Self Doubts and the Love of Change

Am I being too bossy?

I have found in the last few weeks I have been asking the question “am I being too bossy?” I am not talking in the family setting since I don’t tend to see them much during the week, so I leave the “bossy-ness” to the hubby on that one. I mainly start thinking this way when I am at work. I love my job, I love the people I work with, and I have to love change in this field because it happens often, but what also happens often is the unknown. Way back when I was an assistant the technicians that were my trainers and mentors drilled it into my head that we always needed to be prepared for anything that walked through our door. We even went as far as having emergency drills so that each person knew what their job was and how fast they had to get the jobs done. This is what I try and teach the assistants helping in the hospital I am in now. With that being said, I expect people to be always be in forward motion. Think ahead, plan ahead, look around you and see where you can be of most use. This is where change comes into play, and where I start to sound like my grandma when I was a kid. Young adults these days don’t see the value of hard work, and I dont’ really get it. Taking pride in a hard days work is a good thing.

It is hard for me (being a self driven person) to not expect others to be that way. So when real life doesn’t happen that way I have to adapt and learn that not everyone is like me. There are those out there who do not mind taking their time. Change # 1 for me. I sometimes have a hard time when someone tells me their way of doing something and they feel I should do it that way too, even if the way I am doing the same task gets the job done. This is a hard one, this is the kind of change I don’t do well with. I know it is a stubborn streak in me but it also sets a fire under me. Now this happens at home and at work. My hubby loves to do the “next times” and the “this is how I would have done it’s”, and then I find that I am saying those same things at work. Maybe that’s why I dislike it so much because I find that I am doing it myself to other people. He means well, just as I do, and I know it is just constructive critism, but to have it sound as if the way something was done is wrong, when it actually is just a different way of doing it, gets me fired up. Is there a change for that?

So when it comes to change and self doubts how do we cope with these topics? I mean I can’t keep going around work asking people if they thought I was too bossy? I really don’t have the ability to change people’s work ethics either. Yes I can tell them what is expected of them, I can encourage them, and guide them, but at the end of the day, it’s up to them to push themselves.

Change is hard, we have to deal with it daily. Self doubt is hard, but we can chose if we want to deal with it daily instead of changing our thought processes. Teenagers have this innate ability to bring out the self doubts of parents everywhere. One day they are chatting and engaging and the next you can barely get a word out of them. Most days keep them alive is an adventure, did they eat? Did they sleep? Really? What is that thing you are wearing? It’s like they are two year olds on steroids’. One of my girls says she hardly ever sleeps, but doesn’t really look like a walking zombie to me. My son has so much energy and when I wander into his room to figure out why I see the stashes of snacks and candy wrappers. Oh! and tell me why there is this need to always be on electronics? All of this is change too. I could say that when I was a child I wasn’t this way, but my momma would probably say otherwise.

Prayer, patience, and a lot of exercise seems the way to get through these “unstable” times. Changing the doubting thoughts into positive thoughts is also mandatory. I find when I am at my breaking point, I call up by bestie and have lunch. We talk shop, encourage each other as mommas, have some laughs and cheesecake and then go on with our days. Just as I wish work ethics were more important, I also wish that doubts didn’t have to play such a large role in my life. What I lean on is what’s important, God, my faith, lots of prayers, family and friends, and my knowledge that no, I am not being too bossy, I am just pushing people to the potential I see in them. Until next time:

The secret to change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

Who Cares, Self Care

It’s amazing the power of tears

Yesterday was a hard day, it was the first full day of the kids being back from their grandparents house. They had been there for spring break, and had had a blast with the cousins and each other, with only one “breakdown day” when my oldest called to let me know she had a hard day and was experiencing the residual effects of a panic attack. It seems to always be a bit hard the first couple of days when we are all together. The kids getting back into the routine of family life and us parents getting back into the routine of having three kids back after a week of relative quiet and calmness.

Anxiety and panic attacks have been a part of my life story and though I don’t have to deal with them much anymore I do have triggers that will increase my anxiety and cause me to react. My reactions lately are to go to the person that caused the anxiety spike and give them a piece of my mind. This tends to release the pent up emotions along with a good cry, but then I tend to feel bad afterwards for “letting them have it” when it might not have been just what they did that caused the anxiety to spike in the first place. For instance: yesterday morning the subject of the kids towels was brought up. With my hubby doing a lot of the laundry lately he noticed the kids use a lot of towels. So he brought it up to them, they went into the “blame game” which meant they stopped listening to what my hubby was saying, which frustrated him and made the yelling start. I hate when people yell, so I started to get worked up, which didn’t help matters at all. To make it worse we were leaving soon after to go to church and my mindset wasn’t there anymore. After we got back from church, all was calm until the “say thank you to your brother” problem came up. My daughter has an issue with being forced to do things. Me telling her she needed to say thank you was one of those things. That was my last straw. I was already still worked up from the morning, I still was thinking about the breakdown that had happened while the kids were at their grandparents, and then when my daughter didn’t want to do what I was “forcing” her to do I was done. I did not do what my devotion I had read told me to do. I thought I was going into the conversation with love but instead I went in telling my daughter all the ways she was wrong.

