Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Day 31-Drifting to the End

Today started off foggy.  I was driving into work through some thick patches of fog.
Suddenly, I reached a spot on the highway that was clear.  Everything going forward was clear.

Mindfulness can be like that.  Drifting through a fog and suddenly you see where you are, what surrounds you, where you are going.       
This 31 day journey of mindfulness has been a bit like that too.  Moments filled with awareness and other moments drifting through the fog.

Part of me wants this to be some sort of awakening.  That going forward, I will always be mindful.  But the reality is this is not something that I can keep up.  Moments of drifting are just part of my life.  Sometimes, those moments actually help reset my brain.
And that’s ok.

As this journey went on (particularly the last week), I have felt more drifting.  Then I remind myself that I have been sick.  My sinuses are foggy too. 
I do hope that I keep up the daily reflection with myself.  While the everyday blogging gets a bit cumbersome, having at least one moment of gratitude and reflection each day has been beneficial.  And at least for one moment, each day, I was awake.

Thank you all for joining me for a day of the journey, parts of it or the whole enchilada!

This post concludes the 31 Day series-Mindful Moments.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Day 30-To-Dos

I got to work this morning and immediately pulled out my to-do list. I started it before I left yesterday.  This morning, I added to it until it reached the bottom of the page.
Be there at our labors

I spent the day working on the list.  About a half hour before I left, I was at a good stopping place. 
Doesn’t that feel good-crossing things off the to-do list?!

I know, I kind of get down on the to-dos around here.  But really, that’s more of the to-dos at home.  Cooking, cleaning, washing the rug again because Elwood Wilson pooped on it.
It’s so much easier to work on those to-dos at work and keep it at work.  I don’t take my work to-dos home with me.

But being at home, the to-dos are always there.
I keep coming back to this idea of mindfulness.  I’ve been trying to be more mindful as the day goes on.  More present in each moment. 

This evening I caught myself trying to do multiple tasks at once-homework help, dinner, dessert (a special treat to celebrate Lucy’s run today), laundry.  And then Billy walked in the door.  I thought he was working late tonight.  Oops.  Obviously, I wasn’t doing any of these tasks well, and I had no idea what was going on with my husband.  That is my reality of multitasking.  I realize that some people can do it well.
Not this lady.

And that’s ok with me.  Because all of this multitasking at home, well, it makes the time fly by without my brain (or heart) really being engaged in the day…or my family.

This post is part of the 31 Day series-Mindful Moments.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 29-Truth


Ever have a case of the Mondays?  I have, that’s for sure.
Today was different.  Today I was happy to face the day.  I was happy to face a Monday.  

no cares could destroy
Apparently, I was the only one.

When I walked into my office area at work (it’s a cave-like office filled with cubes), my coworkers were not having such a glorious morning.
The work was wearing on them.

Oh, I’ve been there.  As recently as Friday.
This business of helping gets a little too close sometimes, wears on the heart too much.

I think I asked, how are you taking care of yourself, multiple times.  Because social workers love to be social worked by other social workers.  No, not really.  But sometimes, we need to call each other out.
We need to remind ourselves of our truths.

When the work gets hard, there are some things that I need to remind myself of-my truths.  Those constants in life that don’t change, regardless of what happens during the day.  I am a good person.  I care about people.  I am not here to fix or save anyone.  Perfection does not exist.  Sometimes, I will only get to share a moment of someone’s journey, and that is ok.  Simply being present with someone during their struggle is important.  I get to go home to a family that loves me.  I am enough.
We all have to find our truths. 

They keep us going in those hard moments. 
They provide the light for the dark moments.

They remind us that we are already enough.

This post is part of the 31 Day series-Mindful Moments.

Day 28-Ready

Lately, I have been feeling that itchiness around needing some time off work.  It’s normal, it happens every six months or so.  And it always happens in October.
This weekend was somewhat unusual for me in that I worked a bit on Friday, one of my regular days off.  And I was sick all weekend.

But I actually rested.
Sometime around 5 pm yesterday, a thought about work popped in my head.  Something really simple, like tomorrow is Monday and I have to go back to work.

And I felt ok about it.

I didn’t feel that Sunday feeling.  Do you know what I’m talking about?  It’s almost a bit of a sadness that the weekend is over.  I didn’t have it yesterday.  I felt ok with going back to work.  I didn’t feel overwhelmed by all the tasks left undone when I left last week.
I always know that time off from work really helped when I feel that way-when I feel good about going back to work.

And even though I have been sick these past few days, my mind felt clear, not full of confusion from too many to-dos.
I was trying to figure out what it was about this weekend that helped so much.  After all, it wasn’t even a full weekend according to my usual schedule.

I keep going back to this-I actually rested.  I stayed close to home.  I had to mentally tell myself no to things I wanted to do-a long run, volunteering at the church, browsing at the fabric store (that last one was probably a good thing for my budget). 
The weekends are supposed to be relaxing, and at times, they are anything but relaxing, especially these past few weekends supervising the completion of a book report.

I am grateful for this past weekend, even though I was sick, it helped me slow down and feel ready for the week.

