Yes, that is what I read somewhere a few weeks ago. I need problems. We all do. It’s problems that keep us alive. Can you believe it? After getting over the shock of the statement and thinking about it, I see it’s true. We get our energy from problem solving. If we lived a perfect life, without a problem or a care in the world, we probably wouldn’t live very long. We would stagnate and become lethargic, and eventually become depressed, lose our appetite and our will to live.
When we have a problem to solve, we are energized and engaged. We are too busy and preoccupied to get depressed and lethargic. The more I thought about this, the more I began to see how everything is in a state of constant energy and movement. Even the cardboard boxes full of items in your basement. We think if we put something away and don’t use it, it will last forever. No. Things, as well as people, break down from not moving or being moved and used. How often did you go down there to find something and when you took it out of the box, it just wasn’t in the same condition as when you put it down there. Our mind works in much the same way. Now, instead of backing away from the daily curve balls, I’ve learned to embrace them in a new way. I say thank you to my higher power and I get right to it.
Today there was a great video (link below) posted on Facebook about how the butterfly NEEDS to struggle to get out of the cocoon. Helping it by breaking it open for it would cause the butterfly to be deformed and eventually die instead of fly. Our problems we face each day are our cocoon. We need them to survive. Problem solving squeezes life into us much the same way the opening of the cocoon squeezes the blood into the butterfly’s wings allowing it to fly. Our struggles DO make us stronger and allow us to fly.
And so, as another day goes by, whatever I’m given today, I will tackle without complaining, realize I need it to live, and …I have written.
I had the extreme pleasure of my brother and his significant other visit me last weekend. Over Saturday night wine and dinner, the conversation inevitably swung to the election. They, and my husband and I, are on different sides of the political fence, but we are all adults and it was so much fun to engage with my brother about the qualities of our candidates. “Really?” some of you might ask. How did you do that without losing your cool, starting an outright brawl and eventually damaging a family relationship? How? I’ll tell you how in one word. Respect. My brother and I have always respected each other and would never utter harsh words.
I hate everything his candidate stands for and he cannot fathom having my candidate as his president, but we had a great time! Out of all the discussion, one thing he said stood out in my mind. He said he would never post anything on Facebook about his candidate that someone else wrote. He said he does his research and when he writes, it’s in HIS own words, expressing his own view. That I respect. I don’t care who he votes for, I just respect him for not doing all the posting and posting of article after article and never saying what you mean in your own words as so many others do. I love my brother. He’s a good man. Our different political views don’t change that.
After that night, something clicked in my head. I don’t have to endlessly post proof that my candidate would make a good president. I don’t have to engage and defend her to the opposition. All I have to do is look at her, and be like my brother and ask myself what I see after following her career for 25 years.
I see a woman who is made of steel. I see a woman who keeps her composure under pressure. I see a “nasty” woman. Make no mistake that if this woman becomes president, she is not going to play nice. She never has and that is a strength of hers. She may be a grandmother, but it ain’t gonna be no grandmother moving into that White House. If you think this is gonna be Obama all over again, think again. HE was a nice guy and look where it got us? She is going play on the edge of the rules (and maybe have to break them at times.) She is going to wheel and deal with such slickness congress is going to have their hands full. She is already looking past the election and getting her ducks in a row so she will be able to exercise the power of the position and get some of this stuff done to change the status quo. And as her opponent pointed out, she’ll never back down. And I do care that she’s a woman. I wouldn’t vote for her just based on that, but I DO care. I’d love to see a strong, intelligent woman be the last one standing and make history. Oh and did I mention intelligence? She was one of the top ten lawyers in this country and if anyone thought they were going to get up on stage and upstage her in any debate, they were sadly mistaken. Remember when she took days off before the debates to “prepare?” Think about that. One of the top lawyers in the country “preparing.” She must have spent days getting cases ready to argue in court, so “preparing” to her is way different than it is for the average person.
She’s an iron-woman with a passion for serving and helping. Oh, and yes, she does know a lot about raising money and figuring out where and how to get it to pay for the things this country needs. She, herself, has enough money and I bet anything she’ll be the first to tell you she doesn’t need anymore. She works tirelessly 24/7 making lives better for children and families and other than spending time with her own family, she does little else, so why does she need more money?
Underneath her suit of armor she has a softer side that is willing to reason and listen and forgive. That, mixed with her fortitude and intelligence is a winning combination that I want in the White House for my president. I am not only with her, I admire her and I am inspired by her. I am 63 and she is going to be 69 and I don’t know how she does it. I manage a gym and train people and after an 11 hour day I think I’m tired? And she really wants this job? Whoa. She has my vote for stamina alone.
We are now one day closer to getting this whole thing over with, and I thank my brother for making me see that if I truly support a candidate I should be able to voice my support in my own words, after doing my own research, without saying a nasty word or any words at all about the opponent, and all the while respecting my friends who support the opposition. ( I just wish more of them would stop posting ridiculous articles and mash-ups, off of unverified sites, and just tell it like they see it, in their own words.)
And so, as another day goes by, I am SO with her, and, in my own words …I have written. (And I challenge others to do the same and do it without mentioning or bashing the opponent.)
These last 20 days are going to feel like 20 years. Is there anyone out there that is not wishing this election was over already? I am so done discussing it, watching it, and hearing about it. Yet another debate tonight. Really? Haven’t we had enough of that yet?
While it is getting a bit old, I can’t say that I haven’t enjoyed it. This year we have candidates like no other election ever did. They brought it. These two have made us stand up and take notice like no others before them. Before 2016 voters were complacent, didn’t make any real effort to understand the platforms and voter turnout was disappointing. Not this time. I think people are going to go to the polls in record numbers – and right now neither candidate should be feeling like they have a lock on it. We have the Donald who is bat-shit crazy and we have Lyin’ Crooked Hillary. Oh, what do we do?
Tough choice. Tough or not, we HAVE to make one. (As far as independents go, we all know the only thing voting for them does is cast a negative vote for the the big two – not a good option.) The only choice we absolutely cannot make is to sit home and not vote at all. If you are pushed to that point, it is because you care. You sat up and paid attention through this whole thing, and now is not the time to curl up on the couch and suck your thumb because you are offended by both choices. We gotta put on our big boy pants and stumble to the polls.
I read a post today about Hillary that really made sense. It did not excuse everything she’s done that we are upset with her for, but it did, in fact, show us how her flaws are the very thing this country needs right now. That’s right. Her flaws. We don’t need another nice guy. We need a cunning, complicated individual made of steel that won’t quit on us. Obama is way nicer than Hillary. She will use ways and means in the House and Senate to get things done. She is not broken easily, if at all. And above all, she has the intelligence to use her flaws to move us forward. This is the way the article ended:
“The political landscape that lies before us next year will require a president who has the capacity to be a cutthroat negotiator, a quiet friend, a forgiving enemy, a turncoat, and a detail-obsessed wonk. If the country elects such a person, there is a distinct possibility that American democracy will discover that inch-by-inch progress on legislation happens after vigorous wrangling, which eventually gets to a deeply unsatisfying resolution that leaves almost everybody in a grumpy mood, and sort of works, but not all that well and yet well enough to get us to the next fight—which, if you will recall, is exactly what the Founding Fathers sketched out on paper in 1787. And here’s the thing: If it unfolds that way, under President Hillary Clinton, then historians will be able to honestly say that Donald Trump lived up to his promise, however accidentally, and made America great again.”
Wow. Yeah. You can read it below. (It’s long and involved – but well worth it if you can’t deal with the many faces of Hillary that have flooded the news.)
Now, to be fair to the other side, Donald has also shown us all of his faces, but he did it blatantly in the course of a few months played out on national TV and we don’t need a complicated article to point out just who he is and what kind of president he will make. All we need to do is just thank him for who he is and be glad that, he too, had the gumption to not fall under all that has been slung at him.
So there you have it. Two people that both want to lead our country and have taken a public bloodbath that would shake most of us to our core and send us into a dark closet. There’s a lot of strength on the ballot this year. Lots to ponder and choose from. It’s not as bleak as it sounds. Don’t sit home complaining about how you don’t like either candidate. Grow a pair and go pull a lever.
