Making a lifestyle change

Achievement Fitness, San Jose, CA

Achievement Fitness, San Jose, CA

In my last blog, I told you about a fitness and diet routine that I’ve been following for the last 5 months. It started with a 6 week challenge at Achievement Fitness in San Jose. Truly, this gym and the people I’ve met there have changed my life. Anyone who has ever attempted to lose weight has probably heard “It’s not about dieting, it’s about making a lifestyle change.” I don’t think I truly understood those words until now.

Let’s play catch-up!

The photo on the left was taken in Maui a little over 2 years ago.  The photo on the right is what I look like now.

The photo on the left was taken in Maui a little over 2 years ago. The photo on the right is what I look like now.

It’s a brand new day, a brand new life and it’s time to catch you up on what’s been happening. It’s been well over 9 months since I wrote my last blog post. I wish I had a fabulous excuse like I decided to drop out of life to live in Tahiti for the last 9 months; but alas, I do not. Life happens and sometimes it’s necessary to prioritize the things that are most important and allow other things to sit quietly in the corner until you are able to pick them up.

When something annoys or frustrates you, change your perspective. – Dr. Wayne Dyer

Dr. Wayne Dyer: Divine Love Workshop on Maui

Dr. Wayne Dyer: Divine Love Workshop on Maui

A little over a week ago, the world lost a beautiful soul and an amazing human being. Author of numerous self-help books, an international motivational speaker, Dr. Wayne Dyer touched so many lives in his time on this earth.

I am but one of many people around the world who has been moved and motivated by Dr. Dyer’s teachings. Like most people who followed him, I have read his books, watched his PBS specials and listened to his motivational CDs. I’ve also had the great fortune to attend one of his workshops in Maui.

Seeking that adrenaline rush

Skydiving

Skydiving

All too often, I think people get mired down by the responsibilities of life: kids (or in my case pets), family, finances, career etc …. We end up in a routine that becomes comfortable and familiar. There’s a sense of security that comes with that. However, every once in a while, I think it’s a good thing to step outside of that routine and do something that really shakes things up; something that gets the adrenaline going and makes you feel truly alive.

Caregiver Archetype

Caring for Bryce

Caring for Bryce

I’ve noticed as I’ve grown older, probably more so in the last decade, that I am becoming more and more like my Mom. The things that used to drive me crazy about her have now become my own idiosyncrasies.

  • Mom never sat still. There was always something that had to be done or had to be started. It was exhausting to watch her constantly moving and constantly doing.
  • Mom was never a procrastinator. She got things done and expected everyone else to tow the line as well.
  • Lastly, she made everything and everyone a priority, except herself.

I’m finding right now, that the latter trait pretty much defines my life.

I hate buying cars

Image courtesy of canstockphoto.com/hayatikayhan

Image courtesy of canstockphoto.com/hayatikayhan

For the 2nd time in a row, I am late with getting my blog post out. My excuse is that I’ve been to hell and back trying to buy a car.

Let me explain. I have a 1999 Honda with just over 157,000 miles on it that I had planned on driving to the 200,000 mile point. Since it’s a Honda, I thought my expectations were reasonable. However, 10 days ago, as my husband and I were driving back from dinner, going about 40mph, the engine stopped. The dashboard lights and the phone charger light were lit, but the engine was not running. Fortunately, my husband was driving and was able to move into the left hand turning lane. The car could actually start up, but if Gary didn’t get it into drive and move quickly, it would stall again. After 3 stops/starts and 1 “let the engine cool and jiggle some wires,” Gary got us home. Yes, he totally rocks!

The student can also be the teacher

Photo courtesy of canstockphoto.com/tang90246

Photo courtesy of canstockphoto.com/tang90246

I’ve spent the last year, researching and learning what it takes to publish a book. After almost a year of doing this, I still feel like there is so much more to learn and that what I know just barely scratches the surface. There are still days when it all seems overwhelming but thankfully, over time, those days are fewer and farther between.

Despite feeling like I’m still a neophyte in all of this, my friend, Adele pointed out, recently, just how far I really have come. She and I attended a Meetup about publishing with an emphasis on what goes into a contract between you and a publisher. During that meeting, I peppered the speaker with questions, and I offered up my experience to others attendees. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but later, on the drive home, Adele commented on just how much I really know and how easily I am now sharing what I’ve learned.

Who takes care of the caregiver?

Image courtesy of canstockphoto.com/Bialasiewicz

Image courtesy of canstockphoto.com/Bialasiewicz

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday and a few weeks back was the anniversary of when she passed away. So, she’s been on my mind lately. In 2004, my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It’s a devastating disease with a horrible prognosis. I flew to Boston immediately so I could go with my mom for her first visit to her oncologist. One of the first questions my mom asked was “how long?” The answer: 5–6 months.

Receiving news like this is heartbreaking and different people handle it in different ways. As the patient, my mom was stalwart and accepting right from the very beginning. Ever the pragmatist, she believed she had lived a long life; and if this was the hand that was dealt to her then so be it. She wasn’t angry. She wasn’t depressed. She just accepted it.

As her daughter, I was devastated. I didn’t want to watch my mom suffer through any of it. But as a caretaker, I never wanted her to know how affected I was by it. I promised myself right from the very beginning that no matter what happened, I would not look back on this time with any regret. I would be there for her, I would stand strong, and I would take care of her the best way I could even if I was falling apart inside.

Finding life’s sweet spot

Image courtesy of canstockphoto.com/nelosa

Image courtesy of canstockphoto.com/nelosa

A couple of weeks back, I had lunch with my friend, Kathy. We try to catch up every 2–3 months. She has been following my blog. So, she knew I’d been feeling overwhelmed. As always, she was patient, loving and kind as she listened to my woes. She stressed the importance of taking care of myself and being gentle with myself. In other words, cut myself some slack and be okay with not accomplishing everything I want to do. Figure out the priorities and let other stuff go. The question is How do I do that?

Kathy gave me a newspaper article. The article was titled “A balanced life: productive people hit the ‘Sweet Spot’ without being busy.” The article interviewed Christine Carter, the author of the book “The Sweet Spot: How to find your groove at home and at work.”

The book teaches you how to achieve more by doing less! It shows you how to find that balance in your life where everything flows smoothly. Life’s sweet spot is the optimum combination of factors that produces ease and happiness rather than stress and exhaustion. Sounds awesome!

I wish my dog could talk (part 2)

Bryce and his mom

Bryce and his mom

Since the beginning of December, things have been up and down with Bryce. He has his good days and he has his bad days. The good news is we have the arthritis under control. The bad news is the coughing and breathing issue is still a work in progress. The frustrating news is the colitis could be under control with food, but Bryce really hates the food. Trying to cope with all these issues is causing me to lose sleep … literally!