A Life Well-Lived

“A life well-lived is the most exquisite form of art,” wrote Erwin McManus. This weekend my family lost our matriarch, my great Grandmother. As I contemplated her passing, I kept coming back to a life well-lived. Her life, while never easy, exemplified this axiom. My great grandmother Nellie Brown (nee Reynolds) and her twin sister Zella (Caroyln) were born on May 16, 1916, in Long Prairie to Florence and Andrew Reynolds. At this point, there were only 3.3 million cars registered in the entire US while only 11% of the population had a telephone. When she was just a toddler, the Great War was winding down, but the Spanish Flu epidemic was in full swing. She began her life as the Spanish flu pandemic took hold and her life ended as we continue to contend with COVID. Can you imagine how different the world is now compared to 1916?

Great Grandma Brown, her sister Zella and her mom circa 1920

Shortly after my grandmother’s birth, her father headed to Europe to fight in the Great War. After the war, her father left and her mother remarried. She grew up in Long Prairie, where she met her husband. In fact, she was telling Jake and me tales of watching Lindy practice while tending to the fields. In fact, they would wave as he flew over and he would tip his wings to them. Of course, Lindy was Charles Lindbergh and this was long before his famous flight across the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis. As we drove back to my folks that day, Jake and I were trying to wrap our heads around the massive changes she witnessed in her 104 years. I would give anything to be able to sit with her again and listen to her stories.

One thing that was clear about my Grandmother is that change didn’t challenge her. Her generation was no stranger to loss having experienced both World Wars, the Spanish flu, the great depression, polio, the Korean and Vietnam wars. Perhaps that is why she was so adaptable and resilient. In fact, as the age of the internet broke, she didn’t run from it. She had an old computer that she used until she lost her eyesight. How many people can say they got emails and forwards from their Great Grandma? Not many, but I can. Undoubtedly, her adaptability and great genes played a role in her longevity, but it was more than that.

My Great Grandma lived her life according to three pillars: love, family, and God. As she held Jake’s hand that blustery October day, she shared the importance of rooting himself in love, family and God. I was struck at the moment by the power of her words, influence, and the moment. I was blessed to witness that moment. On that trip, she and Jake formed a deep bond that he’ll carry with him forever. We spent many weekends at my Great Grandmother’s house with our extended family. Our extended family is huge! Yet, she delighted in hosting all of us. Family really was everything to her. After my grandfather lost his mother to cancer in the mid 50’s, my great-grandma treated him as if he was her own child. She loved my Grandpa dearly.

She lived independently in her own house until the very end. After she suffered a stroke two weeks ago, my grandma and aunt stayed by her side. My heart aches for my Grandma, who just lost her mom. I took a picture of them together during our last visit. When I look at that picture, I realize no matter how old we get, we always want and need our mother. My Great Grandma was a woman, who lived according to her own terms. It is no wonder that she left this world exactly as she lived in it surrounded by love and family. Until we meet again Great Great Grandma, godspeed.

Nellie Brown 5/16/1916-1/30/2021

Normal Saturday

For the first time since early October, it’s been a normal Saturday for me. It’s nice not having to work and being able to relax and get stuff done. The Mayor and I started the day off at BJ’s picking up some groceries. Surprisingly, the store was pretty empty, which made the shopping experience quite easy. Normally, I find BJ’s to be utterly unbearable. This, of course, is why I only go there once a month. Also, I don’t think my freezers could hold all the food if I went there more often. Needless to say, I’m happy that I checked that trip off my December to-do list.

Yesterday we started working with a trainer for Anakin. It’s been hard to get him socialized and trained properly due to the pandemic, but Gari will be great for him. He did really well with her once he got comfortable. Unfortunately, he’s a bit of a nervous dog around new people, so it took a while for him to warm up. We quickly figured out, however, that as long as Maya was out of the crate with him, he was more comfortable. Our session yesterday was a consultation and to see how he would respond. I liked Gari’s style and felt that I learned a lot from her. We didn’t cover a lot of ground yesterday, but we’ve been practicing his new skills a lot today.