And so, as another debate day goes by, I have truly enjoyed engaging in some great discussions with those whose views are different than mine. Kudos to you for not being nasty and condescending, YOU are who makes America great and makes us stronger together, and…I have written.
Policy wonk. Pragmatist. Truth-twister. There are many versions of Clinton—and we’ll need them all to navigate the political chaos unleashed by Trump.
The GOP should grab him by the collar, sit him in a chair and say “You’re done!”
It’s so sad to see what has become of the party I grew up with. My parents and grandparents were devout Republicans and I watched them support their candidates in every election. I spent my college and my early years as an Independent until I found out I wasn’t allowed to vote in a primary. During the Clinton years I firmly believed Hillary was running the country. I always pictured Bill asking her every morning “Well, dear, what do I do today?” (Bill was never a fav of mine – he isn’t nearly as smart as she is and he has her to thank for all his success.) Shortly thereafter I registered as a Democrat. I saw a really smart women who actually knew what to do in the White House. I read and did my own research for the last 25 years on her and spent most of that time waiting for this day – the day she would run for that office. I had my own little campaign going in my mind when she ran against Obama, and again in 2014 when I felt sure this day was coming. Did I think it would be an easy road? No. The GOP saw her coming years ago about the same time I did and started the undermining then. So. None of my support for Hillary comes from my dislike for Trump. Hillary is not the “lesser of two evils” for me. She is a person I genuinely admired and supported apart from any other candidate out there for the last 20 years. None of what I say about this Trump thing has anything to do with her.
Back to this Trump thing. I am stunned that the GOP let this go on this long. I told my husband back in the spring that the party was going to implode at the convention in July. I kinda was right, but I certainly did not think it would take until four weeks before the election. I also told him last year, when Trump showed up, that all Hillary has to do is sit back and let him hang himself. She would have no need to go after him. He will do himself and the party in all by himself. This little scenario played out during this last debate. When Trump was speaking, Hilz sat quietly on her stool, holding her mike, letting him choke himself. No need for her to interrupt. He was doing a fine job all by himself. Then, when Hillary was speaking, Trump circled her like a nervous cat waiting to pounce. He sniffed his way yet again through another debate (I’m waiting for the coke evidence to surface next). In looking at him alone, not in relation to Hillary, all I see is an unintelligent, deplorable person. (Yes, Hilz, deplorable was an excellent choice of words – and on that topic – she only said half of his supporters – meaning the truly deplorable – belong in the basket – so I don’t get why the nice, upstanding, people in the commercial are including themselves in that half.)
Anyway, it just behooves my husband and I, when we sit and watch Trump hang himself on national TV and Twitter everyday – Kelly Ann, grab the damn phone – that’s what they’re paying you for! – we look at each other and think, “People don’t see this? There are actually people walking around condoning his actions?” I am thankful that in my tiny circle of about 300 people there are only about 5 Trumpets. My faith is restored in smart people. I have always believed, apart from this election, that 80% of the population is made up of smart, upstanding, citizens and the other 20% belongs in the basket. I certainly hope this plays out on November 8th – oh wait, it will. That other 20% will be voting on November 28th.
*Wore my Hillary tank bike riding on the canal and no one ran me over! Lol!
Over the past few weeks I have noticed people in my newsfeed have stopped posting political rantings. I think they are realizing that you are not going to change anyone’s mind at this point, so what’s the use? For every article you post about your candidate, the other side can find an opposing article or 10, so it’s pointless. The other thing that makes it pointless to keep up the rant, for me anyway, is that as I scroll over the posts, I think “Why stop and read it? Just because someone wrote it, does it make it true?” and I move on.
Those reasons aside, I think the best reason to stop the rant is to preserve one’s own health. This election, more than most, has awakened an anger in our hearts that this country has never seen before. That’s fine. We need change. We need to be aware. We need to be informed. But we don’t need to damage our physical hearts, and that is what this chronic anger is doing. In the decade after this election I bet there will be an increase in people with heart disease. People out there waiving their fists, arguing and posting their rants on social media are not aware that they are keeping their bodies in a constant state of fight or flight and they are not taking the time to diffuse this.
I, for one, am glad my newsfeed is all about getting healthy, great recipes, and positive sayings that make me slow down and back away from this election thing for awhile. I am involved in a 21 day yoga retreat online right now and it is the best thing for slowing down, taking a breath, and regrouping when I feel the agitation growing.
