Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

Archive for the ‘chores’ Category

December 15, 2014 Feelin’ groovy again. #shericonaway

If you wait long enough, the answer will come.

All it took was my weekly pilates class to make it clear why I’d been feeling so…well…yukky the last few days. As I struggled to keep up, I realized that I do much better in the Pilates class when I keep up my regular gym routine which I had sadly neglected last week. Today, after doing some exercise, I managed to run a couple of hours worth of errands and have gotten trash, sand boxes, and yes, even floor scrubbing done. Some of this has been on my list for weeks, but I had reached the point where, if it didn’t get done, my Christmas tree was in danger of remaining in the box this year. That would never do!

Chores aside, an hour of exercise in the morning means a day of much more energy overall. Many of my friends would say it’s simple physics, and if I’d really thought about it, I’d have known the answer. Lack of exercise like lack of sunshine can lead to depression, and laziness is just one symptom. So it occurs to me that exercise is to depression like garlic is to vampires.

Admittedly, the lack of exercise last week also had a negative impact on my ability to complete said chores. Only the bathroom floors and the worst part of the living room got scrubbed today, though everything was vacuumed. I get to look forward to more floor scrubbing tomorrow, but hey, it’s raining again, and that makes me happy! (especially since I don’t have to commute in it!)

With Christmas fast approaching, I’m back in list mode again!

My “To Do” list is growing again. This week sees my expectations high for myself and I plan to complete:
1. Finish washing floors
2. Complete November bookkeeping for both clients.
3. Continue adding to my latest novel.
4. Call my broker
5. Help socialize some foster kittens (fun stuff!)
6. Go to the gym at least three more times this week.
7. Put up Christmas tree
8. Decorate Christmas tree
9. Wrap presents
10. Send Christmas box to my son-in-law

That should keep me busy for the rest of the week, and ensure that I won’t be sleeping too late like I did last week. I swear, sleeping too late in the morning is the kiss of death when it comes to having a productive day! These cold, rainy mornings make it hard to leave my warm, cat filled bed, but I have six days to get this place ready before my daughter arrives, so there’s no time for dilly-dallying now!

I know I’m in good company, though. Every one I know is rushing hither and thither, trying to get all of their chores done so they can enjoy their holiday. Let’s make this an especially giving one, remembering those in need!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for an end to my doldrums and a new beginning for my healthy habits.
2. I am grateful for a halfway clean house (I’m well on the way to getting it the rest of the way clean now!)
3. I am grateful for the rain. We surely need it after so much drought. Maybe this time, the powers that be will figure out a way to keep more in reserve for our next dry season.
4. I am grateful that my boys are cooperating (with just a little bribery) while I put drops in their ears twice a day.
5. I am grateful for abundance: motivation, inspiration, energy, rain, love, joy, happiness, harmony, peace, health and prosperity.

Namaste

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October 21, 2014 Balancing my inner Hermit. #shericonaway #blogboost

Life is all about balance. The better the balance, the easier it is to take the jumps when they arise.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Everything in life requires balance. Like a tennis player balancing on the balls of her feet while she awaits a serve, we have to be ready to move in any direction, and if we’re unbalanced, that just isn’t going to happen.

I am one of those people who is completely comfortable in her own company. I could easily go for days on end without human contact. But I also know that this isn’t a healthy place for me to be, so, in spite of my chosen profession, I know that I need to make sure I get out into the world on a regular basis. I’m finding that joining CSA which forces me to go out every Tuesday to pick up my box, combined with getting back into my regular gym routine was one of those really smart decisions I didn’t even realize I was making. At this point, I’m getting out of the house at least three times during the week and another two evenings to dance. But the benefits don’t stop at even healthier meals and a body in motion.

And speaking of healthy meals, here is today’s Harvest Box full of some old tried andHarvest box 10-21-14 trues and a couple of new things to try. (the Kabocha squash was yummy, by the way!) I supplemented this week’s goodies with some fresh green beans, bok choy and bell peppers so I can make a colorful and tasty stir fry. I’ll pick up some seafood blend at Trader Joe’s tomorrow for the protein. I’ll also be enjoying more of my wonderful salads thanks to another head of lettuce this week. (Each week it’s a different kind, so I’m not likely to get bored any time soon!

Suddenly, I’m getting more done every day!

Who would have thought that adding at least three hours of workouts plus additional trips to buy food, not to mention the extra hours of food preparation would make me more efficient. But one look at my To Do list shows that is exactly the case. I’m getting more work done on my clients, spending more time getting ready for NaNoWriMo, more time on chores around the house and more work on self-improvement and copywriting efforts.

I’m definitely not caught up to where I should be after all of these months of being home and not having a heavy workload, but I’m making progress, and that’s what counts.

The changes and improvements are a direct result of finding balance between being alone and getting out into the world. Sure, I need a reason to go out, but out is out, right?

Where do you find balance in your life? Or, where do you need to find balance? What improvements can you see happening once you find that point where you’re ready for whatever life tosses your way? I would love to hear your thoughts.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful to be setting new habits.
2. I am grateful for the added balance in my life.
3. I am grateful that I seem to have forgotten how to rationalize missing a gym day.
4. I am grateful for increased energy, a decrease in the amount of sleep I need and an increased feeling of accomplishment.
5. I am grateful for abundance: happiness, healthiness, balance, self-confidence, motivation, accomplishments, harmony, love, peace, joy and prosperity.

Namaste

September 16, 2014 How much structure?

Though a simple, unstructured lifestyle may seem ideal, there is something to be said for a little definition to help make things happen.

Once upon a time, my life had a very specific structure. Five days a week, I got up at the same time, showered, dressed, did the usual morning things and went to work for eight hours. On Sunday nights, I made my breakfasts and lunches for three days, and on Wednesday nights, I made meals for the other two days. Laundry was done on the same day every week as was grocery shopping and other errands and chores. When November came along, I took the NaNoWriMo challenge, and sat down to write at the same time every night, until the task was complete.

In the months since I left my job as a Corporate Controller (fancy name for Manager of Accounting and Finance), I’ve seen that structure weaken until, in the last three or four months, it has really been non-existent. All of the day-driven tasks I’d settled into in the first few months had fallen by the wayside. Unless I had an appointment or it was a dance night, my days were one, big, loose, barren wasteland of laziness and sloth; but worse, little to show that I’d spent my day in worthwhile pursuits. It became what so many people teased me about; a full-time vacation.

Taking frequent trips to my daughter’s house didn’t help matters, though I did keep up with my daily writing tasks while there. It took me far longer than it should have to complete the first revision of my novel because I allowed myself to slip when I just didn’t feel motivated.

There comes a time when you have to take a good hard look at what you’re doing and realize that it just ain’t working!

I think my turning point was when I actually finished that revision and had copies made so other people could read it and give me their thoughts on what worked and what didn’t. Though delayed by a couple of weeks due to my visit to my daughter, and hers to me, I finally took stock and made some changes. The first was to revamp my To Do list so I can track my progress in completing weekly tasks. (Old bean counter tricks can actually be handy!)  The second was to commit to a Read and Critique with a local writer’s group. Though initially I only committed to one meeting, I felt so good about it afterwards that I made it a permanent addition to my calendar.

Though I’m refraining from working on the novel for now, I made the decision today to pull out the children’s story I wrote <gasp!> over twenty-two years ago, and start reviewing and revising it in preparation for next week’s meeting.

It hasn’t hurt my recent attack of motivation to re-acquire an accounting client and have the possibility of acquiring another. I now have tasks which need to be completed on a tighter schedule than I’ve enjoyed thus far, further necessitating a more definitized structure for my days. I have some reading I need to do, which I’m told will give me ideas on how to grab the reader’s attention. I have people I need to respond to with regard to improving my novel. And in order to facilitate the increased claims on my time, I’m reinstating my pre-made lunch program. Dinners will continue to be managed by making a large batch of something to be consumed throughout the week. This actually solves two problems for me: what to eat and how to eat more healthy meals. Grab and go, if I’m dependent on whatever is easy right now means a sandwich or something frozen, and I don’t really need either.

So what have I learned by going from one extreme to the other?

Always one to find the lesson in the ups and downs life brings me, I realize that, even if life becomes less structured, there are some things we do when we’re busy to make life easier that are just as useful when the structure in our life is self-created and self-motivated. Although I have the freedom to sleep a little later and do my chores and errands when I decide to do them, things still need to be done every week, every day, every month. I still need to follow a healthy lifestyle including diet and exercise. (My knees are happiest when I move around frequently in some fashion, be it choreographed or freestyle). I still need to move forward on the things which will help me become a published author, sooner rather than later. There’s a website to create, a copywriting course to complete, a Facebook page to maintain, and a plethora of other tasks I don’t even know about yet, which will ensure that the world is ready for me to join the literary world with a reasonable amount of success.

