#walkwithme on Saturday

dog with leather leashI invited all of you to walk with me this Saturday in a post I wrote a few weeks ago. Here’s some clarification about the upcoming walk.

I look forward to having you join me this weekend. Remember, no excuses!

Let’s work together to get the message out and encourage ourselves and others to take steps towards health. I can’t wait to see your pictures on twitter. Remember the hashtag is #walkwithme.

Don’t forget to add your comments on the #walkwithme post I’ll add this Saturday. Wouldn’t it be great if we had people participating from various places around the world?

I’ll see you then!

Walk With Me Challenge #walkwithme

Decisions…Decisions…

Traffic Stop
Being indecisive has never been a problem for me. Some decisions I make immediately and others take some research. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to choose a career in law enforcement. It wasn’t a usual direct and focused decision, but one that came a different way.

At the time, I was separated from my husband and had a two year old son. The police scanner had been background noise in my life for years since my husband volunteered as a reserve police officer in the city where we lived. Testing to join a nearby department was coming up and one of my girlfriends planned to apply. She asked me to go along with her and that’s how I found myself testing to be a police officer. Not that I hadn’t been interested before, but my friend helped push me into taking the steps to make it happen.

Thirty years later I’m still working for my department. It’s been a wonderful career and I’m looking forward to retiring in about four years.

I’ve been blessed to be part of this profession for a number of reasons, primarily because:

  • I’ve had the opportunity to help people when they’ve needed it the most. Whether it was comforting a child after a serious accident or protecting a woman from abuse by the person who was supposed to love her, I’ve been there. I’ve responded on tragic suicides and walked away from a person, dying of cancer, who stopped breathing and had a do not resuscitate order. I accompanied a young girl in an ambulance who was shot in the head by her father in a domestic violence situation. I arrested people for crimes they committed. I taught classes to children on avoiding drugs and helped move the department forward on social media so that the community could stay better informed. I’ve made a difference.
  • I work with heroes in action. The vast majority of officers are true professionals, keeping our community safe every hour of every day, including holidays when most people are celebrating with their families. They are a phone call away and will respond to assist even people who are the most vocal anti-police activists.
  • The job helped me provide for my son and I with fair wages and benefits. Now looking forward to retirement, I’m grateful that I have a pension and savings that will allow me to live comfortably and to travel as I move into the next phase of my life.

It has been a privilege to serve my community as a police officer. While we seem to be beat up in the media a lot, I know that most citizens appreciate the work that we do and they feel safe as they move through their days. I’ve made some good decisions during my lifetime, but becoming a police officers was one of the best.

What’s one of the best decisions you ever made?

Is Full Time Traveling After Retirement an Option?

Retirement TravelingAs I’ve continued to research life after retirement, I’ve been amazed at how differently it looks for so many people. Retirees leaving full-time jobs have so many options these days, with people living healthier and longer lives. Here is just one example: Lynne and Tim Martin, who retired into full-time traveling. I’m fascinated by this couple who sold their home and spend several months at a time living in different countries. They blog about their travels on HomeFreeAdventures.com.

Lynn and Tim’s story sounded so amazing, I wondered, could I do it? Sell my house and spend the majority of my life on the road experiencing other parts of the country and the world?

Nah…

While it sounds intriguing and I’m planning to follow along on their adventures through their new book and blog, I just can’t imagine stepping into that life.

Why?

I love returning to my house and knowing there is someplace safe, quiet and yes, filled with my photos and other things that make my life so comfortable. I can’t imagine selling almost everything. I like to be surrounded by my stuff. I also love my neighborhood and the convenience of grocery stores and restaurants that are within walking distance.

Family members and friends live fairly close by and it’s easy to spend time together on holidays and spur of the moment kinds of things, like movies and dinner. I know there are single people who travel a lot, but for me it would be difficult living “on the road” by myself.

Bubbaweb

And…just as important to me are my pets, my two dogs Olive and Sadie, and the royal kitty, Bubba. I don’t ever plan on not having animals as part of my life.  Coming home to wagging tails is such a wonderful thing after a long busy day at work and knowing that I can spend more time with them after I retire is a bonus.

I admire how adventurous Lynn and Tim are as they live in different places around the world, many that I plan to visit. Full time traveling is certainly an option, but not one for me. Most of my retirement time will include home, family and furry friends.

Is full time traveling something you’d ever consider?

What’s on Your Kindle or E-Reader?

Ereader
I was one of those people who held back purchasing a Kindle. There was something about caressing a brand new book, turning each page eagerly (in most cases) to see what came next. I finally broke down a few years ago, buying one of the early models that you only read on and it’s opened up my world.

  • I now read anywhere. My library fits in my purse. Every time I have a few unexpected minutes, I can pull it out and easily find my place.
  • When a friend recommends a new book, I can have it downloaded in just a couple of minutes and store it until I’m ready to dig in.
  • I no longer have hundreds of books in piles on my bookshelves. I only save my very favorites. Just imagine how relieved I’m going to be next time I don’t have to move 20-30 heavy boxes of books.
  • My Kindle saves money. Not only to I save money when I buy books cheaper, I also don’t accidentally duplicate purchases like I used to.
  • I can fit more usable stuff in my luggage when I travel since I save so much weight and room by not packing so many books.

I still buy books that are resource or self help kinds of publications because I like writing in the margins. But the rest are all downloaded. Finally, a glimpse into the library on my Kindle reveals that I have 106 items including the following:

There it is, a brief look into what I’ve been reading. Now that I’ve shown you mine, what’s on yours?

Our Firsts Are Never Done

happy beautiful baby stands in a diaper isolated
Yesterday I posted a link to a video about An and Ria’s First Flight. An and Ria are in their 70’s and had never flown on a plane before. Their reactions are priceless.

