The Last Quarter. We can make meaningful changes in our life.

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Chili with Cheddar Chive Scones          by Gina at fatfitanfab.com

October, is the start of our last quarter as we are near the end of another year. Sometimes we can feel time is running out, what can we do with the time left?

People can get so wrapped up in exterior activities whether extracurricular activities for their kids, holidays, politics, that just living life has lost it’s meaning.  Being overly committed and obligated can cause us to be well-spent emotionally, financially, and with our time.

Routines are a practice that may not always be honestly rewarding.  If it is our practice to watch television for three or four hours before bed so as to relax it is a choice.  Is there a more rewarding choice?  My husband bought a lathe for woodworking at a yard sale.  Brock, 23, after work has been coming home from work making beautiful cups and bowls.  He is enjoying it and it is rewarding.  Is there an activity whether creative or purposeful that would be beneficial to do a night or two each week?

I am naturally a clutter bug, yet, my floors are clean.  Piles, piles still occupy the perimeter of many spaces in our home.  How they get there, where they come from, I can never see it happening, yet, I am the culprit.  As I am practicing better habits, not adding to the problem, it still happens.  I have been working on an area outside my painting area or artist corner.  It seems my creative forces has emerged from the room and congested beyond the room.  Is there an excuse?  I have an empty cabinet in there, and drawers half full, and the books put up on top of the cabinet.  These are all holdups and blocks to my creativity.

In the evening I have been putting on good music and working in there a few minutes, turning it into a real artists retreat.  Privately, I am a bit turned off by the junky furniture.  It is all like new, it is just pressed board stuff you could get cheap.  I love good wood.  If it was made the same of walnut, or cherry, as you can see, I am a brat.

I feel so much appreciation for this area I have, when there have been times in my life where I did not have an artists den.  So, I want to occupy the space since my secret is out about the furniture which looks new.  I am ashamed of myself for such notions.  That represents life too, maybe we have notions that hold us up.

“If only I were thin I would” do this or wear that;  If only I had an exercize machine or a membership;  if only someone loved me I would do this; if only my home was like this I would invite people over; if only my mate would  buy me flowers or be more romantic.  “If Only”!!!.  We can be set back with thinking like this.

An exaggerated answer to the “If Onlies.”  My son says this is an oxymoron.  There is no plural to the concept of only.  He could be correct, but for purposes he may be slow to understand, he still says we have a ton of “if only” in our life.  It is plural no matter how you put it.  John says, “If only the dog didn’t stop to crap in the road I would not be late to work.”  As we debate on proper or improper use.  I would still like to make a long awaited for point.

If only I were thin I would wear more chic outfits.  When I was in my low 130’s I fretted because I was not in my low 120’s,  then prednisone gave me an extra 45lbs that compounded the problem, ashamed I wore thrift store duds.  I wouldn’t buy the close I really liked because I did not deserve it til I lost some weight.  Now, at 205 lbs and on antiobotics and other meds my weight is still going up despite my efforts.  I am buying and have been buying new garments that are tasteful and comfortable.  I feel better no longer stressing over this “If Only” business causes years to go by wasted.

If only, is a matter of procrastination.  It makes our excuse sound valid.  Invite friends to your home even though it is not perfect.  It they are your friend they will pitch in an help with no judgement or just have a good time.

Do not wait for a bouquet of flowers and romance.  Buy the flowers yourself, and buy a new tie or dress socks for your man, and give a card expressing appreciation for all his hardwork and love.  Gifts are gifts, not a matter of exchange.  Do not wait for romance, create it.  If they miss the point of our ovature at least they know we love them.  They likely need us to romance them more than we need them to.  Just remember, when our mate works long days, their minds may not be thinking about romance, their romance is their sacrifice going out working to put the roof over our head and food on the table.  It is a valid gift that is not appreciated often enough. It can be more stressful or even degrading then we realize for them at work.  Let them come home to a big smile, a warm hug, with respect and appreciation.  We may be the only thing that puts joy an motivation in our mates life.  Women whom work like this benefit the same as men do by the unexpected gifts, or words of appreciation.

So, instead of over extending ourselves needlessly, let us look at our life.. can we see what routines or habits can be modified so as to bring greater joy and accomplishment in our life.  By switching things up a couple nights a week.  Whether by inviting others over, doing extra cleaning, getting ahead on our taxes, going for early evening walk, doing a craft or hobby we enjoy.  We can examine our life by finding ways to destress, and declutter.

We have someone come in an clean once a week doing things that are hard for me.  It is a necessity. And it helps me to get more done.

