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by Carole Carson, AARP, October 16, 2009
When I posted the topic, "Who's Feeling Discouraged?" I wanted to hear from members who were struggling to make changes. I encouraged members to tell us what was going on in their lives.
Several people courageously responded, although one, hAndiMom, said she responded out of desperation rather than courage. She's a single parent raising a teenage daughter and a 20-year-old college-student son while working at a demanding job. She worries about mounting bills and the maintenance involved in keeping a household going. (As a single parent of two kids, I could relate to her story.)
At the beginning of her post, hAndiMom describes various obstacles to fitness. By the end of the post, however, she reports, "Having this opportunity to let all this come out has helped me to have a more positive outlook!"
As I'd promised when I elicited comments from discouraged members, sharing ourselves is like opening a window that brings in a refreshing breeze of sweet air. Confiding our thoughts and worries in members who've either been there or can relate to our situation makes us feel better.
I encouraged hAndiMom to keep her focus. She is a powerful example to her children—particularly her daughter—of how to take care of themselves. At an immediate level, as the breadwinner, hAndiMom has a financial responsibility to maintain her health. She can't afford to let her health deteriorate.
Getting and staying fit will allow hAndiMom to continue supporting her household on her own. In addition, in a very short time, her children will be grown and independent. By getting and staying in good shape, hAndiMom will be able to enjoy the freedom she will have earned and the grandchildren who will likely follow.
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