Where focus goes, energy flows

where focus goes

Love this saying. It has been a challenge to live with more focus. This is something I have begun to think about and work on every day.

On a side note, I normally prefer to give credit to quotes, but I’ve seen this one attributed to several people. Instead, I’ll share a link to the site where I found this lovely little graphic: http://stealandshare.com/

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It’s just one hour!

It's just one hour!

Have you had your 4% today?

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Good things come to those who “weight”

 Slimquick Pure

I saw a commercial for a product that I found greatly disturbing and felt compelled to share: this ad marketed as a weight loss formula engineered to “combat the six ways our bodies work against us.” Unless diagnosed with a health issue or hormonal imbalance BY A LICENSED MEDICAL PRACTITIONER, the real enemy we have to combat in weight loss is ourselves. While I’m obviously not a medical professional, I have been successful in losing a significant amount of weight several times in my life without the use of any pills, formulas, crazy diet fads, or specially prepared (expensive) meal replacements or plans. People often asked how I did it and, almost nine years later, a military recruiter still brings her applicants to me for advice. You will be disappointed to learn the weight loss didn’t happen overnight, but on the flip side, I did achieve results over time (emphasis on time).

I discovered in a roundabout way that the head rules the body, not the way other way around. In reprogramming the human supercomputer we call our mind, I realized: 1) I had to want the weight loss to happen. Not wish for it; not hope to wake up one morning to see my body magically transformed to a toned and fit state.  2) I had to be willing to commit. Which did I want to be more involved with, comfort food or comfortable jeans?  3) I had to be willing to act—to take the steps necessary to achieve the goals, put in the hard work and make the sacrifices.  And if not, then I would need to NOT complain or put other people down for their success when I was clearly doing nothing to earn mine.  4) Finally, I had to be patient and recognize weight loss is a process. (Patience?  Ugh. I know.)  The excess pounds didn’t miraculously appear overnight, so I don’t put stock in gimmicks that promise to aid and abet in losing the weight overnight.

The question is not how can you do it, but how bad do you want it?

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” Eric Thomas

Ramblings of an almost-wife

One of the things I love about Facebook is that it is a virtual time portal, allowing us to reconnect with old acquaintances, reflect on our past lives and receive the occasional well-deserved bitch slap.

After accepting the friend request of a former flame, I proceeded to creep his wall and photos, all in the name of playing catch up, of course.  I discovered that he’s been  married to the same person for a number of years-he was always consistent like that-and has two beautiful kids.  Those could’ve been my kids.

Back in the day, we had been serious and even talked marriage.  I was planning on becoming the queen of our double-wide and friends teased us about future little Lysas and insert-name-of guy-here juniors running around.  In a moment of Facebook-provided reflection, I realized the truth behind why I broke up with him so long ago. The reasons  weren’t  because he had gained weight or was too wrapped up in maternal apron strings. Some 25 years later, I realized those superficial reasons masked an unrealized fear of abandonment. I had to leave him before he could leave me.  My teenage self was blinded by an impetuous, selfish nature. I was not able to look down the road and see that the qualities this guy possessed then would be enduring enough to exist now. But I also couldn’t know that society would lose its collective mind; that solid character and long term relationships would become decayed and dying relics of the past.

To this day, I cringe when my dad says, “Whatever happened to…? I sure did like that guy.” A kind, hard working  Christian family guy, of course he liked him.  Everyone did.  A parent really couldn’t ask for a better husband for their daughter. I guess I should have known if he was dad-approved by my dad, the guy really was a keeper.  But it was not my destiny to reign over his double-wide kingdom or produce any little Lysa and insert-name-of-guy-here juniors who would ride around in the back of a pick-up truck or get their little potty mouths washed out with soap. Instead, I would parent other lovely children who lived out those scenarios. So goes the world.

A friend asked me if this guy was available, would I retro date him; pick up where we left off.  No, I say. I’ve wrapped up our past lives together in a neat little box that I occasionally pay a visit. I do feel bad about the way things ended, but I have a feeling that he’s forgiven me. Our time as a couple was a special part of my life that I wouldn’t trade for any rewards reaped by time travel, were it possible, but our now future selves are completely different people.  Besides, he looks extremely happy with the wife that isn’t me. I wish him much joy with her and my almost kids.

