Posted in General, lists

Time flies when you are having fun; right?!

Good morning fellow readers and bloggers.  It is a rainy, chilly day here in the Northwest.  Still dark as I headed out this morning.  Here in Oregon we change our clocks back and forth in the Spring and Fall so we have more dark hours each day during this season.

I hope your morning is starting out well.  I am sitting at my desk thinking about how fast time goes.  Perhaps this is because I have just had another birthday, the kids keep having them too or could be the end of another decade is near.  Remember how as a kid, getting through the school days, weeks and year seemed to take Forever!  Time moved at such a slower pace it seemed. Now in the adult years time seems to be speeding up and it feels like there are not enough hours to accomplish everything each day or even each week.  We hit another new year and we make the same resolutions as the year before because we didn’t come close to where we wanted to be.

In thinking about time moving quickly, I keep coming back to how I choose to live my life.  Am I having the most fun I can?  Am I enjoying more of this life than not?  Do I find myself living in peace, harmony and joy?  Am I accomplishing the goals or moving in the direction of my dreams?

I read every morning.  I love to read.  To write.  To expand my mind with new ideas I may not have heard before or to get lost in a creative story.  During the quiet morning reading, I often choose books or articles that will stretch my mind.  That will help me focus and motivate me to live my best life.  I enjoy reading stories about over-comers, the underdog who has risked everything or helped others and created the life of their dreams.  These are inspiring to me.

As I was reading this morning, this idea about time moving fast and where am I at; hit me anew.  I love my life in so many ways.  In the past 2 years life has changed immensely with adding a partner and two kids to my life.  A new dog! Sending my oldest to college.  And I would not change any of it.   There are things though I personally want to work on.  I want to be more fit.  To write more.  To build a business and create time freedom.  I have been so busy loving and building one area of my life that I have become complacent in other areas.

When we are busy enjoying one area of life, we can often drop the ball in other parts of life that still need our attention.  This has definitely been my experience.  So how do we stay focused on building our best self, in the midst of time flying right by?  How do we stay focused on fun and joy and creating the life of our dreams while juggling all the commitments that come with adulthood?

This is just a small list of a few items we can do to keep on track and continue to create the life you love no matter what age or stage of life you are at.

  1. Decide!  Make a decision about what you want your life to look like.  Be ok that this will change.  What you want in your 20’s may not be the same as what you want in your 40’s or beyond.  But indecision is the killer of dreams, so choose to be a decision maker for your own self!  Maybe create a plan for the month or a year or 5 years.  Just choosing a direction can be difficult so try to find an area that you can more easily make decisions in and decide.
  2. Write!  Set time, even just 10 minutes to write goals and dreams.  To write lists.  I have committed to the practice of writing three things I am thankful for each day.  Along with writing my intentions for myself.  Once I write it down, I have a reference I can look back to track progress as well as clarity.  And writing items that I am grateful for keeps me grounded and in a state of awareness beyond just myself.
  3. Read! I believe reading others thoughts, stories, ideas all help us.  Read anything.  I read a stat somewhere once that something like 80% of the world never reads again after going through school!  It may have been 65%!  But still, either number is staggering to me.  I can not imagine not reading.  There is so much to learn and this is one of the best ways to do so. I suggest finding books that help you with the path you are on.  If you are trying to get healthy, read cookbooks and stories of weight loss or physical breakthroughs.  If you are building a business, read books from other entrepreneurs for ideas and inspiration.  Struggling with any mental health issues, self esteem issues, family issues, you can find stories you will relate to as well as assistance in how to get through those.  Or read for the pure enjoyment of the story.  I try to split it up, about 60% is for my betterment, stories of triumph, biographies, business books, etc.  The other 40% is what I call mind candy; these are just for fun.  Could be historical fiction, romance, mystery, fantasy.  Anything that gets me engaged and lost in the story.  Reading is a sure fire way to enjoy time while it flies by.

