Monday, October 17, 2011

Keep Your Enthusiasm, You will Be Amazed At Results

Yesterday I participated in Walk for a Cure for breast cancer with my in-laws. My Mother-In-Law is a survivor and my Sister-In-Law gathered as many family members that were able to participate together for this wonderful cause. It was the perfect day and I am so happy that Kevin and I participated.
I proudly wore Pink yesterday. Through the years that was my least favorite color. I was blessed to have much joy with the color BLUE but I had some anger as I would have loved a little PINK in my life.
Through the years you learn acceptance. Until you can accept what you have been blessed with and the journey you were asked to walk you dont see the beauty in the color you own.
When I kissed my sister-in-law goodbye and hugged her with the shouts of a great job today and huge thanks for having the best team leader she thanked me for my enthusiasm.
That is one quality for which I am most proud and I was so happy to have heard someone thank me for it.
We all have envy for others colors. She shares her pinks with me, we share our blues with her.
With enthusiasm and sharing and love and excitement for each and every day we can all share our TRUE colors and when we realize that the world really is an AMAZING place to be.

Friday, July 15, 2011

No More Caregiving Burnout

I have always lived with the statement, people before things!

I made the choice years ago to stop working to raise my son and they were the most wonderful times of my life.

I made the choice 31 years ago as my dad was dying and I was getting married to never move far away from my mother and leave her alone ever.

My Aunt had no children of her own and I made a choice to give myself to her and I truly was blessed to have two Mothers. She was never alone right up until her dying day. No regrets their either.

In keeping my promise, my mother had a heart attack three years ago and moved here with us. She is now 92.

I am now 52. The second chapter of this wonderful life.

I love nurturing and helping others but I also am learning I must find time to do the things I love and enjoy.

There are senior centers for which Mom can go a few hours a week. I will admit, I discouraged her from attending as she is blind in one eye and I constantly played the what if game in my head. What if she falls, what if the van doesnt pick her up, among a few of the things I let myself believe. What I actually wound up doing is making myself ill as well as enabling her. She needs to be amongst those her age. Ialso need a few hours of space from her.

I surrender! I am no longer fearful!. I am going to continue to be the best daughter I can be but also am changing my way of thinking. I am no longer fearing all the what ifs and instead keeping the faith that the Man above will protect her when she is not with me.

I must open my eyes to the fact I dont have to control everything anymore. Im 50 something. These are the best days of my life.

My fear is out of love. Its very hard to let go of anything you love. We all have wings however and its sad when we have abilities inside us but stay in a comfort zone and not use them.

In a sense Mom stifled my wings and was afraid to let me go. Im now ready to fly and begin daring to dream bigger. I have so many abilities within me and it is now time to use them. Mom also has abilities which I was causing her to not use.

Changing my way of thinking has been a win win situation for us both.
No more caregiving burnout.

We are 50 somethings!!...I hope your not burning out over something in your life. If so, please write me. Perhaps together we can change your way of thinking about it. One sentence can change your life.
Lets begin today to enjoy each day to the fullest despite circumstances as these truly are the best days of our lives....

Friday, July 1, 2011

Well Begun Is Only Half Done

This past Monday I celebrated my 52nd birthday.

I officially now am beginning my 53rd year and I am so excited. I feel there are so many doors for which I want to venture into and keep enriching my mind with different things. The choices are endless.

My first half I spent caring for my family, my aunt, my mom. I still am loving and giving and caring and always will continue to be. I however am really ready to have a year for me!! I am still a caregiver of my Mom and a wife and homemaker but Im now realizing its fine to take breaks each day to do something that I enjoy. I read, cook new recipes, try different style clothing or accessories, call friends, help neighbors, write, crochet, google new topics online, workout, write handwritten notes, email, and social network to name just a few.

I want to do more things, go more places, try new restaurants, parks, museums. Every weekend can be spent getting out and having fun. I want to have wonderful memories with family and friends. I want to take lots of pictures to save one day for the future. Im so blessed to be learning a little more about my own grandparents for who I never met.

I want to be generous in sharing my story both on this blog and my blogtalkradio show as well as the handwritten journals Ive been doing for the past six years. I want to leave the story behind. I want to inspire all woman my age that our life is full of fun times and opportunities. Dont let a number prevent you from having a fulfilling life.

Body, Mind and Spirit. The work never should stop. I am going to find time each and every day to work on me and my dream coming true.

50 something is the next chapter. I have had an excellent beginning but well begun literally is only half done!