How about a trip to the zoo before it gets too cold, or the museums, or the library.  Let us make use of this month to get a few things back on track.  We will have pride an joy instead of depression.

This is a very stressful quarter for many. Slow down, save your money, enjoy the great outdoors. End the year doing the things you promised yourself you would be doing when the year started.

fatfitanfab.com

June is running by ….July approaches …

June is running by, and half the year is now behind us.  What do we still have to do?  Is there anything we wanted to accomplish this year?

It is a good time to refer back to our Goal List for the year.  Three areas I like to consider

  1.  Health and Fitness Goals.
  2. Relationships
  3. Domestic

1.  Health and Fitness Goals:  Let us expound on the most typical goal for the year, Health and Fitness.  Each year we get older and even young people are experiencing health problems.  We will not even discuss the newfound issues with healthcare and insurance costs.  The high monthly costs of mandatory insurance is causing many to avoid visits to the doctor because of high copays and deductibles.  If there was not a good enough basis for a healthy diet and regular exercise, there is more motivation now.

We have one body, and our health we must seek to protect it.   Wise choices, no extremes are necessary.  Fruits and vegetables never go out of fashion and are readily available in most markets.  It only takes moments to use a regular blender to make a nutritious cool drink.  Would you like to know my recipe for a quick tasty fruit smoothie?

One I have been using for literally decades is, I will call it:

Fruit Frapp by Gina @  fatfitanfab.com

one serving recipe:              6 oz orange juice, (not from concentrate), or 6 oz of water. a banana, a peeled apple, and one cup of frozen berries.  Put in the blender, put on for 40 seconds to a minute an a half.    If you do not want to use a bannana, you can substitute a cup of fresh-cut papaya.

The banana or papaya give the drink a smoothness like a shake.  The frozen fruits may have raspberries in which do have seeds.  They remain like seeds. I just swallow them.  If a person has digestive issues like diverticulitis the seeds may bother them so you may choose just a strawberry/blueberry mix.

Be careful if you have diabetes or blood sugar problems.  Only you know if you can have citrus, some medications are a problem.  As I am not a doctor or nutritionist, I am only sharing a recipe which helps me to get my vitamin C, other vitamins, and natural fiber.

I like to make vegetable smoothies in the late afternoon before I start making dinner, that I can sip which can get the edge off hunger and be quite satisfying.  My cardiologist did recommend simply having a V8 each day.  I do not have a great tasting vegtable smoothie that is quick to make.  I do like spinach, a clove of garlic, a handful of fresh parsley, two carrots, and a celery stalk with the leaves.  I do use a pinch of salt because I naturally have low blood pressure.  Then I blend in my regular blender.

Responsible self-care involves regular exercise.  With all the responsibilities people have in their life it can be a real challenge to cull out the time to take a walk, or take a bike ride, or use an exercize machine.  Yet, it is relaxing, destressing, and exhilarating.  Not only can it help us to maintain our weight, it can help prevent us from gaining more weight if that is our objective.  If our objective is to lose weight, than exercising daily with a plan can help us reach our goals.  I had ankle surgery on my right ankle in the beginning of February.  It all seems so slow to heal.  Both ankles have each had two surgeries.  As much as I want to take off and go for a run, or go for a walk it is just not reasonable at this point.  I purchased a bike and I have been striving to go for a ride a few times a week.  The heat is unbearable for daily rides and I am unfit.  Should I call myself unfit?  Maybe that is harsh to label myself as unfit since I do regularly do daily stretching and isometric exercises in my home.  OK, I will accept the congrats! for maintaining my regular stretching and isometric exercize program for decades.  The exercizes I do help me to deal with chronic pain associated with lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.  I have a lot of muscle spasms and nerve pain.  The exercize helps me to feel that I am taking responsibility for what I can control.  The exercize benefits me also because I like to have a scoop of ice cream, and I have diabetes, therefore, exercize keeps the sugar manageable.

Each health situation is different, but so many suffer.  If we take some time to consider our own situation, and start right away to manage our health before more serious problems develop.  Not only can we keep our healthcare costs down, we may feel better.

2.  Relationships:  Relationships affect our peace of mind.  The relationship we have with our creator, with ourself, with our loved ones and if we are employed than we have our social relationships.  Can we improve all these relationships?

The relationship a person has with their creator can affect how they also feel about themselves and how they live their life and the consequences etc.  I have no more to say on that subject.  It is worth considering privately.

