It Feels Good When Life Works In Your Favor

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Danny

It Feels Good When Life Works In Your Favor…

I have been holding off on writing this post since January, but I have gotten a promotion at work!  For those of you who might be new to my page I work for our country’s largest media group in the digital marketing department.  As of 2 days ago I have been promoted to a regional manager’s position for the South Atlantic group which consists of 22 properties.

It is a huge job and I am excited about the challenge.

The promotion process began way back in November 2017 and it required a tremendous amount of patience on my part; corporations don’t always move as quickly as I would like.  In my new role I will be traveling to each of the 22 properties assisting them with understanding digital marketing and acquiring new clients in their communities.  It will be an incredible experience.

I’ve only been with this company for 20 months and this will be my second promotion, something I take a lot of pride in having achieved.  And even more so, this new position was created specifically for me.  I have invested myself fully to reaching this goal and it is nice to see the fruits of my labor pay off.

For now I’ll be traveling a lot in the state of North Carolina, but eventually I will venture to Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia also.

I have always believed hard work and dedication pay off and in this instance it paid off big time.

Needless to say I am excited!

Danny

A Quick Update For Those Who Are Interested

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Danny

A Quick Update For Those Who Are Interested…

For those of you who saw my post last week, I had to go to the doctor due to some digestive issues and was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.  Simply stated, UC is a condition close to, but not the same as, Crohn’s Disease.

The day after my diagnosis Evelina and I immediately cleaned our cupboards and began to completely restructure our diet.

And before I get too deep I want to say a huge thank you to all of you who PM’d me on Facebook, emailed and commented with words of support.  It means a ton to me and I don’t take you for granted.

I have to be careful in my food choices as anything with a lot of fiber content cause intense stomach pains.  At times the pain feels like tons of stabs in my stomach.  Thus far I have discovered I can have eggs, enriched yellow grits and enriched White Mountain bread from Publix.  For lunch I’m eating chicken breast with zero spices and a baked potato without the skin.  Dinner usually involves fish with avacado and cabbage or something similar.

You can see the list of what I cannot eat here.

This food change is going to be a huge challenge, but things could be worse.  After two weeks I must admit my palette is changing already and things that tasted bland before are tasting great now.  The other eye-opening experience has been exposure to the under-world of dairy substitutes.  I had no idea that there were so many non-dairy food types.  Holy cow!

Last night we tried gluten-free taco wraps with fish, avacado and cabbage slaw using a gluten-free mayo.  The wraps were so bad we will be returning those to the store.  And as you guessed, we ate our fish tacos without taco shells; which sucked.

Last week I had an appointment with a client to discuss his company’s marketing campaign and we decided to take a break and grab lunch.  I decided to have grilled shrimp with no spice and a baked potato and the shrimp killed me.  So needless to say shrimp is off my list for now and unfortunately that is how I figure out what I can and cannot eat.

Eventually I hope to come up with 3-4 food options for each meal of the day, but until then eggs, grits, chicken and baked potatoes it is.  Hope everyone has a great Saturday!

Danny

My Most Recent Health Scare Is No Joke

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Danny

My Most Recent Health Scare Is No Joke…

It has been just over a week since I wrote anything and there is a good reason.  On Monday, 4/16, I had to have a colonoscopy conducted to check out some digestive issues I’ve been having for a couple months.  I thought I had some type of infection or bacteria due to some of my symptoms.

Once the procedure was over and they eliminated the possibility of cancer, I was informed that I have an incurable form of colitis, which is an infection of the large intestine.

