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Being Green

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Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.
The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”
The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment f or

future generations.”
She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truely recycled.
But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.
But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.
We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn’t have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?
Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person.
Thank you to Things that make you go Hmm for this post.
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10 Ways to Find Time for Exercise

What’s the No. 1 excuse for not working out? Lack of time. Sure, we’re all busy handling multiple priorities and rushing around from here and there every day. However, I promise that no matter how busy you are, someone even busier than you are is working out right now. If you look closer, you’ll discover that you do have the time to work out—and you deserve to use that time for yourself.

Squeezing in just a few minutes of physical exercise a day has huge benefits on your health, gives you energy and perks up your mood. In fact, a new study published by The Lancet found that if inactive people increased their physical activity by just 15 minutes per day, they could reduce their risk of premature death by 14% and increase their life expectancy by three years.  Also, remember that “working out” doesn’t have to happen in the gym or last for an hour! Short 10-minute bursts of exercise, accumulated over the course of the day, can add up to big fitness and health gains, too.

Still not convinced that you have the time to exercise? Here’s how to start fitting fitness into your busy life today!

10 Practical Tips to Fit Fitness into Your Busy Life

1. Wake up earlier. Sleep is definitely important for overall health and weight-loss, but could you hit the sheets just 30 minutes earlier, so that you could get up and work out before your day starts? Working out in the morninghas numerous benefits including regulating appetite, boosting energy and—perhaps the biggest benefit of all—an A.M. sweat session ensures that your workout is checked off first thing each day! Because really, how many times have you had the best intentions to exercise in the evening, only to have to work late, help your kids with a project or generally just feel too exhausted to get off the couch? With morning workouts, the time problem is solved!

2. Cut down on media. For just a few days, record how much time you spend surfing the Internet, checking personal email, watching TV and playing video games whether it’s on your computer or your phone. You just might be surprised at how much time you spend on Facebook or playing Angry Birds. Just a few minutes here and there can add up to an hour or more each day. Cut out just some of that screen time and, voila, you suddenly have time to squeeze in at least 10 or 15 minutes of exercise into even the busiest day.

3. Be an active TV watcher. It’s unrealistic to never watch TV or to shun the Internet forever (how would you get your SparkPoints fix?).  So when you do, try to incorporate some physical activity. When watching TV, make it a point to do some jumping jacks or push-ups during commercials. Doing a little exercise during the commercial breaks can add up to almost 20 minutes of fitness for every hour of TV you watch. And instead of sitting in a chair when on the computer, try sitting on a stability ball or stack your computer up on some books so that you have a standing desk to surf from. No matter how you do it, try not to sit for more than 20 minutes at a time!

4. Try an active commute. One of the best ways to fit exercise into your life is by incorporating it into your school or work transportation routine. If you live close enough, consider biking to work. If you take the bus, walk to a bus stop that’s an extra block or two away, or get off the bus a stop sooner than usual and get a few more steps in. And if you drive to work, park as far away as you can—even a few blocks away, if possible.

5.  Make it part of your routine. One reason it’s so challenging to fit exercise into a busy schedule is because we’re not used to doing it. Heck, it takes time to brush your teeth in the morning, but you do it, don’t you? You brush your teeth every day because it’s important and because it’s almost second nature to get up and do it. Start making some form of exercise—whether it’s walking the dog, doing 10 minutes of yoga or going for a bike ride after dinner—a daily tradition, just like showering, brushing your teeth or hitting the coffee shop on the way to work. It’s easy to fit in exercise for a few days here or there, but by incorporating it into your daily routine like you would your hygiene, you take the process of working out away from willpower and into habit. Need help getting into the habit? Try SparkGuy’s Daily Workout Streak Challenge!

6. Mix socializing with exercising. Do you normally spend time with your family or friends by going to dinner, watching sports on TV or going to movies? Make your social time more active by planning events that get all of you moving. Go for a family hike on a beautiful Saturday morning, play a game of tag football with your buddies during halftime, or make a date with your significant other or best friend on the treadmill. There are so many options for squeezing more activity into your social calendar!

7. Turn chores into exercise. While cleaning might not be the most fun activity, it’s something we all have to do, and it can definitely be a workout if you want it to be. Set a kitchen timer for 20 minutes and see how much of the house you can clean. Try to be as efficient and quick-paced as possible, and I guarantee you’ll work up a sweat. If you’re doing lighter housework that is harder to get your heart rate up (like laundry or organizing), throw in some lunges or push-ups every few minutes to start feeling the burn!

