Friday, December 30, 2011

FIVE Things to do for Yourself

As 2011 comes to an end, it is time to take care of ourselves.  I have compiled a list of things you should do for yourself.  It is totally judgmental, superficial and preachy, so beware.  These are all things that I think help mood, perspective, body-images, health, etc.

Things to do for Yourself:
1.  Meal Plan:  As I have said before, meal-planning is a huge lifesaver (and not the candy kind).  When I meal plan, I eat healthier while saving money and time.  I hear so many people say that they don't want to spend 30 minutes planning and making grocery lists for the week, they don't have time.  But how many times do they spend with the pantry door open trying to figure out what to make?  So much easier when you have a notebook and have it all ready.  Now do it.

2.  Drink Water:  Drink.more.water.  And no, pop doesn't count.  I have read varying research in regards to water consumption, but I figure that 64 ounces sounds good PLUS whatever amount of caffeine consumed.  So if I have a big cup of coffee (12 ounces) and a diet coke (12 ounces), I need to consume another 24 ounces of water.  I have been TERRIBLE at this.  I need to once again be inspired by my water bottle.  This is the one I love but I won't take it to the gym because I broke one in the locker room.  My lips are chapped and my skin is dry...I need more water. 

3.  LADIES, this one is for you.  FOR YOU.  OK, maybe for your partner, too, but for YOU.  Buy some pretty lingerie.  It's not all uncomfortable anymore and it doesn't have to be a $52 bra from Victoria's Secret.  Target carries reasonably priced bras and undies that are very pretty.  Moms, this includes you, too.  We all know that when we wear something pretty, we feel pretty.  That includes underwear.  Thank me later.

4.  Accept and Give Apologies Gracefully:  There is no better way than to move on from sad, hurt or angry feelings by fully accepting an apology.  Even if you aren't ready, acknowledge your feelings and those of the other person.  Saying "thank you" to an apology and then letting them know you aren't ready yet is OK.  But don't end it with "you don't seem sorry" or worse off, roll your eyes.  It just makes more toxic feelings.  Same thing with giving apologies.  They don't work if you say, "I'm sorry, BUT...",  That "BUT" negates the entire apology and makes you a butt.  Yes, I just said butt.

5.  Random Acts of Kindness:  As I told the Pickies today, "It feels nice when you act nice".  Buy a stranger a cup of coffee, give compliments freely, show gratitude.  We all know that really great feeling when someone does something so out of the ordinary and it restores our faith in humanity.  You truly can make or break someone's day with your words or actions.

Hope you find something on my list that works for you.  But, puhleeze restrain yourself and do NOT send me pictures of your new undies.  ;)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Speaking Kindly

I stumbled into the locker room this morning at the gym and I had very.little.motivation.  Fighting what I call "Sickness Purgatory" (that spot in-between having a bug and fighting a bug), the last thing I really wanted to do was exercise.  But the hubby, Pickies and I all got moving and I stood in the locker room and placed my coat in the locker.  There were a couple of other ladies in the same area and they were discussing the upcoming New Year:

"Ughh....pretty soon it will be packed in here again..."

"I HATE the January 'Resolutioners'; that's what I call them.  They take over for about six weeks and make a mess here and then they, thankfully, disappear."
Yikes.  So much grumpiness in a matter of seconds.  Since we had casually chatted previously about the emptiness of the gym, I responded to them, "Yes.  Sometimes I get upset too.  Especially when I had babies in the childcare room and there weren't any appointments.  But I'm happy to have those people here.  Thankfully, they are choosing to get healthy and it hopefully some of them will stick to it."

Blank stares.  Non-existent crickets chirping.
And then one of the ladies said, "You are right, I have never thought of it that way.  Thanks for that perspective."  Another woman stopped me on the way out of the locker room and said, "You're a good mom, keeping things positive."

I don't always keep thing positive, but man, I try to keep things peaceful.  When I get grumpy or negative about other's actions or words, I try not to take it personally and move on.  When my heart thumps with bitterness, I think of something positive about that situation and just move forward.  It's easy to dwell, and not so difficult to just move on...if you allow it.
The kinder I speak, 
the kinder I feel.  
At least for a moment.  
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion.  ~Dalai Lama

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

12 Months of Meaning

I am incredibly grateful for 2011 and I am pleased to be ending the year in a much better space than 2010.  The kids have become a bit more independent and that has allowed myself opportunities to have a few moments to myself for cooking, knitting and creating.  My hubby's business has flourished (thank goodness) and we have been able to do some repairs around the house, along with some fun decorating.  Our health and our family's health has been pretty decent and I swear I've seen a miracle or two.  So I want to completely share my gratitude, love and peace and acknowledge the beauty that life holds.

When I find myself inspired by something, I get this feeling in my chest and stomach; inspired, creative, meaningful things MOVE me.  And with that being said, I am piggy-backing off an idea from a friend over at Momma's Silver Lining to show my gratitude to the inspiring things that make life enjoyable, manageable and beautiful.

12 months of Meaning.
My goal is to blog no less than a few times a week to express gratefulness and appreciation for daily things, events or people. Although it may be a personal journey for me, I'm sure it will also be filled with funny kid quotes, dog humor and good vegan food.  Who knows.  I'm not sure what to expect.

Feel free to follow me and help fuel me on this journey with your love, support and comments.  I appreciate every single one of you and the impact you have made on my life.