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Posts Tagged With: taking a break

The Glad Surrender

Lately my work life is all consuming  ~  looking back and ahead I am struck by these four things:

1 ) Traveling every week for work & so that means restaurant after restaurant – and eating healthfully can be a challenge.  Typically I have a big breakfast sometime during the day and supplement with foods I bring with me.  But, I’ve discovered the wedge salad and that has become my new favorite.  I’m sure it’s 10,000 calories but I don’t care.   Here’s is one I enjoyed a few nights ago with shrimp and a Skinny Girl Margarita.  Yes I was that gal photographing her food … ha!

dinner on the road recently

2)  I’m tired.  Tired of work, tired of calls, tired of projects, tired.  I’m tired of increasing pressure, endless demands and unrealistic expectations.  In just a few weeks we will shut everything off and head to a warm vacation.  In response to bosses who’ve asked anxiously if I’ll be online while away I’ve answered no, I’ll be IN line for a beach towel and a lemonade by the pool.   Looking forward to no schedule, no calls and no clocks.  I know what will happen – we’ll sleep deeply, be up early, and smile our way through sun, tunes, good foods and warm waters.  And when we get back it will all be there waiting for us.

3)  The one thing saving my life right now is weekends.  And sleep. And wedge salads. And that pool image above 😉

4)  Many flagship stores around us are closing – K-Mart was first, Sears was next, and now, certain J.C. Penney stores, too.  Out of solidarity I stopped at JCP one night last week, hit a sale, and walked out with >$300 in merchandise for $95.    If I could get a deal like that more often I’d go to the mall more.  Hmm.

** How about you? What new-to-you food are you loving? Have you came upon any deals lately? What are you excited about?  When’s the last time you took a break? Can you embrace the Surrender?**

“Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, and He gives us hands and strength to do it. The enjoyment of leisure would be nothing if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make food and drink such pleasures.”  ― Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline: The Glad Surrender

 

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Categories: Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Fashion, Food, Fun, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stress, horizons and pie

Vacation is on the horizon!

vacation next exitStarting Monday ~ 5 glorious days off with Thanksgiving tossed in for good measure.

Emails will pile up, phone calls will continue, conference calls will be scheduled even though others know I’m away.

“Take the time before you lose the days.”

I now have more vacation time “in the bank” than I have time to use.

Emails continue to come in, fast and furious, hundreds every day.

Calls, meetings, schedules.

Lately I feel like I’m scaling the Grand Canyon on a daily basis…. blindfolded.   I can feel the tension in my shoulders, which now approach my ears. I can feel stress in my heart rate when I lie down at night and can’t quieten my thoughts.

1,000+ miles in the past 10 days, 150 yesterday and another 400 tomorrow – and all the while project calls get scheduled and scheduled and scheduled. “Could you take the lead on this?”  “But you and your team know so much about X” “We want you on this task force…”  Flattering but ..my cup runneth over.

I hear my mother’s voice whispering in my year, “You can’t be everything to everyone, dear.”

My weariness reminds me to shut it down, shut it up and shut them out.

So – vacation is on the horizon … and there shall be pie!

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” ― David Mamet, Boston Marriage

*Note: no pies were consumed in the writing of this post.  Pies shall be made for 1) Grandpa (apple), 2) oldest boy (blueberry) and 3) youngest boy (pumpkin).  Will I have any? Not likely. See, the joy is in the creating ~ the cutting, the simmering, the kneading of the dough, Al Green on the stereo and happiness in my kitchen.

Oh so true!

Oh so true!

 

*Are you taking some time off over the Thanksgiving Holiday? What are you looking forward to most?  Is there a pie in your future? 😀

Flapper pie; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

A Flapper pie I baked in Mom’s kitchen ~ an Emjayandthem (C) photo

 

 

Categories: Determination, Food, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Mom, Opinion, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

On taking breaks and restoring vessels

Apparently I’ve taken a break from blogging.  I didn’t intend to but life has gotten in the way and before I knew it weeks had passed.

I’ve thought about you all and I’ve missed our interactions, but there’s so much going on that I struggle to get it all done much less articulate it.

Cleaning, sorting, gifting, going.  16 years in this house, and oh the stuff I’ve found stuffed in drawers and cupboards – oy!   3 – soon to be 4- trips to Goodwill, piles and piles of clothes, toys, and household items. But the treasures found have out-weighed the dust and the mess.  Baby shoes. Boxes of photos. Keepsakes from another time. My 4-H badges, Hubbs basketball pictures, our marriage license.  The love letters sent back and forth- be still my heart <3!

It is cathartic to rid ourselves of clutter.  It’s also hard work – I’ve averaged 6-7 miles per day in the house! Up the stairs, down the stairs, back up the stairs, out to the dumpster or to my car — my arms and legs and even my hands are weary.  When I lie down at night my body melts into the bed and the alarm screams for me way too soon.

