Thursday, January 18, 2018

My Positive Qualities #reflect52

I'm late! This is supposed to be a Wednesday prompt and here it is Thursday already. Wait? It is Thursday, right? Monday was a day off for me and the kids. Tuesday was the day I had to get everyone up on my own because Ken works early. Then we had the fire drill at work and I didn't get any work done. And Wednesday was when I had my doctor's appointment, and the kids had no school because of weather, and we had another fire drill. That makes today Thursday, right? Whew! I'm worn out!!

So now I'm frazzled about a crazy week, and I'm a day late with my prompt, and I have to think of nice things to say about myself?! What gives!!

1. I'm pretty easy going. I get stressed (if you haven't noticed) but I try not to panic too much. Things are going to change. Things are going to go wrong. On Saturday, I was proctoring tests for the  College of Education. About 20 minutes after we started signing people in, 20 of the computers just shut down! They were in the middle of the test and they just shut down. That's not good! My partner called tech support and got the solution underway. We reassured everyone that it would be okay. Thankfully, the students seemed fairly calm themselves and we didn't have any breakdowns. That may not have been the case if those in charge had panicked.

2. I am kind. I try to think of others and how they are feeling. I do my best to make sure the people I interact with come away from it with a positive feeling.

3. I like to laugh. I'm good at being silly and telling dumb jokes. I don't take things too seriously most of the time. Life is better when you're laughing!

4. I'm good at crafts. I enjoy working with my hands and creating projects. I especially love doing craft stuff with kids and just letting kids explore different materials.

That was a good brain stretch. It seems weird to think nice thoughts about yourself, and even more weird to write them down for public consumption. I guess it's something we should all do from time to time. A little introspection is good for the soul.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My Morning Routine #Reflect52

This is perhaps not the best time to write about this topic. I'm cold and yawning and my eyes are watering because I'm tired. I slept from about 9 last night until 3 this morning. I read for about an hour and then tried to go back to sleep. My sleep cycles have been messed up and it's been a long time since I slept straight through the night.

The result is that my mornings start much earlier than I'd like them to. I'm usually up for the day by 5, but not in the mood to get out of bed. My alarm goes off at 6, and today is the first morning since Christmas break that I actually needed to get moving at that point. The kids are finally back to a full day of school!

In the hour between waking up and getting out of bed, I have a number of options. I often think about getting up and starting some chores, but who am I kidding?! That's not going to happen. It would be nice to get up and have a leisurely breakfast, but I don't often feel like eating that early and I'm afraid that if I get up, I'll wake up the rest of the household.

I choose to stay in bed. Some mornings I read on my phone. Some mornings, I snuggle or chat with Ken. This morning's conversation started out with the question of whether he'd choose to give up tacos or hamburgers and somehow evolved into laughing about flying squirrels.

These are good, relationship building talks. Sometimes, when one or the other of us is feeling grouchy from lack of sleep they are a little harder to initiate. Those mornings, what I'd really like to do is for us to pray together. We don't do that often and we really should. I think it would make for a much better start to my day and his.

Ultimately, I need to get my sleeping patterns figured out. That will require making the doctor's appointment I've been putting off. Nothing to it but to do it, I guess.

OK, done. I've got an appointment in two weeks. That was certainly easier than I had expected and of course I feel silly for putting it off. Hopefully I can get some answers.

If I could at least sleep til 5 and then have prayer and conversation time with Ken, I'd be absolutely delighted.

What do you do first thing in the morning?

Monday, January 8, 2018

5 Ways to Keep Your Resolutions

Happy New Year! I'm sure your news feed, like mine, is full of health and wellness ideas, money management tips, and other types of changes you can make in the new year. People often see this time of year as a way to start anew with resolutions to make the coming year their best one yet!

I've written resolutions, made yearly bucket lists, and picked a word of the year many times in the past. My successes have been hit or miss on some things, but overall I think I'm a better person than I used to be and getting better all the time!

In the spirit of the New Year, here are 5 ways to help you keep any resolutions you may have made for yourself:

1. Set the right kind of goals: Losing weight, eating healthier, and saving more money are great goals, but you'll be more successful if you make your goals SMARTer.
SMART goals are things like: I will lose 12 pounds by the end of the year. I will save $25 from each paycheck and deposit into my savings account. I will try one new vegetable each week from the grocery store. SMART goals are more concrete and easier to keep. They are also easier to see success with and help motivate you to keep going!

2. Find an accountability partner: Surely you know someone else with similar goals to yours? Or maybe someone you feel close enough to for some intimate discussions. Share your goals with that person and give them permission to check up on you. No one wants to be the one to constantly ask their friends, "How's the weight loss going?" but when you give a friend permission, it makes things a lot easier on both of you. Maybe you can even work on your goals together. I think it's fun to challenge my kids with some of my goals. For example, letting them each pick a new food to try during the month.

3. Write it down: Make your goals obvious and write them down in a place you will see them. While you're at it, motivate your self with some inspirational phrases, posters, or Bible verses. Our priest recently quoted Philippians 4:13 during his homily: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Ken really felt pulled by that phrase and has it written down on a card in his Jeep. I took it a step further and cut it out on the Cricut to put on the bathroom mirror. Now we see it as we're getting ready in the mornings and as we're getting ready for bed at night.

4. Check in with yourself through appointments and reminders: Set a reminder on your phone calendar or write it in your planner. At the beginning of each month take stock of how you've down with your goals. Or pick your favorite number and use that date to check in. Go ahead and set up reminders for the whole year. That way to you don't have to think about it or make yourself remember.

5. Be graceful with yourself: True change doesn't happen over night. New habits take time to form, and old habits are hard to break. If you don't meet a goal one month, look at the progress. As long as you're moving forward, that's a good thing! You got this! You can do it!!

Want some more resolution reading? Check these out!

Karen of Baking in a Tornado has White Chocolate Raspberry Refrigerator Cheesecake.

Tamara at Part Time Working Hockey Mom has How to Stick to your New Year's Resolutions.

Jules of The Bergham Chronicles has New Year, Same Me.

Dawn of Spatulas on Parade has Keto Pizza Poppers.

Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments has ways to Invest in yourself and others in 2018.

Lydia of Cluttered Genius has Creative Therapy.

Friday, January 5, 2018

No Regerts

Have you seen the tattoo that says "no regerts?" It's pretty easy to Google. It makes me laugh. I think living with no regrets is a good idea. However, I also think spell check is a good idea. Especially when investing in something as permanent as a tattoo.

There are some decisions I've made in my life that I have gone back and thought about. The most recent one is the decision to sell our house. That turned into one fiasco after another. In all honesty there were times that I wondered if we should have just stayed where we were. But the reality is that we were squished. There wasn't a good way to add on to the house. The neighborhood wasn't what we wanted for our kids. We loved that house, but what we ultimately wanted couldn't be had there.

So in my good moments, I realize that we did need to move at some point. Maybe the timing could have been different? I've thought that one through too. Our need for space was only going to increase at that point. Kids don't tend to get smaller or take up less space! Should we have moved sooner? Maybe, but we weren't in a financial situation to make that work much earlier.

In the end after much back and forth, and bouncing thoughts and frustrations off other people, the conclusion that I've come to is this: when and how we moved would have caused upheaval and chaos no matter the timing. There's just no way around that. Moving a family of five is a hassle. We could have done things differently, but then different issues would have arisen.

Do I have regrets in life? Not really. All my choices have led to where I am, and I'm okay with that. Do I ever think about an alternate reality where another version of me made a different choice and is living a different life? Sure! Don't we all? I think it's safe to think about or day dream about; but wishing you lived in that alternate reality can become dangerous to your mental health, so it's best to remember who and where you really are and find the things you appreciate about this reality. You can't take two paths. You have to pick one and make the best of it.

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 10 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado
Never Ever Give Up Hope
Cognitive Script

Part-time Working Hockey Mom
The Bergham Chronicles
My Brand of Crazy
Southern Belle Charm
The Blogging 911

 My subject is "If you pick one crossroad in your life to go back and make another choice which would it be and why?" It was submitted by
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