Journey To A Healthier Version Of Me

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I have recommitted to being a more fit version of me these last 2 months. I am working out with friends, using the outdoors as my gym, and exercising at home on my own as well. I even signed up to do 100 miles of walking/jogging, in the month of May, to raise funds for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

All of this has helped me come to some realizations or “Ahh-Ha” moments.

#1-I like the way I feel after exercising. This happens despite the fact that I
may go kicking or screaming or I may go dragging my tired self for exercise.to a park
#2-I do see some differences. It is slow progress but I see some changes and I like it. Changes are encouraging.
#3-I am a part of a group that supports and encourages one another on this journey to being better versions of ourselves. This is so refreshing since, very often, women feel in competition or tear one another down.
#4-My push or drive comes from my daughters who encourage me each day. Their drive and determination makes me want to do this even more. Very often, they accompany me to fitness events or assist me in finding new workouts on Pinterest. I truly want to make them proud and inspire them in some small way.
#5-I most likely will not run a marathon or do a triathlon and I am ok with that but I will continue to set goals and achieve them.
#6-Inspiration is all around me. Living in the moment and staying true to who you are remain 2 goals as well as philosophies for me in my life. The latter one is somewhat easier to keep because life can get in the way and cause us to focus too much on the future and stray away from the moment. The present moment remains all we are guaranteed so worrying about the future robs us of that.
#7-Being in my 40’s, and I cannot believe I am writing that fact down, has brought challenges and gifts. These gifts include the idea that I no longer want to be a part of any drama and I will remove myself from situations that are drama filled or unhealthy for my quest to grow with a more positive outlook. I simply am following the same advice I give my twin daughters. I try to look at challenges as lessons in life and move on from them as they occur. Dwelling only breeds negativity.

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In addition, I am excited to try new things without second guessing myself and stepping out of that all too limiting comfort zone. I love the freedom that comes with this age and I am now less concerned with what others think. Hopefully, I won’t cause my children much embarrassment as demonstrated, this past weekend, when I broke into song while walking through the streets of a town that was hosting a classic car show. Can I help it the DJ played great music?

I look forward to many new adventures, and lessons learned, as I continue along on this journey to a healthier version of me. The obstacles will be there but they will get smaller with each experience and each attempt.

As the title of my blog states..I am an optimist in training.

Holding On To Hope

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I like to consider myself a stronger and  more confident person as a result of the challenges life has dealt our family in recent years. I have learned lessons along the way and I know that you have to be an advocate, in times of challenge, for either yourself or those that need a voice. In the past, I would have said, “I don’t want to bring attention to anything” or “Why make waves?” That is no longer the case. I will fight for what is right and in terms of my daughter’s shoulder issues, I will keep pressing for answers whether it be a new form of physical therapy, a different specialist, or something academic related. I often wish I could help other families, as an advocate, in educational and medical matters. I know what we have gone through,and what we continue to go through, as a family. To have someone be a guide in the abyss of the medical and surgical world would have been a godsend.

I could use an advocate, right now,who has connections to every shoulder guru there is to be seen. How is it that this case is so original? We are seeing a top doctor now who also treats pro athletes but even he is perplexed as to why the shoulder is not maintaining stability. We are now about 3 1/2 years into this nightmare yet outsiders look at her and would never know her pain level or her daily struggles. Kelly will not crack, as she plows through this, and has excelled academically in her first full year back in 3 years right along with her twin sister. They are a great team!

For now, I pray, research, and continue to try to grow as a person. I need to be the best version of me–a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an advocate, a friend, and an educator. If I don’t, I am helping no one and I am not serving as a good role model for my girls.

Please remember, in your daily encounters, that everyone is struggling or going through something. Sometimes it is a visible struggle but often it is the invisible pain and struggles that can be the heaviest to carry. Always remember to be patient, kind, and to see the good everywhere. You could be the “light” in someone’s dark and cloudy day.

Keep on hoping! I know I will!!

Blank Slate

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imageI love this time of year when the days get longer and we have more daylight. It is also the time of year when my soul longs for a change or growth in a new direction. A feeling of being stagnate is one I try to avoid but one in which I find myself in on occasion. I have made efforts, to get out of my comfort zone, and stretch my idea of who I am but I am feeling that it is not enough. Change is in the air. I am not sure where it will lead or what direction it will take me. I only know I am ready. I am open to new ideas and ready to pursue my passions. All of which are good for the soul!

 

 

What I Know For Sure

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“In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson” Author unknown.

I came across this quote in a  magazine this week. I immediately stopped and spent some time thinking about it. It is appropriate,for this time of year of new beginnings, as people begin prepping for a return to school. When I looked at this quote, I also thought of it as a backwards approach. This can be a more difficult approach to grasping life’s lessons. When you are taught a lesson, in school, you are instructed several times, receive notes to study from and quiz yourself on, and you may also have a practice test or two to check on how much material you have grasped. If there is a lack of understanding, then there are other opportunities for strengthening areas of weakness and possibly retesting.

