Motivation Monday – New Year Attitude

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Julie, over at Less Than Perfect Life Of Bliss wrote something in  one of her first posts of the new year.  I honestly don’t remember what the rest of the post was about (click on the link to find out – poke around over there if you have a chance, she has some really neat projects and thoughts), but this line, I find -

inspiring

freeing

hopeful

Oh – I guess you want to know what that line was, huh?

BUT- there’s an exciting year ahead of us,

full of things that have never been.

Sit with that for a moment.

Does that line make shivers go up and down your spine or does it fill you with dread?

Does it open vistas that you never imagined or does it make you want to climb back in bed and hide?

Does it encourage you to charge out your front door and find those things, or do you want to lock the door in fear that what is to come is worse than what has been?

Last spring I would have answered dread, bed, and worse.  But as I have written in the last few months, there was some sort of switch that was clicked in me this past year.  I know that God had a lot to do with it.  You see, I am a slow learner when it comes to His lessons and I was trying to take charge of my life without consulting Him.  He was allowing me flounder, to learn some lessons.  When I finally looked up at Him and asked for His help, gave Him the problems to fix instead of trying to fix them on my own, allowed my heart to be fully embraced by Him.

Now I am eager to find out what is in store for me this year.  I am looking forward to identifying the blessings that I am given each day.  I am anxious to set out on the path called 2011 and see where the journey leads me and who I meet and what I see and do.  I am really interested to discover who I am going to be at the end of the year!

So how about you?

What sort of emotion does the phrase create in you?



Trashy Tuesday

9 trash bags full of clothes

1 bag full of toys

6 trash bags full of trash

That is what left my house this past week. 

Part of me is very mad at myself because I did something to aggravate my rotator cuff injury, so I spent most of the week on pain medication with a heating pad.  I feel as if my well planned vacation with the girls was totally lost. 

But in my effort to make positive decisions this year, I am trying to look at the positive instead of the what could have beens.  

My youngest now can use her closet.

By letting go of all those clothes I am accepting what is and looking forward to the next stage of life.

My house is much less of a fire hazard with all those papers out of it.

My girls are learning how to give to others.

My girls have created a home for each of their belongings and can put things away without having to think or work too hard at it.

My allergies will get better without all the clutter.

I really do feel freer with all those things gone!

I  am less overwhelmed and can see the individual jobs that need to be done to continue decluttering.

The time resting this week did allow my body to recover from the stress of the last few months and has given me the energy I need to face the next few weeks of darkness and joyfully anticipate spring.

Stop and Do

I have several blogs listed in my side bar.  I love to peruse them.   My Google Reader is overflowing with even more blogs that I enjoy reading.   I have them divided into different groups -

Google Reader OS X

Image by gS32tom via Flickr

I have my 31 day group – the bloggers who wrote everyday for the entire month of October about a single topic.  I am still wading through all that wonderful information.

I have my Adoption Group – these are blogs of friends who have adopted, as well as blogs of adult adoptees, first moms and some that I have just stumbled upon over the years.

I have my Budgeting and Organization Group – the group of blogs that focus on ways to save money as well as blogs about  organizing, decluttering and time management.

I have my Craft and Journaling Group – this includes different digital scrapbooking sites, journaling prompt sites, and a couple other sites that post frequently about other crafts that I enjoy.

I have my Faith Group – these sites are specific to my faith tradition

And last but no least, I have my Misc Group – blogs that don’t readily fit into any one of the above listed topics.

At any one time I had 1000+ posts that were unread.  I don’t like to leave things unread.  I am afraid that I am going to miss some crucial bit of information that may hold the key to getting me where I want to be in life.  Finally (mentally slapping myself on the forehead) I realized how much pressure I was putting on myself!  Most of these people did not care that I read their sites – they did not even know that I exist!  So I did something very radical – I removed them from my list.  I finally realized that I am NOT going to be the coupon queen.  While I am sure that it would save my family a lot of money,  I just don’t have the mental energy to deal with it.  I will by the white and blue containers from my local Wal-Mart and call it good.  So I deleted all my couponing sites.  Then I cleaned out all the unread articles that I knew I was never going to get around to reading.  I am now down to 739 posts to read.  Of those, I will probably delete several more.  But this was enough for one day.

