Posts Tagged With: Exercise

What are we running to?

Oh My! Has it been that long, I actually started this blog post 10 days ago and got side tracked…sorry.

I was fortunate to watch a movie last week called “Race to Nowhere”.

It was eye-opening, it was reassuring and it was sad all at the same time.

When my daughter and son were in grade school and high school, it was a priority in our home to eat meals together and have down time. I remember my daughter’s fifth grade teacher response when I questioned why she never seemed to send work home. She said, I work them hard enough when they are here, they need to relax and play when they are at home. What a wonderful and wise teacher!

Our children do need to express their creativity – they need to unwind – they need to de-stress.

A Race to Nowhere talked about all the academic and athletic pressures our young children feel today. One parent said “These children are losing 7th through 11th grade years” – WOW! What kind of society are we creating, what are we teaching our children. If we put pressure on them in grade school and middle school to “keep up with the Jones” they will learn that they have to fit into the model of what society expects of them. Not everyone is an AP, honor roll student with three sports and music lessons to boot. And not every parent is Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt look-alike. And we shouldn’t be. We are each uniquely created by God and we have to teach our children to embrace that!

I’m sad because I don’t want our children to learn the pressures of the world and unravel. Our children need flexibility and creativity and non-judgmental opportunities to be themselves. We should be accepting of them where they are. Should we encourage and give them support to be their best – YES, absolutely. But not to the point of anxiety, lack of sleep, stomach disorders, etc.

My son qualified for three AP classes his freshman year and my husband and I said, choose one and one sport. It’s more important that he was well-rounded and socially balanced. We wanted him to adjust and enjoy his high school years.

And guess what – he did incredible in high school and was accepted at a great college. My daughter had the same high school experiences, balance – with faith activities, golf and academics. Again, wonderful college experience too!

And guess what else, they both were offered great jobs before graduation and are contributing members of society. My daughter teaches 8th grade social studies and is an amazing teacher, (SO PROUD OF HER). My son is a computer software developer and loves working with his clients.

The stress of 6 hours of homework, maximum sport overload, activity craziness did not bring them to this point. A loving, accepting, nurturing family and friends did.

As adults we know how time goes by too quickly.
We know that one day are babies become children and our children become adults.
Why do we want to add to the rush?

I recommend watching Race to Nowhere and really contemplating how you are raising your children.

Then take them out to the park and throw a Frisbee with them! Enjoy the beautiful spring!!

Categories: Balance, Family, Movies | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Family game nights

I’m sitting here working on my laptop and out of the corner of my eye I see three Wii guitars.
Guitar Hero took the country by storm a few years ago and has morphed into Band Hero and other active family style video games.
But what has family game nights become? When my children were younger, family nights were sitting together around the kitchen table playing card games and board games. We loved Trivial Pursuit, Apples to Apples and Brain Quest, but were most inclined to pull out our Dominoes or a Card game.

We loved family nights of UNO, Phase 10 or just a deck of cards for Gin or Seven’s. Dad would make our children a bowl of ice cream or popcorn and we would settle in for a couple of hours. Laughing and talking, having a great time.
I remember when we moved to the couches. It was Scene It.
A trivial game using video – so much fun and so much more comfortable on the couch, but we lost something – the circle of conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I love Scene It and would love to play anyone, anytime, but it changed the circle at the table into a line on couches facing the tv instead of each other. Video games tore at family nights.

Video games, PS, Wii, XBox, etc, pulled our children individually to the screen. Oh manufacturers have managed to have 2-player games and family games, like Band Hero, but again it’s a different feel on family game night. It just feels different.

I LOVE watching my son play the guitar on the Wii, dreaming of some day being that fluid, precise and animated. He makes it seem so effortless. Or watching my daughter play the drums along with him to Aerosmith or Taylor Swift. We still have the laughter and love, but it just feels different. Something has been lost…do family still own a deck of cards?

Friday I had a hair appointment and as I opened the door to enter the salon, to my left was a mother waiting with a 3-year-old daughter. This adorable little girl had a toy cell phone and was talking away to no one with her head cocked to her right shoulder to hold the phone and her blonde curls bouncing behind her. Three years old! I’m sure she’ll have a real cellphone before 7 years old! Technology has so many positive attributes, like Skyping with my sister in China for 20 minutes yesterday, but do we pay attention to the attributes of family life that are slipping away? Where’s the doll that was a three-year old’s best friend? Has it been replaced by toy cell phones?