8. Schedule an appointment. If you had scheduled a doctor’s appointment, you wouldn’t miss it would you? How about that important business meeting? Of course not. Working out is actually as important as going to the doctor or any other obligation that you prioritize, because it helps you perform better as a worker, parent, student or volunteer, and keeps you in tip-top shape. So whether it’s scheduling in an hour to go to that group exercise class, investing in personal training sessions or even making a date with yourself to do that workout DVD over your lunch break, write it in pen in your calendar and treat it like any other appointment you can’t miss!

9. Find an activity you love. Think of your favorite hobby or pastime. Do you have trouble finding time to do it? Most likely, you make time for it because you enjoy it so much. It’s the things we don’t enjoy that we put off and don’t feel bad about missing. That’s why it’s best to choose a physical activity that you actually enjoy and look forward to. Not only are you more likely to do it, but it also adds more fun into your life. And we all could use some more fun in our busy lives, right?

10. Say no. If you’ve gone through this entire list of tips and don’t think a single one will work in your life, then it’s time to look at your priorities and responsibilities. Do you really have to bake cookies for that fundraiser? Babysit for your sister? Take on that extra project at work? Attend that wedding shower of your second cousin? Remember that there’s nothing wrong in saying no. Yes, we all have obligations to others, but don’t forget about the obligation you have to yourself to take care of your body and your health!

Remember, exercise gives you energy and keeps you healthy to keep going in that busy life of yours! So don’t think of exercise as another to-do to squeeze in on your already busy schedule. Instead, think of it as maintenance for your health and a way to de-stress and do something for you!

Retrieved from: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1675

Your silence makes me ill

“Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free til they find someone just as wild to run with them.” ~ Sex and the City

Sometimes I wonder where I went wrong. How is it possible, that the only man I have ever truly loved, can hurt me this much, simply by being silent?

Me: “Hi”

Him: “. . .”

Me: “You okay?”

Him: “. . . ”

Me: Frown . . . SMH

As I walk away form this conversation, I can feel the tears welling up in my eyes and I swallow hard so that I don’t shed a single one. Three days in a row of this silence. His face says it all but I know nothing of what it means. I’m not sure what happened between Saturday night and Sunday morning, but I woke up the man that I love was gone again and I was left with the shell of a man that I can’t stand to be with. It’s a “vicious cycle” as he once called it. He loves me. If he didn’t he’d have stayed long gone.

I think about when we first met, how we used to be so excited and anxious to be alone. Right now, being alone in the same room is tedious. He’s been through so much. He has so much going on in his head. I can feel the pain seeping through his pores. The pain of losing his identity, of losing himself, when he lost his mom. Olga, his best friend, his confidant, his go to girl. I can’t even begin to imagine what that was like. The worst part about it all is that although he misses his family sometimes, he is so hurt by them that he would NEVER seek them out. His mom was sacred, is sacred to him. He lived and breathed for her.

Some of you are probably wondering how any of that is my problem. Why should I worry he’s not my responsibility? right? You see, when I was down, when I was out, when I had NO ONE, not my mother, not my father, not my best friend, when I had nothing, no courage, no strength, no money, no job, and no will to carry me through, who was there? He was.

So on days like today, when I’m at my wits end because I have a paper due, I have work to do for an important organization, and I have to deal with the bordering panic attacks that come so suddenly, I don’t know how we will make it through. I just don’t have the patience for this anymore. I’m losing sleep, I’m stressing, and stretching myself thin as it is.

I feel sick to my stomach thinking about the possibility of just letting go. This silence is unwarranted and unwelcome. I’ve tried praying. I’ve tried comforting. I’ve tried being silly. I’ve tried talking like an adult. I’ve tried playing bad cop, and being angry. I’ve tried being upset and crying. Nothing pushes back the silence. Sometimes it goes on for weeks. He won’t eat, he won’t sleep. I tried giving back the silent treatment, but it just kills me a little more inside.

So what do you do when nothing makes sense anymore and everything is a blur of unhappy moments? Do you let go of the only person you can count on? Is it a betrayal? A stab in the back? Should you just keep finding little kisses of patience to get you through every breaking moment? Should love ever be truly unconditional?

As I type I see a refereshed post from an old friend of mine:

“Don’t give up on the people you love. Your patient love and faithfulness may be exactly what they need to make a complete turnaround.”

I find this statement difficult to believe, if after 8 years a turnaround hasn’t even peeked at the horizon, who’s to say there is a horizon at all. . . Meanwhile the silence makes me ill

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