Sunday, August 31, 2008

Musings as I Mow

I don't know what it is about mowing the lawn, but my mind goes into deep-thinking mode as I go about the mindless task of circling the lawn as I tend to the job at hand. It makes me wonder what Dad thought about as he put on endless miles on his tractor/combine as he circled his land long ago ...

This morning my thoughts went to the lilac bush that I was so happy to find still standing on our old farm home site. I have very few memories of my childhood, but the one memory that I do have that is strong, is the wafting scent of those lilacs, as I played in our yard at the farm as a child.

To this day, I love the lingering scent of a lilac bush as you walk by when it is in full bloom. It is a sensory 'touch' and brings back such a feeling of happiness. It is a light and unassuming scent. The blossoms come and go quickly, but while they are in full bloom they make their mark.

My thoughts deepened as I thought of lilacs and how I relate to them. I thought of the lilac bush that I have in my back yard. A bush that I 'live with' throughout every season of the year. From the budding of the leaves in the spring; to the enjoyment of the flowers and light aroma in their 'summer'; the tree in its unadorned plainness during our summer; to the twigs in the winter as it hunkers down to survive the dormant season only to reawaken in the spring.

I feel akin to that lilac bush. My seasons don't necessarily correlate with the seasons of the year, but there is the season of rebirth that follows every dormant and stagnant season.

The lethargy, the hum drum feeling of living the same old life, day after day. Or a time when I must retreat within myself to take root and survive a tough 'winter' ...

This season is followed by a reawakening. A rebirth, a new perspective. And sometimes it gives birth to a 'bud' of an idea or goal.

As the idea takes root, it grows and eventually there is a burst of excitement as a goal is reached ... the idea has blossomed for others to enjoy. I like to think of the wafting scent of that lilac as the way I waft in and out of peoples lives. I may have touched a small part of their life and I hope that the scent I leave behind is light and memorable as the unimposing aroma of a lilac bush as you walk by.

Then there is the longest season. The season where the bush just sits there, fully in leaf and requiring little maintenance until the leaves finally fall in the autumn of our seasons. This is the season that I like to think of as the mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece or friend in me. I'm simply 'there' in an ordinary way ...

But every now and then, I do need to shed some leaves and I have a small but mighty group of supporting people that are there, during that necessary process.

When I leave this earth, I hope that the memory I leave behind is that of a lilac in full bloom. Let my memory waft in and out of your consciousness and leave a pleasant scent in its wake ...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Best Things in Life Are Free

We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening out tonight. We took in the fireworks display "The First Annual Fireworks Extravaganza!" I just love fireworks! I just normally can't stay awake long enough to take in the July 1st display.

Fireworks in August, at 9:30 at night work right into my sleeping schedule (mind you, the excitement tonight has kept me up far later than the July 1st fireworks would have).

Enjoy the show ...

video

You Don't Always Get What You Want ...

... but sometimes (usually), you get what you need.

Life is funny that way. It throws you a curve ball and it takes you off the path that is predictable and familiar. It is uncomfortable, a little frightening and you just don't know where it is going. But every time I've made a slight detour from where I thought I was headed, I have been pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

A month ago, I was feeling very uneasy about where things were at. Nothing was certain. The only thing that I knew for sure was that I had to stop spending money. Now.

So ... I tightened the purse strings, drew up a plan ... and followed it. And something that I already knew (but had forgotten) is that I do well on a strict budget. In fact, this budget has enhanced my life!

On the surface, it means 'no junk food in the house' (yay!! to curb the terrible eating habits I have developed). It means 'no frivolous spending' (utilize what you have on hand and forget about looking beyond what you have or need). It means free time can be spent doing 'free things' (everything doesn't have to cost money!). It means filling my time with people and projects that utilize what I have on hand (I don't need to spend money to write, to visit or to reach out to someone). It means finding ways to spend time with My Youngest (not money on him). It shifts the focus on what I have (from what I want).

It costs nothing to phone, visit or email a friend. It costs nothing to write. It costs nothing to reach out to a family member you would like to know better. It costs nothing to share a ride with someone when you were already going there. It costs nothing to spend time, not money on yourself, your family or your friends. It costs nothing to read (if you read what you already have, can borrow or get from a library). It costs nothing to expand your mind and your heart. It costs nothing to be a friend. It costs nothing to share an experience with someone when you feel in your heart it is something you want to do and it can only be enhanced by sharing it with someone who could appreciate it as much as you.

