The Little Things

Today was a typical Tuesday. We had breakfast. We played. We made art with colored pencils and stickers. We made music by “playing” Grandma’s guitar and banging on various household objects. We had lunch followed by a nap (everyone but Grandma, who probably needed the nap more than anyone, but opted to clean up the lunch mess instead). Throughout our day’s activities, I redirected when necessary, and everyone was happy. We had fun and maybe even learned a little. It was a good day.

Our usual nap time made me smile. I turned off the lights, closed the blinds, and opened the meditation app on my phone. I chose a sleep hypnosis selection and watched my grandchildren willingly and rapidly drift off to sleep. The gentle snore from my grandson’s enlarged adenoids accompanied the ambient music as I loaded the dishwasher by the surface light of the range hood. My granddaughter chose to sleep on Grandma’s bed, while my grandson crashed on the couch. After a couple of hours of peace and quiet, I was happy to see my granddaughter’s groggy smile as she slowly came out of her slumber. She remembered that I had promised to take her to see “Sissy” (her aunt, my daughter), so she quietly got out of bed and began looking for her rain boots. (She is learning to whisper when her brother is asleep, instead of talking louder than when he is awake — probably because she is bored and wants a playmate.) I ended up carrying my sleeping grandson to the car.

The day flew.

I own multiple businesses and volunteer for a number of organizations. I sing and write lyrics, coordinate events, and frequently take classes on spirituality. I always have some new endeavor in the works. I have an exciting life. But the highlight of my week is Tuesday. Many have heard me refer to it as “baby day.” I let time slow down and enjoy the little things: filing my granddaughter’s fingernails, putting my grandson on the potty (even though he has no intention of using it), and drinking hot chocolate out of champagne glasses. (I have to confess, I was a little jealous when I heard “Pop Pop” has tea parties.)

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Photo Courtesy of: G & B Creative Photography

It Was a Pretty Good Year… and I’m Gonna “Crush It” in 2017!

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I bought a glass like this yesterday, and dropped it before I even got it out of the protective paper wrapping. It didn’t simply break… it shattered. My internal committee immediately began a dialogue about what had transpired. Eternal optimist that I am, I chose to look at it as I sign that I am going to “crush it” in 2017!  (Note, there is nothing in this glass. Alas, that is another post for another day.)

Looking back on 2016, I’d have to say it was a pretty good year. There were some lessons along the way, and some heartbreak too. I made some mistakes. Okay, probably lots of mistakes, but I learned from them.

I took on too many things (which I have been known to do). But when I felt overwhelmed, I quit putting new things on my plate and started saying no once in a awhile. I also put other people’s needs before my own. But I began putting my own needs, if not first, at least higher on my list of priorities. Fortunately, I didn’t have any large lessons to learn in 2016… at least none on which I was tested. ( I learned an abundance of lessons in previous years and hope that I am finished with that for a while now.)

No complaints here.

Cookie, my protector and faithful companion of fourteen years, lost her battle with cancer. When I picked her from that litter (in the back of a pickup truck in a Walmart parking lot), I had no clue she would see me through two divorces, a traumatic injury accident, and that in her old age I would get to comfort her through her illness. My heart was broken, yet it was only because of the immense love she brought into my life.

A poignant part of life.

Now, looking toward 2017, I am grateful for another trip around the sun. I know this year will be even better than the one past. I will spend more time with friends and family. I will meet goals and realize dreams. I will accept change and pain if (when) they come. Above all, I will cherish love and life.

Grateful I have both.

Gifts for an Early Riser

As I walked my dog this morning, before dawn, the frost glittered on the grass. I began thinking about the gifts I get as a result of being an early riser. I get the quiet solitude of being the only one awake in my apartment. I get those productive hours without interruption.

I get not only glittering grass, but a glint of light from a sun just below the horizon. I get the stillness just before nature is fully awake.

I get another day.

Keep Getting Up

IMG_3718 (1)At a coaching luncheon I attended a couple of months ago, the speaker discussed storytelling as a coaching technique. I found a particular exercise he facilitated of great benefit to me, personally. We wrote about our lives, eventually condensing our life story down to six words. Upon completion, we meandered around the room, each of us silently holding up our story on an index card. The stories I read touched me, and the expressions on others’ faces told me that I conveyed my own story well.