Today is not that day

I walk into my apartment and do a quick scan. Pile of textbooks on the dining room table.  Headphones on the footstool.  Glasses on the kitchen counter. I decide to spare my teenage daughter the “things in places where they don’t belong” rant.  Misplaced items signal her presence-at least for two more years, until she graduates.  From the kitchen, I can see her in the bathroom mirror, getting ready to go somewhere not with me.  My woman-child has changed into a long-sleeved, curve-hugging plum colored shirt and is brushing her long brown hair.   If she knew how long I had watched her, she would call me a creeper.

“Hey,” I greet her casually.

“What’s up?”   Once upon a time, she lit up when she saw me. I would find myself entangled by spindly arms and legs followed by the excited squeal of, “Mommy!”  The charge of the hug brigade has dwindled to this.

“Whatcha doin?” I ask.

“Gettin’ ready to go to David’s.” He would get the hugs that were once mine.

I am wondering where my little girl went.  The one who everyone called my shadow, following me from room to room and having near panic attacks when I left her sight. Now she is leaving me more and more and I am the one with anxiety.

“We won’t be out late,” she assures me, walking out the door. She is a good girl. She follows rules and makes good choices. She values my trust.  I am learning to trust her judgment and to respect her newfound independence.  We are navigating our way through a grown up mommy and me relationship. It’s sad and scary and exciting, and I only have two years left to get it all sorted out.

The door closes behind her. Gone are the days of goodbye hugs.  The dog looks at the door, then back at me.  “She’ll be back,” I say, to comfort myself as much as her.

I sit on the couch and look at the books left on the table, so annoyingly out of place. I think about moving them but decide to let them stay. They signal that my daughter is where she belongs. One day she, the books, headphones and glasses will be gone. But today is not that day.

How NOT to write a dating profile for menfolk

***HOW TO ALIENATE AND/OR WEIRD OUT THE FEMALE DATING POPULATION***
Just some tips based on real life profile writing “don’ts” because, let’s face it, some of you guys aren’t all that skilled at fishing in the dating pool.

Be legally married but separated. Better yet, join a dating site a week after you separate and make your status well known.

Add women to your favorites list but don’t initiate contact. Stalker much?

Inform us that your age is wrong and now the site won’t let you change it. How can you mistakenly enter your DOB as 10 years younger than what you really are?

State that your kids are #1/the love of your life/will always come first! Because dating isn’t hard enough; let’s make it a competition.

Mention frequently how lonely you are and list your interests as “finding someone to make me happy/the love of a good woman.” If you don’t know how to be content on your own, then you’ll never find the pot o’ gold at the end of rainbow happiness.

List your interests as kissing, cuddling, massages, pleasin’ your woman, etc. No, it’s not obvious that you’re just lookin’ for a hook up.

Talk about how you love to laugh. You love making people laugh. You make people laugh where ever you go. Nobody is as funny as you. You’re a class clown and need to constantly be the center of attention. OMG get over yourself. Who doesn’t like to laugh??

About your job:  it’s not what you USED to do, want to do or are trying to do. It’s what you currently do that pays the bills.

Brag incessantly about your job, how many people work for you, where you’ve traveled, your many houses/vehicles/toys, how well-liked you are. You are looking for a date, not trying to take out a loan.

Complain about how women are always doing you wrong. Stop taking back the cheatin’ hoes!

State how you have such a great relationship with your ex and you even hang out together. If things are THAT great, get back together already! Jesus.

Have no pics. Or a pic of 2 guys but don’t identify yourself, then it turns out your friend is hotter than you. Or have ONE blurry pic of yourself that’s 5 years old, wearing shades and hugged up to scantily-clad bimbos with the caption, “I haven’t changed much,” or “I look way better in person.” OR just have pics of food, drinks, your toys, vehicles, pets, landscape, road/sea kill or your kids. Why would you put pics of your kids on a dating site??

