Monday, January 30, 2017

The Secret to a Good Day

Yes, it is so very true, a person may not be a great early morning person, just more of a late in the morning person.  I am the perfect example of this.  Since I have retired from a "normal" job, I have had the luxury of experimenting with my routine.  The sound of an alarm clock going off at the insane, crazy time of 5:30 is no longer a must-do.   You should understand that I was spoiled by the fact that it was not just any alarm clock blaring in my ear, but a Bose CD player that had the easy listening tone of Van Morrison crooning to me.  The trouble was that he started off low and sweet and then if I did not get up, the Tupelo Honey just grew louder and louder.  One had no choice but to get up or else drive on down to Tupelo to take care of that honey, personally.  Not a good way to start one's day. A much calmer approach would be to give thanks that an amazing singer is softly singing me awake to a beautiful day.

Now, I do like my routine of the alarm going off no earlier than 6:30.  Seven is even better, it is just that now a new puppy is involved and he tends to need to go out at 6:30.  I am hoping that as he grows, he will make it another thirty minutes.  For now, I use this early time for a little stretching, plus a few lunges. Everyone has their own personal preference about when they like to do their exercise rituals.  All studies say the morning is the best time and energizes your body and mind for the day.  One day, I may be able to buy into this theory.  For now, I find that I need a little stretching, a hot shower, a cup of hot coffee and a bit of make-up on to start my day off on a positive note.

After dressing and tending to our puppy, I tend to check out my 
e mail, make a healthy breakfast and have a little meditation time with whatever positive mantra that is on my mind for the day.  It always gets posted on my Face Book page. It is my statement for me.  Several people usually click they like it or may add a comment or two, which is great. Even some friends have told me in private that they look forward to reading my post for the day, even though they never acknowledge it on line.  It is very humbling to have others liking to see what I may write on staying positive.  Most definitely, something that I will never, ever take for granted.

Once I have had breakfast, and taken care of a bit of business, it is puppy play time.  With commands that he is learning quickly, it is fun to play fetch, sit, catch, down and stay with him.  Usually, when he tires out, he plops in his bean bag chair and rolls over on his back to chew his rawhide.  Definitely, would put a smile on any 'Debbie Downer's' face.  He may eventually wander over to my desk and sit by me chewing on his rawhide.  This is when I am usually able to organize and prioritize my day into how I will work. 

Researching and putting words to paper work best for me during this time.  I am fully awake and feeling my most creative.  There are times that I have to be a bit more flexible and not dead set in one particular routine.  Whether it is an appointment that had to be made at this time or the puppy who did not want to totally cooperate with a routine...the key to working it out is flexibility.  I will never let it throw me off my game plan. It is truly a matter of switching between cycles of focused work to constructive rest. There is a huge difference between constructive rest and goofing off.

This is a drastic way of changing my thinking of how I should be working as a writer.  I have learned that I can't force the flow. Being kinder to myself actually produces more and is so much more less stressful.  Now, I actually take breaks for tea, for reading, for painting and for walking.  Sometimes, I actually do a bit of housework in little steps, such as empty/load the dishwasher or washer/dryer.  Have you ever had a problem that needs solved and amazingly enough, the answer comes to you while you are in the shower washing your hair?  Your subconscious brain continues to work on the solution.  In reality, more gets done in my world by taking care of all of my needs and just being more well-rounded.  It is about believing in yourself and listening to what you know that your spirit, body, mind and soul all need.  I am so proud that I have learned why it is important to be this courageous. Whenever I feel that I need a reminder, I look back on what I have written in my daily journal and am amazed at what can happen when you feed your whole being.

NEVER forget how awesome you are!  

Friday, January 27, 2017



Let me just say here and now that I am just about fed up with insurance companies ruling the roost.  By that, I mean telling physicians what they can and should prescribe to their patients and if they don't agree then they must write a dissertation on the reason why the said patient needs what the doctor has ordered.  The doctors must hire employees who do nothing all day except to call insurance companies to get approval for the care they know their patients need.  After all, they did go to four years of college and then another five to seven years of medical school, so what would they know?  

