The Joys of Organization

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Since I’ve been organizing and giving “stuff” away, I thought that I’d let you in on a secret.  Did you know that there is a joy to be found from having your house organized?  I know, it sounds too good to be true, right?  However, it is in fact, true.  Since part of my new plan for life includes such things as:  weekly meal planning, including shopping lists; filing paperwork as I open the mail (whoever even heard of that?); keeping my closets in the same organized way as I made them; and most of all, avoiding putting “stuff” on my dining room table, life is actually more pleasant. I don’t feel overwhelmed all the time.  Imagine that??

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So, while I have some way to go, my house is on its way to becoming a pleasant place.  The best thing is, it’s not as stress-producing as it used to be.  I don’t feel as “out-of-control” as I did before, and I’m a happier person.  Apparently, disarray does me no good.  And, believe it or not, I am still a creative person.  As a matter of fact, I feel even more creative, since it takes less time to clean when you don’t have to move all the piles of “stuff” before you clean.  I can see that being organized is indeed a good thing!

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Some Recent Pictures

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I’ve been looking forward to fall, but our weather has been crazy.  First, we’ll have a day or so of fall weather, and then we’re back into the upper 70’s or even the upper 80’s.  However, here are a few of the photos that I’ve taken. Hopefully the leaves will change a little more before they all fall off, and I’ll be able to get a few more fall-like pictures.

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Sunrise

 

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My walking buddy, Duffy.

Being Quiet

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The world that we live in is fast.  I know, I’m a person who runs around for a lot of my time trying to get things done as fast as I can.  I talk fast and I walk fast.  The sooner it’s done, the faster it’s over.  That’s usually how I live my life.  I speak so fast that it’s hard for others to understand what it is that I’m saying.  I’ve been working on slowing my speech down, and moving a little more slowly since I know that operating in a super-fast mode is doing myself no favors.  There is probably more than one reason I’ve got high blood pressure.  Slowing down is a struggle.  It’s something we all probably have to work on.  The real problem with living life in the fast lane is that you lose touch with your inner self.  Do you feel that you’ve got a “speed” problem?  Let me know how you deal with it in the comments below.

 

Negativity Kills Your Joy of Life

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Living with negative people is difficult.  Heck, even talking to negative people can cause you to feel like life isn’t worth living.  Especially with them.  For a while now, I’ve been trying to work on myself, change the things that I can and move forward with my own life.  However, when confronted consistently with someone whose goal is to make me feel less than, I find it difficult to remain positive.  I have no idea why this is happening, and I’ve decided that I am not going to spend any more time on wondering what I could have possibly done wrong to cause this abusive behavior.  Mostly because I am aware that it’s not just me that is suffering this abuse, and not one of the other people deserve it, either.  This is just who this person is.  Unfortunately, this is also a person who is a close family member that I apparently must live with.

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I wish I had wonderful advice to give anyone else who is in this situation, but I don’t.  I can tell you what it is that I’m doing to help cope.  First of all, I’ve been concentrating on improving myself.  I’ve been working on eating healthy, getting daily exercise, and working toward my goals.  I’ve also been working on decreasing my blood pressure by meditating as well as I can, (it’s a work in progress); practicing Yoga; and saying daily affirmations.  Self-worth is something that most of us have to work at, and right now my best way to help that is saying affirmations a couple of times a day.  In fact, I’ve found that the most positive thing I can do is to say them before I fall asleep.  That plants the positive in my mind so that it can work on my subconscious all night.  I’m working on saying them throughout the day, but I am not as consistent as I probably should be.   The other thing that I’ve been doing is to have as little reaction to the negative abuse as I can.  This is hard, but it helps.  If the negative person doesn’t get the reaction they desire, they will leave you alone.  If they don’t, my solution is to hide in the bathroom.

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If you are dealing with a highly negative person in your life, please let me know how you cope in the comments below.  This is a difficult way to live, and I would love to hear how you manage.

 

Aging

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Today is my birthday.  I’m not going to come right out and tell you my age, since I feel that mystery is a good thing.  However, I will tell you that even though I’m in my 50’s you wouldn’t be able to guess, since I’ve been blessed with both a baby-face, and good genes – not great, but good.  Until very recently I haven’t been taking care of my skin, instead choosing simply to put coconut oil on my face and neck every night for a number of years.  Although coconut oil is wonderful, I’ve decided that I’d probably benefit from some age-appropriate eye and face/neck night creams.  I’ve found some that I like, so that’s what I’ve been doing.  Next up on my list is to start using masks.  This is something that even though I am aware of them, I haven’t bothered to use them.

