Your mid-week nudge: Bottoms Up!

Well, the “big tent” I talked about last week is smothering those pernicious termites! We tackled the subterranean treatment without too much discomfort, but getting ready for the main event, bagging up items, relocating animals AND  humans, has been more of a chore. I long ago anthropomorphized my abode, so I’ve been soothing her, telling her we are doing this for her protection, her own good.  I cry when the granddaughters get their immunizations, too.

I claimed this house in some mysterious way when I was sixteen.  As a neighbor, I built a warm and friendly relationship with the elderly widow who was the sole caretaker of the home her husband had presented as a wedding gift in the early 1930s. I look back on the audacity of my declaration that I would like to live there “one day”…what implications that must have signaled to a woman of her years and maturity, but my recollection is that she not only humored me, but was intrigued with my strong connection.  Six years later circumstances delivered on my intention, and we’ve lived there long enough to experience two fumigation adventures.  That’s a lot of living under one roof!

So now we wait for all those nasty toxins to do their best effort, and my attention shifts to keeping the green things alive! We removed plants rooted too close to the foundation, concerned with the fumes and extra trampling—what a time of year to uproot the little darlings, the collateral damage of the “big event.”  I’ve apologized to them, too, and turned my attention to water!  If the plants can still get their routine drinks, they’ll be a little shook up, but will live!

And the same goes for all of us!  Water!  What an underappreciated beverage, huh?  Until we don’t have it, then it’s truly a crisis.  I’ve had a few hospital visits with kidney stones, all in warm months when I was not drinking much water, and I learned the hard way to pay particular attention to extra hydration when I am busy or stressed.  So like keeping my plants healthy and thriving despite their uprooting, I’m doing the same.

While sitting at a Starbuck’s the other day, I guess NOT drinking water, I overheard a very zealous woman citing horrifying statistics about all the pesticides, high particle rates of antibiotic and every reason why our “polluted” water was doing us in.  I was a little amused and a lot irritated.  Out of curiosity I did come home and do some on-line research. Discussions of water treatments and EPA standards, some promoting filtered and bottled (translate-expensive) over tap varied from study to study and most cancelled one another out.  I suggest finding what works for you, and sticking to it!

You already know, like I do and often ignore, that our bodies are 70% water and that we need it to replenish our blood, take stress off of our vital organs, and just to survive well. So, to perhaps do more than just survive, but thrive, here are a few random thoughts to hopefully stimulate thirst!

  • 1/3 of us have such a weak thirst sensation that we mistake thirst for hunger.  Drink a glass of water when you feel mid-afternoon hunger.  See what happens.
  • Even mild dehydration slows down metabolism as much as 3%
  • Drink water to be a good example to the little people in your life.  Research shows that 70%  of preschool children drink NO water at all during the day.

So next time I see you, I’ll look for your snazzy water bottle. And here’s to your well-being.  Bottoms up!!


Gotta love the title of this guy’s site!  If you need suggestions for drinking more water:

Want to be popular at parties?  Spout some new statistics!  Read:

Good recipe for a satisfying water cooler:

This One’s For You!

There I was, all alone, settling in to a mini-funk. No one at the ready. No charge to my phone or BlackBerry. Just me with time on my hands and my thoughts to over-process. It’s a bad combination. I can dig in pretty deep and have been known to take wallowing to new heights. What to do? How can I stop this mental dive and reframe my situation? This isn’t a crisis, mind you, just an occasional occurrence, yet one that required special effort. Does this ever happen to you? Hopefully you have many supportive persons in your life – familial relationships, trusted colleagues, close friends or a fabulous therapist. But what if it’s too late to call/text/or IM or you simply can’t? What if you need a dramatic shift in perspective, and you need it quick?! What if you have no one to rely on except, well, yourself? Consider this option:  music.

I’m not talking about just any music. I’m talking about your own personal theme song. Stay with me here. If you are blessed to be old enough to remember the movie Rocky, I’d be willing to bet you remember the music he trained to. Running and air-punching his way up those steps, working out in the cold and the rain, day in and day out? The music had us feeling we could do it too! The first chords swell and then explode, like a punch. It’s bold and confident. It’s stand-tall and take-no-prisoners. Close your eyes and hear it in your head. How does it make you feel? Strong. Empowered. Self-assured. Ready to take on the world. Do you notice any physical effects on your body? Did your posture improve and you breathed in more deeply? Is your chin up? That’s what we’re looking for!

