Are you getting discouraged with your goal to lose weight or get healthy in 2013, just like every other year? Well, I have a secret that could just be the magic pill!
This isn't a call to...follow this particular weight loss technique, and you, too, could look like me! If you looked like me, there would be two of us, and you would have to be the evil twin.
Find what is right for YOU!
How? Start by sitting down, taking a deep breath, and shutting up! That includes your thoughts, don't let them shout at you that you should be vacuuming, or fixing dinner, or writing that blogpost, or finding out what your silent toddler is up to...well, that one you better listen to. Go ahead, I'll wait.
When you sit and listen, you just might see where you need to put the most energy to make yourself a better version of yourself.
I guarantee that if you sit quietly for a few minutes a day, and focus on just one change you want to make in your life, you will start acting toward that change. It takes 21 days of daily focus to change a habit. We have passed that date in the New Year, and will pass it again next month, and next year.
You might as well focus now for long term change, because no "diet" will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle once you lose weight. Only your daily focus will do that.
If, after listening quietly, you find that you are just fine the way you are, then Fantastic! I bet you have more to learn in life, because you are human, by the way, and that means decidedly not perfect. There must be something you need to do to improve upon that amazing package? Internal and external change have their roots in your mind and attitude every time.
So sit and listen at least once a day. Call it whatever you want...taking a breath...me time...meditation...finding your smile...calming down so you don't spew at someone...whatever! We all need a moment, and if that moment moves us forward toward our goals,
THAT'S THE POINT!
Mary Kathryn Johnson
Author ~ Entrepreneur ~ Mom
MommyLoves to Chat!
Say Bump and Take a Left
I have learned quite a few things this year, and have learned to actually live many more that I already knew. Here goes...
I would greatly appreciate any other wisdom you can share as we say good bye to one year, and my learning continues in another.
Mary Kathryn Johnson
Author ~ Entrepreneur ~ Mom
MommyLoves to Chat!
Say Bump and Take a Left
...you fill in that statement.
You walk into Target, and there is a perky, young thing holding a fabric-lined basket that matches her red shirt, greeting you with, "Would you like to make a donation to our organization today? Your contribution will allow us to buy some much needed supplies like toilet paper, light bulbs and hangers for our displays. Otherwise, we employees have to buy these things ourselves. Every little bit helps, so whatever you can give is sincerely appreciated...(wink)"
You think to yourself, "What?! Doesn't management supply those basic necessities for this place through the money they collect with sales? What a cheap place, asking me for a donation over and above what I already give them when I buy stuff! Where is all their money going? I'm outta here..."
I know what you're saying...What an unrealistic, 'way out there' scenario, Mary...where are you going with this?
Okay, now picture your local public school. If you have kids in public school, you don't have to imagine where I'm going. How much have you given to your kids' classroom, and the school PTO/PTA to allow the students (your kid) to have basic tools for their job (aka learning)? Pencils, Erasers, Glue, Paper, Markers, Tissues, Hand Sanitizer, Paper Towels...Buying junk during fundraisers for the purchase of a shade structure over the playground so the kids don't burn themselves on the metal while playing when school starts at the beginning of August and it's still 100 degrees...
Why do we think it's unrealistic and ridiculous for Target to ask for donations for basic supplies to keep the place running, but we just go along with our Public Schools doing so? I know this is a complicated issue, with teachers salaries traditionally being poverty level, but even though the education of our kids doesn't make one a millionaire, thanks to the Teacher's Union, it aint poverty, baby! The lowest starting salary for an elementary school teacher is in North Dakota at $24,872/yr, and the highest is in Connecticut at $39,259/yr.* Since the Federal Poverty Level for a family of 4 is $22,350**, if that teacher in North Dakota is a single parent of three children just starting out in the teaching profession, I would feel for them, but if they have a spouse with another income, I'd feel better.
