Going Up?

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I suppose life is like riding an elevator. Sometimes we hit the very bottom and sometimes we are at the top of the world. Regardless, everyday we stop at a different floor. I have been stuck at the bottom. I stood there foolishly never realizing all I had to do was push the button. Only I could get that silly elevator moving and the power was in my hands the entire time.

I am happy to report my elevator is going up. It’s moving slowly but it’s also moving steadily. Yesterday and today I have been in a much better place mentally. I am starting to feel like my old self. It’s hard to admit when I’ve fallen into an unhealthy place but it’s also necessary to talk about. We always assume we are the only ones going through a particular funk and often we are embarrassed about it. It’s easier to hide it from the rest of the world and deny the problem exists. The truth is, there is a whole world of support waiting to help but only if we have the courage to admit we need help.

What floor is your elevator on? How are you feeling today? There is power in knowing that each stop is only temporary. That elevator will start moving again and eventually you will end up in a better place. The ride sometimes takes longer than we’d like it to but at least being stuck is only a condition in our mind and isn’t really our destination after all.

Sit Back and Relax

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I have a distant memory of a time long ago when I was a young girl. The need and urgency to lay out the day did not exist back then. The hours and minutes would be welcome in their own time, one at a time, with no need to rush them along. These days, now that I am grown, I feel unsettled when the minutes lack any sense of structure. It is hard to comfortably sit back and just let it be. I feel uneasy not preparing for the details of the day. I guess that’s what adulthood does, makes us so responsible that we lose the ability to loosen our grip on the stifling reigns of responsibility even for a small snippet of time. Even as I sat eating my breakfast, I was already consumed by what we would be having for lunch and dinner. I spend so much time planning for every detail that I lose the ability to take a moment to relax. Time to make some big changes. I can’t go on living this way. Nobody should. The best moments of all are the ones we are truly present for, not the ones where we bring the past to the future or waste the one we are in thinking about what is yet to come. So, please join me in my new journey to finding a path that helps me let go of my need to control. Sit with me as a passenger where I willingly choose to take my hands off the wheel and sit back and enjoy the ride. Who knows what we may discover on the way.

The Flat Tire

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A year ago today, I was stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire. We were headed to a concert and pulled into Starbucks for a quick cup of coffee, when we looked down and noticed the flat. My thoughts immediately jumped straight to doom and gloom. I thought great, is this how we are going to stat this new year? Is this a sign of the the things to come?

It didn’t take long for my husband to put the donut on and we were on our way. It wasn’t a sign at all. In fact, it wasn’t a big deal at all. Pay attention to what really matters and don’t make a bigger deal out of the things that don’t. Just accept things as they come with as little judgement as possible and keep moving on. Don’t remain stuck with a tire that is no longer flat. Happy New Year.

Keep It In Check

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It is not what we do that is so important but rather the manner in which we do it. Have you checked out your attitude lately? Yesterday was such a busy day for me. My schedule was jam packed and coming off a five day weekend made it seem even harder. I was actually stressed about it for two days. After we have a short reprieve in a busy schedule, the thought of resuming it once again can lead to feeling overwhelmed.

Somehow, I woke up pretty early. I got so many things done before my day even started. As I entered into the long list of errands on my list, I noticed I was excited. Each time I crossed something off, my enthusiasm grew. By noon I was high fiving myself and really believing that I totally rocked. Attitude is everything. Talk yourself into a good one. I promise it will make an amazing difference.

Words That Caught My Attention

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As I was walking out of Starbucks yesterday, I happened to hear part of a conversation between an older woman and a college age girl. The woman was encouraging the girl NOT to stay home and raise her kids, but to get out in the world and do something exciting. Part of me felt compelled to stop and give her a snippet of advice of my own. I kept walking but thought to myself as I struggled to find the keys to my car. There was never a more miraculous moment in my life as when I held the two lives I helped create in my arms for the first time. I have been proud and honored to be able to stay home and be there for my kids through every stage. Their first steps, their first words, their first broken bone, their first broken heart. Sure, it is not the most glamorous job. It does not bring me fortune or fame and the pay just doesn’t exist. But, to be fully present, to offer my kids my time and attention and a friendly face each day they get home is important to me. I do have an important job to mold, nurture, guide and mentor the two most precious people to me in this great big world. So what would I have said to that young girl? Being a mom is one of the greatest and most important jobs I have ever had. Time goes by in a flash. Eventually, my kids will be grown and gone and then I will still have plenty of time for a career. Not everyone is able to be at home but I am blessed to have had the opportunity. As for the pay? The moments, the memories and precious time I was able to spend with my kids while the world pulls me away in so many different directions is payment enough. Why are we here in the first place? Is it to have a fancy job and make it to the finish line with the most money or is it maybe to love and move through this life as if it were an adventure, a beautiful dance to express each moment and to pause for a while in a pose that simply just feels good. I don’t have those answers, but for me the journey has been amazing. My job is sometimes thankless and goes unnoticed but I wouldn’t trade a single day for the greatest job opportunity in the world. Hmmmmm…..maybe I already have it.

A Wise Lesson From A not So Smart Dog

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Earlier, my smart dog lifted his leg and peed on the leg of my dining room table when he knew I was watching. When I say he is smart that also qualifies for him for being a smart you know what. I put him in his crate and the not so smart dog eagerly followed. He is such a follower that he walked into his own crate and the door gently closed behind him.

A few hours later I asked if anyone had seen the not so smart dog. It didn’t take long to figure out he was probably in his crate. When he saw us, he wagged his tail excitedly as he waited for us to let him out.

