The Slow Life

     When my kids were young, our neighbors couldn’t understand why our son didn’t join soccer. They spent every weekend, from 8 to 4, with both their sons all year having soccer events. It was indoor soccer in the winter and outside soccer in the summer. Other parents couldn’t understand why our son only did Taekwondo and Boy Scouts, and our daughter only did Brownies and Horse-back Lessons.

     But, when I first got pregnant, I didn’t want to be one of those parents who spent their children’s childhood in an SUV driving them from one activity to another. That wasn’t why I became a parent. I wanted family-time. So, we were part of the small minority who ate dinner, which the kids helped make, together every night. We still do eat together as a family most nights.

      My daughter and I watched a Ted Talks: http://www.ted.com/talks/carl_honore_praises_slowness the other day, and Carl Honoré was talking about the Slow Movement. I’d heard of the Slow Food Movement before, which I think is great. Because I stayed home with our children, I always cooked slow food. We couldn’t afford prepared food, which turned out to be a blessing, as I now know that the additives are bad for you. But a Slow Life Movement? This is something I must have joined without even knowing about it. Give me days when you can put a blanket out on the lawn, under the trees, and make cloud pictures with or without the kids. Or, how about those family game nights when you play Monopoly for hours? Or spend an evening reading Laura Ingalls Wilder to your kids? 

     Ah, a Slow Life – I’m on board. Who wants to join me?

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Feeling Down

     This week isn’t working out the way I thought it would, so I just decided to find some positive quotes and post them.  I’m sure that other people have had hard weeks also.

     So, I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing, reading my positive quotations, and thinking good thoughts!

     Please share whatever it is that you do when things just aren’t working out.

School Starting, Endings, Goals and Hopes

 

      The girls I babysit for have left. They started back to school today. Even though most people make New Year’s Resolutions on January 1st, I make some at this time of year also. After a summer of doing most things on someone else’s schedule, now it’s time to do them on mine. With the hope of autumn in the air, I want to make some resolutions now.

      On the home-front, I need to start Fall Cleaning. Those windows are dirty after a long summer of heat, humidity and rain. The dust has accumulated to the point of almost no return, and the detritus of everyday life is threatening to create an avalanche of gigantic proportions.  I’ve discovered a YouTube organization lady that I’ve found helpful. Here is her link: https://www.youtube.com/user/HomeOrganizing  – She’s got great ideas that don’t cost too much.

    Lack of organization in my life is a real issue that I’d like to finally confront and overcome.  Think Xena outwitting Ares, if you will.  However, the problem with keep things organized is that just like Ares, the paperwork keeps coming back!

            

     So, right now those cleaning, prioritizing and organizing things are the most important on my schedule.  Until I get them under control.  After that, I’ve got to get into the more creative side of life.  Creativity is much more fun then organization and cleaning, which is why I need to do those first!

                                       

Thinking Good Thoughts

      I have affirmations that I carry with me in my purse. I try to change negative thoughts into positive ones. And I really really try to look on the positive side of life.

Does it work? Sometimes. But other times my mind just runs off by itself down the Road of Despair. What do I do at those times? Sometimes I stop and smell the black roses along that road, but most times I think about other people and how no matter what it is that I’m going through, many people have it so much worse. In other words, I take a reality check.

      I try not to invalidate my feelings, though. Even though other people have bigger problems, my problems are important to me. I try to find solutions that make sense and will work. I try to set baby goals that will lead me to bigger goals. Baby goals are wonderful. I just take a goal and break it down into the smallest possible task and finish that. It gives me a sense of accomplishment that leads me to obtaining that bigger goal. Along the way, I keep looking at my affirmations and creating positive reinforcements. It’s a positive way to help you create the life you want.

The Joy of Being a Tomboy

      When I was young, I was convinced that I would somehow become a boy. I rode my bike everywhere, beat-up boys twice my size, stood my ground against the playground bullies and even had three paper routes by the time I was nine. I had plenty of confidence and was determined I’d become either a witch or an astronaut. I spent my childhood believing I was a strong girl who could either fight anyone or run away faster than someone could catch me. Being raised in a household where we didn’t watch T.V., or even see a fashion magazine, I never had the “knowledge” that a girl was deemed somehow inferior to a boy. It was great, but then I got older.

      My innocence was destroyed when I was twelve. When I went to collect money for my paper route at a certain house and I went to the back door, just as I always had, and the owner’s son answered the door in a tee-shirt and nothing else. I had no idea what to do. He gave me my money, and I went home. I told my parents what happened, but instead of doing anything, I was told I was in the wrong because I went to the back door. According to the paper’s rules, we were to collect at the door we left the paper in, and that was what I did. My parents didn’t call the police or tell the paper. I was at fault because I went to the back door.

      As a parent, I am just breathless with this response. I don’t know how my parents justified their actions, but I know that I would never do that to my own child. But from that time on, I began to question myself over everything. My confidence was gone, and on some level I realized that I couldn’t protect myself from everything, and my parents wouldn’t.

      Research shows that girls lose confidence in themselves starting around age eleven or so, and that this has a devastating effect on the growth and development of girls and women. This is important, and we really need to look at these results. We don’t need half of our population walking around with little confidence. Life can be so much more, and we need to stress this in our education of our children. Let’s try and boost our own confidence and that of our girls.

Excuses

    

     Excuses are insidious little buggers. You can use them to justify almost anything. It’s something we all do, almost as if we can’t help ourselves. Today is an example. I hopped out of bed when my alarm went off, reset it, and fell back to sleep.

    Okay, I missed a morning of exercise.  My excuse? I went to bed really, really late. I was too tired. Whose fault was that? The cats? The dogs? No, mine. All mine. I had my nose pressed into a book that was not going to run away if I didn’t finish it. And, even though I stayed awake way too long, I still didn’t finish it anyway. So, really what did I accomplish? Making myself feel badly because I didn’t work out.  Do I deserve to use an excuse?  Did I break a leg or arm?  No.  So, I’ll just pick myself up, dust myself off and get up tomorrow. 

     Really, my workout is only 4% of my day?  Of course once you look at it like that, we all should be able to do it.  So, here comes tomorrow…

Life and Death

     Life is a journey, they say. Sometimes something that someone else does slugs you in the gut, and knocks you down. That’s how I feel about Robin Williams. I can’t get over the fact that he’s not here anymore. How could a man who was so beloved by so many people still have depression? It sounds ridiculous, to say that, since I didn’t know him. It’s just that he brought so much joy into so many people’s lives. I can’t even begin to number the times that I’ve watched the movie Hook with my kids. They were young the first time we watched the movie, and to them, Robin Williams was Peter Pan.

      Depression is a rotten disease. Everyone gets depressed, but usually you can climb out of the dark well, and continue on with your life. But not everyone can do that. Clinical depression is a horse of a different color. Why is it that so many talented people suffer such problems? I don’t know and there is probably some kind of reason. But really, I’m simply devastated by the whole thing. The world is a little less bright. My heart goes out to his family.

     All we can do is remember this: