Time to make some changes – March 2021

This past year was not the best year for many reasons, and I think many of you can probably relate. So this year, I decided to make some small changes that I thought might help my overall physical and mental health.  For the past two months I’ve written about the goals I’m hoping to achieve, and you can read about those goals here.

I must admit, February was awful. The only goal I continued with was my daily step goal. I was able to manage 10,000 to 12,000 steps per day but gave up on all my other goals after the first week. I know the reason I didn’t do so well was because of some personal issues I was dealing with at the beginning of the month, and I just couldn’t get motivated after dealing with all of that. So after the first week of February, I decided to give myself the rest of the month off and restart my goals at the beginning of March.

Needless to say, I’m happy February is behind me now and I’m hopeful that my emotional state will just keep improving. I haven’t even weighed myself yet because I’m afraid to look at the scale. I have a doctor’s appointment scheduled at the end of this month, and I was really hoping to be in better physical shape by then. I know I can’t achieve all of my goals overnight, so I’m giving myself a little bit of grace, and I’m also giving myself some credit for at least sticking to my walking routine. I’ll be back next month and hopefully, by then, I’ll have better news to share. I’m determined not to give up because I know that won’t get me anywhere. So here’s to restarting once again! 🍻 Cheers! ~M xo

Time to make some changes – Part II

This past year was not the best year for many reasons, and I think many of you can probably relate. So this year, I decided to make some small changes that I thought might help my overall physical and mental health.  Last month I wrote about the goals that I aimed to achieve, and you can read about those goals here. And this month, I just wanted to give a quick update on how things have been going.

Here are the goals I was originally aiming for and the results of my efforts:

1.) Drink one gallon of water daily, which equals four water bottles.

Drinking one gallon of water a day proved to be fairly easy, and I didn’t miss a single day. There were a few times when I’d forgotten and ended up having to drink about half a gallon right before bedtime. When that happened, it made for a very sleep deprived night as I found myself getting up to pee every five minutes. Lol… Luckily I learned my lesson and adjusted my water drinking schedule so that I could finish all of my water earlier in the day.

2.) Lose 5 lbs. a month until I’m at my goal weight, which is 125 lbs.

I decided that weighing myself every day or every week was probably not a smart idea. From past experiences, I’ve always found the results of frequently weighing myself to be defeating at best, and so I decided to only weigh myself once a month. This morning, I weighed myself for the first time, and I am pleased to say that I was able to lose four pounds this month. It’s not as much as I was hoping for, but it’s at least a start.

3.) Eat oatmeal every day to help lower my cholesterol and eat Cheerios as my snack, which is healthier than chips.

I started the month eating Cheerios as my snack but ended the month caving into my cravings for other snacks. I think once I started seeing what seemed like good results; I gave myself a little more freedom to eat more of what I shouldn’t. I did alright with eating oatmeal on the days that I ate breakfast, but when I wasn’t hungry for breakfast, I didn’t eat oatmeal at all. I still don’t know if eating oatmeal has affected my cholesterol levels or not, and that’s probably something I won’t find out until I have repeat blood work done at the end of the year. I plan to stick with this goal, but I also want to be more diligent in my efforts.

4.) Finish reading one book every month.

I surprised myself and actually finished a book this month. I started by rereading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling. Although I didn’t find the book to be as exciting as the first time I read it, I still enjoyed it, and I realized just how different the book is from the movie. I decided this month to take a break from the HP series and read the book “Home: A Memoir of My Early Years” by Julie Andrews.

5.) Walk at least 10,000 steps every day.

I was surprised to find that I averaged 12,000 steps per day. I’m going to continue with my goal of 10,000 steps a day, but aim for more if I can.

6.) Do a seven-minute workout every day.

I used the “7” App to achieve my seven-minute daily workout, and it was quite a challenge to keep up with it because I loathe any kind of rigorous exercise. But I am happy to announce that I actually stuck with it all month and only missed one day. I still don’t know how I missed that one day. It just completely slipped my mind, and I woke up the next morning wondering how I’d forgotten to do it. I plan to continue my workouts because they don’t take a lot of time, and they seem beneficial.

7.) Journal at the end of each day and keep a daily planner.