The relationship we have with ourself is very complicated indeed.  So much of how we feel about our-self is deeply rooted from our conception, our upbringing, the family situation, the make up of the family dynamics.  Some come from secure family situations, that is very rare these days.  Some of us are very wounded from broken homes, lack of security, an absent parent, and some experience abuse.  All these factors shape us.  Yet, we do not have to be defined permanently by any of these situations.

Earning a healthy esteem is a very valid concept that I have lived by for decades.  We may remain sensitive or fragile.  Yet, I think of a flower that appears to be fragile, sure, someone may be cruel and pull some petals off.  If the flower is left alone, it can even go thru a thunderstorm with high winds and still remain beautiful.  Someone may pull our petals off, but we must remain rooted in what we know and what we can do.  We can bloom again and if necessary, we can be the seed that blows in the wind, and be rooted elsewhere.  The sun, the rain, will come again.  A positive attitude and hope are fortifying.

When I went thru some health dilemmas this last year, the effect had a stifling effect on me.  I felt incapable and unable.  I quit writing, painting, making bread, and sewing became a rarity.  Cleaning the bathroom mirror I wondered if it was done right.  No one was doing this to me, and I cannot blame anyone.  The doctor whom helps me with my life management skills regarding my attention deficit, he helped me to realize that something was rooted in my youth.  He said, “OK, you do not want to blame anyone, you do not want to blame it on something in your youth, mistreatment you endured.  Yet, you do acknowledge you were not in ideal circumstances to grow a healthy esteem, you did not feel safe, and your accomplishments were met with disfavor by those whom should have been proud of you.  If you can accept this, you can move on.  You can find a new way to respond to your accomplishments.”  Of course, I did not have a tape recorder and it may not be a perfect word for word account.  That was the basic jist of it.

To get thru all of this, I kept the habit of making my Master List for the month and the week.  I referred to them often.  A book from the Library on Productivity that I referred to in one of my previous published articles suggested that when I make my TO DO List that I leave room between each to put a couple of actions that are logically needed to accomplish the task.  This really helped me to get more done.  Feel Good Feeling!  My friend Mattie has an infectious cheer about her and giggle.  She is all about giving yourself a cheer when you complete something.  I am trying it, and it feels good.  My husband John likes to stand back and look at what he has done, you can see his pride well up even with the smallest of accomplishments.  I use to look at him in wonder when I would walk up and find him doing so, in fact, because I did not understand it, I thought it was downright silly and it made me a bit uncomfortable.  Over the years, I have slowly come to understand this gift.

Did you know that at the end of each day of creation, our Great Creator would say “It is Good!”.  We are made in his image.  So if we know we worked hard, and we did our best, I believe it is healthy to feel “it is good”!   My relationship with myself is greatly improved, and I am sewing again.  If we can possibly have a healthy esteem, we can then be healthy to be in a relationship with.  Our relationship with our mate, family, children, and work mates can be healthier if we are more positive to be around.  By having a healthier diet and exercise program, a healthy attitude, we can have healthier expectations of others too.  Nurture those relationships respectfully.  Each person is subject to the law, and each person is protected by the law.  If that is remembered, then abuse would be uncommon.

Last night I saw true love.  A couple with their toddler entered the diner  where we were enjoying a meal.  The man was lovingly affectionate and obviously proud of his lady and the child.  He was quite handsome.  She was quite obese and unkempt.  It likely had been a hard day for her.  Yet, this man loved this woman, and she knew it.  I was greatly touched.

3.  Domestic, no I am not talking about domestic beer.  It is where we live, what we drive, and where we spend our time, and how we manage it all.  Half the year is gone, there is some warm weather maintenance we can do on our home, car, and property.  Have you made your punch list?  I want to get into the car and do some deep cleaning, and it is not just because I turned a to-go container of spaghetti upside down in the back seat of the car yesterday.  I was already planning on a thorough detail clean of the interior of the car, now it just seems more immediate to do.  Thankfully, my caring husband got the spaghetti spill cleaned up, but I do feel I need to do that thorough cleaning in the next day or so.  Light colored car, little spots could be anywhere.  This time of year is a great time to clean the garage, and have a garage sale or donate your goods.  Fix your bicycles and use them.  Plan a trip to the zoo, or keep cool in a museum, visit family, or go away for a long weekend.

John got some weatherstripping done on all the doors last week.  Our lovely old yellow cat, PUFF, has already scratched up the new weatherstrip on the front door.  I am going to do a smelly hairspray on the lower door frames after I rub a little essential oils on the weatherstrip.  We still need to get some exterior painting done.  There is a list.  I am eager to get the windows clean.  As I am zeroing in on a room at a time with the deep cleaning,  the last thing I do in the room, the final touch is cleaning all the glass, which includes the windows.  Doesn’t it make everything look good.?

