Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hello.Goodbye. Good Morning. Good Night

Begin your day and end it by letting others know how precious they are....................

I have some bad habits. I also have a few good ones. Actually, the good ones are more than just habits; they are rules. One of the rules I abide by is:  Hello. Goodbye. Good Morning. Good Night. 

I am a firm believer in greetings and salutations.  It doesn't take much effort on my part. I just have to open my mouth and speak or quickly type a message. It's so easy to do this. I can do it in person, call someone on the phone, send a text message, shoot a quick e-mail, or by updating my Facebook or Google+ status. There really is no excuse not to do this. Every day. It makes others feel good and it makes me feel good, too.

I believe it is my moral obligation to do this on a daily basis. It could be because of my Southern roots. I happen to think that Southerners are the friendliest and most hospitable people in the country.  Up here in the North (where I currently reside) folks tend to be more cautious and reserved. They'll say hello when I pass them on the street; as long as I say it first. I don't really mind doing that.  Not at all. I've met amazing people and gained life long friends by simply exchanging a greeting.

When I was a little girl, my dad insisted I read the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.  I was about ten years old at the time and it changed my life. I began to view the world differently; even at such a young age. I adopted the attitude that every single person I meet is a potential friend and every potential friend is looking for a friend.  A relationship that begins with a simple Hello. Goodbye. Good Morning. Good Night could last five minutes, for the two hour train ride into the city, or an entire lifetime. It doesn't matter.

This can be irritating to some people because sometimes I will pick out the most outrageous looking person in a crowd and begin a conversation. I usually start with a simple hello.  If that person is receptive, I will continue. "Wow. All those piercing on your face are so cool!  Did it hurt when you had them done?" Despite the fact that my friends are horrified and attempt to pull me away, I stand my ground and wait for a reply. I always get one. And it's always a nice reply. No one has ever told me to "Fuck off" or dragged me into a dark alley and tried to kill me. I think most people are basically good and willing to talk about themselves if they know you will listen. The repercussions can be staggering. I honestly believe you can change a person's life with a simple greeting, a kind gesture, or by listening to them.

Hello. Goodbye. Good Morning. Good Night. I believe in doing this with everyone; especially with the people I love and care about. Each time my son walks in or out the door; we exchange hugs and  kisses. When we wake up or go to sleep; we do the same. It's been this way since he was little. People think it's cute and sweet because he is such a big strapping man now. I look at it this way: We are reminding each other how precious we are.

I don't have a romantic partner in my life right now, but if I did; it would be exactly the same. He would get my Hello. Goodbye. Good Morning. Good Night greetings, hugs and kisses. This is just part of my M.O. Always has been. I am sure, at times, it's aggravating. I don't care. I would want him to know how precious he is to me. Every day. Even if I'm angry, he's still going to get that goodbye kiss. Why? When he walks out that door there is no guarantee that I am going to see him again.

Life is precious. People are precious and there are no guarantees. I want to live my life by letting others know how very precious they are: the girl at coffee shop, the stranger on the street, my child, my parents, my friends, the man in my life. It only takes a second or two of my precious time to do it.

And this is my Daily Cyn..............

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Live in the Moment

Live in the Moment. A catchy phrase. Everybody says it. It sounds good; but what does it mean?

Living in the moment is to practice Mindfulness. And, yes, it must be practiced because mindfulness does not happen naturally.  Your mind has a tendency to wander and focus on everything else other than the present moment.

Example: When you listen to a conversation; are you really listening or is your mind wandering and thinking of clever ways to respond?


What is mindfulness?

It is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.

Forget about yesterday. It's over. Forget about tomorrow. It's a day away. Don't think about what you need to do an hour from now. Be here. Be now. Be present.

When you eat; eat. When you walk; walk. When you listen; listen. When you kiss; kiss. When you touch; touch.

Each time your mind begins to wander; bring it back to exactly where you are and stay there.  Live and breathe in that moment.

Your experiences will be so much richer and more fulfilling.  Your mind will be clear and sharp.  Your intentions will be pure and selfless.

And this is my Daily Cyn............

Monday, June 25, 2012

Self-Nurturing- Knowing What You Need and Why You Need It........

I am a strong and independent woman and proud of it! Most of the time I have an "I don't need anybody" attitude. I am like the female version of John Wayne; I'll fight against good and evil and ride off into the sunset. Proud and alone.  I can attribute this attitude to a few things:

1.  I managed to pick up the pieces of my ruined life many years ago and completely change it.
2.  I am single and although I would like to find the right guy, I am not constantly out on the prowl looking for a man nor am I weeping over the fact that I not actually in a relationship. I don't need a man. I want one.
3.  Everything I need to know about getting the job done myself, I learned my father.

It's good to be self-reliant and independent but sometimes, it can also be very, very bad. No one ever rushes to assist John Wayne because most people think he's got it covered. Not to mention, he's probably too proud to ask or risk tarnishing his very capable image.

Every once in a blue moon, when things become too much for me to handle, I actually do need someone else to lean on for support. This can be confusing for those who see me as fiercely independent. This past week was one of those times. I had too much handed to me all at once and I felt as if I was going to crumble under the pressure. I didn't really want help; not physical help, anyway.  I knew what I had to do. Yes, I wanted some advice and I got that from a dear friend. What he told me; I already knew. I had to exercise some real tough love. Tough love is easy advice to give to someone else.  I tell other people to do it all the time. It's not so easy when it's your turn to put it into practice.

I did what I had to do and quite honestly, that proverbial shit that's supposed to hit the fan still hasn't happened. Not completely, anyway. I am not sure what is going to happen. All I did is put my foot down and declare certain practices and behaviors unacceptable. And........If you don't like it; get the hell out and I don't give a damn where you go! Those are the most difficult words in the world to say to someone you love. Deep inside, your greatest fear is that they will leave. And then what? Truth be told, I am not a threatening, ultimatum type of person. That's grossly out of character for me. I am usually tolerant and accepting and people know this about me. The fact that I had to take such a strong stand wore me out completely. I was broken, scared, and alone.  For the first time in a very long time, what I needed was a strong man to put his arms around me and reassure me that everything was going to be okay. Even if he wasn't so certain of that fact himself.  Well, hello. I am single. There is no man in my life to hold me. There's no lover or partner who knows me well enough to realize how badly I wanted reassurance and needed to lean  just a little bit for just a little while.  I almost ashamed to admit I wanted to be stroked and coddled and free to cry in some guy's arms for as long as I needed.

