What’s the Right Age?

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At some point in our life, we stop worrying about how old we are. It takes a long time to get to that point, though, doesn’t it?

When we’re actually young, we want to be older. When we start getting older, we want to pretend that we’re not. We like to believe that we’re still young. When we hit our 40’s and then our 50’s, we like to think that the old saying of “you’re only as old as you feel” is accurate. We still think that, if we refuse to acknowledge that we’re getting older, we can pretend we’re still about ten years younger than we actually are. That’s pretty easy to do when you feel younger!

When you’re still running around trying to do it all, you feel young, you feel invincible! It’s easy to tell yourself that you’re still young at heart, which is all that really matters. Age is just a number; it’s how you feel that counts.

Well, at some point, we all have to admit to ourselves that we are, indeed, getting older. That doesn’t mean we have to consider ourselves as old, just older than we were. At no point in our lives do we have to feel bad about being older, though. As a matter of fact, I’m finding it to be a bit liberating. I no longer feel like I HAVE to do every single thing that I used to do. I’m acknowledging that it’s okay to move just a little bit slower than I used to. I no longer get as much done because it does take me longer and sometimes I just don’t feel up to it. This is the bonus time in my life! I really don’t HAVE to do it all anymore. I’m giving myself permission to slow down and not make excuses about it, even to myself!

I don’t know that anybody has higher expectations for us than we do ourselves. I’ve always felt like I didn’t have any other option than to do every single thing that I was capable of doing. It wasn’t acceptable to do less. Well, now that I’m about to turn one of those nice even round numbers soon, I’m telling myself that I am now authorized to do whatever I feel like. Obviously we all have commitments that require our time, but beyond that, we all have things that we WANT to do and things that we feel COMPELLED to do. I’m going to start doing more of the things that I want to do instead. I’m going to leave undone some of the things that I’ve previously done just because I “should”.

No matter how old you are, you are entitled to live your best life. Take care of yourself; take care of those people that are important to you. Be conscious of those things that you want to make a priority in your life. Make time for those and fit the rest in when you’re able. There comes a time in your life when you’re going to recognize what’s important and what’s not. The sooner you find yourself at that point, the more time you’ll have to live the way that you want to!

It’s National Puppy Day!

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Woo Hoo!

Who DOESN’T love a good puppy pic?

Here’s my contribution to this day. These are the two pups that we adopted just about three years ago. They are sisters and we just couldn’t handle the thought of somebody leaving one behind, so we took them both home. Hint: don’t adopt two small puppies and try to train them in the middle of winter!

They do almost everything together at the same time. When walking, they change direction and veer off, curving together. They cock their heads at the same time and both relax with their back right leg sticking out behind them. They have separation anxiety and can’t be apart, EVER. This gave ME anxiety about what will happen one day when they have to be apart, but the vet reassured us that there’s nothing wrong with it. He said that they’d get over it they were ready. In fact, a mere three years later and they can now be in separate rooms from each other, but that’s as far as they’ll go.

I’m not going to admit that my pups are spoiled, but they sit and stare me down several times daily until I agree to cuddle them. I’ve tried to outlast them, but I’m embarrassed to say that we’re about even at this point.

Yes, puppies can be hard. They can be messy, they can be expensive, and they can be a pain in the butt sometimes. It’s a small price to pay for their love and their loyalty.

I would love to hear about your puppy stories; feel free to share here.

Happy Puppy Day!

 

 

Cold and Flu Season

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As we’ve all been hearing in the news, this year’s flu season is just horrible! It’s widespread and it’s deadly. Be careful and be sure to follow all the recommended tips to both avoid and treat the flu. Here’s the link from the CDC talking about the flu. They provide tips on prevention, symptoms, and treatment. They also talk about the differences between a cold and the flu so that you can treat your symptoms correctly.

