Monday, November 16, 2015
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
|Lunch with friends: chocolate fondue - Not exactly a salad|
I need to do the same for myself. Take responsibility and focus on being happier and healthier. If you are reading this, you should know that you deserve the same.
For me specifically, this means focusing on my health and on the people who matter to me and taking the same advice I give my loved ones:
- "Dad, you should go to sleep earlier."
- "Husband, turn off the TV and get fresh air."
- "C, be more empathetic - remember not everyone is as fortunate as you."
- "N, clean your room!"
- No, I don't need the instant gratification of seven cookies... or thirds on dinner.
- Yes, even if it is only a mile or two, I should go for a run or a walk.
- Avoid things - or people - that tempt you into doing things you shouldn't do.
- Plan better and stick with it.
Case and point: Many years ago when my kids were both in elementary school, I was about to go to kickboxing. The phone rang - I should have just let it ring, prioritizing my exercise. But, no, I saw it was a class mom and I answered the phone to be polite. It was about something that seemed so very important at the time but from my 2015 lens is silly. The school delayed a first grade concert for a third time because of weather, so they finally called it off. The parent on the other end of the phone was incensed and lured me into the mix. So I listened to her rant, then I tried to take action, even though my own son was relieved because he doesn't like performing. If he was happy that they canceled it, what made me get involved?
Many times I looked back at that moment as a pivotal - but very telling - mistake. A blip in my lifetime that symbolizes so much.
Last night I saw a teacher from Van Holten school. I was running, but stopped to say hello because we are friends. She informed me that Bridgewater teachers are working without a contract. I stayed and listened, but ran home. I as I ran, I realized that I had let go of so much anxiety by not following school politics anymore. Of course, this "anxiety hole" has been replaced by other stresses: work, college planning and many others. It was so freeing knowing that I wouldn't be getting involved this time.
Maybe I'm learning. But I can do more: I can be negative about changes at work, about my commute, about my messy house, or I can be positive spin or make a smart change. No one is going to do that for me.
|The Borg. Image from:|
What are your strategies to resist? They may not work for me, but I'd love to hear them as I develop my own. Just remembering that we live on earth - with a certain amount of free will. This is not the Borg. Don't get assimilated.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
|Oatmeal - It's What's for Breakfast|
I'm writing this on a beautiful - in fact, almost perfect - Sunday morning. My family is all upstairs sleeping despite the sounds of mixing, chopping and pre-heating, with beep-beeps chirping from my oven. I am trying a recipe I found on pinterest. This is the second time in a week that I'm creating something inspired by this online bulletin board. Where was pinterest when I was a stay-at-home Mom with time to cook, bake and otherwise create? Ah, progress. When I retired there will be an app or other yet-to-be-dreamed solution to make a commute more fun.
Last Sunday was almost perfect - the only thing missing was my family. I woke on Long Beach Island and started the day with beach yoga. There's no beach yoga right now - but there is coffee. The kind I make for myself - hot, fresh, with a hint of cinnamon and cardamom, which give it a taste of fall. Tomorrow morning I'll pour myself the leftovers over ice as I run to the train. I'm already looking forward to it (the coffee more than the train).
|Baby's Ready for Bonding with Daddy|
But back to Sunday. It's now 9 am. I've taken my "To Go Baked Oatmeal" out of the oven, impatiently waiting for it to cool. When I tested the concoction before placing it into the oven. I found it to be too sweet - so if you are copying me, I'd suggest cutting the brown sugar by at least half - I ran out of brown sugar and only used 3/4 cup. The apple sauce and fruit give it plenty of sweetness. I also used coconut oil instead of the canola (?) in the recipe. Finally, since I had it out, I added a pinch of cardamom. To counteract the sweetness, I'm planning to "serve it" (to myself) with plain yogurt. The aroma is lovely. Can I actually wait until it cools enough to prevent third degree burns on my tongue??
