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Worth and Worry

A friend of mine had recently written the following on her Facebook wall…”You are not your bills, your butt or your bank account.”

Definitely food for thought.  Really.  How many times do we base our worth and our worry on those three things?

I am certain guilty.  I worry about money and paying of bills. a. lot.  It’s kind of embarrassing in a way because I pride myself towards being a positive person in many ways…but money has a way of crashing down my defenses.

I’m well aware of the adage…what you think about, persists.  I am not fond of the monkey brain continually coming back to the same topic…”uh…that bill is/was due…and you don’t have enough in your account to pay it…uh…what are you going to do about it?”…over and over and over again.

There are several methods used to steer away from the monkey  brain…sometimes they work quite well…sometimes not.

* Thinking back to the Dale Carnegie classes I’d taken years ago we were advised to think of the worst scenario that we could  handle and accept that…and most often it won’t reach that.(so, are you going to die from this? …no…, will you be put in  jail for this?…no…, get fined via a late charge?…maybe/yes.)

* Then there are the different phrases you can say when that worrying thought crops up…

– I don’t have to think about that right now.

-Things have a way of working out, one way or the other.

-I’ve seen things turn around on a dime.

 

* Journaling your thoughts on paper often enables an answer to appear out of nowhere.

* Expressing yourself physically…go for a walk, put music on and dance around in the living room.

*A habit coach suggested a challenge to push the particular worry back…depending on how  often your monkey brain keeps coming back to it…can you keep from worrying about it for an hour?  Then two hours?  and so on up to 48 hours and longer.

*And although I put meditation and prayer last on this list,  they are where I go first.  Meditation to still my mind at any time.  Prayer to guide me and still my fear. (Archangel Michael has helped me many times).

Worry is a thief.  Worrying about anything robs us of our joy and our energy…in essence, our life.

til next time…Eva

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Last Quarter of 2016

“It is never too late to be what you ‘might have been’ ”  George Eliot

Three months remaining in 2016.  Have you accomplished your aspirations for the year…health-wise?  wealth-wise?  spiritually/emotionally/relationship- wise?

With three glorious yet untouched months ahead, it’s possible to still achieve our goals…to some degree at least.

I’ve come to the realization that it’s all about our daily habits…difficult to get started with but once they’ve been ingrained in your daily routine, everything else seems to fall into place as well.

I’ve spent the past two days mapping out exactly what I want to accomplish but doing it in a different way than before.  The difference?  Well, instead of my old way of saying, “I’m going to lose 10 lbs before year’s end”, I’m saying, “ok, I’m developing these daily habits…which may or may not enable me to lose 10 lbs by Christmas but I realize now that the habits will become an ingrained part of me(hopefully) and achieve even more than the initial weightloss.

Funny thing about habits…this method can also work towards getting rid of the bad ones as well…not getting enough sleep, not drinking enough water, eating too much sugar, spending too much time watching tv or being online, etc.

It’s also about doing things slowly and consistently so that you don’t burn out and crash.  Case in point…I’d gotten a stepper as a gift from a friend of mine and we both aimed for the 10,000 steps daily.  Being competitive by nature, I was forcing myself to do the 10,000 steps daily and got up to 12,000.  Then my old Achilles injury kicked up again which led to my knee on that leg as well with months of pain.  This time, I’m aiming for 4,000 daily to start and build up…slowly…from there.

So, this time around, my daily health habits will be:

Oil Pulling…Skin Brushing…the 5 Tibetan Rites…Breakfast…Vitamins…and Daily Steps.

Mind you…I also have other goals to achieve and have written a detailed list for myself on them as well.

