As a grande finale I have deleted most of my posts – the last few are still sitting here. All the rest have moved over to http://ImaginingBetter.com – all the better to serve you, my dear. So bring your “what big eyes you have….” on over & snoop around. Things are laid out in a fascinating pattern of finding things you want or scrolling through POST-A-DAY will feel like this blog always has. Enjoy!
March 2, 2010
We have moved to: http://imaginingbetter.com. Click on over! We’ll see you there.
March 1, 2010
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We have moved to: http://imaginingbetter.com. Click on over! We’ll see you there.
February 27, 2010
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Packing the Boxes, Calling the Truck
Time to move over to my new website. It’s a full meal website. Still in development, but far enough along that I can start blogging from http://imaginingbetter.com.
Depending on your time and inclination, there will be some pages that remain easily available and more clearly categorized than a chronological list. Those pages are good for moments when you have a little more time or are looking for specific types of information. Not only will you have access to the pages but the pages will link to other articles and blog posts that relate.
After a bit, I will post a redirect page, but ask that you bookmark/put in favourites the new address: http://imaginingbetter.com. You should be able to subscribe and get the latest update by email. Although the software is proving obstreperous and you may have to wait for me to wrestle it into submission.
I will be Imagining Better in 3 categories: “Imagination & Brains”, “Kids & Their Adults”, “Joy & Honesty”. Within those broad categories, I break it down to “Imaginative Education”, “Brain Science”, “Kid Betterness”, “Ourselves”. I seem to be able to squeeze everything I know about how we learn, live, and love under those titles.
I also have a site for those of you who might like to join me in a more random and creative endeavour at http://caitlynjames.com. This is my creative writing site. It’s a few weeks behind the Imagining Better site, but will feature all kinds of writerly shenanigans.
On both sites, I welcome guest writers to contribute what you know. There’s the quick & easy comment section. The software requires you give me your email address so we have some chance of weeding out the robots. I didn’t really think this was a problem until I had 84!!! offers for every happy pharmaceutical you can imagine.
If you are a little less quick & easy, pop me a comment asking me to email you and we can have an “in camera”/off the record conversation about what you might like to write for the site. We’ll make a plan and get your words of wisdom or insanity posted (I’m open to the full gamet – as my loyal readers have seen in action.)
Lots of excitement, lots of frustration. Thanks for tuning in for the first third of the year. The next big celebration will be the one year anniversary. By then, my ads will be functional, the content will be top notch, the posts will continue to variously educate, entertain, and eavesdrop (nothing like a little gossip & self-revelation to keep things from getting too highbrow.)
See you over at http://imaginingbetter.com!
February 25, 2010
The Finale to my Birthday Speech
Obviously, I am in better shape now than I was at 40 (see previous two posts.) But, what about that weight I was intending to lose?
I may have lost 5 pounds, and I still have 6 weeks to work on a few more. What I realize, now, is I set myself up to do an almost impossible task. Terry Small, Canada’s #1 Learning Expert (says his tagline), writes about having a willpower budget, http://terrysmall.com/bb_49.asp. If we set ourselves a task, say, of writing 100 consecutive days of blog posts, and healing our sciatica, and losing 20 pounds our brains don’t have sufficient capacity for self-regulation. We can increase our ability with practice, and let me tell you, I’ve practised over the years, which might explain why, until a particularly youthful squat-jumping move in my hip hop dance class put me over the edge a couple of weeks ago, I had pretty much eliminated 10 years of chronic sciatic pain AND posted 100 consecutive missives. There wasn’t any left for weight loss.
Check this out:
“The brain’s store of willpower is depleted when people control their thoughts, feelings or impulses, or when they modify their behavior in pursuit of goals. Psychologist Roy Baumeister and others have found that people who successfully accomplish one task requiring self-control are less persistent on a second, seemingly unrelated task.
In one pioneering study, some people were asked to eat radishes while others received freshly baked chocolate chip cookies before trying to solve an impossible puzzle. The radish-eaters abandoned the puzzle in eight minutes on average, working less than half as long as people who got cookies or those who were excused from eating radishes. Similarly, people who were asked to circle every “e” on a page of text then showed less persistence in watching a video of an unchanging table and wall.”
Now that I have accomplished the goal of 100 posts I can return to re-eliminating the sciatic pain, get my website sufficiently organized to invite you all over soon, AND work on some weight loss.
Last week, I had an amazing day off. I got my hair cut at an uber cool salon, window-shopped, and took in the Olympic air in Vancouver. In all, I walked for 8 hours minus a 15 minute cup of soup and numerous quickie shoe tryings-on. At one time, my back would have mutinied long before I’d walked over the Granville Street Bridge a second time; and, it would have mutinied the next day. Nope. All was well … except my feet did ask for a little soak in epsom salts and were appreciative and quiet after they got it.