Who the hell do these insurance companies think they are?  First of all they always have charged exorbitant premiums to where employers have had to continually cut back to bare bones of what they can offer in benefit packages.  We pay more and more and receive less and less, not to mention the aggravation of some little so and so sitting in his office denying a patient what their doctor has prescribed.  Let me give you some examples of what I personally have been put through.  

  • The doctor wrote a prescription for an acne medicine due to hormones going a bit crazy.  All of a sudden I had a slight case of acne going on. Before it got out of hand, my doctor wrote an RX. I waited and waited at the drug store until finally the pharmacist called me over to tell me quietly (he was quite embarrassed)  that the insurance company had denied this drug due to the fact that I was too 'old' for acne. The pharmacist did advise me to call my doctor and tell him so that he could call and validate what he prescribed for me. Why should he have to take his valuable time to do what he has gone to medical school to do?
  • Yet another time, a specialist for thyroid disorders said that generic brands of synthroid do not work nearly as well as the real thing.  She said that normally, most generics are just as good.  In this case it was not.  She had to call and prove her point.  Even though this is a known fact in the pharmaceutical world.    
  • Have you ever needed a refill on a prescription a couple of days before it is apparently legitimate to refill due to going out of town?  And just to be clear, I am not talking a narcotic type drug.  Just a water pill, blood pressure medicine or synthroid. Not something to overdose on for goodness sakes. 
  • Just recently going through breast cancer, which involved surgery, radiation and medications with lab work, I found out that everything the doctor wanted to do to care for me, had to be called in and approved by someone who does not know me, who has not seen me, and who does not have my records in front of him.  The physicians had to do this for each and every time.  
The sad fact is that my misfortune with insurance companies is not unique.  It occurs over and over, and is badly in need of some radical reform.  

So I am now stepping off my soap box and I will return to my more humorous blogs next week.      

Monday, January 23, 2017

Due To Human Training

Today I will simply apologize for not having a proper blog.  The day was spent training the two humans who live now with this precious, loving puppy.  Let me explain the two pictures above. The top picture is the "angel" sound asleep by a footstool.  He is so dark that it is rather hard to tell that this is Davis, our curly, wavy soft and furry little puppy.  He looks so sweet and innocent.

The next picture is the closed off study where his crate is and where I work.  He is being crate trained and he rather loves his little home.  He definitely keeps it clean.  As you can see, he has pulled everything out  EVERYTHING! An old towel, his red blankey, old black socks that he loves, an old handkerchief, an all natural chew toy and 4 others that did not make it in the picture.   

Of course, we do not keep him locked up in his crate all day.  It is where he sleeps each night.  During certain periods of the day, he does go in so that I can write.  It is totally true that you can't take your eyes off your puppy for a moment.  He will find trouble that you never imagined.  The smarter they are, the more they find.  Of course, our little genius, Einstein, is most definitely curious about everything and nothing new escapes him.

So each day, we have had new plans to help with this problem. Some have worked and some fell flat over.  Today, I think that I came up with something and it will be taking most of the day to do some reorganizing so that I can work and he can play.  He is doing a great job so far of training his owners.  

His expressive eyes looked at us and if a speech bubble had popped up over his head it would have said, "So why did you do that?"  He is right.  Bless his heart, he will just move on to something new and exciting. Another plan will be born. Other goldendoodle owners, as well as Kim Mills Davis, the special breeder, all share great ideas that have worked with their puppies. 


Friday, January 20, 2017

Puppy/Human Training

Once we brought home this cute and adorable little furball, now what?  Well, we were somewhat prepared.  We had a crate for his home that a good friend had lent to us, we had his brand new red blankey that the breeder had given us along with a ziplock bag of the food that he had been eating as a pup and we did the stop off at Hollywood Feed to pick up other essentials.  This meant a collar and even though a bit early, the leash to go with it, a corral to block off some of the backyard due to having a winterized pool, a few toys and a bag of food.  

It has been exactly 6 days and I already have a list to stop off at this store for 6 more items, such as a brush, shampoo, more treats and chewies and of course more toys to chew and play with.  He is such a playful and fun dog and after a brief playtime, he is still young enough that he sleeps like a log afterwards.  And where does he sleep?  Right by my feet while I write and do my research.  

