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?

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!

Valentine’s Day Victims

Broken Heart Valentine's Day
I’m not one of those people who can think of the perfect thing to say at exactly the right moment. I wish I were. Instead, I have to chew on things for awhile. So, I’m either a bit too late or way too early for this party.

Regardless, let’s get back to yesterday. I’m happily single, so Valentine’s Day is not an emotional roller coaster for me. After reading articles, tweets, posts and a number of other writings over the last week, I decided to make a day after Valentine’s Day suggestion.

There were many singles who were distraught about not having a significant other on the BIG day. I get it. I was there at one time, hoping for just the right guy to mesh into my life. But ladies and gents, I’m sorry to say we were still single every other day this year. So why was yesterday the pinnacle of singlehood disaster? 

There were some married people who were expecting BIG things from their sweeties. In many cases, the BIG things were what the guys were supposed to do. Did anyone forget that love works two ways? I remember the blog post by Seth Adam Smith that went viral, Marriage Isn’t for You. Ladies, did you do something special for your Valentine or was it all up to him? 

What if we reframe the day? What if we make it about other people instead of us? Who in your life needed a Valentine yesterday and did you step up to give it to them? When I say “Valentine” I don’t mean a card, I mean each of us as a person. Did I become the “Valentine” or the gift to give to someone who needed a loving friend or family member?

I know I’m a day late, but just think, now we have a year to plan ahead. Maybe, instead of expecting gifts that are supposed to prove we are loved, we can be the gift that shows someone else they are.

So, are you a Valentine’s Day victim or were you the awe-inspiring Valentine? Let’s take a different approach to Valentine’s Day next year or maybe, check out all the roses and candy on the sales rack today…

Don’t Wait for Something to Happen First Before You Fulfill Your Dreams

dreams

“After I __________, I’ll ____________.”

Fill in the blanks.

“After I get married, we’ll buy a house.”

“After I retire, I’m going to travel.”

We’ve all done it. But tomorrow is not guaranteed.

My brother-in-law, John, taught me not to wait to fulfill my dreams. John worked out almost every day and had a very physical job. He was one of the healthiest people I knew. Then the headaches started. Like most guys, he didn’t like to visit the doctor, but my sister insisted. The doctor put him on headache medication.

When medication didn’t solve the problem, he went back. The diagnosis? Stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer. John was 48 when he was diagnosed and died about 18 months later. That’s when my philosophy changed. I kept putting things I dreamed of doing off until….whatever. That was about 10 years ago. The following year, I traveled to Africa.

The time to live life is now. That doesn’t mean I don’t take care of paying my bills or saving for retirement. It means that if my dream is to travel, I begin going to places I can reasonably afford. The next city, the next state, the next country.

A lot has changed in the last 10 years. My sister is remarried to a wonderful man. John’s grandsons, who he never met, are playing basketball and will soon attend middle school. I’ve traveled to a number of countries and visited several continents, including Antarctica.

I think of him often. John changed my life in a number of ways, but most importantly, inspired me not to put off living my life. I miss you, John.

Are there dreams you are putting off until you can fill in the blanks? In some small way, can you take a few steps forward?

Up for the Challenge?

I really took some time to go through my Google Reader tonight and review some of my favorite blogs. It has been quite awhile since I did more than glance at the ever growing list.

What did I find? I found a stock photographer blogger that has posted a photo a day for the last year. His photos were amazing. I have friends that have worked on a 365 day challenge to do the same thing. Some of them have done really well with few interruptions. With life as crazy as it is, I’m not sure I can keep up with 365 days straight, but I can do better than I have in the past.

So, here it is. The first of what I hope will be 300+ days of pictures from now until December 2, 2012. I won’t promise the most beautiful of photos, but I will promise to keep it interesting.

Anyone else up for the challenge?

Challenge – Celebrate Success

This weekend I didn’t spend enough time cleaning the house. I didn’t eat only the things I should have. I didn’t take my dog to run at the dog park. I didn’t wash the car and I didn’t finish my grocery shopping. I didn’t…I didn’t…I didn’t do that either.

I have to continually remind myself to focus on what I did get done. Don’t let the didn’ts (is that a word?) get you down.

I did spend fun time with Wendy, my sister. I did hike two miles. I did go to a beautiful canyon near Boulder where I watched amazing people scale mountains. I have always wanted to visit Eldorado Canyon State Park and will definitely go back. I did take some time to relax after a long stressful week. I did help Mary learn how to post to our blog.

This challenge is to recognize and celebrate our successes. Instead of focusing on what didn’t get done, let’s give ourselves a break and take credit for everything that we have accomplished.

Fill ten pages listing what you’ve accomplished. Seem like a lot? Start with today. What did you check as completed on your to do list? What have you accomplished over the last year? What about five years? Twenty years? This is going to take some time, so plan to write your accomplishments down over the next few months.

Recipe:

Ten blank journal pages to fill with your accomplishments
Time to celebrate

Wow! Look at everything you’ve done. Maybe you’ll need more pages for your list…

Challenge: Between the Pages

There is something about walking into a book store that turns me into a little kid. I can spend hours, especially now that many of the stores give you cushy chairs so you can preview your selections. They also added an attached coffee shop so that after you buy the book, you don’t have to wait until you get it home to start reading. Libraries are also wonderful places. The joy of children in a library is contagious. Have you ever looked at their faces when they are in the process of carrying out all the books that they have checked out? They’ll never be able to read them all, but there is something about carrying out a large stack just in case.

This challenge may take a months to complete. Take your time. That is part of the enjoyment of this challenge which is to take time to read. You don’t even have to do it all on your own.

Recipe:

Time for Yourself
10 Books
A Comfy Chair or Place to Read
Your Favorite Reading Beverage
Library Card (Optional)
Children to Read to (Optional)

Take time out over the rest of the year to read 10 books. I know it seems like a lot, but turn one page at a time and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can work your way through a good story. Change it up and add a book on how to do something you’ve always been interested in adding to your repertoire. Pull out a book on poetry, science fiction, a biography…the possibilities are endless. Don’t forget to document your progress and give yourself credit., I’ve been playing with a journaling book that include painting and crafting. I’ve had more fun over the last few weeks with water color paints and the pages of my journal.

Do you have any favorite books to recommend?

I really liked “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.

So, grab a book, sit back and enjoy!

Challenge: In Your Own Backyard

A week ago last Friday it snowed here in Denver. I was excited to get out early the following morning so I could take some beautiful shots in the snow. My initial plan was to drive over to the park. Instead, I decided that I should be able to find some interesting photo opportunities in my very small back yard. How did that go? I’ll let you decide.

Lilac Bush Bloom Abstract

I’m challenging you find the beauty in your own back yard. Grab your camera, even if it’s just the one on your phone, and take at least ten pictures of things that you find interesting.  We’d love to see your favorite shot and don’t forget to journal about your adventure.

Recipe:

Tools: Camera
Time: 15 minutes
Location: Backyard or Just out the Front Door