This was one goal that I didn’t stick with. I think I made it three days in when I found myself wondering what I could even write about. I’m generally stuck inside without much to talk about, and so it seemed repetitive to write about the same things every day. And the daily planner never got started because I decided not to take college classes this semester. I’ve decided, instead of journaling or keeping a daily planner for the rest of the year, that I’ll write down one thing that made me happy each day. I want to start looking for the things that bring joy to my life so that I can look back on the year and see all the things that made my life so special. Too often, I find myself focusing on the negative aspects and I know that doesn’t help me.

8.) Control portion sizes of food.

I think I’ve been doing reasonably well controlling the portion sizes of my food. I’ve been mostly measuring out my serving sizes, and I’m now better able to gauge how much I should be putting on my plate, even when I don’t measure out my food.

9.) Avoid adding butter, salt, and creamer to foods.

I’ve been good about avoiding all of these foods, but sometimes butter is still getting the best of me because I love it on bread. I also want to start avoiding mayonnaise for the rest of the year and anything that contains large amounts of fat calories.

10.) Avoid soda and alcohol.

I avoided all temptation to have soda or alcohol this month, and I plan to continue this goal for as long as possible. I just feel so much better when I eliminate these two types of drinks from my diet, and so I know it’s important that I maintain my efforts to avoid them.

I plan to continue giving monthly updates on my progress because I think it helps me stay accountable. I hope all of you who have decided to make some changes this year have been successful. We just have to keep trying our best! Cheers to another month of success! ~M xo

Time to make some changes

This past year was not the best year for my physical and mental health.  I think the fact that I stayed home the majority of the time was a big factor, but I have also had some recent health issues and found out that there are some lifestyle changes that I need to make.  With all of that in mind, I decided to set some goals for myself.  Here are some of the changes that I want to try and make part of my daily routine.

Goals:

1.) Drink one gallon of water daily, which equals four water bottles. 

I have always had a problem staying hydrated, and recently my blood pressure has been really high.  So I did some research and found out that drinking more water can help lower blood pressure.  The reason water helps is because when your body becomes depleted of water, it tries to secure more water by retaining sodium, which can then cause high blood pressure.  Of course, I also learned that drinking too much water can cause high blood pressure and other health issues, so I plan to stick with the daily recommended amount, which is one gallon of water per day. 

2.) Lose 5 lbs. a month until I’m at my goal weight, which is 125 lbs.

I’ve noticed my weight slowly increasing over the past year.  I went from 127 lbs. to 140 lbs.  I think a lot of this is because I’ve been less active, but I’ve also been eating larger portions of food and eating when other family members are eating instead of when I’m actually hungry.  So I think by adjusting when I eat and measuring out my food, I’ll likely do better.

3.) Eat oatmeal every day to help lower my cholesterol and eat Cheerios as my snack, which is healthier than chips.

Oatmeal is supposed to be a good way to lower cholesterol, and I recently had two different doctors inform me that I need to get my cholesterol under control.  I really don’t want to go on medication, and I’ve been told I’m too young to be having this issue at my age, so I know I need to make some drastic changes to my diet.  I’m planning to watch my intake of greasy foods and eat more whole foods.  I also love eating chips, and dill pickle chips are my favorite.  So I’ve decided to switch to Cheerios, which I also enjoy.

4.) Finish reading one book every month.

I find myself starting a lot of books but not always finishing them, and I really do love books.  I also find reading to have a very calming effect on me, and since I’ve been struggling with a lot of anxiety lately, I thought putting reading on my goal list would help provide me with a reprieve from the daily stresses.

5.) Walk at least 10,000 steps every day.

For the majority of 2020, I walked 10,000 steps a day.  Last month though, I had some knee issues, and I completely stopped walking.  Over the past few weeks, since my knee is better, I’ve gotten my regular walking routine back, and I’m starting to feel so much better because of it.  So I just want to continue doing this, and it’s probably a goal I will try to continue for the rest of my life. 

6.) Do a seven-minute workout every day.

I recently found this app called “7,” which is a free daily workout app.  (It’s the blue one in case any of you decide to look for it in the app store.)  I love the app already because you just hit the go button, and it gives you a different seven minute timed workout for each day of the week.  I ended up doing the workout with my family today, and it really kicked my butt.  Lol… It just shows me how out of shape I really am. 