The frustrating part of this deal is that I must manage the condition through my diet and the food restrictions are intense.  For instance, I cannot eat the following:

  • breads
  • cereals
  • pastas
  • noodles
  • macaroni
  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • buckwheat
  • oats
  • wild rice
  • walnuts
  • hazelnuts
  • pecans
  • cashews
  • almonds
  • macadamia nuts
  • peanuts
  • pistachios
  • sesame seeds
  • flax seeds
  • millet
  • pine nuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • wild rice
  • all beans, including chickpeas
  • adzuki beans
  • soy nuts, including soybeans and edamame
  • raw fruit
  • dried fruit
  • fruit that has seeds that can’t be removed (like most berries)
  • vegetables that have a skin
  • veggies that have seeds
  • raw veggies
  • dairy
  • corn
  • sulfides or sulfates
  • anything containing gluten
  • caffeine

And these are just a few of the things we have discovered thus far.  My doctor tells me that I’ll spend the next few months eating things in order to discover if it causes a flare up.  If it does then it goes on the banned list.

As you imagine I simply cannot eat out and if I do I have to eat plain chicken breast and green beans.

This is going to be an enormous challenge.  Evelina does our grocery shopping and it takes forever because we have to read every single ingredient on anything we buy.  A couple nights ago we went to Whole Foods and bought $50 worth of groceries.  That took us over an hour.  I guess what I’ll have to do is find the top 10 things I like and can eat and just stick to those to speed up this process.

All-in-all things could be worse I suppose.  I don’t have cancer which is an obvious relief, but the thought of dealing with this for the remainder of my life is a bit of a let-down to be quite honest.

Danny

Rainy Days Make Me Contemplate Life

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Danny

Rainy Days Make Me Contemplate Life…

It is interesting that rainy days force me into deep introspection.  Maybe it is the changing of seasons from winter to spring?  I’m not sure, but today it is rainy and I can’t get my brain to shut down.

I have a lot of change going on right now.  I am about to begin a new MS medication.  I have an upcoming procedure for an on-going medical issue.  My role in my job is changing.  I am in month 3 of therapy which brings its own challenges.  And the combination of all these things happening at the same time has my head spinning.

Rain feels refreshing.  It washes away the dirt and the pollen and brings about growth and life.  Rain represents new beginnings and a chance for a fresh start.

Sometimes I would like the option to hit pause.  I’d like to be able to stop life from happening so quickly and take a moment to breathe; collect my thoughts before other events cause new thoughts and worries.  But, alas, it isn’t an option.  Regardless of how overwhelming things can seem, this rock keeps on spinning and I have to find a way to work through problems while maintaining my composure.

Maybe I could clone myself and use my clone like a stuntman in a movie?!  Every time I need a break I just call in the clone to take my place for a day while I relax on the couch?

Now that is a solution I could get behind.

Danny

When Did I Become the Old Guy?

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Danny

When Did I Become the Old Guy?

There is the funny thing that I have noticed in my life lately: youngsters are calling me “sir”.  Now some might be shocked that I have been around young people who have manners, but that isn’t my point.  I can’t believe I’ve gotten to a place where I’m not viewed as being young by someone who is young.

You see, in my mind I still view myself as an energetic 28-year-old.  Barring a few aches and pains I see myself as being instantly ready for full-court basketball.  Or possibly a wrestling match.  Or even 54 holes of golf.  I’m ready to conquer the world.  Jump in a car at any moment for a last-minute road trip.

And then my mental self-image is crushed with a “Thank you sir.”  or “Sir, would you like XXX.”

And it is at that moment that my mind begins to compare and it is in that moment that the comparison falls woefully short.  I am no longer 28 years old.  I can no longer play 54 holes of golf in one day.  I cannot play full-court basketball.  And I’m okay with that.  I’ve adjusted over the years to my life and I have peace with my life and where it is headed.

I guess it is a little difficult to admit that I am no longer young and cannot do the things I did in my youth.  I don’t have a problem with not being young so why does it sting a little to be called “sir”?

“It takes a long time to become young.”  Pablo Picasso

Is the Way You Manage Stress Holding You Back?

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Danny

Is the Way You Manage Stress Holding You Back?

I am going to be completely transparent here and say that I don’t deal with stress well.  I tend to over-analyze and dwell or things that are directly in front of me.  I work through the question tree, anticipating any and all outcomes and what my response will be.  I worry.   And it is not a healthy way of dealing with stressful situations in my life.

