Brokenness- good or bad?

brokenglass

Dear Readers,

A dear friend introduced “brokenness” as a theme for 2018 and I balked at that notion thinking to myself, “That’s a horrible way to start out the year. It’s broken at 10 days old? Ouch! That doesn’t leave a lot of room for redemption, or does it? ”

The question was then posed, Is brokenness good or bad?

I have to say I am struggling with this question.

I think a broken promise is something to avoid, but what if the promise is to yourself to work out twice a week and the broken promise is in aid of doing some self-care because you had a rough week at home, at work and at life?

Wouldn’t that be a good “brokenness”?

Brokenness would apply to someone who has been through hardship and difficulty in their relationships with their parents and one might say they are an example of brokenness, but in that brokenness, they rose up, they picked up the shattered pieces of their life and they built a stronger and more resilient version of themselves.  Wouldn’t that be an example of a good thing to be broken?

Brokenness could apply to a relationship that you think is on good footing, maybe not perfect but certainly good, and then you realize through a series of interactions with this friend or this colleague that that relationship isn’t broken, it doesn’t exist. So in that case, brokenness is a good thing because it reveals something we think is there as not being there.

My opinion? Brokenness is not actually bad. It’s just something that happens. I think the thing that matters most is what we choose to do with it.

Will you leave it broken? Will you fix it? Should it be broken? Does it deserve to be fixed?

Only you can answer that question, so Brokenness, Good or Bad? The answer is entirely up to you.

Think About It.

 

Happiness Jar!

Dear Readers,

I read about something Elizabeth Gilbert started back in 2013 and I got really excited so I wanted to share it with you. I feel like this is an easy easy easy easy thing to do. I love the internet. She did this 5 years ago and it’s still going.

Are you ready?

Write down one thing you are happy about and put it in a jar – The exercise I am going to be doing is on a daily cadence, but maybe you want to do it once a week? or once a month, that’s fine, it’s your happiness jar.  You do what you want, I like

HappinessJar

Yep, I have goals and resolutions for this year but somehow it feels like what we all might need is a little more happy.

My happy today? This idea, I have told a few people and they got excited and are talking about doing it.

What can you do to celebrate more highs and less lows this year?

Think About It…..

Throwing your hat over the wall….

Dear Readers,

Have you heard this expression before? It means, putting yourself in a position where you have to do what you have promised to do, and there is no turning back.

There is a story about some Irish lads who were walking about in a road and they needed to get across a wall, so knowing that was what was needed, they lacked ample motivation so they threw their hats over the wall and climbed over the wall to get them.

In this case, it’s not a hat, it’s a 3.1 mile race that is being held in February.

The Break a Leg, 5K being put on by the Paramount, it’s a for a good cause and it will be a fun course. There is a hill on the route, but hey what’s a walk/run without a challenge.

It costs 50.00 (so it costs money, so I have to be invested in the process to get there)

I have told a bunch of people about it (that would be you, gentle readers) so I have to do it. No backing down, and no chickening out.

I have definitely done 5K’s before, so it may not seem like a big deal, AND it is.

Since the birth of my daughter, Vivienne, I have really struggled to get back on track with my health and fitness and I have been chronicling the journey, day by day as I work out. Tomorrow is Day 40, since I started working out a year ago. (see I am writing about it, so I have to get up and do it, even if I am cold, even if I am tired, I am accountable to each and every one of you, reading this. (this picture is what it looks like after you run)

Iamarunner2017

I walk and I run and I swim, all leading to a marathon, eventually.

For now, baby steps to a 5K, again. Truth time? I am a little frustrated about that.

Back in 2015, I did actually walk/run a 10 mile race.

JMac10milesYES

 

https://jenniferhastonsays.com/2015/04/01/its-not-hard-after-its-done-she-says-10-miles-later/

But, there is absolutely no shame in starting over, and starting strong.

(This is a picture of my first ever 5K) almost 3 years ago)

IMG_0719

I have a great set of friends who are working on their own fitness and weight goals and without sharing about their life too much, they both recently had some setbacks and I hope that when they read this, it helps them realize that it happens to each and every one of us, and the most important part of falling down that 10th time is getting back up the 11th, 12th, and 13th, time.

