A Reason to Remember

Military personnel holding a folded US flag.(Photo originally posted here: http://www.veteranjournal.com/the-price-of-free-speech/)

Today is Memorial Day.

It’s a national holiday, celebrated every year on the last Monday in May, when we remember and honor the military men and women who gave their lives for their country.

As a child, the significance of Memorial Day was minimal to me. My day’s a vet and he would often take us to a nearby military cemetery for Memorial Day, where we’d listen to speeches, cover our ears when the gun salute happened, and walked amongst the white headstones of men and women we didn’t know.

As a teenager, the holiday became little more than a reason to gather with friends and family for a barbecue, or to catch up on homework. Gathering with others wasn’t, isn’t, a bad thing, but I don’t recall the reason for the gathering as a time to remember The Fallen.

As an adult, Memorial Day means more than it ever did. I didn’t marry a military man, but I’ve reconnected with high school classmates who serve. It’s their reminders these past few years that have really driven home the need to remember this holiday for what it is.

I come home knowing my husband will be there, knowing that he’s never gone for more than his eight hours at his job. I come home to my daughters, knowing that I won’t have to explain to them where their dad is and why he’s not coming back. I come home knowing I’ll sleep soundly with my husband by my side and our daughters tucked away in their beds.

I could argue that war has no affect on me. But that’d be a lie. If it weren’t for the brave men and women who gave their lives, I wouldn’t have the life I have now. Our country may not be as free as it is now. That freedom that I so thoroughly enjoy would be nothing more than a dream, wistful musings of a wife and mother who wishes for something better but doesn’t know how to get it.

And while I may never don a uniform for any military branch, there are men and women who do. And while I may never be sent overseas to defend our country and those who can’t, these men and women do. And maybe the sun will set I my time on Earth forty or fifty years from now, but it may happen sooner for these men and women.

For those who have gone before their time, for those who gave more than I can possibly fathom, for those who fought and died so bravely, thank you.

Your sacrifice is the reason for my freedom.

And my freedom is enough of a reason to remember you today.

Walk It Out

Yoga’s been a complete no-go this past week.

*sigh*

And I felt like a complete failure.

But while yoga’s been shelved (I should’ve put more thought into when I would do yoga), walking has not. For some of you health addicts and gym rats, walking might not seem like a big deal.

But when you’re short on time like I am, walking’s a huge deal. 🙂

I walk five days a week now, half an hour each day, and always in the same place: the waterfront here in Foster City.

One, the view is spectacular. I can see out across the bay, watch traffic cross the bridge, and (sometimes) see para-sailors cutting through the waves on a good windy day.

Two, there’s always resistance when walking along the waterfront. On almost any given day, there’s a healthy breeze coming off the bay into Foster City. You might start off wearing a sweatshirt to walk but that sucker’s coming off before you’re done, trust me.

Three, there’s a ton of interesting people to meet out there. A lot of moms with strollers, joggers (young and old), walkers (again, young and old), and lunch-ers (there’s tables/benches along the route).

In hindsight (meaning as I write this, lol), I realize that I wasn’t a failure last week. While I didn’t do my exercise of choice, I did exercise. And that counts for something in my long-term goal of getting and staying healthy.

 

🙂

 

So if you’re like me and just starting to exercise again, here’s a word of encouragement to help you along: Walk it out.

 

Trust me, you’ll like how far you go (literally and figuratively).

Set The Tone

I had a terrific laugh this morning coming into work.

While driving on 280 S, I watched a silver car cut off a dark gray car, missing the front bumper by mere millimeters. The driver of the gray car promptly flipped the other driver off, then proceeded to chase the offender through traffic.

All the while, the driver of the gray car left his/her hand sticking out of the window with the finger prominently displayed.

And all the while I wondered how many other drivers thought they were getting the finger!

And I also wondered how that incident left the offended driver feeling. It was obvious they were irate–can’t really blame them–but was it really necessary to chase the offender with your middle finger on display for all of 280 to see?

Hmm… Probably not.

And as I drove over the connecting ramp from 280 S to 92 E, I hoped the offended driver had a better day ahead of them.

What sets the tone for your day? When one little thing upsets it (getting cut off in traffic, waking up late, no money for the toll, forgot your lunch, etc.) how do you let it affect your day?

Bad things happen, sure. But a bad day is avoidable, in my opinion, if one learns to change their perspective and see things from the other end of the telescope.

Yes, you got cut off in traffic…but you made it to your destination safe and sound.
Yes, you woke up late…but you woke up.
Yes, you forgot money for the toll…but you were able to pay for your gas, your car, your phone, etc.
Yes, you forgot your lunch…but at least you have food to bring for lunch.

Too much negativity is bad for you. It poisons your heart and your soul. It causes you to complain about every little thing. It births displeasure in you for everything around you. It robs you of the ability to enjoy, truly enjoy, the little things.

And you miss out by choosing to dwell on the negative, on that one bad thing.

A great day is always waiting to happen every time you rise to greet a new day. Don’t let that great day go to waste. Don’t let one bad thing ruin it for you.

Let your perspective set the tone.

Write, Right?

It’s been several months since I last wrote something worth writing.

Over the course of my six-week maternity leave, I sat back and read what I’d already written. My earlier works were horrible. (Carrie will probably disagree, lol.) My more current works definitely show improvement.

The birth of K2 brought a flood of story lines, plots, scenarios, antagonists, and protagonists to mind. Worlds began to form in my mind. Conversations between characters went from whispers to screams.

But everything’s jumbled.

So I’ve decided to type out the bits and pieces of what’s going on my head so I know where to go later.

And for now, I’m fine-tuning a paranormal and looking for a publishing house for a contemporary.

I must say, I’m excited about where writing takes me, and I’m even more excited about the people I meet through my writing. (Carrie, we’re still on for that trip in a few years, right?) And I hope that what I write does my characters justice.

Because, seriously, who wants to read a story that’s only minimally engaging?

No thanks.

Rise & Stretch

In an effort to get back into shape and to get healthier, I’ve started doing yoga.

Years ago, I took yoga at a community college. Bikram yoga 🙂 This type of yoga is usually done in a room heated to just over 100 degrees, but the teacher I had took pity on us and set the thermostat between 90 and 95. Since it was wintertime, he said he didn’t want us getting sick going in and out of the cold.

During that class, I learned how intense yoga can be. I thought it’d be super easy–go in, do some stretches, relax, go home.

Wrong! 🙂

Yoga was more than stretches. It was about focus, about posture, about muscles, about breathing. It helps relax you, helps strengthen your core muscles, and helps loosen stiff joints.

While some may scoff at the idea of doing yoga as a way to get back in shape, I don’t. See, it’s been years since I’ve done more than moderate exercise (i.e. walking) I figured yoga would be a good place for me start.

And it is.

My long term goal is to make yoga a daily routine for me, and to go from walking to running again. I want to be able to play with my kids, to run around with them at parks, to show them how to make good choices for their health. I want to be able to have many years with my husband, years hopefully free of long term illnesses and disease. I want to prolong, maybe even avoid, the diseases that seem to follow people in my family–diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, etc.

I want life, love, happiness, and good health. 🙂

And by adding exercising to what I already have (life, love, and happiness) I know I’ll be in good health in no time.