Clear Change Program: day 7 Just Do It

Today I learned about…

Headspace-it’s a meditation app. Meditation is such an important part of an overall wellness plan. And why not use an app with guided meditation? I just did ten minutes today, but it definitely helped me unwind at the end of the day.

I didn’t get to the gym today like I usually do on Saturdays because I didn’t want to leave my daughter alone. So today was a stay inside and get stuff done kind of day. Toward the middle of the afternoon, I started feeling aches and pains from sitting at the computer for a while. So tonight, I took an epsom salt bath, did ten minutes of meditation, and some gentle stretching. I’ve been so sore recently I can’t seem to do much more. My body is telling me to slow down, so I’m listening. The detox program guide does advise slowing down. Although I could benefit from a bit more movement/exercise, I’m having trouble getting it in this week due to everything going on and my annoying aches and pains.

One week into the detox, and I’m starting to get used to it. My craving for wine is gone. I went to the grocery store and just got fish and produce for myself and didn’t feel tempted to get anything off the restricted diet. I did get other stuff for my kids of course, and I ended up making three dinners: one for me, something different for my son, and another dinner for my daughter who just had a tonsil/adenoidectomy. It’s tiring keeping up with the shopping and the cooking! But my dinner was actually quite tasty, and I managed to get in all the shakes and supplements as instructed today.

I notice the mornings get away from me in terms of eating. I have a shake and a cup of coffee and then I don’t have much else for a while. I have to work on having a morning snack more consistently and eating lunch at a decent time. During the week while I’m working I’m better about it than the weekends.

I just can’t seem to go without any coffee at all. I am SO tired in the morning. This morning especially because I had to set my alarm to wake every couple of hours to give my daughter medicine.

Breakfast: smoothie with apple, ultraclear renew, GI replenish, probiomax, and water. One cup of coffee with half and half and agave.

Morning snack: apple and celery

Lunch: ultraclear renew drink

Afternoon snack: ultraclear renew drink

Dinner: baked cod with olive oil, garlic, sea salt, peppers, and scallions. Garlic braised broccoli. Salad with romaine, cucumbers, and radishes.

Night time snack: ultraclear renew drink with GI replenish and probiomax.


I am looking forward to eating more of a variety of food again starting tomorrow! And I’m proud of myself for making it seven days so far on this program.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

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Clear Change Program: day 6 Just Do It

Today I noticed my energy level to be…

Today I didn’t go to work because I took my daughter to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. My energy level was around medium, not high, not low. As the mom, I had to be strong and guide my daughter through a scary process. I had to be a caring, loving, reassuring presence so my focus was on her instead of myself.

Breakfast: ultra clear renew drink, GI boost, and probiomax

Lunch: leftover salmon with peas, another ultra clear renew drink.

Dinner: more leftover salmon with kidney beans, broccoli, and peas, another ultra clear renew drink with a pear.

Snack: ultra clear renew drink, GI boost, probiomax

I had one cup of coffee today and no wine again. The slogan “just do it” is kind of helping me get through the day. I’m not particularly excited about the food choices, but i know in few days I’ll be back to eating more of a variety.  I just need to do it for the sake of my health.

I did notice that my stomach doesn’t hurt like it usually does. That’s really good news as I usually constantly have a stomach ache.  Like when I press on my abdomen it’s sore. I’ve had a CT scan and abdominal ultrasound and everything is normal. They say if it’s inflammation those tests won’t catch it. So it makes me wonder if my pain is from inflammation and now it’s going away because of the detox. If that’s the case, wow! It makes me a little nervous to return to my normal diet and eating/drinking habits.

Thanks for reading this entry.

Clear Change Program Detox: day 3 Elimination Time 

Today I feel inspired to…

eat healthy! This is the first day of the more restricted diet. I was worried about only eating fish and legumes only for protein, but I am not hungry at all, and I stuck to the diet today eating enough to have a full belly.

When I stepped on the scale this morning, I was already a few pounds lighter. My pants are fitting a little looser.  I can feel something changing in my body already.  I also noticed a slight decrease in my chronic pain today. However, I’m not feeling my best overall yet though. Feeling very tired today.

Breakfast:  one cup coffee, smoothie with mango, spinach, chia seeds, coconut milk, ultra clear renew, ultra GI replenish, and probiomax plus DF.

Lunch:  baked cod with olive oil, garlic, lemon, sea salt & pepper, salad with romaine, kale, cucumber, celery, avocado, basil, sauerkraut, and black beans.