This post is part of the 31 Day series-Mindful Moments.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day 27-Forced Rest

Today I had to force myself to rest.  And by rest, I mean…I sewed most of the day.
peace in our hearts

No book reports to supervise.
No to-dos.  Well, there were to-dos, I just ignored them.  Except for a couple of loads of laundry that I managed to put away.

I thought about going on my long run today.  We took the girls on a 3 mile family run, and I thought I was going to fall over with exhaustion when we were done.  I took that as a sign to put the long run on hold for today.  Maybe tomorrow.
I drank a lot of hot tea and EmergenC.

I wore my grandpa sweater.  Right now, I’m also wearing the scarf that I made but I’m too tired to look for the camera to get a picture of it.  Also, who wants to see my sick face?
Elwood Wilson is quietly snoring beside me.  The dog is at my feet.

I think it is time to call it a day.

This post is part of the 31 Day series-Mindful Moments.

Day 26-A Fall Afternoon

I think I need to admit that I have a cold.  For the past couple of days, I have been hopeful that maybe I could fight this off. 
My body is saying otherwise.

After picking up the girls from school yesterday, my body was tired.
It was a beautiful fall day.  Warm and sunny.  Lots of crunchy leaves to play in.

I was doing a few chores around the house while watching the girls.  There were still more to-dos left.
eve of the day

I needed to rest.
So I made some hot tea and sat on the front steps and watched the girls.

There was no other place that I wanted to be.

This post is part of the 31 Day series-Mindful Moments.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 25-Let It Go


I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but school wears out my kids.  Thursday nights I can often see the wear on their faces.  Katy is putting herself to bed as I type this because she can’t make it to her 8:30 bedtime.  Hey, who am I to judge?
We came home today and I was doing some dinner prep while the girls settled down to their homework.  Lucy was completely distracted.  And not her in her normal procrastination or I’m super tired and emotional way.

I asked her what was going on.
She said that her heart felt empty.

Holy moly, this kid…her insights constantly surprise me.
Some kid at school had said that he hated her.  You know how kids are.  That’s a go-to insult for kids for those moments when they don’t know how to really express their frustrations.

It still stabs you in the heart though.
And leaves it empty.

I comforted Lucy the best I know how to.  Lots of hugs, lots of reminders about who she is and some discussion about the words that kids use.
arms to embrace

And almost as soon as she started melting down, she perked up.  She said that she was able to let go of it and felt better.  She cheerfully started working on her math homework.
Wow.  I wish that I had that ability.  To let something go like that. 

Sometimes venting only leads to more venting.  And more negativity.  And more hurt feelings.
This little lady just lets it go.

She is so amazing.

This post is part of the 31 Day series-Mindful Moments.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day 24-Pajamas

Today was a long day.  And for no particular reason other than it is Wednesday.
After dinner, I put on my pajamas and sat on the couch.  In my quiet living room.

Be there at our homing
I was so grateful to be home.

I was grateful for the rest.
I was grateful for the coffee pajama pants that my mom got for me.  Is it weird that they have caffeine junkie written on them?  Does she think I have a problem?

I was grateful for this time to space out and let my mind reset.
Sometimes when my week feels full (for whatever reasons), my brain needs to slow down. 

I spent a fair amount of time tonight looking for a tutorial for cafĂ© curtains on the internet.  Why was it so hard to find one?  I decided that I am going to hide the insides of that beat up cabinet with a curtain.  Or at least, that is what is going to happen in my mind.  I’m sure the actual sewing will involve some sort of adventure.
There have been times when I would have felt guilty about how I spent my night.  But not tonight.

Sometimes we need to be without an agenda.  Without a to-do list.
And in our coffee junkie pajamas.

This post is part of the 31 Day series-Mindful Moments.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day 23-Morning Validation

A couple of my coworkers and I have been doing a morning validation with each other this week.
It’s a silly way to start the day off with something positive.  Who can have a bad day when someone wishes you a morning of unicorns? 

This is also a reminder of who we are.  We are good people who are good at what we do.
Don’t we all need that?  To be reminded of our truths?  And especially first thing in the morning, before those doubts start to creep in and paralyze us with fear.

I need constant reminders of my truths. 

I get stuck in self-doubt.
I let fear cloud my judgment.

For those moments in the morning, there is hopefulness of the day ahead.  There is hopefulness about the person that we will be today. 
There is also a reminder of the person that we already are. 

We are already enough.

This post is part of the 31 Day series-Mindful Moments.

Day 22-Before Sleep

Last night we got home a bit late, and the girls had to go straight to taking turns getting backpacks ready for today and showers.
Of course, everyone found their own distractions.  I found this little lady in the “library” area of their bedroom.

By the time they were done, it was time to wind down and get ready for bed.  They looked completely worn out.  Don’t we all feel a little beat down at the end of a Monday?
I was in my pajamas too, so I crawled into Katy’s bed with her, and we read a book together.  Lucy was curled up in the pink chair reading her own book.

presence is balm
They were simply happy to have me in their room, sharing those quiet moments with them before sleep.

