Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 15 - Write a Letter

This week, January 9-15th is national letter writing week. So, I decided to participate in this event. The art of letter writing is lost. People just don't do it anymore, myself included. I have become a slave to email and with teenagers, texting. It has been years since I sat down and wrote a letter to a loved one just because.

Next week, a very dear loved one of mine will receive a letter from me that came from my heart. With the exception of the extreme writers cramp it gave me, writing that letter felt good. It made me think of the days of my childhood when I would exchange letters with pen pals. I used to wait anxiously for the mail man, hoping that a letter would come in the mail for me that day. To this day I am excited when I see the mailman, I foolishly believe that a letter will be waiting for me in that day's delivery. But, it never arrives because people just don't write letters anymore. Why would someone write me a letter when I never do the same? Like I said, it is a lost art.

When my husband and I began dating he used to write me love letters. We started dating in high school so the letters I received from him never came in the mail, they were usually given to me in hall between classes. But, I saved all those letters, they remain in a wooden box in my closet. I rarely read them, I would bet it has been 5 years since I cracked that box open, but I feel good knowing they are there. Someday, my children will find those letters and will see how people used to communicate before email and texting. It saddens me to think that they will in all likelihood never exchange letters the way we used to exchange them, back in the day. For me that would be the 1980's and early 1990's. How I wish I would be one of those lucky finders of a treasure box full of love letters from a WWII soldier to his sweetheart during the war. Until that day, I think I will try to write at least 1 letter per month to someone I care about and send that letter via the old fashioned way, snail mail.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 14- Eat 8 Servings of Fruit and Vegetables Everyday

Since we were little kids, we have all been told to eat our fruits and vegetables. As parents, we continue with the tradition of nagging our kids to eat their fruits and vegetables. They are good for us. The benefits of consuming them seem to be endless. Every magazine, book and newspaper that discuss ways to improve your health emphasize the importance of eating this very important food group. The benefits include the following: vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, low calorie, filling, keeps you regular, and the list goes on. I read these articles and I promise myself that I will add more or these to my diet. I usually stick to it for about a week and I will see the benefits. Then, something will happen that will get me off track. This year I vow, I will stick to 8 servings a day.

As it is, I probably get 5 servings a day, but mostly in the form of fruit. I love fruit! Berries, bananas and apples are among my favorites. But, I also really love juice, which is high in calories. What I need to add is more vegetables. I like vegetables, I just don't love them. I also don't find them to be as easy to grab as an apple or banana. I am not big on eating raw carrots or celery. Even when I have the best of intentions and but them, I will still just grab that apple. So, my goal for today will be to eat 8 servings. I have already hit 3 for the day. Breakfast gave me a banana, blueberries and a glass of juice. Lunch will be a salad, I am determined to stick that, no matter what.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 13 - Learning To Accept My Children Are Getting Older

Today my daughter turns 12. I always find myself a bit sad on my kid's birthdays. I find myself thinking about sweet babies they were, how they would light up when I walked into a room when they were toddlers or how they ran into my arms when I picked them up from preschool. I get stuck in time, wishing for just one more day with them as small children. Oh, how the time goes by, it isn't fair, but it is a fact. They will continue to get older, at the same pace the rest of us grew up and I have to accept it.

So, today on my daughter's 12th birthday I resolve to be happy. I am raising a bright, spirited girl. She is nice to everyone, accept her father and I when she wants her own way. She is not a typical preteen, meaning I never hear about her fighting with friends, as she does not yet participate in that behavior. Time will of course tell, but since she hasn't started yet, I doubt it will happen. She is passionate about her beliefs. This is a child who has gone 5 years without eating meat because she strongly believes that it is wrong to kill animals for the benefit of humans. She stands up for herself and her siblings. We had an incident this week when she defended her siblings and would not back down no matter how hard it was for her. The list can go on, but I will stop at that.

I need to do this for myself because 3 times a year, on a day that brings my kids great happiness and joy, I am sad. I never let them see it, but it is there. With every year that passes I see 3 children who are turning into fabulous people, my husband and I can take some credit for who they are becoming.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 12 - Refinance Our House

This morning we did something that will save us a lot of money, we refinanced our house! YIPPEE! We were able to roll our 2nd mortgage with our first at a MUCH lower rate and it will take us several years less to pay it off, not to mention the huge savings we are going to have in interest. It almost feels like we won the lottery today.

Our payments are going to be almost exactly the same as they had been. But, the very idea of having our house paid off that much sooner is such a relief. My husband and I will not even be 50 and our home will be paid for. Our last payment will be made just as our 3rd child is starting college. It feels very liberating to know that we will not forever be tied to payments and bills, that we will not owe money to a bank forever. Someday, the money that we put into our house will be able to fund a great vacation, a huge investment into our retirement or a helping hand with our adult children's education.

I know it probably seems weird to have a post about refinancing our house as a means to a healthier life. But, for me, the idea of financial security is the basis of great health and well being. It took us so many years to get to this point, we have 2 debts, our home and 1 car. We spent out 20's getting into debt, we spent our 30's getting out and we will spend the rest of our lives enjoying all the hard work it has taken to get to this point. Health, wealth and happiness all go together.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 11- Buy New Workout Shoes

Today I bought myself a new pair of workout shoes. That purchase could not have been made a moment too soon. Sometimes, I have a tendency to use things out to the point of being absolutely useless. The shoes have been working out in were worn out and disgusting. It was time for a change.

My hips and back have been bothering me off and on for awhile. I knew it was due to my shoes, but the frugal side of me kept saying "you can get one more workout in those shoes". I knew it was time for a change when I was without hip or back pain while on vacation, only to find myself in pain Monday morning after my work out.

What I have read from different sources has said the same thing, when the soles are deteriorating, it is time for new shoes. This breakdown is hard on the joints and back, just not worth saving an extra few dollars. My rule for these new shoes will be to only wear them in the house, never outside. That way, maybe I can guarantee that they will last longer.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 10 - Floss Everyday

Today is the day that I remember to floss everyday. I habit that I go in and out of. I will go for long stretches of time remembering to floss daily and then without warning, I will stop.

Flossing daily helps in reducing bacteria in your mouth that has been linked to heart disease. That along with keeping cavities away is reason enough to keep me motivated. I know that when I have gone 6 months of daily flossing, my 6 month check up at the dentist is perfect and the length of time to clean my teeth is drastically reduced.

So tonight, when I get myself ready for bed, I will add flossing to my ritual.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 9 - When Coming Home From A Trip, Embrace Everyone

Today I got back from wonderful trip to New York City. For those who know me, you know that NYC is my favorite place in the world, second to home. I spent 3 fun filled days there, soaking up the culture, people watching and eating great food, it couldn't have been better. But, nothing ever beats coming home to my loving husband and wonderful children. Even the dogs were a sight for sore eyes, home feels good. I will forever have the image of my youngest, standing in the window awaiting my arrival today. Her smile told me that this is where I belong.