There was no patience, kindness or gentleness in my tone. I definitely did not use all of the self control I could have used. I also didn’t give myself enough time to calm down. This momma missed the mark on a few of the “fruits of the spirit”. What this also made me realize is that I was not taking care of myself. I was allowing myself to get worked up when the yelling started and when the disrespect showed it’s face. Self care is extremely important and so before I went back in to talk to my daughter, I went out back and had a good cry. I had a good slam to my door, and I had a good heart to heart with God. I let Him know exactly where I stood on this whole momma and wife gig. I told Him I didn’t want to do it anymore, that it was too hard, that no one listens anyways and that what I did didn’t matter. The people in my family were going to do what they were going to do regardless of what I say. And you know what? God spoke to my heart and said “exactly”, the people in my home are individuals that have their own thoughts and beliefs. They are not little “mini me’s” and that is why this job is so hard, but I don’t have to do it alone, and I am not alone. Funny thing is, I opened my devotion up to Monday’s devotion and it was about the “self-centered outlook”. You know how you fix that? By helping others, but in order to help others you need to be right with yourself. Philippians 2:3-4 says:

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

I had a talk with my family after my talk with my daughter.   I had to because it was important for me to find that joy again.  So I let them know I am always here for them.  I will love them and I will pray for them.  I let them know I will not stay in the room though when yelling starts, and I will speak my mind (with love) when disrespect happens.  I can't be there for my family when I am not taking care of myself.  My job as a wife and momma is to be their rock, and so I must lean on my own Rock to do my job well.  My platform for peace is prayer, and my stronghold is Christ.  People will let me down, but I know that no matter what happens Christ is always with me and will give me the strength I need when I "just don't wanna" anymore.  Until next time:

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint

Isaiah 40: 31

I Am Not Enough

Am I a pawn or a soldier?

Going to church is an important part of my family’s routine. My husband and I were brought up in the church and we wanted to make sure that our kids were too. When the pandemic hit it was harder for me than probably the rest of my family that we couldn’t go to church because it was a place that I could worship and find rest from a busy week. We started going virtually but it really wasn’t the same though it did help to fill the void of no church at all. Now don’t get me wrong I still studied the Bible on my own but there is just something about getting together with other believers and learning and praising together. So when we were able to start going back, we did but even that was different since our kids wanted to still keep doing the virtual church. So my hubby and I came up with a solution and said that every other week we would go to our normal church as a family and then on the off Sundays they could stay home and do the virtual church services they liked too. There was one caveat to this though on Sunday nights we would discuss what we learned and talk about how we could apply it to our lives.

As a family we didn’t want to sit back and allow a problem to stop us from learning at growing in our faith. In this world if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. So this brings be to the fact that I am not enough, none of us are really. We were not made to be our own saviors, our own soldiers against the fight of all the bad in the world. We were not called to be pawns either, we were not called to be pushovers, to be people that others have control over. We were made to be individuals who are not enough by ourselves but fully enough when we let Christ into our lives to help us be who we are called to be. Every day I wake up knowing that I am fighting a battle. A battle for my kids, a battle for myself and my husband. This is not your ordinary battle, it mostly is played out in our brains and our thoughts. As my husband I talked with the kids tonight over dinner we talked about how much we like to compare ourselves to others. My daughter is writing little online books and has 1.4k readers, whereas I have my blog with 35 followers, do I start to compare? My friend has a successful online clothing company that another friend of mine was envious of because she can barely get hers off the ground. Going onto Facebook and I see some guy has a bigger buck than his buddy…..the list can go on and on.

In order to be soldiers we need to bypass all of this, it is what makes us pawns. If we want to go further in this world we need to realize that we are not enough by ourselves. All too often we are trying to fix the problems we see in front of us not realizing that the problems we see are not the things to fix, it is the selfishness, pride, haughtiness, individualism, disrespectfulness..etc that need to be dealt with. Think of it this way, those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who are humble will be exalted. The only person we need to be like is Christ. If you don’t know what he is like the Bible will show you and tell you.

One year while I was the leader of the youth group at our church, we were learning about Easter. When I thought about the lesson I wanted to get across to the teens I realized that if I just stood in front of them and talked that the message wouldn’t really sink in, so I got a little bit creative. I split them into groups and had different rooms set up throughout the church. The first room, the teens had to look through newspaper articles and cut out stories that highlighted people helping other people. They then would tape them up on the wall and tell us why they chose that particular story. This was done so that they could see people helping people like Christ helped those around him.

The second room thank you cards were placed on the table and they were just asked to think of someone who was important to them that they could write a thank you card to. We told them they could take the cared with them or we would mail it for them so that the person would get this special note. Some of them picked teachers others their parents, and still others a special adult in their lives. This was so they could see that saying thanks to someone special was like saying thank you to Christ for what he did for us on the cross.

