Sometimes the task can feel overwhelming when you look at the sum and it paralyzes, doesn’t it? The thought of cleaning out the garage, prepping for a test, or (gulp) learning a new language!! But as I reflect on the week just passed that started with honoring MLK, his favorite quote of mine rings in my ears, “you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Could you imagine stepping into the White House with all the crises he is facing right now? Wow, just wow with a pandemic raging, vaccines so scarce, an economy teetering, society politically fractured now more than ever, extremists emboldened on both sides, and an international reputation that is, well, let’s just say undetermined. But let’s bring it down to a personal level, shall we?
What do you have left unfinished or un-started? What have you left undone because the task seems too large?
I know for me I often put things off because I look at the enormity of the mountain to climb and nine times out of ten when the task is accomplished I look back and think to myself, now that really wasn’t nearly as bad as I made it out to be!!
Why is that? Why do we get ourselves so wrapped up in the “have to” instead of looking forward to the “get to” when it comes to accomplishments we are about to embark on?
I can tell you what it is for me: I’m like a petulant child. I want my cake and eat it too. I want the sculpted body but don’t want to spend the time in the gym working for it. I want the pleasure of lounging on the couch. I want the pleasure of eating that chocolate cake, French Fries, Oreo cookie blizzard, Diet Mountain Dew, pancake, lather it on my spare tire, I don’t give two craps when I want it rather than the healthy chicken and veggies meal.
LOL, that was cathartic!!!
Case in point: I really didn’t want to write this blog this morning but rather would have laid on the couch, snuggled up with the pups under the blanket and watched the clouds hoping for some rain. But alas, I started stroking the keys, setting aside judgment that it was garbage at first, and whallaaaa, you all have something to hopefully relate to and take away with some brain food.
So, I’ll leave you with this: don’t rush out and check off everything on your To Do list right now, those people are over-achievers and annoying. But shift your mindset from “have to” over a bit and find your “get to” for just one task you’ve been procrastinating and see if it helps.
Who’s with me?
Well my friends, it’s that time of year isn’t it? Just over 2 weeks after the resolutions have been made and we are staring down the barrel of disappointment, lol. But seriously, let me take a step back, because perhaps, maybe, by chance, ONE of you reading this may have more resolve than the rest of us (or are lying about it to make yourself look better than us commoners).
This week I started in a new role at work, well, not officially as there will be a time of transition but doing a dual role has presented some challenges. Time management of course, but what I want to talk about is falling into old patterns of behavior…something we can all relate to I’m sure.
Just as some of you may have made New Year’s resolutions, whether it was to lose weight, curse a little less, call your parents more, eat more mindfully, odds are with the nation’s events over the past few weeks there was every excuse in the world to fall back into some previous behavior.
Mine was feeling like I had to do it all myself. And truth be told, I didn’t get here by myself, and I’m not going to get THERE by myself. What I know to be true is that God brought me to it, so God will bring me through it. When I find myself in times of trouble (Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, LET IT BE), I just need to turn it over and let Him take the wheel.
If there is one thing, I know that I’m good at, that’s complicating the simplest things in life. When I boil it down to basics, and this is borrowed for sure, it really is as simple as Trusting God, Cleaning House, and working with others. I need to turn all my controlling, manipulating, calculating, trying to figure out the outcome to the One who knows what is best. It doesn’t mean I don’t make plans, cuz I do a ton of that, but I don’t plan the outcome. I need to clean my side of the street: if I wrong someone, I make it right. And working with others which is so critical today. Giving back what I have been truly blessed with when there is so much need. It’s not the government’s job, or THEIR job, but it is OUR job to care for our neighbor, brother/sister. It’s the human thing to do.
And lastly, I need to remember to forgive myself when I go astray and fall back into those old patterns. I am human, and that is ok. When I recognize what has happened, I need to get back up on that horse and ride again…and again…and again…and again.
What a line from a classic Christmas song. Don’t we need that now more than ever? Empathy Fatigue, Covid Exhaustion, uncertainty around every turn.
Good tidings of comfort and joy.
So I asked myself: what am I doing today to bring about this comfort and joy?
Do I stop and help someone in need, giving the most precious of gifts, my time, or just write an end of year check to get the tax write off?
Am I stopping to lend an ear to someone who might be lonely and hurting? Or am I too busy getting just the right gift and planning for next year’s sales quota to pause, slow down, and listen to pain in their heart?
Can I for just a moment look for the pain behind the angst of yelling and screaming of someone in a store rather than judge them secretly and then share the ridiculousness of their tale when I see a friend later that day to be dismissive and feel superior that I haven’t over-reacted in this holiday season…YET.
Let’s face it, this year which has been unlike any other (sure, insert the punch in the throat for saying that over-used phrase of 2020, I’ll take my licking) we have almost grown numb to simply being human and doing the simple acts of kindness that make us so.
