Improving Your Life – Week 2

Following along with Sue at It Goes On, we are in week two.

The extended version can be found on this link. She explains what the exercise is intended to do, and the reason behind it.

1) This week, step one is to write a positive affirmation in the present tense.

2) Write that affirmation on little cards you can carry with you to read throughout your day.

3) List three steps that you are going to take in the next week to begin working on developing this quality that you wish in your life.

I have many, but I will start with this baby step that has overwhelmed me far too long.

I will create an organized home environment

The three steps I will take

1) Make a list and prioritize the items I wish to accomplish. I will keep my tendency to become overwhelmed in check.

2) I will actually look at the list, reassessing the priorities daily.

3) I will remind myself that I am capable.

After last weeks exercise to list positive accomplishments I achieved over the past year, I’m continuing to think of my accomplishments—I haven’t added to the list—still thinking.

I know where my struggles are, and I will face them head on–with confidence. (that would be a fourth step, but I’m okay with that).

Wishing success to any who are also participating in the exercises.

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A small portion of my list of thanks

Aha! Just as I was about to purchase some Christmas candy, look what I found stashed. 6K2A2026

Pumpkin shaped gumdrops (spice drops).  Yum!

Between the pumpkins and the candy canes, I realized the calendar shows that next week is Thanksgiving. I guess I’m not very prepared this year, but I certainly have a long list of thanks.

As my thoughts wander to Thanksgiving and all that I have to be thankful for, the friends I’ve made through WordPress, are on my list.

Facebook is so ugly, and it appears to be one-sided. I make comments on Facebook exactly as I would face-to-face…with respect.

Honestly, the real reason I blog?

My daughter told me my Facebook status updates were too long. :D

Another little thanks to the new neighbor and her bushwhacker yard man. All the vegetation he removed from her yard was dumped on our property. The bushwhacker is taking care of that today. Arguing with a neighbor is far worse than an overheated, questionable, name calling discussion on Facebook with my friends.

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Thoughts on parenting—or nonsense?

I’m going with the nonsense.

The garage door of shame we waited a month to have fixed, has now been installed, and I managed to caulk the joints and paint before it got too cold—except for the trim. The instructions on the paint can were to avoid painting if the temperatures fell below 40F degrees. It was going to be colder than 40, so I placed that project on hold for a bit.

The door almost looks like the other door, except the fake fancy schmancy handles and hinges that adorn our garage doors. I don’t know who the builder was trying to fool, because the door obviously rolls up, it does not open like a regular double door, but I kind of like the added touch.

Each door has four hinges and two handles. On the door I smooshed in, one of the handles broke in two. I’m not sure if that was something I did, or if it was the repairman. To my surprise, the things are made of some type of ceramic or concrete material, not metal.

I had to go on a hunt for a new handle, but I took along a hinge just in case. My hunt consisted of one store because I refuse to drive all over the place to find what I’m looking for. The Home Depot is one of my favorite stores, so I went to the nearest one.

Guess what? Those smart companies which produce adornments for garage doors, do not package one handle for sale, one must purchase an entire set. The sets I had to choose from didn’t match the originals, so I had to buy two sets. I got close to the same shape as the original, but it would be quite apparent that the doors didn’t match if I only replaced the doodads on one side.

We also have a garage door for our cats to come and go to the potty zone in the garage. Our interior garage door isn’t up to code with the cat hole, because the door is fireproof in case a fire starts in the garage. A fire may make it through the walls and ceiling, but the door will still be standing. :/

We will have to replace the door when we move.

With the grandkitties and my cats, their weights range between 5.5 pounds to 18 pounds. The 18 pounder is part Maine Coon–he isn’t fat, he’s simply big, and has a ton of floofy hair. Here he is with our daughter.

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During the cold spell, the big guy dashed through the cat door, and broke the flap to the door completely off its hinges. All that frigid weather flowed into our house until my husband installed a door for Large cats.

For some odd reason, I felt better about myself for running into the garage door.

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Awake and cognizant

While my performing my morning neck rejuvenating exercises to take the kinks out before I get out of bed, I repeat the same words every morning. “Today, I’m going to do the best I can, find some joy, and never give up”.

