balance

Busy Season

The other day I was thinking about my busy season. Then I thought about now and said geez, this seems just as busy as what I thought was my busy season. Then the reality hits. It’s always busy season.

Spring, fall, winter, and summer all have shades of color, moments to cherish, weather to live for for, weather to throw out the door, and so much more. Staying busy amidst the chaos of the season gives people reason to forge ahead. I’ve always been told an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. I believe it. When I’m busy I don’t have time to second guess things in life. I don’t have time to worry about so and so’s business. I don’t have time to consume myself online what may appear real vs. reality.

Busy in my mind is a pleasure spot. Away from the chaos others can bring to one’s life. It’s easy to tune out background noise when you are busy yourself. Now, I’m going to throw the big monkey wrench into the equation.

Despite being busy one must always remember to replenish themselves. Sit and have the cup of coffee alone if you need to be with just yourself for a few minutes before starting the day. Sit down at a table and have a snack while burning your favorite candle. Meet a friend for a chat. Go for a run or walk at park. Pet a dog or a cat and if you don’t have one go to the pound or the pet store as they will appreciate your time more than others around you who want to demand your time.

 I most certainly make time for me. Just this week I took a big time out for a massage. I needed it. Was it an expense? Yes. Could it seem extravagant to some? Maybe. Did it push back some work I could have been doing? Absolutely. Was I better for taking that time out? Indeed.

A friend told me the other day I’m self-possessed. I thought about that for a while. I felt it wasn’t something many would just come out and say on an average day. My reveal to myself is: I am definitely self-possessed. I am comfortable with who I am. I am not burdened by others who need validation. This alone may make me seem cold or heartless which is furthest from the truth. I guard myself. I keep my emotions in check when there are days I may want to crumble. I maintain the curbside appeal of a badass while inside I find courage each day to tackle what may seem impossible. I just don’t show that to the world.

One cant fake self-possession. Many will aspire to reach that position. Some may even have one foot in one foot out depending on environmental conditions surrounding them at the time. It happens. Life happens. The sun sets. A new day awakes with the rise of the sun again. We all choose how we tackle our days. 

Todays post goes out to all those struggling with something in life. Take a moment for you. Find joy in today. I found my joy today in my candle jar. Maybe you will find joy in your cup of coffee or mason jar full of flowers. Whatever the joy is for today, cherish the moment even if it’s just that a moment for you. You can reset your mind if you take the time to settle your mind.

Now dust yourself off. Wipe the tears. Hold your head up high and conquer whatever shit storm is in your path. Why? Because I want you to be strong for you. 

While I unwinded with my candle just know I focused on the aroma. I gazed at the wick while it burned. I watched the reflection in the puddle of heated wax. I got lost in the moment. As I blew out the candle I felt it’s warmth but I also smelled the peace of the scents as they circled in the air. If I can find this time in my season so can you. This can be your reset or you can choose another option. I’m just showing you that when you have the will you can find the way. 

balance

A Peaceful Stroll

Today I took a quiet stroll.

Alone.

My stroll wasn’t preplanned rather it was spontaneous. Off I went. The air was cool and crisp. The shade of the trees added a drop in temperature to 8-10 degrees lower. Unexpected chill but maybe that alerted my senses more.

Hands in pockets watching the trees blow around me. Enjoying the scents in the air on this morning. My path wasn’t set. I was just shuffling along. Sometimes on pavement. Sometimes on gravel. I had the option of grass but didn’t drift that way.

On my stroll I thought about many things. I listened to many sounds. I viewed and observed all of what was around me. I genuinely felt thankful for where I am in life. For the good times as well as the bad times. Sometimes taking a back seat to your own life allows you to see your fortune. Not the fortune of money rather the fortune of life and living it. Experience.

I have experience. I can bend and flex and fit into any mix of people or settings. A skill I have worked on all my whole life. Experiences have helped me mature enough to know when I need to bend and flex. When to reframe the gloomy outlook. When to spark creativity.

My mind works in overdrive during the oddest times. Sometimes it’s in a sleep state. Sometimes on a random stroll. The beauty of a quiet mind yields results. I had a recent conversation with a teenage boy. He mentioned how long it takes him to fall asleep. I questioned why. He noted his mind takes time to wind down.

How I related in many ways. In life we all must find a balance for not only us but those closest to us. Kids especially have an always on mentality. Even more so than me. The younger generation is overactive online making it hard to flip the off switch. They are less likely to take the stroll alone I mentioned above. Therefore we should check in on those around us to see how we can help them recharge in non-traditional ways.

Sports or working out of sorts helps as the fatigue will wear one out.

A day at the beach can help. The sun. The sand. The limited reach of electronics. All add a level of fatigue.

An outing such as a hike, bowling, top golf, go-karting, kayaking, and so on. These little outings can provide a change of scenery. A lot of laughter. An escape from the planned days many are accustomed to. Adventures will let the mind settle and possibly add a dream state of what could be next.

Add mindfulness to your day or week. My Apple Watch tells me it’s a thing. Something to remind me to do daily, however I already know this. I am hopeful this post will spur thoughts or action in you or inspire you to influence another. 

Practice mindfulness.

Set a goal of peace for yourself.

Challenge yourself to do something different.

