Major in the good

Some advice I read recently: “Don’t major in the minor.” Instantly I understood its implication.  

So much little shit making us so damned jaded, fragmented, tense, cranky.  So many minor little itty bitty pests that bite and sting at us during the day.  All of it minor, yet absorbing most of our daily attention.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we would only notice the irritation (which is unavoidable anyway, nearly reflexive) but not tend to it.  Don’t scratch the itch!  Don’t go there.  Just leave the irritating driver and cranky customer where you found them.  Five seconds ago they weren’t on your radar and there’s no law that says that since you noticed the annoyance when it appeared on your radar, you have to personally keep it there.

Just leave that shit where you found it.  That’s what mama and dad always said, right?

So if we’re not majoring in minors (which makes you minor in the majors, hey?) we can….maybe….hopefully….surely with deliberate practice start majoring in the majors.  The Good Stuff.

I’ve always felt Gratitude Journals to be simplistic.  If I’m truly grateful, I will always list my husband, children, friends, family, home, food, heat.  And if I’m just doing the daily stuff like: My coffee, the book I’m reading, the green light when I was running late–I feel like I’m not really doing it right.  Surely, we should embrace whatever positive we can, in any shape we can.  BUT…..I didn’t keep up the gratitude journal.

Until recently when I decided to keep a list (sometimes mental, sometimes written) of “what went good,” or “Shit that made it good today.”  This is the little moments that actually made my heart light up for a moment, a smile lift my face, all that good-good stuff.  

Like:

The nice barista

The patron that flirted with me (who wasn’t homeless and/or on drugs),

The co-shopper I helped in line by assisting them while they corralled their kids,

The “how’s it going?” check-in text from my spouse,

 A funny joke my teen messaged me,

….all THAT stuff.  

Yeah, major in that.  Live it in the moment and savor it long afterwards.  It makes me happy to do so and it might do you the same way.

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(Still) Good.

I was handling this Christmas like an adult so far.  I wasn’t looking for much for myself and instead was focused on one goal or, one gift you could say: Loving family togetherness.  If my children were pleased with their gifts, that would only be a bonus.

And I was sorta proud of myself.  This optimistic outlook was hard won.  It’s been a tough year for us as it has for so many, and it would have been SO easy to gripe or complain about lack of money or harp on other’s seemed materialism.  It amazed me that my top joy was going to be their joy.  All of it.  Was I finally an adult?

But as Christmas neared there was an interstate family argument.  The aired was cleared, wounds healed and we marched on.  Slightly worn.

And then there was the explosive child on Christmas day.  There always is.  And it’s usually one of mine. There was the worried sister and the upset mother.  There was the family awkward tension when you know each other.  Sort of. I mean, you know who they are in relation to you.  And you love them.  What you do know.  And you wished you could be closer.  Maybe.  But yeah….sort of awkward.  And then another child looks ill.  One looks sad. It was turning into a high-emotion type of Christmas.

And all I wanted for Christmas faded.  And I thought, “What is with this freakin’ lesson?!”

You know the one.  It happens like this: Life hands you lemons, and after kvetching about it a million times, one day you actually make lemonade.  You find the good.  You find possibilities.  And you get all giddy and happy about yourself.  You’ve graduated!  You finally got it.  You’re proud, but humble.

But then one day life delivers you lemons and, knowing what to do, you set off to make that lemonade.  You’re practically singing to yourself.  “Ha, I’ve got this!”  Lemonade is made.  You get up the next day for the next few weeks or months….and it still sucks.  Lemons keep coming and you’ve made SO MUCH DAMN lemonade.  I mean, you’ve been aces with this shit.  So, what.is.with.these.effin’.lemons.huh?

So what do you do?

[Sigh]

You stop yourself.  You re-assess.  Okay, “So,” I tell myself, “loving family togetherness might have been way too much to ask for this Christmas.”

And a little while later (sometimes it’s a day or so…sometimes it’s only an hour later) when things have calmed down ask, “What is good though?  What else is there that I’m overlooking?  What good can still be found?”

And you re-build from those materials.

I remembered my friend Julie giving me a gift earlier in the month on my birthday.  A little plastic kitten that plugs into the earphone jack on my cellphone because she had remembered.

She had first-person witnessed my flip out, an absolute morphing into a squealing five-year-old girl over one that a friend had.  And she said to herself, “I’m getting her that!”  That’s love.  That’s the kind of gift we all should get.

I remembered receiving employment at a place I really love working at.  I mean, I went to this place so often as a patron that I was already half-trained in the workings of it.  I’d been training all my life without knowing it.  What a gift!  No, it isn’t perfect, but damn, I think it’s as close to perfect for me as ever there could be on God’s green earth.

It’s hard right now.  But it is still so very good.

Because despite it all we need to see what is good.

It won’t necessarily keep the bad shit away.  But it makes sailing through it that much easier.

And we all could use a little smooth sailing in the shit seas of life.

So….what’s still good with you?

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Delayed Gratification

Ever since Tom Hiddleston talked with Cookie Monster about delayed gratification I haven’t quite been able to get the concept out of my head.  And not for the obvious Tom-factor, although it was my first assumption too.

It’s just so damned applicable to so many situations.

I have been applying the principle to the kids because I can’t help but think it might be easier to learn as a child. And they say second languages are easier to learn as a child, so maybe it’s true with life concepts too.

So when they wanted a piece of candy and I wanted them to be quiet (and it would seem like a win-win situation) instead of saying an automatic, “Yes, yes, fine!”  I would say, “Yes, you can have one.  After dinner.”  And they’d whine and thrust themselves about the room as if agony, real dramatic-like.  But that’s how we all learn life concepts….with a whole lot of thrashing about and complaining.

But what about me?  If someone dared even suggest I wait for my morning coffee, it would result in all out-stomping-to-my-room-and-slamming-the-door-type of tantrum.  No delayed gratification there.  What about on the road?  Did I take the slow driver in front of me with good stride and slowed down graciously, my destiny being a reward of delayed gratification?  Uh, no.

In fact, as a culture we all kind of forgot about delayed gratification.  Really…if we can’t get it fast (AND personalized) we get impatient. Cranky.

I can get like that.  In fact, I realize how much I go towards quick easy-to-do projects just to get stuff done fast.  So it’s weird that I’ve found myself wanting to build a house. For more than a decade it’s been a weird nesting drive.  A yen.  An actual yen to construct a home.  This is not a small undertaking. This is odd for me.  I have taken to a less-is-more approach with complicated projects.  That is, I decided years ago, after my third son was born, that I really wouldn’t be taking on any more complex hobbies or projects.  Um, no.

But damned this house-building bug.  I have not been able to cast it aside.

I designed luxury treehouses in my mind long before I saw the treehouse show on cable TV.  Having no appropriate tree, I scaled back to a doll house about ten years ago.  I got frustrated early on.  The directions and I spoke two different languages.  Both were English, but their language was of dimensions and measurements and doing things in an orderly fashion and painting the window panes as the first step.  “No, no, no.  I don’t think this way,” I thought and I shelved the project where it would stay until my husband rescued it for me a few years back.

After tree houses and doll houses failed, I began to ponder drawing houses.  I wanted to learn how to draw Victorian houses, specifically.  I have always been obsessed with their round rooms and towers.  I read books on drawing houses and realized that to draw properly I needed to understand perspective.  Which, I don’t-not artistically and often not in real life either.  Needless to say, I didn’t draw any houses.

But on my birthday trip to Michael’s craft store this year, I found a simple, inexpensive kit to build a house.  A Victorian house.  I bought it and determined to do it right.  Come hell or high water…this house will be built.  And, adding emphasis to my inner drama, I thought, “And I will do it alone!  A woman and her house!”

I started it today and let me tell you, it looks like it will be a process.  Some real dedication is what is called for.  Consistent effort.  Hmmmmm……(sigh).

Two steps have taken me all day.  And as for doing it on my own?  Phil has already had to step in and explain the instructions to me.

{Me: It seems like I’m missing a wall.  Am I missing a wall?  Because…..welll…I’m missing a wall.

Phil, scans the directions and glances once at my work: Yeah, you’re missing a wall.  From Step 1.

Me: Hmmm….confusing.}

But I determine to do it the right way which also happens to be the slow way.  It often is. Especially when you don’t do things the right way the first time.  Really, it’s a practice in humility and patience.  Yum.

But halfway through the second step today, I became aware of myself while painting.  Although it was taking FOR-EV-ER to make progress, I was enjoying each little thing.  The painting of the walls and making sure I got each edge covered in paint, smoothing out any ruffled paint.

I had an upbeat smirk on my face and my eyes were glazed over.  I was high off of this project.  Naturally.  (It wasn’t paint fumes….I was well-ventilated-promise).

I was in love—in a Zen state.

It made me realize that we miss out on this a lot when we won’t slow down and allow delayed gratification to take place.

It’s probably going to be a long-ass time before I finish this house.   I’m almost counting on it.

And, hey, maybe it will make it all the more sweet when it is finished.  Or I’ll miss making it.

It’s all an experiment, folks.    You never know.

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Priorities, priorities

You can learn a lot about life from gardening.  Specifically, weeding.

It doesn’t take long for weeds to take over.  If you are not on top of it on a regular basis you have a weed patch more than a flower garden.

Who has time for this?  What with everything else that needs maintaining, weeding a garden is just one more thing on our To-Do lists. It becomes neglected altogether until something must be done or you risk losing a child in the overgrown thicket.

Some of us live our lives like that.  We are constantly putting out fires.  Instead of simplifying our lives, we run from one overgrown mess to another, hacking away, trying to make a difference in the shortest amount of time possible. We’re busy and we’re running out of patience.

Am I the only one who has noticed that everyone is frazzled and short-tempered lately?  Let’s not even talk about how we’re all acting like two-year-olds when we’re behind the wheel.

There are things happening in the world that are scary but I think that the underlying reason we’re feeling this way is because of the urgency modern life imposees.  We are perpetually running behind and it feels as if there is not enough time to accomplish everything.  It’s true, there isn’t.

You know we spend a lot of money as a nation on books that tells us what to do with our lives. We want to simplify. We want to succeed.  And we’d like it right now….after all, the clock is ticking.  I can tell you right now what it takes: Figure out what matters to you.  Bam. Done.

What is your first priority?  Family? Business? Your car? Your home?  Your dog?

Fine. Focus on that.

My priorities are: Family (the complete support & maintenance of), writing and friends.  Done.  End of story.

You can’t have five thousand priorities people.  That negates the very definition of priority.  Besides, you’re human.

I know you can multitask amazingly but it is really to the detriment of….well, over a million car accidents a year (And that is just the statistic for texting while driving.  It doesn’t include other forms of distracted driving.)

Multitasking also has an effect on relationships.  The more frazzled you get, the harder it is to be patient with one another.  And this goes both ways.  Because when both partners are distracted and overwhelmed and one tries to calm down and singularly focus on what matters, it can be disheartening when the other one is still flying down the road, so to speak, in all different directions.

And, of course, let’s talk (briefly) on multitasking and health.  It’s bad for you.  It makes you crazy.  So stop it.

Breathe.

And realize this: There is a lot that glitters in this world.  There are a lot of good options out there.  Naturally, we don’t want to miss a thing and we end up grabbing it all.  Credit card debt anybody?

The problem with good is that it comes at the expense of great.

It’s up to you.  You want a thousand good things that drive you mad or a few great things that really matter and bring you joy?

Our lives need weeding.

Figure out what truly matters and focus on that.  Everything else is just details.

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Why You Need a Spiritual Family (i.e. true friends)

I read an article recently about spiritual families (What About the Family in Front of Me?). The author, Captain Michele Ward, spoke of her mother’s recent death and how empty she felt in the aftermath.   She stumbled on a Bible verse (Mark 3:31-34) one Sunday during church and had an epiphany.  Realizing that her family does not begin and end with blood ties alone, she writes, “God never intended for us to just depend upon and support our own immediate family.”

Mind you, she is not saying we should not depend upon and support our own immediate family.  Rather, she is saying it does not end with blood family alone.

This struck a chord.

Awhile ago we had a birthday party for one of our children.  I did the preliminary tasks of cleaning, food preparation, and so on.  I rolled the chairs and couches with masking tape to get rid of pet fur.  I detailed the hall bathroom, the boys’ bathroom (4 of our 5 children are boys).  I scrubbed the kitchen tile grout.  And yet, even though I knew I had done my utmost best, I had to acknowledge two things:

1-I was nervous.  Really nervous.

2-I was kidding myself if I thought I was doing this to be a good hostess concerned with my guests’ comfort alone.

While it is true that I wanted my guests to be comfortable I also knew I had done my best.  So why was I nervous?  This was a simple family birthday party.

Because family was still going to talk.  No matter what I did, I knew someone was going to say something.  Whether it was outright in-your-face negative, behind-your-back secretive or a passive aggressive manuever (and said to a child of mine, “Oh your house is so clean now!  Do you like it? It wasn’t always this way…”), it was bound to happen.  Even by the nicest among us.

Why did I care?  After all, I had done my best.

I worried because I cared about the people who would do the talking.  And therein lies the rub.

We often have a disconnect between the family we crave and what is actually possible out of the blood-family we have.

After (way too) much thought I offer these points to consider:

1) As much as we want total acceptance out of our blood family, we must first be okay with not having it.

2) To up the ante, we must also first be willing to extend unconditional acceptance to our family members to the best of our human ability.  This is hard to do and it is true that you might not ever have this acceptance reciprocated.

3) We all have “belonging needs.”  They are real and if ignored there will be eventual hell to pay.  Isolation is good for no one.  Unless you’re a monk.  But if you’re a member of society, it doesn’t always work.  You will come into contact with others–family, friends and strangers.

4) In regards to #3, choose wisely.

I can count on one hand those who have my best interests at heart.  Alright, two hands.  I am blessed.  (These are not always the same people who believe they know what is best for me.) A few of these people are blood family and the rest are my spiritual family/true friends.  Despite having a perpetually chaotic life (5 kids y’all….it’s no joke), I make damn sure I make time for these people.  They support me in every little way I go and if I stray, they correct me gently but firmly.

It was not always this way.  The major players in my life were all blood-related at one time.  However, you need your chosen family, i.e. your spiritual family just as much, if not more so.  A good dog or cat wouldn’t hurt either.

Your chosen, spiritual family builds you up and helps you achieve your goals.  This should never be ignored or taken lightly.  We need these people in our lives.  They keep us honest: To ourselves, to each other, and to others.  And they keep us healthy.  In return we do the same.  In a spiritual/chosen family, everyone ultimately wins.

Take some time to think about it.  Who is in your chosen family?  Are you making time for them?

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Communication for Thinking People

If you are an analyzer/thinker/philosopher the world is chock full of insight.

The problem is, given enough time and left to our own devices (i.e. uninterrupted) we are able to see:

a) how everything is related

b) every possible motive for someone’s actions, positive or negative

c) WAY TOO damn much into a situation

I pick up on people’s moods and body language very quickly.  I notice subtle shifts.  So I think I can also explain the “why” for these shifts.  And 80% of the time I’m right.  Okay, fine:  70% of the time.

But there are costs to be considered:

* Over-analyzing increases anxiety tremendously.  Personally, I never feel comfortable if I’m over-analyzing a situation. It is not a peaceful state.  (Pondering is another story.)

* Stuck in this other mental world of alternate universes temporarily keeps you out of the present moment.  The present moment, incidentally, is where life is actually happening

*People don’t want to know about it.  Don’t share.  Unless they absolutely beg for it.  And even then: Edit, edit, edit.  Especially if it is about them.  Even if you put it tactfully and make it as non-personal as possible, in the most constructive, gentle way, friends and family are famously, fabulously unreceptive to any sort of insight you might have into their behavior.

To further complicate matters,  if you are a sensitive person the impact of all this sensory input can lead you to falsely believe that if it feels this strongly it must be true. Wrong.

Just because you interpreted a message or someone’s actions a certain way doesn’t mean that was what was communicated.

The absolute truth of the matter is whether you over-analyze or not, you can’t trust your senses to give you the whole truth.  You and I simply don’t know why people say/act/react the way they do.  We might pick up on accurate clues once in awhile (70%….I swear!) but we don’t have the full picture.

I’m not saying to throw out your perceptions, feelings and thoughts.  Hell, no.  Never.

But perhaps an understanding is needed.  We can be aware that everyone views life events and others communications/actions through our own filters.  When I was studying for my Communications degree I was taught that everyone has their own frame of reference and it includes their personal past history, past communications with you specifically and other factors such as environment (where the communication takes place), body language & nonverbal communication, among other things.

I’m always saying that if you want your message to be received as intended, the responsibility lies primarily on you.

It also holds true that if you want to make sure that the message you’re receiving from another is just as accurate, you must take just as much responsibility.  If you simply don’t have the time or energy to do this, or it’s just not practical, there’s a simple answer: Don’t. But also, for your own sake, don’t jump to conclusions either.

