Sunday, August 29, 2010

It Was A Good Week To.....

Photo credit: Michal Marcol

1.  Finish 31DBBB.  Over two weeks ago I fell behind on keeping up with the group participating in the 31DBBB challenge.  What I learned from falling behind is that there is only so much you can keep up with, and that falling behind wasn't going to prevent me from learning the rest of the exercises.  I spent the rest of the week reviewing the lessons, and even though I feel I'm not yet advanced to actually apply some of the tasks, I wanted to know what still needs to be done.  I've updated my 31DBBB badge to reflect a "survivor" and now moving on, will slowly learn towards becoming a better blogger.

2. Sit outside in the park.  Early in the week there was a wonderful cool breeze blowing through the afternoon.  I was having a bit of a stressful day, and so we packed our chairs and headed for the nearest park.  We set up under a shaded tree and I brought along a radio which we listened to (softly).  Something about being near the trees absorbs stress, and as the breeze tickled my face I felt the pressure relaxed and my spirits lifted.  I thought about nothing except being present in the moment.  It was all that mattered.

3. Watched a DVD.  Later in the same week there were a couple of days where our weather temperature hit the triple digits!  We took care of all our errands early, and came home to watch an old sci-fi movie the rest of the day.  Staying out of the heat, we kicked back, ate our sandwiches, and just "chilled out."

4. Be inspired to make a new video.  I like to watch people's creativity when making their own, custom music video on You Tube.  Since I learned how to use iMovie and iDVD this year, I suddenly became inspired to start a new project and make my own video with music in the background.  It adds to my skills and provides me a chance to become more computer savvy.  Once I complete my video and I find it satisfactory, I'll share it on a future post.

5. Have lunch with a friend I haven't seen in a while.   A good former co-worker friend of mine went to work for another company a few years ago, but we still manage to stay in touch through emails.  We share similar likes and dislikes when it comes to office politics and life in general, which makes our relationship friendly but not too prying.   I connected with her through Facebook when I finally got on Facebook this year, and we made arrangements to meet for lunch.  It was so marvelous to see each other and to bring each other up to date on what's been going on.  It was also healing for my part, because I don't often share the same kindred spirit with others as I do with her.  The time flew by and before we knew it, three hours had passed before we realized it was time to leave.  It was one of the best lunches I had in a long time.

Looking back on the good things that happened in your week helps you appreciate your successes no matter how big or small they are.  It is worth recognizing because: 1) it means you can say your week wasn't a total disaster, and 2) you were able to shift your attention away from feeling stressed to a more relaxed, agreeable, pleasant feeling. 

How was your week?  Feel free to share your good intents here and acknowledge your achievements.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's Your Purpose?

I had a little difficulty writing this topic in regular paragraph form.  It came as a poem instead.   The inspiration came from observing someone who has all the ingredients to live a comfortable life, yet there was something missing...... 

What's your purpose, do you know?
How can you answer, if you don't know.
You have what you want, what you thought makes you lucky,
Yet, why do you feel so blue and unlucky?
The answer to that lies deep within.
Go under the layers, not the top of the skin.
Listen real hard, for the answer is there,
It could be the one that makes you aware,
That you are a person, that can help others to
Be happier, healthier and appreciative too.
The persons who are unable to do it alone
Need someone like you, to help in their home,
Or maybe a visit, just to say hi.
They're very grateful that you stopped by.
A family that's hungry, no money to eat
Gets a box full of groceries, oh what a treat!
The dog or the kitty that's locked in the pound
Gives you those eyes, big, sad and round.
Your heart will melt and your eyes will tear
When they lick your face, from ear to ear.
The person with chemo, who cannot eat,
Loves your company, to fill the empty seat.
The crafts you make with precision and smart,
You give to the patient, with love in your heart.
The care package you send to the soldiers overseas,
Makes them happy, appreciative, and very pleased.
The firemen and policemen that protect our streets,
The EMT's, doctors, and nurses that do feats.
When you volunteer your help, they know they can count
On your sincere, kind services, without a doubt.
The smile you get back cannot compare
To the new shoes or jeans you no longer wear.
So you think you have it made, but not for long.
The others that have less, they've shown you they're strong.
So what is your purpose as you ask yourself tonight?
To make a difference with Love and to be their Light.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Could Have, Should Have, Would Have

This poem was inspired by a conversation that I was having with my significant other.  

I could have been outgoing,
But instead I turned out shy.
I should have been an artist,
But instead I didn't try.
I would have been more prettier,
But instead I turned out plain.
I could have better clothes,
But instead I just complained.
I should have been a long term worker,
Producing and doing well.
But instead they laid me off last year,
It hurts but you couldn't tell.
I should have been real angry,
I had the right to be.
I could have been depressed,
It would have made sense to me.
Instead the door had closed.
It was time to move on now.
I had to figure out what to do,
But I didn't quite know how.
I wrote the resume again
And practiced my interview skill.
I even learned to Twitter
And I volunteered at will.
I trusted that my brand new path
Would be better than before.
I focused on improving my attitude and skills,
And found strength in doing more.
I found comfort in my silence,
And listened to my soul.
I found love and joy and compassion and peace,
It's part of being whole.
Could have, should have, would have,
Does not change what's meant to be.
So I accepted and was grateful
To start new again and be free.

What we learn from any setback helps us to more forward.  This journey is about finding your strength.  Don't give up hope.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Some Fun Today

With all the news this week about jobs, unemployment, and the economy in general, I wanted to have some fun today!  I grew up watching these cartoons.  Brings back my childhood.  We need some humor this week.  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Complete What You Can

image by: graur razvan ionut

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey 

Can you believe I'm behind?  Last week I had one of the most busiest schedules that happened in a long while.  So busy that, unfortunately, I fell 5 days behind on my 31DBBB challenge.  I put all my effort to try to keep up, but, struggling with priorities is hard when you're not a super-energetic, super multi-tasking person (like I use to be when I was younger).

My week started with a scheduled follow-up meeting with my career counselor to discuss more job hunting strategies.  I needed to put more effort towards checking the job boards and using social media.  Then throughout the rest of the week, I worked three separate events at the hospital where I volunteer.  I didn't think I would be overwhelmed.  I was wrong.  The time I put in for these activities barely allowed me any energy left to check in on my blogging activities.

I have a tendency to be very demanding on myself and push myself too hard to complete a task.  If I allowed myself to end the day without completing my task, I would be upset and take a "failure to complete" attitude.  I had to finish what needed to be completed.  I was not comfortable with being backlogged.  That was the mindset that I accustomed myself to, and it was learned through the work environment from my previous job.

Now, I realize that it is not worth the extra pressure on my health and well-being to stress over something I'm not able to complete.  I had to stop making those kind of demands on myself, especially if it related to my personal life.  I changed my thoughts and began to commend myself on what I did accomplish.  If I couldn't get to the next task, then I would just do it the next day.  I completed what I could, and that's considered the achievement for me.

Looking back, there were two bright spots that came from my busy week.  My career counselor paid me a compliment that I was the first of his clients to actually start a blog.  And, at the end of the week, I got a job lead through a network connection for a part-time bookkeeper.

For the next few weeks I will be making some ongoing adjustments to accommodate job hunting, daily tasks, volunteer activities, and my blogging more comfortably.  I am striving to have a more manageable schedule.  

I'll be continuing the 31DBBB challenge by reading the chapters on my own.  It has been wonderful keeping up with the challenge and all the other great ladies participating.  I am not quitting; just learning in a more relaxed pace.

My lessons from last week:  

1.  Complete what you can and feel good about your progress.  
2.  Don't worry about what's left.  Finish the uncompleted tasks the next day, or start fresh all over again. 
3.  Give yourself permission to take a needed "break." 
4.  Make it a habit to see achievement and progress, not unfinished tasks.

How do you bloggers cope with a busy schedule?  Do you make the time to read other blogs, respond to comments, come up with new ideas for topics while maintaining all your daily routine activities?  Since I'm going to adjust my daily schedule, it would be most helpful to hear some of your great suggestions.  

Sunday, August 1, 2010

5 Ways to Rest, Retreat, and Recharge

A fully charged battery will always eventually lose its power.  The same thing happens to our motivation.  We operate and carry on doing our responsibilities until one day, there isn't any energy in us at all.  This happened to me last week.  Was it all the running around from doing errands and appointments?  Sure.  Was the weight of always being strong and dependable and positive all the time getting too heavy?  Yes, more likely than not.  Whatever the reason, it's time to stop and recharge.

Sometimes I feel like shutting out the world and curling up to be alone.  I acknowledge those feelings, yet I make an effort to try not to act on it.  For me, the better way is to try to distract myself by spending time with me.  Here are 5 ways that I do to rest, retreat, and recharge:

1.  Stay off the computer.  With all the email alerts, I have to read and clear so much from my incoming box everyday.  And now that I blog (which I love by the way), it can be more time consuming because of reading and creating and participating.  And with Twitter or Facebook, here's another area I have to check to see what's going on there.  Honestly, I think I spend as much time on the computer doing cleanup/followup, no wonder I'm overwhelmed.  I stay away from the computer.

2.  Get out and savor being YOU.  Get away and enjoy the scenery.  Go to the mall, or to the park or wherever its pleasant.  This moment is for You!  One thing I appreciate is going out to breakfast.  I find it refreshing and energizing to start the day with a good breakfast in a relaxed and laid-back environment.  Sit outside, if possible, and feel the cool morning air.  But do it for You!

3.  Talk with a friend.  We know that sharing your feelings with a good friend is therapeutic. Meet up at Starbucks or any favorite coffee place, where you can just chat.  You can distract yourself by listening to your friend's stories.  Have a good time with the company you have.

4.  Meditate.  I try to meditate daily.  Some people don't like to meditate because it's perceived that you have to sit for hours with your legs crossed and chant all day.  This is not the way I meditate.  I like to lie down in a comfortable position, close my eyes and listen to soft music.  I focus only on my breathing.  It helps lower my blood pressure and calms the noise in my head.  Your meditation could be as simple as working on a craft project, or tending the garden.  Whatever is best, do it for you.

5.  Surrender your thoughts to Heaven.  We're not alone in the Universe, and our Creator is with us all the time.  You don't need to wait for Sunday to pray.  Just ask for help anytime and let go of the heaviness.  God does the rest.  He does hear our prayers.

These are just a few of my ways to recharge, but everyone has their own.  Whenever you feel overwhelmed, please take a time out and help yourself get back on track.  It's the right thing to do.

I would love to hear your comments on what you do to recharge or escape.  Please feel free to share your thoughts below.

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