Davis is so inquisitive that he misses nothing new.  Each day the two of us have had to come up with a new plan to help our puppy still be able to explore in a limited space, yet be safe.  He has trained us how to puppy proof our home.  I will remind anyone who thinks they are ready for a new puppy in their home.  Don't do it if you are not prepared to never take your eyes off of him. Puppies can find potential trouble everywhere.  Just be ready for it and have your plan to be soft, gentle and loving.  Have a toy that is acceptable ready for him so that  he learns quickly what he can play with.

Everything is new to them.  Even though we had a yard crew come and haul leaves away, we still have trees that have some leaves and this little guy is fascinated by the wind blowing a leaf in front of him.  He will catch that leaf and chew on it.  It does not agree with a puppy's tummy.  He only did that once.  Now he tends more to use the 'catch and release' program with leaves blowing in his yard.  
Let me ask you this.  Have you ever witnessed a new pup trying to catch the wind on a windy day?  Priceless.  Just as priceless as watching him trying to get that curl at the end of his tail that keeps following him. The squeaky ball that our 4 year old granddaughter got for him was positively perfect.  The first time I threw it out to him, he brought it right back for more.  There was no teaching him to fetch and return.  He just did it instinctively.  Then once he learned to bite down on it to make it squeak, you could just about see the smile come on his face.  

I did get a book on goldendoodles and what I am learning is that they are so very intelligent.  He is always watching our eyes, as if to learn what is coming next, like seeing if he can outguess us. Dogs do not fail, owners, on the other hand can fail their dogs. He looks to us for leadership and properly training him is one of the most important jobs we will have as his owner.  We are the boss, although there will be times that we question that. The only way that he will learn right from wrong is through us.  Positive praise is very important such as a pat on the head or even an occasional treat.  For negative behavior simply ignore or scold (not yell). Consistency is the key.  One syllable in a normal speaking tone such as, "No," or "Wrong."   

The biggest take away from the book for us was what to do when you take your sweet puppy outside and he wants to do everything except his business.  There are so many smells, so many interesting things to get in to.  It is easy to get distracted.  First thing to do is to repeat the trigger words such as, "Go potty or go outside."  If this does not work then try putting on the leash to lead him to the spot where you want him to go potty.  You are in control.

Just as with our children, we must supervise constantly, when we could not, we used a playpen, the equivalent of the crate, baby gates to lesson the areas where he is allowed to be.  IF (and it will) our puppy gets caught in the act we have trained each other to say in a firm voice, "No" and go immediately outside where he should have gone in the first place and repeat that this is where you go potty.  Then, and here is the important part, we have to ask ourselves what we missed.  Not ask the puppy.  He was not to blame.  Somewhere we missed the boat.  The schedule and the cues from the puppy are what is important for us to be aware of.  

I can say that beyond a shadow of a doubt, this little puppy has enriched our already enriched, loving lives more than we could ever have imagined.  What an amazing puppy and how lucky we are to have him share his life with us!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Puppy Love

"Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are."  A very special quote from Marianne Williamson that totally fits what has happened at our home.  We all know there are times that we can, even subconsciously, get into a bit of a rut of our daily routines.  One little thing can bump us out of that rut and it has most definitely happened at our home in a very short time frame.  His name is Davis.  A nine week old puppy that we have prepared ourselves for in the prior months leading up to this past weekend.  This was not a spur of the moment decision.  

Daily routines have changed and continued to change.  First of all, I had retired with a my plan already in place of writing a novel. Steve, being in the 'marketing world' had brilliant ideas of me getting into a blog routine, as well as Twitter to help find my writing style and quite frankly to just write and pull in readers. Every author that I read about states how important it is to just write and read each day.  Got that all planned and started and then a slight hiccup came along.  I received the diagnosis of breast cancer 5 months into our new routine.  Without going into all of the details, the outcome was good, however, it did take a toll on me and I am still working through some of the muscle and joint aches.   It will all be fine, just lots of positive thinking, kicking aside anything to do with negativity, and having Steve's wonderful, loving support.  

Steve on the other hand, was the BIG support cheerleader as well as pulling off a highly intensive marketing job.  Worry does cause stress.  So now you have two adults who are both equally worried about each other and working together to get it all cohesively based on the love and respect that we have for each other.  Luckily, we also have four wonderful children and now four beautiful granddaughters who help us in our journey along the  way.  (Three of the granddaughters arrived that very year, just as the miracles that they all are!)