A strange feeling came over me. My thoughts weren’t as foggy. There wasn’t any hopping out of bed bursting out in song; “Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.” Woohoo! “because I’m happy—dammit“.

No, I shuffled into the bathroom, to grab my bathrobe, feeling every ache and pain as a result of my poor choices to avoid exercising and healthy eating.

However, I felt better than I have in nearly two years.

As with many, many blog posts that are relegated to the draft folder, the few I started this morning ended there as well.

I’m in a new place, and I’m trying to figure it out.

When I figure it out, I hope I have something worthy of your time to read.

because I’m happy♫ bahahahahaha!

 

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When the leaves finally fall

It’s pretty blustery today. I really don’t like these kind of days.

The other day, it was cold, the wind chill making it even colder. I was on the upside of frustration, and reminded myself to let it go for a few moments. The sun was out, and the sky was a perfect blue. I noticed the leaves gently falling from the trees, and thought I’d take a cool-down-time-out.

So…I grabbed one of the afghans I have knitted that is huge enough for some serious body wrapping. I sat on the deck and  watched the leaves fall. Beautiful and peaceful at the same time, a great way to release my frustration.

The moment ended after a relic discovered by the grandpuppy, was dropped at my side. The treasures she digs up are always met with trepidation. One of the Civil War battles was fought right around the corner-and-some from us. Our kids say our house in haunted, but I’ve never experienced any unusual happenings. Who knows, maybe some of the troops walked the land our house is built on.

The relic she found was an old, rotten, smelly tennis ball. She ended up with a good lesson in patience as I made her sit while I brushed her teeth.

I wish I had a picture of the leaves gently falling because it was so beautiful. I’ve tried to photograph falling leaves. If it can be done with the background blurred at the same time, in order to see the leaves suspended in air, I haven’t discovered the technique yet.

Now—for today.

What can I find beautiful? I hope you find something.

Oh! Wait! WordPress has given me a photo. 🍃

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52 Weeks to improve my life

This will be a challenge for me because it’s 52 straight weeks. I’m struggling to accomplish thirty random days to accomplish a goal.

My friend Sue, over at It Goes On is working through a book of 52 weeks to improving your life. You can read her description of the process to reach the goal of improving your life, here. She is a kind soul, and describes the exercise far better than my foggy brain can at the moment. Anybody wanting to work along with us are welcome, you don’t have to feel pressured to blog about it, do whatever feels right for you.

Since I can only go up from here, I thought I would participate along with her. The exercises are intended to help be the best you, and to learn to love and accept yourself.

The first week’s task is to list 25 things that we have accomplished over the past year that have grown us as a person or can be seen as positive in some way.

It’s a huge challenge for me because for every accomplishment I wrote down, my mind followed with a but. I must start somewhere, and this is it.

1) I made it through more than a year long bout of depression. I learned a lot about myself in the process.

That should be a big enough list, because this was a monumental task for me.

But I did it. :D

I can’t actually come up with 25 accomplishments, but I figure whatever number I reach is a step forward.

2) I flew in an airplane not under the influence of anxiety medications.

3) I was able to support my husband when he lost his father this year. I thought I was drained, but I pulled through for him when he needed me most.

4) Went on a couple of photography group events, learning some new techniques, and tips to improve my skills.

5) I have overcome quite a bit of my anxiety, and I continue to learn to talk my way through triggering events.

6) I forgave someone I should have a long time ago.

7) I accepted grief for what it is, and how to live in spite of our losses.

8) I took charge of my own mental health care, I have been a compliant patient, and have learned just how strong my determination is.

9) I finished knitting a blanket for one of my loaner grandkids. I mailed it too!

10) I gained 8 pounds. Not very encouraging, but a reminder to me to use that grazing time for more positive actions.

11) I got out of bed every day.

12) I set some long-term goals.

13) I started to hear what others are saying. Listening wasn’t enough.

14) I completely uncluttered one room and painted it, as well as painted one bathroom.

15) I organized my yarn hoard.

16) I learned some new photography post processing techniques.

17) I reminded myself to continue to look for beauty each day.

18) I lived one more year with no evidence of disease–doctor talk for cancer free.

After number 1, number 11 on my list was a huge accomplishment. It meant that I didn’t give up. Number 18 is a gift.

