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July 31st - Worrying

Monday, July 31, 2017

"Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before
how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way
and that so many things that one goes worrying about
are of no importance
whatsoever."


Today Sarah has some great advice 
for those of us who worry,
which is all of us. 

So pay attention.



Start Quote
Are you a worrier?

We all are to a certain extent, 
but some of us are more pessimistic than others, 
and when we worry, it's always the worst possible thing 
that comes first to mind.

[Yep. I do this all the time.
I tell my kids not to run in the street 
because they'll get hit by a car,
and die.
I tell my kids not to play on the stairs, 
because they will fall down,
and die.
Someone doesn't answer the phone or call me right back,
I immediately think they're dead in a ditch somewhere.]


Worrying is a great thief of time.


I have a good friend who can soar from distress to disaster 
in five seconds, 
and it has caused her no end of sorrow. 

Now that she recognizes the pattern and can stop herself 
in mid-flight with a gentle reminder, 
she experiences much more inner harmony
 even under difficult circumstances. 




Often when we stew, 
we think that we're doing something positive about the problem;
at least we're thinking about it.

Instead, we've set off an escalating spiral 
that can ruin an entire day
- for ourselves and those in our vicinity.




If you find yourself fretting over an issue, 
instead of working yourself into a frenzy,
STOP.

Now think about everything that's humming along nicely...
If you don't feel comfortable calling your 
communion with a Higher Power "prayer", 
call it a "communication with a good friend." ...

"To affirm and to claim God's help 
even before it is given,
is to receive it."

Lift up your worries and ask for grace 
to get through the rest of the day. 
There is an abundance of amazing grace available to all of us 
if we simply learn to ask for it...




After praying about your worries, 
is there a friend you can share your problem with?

If not, sit down quietly and write out what's troubling you.

Now write out the worst case scenario. 
What are your greatest fears? 
If that happened, what would you do?
 How would you cope? 
Once you have a solution beyond an "I don't know" response, 
write it down. 

One of the reasons we worry is because we feel 
powerless to control our futures. 

When we figure out what we'd do if the worst did happen, 
the sense of hopelessness diminishes. 




Worrying about the future 
robs you of the present moment. 
End Quote



Why worry about things that you can't control?
Why worry about things that haven't happened yet?
Why worry about things that have already happened 
and can't be changed?
Why worry about things that might or might not happen? 


So why worry?
Why get all stressed out and angry and frazzled,
over nothing?

and if you're worrying, 
you're not really relying on your faith now,
 are you. 

That sure makes for a pretty grim future.




Just do the best you can do, 
be the best you can be,
and have faith.

No worries. 

Worries get you no where.










***
Gratitude Journal
***

1) Parks. The kids get so excited about going to the park.

2) Pizza and spicy wings and a diet coke. Delicious.

3) Family. 

4) Bed time.

5) Books. Books are so wonderful, the way they take you places.

July 30th - Bad Habits

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I don't know about you, 
but I have a lot of bad habits.

Remember that not all habits are things that we do, 
some can be things we don't do.

Lets just get it out of the way, shall we?
Because I'm pretty sure a lot of us have the exact same ones.

I used to bit my nails...
but that was mostly because of my trichotillomania...
so I stopped biting my nails by putting that nasty tasting stuff you can buy at drug stores on my fingers, and I switched to picking and hair pulling instead. 
Huge improvement.


I have a hard time doing my nightly routine...
like washing my face and flossing my teeth. 

I have a hard time being consistent in my daily 
prayer and scripture reading.

I have a hard time making my bed and getting dressed
if I don't have to go anywhere.


I say the occasional curse word.


I have a really hard time putting things away...everywhere.
Kitchen, bedroom, craft room, laundry room, bathroom...
Literally everywhere.

I'm a bit of a perfectionist. If I'm cleaning the floor,
I'm going to clean the floor until it's spotless. 
Even if it takes hours that I don't have. 

