Posted in Health, Women

When you have Health you truly have Wealth

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I hope all of you had a great fourth of July and that you’re enjoying your summer.

I know I am, especially now that we’ve got some of that hot, steamy weather I love. That’s what summer’s all about, that’s for sure. I must apologize, I’m struggling a little bit juggling my family, work, writing, social media, and trying to get into shape. So, because of that my blog posts have become a little erratic. Sorry about that.  I’m hoping I’ll get into another routine soon, so I can maintain my schedule. Wish me luck! 😉

 

Photo on VisualHunt.com

 

Today, I’d like to talk about our health and how society’s portrayal of a perfect body image damages the self esteem of women. We get into the habit of trying to perfect our imperfections when in reality they aren’t imperfections at all. They’re what make us unique and special. We’re all special in our own way and I wish magazines and ad companies would embrace this.

Photo on Visual hunt

The reality of the situation is, we eat a lot of processed foods as a society, and a lot of fast food. The processed food contains sugar to make it taste better so we buy it. The fast food is full of empty calories that make it taste better so we buy it. Because of this, we as a society weigh more than we did decades ago.

Our bodies are changing because of this, but the images in magazines and ads are not. Consequently, our self-esteem is affected. We feel bad because we don’t look like those photo-shopped images. Social media isn’t helping either. It’s my opinion, that when we don’t feel good about ourselves we tend to engage in behaviors that help us cope. Some of those behaviors don’t help us either, because when some people don’t feel good about themselves, they eat more carbs to feel better. It’s a vicious cycle.

Photo on Visualhunt

So, here’s my solution. We need to focus on our health instead of what we look like. We need to get outside and exercise more. You don’t need to run a marathon to become healthy. You can just get up and walk more. I like to run because it exercises my heart as well, (heart disease runs in my family) but running one mile and walking one mile burns the same number of calories.

Look at your family history and formulate a work out plan that works for you. I run because I need to make sure my heart is strong. You may not need to do that, so pick an exercise you like and that works for you because you’re more likely to stick with it.

Eat healthier, less sweets and more fruits and vegetables. Less processed foods. I try to stay away from them, but I don’t always succeed. I also try to stay away from sweets, but that’s hard to do, too.

Remember corporations are out to make money. So, they have no problem selling us foods that aren’t good for us but taste good. Take control of your health before it’s too late. Because if you have your health, you truly have wealth. I see so many people who’ve worked hard all their lives for money, but they aren’t healthy in their old age and aren’t enjoying any of the money they made.

Photo on Visualhunt.com

So, make sure you’re balancing your life so that you have time to take care of yourself. That may mean spending more time cooking from scratch as opposed to fast food and processed food. Remember if you don’t take time for your health now, you’ll be taking time for illness later.

Photo on VisualHunt.com

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post, I kind of went off on a tangent there, but it’s all good. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you maintain your health. Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Posted in inspiration, Women

What sets your Soul on Fire?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. It’s a blustery Wednesday and most of the state of Michigan has closed including the company I work for. So, I’ve been snuggled under my blanket in front of the fire working on my story. That’s when the inspiration hit for this blog post. So, here we go!

Photo credit: paul+photos=moody on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

Women through out history have been given conflicting messages from society when it comes to their role in life. Dealing with this is exasperating and draining, so here’s my take on that.

Women should decide for themselves what they want to do with their lives.

Don’t ask your partner because most likely he or she will pick what they want, and that may or may not be what’s best for you. Now, this may be uncomfortable for you because we were raised to be nice and think of other people’s feelings first, but it’s okay to be self-focused about this. You have just as much right to pursue happiness as everyone else on the face of the earth. It’s written in the constitution.

Photo on Visualhunt.com

To do this, you have to prioritize your goals. Choose the ones that are most important to you. It may be you want to stay at home and be there for your kids. It may be you want a career because accomplishments are important to you. Whatever the case may be, decide what aspirations are important to you and pursue those goals.  Don’t listen to anybody else.

To find the goals that resonate with you, you must know yourself, know what sets your soul on fire. It takes time to do this and sometimes it might be a little uncomfortable, but it’s worth the discomfort. Trust me. Once you know what’s important to you, the setting and following goals part becomes much easier.

 

Photo credit: David Reber’s Hammer Photography on VisualhuntCC BY-SA

As you go through this process, you’ll see not everyone has the same dream and not everyone will understand your journey, and that’s okay. We all have our own paths to take and once we accept that, we’ll be able to allow everyone in our lives to walk their own path. It doesn’t mean we won’t feel pain or discouragement, but  maybe we won’t spend so much time wallowing in those painful emotions. We’ll learn our lesson and move on.

