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

Archive for the ‘happiness’ Category

When Some of Life’s Dances Have Steps That Elude Us

Holes and Boulders

Meditations in my house are typically a family affair but some days are more communal than others. When Munchkin lays across my shoulder with her head near my ear, purring as if her life depends on it, while Dylan lays on the arm of the sofa, curled in the crook of my elbow, I know the visuals will be more vivid and the messages, more clear.

Such was the scenario for a recent meditation. With my focus more on Munchkin’s soothing purr than the meditation music I grabbed from YouTube, I did a little mental inventory. What I discovered was a bit disturbing.

My heart felt like there was a huge area where nothing penetrated, but nothing came out either—almost a physical void where a piece of my heart was gone, or maybe never really existed. But it wasn’t just my heart. I felt a weight the size of a small boulder in my stomach. And yet, as far as I knew, there was nothing wrong. Never mind the migraine that started shortly after I woke up.

Allowing the Answers to Come as They Will

Since it was a meditation, I gave up any effort I might have made to indulge in self analysis, and simply allowed myself to sink into Munchkin’s purr and let the answers come of their own volition and in their own time. I didn’t have long to wait.

I allowed myself to feel the loneliness and to let the reasons slowly coalesce. I felt the sense, first, of something lost, but soon, I realized it was something I never really had. Like most people, I have my own dream of a perfect life, though since I spent so many years believing myself unworthy, I’d convinced myself at the same time I didn’t deserve the perfect life I envisioned. Of course, reality and expectation came together with uncanny accuracy.

The trouble is, I no longer believe I’m unworthy (OK, at least I don’t most of the time), and though some aspects of that perfection were lost with my youth, I realize on a rational level that, as the saying goes, I ain’t dead yet, and there’s still time to attract aspects of the old and never quite forgotten dreams.

Old Baggage Can Lead Us Astray

But I’m manifesting that belief in potentially unhealthy ways. I realized today I’ve become, on a subconscious level almost desperate to receive the love and cherishing I see so many of my friends enjoying. Perhaps it’s a double-edged sword to now have a social circle of loving, giving people who are in the kind of relationships I will admit I want for myself when I’m not in my favorite home away from home, the State of Denial.

The result is that my sensitivities are like a nest full of baby birds when mom arrives with a freshly chewed worm, but I react, not to food but to a little attention from the male of the species. Somehow, my heart and brain get all tangled up and look for reasons to believe the attention is more than it is, or that I’m getting a little more from the gentleman in question than the plethora of single women in the vicinity.

The Epic Battle Between Heart vs. Head

Needless to say, I have a near-constant internal battle going on. Picture Dr. Doolittle’s Push Me-Pull You as the battle between my heart and head, each one trying to control which direction my entire self goes. If you consider all the times I’ve been oblivious when someone really was more than superficially interested and I failed to give the right signs which would have indicated mutual interest, you can see what a convoluted mess I put myself in. And why my heart feels like half of it is a black hole and my gut feels like I’ve swallowed a brick whole.

The truth is, even if a guy was to show an interest, it would have to be so blatantly obvious, the entire world could see it before it would get through my dysfunctional brain and register a need for me to give some kind of affirmative response. Needless to say, there may or may not be at least a couple who turned their attentions elsewhere because I failed to follow the steps of the one dance I never managed to learn.

Friends Just Want Friends to be Happy

Another down-side to having so many happily coupled friends is they have a tendency to want all of their friends to be as happy and cherished as they are. Too often, my well-meaning friends will try to convince me that someone is more than casually interested. I’ll start paying closer attention to my interactions with said male, only to realize that both I and my friend were seeing something we wanted to see, and not what was really there.