I also have a hard time putting things down. 
For example, the last 500 page book I read 
I was done with in 3 days tops. 
Staying up way too late because I couldn't put it down.

When I'm super depressed or stressed
I retract inward and ignore everything...
I usually turn to Facebook. 


I'm a bit of a procrastinator.
I've gotten better, like we run out of milk 
and I go to the store that day or the next. 
But do something that I really don't want to do, 
like deal with insurance or schedule dentist appointments?
Yeah, I put that off for 6 months.
Or practice the piano for my calling?
Yeah, I procrastinate that so much that it doesn't even happen. 

Lately I've been eating. 
Like a lot. 
And not all of it good food. 



Start Quote
Nothing dies harder than a bad habit...


Before changing any behavior, 
it's helpful to know why you want to get rid of habits 
that don't nurture or contribute to your sense of well-being.

If you change, what will be your positive payback?

A healthier lifestyle, 
more energy and vitality, 
the joy and serenity of emotional sobriety...



Going within opens up the eye of your awareness 
in gentle ways.



You start to treat yourself more kindly. 


As you become more intimate with your authentic self 
and see glimmers of the woman you truly are inside,
you shore up the courage to take the first tentative steps necessary 
to help her evolve and emerge outwardly. 



Soon we'll begin hearing whispers that 
encourage and comfort, not berate us...



Too often we're unaware of the ways in which we rob ourselves of precious moments that could be spent nurturing our creativity...

For as long as we continue 
to cling to bad habits 
that may not be life-threatening 
but certainly aren't life-enhancing, 
we only steal from our potential.
End Quote 





Okay guys, moment of truth here.

I was honest with you, 
but to be honest with you 
I had to be honest with myself. 

I also had some help,
I asked Robbie what he thought my bad habits are.

Can you be honest with yourself?

Do you want to?






***
Gratitude Journal
***

1) The smell of summer rain, and the sound of thunder in the sky.

2) I've never been to a branch before, it was pretty cool. 

3) Ice cream. Strawberry lemon sorbet, yum.

4) Burritos. 

5) Lularoe. When you can wear your dress all day long and be totally comfortable, no matter what you're doing. And sexy. And modest. Did I mention sexy?

July 29th - Home As A Hobby

Saturday, July 29, 2017




Today Sarah tells us about a man names Arnold Bennett.

Start Quote
Bennett's niche was as "everyman"...

One of his best-loved books was 
an art we all should aspire to master.

 







In "The Home as a Hobby," Mr. Bennett writes,

"The home exists.

The home is accepted.

Life can be, and is, lived in it.

That vase does not suit that mantelpiece.
That carpet will not go with that wallpaper...
The foot of the bed interferes with 
the swinging of the bedroom door.
The whole of the dining-room furniture 
is seen to have been a mistake.
The hall has a poverty-stricken aspect.
The two principal pictures in the drawing-room 
are too high on the wall.




A hundred things are just a little wrong
and a few things dreadfully wrong!




But no matter.

The apparatus somehow works. 

The desire after perfection has failed.

The home has become immutable.

There the home is!

It will do.
It must do...





Nobody has the right to be bored in a half-made home.

A home which is not a fair expression of us at our best, 
a home which lacks what it might have, 
a home which is in any part more ugly or in any part 
more uncomfortable than it absolutely need be...
a home which cannot be run without waste,
a home which by any detail gets on the nerves of its inhabitants
and so impairs the harmony of their existence -
something ought to be done about such a home...

Why not make the perfecting of the home a hobby?"




...
If I approach our house as a hobby instead of a chore,
maybe I'll find the time to stain the front door, 
refinish a dresser,
varnish the hardwood floor,
create a nook of my own. 




"Your home may be a small one
- most peoples homes are -
but you will never have finished perfecting it,"
Arnold Bennett tells us.
"The subject is vast and knows no bounds."
End Quote 




Yep. Not really much more to add. 
Thanks Mr Bennett.









***
Gratitude Journal
***

1) Date night. No kids, amazing food and music, good company.

