Category Archives: Inspiration

New perspectives


When we first moved into the little town we live in, my only thoughts were of
living my life in peace away from the hustle and bustle of the city and definitely
enjoying the big change that this tropical jungle was from the cement jungle of
New York City in which I spent most of my childhood and adult life.

Now that I am following a more disciplined and healthy eating routine, I find
myself focusing on other things besides food. The food aspect is easy so far: I
plan my meals, track them and then get on with my days. I go to bed a little bit
hungry each night but it is manageable and I have not lost any sleep. However,
the fact that I am not grazing all day means that I am also not “stuffing” my
feelings with food, something I frankly never thought I did. Now, though, I have
come to the realization that maybe I have been doing that and for longer than I

Back to my original reason for bringing up my small town. We arrived here almost
16 years ago to a brand new modern home that took more than one year to build.
Almost instantaneously, I was introduced to a woman who would catapult me into
a position in town that I never sought or enjoyed but found difficult to extricate
myself from once I unwittingly committed to different projects. My plans to be just
another citizen enjoying the benefits of a rural existence and having time to make
jewelry, read, devote myself to writing, learn to embroider, etc. came to a halt because
I set myself up to have many, many responsibilities. I am one of those people who can
always be counted on to see a project to the end while the previously mentioned woman
was the “my way or the highway” sort of gal.

When I finally (after almost a decade) began to resent the constant interruptions in my
life, phone calls at all hours of the day or night, unreasonable demands on my time and
other resources, and started to respect myself enough to make boundaries, the woman
turned on me without hesitation. I had been unaware that we were not friends, that’s
how naive I was and how manipulative she was. The awakening was very hard for me to
face and now looking back, I wonder at myself and my capacity to have withstood all that
I did for so long.

But this is not a post about whining or feeling sorry for myself. Au contraire. I have
recently been approached to help someone achieve something they want, NOT something
I want. My initial response was an almost automatic “yes”…in other words me committing
to a project that did not originate with me…because I don’t want to let my “friend” down.
Not having food as a substitute is allowing me to think deeply about this “friend”. He
wants to ingratiate himself with a certain group in town that he believes I have influence
over, which is actually not true! I have been able to step back this time and ask myself
whether or not my time should not be spent on my writing, my family, my hobbies! Old
me would have asked him to elaborate on his idea so I could see a way to carry it out for
him. New me (or on the way to becoming New Me!) is busily trying to find out why I still
have the idea I need to curry favor with everyone. It is making interesting food for thought
with the added benefits of coming without any calories! public domain image



I’ve only been doing the Freedom plan for two weeks and I feel great. Granted last week’s
weight loss (.8 lbs.) was very modest and I could feel a little disheartened until I talk a close
look at my food diary and could come up with very good reasons for the fact that the loss was
not more.

After my husband came home from his trip, there was a slight slip and instead of keeping very
close watch on the quantity of (my favorite) cognac, I had a double and counted it as a single.
Then there was the odd (extra) piece of bread, the chocolate, the tamal that is so in vogue at this
time of year. So when I jumped on the scale yesterday and didn’t see the expected loss, I became
an investigator. Yesterday I behaved very well, tracking everything and today when I stepped on
the scale, the number was more pleasing.

I know all about weight loss and weight gain. I have tried everything, from eating when and what
I want to keeping strict tabs. From not weighing myself for weeks and months, to weighing myself
every few hours.  I have come to realize that we are all different in our approach to weight, weight
loss/gain, and in the way our bodies work. For me, it is necessary to write things down, to become
excited about using new spices in different ways, to imagine myself wearing clothes I haven’t fit
into for years. I enjoy discipline and I am glad that there is so much freedom in this new plan.

