I Love Mondays

I Love Mondays

I love Mondays….I didn’t always love Mondays, this is a new love I have found.  I used to dread Mondays for hours on Sunday Nights and getting through the first 16 hours of every Monday was pure torture until I could go to sleep and wake up on Tuesday.

I used to love Tuesdays.  Why? Because it wasn’t MONDAY.

It makes absolutely no sense, but in a strange kind of way it does.  It was a mantra I had playing in my head. And I learned it as a child–from Garfield.

I used to read the comics in the Sunday paper whenever I could get my hands on them.  And they were great! Garfield, of course, was one of my favorites! I mean who doesn’t like Garfield?

The snarky orange cat always outsmarted his human Jon and he was sarcastic and goofy. What is not to love?

Garfield hated Mondays!  Many times he would think in his bubble thoughts: “I hate Mondays!”  Right there with you my friend! So I grew up with that mantra and I hated Mondays too.

Ridiculous right?  Imagine though, how many things we do the way we do because of an old mantra we are carrying around?  

What’s worse–imagine that the mantra sitting on your left shoulder is not even yours, but one you adopted from someone else–or in my case–a cartoon cat!?

So just to mess with my head–and the others in my life, I created a new mantra:  I love Mondays!

The first time I said it out loud to my husband one Monday morning over coffee–he just looked at me.  The dogs looked at me too–like I had lost my mind.

Even I didn’t believe myself–but that was part of the experiment. Each following Monday I made sure to tell at least one new person how much I loved Mondays.  

People’s reactions are hilarious. Most just get a dumbfounded look on their face and laugh or walk away like I have the chicken pox. Some people though, caught me by surprise and asked me: why?

I had not thought this far out in my experiment so I was not prepared…but very quickly came up with this:

“I love Mondays because it’s a new week and everything that did not get done last week is in the past–and just because we don’t finish something doesn’t mean the world is going to come to an end! The sun still rises and we get a new clean slate every Monday.”

Total garbage right? I am here to tell you that the people that got the explanation–bought it. And the more I said it–the better it sounded and the more I believed it myself.

Let me explain the outcome of this little experiment.  I no longer waste precious Sunday hours worrying about what Monday may bring.  I no longer grind my teeth through my Mondays waiting for Tuesdays to make things better.

In fact, I would say that Mondays are one of my most productive days because I plan my whole week and put the wheels in motion for what has to be done.

Also, it is true that the world will not come to an end if not everything on my “to do” list does not get completed. Sometimes those things did not even need to be on the list– because they just weren’t that important anyway.

Bonus–many of my friends are now loving their Mondays too!  It was the mantra.

Sorry Garfield–I love Mondays!

Could the way you look at something be clouding your judgement about it?  Is there a mantra that you are carrying around that you would be better off changing?  Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

Enjoy your Monday! I will!

 

Getting Re-Organized

Getting Re-Organized

Developing the life we want is HARD work!  The first 3 months of the year have passed so quickly!  And I thought I would have my whole life planned out by now!

Of course my illusions of grandeur have gotten the best of me yet again.  Thank goodness life is a long one!

I can say that the first three months of the year has been a productive one.  I am still on track with my New Year’s Resolutions and this is a good time to take stock and evaluate what is working and what is not working.

I am happy to say that a lot is working–in order to be better, though, we have to be honest about what is not working.  What is not working is I am trying to accomplish everything at once. And while I am not failing–in order to keep up the pace now is when I have to really get re-organized!

I am going to have to truly map out “The Plan”–as I’ve dubbed the rest of our lives…

I thought I was being easy on myself when I only gave myself two New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Be the healthiest ME I can be
  2. Organize my life so I have more: space, time, money and happiness

These resolutions–have translated into some specific goals–that are going to take longer than I expected.  It is going to be a long road but I am looking forward to every step!

  1. Being the healthiest Me I can be has led me to:

Researching healthy lifestyles, fitness and lifestyle diseases and longevity studies.  That’s a lot of fancy words just to say that I joined the gym, am looking to learn to cook healthier meals, make sure I get enough sleep, lose weight and get strong.

In doing those things, I stumbled upon Health Coaching School of which I am enthusiastically a student and am not just improving my knowledge and health but helping those close to me as well.

2. Organizing my life so I have more: space, time, money and happiness has led me to:

Decluttering my house, my life, my schedule, my social media, my shopping habits…etc. It has led me down the road to making the right choices for me and my family regardless of what others may think and surprisingly–that has made me feel lighter and free-er and yes, dare I say very happy!

In my New Year’s post one of my pieces of advice was that no matter what your goals or resolution is the most important part of succeeding is to begin. Put one step in front of the other and keep moving forward.

In order to do all the things I want to do and keep up this happy momentum, I need to get re-organized to keep it going.

