Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz

Sparking my Awesome in 2013 #ReReRe

Before I can really get going in planning for 2013, I want to take a look back at 2012.  Here is a review of my greatest successes in 2012 in five key areas:

Finances

Financially speaking, it was a solid year.  I managed to do some fun things with my cash flow.  I am still living paycheck to paycheck, but I am not in any more debt than I was at this time last year.  Based on everything that I have happening in my family dynamic right now, in this economy, staying afloat is a good place to be.

I made a few “investments” this year.  I was able to pay for and complete a course on Life Coaching which will enable me to help others and help me increase my income in the future.  My hubby bought a mountain bike and if he rides it, it will pay for itself in place of a gym membership, that is an investment – especially for his health!  I leased a new car for my son, this was an important financial decision based on safety and peace of mind and replaced the old car that couldn’t pass the smog test.  My hubby and I managed to go away for a weekend here and there.  I believe that having a respite is a great investment for our relationship!  We joined a bowling league with two of our sons.  With having to pay fees for four people every week, it gets costly.  I look at it as another great investment because it was a nice way to spend quality family time and get out for some physical activity.  We indulged a bit here and there, but I consider that as investing in our quality of life.

Perhaps my priorities are a bit skewed since I really should have used the money that I spent on a new flat screen TV for the bedroom to pay down debt, but heck I am an American living the dream, so I am glad I did it.

As I am working on this, I feel like such a financial failure! Since I practice positivity, I am trying to glean some upbeat financial successes, but they will not compare at all to a anyone who actually had a financial gain. But in looking back at this key area of my life I have made a discovery. I recognize a pattern.  I do the same things each and every year.  It is not a surprise that my financial situation never improves. I am not doing a thing to improve it.  I need to consider this strongly in making my goals for 2013.

Relationships

In reflecting on my relationships this past year, I feel good about them.  My marriage is in it’s happy place.  We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this April.  I have everything right now that I hoped for when I got married.  My husband has given me a family, a home, and a bright future to look forward to.  What more could a girl want?  That is what I wanted when I was a girl.  Now, as I emerge as a woman and my children are growing and my home needs a lot of work I wonder what will happen in the next twenty years.  I have some ideas!  Luckily, he is game!  The number one success in my relationship has always been great communication.  We talk things through and when we don’t agree with each other, we accept and move forward.  My relationship with my hubby is my number one priority.

I have made a lot of new friends this year.  I have also reignited and strengthened relationships with old friends and family.  I have let a few relationships fall to the back burner.  I may let it stew a bit longer before I open up that pot!  But I won’t ever let the relationship boil away or burn what is left.  I can always spice it up and give it some attention and put some life back into it, right?  Relationships worth having can always be mended.

Health

Physically speaking, suffice it to say that I am still alive.  I am not better or worse off than last year.  I have written a lot about my health and my ailments lately.  I am working on it. I did next to nothing to improve my fitness level this year.  I started a few things.  I failed miserably at this.

I don’t feel healthy and I have very low energy.  I hope to get that back in 2013.  My son asked me recently if I ever wanted to go skiing again.  I told him I would love to, but my back starts hurting after an hour of shopping at the mall!  How would I be able to ski for a day without feeling miserable?  I can start “training” now to get in shape and be able to ski with my kids next year.  That goal restores the motivation I need to get moving and make healthy choices.

Intellect

Intellectually speaking, I am on top of my game!  This year, I completed a course online for life coaching, attended a conference for blogging, wrote on the blog an average of three times a week, and participated in daily discussions on topics ranging from birth experiences to the afterlife!

One test that I give myself from time to time is checking the dictionary for definitions of words that I use in my writing.  I score myself an A+ every time I use an uncommon word and apply it correctly.  I have never missed a meaning completely.  Once this year, I was glad I checked because I was using the wrong spelling of a word which would not have made sense in that context.  As a writer, to be understood is valued highly.  I have been doing what I can to make sure that I convey what I am thinking clearly.  That is the ultimate success for me.

