a girl and her boy

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Tag Archives: health

The Power of Intentions – Make Your Life Happen!

“Every morning is a fresh beginning. Every day is the world made new. Today is a new day. Today is my world made new. I have lived all my life up to this moment, to come to this day. This moment… this day… is as good as any moment in all eternity. I shall make of this day… each moment of this day… a heaven on earth. This is my day of opportunity.” Dan Custer.

I seem to have something to learn about the power of intentions and positive thinking as the universe has put opportunity after opportunity to think about it, engage in it, and learn from it in my path lately. The quotation at the beginning of this post was in my email inbox one morning earlier this week. On Sunday at church, the message was about harnessing your power and the power of the Universe to set and achieve intentions, and the chapter in my manual on writing just happens to be talking about intentions and goals as well. Okay, Universe, here we go.

I have made much progress in life. I’m very happy with where I am and what’s in my life, in general. I have two postsecondary degrees in areas I am passionate about. I have a comfortable home and plenty of possessions to keep me entertained, progressing, and developing. I have health, youth, and energy to make big things happen. I’ve overcome some huge obstacles and learned many lessons about love, forgiveness, and faith.

Life isn’t over yet, and won’t be for many years if I have it my way, which means there is plenty left to learn and achieve. (I tell Gabe often that I want to live to be 120. He says that with technology and health advancements that it’s quite possible.)

After doing some financial planning with Gabe, I turned the page in the notebook to a fresh sheet and wrote down in concrete terms the things I am going to do in life. That’s right, no “maybe” or “someday” or “it would be nice if I could.” It’s all about “I will.”

Here is what I intend:

I will be financially independent and responsible.

This one is huge for me. I grew up in a family where money was always an issue. There was never enough of it and it was often misused. When I went off to college, having no real concept of how money worked, I got myself into credit card debt and constantly lived beyond my meager means. It took a long time and many hard lessons before I got myself out of debt, stabilized my finances, and learned how to manage money effectively. While teaching, I did very well to support myself and my former husband on my salary and somehow managed to save enough to live on for the first six months or so of living in Salem when I ventured out on my own after the separation. Now I’m in a financially stable committed relationship, but I wake up worrying at night about what would happen if something happened to Gabe, or if there were an even bigger economic upset. I am actively working on getting myself and our relationship set up so that we are individually, and as a couple, financially stable. I want to know that no matter what happens that we are going to be okay.

I will be professionally successful and secure in a teaching/editing/publishing position.

I want it and I’m working for it. It’ll happen.

I will obtain and maintain good health.

I reworded my usual goals because they were too narrow and I found myself constricted and limited. I have learned that if I focus my goals too much and organize things too well, then I “rebel” and don’t do it. I need flexibility and freedom to achieve goals, especially health related.

One big change I’ve made to work towards a lifetime of good health and physical strength is my “minimum” rule: it doesn’t matter what it is or how much, but I must do something physical every day. I can go on a long walk. I can do few sets of crunches and push-ups. I can go to the gym and lift weights. The goal is to move my body every day. This way of thinking has helped me get up and move every day for the last 19 days. I’m close to the 21-days to form a habit!

Beyond that, I have some very specific running goals for the next 24 months. I had to put off my races this past year because of the health situation, but now that I’m on the mend, it’s training time again. So, my general goals as I haven’t set up a training schedule or found races yet is to run a handful of 5k races this spring and summer, and by fall run a 10k race. Then over the next fall and winter, pump it up to half-marathon distance for the late spring or early summer next year and keep pushing for my first marathon in the fall/winter of 2012. That gives me, I hope, a decent amount of time to build up miles and strength for a marathon. Running-readers, what do you think? Prior to the illness, I ran 4-6 miles a day 3 to 4 times a week and long runs of 7-10 miles at my best. Since then, I’ve managed to get in 7-12 miles a week. Not much, I know, but it’s been something.

 

I miss running outside! I can't wait until it warms up.