To top it off, I’m beginning to believe despite my observations that men are dating women 20 years their junior, looking 15-20 years younger isn’t the same thing. All too often, I’m feeling like I get written off because someone thinks I’m in my 40’s. Good grief! Can’t ya cut a girl a break? I used to believe my daughter was just being sweet, but lately, others have made the same mistake, with one person telling me I didn’t have the hands of a 60-year-old. (insert huge, heartfelt sigh)

I’ve Been Lonely So Long

I never thought I’d see the day I’d say, much less type these words, but the truth is, I’m tired of always being alone. I’d love to have someone to spend a rainy Friday night with, curled on the sofa talking, or reading, or watching something mindless on TV. I won’t go so far as to say I could handle having someone with me all the time, but a couple of nights a week and someone I could count on for more than the occasional dance would be nice.

Of course, this could be my personal version of a mid-life crisis, typically later than normal as everything I do seems to be. It could be too many Hallmark movies, or too many misconstrued acts of simple kindness. I don’t really know any more. Perhaps it’s something women of a certain age go through when they’ve been alone for too many years.

Using the Energy of Frustration Towards the Greater Good

Whatever the reason, I know I need to find something or someone to fill up that empty place in my heart. I thought my resident felines were enough, but even there, I’ve been deluding myself, and they’ve probably known it all along. I also know the best way to fill the hole is by giving of myself, and that route is far less open to interpretation than areas where my perceptions are more than slightly askew.

In my usual convoluted and misdirected fashion, I seem to have hit on the solution to the problems with my heart and gut. My gut still says it isn’t what it wants (funny, as you’d think my heart would weigh in, yet it’s unnaturally silent), but since neither of us has a clue as to where to find help lifting off the brick that seems to have settled in for a long winter’s nap, finding someone or something who could use an extra pair of hands will fill the space for now. I’m open to suggestions, but of course, would prefer it to be something in my geographical area and not affiliated with any religious organization or purpose.

Finding the Rule Book Everyone’s Read, but Nobody Has

Am I truly alone in this? Do others find they just don’t know how to play those interpersonal games? Have others, as I have, failed to learn the rules of the game, or even lack a desire to play games with their heart in the first place? So many times, I wish I had the ingenuousness of a 5-year-old who would simply say: “Hi. I like you. Wanna play?”

Can you imagine how many would run screaming in the other direction if I did that? It would break every rule in the handbook of interpersonal skills that is probably one of the rare books which never made it into my extensive personal library.

Gettin’ By

For now, you can find me at the dance hall a couple of nights a week, the gym, my requisite 3 days, and perhaps feeding the homeless, or filling boxes for our military personnel far away from home. And writing little ditties like this one twice a week, hoping to help someone else feel less alone as they meander through life without an instruction manual or even a map to alert them to upcoming land mines.

One thing I have found as I stumble and fumble is we are not meant to be alone, and though we might not find “the one” right away, or even in this lifetime, there are always people around who love us and care about us. We just have to crawl out of our cocoons once in a while and look around, feel the sunshine on our faces, and spread those beautiful butterfly wings we grew while hiding out for so long.

Remembering My Unlimited Supply of Blessings

And of course, find things large and small to be grateful for:

  1. I am grateful for the people who allow me to touch their lives with my stumbles and fumbles.
  2. I am grateful for my cats who are snuggly, demanding, and sometimes ornery.
  3. I am grateful for my daughter who keeps me connected to the world even when I don’t come outside for days on end. She reminds me there are frustrations, but also causes for joy and amusement.
  4. I am grateful for the writing and the people I get to meet because of it. There’s an entire world of people out there with incredible imaginations, who are caring, accepting, and understanding of some of my struggles.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, inspiration, motivation, health, sanity (at least some of the time), energy, spirit, blessings, prosperity, goals, and philanthropy.

Love and Light

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghostwriting to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. Her specialties are finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author

December 18, 2014 Prescription for Happiness #shericonaway

Last week, I was a sad mess, but after just one week, this simple happiness prescription has turned my life around! Do you want to be happy too? Well, stick around for a bit and I’ll tell you what to do!

For only $19.95 and 30 minutes a day, 4 times a week…

No, wait a minute! That’s not it! Rewind! Take 2!

