Week One: Day 7-Read a Book

So here is the final and last day of what you can do to spend some quality time with yourself…. READ a book!  If you are not one to read then just get an audio book.  It is the same thing! Your imagination will be expanded, as well as, your vocabulary– either way you do it!

I am currently taking an acting class and performing in a Shakespeare play, so I read Caesar.  However, there are other books that I plan to keep on my nightstand for those times that I want to spend 15-20 min. recharging myself.

This is my list of books I will be reading in the coming year… Well, I hope to read anyway!

 

If you are interested in summaries on any of these books, please comment and I will happily post!

The first one on my list is Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel

“A sequel of sorts to Fun Home, Bechdel’s moving graphic memoir about her father, this one focuses on her mother-a writer and actress whose career went nowhere- and on Bechdel’s own rocky romantic and psychiatric history”

Happy Reading,

Anita

Week One-Day Six: Write Poetry

So the journal I bought yesterday, is meant for writing poetry or any other creative things that come to mind-  Not so much as a diary.  I loved the words on the cover.  They completely sum up what I want my 2016 to look like.

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Go to the store and pick a journal that you love.  If you love what it looks like you might be more inclined to use  it.  I really want to feel inspired with mine.

I thought I’d share the poem that I wrote during my alone time.

Remember, I am no poet! I am just a girl who wants to get her thoughts and feelings written down.  It’s therapeutic.  This is not edited.. completely raw.

As another blogger that I admire wrote: Haters Hate, Creators Create!

 

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I am that spoiled brat,

Anita 🙂

Share you’re latest mommy tantrum with me??

 

 

Week One-Day Five: Join a Group

Yesterday, once again I had planned and desired to do something a bit different but I didn’t have time.  I bought an awesome new journal that says exactly what I want my 2016 to be like.

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The plan was to take 15-20 min and write some poetry.  I prefer to write when the desire comes but I think it’s also important to learn to be disciplined with the creative process and set some guidelines.  So at least, I did step #1 and got the journal.  I hope to spend some time with it tomorrow.  (Which is really going to be later today because I’m writing this entry about yesterday! Last night was busy!)

So anyhow, I technically did do something for myself last night.  I had my first rehearsal for the Shakespeare play I’m going to be in this coming March.  Wow! That was liberating!  The entire afternoon I had to deal with my “needy” children whining and complaining about my rules, asking me to find everything under the sun for them, in order to do their homework, while all three of them ask me questions at the same time! I was losing my mind, but in the back of my head there was peace.  I knew that my time would come tonight, when I would get to leave the house for three full hours and do something completely different that gives me such a huge rush!

Please, take my advice and join a group! I’m sorry— if you can sign your kids up for sports, music lessons, chess, art classes etc., and be the taxi driver for everyone- then you definitely deserve once a week to do something that excites you!!!!

Here are some examples of groups you can join:

  • local swim team
  • church group
  • groups at your library: creative writing, scrap booking, gardening
  • take a continuing education course at your local community college (Photography, dance, writing)
  • volunteer at a homeless shelter, home for children with special needs, at the hospital, or Feed my Starving Children
  • join a running group ( I don’t know how anyone could enjoy this- but to each his own!)
  • Sign up to learn a new language
  • Take music and/or singing lessons
  • Take Karate/self defense
  • Take an art class and learn to draw and/or paint
  • Join a yoga group
  • Learn how to ice skate or swim (then you are set for each season!)
  • Make your own group and ask the library if they will support you and allow you to meet there weekly
  • join a mom’s group or form your own

Whatever it is that you’ve been thinking about, but never thought you could find the time to do– just ignore those naysayers in your head– and DO IT!!!!

Is there something you admire or have always wanted to learn, since you were little, that keeps creeping back into your thoughts???????????

It’s your sub-conscious telling you something.  DO NOT ignore it again!

It’s trying to tell you where your passion lies!  Listen to that little child in your head.  Those are the dreams and aspirations that your little negative self shot down and tried to shut up.  The dreams are still alive and trying to become a reality! It is in your control to make it happen!

JUST DO IT!- IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE!

You will thank me later for this,

Anita

 

Week One-Day Four: Meditate

Wow! My mornings are always wonderful but as the day progresses I start to drown a bit.  Mornings are filled with either cleaning, working out, or part-time work.  I’m a speech therapist for children under the age of 3.  It is the most rewarding job.. most days.  Today was the best.  My little kiddo was so excited to see me!  She was laughing hysterically and shouting! Who wouldn’t love that to start off their day?

