Why You Might Knead to Make Some Bread

One of the things that alot of people are doing since the start of the pandemic is making sourdough bread.  I came across it quite belatedly and I was puzzled.  Bread making really?

Not that I don’t like homemade bread.  I do. Until recently I actually had two bread makers (don’t ask) and there is nothing better than walking inside from the cold and  having the aroma of  fresh bread  envelope me. It immediately makes me happy and fills the air with warmth, love and togetherness.

My grandmother used to bake bread all the time.  She sent me the recipe when I was first married and it was just recently that I decided to try it.  I have baked many loaves of bread but never with her recipe.  It made me smile as I read the recipe in her very distinctive and familiar handwriting.  I saw her fussing about the kitchen with every spare spot on the counter covered with a bowl, an ingredient or a spoon.  She was famous for using EVERY flat surface and we loved her for it.

Why now though?  I had a very good theory until I read a recipe on sourdough bread and realized that it is considered an artisan bread therefore no kneading necessary.

I still think my theory holds water or bread.  You choose.   So here goes.

Since this whole crazy pandemic started we have been socially distancing, not hugging, not seeing loved ones  (especially the elderly) not shaking hands.  In other words we were suddenly thrust into a world of touch deprivation.

If you are a hugger like me it is sooo hard.  Not only do I love hugs, but I love giving them and I’m really good at it.  We humans need touch.  Babies that don’t get touch will actually die from what is called Failure to Thrive.  Human touch is essential to their well being.

It is for us grown adults as well!

So bread making is a form of touch..maybe not sourdough but it is an act of creating with your hands.  As much as I love my bread maker that has the dough cycle and does all the kneading for me, I found myself letting the bread maker gather dust as I rolled and folded the soft, warm dough.  Not only could I pound on it to relieve anxiety but the constant kneading and folding it over  and over again  was very soothing.  I imagined  my grandmother doing this daily, shooing my grandfather out of the kitchen.

Hubby’s first attempt at Artisan Bread

Much like running gets those endorphins rising so does bread making or cooking a favorite family  recipe.  I believe it is the act of creating.  The warmth, the fragrance, the memories of family gatherings and the hopes of having a house filled with laughter and our families again (even the annoying ones 🙂 brings us a level of peace.

Despite the fact that bread can add to our pandemic pudge it is worth doing. Even if you get a mix and just dump it in the bowl and follow the directions..it still counts.  It gives a texture to touch, something active to do, and then we get to share it with those in our households.

It also gives our pets a rest, although my elderly golden retriever  will take all the cuddles and pets he can get.  I do believe the big rate of new pet ownership is companionship and unconditional love and a real live being to touch.  Added bonus..pets won’t add to our pandemic pudge although they may make your wallet skinnier.

So I am challenging you to rise to the occasion..pun intended.  Grab some yeast. Funny story..last time I bought some I could not find it.  The young employee who helped me find it had no idea what it was…so bread making can be accidentally educational as well.

Enjoy the process….take your time.

What else can you do to add texture to your life?

Let me know if you want some coaching on moving forward and  making today YOUR day ,

Now go make your someday..today…you knead to do it now!   Jennifer

The Most Powerful Words I ever Heard…

Happy New Year!  No I am not confused.  Today is the start of my 2021.  I always give myself grace and time as the previous year ends and new one begins.  Time to rest and recuperate from the hectic holidays, enjoy our many January birthdays and basically get my ducks in a row for the new year.  I am on my own timetable by my own choosing.

It is not too late for you to do the same.  You can reboot 2021 and make it whatever you want.  Sometimes I reboot several times in the same year.  There is energy around a reboot.  Plus while there are a lot of rules in this life that need to be followed there ARE some that we can control and starting the new year when we want to and doing a reboot are two of them.

Lots of people are rehashing 2020 and already lamenting 2021.  I am not one of them.  I am a possibility thinker and at heart an optimist.  I also like to plan.  AND I like to have a safety net for those plans so often there is Plan A quickly followed by Plan B, C and D.  If I have to fall back on Plan D you can be assured a whole of something hit the fan quickly.

All that being said I am not married to any of my to do lists or calendars or action lists.  I leave room for flexibility although I have learned that too much flexibility like too much chocolate can wreak havoc on my life.