Since most of the households who send their kids to the local private school (and many who do not) pay taxes to support said school, I can't imagine that the teacher salaries are the problem. (I haven't addressed the benefits, like medical and retirement, however, which far outweigh current salaries in the school budget). I applaud anyone who can get full medical benefits for themselves and their families...I wish I had them, and don't begrudge anyone who does. I take issue with the retirement benefits, however.
Now, before my teacher friends on Facebook "unfriend" me and banish my kid to the back of the room with a dunce cap, hear me out, please.
In order to be a teacher one MUST belong to the Teacher's Union. Therein lies the problem, I think. Since I'm not a teacher, and don't belong to the union, I can't speak with any certainty or intelligence on the actual day to day goings-on of the organization. I can only say that I don't think a union should be involved in any government agency or job. A union is not a fair institution in a company where the employees can actually vote on who their boss is...why would anyone need protection from someone he/she actually chose as a boss, and can then fire a few years?!
I don't have the answers to the question, "So what do we do to change this?" I can only start by removing all unions from public service positions, and giving full salaries to all government employees (including politicians) ONLY while they actually have the job, and not one day later. Take the current retirement benefits program and use it to increase current salaries, so employees can invest in their own retirement programs. This way, they can actually build their own wealth and leave something to their families if they so desire, rather than, when they die, allowing their retirement money to simply go to some other government retiree.
The political climate is hopefully changing faster than global warming, but real change will require the realization that we are all part of a community, and some of us cannot benefit greatly by the suffering of others without major consequences - hint...has anyone's lifestyle changed since 2007? We have already proven that the current system doesn't work, so this is a call to action for the 'powers that be' to actually study "line by line" to find the inequities, and give us, the people paying for them, a chance to fix them. Sure, a few people will scream when their undeserved riches are take away, but since when has this been a country 'of the few...for the few...by the few'?
Wait...I guess it is right now...
If you have a better idea on how to institute Federal and State change, please share. At least one person is listening, and that's a start.
---Mary Kathryn Johnson 2011
It is very hard to resist buying everything you see for your baby's first holiday! Once your little bundle turns 5 and your house is bursting with legos or doll clothes, and never played with toys, you no longer have that urge to 'pick up just one more thing' - that's what Grandparents are for. Those very same Grandparents are probably the ones who continued the toy gluttony that got you into this mess, literally! Raising the Grandparents takes the same skill set as raising your munchkin - patience and consistency. My In-Laws are of the mindset that if they don't buy everything my boys want, my boys won't love them.
At least that is what it seems?! Luckily, I had a glimpse of my toy-related future when my first born was about a year old. Sitting up and interacting with his environment was the signal for Grandma and Grandpa to buy every supposedly fun toy on the market! That Christmas when my son was 16 months old was the worst of my life! Really! He had a meltdown after the third present. Then dad had a meltdown, then it was my turn. After our nap, we put away the rest of the unopened presents for another day. We actually dolled them out, one a month until there were no more. The more difficult task was dealing with the culprits in this caper - the Grandparents.
We laid down the law that they could give only TWO presents per holiday - including birthdays. The first holiday we got, "We forgot!" The second holiday we got, "We couldn't resist, look how much he loves them!" Then I got nasty. I told the smothering, aged children that if they did not keep to the two present limit, they would not be allowed to give any more presents for the next two years, and if they still tried to give presents, I would confiscate them and burn them no matter how much my soon-to-be spoiled brat son cried! That finally hit home, because they know me too well, and they kept to the limit. That is until Little Brother came along.
Needless to say, I have had to be vigilant at my post every holiday for the past 13 years - yes my oldest just turned 13, and those pesky, wannabe rebellious teenagers I call In-Laws have given me my best preparation for Middle School.
MIDDLE SCHOOL?! How the hell did I get here again?!
How do you handle the holiday gluttony?
(This is a repost from 2009, and I'm still monitoring those rebellious Grandparents!)
---Mary Kathryn Johnson 2011
Serving as a Federal or State Politician is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serving their term(s), then going home and back to work. Do you know of any Politician who has actually worked at a job for more than 5 years?
I think the following should happen immediately:
1. No Federal or State Politician will receive any pension or tenure for his/her time in any political office. A Politician collects a salary while in office, and no pay from the American people when out of office.
2. Every Politician (Past, Present and Future) participates in Social Security. All funds in any political retirement fund move to Social Security immediately, and the accounts are then canceled.
3. Every Politician has the right to purchase his/her own retirement plan just like every other American Citizen.
4. No Political body can ever vote themselves any pay raise. The position held will receive a pay raise each year that is equal to 3%.
5. The only Health Care provided to any Politician is that which is also available to any other American Citizen.
6. Every Politician must abide by every law that is also imposed upon every other American Citizen.
7. Any contract made with any Politician during his/her time in office will be void as of 1/1/12, and no contract can be entered into during a Politician's time in office.
If you agree or disagree, please let me know. If you agree, please tell me how we can make these things happen immediately . . . not twenty years from now.
Next we can tackle the Unions in the Public Sector.
As your independence from me looms like the dark before the dawn, I can't help but reflect on the exciting journey before you, and my new role as your Mom.
Thinking of your Graduation, as you make decisions for your future - as you pack to leave home and study, I imagine sparkling excitement in your eyes, and yes, a little fear, but if I have done my job by helping you prepare for your life away from me, I know you will make most of the right choices. I hope you learn from the wrong ones.
You will experiment with all kinds of new things, people and events. Always remember...Don't put anything up your nose that you don't want in your brain... Please choose as wisely as possible, as these experiments can affect the remainder of your life, and the lives of others.
Marrying these thoughts with my current reality, I can answer your question confidently, my son:
"NO! You can't have your iPod back until your 8th Grade English is above a C-!"
Do I believe in anything?
Do I stand for something (or sit for something at my computer for that matter)?
Do you say it with authority, or dance around it like a school teacher discussing Spring rather than Easter, or Winter Break rather than Hanukkah?
Has this climate of 'Political Correctness' created the current generation of communicators? Our kids now say 'ya know..., rather than I Think.... Have we raised them to always test the waters before giving their opinion, lest they offend someone?
Do they have an opinion?
Have we invited them to discuss it with us, their parents? Or, are we content to just let them plug in to the likes of Paris Hilton, The Kardashians and Angry Birds without a thought to plugging them into their future as intelligently-speaking, society-contributing adults? I love Taylor Mali's opinion ~
Most parents I have met, both in person and online definitely want the best for their children, and don't talk this way. Maybe I'm just an older parent, and communicate more with older parents who speak and believe like me.
Who am I kidding? It's not like I've never said, "Whatever", while rolling my eyes (I'm so glad I don't have girls). Or, at least I'm not so totally clumsy that I, like, totally broke both my legs when I was 8 months pregnant! I mean, like, Epic Fail!
Okay, that one I totally did.
Do you, "question authority" AND "speak with it"?
Do you allow your kids to do the same?
The memory of my 38th birthday on September 3, 2001.
The memory of breaking both my legs on September 5, 2001.
The memory of getting these two casts, that, tower-like held me up whenever I wished to stand.
The memory of waking up to the contractors building a house behind us and their distant radio broadcasting something about airplanes, and the Twin Towers of New York City, and people jumping.
The memory of sitting on the couch, neon stumps propped up on a chair, stupefied by the repeated horrors I watched unfold on television.
The memory of details of a new world unfolding with new definitions of "terror".
The memory of delivering my second son on September 28, 2001.
The memory of getting my first cast removed, and replaced by a walking boot on October 19, 2001.
The memory of being able to carry my newborn son in my arms for the first time, because my second cast was removed, and replaced by a walking boot on November 21, 2001.
The memory of welcoming a new year with thankfulness for the wonderful gifts I had been given, lessons I had learned and personal growth I had accomplished through the fall (both literally and seasonally) of the previous year, and knowing that we have a choice to either grow anew or shrink with fear when faced with each new experience - whether positive or negative.
Every time I see the above picture of me and my pink and blue twin towers, I smile and make a choice.
What do you choose?