This is Friendship

I’ve had many jobs over the years and have made friendships along the way. Very fortunate to have come across some amazing people in my time and with social media, we all have a place to keep in touch and keep each other posted on what’s going on…

While no two friendships are alike… some will fall naturally into the “see each other when you see each other” and it’s lovely. Then some, you genuinely make an effort toward seeing and then there are those who become family.

One such friend, who falls into the last group, recently lost a family member. She lives a couple hours from me so our visits have become yearly and sometimes, even less. We try to catch up on the phone a few times a year but life happens and sometimes we go longer than we should.

Well, randomly, last week, I couldn’t stop thinking about this friend of mine, who again, I haven’t seen or spoken to in many months. I even thought I saw her. So I texted her a simple “Hey, I miss you.” Lo and behold, she texted me back expressing the pain she was in from the death of a loved one, that just happened.

I said, I’m coming to you. Give me a day and time.

And though we hadn’t seen each other in two years or even chatted in almost a year, we fell immediately into sync and didn’t stop talking for four hours.

Our faces have aged a bit and gone is the 20-year-old invincible attitude, but in their place, is understanding, history and love.

Many years ago, this friend could have walked away from me. I would have if I were in her shoes, considering the selfish way in which I’d conducted myself at the time…

But instead, she loved me more.

“The language of friendship is not words but meanings.”

-Henry David Thoreau

 

 

Saying Goodbye When It’s Time

I said goodbye to a friend this week. And no, before you think the worst, no one died. Only the realization that two people should not put each other through trouble anymore. When expectations of what being a friend means differs tremendously between two people, it’s time to end the pain.

And that’s okay.

Full disclosure, a regular question to me over years would go like this –  “She’s doesn’t seem that happy with you. Why are you friends exactly?”

While differences can be part of the fun, if those differences cause someone pain, well, time to cut the cord, no? It’s okay not to be friends with everyone.

I mean, come on… different strokes for different folks.

It’s quality. Not quantity.

Friends compliment life. And when necessary, they challenge you. But if they try to make you something you are not, to fulfill their needs, then… is that friendship? What’s worse is if they try to make you feel bad, over and over again, for being yourself, then it’s clear they’re not happy with you as a friend and again, why are we friends exactly?

Not easy, though. Especially when dealing with human emotions.

But I’ve learned over the years that friendship is whatever a pair defines it to be. I have been blessed with dear friends I’ve retained since my teens. And while we may go a year without talking, we know we care about each other as life moves swiftly and we go in different directions.

Friendship is what you make of it. If both people really want to be in it.

“Real friends were the kind where you pick up where you’d left off, whether it be a week since you’d seen each other or two years.”

 Jojo Moyes, One Plus One: A Novel

 

 

 

 

 

Countdown till Christmas – 8 days to go!

It’s interesting. I was supposed to do something today to help others but the reality is someone helped me and I thought, well… I’m going to write about that because it was just what I needed and it’s in the spirit of helpfulness and that’s exactly what this whole blog project is about….

It’s interesting the way the world works. And when the universe has a plan, I heed it.

A friend of mine reminded me today that there is positivity all around us and personal growth is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. This was the exact message I needed. I was feeling sorry for myself because my plans did not go as I had wanted. And as I was about to wallow in self pity, a friend of mine in so many words said, “hey, living and growing is a damn good day.” With that on my mind, I started to change my tune…

But wait, first –  what does that even mean – Personal growth? It sounds like a tag line at the end of a weight loss commercial, right? Or maybe a line for a radio jingle?

In all seriousness though, when I took a moment to stop and think about personal growth, I realized that growing is really the only option, because otherwise I’d be dying… (or stagnant at the very best…)

Bob Dylan once said (or sung, I’m not entirely sure), “He not busy being born is being dying.”

Have truer words been said/sung? As I thought about this, I begin to understand what Dylan meant. If we don’t grow, we wither.

Well…… Screw that.

I’m not gonna wither.

Think about it… Even if you mess up (no matter how bad), if you learn and grow, then you’re living!

Thank you, Chris. And thank you, Universe. I needed this message.

Though today did not turn out as I had expected… life swirled around me and bashed my plans to a pulp, and loved ones were still in my life and put a smile on my face and made me remember something Abraham Lincoln once said:

“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Life will continually throw us lemons. Perhaps not as “bad” as those in Lincoln’s day, but lemons nonetheless.

As my friend reminded me today though, there’s no reason not to take those lemons and turn them into fancy little tarts that put a smile on everyone’s face….