Even if you have a 70% success rate.

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Faith Is An Action

Every time I go through a crisis or life challenge I learn a little more about faith.

At first, most people approach faith with the same attitude that they do healthy eating or exercising: ”I know I should. Yes, I’m all for it.”

But there is no action behind it.

It is all good and easy to say you’ve got faith, however life has a peculiar way of eventually testing you on how solid your faith is.  If you so much as wince, you have failed. You’re sent back for strengthening and reconditioning classes.

Through these classes you will become intimate with faith. You will wrestle with it on many occasions. At other times, you will marvel at how ethereal faith is, yet so solid. You can’t grasp it—not intellectually or physically. You learn that the two places for sensing faith are in your heart and soul.

You will probably always wonder if you are faithful enough. That’s part of our culture. Are we good enough? Am I good enough? Is my faith sufficient for today? Or must I go through more? A longer refinement? When is there a cooling off time? Is there ever such a time?

And has your past decisions—not always good, but not always bad, put you in this place where you must be taught again?

And that’s the thing with a lot of these type of chaotic situations. One can never tell if they are merely enduring some odd domino effect caused by some earlier action they made. Or if they are being taught something throughout the process, something that is vital to their soul.

I choose to believe in the greater good always being at work. It’s hard to see if you’re used to focusing on the negative.

But the greater good at work means that even if this whole nasty situation is brought on by yourself or inflicted upon you by some external evil, it will still work out to the benefit of your soul.

But, there’s a catch.  You must be willing to learn from life.  Your attitude must be in the right place.  And you must take a leap of faith….a leap that says, “I’m really not sure what the sh-t is going on, but I’m going to suspend judgment and trust that it’s all going to work out for the good.”

Faith first. Faith that it’s going to someday work itself out, faith that there is a greater good at work and faith that there’s a Power/Force who wouldn’t just send us here haphazardly and for no reason.

We really are too complex of creatures to ever be an accident-our lives do have meaning.

Scientists, real honest-to-God, bonafide scientists have found this to be true.  Humans are not a biological accident or even a natural progression.  There was an outside Force that ushered us along.  Our development into what we are today was at such a rapid pace that it did not happen naturally.  Some of these scientists say it was because of alien intervention.  Take that theory or leave it.  (And when I don’t have a school meeting I need to be at in 5 minutes, I’ll post the research that verifies this.)  However, I’ve thought about this a lot and for what it’s worth, I believe it was God.  But you have to come to your own conclusions on that.

It follows, then, that although life seems completely random (and yes, I know, bad sh-t happens) there might be something else at play.

I can’t explain why, exactly, atrocities happen.  I know that there is still evil in this world.  People do messed up stuff all the damn time.  Even good people find themselves acting out, if even in minor ways.  But that is not within the scope of this post right now.

Right now it’s about you.  Are you willing to suspend judgment for a moment and trust just a little bit more?  Take a leap of faith and believe, if only for a moment, that everything you might be facing today is going to work out for the good.  I know it’s hard, but faith is an action.

And for every action there is a reaction.  Trust.

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Personal Happiness VS. Group Happiness

It’s a funny thing, trying to balance personal happiness with group happiness.

We are a big family with five children.  We also like to do things with our extended family (which, incidentally, is also big).  We are blessed to have our family close to us, which is something that needs to be remembered during these big  family outings.

We joke that we are a critical mass when we are together.  Or at least, I joke that we are.  We need to work together or it is pure chaos.

In our immediate family of husband, me, and our five children I can count at least five of us who are naturally headstrong and stubborn.  That’s not including extended family members who are also just as feisty and headstrong (and sometimes in a passive way–the tricksters of our family).

Something I tell my kids, that I also need to hear (isn’t that always the way?), is that we must not be so quick to push our way.  There is joy in giving and in allowing other’s needs to come first.  I know that is not very modern of me.

Afterall, we are told to shoot for dreams and to not let anything or anyone stand in our way.  Personal happiness is VERY trendy right now and the paths that are presented to us by mass media often proclaim that the way to happiness is putting yourself first.  Me, me, me.

But what if you could hold back for a moment?  Most parents realize the joy in seeing their children do something they love.  We get this on a gut level.  But we have a hard time doing this with other adults.

