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The Nine Reasons Why

No_More_Excuses_DietA friend of mine is the Queen of Excuses. Need a reason why something hasn’t gotten done – she’s got one.  Clever ones. Believable ones. The Nine Reasons Why list (I call it) because she can give you a whole long list of reasons why she can’t do this or hasn’t done that. If you are looking for an excuse for something, she’s your gal!

It is easy for me to see right through her list of excuses. I can spot them before she even finishes her story. Most all of her reasons boil down to one or two basic themes: perceived lack of time to do something or lack of money. Really though, you could probably break it down even more; when it comes right down to it, isn’t it really just a matter of motivation? You are either motivated to do something or you are not. Because, if you are truly motivated, you will (somehow) find the time and/or find the money. If you REALLY want to do something, you will find a way. Yes, it usually is as simple as that.

Of course my friend has a friend (that would be me!) who also has a whole long list of reasons why SHE can’t do whatever it is (make healthy dinners every night, work out every day, get rid of the piles of clutter around the house or the boxes in the garage, just fill in the blank).   She too has her “Nine Reasons Why” list and hers too comes down to what is a priority for her (and what’s not).   Is working out a priority? Uh sure – it’s just there are a couple things that HAVE to get done first (priorities you know) and then poof – it’s the end of the day (dinner time, homework time, bedtime, etc.) and before you know it, the day is over and working out just didn’t happen. And so it goes – just like the movie Groundhog’s Day all over again.

My friend tells me, in that same know-it-all voice I use on her, “If you REALLY wanted to work out, you would find the time – somehow – in your day. We all get 24 hours. Other people manage to make the time to do it, and arguably their lives are even busier than yours.” She speaks the truth. It’s just that…. (insert excuse #217 in here). You see, my friend may be the Queen of Excuses, but this Zen Mama Wannabe is the King!

 Successful people do all the things unsuccessful people don’t want to do. — John Paul Jones Dejoria

I’m not willing to wake up an hour earlier so I can get a workout in before the busy morning school routine starts. I’ve got lots of reasons WHY, but let’s put the excuses aside for a minute; it all comes back to priorities. At 5:15 in the morning, sleep is a greater priority than working out, for me anyway. What that DOESN’T mean is that I should just throw in the towel and write off working out completely. Out of 24 hours, you would think I could find another (more convenient) time. Hmm.

At some point you have to realize that your excuses are standing in the way of you and your goals.  You can choose to stay stuck – or you can say ENOUGH.  Things won’t change until you change! To expect any different is the definition of insanity.

I want abs like Marie Kang, founder of No Excuse Mom. I want to have more energy and feel great. It’s why I was eager to read her book. People who have made great changes in their lives inspire me. I am good at busting my friend’s excuses; well now it is time for me to bust mine!

So, what’s your excuse?? As Marie Kang points out in her book, “Your future is in your hands…..It’s all up to you.”


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This post was inspired by The No More Excuses Diet by Maria Kang who shares her no excuses philosophy that motivated her to become more fit. Join From Left to Write on March 12th as we discuss The No More Excuses Diet. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.



How to Not be a Knucklehead Coach


A must read for all parents AND coaches!

So much is said about sports parents these days, and rightly so. As the joke goes, remember the players are kids, the coaches volunteer and the umpires are human – it’s not major league baseball you’re watching as you sit on those cold metal bleachers at your town’s local baseball field. In other words, parents, sit down and shut up. What is not talked about as much are the coaches. These men we entrust our children to for a third of the year. Each season is an opportunity for both coaches and players – but perhaps the real question is: an opportunity for what?

I think back to the coaches we had – men with demanding careers who were willing, some even eager, to put in all that extra time to coach a large group of boys.  They were all coaching their son’s baseball team, but their own love of the …

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Waiting and Hoping


She’s got them double crossed!!

Once again I have my fingers crossed hoping something will happen.  It, as it usually is in these cases, is completely 100% out of my control. Nothing I can do about it. It’s not even MY thing. And I wonder….does that seem to almost make it HARDER to take?

My Little One (now 10) had her audition for a local theater company on Tuesday. Callbacks were Wednesday – and yes, she got called. We were thrilled. But as it usually goes, not all kids who audition, or who even get asked to callbacks, will be cast in this production. And so we wait. Wait until they post the cast list Friday evening and see if her name is on it.

