Do you have “real” friends?

What constitutes a real friend? What I mean is, does anyone know what the word friend means anymore? Wikipedia says this:

 

“Friendship is a form of interpersonal relationship generally considered to be closer than association, although there is a range of degrees of intimacy in both friendships and associations. Friendship and association are often thought of as spanning across the same continuum. The study of friendship is included in the fields of sociologysocial psychologyanthropologyphilosophy, and zoology. Various academic theories of friendship have been proposed, among which are social exchange theoryequity theory, relationaldialectics, and attachment styles.

Value that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following on a consistent basis:

  • The tendency to desire what is best for the other
  • Sympathy and empathy
  • Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one’s counterpart
  • Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support
  • Enjoyment of each other’s company
  • Trust in one another
  • Positive reciprocity — a relationship is based on equal give and take between the two parties.
  • The ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgement.
  • It is very important to have honesty, trust, sympathy, respect and helpfulness in friendship.”

You can find various forms of friendship across most species. But I truly believe that in todays society, “friendship” is something that is lacking. Now, I am not talking about the Mommie and Me group meeting friends that you see once a week, or the Spin class girls that are great fun to talk to, but a true friend. One that hits the bullet points above without breaking a sweat.
1. The tendency to desire what is best for the other.. 
In other words, a friend does not feel jealous or competitive but is really happy for the achievements that others have done. They want what’s best for you, even if you may not see it at the moment. They will take the time to try and get you to understand their point of view without pressure.
2.Sympathy and empathy
A lot of people are misunderstand these traits. Illness and death are super hard to talk about and consoling someone experiencing these things is next to impossible. But we need to try! Bringing your friend food and then leaving, may not be what they need. They may need a person willing to just sit and LISTEN. We don’t need to say anything, just listen. Or maybe they won’t want to talk at all…. they may just want you there for comfort. Friends should know each other well enough to gauge this in the other.
3.Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth
Being brutally honest is one thing, but having the courage to hold your friend accountable is a good thing.
4.Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support..
I hit on this in number two. Women especially need to have someone that they trust will understand with compassion.
5.Trust in one another…& Positive reciprocity — a relationship is based on equal give and take between the two parties.
HUGE, HUGE,HUGE!!!!!! I believe that many people take others trust too lightly. Things that are told in passing or in confidence should never be offered as conversation to others.
6.The ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgement…
To be able to speak to someone (other than your spouse) without fear of judgement…what an amazing concept!

As I write this, I look at my life at this moment and realize that I do not have many that I would consider a true friend. I have MANY wonderful acquaintances, but not true friends. My Grandparents would get together with friend a couple nights a week. They would play, dominoes or cards, laughing and joking well into the night. They’d go on vacations with their friends. They’d have BBQ’s with their friends. They’d drop everything to rush to a friend who needed them. They made it a priority to have friendships. What happened??? Have we become so self absorbed that we feel we don’t need this anymore? I watched my children, now fully grown, struggle all through school AND beyond with friendships. When they were little, they’d look up at me and ask “Why can’t I find a friend who likes ME?”  Talk about a heart breaker! I’d sit there hugging and crying with them, assuring them that it would change. But will it? Does anyone know how to be a friend anymore? Is anyone willing to take the time and EFFORT it will take to build a relationship like that? I hope so…

Brighten your day.

Walking has become my #1 exercise for about the past year. I have posted in the past about my various walking paths and how beautiful they are. Since I have decided to get serious about losing weight, I have been redoubling my efforts. I am trying very hard to stay positive and focused. It’s kind of hard for this “verified” couch potato. But today, I found this…

No biggie. Probably someone doing work on the sidewalks or something. About 100 yards farther down the path, I notice…

Kind of hard to see, but it is the name Danielle. So now I’m thinking, it’s probably just a bunch of kids messing around with chalk. OK, so I continue on and come to this…

hmmmm….. then…

All of a sudden, I get excited. This is kind of cute. Maybe someone asked their girlfriend to the prom… or to go steady (do kids even DO that anymore??). Now I am actively looking for the pale pink chalk marks, and a few yards farther I see…

I am getting more excited. I start trying to imagine how “Danielle” was feeling. Was she excited?confused? I actually start walking a little faster to see what is next.

WHAT?? How cool!!! My imagination goes into warp drive!!! Danielle is probably FREAKING out when she see this…Can you imagine? The excitement! By now, she’s probably running!!

And then..