Getting back to "Puppy Love," we had talked of getting a pet once I was home to be the principle care taker.  Neither of our jobs would have permitted us to have a pet, especially a puppy to train and prepare for life in our home.  Leaving the home at 7 AM and not returning until 6 PM and sometimes even later for me did not work for owning a pet.

We researched in the meantime, which is a lot like planning a vacation.  It helps in stress reducing, just knowing what will be taking place in the future while doing the planning and research. The decision was made for a goldendoodle based on a dog breed that is as close to hyper-allergenic and intelligent as one would hope for.  Animals of all kinds can bring us so much joy and happiness and are able to be true and faithful companions.  They know when we need their support intuitively.  Sometimes, due to our schedules, we may neglect to stay connected with our human friends, however, this is not possible with our pet friends.  They need our connection on a daily basis.  They need our love, time and attention.  It is a proven fact that staying connected feeds our souls and helps to lead us to long life.

Dogs live for today.  This is something that we as humans need to be reminded to work on, as we are better are regretting the past and worrying about the future, even though this will not change a thing. When we live in the present, we have more enthusiasm and joy for life.  Dogs can help us find a balance in our lives.  We need exactly what dogs need, which is our exercise, a dose of love and some structure to our daily routines.  A balanced life helps the stress fade away into the background. Your mood elevator will go higher in so many ways.   

Have you ever gone deep into thought and wondered why you were placed here on earth.  You can lose your way, just as dogs can. When a dog is brought into a loving home, he begins to feel more fulfilled and this in turn makes our lives more meaningful.  It sounds too simple to be true, yet I can tell you that in the last 48 hours, Steve and I have had this conversation in many different ways.  Having a dog helps in finding everyday life exciting.  Your dog can't wait until you come home, go for a walk, play with him, feed him.  Everything is an adventure.  We can learn so much by observing how our dog has enthusiasm for the simple joys of everyday life.

If, like us, you start with a puppy, it is worth taking the time to read up on some of the joys and even frustrations if you are not prepared for your bundle of joy.  There will be no doubt that within the first few weeks you may want to use the word exasperating frequently. You may start to witness some behaviors that will take you over the edge.  For example, most puppies are house trained by 4 months, but it happens only with diligence on the part of the owners to prevent accidents during this time.  

Plan on the kind of crate that you want for your puppy.  Crate training is the most highly recommended kind of house training.  It must be the right size, never used as punishment and your puppy will love having a place that is his very own.  Oh yes, do be ready for a little crying the first few nights once he must go in to sleep alone.  Try placing his blanket, a favorite safe toy and maybe an old piece of clothing that has your scent on it.  All will be helpful.  He will not want to mess up his living space and if you are mindful of timing to get him out where you want him to relieve himself, everyone comes out a winner.  Crates teach security, trust and understanding.

All I can tell you is that this little bundle of joy that we have living with us now is one of the best ever stress reducers that one could find.  Even though others may disagree, neither one of us were ready to be taken away by the men in the white suits but the quote from Bernard Williams of  "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face," is so very true.  Lipstick and all !
   If I ever wanted a different career to venture in to, it would probably becoming a top notch breeder of goldendoodles. It is a lot of hard work to do it the right way. I saw that from the breeder that we chose and how she pours her heart and soul into each and every puppy.  Goldendoodles by Kim's Design...I wonder if I can come up with a catchy business title?  Maybe for now, I will stick to and continue writing with my goldendoodle by my side.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

We Are In This Together

We all must make that dreaded trip to the grocery store/supermarket at some point or another.  I do declare that there are times, I would rather just make a meal out of what is already in the refrigerator/freezer or pantry; however strange of a concoction it may be.  Honey Nut Bunches of O's with some canned pineapple? Melt some shredded cheese over Pillsbury pie crust?  Something from within me will not let that happen.  I think I hear my Grandmother's voice in my head telling me that I must do the right thing and put together an elegant, even if it is a rather simple meal. As if that is not enough, her words of being courteous and polite while out at the grocery store also come in loud and clear.  I have been accused of being the forever optimist.  And in thinking on that for a moment, what is so bad about that?  Make what you have to do more of a pleasant experience, instead of joining in with all of the frowny faces, plus it saves a lot of aggravation.  Who isn't for that?  (Plenty of people, just look around you.)  