Every now and then I feel the days are long, hunger is not a sensation I have felt for a long time
and I am feeling it now, but I also realize that I haven’t met too many +80 year olds who are
obese and know myself to be newly hopeful that I will live beyond 80 and will be at a good
normal weight. I admire people who have to lose more than 100 lbs. and are doing so, their
stories inspire me and their before and after pictures even more so. public domain image




One of the reasons I think I will be successful with this weight-loss attempt is that
I have signed up and in to the online community and perused the many successful
and not so successful stories there. I uploaded my picture which is something I have
not wanted to do in the past. A few minutes ago, my daughter showed me a family
picture that goes back almost 4 years and I can see the difference between then and
now. Like I told her, I was fat there already but now I long to go back and fit into the
blouse I was wearing.

Earlier this year, when I was going through one of those periods of de-cluttering, I saw
that pretty fitted blouse and decided it was just taking up room in my closet and it was
pointless to keep it so I packed it up and (along with many other cute things) gave it
to one of my cousins who has lots of relatives and friends who could use it. I am a little
sad now, it was a lovely peach color that flattered my complexion and the style was very
unique. I am sure that my reasoning went something like this: Well, it’s never going to fit
me again, it’s taking up room, if I ever get down to that weight again, I can always go out
and buy a new one…I know you can identify with this if you are trying to keep from being
one of those people who has 3 different sizes in their closet. For the longest time, I was
always sure that from one year to the next, my size would be the same so I had a lot of
clothes. I still have way too many clothes (I love clothes at all sizes) but now it takes me
a long time before I’m ready each morning because I have to try and discard.

I feel good today. I went to bed a little bit hungry and I think it’s because I have not been
eating enough protein. I will be more diligent in the future because the worst thing that could
happen is for me to get sick when I’m trying to stay healthy. I will confess that one of the issues
that concern me is that I have never had to lose this much weight before and I don’t know what
I can do to go slowly and steadily and not have extra sagging skin everywhere. I will invest time
reading about firming up and toning up my body. I know this seems superficial (well, it is super-
ficial) but after seeing before and after pictures of some of the brave souls on WW who post them,
it is not a small thing to me. free to use image

Happy Noise Pollution!


My husband is away this week so I’ve been taking care of the many things he
is usually in charge of. That includes getting up around 5:30 a.m. to make the
coffee and let our dog out for a run and then feeding her. This morning, I am
keenly aware of the many birds we have on our property that are usually gone
by the time I make my appearance a couple of hours later.

I am amazed by how many different songs there are and just how loud they can
be. Their joy is immense and I suppose all the reforestation we have done over
the years has made our grounds a safe haven for all of them. It is incredible to
observe them flying joyfully from tree branch to tree branch, partaking and
sharing in Nature’s Bounty without ever getting into each other’s way. I feel so
grateful for this Tropical Paradise that never lets me down. I breathe in the
goodness that permits me to forget the chaos of the world as I welcome the
strong sensations of peace deep in my soul.

This week has been an unexpected opportunity to connect with the very fibers
of my being, to delve deep within myself in silence and calm to discern and try
to prioritize the things in  my life that bring me contentment and strength. I
bless everyone and everything in this moment as I begin the daily routine that
I have come to appreciate.

Have a good day.


Pixabay image

No shame in being me!


I have been feeling pretty good lately. I admit that there is an underlying anxiety about
“stuff” sometimes but then I remind myself that there are things I can’t really control and
losing peace of mind over them is helping no one.

My emails this morning included a TEDx presentation from one of the “life coaches” that I
follow and whose newsletters I subscribe to.  I really enjoy watching her, she is young and is
passionate about her career and about connecting with people. I identify with her because if
I were younger I might actually look into a similar path for myself. Alas, at 61, frankly, the list
of things I will really be able to do before I’m 100 is getting shorter and shorter which is okay
with me.

I bring up the TEDx talk because about 10 years ago, I decided that I wanted to one day give
a TEDx presentation. I was so full of energy and I was involved in an organization in our small
town that was becoming somewhat successful at getting things done in the community. I felt
that I had the passion and the talking skills necessary to stand up in front of an audience and
energize them to feel the way I did: that the world was a friendly and wonderful place and that
we all had an obligation to be active participants in our lives. I felt I could really transmit the
message and that we would all benefit. Plus I thought it would be lots of fun.

