It’s Who We Are

One thing I learned right off the bat is the more you think you know about a certain topic, you really don’t know that much. What I also learned is that if you are willing to admit this and are open to acquire more knowledge people are willing to offer up that knowledge to you. It takes a great big leap of humbleness to get to that place of admitting your “downfall” but it can be full of enlightenment. I went to a conference recently in which I shared a house with seven women. We are all at different walks of life, and we have opinions that sometimes match, and sometimes not, and due to this fact the conversations can get interesting. This is also the time, if you are good at this, in which staying quiet and just listening to what is said around you can help you to see the what it is that make people tick.

This also brings up to topic of people watching. It is so interesting to watch people as they walk by. What are they thinking? Where are they going? What causes them to have the expression they have on their face? Are they good people? When you are at this type of conference you hope that the people that are here with you are also good people only for the fact that they have jobs that require them to advocate for the pets that they care for. While I was sitting waiting for my next class to start, I had the privilege to sit with a friend who I hadn’t had the chance to talk to for a long time. In so many ways she was the same sweet person, the change that I noticed the most was the confidence she had in herself. When I first met her she was just starting out in the vet medical world and didn’t know much, just like me. Now we both have had kids, have been in the field for years, have had some of the same experiences with much different outcomes, and we have matured and grown through the life stages.

Time and experiences will really make you see what kind of person you are. I once said to someone that I feel as though I really am not a nice person because I tend to get frustrated a lot when things are done the right way. After I said that I realized that I was letting the small things get to me. That I wasn’t allowing people to be people, that I wasn’t taking into consideration that they may just be having a bad day. Then I realized further that I get frustrated at myself a lot too because I don’t give myself slack. People walk through life either trying to survive it, or thrive through it. As I learned more about the women I share the house with, and the friend I finally got to visit with, I realized that there was surviving with a bunch of thriving thrown on top. People will project to the world what they want the world to see, thus the interest in people watching, but when you get down to the heart of it’s about the why of life, and putting the importance on that. Until next time:

Caterpillars have to dissolve into a disgusting pile of goo to become butterflies.

So if you’re a mess wrapped up in blankets right now, keep going

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Rae’s New Shine Children’s Book

One day Rae woke up and felt different. When she looked at the people around her they seemed to “shine brighter” than she did. When she finally prayed about it and asked her mom for help, she realized she didn’t know her own worth. She didn’t believe in herself and felt dim compared to others. Once she started to see she was talented and worthy her shine came back.

$12.00

Be Still, Be Like a Child

This couldn’t be happening, I had already seen how destructive this way of thinking was to the people around me. I was starting to see it seep into my own life, and knew if I wasn’t careful, the thoughts would overtake me like it had in the past. It was so easy to let it happen, especially when the effects didn’t seem too bad. But deep down I knew that little by little cracks would happen in the foundation I had worked so hard to reinforce.

Another Saturday in the books, scrolling and watching reels and looking at what people posted instead of being productive and present with the family. It is so easy to pick up the phone and hit the app that will make you forget that you have things to do. The goal was to start unplugging more and finding ways in which creativity will blossom, and so with a new day the goal is set again. Negative thoughts help make way for excuses to be made when positive ideas can be accomplished. So the choice needs to be made to squash the negative and work towards the positive.

Enter the UNO card game. Teenagers can be a fickle group, one minute they are in their rooms for hours on in, in a zombie-like trance, the next minute they get into the game closet and pull out the UNO cards to play with whoever is available. Today it was my two teenage daughters. My middle child is usually the zombie in the room while my eldest is the zombie on the couch. With each card that is played trash talk is said and laughter ensues. It’s music to my ears, loud music but music non the less. They are being present and having fun. There are no negative thoughts happening. Every so often they look back at where I have camped out to see if there is a reaction to a comment made. What they don’t see is that my heart is swelling with joy at the fact that they are having fun.