At lunch, I pick my 5 year old up from school and there begins my daily grind.  My time is no longer my own, but who’s is, right? Everybody else has to work an 8-5 job.  I shouldn’t complain. Still, at times I really don’t think I’m suited for this.  Every day is an emotional battle.  I work very hard to control myself and be a happy and kind person, but add three kids whining, pouting, complaining, debating, and making obnoxious noises to the mix and I’ve lost it.  I’m down in “funky town” trying not to lose my mind.  Funky town is that horrible place you go when you become some crazy person that looks nothing like you’re normal calm- cool self.  You aren’t showered, hair is looking like buckwheat, mis-matched socks, and pajama pants (oops- I thought I changed those before I went out!)  Anyways, from about 11:30-8:30 I just try to keep some sort of sanity so I don’t get taken away in a straight jacket kicking and screaming.  Calgon take me away is an understatement!!  The thoughts that enter my mind usually are:  Why does this have to be my life?  There must be some way out of this!!

Handling my children’s self-esteems and teaching them how to emotionally regulate so that they can be happy and functioning human beings is just too big of a responsibility and burden for me!  It’s just too much pressure!  Still, I signed up for this.  There is no way out.  I must choose to be happy.  The alternative sucks!

So what is making me happy today- meditating.  I found some great meditation CD’s at the old Borders bookstore many moons ago and still use them.  You can also find some great you tube videos to help if you like or just pop in whatever music you prefer.  I lit a candle, played my music and just breathed.  I suggest putting a sign on your door so no one interrupts you.  That is the key.

If you are taking 15-20 min. to yourself- It must be un-interrupted!!   Put this sign up on your door and explain to your kids that if the door handle so much as twitches or if the door is touched there may be some very pleasurable things taken away from them.

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I also took some time to pray.  I am a member of a church prayer group in which we pray for certain people every day.   It feels so great to pray for others.  After, I say the prayer group intentions I read from an inspirational/prayer or devotional book.  I love to do this because when it’s time for me to pray sometimes my mind goes blank, which is great for meditation but not so great for praying.

Here are some books that I am using right now:

Do you have any that you love ? Please share?

 

Week One-Day Three: Workout

Yes, working out most definitely counts as doing something for yourself.  I haven’t worked out in over a year.  I told myself that working out at the local gym for one  hr 2-3 times a week is really adding to my stress since I also work part time.  I thought once I finally go back to work full time or close to it, I will never be able to wake up at 6am to work out.  I decided that getting sleep was better for my health and evening workouts would never work because that’s family time.   Also, if you have older children you realize that once they get home from school the rest of the evening is complete chaos.  Get homework done, eat, go to soccer etc.

The decision to stop working out was the worst thing I could have ever done.  The entire year I had something new wrong with me every week.  I was depressed, had no energy and really felt bad about the way that I looked.  I decided this year I would workout but not become a slave to it.  I would do my best to workout whenever I could with the minimum being three times  a week.  I decided anything would count for working out and any amount of time would be sufficient.

Here are some examples:

  • Shoveling
  • Taking boxes to basement: add in running back up the stairs and doing a few extra runs just for exercise
  • T-25: Beach body DVD that I purchased through a Facebook garage sale for $40- what a steal!! The workouts are only 25 minutes!!! SCORE!!
  • Riding bikes with kids
  • Yoga in the morning
  • Walking kids to school and jogging home (it’s only a block- but hey better then nothing!)
  • Cleaning the house: vacuuming, bringing laundry baskets upstairs etc.
  • You Tube workout videos: just do 20 min of the video if that’s all you have time for
  • Playing tennis
  • Roller skating/Ice skating

So today I did T-25, like I have actually been doing 5 times a week for three weeks now! It’s nothing new that I do for myself but today it made me really happy!  I’m getting better at getting it done without stopping in the middle and I’m really finding that I have more energy!

— Which I’m definitely going to need … because.. remember that audition?  Well, I got the part of Casca in Shakespeare’s: Caesar!!!  This is going to be the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life but I’m up for it, and I hope I rock the house!!