Maybe that’s what I’ll get my husband this year, random acts of kindness. Yeah, that’s it. That’s what I’ll get him. I’ll return all the gifts under the tree, save all that money and just give him kindness. I’m sure THAT will go over well, lol. Truthfully, it probably would. But if he reads this and returns my gifts…well, let’s just say this merry little elf might not be so merry come Christmas morning. You see, I do like getting presents. I do like that material stuff. There, I said it. And it’s 2020, so go ahead and judge me. I’m ok with it!!
Is it just me, or does it seem that the level of service has just gone downhill over the last little while? Oh my, could it be that I’m just getting old? That’s something people in the second half of their century of life say. I take it back, let me start over.
Is it me, or are kids these days just not as customer service oriented as we used to be when we were younger?
Nope, that doesn’t sound any better.
So, we went to the Apple store yesterday so I could surprise my husband for our Anniversary. The gentleman who assisted us was great, very knowledgeable, friendly, gave us good options, and set us on our way to transfer all the data which would take about 20 minutes. He informed us to just grab another person when it was complete to erase the old phone before leaving.
Then we encountered what we shall term, “who asked you for your personal opinion” gal. Now I get it, I may have been a tab rude when I stated that getting a block with a new phone should be included to see the response. And when I called her out for giving ‘the company line’ she wasn’t having any of it. But for her to say that she personally preferred that and condescendingly then speaking to us after that? Um, no. You are in customer service, and you check your attitude at the door.
Now this blog today isn’t about her attitude, but rather about forgiveness and gratitude…I know, I know, get to it then.
Gratitude that during this pandemic we are splurging on such an extravagance…. I get it.
The forgiveness comes from not sending the email and shredding her to her superiors which would be my normal course of action. Was it deserved? Hell yes. But instead I chose to show some mercy, rather than exact vengeance. Who knows what she was going through that day? And what did it cost me besides getting my pride ruffled a bit because I was trying to be the big shot and possibly weasel a free charging block out of the deal in front of my hubby.
But here’s the rub, in my mind, despite forgiving, it still rattled in my brain, and I had the ‘opportunity’ to dream about it overnight. Not directly, but metaphorically. So, I had a chance to forgive all over again.
I share with you not to disparage this gal at the Apple store, but rather to ask that this holiday season, maybe we can all be a little more thankful for what we have…and be a little more forgiving as we don’t know what others may be challenged with when we encounter them.
Wanna know why I didn’t say ‘inhale’? Because a friggin pandemic is going on people!! LOL. But seriously, can we all just take a step back, take a breath, and let the temperature come down about three thousand degrees?
The election is over, the votes have been counted, and it’s time we all got on with the business of being ONE human race. Being kind to one another, listening a bit more and shouting at one another less. Finding something in common with those across the aisle, street, or country, rather than lobbing verbal grenades to incite a response.
Take a breath.
This has been undoubtedly the strangest of my 49 years on the planet earth and I’m sure you all can join me in saying that I’m not exaggerating the term ‘unprecedented’ when describing 2020. So can we all just take a moment this holiday season (can’t be believe I just used that phrase, will blame my spouse for starting in with the Christmas music already, lol) and remember it’s a time for giving: of our hearts, of ourselves, and maybe, just maybe, a bit of forgiveness to others for what they may have said or done.
Take a breath.
We need some healing. As individuals. As a nation. As a world. But it starts with each of us, as individuals. Just one person at a time. Won’t you join me?
I’ve always been annoyed by the phrase, “turn that frown upside down.” Have you ever taken a picture of someone frowning and rotated the photo: CREEPY!!!
I was on a business call the other day and it was so refreshing that I could be myself: playful, joking, joyful. Not the typical stuffy business call with a new client, but the type of video conference with a new marketing team where the two sides really seemed to click with ideas and the result was nothing short of amazing.
So why is it that we sometimes hide our light to try and play the part of a ‘professional’? I’m kind of tired of playing that role. And maybe coming out of this pandemic business will realize that things must change, which include not being so darn stuffy!!
If you are familiar with the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, they have Rule #62: don’t take yourself too damn seriously.
And isn’t that the truth.
If we could all just chill the f&*% out (told you to stay tuned and you would learn the acronym CTFO), know that our country will continue no matter the outcome of the election, and that with a little bit of kindness on all of our parts and listening proportionately with our ears to mouth ratio, perhaps we can once again live in a world that I would be proud to welcome my grandbabies into (and nope, none on the way…but I can hope!!!).
Go in peace, take a piece, but don’t forget to leave a piece for the next!!!
I don’t know about all of you, but 2020 is not a year where I’m going to allow anyone else to tell me to try to live a life in balance anymore.
With a pandemic, looting and rioting, unemployment out of control, a man that lives in a house that is white telling us that he is cured after just 5 days ill with Covid-19, the stock market higher than it’s ever been (give or take), Russia and China not rooting for the same outcome of an American election…shall I go on?
Nothing is in balance.
So rather than trying to live a life in balance, I’m going to substitute that phrase or concept for the rest of this year with simply trying to do the next indicated thing and let the chips fall where they may.
I don’t have to try and control the outcome. Heck, if I thought I had any part in outcomes then I would have pulled all my retirement funds out of the market on February 28th, then put it all back into stocks on April 1st. Looking back, that seems like a logical thing to do…pandemic, crisis, panic, rebound… ‘merica.
So I’m not going to try and fool myself into thinking there is balance in 2020.
Sure, I can hear the naysayers out there: “balance is an internal thing Greg” …”it’s a state of mind when you calm your inner self and find your connection to…”. Yep, I have one to say to those folks…there’s a place for balance, it’s on a beam, and there aren’t any gymnastics this year at the Olympics, or at the college level right now, so pffft to your theory.
Ok, ok, those of you who know me may be saying to yourself, “he’s gone off the deep end, send for reinforcements, preferably with a straitjacket.”
But truthfully, I’ve never been better. I just have a more realistic understanding that trying to make sense out of this year is an exercise in futility.
So, perhaps you will join me in giving up the idea of balance as we approach ‘an historic election’ (as if every 4 hears our democracy isn’t an historic undertaking…sorry to those of you who are dramatizing this one over the previous 44) in a time of complete unknowing, find a way to do the next indicated thing, lower expectations, and just take deep breath with me and CTFO. And if you don’t know the acronym, stay tuned to next week…just know it has to do with Chill… 😊
I remember hearing years ago that holding a resentment is like allowing someone to live rent free in your mind. Well, real estate is getting pretty damn expensive these days!!!
I have a confession, but only if you promise not to blab it to the entire world: I have unrealistic expectations of others.
Can you relate?
While I want others to forgive when I have wronged, give me space to learn and grow, be patient as I continue to grow into the person I am trying to become, I quickly pull out the rusty butter knife at a moment’s notice to cut someone by the throat (figuratively, I’m nonviolent here, don’t be getting your panties up in a wad over that visual).
So why is that? Why am I so quick to judge yet eager to be cut some slack?
Isn’t that human nature? We want our cake and eat it too.
Instant gratification. A right now society. Gimme gimme gimme…Veruca Salt to the extreme (if you don’t know the Willy Wonka reference, we can’t be friends).
So perhaps, I can start with me. And that’s exactly what has happened this past week.
I had this resentment building for years, ok…decades. I wanted this person to rescue me, fix me, take all my troubles away, and when I thought I was wronged, abandoned, I just wanted to see all the horrible there was in them, and not give it a moment to see any of the good. Or, to take a moment and see life from their perspective.
Good thing I have friends in my life who can give me a reality check and a virtual bitch-slap to put me in my place.
So, I have been asked to pray for that person, for 2 weeks, to have everything they want. I’m halfway through as of today, and can report that the amount of anger, rage, and gall I have for them is nearly completely dissipated. It feels like the 50-pound sack I’ve been carrying is finally being set down and I can walk again unimpeded.
And dare I say, the love that was buried underneath is starting to return.
Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.
Kindness doesn’t cost a thing. Yet how often do we default to fighting for what we think we need: more of what we can consume at any one time, winning a senseless argument to prove a point, getting that parking spot just a few paces closer to the front door of the grocery store?
How important is it really anyway?
If we just paused a moment and asked ourselves that question, how much less stress and angst would we have in our lives?
Now don’t get me wrong, and please don’t take this as a lecture from me to you, because I’m one of the biggest offenders here. Lord knows, just ask my husband!!
But what I do know for sure is this: when I take a moment to be kind, to be supportive, to take a moment out of an incredibly jam-packed life full of “I’m so busy” to be helpful to the person coming up behind me, as I wished there was someone when I was trying to make my way, there’s this inner glow that starts to happen that feels almost magical.
Do you ever wish for a time long past where ‘things were simpler’ and ‘life was easier’? I’m not talking about some Pollyanna BS, but a time when you felt better about the world in general.
Well, you can still grab a small piece of it.
Just try this: a small act of kindness. Not contrived, but true giving, without expectation of reward.
In these heated times of political grenades, unrest in the streets, economic uncertainty, and a virus invading every aspect of our lives, we can use some good news. And you can be a part of that. Just one small act can ripple across another’s life, which in turn can influence another in their life, and so on.
Let’s start that revolution, today, one person at a time.
I have faith in humanity still, won’t you join me in this belief?