If you live where it is the dead of winter it may be hard to stay motivated.  The weather can make us want to hunker down under a blanket and wait for spring.  What motivates me?  Honestly since 2017 it is the most powerful words I ever heard.

The words came from my parents.  Actually my Mom but let me give you a little back story.  For years, actually about 3 decades, my parents always told us kids the same thing at the beginning of the year:

” We have a plan.  We have a two year plan to get this house cleaned out and sold.  If you want anything, let us know now, otherwise it is all going.  And if you left anything here, come and get it.”

This “plan” started before my Dad retired.  It was a good plan and yet it was flawed.  My parents did not have a plan, they had an intention.  They had no action plotted out with the plan, no real deadline.  Yes they said two years but two years is a really really long time.  They never broke it up into doable segments and 30 years after the infamous two year plan intentions were declared they were in the same house, more stuff and no real progress had been made.

In the end they were right.  It took me and my siblings and our spouses two years to clean out the house and get it updated to sell after my father died and my mother moved to assisted living.

Honestly it made me sad.  There were so many things they never got to do or kept themselves from doing because of this two year plan.  On top of all this when my father died my mother was utterly clueless to paperwork, documents, and all the items that need to be pulled together to get an estate settled and get her into assisted living.  It required many hours  of detective work on our part and a lot of time spent digging through piles of papers.

So those powerful words came the week after my Dad died as my husband and Mom headed to the bank to start the process of settling my Dad’s estate.  She looked at Paul and said ”  I kept asking you father in law to explain things to me so I could be knowledgeable about all the paperwork and our finances.  He always said ” Great idea, we can do that next week”  And then she said the words I will never forget:

                           IT”S NEXT WEEK 🙁

And she softly began to cry.

Not only are those words powerful but for me they are also a bit painful.  Still it was one of those moments my husband and I have never forgotten.

So as I begin this new year I think of those words often.  I can plan all I want but if I don’t take action the plan is worthless.  I fight against procrastination ALL THE TIME.  I often joke I have a PhD in it  but I know if I just take one tiny step forward in the things I really don’t want to do I will keep going and get it done.

I do have a plan for 2021 with action steps to go with it.  It is constantly evolving.  I have learned to be present, to not wait on the fun things I really want to do, and do the stuff I really don’t want to so I can do those fun things.  I try not to wallow in the negative, and cherish my friends and family.  Do I get off track? Of course.  I am human. Things get to me, I get mad or sad and sometimes stuck.  And then I remember those three powerful words and how I hope I never say them.

Your SOMEDAY is TODAY…it is not next week or the week after.  You CAN take steps ( even baby ones) toward your dreams, your goals, whatever it is you want.

It is a New Year…whether you started 19 days ago or today.  We think next week will always be there for us and for most of us it will be but I am not taking that chance.  I hope you don’t either.

Here is to 2021..may it be full of all that  you want it to be NOW !

Cheers,  Jennifer

P.S.  Want help getting started?  Contact me at my email: Jennifer@healthcoachingforwomen.com for a 30 minute intro to coaching session.  I would love to work together to get your year going and make your someday TODAY!

 

Hanging in there despite the odds…

I am being taught many lessons in perseverance for some unknown reason.  Well the reason is unknown to me but I did take notice.

The latest lesson came from a call to our cell phone company that will remain nameless unless you are familiar with the one that goes by three initials. 🙂

We have been customers forever, faithfully paying our bills on time and recieving reasonable service until this past month.  Despite our stellar good customer record they were threatening to cut off our service.  Why?  We returned a non working cell phone booster after they replaced it and they claimed it was never received sooo we owed them for it. My husband refused to pay and the threats, phone calls and even texts started.  By the way we sent it back in June.  We had no tracking number or photo of the package using their label ( our mistake).  AND we could never seem to get away from the call center in India where they read from a script.  After 3 phone calls by my hubby I gave it a shot.  90 minutes later, tons of hold music, 3 or 4 different people and it was resolved.  They HAD received it.  It was their error…and to be honest we were almost to the point of paying for it since we had no proof that we had sent it and chalking it up to our stupidity.  After all we were dealing with the phone company AND the post office.. a terrible combo.