Parting is such sweet sorrow 😦

Anita

Week One-Day Two: Movie Night

So for my “happy time” today, I really wanted to try and meditate-which did not happen.  I couldn’t find the right time with all the cleaning and errands I had to run.  Don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing hour and a half at Walmart but still not much “me” time.  My usual hot spot is Target but I had some things I needed to buy for my little one’s birthday party that only Walmart carried.  My daughter is in love with  Rey from Star Wars and has to have a Star Wars themed birthday party.57301-star-wars-the-force-awakens-dessert-plates

I was so surprised that I could have just as much fun shopping at Walmart as I could at Target.  My last experience at Walmart was anything but relaxing.  It involved lots of carts crashing into me, people arguing with workers, and very long lines.  Today was not like that all! Lucky for me.

The things I found for my daughter at Walmart were absolutely adorable.  I get such a rush from buying stylish things at such a low price!  Love finding that diamond in the rough!  I will never understand people who buy the boots, or purses with the name brand on them when there are so many cute and adorable things out there that look so fabulous at more than half the cost!  It just seems like those people are so brainwashed.  My daughter is sleeping now but tomorrow I will add pics of her in these outfits because the Flat Stanley version of these just doesn’t do them justice!

Anyways, back to my Walmart excursion! Even though I enjoyed myself, I am not counting that as my “happy time”.  After all, I was mainly shopping for my children and the house.  If you’re shopping trip includes items for other people and/or your home then that does NOT count as your individual quality time to re-charge.

Since I couldn’t quite get into the frame of mind needed for meditation,  I thought that having a movie night would do the trick.  I would put the kids to bed a little early.. Oh, who am I kidding?  I would put them to bed at their actual bed time 8:00 instead of the usual time I end up getting them in bed which is closer to 9:00.  Anyways, I ended up reading a book to them and didn’t get out of their rooms until 8:30.  We had to finish Treasure Island and we are now beginning the original Mary Poppins.  I love reading books out loud to my kids because I treat it like an actual performance.  It’s the one parenting thing that I’m really good at and my kids are always asking me to do it.  I love to surprise them by raising my voice and it doesn’t matter what time it is- if the book requires shouting- then it’s shouting they get!!!! So by 8:30 I was finally out of their room or maybe a little after but still that  is amazing for me.  I felt like I had an entire evening left to myself.  What would I do with all this freedom?

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I decided I would watch Hot Tub Time Machine 2.  (Don’t ask!) I did not want to think about anything and just wanted to watch something very silly, funny, and wrong.  The first version of this movie was pretty dumb, I know, but still funny to me.  I liked all the 80’s jokes.  Well, #2 was soo horrible that after 5 min. I had to turn it off! Instead, I watched a taped episode of Saturday Night Live.  Movie night turned into TV time but it still works!

What did you do with your free me time?   I hope you were able to let the wind carry you away!

You’re flying friend,

Anita

 

Week One/Day One-Audition for a play

Today what makes me happy is my acting class!  I have been off for winter break and I’m seriously going through withdrawal!  So I decided to try out for the spring performances.  One is Julius Caesar- Shakespeare, and the other is Rumors- Neil Simon.  I took a look at the Shakespeare script and got frightened silly.  Huge monologues and the language is out of this world.  I really, really, wanted to try for the other play which seemed more do-able for me.  On the way to the college auditions, I decided I would read for Shakespeare.  So many factors played into this decision.  It was the most exciting and terrifying thing for me.  I was “excitified”!  This is my new word and I think it will sum up this whole next year.  This is the best feeling in the world and I want to try to achieve this feeling as often as I can.

So why don’t you check out your community college or local theater?  The auditions for those shows are open to the public.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  The experience will be unbeatable and you may even meet some new people along the way.

What did you do today that “excitified” you and made you out of this world happy?

Please share your day with me 🙂

 

Loving yourself- Week One

We are going to begin by doing things that make us happy! 

This is soo easy to initiate.  Who doesn’t want to do this?  It’s so motivating and rewarding.  It can be difficult though, if we are moms, business women, or people pleasers.  I urge you to join me in doing something wonderful for yourself every day.

Every day, I will post the things I have done that bring me joy.  Please share your daily happy moments with us!  It would be great to get extra ideas and inspiration from others.

For some, it may be that you filled your schedule up to be surrounded by friends and positive activities or experiences.  However, this act may have caused exhaustion and feelings of being overwhelmed by all of life’s other responsibilities and duties.  We feel like we have to do it all and squeezing in “me” time has to fit in somewhere.  I think we may find that reducing some of those personal activities for some quiet relaxation and alone time recharges us so that we are able to enjoy our preferred activities more, without running ourselves into the ground.   For others, it’s realizing that we are doing too much for everyone else and actually NOT doing anything for ourselves.  Make sure to jot down all the activities and responsibilities we have and how much “me” activities we have.  Is there an even balance? If not- CHANGE IT- THIS WEEK!

