Last Days Of The Storm

We seem to know when the storm is about to end. Frustrations build, tension rise, and anticipation overwhelms. If you are anything like me, you push, hoping to end the storm sooner. Those efforts tend to make things worse, not better.

“Everything… in its time,” the Good Book says.  (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

beautifulheader

I was faced with a huge reminder this week that no matter how hard or much I push, what is meant to be is what will be.

A personal storm is coming to an end after more than a year. (Thank God!) I fought it for months and ignored the inevitable. I made excuses for situations and others. I even blamed situations and others for it. Then, I took on crusade that was really not my own. I knew better, but I kept on. I stopped listening to my own voice, discounted my own desires and did what I thought was going to make things right.

Grateful-lesson-cutequotescollection.blogspot

I made a decision on Friday that will change the course of my professional career forever. A little scary? A bit, yes. But, the promise of a different kind of life and the new opportunities these changes bring me and my family far outweighs the fear (and the noise from naysayers).

I am forever grateful for everything and everyone that has led me to this place.  Tomorrow I officially put things into motion when I sign on the dotted line.

everythinginitsowntime-e1314538359882

It is now my time to grow!

Calm Amidst Chaos

Make time to be absolutely still amidst chaos. There, you will find your soul.  From there, your passions can be restored.

quote-out-of-clutter-find-simplicity-from-discord-find-harmony

So, so easy it is to get caught up in the chaos and noise that soaks each day. Regardless of the why, it’s a constant battle to rise above the flood and keep dry. The struggle is real.

Just stop!

Let the tide go out to sea without you. Let the clutter, conflict, discord, and difficulties go with the tide. Let it all wash away into the sea.

Take some time to rest, relax and restore. Then, take a look to see what’s left on the beach.

Among the beautiful shells, soft sand, warm sunshine and fresh sea breezes are the hopes and dreams set aside long ago. Like cherished old friends from another place and time, we reconnect. Opportunities suddenly appear and make the long-thought impossible, possible again.

Passions reignite. Imagination and ingenuity emerge. Vision becomes clear. We see that we can become, have, do so much! There’s still time! But, we have to take action.

Before the tide returns, we find that we do have the power and strength. We now choose which joys to carry along when we rejoin the sea.

Choose wisely, my friends.

 

In Between

The most important, yet most neglected, aspect of our life journey,  is the space between.

Image result for honor the space between no longer and not yet

How often do we truly openly ponder “What If?”

Not often enough!

Many of us reach mid-life with all the trimmings of success, but we are worn down and exhausted. The shine of each new achievement fades quickly and we forge off chasing the next

We don’t often take the time, let alone MAKE the time, to dig deep and examine what it is we really and truly want.

Some of us are BETWEEN that which we no longer have (or want) and what we don’t have…yet. For others, it’s even more primal and personal, and we are BETWEEN who we no longer wish to be and our aspiring self.

When we make use of the space BETWEEN, we allow something vital enter our lives.

We breathe our own air. We hear our own voice. We feel our own needs. We start putting our needs first.

This space BETWEEN is sacred. Cherish it.

This is your chance to explore every “What If” your heart can imagine. Don’t let fear hurry you to the next safe haven. Discomfort and uncertainty are part of this journey.

Rise above the fear, stand strong against the naysayers and honor your heart’s deepest desires.

With no regrets later.

Namaste

Freedom to Be

15665453_1286915008036498_7609892340148743237_n

So, somebody posted this meme today on Facebook.  I saw it this morning and thought, “yeah, no joke….”

And, then I kept returning to it, taking away something more each time I read it.

Down in the dumps, I’ve been — all season.  Passing it off as stress and pressure from a busy workload on the day job, not having any “me” time to write or make music once the house chores are done.  That, and the winter doldrums that come along with shorter days and colder weather, I haven’t felt very much like doing anything anyway.

I guess I’ve been wallowing a bit.  I haven’t taken the time to do the things that bring me joy.  Big part of that is because what brings me joy rarely makes sense to others.  How I like to spend my free time is outside “the norm.”  And, I don’t want to justify it or explain it — why my hobbies are unique, my crafts, music and writing.  Being a creative in a world of technology, where selfie blitzes on social media are the rule.

Reading and re-reading this meme, I realize that I’ve been following along with the rest of the herd, shuffling from one day to the next.  Not breaking from routine or schedule.  Rolling with the punches of an increased workload and reduction in office staff.

One size does not fit all in our world.  We must all stop trying to fit in with the crowd or fit into someone else’s box.   And most important, not be afraid for it.

Don’t Wait . . .

Why do congratulations and accolades seem to only come at the END of a journey?

Whatever the goal is – be it a marathon run, a college degree, a weight loss number, whatever, achieving it great, but….

But the morning after the achievement, what do you remember?  What will you remember about the triumph a week or year from now?   You’ll remember the journey.  It’s the best part of the experience!

A marathon runner’s most important run isn’t race day, it’s the work that went before. Every one of those 500-ish miles run before race day count!

College grads remember the classes, parties and exam cramming long after the cap hurls through the air.

And, weight loss journeys aren’t just about a number.  It’s about adapting to different habits, tastes, routines to make it a lifestyle change.

Whatever it is that is important to you, writing a book, learning an instrument, climbing Mount Everest, every step you take toward reaching that goal is important.

So why do we wait to congratulate ourselves until the end?

reaching-your-goal

We need to celebrate each and every step, every lesson learned, every milestone met.

It’s important.  Be proud.

 

Adjust Accordingly

This morning’s Facebook Feed displayed a meme attached to a writing prompt from Writers Write Creative Blog

14199247_1363361740357810_8822248299491517101_n

Sounds simple, right?  OMG what an eye opener!

What Makes Me Happy:

  • Husband (28 years today!)
  • Dogs
  • Jogging
  • Yoga
  • Writing fiction
  • Playing piano (and music in general)
  • Gardening (vegetable, herb and flower)
  • Reading fiction
  • Crafting (crochet, quilling, embroidery)
  • Spending time with friends
  • Watch movies

What I Actually Do Every Day:

  • Work an office day job and a part-time freelance writing job
  • Household chores
  • Walk dogs 2x a day
  • Online surfing: Facebook games, Instagram, Pinterest, other nonsense
  • Watch brainless shows on TV

Geez, no wonder I’m so grumpy and unhappy!  Reality is painful. It’s also no big surprise as to why my personal relationships are suffering.  There is nothing on my daily list to support them!  I’ve been fooling myself thinking that I’m just at that stage of life where this is just how it is: work hard, pay the bills, help renovate the new house, etc.

Let’s break this down a bit:

  • A day job is essential, one needs to earn a living, after all.
  • One needs to have clean underwear and groceries.
  • Dogs need to go potty

Clearly though, these essentials do not need to consume my whole world

Adjust accordingly, our image says.  It’s funny how timely this is for me. I put several life modifications in order within the last few days, with more to come:

  1. The freelance job, which was not fun, ends after I submit my last 2 articles tomorrow
  2. Therefore, the freelance writing time must (and will) convert to writing time
  3. I spoke to my boss on Tuesday, and we have a plan to make the day-job suck less
  4. Dog walks will be more about exploring nature, not just potty time
  5. Online surfing time can and will convert to music and hobby time

These changes are a big step toward reducing stress, making time and increasing joy.  Naturally, my personal relationships will enhance as a result.  Who wants to be around a Grumpy Gus?  I don’t even want to be around me!  I see think I need to add something tangible to my daily list for marriage, friends and family.  Duly noted.

I’m curious to see how this simple little task of making the two lists translates to others.  I hope you hear about your results and what changes work for you!

Stillness

A very wise woman once told me that sometimes you just have to stop.You have to stand still amidst all the chaos.

Let all the crazies continue to spin. They will anyway.

Step away from the noise. Let it happen.

Just wait.

Disengage.

Reason will find you.

stillness

 

Determination and Adjustment

My last post was 5 weeks ago when I posted that I was starting a couch-to-run type program. I did my first run and I felt wonderful. At first.

Maybe it’s the “runner’s high” that comes with an intense workout, my favorite workout. I love the way my legs and butt feel after a good run. And my breathing is so much clearer, like my insides were just washed out.

A couple hours after my first run, I was overcome with plantar fasciitis pain. It was so bad, I could barely walk. I sat at my desk with my feet immersed in a grocery bag filled with ice. Since I spend 8-10 hours a day living in a cubicle farm in the center of a corporate fishbowl, it was not the most flattering place to display a personal crisis.

Cortisone shots took away the worst of the pain the following day, but the ache remains. Anti-inflammatories are now keeping the edge off. Stretching is helping to loosen what’s tight and strengthen what’s weak. Cute shoes are just a memory…

Here I am now, 5 weeks later, and another 5+ pounds heavier. No jumping, no running, nothing with impact, says the doctor.

It was real easy this past month to wallow. I tried distracting myself with other activities. In the end, I only added more angst to the equation. Actually, it ended up being a lot of angst and a couple of very hard lessons.

Some of this newfound angst I can easily shed this week simply by saying ‘no’ to a couple determineof the distractions I sought.

I can also make some very necessary adjustments to keep me moving forward toward what I really want. I have the power.

So what if I am relegated to a stationary bike for my cardio? It’s just another tool. I can add back in the Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution, with obvious modifications. Eventually, I’ll be back on the road.

Determination.

If not NOW, then WHEN?

Seems like every time I turn on the TV I hear Oprah saying this in one of her new Weight Watchers ads.

If not NOW, then WHEN?if not now

Not a big fan of Oprah, am I.  But those words are starting to haunt me.  I see them everywhere.  I hear them all the time.

As I close in on the first year of my 50’s, I am seriously taking notice.  Compose my own piano music. Run another marathon.  Write that novel.  Become a yogi master.

If not NOW, then just the hell WHEN will I accomplish these things?

It’s not like I’ve done nothing in my first 50 years on this Earth.  I’ve accomplished plenty.  Just about every single little thing I’ve ever wanted to do, I’ve done.

So, why is it now that I struggle?

Perhaps it’s because these are the really BIG life goals.  An perhaps I’m afraid – too old, too late, too …. whatever.

There’s an old saying, the only regrets we have in are for the things we did not do, or at least try.

What is my NOW?

  • New digital piano with headphones so I can rock out to my heart’s content without an audience, until I want one
  • Couch to 5K to Half Marathon program, Jillian Michaels and weight training program
  • On target to submit at least one of my novel drafts to the Maggie’s in April.
  • Yoga – that’s another story.

Maybe I just answered my own question!  I stopped doing my yoga about a year ago – for reasons I can’t seem to remember.  Bring Yoga and maybe the rest will follow.  The mind will quiet.  The passion will grow.  The fears will disappear.

Time to do what I know is true.

Namaste

 

 

Blissful Solitude

Over the weekend I got to spend one glorious day all by myself.  It was like Heaven.  There is nothing better, for me anyway, to restore, recharge and re-energize than some alone time.

No schedule, no errands, no small talk, no makeup…you get the idea.  While I set out to have a quiet day of reflection, I found myself catching up on all my household chores with energy left to spare.  Not only did I have the quiet time I so desperately needed these last few weeks, but I thoroughly enjoy that “all caught up” feeling with everything else.

That wonderful zen evaporated in a blink while at work yesterday.  Poof.  WTH!

What I’m learning and need to improve is how to get the zen back in those situations.

I was wide awake about an hour earlier than usual this morning.  I used that time for solitude.  I wrote my Morning Pages without being in a rush (thank you Artist’s Way), did my Jillian Michaels Body Revolution workout and still have time to walk the pups before it’s time to go back to work.

I’m not 100% back to zen, but it’s close enough for me to be fueled for whatever today’s workday might bring.

How do you bring yourself back into balance when life throws a curve ball or two?