Showing posts with label life lessons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life lessons. Show all posts

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I'm writing this at my kitchen table on a beautiful, perfect, peaceful, glorious day.  After getting the kids smoothly off to school, I checked my emails, took a stroller walk with Patrick to get some exercise and stopped at the library to play trains and pick up books.
I know what we are having for dinner tonight.
I know what my work is for the day.
My bathrooms are clean.
My closet is organized.
My best friend called.
I feel good.

When I was fixing lunch for myself and my little buddy, I gazed out the kitchen sink window, and thought, "Why can't every day be like this?"

And I'm trying to figure out why.
Why do I feel peaceful today vs. crabby on other days?
Why do I feel like I have the best life in the world vs. griping in my brain about how much I have to do and feeling like I will never get to it?

Sometimes I rush so much, or get behind in the work that needs to be done to make this house run smoothly, or get caught up in some project, that although it seems I'm living a full life, using my talents, doing, doing, doing, I'm instead not appreciating ANYTHING.  Not living life fully at all.  Not appreciating that a day with a walk, a library visit, and a little housework is enough.  Wanting so much, or doing so much, that you end up not living at all, but just going through the motions. 

Really that's it. 

Ask any elderly person.  Do you think they'd say, "I wish I would have accomplished more?"  or do you think they'd say, "I wish I would have stopped and enjoyed the little moments."

If you live a life so full that you don't ever have time to stop and notice beauty, to stop and appreciate and think, "how beautiful", than you aren't living a life at all.  A full life?  A full life isn't full of things and people and events.  Really living your life fully doesn't involved rushing and doing and accomplishing.  It comes from having moments everyday where you are thankful to be on this God forsaken earth because it's wonderful.  I know there are has been and always will be happy people in the most desperate circumstances in this world.  That's all the proof I need.

It makes me so sad that I'd waste a day NOT feeling that.

A whole other part of achieving this peacefull "life is good" feeling every day though, for me at least, is using discipline.

Starting the day with an intention of how I want my inner self to look that day.  Staying off the computer as much as possible, keeping up with my house, because the way MY brain works, when things get messy and disorganized, my heart and head does too. That's a curse I think, and maybe it's abnormal and it's all about control, but I've found it to be true and if I know it, that why don't I do it?  When I take the time to get my butt outside, no matter what the weather, I always feel better.  You can always see beauty outside everyday.  My body craves it.

So if this is all true, then I and I alone, have the power to create a spectacular day every single day.  It's not that hard of a "recipe" to follow.  It's not asking too much, it's not about what's going on OUTSIDE of's about me knowing that I have the power to feel like this everyday, no matter what it brings, and as harsh as it sounds, knowing that I'm wasting the days away....those days that are flying by so fast anyways, by NOT living with the intention of feeling like this every day.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Taking the High Road, Forgiveness and Good Terms

"As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons."

I love that line from the poem Desiderata. 

If you reflect back someone's anger, someone's hurt, someone's chipped shoulder, bitterness or jealousy, YOU become that same thing yourself...YOU are in a sense, making the very same life choices they have. You are handing over your spirit to someone mean, bitter, icky and saying "I want to be just like you"!  If they are unkind, and you are unkind back to "show them", then are the same person!  There are some truly miserable people out in this world, I've decided.  If someone says something that you sense stems from envy or insecurity, why not come back with a great big compliment instead of reacting defensively?  It takes practice and purpose, but it's so powerful!  It becomes a habit if you try.  And sometimes yes, I don't want to try.  But when I do, I feel so good.

My mom used to tell us all the time, "Just take the high road."  I don't think I liked hearing it every time, but boy, every time I've ever taken the middle road, or especially the low road, I've totally wished, in hindsight, that I took the high road.  The high road to me, equals no regrets ever.  If you stick to the high road, you'll never participate in anyone else's garbage.  You'll never be less than proud of yourself.  You'll never say, "Oh, how I wish I never got involved in that."  Or "I wish I never said that or did this."  Never.  You'll always maintain your integrity.

Every decision and interaction we make in life sets the tone for how we want to be known by our family, children, husband, aunts, uncles, cousins and by our friends, and complete strangers.
 Awhile ago, a reader left me this comment on a post I wrote:
Something my mother always tells me that HER mother used to always say...
You have three names in life:
the name you were given at birth,
the name that you make for yourself,
and the name that everyone knows you by.
That last one is the most important, because it is the name that you must work the hardest to change.
She would then ask me, "Do you want to be known as a Liar, Cheater, Thief  (or jaded, mean, bitter)?
Or Generous, Kind Hearted and Loving?"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Climbing Out Of A Rut Or How To Cure A Funk

A Rut or Funk: A feeling of general uneasiness, lack of vitality; an unwillingness to do what you know is best for yourself, (ie. not eating chocolate for breakfast); a tendency to be easily annoyed at the stupidest things like husbands breathing loud or kids making a mess; a persistent stubbornness and resistance to change from a grouch into someone who has an optimistic, cheerful mood; a tendency to dream about trips to the tropical beaches and/or large additions to your residence.

Brought upon by a number of things...bad weather (winter!), hormonal changes, unhealthy eating, an illness, lack of exercise, schedule disruptions, not following the"rules" of life.

I have come up with many ways to combat these funky periods of life. Sometimes I must let them ride their course. If I push too hard, all remedies will fail. 

Here's my notes to myself on some cures:

-A good movie...preferably something cute, romantic, or just something that will change my attitude. 

-As many hours alone as I can manage in my house. Even if I just straighten up, the joy I experience of the straightening up STAYING that way for more than a few minutes might just be enough.

-Put on loud music and go on a cleaning spree. Just start chucking things left and right. Scrub the floor like Cinderella. Lysol smell wafting in the air.

-A trip to the bookstore by myself.   Find a good book-preferably about a pioneer during the Dust Bowl, or an immigrant who arrived with 10 little children and pennies in her pocket.  Nothing changes a rut like some good old boot strap pulling.

-If I can manage it...I can make myself workout.  Walk, walk, walk...outside in the fresh air. Walk like I need to get to the opposite coast by midnight.

-Go on a kitchen cupboard clean out. Pitch the nasty Doritos and stashed candy. Eat a large healthy salad for lunch. Drink gallons of water. Buy tons of good fruit.  Detox.

-A purposeful change of schedule.  Draw one up-bedtimes, mealtimes, naptimes-just having one will feel refreshing.  

Sometimes one or two or all will work wonders. Sometimes I have to experiment with different magic ingredients, it all comes together.