Tag Archives: choices

Management & Maintenance

So you’ve set goals – now what are you going to do about them?

My first tip would be that you place your goals somewhere visible to you daily. The more you see them, the more your mind starts to conspire to make them happen. Writing them down and never looking at them again won’t do anything for you.

And don’t stop there, you need to decide on your management plan. Break those big goals into smaller goals and then focus on what habits you need to adopt to become the person who would reach these big goals.

“It’s time to WAKE UP and realize that the habits you indulge in could be compounding your life into repeated disaster.” The Compound Effect

Will I ever read one health related book each month next year if I don’t make a habit to read daily and be consistent? Nope. Well, yes, if I cram a book in the last few days of each month but that’s not the point at all.

So, habits. 90% of what we do is habit. 

Some habits I am working on developing:

  1. wake up already. Sleeping is in my bones. I swear it was passed on to me (through me dad). I talked to my mom and she says I didn’t even have any trouble as a newborn. I had that sleeping thing down! So, I want to wake up at 6:30 am every single day. I used to have to when I was leaving home for work. It’s harder when you make your own rules.
  2. be consistent. I saw the most success this past summer when I was doing all the little things every day. It’s key or so I’ve heard 🙂 Ready to own it this year.
  3. be thankful. Express gratitude all the damn time. This has been somewhat of a habit but I’m going to be even better at this!
  4. perfect a morning and evening routine.
  5. know when to say yes and when to say no. Say yes to all the scary, new, exciting things. Say no if you’re deciding based on guilt, if you are prioritizing your time, if this event or project will distract you from your main goals. Is this last one a habit? Eh, it will be! 

Which habits are guiding you today? Which will shape your new year?

A few habit tracking resources:

Tagged , ,

When Plans Change or When Everything Goes Exactly as it Should

Years ago I thought God had forgotten me. From my own perspective, my closest friends were being heard, prayers were being answered, and there I was.

I felt so lonely.

I thought maybe these rules, thoughts, and ideas didn’t apply to me. Surely not. I couldn’t see the evidence anywhere. While I’d cling to the hope in my tears being repaid tenfold in joy, I’m not confident I believed it was true.

The feeling came back again, a year and a half into marriage, when I felt all my dreams were shut down and my hopes were put on what could be a permanent hold.

“But I thought we were supposed to do this – together; and here I am feeling all the weight and all the burden and none of the joy,” were thoughts that consumed my mind. It was really tough. It was difficult to keep my heart and mind focused. I reacted and broke my own heart in the process. I felt stuck and resentful and hopeless. It sounds heavy but it’s true and that’s why I think it’s important to share.

My problem then and sometimes now, was my lack of vision. I couldn’t see past that month or year or past my own hurt. I couldn’t see this work that started years ago will be continued, and it will be for my own good.

I measured my life in nearsighted-ness, ignoring the decades I had yet to evaluate.

*

Fast forward to now. I still feel lonely sometimes. I think we all do. But any and all of my feelings have been transcended by this thick, comforting blanket of peace. Almost ten years post endless nights of tears and my hurt doesn’t come from those feelings any longer. Almost five years post committing myself to Nigel and all we’ve experienced, through my fault or not, has been sobering and messy, but nothing I’d trade.

Sometimes all of these life events seem ironic. They aren’t. I think it’s more the beautiful detail that is woven through every interaction, pain, conversation, song, missed opportunity. It still leads me here. Those deep gut feelings or passions reside in me to be pursued, and those hurts I’ve caused are ways to learn and experience, and seek forgiveness and redemption.

When plans change, so do we, because we are meant to be more than we think we could be, and to make mistakes, and to work together and learn from each other, and be edified – and eventually made new.

So thankful for this story.

IMG_1494

Tagged , , ,

On Teaching

What do you think about public school teaching? Have you had experience teaching? Do you know someone that has? Did you or did they survive?

I am at a crossroads. I have never ever wanted to be a public school teacher in America. Overseas, as a language teacher, yes. Here – never.

Yet, here I am. I am decent at it. I am respected by peers and administration and mostly respected by parents. I could keep working day and night and be one of the best, without a doubt. But I don’t really enjoy much of it. The kids, they are adorable and fun. They wear me out, but sometimes the things they say help me feel not so exhausted. The kids are only a tiny piece of the puzzle.  There’s also the testing (a ginormous piece), the constantly shifting expectations, the million initiatives imposed by those far removed from the classroom, the observations, the pressure to perform at 100% every day, to hold the entire world together while meeting the emotional and academic needs of 23 six-year-olds, teaching character and patience while hanging desperately to your own.

The planning consumes all of the time off-stage. The job is multi-layered. Sometimes other teachers can be cruel (with looks or quick comments) to each other as they are deflecting the stress of holding their own world of little people together.

What stands in the way of America adopting successful strategies used in institutions abroad? Maybe this time in my life is just as much of a learning period for me as it is for all of the littles involved.