How do you manage your stress?

Do you dwell?  Or do you let stress run off you like water off a duck’s back?

If you are the latter then congratulations.  Unfortunately for me my mind does not operate like that.  So because I realize I have “down the rabbit hole” thinking, I must find cues to remind me to control my thinking.  I cannot allow stressful situations to send me into a death spiral of over-analyzing.

Here’s what I do.  When my mind begins dwelling and hyper-focusing on one thing I tell myself the following: “There is nothing you can do right now except what you can do.  Control what you can control and let the rest be what it is.”  This is a reminder to me to let the future go and stop worrying.

For a long time I allowed myself to make excuses to justify worrying and having an out-of-control mind.  “It’s how I’m geared.”  “It’s just how my personality works.”  “I don’t worry, I get my mind prepared.”

All off the following are just a few of the excuses I used to justify my mind.  I am finding that I can change how my mind works, but it takes discipline and a desire to change.  Every day I go through a process check to make sure I am not allowing my mind to control me.

It isn’t easy and I’m not always successful, but I will eventually get this under control.  The key is I acknowledge that I have a problem with handling stress, I have a process to change my behavior and I am committed to changing.

“I cannot control the future, I can only control right here, right now.   The future will be what it will be so let it go.”

Danny

If You Want Change, You Must Focus On New Experiences

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Danny

If You Want Change, You Must Focus On New Experiences…

I had an phone conversation with someone many moons ago who spent the entire conversation lamenting how she could not lose weight.  Science tells us that humans who consume the right amount of calories of the right types of food will eventually shed pounds.  It may take some longer than others, but the body will eventually respond.  And some people will have to adhere to a strict eating regimen as well.

This person spent the entire conversation telling me this simply is not true; her experience, as she stated, was that she had tried everything and nothing worked.  So I asked her if she ate vegetables….”no, I don’t eat vegetables.”   Then I asked if she consumed healthy fruits and nuts…”no, I don’t like nuts and I only eat apples.”  Next I asked her if she ate lean proteins…”I only like beef.”  Then during the rest of the conversation she revealed that she ate a lot of processed boxed “food”, fast food, pasta, ice cream, candy and many other junk-type foods; including sodas.

Keep in mind that she also explained to me that she believed she ate healthy and that she had tried everything to be healthier, but nothing worked.  But she wouldn’t eat veggies, fruits or lean proteins and ate tons of junk food.

She said many times she would love to lose some weight and be healthier, but then backed that statement up every time with “but I’m not willing to change XXX.”

Better results will never come from the same actions that produced bad results.

I don’t like fish, but I’m adding a lot of fish to my current eating regimen.  I don’t prefer spinach, but I’m adding it to my recipe book.  I don’t prefer salads, but I am adding green leafy plants to my eating habits.  Why?  Because if I don’t do something different then I will not experience change.

The truth about my friend is she didn’t really want to change.  People who make up their mind to change say something like “I know I need to change therefore I am willing to do whatever it takes to change.”   I have heard every excuse in the book and I simply refuse to listen to those types of people.

“I eat mostly healthy” usually means I don’t eat healthy at all.

Let me hop down off my soap box for a minute and get back to me.

Back in February I decided to get some weight off as I was getting a little pudgy.  Since then I’ve lost weight, especially around my waistline and I’ve done so by cutting out a lot of sugar and making better food choices.  Living with MS restricts my physical activities so it is imperative that I choose my foods wisely.  When I choose better quality foods my body burns fat.  When I choose low-quality foods my body stores fat.  And as the title of this post states I am committed to eating new things so that I get new results.  I simply cannot expect to get great results by committing to poor habits.

It is 100% about the choices I make.  If I really want to be healthier I’ll make better choices.  Period.