Once we do this, things will start to flow. Decisions will be easier to make because we’ll ask ourselves, does this align with my dreams? If the answer is yes, we know what to do, and if the answer is no, we know what to do.

So, take a few minutes, or a few hours, or a few days, months, or years and think about what sets your soul on fire and then go for it!

Photo on VisualHunt.com

Thanks for taking time to read my post. I hope it resonates with you! What are your dreams and aspirations? What steps are you taking to go after them? Leave a comment! I love hearing from you!

Posted in raising kids, Women

More Support and Less Criticism for 2018

 

 

Photo by James Marvin Phelps on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy holiday season, and I’m looking forward to 2018. I’m hoping this is my best year yet, and I hope it’s your best year as well.

For my first post of the year, I’d like to talk about the negative messages women receive throughout their lives. It feels like every decision we make, society has something negative to say about it. I believe the image below is an accurate depiction of what women go through as they follow their own path.

 

No automatic alt text available.

 

So, one of my goals for 2018 is to be more supportive of other women even when their path is different from mine. I don’t want to join in with all the negative voices and be part of the crowd. I want to be the one positive voice that’s yelling out, “You go girl!”

If we received more positive messages just think what we could accomplish. If we didn’t have to spend so much time and energy defending our position or our choices just think how far we could go.

Hmm…makes you stop and think, doesn’t it?

Do you think we can turn this trend around?

I do. More and more women are aware of the negative messages society has cast in our direction. My question is where does this all stem from? How did it get started?

This is something that’s been going on for generations. You can see evidence of it throughout history.  We’re changing it, slowly, but surely.

We need to band together. The hardest part of all of this is for women to see that we’re part of the problem. We need to stop judging each other so harshly and start supporting each other even if we don’t agree. Everyone’s path is different and we’re all entitled to our own path. We need to remember that when we get into that critical, judgey mode. A lot of women do this. I’ve seen it, but we can change this and send more positive vibes out into the atmosphere.

Photo on Visual hunt

This is important because we need to be role models for future generations. We want them to have it better than us, don’t you agree? We didn’t go through all the crap we’ve been through for our kids to experience the same thing.

Photo on Visual Hunt

The world needs compassion right now. With more compassion and less competition we can do amazing things. What are some of the things you can do to be more supportive of women around you? I’m always looking for ideas!

So there you have it. One of my New Year’s goals is to have more compassion and support the women around me. How about you? Let’s create a ripple effect and see what happens. I’d love to see amazing things in 2018, wouldn’t you? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Other Articles you might be interested in:

Let’s End the Mom Wars

The War on Perfection

 

Posted in inspiration, kindness, Women

Don’t Judge Me

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’ve reached the 50,000 word mark on my latest manuscript. I reached it on the thirtieth of November so if I were competing in Nano, I would’ve reached my goal. I was hoping to be finished with the story by this time, but alas, it is not meant to be. It’s not done, but I’m a lot closer than I was. I’m guessing between twenty and thirty thousand more words will do the trick. Fingers crossed. 🙂

Photo on VisualHunt

But enough about that. I’m back today to talk about something I feel is important for all of us of the female persuasion and that is supporting each other. My new motto for 2018 is going to be “Don’t Judge Me.” I think we’ll get much further ahead if we stop judging each other. Instead, we should embrace our differences and support each other.

I see this support in the writing community and it amazes me. I come from a male dominated field where things were extremely competitive. So when I did come across another woman, she tended to be territorial and back-stabby. I’m sure you all know this type. So when I started writing and found other supportive women, it was truly a gift and something I had to get used to.

Photo by erlin1 on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Why haven’t we does this in the past? I believe it’s because we have grown up with the idea that there isn’t enough to go around. Enough money. Enough self-respect. Enough self-worth.  Enough love.  We don’t believe our needs will get met so we search outside ourselves to find someone who’ll meet our needs, when what we really need to do is search within ourselves, and figure out what makes us whole.

For me, it’s my writing. I could do this all day, every day, so in times of great stress that’s what I do to ease my angst. It’s different for everyone. Some people paint, some exercise, and some work. Whatever it is, find your passion. It will calm the inner storm and you’ll feel self-reliant.

Sorry, I digress. We were talking about women bonding together. Wait. I did have a reason for bringing the passion thing up. Here’s my point. We need to support each other in the pursuit of our passions. We need to bond together, not judge each other when we walk a different path, because we all have our own path and our own lessons to learn, wouldn’t you agree?

