Wishing for a Loophole

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There are days when things get added  on and all I can think is that I am ready to tap out.  That’s where I am at today.  I remind myself that God does not give me more than I can handle and all I can think is that my plate is darn near close to overflowing already, can a girl get a Loophole out of her reality for just a moment?

Maybe it’s that my mind needs a vacation more than the loophole.

Today’s Challenge:  There are all sorts of resources for self care and taking time for yourself.  That whole concept of self-care is my challenge to you today.  Try tapping into at least one thing even if it is only for 5 minutes that gives you some sense of peace and allows you to break away from all the comings and goings of your mind.

If you have more than 5 minutes today, tomorrow or anytime, I would offer up this sermon series, especially part 2 once they post it.  Pastor Matt talks about how we have to wonder in the wilderness before reaching our destination because there are things to be learned in the journey.


Carving Time…

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Something I struggle with and can remember struggling with since I was young, was the sense that things had to be all or nothing. Examples:

  1. If I am going to exercise, I need to do it all in one session.
  2. If I am going to open a bag of M&Ms, then I may as well eat all of them.
  3. If I cannot complete the whole task in one fell swoop, then I need to wait until I have the time to do it all at once.
  4. One rough/bad/fill in the blank interaction with my boys makes the whole day bad.

Take your pick.  While for many, the start of a new calendar year is the chance to change things, make resolutions, start over, I realized that in finally stepping from the shadow my life and I had become in the last 10 years was the start of a my new year.

It was bumpy.  It was rocky.  It was full of self doubt and self criticism.  Self respect had left me for a permanent vacation.

But over the past few months, I slowly let go of the doubt.  I try to look at the rockiness as a right now situation not a permanent reflection of my future.  The self criticism diminished because I walked away from the voice feeding it.

Self respect is slowly returning from it’s long sabbatical.  Thank God for my family and all the come to Jesus moments they provide me.

One of the things that has helped me most is realizing that my exercising does not have to be one long cardio session.  Right now, just some basic sets of push ups, crunches and stretching, while it does not seem significant to many, for me it is a little bit of self care that has gone a long way in re-igniting my self respect.

Some other Thank You’s go to Pastor Matt at The Gathering for offering up the Face It Sermon Series:

Listening to his sermon last Sunday was exactly what I needed to hear.  One of the things he talked about was how with resolutions everyone wants to add something, like:

  1. Eating Healthy
  2. Losing Weight
  3. Exercising
  4. Writing a book

But in the push to start a new habit, rebuild a habit or just try something new, we do not think to ask ourselves, what do I need to remove from my life to make this new thing happen.  That in and of it’s self was a very condemning moment for me as I have realized that there are so many little bits and pieces of my day that end up in the waste because of my all or nothing mentality.

A second thank you goes to The Hockey Mom Fit Life Blog:

The Hockey Mom Fit Life

I have been following her blog for awhile.  As a mother of three boys, all under 5, reading about how she manages to fit in her boys and husband’s hockey schedules, work and exercise is an inspiration to me.  It’s the reminder to me on an almost daily basis that if she can manage to fit all those things into her day, then I can certainly fit 10-15 minutes of simple basic stretching and exercise into my day, even if it is only 5 push ups at a time.

So much of life today is about going non stop and not wanting to miss an opportunity but in the midst of that we miss too much.

Today’s Challenge: Can you Carve out a piece of time for yourself? Pause for as long as you can, whether it is 1 minute or 5 minutes or more.  What do you want for yourself?  What do you want your life to look like?  Set your goals based on that and  maybe it means subtracting things from your life instead of adding.

Moving Forward…

One of the most amazing chemical reactions people see on some kind of regular basis is the oxidization of copper.  When that bright, shiny copper roof goes onto a building or a copper metal sculpture is created, the copper reflects the sun and shows all the promise of what is to come.

As time passes and the copper stays exposed to the elements of sun and water, the copper reacts by creating a lovely green Patina with only hints of the bright shiny copper it started out with in the beginning.

