Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day 31 - A Happy Surprise!

I live just steps away from a college campus.  So, even though we are in Cleveland, Ohio, it is never surprising to see students walking around, in the dead of winter, in shorts. 

It is just what college students do.

Today, when I went for a walk in my neighborhood, the college students were out in droves heading to and from classes.  And yes, they were sporting their shorts.  Some were even wearing flip flops.

Yep - January 31 - shorts and flip flops. Again this does not surprise me - it is just what college students do.

What is surprising, however, is that today (January 31!) in Cleveland, Ohio, that shorts and flip flops seemed completely appropriate.

The sun was shining...and it was 60 degrees!  (psst...did I mention that it is January 31, in Cleveland, Ohio?!!!???)

Some might call it global warming...Some might call it a fluke...I call it a happy surprise!

What surprised you today?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 30 - imagination

"Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions."
Albert Einstein

Hummm...If my imagination created this...

I wonder what is to be...

What does your imagination see?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 29 - My Internal War.

Yep, it's just one of those days! 

I tried really hard to fight it.  I tried to wish it away.  And ignore it.

But my friend (or not), Mr. Grumpy-Dump, is here. 

Truth be told, I think he has been lurking for a few days now.  And today I could not dismiss him any more.  You see, he started kibitzing with my Inner Mean Girl.  And to that I say - "BLECK!!!!!"  

When those two get together it is never, EVER, fun for me. 

Today, my Inner Mean Girl and Mr. Grumpy-Dump are comrades waging, a full-out internal war against me.

And, I am trying to dodged the bullets.

But, truth be told, some of those bullets, that I am avoiding, I know I need to take.  Yep, it is true...I need to own them! They are bullets that I brought on myself.

However, most of those other bullets are just plain mean.  They are low blows that are bitchy, unfair, and jarring.  My Inner Mean Girl and Mr. Grumpy-Dump are shooting bullets, laced with my insecurities, fears and vulnerabilities.

Because those are their weapons of choice.

It's not fun.  It feels lousy!  But, nonetheless, this battle is occurring.

And so, I acknowledge it.  Observe.  And take action and make decisions about which bullets are mine to take, and which are ones that are not worthy of my thoughts and time.

Not easy, at all.

But the good news is, that my only real choice, is to put my Inner Mean Girl, and Mr. Grumpy-Dump to bay and for me to prevail. 

And, knowing that is way more than half the battle!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 28 - I Believe...

Inspired by Jamie Eslinger's post entitled "I'm a Believer" I decided that today I would create a list of what I believe...

You know...those things, located deep inside the soul, that are truths.

I believe...
     that hugs, kisses, and a listening ear can help to cure almost everything.
     in authenticity.
     love is worth the wait.
     miracles are everywhere.
     stories matter.
     in the magic of Christmas.
     that facing a fear is less painful than fearing it.
     doodles have meaning.
     that it is every one's responsibility to evolve and grow.
     in goodness.
     happiness is a choice.
     in stepping outside of comfort zones.
     dreams are achievable.
     there is a higher power.
     we are each more powerful than we know.
     in moments of serendipity.
     secrets are harmful.
     in the power of the creative process.
     things happen for a reason.

What do you believe?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 27 - My Theme in a Doodle

One way I keep in touch with my authentic self, is to BE CREATIVE every day!

One of my creative outlets is being a member of MelissaAnne Color's Do the Doodle

This week we were asked to doodle our personal theme of 2012.

My theme for the year, is Valuing Self: my Body, my Gifts, my Time.

It was fun to do.

What is your theme for 2012?
I dare you to doodle it!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 26 - Courage

I have done a lot of thinking about COURAGE.  To me, courage looks like a lion - fierce and strong.  Or like a superhero - having special powers and wearing a red cape.  Courage, to me, often feels one of the last term that anyone would use to describe me.

But, recently someone called me COURAGEOUS.  And, I wondered what if COURAGE is something that even, me, a mere mortal could claim.

So I googled "COURAGE" and found these quotes that inspired me...

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
~E.E. Cummings

Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says
I'll try again tomorrow. 
~Mary Anne Radmacher

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
~Raymond Lindquist

Optimism is the foundation of courage.
~Nicholas Murray Butler

So...maybe my definition of COURAGE is too inflexible...  too unachieveable...  too exacting.

