Here’s My Fingerprint; How About Yours?

A few years ago, I knew that I needed to figure out exactly what my role in this world should be.  My children were almost grown and I had friends grieving through empty nest syndrome.  I knew, after 30 years of raising children, homeschooling them, being with them 24/7, that empty nest could hit me hard.  But only if I didn’t have a purpose beyond raising  my kids.
I think most of us come to that place several times in our lives, where we aren’t quite sure what to do next.  Or maybe we know what to do, but aren’t sure how.  Or maybe we know how … but something’s blocking us.
  • Maybe you’re a younger person, just starting out in life, wondering how you’re going to make it in the world, what kind of mark you can leave.
  • Maybe you know your purpose, but there are things getting in the way … depression, habits that don’t serve you well, disorganization, or a simple lack of confidence.  You may or may not know how to change those things, but you’re still having a hard time.  
  • Maybe there’s an area of faith that you want to work on.  You want to grow closer to God and be able to follow Him intimately, and you need someone to help you along.
  • Or you’re a new or proven homeschooler who needs some help getting organized, scheduling, choosing curriculum … or juggling the needs of family, school, a business, and everything else you’ve got going.

 

  • You might be a stay-home mom or a single parent who’s starting to feel like she’s lost track of herself and needs to know how to take care of herself so she can better serve her kids and others.
  • Perhaps you’re nearing or in your golden years and you’re thinking about how to leave the greatest impact on those in your circles of influence.  You want your life to really count.  You have wisdom to share or gifts to still be used.  You don’t want to waste a moment.
If you’ve read my blog before, you’ve probably heard me say (or seen me write) that I strongly believe every single experience in our lives — good, bad, success, failure — and each of our gifts, talents, skills, and resources all add up to basically a customized school that God put together for us, training us for our very unique contribution to the world.  Your contribution is so unique that it’s like your fingerprint — no one else, anywhere, at any time, has the same unique fingerprint you do.
I’ve realized that my contribution to the world is to help others discover and define their fingerprint and leave their indelible mark. It’s what entices me out of a cozy bed in the morning and brings joy to my day.  I’d love to work alongside you in finding yours and helping you do whatever is necessary to be able to leave your fingerprints in the strategic places God wants you to place them!
The thing that can make the difference between success and failure is having someone on your team who can look on from the sidelines and make suggestions, encourage you, educate you, celebrate with you, and give you that bit of oomph to make it to your goals.  
As your life coach, that’s what I do.  We talk about your goals, your dreams.  We figure out where you are, where you want to be, and how to get from here to there.  We work together to bring it down to steps that you can’t help but succeed with.  If accountability helps, I can do that for you without judgment or shaming, but with a lot of helpful encouragement.  We’ll figure out what’s blocking your progress, and I’ll help you find motivation in the rough spots.  I’m there to celebrate your victories with you and plot your course with you as you reach higher and higher.  So often, this is the one thing that makes all the difference in the world.
I’m invested in helping you reach your goals.  I strongly believe that you have something to contribute to this world that no one else, now or historically or in the future, is able to give.  If you don’t do it, the rest of us lose out.
If you’re ready to step up and work on leaving your fingerprint on the world, sign up for a free breakthrough session with me.  Let’s get to know each other and get you moving forward. 
If you’re not quite ready, feel free to sign up for my mailing list – use the link at http://lifecoachalycekay.com/  You’ll receive a series of emails from me over the next couple months with questions to help you think through the process.  You can journal about them privately, or share your thoughts with me by email. In the meantime, stop by my coaching blog, leave a comment … let’s start getting to know each other.  Pretend we’re sitting on my swing in my yard in Tennessee, with the dogwood blooming and a pitcher of tea between us.  🙂  (Yeah, I’m homesick.)
dogwood
Hoping that this spring brings you so close your dreams that you can finally touch them.Alyce-Kay

http://lifecoachalycekay.com/

To Pay or Not to Pay: That is the Question

Should you pay your children to do chores?  This is an ongoing debate among parents.

