Archive for November, 2011

November 30, 2011

On The Eve of 40

I started this post a couple of weeks ago.  In fact, at the time, it was titled “Age is Just a Number”.

At that point I had a pretty good attitude about my upcoming birthday.  I thought 40 was no big deal.  Age is all in our mind.  If you think of yourself as old, well, then you are old.  But, if you think of yourself as a healthy, happy person then that’s who you are and the number on your driver’s license is just a number.

Now, I’m not so sure.  The closer “the big day” has come, the more “off” I feel.  At first I wasn’t sure why I started feeling this way, but then I realized that there’s so much hype about turning 40 that I started doubting my “no big deal” attitude.  A lot of my friends and classmates are turning 40 this year.  Some already have, some in a few months.  They’re having big parties, going all out, traveling to Vegas, to Mexico.  I’m…. not.

The other day my son asked, “Mom, what do you really, really that someone else has?”.  What he was asking was, what do I want for my birthday?  My answer was, “I don’t know, honey.  I really don’t want what someone else has. I’m pretty happy with what I have.”  This was clearly a disappointment for my son, but what I didn’t say was “I have no clue!” and honestly, this kind of got to me.  How did this happen?  How did I get to the point of not really having dreams of going anywhere or doing anything big?  I’ve always had dreams, especially of travel.  What I’m thinking now is that I’m just overwhelmed.  I mean, if 40 is the time to celebrate, then that means it has to be perfect.  It has to be something big.  It has to be something memorable, otherwise I’ll have missed my opportunity, right?

Maybe.  I don’t know how to celebrate being 40. I even “Googled” how to celebrate a 40th birthday. (Yes, pathetic, I know!)  Most say a big party.  I had a party at 30, so it seems kind of silly to have one at 40.  Some say buy an expensive car, fly your friends somewhere and party like the 80s.  (Sorry everyone – no car, no flights, no big hair, no rock stars.)  Then I saw something that fits me.  One person said that you’re 40 all year. No way.  This was like an epiphany!  How did I not think of this?!?

Their goal was health, getting in shape, living healthier. But here’s the key.  Don’t expect it to change overnight because after-all, it took 40 years to get here, so you should give yourself the full year to work with it. I love that! So that’s my plan.  I’m going to be 40 all year, not just tomorrow. I too will be focusing on getting back into shape and living a healthier life, but I’m also going to give myself permission to celebrate being 40 whenever it strikes me.  Anyone want to join me?

So tonight, on this eve of 40…. Crap! I just looked at the clock.  It’s here!

Happy Birthday to me… Happy Birthday to me…

Kate

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November 27, 2011

Still Thankful

I just wouldn’t feel right letting Thanksgiving go by without writing.

I had actually planned on writing prior to Thanksgiving Day, but that just wasn’t meant to be.  A few days before Thanksgiving I came down with the flu, you know, the full-blown body aches, fever, struggle to get out of bed flu.  Actually though, I was blessed.  It wasn’t the stomach flu.  And for that I was very, very thankful!

Nonetheless, I didn’t want the holiday to go by unacknowledged.  With all the craziness of the Christmas buying season starting as far back as October, pausing just long enough for all of us to take a few bites of turkey and a piece of pumpkin pie and then start right up again, I think it’s really important to stop, take a breath and look around at what really matters. Our health matters, our family and friends matter, having a roof over our head and food on the table matters, being loved matters.

There are so many negative things that we could focus on in the world right now that could be better, but it’s so important to take some time, pause and reflect on what’s going right.  What are we thankful for?

This year my health is something I’m incredibly thankful for.  You know that saying “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone”? I’m so grateful to have my health back.  I know I’ve mentioned it before, but the past couple of years were scary.  What’s weird is that when the fevers ended at the end of May and my fatigue started to fade away I thought things were good.  At the time I had no idea how much had changed over time.  Over the past six months the fever has stayed away and my energy level has continued to increase, so much so that I don’t even recall when the last time was that I felt this good.  Even having the flu last week didn’t bother me. Okay, I mean it wasn’t fun, and it wiped me out at the time, but it was different.  Plus, I knew it would pass in a few days or so.