Photo on Visualhunt.com

So let’s do that. Stop judging. Be more accepting of our differences. We are all unique snowflakes, and we all deserve to be appreciated and respected. Am I right, or am I right?

What are you passionate about? How do you feel about women being supportive of each other? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Reading, reviews, Women, World War II

Winter Garden: A Review

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a short blogcation last week. I’m halfway done with my second WIP of the summer and I’m excited about this one just as much as I was excited about the first one I finished. I’m also back to work. Sob. Summer is over.

I didn’t get all three books done like I planned. Sigh. However, that can be summed up in one word. Kids. 🙂

So to ease myself back into the blogosphere. I thought I’d share my thoughts on one of the books I read over the summer. The title is “Winter Garden” by Kristen Hannah. The cover and blurb are below.

 

Winter Garden by [Hannah, Kristin]

Can a woman ever really know herself if she doesn’t know her mother? 

From the author of the smash-hit bestseller Firefly Lane and True Colors comes a powerful, heartbreaking novel that illuminates the intricate mother-daughter bond and explores the enduring links between the present and the past 

Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard; the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time—and all the way to the end. Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya’s life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother’s life, and what they learn is a secret so terrible and terrifying that it will shake the very foundation of their family and change who they believe they are.

 

My Thoughts:

 

I loved this story. It was emotional and well written like all of Kristen Hannah’s books are. The first one of her books I read was “The Nightingale” and it was good, too. In “Winter Garden” the main characters are two sisters who are polar opposites. One who takes on all the responsibilities of her family orchard and one who runs away.  She does a great job of showing their two distinct personalities and the conflicts they incur because of them.

This is a tale of a complicated relationship between a mother and her two daughters. The mother is cold and unloving and her daughters resent this, but as the story unfolds, they learn the heartbreaking story of why their mother is so reserved. They come to understand her and understand the love their father had for her.  They also grow to love her.

I don’t want to give too much away so I won’t give away any more details, but I will say there is a surprise twist at the end so have your tissues handy!

If you’re looking to add something to your TBR pile for the long winter months. This would be a great addition. How about you? Have you read any good books this summer that you’d like to share? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Teen, Women

What’s Up with this Gray Hair Trend among our Teens?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m writing this blog post during a thunder storm and I’m enjoying the atmosphere. It’s such a peaceful feeling to work on something when it’s dark and rainy outside, and it is dark and rainy. I woke up thinking it was four AM, but it was quarter to eight. I was just a tiny bit disappointed I didn’t have another four hours to leisurely lie in bed.

Photo credit: MiquelGP54 via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Today I’d like to talk about a trend I’ve been noticing that’s running amuck among our teens. The trend is dying their hair gray. Oh My God! Are you freaking kidding me! GRAY hair?

I’ve noticed this in my high school and I’ve confirmed it with my hair dresser, she tells me it’s true.  I find this incredibly ironic. In a society that values youth above anything, we have our young people making themselves look older by dying their hair gray. What’s up with that? Are they making a statement? I don’t know. I’m going to investigate further and find out, though. I want to tell these girls to enjoy their hair while they can. Take care of it. Because old age and illness can change that glorious mane in a heartbeat.

Hair dye companies are loving this, though. They’re making money hand over fist. In fact, in 2015 Clairol made 11.55 million dollars in their Hair Product sales alone. https://www.statista.com/statistics/346513/us-supermarkets-hair-growth-product-dollar-sales/

Photo credit: Buster Benson via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

It makes me wonder what the cosmetic industry makes every year by making women feel like they’re not enough until they use this latest mascara, or rouge, or foundation…or all three.

Loreal made an operating profit of 4.338 billion euros last year. All I can say is, “Wow.” Don’t believe me? Check out this link: http://www.loreal-finance.com/eng/news/2015-annual-results-1047.htm

Photo credit: Akira Ohgaki via Visualhunt / CC BY

These companies are profiting off of women’s low self-esteem. We need to turn this around. We’re much more than pretty faces. We have hearts and souls, thoughts and feelings. We’re so much more than our packaging. Wouldn’t you agree?

I know one way to turn this around and that’s to stop buying their products, but I don’t believe this will ever happen until we raise women up. We need to teach our daughters, nieces, and cousins they’re much more than a pretty face. They’re nurturers, fighters, competitors, artists, and dreamers. We need to be embracing these qualities and encouraging all girls to develop them as they grow. Then these companies will lose their hold on us and we won’t be slaves to the latest trends.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. I’d love to hear from you! Any thoughts on this new trend? How can we undo the message that cosmetics companies send us every day? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!