Friday, September 30, 2011

N=Not Natural

This morning while doing laundry, I found a ladybug in the hamper. I picked it up and said, "You don't belong here." and then proceeded to release it in to a proper environment. Funny enough, I had been thinking all morning about community, belonging, and the environments we might find ourselves in as people.

I recently started a knitting class. I enjoy knitting and I like to learn new things. But I don't really look forward to the class. I was pondering this idea when I realized that for me sitting in a room for two hours with people I don't really know making small talk is about as close to hell as I can get. I am a social person but I am the kind of social that says, "Hi" and "Good Bye" with very little else in between. For this reason I love running on my local trail. I love running by people, many of them the same people I see day in and day out and making pleasantries. I would probably make a damn fine greeter at Wal Mart.

I tend to exist most happily on the two extremes of social interaction. If it is brief and shallow great, if it is a meeting of souls who can really talk to each other fabulous. I also have endless time to listen to a person who is passionate about what they do, or about a hobby they have. I don't have to enjoy the same things but if another person is passionate about what they are speaking of, I can listen and interact for a very long time.

I could take in these realizations and continue to push myself in to environments that do not fulfill me. Kind of like taking my little friend the ladybug and making her a cozy home in the laundry room. I could probably keep her alive. She might survive her time in my basement. But the real question is, would she thrive and although I am not sure what capacity an insect has for such things, would she be happy?

Friday, September 9, 2011

M=Making the Most Of It

My friend Kellee sent out a challenge this week and the timing could not have been more perfect. With the changes in the weather, school back in session, and the coming holiday season, I feel now is a good time to assess where we are at, where we would like to go, and possible plans for getting there. Here are 10 of my personal "To-Do's" for the coming months:

1. Yoga- My daily practice whittled down to a never practice during the summer and it is time to get back to it.

2. Learning- Not that I am not learning all the time but I want to add some more structured class time learning to my agenda for the fall. First up, knitting socks through community education.

3.Budget- I have been playing with our family budget this summer but feel it is time to challenge myself to find ways to use money more efficiently.

4. Facebook- It is time once again to lower my overall computer time and Facebook is always a good starting place for me to lower screen minutes.

5. Play More- The girls are young, they will not be this young forever. Now is the time, here is the place, and fun is on the agenda.

6. Scare myself- Halloween is around the corner but this challenge is not about spooks. I have always been a nervous, slightly fearful person. I have found the best way to overcome that is to push myself to do things that scare me.

7. Mess it up- This one goes along with #5. Life is messy. It can always be cleaned up again.

8. Invest in friendships- Now that I am no longer hanging on in life by my fingernails I have the energy to invest in good friends.

9. Alone time with my kidlets- One on one time with both of our girls helps me to get to know them better. It gives me the ability to just say "yes" to whatever it is that particular little person wants to do, or mostly yes without having a compromise session balancing multiple needs.

10. Alone time with my sweetie- Our kids are bigger now. We have a few more babysitting options like grandma and cousins. John and I started this adventure together and will be here when the littles head out the door for the wide world. Now seems like a good time to catch up and maybe go for a walk or two sans children.

Well, there you have it. Thanks for issuing a challenge Kellee and the reward surely offered incentive.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

L=Life is...

Yesterday I got out of bed, leashed the dog, and headed out the door for our morning exercise. Lately, this ritual has been happening later and later because of the changing time of sunrise. As the time has gotten later it has forced me to rush more and consider time more carefully as it is necessary for me to be home for John to head out to work. The rushing has been getting to me and as soon as I got on the trail to run yesterday I could hear a little grumpy voice in my head cursing the changing seasons. My inner curmudgeon said, "I hate it when the seasons change." and then I began to laugh out loud.

Truth is, I love fall. I love the changing of the leaves and the crispness in the air after all the heat. I love apples and cinnamon and harvest festivals. I love this time of year and how it nudges me back towards my home and family. I adore the unexplainable desire to cuddle with my kids and husband and cocoon ourselves in the joys of home.

Okay then, if I don't hate fall or the changing of the seasons what is my inner curmudgeon going on about? Aha, the real issue here is I know once again I have to change things up. I have to find a new solution for the dog and I getting exercise. The direction of my energy moved to the task at hand. What are all the options for meeting this need? I made a short mental list and then whenever I found another solution I added it to the list. Next thing to do, try the things on the list, be ready for some of them not to work, find a working solution and then be ready to abandon that one if and when it no longer works, like when the seasons change again.

Life is change. Really that about sums it up doesn't it? And the quality of life seems to be directly related to how well a person can manage change and find workable solutions that meet every ones needs. Cursing change, as I was starting to do, is pointless and a waste of energy. Energy that can be used to find new solutions and opportunities, making our lives richer and more joyful.