Riding your bike to work one day not driving may be just the variation you need. Not all can do this but if you can, try it. See how it goes. 

adventure

City Sounds

Ah the sounds of the city. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the city without distractions to just soak in the sounds of the city.

It was a Monday morning. I don’t have an alarm set but I was awoken by the church bells. A very distinct sound. A sound I just had not heard in some time up close, early in the morning. Shortly after, the jack hammer started. Then the car traffic. The city was awake and so was I.

The city sounds are so very different from my home setting. I wake to birds chirping. I almost never hear a car pass at the time I rise. I definitely don’t hear jack hammers. What a difference on this Monday. I continue to hear the sounds of people in the hallway of my hotel in clusters. No sleeping in for this girl. Hammers are starting to bang. Leaf blowers are going full force. Air conditioning units are making sounds. I think I even hear the pipes flowing water in neighboring rooms. Large trucks are shifting gears in the roadway.

As the day turns into night the city sounds a bit different. The sounds of the horses on the cobblestone paths. The sounds of tourists navigating a ghostly tour. The sounds of a wedding taking place in the hotel. The cars passing by. The walkers giggling on the street as they go towards the ice cream shop.

The church bells continue to ring. As I focus on the sounds of the city I can’t ignore what lies beneath within the city. The poverty. The homeless community that appears in both day and night. Looking for something, anything. A side of life I again hadn’t seen in a while because Covid has kept me out of the city for the most part. My world is so small in comparison to what’s largely going on elsewhere. 

So much activity in the city today.

perspective

New Year, New Song

It’s back to school, which means back to work for me. Summer was gone in a flash.

Each member of our school leadership team was asked to choose a theme song for the year. We got some examples to spur our thinking.

Music is one of my love languages – not just love, it’s any emotion, really. The lyrics, the melody of a song can convey meaning I can’t seem to put into words. Playlists can transport me into different eras, remembrances, states of mind. Songs mean much.

So a theme song for the year was a big decision. I tried thinking about it and came up with some possibilities, but nothing seemed to fit. As a singer, it was all about the lyrics. I’d think of a song that had a great chorus, but then there would be some lyric about drinking or broken hearts or something else completely unrelated to school. In that case, it’s a no go.

What was the message I wanted to capture? Resilience. Flexibility. Hope. All things that speak to me in this transition time. In addition, I wanted something upbeat and catchy to keep the mood light.

And then it came to me. The theme song from the classic 70s sitcom, One Day at a Time. Upbeat, catchy, short, sweet, with all the right feelings.

Here are the lyrics:

This is it.
This is life, the one you get
So go and have a ball.

This is it.
Straight ahead and rest assured
You can’t be sure at all.

So while you’re here enjoy the view
Keep on doing what you do
So hold on tight we’ll muddle through
One day at a time.

So up on your feet.
Somewhere there’s music playing.
Don’t you worry none
We’ll just take it like it comes.

One day at a time, one day at a time.

Many of the people in that room didn’t even remember that sitcom, much less the song. So, a chance for them to learn something new.

Even in the very first week of planning, this year has already thrown us some curve balls. We’ve gone from masks are recommended to masks are required no matter who you are and if you’ve had a shot. I’ll admit my chest and shoulders slumped when I heard we were masking again, but I had already seen it coming and brought my laundered masks to work. Life goes on. It does.

We will get through it. We will have to help each other. We will have to approach each morning with a fresh perspective. We will do the best we can. If we trip and fall, it’s up on our feet and at it again. Somewhere there’s music playing…

One day at a time. One hundred and eighty five to go.

mental health, perspective

Whispers

There were whispers amongst the group. Who will go? Who will stay? Where is so and so going? When will this shift happen? Why?

The Who. The What. The Where. The Why. The story of the W’s. The story isn’t really just about those W’s. It’s about the whispers. The W word most don’t fess up to. And while we mention whispers, it’s really not nice to whisper (period).

Why do people whisper? Why does another’s choice matter? In a recent conversation with my teen, the sexual choice of a young adult came up. Two sisters, twins by birth. One openly gay. One not. The openly gay announcement was recent. The backlash from parents and community was negative and far reaching. Why? The whispers. 

Does that young adult’s choice impact me directly? No. Why do I hear the whispers? It’s society. Preconceived values and expectations. Religious beliefs also play a role. So overwhelming for a young adult to process let alone live through it. Why would one stay and suffer? 

Then there is the sports field. The girl whose parents think she is a star but grossly overlooked. The parents complain. Again and again. The coach gives in. Play time is awarded to offer peace. The team suffers. Did this really just happen? Another child earned their spot. Their parent doesn’t complain. There are whispers. One leaves. One stays. Why? The whispers again. 

The shift in social setting. The friend that moves out of the circle. Just for space or personal growth. Is it a bad thing to focus on one’s growth? Of course not but the circle may take it personal and then whispers begin. Awkward to some. Stressful to others. Whispers are not nice I tell you.

Is it not obvious?  The whisperers can’t see that decisions are made because of actions made by others in most cases. Solo trips in any of the situations above may seem scary but yet they are the best option. If one stays in any situations noted above, the individual(s) will suffer. Taking a stand silently or through some form action shows strength. Inner peace. Confidence. The strength of flying solo and not caring what others whisper about.

For those who whisper, think about it. How would like to be on the other side of the whispers? 
Are you the whispering type of person or the one who steps out and flies solo when the need arises?