Chasing Inspiration

Friday, January 28, 2011

Timely Intentions

A friend asked me what it took to find time to write. She's a mom with three children - a teenager without wheels, a tween who lives in high drama, and an active 4 year old. She works. She carpools. She cleans. She is truly the chief operating and finance officer for her family. She wants to write a book on her journey as a mom but didn't see how she could add that on top of an already busy life.

I thought about her question and the first thing that came to my mind was, "how does she do it?" She balances so much and still manages to have an organized house, well adjusted children and from the outside looking in it appears she has a healthy marriage. I struggle to keep the house organized and I don't even have children!

More and more I understand we are all gifted with the same hours in a day. All of us. We all have 24 hours. We all choose what we will fill those hours with. If we don't choose for ourselves, someone else will choose for us. 

I used to bemoan the fact I didn't have enough time to write. A good friend who is willing to hold up a mirror and call me on my crap suggested I do a time study where I would write down what I was doing every 15 minutes. I used my daily planner and every 15 minutes wrote down what I was doing. It was enlightening to see how much time I spent getting side tracked, how much time I spent surfing the web aimlessly after I accomplished a task such as paying bills or emailing a friend. Then there was the amount of time I spent reading. And the day dreaming.

None of these activities are negative on their own. Pile them together and I saw that my days were getting away from me because I was allowing my inner ADOS (attention deficit ohhh shiny syndrome) to dictate where my time went. The saying that where we spend our money and our time tells people a lot about what we value and who we are suddenly rang true for me. I said I wanted to write but how I spent my time told a completely different story.

That day I started to live with my eyes open and with intention. I'm still learning. There are still those days where at the end of it all I feel like I have accomplished nothing. Those days are few compared to a couple of years ago.

So, when my friend asked me what it takes to find time to write I answer it takes intention. Time management, it's a myth. Living lives with intention and being consciously aware of the choices we are making and how those choices impact our desires and commitments, that's a reality. Making time to write, go back to school, volunteer, learn a new skill, that's all about intention.

Are you walking awake and with intention? If not, what's getting in your way?

To continue the theme of gratitude, today I'm thankful for:
  1. Cadbury hot chocolate mix
  2. Being able to speak honestly with my husband and know I am heard even when we have those difficult discussions
  3. Knowledgeable people in my life who I can turn to when I need advice, especially this week with Velcro Dog 
  4. Friends who have amazing fashion sense who I can email with my fashion questions. I would be lost without you!
  5. That my car is working again.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Catch Me, I'm Falling

I was going to post about the second book I picked up over the holidays but I haven't made it past the first chapter. Not because it's not any good. On the contrary, it's a great book but  I want to focus on one thing at a time. That's a part of this mire I find myself navigating - I want to do float from good idea to good idea and I can't seem to find purchase enough to see one idea through. So I'm sticking with gratitude and generosity right now.

I want to practice gratitude. It was difficult today. We had yet more snow. I  developed a killer migraine. My car is still in the shop and the dealer we purchased it from is being a little smarmy. So today I'm digging in deep to find five things that in this moment I am very grateful for.
  1. I am grateful I have a warm home and can afford the heating bill that comes with living in the snow belt in the winter.
  2. The traffic was really light on the way home, which made it really easy to get home quickly after work.
  3. My husband took the dog for his evening walk, which is usually my job. He did it with grace and love which is such a gift.
  4. My husband is a wonderful man who out  of the blue will bring me chocolate or ice cream. Sometimes both.
  5. While it's still snowing outside, I am thankful about how magical fresh snow makes the winter landscape look.It's inspiring.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Mire and The Gratitude

For a while now I have felt as though I'm starting over. I'm caught in this between world of what I used to be and how I am becoming. Perhaps starting over isn't the right term. I'm in this mire of becoming. I call it a mire because for the last couple of months it has felt mucky and boggy. I'm not stuck, but my forward progress is very, very slow. And messy.

2010 is over and we are in the second week of 2011. I turn 40 in just under 2 months. I'm itching to move past the mire and become already. Realistically I know becoming takes time, but living in this mire has made me impatient to see at least a glimpse of the end result and to know I won't be caught here forever.

Over the holidays I picked up a couple of books that I'm reading. Normally I would pick up books on writing, life coaching, money management, organization or a topic that has something to do with a book I’m writing. This time I did something different. Something to help me move forward.

One of the books I purchased is One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity by author Debbie Macomber. Just as the title states, the book is about intentional acts of generosity and how these acts can change our lives. From her website:
Debbie Macomber, through the power of story, invites us to live with open hands, offering who we are and what we have to God, to use in the lives of others. When we do so, lives—including our own—are changed in ways we couldn't have imagined. All it takes is one simple act.
The book is divided into seventeen easy to read chapters and each chapter ends with some thoughts or call to action to help the reader apply the lessons within the chapter. I read chapter one this weekend and one of the calls to action is to start a gratitude journal. I used to be very good at journaling. I found some of the journals from my early marriage while cleaning boxes the other day and I was so glad I chronicled those moments of my life. Part of my mire, I think, is founded in not really taking the time to reflect. And definitely not taking time to be grateful. If I learn nothing else from this book I think it is that I need to take the time. Starting today I will be posting daily 5 things for which I am grateful.

Tomorrow I will post more on the second book I picked up. For now I’ll end with some gratitude:
  1. I’m grateful for a patient and partnering husband who gets me and allows me the space to be.
  2. I’m grateful for a loaner vehicle while my car has been in the shop for the past 3 weeks
  3. I’m grateful we built ourselves an emergency fund so when issues like said car come up we aren’t scrambling to figure out how to pay for repairs.
  4. I’m grateful I work for an amazing manager! You know who you are.
  5. I’m grateful for authors like Debbie Macomber who remind me that there is so much to be grateful for in life.