And so, as another day goes by, 57 days until we have to hire a new president, and maybe we should consider this:
…and I have written.
My daughter, Ashley, is a Beach Body Coach and she is running a yoga retreat that you access online for 30 days for free. You belong to a closed group on Facebook and get all kinds of support and nutrition help, too. You can do your yoga workout in the comfort of your own home at any time of day you want for 21 days. There is a different class for each day, starting from the very basic beginning.
Since I have had Beach Body OnDemand for a year now, and have done the 21 Day Fix workouts, I started the free yoga retreat this past Monday. Here’s how it went:
Day 1 of Yoga Retreat: Core
Whenever I begin a new Beach Body exercise program, I sit and just watch it the night before. I watched Core for day 1 and couldn’t wait to try it the next morning. Absolutely wonderful poses, held for just the right amount of time to allow you to really figure out what he (Vitas, the instructor) wants you to do. He is so patient and gives you a lot of time to position your body. My first impression is I would definitely recommend this to a beginner. He also has a person doing modifications so this is something everyone can do. This, in conjunction with my weight training is going to be great for the next 3 weeks!
Day 2 of Yoga Retreat: Stretch
Starting a new program always teaches new lessons. Today’s stretch was a wonderful way to begin the day! It involved basic yoga stretches that I have always done, but was never given the chance to slow down and really perfect them. Never think you are too advanced to do the beginner class of anything. When given the opportunity to slow down and feel every move before going onto the next one, you find yourself saying, “Wow, I never felt THAT before!” I cannot say enough about Yoga Retreat.
Yoga Retreat Day 3: Balance
Once again, a delightful class and burned 157 calories in 30 minutes without moving much at all. It is surprising how much your heart rate goes up and the calories you burn just by trying to hold the poses.
Yoga Retreat Day 4: Flow
I really spent time in this class relearning some more basic poses and loving the way I felt when I was done.
Yoga Retreat Day 5: Go With The Flow
Only 20 minutes today but I really love how I had to pay attention to moving smoothly from pose to pose – it almost became a dance! Today is my mile run and weights at the gym so this was a nice compliment. (Yoga + Weight Training is something I always recommend to my clients. Weight training builds and tightens and yoga stretches and lengthens to combat soreness and increase flexibility.)
Tomorrow is Relax and I am really looking forward to that on a Saturday morning. If you want to get in on this please email my daughter at email@example.com and she will get you all set up in the private group and free online access to the class. If you have always wanted to try yoga or if you want to improve your existing practice, this is the way to do it. Free. From your own home any time of day (even off your phone if you travel). Lots of support. The Yoga Retreat starts Monday September 12, so don’t miss it. Email her now and enjoy the wonderful things you will experience in this class.
And so, as another day goes by, in these turbulent times it’s nice to retreat and find a little peace, and…I have written. Namaste.
Today the calendar says I am 63 years old. When I was younger, I never pictured myself doing what I am doing at this age. If you told me when I was still teaching that when I retired I'd be working full time managing a health club and training people, I would never have believed you. I guess “Never say never” has an element of truth to it.
I went to work this morning not grumbling because I had to get up at 6 and go to work on my birthday, no, I went to work this morning feeling blessed that I CAN go to this wonderful job and help people get on their own path to a healthy lifestyle. There is no greater birthday present that you can give to yourself. This morning on Facebook my nephew posted a great post. He said people ask him what he does for fun. He says he works. He is an amazing artist and built a tattoo business that is really taking off. His work he does everyday is his passion. It IS his fun. He and I are both of the camp that if you choose a career that sparks your passion, you will never work a day in your life. And I haven't. 35 years teaching and three years in the fitness industry, and I can honestly say I haven't ever worked a day in my life.
My nephew also said, “If you ever find yourself bored, that's a problem.” He is so right. I spent the first three years of my retirement trying to just write. I was alone and it was boring and scary. Now, everyday at my job, I am back in my element and loving it. Even the crazy days when the club is full and everyone wants my attention, I have appointments and in the middle of it all, a new person walks in the door wanting to know what we are all about. Those kinds of days just fuel my passion and revive my energy. My nephew and I get our energy from our work. I told him people say to me all the time “but you're retired” when they find out I work 40 hours a week. They don't get it. You don't retire from your life. You may leave one job after thirty something years, but you jump right back into life and live your passion in a new way. If you are bored in your job or in retirement, it really is a problem and you need to get right back out there and do something about it.
