Posted in Family, Health, mental-health

Keep Fighting the Good Fight

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week of being busy at work and working hard on my WIPs. But enough about that, today I’d like to talk about the importance of exercise in your self-care regime.

The reason I’m writing this post is to remind myself to exercise. It’s getting colder outside and I’m at that point where I have to transition from running outside to running on a treadmill. I don’t like running on a treadmill and I do it grudgingly because it’s important for my health. So, as you probably have already surmised it’s very easy for me to skip my run during this time.

But I shouldn’t do that because exercise is so important for our bodies and our brains. It increases blood flow which helps in the absorption of oxygen and strengthens all our muscles including our hearts.

It also helps with depression and anxiety. I must remind myself of this during the winter months when it’s easier to slip into that seasonal funk. So, I’m making a concerted effort to continue my exercise routine, but this year I’m going to try something new. I’m thinking about adding another dimension to my exercise routine. I’m going to try Pilates. I’ve heard of it and I’m going to check out a new gym that just opened near my house. I’m not stopping the running, but I think it’s time to build up strength in my core, so I don’t have back issues later in life.

Our bodies need a solid foundation just like our writing does. Did you know running is good for your bones? It is. In fact, running can reverse osteoporosis, so can walking. Any weight bearing exercise is good for your bones.

I feel exercise helps me with my writing as well. All that extra blood and oxygen going to my brain gives my creativity a boost. Since being a writer is my passion, anything that boosts my creativity is good for me.

So, why do I find it hard to exercise when it’s so good for me? Because it’s hard work. I get hot and sweaty and I have to clean up. All of that takes time and right now time is precious to me. I want to spend it with my family. I want to spend it writing. I don’t want to spend it slogging away on a treadmill even if it’s good for me. So, there you have the dilemma I face when I must choose between exercise and writing or exercise and my kids.

It doesn’t sound like a tough choice, but it is. Because exercise is so important, and I must remind myself that I will have MORE time with my kids and MORE time for my writing IF I exercise. I’m extending my life because I’m putting time in now to take care of myself.

This post is a reminder for me, but it’s also a reminder for you to keep up the good fight against disease and illness and continue your exercise regime. What is your exercise routine during the cold winter months? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Parenting, Personal

Connection is the name of the Game

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back after a busy week at work, but I did take Friday off to hang with my kids even though they’re too cool to hang with their mom right now. They’re teenagers after all. 😉

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I’m worried about how this pandemic is affecting them. Especially since they haven’t been able to get together with their friends like they used to. So, I’ve made a concerted effort to get them away from their computers. I appreciate the fact they still listen to me. When I tell them to go outside and get some fresh air, they usually do it. They grumble at first, but they usually go.

I’ve talked to them about finding other interests besides their games, but my youngest pointed out that there’s nothing else to do, and unfortunately, he’s right.

So, tonight he was shooting baskets and I went out and challenged him to a game of horse, but he didn’t want to do that. He wanted to play one on one. Now, I haven’t played basketball in years and it shows. My youngest ran circles around me.

Four People Playing Basketball

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But the thing is, we had fun. We were laughing and giving each other grief. It was good to connect with him on a different level than parent and child. He didn’t trash-talk me too bad. He’s kind and has a good heart. I hope the world doesn’t hurt him. He’s a good kid.

Well, our laughter drew out my oldest and the three of us ended up playing horse together. They ganged up on me, of course, I knew that would happen. But it was nice to see their camaraderie. My youngest ended up winning the game, and he did gloat a little bit, but what I liked was how he was careful of his older brother’s feelings. He said, “It just goes to show that we’re both better than Mom.”

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He didn’t rub it in to his brother that he beat him, too. That made me feel so good because when my hubby and I are long gone, all they’ll have is each other, and one of my goals with my kids is that they have a good relationship. I know life is hard and things aren’t always going to be easy, but I hope they know they can count on each other when things get tough. That’s what family is all about.

Children sitting together with parents and laughing

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It’s so important to connect with your kids. I believe by participating in something they’re interested in you strengthen your bond. One good thing about this pandemic is that it has brought us all a little closer. We appreciate each other more and I think my boys feel the same way.

Has the pandemic brought you closer to the ones you love? How has it strengthened your relationships? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, quarantine, Writing

Have you got the Pandemic Blues?

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Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week of vacation. I needed the break. It was a great week of sun, boat rides, and swimming. There’s something about being by the water that seems to calm my restless soul.

When we go up north, it’s easy to forget about the pandemic and the restrictions and the illness. We’re in our own little world of boating, swimming, watching sunsets, and just enjoying our down time. I think everyone needs to do this. Get out of the house and go somewhere and just have some fun.

