Posts Tagged With: challenges

Navigating perpetual rats

I knew it was coming, and I’m not thrilled about it.  An industry gathering occurs later today, and the rat will be there.

warren t rat american tail

I’d sit at the opposite end of the table, but the table’s not going to be big enough.

I’d find another part of the room to mingle in, but the group setting will be somewhat small.

So I’ll do what I always do – smile and get through it.  And when he blathers on about himself and his life and his other favorite topic, him, I’ll silently think about how glorious the past two months have been since he left.  And when someone catches a whimsical look on my face they may suspect I’m day-dreaming but really I’ll be thinking this:

hate you

And with that, I’m off.  Prayers accepted!

Question: Have you ever jettisoned a rat from your life only to have them re-appear?  How did you deal with it? Please share!

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Growth, Life Lessons, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , | 14 Comments

Random Five Friday … in February

It’s Friday, whoop whoop!  Time for 5 random thoughts from the house of MJ. Here we go.

1.  Sunshine.  A miracle occurred earlier this week – the clouds disappeared and the sun came out and me & my office mates chitter-chattered like squirrels.   For about 42 minutes, it was glorious.  The end.

photo credit - National Geographic

Sunshine?  More please! photo credit – National Geographic

2.  Roof rakes.  Ever heard of this?  Invented no doubt by a hearty mid-westerner, this cool little contraption allows the user to rake the snow off the roof.  In a burst of brilliance, I gave it a go one day last weekend.  I’m 5’2″, the roof is roughly 400′ in the air.  It worked great till I reached one of the highest points where the rake’s head popped off and stayed .. on the roof.  Lucky for me, youngest kid witnessed my debacle and his 6’3″ self came to my rescue.  I put it back together, wiped the snow off and went back in the house where I belong.  The end.

This isn't me or my house. This is Shirl in St. Paul having a grand old time with her roof rake.  Photo credit http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=2dwZKqd1LL5KPM&tbnid=G5oG2zcv2Lbz2M:&ved=0CAQQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.minnsnowta.com%2Fin_action1.html&ei=OM_0Uu_fKtLPqAHj84GIBQ&bvm=bv.60799247,d.aWc&psig=AFQjCNGADYanIxhEacdG_7yTyNlzMPLidg&ust=1391861937053946

This isn’t me or my house. This is Shirl in St. Paul having a grand old time with her roof rake. Photo credit http://www.minnesota.com

3.  Winter Olympics!  Curling! Skiing! Skating! Hockey! I feel like I’m back in the Motherland.  And is there anyone ever more excited than a figure skating announcer?? Triple-double-salchow- he NAILED IT!  I dig the Winter Olympics and I’m not afraid to say it. The end.

Curling is my sentimental favorite, although we were never quite as colorful as the Norwegian Curling Team is!! google.images

Curling might be my sentimental favorite, although we were never quite as colorful as the Norwegian Curling Team is!! google.images

4. Chores.  Chores – getting gas – groceries – everything – is more difficult in winter.  Hubbs and I divided & conquered yesterday. He stopped and purchased and hauled in all the heavy stuff that’s hard for me to do (paper products, cases of water, canned goods, frozen foods etc) and I made a “produce” run on my way home; produce derails him every time. We’re feeling like geniuses and it only took us 23 years to learn this!  The end.

5. 41 days till Spring. Technically anyways. Last year we had snow in April but  I’m not going there right now.  Just 41 days, peeps.  The end.

:: Pinterest.com::

:: Pinterest.com::

Care to share your “Random 5” with me?

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Determination, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Home, Joy, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Random, Random observations, Sports, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

Go with what you know

So, some of you know that I started a new job last Monday.   Holy Guacamole  – to say I’ve been a little busy would be an understatement.

The thing is … I’m still doing my old job,  and I’m navigating the new one, too.  And, truth be told, I’ve done a quite a bit of it for some time now.

Somewhere in the quiet part that is Sunday evening a little voice whispered to me: “Hey you, the forecast is nasty, and you have an awful lot of calls scheduled, so how ’bout a bit o’ lunch?”   I dug out a bruised Gladware container and assembled a beautiful salad of fresh greens, tomatoes, English cucumbers and grilled chicken. Then I wrote myself a note so I’d remember to take it with me today! 

And it was a good thing I did because this day took off like a shot and it was 2:00 before I remembered that I even had a lunch to eat.

And in that moment, I caught my breath, laughed out loud and thought, “Go with what you know.”

The situation was really no different than when I started blogging two years ago.  I remember getting all caught up in the excitement of it, the newness of it, and the desire to take off on the journey and see where it would go.

And I remembered how, later on,  I found myself stepping back and, in the end, giving myself permission not to know everything. To not have it all together. To do it my way.

So with that, I’m revisiting that post tonight.

I’m taking a page out of my own book and I’m going with what I know.

google.images.com

 * * *

Write what you know

by Emjayandthem

Asked about blogging, it hit me what I’ve learned from the experience:

1. Write as often as you want to but resist the pressure to publish every day.  Remember that you do this because you enjoy writing.  Example:   At first, I obediently followed the mandate set by my instructor –  to write and publish daily.  I know she meant well because her point was to keep it fresh and avoid too many days between posts.  But now, looking back, I can tell the difference between my “going through the motions-posts” and those that were really me –  at my most authentic.  And if I could tell, I’m pretty sure others could, too.

2. To that end, let your posts breathe.  Not all of your readers are “online” at the same time and when you post something new, older posts get pushed to the bottom.  Give each one its due.