And perhaps, I am courageous...in my own, non-super hero way!

Do you own your COURAGE?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 25 - Hump Day Happy: Friendship!

At ISOMIM, Wednesday is all about HAPPINESS! Each week I will list ten happy thoughts about a specific topic.

Last Week's Hump Day Happy was all about Words.

This week is all about Friendships

This is what makes me happy about friendships...
  1. I get to be ME with my true friends.
  2. It's great to have friends to cry to, vent to, and be crabby around, and still know that, no matter what, they have my back!
  3. There are those few people in the world, that even if we haven't talked to in a long time, I know that I can pick up the phone to reconnect, and it feels as if NO time has passed.
  4. The best feeling ever, is that even after 8 years of marriage, my husband is still my best friend.
  5. I love how each and every friend has touched my life in wonderful ways...even the ones whom I have lost touch with, or I am, currently, not as friendly with.
  6. I am blessed that some friends have come into my life, exactly when I needed them. 
  7. While sometimes I forget, friends are better than pizza.  And, in fact, friends can do wonders for curtailing my emotional eating.
  8. Friends tell me the truth in a way that is not too painful to hear.
  9. There are some friendships that are so unexpected and so wonderful that I know that a divine power is involved in the connection.
  10. Friends bring out the best in me.
What makes you happy about FRIENDSHIPS?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 24 - Nonsensical Seussical!

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.
Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

In my mind, Dr. Seuss is a god!  No, not god with a "capital-G"...but a "god" who is human who was an uber super-caliberific amazing story-telling genius who has touched the hearts of millions!

His stories have such powerful messages!

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
― Dr. Seuss

“A person's a person, no matter how small.”
Dr. Seuss

“Think left and think right and think low and think high.
Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” Dr. Seuss

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact.
And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)
Kid, you'll move mountains.”
Dr. Seuss

“Just tell yourself, Duckie, your real quite lucky.”
Dr. Seuss

“Today you are You, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
Dr. Seuss

And, every time I read my children his stories (which is often), we are taken to a world filled with imagination, life lessons, fascination, inspiration, and tongue twisters!

Which I suppose makes sense, since Dr. Seuss once said...

“In my world, everyone's a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies!”

And, while I am not sure that I would ever want to live in that world...I am sure glad that he did!

Who is one of your (lower-case g) gods?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 23 - I wonder...

In graduate school I had a wonderful professor, Russ Rodgers, who often had me thinking of the world entirely differently than I had previously.  I am sure that he taught me tons about Higher Education Administration, but what I remember most is what he taught me about life!

One day, at the beginning of class, Professor Rodgers, asked us to clear off our desks.  He then wrote on the black board "I wonder..." and asked us to finish the sentence.

At first there was an awkward silence. 

Thoughts were running through our heads...
This isn't how class is suppose to go. 
Aren't we suppose to be discussing Chickering's Student Development Theory?
Isn't he going to lecture?
What is he doing?
What is the catch?
What am I suppose to say?

Finally, a brave soul cut through the silence and said "I wonder what you want us to say."

He smiled.  And said nothing.

Someone else said, "I wonder why we are doing this."

Another small smile.

Someone else dared "I wonder who put this gum underneath my desk."

Our professor grinned broadly and replied to the entire class, "Yes, and what else do you wonder?"

Slowly, we started to add our wonders...

"I wonder what I will be doing in ten years."
"I wonder what that noise is."
"I wonder how old these desks are."
"I wonder who is on the plane that just flew by."
"I wonder where they are going."
"I wonder how I will do on my test tomorrow."
"I wonder why the blackboard is green."

In that moment, our perspectives changed and we saw our worlds differently.  It was amazing how our brains shifted, from wanting to be taught and told the answers, to being curious and wondering.

And, in that moment, I am not sure I grasped the lesson that our professor was trying to teach us.  But the experience stuck with me, and I often wondered about it.

Then one day I came upon this quote by Socrates,
"Wisdom begins with Wonder." 

And I immediately knew, that was Professor Rodgers lesson that day!