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When you work from home, you tend to never leave. You don’t need to unless it’s   to go to the store or run a few errands. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut during these times.

To keep my spirits up, I’m exercising more. That means I’m running. I’m not fast. I won’t be winning any competitions, but it helps me keep a positive attitude and it’s good for my body. Did you know running is good for your bones? If you’re worried about osteoporosis take up running. I just had a bone density scan and my doctor says he can tell I’ve been exercising. 🙂

 

Blonde Woman Running Over The Pedestrian Crossing

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I’m also writing more, which helps me focus on something other than this pandemic and all the information flying around about it. I’ve finished one story and I’ve got another one going and it’s going well. I’m liking this new one almost as much as the one I just finished. The one I just finished has a lot of my heart and soul in the story. I’m very excited about it.

 

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I’ve also started collecting recipes to make some new and exciting meals. We’ve gotten into kind of a food rut lately, and we’ve been eating out more. Which isn’t the best for our health. Cooking with your family is a great way to spend some quality time together and cook up some new healthy meals.

 

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So, the point I’m trying to make is, use this pandemic to work on some projects you haven’t had time to start. You’ll feel productive and it’ll help get your mind off your circumstances. Make it work for you.

How are you spending your time during quarantine? Have you started any new projects? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, quarantine, raising kids, Reading, social media

Quarantine: Week Two

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. My family and I have gotten through another week of quarantine and we haven’t lost our minds…yet. I’ve been putting my story together and I’m getting more and more excited. I’ve written this story differently than my other stories and I really like how it has turned out. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

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So far, my family and I have stayed healthy, so the quarantine is working for us. It has also brought us closer together with late night Uno games and binge-watching Netflix. I love hanging with my kids.

 

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But this quarantine can be hard on people who don’t have a family. People who live alone can become depressed and lonely. So, check on your friends who live alone, send them a text to make sure they’re okay. This is a time to stay connected even if we can’t get together.

There’s a variety of ways you can stay connected in this trying time. Social Media is a great way to stay in touch and make sure everyone is okay. There’s also program’s like Skype and Zoom where you can video chat with your friends. At the very least, you can pick up the phone and give them a call.

 

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Another way to fight depression is to stay busy. I’ve been working on my book, so it doesn’t register that I’ve barely left the house in two weeks. Hubby has a couple of major projects going on around the house that’s keeping him busy and the boys have their video games where they communicate with their friends. I’m letting them have more screen time because playing video games is another way to fight depression.

They’ve been reading every day and their school has a website set up where they can do some assignments. I think it’s great, but I’m not forcing them to do it. I believe they’ll be just fine when they get back to school. The school must adjust to the students needs and I believe they will.

 

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So, that’s how were dealing with the quarantine, working on our own projects and having more family time and staying in touch with my single friends. How about you? How are you combating depression in this crazy time when you can’t leave the house? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Family, kindness

Kindness Matters

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. The holidays are upon us and I’ve had a busy weekend with Christmas shopping and decorating. Later tonight, we’re putting up our tree. So, I haven’t gotten much writing done. So, it begins…tis the season where I struggle to find time to write. It happens every year and this year is no different. Hopefully, I’ll find some time to do it. I do get a little cranky when I don’t get my writing time. 😉

 

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Anyway, enough about that. Today, I’d like to talk about kindness during the holiday season. I remember growing up, we would always spend Christmas Eve with my dad’s side of the family and Christmas Day with my Mom’s side of the family. I remember looking forward to those holidays with so much excitement. I loved getting together with my cousins and everyone was in such a good mood. I loved Christmas. I loved all of it, the food, the presents, and the high spirits. That’s what Christmas means to me, but it isn’t like that for everyone.

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I know many people have painful memories of Christmas. It’s a lonely time of year for them. There has been speculation that the suicide rate increases during the holiday season, but that has been debunked. In my research, I’ve found the suicide rate rises after the holiday season is over.  What this tells me is people can’t pull themselves out of that downward spiral that occurs during Christmas. So, it’s more important than ever to be kind to our co-workers and people we meet along the way. You never know what people are going through.

Kindness does matter, even if our acts seem to go unnoticed, they are not. They’re felt by the people we touch and they’re able to pass that kindness on. It’s the ripple effect, and it does exist.

I know the holidays are about family, but for many people, their family is the problem. They may have toxic relationships inside their family that they can’t change. If you know anybody like this, extend an invitation to them to spend part of the holidays with you. So, they can find a safe place to decompress if they need to from the toxicity of their own environments.