I had planned to run today, but my body is just not feeling it. After all, it’s my second week back to working out after a six or seven week hiatus. My goal is to get back to running every day for at least a mile. Additionally, I’m back to practicing yoga daily, which is helping a lot. BBG continues to deliver week after week of great workout. Since I took a break, I’ve definitely regressed a bit. Consequently, I’ll be repeating BBG 3.0 before moving on to 4.0. BBG 3.0 is significantly more difficult than 2.0, so I don’t feel bad at all about having to repeat it.

This afternoon, I mixed up some cookie dough for Christmas cookies and ordered more decorations. Like many Americans, I find myself decorating the house more this year. After all, 2020 has been such a gloomy year, why not brighten it up with some Christmas cheer. I’ve also been working on my memory book for Jake’s Air Force journey. It’s so fun to look back on the pictures from the past year. Hopefully, I’ll finish the book later today or tomorrow. This evening we’re headed to my brother’s for dinner. Again, since I’ve gone nowhere in like seven weeks, it will be nice to leave the house.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 6 of BBG 3.0 week 4 and I’m doing nothing. I decided to rest on the 6th day because I’m a rebel like that.

*Today I thought about running a mile and decided to take the day off. It was good thought.

*Today’s word of the day is share, which is why I write this blog. To share my thoughts great and small with all of you.

*I’m enjoying my normal Saturday with absolutely nothing on my to do list.

*I’m headed to my brother’s tonight for dinner and board games.

*After today, my running streak stands at 0 days and I’m not mad about it.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. Today’s footprints may have included some ashes since they knocked over the grill. There are, however, no kitties in this house.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them!

Today’s song is Superheroes by The Script, enjoy!

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Connection

Maintaining a connection with the outside world during this time of quarantine isn’t always easy, but it’s super necessary. To be honest, I haven’t talked on the phone this much since I was a teenager. Okay, maybe I haven’t talked on the phone this much since the advent of the text message. In fact, if you know me well, you know I don’t typically answer my phone. Your best option to read me is to text me. Since I have a house of boys and three dogs, communicating via text is much easier since I often can’t hear myself think here.

Meanwhile, there will be plenty of connection starting next week as Palm Beach County Schools start the school year virtually. I fully expect my phone to be ringing off the hook with phone calls from our new victims. By victims, I mean my kids’ new teachers. Unlike last spring, this year the boys will be held to the bell schedule as if they were in the building. For me, this is a huge win. This brings structure to their day that was frankly missing in the spring. Naturally, Goalielocks will have to transition off of his third shift schedule back to a normal school schedule.

There is one major upshot to starting the school year virtually. I am saving so much money by not breaking the bank with back to school shopping. This is fabulous because for the first time both boys want fashionable (aka expensive) clothes. Truly, I’ve had it pretty easy these last several years. Since middle school, they have worn athletic shorts and t-shirts every day. At any rate, I do not miss the back to school shopping push. There’s nothing worse than hunting for a hyper-specific school supply in the bin after bin of school supplies. Naturally, I will have to take them school shopping, but for the moment I will relish skipping this ritual.

Me anticipating how I’ll feel next week

Today I spent most of my day nursing our sweet Maya. Fortunately, she seems to be doing a little bit better today. We were pretty worried last night as she wasn’t able to walk for a portion of the evening. Honestly, I was starting to think she’d be traveling over the rainbow bridge in the near future. Thankfully, she’s fully mobile today. Moreover, she’s been drinking a lot of water and has even eaten some food. This is the first time she’s eaten since Tuesday. Honestly, I’m relieved to see her having a much better day. Please pray that she continues to heal.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Mary Barton, by Elisabeth Gaskell. This book is more my speed.

*Yin Yoga with Jennifer at Open Heart Yoga Studio

*I ran two miles and walked a mile today.