Choose activities that you really care about and that mean something to you.  Having a good life is making sure that you do something daily that moves you and makes you feel alive.  Having a fulfilling life is a decision that you make! Make sure it’s a good one!  By taking care of yourself and doing things that you love and move you, you are completely loving yourself in every way that God had planned for you.  There is nothing selfish about loving and taking care of yourself!!!

“We can’t give what we don’t have.  You have to experience life on your own terms before you can be life-giving to others”, Tess Marshall.

Loving me- Loving you,

Anita

Let Go… Let God… And Let Your Child Travel Without You (Part two)

HAVE FAITH!

Yes, I have many fears but I also have courage and faith, which are stronger.   Here’s what I will do to prepare my heart for this challenge life has placed in front of me.  Continued from earlier this week….

So now what???  Doing something makes me feel better so I have to come up with a plan to cope.  With the help of the internet I have come up with some actions that will help keep me sane.

1. First and most importantly, remind yourself that our children are not our own.  They do not belong to us.  They were given to us on loan from our Father.  This is a very difficult concept for some but I truly believe this to be so.  Once you can come to terms with this much, of your anxiety will be lifted up off your shoulders.

Psalm 139:13-16-  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.                

Children are given to us as a gift from God.  It is our job to train their hearts and prepare them for Heaven.  God has a plan and we can trust him so there is no need to be anxious or worried.  We can cast our burdens and fears on Him and he will carry them.

Isaiah 41:10- So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

By letting your children go you are providing them with an opportunity to feel proud and confident:  If we shelter our children and live in fear for them we can never let them fly.  They will stay by our side and miss out on the many experiences in life.  They will not grow or be curious.  This will cause a lack of self-confidence.  This fear will make them believe that they are incapable of doing things on their own.  That they do not possess the wisdom and ingenuity to face any of life’s challenges.  Children need to be brave and courageous and if she pass our fears on to them this is impossible.

When teaching my daughter- who is also my last of three children- to ride her bike I was getting frustrated because it was taking her so long to get it.  I had to keep holding on to the back of the bike and I was starting to take it out on her.   I threatened that I would have to start letting go because she was never going to learn.  I was displacing my anger on her because I didn’t want to let her go.  I was afraid that she would fall and hurt herself.  I stopped right there in my tracks and asked for forgiveness.  I also realized that I needed to trust that she would be taken care of.  I needed to place her in His hands where she belonged.  Right then and there I made a conscious decision to do this.  The rest of the way home was probably our happiest moment together.  We laughed harder than ever before.  She lost her balance a few times but never her humor.   I trailed behind giggling hysterically, shouting words of praise and clapping enthusiastically.  “You got this Sofia!” Her eyes beamed with pride.  Thinking to herself, “I totally got this!”

2. Teach your child emergency strategies:  Have a discussion with your child about making sure to never be alone.  This will avoid any opportunities for getting lost or separated from the group.  Your child needs to be aware of the adults and where they are at all times.  They need to understand the importance of staying with someone.  If for some reason, they do become lost they have to know how to find help.  They should be given a cell phone if possible so that they can call 911 or the adults in their group.  The phone must be charged and they are in charge of keeping track of it.  If a cell phone is not an option, then give them a map with directions to the nearest hospital and/or police department, as well as, a list of emergency contacts.   They should also always carry cash on them in case of an emergency.  Finally, they should be aware of the people around them and only seek help from police authorities.  They should never get into a vehicle with a stranger.

3. Set up a communication plan:  Explain to your child how often and when you will be checking in.  Set this up with the adults in charge or just plan to call your child’s cell phone if that’s an option.  Letting your child know that you are thinking of them and that you are always there for them can relieve them of any anxieties and also help keep them grounded.  Be cautious about telling your child that you miss them.  This may add to anxieties or difficulties with separation.  Instead try just expressing your excitement for them on this new adventure.

4.  Write a letter and put it in their bag:  I can’t stress enough how important it is to stay connected to your child.  They will enter the world and be distracted by many things.  They may lose their way.   If you can stay connected it will help keep them grounded.  Well, ultimately it is in God’s hands but reminders are helpful.

5.  Prepare their hearts: You are doing a lot of planning for their physical safety but it’s most important to protect their spiritual safety.  Open their hearts with prayer.  Remind them to check in with God daily- who is always there to guide and protect.  Pray with them and ask God for courage and strength.  He always  provides for us.