What do you wonder?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Day 22 - What CANNOT do you need to silence?

I love this quote...it really speaks to me...

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced."
~Vincent Van Gogh

I have written a children's book that I want to get published.  
And, I have always believed that I cannot do the illustrations...

Recently, I have been wondering if I can...

What CANNOT do you need to silence?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Day 21 - Even when it would be easier not to.

One of my goals for 2012 is to become healthier.  This has been a goal of mine for many year now...and so, I wonder, "What do I need to do differently to succeed?"  A conclusion that I have recently come to, is that I need to persist, even when it would be easier not to.  And today is a perfect example of what I mean...

I arrived home around 3:00pm after spending two days and one night in Erie, PA with one other adult and four boys, ages 7, 7, 5 and 4 at Splash Lagoon (an indoor waterpark).  Needless to say, I got very little sleep the night before, and after the zooiness of the waterpark plus the two hour drive home, I was T.I.R.E.D! 

But, I realized that, to keep the promise that I had made to myself, I needed to exercise for at least thirty minutes before the days end.  And, honestly, it sounded like a horrible idea and I didn't know if I was actually going to keep my promise!

So, when I got home, I wasn't eager to do much more than sit.  So I sat. I chatted with my husband, and relaxed.  But around 4:45pm, I decided that maybe I should get my butt in gear, keep my promise and go to the gym.  My plan was simply to walk around the track, so I got into my workout clothes and headed out the door.  When I arrived, I was informed that they were closing in five minutes.

My initial reaction was "CRAP and YEAH!" all at the same time.

As I left, I thought, "Well, there is my answer, I guess I won't workout today."

On the way home, the thought crossed my mind, "I could use the Wii and get my workout in."

But when I arrived home, I heard the boys playing baseball on the Wii. 

So, I thought, "Well, that seals the deal...I guess I am not working out today."  (I mean I couldn't make them stop playing...only a mean, selfish mom, would do that...RIGHT?!!?)

I am not sure what possessed me (other than the mean, selfish mom part of me).  But I walked into the family room, booted my kids off the Wii, popped in the Wii Zumba and got my groove on.

I surprised the <beep> out of myself...I persisted!  Yep, even when it would have been easier not to!

Excuse me for a moment, while I do a little cheer for myself...  WooHooies!

When did you persist even when it would have been easier not to?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 20 - Almost like Florida...

Today there wasn't school, so a friend of mine and I, packed up our four boys and headed 118 miles northeast to get warm.  It is almost like heading south and catching some rays on the Florida beaches!

Yep, almost like Florida...

Errrr...really it's only a little similar.

OK...Truth be told, it's pretty much NOTHING like Florida!

But the boys are having good fun!

And, the cold, ice and snow outside are distant memories...at least until we out to get dinner!

The 4 boys having a blast at
Splash Lagoon - an indoor water park in Erie, PA

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 19 - Six word to describe YOU!

In a previous post, (HERE), I first wrote about Larry Smith's Six-Word Memoir.  Recently, I have thought about that post and wondered how I would sum my life up in six words now, almost 2 years later.  And then, serendipitously, yesterday I was reading through my February 2012 issue of O Magazine I came across is a feature about this very topic.

And, when serendipity speaks, I listen!  So, today's post asks the question:  How would you describe YOU in just 6 words?

Oprah's six words are "Seeking the fullest expression of self."

Gayle King's six words are "I am definitely in my zone."

So, of course I decided to create a second edition of my six word memior.  And, it amazing to me how much can change in 2 years!

This is what I have come up with thus far...

Living as authentically as I can!
Was Lost.  Found Passions.  Achieving Dreams!
Last one in Kindergarten. Ahhhh, Freedom!
One day I will be thin.
Must create daily to live fully!
I Dare to Dream and Believe!
Kids are wonderful, but not everything!
Inspired to share myself with others.

What six words best describes YOU?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day 18 - Hump Day Happy: Words!

At ISOMIM, Wednesday is all about HAPPINESS! Each week I will list ten happy thoughts about a specific topic.

Last Week's Hump Day Happy was all about Winter.

This week is all about Words!