There should be a pamphlet given out to customers who go through the doors of the store.  How many of you have had the pleasure of dealing with some of these people even before you get in the store? Just let me give you some examples.  You find a great parking space, yet some ya-hoo left a grocery cart smack dab in the middle. They were too lazy to walk 20 more feet to the cart drop off stand. (So skip my idea of handing out pamphlets on etiquette.  Do you really believe they would take the time to read them?) You now have a choice to stop and park your car in order to get out to move the cart, all the while worrying that someone will hit the tail end of your car or you drive on to look for another spot. I always choose the latter and am never disappointed that once I find another spot, someone will come barreling through at breakneck speed to zoom off in front of me to grab that spot. Well, okay then. They must be more stressed than I am so just let them go for it.  I will get more steps in for my FitBit if I move on. It saves my sanity to just put on my walking shoes and park toward the back. Mind you, these are the same people who would run over the minimum wage teenager trying to bring in to the store 50 or so carts at one time with a rope. There is no regard to being nice.  

Let's say, as most of us finally do, that you made it in to the store. Here is a whole new set of etiquette rules that I know you have witnessed not being followed.  Really, instead of the horrible empty cart that has used tissues and trash in it, just take a cart and it is okay to be a germophobic and wipe the handle down with a sanitizer.  Many stores  actually have a roll of these at their doors.

Ladies, when you place your handbag in the front compartment, be sure that the handle is on your wrist and that it is zipped.  You are asking for a would-be thief to grab it and run if you turn your back on it.  Once you walk in, have your list ready to rock and roll. Plenty of people probably think that I am texting or reading my IPhone while shopping, however, this is where my list is.  I am lucky enough to have the Amazon Echo where I simply say to 'Alexa' of what to add to my list, which then goes straight to my phone.  I am well aware of my memory and I know that I want as few trips to the grocery as possible, so I swear by this list.  In fairness, I do not stop and block places where people are shopping as I am reading off my phone list, even if it means backtracking at times to pick up something I forgot.  When I hand write my list, I tend to put in the order of where they are at the grocery.  I do not have that luxury with Amazon Alexa.  So it is scrolling up and down to check out what I missed and deleting the items off.

Now for the etiquette part.  As I make my way through the store and a freebie is offered to test taste as a marketing strategy, the lines are like people have not eaten in days.  Come on, really? These taste testers don't seem to want to take their toothpick sample and move on.  Oh no!  They think that the person who gave it to them wants to hear their "ohh's and ahh's."  That person is just hired to put the samples out and to make sure that some one does not come up and grab handfuls or that a child does not touch each and every one.  Take one.  Move on.  Throw away your trash.  Period. End of it.  Really not that difficult.

You are shopping and all of a sudden at the intersection between the canned goods and the baking items, why do people not treat this intersection (and others) as a four way stop or at least a four way slow down?  Most come breezing through as if they were the only ones in the store.  When this really concerns me is when there is a child on board their cart.  We all know that children are unpredictable.  If not belted in the front of the cart, they will pop out at any given time, whether the cart is moving or not.  Now, I ask, how would you feel if you barreled head first into a cart with a child?  Of course, it would be your fault.  So just slow down and stop, look and listen.  There is no race and champagne for the winner.  The winner will be the one that caused no injuries.

Next, I have always come up against two people who know each other and each are going in opposite directions.  They stop side by side and carry on a conversation, even if they are neighbors and see each other daily.  Totally oblivious to those trying to get around them or to get to an item that they are blocking.  A few "Pardon me's" usually does the trick.  If you are lucky, they will move along with a smile, if not, just take their grimace and be thankful that they moved enough for you to get by.  