Get back up, we all want to see you kick bahookie!

Think About It!!!!!

Plans, Interrupted

Dear Readers,

I have long had a healthy respect for plans, spending over 2 years planning for our wedding is just one in a long list of examples of my fondness for preparation.

I have to say nothing prepared me for the amount of plans that will go to absolute chaos from 0-90 like being a parent.

Case in point- Our family was planning to spend weekend with his grandparents and enjoy Christmas.  Sounds great, right?

Well, it started out well, but quickly descended into chaos at about 9 o’clock Friday night.

Normally the little one’s bedtime. Now I have to confess, we are spoiled rotten with this, because typically we put her down and say good night and off she drifts to sleep.

There are exceptions which I have talked about on this blog, but in general we are lucky in this regard especially given all the struggles I have heard other parents talk about and I think this is something that is constantly in flux so at any minute she could decide that she is done with bedtime at 9 and decide to stay up till 4 a.m. which is precisely what happened on Friday night.

Tried and true tricks, things that have worked since she was born, all FAILED to soothe her to slumber. She was not upset, just awake and full of energy.

I will admit this sounds very calm and collected but that was not the picture. I was really frustrated that NOTHING I was doing was working. I was thinking to myself, “I am her mother, can I really not comfort her?” Not a happy place to be, and I actually started to feel myself getting really upset and then it hit me. This isn’t about me. IT IS ABOUT HER.

After I had that realization, I calmed down a lot and went back to troubleshooting the current issue.

No matter what we did, nothing would convince her to go to sleep until finally she just wore herself out.  Relieved and more than a little exhausted, my husband and I passed out ourselves and woke up later and were in total agreement, we were going home so she could  (hopefully) sleep in her own bed and try to get back to “normal”.

The grandparents were extremely understanding and recounted their own tales of sleepless nights.

I found it an excellent opportunity to embrace the lack of comfort that planning brought me in that moment of looking at her and realizing no way is she going to sleep.

So, I have two choices.

  1. I can gnash my teeth and be super pissed that she foiled my “plan” to follow a schedule.
  2. I can embrace the dance of life, the frustrating, the happy, hard, the easy, and go with it.

By the way, these pictures would not have been taken if our plans had not changed. snowawesome

 

plansinterrupted

It’s an excellent metaphor for life, you don’t need a kid to embrace chaos, you just need other people who do not have a copy of your blueprint to deviate and challenge your plan.

What will you choose?

Think About It.

No more Guilt…No, Really.

Guiltbegone

Dear Readers

This past weekend, I was telling a friend, I am so sorry I can’t come see your show, I am just not going to get to it. I went on to say, I feel so guilty.  Which I did, because I really did want to see the show, but I lacked the night. My husband and I take turns and give each other one night off a week and I had already committed myself to another show. The weather (who the heck would expect SNOW in Texas?) did contribute, but overall, I lacked time.

She was so sweet and kind and graceful and said something that stopped me in my tracks, “I release you of that, that is all yours if you have want to feel guilty that is all coming from you, not me” – We hugged and she walked away.  Wow. It was such an honest moment.

It was so true and lovely and she even mentioned having been there herself, “I love you best friend in the world but I can’t come see your show”.. I felt enormously better.

I have really been making great strides with this whole not feeling guilty thing, and then I had this large setback, but it’s okay because I have recommitted myself to giving up feeling guilty. There are just too many places to be, shows to see, parties to go to and events to sign up for and I recently realized, there are only so many hours in a day.

(I know? Stop the presses..  Mind blowing, right?)

I am the first person who has ever made this realization.

EVER.

But seriously, I don’t have “all the time in the world” and neither do you. It’s the only commodity you can’t get back, and that money can’t buy, so choose where you spend it wisely.

What I realized is that I have to budget my time ( and you should too ) just like we budget our money. I have to THINK before saying yes to something as much as I might REALLY want to do it, I have to be sure I have the time and more importantly be sure I haven’t already budgeted that time for someone else (like my daughter or my husband, say?)

birthdaygirl2017

I really thought I had this one wired after last year and the whole having a baby thing which makes you realize how little time you have, but as is true with so many life lessons, I guess I need to bump into this one a few more times before it really sticks.

So here’s to NO MORE GUILT!

