Monday, June 25, 2018

Don't Sweat It!

Most of us have either read or are familiar with what the series of books that have Don't Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson promotes. It is positivity and something that we all need to keep in mind. 

For me, I have to say that I live by the motto above. I just modified the original concept a bit for myself. It is ALL small stuff and life is all about the small stuff. Now, believe me, I know plenty of people who like to turn the small stuff into major catastrophes. I am sure that you know some of these drama kings and queens too. Truly, most everything is small stuff. The question that I ask myself is just how major do I want this to become. Anyone can make a mountain out of a mole hill with knee-jerk reactions.

Definitely, I am not perfect...I am human. There are times that I can be exactly like the woman in the poster above. Not often, because I have learned that perfection is not the goal, life is not an emergency, nor is it fair all of the time. Thoughts are much more powerful. Mindsets need to be strong in order to weed out the small stuff that is trying to grow larger than life right in front of our very eyes. This is when my creative side comes out to help me deal with sweating the small stuff and turning it around to make me happy.

Instead of overreacting and blowing incidents way out of proportion, I find some alone and just me time to think of possible outcomes. We all get to choose what makes us happy. First of all, I had to learn to throw the thought that it was not selfish to focus on my own happiness. Just as you are, so am I, deserving of being happy. In fact, I find that slowing down and being in the right mindset gives me more compassion and I end up encouraging others which becomes a circle of happiness that is shared.

Sweating the small stuff that makes me even the tiniest bit happier is what it is all about. These things may be considered so non-important to others and that is okay. Everyone needs to find the small stuff that brings them happiness. Some examples that I can share with you for myself is to get a specific type/color of pen that I love to write with (and I write a lot). It may be having my husband situate bird feeders outside of my office so that I can watch the birds come and go. What about having fresh fruit and veggies from the Farmers' Market? There is nothing like that first homegrown tomato! These are some of the little things that make up my happy thoughts.

When something bad happens, and let's get real, it happens all the time. Or when I am thinking in a negative manner there are ways to respond that are more positive and will help take you to your happy place. It takes practice. Let's say that a large group is coming over and I drop part of dinner on the floor. I could lose total control thinking that everything is ruined. In reality, taking a deep breath, and just going with the flow is the best response. What do I want to do about it? Go out and get something to replace it or see if there is something in the pantry to use? Or decide if we really needed it to begin with. 

My husband taught me about a word that one must be careful when using. It is the conjunction, 'but.' He said that when using it anything you say before the word 'but' is bull$%&#. I am going to tell you that this word is a magical word. How? Just read this:
If I am thinking that I am so out of shape and need to lose weight badly. If I say this often enough to myself, I will get to a point of hopelessness. However, If I say or think that I am so out of shape but I am now working out and eating puts a much more positive spin on my outlook. It takes me down the right path. 

Life is not always perfect. That is not the goal. We all have our sad moments, the question is how long do you want to remain there? If life gives you lemons, make some lemonade or even better when it is five o'clock somewhere...if life gives you limes, make some margaritas! Muy bien!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Getting It All Done!

Definitely when I was in a 'regular' type job, this could have been a picture of how most of my days were. There never seemed to be enough time in the day to get it all done. The only way that I learned to take control of my day and therefore to be more productive was to plan. Even though I am now retired from that type of job, I can honestly say, I don't have the overwhelming feelings from people above me on the ladder, yet there are still days that pop up where there is just not enough time in the day to accomplish what I want.

This means looking at how to reel myself back into the reality of getting things done that I need to click off my list. The one good thing is that it is "my" list. That is the beauty of retirement. When I say reeling myself back into the reality, I mean finding where I am wasting time. This, I know for a fact, I am very good at doing.

Being a writer of blogs, as well as working on my book, I MUST set goals. That is just how my mind operates. There are better ways than others to help anyone work more efficiently, no matter what their jobs may be. There is not a class to take that teaches us how to work. Everyone is different, and everyone must find their own bad habits and how to eradicate  them. It helps if you have some support around you. 

Somehow most of us just fall into the routine of failing to plan for the day, wasting our time on low level tasks and allow procrastination to start sneaking in to us. For me, I know that I do start my day with high hopes of getting right down to it. First things first, I must have my coffee. That is a MUST! Then to have a moment of quiet meditation to get into my positive mantra for the day. Yes, for me, that means putting it up on my FaceBook page. This is a dangerous move on my part. Sometimes (rarely) I can zoom right on through without reading other posts, knowing that I can do that in the afternoon when my creativity is not as high. 

