When my husband and I got married 30 years ago, we married for life, better or worse. In our own youthful way we knew what forever meant, but we never know what the future will hold. Will our spouse get a debilitating disease? Will their health be such that we will be taking care of them in our elder years rather than enjoying our time for retirement? All these variables are unknown and for good reason. I think I would be overwhelmed if I could know the future and what it holds for my husband and me. Will I be a caregiver for my husband or him for me?
Having worked in senior care, I have seen some phenomenal caregivers. They are the unsung heroes of aging. Many have no choice but to become a assistant for their loved one. They take care of finances, incidental items, senior care placement, dressing, food prep and serve, general hygiene and emotional as well as spiritual care. That is not even mentioning transportation to doctor’s appointments and prescriptions. It is exhausting work for the one who is responsible for the wellbeing of their aging loved one. Many end up spending their entire retirement savings and time in elder safe keeping.
Common signs of stress in caregivers are loss of interest in things they would normally enjoy, decline in their own health, fatigue, isolation and worry. To combat this stress, accept help. People want to help but many times pride gets in our way and disallows us from letting others assist. Depression and anxiety can also be a result of caregiving, but most common is isolation. Going to caregiver support groups is a helpful tool to remind you that you are not alone. That form of encouragement is priceless when you are in the trenches.
My hat is off to the caregivers in the world. They spend their days in service to others. They sacrifice some of the best years of their life working in ways they never labored in the mainstream career market. Many times they are thrown into the service role suddenly and thanklessly with little assistance from siblings, children or other family members. They certainly have no training. Much like our children who are born with no manual, caregivers also are not given a manual. Yet, they are out in the world doing the best they can every single day to care for their loved one. Caregivers, we see you, we hear you, we salute you. Your sacrifices are seen and appreciated. You may not have known in your youth that this would be the charge handed to you, but you are out there doing it every day. You are appreciated.
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Go forth and be fabulous, Friends!
Being a cheerful giver is easy. It is fun to come upon a treasure in a store that looks like something a loved one would like, then purchase it and wrap it in paper and bows with its recipient in mind. It makes us feel good. We get excited in anticipation of the moment we can give our gifts. Even our guidebook for life, the Bible, states that God loves a cheerful giver.
I have several gifts that I am very excited to give this year. I am eagerly awaiting the reaction of the recipient. I KNOW they will love the gifts I picked out specially for them. What if I gave my gifts and those who received them did not like them? What if they opened the gift and said, “I don’t want this. I don’t need this.” Or-what if they didn’t even smile when they opened the gift? What a disappointment that would be to me, the giver. You see, it’s easy to be a cheerful giver, but the one thing we leave out of Christmas is being a gracious recipient. If we aren’t gracious recipients, we steal the joy away from the cheerful giver.
For some reason, we fall short of educating our children and ourselves to be good receivers. Receiving makes many feel uncomfortable. I talked to several people about receiving gifts and some of the things they said were “I don’t want that attention called to myself when I get a gift. “. “I buy most of what I want or need for myself so I don’t know what to do or say when someone does something for me.” “I don’t want to take charity. “. If you are a person who has trouble accepting gifts, tweak your thinking a bit. Think about the giver and the thought they put into your gift. Don’t steal their joy away. Smile when you open the gift. Accept it with thanksgiving knowing that someone wanted to do something nice for you. Take the focus off your own feelings of receiving and think of the giver. Joy is something that can be rarely given, but at Christmas, we can take the focus off of ourselves and put it on the giver. Then and only then, can we gift Joy right back.
Joy is a remarkable gift. May we give it freely this Christmas as we learn to be better receivers. Go forth and be fabulous, Friends, as we bring this gut wrenching year to an end.
Best Days are Made,
I have been on just about every diet that has ever been presented since I have been in the up and down closet my entire life. I think back to younger years when I seemed to always be looking for the next "easy" or "miracle" solution to being overweight. I would not go back to that time in my life for anything. I also would love to be as "fat" as I thought I was back then because life and babies has added extra skin and fat where I never thought I would have it and I realize that when I thought I was fat, I actually was skinny and fit. Wow. Perceptions change through the years, don't they?
A perfect stranger walked up to me yesterday and said, "OH I LOVE your glasses. I wish I could wear round glasses but everyone told me that my face was too fat for that shape." WHAT?! Was she even serious? She let the thought of someone else tell her that she did not need something that she wanted. The fact is, round glasses don't look that great on me either. But I wanted them so I got them. I wear them because they are cool. That is a look I am going for. I call mine Where's Waldo glasses. I love them. That lady that spoke to me should get some too.