Deuteronomy 31:6- Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Make a list of prayers and pray every day.   Do not underestimate the power of prayer.  It works!!  Yes, God has a plan and he is always there but when we pray we are connecting with our child and God simultaneously.  We can protect our children’s hearts through prayer.

God, Please watch over Antonio and his entire team while they travel.  May Antonio always know that you are in his heart and that your love is unconditional.  I pray that he loves you openly with all his heart, body, mind, and soul.  I pray that he will treat others respectfully and kindly.  That he will serve others, protect the weak,  and live a life with integrity and courage.  I entrust you with his life and soul to protect and guide to salvation.

Actors needed!

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I’ve done it again!  This is definitely a pattern for me.   Some might say I’m a dreamer, an optimist, but I know that’s not true.  I’m the most pessimistic, unconfident person out there.  OK fine, I’ll agree with dreamer but nothing ever comes of my dreams.  So here I go again.  What am I doing on a community college campus?  What in the world did I get myself into?  Is this a mid-life crisis or something?  I had this great idea to take an acting class while my daughter is in kindergarten.  As I get out of my car, I realize it seemed like a much better idea in theory.  I start to feel a bit warm in my cheeks and try to not look around.  I just begin to smile and laugh.  I can’t believe I’m doing this.  I can’t believe I’m actually here.  I wish someone I knew could see or hear me now.  I hear music blaring from a car passing by and kids that look like they are not actually old enough to drive with their backpacks slung over one shoulder are on all sides of.  One student seriously whizzes by on a hands free segway (the invention claiming to be the hoverboard).  I find the building my class is in and after about 10 minutes going up and down the same staircases and back tracking down the same hallways I find my room.  That was a feat in itself!  This might have been the second sign from above that this was not a good idea- I think the man upstairs was telling me to get back in my car and go the hell home.  The first sign was the four parking lots and 15 minutes of driving around before I could actually park my car.  Some might say, “What ambition”, “What drive”, or “What perseverance”, but I know the reality is that I”m just dumb, crazy, and stubborn.  So…. in I go to an almost empty classroom with only chairs- no desks to hide in.  I smile and sit myself down hoping I might blend in, but who am I kidding I’m almost 40 and these kids I quite possibly could have babysat when I was in the eighth grade.

It’s in this class that I have to for the first time since I was a freshman in high school act out a scene from a play.  That was over 24 years ago!!!  Plus, I was only on the drama club for one year and I never actually performed in any real plays or musicals.  All I could think about was what an idiot I was.  Thoughts raced through my mind-none of them positive.  You’re shy! You’re socially awkward! You are quite and not much of a talker!  The only drama you express is in the comfort of your own home in front of your family.  Let’s not forget that you have no confidence, and that you are essentially a very boring and uninteresting person!  Plus, I think I might just lack emotion or affect in my voice.  I have a horribly monotone whining voice.  How the hell did I think taking an acting class was going to be a great idea!  It’s like a bad audition for American Idol.  Why doesn’t someone tell that person they suck!!!  None the less, I do it and I survive.  I think there were worse people than me but then again there’s no video to prove it.

So what’s the point here? What will I do now?  Well, in reality I really don’t know.  This is how most of my life goes.  I never really truly know what I’m going to do, but for now I will continue on.  I’ll finish this class even if it’s the most humiliating thing I ever do.  Maybe it will give me confidence, make me more exciting to talk to at parties, or who knows maybe it’s something that can actually be learned even at an old age.  I guess If there’s anything that I know about myself it’s that I’m not a quitter.  I want to see this through-give it a real shot.  It’s something I always regretted not pursuing.   Maybe it’s a bucket list thing, maybe it’s a mid-life crisis- but damn it- I’m gonna see this thing through.  I may be a complete and utter failure but I definitely am not a quitter.  So guess what?  The majority of people in this world are mediocre and average.  There are only a small percentage of people who are great and phenomenal.  These are only a select few.  So stop quitting just because you can’t be that dynamic 10% of the population.  What about the rest of us?  Join the masses but don’t be like everyone else.  Find your path, even if it’s a scary one and even if you might fail.  You might learn something along the way.  It might lead you to your true path, your purpose or your God given talent.  The point is you’ll never know if you sit in your house and do the same thing everyday.  Challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone.  God does not want us to waste this life.  Keep trying to discover yourself.  Never give up!!  This is what makes life worth living.

Get out there and find your part.  I’ll let you know how mine pans out.