Sunday, September 21, 2014

Today Is The Day

My last 72 hours have gone like this:

Friday afternoon I met a girlfriend and her husband for lunch to discuss the treatment she is receiving for breast cancer.   She is in her second round of chemotherapy.  She has lost her hair but not her spirit.  She is fighting an exhausting battle and continues to try and work between doctor's appointments and hospital stays.  Some days are great and some days she can't get out of bed due to fatigue and exhaustion.

Sunday morning I dropped my father-in-law who has Alzheimer's off at his assisted living facility after church.  I walked him into the dining hall and sat him down with the other patients who live at the center.  They were all eating quietly with bibs around their necks, slowly, methodically spooning their meals into their mouths.  It was so somber and heartbreaking to me.  

Then Sunday afternoon I took a meal into another friend's home who has just had a double mastectomy.  She is a carrier of the same breast cancer gene that took her mother's life.  She can't lift anything for the next six weeks, including her three children, ages 4, 2 and six months.  She is a single mother relying on the kindness of family to get her through this difficult time.  Bedridden, she just wanted to talk and so that's exactly what we did. 

As I left her house I had the overwhelming desire to yell from the rooftops, or the write from the blogtops:  Get outside!  Go and do!  Try something new and LIVE!

If you have a dream to run a marathon, start today.  If you thought cycling might be fun, go buy the best bike you can afford.  Schedule a time at a driving range.  Attend your first yoga class.  Join a tai chi group.  Because whether life is short, or life is long, today you can do it.  Tomorrow, who knows?  

Exercise induced endorphins are real.  There's a high from letting your skin feel the rush of wind as you crest a climb on a bike and start a downward descent.  Runner's high is real.  And if you've never seen a sunrise through your goggles while swimming backstroke with your face toward the sky, you're really missing something.   The thwack of hitting a golf ball accurately and watching it soar is fun.  Same with smacking a tennis ball right in the center of a racket.  And the view from the top of a mountain after a grueling hike is better than anything you can imagine.  

Choose your sport and go for it.  Get outside and see the sunset or the sunrise.  Smell the scents of fresh cut grass or orange blossoms that only linger during certain times of the day.  Run through a sprinkler when you're hot to cool your body.  Dive off a cliff and let that exhiliration make your heart beat faster.  

The days are long but years are short.  Make your dream a reality.  Time is a funny and precious thing.  We take it for granted while it is ahead of us.  And treasure it when it's behind us.  

It's time to _______________________. (YOU fill in the blank)  Let your heart decide what your next move is.  But don't wait too long.  You've really only got today.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

One Year No DIet Soda

One year ago this week I gave up diet soda.  No more Sonic runs for the happy hour extra large Diet Coke.  No more Polar Ice styrofoam with the "good" ice filled with my favorite fizzy beverage, Coke Zero.  I left my old habits behind and went cold turkey out into the world without a cold, sweet drink to keep me company.

I can't say I don't ever look at a tall glass of Coke and feel the crave.  Sometimes it seems that that opening snap and the fizz of a bubbling can of soda is practically whispering "Drink Me!" like Alice in Wonderland. But 52 weeks in, I have resisted the urge and can proudly call myself Diet Coke Free.

So how did I do it?  I have a few go-tos that I cannot live without:


Also lovingly referred to as my adult sippy cup, I filled this tall tumbler throughout the day with icy cold water and refilled whenever it was empty.  The glorious thing about this cup is it's insulation keeps the liquid cold and the mug doesn't sweat.  I could keep some ice water in it in my car in August and I would still find a chilled beverage way after I thought it would have melted.  There are generic versions of this cup and you can actually get them in bulk on Amazon.  But Starbucks cups are pretty and that seemed to add to my desire to carry water around with me.

This water isn't for everybody.  My kids and family don't love it.  Which is fine for me because I DO!  Hint is just as it's name suggests, pure water with a hint of natural flavors, like blackberry or watermelon.  I think they are tasty and give my water a little boost of flavor when I need it.  It keeps water interesting.

There's a new restaurant in town called Flower Child, which I love.  The food is light and healthy, the atmosphere is breezy and fun.  And the lineup of tasty beverages is great!  I love the lemonades with mint or pomegrante; the restaurant serves six or seven varieties of teas and lemonades each day.   Without that craving for carbonation, my new indulgence is these sweet mixed drinks with no caffeine or carbonation or chemicals.  They may have a few more calories that a diet soda, but I think I'm swapping something not-so-good for something better.  And I have not seen any weight gain this past year.  If anything, possible weight loss.


Yes, I still drink caffeine.  Maybe someday I will give that up too.  But for now,  I confess, I use Crystal Light with caffeine to boost my beverages with a little energy.  It's a little kick start in the mid- morning or afternoon that keeps me happy and alert.  I find that when I do add Crystal Light to my drinks I am much more aware of the caffeine dosage I am taking throughout the day, instead of just sipping on diet soda ALL DAY LONG.  Maybe I'm justifying,  who knows, but a little caffeine is better than a lot, right?

So that's how I did it.  And if I can do it, you can too.  Don't be a slave to a Sonic run.  Drink water.  Keep it by your bedside table.  Take a big swig in the morning and keep a tumbler near by with ice, cold pure agua.  It's good for you.  You'll never regret being a water drinker.  Your skin, your hair, and your waistline will thank you.  And then you can thank me...wink!

Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True