Monday, July 31, 2017

All You Need Is Love

There recently was an article in an NPR publication about self-care. What caught my attention was that it was stating that millennials "no surprise" is the generation that devotes the most time and money to the self-care industry. This article goes on to say that they are so individualistic, obviously in comparison to all others before them. To this, I totally disagree. I am a show me the facts kind of person.

Self-care existed way before this generation of millennials did. It is a way of taking care of yourself, so that you may be able to better help others. It gives one a self-awareness where as it helps you to have and encourages self-love.

Since I am in a totally different generation which is the baby boomers, I am coming from a different point of view than the author of this article (Christianna Silva) and although I respect her thoughts on the subject I would like to point out some obvious oversights.

When I go into a gym, I actually see less millennials than others. The same thing with nail and hair salons. I believe what was being stated is that the younger generation use the Internet to get more from workouts and diet coaching. This is a point that I will not argue about. Thank goodness that the "old fashioned" way of actually going to the gym and having a personal coach is still very much the thing to do.  

There is something that we all tend to forget and that is self-care does not need and should not be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - something out of our reach. It should not be forced or stress you out. What works for some, may not work for you. 

I tend to be a more random type person. Spontaneous, even with my list of "to-do's." And yes, sometimes I actually write down some of my own self-care activities that I want to put into my day. Nothing is wrong with that. When my body tells me that it needs a break, then I listen. It does not need to be a long break. The expression of, "Take 5" sometimes is all you need. 

During this time, it may be a short walk around, closing my eyes for a few moments, reading or writing , changing up the music in my office, or making a phone call to a loved one just to ask how they are doing.

My lists of things to help me take care of me range from five minutes to longer periods of time, depending on the activity. You need to choose your own and find out what makes you happiest. I am giving you some of the activities that work for me.

  • singing or humming along with the music that is playing
  • using aromatherapy for the mood that I want to surround me 
  • laughing - out loud - lately, I have been using my Alexa, to give me jokes for the day that I share
  • short spurts of decluttering all around me which in turn tend to make me more productive
  • taking walks, which right now due to some still needed physical therapy, are short - yet I still get up and move and am mindful about it
  • make a quiet time - it can be reading, power napping, or just stopping long enough to smell the roses
  • tune out the news - news would have us believe that we are all going to hell in a hand basket if you listen to what the reporters say - there are so many happy stories out there in real life - make it a point to find them
  • taking care of my soul by writing what I am grateful for instead of focusing on what I do not have, it makes for a happier me when I think of what I do have

Through watching others, I dare not put a general stereo-type with all millennials, nor Baby Boomers (or any of the other generations that preceded them.) That would be very judgmental of me. There are different ways that we all go about taking care of ourselves (or not!) What I do want to promote is just how important it is to have a plan so that we can all live more harmoniously in such a beautiful world.
The Beatles got it right, All You Need Is Love!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Motivation - What's Yours?

There have many times when I question myself on my own motivation. It can be motivation to exercise, to eat healthy, to clean out drawers/cupboards, or to write. Maybe a particular day comes along and I just don't feel like doing something on my "to do" list. 

I have choices to make. I can either go full speed ahead and give myself trade-offs, such as pick the task that seems the most difficult to become motivated to accomplish and then give myself a reward for doing it. Or I can choose to just skip it for the day.

There really is no right or wrong here. The world is not going to come to an end. It is all in my mind of how it will make me feel. It is something about going ahead and getting something done that I really don't feel like doing that helps to motivate me; along with a few little mind tricks.

Sometimes when I want to motivate myself into getting into my writing more, I go out and invest in some tools to help me make it happen. Nothing kickstarts me more to write with more passion and in a timely manner than a new set of pens (preferably different bright colors) or a ream or two of colored paper (again preferably bright colors). This probably sounds nerdy, but then again, I was the child going through school who loved the time when shopping for school supplies came. There is nothing like fresh new composition books and the smell of a new box of crayons that made this girl wanting the first day of the school year to begin.

Perhaps I want to motivate myself to move a little faster on my exercise plan. A new pair of sneakers or a new outfit will do the trick for me. It brings on the passion to get the job done, if nothing else, at least to get the job started. I know that the old trick of starting myself off with a time limit; say walk or write for 5 minutes works. I surprise myself in that once I get started, I want to extend my time period naturally. 

