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…

Image result for stressed out person clip art

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:

Image result for jen sincero

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…

Image result for to do lists

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…

Related image

“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.

Too Much Polish?

Free printable Erma Bombeck quote

Everyone loves a clean house, I think.  Living with someone who seems to put a clean and orderly house as the highest priority, I see how it shapes my boys, especially my oldest.

Don’t get me wrong, keeping things clean and orderly has it’s place but when it results in your kids losing an element of their childhood because they are too worried to pull out toys and make a mess because they want to please a parent then something needs to change.

Personally, I sense I have lost most of my polish in the last 10 years.  Right now, the most polish to my day is my boys’ laughter and joy and soaking up as much of it as possible before orderliness sets back in at the end of the day.

I love the quote above by Erma Bombeck.  It’s the reminder to use all the resources and blessings and heartaches that God places in your path to grow, learn, love,  laugh and pray.  It definitely falls into the line of thought we teach our boys about eating which is, “We do not waste.”  God allotted each person 24 hours per day.  Those 24 hours represent our currency.  How we use it or do not use it reflects in our physical, emotional and spiritual selves.

Today’s Challenge: Do not let your pursuit of Polish distract you from the joys and lessons that the unpolished provide. Use every little bit that you are blessed with and be thankful! It’s too easy to miss those moments.

My Portion…

Image result for measuring cups

As someone who could classify herself as someone with a food addiction,
Portion is one of those words that immediately transports me to measuring out, counting and closely eyeballing food items.  It’s that effort that means you don’t end up  eating the whole package of whatever it is you opened or decided to treat yourself too.

Eating on the sly as I am prone to do only allows for one portioning typically, the whole package.  Thinking about this makes me want to expand my challenge to myself.  I did a month long challenge with my sister and best friend to do a 1 minute plank every day for thirty days. Today we are starting a 30 day sit up challenge.  While the sit up challenge is a healthy physical challenge I am inclined to add the challenge of only eating if I am going to sit down at the kitchen table.  I do a lot of standing and snacking and eating as I work from home and chase my 3 boys during the course of the day.  It means my eating would inherently become intentional and there would be no more scarfing down of candy bars, cookies or coffee beverages during a car ride that is only 10 minutes long.  It adds the benefit of showing my boys that it is important to sit and eat and focus on what you consume instead of just mindlessly standing at the counter in the kitchen and snacking.

The other challenge is thinking of portion outside of the elements of food.  We are all entitled to a portion of happiness, challenges, pain, frustration, joy, exasperation, peace and all the emotions in between.  How we choose to focus on those emotions and react to them makes up our day.

Today’s Challenge:  What emotion are you going to put your focus on?  Whatever emotion it is, remember every emotion has a purpose and a function.  May your day be filled with more positive emotions than negative and may that be what you remember before you fall asleep.