Are the holidays getting you down? Are you dragging from one day to the next, barely able to put one foot in front of the other? Do you want to spend your days holed up in your house, wearing the same pair of smelly pajamas you’ve worn for the last week?

If you answered yes to all of these questions (especially the last one) read no further, as this post isn’t for you. But if you shouted an emphatic “NO” to the last one, read on! This miracle drug, this happiness prescription, this amazing SECRET could be just what you need to turn that frown into a smile and bring the joy of the holidays into your heart and home!

What this amazing prescription is not:

This amazing, easily administered discovery is not a pill. It is not a tonic. It is not a shot in the tush every month. NO!

What it is will take some effort on your part and perhaps a small monthly investment, depending on the choices you make.

So what is this amazing, simple, inexpensive, non-drug happiness inducer?

Just one week ago, I was sad and bored. The holidays were bringing me no joy. But then I discovered…MOVEMENT! I discovered…Fresh Air! I discovered…Music!

Yes, folks. The solution is that simple. Go to the gym, or ride a bike. Scrub the floors or mow the lawn. Take a hike or go dancing. It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as you move your body for at least 30 minutes, 4 times a week.

You can even choose how quickly you wish to see results. In my case, I wanted to see them more quickly, so I spent an hour a day, four days a week at the gym, danced for about 3 hours a night, twice a week and ran errands which required a lot of walking in between. I also scrubbed all of the floors in my house with the dubious assistance of my cats.

The sky is the limit with this Miracle Cure.

If you want faster results, you can lengthen your workouts or add more days. You can wash windows or plant a garden. When you use chores around the house as part of your prescription, not only do you move that body and make it happier, you end up with a clean house or a vegetable garden or anything else you’ve been putting on the back burner because you just didn’t have the energy. Best of all, you have more energy than ever, and soon, tasks you never thought you’d complete are just done!

So don’t delay! Get on the treadmill today.

Walk to the store, ride your bike to the mall. Do whatever it takes to get moving because, to quote a popular arthritis commercial “A body in motion stays in motion.” Once you get going, you won’t be able to stop…even if you wanted to!

This has been an unpaid message from our sponsors. We now return you to our regularly scheduled blog, “ADHD run amok”.

I know I hid the message in a bunch of silliness, but the reality is, I’m much more energetic, happier and less inclined to be a hermit than I was a week ago. Yes, I’m still more easily annoyed than I’d like, but hey, it’s only been a week! The floors in my house are clean (or they were for a few minutes until my cats did their shedding and toy dragging across them), in fact, cleaner than they’ve been in a long while. More of my clutter has been corralled and I’m finally ready to put up my tree and wrap presents. How cool is that?

So here’s the challenge: If you’re feeling less than joyful, less than ready for the holiday hoop-la, try a little of my medicine. Move, clean, stretch, get fresh air, and just be in your own space. I stick my headphones in my ear, start up Pandora and go into my own place, but that place is outside of the four walls of my house where I’m more likely to drag myself around and eat crap out of boredom. Not healthy mentally, physically or emotionally And let’s not even start on spiritually!

I’ve heard it said that the best way to help yourself is to help someone else.

If nothing else, give someone a smile or pay them a compliment. It costs you nothing, but just might make their day.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for a return to my healthier lifestyle.
2. I am grateful that I am clear on what I need to clear from my plate in order to get back to my latest novel.
3. I am grateful for a lovely night of dancing with my friends.
4. I am grateful for the opportunity to share what I’ve learned, even if I make a mockery of myself to do it.
5. I am grateful for abundance: health, happiness, joy, love, friendship, harmony, peace, humor and prosperity.

Namaste

September 15, 2014 I wrote, I edited…now what?

There was a time when I would write and write, keeping my precious babe safe within my own arms, and perhaps, those of a select few. That moment has passed.

So I wrote the first 50,000 words of the novel in less than 30 days. I wrote the next 18,000 words in the next couple of months, then spent about 6 months editing, fleshing out, and reworking the rough draft into about 98,000 words. Now what?

