15 Minutes

You can do anything for 15 minutes.

I used to love this idea. At the time, I was trying to get my home and my “stuff” under control. We had a lot of stuff and it was hard to wrap my head around sorting through it all. But 15 minutes at a time? I could do it 15 minutes at a time.

Fast forward to today. I still have clutter – as long as I’m living that will probably be the case – but it’s mainly under control. So my 15 minutes these days is being applied to something else. I have gotten out of the habit of exercise, out of the habit of getting moving. I keep meaning to. I’ve bought the shoes. I have the clothes. But whenever I think about getting off the couch and getting outside to do anything, it seemed like too much time and effort was needed to make a difference.

Jon Acuff reminded me about the idea of 15 minutes. That something done just 15 minutes a day can make a big difference over time. He does a challenge of sorts each summer – choose 1 thing and commit to practicing/doing it for at least 15 minutes a day. When I saw the challenge I thought, “I can do this. I can go for a walk for 15 minutes a day. Or do a short body-weight workout. Yup. I can do this.” So I printed the checklist and here we are, 4 days in, and even with a day off because of some physical ailments, I’ve already crossed off 8 squares on that chart of 100 squares. That’s more exercise in 4 days than I have had in weeks. I’m pretty happy with that!

Jon said to pick one thing. Because I like to buck the “rules” a bit sometimes and I like to go above and beyond, I added another “something” to my 15 minutes challenge – writing. Simple things. Deep things. Fun things. Regular life things. Just write. Some days that is going to mean a blog post. Other days it’s just going to be me writing in a notebook or on a piece of paper. I want it to become a habit again rather than just something I do randomly. And I can do anything for 15 minutes!

15 minutes. 25 hours. It adds up. I can’t wait to see the results of those 15 minutes when the summer is over! I’ll try to share my progress here weekly – on Mondays. Should be interesting…..

Want more information about the DO SUMMER challenge? Check it out here!

Advertisements

Tough Mothers Get It DONE!

13501579_10157032969480481_4420756879463116625_n

The Tough Mothers – Getting our game faces on!

Talk about a rag tag bunch of women! We ranged in age from early 20’s to mid-50’s. Nurses. Teachers. Office workers. Stay-at-home-moms. Retirees. Some were related to each other. Others were life-long friends. Still others were total strangers. Most of us hadn’t seen the inside of a gym in longer than we cared to admit. All of us (except 1) mothers.

Who were we? We were the TOUGH MOTHERS!! And why did we come together? Because we were doing the 5K Foam Fest – a 5 Km “run” with obstacles that has one purpose: HAVE FUN!!

This past Saturday this group of women gathered at the base of a mountain to embark on a journey. We were decked out in our team tank tops, fun hot pink accessories and filled with a TON of enthusiasm! What we lacked in terms of physical fitness we made up for with tons of heart and excitement! We were determined to enjoy ourselves or die trying!

It took our group of 13 women 2 hours to complete the 5 Km course. The course took us up some big hills – LONG, STEEP, UNENDING hills! – and down again. Through mud so deep we sank nearly to our hips (I will never forget the sucking sound we heard at one point as 1 pulled herself out!). We encountered rope spider webs, walls, slippy slides, foam pits, rope climbs, death drops, water pits, mud….Did I mention the mud???!!

We started out as strangers¬†but it wasn’t long until we were each other’s greatest support. Some of us were not so sure about getting dirty. Others were afraid of heights. One was diabetic (still is…:P). Some were feeling depleted in the self-esteem department. Others just needed a helping hand and an encouraging word. I think it’s safe to say that those 2 hours changed all of us.

For myself, this race was a way for me to say “Don’t count me out!” “I can do anything I put my mind to.” “Life, and the ability to have fun, doesn’t end just because you have kids or turn 40.” “I AM STILL HERE even if I don’t look or feel like me these days.” It was a way
to face some of my own fears and remind myself that, even though I have lost a little of who I am in the last couple of years, I’m still there. I am still Bad Ass. ūüėČ

Looking back, I can’t help but see the correlation between the experiences on that race and life. Life comes with mountains and valleys. It comes with obstacles we need to overcome, face down, get through. It comes with moments of wonder – like when we all stood on that path, looking down the mountain at 3 young fox playing in the grass with their mom – and moments of despair (like when I realized that there was yet ONE MORE HILL to climb when I was so done with climbing). It comes with moments of power and moments of paralzying fear. We have times in our lives when we are strong and fit, able to meet the obstacles before us with confidence, not hesitating for a moment and cheering on those around us. There are other times when we need help, when the hills are becoming more than we can do on our own, when the obstacles are too high, too scary, when we need the help and encouragement from others around us.

