Posted in Uncategorized

Excuses

How often do you find yourself making excuses for why you are not where you want to be? Are you trying to lose weight but you just can’t? Are you tired of feeling broke but you just can’t get ahead for whatever reason? Are you not happy with your relationships and they always seem to be the same but you don’t know why?

There are so many ways in which we make excuses for the things that are not going “right” in our lives. Often we find other people are the target for these reasons; “My spouse doesn’t support me.” “I have kids” “My boss is too demanding.” We have all heard or even used these at one time or another. Or we blame that we are too busy. We do not have enough money. Or the classic; I am just too tired!

Thinking about the last quarter of this year and wanting to meet my personal goals that I set out for myself back in January has me taking a look at the excuses I allow myself. I have used the I am too tired more times than I can count. That I have too many other things on my agenda to make room for a workout. I am learning new things at work I do not have time to take that class I have been interested in.

Excuses do not make us feel better when we do not accomplish a goal. Excuses do not excuse bad behavior. Bottom line for me they are not a good enough reason to not accomplish my goals.

We ALL have the same amount of hours in each day. We are ALL busy in some fashion. We ALL have things that distract us. But what sets those who finish and meet their goals apart from those who don’t? I am convinced that one of the key differences between goal setters and goal achievers is excuses.

Those who complete their goals know that they can come up with (at times legitimate) excuses BUT they DO NOT sit down in their excuse! Goal achievers press on DESPITE them. They want the accomplishment MORE. They are willing to move their mind and body to take the actions needed to work around the excuses and get it done!

They are up early. They are up late. They work on their lunch break. Eat off the lighter menu. Plan meals ahead of time. Set up automatic reminders. Have accountability partners. Goal achievers have found ways to work around and with their excuses rather than allow them to derail their progress.

As I am planning these last few months of 2020 and wanting to see some specific goals achieved I am planning for how to work with my excuses and not let them stop me anymore! I have set up walking time everyday to meet my goal of a healthier lifestyle. I have an automatic payment set up so I can meet my goal of saving more. I wake and read a few minutes everyday so I can meet my goal of reading a set amount of books this year. And this list still needs more updating and planning.

What are you doing to combat your excuses? Have you checked in on your goals and dreams in awhile? There is still time in this crazy year to get things completed! You can do this!

Posted in General

I am still here! 200 posts later, what’s new to say?

Hello there!  How are you all doing?  I know it has been a few months since I last posted btu after seeing that I hit 200 posts, I was not sure I had more to say.   But really we all have something to say and more to share so here I am again.  Thank you to all that have remained reading.

How are you all doing these days?  Hoe are your fairing during this pandemic?  We are still in “phase 1” here where we live.  We are venturing out more and seeing more friends and family but things are definitely not “normal.”   We all spent months wondering when we could return to the way of life that we knew, but it seems that will not occur.  So we have to pivot and learn a new way to live, function and interact within this world.

What are you doing to deal with the changes in your world? Is your city still in lockdown or were you barely affected?   Are you working from home now or have children at home instead of school or daycare?  Are you facing job loss or a new position?

So many of us have had our worlds and homes rocked by the pandemic that we have had no choice but to change how we operate.  We have had to make daily modifications and learn how to handle changes that we neither wanted nor were prepared for.  Cause who can really prepare for a worldwide pandemic?!

Change is something so constant that I feel I have learned to embrace it.  I love variety and trying new things.  I am committed to not letting fear in any way dictate my life, so change is often exciting to me.  BUT I have found that I embrace the changes I am in control of.  Like most, I am still not a fan of the things out of my control.  Does it cause you stress to think you will have to permanently change your way of life? Or is that somewhat exciting and full of possibility?

I have learned these past few months how important mindset truly is.  Not only for our own mental state but for how we handle change. Especially unwelcome or unwanted change. Our human nature resists change that we do not control, face it we barely handle the changes we do want.  Like when we think we want a new job but then are stressed that we have to learn something new.  Or we are excited to move to a new town but find it painful and lonely when we get there.

So how do we handle the changes we do not desire to deal with?  Here are some ways we have handled the pandemic and all the changes that has meant for our household.