Spirituality

Spiritually, I have looked deep into my heart and and I realize that I am whole and centered in my beliefs.  I have faith in God and I love praying to the Virgin Mary to intercede for me.  I appreciate my Catholic upbringing and I am proud to share that with my husband and glad that we are passing it on to our kids.  I did not attend Mass regularly in 2012.  There are many reasons for that and I am not ready to share them yet.  I will look at that more closely in 2013.

I plan to attend Mass more often especially because one of my sons will be making his Confirmation this year.  I love going to Mass, singing, praying, receiving communion and spending time with my community.  What I love most about belonging to a loving community is the care that I can give and receive from other people who share my beliefs.  I have learned that I have a similar experience with people of all faiths on Facebook and through my blog.

All people can feel that sense of belonging, love, and care.    I thoroughly enjoy that and it brings me peace.  However, physically being in the arms of my loved ones is something that I miss and hope to participate in regularly going forward.

a borrowed picture, source unknown at this time
a borrowed picture, source unknown at this time

In the spirit of “Sparking My Awesome in 2013” I plan to write more posts on my blog that are from my heart.  I created a new category, “Tell Me Something Good.”  This is where I will post my thoughts on the subjects that I have been contemplating during the month of December.  Here are some of them:

Peace
Creativity
Relationships
Growth
Healing
Forgiveness
Confidence
Love
Acceptance
Empowerment
Happiness
Excellence
Challenges
Life
Honor
Kindness
Compassion
Optimism
Gratitude
Simplicity
Perspective
Grace
Insight
Trust
Awareness

These are the topics I hope to explore and share with you.  With every post, I plan to ask you to reflect on the subject and give me your insights in a positive way.  I will ask you to please,

Tell Me Something Good. . .

I look forward to sharing my positivity this year with everyone that I encounter!

Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz

Give Yourself a Break! It’s OK to Say “No, Thank You.”

When asked about her best moment in 2012 artist Liz Crain says, “Finally being able to refuse commissioned work I don’t want to take on without feeling cheesy, awkward, apologetic or wrong. Doing so with ease and a smile, even a soft joke that leaves the requester still on my team. I learned this comes from my solar plexus not my brain with its dutiful, people-pleasing programming.”

That reminds me of a time when I learned to say “no” – looking back, I see how much it changed my life. I am a people pleaser, too. I never wanted to let someone down. Someone recently cancelled on me after committing to do some volunteer work and it was the 2nd time she cancelled on a project that I really needed her for, and I thought “she is someone who has not learned to say, I want to, but I just can’t. Thank you for thinking of me.” It makes such a difference. Especially when you do commit to something and you can do it and you do your absolutely best ‘knock-their-socks-off work and it shows.

Take a look at this video to see a great explanation of this point. . . “Hell Yeah or No!”

http://vimeo.com/25496723

I have been consistently doing that for about ten years now and you know what? I still have friends, I am still asked to work on projects, I still participate in things – and I do it to the best of my capabilities.

This makes me proud.  I have three kids.  I started out wanting to be “fair” and doing the same things with each of them.  Mommy & Me class, soccer team mom, room parent, etc.  My mom used to tell me, “You are doing too much.  Life isn’t fair.  They won’t remember all of the things you do.”  But I was trying to do the right thing.  I was trying to be that Super Mom.  I needed to learn to say “no” to the things I felt obliged to do.  I love it when I have the time and energy to devote to the the things that I can say, “Hell Yeah!” to.time is running out

Peter Bregman, author of 18 Minutes, calls it “flexing his no thanks muscles.”  He actually has a “No Thank You List.”  Peter says, “Of course, the reason we’re saying, “no thanks,” is so that we can say, “yes please,” to the right things. The reason I didn’t join the committee is so I can focus on my book. The reason I passed on the dinner is so I can focus on my family. The reason I didn’t take on that project is so I can focus on this other one instead.”

Now it is the holiday season and the countdown to vacation.  I can’t wait!  I am super excited.  Not as much for the shopping and the parties as much as the relaxation!  I may say “no thank you” to a few things.  I need this time to focus on me and my family.  I plan to take walks with my husband and cook for my boys.  I plan to write and work on projects.