It was a really beautiful experience to do this race with these women and experience the help, the encouragement, the support, the carrying of each other’s burdens. We were in this together. “NO MOTHER LEFT BEHIND” was our motto. When we had to go around an obstacle for whatever reason there was never any judgement. We helped each other over, under and through each obstacle. And we had great fun in the process.

I’m taking lessons from this into my every day. I need to take more risks (I did the Death Drop slide and lived to tell the tale!!). I need to get into the gym! I need to stop worrying about what others think. I need to remember that I have a great tribe of women around me willing and able to support and encourage me if I will allow them to (means letting them know when I need it). I need to remember that my tribe also needs me to support and encourage THEM when I can see they need it, without having to be asked. I need to remember that often the worst that can happen is that I don’t try. But most of all I need to remember that without others involved and included in this journey I call “my life”, I cannot and will not succeed. If not for the encouragement of the team, I would have quit on that course – those hills were almost more than I could manage. But because of them, I kept going – I couldn’t let them down and they were cheering me on. Life is just like that.

Tough Mothers. Foam Fest. One of those moments in life that I will NEVER forget.

Thanks, Ladies, for a weekend to remember.

The Do-Over Challenge

2015-01-01 23.40.56

My Do-Over Challenge

I’ve joined a challenge facilitated by Jon Acuff. 10 Days. 1 thing I want to “Do Over”. 10 days to jump start things. 1 10 minute challenge per day.

It’s a timely challenge (must be why Mr. Acuff launched it January 1). I chose to participate in OneWord365 and then I saw this challenge. As soon as I read about it, I thought “The one thing I want to do over are household routines & schedules!” Revamping & reviving those paves the way for some of the areas I want to see change in this next year.

1 thing. Affecting 10¬†areas of my life. Home. Health. Schooling. Family Time. Writing. Friendships. Reading. Love Life. Faith. Money. Between OneWord365 and this, I’m pretty excited to see what 2015 is going to bring our family!

Now I need to go work on some of those routines and schedules!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Passions

We all have them. Things that get us excited and make the blood flow just a little faster through our veins. They can be many things or a simple few. They may be long term or they may be just for a time. Here are a few of mine both current and past:

Babywearing

This is both a lifestyle choice and a passion for me at this point in time. It may or may not be fleeting, based solely on circumstance and stage in life. Whatever the case may be, I love it!! I cannot imagine our life without babywearing. There are so many aspects to it that make it something that gets me excited – the closeness it provides between mom and baby/toddler, the convenience of being able to do things with both hands while keeping child close at hand, the beauty of the carriers and wraps that have developed as a result of others’ passion for the same. This is something that, if you ask me about it, I could go on for hours about! But I won’t. At least not in this post!

Babywearing Demo - September 2014

Babywearing Demo – September 2014

Breastfeeding

Yup. I said it! I am passionate about breastfeeding. Liam and I are going on 22 months of it so I better be passionate about it or I just like to be held captive by a young human for long periods of time each day! This isn’t something that I expect will be a fleeting passion although my hands’ on involvement will obviously not be forever! The day will come when Liam is no longer nursing but my passion and enthusiasm for it will not wane just because he’s no longer interested. It will just look different.

Photo credit: Peggy Knaak, Sunbeams and Freckles Photography, Kamloops, BC 2014

Photo credit: Peggy Knaak, Sunbeams and Freckles Photography, Kamloops, BC 2014

Shoes. Boots. Footwear.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE shoes!! And BOOTS!! And I am seriously considering getting a part time job outside of the house to help fund my love of both shoes and wraps (for babywearing). My tastes, as I am getting older and more experienced, are refining which really means they are getting more expensive. I won’t be buying cheap shoes or boots ever again even if that means I own fewer. I would give up my 6 pairs of pretty awesome boots for 1 pair of AMAZING Fluevogs in a heartbeat if I could. Don’t know what Fluevogs are? Check them out here: Fluevog Shoes.

