I quit.

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One day, you wake up and just know it’s time to say, “I quit.” I quit the negative self-talk. I quit complaining. I quit obsessing (see “A time for everything…). I quit whatever no longer serves me—the toxic behaviors that harm vs. heal, the co-dependent relationships that eclipse vs. edify, saying “yes” when I mean “no.” I quit making excuses and, instead, take ownership of my decisions, my goals, my commitments, my successes—and my failures. I quit piling on the unrealistic expectations, and replace them with my victories, big and small. I quit dreaming new dreams without attaching wings: the tangible steps I must take to create the reality my heart envisions. One day, you wake up and just know it’s time to say, “I begin.” And embrace every thrill ride, every bump, bruise and disappointment because it means you’re alive and present in this moment. That you’re breathing and you were created for a purpose.

What do you need to quit in order to begin?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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.

Torn between two loves

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torn-between-two-loves

The familiar blahs have set in again—post mini vacation—although a bit delayed this time. Maybe because I jumped right back into life with work commitments and birthdays to plan for and my online writers’ workshop to keep up with—and I didn’t have time to think: to pull out the mental snapshots of hugging my seven-year-old great niece and nephews who I haven’t seen for nearly a year. Or to recall the smell of Minnesota when the leaves begin to change and the evening air takes on a chill. But now that these memories have begun to wreak havoc on my senses, it’s as if they exist through a power of their own and I am unable to stop them. And even though I’m home now, I feel a little displaced, a little lonely. Like fragments of my heart stayed behind. I shouldn’t be surprised; it happens every time. Yet now I wonder: could I ever move back?

Do you ever feel torn between two loves?

When the wind gets knocked out of your sails

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Wind in your sails

 

So, do it. Decide.
Is this the life you want to live?
Is this the person you want to love?
Is this the best you can be?
Can you be stronger?
Kinder? More compassionate?
Decide.
Breathe in.
Breathe out and decide.
~ Meredith Grey

You’re going along feeling ‘on point,’ looking good, making progress and then someone says something that knocks you down a peg or four. When it comes from a close friend or relative, it’s a double whammy. Those feelings of I’m not good enough, I’m unforgivable, I can’t do anything right return with a vengeance. But you take a deliberate look at yourself and realize that, although there’s room for improvement, you like the person you’re becoming. So you resolve to shed that which holds you back and remind yourself not everyone will like you, and that’s okay. Then check out my latest guest blog post to begin pursuing your passion regret free today. And breathe.

How do you add wind back into your sails?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

When you disconnect to reconnect

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Disconnect to reconnect
Sometimes you just need to pack a bag, hop in your car and drive. This past weekend, I disconnected from email, phone, texting and social media, and drove five hours into Ponderosa pine country in Northern Arizona. Chatting over a steaming dark roast with a photographer and the lodge’s reservationist aka bartender aka waitress aka housekeeper, warming my city toes by the crackling fire [read: genuine log], reading and napping (a lot), fueled my urgent need to escape my commitments, reconnect and breathe in each (higher-altitude) moment as it transpired—unplanned, unhurried. And afterward, as I repacked to return to reality, in between my rolled up sweaters and scarves and unsuitable footwear to hike in the remnant patches of winter mud and snow, I tucked a travel-sized wedge of the peace I discovered and the lessons I learned in a little log cabin in the woods. Now I need to unpack and put these gems into practice.

What is a favorite way for you to disconnect to reconnect?

[Image credit Jeroen van Oostrom and freedigitalphotos.net]

Getting unplugged

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Unplugged

[Image credit: cooldesign]

Between doctor’s appointments, adult-child drama, work and financial commitments, freelance deadlines, an eight-week yoga challenge, keeping clean clothes in the closet and food on the table, and trying to log in eight hours (not so much) of Zzzzs every night, I’m stretched thin.  The household tasks are going by the wayside and I serve more leftovers than anything else, but life continues.  Albeit with piles of dust bunnies, and laundry that needs folding.  But I’m in serious need of a break.  And so I’ve begun making plans for myself.  I’m calling it my weekend “unplugged.”  For me, that means no social media, including games, no cell phone (except for emergencies only, of course), no email or laptop, no TV or radio.  And no chores or outside commitments.  As soon as my freelance deadlines are buttoned up, I’m running away.  For 24 hours.  I don’t have the details completely worked out yet, but that’s okay.  I know I’ll be traveling light.

When was the last time you got “unplugged?”

Moms don’t get sick

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[Image credit: David Castillo Dominici]

The spreading myself thin(ner) thing happened and that’s likely why I got sick last week.  I kept piling the commitments on top of each another until I was running ragged.  After getting sick, however, I took time off from working out and Yoga, stopped cleaning the house, served leftovers and take-out pizza for dinner.  And there was a day or two where I left for work with piles of laundry and an unmade bed.  I took sick time, missed church and an HOA Board Meeting, plus a charity benefit.  But in the midst of it all, I saw something very clearly even through the haze of my fuzzy head.  Nothing happened.  I didn’t lose my awesome mom award; the neighbors didn’t storm my house and dub me an unfit homemaker.  My family didn’t starve.  And surprise, surprise —my body didn’t fall apart (yet).  I think I’d better listen, slow down and cut back, though, before it does.

Are you afraid life will fall apart if you get sick?

A cyber burnout

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[Image credit: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot]

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a self-imposed time out.  It’s when enough is enough and you just need to step away from technology and all its demands.  Not the commitments that are necessary to keep business running smoothly or remain available for family, but the ones that take us away from the things we should be doing.  In fact, sometimes I’d like to declare an email bankruptcy — an opportunity to purge every message and start over with a clean inbox.  Other times I tell myself: only one more game of Words With Friends and then I’ll start the laundry, do the dusting, make dinner, work on taxes, write 100 words, fill in the blank.  When it gets to a point where your life revolves more around your IP address than the location you call home, it may be time to pull the plug for a pre-determined period in order to regroup.  For example, I’ve known friends who have taken a hiatus from Facebook for weeks at a time to focus on whatever it is that needs attention on their side of the monitor.  I’m getting close to that place, myself.

Does your real life take a back seat to the cyber world, or is it well-balanced between the two?