Category Archives: Goals

She Believed She Could

This beautiful image courtesy of Artsy Pumpkin- Click HERE for the link.

“I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.”
Anne Lamott

Happy New Year! How was your holiday? I can’t believe it’s over already. Now it’s back to reality and real life! I couldn’t resist the above quote by Anne Lamott. She makes me laugh, cry and smile, sometimes all at the same time. Reading her books and writing can turn around my whole day.

Penny on the beach, Summer 2016

When I look back on this year, I can consider it an amazing one. I did many more events than I thought possible. My church had a centennial celebration that I was blessed to be a part of. Penelope Katherine, my newest grandchild, was born on January 24 and brought such joy to my (and the whole family’s) life. I published my first book, Ordinary is Extraordinary and sold more copies of it than I thought possible (thank you!).

On the flip side, I was sometimes overwhelmed by too much to do. As usual I think I am managing well but then a dark cloud comes over me. That is why that quote above is especially poignant. I can really relate to it. Sometimes it is other people that bother me, sometimes it is the situations I create myself.

My word of the year for 2016 was Believe. It was a great word and I have kept it in mind all year. I hoped to use it to deepen my faith and I believe I accomplished that goal. I also know I will always keep building my relationship with God. I am never done and He will never be rid of me.

In the past two months, I lost a good friend to cancer. Another friend of mine, who was to be a first time grandmother, experienced a stillborn loss that I am still struggling to believe. Both of these were deep losses that I felt (and am still feeling). This is the hard part of growing up, getting older. You lose people that you love, bad things happen and we don’t understand them.

I remember when my father died almost nineteen years ago. We didn’t really see it coming although he had been sick for quite a while. The day after his death the sun came up. Time waits for no one I thought. Despite the awful loss of my dad, the world did not stop. People came and went. Friends showed up.

Isn’t this how we get through life? We plod along and sometimes there is deep mud to walk through, rain that beats down on us, and the occasional lighting strikes. Then there are those days when the sun comes out, someone gets married, a baby is born, a new friend is made. These events are what makes life worth living.

May you go forward in 2017 with a renewed attitude, a motivation to learn something new, and an awareness of the grace that will surely come your way.

I wanted to share some highlights of my year. These moments were especially wonderful. xo

Penny’s Baptism

Meeting an old friend, Dreama after many years.

Watching my son John and his entrance into Fatherhood.

Our visit to Nantucket.

Watching Penny adore my mom.

Meeting Vivian Howard of “Chef and the Farmer”

My sisters, mom and I at the kick off party to the Centennial of my church.

Penny and me on Christmas Eve.

Siesta Key Florida March 2016.

Backpack Feeding Kickoff at FOCUS West Central PA

Last wedding of the season- Ashley and Eli, Photo by Michael Will

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Grace and Wellness

sunlight-through-the-fog-2

With the help of a good friend I am beginning a journey towards better self care. It’s not that I wasn’t good at it before but you know how it goes. Get busy, neglect sleep, eat poorly, and forget the exercise. The typical stuff of a mid life woman who tries to do too much.

I procrastinated about this wellness focus for months, waiting until my schedule finally cleared enough to give mental space (and energy) to the idea. My friend said to do this alittle at a time (thank God) and she sent me encouraging emails with her own health and wellness tips.

First up, a plant in my room. Sounds so simple but a plant provides oxygen and that can only be good. Second, I ordered a good book- Food Rules by Michael Pollan. I couldn’t resist skimming the first few chapters and wasn’t surprised. Eat more plants and don’t eat things that have more than five ingredients on the package. Right!

Of course it was a few days before Thanksgiving when I read this. I gave thought to what I was going to be eating on the holiday. Turkey, well, only one ingredient there. Baked yams and pineapple, pretty good.  Hawaiian rolls, probably not so good but delicious. Mashed potatoes made with Yukon golds, butter, and a little cream. I thought this really wasn’t so bad.

The pumpkin pie was made from a can that needed condensed milk and eggs. Mom made homemade crust with flour and crisco, a big no no I’m sure but heck, it’s the holiday right? Plus I am not going to tell mom not to make pie. 🙂

All in all, I would say I did not overeat on Thanksgiving. I felt fine afterwards. I cleaned up the kitchen and sealed up leftovers for the next day. No need to cook dinner tonight!

I think the hardest thing about health and wellness for me is putting myself first. Life is ongoing around my house. There are always things to do and some kind of agenda. Even though I no longer work full time, I have a million mundane things to do (laundry, housekeeping, dog, babysit Penny, help my mother). Prioritizing is key. The one gift of menopause has been the recognition that I can’t do it all. I don’t feel guilty saying no anymore. I’ve done the committees, the grunge work, the volunteering. It’s ok by me to say no.

Making an effort at better self care is good. Not feeling guilty about what I don’t accomplish is a challenge. Setting realistic expectations is the order of the day. The grace is in turning it over to the universe.

I hope you have a wonderful week! If you have any tips for self care, I’d love to hear them.

 

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Dreams With a Deadline

My Tupperware Lady Days!

My Tupperware Lady Days! Some serious goal setting times!

How are you at setting goals? Are you consistent about them or are you content to just take every day as it comes?

I am not the best when it comes to goal setting. I’m a recovering perfectionist and goals to a perfectionist can be an over the top thing, worthy of obsession. When I was a new mom, I was a super Tupperware lady for seven years. A newspaper article that interviewed me for a story on party plans called me “vivacious” (no kidding!). My cousin Gary called me this for years. 🙂  Truly though, I shied away from goals for fear of not making them. Back then our distributor would say, “Goals are dreams with a deadline.”

Over the years, I’ve realized what’s more important- my sanity or pushing myself to insanity.

That’s why I was intrigued when my friend Tracy Eisenmann did a Vision Board workshop last year. My friend Karen and I decided to do it together and had a grand time. We sipped wine, snipped and cut from magazines, and looked for pictures that would symbolize our forthcoming intentions.

My Vision Board

My Vision Board

After I created my board, I hung it up and looked at it often. Dreaming of what I might accomplish, I opened my heart to the possibilities. After a while I admit to putting the board in a closet. It left my mind and I went on to other things.

Recently, I got it out again and took a fresh look. Up in the left hand corner, there were two cars. One was black, the other was red. I am not kidding when I tell you we just bought two used cars in January and February respectively. My car is red. Jim’s car was dark grey.

I was alone in my house when I pulled the vision board back out of the closet. Out loud I said, “AND IT’S RED!”. I couldn’t believe so much of the board had come true.

Maya Angelou is in the bottom right corner as a dream weaver for my writing. I have always admired her. Remarkably, my first writing dream/goal has come true. I am going to tell you about my book “Ordinary is Extraordinary” within one week of this post. I will give you a link to order it. It will be ready for the women’s retreat at Antiochian Village on Saturday, April 2. I am going to speak about it.

This is a “pinch me” time. Sometimes I can’t sleep I’m so excited about it all. God has blessed me with a full wedding season, a new granddaughter, a book, and friendships so deep that I am amazed.

There’s a Vision Board Workshop on Friday evening of the Empowerment weekend (April 1). So I will be doing a new board and I’m so excited! I hear we will be accepting walk in’s on Saturday morning. I’m speaking at 9 am so get there early if you plan on coming at the last minute!

Thank you so much for being with me on my journey. We have so much more ground to cover. Let me know what’s exciting in your life!

For more info on the Empowerment Retreat, click HERE.

And for my worldwide blogger friends, here’s my latest Penelope picture!

Penelope Katherine- Two months old already!

Penelope Katherine- Two months old already!

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