Saturday, July 25, 2015

Georgia On My Mind

Fifty-four years ago this month I left my relatively sheltered life on the banks of Lake Ontario from the small town of Webster, New York to begin a new life in Atlanta, Georgia. It was quite a transition from being surrounded by the red maple trees and rural life in western New York to the tall pine trees and red dirt of north Georgia. At that time, Atlanta was just an up and coming city trying to make a name for itself.

My oldest sister, Jan, and her husband, Curt, lived here and it was at their invitation that I made the big move. My high school diploma was still wet and I needed a place to go to get some advanced education.  My high school goal was to attend a small campus of the New York State University system and major in education and international studies. My family’s finances could not make that dream a reality, so I flew to Georgia to attend a much more reasonably priced Executive Secretarial program that would train me to enter the workforce sooner rather than later.

It was at times a difficult adjustment due to the different cultures. The Old South was still very much a reality in the early Sixties and as a Yankee my accent and interests stood out like a sore thumb. I think everyone assumed that when I got my training that I would return to New York to look for a job. A funny thing happened on the way to graduation.  I decided I liked the Southern lifestyle and especially the weather—no blistering cold and lake effect snows for five months every year.

So many good things have happened to me since I left my comfort zone and embarked on a new way of life. Interesting jobs, marriage, children, a spiritual renewal, more education, a second marriage, a liver transplant, and good health in my later years to enjoy all that God has provided.

I have been blessed with Southern girlfriends who at times tease me about my Yankee roots. When I moved here I was 100% Yankee. But now based on the number of years I’ve lived here, I am 25% Yankee and 75% Southern. 

My memoir, Born Three Times—A New Life, A New, A New Love, fills in the blanks and tells the rest of my story. It tells the story of God’s amazing gift of second chances and provides inspiration for those who are going through difficult times. I would like to reach more people with the message of my book. You can help by clicking below on my Frieda Dixon, Author Facebook Page. After you open my page, be sure to click LIKE. My goal is 100 LIKES which will help me become more visible on Facebook. Thanks for your help and support of my blog.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Look and Feel Younger

Let’s face it, we are all growing older. We may kick and scream, but we can’t stop the process, and I am not ready quite yet for the alternative. Online articles abound with advice on how to age gracefully. Recent ones include: Remove your Eye Bags Instantly, This Trick Erases Teeth Stains, 68 Year Old Grandma Outsmarts Botox, and The Secrets to Aging Gracefully. I usually read them because I just might learn something. The one bit of advice that appears in all articles has to do with exercise. I also get unsolicited urging from my late bloomer mate who exercises in some form or fashion almost every day. He is on a three mile hike in hot weather as I write this.

Until two years ago, I participated in deep water aquatics at the YMCA. I decided to give up swimming because I was getting too many colds and infections. Then my excuse became something like this quote from an unknown author.
 "I tried exercise but found I was allergic to it - my skin flushed, my heart raced,
I got sweaty, short of breath. Very, very dangerous."

Then I read Fifteen Ways Exercise Helps You Look and Feel Younger. Who doesn’t want to relieve stress, reduce belly fat, have better sleep, and be more flexible? After checking out the options for an exercise program in my area, I finally decided to join two fitness classes at our local senior center. It was time to get out of my comfy chair and take to heart a doctor’s admonition to his patient, 

“I’m afraid pulling the handle on your recliner doesn’t count as exercise.” 

I was surprised to discover that I could get a pretty strenuous workout by using a straight chair for support while I use weights and a resistance band to stretch my legs, arms, and torso. My second class is a gentle Yoga class that helps with balance and relaxation. I can do this without injuring myself and get myself in better shape in the process.

God placed me in this body to accomplish His purposes while I am still here. I can’t do that if I am too sluggish to move and am unmotivated and lazy. I want to be able to say like the apostle Paul did in 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”