Finding “Fit-spiration”

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Every New Year’s people make resolutions about “becoming healthier” or “going to the gym more” and others along those lines. We all have the very best intentions when we make these resolutions, but that’s part of the larger problem. We intend to change something and very often we make those first few steps, but it all comes down to what we intend to do. And this happens to us so many times in our lives: we intend to make that phone call, we intend to send that email, I intend to print off all of the pictures I took this year on my phone, and on and on and on.

So I knew that if I truly wanted to make a change – and I truly did – I couldn’t just intend for it to happen. Setting some sort of resolution at New Year’s because it’s “the thing to do” wasn’t going to help me on this journey. So instead, I started to seek out those who were like-minded and in many cases who were much, much better than me. I wanted to run. I wanted to be better than what I had been – I need to make a real change and not just one that I would stick to here and there and then pick it up again when I started feeling “fat” or terrible about myself again. I needed to have definable and measurable goals. And it’s that word GOAL that makes all of the difference to me. I was no longer going to simply intend or resolve to so this thing.

Nope! This time it was going to be different – but how? I needed to find some fit-spiration! And fit-spiration is what I found! Continue reading

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Book Review: THE SECRET SCRIPTURE by Sebastian Barry

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As a young woman, Roseanne McNulty was one of the most beautiful and beguiling girls in County Sligo, Ireland. Now, as her hundredth year draws near, she is a patient at Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital, and she decides to record the events of her life.

As Roseanne revisits her past, hiding the manuscript beneath the floorboards in her bedroom, she learns that Roscommon Hospital will be closed in a few months and that her caregiver, Dr. Grene, has been asked to evaluate the patients and decide if they can return to society. Roseanne is of particular interest to Dr. Grene, and as he researches her case he discovers a document written by a local priest that tells a very different story of Roseanneas life than what she recalls. As doctor and patient attempt to understand each other, they begin to uncover long-buried secrets about themselves.

Set against an Ireland besieged by conflict, The Secret Scripture is an epic story of love, betrayal, and unavoidable tragedy, and a vivid reminder of the stranglehold that the Catholic Church had on individual lives for much of the twentieth century.

(Image and story synopsis from goodreads)

In June my husband and I went on vacation to Ireland. This was a trip that we had been planning on and hoping for since we first visited Dublin 12 years ago. We were finally able to come to a point in our lives where it was possible. This trip was one that allowed us to explore more of the country than we had been able to before. We rented a car and, using a travel agency, stayed at different B & Bs throughout the trip. However, besides staying at the B & Bs, we did also stay in a couple hotels towards the end of our travels. One of the hotels we stayed at was the Sligo Clarion Hotel.

The picture above is the one I took when we returned to the hotel from dinner in town. As you can see, the exterior of the building is fascinating and there is obviously a history to it. Strangely though, there is no placard or sign anywhere around the hotel telling of the history of the building. Because of this I obviously turned to Google to find out what I could about the building. Interestingly, and perhaps creepily?, the building was at one time Saint Columbas Hospital – once a psychiatric hospital. Continue reading

Pi Phi Pages Book Review: ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes

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They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

(Story synopsis and cover image from goodreads.com)

February brought another great book to the reading list for the Pi Phi Pages Book Club: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. As with the January book, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, this novel is also a movie and one that is also really relevant to the world that we live in. Moyes creates a wonderful story and is one that I believe every person should take the time to read. However, I must start this off by already disagreeing with part of the story summary from above…I don’t think this is a “romance” story, or a “love story” in the typical sense. Nope, instead I think it is something so much more.

(Warning: This review may contain, what some people could consider, spoilers.)

Continue reading

Give Yourself Permission…

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This past week I’ve been stuck.

I’ve been stuck with letting work overwhelm my “free” time. I’ve been stuck with letting fear and negativity sink into the way I perceive some actions that are outside of my control. I’ve been stuck with getting too caught up in what I “have to” do and not what I “want to” do. I’ve been stuck with making excuses for why I can’t…

So yesterday I made a choice. I made a choice and I gave myself permission to get unstuck.  Continue reading

Audre Lorde Quote

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We grow by learning about one another and learning to listen to others’ ideas and beliefs. We diminish ourselves and others when we attack because of differences. It is for these reasons that I wanted to share a quote by Audre Lorde.

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.

Book Review: A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman

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A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

(Story synopsis and cover image from goodreads.com)

A new year of reading has started! The 2017 Pi Beta Phi book club had picked A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. What I am really enjoying so far about the list of titles for the year, is that they are following the theme of books that will be turned into (or have been made into) movies. I find this to be a great incentive to read the books before watching the movie, and also to expand the titles that I read at the same time. Continue reading