I have so much living to do! I hope you will all join me.

What are your dreams, what have you put on hold all these years? I would love to hear them.

Start today to visualize the life you wish to live. When you see it in front of you every day it will happen. Others have become successful so why not you? You most definately can succeed but it takes work.

Follow those dreams. Sometimes we have to act like children and play make believe. Make believe you already accomplished the mission. Feel it, be proud of it. Dreams come true...these truly are the best days of our lives Promise me you will begin today.

I already have!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Memories, Live, Love and Laugh

A few months ago I purchased a book called A Mothers Legacy. The book contains wonderful questions with lines below it a for which a parent can write her thoughts on the topic and it gives the opportunity to leave a little of her story behind for their children to have one day.

Each Sunday I answer a question. I give myself a week to really relish the memory and I am finding this to be a wonderful experience. The questions bring back many memories of times in my life. While most of the memories are filled with happy thoughts there are of course some sad moments as well.

The questions in this book have me remembering how I was not a confident child at all. I was actually a child who had anxiety and lots of fear within her. For many years as an adult I felt a bit resentful as deep down I know I could have been a totally different person had I just been encouraged. I always felt as a child if I wasnt praised what would be the point in doing well or trying anything. Who knows if this perception is right or wrong but if it is how I feel it is true to me.

I was angry for years when the "nerdy" girl met the cute guy and went on a date with him and when she arrived home her Mother told her not to get her hopes up. I held so much anger inside of me when the cute guy finally asked her to marry him and the year I got engaged my Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was so resentful and stayed a victim who constantly asked herself the question why when I should have the spotlight was all this happening? The wedding day was filled with emotion, Dad was about 60 pounds, and so very sick. Ive always held a void in my heart I could not dance with my Dad that day. All little girls dream of their wedding.

I finally realized parents do the best they can with what they know and really I turned out just fine. Dad did not want to get sick and leave me during this wonderful time in my life either. He did not do any of this on purpose. We cannot tell God our plan. For his reasons God needed my Dad home. Perspective. I truly am learning to change mine. Im learning to strengthen my faith. Faith is giving me courage fo face what I dont yet know and it keeps me strong during difficulties.

For all the ways I always felt cheated I am replacing them with gratefulness. Mom, I won!! That great guy is still married to me almost 31 years later. I know it was not your nature to praise. I now am learning to stop being a victim and blaming and instead let it go and use my skills to learn and grow. Because I felt lacking of hugs, affection, praise and interest it is incredibly easy for me to offer them to most people I meet. I constantly tell people what they mean to me and I am extremely compassionate kind and very funny. Im enormously talented and am loving finding new interests each and every day.

Little Donna now tells herself every day Mom did the best she could! Once you get past the anger inside you life is so much better outside. I spent so many years with anger over the past that I to some extent overlooked the wonderful world I have. Someone was definately watching over me when I met my husband. To have someone genuinely love you is the most precious gift in the entire world. I am blessed.

If your 50 something and are holding on to some sort of baggage from the past sort through it. Work on the anger and try to look at it in a different way. Use the negatives as gifts. That is exactly what I have done. Time is ticking and once it is gone we cannot get it back. We have lived far more days than we realistically have remaining so I dont want to waste them lugging old baggage memories around with me weighing me down and holding me up.

I still love encouragement. Im working on that. We can have twenty people applaud us but the one person that ignores or says something negative resonates so much louder than the applause. Its a process but Im getting there.

I thank that wonderful book for putting me on the road for a positive second half. I now know I can and will be the best I can be and I am going to be extremely successful doing it. Would I love applause...OF COURSE!!!! The difference now is while it would brighten my day the main reason Im doing it for is ME!

I now can create healthy wonderful memories filled with much love, and laughter....

Share your baggage with me. I would love to hear how you are handling it. I encourage you to use painful experiences and make them opportunities. We 50 somethings are all connected. Fellowship is a wonderful thing. I hope you will invite me into your special story. These truly are the best days of our lives....TRULY

Saturday, May 21, 2011

They call it Menieres Disease

On April 5, 2011 I woke up very dizzy and two days later began having a ringing in my left ear. I had a stressful week prior to this occuring so I thought I was perhaps fatigued or stressed so I tried taking it slower. The dizziness despite the rest was worsening.
I thought it was an ear infection but it was not. The doctor saw nothing in my ear. Off to a hearing test and brainwave test for which both came back abnormal. On to an ENG (balance test)...that also came back abnormal). Off to an MRI...that came back fine.
So for the moment, they have diagnosed me with menieres disease. I will be going to my medical doctor in a few weeks to ask more questions and dig a little more just to be sure.
The one thing that I am certain of is the little ringing is a sign to keep taking care of myself. I always considered myself healthy. I work out and thought I ate well.

