Sometimes things in life just don't go our way. We are all victims of the human condition, and we fail. We don't mean to. People don't mean to fail us and we don't mean to fail others.
But, it happens.
We always have a choice to make though in how we respond. We can get angry. We can say unfortunate words that don't help. We can cry at the unfairness of it all. We can have an adult temper tantrum and throw things. We can complain to others.
Unfortunately, I know I've fallen prey to all of the above.
I don't anymore though.
Instead, my reaction of choice is to take a deep breath...then another...and another. I keep going until what was bottled up is released through each exhale. I keep going until my heart rate goes down, the emotions subside, and I relax.
I know it might be easier said than done, but then I think about all the time I've wasted in the past. The time I spent angry or arguing. The time I spent saying something I regretted and then going back to apologize. The time I complained and added to the problem rather than being part of the solution.
When all I really needed to do was take deep breaths. So simple. Problem solved.
Today was the last day of our vacation before the final stretch of the school year.
Today is also my dad's 76th birthday!
I messaged him on Saturday and asked him what he was doing today. His reply, "Nothing." I knew with his birthday being on a Monday and my step-mom working, I figured he wouldn't have much going on.
It made all the sense in the world to enjoy the beautiful weather, road trip the hour and a half to Nebraska City, and take him out to lunch. So, that's exactly what Jack and I did.
We went to Valentino's and enjoyed a long lunch together. My sister Sara was even able to join us for a little bit during her lunch break from work.
I don't know if I can adequately put into words what it meant to me to spend that time with him. We don't often take opportunities to do stuff like that together, and I'm really glad we did. It was another example of what my calendar says to do this month, "Collect moments, not things."
Today was a chance to collect some time with my dad, and it meant the world to me. And, I think he enjoyed it too. Later in the day, he messaged me, "Thanks again for the birthday lunch, kinda neat."
I'm trying something new with make purchases.
You've heard of the 24 hour rule, right? If there's something you want to buy, then wait 24 hours. If you still want it after 24 hours, then make the purchase.
Well, I'm really trying hard to work on delayed gratification. Thus, the 30 day rule.
About a month ago, I saw a used drop down desk at my mom's non-profit thrift store. I really wanted to buy it, but I decided that I needed to wait to see if I would really use it, where I would put it, and what I would get rid of if I got it.
Well, I've hit the 30 day mark, and I still want it. Now, I haven't called my mom to see if she still has the desk, but I figure that if it's still there then it is meant to be mine. If it isn't, then I wasn't supposed to have it.
I admit that it doesn't work for everything. For example, my husband and I went shopping yesterday and I wanted to buy a new dress to wear for Easter. Well, since it was already Good Friday, I couldn't do my 30 day rule.
However, I think it's a good way to think about how we go about purchases and whether or not an item is needed versus simply a want. It really makes me think about what is absolutely necessary.
What do you think about the 30 day rule?
I read a great blog post today by Leo Babauta about overcoming procrastination when it comes to habit formation.
It was a conversation he had with his mom and she basically said that she doesn't go down that "slippery slope." Most habits only take a couple of minutes to do versus what could happen long term if she doesn't do them.
For example, flossing your teeth only takes a couple of minutes. If you don't floss your teeth, you could be looking at dental problems in the future that could take more time, energy, and money. So, she simply says that she does the positive habit rather than go down that slippery slope.
I love that philosophy because it's so dead on. Many changes that we want to make really don't take that long to complete. We just need to stop thinking about them and just do them. Instead of thinking of habit change as an inconvenience, think about the longer-term effects of not doing it.
Do 30 minutes of daily exercise or look at potential health deterioration down the road.
Spend 5 minutes writing a journal entry to relieve tension or let the stress build up into high blood pressure.
Make time to eat healthier or spend time taking medication and going to doctor's visits.
You get the idea. We can either take time to front load or go down that slippery slope. Stay away from the slippery slope.
I really like sunrises. They are simple and remind me that the world is a beautiful place.
Sometimes I forget that.
I get started with my morning and what I want to accomplish, and then I look up and there it is. Another beautiful sunrise.
Honestly, the awesomeness of it causes me to stop and pause. I love when I look out the dining room window while eating breakfast and start to see the change of colors through the trees in the neighborhood.
Or, like this morning, I was driving to work and saw it in my rearview mirror. When I had a chance to pull over, I did and I took a picture of it.
We can get so caught up in what we're doing that we forget to take a moment to breathe and take in the world around us.
I challenge you this week to do just that. Notice the sunrise, notice the sunset, notice all the beauty there is around you. I dare you.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.