Archives for January 2011

On Reaching Out

"Holding Hands" by Melvin_es on Flickr

Reach out to others.

Acknowledge their feelings.

Share their struggles.

Share your struggles.

Ask for help.

Help others.

About five years ago, I was at a friend’s house for a get together with several other friends.  While we were there, I noticed something didn’t seem quite right with her.  I didn’t know what, and I couldn’t put my finger on it.  I also noticed that something seemed off between her and her husband.  I had a really strong urge to ask her about it or send her a card letting her know that I was thinking about her.  But I didn’t.  I didn’t do anything.

Several months later, I was experiencing a really difficult time in my own life.  Through a chain of events, this same friend ended up at my house, and I confided in her.  I talked with her about what I was going through and my feelings about it.  She confided in me that she had experienced something similar several months prior to that.  Yes, the night I was at her house and sensed something wasn’t right was right in the middle of her crisis.  Call it what you want.  Instincts, coincidence, God.  Because of my religious views I tend to think it was God urging me to reach out to a friend in need.  I didn’t though.  I thought she might think it was weird.  So, I just didn’t.  I let my fear of what she might think keep me from reaching out to a friend who really needed a hand.  I’ve apologized.  She accepted.  But, I still remember how I felt when I realized everything that had happened.

Since then, I’ve been trying to do a better job letting friends and others know if I appreciate them, if I’m thinking of them, or anything else I might be feeling.  Recently, someone did the same thing for me.  After I led a meeting, someone from the meeting approached me and let me know she enjoyed the meeting.  She also thanked me for my work in making everyone feel welcome.  It came at just the right time for me as I’d been feeling frustrated with certain parts of leadership for the group, and I’d also been wondering how to make the meetings more inclusive.  It gave me the motivation to dig in again and keep on working.

That’s just one example, but I know that there are many from all our lives.  More honest communication is almost always better.  I’m sure there’s a point of too much honesty, 🙂 but I don’t think many of us are there yet.

So, today or tomorrow or the next time you feel the urge, reach out to someone.  Let them know how you feel.  Encourage them, ask for help, or do whatever is right for you.  But, do it.  Don’t let fear or pride stop you.  It’s worth it.

Mamavation Monday: Week 5

So, I’ve joined the gym, and I’ve been there several times.  I have really enjoyed it so far.  So, as long as I can keep my routine of going on Mondays and Thursdays, everything looks good on the gym front.  This week’s goal is to drink lots and LOTS more water.  I haven’t been feeling very bloggy lately, so I think this post will be short and sweet.

Previous weight loss:  4.4 lbs

This week’s loss:  .6 lbs

Total weight loss:  5 lbs

Mamavation Monday: Week 4

I am one of those people.  In fact, I believe I might be that person.  Let’s not pretend you don’t know who I’m talking about.  I’m the one who joins the gym right after New Year’s.  I’m one of those people who shows up on Mondays and Thursdays (and one of the weekend days) and uses the elliptical and treadmill that you had been using at that time for the last 8 months.

I’m sorry.

I didn’t mean to be that person.

Timing just worked out that way.  I had a baby in October and started thinking about joining the gym.  Then, we got a cold that would.not.go.away!  It was so frustrating.  By the time we all got healthy and feeling good, it was the week after New Year’s.  I don’t like to be that person.  I really don’t.  In fact, I almost waited until February just to avoid this situation.  Then, I remembered that I am worth it.  Instead of feeling bad about being one of the many, MANY people who joins the gym in January as a start of a new leaf or resolution or whatever it’s being called this time, and going twice before turning the leaf back the way it was, I’m going to make the best use of my membership, time, and equipment that I can.

Weight loss progress:

Previous weeks’ loss:  3 lbs.

This week’s loss:  1.4 lbs.

Total loss:  4.4 lbs

I’m Crafting My Life

 

I’m so excited!  I signed up for Amber’s Crafting My Life course.  What does Crafting My Life mean?  Here is a basic description from her website:

Crafting my Life is a 12 week online course about living with intention. During the class we figure out what we really want to be when we grow up, and then take steps to make that a reality. Crafting your life is about taking stock, finding your bliss, slaying your dragons, managing your money and learning a lot about yourself. It is also about finding support and community in like-minded people.