The third room had basins of water and dry towels, all we asked them to do in this room was to pick a partner and wash their feet. As you can imagine the teens were a little grossed out by this, and understandably so, a lot of the kids had just finished their sports practice and had the same shoes and socks on from the day. With a bit of encouraging the teens went through with the task. This room was set up to show the teens that the world doesn’t revolved around them, they need to learn to serve. Christ served those around him and taught that serving is better than being served.

The last room was back in our main meeting spot. Food was set up on the tables (we had pre-arranged to have a potluck), we talked about how Christ took care of his followers. All the way up until the end and then even after. When we don’t let worry consume us and we trust that our needs will be met we are like Christ.

I love that I am not enough, I love that I don’t have to depend on myself to be the best mom, the best wife, the best worker, the best friend, the best Christian. If I depended on myself for these things I would fall flat on my face and would fail every time. I am a soldier, I need to fight the war that goes on in between my ears. I need to step back and not allow those around me to influence the way I see myself. I need to show my kids how to be “not enough” either. When I do this they will be stronger and more able to fight the battles that they have come at them. Don’t be a pawn. You have to stand for something, so make it worth your time and your heart. Until next time:

When you are alone you can be anyone you thing you are: a loving spouse, a loyal employee, a good parent. It’s when you get around others that the truth comes out, so who are you?

The Kids Are Gone!

Spring break is upon us and we are kid free, so I thought why not compile a top ten list of things to do on spring break. If you are like most people you have seen the beautiful pictures that people put up on Instagram or Facebook of the places they have been. I follow a lot of Instagram accounts of people that take their dogs and even cats to national parks and hike around, or even this one chick that seems to find all of that natural hot springs in Oregon and takes pictures of herself soaking in them. I think the closest hot tub I will get to this spring break is the one in my bathroom (and that’s if I hop in quick enough to enjoy the hot water before it turns cold). I even have posts from families within my community that are these gorgeous shots of their families at the beach in Maui, or looking over the edge at the Grand Canyon. They are fun to follow and I know they are having a blast, my hubby and I well, we sent the kids to the grandparents.

This is almost a yearly tradition, minus the few years I got adventurous and did trips like driving down to Disneyland, or one year I took the kids up to Washington to go and stay and the Great Wolf Lodge for the weekend. For as long as my kids have been born though the yearly spring break trip to the grandparents place has been the thing to do, so this year is no different, except that now the cousins live in the same area which is great. The “handoff” of kids is usually a location that is a midway point for both of us. We meet, have lunch, talk for just a bit and then hug and kiss the kids before they leave. Now don’t get me wrong we miss the kids while they are gone, but oh! to just be able to think without the constant conversations that play out in front of me is nice. Tim and I actually got to just be adults. So onto the list of things to do on spring break:

  • Go shopping for new furniture.
    1. Now normally our budget would let us fork out a small fortune for new living room furniture but thanks to the stimulus check (thanks US Government!) we got a full set
Sofa from Ashley Home Funishings
  • Go shopping at Costco/Target without having to fight the “Can we go yet?, I’m bored! He’s just buying that because I am!”
Photo by Omar Abascal on Unsplash

  • Go on a motorcycle ride and not have to worry about how long of a trip it is (sorry dogs, might have to lounge on the couch for a few more minutes)😁
  • Take the dogs for a walk
  • Have a conversation about life, goals, future, money, really anything you want without being interrupted (kind of, kids still text you 😉) . I was talking to Tim yesterday on our way home that I felt that I could actually process things now. I am definitely one that likes to think about things, especially when it comes to new plans, new ideas, new projects. It’s not so easy to do when you are always on the go and when you get home time seems to fly even quicker since your hubby and the kids want to talk with you.
  • Take time to get stuff done around the house, but make sure to do it with your favorite music on and end the day with ice cream for dinner.
  • Sleep in and read a book
  • Challenge your sister to a workout challenge and then focus on beating her
  • Have a lunch date with a friend
  • Do whatever you need to do to do you. We don’t tend to take care of ourselves when we have others we are responsible to take care of. For me, when I am around people too much, my brain hits a brick wall and I need a “restart” so that I can move forward with my day. How about you?

Spring break can be a lot of things for a lot of people. My boss doesn’t really do anything during spring break because her daughter is homeschooled. I have those friends that take big trips during this time to places like Hawaii or Montana. Then there are people like me and my family. I still have to work so we do smaller trips to the grandparents or we end up doing stuff around town. These are all fun, these are all different and I say as long as you are doing you then go forth and go do your thing. Until next time:

Doing what you like is freedom, doing what you love is happiness

Thinking Too Much

Can someone give me a limit on how many things I can think about?