Like Jeter, our minds can play terrible tricks on us. We can actually believe that we are at a dead end, trapped, as we remain there foolishly until the circumstances change or until someone comes to rescue us. We have no idea, all the while, that the door was never locked. We were never actually trapped and all we had to do was try and push it open. We were a prisoner to our own mind never knowing we were free the entire time. What a wise lesson from a not so smart dog. The smart dog however is still in his crate for being a smart you know what. End of story.

History Does Repeat Itself

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I bring you this story straight from my sense of humor. It is true, I had to dig deep to find it, but it was quietly hiding away waiting for me stop by. They say history repeats itself. Who exactly “they” are is a complete mystery to me but after today, I tend to agree.

Imagine being a parent who finds out the school did know know where her child was for four long weeks. Imagine that both the teacher of the class he should be in as well as the teacher of the class he didn’t belong in having absolutely no idea. Imagine that parent becoming furious and meeting with the Principal to get some answers.

Fast forward.

Imagine a year later, that same parent going to pick up her child for an appointment the last hour of the day and no-one is able to find him. Imagine the attendance secretary insinuating that the child went someplace last hour and did not notify his teacher. Imagine how irresponsible the insinuation must have sounded to the parent. Imagine having to call the child by name over the loud speaker because he was not where he was supposed to be. Imagine that child walking into the office and the baffled look on his face when his mom was questioning where he was. Imagine the child sitting in the same 8th hour he has sat in all year long only wait for it, here’s the twist….

Everyone knows by now my poor son was very ill and missed school for 8 days. Apparently last week the kids were given the opportunity to choose their new 8th hour class, only guess who couldn’t because he was not at school? So, guess who was not informed his schedule had changed and guess who failed to take attendance so that he knew there was a kid in his class who didn’t belong there? Same silly mistake, different year.

Now picture that poor Principal getting an angry email from the same parent as last year asking how in the world this could happen again.
Frozen is one of my favorite movies and the lesson learned from that wonderful children’s movie is to LET IT GO, and that is exactly what I plan to do. I can’t help but wonder how long it would have taken the school to know he was in the wrong place if I didn’t happen to pick him up for an appointment today.

I love to give advice and I preach this lesson hard. Sometimes life hands you the same situation over and over until you learn to handle it with grace. This time I hope to rise above. For the record though, a simple “Im sorry this is our mistake” would have immediately undone all that was wrong. Instead, once again the insinuation that my kid must have been doing something wrong is somewhat disheartening. Remember, admitting a mistake and apologizing for it can make all the difference. Don’t always assume it’s everyone else and you can never be the source of the fault. The fact is most people recognize that these things happen, mistakes occur and people screw up. Just own it and move on.

I Think I Might Dye

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Red. That is the color I asked my hairdresser to dye my hair. I needed a change. Fall is coming and I am feeling a little dull so why not go out and do something a little bit bold, drastic maybe. That would help me feel alive. I was very clear on the shade of red. I wanted something very natural like the highlights I had as a child.

Today, I looked in the mirror and I wanted to cry. I had two choices, I could cut all my hair off or I could go back and maybe change the color. My red is anything but natural. It is Snookie red or the color red you would imagine to see on a punk rocker. Pink almost. That is what I see when the light shines directly on my head, pink.

As I stared in the mirror something occurred to me. When I do not like what I see in myself, my instinct is to hide. I decided I was not going to yoga and I wasn’t going outside anywhere today. I felt miserable and I was filled with sadness. Them I realized something else. Everyone feels this way from time to time, how could they not? It could be our image that is disappointing, our weight, our character or perhaps our attitude. When we don’t feel good in our own skin, we just want to disappear into the darkness where no one will see us. Then I reminded myself that this freaky hair color is temporary. It will fade over time and eventually my hair will return to its natural color. I wasn’t going to hide after all. I am the same me no matter the color was on top of my head and I put my yoga clothes back on and drove right there.

There is comfort in knowing we have the power to change whatever it is we do not like about ourselves but change is a gradual. With a little patience and a little persistence we can be back to our old selves or at least find the path back to be comfortable in our skin. The lesson here it’s not okay to hide. That is a sign you have given up. We cannot stop living just because there is something we are not happy about. Take the steps to change whatever it is and be the person you want to be. Be proud of who you are, even if you are 40 something and your hair is pink. Really, it’s okay.

Underneath The Surface

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I often get the impression that people feel misunderstood. They really believe that people don’t understand what is really going on beneath the surface. They feel judged and think people only notice the bad things and overlook all the good.

I went to a beach a few years ago in Texas and noticed some large trucks parked in the sand. I thought it was kind of odd but didn’t really understand until I woke the next morning. I was surprised to see that there was a massive amount of seaweed separating the sand and the water. The trucks were there to take the seaweed away to make it easier for the people to get to the water.

People only see what you allow them to see. Your actions, your mannerisms and your behaviors are your surface. People do not have the time or energy to grab a shovel and dig through all the layers to see what’s inside. It is your job to make sure what is on your surface is the same as what lies beneath.

In hindsight, I really believe if that seaweed was not removed, I would have turned around, got in my car, and just drove home. Some things are just too much work. And if the appearance isn’t even something that seems pleasant, why would anyone even take the time to be there at all? And what a shame really, because once I got beyond the green stuff, the water was just beautiful.

Be consistent. Stop blaming everyone around you for not understanding who you are. It is your job to show them. If your actions paint a picture of seaweed, then that is what they will see. But, if you paint a picture of a beautiful beach, they will notice that too. People see what they see for a reason. Pay attention and if you don’t like the reflection then it is up to you to paint a new scene. You are the artist and the art. You are your own creation so what are you going to create?

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