7.) Journal at the end of each day and keep a daily planner.

Keeping a journal is something I’ve done off and on for years, but I want to start sticking with it more often, even if I don’t write a lot.  Plus, with the new school semester starting soon, I need to have a daily planner to keep track of my studies and daily goals. 

8.) Control portion sizes of food.

As I already mentioned, I need to be better about this, and I think measuring out my food will help.

9.) Avoid adding butter, salt, and creamer to foods.

I always lose weight when I eliminate butter and creamer, and I figure cutting out sodium can’t hurt either.

10.) Avoid soda and alcohol.  

I always feel so sluggish when I give into my cravings for soda, and I don’t typically drink a lot of alcohol.  Still, in recent months I started drinking more wine than I usually do.  So with all the medical issues I’ve been having, I’ve just decided to eliminate alcohol to see if it helps me feel better.  I figure it can’t hurt, and it’s something I can certainly live without.

Anyway, these are just some of the changes that I’ve decided to make.  I think all of these goals have the potential to become permanent changes in my life.  I hope everyone can do better in this new year.  We just have to keep on trying.

Happy New Year, everyone!  ~M xo


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/change-new-beginning-renewal-671374/

August 2018 writing prompt participants

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Happy Saturday everyone!  I can hardly believe it, but we’ve managed a whole year of writing prompts now and we have one person who has managed to do every single one of them.  Dorinda Duclos, you’re the queen of poetry and we all love you because of your tremendous talent and dedication.  Here’s to another great year!  🍾🥂 🎉

  1. A fragrant fog

Night Owl Poetry – https://dorindaduclos.com/2018/08/01/the-fragrant-fog-poetry-augustwriting/

Cosistories – https://cosistories.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/a-fragrant-fog/

Playing with words – https://playingwithwords.blog/2018/08/01/a-fragrant-fog/

Walt’s writings – https://waltswritingsonlife.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/a-month-of-august-prompts-in-one-day/#more-3417

A soldier’s walk – https://asoldierswalk.com/2018/08/01/a-fragrant-fog/

Having Fun Blogging – https://stc7029.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/fragrant-fog/

Afterwards – https://afterwards.blog/2018/08/14/fragrant-fog-room-101/

Continue reading “August 2018 writing prompt participants”

June writing prompt participants

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Congratulations to all of you who participated in the prompts for June.  I thought I’d be able to participate myself, but life seemed to get the better of me.  Here’s to hoping that July will inspire us all!  Have a great month everyone!  ~M xo

June Writing Prompt Participants

  1. A sprinkle of balderdash

Having fun blogging – https://stc7029.wordpress.com/2018/06/02/a-sprinkle-of-balderdash/

Night Owl Poetry – https://dorindaduclos.com/2018/06/01/a-sprinkle-of-balderdash-junewriting-poetry/

Jaquintinwriter – https://jaquintinwriter.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/a-sprinkle-of-balderdash/

Playing with words – https://playingwithwords.blog/2018/06/01/a-sprinkle-of-balderdash/

The Bag Lady – https://rugby843.blog/2018/06/01/putting-my-feet-in-the-dirt-june-1/

Walt’s Writings – https://waltswritingsonlife.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/a-month-of-june-prompts-in-one-day/#more-3154

Afterwards – https://afterwards.blog/2018/06/04/a-sprinkle-of-balderdash/

Continue reading “June writing prompt participants”

November Writing Prompts #NaNoWriMo

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Well, we’re finally into November!  Can you believe it?  And since many of you are taking part in NaNoWriMo this month, including myself, I wanted to give you an idea on how you can use these prompts to help during your novel writing endeavors.

First of all, I’d like you to think about your morning routine.  What gets you moving in the morning?  What wakes you up and gets your mind motivated to write?  If you happen to struggle with motivation like so many of us do, here’s a simple thing that can help inspire you to write each and every day.  I do this with my daughters every morning, and it really helps to spark the flow of creativity.

Begin by settling into your favorite place in the house with a hot drink to warm your waking bones.  Once you’ve warmed up a bit; grab your journal, a trusty pen, and a timer.  Then, set your timer for ten minutes and begin writing about one of the prompts listed below.  Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, neatness, or anything like that; just write!  Write about anything and everything that comes to your mind, and don’t stop until the ten minutes are up.

