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!

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  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.

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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!

 

 

Posted in Family, Personal

Dealing with Toxic People

 

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a Happy Fourth of July. I know I did. I enjoyed some sun and surf with my kids and extended family. Hanging out by the water was the only thing we could do and stay comfortable during the heat wave. Luckily, things have cooled down and the humidity is gone for a few days any way.

Photo on Visualhunt

I also took a few days off from my writing and I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. It’s always good to get back into it. It’s such a stress reliever for me and a sense of accomplishment when I get a scene right.

But enough about that, today I’d like to talk about dealing with toxic people. They rear their ugly heads in both our personal lives and our work lives, and it’s important deal with them in a way so their toxicity doesn’t affect our lives.

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How do you know when someone is toxic? By gauging how you feel when you’re with them. Do they drain your energy by their negativity? Do you feel steamrolled by them? Maybe they’re so critical you feel diminished by them. If you have any of these feelings on a consistent basis when you’re with a particular person, they are toxic.

So what can you do when you run into someone like this? What happens if they’re a family member or a coworker?

First of all you have to set boundaries and stick with them. These people will try to push past them because they don’t understand what they are. They may also try to manipulate you so that they get their way. They’ll try tactics like the silent treatment or giving you dirty looks and glaring at you. They’re trying to obtain the upper hand and control in the relationship.

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Another thing you can do is limit the time you have to be around them. If they’re in your family, you can select the gatherings that you attend and if you can avoid them that’s the best answer for everyone involved. The reason I say this is because if a toxic person has set their sights on you, their negativity affects everyone. Everyone in the family sees it. They may not do anything about it because they don’t want the toxic person’s spotlight on them, but they are all brought down by the negative behavior.

Photo on Visualhunt

One last thing to remember, a toxic person isn’t going to change without some sort of intervention. They need counseling and the only way they’re going to get that is if they admit to themselves they have a problem. Most toxic people aren’t going to admit they have one so don’t get sucked into their cycle of abuse.

So when you run into a toxic person and you can’t get away from them, then emotionally detach from them and observe their behavior, and look at it from a clinical point of view. Maybe you could use their particular toxicity for fodder in your writing.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Have you run into a toxic person? How did you handle it? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Parenting, Personal

Surviving the Teen Years

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’ve been busy this week with kid duties and writing. Although, I had to take a break for a couple of days because I got stuck on how to continue my story. On the second day, I went for a run and wouldn’t you know it, all I needed was some physical activity. The plot bunny worked itself out.

Then I got my first MS back from my friend/mentor, Sam, who’s finding all my little peccadillos for me. She truly is amazing and I love her! So, I’m planning on diving into that tonight and making my story that much more awesome!

Photo on VisualHunt

But enough about that. I struggled to come up with a topic for today’s post, but while in the shower, I thought of one and so without further ado, here it is.

I know it’s hard to believe but my kids love to push my buttons. They love to get under my skin, and they will take every opportunity to do it. For example, I hate it when someone burps or makes the farting noise at the dinner table. So of course, my boys do this every chance they get. I’ll be sitting there eating my dinner and one of them will start with the fart noise. I’ll look up from my plate and they’ll both be giggling. Here’s a typical scenario.

“Okay. Who did that?”

The boys will look at each other and start giggling harder. “We don’t know,” they’ll cry in unison. I’ll look at hubby, but he’s no help whatsoever because he’s laughing, too.

“Knock it off. You know I don’t like that sound at the dinner table.”

They’ll grow quiet until I look down at my plate again and that’s when another healthy fart sound will ripple through the atmosphere. Of course, things only get worse from this point on.  Every time I look down at my plate one of my little cherubs will rip an even louder one than the last time.

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I didn’t know what to do and many a meal has been ruined for me because of the shenanigans of these two adorable scalawags. Then one day I had an epiphany. I could be just as irritating to them. Instead of me getting all upset and ornery, why don’t I get on their last nerve like they get on mine? The light bulb in my mind turned on. I knew of a way to do it.

So the next day, while at the dinner table the little tricksters started in with their fart noises. I was  twirling spaghetti around my fork when one of them sent the fart sound out into the atmosphere. I immediately dropped my eating utensil and stood up and started singing.

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Yes. Singing. I started belting out the lyrics to the song “You are my sunshine.”

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After all, we could all use a little more sunshine in our lives, right? 😉

My boys’ reactions were instantaneous. They both covered their ears and started wailing. “Stop! Stop singing!”

And that’s when I was able to negotiate a deal. I told them I wouldn’t sing if they wouldn’t burp or make disgusting fart sounds. They agreed.

I will add a little side note here. My boys loved my singing when they were babies. I used to sing them to sleep. As soon as they entered the murky waters of the tween and teen years, they turned and no longer enjoy my musical talent.

See how quickly a liability can turn into an asset? It’s all in how you use it. Am I right or am I right?

You’re welcome. We parents need to stick together so we can all survive the teen years.

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Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. Do you have any parenting tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Personal

Blogcation

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you! I’m taking a blogcation today because I’m selling my books at our local craft show. The craft show is a fund raiser for the school district libraries so I’ll be back next week! Have a great weekend!

 

Image result for funny memes saying I'll be back next week

Posted in Personal

Do You Believe In Synchronicity?

