Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Getting ready for the new year...

Aww, another new year, another set of resolutions and best intentions. I'm no exception and as I review last year's list, I didn't do too badly.
  • I'm healthier, although I need to get back to a disciplined exercise and running routine.
  • I have been writing more, perhaps not here on the blog (sorry!), but I have been forging ahead and writing as much as possible. More about that later. :)
  • I've gotten more organized...and that is an ever-moving target!
I didn't finish my two-year degree in December, though, and it will be May before I do. I will earn an Associate's Degree in Business Management on the same day that my 25-year-old daughter, Ryan, gets her Bachelor's in Education. We are both excited about that. I won't be done with my education, however, but will be continuing on for my Bachelor's in Integrated Studies. It's very nice to have all my liberal education requirements out of the way and to know that the rest of the classes I take will be for my major--classes I actually want to take. I'm psyched!

So, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday be it Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or something else....and that the new year brings fun, good health, and wonderment to you and yours.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday morning round up...

And here I am, three months later, posting my thoughts and opinions again. Did anyone miss me? :) Today's round up will be just a brief highlight of my world in the last three months and a couple additional thoughts.

1. My best and prettiest news: little granddaughter, Paisley Lace Taylor, was born on April 2 to my oldest son, Jeremy, and his fiance, Heidi. Absolutely gorgeous...complete with a head full of dark, wild hair. And she looks like her daddy. :)

2. I'm now entering the last year toward completion of my two-year Associates Degree...exactly 23 years after I took the first course (when Jeremy was just 5). I took a long break in there somewhere to raise a family, and to venture into a new life, but am now well on my way to the finish line. I won't be stopping with the Associates, though....which leads me to round up item #3.

3. After struggling to identify a bachelors degree that matched my career/business goals, I'm quite pleased to have found the answer: Miami's new BIS (Bachelor of Integrative Studies) degree. The degree requires a major in two disciplines (hence "integrative") and allowed me to design my own major. After much research, my two major concentrations will be: A) Strategic and Marketing Communications and B) Business and Technical Writing. I'm psyched.

4. I've become a runner. Oh, not the marathon type, but the just the 5K type. I've completed two 5K runs (one at Cincinnati's Pig Marathon events in May - a blast!) and have another one on June 26h. The goal is to run a 5K each month, and I'm training to run a 10K in the fall. I have to admit, this one even surprised ME! :)

5. In May, Glen and I spent a wonderful, warm, relaxing vacation in the Cayman Islands. We stayed at a resort on the East End of the island, the quieter and less traveled end. It was aboslutely perfect...in every way. It was tough to come back to the real world.

5. Our summer vacation plans include a trip to Montreal for the wedding of Glen's niece...and to spend time with his brothers and their families (who are wonderful, funny people!). Can hardly wait!

And now...till next time...hope everyone has a wonderful summer.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday morning round up...and then some

Ok, this week's round up is actually being written on Sunday morning, as originally intended. I could get used to this. I'm not going to rant about the stimulus package, though, or the president's new multi-trillion dollar budget plan. Instead, since at this very moment I'm suffering from one mother of a hot flash, I'm going to focus on a couple of things happening in my life.

1. If menstration and being the gender responsible for childbirth isn't enough, women must also suffer through menopause...complete with memory lapses (now, what did I wear to work yesterday?), irritability (exCUSE me? oh REALly?), hot flashes (do you mind if I undress right here?), achey joints (ouch!), unreliable cycles (again? already?), weight gain (my metabolism has not just slowed down, it has passed away) and did I mention irritibility (could someone hand me that ball bat?).
2. Ok, I know I don't have the body of a 25 year old...I don't think I ever did...but why, oh why, doesn't my body cooperate every once in a while? I'm exercising. I really am. And I have precious little to show for it. My body is refusing to let go of that extra 15 pounds it has managed to sneak on and it's now come to a battle of wills. Mine against my body's. My body is winning. But I'm stubborn.
3. Running is fun. I joined an exercise group who is training to walk, run or combo walk/run a 5K race in mid-April. We meet once a week, get tips and work out together, then have a training program to follow the rest of the week. I'm planning to walk/run the 5K, and I'm hoping to do the 10K at Cincinnati's Flying Pig Marathon in May. Getting off those extra 15 pounds would certainly help. Did I mention I'm stubborn?
4. Health issues have become regular concerns now. Not only does it take my own body a while to recover from a simple cold or fall (my own recent experiences), and of course I always worry about my parents' health, but I now find myself also worrying over health concerns of my friends and co-workers. In just the last two weeks, three lovely women friends have found lumps in their breasts. All three are getting biopsies or having the lumps removed. It's just another reminder that age brings with it a lot more to worry about than just 15 extra pounds. (And Suzie, if you're reading this, I'm so relieved and happy that everything turned out just fine.)
5. Did I already mention hot flashes, and irritibility? Oh yes. I did. Ok then. 'Nuff said.