My desire and need was so strong that I did not know what to do with myself. Wait. I knew what I could do. I could get myself all dolled up and go down to the local bar, have a few drinks, and take my pick of any guy there. That's a great place to find someone to hold you. They're willing. They'll hold you all night if that's what you want. No strings, no demands, no real intimacy. Several years ago, that's probably what I would've done. Those kinds of actions, however, come with a price; at least for me. A lack of respect for myself and in the long run; feeling even more lonely than I was before. The only way to cure that is to go back out and do it again.  And so begins the cycle of destructive behavior and self-loathing. No thank you. I fought very hard to get where I am now and I don't believe in moving backward. I only believe in moving ahead. Even if that means I have to go alone.

So, I decided to sit down and think about what I wanted and needed. I immediately crossed being held in the arms of a nice, strong man off the list. There was no one around to do that for me and I sure as hell wasn't going out to find a temporary guy. So, what next? Since I couldn't have that; what would be the next best thing? What was I looking for? What did I really need?
Change of Environment

Yes. Those are things I needed. So how could I get them in a healthy, non-destructive way?

Well, I knew sitting around the house feeling sorry for myself was a bad idea. These four walls served as a reminder of recent events and I knew if I stayed here it would be too tempting to give into the unthinkable. So, I packed my bags and took off for Brooklyn. That's the one place I know where I am loved and accepted for my wild and wacky self. I could spend time with my sister and her husband. Their greatest joy is to spoil me, feed me all my favorite foods, and drag me all over the city. My three year old niece lives with them and she happens to worship the ground I walk on. I would trade my sorrow for a weekend filled with activity, laughter, love and security. Problem solved. Okay, the big problem? Still not completely resolved but what I needed, I found in one weekend, without sacrificing an ounce of self-respect or dignity. Part of my healing was making the decision to not talk about my issues with anyone else the entire time. I completely removed my body, mind and spirit from the situation and kept my focus on other things. As a result, I returned home last night well-rested, well-feed, well-loved, and with enough strength to deal with whatever comes my way. If I feel myself wavering again; back to Brooklyn I will go.

This is self-nurturing. Self nurturing does not mean anesthetizing yourself or going out to find a temporary fix.  More often than not, the results of doing that will make you feel even worse.  Self-nurturing means taking care of yourself in healthy ways and identifying what it is you really need and want. It could involve sitting down and completely deconstructing all of it; like I did. I couldn't have what I wanted at that moment so I had to substitute it with something else. Feeling sorry for myself and dwelling on what I did not have quite possibly could have ended badly. I am not willing to take that chance.

I work with clients and help them to identify their cravings and unhealthy choices. I also assist them in understanding why they make these choices and reach for temporary fixes instead of the real thing. Most often, it all stems from hurt, fear, disappointment, rejection, and lack of understanding and acceptance of oneself.

To be truly successful and healthy in your body, mind, and spirit, you must get to know who you are; including your strengths and your weaknesses. Identify your destructive temporary quick fixes. What are they? Food? Drugs? Alcohol? Sleeping the day away? Even too much exercise can be an unhealthy, temporary fix. Slowly begin to replace those things with good alternatives that will contribute to your health and healing. What do you really want?  A candy bar or a hug? More often than not; it's the hug you really want. Practice a bit of self-nurturing, know what you need, when you need it, and how to get it. And then...... go get it!

And this is my Daily Cyn................

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Place of Peace and Love

My Place of Peace and Love.

Peace can only created only by those who are peaceful and love by those who have loved.
-Deepak Chopra, from his latest book, Spiritual Solutions.

And this is my Daily Cyn...........

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Let It Shine

You are a light; a burning flame. You are here to dispel the darkness and chase away shadows. Your light can separate truth from lies, pleasure from pain, good from bad, compassion from hate. Your light can illuminate the most difficult journey.

When I was little girl, I learned this song in Sunday School:

This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine
I am gonna let it shine. 
This little light of mine
I'm gonna let it shine.
Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. 

Simple? Yes. Silly? Sort of; but this little song has always been my mantra.  I carry it in my heart everywhere I go.

It isn't easy to keep the light burning. The brighter it burns, the greater the desire to quench it.  Others will try to extinguish it for you because your light reveals their darkness. Don't let them. Keep shining.

My name actually means Reflector of Light. Maybe there's a bit of truth to that. I've spent years searching for the true meaning for my life. I had high hopes and visions of grandeur. I was absolutely certain there were big plans for me to really be somebody and to accomplish amazing things. The truth is; there's nothing special about me. The big plan for my life is to just keep burning.  Everything else that happens is simply a result of shining my light.

Let your light shine. Keep it burning.  Don't cover it or hide it. Never ever allow anyone to extinguish it.

 Your light is your gift and your gift is your light.......

And this is my Daily Cyn.......

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dear Mama

The best advice my mom ever gave me is this:

You can always judge the true character of a man by the way his treats his mama.

Words of wisdom I will always remember.

Happy Mother's Day.

You are appreciated. For all you do. For who you are. For your unconditional love.

You are the wind beneath our wings.

And this is my Daily Cyn....

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Square Peg, Round Hole

I used to be in Mortgage Industry. How I ever became involved that business  is beyond me and a story for another time.  I am more of a peace, love, group hug type of a girl.  That doesn't really doesn't work well  in the world of mortgages, so I had to adapt.  It didn't take long for me to become as cut-throat and under-handed as the rest of the boys. I could lie right to a client's face without batting an eyelash.  I changed my personality to fit the position but I paid a very high price.  At that time, that's where the money was. I wanted the money. I also wanted the prestige that went along with it.

