Nutmeg Muffins: A Thanksgiving Family Tradition

In Red: Bertha Klug (nutmeg muffin creator).

When teaching a Pilates class, while participants hold a 90-second plank, I try to tell amusing stories. A few years ago on my last day of classes before Thanksgiving, I jokingly said to my last class, “I only have two Thanksgiving-themed stories. You are probably all sick of hearing them year after year. Something interesting better happen this Thanksgiving so I can get a better story for you guys.” I got my wish from a seemingly inconspicuous nutmeg muffin.

Nutmeg Muffins

I have a family recipe for nutmeg muffins from my great, great, great grandma. My family makes them on the regular, but I have been gluten free for 8 years. In that time, I’ve enjoyed nutmeg muffins less. Though I’ve experimented with g-free flours, it seems gluten-free products suck the flavor out of everything. In an attempt to improve the quality every time I make nutmeg muffins I add a little more nutmeg. This year as I preheated the oven on Thanksgiving morning and pulled the beaters out of the drawer to make my bland muffins, I said to myself with the air of hyperbole: […]

Nutmeg Muffins: A Thanksgiving Family Tradition2019-10-16T12:33:12-04:00

Hartford Marathon Inspiration

Finishing the Hartford Marathon

Thirteen years ago I ran the Hartford Marathon without training.  It was a terrible idea and I wasn’t in the shape required to run 26.2 miles.  The strangers on the sidelines inspired me to keep going.  They had come to see a friend or family member running, but they’d cheer me on by mentioning something specific about me as I ran by them.

You Are An Inspiration

I often remember the crowds that day who came out in the pouring rain and made such a difference in my ability to reach a goal.  Do you realize how often you motivate people?  Sometimes we take for granted or don’t always recognize the ways in which we inspire others.  But we inspire people all the time in ways they remember that aren’t a blip on our radar.

From mile 14 on, I pretty much considered quitting every five minutes.  Then a stranger would say something that boosted my spirits.  None of them remember me.  They saw thousands of runners sprint passed.  They stood in the rain for hours to support a bunch of crazy runners and it was their words of encouragement […]

Hartford Marathon Inspiration2019-10-01T16:20:24-04:00

Excuse Not to Meditate

Though I deem them somewhat vain, I’ve been fascinated by personality tests since taking an online Myer’s Briggs test earlier this year. Then over the weekend I explored the Enneagram personality test. I spent hours of my weekend reading about and listening to podcasts trying to describe who I am and what motivates me. Was I actually learning something or just navel gazing? I do think I came up with an excuse not to meditate. Turns out meditation doesn’t suit my personality.

Nothing I learned came as a surprise. In the Enneagram world I’m a One: the Perfectionist (or more endearingly the Reformer). What does that mean? Apparently, I have pretty strong ethics and want to make the world a better place. In my attempt to achieve these goals I keep myself busy, am OCD (or maybe we can call this organized), can be very critical, set high ideals for myself and others, and I may never learn to meditate—the very gift that might most help me improve the world.

The Perfectionist

As a “Perfectionist” I create lists like they are going out of style. Each night I sit down and write a to-do list that is impossible to achieve in a day. […]

Excuse Not to Meditate2019-08-14T15:04:00-04:00

Meditation: Nothing Required

I got myself geared up to meditate. To prepare, or maybe it would be fair to say to postpone even the prospect of meditation, I considered what I truly required in order to meditate to my full potential. Though all that is essential for mindful introspection is a living body and mind, I decided I needed an entire room devoted to mindful contemplation.

A Meditation Room

Instead of sitting in the chaos of my life and contemplating, breathing, or trying to quiet my mind, I added another item to my to-do list: create a meditation room.

For Christmas I asked for all the items one would need to meditate properly: mandala wall hangings, purple hanging lights made in China, a diffuser with essential oils, and small knick-knacks like a figure of someone sitting cross-legged. With all my items gathered, I took to transforming a small room in the attic into the ideal meditation haven.

Proper Preparation

I entered with vacuum, lemon oil, rags, and paint brushes to wipe the walls of cobwebs and vacuum years of dust and debris. With minimal curses, I dragged out the abandoned futon frame hiding in the room for years. Once […]

Meditation: Nothing Required2019-08-12T12:28:13-04:00

Body Shaming Yourself

Have you ever looked back at a picture of yourself from a few years ago and thought, “I looked good.” But you know that at the time you thought you weren’t good enough. The day of the picture you told yourself you had a bad hair day, thick arms, or weight to lose. We get caught up in body shaming ourselves in little ways, never really thinking we are good enough at the time.

Aside:

I selected the picture here at random.  It’s from 2014 or earlier.  This is an example of a picture that I see now and think I look fine, but at the time I thought I had all sorts of ways to improve myself.  Now, when I catch myself thinking I don’t look good, I try to look at myself from the perspective of Maggie from five years from now.  I’m pretty sure she’s thinking I look great.

Sharing What’s Good

Not long ago I read an article about how women meet up with friends and complain about themselves. They never show up and say, “I look great today,” or “I’m having a great hair day.” Part of that is societal. […]

Body Shaming Yourself2019-07-29T10:51:59-04:00