Paul was so frustrated during those 90 minutes he kept telling me to hang up but I refused and I kept my cool.  I did one thing that made the difference and got me transferred to the right people.  Surprisingly it was a simple question.  “Do you know what a micro cell phone booster is?”  Please get me someone who does.”   I actually did not plan that, it just happened.  Oh we did have to make a 5th phone call to get the late charge on money we never owed removed but that is another story.

So here is my question.  What are you giving up on, throwing in the towel on that maybe you just need to give a little more time or ask the right questions?  Who is supporting you?  Do you believe you can do it?

Many of you know we spent the last year plus cleaning out my parents house.  One box at a time.  I thought it was never going to end.  Obviously it did but it was only because we persevered and kept going.

Sometimes that is all it takes.  Just keep going but also make sure you are giving yourself breaks and also credit. Credit for even the littlest things AND give yourself permission to be kind and gentle with yourself.

As I have said many times before, your health is more than your physical health..it is also mental, spiritual, and emotional health.  They are inter-related and all need nurturing.

Give yourself a pajama day like I did recently.

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It was soooo awesome and the best part is an amazing movie found me..it FOUND ME and I don’t think it was an accident that it suddenly popped up on my ipad.  It is called St. Ralph and it is all about perseverance.  Here is a link to the trailer: https://youtu.be/Rj-DDQQ0Vp8

This kid really believed in himself when everyone else just scoffed at him and his dreams.

What are your dreams, ambitions, goals?  Can you support yourself and move forward despite the naysayers.  It is not easy but doable. Give yourself credit for any forward movement. Baby steps ARE moving forward.

Need help with the next step? I am here for you !  Give me a shout out and we will get together via phone.

Now go take the next step no matter how small and make it a healthy one..in every way!

Jennifer

 

 

 

 

Changing things up!

What is life without change?  My life has changed in big ways lately.  Inevitable ways but life goes on and so do I.

That being said I am changing things up a little here.

As soon as I figure out how to do it technically ( isn’t technology great most of the time..emphasis on most!)  I am changing the tagline and the focus  on my coaching and this website.

Not a lot..but just enough.

Love my tagline: Your life, Your Health, Your Way  ….BUT  it is too right side up.

Time to shake things up a bit.  So the new tagline will be…drum roll please:

Someday is TODAY!

Seriously…It is time to do this….truth be told most of us are overdue for this truth much like the library books sitting in front of me.

And if not now then when?

This all came to me yesterday because for some reason when I get in the car, ride my bike or I’m in the shower I get the best ideas.  Of course as you can guess I have no where to write these ideas down.    Sometimes I remember them..sometimes they fly out of my brain as fast as the came in.

Surprisingly when these ideas came to me yesterday they stayed in my brain! Yay me!  Not only was I driving but I was also listening to an audio book and yet my mind still wandered.  I started to think about the next ten years and what I want my goals to be for this next decade of my life. Like a shooting star of brilliance  I suddenly questioned myself  “Ten years?”  “TEN YEARS?”  Why not the next ten seconds, ten minutes, or ten hours?”

Yes ,why not?  Long term goals are great unless we give ourselves so much time we actually never get started.  Stephen Covey coined the phrase “Begin with the end in mind”    The key word in that is begin.  If we look at the end goal it might be too daunting.  Time to break it down into tiny pieces that eventually make up the whole.

Personally I have a great but sad example of this.  My parents had a two year plan to clean out their house, declutter and maybe move to a smaller place.  My Dad always joked that they were going to buy a mobile home and visit each of us for four months at a time.  The two year plan was a great idea except….they talked about it for the last 30 years and never quite got around to taking that first step.  My Dad passed away and now it is my Mom and the four of us sorting and organizing a house that has years of stuff in it. Not fun and it made me realize while they gave themselves an end date they never gave themselves a start date.

If you find yourself saying frequently “Someday I will travel, move, live by the water, read these books, write a book, exercise, change jobs, write more letters, get organized, take a course, finish my degree etc. please know you are not alone.

I’ll bet you often say those things and then give yourself a million reasons why you can’t start today or any day and  then before you know it you are facing some sort of deadline that life has handed you.

One of the best movie lines I have ever heard came from the movie “Funny Girl” when Fanny Brice asks Nick Arnstein what he does for a living and he replies; : “I live” and she says : “Well everyone does that”  His response?