And now I'm off to a broomball game. I'm the goalie. Woo hooo! Enjoy life, everyone. Even the hot moments.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Infinite Ways to Wellness

It seems that every person I know...both in my professional and personal life..is incredily stressed, super busy, exhausted, and pushed to the limit. While all the magazines and professionals tell us to slow down, relax, and take care of ourselves, we continue to forge ahead at break-neck speed and with break-back loads. But what's a person to do when life is coming at them from every direction? An economic crisis hangs over our heads. Work and family responsibilities increase. Stresses mount. And there simply aren't enough hours in the day any more. Well I've recently joined a program via my employer's Health and Well-Being (HWB) initiative titled "Infinite Ways to Wellness" which encourages participants to focus on improving six key areas of personal wellness: Intellectual, Emotional, Physical, Spiritual, Occupational and Social. I've just started the program, and thus my weekly log of activities.

It's interesting (and quite an eye opener) to realize just how much (or how little) I do for my own wellness in some of those areas. The program asks us to list what we do each week for our emotional wellness? physical wellness? social or intellectual wellness? As a part-time student, my coursework each week helps me to work on my intellectual health . And I'm also (through the same group) training to run/walk a 5K marathon in April so that motivates me to work on my physical health. But what about the others? The HWB group has provided lots of examples of things we can do under each category and they've encouraged us to come up with our own. The ultimate goal at the end of the12-week program, of course, is a more well-balanced, healthy (and happy) life. And I'm all for that. Aren't we all? I'll keep you posted as to how it goes. But for now, let's just say that I need to work on my emotional, occupational, social, and spiritual wellness.

So, take time to think about what you can do each day this week for your own personal wellness. How about a 10-minute stroll, or perhaps it's 10 minutes to yourself for quiet reflection, or maybe it's 10 minutes listening to your favorite blues songs? Whatever it is, try to shoot for 10 minutes each day...ok maybe just 5 minutes to start out...of your own personal wellness time. And fill that time with something you really enjoy. Good luck!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday round up....

Go Big Ben and the Steelers!! The hubby and I just returned a few hours ago from an anniversary weekend away, it's half-time and the Steelers are winning. Life is good. Real good. It would be better if my Bengals were playing the Cardinals instead, but alas, they are not. And sadly, it looks like it may be a while before we make the Superbowl. So...Go Steelers!

And here's the round up for this week...

1. Last year's Tom Petty performance was infinitely better than this year's Bruce Springsteen. Tom rocked! Bruce sounds like he is just barely going to make it through the current song. Someone get that man some oxygen...STAT! He probably should have skipped trying to climb atop that piano.
2. I laughed out loud at the commercial where the office worker suggests eliminating BudLight at meetings to cut costs and his colleagues promptly throw him out the window..chair and all! Now that's funny stuff.
3. Jennifer Hudson looked and sounded amazing singing the National Anthem. She nailed it beautifully...her voice is just glorious.
4. Being married five years feels good. It doesn't hurt that my hubby is a sweetheart of a guy, and the years are flying by. It certainly doesn't seem like five years. Did I mention this already? Life is good.
5. The older I get and the more winters I spend in Ohio, the more I understand having a seasonal home in Florida. I really do.
6. And finally, just a bit about this mind-boggling $900 billion stimulus package that's working it's way through our government. I'm worried. Really worried. I'm concerned that these bail-out and stimulus packages are going to help but a scant few. It's sure to create bigger government and loads of "projects" but it will do very little to fix the actual problems. Bail-outs and stimulus packages cannot do what should be one....and that's to make absolutely certain that people at all levels of the economic puzzle learn their lessons. Save more, spend less. Don't bite off more than you can chew (or pay back). Reform loaning practices. If you loan to people who can't pay you back, then you must suffer the consequences. If you bought more house than you can afford, you deserve to lose it. If you have amassed large credit card debt, well guess what, you are responsible for paying it back. If that means you have to scale back your lifestyle, then do it. I think the economy, businesses, and our individual lifestyles need to suffer the consequences of our actions and then our economy will then rebuild strength on its own. Without government interference and "stimulus." Strong companies will survive, weak companies will not. As it should be. If we don't do it that way, if instead we are all rescued, bailed out, and stimulated, then none of us will learn anything. None of us and nothing will really change. And that's not going to help us. At all.