Do you have anything you still want to achieve by year’s end?  Please write a response and let me know…as well as any tips you may have as well!

til next time…Eva

The Love of Reading

When my daughter was young, I would read to her every night before bedtime. She would run to her bookcase and pick the book(s) she wanted read that night.  Most nights meant more than one book before she would fall asleep.
I don’t believe there was ever one true favorite…she loved them all…but a few come to my mind.  When she was very young, a small book about “Farmer Brown’s Birthday” comes to mind…I read that book over and over and over again.  To this day, 25 years later, I remember, “tra la, tra le, lucky me.” coming from that book! ( I was even reading that book in my sleep!  I finally hid it for a while!)  A sweet book from England was a favorite…”Mogg and Bunny” about a red cat and his bunny toy.  “The Christmas Tree Cat” about a red striped cat named Pickles who always got into trouble…she loved this book and name of cat so much that when we adopted a kitten ( she was three years old), she picked a red one and named him Pickles.  Two of my favorites to read were “The Giving Tree” about a tree that kept giving everything it had until it was no more(more of a book for adults I realize now) and “The Velveteen Rabbit” about a toy rabbit who became “real” because his boy loved him so much.
One of my cherished possessions is a picture my daughter drew for me when she was in 1st grade.  They had to draw a picture of the person they thought was special and why they are special.  She wrote, “I think my Mom is special because she reads to me.”
When many of her friends’ parents would play games with their children, I always told my daughter that I didn’t play games.  I grew up with my brother’s children, being ten years older than them, and they played games incessantly.  I grew to detest playing board games.  I would read to my daughter and I would do all kinds of crafts with her…but no games.
When she was 8, my parents needed help and she and I moved over to be with them.  That Christmas, I had bought her a small cassette player and several taped books for children…the kind that you would listen to the tape and read the book at the same time.  She escaped through those books.  And I believe that was the final step in what enabled her to become the reader she is now.  I still read her books at night but they were now more of a chapter book variety and my mother would listen to them as well.
In Middle School and High School, her hunger for reading increased and her reading speed as well.  The first Harry Potter book was read aloud at night…and from then on, each new book was devoured in record speed…til the last one (I believe it had over 700 pages…) was read in one 7 hour day…she locked herself in her room and only came out when necessary.
She graduated from college with an English Lit and Art degrees and now makes her living writing.  I like to think this all started from the simple joy of nightly reading aloud. Never underestimate what a small pleasurable habit as reading aloud at bedtime can accomplish.

Til next time…Eva

 

Special People in Our Lives

We all have had special family members who have always made the effort to keep their family together.  I have seen all too often that families drift apart over the years simply due to disinterest/neglect of communicating with one another.

My cousin Hilmar is that person on my mother’s side of the family(here in the US).  Being the eldest son of five, he always has taken his responsibilities seriously.

I was an Rh-negative baby and needed blood transfusions on day 2.  I understand Hilmar was one of the first to donate blood for me.  I  am very grateful for his gift.

When he was in High School, he used to help my dad in the bakery.  It was at that time he learned baking and it became a life long hobby of his(sticky buns being a specialty) and also taught his daughter.

He was stationed in Japan while in the service and I remember his bringing back a Japanese porcelain baby doll with glass eyes and straight black hair, wearing silk pyjamas.  He also brought home a Geisha doll in a case for his mother…I would study that doll every time I went to visit my aunt.

In his working life, he was Human Resources and has been one of those amazing people who gets along with everyone.

Growing up, he and his brothers experienced outdoor life-camping, hunting, fishing…and the fishing has remained a passion for him…evolving to the love of fly-fishing and making the flies.

When my daughter was younger, every year he would pick her up for the day and she and “Uncle” Hilmar would go fishing.  He taught her the correct way to fish, use bait, etc.  Afterwards, they would go to “Big Jakes” for lunch and then he would bring her home.

Hilmar visited my parents often when they became homebound and never failed to bring them something yummy from a bakery down where he lived.  They always were so grateful that he took the time to come and visit them.

Happy Birthday Hilmar!  Just wanted to tell you how very special you are and how grateful I am that we are cousins!  Love you!

til next time, Eva

 

Questions…

March 8, 2016 016Photo by Eva 2106

I’ve been thinking about my Dad today…some of the things that used to mortify me growing up, I find I’m doing them now.  Case in point…Questions.  My Dad was ALWAYS asking questions.  Not nosy questions but questions about everything else.  I remember hearing him asking a question and responding, “what do you want to know that for?”  And his response was always, “I don’t know why…but I need to know.”

Recently I was chatting on Facebook with a friend when she piped up, “you ask an awful lot of questions.”  It stopped me on my tracks and over the next couple of days I was more aware of what I was saying.  I then realized that I really did ask a lot  of questions.  And I also noticed that a lot of people don’t seem to ask questions at all.

