People in Funny Hats

Staring out the window on a car ride I saw a man and a woman, both of a more mature age, talking. I imagined they are neighbors, standing at their property lines, engaged in the ordinary conversation of “how is so-and-so” and “did you ever get that window fixed?” They stood in what looked like clothing appropriate for yard work with gloves and funny hats included. The kind of hats found in the gardening section of a store with loud patterns and wide brims to provide shade from the bright sun.

And as I glimpse these people for this one moment in passing, I think about how with each year we age, we become a little more comfortable in life.  A little more at ease with who we are. We discover a little more. We accept a little more. Maybe we do it at different paces, but it happens.

This image of the two of them relaxed and chatting gave me a vision of the years to come. Years of enjoying the time I have, doing things that I love and absorbing the joy of the people around me.

Years of wearing funny hats.

New Changes

For quite some time, I have been working on ways to relieve some stress in my life and quell the anxiety that has rattled me since being laid off. I don’t like not having a plan. I don’t like not knowing what’s going to happen with the bills. I’m the kind of person that needs to have a plan and a back up plan and it seems that all that has gone out the window.

Recently, I blogged about an accident that totaled my car. And without a job and bills piling up, the stress was beginning to suffocate me.

Then, a temporary job came along. And just like all the other times that we were almost in trouble, something came along to help. Maybe not solve the problem entirely, but enough to get us through to the next moment.

In all this chaos, I’m starting to feel a strange calm under the worry. The kind of calm that tells me that even though things aren’t how I planned, things will work out. It will get better. It’s been a long time since that feeling has surfaced. I’m wondering if I can keep it around.

When I was a teenager, I loved not knowing what would come next. I loved not having a plan and making last minute decisions. Worry never crossed my mind when I didn’t have enough money to fill up my gas tank. I don’t ever expect to get back to that feeling, but I would like to remind myself that the worrying is pointless. It only hinders the attempt to achieve a goal.

We do what we can do. We try our best. We may not always get the turnout we are looking for, but we keep moving and we keep working. Everything is temporary. Everything is always changing. If you let worrying slow you down, you’ll never get where you’re going.

 

I Give Up

Love is a funny thing. Some people jump in with both feet. They are more than satisfied not knowing what will happen. Some people wade in slowly, testing the waters and then easing in a little bit at a time as their comfort grows. 

Me? I swan dive. Face first. Every time. Sometimes that water can be pretty shallow and I wind up nursing my injuries. But other times, the water is so deep, you wish you could hold your breath forever. And just as quickly as I dove in, I can jump back out if the temperature changes.

When I have a job, I’m absorbed. I do everything I can picking up tasks the second the first is finished. I find things to do that no one knew needed to be done. I organize. I clean up. Then I try to make things easier or better. And if I work from home, I am a slave to the “one more minute” theory. It’ll just take me one more minute to finish this email. Two hours later, I’m still working. 

Books. I devoured books as a kid. Then there was a long stretch of time where I didn’t read at all. I like to refer to this as the zombie-parenting era. In the past few years, I’ve picked them up again. My bookshelves are overflowing. My husband is complaining. Thankfully, he bought me an ereader or I would start stashing them in any open space. 

This is me. I get addicted. I obsess. 

The good news is…I know it. 

We try to hide the characteristics we don’t like. We deny them. We don’t let them come out. But I find that the more I discover about myself, the more I have to find a way to like that quality. Somewhere along the line I stopped trying to fight my personality and now I work with it. I no longer try to change everything, I embrace it.

There is only so much you can change. There are certain aspects of ourselves that are simply rooted in our personality. Figure them out. Learn about yourself. And then see the positive. 

If you are told to build a cabinet, it’s easy if you have wood, nails and a  hammer. But if all you are given is some dinner plates and a hot glue gun, you’re going to have to figure out a new plan. 

MacGyver did it. So can you. 

 

 

Hooray for Monday?

I realize that usually everyone hates Mondays. I’m generally one of them. 

But, this week, I can’t wait for Monday. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for Monday.

Why? What spurred this moment of insanity?

A JOB.

A real, “get dressed nice and go to the office” job. Thanks to a call from a temp agency, I have a new opportunity for the next few weeks. They called last week with an opportunity at a nearby company. One that I had been applying to for the last few months. The company is being bought by another and is in need of a few extra hands to make some changes to their system. After a quick group interview last week, I was approved to start work tomorrow. 

It feels weird. I’m overly excited about it. I already have my outfit picked out. 

I am so thrilled to get to work that I already have these grand plans in my head that I’ll be their star employee and want to hire me for a permanent position. 

Too ambitious? 

Who cares? I’m going to work. And I’m going to work my butt off. Then I shall report back to the Twitterverse to report my success. 