I encourage you to try these.  To make even just one small decision toward your dream life.  Each time I write a blog post, I am doing one thing that keeps me moving toward living my best life.  I have wanted to be “published” for so many years and this avenue allows me to feel like I am.  Whether or not you see the results, each step you take will bring you closer to the life you desire.  Each time you Decide to take action, you are one step closer to your dreams and accomplishing those goals.  Each time you Write them down, you have the opportunity to re-read them, carry them with you and track progress.  Each time you Read something outside of your own thoughts and ideas you have the opportunity to learn; which always makes us better.

I hope you are living your best life.  If not in all ways, then do something about it.  Start where you are and get moving.  This life is going to keep on moving forward; how do you choose to enjoy the journey? Are you having fun? If not, you have the power to choose differently.

Posted in quotes

Do you have the courage?

I have this quote below on my wall page as it’s a favorite of mine. We so often let fear dictate our choices; often without realizing that it is a driving force.

I made a decision a few years ago that I would not let fear guide me. Sometimes it’s a daily commitment; depending on the topic or the decision I might be facing. Other times it’s just a quiet voice I don’t really hear but it’s still there.

I am possibly a bit of a control freak. By that I mean I am usually the one in charge and have all my ducks in a row. But the downside to that is there is no risk. There is no courage.

If I’m always in charge, avoiding conflict or making mistakes, I’m not actually moving forward. It’s like sitting in the boat anchored to the same spot again and again.

Being afraid to never make a mistake. Or have your feelings hurt. Or admitting you’re wrong or need assistance; all keeps you stuck.

This quote has a new meaning for me today as I’m looking at it through eyes of relationship conflicts. Whether it be with your partner or children or coworkers. If you’re afraid to have difficult conversations; fearful to speak your mind, don’t want to rock the boat; you might not get to see the beauty that you could be heading towards. You could miss out on whatever is right behind the next bend.

I’ve often only thought of this quote in terms of adventures. Travels. New job ventures. But re-framing this to apply to the context of relationships; it’s also very true. We have to be willing to risk, to push fear aside with those we love. We must get vulnerable and honest. When we do, when we let go of control, lose sight of the shore; we open ourselves up to an ocean of beauty. To Joy.

I hope you find your courage today to take risks. Push past fear. Have a difficult conversation. Try something new. Let this quote speak to you. Whatever your “shore” is; may you be willing to go beyond it.

 

Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday reflections (26)

Good morning all. It feels like summer is coming to an end with grey cloudy skies upon on us here today in the Northwest.  It’s kind of nice to have a break for a moment from hot days but I’m not quite ready for the sun to disappear.  I am however looking forward to school coming back into session. Routine is nice. With 4 kids, a dog and jobs,  routine is necessary.  But summer often seems like such a short burst of time and before we know it we are facing the routines of life again.  I find that by this time every summer, I am ready for the next season but also a tiny bit nostalgic for this one not to end.  That is the way life goes right?.

With the season close to changing, I have been making changes as well.  Today begins week 2 of a new routine I am creating. It feels great to be working towards goals. I think setting goals, writing them down and keeping track of each time you take action towards them you feel accomplished.  It’s important to note the small steps as it can take awhile to see results; no matter what the goal is. Sometimes the tougher goals take so much longer that you can lose momentum if you don’t note the tiny incremental victories.

So I am logging the small victory of pursuing those goals into week 2.  I had set an intention and goal to wake up early each day except one (check). I made a goal to work out numerous days; check this off too. I renewed my commitment to read daily.  And I just saw that I have written (with this one) 165 posts!  Wow I didn’t even realize.  Perhaps I will add in goals for this blog soon.

Are you a goal setter or do you wake up each day and see what it brings?  I have a drive to pursue excellence and am almost always striving to better myself and my life.   This can get tiresome and lonely and be tough for those around me who may not view life the same way, but in order to be my best self this is what I need to do.  Each of us has a way of how we do things; finding the best way for yourself will evolve throughout life.  I have always been a goal setter but not always as committed to the work required to pursue them; this area I have definitely matured in as time has gone by. 