Attention to these three areas can give pretty quick improvement in many areas of our life. We can already feel better about this year and all we hoped to achieve.  We live in a very demanding and often insecure world.  Gently, yet, effectivly gaining more control over our health, relationships, and domestic situation can give us a sense of accomplishment resulting in a healthier esteem.  June may be gone by,…we still have a half year to fulfill our goals.

 

 

 

 

 

New Schedule, The Adreniline is … I cannot stand it. The Thrill of …

So excited your heart is racing, you cannot focus, the anticipation of it all is driving you up the …   When you have hopes, dreams, ideas, plans, projects, need I say more.  You cannot focus on what your loved ones are talking about, your thinking about it while doing other things, even television cannot take it off your mind.

This is how the Architectural mind works.  The mind of a designer, or a creative person is picturing all the details in their mind.  Do not interrupt my thoughts.  The mind of an engineer or mechanic plotting, analyzing, figuring, assessing, estimating, resolving, all takes mental energy, drive, and enthusiasm.

Applying these traits in our personal life to resolve our stagnation or problems can give us hope while turning our situation upside down like newly tilled soil.  Just as soil needs a good turnover, so doesn’t our life.  While minding our morality and principles we can consider great changes.

How can we assess our life?  Are we lonely?  Are we frustrated?  Are we bored?  Are we fat? Are we tired?  Is the routine predictable?  Is there stagnation with the old hum drum routine?

Some things take time to change, whether it is our financial situation, relationships, esteem, domestic situation, and the list goes on.

Example:  A person that is fat, out of shape, lonely, not treated as respectfully as one would like, that feels opportunities are not offered to them as they are others. This guy can feel quite trapped.  The routine of eating, computer games, and hours of television leaves them frustrated and unfulfilled.  One day this person sees the blog fatfitanfab.com and is inspired to make a couple adjustments.  Replacing unhealthy drinks with more water his skin is clearing up and he is not feeling so sluggish, seems less bloated.  Because he is shutting off the television after the evening news he is getting a few things done in the evening and he is getting to bed earlier.  He has started a thirty minute walk in the early a.m. daily before work.  With the habit of a healthy breakfast each day he has more energy and less cravings.  Just being alert and energetic in the morning it seems he is getting so much more done at work.   He cannot believe how he now has to wear a belt because he really needs to buy a size smaller in pants.  Others notice the change in him and seem to enjoy conversation with him because he seems more happy.  The boss is responding as if he has greater confidence in him now.

You see what I am getting at, just a few little changes in habits and routines can enrich our lives.  It is very thrilling to contemplate.

My goal is to go to bed earlier, to get up earlier, and to spend the time in the morning doing what I usually view as a treat to do, do that until noon before I need to get my daily responsibilities done.  I realize I have been doing it wrong, like dangling a treat, that I never will get, only to be disappointed day after day.  As if that would be my reward just if I …you know how it goes, we do it to ourselves, to our kids, to our loved ones.  The promised incentive that never comes.

Doing an abrupt face is exciting, addressing the problem completely differently.  Thinking of our children, when we practice the method of  going to the park after you finish your homework it causes frustration, anger, and sadness.  The homework session drags out hopelessly until it is too late to go to the park.  Real punishment.  Instead, ask the child how long it will take to do the homework, then go to the park with that in mind.  Have a great time.  As soon as you get home and the child washes their face and hands, drinks some water, then right away get to the homework.  Set the timer with that much time and add a buffer of fifteen minutes for the encouragement.  A few days of the park first may prove to be stimulating for the child.  Whom wants to go to school all day and sit in front of the homework for an hour or two.  Instead of resentment, it will be refreshment, accomplishment and joy.

What my sons have done to enrich their life is they have a bowling league now on Wednesdays, and they have a great time.  One evening a week going to a bible meeting is rewarding.  An evening at the Library or local book store.  Whom is lonely now.  We can be alone enjoying any of these activities and not feel lonely.  We have an activity to look forward to.  My husband took me to the bookstore tonight.  After days of being sick and unable to go anywhere I was thrilled when he suggested going to my favorite store.  I love the “how to” section, how to cook, sew, or knit, etc.  I know how to do all these things but I just love projects and I feel like an crazy nut about all I want to do.  In reality it is not possible to do all I want to do, but I will think about that tomorrow…

Your whole family will benefit from a few adjustments in your life.  The whole family and loved ones may not at first cooperate with the hoped for changes.  It may be us alone making the adjustments while not forcing change on others.  Include your family in these changes invitingly an see joy restored.   Just as an Architect, Engineer or Mechanic address a problem.  We can assess our life an redesign it with optimism.  Is your Adrenaline pumping and is your heart racing?