When we were done with reading, we turned on the low lights and Lucy’s brain turned on and wanted to have those thoughtful conversations.  We talked about what it means to believe in yourself.
I enjoyed the moment.  I was grateful for it.

I know that a day will come when they will want their privacy, and they won’t want their mom coming up to their room to hang out.  They won’t want their mom snuggling up close.
Today, I can simply enjoy this moment.

This post is part of the 31 Day series-Mindful Moments.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day 21-Creating Quiet

Have you ever come to that place living in your home where the furniture has moved full circle through the house?
We have a certain cabinet that came full circle today.  It’s more tattered than when we started out in this house.  The doors are gone (broken long ago by a child).  There is handwriting on the drawer (a combination from both children).

But here it is, back in this room.
I do wish we still had the doors.  It helps to hide the junk…

On Friday, I approached Billy with the idea that we might want to consider shuffling around some of our rooms.  We had one room that was completely unusable because it was so full of stuff.  And the tv in our family room has been driving me crazy.  You can hear it in the whole house.  We have a small house.  I feel like I am constantly yelling, turn it down!
I just wanted to talk about some ideas, I didn’t expect things to get completely shuffled around so quickly.  He came home tonight wanting to move furniture around…because any type of home improvement project should start on Sunday night when someone else is trying to relax after completely screwing up sewing pajama pants…

Oh well.  It’s done.  I’m sitting in the quiet of the family room while Billy watches tv in the basement.  I can hear faint giggles from upstairs from two girls who were too excited about all the changes in their room to go to sleep.
Your peace in our hearts

It was a good day.  Full of reflection.  Full of moments of ideas coming together.  Some ideas that have been on my heart for a while that don’t seem to fit in with this 31 day theme, but are still important.  We will have to wait for those discussions until November, I suppose.
As for tonight, I am going to relax and ease into the week.

This post is part of the 31 Day series-Mindful Moments.

Day 20-Getting Lost

Yesterday was full.
Hunting at the thrift store, grocery shopping, supervising 3rd grade speech writing.

I got an embarrassing amount of fabric to play with at the thrift store.
Last night I stayed up late getting a pattern ready to sew for today.

I stayed up until 11.  You know how I have mentioned that I turned into my dad and go to bed super early?  I didn’t realize it was that late.  I had to make myself go to bed before it got any later.

As I was getting ready for bed, I realized that I didn’t have moments of reflection today.
I rolled with the day.

I let myself get lost in the moments.
I didn’t try to multitask or accomplish to-dos.  Sure, I had things on the agenda, but there was flexibility.  There was grace.

I’m hopeful for a similar day in today.  Another day to get lost. 

This post is part of the 31 Day series-Mindful Moments.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Day 19-Slowing Down

What an amazing day off!
I’m sure you are on pins and needles, but in reality, my day was filled with the usual comings and goings of a Friday.  Housecleaning, laundry, an hour of watching sewing videos on youtube….

And a 10 mile run.  A 10 mile run with this amazing view.
I don’t know if I mentioned this, but since running my half marathon, I have decreased my mileage on my long runs.  Ten miles feels so much better.

I keep thinking of Sister Runner, telling me that I need to have fun when I’m running.
all joy

Today was actually fun. 
My camera was in the pouch of my hydration belt.  I felt like I was racing up Mt. Carbon to see the view.  Of course, racing is a relative term.

My legs were sore but I kept going.  No one passing me doing the grapevine today.  No one passing me at all.
When I got home I helped myself to a hot shower, a burrito and more coffee.  I did wait until I was out of the shower before the burrito and coffee.

I thought about yesterday’s discussion of multitasking.  I tried to take one project at a time. 
I even built in time for relaxing.

I decided against my full blown grocery trip to only get the items necessary for today and tomorrow.  I was tired of being rushed.
I enjoyed the moments.

I enjoyed the day.

This post is part of the 31 Day series-Mindful Moments.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 18-Projects

Do you have those moments where life seems to click together?
I was at a staff meeting today when the topic of mindfulness came up.

It seemed like a fitting subject for me considering this month’s topic.
Be there at our labors

Multitasking was brought up, and how it is making us less productive.

I could have used this pep talk earlier today.
I was trying to catch up on paperwork, make phone calls, follow up with folks and work on a powerpoint.  All at the same time.  Guess how productive my day was…

I feel bad for anyone who has had to share an office space with me.  I talk to myself.  Don’t judge.  It helps me concentrate.  Probably because all this multitasking is getting in the way.
I thought about this on my way home because I don’t just multitask at work.  I do it all the time at home.  I’m trying to cook, do laundry, help with homework.  And how productive am I?  I have a load of laundry sitting in the washer that needs to get put in the dryer.  It has been resting for almost an hour.

And how many semi-completed craft projects do I have lying around….actually, let’s not talk about that.
Tonight, I wanted to finish one thing.  I finally sewed a pillowcase for Lucy with the fabric I purchased almost two weeks ago.  Now each of the girls has a Halloween pillowcase.

There’s the saying about taking life one day at a time.
Maybe I need to take life one project at a time.

This post is part of the 31 Day series-Mindful Moments.