In addition to my health, I’m so thankful for my family and my friends.  My family and friends are my world.  They shape my life and are there for me to lean on when I’m not feeling strong. I have an incredible support system all of whom I’m very thankful for.

I know it may sound corny to some, but I’m thankful for my pets too.  To me, pets are a little piece of God.  They make me laugh, they snuggle when I’m down or need a hug.  They have definitely challenged me to make me a stronger person.  And at the end of the day, no matter what I’ve said or done, no matter how the rest of the day has gone, they are there for me, giving their unconditional love.

And my dear friends, I’m thankful for all of you, who take a couple of minutes out of your busy days to stop and read my blog.  I appreciate you.  I appreciate your comments.  I read them all and appreciate the feedback.

I hope everyone had a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.

Kate

November 26, 2011

Today is Small Business Saturday!

Today is Small Business Saturday.  A day dedicated to support small businesses.

In the middle of all of the “deals” with major retailers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, today is the day to think local.

Shop small today and support your favorite local stores (restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, etc.).

When we all shop small, it will be huge.

Kate

November 21, 2011

Was that intentional?

I was just reading an email I got from Land Stewardship Project.  The email was about upcoming Holistic Management Classes.

As I was skimming the email to see if the class is something I would be interested in I ran across this statement, which got me thinking.

“The framework is build upon the idea that the success of all human goals is tied to the health of the ecosystem processes that support life on this planet. In other words, whether you directly manage land or not, Holistic Management can help you achieve your goals in ways that benefit you, your family, your community and the environment.”

What really struck me was the “whether you directly manage land or not”, the key word being “directly”.  Whether we directly do something, in other words, whether we intend to do something or not, it has an impact.   Everyday we’re faced with hundreds, perhaps thousands of decisions and we’re directly doing something or it’s the indirect choice not to, it’s still making a choice, which in turn makes an impact.

This can be applied to so many areas of our lives, but it really drives home the point of intentional living.  Often times we make a decision to do something but forget that the opposite of what we decide (the indirect choice) also makes an impact.  Often times these indirect choices have even more impact that the direct choice.  I’ll throw a big example out there.  Some people may make the direct choice to by conventional produce, the indirect choice is not to buy organic produce.  They may make this indirect choice without even being aware that it was a choice at all.  Maybe buying conventional is all they know.  Maybe they didn’t realize that they even had the choice to buy organic tomatoes, for example, because they are in a different corner of the store that don’t typically shop in.  Or, maybe they made the choice to buy conventional tomatoes because they were less expensive than their organic counterpart.  This choice, this purchase, has impacts in many ways that they might not have even thought about.  They may not even realize that the tomatoes they are eating or feeding their family were grown from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), in other words, altered genetic make-up.  They may not have realized that the tomatoes were sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides to keep insects and diseases away from them so the farmer could get a better yield but that those “cides” stay on the produce, are absorbed by the plant that feeds the produce and stay in the soil for years to come.  They may not have realized that the tomatoes were picked green and transported halfway across the country and were “ripened” during shipping by using ethylene gas applications. They also may not realize that by choosing conventional produce they are choosing to support conventional practices, many of which have gotten the soil and environment in the situation we’re in today.

The indirect choice, not to buy organic produce, also means indirectly choosing not to support organic or local growers who are making a conscious decision to grow their crops using sustainable methods, not using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, but instead using crop rotations and other methods to preserve and add nutrients to the soil.  In other words, making an indirect choice to support what is harming the planet and an indirect choice to not support making it a better place.

You might be thinking, “Come on!  They were just buying tomatoes!”  but that is exactly the point.  We all need to be aware of the impact of our choices, whether direct or indirect, intentional or unintentional.  I’m not saying to change everything you’re doing today or run out and buy only organic food.  And I’m not saying to make yourself crazy when shopping at the grocery store or any other place.  What I’m saying is that we all just need to be aware, be mindful and make intentional choices.

Kate