Snack:  Coconut milk with ultra flora balance and GI boost.

Dinner, leftover cod and salad with broccoli and butternut squash with coconut oil, sea salt and pepper.

Snack: blackberries

Plus I drank a lot of water and didn’t drink any wine again.  I’m feeling confident now that I can make it ten days without any wine.  I feel inspired to give this process my 100% effort so I can reap the most benefits.

Heading to bed so I can work on getting a lot of sleep as well. Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Clear Change Program Detox Day 1 Ready.Set.Go.

I started this program because…

Today is the first day of a ten day detox program I am going to follow.  Below is a picture of the kit I bought from my chiropractor.  I chose to start this program because I recently had some lab tests done, and apparently my liver enzymes are a bit elevated.  I’ve been taking Naproxen since July for pain, so my doctor (a rheumatologist I saw because of chronic back pain) told me to stop taking it and to reduce alcohol.  After discussing it with my chiropractor, he suggested I do the full detox which involves ten days with no alcohol, a restricted diet, and nutritional supplements to support the metabolic detoxification process in the liver and rebuilding the probiotics in the gut.

X-rays showed that I have degenerative (wear and tear) arthritis throughout my spine, and apparently the neck and back muscles spasm in response to try to stabilize the joints.  My chiropractor said that liver and intestinal inflammation can also cause pain, so I’m hoping a natural detox will be a step in the right direction in the fight against chronic pain as well as lowering my liver enzymes in my blood.

I’m excited, and I’m also nervous. I want to increase my overall health, but it’s going to be a challenge for me to follow all the guidelines.  Blogging about my daily experiences is a great way for me to process everything and to share my experiences with my friends and family.

I’ve read over all the materials, and I’m prepared for the restricted diet.  I already have a restricted diet due to food allergies, so it’s not far off from how I normally eat.  But I can only eat meats on days 1-2 and 9-10.  Days 3-8 I’m allowed either fish or legumes for protein. That will be different for me.  I’m also supposed to avoid shellfish, which I love!  Days 3-8, fruits are also restricted to just apples, pears, lemon, lime, and avocados.  Days 5-7, vegetables are restricted to cruciferous vegetables, raw greens, onions, leeks, garlic, and scallions.  I don’t eat any grains at all, so I won’t be consuming them even on the days they are allowed (they allow rice and gluten free grains except corn on days 1-2 and 9-10).  I already don’t eat much dairy (just half and half in my coffee, cheese, and greek yogurt), so it won’t be too hard for me to avoid that. Although, I am worried about eliminating coffee altogether. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to do that, but I will at least reduce it.  All of the other foods on the “avoid” list are already not part of my diet (processed meats, processed oils, refined sugars, peanuts/peanut butter, dairy products, eggs, non-water drinks, etc.

Today, I ate pretty regularly and only took the ProBiomax plus DF supplement.

Breakfast: One cup of coffee with half and half and agave, smoothie with pineapple, spinach, chia seeds, and coconut milk

Snack: Kombucha drink (no sugar)

Lunch: Organic turkey with homemade gravy (garbanzo bean flour), cranberry sauce with agave nectar, kale salad with cucumbers and garbanzo beans

Snack: raw almonds with golden raisins

Dinner:  Turkey soup with yellow squash, mushrooms, carrots, rosemary, thyme, scallions, garlic

No wine, yay me! Instead, I had some healthy cucumber and ginger infused water with basil and mint in a wine glass just for the fun of holding the glass.  Honestly, it didn’t really matter about the glass, and I did just fine without any wine.  I also tried to drink a lot of water as recommended (64 oz. per day is the recommendation).

I’m hoping not only to lower my liver enzymes but also for improved sleep, digestion, clearer skin, and more energy.  Wish me luck!

For more information on the detox program, check out their website by clicking here.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

detox

Tattoo You

Do you have tattoos? When did you get them? Why did you get them?

I waited until I was in my forties to get my first tattoo because I wanted to be sure of any artwork I chose to place permanently on my body. My first tattoo was of my (now ex) husband’s name with Korean symbols for love and family next to it. Likewise, he got the same Korean symbols and my name in the middle. We thought this was a good idea at the time.

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A year later I got a yin/yang with all four of our kids’ names all around it. We both had older kids from previous relationships and we had two together. There was balance.

About a year after that I got a heart with wings and a halo on my upper back. I did that with my father and some friends in mind whom I’ve lost over the years. It’s a way of reminding myself that love is eternal.