Next came along another mind-blowing realization (and another mental slap to the forehead).  I was spending so much time reading about how to do things that I never got around to actually doing it!  Well, duh!  Blonde moment!  I am fairly sure that I was hiding from the responsibility of “doing” by “learning”.    While I could be a professional student, it is not part of my life at this moment.  I need to actually DO something with all the information and inspiration that I read.

So today I am publicly announcing a new goal for tomorrow.  I will organize my desk.  Now if you think this is a small job, you have NOT seen my desk.  First of all, there are not enough drawers for everything.   So tomorrow I will sort, fill my trashcan,  utilize all the little boxes that I have hanging around the house, and I will have a clean desk top.  I promise there will be pictures.  (No, they will not include me)

Does anyone else have a short term goal they want to set?  You have one day to get it done, then we can relax for the weekend!  (And I can get over this headache from all this forehead slapping!)

 

Status Check

Status check  -

Morning routine

Get up and in the shower

Do hair (now I have added make-up to the routine so that I can run out the door at a moment’s notice, and also so that I look good for hubby)

Get Fully Dressed

Eat Breakfast

Take morning medications

Have now been successful for 19 straight days!

Exercise

purposefully move for 15 minutes a day

This does not include routine movement like going to the fridge, the facilities, etc.

I have chosen to not try to do this 7 days a week.  I am aiming for 5 days a week.  Sundays will be a “rest” day, where I don’t have to think about it at all.  If I do it, great.  If I don’t, I am not going to stress about it.

Yesterday was kind of iffy.  It was movement, it was purposeful, but I am really stretching it to say that I got any benefit from it.  Today I spent with a 16#, 4 month old who was still fussy from his shots.  Needless to say I did a lot of slow walking, but I was carrying him.  So I am going to count that. Last week I got 3 days in where I fully did some very purposeful, continuous movement.

I am going to see how this week works before I add anymore goals into the mix.   I am proud of the strides that I am making.  When I started this I really doubted my ability to do it.  Now I am excited and know that I can continue to move forward.  I have found that while this journey is hard, it is much more rewarding than I thought it was going to be.  I have also found that by slowing down, analyzing why I am making a particular goal, and keeping them small but meaningful, I can make get farther than I ever dreamed!

Setback

OK – I won’t say failure, though I am fairly sure that is what I currently am regarding my intentional movement goal. That is, unless 3 games of Candy Land and polishing the 10 fingers and 10 toes of a 6-year-old count. That was my evening yesterday – oh, and listening to her read her homework to me.
Today I am not doing much better. I got 4 minutes of movement – the amount of time it took to walk the girls to the bus stop and then walk back home. 2 minutes were uphill, though. That should count for something!

Ellen over at Fat Girl Wearing  Thin talked about exercising today.  Her description of trying different exercise videos is priceless.   She has a recommendation on there.  I will have to check it out, since I don’t like to exercise, especially when other people see me sweat and turn all red and attempt to suck in breath.

So tonight I am going to rest and address this challenge again tomorrow.

Have a great night everyone!

 

Half Way There

I am half way to establishing a habit!  I can’t believe that I have gotten up and taken a shower and eaten breakfast 10 days in a row!  Normally there would have been at least one day that I would hang out in my jammies during this 10 stretch.  But not this time!  This is honestly an amazing feat for me!

I have also managed to keep 2 of my 3 tables in my living room clutter free for 4 weeks.  I have still not managed to attack that one table, but I will get there!  Please don’t ask me what the rest of my house looks like.  It is not pretty,  But I have 2 clean tables!  We have even managed to sit down and eat dinner at the table as a family, with the TV off, at least 3 times a week in the last 4 weeks.  That does not include any times that we have eaten out together.  So I am making some progress in getting my priorities straight.