Hardly anyone does!

Take a minute and think about the truth in that statement.

Life can certainly hand us a shit load of sorrows.  Do we roll around it it or do we spread it in our garden and let it fertilize our awesomeness?

[bctt tweet=”Life can hand us a shit load of sorrows. Roll in it or use it as life’s fertilizer?” username=”jenniferbross”]

I think you know the answer  but just can’t get going.  It seems overwhelming..kinda like heading into the bedroom to go to sleep when you are exhausted and you discover that you stripped the bed to wash the sheets and you can either not make the bed up and just wrap yourself in the sheets or take the 5-10 minutes to actually make the bed.  It is one of those “Oh shit” moments.  I’ve actually argued with myself that I am way to tired to make up the bed but in reality if I don’t then I know won’t sleep well so I do it and it takes all of 5 minutes.

Take a look at those “someday” wants and desire.  I’m here to work with you to find a starting point , send you off to the gas station to put fuel in your tank and encourage you to rev up your engine.

Are you ready?

Want to do something in the next 10 seconds??

In the next ten seconds you can send me a quick email to schedule a complimentary coaching session to see if this is for you.

Send it to  yourupsidedownlife@gmail.com  and you’ve done that ONE thing toward your goal.

Can’t wait to hear from you!  In the meantime I am going to my own powering up, making someday today, kicking ass and turning things upside down.  I have no idea where I’ll be in the next 10 years but it’s time to start moving forward.

 

Coffee, Keys and Bras…It can all be MacGyvered.

I rarely wager money on anything but  I might be willing to fork over some dough on the obvious assumption that today you will face a problem.

Actually it is even a safer bet that you face more than one and at least one of those will be a doozy.  It will seem insurmountable or maybe it is an ongoing one that pops up at the worst time.

I would even bet lots of money that you could figure it out if I knew just one thing.

Which one of you will channel your inner MacGyver or say those fatal words “yeah but”.

And yet…

I REALLY believe everyone has an inner MacGyver.   Every last one of you.

Why…because in Marie Forleo’s words “Everything is Figuroutable”

One of the things we were taught over and over again when I was training to be an R.N. is that we must above all else be a problem solver.  I learned to look at every problem as a challenge and knew there had to be something I could do to figure it out.

So what does this have to do with coffee, Sunday mornings , keys, and bras?  Lots!

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These things forced me to be creative in my problem solving!

One leisurely Sunday morning I read the paper, drank lots of coffee and finally ( at my dogs urging) got dressed to take him for his morning walk.  I looked at my phone and decided I didn’t want that electronic leash with me and left it on the kitchen counter.

Max and I had a lovely uninterrupted walk but by the time we got home I was in dire need of a bathroom.   Coffee like my dog Max will urgently let you know when it needs to go out!

I opened the garage door and  headed straight to the door into the house  and got that tightness in my stomach  when I realized it was locked.  Then relief..the spare key.  Reached for it and the nail it hung on was unbelievably empty and the dreaded knowledge that I was locked out enveloped my whole body as I muttered a few choice swear words.

I had used it and had not put it back.

My heart sank, my coffee reminded me it was approaching that short window of time where I still had a choice of where and when it would leave me and I was stuck.  My husband was 1500 miles away, the few neighbors I have were at church or away, my phone was in the kitchen and I wanted to cry.

Now my house is secluded in the back with lots of woods so if push buyambienmed.com came to shove I could have made like I was camping and killed a few plants with the risk of poison ivy and ticks … I decided I wasn’t quite to that point.

Pretty and convenient but mmmm..still full of bugs

Private, convenient, and not horrible but mmmm..still full of bugs and ???

Tears would not help so I put my MacGyver hat on and tried everything I could think of and use whatever I had on hand.  After 20 long minutes I somehow, by sticking one end of the blade of a pair scissors in the key hole, moved the mechanism in the doorknob lock and got in.  Phew!

More importantly I felt quite victorious and unstoppable.  What else could I conquer?