There are plenty more examples of what can happen while traveling the aisles of the grocery.  For now, I would like to move on to the checkout area, where any grocery worker and shopper knows could be described at times as a war zone when people aren't considerate.  We need to remember that we are all in this together. Rule one here is ONLY use the express lane when your items match the stated number of items (usually fifteen or less).  This does not mean fifteen bottles of soda and then fifteen other various items.  Rule two is to have your payment ready.  Have your cash, wallet, debit card, or oh Lawdy above, your check book ready and in hand.  You will have to pay.  It is not a novelty concept, yet so totally amazing to me that when the cashier is finished scanning, she states the amount and the customer stares at her and then looks at the display of the amount.  Finally, reaching in a deep pocket handbag to find her method of payment.  It still blows my mind that there are people who write checks.  This could even be made easier if they had the check made out to the store, with the date and then all they would have to do is put the amount and sign it.  Oh NO! First of all, most of the check writers are little blue haired ladies who do not know how a debit card works.  Then, to make matters  a little more taxing, they write in perfect cursive penmanship, making each loop and letter as if they were being graded on it back in fourth grade.  Once you pay, move on.  

Long gone are the days of baggers taking out groceries for you to your car and loading them.  However, I will say, when some person looks very feeble, I have noticed an offer of help by some of the workers.  Once, a young man offered to help me.  I did not know if I should have been offended or not.  Did I look that old and feeble? Hopefully, he was just being nice.  I did have a very full cart that day. Speaking of bags, (take that any way you wish) if you buy too many groceries at one time to bring in your own bags, then at least recycle the plastic bags that the grocery provides.   

If there was an employee who went out of their way to help you, mention it to the manager.  They are used to hearing complaints and it will make their day to hear good things going on in their store. Also, on my last note, after you unpack your groceries in you car, please be sure to take your cart, cleaned out, back to a cart station. It is the right thing to do.  We are all in this together so let's try to help one another out by following etiquette rules and just plain being nice to one another.  

Monday, January 9, 2017

Positive Minds

"No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit."  These are Helen Keller's words!  I for one, could not agree more.  They are powerful and I really do not believe that most people buy into this.  Why?  There just seems to me that there are so many pessimists out there.  Maybe that is just a bit too strong of a word.  My other choice is to think that if they are not pessimists, then they are way too judgmental.

To back up what I am saying, allow me to give specific examples that I have dealt with in first person.  As part of my morning ritual, I find a positive mantra that works for me that day in whatever I am dealing with.  Before I used Face Book, I gave the quote out where I worked each week and called them "milestones."  It was to lift spirits, selfishly maybe, because it started as my own personal mantra before I decided to type it and print it off to put in all of the mailboxes or on desks as I traveled around my job.  This was once a week to approximately one hundred people.  Never did I know that it had such an impact on people until some co-workers shared with me that they put them across their rooms to read when things were not quite going their way.  To be honest, probably some ended up in 'File 13' and that is okay by me.  They obviously were happy enough or felt as if they had no reason to work on attitudes. My saying to myself is that it is not my monkeys, not my circus. Each person can choose to handle their lives in their own way that they feel fit.  (As long as it does not hurt others.)

Only once did someone come to me to talk privately so that she could let me know what someone was saying behind my back to others.  This person stated to others that she had no idea why I was still working.  I obviously (obvious to whom?) did not need to work.  I drove a fine car, I had a beautiful home, I wore nice clothes and seemed stylish, plus I had a husband who worked in her mind in a high paying job at Fed Ex, not knowing where she deducted this myth, certainly from her own imagination somewhere.  This is where the judging comes in to play.  How dare she assume all of this and think that I did not need to work!  We had children who either needed financial help to be in college, or to help with student loans or other debts, we had a mortgage, we had three car payments due each month since one son was not able to work enough hours to pay for his while in college and we did liked to try to take short mini vacations (not cruises).  We both had come to Memphis with not a lot of money due to prior divorces and we had to start over, late in life, to try to build a foundation for our future retirement.

At first, my reaction was to go and give this person a piece of my mind.  As it happens to be, I tend to like to think about my response before going into action.  Having a moment to gather my thoughts gave me the heads up to just let her be.  Let her think what she wants.  I do not need to share my life and my choices with anyone.  I am so glad that I did.  Definitely the right thing to do.  Perhaps, I left out the fact that I was her supervisor.  Yes, so maybe she wanted to just get rid of me so that I would never evaluate her job performance again.  Whatever her reasoning, it was her drama, not mine.

One other type of example was actually on Face Book.  I normally post a positive mantra daily and some days more than one.  I meditate and work that mantra into my own day.  It benefits me.  If it helps others, than all the better.  If I get likes or comments, than that makes me feel great that others liked it.  However, many times, in person someone will tell me that they love it when I post these because it may be exactly what they needed to hear for their own day.  Yet they never, ever posted on my page.  That is truly heart-warming to me.