 I am not saying the entire mortgage business is bad. I've worked with some wonderful and very honest mortgage companies. I've also worked with some real dirt bags and in order to get the job done, I had to be a bit of a dirt bag, too. Years later, I took a long, hard look at myself and realized that career was not the perfect fit for me.

I remember when I first became a Mortgage Loan Processor. It was a big promotion and I was determined to the best processor ever.  There was a particular client file that had been floating around the office for over a year. No one was able to secure a mortgage for this borrower. Everyone tried and failed and eventually the file was pushed aside but not forgotten. On my first day as a brand new processor, my manager came in to my nice new office and dropped that twenty-pound file on my desk. I already knew all about it. I had heard the screaming and cursing and witnessed the temper tantrums. One processor in the office became so frustrated that she actually threatened to quit over it.  I swallowed hard and gave my manager my best deer in the headlights look.

 "You've got to be kidding me," I whined. "You can't give me this file. I have no clue what I'm doing!"

I thought he would understand but instead he yelled at me. "You wanted to be a processor! Here you go. Figure it out. Square peg. Round hole. Make it fit. At any cost!" And with that, he stormed out my office.

I was so upset. Petrified was more like it. And angry. Square peg. Round hole! I really wanted to shove something up his you know what. Instead, I spent the rest of my day ripping that file apart. I did the very same thing the next day. And the next; until I finally came up with a way to get the loan done. From then on, I only wanted to work on the really difficult loans. Give the easy ones to someone else. I loved the challenge and attacked each one with the same determination as the first. That's how I became one of the best. Square peg. Round hole. Make it fit. At any cost.

There's something to be said for the person who is willing to do anything to get a job done. Turn over every stone. Never quit. Those are rare and admirable qualities, especially when it comes to business. I happen to be that kind of person; not just when it comes to work, but in almost every area of my life. I am always trying to get that square peg into the round hole. I will push and shove and try every angle possible to make it fit. I don't like to give up or take no for answer. I refuse to accept defeat. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's good. There's just one little problem.  What happens to the square peg?

For years I tried to force square pegs into round holes. I really made a bit of a mess. I took on projects and responsibilities that were impossible complete. I got involved in careers that demanded I become the type of person I was never meant to be. I remained in unhealthy relationships because I refused to give up. I even tried to be who other people thought I should be. Square peg. Round hole. Make it fit. At any cost. As a result, I became a damaged, shredded, broken square peg. It took a very long time to heal.

Sometimes, things just don't fit. No matter how hard we push and shove;  there's no way it's going to happen. The key is to know when to keep trying and when to step back and say, "This is never going to work and I am tearing myself to pieces in the process." 

Never give up your goals and dreams.  You should be determined and driven and turn over every stone. Fight for the things that matter and never stop. We need more people like that in the world. But there's one thing you need to know. A square peg was never meant to fit into a round hole. You have to break it or damage it to make it work; and even then, it will never be the perfect fit.

Go ahead and give it all you've got. Never give up. Just pay attention. You are the square peg and if you're tearing yourself to pieces in the process; perhaps it's time to walk away. Eventually you will find the perfect fit.

And this is my Daily Cyn..........

Monday, April 16, 2012

You are an Angel

Angels fall down sometimes.
It doesn't change the fact that you are still an angel.

Special thanks to my Google+ friend, Jack Jenkins, for sharing this beautiful song.

And this is my Daily Cyn......

Monday, April 9, 2012


image from Contently Disturbed/Facebook

Hey! You! Let your Freak Flag Fly!

And this is my Daily Cyn......

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Beauty is a Trap!

Image from Google+

Samantha Brick has a terrible problem! She's too gorgeous !

Wait.....what ?

First of all, I really don't think this woman is as beautiful as she believes herself to be. But that's me. Yet Samantha Brick, a popular British journalist, thinks women hate her because she's always the prettiest one in the room. With all her influence and everything going on in the world, especially the war on women, this is her concern?

Here's the article I read this morning that really ticked me off:

British Woman Thinks She's Too Gorgeous

Maybe women despise and ignore you because you are shallow and just a wee bit full of yourself, hmmm?

Okay, perhaps that's a bit harsh but I need to vent. Just a bit. I promise it won't get too ugly .

It's not about looks. This is not a competition. In fact, we are in a sad, sorry state. Teenage girls and women are literally starving themselves to death to look like airbrushed, photo shopped fashion models. They subject themselves to risky procedures because they're not happy with the face, the lips, the boobs, or the butt God gave them. Or they want what somebody else has. Not all plastic surgery is bad. Some of it is necessary. I understand that, but 16 year girls getting boob jobs? Come on!  And while women are consumed with their looks, the power and control over their own bodies is being stolen right out from under their pretty little noses.

If you're beautiful, good for you! You have an advantage that others don't have and a responsibility to prove that beauty is more than skin deep. Get over yourself ! Why not use your influential place of power to encourage women to love and respect themselves and to develop their inner strength and beauty instead of being consumed with yourself and judging others on how they look.  Do you really think other girls hate you because you're pretty? Perhaps they do despise you. Why? Take a deep, long look inside yourself. Other women might not see you as the solution to the problem. You are the problem.....

I don't care what you look like. If you are a woman, you are beautiful. Inside and out. And you have the power to influence other women. To teach them to fight. To stand up for their rights. To educate themselves, to be financially independent, to develop their self-esteem and recognize their personal power, to never become victims of abuse or domestic violence, and to never, ever sacrifice their freedom of choice to anyone for any reason. These are the important issues. Not boobs and butts. And if you honestly believe other women hate you because you've been blessed with good looks, then walk over and show them you are more than just a pretty face.

Believe me, as we age, our boobs and butts will begin to sag. Gravity always kicks in, no matter how hard we fight against it. Pretty faces eventually wrinkle. Large pores, sun damage, chicken necks. It happens to the best of us. The day will come when we can no longer get by on just our looks. What then? If we haven't developed our own inner beauty and strength, we've got nothing! And, we'll have nothing to pass on to the younger women who are rising up to take our places in the world.

Beauty is a trap. Don't fall for it!