I have grown to understand that I am a worthy person. I had a bunch of nasty negative thoughts I had to let go of. In the words written by A. A. Milne, I’m braver than I believe, stronger than I seem, and smarter than I think.

 

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That thing you do

The more I feel like I’m coming back to life, the less I want to say.

Partly, the new cocktail I’m on is still making me a bit stupid. While writing seems to make sense for the most part, my face-to-face conversations are quite comical. Thankfully, my doctor is helping me work on that adjustment.

I wonder about the different aspects of my personality. I didn’t learn how to be personal with my kindness. I have performed random acts of kindness, I let people in front of me in the grocery line, and many others things, but never for recognition. I would give my last dime to someone in need. Because it’s part of who I am.

Empathy and compassion? I have tons of it. Kindness with a personal touch–when a person gives of themselves and knowing the perfect thing to do–that’s a bit elusive to me. The tiny personal thing that makes a huge difference in the lives of others.

That special personal act of honoring or making someone feel special.

My brother loved his guitars, and had several. When his fingers became too numb from diabetic neuropathy, he gave a guitar to our oldest, who shared his love of playing the guitar.

On a visit my husband took to Seattle, our oldest son, daughter, and my husband decided to visit the grave sites of my brother and dad.

As the three left the grave of my brother, our son placed a guitar pick on the top of my brother’s gravestone.

Our daughter puts flowers on the grave of my sister.  She does it for me.

That’s the kindness I lack, but it doesn’t mean it has to remain that way. As I continue on my journey of learning to be kind and respectful of myself,  I hope the rest falls into place.

 

 

 

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Thursday’s Sarcasm

The thing I wish for most.

!BRAIM3

Photo obtained from the Brain Injury Resource Center http://www.headinjury.com/brainmap.htm

A brain.

A fully functioning brain.

One void of selective memory and the extra space I use to hide all the things I don’t want to think about. Ha! That must mean I have a larger brain than most, because I store a lot of crap in there.

One can’t buy a nice new brain, but some of us need to use more of what we have, by clearing the cobwebs and cutting the crap.

Stimulate our brains with new information.

So, that’s what I will be doing today–observing my thoughts.

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this old dog is seriously trying to learn new tricks

As I continue with my 30 random days to organized chaos, this is not a progress report.

I have made zero progress, however I have leaned new tricks to avoid and procrastinate. I’ll have to say, many of my excuses are pretty creative.

I have also learned that I must have paper lists, sticky notes, and my little daily note cards that I can visually watch disappear as I accomplish a task. I know I haven’t tried every App available , but I’m certainly unable to follow the routine I’ve set for myself via computer.

Brain farting at its best.

Computer distraction at its best.

ADD at its best.

April at her worst, but determined to find a system that works.

 

 

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Jibbering

Just a little rambling while playing musical dogs. This is what I call the separation of one old Mastiff, and one exuberant 1-year-old Australian Shepherd (apparently the small size). We switch between cage, outdoors, and living among the humans. A herding type dog, which we are trying to train to stop nipping at our heels, is not very wise when she nips at the heels of a 110 pound dog with strong legs and a jaw that could engulf exuberant dog’s head. Our mastiff may be old, but she still has bursts of strength which has taken me off my feet, dragging me on the ground in her wake.

Recently, I read a question on a blog, a Facebook post–not really important. The question was do you talk to yourself?

I used to talk a lot inside my mind with poisonous words such as, what a freakin’ idiot you are, you can’t do anything right, you’re a failure, nobody cares what you say.

And on it went until I learned to block those thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts–or what I have accomplished. I can tie my own shoes–victory!

However, I do talk to myself, sometimes not realizing it. When I have my orders for the grocery shopping mission—get in-get out, I will quietly say to myself, okay, what’s next. I follow my orders, which are written according to where things are located in the store. It shortens my mission. I’ve learned from my wise therapist this could be considered obsessive behavior–hmmm–don’t care.

Anyway, the question has been on my mind because I also talk to my cats as if they can understand me. I guess it makes me feel better that I’m actually talking to a breathing being.

While on my recent grocery mission, scanning the shelves quickly to find what I needed, I heard the woman behind me speaking to herself. Not so quietly either.

I almost laughed out loud, making my mission a little more pleasant.

How about you, do you talk to yourself out loud?

 

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