I often find myself writing short stories or poems during those ten minutes, but you can write about anything you like.  And don’t be alarmed if what you’ve written doesn’t quite make sense.  The whole idea behind doing this exercise is to get your mind ready and working so that you can begin your day.  Just think of it as exercise for your brain, and once you’ve done your ten minutes of writing, you’ll feel more prepared to tackle that novel which is just begging to be written!

And just to let you all know, I will still try to write a few poems this month, but will mostly be focusing on writing my novel.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit my new blog where I’m now posting all of my poetry, then please stop by for a visit one of these days and have a look!  Here’s where I can be found… Her Writing Haven.

Good luck everyone… and let the writing begin!  ~M xo

1. Cradled and cocooned
2. Unassuming diversions
3. Deepest desires
4. Prolonged agony
5. Musical undertones
6. A chance meeting
7. Scalloped edges
8. Incessant dreaming
9. Beads of sweat
10. Flaming arrows
11. Killing curiosity
12. Still of night
13. Breezy blunders
14. Mediocrity and milkshakes
15. Bamboozled
16. Insignificant artifacts
17. Orion’s Belt
18. Fastidious matters
19. Teardrops and teacups
20. Iridescent truths
21. Crunchy munchies
22. Wheezing and sneezing
23. Jumbled words
24. Temporary turmoil
25. Naked canvas
26. Fractured figures
27. Neverending sugar cubes
28. Ceiling wax
29. The art of boredom
30. Bedknobs and broomsticks


Photo credit: pixabay.com

Is true happiness really achievable?

My goal for 2017 was to bring happiness to others.  We’re only ten days in, and I already feel like the exact opposite has occurred.  It really seemed like such an easy task too.  I thought I could just be more positive, portray an air of happiness, and then everyone else would just follow suit.  Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to work?  Lead by example and everyone will follow… am I right?  And yet it hasn’t worked at all.

I know I’m not very good at hiding my true feelings, but I thought I was doing a really good job of at least controlling the negative ones.  I suppose I’ve come to the conclusion, that I can’t fool anyone, least of all myself.  I’m trying desperately to hide behind the positives though.  It’s the only way I can continue to live, without completely drowning in my own sorrows.  Its mind over matter… don’t you think?  Isn’t that the only way any of us can really survive?

We often try to fool ourselves into thinking we’re happy, because that’s what everyone is after.  We all want that wonderful happy life, which is so often fakely displayed everywhere we look.  Do you really believe that smiling family on Facebook, is happily living life free of any problems or issues?  And see this is the problem, we believe everyone else has everything so easy and so perfect, when in actuality, true happiness doesn’t really exist.

We need to realize that we aren’t ever going to be completely happy on this earth, or in this life, because that’s an impossibility.  It’s unfortunate though, because we live with the idea that it’s achievable, which only makes us feel like complete failures when we never obtain a perfectly happy life.  Having hope is one thing, but we’ve got to be realistic as well.

So I’m changing my goal for 2017.  I don’t want to bring happiness to others, but I want to show others how to find slivers of happiness right where they are.  In the misery and agony of our imperfect lives, there are sometimes moments of happiness. Fleeting as they are, we need to hold onto those moments, and bring them back into focus on those particular days, when grief overtakes our sad little lives.  We certainly can’t give up and quit, just because things aren’t going our way.

Anyway, enough of my ranting.  I’m not even sure any of what I’m saying is making any sense.  All I know is, I can’t continue to live my life waiting for perfection.  This is it, this is my God given life; and I’d better make the best of it, or I may not have one left at all.

Pure bliss and happiness, are closer than I once thought.

Well, today was a much better day.  I still don’t have a working cell phone, but I rather enjoyed unplugging for once and I think I accomplished a lot more because of it.  I’m still writing for Channillo, and so I added another chapter to my series today.  I’m up to 6 subscribers now!  Woo hoo!  Lol….  I know it doesn’t seem like much, but honestly… those 6 subscribers mean the world to me right now.  There’s just something about knowing that somebody, (anybody at all) is reading my very first book!  It tickles me to no end!  Yes, I’m smiling from ear to ear and doing the happy dance because of it.

