Wednesday, February 22, 2012

40 Days

Today is Ash Wednesday as you may already know.  I'm not Catholic, but my Presbyterian Church has always had an Ash Wednesday service which I have often attended. Lent is the 40 days before Easter, not counting Sundays. I didn't grow up Presbyterian or Catholic so some of these religious traditions were curious and new to me in adult life.  Over the years whether I attend the AW service or not I have found the practice of either denying myself something or even taking up something for that 40 day period very enriching to my life.  I get to learn how ridiculously habituated I have become to some product or practice.  It is quite empowering to realize that with a defined focus period of just 40 days I can commit myself to one new practice.  I know, I know, the curiosity is killing you.  What have I decided this year?  Am I giving up something I love or taking on something new?  Drum roll, please ..................

Ta da!  I am adding exercise, yes, real exercise back into my daily life!

I can honestly say I have not done anything to exercise since we sold the house last September and I am ashamed and actually worried about my overall health because of it.  I seem to be fine, albeit a lot softer than last year, and I can tell by my clothing that a few pounds have piled on the middle and the thighs.  I can also tell when I climb the stairs at work that I am more easily winded.  I'm 50 now and cannot afford to start down that slippery slope with a trip to England in 72 days (but who is counting?), so being in better shape will only make that a much more enjoyable trip.  A bonus.  Grin.

*One final note since it is Lent.  Yes, I will be spending some meditative time during my exercise for prayers of confession and repentance - doing some spiritual “house cleaning.”

Here is an interesting link on Lent 2012 from a source I don't usually recommend - seems they will keep this up through Lent.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Walking Across The Golden Gate Bridge

So often we forget to take advantage of the beauty that surrounds us close to home.  We travel across the country or around the world to check these bucket list must-see's off our list and forget to enjoy what's in our own backyard.  I'm guilty of this! A few weeks back I realized in a panic that I had not walked across the Golden Gate Bridge.  The nightly news was reporting New Orleans Saints fans, coming in for the NFC playoff game, were making it their first stop. That did it for me.  :-)

And so it was that in January hubby and our youngest son (22 yrs.) set out.  It was a cool and crisp Sunday morning; the sun appeared and disappeared at the will of the clouds but I smiled from ear to ear the whole way across and back.  It was a blast to the senses - the noise of the cars flying past in the lanes; the brisk chilly breeze tossing my hair and slapping my cheeks; the views, oh, you can't imagine the views!; my wobbly knees as I got anywhere near the railing to dare to look down to the water below; one particular dancing (loose) streetlight post kept things thrilling; the beautiful and familiar San Francisco skyline under a January morning sky; the rowing team slipping under the bridge - it was all exhilarating.  I took a few pictures. It's about 3.5 miles across and back and I highly recommend it. It turns out they are sprucing things up for the 75th anniversary which I believe is in March. 

When I was little I remember my grandmother telling me that people walked across the GGB when it first opened.  I want to say she walked across, too, but I may have that confused with the opening of the Bay Bridge. 

It's a holiday weekend for many. Go do something you've been meaning to do.  Enjoy!
Opening day of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937. Pedestrian... Chronicle File Photo

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Your Level Of Commitment Shows

Readers may benefit from what I am primarily writing here for my own self development. 

Historically I've always been someone irked by people who are late and have worked very hard to be on time or early both in business and in my personal life.  Lately though, I notice that when it comes to many things I'm no longer exhibiting this behavior.  I actually excused this trend as a positive.  A  mellowing of sorts from my legendary uptight nature now that I have landed here in mid-life.  Today I read a post from Seth Godin that really struck me as he cleverly compared the difference in meeting a train vs. making a train.  They sound so similar its easy to think they are one and the same but, BAM, they are not!  I now really believe my relaxed commitment to things is showing and impacting my work and personal life and I thank Seth for kicking me with his terrific post. 
Please feel free to share this as it would apply to church groups, service groups, corporate America and your family. 

Meeting vs. Making

As I was scurrying to meet someone coming in on the 11 am train, I realized that there's a huge difference between meeting a train and making one.

If you're rushing to make a train, you have to be there before the last moment. Five seconds too late is too late. The cost of error is absolute.