There is a balance to be struck between putting other’s needs/wants ahead of your own needs/wants and also being an advocate for yourself.

On a recent zoo trip, my 11-year-old son asked me what I most wanted to see at the zoo.  I told him that I’d like to see the koalas but I most wanted to see the birds of prey as they are my favorite animals (besides seahorses and butterflies…and alpacas).  He said, “Then we will make sure you see them Mommy!”  He, obviously, is the peacemaker in the family and not one of the stubborn ones.   Yes, it’d be nice but  I reminded him that the zoo trip is about the kids, not the adults and I’d be fine seeing my birds of prey up close on YouTube in the comfort of my own home, minus all the other zoo-goers.

It is possible to meet your needs while also allowing for the happiness and strivings of others.  You can be your own advocate and do what you want in time.  It takes creativity, perseverance, and resilience.  And patience.  And, most importantly, the realization that it might not be reciprocated back to you.   That’s okay though.  In a perfect world, we’d all support each other.  It’s not a perfect world but that doesn’t give you an excuse to act out.

I learned this as an adult.  And I see other adults who never learned this or completely ignored it.   I’m hoping to save my children the trouble of many years of self-inflicted chaos borne from being too pushy.  I might just be pissing into the wind.  They may be too young to get it.   I’m hoping, though, that I’m planting a seed.  Only time will tell.

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Show up

Show up.  Even when you’re tired.  Even if you’re not feeling at the top of your game.  Especially if you have nothing more to give.  

Just keep showing up.  Be willing.  Depending on (impermanent….all things are impermanent) life or global events, you may have no hope left.  Still, show up.

Expect nothing but still give all you can.  Even if all you’ve got to give is your presence.

This is tricky.  Because when we give all we can and really bring it in life, not everyone responds to that.  I’m not saying they are necessarily adverse to it, but it’s a lot to deal with it, especially if there is a lot going on in their lives.  We’re all busy and running at a fever pitch.  Some people love this and it is not necessarily a bad thing.  In excess though…we tend to get cranky with each other.

So you may not get a response from people.  And your own life circumstances may be slow to respond as well.  Still bring it.  Still show up.

Because, the thing is, you only have one chance at this life.  Even if you believe in reincarnation, you still only get one go-around in this exact life.  And if you give up (and giving up is a slippery ass slope….) there will be no change.  None.

I saw someone call someone else a “defeatist” on Facebook today.  (Definition of “defeatism” per Merriam-Webster:  “An attitude of accepting, expecting, or being resigned to defeat”)

It stopped me in my tracks.  Because truth be told, for various reasons, I’m feeling pretty world-weary/people-wary/life-exhausted right now.

This is my slippery slope and I must be extra-mindful right now to pull myself up by my bootstraps and save myself from it.  No one else can do that for me.  They can listen and try to help but when it comes right down to it we are responsible for saving ourselves.

But, hell no.  I won’t go.  Defeat isn’t even on my radar.  It used to be.  And I let a little blip of defeat in and it took up the whole damn screen and approximately 15 years of my life.  It’s insidious that way.

So the choice is your’s.  Are you going to keep showing up, even when you’re physically/emotionally/mentally tired?  Are you going to at least let down your guard just a little bit so if any good, does, by chance, want to slip in the welcome mat is out?

Will you continue to give your best? If you need to rest first so you’re not a complete reactive mess to everyone you encounter, then by all means rest.  Rest is paramount.

But keep showing up.  Good meets you halfway.

 My Personal Butterfly With Broken Wings

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Life

Oh boy….life has a way of polishing us doesn’t it?  Even if we don’t want it to.

I hate unpleasant surprises.  I know—nobody likes them.  But I truly hate them.  I mean I actively try to guard against them.  I take actions to ensure they won’t crop up: Double-checking insurance coverage, banking account balances, and if the knobs are in “off” position on the stove.

I am a preemptive strike type of girl.  And in those situations where I have no control, I find their duration tedious.

Life is having fun with me right now and teaching me flexibility.  Patience.  Being uncomfortable with not knowing what the next step is.  Trust.  Faith.  And other things too: Grace, love (it’s an action), and belief in myself.  Being who I am and bringing the very best I got to the table each and every time, from the moment I get up each morning ‘til the time I pass out each early morning.   I’m human.  I fail at this.  But I don’t stop trying.

And you know what….as tough as it is, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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