Five Things to Do Everyday

I am often surprised that in the positive thinking, you bring about what you think about community, there is a world of advice on what to stop doing.  I was reminded of this again yesterday when I saw a post about 5 things to quit right now.  This reminded me of my high school child development class, and how to ask a child to stop doing something.  You don’t.  Instead of telling a young child what not to do you give them an alternative of what to do.  For example, what not to say, “Johnny stop using those scissors to cut your sisters hair” what to say “Johnny use the scissors to cut this paper and make me a surprise.”  Now Johnny gets to use scissors and his sister doesn’t have a new hair style (and it’s always this easy <insert sarcasm font>).

This tactic has bounced around in my head for years and served me well, and honestly I think as an adult I have benefited far more from focusing on what to start doing instead of what to quit.  After what I read yesterday I decided that rather than give some trite advice on what you should wake up today and not do, I would provide some suggestion on what you to do, with one more reminder, use baby steps.  The thing that may prevent us from progress is the thought that it all has to be done, and perfected, today, right now, hurray up, no mistakes.  Instead wake up and make a choice to do one or two small things, in a more helpful, congruent manner will help encourage you to keep going because lots of small victories are much better than sitting on the couch trying to figure out how to quit doing something that you’ve always done.

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  1. Be pleased with yourself.  When you have that really amazing thought today, especially if it’s about something that seems insignificant, pat yourself on the back and be pleased that your amazing brain was amazing. Seeing how awesome you are will help you see how awesome others are. When you begin to see the goodness in yourself you will better recognize it in others.
  2. Embrace Change.  Especially the small kind (like deciding what to have for dinner at 4 pm instead of 6 pm). The change that only you will notice because it’s so small AND so important to helping you guide your ship the direction you want it to go.  When you do this see #1, and pat yourself on the back for being AMAZING.
  3. Live in the present.  Show up today and make today all about today, right now.  Not 5 minutes from now, not yesterday or last week but today.  Start by doing this for 3 minutes a day.  Stand outside, see the trees, smell the smells, feel the weather, touch the ground, and be fully present in that moment.  As you bring yourself present with today, out in nature, you’ll get to see the small changes that everyday brings, and you’ll probably have a really amazing thought.  See #1, pat yourself on the back for being AMAZING.
  4. Put yourself UP. Look at yourself in the mirror, directly in the eyes, and say “I matter.”  Because you do.  You’re probably going to have a really amazing thought, and before you tell it to go away, STOP!  See #1 be pleased with how awesome you are that you looked at yourself and thought good things about YOU!
  5. Baby steps.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  When you start to shut down STOP looking at the big picture, find the little picture and pick a baby step out of that and move towards that.  You’ll have a good thought see #1 pat yourself on the back and think about how much you matter.

When you have that good thought and want to share, but are scared and don’t know who to share it with, share it with me.  I am here to tell you that the baby steps will get your there, you matter, and it’s okay to say how amazing you are.

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The Truth About Dinner


The truth about dinner isn’t that you don’t like to cook, or for most people that you can’t, it’s deciding what to have for dinner.  I have done some extensive research on this, talked to 2 neighbors and 3 co-workers so it’s fairly extensive, and they have come to the conclusion that I am right.

The other truth I have found about dinner is that there is some great inspiration and fun things to look at on Pintrest, and food and cooking blogs, but the truth is all I ever did with most of that information is Pin it, or think about how lucky that authors family is that they make meals like that for them.

Another truth, what I am looking for in dinner is that it a) make it to the table by 7:15 pm, and b) mostly not suck.  At other points in my life I had much higher standards but the reality of 6 kids, working full time, owning a business, and wanting to watch The Voice brought me back to reality and I have accepted that the meals may not be Whole30, or Paleo, Gluten Free, and so on and so forth and that is okay.

What the meals are; dinner on the table within an hour or less effort (I promise that time commitment doesn’t mean much if you have already decided what you are having and are prepared to make it!)  they are decent, they don’t require a lot of preparation prior to the actually time before dinner, and most of your kids will eat it most of the time.  In my world of parenting most of the time for most of my kids is a parenting WIN!

I have gone through variations of planning meals for a month, that’s a  bit much for me, not planning meals which translates to eating a lot of pizza and frozen burritos, and planning for a week possibly two at a time.  I have a list of 66 dinners on it, I’ve had lists in the past with 100 or so dinners on it, I tend to lose these lists ever couple or years and so they get rewritten.  In this process I am familiar with some of the tried and true meals of success, what is takes to become one of those meals, and how a meal can get kicked off the list (if three or more people reject the dinner it’s most likely not being invited back).

Every week or so I will post my menu, the recipes (or a link to the recipe), and the method to my madness.  I will be honest about how my family feels about the meal.  And if you don’t like it or think it needs this that or the other to make it good by all means make note of that for yourself and carry on the good fight or dinner time.  The first list of recipes is HERE Menu Number 1.

 

Judge first before you’re judged (it’s safer that way)

Today after work and school, and an hour of quality time with our respective electronic devices, I summoned my kids to go play at the school playground while I got in my exercise. Upon arriving I was disappointed to see two other moms there with their children. It’s not personal it’s a comfort zone. If I’m there by myself I can let my thoughts stray from this to that and keep an ear out for my children. What happened instead startled me and reminded me of something I had advised my teenagers on several times this year. 

If someone at school says you are weird or something is wrong or ugly or blah blah blah about you doesn’t make it so. In fact it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Reason being; if they reject you first they no longer risk the chance of you rejecting them. If they haven’t said something specifically to you then decide for them how they feel about you reject yourself in their behalf.  The proxy rejecting prevents the chance of a real rejection keeping you safe in a land of rejection, the very thing you’re looking to avoid.  

How does this apply to moms at the playground?  As I started my walk with my earbuds in enjoying the warmth of the sun I suddenly checked in with my thoughts and they were unkind things about the strangers at the playground. Grateful for the awareness I corrected my thought pattern, I would not be pre-rejecting anyone today. A short distance later I found myself deciding for them all that must be wrong with me, pre-rejecting myself on their behalf. 

The bad news is I’m still learning lessons that first showed up when I was young. The good news is I have teenagers to remind me of how to get through it.