Choosing to Be Grateful

In this gloomy weather I find that having an attitude of gratitude imbues my life with hope for the future.

Every other day I write down 5 things I’m grateful for in my grateful journal.

It’s a hardbound spiral journal that I write entries in.

First I reread the last two or three selections. Then I write a new entry.

A research study reveals that keeping a grateful journal can help a person ward off blue feelings. It might have even halted people from being depressed.

Gathering around the Thanksgiving or other holiday tableĀ  you’re bound to interact with people that don’t share your worldview.

I’ve found that the remedy is keep my cool and talk about other things.

I’m too jaded to think that anyone in our government–not Liberal Democrat Republican or Conservative–can help ordinary Americans and do the right thing for everyone on the planet as well.

The part of Thanksgiving that I can accept celebrating is the “giving thanks” part of the holiday.

I’m grateful to be happy and healthy and healed. I’m grateful for every experience I’ve had–good and not-so-good. I’m grateful for everyone I’ve met along the way in my life.

One change–it could be called the fourth changeover–had the most impact on my happiness.

In recent months I’ve been able to make peace with reality and to make peace with other people.

What I’m able to do now is to understand that there’s no “right” or “wrong.”

I am who I am. You are who you are. Others are who they are.

The goal as I see it is to give each other a wide latitude to express ourselves.

What alarms me is that there are people who think the government can actually help them. They have fixed beliefs about Mr. Toupee and about everyone else who has been elected to serve us.

So–they sharpen their knives and cut you to pieces along with the turkey.

I turn 55 soon. The older I get I’ve come to believe that compassion is called for.

We must have compassion for the haters, for those who are less fortunate, for people who have done us wrong, for ourselves if we feel poorly about something we did.

Having compassion for others who don’t think, believe, act, live, and identify the same way you do is what’s needed in this often sad and angry society we live in.

My therapist is fond of saying that everyone being different makes the world interesting.

I’m grateful that there’s no other person like me walking down the street.

And yes–I’m grateful to live in America in a city where I’m free to walk down that street.

Those of us who benefit in the world should be doing things to help people who haven’t had any advantage.

This is the message I bring to you in this season:

Choose to love. Choose to be grateful. Choose to do your own thing without fear.

 

 

Changeover #3

As I head along on the road to another birthday I’ve made one other change: Cutting the crap out of my life.

Refusing to fall prey to the hateful rhetoric advanced in “click-bait” news articles on the internet.

Choosing to walk on the sunny side of the street. Instead of dwelling on what’s not right in the world.

As the ability of our elected officials to govern ethically is going down the toilet I have no trust that anyone in Washington will come together to help ordinary Americans.

So–I will not talk about Mr. Toupee and his ilk.

I can only tell you that I’m impressed with Andrew Yang–the Democratic candidate. He gets my vote for President should he make it to the primary.

No–I just say no to Joe Biden. It’s because the former Vice President has stated that he thinks marijuana should remain illegal. I prey–prego as Italians would say–that Joe Biden is not elected president.

This is the end of my screed about politics.

As I’ve written, my life improved when I cut the crap out of my reading matter. Cutting the crap out of what I eat has helped too. Cutting the crap out of my relationships has changed things for the better too.

Our government is a circus–yet it’s a dangerous clown act. There isn’t a clown car big enough to fit all the Bozos with the power to screw up America for ordinary Americans and screw up the planet for everyone on it.

So–I chose to dedicate my Left of the Dial blog to positive topics that can empower readers.

I turn 55 in 2020. I will continue to write about my experience as a woman living through “the change.”

Sharing what I’ve learned and what I think along the road to 55 is my version of “What Now.”

Changeover #1

Instead of dwelling on what’s not right I choose to focus on the positive.

This is one change I’ve made living in menopause: I’ve stopped dwelling on the hate and judgment that exists in the world.

This changeover has saved me from a lot of misery.

I no longer fall prey to the click-bait of hurtful and hateful Op-Ed pieces that writers are given a platform in the media to write.

This changeover has freed up a lot of my energy to focus on what’s going right in the world.

Focusing on the positive is the foolproof tactic at mid-life for feeling better and having the energy to tackle your goals.

Not only do I want to educate and empower readers I want to entertain readers.

Who says a blogger can’t write things that are funny and amusing?

In the coming blog entry I’m going to talk about lifestyle changes I’ve made in menopause.

Some of them are good for a laugh.

Cereal Killer

I wanted to write about a specific change I made that turned everything around.

Just say no to boxed cereal for breakfast. I would even say not to buy any food “product” that comes in a box. Especially not frozen boxed lean cuisine that is allegedly healthful or a frozen choice passed off as a smart one.

Making one tiny change has made all the difference for me.

For over 4 months I’ve been scrambling organic eggs and organic veggies for breakfast.

The health coach I hired had zoomed in on my granola mush morning habit (pour milk in bowl; eat in five minutes) as a culprit in my lack of energy.

Ever since scrambling the eggs and veggies it’s true my mood has improved.

At the same time I changed up the frequency and intensity of my exercise routine.

For over 9 weeks I’ve exercised in the morning in my apartment 2x per week for 40 to 45 minutes total each session.

I’m 54 years old and living in menopause. For over 8 years so far I’ve been lifting weights at the gym and now at home.

You want to be fit and active at mid-life the secret is to do strength training to build bone and maintain your weight.

Since April when I started having the new breakfast food I’ve lost 8 pounds. I most likely lost the weight because of the exercise routine as well.

The older I’ve gotten I can no longer exercise for an hour in every session. The trick I’ve found too is to have my personal trainer create a new routine for me to do for 8 weeks. After this I meet with the trainer again to get another new routine. And so on. And so on.