I got a lot of birthday coupons and messages in my email today, but the best and most helpful one was from Spark People, a health and wellness app that I have used for years, and I'd like to share it with you:
And so, as another birthday goes by, I'd like to think I heed this advice, and …I have written.
And that's okay. This week I had yet another political discussion with an old friend who is on the opposite side as me. And, once again, we discussed the issues and parted friends with mutual respect for each other. Awhile ago when debating with my little brother, he said “It's my feeling and my opinion and my choice and my right to have it.” No one could have put it better. I respect my friends and my brother who are on opposite sides as me to maintain their support for their candidate, but not berate me and hate me for my choice.
I'm with her. That's my choice. It's not debatable. I don't want to be convinced to jump ship and I am not interested in preaching to anyone else to come over to my side. I like engaging and seeing how others feel, but that's not what is important in this next hundred days. Two things are paramount. One, pick and support your candidate through the all the mud slinging – stick by your convictions and don't let anyone sway you. Two, on November 8th get out there and vote.
Having the freedom to choose – as my little brother pointed out -is what this and any election is all about. No one is forcing you to go against what your heart is telling you, so stop doing that to other people. Be thankful for the right to choose. Be respectful of those with views different from yours. I'm with her. You may think she's a liar and murderer etc. and it is your right to think that, but I don't and that is my right to choose. You can block me or unfollow me if you can't engage about your candidate intelligently and respectfully, but don't try to change my mind. I have taken my stand. It's time to stop waffling and pick a side without the fear that you will be ridiculed and pressured to change. Both candidates are getting it from all sides and being dragged through the mud, so put on your T shirt and go on the mud run with them. Exercise your right to vote. Above Hillary versus Trump, what is important is the fact that we are ALL Americans and we live in a democracy and we DO have the right to choose.
And so, as another day goes by, my tank top came today and I will wear it proudly to support my candidate, and…I have written.
If you have been riding around with your candidate's sticker on the back of your vehicle for almost a year, you are not the person I am interested in hearing from. Your views are set in stone and your blinders are on. The people I would like to hear from are those that can fill in and finish this sentence:
“I was supporting_______, but now I am going to vote for____________because__________________.”
You are the person that is going to make a difference in this election. You think, you read, you watch, you engage with others without using rhetoric and you do not consider the news your Bible. You carefully vet your sources before deciding “Yes, that is a fact.” You do not fill your Facebook page with flip, snide, sarcastic posts thinking you are actually going to sway someone's allegiance with that stuff.
There is no shame in jumping ship if it appears a lifeboat is within reach. When faced with two choices, I always insert myself into both positions and try on both views and see what I think and feel. There was a moment, be it a brief one, where I considered Trump a change agent and this attracted me because all my life I have looked forward to and embraced change. Michelle Obama's mic drop last night sealed it. I felt deep in my heart that that was the America I wanted to support. She is so right. America already is great – we can't discard how far we have come as she so eloquently pointed out. But we cannot be complacent either. We cannot and should not be satisfied to just sit and vegetate at the point we are at presently. We can always be better. It doesn't matter whether we are talking about our own personal lives or the country as a whole – we can always strive to be better today than we were yesterday and move forward. I stand with Michelle and truly feel Hillary, along with Bernie and bunch, will be the best person to do that.
On Hillary – I refuse to enter into the ridiculous rhetoric that Trump supporters spout. All the email and Benghazi stuff was thrown at me in soundbites and colored by the media to increase their audience so they can what? Make more money for having the most viewers on their stations. Sorry. Sounds like a Trump move to me. I prefer to actually go back through her 25 years of history and figure out for myself what kind of person she is instead of taking my Facebook friend's word for it. Although, I do have one Facebook friend who couldn't have said it better:
” If people would stop reading the headlines, stop listening to soundbites, quit watching FOX news and do some research of their own, they would see that she is a strong, thoughtful, smart, trustworthy woman that has been under a microscope for over 25yrs with No – NOT ONE – charge against her. And some of those investigations lasted YEARS. A lot of people hate her, want to see her fail so they twist the truth. The sad part of all of that is that so many people believe the lies. All they can say about her is she is evil, she lies, she's a murderer, she should be in jail. I keep asking for one factual example of something she has done that she should be in jail for.” — Cathy Powers —
Notice she says factual.
