Saturday, January 28

Our exciting Saturday

It's Saturday. Our one day to sleep in. Our daughter had a basketball game, which we attended and cheered at. Our son is playing with his friend, who's been on vacation all week. We've taken the dog for a walk, and had lunch. We now have the house to ourselves. And what are we doing?

Sitting in front of our computers, bored out of our minds!

My God, we are such an old married couple!

Thursday, January 26

Good Deed challenge?

It's almost February already! Has anyone started the year-long "good deed" challenge? I'm not sure what to call it. Pay it forward? Help me out, here.

I'm starting to ponder what my February deed will be. I'm interested in hearing what you all have or plan on doing. Would you please share your thoughts in the comments? If nothing else, it will certainly help everyone else get some good ideas for the months to come.

I just love making some stranger's day a little bit brighter with a surprise.

Monday, January 23

Living life out of the zone

Yesterday was an amazing day. Around here, we typically spend our Sundays skiing the local hill, paying homage to the beauty that surrounds us. And yes, we pick Sundays so we can get on the hill before the church crowd can get out of services. :-)

My family loves to get outside, no matter what time of year. Of course, I prefer the warm, sunny, sandy beaches the most, but it ain't happening where I live. (For those that don't know, I live in a landlocked state. I'm still not quite sure how that happened.) A few years ago, my husband learned how to snowboard. I was supposed to learn that year with him, but instead was spending my time hooked up to iv's and trying not to puke.

About 3 years ago, the kids and I learned how to ski. I had previously taken lessons and tried to learn boarding, but since I'm not one to risk life and limb, I decided that wasn't my sport. Hubby says I was *thisclose* but... whatever. I still wanted to be able to do something together as a family, however, so I took up skiing. Hey, if an 80 year old can learn to ski, I should be able to. Right? Let's just say, my kids can smoke me on the mountain.

I'm happy to report that after 3 seasons, I have made it to the point where I can go down a normal hill and not feel like I'm about to die. I mean, do any of you realize how steep some of those runs look to a newbie? Yikes! I took the quad lift up, which is the easiest to get off, thank you very much. I made my turns with a bunch of snowplows thrown in for good measure. And I did it 3 more times. Without killing myself. Or falling on my face. (Well, I did fall on my face. But that was so 2 runs ago! Yeesh!)

I'm so very thankful to my cousin, who is pretty much a pro snowboarder. He did give me some advice, but the reason I'm so thankful is that he didn't laugh when I lost a ski in a fall. He didn't mock me when I must have looked like an idiot all scrunched over trying not to bite it. He even stayed with us all when I was the one holding us back. Technically, he's my cousin by marriage. But in my heart, he's family, and I want to publicly thank my "real" cousin for marrying him. :-)

I don't quite know what the point of this post is. I guess it's a reminder that you're never too old to learn new things. Learning to ski was something completely out of my comfort zone. But these days, my zone is expanded. I've discovered there's really no harm in trying something new. If it sticks, great. If it doesn't work out, I haven't lost anything. Even the time spent doing it has not been a waste, as I always learn something from it. I love the feeling of living. And that means taking risks. Measured, thoughtful risks, but risks nonetheless.

What have you done outside your zone? Let me know in the comments. I love hearing about other people's victories.

Tuesday, January 10

The truth can be ugly, and today I had a moment

I'm about to tell you an ugly truth about myself...

Sometimes I get overly snarky and forget that teasing can be hurtful to others. I forget that in the written word, sometimes the tone can get lost and misinterpreted. Sometimes I just plain make the wrong decision.

Today was one of those days. I am not proud of this. But, I want to be honest with myself and the universe and admit that I was wrong.

There's a right way and a wrong way to say just about everything. And then there are times when saying nothing is the best choice of all. "If you can't say anything nice..." isn't that how the saying goes? Perhaps the prudent thing to do at this point is to say nothing at all for a while. Social media can be a cruel mistress. Or something like that.

