What if everything is awesome?

 

Dear Readers,

I spend a good amount of time concentrated on the sunny side of things.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate and embrace reality or the “SUCKS OUT LOUD” of a situation, AND I think it’s probably better than worrying yourself sick over something that may never happen.  Keep in mind, this has not been the case my entire life, I spent some time cultivating this habit. Much like using and rather than the word but, which negates what came just before it.

Recently when talking to a friend who was waiting on some news, she was worried about, I said, “What if there is nothing to worry about?” “What if you are worried for nothing?” Still another has a health concern with no answers, and it was actually where this idea originated, “What if everything is awesome?” In both cases, neither is solved and things are definitely NOT AWESOME.

That’s the downside to “looking for positive” sometimes it DOES not pay off and you CAN’T speak what you want into existence.  Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of times the positive spin does NOT pay off and you wind up disappointed but that doesn’t mean it’s not a valid way to start out. You can always spend time dealing with reality if it doesn’t turn the way you want, but what’s the harm in thinking everything is going my way.

I used to have a little mantra I would say and it goes like this.

Expect the Best.

Prepare for the Worst.

Adapt to the Outcome.

So, recently, I ran my first 5K since I had my baby.  A major milestone!

To be completely transparent with you, I attempted one back in September, (one year from her birth) but I barely made it a mile and realized how absolutely out of shape I was so I made the decision to get back on the path to working out and training again.

I am DELIGHTED to report.  I ran 3.2 miles in 58 minutes and 51 seconds! YAY!5KJMac2018

So in this case, everything WAS awesome. (I didn’t know that but posed for victory anyway… see what I am talking about?) JMac5K

Do me this favor, ask yourself about the current situation that you are pondering.

“What if everything was awesome?” “What if it’s all going to work out?”

Think About It.

 

 

 

Reconditioning your Response

VivimeJanuary17
Vivienne & Mommy

Dear Readers,

If someone says to you, “Hey, You should go to the gym!”

“you should eat better”

“you should sleep more”

“you should drink more water”

What do you do? Do you respond and say, “My goodness, thank you, it’s so clear how much you care about me and want me to succeed so I really appreciate that feedback?”

No, probably not. If you are anything like me you get defensive and REACT. Usually pretty strongly. You might even get defensive. No, maybe that is just me.

This past week, my husband had surgery on his nose, it gave me the opportunity to spend several uninterrupted days taking care of our daughter and love her though I do, it was tough to be “on” that long. My husband does it every day with very few breaks (her nap) and rarely complains. THANK YOU JEREMY!

I lasted five days before I got ornery and told him-

“I need a break” I said, “I know you are tired, I know you are hurting, I know it’s impossible for you to hold her without her touching you and maybe hurting your nose but I NEED A BREAK.”

I should say, I don’t think these were the words I used, I definitely know I was not nice or calm in the way that I coach people to be, because I was in Reacting mode, not Responding Mode.

I think this has to do with the fact that I was telling myself a story during these days, “If I am not totally happy and satisfied with how I feel while (e.g. If I let myself be tired or annoyed or frustrated) I am taking care of her, I am doing it wrong or I am a bad mother”- No one else told me that, I told myself that.

Also, I was saying some not so nice things about him, “Ugh, he is not helping, does he not see how fussy she is and he is DOING nothing!

Well, that wasn’t true either. He was healing from pretty intense SURGERY on his nose.  It’s amazing to me how a little time, a little rest, and a little perspective really helps to calm a situation down and more importantly helps you see things much more clearly.

After I apologized for my outburst, we discussed it and I realized that the story I had going in my head felt bigger and larger than the truth which is that I was tired and needed to admit it.

I was telling myself the story that led to my outburst, I could have built a different narrative.

“I am tired of taking care of her and that doesn’t mean that I am not a good mother, it means I am human.”

This is just one small example of me “reconditioning my response” or “owning my story”

Brene Brown talks about this- Lots of ways that we self-sabotage and break ourselves down instead of building ourselves up. It’s super easy to go negative with the thoughts and not think the best of ourselves or a situation.

BreneBrown

So, what story are you telling, and does it serve you or stop you?

Think About It.

Your Starting Line is someone else’s Midpoint. Don’t view them the same way.

