Posted in Personal

A Series of Unfortunate Assumptions

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Christmas break is finally over, and the Christmas decorations are all put away. Sob. Christmas is my favorite holiday so I’m always a little sad when all the lights and other décor are taken down. Sigh.

Photo credit: wwarby on Visualhunt / CC BY

The night before the first day back to school, we received a weather alert informing us a storm was coming very early the next morning. Freezing rain. We didn’t think much of it because we get alerts like this quite often and the predictions usually don’t pan out or they’re not as bad as anticipated, so we went about our evening rituals, got the kids to bed and settled down to watch one of our favorite shows.

Photo credit: Shawn Harquail on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC

The next morning, we got up and had our breakfast before I took the boys to the bus stop. When we arrived, there were no other kids waiting for the bus. Now, our bus driver has a history of arriving early and leaving whether or not anyone’s waiting for her. Something numerous people have complained about. So, we NATURALLY assumed when we didn’t see the bus that she’d already left. So, I proceeded to drive to the next bus stop, I’ve had to do this numerous times in the past to make sure my boys get to school. (Not happy about that. Let me tell you!)

Photo credit: RubyT (I come here for cameraderie!) on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

No one was at that stop either. So NATURALLY, I assumed she was really early and we had missed the bus, so I proceeded to drive my boys to school.  When we arrived, there were no other cars in the parking lot except for the snow plow, plowing the lot. I thought this was odd, but my son informed me the school doesn’t open until seven. This is a new policy and I remember receiving an e-mail about it a couple of months ago. Since it was quarter to seven, I NATURALLY assumed the staff would be arriving any minute.

So, I pulled into the circle drive and proceeded to wait with my boys until the school opened. As it neared the witching hour, no lights flickered on and no cars arrived in the parking lot. I turned to the backseat and asked. “Why are there no other parents dropping off their kids this morning? What’s going on?”

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And only then did my oldest say, “I wonder if school is cancelled.”

“Check the website.” My tone was light but inside my breakfast started to curdle while my brain shouted. You mean to tell me, we didn’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn to get the boys to the bus? We didn’t have to crawl out of a warm bed and go out into the cold morning air to drop the boys off at school? I shushed my inner demon and reasoned with him.  Relax. We usually get a recorded call at five in the morning when school is cancelled.

I sincerely believed school wasn’t cancelled, but there were no cars and no lights. I started to sweat a little. When my son checked the website on his phone, it was only then we learned we had a two-hour delay.

I’m sure the snowplow driver we encountered had a hearty chuckle out of the lone car parked in front of the school, waiting for the school to open, and I’m sure he had a full belly laugh when we finally realized it wasn’t opening for another two hours and drove away. Yeah. That’s how my week started. So, you know the rest of my week has got to be good after a start like that, right?

 

Photo credit: ramendan on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-ND

How about you? Did your week start as planned? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

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Posted in Family, Personal, raising kids

Gratitude in the New Year

 

Photo on Foter.com

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. It’s the New Year and I’m excited for what 2019 has in store for me. I have some stories I need to finish and I’m hoping this year is the year for me to do that.

However, I don’t want to talk about that today. I thought today, I would talk about gratitude. There’s a meme floating around Facebook and it states, if you list three things you’re grateful for every day, you’ll become happy.  Let’s face it, we’re all looking for happiness and it’s so elusive. Hidden behind the mundane routine of our everyday lives. It’s hard to find in the morning traffic jam and the bills we have to pay to keep a roof over our heads, but it’s there.

 

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If you’re smart. You’ll look for it in the simple things, like making your kids their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or getting up at the butt crack of dawn to make sure they make it to the bus stop on time. That’s truly where happiness lies.

I know you’re questioning my logic. After all, crawling out of a warm bed and throwing your coat on over your pajamas to go out in the freezing cold doesn’t sound like much fun. It isn’t, but the fact my kids rely on me to do this every morning makes me happy. We chat for a few minutes as we wait for the bus and they tell me things they don’t mention at the dinner table. I know it doesn’t sound magical, but it is. It is to me. They’re growing up so fast and these moments are becoming fewer and fewer as they develop friendships and become more independent.

Photo credit: RubyT (I come here for cameraderie!) on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

 

I’m grateful for those moments. I’m also grateful for the moments when we’re together and they give me grief. They enjoy picking on me. I tell them that’s their way of showing me they love me. They deny it, but I know it’s true.

I’m also grateful for those times when we’re up north and night falls. I stand on the dock, taking in the moon and stars, and my family wanders out to take in the night sky with me. I love those moments, especially because my youngest is interested in the stars and our solar system. We chat for a few minutes about them and take in the wonder of the heavens. We connect in a world where most connections are digital, and it’s such an awesome feeling to connect even if it’s only for a few minutes. Sometimes that’s all you need.