Can you imagine him standing here? Possibly with flowers in his hand, waiting for her to turn the slight curve in the path to see him?? *sigh* I really hope it WAS that romantic. I know it made my walk very enjoyable, just trying to imagine the scenario unfold. Congratulations to these two people (who ever they are)  😀

 

Choices

We are faced with thousands of choices. From the time we wake up, to the time we go to sleep, we are bombarded with them. Everyone from movie stars to infomercials know what we need better than we do. And if you through the word “Diet” into the mix….. look out!!!!  You’ve got green bean, cabbage, soybean, tofu, green tea, low carb, no carb, all protein, no meat, no food choices….it’s enough to make you hide in the closet whimpering! And believe me, I’ve tried most of them. The first time I decided to nip this weight gain in the bud, I joined Weight Watchers. This was roughly 12 years ago. I loved the group support but the weight loss was slllooowwwww. I was a little impatient back then. Then they closed our area meeting place so on to the next. I can’t even THINK about a certain no carb all protein diet that was extremely popular a few years ago, without gagging. The first couple of days, I was in heaven! All the meat and cheese I could eat??? By about the third day, meat had lost it’s appeal and I had extreme weakness and headaches. After some research, I concluded I was going through severe carb withdrawal. I didn’t even know you could do that!! So on to the next diet, touting a low carb plan with no withdrawals. Named after a popular beach on the east coast, it was the next new craze. Problem was, I still had the withdrawal (though not as bad as before), the recipes weren’t the best, and now my cravings were out of control. Cravings are my downfall… Carbs, chocolate, caramel, Starbucks salted caramel bites!!!!!YUMMMMMMM!!!! Sorry, I’m back, anywho, I can now say I have found something that is finally starting to work for me and my freak metabolism. I have been trying a system based on the book The 17 Day Diet. It very informative and easy to follow. The 17 day part does NOT mean you will lose the desired weight in that time, rather that each cycle in the program is 17 days long. This intrigued me. 17 days, that’s not too long, if a cycle seems more difficult. Ok, next is Dr. Moreno’s theory that you hit certain plateaus because your body grows used to a way of eating. BRILLIANT!! So that’s why diets haven’t worked for me in the past…(head slap) So to combat this, in his second phase(which I’m am now starting) he has you very your eating. While you are allowed more foods in this phase, you alternate with one meal from the first phase every other day, thus keeping your metabolism on it’s toes. I am close to day 22 and …drum roll…..10 lbs gone!! While this is not as fast as stated in the book, I’m ok with that. I don’t have the blood sugar dips I used to have. And my cravings…GONE!!!!!! WHOOHOO …shout it from the rooftops!! I am so relieved about that one. So I will trudge on, slowly adding the foods I love back into my diet, hoping that I can continue to make better choices. Will update soon……until then,   BON APPETIT !! 😀

 

P.S. I am not affiliated with The 17 Day Diet in anyway. These are my opinions and have not received any payment for my support.  Thanks!!

Phase 3 ~The New Health Regime~

I have decided to blog about something deeply private to me. My weight. I have always battled to be the size “required” by society. I guess you’d classify me as rubenesque. Funny how something that was so beautiful that masters sought to capture images of larger women  for centuries, has become a shameful condition. It saddens me that we have been lumped together with health issues. Now I’m not saying that I am a healthy weight by any means. Goodness know I need to lose some weight. But it is doubtful that I, being 44, will ever get to the Dr.’s goal weight of 135 lbs. Pulease!!! I will settle for feeling healthy, no more pain in my joints, and possibly buying clothes that fit nicely and are comfortable. *sigh* So onward I go, hoping to start and end this journey the same, with the proper mind set to get healthy and stay that way. This is no minor feat. Coming from a long line of couch potatoes, I know I have the deck stacked against me.  Wish me luck and please feel free to hold me accountable. I will be posting about my journey in future posts.

Fun-Sized!!

So we were able to spend a couple days with our youngest daughter last weekend. She is a kick to be around. Very spontaneous and extremely funny, there is never a dull moment when she’s there. That being said… she decided that I am now to be known as fun-sized. Fun-sized??? How can I be fun-sized? I am 5’6″ and weigh…well, never mind. ANYWAY, there are many wonderful things that are fun-sized..

Maggie, our Yorkie, is fun-sized.

Snickers…DEFINANTLY fun-sized

Awwwwww….. but not…

Me…yeah, I know.

Is 20 too old to ground??  :-/

 

 

A bittersweet moment.