From there I look over my agenda which I made at the end of the day before. It is my plan of what is top priority. This is easy to be distracted from if I am not careful and apparently I am not alone. I rather like to check my e mails, delete the ones that are junk or get unsubscribed when possible, I tend to get side tracked in the news items that pop up. Some stories are just not worth taking the time to read. All it is doing is cluttering my brainwaves. It is my belief that it is a way to allow procrastination to come rolling in.To help ease my guilt, I will use this time to get my breakfast so that I am eating while reading. Probably not the best for digestion. It works for me.

Keeping the sounds off on my phone and computer is a big help in order to not get pulled in to check on e mails. I read that checking two times a day is enough. For me? I prefer three times. The one at lunch time is important because there may be an item that needs immediate action. If I waited till the end of the day, it may be too late to do anything about until the next day. A great quote:

Before I started planning more effectively, I read an article about tracking my habits. This was eye opening, for sure. I knew that I seemed to not have enough time in my day but where did it go? It really showed me that I needed to set my own rules and get rid of the distractions. I used this information as a power tool. Now I was able to work on the bad habits and focus on improvement. Nobody is too busy; it is just a matter of priorities!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Mind, Body and Soul

Many times my blog is about what I need to hear for myself and therefore if anyone else cares about that topic then it is out there for them to read if they so desire. The one thing that I work hard on is trying not to sound as if I am preaching. I am just like everyone else; finding my own path and knowing which doors to open for myself. We all are in charge of our own happiness.

For me this means all of my body, soul and mind involved in finding what will make me happy. Some things are simple little things, such as keeping my working space in order, getting a manicure when needed, having five minutes of meditating my positive mantra of the day, etc. Then there are other times that I jump in feet first and go for a big plunge just because I have an awareness that it will help me discover more of the happiness that I want to build on. 

The quote (of which many different people take credit for) that states if you keep doing things the same way then you should expect the same results. Finally, my light bulb above my head flipped on bright. It took a friend to share what he was going through to make me see it.

One thing that did not make me feel very happy was to get dressed in the morning because of my weight. I needed to take control. No one else could do it for me. When my friend shared that he was on a very special plan that is working so well for him, as well as others, then my positive thinking went into overdrive. There were several reasons why. First of all no one was selling anything. We as Americans spend way too much money on diet centers and clinics, not to mention the meds they give you or the diet foods in the grocery store. 

For this plan you only watch a very amusing YOUTUBE video and make your own mind up if this is what would make you happy. I was working on my mindset that I needed to think of all the positives about myself. Lighten up (no pun intended)! So I did watch the YOUTUBE video called, Butter Makes Your Pants Fall Off. 

When I watched it, as well as other videos that popped up with this one, I thought to myself that this is something that I can do. First of all, let me stress that each person has to know why they want to lose the extra pounds. Basically, it has to be for yourself, to make you happier. When you are happy, those around you are happy. To know that I am doing this to become healthier and to be around longer with those that I love is a fantastic reason to go for it. A plus side of it is to not have to fight off my mind, body and soul voices each morning, all telling me how I look. MINDSET! I am going into each day with my voice telling me how I look and feel. Marvelous!

This program needs to be kept simple or people like me can become overwhelmed. It basically is a low-carb, high-fat diet with moderate proteins. I read about it, I listened and watched, however, I do not need all of the little details. Just tell me how many carbs I need to have in a day. "Just the facts, Mam!"

Believe me when I say that I already knew that I had an obsession with bread. The more that I talked and read about those who were losing weight did it by cutting out soft drinks, sugar, flour, and starchy foods the more that I believed that I could do it too. The first week that I was on the plan, I had a luncheon to go to at a very nice restaurant. Their hamburgers were amazing. Instead of whining that I could not have this or that, I made it work for me. I chose the guacamole burger. The beautiful brioche bun went to the side. A bit of Dijon mustard with the lettuce, tomato and onion slice, along with the guacamole made a culinary masterpiece. The good news is that it equaled out to exactly what I should have in low-carb, high-fat, and moderate protein meal. As a side item I had the chef's roasted garlic asparagus. It made me feel so proud and spurred me on to keep this going.

Getting over that everything has to be about food is work in progress. We all have the freedom over choosing what we want. This is a life changer for me. To throw in little surprises at times also helps. Having a sparkling water delivered to the table or sipping it at home gives me a special delight! It reminds me to never, ever give up on me. "Success consists of getting up just one more time than I fall." These are Oliver Goldsmith's words. I am fairly certain that he was not talking about how many net carbs you went over for your day, yet it surely does fit my MINDSET. 

Change is possible. There must be planning involved for me and then I can go for it. Each day, I spend a little time reading more about what to eat, what to avoid and am learning not to beat myself up over too many carbs. Everything that I have read says to work on the 20 - 30 carbs a day. When you get to your desired weight, you can have a day here and there where you may go over some. It is called life.  