Always for myself, when the thought of quitting enters my brain, I try to think back to the reason that I started it all to begin with. For anything to happen, I have to make it happen by grabbing all of my gusto and letting it flow.

Once again, I NEED a positive mantra for myself to start my day. I know that for me, if I build on my previous successes then I know where I am going and why. Problems can only be resolved through trying, never by quitting and giving up.

So that I can now get busy and into my afternoon, I will end with one of my many favorite quotes by Nelson Mandela, "It always seems impossible until it's done." 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Sleepless in Memphis

First of all, I must admit that I do not have sleeping problems regularly ever since I retired. They happen much less frequently now, so maybe I should just stop complaining and get on with it. That is just so not me. I want to know why. Remember, one of my blogs a few days back was titled, "Inquiring Minds Want To Know."  I have trouble turning it off. Is this a case of OCD? Don't know. What I do know is that Google has become my friend in researching for answers.

The picture above is what I go through when it happens. Last night was one of 'those nights.' You must know, even though it may be too much information (TMI), you would never find me sleeping in a plaid flannel pj. Not even in winter. I am glad that I cleared that up. Even at night, I have my dress code standards.

What I do go through is watching the clock. I see every hour on the hour. I may lightly doze, and I do mean lightly, or meditate and work on soft focused breathing to help. What I refuse to do is to get up and do something. I am not going to clean, eat, shower, read, or write. On the nightstand beside where I sleep, I do keep a pen and pad to jot down little ideas that may pop in my head for my book or blog. That doesn't even happen every night and sometimes not even every week.

When I researched about this problem of waking every hour I came up with all kinds of answers. Some of these answers simply did not apply to me. I am going to write about what I found, as maybe you may have this problem and what I researched may help someone else.

One article stated that cortisol might be the cause. This is hormonal and it makes us feel alert. If it is active at night then it may be that we are stressed or lead stressful lives. It also can be elevated with low blood sugar. If you have not eaten for a long time or have eaten a sugar loaded meal then when the crash comes in to play, your body will use cortisol to raise the sugar level to keep you awake at night. This is not a reason for me. So that cause was ruled out. One other hormonal problem is one's thyroid. Again, I have mine checked yearly and am on medication for that. So another one to eliminate for me.

Magnesium deficiency can harm a good night's sleep. Hmmm! Apparently this is the most deficient nutrient in modern society. When I researched magnesium, I was reading that not only did it help with sleep problems, but also with joint aches, headaches and leg cramps. It comes in a spray or bath crystals, as well as supplement tablets. You can also eat a magnesium rich diet which would include most nuts, seeds, whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, avocados, lentils, and dark chocolate.

Before I finished my research, I decided that we would start including more of these food items in our diets. Since I am not big on adding supplement tablets, I do plan on getting the small bottle of magnesium spray. (Definitely a future blog to let you know if that works, as well as the diet. We do eat many of the foods listed, I will just be more aware of how much). I already know that a treat for me each day will be a piece of dark chocolate. 

The reasons for why I have these occasional sleepless nights could be one of several. Sometimes, it is based on stress. I can be a worrier and I worry about those I love. Sometimes, just a good talk to the person that I am worried about helps. My imagination goes crazy/wild without a lot of help. So there are times that I just need to take a chill pill and let it go, with a bit of help from my family. 

My husband and I have been dealing with Medicare Part A, Part B, Part D, Supplemental, the Gap, retiree insurance, Cobra insurance...trying to get a straight answer out of anyone is like pulling teeth. After talking to others, they have had the same experience. This does not make it easier or less stressful and resolve the matter in my mind. What I must do is know that in our waking hours, we can take care of things as we need to  -  together! Two educated adults should be able to come up with questions and people to call to get the answers that we need, even if it takes an extended time period. Basically, we were able to finish another part of this off today. Still a bit more to go, slow baby steps. We both have learned that this is the best way in the long run, in that it helps us not to make the wrong decisions for our future.

We do not sleep with our smartphones on or extra lighting (except the nightlight which we have always used to avoid tripping over things at night.) It is dark in the county with no street lights. This is good, just as it is good because it is quiet except for when 6:30 comes and the neighbor lets out his dog which barks right outside our bedroom window. Even that is getting somewhat better. I am thinking there have been many complaints besides ours because they have a bark collar on him and they bring him in almost immediately. So no lighting or noise problems keeping me awake in the middle of the night!

