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Especially Loved

My special birthday

Feeling especially loved

Life is good to me

A man and his dog

We are coming in on 2 solid years of owning our puppy Casey.  I would love to say that there was not a day that I regretted getting him.  That first year was a doozy sprinkled with extreme cuteness.  We have definitely hit our stride despite his wake time of 5:30-6am.  The dog is independent and doles out his love and affection on his own terms and his own time – much like the human teenagers in the house.  My love has grown with time and I am happy to have him as our puppy/dog. 

But…what I truly deeply love about having Casey is that my husband adores him more than he ever knew was possible.  The fact that my husband gets to experience that level of affection and love is what makes owning Casey worth every single minute of it.  

My heart swells every time I see Casey and his main human express their love and affection.

Haiku – time

The man loves the dog

Both are mutually blessed

Warms my tender heart

 

 

Flake

IMG_0400Today is what I will call a ‘flake day’.  It is one of those days that I flaked on two important-to-me appointments.  For both appointments, I left people hanging.  I would like to say that this is not normal for me…but I would be lying.

What is normal is that I mostly have my schedule and act together and show up for my appointments…WHEN MY WEEKS ARE NORMAL.  This week is not normal.  For one, the weather is messing with the kids’ schedule and 2 hour delays are changing my priorities.  Second, my husband is travelling (which is becoming a normal thing).  Lastly, I leave tomorrow for some R&R.

Here is what I would like to say to myself.

  1. So good to see that you are practicing NOT being perfect.
  2. So good to see that you are willing to own your mistake and move on.
  3. So good to see that you are able to sit with the thought “I’ve screwed up and ruined my opportunity” and turn it around to…mistakes happen, you’ll be ok, people will understand AND what if the opportunity is ruined?  What does that mean?
  4. So good to see that you recognize where you can change how you handle complicated weeks…like, leaving lots of empty space for dealing with the complicated week,  and not adding to the schedule after the week has started.

Some thoughts to ponder:

  • Why is it that I ‘tend to’ pack a lot into my schedule during weeks that are complicated?
  • Why is it that ‘Murphy’s Law’ is that when my schedule is tight, more things show up to fill the empty spots on my calendar?
  • Why is it that I feel compelled to ‘say yes’ and book the earliest date even if it makes my week busy and complicated?

I will leave these questions for now…and I set the intention that I will be more “present” with my schedule and be aware that during busy/complicated weeks it will serve me to ‘un-complicate’ it as much as possible.  I also intend to be willing to see that urgency is not the best policy.

I do like busy.  I do like connecting with others.  I don’t like missing my meetings and I don’t like how I feel about it….so I am looking to see where all of my desires can be met within the framework of balance and grace.

I officially release myself from this situation and move onto….PACKING and QUICK SHOPPING….both of which I’ve left to the last minute…which is for exploration ANOTHER TIME.

Life is good…and will be feeling great on my trip!  Deep cleansing breath…

 

New Identity

IMG_0413I made  big change today.

I changed my identity.

I am a successful person who has her act together.

I create opportunities for myself.

All of this is made possible by the simple act of….

Cleaning my office!

Anything is possible!

Future Focus

IMG_0266For a total of 24 hours, I am babysitting a newly adopted 8 month old Cock-a-poo named Harley.  This is in addition to my one year old ‘mutt’.

My thoughts about how difficult today was going to be were much worse than the reality.  The day was actually reasonable.  The puppies tolerated/played with each other….to the point of exhaustion.  They now are flat-out on the floor at my feet.

There are several other situations in my life that have a continuum of potential outcomes from easy to terrible…and my mind is trying to write stories of the bad outcomes…and then I have to consciously bring myself to the truth of this very moment.  The truth is, the event does not exist in this moment and that the negative outcome is only in my mind.

Choosing a peaceful possibility is in my control in the moment and I choose to create that story…for now. Here is how I do it…in the form of  5 Rs.

  1. recognize the negative future-focus
  2. remind myself I can choose another possibility
  3. reframe the thought to either a neutral or positive outcome
  4. release the thoughts of the future altogether
  5. re-engage in the moment at hand.

This is a lifelong practice.  For some unknown reason to me, the brain has a habit of going toward the negative future outcome.  The only purpose I can see for this is to have a sense of being prepared for the worst.