This is exactly what I’m looking for right now.  Living with intention?  That’s been on my radar for a while.  What we really want to be when we grow up?  Now that’s a blog post and a half, but it also mirrors the conversation I had with my book club last night.  Taking stock, slaying your dragons (i.e. confronting negativity), managing money, and learning a lot about yourself?  All things that I am interested in right now.

The first week’s topic is “Taking Stock.”  I’m hoping to set aside a couple hours a week for this course and really get some good time to evaluate where I am and what I want for my life in the next five years.

About six and a half  years ago, I was interviewing for a class I wanted to take, and the interviewer asked me, “What do you want for your life in 5 years?”  I answered immediately, “I want to be a mom.”  At the time it never occurred to me that there would be an answer for the time that co-existed with my time as a mom.  That was it.  That was my goal and my destination.  Now that I’m there, and loving where I’m at, I am looking for something that continues my journey.

What Do Elmo’s Healthy Heroes Eat? Cotton Candy and Snow Cones

From BumbleSweet on Flickr

From BumbleSweet via Flickr

This year, as part of their Christmas present, we decided to take the boys to Sesame Street Live.  This year’s show is called Elmo’s Healthy Heroes.  The description on the Sesame Street website says this about the show:

When Super Grover loses his superness, Sesame Street needs a hero! Never fear, Elmo and his team of Healthy Heroes are here. Teaching lessons of healthy habits through song and dance, Elmo, Abby Cadabby and your favorite Sesame Street friends will explore exercise, nutrition, sleep/energy and hygiene – all in a quest to put the “super” back in Super Grover. It’s Elmo’s Healthy Heroes to the rescue!

It wasn’t my first choice of places to be in the middle of the afternoon on New Year’s Eve, but I did it for the kids, right?  The show itself was fine.  All the “big” characters were there.  We had good seats so we were able to see the characters well, and at times they came down off the stage and dances in the aisles.  Asa like that.  Kael didn’t.

The gist of the show is that Grover doesn’t take care of himself, so he isn’t “super” anymore.  This of course isn’t revealed until the end.  However, while Grover is looking for his super-ness, his friends help solve problems through singing songs about exercise, nutrition, hygiene, and getting enough sleep.

After about 45 minutes, the characters left the stage and the lights came on.  There was an announcement that there would be a 15 minute intermission.  After all the talk about taking care of ourselves, health, nutrition, and making good choices imagine my surprise when during the intermission, a Sesame Street cart with snow cones and cotton candy turns on its lights.  Yes, that’s right.  The only two items that Sesame Street had to offer kids and their families to eat at Elmo’s Healthy Heroes were snow cones and cotton candy.

Taken from vistic via Flickr

Neither cotton candy nor snow cones have any real ingredients!  They are made up of sugar, artificial colors, and chemicals.  That’s the food that Sesame Street chose to sell the children who came to see Elmo’s Healthy Heroes.  There were no almonds, no popcorn, no carrots, heck, they didn’t even have cookies!  Cookies at least have FOOD in them!  No, the people behind Elmo’s Healthy Heroes chose to sell children snacks with no food in them other than sugar!

I pointed this inconsistency out to my husband at the performance, and all he did was shake his head.  He was also in disbelief.  It seemed to me like a perfect example of the difference between awareness and action.  It seems like every day, we’re hearing about some sort of awareness campaign.  Buying pink products, posting bra colors, participating in a day of social media silence, changing pictures on Facebook to cartoons, etc., etc., etc.  If you wanted to, you could participate in an awareness campaign every day of the week.  But, what are we doing with this awareness?  Seemingly, nothing.  How many people out there don’t know that breast cancer exists?  Great.  Breast cancer.  Now, you’re aware, too.  What about action?  What about doing something?  We all know that there are people out there who experience cancer, homelessness, hunger, obesity, abuse.

In my opinion, this is exactly what happened at Elmo’s Healthy Heroes.  They gave great lip service to being healthy and making good choices.  Kids heard the message.  Then, they missed their chance to take action.  Instead of offering fun, healthy foods, they went with something that was non-perishable, cheap, chemically based, and nutritionally worthless.

I wrote an email to Sesame Street expressing my frustration.  As expected, I haven’t received a reply.

_______________________

**As a side note, my children do not eat a perfect diet.  They eat sugar.  They eat artificial colors and chemicals in some of their foods.  They have eaten cotton candy before.  However, I did not expect to encounter this type of food as the only food being offered at an event supposedly dedicated to healthy living and making good choices regarding food and self-care.