Am I Becoming My Mother?

Am I becoming my mother? 

Have you ever asked the question, “am I becoming my mother?”

I was recently in an appointment at a physical therapist for some weird hip pain. As we chatted, I think we came to the conclusion that my problems have been self-induced.  You see, I spent hours sitting in the “w” (knees together, legs back to the sides) as a child. Usually, I was reading or checking out books on the lower sections of the bookmobile.  I have always attributed those hours of sitting to my slight bow-leggedness. Confirmed…by the PT.

Now, I am remembering that when I was in 8th grade, there were a few innocuous comments made about my mother’s walking that now comes back to haunt me.  Someone commented on how my mother’s feet went out (duck-like) when she walked. It might have been me… I honestly don’t remember.  My mother’s explanation was, “Your Daddy asked me if I can walk with my feet straight, but I told him this is just the way I walk.”  

My response?  In my budding rebellion of the all-wise teenage years, I decided that if my mother could not, I would.  So began a life time of conscious straight-foot walking.

And now, in my ThirdThird, at the age of 66, I am experiencing hip pain that most likely comes from forcing my hip joints into an unnatural angle.  For years.

Sigh. In my intention of not being like my mother at that long ago age of puberty and self-discovery, I set myself up.  Maybe it would have been better if I had aspired to be just like my Mother, instead of determinedly being un-like her. In some ways, maybe.

Last week, I received a text and photo from my sister of her outfit for the day.  “White pants or jeans two days in a row. Am I becoming our Mother?” I laughed out loud, of course, as only sister texts can provoke, thinking that “no, you are not becoming our Mother,” but also recognizing some recurring tendencies in that direction.

In some good ways, I remember my Mother’s influence and am grateful.

I am generous.

I watched my Mother be generous in a number of ways. She always wrote the tithe check first after my Daddy’s weekly paycheck came home. She was ready to offer cookies or a pecan pie to new neighbors. She gave her 25th Anniversary china to a newlywed couple at her church (maybe I shouldn’t bring that one up???).

I clean up after myself as I cook.

Once, when my Mother was visiting, she made the comment, “Debbie, you’re a good cook, but you sure make a mess,” as she was cleaning up behind me. I realized she was right and began a practice of cleaning as I go, so I don’t have that big mess to clean up on my own.

I am aware of areas of waste.

On another visit, again, helping me in the kitchen, Mother noted that milk was being wasted as our 5 children took their dishes to the sink after a meal. “A lot of your milk is getting poured down the drain.”  Wow. We were on a budget and I was happy to find a way to make those gallons last longer. I started filling those cups less full and throwing less down the drain.

Now, I notice when we are not using produce fast enough or when I have more than I need of shoes or clothing.  Even though our budget is not as limited as when the house was full of children, I value not wasting things I buy.

In some other ways, I intentionally try to be different than my Mother.

I try to only use positive motivation.

Especially with my grandchildren, I intentionally do my best to build them up and never use shaming as a way of motivating.  I am sensitive to a time when people use humor at another’s expense. Making fun in hurtful ways is something I became sensitive to during my Mother’s visits as she was older. She was completely unaware of how her humor did not translate well to a sensitive teen/tween and she was not really open to learning new ways. But, I can be positive and avoid misusing humor.

I do my best to stay up on current events.

In my home, growing up, there was no discussion of politics and little awareness of the world at large.  Part of that was the era of my parents’ generation. Part of it was that neither of them went to college. While they were hard working and intelligent people, there was little academic confidence.  I try to be more aware of what is happening around me and in the world, so I have more to talk about than who is doing what in the neighborhood.

I take risks and try new things.

My parents built a house in 1949 when my Daddy returned from WWII.  My Mother lived there until 2011 when she had to move into a care facility.  Me? My husband and I are building a home at the River and it will be the 18th address we have had in our 45 years of marriage. We have moved, I have started businesses and risked failure, we have tried new things.  Some of that comes from watching my parents hunker down and resist opportunities that came their way. The need for security and the fear of failure was strong in them. I appreciate that. I understand that. But, seeing that has given me the desire and courage to step out into risk.