2) Ribs, the best chili cheese fries I've ever had, and buffalo blue cheese mac n' cheese. Mac not crack.

3) Live music. There is such an energy, such a liveliness, it's so good. And the man with the wicked dance moves, thanks for making my night.

4) When dogs look like their owners. Does Indy look like Robbie and I?

5) When the kids are outnumbered. All I can do is laugh in my head, because even with all three throwing tantrums there are four adults. I don't know why it's so hilarious, maybe because a part of me still thinks that they're out to get me. 

July 28th - Hobbies

Friday, July 28, 2017

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening,
that is translated through you into action 
and because there is only one of you in all time
this expression is unique...

And if you block it, 
it will never exist through any other medium 
and will be lost."




Start Quote
A hobby is a wonderful way to start freeing ourselves creatively. 

That's because no one expects us to be perfect at a hobby.



Hobbies allow us to experiment...


Pursuing a hobby warms up our talents 
and illuminates our natural inclinations.


We get to try on imaginary lives and see how they fit...


Today choose one to pursue. 


If you need materials...make a list of the necessary supplies.

Give yourself a week to assemble what you need to get going,
and one week from today plan an hour to begin. 


By doing this, you commit to bringing more fun into your life, 
and what was once inconceivable will soon 
become impossible to live without.
End Quote




I have lots of hobbies.
As you may have read in my 10 solitary pleasures.



But what I want to do?

Ballet.

I liked it when I was little, 
even though I do remember complaining about it. 
I think I complained about a lot of things when I was little. 

My mom started me in ballet because I walked pigeon toed.
She said that people told her dance would fix it, 
and so because she loved me she put me in dance. 

I hated my teacher because she would sometimes use a cane, 
and I never felt confident or felt like I knew the routines 
because, you know, dance class was only once a week.

I remember complaining about how I wanted to take 
jazz and tap like my cousins...




But now? 
Now I would give anything to dance on the tips of my toes 
in pretty ballet shoes with ribbons. 


But unfortunately, I can't do it all.
Unlike you, who will be starting something next week,
I'll start ballet next year. 
When I'm not spending an hour a day or more blogging. 







***
Gratitude Journal
***

1) Getting a text from my best friend. 

2) Driving safe.

3) Nature.

4) The sunshine and sunset.

5) It's Friday. Friday's are awesome.


July 27th - Solitary Pleasures

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Start Quote
Remember, once upon a time, 
when we all knew how to play?

...
Nothing that once made us feel happy and fulfilled is ever lost...

Why not have a brainstorming session on paper 
to excavate your buried bliss?

[1]
Write out a quick list of ten solitary pleasures...

Need some help?

[2]
Well, what was your favorite childhood game? 
[3]
Your favorite sport?
[4]
Your favorite movie as a kid?
[5]
Your favorite book?
[6]
Comic strip?
[7]
Your favorite singer or musical group?
[8]
What was the best time you ever had as a youngster?
As a teenager? 
As an adult?

Can you remember?

...
[9]
If you could instantly acquire three additional skills, 
what would they be?...

[10]
What three outrageous things would you try 
if no one knew about it?...

[11]
What three daring things sound intriguing, 
even if you'd probably never attempt them?...

[12]
What three all-expenses-paid vacations appeal to you?...

[13]
Do you like to work with your hands...
or does the visual appeal to you?...


Get the idea?


There's a fabulous world out there just waiting to be explored. 
We simply have to be willing to experiment.

A hobby affords us a marvelous opportunity 
to awaken our natural talents.

It does require a little bit of effort.


First of all we have to figure out what we'd like to do...

Then we have to carve out time to do it...


Seeking and finding a solitary pleasure 
that would make you jump out of the bed 
each morning to pursue it...
End Quote


So, here's my list!

[1] Ten Solitary Pleasures
                           1) Crocheting
                           2) Composing and arranging music
                           3) Reading
                           4) Writing
                           5) Sewing
                           6) Cooking
                           7) Organizing
                           8) Walking
                           9) Gardening
                          10) Thrift store shopping

[2] Favorite Childhood Game
A computer game! 