In truth, I took a few weeks off, visited my daughter a couple of times, read a number of books by some of my favorite authors, and just took time to breathe. But one can only sit and breathe for so long before it’s time to get back onto that superhighway we call life and make something amazing happen!

Movin’ on with a little help from my friends.

Very gently, I began soliciting readers who might give me constructive criticism, not so much on grammatical issues, but on content, flow and whether I have something going for me, or need to return to the drawing board. Slowly; possibly due to my own hesitancy about baring my baby’s soul; I found people who were willing to read and critique my work. But I think the real turning point has come in the last few days. First, I found a friend of my daughter’s who has been doing some editing and was willing to take on my “child”. But the real opportunity to get the heck out of my comfortable, safe, rejection-free mausoleum came tonight when I finally bit the bullet and attended a Read and Critique with a local writer’s group. They had some great advice while refraining from ripping the whole first chapter to shreds. I also got a taste of what each of them was working on, and definitely felt like the new kid on the block! But as I tell new dancers, we were all beginners once! One lady offered to read the first three chapters and be brutal, if need be, which, right now, I really do need!

As I know that this is the right direction for me to take at this point, I’ve already RSVP’d for next week’s session, and am going to block it out on my calendar for awhile. This is a group of people who were once where I am, and who are encouraging not only the experienced, published writers, but those like me who are just starting out. Not that I haven’t written for most of my life, but until my blog, the bulk of it was for my eyes only.

Fledglings must learn to fly, and the first step is usually pretty frightening!

I know that if I’m really going to make a go of this massive career change, I have to leave the nest, the comfort zone behind, gather my courage, leave my ego, and just take those first stumbling steps which will ultimately send me airborne! Surprisingly, it wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I’d suspected, sharing even a small piece of my “baby” with strangers. I realized that they’re not out to smother her or my desire to write, but to help me make her stronger, better and above all, more marketable. I’m sure they’ve all certainly made their share of false starts, and are willing to share what they’ve learned with others. Heck, I may even learn that I’ve categorized it incorrectly, and that will also be helpful. I will be the first to admit that there’s far more about the publishing industry that I don’t know than that I do. (Although I did get a very nice complement about my editing skills). Now, I have the opportunity to learn what works, what doesn’t, how to find a publisher for my particular type of work, and who knows what else?

If it sounds like I’m very excited about this next phase, I admit, I am. But I’ll also have to admit that I’m very pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t sure what to expect tonight, but it was an excellent beginning to a new learning experience. Even better, at least three of the people who where there have published, and I will be able to read what they’ve written and sold! How great is that?

Even more amazing than my experience tonight is that I managed to stay on topic for quite a long spell before the ADHD kicked in. It does happen occasionally, when I’m really excited about something. The hyperactive energy is channeled into my excitement, I guess.

As one thing led to another, I mentioned that I was an Empath, because it was an explanation as to why a particular piece resonated with me. Speaking with the author of the piece afterwards, she revealed that she, too, is an Empath, and asked me what I’m doing with it. I had to admit that my one foray into healing wasn’t entirely successful (though it did give me the courage to quit doing work that was sucking me dry in favor of work I loved, even if it wasn’t fiscally responsible in the short term). I realize that the place, the time and the question were put before me intentionally, and will end up devoting considerable to finding a better answer to the question, even if it means leaving my comfort zone in yet another direction.

Both information from my daily Tarot readings and just gut feelings lately have indicated rapid and massive changes. I think what I’m seeing right now is just the tip of the iceberg as to what those changes will be and more, where they’ll be taking me. If only my memory and my fingers can keep up with my imagination. In fact, I’ve already decided to do the NaNoWriMo challenge again in November!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for opportunities which turn out even better than I would have imagined.
2. I am grateful for successful people who are willing to help others find that success.
3. I am grateful for new learning experiences.
4. I am grateful to have found people to edit my first work.
5. I am grateful for abundance: health, happiness, love, motivation, imagination, guidance, hope, health, harmony, peace, meaningful work and prosperity.