So here is my plan–maybe you can use these ideas to help you reach your goals also:

  1. Keep the big picture front and center.  
  2. Make daily, small, reachable goals.
  3. Accept setbacks.
  4. Look for other options when there are setbacks.
  5. And then take the next step.  

This is an exciting time being in the Empty Nest–our kids are expanding their world and we are expanding ours–we are enjoying the ride and moving forward!

How are your goals and resolutions coming along? Is it time to start over and get organized toward your big picture? Let me know what things have slowed you down or stopped your progress on something you really want to achieve.

No matter where you are in your goals–remember each day brings new opportunities–and have fun!

Serving Others

Serving Others

For all us humans, our lives are about serving others.  We don’t always like to think of it this way, but it is in fact what we are doing. Some people may react and think: “I was not put on this earth to serve others.” because we see it in terms of some menial task or job.

That’s not what I am talking about. What I am talking about is our purpose. Everyone’s purpose–in one way or another–is to serve others.

And it is exactly what we are supposed to do. It is how we serve that defines who we are, how we provide that service and what ultimately makes us happy.

Wait–What?

Yup, we are all on this earth to serve others to find our happiness–and for those of you who think I’ve lost it and there is no coming back from this one–let me explain.

Children serve their parents: as a source of love, joy and many times comic relief. After all–they did not ask to come here–we created them.

Parents–serve their children by providing love, security, safety, guidance and yes–loads of embarrassing moments!  (It is character building, kids–you’ll thank us one day!)

In school, students serve as being fountains to fill with knowledge in order to create an orderly society, a future workforce and the next generation of innovation.

Teachers in turn serve the community by educating those students and preparing them for life, the world outside and the many challenges that an education can help them overcome.

Politicians serve to keep our society civil, orderly and they are the referees of the “fair and square” in the world of law.

Doctors and nurses serve people who are sick or who want to prevent illness.

Husbands serve their wives by being a partner, a helpmate, a provider and by supporting the process of raising children and maintaining the home.

Wives also serve their husbands as partners, providers, the moral education of their children and the keepers of the home.

Churches serve the communities through religious teachings, being a moral compass to their members and providing spiritual guidance.

Our Military serve us by keeping us safe at home and abroad from bad actors that may want to physically harm us and our way of life.

Our Police Officers/Fire and EMS personnel serve us in keeping us safe and providing order and protection in our communities.

If you really think about it everyone and everything we do is in service for others. Yes–many of these examples are also called jobs and we get paid to serve. True. But most of these examples are underpaid, underappreciated and undervalued.

Yes–even the politicians. (Well maybe not the underpaid part)!

Regardless, this is the way it is supposed to be and how we keep an orderly world and smoothly running society.

When I sat down and really thought about this and its implications it became very clear to me why some people are happy and others are not so much.

If you don’t believe me, just look around and decide if many of society’s–and the world’s problems–would not be more easily corrected if everyone lived a life of service to someone else or to their community.

The ripple effects of this would be tremendous and it would help many people find a sense of their purpose.

When we have a purpose–a true desire to live the best life we can–it always includes some type of service. Follow your purpose–serve others and be happy!

How do you serve others in your life? How have others served you? What changes can you make in your life to bring you closer to your purpose?

How can I serve you?  Comment below and let me know what you would like me to write about!  And have fun today!

Slowing Down in the Fast Lane

Slowing Down in the Fast Lane

We do a fair amount of highway driving to visit family and the two birdies that have left the nest.  My husband does most of the driving but from time to time I take the wheel.

I have to say my husband is a much better driver than I am.  I often say that I do many things well–but driving is not one of them!

Most of the time my husband drives in the fast lane, not because he is driving fast–to my frustration he usually drives the speed limit–and eventually (a lot) he will come up to another driver that is also going the speed limit.  And there we sit for a mile or two neither of us going anywhere because neither will move over to the right lane and pass or be passed.

In the same situation I simply go around the individual on either right or left and keep going on my merry–albeit speedier–way.

Why am I always in a hurry to get to my destination when I enjoy the drive so much?  I have no idea.

I am learning to question these things that I do to myself that rob my joy.  I mean I really enjoy driving the highways–taking in the scenery, and relaxing in the rhythm of the car. It gives me much needed and much loved “think time”.

My best guess is that I do everything (driving included) fast so I can do more stuff. So I can accomplish more tasks each day and be the hero.

But the hero of what?  The hero of having all the dishes done, the laundry folded and the meals for the week planned?  All necessary things for sure but I don’t think they give you a cape for that! Hero of Zero!

So at this point in my life I am learning–many times the hard way–to slow down and do the things that are important.  To slow down and think of the most efficient way to do things. To slow down and let others do some of the stuff.