Being in a season of growth and change is exciting for me.  When I am consciously choosing to work hard on my goals, when I set the time to create and plan, and then do the work, I am working on my best self in my best life.  I love seeing and feeling the growth personally which spills over into other areas of life as well.

As the season starts to change moving into school for many of us, getting closer to Fall, I hope you find what will create the best life for you.  I hope you have goals you work towards.  I will share with you how I determine goals and how to tackle them in the coming weeks as I continue to pursue them.

Have a fabulous start to your week.

 

Posted in lists, Sunday quotes

Sunday Reflections (22): 5 tips to shake off a “no reason” for a bad mood.

Do you ever wake up and feel overwhelmed by all the things left to do before going back to work for the week?  Or just feeling a bit cranky but you don’t know why?  That is how I am feeling today.  Most of the time I wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.  I am more inclined to be an optimist and focus on the good, or at least try, but today I am a finding that to be more of a challenge.

Somedays are just like that right?! There may be now reason for the off mood.  There may be nothing wrong in your home or relationships or job.  But for whatever reason you have a more negative attitude.  Do you work on changing those feelings when you have them or do you wallow in them?

Truth be told, sometimes I wallow.  Not for long, but sometimes I just mire in the bad mood.  This happens more when I am not sure why I am even feeling off.  But I do not like to stay cranky.  I have a partner, children and a life I love that I do not like to waste much of my time feeling negative.  When days like today creep in, I have a few tricks I use to work myself out of a mood.  Perhaps some of these will help you as well.

5 tips to shake off a “no reason” for a bad mood: 

  1. Write a list.  Write down all the tasks you feel like you have to get done today or this week.  I find that writing down the tasks that I feel are overwhelming me helps me get clear and focused.  Often times the list is much smaller than I think it is.  Like today; I am feeling that my house needs to be cleaned and picked up more.  But when I made my list; I really only have a couple things to complete.  My house is not near as messy as I was thinking in my head.
  2. Breathe.  Meditate.  I learned the a few years ago the value of meditation.  It is not an easy task for me at all!  It seems as if my thoughts are never quiet and I have a tough time calming my mind.  When I practice this it is best for me to just stand tall in my living room, taking a few deep breaths with my eyes closed.  I start with the yoga tree pose most often.  Then I may move into child’s pose and cat and cow poses.  I usually try to end with the warrior pose, making me end on a strong note.  Practicing some yoga and meditation in the morning has helped me stay centered and calm throughout the day.
  3. Take a walk.  This tip is one that I see so very often, but it is one of the best ones.  There is something refreshing about getting outside and breathing in the fresh air.  Getting our bodies moving is also a way to release feel good hormones.  Any exercise will help but I think there is something special in taking a walk.  It is usually not too difficult nor strenuous and can just be a quiet moment in the chaos of our days.
  4. Listen to music.  As I was starting my chores (from that list I made) I put on music.  Find musicians that speak to your for different reasons.  Today I needed calm, relaxing music.  Even though I was working and that would usually be a time for upbeat, fast, maybe loud styles, today I needed something different.  Music can be a great distraction and sometimes you just need to sing it out.
  5. Watch a funny video.  I am not a watcher of youtube much.  I do not have funny memes on my phone.  But I have teenagers.  They are always a great resource for funny videos and finding things that will make me laugh.  Often times these are so random, it’s impossible not to laugh.  Sometimes to redirect your thoughts, you need something random to distract you.  I find that laughter has always worked for me when I can’t seem to shake a bad mood.

No matter what mood you might be in, these tricks can help keep you calm and centered.  These are not just for a bad mood.  Often times these work best when practiced often.  I hope if you are starting your day slightly off, you try a few of these and see if they work for you.

Think I will head out for a walk now.

And just needed another pretty picture to remind myself of the beauty in this world.