And this is my Daily Cyn......

Friday, March 30, 2012

Don't Look Back......

When it comes to the past and looking back (or going back), I always think of Sodom and Gomorrah and the tragic tale of Lot's wife. You know, from the bible. If you went to Sunday School, you're already familiar with the story. If not, let me quickly bring you up to speed with my condensed version:

I am sure the woman had a name, but it's never mentioned so we only know her as Lot's WIFE. We'll talk about the inferior status endured by women back in those days another time.   Anyway, as she and Lot were running away from their home town, she dared to look back and when she did, was instantly turned into a solid pillar of salt!  The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (where Lot and his wife-with-no-name lived) were being wiped out. I am not really sure which city they actually lived in. Perhaps both. Kind of like New Yorkers, with a penthouse in Manhattan and a summer home near the Jersey Shore. Regardless, those two cities were leveled. Destroyed.  I don't have a bible handy, but I do believe there was an earthquake. Lot and his wife were warned by an angel of God in advance and ran for their lives. And they were told not to look back.  Lot was obedient and kept on running. The lady was not so lucky.

I always thought being turned to a pillar of salt for taking one last look was sort of harsh and there are all kinds of opinions as to why that happened to her. Some say it was because her actions proved she loved sin more than she loved God and according to the bible, those two cities were cesspools of sin. That's why they were destroyed. Whatever. She was warned. She didn't listen. She looked back.  If I was running across the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan was being destroyed behind me, I would just have to turn my head and sneak a peek.........

Regardless of whether you believe that story or not, there's a good message in it. Dwelling in the past, looking over your shoulder, thinking about what could have been, or worrying about those you might  leave behind as you move on to bigger and better things makes it difficult to forge ahead.  It's like being frozen in time. You become an immovable object. Yeah. A proverbial pillar of salt.

Leave the past where it belongs, move ahead, and don't look back.

And this is my Daily Cyn........

Monday, March 12, 2012

What's Beyond the Door?

We must not allow time,  fear, distance, or difficulties to discourage us from reaching the doorway to the other side. - Cynthia

And this is my Daily Cyn.....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Senior Dating, AARP and Turning the Big Five-Oh!

I just got an email from SeniorPeopleMeet.  It's a dating service for folks fifty and older. Would I like to join their service? This month is complimentary in honor of my 50th birthday!

No, I would not like to join your dating service !

I mean, really. What the heck do I want with a man fifty or older? Oh, wait. I'm turning fifty. Well, regardless, how did they get my email address in the first place? Is it stored in some big data base some place along with my birth date and a notation that says flag her at fifty ?

That would certainly explain all the strange emails I've been getting recently:

What You Need to Know About Medicare
Menopause and You
How to Choose The Right Nursing Home
Going Gray Naturally
Retire in Equador for less than $10 day (okay, I'm saving that one)

AARP just sent me a magazine. I never ordered it. It just showed up in my mail box. Delivered by the hot young mail man who thinks I'm cute. Not anymore ! I won't even look at the darn magazine. My parents said I should. They just got their copy and there was a coupon for a senior discount at the local All-You-Can-Eat Buffet . We can all go for dinner. At four o'clock.

Kill me now ..........

I must admit this whole turning half-a-century old has me in a bit of a tizzy. I know age is just a number and I am really only as young or old as I feel.  Most days, I feel like I am twenty-one. Sometimes, I act like it, too. I naturally gravitate toward the younger people at parties or in bars. Most people my age talk about all their aches and pains and doctor appointments. It's depressing and I never have anything to those conversations. I feel great. I can't remember the last time I went to the doctor for anything other than my annual physical.  I think I am still pretty cool and can probably party harder than most twenty-somethings. I go to concerts in the city and stay out all night.  And I don't have to take a nap ahead of time or stay in bed the entire next day either. I still look pretty damn good.  I eat right, I exercise, I take good care of my skin.  As long as I avoid fluorescent lighting at all costs, most people would never guess my true age.

I need to come to terms with this whole age thing and just be thankful.  I've walked this earth for half-a-century. And I survived. That's quite an accomplishment. I've made mistakes and learned from them.  I've had my heart broken countless times yet somehow managed to keep it from getting hard and calloused.  I am wiser and more confident than I've ever been in my whole life.  I'm happy and despite the abuse I've put my body through in younger years, I am very, very healthy.  I have plenty of energy and I haven't lost my care-free, dare-devil attitude.  I will never forget what it's like to be young and that is how I plan to stay forever young. The spirit never ages and God knows, I've got plenty of spirit!

 So, keep sending your senior dating service emails and AARP magazines and coupons.  I'll just pass them on to my parents and their senior citizen friends. I plan to embrace fifty with open arms and then knock it out of the park like nobody's business.  Besides, isn't fifty the new thirty?

Yes, folks, I am turning fifty and I'm pretty darn proud of it.  And I look foward to fifty more years.  Why not?

And this is my Daily Cyn.......

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An Extra Day! How Will You Decide to Spend it?

Time in a Bottle. I've always loved this song and I woke up this morning with it on my mind. So I want to share it with you.

There never seems to be enough time to do the things we want to do, is there?  But there really is more than sufficient time. We are all given the same twenty-fours every day. How we choose to spend those hours and with whom is our choice.

Today is February 29th. We have an extra 24 hours to do anything we want!  An opportunity to make up for lost time.

Leap year only happens once every four years. Who knows where any of us will be four years from now.  Today is the day to make it count..........

How will you spend your extra twernty-four hours?

And this is my Daily Cyn.........

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Eat The Darn Donut!

You all know by now I am anti-junk food, anti-white sugar, white-flour crappy foods that are nothing more than empty calories and fat that are just going to make us feel bad. And, over time, make us look bad. A regular diet consisting of those types of foods is the worst thing we could do for ourselves. Sickness, disease and death is inevitable. I think I'd prefer to drink poison. My death would be quicker and whole lot less painful and expensive.  

In a perfect world, we would never, ever eat that kind of stuff. We would know how awful it is for us and refuse to go near it with a ten foot pole.