Eight days till Christmas…. oh my! what will we learn till then?!

25 Days of Spreading Love – A countdown to Christmas: Dec. 22

For the original idea, please go here.

3 Days till Christmas – spreading love by spending time with one of my oldest friends

And by oldest, I don’t mean age. I mean length of time of friendship.

There are a couple girls whom I’ve known since my college days that have remained a constant in my life. And while we don’t see each other all that often (living in different cities), it never matters. It’s quality over quantity. And as soon as we’re in the same room again, it’s like time hasn’t moved and we can pick up right where we left off.

I cherish this not only because it’s rare but because it’s valuable to me. A friendship that has spanned over the course of twenty years is not something to take lightly. It’s something to be appreciated for what it is.

And tonight, I was given the opportunity to show my love and appreciation for one of my oldest friends. We’ve known each other for twenty years and have seen each other at our worsts and bests. And I adore her.

She’s in town for the holidays and graciously made time to come visit me.

Tonight, I made her dinner. As she looked through my wedding photos, we chatted about our lives and the direction they’ve gone. She caught up with my husband. And as we ate cheese ravioli with a vodka cream sauce, we reminisced about days gone and spoke of our plans for the future.

Spending time with old friends is a most lovely way to spread love. And I highly recommend it.

“The only way to have a friend is to be one.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spread the love. #spreadthelove

 

 

A Gift

I’ve been given a gift for over thirty-five years but I only just realized it this past weekend.

Times are tough for many people. There are a load of sad songs being sung and I’d venture to bet that almost anyone could tell you a sob story about personal hardship they’ve experienced this past year alone. Life is far from perfect. And unfortunately, justice isn’t always part of the equation. But some people actually have it incredibly hard, like those in any holocaust or soldiers in battle, while most others only think they do.

Several months ago, a friend of mine told me that I don’t let people just feel bad about things. I always have to try to find the silver lining, she said. And I was thinking, “Why are you saying that like it’s a bad thing?” She was, saying it like she wished I was otherwise.

And then a few days ago, a friend of mine was feeling sorry for himself. Yes, he’s going through a very tough time, and it sucks, but I couldn’t listen to it. I mean, he’s not being put to death in a gas chamber or anything. Yeah, he might have to do a ton of hard work, and probably a lot of it isn’t going to make him thrilled, but I think unless you’re one of those who gets everything handed to them on a silver platter, and life is always fair to you, my advice is get off your ass and do something about which you’re complaining. And I mean truly do something, 100% percent, from dawn to dusk.

After I ranted, I realized how fortunate I’ve been because of a gift my parents bestowed upon me all the years of my life. It’s not a gift money could buy. Or a gift one could wrap with paper and a nice bow. It’s a gift one has to see demonstrated before their very own eyes. It’s a gift one has to learn.

It’s the gift of understanding how to accept one’s life as their own and be responsible for it.

This doesn’t mean life is fair by the way. It isn’t. Some are born into riches, others into poverty. But this gift can be applied to either situation.

I choose to look for the silver linings in life. I choose to see the glass as being half full. I choose to believe positive energy begets the same because as Camus once said, “Life is a sum of all your choices.”

7 days of November ’12

THE IDEA…

As those who read my blog know, I love giving myself little projects that help make me think outside the box, do new things and add some fun and excitement to the daily activities that are part of my life. Last December, I did a month-long project where over thirty-one days, I did things I didn’t typically do and then the following April, I gave myself themes for each day of the month to learn and/or do something new. I loved doing these and now, I decided to do another project, which I like to call…

7 Days of November 2012

Over the course of the next seven days, starting tomorrow, November 18, and continuing until Sunday, November 25, I will be doing tasks contributed by a certain group of seven people whom I respect and are a part of my life. I asked each one to come up with something for me to do for a day, as long as it didn’t cost too much and didn’t harm myself or others. And all seven of the people I asked not only decided to be a part of this project with me, but contributed thoughtful ideas that I’m super excited about, and to be honest a bit nervous, to implement over the next week.

I will not be listing the ideas here at this point. But each day over the next seven, I invite you to read my blog daily or however often as you prefer to see what idea I was given and how it went after I experienced it. As usual, I will start a fresh page for this project. (The two other previous projects also have their own page, as listed to the right on this screen…)

I will say a few things though before I embark on this next project of mine.

Each person I asked means something to me.
Each person I asked is someone I care about and someone whom I wanted to contribute to this project.
Each person I asked put a part of themselves into their idea, which makes this week-long project extra special for me.

