Tag Archives: empowerment

Fifty by Fifty

I recently celebrated my birthday and ushered in the last year of my 40’s. The truth is, I had a pretty difficult time turning 40, so when it hit me that this was the year leading up to welcoming a new decade, I decided I wanted to be proactive and hopefully better prepared mentally and emotionally when the big 5-0 rolls around.

Many of my friends have turned 50 without issue or experiencing anything other than celebration. Some friends have even expressed that it was a non event in their lives. My husband turned 50 a few years ago, and on his 49th birthday he made a decision to pave the way for the big event by celebrating the entire year leading up to turning 50. He even called it “The Year of Lee.” During this year, my husband set out to do all the things he had always wanted to do. A bucket list of sorts. He took scuba diving lessons, learned to fly an airplane, went on trips, sporting events, and all kinds of other things he deemed important and significant. By the time his 50th birthday arrived, he felt ready to embrace the new decade with gusto.

My approach to embracing the upcoming new decade is similar, but different to my husband’s. I have created a list of 50 things I want to do by the time I reach my 50th birthday, but they aren’t necessarily big bucket list items. And, I am not sharing my list with anyone other than myself. My list is about me, for me. My list is comprised of things that are important to me, goals to reach, things to do or incorporate in my life, and maybe a few “out of the box” ideas here and there. I feel like this experience will give me more of an opportunity to be introspective and intentional about life; where I am and where I want to be in this next season. My hope is that by the time I turn 50, I will have worked through all the challenging feelings that will surely accompany this event, but more than anything, I will be well prepared and already on track to enjoy my 50’s to the fullest. So, here’s to my fifty by fifty!

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Filed under Something to think about

Taking Control at a Young Age

My daughter has had migraine headaches since she was very young.  While she wasn’t able to be formally diagnosed until she was five years old, her pediatric neurologist agreed that she has had them at least since she was a toddler.  He has taught me a lot about migraines in children, and helped me understand that they manifest and “look” different in children.  I remember many times when she was as young as two years of age watching her hold her head, crying.  The best remedy for the headache was for her to “sleep it off,” preferably in a quiet, dark room.  When her headaches got to this point, she wouldn’t eat or drink anything, so taking medicine to help alleviate the headaches wasn’t a possibility.

Fast forward to her at eleven, and she still deals with migraines on a regular basis.  Over the years we have identified her triggers and tried many strategies to cope with them.  Currently, she is  trying biofeedback.  One suggestion the biofeedback therapist (as well as other people over the last few years, including her neurologist) made was to consider eliminating gluten from her diet.  Her daughter had migraines when she was younger, and this dietary change seemed to make a difference for her.  I asked my daughter what she thought of this suggestion on our way home, and she said, “Oh, I couldn’t do that!  I love my gluten.  I can’t give it up.”  She was familiar with what products did and didn’t have gluten as it has been a topic in our household over the years.  I dropped the subject.

A week or so later, my daughter came to me and said she had made a decision.  She told me she had decided to try a gluten-free diet for a month.  I was surprised and happy with her announcement.  I told her that I supported her decision, and would help her in any way I could.  I also told her I was willing to join in her effort so she wouldn’t feel like the “odd person out” in our family.  I doubted the guys in our house would totally give up their gluten.  🙂

Today marks a month of my daughter and me being gluten-free.  I have to admit that at times this decision has been hard, but overall it hasn’t been that big of a deal.  My daughter has spent time reading about the benefits of being gluten-free, and thought hard about options of what she can eat on a daily basis, especially what to prepare for her school lunches.  Many restaurants offer gluten-free menus, so dining out hasn’t been that much of a challenge.  We have both sought out ways to create some of our family favorites like cookies and waffles with gluten-free flour.  I even made scones the other morning that, I believe, were even better than the ones we have made for years.

Another positive change is my daughter’s awareness of the food she is eating.  She now brings two lunch boxes to school as she is packing more fresh vegetables and fruit, all things that take up more space.  We have made a variety of protein smoothies for her breakfast (I haven’t quite convinced her to add anything green to them yet) and have found great options for snacks.  Overall, she has adapted well to this new way of eating, and doesn’t have a desire to go back to eating gluten right now.  And the best news is that she has only had three migraines in the last month — welcomed improvement!  I am definitely proud that she is taking control of her health and making decisions that are good for her.  I look forward to her recognizing even greater results in the coming months.

Special Announcement:

I am very excited to announce that my picture book, FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue, is now available as an ebook!  It is available on Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks now, and will be available on Barnes & Noble Nook and Kobo formats in the near future.   Please check it out and feel free to share the news with your friends.  Thank you!    http://ow.ly/th1ym

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Filed under Making a difference, Parenting