We don't live in a perfect world. And sometimes, we have cravings. Gnawing desires to sink our teeth into something we know is "bad". We can't sleep. We can't stop thinking about it. We have to have it. Finally, when we just can't stand it any more, we give in. We take a bite and when that first burst of forbidden pleasure hits our tastebuds we say, "Oh, I shouldn't!"  But we do and with every bite we pour on another layer guilt.  We punish ourselves the rest of the night. Sometimes even the next day. And the next. Over a piece of pie. A brownie. A dish of icecream. A donut.

What we don't realize is when we do this, we are setting ourselves up for failure. It's a cycle of denial, pleasure, and punishment. What happens when we continuously do this? Eventually we have the day from hell and instead of one donut, we eat the whole dozen. Oh and guilt after all those donuts is the real killer. That's when we really punish ourselves to the point where we are so disgusted, we throw in the whole towel. Then we go on an eating frenzy. Our mission? To eat anything and everything we've been denying ourselves for years.! We tell ourselves we're hopelessly destined to be unhealthy and overweight so we might as well enjoy it!  

Sound familiar?

Have the donut! Just eat it! And when you do, enjoy every last delicious morsel. Don't leave one little crumb behind. Don't feel guilty about it. Refuse to punish yourself.

One donut will not kill you! One donut will not make you fat. It's a lifetime of unhealthy living and a daily diet of poor food choices that will!

Have the donut and enjoy it!

If you do this every time, your cravings for foods like candy, cookies and donuts will become less and less. Eventually, you might not think about a donut ever again.

Why? Because you're allowed to have it.  Not only that, you're allowed enjoy it, too.

We always want what we can't have.

So go ahead.  Eat the darn donut!

And this is my Daily Cyn........

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Best Time to Exercise for True Benefits!

Honestly, it doesn't really matter when you do it! JUST DO IT!!! And remember, every little bit counts.

And this is my Daily Cyn.......

Friday, February 17, 2012

I May Not Be Perfect, But............

Why is it that we always seem to notice the bad stuff?  Like the negative attributes and actions of others? And we don't need anybody to point our own flaws and mistakes. We do an excellent job of doing that all by ourselves.

It's time to stop looking at our imperfections and focus on the parts of us that are totally awesome. We all have wonderful, unique, amazing qualities and attributes.  Even the quirky stuff is pretty darn great!  DWELL ON THOSE THINGS!

And if you can't think of any, ask someone else to bring you up to speed on your awesomeness! 

And try to do the same when it comes to other people, too.  Focus on the good. You'll get good back!

And this is my Daily Cyn......

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Take The Jeans Test


Stop measuring yourself in terms of weight or amount of pounds gained or lost!

That's just a number and it can change daily. It's so frustrating to step on the scale only to step off completely discouraged and disillusioned. You've been eating right and exercising yet that number hasn't budged. Or worse yet, it's gone up! 

What happens then? You become aggravated. You want to give up. You order up the biggest, unhealthiest meal you can think of. You eat an entire container of ice cream or a whole bag of chips.

Now you're on an endless cycle of emotions and sabotaging all your efforts.



The best way to gauge weight gain or weight loss?

Take the Jeans Test.

How do your jeans fit? Are they too tight? Ask yourself why. Perhaps it's that time of the month and you're simply retaining water. That will all go away in a few days. Maybe you're eating too many white flour, white sugar carbs or a had a few too many drinks at Happy Hour. That will make you feel bloated, as well. Or maybe, just maybe, you're eating more than what your body can burn. Time to start exercising.

If your jeans fit fine, good for you! Just maintain your healthy way of eating to keep them fitting perfectly.

If your jeans feel loose or keep getting looser, you're definitely losing pounds and inches. Keep it up! It's almost time to buy a new pair of jeans!!

And this is my Daily Cyn........

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chocolates, Flowers and Cards. Valentine's Day Reflections......

Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Some people love it. Others despise it.  I am not anti-Valentine's Day! I can be just as sappy, silly and romantic as the next person.  I just have mixed emotions about the one day of the year set aside for lovers.  Let me explain why.

My parents celebrate Valentine's Day in a big way. They have the strongest love and the closest relationship of any couple I know.  Every year my mom bakes my dad a heart-shaped meatloaf and a cake decorated with candy hearts.  They exchange chocolates, flowers and cards.  Their marriage didn't start out that way. On their first Valentine's day as husband and wife, my dad came home empty-handed. When mom asked about flowers and candy, my dad replied that she wasn't his sweetheart, she was his wife. The romantic dinner she'd prepared was forgotten and instead she cried for hours. She punished him in ways only a woman can.  He never made that same mistake again!

When I was married, my husband and I often made it clear how miserable we were together but every year on Valentine's Day, we pulled out all the stops.  He always brought me chocolates, flowers, and a lovely card.  I always reciprocated in kind with a card expressing my undying devotion and by cooking his favorite meal.  We wrote tender sentiments in the cards we exchanged.  I am sure we meant every word but the sweet gestures of just one day couldn't heal the hurt or the gaps between us.  Our marriage ended despite all the chocolates, flowers and cards.

At times, Valentine's Day gestures are nothing more than desperate attempts to make something work that clearly isn't.  Chocolates,  flowers, and cards are meaningless without kindness, respect, understanding and love every day of the year.  

A few years later, I dated a man who never did anything special for me on Valentine's Day.  He believed it to be nothing more than a Hallmark Holiday geared toward silly men who spent foolish amounts of money on meaningless expressions of love. As a child, he was forbidden to participate in any Valentine's festivities and he didn't see any reason to celebrate it once he became an adult. Basically, he was telling me not to expect anything.  At least he had the decency to share his views on the subject a few days before our first Valentine's Day together.  His explanation seemed reasonable enough and I accepted it for what it was. I told him it was okay but I was still coming over with candy and a sappy card and taking him to dinner because I believed in Valentine's Day . 