Send us ladies well thought out, creative messages such as, “You’re hot. What do you want to know about me? You can ask me anything” to indicate the lowest level of interest possible.

In the About Me section, just type three lines of “I’ll fill this out later” to meet the word count and don’t tell us anything about yourself. Because the only reason you’re here is out of boredom so why put forth any effort, right?

This has been a dating public service announcement. You can thank me later 😉

Paint me ungrouchy

I was on the last day of a 13-day work week, tired, grouchy and woeful; basically a zombie in uniform.  I stopped at the convenience store on my lunch break, silently praying that no one would try to engage in conversation or thank me for my service.  As I came out, I noticed a guy sitting on an overturned bucket  in the handicapped parking space with his back to the store.  My first thought was, “Why’s this dude chillin’ on a bucket in the parking lot?”  It doesn’t take much to catch  my interest, especially when I’m in zombie mode. I tend to find curiosity in things that most consider mundane.  So me and my nosy self couldn’t resist walking over to check it out, forgetting my former plan for avoidance of human interaction.  Bucket man appeared to be painting  the lines of the parking space.  Upon closer inspection, however, I saw he wasn’t painting the line, but the handicapped symbol. He didn’t hear  me walk up and was cursing under his breath.

“Oh, sorry,”  he said, looking up.  Dressed in a white t-shirt and khaki work pants, he was youngish, maybe in his 20s just a few years older than my own son, with a few days worth of scruff, a shaved head and small gold stud in his left ear.  He looked aggravated.

“Wow, is that how those symbols are done?” I asked in amazement, leaning over, all in his work space.

“Yeah, there’s usually a stencil we use but they didn’t have one.”  He swatted at a pair of love bugs as he studied me, probably wondering what my deal was.

“Sooo you’re doing it all by  hand?” I asked increduously.

“Yeah,” he shrugged as it to suggest it was no big deal, but he also smiled, squinting against the sun.  He shifted on his bucket seat and became more animated. “The lines were already there; I’m just going over them.”  He was part of creating  a universally known symbol.  How could he downplay such a role?  I immediately recalled a quote that I had seen some time ago that stuck with me:  “Be nice to everyone, for you do not know what battles they are facing.”     Maybe he wanted to be somewhere else on a Sunday.  Maybe he hated this job, couldn’t stand his boss or didn’t have the qualifications to do anything else and had a family to support. Or maybe he was just aggravated about the lack of stencil.

“That is amazing! I have new respect for those parking symbols now!” I exclaimed.  He seemed embarrassed and just laughed, then swatted at another pair of mating insects.

“At least the weather’s nice and you get to be out in it. I’ve gotta go back to my job inside.”

He looked around, nodded and smiled. “Yeah, that’s true. I’m grateful for the nice weather.”

“Well have a great day,” I offered up, walking back to my car.

“Thanks, you too.”

Funny, but I entered my vehicle in  much better spirits than I had exited it.  As I drove away, I peeked in the rear view mirror.  Bucket man was still smiling, back at his painting with no stencil. I hoped my interest had given him a reprieve from whatever battle he was facing, even if only in the smallest way. He sure gave this Soldier zombie a bit of unexpected cheer for the battle of my own.

A peaceful link

Just wanted to share this neat website: http://calm.com/#     The site contains several different scenic views that play nature sounds. Very nice to have going in the background while you’re working or just relaxing. Enjoy!

Mapistry

I’ve always had a secret reverence for maps.  More from an artistic point of view than for practical reasons.  I’m fascinated by how the features are laid out to depict worldly locations and how the gridlines guide travelers from point A to point B.  The paths look like they would be easy to follow but from experience, I know they are not and I have a huge fear of getting lost.  So when I travel, I cheat and use the GPS on my phone or those online trip planners.  I prefer to regard maps the way one would observe paintings in a gallery, reveling in their archaic mystery while standing at a safe distance.

