Monday, February 13, 2017

My hope for you...

This Valentine's Day, and every single day of your life...

I hope you know that you matter.

There are people who love you, even when it feels like the world is against you.
Your thoughts and your words are important.
Your creativity is needed.
Your dreams can become a reality.
You have the ability to make a difference.
Your fears do not make you crazy, and you are allowed to be afraid.
You are worth it.
You are enough.

I hope you know that you deserve the love shown to you.
I hope you know that if someone is treating you poorly, it's okay to leave them behind.
Self care is not selfish, and it is needed.
You are stronger than you think.
Even if you feel weak, or hopeless, or helpless, you are not alone. 
You are beautiful.
You don't have to be the hero.
It's okay to have an off day- or week- or month.

I hope you know, I want you to be here. 
I want you to feel love.
I want you to see the love that surrounds you.
I want you to BE love.

It's not about the flowers or the candy or the cards.
It's not about going overboard to show your love and affection.
It's about celebrating love, in all it's forms, today and every day.

You are loved.
You matter.
You are enough.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Remembering how to embrace every moment.

Lately, I've found myself eagerly looking ahead. I am constantly looking at my calendar, both work and socially, to see what my next "thing" is. I keep a close watch on my wedding and honeymoon countdown.

I don't know if it's because I'm ready for spring and warmer weather, or all the fun outings, concerts, and adventures that spring and summer bring.I don't know if it's because world events have been getting to me and consuming my brain. All I know is, I keep looking ahead, wishing time would go by faster.

Yesterday I had to give myself a stern talking to. WHY am I looking ahead when I know the importance of living in the moment and cherishing every step of life?

I've written about this before. I bet I could find at least a dozen blog posts that I have written about the importance of living in the moment and taking life day by day.

So why is that so easy to forget? Why is it easier to want to rush through life, only stopping at the really exciting moments?

Why can't I realize that every moment of life IS really exciting because I am a living, breathing human being who is given a chance to truly make a mark on this world?

I want to learn to truly be okay with every moment of life without wishing it would go faster. I want to remember that we are not guaranteed another day, so we should make the most of each one we do have. I want to remember to make sure my friends and family know how loved and appreciated they are, before it's too late.

It's nice to have things to look forward to, of course. I think they motivate me, they spark a little flame inside of me. But I don't want to depend on those things to be my sole source of happiness, only to be sad and even let down when they are over.

I will be grateful for every day.

Or at least, I will try.

How do you live in the moment?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Some thoughts amongst the chaos

I had a rough Sunday. Political news alerts were coming left and right on my phone, I was seeing passionatley wirtten social media posts. And the worst of it was- I couldn't stop looking. I just kept reading, even though I knew it was doing some serious damage to my well being. I couldn't keep straight what was true or false, where my friends or family stood, or how I wanted to respond to it all.

Early this morning, on my drive into work, I had a sort of epiphany.

We all want the same thing, in the end.

We want a safe, unified Country where we can raise young children to be happy and healthy.

We're just going about it different ways.

Some think that we will be safer by building a wall, by banning refugees and immigrants.
Some think that will trigger our enemies even further.
Some think that we need stricter gun laws, keeping guns out of the hands of people who want to hurt other people.
Some think that guns are not an issue.
Some want to make abortions illegal.
Some think that is taking away women's rights, and worry about the safety of some women carrying a pregnancy.

I could go on and on.

We may never agree on the right or wrong way to protect ourselves and our families. What we do need is to understand that we DO have common ground.

And beyond that, we are all human. If you've ever said the phrase "All Lives Matter", think about what that means. It does not mean that some lives matter. It does not mean that, yes, all lives matter, just some more than others. It means all lives matter. It means people who are different than you? They matter. It means people who disagree with you? They matter. People who speak a different language, who come from a different place, who are of a different religion? They matter.

Frankly, I'm tired of having to explain that. I'm tired of having to point out that the refugees who are escaping to the United States are running from the very same terror we are so scared of, yet we want to turn our backs on them. I'm tired of explaining that while healthcare in this country is nowhere near perfect, it saved the lives of millions of people. I'm tired of having to explain why it's scary that our President is signing one executive order after the other, ignoring checks and balances. I'm tired of having to explain that Planned Parenthood provides life saving cancer screenings, wellness checks, and counseling. I'm tired of arguing. I'm tired of the name calling, the racism, the stereotypes. I'm tired of having to explain why we should care about other people. It doesn't seem like it should be that complicated, but somehow, here we are.

And I know that I have friends, or strangers, reading this who are shaking their heads. They have an opposite point of view. I know that they have full support of our President, and faith that he will be great. While I can't understand that, it is what it is. To those friends, or strangers, know that when you asked me to give him a chance, when you told me "he really won't have that much power anyways", that I listened. But in just a few short weeks, I'm afraid I've lost some of that hope- not just in him, but in the people surrounding him.


We all want the same thing (Except the few who don't really care about the safety for anyone). We are not all in agreement. We are all passionate. We all want what we think is best.

The next time you are fired up over a post, or a news article, take a step back. Learn the facts. Know your stance. Stand firm, but be open to another person's thoughts. Do not attack. Do not name call. Take a deep breath. Take a walk. Find some light amongst this chaos, and hold onto it.

Be good to yourself, and one another.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Things I've Learned.....

I meant to write this post at the end of 2016 as one of my "End of the year" reflection posts. But here we are, mid January 2017.

I want to share some of the things I've learned...maybe in the last year, or maybe they've been slowly creeping up. But I know that 2016 was all about learning.

  • It's okay to say "no": This is something I am still working on and will be learning through 2017. But 2016 was the start. I used to say yes to everything- and then get too overwhelmed or over commit and have to back out of things. Now, I've started to learn that it's okay to say no. It's okay to tell someone "I'm sorry, that just won't work for me" (a phrase I learned through Oprah!). In 2017 I'm trying to feel less guilty about saying no.
  • I am a big picture person. In the midst of wedding planning I have quickly learned that I am not so good at the little details. Decorations and  Centerpieces and programs and invitations? No thanks. I'd rather book the big stuff and let the rest happen. I've also decided I'm not going to stress too much about the little things. People remember food and fun at weddings, so we've made those our priorities. Everything else is just detail, and we'll slowly chip away at it. But I'd much rather have someone do it for me, because the little details overwhelm me.
  • I absolutely need my recharge time. After a full day of meetings, I need a few moments to myself. After a busy weekend, I need my Sunday afternoons/evenings to be quiet, low key, and a chance for me to gear up for the week. It's hard for me to jump from activity to activity. I have to schedule down time.
  • My love language is Acts of Service. Have you ever read the Five Love Languages Book or taken the quiz? If not, you should. I took it a long time ago, before I even met Tom. I don't feel like I have to take it now, I KNOW it's Acts of Service. I feel the most loved/appreciate when Tom cleans the apartment or takes out the trash or goes out of his way to do something nice for me. For me it is not about gifts or money, it's all about doing little things here and there.
  • You just have to try. One of the greatest managers I've ever had, Kerri, once gave me feedback that I should share more of my ideas. She said I had good ideas and thoughts, but that when it comes to sharing them in a group setting, I hold back. I've gotten so much better at this. I still hold back sometimes, but I push myself to try. I've adapted the "it's worth a shot" motto. Also, on the days I don't think I can possibly run or workout, I push myself to try anyways (but sometimes I listen to my body and force a rest day in). I have learned, truly, that you will NEVER know until you try.
  • Self talk is how I get through most situations in life. Good or bad, celebration or challenge, I talk myself through everything. Literally everything. I practice what I am going to say at meetings. I talk to myself while I run. I plan my next moves, no matter how big or small, in my brain. I write my to do list first thing in the morning and talk myself through which tasks to accomplish firsts. I am constantly talking to myself. And I will continue, because it works.
  • I am not spontaneous. I need a plan. This is something I've always sort of known, but it came up quite a bit this past year. I do not like the unknown, I cannot easily just "go with the flow". I have to plan. So when things are up in the air about my dad or when someone asks me to do something with them at the last minute, my anxiety is triggered. These things were not part of the plan. I'm trying to learn to be flexible, to adapt to God's plan and God's timing, but it's insanely difficult for me. I look at my calendar weeks in advance to prep for what is to come. I put nearly everything I do on a calendar. I am a planner. Which may seem ironic since I'm not a small details person. I can't explain my mind....I can just tell you how it is.
  • The perfect sleepy time combination: Lavender, Fuzzy Socks, and my Lullabies album. I've had nighttime anxiety for as long as I can remember. As soon as I lay down in bed, I start to rehash my day. I think about the mistakes I made. And then I start to worry about the future. Like, every single detail about the future. It has taken me a very long time to find a remedy for this, but for now, I have a three step combination that has actually been working. First, I need to make sure I have soft, fuzzy socks on to keep my feet warm. Then, I spray my pillow and sheet with Lavender. Lastly, I turn on my Lullabies (By Jill and Kate) album. And so far, I've been sleeping better than I have in quite some time. Fingers crossed that it continues.
  • At the end of the day, family is what matters. All we have is each other. We must hold onto that, capture that love and spread it back into the universe.