*I cleaned up a lot of messes due caused by my sick puppy.

*BBG 2.0. week 11 day 4: cardio and yoga

*We have one more weekday until we start virtual school.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk.

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Another Day, Another Adventure

Another day, another adventure. Such has been our trip here in Utah. I love it here. Every day we spend time exploring the surrounding national forests, canyons, and mountains. Each trail gives us a special gift. Whether its a realization about life, a pretty view, or shared memories. Regardless of the adventure, everyone has taught me something or given me something in return. For example, our first hike here taught me that you should save the hard hikes for after your body acclimates to the altitude. Meanwhile, the hike to Donut Falls showed me the beauty and vastness of God’s creation.

Yesterday was no exception. We got a late start to the morning, which was fine because the temperatures have cooled down a bit since the 100s over the weekend. Also I knew the trial we were headed to had a lot of shaded areas. Lastly, we all needed to get some rest as Tuesday was a very busy day. My day started with an early trip into Salt Lake City to drop Melody at the airport. Fortunately, the drive was super easy and I got another hour of sleep once back to our AirBnB. Yesterday’s adventures included the Green Pond Trail near Snow Basin and the Hill Aerospace Museum. Both of these stops on our adventure tour were well worth the time and effort.

The Green Pond Trail is an easy to moderate trail near at the base of Mount Ogden. You do gain about 400 ft in altitude throughout the path, but it is a gradual ascent. The trail itself starts at an elevation near 6,000 feet. Honestly, this probably would have been the best trail for our first hike. Indeed, it is an excellent trail for mountain biking and for kids just starting to hike. Throughout the trek, the meadows and forest surround you. You can see the mountains through the canopy of the trees throughout, which makes for a beautiful vista. Overall, the hike took about an hour and burned nearly 600 calories.

Afterward we headed to the Hug-Hes Cafe in north Ogden. Since we’ve been here, I’ve been trying to take them to local spots. This one reminded me of Perkins as it had a bakery and a simliar lunch and dinner menu. Overall, the food was very tasty and inexpensive. This restaurant is also famous for its giant sugar cookies, so naturally I picked up three for the boys. Post lunch, we headed to Target to pick up some more snacks and a lot of water. We’ve already gone through more than 40 bottles of water throughout our hikes. Thankfully, they recycle here. I wish they had refill stations at or near the hikes as that would be much more efficient.

Once we had our supplies in hand, we headed to the Hill Aerospace Museum. It was awesome! We got there later in the day, so we didn’t have enough time to take in all of the exhibits. Consequently, I’m hoping to go back there today or tomorrow. Also the fighter wing was closed and the boys really want to peruse that exhibit. One thing that I loved about the museum is that it is staffed by retirees, who served in the Air Force and really have a passion for the history of aviation. Naturally, we also stopped in to the gift shop where I bought a rosewood model B-24 that will be displayed in our family room. They did have some wonderful sketches of the planes, but none featuring the B-24 on which my grandfather was a flight engineer.

As for our evening, we went back to the dealership to finish up the paperwork for Jake’s new car. That took way longer than it needed to, but this is always the case. For dinner, we headed back to In-N-Out burger so Jake could try it at last. After enjoying their burgers two nights in a row, we have all decided they need to come to Florida. Their burgers are phenomenal! We spent the rest of the night chilling at the AirBnB and were all in bed early. Today promises to bring more great adventures in the great outdoors.

Places we visited yesterday:

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read North & South by Elisabeth Gaskells.

*We are going back to visit the Hill Aerospace Museum.

*Another day, another adventure is in the cards.

*We are off to hike more magical places.

*There are some homeless folks here, but they seem to have shelters and programs in place for them. You see very little panhandling here.

*We’ll be grabbing dinner with Jake.

*The Mayor continues to be this trips Jester.

*Today my hubby sent me the best picture of my sweet Anakin.