Whine, whine, shuffle, whine, shuffle…..this is what I hear every morning for the past 2 months since we got our puppy Charlie. I don’t know how her internal clock got switched to 6am in the morning especially when are alarms don’t even go off until 6:30, but here we are. Most mornings I treat her like I did my kids when they were babies, I try and lay as still as I can, I hold my breathe and I will her to go back to sleep for another 1/2 hour, and just like my kids when they were babies I get up and take care of her. I tell you, this girl is like a lightening bolt when she is let out of her crate. She zigs and zags, jumps on the bed, off the bed, over Jorj (our other dog), on Jorj, tries to find Tim’s head under the covers, you get the idea. She is a puppy on crack, but then we start to get ready for our walk and her focus changes. She sees her harness come out and she knows it’s time to go at the click of the buckle.

This is how I feel like my brain is sometimes. Tim and I could be walking along talking about the new remote he bought and the next thing I know I am thinking about the conversation I had yesterday. I have missed whole conversations because I got a text, didn’t even read it all but, because of the little tid bit I did get I go into another place in my brain, which is why I now try and leave my phone out of site when I am with someone. I am also a processor, I can have someone tell me something, or have something happen and three days later start talking about it because I have thought it thru enough that now I have something to say. Today was a day of not processing much at all. I felt like I was going through the motions of my job. It really started even before work began. My hubby had said something to me that rubbed me the wrong way, which then unbeknownst to me set the overall mood for the day, in a weird way. I didn’t leave the house cranky, and I felt like I had a calm demeanor at work, but something about the way the day felt, made me off. In the book “Get out of your head” by Jennie Allen she talks about the power of your thoughts. If you have too many negative thoughts roaming around in your head it will affect your health, but if you choose to train and change your thoughts to more productive and positive ones, you will start to see the healthy affects on your overall wellbeing.

Today there were just too many thoughts in my head. My workday started in “go mode” and ended in the same light. I had what my hubby had said to me, to what I had to remember to do for the clients, to helping the pets, to helping the doctor, to remembering that student/teacher conferences were this afternoon. My thoughts would then jump to the conversation I had with a friend last night, to a conversation I need to have with my doctor today. These were all mixed into the fact that there is definitely some thinking that has to happen while at work, like medication calculations, tracking vital signs, and remembering which animals like to bite vs. lick you when they see you. Wrap all this up into the momma brain I have that reminds me that my kids still need to have a functioning momma when I get home and Oh! I have to put a reminder into my phone to tell me when I need to take care of my daughter’s fictional horse while she is at my in-laws for spring break.

Starting to sound a little crazy I know, and having a time out built into each day would be amazing. In my blog post from a few days ago “Breathe in Breathe Out“, I talk about just that. We as humans think too much, but we don’t take the time to just stop and breathe. In a recent book by Carrie Stephens called “Holy Guacamole”, Carrie was living the fast paced life of a momma mixed with being a pastor’s wife. She had certain expectations bestowed upon her based solely on the fact that she had those too labels. She was always on the go, working hard to get her kids places, keeping her house in order, and doing the things that were put on her because her hubby was a pastor. So one day while with her friend at a restaurant she was ranting about all of the above and ended the rant by saying she felt like she was the left over rice and beans that had been left on her plate. Oh how I related to her story. In no way am I a pastor’s wife, but the labels are still there and the fast paced life is too. Carrie’s friend wisely told her that she in no way was the left over rice and beans but was actually the guacamole that is never left behind and most people love. If most of us were in the right state of mind we would take our cues from the one who knew severe stress but still found time for peace Jesus.

If you are a Bible reader (and even if you are not) you know or have heard about Jesus and the life he led. If there was anyone that knew stress it was Him. If you look closely at His life though, you’ll see that He always made time to be in the quite, in the stillness, so that he could just breathe, listen and know He was close to His father. Most often though He had to work to get to His quiet spots. He had to get into a boat and row to the middle of a lake, He had to sneak away in the darkness of the early morn or late night, He had to find ways to get to His quiet times, and He did. So why can’t we? I know some momma’s who find their quiet in the bathroom, while others set up a comfy chair in the living room and deem it as theirs and theirs alone. As summer slowly approaches I look forward to climbing into the hammock under the maple tree. The goals of the quiet time is to STOP thinking too much, actually it’s to stop thinking at all. It’s to notice and enjoy your surroundings. This takes practice, but is worth it. So where would you go? How would you find your breath? I would love to hear. Until next time:

Always end the day with a positive thought. No matter how hard things were, tomorrow is a fresh opportunity to make it better.


I Can’t Wait To Go To Bed

Is it really only 8:30pm?

Most days I wake up go on a walk with the hubs and the dogs and then get ready for work. Simple enough, it’s what most people have: a routine. Our routines may differ in what we do but usually people will do the same things each morning. Often when we get home from our walk Tim (the hubs) will get his coffee going (to save himself as well as the rest of us), and then sit at the table scrolling through Facebook. My approach to the morning is quite different. I do start with some caffeine but it’s in the form of Spark, multivitamins. I tend to then do my exercise routine and read my devotions. Shower and breakfast come next and then making my lunch so that I can head out the door for work. My hubby is a full time student and is home with the kids, while I head to work getting back right at dinner time. Since my day varies so much in where I end up (I am a mobile vet tech), routine is somewhat thrown out the window once I leave the house.