Fast forward to this April when I broke my wrist.  Among other things, I figured out how to get my bra on by fastening it, putting it on the floor, stepping into it and wriggling it up my body with my good arm.  Not the easiest or fastest way but I did it!  I’m not even sure MacGyver could have figured that one out 🙂

The one thing I know in coaching is that you probably already have the answer to your question, problem or concern.  That answer might not be obvious and it might require some digging, some inventive possibility thinking and creativeness.  You can, however, get stuck and only see a dead end if you find yourself saying these two words:

Yeah, but.

Those two words have the unique ability to abruptly end any inventive possibility thinking.  Had I not been so determined to dress myself with one hand I might have said “Yeah but no one does it that way”  Yeah but it might hurt my wrist to wriggle into it”  “Yeah but it might get stuck”  It did and I got it unstuck ( glad there is not a video of that one!)

As you are looking at a situation be aware of these two words.  When you find yourself saying them remember to use them as a turning point to look at a different possibility.

Remember it is all figureoutable ….  click here to here the fabulous Marie Forleo tell her story!

Now go figure it out, I know you can!  Look at everything upside down, the view is amazing!

[bctt tweet=”Look at everything upside down. The view is amazing!” username=”jenniferbross”]

One last thing! Do  you need help getting past the “Yeah buts” or  are you looking for a new perspective on whatever is going on in your life?  Then lets talk!  Go here for a complimentary coaching session: Let’s Coach

Has listening to the “experts” confused us right into being overweight and out of shape?

Just when you thought it was safe to cook a healthy meal “someone” decides for us that we are doing it all wrong.   I sure wish this “someone” or the so called “experts” would make up their minds or maybe we just need to stop listening and trust our common sense instead.

Social media and the internet provides us with more than enough information about the latest diet trends and fads.  There are scores of before and after photos, recipes, exercise plans and countless promises of weight loss and tight abs.

There is so much information out there that it is paralyzing.  It’s like putting a child in the middle of a giant toy store and telling them to pick one thing.

Cue major meltdown.

Yup..I feel like this alot…

 

They changed the rules AGAIN???

Despite all the knowledge being passed out and research being done  we are still facing an epidemic of obesity and inactivity.

What is the answer?  

I think it is different for everyone.  One size fits all doesn’t work here ( actually it doesn’t work anywhere).  We all have different lifestyles, different needs, picky kids, allergies, varying budgets.  The one thing we all have is the ability to slow things down and listen to our own wisdom and what works best for us.

The best advice I ever heard in regards to eating came from author Michael Pollen who said:

Eat real food

Mostly green

Not a lot

If you can only do two out of three of this list then I would suggest you pick: Real food and not a lot.  The mostly green part would be great but take that to mean all veggies and fruits and it may be easier.

Learning from our past may be the best new rule

I  noticed something very interesting when  I was looking at some old group photos of my grade school classes. (Yes this is when we walked to school in the snow, uphill…both ways. 🙂 )

Out of a class of 20-25 womans health children there were only one or two overweight children .

What has changed? 

  • We actually did walk to school or rode our bikes and believe it or not we also walked home for lunch and back.  We played on the playground while waiting to go inside in the morning and after lunch.  We had recess and we played after school.
  • We had a milk break in the morning but never snack
  • At home we never snacked after dinner. Ice cream was a treat
  • We never had soda in the house
  • Eating in the car was unheard of and fast food was rarely an option
  • We ate at the table. In the kitchen.  Always
  • The food was on the stove or the counter and not the table.  If you wanted seconds you actually had to get up and get it.  You either didn’t make the effort or got distracted by the family conversation and realized you didn’t want seconds after all.

So basically we got a lot of exercise and didn’t have food available all the time.  Treats were just that, treats. The kitchen was where we ate, no where else.

Pretty simple.  Don’t get me wrong there were things that needed improvement.  Adults routinely had quite a long cocktail hour every day, white bread was the norm and the amount  of butter used would make Paula Deen look like she used it sparingly.

I’m not about to wear a dress, high heels and my pearls everyday to cook much like they did in the fifties and sixties ( well Mrs. Cleaver did!) but I can reclaim some of the great habits and traditions from those times.  Sure is simple, easy and more importantly worked well because it sure looks like despite some great improvements we may have “new and improved” ourselves right into being overweight and out of shape.

All because we listened to those who keep changing the rules.

Every time I tie my shoes I remember some valuable life lessons!

