Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday's Tip - Just ask!

Children often do not hesitate to ask for what they want.  It is important to hold on to this character trait as we become adults.  Yesterday I wrote about an experience I had at the local food market.  Today I called the manager and requested an in-person meeting with him.  To my surprise, he was available at that time so I went over there right away.

When we met in person I explained to him the background of my situation and why I want to be able to do all of my grocery shopping there.  He listened attentively, explained that there are always people there willing to help, but also expressed understanding of my needs.  As far as getting a wheelchair or motorized scooter in the store goes, he actually said to me that it does start to sound like excuse after excuse after a while.

He is going to speak with someone in upper management about it this week.  He took my number so he can call me after that.  If I don't hear from him in one week I will give him a call back.  I asked if I could speak with someone in upper management, but he said he'll speak with them first and if that doesn't get us anywhere then he'll refer me to them.  

No guarantees were given, but I feel hopeful this is heading in the right direction.  Perhaps one day soon I'll be able to buy my lemons and limes as easily as everyone else can.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Mindful Monday - Lemons and Limes...No easy task!

All I wanted were lemons and limes. A simple and quick shopping trip, right? 


I couldn't even get two feet into the store without realizing how slippery the floor was from the rain. Despite repeated requests for motorized scooters or manual wheelchairs with baskets, they don't have them. Instead of giving up and leaving the store, this time I decided to make a statement. I asked one of the the store employees, who fortunately just happened to be near the front entrance, if he could get my wheelchair out of the trunk of my car for me and set it up. He did and I thanked him for his help. He then went back into the store figuring I would be fine from there. I thought I would be too, but when I got to the doorway my wheelchair got stuck and couldn't get over the little hump to get into the store. The door is automatic, which is a good thing, but if it's anything like other automatic doors I've seen it could have closed on me when I got stuck. Again, fortunately the same guy was right there and he helped me in. I picked my lemons and limes, checked out, and again asked for help to get out of the store safely and to put my wheelchair back in my car.

I love this store. It's a locally-owned business that specializes in the kind of food I feel are best for my health.  They have more organic produce and healthy food in general than I've seen anywhere else.  I want to be able to go as I please and do my shopping there independently like everyone else. The inside of the store is wheelchair accessible, but if I can't even get in the door without obstacles what's the point? My problem would be solved if only they had a wheelchair in the store. They just added a second food bar. Nice, but why can't they keep one wheelchair or motorized scooter, maybe two, there? 

I think it's time to move past the phone calls and request an in-person meeting with the manager.  I plan on calling him this week to set that up.  Stay tuned!  

In the meantime, let's all try to stay mindful of accessibility.  Please share your experiences below!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Five for Friday - Decluttering Your Schedule

The decluttering series continues!  Today's post is about decluttering your schedule.

1.  Make a list of the top three things you need or want to get done on a given day.  If you must list more than three, then list them and circle only three items that are top priority.  Get those three things done and if you have time work on everything else you listed.  Highlighting just three at a time helps maintain focus on what's important at any given time.

I have an app on my phone for this.  I have an ongoing list of things to do.  I uncross (tap) three things each day.  Then I cross it off (tap again) when I've completed that task.  Once I complete the top three items then I work on other things.   At the end of the day I delete tasks that I no longer need to do.  If it's something I'll need to go back to another day (laundry, for example), then I leave it on the list and keep it crossed off until it's time to work on it again.

2.  Write appointments and due dates on your calendar.  Even if something is months away I write it on the calendar (in pencil in case I need to erase it) in the kitchen and put it on the calendar on my phone.  That way I have it when I'm on-the-go as well.  This will help prevent conflicts, especially when you have a lot to schedule.

3 Just say, "No!"  Don't hesitate to decline invitations when necessary.

4.  Set aside time each day to check your email.  When it's not time to check it turn off any notifications that might distract you from getting other things done.  Reading and replying to emails throughout the day can take up a lot of time.  A little time here and a little time there adds up.  This may even cut down on the amount of emails you receive because people will receive you're not glued to it all day. 

5.  Schedule time for yourself monthly, weekly, or daily if possible.  Spending time with yourself and doing only what you want to do will help recharge your internal batteries.  Don't underestimate the value of making time for yourself!

Here are links to the other posts in this series:
What to Declutter
Decluttering Actual Items
Decluttering Technology

How do you declutter your schedule?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thankful Thursday - Mindfulness

I'm grateful for mindfulness because it leads to better physical and emotional health.  

