Hey there friends! I can’t believe I’ve not posted a blog since January. At that time, I was apologizing for not blogging and lamenting over a lack of inspiration since my brother’s passing. It’s true that I’ve continued to struggle over my brother’s death. But some measure of peace and some answers to long-searched-for questions are beginning to emerge in my life these days.
For years I’ve written columns for newspapers, magazines and websites desiring to offer my readers hope, encouragement, joy, peace of mind. And my blogs had the same goal.
Since I’ve had more questions than answers and inspirations of late, I’ve decided to start sharing them with anyone who reads my blog in the hopes that somebody will share their answers and inspirations with me! And I will of course share any ideas, thoughts, insights that come to me, too!
For one thing, anyone who browses my website who doesn’t know me may wonder what I actually look like. I’ve recently added a couple of new photos to my website that some say look really different from my other pictures taken over the past couple of years. The picture with this blog is me with my lovely daughter the night before her Texas wedding day in March!
Well….You might say I’ve been remodeling myself in the past year!
I began a journey to have less pain in my body and I finally decided this journey had to include less weight and more exercise and activity. I mean after all, legs are made for walking, running, swimming, dancing. Not just sitting at a desk all day!
So yes, I’ve lost over 30 pounds and dropped from a size 12 (sometimes 14) to a size 6 over the course of this past year. I work with a trainer twice a week. I go for walks twice a day. What I eat and when I eat has changed big time from what I ate and when I ate a couple of years ago! Would I like to loose more weight? Yes, I would love to still drop another 10 pounds. But am I happy about the progress I’ve made so far? YES! And do I have less pain? YES!
As my body size got smaller, I decided to let my hair length get longer. My hair hasn’t been as long as it is now since I was probably 12 years old!
And the truth is I would be as white headed as my grandmother was in her 90’s if I didn’t color my hair. In fact, the white was becoming so predominant, my hairdresser had to begin coloring my hair every three weeks. When that wasn’t good enough, she suggested we go with a lighter hair color to better hide my white roots. So for the first time in my life, I became a blonde!
The funny thing is I’m beginning to conclude that blondes really do have more fun! Ha!
My appearance isn’t the only part of me that is being remodeled but I think I’ll wait for another blog to talk more about that!
I will conclude by saying something I know I’ve said before. It’s never too late to make changes or try something new or learn a new skill or discover a new talent or dream new dreams….
So what are you waiting for?
Just when I was having a bad day, feeling down on myself, filled with regrets, consumed with grief, beating myself up with a bunch of what I should have done lectures, a very dear friend sends me a video message that truly was a God-send.
I was reminded again that my mamma was right when she said we are all somebody’s angel!
So my friends, if you’re feeling like everything in your life is falling apart or you’re doubting your world changing capabilities or you’re wondering if you’re too much or not enough, I invite you to listen to this video.
In fact, after hearing on the news today about another heart-breaking young teen girl’s suicide, I intend to share this video with every young woman, teenager, girl I know!
I want every young woman to know how precious and important they are, that they are needed, and wanted! That yes, we may make choices we sometimes regret. But part of life is learning to make better choices. We all must learn this lesson. I know it may sometimes be bittersweet. I know this from experience. I’m learning such a lesson right now.
But I want all young women to know that nothing is worth ending their life. That they need not feel they must figure out solutions to their problems or mistakes alone. Ask for help. There is a world that desperately needs them, needs their talent, their insights, their accomplishments. And there are people in this world who can and will help.
I heard someone say that Amazon.com boasts more than 20,000 titles on the subject of happiness. Yet with all the reading we’re doing, many of us will still say we haven’t found it yet.
Some say a deep longing for happiness is at the heart of the desire for money, fame, and power. Perhaps the best advice anyone could give us, whether we’re married or single, is to stop waiting for happiness to come galloping over the next horizon.
From my own experience, happiness does not come from trying to be someone different than who we are, nor in running from here to somewhere else. Happiness is not in the things we desire nor is it based on conditions. Happiness is always within our reach, but to have it we must sometimes take a stand and mentally fight for our divine right to be happy.
