In 1980, I attended a two-weekend (6-day, 60-hour) transformation course known as “The EST Training”. During the training, I gained self-confidence, learned how to make meaningful choices, and enjoy life. The last day of the training, I declared my main goal in life was to make a difference in the world. Forty years later I am still focusing on the same goal.
Yesterday morning, I was thinking about what type of project I could create that would make a difference in a person’s life. This thought stopped me in my tracks. Why was I always thinking about making a difference instead of enjoying the happy moments in my own life?
Yesterday, my daughter was so busy with work she didn’t have time to plant flowers for me. I was annoyed at first that she couldn’t help me. Then I realized that I was jealous because she had a project to work on and I had nothing important to do. How irrational was that thought?
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“Negativity” makes me crazy. At a networking event, I was speaking to another entrepreneur about the merits of social media. He felt that social media was a waste of time and anyone who used it was making a big mistake. Then he quickly changed the subject and told me about the terrible selection of breakfast food being served. I felt my stress level rising as I don’t feel comfortable with negative people. My first reaction was to tell him about the benefits of being positive. Instead, I just smiled and remained quiet.
Later, while driving home, I was angry at myself for not saying anything. I thought of ways in which I could have responded, especially about social media. I could have told him how social media has helped my blog to grow and allowed me to read posts from my grandchildren and learn about friend’s happy occasions. I promised myself that next time, I will share my thoughts instead of smiling and remaining quiet. Let’s take bets it will never happen.
Whenever I am overwhelmed – with answering too many emails, going out every night of the week, doing taxes, or cooking meals – I start shoving food into my mouth. Start with crackers, peanut butter from the jar, ice cream, and anything else that is crunchy or sweet, and always end the binge with fruit.
In order to control these bingeing tactics, I could meditate, take long walks, or call a friend to vent and find solutions. Recently, I have been trying these techniques and sometimes they work. I need to practice more. In some ways stress can be healthy, as it helps me cope with demanding situations.
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The first time I saw Mini, a 10-year-old rescue cat, I fell in love. She had the greenest eyes, the shiniest blue-black coat, and white paws. Mini was living in the apartment above the vet’s office for over a year. Due to COVID, I was introduced to her though a window. Two days later Mini was in my car going to her new home.
When we got to my house, she explored every room and lay down in a corner to take a nap. I let her sleep and called my family and friends to let them know about my new companion. After a while she woke up and kept exploring, careful not to take a step near me.
After leaving her alone, Mini finally ventured towards me for a pet on her back. I spoke quietly, telling her how happy I was that we would be living together. Listening for a few seconds, she then walked back into her corner. Between her naps she ate very little and (thankfully) used the litter box. When I got into bed that night, she climbed onto the bed and slept a distance away from me.
The next day she was very comfortable and even slept on my lap. We became fast friends. I didn’t like her name and decided that I had to change it. While speaking to my sister we had a good laugh over her name. My grandparents named my mother Mini, which she hated and changed to Mona when she was a young girl. We then discussed new names for Mini and, after telling her what a Deva she was, I decided to rename her Lady Deva, also known as Deva. She sleeps on the bed until 10:00am each morning and only eats foods with gravy. After calling her Lady Deva a few times, she became friendlier. I guess she really didn’t like her name either.
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You are living your life every day and all of a sudden realize your birthday is fast approaching. At first I go into denial and think it is not for a while. Then as the day draws closer I become slightly depressed and very sensitive. Thoughts of loneliness and the fact I am getting older is plaguing my mind. My defense mechanism is to isolate for a while. This behavior is short lived as my birthday arrives.
My birthday arrived. I had a fun day, met a very good friend for breakfast (splurged on a muffin), sat on the couch reading a book and celebrated my birthday with friends. The next day I woke up feeling happy and positive. What a complex individual I am and knowing there are beautiful people in my life is very comforting.
We are all different individuals; share with us your behavior as the big day approaches and/or how you celebrate the big day. Some of my friends plan big celebrations, others buy themselves presents or like me deny the day. There is no right or wrong.
Please help build this community by sharing your experiences, asking questions and suggesting topics you would like to discuss. I am looking forward to hearing from you by leaving comments below or sending me an email at email@example.com.
My name is Helen Burton and I turned 73 this spring. What happened only yesterday I was 48? To be part of this online community, we are not going to check your age and welcome anyone who wants to be part of it.
My hope is that we build a loving, supportive community where we can share our realities of life. Not being able to get up from a chair without sound effects, walking slower, having to rest after a very busy day, etc. Also, having the strength to volunteer at a children’s event, or take a long bike ride or have deep and meaningful conversations with younger people, which enables us to feel young inside.
Being in my early seventies is an exciting time. Having the freedom to explore many opportunities, meet new friends and sometimes the experience and wisdom to make healthy choices. I would love to hear about you, your dreams and ideas for building this community.
Life goes on and having a place to share our reality is comforting. So let me hear from you by either leaving your comments below or sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking forward to hearing from you.