Upbeat

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Believing in people gets you far in life.

It can bring out the best in those around you.

Hoping things will go well, somehow helps.

Optimism usually pays off.

Brain studies seem to prove that our mind

and how we ‘set it,’ determines our paths.

In most fairy tales, someone is heading

off to find their ‘fame and fortune.’

Along their crooked path to where they

wish to go, there are bumps and detours.

Somehow, fairy tale characters manage to

live ‘happily ever after.’

Why can’t we all try to focus on what we can

control, skip past the pains and anguish,

trying not to dwell on them?

There are tragic events uncontrollable by

the fairy tale characters.

Sweet Bambi’s mother dies, shot by a hunter.

Cinderella’s father dies, leaving her at the

mercy of an evil stepmother and stepsisters.

In real life, unplanned accidents and life-

altering events ‘shake us to our very core.’

Two songs today sent me into a pleasant

and contemplative mood on my early drive

to work.

Kelly Clarkson’s, “Heartbeat Song” reminded

me of the disco era. It has an upbeat melody.

“Don’t Stop Believing,” was the song blasting

on my car radio as I drove slowly past the

guard shack, holding up my I.D. badge for him

to see. This Journey song is one of my favorites.

The pair of songs seemed to accentuate themes

about persistence and joy.

There are three stories I wish to share which

have people who are overcoming situations

and challenges through their positive actions.

My Human Resources manager at work, Jenny D,,

has become a good friend of mine, She is amazing

and travels to many parts of the country helping set up

new human resource programs and correct problems

within our company of Advance Auto. Jenny D. is in her

30’s and has dealt with many health issues.

One doctor labeled her as having “fibromyalgia,” which

she took medications for,  but never felt much better.

Then, another doctor felt Cindy’s mental faculties

were needing adjusting. Over time, since we have

become closer, I have learned Jenny D. hasn’t had

a mother for quite awhile. She is distant from her

father and stepmother. She is close in age to my

own children, in her 30’s. She has a son in school

and a supportive husband.

After going to a counselor, spending hours and

hard-earned dollars on talking to him, Jenny D.

decided the anti-depressant medications weren’t

really addressing how her body felt.

Jenny D. has been on a strict diet, trying to determine

her allergies and which foods trigger worse reactions

and which foods seem to make her feel better. I have

shared here in stories about my youngest daughter.

I have also used her life lessons since she was in

elementary school to help motivate others to keep on

trying new things to find out how to make their bodies

and health improve. I was dismayed when the doctor

had come up with Crohn’s disease and Jenny D. went

through another new regimen a year ago.

My youngest daughter’s outlook and personality had

been affected by how her past medications for R,A.

(rheumatoid arthritis) were working. I have shared with

Jenny some of her favorite dishes and life choices. Usually

tucked in little notes with pep talks and motivational

quotations included put under Jenny’s office door. With

her traveling, I never knew when I would see Jenny D.

The other day, I was surprised and gratified to see

Jenny D. We discussed the recipe I had included for

using carrot strips instead of cutting sweet potatoes

into strips, to make into a baked starch side course for

lunch or dinner. I told her I was so surprised that they

now consider carrots an ‘upgrade’ to sweet potatoes and

label them as “Super Foods.” We learn something new

every day. (“Prevention” magazine.)

Jenny then gave me a sour look, she told me she was

not able to eat broccoli more than once a week. I have

heard multiple times this is her favorite vegetable. If she

chose to have sweet potatoes or carrots, they are also

considered only once a week food. I looked at her with

some skepticism and asked what kind of diet was she on

now? It turns out it is supposed to ‘reset’ her hypothalamus.

The amount of calories in her day can only add up to 500.

Each meal must have one vegetable and one meat, but

never the same one repeated twice in one day. The idea of

this is to really get specific about foods. She and my youngest

daughter had also learned a few years ago, not to include

gluten, processed foods and many red meats. This diet is

aiming at a plant-based protein program.

I could tell once she started to list some of her favorite

choices and combinations of foods, that she had found

ones that were ‘working’ and she was still using a positive

outlook. It would mean her husband is joining in, while she

and her doctor felt that he could eat what he wanted for the

first two meals of the day, but eat the same dinner together.

Her son has several extra meals and courses included in

his diet. He’s young and needs to build strong bones and

brain cells, too. We were smiling as we hugged each other

and left the conversation feeling very good.

My friend, Dave’s wife, Cindy had an eerie experience

last weekend. She is a real estate agent and had been

in deep conversation with a couple moving to their area,

Marion, Ohio for some time now. She had set up an early

morning meeting at one of her favorite larger homes in the

area. Dave was excited since Cindy had run a credit check,

by their sending her a fax of their financials. He was hoping

for her to have a bigger sale than usual. He added this home

she was going to meet them at was in one of the ‘pricier’

neighborhoods.