I am a creature of habit but at the same time I love a challenge. There is a lot of “thinking outside of the box” in the veterinary world which keeps my mind challenged, but what it also does is make me hit a wall right around dinner time. It is literally like a brick wall popped out of nowhere and hit me square in the head. I am lucky I come home and the kids talk to me about Minecraft, Fortnite and Star Stables. It’s unfortunate though when the hubs wants to talk real world stuff with me. That is saved for at least after dinner when I have had some food consumed, and the brain realizes that it doesn’t have to go into shut down mode. Quarantine life has greatly restricted my “alone time”. I need a recharge after being around people all day. I love getting lost in a book, I also love my bed. Some people have a quiet nook with a cozy chair, others have a balcony and a lounge, while others can get comfortable laid out on their couch. I love to get in comfy clothes, prop the pillow up on my bed and crawl under the blankets. I mostly read, but in desperate times of brain to wall slamming I skim the Instagram posts, watch the reels, and get lost in the cute little puppy dog eyes and noses that need to be bopped. These are not my most proud moments, but ya know sometimes those times need to happen.

I actually get excited to go to my bed at night. As the kids start drifting to their beds because bedtimes are near, I start to drift to my bedroom. The dogs even know the routine and get confused when I am in the living room later than 8:30pm. Wanna hear something even more weird. I love waking up on Monday mornings, for no other reason than I get to see what my new workout routines are for the week. I have signed up to get random 30-40min workouts assigned to me each week. I have this super awesome app that has trainers do classes for free. One of the perks is a weekly email that you get that informs you, that you have three new routines waiting for you on the app. The only way to get this email is finishing the previous weeks routines. It’s like opening a small gift each Monday morning. Now I know at this point a lot of you are want to look at me like I am out of my mind, but it really comes down to the fact that working out makes me feel like I am accomplishing something for myself. The email is just the motivation for the week. Again I know I should be happy to just be waking up in general but really, how many people do you know that like waking up on a Monday morning when really it means that work will start soon and kids will have to hustle to catch the bus? Let’s be honest here😂

Then there is the feeling of finally getting what you were supposed to get. Let me explain a bit. It’s the “aha moment” when the pastor preaches on something and you can finally say “I get it”. Or when you are able to get through to your teenager and need to celebrate with a nice big piece of cheesecake. Or when a prayer is answered. It’s the little accomplishments that make you want to dance the jig or just smile a little bit bigger. Life is not always easy, I have said this before, so when you can look forward to the things that make you happy (whether big or small), I say go for it and do it with all of your heart.

As I was looking through my calendar yesterday to see what it held for the week, I saw an entry that said “heart check with Mary”. My friend Mary has had a real tough start to the new year, and will push herself to keep going forward without making sure that she herself is doing ok. So this reminder was put on my calendar due to a request another friend of mine had made. This friend had gone through great loss in the last year and over that time, didn’t have people do “heart checks” on her, so when Mary went through some of the same situations, my friend asked me to schedule “heart checks” on Mary. This reminder brought some joy to my heart, it meant a good long conversation with Mary about life, her family and how she is doing. Every once in a while I will see notifications in my calendar that I pre-scheduled so that I would have small happy moments just to make sure they get done. Ok, I know what you are thinking, you have to pre-schedule happy moments? Yes, yes I do, because if I don’t I forget that I am not just a momma, wife, and vet tech but I am a person who needs to do things for herself.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

What makes you smile? What do you look forward to at the end of the day? What makes you want to wake up in the morning? What makes you want to do the jig, or giggle? Is there a song that comes on that makes you smile, or think of someone special? I was going through songs yesterday looking for songs that remind me of my tribe, my people so that I could make ringtones for them. I loved just sitting there going through the songs, even texting my sister to see what she thought would be a good song for her. It was a way to get me out of the moment, but still be there if my family needed me. I hope you have your little moments that make you smile, I hope that you find some if you don’t. I would love to hear what they are. Until next time:

…..We’ve got reason to get up, reason to get down, He done traded our sin for joy, and now that joy wants out

Happy Dance

Happy Dance

Mercy Me’s song “Happy Dance”

Breathe In Breathe Out

Photo by Emiliana Hall on Unsplash

Take a step back and just breathe

Over the past week a couple of the Instagram pages I follow sadly brought up that three of their fellow veterinary colleagues had committed suicide. They talked about how though these three were doing well in their fields the mental and emotional stress that they had been feeling is what ultimately led them down the road they went. The veterinary field is not a easy field to be in, we love animals, we hate to see them in pain, we want to support the pet parents, but we also have to set boundaries to make sure that our well being is not affected by the job. When you add the long hours and for some, wages that barely pay the bills, it’s not hard to understand that it can get overwhelming. I have been in the veterinary field for almost 16 years, I worked from being in the boarding facility to the hospital/surgery setting. I have dealt with, life and death, sickness and healthy, I have dealt with super sweet clients and clients that have been so mean I had to take a break to collect myself. I have worked with bosses who had the mentality of “lowest dose possible” except with the dose being replaced with “staff”. They would have the smallest staff count they could have and still be able to take care of the caseload (barely).