If it means I have to start setting my alarm and pre-making lunches, so be it. It is all just a means to the same end.

And so ends the days of wine and roses (or coffee and long naps).

Nobody ever said that being self-employed meant shorter hours and an easier lifestyle. As a writer, I find that I am a whole lot more than just the chief cook and bottle washer. I’m the “talent” and the personal assistant and any other job title which comes along in my quest for that golden ring; my name on the cover of a book that people actually buy and read! It took awhile, but I think I’m finally on the right track towards balancing my desire for a life which is lived on my terms and actually achieving the lofty goals I set over nine months ago. Tally ho and away we go!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for extremes as they help to find that middle ground which is what works best in the long run.
2. I am grateful for new lessons as they keep me growing and moving forward.
3. I am grateful for other people with fresh viewpoints who can help me clear the clouds away and get a clearer picture of what I need to do to achieve my goals.
4. I am grateful for days when I get a lot accomplished and feel proud of myself once more.
5. I am grateful for abundance: assistance, guidance, friendship, hope, love, beauty, happiness, health, motivation, inspiration, and prosperity.

Namaste

September 10, 2014 A truly extraordinary day

There are times when the seemingly mundane takes on a whole, new perspective!

Today was a day of errands and chores, which, on the surface, seems pretty mundane. Sometimes, it’s not so much what you do, but how it makes you feel!

Sure, there’s nothing extraordinary about the fact that I get my nails done every other Wednesday morning (this time, a marvelous, sparkly red!). What makes it extraordinary is the people I meet and the hour I get to spend with the delightful woman who does my nails. Sometimes, our conversations are pretty benign, and others, we might be solving all of the problems of the world. But it really doesn’t matter what we talk about. I enjoy the hour every couple of weeks that is all about me. She puts me back together when I’ve had a couple of casualties, and just having nice hands makes me feel that much better about myself. Sure, it’s a little thing, but isn’t most of what makes us feel good just a compilation of little things?

Shopping for decorations and a gift for my daughter’s birthday is definitely extraordinary. It wouldn’t matter if I’d done it twenty times, or a hundred and twenty. Labors of love are like that, you know! How can you feel anything but happy and joyful while shopping for a gift and the accoutrements of celebration for someone you love with all of your heart? Add in shopping for the ingredients for the filling and frosting for a new cake I helped her brainstorm last weekend, and the day just got better and better!

But it didn’t end there! I also checked out a new sushi restaurant for lunch. Though the food was pretty good, it paled in comparison to the place my daughter found near her house where their all-you-can-eat menu was more extensive, containing a few things besides sushi, and they had the wonderful, marinated cucumber salad I love (the new place didn’t even sever it as a side with some of their rolls!) The service was quite a bit slower and they tried to charge me for a soda when all I ordered was a glass of water! Needless to say, I won’t insult my daughter by offering it up as an alternative to the place she already likes near here.

As if the day couldn’t get any better, I indulged myself in a Nora Roberts book I picked up while shopping for my daughter, stopping only to warm up leftovers for dinner.

As the day winds to a close, I have everything I need for the birthday party on Saturday, clean clothes, scooped sand boxes, a clean kitchen and clean bedding. The only thing left to do is to get a good night’s sleep so I can finish tomorrow’s chores before going dancing, and my daughter’s arrival for a weekend of celebration!

There are times, and if you ask me, it’s most times, that the simplest things are the ones which bring us the most joy. When things get too complicated, it means a whole lot of extra effort had to go into making them happen in the first place! So this is me, keeping it simple, and loving every minute of it!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for simplicity.
2. I am grateful for labors of love.
3. I am grateful to be celebrating the birth of my daughter again this week.
4. I am grateful to be able to find joy everywhere I look.
5. I am grateful for abundance: Joy, love, simplicity, health, harmony, peace, motivation, creativity and prosperity.

Namaste

September 9, 2014 Rethinking my goals

Making healthy habits sometimes means figuring out what will and won’t work for you.

I’ve been trying (and failing) for weeks, to get back into my gym routine, and am getting more than a little frustrated with myself. But today, I had an epiphany. It’s not that I don’t want to exercise, it’s that I just don’t want to be around more than a couple of people at a time! So I thought about what I could do to get myself motivated to exercise, and realized that the best place to start is my To Do list! Today, I devised a chart which can be added to, amended, varied and changed as I see fit, and have already made my first entry. I’ve also added things which can be done together or while waiting on hold, or watching tv, or anything which takes up time in my day while being basically unproductive.

Here’s my chart so far:
Activity                             Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Squats                                                 25
Planks(seconds)                                   25
Crunches                                             60
Pilates DVD (minutes)

Although the formatting isn’t coming through here, you can probably see that this format might lend itself to other daily activities as well, and, as occurred to me today as well, might simplify my daily activities and make it easier to see and stick to the ones which are either weekly or long-term projects.

Even things which have been working might require change from time to time

Interestingly, the theme for September is “Change” and suddenly, I’m being called upon to change how I’ve been doing things for the last several months. Part of that change is a result of finishing the first edit of my book, and trying to get it to people who can make suggestions and catch things I might have missed. As that project moves to a new phase, I find myself with time I need to fill with other projects which will, ultimately, help me achieve my goals.

As I allowed this to percolate, I realized that it will be easier to track how I’m doing on my goals if I have little charts, allowing me to check things off on the actual days I do them! The logical, numbers person in me sees an opportunity to create charts and metrics from this information so I can eventually see what works in the long-term! (just another case of “you can take the girl out of accounting, but you can’t take the accounting out of the girl!” At least not completely.) Of course, this means moving my To Do list from Word to Excel so I have the charting capabilities. Oy! Is it that I’m really bored, or that I need some serious motivation? Either way, the end justifies the means.

At any rate, the next week or so will definitely be one of adjustment and change. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all comes out!

My Gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my logical mind which becomes very useful at times.
2. I am grateful for my willingness to make changes.
3. I am grateful for the flow of ideas, whether it’s for a creative venture, or to get me more organized.
4. I am grateful for a positive start in a new direction.
5. I am grateful for abundance: ideas, motivation, inspiration, harmony, peace, joy, love, health and prosperity.

Namaste

September 1, 2014 Don’t do it, I tell ya!

I promised myself I wouldn’t do it, but I…just…couldn’t…stop…myself!

Remember how I said I was going to put my book aside, at least for a few days, until others eyes had a chance to see it? Remember how adamant I was about not looking because I knew I’d find fault and want to start rewriting again? Well, I didn’t listen to me. While I was waiting for my friends to arrive so we could go see Led Zep Again, I pulled out one of the boxes of printed pages. I got through the first couple of chapters and, not only did I find errors like using the wrong word, or punctuation, but I thought of ways I could make it even better. I knew this would happen, and I know that I will go through it again after a couple of people have given me their thoughts, but…all I can say is, it called to me. At least I resisted the urge to pull out a pen and start making notes on the copy! That’s something, right?

How do other authors do it? How do they keep themselves from going back over what they’ve written dozens of times? At what point do they say, “OK, I’ve gone through it exty seven times and I have to let it go now. It is as good as it’s going to get without working on it until the end of eternity.” Or, like me, do they just drive themselves crazy? Is it like getting over a relationship? The way to let go of one book is to go on to another? I’d sure like to know before I drive myself completely looney tunes over this one!

It’s not as if I don’t have a million other projects as well as another trip to see my daughter. It’s not as if I couldn’t spend the next three weeks just cleaning my house and yard. But even while meditating, it niggles at me, like a voice in my head that won’t be silenced. “Did you remember to put in the part that… What about those characters you mentioned. Did you ever expand on them? Is that really where you want to end it? Shouldn’t there be more violence?” And on, and on, and on.

So tomorrow I’ll keep myself busy with errands and such. I’ll try to knock a few more chores off of my to do list. And maybe, just maybe, I can give the book a week or two to cool before I light yet another fire under my poor, abused child!

Of course, I have those other voices telling me to finish the copywriting course and get to work on the website. Those voices tell me that I need to take a few more steps forward now instead of constantly going back to the drawing board. Which voices are right, and does it really matter as long as I find a way to move forward again?

Sometimes, when the road gives you too many choices, you can do one of two things. You can stand at that crossroads and worry and fret about whether this choice or that will be good or not, or you can close your eyes, spin yourself around, and just go in the direction you find yourself facing. The fact is, none of those roads is the wrong one. They’re simply different. No matter which one you take, you’ll eventually wind up exactly where you need to be. Some may take a little longer because they contain more lessons, while the easier ones might get you there sooner, but less prepared for what comes next.

Sometimes, it’s not so much the direction you take, but that you take a direction.

