Mid-life Without the Crisis

It really isn't the destination, but the journey. May be cliche, but it's true.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Learning Something New

My Granny "Square"
I had an interesting epiphany the other night.  But first, the back story...

My mom has always made beautiful crocheted gifts for family and friends.  This past Christmas, she made scarfs for the guys and house slippers with funny googly eyes for the grandsons.  (She also made bead earrings for all the gals.)  I have two beautiful afghans she has made for me, as well as bags and other gifts.  I decided that I would like to learn how to crochet so that I too can give these gorgeous, useful gifts from the heart.

So last Sunday afternoon I had my first lesson.  You can see in the picture above the lesson I'm currently working on.  It's called a Granny Square and can be used as a base for making lots of projects, plus it includes several basic stitches I need to know to build up to bigger tasks.  The middle is mostly the part my mom did to demonstrate the steps.  The second row is the one I did while Mom watched and helped me.  The outer row is the one I did by myself at home.  Can you see the downward progression?

So while I was unraveling the third row for about the third time and starting again, I commented to my husband that I knew what I was supposed to do, but it just wasn't turning out how it should.

Then came the epiphany.

Being the type of person who pretty much only learned things for academic reasons, once I learned something, I was done with it.  Mission accomplished.  Subject mastered.

But learning how to do something physical is different.  You can know in your head what to do without that translating into your body coming along for the ride.  Successful body movement is more than just knowing "how" to do something, but instead takes practice until the muscles also "know" what to do.

Understanding this is so simple and yet so profound to someone like me, who lives inside my head.  But my body is more than just a way to get my head where it wants to go.  It is part of me and I must let it learn what it needs to know through practice and repetition.  So if I don't get it right the first time, whether it's crocheting or running or doing yoga, I just have to try, try again.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Motivating Music

Whether I'm cleaning, working out, or heading out for a long drive somewhere, I like to have some music that gets me pumped up and ready to take care of business.  I'm always on the lookout for new songs to add to my playlist of motivational music.  Here are my latest additions and a bit about them. 

1.  Ali in the Jungle by The Hours.  I first heard this song on a commercial (see it here).  I really like the message of the song - we all get knocked down, but the key is when are you going to get up?

2.  Help, I'm Alive by Metric.  This is a song my daughter introduced me to and I not only like the tempo for running, but I really like the lyric "My heart keeps beating like a hammer." 

3.  (Geek Alert!!!)  An Awful Lot of Running by Chameleon Circuit.  This is what is known as TRock - Time Lord Rock.  The band only sings songs about The Doctor (from Doctor Who), who is a Time Lord, thus Time Lord Rock, thus TRock.  This song is a reference to the 2008 episode "The Doctor's Daughter" in which the Doctor's companion describes what the Doctor does, "saves worlds, rescues civilizations, defeats terrible creatures and runs a lot.  Seriously, there's an outrageous amount of running involved."

What songs do you find motivational?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Grow old with me!  The best is yet to be.  ~Robert Browning  

On this day dedicated to love and all things of the heart, I thought I'd remind you to take care of your actual heart.

Looking at several health sites, I find that the top advice for a healthy heart are the following:

  1. Eat plenty of fiber and whole grains.
  2. Avoid cholesterol and unhealthy fats (trans fats & saturated fats)
  3. Maintain a healthy weight.
  4. Exercise regularly.
  5. Find effective ways to deal with stress.
  6. Stop smoking.
 If you have someone special in your life, enjoy your day together.  If you don't have a significant other, then do something nice for yourself.

Whatever you do, I hope you have a lovely Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Video

One of my favorite Pink Floyd tunes.  Have a great Friday!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chase Your Dreams

Some people follow their dreams; others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission. ~Neil Kendall

My husband and I were talking about dreams yesterday.  He has a friend who is a musician with some local success who apparently is not getting as far as he hoped in his musical career.  He described his time with the band as "a waste of time."

I have to say, I disagree wholeheartedly.  I don't think that chasing your dreams, even if you never reach them, is a waste of time.

I would say that there is a very good chance that I will never make it to the Ironman Triathlon.  But does that mean having that as an ultimate goal is a waste of time?  NO.  I'm working on getting in better shape, which is better for my health, whether I get into a certain race or not.  I'm learning things about myself, better understanding how healthy food and exercise benefit us, and am coming to appreciate a host of athletes who are an inspiration.  That is not a waste of time.

Sure, there are times when we come to realize that it's time to give up on some things.  Maybe we need to move on to something more attainable, or healthier, or whatever.  And only you can make that decision of if and when it's time to move on.  But in the meantime, you are learning, growing, trying, and persevering.  So keep at it.  Chase those dreams.  Be better and stronger.  

Here's a video about dreams featuring the amazing Blue Angels.  Hope you enjoy.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Film

I just finished reading a book translated from the Swedish (see my book review page) and wrote about it this morning.  Since then, I've been thinking about Sweden, where my daughter lives, and all things Swedish.  So in trying to figure out what to post today, I decided to post my favorite little Swedish film short.

This was a project for a group of film students, one of whom is the brother of my daughter's boyfriend.  Mattis Hansson is his name and I wouldn't be surprised to one day see his name on the big screen.  This always makes me smile, so I thought it would be fun for a cold Friday.  Enjoy!

P.S.  The title translates to "road soul."