Books

I LOVE books! I love everything about books! I love that a person can open the pages of new book and enter a world that is not their own. I love the feel of them, the smell of them, the sound of them. The soft swishing of a page turning is a sound like no other. Some of my best times have been spent alone in a book store wandering the aisles discovering new gems. Those times have only been overshadowed by the fact that I cannot afford to bring all the books home with me and I must therefore choose. It is almost like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. Impossible. I love all kinds of books –¬†almost all kinds of fiction (no fantasy, sci-fi or vampire books for me) and many types of non-fiction. My favorite gifts as a child were books and to this day, one of my favorite gifts is a gift card to Amazon or Chapters with a large goodly balance on it with which to buy a few new friends to add to my collections. I read my books over and over and over. They never get old.

Babies

I LOVE BABIES!! Since I was a little girl I have loved babies. Pretty sure I will always love them. The wonder of them, the potential of them, the unwritten stories that they represent….LOVE THEM!!!

Grandson Jasper & I just a few days ago (he was 2 days old)

Grandson Jasper & I just a few days ago (he was 2 days old)

Creative Arts

Music. Sewing. Papercrafting. Writing. I love these things because they feed my soul. They are outlets of expression. They are feeders of my heart. They allow me to both give and receive in ways that my soul requires to remain healthy and whole. But they are also the source of much angst and anguish for me as I am a perfectionist who is learning to let go of some of that when appropriate. Better to be creating imperfectly than to not create at all.

A cool bag I created to haul my stuff that I can use while babywearing (passions coming together!)

A cool bag I created to haul my stuff that I can use while babywearing (passions coming together!)

People

I am passionate about people. I want to help them, to see them live whole and fulfilling lives. I want to see broken people fixed, hurting people soothed, wounded people healed. I want to know them, to understand what makes them tick and to use that knowledge to help them be better people, to help ME be a better person. People have long fascinated and frustrated me. The psychology of people fascinates me. This is one passion that I am not quite sure how it is going to manifest itself in my life as time goes on but it is one that I want to see grow and develop. I see glimpses of how it may play out as I muddle my way through each day but I fear it may be a long time before a clear picture of this develops in my life. It does lead to overload and burn out at times as does my passion for the creative. Something I am working on because the people in my life should not suffer because of the creative in my life nor should the creative in my life suffer because of the people in my life.

Some of the people I love to know!

Some of the people I love to know!

These are just a few of the things that I am passionate about. Some very specific. Some with room to develop and grow more specifically. Some are deep. Others more shallow or less philosophical. But all get me excited and cause me to want to go on and on about them! ūüôā I can’t do that right now though…the day calls as does another passion – COFFEE!!!

In My Head

Tonight is one of those nights when I have so many thoughts in my head that I want to put down on paper but none are¬†really flowing or they just aren’t worth publishing. It’s the worst kind of “writer’s block” ever – at least when I have NOTHING in my head to write about I can usually find a prompt somewhere to get things started. On night’s like tonight I can’t sleep because of all the thoughts but I also can’t quite corral them all to get them out so the chatter quiets down.

Some of the thoughts swirling around in my head tonight center on the following topics: marriage, parenting, high school relationships, babies, tent trailers, future dreams, writing a book, Flylady principles, stamping & card making, business ideas, complicated romances, babywearing & wraps, breastfeeding, sleep. Yea….there’s a lot of thoughts. Some that might be worth sharing at some point and others that¬†will remain just where they are – in my head.

Also in my head tonight is the plans for tomorrow – we’re heading out to where Jillian & Ian live and have their market garden. Jillian is Tim’s daughter.¬†We’re going out to help them with harvest tomorrow. Then home to tidy the house, nap and prep dinner – we’re having my Aunt & Uncle over for dinner tomorrow. It’s going to be a good day….if only I could get some sleep! I really need to get out of my head!

Does that ever happen to you? What do you do to quiet the chatter?