Well we are finally getting settled in San Luis Obispo. It is beautiful all the time and leave nothing to be desired. WOW… pinch me. It is amazing that we have the privilege of calling this city home. I do miss a few things from the valley though…

First is this certain little girl:

I miss you, babe. Hopefully school will finish soon so you can come over here.

Second, the place I walked daily…

From the top of Rocky Hill…

(Ignore the red line…have no clue what it is..)

…to the bottom. I talked to the beautiful babies daily  🙂

It was the first time in my life (no exaggeration!) that I was motivated to workout. I started walking it in late August. This means that the temperature hovered around 100. But I still did it. I became so dedicated that I only missed a day during Thanksgiving week and a couple during Christmas. If my oldest daughter

(Hi babe!!)

was around, I’d drag her up it with me. It was great….Then we moved :-/

I began to worry about “falling off the wagon” since enjoying exercise is NOT in my genetic make up. My hubby suggested that I go to this little park way down at the other end of our road. *sigh* Ok… I drive to this little park. It is cute but small. I begin thinking to myself, “This will be fun. Walking in circles for a hour!” I get out of the car and start. Towards the back of the park is see this

Hmmm, I wonder where the path goes? I decide to follow to see. Then I see this,

And this..(one of the three bridges I get to cross!!)

WOW..this is getting better and better. I keep walking, huffing and puffing, dragging my poor little dog along.

Even get to go through a tunnel!!!!!

With respect to Rocky Hill, this has to be one of the most beautiful walking trails I’ve ever been on.

Ok….the hubby did good.

😀

Chances are….

I consider myself a fairly spontaneous person. I can change on a whim. Do something different. Try something new, all without relative harm to my mental state. The thing I am really bad about is taking chances. Now-a-days, it is very hard for me to do something that, I feel, is a risk. Most of it is physical risk. It terrifies me to think of flying to another country without a hardcore plan in mind. It always has. My sisters are more of the adventurous sorts. They have done things like that and more. I am envious of the adventures they have had, but shiver to think of doing them myself. I always start playing the “what if..” game. What if I lose my way in a strange city?…What if the boat leaves without me?…What if my husband or I get thrown in jail for some ignorance on our part and sit in a cell to rot??? OK, I know that’s a little extreme, but you get the idea. I have come to realize that for me to truly enjoy things like big vacations, I need to spend the extra money and hire a travel agent to make sure that all my fears are addresses. So vacations are handled, but what about the rest? Our family have been on a veritable roller coaster since about September. I won’t bore you with the details, but needless to say, it was hard to focus on all the wonders of the holidays this year.  :0(  And now, we are headed for the next great adventure in our lives. In two weeks time, my hubby and I will be relocating. We will be moving about 3 hrs away from our current home to San Luis Obispo. This has been a dream of ours for many years. (Though I did think our children would be moving with us….) So this is where that crazy fear comes in. What if we don’t like it like we “think” we will?…What if my husbands job fizzles out?…What if…. See, what I mean? Changes are good. They keep you alert and on your “A” game.I am really excited about it… really!

Book Review #1 “Tandem”

The first book that I am reviewing is “Tandem” by Tracey Bateman. This is her second book. It takes place in Abbey Hills, a small Ozark town. The book focuses on two central characters, Lauryn McBride and Amede Dastillion. There are a series of unexplained murders happening. Lauryn is trying to come to terms with her father’s illness and keeping the family business above water. Amede is carrying a dark family secret and is searching for her missing sister. The plot is very easy to follow. There are several twists and turns that brings in several other characters that enrich the story. Personally, I couldn’t read it before bed because my mind would spin trying to figure the plot out. :0) Though I felt that the ending was a bit rushed, I would defiantly read other books by this author.

Center Activities #6

This post is showing one of the activities used to teach color recognition.

First, I chose a picture that could be divided into colored parts.  I believe this was just a piece of clip art from the computer. You can also use simple color books for pictures. They do need to be at least 6-8″ large to allow for the student to be able to manipulate.

I colored each section separately.

Then, I colored corresponding colors on the tips of cloths pins.

The SLO life pt.2

Christmas is in the air…. Driving to run errands is much more cheerful when your singing Christmas carols along with the radio. Rob and I decided to try and keep this Christmas as traditional as possible. Not that easy since 3/4 of my stuff is in a storage unit in San Luis Obispo. I never thought in a million we’d still be in Exeter. Rob has been working in SLO for 6 months now. He has been commuting home every weekend. It’s been hard on him, on all of us actually. So as of Friday, I will be making weekly trips to SLO to try to find a place to rent. Keep your fingers crossed for us!!