The players are:
my sister, my brother, my boyfriend, my dear college friend, my writing partner, my close friend of the past eight years and a prior boss of mine who has become a dear friend to me over the past seven years.

Their ideas will be revealed as my week-long blog unfolds but I will leave you with these thoughts about tomorrow, the first day of this project.

This idea comes from the man in my life. He’s taking me to his gym and teaching me some workout moves. Now, I’ve only been to a gym perhaps two times in my entire life but he’s well versed on working out and has a beautiful body to show for it, so I’m excited. If nothing more, it will be interesting and I’ll get to see what he does five days out of the week.

Question though. One shouldn’t wear jeans and converse to a gym, right?

DAY ONE

Today, I kicked off my week-long project with the idea that came from boyfriend. His plan was for me to go to the gym with him and go through a work out routine.

Now I should preface this with some facts. He loves to work out. I don’t. For those who know me, they know this is not what I like to spend my time doing. But I went today because that is what this week is all about for me. I asked some important people in my life to give me a task for the day and then, in turn, I would do it. My hope is for these things to help me see life through their eyes and also offer me the opportunity to experience new things that perhaps I wouldn’t otherwise…

So I went, to an actual gym. And I did some machines and picked up weights and used a StairMaster and actually did what people call a “plank” and sure, it was all interesting and I entered the gym-goers world and while I felt like a fish-out-of-water, I rolled with it, mostly to experience what my boyfriend does five days out of the week, but also to give it a try for myself. Also, I know it’s important to him. Exercising does intrigues me but to be honest, I would much rather do it at home or in my neighborhood…

So, does this make us incompatible?

I suppose that depends. But first a story.

A friend of mine told me about a date he went on this past week. The girl he was having dinner with asked him about the things he was looking for and thought he should have handy a list of the attributes he wanted in a woman. But he didn’t. And I don’t blame him. He did tell me, however, that HER list didn’t have much to do with the actual person she was looking for. Rather, it had to do with the money in his pocket and the awards on his wall, so to speak. I thought it quite astute on his behalf to be able to identify that this woman held rather shallow values and my friend, whether he knows it or not, is anything but shallow. And he helped me realize something…

It’s cool the guy I’m dating likes the gym. I really don’t care either way, as long as he’s healthy. Going today was a fun and novel thing to do for a random Monday afternoon but I think, for me, I’d much rather walk and jog around my neighborhood, continue to careless about sweets and do some situps in my bedroom than go to a gym. That’s where I’m at. But now I know what he does and what his routine is and his beautiful body shows his efforts. I’m glad it means something to him. And I’m glad he shared it with me. And while I hope my body remains physically appealing despite not going to the gym, I can’t help but really hope it’s my mind and who I am that matters most…

DAY TWO

Today, the idea for my project comes from my sister. She works at a coffee shop right now while she learns and prepares for her goal of opening up her own restaurant. And she loves coffee. She’s a true Sicilian, as is everyone else in my family. Coffee is plentiful and pouring daily in our household and after dinner, it’s a staple and thoroughly enjoyed… except by me.

I have never really had a full cup of coffee. Sure, I’ve had some tastes here and there but I just don’t care for it. The smell is fantastic but the taste, not so much. I’ve always preferred a diet coke after a meal or in the morning.

Today, though, my sister’s idea was for me to go to a coffee shop and order a real coffee drink and give it a chance. I thought it was cool to get an idea about what she and so many others like and also, to buy a product she knows a lot about and sells daily. So, I just happened to be talking to a friend of mine, who also loves coffee, and mentioned this to her. She suggested ordering a sugar-free vanilla latte from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. There’s one right on my way home so I stopped there and decided to give it a try. It felt weird not to order an iced or hot tea, as that’s what I always order in a coffee shop, but I went with it. As I walked to my car, I enjoyed the heat in my hands as the wind slapped against my face but I was scared to taste it for fear of burning my mouth. Do they come out so hot you should wait? I seriously don’t know. But I waited about ten minutes and then took a taste.

Yeah, it tasted like coffee. I really liked the frothy vanilla milky foam on the top though and drank that down quickly but then, the coffee hit… and well, I found myself slowly taking sips over the course of the next hour. Granted, I was doing something at the time but still, it took me a while and I only got through about half of the cup. And I ordered a small.

All in all, it was cool to try something new, and I learned I really like frothy vanilla milk, but yeah… I probably won’t be ordering another one anytime soon.