Good Night

The sun is setting behind me as I sit in the rocking chair with my back to the window. It has been a full day for Liam and I, a day filled with new people amd experiences. I like days like today but I must admit I’m not sure if I like the day itself or the quiet togetherness I know we’ll get to have at the end of it.

Good night.

Two words I whisper every night as I lay my baby down to sleep. I’ve been whispering those same two simple words for years now as my children have gone to bed.

Good night.

Two words packed with so much meaning: Sleep well. Only beautiful dreams. Be safe. I have such hope for you. You are special. You matter. You may be the oldest/middle/youngest but you matter like you’re the only. I love you. You make me smile just by existing. I’m sorry that I failed you today. Rest your heart and mind tonight and we’ll try again tomorrow. I’m praying for you. Jesus loves you. Good night.

My oldest two are away right now visiting their dad and his parents. It’s been almost a week since I’ve been able to tell them goodnight. But even though they haven’t heard it, I’ve whispered it at the moon knowing they are looking at the same moon.

Good night.

Good night my dear children. Sleep well. I love you. And as I hold Liam, I long to hug all of you. Good night.

Enough! Please!!

I want to make it clear to both my teacher friends and my non-teacher¬†friends: I have heard and seen the arguments from both the government and the teachers/union and because¬†I don’t agree with portions of the arguments from either¬†side, I haven’t chosen a side¬†in this contract dispute between them. I’m not for the government’s position in this fight nor am I completely for the teacher’s side. I am in an uncomfortable place because of that. I feel like the friend caught between a divorcing couple being forced to make a choice between the two as to who I am going to remain friends with when I can see what both sides are doing to the other and the kids in between them. It’s an impossible position for me to be in. And possibly that makes this all the more frustrating for me when I see my kids being hurt by both sides.

There really are no easy solutions to the issues we find ourselves facing but if I am going to write to my MLA and let them know that the government needs to give, I’m also going to write to all of my teacher friends and say they need to as well. If an arbitrator has to come in and handle things, no one is going to win. So work it out, please. Set aside all the mistakes and bad choices and wrongdoing of the past and go forward from here. We can’t undo the past but we can make steps¬†towards positive change for the future. Both sides need to get on the same page and learn to work together for the good of our kids, regardless of their personal feelings towards each other.

I have hesitated to express ANY of my feelings about this whole thing in any forum because of the polarizing of individuals this situation creates but today broke me. Having to go to my son’s school to gather his belongings while he was away at camp, was hard. We’ve had 8 years in that building. 8 years of relationship building. 8 years of connections and memories. I was in tears as I walked away from his classroom knowing that he has missed out on his chance to say goodbye, regretting that I allowed him to go on this trip he’d been looking forward to (originally it was a school sanctioned, teacher accompanied class-wide trip but with the rotating strikes and the lockout that changed. Several parents stepped up and took over and the trip became a parent sponsored/supervised trip – they didn’t want the kids to lose out because of the strikes). When I heard the news that full strike action would be taking effect on Tuesday of next week, I was sad that it had come to that, that the two sides involved still couldn’t seem to come to an agreement, but I wasn’t surprised. It wasn’t going to have a huge impact on our family as we already were going to be gone for 4 school days next week because of family commitments elsewhere and I figured my son could go to school on Monday, gather his things, say goodbye to his teachers and walk away from his last year at his school with a sense of closure. But I was shocked and confused when I read that Monday was going to be a “study session day”, designated so by the BC Teachers union. What did that mean?? What even was that??? What did it mean that teachers wouldn’t be in class but the closing of schools was up to each district in the province to decide. What?? ¬†A loophole to the 72 hours notice required for strike action was found. The union effectively was shutting down the system a day early without breaking the rules. Ooooo…that’s dirty pool.

I have a huge issue with dirty pool.¬†I was frustrated when the government engaged in it with the lock out. I had hoped they would be the only ones to employ dirty tactics in this fight. I am hugely disappointed that it has been employed by the teachers’ side. It isn’t helping either side gain support for their cause¬†and¬†I have had enough.¬†As I say to my kids on occasion, “STOP FIGHTING, BOTH OF YOU!!! ENOUGH!! FIGURE IT OUT AND GET ON WITH THINGS! PLEASE!!!!!”