Every once in awhile I get a life lesson that continues to serve me well beyond what is normal.  Or I should say what people consider normal.  Normal, I hope , has begun to have a wide range of meanings but that is another topic.

For me one of my early life lessons came when I learned to tie my shoes.  I was five and heading to kindergarten. My parents had successfully taught my older siblings the fine art of shoe tying so this should be easy.

Except that it wasn’t.

I just could not get the concept of making a bow, wrapping the other lace around it and pulling it through, tightening it and ending up with two bows.  Even at that age I thought whoever designed this process had made it way too complicated.  This might have been a predictor for my poor math skills but who knows.

I’m not sure if it was a requirement to learn this before I headed off to school but it seemed like it at the time.  Everyone kept telling me it was soooo easy.  That statement would be followed by a demonstration of how easy it was and my attempt to copy it which always ended up with untied shoes. ( obviously this was way before velcro shoes)

I don’t remember stressing about it.  I remember thinking that it was really no big deal but evidently my parents thought perhaps I would be considered “not bright” if I couldn’t even tie my own shoes at school.  In any case I was saved by an angel of a next door neighbor, Dorothy Drewes who offered to teach me “bunny ears”.  What 5 year old can resist “bunny ears”?  Five minutes later I was tying my own shoes with two bunny ears crossing over and making the bunny ( well his ear) jump through the bunny hole.

Made absolute sense to me.

Run quick before she ties our ears in a bow

Run quick before she ties our ears in a bow

So I learned early that there is almost always a different way to do things and sometimes it is easier.  Also it helps if you give it a fun name and make it fun.

Never thought a thing about it or bothered to learn the “right way” until I was in college and one of my friends saw me tie my shoes and she was appalled and amused that I was still doing it that way.  So I tried the “normal” way and gave up.  I had better things to do and could do it way faster xanax with bunny ears.

Even though it was done in good fun I didn’t like the teasing and I learned that people don’t like to see things done in new and different ways.

That didn’t stop me. I continued to do things in new and different ways that made people sometimes shake their heads and ironically  those things are now the norm.  I guess I was ahead of my time.

Fast forward to my children learning how to tie their shoes. Settling into my protective mother mode,  I refused to teach them bunny ears and made my husband teach our daughter “the right way”.  Since my hubby traveled quite a bit I had Sarah teach her sister and then Julie taught her brother.  I knew I couldn’t save them from being teased for something or other at some time in their life but it was NOT going to be about how they tied their shoes.

That may have been a mistake ( teaching them the “right way”) because a little later I realized the real life lesson was: Be unique, be who you are and love yourself for it and anyone who doesn’t like it can take a hike.

So with a tiny bit of remorse and wistfulness, I wish I had taught my kids to tie bunny ears..it could now be “our” thing.  All my children are now rolling their eyes and thinking “seriously Mom”?child-542146_1280

As I coach women to “Kick Ass as they age”  I think back to those “bunny ears” and understand ( and see it often) the many different ways for each of us to kick ass in our own way.  There is no “right” way to do it.  Some of us will be loud, some quieter.  There are those women who want to rediscover the “daredevil” and bungee jump or skydive or get a tattoo and others will want to write a book, learn a language or even go back to school.

Being healthy isn’t  all about eating and exercise.  A big portion is feeding our spirit with what makes us come alive and not giving a hoot what somebody else might think.  It’s being active in every part of  our lives and forgetting what things are “suppose” to look like.

So go out and wrestle that rascally rabbit and tie his ears into a bow ( send photos)  Or just tie your shoes differently!

I would love to know what simple  event in your life keeps teaching you life lessons.

Now go out and be healthy today in every way!

 

A stranger saved my life, I really hope I can pay it forward.

A stranger saved my life on Valentines Day.   I mean a real stranger.  I don’t know if this person is male or female, young or old, black, white or green with pink polka dots.  It doesn’t matter.  What does matter is this person made it possible for me to still be here, to not make my husband a widower.  God willing I will continue to watch my grandchildren grow and maybe have the joy of great grandkids one day.

This person did it in a very simple way.  They paid attention when I did not.  They were disconnected from the many distractions we have nowadays when we are driving and for that I will be forever grateful.

