Sunday, August 28, 2011

Home Again

For most of his life he's played indoors... one excuse after another given by his easily overwhelmed mother. There's so much prep work that goes into a trip beyond our front door... diapers to pack, and toys, and sippy cups and snacks. First we'll need to eat and by the time we would get back, a nap... oh so much to plan around. Better to just stay inside.

But... once on the other side a new world opens up, new possibilities, new adventures to behold. For him, and for her alike. It all seems so simple. Those stumbling blocks once so huge, now are trivial and inconsequential. The sun, in an instant cured those self-made delusions of the mind. Physical reunion healing her mental blight. 


Laid out before them are sidewalks waiting to be marched upon and swings to be swung. Slides to climb up rather then ride down, barking dogs, lawnmowers buzzing not so far away.... shoes now dirty and hands once clean grasping at mud.




To his little eyes and ears the outdoors are magical, mystical... wild. Their sparkling enjoyment reignite the flames of love his mother, so moments-ago reluctant, used to carry for nature's healing air. Her passion for the perfection of a fresh breath fully inhaled, a breeze fully felt, a notion of being completely at home without the need for a roof or a couch fully known. Experienced. Lived. 

There is life pulsing through the atmosphere that can only be acutely detected through direct contact with nature. Unprocessed air filling our lungs and caressing our shoulders and faces in the same moment. How quickly we forget the restorative powers and wonder that can only be accessed when connected with the home of our homes. The environment in which we we build our own personal habitats. Our families. Our lives.

Turn off your computer... go outside.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What Doesn't Kill Me...

I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about and working on my level of fitness/health. I've begun working out regularly again, and this time around I don't feel like an amateur... like I'm faking it, but that in reality I'm not the working out "type". Now not only do I feel like I know what I'm doing to some extent but I feel like I am supposed to be doing it. Like my body was made to be exercised. Like I am one of "those" people.

My current problem is that I keep getting distracted by it. When I'm done working out and it's not meal time and it should be entirely out of my head, I'm thinking about the workouts I could be doing, what I want to try, where I want to be physically and I catch myself non-stop looking for motivation online... even though I am already motivated. I am already doing the work. But I can't shake the feeling like I should be doing more, just because I'm not doing it all the time, every hour of every day. And I shouldn't be. My goal is to be healthy and fit so that I can get on with other more important things. So I can live longer and at a higher standard of living, and that I can use those years to devote to what I'm passionate about.

I am not passionate about becoming a workout instructor... so why the constant urge to push myself into the excessive arena?

This isn't the first time either. I tend to go overboard with the things I have established that I can do to compensate for things don't yet feel like I am good at. Instead of checking it off my list, I go back to it over and over and over again repeating the same actions... because they are positive actions right? They do bring progress... they are healthy for me. I'm not starving myself or working out til I get sick... but I'm not allowing myself time or mental space for the other things that aren't on my list yet but should be... the things I don't feel competent at.

How do you eliminate the element of distraction from a positive habit you've created that you don't want to get rid of? It would be counterproductive for me to stop working out because I sometimes allow myself to become distracted by it. Health is still a priority for me. Excuse the cliche' but I don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater here.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Aching Lungs and Hardened Hearts

It has been quite a week around these parts. Runny noses and sore throats abounding. But nonetheless many smiles were shared and sometimes we have to be forced to slow down to catch the little moments that we would not otherwise realize were passing us by... even if that means laughing in between coughs.

A lot of firsts have been taking place as of late too... walking, standing up in the tub (oh my!) and soon a first birthday... seriously... when did this happen? How is my baby boy almost a whole year old. It really feels like a day or two ago I was sitting on the couch will a belly big enough to use as a TV table, watching Buffy while eating a bowl of cereal. For real. I can almost feel him kicking me in the side just thinking about it. But then I wake up and notice that the pain in my side is just a muscle spasm resulting from my possibly over-vigorous workout this afternoon. The workout I barely fit in while my 11 month old son napped in his crib. Upstairs. In his own room.

How do I?

I don't even...

I am beyond baffled. I hear all of the countless voices in my head, the memories of every other person I ran into during those crazy 9 months who told me "just you wait, it goes by so fast"... and I want to wring their necks now even more than I did then... because they were right. And even though I believed them then, it was in an empathetic way not the sympathetic way I feel over the issue now. Now I'm right there with them. One among the heard of unsolicited advice-givers, feeling the pangs of time zipping by too quickly, wanting to warn anyone and everyone about to set foot on this path of the perils that come with watching your offspring grow before your eyes, so that maybe, just maybe they will grasp hold of one second more than I was able to.

Even if my warnings are in vain, as they will inevitably wind up being, I find them escaping from my lips without my permission. My heart speaks before my mind has the chance to quiet the offense. A defense is useless in these situations.

The thing is that knowing now how impossible it can be to keep my mouth shut does not make me less irritated over the warnings I am still receiving, it only makes me mad at myself for doing the same darn thing. I feel like my teenage self who apparently had no other verbal response capability but to say "I know!" in response to, well, just about everything. It's not really the advice givers I'm upset with either... it's that I feel their pain, the exact pain, and I don't want to be reminded of it... and I don't feel better knowing I'm not alone, it just makes me want to hug them and heal their sense of loss. But I can't.

That fact aches inside of me and causes me to recoil to a place of agitation, because I have not yet gained enough emotional control over myself to break this cycle. So while I'm still in the process, in the early awareness stages that precurse change I say to all those I have physically or mentally rolled my eyes to... I am sorry.

I have nothing to offer at this moment but a humble apology.

You. Were. Right. ...{exhale}

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Autumn Obsession Confession

It may still officially be August but in my heart Autumn has already begun. It's hard not to live my life in perpetual preparation and anticipation of my favorite season. This year especially being my first year in a real house of our own where we have the option to hand out candy on Halloween... take our little one trick or treating (though he's still too young for those sorts of treats so we'll likely pass) or have people over... maybe even all of the above. Plus... yesterday I saw the first pumpkin that has begun to grow in my patch... and there are blooms all over indicating that soon that small round guy will be one of many!

There is just something magical about the crisp Autumn air that I cannot put into words. Something that makes me feel magical... light, airy, yet mysterious with a slightly ominous tone to it. The knowledge that its perfection will eventually give way to brutal cold somehow makes it all the more alluring. Though I can't say I would turn down the opportunity to live in the Fall atmosphere year round if ever given the chance. It's like home to my soul. How could one say no to that?

Alas only so many leaves can drop from tree branches before they become barren and they must bloom and become green before they can once again shift to the magnificent yellows, oranges and reds of October. The crisp air is transitional in it's very nature and cannot be sustained. The sadness of it's impermanence only adds to it's beauty. The smells, the sights, the sounds. The eerie calm of a late August night hinting at the arrival of something new. A change in the wind.

The rose bushes still hold high their blossoms in my front yard as I type this and almost all of the grass and leaves are still green... but last night I noticed something... the need for a sweater or blazer in the setting sun. A smile formed on my face as the implications of this realization set in. Autumn, around the corner... home again.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Taking a Stab at my Subconscious

So I have been doing a lot of reading and studying lately on the subconscious mind and how to get yours to work for you. That is in part why I began my daily checklist project, the obvious reason of remembering what I need to get done still applies, but really, my main motivation was to build a baseline of trust between my conscious and subconscious mind by following through with physical actions I consciously committed to. Engaging the will on something measurable. Small yes. But again it's about laying a groundwork, brick by brick. Self trust. Believability.

Part of that process involves setting time limit goals so I have guaranteed stopping points along the way at which I can measure my progress an assess where any changes may need to take place. For me, positive reinforcement when I hit those goals also has to be physical. Something tangible and as such generally material. At least for now, based on where I am at currently in my life. So when I hit a small goal I buy myself a small reward to remind my subconscious mind of two things 1) that I did do what I said I was going to do and that pesky old conscious mind guy may be worth listening to now and again... and 2) that no good deed goes unrewarded. The work actually pays off. No more punishment for good behavior as I have done in the past.

That being said, each week I completed my checklist every single day without missing one I rewarded myself with something small... hair dye, a pair of sale shoes, etc. But yesterday was different. Yesterday I completed a full month. I beat my own personal best in being consistent. And so... viola!

I got my nose pierced!! 

It's something I have been wanting to do for a long while but could not justify the price tag. But as in investment? An investment in my mental state. My long term success?... my level of consistency and self trust, respect, confidence, insert-your-adjective-here....? WORTH IT!!

And you know what? This is my first piercing that didn't really hurt! How's is that for an unexpected dose of awesomeness? 

Anyways, I am super excited about it if you can't already tell. It's a tad lower than the standard so that when my six week healing buffer is over I can switch it out for a ring that will hug my nose instead of sticking out super far for the sake of being long enough... if that makes any sense. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Pirate's Life For Me... Er... Him.

Born wild they said. 
I had been warned... 
little boys... 
they are wild from the start... 

They told me. I believed them, to some extent, or so I thought. But just how was I to know what exploring really meant to a boy barely even able to walk yet?

