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Happy Birthday USA!

Do you ever use your birthday to reflect on your life and where you would like it to take you? I do that each year on my birthday and on December 31st. I don't always make the changes I think I should make but I do a little self evaluation. 

The past two years however, have been a little different. I made lists and although I haven't accomplished everything on those lists, I have made progress that, in years past, I did not make. I'll give you some examples of the changes I have made for 2017 and 2018. Here comes another list...

In 2016, I pledged that each night before I go to sleep I would journal at least one page of whatever was on my mind. It might be what happened during the day or what I have planned for the next day or just random thoughts that are running through my mind. About three months into this experiment I decided to add a gratitude list to each day's post that includes five things from that day I am grateful for. I have continued this practice every day since 1/1/2016 except for a three day period when I was in the CCU and didn't have access to my journal.

I have not been as vigilant in this area as I would like although I am getting better. In 2017 I learned how to do Transcendental Meditation and have been doing it daily somewhat regularly since last summer. I am supposed to meditate twice a day for twenty minutes each but the second session does not often happen. I have found this practice to be helpful in gaining clarity and supporting creativity in my new pursuits.

Anyone who has read or attempted to read this book knows it is not a fluffy summertime novel or easy beach reading. I began this book on 1/1/2018 and have faithfully read each day's exercise and tried to incorporate it into my life. I have not been so good about reading the text, although I am getting better about reading it more regularly. This is not an easy assignment and will likely warrant my attention again next year. It is meant to be read over the course of 365 days and is better accomplished with guidance from someone who has had the experience. I have not been good about following that guidance.

Since my heart attack in September 2017 (more about that another time), I promised myself that I would make exercise non-negotiable as soon as I was cleared to start. I participated in a cardiac rehab program for nine weeks that ended in early January 2018 and immediately began a ten week fitness program that I have continued doing.  IT helps that I am the Nutrition Lead for the center where I exercise five days per week, only missing class when I am out of town or have an inflexible scheduling conflict. If  am out of town, I try to make up for the missed time in class by walking a lot wherever I am.

I have had this on my list for the past two years, along with publishing a monthly newsletter. I am just now starting the blog, as noted by my participation in this challenge. This summer I am accepting challenges that push me out of my comfort zone and make me put myself out there for the world to hear/see my message. It's the way I can be the change. My dream is to bring the information to people who want to embrace a healthy lifestyle but have know idea how or where to start. 

There are other items on my list that I haven't kept up with but what you see above is a far cry from the old me. My birthday is in October and maybe, just maybe, this list will get a little longer. 

"I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I'm not where I was." - Keith Kochner

   

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