Some people pay their children for everything they do around the house.  This can be a good way for teaching children a work ethic — if you don’t work, you don’t get paid.  (II Thessalonians 3:10)

Other families don’t want their children to expect to be paid for everything.  They want their children to grow up with a serving attitude.  We know, of course, that serving is a very biblical attitude.

Both of these approaches make sense.  Pray and ask God what would be best for your family.

For my family, I actually adopted a mixed approach, which went something like this.
•There were certain chores that each person was required to do and they were not paid for.  (This corresponds to things in the grown up world that you do without getting paid.  We don’t expect someone to pay us for cooking dinner for our family, working in the nursery at church, driving our kids to their piano lessons, etc.)  These included most of the things that needed to be done daily, such as keeping their room picked up, mealtime chores, etc.
•There were also chores that they would get paid for each week.  These were required chores and it basically provided them with an allowance.  (This corresponds to a job that you go to every day and get paid for.)  I generally included in this category the chores that didn’t have to be done every day, such as mopping and cleaning the bathroom and dusting, and as they got older, things like mowing the lawn or helping change the oil in the car.  There were times when I paid for these, and other times when I had a certain amount set aside to give them at the end of the week, but I deducted from that if they didn’t do a chore or if they didn’t do a good job of it.
•There were chores which were optional, which they could get paid for.  (This corresponds with opportunities we have in life to make extra  money, such as odd jobs or overtime at work.)  These were often seasonal or periodic jobs, such as washing windows, detailing the car, or extra things I wanted done, such as making a cake for a potluck.
•Service projects.  For most of their growing up years, my kids were involved in service projects of some sort.  Often, they didn’t realize it — it was just part of the fabric of our family.  Other times, I made it a school requirement to have a certain number of hours of “community service.”  Or I would require them to choose someone to serve each week, each month, or each semester.  It could be someone in our family (babysitting for their older sister), or someone outside our home, or a group effort, such as Teen Missions or something their youth group was doing.  It didn’t have to be an “official” charity.

Another thing you can do is say that you will pay them chore chart rewards or tool tickets for the first 1-3 months that they’re learning a chore; after that, it becomes just part of being a member in your family.  The book featured below has lots of ideas about creating rewards using “tool tickets” for work done.

You could also allow them to continue earning rewards for a chore they’ve mastered if they teach it to another child — a sibling or cousin, or maybe a friend’s children.  (This last option will make you very popular with your friends!)  Teaching others is always a great way to cement what you’ve learned.  It will also make your child more confident in their skills and will give them a great sense of accomplishment.  Teaching others will provide them with leadership skills as well.

Most of the above article is excerpted from The 21st Century Kid’s Book of Chores.  For more information about the book, see previous posts.  For ordering information, click on the link below.

http://www.thebookpatch.com/BookStoreDetails.aspx?BookID=21860&ID=40d1059a-c536-4448-9382-e259b257b92c

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Worry: Mind Your Own Beeswax and Kick Satan in the Balls

Picture this:  A little, tiny girl, overshadowed by a gigantic, strong, menacing bully.  She kicks at him and says in her little, squeaky voice, “Take that, you big ole bully!  That’ll teach you to mess with me.”  The bully staggers back, surprise and pain written all over his face, as he doubles over and protects his weakest parts.

Okay, so I’m not a diminutive, sweet, squeaky-voiced girl.  I’m a fat, old lady.  But compared to Satan, the biggest bully of all time, I am all those vulnerable, pathetic things.

Now pan back and see the big picture.  There’s an enormous, even stronger, shining person behind the little girl.  He’s the one who is actually delivering the blows, but He’s there because the little girl called Him and asked Him for His help.  He’s there to make sure her pitiful, albeit somewhat brave efforts are powerfully enforced.  Oh man, she just kicked the bully in the balls!

That little girl is me.  And you.  (If you’re a guy, you can picture a wimpy, skinny guy with horn-rimmed glasses and not an ounce of muscle.)  Satan loves to bully us.  He enjoys making us think that we have to cower in fear of him.  It’s his happiest moment when we become ineffective because we don’t want him to hurt us.  And you know what one of his most successful strategies is?  Worry.