My family gathered last month to say farewell to my sister that was moving to Shanghai – we were all together, my mother’s six children and all her grandchildren and one great-grandchild to boot! Twenty-seven in all. We decided to fit in a game night at the Caschetta’s! And what a night it was. Everyone was crammed into our sunroom while playing Loaded Questions. This hilarious game can be played on the board provided (as per the instructions) or by just sitting around asking the questions in a large group (as we improvised). It is a wonderful way to learn about each other, to laugh until you have tears in your eyes and to uncover secret dreams and ambitions. Family game night was recaptured!!

I also created a “family quiz” for my sister’s family that was leaving. All my siblings, nephews and nieces sent me facts about themselves and Toni, Matt, Margaret and Frank guessed who it pertained to. We kept track of which Barton knew the most about family members. Sitting around my brothers living room laughing and loving each other – everyone enjoyed pulling a question to ask and seeing who knew the answer. Often there were more than one person in the room that could say “me”. We discovered that “who owned a red convertible” applied to six family members!! It was so much fun. This is what family game night should be…
No one wanted the questions to end…what a great memory!

Reclaim family game night – and not in front of a television!
Pull out your dusting deck of cards, create your own trivial game or call over friends if your children are not home. Learn a new card game or enjoy the treasured ones of your childhood and circle around a table with LAUGHTER and LOVE and you will receive great blessings!!

When you go into the house, greet the family with a blessing. Matthew 10:12

Categories: Balance, Family | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tips, Gifts & Inspiration Friday

Well as inspiration goes, you can’t be more inspired , relaxed and balanced than with yoga.

I’ve practiced yoga on and off for over 20 years…anyone remember Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness yoga video in the 80’s!!? Well that’s how I was introduced to yoga and I loved it!

Nowadays, I usually just grab some yoga from Comcast OnDemand’s Exercise TV or a routine I put together to help stretch my stress areas of hips and shoulders.  However my baby sister is in town before she leaves for Shanghai, China with her family to teach for two years.  Well Toni is a dedicated yoga-ista, 4-5 times a week before leaving her home in Colorado, and she was looking for yoga in the Frankfort area. So last night, we planned on a 6:00 AM yoga this morning… yeah, I did say 6:00 AM!!

But the 6:00 AM session of gentle yoga was wonderful – you can check out the yoga studio at Yoga for You.

The gentle breathe in and out, relaxing postures and kind fellow stretchers helped to start the day balanced and filled with inspiration.

May your Friday begin a weekend of balance, and if stress finds you, may you breathe in slowing and breathe out and release all the tensions of the day.


Categories: Balance, TGIF | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Emotional exercise today

Physical exercise can wait – emotional exercise is more important right now.

As I pack up my mother’s home, I lay exhausted and think, “I didn’t even go for a walk today”. I know I got a lot of bending, lifting and moving accomplished but nothing I could really “mark” in my exercise log. Then I thought, STOP – BREATHE – LISTEN

My mind is racing with what else I can get accomplished for my mother before I leave tomorrow, drawers to empty, garbage to pull out, closets to clean—STOP. Then I looked at the corner of my laptop and there it was. I first scanned the time, it’s after midnight, its’ Sunday…then I saw the date. It’s April 17th. Four years ago today, I lost one of the most lovely, fun, giving men in my life. My father was called home after a battle with lymphoma. I miss him everyday. So many at the funeral were kind and honest with their words “It doesn’t get easier, you just get use to it”.  So true those words are. If you have ever lost a loved one you understand them all too well.

I realized I need to take some time, walk his house and say good-bye. Good-bye to the memories he graced my family with at the table, playing cards, learning new games, sharing dinner, laughing…oh how he could laugh. I miss the fishing trips on his boat into the Gulf of Mexico, the sunset at their beach deck and dolphins gracefully swimming in the inlets of the bay, I even miss the times he took me golfing on the most challenging course I’ve even played (don’t go into the ruff for balls, less the alligators see you). Memories. Emotional. Spiritual. Love.

Sunday is a no physical work day – no exercise, no moving, no packing. Today we honor Dad, we say good-bye to the last home he lived in, the home he loved in the winter of his life.

May you all take a moment today and each day to remember our loves ones in a very special way.
May you be blessed with memories that outlive our earthly lives.
May you find peace in knowing you have been loved.
May you enjoy the emotional moments in life.

St. Donald Herbert, pray for us.

Categories: Balance, Gratefulness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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