So this is where I’m at tonight. I need to take a direction and start moving. Stagnation is never pretty! Tomorrow morning, while I’m waiting for my car to be serviced, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing; looking at my choices and just picking one. I know in my heart that whatever I choose, I can’t go wrong.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I have choices.
2. I am grateful for days spent with friends, music and fresh air.
3. I am grateful for my upcoming visit with my daughter and my grand furries.
4. I am grateful for inspiration which I know will come as soon as I stop trying to force things.
5. I am grateful for abundance; inspiration, motivation, decision-making, harmony, peace, joy, prosperity, work that feeds my soul, love, health and success.

Namaste

August 17, 2014 Information overload

I’ve been feeling really drained and tired the last couple of days, and the reason finally became clear.  I’ve been allowing myself to get pulled into stuff I have no business giving my attention to on social media, and realized that it has to stop.  Though I’m honest enough with myself to realize that I won’t avoid social media entirely, I can commit to passing on having it open 24/7, checking in from everywhere I go, and, in general, just being less connected overall.  I still have ways for the people who are important to me to get in touch, so I don’t feel like I’m really going to lose much by being less available.

Meanwhile, the time I’ve been spending monitoring my accounts will be put to much better use on things like writing, studying and the constant battle to keep my environment decluttered.  In fact, I feel as if the energy blocks I’ve been experiencing, both mental and physical, are directly attributable to the direction I’d allowed myself to be pulled.  My initial actions, therefore, have been to remove posts which convey the wrong message, and to apologize for the words I misspoke.

Last week, before I started my downward spiral, I made excellent progress on clearing out Heather’s old room.  What’s left needs to be sorted, either put away, thrown away or re-homed.  I’ll then be ready to pull up the linoleum and do some some serious scrubbing.

I look around my house and yard and think “I need to do such and so”  but never manage to get around to it because I’m putting too much time and energy into things which don’t matter and, in fact, might even be harmful to me and others.

I’m sure I’m not alone in being occasionally drawn into things which really don’t matter in the overall scheme of things.  I do tend to take it too far at times, until I’m mired in a lot of negatively charged topics at the expense of both my ideals and my purpose.

Thankfully, I have friends who have divergent beliefs, ideals and ways of life who remind me, usually unintentionally on their part, to get back to what’s important and leave the cow poop behind me!  Adding to or creating drama on Facebook is a pile of cow poop that would bring tears to the eyes of the Bandini execs!  I therefore will my share to them, that they can make much better use of it than I.    Vegetable garden, anyone?

Speaking of vegetable gardens, I hear that digging in the dirt is good for you on many levels.  As I start to complete those decluttering projects, reinstating the vegetable garden my daughter started a couple of times is high on the list.  I had followed some links to sites which sold organic (non Monsanto screwed with) seeds,  and can see some purchases along with a good book on organic gardening in my future.   Sadly, I failed to maintain the fruit trees I planted, so, as near as I can tell, only one, maybe two have survived.  The plum tree is thriving, though fruitless, as I gave it a good trimming, have done some weed abatement, and now water it regularly (putting the task on my weekly to do list helps!)  I hope to save the citrus tree if I haven’t left it for too long.    If either of the cherry trees, the apricot tree or the pluot tree are salvageable after my years of neglect, I will be incredibly grateful, but frankly, I don’t hold out a lot of hope right now.  I will be thrilled to be proven wrong on this one!

Recipe for growth: One part, setting of intentions, ten parts, gratitude

I’ve learned many useful things over the last few years, but the two which have borne the most fruit have been in publicly setting my intentions and remembering, always, to be grateful. I’ve also learned that as soon as I forget or spend more time complaining than being grateful, my world and everything in it begins to respond contrarily to what I desire. I experience more weird maladies and upset stomachs; clogged throats and headaches, until I wake back up and realize what I’m doing to myself, and, frankly, everyone around me, and stop sabotaging myself.

Although I don’t yet respond to an early warning system when I’ve gone off track, I do, eventually, get it, and redirect my energies. I’d like to believe that I’m getting the message sooner rather than later these days, but as I’m not exactly keeping score, I can’t really say. In the meantime, I am just grateful for an end to this episode of “As the downward spiral spins” and look forward to a long, productive period of gratitude, attention to intentions and productivity.

My gratitudes today are:
1. I am grateful for my friends whose selfless actions remind me when I’ve drifted into territory which conflicts with my goals and desires.
2. I am grateful for periods of negativity which remind me how much I appreciate being positive.
3. I am grateful for projects which would, if all undertaken, keep me busy and out of trouble for years to come.
4. I am grateful for the many opportunities I’m given to improve myself and the world around me.
5. I am grateful for abundance; love, joy, harmony, happiness, peace, productivity, health and prosperity.

Namaste

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