When dieting the one key we miss is to lose the opinions of others. We try so hard to lose weight in our belly but what about losing weight from our minds? The weight of expectations and opinions of others is overwhelming at times. Most times, actually. And opinions fly around like dust in the wind on a daily basis. Today, on this Motivational Monday, let us try not to lose weight in our hips, but in our minds. May we counteract negative self talk with positive self talk and may we never let what someone else thinks cloud our own likes and dislikes. If you would like to read more about body image, click here.
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Best Days are Made,
Of the top things that people are scared of, public speaking is the number one thing. Interesting to me, because I have always been a public speaker. It never bothered me to get up in front of a crowd to say something. I suppose I just trust my ability to communicate in a way that people can relate and understand.
Finding our purpose in life seems to be an ever evolving journey throughout the seasons of our lives. Having had the privilege of serving so many seniors in our community, the verbiage I hear the most is “I feel useless”. Compared to the days of our youth when our main objective of the day was to keep the children alive, service to others was our purpose. Once we pass the hypothetical halfway mark of life, we often lose that sense of ambition and even question why we are still here. If you are afraid of dying, try the strategies outlined here.
The first half of our lives is spent working toward graduating high school, learning a trade or getting a degree, getting married, having children, and then raising them. Our goals at that time reach forward into the future and serving others is what we do every single day. It’s easy to find objective when we stay busy.
Once we get over the hill, those we once cared for no longer need as much attention and we make a shift toward only taking care of ourselves. Our children bring our grandchildren over and although we are glad to see the headlights, we are equally glad to see the taillights because raising kids is for the young. This is an enjoyable time in life because we still have the majority of our health and can enjoy our spouse more since they got less attention while we raised the children.
Retirement comes and our intentions become less about working and more about enjoying. Often, this phase of life is the most planned for and requires the most financial preparation. Our purpose is to play golf or to travel or be active at the country club-things we didn’t have time or money for in our youth.
As the process of aging creeps up and our health fails more, purpose becomes something we long for in life. It becomes a fleeting memory of days gone by. Perhaps our purpose in the winter of our lives is to give the younger generation someone to serve as we did in our youth. What are servants without people to serve? Aging is a gift that some never have the opportunity to experience. Instead of questioning our remaining purpose here on earth, why not put our efforts into giving solid advice to the young as well as giving them the opportunity to serve.
As young people, let us enjoy the opportunities to serve, for as we grow older, we will become the served. If you would like to discuss adding positivity into your life with life coaching, contact me by clicking here
Best Days Are Made,
Since quarantinement, (yes that is a new word I created), I have watched Tiger King twice, but Bohemian Rhapsody has become a movie I can watch over and over. It has made me more of a Queen fan than I ever was before and I do believe my enamorment with Freddie Mercury is the reason. What a guy! I mean, he is the epitome of #flawesome on the Streets.
If you know me at all, you have heard me say that if I had money to either send my kids to college or fix their teeth, I would fix their teeth. As a huge advocate and speaker on the subject of self esteem, teeth are key to feeling good about yourself. People whose teeth are nice smile more. It is a fact. It helps you self confidence. That is my opinion, you should make it yours. lol. Poor Freddie Mercury. If he had been born Freddie Anglin, he would have had his teeth fixed faster than he discovered his love of performance. OH-stop right there. HAD he been born an Anglin, he would never have been the Freddie Mercury, Queen of Queens. Why? Well, because I would have had his teeth fixed. Fact is, his teeth are what gave his incredible sound. The way the air went through the overbite and extended front teeth is what made him one of the greatest vocal performers of all time in my opinion. American Idol always looks for the different sound. Freddie was that because of his teeth among natural talent.
You go forth and be fabulous with your flawesome self, Freddie! I am glad you were not born an Anglin so that I can enjoy your music while I clean and paint my house during quarantine.
We all have a version of "Freddie's teeth". Maybe it is double chins. Maybe it is large hips. Maybe it is severe shyness. Freddie gives us the real life example that we can embrace our flaws and be awesome!
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Best Days are Made,
I am truly a worshipper of the sun. From lApril to October you can find me at the pool every single day. I am sure a lot of it is just a general enjoyment of water and the sun and warm weather, but I really miss it in the winter. I have read a lot about loving the water so much and I believe that empaths love water. An empath is a person who feels the emotions and issues of other so deeply that it affects them. Empaths will take issues upon themselves as though that problem is theirs. Some people can just listen to others and move on. Empaths don't. We take this into ourselves and adopt it as our own.