I am a recovering multi tasker.  I would use any little bits of time to get lots done.  Television commercials are a great time to run around the house and do things and quite honestly the way things are going there will be 25 minutes of commercials and 5 minutes of the program.  Wait I think we are already close to that point.

So it is no surprise that I consider waiting at stoplights a perfect time to clean up the passenger seat, rummage through my purse, open the mail I picked up or check my phone.  Pretty sure I am not alone in this.

I was in an amazing mood after a lovely birthday breakfast for my daughter and her family.  I drove away and smiled thinking of the nice time we had together.  I heard the familiar ding of a text message on my phone and was grateful the stop light ahead was red so I could read it.

And I did..a beautiful thank-you text from my daughter.  I glanced up quickly since I was first in line and saw the light had turned green. I started through the intersection and then I heard someone honking their horn.  It was polite honk, not a long angry one but just one long enough to get my attention. Out of my peripheral vision I saw a car to my left that could have broadsided me and honestly I thought “Dumb ass, why are you honking?  I have the right of way with a green light”

Except I didn’t.

In a heart wrenching moment my sanctimonious self glanced in my rear view mirror and all the cars behind me  were still stopped at the stop light.

I wanted to throw up.

I hadn’t seen a green light.  Not only did I go through a red light, but I put myself and that erectile dysfunction other car in extreme danger.  I could have been broadsided, my car totaled and my life taken.  I immediately thanked the driver and my guardian angel for looking out for me and then I cried, turned off my phone and threw it to the back of the car.

I drove the 75 miles home in silence and prayer.

Nothing…and I do mean NOTHING on my phone, tablet or laptop is worth losing my life over or endangering someone else.  So I made a promise to disconnect and I did.  Oh I still have my phone and all my other gadgets but I now control them.  I thought it would be hard to not only break the addiction to my phone and social media and multi tasking but it was not.  I discovered when I limited myself  that I had more time for things I always said I had no time for..reading, decluttering, photography, writing.

I won’t be the one at lunch looking at my phone and I will politely ask you to put it away so we can visit.  Not an unreasonable request.

Ironically sitting at home on my bedside table was a book I have been wanting to read titled:

“The Joy of Missing Out”  Finding Balance in a Wired World by Christina CookFullSizeRender (5)

The title alone says it all and it is a wonderful book.  I now have time to read it.

I still post and read face book and check my e-mail.  I am just not obsessed over it.  I am now embracing “The Joy of Missing Out”  rather than FOMO..the “Fear of Missing Out”

The people who really need me can find me without texting, email or face book.   Call my phone or landline, leave a message.  As my mother says “bad news travels fast” and as a nurse I will tell you there are very few “true” emergencies.

When we visited Italy in 2014  (a dream trip I waited a long time for) I learned to look up everywhere we went. The ceilings, the bell towers..oh my gosh there was so much to take in when I looked up.

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And that is my message to you..Look up, pay attention, be with the people who are with you.   We have this amazing privilege called LIFE.  Let us live it looking up and enjoying the things and people around us.

Looking down almost killed me.  Every time I look up I remember and whisper “Thank-you for paying attention”

Be healthy today in every way!

 

It’s about time..or not! Living without a clock for a day…what I discovered!

As promised I am posting about my day without all the time keepers in my life.  And as promised I am posting it “soonish” which has become my new favorite word.

So in my previous post ( find it here) I had a new awareness about time and what a hold it has on me.  I promised to go a whole day without using my watch  ( I’m addicted to the point that I wear it to bed) or any other of device that displays the time.

Before anyone says “Who has the time for this?”  I will share that it is such an anomaly that I would have a day free to do this and it was a luxury.   I even started to back out on Sunday night ( because seriously who has the time for this!) but since I coach people on how to get out of their comfort zones and since I am always hearing how people don’t have time to eat well, exercise, journal, meditate, or even just take some time for themselves I KNEW I needed to make good on my promise.

I reluctantly gave up my watch when I went to bed and wondered what the day would bring.  Oh I also covered up the most obvious time displays ( oven, microwave, computer, phone).

I actually didn’t officially start until 12:30 am thanks to my cat who woke me up because she got trapped in the garage and I had to disengage the alarm system to get to her…and there was the time shining at me on the wall display…I was half asleep so it wasn’t really my fault.