Namaste

September 14, 2014 Catching up

Living in a vortex

Have you ever heard the term “spiraling out of control”? Have you ever lived it? Or, the better question is, have you ever not lived it? I just watched a video about how the solar system isn’t really just a bunch of planets circling the sun, but rather, a sun which is moving through space, dragging the planets behind it. Thus, the orbits are really spirals as the planets circle the sun while chasing it across the sky.

Life is rather like that. We rarely stand in one place and just go around and around. We move, ever forward, our orbit, if you will, following that forward progression, stretching out, from birth do death, in an ever evolving spiral. Even though we may repeat certain lessons endlessly, the actual delivery of that lesson changes over time, partly because we might actually assimilate part of the lesson after a few dozen iterations, but also because the format of the lesson must be appropriate to where we are in life if we’re even expected to recognize it, much less, learn the darn thing! (I am reminded, at this point, of the lessons in both patience and kindness which haunt me like a specter as I continue to be gifted the opportunity to finally nail those suckers…yet, still the lessons come.) I won’t call the yet-to-be-learned lessons failures as there truly are no failures, just lessons in what doesn’t work!

Getting back to my original point: catching up.

As the ADHD once again redirected my thoughts, I left my original point before I’d even started to type tonight. That point? Catching up. The week got away from me as the celebration of my daughter’s birth was uppermost in my mind. She arrived here Thursday night, and if you were watching, posts for the last couple of days were noticeably absent. But overdancing on an already sore foot (if you can show me a dance addict who hasn’t done that a time or two, I’ll kiss their shoes!) gave me an unexpected day of little activity as I paid the price by needing to stay off of it entirely for awhile. I even had to decline the opportunity to start learning a new kind of dancing, much to my disgust! But I promised myself and my friend, Dezi that I will soon accept the challenge of learning Casino Rueda while taking another step out of my cozy little comfort zone.

However, the day was not a total bust. I finally got my computer checked out and was assured that most of my problem was the accumulation of dust inside the case. I am also relieved to learn that my hard drive is healthy and not facing imminent demise. The best news is that my printer and all of its functions are now fully–functional again. This is especially helpful as I prepare to take Chapter 1 of “Sasha’s Journey” to my very first read and critique. The activity requires hard copies of the material I’m presenting, so having a working relationship between printer and computer is somewhat important to the cause. I just need to get some sort of heat goo which my technical person assures me he will apply for me. (I admit, I don’t exactly know what the stuff is, much less where on the computer it should be applied! The little knowledge I have carries the very real risk of putting my electronics in jeopardy; a risk I’m not willing to take as my work load is starting to increase, and my schedule of tasks requiring my computer grows exponentially.

So a day spent reading, snuggling with the cats and completing tasks which were temporarily abandoned (like daily blog posts) leaves me feeling rather pleased and accomplished. The week ahead, filled with doctor visits, meeting with another editor for my book, working with a new client and of course, dancing, will give me a great start towards getting back on task with all of the things I’ve set aside lately. There is a lot of truth to the saying “If you want something done, ask a busy person”. The busier I am, the more efficient I become, and the more tasks I’m able to accomplish. Lately, my accomplishment rate has settled into one of the lowest places ever, and I can no longer tolerate such sloth. A temporary hiatus on either traveling or having a house guest will be helpful as well.

My goal for the next few weeks is to get some of the longer term tasks off of my to-do list and to revise the format a bit so that I can generate graphical data from the weekly progress. If I were writing a spell to ensure success, I would, at this point add: “As I will, so mote it be.”

In fact, let me take a stab at it!

Completion of the tasks at hand
Be they exciting or rather bland
Motivation is what I seek
Triggered by the words I speak
To trim my list by one, two or three
As I will, so mote it be!