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Snow Basin Resort

Yesterday our adventures took us to the Snow Basin Resort, which is on Mt. Ogden. After a busy day Saturday, we all overslept. Consequently, we got a reasonably late start to our day. I was a bit worried that the heat and altitude would again be too much for us. Fortunately, I was wrong. We took the gondola up to the ski lodge, where the hiking trail to the summit of Mt. Ogden begins. Technically, you could hike up the entire mountain, but we were not about that life yesterday.

The scenery on the way up Mount Ogden was beautiful with mountains, valleys, and even a lake in the distance. It was a bit hot on the way up as the gondolas are fully enclosed. Once we reached the top of the ride, however, the temperature was significantly cooler, and there was a gentle breeze. The ski lodge was beautiful, with beautiful amenities and A/C. We took a brief respite in the lodge before heading up to the summit. Admittedly, I was quite nervous that this hike would be as challenging as Saturday’s. I think we were all pretty nervous.

Thankfully, this hike got off to a much better and more leisurely start. It wasn’t until the mid-point of our ascent to the summit that it became challenging. First of all, there were a lot of loose rocks on the trail, which makes it hard to find your footing sometimes. This was particularly true on the fringes of the path. Second of all, we were at an elevation of about 8,000 feet, which is a challenging environment for people not accustomed to the altitude. Nevertheless, I still felt much better throughout this hike than our first hike Saturday. The scenery throughout the entire hike was impressive. Moreover, while there were plenty of people and dogs on the hike, it remained quiet and serene. There was an incredible sense of peace on the mountain.

This time we all made it to the end of the hike. The summit of Mount Ogden did not disappoint. As you looked east, you saw the Great Salt Lake and Ogden. We even saw where we had hiked the day before. As we looked to the West, we saw the lake, national forest and several mountains. A top the summit, it was breezy and comfortable. Goalielocks found the perfect place to soak in the majesty of the mountain, while we finished the hike. Naturally, we all felt a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in completing the hike. While this hike had some difficult points, it was well worth the views afforded at the top of the summit. We will be going back.

Afterward we headed back to the AirBnB to change, so we could head to the mall and grab some lunch. Comparatively speaking, the mall was rather lackluster to our malls in South Florida. Nonetheless, it provided a good indoor activity when the heat of the day was at its peak. We also explored several cool stores and boutiques that we’ve never seen before, which was fun. For dinner, we headed East to Taggerts, which has been an institution in the Morgan Canyon for over a century. The service was quick, my soup was delicious and the burger didn’t disappoint.

We ended our day by dropping Jake back off at base, so he could be ready for work today. Our night ended comparatively early last night because we were all utterly exhausted. In fact, two of the three kids traveling with me are still sleeping. It’s almost 11:00 am here, so I’ll probably wake them up in a few minutes. However, after all of our activities over the last two days, I’m glad they’re sleeping in and catching up on some rest.

Places we visited yesterday

*Snow Basin Resort

*Taggart’s Grill

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I finished The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather last night. Tonight I’m starting North & South by Elisabeth Gaskells.

*We are headed to Pineview Reservoir for some new adventures

*I’m going with Jake to buy a car tonight.

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*The truth is I’m looking forward to another day of adventure.

*We’re heading back to 25th Street for dinner at a cool burger place.

*Today my hubby sent me the best picture of my sweet Anakin.

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He Made It!!

He made it to his new home! That’s right my son left tech school early this morning to fly to his final duty station. We weren’t given many details as to the happenings aside from the day. In fact, I woke to a text from him that he had already taken off and was on his way. Of course, leaving is always bittersweet. He had a great BMT experience, I know it sounds crazy, and an equally wonderful Tech school experience. Fortunately, he had two great roommates. His first was never around as he was allowed to live with his wife in on-base housing. However, his second roommate has become a good friend. Undoubtedly, he left tech school with several new life long friends and will look back on these days with fondness.