Think About It.

Mom Bingo- aka Scheduling Sanity!

 

Dear Readers,imagejfminc

I love my daughter, I love my husband AND I need a break from time to time.

I NEED a conversation that isn’t modeling behavior and appropriate language for a 14 month old. I need to read a book that isn’t cardboard and I NEED to watch a show minus a letter of the day and a number of the day.

I need a conversation that has years of inside jokes and shared reality as a woman, a director, a friend, and sister of the heart and mind. I need to remember who I am when I am not wearing my Mom hat.

 

 

I can’t remember if my friend Rachel came up with this term or if it was me. I will go ahead and give her credit, as she is very smart and likely did come up with it.

Mom Bingo. (you heard it here first) 🙂

Mom Bingo- refers to the checkerboard of schedules one has to consult before “finding time” that is not already promised, to work, to school, to spouses or to sleep or to exercise! Sometimes it takes a few go rounds before you find it, but if you persevere, you will !

I definitely have to work harder to keep my energy up in the face of parenthood and all the ensuing responsibilities. So this means I need examine what I am doing that doesn’t work for my long-term goals. I want to be healthy and have energy to live my life.

I have been sleeping more (but only because I stay up too late watching things that I have watched over and over again) which puts a burden on my husband to watch our child while I catch up on sleep (and then he also takes care of her while I am work so that wasn’t very fair of me) which was making me feel tired all the time, and I was trying to figure out why.

When I really looked at it and was honest with myself, I realized I am not doing anything to help feeling tired all the time. I have been eating a lot of junk and not exercising, a surefire way to put on weight and get depressed so I am working on that.

Last Thursday, I gave up soda, yes my beloved Pepsi is now a thing of the past. I want to try it and see if it helps give me energy so I am committing to giving it up for 30 days, and then see how I feel. I am also committing to working out once a week and with the combination of those things, I should have more energy, it’s a formula I have tried in the past and lost about 20 pounds, just by changing what I am drinking.

It’s an experiment, and it’s one thing I can do to try to give myself more energy. I will report back and let you know how it’s going.

The other thing I can do is say NO to things I don’t want to do. I can put more boundaries around my time so I don’t agree in the moment, and THEN take a look at all my responsibilities and commitments and then realize, I have to take that back now.

I hate going back on my word or cancelling plans and I really try hard not to do it.

There are going to be times it’s unavoidable but for the most part, if I say I will be there, you can take it to the bank that I will be.

So what has this to do with you, Gentle Reader? Simple.

Do you need to schedule a little sanity? Are you in a busy season that seems to have no end date? Look to the future and say, okay, on this day I am going to take a spa day or go to a movie by yourself (book a date with yourself and KEEP IT) treat it like a real commitment because it IS! Have that to look forward to and that will help you through your current busy patch.

Think About It

 

If you don’t like it, reframe it!

 

 

Reframe

Dear Readers,

When I coach people I often hear them say negative things about themselves.

“I am a bad writer”

“I am reallly bad at math”

“I am not good at networking”

“I am really bad with names”

I have said at least one of those phrases to myelf  and then realized that I was building the story about how bad I was at something because when you tell yourself something over and over again, you start to believe it.

Stop beating yourself up for something you think you need to be doing better.

We are all works in progress. Remember that when you talk to yourself, Mind what you say. Your words matter. Listen to how you talk about yourself. Is it mostly positive or negative?

So when I hear myself or others say something like that, I stop myself and say, “I am good at names, and getting better all the time.” In a coaching situation, I generally will say, “How about this, you are a good writer and you are getting better all the time. Sometimes they get it and say it, and sometimes they don’t pick it up and that is okay, I have planted a seed, it’s my client’s job to water it, give it sunlight, and help it grow.

Now, you have to do the work to actually change it from just a postive affirmation  into a truth. There is no way to “Tony Robbins” your way into being a better public speaker, you have to join Toastmasters to learn how to be a better speaker, leader and communicator.

If you want to be better at something, don’t talk about how bad you are at it, make a plan to get better (and stick to it!) or accept where you are on the skill spectrum and be at peace with it. But please, no more badmouthing yourself, you get enough of that from other people, don’t do it to yourself.

Think About It!Reframe