What does get on my very last nerve is that I am opening up with positivity and someone, always the same person, posts negative feedback.  A non-believer is fine, just keep it to yourself or post it on your own page.  Please don't bring my positive words down on your negative level. The way that I handled it was that I had the power of the delete button.  Never once did she repost the negative things she wrote, nor did she ask me why I deleted them.  It did continue to happen so she obviously was in her own la la land.  Then one day she went way too far.  Instead of deleting, I responded back once.  (Why?  I briefly forgot to use my own emotional intelligence.)  She was making judgment calls on me, a person that she knew nothing about personally in details.  In fact, we have never met.  Some friend gave her my name and she asked to be friends based on that.  However, on this last post, she said that it was okay that I was Miss Positive with having breast cancer because I have a beautiful home, a pool, nice cars, someone to love me, insurance, etc etc........

Just for a moment, very brief, I started to write back.  Then I asked myself, "Why?"  Is there a reason that I would want a person like this to be allowed to judge me on my own personal page? The loud answer came storming through.  NO!  So I took care of business.  Never, ever have I "defriended" someone on Face Book.  I did it.  And did it feel so good?  Yes, it did!  I truly believe that you can't help someone who does not believe that they need help.  When they are the only ones suffering in the world then you just have to let them suffer and either they will continue on this path or hopefully one day wake up and smell the coffee.

Have you ever known someone that you on purpose said in a pleasant happy voice, "Good Morning" to them yet then made sure that you did not say the next usual phrase of, "How are you today?"  The reason being is that you would be there for an hour listening to all the aches and pains and problems that this person has.  Instead, you learned to say in a positive voice for them to have a great day and kept walking fast and furiously.

There are people in the world such as this.  Mary Lou Retton was so very right in stating that "Optimism is a happiness magnet.  If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you."  In my own words, I believe that a positive mind brings on positive vibes which brings on a positive life.

Friday, January 6, 2017

First Loves and More

Everyone has to go through a first love at some time or another, whether it be when you are in kindergarten or you wait till the ripe old age of being a teenager. No matter...they all serve a purpose of one kind or another.  I know that for me, as well as for others that I have spoken to about first loves, if nothing else they set the bar. (Even when I came home to tell my Mom that I had a boyfriend when I was in 2nd grade.  I still remember that look on her face.)  

Some close friends that I know met their first and only love while in elementary school and moved on through high school, only now to be married for over forty years.  However you feel about the word matters not.  In my book, this is a soulmate and this truly does not come around often. It certainly didn't for me. My point is that we all are different. There is not a right way or a wrong way.  Go with what fits only you.  

Usually, it takes a first love or two or three to help us appreciate relationships in our future.  There are some, such as myself, who are slow learners. Yet, I finally did find someone who just as myself was a bit of a slow learner.  We were smart enough to use these prior experiences to help us acquire what it is that we really need in such a special relationship and not to settle for anything less.  Of course, going through many different kinds of relationships teaches us what love is really all about in our own eyes.  

Once you reach a certain age, you are able to look back and add up two and two so that you are able to see the answers to your own questions.  I know that I did not go into relationships without "thinking" that there was possibly something there.  What would the point of that be?  I needed the perspective of learning about who I was and what I wanted and needed.  Getting hurt is inevitable.  We all must endure this side of first, second or whatever the count may be of your "loves."  It helps you grow, even though it hurts.  And may well drive your parents crazy because they care so much for you and do not want to see you hurt.  I know that my mom could see the writing on the wall, most of the time.  Age and experience does count for something (just not everything!)

Truly, I have seen loving couples who have been together for quite a while and they have everything, or almost everything, in common.  They are absolutely perfect together.  Then, there are couples who are total opposites.  Mr. Laid Back and Ms. Type A Personality, who again are perfect for each other.  I believe this to be the case only when they accept who they each are and what their partner is and allow each other to support, guide and love one another through life's challenges. So there is no one formula.  Each one of us must figure it out for ourselves first, then add in our partner.  If the puzzle fits, TA DA!   