There are still lots of other viruses and infections out there that can affect us as well. Aside from seeing your doctor and taking medications when needed, what are some of the other things that you can do to make yourself feel better? Sometimes the only thing we can do is get through it and try to minimize the symptoms that we’re experiencing.

Many times, we don’t have much of an appetite but know that we have to stay hydrated and get nutrients to get better. Some of the popular methods of doing this are to drink water, ginger ale, or Gatorade. Sometimes we’re not able to tolerate much in the way of food so oatmeal, crackers or graham crackers, or soup is tolerated a little bit better.

Please see my post from last year on National Soup Day for more information on the benefits of soup and how to make your own!

What about some of the other things that you can do to just make you FEEL better, like cuddling in bed with your favorite soft blanket, a good book, headphones and music? Anything that makes you feel better at times like this is good for you!

I’m kind of old school and new school. I still believe in the power of Vicks VapoRub and NyQuil. I also use peppermint essential oil on my forehead and temples for headaches and eucalyptus and lavender to make me feel better. I grab my heating pad for muscle aches and an ice bag for head pain. When I have trouble concentrating on a book or television, I scroll through Pinterest or just listen to music. I’m also pretty convinced that chocolate makes it go away faster. What are some of the things that you do to get through this?

 

 

Use Your Voice!

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I’m finding it very hard these days to keep up with all of the movements and issues that seem to be in our news.  I think that that we are at such a raised level of awareness that it’s overwhelming. Each one of these seems to be creating a new wave of support, a new cause. I can’t decide whether there’s actually more things going on or if we just have an increased awareness of all of them.

After watching Kesha’s performance at the Grammy’s, it made me wonder why some of these people and some of these circumstances resonate more than others. What makes ONE voice, one statement, or one action take off when others don’t? How does timing fit in? None of these things are new. There are millions of us that have things to say, concerns to voice, or causes to champion. Social media is an ever-changing collection of opinions and statements on everything from the mundane to the critical. What makes the difference between a comment that we just read and pass by to one that takes over and becomes a movement? All of these causes are legitimate and many have been around for years and even decades; so why are they getting attention NOW?

We seem to have become a country of people that are automatically inclined to be doubtful, to feel that we’re not being listened to and to feel that we need to fight for what we want. Another valid concern is that many of these issues (inequality and bias) have been around forever and have not been adequately addressed. Any new trigger is enough to re-start the conversation because it’s never been resolved. I think we’re all just so frustrated and discouraged that we’re rising up and fighting back at every opportunity that we’re given.

Still, it doesn’t explain the popularity of one and not another. Black Lives Matter has been around for a long time in an effort to raise awareness to the inequities in treatment between races. Colin Kaepernick had been silently protesting for months before it turned into a huge controversy involving the president, followed by the NFL and people at large. What was it that caused the attention to roll back on him later instead of immediately? Kesha had been battling her abuse allegations for over a decade and came to attention a few years ago and was dismissed. It’s just now that she is being praised for her courage and voice on the issues. Women’s issues and sexual harassment are finally getting the attention they deserve as well, being spurred on by #MeToo and #TimesUp, but which event, comment, or action spurred these movements?

Looking at some of these more recent movements leads me to believe that a lot of different elements can contribute to the amplification of an issue. It can be the political climate, media attention, timing, and how people identify to either the cause or the person speaking out. The thing is, none of these are new issues; many have been with us since the beginning of time. What’s going to change? Are any of these big movements going to change anything? I sure hope so! At the very least, it raises awareness to the problem, it can give people a platform to speak out, to learn more, to volunteer or provide resources to advance the cause. It allows us an opportunity to be part of the solution. At the very least, it gives us a chance to share and identify with other people which, I think, is a huge start to effective change.

It’s not always up to a star or an athlete to carry that burden, but rather it’s each and every one of us that needs to lead and speak up. We don’t know whose message it is that will be listened to, who will make a difference to somebody else, and who will create change. It could be yours and it could change our world, so don’t be afraid to use your voice!