During our relationship,  that's how it went down every Valentine's Day. I gave him candy, a card, and dinner. He accepted it all graciously but never had anything for me.  I told myself it didn't matter. I loved him and I didn't want to pressure him into doing something for me that was against his personal convictions.  But every year, I secretly hoped that maybe, just maybe, this time he would have something for me: a flower, a piece of candy, a card. Eventually, our relationship ended and I learned through the grapevine that he was buying chocolates, flowers and cards for the new girlfriend. And, that he had done the same for girlfriends before me.  I was crushed and it was then I realized the painful truth.  He didn't have an issue with Valentine's Day. He had Valentine's Day issues with me.  Why? Because by accepting, placating and pulling out the stops for him and never asking for anything in return, I communicated to him that I did not believe I was worth it. So he didn't think I was, either.  A man cannot really love a woman like that. If she asks for nothing, she'll get nothing.  This is why our relationship ended. I never challenged him on anything- EVER.  I wasn't worth the effort of chocolates, flowers, and cards. Our relationship never grew beyond casual and convenient because he was not about to invest his heart in someone who was not worthy of it.  And this was my fault, not his.  Lesson learned.

At times, Valentine's Day chocolates,  flowers and cards mean everything. No matter how grand or small the gesture,  someone is taking the time to express what we mean to them.  If we're not getting or giving, we need ask ourselves why. And we need to love ourselves enough to face the cold hard facts.

And a word to the wise: if you really, really love someone- tell them. Show them. Dare to challenge them.  It's worth the risk even if you lose. In the long run,  it will save you years of pain and heart ache.

For those of you with partners and big plans for Valentine's Day, good for you.  I wish you all a wonderful day. I hope you give and get plenty of chocolates, flowers, and cards. I also hope you do not measure love by the gestures of just one day. You will be sadly disappointed if you do.

This February 14th,  I will do what I always do when I find myself flying solo on the most romantic day of the year. I will stop after work and treat myself to a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and the biggest, most expensive heart-shaped box of chocolates I can find.  Then I'll head over to Mom's for her heart-shaped meatloaf and candy-covered cake. That's only place I know where every day is Valentine's Day. 

And this is my Daily Cyn.............

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Global Warming: Is it Real or a Hoax?

"If we continue to use, abuse and rape the earth and destroy her precious resources, eventually she's gonna get all hot and bothered!" - Cynthia

Most people I know disagree with me about Global Warming. They think I am crazy to fall for a bunch of ridiculous lies. They believe it's nothing more than a scare tactic conjured up by Liberals looking to get rich at the expense of gullible folks.  If the temperatures around the world are really getting warmer, they think it's a blessing because snow, ice and freezing temperatures are a big pain in the ass.  And, if there really is any truth to all this climate change business, it has nothing to do with humans. They didn't didn't cause it and there's nothing they can do to stop it.  It's simply God's will. As long as they can keep driving their big gas-guzzling SUVs, eat their McDonald's hamburgers, and sip water from plastic bottles, they don't really care. They laugh at me for being such a fool. "I've been duped", they say. Sadly, I believe they are the ones fooled into thinking it's perfectly okay to keep disrespecting and abusing the earth without a thought about the repercussions.

I'd rather be called a fool than be accused of burying my head in the sand............

This is not Global-Warming 101.  I am not going to give you a mini-crash course on the subject. Either you believe it or you don't. If you know nothing about it, look it up and decide if it's real or not. But honestly, unless you've been living a in cave, you've heard about it and have some kind of opinion. Anyone with half-a-brain knows something strange is going on.

So what are we going to do? Take action or keep sweeping it under the carpet? Pull the covers over our heads and hope it all goes away?  Or even worse, are we all so wrapped up in our lives that we don't even notice?

When we continue to abuse anything ( another person, our land, even our own bodies), it sends subtle warning signals. Then it begins to rebel and fight back. Eventually, if we continue to ignore the signs, it just dies. Our earth is in her rebellion stage. She is damaged and scarred and fighting back. Warning us to pay attention now or she will need to take even more drastic measures. We might not be able to heal those scars, but we can work to prevent further damage. Don't we want to leave something beautiful for our children? Or do we want to keep using and abusing and leave the mess for them to clean up? If there is anything actually left to clean up! Are we really that selfish? 

Every day I think about the world I am leaving behind for my children, my grandchildren and their children. So I try to do my part to respect and preserve what we've got now. I hope you do, too.

Can you make a difference? Yes. Educate yourself. Do the research. Support causes that protect our earth. You don't have to be a scholar or a scientist to see that something is happening and it can't be good. It's not too late to change. But someday, it might be.

Here is a resource for you:
Everything You Need to Know About Climate Change

And this is my Daily Cyn.........

Saturday, January 21, 2012

So YOU Think THEY Think They're ENTITLED?

I apologize in advance for the length of this post. I thought about dividing it into two parts, but I couldn't figure out where to end the first and begin the second. I do hope you will take the time to read it. This is  a sensitive subject for most but it is written with love and passion.  This is simply my opinion and I wish to express nothing but respect for those with ideas and beliefs that differ from mine.

Did I happen to mention I am back in school? Yup. I am friggin' fifty years old and a student again!  As if I didn't have enough on my plate already.  It's a challenge and God knows, I love a challenge.

I always enjoy meeting new people and I'm simply amazed at the strength, the drive, and the resilience of some of the students in my classes. They come from all different walks of life and a few of them have had a rough ride. Really rough. I'm the oldest (of course) and I can't help but act like a "Mother Hen"--gently clucking about and making sure they have everything they need: paper, pens, bus fare, lunch, a warm coat, gloves. I listen to their problems and offer advice.  A couple of the girls have babies and they proudly show me photos.

I am so humbled when some of these beautiful young ladies share details of their lives with me. I think I have problems. I don't know problems. When I was their age, my biggest concern was whether to follow my boyfriend to college in Chicago or pick a different school. I had so many choices back then and Daddy was paying the bill. I wasn't single and pregnant, disowned by my family, or living in a little room in the bad part of town with nothing more than a hot plate and a futon.  I didn't have to wonder how the hell I was going to care for alcoholic parents, attend school full time and work full-time. I didn't agonize over homework while trying to soothe a screaming infant. These girls worry about all that stuff and a whole lot more!

