Relationships, relationships, relationships

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We have been counting down our last days here and they are full of activity!  Packing, cleaning, more packing, etc.  Many of you have done this so you know exactly how busy it can be. I have however attempted to take time out for friends and family.  It is impossible to see everyone that you wish to see before departing.  Luckily with technology we can all still stay in touch, but I find myself desperate to see people right now.  It makes me realize how I take for granted so often the great relationships that I have in my life.  I tend to get busy and think next week, next month, etc. But right now I don’t have next week or next month.  Sure I will be back to visit, but I won’t be living here so there is a finality to so much of this here.

I am so happy for the time I have gotten to spend with friends–the lunches, coffees. etc.  I regret however that I have not paid more attention to this area of my life.  I have “improved” since making the relationship aspect be a part of the commandments for this year, but I am seeing how wide of a gap there is between where I am and where I want to be on this one.  I am hoping that a lesson learned here is a “do not procrastinate” lesson!  I am moving– no one is dying or has died, but things do happen and change.  Every day I need to make sure that I have connected with someone that is meaningful to me and my life.  I hope to take this lesson with me and to this location/life style paradigm shift and that I will wholeheartedly embrace the people that are currently present in my life.  That means friends here, that means new friends that I am not aware of yet.

How do you make time for relationships in your life?  Do you ever feel that you hit the mark on this one???


Spending Time on Things I Like…

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Spending time on things I like is NOT a waste of time.  Yes, it is in my personal commandments and needs a place of honor there actually!  I need this full sentence written out so that I can remind myself constantly of this fact.  How often do I put off doing things I like because some other need is out there.  In my world I can make these “other needs” seem demanding, critical and something that needs me RIGHT NOW.  What about the stuff that I want to do?  Shouldn’t those things get full attention?  Is that selfish?

The opposite actually is true.  Selfish is being so self absorbed that you start to believe that other people’s things cannot be complete without your intervention or input.  How many times do we invoke ourselves where we shouldn’t be?  Perhaps if I concentrate on the things I really want to do I can better weigh out what I really should be doing.  Sometimes those things will be for others, sometimes they will be just for me but at least they will be measured by reality rather than some elevated ego driven thing that tells me “I must do it all or nothing will get done.”   When I really think about it I can see how absurd that thinking is.

Spending time on things I like gives me clarity on my life purpose, it causes me to have a positive attitude and outlook, it helps me really get into the flow of my own life and what my gifts and talents are.  That makes not only a great use of time, but a NECESSARY use of time. What do you spend time on that is for you?

Be Debbie; Be Me

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The personal commandment that I have listed first is “Be Debbie”.   I cannot take credit for coming up with this commandment; I got the idea from Gretchen Rubin and” The Happiness Project”.  I love this book and website alot.  And although each person needs to discover their own commandments I love the idea of being true to oneself as an important commandment.  I will admit however when I read this book the first time, a couple of years ago, I did not have a concept of really “being Debbie”.  BUT I did feel it was a concept that I needed to embrace, hence it made the “list.”

Over the last couple of weeks I have been faced with a few things that have really made me look at this commandment and ask myself “if I am just Debbie right now, what is the right thing to do?”.  I get caught up in other people’s “stuff”, I sometimes give way too much on the things that I am committed to (like work and tasks) and so, so often do not give enough time and energy to my passions.  So I found myself asking myself “if this situation that I am in is NOT my passion then why am I acting as if it is in all of my actions?”.  Great question to confront yourself with!  The follow up question then is “what is my passion and what does “being Debbie” mean?”

Passions and Dreams:

  • Anything food!
  • Cooking
  • Dog treat biz
  • Fresh food from the CSA
  • Cooking for others
  • Gardening
  • Having a restaurant or a bed and breakfast
  • Cookbooks
  • Magazines with food
  • Baking treats for our business
  • Dreaming of commercial kitchen for the treats
  • ETC…………….

Do you see any common threads?  I do!  I love anything having to do with food and I am definitely an entrepreneur. First paradigm shift then is– my day job is going to be just that–my day job.  I will do it really well and add value to those around me.  I will make money while doing it. BUT I will not act as if it is my passion and think non stop about it, work odd hours and feel guilty for taking a break.

Second paradigm shift–start acting as if my passion really is my passion and it is more than OK to expend energy here!  IT is MORE than OK as a matter of fact.  To “Be Debbie” I MUST shift my energy to this!

Action-I enrolled in culinary school! AND I spent lots of time this week acting and dreaming and living my passion out.

Result: I feel energized, happy and focused.

How about you?  Have you ever realized that where you are putting your energy is simply sucking the energy OUT OF YOU rather than invigorating you?  What did you do to shift the flow?

Sleep is Good!

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One of my stated commandments is “sleep makes me more productive and happy”.  For many of you, this would not need to be a commandment.  You have commonsense and understand that sleep is important to function well.  The rest of you own my previous definition of sleep which was “I can sleep when I am dead” or something like that.  I so prided myself on “living” on 3 hours a night. (I might add here that I use the term “living” rather loosely).  I was running on adrenaline, caffeine, sugar and who knows what else.  Late last year, I made a commitment to get at least 7 hours a night, most nights.  I did not want to set a goal that I knew was unrealistic for me and say 8+ hours each and every night.  What my intention was meant to indicate to myself was a shift–making 7+ hours the norm NOT the exception.  I could have a short night every now and then but typically I would get a good nights sleep.

