Rest

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We’ve all seen the image.  Maybe a Facebook friend posts it along with an inspirational quote below the image of a woman standing on the beach, her arms wide-spread, maybe a scarf is billowing in the breeze.  Of course, she’s beautiful, young, and thin.  She’s healthy and strong. Of course, she is.  She is powerful, because she is embracing change.  The quote is always about change.  Maybe one of these:

“Change or die.” – Alan Deutschman

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol

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Brightness

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It has been almost one year since I began this challenging journey of change.  One thing I learned quite quickly was that it helped me immensely to break things down into short-term goals.  By short-term I’m talking days, a week, a month at the most.  Some days I felt so overwhelmed that my goal was simply to get through whatever I had to do that day without thinking ahead to tomorrow.  This method of dealing with a major life change went a long way in reducing stress. Continue Reading »

Can This Be Optimism?

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The trip to Vegas did me wonders.  I’m still feeling upbeat since my return.  There was one moment on my trip, sitting in the sun talking with two friends, when I felt a warm tingle.  During this particular moment, I felt life’s blessings surrounding me.  I was warm.  The sun was shining, and I was with friends.  I felt humbled to know that they actually like me, chose to spend time with me, and that they cared for me.  I knew it was one of those moments in life that would become a treasured memory, and I felt honored to know it as it was happening.  I sat there thinking in disbelief, “These are good people, and they are my friends.”  I had grown to believe that I did not deserve such things.  I still smile at the thought of such a blessing in my life, a simple moment that made me happy to be alive and on this earth. Continue Reading »

One Snowy Day and Night

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In keeping with my quest to figure out how to make my life happy and rewarding, I spent some time examining my own actions with regard to those people who are the key players in my emotional life.  I wasn’t very pleased with what I observed about myself.  I am an island.  I have relationships that I enjoy with work colleagues, but I never let them become personal.  I have relationships with my family that I love.  We are a solid, steady, and kind foursome living in this house.  T and I, along with the girls, enjoy each other’s company.  We have created an atmosphere of harmony.  Our home is a refuge of peace, and I treasure that feeling of sanctuary at the end of the day.  As much as we love the boys, the four of us notice that the zen peace of our home is off kilter when they visit.  As much as we love them and enjoy their company, we always treasure the return to our quiet routine of four.  I suppose this is a good thing.  It means we have adjusted to their absence as a daily fixture in our lives.  We love visiting them in Chicago or Milwaukee.  Now that we all live closer together, we see them more often.  It’s when they come here, to our home of four, that we feel a shift in our peaceful routine. Continue Reading »

Wild Variations

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One thing I have found is that if I am not able to maintain some kind of regular routine in my life, I quickly lose perspective in all areas.  I question myself and lose confidence.  I question others and wonder about their motives, or I perceive imagined slights.  (What did he/she mean by that???)  I become overwhelmed by anything even slightly resembling clutter.  The pile of mail on the kitchen table makes me feel like I’m very close to being eligible for my debut on “Hoarders.”  Worst of all, I see a look of wariness in the eyes of my staff.  (Oh, no!  She’s on the warpath!)  Thankfully, while my family notices my craziness, they don’t seem bothered by it. They usually just roll their eyes and ignore me. Continue Reading »

Be Careful What You Wish For

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I had a birthday about a week ago.  I won’t mention numbers here, but it was a fairly significant (and painful!) birthday.  While having a birthday mixed up in the middle of the holiday season wasn’t so great when I was a kid, the older I get, the less I mind getting lost in the shuffle.

For many reasons, the holidays are not my favorite time of year.  However, the newness of a holiday in a different place was interesting.  We went all out on outdoor illumination.  Both of the boys were here for Thanksgiving, and we began the process that weekend.  Emily added more lights one day when she wasn’t working.  We added more lights the following weekend.  By the time it was all said and done, we had a pretty respectable outdoor display.  We especially enjoyed the uniqueness of our choice of pastel colors in our very white-bread, Stepford-esque neighborhood.  If prizes had been given, our house would have won the award for “Most Unique.”  I smiled every time I pulled into the driveway after work during December, and I already miss our happy display of lights.  I might have to dig out the pink lights for a Valentine’s display, although that might be a violation of our HOA regulations. Continue Reading »