My colleague (and up to that time, a person I thought was my close friend) mocked me and
essentially questioned not only my talent but my thinking that anything I could possibly put
forward would interest an audience. I remember being disappointed about the reaction but
I was so naive (embarrassingly naive, in fact) that I quickly decided that my “friend” had my
best interests at heart and probably knew best. A couple of years after that incident, our
friendship was permanently severed and it took me a few years to get back my early confidence.

Several years passed.  I was left to lead an organization that I didn’t want to be a part of at first
but was committed to finishing out my tenure at. I worked tirelessly and pro-bono because I
had pride and a reputation to protect. I did more than anyone but was humble when people
praised me. Looking back today, I can actually point out the many areas in our small town that
improved as a result of my personal attention. Rarely do I point these things out. However, today
when I watched the TEDx talk that the life coach shared with us, it took me back! And we all
know what happens in the world of Youtube! Suddenly you find yourself in that unavoidable
“rabbit hole” that brought me to a couple of other talks that had fat/body acceptance/living life
NOW rather than waiting to lose weight…that really, really motivated me.

In 2015, I was asked to give a motivational speech about bilingualism. I prepared my talk with
the usual energy I bring to everything and I was wonderfully fulfilled that it went exactly the way
I had hoped. I think of that speech as my TEDx talk and look forward to another opportunity to
be myself. At 61, I think I have earned the right to do so!

Here is the link to one of the talks I listened to today. Enjoy. image

Reading helps with writing!


I have wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I knew that writing was important
because every morning when I was a child, my parents kept asking about whether or not the
newspaper had been delivered. I began at about age 4 to look out the window and when I
saw the paper delivery person arrive, I would announce this news to the family. I can
remember that my parents couldn’t wait to get their hands on the source of news! That’s
why I knew that telling stuff in writing was a good thing.

Fast forward almost 60 years and I can definitely say that I have been writing one way or
another all of my life. When I was in my 20’s, I wrote a short story (humor) and sent it off
to an agent who proceeded to tell me that it was good but that in its current presentation,
it would not be bought by anyone. So for a fee of only (whatever it was at the time, I can’t
remember), they would edit and submit it to several publishers. I sent in my money but got
nothing but rejection letter after rejection letter. I gave up and don’t know what I did
with the story which was a loose version of an autobiographical incident that took place in
my own life. The agents, of course, strongly suggested that for an additional fee they might
be able to revamp the story and make it ‘sellable’. I was not so sure.

In the last 10 years, I have written and published a local on line magazine which I stopped
working on in March. In a way, it was a pity to end it because there were some very worthy
journalists who contributed each month, but it had become a heavy responsibility and I found
I had no time to write or develop the themes that have been dancing in my head for years.
Now I have a little bit of spare hours each day but I find that I can distract myself with
all manner of occupations before I eventually find my tush on the chair. I try to look at
this situation objectively instead of taking aim at myself and my writing habits.

Last week I had to renew a 600 page book at the library because I was not able to finish
reading it in the 3 weeks they loaned it to me for. The story is fascinating and it moves
fast but I rarely take the time to read during the day, saving it for bedtime when I know
that as soon as I put head to pillow, I fall asleep! Today, I will try to visit the recliner
I purchased a month ago (but used only 5 times so far) and read for an hour to advance in
the story. I find that when I am reading, I can actually work out some of the details that
are holding me back in my own stories.

Reading helps my writing because I can experience for myself the way another author
transports readers from one place to another. I am hoping to write more frequently
and more easily about universal things that interest all of us. It is true that every story
has been told. It is equally true that we can all tell the same story in a different manner.
Just ask any family with lots of siblings and they will each remember the same incident
in a different way.

I came across that lovely sentence by Steven Aitchison quite by accident. One click
usually leads to many clicks and hours wasted spent searching one thing or another,
but in this case, it was a good find.

