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Hello and greetings from half a century of living! That's right, I turned 50 this week. We finished up a vacation in North Carolina where I got to fish with two of my kids, we swam every day, we made sand castles and ate lots of unhealthy delicious food. It was a fun week with everyone except my oldest, who had to be in Dayton for graduate school.

Coming back, there was a pile of mail, the garden overflowed (it rained all week at our home), and there's all the piles of stuff from vacation we need to sort and sift through. Returning to ordinary life means, getting kids to do math, to read, to play outside, to play inside (a game), and to engage each other rather than become glued to a machine. I've also decided that we need to re-institute the runner's club we invented last summer, so as to make sure sloth me and all of my kiddos who aren't already doing it themselves, exercise. We will test out the process tonight after dinner.

We also have the aftermath of vacation. No routine set everyone's clocks backwards, such that bedtimes become an issue. I'm hoping to reset the bedtimes tonight with this plan. Dinner at 5:45, so that I can ask the olders who already exercise, to take on the dishes while I take the youngers for a march before starting the bath and bedtime routine.

My mom also came for the week and I always enjoy visits with her. We drove back on the third and held a cook out on the 4th to celebrate Independence day. Friday, my mom and I will go to my Godson's wedding in Buffalo, so I'll get a mini-retreat with just her this coming weekend.

Small Successes include restarting to say the rosary. It has been a fitful practice for the past year. I know, write it down, make it part of the routine.

Restarting my fitness program. I've walked two days. Planning to try and make it up to 5.

Restarting my writing program. Yes, I fell off all the wagons. My diet. My prayer life. My career. One thousand words per day, no excuses.

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Small successes can be as simple as recognizing you need to start again. I needed to start again. Vacation was fun. Vacation was wonderful. Now I've had my fun; time to get back into doing what helps me to be a stronger, smarter, healthier, hopefully holier person than by my own inclinations I would be. Saint Teresa of Avila would stand outside of the confessional and after each of the sisters emerged from having received the sacrament, she would look them in the eye, put her hands on their shoulders and say, "Begin again." That is my charge to myself in all these areas. Begin again.

Hope your week is full of good beginnings or great ongoings and as always, great small successes.

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Copyright 2016 Sherry Antonetti