Monday, March 26, 2012

...rEcHaRgE yOuR BaTTeRy...

Most of us use our cell phones a lot.  I remember a time, many years ago, when all I did with my phone was make calls.  It's not that way anymore.  I use my phone for everything.  It's my calculator, address book, organizer, camera, and alarm clock.  I text instead of calling whenever I can.  I check my email, post to and check Facebook updates, and play games.  There's not a day that I go an hour without doing something on my phone during the day.  Most of the time plugging my cell phone in at night to recharge is sufficient.  But ever so often, my phone get used so much during the day that the battery becomes too low and I have to recharge it sooner.  Sometimes when my phone gets very low, I take it and plug it in and let it get good and recharged.  Other times, I try just plugging it in here and there in the car or for just a few minutes at a time.  This helps, but I find that it doesn’t take long and my phone is dead.

Do you ever have days where you feel like your cell phone?  There are days that require a lot out of me...days that I'm especially busy...days that come with added stress...days that I feel as though everyone else needs my help.  These days cause my inner “battery” to get run down faster.  If I ignore the signs that my inner “battery” is low or if I try to quickly “recharge” it, before long...I have nothing left to give to myself or others.  Sometimes, you have to take the time to stop and fully recharge your “battery”...not just for a few minutes, but for as long as it takes to be back up to full speed.  We make excuses that we are too busy or that we don’t have time, but once the battery is dead on your’s worthless to you and we are no different.
 Pay more attention to where your battery is at.  I have deleted “apps” on my phone that drain my battery.  Maybe we need to practice this in our personal lives as well.  If there are people that take from you and drain you, but give nothing in return...maybe you need to reconsider how beneficial they are to you and whether or not you want to keep them around.  If you are feeling the sign that your “battery” is low...if you are irritable or tired or sad...recognize it and make a real effort to recharge.  When we allow all of our energy to be taken away and given to different tasks and people, we suddenly become just like a cell phone without a charge.  We are of no use to those around us, and we have nothing to give.   Don’t allow that to happen.  Keep yourself recharged so that you have the power to live the life you want.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

...step away from the donuts and nobody gets hurt...

The smell...the way it feels when I first bite into it...the texture in my mouth...the happiness I feel when I eat a amazing.  Seriously.  I admit it.  I freaking love doughnuts.  I do.  So heading up to the school for "Muffins with Mom" (where they serve Krispy Kreme doughnuts) with my 10 yr old son, Jake seems like a perfect opportunity to have one.  Right?

I told myself before I left the house.  I will NOT have a doughnut, but I wondered if I could do it.  I scanned the cafeteria for Facebook friends.  The coast was clear.  I thought, "I could eat one and no one would ever know."  We all know that's not true though.  I would know.  Once I was resolved to chatting with Jake while he ate THREE DELICIOUS, AMAZING, SWEET doughnuts, I started to have a little inner pity party.  "It's not fair!  Look at all these other Moms eating doughnuts!  It's only won't make me fat...or kill me...or ruin everything."  These were the voices in my head.  I tried to talk to Jake so I couldn't hear them, but my inner fat girl talks really loud and she likes attention.

As bad as it felt to sit there, it felt really good to walk out having kept my word...not to my friends on Facebook...but to myself.  There's power and happiness in self control.  There's freedom in making a choice and sticking to it.  There's peace in going through the day proud rather than carrying regrets after a few moments of joy.  Don't short change yourself.  Have faith in your ability to choose and follow through.  Relish the power that grows every time you make a choice to do the right thing...whether it's a food choice or a choice of whether or not to hit the gym.  Small choices can make a big difference.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

...Nasty girl...

Last week after I was done working out with my friend, I decided to run across the street to pick up a few tank tops at the mall.  It seemed silly to go all the way home and get fixed up just to drive back to where I already was.  There was a big vertical stripe of sweat on my back, and I felt like I must look really nasty.  As I pulled into the parking lot, I started to feel self conscious and worry about what people might think.  I wondered if the salespeople would tell me not to try on the clothes.  I started to worry about what other people might think too.  Still, I grabbed my purse and headed through the door and up to the lingerie department.