Anyway, I knit the football hat - also found on Pinterest - for G and S's shower baby shower. The hat was finished on Tuesday, save for the lines. Those proved a challenge - and give it a homemade look, instead of the "did you buy this??" I was hoping for. The pressure was on - let's just say I couldn't actually wrap the gift until I got to New York because I was sewing in the ends on the train, even as the train pulled tunnel into Penn Station. Last minute... indeed. But I love it. So much, that I've cast on a similar hat - in the same yarn. Instead of a football, it's got hearts. This time, it's for a friend (who actually is my age) having a baby next month. Anyone else having a baby? I'll happily make another.
But for now it's a beautiful Sunday and I'm going to milk every second of it. This time, with my family. They are stirring now. Guess that means it's time for me to get dressed and seize the day!
Friday, August 28, 2015
|Option One: Rutgers Prep|
Fries - YUM, YUM, YUM!
The ultimate in "no means yes". I say no, the kids say yes and I steal some anyway, much to their chagrin - "If you wanted fries, you should have ordered your own!" True, dat!
But, it was the right decision to say no.
|Option Two- stay in district with kids he knows|
Thursday, August 13, 2015
|The sun rises as commuters head to "the city that never sleeps"|
Thursday, August 6, 2015
|Quality, Not Quantity - A Quick Ride Along the Hudson at Lunchtime|
Next August, I can assume, my daughter will be preparing to leave for college. Life will surely change without my lovely girl.
The company where I work is also undergoing changes. As is often the case, this had meant new challenges and an increased workload. This week I spent at least 5 hours learning new skills. In addition I am collaborating with a team called a "center of excellence." It is unclear how I fit in with this group of (mostly) designers, but I enjoy seeing how creative my "new" are. It's invigorating. The "head"'of this center holds a weekly meeting where each of us has to present our 3 main tasks for the week, one challenge and one opportunity. That's the plan for tonight's blog.
In light of all the changes, I'll skip outlining challenges as there are many ahead. My tasks hold little interest to my readers, either. Instead, let's focus on the fun part. The opportunities.
- Train for a marathon. I'm up to 15 miles and the race is on October 5. Stay tuned...
- Turn the dining room into a library. We don't use the dining area for much other than storage.
- Go to the beach. I've only been once this summer and M invited me. Time to get that on the calendar.
- Focus on the positive: healthier eating, relaxation techniques, good movies/books, knitting, whatever... Low stress: I never regret going for a walk.
- See friends. I have so many meaningful people in my life whom I rarely see. This summer has been exceptional for reconnecting with loved ones - starting when my father turned 90. I want to keep this trend rolling.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
I'm just going to have to admit it. My commute is getting to me. Life seems to have turned into an endless train ride broken up by work and " nighttime naps at home". I truly wonder if my kids are getting fed leftovers. No, not day-old meatloaf, but the sloppy seconds of Mom's attention. Even in my mid 40s I still need the positive feedback of my dad, my boss, my in-laws, friends and lots of people. So, why shouldn't my teenagers?
Perhaps worse than "neglecting" my kids, I'm not making good choices for myself. Yesterday's lunch was healthy, but pretty much everything else I ate gave the instant gratification to the tongue, followed by feeling bloated and guilty. (I don't regret the raspberry bar for my lunch-dessert, calories be damned!).
Haven't run in more than a week. Haven't folded laundry in even longer. Haven't seen most of my friends in many weeks. Didn't even call MR on her birthday.
Clean clothes are a necessity, but for me fresh air, exercise and friendship matter even more.
So just know that while I ride NJ Transit's Raritan Valley line, I'm thinking of you. Long walks, warm skies and the constant chatter... interrupting one another when we are talking so fast that our minds can't keep up, and we suddenly remember a tangent, or have a strong opinion. That's my favorite kind of vitamin.
I know Spring is coming. Longer days, warmer air. Happier times.
They're heading your way, too. That makes me happy.
And to my kids: I'm so proud of how well you're handling everything... but please be better about letting the dog out!
You can dress me up like a working woman, and put me on the train with (what looks like) every tired IT guy on Wall St, but in my core, I'm still the same nagging Mom. And I feel better now...