As I left my 8th grade reunion Saturday evening, I realized that we all have a patina that develops as each year passes.  There are hints of who we were as children.  Innocence, curiosity and the sense we are invincible.  The comfort in shared memories regardless of how old and in the reminiscing realizing that how we saw our selves is very rarely how others saw us.

As time passes and we are exposed to the elements of love, hate and everything in between our feelings and reactions create our memories of a moment or event and change how we perceive ourselves, people around us and our environments.  With the patina that we allow to layer over our emotions and feelings, it effects our reactions and behaviors.  The beautiful thing I realized about shared childhood memories is that it allowed me to remember who I was and reminded me of all I could be, even at the age of 37.  Since, I am working on finding myself again after 11 years of negativity, the chance to sit around and visit with old friends and my best friend who lives out of town was exactly what I needed as I work to move forward in making the best out of myself and providing the best possible childhood for my three boys.

Today’s Challenge:  As the movie UP says, “Adventure is out there!”.  Go find your adventure, big small, far away or local.  Sometimes the biggest adventure for some people is to be still while for others it is to talk to a stranger in the grocery line.  Whatever your adventure, go for it!

Body by Me…

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One email subscription I signed up for several years ago is entitled Body by Buck triggered me to begin thinking about this post and combining several thoughts that have floated through my consciousness and subconsciousness over the last few weeks.

Mainly that the body God blessed me with and entrusted into my care has fallen into disrepair.  From top to bottom, physically, my muscle tone diminished from lack of exercise.  My cardio stamina is at the bottom, also due to lack of exercise.  My knees are getting temperamental due to weight gain, also due to lack of exercise and poor (and by poor I mean horrible) eating choices.  I’m sure you get the picture.  Over the last five years, I attributed all this to having our first son, then our second son, then our third son. It’s been easy to say I am doing the best I can with what I have but in the back of my mind there is that inkling that maybe I have not utilized the most precious currency any of us have: time.

Unfortunately, I allowed the physical disrepair to occur internally and failed to respect myself and demand respect from the people closest to me.  Without talking to a counselor or being diagnosed, I am pretty sure I fall into the categories of low-self esteem, depression, quick to anger, high state of anxiety even when things are rolling along ok, frustration and a high level of negative self talk (which is just a nice sounding way to say, self-hate talk).

As I have read Jen Sincero’s book:

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The biggest calling I feel pulling at me is to follow through on my weight loss goal and really do it instead of just pretending.  I know the words to say and actions to take but my follow through stinks.

I’ve heard the phrase, “Fake it ’til you make it” many times but not until recently in reading the book above did it finally hit me, that’s what I have to do to reach my weight goals.

Essentially, my affirmation of “I am a strong, healthy vibrant woman” sounds great when I say it to myself in my head.  I’ve been missing the follow through which is means that I need to think about how that looks in my every day life.  How can I apply the fake til I make it?

Off the top of my head it looks something like the following:

  1. pick up my hand weights and even if I only do 5 reps of some kind of exercise it’s more than what I was doing before
  2. it means that if I want abundant energy, when my first response to the question of “How are you doing?” is typically, “Tired” then I need to change that to “Great!  I have tons of energy!”  (sounds cheesy but that’s the kind of energy I want to attract, I am tired of attracting tired stuff into my life)
  3. it means drinking more water than coffee because the coffee just prevents me from sleeping well and aggravates my stomach
  4. it means speaking up for what I want instead of handing over the authorship of my life story to everyone except my true and authentic self
  5. it means getting over my lame excuses and again, following Nike’s advertisement, “Just do it”
  6. make my life Flavorful because the smile of the woman in the picture at the top of my blog is how I want to feel inside and out

Today’s Challenge: Pick one thing that seems to be holding you back.  Why is it preventing you from living your best possible life?  Then, kick those excuses to the curb and do what is needed to change your perspective on moving past that obstacle because truth be known, as I am still learning, when it’s all said and done, that obstacle is not nearly as big as it seems right now once you are on the other side of it.