I grew into being thankful for the parents I had. These days, I sincerely hope that my own children will grow into understanding me and choose the best ways to imitate me.  And, I hope they are wise to see and replace those unpleasant memories of my attempts at being their parent.

Life-long learning and growing is a way
to make your ThirdThird your BEST Third!

Mantra and a Youtube Channel

Wikipedia says that a mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered capable of “creating transformation.”

 

We all have a mantra or mantras, things we say over and over, that have the power to change us…or to keep us stuck.

Not all of the things we tell ourselves are good for positive change.  A lot of them are very damaging:

  • I look fat.
  • I worry too much.
  • I don’t make enough money.
  • Other people are better/ more successful/happier/luckier than I am.
  • I have no control over my circumstances.

When we say the same things to ourselves, over and over, the worst part of negative thoughts and self-talk is that we eventually come to believe what we are telling ourselves.  And when we believe the negative things we say to ourselves about ourselves, we are in grave danger of becoming stuck right where we are.

My mantras mostly come from life moments when it became acutely and frighteningly obvious to me that I was just about to become stuck in a way of thinking, reacting, living, that was making me shrink….instead of growing.  My “mantra moment” was when the things I was telling myself over and over were recognized for what they were… and replaced.

  • It’s easier to keep it off than to take it off.
  • I will no longer be insecure.
  • I know what will satisfy me.
  • Perfection is highly over-rated /Know your limiting beliefs… and replace them.
  • Change something.

As I am working on my next book, Mantras for Your BEST ThirdThird, I am reading through old journals to get perspective and to see the difference that changing the way I was thinking has taken me forward.  It is deeply satisfying to see that I have become intentional and purposeful and satisfied….instead of fearful and worried and sad.

Some of my mantras are already in blog posts at YourBESTThirdThird.com.  And there are more to come, more to share, more to learn.

In the meantime, I am adding to my Youtube channel with stories of women and men who are living their BEST ThirdThird.  

Are you someone who has a story to share that will inspire and encourage others to be designing their life to ensure a ThirdThird that is the BEST Third of their life?  

Or, do you know someone I might meet and interview about their ThirdThird story?

Tell me!  Debbie@YourBESTThirdThird.com

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Lukas Budimaier on Unsplash

We All Have a Story

We all have a story.

In preparation for a book my husband and I are working on, “How to Stay Married,” I have been perusing old journals.  I have a lot of them! I started keeping a journal many years ago when a woman I respected encouraged me to keep a chronicle of life lessons. Her reasoning was that someday, I would write.  I so appreciate her nudging. She told me that when I was ready to write about my journey, my journals would give me accurate recall. To pass along truth is important to me, so I am deeply glad that I took her advice and now have written accounts of experiences and lessons that have brought me into my ThirdThird.

Last week, I spend some time in the 1980’s. The 80’s were full years for me.  Our last 2 children, one miscarriage, a diagnosis of cervical cancer while I was pregnant with #5, our only daughter. After her birth and subsequent surgery, I spiraled into a puzzling physical weakening that was eventually (after 2.5 years of doctors and testing) diagnosed as myasthenia gravis. In spite of those difficulties, those years had some deeply positive results for me.

Those years brought me to several of my life mantras.  

Refusing to be “controlled by others’ insecurities” came from these days.  Other women close to me did not believe that I might actually be sick. I grew weary of hearing others’ complaints and the ensuing competition for who had it harder with their life as wife and mother.  I determined not to talk about my difficulties and went on with my life. I learned to face my own insecurities and to seek health for myself.

Deciding “I would not be insecure” also grew from this time.  I knew my body and my history and I had to be determined to get to the bottom of my weakness…even if my friends doubted me and doctors tended to scratch their heads and suggest another test or specialty. I learned to trust myself and my own experience.