Anyway, another thing that has me blissfully happy today, is the fact that I have been asked to start selling my poetry at one of our local shops downtown.  Today I was finally able to order most of the supplies that I will need.  I was able to find a ton of frames and mats on sale.  Now I just need to figure out how to personalize and decorate each one, to really make them stand out.  I’m just so excited to finally have the opportunity to move forward with selling some of my work.  I am no longer letting these opportunity’s pass me by.  It’s do or die time, and I need to be smart for once and take these God given opportunities that are finally crossing my path and just run with them. 

Things on the home front have been improving.  Hubby and I have really been working through some tough issues and I believe that we are finally making immense progress.  My future seems to be clearer than it has been in a long time, and we have even been talking about writing a book together.  Hubby’s a huge history buff and I’m not very good with remembering historical details as much as he is, so I think by combining my love for writing and his love of history, we may end up coming up with something pretty amazing.  He’s been jotting down some ideas, and I think after the first of the year, we will begin to have some time to really sit down and plan what we want to write about.

I was gone all last week, as my oldest daughter recently got married in California.  The ceremony was beautiful and each of them wrote their own vows to one another.  I feel truly blessed, knowing that my daughter was able to find such an amazing husband.  She is in good hands and I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that she will be well cared for.  They are both currently full-time missionary’s and seem excited to stay in the mission field. 

Now that I’m back in Wisconsin, I’m really missing the warm weather that we had out there.  Of course I don’t miss the constant traffic that we had to deal with and the fast pace of life that seems to be the norm out there.  After growing up in California, I vowed never to move back.   (And really how can you, when each house is a million dollars plus on average.)  I am still very much content in my choice to stay in the mid-west, where daily life is more relaxed, less expensive, and where I can actually breathe the air without coughing up a lung.

Today has been a wonderful day, I slept in late, ran errands, went to our church small group this evening, and then I came home and proceeded with the normal day to day stuff that I needed to catch up on.  I feel content and happy right now and since it’s getting late here, I should sign off.  So if you’re reading this, I really do hope that you have a wonderful God filled week, full of joy and happiness.  Much love, to all my faithful readers.  You guys are the best!  ~M  xoxo

 

What did you want to be?

Now that you’re all grown-up, tell me… What did you want to be when you were younger and did you eventually achieve your goal?

My parents told me that I wanted to be a singer and dancer when I grew up, although I have no recollection of ever saying such a thing.  I only remember thinking that I wanted to be a marine biologist.  And the funny thing is, I really have no idea what exactly a marine biologist does.  So if you’re a marine biologist… do share!

After graduating high school, I enlisted in the Army, and worked as an Intelligence Analyst for the next 5 years.  Once my enlistment was up, I decided it was time for a change.  I still had an interest in the science field, and so I pursued a degree in biotechnology.  I ended up working at a biotech company and stayed there for 7 years.  So I guess in a way, my dream of being in a science type field, did eventually come true.

The thought of being a singer or a dancer scares me to death, so I have no idea why I would have said such a thing.  I suppose this just shows how much we really do change over time.  Our ideas about what we should do with our lives, fluctuates all the time, and it can be frustrating when certain things we thought we should do, don’t turn out the way we had hoped.

Anyway, this was just something I was thinking about today.  Leave me a comment and tell me what you wanted to be when you grew up, and if you haven’t grown up yet, what do you still hope to become?

Pressing forward…

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Today I was reading over some of my favorite passages in scripture and came across Paul’s reminder; “Forget what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead.”  These scripture verses in Philippians 3:12-16, really spoke to me today and gave me the encouraging words I needed.  I hope by reading these words, you will be encouraged as well.

I also came across a related devotional over at: The Hill House

The devotional can be found here – Philippians 3:12-16 devotional

Philippians 3:12-16 (NASB)

12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on [a]so that I may lay hold of that [b]for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are [c]perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep [d]living by that same standard to which we have attained.

Hope everyone has a blessed Sunday!  ~M


Photo found at: pinterest.com

Quoted scripture found at: BibleGateway

 

 

What are you called to?

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“A calling isn’t about your plan; it’s about your purpose.  It isn’t a goal you set and plow through life to achieve; it’s a journey you spend your whole life discovering.  But if you understand how it works, you’ll be able to participate in it, instead of simply watching it go by.” ~Jeff Goins