Step Away From the Cell Phone

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It’s so important to step away sometimes. I’ve taken the last few days off of blogging and I have lessened the amount of time my phone is in my hand. I don’t even keep it in the same room anymore. I noticed I am less stressed but more focused. I am not forgetting why I walked into the room and I feel like my brain is coming back into focus. I didn’t realize how much time I wasted checking WordPress, Facebook and surfing the net. I’m not neccesarily using my time to do anything constructive but I have learned the value of stepping away.

What is something you need to step away from?

A New Perspective on Cell Phones

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I know I complain often about cell phones and how they disturb living in so many ways but today I would like to offer a new perspective.

Last week I mentioned my mom was in the hospital. I was so relieved to know that I could get up to the minute updates from my brothers and sister. Sometimes having a phone in the pocket can come in very handy in those moments you really need to reach someone. My sister in law even snapped a photo of her in her hospital bed so I could I could get a look at her with my own eyes.

Last night my nephew made his first television appearance on ESPN. I was so disappointed I would have to miss it because I would be watching my daughter in her homecoming parade. While I was there, my sister sent me the video of him on TV right to my phone. I was so grateful and proud, I even shed a tiny tear. And the best part of all was hearing the family cheering in the background the second they saw his face on TV.

My niece is my little ray of sunshine. Nothing makes me happier then when she bugs her mother enough to let her FaceTime me. I love looking into her beautiful face. It is such an amazing gift.

I’ve mentioned that I don’t live close to home. I remember the year my birthday fell on Easter. Not only was I sad I wasn’t with extended family that day but I didnt even hear from them. I was sure they must have forgotten me. Then, I checked Facebook and they were all there in a video singing happy birthday to me.

Honestly, the cell phone really does help me feel connected in so many ways and disconnected in so many others. There is a very fine balance between abusing its privileges and talking advantage of all it has to offer. Somedays I love it, some days I resent it but I can’t deny it has much to offer.

What are your feelings about cell phones? Do you love them, hate them or flip flop between the two?

When Life is Out of Focus

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Focus, focus, focus, please focus. I find myself saying this over and over a million times a day. I know many people do not believe in ADD but I can tell you this, whatever name you want to call it, there exists a condition in which someone finds it extremely difficult to concentrate attention on just one thing. The result is devastating.

This year is particularly hard for my son. I feel like he is back in 5th grade when he couldn’t complete a thing in class. We would help him with hours and hours of homework and there was never time for anything else. This year is a repeat. The work load in 8th grade is so much greater than any other year. He completes quite a bit in class now but the amount of time it takes him to study and complete homework is affecting us all. We reach a level of frustration that is hard to overcome. I try my best not to get frustrated with him but time after time I fail. My daughter is starting to resent him because he takes up so much of our time. “Let him fail.” That’s what she says and every time I hear it I am more determined to make sure that never happens. I grit my teeth and do whatever it takes. He did much better on the medication but he didn’t like the way it made him feel. His loss of personality was the most difficult side effect for everyone. So, last January, we made the choice to take him off of it.

Sometimes I Just want to cry. I want to cry for him and how difficult it is for him to keep up. I want to cry for the free time he never has because there is always something else to do.  I want to cry for my frustration and inability to show him patience when the clock turns none-thirty at night and there is still work to do. I want to cry because I need a break too and it is no kind of life for any of us when it’s always work, work, work, aggravation and no play. The clock does not exist for someone with ADD, they can only move at one pace.

 He is so smart. I think that’s the hardest part to understand. I tested him over and over on his Spanish words last night. He just couldn’t remember them. He finally starts to get something and then his brain overheats and everything melts away. He needs breaks. Hours of work at a time is not good for someone who has difficulty concentrating. The misconception about ADD is that there is a lack of attention span. That couldn’t be more untrue. Their  focus is just divided up among several different things at once. It’s hard to channel it on one particular thing. He is listening to me, climbing under the cushions on the couch and petting the dog at the same time. I can feel my blood start to boil as I say, go and take a 15 minute break. Like it or not, those breaks are necessary but that also means me will finish 15 minutes later than we should.