When they say 'The best things in life are free', they are right. That isn't true in the scenario where lack of money to cover your essentials, overwhelming debt overtake the resources you have or you don't have the ability to earn what you need. But once the essentials of life are bought and paid for, the best parts of life are free. A healthy and happy heart and home. Friends and family. Peace of mind.

I am surrounded in the richness that is my life ...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ways to Build Courage

Stepping out of one's comfort zone and doing 'just one thing' that doesn't feel easy to do is a sure fire way to build courage.

Ever since I read the article '66 Ways to Build Courage', I believe that I have become a little bit addicted to pushing myself beyond what is comfortable and safe.

I used to break into a cold sweat before I dialed the phone. 'Dialing out' was simply something I didn't do unless I had a defined purpose for my call. Calling someone just to chat, was far out of my comfort zone (who would want to talk to me?). Initiating a visit or get together was simply too scary (who would want to get together with me??). I assumed everyone was busy leading their active and interesting lives and ... who would want to be interrupted by me???

Well, it took years for the tide to turn. There were many times that I would tell someone that I had been thinking of them at a certain time. And they would tell me that it would have been so good to hear from me right then (for whatever reason) ... or that they had been feeling the same way as I had been at the time. It happened often. I realized that a person really should listen to those instincts and make that call.

I finally, finally started acting on those instincts last year. And it has served me well. I cannot believe the success that I have had when ever I have had the strong feeling to call or email someone. I have had some marvelous get aways/visits/gatherings that simply wouldn't have happened if I hadn't reached out and said "What do you think about ..... "

Yesterday, the strong urge hit me again. This morning I picked up the phone and started calling. I called my cousins that lived in the city and suggested we have a cousin-get-together some Sunday afternoon. Just casual. Come and go ... or come and stay (and we could have a BBQ). I reached 3 people and 3 out of 3 of them were in total agreement with me. To get together and get to know each other a little better and simply enjoy 'family'.

I moved here 20 1/2 years ago and at that time, I didn't really want cousins to feel obligated to like me or be my friend ... just because we are related. But after seeing everyone briefly last weekend and just having a short visit with some of them, I realized something. I would love to be their friend. After 20+ years, I have the courage to reach out. After 20+ years, I feel worthy of my family (I won't go into how low my self esteem was, when I moved out here). After over 20 years, I am courageous enough to pick up the phone and say "Hi, would you like to get together some time?" And it is working for me.

I am euphoric. I feel courageous!

Doing just one thing that pushes you out of your comfort zone does amazing things.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Transition Time

I am feeling the shift of a changing season in many ways right now.

Literally, the fall season is starting to show its appearance in the cool mornings, the shortened days and the return of school.

Less obvious, is the change of my thought process and direction in my own life. I'm forging out on less familiar territory again.

The family blog seemed like a good idea at the time. And it really hasn't been that long that the idea has been 'out there'. But it's not generating much interest yet. Well maybe it's gaining some interest, but not too many takers on 'authors'. I sat on the idea of a blog for over a year before I acted on it. So I can't expect anyone else to feel comfortable diving right in, the first time it is suggested. It's just a frightening spot to be ... out there on that ledge ... alone.

Writing about the family history idea on Dad's side is starting to take root. There is interest there. And where there is interest, there is opportunity! I will take this slowly and not try to break any records in trying to put this together. But I believe in this. And I will pursue it.

I've taken the first step in helping another family tell their story. A giant step! This family was ready to have their story told. All I have to do is listen, record and organize the information they have. It feels like their story is so eager to be shared, that I hope I can keep up.

I am also feeling the urge to unite the cousins that live close to me, for a 'cousin get together'. Just one small step towards becoming better acquainted. It is just an idea. But one I'd like to act on.

It is a season of stepping out of what is comfortable. Taking a few chances and placing myself 'out on a limb'.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What I've Been Up to Today

As I drove to Watrous yesterday, I was hit with the overwhelming desire to pursue just one more blog - for and about our family.

Today, I have put together a new family blog (the link is listed on the side of this blog). I have amassed a lot of video and photo slideshow footage of a few family events this year so I've been downloading the highlights of our family celebrations. Feel free to check it out ... and feel free to ignore it as well (it's a very time consuming stop, as I have downloaded 14 videos &/or slideshows)!

It is just a glimpse at some of the wonders of family that I have been revelling in, this year.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

We Are Family

2008 has felt like 'The Year of Family' in my world ...

Writing about Mom's family over the course of last winter certainly piqued my interest in family and the connection we share. Being a part of organizing Mom's birthday gathering was yet another time that felt so incredible to be enveloped in family. There has also been a graduation, a wedding, a funeral and an anniversary celebration to bring family together this summer.

It is such a blessing when we can gather together when the occasion is one of light heartedness and celebration.  The pain of losing someone is eased, when it is enveloped in between other family gatherings and a chance to be surrounded in the kinship of family.

I don't know if it my age or just my perspective on things, as we all gain a few more years. But to me, every time that we can get together, get reacquainted (or acquainted for a first time) and feel that familiarity that comes from the 'family connection' it is a most precious gift.

Looking back in time and putting together Mom's family's story started the process which has me longing to know my family and find my 'roots'. The desire to look into doing the same thing with Dad's family is grounding me some more...

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to take a walk down memory lane (literally). I have had such a strong urge to go back to our farm yard and see what I remember and what resurfaces as I look at the familiar lay of the land. My Sister and Mom were kind enough to join me in my little adventure. It was exactly what I had hoped for. At a glance, little looks the same. The house is gone, some buildings are missing, trails are grown in and miscellaneous machinery and buildings are around the yard. But the landscape is the same and we are pretty sure we found the old shortcut to the school across the field.

My strongest memory of growing up is the smell of lilacs in the back yard. I was so happy to find the lilacs that are the hold that I have to my childhood. I feel like I have found my roots.

As I search for ways to reconnect with my family, capture old memories and make new ones I am realizing just how important it is to me to feel 'grounded'. I have secluded myself most of my life. As a quiet child, I placed a distance between myself and most of the people around me. As an adult, I made some detours in life and I had to pick up the pieces of my life and carry on a few too many times. I was very self conscious of the person I had become and the decisions that I had made that defined me. I continued to keep my distance. But the path that I have been following this year seems to feel like I am coming home ... at last. Closing the distance between myself, family and friends has charted the road that I have been following. Going 'home' to our farm was another small piece of the puzzle that I've been putting together.

Feeling grounded. Feeling secure in the world among family and friends. Cherishing what you have. Following a new, uncharted path that is leading to a place that feels warm and joyous.

I've found a promising new road. And I plan to follow where ever it may lead.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Life ... The Sequel

By this time, last year I had casually scribbled down a list of goals as I journaled my thoughts. As I wrote them, I was feeling so low that my ultimate goal was to do one of the 'impossible things' on my list, to get me out of a bad slump. When I reread that list almost a year later, I discovered that I had unconsciously done every single thing I had challenged myself to do that day.

As I've struggled to pull myself out of the lethargic post-holiday mode, I knew it was time to draw up a new list. I never did actually put pen to paper, but I had some ideas on a back burner and I thought, "Now is the time".

I am so pleased to say that as of today, I have plans in place that mirror what was going on in my life a year ago ...

I am pretty sure that my whole family (sisters, brother and mom) will be together this upcoming weekend for an anniversary gathering of my aunt and uncles. A year ago, my sisters, brother and I were planning a secret sibling sleepover to start planning Mom's birthday gathering.

Then this afternoon, we planned a 'Spa Night' with the girls for next month. A girls night out, only 'in' (at my place). I can already picture us in our facial masks, the laughter and the ease of enjoying each others company. I can feel it as though it is happening right now. A year ago, this same group was meeting in Moose Jaw at the Mineral Spa there. We met at the spa, soaked in the mineral waters there ... but we didn't do the 'spa treatment' thing. This year we shall!

And today, the wheels have been set in motion to start collecting stories for another family's history. That didn't happen in my own world until January of this year, so I'm a little ahead of schedule on that one. But it feels so good to take a step in a forward direction. The first step is always the hardest ...

The thing that pleases me immensely is that a few of the challenges that I faced just over a year ago aren't a challenge any more.

I can pick up the phone, dial it and talk to someone without breaking into a cold sweat. Dialing the phone and initiating a phone call was an 'impossible thing' not that long ago for me.

