Ready for tax day?

Happy April 15th!

In the great USA we are obligated to file our taxes today. Here’s my thoughts on that:

I’m grateful I live in this country where we can work at our chosen field, earn money to feed our families and enjoy life the way we want. I’m grateful that there is a system in place to keep our borders safe. I wish our government was streamlined and run like a profitable business and not so much in the personal lives of its citizens….well, I’m still grateful.  I am proud to be an American and to earn money doing what I love. Therefore, on this day, I am proud to file my taxes and wave my flag high and proud <<waving flag>>.

Did you know that some post offices stay open really late so you can drop off your forms late in the day? How convenient. Procrastinators are rewarded! Let’s be grateful that we live in prosperity and remember to thank our forefathers for this wonderful country.

Wishing you a happy day.

 

Aloha,

Denise

 

What makes you grateful and happy?

You know when you’re driving around, and a great song comes on the radio? What do you do? I turn it up! I sing along at the top of my lungs! I dance in my seat! No worries: I am still a careful driver!!! I appreciate the words, melodies, stories and instruments.

I heard two of my favorite songs today, back-to-back. Imagine my glee!  When I reached my destination, Costco, I was relaxed, happy and ready to pump my $4.05/gallon gas. If I have to pay these high prices, I’d better be happy when I reach the pump. Simply choose happy.

The feeling of gratitude and happy engulfed me when I posted a photo of a meal I recently made for my family. Now, those of you long-time friends know I’m not the greatest cook. But lately, my motivation to make fun, healthy and delicious dinners has blossomed. I’m touched that so many friends commented on the photo.

Who you ALL are makes a difference! To me, you are the world. I am grateful and happy to have you in my life.

What makes you grateful and happy? As always, feel free to post your comments below.

Aloha,

Denise

Just had to share this one….

Listen, Learn…then Lead. I learned that phrase from a TED talk.  Four Star General Stanley McChrystal told his story and at the end enjoyed a standing ovation. http://www.ted.com/talks/stanley_mcchrystal.html

I walked to the grocery store today and passed several interesting things. People love their kids: there are church schools, blow up pools, a beautiful high school, flowers in every color, nice cars with fancy car seats in the back and people tending to the gardens, parking areas and toys.

I love my kids too. They go to a lovely school nestled under Diamond Head with an ocean view, huge trees and delightful breezes. They are nurtured by well-educated, caring teachers and administrators. They enjoy sports, theatre, the beach, great restaurants and their new friends. We have only a short time left with our kids at home because they will graduate and matriculate to college.

When I think of  my kids I smile. They are loving, smart, talented young ladies. They have grown into cool people whom I enjoy spending time with. While they are polar opposite on most fronts, they both have a joir de vivre. I really enjoy being their mom and having them in my life.

What are you present to?

Aloha,

Denise

How far does love reach?

I feel so loved that I want to wrap my arms around ALL of you! Thank you for reading my blogs; for posting loving, inspirational quotes and thoughts; for your place in my life. I am truly blessed!

Driving around today I realized how fortunate I am. I am healthy, happy and almost 5’4″! I can surf,  practice yoga,  drive my truck, be a great wife and have raised two teenage daughters to be fun, lovely, young ladies. I have many wonderful friends from all over the globe and have a huge, wonderful family spread out all over the USA. Even when it’s raining, I am grateful for the rainbows that follow.

Most of all, I  have a drive and ambition to be better today than I  was yesterday. Today, I challenge myself and you to do the same. Swing for the bleachers, we may hit a home run.

I must share this from my high school friend, Deborah: ♥ I love old friends and new friends, too, as they eventually become old friends. Time melts away and love is everlasting. With each passing year, I treasure them more. So grateful to find the treasures buried underneath the miles between us…I love you all. ♥

I second that!

Aloha,

Denise

Is it fun to be odd?

I think it’s fun to be odd. I mean, the one who makes others laugh, smile and think. My daughters and I walked into our elevator and there was a man in there as we got on. I  said, “good morning. I like your shirt.” He smiled. I said to my girls, “quick girls, hold him down, I like that shirt!” Everyone laughed.

One of my daughters’ friends asked for a ride home. I said, “you must come with us and be our new daughter.” She smiled. After taking her out for dinner and swimming, she seemed at ease with us. She commented, “Auntie Denise, thank you so much! You are fun.”

I love to make  people smile. If you just say, “hello” or ” enjoy your day” or “see you later” you will usually make the other person smile. More often than not, you will be greeted with a kind reply.

Here’s the “odd” part of this: I commit to post a blog on the odd days of the week. Watch for them. I  also promise to continue to be “odd” just for the sake of consistency. I’ve been like this for many years. Why change now?

Aloha,

Denise

Light up your day!

Aloha!

Create this day.

Eat great foods. Give your body  what it’s hungry for. Fruits, grains, proteins, chocolates.

Think positive thoughts. Mind messages that are pure, positive and profound. Remember YOU ARE GREAT! You can do ANYTHING. Repeat that as a mantra. You are loved, talented and adored. Who you are makes a difference.

Now, read this again. Look out the window and see the sun on your lovely day. Accomplish what you create. The day  is all about YOU.

Make it a splendid day!