The last thing that I pulled up to check on is about taking naps in the day, as well as just how much sleep do I really need. Well the last part of the question is that it depends on who writes the article and who you believe. Some say 6 hours and others say up to 9. For me, I believe that you must find your own time. I can function very well on 8 full hours of sleep. So, the question is about napping. If I nap, as I did yesterday, will that affect my sleep? 

According to this chart, the power nap is probably the best route to go if I get my 8 hours the night before. On the other hand, check out the 90 minutes. Maybe it is best to save a nap of that length for when the 8 hours at night did not happen.  I love Winnie the Pooh's philosophy on napping: had a chart that gave the benefits of a power nap as being: clearer thinking, increased alertness, decreased stress, improved memory and enhanced creativity. I am all for that.

My conclusion for myself is to try increasing my magnesium levels in a healthy manner and to take that power nap daily, except for days that follow a very sleepless night - then increase the time. 

Let's remember at the end of day to think of all of the positive things that happened to us. Smile. Take a deep breath. Feel the comfort of our beds. Here is to all of us having 

Friday, July 21, 2017


Just the other day after my quiet meditation time, I posted my mantra for the morning, "BE YOU!" Little did I know that it would be what I would write my Friday blog about. Obviously, it was on my mind. In order to believe in yourself, you must be you. Pleasing yourself first is most important and the way to accomplish this is to be you by believing in yourself. 

It is true that just like everyone else (at least that is my assumption) we all have our moments of doubt about ourselves. Well, maybe not the big egomaniacs out there, and yes, there are plenty of them. However, my thoughts on them are simple. Their self doubts are so strong that it seems to force them to behave the way that they do. The saying that if you have to tell everyone who you are and what all you can do then it probably is not true. Actions speak louder than words. 

There are healthy self doubts and then there are ones that seem to force big egos to go out of control. I hope that I always can remain in the control category. This is one of the reasons that I post a milestone positive quote each day and sometimes more than one. I need it for me to push myself forward and have the belief in myself that I can accomplish whatever I desire if I work hard enough.

If it takes sitting down making a list of what I have accomplished, then so be it. A list of what I admire about me? Yes! It also means listening to those around me. Those who care about me will always give me those positive vibes about what I am good at. Moving past what I think I have failed at and work on what I am good at for a starter is the best way for me remain positive.

Once that takes hold, then comes the time to start one project at a time concerning what I need to work on for self-improvement for me. Notice that I said, "FOR ME." I am not working on my novel for others. Yes, I hope to entertain others with it, yet the accomplishment of actually doing it is for me.

Moving more into my personal life, I have to believe in me and I want for me to be healthy by eating right and exercising. I can't do it for others. It has to be mine to take ownership. I know that I have to be patient and take it in steps. It did not happen overnight and I have had a few little setbacks (not excuses - true set backs). The time now has come to move forward, just not at the speed of light. Baby steps at first and then picking up some speed along the way is how to accomplish my goals.

Just as I start each day with a positive mantra, I like to end my days with self-reflection. I do this by writing in my journal about my successes or perhaps an obstacle that may have gotten in my way with plans on how to avoid that from stopping me the next day. It is a matter of being persistent without beating yourself up. 


Monday, July 17, 2017

Inquiring or Enquiring?

What is it about the human psyche that just can't turn away from train wrecks, car crashes and trashy talking magazines about celebrity lives or aliens landing on Earth?

First, I had forgotten that back in the late 1970's, a stock broker company called E.F. Hutton had commercials on TV using a phrase cleverly. Two business type men in a room full of noisy people when one would say to the other, "Well, my broker is E.F. Hutton, and he says, ...."  The whole crowd would go quiet, straining to hear what he says and the commercial ended with, "Inquiring minds want to know" going across the screen. Hey, at least they spelled inquiring correctly.

Then in 1981, The National Enquirer tabloid, trademarked the slogan, "Enquiring minds want to know." For the record, enquiring is also spelled correctly, just the British preferred way. Both are in the dictionary with the same meaning. Trust me, I checked that out right away.

A bit of digression here, however, I believe that you get my point. It is a feeling of being drawn in to some horrible scenes or news due to the excitement of it all and wanting to know all of the details. Somehow there is a delight in the problems and misfortunes of others that makes us wish to look.