Now that I’m divorced, I decided to cover up my ex’s name. He’s removing mine from his body, but I decided to leave his there and to grow on top of it much like I am doing in real life. He’s still a part of me and my life but plays a much different role now in the background. On top of all of that, a new me is growing and my new relationship is growing. Something old is evolving into something new and beautiful. Just like my new tattoo on top if the old one.

My artist went back over his name with white first and then redid the symbols so they would be just as black as my new piece. It’s ironic that in getting rid of the old tattoo, I had it completely traced over again essentially. It’s like the universe saying to me, ‘look you’re starting over but don’t forget where you came from.’

I had the outline done first and just went back today for the colors and shading. I’m super happy with my new piece!

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Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 9: True Forgiveness #yogagirlchallenge

Forgiveness is today’s challenge, to let go of past grudges and hurts, to let go of blame, shame, and guilt. Forgiving others and ourselves is a powerful way of releasing negative energy and freeing ourselves from the clenches of the past. It’s a way of accepting things the way they are instead of being upset and wishing they were different.

Over the years, I feel that I’ve already done a lot of work in this area and have forgiven others who may have hurt me and have let go of any grudges I held against other people. I feel much more peaceful inside and willing to go with the flow of life. I’ve also forgiven myself for things I’ve done wrong and have stopped judging and criticizing myself.

Today, the person I need to forgive is myself-for eating foods that I know I can’t tolerate due to allergies/sensitivities.

These are dyshidrotic eczema blisters on my finger that I get as an allergic reaction to offending foods. They are painful, fluid filled blisters that itch intensely and pop open then crack and bleed as they split into fissures. This painful condition affects the feet and hands. I also get regular eczema (red, itchy patches) on my face, neck, and body as well as hives and a stomach ache for a while.

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This is what happens after just a few meals of no-no foods. If I continue to eat what I like it will get really bad. So I try every day every snack every meal to make the right choices. It’s a very restrictive diet (no grains, sugar, eggs, vinegar, nightshade vegetables) and most of the time I have a lot of self-discipline. But sometimes I mess up and then I pay the price for about a week or two. I won’t fall on the floor and die, but I will continue to get sicker and sicker if I don’t stop.

Click here to see more pictures and read an earlier post about my dyshidrotic eczema (before I changed my diet in may 2013. It used to be really bad!

It’s kind of a vicious cycle because I will eat really clean for a while and feel great. Then I will have a craving and think maybe I can handle a little bit. So I will eat something that’s off limits, and even though my mouth and my stomach are happy at the moment, the reaction happens every.single.time. You would think I would learn that no I can’t handle even a little bit!

I forgive myself for messing up a few times in the past week. It’s tough to have self discipline all the time every single day. My body is telling me it needs a clean diet to run properly. So I’m thankful I have figured out why I used to have so many symptoms and how to change my diet so I feel healthy and well. Just like falling off the Paddleboad during yoga class on the ocean, I will get back up and try again. Tomorrow’s a new day, and I can start again.

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I’m loving this challenge so far and trying to weave as many days together as possible. Did some yin yoga at home today as I felt super tired and needed some relaxation and restoration. I’ve been on time everywhere I’ve needed to go. Drank lemon water, walked my dogs, meditated before bed and in the morning. Cassidy’s educational fund grew even more, and I’ve been kind to everyone I’ve come into contact with.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Self Care Sunday: Swimming

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I love swimming. This is a picture of the indoor lap pool at my gym, where I swim frequently. I’ve mentioned swimming before in a Self Care Sunday entry. It’s one of the ways I take care of myself because it’s a whole body, low-impact sport.   It’s easy on the joints because the water makes our bodies more buoyant. Yet, it’s strengthening and challenging to move ourselves through the water for a sustained period of time.

As a child, I took swimming lessons in elementary school I think. I do remember learning all four of the strokes and how to complete a flip-turn. I was on the diving team for one summer but never on the swim team. I mainly swam for fun at the neighborhood pool.

As an adult, I rediscovered swimming when I became interested in triathlons. To train for a sprint distance triathlon in 1998, I started swimming laps at the gym pool. I learned from a friend to do a set of sixteen laps, take a short rest, then a set of twelve, eight, and four laps and sprint the final two laps of every set. It took about 45 minutes.

