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.