Keep On–Keepin’ On

"The Dip" - Seth Godin
“The Dip” – Seth Godin

Watching a show with my husband about a brilliant man, a sleuth; who is also an addict in recovery not going to his meetings.  His best friend asks “what’s going on?”  He replies “just the tediousness of maintaining my sobriety.”

His comment reminds me of Thoreau’s reflection that the mass of men live in “quiet desperation.”  No doubt life can be tedious sometimes.  Day after day – week after week – year after year: going to meetings, exercising, eating right, laundry, grocery, dishes; just getting up to make a living can take a toll.

Not feeling desperate – but tedious!  I know boring, monotonous, tiresome and mind-numbing.  Oh yeah, I know that routine.  But I also know comfy, snug, secure and contented.  Where’s the line?  It’s got to be personal.  When does my comfort zone become my prison?  When is it time to push the boundaries of my secure little world?  And how secure is it really?  Do I need a wake-up?  Or do I just need to push through “The Dip” Seth Godin writes about?

Dianne Collins (Do You QuantumThink?) invites us to wake up consciously and deliberately – if we don’t want it thrust upon us.  Sherlock (the brilliant man) was thrown; his anonymity was broken.  He was thrust out of his comfort zone – discombobulated!  All the sudden he felt the repetitive weight of life.  Some people get massive wake-ups with serious illness, or the loss of a job, a marriage, a home.  Some wake-ups are itty-bitty, like the closing of my gym.  However big or small; we are thrown – flung, hurled or chucked where we don’t want to be.  Sometimes the quiet desperation follows.

In The Icarus Deception, Seth Godin says comfort zones originate as safety zones.  But times change and safety zones move or expand – leaving our comfort zone behind.  We become complacent, content with our little world.  At least until our little world feels like a rut – or we get thrown.  When does cozy become dreadful?

No, I may not be desperate, but man it was hard to get off my recliner and onto the treadmill Tuesday.  I miss my work-out friends!  I got up and did it, but that first step was a mountain, not a molehill.  I keep telling myself I gotta keep on keepin’ on!  Then out of the blue – one of those work-out friends asked me to join her team for a fitness challenge.  Yay!  Someone besides me to be accountable to!  All of the sudden the mountain shrunk.

People – its people that motivate me to keep on keepin’ on!  Sure I need personal drive and commitment.  But without a REAL connection, a support network, it’s easy to get thrown – and not get back up.  Whether it’s friends or family, a recovery group, a therapist – whatever!  People that care, encourage and inspire – they help quiet the desperation; provide a hand to get up or the encouragement to push through the dip.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥NYC 2012 3

 “People: People who need people; are the luckiest people; in the world!” – People; Songwriters: Bob Merrill, Jule Styne


Carry On and Do It

The gym at work shut down for renovation.  I have to come up with a new plan to keep the commitment I made to myself 2 years ago – regular, steady exercise at least six times a week.  The convenience of an on-site gym and a flexible work schedule gave me the edge to get started.  Discovering my love for dance and the camaraderie I found in group classes keeps me engaged and motivated.

My habit of listening to audiobooks on my way to work introduced me to Younger Next Year for Women, by Chris Crowley & Henry S. Lodge, M.D.  I got the message; even bought the original Younger Next Year, Live Strong, Fit and Sexy-Until You’re 80 and Beyond.

“Aging is inevitable, but it’s biologically programmed to be a slow process.  Most of what we call aging, and most of what we dread about getting older, is actually decay.  That’s critically important because we are stuck with real aging, but decay is optional.”

Decay is optional!  People from my demographic (Generation Jones) were brought up to believe that getting older means becoming creaky, chubby and experiencing a gradual, continual physical decline.  What a bill of goods!  Two years ago I heard a different message; what we are told about aging is not the whole truth.  The truth is we have a choice.  Yes; we can allow what we were told to come true and wither and creak into the sunset.  Or we can take control; adapt our behavior and live healthier and actively.

I’m lucky.  I had a healthy, non-decrepit platform when I decided to choose differently.  Some people have a harder row to hoe.  Crowley and Lodge walked me through the importance of exercise:

“The point is that steady exercise is a coded message to your body—and your mind—telling you not to turn into a dribbling old fool.  Serious exercise, six days a week is not extreme; it’s the middle of the road.”

