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What We're Following Today December 16, 2019

I missed a couple of days last week, but back at it again this week. Today, I'm following a little more of myself...2 things that I wanted to call out:

1) I organized a cookie decorating craft event at my UMC Monroe Church Breakfast with Santa on Saturday. So last Thursday and Friday my life changed into that of a baker. Lots of flour, pans, etc. But there were some Generation Bridge elements to it all. One, I knew I would be doing something that kids would hopefully enjoy. I know as a kid with my grandparents I used to get really excited when I could decorate my own cookie. Usually it was not "beautiful" to others, but as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I LOVED having a cookie with lots of colors on it and a pile of frosting :)

So I knew kids at the event would come in and love to take ownership of their own cookies. I found a great recipe for sugar cookies that did require extra time because the dough had to set a little in the refrigerator before being rolled out. But they were TASTY.

I used an old Kitchenaid stand mixer that my grandmother gave me when she had to stop baking because her hands wouldn't cooperate. But I have had that mixer for 10 years now, and I wouldn't be surprised if that mixer was bought in the 1960's or 70's, but it still cranks. I have learned to love that machine! But if you start to think Generation Bridge like, we can look at that mixer as a symbol for the wisdom we get as we age - it never gets outdated. Just look at today's stand mixers; they are virtually unchanged compared to 40+ years ago! My father in law said the only difference was in the bowl; today's have a handle. But how many people enjoyed cakes, breads, and cookies made using that mixer? And how many more will.

Now let's place that same thinking on how we share wisdom. There are still many things that we pass on or learn that are the same today as they were 100 years ago. How many generations need to say the same thing, before we stop making ourselves learn from experience in "spite" of advice to the contrary. Have you ever said, "my mom actually knew what she was talking about", or "my father used to say that and now I get it". But as we learn, we pass that on to others or find new ways to respect each other which spiders down as well. How many people could benefit your advice? How many people's lives could you influence? How could you help to shorten the learning curve and prevent someone from making mistakes "you" made? How could you listen better in order to learn faster?

I look at cooking and look forward to connecting with my kids. Sharing the process of making cookies with them and others. It is really some of the best memories as a kid I have when thinking about either helping in the kitchen or workshop with my grandparents. Maybe technology will impact this in some ways, but some of these things transcend technological change - they are like that mixer - almost perfected and tried and true. Chairs may look different in the office today, but we really haven't "innovated" them out of existence - a chair is still largely the same as it has been for thousands of years. Spoons too...In some ways, the way we experience each other is also largely the same.


2) Accountability Team - The accountability team for improved health and wellness is still going strong, but we all had a slight fall off's last week. So we are pushing each other to get back on the path this week. The holidays are hard and baking cookies doesn't make things any easier. Fortunately, I am still 10 pounds down so far and almost at 11. My niece is more than 14 pounds down and fitting into her uniforms better. RoseAnne also is doing great, and making a lot of interesting spiritual / familial goals come to a reality in some of the projects she has been working on that might show potential to repair some family bonds.

Rebecca and I have passed our running goals to date, but still need to keep at it. I ran the Jingle Bell Run on December 7, and came in faster than I expected. My father-in-law ran with me in a show of support and we had a really nice time going up and down the hills in Trumbull, CT. All in all, we are all still making more good decisions than we were 9 weeks ago. It has been enormously helpful to have people who share what they are doing and where they are failing. We are a good group and we are still on the path to long term lifestyle training that will help us meet short term and long term health goals.

If you find yourself in a place where you are wanting to make changes in your life and are tired of the cycle to start and fail, I would strongly recommend reaching out to some people you know who might be in a similar place and creating your own mini-accountability team. We work great in small groups as humans! You don't need to join programs (although that can help for many), and you don't need to go ALL or NOTHING on new diet that might be difficult to maintain for a lifetime (although, again, that works for some people too).

I thank God everyday for the gift of a body that still works and responds, for good food being available and for added mental strength to win more of the mental battles every day.

If you are like me, and the rest of our accountability team, change was NEEDED. There really isn't ONE right way to make the changes in your life, but when you involve others into your process, you will have a team of people looking out for your success. However, there is certainly a wrong way, and that's the one where you do nothing. If I stayed doing nothing, I would be destined for decades of medications to manage chronic ailments that I would develop in my future, and I would be destined to have regrets looking back on my 43 year old self and saying, "why didn't I start doing something then?"

I can't promise that in 10 years I won't have failed again and regressed, but I can say that I would have failed already if I didn't start.

Good luck in your own transformation.

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