I learned and grew through weakness.  I remember, especially, learning to be thankful for my own experience of being weak because it helped me understand people who are not strong. Weak people had always annoyed me, rather than elicit sympathy. Until I experienced weakness myself. I learned to prioritize my responsibilities and to take “one step at a time” towards learning to live with the reality of the day.

Good things came, but it was a hard time.

Reading through those journals last week took me back to some very difficult and sad times as well as reminding me of all the good and positive.

In the 1980’s, I found myself not in conformity to the organization we were deeply involved with and that led to much angst on my part. I was (am) strong willed and opinionated and a challenger. While I was committed to the stated goals of the group, I often was at odds with leadership because I didn’t naturally or easily conform. I brought my own self and my own experience and my own opinions. But, I was misunderstood, not respected. My stories were not honored.

Interestingly, a few years ago, I stumbled onto a website for people who had similar experiences to mine in that same organization.  It was mesmerizing. While I had been able to remove myself and find self-respect and health long before finding that website, it was a powerful experience to read that others had very, very similar situations to mine.  I lurked…not joining in by posting. I was past needing to express my own painful remembrances. Yet, even with that being true, it was hugely validating to see that others knew my pain, honored my story, even if they didn’t know me.

I felt that my story had been honored.

Fortunately, my marriage survived those years and those people.  Thankfully, I learned during those days to listen without becoming defensive, to look for the truth in spite of the messenger, and to forgive.

Unfortunately, I spent several strategic years in fear and dread. I lost joy and had physical repercussions. Our children were affected by the difficulty that their parents faced.

I have moved on.  

Thankfully, with grit and determination over a long period of time, I rarely consider those days now.  But recent remembering has made me acutely aware of the fact that there are people who have discounted my feelings and perspective then and now.  There are relationships that I think I would enjoy having now, if those people could honor my story.

I would be interested in knowing some of their story now.  I would honor them. Even if they were vastly different from my own. Reading my journal accounts of those interactions long ago, with time distancing my sight, I can honor the stories and understand some of today’s reality.

In the organization where my hurtful story exists, others have a different story. Some have left. Some have remained.  Others have eased away through job relocations or other life changes. Some legitimately do not see harmful practices. Others choose to ignore them.  Still others call them out and suffer the consequences. I believe that there are some who honestly do not see how their actions might be hurtful.

The one thing I would wish for is if we could all learn to honor each other’s story. Not in that organization, but on a daily, personal basis.

Wonderful stories of healing and acceptance.

    Difficult stories of pain and struggle.

         Happy stories of reconciliations and forgiveness.

        Moving stories of abuse and distrust.

         Redeeming stories of self-acceptance and solid understanding.

I heard Brene Brown say in an interview that she believes in the goodness of people…but that it is hard work to stay out of fear and to stay good.

Hearing and honoring another’s story is a way to do the good, hard work that will make us better. To face our own fears and to look for the good.

Let’s honor each other’s story.

 

 

 

 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Love to Read

Your Best Third Third

I love to read. And I love to encourage others to read.  

Here is a short excerpt from my book, Which Old Woman Will You Be? from the chapter on Be A Reader.  

Today, my top five novels are:  Jane Eyre, Christy, The Chronicles of Narnia, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Kite Runners.  

From these, I discovered that …..

I actually can be a romantic.

    I want my home to be a refuge and place of comfort.

         I can enjoy fantasy, even though I am more naturally a realist.

              There are unbelievable obstacles women can overcome.

                   Cultures are deep and full and very multi-dimensional.

I said five, so I won’t go on to mention Three Cups of Tea, The Lacuna, The Hobbit and George McDonald novels……or Grishom and Patricia Cornwell (Scarpetta) and Maeve Binchy or The President’s Lady and Mr. Audubon’s Lucy.

