Time to Turn Off the
Co-Publisher, On the Gay
I was flipping the channels one day last week and I caught the
end of Castway.
You know, the movie where Tom Hanks was marooned on that
island? It's a really good movie. Should I tell you that I now
hear this voice in my head "of course, you say it's a good
movie --- it's a water movie!" It's true. There's
something about movies that are set on or around water. I can
watch them over and over (something my partner at first thought
odd but then progressed to annoying). I love all of them ---
Jaws (even the
awful sequels), Titanic, Perfect Storm,
Abyss...oh, and I love The Beast! That's the one
with the guy from CSI and the giant squid --- I've
watched it a bunch of times.
has nothing to do with what I wanted to tell you about
caught my attention was the final scene. He's at an
intersection of two dirt roads out in the middle of nowhere. It
took a lot for him to get there, including the fortuitous
arrival of a piece of a portable toilet that washed ashore with
the tide one day while he was still trapped on the island. By
rigging it as a sail he was able to escape and finally get back
home. What kept him alive all those years was his love for his
girlfriend and the desire to get back to her. If you've seen
the movie, you know that it wasn't one of those "they lived
happily ever after" homecomings. So, life hasn't turned out at
all the way he had planned or hoped. Now, it was time to start
all over. Time to pick which direction to head. Once he gets
back in the car and starts to drive, his life will be forever
the first day of the New Year --- January 1, 2009. Doesn't feel
much different from a day back in '08, does it? So why do we
make such a big deal about it? Why mark the transition at all?
I think it's because there's a part of us that wants us to pay
attention --- to stop and get our bearings --- make conscious
decisions about where we are and where we want to go. For at
least this one day of the year we make an attempt to turn off
the autopilot and take charge of the controls.
we would function on a more conscious level all the time.
That's what Ann-Marie has been saying --- that being conscious
of making small changes can make enormous differences in your
level of health and fitness, which will totally change your
quality of life. There are other things we can focus on to
enhance, not only our daily lives, but the next stage of our
talking New Year's Resolutions? Hmmm...that's so often a set-up
for failure. Let's just call them suggestions. In fact, so as
to make it as minimally threatening as possible, I will simply
share my goals and if you want to appropriate bits and pieces
for your own, be my guest.
Health/Fitness --- I'm going to commit to
following Ann-Marie's "Fit in a Year" program. I'm even
considering keeping a journal of my progress and posting it on
the OTGH website. There will also be a special section that
will include the different steps of the program as she outlines
recipe section to help you eat healthier.
Suggestions on what to look for in a personal trainer, exercise
facility, running shoes --- all geared toward maximizing
benefits and reducing injuries for those of us who aren't as
young as we used to be. At the end of the year, this program
will be packaged for sale. So take advantage of it now ---
while it's being offered to OTGH newsletter subscribers for
Financial/Legal --- I doubt that anyone
believes more strongly than I do about the importance of wills,
powers of attorney, medical directives, etc. Mine are all in
order and up-to-date but my financial life could use some work.
So, I will be making an appointment with an accountant. What
about you? Did you let another year go by without putting legal
protections in place? No better way to kick off the year. Don't
learn more and take
Relocation --- I've always believed that where
you live is one of the most important decisions you can make.
It affects you every day. So, while it will be difficult to
leave the people I've come to care about here, Texas is not
where I belong. More on this as my relocation strategy unfolds
and our soon to be published relocation guide for the GLBT
community is completed. Ann-Marie tells me that it's getting
close. Have you noticed that she does all the work and I get to
just ramble on in here? Pretty good deal, don't you
Purpose --- I thought long and hard about using
that term but nothing else really fit. I don't know about the
theory that we all come into life with "a
think it more likely that there are many possibilities
and we choose which to focus on at any given time. But
what I do know is that I believe On the Gay Horizon has a
lot of potential to benefit our community and that is
where I want to put my energy.
there's one more that's always on my list ---
Vacation!!! Everybody needs
to get away and have fun. Explore new places, try new things,
stretch the familiar and the comfortable. As I do my own
vacation research, we will share with you the destinations that
stand out and are the most highly rated by our
that's my list for 2009 --- and beyond. I've had a pretty rough
couple of years and I don't expect that's anywhere near over.
But I first saw Castaway several years before my
partner died. There's a line in it that has nudged my
consciousness since she left, but I've not been
willing to listen. Maybe its time I did --- and maybe it's a
pretty good way to approach the New Year.....
"Tomorrow the sun
will rise, who knows what the tide may bring?"
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My dad never made it
through the eighth grade, but I learned some things from
him that become more and more valuable all the
time. He always told us how important it was to use the
right tool for whatever job you were working on. I was thinking
about that as I was putting the pieces of this newsletter
together. Useful, specific tools are exactly what we are
trying to make available to you. Sometimes they are the same as
for our straight friends but, often, they are not. Are there
tools that you use or know about that you would like to
share with OTGH readers? Tell us
about them at email@example.com.
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Will You be Fit in a
One of my favorite writers, Theodore Geisel (a.k.a. Theo Le
Sieg and Dr. Seuss) once wrote:
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it
Let's take that thought into 2009. Let's unleash a
collective grin because we're all still here. And we've
all been given another chance to get it right.
Speaking of getting it right, if improving your health is on
your to-do list this year, we can help. Stay tuned for
our weekly suggestions to help you along the way. We're
calling it Fit in a Year. And it won't be an exercise of
the week. We want to help everyone thrive on all levels
--- physical, emotional, intellectual --- because we believe
they are inseparable --- and essential.
So, the first thing we'll need is a benchmark. A place to
start. This week will be a physical assessment.
Choose one of these measurements: if you have a set of
stairs handy, see how many times you can run up and down a
flight of them in one minute. If you haven't any stairs,
try this: Jump rope or do Jumping Jacks for 60 seconds.
If your knees hurt, do the Jacks where you only step out on one
side and then the other --- no jumping. Count the
jumps/minute. Notice your heart rate. You should
feel a bit warm and out of breath. This exercise measures your
aerobic capacity: your ability to convert stored fuel to
energy-on-demand and the strength of your heart muscle.
The higher your aerobic ability and the stronger your heart
muscle, the more efficiently your body will work.
The number you get now is for your record. No analyzing
it. What we'll look for is improvement 6 weeks from now
--- around Valentines Day.
After you take this measurement, go outside for a walk.
Even if it's cold. Bundle up. Just get outside and
DO IT, to steal a wonderfully succinct message. Get out
of your house or apartment. Feed your eyes, your nose and
your heart. Think about how you feel physically and
mentally as you walk. Walk as long as you
When you return, note any changes. Did your heartrate
increase? Are you seeing your home a bit
differently? Are you more relaxed? It's important
that you connect this movement to the way you feel
I'm betting you'll feel better. And that's the goal this
year. To feel better.
And smile because it happened.
[Editor's Note: Ann-Marie Giglio, besides being a
professional writer and the co-publisher of On the
Gay Horizon, is the owner of a fitness
studio focused on improving quality of life through the
mind/body connection. She is a certified ChiRunning and
ChiWalking instructor, AFAA certified Personal Trainer
and Group Fitness instructor and SCW certified Pilates
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When is a dime worth
more than ten cents?