It's costing me an awful lot of money to go back to school. Some of the girls in my classes are funded by the state. What does that mean? Your tax dollars and mine are giving women an opportunity they could never afford on their own. Girls who might remain trapped in the system and cycle of welfare for years if not given this chance to improve their lives. I know I am going to step on some toes here and I very rarely discuss stuff like this.  You might be angry because you work hard but can't afford to send your kids to the school of their choice yet these girls get to go for free.  I hear stuff like that all the time. Some of you complain about welfare, food stamps, government programs and ENTITLEMENT mentalities.  But these girls; they are grateful. They're working their asses off so they can kiss Social Services and Public Assistance goodbye forever. There's not an entitled one in the bunch!  I am honored and blessed to sit beside them in class.

These girls thank God every day for public assistance and programs because without them, they might be homeless, hungry, unable to raise their children, and hopeless about their future or securing a better life for themselves and their families. Every single one of them is dead serious in class.  They want it all: careers, homes, marriage, family- things that most of us take for granted. Some of them have to use public transportation to get to school on time. One lovely eighteen year old girl puts her daughter in a stroller at 5AM every morning, bundles her up in coats and blankets, and walks in the bitter cold to drop her off at day care. After her daughter is settled, she walks to the train station and takes a train and two buses to get to class. After school, she does the reverse. She cooks dinner and bathes and plays with her daughter for an hour two before putting her back in the stroller to walk to the babysitter's house. Then, she hops on a bus to her night job at Burger King.  When her shift is over, she's back on the bus again to pick up her child, she walks home, gives the baby a warm bottle, and puts her to bed. Somehow, in the midst of her hectic schedule, she manages to find time to study and maintain above average grades in her classes.

Does she get food stamps? Yes.

Does she get some assistance so she can afford to keep a roof over her head and her child safe and warm? Yes.

Is she a lazy girl who refuses to work and expects me and you to support her and her child?


Would you believe some people actually have the audacity to accuse her of such because she receives financial assistance, food stamps and a housing allowance! Good, hard-working, Christian people!

I've never met a more dedicated girl in my life! She's alone. She has no family and she's only eighteen! How many girls her age do you know with such drive and determination?

This girl is going to be a success. I KNOW IT! Guess what else I know? We will most likely never hear about it or any other success stories about women and men like her.  Instead we will continously hear about the awful, greedy, lazy people who abuse the system at our expense!

My observation: the ones who can afford to pay are the lazy ones. They are spoiled young girls who don't give a darn if they pass or fail. They are wasting time and mommy and daddy's money fooling around all day.  They arrive to class late or unprepared time and time again yet they demand special favors and ultimately expect good grades!

 I hear constant complaints about welfare, food stamps and all these government funded programs that take from honest, God-fearing,  hard-working people and give to those who expect it but don't really appreciate it.  Perhaps we really need to take a good look at the other side! It's so easy sit in our big houses with our pantries overflowing with food and our take-out Chinese dinners because we're just too tired to cook. We listen to politicians and religious leaders talk about how our nation needs to turn back to God yet the majority of them strongly oppose programs that benefit the ones who need a touch from God the most: the sick, the hungry, the jobless, the homeless, the addicts and the young single mothers.  In other words, the poor and needy!

To be fair, yes, there are those who abuse the system. People with no intention of working yet have one child after the next and expect us to fork over our hard earned cash to feed them.  I hate that just as much as you do, but I think those kinds of people are the minority and not the majority. I believe most of them are just like you and me and some of these girls I've met in school-- hard-working, determined, appreciative.  Perhaps they've made a mistake or two or had a stroke of bad luck. Now they just need a bit of assistance to get back on the right path.  

I have no desire to sit here and pontificate just because I've rubbed elbows recently with few different types of people.  The experience is teaching me, however, that my personal convictions, what I fight for, and how I vote are right--at least for me.   Most of the people I know (myself included) have no idea what it means to really struggle. We might complain because we've had to cut back on fancy dinners, movies and shows. We choose to drink at home more often rather than going out on the weekends. Some of us have had to downsize to smaller homes or trade in our expensive cars with the hefty payments for more affordable vehicles. But that's not really struggling.  It's inconvenient and there's a big difference between the two!  We still have too much and I know I should be giving more of what I have to those in need.  Maybe we all need to spend a little time in the trenches to see how life looks down there. Before we start cutting programs or accusing others of having an entitlement mentality, perhaps we should get to know a few people who are actually fighting to keep their heads above water and need a little public assistance. They're just like you and me. They just don't know how they are going to feed their children or heat their homes. Sometimes, all they need is a little break. Honestly, how many of us would be where we are now if we hadn't been given a break of some kind? That's right.  Someone gave us break, a chance, a loan, a job, an opportunity, or a helping hand.  Thank God!

And speaking of God..............
Why is it that those working so hard to turn our nation back to God are also the very same ones in favor of cutting funding and government programs? They're against food stamps and free school lunches! Yet their kids can afford to buy lunch every single day. How can you expect people to turn to God when you refuse to feed them, clothe them, or provide shelter for them?

Even Jesus made sure his followers were fed!

In a perfect world, no one would be hungry, poor, homeless or jobless. Everyone would have what they need because of the generosity of others. But this is not a perfect world and most of us are not generous. We're greedy. Yep. Christians, too. That is why we need all these programs in the first place.  

 "If you don't work, you don't eat!"
 "God helps those who help themselves!"
"If people are hungry or homeless or jobless, it's their own fault because they're lazy."

I hear statements like these all the time.  Even people I know personally say them and believe them!. Some claim to be followers of Christ and are diligently praying for our nation to turn back to God.  Which God? Their God? My God? Or the God of the sweet little Islamic girl I sit behind in class?

I say, "Get real!"
Turning the nation back to God is not the answer!  .
God in us is the answer!
When we love and give freely without judgement, we are God's hands extended!

Jesus fed the poor and hungry when He was here on earth.  Multitudes followed Him, hoping to be fed. He didn't stop to ask, "Did you work today?" before handing out the bread and fish.
- Cynthia Parrott

I see God all over the place as I sit in class every day with people who would never be there if the opportunity had not been not given to them! Take away those opportunities and we take away God.