I work with a small group of people now, but the doctor and the hospital manager focus on the well being of their staff over the ever present caseload. When I started full time with them, I was giving them all I had and more because that is what I had to do at the hospital I was at before. I didn’t have time to breathe let alone think. Then the doctor and the hospital manager sat me down and in their own way said I didn’t have to do that anymore. I was to take my breaks and actually “take them”, I was to start later in the morning so that I would have more time to get personal stuff done. They have even made it a point to have monthly meetings to make sure I was happy. This wasn’t done just for me. The other staff members are treated the same way. It seems self care is important.

Which brings me to breathing. It seems silly to talk about it, since it is essential for life, but have you ever noticed that when you stop and take a deep breath start to calm down? While I was in college my roommates noticed that during finals week I would sigh a LOT. I did it so much I stop noticing I was doing it But my body was trying to “sigh” out the stress I was under. When you inhale a long breath and then hold it for a second before you release it, it causes your heartrate to slow down, which starts to calm your body down. The same goes for when you breath rapidly (hyperventilating) it makes the heart beat faster and the amount of CO2 builds up in the bloodstream which causes you to feel dizzy, which then makes your anxiety go up. When you step back from a situation, especially when it is a stressful situation and you focus on calming down, the quality of the breaths you take is essential.

As I go to work each day and deal with people worried about their pets, I wonder how it would be if we saw each other as the people we are. I wouldn’t just see them as the client who is worked up about their pet, and they wouldn’t see me as just the nurse who may know what I am doing and might try and get more money out of them. In these situations we all want the same thing, for the pet to be better and going home to his/her family. I am not saying all clients are this way, and I am not this way with all clients, but I can say that it is probably one of the factors that led to the veterinary professionals that took their lives to do so. Sadly it is a huge stressor and they may not have been able to do the self care needed to stop them from doing what they ultimately did.

I went to a client’s how recently to help her with her paralyzed dog. She had been texting back and forth with our receptionist about a bandage she had been trying to remove off of a couple of bed sores her dog had gotten. She had soaked the sites with warm water and the bandages were still not budging. She was starting to get worked up, and her husband who normally helps her was out of town. So when I called her she was almost desperate for help. So I went to her. When I got there she had her dog in the perfect set up, she had a rig and pully made with a sling for her dog to “hang” in. I came in calm, started to talk with her and while we talked I worked on loosening the bandages and stopping the bleeding. We cleaned and rebandaged the wounds and made her dog more comfortable. Could she have done this on her own? Yes, but since she didn’t have her support (husband) there and the bandages were not coming off, she started to panic. I knew I could bring in some calmness. I knew really what she needed was someone to say it’s ok, I am here and we will figure this out, and we did. Breathe in, breathe out. Most situations can be figured out by stepping back and taking a breather. Sleep on it, before big decisions. Calm down before saying something mean to someone, cry (soothing for the soul), but most importantly breathe. It may be the best thing you do for yourself. Until next time:

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius

Why Are We Back To That Again?

Our conversation didn’t begin here

Have you ever noticed that when something is on your mind even the most random conversations tend to circle back around to what you were thinking about? I know this isn’t a new concept, it happens all of the time, but there are times when I wish it didn’t happen. When you are trying to be in the moment with the person you are with it gets awkward when you bring up this random thought that has been floating around in your brain.

This is the same phenomenon that happens in the vet world (probably other places too, but since the vet world seems to be my world mostly, this is where I wander to). There is a saying “it comes in threes” and basically it means if something is going to happen it will happen in triplicate. So for instance, about a month ago (on a Friday, of course) a puppy was brought in that had been vomiting but wasn’t having a bowel movement. First thought was foreign body in the intestines, which was confirmed with a abdominal radiograph. This meant we would have to do an exploratory surgery to find what it was the puppy ate. We were successful in removing a piece of a plush toy and we sent the puppy home and he is doing well. Sadly though, that was the first one, that means we have two more to go before that “bad streak” is done. Enter in puppy number two. So my super cute new puppy Charlie loves to chew on toys and will rip them to pieces. We watch her to make sure she doesn’t swallow any of the pieces and we try to pick them up before she gets the idea in her head, but this time we were not quick enough. Friday (don’t know why it’s always Fridays) I was at work and my hubby called me to say that Charlie threw up two times since she has had breakfast and he wasn’t sure if she had had a bowel movement. So I tell my doctor who tells me what I don’t really want to hear, we need an x-ray.

Charlie doesn’t do car rides well, but she did this one great which tells me she didn’t feel well. We get her in and get the radiographs done to have the doctor say she “doesn’t really like a gas pattern she sees, and that we should give Charlie some anti-nausea medication and see if we can get her to poop” if not, it meant exploratory surgery in the afternoon. I was never so anxious to hear if my dog went poop in my life. I sent my wonderful hubby home with some gloves and instructions to get Charlie moving and once she poops, dig through it and make sure she poops something out other than sh*t. You know you have a keeper if your hubby is willing to put on gloves to sift through poop for you. Luckily Charlie did poop and surgery was averted. So now we wait for number three, sadly we have to have one more dog/cat need x-rays for some random thing they ate, to finish out this cycle. I know it sounds crazy but once the third one happens it’s like magic, no more for a long time.