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We spend family time together in this pool (indoors) all year. There’s another pool with water slides outdoors that’s open for an extended season depending on outdoor temperatures.  Spending time together as a family swimming, sliding, playing basketball, and throwing the football is a fun way to relax and enjoy weekends.

I spend a lot of time going back and forth from the pool to the jacuzzi.  It’s good for circulation to go back and forth between heat and cold.  Plus, I love the jets! They feel like getting a massage.  There is also a sauna (coed) and steam room (female only) for the ultimate spa type experience.  Feels so good.

 

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!20131203-214112.jpg

#Handstand365 Challenge

day1

Day 1

This picture (above) was taken a few days before mother’s day in May 2013.  I was messing around in the front yard and decided to do a handstand for no reason. I also did a cartwheel on the sidewalk.  Seven years ago when we first moved to Texas, I could still do an aerial in our front yard. Not any more.

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day 2

Then I saw that my friend on Facebook started doing a challenge called #handstand365.  Lauren Rudick started it. She’s a yoga instructor who is popular on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.  Here is her website and a link to the #handstand365 challenge:

http://www.avignayoga.com/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8936/the-365-day-handstand-challenge.html

 

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Day 3

I started doing a handstand every day, knowing I probably wouldn’t do one every single day for a year, but I wanted to try to do 365 of them nonetheless.  I started handstanding in the different places I went like the Dallas World Aquarium.  Yes, people looked at me, but I didn’t care!

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Day 5

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Day 6

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Day 7

Day 8

Day 8

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Day 9

I practiced at home a lot, including putting my feet up against the wall for support.  I usually do yoga daily at home, so I incorporated handstands into my practice just for fun and balance and practice being in the moment.

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Day 10

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Day 11

I went out with friends and did handstands in the hallway of the hotel we stayed at for July 4th.  I had a few drinks before this picture.  I fell down and crashed my leg pretty hard.

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Day 12-at the pool

Yes, I asked a lifeguard to take my picture doing a handstand at the pool.  Looking back, I can tell I was still suffering from bloating from gluten allergy.  I got off gluten in May 2012.

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Day 13

This is my spot where I exercise in front of the television at our house. I keep a yoga mat, physio ball, foam roller, strap, and weights in our living room so I can stretch and strengthen while we watch tv at night.

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Day 14

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Day 15

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Day 16

This picture was taken at Texas Rangers’ Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  My husband coaches my son’s baseball team, and we had the end of the year party at a Rangers’ game.  Fun times!

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Day 17

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Day 18

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Day 19-at the baseball ballpark

Took this picture after one of my son’s baseball games.

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Day 20 at the gym

I love doing handstands in the pool!

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Day 21 – at Texas Tech Rec. Center

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Day 22 – Texas Tech University

I went to see my daughter at Texas Tech this summer and got in a few handstands while I was there.

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day 23

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Day 24 – at the Omni Las Colinas

Another hotel hallway handstand. Yes, my friends did them too, but we didn’t get pictures!

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Day 25 – at the Hickey’s house

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Day 26 – Destin, FL

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Day 27 – at Pelagic Surf Shop in Destin, FL

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Day 28 – Destin, FL

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Day 29-Destin, FL

The pictures from Destin were the last ones from the summer. My back pain flared up really badly, and I realized I wasn’t doing the hanstands yoga style. So I took a little break to learn to do them right. I wrote about it here.

Day30-at the gym

Day 30-at the gym

The other day, I decided to start again. Now I do them correctly (yoga style). I start in downward-facing dog, kick up with one leg and then bring up the other leg until I balance.  I’m going to keep trying until I get to 365.

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Day 31

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Day 32-at the gym

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Perot museum: Animals Inside Out

Check out these pictures from the Animals: Inside Out exhibit at the Perot Museum in Dallas, Texas.  It’s a special exhibit with various animals including humans after going through a process called ‘plastination.’  Bodies are preserved and turned into plastic, making it possible to see anatomy of living things like never before.  It was a fascinating experience to see the complex body systems that make up the diversity of life!20131028-141439.jpg

Above is a picture of an octupus.  Below is the reflection of its underside.20131028-141516.jpg

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Close-up of the eye of a giant squid. Beautiful, I think!20131028-143200.jpg

Two giant squids with tentacles entwined.20131028-143218.jpg

A Mako shark, the fastest in the world.  A student volunteer said they can swim up to 88 miles an hour (that we know of).  What a fun volunteer job, working at a nature and science museum.20131028-143308.jpgA