I quickly grabbed the 3 tanks that I was there for and turned to find the register.  As I turned, there was the sales lady standing right there.  A little thrown off, I started to tell her that I was ready to check out.  She smiled and said, "Would you like to try those on?".  I felt surprised that she was asking me the very thing that I thought she would NOT want me to do.  I quickly said, "Oh no!  I'm sweaty and nasty!  I'm sorry.  It's just that I just got done working out across the street...".  She cut me off and said, "Oh honey, you look just fine.  You look like a girl that knows how to work hard!"  I was so surprised.  I felt myself smiling and standing a little taller.  I paid, thanked her, and walked towards my car.  Only this time...I wasn't embarrassed or rushing because of my sweaty shirt.  This time I walked out with a new perspective.

I'm so grateful that the kindness of a stranger helped me understand what I should have already known.  My sweaty tank top was a symbol of my desire to work hard and be strong.  It was a sign that I didn't stop when it got hard or when it was hot.  I kept going and I had the mark to prove it.  I realized that my sweat was not something to be ashamed of but a badge of honor!  Now, when I walk out of the gym or come off the trail after a tough run and I am sweaty, I try to remember that day and feel proud...not nasty!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

...tAkE yOuR oWn aDviCe...

It's an interesting phenomenon being a mother to three children.  I am the same and they all have the same father, but my pregnancies and deliveries were all very different from one another and my children are each very unique.  They each have their own look and their personalities are very individual.  I love that, because while it can be frustrating at times, it keeps me on my toes and lets me experience life through different perspectives.  It's like seeing the world through four different views; mine and all three of theirs.

This morning I already had my oldest and youngest children to school, so I started doing what I do every morning.  It starts with the intercom and progresses to me yelling upstairs and ends with me walking up to my daughter's room to see what I can do to help her not be tardy for school.  Apparently she inherited my inability to get anywhere on time, because Sydney is ALWAYS late.  She usually emerges looking fabulous with perfect hair and makeup and a smile on her face, but that wasn't the case today.  She looked like she hadn't even hardly gotten ready.  Her hair was a mess and she was very agitated and running around grabbing things.  She decided to do her hair on the way to school, so we left.  I could tell she was really frazzled and on the verge of tears.  This is odd because Sydney is tough.  She and I are very similar.  Sometimes we can be harsh and sarcastic.  We say what we think and sometimes it's bold and unfiltered.  We both have a very soft side to us too, but sometimes it's hidden.  Sydney is very self sufficient and rarely complains, so when she is visibly is strange and I notice it right away.

Like most moms, I hate to see my children upset.  When they are hurting, it's like the piece of my heart that belongs to them hurts too.  I want so badly to help them get through their problems and be well adjusted, happy kids.  Once we got in the car, I turned to her and said, "What's the matter, baby?  You seem really off this morning."  She began to just unleash everything she's been holding inside.  She talked about how tired she is and how nervous she is about trying out for cheerleading even though she portrays total confidence to everyone else.  At that point, she was all out venting and I was happy to listen because I knew she needed to talk.  She started to talk about how she has "the worst luck in the world" and how she's so tired of working so hard and giving her all to everyone around her but feeling like she doesn't get much in return. I listened and then I gave her some advice.  It went a little something like this...

"I know how you feel and I'm sorry you are having a rough morning.  Unfortunately, you are a lot like me and you're right...we are not "lucky."  It's okay to have a moment and talk and even feel upset or think it's not fair, but it's what you do afterwards that counts.  Sometimes it feels as though we have to work twice as hard as everyone else for the same result, but we appreciate every success we get even more.  Remind yourself that you CAN do anything.  You have to let go of what other people are doing and continue to be a good friend and work hard because you want to.  You can't control whether or not you get back all you give, so be thankful that you have a heart that allows you to give so much.  You are having a bad day, but you are strong and you will get through this and wake up to a better day tomorrow."

We pulled up and she looked at me with her blue eyes and long eyelashes and said, "Thanks Mom.".  I told her that I love her and drove towards the gym to work.  The car was quiet because I turned the radio off when she began to talk.  As I sat in silence, I thought about what she had said and how I have felt those exact same feelings and even said some of those exact words before.  There have been times I have allowed those feelings to get the best of me.  Then, some things became very clear for me.  I had just sat and given her some great advice...advice that maybe I should take myself.  It's easy to tell someone else how to have a better life.  It's nice to be someone that people come to for advice, but it's better to believe and follow the advice yourself.

I am so hard on myself.  Many times, I put myself down in ways that I wouldn't think of doing to my own children.  It occurred to me that maybe I should talk a little nicer to myself and listen to the words of advice that I offer to my children.  I believe and meant every word that I told my daughter this morning.  Now it's time for me to take my own advice, and live by those words.