Have you ever noticed that when an adult let’s go of the adult life for a little bit and acts and plays like a child they tend to have so much fun? Being an adult is hard, so when the chance arises to be childlike it is liberating. Problems can be forgotten, and critical thoughts vanquished. The last few Sundays my eldest daughter and I got to teach Sunday school. This weeks lesson was about how Jesus calmed the storm. So of course we found a blue blanket and had the kids hold onto the edges of it and when they were told to flop it up and down like a storm they had so much fun doing it. When “Be Still!” was yelled out they had to stop flopping. We then let one kid at a time sit under the blanket so that they could yell “Be Still!” whenever they wanted. The craft was then to make waves out of streamers so that they could run around waving the streamers and would have to freeze when “Be Still!” was yelled. I didn’t once think about work, outside life, or troubles. I was able to act like a kid for an hour plus. It’s no wonder that Jesus said “let the little children come to me” in the simplest form kids have the greatest of faiths and don’t have a care in the world. They trust wholeheartedly and love easily. This is how the foundation of my life is reinforced, to try and love and have joy like a child. When critical thoughts, cynical acts and negative emotions come streaming in, I have to remember in this storm Christ is saying “Be Still”, if I can pay attention to his words then all will be quiet and joy flows. Until next time:

Please don’t ever get tired of being a good person with a good heart. I know it sucks being taken advantage of and feeling like it’s better to be cold hearted sometimes. But people like you are what give this world hope.

Dhar Mann

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Rae’s New Shine Children’s Book

One day Rae woke up and felt different. When she looked at the people around her they seemed to “shine brighter” than she did. When she finally prayed about it and asked her mom for help, she realized she didn’t know her own worth. She didn’t believe in herself and felt dim compared to others. Once she started to see she was talented and worthy her shine came back.

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The Next Few Steps

One foot in front of the other, really that’s all it would take.  But there was more to it, there would be getting into the car, and actually turning it on so that she could get to the destination she was aiming for.  Why was this so difficult she thought?  It is literally talking to someone and asking them a favor.  It wasn’t like she was asking them for their first born child.  But still she sat.  She had made it to her car, but then sat there convincing herself that she could drive where she needed to go.  Then she had an idea, since she wasn’t going any where at the moment why not look up the websites for the businesses she had to visit.  Maybe if she knew more about the owners and what the businesses actually sold it would make this process easier.   It didn’t take long for her to realize that she was stalling, so she started the engine and drove to the park that she planned to park at.  Both stores were within walking distance of each other so that would give her a chance to walk and pray.  The butterflies in her stomach were fluttering wildly, but she knew that if she wanted to move forward the next few steps had to happen.

Shortly after she had finally finished her tasks, she realized that life had gone on.  She had the relief in knowing she had accomplished what she set out to do.  She also realized she had to be ok if the people she talked to were not interested.  Still, she called her husband and let him know how everything went.  She didn’t realize it at the time but when he said how proud he was of her, she melted.  She needed to hear those words.  Needed to know that she had someone rooting for her.  With those simple words the rest of her day felt lighter. 

Challenges are put in front of us all of the time.  Most of us will take them head on and celebrate when they are done.  What is missed though?  When we get in this frame of mind good can be missed.  What if what you created is being enjoyed but you miss out because you are so focused on the fact that you needed to get “it out there” for people to enjoy it.  What if what you created brought you joy, but while sharing it with others you forgot that it brought you joy in the first place.  My sister when she was going to college to get her Graphics Design degree she had taken a picture I had of my oldest daughter and had used it as part of a project.  She had basically taken the way the picture looked from the camera and had made it better through her “filters” and creativity.  I still love to look at the picture she created.  I am sure during the time she was in the class, she didn’t see it as something someone else would enjoy later on, since at the time she was trying to get a good grade, but she ended up accomplishing that goal.