And on that note, I'm headed off to work on my taxes. :) Happy February everyone!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sunday morning round up...on Tuesday

Here's the Sunday morning round up....a bit late, but still insightful. Or maybe not.

1. The Inauguration - what can I say? It was a monumental day for America...one to be proud of and to reflect on. I wish our new president well and hope he can accomplish all the things he has promised and the goals he has set for himself and our country. President Obama and his family are heartwarming in their love and devotion to each other. I like that. He's also incredibly articulate and a joy to listen to. I like that too.
2. The Inauguration - what can I also say? It was embarrassingly, astronomically, uncomfortably expensive. At a time when the country is toppling ever deeper into a recession, good folks are losing their homes and their jobs, and families are struggling to afford groceries, heat, and basic living expenses, spending $175 million on a "ceremony" seems self-serving and irresponsible at best, and incredibly selfish and short-sighted at worst. While the reason for the event is inspiring and heartening, the resulting budget for it is not. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
3. The Inauguration - what else can I say? I hope our new president is able to live up to the adulation, hero-worship, and incredibly high expectations being thrust upon him. He's only a man. A man whose biggest, perhaps only, noteworthy accomplishment so far was simply winning the election. Not a large and distinguished resume for the most important job in the country. And the thought of him learning the ropes on the job leaves me with yet another bad taste in my mouth. But I'm optimistic and hopeful.

That's it for today. Since it seems the inauguration and our new president is the only topic the media seems capable of discussing these days, I'm going to ride their coattails and write about nothing else as well.

So there.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday morning round up...

Well I'm back to Sunday morning round ups--where I comment on things happening this week in my own life or also outside of it. Just because I can.

1. Hubby and I are considering the purchase of another home--a place I have loved for years that has just come onto the market. We're undecided as the new house would be a larger mortgage (although completely within our limits) and we will not have sold our house before purchasing it. Scary...especially in today's housing market. It's made me realize, though, how lucky we are to be secure in our jobs right now...to even be considering having two mortgages at one time while others are worried about paying the one they have. We are very lucky indeed.
2. What in the heck is up with the Illinois Governor? I have to admit that it appears he was doing some unethical, unsavory finagling to fill the state's open Senate seat, but he's not actually been convicted of anything yet. How can he be impeached? And, I would bet this wheeling and dealing for seats, support, earmarks, and perks in the world of politics is a lot more widespread than we know or would like. Ever hear about glass houses or throwing the first stone?
3. I offer my deepest sympathy and prayers to the John Travolta family. I can't imagine the loss of a child. I simply can't. And please, media, leave the family alone. Just leave them alone.
4. There's always, always, someone that is worse off than you are. So stop feeling sorry for yourself and whining about it. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps, be determined to improve your situation, do what needs to be done, and make yourself and your life better. Or shut up about it!

That's it for now. Happy Jan 11 everyone!

Friday, January 2, 2009

A new year...the same me

Well, I've committed to a couple of resolutions for the New Year and yes, I do realize the odds are against me. But like millions of Americans, today I am optimistic and determined. I am committed and enthusiastic. I am woman, by golly! OK, perhaps I'll succeed at only a couple and completely change my mind on a couple more. Today, I refuse to allow naysayers and skeptics to dissuade me or convince me that I'm going to fail before I even start. So there!Take that!

Now that I have that off my chest, here are a few of my resolutions, actually goals, for 2009:
1. Get healthy. Yes this will mean losing a few pounds and eating right, but more importantly it means getting back to a regular exercise routine. (Actually I cheated and started part of this goal in Nov, so I'm already on my way to accomplishing this one!)
2. Write more. Here and elsewhere. This will mean, hopefully, submitting some of my best work, but more importantly it means developing a regular habit of writing. Period.
3. Develop a family financial plan. The national economy is in the tank and though we are doing just fine, we do need to aggressively plan for the future...for our retirement. This will mean saving more and making smart investments. Sounds fun, huh?
4. Complete my Associates degree by December. This is a tough one, and it may be the one that doesn't make it. Right now, though, that's the plan. I won't be stopping at an Associate's, of course, but it'll feel really good to get to that milestone.
5. Organize, organize, organize. Here and at work. Organize. 'Nuff said.

OK that's enough, don't you think? So, if you're reading this and you're still considering a resolution or two, go for it! What do you have to lose? Happy New Year!!