I don’t have any answers. I do my best to educate everyone about how difficult this is for families as a whole. Add that to the belief that this condition is made up and the result is not receiving any support. I dread evenings now because I know what they bring. He dreads them too. My daughter resents them and I’m sure my husband wishes my mood wasn’t so affected when home should be a happy place. He is just a kid who wants to go outside after school and ride his dirt bike. I want that for him too. 

Do You Notice?

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There is still no food in the house because we are still in the phase of removing the food source for those pesty moths. We decided to go for dinner and settled on Buffalo Wild Wings. I told everyone they had to leave their phones at home and then felt foolish as we sat surrounded by a thousand tv’s. There was no conversation over the hooting and hollering going on over stupid football games. I couldn’t help but wonder how different relationships might be if we were as passionate and into each other as we were a random football game. It was like someone punched me right in the gut when I glanced around to see families and couples staring at the screens. Is that what we have become in this world where you can watch tv anywhere you are, including the bathroom? We are so distracted. We are so afraid we might miss something on the mighty tube but we have no concern what we might be missing in our own relationships. How could we though when our attention is always someplace else? Who has time to notice anyway?

Give It A Try

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Getting by in this busy world has always led me to believe making time for the people I love should be at the top of my priority chart. Lately though, I’ve discovered that spending time together does not necessarily mean spending time together. If one of us is watching tv, one is on a computer and one is on the ipad then we really aren’t interacting at all. It’s hard to focus in on people these days. There are so many distractions and so many alarms and notifications that it would be a real challenge to give someone my full attention. I challenge everyone who reads this to look someone straight in the eyes when they talk to you today. Put down your phone or computer, turn off the tv and give them the most precious gift you can….your full attention. See if you can do it and let me know. I’d love to hear about your experience.

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Feeling Dull?

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Don’t go through the moments, live the moments! Take a moment to sit down and breathe and feel the rain on your face, the wind in your hair.

Life is all around you waiting for you to experience it. Sometimes we just feel dull, dead inside, like the spark inside has been snuffed out. Find a way to light it again.

Start to see with your eyes and feel with your heart. Remove the distractions and bring your focus back to where it needs to be. Look up at the sky, go for a walk and pay attention to the people standing there in front of you.

It’s easy to walk around with your head in clouds. Countless list of things you need to get done, errands to run, meetings to make, emails to send. It never ends. Take a break. Do something for yourself, even if it’s sitting for a moment and letting your mind rest. It’s the distractions that keep you from feeling. Find some time to free yourself from the prison they create.

Can You Hear The Train?

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I remember moving to a town in Texas years ago. There were train tracks not far from the house, and every night I would lay quietly still and listen for the train whistle to make its sound. At first, I noticed it all the time. It became familiar and something I looked forward to from day to day. After a few years, I didn’t notice it anymore. I had two young kids, I was sleep deprived and life became so busy I became distracted. It wasn’t until my son was about three years old that he became fascinated with trains. He used to randomly sneak up behind me and at the top of his lungs sound his whistle and scare me half to death. “Woot! Woot!” His favorite phrase.

My little boy is growing up quickly now. He doesn’t have time to play with trains but once in awhile he will set up his Polar Express and watch her roll around the tracks. Today, I heard the whistle for the first time in a long time. I have been too caught up in my thoughts and distractions to notice it the last couple of weeks. Maybe this is a sign that I am waking up from a dreaded nap that lasted way too long. Maybe this is a sign that I have escaped the dark cloud that has cast a shadow over my path and now I will once again feel the warmth of the sun. Ebb and flow. Push and pull. The constant struggle between getting it right. The good news is what goes up must come back down, and what’s been down, must come back up. So, there is hope that I am starting to swim back to the surface where I have a better view of what lies both below and what waits above me. Both views are beautiful, as long as you do not become stuck in the wrong place of one or another. But to lie there on the surface brings clarity and peace and a new perspective that looks more pleasant and promising than the one I had before. How is your view right now and do you know you have the power to change what you see? Find the place that feels good and rest there awhile and eventually with a little bit of patience, you will find the right place you are meant to be.

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