Tuesday, July 27, 2010

10 Tips For A Happy Marriage

"My husband tells me quite regularly that he is my biggest fan. I tell him often, "I adore you." There is so much power in words. You need to celebrate regularly the passion in your marriage." - Donna Krech
I am by no means an expert on this subject, but from my own experience, these are some of the important ingredients to a happy marriage.

1) Choose the right partner. This is someone who shares your interests, supports your dreams, overlooks your faults and cares about your happiness.  (Don't marry a frog hoping that he will become a prince - that is a fairy tale!)

2) Be the right partner. (See the description above.)  Give 150%.

3) Act lovingly, especially at those moments when you aren’t feeling it.

4) Apologize when you are wrong. Forgive- don’t carry grudges.

5) Concede that you don’t always have to agree. The phrase “you might be right” is a good one to apply to those situations. 

6) Avoid situations that cause marital stress (home improvements), and show greater tolerance in those stressful situations  (family gatherings) that cannot be avoided.

7) Ask for what you need. Don’t expect your spouse to get your hints or read your mind.

8) Have regular date nights. These do not have to be expensive – a board game and finger foods, a nightly walk after dinner, or a picnic in a local park will do- the point is to have one on one alone time.

9) Give space when it is needed. Ask for space when you need it.

10) Get on the same page with your money. Money issues are the leading cause of marital strife. Develop a strategy for managing your money together and commit to it. Dave Ramsey.com is a great resource for this.

Happy 9th Anniversary to my best friend, Simon. I love you!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Focus On The Pluses & Not The Minuses.

"If you dig it don’t do it
And if you like it better leave it alone
And if it’s too much fun that outta clue you hon'
That you’re probably doing something that wrong
And if it’s too good to you well don’t let it fool you
Cause you’re playin in the danger zone
And I kept waitin and waitin for the man to finish,
but the sucker just went on and on….. on and on…. and on…..and on….. and on."

-The Uppity Blues Women , song about going to the doctor and getting advice that you need to stop everything that feels good because it's bad for you.

I finally made an appointment with my doctor last week for a check up.   (If you haven't seen your doctor for a while, make an appointment asap- regular check ups are good self care!)

My recent walking endeavor has been fairly fruitless.    Although I walk up to 6 miles a day I have only been able to lose about 2 lbs.  Losing weight is important to me, because I want to get off of my high blood pressure pills.   The conundrum I face is that I also have hypothyroidism which impacts my metabolism and makes it difficult to lose weight.  

Recently, I was reading an article about Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and found that I have a majority of the symptoms - which include hypothyroidism and high blood pressure and difficulty shedding excess weight. This is a fairly common disorder affecting about 1 in 10 women and it is a major cause of obesity and infertility.   While it is manageable, it is not curable.  The best way to manage is through a low sugar, low carb diet.     This is exactly what my doctor prescribed.    (And this is exactly what I feared.)

So I am going to be making some changes....

I was thinking yesterday that the best way to approach any necessary lifestyle change is to focus on what you are adding and not on what you are taking away.   The absence of artisan bread and cake from my diet will be very difficult to swallow (pun intended).  But I can still have yogurt and almonds and avocados, lovely virginia ham from Central Market, cheese and those wonderful summer tomatoes.    A good lean steak is also allowed and salmon and chicken and raspberries.  I think I need to make a list of these favorite flavors and make sure we are well-stocked.  

I will let you know soon how this is working for me.   Please let me know if you have anything to add on this subject.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Unlucky List of 13 : 13 Ways I Am Affected When I Don't Eat Healthy

"Garbage in....Garbage out" 

Having a challenging self care week.  

My diet has been abysmal and I have been working a lot of hours.  So this is my unlucky list of 13 ways that I am affected when I don't eat healthy and don't practice good self care (depressing- yes.  But this should serve as good warning not to try this at home!):

1)  I feel frumpy
2)  I feel bloated
3)  BLEH!
4)  We are walking in the evening still, but I can't seem to get the 6 miles
5)  I am tired
6)  I am unmotivated
7)  I am craving sugar
8)  ....and fat
9)  ....and salt
10) I am cranky
11) Mr Self Care is a dream...so tolerant and patient ( I believe he has written this off as PMS)
12) I don' want to do anything
13) I have a headache.

Nothing a salad and some detoxing won't cure!  UGH!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Empty Nests

“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: One is roots, the other is wings.” Hodding Carter

I spent the weekend cleaning out my son's room.   It took while for me to get around to this.   Jake moved out over a year ago.   I didn't realize until I was in the midst of sorting that perhaps my procrastination had subconscious roots.  This task-that on its surface seems so simple- is rife with emotional significance.

I am sifting through the belongings that he didn't feel he needed anymore.  I have a pile of stuff to keep that might come in handy for grandkids someday.   I have a pile for charity.  I have a few boxes of belongings that I think he may have forgotten.   He told me not to worry about this, but I cannot help it.  I am a mom!

The past year has been all about letting go.  I have let go of my expectations for what he should do with his life.  (I have not let go of my hope that he will return to college someday!)  Cleaning out his room is just one more step along this journey.   These things- while sentimental- are really just things.  What is real and important will be retained even after we let them go.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Care and Feeding of Dreams

Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil. - James Allen


Everybody has them: A vision for what the future could look like. We hope better, more positive- or just different-things will enter into our lives. We see ourselves doing different work, being surrounded by different priorities, living in different scenarios.

Few dreams just happen. Chance and Luck are relevant, but not necessary required. Most dreams take focus, hard work and persistence to come true. This explains why some people are very good at turning their dreams into reality. They recognize what is required and then set to work to make their dreams come true.

When a dream enters your life, how do you nurture it into fruition?

How to Care and Feed your Dreams:

1) Set aside time each day to just think about all the possibilities. I think well when I walk. You may find that you come up with your best ideas when you write, or do something artsy. Keeping a dream or idea journal is a great idea. Dreams and goals that are written down are more likely to be realized.

2) Dream big, dream small…Big dreams may take more effort and time, but achieving little dreams provides immediate gratification which may lend themselves well to bolstering your self esteem and setting some momentum for the tackling the larger dreams.

3) Believe you can do anything you set your mind to. You can!

4) Start. Even if you think you don’t have enough information. Even if you don’t really know what to do first. People become experts in their field by experiencing uncertainty and finding a way. You don’t have to do things like everyone else…You just have to find out what works for you! As you begin, the right direction will become clearer to you.

5) Tell others what you are doing and accept their offers to help out. Often times someone you know knows someone who can help you or has the information you need to get to the next step. Believe that the universe will provide everything you need to know. Then watch for signs!

6) If you fail, try again. View failure as information and not as a set back. You may learn 100 ways not to do things while you are sorting out the right ways.

7) Show gratitude along the way to those who help, for what is working, for what you have learned and for what you currently have.

8) Surround yourself with positive, happy, encouraging people and be that person to others! Our lives are too short to let negative, sad people stand in our way.

9) Read what others have done to make their dreams come true. Research relevant topics well so you can take calculated risks when decisions are required.

10) Celebrate your successes big and small!