Inspiration is definitely flowing more freely this week, and tasks I’ve left hanging are seeming less daunting now. I’m getting encouragement from many directions, and stepping out into opportunities which have recently begun appearing (or more likely, I’ve finally just opened my eyes to see what was already there, awaiting my notice). So may things swirling in this vortex of my life, that make it impossible to avoid feeling and joining the pace as it speeds up once again. It’s been awhile since my life was a wild roller coaster ride, and it feels as if that wheel is about to turn and the wonder and excitement is being turned up a few notches. Stay tuned as the ride will be interesting, exciting and sometimes frustrating, but never, ever boring!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for new insights.
2. I am grateful for encouragement from new and old directions.
3. I am grateful for synchronicity which brought me another editor.
4. I am grateful for the fun, busy weeks which have come to an end for awhile so I can really get down to business.
5. I am grateful for abundance: projects, prosperity, enthusiasm, motivation, creativity, tenacity, love, friendship,harmony, peace, kindness, patience and love.

Namaste

September 11, 2014 At a loss for words…again

What do you say, when you have nothing to say?

I’m staring at the computer screen after a truly epic night of dancing which was topped off by the arrival of my daughter, here to celebrate her birthday, and it was all I could do to even open up the page for a new post. Though sitting in front of the screen with nothing to say isn’t all that rare, the reticence towards opening a page for my nightly post is new. It’s not as if I’m being judged or graded on what I post here. Sure, people have opinions, and there are always the rare few who want to attack the poster, but for the most part, the response I’ve received has been pretty positive.

So why the reluctance to put fingers to keyboard tonight? I’m sure Mr. Freud would have some explanation involving female hysteria, but I never thought much of his theories anyway. The only other explanation which sounds remotely plausible right now is that I have something percolating inside of me which isn’t quite ready to see the light of day. Thus, I’m finding it difficult to create a post at all. I won’t bore you with 500 words about nothing, but will allow my stubborn brain to have its way. Hopefully, the percolation will be complete by tomorrow (and why is it that I find myself typing so often when the clock reads “11:11”? Maybe this time, it’s a reminder that I have accurately assessed the problem and my solution is appropriate as well?)

Leave us not belabor the point. I will simply share my gratitudes tonight.
1. I am grateful for a visit from my daughter on her birthday weekend.
2. I am grateful for another epic night of dancing with the most amazing friends a girl could have.
3. I am grateful for a productive day of house cleaning…my least favorite sport.
4. I am grateful for the quiet at the end of a busy day.
5. I am grateful for abundance: positivity, exercise, a job well done, happiness, love, joy, health, mental gymnastics 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 3, 2014 Time flies when you’re having fun.

Are you kidding me? It’s September already???

As I sit down to write tonight, I am stunned to find that we’re nearly 3/4 of the way through this year! Where did the time go? What do I even have to show for it? Now, I could go on one of those negative rampages and elaborate on what I have NOT done this year, but what good would that do? It might show me how much I have to do to catch up, but other than that, it would only bring me down. Instead, I really have to do what I always do, and focus on what I have accomplished so far this year. (and yes, my friends, it is list time!)

1. I have created, maintained and followed a To Do list all year.
2. I have completed the first draft of my book.
3. I have completed the first edit of my book.
4. I have cleared an amazing amount of clutter, including old records dating back as far as 1992!
5. I have stepped outside of my comfort zone on many occasions.
6. I have started developing a social life which does not involve my daughter.
7. I have succeeded in conquering the bureaucratic nightmare some would pin on the Affordable Care Act, but which is really perpetuated by the insurance companies who don’t want to get on board (in my case, Blue Shield) and have worked with the Department of Health Insurance to help make the system better.
8. I have ensured that my main man, Dylan, will not succumb to hyperthyroidism related maladies by taking him for treatment. As of the three month blood tests, he is completely cured!
9. I continue to build my virtual tool box by learning new lessons and reinforcing old ones.
10. I have moved my blog to WordPress in preparation for launching my website.
11. I have become much more consistent with my blog postings.
12. I have started a copywriting course.
13. I have maintained my accounting business, albeit on a smaller scale than I’d originally planned, though I trust that this has been for a very good reason.
14. I have adopted two new kittens after losing one cat who we knew was very ill, and one who surprised us.
15. I continue to exercise my right to set boundaries and have them respected.

