R Thoughts

Two minutes is all it takes.

by R girl on 03/23/14

My daughter introduced me to an idea that has had quite an impact on my day to day life.  The idea is simple.  If some task is going to take two minutes or less, don't put it off.  Do it immediately. Seems pretty straightforward right?  Well if you're a procrastinator like me, this simple advice, put into practice, can change your world.

There are countless little tasks that need attention throughout the day: emails need to be answered, clothes need to be  folded, dishes need to be washed, bills need to be paid.  The list goes on and your list may be quite different from my list. The point is, so many of the little annoyances and tasks that face us can be taken care of and eliminated in two minutes or less.

I promise you, if you implement the "two minute rule" you will be a more productive and organized person immediately. I have noticed that I don't spend a good chunk of my weekend catching up on little jobs that I put off all week. I already took care of them in two minute increments.

 Of course this little gem doesn't just apply to your personal life.  It's a timesaver at work too. If you answer emails, make your phone calls, and take care of all the loose ends as they crop up, you will find yourself more organized and prepared for the work day.  

I can't tell you how many times I have vowed to quit procrastinating.  And my intentions were good.  I just didn't know, until recently, that you conquer  the procrastination demon two minutes at a time.  It's so simple and so effective, I had to share. Try it! all it takes is two minutes. 

It's never too late to start over

by R girl on 02/16/14

Statistically  speaking, by this point in the "new year" most people have given up on their resolutions from January 1. Why is that?  The year is still relatively new, there's still plenty of time before December 31, 2014.   I think I know the reason. I think that glorious clean slate facing each of us every New Year's Day is all the incentive we need to take on our personal challenges and set goals for ourselves.  For some reason we don't view each new day as the clean slate we saw on January 1.

In order for a resolution to be effective and successful it doesn't have to be 100% perfect.  I have backslid on some of my resolutions but I've decided not to let perfect be the enemy of good. I'm going to pick up where I left off and continue with my good intentions.  

So think about the goals you set for yourself just a few short weeks ago. Don't give up on them.  Today, right now if possible, fulfill one of the goals you set for yourself on January 1.   If you planned to workout more, workout today.  If you planned to get organized, do something today to push you in the direction you want to go. Clean out a drawer, make a trip to goodwill with clothes you no longer want or need. Whatever small step you can take to get organized do it today.   If your resolution was to save money, resist buying something today that isn't really necessary. Recommit to yourself.  Start over. This day can be as clean a slate as January 1 was.  There's nothing magical about New Year's Day. It's never too late to start over.  Happy New Year. 

If public schools are so bad, how'd these guys get so smart?

by R girl on 02/05/14

     What do Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple), Sal Khan (founder of Khan Academy), Mark Zuckerberg (founder of facebook), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (co-founders of Google) all have in common?  Besides the fact that they are all wildly successful in their chosen fields and have each made billions of dollars, every one of them of them is also a product of American public education.  Does that surprise you?  Did you realize the people who have changed the way we live, learn, and socialize all received their early education from the public schools? 

As a teacher I have attended countless meetings in which I am schooled on the new federal standards, commonly known as Common Core.  I have heard numerous speakers talk about how we need to get our students "college and career ready."  The thrust of these talks is that American schools are turning out inferior students who can't think or work for themselves.  I have to wonder:  Why aren't the contributions of the best and the brightest being talked about? Is it merely a coincidence that the above mentioned men, who have made incredible contributions to the modern world, all attended public schools? Why do we discuss the public schools as if they are broken beyond repair? We must be doing something right.

I'm not buying the premise that the American public schools are inferior to European and Asian schools. Students in China go to school 251 days a year as compared to 180 days a California student attends school.  Not only is their school year longer,  their school day is from 7am to 4pm. So, bottom line...students in Asia receive more education than students in America and still no Sal Khan, no Mark Zuckerberg,  and we're the ones who need fixing? 

No worries... No. Really.

by R girl on 01/26/14

There is no shortage of sayings and proverbs about the futility of worrying.  They mostly caution about the dangers to health and happiness from anxiety. They usually allude to the notion that nothing can be gained by worrying. Any superficial internet search will bring page after page of wisdom and insight regarding this topic. 

I have noticed that people worry a lot. Although the phrase  "no worries" is very popular these days, it isn't being put into practice. I hear people worry about issues they have no control over, and that aren't even remotely their fault. 
 Lets take weather for example. As we Californians  know, we have had very dry winters these past few seasons.  This January is shaping up to be the warmest and driest in about 100 years. I'm not saying there isn't cause for concern.  Droughts are bad things. However, I don't think its necessary for people to feel guilty for enjoying the amazing and mild weather we've been experiencing. I can't tell you how many people I have heard say they can't enjoy the nice weather because they know we need rain.  Really? The weather is a situation that individuals have absolutely no control over, why worry? Give it to God and enjoy the sunshine in the mean time. Worrying doesn't take away tomorrow's troubles; it takes away today's peace. (author unknown)
 Not worrying is not the same as acting irresponsibly. I'm not worried about the weather, but I'm also not planning to put in a big vegetable or flower garden this spring unless we get a good drenching in February and March. 
I've resolved not to waste time worrying about things that I have no control over and aren't my fault. Think about what you're worried about.  Is it something you can control?  If not, let it go. What worried you last week? last month? last year?  Was it worth the emotional investment, or was it like the weather, something that could take care of itself. 

