Sunday, April 28, 2024



When is it a good day to choose to have a good day? Sounds kind of like a silly question? Well, in my mind it is all in how I look at it. The beginning of my day start with waking up. I can choose to wake up cranky or turn the whole mindset around to smiling and just being thankful that I did wake up and I will make it through the day with more good thoughts than bad ones.  After all, in my little world happiness is an inside job. No one should be given the power to take that away from me. Can bad things be going on in my life? YES! The magic is just how I handle it all. 

Taking a moment to think what is happening and how I will respond (not react) to it seems to be the best way to go at handling things going on in my life. Just throwing out examples of certain things that have been going on in my world. I am sure that you may be able to relate, plus add your own situations that you are dealing with. 
*  News from my CPA of a large amount owed to the       IRS 😕
*  Daily meds for my sweet goldendoodle to help her       with incontinence and always wondering if there will     be an accident on the top coverlet or not (thank           goodness for pee-pads strategically placed                   underneath to protect the duvet and mattress)
* Daily arthritic pain in knees that is controlled with       Tylenol and quarterly trips to my doctor for gel shots
* Wanting to go and see movies, plays, concerts etc       and no longer having my soulmate to go with me
I won't bore you with more. We all have such things going on and even more in our lives. I chose to take charge of each of these events going on in my life - each one of which I had no control over happening, however, I did have control of how I was going to handle everything.

I had to deal with my own little world and because I made choices that helped me know that all would be ok. I know within myself what works and even how to 'tweak' it to work possibly even better.

I put a plan in place for next year's taxes. This was my first year of filing as a single person. After Steve passed away it made a huge difference in my taxes for this year. I still was able to file jointly last year for 2022 taxes. However...a bit different for 2023 taxes. Was it a shock? YES! I would be lying if I did not admit that. After the shock wore off, I went into action and I took care of the problem as best that I could. There should not be a shocker tax bill next year now. I took control.

As for my sweet Maggie Mae, she will be on this medicine for life. Two pills a day given 12 hours apart. I have reset my own alarm to give her the meds. It does mean no sleeping in on the weekends. She was so easy to house train. Never had a problem. The first time she had a leakage problem she popped up, turned around and saw it and looked at me in shock. She is so prim, prissy, and proper that it shocked her and she just did not know what to do. After going to her vet, he knew exactly what the problem was and gave me the medicine to try. Glory hallelujah it worked. In the beginning, I did miss a pill a few times. And BOOM! She was a bit upset that it happened. No fussing at her though. More fussing silently at myself for forgetting to give it to her at the right time. On the more positive note, I have become much better at remembering. I MUST set my IPhone alarm. And there you go...two problems solved at once. I set the alarm for when to take my own Arthritis Tylenol and to use the gel to massage on my knees. It all works out. 

My joints have gotten better since I went on my healthy journey to lose weight. Now that I am 4 - 6 sizes smaller, I am sleeping better, moving better, and have the energy to get up and go places. Just that I no longer have Steve to go with. We went everywhere together. We were season ticket holders for the Redbirds, the Grizzlies and Live at the Garden concerts, as well as going to concerts of artists that we loved, and at the community theaters and the Broadway productions brought in to The Orpheum. Plus special times to just go out and have a breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner together with no cooking ourselves. Even though both of us loved to cook together. We would take turns being the head chef and the sous chef. Good times!

I have been working on that problem also. I have a wonderful group of friends that we have nicknamed ourselves The Lunch Bunch to go out for lunches. Also I have set up some lunch dates with my cousin who lives nearby so that we can catch up on our news monthly. Plus, she and I are going to see a play together. But when there is no one to go with, I boldly just buy my ticket and go alone. So far, I have seen Hamlet and Beautiful (the story of Carol King) as a single person. I have gone into Starbucks and Panera to work on some writing alone. My next adventure is to go in alone to have a lunch at a nice restaurant.

This has truly become my motto. I went on my healthy journey and lost all of my weight which has made my self-confidence boost sky high since I lost Steve. It is inspiration to live by. As I was going through the stages of losing my weight and posting my before and after pictures

I was asked what I was doing to lose so much weight and how hard it must have been. Truly, it was not hard. No other program ever worked for me, nor trained me and my mindset into eating healthy and exactly how to eat healthy and still be able to have some things that I totally avoided while on my actual journey. Now I am eating anything that I like and know how to eat like a normal person. I KNOW that I will not gain it back. No more yo-yo diets for me! I have a whole new wardrobe and got rid of the old and never want to see them again. What I was told quite often was that I was an inspiration to others. Me? I did not set out to be. So now, I am considering becoming a Coach for the program. If you or anyone that you know may be interested in finding out more information, you can find me on Facebook under Donna Jo Dillard Miles and let me know. Or leave a comment on this blog with your name and number for me to contact you. I have a wonderful Coach. She told me about the way she lost the weight and connected me to a community where I could see for myself. She, as other coaches are not out to give sale pitches. They are only there to get the information to you if you are interested. That is what made me want to go for it. 

I have learned that one should never say never. You just have to go with the flow and the this is where 'the flow' is taking me now. I see so many friends and acquaintances who took this journey and have continued to keep the weight off for many years. It is easy when you have the tools and the community to help you. 

Sunday, April 7, 2024



It can be exciting to go on an adventure of finding ways to express yourself creatively. Many times the thought of doing so goes straight to painting or drawing, as if only these activities involve being creative. Although, that is a great way of doing so, it is not the only way. Creativeness is all around us. 

Dare yourself to get BOLD about what brings you joy. Have the courage to go for it. are not limited to just one way. The more-the merrier is my motto. At least to try them out. 

There are so many creative outlets that it would be a shame to leave some of them out of at least trying. It definitely has been a positive in my life to at least acknowledge and sometimes embrace my inner artist; whatever that form may be. I have found that it has opened up a brighter and fuller life for myself. It is a way to closely connect to my more authentic self and adds a satisfaction in unlocking my own unique gifts and the potential that is there.

Finding this out while in a 9 - 5 job was really important to me. Sometimes it could be a little frustrating in that I did not have the time that I needed to focus on my creativity at home. The good news was that I got to 'dabble' in different modes of creativeness so that when I did finally retire it made it easier to focus on what made me happy. Retirement was the perfect time to explore more of my creative side. It must be nurtured. We all nurture (or try to) our physical well-being. It is a fact that our creative side must be tended to also. 

Sometimes there is a fear of being wrong. There is no right or wrong in being creative. Well, perhaps I am not the best singer or musician in the world but I can sing my way through my showers. I can strum on my guitar when the mood hits me and I can also sing along with my playlists. There is nothing wrong about that. 

I feel that my strongest creative side is in not only painting and drawing but in writing. If I had not explored these areas then how would I know that?

So go ahead and become connected to not only yourself but to others by finding a creative purpose in your life. Never under nourish what makes you feel good and live that life. We are all so worth it. 

It is a good thing to share your uniqueness. How else would I have known that knitting, crocheting, and needlepointing just was not my thing. I tried it when someone shared their own skills with me. It brought them great joy which was a great thing for them. It just was not for me. 

The important thing is that others' ideas were shared with me. This is always a good thing for both the person sharing and the person who received a new way of being creative. (even if the idea is not one for them) You never know if you don't try. It is important to keep an open mind.

Let's just all dare ourselves to express the creativity inside our own souls.