1 way to squeeze the best out of life

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They say that “attitude is everything.” Although I don’t know who they are, I do know truth resides in those three words. Case in point: As it relates to my day job, certain pet peeves are inherent in the publishing industry. For instance: missed deadlines, unresponsive contacts and broken commitments—to name a few. However, I’ve begun to look at these examples not as “thorns in my side” but as challenges to motivate rather than frustrate. Surprisingly, this new mindset works! Also, pertaining to my household finances, I’ve been asked to take a more vested interest in our expenses and investments, as well as the annual tax preparations. This year, instead of approaching the impending weekend with an overarching sense of dread, I planned several fun diversions to break up the monotony of pulling together the requisite materials. This resulted in a productive and enjoyable two days laden with laughter and goodwill. The time will pass regardless. Why not squeeze the best out of it?

How’s your attitude?

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.


Make it work: just do it

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In my post, “How to discern the answer you’re looking for,” I talk about a trek into the desert that brings clarity to a dilemma and, although not a make-or-break-me situation, it’s a debate I engage in with myself on the daily (isn’t that a fun, hip phrase?). To write, or not to write—that is and has been the question for decades. However, during said hike, I discover, with certainty, that the desires knit into my heart prior to conception are not without a purpose (although TBD). So why don’t I jump for joy and shout with exultation?! Because life. And its plethora of more pressing goals and commitments; the battle between self-care and self-indulgence; the act of self-sacrifice to put others’ needs ahead of our own. But wait! To make it work does not mean all or nothing, nor does it require a choice of one dream at the expense of others. To make it work means: just do it.

How do you make it work?

Photo source: https://www.pinterest.com.

How to discern the answer you’re looking for

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During the past several weeks, I’ve mapped out a (tentative) new plan that I write about in “Making a fresh start…” And every day looks different: One day might require setting aside my personal agenda to work with significant others on common goals. Another day it may take all I’ve got to clock in my eight hours and squeeze out 90 minutes of yoga. I’ve also spent time contemplating an ongoing dilemma. During a recent hike, I looked for answers—and for “love”—in the desert. Myriad rocks bordered the trail, yet the heart-shaped stones I sought eluded me. Until I changed my focus. I realized, then, that the sign or solution we seek can be right in front of us—or doesn’t always appear as we expect—and we must “zoom in” and/or alter our perspective to distinguish it. However, if we become distracted by the clutter of our surroundings, our selfish ambitions or vain conceits, we risk overlooking the obvious.

What answer do you seek today?

Making a fresh start: if the plan doesn’t work, change the plan

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I’ve decided my 2018 will start on Feb. 1.

January is a free trial month.
~ Anonymous

I’ve seen the above quote circulating in my Facebook feed and I am all for the idea. In fact, my 2018 didn’t start out anything like I had planned. In bed at 11:27 with the lights out on NYE, my vision for the New Year resembled anything but hopeful anticipation. Following a series of trials and errors, however, I resolved to start over. While I maintain a mindset focused on the basics of mental, spiritual, emotional and physical health, I intend to begin February with a rough outline—a map of sorts. I’d like to know what I’m striving toward, rather than rising each day to flounder without a plan. It’s OK to let go a little and let life happen, but I’d like to at least have an idea of where I’m headed. If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan. Not the goal.

How is your plan working out?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

It’s only failure if you don’t try

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In the spirit of new beginnings, I recently tried a food service. You’ve seen them pop up in TV commercials, on the internet: HelloFresh, Sun Basket, Blue Apron, to name a few. I reasoned that paying someone else to shop for exactly what I need would allow me more time to focus on the basics I write about in “New year, new you…” However, I soon learned it wasn’t for me so I canceled the service. Next, I decided a fitness tracker would help me #WorkSmarter toward my health goals. I bought, tried and returned three different fitness trackers, proverbial tail between my legs. The salesperson who processed one of my returns said, “I hope you patted yourself on the back for trying something new” (four somethings including the food service!). But I hadn’t quite looked at my efforts that way. Because, you see, I didn’t fail. To quote Elbert Hubbard: There is no failure except in no longer trying.

Have you patted yourself on the back lately?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

New year, new you: back to the basics

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Prior to Jan. 1 each year, I prepare a list of goals to aim toward over the next 365 days. This year was no different; however, come New Year’s Day, I abandoned several of my plans to focus on immediate, more pressing needs: my relational, mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. Although fraught with copious amounts of kicking and screaming, my resolve birthed a new plan to Let go and let God, if you will. Once I stripped away the myriad tasks that occupy my planner and relinquished control of outcome-driven objectives—in other words, after I surrendered my own agenda—I returned to the basics that I write about in “Falling into place…” Not only have I been blessed with second chances, but a foundation has been laid so that, when it’s time to revisit my original goals—maybe where I left off, maybe somewhere different—I’ll be ready. As a new and improved version of me.

What new goals, if any, have you begun in 2018?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Taking stock of the old, ushering in the new

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Two weeks ago I began the following post. This morning I found it, nearly complete, on my computer. Although not timely in relation to the date on the calendar, it may still resonate for some as it does for me: Numerous emotions course through me just a week after my birthday celebrations (yes, plural). Gratitude as I observe each day as the gift it truly is. Love for family and friends as we embrace the spirit of Christmas mere days away. An indwelling of peace as a byproduct of restored relationships. Yet, even then, a sense of melancholy over unexplored opportunities. Grief and disappointment. “What if’s” and bittersweet memories. The should’ves, could’ves, would’ves. But a glimmer of hope remains—a brightly covered package I tear into each morning with renewed expectation. As we tie up our last-minute holiday shopping and baking, wrapping and socializing, I encourage each of us to pause and reflect on the clean slate ahead.

What is one thing you’d change about the past year?

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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