Getting caught up in the moment makes it hard to see the joy and creativity that is all around.  We live in a big beautiful world that God created for us, and we are too busy to notice it.  To add to that God made us to have gifts and we should use those gifts to bring glory to God.  Why have a talented artist put her paintings in the basement?  Why have an author not share her stories?  Why would someone that is good with numbers and math not help a business run better?  Fear can play a role but we were also taught that there is no fear in love.  God loves us, he gave us the talents and gifts we have so that we can share them with the world.  When we allow fear to overtake us we don’t take the next steps, we hide our first, second and third editions, we make excuses as to why we can’t do something now.  Believing in the gifts God has given you isn’t easy, but is there really anything in this world that is?  Until next time:

Sometimes, before a thing can go right, it has to go wrong. Maybe many times. If it’s important to you, keep doing it. And don’t be so hard on yourself! You’re doing better than you think

Nanea Hoffman
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Rae’s New Shine Children’s Book

One day Rae woke up and felt different. When she looked at the people around her they seemed to “shine brighter” than she did. When she finally prayed about it and asked her mom for help, she realized she didn’t know her own worth. She didn’t believe in herself and felt dim compared to others. Once she started to see she was talented and worthy her shine came back.

$12.00

Goal, Set, Gratitude!

Goal, set, gratitude! A few months ago I was talking with my oldest daughter. I told her I was thinking about writing a children’s book based on a blog post I had written (What’s Your Worth). In my mind it was going to be something that would help kids know that they have a special shine all their own, they just have to bring it out by believing in themselves. The goal was set, I had given myself until the end of the year to get it written, published and in a bookstore in town. This really was a lofty goal since I am a full time vet tech and momma of three. My free time is dictated by the amount of time I want to give to my sanity. The goal was set and my daughter was told, so there was no room for failure. In August of this year I finished my book and got it out to a company that would print it and get it on order lists for places like Barnes and Noble and Amazon to sell it. I had done it! Mostly….I wanted to get it into the local area since I knew the chances of people actually seeing it on big websites was slim.

Enter in a friend of mine that owns the local bookstore. This bookstore is the cutest place, she has hidden corners in which you can hide away to read, she has used and new books, she even has a little coffee shop so that you can stay caffeinated while enjoying the company of a good book. It was the perfect place to see if I could make something of my book. All I needed to do was work up the courage to ask her. She made this so much easier one day when she texted me saying “she did this thing”. Of course I was curious so I texted back “do tell…..”. She said she went out and got a puppy, and so after I congratulated her and set her up with the initial vet appointments, I told her that I “did a thing”. I let her know that I had written a kids book and asked if she would be willing to look it over and have it be in her store. That was so nerve wracking, it felt like I was sending my own flesh and blood child out into the world and hoping for the best. Without hesitation though she said absolutely. She even went further and said a “story time” should be set up so that I could read my book to kids in her store. I was so excited, but terrified. What if no one liked my book? What if no kids showed up to the story time?

Courage helps you do the things that seem impossible to do. I am not a natural writer, but I write a blog and I published a book. I doubt myself all of the time, and there are many days in which other people look better, seem to have their acts together, and seem to have more talent in their pinky finger than I do. If I let myself dwell on those thoughts than I would never try anything new. The story time was scheduled, I made sure the bookstore had my books to sell, I even had a very talented friend of mine make a doll based on the main character “Rae”. When I showed up on the day I was to read my book, I was nervous, but I also knew that I could do it. I was and still am so very grateful to my friend for giving me the opportunity to share my book. I had three kids show up. I read my book to those three kids. Each one got to have a copy of my book and a doll to go with it. A few days after, I received an email from a bookstore in the next town over that agreed to have my book on consignment at their store. These are small victories. Each day I need to remember the lesson that “Rae” had to learn and re-learn it myself. When we focus too much on what other people can do we miss out on the talents that we have ourselves. Do I want to write another book, yes? Do I want my current book “Rae’s New Shine” to get into more kid’s hands, yes! What I won’t do is set my worth on the success of what I do. In the end I am grateful for the challenges I take on and the lessons I learn. Fear, and anxieties won’t hold me back, and hopefully they don’t hold others back. Until next time:

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Rae’s New Shine Children’s Book

One day Rae woke up and felt different. When she looked at the people around her they seemed to “shine brighter” than she did. When she finally prayed about it and asked her mom for help, she realized she didn’t know her own worth. She didn’t believe in herself and felt dim compared to others. Once she started to see she was talented and worthy her shine came back.