Researchers, such as Michael Stevens explains that often we find uncertainty more unpleasant than unpleasant certainty. He says that if we look, at least we know. His book studies the question of why it is so hard to turn away from such scenes both in real life and on the screen.

Eric Wilson has a book out called Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can't Look Away. Somehow, we are drawn to gloom. There are many examples that he gives such as the replay of the 9/11 towers collapsing, a Hollywood Tour company called 'Dearly Departed' adding the Beverly Hilton Hotel where Whitney Houston's death occured to the itinerary of places where celebrities passed away. They also give a three hour tour of the site where the Manson Family carried out their murders. Want to buy a ticket? They take thousands of visitors there monthly.

On a normal drive through cities, when there is a slow down of traffic, you can rest assured it is due to 'rubber-necking.'  This common behavior often causes other wrecks to happen due to the distraction. In the United Kingdom, as well as a few other countries, special screens have been used to block accident scenes just in order to help the flow of traffic.

Eric Wilson was mentioned above and has a lot of research out there on why humans seem to have a hidden dark side. After interviewing many scientists, he came to the conclusion that most believe it has an evolutionary value. There are many reasons why we are attracted to the morbid which includes sometimes a weird physiological arousal and an animal stimulation. He concluded that if we approach darkness in the right way, it can lead to light.

He believes that there is a fine line between looking at destruction and empathising to becoming obsessed with it. In other words, if we look at a car accident by the road, hopefully we will think about the suffering of others and feel relieved. Nothing to dwell on or to seek out other accidents. This could lead to a very bleak future life and depression.

Final note is that we should not always suppress this human instinct, just realize that we need to look for the light using empathetic eyes. Realize that there are different degrees of needing this type of attraction. Let's not judge others based on what their needs may be. I for one, can't watch the Reality TV shows. Too real for me? Maybe! I am no 'goody two-shoes.' It is just that I don't care for them any more than I do reading about others in the tabloids, especially when someone is going through something so personal and private. If you are a celebrity, then you apparently are automatically signed up for the world to know all of your business. That has never been secret news.

Until checking this topic out for writing, I had no idea
just how heavily researched and written about this topic was. Please do note that I will not be on a sight seeing bus called 'Dearly Departed.' When there is an accident on the road, I must admit that I look and tell myself that I am looking in order to figure out just how it happened. This I do believe. I won't judge you if you don't judge me. We all have some level of morbid curiosity. Let's just help each other get through it when we need assistance. The best way is to be a listener and do not judge.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Hot Is Hot!

You scientific minds out there can argue with me all that you want. I won't be arguing back because I know that your mind is already made up. When you tell me that it is much more tolerable at 110 degrees when there is no humidity vs 90 degrees with humidity, I beg to differ. My body differs or maybe it is all in my head. Hot is hot.

In the heat of the summer, as in the dead of winter, I really had rather not listen to the weather forecasts. They are all just downright depressing. It is summer time now and it is suppose to be hot. Expect it. Get over it. Make plans accordingly. Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. I have had the opportunity to experience high heat with little humidity and I can tell you that it is hot, hot, hot! I believe the only real difference that I may have noticed is that I did not "glow" as much. 

In the South, it is a known fact that women "glow" in the humidity and it is supposed to be so good for your skin. Preventing dry skin and wrinkles developing prematurely. Actually, if you check out pictures, of humans living in a humid location vs drier air, you usually can see this phenomenon for yourself. Now this is not anything scientific that I am basing this observation on. Simply a very basic scanning of faces. There could be other factors thrown in such as DNA, how you care for your skin, time spent in the sun without proper protection, etc.

At a very early age, I can remember my grandmother and mother both giving me moisturizer to put on my face and body. They did this nightly and started my habit of the same steps. Now whether or not this worked for this reason or because they were prone to good skin down through the female line? Who's to say? Still...I am not taking chances and believe wholeheartedly in taking care of my skin.

When the weather forecaster says it will be a day of the three H's, just be prepared. Hazy, hot and humid is not something to play around with if you want to feel and look your best.

While we are at talking about looking your best, let me also mention hair in humid weather. Everyone is a little different so I am speaking from my own experience. My hair puffs up and gets bigger. If I spend time blowing it out with the dryer and using a straightner then I have wasted about 30-45 minutes. My hair is that thick and it seems that the more humid it is, the longer it takes my hair to dry. 