As far as food goes, I’ve had so many different ideas on how to achieve health through food and it’s brought me to extreme decisions in the past. My new and best idea yet: moderation! Oldies are the goodies. I do fairly well getting in a fair number of fruits in a day, and I’m getting better with veggies. I’ve been a whole grain person for years now and had a period where I thought I wanted to dump them from the diet completely. Then I had to go off them on doctor’s orders for a few weeks. Now that I’m healthier and feeling good without the dairy and gluten, and thinking long and hard about my needs, what I want, and about world health trends, I’ve decided to keep them. That’s for me. Everyone makes their own decisions based on their needs and how their body responds. Do the best by your own body, folks! Treat it well!

I’m also going to start yoga! Woo-hoo! I got a great deal on 7 classes in Cambridge through Yelp. I can’t wait to have a yoga booty.

I will live a long and happy life.

This whole post is about intentions. I intend to be happy every day to the best of my ability. I’m choosing it. The long part, well, I’m hoping that by a positive attitude, a fulfilling and invigorating career, and a healthy lifestyle, that comes with some luck.

I will write and publish at least one novel.

I’ve been tapping away at the keyboard for at least 30 minutes each day on a new novel idea this year. I don’t know how good it is, but it’s progressing. You gotta write a novel to publish a novel. The best writing is rewriting and revision. It’ll come.

* * * * *

So what about you? What are your intentions? What are you going to make happen with your life?

Happy Thursday, folks!

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Creating Health and Happiness: Same Goals, New Approach.

I’ve been trying for fourteen months to figure out what’s wrong my with abdomen. I’ve had a CT scan, ultrasound, x-rays, and several rounds of blood tests. More recently I’ve had a colonoscopy and an upper endoscopy. They haven’t figured it out yet.

Read more of this post

I can smell autumn. Can you?

The salty air is weighty; heavy enough to keep this wandering spirit in once place and not feel trapped. The old promise of travel and adventure offered by the waves keeps this fiery spirit satiated. I fell in love with the saline-imbued air when I first moved to Salem a year ago and I’m in even deeper now that I can see the waves from my new vantage on the roof deck while knitting one stitch at a time. I’ve had ample time to knit up here lately as I’ve been home from work for a little over a week now. I once thought I’d love to be a home maker and have no responsibilities other than running the dishwasher, making tasty treats and ironing the laundry, but now that I’ve been at it for a week, I am chomping at the bit to get back. But it’ll be some time before I get there.

Remember the few posts I had back around March about health problems? Well, they never went away, and in fact, have gotten worse. I am now at home, “stepped away from the classroom” as I put it in an email to my curriculum coordinator, with a calendar full of appointments and reminders of things I have to do to get ready for them. But this isn’t what I want to write about.

There has not been a day that the breeze did not blow down here in the seaport. It took some time before I realized that this is just how it is. Despite living in Maine with a long history of marine trade, I was inland and isolated from the personal knowledge. The closest I got to ocean life was reading Elizabeth Oglivie and her novels about lobstermen and their strong wives, though she and I have done quite the opposite:  she was born in Boston and went to Maine. I was born in Maine and came to Boston. The breezes not only brings the smell of the ocean, but also of the autumn weather that is creeping up on us as the light ebbs at the outer edges of day; perfect weather for my woolens.

Oh, what shall you become, Mohair?

I pulled out my wool basket that had been sitting ignored since I moved here and spread everything out. I frogged old projects that lost the original charm and piled up stuff that I’d been carrying around that I never really liked to begin with. I grouped it all up according to weight and project type and saw the spectrum of possibility that has been dormant, waiting. Many knitters have done this with varying levels of success before me, but I’m going to give knitting only from my stash this fall and winter a go. The only exception I will make is picking up fiber for specific gifts in preparation for Yule if I don’t see something fitting in the stash.

Noro striped scarf for Gabe

While knitting on Gabe’s Noro striped scarf the last few days, I’ve been watching movies from my Netflix queue. I’d been carrying around “Cries and Whispers”, a 1972 film by Ingmar Bergman about three sisters who are brought together for the first time in ages because of the terminal illness of one of the sisters. I watched it three times back to back. I still don’t think I’ve processed it enough to give it an adequate review. It’s quietly disturbing in it’s portrayal of the relationship of these sisters. This is one of the many reasons I love Bergman. His work is like steeping a cup of tea: it takes time for the flavor to develop and is subtle.