This is what makes me happy about WORDS:
  1. Words create stories.  Stories tell a person's truth.
  2. Finding the perfect word, to describe the exactly what I want to say, is galvanizing!
  3. Some words, like shenanigans, buffoon, scrumptious, juxtaposition, and dynamo are so utterly and wonderfully visible in the mind's eye.
  4. Words have the ability to bring us together.
  5. Words can be weaved words together so magically that somehow, they become weaved into my soul.
  6. Words describe feelings. Feelings explain and enrich a person's story.
  7. Silence is often the most powerful word.
  8. Words break rules.  Sometimes it is good to break the rules.
  9. Like us, words are always evolving.
  10. I get to pick and choose which words I listen to.  And, I choose to hear ones that lead me towards my dreams!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day 17 - Fast Food Free for 366 days!

On December 31, 2011, I ate my last fast food food for 366 days.  And while I am only 17 days into my commitment, I am pleased to say that I have not caved.  In fact, I am overjoyed to tell you that it has been relatively easy!

Whenever the idea of just grabbing a "quick bite to eat" enters my brain - and I imagine McDonald's, or Burger King - I immediately erase it from my mind.  It is simply not an option.

I am embarrassed to admit how frequently my car headed toward the drive-thru and I thought that it would be SO hard to stop.  Because fast food was so simple.  So easy.  SO convenient. 

But I have found other eating habits that are simple, easy, and convenient.  It just takes a bit of planning.  Tonight, with various events that I have at my sons' school, is one of those times that I would have picked up fast food for me and the kids.  Instead, my plan is to grab sandwiches and have a picnic dinner at the school in between meetings. 

So, while I am surprised that this has been easy (thus far), I am joyfully flabbergasted about how much better I feel. 

My energy is higher.  I do not feel as sluggish.  And, I do not crave the grease like I used to. 


So today, as I sit here, two weeks into my fast free year, I am thrilled!

I would imagine there may be times in the future that it may become more difficult (like during our planned summer road trip), but my intention is to prevail - and I am confident that I will!  And that feels good!

What do you think would be incredibly difficult to give up?
What if it is easier than you think?!!?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 16 - Going against the grain.

I remember when I was a senior in high school and was investigating which university that I wanted to attend...
...and contemplating what my major would be?
...and wondering "What in the hell was I going to do with my life?"

I didn't really know.  But I picked a school.  And, I picked a major.  I started to wrap my brain around going off to college.

And then, my parents said to me that they thought I should wait a year.
They thought I was too immature. 
They thought I wouldn't focus, or be in college for the right reasons.

I was furious!  My pride was sorely hurt. 

Don't get me wrong, I knew that I wasn't a stellar student (I was a C average student).  And I knew that my motivation was rarely driven by grades and studying (I was more interested in friends and my high school boyfriend).  But, academically, I got by. 
I did what I needed to do...mostly.

With my pride at stake, I was dead set on going to college that fall. 
And, I told my parents so. 
And, they told me that it was my decision to make.

So, I would go to college in the fall.  My decision was made!  And, I thought that was my final answer.

And then...as my mom was writing out the check to the university for the non-refundable housing deposit, she simply asked, "Are you sure you are ready?"
And I wasn't.

To this day, I am not sure what possessed me to change my mind... perhaps it was because my parents had allowed it to be my decision...or, perhaps because I got scared...or, perhaps because, deep down, I knew that I wasn't ready to be serious about studying and college. 

Regardless of the reason, I changed my mind and decided to work for a year before attending college.  And, in 1987, this was something that people didn't do - at least not at my high school.  In my high school, you were either college-bond, or you were not. 

Not going directly to college, after high school, went completely "against the grain". 

And, that was hard to do.

Many of my friends were appalled.  Friends of my parents, wondered if I was making an awful decision, and voiced their concerns.  They didn't understand what I was thinking and were further purplexed that my parents were supportive of my decision.  And, to be honest, in that moment, I wasn't exactly sure what I was thinking either. 

But something told me that I was making the right decision.

And, it turns out, it was the right decision for me!  Because, in that year, I learned an important life lesson that continues to serve me well today!

