May Flowers are Drooping

The weather is settling into our 90 degree steamy summer season. While it’s a welcome sight after the winter that would never go away, the plants are feeling the stress during the afternoons.

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The flowers by the garage get too much sun, a poor place to plant them. They’ll be gone whenever the builders come in to tear down the old garage and put up a new one.

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The flower garden arrangement between our house and neighbor’s house that gets shade during a good portion of the day is doing well. This is also where I put my potted herbs. They seem to love it there this year.

The winter wore me down, work was slow going. Slower than I wanted and needed it to be, but now I have found my rhythm. The work, the words, and the business are flowing well. I expect much this year.

The Health Update

Latest doctor’s visits have told me that I’m doing very well on my health. No signs of anything to really worry about.

My blood pressure has been in the normal range for a number of months now. Mostly through responsible eating and responsible coffee drinking, of which I’m a bit of an expert on.

In fact, I was dizzy quite a lot for awhile. Enough that the doctor sent me to the ENT, who gave me a clean bill of health. The dizziness abated, and we surmised that my body was so used to extremely high blood pressure for so many years that it had to adjust to handle normal blood pressure.

I do have occasional dizzy issues, but we feel it’s because I need my eyes checked. I have not done that. My glasses that I don’t need all the time are way out of date. It’s possible I need to have glasses when I work now.

I can’t take drugs that help cholesterol, but my habits to fight that have resulted in that coming down. Let’s hope that continues.

And I lowered my risk of diabetes.

I haven’t relaxed in any of those areas and will remain vigilant as ever.

Weight loss is still happening slowly. Too slow for my goals, and my doctor would like to see more. A little more quickly would be nice. I am on my last 50 pounds, I believe. I would like to see two more sizes down by the end of the year.

Eating habits aren’t the problem. Exercise is a bit of an issue.

One of my main hidden conditions is an inherited misalignment of bones in the one leg. It throws everything off, which has caused me to be laid up for a few times. Luckily, while in therapy I had an excellent therapist who showed me how to care for it at home and do the therapy on my own.

The bad thing is, I can’t ride my fit desk as often as I like because of it. I need uneven pedals and it just isn’t feasible. So, the fit desk is for short periods of time to promote knee joint movement and circulation only. Not a real form of exercising.

Also, walking hasn’t been real easy this year. And, just to be safe, if I do any walking, I take my big knarled walking stick with me.

Walking IS actually better now. I’ve broken down and purchased good walking shoes from the shoe store versus the cheapos I have been getting. Helps a lot.

The truth is, I haven’t seen my bone as far out of alignment as it is now. A by product of allowing the weight to come on and adopting a lazy lifestyle.

I’m very familiar with this condition, as I’ve grown up with it. And my mother still deals with it. I know what would happen at the specialist, and where it would lead in my case.

Reconstructive surgery in my future.

I don’t want reconstructive surgery. There’s too many problems with such things. And no guarantees it will work.

So, I researched things and found that there are specialists who deal in a much less invasive and less problematic procedure than reconstructive surgery.

Of course, none are local to me so this is something that takes some planning on my part.

My goal is now to spend the next twelve months losing my weight, building up my muscles, and setting aside a certain amount of my income for expenses. Then, go get analyzed by one of the specialized doctors and approved for the procedure.

Biggest challenge now is getting core muscles in shape. I’ve lost enough weight to have very lax muscling and flab. Time to tighten that baby up.

I’m also starting some yoga to see if that’s something I want to keep doing. Not sure. I actually found another I think I’d rather do.

The Business Update

Being a writer is one of the most rewarding careers a person can have. I know this. I feel this. And my business is no where close enough to my goals for anyone to believe me in this.

The best thing is that I’m close enough to see the results of what I’m doing, even if it isn’t here yet. And close enough to know it’s a very, very believable outcome to what I’m doing.

The thing about goals is that often when you make them, you only half believe they’ll come true. Sometimes it’s because you’re so far at the starting point when you first set your goals up that you imagine all the things that can go wrong and keep you from achieving your goal.