He gets me to worry about finances.  I’m then afraid to step out and do what God asks me to do, because I’m worried I won’t have the resources to accomplish it.  Worry can distract me from loving on people.  It can tie me up in knots so that I’m ineffective at just about everything.  I become bitter about not being paid more for my hard work.  I become stingy with the resources I have because I think that they’re in short supply.

I worry about what’s happening in our nation.  That anxiety can sometimes consume me.  Every possible outcome (all bad) sinks my world.  I lose hope.  I stop praying for our leaders.  And yeah, bitterness sets in again.  I get worried about what this world is going to be like for my kids and grandbabies.  What are they up against?  I can imagine a lot, but I also know that it can be worse than I imagine.

Substitute whatever it is that you tend to worry about.  How does that effect you?  How does it keep your focus away from God?

Worry draws my focus away from gratefulness and worship.  When my worries loom huge, God seems to recede into the distance … and He looks awful small from so far away.  Thanksgiving sucks when I’m filled with anxiety.

I realized something interesting today.  Worry only happens when I mess with other people’s business.  It’s when I start taking responsibility for things that aren’t mine to worry about.  Here’s my analysis of my financial worries, since financial anxieties are probably something many of us can relate to.

1.  Not being paid what I’m supposed to be paid?  That’s not my problem.  It’s between God and those who are supposed to pay me.

2.  Having to accept charity and be on food stamps?  I tend to think that means I’m inadequate.  But I’m working hard, doing my part, and for now at least, this is God’s way of providing for us.  I do my part, He fills in the rest … and teaches me humility in the process.  My business in this is to work hard and with integrity.  His business is to fill in the gaps.

3.  God calls me to do something and I don’t have the resources?  That’s not my problem.  His will, His bill.

4.  Trusting God and praising Him for His provision.  That’s MY business.

See how this works?  Suddenly, my only responsibilities are things I can handle:  Work hard, with integrity.  Trust God.  Praise Him.  All that other stuff that’s too much for me is not anything I need to concern myself with.  In the past week, in addition to how He normally provides for me, He has also had various people pay my electric bill (they had no idea there was a need, because I didn’t tell a soul), provide money for a Christmas tree, offer to prep and deliver and set up our Christmas tree, give us a turkey … Our needs are provided and some non-necessities as well.  I had things I was worrying about for the future, too, but this process has helped me differentiate between my responsibility and other’s and God’s … and that worry has mysteriously dissipated like the morning frost.  If I mind my own business and no one else’s (God’s included), I have nothing to worry about.

Which brings me to Satan’s balls.  Satan’s desire is to reproduce his nature in me and those around me.  He wants to get me to despise God … or at least not trust Him.  When I worry, I’m not trusting God to do His responsibility.  I take on some of Satan’s traits:  Pride, bitterness, etc.  That affects others in that I’m not encouraging them to trust God, and maybe I get grouchy or withdrawn.  And it infects them with worry, bitterness, etc, too.  It reproduces Satan’s traits in them, as well.  When I recognize what’s my responsibility and do it, and I keep my cotton-pickin’ fingers (and mind) out of everyone else’s business, there is no cause for worry or anxiety.  I have peace and Satan hates that.  It causes him pain.  I severely impair his ability to reproduce.  That’s what I call a good ball-kicking.

We’re on the cusp of two important holidays:  Hanukkah and Thanksgiving.  (You knew I would get there eventually, right?)  And those holidays are really about God working through people to give Satan some serious ball-kicking.