I know the routine well. I went through this whole process several times before with my son (different theater, different town, same routine) so in some ways I’m experienced in the waiting game. But this …

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Something for (Just) Me


Questions2Ask I am trying to figure something out. You know, nothing THAT important, just who I am and what I want to be doing with my life.  Yes, I am a mother – I wear that hat proudly and confess (for better or worse) it is my top priority and the thing that I wanted most in life. But somehow that has taken over my entire identity. Through the years, my life has become all about the kids and my family. When that email circulates around about all the jobs a mother takes on (teacher, chauffeur, activities director, chef, nutritionist, psychologist, nurse practitioner, financial advisor, etc) it really isn’t tongue in cheek. It is a 24-7, 365 days a year gig; its rewards are great but the responsibility is too. And somewhere along the way I have lost sight of something: me! It’s been all about everybody else for so long that in some ways I feel I don’t even …

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Moving Again


Goodbye Connecticut

 Moving – again. Some people move only two or three times in their lifetimes. I have moved more times that I can count. More times than I have fingers and toes to count off on. You would think I would be good at moving by now. You would think it would come easily to me, certainly after all this “practice” I have had. It doesn’t. It feels as strange and foreign and difficult to me as if it is my first time.

I wanted to give my children roots. You know, that proverbial house with a white picket fence. A family home to come back to once they had grown and moved on with their lives. Height markings on the wall showing their growth over the years. A chip in the hardwood floor, worn down into a groove over the years, which was first created in a terrible temper tantrum when one of them was three. We have …

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Nora Ephron Knows

Received one of those email today that gets passed around.  This one was entitled “Buy More Bath Oil,” and was an excerpt written by Nora Ephron.  It must be a chapter from one of her recent books and in her typical fashion it is lovely and funny and oh so true.  But what stuck with this Zen Mama Wannabe the most was when she wrote of the loss of her best friend.  

“My friend Judy died last year. She was the person I told everything to. She was my best friend, my extra sister, my true mother, sometimes even my daughter. She was all these things, and one day she called up to say, the weirdest thing has happened, there’s a lump on my tongue. Less than a year later, she was dead. She was 66 years old. She had no interest in dying, right to the end. She died horribly. And now she’s gone. I think of her every

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What’s Happening to our Young Girls?

Are you the parent or grandparent of a young girl?  On second thought, are you the parent of a young CHILD (male OR female)?  If so, I hope you got a chance to read the New York Times Magazine article written by Elizabeth Weil about what is happening to many of our young girls today.

The Incredible Shrinking Childhood – How early is too early for puberty?

Why does this affect you?  Hopefully this is not something your family is experiencing first hand.  If it is, you might find the information and research discussed in the article useful.  If nothing else, you might see that your daughter is neither alone nor abnormal – early puberty is happening more and more frequently.  And that is how it starts to affect ALL of us – and why we all need to be asking ourselves WHY?

Two factors contributing to this cause me great concern:  body mass index and exposure to environmental …

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Watermelon in February?

“Why can’t we get the watermelon?” my kids plead with me as we cruise the aisles in the grocery store.  Not in season, I reply, not to be persuaded.  The irony is I don’t think twice as I reach for the asparagus, setting it down gently in our cart next to the carton of strawberries and on-the-vine tomatoes.  Yeah, not in season indeed.

I grew up in a family that was conscious of growing seasons.  My mom would never buy strawberries out of season, primarily from a cost perspective:  out of season items cost more.  (They also don’t taste as good, and if you don’t agree just taste succulent summer corn on the cob or red, ripe strawberries freshly picked and so sweet they just melt in your mouth).  My mom knew what was in season and what wasn’t and shopped accordingly.

However, I also don’t think we had as many options back then.  Nowadays, in our 24-7 society, you …

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Simple Sundays

What is your favorite day of the week?  Maybe Friday, with the anticipation (or relief) of the weekend approaching?  Monday perhaps, with all its promise for a new and hopefully better week ahead?  Or Saturday, with the possibility of freedom to do as you please without being ruled by an alarm clock or schedule?  Did you favor a certain day as a child?  And if so, do you find the day(s) to be the same or different day now all these years later?

“..she loved Sundays – the way they all lingered at the table, her parents telling stories of …the funny things people said and did. …on and on they went until everyone was hungry again, sandwiching bacon between leftover biscuits and drinking down the rest of the lukewarm juice for lunch.”

– from Carry Yourself Back to Me

Sundays were like that for me growing up.  There was a routine to Sundays that I came to …

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Why Can’t We Have it All?

Why do we put limits on ourselves as though there is no way we can get what we REALLY want and who do we think we are for asking for it all anyway? Is it wrong to us to expect certain things to just work out? After all, why shouldn’t they? Why can’t things fall into place effortlessly in our lives? Why is our expectation so often the opposite? Yes, why indeed?

When one talks of moving to a new place, one of the first things to do is to find a place to live. We did that – and may I mention that it truly seemed to fall into place. A lovely house, almost completely remodeled – practically new. It had just about everything on my list of what I wanted in a house, and certainly ALL the major points that would have been deal breakers otherwise (big yard for the kids, nice office space for my husband, guest …

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