Danny

You Should Never, Ever Compare Yourself To Others

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Danny

You should never, ever compare yourself to others…

One of the lowest points of my life was around 2005 while I was working in the golf business.  I had a decent job at a good club and I was completely miserable.  I was surrounded by members who had more than me.  They had better jobs, better homes, better cars and more money.  And I spent the vast majority of my time looking at them with envy.  I wanted everything they had, but more importantly I didn’t want what I had.

I spent many years comparing myself to others and feeling completely inadequate.  Those years of comparing my behind the scenes to their highlight reel nearly ruined me.  I drank heavily and lamented my lack of achievement.  It was not a fun time.

What I would eventually realize was that if I continued to compare myself to anyone other than myself then I would always be miserable.  So I changed my thinking.

I began to compare me to me.

I decided that I would focus solely on becoming everything I wanted to be not on becoming what other were or what others had.  I realized that if I wanted something I would have to go get it.  I would have to change.  I would have to leave golf and go challenge myself.  And that is what I did.

But of all the life changes the single most important was the changing of my mind; I changed the way I thought.

Change begins in an instant and that instant is the exact moment when you decide in your own mind that once and for all you are going to take action.

That was my experience when I decided I was no longer going to compare myself to others.

Danny

Why Are You Better Off Ignoring Haters?

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Danny

Why Are You Better Off Ignoring Haters?

There are always going to be haters in your life.  They could be in your family, at your job, at your place of worship or maybe in your neighborhood.  There are people who are going to resent somebody for something and it doesn’t really matter who it is or why they hate; they just need to hate.  Family might be tougher to deal with than others, but it is better to ignore the haters.

You cannot allow them to redirect any of your energy.  Yes, they will talk about you when you are not around.  Don’t participate.  Yes, they will spread rumors.  Don’t acknowledge them.  Yes, they will make snide remarks.  Don’t respond.  These types of people should get zero of your energy and even less of your attention.

The truth is once your begin participating in their game, they have won.  And trust me they are much, much better at what they do than you’ll ever be so ignore them.  Ignore every single thing they do.  Ignore every single thing they say.  Ignore any of their soldiers who try to bring that venom into your life.

Absolutely, positively refuse to participate.

When they see you are not willing to play they will find someone else with which to play.  And even if they don’t stop just continue to ignore them.

Walking into their world is like walking into quick sand.  The more you struggle with them the faster you sink.

It is better not to play in quick sand; it is better to ignore the haters!

Danny

Are You Picky or Do You Simply Know Your Value?

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DannyAre you picky or do you simply know your value?

I believe being “picky” is simply knowing your good enough to deserve something great.  There are times in life when people settle for less than they deserve only because they might not realize or understand their value.  People remain in bad relationships, settle for unappreciative employers and compromise when they don’t truly understand the value they bring to the table.

The situation I believe demonstrates my point best relates to employment, so let me paint a picture for you.

Let’s say Jane has worked as a customer support specialist for a retail store for 6 years.  During that 6 years Jane has developed the ability to overcome any and all difficult customer situations and often has the customer leave happy and ready to return on future visits to continue to shop and spend money with the store.  Simply put, Jane is exceptional at what she does.

The retail store has offered a few small raises here-and-there, but has a cap on what they are willing to pay customer service employees like Jane.  Not only that, but Jane is expected to work countless hours of overtime, unpredictable weekly schedules and every holiday and weekend.  This situation could make Jane feel that her worth is equal to the cap her store has placed on employees who perform customer service and she might easily adopt the mental perception of herself that her value is in direct proportion to what her company is willing to pay.

Then along come 2 other companies who place a tremendously high value on customer service and become aware of the incredible job Jane does on a daily basis.  Both of these companies are willing to offer Jane a 50% pay increase and a signing bonus.  Her schedule would only require her to work 2 weekends per month and her weekly schedule would only require her to work 8-5 on weekdays and she would be off on all major holidays.

