Aunt Grace’s Six Rules To Live By

For those of you who don’t know me, I don’t have an Aunt Grace. This women isn’t my aunt. She isn’t even someone I’ve ever met. But I read a story in which she gave six rules to live by and it was very comforting.

Let’s take a quick step back. I’m reading this book called “Chicken Soup for the Single’s Soul.” I’m single. I’ve been single for a while. I’m okay with it. I have friends who can’t live or survive without being a relationship. They jump from relationship to relationship with every Nicole, Sarah, and Brittany they can find. That’s not me. I’m more about quality; not quantity. I don’t just jump into a relationship with someone because frankly, I just don’t want too. I would love to find someone who loves me and start a family and yadda yadda yadda but I am not dying to find someone.

I’m perfectly happy being single. I can do what I want with who I want and not have to worry about anyone else wondering what I’m doing or vise-versa. I am free to live my life. If I want to pick up and move to California tomorrow, there is no one here to stop me. Some people think that’s sad; I think it’s life. I am a free spirit. I always have been. I am willing to work at a relationship with someone I care about, but that’s not my number one concern right now. My number one concern is me. I am working on becoming more healthier; mentally and physically. I am working out more, eating better, and reading more. My other concern lately is finding a job. After I succeed at these two, then I can work on the whole dating thing. But if someone comes along in the meantime, I’m not going to be upset either.

Anyway, back to Aunt Grace. Her six simple rules were this:
1.Do something for someone else.
2. Do something for yourself.
3. Do something I don’t want to do that needs doing.
4. Do a physical exercise.
5. Do a mental exercise.
6. Do an original prayer that includes counting my blessings.

Those are pretty simple demands. I like doing things for other people. I like the positive response and the look of happiness on their face for actually taking time out of my day to think of them. I am starting to do more for myself. I’m the one I forget about most. I would go to the ends of the Earth to help someone I care about; but I’m the last person to do something for me. I have a few ideas about some things that need to get done and I am working on it. Physical exercise = done. 5 mile run today. I work out now like 4-6 times a week. Mental exercise, I’m reading more. I’m planning on going back to school for my Master’s or my MBA or something of that sort so got that covered as well. Plus, I like to write. That seems to be something that calms my nerves and helps me to focus. Do an original prayer that includes counting my blessings? This is gonna be “hell on wheels.” I’m not religious by any means. Me yelling “Jesus Christ” is the closest thing you will find to prayer. I can though, sit around and clear my mind and be thankful for the things that I do have in life. I could take some time out of my day and be thankful. If I have time to read about which celebrity couple is getting divorced now, I can stop for a minute and be thankful for the things, family, friends, and accomplishments I have.

Christmas is coming. So now might be the perfect time to start focusing on things that I am thankful for. And this is also the time of year for giving. I have some ideas about what I can do to help out. Every little bit counts. I haven’t volunteered my time in a while and that is something I used to do all the time. I could really get back into doing that again; even if it just a part-time basis.

I was talking with my dad’s girlfriend Mel last night and she gave me some great information about going back to school. I found out that I might be able to get to go for not as much as I thought it would cost me due to unemployment. Apparently, they like when you do things to better yourself. I’m okay with that. Maybe I can be professionally unemployed for the rest of my life. Just kidding. I’d get bored of that eventually. I do though wanna go back to school. I like learning. I’m good at learning. And having a higher degree can never hurt. Nothing is set in stone though. I need to see what unemployment says first because I don’t have the money to drop another six figures to go back to school. One day at a time. That’s all I can ask for.

I’ll let you all know how these rules turn out over the next week or so and if I find they are actually making a difference.

Coloring Books & Crayons

Negative 3. Seriously? Week two, the “dreaded” week two of workout/diet week and I lose another 3 pounds? I am the happiest kid right now. And the fact that I am able to do this during the holiday season is making me even more thankful.

The weather needs to start getting colder or else I am a non-believer that Christmas is actually coming. It’s been like 55-60 since Thanksgiving. Very strange weather we are having. I guess that is global warming at it’s finest.

I’m excited because I am going out for the first time tonight in a long time. I have been so focused on getting in shape and looking for a job that I forgot what it was like to have a social life. So for tonight, I am putting everything behind me and going to Hoboken with some of my softball team. It is going to get rowdy tonight, I can just feel it.

I wish the job hunt was going as well as the weight loss but I guess I need to fight one battle at a time. Accept small victories and move on. I am at least getting hits on my resume so I know the right job will come along soon. I am thankful for that. There is a job waiting for me, I just need to find it.

On a more emotional note, keep my Aunt Doreen in your prayers. She is in the hospital and isn’t doing well. She is an amazing woman who has overcome so much. She has a mental disability but she has never let that stop her. I am actually kind of jealous of how strong of a person and fighter she really is. She is someone I look up to dearly and I wish her nothing but the best in this fight. I keep thinking about the good times I had with her. When I was a little kid, I would color with her. She loved to color. Coloring books and crayons made her the happiest. She would always sit outside my Grandma’s house on the front porch and color, for hours. She was always so excited to show you what she got for Christmas. I always bought her coloring books and to see the look on her face when she saw them was just priceless. She loved the company you gave her.  Anyone who would sit outside and color with her would be lucky to spend the time with her that I was able too.

She got to do more in her life then most people I know. Since I can remember, she was always going on field trips and going to activities with her friends. She was part of so many groups and clubs, that she never have down time it seemed. She went Camp Hope a lot, which was in the same town I grew up in. She would always tell me about her fun adventures whether it was bowling, coloring, or just going out with her friends. She’s one amazing human being and I love her with all my heart.

A Negative Isn’t Always A Bad Thing

Negative 4.

That’s what I saw today when I got on the scale. I lost four pounds in one week. That is unheard of. What does this mean? Maybe I finally have a grip on this whole losing weight thing. Or maybe, something just clicked this week and allowed me to mentally and physically earn those four pounds. I’m doing it the right way this time and so hopefully, I can keep this weight off. I am making sure to eat better, exercise, and just make smarter decisions. I know that I can’t give up everything I love, that would be a false statement to make. But in moderation, I can still live a healthier life style and enjoy  myself.

All together, since college, I’ve lost 30 lbs. I’ve got about twenty more to go and I will be set. My problem in college is that I gained so much weight my senior year because of drinking all the time, eating fast food, and not exercising. That is a look I never want to see again. I look at old pictures and it disgusts me to know I even let myself get like that.

I am more realistic now then I was back then. I know that I am not going to lose four pounds a week every week. Number one, that would kill me physically and number two, that isn’t even healthy. Everywhere I read said 1-2 pounds a week is the max you should lose so your body doesn’t go into shock/starvation mode. I am also lifting weights, and muscle weighs more than fat, so I also know that there may be some weeks where i don’t lose anything or even gain. But as long as my clothes fit better and I am looking physically better, I could really care less what the scale says. The scale doesn’t define me.

I also know that it is easy to fall off the horse on dieting. Lucky for me though, I have a couple friends who are also working on making themselves healthier. I know that I can turn to them when I am having a rough week or when I am feeling down about this transformation and they will be there for me. When I say, I am working on making myself healthier over dieting, it just sounds better. In reality, I rather be healthy than skinny.

Time to get myself in gear. Have a good weekend.