Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Winner Announced! AND The Obvious: Deskercise!

Posted on Jun 15, 2016 by Lisa Ricard Claro   18 Comments | Posted in The Naked Truth

Before I jump into the Naked Truth, I want to announce a couple of things. First, the winner—chosen via—of the first two novels in the Enigma Series by author Tierney James. The lucky person is:


fireworks3         Stephanie Trietsch          fireworks3


Congratulations! Please contact me with your mailing address, Stephanie. I know you’re going to love these books.

Second, the website Vibrant Nation named me a Grey Haired Goddess of Romantic Tales and honored me as their featured blogger this week. I mentioned it Monday on Facebook, but if you missed it, please head over to read my interview and perhaps leave a comment. Thanks!




The Obvious isn’t always so obvious. Sometimes it’s hidden beneath ignorance or vanity. At other times we just don’t want to shine a light on it because it’s easier to leave it in the dark while we do other things. But once revelation occurs, it’s tough to justify ignoring The Obvious.

The Obvious is a chameleon. It changes and shifts shape. It may shrink or multiply. And it does this over and over throughout our lives.

One example might be drinking to excess. The Obvious is that this is harmful on too many levels to name. If you’re an adult, then you know this. As a younger person, I knew it too, but it was one of those Obvious things I ignored on a pretty regular basis. Smoking is another example. Who in their right mind ever thought sucking smoke into our bodies could be anything but an unhealthy pastime? It’s Obvious that such a thing would be harmful. And yet, people smoked by the millions for decades. They still do, even though The Obvious is . . . well . . .  obvious.

It became apparent to me not long ago that I spend an awful lot of valuable time focused on The Wrong Things when I should be focused on The Obvious. Yes, Buttercup, I had a revelation. What bugs me is that it took me 55 years to embrace The Obvious. It took tingling in my legs, purple feet, and fatigue.

As an editor and author, I spend the bulk of my time sitting on my derriere. There’s no choice in the matter. Editing is exacting work and it doesn’t happen while I’m walking the neighborhood. It’s slow work—I average three pages an hour while editing when I’m doing the whole enchilada (line/copy/developmental) for a client. Do the math for a manuscript of 250+ pages and you understand the sitting. My butt must be planted in the chair, and it must be planted for hours on end. And when I’m done editing, I write. That doesn’t happen while I’m strolling at the park. My butt must be planted, again, for hours. When I’m not doing that? I do medical transcription part time. That requires—say it with me—planting my butt in a chair for hours. I spend so much time planted it’s a wonder I’ve yet to take root. Start dumping water on me and let’s see what happens.

The Obvious knocked on my door a couple months ago when my legs began to tingle every time I sat down to work. It knocked again at bedtime when lying flat resulted in the same tingling over my calves and feet. It has been knocking for some time, and I’m apparently thick as a brick, because it was only within the last month or so that I paid attention. And then, of course, everything became Obvious. And I was forced to acknowledge that I focus on The Wrong Things. All. The. Time.

Here’s The Obvious broken down into just a few of its smaller components:


  1. The Wrong Thing: Focus on weight.
    The Obvious: Focus on body health. Eat right, exercise, get the right amount of sleep, and the weight will balance itself.
  1. The Wrong Thing: Focus on constant productivity.
    The Obvious: Focus on body health. Eat right, exercise, get the right amount of sleep, and the productivity will balance itself.
  1. The Wrong Thing: Focus on time.
    The Obvious: Focus on body health. Eat right, exercise, get the right amount of sleep, and the time will balance itself.


So there it is. Body health.

Yeah, yeah, I know. So Obvious.

Instead of counting calories, count steps. Instead of obsessing over weight, focus on doing what’s right for your body.

I’m going to be 56 in a few months, for pity’s sake. Menopause has come and gone. I’m shaped like a pear. A gray-haired, overripe pear. But you know what? I’m a cute pear (just ask the hubster). I’m a smart old pear, too. Smart enough to recognize The Obvious, which is to stop focusing on The Wrong Things.

Your Wrong Things might be different than mine. The Obvious in your world might not be an issue in mine. Point is, we need to pay attention to The Obvious and stop focusing on The Wrong Things. Figure out what your Wrong Things are and trade them for The Obvious. You won’t be sorry.