In life, as I mentioned, we start backwards. The tests are presented without any prior background knowledge, note taking, or quizzing. There are no opportunities for a retest. This is a difficult concept to grasp and to embrace. It also takes time to reflect upon each test and to see them for the gifts that they are in each of our lives. Tests can have a tendency to overwhelm and keep us down or to stagnate us. These are all the results of not comprehending why these tests happened upon us. Close proximity, to the test, can cloud us from seeing the “big picture” or the intended lesson. Distance and time can be key factors in removing the clouds so that the lessons are finally evident to us. I believe this skill of understanding comes from a heightened awareness, a living in the moment approach, and an attitude of gratitude. Goals to aspire to in all of our lives.

I have had many tests, in the last few years, and some lessons have come easier than others. But, I know one thing for sure and that is I will keep looking and learning for the lessons in each test.

Turning Points-Catalysts For Change

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Back in May I decided that it was time to put some focus on me. It sounds selfish but the root of it is for my family. I wanted to work on me physically, spiritually, and hopefully develop a more positive outlook. This blog was one piece of it and it is a work in progress, although progress can be a bit slow.

I want to encourage others to think about what is their “catalyst for change” and hopefully use this as a spring board for change. It is so important to not let these events keep you stagnant or let them define you as a person.

Confession time: I have been guilty of both becoming stagnant and of letting these events define me over the course of the last 3 years. This time of year has been difficult because 3 years ago my life was shaken to the core. My husband, at the age of 46, had a stroke. I still have trouble verbalizing that fact. It felt like the floor had collapsed below me. During that time I could not or would not process the event and diagnosis. What we thought was simple dehydration, from working outside all day, had turned into the unfathomable. Thankfully, he was not left with any lasting effects. We did however find out he is a diabetic and he was finally able to immediately quit smoking.

Within months of this event one of our daughters, as I have written about, became injured. This in turn ended her softball playing days and she had to endure 3 surgeries and countless physical therapy appointments in less than a year and a half. Most recently, this past winter, she successfully stumped her team as to why things were not stable. I am happy to say that there has been some progress in that area and we are cautiously optimistic.

Fast forward to this Spring when it felt like I was finally able to let out a sigh of relief, dust myself off, and begin to develop the new me. I jumped back into hobbies I had previously loved and I began to venture into becoming healthier and more fit. By making this decision, I am exploring many new possibilities and even taking new exercise classes. As a result, I hope to encourage my own children to develop themselves and always explore new possibilities. I was also fortunate to reconnect with an old friend who has formed a wonderful group of women, with similar interests, who are encouraging one another in the areas of exercise and nutrition. This would not have been possible if I didn’t decide to be open to change and let that “catalyst” move me in the right direction.

The future is looking bright!

Lessons Learned and Forward We Go!!

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Melita Bloomer - Coming Year

Happy New Year!

A chance to analyze, look at lessons learned, begin again, make new goals, and focus on achieving those goals. It is similar to what the month of September is to students everywhere.

What I learned in 2014:

1) My family continues to amaze me.

2) My children have an exceptional work ethic and compassion for others.

3) Worrying does not change a single thing.

4) Worrying causes today to become lost in the shuffle.

5) Never stop learning.

6) Always strive for new goals.

7) God provides strength in the most difficult of circumstances.

8) People are place in our lives to serve various needs and purposes. One needs to simply step back to grasp these meanings. Sometimes being too close, to the situation, obscure that view that we need.

9) Do not lose yourself in the “muck” of life’s hardships. Grab onto that life preserver whether it be a new goal, a friend, a hobby or a piece of music. I will admit that I am guilty of failing at this step in recent months. I may have gotten stuck in the “muck” and lost my goal/focus. My goal is to acquire that focus back and by doing so I will continue to move forward.

10) Unfortunately, bad things happen to everyone. Trying to find reasons for their occurrence  is fruitless. This is another thing I am guilty of in life and it is a quick way to get stuck in that “muck.” It robs us of our faith and our strength that comes from many different areas. Why  give the bad things more power to expand and cloud our outlook? Recognize when they are present, even roll your eyes a time or two, and MOVE ON!! Where there is movement there is progress. Progress is always consistently a GOOD thing!

11) Find a passion or two and you will find yourself flourishing as you grow in learning and applying these passions.

12) Prayer is the ultimate tool for coming out of the muck I mentioned in point #9. Ask others to pray for you, as well, and storm heaven. as a friend of mine has described it.

What I hope for in 2015:

1) To form new goals.

2) To take necessary steps to achieve them.

3)To live in the moment.

4)To take chances.

5) To see my family happy and healthy as they go through the new year.

6) To finally see my daughter have an end to the chronic shoulder problems as she faces possibly another procedure. This has knocked us off our feet, in the last 2 days of 2014, because what we thought was fixed is in need of reevaluation.

7) To develop new passions and rediscover who I am!

What thoughts and goals do you have this first day of 2015?