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Sunday, January 1, 2023

It's a New Year!

   


  Even though part of me tries to shrug off all the hoopla that comes with the changing of the year, it is impossible not to get a little bit excited about the idea of a fresh start. I think a clean slate which is ready to be written on again, is just something that appeals to us hopeful humans. 

    I have been thinking about the areas of my life that I struggle with, and the areas I want improve upon. These are non-related to work. Of course, I have things I want to improve upon at work, but this isn't the place for that discussion.

    After a lot of thought and soul-searching I can sum up my areas of focus as the following:

  • Eating healthy
  • Sticking to a budget
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Keeping up my home

    These are the areas I want to focus my attention on this year. As far as eating healthy goes, I am trying to move towards a more Mediterranean diet. I may or may not lose weight, but there is simply no excuse for the large intake of sugar in my diet.. Well, it's good. I guess that is the excuse. It will be  hard to break away from that easy high of  flavorful food, but I am going to have to find other ways to release some good hormones.

    I am starting off the year by keeping track of my spending in a separate planner. I think I am bleeding a lot of cash to areas which don't really represent my values. This area will be hard, since it is so easy to spend money online and those little trips to Walgreens and Walmart for necessities add up quickly. 
    
    Interpersonal relations! It's a struggle for me. I want to work on this area. This includes improving my interactions with others through better social skills and taking small chances that put me outside of my comfort zone. I have a lot of anxiety in this area. When I felt like someone didn't like and/or was trying to get me emotionally riled up in the recent past, I used my newly found skills to not be paranoid,  told myself it was silly, and got subsequently got burned. I have to learn to balance both my intuition and my trust in others. It won't be easy!

    And keeping up my home is an oldie for. me. Mostly I am referring to keeping it tidy and clean and keeping up with basic repairs. I tend to stress out tremendously over my homemaking skills and the feeling that I am not good enough. So I plan to give myself some grace, meeting myself where I am, and simply improve upon my routines. I am not in competition with YouTube Moms or the stay-at-home mom down the street, or even the working family next door, whose youngest child is 13. I am only trying to better own situation.

    These are my areas of focus for the year. Expect to see detailed blogs regarding how exactly this is affecting my life itself.
    

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Monday, January 17, 2022

On Vision-Why Developing it Matters to Me

 

Photo by Matt Noble on Unsplash

Vision. 

My focus word for the year

Vision is the word I have chosen as my focus word of the year. It is something most of us probably like to think we have, but many of us truly do not utilize vision to the fullest extent possible. If you had asked five years ago if I had vision, I would have said, "Yes, of course."  However, aging has a way of making you look at yourself differently and embrace your faults and shortcomings in a kinder, more whole-hearted way. And I don't operate from a place which utilizes vision. 

Now is this TRULY a shortcoming or just a manner of being? That, my friend, is wholly dependent upon your values and how you wish to live your life. For me, it is an area I just feel the need to expand upon. 

What is vision exactly? 

To me, vision is the ability to use your imagination to see how things might be different or better in the future. Vision is looking beyond maintaining the status quo and picturing a way to make things better. Vision may or may not be about bending things more to your will, but ideally, it is based on constructing an enhanced future with greater depth and meaning. 

I often feel as if I going through life partially asleep. Physically it feels like there is a lulling, foggy weight sleeping on the frontal lobe of my brain and behind my eyes. I feel as if I am truly NOT completely awake. While it is possible to operate in a fairly complex manner and maintain a challenging life half-asleep, it can also lead a sense of complacency with what is and sleeping through life watching Netflix reruns and living for the next donut opportunity. It's a smaller way to live. 

And again-it's okay. If you work hard and are relatively good (most of us are neither as good nor as bad as we think ourselves to be, I imagine), you will live a fairly fulfilled life in the half-asleep state. You will enjoy your animal comforts, love your children, laugh at jokes, and enjoy the sensation of a soft pillow and a conscience-free heart. And for many that is enough.

But if, like me, a persistent, nagging feeling is tugging from within-pressing on your eyes, rousing your forehead (it's truly a physical sensation for me) shaking the cloud hovering just over the front of your head, it may be time to search for more. 

I cannot imagine this is a one and done affair. I can't spend 30 minutes imagining a future, write it out and be on my merry way. First of all, I am out of practice when it comes to imagination. As a child, I would lie in bed at night envisioning ways of making my mark on the world. I was to be a martyr, universally loved and cherished at the  moment of my death. People would KNOW. Now though, martyr dreams are out-I have  a family to raise, and frankly, it just doesn't sound appealing.  I have to sit and DO the hard work of planning. And I am out of practice. As much love as I have for self-help books, I always skip over the workbooky aspects of them which require putting onto paper your thoughts and plans. I thought it was because doing so was a waste of time and slowed down my intake of ideas from the text. I know now, however, that it was sheer mental laziness, impatience, and a way to consume ideas without truly digesting and fully incorporating them into my life. I thought it was mental freedom, but it was actually mental neglect. 

There are different ways I can handle this. One is to get a book which organizes a life path-where I just need to fill in the blanks. Another might be to determine which paths to focus on before I spend time envisioning the future. Yet another is to just sit quietly and let the dreams and visions unfold to determine what I want. Even now, I just want to think about thinking about it. I don't want to DO it. It's hard. Thinking and imagination, for those out of practice, is HARD.

Always have to make the plan...

Since this is a yearlong focus, I will be blogging at least monthly on my progress in this area. 

  1. First, I need to determine which life areas I wish to focus on applying vision. 
  2. Next, I will need to spend time allowing my imagination to soar as I envision ways to improve, alternate possibilities, and how to go beyond "drink more water and get more exercise," to creating a truly unique life experience which awakens and challenges me. 
  3. Finally, I need to put it into practice. 

For me, this is the satisfying part. Writing out what I plan to do is usually enough to make my brain hit that little checkmark tab on and I think, "Done." I need to move beyond a simple plan, into true thought and imagination, and finally application. 

I need to keep shaking myself, keep waking myself, and keep demanding I stay awake and aware.

When I return I plan to have an outline of the areas in which I want to focus my vision. 

See you soon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Tomorrow

Photo by Rota Alternativa on Unsplash

Tomorrow is a lovely word, isn't it? Tomorrow I will go collect some of my personal items from my workplace for the summer.
Tomorrow is someone's birthday (actually, next Monday is!).
Tomorrow I will eat well.
Tomorrow I will exercise.
We put off the unpleasant, and even the pleasant which requires effort, until tomorrow.

Our dreams are always waiting for us in tomorrow-land. A lovely world of wishes, sunny skies, and happy days.

But what if tomorrow started now?
What if we gave that someone a call or hug now instead of waiting until their birthday?
Whatever I stopped eating for the day now?
What if I did a few exercises as I prepared for bed?

What steps can we take right NOW to reach those beautiful sunny dreams? Can we label a jar "Hawaii" for our dream vacation? Or perhaps we can start a paragraph, a page in the book we want to write.
Right now, we can sit for five minutes and meditate, focusing on our breath and consciousness, or focusing deeper on our vision. Right now, we can pray to God and shower the heavens with our words of gratitude, or share our sorrow and ask to be shown the light.

Waiting for tomorrow is romantic, and practical, and oh so very safe. But safe doesn't take us to our dream. Safe keeps us on the shore looking out at the surging sea and racing vessels. Let's put our oar in and bring a little bit of tomorrow into today.

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