A million questions surround me. I trust it will make sense. Until then, I will push on and continue to give all of me to this profession. Prayers for continued strength and sanity are much appreciated.

print 15

Tagged , , , ,

On Fitness

I told you there would be more.

Fitness has always been a part of my life. As a child I was involved in many team sports. My father is a Track and Field Coach at KU. I’ve had various workout buddies and the desire to be active and moving makes up a substantial part of me. Etc, etc.

It seemed about right that I would find the Beachbody opportunity worthwhile. I was able to order a challenging workout and begin to transform my body and my health. Along the way I’ve met so many other like-minded people and even inspired others to chase after their own health and fitness. It’s been a hobby for now that’s kept me sane amidst my freakishly-busy life.

As we are nearing the end of 2014, I’m ready to push to make this hobby a career – because I can, and I want to, and why shouldn’t I achieve the passions embedded deep down in me? I’ve seen so many others take this part-time opportunity and make it life-changing. WHY NOT ME?

success

Please stay posted on my “To Be Healthy” page for updates on the pursuit of fitness (and health).

Tagged , , , , ,

Current Adventure

So, I moved to Nashville. This isn’t news, really, it’s been almost a year and a half since we packed up our small Independence Square apartment and moved into an equally small West Nashville condominium.
In reflection, I have so many experiences I’ve collected in this past year. When we moved here last May, we came without much furniture or money. We maxed out my bank credit card and lived off of my retirement money (yikes) while I conquered this unpaid teaching fellowship program over the summer. As everything does, it worked out and we are still comfortably living in our West Nashville condo. Nigel has a job he enjoys enough and is playing in a band he enjoys even more. I am still teaching the sweetest little pumpkins in the world. We only had to make it 14 months on an air mattress and then my parents gifted us a bed. Life really does work out – you either find your own way or you have rich relatives. I think both scenarios are true here.
In the beginning, the transition was difficult. I was beyond stressed and secluded by my new (and extremely beautiful) surroundings. For a few months I had a hard time calling any place home. We no longer were a part of KC but didn’t quite feel it here either. Fortunately, this didn’t last and now as I sit here at 5:00 am on my balcony I couldn’t feel more at home. In fact, every time I make the trip “back” I find myself giddy excited at the thought of coming home to Nashville.
My mind keeps recalling so many other adventures I want to share but I’ll save those for another day. Stay tuned for thoughts:
-on waterfalls
-on Providence
-on teaching
-on 29
-on writing
-on traveling
-on fitness
-on my balcony
-on fear
-on Nashville nights
-on living in my own skin
-on growing out of things, or people
-on dreams and passions
-on ADVENTURE
Too much?
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Constant Fog

They were holding hands as they entered the fog. His grip was tight on her petite hand. We can do this, she thought. As long as we cling to one another we can do this. As she was allowing all of her doubt and insecurities pass, she noticed his grip loosening.

“Sweetheart, what is happening?” she asked.

“Nothing babe. I just heard something, I might need to check it out; see if everything is ok. Wait here.”

Before she could respond, his hand slipped away from hers. She had to stay still, to stay calm. He would be back any moment. Though the fog was thick and pressing, she noticed something standing a few feet ahead of her. She knew it wasn’t him, but for some reason it seemed to draw her near. She stepped toward the figure. “Stop!” Her mind screamed. With a deep breath, she ignored the impulse. He’ll be back any moment. It wont matter if I take a few steps ahead.  It appeared to be another person, another man. Maybe he knows the way out of the fog. Maybe he can help us.

“Hello,” she feigned confidence, but her voice reflected her unsure reality. The man extended his hand to hers. She reluctantly accepted his offer. Her mind immediately interjected, “What are you doing?? How will he find you if you’ve wandered? He is your protection. How can he protect you this way?” She silenced her thoughts by reminding herself that he walked away from her. His hand slipped away first.

There was something strange about the grip this man, this thing, held on her. She kept giving a little more, taking a few more steps. She kept silencing her mind until she could barely hear it screaming at her, until she could barely hear it at all. She continued to battle and justify, whispering things like, “he abandoned me, remember?”

Meanwhile, this figure kept leading her away, further and further from where she once stood. The fog has only become thicker, more dense. She can taste it. It is suffocating. Despite all of her attempts, the figure does not respond to her or her questions. It only continues to lead her deeper into what she cannot comprehend. She meant to find freedom and she is only more deeply entangled. Then the something stops. It drops her hand and simultaneously disappears.

At this point the fog is too heavy. She falls to the ground. “Where is he?” The sobs begin to rack her body as she realizes she is the problem.

If only he would speak. Then she could find him.

If only he would motivate himself to look, to search, to fight. Then he would find her.

If only he would cling to her as tight as he did when they entered the fog, then they could survive this; together.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,