After working in retail, 40 hours a week, with a store manager who was addicted to cocaine, and assistant manager who was sorely unhappy with her job, her marriage, and her life, and other employees who felt "stuck" in dead-end jobs, I learned that I am responsible for creating the life that I want.

At the end of that year, the district manager plead with me to stay with the company.  He even offered me a promotion.  But I knew that was not what I wanted to be doing. 

So, I politely declined and I headed off to college...
to create the life that I wanted to live!
(a life that is still in the process of being created, and re-created, and re-created...)

When have you gone "against the grain"?
What did you learn from that experience?

ps...in yesterday's post there is a giveaway...there is still time to enter!  Click HERE!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 15 - Re-Gifting - GIVEAWAY ALERT!

WooHooies...Today, I am re-gifting in the form of a GIVEAWAY!

Why, you ask...because I am excited to launch my brand new FEELING CARDS!  I figured what better way to celebrate than to give a set away?!!?  And YOU can be the lucky winner!

These whimsical, colorful cards convey twenty four emotions through both fun illustrations and lively poetry.
  • Encourages identification and exploration of emotions
  • Promotes conversation about various feelings
  • Supports social-emotional development
  • Assists in building self-awareness and esteem
Created for children...but adults love them too!
(see the tab above labeled "Feeling Cards"...that is where you can click to purchase them) 

But, you can get a set for FREE!  To enter the drawing all you need to do is comment below. 

(FYI...your chances are pretty good, because I am pretty sure my only other follower is my husband, and he is not permitted to win!)

I will announce the winner, here on my blog, on Saturday, January  21, 2012!

Good Luck!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 14 - "How does one become a butterfly?"

"How does one become a butterfly?
You must want to fly so much that you are willing to
give up being a caterpillar."
~ Trina Paulus

I found this quote, and it really spoke to me.

How badly do I want to fly? 
And, what I mean by "fly" is... errrr...
lose weight.

Enough to give up being a caterpillar? 

And, what I mean by "being a caterpillar" is... errrr...
eating unconsciously and,
the comfortableness of my couch and get up and move and,
daily indulgences and,
my current patterns and habits and,
So much more.

I have tried to fly before.  I know that it's not going to be easy...

But, YES, I want to fly. 
(time to spread my wings...)

How badly do you want you "fly"?
Enough to give up being a caterpillar?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Day 13 - Baby, it's COLD outside!

At 6:15am this morning, I awoke to "Mom! Did you see all the snow out there?!!?"  Alex and Owen could not contain their excitement!  They stared out the window in glee!

Winter and snow has finally hit us here in Cleveland.  While it's a cold smack in the face, it is certainly not a take-down punch.  So, no snow day, today, for the boys.  No matter, because they were thrilled at the thought of heading outside and trampling through the snow on the way to the bus stop.

Their big smiles remind me of how excited I used to get
about the first snowfall of the season when I was a kid!

So, after breakfast, my boys eagerly slid on their snow pants, buckled up their boots, put on their thick parkas, grabbed their hats, mittens, and scarves to go out into the elements.  Their enthusiasm and energy was contagious!

So while the bitter cold, the slippery roads, the mucky slush, and shoveling are no fun, I can not help to feel a little jubilant about the white blanket I see out my windows!

So, from here in Cleveland, I wish you a Happy Winter Day!
And I hope you can stay inside, 'cuz Baby, it's COLD outside!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 12 - Fingerprint Masterpieces!

One of my favorite things to do is create with my boys. 

When they were toddlers and preschoolers and home with me, we often sat down and did a "fun activity".  These activities would often involve paint, glue, scissors, and even glitter.  They were messy, but so fun!

I enjoyed them so much, that often wondered if I was doing these "fun activities" more for me than for them?!!?

But, regardless, we all had a blast making a mess, and creating!

However, since they started school these "fun activities" have happened less and less.  Between getting ready from school, winding down from school, doing homework, having dinner, reading, and getting to them to bed there is hard to find time for glue, glitter, and messes.

And I miss that!  (OK, I must admit, I have never missed the cleaning up the mess part)

So, when it was time to write the dreaded Thank You notes for Christmas gifts, I decided that a "fun activity" was in order.

