Create your balance. Design your life.

What That Damn Dress Can Teach You About Life

The dress…you know the one. The “What color is it?!” that people are freaking out over. Crazy how you can look at the same thing and see two totally different ideas.   There’s a life lesson to be learned in all of this. (No, not to see if your spouse is color blind.) It’s all about perspective.   It’s all in how you look at it. Perspective. I struggle on a daily basis to stay positive, to relax, todecompress. Little things (and big things) get me stressed out. I’m up at night, my mind racing over things–like my work evaluation–that I can’t do a damn thing about at the moment.   I find myself short of breath when I’m thinking about the laundry and cleaning and dinner (and darn it if I forgot to take something out to thaw!) and baths that are cluttering up my evening after working 10 hours during the day.   My heart starts racing in irritation when my kids are screaming at each other in the back seat about what exactly are the lyrics to some inane Katy Perry song.   And I make myself STOP. Perspective.   When the world starts to overwhelm me, I take a step back and a deep breath. I pull out the positives in those situations that are making me freak out. (No, really. You need to do it, too.)   My job. I was in total tears over a recent evaluation at work. But then I looked at it differently. I have a job. A good job. I work with kids who drive me crazy at times, but love me fiercely. I make a difference in their lives. My evaluation didn’t meet MY standards and expectations, but (I keep telling myself) my boss wants me to continue to improve to be the best first grade teacher I can be.Perspective. It’s all in how you look at it.   Laundry and dinner and cleaning and baths…I haveclothes to wash and a house to clean. I have a healthy family who need to be fed (and the Chinese takeout place down the street rocks!). Perspective. If it’s overwhelming, let it go. Compromise. It doesn’t have to always be perfect. Really.   My kids in the back seat…they love music. They enjoy each other’s company...

The Winter Doldrums

The Winter Doldrums

Feb 26, 2015

By Mo Breden That’s my excuse.  I’ve not posted a blog since early January.   Yes, I know I live in Florida and you are saying “what winter”.  We do get colder weather here, believe it or not.  It just doesn’t snow and the cold weather does not last very long. But the winter doldrums is my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. As compared to where we were last year at this time, personally we are in a much better place.  Erin’s tumor is stable, she is back living her life fully, I am so thankful.  James is happy, working and settled in northern Florida, I am so thankful. I am busy, almost all the time.  The only time I am not busy is when I don’t want to be.    I recently was certified by USMS (United States Masters Swimming) to teach adults to learn to swim, which goes along with my YMCA Swim Instructor Certification.  I’m happily swimming in the heated YMCA pool, even on the coldest days and have braved the open water several times this winter without a wetsuit. So, what doldrums???  I’m not exactly sure, but I’m going to try to discuss it with you guys.  I turned 60 in July, and my age, or getting older has never bothered me, I’ve actually looked forward to it, but it is not easy looking in the mirror and seeing new lines, wrinkles and folds appear on my face.  It is not easy when society continues careening around wildly, like, well, like it always has.  I get discouraged and disillusioned with humanity and my natural instinct is to withdraw.  Chuck it all, turn on the TV, close the door and hibernate.  Problem with that is, I can’t do it.  I love life and I love most of the people that I encounter.  So I keep going, and I do the best I can to make my little corner of the world better, which is really all I can do. I intend to write more about aging in this society, but that is not primary on my mind today. Something that has been gnawing at me, which I simply have to write about. ...

Hearing the Hard to Hear

Hearing the Hard to Hear

Feb 25, 2015

You hear something unflattering about yourself. It happens. How you handle the situation as an adult matters more than it did when you were in high school. This is your opportunity for real growth. Here are some things to avoid: 1. Running Away. When a person points out a negative trait of ours, or airs a grievance, it is tempting to run away. We want to remove that person from our life. There are a million social media memes we can latch onto about “removing negative people from our lives.” And while shedding toxic people is important, ignoring criticism is dangerous to personal development. Cutting people out should not be a go-to behavior in your adult life. Instead, this is a chance to move through an uncomfortable situation and come out a better person (with stronger, more developed relationships). 2. Thinking the other person is crazy. Like running away, thinking the other person is “crazy” is also dangerous to personal development. What part of the criticism or comment can you actually embrace? Even if a negative comment seems to come out of left field, there is an element of truth to the person making the comment. Is there anything in the conversation that you can accept? Can you honor the way they feel? Just because a person can see (or has a problem with) one of your negative behaviors or habits doesn’t mean that person is nuts. 3. Talking about it over and over and over again to everyone you know. When you rehash a conversation you had, with people who were not involved in the original conversation, you are in danger of gossiping. It is also another “avoidance” tactic to facing the truth in the difficult conversation. Also, are you fishing for someone to say, “That’s not true. You are ___. That person is crazy”? Because if you are, you are not only missing the growth opportunity, you are also making the other person uncomfortable. This behavior says to the new person, “I cannot handle any criticism or truthful conversation.” 4. Allowing the comment to morph into a lie. Have you ever had a conversation with someone and then found out later they heard nothing...

“The Shining” comes full circle in “Doctor Sleep”

“The Shining” comes full circle in “Doctor Sleep”

Feb 24, 2015

The novel I am writing about was published in September 2013. With schedules being what they are I cannot spend as much time reading as I would like and am behind on the list of books I want to immerse myself in. I just got the chance over the last 3 weeks to enjoy this stunning novel. The ladies in this book are powerhouses and are so worthy of appearing in this column. This is Bad Girl of the Week, and this week you get two for the price of one. If you have read the novel I am sure you enjoyed the experience. If you have not it is time you did. If you have not read or are at least familiar with “The Shining” you will want to read that novel first. This column contains some spoilers for both novels. Stephen King may very well be the most wide read and popular horror author in history. His books have managed to capture people’s imagination with his dark tales. Even people who are not fans of the horror genre seem to have read at least one novel by Mr. King at some point. Stephen King has given us so many memorable characters and for the first time in his writing career he has penned a sequel* to one of his novels letting us return to visit one of his most beloved characters, Danny Torrance. Along the way in this new tale we are going to meet two new incredible female characters that have life as only Stephen King can deliver. We first met Danny Torrance in “The Shining”. The story is a fairly simple one. Danny is your average everyday boy. He likes to play, loves his family, has a wonderful imagination and possesses a unique and sometimes frightening talent. He has the ability to see and sense things that other people cannot. This is a blessing and curse. There is a boy named Tony (that only Danny can see or hear) that helps bring him visions and sometimes ominous warnings of danger. Danny will learn to call this ability “shining”. His father Jack has a problem with alcohol which led to him...

50 States 150 Very Strange Laws Part 2

50 States 150 Very Strange Laws  Part 2

Feb 23, 2015

Let’s continue our road trip as we take a look at the rest of the states and some of the wacky laws that are out there. If you missed the first part you can find it in the Just for Fun section of the WLBPA menu section. Now buckle and let’s travel and see how many stupid things we can do to get arrested in this beautiful country of ours! Montana It is a felony for a wife to open her husband’s mail. from Whitehall, Montana It is illegal to operate a vehicle with ice picks attached to the wheels. from Excelsior Springs, Montana Hard objects may not be thrown by hand….how the hell do kids play baseball? Nebraska Persons with gonorrhea may not marry….maybe this is a good thing. Could you imagine the Honeymoon? *shudders* If a child burps during church, his parent may be arrested. A man is not allowed to run around with a shaved chest. Nevada  It’s still “legal” to hang someone for shooting your dog on your property. from Elko, Nevada Everyone walking the streets is required to wear a mask….I want to live here. It sounds like everyday is Halloween!!!! It would be boring if they mean those medical masks so you don’t spread germs from coughing or sneezing. from Reno, Nevada Sex toys are illegal…Reno also bans brothels. New Hampshire On Sundays citizens may not relieve themselves while looking up….are you listening boys? You will be arrested if you are caught inhaling bus fumes with the intent to inducing euphoria…a bus stops for what? 30 seconds? from Claremont, New Hampshire In regards to cemeteries listen up….you may not  get drunk, picnic, enter at night, and enter by one’s self if you are under the age of 10 and we know all little kids just love to hang out in the cemetery. New Jersey For all you killers out there keep this in mind. You are breaking the law if  you wear a bullet-proof vest while committing a murder. from Manville, New Jersey It is illegal to offer whiskey or cigarettes to animals a the local zoo….you know if this is a law that people have done this….more than...

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