We cannot get comfortable. There is always work that needs to be done. We are never done improving our bodies. When we think we are working hard enough we realise we must work a little harder.

Time sometimes forces us to come up with a different journey or plan. We would not go on a trip to a foreign place without a map. This new phase of doctors and tests most definately is my foreign place however with the correct map I will get to my destination one day.

I am determined to work as hard as I can to make this little noise go away. Im cutting down on salt, caffeine, eating more fruits and vegetables. Catching disease early is key.....

Im not sure if this is what I have yet but whatever you want to call it their is a glitch in my body and Im determined to work my best on fixing it.

We waste so much time in life. If a doctor told us we would die tomorrow if we continued out habit would we still do it? Im not certain I would. Im not wasting one minute.

I hope you all join me. I hope you all will put some time and effort into your own health. Let my little ringing bell be a reminder for all of you....rid yourself of the unecessary junk!!!!!.......During difficult days its easy to get discouraged and make poor choices but all choices come with a price. In the long run I dont want to pay the bad choice price!!

Keep Shining....Start today to make yourself the best YOU CAN BE!!!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Joys And Pains Of Growing

I believe even by the age of 50 we are all still growing. I believe with any growth we experience joy and pain despite age. I believe we all have a reason to be in this world and should share it with others. A plant starts as a seed which is then placed into a container filled with soil for which to grow a root. With proper care, nourishment, and love the root will thrive and little by little will need larger containers. People, like plants have different purposes as well. We are all placed in various containers but share the same goal, a beautiful life. I believe all of our seeds and containers are not the same in order for us to share our gifts and ask for others to share theirs with us. We all need to be friends and help nourish one another. Most plants and people thrive fine with a few sick leaves here and there having to be repaired. Some plants have a problem the moment the seed is planted and struggle through life, some did not get the correct nurturing from the beginning and grew wild with thorns and some get hurt unexpectedly through storms. When the leaves are dry and the roots are not thriving as they once did we still want to feel we belong. We still want to feel we were put here for a reason. All plants as well as people will eventually die. Nothing can remain forever. Some have long lives, some short. Some grow happier than others. Let us begin today to embrace and enjoy the time we have together. Observe all the seeds around you and keep learning and growing from one another. The world truly is a beautiful place thanks to all the seeds sprinkled around us. What seed do you have to share with another person? Who can you share it with today? Has someone had an unexpected loss that needs help getting through? Is there someone whose roots are slowly becoming ill? Do you know someone who cant afford things or has no one to help nurture them? Is there someone who is not in the correct container? Is there a lonely plant out there somewhere that could use you? There are endless ways to use your seeds to help others. Please let me know how you are using yours!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What Is Your Definition Of Friend

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That's what friends are for
For/In good times and/in bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for

Thank you Dionne Warwick for the beautiful lines to that song.

I believe in our lives at some point we all will need someone to count on or assist us in some way.

I have found in my life numerous defintions of friendships.

The dictionary version is one attached to another by affection or esteem.

I have family members who I consider my friends my husband being on the top of the list.

I have special ladies who I see from time to time but we always have a connection despite the days we are apart.

I have people who live far away from me but I can pick up the phone anytime and laugh, cry, confide or just say hi.

I have many online friends for whom I share stories and tips and helpful conversations through typed words on a screen.

Social networking is a wonderful way to reconnect with friends.

We dont have to be alone. Friends are like angels, we do not have to always see them but we know they are there with us.

Tell me about your special friends.

Tell me how you spend good times with your friends

Who are the people that are there for you to laugh with, cry with, confide in?

Please lets keep the conversation going. I would love to hear your friendship stories....

and while your thinking....enjoy this honor of the friends I hold dear to my heart....all of you

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dreams, Dreamt, Dreaming

By this wonderful age of 51 I can honestly say I have had the most important of my dreams come true.

Im married to my best friend for nearly 31 wonderful years
Together we have a 23 year old son for which we are very proud

By this wonderful age of 51 I can honestly say I wish for some things to have been different

I thought by now perhaps we would be living in a larger home or apartment
I thought by now perhaps we would have had more of our debts paid

I dont stop dreaming.
I am a huge believer that wishes and dreams can come true
I am a huge believer that these wishes and dreams will come true even faster now that I am 51

I keep my eye on my vision and every day work towards the goal

While I am on this journey I truly try to live every day to its fullest
We are only guaranteed this monent so I live it the happiest ways possible.