Hanukkah is about the people of Israel, who had been conquered and were being ruled by an evil man:  Antiochus Epiphanes.  Antiochus defiled the temple.  He tried to force God’s people to bow to false gods.  He committed horrible abominations.  God strengthened His people and provided by His nation through a family, the Maccabees, who were a lot like the Wolverines in Red Dawn.  When the bad guys were thrown out of Israel and the people cleaned up the Temple, all they could find was 1 flask of the Holy oil.  It was only enough to light the Menorah for 1 day … and it takes 8 days to sanctify the Holy oil.  It was the people’s responsibility to light the Menorah and make more oil.  It was God’s responsibility to fill in the gap of 7 days’ without oil.  God miraculously made the oil burn for 8 days.  They did their part.  He did His part.  And now their/our responsibility is to praise Him for what He did.  That’s Hanukkah.

Back in the 17th century, a group of English believers wanted freedom to worship God according to their beliefs.  They came to America, where they suffered many hardships.  Many of their number died, and at one point, their situation was so grave that they each only had 5 kernels of corn to eat in a day.  It would have been very easy to stop trusting God at this point.  I would guess, since they were human, that they fought anxiety.  But they didn’t give up.  They didn’t turn away from God.  They worked hard and they believed in His faithfulness.  That was their job.   God provided them with Native American friends who shared their resources with them and showed them some of the things they needed to know in order to survive in the New World.  He also provided them with a good harvest the next year.  The celebration feast with their Native American friends and its ongoing celebration in our homes is the American holiday of Thanksgiving.  The turkey and many of the traditional foods we use, and having more than enough food on our tables that day remind us of God’s overwhelming provision.  (And I, for one, am additional thankful that the turkey did not make it as our national bird, my apologies to Ben Franklin.  I much prefer roast turkey to roast eagle on my table.)  Oh!  And I guess you could look at the football games as a celebration of our forefathers giving Satan a good ass-whooping.  (Is that taking the analogy too far?)

May I exhort you to do something this Thanksgiving?  Think through what’s your business and responsibility, and what responsibility belongs to God and others.  Remember that if others are not doing their responsibilities, it’s not your problem:  It’s between them and God.  Recognize that filling in the gaps that are left is not your responsibility:  Trust God to fill in the gaps that irresponsible people leave.  This will free you in ways you can hardly imagine.  Lift your voice in gratitude.  Call on God to stand behind you and lend you His strength … and go kick some balls.  (And I don’t just mean footballs.)

I have a Dream Catcher.

A year ago, in April, I had a dream ripped away from me by an unexpected source.  It devastated me … not just losing the dream, but the way that it happened, the feelings of betrayal that came with it, and the vaporization of security and self-worth that were already so fragile.  As a result, I had to go away … and where do you go when you’re crushed (besides God)?  To Mom and Dad in California!

So I embarked on a 2500 mile trip in 3 days, driving.  I started out on April 15.  I remember because it’s my daughter’s birthday and also because my Dad is a CPA.  That particular April 15, there was a pretty bad tornado … and I needed to drive in Tornado Alley.  It was a blessing, though, as the winds felt so familiar.  It felt like my dreams had been snatched away in a whirlwind as well, and the sense of fear and danger from the tornado helped me work through the fears and the lack of security I now felt.
Driving south on 32, when I’d stop for gas or a restroom, I could barely get my door open. The wind was so strong, but cleansing, as it blew the tears off my face.  I felt like, fighting the wind as I drove and as I’d step out of my car helped work off some of the pain I was feeling.  I’d step into the station and there was a crowd gathered around the TV, checking to see if the next leg of their trip was predicted to be safe, something I also needed to consider:  Am I safe?  Are the people I trust with my heart really worthy of my confidence?
By that evening, I was in Kansas: Home of Dorothy and Toto’s tornado.  As I left Wichita and headed west, tornado sirens were screaming alongside me and the sky was low and green.  I wondered what I should do, driving out in the country while the sirens yelled at me to get to safety.  Where do you go when you have endless fields on both sides?  What do you do when your dreams are crushed and your heart has been shattered?  Do you ignore the sirens of betrayal?  Do you take cover or keep pushing on?  I drove on.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t have a choice.
Finally, I got far enough west that I was out of harm’s way.  Just a normal wind that night, as I slept in my car in a WalMart parking lot.  I know some of my friends didn’t feel good about me sleeping in my car and I had never done it before.  But I found I felt very comfortable in a cocoon of blankets, and safe with the security truck going by every 15 minutes.  I started to snuggle into God’s love, too, and in that safety, started being able to look at what I had done over the years that laid the foundation for this snatching of dreams.  The ways I had failed, which were many.
The following day, I had sunny skies as I headed through Oklahoma and Texas into New Mexico.  After the storm, the sun shines more amazingly than ever, doesn’t it?
I love the colors of the desert.  I don’t enjoy heat, but in April, even the desert isn’t too hot, and the still air was a relief after the constant banging of the winds in Iowa and Kansas and Oklahoma.  I relished the time alone with God and listened to sermon CDs to make it into sort of a retreat.
I needed to make at least 900 miles that day, but I had time to dilly-dally somewhat … and I remembered how much I had loved turquoise as a kid.  Driving through the dessert, my dream of having a turquoise ring rose again from the ashes of other deserted and crushed dreams.  Getting a turquoise ring made me feel like I could still hold onto a small, if silly dream.  I saw a tourist trap and decided to check it out.