These offers stagger Jane as she never believed nor understood that her particular skill set had tremendous value in the market.  Not only is it the skill set these companies appreciate, but it is also the person who Jane is and they respect her dedication and the fact that she loves customer service so much.  Simply put, these 2 companies see high value in Jane first, and then they see value in Jane’s ability to provide high levels of customer service.  Once Jane realizes other companies see value in her, her eyes become open to the value she should see in herself and she’s no longer willing to accept “less than” any longer.   She can now be picky in her choices of employers because she recognizes her own value and is no longer willing to settle for a company that doesn’t also recognize that value.

Here’s the cool thing: when you know your value you do not ever have to settle.  When you understand the particular skills you possess and the value those skills have in a market, then you have options, which means you can be picky.

Be picky and don’t settle; don’t ever, ever settle.

Danny

The Truth Is…Life Owes You Nothing

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DannyThe Truth Is…Life Owes You Nothing

There is a truth about life that many people have a hard time accepting: life owes you nothing.  Your friends don’t owe you friendship.  Your family does not owe you support.  Your job does not owe you a raise.  Your religion doesn’t owe you enlightenment.  Bloggers don’t owe you a Follow.  Life doesn’t owe you years on this planet.   Your dog does not owe you love.

All of the things above require some type of effort are our part.  We must work and prove some type of worth on some level.

We are in a constant state of expanding or shrinking.  When we work hard we expand.  We we don’t work hard we shrink.

You must get what you want the old-fashioned way….you earn it!

Danny

Why I Made the Decision To Unplug From Social Media

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DannyWhy I made the decision to unplug from social media…

The world that exists now is so different from the world that existed 5 years ago that it’s tough to even compare them.  Then I get to thinking about the world that existed in the late 70’s and 80’s that shaped me into the person I am today and boy it seems like I grew up on a completely different planet.

The glaring differences are how easy it is to get in touch with someone now compared to then and how easy it is to get information.  Back in the day you would read the paper in the morning and watch the 6 o’clock news to recap and update the goings-on around the city and world.

Now we are inundated with news updates to the point that it is nearly impossible to know what is true and what is false.  Emails come pouring in.  Text messages and voicemail.  It truly is madness.

This is why I made the decision to unplug from social media.  I don’t have my blog connected to Facebook, Twitter or Google+.  I only visit Facebook on rare occasions of boredom, but only allow myself a few minutes then I’m off again.

My only goal for 2018 is to be the best husband I can be for Evelina.  Unplugging from all the social media and distractions allows me time and energy to focus on her and us and the real world.

Thus far I am enjoying the journey.  I’m curious to know how much social media influences your life.  Drop me your thoughts in the comments and let’s chat about it.

Danny

My Week 195: It’s The Allergies That Are Annoying, Not Me

mydangblog

The other day at work, I was just standing in the kitchen, thinking about nothing in particular, like LITERALLY minding my own business, when the guy who oversees the kitchen things came in and said to me, “Is that your toast in the toaster oven?” And while this may seem like a perfectly innocuous question, like something you would say just to make conversation, there was an insidious undertone to it that you would only recognize if, like me, you work in a place where you are NOT ALLOWED to leave toast unattended in the toaster oven. “Because I came in earlier,” he continued ominously, “and there was no one here.”

I was a little freaked out and didn’t want to be blamed for the toast insurrection, so I immediately said the first thing that came into my mind, which was “No—I don’t eat gluten” to which he replied, “There’s…

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The Most Amazing Thing Happened Last Night!

 

Danny

The Most Amazing Thing Happened Last Night…

I ACTUALLY SLEPT GREAT IN MY HOTEL ROOM!  I know this might not seem like a big deal to you, but for me getting more than 4-5 hours of sleep away from home is incredibly rare.  Last night I got a solid 7.5 hours!  I feel completely rested and ready for the day.

Today I have a few sales calls to make with reps, a quick manager’s meeting and then I’ll be headed back to Charlotte for a little rest.  I am not traveling next week which will be a nice break and then I am off to the coast to work with a property for a month.  It will be nice to be near the beach!  Plus Evelina is going to fly in on a couple of weekends for us to spend some time together.