I am finding that slowing down has some very positive advantages:

You will actually do less work. Have you ever noticed that the more you do quickly and efficiently the more work you are given or expected to do? Employers do this to you and so do family and friends.

Until the moment or the day you stop–don’t worry they won’t be too disappointed–they’ll find someone else that is in a rush and will do it.

Once you have slowed down and taken care of your priorities–the remaining tasks just won’t seem so important. And because you are doing less work…

You will feel more rested. Doing things slower means you can do things with more attention.  Sometimes you will surprise yourself that you are actually enjoying the task at hand and you will be more clear minded about the things you actually want to work on.

This will make you feel energized and valued by the most important person in this whole equation–You!  You will be able to rest and not feel drained all the time! And when you are rested and doing things to your best potential…

You will be able to concentrate your talents.  What things do you enjoy that use your talents and your gifts. How can you use those talents to really serve others in a way that also makes you happy?

Finding these answers are very important to each of our lives, it will help us find the purpose we are here to fulfill and that on the flip side will help us feel fulfilled. That’s a win in my book! (Even without the cape!)

So as we are driving down the highway of our days–slow down, enjoy the “think time”. Take in the scenery–the destination will be there when you get there and it will be exactly where you were meant to go.

As we drive through our lives are you in the fast lane? Or have you learned, like I am learning to enjoy the slower lane? Do you feel that slowing down also means slowing down your progress?

Comment below and let me know how you feel about where you are right now in your life.  Whether you decide to slow it down or speed down the highway–always have fun!

Join me on Facebook and Pinterest! Click the buttons to the right!

Reinventing, Re-imagining and Recreating Your Life

Reinventing, Re-imagining and Recreating Your Life

Reinventing myself now that the kids have left home has been a hard task.  There is so much involved with re-imagining who you are outside of the title of “mother” or “father”.

Some responsibilities of being adult still remain, of course, they are inescapable–but the main one, at least for me–of raising my kids is complete.

I no longer have to raise my kids–I am here now to encourage, support and listen. And in the most curious of ways–I am here now to learn from them.

My daughter said to me many months ago–”Don’t worry mom, you do you and don’t worry about anybody else.”  I’m not sure what we were talking about at the time–but there seems to be a universal truth in that statement.

You do you. What if you don’t know what “you” wants to do or be or not do and be?  

You do you. What if you do know what you want to do and be but are too scared to move forward?

I think it comes down to manageable tasks–and those can be broken down further into manageable areas in life: Health, Spirituality, Relationships, and Growth.

Many of these tasks cannot be done all at once–but at the same time all are connected and they leak into each other.

You cannot talk about or make changes in your health without considering how that will impact your relationships, your mental growth and your spiritual being.

You cannot confront and fix issues with your relationships without it affecting your health, your psychological development or your spirituality.

And because it is so intertwined and messy, many of us stay stagnant and don’t change the things we need to change to make us better people, and to be happier. We don’t want to rock the status quo.

This is happening to people of all ages–not just empty nesters and people in their mid life years.  While I don’t have all the answers–not sure I have any of the answers–I do have a desire to try to figure this all out in the time I have left on this earth.

Another reason we are reluctant to challenge the status quo is because of the Woolly Mammoth Fear I discovered and shared with you in the last post. We are so afraid of change, and afraid to disappoint people.

Sometimes we are afraid to disappoint the people closest to us–and sometimes we are afraid to disappoint people that really don’t matter. It’s a crazy world. Because we spend a great deal of time thinking about it and avoiding it at the same time.

What I have come to understand is that it takes a lot of courage to be YOU. YOU is hard. YOU has to stand up to criticism, rejection and pain. And YOU has to do it anyway. Because that is who YOU are.

So my first decision is this–I’m going to do it anyway so let me just work out the best way to get it done-faster, better and smarter–which is my motto.

But let me explain. Faster does not mean fast. For me faster means learning from those who came before me. There is no trophy for tripping over the same rock 5 other people tripped over. Faster means watch, listen, learn and walk around the rock. That just saved you some time.

Better means how can I do this differently that will serve me better.  Better means if it served me better–can it serve others?

Smarter.  Why are we still doing the same things we were doing 30 years ago?  We have learned to evolve with the conveniences of the new modern technological world but still want to do things the old way–which is harder, less effective and just NOT SMART.

Lots to unpack here…and lots to do.  I am making a list for my DOING YOU and how I would like to share this journey. I hope you’ll follow along…

As we continue to grow and do YOU, remember that you should be having fun!  If you are not having fun yet–you may need to re-imagine and re-create again until you are in the right place. After all that is what life is all about–getting to the right place.

Comment below if you feel you are searching for the place to start making the needed changes in your life or if you have any suggestions on which changes should be a priority.