$12.00

“my child, you don’t know your worth and that is why you are not shining as bright as you could be”-Rae’s mom (excerpt from Rae’s New Shine, by Heather Bartlett)

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The Power of Sisters

This weekend I had the joy of going to a retreat that was set in the woods.  I was surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation.  I also got the opportunity to sleep in a cabin with bunk beds that were meant for a child with bones made of rubber.  I try and joke but seriously, think boards with cushions about as soft as a board.  To be fair I didn’t go to the retreat to sleep, but to have fellowship with the ladies of the church I attend.  I was not disappointed. 

It’s amazing what can happen when you get a group of ladies together.  The different personalities shine through.  As I sat down to write this we had just gotten done with worship and a time of teaching.  The gal that spoke to us had such an amazing story to tell.  She spoke with conviction but humbleness,  knowing that she was not perfect but that with her story she could help someone make it through theirs.  “Free time” was scheduled for afterwards.  Some of the ladies started craft projects but most found other ladies and started playing games.  Let me tell you, you haven’t been to a woman’s retreat (at least at this church) without hearing laughter and yelling due to a game.  It is hilarious.  Women that are normally quiet turn loud and competitive with bunko.  Momma’s that have young kids are out having actual conversations with other ladies.  Workaholics can relax and try something new.  Teenage daughters spend time with their mommas.  Excessive food is eaten, and hikes are taken. 

The main topic this weekend was to be anchored in what you believe in.  We as women love to be in control.  If there isn’t something to control, we will make up something to control.  We run our households, we have jobs, we have kids and husbands, and for most of us we push ourselves without the thought of rest.  When a shelf is hung without the nail being secured in a stud, it can’t hold much weight and can fall.  When a ship doesn’t drop it’s anchor at the right time, it is not secure.  When we go about this world on our own we will fail.  When women get together to learn and grow in Christ, they also get together to learn and grow with each other.  This retreat taught me that that I could have reached out sooner to a gal who is going through some of the same struggles I am going through.  I learned that hard work, prayer and time can make miracles happen.  I learned that we as humans must own up to our responsibilities, and then learn and grow from them.   I also learned that if you tell an older “more mature” lady that they shouldn’t move tables without help, it only makes them want to do it more. 

We often hear that the female gender can be mean and nasty to other females, and there are times when I have seen that happen.  What I have seen more than that though, is support and love.  When push comes to shove, we support each other.  New mommas get advice from more seasoned mommas.  Grandma’s help raise grandkids.  Aunts become way cooler than moms, especially when the yellow Volkswagen bug comes out.  When someone gets hurt, support and care come out of the woodworks.  My daughter and I got to spend time together.  When I got bad news this morning,  I thought I could hide the pain I felt, but even with that, a gal I had gotten to know pulled me aside and asked if I was ok.  Women are amazing creatures, when they become “sisters” with other women, they become powerful creatures.  A force to be reckoned with, and one to be relied on.  Until next time:

You’ve survived too many storms to be bothered by raindrops

Unknown

Narrative

I love to hear people’s stories. Through their experiences, trials and joys they became the people they are. When I was younger I would ask my grandma to tell me stories, in which I would learn about her life as a child and then what it was like to be married with five kids. I loved to visit with her and looking back I wish I would have had the forethought to write down the experiences she went through. Her narrative was mostly about simpler times, but she never made them sound like they were hard times. Throughout her life I knew she didn’t always have it easy but that never stopped her from loving us grandkids, supporting us and making sure when people came to visit they were well fed. She was a rock in our family.