For a long time, I didn’t wear any make-up, I also didn’t bother to cut my hair for years and years at a time, choosing to wear it in a bun every single day.  I do cut my bangs with a variety of very crooked results, many of which have been amusing to the world at large.  However, as part of my effort to improve my life, I’ve started both wearing some make-up and I recently had my hair cut at a salon.  How transformative is that?

As I age, I can’t help but notice that people seem to feel that we need to fight against any obvious signs of aging, cover our gray/white hair, and pretend that we’re not getting any older.  And, for celebrities who have rocked the aging coin, Helen Mirren, we say they are “sexy for their age”.  No, Helen Mirren is sexy, period!   But exactly what is sexy, anyway.  True sexiness comes from within.  It’s confidence in yourself, and some people, like Helen, have that in spades!

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Since I read some fashion magazines (yes, it’s a little secret of mine), I find it upsetting that most models/celebrities who are featured are young or at the most, in their 40’s.  So, is it that as women we drop off the face of the earth as we become older?  I know that men get to age like “fine wine”, but what do we say about older women?  Usually, the nicest thing we say is that she “looks good for her age”, as though age is a thing we can fight and overcome.  Well, I’m here to let you in on a little secret, no matter how many facelifts and/or nip and tucks you get, you do indeed age.  It happens to ALL OF US!

So, what is my plan for aging?  Well, I’ve got those magic creams and masks.  I’m keeping my haircut up, and I’m thinking of using something to actually brighten my gray/white hair.  But most Importantly, I’m exercising, eating right and keeping myself moving.  Yes, I did just do a little dance to Saturday Night Fever in BJ’s this morning.  You know what, so did another woman who happened down my aisle.  We had fun!  So, yes, I will rage against the dying light.  Life is a gift, and I want to keep unwrapping it.

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Alcohol – What is it Good For?

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I think that by now, most people know that drinking isn’t good for them.  There are a variety of reasons why this is so.  The reasons why I’ve kept my alcohol intake to a small (or none) amount is that it’s a depressant, and I just don’t need that in my life.  The other reason is that if feel like I need all the brain cells I can get.  While these are reason enough as far as I’m concerned to drink very little – less than one alcohol beverage per month, I’ve recently come across some new evidence that leads me to believe that my small amount of imbibing is over completely.

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A new, relatively small study suggests that alcohol actually causes the shrinking of the hippocampus (the region in the brain that is associated with memory and navigation), as well as the white matter in the brain.  The more people drink, the greater the rate of shrinkage.

Now, this study involved 550 subjects over the years from 1985 continuing to the present.  While it was just the one study, I myself found the results to be troubling.  It seems to suggest that even moderate drinking can cause changes in the brain.

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Do you indulge in alcohol, and if so do you worry about the effect it could have on your brain?  For myself, I’m glad that I’ve always kept my alcohol intake on the extremely low side.  There is also the documentary”The Truth About Alcohol” on Netflix which is scientifically interesting without being boring in the least.  If you want to know more about the effect of alcohol on your health, I recommend watching it.   What do you think of  this new information?  Let me know in the comments.

https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/even-a-moderate-amount-of-drinking-could-cause-brain-decline/

 

 

Doctor Visit

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After eight years, I finally put on my “big-girl panties” and went to the doctor for a “wellness visit”.  Once again, when it came time to go for my pre-visit blood test, I almost backed out.  Seriously, after eight years of not having any tests done, why go now?  I feel healthy and only have a few questions.  However, the change now is this – who knows how long I’ll have health care?  I could lose it at any time, just as you could (if you live in the U.S.).  The cost of our insurance is sure to continue rising, and it looks like rising is the least of it.  I’ve heard up to 18% increases and more in my state alone.  So, I decided to keep my appointment, just in case.

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How did it go?  Great!  All my blood work was terrific.  The only problem is that once again my blood pressure was a little high.  Gee, I wonder if that has anything to do with how nervous I was?  My doctor suggested that I buy a cuff and take my pressure every day for two weeks and see if my normal pressure is lower than the one at his office.  So, that I will do.  If it is high during the day on a consistent basis, I’ve got to go back. I hope it’s not.

I do know that I’ve got a major “fight or flight” response, so in order to combat my stress I want to try just laying on my bed and practicing my yoga breathing since that is one thing that I know works for me.  I’m happy that I went, and I’m extremely happy that I’m healthy!

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