And don't forget minesweeper, 
and card games like gin and solitaire.  

[3] Favorite Sport
Soccer, swimming, running, and ultimate frisbee! 
I'm not very good at them, but I still like to play them.

[4] Favorite Movie
Good question, I have no idea. 
Probably a Disney movie. Maybe Little Mermaid.

[5] Favorite Book
I'm not sure if I have one, but I know I loved Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. I remember loving Nancy Drew, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Anne of Green Gables, Pride and Prejudice, Little House on the Prairie...
How could I ever choose a favorite?

Well, now my favorite is Atlas Shrugged. 

[6] Favorite Comic Strip
I loved the Sunday Comics. I didn't have a favorite, just the comics in general. It was one of the highlights of my Sundays. 

[7] Favorite Singer or Musical Group
Well, when I was a teenager it was all punk pop and emo. 
Man, those were the days.

[8] Favorite Memory
I have no idea. I have a terrible memory.

[9] Three Skills
                    1) Play the guitar
                    2) Know how to really sew, like for real, 
                        instead of the guesswork that I do.
                    3) Green thumb. If I could know how to keep          
                        everything alive and thriving, 
                        that would be awesome. 

[10] Three Outrageous Things
If no one knew about it?
Uhm...I'm not much for outrageousness. 
But if I had to choose, I would want to try fire breathing, hula dancing in front of a crowd, and bungee jumping.

[11] Three Daring Things
Even if you'd never attempt them?
Dying my hair a different color, like teal or fire engine red, race car driving, and tight rope walking, like super high up.

[12] Three Vacations
Cruises. Cruises all the way. 
European, Alaska, and Caribbean. 

[13] Hands or Visual?
Both. 











***
Gratitude Journal
***

1) Dentist. I only have one cavity! That's better than the four I had last time :(

2) A relaxing day...we've kind of had a relaxing week, it's pretty awesome.

3) Pizza and family for dinner! And Moana. 

4) My kids. They are freakin adorable.

5) Sleep. 

July 26th - Love Of Life

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Start Quote
In the beginning spending regular time alone 
just to collect your thoughts 
will seem like indulgence enough. 


Spending time alone to nurture your authentic vision, 
to express yourself creatively, 
to enjoy a personal pursuit that 
brings you contentment and pleasure 
will seem - well, impossible.

Incredulous. 
Impractical.
Inconceivable.
Out of the question. 

 


"Right. In another life,"
is the usual response, 
along with audible sighs and the rolling of eyes...




Then wistful looks appear.


"You mean to have fun?"...

"Yes. Have fun."

"You mean, by myself?"

"Yes, by yourself. 
Fun.
What would you like to do if you ever had the time?"

"Fun?"



[Yes fun.
By yourself.]

You can see where this leads. 
Most women I meet have a hard time
 holding up their end of the conversation 
when fun is the topic. 

Let the discourse be on diaper rash 
or Einstein's Theory of Relativity 
and we can hold our own.

But fun for its own sake?



The plain truth is that somewhere between 
family and careers during the last twenty years, 
most of us have misplaced an essential part of ourselves. 

Once we begin embarking on solitary sojourns 
to get reacquainted with our authentic selves, 
we usually discover that something is missing. 





It's called zest.
Exuberance.
Joi de vivre, as the French would say, 
or "the love of life."



The great delight that comes 
when the pieces of our particular puzzle finally fit. 

The heartfelt happiness we derive 
when something brings us keen pleasure. 

Something uniquely our own. 
They used to call this magical something a hobby.


But what to do?
End Quote





Use your imagination
Idle, putter, dawdle, 
figure it out. 

Try something, 
then try something else. 



Try to have fun by yourself, 
whatever it is you're doing.




***
Gratitude Journal
***

1) Bed time.

2) Mothers helpers. 

3) Leftover mexican food.

4) Getting laundry done.

5) A day to rest. 





 
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