Because the exercise routine changes every 8 weeks this is partly why I lost the weight.

I want to end here by telling readers: step away from the cereal box aisle.

It takes me longer to scramble eggs and veggies in the morning. I dice the peppers and cut up the broccoli florets in advance on Sunday night. This makes it quicker to cook the breakfast in the morning.

Yet the results have been phenomenal: I feel better having eggs to start the day. And starting to exercise in the morning has been the best wake-up call too.

This said I’m not a fan of obsessing over the number on the scale. I feel better at 8 pounds lighter. Yet it’s not my goal to lose any more weight.

The trick is to know that your weight might have a set point or a range of weight numbers at which your body feels better and is fitter.

I’m not a fan of thinking you should weigh 127 pounds if you’re currently at 205 pounds on the scale.

More than how much you weigh it’s your health habits that will determine how you feel in your body if you ask me.

Is any kind of cereal really the best breakfast to start your day off with? I think not.

In the coming blog entry I’m going to talk about what I think is a common sense exercise plan for a woman living in menopause.

 

Let Love Rule

It’s time to Let Love Rule like the Lenny Kravitz song title tells us to do.

Dwelling on the negative and consuming a steady diet of horror stories in news articles and Op-Ed pieces only serves to harm your mental health.

There’s a lot of hate in the world coming from all sides. The haters have been given a platform in the media.

I have no doubt that hate corrodes the soul of the hater as much as it damages the person they hate.

In my blog I’ve decided to focus on what I’m for instead of preaching about what I’m against.

I take great inspiration from the Accidental Icon blogger Lyn Slater.

She marries her fashion philosophy with enlightened thinking about social issues.

If you ask me we need to position recovery as an act of mental health justice.

Other words have preceded the word justice: food justice, social justice, environmental justice, and so on.

While I’m committed to these other forms of leveling the playing the field in society my prime focus is on mental health.

You can find inflammatory click-bait writing in newspapers online if that is your think and thing.

Be a committed citizen.

We live in an often sad and angry world. Where the old guard of those in power are spreading misinformation under the banner of alternative facts. In an attempt to hold on to their control.

Understand this dynamic. When it’s gotten you down I hope my blog can be the positive prescription for taking time to enjoy yourself.

Read the news should you be able to. Think for yourself about what’s going on and how to treat other people.

In my blog I seek to offer a remedy to the hate: joy, love, peace, and understanding.

In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about my solution.

I’m a fifty-four year old woman living through “the change” of life.

I have things to say and I’m not going to be afraid to say them.

This is what I know to be true:

To forgive is to heal. To love is to live.

 

Making Changes at Mid Life

Last week I used the last shred of dough to hire a Health Coach.

Her fee was customary and not at all exorbitant for health coach services.

The coach quickly figured out that I needed to change up my eating plan:

I’m to cut out carbohydrates like any kind of grains. I’m to buy full-fat plain Greek yogurt instead of 0 fat yogurt. I’m to add protein and healthy fat to my breakfast and lunch meals.

Out, out will go the granola, and the pasta of any kind except only rarely as a treat (once a season as opposed to weekly.)

Eggs are perfectly fine to have for breakfast. I buy the organic eggs and scramble them with organic mushrooms, diced peppers, and broccoli.

At mid-life I buy and cook mostly organic food. It tastes better. It doesn’t have cancer-causing pesticides. It’s cheaper than paying medical costs when you become ill.

Alas, lifestyle choices are often the culprit in ill health at mid-life and beyond.

I’m lucky that as a young kid I always detested cigarette smoking so didn’t take up this awful habit.

In my Flourish blog I’ve talked about how the food we eat can impact our mood.

Emotional distress can cause physical fatigue too according to a doctor.

At 50 and beyond–even starting at 40 and younger–it pays dividends to make your health a priority.

Living in health and harmony can enable you to live longer if you ask me.

I also think that making conscious choices at mid-life is the way to go. Instead of acting or reacting on autopilot not aware of what you’re thinking doing or saying.

At 50 and beyond there can be a lot of stress. Some of us might be acting as our parent’s caregiver.

It can also be quite a shock when we realize we need to make changes to sustain our health as we get older.

In the Flourish blog is where I will continue to talk in detail about fitness and nutrition.

In here I would like to talk about practical lifestyle changes.

The coming blog entry will be devoted to managing your wardrobe better to ameliorate your health.

Who really needs 100 sweaters?

Creating a Look Book

look book

I’ve figured out that creating a Look Book can help you figure out what pocketbook to choose and use with a particular outfit.

The photo album above holds 200 photos. I’ve also begun shooting photos of clothing items. You can use Pinterest on your cell phone or a device like an iPad instead if you’d like to create a Look Book.

I’m on the cusp of 54. A lot of woman at mid-life decide we want to do something new or at least change an aspect of our lives that we don’t like.

In this regard as I’m starting to reach the middle of my fifties I find that doing the things that give you joy can transform your confidence and give you self-esteem.

The point of creating a Look Book is that it can be fun to choose and use items in your wardrobe to make whatever statement you want to make on a particular day.

I would go so far as to say that style is the language of your soul transmitted sartorially.

Dressing well can spark joy in mid-life or at any time in your life.

Now that I’m leaving 50 in the dust and heading upward I can tell readers that you need all the help you can get when others in society–men and fashion editors alike–insinuate that a woman has an expiration date.

The goal is not to look like you’re 20 when you’re 50 or 60 or older.

The goal is to use your wardrobe to transmit to others that you like yourself and think you’re hot by your own standards.

Not by any other person’s view of what you look like.

I will end here by stating that creating a Look Book is therapist-approved. No kidding.