Real estate is a challenge for two reasons around here.

The country is still trying to pull itself out of a recession

and Marion, Ohio has had a few companies pull out of

the city, so it is not a destination for newcomers. Cindy’s

had several times her hopes ‘dashed’ recently due to

either the family who was buying not having strong and

good credit or the one selling the house was not interested

in negotiating to reduce the price of the listing.

Cindy went early to the home, turning the lights on and

plugging in a candle warmer in the downstairs kitchen.

She likes to include apple pie or cinnamon in her scents

for selling homes. She also had placed a few fresh linen

scented candle warmers in the master bedroom and bath.

While looking around, she realized she didn’t have her

cell phone.

As she went back out to the car, she absently locked up

the house. She could unlock it using the fancy home’s lock

box combination and get right back in. No worries there.

Cindy got into her car, usually locking it behind her. This

practice is like I am, being a single person who tends to be

out and about in the dark, sometimes in strange places.

Cindy could not immediately find her phone, so she grabbed

the last bite of her toast, picking up a napkin to wipe her lips,

there was the cell phone. She glanced up at the rear view

mirror, seeing a black sedan parked across the double car

driveway. It was not over on one side, but straddling both

parts. This struck her as weird. She could not see into the

car, since the headlights seemed to be on ‘bright.’

Instinctively, Cindy placed the phone up against her head

and she was nodding her head, when she saw the driver’s

door open. She saw the man briskly walking towards her

in a hurry. She had not seen any missed messages, so a

part of her was surprised. Another part of her was shivery

and feeling a bit unnerved by this whole thing. When the

man tapped hard on her window, even though she knew

he was going to be there in seconds, she jumped.

Cindy looked out the window and saw a tall man with

attractive features, glasses and dark hair. He had on a

suit and tie. She did not roll down her window when he

gestured to her to do so. (Isn’t it funny how she said he

rolled his hand in a circular motion for her to open it.

I had to comment on this, since Dave and I have talked

about how we still use the dialing motion when we say

for someone to call us, while most people hold up a cell

phone or use the pointer finger and thumb to create the

illusion of a phone.)

Cindy yelled through the window, pointing to the phone

that there was an emergency, that she would have to

reschedule the couple’s house showings. She pointed

back over her shoulder and using dramatic gestures

emphatically at his car to get him to move it.

In Cindy’s head, she wondered if he would do so.

He ended up walking slowly back to his car.

When he got in, he slammed the door and drove out of the

driveway and raced down the road.

Cindy was shaking and drove back home, calling Dave, her

husband on the cell phone. She ran up the sidewalk to their

house and when Dave opened the door, she flung herself at him.

She burst into tears.

She told him in a very upset voice,

“I know I lost the commission but that situation made me

so nervous!”

Dave told her there was no money to replace her and she

felt so relieved. He called his boys and they got into their

SUV and went back to the house, turned off all the lights

and the candle warmers. Then Dave had Cindy call for a

police squad car to stop by their own home, so Cindy could

fill out a police report. I nodded my head in agreement to

this idea.

Meanwhile, after leaving three messages and getting no

answers or returned voicemails or texts back, Cindy has

come to realize this may have been a ‘hoax.’ A few people

have told her faxes are not necessarily facts, many things

that she felt ‘proved’ these were ‘successful clients’ can be

manipulated and falsified.

The police ‘believed Cindy. They filed a report and were going

to post a bulletin to send to other squad cars, to keep an eye

on the homes in the area. Also, Cindy goes to the local business

association (Rotary Club) and realtors’ groups. At all places,

she told people about her uncomfortable situation.

I was relieved that nothing happened to Cindy. She acted in a

good defensive way and if clients were understanding and

concerned people, they would have followed up by calling her

to ask if everything was okay. She had done a lot of scheduling

various homes for showing, letting them see the photographs

and interiors, too. The internet connection and phone calls had

been frequent and time consuming.

By just acting on gut reactions and following instinctive feelings,

she may have saved herself from rape, abduction or death. One

never knows.

My last piece of news is a short announcement. My youngest

daughter, who I brought up earlier in this post by mentioning

about Jenny D.,has been working on a company that she and two

other people have joined forces to create.

It is called, “Better Blends.” It is one where they will use fresh

ingredients and prepare blended vegetables, fruits, protein

powder and store them in jars. This has been her path, taking

a few turns from her dual degrees of marketing and communication.

She graduated in 2008 and has worked in the areas of financial

planning and event planning. She completed courses at an online

school called Integrative Nutrition to become a certified Health and

Wellness Coach. She worked as a restaurant server and gave

health coaching lessons, along with teaching Pilates and Piloxing.

Recently completing entrepreneur courses at Columbus State she

has two partners. One is financial and supportive of her business

and the other one is going to work the necessary positions to get

this off the ground.