3. Read (and be inspired) by the work of others:  Be moved by the posts, dreams and the designs of the many talented writers here in the blogosphere.  When I feel “stuck,” all I have to do is click & read.   In no time at all, I’m laughing, smiling, crying, nodding my head in agreement and commenting.  In no time at all, I’ve forgotten about my little blog and have subscribed to several more.

4. Commenting on blogs is a wonderful way to connect but there’s a tiny line between being interested and supportive and just being there to promote your stuff.  People will find you if they’re interested and they don’t … then they don’t.     The self-promoting commenter makes me think of that snot-nosed kid who dumps his milk at the dinner table on purpose: Look at me, notice me, see me, I’m here.   Geez, I get it already now knock it off!

5.  Mind your manners: respond to comments and acknowledge those who took the time to weigh in.  However, if someone chooses to swear at me, their comments will not see the light of day.  Constructive criticism – bring it on but general viciousness? Hell to the no.  My blog – my rules.

6.  Take the challenge:   The topics I care most about are the hardest for me to writeSo when I find myself feeling that pinch, I dig a little deeper and keep at it because I know I’ve hit the good stuff.

7.  Slog through:  Often, what I feel most passionate about can leave me feeling vulnerable and it’s tempting to self-censor…. but then I can easily lose the point of my post.  However, what I’ve learned is that the most difficult posts to write have become my favorites. Maybe not the most read, but.. My. Personal. Favorites.  And that counts for something, too. 🙂

8.  Be open to ideas:  Ideas come in all shapes and sizes and often at random times. Keep a list.  You can email ideas to yourself, record messages on your cell phone or, like me, scribble notes down on the backs of envelopes, post-its and grocery lists.

9. Have fun: If writing starts feeling like a chore, step away and do something else.  Chances are something else in your day will inspire you.   We’re not curing Cancer here, people!  Step away, mix it up, come back & let ‘er buck!

10. Write what you know:  Lastly, lots of blogging “authorities” will tell you to “become the expert,” or to find out what you’re an expert on.  Well, the only thing I am an expert on is me, my life and my experiences … and all of it is a work in progress anyways.

Have you ever stepped back from something only to discover that what you already know is actually … quite enough?  What have you learned to trust yourself with?

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, fear, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Do it anyway

So, I’ve written about how eager I was to start the Couch25K plan, an 8 week program that gets you off the couch and running 3 miles in about 2 months. (download the free podcasts here).

What I haven’t written about is the transformation that is occurring.

“I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought.” Arthur Blank

Oh, there’s a wee part of me that whispers shh don’t talk about it yet, you’re only in week 3.  But there’s a stronger, louder, more powerful part of me that tells her to shut it.

Because here’s what I need to say:

I mustered up my courage and actually went into a running store. You know the kind: everyone in there is a 9′ tall gazelle with 3% body fat and knows what to do with the hydration stuff and anti chafing products sitting at the till.

Not me.

I ambled in, took a deep breath and let the athletic gal fitting me know that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.  She found me some new runners and let me try them out. And I did. I ran in the store.  Me. I know! And here’s the thing: I didn’t care who saw me.

Yes I still have my old tanks and sports bras and I haven’t invested in any new shorts or cute outfits. I run on a treadmill and the only one who sees my wardrobe is the 12-year-old dog who is partially deaf and near-sighted.

But the very best part is this: Everything, and I mean, everything – my job, my co-workers, my family, my ancient, arthritic dog, and even our neglected house have taken a backseat to this.

Why?

Because nothing I’ve ever purchased, tasted or experienced has ever made me feel as alive as this does. Nothing.  I love everything about it! I love the sweating (and I’m talking rivers of sweat).  I love the endurance and confidence I’m gaining. I’m loving the kick-a** way 30 minutes of this makes me feel. I love that moment that comes in the middle of a workout when my inner lizard harps that I can’t possibly finish; I love to silence her by pushing through anyway. I’m loving how well I sleep at night.  I love the “atta-girls” I get from the Hubbs and the pride I feel when I reach another milestone.

At 49, I’m loving that I can.

:: Just run:: Image from Pinterest.com

What have you discovered about yourself lately?

Categories: Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

They’re in our way for a reason

image courtesy of guardian.co.uk“Your most challenging relationship is also your greatest teacher.”

Do you have someone in your life whose habits or personality force you to speak up for yourself?

To find your voice and speak your truth?  Someone who keeps you on your “A-game?”

You know who I’m referring to because you can picture them now and you’re nodding your head in agreement.

You prepare for interactions.  You anticipate their next move and you might even rehearse conversations.

You’ve gone to battle with them –  in your head.

Again and again, I’m reminded that the people who frustrate me most are the ones who have the most to teach me.

Their behavior flashes like a mirror in the sunlight– and creates opportunities for self-reflection:  to be more patient, more accepting, and more open.

The loud reinforce the power of a softly spoken word.

The pushy make me ask myself, “just what are we rushing to and why do I care?”

The needy give me pause to ponder my own needs and how I’m expressing them.. or not.

The irresponsible prompt me to make more thoughtful choices.

And the selfish serve as a reminder of what I don’t want to be.

They’re in our way for a reason, I think.   Sometimes I can see the lessons; other-times I fail to see them until years later.

Remember …  it takes the sand irritating the oyster to produce a pearl.

Categories: Determination, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Gratitude, Humor, Joy, Life Lessons, Love, Men, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Random, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Work | Tags: , , , , , | 21 Comments

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RICH RIPLEY

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Another Stir of the Spoon

Food, Art, Books, Birds and whatever...

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine; For your light has come!

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by three opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...