I have nonfiction favorites, too.  Like any of John Maxwell’s books on leadership, One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard, Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni, When Fish Fly by Joseph Michelli and John Yokoyama.   The Purpose Driven Life would be #1 on the non-fiction list if I had to choose.

BIG life-changing books for me have been The Dip by Seth Godin. That book actually was a catalyst for major adjustments for my husband and me. Including (but not limited to) changing jobs and relocating 11 hours away.  

Younger Next Year (and Younger Next Year for Women) by Chris Crowley and Harry S Lodge, M.D. has prompted significant daily alterations for me and my husband. Moving from casual to intentional daily exercise and getting serious about our diet so that we can stay fit and active into our 80’s and beyond came from this book.

These books helped us imagine our lives differently.

One of the few regrets I have is that I have not kept a list of all the books I have read.  

Be discriminate with your time. Read books that teach good lessons that are well-written.  

                 Not to escape, but to explore.  

Reading will keep your mind sharp.  It will give you something to talk with others about.  It can get you thinking about larger issues. It can make you smile and weep and empathize and wonder.

Some studies even show that reading reduces stress and can slow our heartbeat. Take a “reading vacation.” You don’t have to go anywhere or spend anything. Just block out some time to “go somewhere” by reading a book.

So…a short excerpt from Which Old Woman Will You Be?  To encourage you to read!!!

What books are on your summer reading list? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Emily Marie on Unsplash

Seven Ways to Make Food Prep Exciting

Eating at home can be better and more fun than dining out every day.  Here are seven ways to make home food preparation interesting.

For many years, it was my responsibility to feed our family of seven three healthy meals a day.  I decided to approach meal preparation as a hobby to keep myself engaged. Now, my years of others relying on me for meals are gone.  

BUT, eating out presents some challenges to maintaining the healthy approach to life my husband and I are intent on following.  A focus on nutrition and some food allergies and our slowing metabolism that seems to accompany the accumulation of birthdays make eating out a lot a challenge.   

Cooking for fewer people has required some adjustments. But, I am finding that cooking at home for most of our meals is not only better for us but it can be fun and give us some new shared interests.

Here are some ways we keep meal prep from becoming boring.

Find new recipes

Cooking shows on television can inspire new recipes. Themes, slants, approaches, points of view….any time of day on multiple channels, there are cooking shows to inspire.  

Websites can help!  Pinterest is a great source of recipe inspiration.  Have coconut milk in your cabinet and need the inspiration to use it?  You can find a multitude of options there.  Want to make gluten-free, vegan brownies?  There will be a number of recipes to choose from.  Want a new take on meatloaf or spaghetti or need to know how to use that mystery ingredient that your gardening neighbor bestowed?  Find it online.

My daughter has almost replaced me with AllRecipes.com.  She has found family favorites there that for me were hand-written on 3×5 index cards.

We subscribe to at least one food-related magazine at all times.  When it comes, I sit and peruse all possibilities and tear out the pages with foods we might like to try.  If we try it and like it, it gets filed.  If it is forgettable, out it goes.

Try new foods  

By “new” I don’t necessarily mean “weird.”  (Unless weird sounds good!)  

Growing up, the vegetable choice was pretty much green beans, peas, corn, or carrots.  I remember broccoli showing up when I was in my 20’s as a “new” veggie.  Zucchini came a little after that.  Now, with improved refrigeration and shipping and preservation methods, you can get all sorts of foods that were unknown to you even a few years ago.  

Try something new!  You might like it!

Explore different cuisines  

When we moved the small-ish “micro-urban” community we live in, more years ago than I can believe, there were 3 restaurants in town, not counting the common fast food places.  One was a chain family restaurant, one was locally owned and had good burgers and sodas and soups, and the third was a more-upscale Italian-ish place.

Now, same town, we can choose from a long list of places to eat different cuisines. Thai, Indian (from different regions), Mexican (both authentic and Tex-Mex), Chinese (buffet, sit-down, carry-out), Korean (especially if we are willing to brave the campus area), and others that I am sure I am not currently aware of.  

