Is Self-Care Selfish?

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As you know, I’ve been rising early in order to work-out.  Sometimes that means that I’m up at 4:30 a.m. since I’ve been doing most of my walking in the morning, in my basement with Denise Austin.  Why you may ask?  Well, our heat index has been 105° on more than one occasion.  So, the other day, I was minding my own business when I was informed by a family member that the very fact that I work-out is extremely selfish of me.  I was taking time and doing something for myself that should be spent doing something (anything) for the family.

There was something so shocking about this statement that I was at a loss for words.  After reflection on this I wonder, what should I be doing at 4:30 am?  Vacuuming?  Washing the floors?  Dusting?  The fact of the matter is, if I wasn’t working out, I’d be sleeping.  But, how come all my time is supposed to be “for the family”?  Aren’t we all adults here?

The definition of selfish is to be concerned exclusively with oneself, to the detriment of others.  I seriously do not think that making extra time in my day to exercise has anything to do with the detriment of other family members.  I still do everything that I was doing before I started working out every day, so this statement is patently untrue.  However, the purpose of his saying this was deliberately to undermine what I was doing.  I have seen positive changes this year, and that is what is bothering some people in my immediate family, not just this one individual.  When you start to change your life, some people may see this as a negative directed at them.  For their own reasons, they were happy with the status quo and now you’ve gone and changed yourself in certain ways.  This can be a problem, but remember, if you are changing yourself for your own reasons, they don’t get to say what you should or shouldn’t do.  (As long as what you’re doing involves only you).  So, self-care is not selfish.

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Motivations for a Hot Summer Week

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It’s really hard to work toward your goals when the heat index is going into the upper 90°’s and lower 100°’s.  I know this and am right there with you!  However, since I’ve been working toward some of my goals every day since January, and I don’t want to jeopardize my goals, here are a few motivations for me and for you.

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July Goals and June Recap

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How did you do with your June goals?  Have you conquered and are you now standing at the top of your mountain, or are you like me, still struggling to get there?  Well, I guess I’ve given you and idea of how well I’ve done with all my June goals.  I’ve kept on getting up quite early, so my exercising goal is still going strong.  However, I’ve not achieved Tae Bo status yet.  Hopefully this month.  One of my exercise goals was to walk eighteen miles per week, and that went well.  My average mileage was 21 miles per week – so good for me!  My fiction writing has not gone very well, with other things taking precedence.  I did go to a movie and had some fun as well in June, so that was wonderful!

Here are my July Goals:

  1. Work on coaching certificate.
  2. Write more fiction.
  3. Keep exercising and add some Tae Bo to the mix.
  4. Organization.
  5. Cleaning.
  6. Again, and one of the most important – have some fun!

Let me know how you’re doing on your own goals.

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Does Peace Begin on Your Plate?

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There are many choices that we can make.  What you choose to put on your plate is definitely one of them.  While almost everyone who has chosen to forgo animal products grew up eating those same products, however, at some point these people made a choice to not add to the violence and destruction that is so pervasive in the world.  After all, if you can choose to not cause harm to anyone else – including other species, why wouldn’t you?  When I finally confronted that question myself, I knew that I had to get off the Vegetarian diet and become Vegan.

This was a hard decision, not because of myself, but because of the other people in my life, and others in general.  The meat and dairy industries generate a lot of money, approximately $864.2 billion annually in the U.S. alone.  Think of the incentive there is to vilify vegans, along with doctors who speak out against these industries, and you will see where the pervasive negative attitudes come from.  Not only are vegans portrayed in various media outlets as being slightly insane and/or obnoxious, but there are numerous examples of how extreme veganism is.  Why being vegan is considered extreme is beyond my understanding.  Isn’t raising an animal for the sole purpose of killing and eating that animal extreme?

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Not only are there the ethical questions regarding killing an animal that doesn’t want to die, but if you add to that the environmental damage done by the massive world-wide meat and dairy industry, you can see how the destruction becomes unsustainable.

Now, back to my question, does peace begin on your plate?  My answer is yes, of course it does.  There is only so much in the way of sustainable food, and when one country has a problem with consumption that causes others to suffer peace also suffers.  I’ve left links below for you to read.  Look up other information and decide for yourselves whether or not you believe that peace begins on your plate.

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https://www.google.com/search?q=How+much+money+does+the+meat+industry+make+a+year%3F&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjknMjQ4djbAhWs6IMKHZpCBUIQzmcIQQ&biw=1366&bih=654

http://www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2016/03/the-representation-of-food-on-television

http://science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/

https://content.sierraclub.org/grassrootsnetwork/team-news/2016/10/10-reasons-why-meat-and-dairy-industry-unsustainable-0

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cutting-back-on-meat-consumption-could-help-end-hunger-by-2030-experts_us_55f3424ee4b077ca094f27a5

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/world-hunger-population-growth-ditching-meat/

Positivity and Photos

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I’ve been feeling in need of a little positivity lately and thought that I’d share a few quotes along with some photos of nature that I’ve taken over the past few weeks.  Enjoy!

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Choices Do Exist

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With all the insanity and worry that’s been happening lately (school shootings, lost immigrant children, trade wars, White House issues, etc.), life seems to be way too overwhelming, and it’s too easy to become depressed over things that we really don’t have any control over.  As a matter of fact, there are a lot of things that we have no control over – our children/spouse’s actions, work issues, unexpected bills, etc.  So, how can we react when we’re depressed and overwhelmed?

It may sound too simple, but the only thing to do is to concentrate on what you can change.  I literally sign at least 50 petitions per week, and the number seems to keep on growing.  There is only so much that I can do, and petitions and letters to my congress people are just about the best thing I can accomplish.  I have no power (other than my vote/voice), so I try to use it every chance I get.  However, there is so much going on, and I can do so little.  This is just something that I have to realize that my power to make these kinds of changes is minimal, however, I keep doing what I can.

So, depression is a problem for me, and probably for a lot of people.  How do I handle it?  I try to spend time practicing gratitude (and, as I say myself, it is a practice).  And, finally, the last and best thing, is to follow the simple quote: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”  These are the words that I try to live by.  I’m not saying that I succeed all the time, but when I go out into the world I try to be as nice and friendly as I can.  One thing I don’t want to do is to make someone else’s life miserable.  So, I’m always trying to be as upbeat and friendly as I can manage.  Sometimes it’s easier than other times, but I’m always trying.  What are some things that you do?  Please share in the comments below.

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