I do love how Trump can say something – anything – and people take it as fact and re-post it like it is truly so because Trump said it. For me, there is so so so much about him that I cannot even entertain the thought of getting on the Trump train for; and if you bag up Hillary's baggage and stand it next to him, it pales in comparison.
And then today I find this post – NOT written by Hillary, but so totally reflects how I feel about the type of person she is. She is badass in a good way and it's just what we need. Badass AND smart. Let Me Remind You F**** Who I Am.
And so, as another politically charged day goes by, I stand with Bernie – enough is enough and we have a country to think of, so I'm with her…and I have written.
I just can't stay quiet and sit idly by while this election year pushes forward. Everyone else has jumped on the election train and graced social media with their opinions. It's my turn. This week I had my first conversation with someone outside my husband and children about the election who is a very dear friend of mine. We are on different sides and guess what? We still love and respect each other, which is more than I can say for our two candidates who are supposed to be an example. I say we are on different sides, but I am really not “on a side.” Once again we must be forced to choose the “lesser of two evils.” And therein is the rub.
You can take Hillary's lies and emails and Benghazi and put them in a bag, but at least she is not a psychopath, nor is she dangerous. Today I read an article in The New Yorker that confirmed my feelings of fear where Trump is concerned. It was a long article, but very in depth. If Trump wins, we are going to pull back the curtain and there ain't gonna be no wizard behind it. All we are going to find is an funny little man grasping at levers wildly, and he is gonna turn to us and say “Gotcha!”
Hillary is Lucifer, Hillary should be in stripes, and, yes, Hillary should be shot. All of that coming from a camp that wants to seriously take on the problems our country faces? That kind of rhetoric is going to “make America great again?” Anyone who knows me, I mean really knows me, knows I will never condone such disrespect for anyone. And policy? Has Trump uttered one word of real policy or offered one rational solution for “making America great again?” All Trump does is tell us how great Trump is. He is on the TV right now telling me how he is going to stop the violence on our streets today. He is telling me how on January 21st safety is going to be the number one priority. He is spouting violence statistics. But what he hasn't said, even once, in the last eight months, is HOW!! HOW is he going to make America great again? His whole speech tonight is all drama. The look on his face on that stage just screams “Look at me! Look how great I am!” “Nobody knows the system better than ME. I ALONE can fix it” And still, after 30 minutes, no HOW. Hillary this and Hillary that. Still no HOW. “We (him and Mike) will liberate our citizens from the violence that plagues us.” Still no HOW. “When I take the office next January I will restore law and order to our country, believe me. I am the law and order candidate.” Again, HOW? In this whole speech tonight, not ONE idea. Just pure listing of all the problems we face and how bad Hillary is. His posture and demeanor were downright scary. “We are going to defeat the barbarians of ISIS and we're going to defeat them fast.” Again, HOW? And I can go on…list after list of problems, and NOT ONE SOLUTION. Just look how great I am. I am your savior. Really? This is someone you want for president? It's 11:18 and he is still up there telling us what he is going to do – fast – like he does not have to work with the opposite party or congress. Like he is going to be crowned King and will have full say and power over the rest of the government. Really? Does he even realize our forefathers made that impossible when they set up our government? And don't forget to notice how he stops to rake in the applause – because that is all he really cares about. And now he's thanking the evangelical community. Too much. I have to go to bed.
And these have been my feelings up until today. Today my feelings turned into real fear after reading an article in The New Yorker and then watching him on that stage tonight. I dare you to read it. It's long and in depth and it pulls back the curtain. And then, if after reading it, he still has your vote, have at it. Trust a dangerous psychopath to “make America great again.”
And so, as another day goes by, my fear is reflected in this article, and finally …I have written.
And I'm really trying….