What are you mindful of and how does it improve your well-being?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday's Tip - Practice Yoga

Are you wondering if yoga is right for you?  After you read this blog post I hope to answer that question with a resounding, "YES!  Yoga is for me!"

How I got interested in Yoga
2010 was a life-changing year for me.  In addition to retiring on disability, my best friend since pre-school passed away.  It took me a long time to adjust to life without a job and without my best friend.  Yoga was one of the first steps I took in moving on.  I had heard about it for a long time and I knew a few people who were benefiting from it.  I decided to try one of the poses at home and I discovered I was able to do it and benefit from it "my way".  I decided to go online to see if any classes were being offered in my area.  I chose to look for a class rather than doing yoga at home for two main reasons.  One was I wanted a way to get out and socialize with other people.  The other reason was because I felt an instructor would be able to guide me since I'm not able to do a lot of the poses the traditional way.

A Welcoming Atmosphere
When I found the yoga center online I called to find out if I would be a good fit for any of their classes.  I explained that I have spina bifida and I told them what I can and cannot do.  I was told to come in and talk to one of the instructors for Therapeutic Yoga.  The person I spoke to on the phone felt that it could work.

When I went to the yoga center I felt incredibly welcomed.  The yoga instructor who taught and still teaches therapeutics was willing to work with me.  Over the years I've had a few different yoga instructors and they have all welcomed me and worked with me in this way. 

Information from the Internet
I have used the internet a lot to find ways to adapt the poses.  My instructors have always been helpful in this way, but sometimes when I feel I can do things differently I look it up and share it with my instructors.  They've always been willing to accommodate me when I want to try something new.

Sometimes when I'm not able to make it to class, like when the weather is bad, I find videos online that I can follow.  Since my instructors have helped me find ways to modify the poses I use what I've learned when I follow along with the videos.

Five Benefits of Yoga
1.  Self-awareness
2.  Stress relief 
3.  Better Balance
4.  Better Posture
5.  Increased Strength

All of these lead to better overall health, the biggest and most important benefit of all.

Are you now convinced that yoga is for you?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mindful Monday - A Mindful and Memorable Meal

I had been doing Monday Musings, but I've decided to change it to Mindful Mondays.  Mindfulness is important because it encourages healthy habits.  When we're aware how things affect us we're able to make choices that will support our physical, mental, and emotional health.  Once healthy habits are formed it will become effortless.

Yesterday we went to a dinner theater to see The Addams Family.  This musical was very well done and I highly recommend it if it comes to your area!

The food was also good. I tweaked the way I usually eat when I go there. They always have a wide selection of food, so there's something for everyone. I made sure I drank water before I left home, so during the meal I didn't drink anything. I started to order a non-alcoholic strawberry drink, but I decided to wait until after the meal to see if I still wanted it. I didn't. The meal was served before the show, so my first taste of anything to drink (just water) was during intermission.

As far as the food goes, I skipped all the meat and ate mostly salad and steamed veggies. I'm not a fan of a lot of salad dressing. When I go out I usually choose Ranch, but I only eat about a tablespoon of it. I did have some mac and cheese and mashed potatoes, but instead of them being the main course, I just took a little bit of those...and I ate them only after I finished all the veggies. Don't get me wrong, though. I did save room for the carrot cake and "make your own sundae". I ate the sundae (mine was vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles and whipped cream) immediately after dinner, and I saved the carrot cake for later in the show. It wasn't until I ate the carrot cake that I needed to drink water, only because the cake was a little too sweet for me.

I didn't go into last night's meal thinking I would be mindful, but I noticed it. I guess mindfulness is becoming a habit for me.  Here's what I noticed:  It wasn't until I ate the mac and cheese and mashed potatoes that I felt "stuffed". Maybe it was because I had already eaten the salad and veggies and I was full enough, but I think it was also because of the type of foods they were. Almost instantly the mac and cheese (they used "muenster" cheese for this show...lol) and mashed potatoes filled me up. I'm glad I didn't eat them first because I might have skipped the healthier options had I done it that way.

When I go there again (probably late summer) I will skip the carrot cake. It was all part of the cost of the ticket, so I didn't pay extra for it. I simply don't need it, though. I got my money's worth in other ways.  I'll stick with just the ice cream for dessert. I'll also remember to eat the veggies and salad first, skip the eggs and croutons on my salad (I eat organic eggs at home, so no loss there), skip the meat (been trying to cut down on, but not eliminate meat consumption, even organic), and drink water before leaving home rather than during the meal. All of those worked well for me last night.

