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.

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**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.