As an adult, married with kids, I wonder what is seen as my narrative. Do I make the way my life is seem harder than what it is so that people will want to listen to me? Do I brush things off too easily even if I may be struggling with something that someone is willing to help me with? Do I hold back on my excitement of things because I don’t want to make a spectacle out of myself? I want my narrative to be strong and full of love and joy, not that there won’t be hard times but I want strength and perseverance to shine through. A gal I was talking to once was telling me of all the things she wanted to do but she was going to wait to do them until her kids were older. At first I thought “how sad, why wait?” but then it dawned on me that this is what her narrative is. Her current story has her kids as the center point. She finds joy in that, she is strong in that, when that shifts and she becomes more of the center then she can do the things her heart desires. Another person I talked to had some major trauma in her younger years that made her grow up way too soon. She had a lot to work through, but what she gained from the events that happened is that they would not define her. She made mistakes, she let people down but she also lifted people up and encouraged people to move forward, to take back their lives and be who they want to be.

This week I am doing something that is a little bit scary for me to do. It may not seem like much, but I am reading a book to a group of kids. This isn’t just any book, it’s a book I wrote about above all things believing in yourself. I may show up and have one kid there, or I may show up and have twenty. You may be thinking: “how hard could this be?” and I would be thinking the same thing if it were someone else, but it’s me. I am putting my heart out on the line, hoping that the kids will like the story. What I am also doing is showing my own kids that they need to take risks, try something new and have fun along the way. I am also growing and learning that taking risks and having goals is living. I have days in which I get home from work and think my co-workers must think I am the meanest person ever, my kids don’t want to listen to what I have to say and my hubby swears I moved things to test his patience. It’s on these days in which I have to chose to change the narrative. I have to find the joy, find the good, and realize that when I think these negative thoughts majority of the time they are not true (except of course when I try and test my hubby’s sanity). What’s your narrative? Is it laced with positivity or negativity? Do you live your life in a way that people want to sit and hear your stories? Until next time:

You don’t need to rearrange the stars or move mountains to be enough. You don’t need to have your entire life in order, or be perfect in any way. You just need to be able to offer love, and be willing to receive it in return, because that’s all anyone ever needed anyway.

Dane Thomas

Allow Spectacular

This week I bought a notebook. This notebook is small but I am hoping that it will be mighty. Over the last couple of months the ability for me to notice the good and look past the bad had been weakened. Not that I don’t have a lot of good going on in my life, but I wasn’t keeping my thoughts in check and so the negative that was “in the area” was seeping into the processes of my brain. I was allowing myself to focus on what was aggravating me and causing me to be annoyed. Since I had been in a place like this before I knew I needed to do something and do it quick. So the purchase of this notebook was the first step in my little plan. Each day I would make sure this notebook was with me and whenever something good happened, I would write it down. It took a day to remember that I needed to do this assignment, I needed to see it as a mandatory verses a “if I have time” type activity. The following is some of the highlights of the list:

  • A dear friend of mine had been thinking about some of the things I had been struggling about. She came to me and asked me a very important question. She asked if I was praying for the person/people that had been causing me stress.
  • Another dear friend noticed that my fellow co-workers and I seemed to be always on the go and decided that she would feed us. She not only brought yummy chocolate cookies but brought meats, cheeses and crackers so that we had something nutritional as well.
  • Every night my hubby has a hot dinner ready by the time I get home
  • When I work late, I don’t have to worry about what is going on at home because my hubby has it all under control
  • I have teens that are girls, from what I am told most teenage girls are not into talking to their parents. Mine talk to me and let me know about their day. They are excited to share what they are doing.
  • My son hugs me every morning and says ” I love you” and still lets me pray with him and hug him before he goes to bed.
  • I get to help animals, and pet horses and goats when I visit people at their homes.
  • Have you ever smelled laundry that has been hung on the line to dry. Pure heaven, almost as good as the smell of homemade brownies.
  • Zucchini brownies, I don’t need to say anything more.
  • It is still summer outside, it is not cold, and the temperature is still above 70 degrees. This is perfect weather.
  • There was a fire recently that was close by, there were structures that burned, but no one lost their lives and as far as I know that goes for animals too.
  • Have you ever really looked into the “face” of a sunflower?