Unfortunately, practicality would become a necessary evil when I joined the Army and shipped off to boot camp.  I was horrified to discover that training would encompass more than just playing with guns; there would be land nav familiarization.  Or what I like to call, how not to get lost in the wilderness.  I forget the details, as I’ve tried to suppress most of that part of my life, but at least two days were devoted to an entire study of terrain features (as defined by Army standards), plotting points with the use of a compass (those things are still in existence?), then measuring our steps to get a pace count.  Using this information, we would go off into the woods and magically arrive at the checkpoints and exit the treeline.  That briefs well.

Much was lost in translation between the map plotting and the pace count. I couldn’t comprehend how the two concepts related to one another.  And, like math, I failed to see how this would ever be significant in real life, especially with the use of GPS devices.  Surely land nav had become obsolete by now. If it wasn’t, it should be.  So that was it, I decided.  Land nav would be the end of me.  I was either going to get lost in the South Carolina forest and die from hypothermia or wildlife mauling, or fail basic training because I couldn’t figure out what my counted steps had to do with getting from point A to point B.

When the dreaded day of the pass or fail evaluation finally arrived, I somehow found favor with the mapistry gods.  Instead of being tested individually, we were paired in groups.  Being with a group of guys is extremely advantageous for a lone female on such a mission.  The guys were all too eager to compete with each other and get the task done in the shortest amount of time.  There was much argument over who would do what. I remained quiet and summoned my powers to become invisible.  Apparently, it worked.  By the time the menial tasks were assigned, there was nothing left for me to do. I feigned disappointment.

“Wow, way to leave out the female.”

“Oh, sorry, White.” A round of rushed apologies.

“That’s all right, guys. I see how it is.” I stomped off ahead of them, as if I knew what I was doing, trying to hide my snickering.  One of the guys came after me.

“You can use the beads for the pace count, ok?” he said eagerly.  What a pal.

“I guess it’s better than nothing,” I muttered, clenching  my  jaw to keep from grinning.

We started off with me counting paces but it wasn’t long until an argument broke out over some wise guy calling out random numbers, followed by more arguing over how it cost us precious time for having to start over.  To make up for lost time, one of the guys decided he would be the pace counter, which was fine with me.  I joyfully followed along on their coat tails, skipping when they weren’t looking back, which was most of the time.  We (they) found our assigned checkpoints and our team exited the woods in record time.  I went on to successfully complete basic training, thrilled that I would never again have to deal with that crap.

Little did I know, the joke was on me.  Four years later, I was required to attend an Army school for career advancement: the Warrior Leaders Course.  What was part of the training? Land nav.  I had heard stories.  Here, they gave out whistles because Soldiers got lost.  Soldiers got lost! In the woods!  Or they would fail, more than once, and get sent home then have to return in the future to repeat the entire course.  And here, the final evaluation was done on an individual basis.  There would be no chest pounding Tarzans to lead the way.  I was being sent to hell.

I reported to the school after a long, miserable bus ride from Florida to South Carolina.  Compensation comes in many forms to the weary traveler:  being directed to the chow hall; receiving a room assignment and being told to “go chill” (which is very rare); and learning that a new curriculum has been implemented; one that does not include land nav-or a PT test, which is a whole different story.

“Who gets that lucky?” my fellow Soldiers back home wanted to know.

I didn’t know or care. I was just thrilled that the gods of mapistry chose to shower me with fortune once again.  This time around, I could appreciate the South Carolina forestry from this side of the treeline, at a very safe distance.

For Allison

Dragonfly

Hope…

is a dragonfly that opens its wings

or steps onto life’s stage and fearlessly sings.

Hope is a smile

When you want to ask why;

It’s the sun’s breaking rays

Through a once cloudy sky.

Hope is a flower

That springs up between weeds;

It’s a word that can be spelled out

In both letters and deeds.

It’s the laughter

The innocence

The love so true;

Hope is the mem’ries

That will last a lifetime through.

Copyright  © 2012 by Lysa M. White

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“Dragonflies are real!”

In loving memory of Allison Delaney Walker July 2, 1996 - April 18, 2012
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