This is hardly a complete list, but for me, it represents a lot of progress in a few, short months. That is not to say that I don’t have periods where I’m a complete hermit, sit around and read all day, and let some of the good habits I’ve formed slide for a bit. But by the time I reach the place where I need to be a hermit, believe me, I’ve earned it!

Everyone needs time to recharge their batteries now and then.

We all get worn down, and if we’re smart, we recognize it and do something about it. It really doesn’t matter what works for you; whether it’s just being alone to read and veg, like me, or it’s working in the garden, or doing volunteer work…it just has to be what recharges you! Too often, we run ourselves into the ground, at which point, it is a much longer way back to our normal, energetic selves. Learning to recognize when we need to check out for a bit of recharging is, I realize, a tough lesson when you’re trying to hold down a job, raise kids, pay the bills and do all of the things these endeavors require. But even taking an evening when you put the kids to bed and settle down for a bubble bath, a read and a glass of wine instead of your usual laundry, dishes and paperwork is enough to give you the recharge you need. Maybe it won’t fill you all the way back up, but it will sure prevent you from draining yourself completely.

When my girls were young, my recharging system was a night of dancing, and I took a lot of doses of that particular tonic until they got to high school. At that point, I had to drive them to practices and meetings and a multitude of other activities, and allowed myself to be shortchanged. What a huge mistake that was, as I got more cranky and more depressed as the days went on! It took long term administration of Vitamin Dance before I started resembling my former self. But in the process, I made some new friends, learned a lot of new dances, went on a couple of cruises, and even started doing things outside of dancing.

These days, my life is a lot simpler, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get overwhelmed and drained. Instead of running kids to activities, I’ve added 2 1/2 hour drives to see my daughter. Of course, I spend three or four days with her when I go, but it’s still shlepping. (and of course, I love our visits and getting to see all of my grand furries!). But in addition to a couple of nights a week of dancing, I get out for afternoons at the beach, concerts and Shakespeare in the park, and am becoming more open to trying new and different things.

The end result is exactly what I’d hoped for, and that is to be energized by all of the new, while making the old seem less old hat and more just a comfortable resting place before dashing off to something new again.

Life is all about balance.

The more balance we achieve in our lives, the easier it is to recover when we get one of the inevitable curve balls; the easier it is to take the lesson and leave the pain behind. But better still, the easier it is to expect good things, and to get them, more and more!

Every day, I get more proof that Joy and Happiness brings Joy and Happiness, while worry, fear, gloom, sadness…bring more of the same. This, in particular, took awhile for me to figure out because, as my kids will tell you, I’m the original Worry Wart. I had to work hard to train myself to believe that everything would work out perfectly…if only I’d get out of the way and let it!

It’s sort of like the nights like tonight when I sit down to write a post, thinking I have nothing in my head to say, and suddenly, I find myself where I am right now, with a post of over 1,000 words, and realize that I need to find an end point, before I put my readers to sleep!

Let me just urge you to allow yourself time to recharge your batteries, and to say to yourself, whenever you feel fear or worry taking over “Everything is going to work out perfectly. I just need to get out of the way and allow the perfect to happen!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for how everything in my life works out perfectly.
2. I am grateful for all I have accomplished this year.
3. I am grateful that my daughter got us tickets for Blake Shelton, The Band Perry and Neal McCoy for this weekend!
4. I am grateful for the friendships I have been blessed with this year, and look forward to seeing them grow stronger.
5. I am grateful for the health of my cats, and for learning to recognize things before they become serious issues.
6. I am grateful for abundance: health, happiness, joy, friendship, success, harmony, peace, kindness, love and prosperity.

Namaste

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