Which circles us back around to the first point: having a conversation and having a topic that you have had on your mind for a while pop into it. I think the reason this happens is because whatever that topic is, it’s important to you enough that it takes over. This may be a problem that needs to be fixed, it could be a person that needs a prayer, it could be an adventure that is coming up. Whatever it is shouldn’t be ignored. Just as in the vet world we don’t ignore the “comes in three rule”, people shouldn’t ignore something that keeps popping back into their lives.

I have learned over the years that ignoring the promptings of the brain can lead to worry and anxiety. When we choose to “take care of it later” we carry the worry and anxiety with us whether we know it or not. I’ve talked about my kitchen floor before. We had a remodel done a few years back, but the kitchen floor wasn’t done correctly so tiles kept popping up. We would replace tiles when needed but eventually got to the point of just having spots in our floor without tiles. Everyday I would look at the floor and hate it, until finally the hubby and I decided enough was enough. We pulled up all the tiles fixed the what was wrong underneath and laid down new flooring. When it was all done we both did this collective sigh that we didn’t even know we had been holding. The floor had been bugging us for years and we kept holding off on fixing it for various reasons, but when it was finally fixed the weight we didn’t know we were carrying was lifted. It’s a weird thing but it happens even with the smallest of issues.

Circling back around happens all of the time, it’s how we choose to deal with it that shows our abilities to cope with what is going on. Some problems are out of our hands so we pray, others are just a waiting game. Some circling around is because we are excited, and other times it’s because we want to make sure we are doing the right thing. Finding someone you trust to talk to helps, praying helps, heck just pushing forward and getting it done helps, but in the end ignoring it is never the answer. Until next time:

Scars are not signs of weakness, they are signs of survival and endurance

Rodney A Winters

Are You Happy?

There are so many ways to answer that question

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine that I haven’t seen in a little over 2 years. When she pulled up to the parking lot of my work, I almost (but not quite) dropped everything I was doing just so that I could go out to her and hug her. She had been doing a favor for her niece by bringing her dog to us that had eaten something that made her have an upset stomach. I ran out there like a momma who hadn’t seen her child in years. I think I hesitated only slightly when I got to my friend because I wasn’t sure if it was safe for me to hug her (her husband had cancer), but she gave me the open arms and I flew into them. My friend is the kind of person who is there for you. She was one of the first friends I had that helped when I needed someone to watch my baby when I had to go back to work. She let me sit on her couch and we would just talk. Even in the parking lot that familiar feeling overcame me that with this friend I could confide everything to her and she would still love me. So we talked about her grandkids, we talked about my kids and how much they have grown. We talked about her and her husband planning to travel again. We just talked. When her niece showed up to pick up her dog, I was in such a state of happiness that when her niece mentioned something about how she had not even gotten a hug, I immediately hugged her and then realized she was talking to her aunt. Seeing my friend was what I needed.

I am blessed to work with people that I get to call friends. Over the years I have found (at other jobs) that it’s hard to be friends with your boss, I mean they have to put their foot down at times and it’s not pretty. My boss now though really is a friend. You could say we grew up together (in our careers) and our families have grown up together as well. We aren’t super close, but that’s ok. I know I can count on her and she can count on me. Her office manager, and receptionist are friends too. I am lucky to have these relationships. They make me happy, but it doesn’t make answering that question any easier, when asked that in a meeting. I mean yes I am happy, I love my job, I love who I work with, and I love that I have the flexibility in my job to have my girls with me in the rig when I go on appointments, but when both sides are working hard to make sure the other side is happy it’s somewhat awkward to answer the question. I will say this it is really nice to be in a workplace where people are treated with respect and we genuinely have fun working with each together. That is happy.

Last night was church night for the kids, sometimes all three like going to church, but mostly it’s just two of the kids that really get excited to go. I pray a lot about this because church is important, but I know deep down I can’t force my kids to think or believe like I do. My hubby and I can guide and pray, and then pray some more, but at the end of the day, we plant the seeds, God waters them. Last night though, I didn’t have to fight anyone. I didn’t have to try and persuade, or try to understand why a person didn’t want to go. All three of my kiddos finished their dinners and hoped in the car to go. I am a firm believer that on the days you really don’t want to go, those are the days you should really be there. This made me happy that they all went, because even if they didn’t get much out of the message they still got to go and do fun things with their friends. In the times we are in that doesn’t happen very much, so I am happy at least for that.