Sometimes it’s because you have the wrong idea about your goals. There’s too much of this idea that you should go after your dreams. What you want out of life is your dream.

No, that’s wrong.

Dreams are just that. Dreams. We know that. They don’t come true. We wake up from dreams.

So when we set up our dreams and go for them, instead of setting proven achievable goals and going for those, we set ourselves up for doubt and then failure.

Then, we don’t surround ourselves with people with the same ambitions and goals in life. Often, we surround ourselves with people who believe you have to take whatever job is there and not step out to make things happen the way you really want them to.

Then, they gripe about it.

Then, they pass judgement on those who have the “better life.” Especially those who have the better paychecks.

I don’t surround myself physically with like minded people. They’re pretty hard to find in my neck of the woods.

My like minded people are online. Writers and graphics artists in the same fields. Creative people in the places I hang out.

Finding accountability partners at my same level is tough. Partly because I’ve done so much on my own that I’m a bit in between of  where the others are.

Last year, I made the leap and got a business strategist to coach me in monthly sessions. This keeps me on track. Not with the learning, but with the doing.

Took awhile for the momentum to kick in, but it has now.

I expect things to move in leaps and bounds this summer. I expect to hit or even exceed my goal by the end of the year.

I have a business building retreat with my business strategist and a dozen other people in October. I have a goal to hit by that time. I would not be surprised if I exceed that goal.

Just Be There

The number one, most important thing to attaining your goals.

I can’t say this is what I’ve learned this year…I’ve known it for much of my life. But this is the first year where I’ve felt this habit really sink in to my thick head.

If you’re going to run your business. If you’re going to obtain your goals with your business.

You gotta show up.

In running a brick and mortar business I’ve never had an issue with this. It just happened naturally.

With running online businesses this has been a constant struggle for me.

Think I’m finally cracking it.

The Fiction Publishing

Not sure what to say here.

An artist has not answered the last two emails to her and three books are tied up with her for the covers. In a meeting, it was opted that we may just write that expense off as a loss and move on.

(Not all the fault is on the artist. It’s been quite difficult to get our schedules to meet up for various reasons.)

I’m rebuilding and moving websites and finishing up some files. When I finish I’ll do one more attempt to connect and get what we need. If there’s no response after two weeks, we’ll republish old forms of said books and stick with those versions.

A lot is moving forward for my fiction books, but that’s all I’m at liberty to say for now.

We will reveal a lot more in the late summer and fall time.

Non-fiction Publishing

Most of what was planned through the press has been canceled due to health reasons of the writers for those projects.

I will have a lot of pieces coming out though from now on in the forms of reports, ebooks, and print books.

Most of mine will deal with responsible coffee drinking, the coffee industry, and coffee marketing. With some general small business marketing thrown in.

 

That’s it for now. Take care of yourself and those around you.

 

No one is promised tomorrow. But I can keep my promises for each day God does give me. ~Carmen~

 

 

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It’s About Being the Best I Can Be

A few months or so ago, I bought a fit desk for my office. It’s not the ideal space, being a little small for work and a stationary bike both. But it works.

I have a few conditions people wouldn’t know to look at me, or talk to me because I normally do not speak of them. Last year, these things made it rough to do the walking. Many know me from my walks around town, which slowed down a few years ago, thanks to back issues. Not to mention, the weather discouraged me in one form or another.

That’s an excuse, not a reason. I know it, and told myself it numerous times but never listened. Of course, nothing ever improves if you do not work at improving it, and that’s what happened with me.

Finally, I got tired of getting “stuck” halfway down the stairs time after time in our house. My knee, my foot, or my hip where the back injury was would leave me “stuck” on the stairs. Or all three. I’d have to use the rails to shift weight and struggle back up the stairs.

I decided to take a different approach to getting over this hurdle. I cleaned out my office to make space for the fit desk and ordered one in. It now was part of my daily routine.