But still with this, with all of this, my soul sings – why?  Letting things go – clearing out clutter – keeping what matters and jettisoning the rest ~Liberating!

I’ve missed you and I will return but I’m not sure when.   I miss the release I get from expressing my thoughts and connecting with all of you.  But I’ve also learned I cannot pour from an empty cup.

And on that note, at least I still have a cup, in fact I have many and that cupboard’s next!

will return whenever I want

 

How about you? Have you found yourself in a similar position? How did you handle it?

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Random 5 Tuesday – mixing it up

It’s Tuesday and it’s Random!!  Why not Friday you ask?  Well .. I’m leaving (on a jet plane) tomorrow and my head feels like it’s been in the tilt-a-whirl all day so why not? 😀  Here we go!

1.    You know those people who pack everything all sweet and tidy and arrange perfectly coordinated outfits? Really?  Please send them my way because that is so not me. I tried to work worked a half day and then squeezed in a pedicure (massage chair .. ooh, ahh) then raced home and attempted to jam 7 days of casual + wedding + gift opening wear into one suitcase.  Plus books for Mom. And pretty soon I found myself working up a sweat.  Good grief.  And then it hit me:

i-cant-keep-calm-im-going-home-

2. Speaking of Mom, last night I asked her if there was anything I could bring her.  Her response? “Just bring yourself.” Such a Mom answer!

Oh so true!

There’s pie in my future!

3.  I had everything at work organized, delegated, situated, you name it-ated.  Till this afternoon.  My phone blew up, emails were flying and finally, at 5:00, I shut it off.  My team is rocking and ready to go and I have no doubt everything will be just fine.  Sometimes you have to step away and let people show you what they can do.

light shining

4. Rooting around in my dresser reminded me that I like things neat and organized.  My closet looks pretty good but the dresser is a disaster.    It looks like it barfed out tees, shorts and socks!  I read a preview of this book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” and it reminded me of a conversation with Hubbs:  we’re planning to downsize and, discussing our house and contents, we both agreed there’s not much we’d move.  So if we wouldn’t move it, why do we keep it?   Hmm.

get-your-happy-on-quote-1

5.  Speaking of work, I informed some corporate folks that I will be off the grid.  As in so far off the grid there is no grid.  I won’t have cell phone service or broadband.  I quipped that, unless I put tinfoil on a cow’s ear, anyone who wanted to reach me should have called … last week. 

If you Google "Cow with Tinfoil on his head" this is what you get - HA!

If you Google “Cow with Tinfoil on his head” this is what you get – HA!

And with that, I’m off!

Have a great week, peeps! Look around — what can you get rid of?  Are you an expert at packing?  Ever gone “off the grid?”

*all images from Google.com

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Home, Love, Mom, Personal, Quotes, Random observations, Technology, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 14 – Hello Friend

Today marks 2 weeks that I’ve been off work ~ two whole weeks!  Yes I’ve worked some, I have to or what will greet me on my return will resemble an avalanche. But two weeks!  Here are a few things learned over this delicious break:

1. The power of sleep. I’ve gained a new appreciation for sleep’s ability to restore & renew.  With no schedule I’ve slept longer, deeper and better in the past 10 days then over the past 365.   I can see sleep’s gifts in my face -lines softened, bags retreated and  even my hair looks healthier.

Sleeping like a kitten in the sun!  Google.images.com

Sleeping like a kitten in the sun! Google.images.com

2. The comfort of quiet.   I’ve resisted the urge to fill my days with “to-dos” and have perfected enjoying my chair, sipping coffee and reading books.  The T.V. has stayed off; the phone is silent.  Chores and tasks remain and Jimmy Cracked Corn ’cause I don’t care!

This is only half of my haul!

This is only half of my book haul!

3. Enjoying real foods when actually hungry.  Not being on a schedule means that I don’t eat lunch because it’s noon; I wait until I’m hungry and sometimes that means lunch is at 2:00 p.m. instead.  I’ve enjoyed my Nutribullet smoothies, fresh pears, clementine oranges, old-fashioned oatmeal, and Greek Yoghurt throughout the course of the day ~ and felt lighter, energized and satiated.  There’s something to this that I plan to continue.

4. Taking a break from everyone else. Other than my immediate family I’ve not seen anyone else for two whole weeks!  We have a 90th birthday party to attend on Saturday.  Three weeks ago this would have felt like one more event shoe-horned into an over-scheduled schedule ~ today I find myself looking forward to it.

5. Understanding .. or not. A work colleague expressed disbelief at my long winter’s break and dismay that I wasn’t getting on a plane to go “somewhere.” To her, time off is not time off unless you’re traveling to some exotic destination.  I frustrated myself trying to explain my stance to a person who is never going to get it and ended the conversation with this, “because I need it.”  And there it is, folks.

“Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

 

When was the last time you did something just for you?  What was it and what did you learn?

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Friendship, Growth, Life, Opinion, Personal, Random, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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