What have you noticed about one of your recent meals?

Friday, March 20, 2015

Five for Friday - Decluttering Technology

Over the past few weeks I've mentioned some strategies for decluttering.  I listed five areas of your life that you can declutter.  Last week I listed five strategies for decluttering actual items.  Today I will list five ways you can declutter technology.

1.  Cell Phone - Delete phone numbers of contacts you no longer use or don't recognize.  This will make it easier to find the contacts you do actually contact.

2.  Computer - Clean up your desktop.  Uninstall files and programs you no longer use and organize everything else into folders.  Remember if you just put it in the recycle bin it won't delete it from your computer.  You need to actually uninstall it.  This will make your computer run more efficiently.

3. DVR - Delete programs you've recorded that you'll never watch or make time to watch them.  Everyone needs a break sometimes and you'll free up some space to record new shows in the future.

4. Email - Delete emails you don't want that are clogging up your inbox.  Don't bother opening them again if you already know you don't want them.  Just unclog your inbox.  If you have a lot just do a certain amount each day and it will eventually get done.  From now on don't just delete junk email when you receive them.  First, take a few seconds to use the unsubscribe option.  Then delete them.  Junk email can cause a lot of mental clutter, not to mention make the relevant emails more difficult to find.  By simply unsubscribing you won't have to deal with them again.  Most of the time it literally does only take a few seconds per email to do this!

5.  Social Media - Remove yourself from groups in which you don't participate and consider selecting the option where you cannot be invited again.  Decide if you really do like the pages you "liked" or if you really want to follow the people you follow.  If not, unlike or unfollow them.  By doing this you will find more relevant posts showing up in your feeds.

Can you think of other ways to declutter technology?  Please share!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thankful Thursday - The Healing Power of a Nap

I'm grateful for quality sleep. Yesterday I took a 90 minute nap and I felt good when I woke up from it. I didn't set my alarm; I just slept as long as I needed to. Although my nap was late in the day I was able to sleep better last night than I have been sleeping. I wasn't exhausted when I went to bed, which I think actually helped me get better rest. I was in a much better frame of mind at bedtime. I find it helpful to not just crash when I'm tired, but to gradually prepare myself for a good night's sleep. That includes being in a relaxed state of mind, which I think is one reason why the afternoon nap helped.

What do you do to get a good night's sleep?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tuesday's Tip - Removing your name and address from mailing lists

When you receive unwanted mail or catalogs don't automatically throw it in the recycle bin.  Call the company and ask them to remove you from their mailing list.  It's a few minutes of your time that will prevent you from receiving more unwanted mail in the future, plus it's better for the environment.  Companies will usually follow through with your request with no problems.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday's Musings

"A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day.  A string of such moments can change the course of your life." - Christopher K. Germer

Friday, March 13, 2015

Five for Friday - Decluttering Actual Items

Over the past couple of weeks I've mentioned some strategies for decluttering.  Last Friday I listed five areas of your life that you can declutter.  I will begin expanding on each one.  Let's start with the most obvious one - actual items.  Here are five ways you can declutter your home by removing actual items.

1.  Set a timer for 15 minutes and find as many things as possible that you no longer need.  Have different boxes ready so you can easily put them in there - donation, trash, or recycle.  You may even want to have a box for regifting items.  If sorting is taking too long, then don't bother with that.  Just put all items you need to part with in one box and sort them later.

2.  Every time you bring an item home, get rid of another item plus another one.  This way you always end up with less than you had before.  More on that in a previous blog post.

3.  When you put away your fall/winter clothes and break out the spring/summer wardrobe (and vice versa) decide what goes and what stays at that time.  Don't hang up what you won't wear for the upcoming seasons and don't store what you won't wear ever again from previous seasons.

4.  Shred old financial statements you no longer need and opt to receive all of your bills and statements online.

5.   Declutter before purchasing storage containers. Often times storage containers defeat the purpose of declutter and they can just cause more clutter.  You may find that you don't need them!

What strategies do you have for decluttering items?  Please share!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thankful Thursday - Fog

I'm grateful for fog. It's a sign that warmer weather is descending upon us, although there is still some snow on the ground. The fog looked especially cool over a snow-covered field I noticed yesterday morning. It was like a blanket. There were pockets of fog everywhere. One part even looked like the fog was a bridge over the road. It was a much needed peaceful and pleasant pause.