As I paid the $13 for my new ring (on sale, but yeah, it was cheap to begin with, tiny pieces of turquoise, but that’s all I needed), I spotted a small, aqua “dream catcher.”  Feathers and beads are a weakness for my Boho heart.  I liked the colors and the delicateness of the piece, and that, combined with my ring, didn’t quite come up to what I had told myself I could spend on a bit of turquoise, so I bought it.

I hung it in my car from the passenger visor (a green teddy bear with his own Facebook page was my only traveling companion) … and God began to talk to me about dreams.

He told me that He catches my dreams when they fall.  He hides them safely in His heart.  Not only that, but He puts the really good dreams in my heart Himself, and He puts them there because He wants them to come true.  Those that seem to be shattered, but are retrieved and kept safe by His hand are the ones that are the most valuable.  As God and I conversed about this, I realized again how important it was to turn even (especially!) this part of my life over to Him.  My dreams need to be His dreams.  My hopes and desires need to be the ones that He’s dreamed for me since before He wove me in my mother’s womb.  He knows the beginning and the end of my story, of His story, of the world’s story, of the story of every person I come in contact with in any way.  He knows how those all weave together and He loves me exceedingly, so I can trust Him to have the best dreams for me.  The dreams He puts in my heart are infinitely better than anything I can dream up.

I kept the dream catcher hanging on the passenger visor for months.  Occasionally, after someone else had borrowed my car, I’d find it stuffed away somewhere.  They had found it distracting or it had just annoyed them (which could be a valid concern for safe driving).  The analogy, however, wasn’t lost on me.  My dreams from God, while annoying or distracting to others, or when others simply don’t think they’re worthwhile, or when they think they’re wrong … the ones that are really from God can be put back together.  He holds them in His heart, while we make room for them again in ours.  If they are truly His dreams, nothing and no one can take them away from us.  When they seem to be crushed, they are put together stronger, like a muscle that gets little tears from a good workout becomes stronger than before.

That dream catcher is now hanging in my home.  I change its location occasionally so that I don’t just get used to seeing it.  Right now, it’s hanging from a transom where I can swat at the feathers each time I pass under it.  When I do that, the prayer in my heart is something like this:  “Thanks so much, Lord, for being my Dream Catcher.  Oh, Jesus, I want the only dreams in my heart to be Your dreams, the ones You’ve put there.  Fashion Your dreams to fit in my heart.  Could You please just remove anything in my collection of dreams that wasn’t from Your heart?  Help me to recognize Your dreams in others, too, so I can encourage them.  Thank You for holding my heart with such love and care.  Thank You for sharing Your dreams with me.”

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.  Psalm 37:3-5

Thinking of Moving to Australia

I had a terrible day yesterday.  I won’t go into details, but it would have rivaled Alexander’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that Judith Viorst tells about.  So, like Alexander, I was tempted yesterday to move to Australia.  This morning, I woke up with a hangover … from yesterday’s mood.  I did not want another day like that, so I determined something that has actually become a cornerstone of my fight against depression:  I determined to have a day of tranquility.