So, I pilfered through my scrapbooking stuff, grabbed some ink pads and pens, we created Fingerprint Masterpieces for the front of the Thank You cards.
This one was created by Alex, age 7

15 ink-stained fingers later (mine included), and many of giggles, and lots of "Mom, do you like mine?" 's, and our thank you cards were complete! 

And, we had fun!

(Full Disclosure Alert: I can not take full credit for completing the thank you cards, as my wonderful husband did take on the task of helping them write the notes.)

Note to self:  Make time for more "Fun Activities" with the boys!

What is something that you used to do with your kids that you miss?
I dare you to make time and do it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 11 - Hump Day Happy: Winter

At ISOMIM, Wednesday is all about HAPPINESS! Each week I will list ten happy thoughts about a specific topic.

Last Week's Hump Day Happy was all about Childhood Memories.

This week is all about Winter!
Things about Winter that brings a smile to my face are...
  1. Sledding with my boys.
  2. The beauty of each unique snow flake.
  3. Hot chocolate.
  4. Cuddling by a warm fire.
  5. Trees coated with fresh snow.
  6. Snow Angels and Snowmen.
  7. Big icicles glimmering in the sun light.
  8. Snow crunching under boots.
  9. No bugs.
  10. The silence that only snow can bring.
What about winter makes you happy?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 10 - Integrity

Perhaps I am a little slower than the average bear, but it wasn't until Graduate School, that I truly (or so I thought) comprehended the meaning a INTEGRITY.

I remember learning that INTEGRITY meant that I would keep my word and honor my promises.  In essence, I would do what I said I was going to do and that I meant what I said.   

And, I strive to life my life with INTEGRITY. 

Sometimes I succeed.  And other times I do not.  But the intention of INTEGRITY is always there, guiding me.

And then, the other day, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

My definition of INTEGRITY is severely flawed!

I thought that INTEGRITY meant that I would keep my word and honor the promises, that I had made to othersI had not considered those things that I had said or promised to myself.

(it took me a moment to digest this idea, so I repeated...)

I had not considered those things that I had said or promised
to myself!

(and then the blessed Aha Moment occurred...)

WOW!...something is VERY wrong with that!

And so, I guess, that if I really want to be a person with INTEGRITY (which I do), then I guess I am not only accountable to others, but also to myself.

Eek!  Suddenly, all the times that I have gone back on my word, or broken the promises that I made to myself, flood into my consciousness.  And I am scared!  Energized too...(but in a "Eek!" kind of way)!

But, you know, it's funny how when those Aha Moments happen, as hard as I try, there is no "undo" button available to click.  The Aha has happened and there is no turning back now.

So, my world is rocked as I incorporate my new definition of INTEGRITY into my life!

What has rocked your world lately?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 9 - Time...making the most of it!

I do best when my time is scheduled...when I have places to go, people to see and things to do.  And prior to becoming a mom, that is what I had.  My workdays were filled with meetings, projects, deadlines, and a filled schedule. 

Then, as a mom of newborns, my days were scheduled by their cries and whines, their feeding and sleep schedule, and the tasks to take care of the house.  As they grew, my schedule changed and was filled with Mommy and Me classes, doctors appointments, playdates, and preschool.  Their schedules helped me to be organized and kept me busy.

But now that both boys are in full day school, I find my schedule mine to make (at least on weekdays from 9-4pm).  And, mostly, I love it!  I feel blessed that I get to take this time to pursue and figure out my passions.

But I am finding that scheduling my time - and only being accountable to me - has it's challenges!

For instance...
  • I have ideas, ideas, ideas, running around in my head.  And, I am excited about each and everyone of them, but figuring out which to implement can leave me at a loss. 
  • Since I am working from home, there are always things to do that seem to sideswipe progress.  For instance, right now, there are piles of laundry that are calling my name, ground turkey that needs browning, a dog barking to be let in, and vacuuming that needs to be done (just to name a few).  Often it is hard to focus on accomplishing "my" tasks, when the household tasks are screaming to be done.
  • Also, because I do not have others to be accountable to, it is easy to feel that what I am doing is not as important.

These struggles (plus others) led me to include "Valuing my Time" as a part of my year-long promise to myself.