Now, winding back to the topic of how our mind controls our choices

and sometimes even leads us into finding our passions. We must

act upon our passions. We also will find we live longer and more

productive lives when we have found the direction we wish to go.

I believe in my youngest daughter, Felicia, of course!

I believe in my friend, Jenny D., knowing she will find out once

and for all how to proceed in a healthier and happier life.

I also believe in my Cleveland friend and coworker, Dave,

and his smart and beautiful wife of twenty years. We may

have to take her attractive face off of her realtor cards and

help her to find a safer way to proceed into her career.

I believe in you!

“BELIEVE:

When you speak from your heart

and say the words your soul

has only dared to whisper,

that’s when miracles happen.”

~* Flavia *~

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About reocochran

I am experiencing crazy and hapless adventures in dating that may interest people over fifty. I am now approaching 62 later this year and enjoy taking photographs, incorporating stories or poetry on my blog. I have many old posts which are informative and written like essays. I have several love stories collected from family and friends. Even strangers spill their stories, since I am a grown version of the girl next door. I have been trying to live a healthy lifestyle with better food selections and active hiking and walking. I have written four children's books and illustrated them. They are not published but a battered women's shelter used one about neglect and abuse for their children's program and a 4H group used my "Kissing a Bunny is like saying a Prayer" as a coloring book. Please comment or respond so I may get a chance to know you. Sincerely, Robin

20 responses »

  1. Your telling the story of Cindy, the realtor, and her getting a funny feeling from the customer was eerie. After reading your account of her experience, I felt relief just like when reading a book with a scary passage and everything works out okay. I agree that she should not have her photo on every business card that goes out to the public.

    I enjoy reading about the interesting people in your life that you know, and I can see you bring caring and insight to them from your life full of experience and wisdom. This post would have made a fascinating episode in your own television dramatic series (for which I still have not come up with a suitable title). – Mike

    • Mike, thanks for finding this story about Cindy to be compelling. It captured many of my emotions, especially fear. Dave is such a good friend, we chat often about Cleveland and our roots. I have also pride in his being a baseball coach for many summers for his boys. He jokes since we are the same age, me with grandies and him with teen boys. His wife and he are only 10 years apart, but they waited on having kids. It makes him feel ‘young’ to have Cindy and the boys, while my having grandies while ‘fairly young’ makes me feel young!
      I don’t know why Jenny D.’s doctor feels that a small intake of calories (yes, 500 calories daily) will reset the hypothalamus. My youngest daughter would question this, too. She has only suggested to extremely overweight people to cut back to 1200 to 1500 calories daily. Jenny D. may only need to lose 40 pounds at the most. This is too extreme of a diet and I am concerned, too. When I had to lose 40 pounds or go on anti-cholesterol meds in my 40’s I lost 20 pounds in one year, by eating mainly meat, cottage cheese and vegetables. I usually only ate a few fruits and depended on tomatoes which have less sugar in them. As I lost weight, my blood work showed I got within my goals in reducing the numbers. I brought in pics to show many of my coworkers who met me while I was this present weight to motviate them, including Jenny D. My youngest daughter verified her RA through a simple blood test while less than 13 years old. Wish Jenny D. could find out what exactly is the problem but she says the blood is being drawn on a regular basis and there is something out of whack with the levels…
      Heading later to take the M & M girls to see an afternoon matinee of the new version of “Cinderella.” Fun times!

    • Oh, the second year I lost the other 20 pounds which really helped my cholesterol levels. I still battle this and my brothers and Mom have also a family history of this. I should buy more fish to cook, this is what my one brother does and it seems to work. My Mom laughs and says, “Cod liver oil would do the trick, Robin!” (No way, Mom!) Smiles, Robin

  2. Robin, you are something I am not: a storyteller. I love reading your various accounts about everyday events. I track such events in my own life but do not feel moved to write about them. Poetry seems to be my milieu, though I’m always thrilled to read others’ stories.

    Two things that leap to mind: I love the Buddhist tenet that we all suffer. Indeed, it is the one commonality in a sea of human diversity. Two: Both my daughters are TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioners. It’s the one medicine my husband and I utilize and consider fundamental to wellness. I recall the words of a man I still see when I travel to his location, a lineage Chinese herbalist and physician from Beijing by the name of Yanzhong Zhu. He once told me, “Most disease in Asia is caused by deficiency. In the West, it is from excess.” Doesn’t that ring true! We grow up with such abundance that, among other ramifications, we eat far too much and pay for it later in life. And we eat the wrong combinations of things, and eat far too much sugar and chemically-laden foods. Even too many vitamin supplements (and “superfood” supplements) can overload an already-stressed liver. Who knew?

    In most of Asia, food is medicine, and one grows up knowing what medicine they need at any point in time. I marvel at my Filipina friend Rebecca, raised in starvation on the island of Mindanao. Her knowledge of simple plant remedies never ceases to amaze me.