Now back to my neurotic military mom’s mind, which was trying to figure out which flight and airline he was on before getting out of bed. Eventually, I heard from him when he landed for his brief layover in Dallas. While I was in yoga, he boarded his second flight of the day. By this time, I had figured out his flight number and was dutifully stalking him as I got my namaste on. Fortunately, I took today’s yoga class via Zoom, so I could stalk without distracting my fellow yogis. As for today’s yin class, it was absolutely delicious. I’m really loving the balance that this yin class has brought to my practice and my body.

Once yoga was over, I did my hair. I know, it’s amazing, right? I think it’s the first time I’ve plugged my flat iron on since 2019. Needless to say, I think it might be time for a larger flat iron as my hair is no longer short. Fortunately, my flat iron did the trick and my hair looked good. Once I finished my hair, I added some eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick a headed to work. Fortunately, the commute from my bathroom to my bedroom office was quite short and without traffic jams. While it may seem unlikely that there could be a traffic jam at my house, please remember I have two teenage boys and three dogs. Anything is possible with them!

Today was a really productive day for me work-wise. I made several new connections with really interesting people. One thing that I love about this job so far is meeting and connecting with extraordinary people. These folks have their ish together! It’s awesome! Truly, I think connecting with interesting people will feed my soul. For example, I connected with two women today that are doing extraordinary things in their communities. I can’t help, but feel empowered and inspired by their successes. It’s an exciting time, but also a grind. I worked on pitches for several hours today with mixed success.

Usually, I would run on Thursday, but my hips weren’t feeling it today. As Shakira so wisely said, “hips don’t lie,” so I skipped my run. Instead, I’ll log my runs on Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully, I can get up early enough to run outside before the heat is too oppressive. I built a lot of momentum over the morning, so by skipping my run I kept my work productivity firing on all cylinders. It was a win-win situation. Also, I think this demonstrated huge personal growth for me as before I would always run through the pain – no matter what. Clearly, I paid a high price for that and have learned my lesson. Yay me!

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte.

*Yin Yoga with Jennifer from Open Heart Yoga Studio

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*I cooked cheese smothered chicken served with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots. This HelloFresh meal is amazing. If you’d like to try it with no obligation, let me know.

*Took another gander at my garden today. The sweet potatoes continue to thrive, while the tomato plants have shriveled.

*Tonight I’m watching nature shows with Anakin.

*Week 8 BBG 2.0 day 4 yoga.

*He made it! I was happy to get his Facetime call from his new dorm! I’m proud that he serves our country.

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Great News

So let me set the scene for you. It’s just after 10:00 am EST and I’m thirty minutes into a dreamy yin yoga class with Jen. When out the blue, my phone illuminates with a Facetime call from my boy. Ordinarily, we don’t hear from him during the week, especially during the workday. Naturally, I had to take the call. Fortunately, I was taking the class via Zoom and was already muted. While Jen worked us into a new pose, I chatted with my son. The great news was that he passed and was being promoted! As I sat in my pose, I could hardly contain my excitement. Honestly, I wanted to get up dance, but since Jen was recording the Zoom session I figured better not make a fool of myself.

At the moment, I felt a weight lifted from my shoulders. As I looked at him with great pride, I could see a tremendous weight had also been removed his shoulder. When you think about it, it’s an extraordinary accomplishment. Nearly seven months ago, he left our home for basic training. Today he completed an industry-leading certification! Moreover, he didn’t have to spend one penny to earn it. In fact, he got paid! Perhaps the best part of all of this is that he’s where he belongs. He loves his new role and is beyond excited about his future. As his mom, I couldn’t be more proud.

After I hung up the phone, I quickly sent an update to our family’s group text thread. My heart was bursting with so much pride, I could have done 100 vinyasas back to back. Alas, I was in a yin class, so that would have been pretty obnoxious. Quickly, I refocused on the class as I meditated on his big success. Never in my imagination did I imagine he’d end up in his current career field. I’m glad, however, that he took good advice looking to the service instead of focusing on college. This way he’ll get an education and stay debt-free. By the time we got to Shavasana, I was an emotional puddle of pride and joy. Truly, tears of joy streamed down the side of my cheeks as I relaxed into the pose.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte.