To Do or Not to Do…

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Over the last few months, I came to the realization that my Penchant for reading has gotten me into some trouble.

Now, as an English major, you will never hear me say that reading is bad and that is not what that first statement is about.  I am all about curling up on the couch or in a comfy spot and reading until my eyes are dry and blurry and I can’t take it anymore.  What I am saying is that ever since I can remember, I always carried a book to read with me for the times when there was nothing going on and to keep myself busy.  Again, this is not a bad habit.  But over the course of my life, reading I came to realize most recently is my escape from dealing with real life.

It started with reading the book below over 2 years ago:

Image result for Secrets of a Former Fat Girl: How to Lose Two, Four (or More!) Dress Sizes--And Find Yourself Along the Way

At one point in her book, she challenges you to get mighty real with how you spend your time, down to minutes.  While I did not do the down to the minute calculation of what I spend my time doing, I realized that my go to habit of reading had become something more than just when I had a few minutes of down time.  It took up a large chunk of time and resulted in missing out on time I could have been playing with my boys or sneaking in a few minutes of  sit ups or push ups or squats or some other type of exercise.

Then, a co-worker who I admire for her seemingly no nonsense, confident personality gave me a copy of Jen Sincero’s:

You Are a Badass

I have been reading this book off and on over the past  10 months since my co-worker gave me the copy of the book.  I am near the end of it but it has been a wonderful read and call to actually get up and do what I know I need to do to reach the goals I want to reach.

My penchant for reading is not bad but I have allowed it to take over all my extra little minutes and some of my non-extra minutes.

I also have become addicted to Pinterest in the last year or so and this too has sucked up and sucked away many minutes that were extra and not extra.  I knew that it was a great place to get ideas and ideas only carry you as far as you are willing to take them.  This connection finally slapped me upside the head.  It dawned on me that I will not get where I want to go physically by sitting around and reading motivational pins and articles and posting them on my boards.  I have to get up off my butt and perform the actions needed to reach my physical goals.

Silly as it sounds, at the ripe age of 36, this connection that came about with Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign finally took root in my mind.  Exercise and self improvement does not have to be done at a scheduled time for a specific length of time.  My issues with control gave me the perfect excuse to skip over what I know I needed to do to get my desired physical results.  As a stay-and-work-from-home mom & wife, it means that those 5 minutes in between tasks, or waiting on dinner to cook or I hit my afternoon slump is the perfect time to bust out some exercise to help me reach my physical goals.

This epiphany I have had about “Just Do It” also translated to the realization that the ultimate form of self-care I can do for myself is to eat healthier and get that exercise in at those random moments and at the not so random moments that I can plan.

Today’s Challenge:  Reading takes you to an unlimited number of places and expands your horizons but remember to reel yourself back in to your day to day reality and go after your own dreams and goals.  Don’t use it to avoid difficult situations because then you feel guilty about reading and NO ONE should ever feel guilt about reading!

Do Not Feel Free…

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“Do not feel free…To pee” you think as you frantically work to get those side tabs open on the diaper after you stubbed your toe on your other child’s bed frame at 2 am with grit in your eyes that does not let you open them all the way.  All you know is that if you are quick, the little one will go back to sleep and so can you.  And you so desperately need to sleep for at least 3 more hours because you have only been asleep for 2.

In that moment where anyone who has ever changed a diaper has that thought, “Please don’t pee right now”.  It’s that moment as an adult, parent or not, that you whip that diaper off and quickly work to get the new one on before the little one you are changing decides it’s a great time to potty right now.  Whether that moment is at 2 pm or 2 am, all you know is if the little one potties right now, it triggers a chain of events that usually are not what you were hoping for when you started the process.

A Symphony of prayer and motion from start to finish that you hope stays uneventful until everything is strapped back on and tucked back in.

Either way, happy diapering and remember that if you can get through putting the diaper on without incident, it counts as a win.

Today’s Challenge:  Savor the little moments and victories because that is what makes up the tone of your day and the energy you will attract to yourself from the Universe.