Having a job is something we have all taken for granted at one point or another. Those days when you felt you were beaten down, defeated or just too exhausted. The times that you spent well over 40 hours toiling away even when you weren’t getting paid for it. Even the times that you simply did not feel like getting up in the morning.

But, for those of us who have been searching endlessly for a job and submitting resume after resume only to get another rejection form letter in our email boxes, Monday seems like a pretty good day. 

 

 

Ramblings

~Most people live life on the path we set for them. Too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you come along and knock down all the obstacles we put in your way. People who realize free will is a gift, you’ll never know how to use until you fight for it. I think that’s The Chairman’s real plan. And maybe, one day, we won’t write the plan. You will.

~ The Adjustment Bureau

This movie gets my wheels turning. What I like most is that it can be interpreted in different ways. I’m not particularly religious and while this movie hints at a nondescript divination, it doesn’t necessarily make that the focus. The focus is more on choosing your own path and it stirs me in so many ways. And watching Matt Damon and Emily Blunt together, I think they made a surprisingly convincing argument as a believable pair of regular people finding that intangible “something” in each other. The type of connection that is brilliantly clear from the first few moments and couldn’t, or shouldn’t be severed.

Love or no love, choose your own path. Make your own roads. View things from your own perspective and if you don’t like what you see, change your course. Whether you believe that your life is predetermined or not, you do have the power to make your own decisions and even if they don’t turn out the way you want, there are many other turns in the journey ahead that can lead to what you are looking for. Or better yet, what you didn’t know you were looking for.

Anti-Resolutions

I’m not really a New Year’s resolution maker. I never have been. I don’t like the pressure of assigning tasks and having people ask if I’m keeping up with them. It’s none of their business if I’m losing weight or being nicer to people than I was last year.

However, the insanity that we designate as “the holiday season” always makes my life a tornado of activity and I forget what my daily routine used to be. So, when the new year has arrived and the gifts are put away, I take a look at what I need to do with myself. “Setting goals” sounds much more promising than “keeping resolutions” to me. And since I have already assigned myself to a path of self-improvement, adding some new goals doesn’t seem like such a chore.

This past year, I read 25 books. I decided that’s not enough. The amount of books I want to read is astronomically high. As in, I really hope I can read in the afterlife or I will never read them all. This year, 35 sounds pretty good. I’d like it to be higher, but I think being realistic is more important at this point.

Continuing my exercising and eating habits is in the plan, of course. I’ve been successful with it, so let’s keep that on the clipboard as a “to do”.

I think my biggest goal ahead of me is better time management. I’ve always been so good at it professionally. It’s one of my best attributes. I need to apply that talent to my everyday life at home. I get the important things done, but I don’t seem to allow enough time for the things I want to do. More reading, more writing, more blogging, more fun time with my kids…all of which I feel like I push to the side for things like dishes and laundry. Balance is important to maintaining happiness. Not just your happiness, but that of your family, too. The people around you will be better off if you are content with the life you are living. And who doesn’t want to make the people they love happy, right?

By the way, thanks for coming by again. I know I’ve neglected this page, but I’m thrilled to return and keep it up. I’ll keep coming back if you will. And while you’re here, let me know what your “anti-resolutions” are for the year.

Pushing Boundaries

Let’s just ignore the fact that I haven’t blogged in ages. Deal?

Deal.

Moving on…

I’ve been trying to push the boundaries of my comfort zones in different aspects of my life. With any task, I can usually go only so far and pinball around in my own small space of familiarity. I ricochet off the same ideas over and over. But, how long before I hit TILT?

I’ve always fancied myself a bit of a chameleon. I take bits of what I see and know to help myself evolve. The problem is, I’m not finding my own way. When I recently started a project journal, I decided to stop allowing the lined pages confine me. I’m varying the size of my print, the margins and using words to carve pictures. For every little step across a line, I feel a little more liberated. And also a bit more inspired.

Creativity is something I always envy in others. Whether it’s writing, art, cooking, fashion, anything really. I’m always thinking, I wish I had that ingenuity. Now, I do think that this is not always a learned thing. Some people are just born with that door open. However, I don’t like limits and I do believe that you can be taught, conditioned, to a certain degree.

So this is my current self-improvement project. Pushing my boundaries. Letting my brain forget about common practices and finding what works for me. I’m hoping to pick up some forgotten art projects to give me a push in the right direction. That was actually one of my wants in a previous post. And as an update, numbers 2 through 7 I’m doing well with. I’m still working on 1 and 8.

Even if your goal is to write, exercising your mind in other areas helps you branch out. If I can pick up an old craft project, I can look at it and see how to make it better. I can dig in and clip here, add there. The same goes for my writing. Editing is like pruning the rose bush. Or adding a red stripe to that abstract painting. And the more I push my creativity, the better that final product is going to be.

*Please feel free to share how you boost your creativity in the comments. I’d love to hear your ideas!