So many options for so much fun and exploration!

Buy unusual (to you) ingredients

My husband is an avid runner.  As he has had more birthdays, he has gotten more interested in the mechanics and technology of long distance running. Several books he has ordered have opened us up to new ingredients.  We now have several types of miso in our refrigerator. Seaweed. Tahini. Quinoa. Agave syrup. Chia seeds. Various types of “milk.”  And we are learning how to use them successfully.

Turmeric is a new spice to us.  We now have Garam Masala and Cumin on the spice shelf. I discovered Ginger Juice that I use regularly. And the oil and vinegar stores know me by name. (Wild mushroom and Sage Olive Oil are my favorite. Balsamic fig vinegar is all I need on a salad.)

Learn new techniques  

Back to television, watching competitive cooking shows has taught me a lot.  PBS has great cooking shows for techniques, as do other broadcast channels.   Even simpler television cooking shows have introduced me to smashing garlic cloves with the side of a knife to easily remove the skins and having a “discard bowl” nearby to save time when chopping and preparing.

Googling recipes for gluten-free bread has given me the information I needed to have a measure of success in baking yeast bread with flours that are not made from wheat (which required me to buy and learn to use unusual ingredients).  A simple technique I ran across online made my bread go from flat to raised, actually resembling the wheat bread I made for years.

Remember old favorites

Don’t forget those family favorites.  I remember once when I was on a roll to make meals interesting to our children that my husband requested spaghetti—at least once a year.  I had gotten so into meal prep that for one whole year, I never repeated a recipe.  Variety being the spice of life and all that, he just wanted an occasional “comfort” meal (even though he did assure me he enjoyed my creative efforts).

Now, with me being gluten-free and us both watching our caloric intake, we can substitute spaghetti squash with a favorite sauce. Chili is easily accomplished in the crockpot. He has perfected nachos that are healthy and tasty.  Sometimes the old favorites hit the spot.

Divorce yourself from perfection.

Food prep and dining at home should be fun and nutritional, not perfect.  When you are trying new ingredients, or preparing new recipes or learning new techniques, sometimes it comes out less than what it looked like on television or online.

No worries!  If it is edible, then that is a success.  If it is not (which will happen rarely, I promise!) then, don’t eat it.  It’s as simple as that.

Do you enjoy cooking at home?  What have you found to be successful for at-home meal preparation? What new ingredients have you tried?  What will you never try again?!

 

 

 

 

 

* This was originally posted by Debbie at SixtyandMe.com

 

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Less Stress and More Joy

I’m in my ThirdThird now (ages 60-90) and I find there are things I used to care a lot more about than I do now.  Priorities, experience, wisdom, adapting… whatever the reason, I am much more flexible in my thinking.

The result? Less stress and more joy. A greater appreciation for each day, each opportunity, and each interaction.

Here are five ways that I can be much more relaxed now that I have lived long enough to recognize what is truly important to me:

 

Fashion “rules.”

 

Rules that try to dictate details like you have to wear brown with navy or that you can’t wear white after Labor Day (or before Easter) or that after a certain age you “shouldn’t” wear leggings or high heels.  While I care about my appearance and want to be (relatively) stylish, I am much more inclined to be motivated by comfort and common sense now that I am older.  Put myself together in a way that I feel confident and off I go.

 

Grocery store attire.  

Continuing on with a clothing theme, I care much less what I wear to the grocery store, even though I have lived in our town for a long time and there is a good chance I might run into someone I know.  If I know them, they should not be distracted by my casual attire and we should be able to enjoy an exchange of pleasantries in the aisles, with or without makeup.

 

Other people’s opinions about my family.  