Tomorrow is a new day, though, and I resolve to be back to my old self by then. I also resolve to stay the hell off of Facebook for a while. Clearly I cannot be trusted in my current frame of mind. I will, however, spend some extra time on the mat. It never fails to make me right again.

Friday, January 6

I want the old one back

So, I had a very strange thought in the shower this morning, and I'm not sure quite how I connected all this, so bear with me...

Oh, and I apologize in advance for the horrific image this post will leave in your head. :-)

Every morning after my shower, I have to use a squeegee (is that how you spell that??) to wipe down the glass enclosure. Believe me, if I didn't, there would be a huge disaster, and lots of elbow grease to correct the mistake! Last week, my husband put our squeegee through the dishwasher to clean it up. Nice thought, and well executed. Unfortunately, the dishwasher was a wee bit too hot for the thing, and it ended up not being able to perform it's duties afterward.

New squeegee in hand, I proceeded to wipe down the glass, and was frustrated by how poorly the new one performed. The old one was exactly the right width, and did a fantastic job of removing the water without leaving behind bits I had to go back and get again. The new one? Not so much. I started wishing for my old one back, just the way it was.

And then I had a thought.

That is exactly how I felt after my cancer treatments were done. I wanted the old me back, just the way it was. Old body (issues and all.) Old mindset (I'm young and don't have to think about death or illness for a while.) Old life.

I'm sure there are other traumas and tragedies in life that leave you feeling this way. Loss of a loved one or close friend. Child with a newly diagnosed health issue. Returning from a war. They all leave us feeling like we lost something we'd like back.

Now, 5 years out, I'm starting to believe my new life is better. I'm more tuned in to life. I'm much more appreciative of things. I see the scars all over my body and realize that I earned those babies! And while I'm not 100% proud of my body, I sure am more comfortable working with what I've got. I'm not longer ashamed of me.

Life is a journey. I'm still on mine. But now, I'm fully engaged in the moments that make up my life. I'm aware that I can change things, and I can accept things when I need to. I'm striving to live the life that makes me the most happy, and I'm not worrying about living a life that others think is appropriate.

Everyone has their own path. Be comfortable on yours. Seek out what makes you happy. Appreciate the joy you feel when you feel it. Share that joy with others, and encourage them to experience their own journey in their own way. What's good for you may not be for them, but that doesn't stop either of you from having a fulfilling life.

OK. I'm sure I've totally lost some of you with this post. I'm not so sure I totally understand my thoughts here, either. I know this: Life is amazing, and fully engaging in living it is even better!

Thursday, January 5

Off to a great start!

Remember when I told you I was going to do something nice every month in 2012? (It was so long ago... like 2 posts ago or something. :-)) Well, yesterday was the first time I had the opportunity to do something.

I was in Starbucks drive-thru, getting a coffee much later than I needed one. (Hello, 11am!) The young lady behind me was driving a bright yellow mustang, or something like that. She looked really young! Anyhoo, the Sbux gal and I were chatting while my coffee was being made, and she told me the girl behind me ordered a 16 oz peppermint mocha with 1/2 a shot of espresso. 1/2 a shot?! What kind of person orders a 1/2 shot? In that moment, I pulled out my wallet and paid for her drink.

I'm not sure if she cared at all that she just got a free drink, but that's not why I did it. She didn't wave. She didn't have a funny look on her face. She just drove off with her free drink and was on her way. And ya know what? I didn't care. Maybe someday she'll pay it forward, but that's not important.

It just feels good to do nice things. That's all. Try it, and see how you feel. Knowing you're a good person doing nice things changes you. You worry less about what other people think of you, and concentrate more on what you think of you. That's what's really important. You, being proud of who you are.

So, have you ever done this before? What other things have you done to pay it forward and make someone's day? I'd love to hear more ideas! Besides, I have a whole 12 months to fill. I need your help!