Posted in attitude, exercise, Lessons

Dire Conditions?

One person’s dire is another’s it’s not that big a deal. Dictionary.com defines dire as :
1. causing or involving great fear or suffering; dreadful; terrible: a dire calamity.2. indicating trouble, disaster, misfortune, or the like:
dire predictions about the stock market.3. urgent; desperate: in dire need of food.

I think that the key to life is to determine when I’ve reached a situation that is dire. This is especially true as I’ve gotten older. Those tasks I was once able to achieve such as scrambling up a step ladder to reach the top shelf in my kitchen – now that I can’t do it – dire or not that big a deal? Should I be focusing my exercise program in the direction of upward mobility on said ladder or let it go as one of the casualties of aging? Continue reading “Dire Conditions?”

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Posted in exercise, health, image, Lessons

Body Image

Back when I was growing up, a waif-like model named Twiggy burst onto the scene. A body replete with skin and bones and a short haircut was uncharacteristic of the times, yet as a super-model in England in the 1960’s, her influence on teenaged girls was instantaneous.

Back then, skinny was everything. We equated over-thinness with beauty and health, in priority order. I recall making sure that my hip bones were prominent when I laid on the beach. The more pronounced they were, the more attractive I believed I was.

Continue reading “Body Image”

Posted in attitude, health, Lessons, writing

How Writing Is Like Fishing

Having grown up at the ocean, I’ve always been fascinated by the people who cast their lines into the pounding surf.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve envied people who fish. Not for livelihood, but for pleasure. Their signs hanging on the office door when they are on vacation “Gone fishin’” filled me with a quiet sense of envy and sometimes despair that I didn’t pursue a similar activity to fill me with that much enjoyment.

On my morning strolls around the lake the fishermen and women standing by the water’s edge look so peaceful and fulfilled as they cast their line and wait, patiently for a bite. They rummage through their boxes to find just the right bait which they expertly place on their hooks with dexterous fingers. Rain, sun, crowds – none of it seems to matter as they block out the world in anticipation of their catch of the day. I often wonder if they are disappointed if their patience yields no catch or are they satisfied with just being there, united with nature, solitude and anticipation in the sheer bliss of the act of fishing.

Continue reading “How Writing Is Like Fishing”

Posted in attitude, health, Lessons

Lessons Learned from a Trip to France

I recently returned from a trip to Toulouse, France. Called La Ville Rose (or “Pink City”) for the pink stone used in many of the buildings, Toulouse is a wonderful, human-sized city.

The city of 950,000 is comprised of one-third students (Toulouse is second to Paris in the number of students who live there), one-third employees of Airbus (aeronautics), and one-third residents who just love being there. Toulouse is the 4th largest city in France, trailing Paris, Marseille and Lyon. My husband and I went to visit our grandson who is studying there for the summer. It took a while to make the arrangements, because life kept getting in the way, but I was determined to make this trip and we did! Continue reading “Lessons Learned from a Trip to France”

Posted in attitude, future, health, Lessons

Tabula Rasa: The Joy of a Task-Free Day

I was working in the yard the other day and heard the sounds of children laughing joyfully as they ran through the field, slid down the sliding board, swung high into the sky on a swing. I instinctively connected with their laughter as sounds of freedom.

As adults, we are often bombarded with tasks and responsibilities. In fact, isn’t the hallmark of adulthood being able to honor responsibilities? But, how many are enough? Is there not a point when we should begin to peel back the layers of overwork, before we suffer from heart attack, stroke and other maladies of stress? This, of course, is a hot topic and one which concerns most of us as we try to balance the “must-do’s” with the “wanna-do’s” of life.

 

Continue reading “Tabula Rasa: The Joy of a Task-Free Day”

Posted in attitude, future, Lessons, Self awareness

Out with the Old?

Organize. Dispose. Downsize. Reading baby boomer and retirement blogs, I’ve learned that successful aging requires completion of these tasks. Like a test for the successful boomer, if your life is contained in more than one storage unit, you’re not ready to pass the “go” of retirement. Tomes have been written about the importance of shedding unused clothes, yard tools and untouched, I-wonder-what’s-in-there? boxes hidden in dark attic corners. Getting rid of clutter is so ingrained in our mindset that it has evolved into its own verb: decluttering.

Continue reading “Out with the Old?”

Posted in Lessons, writing

The End or the Beginning?

It’s been awhile since I’ve written, and you know why? Because I found myself following the tried and true path that I’ve been on for awhile, and not following my passion–writing. Recently I wrote a short article entitled “Why I Write” which I have copied here (reprinted from the Maryland Writers’ Association newsletter at marylandwriters.org.

Why I Write

I write to get closer to my wild, especially when tame threatens to overtake me.

When I sit down to write, it’s like meeting myself for the first time. Especially when I take risks with my writing, it’s like, whoa, where have you been all my life?

When I write, I find myself to be charming, witty and irreverent, qualities that I love. I used to think I needed to look for them in a mate. When I started writing, I found them in myself!

I write to remind myself that my thoughts can stay with me, not just flit away to the next task.

I write to connect with that faraway voice that has always guided, prodded and cajoled me, even and especially when I pretend not to hear it.

I write to fill my head with heart-shaped thoughts when the world is angular and pointy and hurtful.

Each time I write I feel fearless.

I write to find my awesome self, which is a lifelong process (the writing, as well as the awesomeness).

As a career coach, I advise people to find work they love to be successful, happy and awesome.

I am merely practicing what I preach.

 

And, so, as I embark in earnest upon my writing career, it signifies an end to my prior life and responsibilities to others. Yet, like Route 1 in Key West, Florida, the end of the road is often the beginning. It’s my beginning.