Sunday, February 20, 2011

Let Go and Let God

Life Balance: a feat we try to achieve while searching to be the best that we can be, while simultaneously raising our children to do the same. This is the equilibrium in our inner life force whereby our heartbeat matches the divine force that exists all around us. When this life balance peaks, our sense of peace, joy, love and wisdom act as one with our very soul.

"Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings."

Years ago I read the Mitford Series by Jan Caron. I loved the cosy books, set in the fictional small town of Mitford, North Carolina with Father Tim. One minute I would be caught up in the story, another I would be wanting to talk one of the characters out of something they were planning to do; other times I would want to have a heart to heart with Father Tim and tell him all my troubles. At one point early on in the series, Father Tim, a sweetaholic, comes down with diabetes. Here we really see him with all his human failings cursing the disease and fighting against it. He's mad, he's sad, he's in denial, he's making bargains to get away from the daily management of a terminal disease, when he has an Epiphany. He goes back to his roots, and remembers to "Give Thanks for all things". He begins to give thanks for everything in his life, even diabetes. He turns his life as always over to God, and understands that we must put our faith in the higher and love everything in our life, to laugh and love it and make it our own, whatever the problem it. We can't understand what may come out of whatever we are going through, but we must let it go, give it to God, and give it love.

As Moms we find this easy to teach our children to do, saying and showing, "its okay honey, no worries." We love, encourage and nurture them in thousands of ways everyday, starting at dawn when we wake them for their day, making them breakfast while simultaneously packing our own lunch, emptying the dishwasher and starting a load of laundry; moving on to make appointments, pay bills or run errands thorough our lunchtime, coming home to cook dinner, finish laundry and run them to the store replace the headphones they cannot live without, all the while we are listening to them, checking them for illness, worrying in an instant about their lives today and for the next 50 years.

We love them with all our hearts and soul from the time of conception, and we create the environments for them to thrive. We give them love, we give them balance by being the CEO of our household and we forgive them for any and all slights that occur. That's what Moms are supposed to do, yet we seldom remember to give this to ourselves. We fret, we worry, we get mad, we get sad and we take on more duties to help them get through stuff. We give it our all constantly, and are reminded repeatedly at work, on TV, in magazine, books & songs to do more, to be more, learn more, to have more. What if that really is the opposite of what we should do?

I woke up, 530 again, ready to journal, to dump out my angry thoughts about a situation I am in. I open the journal to write, and realize I have my previous journal, not the new one. On the page I opened was this thought:

"Give yourself wiggle room,see what it might feel like to not be all or nothing. Let go & let God."-me

I had been asking God for what to do about my problem each night before I went to sleep. I basically felt I needed to learn yet again how to not be myself, to behave contrary to my nature, to be a different person. I was fretting and hating some parts of myself that caused the issue in the first place and felt I needed to change. I needed to give it my all to be this way, so of course read books on it, write about it, make a plan on how to do, give myself daily talks on how to do it, learn to do this, don't give in, and by all means, never let them see you sweat.

What would I tell my children if it was them explaining the problem? I would say be who God meant you to be, and I would probably talk about one of my more memorable job interview questions for a job I obviously was not meant to be at. They asked, "If you were on "Survivor" would you make it to the final four? My brain screamed, give them the speech about giving it your all and succeeding, its what they want to hear and my heart said, Live without a comfy bed and my morning coffee, are you nuts, I'd never be in the final four on "Survivor." I decided to answer with a joke instead, saying that I can cook well and men usually can't, so I'd exchange skills to make it a win-win for everyone, a survivor first.

I believe in the original team building mentality, where we are all in it together. We sing each others praises and do what we do best individually, making us more than we we were to begin with. As a manager and a Mom, I have to see the big picture that maybe if someone is struggling at something, its not in their nature to be that way or they don't have the skills right now to do it. Remember when our kids were little, and they tried to clean their room quickly by making one big pile in their closet? The first time you opened the door, Mt. Everest of clothes & toys toppled over, sometimes breaking fragile things piled in the middle. They would then try to wiggle out of it, try to find a way to fix it by propping it up or shutting the door, which of course never worked, would instead bury them in clothes, making them laugh and scream, "Mom, help!" Or how about when they first when to the store alone & tried to bag groceries? They'd get home, and the bread would be on the bottom of the bag, all squished and flat? They'd look at you with their sad eyes, and try to cover it up saying, "Umm, well, can we make grilled cheese out of it?" You'd laugh and say "its okay, let me get that for you."

Why is it, when confronted with our own issues, we seldom give ourselves this wiggle room, seldom tell ourselves to laugh & ask for help? Maybe we should just remember to bury ourselves in laughter and let God handle it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ipad App for Roman Catholic Sins, where's my weekly tracker?