I still spend the bulk of my day planted. My work insists on it (as does my lap-snoozing cat). But I’m back on a regular exercise routine (I dropped off last fall due to suffering through weeks of a nasty flu bug) and force myself to take a break every 20-30 minutes for 5-10 minutes of movement. This has made all the difference in the world. Yes, I’m losing productivity. Yes, my time to work is vastly decreased over the course of the day. So what?

And why don’t I care about those things anymore?

Well . . . isn’t it Obvious?

Just in case your Obvious is similar to mine, I recommend you Google the term “deskercise.” There are oodles of sites that pop up with exercises you can do while trapped in an office chair. It isn’t as good as running up and down stairs, but it beats doing nothing!

Please leave a comment. What is The Obvious that you overlook(ed) in favor of The Wrong Things? How will(did) you fix it?

See you next week!

Romance is good for your heart! To purchase your copy of Love Built to Last or Love to Believe in eBook or print, go to AmazonBarnes & NobleBlack Opal BooksKobo, or AllRomance. And remember, Love to Win releases on July 30th!

Ricard_websize logo  In need of a professional editor? Please visit me at Ricard Writing & Editing for details regarding services and rates.

18 Responses to "Winner Announced! AND The Obvious: Deskercise!"

  1. Comment by Stephanie Trietsch
    June 15, 2016 at 3:40 pm  

    I would have to say my Wrong Things are the plans I made for my life. They changed as I stumbled through life’s stages: college, newlywed, mom, empty-nester. The Obvious became obvious only in hindsight: I Will/Would Never
    I Will Never ________. Slowly I began paying attention to choices in front of me and my feelings with each option. Is it best for me? Do I know what’s best.

    I think God was laughing pretty hard ever time I declared, “I will never _____.”

    …be a teacher (HS English- as did my grandmother)
    …move back to GA (6.5 years ago)
    …be a pastor’s wife (2007-2009 my husband was a full-time youth pastor)

    And the list goes on. So now when my path forks I Pray for discernment, Pray to hear His plan and proceed with caution. Oh, and I avoid the words, “I never…” like the plague 😉


    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 15, 2016 at 3:59 pm  

      Congrats on your win. 🙂 And I misspelled your name! Omigosh, I’m so sorry. I’ve fixed it now, but I feel like a knucklehead. I was so certain I knew the correct spelling. (And please don’t forget to email your address to me so I can get it to Tierney.)

      Oh, yes, all those “nevers.” One of my favorite commercials is about those nevers…have you seen it? It’s a couple who has a long list of nevers, but of course Life has other plans. I can’t even recall what the ad is for, just that my hubby and I chuckle every time it comes on. You’re right about asking for discernment. One of the toughest things to do is to step where we can’t (or think we can’t) see the path ahead. Thanks for your comment, Stephanie.

  2. Comment by MonaKarel
    June 15, 2016 at 6:03 pm  

    Yes, YES. YES. YES. Getting up and MOVING has made such a difference in my life. If I want to be writing for the next few decades I need to keep moving. Besides a moving target is harder to catch

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 17, 2016 at 2:06 pm  

      Hi Mona – I agree with your YESes agreeing with me! lol We authors spend so much time sitting! I noticed a difference almost immediately upon restarting my exercise routine. Sleeping better, too.

  3. Comment by Kay L. Davies
    June 15, 2016 at 6:29 pm  

    “Oh, yes” from here, too. I’ve been unwell for a long time now, and figured it was just going to be that way until I died. Then (and I don’t remember how) I was sent to more doctors (we live in Alberta, Canada, where the health care is so good it wears me out) and everyone said get-yourself-moving. One of them (a geriatrician, if you please, even though I won’g be 70 until December) advised me to get a walker, but of course I wouldn’t. Who wants to be seen with a walker? But one of my many nurses got right in my face about it (she’s not afraid of me) and said I had to do it. Okay, it now makes sense…walk as far as I can, sit down on the seat of the walker (putting the brakes on first) when I need to rest. Get up, and repeat…walk, sit, walk, sit, walk, sit ad infinitum, and then come home when or before pain reaches the unbearable stage. I’m already losing weight. I borrowed a belt from my husband and I’ve already pulled it in by two holes (not counting the first). Not a very exciting life, but then it wasn’t exciting before. It was exhausting, enervating, tedious, and painful both mentally and physically. ‘Nuff said now, but I’ll be back. And I’ve clicked to be notified of follow-ups. —K

    • Comment by MonaKarel
      June 15, 2016 at 7:11 pm  

      Sending backflips and YAHOOs from New Mexico. I’ve upgraded my ‘running’ from stumbling to striding

      • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
        June 17, 2016 at 2:08 pm  

        Applause for your striding. 🙂 I walk and jog both. I’ve been told it is best to alternate fast and slow for maximum heart health benefit. I think it’s called HIT training, and there is ooh-gobs of information, but I’m not at the level of really paying attention yet. I’m still patting myself on the back for waking up in the morning early enough to get my 45 minutes in!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 17, 2016 at 2:20 pm  

      Hi, Kay – It sounds as if “getting moving” has been helpful to you, and I’m so glad you’ve started walking. I understand your reticence to use a walker, but if it helps, why not? You’re up and moving, which is half the battle. And you’re losing weight! I don’t know how much you wanted to lose, but I hope it continues. I’d like to drop about 10 pounds, but after menopause my body held on and won’t let go. I’m hoping the increased exercise will do the trick. In my transcription work I type for an orthopedist, and I type reports on a lot of people with knee and joint problems whose pain is vastly reduced upon weight loss and exercise for muscle strengthening. Good luck! Please keep us posted.

  4. Comment by Martha Graham-Waldon
    June 15, 2016 at 7:57 pm  

    Wow Lisa! Is this post ever topical for me right now. I have been struggling with numbness in my right calf for 3 weeks now. Numbness, pain tenderness…and it’s worst when I get up in the morning or sit too long writing or watching TV. The chiropractor says is sciatica & I’m waiting to see if the MRI my doctor ordered will be approved. My only cure is walking & being active so I’m trying to get up ever 30-45 mins from my desk and be sure and take a longish walk each day. This morning it was not as bad when I got up from bed-I could stand without flinching so I’m encouraged! Anyway, just to say that I sympathize and agree that we need to prioritize those breaks & exercise if we wish to hang onto our health. So keep it up & hang in there! I will too 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 17, 2016 at 2:10 pm  

      Hi, Martha – The important thing is that you’ve had the problem checked and you’re doing something to fix it. I’m happy the physical activity is helping. Sciatica is horrible. I used to deal with it on my right side, but only during the night. It was horrible. Glad to say it’s no longer an issue, and I do hope yours is alleviated for good.

  5. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    June 16, 2016 at 10:23 pm  

    I don’t know if I overlooked the Wrong Things for the Obvious but there is nothing like a little (or lot) of Reality to help one see what is obvious. My Obvious is that people matter more than things, more than work, more than all the stuff in life. People. Love. Kindness. Compassion. (Though a good walkabout is always helpful, too!)

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 17, 2016 at 2:14 pm  

      Yes, I agree with you on all points. (As always!) Life is brief, as is our time with the people we love. Reality has a tendency to shine a light on the Obvious, making us wonder why we didn’t see it so clearly a little bit sooner.

  6. Comment by Sioux
    June 18, 2016 at 9:00 pm  

    How about making yourself one of those stand-up desks (so you can stand and tap away) by finding some piece of furniture (a sewing machine cabinet topped by a record player worked for me) that is tall enough?

    56 is a good age. I just passed that one up. I hope 57 is good, too.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 29, 2016 at 5:42 pm  

      I’ve thought about one of those desks, Sioux, and in all honesty I might have to figure out how to build one. They’re expensive to purchase, but maybe with a little creativity I’ll figure something out.

  7. Comment by MonaKarel
    June 21, 2016 at 12:33 am  

    Lisa, I couldn’t find a ‘reblog’ option so I added a link to a recent blog.
    As encouragement (??) I added a video of me stumbling around Agility practice with my very tolerant Saluki.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 29, 2016 at 5:49 pm  

      Hi, Mona – Thanks for the link. I just went over and left a comment. I love the video. Your dog is adorable! 🙂 I’ve been a bit of a backslider over the last few days because my sister and her husband were visiting. They left Monday morning, so I’m out of excuses. lol

  8. Comment by ButtonsMom2003
    June 23, 2016 at 1:33 am  

    Many years ago I had software installed on my PC that periodically reminded me to get up and stretch (I think it was called Stretch Break). It was great until I got annoyed at being interrupted while concentrating on something that I didn’t want to be interrupted from! LOL

    I sit way too much – I’m either reading or working on my computer. Knee problems have made me even more of a slug and I know my health is suffering because of it.

    I keep telling myself I must get motivated and then I start reading another book. 🙁

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      June 29, 2016 at 5:40 pm  

      Haha. A good book will get you every time!

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