Mind

Measuring Time

There is a little Inn our family liked to visit. We have been going there for years. They have a great outside dining view of Pine Lake in LaPorte, Indiana. The Blue Heron Inn is not a very big place, but just the right size for our family of 4.

My kids have especially loved it for the swimming pool. Both of my kids love swimming in the pool, so even though it’s a very short drive for us, we like to spend the night at the Inn and the the day by the pool.

At the deepest part, the pool is only 4′ 6″ deep.

I can remember the first time going there. The kids had to wear their life jackets because neither one could touch the bottom and still have their head above the water. I had to be in the pool with them because they were so young.

It took a few years before they were good enough swimmers that even though they couldn’t touch bottom I felt o.k. letting them swim without their life jackets.

We went there this past weekend to relax for Father’s Day. Even before we were unpacked the kids were rummaging for their swim suits and getting ready to go to the pool. They were excited to get in the water and cool off from the 90 degree day.

My daughter jumped in first and was swimming around excitedly. She went towards the deep end of the pool and stood up. She was shocked she could touch the bottom and have her head above the water.

She yelled to get my attention and showed me how she could stand there in the deep end of the pool with her feet flat on the bottom and her head well above the water.

What?! Wait, how did that happen? How did she grow so tall? In the blink of an eye, she went from bobbing around in her life jacket to standing in the deep end of the pool.

I could measure the times we swam here by how she had grown and where she could touch bottom of the pool. I was proud, sad, freaked out, excited, and sad (again) all at once. How did this amount of time go whizzing by so fast? Where was the little toddler wobbling around in her swim diaper?

She is growing into an pretty amazing your lady. My heart is full. Thank you Blue Heron Inn and T-Bones for so many great memories. Happy Father’s Day.

Mind

Teenage Sass

My teenage son s usually agreeable and well mannered. But this week we had quite an argument. I was surprised how he raised his voice at me.

While the kids are sleeping in until noon and staying up half the night, I have been getting up to go to work every day. Coming home to a sink full of dishes, empty chip bags on the counter and crumbs all over the kitchen floor made me mad. Really mad!

I let my kids know in no uncertain terms that that was not acceptable. They are responsible for taking care of their own mess. I warned them they would lose some privileges if they continued leaving a mess for me to find when I got home. They ignored me.

On Monday I came home to the usual mess. I went on my app that controls our internet and set their internet to go off at night so they couldn’t stay up all night with their friends playing games. I quietly cleaned up the messy house and went to bed. As planned the internet shut down. It was raining so the kids assumed the storm knocked out the internet. The next night the internet shut down again. This time they put two and two together.

When I got home from work the following day my son met me with all the reasons I was wrong to shut off the internet. He was fired up. He listed all his arguments. He raised his voice. He told me I could not do what I did. I listened. I argued back.  I let him know that having internet access was a privilege and not a right. I told him I could have it shut off permanently if I wanted to. I could drive him to the school parking lot to do his homework where he could tap into their internet.

I stood my ground. The next day the house was spotless when I came home. The rest of this week the house has stayed mostly clean. That is how it should be.

But after the argument with my son I was upset. It was the first time he had raised his voice at me. It was not in a threatening way, but out of frustration and anger. I was upset and felt disrespected. I was about to tell him so.

Then after thinking about it for a couple more days, I decided I was proud of him. I didn’t raise a wallflower. He is opinionated, he feels he can voice his opinion to me. He feels confident about his beliefs and he feels confident he can voice those opinions without being shut down by me. I like that. I am raising a strong young man. I am very proud of that.

He should be pushing the boundaries now. It is what teenagers do. It is o.k. It is how they learn to navigate the world.  I am willing to give him the space to do that. He is getting ready to fly out of the nest and finding his voice is part of the preparations. I’m glad he is growing up to be a confident and opinionated young man.

Mind

Positivity is Bull*&+t

I don’t know about anyone else, but some days when I read all the positive sayings on Instagram I want to throw up.

 

I recently saw one that said: “This week is going to be filled with miracles, breakthroughs, good news, abundance and love.”  This might seem like an encouraging thing for someone to put out there, but there is an underlying message that says: “things have been shitty lately but that is going to change soon.”

 

This is the entire premise of the self-help industry. Something is wrong with your life. That will all change this week. REALLY?!?!? (Just buy my program or book).

 

I have challenges. Covid-19 scares the crap out of me, but I know that it’s not going to be miraculously fixed this week.

 

What I do know is that I can take action that is useful. I can maintain a schedule, get out of bed, walk, eat well and be grateful for my blessings.

 

Nothing has gone wrong. Life changed. There is a subtle difference. One feel terrible, the other is manageable.

 

Our circumstances changed. Things didn’t go wrong. It just is. It’s neutral. What I make it mean is the difference between panic and calm.

 

I don’t believe something is wrong with you or your life. If you have an area that you want to improve, seek out useful information and go to work on it. But don’t buy into the notion that you are broken, flawed or need improving. There is a difference between learning a new skill and feeling like you have to be fixed.

 

Life is a journey, not a problem to solve. As long as we live, we grow, change and evolve. That IS life’s journey. It was supposed to happen this way.

 

You may think that the plan you made was broken. Imagine that back in February you planned to fly to Spain this week. Let’s say that plan didn’t work out. It was never going to work out. You just didn’t know it back then. Now you know, you were not meant to fly to Spain now. It doesn’t mean something has gone terribly wrong. It means that what you thought was going to happen didn’t. That is all.

 

Nothing is broken. Your life isn’t terrible. You will, like most humans, make plans again. They may work out, they may not. Just be on the journey. Embrace the experience of sometimes things working out and sometimes not working out.  You can be disappointed when they don’t work out, just don’t make it mean that something is broken or that you did something wrong. It was all just part of the journey all along. You just didn’t know it yet.

Body, Mind, Organization

Planning vs. Tracking

I used to be obsessed with tracking everything. How much water I drank, what I ate, how many steps I took in a day, how many hours I slept.

But after years of tracking, I realized it wasn’t helping me reach my goals.  I needed a new way of looking at things.

I came across the concept of planning. I know this sounds like a no-brainer and over the past year I have implemented it in many areas of my life with great success.

Here is what it looks like:

Every evening I get out my journal and plan what I will eat the next day. I take into account what I have on hand, what foods I enjoy and work for me. I have a list of foods that I know are healthy, won’t upset my stomach or bring on a sluggish afternoon dip. I also plan what workout I will do. If I know the weather will be nice, I plan on something outside. If the weather is colder, I plan something like yoga or Pilates in my basement. I also plan when I will do these things so there is no conflicting activities or excuses to flake out. I put it in my calendar for the next day.

I look at my plan in the morning and go about my day accordingly.

This has freed up so much mind clutter for me. I don’t have to ask myself should I eat this or not or waffle over how my day will pan out. I have it planned. This has been a game changer.