There are so many firsts in life:

First steps
First words
First day at school
First dance
First kiss
First job
First love

The list goes on and on and then…sometimes the firsts stop. When was the last time I did something I’ve never done before? Did something new? Took a risk? Was brave?

There are studies that show that people who keep learning, stay engaged and exercise may not experience so much confusion as they get older. My plan is stay healthy as I age and, just as importantly, keep regular doses of excitement in my life.

My next first is traveling to a foreign country without anyone I know. It’s a small group trip with others. My ultimate goal is to enjoy travel whenever I’d like, even when my favorite travel buddies are unavailable. This ultimately means trips by myself.

Then, who knows? Maybe I’ll learn a new language or try scuba diving. There are so many things I’ve never experienced before just waiting for my attention. Life is going to continue to be interesting and entertaining.

What firsts do you have planned?

Dear Me – A Message to My Younger Self

Business woman reading letter
If I could go back in time, I’d tell my much younger self, as I began my journey through single parenthood, that it’s going to be okay.

Dear Me,

I know you are frightened about all the the responsibilities laid on your shoulders. It’s okay. You’ll be fine. You care about getting every detail right, including the small ones that really don’t matter so much. Take a breath and know that you are good enough, strong enough and committed enough to make it through the tough times.

Show your love to the people that matter most and be willing to accept love. Make sure your son knows how much you love him. And, ask for help. People are willing to share the load. You don’t have to do everything yourself. It’s not a sign of weakness, but one of strength, allowing you to focus on the most important things.

Take care of yourself. Keep exercising. Your fitness will help you stay strong and confident. 

You are a good person and all of your efforts will pay off. So, relax and enjoy the ride. It’s going to be exciting, challenging and lots of fun.

Love,

Your Future Self

Knowing what you know now, it there any message you’d love to send to your younger self?

Walk With Me Challenge #walkwithme

dog with leather leashIt’s always good to have someone to join me when I get out to exercise. So I’m asking you to be my walking buddy or rolling buddy, if that applies. Please walk with me.

I know you are busy. No excuses this time, okay? You can bring the kids, your significant other and even invite your friends. The more the merrier.

Add it to your calendar.
Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 at 7:15
Morning or evening, you ask? Whichever one works for you.

I’m going to try to do both. This way, if one time is during the night for some of you in other places of the world or you have to work, you can still join me.

THE CHALLENGE

It doesn’t matter where you walk or jog, just take your first step at 7:15 am or pm. If you are in a wheelchair, make your first push at the same time. If moving a longer distance is too much for you right now, walk once around the block. We’ll do it together.

Please help me spread the word. Write a blog post and link up in the comment section here. If you aren’t a blogger, share it on Facebook or Twitter or, just the old fashioned way, with a phone call. The hashtag is #walkwithme.

How many people will be joining us? I’m hoping it will be a crowd.

On May 3rd, I’ll put up a post very early so we can share our thoughts on how it went.

Thanks for being my walking buddy. You are helping me on my journey to health!

Leaving and Bequeathing – My Living Will Be Done

Notary documents
Yesterday, I signed and initialed in all the appropriate places and it was done. I’m now the proud owner of a will, trust, medical and financial powers of attorney and a living will.

I walked out of the attorney’s office with a weight off my shoulders I didn’t even know I was carrying. Whenever the day comes, when it’s my time to go, I know that everything will be okay for the people I leave behind. It is such a relief.

My gift to my family members is a clear roadmap and understanding of my wishes. I prefer cremation, but don’t want them to waste money on an expensive funeral. Go cheap! After all, I’ll be up partying, God willing, and I want them to party too. 

Having an attorney prepare my documents was a bit expensive, but well worth it for me because of the complexity of what I wanted set up. If you want to get your affairs in order, there are less expensive ways. Search online and you’ll find websites that will help you work through the right paperwork for your situation or…ask your friends to provide you with the name of an attorney that helped them with their documents.

Are you ready when your time comes? It can never hurt to be prepared and it feels really great.

Technology Relationships

Relationships Through Technology
While we may curse technology for making us available 24/7 in a world that is already so busy that some days it’s hard to take a breath, it is still amazing.

For example…

  • Yesterday, while I was driving, I answered a phone call from a friend. I didn’t have to struggle to grab my phone or wait until I got home to check messages. The phone rang on my car’s system and I answered it by pushing a button on my steering wheel.
  • Friday night I chatted with some new friends on Google+. These were bloggers who I first met in a group on Facebook. There was one friend from England and several others from different places around the US. We laughed together and shared stories. My English friend and I also arranged for her meet me at Heathrow Airport in London when I have a stopover on my way to Namibia. In contrast, I remember when long distance calling was so expensive, we’d watch the clock so we could end the call before going over budget.
  • Photographers that I’ve met through forums on iStockphoto or Facebook, are now new friends who I meet in person on trips to wonderful locations.
  • Several of my family members have met their husbands on Match.com.
  • My phone can take a photo or video and I can share it with hundreds of friends in just a few clicks.
  • Ordering almost anything online and having it delivered just a few days later on my Amazon Prime account, is still an incredible surprise.
  • I can watch movies on my computer screen at home or on one of my other devices in a waiting room or at a park.

I tried to think of the ways I’ve used technology over the last week. It has become so ingrained in the way I live that I forget it’s even there. When I bought my first computer more than twenty five years ago with 20MB of memory, I had no idea where technology would lead. While it frustrates me at times, I can’t imagine living without it.

My favorite result is that I can easily keep in touch with family members and friends, both old and new. Technology has enhanced my relationships and that’s a wonderful gift. Now I’m off to Twitter and Facebook for a short visit with friends before I head in to work.

See you in London, Lizzi!