 

Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday reflections (21)

In thinking about what to write this Sunday, I want to be transparent as always.  As I discuss this journey to live your best self and life, I often shy away from discussing my children.  It is a piece of life I tend keep more private.  But in order to be my best self I have to (at times) share this part of me as well.  I have been in a new season in this motherhood journey I have enjoyed for the last 18years.  Having a young adult home from college for the first time, is a bringing new unexpected challenges.

Learning how to mother a young adult is new and hard!  It brings lots of joys and proud moments as I watch her reach goals and try new things.  To see her successful fills my heart.  But there are also lots of trying, difficult moments as we try to navigate this new environment.  Knowing how to parent a young adult child is just like the rest of parenthood; it comes without any guide book.

For some reason when these moments of struggle hit, I hear the words of this song below.  I thought I would share it with you today.  As I have shared before, modern Christian music will always be a genre that calms me, centers me and helps soothe some rough or thorny parts of my heart.  I can be demanding not only of myself but also of my children and partner.  It can be challenging for me to know what is the right advice to give or how to listen instead of speak.

I’m thankful for the scars.”   

In struggling how to move through these new changes I keep hearing that line.  I know my connection with these words may not be the meaning behind the song, but this is how these words speak to me.  For some reason this line in this song eases my pain and sadness that come when my daughter and I struggle.  When we have difficult conversations or can’t seem to understand each other.

I can physically see the scars on my body that bringing children into this world have left.  I can see the scar on my back where the weight of life struggles broke me down.  I can feel the scars on my heart from where I have loved, hurt and healed.  All these scars remind me that I am human.  That I am always learning.  Hopefully growing.  And we have these scars to share with others; they are our offerings to our children.  When I look at my scars as a way to help my children through life’s tough moments, they bring a sense of worthiness to all the pains of this life.  Through my scars I can show them; we may get down, we may feel broken, we may cry and writhe in pain, but we do not remain there.  Scars are pain healed over.  I get to share mine with my lover, children and friends.  Don’t hide your scars, they are part of your story.

I AM THEY -Scars
Waking up to a new sunrise
Looking back from the other side
I can see now with open eyes

Darkest water and deepest pain
I wouldn’t trade it for anything
‘Cause my brokenness brought me to you
And these wounds are a story you’ll use

So I’m thankful for the scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who you are
So forever I am thankful for the scars

Now I’m sending in confidence
With the strength of your faithfulness
And I’m not who I was before
No, I don’t have to fear anymore

So I’m thankful for the scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who you are
So forever I am thankful for the scars

I can see, I can see
How you delivered me
In your hands, in your feet
I found my victory

I can see, I can see
How you delivered me
In your hands, in your feet
I found my victory

I’m thankful for your scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know your heart
And with my life, I’ll tell of who you are
So forever I am thankful

I’m thankful for the scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who you are
So forever I am thankful for the scars
So forever I am thankful for the scars

I recommend listening to this song and finding your own interpretation.  I encourage you to find songs that you relate to, music is a great balm.  I hope you see the scars in your life as your gifts to others.  You do not have to show someone physical scars but you can use them to tell your story.  Each of us have a great story.  Each one of us are worthy to be loved.  Sharing yourself, your true authentic self, is our greatest way to give to our loved ones and others.

I hope you are able to be thankful for the road you have traveled.  For the scars you have acquired; you are living!

Do you have a song or lyrics that speak to you in difficult moments?  Do you have tips for parenting in the young adult stage of motherhood?  I would love to hear your thoughts; drop a comment or send me a message.  I love to hear your feedback.

 

Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday reflections (19)

I thought this was great. I’ve spent a lot of time focused on success, this might be better. What if this was our guiding thought instead.

Have a great start to your week. Focus on what brings you satisfaction.

Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday reflections (18)

Waking up to a beautiful lake view this morning! Quiet and peaceful as we start another weekend of celebration. Birthdays and Father’s day! Enjoy your loved ones today!

Thank you babe for being there for all the kids, for being all this!