I will leave you with this:

Thanks for letting me vent.

And this is my Daily Cyn......

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Secret to Looking Good

The finest clothes.
The most expensive skin care.
Expertly applied make up.
The most fashionable hairstyle.
A day of beauty in the best salon.

All worthless...... 

True beauty comes from the inside out and it all begins with good health.

Your body is a temple. Your mind is a rare jewel. Your spirit is more precious than gold.

Start treating them that way.

Nourish and protect them with good things. 

Because nothing looks as good as healthy feels............

And this is my Daily Cyn.......

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ten Things to Totally Love About Winter

It's b-a-a-a-ck!  Winter. It's cold. We're pulling out the heavy winter coats, scarves, mittens and boots. The snow shovel is perched in a convenient spot-  ready and waiting. It's so chilly out there, I have to put on a jacket to drag my garbage pails out to the curb at night. I hate that!

Everyone is complaining about the cold. Cursing the snow, the ice, the inconvenience of it all. What's the topic of conversation with our friends, our neighbors, the person in line at the grocery store? Winter and how much we hate it!

I happen to love all the seasons. Yes, even winter, but sometimes I fall into the trap of constantly griping about the cold.  It seems wrong not to. If I don't have something bad to say about the snow or bitter cold, people think I'm crazy!

Truth is-- there are so many wonderful things to totally love about this season. We can literally talk ourselves into hating anything if we only see the negative aspects.

Are you tired of hearing yourself ( and everyone else) grumble and whine about winter? 

Here Are Ten Things To Totally Love About It:


Winter in Central Park
I can't think of anything more beautiful than snow. I love that peaceful hush after a freshly fallen snow. It's as if God tossed a fluffy white blanket over my world.  Everything looks so pure and clean. It only lasts for a little while so get out there and enjoy it while it's fresh. Take a walk down the street or through the woods. Listen. Look. Breathe in. Breath out.  What a glorious experience!

Snow Shoveling!

Don't curse it! WORK it!
No, I haven't lost my mind. Snow shoveling is EXERCISE! A 125-lb. person burns 180 calories shoveling snow by hand for a half-hour, according to Harvard Health Publications. A person who weighs 155 lbs. burns 223 calories during a half-hour snow-shoveling session. Someone who is 185 lbs. burns 266 calories per half-hour of snow shoveling. The rise in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen uptake during snow shoveling are comparable to using a treadmill for the same amount of time.  Shovel some snow and you can skip the gym for the day! 

Snow Fun!

Skiing, ice skating, sled riding, snow boarding, snow ball fights, snowmen, snow forts, snow angels! Need I say more? Be a kid again! Get outside and play! Great for your body, mind, and spirit! And, there's that exercise thing again. You'll get a great work out with out feeling like you're working out!


Honestly, what can possibly be more inviting than a roaring fire? If you have a fireplace, a wood burning stove, or even one of those faux electric fireplaces, start it up! Sit beside it and savor the warmth it provides.  Enjoy the sights, the sounds and the scents. Sit beside the fire and read a book, meditate or take a nap. Gather the family together to play games or watch movies.

Faux fur, faux leather boots

Warm, toasty, comfy boots. Now is the time to wear them. Dressing for winter is so easy, especially for ladies. A big sweater, leggings, a great pair of boots and you are good to go! And because your toes will be in hiding for the next few months, you don't have to get those pedicures as often. Think of the money you'll save!


My dad always says, "Keep your head covered and you'll never get sick!" I don't know if that's true but I do know the majority of our body heat escapes from the tops of our heads!  So wear a hat.  It's usually considered poor etiquette for a man to leave his hat on indoors (at least remove it at the dinner table) but the rules are different for girls. Tuck your hair up under a great hat and you'll look fantastic and fashionable, even at the fanciest restaurant. The perfect solution to a bad hair day!

Comfort Food!

Homemade soup, chili, and baked casseroles. Winter dishes are easy. Put them on the stove or in the oven and forget them for awhile. Double your recipes and freeze them for another day. Talk about convenience. Our bodies automatically crave comfort foods in the chilly weather. Here's a tip: add warming herbs and spices like garlic, cumin, chili powder, turmeric, and cayenne pepper to your dishes. They help speed up your metabolism to burn calories and fat!

A Good Dose of Resveratrol!

I happen to love red wine but I never drink it in the hot weather because it makes me even hotter. A glass of chilled Chardonnay is nice on a summer evening but in the winter, I want something warming and a nice full-bodied red wine is so nice. I know there's been a bit controversy recently about red wine.  Possible Falsified Research On Health Benefits of Red Wine

 I still believe red wine does have some health benefits, namely Resveratrol.  You can get it in pill form, but where's the fun in that? There's something so magical about wine: the opening, the pouring, swirling it around in the glass, smelling, savouring, sharing it with friends. The whole ritual can be healing and you just can't get that from a pill. Sitting beside a roaring fire sharing a glass of grape juice just isn't the same. Sorry. Moderation is key and as long as you can drink responsibly, it's perfectly okay to enjoy an occasional glass of red wine.  If you don't like wine or wish to avoid it, don't despair.  Dark chocolate contains resveratrol, as well, so make yourself a mug of homemade hot cocoa.

Soaking in the Tub!

Who wants to sit in a hot bath in the summer? I don't. As soon as the cooler weather arrives, I set aside time to soak in a soothing bath at least once a week. It's healing and relaxing. It's my time to decompress. I pour a glass of wine, light candles, put on soothing music and indulge.  Even better, a romantic bath for two.....

And speaking of romance, here's what I love most about winter.........


In the hot weather, we tend to push people away but when it turns cold, we crave body heat. Snuggling makes us feel warm, safe and secure all the way down to our toes. Snuggle up with your mate, your kids, your pet. Wrap your arms around your lover and who knows? It just might lead to other great things, like sex.  I can't think of anything more healing, warming, or totally wonderful than that.

And this is my Daily Cyn........