Happy reading, happy writing, happy musing! free to use image

A new beginning begins with a promise…


Call me old fashioned…I am! I love, love, love the idea behind weddings.
I think the commitment to work on a marriage after the glitter of the wedding
festivities is just a memory is a very sexy thing. In this modern world of
alternative ways to live ones life, I find that marriage is still something
that most young and old people strive to succeed at. Perhaps this is why despite
a failure or two, people continue to remarry. I am one of those people and have
so far succeeded in marriage #2! I am thankful I found “the one” and I am more
than confident, he feels the same way.

I recently attended a wedding that was more than 18 months in planning. Everything
was original, from the bridal party configuration to the wedding favors. Everyone
was happy; both families rejoicing in their children’s union and hoping for wonderful
things in the future. It was exactly what a wedding should be: the joining of two
completely different cultures with one single goal, to go forth in love and health.

May the happy couple and their families continue to be blessed.

Image of wedding cake: public domain image

Up here in the country!


My desire to write has brought me at last to a place that is quiet and bereft
of distractions. I have been awake since 8 a.m. and it is only now (5:06 p.m.) that
I have actually stopped doing the busy work (checking emails, deciding what to have
for breakfast and lunch, taking out the pet in my care, etc.) and actually sat down
to write.

It is true what I heard not long ago, writing is an invisible job. No one knows you
are actually creating anything until it comes out and often it takes years before a
story is properly structured and can be read as a book.

Wish me lucK in this endeavour. I have left all my notes with my protagonist’s angst
safely stored in a place I cannot access it right now. What is that all about?

image: public domain image

Mental voyages



Every morning after I wake up and begin my morning routine of breakfast, making the
bed, going to the pool to do my daily laps, I say my verses (prayers, if you will)
and trust that the day will unfold slowly and without distractions so that I can sit
in front of my computer and work on my writing. With very few exceptions, by the
time I actually am ready to face the day – that is showered, dressed and ready to
go out should it be necessary – I have lost the inspiration and the words that seem
to have come so easily while I was swimming! I wish I had a waterproof gadget that
could record the wildly complete and good paragraphs that vanish into thin air as
soon as I touch real life!

On Sunday mornings, I usually devote a good 3 to 4 hours writing my “inspiration” blog
that reaches about 200-300 people in my community. Although I don’t always feel the
inspiration, I think of that Sunday blog as my “job”, a self-assigned task that I have
committed to and have written for about 9 years. I use those 3 to 4 hours reading other
blogs, answering or reading new emails, listening to all kinds of music before I actually
write my first sentence. But in all the years I have done the blog, I have not failed a
single Sunday, a fact that actually surprises me and touches a bit on the kind of personality
I have. I am nothing if not responsible and I know that there are people who actually wait
until they have received and read my Sunday message before they actually begin their day.
I know this because people have often written to tell me or they stop me in the street to
share this important fact. I suppose that my writing for myself (or my book) does not carry
the same urgency I feel about the Sunday blog. I think it is time to change that and make
it a daily part of my routine. I suppose that is why I am writing here today…just to get
into the habit of writing more often. In my mind I have no writer’s block, it happens just
as I sit to actually write…

image from public domain

What a difference a day makes…



Large, cute, fat round bird is the description of that clip art beginning this post!
It is definitely cute as am I except that I am a small, cute, fat round woman! I can’t
believe that I can actually write that and accept it as being the objective reality right
now of my physical manifestation. The inside of me feels exactly the same at this age and
weight as it did 40 years ago when I was normal weight and very young! Wow, it is so
refreshing to feel at peace with this, a new normal I hope to pursue.

I’ve been quite busy these days, helping my customers navigate the different processes
that allow them to remain permanent residents in the country. It is always fun to meet
new people who have other concerns on their mind besides whether or not I look the part
I am about to play in their lives (competent consultant!). It’s an incredible rush when
someone hugs me at the end of a complicated translation ordeal and tells me the words that
I have always responded to (more than money!) “I/We could not have done this without you!”
Although I know they could have (it would have taken longer, not been as much fun, etc.),
it is always nice to be acknowledged and recognized for having expertise in something.
From now on, I will stop pretending that my skills just came with me when my parents
“ordered” me from the stork. My skills are a result of my dedication, ability and desire
to help people. It’s been a great week!