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This is a camel, and its neck and head have been sliced into three sections to show different levels of its anatomy.  It was quite large. I’ve never seen a camel in real life before.20131028-143702.jpg

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This is the blood vessel network in a dog!  How did they do that?  It’s obviously dyed red for effect.20131028-143749.jpg

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I stopped and looked at the human leg for a long time, as well as the entire human body.  I’ve seen human anatomy in books, but that’s it.  My legs are frequently sore, stiff, and painful after seven surgeries on the right and one on the left. So, I found it fascinating to look at the musculature and try to ascertain which ones I feel aching from time to time.  20131030-130738.jpg

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20131028-143638.jpgThis was amazing, a cat’s nervous system!  How did they take it out of its body intact like that?  I assume our nervous systems look similar.  Mind completely blown!

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Happiness Survey

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1.  Are you happy when you wake up in the morning? Why or why not?  Usually no, I am not happy when I wake up in the morning because I need a lot of sleep and rarely get it.  I am usually grumpy because I am still tired and my joints are stiff and achy in the mornings.  I found out I had sleep apnea and had the UPPP surgery to carve out the back of my throat and make it easier to breathe at night. After retesting, I still have mild sleep apnea, although I was much worse before the surgery.  Regardless, I still need around ten hours of sleep to feel good.

2.  If you could transport to the happiest place in the world, where would you be?  Hawaii, specifically Kaui or Maui.  They are both beautiful islands with beautiful beaches, and I am at my best when I’m at the beach.  I went to Hawaii twice in 1999 and 2000 and visited Hawaii, Maui, and Kaui.  Loved the tropical beaches, snorkeling, and swimming.

3.  What activity or hobby do you feel the happiest doing?  Probably yoga. It’s a close call with swimming, but I’m going to go with yoga.  It is relaxing and helps manage my pain, and it’s also strengthening. Yoga teaches me to slow down and pay attention to my breath and the present moment. It teaches me how to be calm and peaceful.  I do a little yoga every single day, and I go to yoga classes a few times a week.

4.  Is your happiness dependent on other people or yourself?  I am learning to depend on myself for happiness. Depending on other people for happiness is a recipe for disappointment.  Happiness is really a mindset of positivity and gratefulness.  No matter how bad things get, it helps to look at the world through humble, grateful eyes.

5.  Do you think happiness is luck or is it a practiced mindset?  I think happiness is a practiced mindset. Maybe when we are children, happiness might be based on luck, but when we are adults with a conscious choice over our attitudes, happiness becomes a mindset.  Without practice, it doesn’t work.  We don’t have to be happy all the time, but knowing HOW to be happy regardless of circumstances is a skill that needs practice.  Every day, we have a choice of how we will look at the world and our lives.  I think to choose a happy mindset means to wake up each day humble and grateful for everything we have.  I think choosing a happy mindset is something that takes work.

6.  What is something small that always makes you happy?  Snuggling.  I love hugging. I love affection.  Snuggling with my husband or kids always makes me happy, even though it’s a little thing.

7.  What is something about you that has never changed since you were little?  My eyes have never changed since I was little.  I’m half Korean and used to get teased about being asian when I was a kid.  I even asked my mom if I could have the surgery to change my eyes.  Thankfully, she said no.  Today, I am proud of my asian heritage and love that all three of my kids got my asian eyes.

8.  What would your younger self tell your current self to do today?  Play. Climb trees. Ride bikes. Swim.  Have fun.  Hang out with your friends. It will all be ok.

9. Is fear of failure holding you back from a certain goal?  Possibly, yes. I want to take Calculus since I never had to take it in college.  I took College Algebra in 2007 and still need to take Trigonometry and Precalculus before I can take Calculus.  I met a friend when I took College Algebra, and he died in a tragic accident.  It made me not want to go back to community college. I don’t want to be out of my peer group again and risk making those relationships.  It just hurts too much.  I’ve studied Trigonometry online at khanacademy.org , but I haven’t completed the class for credit yet.

10.  At age 100, what would be one thing you would regret not doing/trying?  I think I would regret it if I never went to Korea to try to find my family there.  My dad was born and raised there, and his parents died before I ever met them.  My father took my brother there without me when I was in my 20s and I was so hurt by that. I wonder if I will ever meet my Korean family.  I’d like to try, but I don’t know if it will ever happen.

I’d love to hear your answers to these questions!  Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out.

Sunset on Kauai

Sunset on Kauai (Photo credit: Robert Gourley)