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Posts Tagged With: change

Really living this Thanksgiving

It’s the night before Thanksgiving … and all through the House, Not a spatula was stirring …

WHAT?

  • NO taking the day before off work to clean, cook, prep and repeat?
  • NO fridge stuffed with Cheese Balls, Salads, Cheesecake and Pie?
  • NO 10,000+ steps inside the house?
  • NO setting the alarm to shove the bird, ham and other delights into the oven?

2017 Thanksgiving eve’s Fridge – Cherry cheesecake, Mom’s Pineapple carrot salad, homemade cheese balls and more. an Emjayandthem(C) photo

Nope.  Nada. None.

Today I went to the office, had time to stop for a coffee (gasp!) and worked a “normal” day.

  • No cutting out early to set tables, stock up on booze, clean the garage,  wash crystal or defrost something.
  • Nope. Nada. None.

Why?

Oldest boy and his beautiful bride bought their first home earlier this year and, while walking through their gorgeous open concept kitchen/living room, I may have happily proclaimed, “WOW this is gonna be great for the Holidays!”

There might have been a skip in my step, not sure.

See, I’ve loved cooking and entertaining and fussing and decorating and providing for everyone all these years (32+ but who’s counting?) but do you know what I love even more?

  • That my big strapping handsome son loves it, too.
    • And so does his wife!
  • I love that he has some semblance of understanding what’s he’s in for and that they want to host Thanksgiving this year.
    • As the chief cook, cleaner and bottle washer, I couldn’t be PROUDER!
      • And neither could these two, although they’d never believe it was a MAN was stepping in to cook!

Grandma and Mom in the kitchen together; and Emjayandthem (C) photo

BREAKING NEWS:  Are you sitting down?

This is the first family Holiday I haven’t hosted, cooked, cleaned for or done.

For at least 35 years.

Thirty. Five. Years.

Flash forward to tonight:

  • Hubbs and I are to bring a couple of side dishes, show up, mingle and BE GUESTS!
    • We may have done the dance of joy more than once tonight (he in his fuzzy pants and me in mine, prepping my 2 side dishes {done and in the fridge already!})
      • Her parents, Grandparents and brother are coming, too.
      • So is youngest boy and his fiance.
    • Their dog will be in the mix, too, and he and I are likely to be shooed out of the kitchen.
      • Can’t wait.

 

  • Hubbs and I toyed with the idea of (not really) being BAD guests, you know the ones .. they don’t bring what they said they would OR they show up late OR they bring other guests you don’t know OR all of the above!
    • But we won’t do that.
      • But we laughed hard at the thought of it.

 

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” ~ Gail Sheehy

 

Your turn:

  • What traditions have you changed up lately?
  • What would you like to change-up?
    • Happy Thanksgiving!

 

P.S.

  • Made Hubbs some fudge just because.
    • He very nicely offered that “some” could go with us tomorrow ~

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Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Men, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Life sets us a challenge

I stood in the doorway, surveying the mess: about to sort and pack years of records in 24 hours.  My first reaction was shock.  Overwhelmed at the task before me, the next reaction was anger.   And finally, standing at the crux of the chaos, I felt sadness for what could have been.

Backstory:  an employee left so it was my job to sort through the ashes.  Literally.  Through the piles. The stacks. The dust. The dead flies and the mouse droppings. ** Cough Cough **.   Out-dated phone books, notes, scraps of paper, stacks in corners, corners unseen.  ** Cough Cough ** A rhythm developed ~ assemble box & lid, open drawer,  breathe, lean in and go.   ** Cough Cough ** The back of my hair, damp with sweat, black dress slacks brown with dust and debris.  Shaking my head at the “no jeans” policy ~ laughing because this was Hazmat worthy.

Sorting, stacking, cleaning, organizing:  Nearly 40 boxes to be shred, garbage cans overflowing and 7 – count ’em 7 – boxes to be moved /re-filed.   A sore back and stiff neck that linger still.

Asked how this could be done so rapidly my answer: “determination fueled by disbelief.”

I’ve recently made some self- care choices that, on the surface, appear inconsequential: I got a personal cell phone.   Next I exported all (18 -ha!) personal contacts from the work phone and moved them to mine.  Then I  deleted those same numbers and any personal apps, too.   Why?  This week reinforced something sobering ~ we are all replaceable.

It’s an adjustment to turn off the work phone Friday evening and not look at it again until Monday. I’m working through it.  Now, it’s the personal phone that accompanies me to the grocery store or out on a date night with hubbs.  And I like that, when checked, there are 2 messages instead of 60. The breathless 60 can wait.

Yes, it’s a small step that’s netting me peace of mind and the separation/boundaries I’ve been craving.

Life does not look back.  Life looks ahead ~ and leaps.

 

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”  Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

 

What self-care steps have you taken lately?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Forgiveness, Growth, Life, Life Lessons, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The New Normal

Somehow me – and some others – are still here.  We’ve been impacted but not “touched” by “re-organizations,” “alignments” and “employee optimizations.”   It gets challenging to do your work well when your wide range of contacts becomes more narrow.

Opening the office yesterday, balancing my lunch, coffee and backpack while punching in the alarm code,  I took a moment to stand in the quiet and take this in. We’ve dropped from 28 to 7 in a matter of weeks.   Department consolidations, moves, staffing changes. Some left, others moved, some took different positions within the company.

I’ve been traveling during most of these changes so I’m a bit late to the (non) party.   It’s like I woke up from a dream and the horizon shifted.

The new normal is office doors open  – everyone listens for the doorbell  – not just the cube-dwellers.  The cubes are empty.

The new normal is driving 7 miles to spend the whole day by myself.   Yes I can work at home and I sometimes do but all of my files and materials are there.  And I like having an office to go to – I can access everything easily – make copies, send a fax and conference someone in if need be.

The new normal is closing my office door for conference calls only to emerge and find everyone gone.

The new normal is – as expected – me and the other female employee – ensuring the coffee pot gets turned off, lights are shut down, and that we don’t run out of supplies.

The new normal is weird.   I don’t care for the new normal.

 

I’ve been through many re-organizations ~ too many to count.  What’s your experience been and how did you cope?

 

 

Categories: Faith, fear, Growth, Life, Personal, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Christmas 2015 ~ Changes, lessons and blessings

Christmas has come and gone and with that comes time to reflect.  I have a few days off ahead of me and a couple of closets that need attention.  But I also have new books waiting on the end table … I think the books might win. 🙂

The grand kids were with us the night of the 23rd and all day the 24th, and our family feasted, played and opened presents that evening. It was fun and cozy and wonderful.  But it was also different.  You see things changed this year: they’ve slept over on Christmas eve for 3 years now, and we have embraced waking to two bright little faces … even if they do tend to get up on the early side.

But this year was different.  They wanted to go home, to hang their stockings there with Dad and his fiance.  That’s a very good sign that they know who their home is.

Still, we packed as much in as we could, playing Yahtzee and Dice, making chocolate chip pancakes and lunches/snacks, enjoying Holiday movies like “Elf” and “Prancer” and calling the Santa Tracker regularly to check on the big guy’s whereabouts. We read the story of Jesus’ birth and “The Night before Christmas.”    At the end of the night, as Dad and his love bundled them up, they were sleepy but excited to go home, see the dog and put out cookies for Santa.

Several times that day I had tried calling Mom but she didn’t answer; what I didn’t know is she’s congested again and that impacts her hearing.  The phone is next to her, but she never heard it ring.  Talking with my sister Christmas Day she relayed that she and my oldest brother spent part of the day with Mom and how much she enjoyed it but that it played her out, too.   I shared my connectivity concerns and she suggested I call the front desk and have them bring Mom the portable phone, which we did.  For about 5 minutes Mom chatted with me, Hubbs and youngest boy, and while our conversations were brief,  we all expressed our love and gratitude for her as well as our sincere wishes for a Happy Christmas.  We each had a tear when the call ended. And if the time comes that she can no longer hear well enough to talk on the phone, I guess I’ll have to come up with an alternative.

I’ve beat myself up for weeks,  wondering why I wasn’t feeling it ~ the Christmas “spirit.”

I can see now that life has been preparing me for another change.  Time to let some things go – to roll with the changes – and to land safely on the other side.   I’m trying to remain open as to what He has in store for me.

a time to keep

“Sacred blessings and divine opportunities appear in your life disguised as unforeseen changes and challenging circumstances.” ― Miya Yamanouchi

 

What changes are you sensing?  Are you able to roll with them?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, fear, Grief, Growth, Holidays, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Mom, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Summer dreams

We’re in for another wintry blast this week.

An Arctic Vortex.

Whatever.

Sick of it yet?

I am.

I’m not even that sick of the cold, the wind, the ice. I’m sick of the topic!

So, after my workout last night, as the sweat cooled and my skin started to chill, I thought of days of summer.

And when I think of summer days, I think of afternoons spent like this:

therapy

Ahh …

I feel warmer already!  🙂

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

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Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Home, Humor, Life, Quotes, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

on Communicating

Most of the time,  Hubbs and I communicate pretty well.

He’s a planner, even more so than me. It’s the Virgo in him.  You can set your watch to this guy.

He’s the one who taught me to speak up about where I’m going and what I’m up to and what time you can expect me to be somewhere.  Being a Gemini, I’d never much considered telling anyone all that. But, as we dated, I seemed to have a knack for frustrating him. If he said “let’s meet at such and such place at this time” he’d be there. Early. Every time.  Not so with me. I’d be there, on time, or shortly thereafter. I’d see him look at his watch and sigh and give me the look.   Quite honestly, it was annoying.

It took me a few years to understand that when I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from work without saying anything ahead of time, that action caused him anxiety. I thought he was ridiculous. He thought I was uncaring.

It took him explaining the knot he got in his stomach when I wasn’t where he thought I’d be. It took him referencing his brother’s sudden death for me to understand that my actions were actually causing him pain. When I wasn’t where I said I’d be, his first thought, his first instinct, was that I was lost to him … forever.

Geez that’s heavy stuff.

But in the 22 years we’ve known each other, I’ve grown.  I’ve learned to communicate proactively, to share my plans because someone else cares to know. I’ve learned that speaking up doesn’t mean surrendering a part of me, it means caring for another, too.

But even after all that, we still have our moments when I think we’re talking two different  languages.

I’m all about words, kinda obvious, since I write a blog. 🙂

He’s a quieter guy who doesn’t always want to talk.

I can talk about anything and often do.

He relishes silence.

So the other day when he commented about “having to clean out the dryer lint drawer cause no one else ever does” what I heard was “you’re an inept housekeeper and whatever you do will never be good enough for me.”

That’s not what he said, but that is what I heard.

And that’s when the snarping started.

I understand now what he was really saying: See me.

I understand now what I was really saying: See me.

Later today, I’m heading out to run a few errands. The 9-year-old in me doesn’t want to tell anyone where she’s off to.  The woman in me commented on the amazingly clean lint drawer and referenced stops at the dry cleaners and gas station.

# # #

How do you and your loves communicate?  Has it changed over time?

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
― C. JoyBell C.

related – Virgo and the Circus

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Life, Men, Personal, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Price-point

If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.  ~Author Unknown

image from pinterest.com

Lately, I’ve evaluated how I “spend” my time vs. how I want to.

Isn’t it odd that we measure time in units of value?

How did you spend your day off?

Oh man, I wasted a whole hour!

But I digress.

Over the past year, I’ve examined my life and made a conscious effort to make room for what matters to me.   The energy vampires are (mostly) gone and instead, I’ve added a few battery chargers to my circle.

I’ve cleared out the clutter in my life so I can do what’s important.

I’ve stopped maintaining relationships that aren’t healthy.  Doing so has made more room for the ones that are.

I’ve gone to bed earlier, and looked better,  than the results any diet ever delivered.

I’ve faced fears, spoken up and taken on new things; these efforts have energized me more than any $100 skin care product possibly could.

I’ve learned that saying no  translates into a big, fat YES… for me.

I’ve learned how very satisfying is is to raise my own price-point.

How about you?  Do you depend on others to raise your price?  Are you in the process of change?  How do you feel about it? 

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Friendship, Growth, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , | 50 Comments

Why (your) change is hard … on others

When we change, we force others to change, too.

Think about it – if someone depends on you to be  who you’ve always been (fill in the blanks: the cooperator, the yielder, the organizer, etc) and you hit the brakes and shift directions, they’re forced to shift, too.  They can no longer be who they’ve been all along (unorganized, irresponsible, insulting or immature).

google.images.com

When we stop being a doormat to someone demanding because it’s just “easier” than standing up for ourselves,  they’re forced to look for new places to wipe their feet.

When we stop redirecting conversations because we’re scared where someone aggressive will take it, we teach them to choose their words more carefully.

When we stop doing for everyone else because we think that’s where the love is, we learn … to start loving ourselves.

There are some relationships that cannot withstand change.

When one continues to develop and grow and another remains just where they were (listen for the words, “I’m happy with where/who I am), conflict can erupt.  Expect to be challenged. Why? Because witnessing another taking positive steps forward often creates feelings of having to keep up … and they may not want to. They might want things to stay just how they are: easy.

This occurs in personal and professional relationships.

Who’s holding you back? Who’s challenging you to stay as you are?  Whose life would be easier if you stayed static?

If you’re in a time of change (losing weight,  gaining confidence, learning to say “no,” trying out new things) consider this: when someone comments that “you’ve changed,” what they really mean to say is this: you’ve stopped living your life their way.

“You are now at a crossroads.

This is your opportunity to make the most important decision you will ever make.

Forget your past.  Who are you now?

Who have you decided you really are now?

Don’t think about who you have been.

Who are you now?

Who have you decided to become?

Make this decision consciously.

Make it carefully.

Make it powerfully.

Make it.”

– Anthony Robbins

*Thank you to my friend Renee at Writing Feemail for her many words of wisdom on my blog — her comments on a past post bubbled back up in my collective thoughts and she, in turn, inspired this post.

The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The realist adjust the sails. - William A. Ward. Image: michigan.org

 

Categories: Attitude, Family, Friendship, Growth, Life, Opinion, Relationships, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Wheels off

Being happy – the ultimate goal, right?

Except that … riding an ever-revolving wheel churning towards happiness is a little exhausting, don’t you think?

It’s good to get off the wheel.  It’s good to take a look around.

It’s good to be happy right where you are.

With who you are.

With what you have.

With all you can do.

What about that?

“The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment.”  – Doug Larson

Frankie and contentment are well-acquainted.

Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Quotes | Tags: , , , | 33 Comments

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just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

The View Out Here

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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

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

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How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...

peace full home®—intentional living

making your home, your life and your world a place you love

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...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four 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

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

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

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...