Tweaking Traditions

Monday, November 28, 2011

Every family no matter how big or small has its own holiday traditions that are followed throughout the years. Since we do not live in the same state as the rest of our family we usually do the traveling to make sure we continue the tradition of us spending the holidays together. This Thanksgiving we drove 55 miles to celebrate the holiday with our family and friends. We started out at around noon and made it to the first stop at 2:00. We ate, drank, had a few laughs until it was time to leave to go to the next family gathering. We arrived there at 7:00....right in time to eat...again. We stayed there for a few hours and then left to go visit yet two more family/friends gatherings. When our Thanksgiving night was done we finally went to bed at 4:00AM! It was a fun, yet extremely exhausting day! Although we love visiting family and can be so stressful to make sure we visit everyone and that we share an equal amount of time with all our loved ones.

A few years ago my daughter asked if we could please celebrate just one holiday at home. How could we say no? So we decided to stay home on Christmas.....and we began our Christmas Eve tradition. On Christmas Eve we put on our Santa hats, pile up the gifts in the truck and drive those 55 miles to deliver gifts and some Christmas cheer. We usually start early and get home late but this way we get to visit family and friends on Christmas Eve AND we also get to enjoy our Christmas Day relaxing and at home savoring every moment of the blessed holiday. I think it's a win-win!

However, choosing to spending Christmas at home means that we are not be part of all the Christmas Day gatherings but I have learned that sometimes you have to find a balance in order to make the holidays less stressful. As the kids get older and families expand sometimes it is necessary for families to tweak their traditions in order to accommodate everyone’s lifestyle. At some point one generation may have to create new traditions with their own families. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

So I'll be home for Christmas! What are some of your Holiday traditions? How do you find a balance to make the holidays less stressful?

Beware of the Comfort Zone!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Why can't I just be satisfied with my life the way it is? What is this constant desire to keep stepping out of my comfort zone? I know that change is hard! Growth can really hurt! I guess that's where the term "growing pains" comes from. Being complacent is safe. Isn't it? Yes, because there is no chance of failure when you are complacent.

Although I know all of this I am constantly still making moves to step out of my comfort zone. As I get older I realize that I am in constant competition with myself. What I want to know is where was this competitive spirit when I was younger and had more energy. I know so many people who are happy with their lives just like I am and no matter what they will never voluntarily move out of their comfort zone. Why can't this be me? Instead, when I stay in my comfort zone for too long I feel restricted as if I am slowly being intellectually suffocated. I have to keep changing, learning, growing. It's exhausting and at the same time exciting.

Complacency is just another excuse for fear and this is why many of us pretend to be content in our current situations whether it be in our personal or professional lives. We are afraid of change. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of failure. I know these feelings all to well. But there is something about moving beyond my fear that gives me a sense of freedom and reminds me that I am still growing. Growth represents life. And I still have a whole lot of life in me!

So ladies, really think about this one. What would you do if you could move past your comfort zone? What would you do if you weren't afraid of change?

I Love Myself Affirmation!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I posted this a few months ago but today I feel the need to post it again. I think sometimes we all need a reminder on how and why we should love ourselves unconditionally! I know I do! I hope it inspires you as much as it inspires me!

Deep at the center of my being,
there is an infinite well of love.

I now allow this love to flow to the surface.
It fills my heart, my body, my mind, my consciousness,
my very being, and radiates out from me in all directions
and returns to me multiplied.
The more love I use and give, the more I have to give.
The supply is endless.
The use of love makes me feel good,
it is an expression of my inner joy.

I love myself;
therefore, I take loving care of my body.
I lovingly feed it nourishing foods and beverages,
I lovingly groom it and dress it, and my body lovingly
responds to me with vibrant health and energy.

I love myself; therefore provide for myself
a comfortable home, one that fills
all my needs and is a pleasure to be in.
I fill the rooms with the vibration of love
so that all who enter, myself included,
will feel this love and be nourished by it.

I love myself; therefore I work at a job I truly enjoy
doing, one that uses my creative talents and abilities,
working with and for people I love and who love me,
and earning a good income.

I love myself; therefore, I behave and think in a loving
way to all people for I know that that which I give out
returns to me multiplied.
I only attract loving people in my world,
for they are a mirror of what I am.

I love myself; therefore I forgive and totally release
the past and all past experiences and I am free.

I love myself; therefore I live totally in the now,
experiencing each moment as good and knowing that
my future is bright and joyous and secure,
for I am a beloved child of God
and God lovingly takes care of me
now and forever more.

And so it is.

If you pick at it will bleed - A lesson on consequences

Monday, November 7, 2011

"If you keep picking at it, it will bleed!" These wise words came from my father many years ago. I was probably about 8 or 9 and I had a hangnail that I kept picking at. My father must have been watching me do this for a while because he said this without even looking up from his newspaper. I've always remembered this quote from him and until recently I never really knew why it stayed with me. You see it's all about consequences. Now I am not staying that my father meant this quote to become a life lesson; I am sure he just was telling me to quit picking at the hangnail! At the time I didn't think that this was going to be a teachable moment for me...but now 33 years I relate it to life's choices and consequences.

When I was younger my attitude was let me have fun now and reap the consequences later. Surprisingly, that never really worked out because some consequences have lasting effects. This is a lesson that I try to teach my daughters. The decisions they make now can directly affect their future, positively or negatively. So they must choose wisely! As they get older they both have started taking more control over the decisions they make...and reluctantly I have stepped back. As their mother I am there for guidance and support ALWAYS but I want them to know that ultimately they are in charge of their future.

"Parents can only give good advice or put their children on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands." Anne Frank

Believe me, it's not easy especially when my 21 year old daughter asks me to make a decision for her. When I hear the indecisiveness in her voice I am almost ready to tell her what to do or worst do it for her. But then I remember she has to be responsible for her own choices. So I listen patiently as she weighs her pros and cons and eventually makes her decision with very little input from me. Do I always agree with her choice? Not always. But I have learned that it's her life and therefore, it's her choice to make. Although, Cookie who is only 14 still needs me to make some decisions for her she has begun to think about how the choices she does make will affect her life now and in the future.

So thanks daddy for that funny little piece of advice many years ago! Who knew it would help me become a better mother to my girls.

Me + This Blog =Therapy

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Friend of a friend: Are you still doing that blog?
Me: Yeah!
Friend of a friend: Are you getting paid for it?
Me: No....
Annoying Friend of a friend: So why do you still do it?

(Okay, let's pause this conversation here for a minute.)

I had to think about that question for a few seconds. But a few seconds is all I gave it. The truth is I love to write but by no means do I pretend to be a professional. Believe me, I am not expecting a literary award for this. I write about topics that I have experienced or care strongly about with the hopes that maybe someone can relate. It makes me happy to know that something that I wrote might make a reader smile, think, or be encouraged. When I sit down to write a post it is the equivalent of a therapy session for me. This blog has giving me an outlet that has allowed me to express myself. I have also gotten great advice from some amazing women and I am even able to vent freely when necessary! What more can you ask for from a good therapist??

So, no I am not doing it for fame or fortune. I blog for me and for the few who may be encouraged in some way. Because I encourage you I am encouraging myself!

So now let's continue the conversation here:

Me: I do it for me! It's very therapeutic. You should really try it!