I happen to have the best hairdresser in the world and the best tip that he ever gave me was to go with the flow. My hair is naturally wavy and curly. He calls me one of the lucky ones because I can wear my hair staight or curly, easily interchangeable. So for the summer, he calls it "beach hair." I have noticed magazines do this to. Wash your hair and put in some curly goo to scrunch it the way you want and then let it go. (Bumble and Bumble makes several good products.)Too much touching will frizz it up while it is wet. A simple scrunching motion now and then until it dries works. Then, once it is dry, put on a dab of oil made for your tresses. Any frizziness disappears and your hair will look as if you spent hours styling it. Another benefit is that when you wake up, your hair is already basically styled. Win/Win!

If you live where it is hot and humid, then take advantage of learning the tricks to make it work for you. Then again...there is always Iceland?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Does It Make You Happy?

The question for those of us who like to hang on to "things" that I have to ask myself and answer truthfully is does it make me happy? For example, in my closet. Oh yes, those shoes make me happy. Why else would I have bought them? In order to have a truly decluttered home I must ask myself more than that one question. Does it make me happy, is it useful, and do I wear it (or even have I worn them in the last year).

In 2011 Marie Kondo published a book titled The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I must admit that I liked the overall idea. I even went so far as to clear and declutter some areas in my life. In my previous job in education, I had no trouble tossing the old when the new came in. Most of the time, I never taught the same lesson the same way from year to year. It horrified me to find out that some teachers used the same lesson plan book year after year. To each their own. I would have been so bored in my job if I had to do it the same way for a different set of students. Plus, for those of you not in the educational field, each year was a round of a new set of books for one specific subject, which meant 'bunches' of new teacher editions and resources. Teachers are known hoarders. If you walked into any classroom, usually you will find stacks and piles of old resources that have not been touched since the new textbook series was adopted.

That was never my case. First of all I moved around too much and where was I going to store all of this mess. Whatever I needed was provided. Not saying that there were some things that I went out and purchased with my own money; oh yes, I did. These things were usually things that helped me keep the room organized. I found that not only myself, but my students worked better and could concentrate and focus more when in an organized setting.

So then, I found myself feeling the same about things in our home, such as the kitchen. If the countertops are filled, where is the workspace. It means letting go of what is not used. If it is used occasionally, then in my mind, it needs to be stored someplace else. Remember when it became the thing to do to make your own bread? Do you really use that breadmaker? I doubt it. I made my own loaves of sourdough bread for years and never even used a breadmaker. The same goes for a pasta maker. Really? 

Now comes my office at home. I have been in this office for over a year. It is still a work in progress. As my now retired husband is designing his office space for his creative writing, he will be taking some of the 'stuff' that clutters up my office space. I sort of, kind of have it fixed to a degree of my liking. Once he finishes up a bookcase for himself, he will be taking some of the items that make him happy and will be useful to him, which in turn will clear some space for me.

The final act of decluttering comes with my closet. My wonderful daughter came over last year to help me with this and she helped me to make a huge dent in the clothes and the shoes. This job is not so overwhelming for me now and I never plan on letting it get that bad again. My motto is to stay on top of it.

I have some questions that I ask myself when decluttering, whether it be the kitchen, the office, the closet or drawers. It really works for me, so I thought that I would share because once it is done, you will find more productivity and concentration, a better night's sleep, a happier you throughout the day and for me more creativity. I do know there are artistic types who thrive amongst chaos. Definitely, not the case with me. Everyone has their own style.

I like to ask myself:

  • how many times have I worn or used the item
  • do I even like it
  • will I lose special memories if I toss it
  • am I keeping it because it is expensive (then sell it)
  • if I moved would I want to pack it and take it with me

William Morris said it perfectly over one hundred years ago. "Have nothing in the house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." This was long before the ever popular book by Marie Kondo was published and became a best seller. In other words, humans have always had the need to be reminded to declutter their living spaces. The difference between the two books is that Marie actually breaks it down for those of us who are slow learners.