These are some of the items that needed to be written down. Some were significant while others were just observations. There is a story that has been passed around for some time now that talks about perspective. Here’s the story:

There is a story they tell of two dogs.

Both at separate times walk into the same room.

One comes out wagging his tail while the other comes out growling.

A women watching this goes into the room to see what could possibly make one dog so happy and the other so mad.

To her surprise she finds a room filled with mirrors.

The happy dog found a thousand happy dogs looking back at him while the angry dog saw only angry dogs growling back at him.

What you see in the world around you is a reflection on who you are.

Unknown

There is so much good in the world, but we overlook it because we get hyper-focused on the bad that is happening. We miss the field of sunflowers because there is mudpuddle in our path. We don’t take the adventure because there is too much work in getting to the path. We let our fears dictate how we live. We become like the angry dog in the story instead of finding the joy and the spectacular that has always been. Do you need a notebook? Do you need the simple assignment of looking for the good? Until next time:

I want to be like a sunflower. So even on the darkest days I will stand tall and find the light.

Joyful Change

The Act of Living

Every morning my dog Charlie gets let out of her kennel. She finds the nearest toy, grabs it and jumps on the bed to show us what she has. She has this fancy wiggle that includes a prance that practically folds her in half while she works to not step on the rope part of her toy. She is so happy to see whatever human crosses her path first. She doesn’t care that she probably has to pee. She doesn’t care that she needs to be careful to not step on her brother Jorj who is trying to sleep for just a little longer. She just knows that her day has started and she has a toy. Her energy is like this most of the day, especially when her humans are home.

My eldest and middle daughters love to get her riled up. Charlie has chosen my oldest as the one she must “protect” so the girls use this to their advantage when they play. They pretend to hit each other and here comes Charlie to the rescue. The problem is, is that Charlie is a 50 pound scaredy cat. On that note why are animals that are scared called scaredy cats. Most cats I know will stand their ground and have little daggers attached to their feet, but I digress. Charlie can be in a deep sleep, and be there to “protect” in 2.5 seconds, but have me walk through the door with scrubs on and she runs to hide in the farthest room in the house. In her own special way Charlie has perfected the act of living. To be honest I think I should take lessons from her.

Every day we get to wake up and climb out of bed. We get to eat our breakfast and for most of us head to work, and for others they stay home to work or be with the kids. There are certain things we need to do to make sure our basic needs are met, but apart from these things we can chose what to do with our free time. A couple of days ago I was admiring the deck that a client had. She had this huge deck that had pots and pots of flowers that were lined up around the perimeter. If you were able to take your eyes off the flowers you would see that the view she had off the deck was just as beautiful. When I mentioned that she probably has a hard time leaving her house with all this beauty around her, she gave me this look, that made me think it was easier than what I thought it would be. She agreed it was beautiful but there was a lot of work that was put into at least the beauty that I was seeing near the house.

The act of living requires work. We have to put work into what we do daily. If we were able to be like my dog Charlie life would be simple but it wouldn’t necessarily be easy. For a dog who is a pet, they depend on their people for their basic needs, but they have to trust that when we leave them every day that we will come back. We protect them as much as they would protect us. These are not easy things to ask of our pets that don’t even understand most of the words we say to them. The act of living requires us to make decisions sometimes that are hard. The client I visited could have chosen fake flowers to put in the pots and would have had less work. Instead she put the time and effort in to create a space that she and her husband, friends and family can all enjoy. The act of living means turning off things so that we can turn on our imaginations.