When I was younger I used to feel that each day was the same and I would tire of the old mundane chores and wish they would go away and that life would be more fulfilling. Life does get routine and sometimes difficult however we must remember that each day is like a fresh canvas. I now instead of grumbling and defining my chores as gray boring and mundane say instead Im blessed to have something for my hands to do and people to love...

We must change our attitude. What our life is today could change in the blink of an eye so dont focus negatively on the things for which you wished had been different. Take a moment to plan what you would like to change. Each day smile and take the baby steps necessary to get to that goal. Make the journey happy not resentful while your dreaming.

The important thing is getting and seeing your goal or vision in your mind. Without a goal it is like going on vacation without a map. You will wonder around feeling lost and not know what direction for which you need to go.

Dreams have come true, the things that I had dreamt of are still in my vision and I continue to dream because I know it is never to late to fulfill them. It takes hard work and dedication. You also however have to take care of the dreams that have already come true. I truly feel if we do not care for the things we have already been blessed with why would we ever feel deserving of more?

Please tell me, what is your map or goal for your journey
Please tell me some of the dreams that have already come true
Please tell me what your wishes are
Please tell me how you live and smile each and every day!!
I would love to hear them.

I hope together we can make today the start of dreams come true time. Times we wake up every morning excited for the new day and put our heads on the pillow fulfilled every night. Together we can help each other at this wonderful chapter of our lives.

Please join me on the journey.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cleaning Out The Clutter

I once had an Aunt and her home was always company ready. You could have rung her bell at any given day or time and she greeted you with a smile and she would have a piece of cake in her freezer ready to thaw along with snacks while we waited. Her house was always company ready. Everything had a place and the closets were perfect. You could tell by her home the type of person she was. Very loving, and welcoming.

I also am loving and welcoming and do keep a decent home but in no way am I my Aunt.
I am trying very hard to be more like her however.

My Aunt never was not able to find her keys when she was leaving the house. They were in the correct place. She didnt save takeout containers like I occasionally do. She had nice stackable storage containers, and all sorts of cupboard lazy susans and wracks.

She bought the amount of clothes she needed. I open my closet and cant decide what to wear because things are just jammed inside. I am sure there are things I completely forgot are in there.

Why do I do this? Why cant I be more organized?

When you are organized it makes life so less stressful.
When you can find what your looking for it makes life so much easier.

It does not have to be to the extent of my Aunt but I sure would love to be.

I think a lot of it is emotional clutter. I think we all get so busy and just put things down and rush around to make it livable and not necessarily organized.

I think sometimes we get so overwhelmed with our lives that we just dont know where or how to begin organizing everything.

Tell me where do you need to work on decluttering?

Are your closets cluttered and you just cannot find what you are looking for?
Are you putting food in your body and cluttering the ability to be healthy?
Are you overspending and cluttering your financial life?

When we work on decluttering we are then able to open many doors. We can let people into our homes and lives with pride and we can see the picture more clearly.

Lets all of us great ladies join together and make a vow we are going to begin decluttering.
Please join me.
Please tell me your thoughts.....

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ahhhh - Sigh Of Relief

I think by the time we have reached our 50's we have all experienced many sigh of relief moments.
Those moments when we are worried about something and it all turns out fine.
Someone is late arriving home and we hear the key in the door
The medical tests that we had done all came back well

I sometimes wish I could bottle that wonderful feeling and keep it with me.

Most times the things we worry about turn out fine. Im not certain why I stress myself out by worry. Im guessing that it is just my nature.

I know I love the feeling of relief I get when it all works out fine. It gives me something to look forward to during the worrying phase.

I think we all need to experience a sigh of relief day once in a while. A day where we just put our worries to the side and feel that sense of Ahhhh....all is well today.

Perhaps we can stay in pajamas all day, perhaps we can have a nice hot cup of tea, read a book, take a bath, nap. Ahhhh - Sigh of Relief!!!

Our lives make it difficult to do this every day but if we can pencil in a day on our calendar, even if just once a month it may make the stressful days easier. Maybe we cannot do an entire day, perhaps half a day, perhaps a couple of hours, perhaps a couple of minutes.

I would love to hear your sigh of relief moments.
I would love to hear how you will spend your special relaxing time
I hope today you can find a moment for Ahhhh - Sigh Of Relief