I was going about my decluttering, room by room. Her suggestion was to do it by categories. Books, clothes, kitchen utensils, linens, etc. Also, asking yourself if your "mess" looks happy. Okay, so "messes" don't have human feelings, however, they do look sad all piled up like junk. Sometimes certain nostalgia is just not worth keeping. Be selective and it is probably best not to share with all of your family the discarded stuff, just in case they try to talk you back into something that you already made a hard decision about. Remember, that you have now rediscovered YOU.

There are always rewards waiting for me when I finish the projects. First of all, cleaning becomes so much easier. Our things just look better. The important stuff, the happy stuff stands out. It makes getting dressed easier. Also, it makes shopping easier. I know what I have and what I truly need. 

Decluttering and reorganizing became a necessity when a puppy entered our house. There are certain things that we just did not need taking up space and being there for him to chew.

I am not sure that I could ever become a true minimalist. Find your own decluttering style.
This would just not work for this clothes horse.
Happy decluttering to all!

Friday, July 7, 2017


There are all sorts of images that come to my mind when I think of the word 'Independence.' Of course, there is the city of Independence,Missouri, which was the starting point for the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails during the 1800's. Then there are all of the dictionary based definitions such as the state or quality of being independent, and a competence and comfortable self-support/self-reliance.

I had no idea of the apparently American expression that has been popular since the 1800's deriving from the Scottish ice game of curling in which hog refers to a pucklike stone that stops short of its goal, thus coming to rest and sitting sluggishly immovable on the ice. The expression is: "He don't appear to care nothing for nobody--he's 'independent as a hog on ice.' (San Francisco Call, April, 1857) The other expression that I came across that was used in Time Magazine in 1948: "They like to think of themselves as independents--independent as a hog on ice."

For me, I like to imagine independence in many other ways that more of the majority of people probably adhere to. We just celebrated July 4th here in the United States which is a holiday to celebrate our country's Independence. So for me, whether we are talking about a country or a person or people as a whole, independence is freedom from control or influence of another or others.

Not everyone is totally free from conform and control of others, in the most basic and simplest form such as style, behavior, political thoughts, peer and social pressure, truly just the capacity to manage one's own affairs, make one's own judgments and provide for oneself.

What I wanted to focus on the most in this blog was how to be a strong independent woman based on my own thoughts from my so many (not to mention how many) years of observation about what makes an independent woman. 

  • Following your dreams - embracing your own style to suit your mood, your taste and your creativity
  • Learn and study what interest you, not what may be popular at any given time. Stay up to date on current events so that you are able to engage in intelligent conversations, which means you are able to pick and choose what does interest you. I for one, must at least read and try to sort out some of the U.S. politics that is going on now in our country. It is not my favorite, therefore, I do not focus on it. Just enough to engage in a conversation that I quickly steer in another direction. 
  • Manage your finances by learning from savvy financial advisers, as well as articles and books. Since this is my blog, I can give myself the luxury of taking a quick moment to brag on my daughter for taking control of the family finances; something that I did not learn of until way later than she did.
  • Be assertive and stand up for yourself. If you don't believe in yourself, then who will? Recognize your uniqueness, as well as others. Take charge of what you need and want without stepping on others, much less having them walk all over you.
  • Most of all it is imperative to not compare yourself to other women. You are you! As Dr. Seuss stated, "Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." Dr. Seuss, by the way, is one of my heroes. He tells it like it is.
  • Take charge of your health. This means going for that yearly physical, getting enough exercise, eating healthy, getting enough sleep and most of all doing your own research so that you know what questions to ask of your doctor. They have the medical background, however, it is your body and you know what you are feeling.

For me, all of the above are very important and what comes to my mind when I hear 'Independent Woman.' When I witness what my daughter does in her life with her two girls and her loving husband, I feel that somehow I had a strong hand in helping her stand up and become that Independent Woman that I always hoped she would become. 

My own independence means that I now can get up each morning when I want to and create my own experience. Beginning with my meditation and mantra of the day, flowing into my writing, reading and painting. This also means to go out and have connections with others, whether it means working a morning in Starbucks, going through Puppy Training, shopping and having dates with my very significant other and lunches with friends. 

How lucky I am that I have the most wonderful husband a woman can have who has helped me work on my own independence. Now that we are both home working on our creative projects, we are lucky enough to work in the same house, in our own offices and meet up for lunch, discussions, hugs, kisses, or even going to the theater during the week for a matinee. Life is good!

So follow your heart and pursue your dreams, just as long as this does not restrict others from doing the same.