If my back is well, my ability to burn the calories necessary for weight loss increases.
The other thing I’ve been doing as much for my back as for my waistline is sit-ups. I roll out of bed and do 100 of the things. I have a whole repertoire of sit-ups and I have missed one day in the past 5 weeks. Strengthening my core gives better bounce to the whole day.
This morning, and many other mornings, I spent half an hour visualizing some crazy micro-camera going carefully through my parts that give me pain: occasional migraine in the eye, neck & shoulder (too much laptop among other things), mid-back, lower back, numb thigh right above the knee. Perhaps not too alarming a list for half a century of wear and tear, but more than I’m willing to accept at the moment. In this visualization I had the camera check out all these areas. The information was uncanny. Not especially easy to put into words, but an awareness of how I hold the stress in certain areas, and an indication of inflammation that I hadn’t noticed but is clearly there – now that I’m noticing.
Along with the micro-camera, I send joy and happiness flooding through my body. The initial reluctance to allow such positive feelings surprised and concerned me, but the resistance was fairly easy to overcome.
I’m still feeling pain, tiredness, and tension in various back parts & neck/shoulder, but the impulse is to get up and move, not sit and push through. Ultimately, this impulse will be my ally not only in relieving pain, but in losing weight.
I haven’t given up the goal, but I don’t know that I will lose 15 pounds in 6 weeks. Maybe. I mean, I’m not opposed to the idea – as long as I don’t have to be sick to do it. Given that there is a week of Spring Break in there where I might do some marathon walking… who knows?!
However, if I all my focus and shame had gone toward those 15 pounds I may have lost the very encouraging knowledge that I am, without a doubt, in better shape now than I was at 40!
February 23, 2010
Preparing for my 50th Birthday Speech PART 2
Last post, I was talking about how my goal to be in better shape at 50 than I was at 40 is pretty much a done deal – in spite of not having lost the amount of weight necessary to be at the ideal by the beginning of April (when I become half a century old.) The idea is that the way my (your?) mind works is kind of literal. It seems to enjoy being literal and then leaping into a pun. In this case, the better shape spans all aspects of my life.
How about career? At 40 I had been working at my dream job for 5 months. Still am. How is that in better shape? Well, I’ve never worked anywhere longer than 5 years and this is 10 years of amassing pension credits and moving up the pay scale. I make double what I did 10 years ago. I’m also better at what I do. And, I do it in far fewer hours per week. As far as I can tell, my credibility in the school district is at least medium, maybe even medium high. In some offices definitely high. That takes time. Ironically, I have cycled through every classroom in our small school and am back to the one I started in. This time around there are 8 computers in the room instead of none. Although there has been staff turnover and I started out working with an awesome staff, the current staff complement is also awesome.
Given the general state of better, I also have energy that is not going into my paid employment, financial anxiety, or faltering relationships.
Which, brings me to the next better shape stat: my own marriage. At the age of 40 I was dating someone who really didn’t want to be with me, but didn’t really know how to get out of it – I think. There were subtle clues like the frequent fights, disappointments, arguments, neglects. My 40th birthday passed with an expensive dinner out and tickets to the Montreal Jazz Ballet. Definitely, a quality evening, but quite certainly not the 40th birthday bash I had explicitly wished for….. Out loud. This, from a man who knew how to organize himself into political office, who was often the life of a party, and who shared my social circle! Still, I stayed??!!? And, I didn’t organize my own party??!!?
Finally, we figured out not to be together and my husband and I found each other. I know I can’t write too much about him, or us, without embarrassing him a little, so I will say that in spite of some early “figuring-it-outs”, there is rarely a fight, argument, or disappointment. In the course of a $150,000 renovation, we had ONE five minute fight which stopped as soon as we both realized that it was the stress of another day of living in only two rooms cordoned off with ineffective dust barriers.
He is wonderful and loves me and I love him. He is rarely the life of the party (not that you can tell that from the photo) even though he is definitely a good time, and planning a party would clearly stress him out – so I have planned my birthday bash, which MUST include dancing. With all my friends and a good dose of friendly strangers we are going to The Rogue Folk Club for Contra Dancing to the live band, The Sybarites.
If you’ll be around Vancouver on April 3rd, you’re invited. Check out the details http://www.roguefolk.bc.ca/rfshows.html The party/dance is at St. James Hall which is a beautiful, de-sanctified church with great acoustics & a dance floor. Maybe we’ll see you there? Maybe you’ll tell me you (& your significant other, and your kids, and your grandma) are coming – leave a comment below. It will be a blast.
February 21, 2010