10daystoa5k

Dear Readers,

Today when I was running, I observed the person next to me. His workout had just ended so his stats were in full view. 11 minute pace (mine is 20) and 13 miles run (mine is walk/run and 2 sometimes 2.5)  and so I tried hard to not compare as I plodded away at my own treadmill, increasing my speed a little, adding elevation as I felt comfortable.

Logically and Rationally, his workout is better than mine, but Emotionally? Mine was a slam-dunk, home run, and touchdown, you want to know why? I showed up and did it.

Because when I woke up this morning, I had every intention of going to the gym at 7:30 so I could work out before my daughter or husband woke up I could be done with my run before I started my day.

Yeah, so that didn’t happen.

I woke up and was still tired and relieved to see my little mushroom still sleeping soundly (never do I ever not feel grateful for that, sleep is precious especially for your little) and my first thought was, “Great, I can go back to sleep!” I definitely remembered planning to go to the gym (even glanced over at my ready and waiting gym bag) but lure of sleep was strong and so it won out.

I did wake up and get Vivienne her breakfast and starting the day I thought about how the 5K is in 10 days and I haven’t worked out this week. I pulled my workout stuff together and set out for the gym. So I made it, and I had a pretty good workout.

Some days it really is about showing up, but I think it goes deeper than that. I talk a lot about how comparison is deadly and we should all stop “posting perfection”. That goes for workouts too.

My workout is impressive to me, I post the pictures so I have that “victory lap” you get in running but in a picture. If just one person sees that and is inspired to take the stairs instead of the elevator, I have done my job to inspire one person a day.

If it makes you think, I should work out and then you make a plan to do so, also great. If it makes you mad that I post something to inspire other people (yep, there are some people like that) I can’t really help you.

Now, the person who is training for a marathon (my eventual goal!) is at working towards their midpoint with a half marathon. I have to look at the place I AM AT and work from there.

I am at my starting line, and I shouldn’t judge my starting line by someone else’s midpoint, and more importantly, neither should you.

Think About It……

“It’s okay to cry…”

Dear Readers,

Last week was a challenging one for me.

More often than not, I tend to “go for the pep talk” and “skip past the pain or the wallowing” or put another way.. “dismiss what’s really going on to jump to the fix”.

Rational and Logical? Yes. Always Possible? No.

Simply put, sometimes you need to cry. What you don’t need is some chirpy cheerleader telling you how “it could be worse” or “it’s going to be better soon” or some other such platitude.

As my friend put it, “It’s okay to cry”

It made me cry to hear that because it’s a piece of the puzzle missing from when I grew up. When he said it, it was like a dam burst inside me and I just let myself cry.

No one ever told me it was okay to cry.

Reading that, makes me pretty sad all over again, because how basic is that?

No one ever said it’s okay to cry. I wasn’t allowed to have my feelings.

It is, by the way.

It’s a great way to release toxins, stress, and moisture. Also it’s a way to really feel what you feel and not dismiss it in favor of  “what’s next?”

So, this is me, telling you it’s okay to cry, and it’s okay to be upset.

Really, I mean it.

Whatever you are upset about, you are allowed to be upset about it.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t be or let them minimize your pain.

Think About It. isitokaytocry

 

 

 

 

 

Give yourself a buffer…

Dear Readers,

A few times last week as I prepared for a weekend off of doing nothing to celebrate my birthday… well sort of, I had some plans that needed to be organized.

I  got a manicure and pedicure! (oh glorious pampering) so I had to schedule that along with childcare, so I had to find a time I was free and my husband was free to take care of Vivienne. Thankfully, I have a husband who understands the value of  “me time”!

As I headed to the salon, I said, I will see you in 2 hours, I fully expected it to take an hour and a half, but it took 2 and a half hours, there were lots of people so it just took longer. I find that since having a child, I take longer to do things, like get myself ready, get her ready and get myself out the door and get her out the door. Never mind that we might have issues along the way like a diaper change gone wrong requiring a costume change, causing, you guessed it more delays.

I also had a phone call scheduled with a friend who is in a different time zone, once upon a time, she was in Switzerland and I was in Texas, so a few hours is nothing compared to almost 12 hours so I am not complaining. That’s what you do for friendship!