The other thing that has become very comfortable, is initiating a get together. I may have had ideas before, but I rarely acted on them. Now ... if I have an idea, I voice it. I have had several ideas that haven't been responded to ... and that's okay. I've gained the confidence to speak and say "What do you think about this?" and I'm okay with any response I get. Good, bad or indifferent.

It is wonderful to be excited about life. I wonder what I'll be sitting and reflecting about this time next year??

A Year Ago Today

I love being able to look back at my life and reflect at what was going on at the same time a year ago. It is sometimes a deep, provocative thought. It is sometimes dark and full of pain. Other times it is elation over some hurdle I had overcome. Then again, there are other days that are much like this:

Monday, Aug 20/07 9:24 pm

Tonight the remote control on the downstairs TV quit. Another minor irritation that will send me on a mission to fix! What a crazy world we live in ... My Youngest came upstairs and plunked himself on the couch. He said, "Well, there's no use in me watching TV, because I have to get up and change the channels on the TV now that the remote doesn't work!". Imagine that. Having to physically go up to the TV to change a channel. Amazing that we used to do that without a thought .... back in the old days ...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hooked on DVD's

Watching Oprah piques my curiosity in many ways. Sometimes her shows are very thought provoking and life changing. Sometimes there is one sentence in her show that stays with me long after I turn off the TV. Sometimes her shows provide an emotional outlet for me - whether it is to shed a tear or laugh out loud. But one of her shows has piqued my curiosity and taken over a good part of my free time this summer ...

Oprah interviewed the cast of 'Sex in the City' just before their movie debuted. I had never watched an episode of the show but I was intrigued by the interview. So ... I splurged and bought the first few seasons on DVD.

I must admit that I was embarrassed to say that I was watching this series. The language is language I don't even think, let alone speak. Some scenes made me want to cover my own eyes. I turned off the TV every time I heard My Youngest upstairs so he wouldn't overhear what I was watching. I had several moments of thinking "I sure didn't know that!!" Basically, watching these first few seasons was my little secret.

Then my sister let me in on her little secret ... that she would like to see the movie ... because she enjoyed the series. So, I thought there must be more to it than meets the eye. And I bought seasons 3 through 6.

They were definitely interesting and I found myself wanting to continue on to the next episode to see where the story line went. And I was starting to enjoy and anticipate the message that each episode portrayed.

By Season 4, I was officially hooked. I started laughing out loud and enjoying the reality of the lives and relationships of these 4 New York friends. It was less and less about the 'sex' and more and more about the friendships that withstand the many life changes, evolving relationships and differences that we all have with our friends.

The strength of our friendships is a powerful thing. The honesty, the laughter, the acceptance and the ability to adapt to the life changes of your friends is so real to me.

I have so many different personalities of friends. It seems the one thing that I share with all of my friends, is the ability to open up and be honest with myself and with them. We can look at ourselves and laugh among the pain. We can cry among the joy. There is an understanding that goes beyond the surface. We have known each other 'forever' and grown together.

Maybe I don't have the luxury of getting together with my friends as regularly as they do on this fictional TV series ... but I have friends that I can count on.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Letting Go

"The seasons come and go. Each with their own challenges and blessings. If there is one thing that we can count on, it is that spring will follow winter. New hope is always on the horizon."

That is a paragraph that winds up the chapter "The Seasons" in The Book (Mom's family history and memories). And those are the words resonating within me this morning.

I have had many good summers. Magical times. Times that simply don't go on forever. There is always the memory ... but fall arrives ... real life slips back into place and you get caught up in the mundaneness of everyday life.

As this summer is winding down, I'm a little melancholy. The season ahead is faced with the unknown and new challenges. I haven't done enough 'impossible things' this summer to make me feel invincible.

I am planning and setting the scene for the seasons ahead.

There is so much change in the stages and phases of the kids in my care. Fall always magnifies this, with new ones headed off to preschool and kindergarten; the older ones headed off to a new grade. And my little ones continue to grow up. Families change and evolve - people's jobs, new babies on the horizon. Nothing ever stays the same.

This is a time when I like to make a new plan for myself. A new, unexplored path. I have a few ideas in mind and I've started the wheels turning on one of them. New paths are scary. But necessary to explore.

