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Archive for the ‘Learning to Be’ Category

The Bad Way to Lose Weight-If There Is One!

For those looking for a good diet there are many out there and many of us are fighting those few pounds (or lots, in my own case!) to get back to a healthy comfortable weight.  There is one weight loss program that no one needs to consider, though.  In my last few years the basic stress in my life has doubled, or tripled and though until the past year there was no noticeable change in my life even though I seemed to eat more as the stress level grew.  But about 9 months ago for what ever reason the reverse in size and weight began happening at a rapid pace.  Add to the melting process, the fear of, “Why in the world am I losing so much?” drove the stress level up.

After consulting my doctor and having some tests done we both agreed that the loss was due to the ever present tension in my life.  As I worked to eliminate that elephant in my life one thing did not change – the weight loss.  It kept coming off.  But off course as you work on one tension, more surface so though I felt some of the stressers going others were charging forward.  As I faded down 2 full sizes and then three I began to run out of clothes to wear from my closet.  Like many who change weights I had my size layers in that small space I call my closet, and all of a sudden I had almost nothing to wear.  In fact until I level off, I am living in one pair of jeans and only a few shirts!

So what the in the next months and years are for me is a mystery, but instead of facing it with fear, I am beginning to face it with a sense of wonder.  I mean who else can lose almost 40 pounds in 6 to 9 months (Sometimes up to five pounds a month!) at the age of 62!  I am stepping into a new life at a new weight – whatever it ends up being.  I am changing my diet and amounts that I use to eat to work at keeping the weight off and taking it all one step at a time!  It’s a strange walk for me, but I am doing it!

Be Someone’s Firework!

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag,
Drifting through the wind
Wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards,
One blow from caving in?    Katy Perry, Firework

Have you heard the song?  Do you know the feelings?  I do, and have much of my life.  The sad thing, is many of our young people are today too because they can’t make the grade and after being beat up emotionally they feel suicide is the only way because of bullying and belittling.  It’s deeply painful and real and it shreads a kid’s self worth to the point that there only seems one way out.

“So, I hear you saying so what can I do?”  “I don’t know any kids that are feeling that way!”  Well, there is something you CAN do!  When you see those young people behind the counter in the restaurants and stores you frequent smile, make an honest compliment – be the bright spot in their day!

How about volunteering at your local library or school for an hour a month to read books, or go to your local school and be a tutor for a kid who needs help reading – reach out and be there.

Maybe just give one kid what you never got as a kid!  Light the fire of confidence by being you – be kind, be caring and be your own firework!!

Soft Walls

Soft, Furry, Irish Wall

The walls in Ireland were lovely!

Have you ever seen a furry wall? How about a green, furry wall? No? Well, do I have a wall for you!

Of all my pictures from my trip to Ireland, this is one of my favorite ones because it seemed almost soft. In life you find so few soft walls – or in your neighborhood. Well, in Ireland much of what beauty they have there is either soft, like this, or sharply, jaggedly beautiful. I am a lover of both but this wall reminds me that we need to have those soft things in life.

Oh, and it felt, wet, and of course soft, too!

Muppet Love

I have love the Muppets for what seems to be forever.   And if I’m honest I have also always loved almost everything that came from the mind of Jim Hensen and his team from the very earliest. The man’s imagination was like that of a consummate story teller who knows his medium and and always understands the ways to capture hearts.  My first taste of the show began when my oldest was in his first years.  He fell in love with Kermit and Sesame Street, and so did I.   From the beginning the characters were as important as the many lessons they taught, and as my son has said, “I learned from friends on that street.”

But Sesame Street was only the beginning!  Just recently a friend added a picture to his social networking page and it was of a wonderful fantasy movie characters with that large yellow Bird who I know you probably all have at least heard of, and it brought out the kid in all of us who responded.  But it also brought out the names of all our favorite characters in the show as well.  I have to say that I really giggled and was involved in that online conversation!

In thinking about the shows and movies and all the various characters I remember there is more than a bot of wonder in all the learning and enjoyment that grew out of the creative genius of a man who shared his inner child and the fun that was there.  We rally did lose him way too soon.

My favorite character of all those Henson created has to be Big Bird.  The wonder and naiveté of his child-like character was fun to watch develop from the those early Sesame Street days.  His endearing imagination and the excitement that came with every learning experience made me believe that learning could really be a fun thing for my children and grandchildren.  It is a sad thing to see the way our schools have gone.  There now is a passion for teaching to the tests rather than exciting a child’s imagination.  Somehow, I hope we can find a way to balance the need for testing and the desperate need to capture the excitement for learning in children of all ages again.  We are not going to save the wonder for life in the lives and hearts of of children today if we don’t.  Last September would have been Jim Henson’s 75th birthday and I would love to celebrate changes toward a more excited form of learning melded with what we need in being accountable to what our children learn to bring them into this century’s way of learning in America.