What are you planning to do?  Will you be saying “no thank you” to anything over the next few weeks?

30 Health Blog Posts in 30 Days, Everything Miz Meliz

Spaghetti and Marshmallows: Post Thanksgiving Blues

Thanksgiving.  It was really great!  I enjoyed having the family meal at my home.  I loved cooking food from scratch for my kids, my husband, my brother and my sister-in-law.  I worked hard.  I spent too much money.  It was relaxing and mostly stress-free. After the meal, football, games, and naps, we went to see the film Skyfall.  I do not remember the last time we all went to see a movie together.  Watching a 007 flick was a perfect way to end a splendid day.

In the morning, I woke up thinking of the Madonna song, La Isla Bonita.  I actually felt like I had visited my “special place.”  Every single thing that we do this year is amplified in my heart as super special because it is a “year of lasts” for my oldest son.  He is a senior in high school and plans on going away to college.

Our Thanksgiving Day was so good. . .

“I prayed that the days
would last
They went so fast”

I was beat on Friday!  I was so tired and sore from the marathon cleaning and cooking the prior two days that I could barely walk.  Yet, I still felt good.  I was satisfied with how everything went.  I was looking forward to spending the next few days preparing left overs in creative ways and kicking back.  The main thing I had planned to do was not blog or spend too much time on social media and watch a few seasons of the West Wing.

Saturday I had a migraine.  It was horrible.  It didn’t keep me from doing anything I planned on doing, since I planned on relaxing anyway. But I did get frustrated that I had gotten off schedule with my meals, my medicines, and my diet restrictions.  I ate way too many sweets and too much of a lot of things that I should have eaten more moderately.  It was like having a hangover without having the fun of drinking any alcohol.  I need to plan to have more healthy snacks around for the days after a big event next time.  Next time.  That reminds me, the countdown to Christmas has begun!

Here is a little Anatomy Chart that I made, as suggested by WEGO Health’s 30 posts in 30 days prompt:

Property of Miz Meliz, #MizMeliz, http://mizmeliz.com Photo by Melissa Reyes Copyright 2012

One of the fun things that I want to remember about this Thanksgiving is the participation of all the people who read my “Thanksgiving Checklist” post.  It was nice to plan out some new traditions and talk about what things we like to do as a family.  My brother kept asking me, prodding me, “Is this it?”  He wanted to know what was the “one thing” that I would write about in my post Thanksgiving blog.  I did challenge myself to make one thing stand out, to make something extraordinary to remember.  Well, what I realized is that thing is different for each person.  For the kids, it might be that my sister-in-law managed to wow them with eight amazing pies (technically one for each person!) For me, it might be that I bought a pre-cooked turkey from Whole Foods and it was pretty darn good.  Or, that the no sugar added Cranberry Chutney and the Quinoa Pilaf that I made quickly became new favorites.  Or, that I wanted to have everything ready to eat and on the table by noon and my gosh – it was 12:01 PM! For my husband, it might have been his awesome carving skills.  For my brother, it might have been the phone calls he received from his children to wish us all a “Happy Thanksgiving!” I know one thing for sure, it was a really great Thanksgiving and I will always remember it. . . as my Isla Bonita!

To me, the Thanksgiving holiday is like a tropical getaway that I can always visit in my mind.  It has become a blend of all the wonderful memories, smiles, hugs, tastes, and smells of all the years combined.  I am so blessed!

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If you haven’t read the Checklist for Thanksgiving post, here it is:  https://mizmeliz.com/2012/11/16/miz-meliz-checklist-for-the-thanksgiving-feast/

Tell me. . . what is your favorite “go to” memory

of the Thanksgiving Holiday?

http://mizmeliz.com Photo by Melissa Reyes Copyright 2012 Miz Meliz #NHBPM
30 Health Blog Posts in 30 Days, Everything Miz Meliz

Dear Health, Let’s be GREAT today! #NHBPM Day 8

Dear Health,

The World Health Organization defines you as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  In other words, you are the epitome of balance and wellness.  As you live and thrive in me, you make me whole.  Since I am in control of my environment (for the most part) and how I treat my body, mind, and spirit, I honor your presence and influence in my life.