Photo on Foter.com

Wow. I’ve listed three things I’m grateful for and you know what? I do feel happier. That meme wasn’t lying.  I’m going to try this for twenty one days and see if it’s permanent. How about you? What are you grateful for? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Holiday Posts, Personal

Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back on this wonderful holiday to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! There’s so much I’m thankful for this year and one of the things I’m thankful for is my loyal blog followers who stop by and show me some love when I post.

I know I don’t express it often enough, but I feel that many of you are friends even though we’ve never met in real life. Thanks for being you and taking the time to read my posts and comment. It means a lot to me.

I also want to express thanks to my family and friends who are always there for me and who support me on this wild writing journey I’m on. I’m enjoying every minute of it. Even the painful editing moments when I’ve got to rewrite a scene more than once. Sob.

I’m also thankful for my new job and the people I’ve met. They’re a good group of people and I’m enjoying working with them.

I’m feeling inspired these last few weeks and I’m making progress on my stories. I’m hoping that I’ll finish both of them in 2019 and I’ll be ready to start querying. Cross your fingers for me!

This post is short because it’s a holiday and I want to spend time with my family eating awesome food, and I know you do, too. I hope you have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Safe Travels my Friends!

 

Posted in Family, Health, Personal

Be Kinder to Yourself, You Deserve It

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of work, writing, and fighting a cold. Yes. I have a horrible cold and a horrible cough that’s just starting to loosen up. Hopefully, by the end of the week my seal bark will be gone, and I’ll be able to breathe easy again, but enough about that.

Today I’d like to talk about something that’s near and dear to my heart. This post was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend of mine.  She was complaining about her weight one day. You see, she has been trying to lose weight and she had been doing well until she hit a plateau. She stalled. She upped her exercise program, and nothing changed. She was frustrated, and she spouted off to me.

Photo credit: Rennett Stowe on Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

“I’m never going to reach my goal.” She threw up her hands and dropped them on her thighs.

“Mary, (I’ve changed the name to protect the innocent) stop focusing on your weight.”

“I can’t help it. I just have ten more pounds to go. I feel like such a failure. I can’t drop these last pounds for the life of me.”

I told Mary to stop focusing on the one negative thing in her life. Her weight. There are so many other more positive things to focus on, like the fact she has an incredible sense of humor. That she’s kind. That she’s brave. That she’s empathetic. I mean the list literally goes on and on.

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I told her you have all these other positive, wonderful qualities and your weight is a tiny fraction of who you are. It’s not the only thing that makes you, you. Sometimes we’re so busy hyper-focusing on the one aspect we want to change, we forget about all the other amazing aspects that make up our personality and physical body.

When I look at Mary, I don’t see her weight. I see how kind she is to people who need a helping hand. I see how funny she is and how she makes me laugh so hard I almost wet my pants. I see her warmth. I see how she can brighten someone’s day with one of her radiant smiles.

When you add all that up, her weight isn’t a glaring negative. It’s just something she has to work on, and she is. She’s moving in the right direction, and that’s all she can expect of herself.

So, the next time you’re hyper-critical of yourself, take a second and take a broader look and include all the positives you see. I guarantee you, the positives outweigh the negatives. We need to make this a regular practice and we’ll be happier in our lives. Wouldn’t you agree?

Be kinder to yourself. You deserve it.

 

Photo credit: infomatique on VisualhuntCC BY-SA

How about you? Do you see yourself falling into this trap? Do you have any other suggestions on how to avoid it? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Posted in inspiration, Personal

Stay True to Yourself

 

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Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week at work. I have a big exam coming up next week so I’m going to spend the weekend studying for it and hopefully I’ll be ready to go when the time comes. Cross your fingers for me!

But enough about that. Today I’d like to talk about being true to ourselves and walking our path even when we’re going against the crowd. You see, we grow and change on our journey. We become strong. People in our lives see these changes and sometimes they don’t embrace them, they liked the old you.

However, you like the new you. There’s nothing more self-confirming than realizing you’re moving in the right direction. When you’re on the right path, it will resonate with you and you’ll feel like everything is possible.

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So, don’t be afraid to change, the people in your life will adjust and hopefully they will grow along with you. You see we’re all connected and what one of us does affects all of us.

Continue striving on your path. It’s sending positive energy out to the rest of us, and just maybe you’ll be a role model for someone who’s struggling along their path.  Maybe they’ll see you moving forward and it’ll give them the courage to step forward as well.

 

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I’ve found that I am the happiest when I’m working toward my own goals. Striving toward your own dreams stops you from comparing yourself to others. You’re so busy moving forward that you don’t have time to check out what your neighbors and friends are doing. You’re happier.

Are you moving in the right direction? How did you find something that resonated with you? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

 

**Sorry for the short post. I’ve got to get back to studying. I hope all of you have a great weekend and I’ll be back next week! 😊

 

 

Posted in Health, Personal

Are You Taking Care of Yourself?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week. I’ve started a new job and it’s great to be back to work full time. I’ve missed it. However, I’m still committed to my writing. I’ve got two manuscripts I’m committed to finishing and a third one that I started a while back that I want to finish as well.