Instead of preparing for the worst, what I would prefer to do is to create the CONSISTENT story that says…

I am resourceful and will meet each situation with the intent to create as much peace for myself (and others) as possible.  Therefore,  I can trust myself and release the need to prepare for the worst.

Up NEXT…creating the story that tonight’s sleep is restful because Harley sleeps through the night!

Oops, I did it again

DSC_0186I am somewhat embarrassed by the fact that I’ve done the ‘typical’ New Year thing and joined a gym.  I pride myself in being a little different, so doing this seems like I’m following a crowd…but goodness, it isn’t a bad crowd to follow, right?  I chose the closest gym to my house (3 minutes) which actually isn’t the “best” gym but has enough to keep busy.  I think easy access is one of my tickets to success.

Here is my gym/fitness story.  I have had some great successes in my past with keeping fit and staying in shape.  I even ran a marathon and did a sprint triathlon.  However, I also have a history of injury that puts me right back to ground zero.  Deciding to build a significant habit again…and again…and again can be a little daunting.

The business of fitness brings up my “all or nothing” habits which create a little manic and overzealous approach and then injury comes and I stop cold turkey.  My last big push was in 2006 (yes 8 years ago).  I was left with bad knees and a permanent issue with my shoulder.  These ‘injuries’ were manifesting before and got re-activated at that time.

As of late, I have been doing moderate exercise with walking, light weights and spurts of ‘classes’ from time-to-time.  I’ve been content with this but knew that I would want to get back in better shape at some point…my mid section is asking for more (and arms too)!  So, for the past year I’ve been talking to myself about a gym but have been cautious about what I am making ‘joining a gym’ mean.  I want to make sure I am honest with myself and also be very deliberate with adding this into my life.  Here are some of my wishes for this:

  • I want to honor my fiscal investment and go on a consistent basis.
  • I want to work within my limits and develop a healthy relationship with fitness.
  • I want to ease into my habit…baby steps.
  • I want to build a consistent (but flexible) routine.
  • I want to avoid injury and ‘set backs’.
  • I want to HAVE FUN doing it.
  • BONUS: I want to meet like-minded people to add to my network of friend/acquaintances.

So, there it is, I am accepting what has been in the past and creating a new story and relationship with this fitness thing.  I get to DECIDE how this works in my life.  The overall intention is HEALTH and VITALITY!

 

A True Gem

560709_4796383910980_1424420822_n[1]Tonight, we went to a small neighborhood gathering that had a multitude of generations present…18 months to 89 years.  There was also a menagerie of cultures – British, Israeli, Chinese, Indian and of course American.

This was the second annual gathering.  Part of the tradition is to share a story based on the topic suggested by the host.  Tonight we shared stories about our most memorable travel experiences.  Just like last year, I left the party feeling connected, inspired and much the wiser by having engaged with my neighbors in such a meaningful way.

The thing that made the evening that much more rich for me, is that my children chose to listen to the stories (and share their own) versus playing with the younger kids (they were the oldest kids by far).  I loved that they were witnessing authentic connection across many generations, cultures, perspectives and experiences.  These moments are rare and are even more rare for my kiddos.

I remember being so happy and comfortable with adults as a kid and could sit for hours listening to the web of stories being spun.  It came with the job description of a military kid so it helped that I enjoyed it.  I know that is what shaped my ability to connect easily with just about anyone.  I feel so happy to have seen a glimpse of that experience for my kids tonight.  I also look forward to more of the same in our family’s future.

Here’s to connecting, sharing, witnessing and learning.  Throw in amazing stories from an 89-year-old British man who lived in England during both World Wars and you’ve got yourself a gem of an evening.

Eleventh Hour

The idiom ‘eleventh hour’ has been a potential blog post title twice before because it seems that I often sit to write at the last hour of the day which so happens to be 11.

It is often my attempt to eek out a post before the days-end.

I know I’ve used that phrase before because basically through my young-adult life, that is how I got stuff done…at the 11th hour.  I really never was curious about its origin until tonight.

I love that the internet can effortlessly give me a hint at what I am curious about.  I say hint because I still hold the belief that you can’t trust everything you read on the internet.

I love that I get this curiosity from my dad.  Who has an affinity for knowing a little bit about everything and a whole lot about some things (like flying).