Two nights ago I finished a really good book. It was one of those books that you make sure you set time aside just so you can read and not get bothered. Sadly I finished it, happily I finished it. I love books that aren’t too “heavy”. I like to get lost in the book. I like to think about what it is I read, even better when I can connect to the characters/author. It’s an escape for me. In my house my family likes to joke about the fact that while everyone (and I mean everyone) plays video games my nose is stuck in a book. I don’t do video games at all, my hand/eye coordination is probably horrible, but I could tell you some good stories based on the books I read. Like I said earlier though books are my way to unwind and escape. Sometimes my work can be stressful, sometimes being a parent/wife can be stressful. I wouldn’t trade what I do or have for anything, but I will escape it for a little bit. When reading it becomes “my time”, and this makes me happy.

Happiness is a feeling, it’s not selfish to be happy, but sometimes it’s hard to find the happiness in the world around us so we have to work at finding it. Happiness and joy are linked but you don’t have to have one in order to have the other. Joy comes from knowing who you are and being ok with it, it is knowing that you belong to Christ, it is finding peace in the moments. Happiness can come from everyday situations. You can have happiness and not know your joy yet. You can have joy and have times of not being happy. Happiness in all forms, sheets dried on the line (smells like summer), cheesecake, a child’s hug, a friend’s listening ear, a day on the couch, a motorcycle ride, time with family and so much more. So what does happiness look like for you? Until next time:

Be happy for no reason, like a child. If you are happy for a reason, you’re in trouble, because that reason can be taken from you.

Is It Love Though?

All I want is peace and happiness

I was reading a devotion the other day about love. Shocker that the verse that is associated with the devotion was:

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

I live in a house with two teenage girls, a son and a husband who all have opinions on life and how it should be lived. We coexist with each other pretty well for the most part, but there are definitely times when I would love to maintain the peace. I have been told to “pick my battles” and I do for the most part, but when I choose to remain silent when I should speak up isn’t showing love to my family. This could be as simple as talking to one of the girls about a post they put up on Instagram and how they don’t see it as offensive but I do. It could be bringing up the “raw topic” of not getting the allowance for a week because the chores were not getting done. It could be about what to do with the tithe money when one of the girls wants to take a break from church for a bit. Some topics are simple and are mentioned once and then done. Others not so much, they turn into conversations that will last a long time because they are important ones about life. If I chose to not speak up about these different topics I would then be saying that I will tolerate what is happening and thus let them know that I think it’s ok. That would not be love.

The more and more I live in this world, the more and more I see that there is a lack of love. Not the gushy, sloppy love that is portrayed everywhere but the love that is patient, is kind, is not easily angered or self seeking. This is not easy. We get upset when someone cuts us off while on the way to work, we get even more upset when we try and have a conversation and get interrupted constantly. We get upset when our best laid plans go up in smoke just because someone announces they are going against the grain. I am not saying that we shouldn’t get upset, sometimes that needs to happen. Jesus had cause to get upset on multiple occasions, and when he did they were not temper tantrum fits. Jesus was very patient with those he met, he talked with people with love, and acceptance. Even when those same people were causing Him harm, he didn’t lash out but he did fight for them with prayer.

James 1:19-20 says this:
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires

James was talking to the twelve tribes that had been scattered among the nations. He was having to encourage and teach people that were in the world about what it will mean to be Christians and to have people mock and ridicule them. How closely this resembles our world today. Peace and happiness are properties to strive for, so are honesty and humbleness. A friend of mine that I worked with years ago saw I was getting upset with a client on the phone. The client wasn’t being the nicest of people and she was demanding that I take care the problem right then and there. I was getting frustrated with her as well as the person who had told her the wrong information that had caused the problem in the first place. So I put her on hold. I proceeded to go into the back treatment area to rant and let off some steam. My friend heard me and asked how she could help. I told her the situation, she listened and then said “here let me handle it”. I was curious to see how she would handle this client so I followed her back up to the reception desk. I was amazed! My friend got on the phone, and in a very quiet and calm voice she started talking to the lady. My friend had to repeat herself a couple of times, but that was only because she kept talking in a quiet and calm voice and the lady on the other end couldn’t hear her because she wasn’t expecting to have to “listen”. Even before the phone call was over I realized that I had the same problem the lady on the other end had, I didn’t think I had to “listen”. My friend calmed the lady down by being calm and listening. I learned that day, that most of the time when people are upset it’s because they feel like they are not being heard. I had gone into the conversation with the lady already geared up for a fight. I didn’t show humbleness, I was not patient, and I definitely had a list of wrongs I was sure this lady had. I didn’t go in with love at all.

Peace and happiness are only good if they are pure and true. If problems are ignored and conversations don’t happen just because you don’t want to upset the balance of peace and happiness, then what you have is not real. Sadly you will not be liked all of the time, this is hard for me to say because I don’t like having people think badly of me, but over the years I have learned that people are not the end all. God is. That is where the joy is found. I have had to have hard discussions with people, I have disagreed with choices being made, but I also realize I am far from perfect. If something needs to be said or done, I have to go and say it/do it with love and humbleness, and instead of fighting battles with harsh words and deeds, I need to fight them on my knees in prayer. Until next time:

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
James 1:22-24
%d bloggers like this: