Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stepping back in

You know I guess you might not consider me a serious blogger and that is ok. I write when I have things to say. The truth is that in 2008 I began to change life and careers again. With the leaving of my son and a bit of empty nest syndrome I began to take a look at what might be next for me.
I had worked on overcoming my fear of public speaking and now wanted to challenge myself to become a trainer. Traveling the country and speaking to audiences or training 5 days a week has cut down on my need to jump on line and speak though I am going to give it another shot in the coming months.
What I love most about my job is the people I meet so I am going to talk a little about that going forward

Friday, September 18, 2009

Long Time No Speak

I have to say even I am surprised it has been so long since I have wanted to even
write a blog entry. You know I understood the information age is amazing and
we had all these great tools for social networking and I loved taking advantage of
them all.....until I realized I was spending more time on line with folks I barely knew
and not that much time with the people I did know.

So time for a social networking vacation and that is just what I did. No Facebook
or Twitter. No blogging or newsletters. Just me, my friends, my off line writing and
time to do some growing.

Guess what? I loved it and I actually had time for some education and to start a
new chapter of my life as a trainer.

So have I missed my blog... a little. Am I happy I stepped away for awhile? You bet.

And by the way...I now have 5 grandchildren who provide me more fun and interaction
then anything online ever has.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

White Christmas

Rhea over at the Boomer Chronicles was talking about the movie It's A Wonderful Life. While I sure enjoyed the movie for me it has suffered the fate of anything that is over exposed. I don't watch it anymore.

One of my favorite movies at holiday time growing up was White Christmas. I still like it today. I loved these kinds of old movies and still do. Maybe it was because my dad loved it so much that it meant so much to me or maybe it was because my sister Karen and I loved reenacting the song "sisters"

Either way if you haven't watched it you might want to try....I still shed a tear at the end.

Holiday Inn is also one of my all time favorites!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Managing Holiday Overwhelm

To express my thoughts on feeling overwhelmed at the holidays I wrote the following:

It’s holiday time again and I wonder if you have started heaping on the expectations of it to be picture perfect? This year it began the day after Halloween. Away went the costumes, the pumpkins and the Halloween candy and out came the candy canes, Christmas trees and the things needed for a wonderful Hanukkah.

Stores began pumping out the holiday carols and shoppers began to get a glazed look in their eyes. The lists come out and the murmuring about having too much to do began. Thanksgiving has barely come and gone and already expectations are running high to create another “perfect” holiday season. The perfect present, the perfect d├ęcor and the perfect holiday spread.

Oh and remember none of the everyday obligations have disappeared. In fact with all the parties, errands, shopping, and the school events, an already busy schedule moves into overdrive. The stress and anxiety kicks up a notch and even the most easy going person can feel as though the holidays aren’t all that happy after all.

And dare I say that often at the best of times family gatherings can be a bit testy as we tend to revert to old patterns of relating to parents and siblings? Old hurts get dragged to the forefront and we often bring the past into present even when we are not intending to. In this modern world parents are often dividing up time as to who will have the children when and where during the holiday season.

So what can we do to help create a more peaceful holiday season?

Find out what which things are truly important to you and which things you tend to do because you “feel that you have to do.”

Stop and reflect on the things that you like to do. Which parties to you want to attend? How much entertaining do you really want to do? Do you really have to buy presents for everyone you know even at the risk of compromising your financial situation? Are you falling into the trap of the “Disneyland “ parent, overspending on the children trying to make up for your divorce even though you know it is not the best action to take?

If you can allow yourself to say no to the things you do not want to do, you will immediately free up the energy for the things that you do choose. You can now be present at the events that you enjoy. You will not feel as overwhelmed and you will have acknowledged yourself as being important. When you are not feeling overwhelmed and resentful of all you have to do you can feel grateful for what you love to do.

When you can take care of yourself by excusing yourself from the many activities that fill hours, but you truly do not enjoy you are exercising self care. It is ok to not show up at every little thing or by lots of “stuff “you may not be able to afford in order to fulfill a self imposed obligation. You do not heave to be the better parent by heaping gifts on your children. Try it in small steps at first and see how you feel. You will be most surprised at how good it feels to take care of yourself by letting go of what you don’t want.

Let go of being perfect

While I would never suggest that you lower your standards I am suggesting that you be a little forgiving of yourself. Allow yourself to relax and enjoy the season and the people for that is really what the holiday is about. If a beautiful home is important to you see if you can delegate some of the many duties to others. This may be the time to treat yourself and let someone else clean the house. Or allow yourself to not have to make all the food and holiday treats from scratch. Allowing family members to jump in and help not only gives you some special time but also creates a joint holiday experience. A tree that reflects a bit of all the family members may be much more beautiful than a picture perfect one. And you will all have the time to actually sit around and admire it.

In the end it is gratifying if you can let the holiday be a reflection of what you truly value. If you value perfection than letting go of doing everything may be a challenge for you but you can always give it try. If however time enjoying family is what ranks the highest, by letting go of perfection you may find something far more rewarding. It is like taking a great big sigh and then finding your stress level start to decline.

Stay in the present

Being present is the best way to enjoy time with both your immediate and extended family. Extended family can be everyone from siblings to the aunts, uncles, and in laws you only see once or twice a year. It would seem as though this shouldn’t be a big deal but the holidays seem to bring up old and often current hurts or misunderstandings. Often this is also the time when it is the most difficult dealing with an ex-spouse. As we are continually being fed the holiday messages painting beautiful pictures of perfect families it is not unusual to feel as though you are being cheated in some way.

Life may not always be perfect but it can be still be beautiful even during the sometimes emotional holiday season. The trick is to stop living in the past and come fully to the present. Find something to be grateful for in the here and now. It is a choice to be grateful and we can all find at least one thing that brings us some happiness. We may not have had the best relationship with a family member in the past but how are things right now? Is it possible to just enjoy this time spent with them?

If you happen to be one of the many divorced parents with joint custody try to fully concentrate on the time you have with your children. Create new and meaningful rituals to celebrate your time together instead of focusing on what you will be missing when they are with their other parent.

Can you be in a state of forgiveness, understanding that we are really all on different journeys and are not always all on the same page at the same time? Letting go of the attachments of how we would like people to be allows for some acceptance of the present. Sure it takes practice but if can make a big difference in how you experience the holidays.

Holiday time is always hectic and somewhat stressful. If however we consciously choose the experience we would like and act on that choice, they can be truly happy.

Happy Holidays everyone

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Three Dog Night

Wow I remember loving the band Three Dog Night. Especially Try a Little Tenderness and Easy to be Hard I sat in my older brother's room feeling so cool that he would even let me in and together we would crank up the tunes and sit back and enjoy.

In fact those songs are still in my I pod today and I just have to tune to them and crank up the volume and I am 12 years old again. They were a top band at least at that time and for many years after. Imagine my surprise when I saw they were playing the furniture show in Hight Point, NC.

My family owns a furniture store and we almost always are at market. Unfortunately because of scheduling conflicts we were not attending this year. I would have loved to have seen them and see if I could still get as excited as that 12 year old used to get.

I have to confess, I was a little crushed that for a pretty great band it had come to playing the furniture market. I can't explain it but part of me just couldn't believe that this hot band that I loved was now reduced to playing that venue. Sure I know we all have to make a living but I guess I saw something grander in scale.

The members of Three Dog Night on the whole are a little older but I still see Genesis at bigger venues and Chicago at bigger venues. I have loved both these bands when I saw them.

Maybe it's better I didn't get to see them. I can just turn on my ipod and go back in time without it being spoiled.

Friday, October 05, 2007

To Wear the Flag or Not

Barak Obama is not wearing a flag lapel pin and it seems to be stirring some controversy. Some people feel that if you want to be the person that is ultimately the Commander in Chief of our country that it is a must have accessory.

Others feel that wearing or not wearing a flag is not what makes you patriotic and still others, particularly political analysts feel that it is a risky move to not wear a flag pin.

I personally fall into the category of those that believe it is not in the wearing or not wearing of a pin that your patriotism is defined....instead it is how you live your life, you ethics and your integrity. I believe that there are many, many other ways to demonstrate your loyalty to a particular country and wearing jewelry does not necessarily need to be one of them.

After 9-11 people became almost confrontational if you were not displaying a flag or flying a flag or wearing a least in the part of NJ that I reside. I politely refused to give into what I felt was pressure at that time simply stating that I had been a good citizen and supporter of my country before that date and would continue long after.

Personally I think it is great that Obama wants to create a different kind of conversation of what makes someone patriotic.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Great Information for all us midlifers

I found a great blog today thanks to Rhea over at Boomer Chronicles. If you have a chance i day stop on over and check it out. You won't be disappointed.

For a bit of a makeup hound like me it was an eyeopener to read about the amount of makeup they believe we actually absorb into our bodies. Also if you want to look well, eat well, live well etc. head on over to the Wastrel Show and check it out.

Have fun...