Silence is Golden

by R girl on 01/12/14

There's a cliche that says something like: Out of every bad situation some good can be found, or maybe it's every cloud has a silver lining.  No matter, the point is I think I've encountered that very situation and it's literally changing the way I think.  Let me back up a little.  On January 2 of this year my husband and I were rear ended while sitting in traffic.  Long story short, I have to leave my car in a body shop for several days (still don't have it back) and I have to use  rental car. 

 The car I rented doesn't have a very good radio, in fact it grates on my nerves to listen to it.  It causes the dashboard to vibrate and makes a racket in the car. So I turned it off.  The past 10 days I've been driving without the distraction of music or talk radio.  I noticed right away how different it is to drive with no background noise.  Then I started to eliminate the background noises in my home.  I resist turning on the radio or television when I'm cooking, cleaning or just hanging out. It's really quite remarkable how different the atmosphere is in my home especially when I'm here alone. 
When it's quiet you can hear yourself think.  You can more easily and effectively process your thoughts.  You can hear natural noises outside. I'm amazed how much more relaxing it is to be in a quiet house.
I'm going to expand my distraction-free thinking by taking my walks without my ipod.  I'll just listen to whatever is provided naturally. 
So, if I hadn't been rear ended and needed a rental car, who knows if I ever would have noticed the frenzy of noise I was subjecting myself to ever day? Whoever said "Silence is golden" was right on the money.

2014 the year I will finally...

by R girl on 01/05/14

I love the new year.  There's so many possibilities, so much potential.  It's like we all start off on January 1 with a clean slate. I take the notion of New Year's Resolutions pretty seriously.  I always give some thought to what I want to change about myself in the coming year.

 This year I decided to opt out of my tried and not so true standbys-losing weight, exercising more often, saving money yada yada yada. I decided instead to implement a change of attitude.  My new year's resolution is to recognize and take advantage of the opportunities to help other people out. 
The tricky part of this resolution isn't the part about helping those in need.  I am happy to help out anyone I know or even don't know whenever I can. The part that will take an attitude change for me is in recognizing a need.  I'm not very good at that.  I tend to think of others' needs as being big and obvious.  I have come to realize this isn't always the case, and I need to train myself to pick up on the cues of people around me and then try to be of some help.  I realize that sometimes it is in the very small gestures that we are a blessing to others.  
So that's it!   I'm going to approach the new year with my eyes wide open, looking for opportunities to jump in and help my neighbors, family, friends, coworkers, and complete strangers. 
What are your New Year's Resolutions?

succesfully treating MS with diet and exercise...can it be that simple?

by R girl on 08/18/13

People generally fall into one of two categories. There are those who have complete trust in medical science and rely on medications and the advice of their doctor when they have a health problem. The flip side of that coin is the people who will try almost anything to avoid taking prescription or over the counter drugs. These people will modify diet and exercise regimens to improve their health and go to their doctor only as a last resort after they've exhausted their bag of health tricks.

 I have noticed that I keep running into articles about people with MS who have healed themselves using unconventional treatments. Two of the articles I've read are testimonials by women who eliminated grains from their diets and the result was their MS went into remission. One of the women is a physician who was confined to a wheelchair. She adopted the paleo diet and is now able to walk. The third article is about a woman who started running marathons (one per day for a year) and within a year her MS symptoms have disappeared. She is drug free and her symptoms are gone. She didn't say if she eliminated grains and increased protein to run 366 marathons but I wouldn't be surprised if that is part of it.

Please read the posts for yourself at: www.robbwolf.com/2013/03/04/paleo-saved-life

 and www.terrywahls.com

 and lastly www.cphpost.dk/sport/marathon-woman-crosses-finish-line

   I think we know which category these women fall into. Could it be that something as simple as diet and exercise modification can help MS sufferers? Its worth a try don't you think?

show me the money

by R girl on 07/11/13

On July 1st my husband and I embarked on a grand experiment.  We decided to quit using our debit and credit cards, and pay for all purchases with cash.  First of all, we put ourselves on a budget.  We each get a set amount of cash for the week and we pay for all food, drink, gas, and entertainment with that limited amount of money. Granted, it has only been 10 days, but wow! What a difference in our spending patterns. We are so mindful of what we are buying and why we are buying it.  Instead of this being stressful  it has been fun and an eye opener, not to mention the source of some very funny comments and insights.  Our plan is to keep this up until the end of the year.  We'll see if we're tough enough to do that. 

Of course I don't hatch these ideas on my own.  I was inspired by Leo Babauta's blog post:  A Year of Living Without which you can read for yourself by clicking on the R-ticles page.  

I also posted a recipe for some seriously delicious coffee coconut ice cream.  Thanks to my good friend Terri for sharing her amazing recipe.  You have to try this one, and hurry up before the warm weather leaves us.  

Memorial Day

by R girl on 05/27/13

Memorial Day... the unofficial beginning of summer, almost the end of the school year, wedding and graduation season, but wait a second aren't we mising something?  Does anyone else find it somewhat ironic that we need to be reminded on Memorial Day what the holiday is set aside for?  This is the day we stop to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom:  those brave, unselfish men and women who stepped forward when their country needed them. So, before you go to the sales at the mall, or fire up your bbq, remember to fly your American flag. Wear red, white, and blue.  Say a prayer of thanks for those who have died protecting our freedoms.   Three cheers for the red white and blue!  

which came first.. the decision or the feeling?

by R girl on 10/21/12

I'm lucky enough to have a brother who shares interesting articles, videos, books, pretty much anything he thinks will interest me.  The video of Shawn Achor from TED Talks is one of those tidbits.  Shawn is very interesting and quite funny when he lays out the process of being happy.  He makes the case that the decision to be happy affects the ability to be happy.  Please take a few minutes to watch.

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