Tuesday, April 10, 2018
The next week as I was working out at the gym, I saw another thing that was a bit depressing and made me think back to the "lookdown" fish that I had previously learned about. I was on the elliptical machine, above the gymnasium and basketball court. A young man, most likely of high-school age, was practicing his basketball shots. I watched him for about 15 minutes. During this time, he checked his phone exactly 10 times. I calculate that to be every 1.5 minutes. Disengaging from a healthy, physical activity every one and a half minutes to check his screen. What he was looking for is beyond me. I mean, he wasn't exactly swishing each and every shot, so pretty sure he wasn't waiting for a text from his agent! But, each time the ball bounced out of bounds or went across the gym, he would take his phone out of his pocket and glance down at the screen while he strolled lazily across the gym floor. It was almost a "knee jerk" reaction. It was like he couldn't bear the thought of walking across the gymnasium without checking his phone. Most times, he would just look down and put the phone back in his pocket.
A few minutes later, a couple of younger boys showed up. The high-school boy asked to join them. What I observed in the ensuing 10 minutes, was that the same exact boy who was addicted to the screen moments earlier, was now engaged and completely oblivious of the technological tool buzzing away in his pocket. It made me happy. And sad. All at once.
Sad because it illustrates how addicted our kids have become to their phones; that our children have never been more disconnected than they are now. They make friends over Snap Chat but, rarely talk to those same people in real time. They can't find their homework but, you can bet they can see where their best friend's second cousin is spending Spring Break, thanks to Snap Map. Our kids are obsessed about how many "likes" their latest Instagram post received yet, fail to hear the accolades and praise of their own parents because they are too busy checking texts. They have become so dependent on the instant gratification provided by technology that they don't even know how to spend their recreational/down time without it.
Our world has never been more broken. Our children have never been more mislead. Our job as parents has never been more important. We are losing an entire generation to this high tech, man-made monstrosity that we call smart phones. Hmmmm. Doesn't sound very smart to me.
So, why did this same scenario give me hope? It gave me hope that maybe, just maybe there is a solution to this subdivide among our youth today. And it's an easy fix. Won't cost a dime. It's called real, face-to-face interaction. Oh, I know! This is a novel, newfangled and fanatical idea! But, what if we put it into practice? Think of the lives that could be saved, changed and enhanced.
And this is where parenting comes in. We have got to teach our kids by example. Go outside and say hello to our neighbors, instead of texting them. Go up to someone in the breakroom and invite them to an event in person, not by sending them an Evite. Tell someone you like their new outfit, hair do or car by actually saying the words NOT by clicking a button. Our kids are watching! We have to bridge this ever-growing, gaping hole between real, personal interaction and what we are doing now.
This whole concept of the "lookdown" fish made me think of a few other times in life where simply looking up could save our lives.
When driving, "look up, not down". It could literally save your life.
Upon waking, "look up, not down". Okay, it may not save your life, but I promise it will make your day go smoother.
Only when we look up, can we begin to see each other for who we really are and finally gain a deeper connection. But, until that happens, our youth will continue to slip further and further away from us. Going nowhere. Looking down. All day long. And, I don't want that to be on me.
Friday, February 2, 2018
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
So, you wanna do a Juice cleanse? Wanna give your sorry ol' liver a little break? Wanna wipe the slate clean and start over? You may want to read this first!!!
I just finished my third Juice Cleanse. I feel like I've kind of got this thing down by now but, man oh man, I could've used some pointers my first time around!!!
Here are 10 helpful tips from a girl who's been there and done that:
1. Grab a friend. Everything is easier when done alongside a friend! Believe me, you will want someone who is in the trenches with you. Someone you can ask questions to and commiserate with. Errr...I mean, celebrate with! When its over.
2. Know before you "go". Seriously, why didn't the brochure warn me about the cabernet colored explosions I'd experience on Day 3 or the distinct changes in the shape, color and length of...well, you get the idea!! Also, plan to spend more time going #1 as well. Better yet, you may want to camp out in your bathroom for 3 days. Just kidding. Kind of.
3. Eat some real food already. Drinking nothing but juice for 3 days makes a girl extremely hangry!!! The first time I did my cleanse, I didn't eat a thing! I have no idea how I survived without biting my own arm off. The second and third time, I got smart! I took the advice in the brochure and added in whole, clean foods throughout my day. Roasted veggies, raw veggies, apples, berries, bananas, a few nuts here & there. Having something to sink my teeth into made all the difference between merely surviving and actually enjoying a cleanse. Well, maybe the word "enjoying" is a bit of a stretch!!
4. Get your rest.
5. Keep reminding yourself "it's only 3 days!" You can do anything for 3 days. Right?
6. Pamper yourself in other ways. Sauna and Epsom salt baths are suggested as additional detox tools but, maybe go a step further and get a facial or pedi to really take your mind off it. It does help.
7. Count your blessings. Some folks go to bed hungry nightly. Some don't have enough money for groceries at all. And a whole lot of people would say spending $100 on 3 days of juice is just plain cray-cray. So, embrace the fact that a.) you are capable of doing this physically & financially and b.) that you will eat regular food again. Sure puts things in perspective.
8. Avoid Food Network or any other food related shows or magazines while cleansing! Trust me on this.
9. Follow up with clean eating. A juice cleanse is a great way to jump start weight loss! I've lost up to 5 lbs doing them but, if you go back to your old ways, so will your waistline!
10. Pat yourself on the back. Better yet, print up a diploma that says "I can do hard things." Because you did. While you're at it, also print one up that says, "I am a Badass!" Because you are.
Good Job! You did it! Congrats! Your liver thanks you! You, my friend, are a rock star!
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Saturday, December 23, 2017
Alzheimer's is a cruel disease. It takes folks to lunch and then robs them blind - of the memory of what they just ate. It takes them to a movie and then leaves them cold - sitting and wondering what the heck they just spent 2 hours watching. And even worse, it makes their own children seem like vague, distant relatives.
My sweet mama is one of the 5 million people in the US suffering from this awful, awful disease.
It has been difficult to watch my mom go from the bubbly, talkative, social, outgoing person she was (when I was growing up), to a mere shadow of her former self at times. Sometimes, she is unable to form words or sentences. Sometimes, she sleeps for an entire day. Most times, she recognizes her children and husband of 63 years but, is unable to call them by name.
As Alzheimer's progresses, it takes a lot from a person. But, the one thing it absolutely cannot grab hold of is the way that person feels about people and the way that others make them feel. You see, regardless of whether my mama knows my name on any given day, she knows I am someone she loves and someone who loves her back. The look in her gorgeous blue eyes and the smile on her perfect face when I walk in her room, tell me everything I need to know.
Some days she greets me with "Oh, I'm so happy to see you," "I'm so glad you are here" or "I thought you would never get here." It doesn't matter that she doesn't know my name. She knows I am someone she loves and enjoys seeing. Recently I showed her a photo of 7-year old me (because I know people with Alzheimer's often remember things from long ago) and she said, without hesitation, "That's my baby girl."
Sometimes when I sit with my mama, there is simply no need for words. She holds my hand in hers and runs her thumb along the edge of my hand. Just like she did when I was little and needed consoling. Often, she will tuck my hair behind my ear as we sit in silence. Just like she did for 7-year old me. It's moments like these that assure me that my mom is still here.
Alzheimer's may have stolen her memory of how to speak, her ability to perform daily activities or her physical strength to walk but, it will not take away my mama's heart. And, quite honestly, that's the part of her I want most.
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou