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Monday, December 30, 2013

Ready for a new year

To anyone who has attempted to post on my blog and has had difficulty..., I apologize. 
 I have  fixed this setting so there should no longer be an issue.
Only took me 7 months!


I also want to thank everyone who has read my blog and been so supportive of me! 


When I decided to start a blog, I was unsure of what to expect.  My goal was to reach out to others who deal with visual impairments, share my experiences and offer support to others.  Before I had started the blog, I remember reading someone else's article and relating to several things he wrote about (e.g. how he crossed the street in the city by waiting for others to approach the crosswalk and walking when they did) and I remember finding comfort in reading this because it was the same thing I would do. 


So I started writing and within a week or so I heard from a woman who had recently been diagnosed with Stargardts and felt alone and scared.  W e quickly became friends and I consider her a very special person in my life. She recently sent me a beautiful bracelet accompanied by an incredibly thoughtful note...Both of which I will cherish always.
Being able to help her in her time of need was such a wonderful feeling.  Of course I wish she didn't have to go through it,  but I am so glad that I was there to help her.


I have heard from others who have been diagnosed or who have loved ones dealing with visual impairment.  Friends and family members have also told me that they have learned from reading my blog. 


Writing about my life has been helpful to me as well.  I do not talk a whole lot about some of the things I have written, so in a way it has been therapeutic.    And I am sure it will continue to be!


Thus, I consider the blog an accomplishment of mine in 2013Q 

That and keeping my children safe and happy!


However...
I don't know about you but I am happy to see 2013 come to an end!
It has been a roller coaster ride with seemingly more lows than highs for many people I know.  Death, illness, financial struggles and much more.  I know its all part of life but that fact doesn't make it easier when you are in the midst of it.


I sincerely hope that 2014 brings joy and happiness to all of us.


Just came across this quote I  thought I would share:
"Begin today. Declare out loud to the universe that you are wiling to let go of struggle and eager to learn through joy."
Sarah Ban Breathnach



Happy New Year everyone!


And Happy 5th Birthday o my sweet precious daughter Alexis!  You mean the world to me!
(Or as she says:  "I love you more than as far as  the last star in outer space!"













Friday, December 6, 2013

Focus

It is funny how some things stick with you for a long time.  Maybe it was something someone said that you can't forget even if you tried.  Or the way someone or something made you feel.  We have all had these moments.  


Well, about 8-9  years ago I took some yoga classes at a place in Cambridge that will remain nameless (its not one of the big or popular studios.)

I was working at MGH at the time and a friend from work  invited me to check the place out.  She loved it and had even started a part time job there.  I signed up for classes, paid several hundred dollars, even began helping to set up the studio before class.  It was very different than any other yoga class I have attended.  It involved  a lot of talking and discussing feelings, as well as learning poses.  I enjoyed going there for a while although I never got as into it as my friend had. 

The yoga master was an interesting woman.  She had apparently done all sorts of studying with yogis.  She was really kind of a life coach.  She offered massage sessions which were meant to release the negative energy and make you a new person.  I had one of those sessions once which cost about $100.
Looking back I wonder what I was thinking going to this place.

Anyway, the instructor knew about my vision.  I had told her about it.  If I am in a class with only a few people and there is lots of personal attention, I feel the need to tell the person in charge.  If I go to a class with lots of other people who just follow the instructor's moves and direction, I do not necessarily bring up the subject.

This woman was all about being present in the moment and avoiding chaos in your life, being true to yourself and others, etc.  Great concepts but an odd way of delivering her message.  She wanted things a certain way and demanded a certain level of respect.  Almost to the point of instilling fear in people.

One day during class she asked me a question and while I was answering it she said I needed to focus my eyes on her.  That I was not focused.  I reminded her that my eyes wander especially when they are tired after a day at work.  I honestly forget what she said next but I am pretty sure she just reiterated that I was not looking at her and focusing.  I left after that class and never went back.
I was pissed. 
This woman who acted like she understood people and could help you through any life crisis had just insulted me and disrespected me.  At least that's how it felt.

Before starting to write this post, I searched online for her studio.  All I could find was a white pages listing.  No websites, articles or yelp reviews.  While I do not wish anything bad on this woman, part of me hopes her studio has closed.

Fast forward to present time.  Recently I completed the 10 week Focus T25 workout program.   It is by Shaun T who also created Insanity.  In September I gave myself the kick I needed to get into shape.  I saw pictures of old friends who looked amazing and I realized there was no good reason why I can't do the same thing.   I looked at pictures of myself and was not happy with how I looked.  So I ordered T25.  I started the day after it  arrived and did not miss one day for the 10 weeks!  (Monday through Friday) The program has an Alpha phase which is the first five weeks and then the Beta phase.  There is a Gamma but I have not ordered that yet. 

I am now repeating the Beta phase.  The 25-minute workouts are intense but they are only 25 minutes! I have managed to drop about 10 pounds and tone up more than I have in years.  I am proud of myself for sticking with this and pushing myself to FOCUS!  I do the workouts in my living room using our 60-inch TV.  The kids are usually playing around me and sometimes they join in. That is always fun. :)  Obviously it is great to be able to do this at home rather than worry about getting to the gym.  And I can look as close to the huge TV as I need to without feeling self-conscious.  (Which, sadly is how I feel sometimes.)

I actually enjoy the workouts and I especially enjoy seeing the results!  It takes a lot of dedication to make yourself do it but the Facebook groups I belong to definitely help keep me  accountable.

I may not always seem visually focused but my mental focus is clear...at least as far as fitness goes!...for a whole 25 minutes a day!