This year has been worse than others with seasonal depression in the winter. Some days I have trouble getting out of bed. Some days when I make it out of the bed I transfer to the couch. It is not good. It is not fun. I have no motivation to do anything at all. Sometimes it is at the point that I won't even leave the house to get something that is important that we are out of. I have been able to hide it well just because I have grown children living at home and if I need something, they will pick it up and not think anything about it.
I went into a state of mourning in October knowing that pool season is over. Thank goodness that my community leaves the pool open until October. Most places close the pool at Labor Day. I am blessed to have an extra month. My strategy for this year was to soak in the bathtub each day. It helps some but not enough that I was not having issues. I started researching light therapy. There is enough research out there that I was willing to try it. I also researched types of lamps. I ordered mine from Amazon and they have them on sale right now.
I sit by my lamp every day while I drink my coffee and it makes a big difference for me. I notice that I am more motivated, get up on time, am energized for my day, and am generally in a more upbeat mood than normal for winter for me. I waited several weeks to recommend light therapy just to see if it really makes a difference for me. Well it does. I leave mine on for about 20 minutes. Sometimes I even wear my sunglasses because they make me happy. I have my lamp sitting. on the end table next to my couch. It is about the size of an iPad mini. Does not have a large footprint in my decor either. The light has three settings of light brightness. The directions say to start small and work up. I was so depressed that I just started on the high setting and noticed a difference right away in my motivation. Now, I look forward to my light time in the same way that I looked forward to going to the pool in the summer. Get you a light. If my symptoms sound like you, then get one. Here is the link to the one I recommend and bought myself. This is an active link and you can order straight from there. Let me know what you think!
Make Today the Best Day Ever!
It is staggering to me how many people in society are struggling with feeling like they are enough. There is debilitating, crushing pressure on all of us to be someone we are not. To wear something that is acceptable, to act a way that is normal, to work a job that is approved, but who is actually the gauge to measure what is acceptable, normal, or approved. I have lived my life trying to fit in. Worth and value to society is one of the hardest concepts to adopt into your everyday thinking and oppressive opinions and expectations are the root of all evil here.
Can you even imagine if we were all just alike? Everyone had blonde straight hair? Everyone was thin? Everyone eats kale salad for lunch? This was not how the world was created. We would have nothing at all to learn in this world if everyone were alike. I have struggled with my weight for my entire life. Menopause has done a real number on my body and I would love not to be fat like I thought I was years ago. I think of all the time I wasted sucking in my belly and trying to look thinner. I am over it. I am tired of trying to fit into the mold that society wants to pour me into and pop me out looking just the way that television would dictate that I should look. Bless us all. How do you accept that you are enough? That is such an illustrious goal and one that many are 6 feet under without ever grasping. It is sad really, to go to your grave still trying to suck in, not just sucking in your gut but sucking in the real us that society does not want.
Today is D day. the end. finality. Repeat this after me: I am me. Others can learn from me. I have value, I have worth. I am not the sum of my past. I am my future. I am adorable. Stand in front of the mirror and repeat this until you believe it. Pour into yourself because no one else will. Be like Nike, just do it.
Today, may you realize that you are enough with your moles, your belly fat, your double chin, your poor decisions, your job that you hate, your failures and your triumphs. YOU. ARE ENOUGH.
Make today the best day ever and go forth and be fabulous!
Have you ever noticed that people are basically the same as they have been all along? Take me, for example. I am naturally a bigger person. I have been accused of a lot of things but being petite or delicate is not one of them. I have been thinner and I have been larger, but if you look at me over the years, I am basically one form.
I know people who could eat a whole pie and never gain a pound and I can look at a pie and gain three pounds. We are all made so differently. Our metabolisms are different, our body build is different, our habits are different. Some people naturally gravitate toward salads and fruits and others, like me, gravitate toward meat and potatoes. There is nothing wrong with any of these body types or habits. Imagine if God created us all exactly alike.
In order to be thinner, we have to do something drastic. In order to gain weight we have to do something drastic. 6 years ago I lost down to the smallest I have ever been in my entire life. I looked sick. I didn’t realize it at the time but looking back on pictures, my face is sunk in and I just look ill. Truth was, I was not doing well during that time in my life and yet, everyone told me how good I looked. I would walk away wondering if they could see the cobwebs on the inside. Sometimes drastic weight loss is a sign of inward crumble. Don’t mistake what I am saying-it’s great when people lose weight and become healthier. Some people need to carve some pounds off for their health and I applaud you for that. It’s important to take care of yourself and your health. If losing weight is a part of that plan then that is a beautiful thing and not what I am making a point about. The point that I am attempting to drive home is that some people are naturally petite, naturally fluffy, naturally a salad lover, naturally a meat lover, naturally tall and skinny or naturally tall and fluffy, etc.