Since I am at the halfway point with my first goal, I am adding another.  This may seem like a puny goal to many people, but to me, who absolutely does not like to sweat, it is a starting point.  My new goal is to do at least 15 minutes of purposeful movement each day.  That does not include walking to the bathroom, going downstairs to get something to drink or eat, etc.  This is 15 minutes of movement just to move.

Now that I am actually making progress, I have to slow myself down from trying to jump on top of more goals.  I want to slow down and be methodical and purposeful in my goal selection so that I don’t defeat myself.  If I get other things done, great.  That is a terrific bonus.  But I don’t want to set too many goals and end up setting myself up for failure.

So, as London Tipton would say “Yay Me!”

Brenda Song on set of The Suite Life

(Oh dear, I have been watching too much Disney Channel with my girls!)

Working on a Plan

Goals:
Set out the goals of this blog – check
Set up the blog – check
Personalize the blog as much as I can during my limited time – check
Write about the personal goals of this blog and publish – check
Refine how I want to address the topics and set up a posting schedule – uncheck.

Anyone have any suggestions or desires on how they want me to set up my posting schedule?
Should I cover certain topics on certain days?
Should I continue the hodge-podge that I am currently doing?
Would you like to see a certain format of my posts so they are more organized?

Please give me some feedback. This blog is about my journey, but it is also about accountability to stay on my journey by having readers. If my blog is not in a format that would keep you reading, please let me know so that I can continue to have fellow travelers on the search for the gifts of the moment!

Post Party pump-up

Oh my, what a party!

If this is any indication of what our lives are going to be like for the next few years, I need a better job!

Let me give you a run down of what was consumed by the 7 girls from 8pm Friday until 11am Saturday.

  • 6 bags of microwave popcorn
  • 12 juice boxes
  • multiple glasses of water
  • 1/2 gallon of Gatorade (fruit punch flavored)
  • 2 lbs of bacon
  • 2 packages of sausage links
  • 1/2 bottle of syrup
  • 2 batches of pancakes
  • 3/4 gallon of OJ
  • 3/4 gallon of milk
  • 7 cupcakes (and all the toppings they could keep on them including pink sugar, chocolate chips, flower sprinkles, star sprinkles, bugle sprinkles)

The craft was a massive hit!  I got the idea from this video:

We used ribbons to tie the journals together instead of wrapping it around the notebook, as in the video.  They decorated the journals with jewels that we glued on, and some stick-on foam letters.  They were adorable!  A couple of the parents have said that their girls have written pages in their journals.  I know my girls have!

I will say that the energy expended by the girls could have powered a small city.  The screeching, well, that was ear-piercing!   All the work was worth it when I got a giant hug from my little girl saying that this was the best birthday ever.  The youngest one, though, has been telling me that she needs at least 1 more of everything that her older sister got, because, you know, she must one-up her older sister!

Now for the Pump-Up part!

While I did not get everything done that I “wanted” to get done…

I had set 6 areas to declutter as my goal before the party.  I got 3 of them done.  Those 3 areas are still clutter free today!

During the frazzled moments before the guests started arriving I was trying to get the all the dishes washed and put away.  About that time, my  youngest looked up at me and asked if she could wash the dishes and I dry.

The first thought was “NO – I have too much to do and I don’t have time to make sure the dishes are washed correctly and get them all put away and get the million other things done!”

Then I looked down into her big brown eyes and realized that the time is quickly coming when she will not want to do any work with me.

I took a deep breath, looked around and realized, really realized, that the house cleaning was not important (did I really think that this little girls were going to care how neat my house was?), nor were the million other things that I had been stressing over.

“Go get the stoodle.” I said.  Happily she ran to the pantry, got the stool, climbed up on it and started washing dishes.  She chattered on and on about all the little things that had happened at school that day.

So my pump-up excitement?

  • I have maintained some clutter free areas.
  • I let go of the unimportant things without any guilt.
  • But the best one – I looked down and recognized the Gift of the Moment – the desire of my little girl to spend time with her Mama.  No other gift in the world could be more valuable!