Showing posts from January, 2016

Accepting People For Who They Are

This is our son on his snowboard. He doesn’t just snowboard, he is a snowboarder. And a skateboarder, and a BMX-er, mountain biker, dirt biker and tech-ed kid. And all the labels that society puts on that group of kids. You know, that group of kids that skateboards down the side of the street and looks like a gang? Yes, them.

He was never into group sports, so he didn’t fit in with the jocks, or the popular kids (who have to be in sports in our town), or the nerds, or the artsy ones. Wow, look at all those labels. Instead of labels, we need to get to know people and accept them for who they are, not the label we put on them. 
He and his group of friends aren't perfect, but they have some unique traits. To do all the tricks they do, you need to understand AND apply physics. To build the ramps they build, you need to know geometry and have building skills. They practice and practice, and teach each other. They learned to modify and fix all their equipment. Our son is routinely call…

Expressing Gratitude with Family

How often do you say thank you during the day? It’s easy to say thank you to someone when they do something obvious, such as help you when you ask, or do something major when you didn’t. However, I feel these are cursory thank you’s, given without much thought or meaning.

Instead, what if we went deeper than that, and really thought about what you could thank them for? What is something they do every day that is significant when added together, but goes unnoticed in our daily hustle and bustle? What about just being faithful, diligent, hardworking, willing to get up with you in the morning when they don’t have to? Not getting into trouble, reliable, resourceful, doing something so you don’t have to? All of these things describe my husband and children, yet I don’t acknowledge them enough.
The wood my husband spends hours cutting for our fireplace. Not very glamorous, but so appreciated on a cold winter night!
Today I listened to a podcast about the Gratitude Diaries: A Yearlong Experime…

Maintaining My Second Self

We live in an increasingly connected society. We have iPhones, tablets, laptops and every other piece of technology out there to let us do whatever we want whenever we want. Talk, text, facetime, skype, tweet, pin, post, and surf all the blink of an eye right at our fingertips. We expect instant access, on-demand information, videos and likes. We live with a device in our hands.

Social media is a part of this life and we share an inordinate amount of information. Depending on which report you read, adults spend an average of 1.7 to 4 hours per day on social media; nine hours a day if you are a teenager. That itch to check our phones at any given moment of the day is intense, almost an addiction.

Lately, my use of social media has been bothering me enough to do something about it. I feel as if I am not present with my family. Additionally, too often I feel like I am missing out on something online. If I am not checking Twitter or Instagram, or reading ALL the blogs in my feed, my mind i…

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Holiday traditions: A live tree. Lights in front of the house. Peanut butter balls. Hosting Christmas at our house on Christmas Eve with extended family. These traditions have lived on for 21 years until this year when we decided to travel over Christmas.

Travel to see extended family? No, just travel for the sake of a vacation. We approached the holidays this year knowing we would have a very quiet, four day weekend with the possibility of one small gathering. Isn't this sufficient? Oh yes, but the chance for the entire family to take a vacation dangled in front of us.

Our vacation last summer was minus our daughter who found out at the last minute she couldn't go. We cut our plans short and promised a family trip in the fall with everyone; but that didn't happen. Hmm, could we travel over Christmas?

Many people travel to visit family for the holidays. This trip would be just for fun. It would break all tradition. It would be a first - not being home for Christmas. Are we…

Prioritizing Your Time

Traditionally, the beginning of a new year is a good time to reflect on the prior year and look to improve the next. Whether you like to make New Year's resolutions, set goals, define intentions, or pick one word, it all boils down to thinking about what you would like to do better in your life.
For years, I would set New Year's resolutions, only to forget what they were by February. Part of the problem was they were always too large and vague. Eat healthy. Exercise more. To make them stick, you need to break them down into smaller, definable goals.

However, goals and I don't get along well because they seem to turn into oppressive "to do's". A well written goal is SMART: Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. For example, last year, I set a goal of biking 500 miles during the summer months. I broke it down to 25 miles a week for the months of May through September. Due to some warm Spring and Fall weather, I surpassed my goal and biked 6…