Needless to say I enjoy traveling, but I miss my wife and Bentley.  Tonight we are meeting friends for dinner at Charlotte’s best Mexican restaurant and I’m not sure what I’m going to eat.  Dinner dates are great, but I now look forward more to the conversation and less to the food.  This UC situation is no joke and it greatly limits what I can eat.  I guess it could be worse.

That is all for today from me.  I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Danny

 

6 Tips To Make Gardening Easier When You Have A Chronic Illness

Reclaiming HOPE

Zucchini and Yellow Squash with Text Overlay 6 Tips To Make Gardening Easier When You Have A Chronic Illness https://reclaiminghope.blogEight or nine years ago, my uncle gave me my very first tomato plant — and some horse manure to go along with it. Little did I know that little gift was going to give me a passion for something that I never had the slightest bit of interest in prior to that time. When I was a teenager, we had a garden but I’d do anything I could to get out of working in it. Thankfully, I had a part-time job, so my brothers got stuck helping out in the garden and I was able to escape that drudgery. Fast forward…..well, let’s not worry about how many years….and I was driving home with a tomato plant and a bag of horse poop in the car….

tomato plant with almost-ripe tomatoes https://reclaiminghope.blogThat first tomato plant ignited my love for gardening and now I can’t wait to get my hands in the dirt each Spring. There’s…

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Leave a Link and I’ll Reblog Your Page!

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The are only 2 simple rules to get your post reblogged on my page:

(Click here to) leave me a link in the comments 

And

Reblog this post in return.

A hug for Saraa…

Cyranny's Cove

Dear Lovelies,

Today I break my blogging-pause silence for a good reason. Not a happy one, but something worth a mention…

As you all know, blogging is about sharing thoughts and stories, but it is much more than that. The Bloggosphere is a community, and a place we come to when we need some support.

This morning, terrible news awaited me when I turned on my tablet.

You might already know Saraa, from It’s me Saraa. If not, you should really get to know the bubbly, witty, sweeter than sugar girl! This bright young woman always manages to put a smile on my face, but not today.

To make a long story short, Saraa’s little brother took his life yesterday. Knowing how important family is to her, I can hardly imagine how painful it is to go through life for her at this moment.

So if you have…

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Let Me Ask You a Question – 6/20/18

gce5rz8mi

Let me ask you a question:

What is the cut off number for people seeking asylum in the U.S.?  **Please try to provide well thought out answers, not just political rhetoric or hate speak.**

Leave a Link and I’ll Reblog Your Page!

 dreambigpromo02

The are only 2 simple rules to get your post reblogged on my page:

(Click here to) leave me a link in the comments 

And

Reblog this post in return.

Day 29 – Green Light

2 R Better Than 1

A few days ago, I was searching for inspirational quotes to give to a young lady who doesn’t know the Lord. She has lots of struggles — including depression. As a strategy for countering some of her dark thoughts, her counselor recommended going on Pinterest to find inspirational quotes and memes. I was inspired to help her create a scrapbook to keep at school that she could pull out whenever she feels unsafe. It will serve to remind her that she is loved and valued. In her case, irrational fears and unbelief are keeping her stuck in a scary cycle that’s hard to break without a strong foundation of trust in the Lord.

We are like this young woman in some respects. We want to do what’s right, but we question whether the choices we make are the right choices. So, we ask others for their opinions and ask God…

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Link

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Blog networking is one of the most undervalued and underused strategies for most.  But I believe it is at the core for growing a blog.

You will find links in this post to help eliminate some of the work; all you have to do is LIKE, COMMENT and FOLLOW others. The more you network with other blogs, the more other blogs will network with you!

Lifting Taboos

Leon’s Existential Cafe

Two Are Better Than One

Horse Addict

Being Lydia

Misty Books