Monday Check-In… Project Plans?

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Got your plans moving toward your 30 day goal?  Only 25 days left!  It’s up to you.. if you don’t plan to do anything for you after all, then that is your choice.

Read it again:  YOUR CHOICE.

I admit that my “plan” is still in “mental” form.. please – no comments from the peanut gallery…  It’s just hard to choose which awesome thing I want for me.  I promise I’ll have chosen by tomorrow.  Join me?

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Working Towards A Goal

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Yesterday I posted about Self Care.  I challenged us all to have a plan to do something nice for ourselves in 30 days.  Most women in a family setting put themselves last.  If you don’t stop to recharge your battery, how far will you get before you run out of steam?  Not very far, I’m quite certain.  So let’s take a look at how we get to the 30 day goal mark successfully.

First you need to decide what it is you want to do in 30 days.  Is it a shopping trip?  Is it a nature trip?  A day where you do nothing but relax and watch the tube?  (Well, I do hope it’s not that last one but, hey… to each her own…)  Decide what it is you want to do in 30 days.  That’s step one.

Get a piece of paper or find a chalk board – whatever form of notation works for you.  Start brainstorming on what you are going to do for yourself in 30 (29) days.  You need to have a firm plan in place if you are to achieve your goal.  Decide now what your ultimate “self care”  day looks like.  It may be harder for some to get a clear picture of what doing something for yourself looks like.  Think of one thing (or 12 things) that would make you feel special.  That would be a form of loving yourself.  A manicure or pedicure or both!  A day where you unplug the phone and work on a quilt.  Or a scrapbook.  Or go look for fabric for a project you want to complete.

By Monday you need to have decided what you want to do for you in 30 (25) days.  By Monday one sixth (1/6) of your time to bring this plan to fruition is gone.  To achieve your goal, you must stick to a plan.

GOAL:  Decide what self care choice you are making for yourself by Monday, April 29, 2013.  It can be done.  If you will, then you can.  Make it so!  Have a great day – make that so as well!

Self Care

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Today I’d like to remind us of the oxygen mask theory.  You can’t help anyone else if you don’t first take care of yourself.  Sometimes it’s all too easy to find yourself in the familiar scenery of the back burner.  It doesn’t matter if you are marvelous at handling the reins from there.  In fact, that’s an even better indicator that you need to take care of you.

In the next month, I want you to have a plan to do something for YOU.  A day trip or a weekend or a full-fledged “all about you” trip.  Only you can know what will really be relaxing for you, or fun for you, or whatever you need it to be.

You.  You are in charge.  Start planning something for yourself.  Don’t take NO for an answer.  You aren’t asking permission.  You are supplying information to those who need it.  I’ll be checking back for progress.  Let’s call it a project, shall we?  30 days to you.  Countdown begins… NOW!

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

Helen Keller, The Open Door

A day in the life…

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Yesterday after I got home from work, I took the time to do something important.  I played with our dog.  He’s pushing 13 and such a good boy.  The only thing he’s really pushy about is getting dog treats.  Terrible manners.  But other than that, he’s our golden boy in more ways than one.

We played catch and fetch with his “lion.”  He is really stiff jointed at times so catching is really just a toss to him, so he only has a small hop up to catch it.  It’s good exercise for him.  Fetching is a toss to just where the carpet ends and the foyer begins.  He lumbers over and grabs his toy and lopes back.  Very small movements can be so important for physical well-being.  I learned this when I was having physical therapy.  It’s just amazing how small repetitive movements of a certain nature can help to strengthen your muscles and help you move more easily.  Plus, he loves to play so it is truly a win win.

He demonstrated how well behaved he is and how well taught he is.  He knows the commands he has heard all his life.  Sit, stay, down, come, give, back, pose, bring, and of course, speak.  He also demonstrated that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks… if he doesn’t want to learn them.  He has done this on a number of occasions.  It’s safe to say the theory holds true in our home.

He squeaked his lion and gave it “love nibbles”.  He stopped to rest a couple of times.  It was just a perfect day in the life of our old dog.  I so wished I had a video camera – that works – so I could have captured all the nuances about him that show what a wonderful dog he is.  How well behaved he is and how happy he is to be our dog.  Even with his decidedly gray face and eyebrows, he is a beautifully handsome boy.  I must have hugged him ten times.  I told him what a good boy he is at least twenty times. His cloudy eyes were quite alert while he waited for the next toss, with a command of “catch” or “go get it.” (He appreciates the heads up…)

And as I sat there, loving the time spent with our dear family member, I was struck by how wonderful it is to have an old dog.  To have cared for him his whole life and to see him age, to take him to the vet when he was sick and to love him more all the time.  To have people say, “wow, you’re an old doggie” when they meet him is a somewhat prideful thing.  Yes.  He’s an old dog.  He’s our family member.  He’s the best dog ever.  He’s the “King of Tinkyness” (he doesn’t stink – he just likes things that do…).  Yes.  He is old and gray and he’s more work than he used to be, but he’s my best friend.  He’s a best friend to all of us.  He’s never let us down.  He’s never “not there” for us.  He’s the most wonderful companion I’ve ever had.

About a week ago, I was sitting on the deck enjoying some time with the sky and our critters.  The two cats and the dog love to keep me company.  I remember looking at our wonderful boy and looking up at the sky and thinking, “Who will protect me when Boomer’s gone?”  And a horrible feeling came over me.  The foreboding of sadness on the horizon.  I looked back at my faithful friend who raised his head, looked around …and began to whine.  It was quite a moment.  I choked up.

We are the proud parents of a senior dog.  One who has given us the best of days, ours and his.  One who has shared our home and our love and never given up on us.  Ever.  Never will you ever see our dear compatriot listed as needing a home because he got too old, or we retired or had to sell the house.  I’m not judging those whose families have made those types of decisions.  I just know that we will never make any kind of move without our old dog.  Our best buddy.  The most incredible addition our family has ever known.  As long as there are squirrels at the bird feeder that need to be chased, or his arch enemy – the UPS man – is daring to drive up to the house, our old man will have our backs.  Right up to the end.  We know it’s coming one day.  But for today, we will carry on as usual.  Giving him too many dog treats.  Agreeing with visitors that he’s such a nice boy and still so handsome.  Getting up to let him in.. or out.. and in again so he can go out… again.

Sharing a day in the life of our good, old dog is a gift I gave myself yesterday.  Thank you, Boomer, for reminding me what old dogs are good for – everything.

All You Can Do…

Well, it looks like I’m out of “posts from the archives.”  It was good while it lasted.  ❤

I was happy to find those bits of writing because they helped me to keep up with this blog.  I’m pulled in so many directions and sometimes it’s hard to keep all my plates on sticks spinning. That’s right, folks.. It’s a sideshow!

There is a sign in my kitchen that says, “I’m so far behind, I thought I was first.”   I love that because I love things that make me laugh.  While it’s not funny that I am behind, it is good to remember to laugh.  The things I have to do aren’t going anywhere without me.  Remembering to laugh reminds me that slow and steady wins the race.  I’m not racing, just moving ahead.

I am doing all I can.  And that’s my theme for today.

“All you can do, is all you can do.”

I’m doing all I can, and that’ll have to be good enough.

Written in gratitude for the people and things in my life that keep me jumping.

The Train Whistle

April 15, 2011

This morning I got to sleep in – my daughter has a doctor’s appointment.  She pitches softball and swims and they’re two repetitive motion activities and her shoulder is really hurting her.  Appointment at 10:15.

I woke at six o’clock and reveled in the fact that I didn’t have to get up.  That I wasn’t 15  minutes from hitting the road for my daily commute.  Heaven.  It was then that I heard the train whistle.  Quiet and mournful in the distance, calling me to remember.  The sound of a train whistle will forever remind me of wee hours of the morning, sometimes barely a new day, being awake and nursing my daughters.  Sometimes sleep deprived, sometimes rocking them, sometimes exhausted and near tears.  Always grateful.  Those times are so precious.  Those moments such a gift.  I’m in love with the train whistle.  It opens a window that lets in the breath of memory.  Nearly perfectly in the moment.  Sharply aware of those times and the sheer “in love-ness” with a tiny person, waiting to become.

My oldest daughter is now 19.  She’s fiercely independent.  Wise beyond her years.  She does not need any insight.  …Except when she does.  Yesterday evening, a huge argument ensued over carry out.  A $10 meal.  Really?  Well, yes and  no.  It was about everything BUT the food.  Food the catalyst for an overloaded brain of an overwhelmed teenager to let off some steam… at my expense.  We missed my little one’s softball scrimmage.  We didn’t eat.  We yelled and cried and that only made it worse, because she said hurtful things that offended me.  She was disrespectful.  I was just bewildered at the turn of events, because we’d been laughing and talking earlier.  She asked me for advice and read me a paper she was working on for school.  In a matter of two minutes all that was over… and the war was on.

We wrangled our way though the conversation, snaking around issues that were convenient, snarky remarks, indignant responses, loud voices.  We learned a lot.  The conversation was about her frustration with a group at school that she has to work with for another three weeks.  The class is about groups.  Working in groups is hard, especially when you are young and don’t have a lot of life experience to draw on.  It’s frustrating.  The conversation was about feeling unappreciated.  No one noticing your accomplishments, and you’re working your ass off.  You don’t even want to be engaged in the things you are tied to and yet you’re still doing a good job.  …and people can only notice what you DIDN’T do.  And then it was about fear.  Fear of being betrayed in friendship…again.  How she’d been so upset for no reason the night before and burst into tears at midnight, alone in her room.  She wanted to call her friend and talk to her, but that would involve risk.  Putting yourself out there, sharing part of yourself with someone and not feeling safe.  That is some scary stuff.  Because she’s been burned before.  Maliciously reeled in and used by a friend who really wasn’t a friend, but sold the act to perfection.  To this day she is afraid of women in relationships.  She hates that. I hate it for her.  It was so unfair and truly, my heart breaks for her.  But that is life.  You learn who you can trust and who you can’t.  And the lessons aren’t easy and there are no fond memories.  And you take all that hurt and anger and fear, and embarrassment at having been played, and make it about yourself.  What’s wrong with you?  And you wonder what makes people so hurtful and have such callous disregard for another person.  And you become jaded and fearful.  And you pick fights with your mother because you can’t hold it in.  And you both cry and yell and point fingers and desperately want it to have never happened.  But it’s too late, because it did.  And you see yourself at 19 and think about the future and where you went wrong and where you went right.  You think about the path you chose and the hurts and fears you encountered.  And she will live all of that, too.  On her own path and in her own way.  And she will learn, sometimes the hard way.  And there isn’t anything you can do, but be her mom.

Sometimes late at night, my daughter will come and crawl into bed with me… just before I’m getting ready to turn out the light.  Her timing is impeccable.  She’ll want to talk about something.  And I just want to sleep.  Five thirty comes early.  But there is no sleep and whether it’s two minutes or two hours you’ll listen and offer advice.  She doesn’t always want advice, but sometimes I forget that.  I’m good at the advice, but that isn’t what she needs.  She needs her mom.  Just to be there.  Sometimes sleep deprived, sometimes rocking her, sometimes exhausted and near tears.  Always grateful. Because this grown woman lying next to me is my little girl.  Because when she comes in and sits on your bed at midnight and wants to talk, that is a train whistle moment.  And I’m in love with the train whistle.