*Yin Yoga with Jennifer from Open Heart Yoga Studio

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Took obligatory picture of Anakin! It turned out super cute!

*I am relaxing on the couch watching Rick & Morty free of the stinky flatus of my boys.

*Obedience training Anakin

*Week 7 BBG 2.0 day 3 cardio and yoga.

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Slay All Day

It was a slay all day kind of day here at the Hockey Mom Fit Life. Naturally, it started with my cup of Joe from Dunkin’ and some quality time with the dogs. Before breakfast, I knocked out the BBG arm workout. I continue to despise lie down pushups and burpees. They’re simply horrible! As for the jumping rope, I’m getting much better at this. Obviously, I planned my morning, so I’d have about ten minutes between BBG and my yoga class. After I finished BBG, I broke my fast with some almonds and a banana.

Anakin and I thread the needle

Today was the second time I’ve taken Ava’s slow flow class. It is incredible! Additionally, since I knew what to expect today, it was easier than last week. Ava does a great job creating an innovative flow that covers all the major bases. I’m excited to see how my body responds to her classes. Unfortunately, my Mayor loves to interrupt my yoga classes by letting Anakin into the room. It is sometimes annoying behavior. Fortunately, Anakin loves to join me on the mat for yoga. Moreover, timing is everything here, and thankfully the Mayor didn’t interrupt my savasana. I can only imagine what goes through my sweet puppy’s mind when runs onto my yoga mat.

After yoga concluded, I had fifteen minutes to clean myself up and make some coffee before my Zoom call with my new boss. That’s right folks, I’ve started a new job as a sales executive with a start-up firm that specializes in promotional gear for companies. I’m particularly excited that the new role has maximum flexibility to fit into the life I want. Clearly, I’ve had a very firm list of requirements for any role I would take in my post-Kaplan life. Fortunately, this opportunity checks all of those boxes. Consequently, if you or someone you know owns a business and needs some SWAG, I’d be happy to help.

Since it’s Wednesday, it’s also my HIIT run day. I like to do this run in the late afternoon after my second cup of coffee wears off. Today’s run was 20 minutes of 30-second intervals alternating between 7.5, 7.0, and 3.0 mph. Amazingly, I had no concept of how long a 30-second interval can be until I was running one at 7.5 mph. Alternatively, I had no idea that a 30-second interval could be so short when catching my breath at 3.0 mph. Fortunately, my run play-list and Curb help get me through the most arduous parts of the run. Today’s run went well albeit the 7.5 mph tempo is a stretch for me. Afterward, I did my normal post-run stretch routine. Yesterday I changed it up a bit by extending the sleeping pigeon pose stretch from one minute to two minutes. This helps keep my glutes and hips healthy.

My hubby worked all day but still made dinner for me as I had some conference calls to jump on to. Tonight he grilled some chuck eye steaks and cooked Margherita Chicken Pasta courtesy of HelloFresh. I gotta be honest here, the HelloFresh pasta was absolutely amazing. Certainly, I don’t need to eat that many carbs or calories, but I totally earned it today. Even my Mayor, who has become annoyingly picky, tried and enjoyed the pasta. Since Goalielocks has never liked spaghetti, he enjoyed a nice, juicy grilled steak. As for the rest of the evening, I have a Purple Stride call and a good book in my future.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte.

*Slow Flow with Ava from Open Heart Yoga Studio

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Took obligatory picture of Anakin! It turned out super cute!

*I took a nice cold, gelid as an icy pond, shower post run. Clearly, it was amazeballs.

*Obedience training Anakin

*Week 7 BBG 2.0 day 2 cardio and yoga

*And now I feel better today!

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What If?