On yet another day, I was meeting a friend for dinner and there was a child driven delay, and so I texted her to say, can we meet a little later. She was very understanding and that is lovely, but I felt bad because I hate changing plans even by a little mostly because it takes so much coordination to make it happen. Refer to “Mom Bingo”

https://jenniferhastonsays.com/2017/12/05/mom-bingo-aka-scheduling-sanity/

All of these plans have one thing in common, I am the one making them so I am in control of when they are and if I am on time or not.

I found myself apologizing for it the other day when I had an epiphany, all I had to do was add 15 minutes on to whatever time I was giving and then I would have a buffer built in for myself, traffic or other happenings. So simple and yet, it had NOT occurred to me till last week. So now in any plans I have made, I have given myself at least a 30 minute buffer so I have room to breathe!

Honestly, it’s the best gift I have given myself in a while.

How about you, dear reader? Do you give yourself a buffer? Should you?

What would open up if you did?

Think About It…. cropped-imagejfminc.png

Wonder in the Waiting…

Dear Readers,

Today I found myself in a situation with which I am painfully familiar.

Waiting.

The positive affirmation part of me wants to spin this and dismiss the frustration I am feeling but I am not sure people are always served by spin so here is the truth. Waiting is hard, it sucks, and it’s an inevitable part of life.

Now for a planner like me, this is frustrating. Even if you aren’t a planner like me, I think waiting as a rule sucks.

So, I will tell you that I have a great opportunity coming to me in the future, but I don'[t have all the details AND, me being me, I still have to plan for it.

However as I have chronicled on this blog, since becoming a parent, I realize how important it is to be flexible and realize that the “plan” is not always the thing.

Then again, as a director, one of the best pieces of advice I ever got (thanks Bob Tolaro) was to work backwards from opening night so that is exactly what I am planning to do.

So bearing that in mind, I can plan for the event without knowing all the details.

The part of me that wants to spin is taking over now, so listen up.

There is definitely wonder in the waiting. Our pastor often talks about when you are anxious about something or “waiting” that you should look back on times that you felt the same and watched God deliver. It’s an excellent exercise to remind you to be grateful.

So I think back to other times I have “waited”.

When my parents were busy neglecting me and not caring that they had a flesh and blood human to care about, I waited for them to notice and care that I was hurting.

They didnt. God put other people in my path that have truly shown me what love is and I call them family. God delivered, and I am immensely grateful.

When my boyfriend asked me to move in, I waited for him to change. He didn’t.

I eventually broke up with him because in the waiting for him to change, I realized I deserved WAY better than I was currently settling for and God definitely delivered. My husband, is not perfect, but he is perfect for me.

While we waited to get married, we spent time waiting ( 2 years as we planned and paid for the wedding )  I waited with great excitement and impatience for that day and it was truly wonderful. God delivered and then some. I can’t imagine a more beautiful wedding than ours. More than that, I have a loving partner and a strong marriage that we work on daily.

I remember waiting to have a child. I remember praying and hoping and waiting and I remember feeling so sad and lost when I miscarried.

One sentence doesn’t really do that justice so I have to say it still hurts the think about the baby we lost.  In the waiting there was pain, loss, and anger. I remember praying to God again and waiting again and wondering if God would answer this time. My faith was strengthened when we discovered we were pregnant again and I spent some time being scared because for 25 weeks, I could not feel her move. The doctors saw it on the machines and all the numbers said she was there, but until I felt her move, I didn’t really believe it. Then when I held her in my arms for the first time, I didn’t really believe it and now each day goes by and she does another adorable thing that I can’t even really explain why it’s adorable but it is to me, I realized there is wonder in the waiting.

I find myself at it again, waiting for her to talk, sure she babbles, but no real connection to the words, and here is a great point. I get to wonder what she will say when she says her first word. I get to wonder what her favourite word will be and how often it will change. I get to wonder what she is thinking and watch and wait for her to communicate it.  So just for now, I am going to do my best to focus on the wonder and less on the waiting.

How about you, dear reader? Is there something in your life you are waiting for? Is there an option to ponder the wonder instead?

Think About It.

 

 

 

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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.