Only by being with other people can true love prevail.  (Unless you are that one couple who met at an early age and stayed happily together. You did not need any affirmation for your foundation you built on the love for one another.)  I surely did.  As do most others.

My husband and I talk about where we would be if  we had not moved on from our first, second, third (I will not embarrass us and go on to the true number of boyfriends/girlfriends, husbands/wives) loves.  We do know that we never would have met each other if our lives had not played out the way that it did.  Never have we had the kind of loving relationship that we now have, had it not been for our first loves.  The power of a first love can leave a lasting imprint on who we are and who we fall for in our future.      

Monday, January 2, 2017

Words To Live By

At the beginning of each New Year, we are either the type of person who wants to set goals or make resolutions in order to better ourselves or you believe all of that to be a bunch of hooey!  If it is the latter than maybe you do want to keep reading, if for nothing else except to get a little bit of a different perspective.  For those of you who believe this helps to motivate yourselves then that is a very honorable thought and involves a process of thinking where we want our lives to go in the future.  The one important thing that we tend (or maybe it is just me?) to forget or leave out totally is what exactly will we have to do personally in order to reach that goal.  It is not going to happen with a twitch of your nose or a snap of your fingers or even some magic wand.  It needs action from YOU. 

For example there are tons (no pun intended) of people who will have "lose weight" as their priority.  That is all fine and good.  I am with you!  What is the plan, Stan?  It is not going to happen magically, although wow, would that be ideal or what?  This is where your plan must come in to play, such as cut back on calories, go on a special program, exercise, be consistent, etc.  I will never forget watching an Oprah TV show one day years ago when she sat crying on her TV sofa, talking from her heart, as she always does, saying to the whole audience that if there were a pill that she could take to lose weight and keep it off, she would certainly be able to afford to buy it and would take it daily.  There is no magic pill.  It took me a while to grasp this concept.

Really, it does not matter what the specific goal is, there has to be a plan of action to see it through, right?  A few years ago, I had read about picking a word to live your New Year by.  One word! Powerful! You needed to train your brain with this one word to accomplish whatever you set out to do.  I will say that some words seem to me to work better than others, or maybe it would be better to say that some words need a little more use of your imagination to help you make something happen. It has to be a word that means something to you personally.   

This word needs to be front and center at all times.  It should be a word that you relate to in some way, shape or form.  Obviously, it should be able to help guide you in a positive manner to your outcome. Write it out, print it out and have it where you see it many times each day.  On your desk, in your car, in your lunch bag/briefcase; be creative of size, shape and materials you can use for your word.  I have seen someone stitch the letters of their word on a piece of fabric for their pocket.  Endless possibilities here.

Next step is to think of not one goal, two goals, or however many you have in your mind.  Just think of this word throughout your day as you make decisions.  Example:  You woke up a bit too late to actually make a breakfast yet you are aware that this will make a difference in how you will feel later in the day.  A word that I have chosen before is "inspiration."  So, thinking of this word and how I can use it to inspire my decision of what to do.  It makes me go in the direction that I should.  I could grab a yogurt and fruit to head out the door with a breakfast to go.  Or I could stop off at a fast food restaurant and pick up hash browns and sausage biscuits which have fat levels higher than I wish to have in one day, much less one meal.  OR, I could stop off at a fast food restaurant and make some of their better choices.  Most all of the restaurants post their nutritional information for the items on their menu.  Become familiar with them.  It is what you are putting into your body and quite frankly,  I do not wish to work out just to break even because I went way over the fat limit in my diet.  

When it comes to everyday challenges such as the laundry, decluttering, writing my blog or working on my novel, reading books or researching.............I have the word inspiration right there in front of me.  It puts much more of a positive mood in me to get busy and get it done, when at that particular time, I am just not 'feeling it.'  For some reason, seeing that word that I chose as my Word For the Year gives me a kickstart.  

It may work for you and then again, it may not.  You may be saying to yourself that I  am a few fries short of a Happy Meal.  And that is okay. All of us are different and we do not have to agree on all matters in order to be friends.  The important thing is that we are all willing to share what may help someone else if it helps you.  I do enjoy using my blog this way at times.  And the last thing I will say concerning this, "Try it, you may like it."  If not, nothing lost.  You may even find a totally different twist to bring in your New Year.