Mine read, “Got knocked down. Kept getting up.”

Two years ago today, I got out of bed, meditated, and bounced on my rebounder for an hour. I taught 7th graders math all day, then attended a faculty meeting after school. A fellow teacher reminded me of something I said as we packed up our belongings to go home after that meeting.

“This job is killing me.”

As I left the building that afternoon, the trajectory of my life drastically changed. Without going into a lot of detail surrounding the accident and subsequent physical recovery, I am happy to say I survived.

The psychological fallout is another story. I admit, I didn’t understand why people with PTSD hung on to it. Living with it now, my experience is that PTSD shows up, often uninvited. I don’t think I am aware of the anniversary of the incident, yet my body reminds me. The nightmares start up again. Hypervigilance creeps back into my psyche. Then I am looking up something on the calendar, and BOOM! No wonder! It’s almost November 5th.

So back to my life story… Just as that chapter came to resolution, the surprise twist jerked me back into chaos.

Divorce.

Again.

Many dark days followed. Then I remembered…

Get up.

Get the hell up!

Now!

So I got up.

I moved into an apartment with my son. I found a tutoring student… and another… and another. I resolved not to run to the false sense of security provided by a job that would kill me, kill my spirit. I refuse to allow my business plan to die because the circumstances of my life changed. So I only take work that will support me as I grow my coaching practice.

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I joined my local professional coaching organization. In twelve weeks,
I authored my first non-fiction book, which I am now editing. A digital artist took my concept and created a logo for my business, and because she wanted to use it in her portfolio, it cost me nothing. A budding photographer did headshots for me.

Slowly but surely, I move forward.

Not only am I taking care of business, I am also taking care of my soul. I am continuing my practitioner classes at my spiritual center. I am singing again and writing lyrics. I am participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time. And Tuesdays are blocked off for my grandbabies. Life is good.

Am I going to have more difficult times? Maybe.

Am I going to get knocked down again? Probably.

Am I going to keep getting up? No doubt about it!

Happy Blogging!

Today I received this 1000 Likes badge.  It reminded me that not so long ago, I kept my blog private (my husband says that’s a diary).  I am really enjoying being “out there,” even though it can be a little scary.  I don’t pay much attention to my blogging stats, but I can’t help but enjoy hitting the milestones. I am looking forward to the next one, which will be 200 followers.  So if you are new to blogging, keep it up.  If you are thinking about blogging, get started.  And if you are blogging privately, well that’s a diary.  Happy Blogging!      

Pain in the Posterior vs. Partner in Progress

A few days ago, I posted a link to a podcast entitled The Secret to Dealing with Difficult People. It seems as though a message usually comes to me in multiple ways within a discrete window of time. This week is a prime example. The title of the message at my church today was “Is Someone Driving You Crazy?”

Don Miguel Ruiz’s second of The Four Agreements is “Don’t Take Anything Personally.” This applies well when dealing with people that drive you crazy. Remember that even if someone attacks you personally, don’t take it personally. It is something in yourself that brings up your reaction to others. This can be a hard pill to swallow. Whether it is true or not, if you come from this place you have some control over the situation.

When someone else is getting “under my skin,” I remind myself that my reaction is about something within me. It might be something I don’t like about myself. Maybe it is a reminder of something that I tolerated in my past, and am not willing to tolerate now. Regardless, it is my non-acceptance of what is that is causing my discomfort. I also remind myself that when I feel someone is being a “Pain in the Posterior,” I can choose to look at them as a “Partner in Progress.” That is, they are helping me to learn patience, acceptance, and reminding me of how I do not want to be.

Ten Things on Tuesday

Ten things I am thankful for this Tuesday are:

1.  good physical health

2.  family

3.  friends

4.  an afternoon nap

5.  low humidity

6.  sunshine

7.  hot & sour soup

8.  a comfortable home

9.  a loyal (somewhat “intense”) dog 

10.  a sound mind (some may find this one questionable… ha ha)

What are you thankful for today?