Cathy Chester | An Empowered Spirit

Life Happens When You’re Busy Making Other Plans

We all know the quote that is attributed to John Lennon saying, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” The quote is brilliant because it’s honest and true.

An ordinary day can turn on a dime.

A person rarely reaches my age without learning some hard lessons about life after facing illness, financial struggles, toxic relationships or tragedy. These are inevitable as we age, and the lessons we learn forces us to acquire some survival skills.

If you’re wise you’ll realize that being flexible about the inevitable twists and turns of life is healthier for you. Because the life we plan and the life we lead are, more times than not, two very different things.

Bending instead of breaking is always optimal.

For instance, over the past week I said farewell to a dear friend.


and cared for a sick one.


I celebrated some exciting family successes,


and was mindful of a few happy moments walking by.

lifeIt’s important to remain focused on staying healthy while maneuvering the highs and lows of daily life. Eating right, getting plenty of exercise and practicing a stress-reducing activity (such as meditation) will help keep our bodies happy as we age.


It was the 1980’s and big hair was, well, BIG!

Here’s what worked for me this week:

Visualizing how I want to look and feel: At 55 I won’t feel like I did at 25, 35, or 45. I’m trying to be the best ME I can be at this age. I’m not perfect. I stumble and fall, but I always try to get myself back up to try even harder.

Eating less: I have the Jenny Craig meal plan on my side to help me eat healthy meals, and I add fresh fruits and vegetables to each meal.  This week I ate several meals out, so I’d cut up fresh veggies and carried them in a Zip-Lock bag in my purse. I tried to plan what I’d eat before every outing (a special thanks to Houston’s tuna sashimi salad with cilantro viniagrette – a big yum!) Was I perfect? No.  I’m a work in progress. But I’m eating healthier than I was a year ago. That’s a step in the right direction!


Finally met Carol April of ndy (Not Done Yet) and she came bearing gifts and a new friendship.

Feeling better about the way I look: I’m fighting every (single) ounce to get off my body.  It’s a battle, and so far I’ve lost 12 pounds since December.  I don’t want to gain any weight back after working so hard to take them off.  That fact continues to motivate me.

I like telling my husband that I’m losing weight: Okay, I admit it.  It feels good to tell my husband my good news.  Do you have any idea what it’s like to be married to someone who weighs the same as he did when we met 29 years ago?  He is dedicated to eating right and getting plenty of exercise. He also has great metabolism! This can be maddening at times, so I try to imagine what it feels like to never worry about gaining weight. Ah, Utopia.

What do you do to take care of your health as you age?

*I received a free month on the Jenny Craig program and a discount on food for this review.  There was no compensation.  All opinions are solely my own.  NOTE: Clients following the Jenny Craig program lose, on average, 1 -2 lbs. per week.


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30 thoughts on “Life Happens When You’re Busy Making Other Plans

    1. Post author

      My scale goes in that direction all of the time, Lisa, so I completely understand. I hope Jenny is putting me on the right path. I know I am much more mindful now about what I put into my mouth!

  1. kim tackett

    I have always loved that quote too…and feel like it shows up for me all the time…and yes, my husband is also the same (or maybe a tad over) as when we got married. He does have more gray hair than I do though! My weight is a long term struggle for me…excited to follow your journey!
    kim tackett recently posted…we are the possibleMy Profile

    1. Post author

      Hmm, let me think. Weight or gray hair. That’s a tough choice, Kim. But we can cover up the hair, right? So I’d go with being the same weight!

    1. Post author

      I know, Haralee. Aren’t men irritating? Sheesh! It is totally unfair! xo

  2. Helene Bludman

    Yay you! You’re doing great with Jenny. It’s so true: life happens when we’re not paying attention, and with it comes the good and the not-so-good. Hopefully in the end the good comes out on top. Great post, Cathy.

    1. Post author

      Yes, I’m rooting for the good for both of us to ALWAYS come out on top, Helene!

    1. Post author

      Thanks, Lisa. It’s so hard these days, fighting with every ounce to get the heck off my body. But I’m trying!

  3. Carol April

    I admire you Cathy for working so hard to achieve your goal. And I love your attitude of one day at a time, because that’s all we can ask of ourselves. We had a wonderful delicious and healthy lunch together, for which I’m very grateful!
    BTW, I LOVE to eat. I know when I’m simply eating for pure pleasure and what happiness it brings me. I’m also aware that when I get off a stressful phone call and find myself staring at the inside of my refrigerator, that that’s emotional eating. Sometimes I reach for almond butter and a sliced apple; many more times the Hershey’s Nuggets with almonds wins out. I guess I’ve come to realize there can be a balance and over the years I’ve discovered that food is not my enemy and that a joyful brisk walk is now my best friend! P.S I also ascribe to the idea that Protein at our age is ESSENTIAL — a must at every meal because of course, we’re NOT DONE YET!! xxo
    Carol April recently posted…Tribute Shirt Promo SlideMy Profile

    1. Post author


      I meant to ask you about what you doing regarding food/exercise because you look so fantastic. You are glowing, and I wanted to talk about your regimen. Hmm, Hershey’s Nuggets? That made me laugh!

      Yes, a balance is necessary. We have to live, and I LOVE food too, so I have to learn portion control and I totally agree about protein. So important. When I don’t have enough I begin to shake, so I know I have to have a piece of turkey or something else to make it stop. You are right again!

      Thanks for leaving your comments. I loved reading them!

      Big hugs, and thanks for a magical afternoon spent with YOU,

    1. Post author

      Thanks, Janie. The other day when I was at a restaurant the server had LONG curly hair. She told me I should grow mine long. I said my hair doesn’t grow down, it grows out! And up like Don King! Hahahaha.

    1. Post author

      Thanks so much, Carol. Coming from you (another very busy girl!) that certainly means a lot. xo

    1. Post author

      Aww, shucks dear one. You are always one of my biggest fans! I appreciate the cheering section from SD!

    1. Post author

      Good for you, Ellen! Please keep me posted on how you do with the meditation! I am sure you will really enjoy it. You certainly live in the best place to do that! xoxo

  4. Jackie

    Losing any amount of weight is an accomplishment! I’ve been striving to make healthier choices myself, lately. Luckily I LOVE yogurt. Unfortunately I also LOVE Dairy Queen!

    I think you are so right about the difference between the life we planned vs. the life we actually get! For better or for worse, it’s the life we’ve got, so we may as well make the best of it —- something that I think you manage to do every day!
    Jackie recently posted…Am I Too Old For This?My Profile

    1. Post author

      I agree with you on both counts, Jackie. YUM! But I would like to look and feel better, so I’ll keep chipping away at it!

  5. Arelis Cintron

    Right now I am working on being flexible. I would completely shut down when things came at me unexpectedly especially when I went through so much trouble to plan things just so. But you’re right if you’re not flexible you’ll break.

    I am a work in progress 🙂
    Arelis Cintron recently posted…How to fight sleep.My Profile

    1. Post author

      Yes, I’ve always broken, and if I am not flexible I will continue to be. So good for you, Arelis for trying to become flexible!

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