    Now after reviewing this comment, I chuckle because I’ve just told a bit of a story. So there you are 😉
    Peace, and Aloha.

    • We sometimes need to write about the everyday world, sometimes the stories may help someone and other times, it is like a ‘cautionary tale,’ where it is passing a word about danger in a work place. I love the inclusion, Bela, of Buddhist tenets here. I am so interested in international cultures and diversity in thought processes and belief systems. This was so lovely of you to take the time to express them here. Simple diets with good wholesome vegetables and fruits are great. I just worry about the idea of supplements that are not made of actual dehydrated herbs and food sources. I had never heard of ‘resetting’ a hypothalamus so I had to write about this one. I agree with you, Bela, too much salt, sugar and preservatives are harmful to our bodies. Look to the countries where people live over 100 years, they eat fish, vegetables, fruits and whole grains…. Great story, as you said. This came out like another ‘cautionary’ and helpful tale! Hugs, Robin

  3. Those folk stories Are more realistic than many modern critics give them credit for. Time and chance happen to us all, but those who can win out over circumstance–and the daily paperwork–learn to successfully use their time and circumstance for great things, which include the apparently inconsequential, to many people. LIKE YOU DO ! 🙂

    • I am so glad you liked the stories I shared in this post, since it may help someone out in the end. Thanks for your thinking personal stories are like folk stories, I feel every time I write I am trying to tell a story. You captured this in your kind words, Jonathan.

    • Thanks so much, Jonathan, for reblogging this one. It is like the Shakespeare play, “All’s Well That Ends Well.” Ha ha! (There is a different title which he wrote about…)

    • Thank you, Sherry. I appreciate people who stopped by since this is quite a ‘cautionary tale,’ which made me want to tell it. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, you made me wish to go to Florida with your photo today!

  4. Robin … I’ve heard of women realtors who have been in dicey situations. Your friend, Cindy, was right to be cautious.

    I’m concerned that Jenny D is only consuming 500 calories a day? Or, was that per meal? A proper diet can do wonders to turn your health and life around. My daughter sells Juice Plus and these have made a positive difference for my husband and me. Wish her well.

    I love your musical choices. I should have used “Don’t Stop Believing” for my current post. We both had fairy tales on our minds. 😉

    • Judy, I am not sure why the doctor feels lowering the calorie intake will ‘reset her hypothalamus.” I mistakenly started this comment on Mike’s which instead of editing it out, I am just going to restate this. I agree with you, 500 calories a day would be ‘bad’ even for an extremely overweight person, which Jenny D. should be only about 40 pounds overweight. I feel she is such a worried person that a doctor could be taking advantage of her and suggesting something that is ‘wrong.’
      My youngest daughter who is going to be part of her company “Better Blends” sells Juice Plus which is the only natural supplement FDA approved. This means it includes dehydrated vegetables and fruits. By my purchasing it ever month my grandkids get to be part of the Children’s Health Study. Felicia also gives her chewable ‘gummy’ children’s version of the supplements to her nieces and nephews so all my grandies are ‘covered,’ Judy. We may never have covered this common element before. I looked up Felicia and she used to have The Blonde Blender as the company’s potential name. She is not ‘up and running’ but there are photos of her and her silly friends, one with myself included and a few of her tasty drinks. I have given Juice Plus to my girlfriend who is Jenny M. and also some fliers to Jenny D. to hope she would start using them.
      I am so happy you know your daughter’s business which is wonderful, Judy! I believe my eyes and my body are much improved by taking them now for almost 4 years!

  5. Thank you so much for reblogging this post, Jonathan. I was sorry that when I inserted spaces the silly post didn’t come out ‘looking’ like I intended it to! Smiles, Robin

    • The fact the client didn’t call and reschedule nor answer Cindy’s repeated calls, tells me a bit about this character. She could have had a real emergency! Also, that he didn’t bring his wife, then blocking her in, all made me nervous, too. Thanks Brenda, for your comments!
      I hope Felicia will continue her path for helping others, along with giving good nutrition out in a blended beverage. I have really enjoyed sampling them! Smiles! (I am one who is guilty of having ’empty’ calories, but have been doing much better at trying to prepare a big pot of red quinoa and making meals as the week goes by out of it. Also, I love bulghur wheat, not just for breakfast with butter and maple syrup, but like a healthy kind of filler, to provide more nutrition than my old stand by of sweet potato or whole wheat pasta. I am more aware of fiber and nutrition, but you have always been good at this. I remember you don’t take your kids to McD’s which is a great example of your being thoughtful about food consumption, too.

      • Have you had kibbe made with bulgur wheat, pine nuts and ground meat? It’s delicious and healthy. 🙂 My son is trying to give up dairy to try to get rid of a rash, and it’s really hard to do!! Cheese is in so many things.

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