Category Archives for "Lifestyle"

rescue kitten
Jul 03

Missing the Kitten for the Treats

By Peggy Haymes | Lifestyle

I hadn’t planned to get a kitten.

At least, not yet.

This spring I had to put down my diabetic and so-done-with-this-life cat. It’s been over twenty years since I’d had a kitten in my house. I wanted one but planned to wait a year until the 2017 kitten season.

rescue kittenUntil I saw Buster. His picture popped up on my Facebook feed and well, that was that.

So I’ve been trying to introduce Buster to my eleven and eight year old dogs. Following the wisdom of the experts, I took my leashed dogs into the kitten’s room, one at the time with treats in my pocket to reward good behavior.

Things went well with my old dog Oakley. Raised with cats since she was a puppy, all she has wanted in this life (besides daily walks and no thunder) was a cat to be her friend. She has an eternal feline hope,

Ralphie was another story.

Things didn’t go poorly, It’s just that he was so fixated on the treat that he never knew that a kitten was right behind him, almost sitting on his tail. I kept trying to introduce him to Buster but he stubbornly stayed fixated on my pocket. Treats! You have Treats! I don’t think he ever realized that a kitten was in the room with him.

I’ve thought about missing the kitten for the treats, and how often we do it.

Oh shucks, I’ve thought about how often I do it. I miss the new chapter ready to unfold because I’m too busy looking at the old one. I miss the unexpected surprise because I’m too fixated on what I already know. I miss the opportunity because it means change and change feels like danger and threat and, at the very least being very uncomfortable. And I’d rather keep looking at the treats.

What’s keeping you distracted? One of the ways I distract my focus is by having none. When my focus is scattered all over the place – things to do, places to be, what I should have done yesterday and what I need to do tomorrow and where in the heck are my keys? – it’s hard to see what’s right in front of me.

Ralphie was focused. Just on the wrong thing.

What do you think? What keeps you distracted? What have you missed? Share in the comments below.

Apr 08

Running with the Selfie Stalker

By Peggy Haymes | Lifestyle , Wellness

Anne LamottI knew she was a stalker.

I mean that in the best possible sense of the word. She wasn’t making life creepy for an ex. She was always stalking people in pursuit of the bucket list selfie.

I knew this because I saw the pictures show up on her Facebook wall every so often… Peter Sagal (host of Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, the NPR news quiz), Garrison Keillor (are you sensing a public radio theme?) and Roy Williams, coach of the UNC basketball team (hey, it was her bucket list, not mine.)

So this week some of us went together to hear one of our very favorite authors, Anne Lamott. My friend ambushed Garrison Keillor just a week before in that same auditorium so she had the recon down.

Turns out we didn’t need it. All of a sudden her eyes lit up as she pointed to a group of women gathered in the aisle on the other side. “There she is,” she said. “She’s signing books! We’ve got twenty minutes – let’s go.”

You have to understand, this is not my natural inclination. I can be shy sometimes, and my default setting is to crane my neck to watch the others, wishing I could go, envying the ones who do go. But with my friend, there is no neck craning. Before I could waffle, we were on the move.

As we stood in the aisle I morphed into Ralphie anxiously waiting to see Santa in A Christmas Story, knowing that it was vitally important that I see this person but afraid that the store would close first.

Anne LamottAnne LamottAnd then, this happened. Anne signed my well worn copy of Bird by Bird and my friend got a picture of the two of us together and the bucket list I hadn’t allowed myself to have got a little lighter.

How often do we talk ourselves out of getting out of our seats and going for what we really want? We book the same place for vacation every year because that’s where we always go, ignoring the part of us that wants to explore some place new. We don’t take the pottery class because we might not be any good at it. We don’t say hello to the interesting person we’d like to have as a friend because after all, why would they want to be friends with us?

We proactively disappoint ourselves rather than take a chance on life disappointing us.

In college I was asked to play trumpet in the orchestra. Excited, I said yes at first. And then the shy, not very confident person stepped forward again and I bowed out. I didn’t know if I could do it so I didn’t try.

I have regretted it ever since.

I’ll not lie. It helps to have a stalking selfie queen as a friend. But lacking that, sometimes we have to be that friend to ourselves.

What is that thing you really want to do, that place you really want to go? As long as it will not hurt anyone else nor yourself and you’re not likely to wind up in a North Korean prison, go for it.

The worst that can happen is that life will say no. The best that can happen is that it will say yes.

The Slow Down Diet
Feb 17

Slow Down Diet: Gone to Meddling

By Peggy Haymes | Eating , Lifestyle , Wellness

Better Deeper LifeThere’s a story about the preacher who preached on the evils of a various sins and vices. One of the old deacons encouraged him on, both with hearty Amens during the sermon and words of appreciation after the service. But then the preacher preached on the evils of tobacco and the deacon, a well-known smoker, sat stony faced though the sermon. After worship he had only one thing to say.

“Preacher,” he said, “now you’ve gone to meddling.”

That’s something of what I thought as I read The Slow Down Diet recently.

“I suggest you let go of all coffee for this week.”

Yeah, like that’s going to happen.

The point Marc David is making here is that many of us use caffeine as a way to override our natural energetic rhythm. When we’re in harmony with that rhythm our metabolism works at its best.

I don’t use coffee as a means for keeping myself awake. I realized, however, that I’ve been using that afternoon decaf as a way of nurturing. Holding the warm cup, smelling the aroma, tasting the bite of the beans on my tongue… even the experience of getting out of the office to the coffee shop nurtures my soul. While I’ve not been eating less I’ve been starving my spirit and even the best latte is a poor substitute.

Early on in the book this quote caught my eye was

“The way we do food is the way we do life.”

Over the last few days I’ve realized that the reverse is also true: the way we do life is the way we do food. My life got out of kilter which then became manifest in my eating.

Injury has curtailed my workouts, although if  I’m brutally honest, that’s mostly an excuse. My road bike stays hooked up to the trainer in the guest room.  I could work around the injury. I don’t have to be waylaid by the snow.

I fell into the trap of letting my schedule be my excuse. I looked for reasons not to work out instead of ways to make it happen. I’ve been reminded again that exercise isn’t an option for my life (well, for any of us but that’s for another day.) While it exhausts me it also nurtures me. While it tires me out it brings me energy.

I let my schedule push out the other necessity in my life: creating. While I’ve been busy creating courses and webinars, I haven’t been just plain writing. If I go too long without playing with words my spirit gets stale.

And when these things happen, I don’t eat as well. Exercise connects me to my body. Creativity connects me to my spirit. And connection with both is needed for eating with awareness.

What practices nurture your spirit? 


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