If you're hurrying to meet a train, though, there's a soft deadline. Five seconds is no big deal. Thirty seconds might be annoying, particularly for someone returning from a long journey. And five minutes is really rude.

Too often, we treat our obligations as meet, not make. We impose a sliding scale, a soft penalty, and we not only show up just a bit late, we show up a bit behind on quality or preparation.

Making is a discipline. Meeting opens the door for excuses.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February TV Favorites

So it's the middle of a dark and cold winter with endless days of gray skies, and we're all so tired of being indoors...wait, scratch that - I live in sunny Northern California where we've had nearly no winter at all.  We seem to be stuck in a near springtime weather pattern this year.  Apologies to my friends shoveling their way out of their homes each day.  Brrrr This list might be of keen interest to you. Still in all these shorter days lend to a good TV watching season. 
Here's what's catching my attention right now:
1)  Downton Abbey on PBS You can get started with Season 1 on Netflix or DVD.  Beautiful!
2) American Idol - yes, I've a wee Steven Tyler crush  :-)  It's Hollywood week!
3) Justified on FX  Great dialog and characters.
4) Blue Bloods - yes, I've a wee Tom Selleck crush, again! You fall in love with this family.
5) Here is where perhaps I reveal too much.  Some nights, after my husband goes to bed, I try to find The Real Housewives of Atlanta on-demand.  This is my guilty pleasure.  Ha ha!  For some reason this mix of ladies holds my attention - like a circus act on some episodes - and I feel like it would be a trip to be a part of their little diva group.  Of course I'm gonna need a spending account to keep up.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Downsize complete

Well my friends downsizing took over my life - what can I say? I only wish I was better at documenting with pictures all that we have experienced since Oct. 2011 when we moved out of our home after it sold. You may not know this (since I was not keeping you posted - 'duh!) but there was limbo time between having to be out of our house and being able to move into the new "downsized" house. Yes, we had to move twice. Luckily you were not so close as to hear my blood curdling scream when first I realized there was no avoiding the dreaded-double-move. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Oh well, it's past us now. Now that I'm all linked back up again you can look forward to some future posts that include some before and after pics . Here are some highlights from the past 4 months:
  • House sold for full price! We only owned it 2 years but we didn't lose any money. What a blessing. As they say - location, location + the improvements we made were desirable.
  • We did find a "cute little downtown house" after many frustrating "almosts" and our above the asking price offer beat out other above the asking price bids. Yes, this still happens in the San Francisco Bay Area where job opportunities still exist.
  • Could not get the escrow close dates to coordinate (tears) and so we had to rent an apartment temporarily - with our recently returned from college son...roomies! :-(
  • One of our 2 dogs had to be put down just as we were moving - she was 14 and I think she looked around and said to herself - I'm too old to move. Poor Mya - we'll miss her.
  • Our remaining pup, a German Short-haired Pointer (always an outside dog) moves with us to a small apartment and gets to start a new life as an inside dog. Oh, that was priceless and, yes, you can teach old dogs new tricks.
  • The little downtown house is frozen in time- built in 1950 and most recently decorated in about 1973. Everything in perfect condition but nothing you could live with. Ha ha! The picture is our "before" of the bathroom. Jealous? :-)
  • Hubby had to work full time and manage a full house electrical upgrade - the house only had 70 amp service for the whole house. It never had a clothes dryer and we were told that if we tried to run one we probably could run just one light bulb at the same time. LOL.
  • Hubby managed the electrical upgrade, a whole house plumbing re-pipe, inside painting, wall paper removal, complete bathroom gut and remodel. This was the biggest deal because it is a 2 BR., 1 bath house. Yes, I said 1 bath. there is no way we could move in until the bathroom project completed or...well you get the idea. A flush is a must!
  • Lot's of stress and one good therapist and we made it to move-in with our marriage in tact
  • I turned 50 on 12/19! No time to party - that was a bummer. Hubby & daughter planned a great small affair for 12/30 at a wonderful steak house with friends and I felt special, plus I could breathe with the move and Christmas behind me.
  • Move in date - Dec. 20. I mean we were down to the wire getting in before Christmas.
  • Hosted our kids and their kids for Christmas Day celebrations.
  • Whew!