My short journey on the Search Engine (toot toot) produced this information:

 “Late; shortly before an anticipated event. Matthew’s parable of the laborers in
the vineyard (20: 2-16) has the men hired at the eleventh hour being paid as
much as the ones hired early in the morning, even though the eleventh-hour
people only worked for an hour. From this sense of being barely in time to
receive some benefit comes the concept of time running out.” ” From “The
Dictionary of Cliches” by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).

I am grateful that I am able to post this at the 11th hour, by the skin-of-my-teeth, post haste!

Endnotes:

Skin of my teeth

Geneva Bible, 1560, in Job 19:20

Teeth don’t have skin, of course, so the writer may have been alluding to the teeth’s surface or simply to a notional minute measure – something that might now be referred to, with less poetic imagery than the biblical version, as ‘as small as the hairs on a gnat’s bollock’.

Post haste:

1545, usually said to be from “post haste” instruction formerly written on letters (attested from 1538), from post (3) “system for sending mail” + haste. The verb post “to ride or travel with great speed” is recorded from 1558.

Power Down

P1050126Today our power went out due to ice storms.

This did not cause panic in our home because it was early in the day and I had faith (hope?) that the power would come on in due time.  I also had the safety net of family nearby to retreat to for warmth, baths and recharging.

The interesting thing for me was my feeling of being lost and aimless as a result of no power (and coincidentally my iphone wasn’t connecting to internet either so I was truly unplugged).  It took me a bit of time to decide to get off my duff to find some things to fill my time; like cleaning the house, walking the dog, reading a BOOK or a myriad other fabulous things one can do without technology.

It feels almost ironic for me.  I am a child who was raised without a television, limited music resources of MY choosing, and often times left without friends and family to engage my time (we moved almost every 2 years with the Navy and my brothers were older and not interested in me).  I have NO CLUE what I did with most of my time, but I do know what I did with some of my time.

  • I was at best friend’s house constantly (I’m an extrovert raised in an introverted world)
  • I was listening to my three records on my child-size turntable (Annie, Sesame Street and Men at Work)
  • I was learning to recite poetry, like the one on the back of my brother’s Moody Blues record
  • I was reading books (not regularly though).

So, what I am saying is that I used to be good with ‘nothing to do’.  It was a standard of living I knew from childhood.

My take away from my ‘lost’ feeling today is that the ability to be ‘unplugged’ is a muscle that needs to be developed and exercised regularly.  I like the thought of that.  I like the idea of a routine unplugged ‘program’ that is meant for renewal and engagement in LIFE.  I get excited at the potential payoff; imagine the other random poems I can memorize!

To this day, I am a great party trick with my Moody Blues poem…”Breathe deep, the gathering gloom…”.

Prophetic Piles

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery Monday, I have a standing date with two other soul-mates.  We spend between 90 – 150 minutes exploring the current place in this game called life and specifically in our business endeavors.  It is an amazing gift we have chosen to give ourselves and we have rarely missed a week.  It is quite stunning.  

Today, I was in an interesting state-of-mind and situation.  I had to stay outside during the call because the “precious” pooch had chosen that time to be needy and he would bark if I took him in, or left him out alone.  So, as I was connecting with my ‘people’ I was also connecting with my ‘pooch’.  

As I paced the yard I noticed the abundance of piles.  You know the kind of which I speak.  So, in order to ‘triple task’ I decided to get some bags and pick up the piles…did I say they were abundant?  

It turned out that in the time that I was picking up the messes, it was my turn to share the adventures and lessons of my week.  So in essence I was quadruple tasking…dog-sitting, people-connecting, poop-picking, and soul-bearing.  

I was overt about my ‘business’ with my callers and as I bent and huffed and puffed, I also spewed my stories. Essentially I picked up shit while I shared my shit.  I found it quite entertaining.  

The amazing and curious thing is that when I was done with my turn, so were the piles, THEY WERE ALL GONE.  Amazing.  The call carried on and the others did their sharing and then we circled back to me before the close of the call…and wouldn’t you know it, I was bending down to pick up a new fresh pile just as it was my time to speak again.  REALLY.  Quite a message there, eh!

It does beg the question that as we share and process our junk, so do we ‘clean up our shit’.

I was going to say ‘food for thought’, but I have a feeling I’ve turned your stomach a bit.  Oops!