If you really look around at people you have known for a long time, they may have been thinner or bigger at certain points in their lives but we all have a natural body balance that we were born with. This year, in 2020, the year of perfect vision, I would like to see more people embrace themselves for who they are and try to simply be the best you that you can be. Live your best life, whatever that means for you, and stop comparison analysis of others. Be yourself because everyone else is taken. You are enough, with your flaws and shortcomings, your mistakes and shame, your triumphs and tragedies, and your successes and failures. You are enough.
Thank you for supporting my business in 2019, for buying and reading my book, for hiring me to speak at your event, and for giving me reviews and shares to grow my business.
Remember me when you are looking for a speaker. I also do life coaching which is individual one on one goal setting and accountability. If you feel stuck then life coaching is for you! Happy New Year! May it be the best year ever!!
Here are some pics of me through the years. I’ve been fatter and I’ve been thinner. But basically I’m a larger person naturally. I will accept that and know that I am enough.
With my 50th birthday rapidly approaching at the end of November, there were a few things I wanted to change about who I was as a person with this new decade and second half of life I was about to embark upon. One was I wanted to quit drinking artificial sweeteners. 20 years ago I was an avid coke drinker. I would drink a two liter a day. I didn’t like water, so I drank coke all the time. When I would go to the grocery I would buy from 10-13 two liter bottles of coke and drink them that week. It’s terrible, I know but it was my reality.
One thing I have learned in my life is that we don’t “break habits”. We replace them with other habits. If I want to stop drinking cokes then I need to focus on replacing that habit with a better habit. I decided that I enjoy the bubbles of coke so I will drink one coke per day and drink something else the rest of the day. My desire for coke was satisfied with one and then I was able to replace the rest of my coke habit with tea or crystal light. I did this for several years until I started working then I would stop by Sonic in the morning and get a large Diet Coke then fill my Sonic foam cup with water instead of crystal light or tea the rest of the day. I made it a game for myself to see how hydrated I could become. That is what made it doable for me was checking to see how hydrated I was. The clearer my urine, the more hydrated I was. Judge me, but it motivated me to keep on my path.
I had always admired coffee drinkers because coffee is such a social thing. Those who sit with their husband holding a warm cup of joe and discussing their day was a beautiful thing. It didn’t seem as sensational to have a Sonic diet drink for the same event. Artificial sweeteners are terrible for you. Any amount of research will show you that and I am not here to convince you one way or another. I just knew for me, I wanted to quit drinking artificial sweeteners. I started by picking a creamer that sounded good and pouring half creamer and half coffee. Each day I would reduce the amount of creamer and acquire the taste for coffee. It’s working. I notice that in taking away artificial sweeteners, I don’t crave foods or drinks anymore. I haven’t lost any weight but I wasn’t trying either. Plus it is the holidays. The point I am trying to make is that the secret to making a change is replacing, not quitting. If you want to quit smoking you replace that habit with something else, like chewing gum. If you want to quit drinking sodas, decide what better option you will replace that habit with. It isn’t as daunting if you know you aren’t “quitting” you are “replacing”. I told myself I was going to become a coffee drinker-not-I’m going to quit drinking soda. I felt more in control and more set up for success by “becoming” something rather than “quitting” something. I wish you the best in the new year and with your efforts to resolve to be a better person in habits. We are creatures of habit and removing bad habits is daunting. Replacing doesn’t leave us feeling empty.
UPDATE: Originally, this post was written in December of 2019o-Pre-Covid. I wonder if Covid will become a "time marker" of sorts. Things happened either pre or post covid, if there ever is a post-covid time. sigh... I have remained a coffee drinker. I am so proud of myself. Every morning I have a cup of coffee with my husband. It is a lovely thing. It is a time we look forward to and with Covid, it has become even more wonderful because he has not been traveling so it is a daily thing. How did I learn to like coffee??? I wonder that on a daily basis. I learned that I like French vanilla creamer. I learned that it was ok if I did not care for black coffee. Basically I learned that it was good for me to like coffee how I like it and not how other people enjoy it. Why fit in when we were made to stand out? If you are interested in how to be more yourself and embrace YOU, check this out!
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Go forth and be fabulous, Friends, and don't ever forget that Best Days are Made!
Jennifer Anglin is a motivational speaker, life coach and author who shares personal stories of triumphs and tragedies to give hope to a dying world.