Now, I’m blessed at the moment to have a house to myself (even though I miss my kids a lot, let’s make the best of it, shall we?) and I work from home, so I have a lot of control over my environment at the moment.  Not everyone has that.  And I don’t usually, but right now I do, and I figure I should not only take advantage of it, but I should also build some good habits during this time.

So today … tranquillité.

A tranquil lake has no waves.  It’s smooth and quiet.  Ripple-free.  There are no highs and no lows.

No, this isn’t real life … at least normally.  But it’s kind of a reset button for me.  I do my normal chores.  I unload the dishwasher, sweep the floor, run a load of laundry, but I do it quietly and slowly and smoothly.  No jolting, running, or taking steps 2 at a time.  I work my 8 hours of transcribing medical reports, but I don’t allow myself to get stressed by the doctor who talks with his mouth full or the one who is so exhausted by surgery that she slurs her words.  And when I have the opportunity, I breathe.

I find more relaxing ways to do things when I’m practicing the discipline of tranquility — because it really is a discipline; I have to make myself be tranquil.  I need to study for a couple hours each day, so I took my work outside, sat in a camping chair in the sun for 20 minutes and then moved into the shade.  When I took my shower, I spent another 20 minutes relaxing in the tub, reading a book I haven’t read in over 30 years, one that had been a favorite back then.

On a day of tranquility, I make a special effort to eat simply and healthily … a bowl of blueberries and strawberries was breakfast.  Juice and salad compose my other meals and I’ll snack on a cantaloupe.  Stretching and yoga help me stay focused, and I will probably go for a bike ride in the evening.  Throughout the day, I make an effort to intentionally relax my facial muscles … and this, surprisingly, goes a long way toward helping me feel tranquil.

Part of tranquility is giving myself a break from the assault on my senses.  I allow silence to rule my home.  I even keep my thoughts quiet, training my mind to leave worrisome topics alone for the day and focus on things which are more serene.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  Philippians 4.6.  When something that upset me yesterday pops into my mind, I immediately take it to God and thank Him ahead of time for His answers.  (It would be nice if I could get into this habit all the time.)

This is not a normal day.  I want to make that abundantly clear.  Although it would probably be nice to always live in a state of tranquility, my life, my responsibilities … heck, my personality … do not allow me to take up residence there.  But sometimes, when I’m alone and when I need to reset, it’s something I savor, and now I’m happy living in Minnesota, and no longer thinking of moving to Australia.

About to Embark on a Health Journey … Join Me?