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So, please be kind to everyone you meet. You never know when you might be the person to turn someone’s day around.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. I hope the holidays don’t have you frazzled. Do you have memories of someone’s kindness to you? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Holiday Posts

Thank You Veterans

 

 

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Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’d like to take a few minutes today and thank our veterans for their service. I am truly grateful for the freedom you have fought for and protected for us.

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Even though our country has issues, it’s still one of the best places to live. I’m grateful for my freedoms. I appreciate them every day as I watch my kids get on the school bus. I’m thankful for the dedication of their teachers and the guidance they provide when I’m not there.

I’m thankful for my kids. They are sweet, amazing, and smart. I love that they still come to me with their stories and pick on me in the ways only they can. I appreciate that I’m able to laugh and share with them even though they’re growing more independent.

 

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I appreciate my family. My mom who listens when things don’t go my way. I appreciate my friends who have stood by me through thick and thin. I don’t get to see them as often as I like because we lead busy lives, but I appreciate them nonetheless.

 

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I also appreciate the online friends I’ve met along the way.  The writers and bloggers who support me and lift my spirits with their posts and kind words. I wish I could meet many of you in person, but since we can’t, please be aware I appreciate your presence in my life.

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All this being said, none of it would be possible if it weren’t for the veterans who have protected our freedoms through the years. Some of them paying the ultimate price. So, again, thank you veterans for your service. One day of acknowledgement doesn’t seem like enough.

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Posted in Family, Parenting, Teen

Developing Emotional Intelligence

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I have to apologize, I’ve been neglecting my blog because I’ve been focusing on getting my story together. It’s getting there and I’m loving it. So, sorry, but I’m not sorry. 😊

 

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Today, I’d like to talk about family time. It’s so important in today’s busy world. When did we become such a busy society? We’re always doing instead of taking moments to enjoy each other and our family members. My kids are growing up way too fast. It’s driving me crazy how fast they’re growing up. I’m trying to slow it down, but I can’t. It’s like a runaway freight train. So, I try to plan family nights and we try to eat our evening meals together. We also try to have one evening of family time where we watch a movie together or play cards.

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We were playing hearts last night and the boys were laughing because they were making sure I got all the hearts and the Queen of Spades. All the hearts except for a couple, so I couldn’t shoot the moon, but I digress. Anyway they were ganging up on me because that’s their way of saying they love me. 😉

Photo credit: Jeff Sullivan (www.JeffSullivanPhotography.com) on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Out of the blue, my oldest says, “Look at her face. She’s getting mad.”

I wasn’t mad, but I wasn’t happy either and he picked up on that and the boys stopped teasing me. I still lost, but that’s beside the point.

I was happy to hear my son pick up on my frustration. I don’t like being ganged up on, and he could tell. This is an important lesson, and I’m glad my kids are learning it. They are developing their emotional intelligent.

Emotional intelligence is so important in life. Our teens need to be able to gauge when their spouse, or boss, or a co-worker are upset with them. All the screen time kids get takes away from their ability to pick up on social cues. So, we as parents have to provide them emotional intelligence lessons and I feel that last night was a good one. Even if I did lose. 😉

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I’m trying to give them as many teachable moments as I can because they are going to run into adversity and unfairness in the world. I hope I’m giving them the tools they’ll need to persevere and overcome it. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How about you? How are you helping your kids develop their emotional intelligence? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, raising kids

Protecting your Kids from Predators with Friendly Faces

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of kids, work, and laundry. I’m waiting for summer to begin. We’ve had cold temperatures and rain through most of May after a horrendous winter, so I’m ready for some hot weather. How about you?

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But enough about the weather, today I’d like to talk about a scary statistic. According to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, approximately 800,000 children are reported missing each year. That’s 2000 children a day.

 

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This is upsetting. The world is such a dangerous place right now. My hubby used to give me grief for being over-protective, but how can you not be? When pedophiles become troop leaders, teachers, and coaches, how can we be anything but over-protective?

For example, look at what happened at Seton-Keough High school in Baltimore Maryland. The headmaster of the school, Father Maskell, and his group of priests and police officers were abusing the students. Reports were ignored. This abuse has been documented in other Catholic churches as well. The church chose to move these pedophiles from one parish to the next, protecting the abusers. This abuse had been going on for years. We can’t even trust priests. (For more information about the abuse at Seton-Keough high school, check out the Netflix documentary “The Keepers.” It’s very well done.)

