Make Time for Marriage

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I think it is an odd thing that I spend so much time with people that are not family, not friends, not my spouse!  So much so that I needed to put “Make Time for Marriage and Connecting” as a personal commandment.  Why is it that those we love the most seem so often to drop to the bottom of the list or end up simmering on the back burner?

I really love spending time with my husband.  We truly have a great relationship and love to work and play together.  People will comment on that frequently.  We remodel together without fighting, we play and travel, we even have two businesses together.  BUT that is different than just being MARRIED together.

SO this weekend we are going away Friday – Monday.  We actually took 1/2 day off on Friday and all day Monday to wrap in with the weekend. My hope is that we are must married this weekend; not business partners, not parents and step parents, not employees somewhere, not home improvement gurus,etc.  JUST married!  We celebrate 6 years of marriage this weekend.  Last night my husband asked my what some highlights were for me.  It was great to think about and talk about.  We concluded that we have had incredible times together and we need to focus more on us time and work on not allowing us time to take a back seat.

So off we go tomorrow… I cannot wait to go away with my husband, be married, in love and at ease.

How do you insure that your most important relationships stay front and center?


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?

Relationship Focused Lent

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Lots of talk on this first day of Lent, “what are you giving up?” I think for some the sacrifice of giving up something you love during Lent in order to cause you to be more introspective is good.  I think however the true meaning in Lent and in these days of reflection are to get closer to God and clearer on what it is to be in His will.  I have done many different types of things for Lent.  This year I have decided to link my Lenten journey into my other journey that I am on this year of shifting my paradigm.

The relationship aspect of this shift is one of my most challenging.  So, for Lent I have committed to reaching out to someone each day.  It cannot be on Facebook or Instant Message or in email.  It must be CONVERSATION–either a phone call or coffee or lunch or something like that.  There are so many people that I mean to call or mean to see but it seems that in my list driven world, that just gets pushed to the bottom all to often.  I have a list of people that I want to call or see during Lent and I am excited about connecting.  BUT I also know that on some days this will be a challenge.  So my “give up” for Lent will be to give up looking at “people stuff” as an interruption to my day, my task list, the current “roll” that I am on.

I am in great hopes that this will be a warm and wonderful time of connecting with folks and a time of renewed friendships and relationships.  I am also in great hope that I will continue this practice of reaching out long after Lent is over.  I am in great hopes that my heart will be changed through this journey and I will really come into synch with #3 resolution of “relationships, relationships, relationships.”

What about you?  Do you give up something for Lent? Do you do something additional in your life like volunteer or focus on something you would like to change or improve upon? I will keep you posted on my journey; can you keep me posted on yours?

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.

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