Your song can be silly, serious, iconic, fun or funny – the type doesn’t matter as long as it moves you. Are you a Flashdance “What a Feeling” kind of a person? How about something from Queen: “Don’t Stop Me Now”, “Ogre Battle”(Google it!), or the tried and true “Bohemian Rhapsody”? Possibly Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing?” Or is something a bit more current speaking to you? You can tell us if you have Bieber Fever!

Maybe having a song for your life is a little over the top [until they write the movie version of your life], but give some thought to your one-song soundtrack. It’s got to be one that lifts you, one that puts you in a good mood and most importantly, puts everything back into perspective. Think of this as pure musical vitamin B. The effect can be pretty powerful. Find your own song that evokes those feelings necessary to face whatever you’re facing. Take a deep breath, listen to your heart and find the gift of your song.


A thousand and more lights…

So much can be accomplished when we support one another through difficult life challenges.  At times when stressful living pulls in negative feelings or leaves me feeling overwhelmed with concern I find that taking positive action helps me reconnect to gratitude, and when I walk beside someone else supporting their journey I feel even more empowered.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life but I continue to think about the many wonderful participants who shared the entire weekend.  The Relay is such a striking event.  People from all walks of life come together with guidance from community volunteers and national, even international ACS staff to “Celebrate, Remember, and Fight Back.”  I have participated in the last two of the three Relays in my Altadena neighborhood.

The relay is a 24-hour event. Teams are encouraged to have someone on the walking trail at all times—cancer doesn’t “sleep” or take a break, so teams are encouraged to keep a 24 hour commitment.  The laps begin with the Survivors starting out in celebration, enjoying the bright sunshine, and then as the night settles in over a thousand personalized and hand-decorated luminaries line the outline of the track and team members somberly walk the course “remembering” those already passed, friends and family hoping for a cure, and meditating on what the event has meant for each person.

There is a reverence and respect for each soul represented by the flickering candlelit bags– what one young girl called “stars on the ground.”  Those walking the track during this “Remembrance” portion often shed tears as they honor those they’ve lost, remembering stories that have lingered in dark recesses of painful memory. Others walk to get back in touch with their own bodies, often regaining mental strength through just the act of sheer willpower; doing something healthy with their bodies after feeling months or even years of deep fear of their own mortality.

Each year as I go to my doctors for the Well-Woman Exams (PAP, Mammogram, Lab work) I am surrounded by doctors and nurses who have made it their life’s work to be there with women like myself and to provide comfort during some of the most vulnerable exams we can experience.  We have all been in waiting rooms, filled with women, and family/friends that stand by while we consider the weight and tension of the unknown–what might the future hold? I’ve been there when reports have left me concerned and questioning.

This striking Relay for Life event is a way for me to celebrate my own good health while lifting a prayer for those who have not been so fortunate.  I find the nighttime walking particularly meaningful. As time passes I see life moving forward into the following morning- just as promised in what my grandparents called The Good Book. The morning sounds shift as people begin to break camp and the culminating “Fight Back” ceremony begins.  People share how they or their loved ones experienced the life-changing words “You have cancer” and how much hope is placed on current research.

The friendships and connections made at this very personal and emotional weekend event will remain as we look for other opportunities to support one another and cancer research! The American Cancer Society says of their goals, that by supporting these fine events, “you help the ACS save lives and help us move closer to a world with less cancer and more birthdays.”

Weekends are such wonderful times to think about new opportunities and fresh options.  If you happen to live in the San Gabriel Valley you might think about stopping by the Duarte High School Football Field this Saturday to witness an American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Some cities even offer “canine walks” for those who want to involve their beloved pet in the festivities. Almost any weekend you can find a Relay, and if cancer touches anyone you love, I know you would find this a meaningful event.   And remember, too, feeling good and doing good can combine to create a positive feedback loop. Wishing you a healthy and thoughtful weekend.

Blessings, Beth

Welcome to the Relay Nation |

Do Good Feel Good – Page 1 – MSN Health – Depression.