Monday, May 22, 2017



Just Beyond the Garden Gate… 


“If you don't make the time to work on creating the life you want,                 you're eventually going to be forced to spend a LOT of time dealing with a life you don't want.” ~Kevin Ngo
This month we are focusing on Extreme Health & Wellness. It’s important to realize that as Women, Wives, Widows, Mothers, Grandmother, Daughters and Friends, good health begins from within. We must care for ourselves first to be able to love and care for others.
I’m writing this newsletter from a chair in the hospital waiting room trying to balance my laptop on my crossed legs waiting for the professional staff to call my father in law back for his biopsy for a “malignant nodule” in his lung --I’m without a cup of coffee, I might add, sandwiched in-between my mother in law, my father in law and two walkers with a MWC newsletter deadline in the forefront of my mind…
For better or worse, in sickness and in health, a complete “Deja Vu” from my past with too much time spent in hospitals and not enough time on the porch of our  lakehouse, while my dearly beloved husband, Kevin, was ill. Oh my. I could be overwhelmed or depressed, or sad, but actually I’m not. I’m glad that I have the privilege to be here with my family. When you marry, you marry not only your soul mate but his entire family. Who knew… Anyway, while I sit her in the waiting room, it does honestly seem like the perfect time to write about Extreme Health and Wellness - Modern Widows Club’s Theme for May!  


This morning, when I woke to find the damp dew covering the garden after a night of rain and grey clouds looming, I stepped just outside the garden gate to walk the two pups ready to explore a new day. I was instantly reminded of a beautiful, little book, by Thomas Kinkade entitled “Beyond the Garden Gate”...
I pushed the gate that swung so silently
And I was in the garden and aware
Of early daylight on the flowers there
It reminded me that each new day is indeed a gift to be shared and experienced. We have a choice each and every day when we wake to determine how our outlook will be and what we will do with it. Some are good and some are not as good. But they are all unique gifts that allow us the opportunity to be the Best, “Wellest We” we can Be!


A few days ago, we celebrated Mother’s day, and for some reason, I just couldn’t “Do” Mother’s Day this year. Some days are just harder than others and I don't really know why.
I do know that it is always important to remember that we hurt because we loved. I spent some time doing some things for the New Me!
I didn't over plan and I gave myself "permission" to NOT go to church just because I just didn't want to... It just wasn't a hat & flowers kinda day for me...
Instead I chose to take Carolyn’s advice and “Pamper ME!”
I rode my bike,
I enjoyed my garden (Church of the Great Outdoors - I call it!),
I listened to Joel on TV (He always encourages me!!!),
And I read “Option B” by Sheryl Sandberg on my terrace, with a big cup of coffee and my toes in the sunshine…
We all have a choice to make on how we live the rest of our lives.
It's not what we thought we would have, but it is what we do have and you know what...It's ok... It's Good. In fact, it can be glorious to get a chance to make a choice and make a change...or two!
Our new life begins, just beyond the Garden Gate...look outside, dream beyond the perimeter of your mind, wonder what all your new life can hold for you…
Healthy, and Extremely Well… Grateful, Happy, even Joyful...You’re ALIVE!!
I'm becoming a whole new "Me", a unique new woman, with some spirit and some sass - and a lot of Gumption & Resilience -
I'm becoming a brand new Woman - a New Mother.
I'm becoming a new Grandmother or Ama (Mother is Basque)
I becoming the New Woman I Want to Be...
She takes care of herself.
She is fit and trim, eats right and exercises ( Ok, I said BECOMING ... I'm not there yet...)
She hikes
She rides bikes,
She paints her toes some very FUN colors,
She reads on the terrace in her garden,
She takes naps,
And some days, she seeks some peaceful refuge in the safety of her own "new" home to rest, reflect and recharge!
It felt so great to Give "Me" what I needed... I listened to Carolyn's call to "Mother ourselves... " And I spent My Day Papering ME! It was the perfect day for me!  We can't serve others if we don't take care of ourselves first! (Place your oxygen mask on you before you help others around you.)


I’m reading LOVE DOES by Bob Goff. If you haven’t read it, get it. You need to. He says…”God invites us to be new creations, original art, and to live a life of engagement.”
I totally connect with that statement and for me, right now, it ties in tightly with Extreme Health and Wellbeing. We are called to live above the norm in our new normal. We are among the chosen ones in the strangest sense of the word...We have been given an opportunity to course correct and make some changes to lead richer lives. It’s time to take care of ourselves because we just can’t be all we were born to be if we don’t.
You can’t just decide that instantly you will be extremely healthy and well. But we can make some choices each and every day to move forward, towards the goals you choose, with planning and persistence in that direction. I’m promising to. Being back in the hospital reminded me that I am more in control of me and my health than anyone else...So much of
I hope you have a great week and that you do something for YOU --Whatever you want that to be! Take care of YOU first and then you will be able to do all the other things we have to do.


One of our newest members, Diane, said... "We have to get on with the business of being widows!" She's absolutely right!  We do and We shall and We will ...right after we take care of ourselves for one short, delightful, perfectly selfish moment!! Remember to look just beyond the Garden Gate and Enjoy every second!!



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