On any given day I can find one if not all four of my family members on some sort of electronic device. There is Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram and more that will waste away so much of their lives it’s really quite sad to think about. I am not immune to this problem either. There are nights in which I have watched so many little videos I am sure I can make a cake while riding a horse through Disneyland. The internet has taken over the world, and information can be obtained about almost anything and everything if you just look. When the decision is made to turn off the devices though, my eldest daughter will draw beautiful pictures. My middle child will paint and find recipes to try out. My youngest will play. He will get board games out, and more often than not get the dogs outside. My hubby will tinker with his motorcycle, take it out for rides and has been known to build decks, playhouses and furniture with his own plans. When I get off my device, I color with crayons, write books, get random thoughts put into my blog and try my hand at gardening. There is joy in the act of living. Even if it’s simple, even if it’s not always easy. The joy is found when the act is acted upon. Until next time:

Your diet is not only what you eat. It is what you watch, what you listen to, what your read, the people you hang around……be mindful of the things you put into your body emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

Unknown

Mandatory Time Out

In the blink of an eye the trajectory of where you life is going can be misaligned. If you have kids you know exactly what I mean. There is nothing calm or collected when it comes to life. On the surface it can look calm but usually there is something that causes life to not be collected.

At work currently we are in the process of training up some newer people. They are asked to do certain tasks that when being watched can be stressful at best. When said tasks are not done in the manner in which they should be done and have to be repeated it’s hard on the trainee as well as the trainer. Most of the time people are harder on themselves than another person can be. What the trainee may not see is that the trainer is just as hard on themselves. We tear ourselves down so much for making a mistake or not being “perfect” in something we have done for years. We look at the negative first and then wonder why we can’t find the positive that is all around. It’s when the training moments start to get stressful that the person getting trained is given a “time out”. Instead of a nose in the corner, it’s a gentle voice that says “breathe, you will get this”. It’s getting out of the zone of trainer and realizing they are new at the skill and it will take time for them to be comfortable. They have to know they can trust you to be vulnerable enough to say “I don’t get it, or why am I not doing this the way is should be done?”

I have a teen who is learning to drive. She started out slow in the process due to the anxieties she had. We worked at overcoming those fears by starting slow and worked up to where she is now. She has a pattern that has been noticed in which she is most nervous when she is doing her first drive of the day. She knows it and we know it, so we don’t spring new stuff on her until she has done her first drive. A few days ago I had errands to run and places to go, so I thought why not get chauffeured around? Granted it was probably more like “Driving Miss. Daisy” in my daughter’s eyes but that didn’t matter to me, I was enjoying the ride. Part of the errands meant we had to go on a bypass that got up to higher speeds than what my daughter had done before. I could tell she was a bit nervous, but knew we had done the initial drive first so she was more comfortable behind the wheel. This also meant going into a gear she hadn’t used before (my hubby and I think it’s important to teach in a manual transmission), she wanted to practice getting into the gear while not moving so that when she needed to while moving she was comfortable. Needless to say she did great. We made it to all our destinations without issue, but boy did we both need a “time out” when we got back to the house. We didn’t feel stressed while in the car but we were both a little worn once we got back home.

A friend once reminded me that it’s up to be to take the time I need to find rest. People will tell us that we need to take a break, go somewhere away from people, have “me time”. They can even mandate that time is taken off (hopefully paid). It’s up to us to actually take the time and do what we need to get grounded (no pun intended). Kids everywhere know what “time out” means. When I was a kid my nose was put in a corner, usually until I remembered what it was I lost, or I came to my senses and apologized for what I did. As an adult, a “time out” means something completely different. It means finding a place in which you can process an event that has happened. It means going to do an activity that you have been wanting to do. It means putting the phone in an area that is away from you so that you can have a bit of freedom. It means getting away from the stressors of life for just a moment so that you can reconnect with the person you are. The difference of a time out as a kid verses a time out as an adult is choice. Kids don’t normally get the choice of a time out, whereas an adult can make the choice and follow it through. So as I sit here and write, I am out on my back deck. I have already spent time earlier this morning on a walk, watering the plants and doing my devotion. My hubby and son have come out a few times to see what I am up to, I am kind in this but I tell them I will be in shortly, my “time out” isn’t done yet. Until next time:

Almost anything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…..including you!

Ann Lamont
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