It wasn’t easy. The back thing made it very difficult to get on and off. I used a step stool and my walking stick in combination. The seat really hurt. I went through trying three different type of seat cushions and covers. Funny how the best one turned out to be the simple sheepskin cover the fit desk manual suggested.

I also purchased padded biking shorts, but haven’t made it to the point where I’m on the fit desk long enough to wear it.

That’s not to say I won’t get there and that I don’t use the fit desk. I do. Three to four times a day throughout the work days, usually Monday through Friday. Unless I’m out of the house for the day.

I’m typing while on it right now. Oliver’s on the floor watching me in his curious way. Normally I seem to ride while he’s downstairs or sleeping on the couch, so this is still new to him.

At first, the most I could do was a few moment’s time on the fit desk. And getting on and off was a bit scary. I was afraid I’d rejolt that bone, get stuck, or tip the thing over and end up getting hurt another way. But I kept at it.

In time, that few moments became 5 minutes, then ten, then fifteen. I’m at a point where 15 minutes at a time is my normal, but it feels like I could make it longer. I feel I’m close to getting to a point where I can be on it for 1/2 hour sometime.

Actually, I think I made it to half and hour today while writing this, without thinking about it.  I did stand for a few minutes in middle of routine thanks to sore biking butt syndrome.

The biggest change I’ve noticed is that I can zip right down the stairs now like I used to before my back injury. That in itself is joyful enough to keep me on the bike.

It seems that my hope in using this fit desk has been fulfilled. I needed to walk but had foot/bone issues. I had hoped that the fit desk would encourage increased circulation to my feet area to help with that. I’ve noticed improvement in walking.

Now, getting on and off of it is not as scary. I’ve learned how to shift my weight and I do still use the step stool, although I no longer need to use the walking stick. Partly because of the tight space in my office. It’s possible I can do without it, but the step stool helps me deal with the confined space. Not trying it. *grin*

And if the seat hurts, the work platform makes a great standing desk when it’s pushed forward. I can alternate between biking and standing.

Almost two months ago, I became serious about this fit desk for real. My doctor told me I was very close to being diabetic and encouraged me to use the fit desk. At that time, I made sure to fit the biking in my routine, or walking when I’m out and able, plus I took on eating more closely to a diabetic diet and using diabetic recipes in meals.

Plus a whole vitamin regimen, also encouraged by my doctor.

I also added a few more helpful dietary adjustments in to my routine that I know are good for me. I get turmeric and other useful herbs in when I can. I try to get a serving of plain greek yogurt in per day. My favorite is making a smoothie of banana, honey, and plain greek yogurt. I also like a serving of fruit on top of yogurt.

I’m not sure what progress I’ve made, but I’ve been told I look skinnier in the face. My shirts aren’t fitting as easy anymore, often sliding off my shoulders, and my pants really are looser. Some close to falling off.

More importantly, I feel a lot better. My other hidden condition has tamed down a lot. This one would interfere with my daily life more than I like. If I missed a zoo trip with the family, you know it’s got to be for a good reason!

It’s not about living longer. I doubt I can escape whatever predetermined day that is. Just way too much evidence from my own family history, and what I’ve witnessed of others going before old age. I won’t take my life for granted. But even if it’s next week, I’m darn determined to go out the best person I can be on that day.

On the flip side, assuming God lets me have another 30 plus years, I’ve been thinking hard on what type of aging grandma I want to be. I think the best description is in the movie Runaway Bride.

There’s a scene with grandma walking out somewhere from shopping, or some such thing. A well-built shirtless jogger goes by as she walks towards home. Her eyes get really big. She turns right around and starts a grandma jog after him.

Yep, that’s gonna be me one day.

The fit desk description says it's a partial recline, but not sure. Think of it more as an upright stationary bike. Easy to assemble though.
The fit desk description says it’s a partial recline, but not sure. Think of it more as an upright stationary bike. Easy to assemble though.