I apologize …

I apologize for all the updates to this last article of the Happiness Habits.  As I am having my surgery tomorrow, I am a bit nervous, and it seemed I was having some problems with my draft of the article I was revising and I had accidently posted it before I was done.     It is done and I hope you like it.  Happiness is a challenge for all, no matter our race, age, sex, or financial status no one is immune to the problems.  Time and unforeseen occurrence befall all.  That is why practicing some positive habits can enrich our life, and help us to have some strength to continue on.

Freeing up My Creativity

Stifled, blocked, overwhelmed, cannot focus, stagnation,  these are some terms or phrases used by writers or artists of all sorts.

Many things can interfere with our productivity in our creative ventures.  Some common things are stress in life and anxiety.  Just a lack of control could rob us of focus.  Living within our means, and not overextending ourselves socially can help us to regain some of the control.  I love the July “Awake” magazine on Control.  It gives some excellent points on regaining some control of our life.  Find it at jw.org

What I would like to address is something I have been all too slow to learn.  I have missed out on the benefits of this great quality because I was what you call a free spirit.  For decades I lived with the free as the wind mentality of creativity.  I lost a lot of years that way.  It cost me a lot in all aspects of life.  First, I never had a healthy self esteem.  In fact, caring for myself I just did the basics, in some ways I was extremely neglectful.  This was such a wreck less way of living that goes with this creative mentality.  In fact, a friend asked me on the phone a few months ago, “Are you still a train wreck?”  I did not quite know what he meant, and it did not feel so good to consider that I may have been viewed that way.  Some would say, “Oh, that is the artist in her.”  I was impetuous, creative, easily moved.

I drew up some construction documents for an artist and her husband, she had designed her own home, when I went by for a visit, I was surprised at how beautifully organized she was.  Her studio was immaculate, I asked her about it, and she said “I am a productive artist and I get big dollars for my work.  I have to be organized.”  That left a heavy impression on me.  It has still taken decades to understand and put it into practice.  Oh, the years I have lost.

A friend of mine is very productive publishing poems, books, and painting landscapes.  Every Tuesday like clockwork she is painting another picture.  Diane adopted three children with handicaps.  Her home is tidy and clean.

Here I have been a free spirit and what do I have to show for it?  A lot of creativity that was never realized.  Dreaming the years away.  Many projects never started and more projects still not finished.  For the projects I have finished I am very proud of them.  Over the years I have gotten into a pattern of actually finishing things.  Yet, I have so much more to finish.

What I have learned, that is the most valuable thing I could ever impart is the necessity of having a schedule, having a routine and good habits.  If my workroom is unorganized, how will I feel motivated to go in there and get a project made.  Some may tout about how they do not mind a messy workplace, but it does not look good to others, and it does interfere with productivity.  My workroom is untidy again and it happens so fast.  I enjoy working in there putting things away.  I feel free to do more when I can see my measuring tape where I always put it, when I can grab the scissors from the drawer, and a space is clear in which to work.

The whole house is important, keeping the refrigerator clean and well stocked, so we can keep ourselves healthy and strong.  By keeping the bathrooms clean and laundry done these are all things related to caring for ourselves respectfully.  How can I have self respect, or expect respect if I am not living respectfully?

My home is still in great disarray.  Yet, I work hard to obey my daily schedule,  yesterday was clean the bedrooms day, and all I could do was some dusting.  I have this double hernia I am getting operated on next week.  I have absolutely no stamina and I hurt.  It felt good doing the little I did do.  The day before was clean the bathrooms and utility room. I got one bathroom cleaned well and a load of towels washed.  I could not do the other bathroom.  Just making the practice of good habits and carrying on the routine gives me courage and hope that it will reflect well in the coming months ahead.

The benefits I am now seeing is that by practicing a domestic schedule I am freed up to be more creative.  And by doing the schedule I am earning a bit of esteem that I am accomplishing more.  This fuels my creativity.  I find I am starting and finishing more like this blog, and other small projects I have around.

Habits and routines are essential for the creative person whom wants to enjoy the fullest satisfaction with a greater productivity.

Quit dreaming and start producing, this is the Art of Living.  The most important thing I have learned is that being an artist, I have to make the room in my schedule and make it a routine being creative.  I cannot afford to be haphazard with something so valuable.  It has become more purposeful and truly delightful.