 

So, how do you protect your kids? In my research, I’ve found that these pedophiles are smart and manipulative. They prey on kids whose parents are stressed out and can’t be as involved as they’d like to be. The more involved you are with your kids the more likely the pedophile will leave your child alone. They prey on kids who come from one parent homes or there’s alcoholism or drug abuse in the family. They find the needy kids. The ones who need a role model in their lives.

 

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One sign that your child is being groomed by one of these sick individuals is they’re getting special attention from them. The abuser may be buying them gifts or taking them out to dinner. If this is happening, you need to step in and take control of the situation.  This person is being “nice” for a reason, and it’s not a good one.

It’s sad when you can’t even trust a person for being nice to your child, isn’t it? So, the best thing you can do is to be involved with your kids. The better relationship you have with them, the less likely a pedophile will be able to get their claws into them.

The same goes for abusers who kidnap kids to violate and then discard. These people watch and learn your child’s schedule and when they find them in a vulnerable position, they snatch them up. That’s why I’m with my kids at the bus stop. It’s usually dark because they have to be at school so early in the morning, but it’s also not well lit. I wouldn’t let my kids stand out there by themselves, waiting for the bus on such a lonely road.

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Let’s change this horrible statistic by protecting our kids the best way we can. Thanks for reading my post, I kind of picked a frightening subject to write about. Sorry about that. I’ll write something a little lighter next week.

Do you have any ideas on what we can do to change this statistic? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Health

Dealing with Toxic People

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I hope you had a wonderful Easter and you were able to spend it with family and friends. I’m back today and I’m talking about dealing with toxic people. Sometimes you work with them, sometimes they’re in one of your social circles, and sometimes they’re in your family.

They’re hard to deal with because you have to constantly keep re-establishing your boundaries because they keep trying to push past them and take control. They view you as a means to their ends and that’s it. Unfortunately.

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The only way to deal with these kinds of people is to firmly establish boundaries and not let them past. They will continue to try and when you’ve had enough, they’ll retreat, but they won’t apologize or change their behavior. Instead, they’ll wait until enough time has passed and then they’ll try again. Don’t fall into this trap. When you recognize the pattern, try to get out of it as fast as you can.

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It’s unfortunate when the toxic person is in your family because you can’t avoid them at family functions and they can make life miserable for you during that event but stay strong. They’ll eventually get the message, and when you don’t respond to their manipulations, they’ll get frustrated and leave you alone. Hopefully.

I’ve found avoidance is the best way to deal with these people. They have no clue they’re unhealthy. Self-awareness isn’t their strong suit, and they have no clue how they affect other people. They don’t care. They’re only trying to achieve their goal, and their goal is manipulating  you to do what they want.

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When you get trapped around these people, though, remember they’re the unhealthy ones and don’t let them past your boundary. Stay strong. It might be exhausting, but you can do it. If you do find they’re wearing you out. Leave. That’s what I do. When I’m tired of putting up with their bad behavior, I go home, and you can too.

What other ways do you deal with toxic people? Leave a message, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family

Strive to be Internally Oriented

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy weekend of writing and Christmas shopping. We’re all done for this year. (I think 😉)

For some reason this year is less stressful. I’m not sure why. Maybe because my boys want a lot of electronics and that’s not my department, that’s my hubby’s. So, the pressure’s off me this year. I hope your shopping is going well.

Well, enough about shopping, today I want to talk about something that’s been kind of nagging at me. I’ve noticed with the social media craze that’s going on that people are becoming more externally oriented instead of internally oriented.

 

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We’re becoming obsessed with followers, likes, and memes. This is unfortunate because we’re ignoring the internal work that we all need to do as individuals. We need to figure out what sets our souls on fire and pursue that. Social media is a distraction not a way of life.

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If we become more internally oriented, we’ll be happier. We’ll stop comparing ourselves to others because we’ll be so busy pursuing what makes us happy we won’t have time for anything else. Being internally oriented makes us more self-aware and self-focused.

This is important for our growth and development because without this awareness we’ll be floating through life reacting to the tides instead of steering our course. As parents, when we’re self-aware, we teach our children to focus on their dreams and goals. We give them permission to pursue them.

 

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So, let’s set that example for our children and start becoming more internally oriented. By focusing on what makes us feel good about ourselves, we don’t have to look outside for validation. This makes us stronger and happier individuals.

Let’s put this social media craze on the back burner and build better relationships with ourselves. By doing this, we’ll be making our relationships with our partners and our children stronger. We’ll have a stronger connection with our family members and that’s where it all starts, isn’t it?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. What are your thoughts? How do you think we can become more internally oriented? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

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