Friday, October 19, 2012

Finding Peace and Perspective in Unusual Places

Happy Friday! We are having an authentic fall day here in the Midwest. Chilly. Mostly overcast. A peek of sunlight here and there. Our trees have rallied in spite of the summer drought and are treating us to a gorgeous light show. Sigh.

I totally blew Real Reality Thursday, didn't I? That's because I was dealing with ... my Real Reality this week. Mark was off work this whole week. It is highly unusual for him to take that much time off, and while I enjoyed having him around, it really threw my routine for a loop. And I LOVE my routine. And one of the peeps popped up with strep throat, so that threw me for a loop-de-loop. She's all better now. But it's good for my schedule to be tossed up in the air and scattered like the falling leaves once in awhile. It gets my brain out of a rut.

One cool thing I did get to do this week was volunteer at our school district's clothing center. What a fantastic place! It's available to any student in the district, and it's supported solely by donations. And you should see the donations. Piles and piles of white trash bags stacked almost to the ceiling of the center's garage. It's a "green" operation, meaning everything is used one way or another. Any clothing donations that can't be used are picked up by the Salvation Army to turn into rags or something else useful. The gals in charge of running the center really have the operation down to a science.

I worked for two hours in the room set aside for older boys' clothing. I sorted, organized, and hung clothes. In peace. And quiet. Very few interruptions. My two hours there completely satiated my need for order, coordination, cleanliness, peace, and quiet. Did I mention the peace and quiet?

My two hours there also gave me a chance to reflect on how truly blessed I am to have a choice of where I shop. So many people and families don't have that choice, and they depend on services such as this clothing center to meet the needs of their kiddos. That's the Real Reality of today's world. Sometimes when I'm knee-deep in my own Real Reality, I forget that. I was thankful for the reminder this week.

Have you found peace and perspective in an unusual place? I'd love to hear about it.

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing ... Keep It Real.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Real Reality Thursday: Fried Laptop

We had an unexpected death in the family today: our beloved laptop. MY beloved laptop. The one I snuggled with on the couch. The one that held all of  my dreams. My e-mails. My e-mail addresses. My pictures. My documents from the past four years. The same laptop that gracefully took daily abuse from my PBSKids-playin' peeps. (Apparently, the inclination to push every single keyboard button super hard when the computer freezes is human nature. Who knew?)

Sadly, when I turned it on this morning, I could hear it breathing, but the screen remained black. Death black. But the weird thing is, I didn't freak out. Part of that might be because I had recently backed up most of my "stuff." But I think part of it is that I took a deep breath and listened to the little voice in my head that said, "Put this in perspective. How big of a deal is this really?" I made a choice to not make it a big deal. And it feels good.

Ready for a deep thought? If my biggest problem is that my laptop crashed, I'm doing OK. Because I imagine that my step-sister, who just finished treatment for breast cancer and is preparing for another reconstructive surgery, would take a crashed laptop (my Real Reality) over her situation in a heartbeat. Ditto for the teacher who just found out she has breast cancer. And ditto for my friend who has been up five nights in a row giving her asthmatic son breathing treatments.


How are you spending your Real Reality Thursday?

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, keep it real.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Resistance is Futile

Meet my latest arch nemesis, BOSU. Or, as I like to call it, the bulbous blue blob of blech.
I first met BOSU at the Y over the summer when I started taking fitness classes. We were casually aquainted. No big deal. But in the past few weeks my pilates and H.A.B.I.T. (hips, abs, butt, inner thighs, baby) instructors have been forcing me to make nice with BOSU in EVERY. SINGLE. SESSION. Not only do I have to make nice with this torture device, I have to play with BOSU's posse: the balance ball and the pilates ring. *shudder* Apparently, these are all tools of resistance training, designed to enhance balance and strength by making me look like an unbalanced, unstable fitness training freak.
Here is what proper BOSU use should look like:
Here is what my BOSU use looks like:
I am old school. To me, resistance training involves trying to resist punching Denise Austin (the 80's version) in the face or kicking Buns of Steel Greg in the Yoo Hoo. (To be fair, Denise has toned down her enthusiasm over the years to an appropriate level. One of my favorite home workout DVDs is her Hit the Spot Pilates.)
But I have resolved not to let these new-fangled devices win. One day soon, I will stand confidently on top of BOSU perfectly balanced. What is interesting about the BOSU battle is that it mirrors my personality. My natural instincts make me resist anything or anyone that tries to control me, even if I know it's good for me. Usually, I come around. Complicated and confusing? Yes, but it works for me. Between us, I know resisting BOSU is futile, and while I would never admit it, BOSU has given me killer abs and some rockin' thigh muscles. But let's not let the bulbous blue blob of blech know, OK?
Wherever you are, whatever you're doing ... keep it real.