The most important thing in my life is love, yet I cannot love if I don’t have you.

My goal is to help others find their balance and experience joy, yet I cannot achieve that goal if I do not have you.

I wish to nurture my family and live a long life full of energy and excitement, yet I cannot do these things without you.

I know it’s difficult.  I don’t make things easy.  However I think I am in control of my environment and how I treat myself, I am at times careless and even reckless with you.  I am aware that there is some disease and infirmity that inhibits your ability to be at your absolute best.  Yet, I do very little to make changes in the affected areas and I do not always take full advantage of the resources available to me.  In fact, I have been doing the least possible in those areas.  For that, I am deeply sorry.

I want to be real with you.  I know you appreciate that!  I am doing my best here.  I won’t make any promises.  I won’t give you false hopes.  But I will say, I will never give up hope.  I will never give up trying.  I will never give up on you.

I need you, Health.  I want to see us working and fighting together to achieve not just balance, but greatness.  We won’t just be well, we will be outstanding! 

Hugs!

Me

30 Health Blog Posts in 30 Days, Everything Miz Meliz

The #1 Thing That I Am Excited About Today

Three Things That I Am Excited About: Day 5 #NHBPM

Lucky for me, my heart speaks up now and then to remind me that I am not a complete slacker. I believe that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. I have lots of great news and many accomplishments to be proud of. During the past year that I have been maintaining my Diabetes, I have not had any serious episodes and I always take my meds. However, I am excited about the fact that I have successfully weaned myself off of my anti-depression and anxiety medicine and now manage that holistically. I have completed an online course and received my certificate for life coaching. I have attended a blogging conference and have maintained my blog while increasing my readership and have been published on a national online magazine.

Managing Depression Holistically

I am a strong proponent of prescribed medication because it has saved my life and my sanity many times. I have a chemical imbalance that causes me to worry needlessly. The chain reaction that results from that worry leads to stress induced insomnia, migraine headaches, digestive problems, cysts, depression, and the worst thing ever, anxiety attacks. All of which results in a myriad of other serious problems and issues, including but not limited to missing work and problems within my relationships. After dealing with all of these issues separately for many years, I finally found the golden combination of counseling, medical advice and prescription medication that worked for me.

A healthy balance is key. Knowing how far I can tip to the sides without falling down is vital. Getting help before I fall is imperative. Knowing myself and anticipating when things might get too difficult for me has been what has made it possible for me to manage the diagnoses of depression and anxiety. It is a disease. It can be managed. For me, it is triggered by outside influences. Right now, everything is going well in my life, with my family, my job, everything. So, I am not in counseling. I am not taking medication. I am able to maintain balance with relaxation techniques, mantras, and writing. I know that if something (when something) happens that is beyond my control and capabilities, I can and will return to the resources I have for help. My doctors are there for me. In the meantime, I love the feeling of freedom from the meds.

http://mizmeliz.com "Straight Path" on Miz Meliz' Journey, photo by Melissa Reyes copyright 2012
It’s nice to see my destination ahead, with a straight path leading right to it!

I like being on my own. I still have mood swings, episodes of mild depression, anxiety, and headaches. I try to recognize the cycles and the symptoms as they come. I try to accept them and not let it get to me. That is all part of my holistic approach.

Life Coaching

Becoming a life coach is a huge accomplishment for me. Having reached a healthy balance in my own life has helped me to see how important that is to experience happiness. I have always wanted to be able to help others. All my life people have been able to open up to me and I am grateful for the ability that I have to listen and encourage them. I have been challenged a few times. I have been asked, what gives me the authority to coach or counsel others. I did not have an answer for that. My catechetical and leadership training had been enough when I was ministering at my church and in faith circles. Yet, I longed to be able to help all people in a non-denominational setting.