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week at work and a busy week from writing. I’m at 38,871 total words on my latest MS. Even though I’m not participating in Nano this year, my plan is to finish this rough draft by the end of the month. It’s going to be tight with the holidays but I think I can do it.

Today I’d like to talk about Synchronicity. It’s an interesting concept that was coined by the psychologist Carl Jung. He coined it as a “meaningful coincidence.”

 

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Synchronicity occurs when a coincidence shifts the direction of your life.

 

Do you believe in this? I do. I’ve had my own personal experiences with it. According to some mediums, there are always signs letting us know something big is about to happen. That’s what I find the most difficult. How do you know when an occurrence is a sign of something to come or it’s just an event?

 

According to experts, the way to determine if a sign is significant is to have an open and relaxed mind when you think about it. According to the Personal Tao:

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“With a clear mind we will simply understand the sign, know the path forward and step into it. We won’t choose to follow a path out of worry, doubt or a desire for life to be a specific way.

Because synchronicity works with “what might be” or potential, we must hold it lightly. We are on a current path, yet we have not chosen the future path.

Learning to work with synchronicity is an art. We watch for the signs, take actions and test them over time.

There are infinite possibilities for how synchronicity will come to you. It may come in the form of a song over the radio that helps you shift frustration into courage and motion. A synchronicity may be a cool breeze that catches your attention and reminds you to smile.”

 

To read the whole article click here: https://personaltao.com/teachings/shamanic/synchronicity-signs/

 

I have to confess I’m a believer in synchronicity. When I look back on my life and the decisions I made to get to the place I’m at, I see it in play.

For example, I was in a serious relationship before I was married to my current hubby. I met my hubby through this man I dated. We became friends, I even set him up on a couple of double dates. When our relationship ended, this man  I’d become friends with asked my ex if he could date me. Since it was an amicable breakup, my ex didn’t have a problem with it.

Now I wouldn’t have met my current hubby if I hadn’t dated the first guy. I know when we go through a break up, we feel that it’s a waste of time and all of those other emotions you go through, but a lot of times, it can be a stepping stone to something more suited for you.

There are other synchronistic events in my life, but I won’t list all of them and I’m sure I’ve missed some signs along the way. I want to become more adapt at seeing them for what they are.

Photo via VisualHunt

How about you? Do you believe in Synchronicity? How do you determine whether an event is  a sign or just a plain old event? Do you have any synchronistic episodes you’d like to share? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

Posted in Parenting, Personal, raising kids

Ten things you can do to Ease the Pain of your Children’s Growing Independence

 

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. This has been an incredibly busy week. The kids’ last day of school was Friday. My youngest has graduated fifth grade and he’s on his way to middle school. I’m proud of both my boys. They’re getting good grades, they have awesome friends, and they’re both well adjusted.

They’re just growing up too fast. Sob.

Today I thought I’d talk about what to do when you’re kids start to become independent. When they don’t need your hugs and kisses or your undivided attention like they used to. It can be a little disconcerting at first. You might be like me and try to cling to those sweet, innocent years and refuse to believe they’ve grown up, but they’ll start to squirm under this parental love and even start to fight against it. (Gasp!)

To avoid becoming one of those clingy moms and ease the pain of my boys’ abandonment…I mean their growing independence, I’ve put together a list to help snuff out that agony for us moms.

 

  1. First and foremost, I’ve increased my writing time. My writing has improved and I have some amazing stories coming down the pike.

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  1. I read. Now that both boys are out of diapers and don’t need as much supervision, I’ve been able to increase my reading time. This has been an awesome stress reliever for me and something I enjoy immensely.

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  1. Start binge-watching movies and TV series. There are some awesome shows available now and it’s kind of fun when I need some down time to relax in front of the TV. You can always add drinking wine to this one. Just an FYI. 😉 I do this more in the winter than summer. It’s one of those seasonal things.

 

  1. I’ve increased my running time. This has had such a positive effect on me. Any type of exercise is good for you and it’s especially important for writers to exercise because writing is such a sedentary thing to do. I find exercise has helped my attitude and increased my energy. I get more writing done! That’s always a good thing!

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  1. I’ve started painting. I get together with my friends and we have a painting party. It’s a great way to relax. You can also add wine to this activity as well. Just sayin’ 😉

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  1. Before I had kids, I used to do Yoga. It’s such a tremendous way to increase your flexibility and it’s good for that mind-body connection. I plan on starting this up again.

 

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  1. Get together with friends and play cards. Again, before kids, I used to do this about once a month. It was always a great way to get away from the pressures of life and be social. You can also add wine to this activity, too. 😉

 

  1. I’ve increased my hiking time. There’s nothing like getting out in nature. It’s so relaxing and good for you, too.

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  1. I haven’t done this one yet, but my plan for the summer is to spend more time in the kitchen and find some new meals for my family and I to enjoy. I don’t know about you but sometimes we get stuck in a food rut and we need to expand our meal repertoire.

 

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  1. I also plan on working in our yard. My plan is to plant some Hosta plants. They’re such hearty plants and they don’t need a lot of maintenance. Digging in the dirt is always a fun activity.

 

So there you have it ten things you can do to ease the heartache of your kids’ growing independence. It’s a good thing. Good for them and you. 🙂

 

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. What do you do when your kids don’t need your undivided attention anymore? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!