Plugged in yet Still Unplugged………

While I have been a bit unplugged from social media, we have been back in town since last Wednesday and I have been back on my regular work schedule since Thursday.  So yes, I will be at the gym for all my regularly scheduled classes this week and for as far as I can see!  It is definitely Ellen’s turn to take vacation next (though that is not until May).

Whenever I am on vacation or spending real quality time with friends/family, I try to unplug from almost all technology.  My photos suffer from this choice, but everything else benefits.  I have noticed that people seem to look at at their “devices,” and then often are annoyed.  Whether it’s an email from work, a voicemail that could wait, or a post on Facebook, our “device” often alters our mood, even if just for the moment.

So if I have missed your birthday/anniversary or a special Facebook holiday–(as if Hallmark holidays weren’t enough!) I apologize and send you lots of love and good wishes!

One thing I have not detached from is the 21 day meditation challenge.  While I am a couple of days behind, I have managed to stay on it and today my centering thought was “I find myself in a world created by love.”  I am not sure exactly what has happened in our world to cause some to think ANYTHING is more important than love.  I do know love begins in our own hearts.  The quote shared on the meditation site is timely—

“This world is in deep trouble, but it can be swiftly healed by the balm of love.”  RUMI

So as you go through your day, and I do understand that we have become dependent on our “devices,” notice how you feel or what you see in others after they check their messages, or catch up on social media.  Awareness is EVERYTHING.  Whatever doesn’t serve you—let it go!  And above all else, remember that love IS the answer!

I admit to being conflicted about the importance of un-plugging, yet still opting to blog.  So please read or don’t read……whatever makes YOU happier!  Namaste


Remembering Lori….Today and EVERY Day! marks 4 weeks since the sudden passing of our niece, Lori.  We were asked, at her service,  to “remember Lori.”  Every day, in her honor and memory, I try to fill in my “dash” with a little more than I might have before this tragic loss which was a HUGE reminder that there are no guarantees in life, and I remember Lori.  We often say “tomorrow is another day,” but I don’t say it anymore.  I am sure Lori expected to wake up on Saturday morning and have a regular weekend with her family and friends.  In life, we really do only have NOW.

So for now, I am off to class.  Then I will be taking some time off to be with Mitch, Derek and Jolene.  YAY!  Tomorrow there will be NO 9:30 class.  Monday Ellen will be holding up the fort, subbing at 8:30 and 11:30.  Tuesday night both classes are cancelled.  Wednesday Ellen will be pinch hitting again at 8:30 and 11:30.  I will be back on schedule Thursday, Friday and Saturday so on.

Thank you all so much for your support.  I am so lucky to have the most amazing people in my life and I am grateful for that every single day.

Enjoy your day.  Make it special.

How Do You Live Your Dash?

We are back from our extremely emotional trip to NY.  Flying up for the funeral of our 43 year old niece, Lori, was definitely the hardest trip we ever made.  Thanks to my big sister and brother-in-law for taking fantastic care of us in every way.

We learned a lot about life on this trip.  Lori was a big ball of love and in return, was loved by everyone.  There was no way of telling how many people showed up to honor her and pay their respects to her family, because there were people everywhere you turned.  The stories were all the same.  Her thoughtfulness and willingness to extend herself to anyone that needed a hand, was the constant thread in each story shared.   One woman told us the story about how she had come from Japan about 10 years ago and her son, who spoke very little English, was in pre-school with the twins.  The woman who had no met friends yet, was diagnosed with cancer.  Lori stepped right up offering to transport her son and do whatever she could to help the woman with her son.  The woman came to the funeral to let her family know that Lori made her a better person.  Everyone who’s life was touched by Lori expressed that same sentiment.

Lori lived her life.  She made each day count.  She worked hard at home and at work.  She volunteered at school, at baseball and at Girl Scouts.  She took care of her dad (my brother) when he was living in her and her family’s home and dying of pancreatic cancer.   She was a great wife, sister, aunt, cousin, niece and friend.  She loved her animals,  Candy Crush, going to the movies on Friday nights, playing pool, watching the fights.  She loved the Rock.  I wish she had gotten to meet him.  She loved her huge extended family but nothing held a torch to the love she had for her twins, who she tried very hard to have and worked so hard to help them become the beautiful young adults they are today.

At the funeral, a poem that many of us have heard before was recited.  It’s worth repeating.

My niece only lived 43 years, but her dash was extraordinary.

Thank you so much to everyone who was so kind, generous and loving these past 10 days.   Your kind words, hugs, texts, messages, donations, help with the house and work…all mean so much to me and our family.

We did a lot in NYC in honor of Lori and the dash.  We walked everywhere in that amazing city and saw things we never saw before.  Today, it is back to work and continuing to work the dash.

I hope you will read that poem and work on your own dash.

A very happy birthday to Jolene, Jolene who we love to pieces and who definitely knows how to live each day to it’s fullest.   Keep living the dash, Jolene and enjoy your day!






We Are Family

Yesterday was by far, one of the most emotional days ever.  After finding out about the ridiculously premature passing of our niece, we became part of the “walking around in a state of shock,” gang.   Knowing exercise is always better for EVERY part of us, I went and taught at 9:30.  As I said to my sister, after over 30 years of teaching fitness, I have become extremely skilled at leaving my personal “stuff” at the door when I enter a fitness facility, knowing that if it’s important, it will be right there where I left it, on the way out, and the feeling of accomplishment mixed with the endorphins, really does help, even on the worst of days.  Needless to say, my “stuff” was right where I left it.

Mitch and I had decided a couple of weeks ago, that we wanted to attend the rally for Bob Levinson, yesterday in Coral Springs, so we decided to stick with that plan instead of walking around feeling helpless.  If you are reading this and you aren’t sure who Bob Levinson is, PLEASE do a google search, click the link above, or look for his page on Facebook.  He is the longest American to be held in captivity–9 years– (believed to have been held in Iran).  He happens to have lived and raised his family of 7 children, right here in my town, Coral Springs.  While my emotional state was already so fragile, listening to each of his children speak was absolutely heart wrenching, and tears were uncontrollable for the entire afternoon. Each speaking about all the moments that have been so important, that they have missed sharing with their dad.  Each of us in attendance was asked to keep talking about Bob as part of their @whataboutBob campaign, so here I am…talking again.  Please pass it on, for there is no doubt about what the power of caring people AND the social media can accomplish!

This message hit home when I looked at Facebook this morning.  I saw that a couple of pages were started by some of my niece’s friends.  There is one page called a food train which allows people to either pick a day they want to bring food to my nephew and the twins, or donate money for food to be brought in.  The second page is a GOFUND me page which a friend of the family started less than 24 hours ago.  Last time I checked it was well over 23,o00 dollars!!!   I always knew how much Lori was loved but this is just amazing and my heart is so touched by all the hands coming together to hold her family up at this most difficult time.  Reading the comments, it is so clear that EVERYONE who came in contact with her, was taken by how big her heart was.   Additionally, my nephew is a police officer, and I know his fellow officers and co-workers will continue to have his and his family’s back.  For all of this, I am so grateful.

Sarah, Lori and Dave…

I am taking things one day at a time, so I am still here in Florida.  I WILL be teaching and training tomorrow on my regular schedule.  Things will remain on schedule until you hear otherwise.  If you are a gym student, please continue to check this site regularly.  As I said yesterday, Ellen will be here for 8:30am or 11:30 SilverSneakers, IF I am not.

Thanks to all of you for all your love, kindness, generosity and support.  Your family, my family, the Levinson family–We are really all very much the same and very much connected.  Much love………..