Noro striped scarf

I’ve also been working my way through “I Know This Much is True” by Wally Lamb. People have recommended his work to me in the past but I didn’t actually crack one of his books open until I moved here. Now I can’t wait to finish this one so I can move on to the next. I love the people he populates the story with and how honest and real they are. He inspires me to write.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I hope all is well with you.

There is no try.

Round two.

Okay. I wasn’t done. Remember that fear I mentioned? Well, it got the better of me and I stopped writing before I got to what I really wanted to say and what I was really feeling.

I am going to stop looking for ways out, for back doors, for escape routes.

And that’s what I’m *really* tired of. My habit of looking for a reason ahead of time why something won’t work so I can shrug my shoulders and say, “I tried. But….”

No more BUTS. No more TRIED.

That’s the circle, the cycle, I’ve been stuck in.

Anytime I find something that really has the power to change me for the better, I RUN from it. And I know why, I have a whole history of explanations, but I’m so tired of it ruling my life.

It’s my life.

The old habits got me here. They won’t get me out. Time for new ones.

I already overhauled a lot of my life this last year. And I should nod to the HUGE changes and progress I’ve made. It’s time to do some fine tuning now.

dusting off the blog

It’s about time I dust off this blog and post again. Last post was about my renewed efforts on running and getting into top shape again. Unfortunately, that is on the back burner for now. When you feel like you are being stabbed with a serrated knife just below/under your ribs and can’t keep down food, you don’t much feel like running. But that’s a story for a little later.

Just a little on what I’ve been up to in the period since I last posted:  I’ve been working 30 hours a week at my therapeutic program, and 14 hours a week tutoring. Now, if you add those up, it equals 44 hours a week and you’re probably thinking, “pshhhhh, that’s not much at all.” But it actually is a lot because I do in-home tutoring and I have to drive to each of those appointments. So add 20-40 minutes to each of those one-hour tutoring appointments and you get a better sense of my weekly hours. I leave at 7:30 am and get home around 8 pm, sometimes a little earlier, but not often. I’m wiped most of the time. I haven’t been reading much. I’ve been nibbling on some books and poems, but that’s about it. I’ve put a few more rows on my Earth Angel cross stitch project, and made Gabe a hat in December/January. I’ve been working on my Massachusetts teaching certification (taking the MTELs). That’s about it.

Now, on to that stabbing pain. I’m going to withhold some details simply because I’m not ready to share everything yet, but here’s the gist of it:  Started feeling icky Sunday but didn’t think much of it because I work in a public school and bugs are par for the course. I was up all night throwing but went to work anyway. When I got home from the day job, I dropped to my knees in pain, began crying, and honestly felt like I was about to die. When the initial shock ebbed, I called Gabe who, of course, urged me to go to the ER. So I went. And sat. And sat. And sat. Six hours later I was finally seen. I was sent home jut a little before midnight with a script for antibiotics. I finished the antibiotics yesterday and was on drip antibiotics Monday. I’ve been in pain all week. Still not sure what is going on but you can be sure Gabe and I are on a mission to find out.

As I sat eating (nibbling on) breakfast this morning (a slice of sourdough and a few dried fruits), I realized that I have been doing some things that are worth noting on the blog, namely, changing the way I eat (adopting a veggie/raw/paleo-type diet slowly), they way I move (really thinking about how I move my body, how I expend energy, etc.), and the way I think (intentionality and positivity over fatalistic and negative). Over all, despite this recent snag in health, I’m feeling okay. Better than that, really. So I’m going to start weaving that into the narrative. My inspiration comes from Jen over at the Beautifully Strong Project and the community she is an active member of. And Gabe has been a huge inspiration, too, with his eating habits and inclinations.

