It's so easy to get caught up in the thinking about future endeavors. It could be what our plans are for tomorrow, what needs to get accomplished in the next week or month, or maybe looking at the big picture of where we want to be one, five, or 10 years from now.
I really have no problem with that at all. It's important to think and plan for the future. The problem becomes when we think so much about the future that we lose sight of the here and now. We're so busy planning for what is to come that we forget that we have not been promised anything beyond today.
I'm a firm believer in living in the moment, today. In fact, my daughter and I have matching tattoos: Urghabhail an la (Seize the day in Irish). Everyday I look down at my foot and there it is. It's a daily reminder of what I strive to do.
Enjoy the daily household chores...they remind me I have a roof over my head.
Rejoice when the alarm goes off...it reminds me that God has given me another day.
Take time for my family...it reminds me how blessed I am that I have them.
Get in some sort of exercise...it reminds me my body allows me to.
Read all that I can...it reminds me that I live in a country where I can continue to be educated.
Love my job...it reminds me that I'm lucky enough to be in a career I enjoy.
Write in my journal...it reminds me to write down my memories and that I have so many wonderful moments.
Live in the moment today...it's a great day to start.
Wow, this has been a long week! The funny thing is that it has been a regular five-day week; however, it's been the first full week in awhile. Sometimes our bodies just get accustomed to being a little more relaxed and we have to get used to the longer hours and the busier days.
So how can we keep the sluggishness from happening? It's a matter of consistency. Even on days off, it's imperative to keep ourselves busy and in a routine. If we're used to getting up at 6:00 a.m. five days out of the week, and then we sleep until noon on the weekend, our bodies get confused. Although we may need to get caught up on sleep after a long work week, everything needs to happen in moderation. Going from 6 hours of sleep a night to get 10-12 hours on the weekend can be more harmful than helpful.
How can we keep the sluggishness from happening? Keep a sleep schedule 7 days a week. We don't need to go to bed and get up at the same time, but we need to keep the amount of sleep at a consistent level. We should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, but a recent study showed that 40% of us get fewer than that. Catching up on sleep needs to be a gradual process. On the weekend, gain another hour or two per night but not three to four or else we're just asking for a tough work week.
Once we gain an hour or two over the weekend, it's important to go to bed and get up at the same time each day during the week. If we want to get more sleep, go to bed 30 minutes sooner and get up 30 minutes later in order to gain an hour. Do this consistently and we begin to close the gap. Soon, we're getting the sleep we need and when we have a long work-week we won't be nearly as tired. Consistency is the key.
I went to a funeral this morning. It was for the mom of two of my former volleyball players. She bravely battled cancer, and today was a celebration of her life. Yes, she was only 56, but she lived a wonderful life and made the most of it. Her two daughters and husband are an incredibly testimony to the life she lived.
There were several things that touched me that I had no idea about her: she was an avid reader of Harlequin romances, she believed in Angels, she had a close relationship with God, and she earned her associate degree at 42. I knew her as a volleyball mom, and her family was always so welcoming to me and my family.
It's always interesting what we learn about a person after they die. We may wonder if we actually knew that person at all. I guess I choose to think of it this way. I knew the parts of her that I was supposed to know, and the knowledge I learned about her today I can take with me and have any even more fond appreciation of the person she was and who her daughters are because of her. It was a beautiful and humbling experience and one which will help me grow as a person.
Rejection is a double-edged sword. It can either make us feel dejected and want to give up or it can bring out the best in us as we work to get better. It can also do both. That was the case for me. Over the weekend I submitted a story to elephantjournal.com. It's an indie media source, and I thoroughly enjoy reading the various articles and opinions.
I've been gearing up for awhile to submit a piece, and I finally did it. The good news is that I heard back from them in only two days. The bad news is that my first effort was rejected with suggestions for rewriting the piece. My first reaction was dejection and a little bit of indignant anger. I thought to myself, "How dare they not take my piece. They don't even pay for pieces for heaven's sake." Then I went into, "Man, I must really suck as a writer. I'm not worthy of writing for publication."
After my initial reactions, I took a step back and reflected upon their suggestions. I went back to the website and read more material. Even though I thought I had a handle on the type of writing they typically accept, I really didn't. So, I've attacked the rewrite and am pleased with what I've done so far to meet their criteria. I'm not completely done with it, but I like the directions it is headed. Even if they don't accept this second attempt, it won't keep me from submitting other pieces of writing to them or other media sources.
Really, rejection is a good thing. It teaches us a lesson, and we either grow from it or stagnate. My initial ego-blown reaction was one of stagnation and a kind of self-loathing. When I got through the emotional aspect, I told myself, "If you're going to be a writer and seek publication, you're going to get rejected." It's a part of life and that's when the lessons emerged.
And that's not just about this lesson but life in general. In order to grow as a person, I have to analyze, reflect, and resolve to get better. My skin has to get tougher and I have to be able to take constructive criticism. Otherwise, I'm not going to get any better in whatever I'm choosing to do at the time. Rejection, therefore, is good!
Snow days are the best! You get a surprise day off with endless possibilities. You can't leave the house...at least I try not to, and you can get so much done or nothing at all. It's totally your call. My day was absolutely incredible. I did some things that I put off. It's like I was waiting for a day like today. I organized one of the closets. I had three different piles: throw away, give away, and keep. It was great to go through it. When you're doing something like this, you can't think it through. You just have to pick and go forward. That's exactly what I did, and I loved the finished product.
I also made protein pancakes. I've been thinking about making them for awhile, and so I did it today and even had one with peanut butter on it for a snack. I have a few in the fridge to have for breakfast this week and then I froze the rest of them. A home workout was on my agenda too. I did steps, worked my glutes, did an ab workout, and did yoga. It felt great, and I enjoyed it. I toyed with the idea of maybe giving up my gym membership, but I think I would miss the variety of workouts I can do at the gym. I was able to do some online reading on a new website I enjoy, 99U.com. I wrote in Nolan's Christmas journal. I painted on a couple of my projects. I'm about to take a soak in the tub.
It has really been a fabulous day, and I realized it's what I need to do more often. I need to not do all of it at once, because that would be impossible after a long day at work. However, I can do parts of these things on different days. I can't wait to jump in and do more!
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.