Woolly Mammoth Fear

Woolly Mammoth Fear

Not too long ago I confessed that being in an empty nest household can be very:

  1. Satisfying–because you did a good job as a parent and the kids are independent and pursuing their own lives;
  2. Exciting–because now is the time to reinvent yourself and make plans for the future; and
  3. Terrifying–because now is the time to reinvent yourself and make plans for the future.

I thought that by starting to make some future plans I would be able to navigate this empty nest.  And most of the time I can–but there are days when I come up against this big woolly mammoth called fear.

For months I thought that my biggest fear is that the kids are far away–far from home–far from me–and what if something happened? It is hard for a helicopter mom to adjust!

I checked the news channel of the cities in which they live each morning to see what the crime is like in their areas, I checked the weather reports and wondered if they remembered to take an umbrella or a jacket.

I was really really good!  I never texted them to ask if they remembered to take an umbrella or a jacket! That was so hard! I’ll admit that a few times I texted myself that message just to get it out of my system.

And as some time passed and I would call them or they would call me, I realized that they were fine. They had not forgotten to eat while they were away from home, and if they got wet in the rain, I never heard about it.

But the fear was still there.  Not worry–as I think I will worry about them until my last breath–but fear. The kind that sits on your chest–the big woolly mammoth.

Then it finally hit me, my biggest fear was not the can the kids survive without me? thing. My biggest fear was can I survive without them? thing.

Ouch. I could not remember a time without my kids. I mean I do remember my childhood and my adult years before children–but I don’t remember what it FEELS like to not have my babies in my life.

The realization that the fear was about me being able to move on was one I had not prepared myself for. And at first I didn’t know how to deal with it–but putting a name on it made all the difference.

Now I can sit and stare that woolly mammoth in the eyes and  I know I am satisfied that I did the best job I could with the kids. The girls are making their way in the world and now I must find my way.

I am excited to be in a place that I can reinvent myself and move towards new and different and diverse goals.  And I am also terrified to be in this place–but since I have named the fear– it is my control.

Next week I am going to dig deep and talk about reinventing, re-imagining, and recreating a meaningful future in this new chapter of my life. And hopefully, the woolly mammoth will find a new address in which to live.

How do you cope with the fear of change and uncertainty?  Comment below and share and like this post with your friends if it resonated with you!

And while we are busy trying to figure out our direction in life–don’t forget to have fun while you are doing it!

Condition Yourself For Success

Condition Yourself For Success

Just like we condition our bodies when we physically work out, we can condition other parts of us.  We can condition our brains, our hearts and our attitude. We can even condition our success.

So conditioning our body is easy right? We eat healthy foods in moderation, cut out sugar, and exercise….well I know none of that is easy but it is a choice and it is doable. And we know that the more we do those things the better condition our body will be in–inside and out.

We can also condition our minds. We can read and write, work on puzzles and do many creative things that stimulate our brains. In fact the more we do anything–it stimulates our brain–and the task or fact or idea–takes better root.  

Sometimes the best way to condition the brain is to turn off all the noise of your world–ie. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Email–and just observe the world around us. It trains our brains to notice the details that we have been overlooking and it stretches our brains.

Our hearts can be conditioned better as well. We can practice having more compassion for people–not to mention more compassion for ourselves. We can practice being empathetic instead of critical and seeing things from other people’s point of view.

Our hearts can be conditioned to feel better by being genuine in who we are and treating others with respect.

Attitudes can also be conditioned. Lord knows many attitudes walking around in the world could use some conditioning!  

We can practice positive intentions–if not to improve your attitude towards other people–but just to improve! It takes practice! And it takes consistency to create the kind of positive attitude that impacts the attitudes of others.

And just like we can condition our hearts, our minds and our attitudes we can definitely condition ourselves to be successful in everything we want to be successful in.

Like everything else, it takes practice and stick-with-it-ness!  We have to really know what we value being successful in and then work at that everyday.

We can condition ourselves not to accept failure–not because failure is not an option–but because a failure just means we need to find another way of doing something. No excuses–look for another option.

If we condition ourselves to think in this way and act in this way there is nothing that can stand in our way.

Too many times we say we want to be successful–at whatever it is in the moment–a diet, our careers, a relationship–and then at the first sign that things are getting hard, we give up!

In order to make your success muscles strong–you have to push through the self doubt and the setbacks.  You have to lift and bend and keep trying.

Success is not an easy thing in our lives–especially if you do not condition yourself to reach those goals–but if you are not reaching for your goals, then what is your life about?

Practice, move forward, accept defeat when it comes. And keep moving forward. Condition yourself for success, we only have one life folks–let’s do this!

Comment below if you have some tips on how to condition yourself to be successful in everything you do!  I look forward to your ideas!

And as always–have fun!