So that’s everything in a nutshell. I’ll weave in details as I go.

Please Read.

A long-time reader of mine, and now a dear friend, has the following insight and observations to share on the health care reform bill. She is an American who has been studying contemporary American Literature in Germany and has had the opportunity to be cared for under both types of systems. Please take a moment to read this.

“Wherein I Say Some Things About Health Care”

The Shoulder Saga Continues

Today another chapter in the shoulder saga has been written. My dear, wonderful, charismatic, great fisherman, and helluva guy chiropractor did what he could to help with the shoulder after my PCP and (dumb-ass) orthopedic surgeon gave him the green light. He supported the weight of my arm and rolled my arm all over its axis, which just happens to be the location of the injury. At one point while rolling it around, he “adjusts” the ball of the shoulder in the socket to try and return normal motion and/or to loosen scar tissue. Well, all I know is that a big ol’ can of pain was opened and I was in tears and biting my finger clean off. Poor guy. He probably feels bad. But it’s not his fault. My shoulder was pretty messed up to begin with. When there’s not a whole lot right with something, it takes a lot of pain (ha!) and effort to fix it.

Here I am, four hours later, and it still hurts like hell. Is this what physical therapy will make it feel like? If so, oh man. It’s time for another bottle of vodka.

Due to a huge flare up of this injury, I’m in a sling, popping ibuprofen, and as of tonight, not running or knitting until further notice (well, maybe just running, I think I can sneak in some knitting somehow). Damn it. Just when I was getting on a roll with both.

Well, it’s a good thing I have a back-log of books to read. And grading. And planning.

Oh, speaking of school stuff, parent-teacher conferences are on Thursday. Wish me luck. Depending on who else signs up, I just might need it.

Survived Week 1; Looking forward to Week 2.

Alright. One week down. I’m not going to count how many left because that’s pessimistic and I’m aiming to be positive!

Good things from the first week of school:

  • didn’t get up or arrive late once
  • didn’t forget my photo copies
  • I’m in my own room all the time!
  • I know what I’m doing, mostly.

Things that need improving from the first week of school:

  • need to keep names straight – I know their names, but for some reason I’ll look at a kid and call them by another name… gotta stop this
  • constantly tired and haven’t been running once and I’m starting to feel the pudge develop that I’ve worked hard to get rid of this summer
  • gotta spend less time on work and more time on me when I’m home

So that’s school stuff.

In my own news, I’ve felt awful the last week from allergies. My ears are plugged and my sinuses are dripping. And my meds are not keeping up. I feel worn out and dehydrated all day long despite napping and drinking 3 or more 32 oz. bottles of water. Blargh. This is the only part of this time of year I don’t like. Well, no, that’s not quite true.

There’s one other thing that I don’t like and that’s not having cool enough weather to wear my woolens! I pulled out all the cold weather gear and got it washed up over the last two weeks to get it ready and I haven’t been able to use it. Not that I expected it, but it’s a tradition of mine (new this year!) to pull out and wash the woolens when the first leaves turn orange and fall. I’m going to like this tradition.

I’ve been plodding away on the lozenge socks for my FIL and have finally made it past the heel and gusset. Once I get past that it’s just a few sittings to done. For some reason, the leg takes forever. Especially for men with big feet. It takes more stitches to get the length and it takes foreeeevvvveeeer to make progress. But it’s nearly done now and I’ll be on to sock number two before SSS kicks in. Luckily now that I’m back in school I’ll make more consistent progress by bringing in knitting to work on during my 40 minute lunch break. Lucky me! I eat in about 15 minutes and then knit for 25. I like it. It’s a good stress reliever during the day.

I still have to finish the button bands on Abby’s cardigan. I’ll tackle that this coming weekend. Further, I have Justin’s hat and scarf set that I started last winter when we were visiting for the holidays that I have to finish, my cowl-neck vest, and a few other projects. I’m going to try and move through as many of these before casting on new projects. Let’s see how long that lasts.

That’s it in my neck of the woods. I’d have pictures but I lost my camera. It’s got to be around here somewhere…