What if you stopped procrastinating or focusing on things that no longer serve you? A year ago, I was unhappy, unhealthy, and stuck in a job that no longer served me. I was scared to walk away afraid to walk away despite my doctor’s orders. Honestly, I knew in my heart that she was right. My job was killing me! Naturally, my response to here was that unless she was going to pay my bills, I was going to stay in my current role. Flash forward a month and they laid me off. It was the liberation I longed for. Yes, I miss my friends and colleagues, but the role no longer suited me. Now here we are a year later and the sky has not fallen. Well, it hasn’t fallen due to me being laid off last year.

Since I left my role, I have spent a lot of time with my family. In fact, I will always remember the last 12 months with a mixture of happiness, contentment, and sadness. I say sadness because my son has left the nest permanently even though he’s where he belongs. Clearly, it’s a bittersweet event in a parent’s life. If I had been working, I would have missed out on some great times with my eldest child. In the fall, we took an amazing trip back to Minnesota for him to visit all of our family. Certainly, this trip was one of the best trips of my life. What if I was still working and unable to take him to Minnesota? I can’t even imagine the weight of regret that I would currently be carrying.

I guess the theme of this blog is stopping asking what if and start asking why not. Honestly, I stayed in a horribly unhealthy role because of fear. I was afraid that if I left, the sky would fall. And then, by god’s providence, I was laid-off. Thankfully, they gave me an escape out of that role. Fortunately, the sky did not fall. In fact, I found myself starting to feel normal, and dare I say healthy again. If I had stayed and continue to ask what if, I would have lost everything. Sure I may have lost in the short term, but there can be no doubt in the long term I won. The point is don’t be afraid to “take a leap” especially if you’re in a situation that’s damaging your overall health.

Yesterday I posted a picture of myself doing a headstand during Saturday’s vinyasa class. When I restarted my yoga practice eight months ago, I never imagined I would come so far so soon. Initially, I restarted my practice as a means of reducing my autoimmune symptoms. Fortunately, I found an incredible studio, Open Heart Yoga Studio, that has the perfect lineup of classes and teachers. Over the months, I’ve not only gotten stronger, but my pain is gone. Unfortunately, thyroid issues can lead to frozen shoulders as well as bone and muscle loss. Throughout my entire journey, my teachers have guided me through my objectives and as a consequence, I’ve gotten really strong. As my dear friend and teacher Monica always says, “small steps lead to big changes.” She couldn’t be more right, my friends! If you’re looking for a change in your life, know that it doesn’t need to start with a giant leap, but perhaps with a small step in the direction of your dreams.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskells

*Slept through my alarm for over 2 hours. I guess my body needed the rest!

*Gentle Yoga for a Healthy Back with Monica from Open Heart Yoga Studio

*Binge watched The Office (again) with the Mayor and our puppies. I love Michael Scott!

*Lamented my lack of craft skills as I folded the quilt my grandma made us.

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*I cooked seared chicken with peach salsa and red rice. This was another great Blue Apron meal.

*Took obligatory picture of Anakin!

*Obedience training Anakin

*Week 6 BBG 2.0 day 2 run Forest run!!!

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena out for a walk

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Save $100 A Month

If you use shopping cart or affiliate software for your business, you’ll want to pay close attention to this article. It can save you hundreds of dollars in overhead expenses for your business.   Especially if you’re using software or services just a ThriveCart, SamCart, PayKickStart, Clickbank or JV Zoo. You’ll want to pay attention…because what I’m sharing with you today is making marketing history.

GrooveDigital software development company, owned by marketing legend Mike Filsaime, is focused on creating the most powerful, affordable and simple to use all-in-one software service that you can use to build, grow and manage an online business.  Well, they just seriously disrupted the business software market by carving off a major portion of their flagship product, GrooveFunnels, and making it completely free (at least for now).  Introducing GrooveSell.. a powerful sales and affiliate platform for digital marketers and infopreneurs to sell their products.  The software at it’s core helps you take payments and manage customers for physical products, digital product and services. It comes with a full-featured affiliate system too (GrooveAffiliate) which lets you amass an army of commission-only salespeople to help you promote and get paid for your products!

