A new home: Always the write time for hope, humor & heart

Leave a comment

Visit CHRISMADAYSCHMIDT and sign up for my free email to receive once-monthly blog updates, exclusive content, giveaways, previews of my upcoming real-life “fairytales” and more!

Burnout vs. boredom: knowing the signs

Leave a comment

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash.

A typical day in my life begins by rising at “zero dark thirty” for coffee and prayer, part I creative side gig, power workout, day job, part II side gig, dinner, preps for next morning, chores, walk, collapse into bed and repeat. Although I profess to be living the life of my dreams, recently I woke up in the middle of a “funk,” unable to identify why. Until I listened to a podcast titled Burnout. The host ticked off the signs: fatigue, irritability, social withdrawal, self-doubt. Check. But then she warned against mistaking burnout with boredom—which often masks a problem in which one desires to do a particular activity, yet something prevents it. Right now, I’m knee deep in revisions of my manuscript. But maybe I need to shake it up…explore a new hobby or volunteer opportunity, or make room for a guilty pleasure. Or perhaps I must simply take a moment to breathe.

Burned out or bored? Drop a note in the comments and follow me.

 

PSA: It’s simple—Don’t drink + drive

Leave a comment

One of the easiest decisions a person can make is to not drink and drive. But here’s the catch-22: once you drink, your decision-making skills become impaired. And because one person chose to drink and drive on Aug. 19, 2004, my family’s “normal” changed forever. Consequently, on the anniversary of my husband’s “death” and “re-birthday,” I hop on my soapbox to share the down-and-dirty details about that night. My 12-year-old daughter and I waited for her dad to arrive home from work so we could enjoy a family bike ride together. Instead, at 6:19 p.m.—minutes from our neighborhood—an intoxicated driver slammed his Dodge Ram into my husband’s Honda Civic. Following a medical-helicopter transport to a Trauma 1 hospital, my husband underwent emergency surgery—after which he spent the next 59 days as an inpatient navigating his new normal resulting from a TBI, crushed hip and myriad physical, emotional and mental trauma. And he still struggles with deficits today. Please think twice: If you drink: don’t drive.

Talk to me: no invitation necessary

1 Comment

 

I’ve never liked confrontation. Yet, avoidance is seldom the best solution. Perhaps today you’re embroiled in a gross misunderstanding. Maybe you’ve been wounded or your words or actions have hurt someone else. One friend of mine—rather than confront a misunderstanding—oftentimes requires an invitation, of sorts, to re-establish the lines of communication. However, this only serves to foster discord. Although I’m the first in line to minimize conflict whenever possible, I don’t require an invitation to initiate a dialog. For example, I’m always willing to provide clarification or nip an assumption in the bud. OK, except between 9 p.m. and 4:30 a.m., or while I’m hiking or writing or practicing yoga or it’s “Friday pizza movie night.” When misunderstandings occur (because they will), I’d like to suggest a tactic rooted in gentleness, kindness and love: that we proactively seek to facilitate a pathway toward common ground. We may have to agree to disagree. But at least we’re talking.

Who do you need to reach out to today?

And just like that: it’s a new year

Leave a comment

Two days before Christmas, and all through the house (and workplace): I threw down a full-fledged menopausal meltdown. It was as if I’d been issued the challenge to: Go big, or go home. Eventually, I proceeded with both and dubbed myself the Grinch. But once I realized it was hormone related, I approached my muddled emotions with a clearer sense of direction. And that’s when I knew: my 20/20 vision and plans for “growth” aren’t about knocking out a bestseller (although at the top of my list) or greater financial stability (still up there), it’s about growing into the purpose for which I was created, and growing in the areas I mention in “…bidding farewell…”—my convictions, fortitude and peace. It’s about knowing who I am and growing in that knowledge, discovering and honing the tools I need to succeed. It’s about putting this season of all things menopause to work for me vs. against me. 2020, here I come!

How do you plan to grow this year?