With that in mind, this year, my goals include: 
  • to find a calendar and task manager that works for me (which I think I have figured out, thanks to my new iPhone!)
  • to step away from my computer and stop my work when the boys arrive home from school to spend quality time with them. (this has been going incredibly well thus far!)
  • to schedule my days so that I am productive.  (this one I am struggling with right now, and would love YOUR suggestions and ideas!)
So friends, if this situation sound familiar to you, I am curious...

How do you schedule your days to make them the most productive?
What do you do to stay on task when the schedule is yours to create?

Thanks!  I truly apprciate your thoughts!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Day 8 - "F-it" is not an option

I am a professional "F-it" girl.  I can say "F-it" to anything!

"F-it, I'll eat healthy tomorrow."
"F-it, going to the gym can wait."
"F-it, I deserve to have that."
"F-it, it's too much work."
"F-it, life is short."
"F-it, no one cares anyway."
"F-it, I don't feel like doing it."
"F-it, I've had a bad day."

You get the picture.

I realized on Friday night, when I SO wanted to say, "F-it, I am having a glass of wine - it's Friday night for God's sake!" that "F-it" is my go-to response when life gets a hard.  And, "F-it" is not serving me well...

"F-it" is instant gratification.
"F-it" is a way to not face a fear.
"F-it" gets in the way of my progress.
"F-it" is a defense mechanism.
Basically, "F-it" is no good!

So I am adopting a new motto..."F-it is NOT an option."

p.s.  Thank You, K for helping to make it successfully through my Friday night wine woes.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day 7 - Re-Gifting: Doodle-art.

Today, is the first in my "Re-Gifting" series that supports the VALUING my GIFTS part of my year long promise to myself.

One aspect of keeping this portion of my promise, is that I need to first identify and acknowledge (dang, sometimes, that is hard to do) my gifts, strengths and talents and then (Eek...this is the part that is SCARY!) share with others.

In the word of artist, Roy Henry Vickers,

"We are all created equal with special gifts and if we reach out to each other in sharing these gifts, we all become richer."
It sound a bit like re-gifting to me...But better!

So today I re-gift to you a recent discovery and something that I never thought was a talent of mine (thank you Melissa McClain)...

My gift of doodling (dare I say Art?!!?)

I call this one
"Bird, meet Worm"

What are your gifts?
I double-dog-dare you to re-gift one!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Day 6 - A Big Fat Failure

Yep...you read that right.  Day 6 is all about a Big Fat Fail!  Let me explain...

As 2011 wound down, I knew that I wanted to start the new year focused and clear about my goals and aspirations for 2012.

But before I could do that, I knew that I needed to reflect.

And, even though I had many, many accomplishments during 2011, I was haunted by one goal that I had failed to accomplish.  One BIG FAT FAILURE!

A big fat failure that I attempted to conquer many, many, MANY times.  (I even wrote about and made commitments to making changes here, here, and here - and those are just the times I dared to share.)

So, when I began to think about my goals for 2012 - THAT goal - you know, the one that I have failed at in many BIG and FAT ways, crept into my thoughts.

I didn't want to think about it.
I didn't want to consider it.
I didn't want to even acknowledge it.

I was tired of trying - and failing.
I was tired of hearing myself whine about it.
I was tired of getting excited about the possibilities of reaching my goals and then not.

Regardless, it was there.  Haunting me. 

No matter how many times I pushed it out of my mind, it returned.  Haunting me.

So I acknowledged it.  I thought about it.  I considered it.

The fear of failure - another BIG FAT FAILURE - was overwhelming.  I didn't want to fail at the same thing AGAIN.  Therefore, I didn't want to even try.

This was my internal battle for a long time.

Then, one day, I asked myself, "What is the alternative?"

"To NOT try." a voice said.

"To NOT try to achieve a dream?" I wondered.  "Is that truly an alternative?"

And a loud voice replied, "NOPE!  Nope, it is not!"

In the wise words of Theodore Roosevelt...
"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

So, the goal, to be healthier (lose weight and be in good shape) is back on the list. 

I will try (again) to succeed...

and, I am hopeful.

What dream do you have that you have failed to acheive?
Are you still trying?