 

This easy-to-use software creates checkout pages that are designed to convert more visitors into buyers, more clicks into sales, and manage the process from beginning to end.  This is no “basic” software version either. It allows you to do some pretty ninja tactics to increase your dollar per sale. Not only can you do the usual up-sells and down-sells in your product funnel, but the software adds order bumps before purchase, and true 1-click up-sells (with and without confirmation) to your funnels. This allows you to make point of purchase impulse sales of related items, increasing your dollar per transaction of just pure profit.

 

GrooveSell also features a powerful set of tools that lets you set flexible pricing structures that are unheard of on other platforms. Need a free trial product? No problem! You can set any trial length or price you’d like. If you have an one time onboarding charge followed by a monthly maintenance fee.. GrooveSell can do that too. Want to offer two annual payments that recur every year at the same time? It can do that too.

 

You even have eight different options for recurring billing. The system will automatically charge your customers at their regular billing interval (weekly, every 2 weeks, monthly, every two months, quarterly, bi-annually, annually and every two years).  It integrates with all of the major payment processors, like Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net and if you don’t have a merchant account, they are releasing GroovePayments very shortly, where they will process payments for you for a very competitive percentage.  Plus, it grows with you. For bigger businesses doing high volume there’s merchant account warming and load balancing built into the system, so you can avoid getting your credit card or PayPal account shut down during major promotions.

 

With your free account you get:

 

-Unlimited products

-Unlimited product funnels

-Unlimited checkout loads (bandwidth)

-Unlimited affiliates

-Unlimited customers

-Unlimited support

-Unlimited payment gateways

 

And all of this is free. That’s right, free for life.

-no credit card required- ever

-no monthly fees

-no surprise bills

-full feature set

-every upgrade they ever do

 

Plus, there’s an incredible bonus of GroovePages Basic, which lets you build pages for up to three product funnels. So you can create a sales page, checkout page, and thank you page to deliver your product to your buyer.  The bottom line is: You can do anything with GrooveSell that you can do with any digital marketing shopping cart out there.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

 

How much does grabbing your free GrooveSell account save you?

 

Well let’s compare GrooveSell to the other major players in this space

ThriveCart (one time $495.00 payment)

SamCart ($49.00 per/month)

PayKickStart ($99.00 per/month)

JV Zoo (5% commission on all sales, +2.5% additional for some sales)

Clickbank ($49.95 activation fee, $1+7.5% transaction fee for each sale, and a whopping $2.50 fee each time you want to withdraw your money!)

 

Which brings us to these questions… What’s the catch? Why is it free?

 

There’s zero catch. In fact, when you get your free account, you won’t even get an immediate promotion to try and upsell you.  The software is in beta at the time of this writing, so there are some features (like support for worldwide currency) that is not yet available. Moreover, the company has assured me that all features will be ready by their launch in July 2020. Until then, the platform is still fully functional and useable.

 

GrooveDigital stated that the company wanted to give back to the community, and provide real value to people… not just a flimsy ebook or lame set of templates to entice you to join their list… but REAL value in the form of a useable product that never requires a purchase.

 

And they’ve done just that. You could build a pretty decent business using nothing but the free product you get with GrooveSell, plus your social media pages.

 

While the folks at GrooveDigital hope that one day you’ll decide to upgrade to the full suite of tools that comes with GrooveFunnels (which includes an email service, membership sites, video marketing, a helpdesk, calendar, and all the tools you need to manage and grow a robust business), GrooveSell and GrooveAffiliate are yours to keep for free, forever.

 

All you need is your name and best email address.

 

Oh, there’s also an active Facebook group. The company keeps out the spam and off topic posts, and instead ensures a community of users that share ideas and information. We are all learning and growing there together.

 

Whether you already have a shopping cart service and looking to reduce your monthly bills, or your just getting started with your online business and your budget it tight… you’ll want to check out GrooveSell. Do it today while it’s still free.