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.
Hey, everyone! Dana and I are back from our Spring Break and are hard at work on a redo of The Pink Typewriter Project website. We can’t wait for you to see the new look, which we plan to unveil in the next few weeks. Hopefully, the new site will do a better job of showcasing the Pink Typewriter community and sharing what we’re all about. Speaking of which, Dana and I got a great reminder this weekend while taking care of the first item on our to-do list: getting some fun pictures of us to use in the redesign. We had some photo bombers!
I’m GREAT at starting new things. One day, it’s a new plan to walk every day or go to the gym. The next, I’m making a commitment to count my carbs. Then, I’m focusing on learning an awesome new craft. Yet, like so many, I find myself bemoaning the fact that you have to exercise or eat right more than once to be healthy or that it takes hours of practice to learn a new skill. I want to see improvement, and I WANT IT NOW. I am learning the importance of what I call the Power of Passionate, Patient Persistence.
I think many of us struggle with identifying the need for an actual change. We are not outwardly unhappy, but we feel like we are drifting and that something is missing in our lives. We are searching for something and we believe we must make a big change to find it. But do we need to go looking for our acre of diamonds somewhere else or is it already staring us in the face? Does our pursuit of happiness necessitate a big change or does it just require us to be mindful of how we can look at our current situation in a different way?
I am reading the most amazing book, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. The other night, in the middle of a chapter talking about learning to accept myself for who I am and not who I think I should be, I sent myself an email saying “Blog about ‘as is.'” You’ve seen that, right, on a used car? “As is.” Those words always make me wonder what’s hidden behind that disclaimer. But, when it comes to ourselves, we need to realize that we’ve been created to be just who we are. Each of us is unique; each is special.
I heard a wonderful story today from the head of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce as he spoke to our Rotary Club. He told the tale of Georgia’s 1915-1916 study to develop a comprehensive growth plan for the state. Among the advice received, the modern-day committee discovered, was a call for a comprehensive barns plan. In those early years of the 20th century, the proposer reasoned, the state wanted to encourage tourist travel within Georgia and, with hotels few and far between, the solution was simple — investing state funds in sprucing up the lofts of barns so travelers would find a nice place to rest their heads. I love that suggestion.
Last week I think a coined a new phrase in the world of psychology. I call it flash depression. Here’s how it came about. I had a perfectly normal Thursday at work and was looking forward to playing my tennis match that evening. I got to the courts and it was cold and a bit windy, but still, I looked forward to warming up and getting some great exercise playing a sport I love. I had accidentally skipped my morning gym workout (a.k.a I completely forgot to set my alarm AND didn’t have my Fitbit on which automatically goes off at 6:30 a.m.), so I was really hyped about getting my steps in. I’ve got to get my 10,000 steps!
We would like to say a special thank you to all those who shared the love this week! We hope that this contest was a reminder to all of us to be kind to ourselves, to try and limit the negative self-talk, and to love ourselves so we can be a blessing to others. The winner of our Love Letters to Yourself contest is (drum roll, please!!!!)…
Here we are at the last day of our contest. There’s still time to get into our drawing by sharing this post on FB, Twitter, or Pinterest! I hope we have given you some food for thought and made you more aware of how you treat yourself on a day to day basis. I have heard from many of you that this is something we are all struggling with. Let’s keep the conversation going this year as we all move toward greater happiness.