I have always challenged myself and felt that there was something I could do professionally with my talents. I just wasn’t sure what exactly or where I would take it.  I found the answers with becoming a certified professional life coach. I am now educated in the techniques and methodologies taught by Fowler Wainwright Institute of Professional Coaching. For now, since I am gainfully employed, I plan to practice coaching on the side to help people, to enhance my writing, to lead workshops and retreats, and to build a practice that I can fall back on when I eventually retire. Having a solid plan is like taking a breath of fresh air! It feels amazing and propels me forward, and that is the best direction!

Blogging

This week I am celebrating my one year anniversary of blogging. I have had my blog on WordPress since 2007 and have been posting articles (136 of them to date) on it consistently for about one year. That makes this my first “blogiversary!” I am very proud of all of the writing I have done, but mostly I am happiest about the unforgettable people I have encountered on this journey. They have changed my life for the better with their encouragement and love. In my 100th post article, I highlighted each turn of my journey and linked to many of the people who, like lampposts, have lighted my way along my path.

In celebration of my blogiversary, I would like to share the links to a few of my favorite blogs. Join me in the celebration and take a look at what these phenomenal women are writing about:

A Journey to Healthy

Toddler Trails

This Talk Ain’t Cheap

Minnesota Girl in L.A.

Stroller Adventures

Organized Island

Let’s Play OC

Mommy Powers

Mothership Scrapbook Gal

Sunny Vegan

The Wineabe

Horsing Around in L.A.

Chronicles of a Foodie

30 Health Blog Posts in 30 Days, Everything Miz Meliz

What is in My Bag: Day 4 #NHBPM

There are too many prescription bottles in my bag right now. I am 44 years young and I am not happy that I can keep up a conversation about healthcare and medicines with people decades older than me. I don’t like that I am taking meds for Diabetes, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, depression, anxiety, migraines, arthritis, and back pain. That is ridiculous! I am young enough and have the physical and mental capacity to do something about this. I don’t want to be a slacker anymore! I need to lighten the load. I need to take control and combine different methods to manage my health issues and stop relying on the meds to feel better.

Most of the drugs I take are to be taken on an as needed basis. So I do not need to carry them around in my bag, realistically. I think I use them as a crutch. Knowing they are there, lets me off the hook. No more. I only need the Metformin in my bag. I only need the Pravastatin on my night table. Everything else can go in the medicine cabinet.

I will set the goal for this time next year. Hopefully, with diet and exercise I can reduce or eliminate the need for the Diabetes and high cholesterol meds. Instead of carrying around a bag of meds, I will be carrying a gym bag. Then I can tell you about that experience! I would much rather be talking about that with my friends!

I am starting now!

30 Health Blog Posts in 30 Days, Everything Miz Meliz

A Conversation with My Doctor: Day 3 #NHBPM

The Truth

The truth is I haven’t had a conversation with my doctor lately because I have been afraid to go and get negative results. Although I feel good, the same that I have felt for the past year, I don’t feel better. I feel guilty about that. I wanted to get better. I wanted to make positive changes and be better, healthier, and thinner by now. I hoped to be off the Metformin that I take for Diabetes. I had hoped to beat this. I am disappointed in myself. I feel like I am making myself this way by not taking the actions that I should be, could be taking. Every time I eat something that I know I shouldn’t be eating, it is like taking small amounts of poison. I feel like eventually, it will kill me, yet I keep consuming it. The imagery helps for a moment and then I think, but it’s not poison. It is food. Everyone else can eat it. It won’t kill me today. My inner conversation is a constant battle.

I need to have a conversation with my doctor. I need to take that step to get better. I need to get over the guilt and take action. Just taking my meds is not enough and I know it. It is time to get the blood tests, get the A1C results, face the music, and take charge. I am still afraid. But not knowing where I stand right now is worse.

http://mizmeliz.com "Candy Apples, A Conversation Piece" Photo my Melissa Reyes (Miz Meliz) Copyright 2012
“A Conversation Piece” One way to enjoy the foods that I can no longer eat, is to photograph them. Aren’t these Candy Apples beautiful?