I wrote an article for my HOA newsletter and shared it here to expand my thanks for those that serve as well as the military family members.
I try to have a daily practice of gratitude. It helps me start my day with a positive frame of mind. To me, this is more important than ever in these challenging times. It’s easy for me to look around and count my blessings. The community I live in looks out for each other, and I feel fortunate to be a part of it.
I’m enjoying meeting community members and expanding my friendship circles that being a volunteer board member has afforded me. I highly recommend joining a committee, or even better, serving on the board. We have several openings this October. I’ve mentioned on several occasions that this community reminds me of living on a military base and that is because of the love and support of military families that bond together as a loved one serves.
I see that same caring for each other in this community and it reminds me of another deeper gratitude. Being raised a brat. The fact that I choose to serve in the Air Force doesn’t diminish my gratitude at growing up an Army Brat. Being Army strong served me well as an airman and civilian. I am grateful for all those who serve our country and add to that the immense gratitude for the service of the military family. They didn’t stand in front of a flag, raise their hand and swear to protect this great country, yet they make sacrifices every day.
I thank the parents that raised a child that commits themselves to this country. How, despite your worry, your hearts must burst with pride. I thank the spouse that stands by the soldier and braves all the hardships of deployment, long absences, packing and unpacking with a supportive smile and an “I’ve got this, don’t worry about us” mindset. I thank the kids that try their best to be brave, walking into new schools time and time again. Leaving old friends behind and opening their hearts to new ones, all the while trying to behave as to not reflect badly on the parent serving. It wasn’t all hardships. Living a military life, be it as a spouse, service member or child, builds resilience. The diversity of new cultures and environments enriches our lives in ways that cannot be measured. As we learned to be adaptable, we found ourselves able to adjust to change with a tuck and roll attitude that calms others around us that may not be as comfortable with it. So, if you know a military family, be sure to thank them for their service as well.
Does anyone else build their covers before the book is complete? I like to have a final cover once I vet my story out. It helps me manifest the final product. I can’t decide between these two covers. The story is about a dog that helps his owner find love. That makes me lean toward the dog with the flowers.
I woke up this morning and enjoyed reading people’s posts. The emotions were raw as words spilled out about fears, growth, happiness, and having loved and lost with hopes of letting go and loving again. I want to send a heartfelt thanks to all those who put into words so eloquently all the emotions and experiences I can relate to. I am inspired to get back into writing and reading WordPress.
WordPress is such a juxtaposition against the social media posts that hold smiling faces drinking coffee watching the morning sunrise from their deck or vacation spot and a glass of wine at sunset. Everyone’s kids are excelling in sports, graduating, and getting married. Spouses are the most loving, supportive partners. Congratulations on another year of a happy and content life.
Recently a friend posted a comment on social media about having loved someone without regret but negatively commented about the experience. I reached out to make sure she was okay because she usually posts positive comments. She was fine, just going through the ups and downs of a relationship that had ended. She called me a few days later and told me a family member wanted her to take down the post. It wasn’t the message she should be sending. I told her to leave it, it was authentic and genuine, and it was how she felt. Life’s not always about cute cat videos and plastered smiles. I told her I would have never known to reach out to make sure she is okay had I not seen that comment. Sadly, anyone who dares to post a real emotion or struggle seems to be shot down with comments about the inappropriateness of airing dirty laundry. Somehow WordPress has escaped this, and for that, I am grateful.
Don’t let not having a gym membership derail getting exercise.
Max is so good about racing around the yard and running around the house with his toys. He loves it; you can see the joy spilling out of him.
Photo by Jim Antich
Don’t let not having a gym membership derail your exercise routine. My pup Max has shifted my thinking on exercise. It’s not just about putting time in at the gym or even just moving; it’s about loving that you are moving. I’m still working on getting more exercise but I’m following Max’s lead, and I pick activities I love. I live across the street from the most beautiful trail and walking it is such a peaceful experience. It combines my pamper “me time” with exercise. I also picked Zumba. I love music, I love dancing, and I love how everyone laughs and has a good time.
Pick something you love so exercise is something you get to do, not something you have to do. You are less likely to make excuses about why you can’t fit it in. I won’t bore you with the health benefits; you have heard all that before.
I learned a valuable technique for writing quite by accident. I invite you to try it. It will take your novel writing to a whole new level.
I am a project manager by day and my first PM job was to work with our IT department to transfer our data over to a new platform. This was my first experience as a PM and I worked under a senior project manager that was very difficult to work with. She would make grown men cry. I kid you not.
I’ll call her Sybil and yes, I am referring to the movie about a woman with multiple personalities. I wasn’t sure if this PM was bi-polar or if she suffered from insecurities or mood swings but she would run hot and cold in the same meeting. She could start off attacking and then switch to supportive or start off supportive and switch to attacking. Every session was like walking on eggshells.
The example I am going to give is the event that set me off on my Netflix binge of watching documentaries of people with mental illness. I needed to understand her and was hoping to glean insights as to how not to take it personally and learn how to communicate with her in a way that wouldn’t trigger an attack. I was operating on the “look what you made me do” principal that I had to have done something to trigger the change.
I superimposed my mini-me Bitmoji avatar onto a favorite vacation spot in Ireland. I have it as my screen saver on my computer and iPhone as a reminder that every day matters when you are going about your everyday matters.
The round rocks in the Giant’s Causeway are a result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. They are beautiful and the view is breathtaking.
Life is short. Sometimes it feels like we are in a hamster wheel repeating each day like ground-hog-day. Days blur together and it seems like one day is no different than the next. Lather, rinse and repeat. It may feel that way, but it is not true. Every day matters and everything we say and do in that day matters as we go about our everyday matters.
Why does it matter that I superimposed a comic image over a volcanic rock? It matters to me. It represents a few things.
I acted on a commitment to myself. (I took a vacation with friends and family)
My path may be rocky at times, but my foundation is smooth and strong.
What am I going to do with my life today? Good reminder to start my day mindful.
My decision to live my best life after a brain-bleed inspired spending quality time with family and friends, to get out of the house more, take more vacations and stress less about work. Ireland was a new vacation spot for me in my quest to experience new things. The rocks are round and smooth but the path to the top can be a bit rocky. Pun intended. I love this photo. As I walked up the path I thought ‘I’m okay with a rocky path because I know my foundation is strong like the columns that formed these rocks bursting through the fissures.’
How we respond to life’s eruptions matter. For that matter, we are in full control. We can choose our response, our reactions. We can stay positive and mindful or we can spiral out of control and lash out at those around us.
How we spend our day is not a trivial matter. In fact, it is a matter to take quite seriously. What matters most is that you are true to yourself each day. As a matter of fact, staying in your integrity is one of the few things we have control of when we make decisions that matter or in our response to someone when we have asked them if something is the matter.
Please trust me in these matters. Life is short and the days are shorter. Don’t waste them especially when it comes to matters of the heart.
I glance at the calendar and remember that it is my one year anniversary. It is a good one. October 20, 2016, I joined the Second Chance club. I suffered a brain bleed and was hospitalized for eight days.
On my second or third day in the hospital, my doctor makes his morning rounds. “You are lucky to be alive,” he tells me as thoughts of I’d rather be dead than feel this level of pain race through my head. As if he can read my mind, he assures me the pain will go away. Thank God. I am relieved. I choose to believe him. I can expect this pain to go away.
I can relate to the daily prompt topic of release. It was one of my hardest lessons to learn. Not saying I’m a control freak (okay, maybe) but letting others step in and help changed my stress level immensely.
My dog Max and Cooper take turns being Alpha. Sometimes Max calls the shots and sometimes it is Cooper. When it switches, they seem to accept the new role with grace. So how does that translate as a lesson?
Working on my next chapter for Restlessness, Your Soul’s Cry for Change. I would love to hear your experience or thoughts on the impact of how changing your perception of an event, changes how you react or respond.
Can your perception of an event contribute to feeling unhappy? How easy is it to shift? For example, You think someone at work is out to get you or make you look bad or your boss doesn’t appreciate you and you feel miserable.
What if you shifted your thoughts? Jane isn’t out to get me, she is just being Jane. Is she coming from a place of fear? Does she think I’m going to take her job?