DAY THREE

This one comes from a dear friend of mine whom I met in college. We no longer live near each other nor do we get to see each other too often but she will always remain close to my heart, for many reasons. Her idea came to me as a choice. I could either give a television show she likes a chance “Downtown Abby” or read a book she likes “50 Shades of Gray” – both being two things she knows I don’t normally watch and/or read.

I dig this idea because it made me go outside my normal zone with pop culture, something I know next to nothing about. I’ve heard a little about the television show but I opted to go with the book because I know it’s tremendously popular and I’d like to talk to her about it after I read it.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something I can do in just a day’s time. I’m currently rereading “To Kill A Mockingbird” and being inside that world, I’m hesitant to jump into another world at the same time. So this particular day will be a bit prolonged. “Fifty Shades of Gray” will be the very next book I read though and a future blog will be written all about it… so please stay tuned!

DAY FOUR

The idea for this day came from my brother, a married father of two. He asked that I put others before myself, such as if my mom asks me to do something, I do it even if I’m busy… His motivation is for me to “begin to understand a big part of what its like to have a child and or husband.” So… what better day to do this than Thanksgiving?!

It was much more difficult than I imagined it would be. I like to move on my own schedule. That’s just how it is and I’ve set up my life to allow me to do that. But today, things were different. Normally, I wouldn’t start cooking until it was closer to the time I planned on eating but my mother loves to prep and get things done early so when she wanted me to peel the potatoes at ten in the morning even though we were eating around 4 in the afternoon, I did it. No questions asked. I also did all the dishes that were dirty at the time and prepped the green beans too. I felt good because I love my mother and I want to do things for her. So this was no big deal. It got tricky though when my boyfriend and siblings and relatives got to the house – who to focus on?! I didn’t know. So I chose my boyfriend and mother primarily for this exercise and tried my best to do what they needed and even tried to figure it out in advance before they had to ask. I may not have succeeded as great as I would have liked, but I did learn an important lesson…

It’s difficult to be a parent.

Now, this may seem odd considering I haven’t even mention kids yet but I do have nephews and the two of them were around. I do typically put their needs above my own when I’m with them out of my desire to do so, not because I’ve been told to do so, so they aren’t really a part of this exercise. But, they have helped me realize I prefer to be an aunt rather than a mother. With marriage, I don’t believe when one gets married they need to lose their identity or alter their life to the degree of never putting themselves first and I truly want to be married. BUT when one does chose to become a parent, then, well.. another person should truly come first, especially when one’s children are babies and young kids because they’re solely dependent on their parents and that’s a great responsibility. Actually, I think being a parent is the greatest responsibility one could take on for oneself.

Now, I’ve been blessed with parents who not only put myself and my siblings first while we were growing but still do and I’ll forever be grateful. In fact, I wish they would put themselves first now but they don’t.

I’ve realized a bit ago, having children isn’t the path I want to take. Perhaps it’s my love of life and spontaneity and freedom to do as I please that has led me to this decision but regardless, at least I’ve identified that I don’t want children of my own rather than pretend I do or have them without fulling realizing what that means. I think parenting is one of the most difficult challenges an individual can face. But perhaps it’s also the most rewarding as well. No matter how you look at it though, it’s the greatest responsibility, as I’ve said, and I wonder what this world would be like if only those who truly wanted children had them and those who don’t, did not…

DAY FIVE

My friend Jim, who was once my manager at a restaurant I had worked at previously but has since become a good friend, gave me the idea for today. He knows I am an Independent, who leans toward Libertarianism, and that I do NOT care for the job my current president, Barack Obama, is doing. We often have great political discussions though, typically disagreeing, but still, I believe we respect each others opinions and agree to disagree more often than not.

But naturally, he gave me a political suggestion for this project of mine. He asked me to find five positive things to say about President Obama and post them on Facebook. I did this and now, will post them here as well. While I’m sure “Barry” is a great person, I struggled with this one, but here is my list and it’s all true…

5 Nice Things I can say about President Obama
1. I respect his pro-gay marriage stance.
2. I deeply respect his repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”
3. He seems to be a family man and I think that’s wonderful.
4. I love that he’s an Apple user!
5. Although I disagree with him on most things, I respect his desire to do what he thinks is best.

DAY SIX

The idea for this day comes from my writing partner, who has been a friend of mine for about fifteen years. Before I write what her idea was, I’d like to tell a little story because it helps me understand what she wanted me to do and so perhaps, it will help my readers. I should preface that this idea is more abstract than tangible so I had some freedom on the “how” of implementing the idea into my day. But first, my story…

About a month ago, I noticed my friend hadn’t called to make a writing date in quite some time and also hadn’t responded to my texts, calls or emails over the course of several weeks. So, finally I sent her a text that said this was odd and I was worried about her. Within twenty minutes, she called me to say sorry about dropping off the face of the earth and that she had been working a lot but wanted to write so that was cool with me and we made plans to do some work on the upcoming weekend. Then, as we were hanging out and getting into our writing groove, her roommate, a young sweet girl, told me she had been fired from one of her jobs. I responded by trying to find the positive side of it, something I typically do I guess, because my friend then said, “See, Christina. You’re not someone to call when one wants to have a pity party and feel down about something. You don’t let them, always trying to see the silver lining. Sometimes you just need to feel bad and you’re not the person to have around when doing that.”

Ok. That’s interesting. I paused… and thought about it. And you know, I suppose she’s right. I like to see the positive side of things. I’m a glass-is-half-full kind of person and yes, I don’t like pity parties. Not that I want people to be soldiers, there’s a time to grieve, but really, why focus on it? I told my friend, “Yeah, okay, but I’m one of the first people you call when something good happens. Why? Because I truly enjoy it with you.” She then paused. And a minute later, smiled.

Now, her idea for me was: “I know u don’t like to wallow in pity and I’d like to see you try”…

I had no idea how to do that so I decided I would research the “depression” stage because she had mentioned it and gave me the example of accompanying someone through it without finding a silver lining. Well, I had some work to do that day but finished around 9pm and my plan was to hit my computer and get google’ing as soon as I got home. But then, as I was driving home, I realized I didn’t need to.

As it so happened, I WAS around someone that day who was not really enjoying the job they currently had. Perhaps it was on a subconscious level, but I found myself feeling their pain for a little bit but sure enough, before I knew it, I was telling my friend why their job was lucky to have them and that not all things are bad about it, such as… and I went on. My friend then said, “yeah, I think things are going to be okay.” I don’t know if they will be, but that’s not the point.

Yes, my friend wanted me to not see the silver lining in everything, but bottom line is that’s not who I am. I’m a positive person and I choose to live my life from a place of positivity. Take it or leave it. Some things aren’t negotiable.

But Victor Frankl, author of “Man’s Search For Meaning”, a philosophical book about his time spent in Nazi concentration camps, can perhaps illuminate this concept better than I:

“We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. — P.65-66”

I choose my own way, and it’s paved with positivity no matter what road I’m on.

DAY SEVEN

This idea comes from a great friend of mine, who is my fitness guru, my healthy eating resource and all-around exercise Queen. If I have a working out or eating healthy question, I can turn to her with confidence that I will not only get a correct answer but a reason why it’s correct.

She knows though that I have a carb problem. Bread, potatoes, rice… love ‘em all. I can eat all three of those things, daily. My friend, however, has helped me understand why that isn’t the best idea and I’ve tried to make some adjustments to my diet.

But yes, my name is Christina and I’m a carb-aholic.

And so comes her idea:

1. eat ONLY: fruits, vegetable, proteins and legumes. You are allowed to ask me if you have any questions. That means no carbs (other than fruit) just in case you had any sort of confusion on this.
2. not eat anything after 9pm at night
3. work out for one FULL hour, like 1/2 hour cardio and 1/2 hour strength, or whatever you want. No, walking does not count.

4. read some sort of articles on health and fitness so improve your overall knowledge.

Well, I must admit. By 9am, I had already failed at this.

My nephews were over that morning so naturally, I was awoken around 8am. On a Sunday, mind you. And about an hour later, I heated up some leftovers in the microwave because sometimes I like leftovers early in the morning. Kinda odd though, considering I hardly ever eat anything more than fruit before noon, but nonetheless, I heated up some food and as I was eating, I started telling my mother about my no carb day. A few moments later, my mother looks into my bowl and says, “Rice is carbs, you know.”

Wait. What? That can’t be right? It is? Oh crap. Of course it is!

So I basically failed at this before I even began. Shame shame shame. I attempted then to try to start from there but the day had already been tainted and I failed to even remember the rest of the day’s activities I was supposed to do, so I made a decision.

I get a do-over.

Please check back on Thursday, November 29th, for this idea to come to fruition because I will be cooking dinner for my parents that day and it will be extra challenging for me to cook a full meal with NO CARBS…

Truth

I went on a date tonight with a boy whom I find attractive, smart and intriguing. Pretty much all the qualities I’m looking for, not to mention he’s taller than me, hah, something I love.

