Christmas carols by Grandpa on the violin and me on the piano; and of course, the boys played with trains.  What a wonderful day!

Life is much too short.  Take the time to make memories!  You don’t have to break the bank to do it.  Gifts, gift cards, cash…all come and go.  The three keys to building relationships- any relationships- are time, truth, and trust. Invest in people- one of two things that last for eternity!

Today, spend some time with someone.  You might need him/her.  S/he might need you. Sometimes you can plan the details.  Sometimes you simply have to take the first step.  Start walking!

Drop me a note and let me know what kind of a memory you made this week!

To Plan or Not to Plan. Is That the Question? Part 1

Hard to believe that half of January is gone. You may be one of those people who has been hearing conversation, reading articles, listening to your own conscience…about setting goals, making plans for 2012—but you still haven’t written anything down.

You may have  done the typical New Year’s Resolutions in the past- and not succeeded…OK, you put a new practice into place for one day, and then forgot about doing it the second day. Sounds familiar.

It is possible that because of your previous experience, you may be hesitant- perhaps resistant?- to even think about planning.

Let me share a couple of experiences I have had in the past week to further confuse the issue.

Ed (husband) and I flew to Phoenix early  on Jan. 1 to share in Daniel’s  (oldest son) 30th birthday celebration.  THE PLAN for the evening was that Erin was going to surprise Daniel with a dinner reservation at a Brazilian restaurant in Scottsdale and we would watch the boys.  Great plan—except that Daniel didn’t feel real great, and food, especially a nice dinner, was not top of mind!

So THE PLAN was postponed until Thursday night, when everyone felt great, and the details worked out just fine.

Hurray for flexibility!

Saturday, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful 70-something sunshine of Phoenix and walk around the Phoenix Zoo.  THE PLAN was to walk around the zoo, simply enjoying the day together.

We eventually got to the elephant yard, only to discover that the three elephants were safely behind closed doors. However, feeding would take place shortly so we decided to wait. A zoo keeper came out and asked for volunteers to join her in ‘hiding carrots’ which the elephants would then look for and eat.  This activity is done daily to keep the elephants’ minds active. (Is there a clue here about challenging activity being necessary to keep OUR minds active?)

Greyson (age 2 1/2) was definitely up for the adventure, so he and I picked up two carrots, headed out into the yard, and Erin followed us with her camera.

Picking up our carrots

Looking for a hiding place

Finding a hiding spot

Completing the task

We couldn’t have planned it any better!

What about you? Have you had a recent serendipity happening that was unforgettable? Share it below!

PS Notice this is part 1.  Come back to read about another Phoenix adventure in part 2.

Traveling is Not for Wimps!

Jan. 20 through February 14, Ed and I were on a mission trip on the other side of the world! Our focus of four countries involved ministry in Beijing, China; Kathmandu, Nepal (which I always thought had a wonderful romantic-sounding name: trust me, traveling through the streets removed any romantic delusion!); Pangon, Myanmar; Bangkok, Thailand and the Thai hill country. Photos of Kathmandu, street scenes.

The next few posts to this blog will perhaps provide some insight into global travel.

Dolores, an administrative assistant for the ministry, took care of all the details for the entire trip prior to our boarding the first plane. She even got mileage credited to our frequent flyer accounts, as well as priority rewards from the hotels!

For the first 24 hours, four of us traveled together from Columbus to Chicago and then to Beijing. In receiving the information packet from Dolores before we left, I realized that this was a very complex itinerary, with our party expanding up to ten at one point!

For me, letting someone else take care of all the details was a wonderfully stress-free way to travel. In communication with Dolores, I came to realize that she truly liked what she was doing for us! What a blessing!

Thank you, Dolores!

If you have the opportunity to travel, you might consider the benefits of having a professional take care of all the arrangements. Of course, the unexpected can happen, but we were thankful that our trip went off without a hitch! Excellent planning!

BTW, are you doing something that you love to do? Although often a job is simply a means to pay the bills, is there something you are doing outside of your job that lifts your spirits, that allows you to make a difference in someone else’s life? I hope so. I believe we can all agree that emotional and spiritual factors of wellness have an impact on both your finances and your physical health.

Life is too short to not enjoy each day! If you are not happy with your life, may I suggest that you take some time to reconsider what it is that gives you joy. I have a questionnaire that might get you thinking in the right direction. Email me and I’ll be glad to send it to you.

What are your thoughts?