Aloha,

Denise

10,000 is the magic number

Two of my greatest coaches, and whom I am quite fond of, Lynne and Victor Brick used to teach us fitness instructors with stories as well as experiences. One story that I remember and think of often is the story Victor told us about Jesse Owens and how he spent 10,000 hours practicing his craft: running, sprinting and jumping. Lynne would tell us, “perfect practice makes perfect.” I learned wonderful lessons from these two coaches, both in and out of the gym.

I watched some surfers today catch and ride some huge waves today. I wanted to do that. I asked my coach, Cece, to take me out to the “bigger waves.” She did and at first I freaked out and rode the wave on my belly, absolutely frozen and unable to stand up. Then, we went out again, and I stood up! I caught and rode a huge wave (about 3-5′)  until it melted with the rest of the water. At that moment, I realized that it would most certainly take me 10,000 hours of practicing, perfect practicing, to ride the waves like I want.

Business, love, parenting, sports, hobbies all take 10,000 hours of practice to master. What are you going to perfectly practice today?

Aloha,

Denise

April 1st

I can’t believe it’s already April….Well, I’ve enjoyed my blog…good-bye! April Fools!!! I really love the blog and thank you for reading it.

I was thinking about this because I see people start and stop things in their lives. How much time is enough? If you don’t like a food, a sport, a neck tie, a city…how much time is enough to say “enough!” and quit.

I am a firm believer in finding your passion and making it happen. I know it’s cliché, yet when you take on a challenge and see it to fruition, or at least give it one to five years, you realize many things.  I have done that several times in my career and life. You find what you like and don’t like; you meet great and not so great people along the way; you mature as a person. Changing a career, house, car, city is  a perfect way to take advantage of life.

So I invite you to try some change: order something different at your favorite restaurant. When you’re ready to buy a car, get something completely different. If you are not challenged in your job/career/education, do something different.  Wear suspenders in lieu of a tie.  Of course, if you are really unhappy, I vote for change! If you find something that is better for you and your family, then change is the best. Remember, it’s a choice and you never have to defend it. Most often better things are waiting for you on the other side of that change.

What kinds of changes are you planning?

Aloha,

Denise

Welcome to Hawaii tips:

Isn’t reconnoitre a funny sounding word? I think so. Well, we use it a lot when we assess a new situation.

Moving to Hawaii from Southern California became my new situation. This is now the fourth state I’ve lived in. That also means it’s the fourth state to issue me a drivers’ license. This time I wore a diamond tiara when they snapped my photo.

Here are a few of my tips if you find yourself in a new city/state/place. Reconnoitre and enjoy:

Take the city bus! I used the bus to take my daughters to & from school for the first two months we were here. I used the bus to take a circle island tour to see what’s around and where to return. The bus is  great for meeting people, I met a lovely woman and months later I had lunch w/ her. The Hawaii city bus system has won numerous accolades for service & reliability. What is the bus like in your hometown?

Bus Tips: if you have a Medicare card or are a student, the rate is less. Check with your city! If you have a bicycle or surfboard, you can click it to the front of the bus in the rack. They thought of everything.

If you have transportation, drive along the scenic routes. I drove along Diamond Head Road, the Pali Hwy and up to the North Shore. The nectar is  in the journey.

Another tip: find great restaurants and frequent them. We had our favorite places in our former neighborhoods where they knew our names. We’re establishing ourselves again. I signed up for Groupon.com and buy the specials to go to the restaurants that advertise. I have discovered several great places and have returned with guests. One of them even greets us by name!

Today we went to a restaurant and I saw a woman there who is in my yoga class! Small world!

How will you learn your neighborhood? Reconnoitre and explore.

Aloha,

Denise

Significant others…

Aloha!

Welcome back. Today I have to talk about my husband.

My husband, my Mark, is a genius, a hard-worker, a laugh out loud, spectacular man. He has a wonderful sense of humor, adventure, vision and drive. The best part of all this is he shares it with and empowers me. We have been together for thirty-three years, married almost twenty-six.

I love to sew and one day he said, “Enter your sewing projects in the L.A. County Fair.” Now, that is the largest county fair in the nation! I had seen the caliber of work that is entered. After I said, “I don’t know… blah blah blah…” I entered. And the first year I didn’t win anything.  But for each of six years after that, I entered and won nine ribbons total, two of which are BLUE (1st place). Thank you, Mark, for pushing me!

I have always enjoyed sports and outside activites. In the 1980s we lived in Baltimore, MD. I enjoyed running and so Mark gently encouraged me to run in a race. After I said, “I don’t know… blah blah blah…” I entered. I ran in several 5K races, one 10K race, one triathlon, and when we moved to California, I ran the Disneyland 1/2 marathon. Thank you, Mark, for pushing me!

This month Mark has been telling me I should surf. We live in Hawaii, after all. After I said, “I don’t know… blah blah blah…” I signed up for ten surf lessons. I’m hooked! Now I go out several times a week and ride the waves. Thank you, Mark, for pushing me!

What has your significant other pushed you to do that resulted in making your heart sing, your body reach, your mind stretch its limits? We have chosen that person because they encourage us to be a better self and vice versa; we are a better partner for them. Remember to tell them “Thank you” today!

Thank you, Mark, for pushing me!

Aloha,

Denise