Monday, May 28, 2012

Release the pressure..............

Knowing that school summer vacation is a mere weeks away I both brace and embrace all that it will mean.

In my constant quest to be at peace, or more accurately stated "to find ways" to be at peace, I have begun redefining my structure of living.

Here's just one example to better explain myself: By wanting things "just so" neat, clean, organized and any other unrealistic task that requires others I live with to uphold......I am setting myself up for frustration and pressure ...which translates/results in the opposite of peace.

So given these guidelines, I'm trying to "soften" what feels ok. Tolerate perhaps a more lenient  acceptable level of neat, clean and organized. I try to convey that in my actions.

Quieter voice, less scrunched up face when I speak, and being aware not to use phrases like "what were you thinking???.... of course a wet towel left in a lump will attract water bugs"!

I have come to realize that saying things like that only increases my stress and doesn't necessarily get me the results I want anyway.

Why didn't I make this connection before:  to release the pressure one must loosen the tight hold of whatever is causing the pressure! For me wanting things "just right" ( by that I mean "MY just right") is the tourniquet creating the pressure. So moving forward if I notice a wet towel on the floor I will simply approach the guilty person, point to the towel and say "now".

I'm thinking I am on to something. Now I'll probably hear things like "mom has lost it" or "have you noticed mom isn't talking as much"? Which quite honestly is fine with me, because the next sentence from them will hopefully be..."yeah, but she sure does seem pretty relaxed lately ".  Bring it on summer....I'm ready!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What I Noticed Today..................

Glistening dew on the grass, first thing this morning

The ivory edges of the variegated hostas

Chipmunk peeking out of a hole

That I was already planning in my head what to chat about with my BFF tomorrow morning, because I don't want to forget a thing

People singing and laughing in a passing car

The gentle scent of wild roses, chives and mint while gardening

That hugs from my teenage sons feel that bit more special because it's not always the coolest thing to do

The warmth of a towel just out of the dryer, brings flashbacks of
when the boys were little and we'd snuggle up while "folding" laundry

 Online conversation with two special friends warms my heart

5 hours of heavy yard work = 2 Tylenol, a hot shower and early to bed

Hanging out around the fire pit with my family brings a smile to my face

Crickets and fireflies mean childhood summer to me

And lastly, I noticed.....that upon finishing this post I'm already looking forward to noticing so many more things tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Great Escape....................

While performing a mindless task at work yesterday, I was reminded of the beauty of our own thoughts and the power we have within. Now don't get me wrong, I let my mind wander, only in a work related direction. Crazy right? I felt guilty when I initially started daydreaming about my personal "To Do" list, but quickly reeled it back in and kept it work related. 

I developed my thoughts, ideas and suggestions of how I would "engage the community". It made my task at hand more enjoyable..ok maybe not enjoyable...but it made the time pass and I felt more productive. 

It got me thinking or more accurately reminded me, the power we always have within...Our thoughts!! We can brainstorm, strategize or simply escape for a little bit. I do believe it is our responsibility to listen and really hear that inner voice and do something with it! Easier said than done, no doubt.

So that I wouldn't forget, I actually wrote down my work thoughts yesterday, with the hope that maybe my ideas could come to fruition.(fun word...fruition..wonder if it comes from "fruit" of hard work) Realizing though "hope" is not how ideas become a reality, now it's up to me to run with it and take the next step. That is where inner strength really comes into play.

So I challenge you ...what are your thoughts telling you? Is there a reoccurring idea that wants/needs to be nurtured? Something that can make a difference for you or others?? Listen within!!

The way I look at it is......moving forward and accomplishing small steps is more than if I hadn't taken any steps at all. I work towards building momentum and the results it can bring......and if it gets overwhelming, my escape is simply...... a daydream away!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Panini Possibilities

1999 First dinner in the breakfast nook...bathed in sun!

 Recently we started mini kitchen renovations to accommodate our growing family. And to be clear, by "growing" I mean our physical size not the number of people in our family.  Years ago when the boys were little we put in a breakfast nook that provided years of awesome family dinners, (conversations & laughter awesome,  NOT so much my cooking...hey we all have our strengths)  it acted as the "kids table" at parties, hosted numerous science experiments, homework hours and oh how can I forget "pumpkin sludge gutting" and Christmas cookie decorating.

Rehashing the years with that table brings on a bit of a melancholy feel. 

Nevertheless, the table and more accurately the bench seating, got too crowded, and last month we removed it, with the vision of my dear husband building an island for the center of the kitchen, for us to eat at.  

Here is the point in the story that I should share with you, how difficult change can sometimes be for me!  Adjustment can be really hard!! Thankfully having been at our "project" adventure for 18+ years now, Mark knows the protocol (that he developed mind you) and as soon as I start to grumble and make a tight face regarding something new and or different, he goes into "live with it for a couple of weeks, see what you think, then make a decision".  Now, I can report, over the years this method has proven to provide various results.

So I walk into the kitchen for the unveiling of  our new island, while keeping in mind how many hours he has put into this new labor of love project..and there it is....true to form, he has designed and built a beautiful piece of furniture. I go for the "sandwich" approach...."wow you did an incredible job!.... I'm concerned it may be a bit too big for the room!!!!!.....(my face starting to tighten).......You are so talented"!!

There, I did it, sandwiched my main concern between showers of praise.  We "discussed" the island a bit more and left it at "living with it for a couple of weeks". 

First week discoveries...... clearly it gets in the way when loading and unloading the dishwasher and if someone is standing at the fridge with the door open you can't walk behind them to get over to the corner cabinet. I kept mental notes.... ok probably more like a tally list.

Second week discoveries...more of the same from the first week... as well as frequently feeling crowded in the room  (more check marks on my mental tally list) 

But last night something changed!!!

Scattered dinner time presented itself and "make your own panini" night unfolded. Well, before I knew it there was harmonious, good feeling chatter, along with stories and laughter about our days. Someone at the panini maker, someone at the island eating, someone just leaning and chatting , someone "cueing up" their panini". It was down right fun I tell ya'!

I started to see all the advantages this new island was bringing to our kitchen not to mention our lives. So now as I step over the open dishwasher door and  curse a little....I think about last night's dinner production and how smoothly it all went... feeling crowded and all.