I did fear in doing this that I would get less done; afterall I was shortening my day.  But just like doing one thing at a time and decreasing the amount of multitasking, this had the opposite effect.  I got more done, felt better doing it and was more pleasant to be around!  I think the sleep increase is one of those changes that I wished I had done years ago.  A short night of sleep now on occasion looks more like 6 hours.  A year ago 6 would have been a tremendous amount to get!  It’s a bit like the treadmill–when I started, I could go only so fast and far.  Now I cool down at that speed that used to be my goal.

Sleep is good!  I have learned to treasure and protect that time.  I love my bed, my sheets, my jammies, falling asleep to jazz music, snuggling with my husband, all of it.  On most mornings I awake before the alarm goes off at 5:45 a.m. and I think that is such a good sign that my body likes it too! How much sleep to you get?  How much do you think you need?

Being Right is Overrated

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I used to think that being right was of the utmost importance.  That was the goal; that was the golden ring.  I spent so much energy trying to figure out how to get there, how to get you to say “you are right”, and how to be validated that my way of thinking was not only right but the only way of thinking.  What a foolish waste of time and energy.

All of us have a contribution to make, an opinion that deserves to be heard, a take on things that is uniquely ours; in this vast world I have come to realize and appreciate so much the fact that there is not one right way and one wrong way of doing things in each circumstance.  Our choices are made up of our thoughts, feelings, experiences, knowledge and so much more.  How can I always know what is best for you when I don’t even always know what is best for ME?

I am in a continual practice of learning to listen, learning to respect others and letting go of my own “rightness.”.  I have found that I learn so much more when I listen and try to learn from you, rather than figuring out how I can get you to learn from me. Many times, what I thought was right going into a situation turns out to not be so.  Opening up for another view allows me to be open to infinite possibilities.

So….do you think I am right??? 🙂


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While focusing on relationships in order to honor one of my commandments “relationships override projects and to do lists” I am realizing that this is tiresome (although very fulfilling) work!  Emotion is not so present when looking at pen and paper and crossing off things.  That is my default, it is easy and it is for the most part without emotion.  I create the list, set the tone for how to tackle it and whatever emotion is felt, is that which I have associated with it.

When being more relationship focused it is impossible to take the human emotion thing out of it.  Whether I am focusing on myself and how I am feeling and being or whether it be someone else, it takes effort to put these emotions into their rightful place and then to respect and care for them.

I have had many occasions lately where the “to do’s” were not about me or my stuff but about others.  It has been a wonderful month of giving back, interacting and doing for others.  I did however realize yesterday that I am tired.  I also realize that being tired and acknowledging that feeling is OK; as a matter of fact it is more than OK, it is necessary!  Relationships bring up all kinds of things–good, bad, challenging, comforting, etc. and this array of feelings can be taxing on oneself especially if you are trying to be deliberate in noticing the feelings, experiencing the reaction to them and learning from them.

This weekend, will be about me, my house, my husband, my stuff.  Some list stuff will be in there as I circle the wagons on some things. But I think that the practice of being aware of what is happening emotionally and relationally these past several weeks will serve me well.  I hope to take from this weekend, not just checking off some things, but also take note of how I am feeling during the process.  I hope that I can be as aware of that and of my feelings as I have tried to do for others lately.

I think I am learning… I hope you can relate!  Enjoy your day.

Spoiling Me & Others is a Privledge & OK!

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One of my commandments is “spoiling me and others is a privilege and OK”.  The last few days we have been visiting my parents to help them out with a few things.  During this trip I have had the opportunity to “spoil” my parents in a few regards.  They have been having computer issues-we went with the intent of fixing their computer but instead after a couple of days of troubleshooting (my husband is a techie), we decided to go shopping instead.  We outfitted them with a new laptop and accessories.  My mom, who is having some mobility issues can now sit in comfort with the laptop and look at pictures of grand kids or emails.  She wept with delight!

Another task was to get some boxes in my dad’s attic.  I say “dad’s attic” rather than “their attic” because it really is a man cave and only my dad ventures there.  BUT it is a dangerous place.  My dad who has some physical challenges himself at this point in life has to balance on the rafters.  YIKES!  So we went and go plywood and floored a major section so he could walk without fear of falling through.  He said “oh my goodness; you shouldn’t have!”  Really?  I don’t think it was optional…

We cooked and drank fine food and beverages.  We celebrated Valentine’s Day with decadent desserts and dessert wine in addition to a great meal.  Overall it was a great few days.  My parents were thrilled and felt very spoiled, grateful and also apologetic over what we had done.  We of course felt no need for apologies; we in fact would not even classify what we did as spoiling.  They have done so much in their life for others and right now they need a little help.  We felt good about being able to do what we did.

It made me wonder at how often I have apologized when someone has done something for me rather than saying thank you.  OR how I tend to justify my actions when I do something nice for me.  BUT the flip side of that is that I do not expect that behavior from others.  Why expect it from me????  Spoiling is in the eye of the receiver I tend to think; those that do the spoiling rarely see it like that.  I loved doing things needed and extravagant over the last few days.  Spoiling them?  I doubt it?  BUT if it is, who cares???? 🙂  Spoiling me and others is a privilege and OK.  A great commandment to follow on a much more regular basis!

How about you?  Is there someone that spoils you or that you spoil?  Do you spoil yourself?  Tell me about it.

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