Today, I’d like to talk about self-care. Taking care of your health should be one of the most important goals an individual has. In my younger years, I took my health for granted and picked up some bad habits, like drinking too much pop. It’s bad for your bones and your body needs water. So, I’ve made a conscious effort to drink more water and limit the amount of pop I drink.

That’s just one example. Through the years, I’ve tried to be consistent about exercise as well. Exercise is so important for our body. It’s great for maintaining our mood and managing our stress.

So, when I think about self-care, I think about the basics. What does my body need to be healthy?

  1. A healthy diet

For me, a healthy diet is more salads and less sugar. I’ve tried to cut down on sugar, but I haven’t eliminated it all together. I’ve also developed a plan where I eat carbs only in the morning and at night, leaving my noon meal for proteins and vegetables. I’m trying to work with the changes that occur in our bodies as we age. I still need carbs, but I don’t need as many, and I feel the time of day I eat these things is also important.

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          Our bodies also need water. Lots of it. 😊

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  1. Exercise

Our bodies are designed to move so the more movement you can get, the better off you’ll be. It can be anything like walking, hiking, or cycling. I run, but I also change it up with hiking and walking so I don’t get bored. I also work out with free weights to keep my muscles strong. Exercise is also an excellent way to relieve stress.

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  1. Stress relieving activities

Besides exercise there are other stress relieving activities we can participate in, like yoga or reading or getting together with friends. All of these activities are important ways to maintain both our mental and physical health.

 

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  1. Setting boundaries

I list setting boundaries with people as a part of our self-care because we can get wrapped up into taking care of other people. This includes our spouse and children. Sometimes Mom needs a time out and that’s okay because you’ll be a better parent if you take care of yourself. Not only that, but your setting a good example for your children on how to take care of themselves without feeling bad about it. Go you!

Photo credit: Mark Zilberman Photography on Visualhunt.com /CC BY-NC

 

  1. Setting goals

I list setting goals because part of taking care of ourselves is managing our time. If we set goals we know where we want to spend our time and how much time we want to devote to that activity. By doing this, we can eliminate all that unimportant crap that can demand our attention. We learn to say no to things without guilt.

 

So, there you have it. A blue-print for self-care. It looks easy, I know but, it’s hard to do. It’s hard to find the time sometimes for exercise and stress relieving activities when your family is demanding your attention. It’ll take some practice and some juggling, but I’m sure you can do it.

 

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What do you do for self-care? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Parenting, Personal

How are You Spending Your Life?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after taking some time away from the internet. Sometimes you just need to unplug, right? I’ve been busy with my work, my writing, and my family, just like you, I’m sure.

Today, I’d like to chat about choosing how we spend our lives. We only get so many years on this earth, and since I’m drawing closer to my twilight years, it has become more important than ever  that I spend my life in the way that makes me happy.

Photo on Visual Hunt

The first thing that needs to be done is that you need to set priorities, and these are different for each individual. I’m sure everyone’s going to say, “I want to be happy” and it’s true, we all do. However, we need to go deeper than that. What makes us happy? What makes our hearts sing and fills us with peace?

You could spend your life chasing after a dream, accomplishing your goals and receiving accolades from an adoring public.

You could spend it creating a warm and loving family.

You could spend it searching for knowledge and inner peace.

You could spend it helping others and being of service to your fellow man.

There are millions of ways to spend your life. You get to choose, and it’s a daunting task for sure.

So, when I decided to make sure I was making the most of my time on earth, the first thing I decided was that I wanted a family, but I also wanted to be home with my kids. I didn’t want to send them off to daycare, but this also meant that I’d have to put my career on hold. This is the hard part. Sometimes when we choose priorities, we have to make sacrifices, and sometimes those sacrifices can be hard, but in the end, I feel like I did the right thing for me.

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While I was home, I rediscovered my love for writing. My passion grew as my writing improved. It seemed like the better I got the more I wanted to do it. I’m sure you’ve been in that situation before as well, when you discovered your passion.

Photo on Visualhunt.com

So, when I look at how many hours I have in the day and where I want to spend my time. I don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about the answer because I already know. It makes choosing how I spend my day so much easier because I know what the extraneous garbage is that takes up so much of my time and I know to just let that go. It’s amazing how setting priorities or goals unclutters your mind and your life.

Do I have regrets? No. Does that mean I am a perfect parent? No. It does mean I tried my best. I’m sure there are days I could’ve handled things better, but I’m sure every parent feels that way. Plus, I rediscovered my truest passion and I’m working on improving my craft, and that’s when I seem to be the happiest. Everything else is just extra stuff that used to take up my time. Now every minute counts and that’s how I want to spend my life. How about you? Have you thought about it? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!