  1. We extend grace more easily.  I think this may be the number one key to dealing with others in the midst of unexpected challenges; extend grace. Let your people feel what they feel without trying to stop it and just let the moment be. 
  2. Allow alone time when needed.   With everyone at home much more than we used to be; we have had to find ways to get time alone and away from each other sometimes.  This may be taking a walk or being in our rooms with the door shut for a bit.   Even just taking a drive to get out of the house has helped.
  3.  Finding new activities for us all to participate in.  We put together puzzles.  We watch a show or a movie together.  We have played games.  Taking the time to better enjoy each other has helped us have a more positive experience. 
  4. Looking at this moment in time as an opportunity rather than a disappointment.  The first couple of months were tough.  It was tough to adjust to not really seeing anyone other than the folks you live with.  But we have tried to embrace the time this has brought with our children.  As we have had another one leave the nest (there are 4 total and time is moving too fast) in many ways this has been an added bonus. 
  5.  Trying to keep life as normal as possible.  Keeping a routine.  Having dinner together.  Chores. All the things we usually do each day or week we have continued.  We still get dressed and showered before working from home.  We still make the beds and cook meals.  

Life may not look the same anymore but we have a choice in how we view that.  To live our best life we sometimes have to face moments where we need to pivot.  To learn new ways and do things differently.  If your mindset is to see moments of stress and change as an opportunity then you can’t help but be successful.  In the past few months of this pandemic we are more successful as a couple and family than before.    Life is still full of abundance.  

How do you see your life today?  What are you doing to create an abundance mindset in the midst of the chaos?   I hope you find joy in the midst.   

Till next time. 

Posted in General, Sunday quotes

Happy Mother’s Day 2020

It’s another different celebration in this strange year. Many of us are social distancing and can’t hug on or even see face to face our loved ones. It’s a tough time to rejoice and enjoy celebrating.

I’m finding today bittersweet. Feeling loved and spoiled but a little sad too. Some things technology can’t give us. And I know I’m not alone in this.

For all you mamas out there, no matter if alone or with those that make you a mom know you are recognized for the value you have as the gardener of this life.

May you find joy today no matter what for even just a moment.

Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday reflections; thinking about love in the time of Covid.

I am having a hard day.  I miss my kids.  I miss going to meet friends.  I miss just being able to walk around a book store (one of my favorite things).  And I am finding the longer this quarantine and stay home order lasts, the toll it can take on our relationships.

As we are home, all together, all hours of all the days, some of us may find this harder than others.  For those that are like me, who need alone time, this time could feel claustrophobic, caged in, overwhelming and these feelings are not very conducive to creating a loving atmosphere.

So this has me thinking about the ease of love.  How easy it is to love one another when we have some space, other activities and things to take up our time.  When we have escapes if you will with our friends or colleagues.  When we see new and different things out in the world that we can bring home and share.  When we seem or our partners seem more interesting. And while there are tough times in all relationships, I think this moment in time has magnified ALL things.  And some of these are tough, not so great.

We are not getting breaks.  We are not seeing other faces.  We do not have a random story to share when we come from work as we work from home all week.  We are stuck together with those we may choose or not choose to be with.  How do you keep loving in the midst of this time?  How do you let this moment bind you together and strengthen you rather than weaken?

As I struggle today, have a headache from too many tears, I am reminded of the love we have in our faith.  I have been listening on repeat to songs that bring me hope, encouragement and strength.  I am reminded that Love casts out Fear.  We have this time to build rather than tear down.  We are getting a gift; although it does not feel like it every day.

Love as an emotion is easy.  It says all the “right’ things, makes you smile and feel good.  It doesn’t take any real strength or action to tell someone you love them.  But I have always viewed love as a verb.  It is more than an emotion.  It has to be tough.  It has to weather storms, battles and disease.  It has to speak truth when your feelings are hurt.  It has to share more than a kiss and hug.  It has to accept sad and happy moments.  It pushes through pain and sorrow and fear.  It has to act in a way of honesty and integrity. If it has the power to cast out fear; then it has the power to bring us strength; to build, to render hope. And in this current season, it has an opportunity to shine through some hard moments.

Loving your family in an all day, everyday, feeling way is easy.  But in this unexpected time we are living in across the world right now, it has required us to get very real with our actions.  It has shown me how much harder this is to do when we are all together all the time.  When each one is processing loss and sadness.  When at times there are just too many people and meals and needs.

Each one of us is handling this time differently and we all have different ways we need to receive love.  Today for me that meant pouring my grief, frustrations, pain all out on this man I share my life with.  And him trying very hard to show me love back when I can imagine I was not that lovable.  But that is what love does; it accepts all.  All the ugly moments.  All the good.  And in this time of uncertainty and loss; we can choose to see the moments “stuck at home” as an opportunity to grow in our love.  Love can handle the honesty, it can handle the sorrow and the pain.  It can handle being quarantined if we let it.

I hope that wherever you are you are loved.  I hope you have someone who holds you even when your eyes hurt to stay open because they have cried too many tears.  I hope this time strengthens your relationships.   And if alone, know that none of us are ever truly alone.  We are all going through this human experience; we are in this together.

Keep holding onto love.

 

 

Posted in General

Stuck at home? Quarantined? 6 things you can still do to practice self care.

It’s a strange time we’re living in right now. Most everyone I know would agree we’ve not lived through moments like this before. We don’t have experience in lock downs and stay at home orders. We aren’t used to seeing folks in masks at the grocery store. Or viewing empty shelves and lines just to buy the essentials. This moment in time is new and unprecedented for most of us.

While my morning looks the same today; quiet, sun shining, coffee in hand and my family still sleeping; the world we live in isn’t the same. We sat glued to the television last night watching the expected”stay at home” order announcement. As we went about our evening after I couldn’t help but think what that means for tomorrow when I’m to go to work. It’s hard to know how this order effects my day to day life. I’m not in an essential job (in my opinion) but I’m sure my employer sees this differently. So I’m waking up in a new reality trying to make some decisions.

One thing I’m thinking on though is how to get some self care in when everyone is home and there’s very little chance to get alone time. As a mother how do I still take care of myself while all the children are around every moment? I’m sure many of you parents are stressed and worried and are busy caring for so many others that your own needs are lost in the fray.   Besides the new worries about health we still have the same stressors as before with jobs, bills and now how to make sure these kids’ education stays on track. It is a different world already and here in the US; only under 2 weeks into this crisis. 

So how do we cope?  How do we function in a world gone mad in some ways?  What do you do to stay focused on goals? To stay healthy mentally and physically?   We all know to keep distances from others outside our homes.  We know not to shake hands or hug on others.   But what do we do for our own individual sanity each day?  

Here are a few things I am doing to keep myself from becoming too overwhelmed by this moment in time: 

  1. Believe this too shall pass!  Having Faith in times of trials has always helped me.  No matter what that faith is in, call it God, Universe, etc…believing there is a purpose to life and our own individual place in it, helps me get through moments that do not make much sense.  Faith is like a house foundation for me.  It holds everything else up.
  2. Continue to keep similar routines, even with everyone home.  I have been the first one up (most days) for the last few years.  I am still continuing that.   Still starting my day with quiet meditation, reading and journaling.  Still setting my alarm to get up and start the day; not hiding under the covers.  
  3. Keep active!  Exercise is always important for physical and mental health.  Keep going for a walk; even if in your house.  Do sit ups.  Squats. Push ups.  Do things that will get your heart rate up (if you are healthy to do so) and help those positive endorphins release.  
  4. Set a time for how much you read or watch the news.  Just like crisis’s in the past, the news coverage is on 24/7.  We have access to news from all over the globe.  We have to learn to turn it off now and again.  Creating a boundary for the amount of time we devote to being hammered with information is important. Boundaries are for our protection, set limits. 
  5. Learn a new skill.   Now is the time to try something new at home that you may have always been interested in.  There have been numerous websites that are listing classes, videos, webcasts or podcasts for free.  You can probably at least get an introduction to something you have been waiting to learn.  
  6.  Get enough rest.  Do not stay up late watching another news cast.  You will be able to see it all the next day.  Do not stay up late eating cause you are stressed about how to pay everything and what will you do next.  Sleep is vital to your brain function.  You need your mind and body to function at optimal health and sleep is necessary to achieve this.  If you suffer insomnia (especially in times of stress) try to take rests often; at least close your eyes and try to turn the mind noise down.  

In times of stress it is very hard to make time for yourself and your needs.  I know we are all experiencing different reactions to this crisis, but remember each life is valuable.  YOU MATTER!  Your family needs you to be at your best.  No matter what crisis comes our way we will get to the other side.  Taking care of yourself makes you better prepared to care for others.  Keep fighting to stay healthy and sane. 

Wishing each of you good health.