Aerobic exercise four times a week, strength training twice; easy peas-y Right!?  The message doesn’t stop here.  Beware the importance of good nutrition (“quit eating crap”), being committed to something, anything—care and connect; and spend less than you make.  Choice; it’s all about choice.  They didn’t say it would be easy.

Here I am, years into a GREAT health habit (yes, it was hard won).  Work continues on the food front.  My cornerstone commitment is exercise.  And now I gotta to change it up.  Hysterical!  The quality of my problems these days are pretty darn fine.

I will muscle through – carry on and do it.  Who knows, I might find a routine that’s better than the one I had.  I learned during a Covey Training Course that living with integrity means keeping commitments to myself.  Living with integrity – that is an objective and an Intent worth pursuing.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥Wyoming bikes

 “act as if”


Positive and Negative – same coin, different sides

2006 Cruize 024There was a time I wouldn’t download a song to my iPod that had a “negative” vibe.  Only positive, uplifting songs for this girl.  Completely unsustainable.  I can’t avoid stuff by only allowing the good in – refusing to consider the shadow world. I don’t want to be an ostrich with my head in the sand; but whoa, there’s a whole lotta nasty junk out there.  What’s the right balance?  Today’s daily inspiration from Martha Beck touched a chord:

“Treat your heart like a tired, hurt child: Accept its tantrums, revenge fantasies, and pity parties, but don’t get stuck in them. Say kind things to yourself: “It’s okay that you love your goldfish more than your in-laws” or “Of course you want to stab Billy’s third-grade teacher with a meat fork—all the moms do.” When you acknowledge your forbidden feelings calmly, you’ll find that you actually have more control over your actions. It’s when feelings are repressed that they burst out in dangerous, unhealthy ways.”  Martha Beck ~ Set it Free

Don’t repress; acknowledge and accept those feelings: “Don’t get stuck in them.” Living a conscious life doesn’t mean I forbid myself to look around me.  I may prefer my rose-colored glasses, but sometimes a sad song is the only thing my heart wants to hear.  My life won’t become a blazing hell if I acknowledge my wicked sense of humor, or admit that I’ve lived the dark night of my soul.  Thank you Dianne Collins for pointing out:

 “. . . the idea here is for you to look for yourself, personally.  What are you filling your consciousness with?  What are you broadcasting?  When you develop mastery with your own mind, it isn’t that you have to avoid the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Enjoy the thrill of blockbuster blow-ups, crashes, and shoot ‘em ups if that’s what turns you on.  It is that you do not have to have your consciousness hijacked by it.  Wake-ups are hip to what’s going on, in themselves and around them.  An awakened consciousness is more powerful than programming.  Dianne Collins ~ Do You QuantumThink?

No running necessary.  Simply develop and master my own mind; stay aware; awake – and believe.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥Eckhart Tolle_well-said


Walls, Doors and Transformation


When it sinks in that my world is a reflection of what’s inside, I realize it’s my responsibility to live intentionally.  Knowing that I’ll see what I look for, let me open my eyes to love, good health and possibilities.  How grateful I am to live in a time, a country, that gives me choices.  So walls – look out, you gonna be transformed!

Florence, Italy (door)

“If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally.”  Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now


Splat – Can We Laugh About it!

Dirty Girl Mud Run 2Realized I’d left an appliance on half-way to work – crud!
Worry, worry – turn around, don’t want to burn the house down.

Rush into kitchen – trip over dog.
Fall on my ass – damn!

Appliance not on – JEEZ!
Turn around, rush back to work; kick other dog – crap!
Late to work.

At least it was Friday and I’d scheduled ½ day vacation.
SAVED THE DAY: two of my best friends got me to Laugh Out Loud (IRL) that morning.

DO NOT know what I’d do if I didn’t have people in my life who love me even when I’m stressed-out, raw and a total basket case.

Published on Dec 18, 2013

Music video by Dionne Warwick with Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder performing That’s What Friends Are For. (C) 1985 Arista Records, Inc.
• That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick with Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder (Google Play • AmazonMP3)