Life Update

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I just wanted to update you on what’s been going on lately.  Last weekend I had a sleep-over with a nine-year-old boy who is a friend of the family.  It was an exciting time, since we were also cutting down two very large trees (that needed to be cut down for safety reasons), worked with a wood chipper, and logs to be cut up.  There were plenty of things going on, including hauling tree limbs, and we fit in a two mile walk with the dog.  He was a big help, and we had a lot of fun!

I’ve been struggling with my depression lately and haven’t been getting as much accomplished as I would want.  I’m making an effort to take my St. John’s Wort when I should (I must admit that I don’t always take it three times a day) and working on writing down my goals and trying to accomplish at least some of them on a daily basis.  If any of you have struggled with depression please share how you’ve dealt with it in the comments below, maybe you’ve got some advice that could help others.

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And, last, but not least, I’m still looking forward to some more consistent spring weather.  As I’m writing this, I’ve got both fires going because we actually had some freezing rain last night, and it’s still pretty cold outside.  Once it starts to warm up, I can see Spring cleaning happening.  But for now, I won’t be washing windows until it gets a little warmer.  So, what’s going on with you?

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What About Education?

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It seems that in America the states have lots of money for building new prisons, but no money for education.  I am talking specifically about Oklahoma, but this is true of other states as well.  In full disclosure, I am the daughter of a teacher, and I also homeschooled my children from grades 3 to 8.  I believe strongly in a good education system where science and math are taught, along with accurate history, literature and the arts.  I well-rounded education is a requirement for a good society.  I’m not alone in this, since many of our ancestors were also in agreement.

I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to the various teachers strikes, but they were not only striking for more money (remember, a teacher must have a Bachelors degree in teaching, but also a Master’s Degree – that is six years of college), but they are also striking for newer textbooks (some are over twenty years old), there are not enough books for the number of students, there are leaking roofs, moldy walls and ceilings, exposed wires, broken desks and chairs, no paper, and the list goes on and on.

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So, my question is this?  How did this happen?  Why is education being slowly strangled due to lack of money?  As a child I can remember when people who were smart were looked up to.  At some point, many parts of society decided to wage a war on education.  Being “smart” became less desirable, with put-downs such as “nerd” and “geek” being used.  Being a “bookworm” was a negative thing.  I wish I knew why education is no longer valued.  I do have some thoughts, including the fact that if people are kept from learning deductive reasoning, they may be easier to trick.  I’m leaving some links below that I hope you will check out.  The videos of the schools are really difficult to watch because they look like third world schools.  Please comment on this subject below.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2014/02/05/americas-school-funding-problems-state-by-state/?noredirect=on

 

100+ Days of Change

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I know that it’s only April, but I did want to post a blog about my journey of change that I started on January 2nd – not the 1st since I was up long past my bedtime on New Year’s Eve!  So, my major change has been to work out every single morning this year.  Knock wood, but so far, I have managed to do this.  I also changed how I work out.  I initially started with a combination of Denise Austin, Fitness Blender and my old-school Soloflex machine, along with my daily walks.  Then I decided that instead of doing weights only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I would just do them every other day while trading off with pure cardio on the other days.  I don’t “do” leg day and then arm day – I just do all weights on one day.  This is easier for me, because one day is a longer workout, and the next is a little shorter – kind of like a “treat” on the shorter days.  And, we all need a treat once in a while.

Since I started in January I’ve made a few changes.  I started with a “lighter” Fitness Blender and then changed to a harder cardio.  But now I’m off Fitness Blender and am doing Boot Camp with Denise Austin instead.  I’m sure I’ll change that up at some point, but I’m enjoying huffing and puffing along with Denise.  I’d also like to eventually get back into Tae Bo with Billy Blanks, but I’m not there yet.  I have aged since the last time I did Tae Bo!  I’ve also added more miles to my weekly walking with the dog.  I’m trying to go on a longer walk at least three times a week, and I did do over 17 miles last week.

So, that being said, do I feel better?  Well, that’s a process I guess.  For the first month everything was sore, but I felt good.  Then, I hit a hard patch that lasted over a month and I just gritted my teeth and forced myself through it.  It wasn’t easy, and everything went wrong.  My back started to give me trouble, and everything just hurt – my knees, arms, legs.  But, for the past week or so, I’ve been feeling much better.  It does help to work out when you’ve just gotten up, because for the first part of it you’re not really awake!

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Is there a change?  Yes, I can see muscle, and my butt is looking less droopy.  I have more endurance and those long walks are not making my legs sore.  So, yes, there is a difference.  How are your goals for 2018 going?  Are you working on them, or have you given up?  Let me know in the comments below.  Remember that every day is a new beginning.

 

Good Old Friday the 13th

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Do you believe that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day?  I’m pretty much up in the air about this one, although I did turn 13 on Friday the 13th, and it was a pretty rotten year.  Looking back on it though, I feel that had more to do with being 13 than anything else.  If you believe in the superstition, just steer clear of black cats and don’t walk under ladders!

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The Importance of Positivity

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Here’s the thing, it’s really easy to be negative.  For whatever ludicrous reason, our brains tend to focus on negative comments and situations.  And that is the problem.  Negativity can become hard-wired onto our brains, and once that happens, we will create grooves of negativity right into our brains.  Crazy, but true.

So, that being said, what can you do to create a positive outlook?  It’s something that you’ll have to work at.  And, work it will be…since our natural tendency is to be critical, and look on the dark side of everything.

I know that I’ve written about this before, but the other morning, as I looked out the window after having just gotten out of bed, I realized that my first thoughts of the morning – almost every morning – were negative, and that made me want to cry.  That’s not the way to start a day.  So, mostly because I couldn’t think of anything else, I started to say my affirmations to myself.  Guess what?  I’ve been doing that first thing most mornings, and I’ve been feeling better.

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Depression has been dodging my footsteps for about two months now.  Rotten things have been happening since February, and they’ve been taking a toll.  I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and not in control.  But with consistent work, I’ve started feeling a little bit better.  There are always things in life that we can’t control, but now I’m making an effort to not worry about whether this or that might happen and realize that if it happens I’ll deal with it, but not before.  We can only take some things as they come, since we really have no ability to prepare for everything.  Worrying about maybes is just a waste of time.  And dwelling in the negative only creates more negativity.

So, affirmations first thing in the morning, realizing you can’t control everything, and trying to take things as the come are my order of business for now.  Positivity, positivity, positivity!

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Happy End of Week!

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Today is Friday, and I wanted to remind you all to make sure that you have a wonderful, fun weekend!  I hope that you get to do something fun rather than just running all the errands that you haven’t gotten to during the week.

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It’s important to take the time and do something relaxing and fun.  So, have a great weekend!

 

 

Announcement – I’m Making a Change

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I have been writing this blog since June, 2014, and for all that time, I’ve been putting three posts per week out into the world.  It’s been fun, and I’ve learned a lot, since many of my posts have taken some research.  However, lately my level of commitment has been leveling off, and I don’t feel as compelled to post as before.  Four years is a long time, and I need to write fewer posts in order to spend more time with my fiction writing and study commitments.

So, I will be posting only on Monday and Friday from now on.  In the future I may add a few Wednesday posts, maybe, but right now I need to focus on some other parts of my writing life.  So, rest assured, I’ll still be posting, just not three times a week.  Hope to share some of my creative pursuits with you in the future!

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