Then there is the unknown that I face this fall with this minor surgery facing me. The financial aspect of not being able to work and the recovery period. In my mind, I have a plan as to how I can best utilize the down-time as my body mends. If my body is out of commission, I need to keep my mind busy. This is another new road for me.

I can't let go of the feeling that I truly didn't make the most of this past summer. Kurt is getting a little older and the little things that we used to do together, are now more fun if he can bring a friend along. He is the oldest child here, as I babysit all week. So he has created his own world in the TV room downstairs. I miss him.

Last September, the 2 of us escaped for a weekend getaway. With only each other for company, it was a most incredible time. Money wasn't a huge concern, so I spent it rather frivolously ... a step away from the normal for us.

I'd love to do something to recapture that feeling again. Money is definitely an issue this year, but sometimes all that does is force a person to come up with new ideas. It isn't the money spent that really matters ... it is the time.

As Kurt is growing up on me, he will soon want to venture out on his own and away from what is comfortable. He keeps reminding me that he is growing up. Thank goodness it doesn't happen over night. But I do think we should make the most out of the time we have that is 'the present'.

The summer isn't over yet. It is never too late to make the most of a moment. It is the special moments interspersed with the mundane ones that keep life interesting. I just need to season my life with those precious moments. They happen when you least expect them.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Best Diet I've Ever Been On ...

It's called "A Budget"!!

I'll have to keep track of the results. If the tight budgeting lasts as long as I think is necessary, I could lose a few pounds.

No chips. Sigh ..... (the lack of salt in my diet is working for me though).

There is a silver lining to most everything. You just have to look a little.

Impossible Things

As much as I don't enjoy the hurdles, obstacles and challenges that keep popping up in life ... I need them.

I have slipped into a post-holiday lethargy. I have conquered most of the things on my to-do list. There are no future commitments that spur on a wave of ambition. Money is tight so I can't 'invest' in anything to keep me busy. I feel like a squirrel hoarding his nuts for winter. Only I don't feel like I have as much control over 'my nuts' as the squirrel does.

This laid back life is relaxing and somewhat enjoyable. But it doesn't push me out of my comfort zone. If life is too easy, it loses its zest.

I love the feeling of accomplishing something that I didn't know I could do. There is an air of invincibility after you do 'impossible things'.

So I really must be grateful to my friend who asked for help with her wedding invitations. She had complete and utter faith and trust in me. I thought if it was something simple, I could easily pull this off. But it wasn't as simple as I (hoped for??) anticipated. I had to dust off all of my unused brain cells to make this work. Thank goodness for my success with The Book. It has taught me that I can figure things out. Even if I don't take the quickest, most efficient steps to get there, I can usually finish the task set out before me.

And that was the case yesterday. To anyone who is familiar with Microsoft Word, I'm sure what I accomplished would have been simple. How I accomplished it, resulted in the same finished product. But I'm quite sure that I took 10 extra steps to achieve that goal.

But ... I did it! I had no doubt in my mind that I had to live up to my friend's belief in me. So I did it. And because it was no easy task to do so, I received the unexpected reward of 'accomplishing an impossible thing'. This is an ingredient that I have found that I need as much as air to breathe, to feel excited and passionate about life.

I am blessed to be surrounded by people who believe in me. I believe that they are somewhat deluded in their thoughts - that I am in no way all that they think that I am. But because they believe that I am better than I really am, I strive to meet their expectations.

Accomplishing impossible things is a great way to build your confidence. Being surrounded by people who believe that you can do these impossible things is a gift.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Very Good Thing About a Very Bad Day

I have had an awful lot of days not worth writing about since I have returned from holidays. Then when I did have some fun and eventful days, I was so busy living my life that I didn't have time to write about it. It's a good conundrum. But I was feeling badly for neglecting my blog because I really enjoy writing down my thoughts.

Well, the details of today are many. I'm sure I could write a book about the hills I climbed today. Things started out bad and got worse. Kids yelling, screaming and running made for an unenjoyable backdrop to the day. It rained rather heavily and intermittently so we were stuck inside for most of the day. Add to that, the fact that my day started with the first arrivals at 6:30 am and the last pick up of the day was at 6:00 pm. I had my own frustrations and tensions throughout the day just to add an extra dimension. So I was not a happy camper.

But for every cloud there is a silver lining.

Yesterday ended with a family giving me 5 days notice for the 2 weeks of vacation they will be taking the next two weeks. My budget is stretched past the max this month (and the next one, the one after that and the one after that one), so I vocalized my concern and frustration (I continually remind people of the 2 week notice that I think is courteous) at instantly losing half of a pay cheque I was totally relying on. It is money that I can't 'steal from Peter to pay Paul' ... I simply must do without something. And I realized that cancelling my dance lessons for a month would cover a good part of what I will be short this month. The good news, is that meant calling my dance instructor today to tell him I'd be back in a month. And we had a very enjoyable chat. Yes. I must dance. My instructor is so fun to be around. Dancing makes me happy! A short conversation was better than nothing. That was a highlight to my afternoon.

Then, I offered to help out a friend by printing off some invitations for her. This resulted in a restless sleep last night, a knot in my chest when I woke up, the fear that I couldn't do what I promised, then technical difficulties with my printer, that mounted more and more as the morning progressed (as the noise levels rose higher and higher). It was a blessing when the printer ran out of ink. I had no choice. I had to stop. While I stopped I made a few well placed phone calls and had a plan of attack as soon as the kids were gone. I had another box of invitations put on hold for me (I was ruining so many I needed to know I had back up). And as soon as I got things going again tonight, I realized that we had half as many invitations as we needed so I truly did need those I had on hold. I made a quick run to the store, she had them at the service counter for me (so I was in and out of the store really quickly) and ... I won some free pens with a 'scratch and win' that she handed me when I paid for it. I love pens. So I was tickled pink when I won some cool pens!

I marvelled to My Youngest all the way home about the good thing about having a bad day. If you have just a regular old hum-drum, normal kind of day you wind up the day with no real feelings - good or bad. But surviving a bad day, overcoming obstacles, completing a task and ... winning some pens!! ... I tell you, it's like walking on air. I couldn't be happier.

And the other good thing about a bad day is that usually (not always, but usually), the next day is much better.

And it will be. I am sure of that.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Or ... Could I Just Be Low on Iron??

After my exhaustion rant last night, I woke up this morning rested and ready to take on the day.

The very first thought I had was "I ate red meat last night ... could it be that I am just low on iron??"

The secret to inner happiness does begin with the most basic things. A body that is rested and well fed functions much better than one that isn't. It may be as simple as that!

No matter what the 'why' of it is, I feel good today. And what a great way to begin the day.....

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Exhaustion

I can't remember ever feeling waves of exhaustion overtake me like this before. I physically feel like I'm running on empty, but I know that the reason for this lies within myself.

I have things on my mind that normally don't take up any space at all. Health and money would sum it up best. Exhausting topics. Enough said.

But as I wandered through the day I think I stumbled upon something that may be the root of my problem. Noise.

Throughout my holiday, I have had lots and lots of quiet. Possibly too much quiet! The transition period from tranquility to chaos was nil. It was like going from a vacuum to a monster truck rally. My head is reeling from the change.

It is a transition period. I must fill my head with positive, happy, forward-thinking thoughts. My creative juices stopped flowing, I've stopped singing, writing feels like a chore (and I hate the words that are seeping out of my fingertips) and I have even been having disturbing dreams. I need a thought-process transplant!!

I just went back to my journal entries from a year ago. This is my entry from the first Thursday after my holidays last year:

Thursday, Aug 9/07 9:33 pm

I feel like I'm running on empty. No oomph, no enthusiasm, no get up and go. Just got through the day
.

There you have it. It is a cyclical thing! In the days that followed this entry last year, I 'made a plan' that I followed through on, which brought me to the euphoria I have been feeling in my life lately.

I know this. Fall is a time of renewal for me - a time when I reexamine my life. It has been that way most of my adult life.

This realization brings a sense of peace to me. This blah feeling has its purpose. It is to spur me on and out of myself. Look ahead, plan a future!!

There is a reason for everything in life. If a person was continually content, you would stop growing. As I look for the way to find my way out of this lethargy, I will start to formulate the next chapter in my life ....

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I Need a Holiday

Yup. At about 8:55 this morning, reality hit. It wasn't fun. But we packed up, went to the park, I soaked in an hours worth of sunshine and came back home. It was better. Not perfect, but better.

I'm just feeling kind of lost at the moment. I've been lost before ... and I know I'm pretty close to finding myself. I just need a positive ion boost in my brain waves. As "The Secret" says, negative thinking attracts negativity to your life. I've just experimented with that thinking and found it to be true.

Time to put the happy vibes back in place!! I love my life! I love my jobs! I love kids! I'm happy! Happy!! Happy!!!

Now .... I'll go and sleep on that.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Changing Gears

Yes ... the kids return tomorrow ... I'm back to work on Saturday ... the return of life as I know it happens in about 12 hours. And I'm ready.

I have crossed a few more items off the errand-running list today. The last thing I want is to be doing, is racing around after the kids leave right off the bat. So I've tended to all that I can possibly tend to. The house is back in kid-ready mode. I'm rested. And I'm looking forward to the change of pace.

I had to sit down and take a good, long look at my financial state of disrepair this morning. Scary. I have to do some bare bones living this next while. I just took inventory of the excesses of food that I have amassed around here and it would appear that I should be able to seriously cut back on groceries for the month. The scary part about that is replenishing those supplies. I've grown quite accustomed to the knowledge that I have a little stock pile of things. Oh well.

I've got a good supply of unread reading material, lots of DVD's I can watch, lots of paint and painting that I can do and writing is free. I have cards, emails and letters that I can send and blogs to update.

I have a wealth of supplies in every capacity to get me through the months ahead. I had stockpiled some savings as well, but it never fails. The money disappears far faster than it accumulates. Between the bedroom renovations, holidays, cleaning the furnace/etc and a buy-now-pay-later deal, I was enticed into an over spending mode.

It's time to respect my money and limits once again. I've got far too many unknown variables right now. Out of the 8 families that I babysit for, all but 1 of them are in such a state of transition (job changes, schooling changes, health concerns and unknown schedules) that I simply don't know which way is up in September.

The fall is always a time of transition in this babysitting business. I seem to have a minor or major attack of panic every year. And every year it seems to work its way out. I have 2 families on a waiting list (whether or not they would still need me by the time I call is always unknown) and there is uncertainty in my own world as well this year. I think that is the part that is most unsettling.

It looks like I will need minor surgery. The surgery is nothing. It is the time that I may need to have off afterwards that is unnerving. I know absolutely no details so at this point, I am really wasting my time worrying about what may be. It just seems prudent to start squirreling away every extra cent that I can in case I'm out of commission for a few weeks. If I could table this surgery until my next holiday that would be ideal.

Maybe that is why I'm so eager to get back to work? I can't save money if I'm not making it. These next few months must pay off my overspending. Then ... I must save. This is the state my finances are in every fall. But every year I think I plan a little better and spend less. For some reason though, I always end up in the same spot.

Next year is the year that I will face fall without a worry in the world. Right?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Need for Structure

My holidays have slowly been winding to a close this week and as I have faced the last 4 days with little or no 'agenda' to my day, I am craving the return of life as I know it.

I can accomplish a vast amount of things in a day. If I must, if I plan for it, if I push myself.

What I'm discovering is that I really do need to push myself. Without that driving force behind me I've let niggling little thoughts worm their way into my days. I've let negativity seep into my thinking. I've let guilt override common sense. My thoughts have not been productive. They are going in circles.

Yesterday I started a project that led to jumping out of bed with a purpose this morning. I need that purpose!

I believe that I was put on this earth to work. I require the routine and purpose that a job necessitates. My retirement plan is to work. I hope to be working by choice financially but I know that I must continue to follow this path of routine and structure to keep me internally happy and fulfilled. I need to drive myself. I need to push myself out of my comfort zones and into the land of the living.

I have immersed myself in a favorite DVD series this holiday. I've slept (and slept and slept). While all of that is good and fine for a day or two, it is not my dream to live a life that requires so little thought.

My regularly scheduled life is busy, full of responsibility and people. That is my reality. And though it does exhaust me at times, I am refuelled when I live life busily and passionately. I need a dream on top of my day-to-day responsibilities. Something to excite me and spur me into action during my idle time.

Holidays are a wonderful time to take a step back from life as you know it. And to me, the definition of a perfect holiday is when you step back in to that life ... and are grateful.

And I am. I have a great life.

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Drive in the Mountains

Here is a glimpse at some of the scenery from our 2 day/1 night trip to Banff and Canmore. The trip was truly a gift. My brother arranged the whole outing and it was a memorable family adventure.

video