Life Balance: a feat we try to achieve while searching to be the best that we can be, while simultaneously raising our children to do the same. This is the equilibrium in our inner life force whereby our heartbeat matches the divine force that exists all around us. When this life balance peaks, our sense of peace, joy, love and wisdom act as one with our very soul

"To be truly happy & content, you must let go of what it means to be happy or content."--Confucius

"If your kids are happy & smiling, they did something, you just don't know it yet."--Me

The big news of today is a new app for the IPad that keeps track of Roman Catholic sins, to help users keep track of their sins, in hopes that they will go to confession more often. It takes users through a series of question on the ten commandments to help remind users where they may have slacked off. (

I heard this on the radio as I drove back from the gym this morning, and instantly thought the developers should go all the way with the app and make it user friendly like my Weight Watchers tracking tools. It should have not only a daily sin tracker but a weekly progress report. Log your sins daily and chart them weekly to see how you're doing week to week, but really, it should talk back as well, flag you with better choices.

When I put in meals or recipes at Weight Watchers, I can play around to get to better, lower point options for a meal or snack. Take a smaller portion or put in low fat dairy instead, and watch the points go down. Add in some fiber and make it a healthy alternative. Why not the same for this? Add in the reconciliation for the daily total. Okay, look, that's five hail Mary's but if I only thought impure thoughts instead of dropping the F bomb twelve times when the kids left dirty dishes all over the house again, then its only 3 hail Mary's.

Give you a little "Healthy Choices" button pop when you manage to only take the Lord's Name in vein, instead of gossiping about the slacker co-worker. Get a good job when you see the number of sins go down on your weekly time line. Get a concerned prompt when you forget to log the sins for the day. Add in strong moral fiber and have a smiley face pop-up. Have church bells ring on Sunday when its time for church and you're laying in bed watching the Three Stooges.

Think of the possibilities if we had this for our kids, it could just parent for us. "Did you leave your clothes all over the bathroom again", "Did you finish your homework or just put your name on the top of the paper & fill out 4 questions so you get credit" or "What were you really doing at the sleep over " with a drop down menu of choices, and the punishment choices "No video game for a week, no Facebook for 2 weeks or go clean the living room".

Wait, my living room is clean, what did the kids do that I don't know about?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Change Your Thoughts

Life Balance: a feat we try to achieve while searching to be the best that we can be, while simultaneously raising our children to do the same. This is the equilibrium in our inner life force whereby our heartbeat matches the divine force that exists all around us. When this life balance peaks, our sense of peace, joy, love and wisdom act as one with our very soul.

"Remember, happiness doesn't depend upon who you are or what you have, it depends solely upon what you think."-Dale Carnegie

A new year, a new you. Let's fix our diet, fix our budget, do things differently with the kids, read the latest business book and use it our work or volunteer meetings, go on a relationship weekend to be closer with our spouses, get a personal trainer to help us meet our fitness goals, and so on and so on; change is everywhere. We always start the new year deciding to hate something and get it fixed for once. We change for the day until we have to cook dinner, change for the hour, until we hit the first wall in using the "new" communication styles in a meeting, change for a week until we get sick of the effort it takes to do things differently with the kids.

But what if we didn't need a huge plan, pre-made meals bought through the diet center of the week or an Arnold look alike to make us behave on our exercise routines? What if all we had to do was make our mind to do it? Really commit, really be ready, really mean it this time? There are many books on the subject to get us going, and countless tapes, but what if we just started and ended our days differently?

I noticed as my kids grew up that how they started the day really made the difference in the quality of it. I noticed when I learned not to talk about anything life changing in the morning that life was easier with my spouse. I noticed that my employees seemed happier when I eased them into the day. All it took was how we started it.

I have been a long proponent of quiet time in the morning, reading inspirational material or writing in my journal. Many days I am rushed and can't get this in, what with driving the kidlets to some before school event that requires a stop for a cappuccino on the way (maybe starting the twins on coffee at age 6 wasn't such a good idea) or needing to rush in and get some work done before the crazys get in for the day (sorry, was that out loud?). Sometimes, I just can't get my me time (ok, that is the life of most Moms).

I came across a wonderful help for morning inspiration, called Julie is a wonderful, cheerful woman I met at a church craft sale, selling jars with inspirational sayings in them. She has jars with themes for a year (365 sayings) for all occasions, and in different types like Smiles, Faith, Romance or Laughter is the best medicine. I picked up one of these for a gift and one for myself and I love it. It really is instant smiles in a jar. Check out Julies jars yourself.

What a great concept that Julie came up with, she is a lovely woman, what a great business she can do from home. Julie herself is disabled, in wheelchair. She called to tell me she'd deliver my gifts to my house, but could I please come out and get them so she didn't have to get her wheelchair out in the snow?

And we all think we have it hard to get to work some-days. Smile on your way to work and give thanks when its easy to get out of the car and walk in.