So in  nutshell here is what I discovered:

  • It was surprisingly easy to NOT know what time it was.  I was aware and careful and as the day progressed I REALLY didn’t care or want to know the time.
  • Couldn’t use the sun to gauge  it since it was raining and cloudy..oh well.
  • I was very focused and got a lot done ( this was a surprise)!
  • Without the clock and all those little voices in  my head telling me I was wasting hair loss time, I actually DID NOT waste time.
  • It was relaxing with no pressure to hurry up.
  • Some of what I think about time is habit and some of it is lies I tell myself ( no time for this, I can do this later etc).
  • With no clock to tell me what to do or how long to spend on things I found my own rhythm for the day.
  • I try to control it all the time but it really controls me.
  • I try to cram way too many things into one day which frustrates me and makes me feel unaccomplished.
  • Eating when I was hungry and not because it was lunch or dinner time was much more satisfying although my body went from “a little bit hungry” to “I am starving” in a very short period of time.

To be honest I thought I would hate this kind of day.  I thought I would be unproductive and frustrated and go through withdrawals without my watch or some other form of time keeping and it ended up being just the opposite.

I thought I would be all upside down without it and what it did was really turn me back to right side up!

I actually miss not keeping time and I quit wearing my watch to bed.  I don’t think I cured my procrastination habit but I certainly have some new awareness of how focused or unfocused I am…for some reason not looking at the time quieted all those “squirrel” moments that distract me from my intended tasks.

And in the end it was not about the clocks, watches or any other displays of time in my life.  It was and is about my perception of how much time I need, how I spend it and how I value or don’t value it.

So how about you?  Are you ready for a timeless day?  Want a little coaching about it?  Let me know here and we can get started.

And here is my favorite clock of all in my  house that loudly reminds me to “Go out and have some fun with your time”  Don’t you just  love it?

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It’s About Time!

I am having a new awareness about time.  All about time, where I spend it and most importantly why it seems to have  this hold on me all the time! ( pun intended)

Yesterday was a beautiful, unusually warm day here on the East Coast.  I decided to just take the day off and enjoy it.  Trying to ignore all the little thoughts that told me I shouldn’t do this was quite a task but I managed.  Still it made me think about what I do with my time, how I measure it and what would it be like IF I didn’t look at the clock at all for one WHOLE day.

Would I:

  • eat only when I was hungry?
  • pay attention to where the sun was in the sky?
  • use my time better if I wasn’t constantly aware of how much time I had left ?
  • not try and cram so many things into an impossibly short amount of time?
  • go a little crazy because I didn’t know what time it is?
  • get up when I was well rested and not to an alarm?

I suddenly became aware of how many different places the time is displayed besides my watch ( which I wear 24/7) and this is the list I came up with:

  • the oven
  • the microwave
  • my ipad, kindle, phone, computer
  • the car
  • the cable box
  • my home phone
  • decorative wall clocks
  • my coffee maker

Wow it is everywhere which leads me to ask “Why do people always ask me what time it is?” This happens often because many people do not wear a watch and it’s much easier to ask me than skin care pull out their phone..arghhh.  My husband is so guilty of this and when I am feeling snarky I often tell him when he asks the time “Time to get a watch” !  It never works.IMG_2402

So I am going to walk my talk, step out of my comfort zone, be really upside down and go timeless on Monday.  Since I have to change all the clocks on Sunday anyways it will be the perfect opportunity  for me to put that removable blue painters tape over all visible time pieces in my house, on my gadgets and in my cars.

I am already twitching a little.

Often in coaching I am told that there isn’t time to eat healthy, exercise, or do the things that really matter to the client.

I get it.  I mean I really get it.  So this should be really interesting on Monday.

I’m not sure if its a coincidence or just one of those things where the stars align that I happen to have Monday free to do this.

So who wants to join me ?  I realize it’s a luxury to have the “time” to do this so even if it’s for a small part of the day please hop on the timeless train.

I’ll be on Twitter  @jenniferbross, my facebook page and instagram ( your upside down life)

Want to coach or try coaching?  Go here and we’ll schedule a free mini coaching session!

As always…take some time, step out of your comfort zone and enjoy life a little upside down!