Once, my husband and I made a decision that (evidently) seemed rash to outsiders without much information. We both quit our jobs and headed in separate directions, temporarily, to take opportunities we were excited about. Pretty soon, there were all sorts of rumors. One of us was dying. We were splitting up. There was trouble brewing. None of it was true. We were just taking advantage of the trust we had built over many years that allowed us to each seek our own for a period. Since then, I don’t try to explain.

 

Keeping up with the latest.  

Technology, slang, exercise, diet. Trying new stuff that is going to disappear or be replaced before I fully understand it is an exercise in futility that I no longer am tempted by.  I am dependent on technology, but try to make what works for me last as long as possible. Slang, I just try to avoid so I don’t misuse, much to my grandkids’ amusement. Exercise and diet, I know what works so being consistent is the best approach at this point.

 

Everyone agreeing.

Ha! In the current political climate in the US, there is obviously little hope of everyone agreeing. But even in a family or social or work environments, I am much more willing to adapt to someone else’s idea than I used to be. For years, I have been considering a family vacation that involved passports and planes and trains and mountains and beaches. Our kids, however, asked if I would consider, instead, a week at a Florida beach. 17 people. No passports. No train. Just sand and sun and relaxing. They all agreed, so exchanging my plans was simple.  That they all want to be together AND they want their parents there, too….that was a fine adjustment for my thinking to make.

 

Life is simpler now that I can let go of a lot of the rules and expectations and assumptions I had when I was rushing around and holding things together in my FirstThird (ages 0-30, mainly focused on learning) and in my SecondThird (ages 30-60, mainly focused on earning).  

This is one key to me making my ThirdThird my very BEST Third.

 

 

 

* first published at Sixtyandme.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luca Upper

It’s Here!

I’ve been telling you about my new book and now it is ready! 

I’m excited to share with you that my ebook is available for purchase on Amazon for just $2.99!

 

 

I’ve been gathering content for a long time by keeping journals to record life lessons and significant moments. This book, “Which Old Woman Will You Be?” is my first. It takes a practical look at ways to be sure you are becoming the person you want to be in your ThirdThird of life, ages 60–90.

As we age, two things happen.
1. We have less energy to pretend, and
2. We care less what others think of us.

The result is that who we really are, who we have been at our core, is what comes out. By living on purpose and determining who we want to be when we are younger, we can intentionally become the “Old Woman” (or Old Man) that we want to become.

I think you will enjoy the book and I am thankful for your support!  Purchase your copy here: http://a.co/9FEn4bg

If you enjoyed the book, write a review on Amazon or share with somebody you know who would benefit from this book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staying Fit When You Hate to Exercise

 

Do you want to stay fit, but hate to exercise?  Me, too!

The effects of living on this earth for more than half a century has begun to take its toll. But I refuse to believe that accepting “aging” and becoming less active is my only option.

However……no matter how hard I have tried to convince myself I like to exercise, I just don’t enjoy it.  

BUT, now that I am in my ThirdThird (ages 60-90), I know that it is more important than ever to find some way to stay active.  

So, here are 11 ways I convince myself to keep moving.
Maybe one or two will boost you along as well.

1. Know the big why that makes the effort worth it.

Keeping up with grandkids and being able to enjoy their activities requires climbing bleachers, carrying camp chairs and other movement.  I  like to travel and being able to get in and out of a vehicle and making it to an airport gate are easier if you are somewhat fit.  Want to start a business? You’ll need energy and stamina.

2. Be satisfied with reality.

You don’t have to run a marathon or even a 5K to be fit. My husband loves to run. I have tried and tried to love running with him, but I just don’t. Walking, I can do. But walking in an organized event that times me and compares me I don’t think of as fun.  So, reality is that taking a walk alone and listening to podcasts gets me moving, so that is what I do. And, I will do yoga classes or cds.

3. Find something, anything.

Don’t like to run? Swim. Don’t like to be in cold water? Walk. Don’t like to be outside? Find an indoor track. Want to be outdoors? Try a kayak.  Just find some way to keep moving and active that you will do regularly.