Monday, June 4, 2018

Communication Meltdown!

It seems as if the phones in our household are ringing more often than usual. It is lovely to hear from our children and grandchildren and other family and friends. It is annoying to be in the middle of something or simply just chillin' and have the phone ring only to be a telemarketer. Some total stranger taking up our time. Some are for real and some are scams. Even the 'for real' telemarketers are not wanted by most. If you are like me, if I need something, I have a phone and I know who I want to call. Certainly I am not going to buy it from some stranger calling me on the phone.

Many people across the country are having this problem. After doing a bit of research an interesting fact that I came across was that even with the so-called better telemarketers have a 96% chance of getting turned down. This may explain why they are so relentless in pulling us into their web of selling.

Depending on the company, you might be surprised at just how much information they have about you. Some of the smaller firms may just have your name and phone number, while others may have your address also, plus much more than you can ever imagine.

You can put your phone numbers on the Do Not Call Registry. Hmmmm...I have all three of our numbers on this list. Still, we can get anywhere from 4 - 12 phone calls a day. Then there are apps for cell phones, some of which are free and others charge a fee. The problem here is that calls are blocked that are not on your own private call list or you see the number and choose to accept or decline. This will not work for me due to the fact that I have companies returning calls that I may not have in my call list and I would miss important information that I need.

All of your calls that you do not answer can go to Google Voice, if you get that set up. (no fee) If I already have voice mail then why have another one? One of the last resorts is to look up the number that called you on the internet. There is a lot of spoofing going on, which means the number showing up is not the real company number calling you. There is always the FTC that you can call for help at 1-877-FTC-HELP or write at

To me, it used to be quite easy to get rid of a live human telemarketer just by interrupting their script and asking them again who their company is because I need it to report them to the FTC. That always was an instant CLICK. This always put a smile on my face.
You can't do this if it is a recording. The only recourse is just to hang up and press block number on your phone. Not quite as satisfying.

Let me share with you that I know someone who when he has the time, likes to play the telemarketer for all he or she is worth. You may want to try it yourself. First example is one that most people have received from a person with a heavy, thick accent who says his name is Bob and he is with Microsoft Windows and that our computer has a major problem that he is calling to help fix the problem. My husband has tried several different tactics. One was to tell Bob that there are no computers in this household. CLICK.

Another example is to let Bob tell him from his script of what he needs to do to help him help fix the problem. He asks for all kinds of information that he should not have. Steve gives him false numbers and tells him yes, that he has clicked that key on the keypad and for about 3 - 4 minutes had Bob very excited that he had someone who took the bait. Then when Steve had all he could take, he shared with Bob that he just wasted his scamming time.  None of the information that was told to him was true, in fact, the computer was not even turned on. CLICK.

Let me end with two humorous stories. There are some calls that are for real. One was a lady calling for her non-profit agency selling hummingbird feeders. Steve has a big heart and knew this to be a real company and decided to buy a few for Christmas gifts. They arrived and they were quite beautiful. End of story? Oh no! He bought once so she came after him again about 4 months later. Only this time I answered the phone. Once I knew who she was, I told her that we were not interested in buying more or anything else at this time and please put us on her do not call list. Let me say, that this #%$#@ had the nerve to try again a few days later. Steve answered the phone. She told him that she had called and had spoken to a very rude woman. Then she went into her sales pitch with Steve. He told her that he was not interested at this time with lots of patience because she was not giving up. I am proud of him. He stuck to his words and finally she gave up.

Last story is about me (hard-hearted Hannah) giving in to a call from the local Fire Fighters Committee that sells tickets to concerts of older bands that never really made it big, yet most people know of them. The tickets were not much money and I thought that maybe we would go. It turned out we couldn't go, however, I was able to give the tickets to an assistant who worked very hard for me on a major project. She was extremely thankful. 

This is a once a year sales contest for the Fire Fighters. Steve knew the story and when the guy asked to speak to me by my first name he told him that I was not available. This man asked when I would be returning and my husband went into a sob story about he had no idea. He told him that I had run off with some man and it is breaking his heart. This poor man started talking to Steve as if they were long lost friends and told him that he knows how it feels. He is so sorry. 

End of story? Not quite! The next year the very same guy called back and Steve answered the phone. This man had remembered the conversation and asked if I ever returned. He said that I was out of the picture now. So Mr. Firefighter just said that he was sorry and did not try to sell or bother us again.

Moral to this whole telemarketer blog. Let them stress you out or have a little fun with them. When the phone rings there is no need to drop everything and run to answer it. Those who know you and need you will leave a message and you can call them after dinner or when you have time. Telemarketers will just move on to their next victim.