However…

I suddenly found myself reverting back to the shy, insecure girl of nineteen who I often remember fondly but never miss too much. There she was tonight though, rearing her ugly head as the self-conscious me. Man, I don’t miss being a teenager, but why, I wonder, did this retro-self of mine make a cameo appearance?

And then it hit me.

Maybe it’s because this is someone I could actually be with.

A friend of mine made an observation of me a little while back and I brushed him off, not wanting to hear it, but truth be told, his comment hasn’t left my mind since he’s said it. Basically, he told me I date men who pose no real possibility of being someone I would have a real relationship with, so I in turn feel comfortable with them. I thought he was crazy at the time, but now, well… I think he’s actually quite astute.

Sometimes, no matter how smart one is, others see us in a light in which we are unable to see ourselves. They act as a mirror of sorts, being reflective and can be both welcoming or not, but if they illuminate truth, it’s only a matter of time till one sees it for oneself…

I may not have all the answers when it comes to my dating life, but every step I make toward finding the real love I’m searching for even if I sabotage myself often, I can’t help but think I’m moving in the right direction.

Truth has that way. It can be hurtful, that’s for sure, especially when brought to one’s attention despite one’s best effort to deny it, but once appreciated and understood, it offers the best foundation to leap from…

I’m leaping. We’ll see where I land…

To be continued.

celebration

This weekend I went to a bridal shower. Now, I hope I won’t be hurting anyone’s feelings when I say I normally hate these things because all those who know me should know traditional events, such as this particular societal ritual, are not normally my cup of tea.

That said, I went to a shower for one of my closest friends this weekend and I admit, I had a wonderful time. So this got me thinking… why was this one any different from the others I’ve been to? (And granted I haven’t really been to that many because many of those who are in my social circle are a lot like me and not to mention, my relatives live in another state…)

But then it dawned on me, it was because we were able to actually be ourselves, our true selves, and be there to celebrate the bride, whom we all know and love, and have a good time. There wasn’t any of that typical PC crap. We could actually say what we felt and celebrate the girl we love without having to be fake. Everyone there seemed to truly want to be there and it was just a good time all around.

Yes, the bride is a dear friend of mine but it was the honesty, the acceptance, the love, the warmth, the family, the celebration and the respect that made this day fun. So many times, these societal traditions tend to be a pain for all those involved, tend to be loaded with gossip and bullshit, tend to be more stressful than not and tend to be something done out of obligation rather than desire. But I didn’t feel that way this time and it seemed all those who attended didn’t either.

Now that is a true celebration.

exercise?

Okay, judge all you want, but I will admit I’ve never really exercised.

Well, that is until today. Sure, I’ve done situps in my bedroom and have walked to the beach and even took a yoga class, once, but exercise has never been something that’s interested me. At all.

That is, until now. As many may relate, when one gets older, exercise becomes more and more important, if for nothing else than to circulate the blood. But also, as I’ve noticed, one’s metabolism can start to slow down. Now, I’ll disclose that I have been fortunate to have had a hyper metabolism all my life but lately, I feel that it isn’t at its peak anymore and this has really bothered me. To each his own, right? But I’m also motivated by wanting to be healthier and keep my body in prime shape. So…

I turned to one of my closest friends, who not only knows practically everything there is to know about working out, but she’s beautiful, toned, fit and has a body a supermodel might kill for. And she’s been so good to me. I truly wonder what I’ve done to deserve such an amazing friend… In fact, I tried to cancel today and she wouldn’t let me off so easy… Thank God! She’s been so supportive in trying to help me, since I had told her about my concerns about all this, and I feel so lucky to have someone like her in my life… But on to the exercise part right now.

She worked me out today. Power walking, jogging, lunging, stretching, crunches, weights, cardio, you name it. I had to ask her what a crunch was because I had no idea. And she showed me how to apply this all to a daily routine and how to do it right. She taught me about eating well, how best to exercise, what to wear when doing so, and so on. She even explained what cardio meant to me, since honestly, I would fail a test if that was the essay question.

And you know what…

I feel great. It was tough though. By the end, I was practically begging her to stop but tonight, I feel good. And motivated.

Regardless of whether you want to lose weight, be more healthy, tone up or just plain feel better, exercise is really great. There is a reason doctors always recommend it and I’m finally starting to realize that…

My goal is three times a week. But this is quite a new thing for me. So check back next week when I write a blog about my first seven days of exercise…