I sometimes approach tasks in life like a one-armed plate spinner. I run from this task to that task and just try to keep all of the plates spinning at… Read more »
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about advice and how it can change your life in unexpected ways. Even the smallest piece of advice, both if ignored or taken to heart and followed to the letter, can send you in a completely different direction, guiding events and altering the course of your life in magical or sometimes disastrous ways. Here are a few examples of pieces of advice, both large and small, that looking back on them now I realize changed my life.
So, dear Pink Typewriter Friends, maybe you’re wondering where I’ve been. It’s been — gasp — months since I’ve posted anything and a couple of days longer than that since I’ve posted anything that I was happy with. My last real post bared my soul on the not-having-kids front, and to be honest, I’ve needed some time to recover from the vulnerability.
A little of everything is good for you, so the saying goes. This even applies to stress, but a lot is not good.
Stress has many faces. Its most common forms are feelings of being vaguely worried and anxious most of the time but not knowing why, constantly being grouchy and irritable, mulling over problems all the time and generally feeling unable to get on top of things. You need your own ways of coping with stress. Establish a routine that works and suits you. Here are some approaches:
The attitude of millenials seems to be a hot topic of conversation these days. I hear my friends and colleagues complaining about Generation Y’s lack of drive, constant need for approval, and entitlement mentality. It has me pondering the era in which I was raised and how it has affected my view of the world. As a child spending my formative and teenage years in the 1980’s, what was I taught about work ethic, motivation, and success? It was definitely an outlook that has shaped my life in ways I’m only just coming to understand.
One of my cherished daily rituals (besides sleeping late!) is my morning walk with the dogs around our little 5-acre farm. I wear my favorite slip-on gardening shoes (Sloggers – look these up if you have never heard of them – super comfortable and adorably cute designs), bask in the early morning sunshine coming up over the trees, feel the cool breeze caress my face, and breathe in deeply the smells of fresh cut grass, honeysuckle, and magnolia that make spring in the South so wonderfully enchanting.
I recently finished reading Marie Kondo’s tiny phenomenon, the New York Times best-seller “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” If you haven’t read it, it’s worth checking out. She’s a Japanese organizational consultant who gives advice on decluttering. Her theory, in a nutshell, is that unless an object sparks joy, then its time of service is completed and it should be released to its next chapter, whether that’s through selling, donating, recycling, or bidding a final farewell.
Two Sundays ago, I cried through church. I felt horrible about it, and desperately wanted to stop, but I just couldn’t. It seemed like almost the whole service was devoted to celebrating mothers. I guess, since it was Mother’s Day, that is fair enough, but it’s a weird thing when you read Bible stories about people who prayed for — and received — babies and then wonder what you must have done wrong or what is wrong with you that your prayers are unanswered.
How many times have we been told to focus hard on making a big change? Break it down into small steps! Write out a plan! Focus on creating a habit every day for three months and it will stick with you!! Blah, blah, blah. We’ve heard it a million times, but how often has it “stuck” for you? For me, not too often. So, imagine my surprise yesterday in my tennis lesson when I realized I had made a change to something I had been wanting to improve without focusing directly on it. I had improved my attitude about a small thing by looking at the bigger picture, not the smaller steps.
Time really does fly! My dad used to always tell me that the older you get, the faster time goes. I dismissed this idea in my 20’s, but as I got into my 30’s I felt time speeding up and now in my 40’s a year seems to hurry by at light speed. Those older and much wiser than I am tell me it will continue to go quicker, but I can hardly imagine it going faster than it does now although I am wise enough to know they are right.
I won’t lie to you. This past weekend was kind of rough. For the second time in a week, I was walking out to the pasture to help my 33 year old horse get up from where he had decided to take a snooze. Every time this happens my heart hurts a little more wondering when it will be the last time we will be able to get him back up. For those who don’t know me personally, my horse Bolshoi and I will be celebrating our 31 year anniversary on May 11.
It’s April. I don’t know about you, but in my world of work, that means it is The. Busiest. Time. Of. The. Year. Not even the holidays hold a candle to this time of year in a college PR office. There are end-of-the-year awards, winding down projects, last-minute deadlines, and just a bevy of activity as everyone emerges with the budding trees and blooming flowers. Last week, I was super busy, running from this assignment to that one and then to another. (Don’t feel too bad for me; I really do love being part of this environment.)
I like pretty umbrellas. For years, I had one that was white and looked like flowers had rained down on it. My favorite one now has pretty red birds helping to shelter me from the rain. When I shop for a new umbrella, I try to find the cheeriest one out there. Often, my choice leaves my hubby saying “That’s okay. I’ll get wet.” should we find ourselves walking together in the rain. Driving Larry into the rain isn’t my point, but my umbrella choices are on purpose. They’re designed not simply to fight away the rain, but also to fight away the gloominess that descends with it.
Sometimes I feel like the creative universe throws ideas at us like darts on a dart board just to see what sticks. How many times have you thought of a great idea only to dismiss it and then seen it on an infommercial a few years later? I remember my Dad always talking about a corner in Kissimee, Florida within Old Town that he thought would be perfect for a Checker’s fast food joint. Sure enough, one popped up in that very spot. When the universe sees a passion in you, I think it goes to its long list of creative ideas, finds one that fits, and flings it right at you. It’s up to you to catch it and do something with it. I was hit with one of these ideas this weekend and it slapped me so hard I had to text Dawn right away and say “What if we did THIS?!”
Dana and I are big believers in the fact that we become happier as we take the focus off of ourselves and get involved in projects that are close to our heart. An active volunteer, Dana has been busy lately volunteering with Claws for Paws and recently made a connection with an equine rescue group. I’m active in my church and am a member of the Rotary Club of Rome, but lately I’ve felt a pull to get involved in a way to improve educational attainment in the town where I grew up and still live
When our tasks are too big, it’s terrifying to take the first step. So, we stay put. We play on Pinterest. We put together digital jigsaw puzzles. We reorganize the closet — again.To use the technical term, we procrastinate. And let me tell you, I put the “pro” in procrastinate! Let me show you how I kicked procrastination to the curb!
Do you ever feel like you are just drifting through life? You get up, go to work, go to the gym (maybe?), eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed, repeat. You know something is missing, a sense of purpose, but you tell yourself you don’t have time for anything else, so you just live for the weekends when you might get a chance to do something you enjoy. The rest of the week is just a grind to be endured to get to the next weekend. I totally get it. And it doesn’t have to be that way.
Fear is a sneaky thing. Just when I’ve conquered one hurdle, I round the next corner and find it there, crouching in the shadows, just waiting to derail me. Take my journey of writing my novel for example. But I’ve learned something important: Fear works hard to keep me cowering. It’s up to me whether I cower or not.
Along with big dreams comes a ginormous amount of fear. Dawn and I shared with each other our fears and I bet they look a lot like yours. I have all of these fears and many, many more swirling around in my head constantly. As we were talking about our big dreams together we could actually see the fear crossing the face of the other person as we dared to dream big. “How dare you?” it screamed. “Who do you think YOU are?!” It was scary, really scary, because we were looking at fear head on and wondering who will blink first. So far, I have always, always, my entire life, blinked first. I’m not going to be the one to back down this time. This is too important.