Honoring Promises

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I had a wonderful friend who was roughly 40 years older than I am.  Her name was Millie and she lived across the street from me.  A few years after I met her she became my unofficial mother due to family problems.

Millie was always there with solutions to issues, a shoulder to cry on, or most importantly, a good story and a laugh.  My children loved to go visit Millie to “help” her with her chores, read, or just be with her.  She was a special person, and the closest thing to a grandmother they had.  We often talked books, characters and plots.  She was an avid reader also, and we were always comparing books and authors.  Eventually Millie became very sick with ALS, and died.  Since she was a fan of Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Series, one of her regrets was that she wouldn’t live long enough to finish the series.  Since her children didn’t read, she wanted me to read the entire “Kinsey Series” as she called it as a remembrance to her.

Y is for Yesterday

This task took me longer than I’d like to think about to complete.  I was always looking for ways to avoid it.  For one thing, I’d have to completely understand that she was gone, and not just away at the hospital, and this was something that took me a long time to get through.  For another thing, Sue Grafton hadn’t finished the series, and not only that, she was taking a long time to do so.  Finally, about two years or so ago, I decided I’d start the series and read it over a period of time, planning on finishing whenever the last novel was published.  This was not to be, since as all of us Sue Grafton fans know, the alphabet ends at “Y”.  (For those of you who don’t read Sue Grafton, she died in 2017 from cancer without finishing her series.)  So, for now, we’re all left wondering what did become of Kinsey Millhone?  I’ve put my imagination to work and come up with a few theories, but the truth is, we probably never will know.

S. Grafton

Sue Grafton

Honoring promises is important.  One reason for my not doing this sooner was fear that if I did finish, my memories of Millie would fade.  Yes, that is nonsensical, I know.  But, once I started the series, I was so glad.  The character of Kinsey Millhone has been an exciting one to get to know.  She’s added a lot to my life, and I often think about her.  Not only does Sue Grafton live on, but my wonderful friend and surrogate mother lives on as well.  Thank you, Millie, for this last gift.

 

 

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A Positive Outlook

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If you tend to dwell in negativity that is all that you will find.  Looking for the best in life will force you to find it.  We do tend to find what it is that we’re looking for, after all.  I know this can be difficult (I too have spent way too much time in negativity), but remember, if you change your focus, you can change your life.

When times are hard, look at what is going right and build positivity from there.  Life is never just one thing.  Positive and negative both surround us, but if you focus on the good things it will give you the strength to overcome the negative.

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Eggshells and You

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I just wanted to post this quote I found for those of you who are dealing with hyper-critical family members.  One of the terrible things about being criticized for everything you do, is how it dismantles your sense of self.  Remember when someone is belittling you, it says more about them then it does you.  No matter how hard it may be, look within for your sense of self, stand tall, and even if you have to dance in the shadows, dance.

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Where Thoughts Go, Energy Flows

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This is just a little reminder for you.  Try not to fill your brain up with negativity.  Even though negative thoughts are so easy, don’t be tempted to dwell on them. While we all know that it’s easier to think about how terrible a problem is, the only way to change it is to think of a solution.

While not every problem has a solution, sometimes the solution is to simply stop dwelling on the problem.  In life, there are always going to be things that we can’t change.  We can’t change someone else, so a solution is to stop dwelling on their behavior and think about something you can change – like not letting what they choose to do and say bother you.

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Of course, this is hard – negativity (complaining, dwelling on situations) is so much easier than positivity, and finding a solution.  Remember, it’s a process.  Like anything, it will take you quite a while to focus your energy on what you can do.  Put your thoughts toward positivity and see how it changes your life.

How do You Change Your Life?

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Most people probably have some thing or other about their life that they’d love to change.  Whether it’s their job, home or health, many people are not contented with all aspects of their lives.  As someone who has spent many years making goals and then failing to achieve said goals, I’ve recently realized why I didn’t achieve them.  There is a process to goal-making that many of us know:  write down your goal; set steps to take so you can achieve the goal; do the work. While this model is good, I’ve found it’s not going to get you where you want to go.  To do that, you have to add something else – affirmations.

Yep, for years I had the idea that affirmations were for “other people” and I didn’t really need them.  However, on January 2nd I started saying affirmations every night before I fell asleep.  And, guess what?  Somewhere in my beanie little brain, I started to think these affirmations just might be correct.  And, since my easiest (ha! – easy!) goal was getting up and working out, that’s what I’ve done.  I’ve now formed a habit, and I get up every morning between 4:45 and 6:00 (which is my idea of “sleeping late”) and work out.  I don’t do this because I “love it”, I do it because it’s my goal, and now has become a part of my daily routine.

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How did I come to this miraculous conclusion?  Well, when I was writing my 200+ Days of Change post, I began wondering why I was actually achieving this specific goal against all the odds – family, time, naysayers, ME, and realized that the affirmations were the only thing I was doing differently this time around.  My affirmations are specific to what I want to accomplish this year, but at the same time they are designed to increase my self-esteem and self-confidence (something a lot of people need to work on).  I believe that the most important ones I say are: “I am a worthy person”; “I believe in myself”; and “I love myself”.  Now that I’ve figured out this works, I’m going to start saying my affirmations in the morning, too.  Maybe this will help me start achieving my other goals, too.

If you have low self-esteem, or self-confidence issues, I urge you to say these affirmations to yourself as many times as you can every day.  Just keep saying them even if it makes you feel silly or uncomfortable – I had a really hard time at first, but just kept at it (fake it until you believe it).  See if you don’t feel differently after 30 or 60 days of being consistent.  It’s a small thing to do, but it just might help you change your life for the better.

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200+ Days of Change

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We are already 200+ days into 2018.  That fact is both surprising and horrifying at the same time.  I know that I’m not where I wanted to be by this time this year.  I don’t feel like I’ve done nearly the things that I wanted to.  However, the one thing that I’ve done, every day since January 2nd, is to work out.  Every. Single. Day.  Even the days with a heat index of 105° I have gotten up and worked out.  Last week was terribly hot and humid, but instead of walking my 2+miles outside in the heat, I walked in the morning, in my basement using a Denise Austin DVD.  So, I still got it done.  I achieved my 18 mile-a-week goal anyway.

So, there have been benefits – I’ve got some muscles, my Buddha-belly is smaller and my butt is no longer on the floor.  While I’ve added planks, twists and sit-ups; I’m still looking forward to finding that exact Billy Blanks workout so that I can get started on Tae Bo again.  For the record, I’m sure that I’m just being too picky and too worried about whether I can keep up.  There is nothing worse than thinking you’re doing well, and then trying a much too hard workout.  I’ve been consistently doing some Sun Salutations every day so that my flexibility has improved.  Am I happy with my progress?  Yes, but there is room for improvement.

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As far as reactions to my changing…my daughter has been a wonderful cheerleader.  However, there are other people in my life who have been less than enthusiastic.  As a matter of fact, they’ve recently gone out of their way to make my feel terrible for “wasting” time on making myself healthier.  When this behavior has happened in the past, I’ve actually been bullied into stopping.  Not. This. Time.  And, I’m beginning to apply this new mind-set to other areas of my life.  Hopefully I’ll have some other improvements in the next 100 days.  How have your changes been going?  Share and let us know!