So one of my goals in TFGL is to explore healthier living.  I’m not an expert on this.  If you read my mission statement carefully, you’ll see that I don’t set myself up as an expert, but rather, I want to share my journey with others, so we can learn together — i.e., I want to learn from you, and you can possibly learn from me.  Mostly, I think that walking alongside each other can really bolster one another.
This summer, I’ve set a goal to really be intentional about making some massive improvements to my health.  (Why not just start now?  Well, I have been working on this for the past couple years, but I want to take some more drastic steps.  It’s been noted that if you want to start a major new habit, you’ll be more successful if you plan a date in the future to start it, and map out how you plan to do it.  That’s what I’m working on now.)
I’m going to be specific about my challenges and goals in the next few blogs, so that if you have similar goals or challenges, you can decide whether you want to join me in this quest.  I am NOT a doctor or any type of medical professional … just a normal person (well, “normal” might be questionable), so I’m not giving advice, just sharing what I’m doing.  If you decide to do any of this along with me, it’s at your own risk, so be sure to engage your brain, please.  You may not want to address your challenges in the same way I do.  We can still journey together, learn from each other, and most important, encourage one another.
Keep in mind that I have an extremely limited income and I don’t like to take medications, I like to do things naturally … so I’m planning to see how much I can improve through diet, exercise, and some healthy habits.
My doctor recently told me that, other than the basal cell carcinoma (nonaggressive cancer) I recently had removed from my ear, I’m very healthy.  I’m 52 years old, but my cardiac age is 42.  I’m obese (more on that later), but that hasn’t affected my health … yet.  My labs are perfect.  My blood pressure is borderline when I check it at WalMart, but right on target when I’m at the doctor’s office.  I don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs.  I rarely use medications, and I eat much healthier than the general population.  I exercise regularly.  I also practice stress reduction.  I see myself as being in very good health.
I do have some problems I would like to improve, though.  They are:
1.  Obesity.  To be honest, my main concern here is my looks.  I want to be able to wear hippie-type clothes and they just don’t look good on a fat person.  But I also know that, if I don’t take care of this soon, I probably will develop some health problems.  Diabetes is my greatest fear.  I’m not ready to say how much I weigh.  But let’s just say I would like to lose 100 pounds and I’m 80 pounds over what is considered a healthy weight for my height.  (If I can figure out how to post pictures here, I’ll post a before picture.)
2.  My right knee.  I have pain in this knee and sometimes swelling.  For a short time a few years ago, I actually used a cane.  One might assume that this is because of my weight.  However, my left knee doesn’t have problems.  My wonderful massage therapist in Tennessee, after working on me for 2 hours one day, asked me if I sewed for a living. No.  Hmm, I would swear you have a syndrome that we see in seamstresses who work a sewing machine pedal for hours on end.  Oh, well, yeah, I use a pedal for the transcription work I do.  Bingo!  Seems that having my leg in the same position for 8+ hours a day has caused the muscle behind my knee to atrophy, making for all manner of problems with my right knee.  As I’ve worked on improving that, my knee has definitely improved, but I have a way to go.  I need to work on building that muscle back up, strengthen and improve flexibility … And losing weight wouldn’t hurt, either.  One of the doctors I used to type for said, when you walk, you’re putting 8 times your body weight on your knees, pressure-wise.  So if you lose 25 pounds, that takes 200 pounds of pressure off your knees.  (I want to lose 100 pounds, so um yeah, do the math.)
3.  Loosing flexibility.  This goes with age, I suppose, but probably also because I sit in one position for 8 hours a day, as well.
4.  Eye sight.  My eye sight has been poor since I was a kid.  I have always just accepted this (along with it getting worse as I age), but recently have been reading about some things that may be able to improve eye sight and I want to try them out.  Used to have a lot of floaters, but what I’ve been doing so far seems to have taken care of them completely.
5.  My recent bout with skin cancer … and a personal history of severe sunburns as a teenager.  If I don’t do something about this, I may be looking at more cancer in the future.
6.  Other skin problems:  Occasional acne (makes me look younger, right?), actinic keratoses, ruddy complexion (rosacea?).  Like any woman, I would love to have beautiful skin.
7.  I have at times struggled with depression.  It seems to be situational … but we aren’t guaranteed that life will be easy on us and my life tends to be stressful, so I want to make some changes that will help me take things in stride better.
8.  A family history of stroke and heart problems.  Stroke on my mom’s side.  Heart problems on my dad’s.  I’ve had premature ventricular contractions since 25 and palpitations most of my life.  They’ve gotten to be daily, often several times a day if I’m stressed, and sometimes lasting a minute or so.  I’m not worried about these and my doctor doesn’t seem very concerned, but I’d like to get rid of them.
In my next blog, I’ll talk about what I’ve been doing for these challenges so far and where that has gotten me.  In the following blog, I intend to share my goals for making some pretty drastic changes.  I’ll try to share websites and other resources that I’ve used to come up with my plan, and which show some of the research that’s been done in these areas.

As I’ve mentioned before, I make no promises about how often I’ll write.  I work full-time-plus and homeschool my kids, as well as a legion of other things.  But when I have time, I want to get this out there … and maybe someone will want to join me.  ???  Think/pray about possibly doing that.  I would love to have some fellow travelers on this journey.

 

 

 

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