As a little girl I scraped my knees, dirtied my clothes, walked invisible planks and sailed invisible ships

But now I see that I never instinctually knew just what swashbuckling meant. I didn't hoist curtains or climb rope ladders made of thin air... or the backs of chairs.... at least not that I can remember.

But at eleven months old he already loves a good chase... whether it's him chasing us or us chasing him makes little difference. A spark of willful, determined disobedience in his eyes.

But Mommy can't you see.... 
it's dreadfully clear... 
that your baby son is none other than a pirate!

And so I watch as he learns and grows knowing in my heart of hearts that sooner, rather than later my son will take to the sea...

...without me.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Perils of Pinterest

What does one do when they become more addicted to seeking inspiration than acting on it? Apparently, based on my personal experience of the last few weeks, they spend an inordinate amount of time on Pinterest... seriously, I don't have any time to sew because I'm too busy pinning sewing tutorials, I can't seem to pull together any outfits for a Schizophrenic Style post because browsing through the endless ideas online is much more comfortably done in my pajamas... and right now my new pair of Mary Jane pumps I'm breaking in... by sitting on the couch.

Don't get me wrong, I am doing things... I have almost a full month stringed together of daily checklist completion. I read, I book babysitters and meet up with my husband to build new business relationships, and more importantly friendships. But I have not created anything in quite a while. In fact the most recent "Artistic Endeavor" that I initiated (that did not involve hair dye) was way back on my road trip out to my sister's school back in February and it's still unfinished. So where does someone so out of practice start? What is the best project to dive head first into? What will create in me the most creative momentum for the amount of effort expelled?

I'm not quite sure but I do have a few ideas... ideas I found through Pinterest no less:

Fellow craftaholics; where do you begin when you begin again? What's your proven formula for getting back in the flow?

Monday, August 8, 2011

I Feel the Need: The Need to Read

There seems to be no better way, that I have found, to rejuvenate ones mind than to read. From books. Online reading is ok of course, but more often than not is does not feed the soul in the same fashion as a book... something about proximity to thousands upon thousands of distractions along with the plugged in factor. Being connected; even the possibility of being interrupted, by an email, IM, text message, Tweet, etc is so stress-inducing that it does not allow my mind to hone in on the words I am consuming with my eyes... with my mind.

Today I woke up feeling rather unwell and my amazing hero of a husband came to my rescue, calling in and taking over baby duty... and coffee grinding/brewing duty, and food prep duty... pretty much everything I do without thinking about it in the morning... the things that when all of a sudden I can't do, reveal themselves to be quite important. Or at least the ones involving caffiene. But despite my day off, my checklist goes on. Remains, waiting to be checked off. So very,very close to my next milestone. My next reward. As long as I accomplish in spite of struggle... so I picked up my book and began my daily 15 minutes of reading, chip on my shoulder, just knowing the strain on my poor pathetic eyeballs would exponentially increase the magnitude of my headache... but then my timer went off and there I was still reading... still wanting to read.

Even when tired and achy and whiny (and complainy... one of my favorite non-word words) reading turns me around. Puts my feet back on the ground and shifts my focus back to where I need it to be. Centered. Balanced. The subject matter, though effecting much in the long term, does not seem to play too heavy of a role in the mechanics of written words unraveling the tightly wound anxieties in my mind. Dr. Suess or David J. Scwartz Ph.D. and I am back right where I want to be. Back to me.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tidal Waves and Major Changes

Well, after a super awesome crazy weekend of (seriously) epic proportions here I am sitting back at home, laptop on my lap taking a quick breath as my son naps in his crib upstairs. I keep going back and forth on whether or not to blog about the events of the past few days. I still feel, well, undecided. But since writing is on my daily checklist and I have nothing else pressing on my mind in that same sort of way, the "I've got to get this down in words" sort of way... here I am.

For several years now I have been a part of a leadership development organization that is world-class... head and shoulders above the rest. And for that I have been so extremely grateful. But It would be lying to say that I didn't spend a lot of that time just sitting around waiting. Knowing that the world is in the process of changing, not fully preparing for it but knowing just the same that I would be playing a part in it when the time came. I have known that the way we make money in the Western World is shifting drastically and that out of that shift new industries will be formed and that if I just stuck around I could be one of those people who gets out there on my surf board at the right time and ride a massive wave. And though I am sad to say that instead of practicing my surfing skills and spending time in the water I have been sitting on the shore simply keeping my toes wet... I am happy to report that I never packed up my beach bag and towel, I never strapped my board back to the top of my car and drove "home"... and now I am paddling... now the wave is forming beneath me and I may not be the best surfer on the water but it's power can carry me nonetheless.

A lot of lives are going to be changed for the better. I am honored to have the opportunity to be a part of that...

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