Abraham Lincoln said, “People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Roman Emperor Marcus Antonius said, “No man is happy who does not think himself so.”
English journalist Roger L’Estrange said, “It is not the place nor the condition, but the mind alone that can make anyone happy or miserable.”
I have proven to myself that a change in attitude and viewpoint leads to a change in perspective and outlook, which inevitably results in improved situations. Living next door to in-laws who, in my early marriage years, often made me feel they weren’t pleased with my husband’s choice in a wife gave me many opportunities for implementing my attitude adjustment.
I believe happiness must be as consciously practiced as gratitude, forgiveness, and kindness. As with everything else, the more we practice it, the better we get at it.
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30th Birthday Party!
My little chick took flight twelve years ago now so my nest has been empty for a while. Of course, she did come home during a transitional time in her life after a divorce, but not for long. She soon spread her wings again and has been flying strong and high ever since. I’m so very proud of her as I watch her grow into this awesome, focused, clear, determined woman. She’s teaching 3 college classes this fall as she continues on her PhD journey.
Reading the many tweets, posts and blogs by new empty nesters reminds me of when I was in those same shoes. And while the ache in my heart is not as great as it was in the beginning, there are some ways I’m still trying to come into my own in this empty nest season of life.
I came across a passage from a book recently that, for me, seems to define the empty nest perfectly. Interestingly, it was in a Prevention Magazine article titled, “Menopause, An Owner’s Manual” written by Ginny Graves. And the passage was from a book titled, “The Wisdom of Menopause” by Christiane Northrup, MD.
She was defining menopause – been there done that, by the way. Although Christiane was describing menopause, I say an empty nest is:
“a time of rebirth of your deepest self. It’s like being in labor: It can be painful, but you have to believe that you’re going to come out of it with something beautiful.”
She continued, “When I was going through it, I finally quit putting my needs last and started making time for myself to write – which led to my biggest professional success. It was a real blessing!”
So dear brand new empty nesters and “old-timers” like me….
Imagine being reborn into a new beautiful you. You were already beautiful but it’s the new you that is exciting to think about. This is a special most precious time in your life. A time to be cherished and nurtured! A time that will bless you!
I finally BELIEVE this!
After thirty years of motherly advising my beautiful and intelligent daughter, I’m finally going to start taking my own advice. I’ve been in labor with this new me long enough! My latest epiphany!
Perhaps not the best way to word my blog title! The only time I actually listen to a radio these days is when in my car. We don’t get good radio reception in the countryside where I live. So most of my music listening is on my iPhone. And my main time to listen to music on my iPhone is when I’m taking a walk.
Here’s a secret for any man reading my blog: You can learn a lot about a woman’s state of mind by the songs she listens to. Or at least the songs I select seem to pretty much sum up what’s going on in my mind or life.
“A thousand years” by Christina Perri ~ I’m thinking about the love of my life in a forever, sexy, loving kind of way.
“All I want to do” by Sugarland ~ I’m ready for some snuggling with my hubby when I come in from my walk. (Or maybe I’m thinking about the snuggling we did before my walk!)
“Cowboy Casanova” by Carrie Underwood ~ Some man is in trouble!
“Daydream believer” by The Monkees ~ I’m reminiscing about some happy times in my youth.
“Ladies love country boys” by Trace Adkins ~ I’m feeling playful and want to go out on a date with my hubby.
“Where I come from” by Alan Jackson ~ I’m relishing in my southern roots.
“Good girl” by Carrie Underwood ~ I’m thinking about advice to give my daughter.
“Then” by Brad Paisley ~ I’m hoping my hubby thinks of me in this way.
“Walk this way” by Aerosmith ~ I need to do some power walking and need some motivation.
“Something more” by Sugarland ~ I play this song every walk. It means change is in the air!
I think that may be because of lyrics like “I need a little less hard time” and “I need a little more bliss” and “I got things to do before I die” and “I believe that happiness is something we create.” Playing this song means I have some ideas brewing to totally rock my world! So my family and friends had better watch out! Something new is coming soon!