4. Get convinced it’s important.  

In my recent reading, I see common information saying 95% of disease is life-style related. Also, I read that the number one reason people enter assisted living is because they need help to get themselves off a toilet.  Those two statistics motivate me to keep moving.  And to eat intentionally to control my weight.

5. Find your motivation.

Mine has changed over the years.  For a while, I was motivated to “look better than my sisters.” (Not the purest motivation, I admit, it worked for me for a long time.)  I have a friend who has a personal rule of “no larger sizes.”  One of my “mantras” for the BEST ThirdThird is, “It’s easier to keep it off, take it off.” [Read more HERE] The older I get, the stronger my motivation needs to be, so searching for “it” is key.

6. Be realistic

Something is better than nothing and you don’t have to prove anything to anyone.  If a walk around the block is what you are able to do, then do it…every day. If you used to run marathons and now a 10K is what you are able to do, enjoy a 10K. If Pilates or weight lifting has become too strenuous, find an appropriate yoga or tai chi class or cd. Injuries or aches and pains will de-motivate, so start where you are able.

7. Dress for comfort.

If you are going to walk or run, get shoes that will give you the support. Invest in some non-binding, stretchy clothes that make moving comfortable. If you are joining a class, ask or observe the best clothes to wear.  This is not a place to make fashion too important. Comfort is key.

8. Dress for fun.

But….exercise can also be a great excuse for some fun colors and styles. Try some yoga pants. Get some bright shoes. Find a t-shirt with a slogan you believe in. Move proudly in fun clothing.

9. Take a class.

It is not hard to find a class that will accommodate any level of fitness. In our small community of 150,000, there are multiple gyms and park districts that offer a myriad of classes. Water aerobics, yoga, weights, Pilates, spinning, walking, etc., etc. A class is a good way to try something new and it is a great social outlet.

10. Start somewhere.

Buy the shoes, or get the membership, or find a partner, or walk around the block after dinner. Do something to get yourself moving. Anything. That one step can make a big difference in the quality of your life going forward.

11. Reward yourself.

No chocolate until the walk is complete? An extra half-glass of wine if you’ve had a good bit of movement? A nice soak in the tub with bubbles and a good book? Be sure you pat yourself on the back for making the effort at staying as fit as possible.

 

People are motivated either by avoiding something they fear or by being rewarded by something they enjoy. What works for you? Do you have some good ways to reward yourself for being active? What keeps you moving?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Describe Yourself

It takes some forethought and practice to know how to describe yourself.

I once had a meeting set up by a friend who knew I was starting a new venture.  He knew someone who was generous and who had some experience similar to mine and arranged for us to meet.  I prepared what I had and was very excited to impress this stranger.  I had great ideas, plenty of experience to validate my approach, and some written explanations and examples.  I shared them all.

Finally, I  stopped my “presentation” and looked expectantly at him.  He said, <direct quote>, “You have been talking for 20 minutes and I still don’t know what the hell you do.”

Ouch.  But a really, really good ouch.

I went home and Dave took one look at me and said, “Something just happened to you…and it is good.”  He was right.  I had asked some questions of my “benefactor” and he had headed me in a good direction.  I gathered up a flip chart, post it notes, an easel and a myriad of colored markers and pens and my journal while Dave reserved a suite room for me at a hotel in a town an hour away.  I stayed two nights and three days.  I created and defined and practiced and read and came back with an elevator speech and a list of services I provided.

It was the first time I had heard of an elevator speech and it was the spark I needed to launch a successful coaching and training business that has taken me to some very interesting places, learning some very interesting lessons, and meeting some very interesting people.  It was the start of significant growth for me, professionally.

All from a failed attempt at describing myself and what I do.

I sent a note of appreciation to the man (whose name I honestly don’t remember) and a bookmark with a quote on it with:

 

 

It’s never too late. Are you in your third third? Make it your BEST third.