Being a baker, my Dad was alone most of the time with a radio for company.  I’m alone in my job most of the time as well…so I wonder if that has something to do with it.  Or, maybe, there are just people who have that “need” to know.  If I don’t ask questions, I have the type of brain and imagination that tends to make stories up…you know when you’re at a restaurant and you study the people at the table close to you.  By the time dinner is over, you have a whole scenario in your mind?  No?

My Dad was a great story teller too…his bedtime stories were amazing.  When I’d sit down in the bakery during the early morning hours, he would make up stories for me(I remember the one of why the skunk got his stripe…

Another thing my Dad loved to do was negotiate prices…it didn’t matter what it was(back in the 1950s/60s there were still mostly local stores).  I used to HATE going shopping with him cause I knew he would haggle with the owner/clerk to try and get the price down…and most of  the time, he did…and did it quite well.

You know…I kind of wish now that I had learned that talent…

til next time…Eva

 

 

Catnip Capers

I take care of my friend’s furbabies whenever she goes away…and it can range from a weekend trip to visit her son or a three week getaway.  This time it’s one of the longer ones.  I go over once a day to check on them, their food, litter boxes, water, etc.

Maggie(the little gray one) loves fresh catnip and since I always have a pot of catnip, I usually bring her a few fresh leaves.  She waits for me at the top of the stairs when I come in the door and if I don’t have catnip, she gives me that look of utter disbelief that I had forgotten.  Since it’s been such a cold winter, my catnip isn’t doing too well(plus Kitty has been taking his daily vitamins from it), so all I had was a small bag I had dried a while ago.

I sprinkled some dried catnip on the rug and she proceeded to roll around in it.  Next came Jackie(the orange one) and lastly Simba(the black cat)…all three rolling around in the dried catnip.  I closed the bag and put it in a safe spot…or so I thought.

Today I came to the door and all three of them were waiting at the top of the stairs…something that never happens.  As I am greeting them, I notice an empty plastic bag…the supposedly “safe spot” wasn’t safe after all!  Their three faces all looking down at the empty bag when I asked them what happened…as if to say, “oh, gee, I didn’t even notice that bag there…”  I laughed out loud and continued laughing the rest of the day thinking about those little rascals.

I still can’t figure out how they knew where it was…  Totally empty and the three of them were in a terrific mood!  I get to the dried food and that was totally empty as well..something that never happens in just one day.  Simba had had sinus problems for a while but after this catnip he seemed to be feeling better…

Well, no more catnip for them this time around…not unless my plant starts growing like crazy.

 

“Aunt Frances, 102”

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I have not seen “Aunt” Frances since she moved and my Tuesdays that had been with her are now my weekly day off(well, most weeks anyway).  I do know from my neighbor(her niece) that she has adapted well…likes the fact that she no longer has to worry about things going wrong with her home, shopping for food and wondering how she was getting to her various appointments.

Dear “Aunt Frances” will be celebrating her 102 birthday on Tuesday and our local tv station filmed her playing her organ at her church last week…which she still does every Sunday.  http://wnep.com/2016/02/10/101-year-old-piano-player-still-going-strong/

What enables a person to live a long life and still be able to do as “Aunt Frances” can do?  I know she hasn’t had an “easy” life by any standards.  She and her siblings were placed in a children’s home when their mother passed away and their father couldn’t take care of them.  The girls were in one building and the boys were in another.  She married fairly young and her husband was a miner and farmer.  They had three children and at a young age, her husband died from Miners lung…leaving her and three children still in school.  At this point she worked in a clothing factory…eventually becoming supervisor and making the samples.  All this while still maintaining the farm.

She drove her car well into her 90s and it was only when the last car couldn’t be repaired that she and her children decided maybe it was time to stop driving.  She sang in a community chorus until she was 100.

I feel longevity is governed in part by our genetics, by how we’ve taken care of ourselves, our belief system. our positive outlook on life, gratitude,  and our interest in life.  “Aunt Frances” is never bored…her active role in her music, reading, sewing, crocheting, counted cross stitch, keeping track of her family and now her activities in the retirement village in which she lives.

Wishing you a lovely birthday “Aunt Frances”!