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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the difference between happiness and joy. Happy is what most people say they want to be. Happy is ripping open presents, enjoying our favorite meal, or watching our football team score the winning touchdown. Happiness is dancing and singing. Happiness is an emotion that fills us, makes us smile, laugh, and emanate an energy that others respond to. However, sometimes happiness can be tied to an outcome we are seeking. I’ll be happy when….  If our goals aren’t met, or things don’t go exactly the way we planned, or we don’t get the gift we were hoping for then we may not allow ourselves to be happy.

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Driving in Cape Coral, especially during the winter, can be an interesting experience. We have drivers from all over the country and around the world. This time of year the roads are crowded!

Not long ago, I was running errands. I had been to the gym, stopped at a local shop to buy Roscoe and Smudge’s  treats and was on my way to the next stop. My holiday music played, the sun was bright, and the decorations lined the street.

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I’m heartbroken. I’m in shock. I was sure she was going to win. I didn’t believe for a second that there were that many people who were angry enough to vote for him. I live in Lee County. I saw the signs and bumper stickers, but then I’d talk to people at the gym, in the store, in my neighborhood and hear kindness, not anger.

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Love. I stopped at the vet to pick up Roscoe and Smudge’s heart and flea meds. My mind raced with everything on my to-do list. The line to check-out was long. I waited. That’s when an open door caught my attention. A metal table. A towel. A tiny brown body lying still.

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Sometimes life lessons appear in the strangest places like in the bathroom of Castle Golf. I loved these rules. Number eight, ten, and twelve are my favorites. I would add rule number 15: Find things to be grateful for every day.

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I barely had a chance to form an opinion about my body before one was imposed on me. When you understand where your beliefs come from only then can you change them.

The Very Beginning

Fat! was bad. Very bad. This was the message I received before elementary school. There were several significant events from those early years that helped shape my view of my body and expectations of being female. After all, it really was okay for men to be overweight. They didn’t go on diets. It was the women who had to be slim. Men never complained about their bodies–only women did. But why? Was it because they felt judged by men?

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