The home stretch: bidding farewell to 2019

Leave a comment

How’s the year wrapping up in your world? Mine resembles a project still in the works: missing pieces to the puzzle; loose ends, tangled and frayed. Unfinished business: words left unspoken; goals unrealized. As well as one certainty: I don’t want to arrive at the end of my life or the end of next year—or the end of next month—without seeing progress. Although baby steps still mean we’re moving forward, we might fall on our hindquarters, take two steps back for each one we advance or veer off the original course. But we shouldn’t drop to our knees where we are and stop—unless it’s to pray. So as we bid farewell to 2019, I pray for: a clear vision for the New Year, favor to succeed, strength to overcome, confidence in our convictions and the peace that passes all understanding. And that any loose ends or unfinished business or missing pieces to the puzzle serve as stepping stones from one chapter to the next.

Cheers!

Image courtesy of Krishna arts at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Size doesn’t matter: the power of prayer

Leave a comment

Christmas Day dawned cold and rainy. For the second year in a row, my husband and I volunteered through the Salvation Army to deliver dinner to the homebound. While driving to the Phoenix Convention Center to pick up meals, windshield wipers slapping at the spitting rain, I mentioned my prayers for a clear day. “I must not have prayed hard enough,” I said, noting the heavy clouds hovering over the mountaintops. “You don’t really expect God to answer that prayer when other people, like farmers, could be praying for rain?” I glanced at my husband in the driver’s seat. “Uhm… yes.” A few deliveries under our Santa Hats later, the clouds parted to reveal blue skies, the sun a yellow glow that warmed me from the inside out. “What were you saying about God answering prayer?” I said, a big smile on my face. “I just love when He shows off.” Never underestimate the power of prayer—even the small ones.

When have you witnessed answer to prayer?

Image courtesy of nunawwoofy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

A better way: approaching seasons of ‘excess’

3 Comments

On particularly rough days,
when you’re sure you can’t possibly endure anymore,
remind yourself that your track record
for getting through bad days so far
is 100%.

For many of us, this season rings in “excess.” Excess busyness and consumption. Excess worries, expenditures and expectations. Half the time, I’m torn between the “If you can’t beat ‘em…” and the “Enough is enough!” spectrum. But the more we give from a heart of excess (see “…Sharing the gift of ourselves”), the more we have to give. As we find ourselves wrapped up in this holiday’s hubbub, I challenge each of us to adopt an attitude of excess kindness. It costs little to share a meal with an elderly neighbor (bring an excess so she can enjoy seconds). Or deliver dinner to the homebound. It simply takes a generous heart. And perhaps our kindness will be an answer to someone else’s prayer on a particularly rough day. Remember: holidays aren’t required for excess kindness to make a difference.

Merry Christmas!

It’s your birthday! Sharing the gift of ourselves.

Leave a comment

To know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
~ Bessie Anderson Stanley

As we mature, birthdays can be a funny thing. Some people dread them; others don’t afford them a second thought. Still others, like me, welcome them with a childlike excitement. Recently, I renewed my annual membership in Club 50, complete with “signature” tiara and full-day (OK, three-day) celebration. Nothing fancy—except my princess attire—I embraced every moment. Because here’s the thing: birthdays are non-negotiable until they run out. And, if nothing else, they offer an opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months of our journey, as well as provide a blank slate on which to write our stories for the next 365 (or 366) days—much like a brand-new calendar year. My plan? To be a better steward of my life going forward. After all, there’s no better way to give to others than to share the gift of ourselves.

What’s your take on birthdays?

Brave enough: finding strength to admit our brokenness

Leave a comment

 

From the start, my purpose for writing “A nasty word called addiction…” centered on a message of hope and redemption, as well as a way to mark a milestone in my own journey of healing. It’s no secret that many of us suffer in silence from a laundry list of afflictions. Yet, the older I get, the more I feel a kinship with those who hide behind the fake smiles, the false bravado. Because I, too, share the DNA of brokenness. Yet, as I navigate—aka stumble, skip or sidle (depending on the day)—this season of Club 50, I often entertain second thoughts about broaching various “taboo” topics in conversation or my writing. However, if we’re unwilling to allow ourselves the discomfort of vulnerability, then we miss an opportunity to engage in deeper connection with humanity, and ourselves. Transparency, I believe, serves as a catalyst to healing and a collective oneness. And affords us strength when we’re brave enough to admit our brokenness.

Are you brave enough?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Older Entries