awareness

Listen Again

Sometimes KT writes a line that really sticks with me. To be clear, many of her posts make me think differently and many prompt me to make a change in how I approach life or how I act. This is a little different…here’s my take on her recent post about listening and what a gift it is.

Here’s the line (and I encourage you to read the whole post): Listening is the greatest gift you can give to another human.

Being a more intentional listener found its way into my goals this year. A series of conversations made me realize that I don’t sincerely listen to people as often as I should. I reflected on the fact that although people ask me all the time “how are you?” and I answer, I don’t often ask them how they are. I’m often so caught up in what I’m doing I don’t even look up. I may make a brief comment but not much else.

What am I telling people as I just let them walk by? I don’t look them in the eye. Sometimes I don’t look up from what I am doing. Sometimes I probably seem annoyed at the interruption.

I’ve been trying to reverse since since it caught my attention. When I think about it, I take the time to put down what I am doing and ask the person how they are. And then follow up with another question.

What I have noticed is that more people than I realized are hungry to share. Excited to connect. They want to tell me a bit about how they are.

I thought I was a decent listener. Now I see that I need work. The invitations to listen are everywhere. How many have I blown off because I didn’t make time or was just too into what I was doing to notice them? From my friends, my co-workers, members of my family?

Among the other unfolding lessons, the pandemic has taught me that people matter more than pretty much anything else. We can’t replace people or the opportunities we have to share with them. I have missed many, but I am committed to doing better moving forward.

I’m also on the lookout for the people who are dropping out of sight. Who haven’t I heard from in a while? Different schedules and limited opportunities to be out and about make those happenstance meetings less frequent. Who is telling me through their silence that they may need a friend? Who can I text to check in with? Who can I lift up with a funny post, a quote, a kind word? Who can I (re)start a conversation with? As KT often says, hope is free.

The motto of the StoryCorps podcast is: listening is an act of love. Who can I love today by listening to them? Who can you?

dare to be different

Growth

This year I grew a lot. I physically grew a lot when I added that extra Corona cooped-up-all-day poundage. I grew emotionally when I battled the loss of many loved ones in isolation amidst a pandemic. I grew socially by deepening my connections with those around me. It was a growth year for me overall.

Growth doesn’t have to always do with money or wealth to define success. Growth happens in many stages of your life when you are most vulnerable. It’s the sweet spot of vulnerability that allows for the biggest growth to happen in my mind.

An area I challenged myself to grow this year was unlikely. Many shook their head in wonder, disbelief or just a bit of a why attitude. That’s okay. Let others wonder and watch while I grow. While I grow in many ways.

As my mindset shifts so do my priorities. As kids age, time frees up, and exploration begins. The mature adult in me gets to try to conquer new things that may have been out of reach with kids in tow or otherwise.

My future is bright for many reasons but one area I’m most excited about is growth. Look for future posts on growing from nothing to something. From something to big things. I am for sure a visionary. Hope you stay tuned for my growing tales.

It’s also a good sidebar note – when you grow others may notice. It may ignite a spark in them to level up. It could be your child. Your coworker. Your friend. Anyone observing from a distance. Growth can be infectious.

perspective

Eyes on You

How does it feel to have eyes on you?

Maybe it’s the person across the room attempting to flirt with you.

Maybe it’s the professor in class with a puzzled looked from a distance.

Maybe it’s your boss peeping your professional online profile?

Maybe it’s your coworker snooping on you on Facebook?

Or maybe it’s that nosy neighbor watching your comings and goings?

How does it feel to have eyes on you? Does it make you paranoid? Does it make you wonder why? Are you even remotely interested and do you have the audacity to ask why? Or do you just sit back and say have at it. It’s public information. I’m aware of that. Interpret how you wish. Your perception may not be my reality but I encourage one to peep anytime.

For me I’m the latter. If I’m so interesting that somebody needs to seek out my daily doings good for them and good for me. I’m relevant. I sparked curiosity. I piqued another’s interest. I saw the post below when I wrote this post and thought how funny and applicable it was.

I left a carrot for the taking. Did somebody bite or did many? That’s the mystery. It’s also the puzzle of how many times one bites.

I love life and writing about the ins and outs of people, places, things and situations. Life provides an abundance of writing inspiration. Thank you to all near and far who inspire me to write and do me, my way.

My adventures continue. Follow along as much or as little as you wish. As a writer I invite you into my world. How you perceive me, my value and my stories are completely at your discretion. Enjoy.

fitness and nutrition, health

6 Days

I finally made it back to the gym for 6 consecutive days. This used to be the norm for me pre-corona.

It took almost 100 days total to get back to routine. That is a long time. Now it’s time to continue the consistency path and add my extra conditioning on top of the gym to get back to pre-corona shape.

For those of you who know what this picture is, you know closing the rings is key. My rings are not set at factory setting either. They are set for me to achieve high each day to challenge myself.

I don’t close them everyday but I do put in effort to review and see what I missed or didn’t miss. It’s a great accountability tool to self-manage or manage with friends through challenges.

I love my Apple Watch and it’s a valuable part of my fitness and healthy living plan. As I approach 50 years of age I find it’s ever so important to move my body. An active lifestyle has many health benefits. Many of which I will save for another post.

For now celebrate my 6 days of hard work with me so I can be motivated to do six more sets of six days for consistency.

Today‚Äôs workout is posted above. It’s a Monday. The workout has burpees in it. I have such a love / hate relationship with burpees. The point is I don’t like every movement in this workout but in order to stay fit I need to do the movements that make me most uncomfortable.

Growth always happens when you test your limits! Happy Monday.