Time and Self-forgiveness

As I sat in a beach chair, the sun warming my back as I was conducting research for this post it came to me. Time – that will be the next topic of discussion.

You see, we cannot borrow or give back time. Unlike popular game systems, none of us have “infinite lives” or even cool things like invincibility. My point? I’m still, today, trying to forgive myself for not taking the time to call my best friend from college back in August 2014. I listened to her message, made a solemn promise to return her call…and then her family member contacted me about two weeks later. My friend was on life support! I had just seen her a few months prior!

Within two days, my friend passed away. Shock, grief, you name it I was overwhelmed. But I knew, with ample amounts of each of these (prayer and time) my shattered heart would heal. So, advice time…get ready! Just because your healing is going a little slower than you want it to I have a suggestion for you. Go outside and sit down. Look at the stars, think of a loved one you love SO, SO much and say your ABCs as you look at the stars. Imagine that person wrapping their loving arms around you. Out loud, say I love you.

Leave a comment if you needed a tissue.

Take care.

Blueprint

“I want to share some of the things that begin your life’s blueprint.

Number one should be a deep belief in your own dignity.

Your own worth and your own somebodiness.

Always feel like you count.

Always feel like you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.”

These words were spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to a group of high school students in October 1967. If he were alive today and were to ask you, “Do you believe in yourself? What are you doing with the blueprint of your life to make “you feel like your life has ultimate significance?”

There are incalculable ways to answer this set of questions. Personally, I sometimes struggle in believing in myself. Why? I’m on a weight loss journey where some weeks my eating and exercising regime are spot on. Other weeks, I do not consume the healthiest of foods and I drag my feet in terms of exercise thinking, “Oh well, I’ll REALLY ramp up my cardio tomorrow!” Then I step on the scale later in the week. Up two pounds! Sliding backwards. Start all over.

Self confidence and self esteem take a serious blow. But, Aaron gently reminds me to get back on the treadmill and watch my carbs intake while wrapping me in a big hug.

I do however feel like my life has tremendous significance-especially when it comes to raising my children. I’m in control of my actions to set a great example to them, provide discipline and guidance, encouragement, share in their joy, etc. I am also called to be a positive, attentive, and loving spouse. In no way am I perfect, I assure you, but I try to do small, random acts of kinds that bolster Aaron’s belief that he most certainly “counts”.

Friends: Remember, you are always a “somebody”. You matter! Now, what will you do with the blueprint of your life?

No “Tech” Time

So, there’s a new thing I’m trying to implement in our household. And, I’m interested to see how it goes with my young children. It’s something I call no “tech” time where for a certain amount of time everyone puts down there device…and TALKS to one another.

It’s certainly not a novel concept. However, as I sat in a busy airport yesterday waiting for our flight, it seemed like everyone was staring downward at some type of device silently. I began to realize, on the whole, we are so digitally wrapped up that our listening and verbal communication skills have suffered.

Now, my kids are still involved in after school activities and enjoy being outside for sure. But, put an Ipad in their hands and they could, for at least 30 minutes get lost in a game of some sort. That’s 30 minutes of play time or conversation time we could have enjoyed. So? What to do? No “tech” time!

Aaron and I did it for seven minutes one night. (Number was chosen at random). We talked and laughed about so many things! We talked about the next day’s activities, important dates coming up, etc. I felt like it was truly focused conversation. I felt better afterwards because I really connected with Aaron on a level where true listening took place!

Try this technique with a co-worker, loved one, really… anyone you speak to! Why? Your listener deserves your undivided attention. Would you not want the same in return?

Until we meet again.

Stacking

So, the sun has yet to rise. What have I accomplished thus far? Let’s see – a shower, having my coffee, studying for the GRE that’s coming up quicker than I’d like, and revamping my top 10 goals. This has been my typical routine for the last 6 weeks or so. What’s your routine? Do you have one?

There’s a very interesting book that talks about “habit stacking”. The stack should really only take about three to five minutes to complete. It can be as simple as filling a water bottle to brushing your teeth in the morning!

The author goes on to explain the possibilities are endless as to what habits go into your stack. Just make sure the list isn’t too long or overwhelming. If this sounds interesting, the book is “Habit Stacking 127 Small Changes to Improve Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness” by S.J. Scott.

I enjoyed it, and I hope you do, too!

Puzzling!

Fun facts of the day!

According to an article by usatoday.com, did you know that by doing jigsaw puzzles:

You improve your visual-spatial reasoning skill sets such as:

Driving (helpful with parking), packing suitcases and boxes, and using a map!

Puzzles also help improve your short term memory that allows us to remember shapes and colors. Connections within the brain are also strengthened.

So, the next time you’re bored, get to “puzzling”!

“My son, leave them smiling”

Today, my “little boy” is 11 years-old. How fast the time has gone by. He amazes me and makes me laugh every day. He called me a “funny” mom one day, and I gasped a bit because, at the time, that was the highest compliment I had received in a long time!

What issues we dealt with at age four are different than today’s woes but still just as real. I mean, when you’re four and you lose your blankie that’s a BIG deal. When you’re approaching 11, and you lose your best Rubik’s cube that…is an even bigger deal.

Do you have children? What are some lessons they’ve taught you? Have they perhaps taught you to put a certain fear aside and be brave? Have they unlocked your inner child again through imaginary play?

What about certain virtues? My children have taught me it is much better to be patient, thoughtful, and kind – to laugh things off and also kindly said, “Mom, maybe you should just pray about it.”

In closing, I hope my son never stops making people smile and that he always helps them find their inner glow.

Happy birthday.

Love,

Your “funny” mom

Abundant Kindness

So this is love

So this is what makes life divine

So this is the miracle I’ve been dreaming of…

So This is Love lyrics Cinderella ©️ Walt Disney Music Company

As my daughter read her first bedtime book to me in April of 2018, my eyes started to well with tears. The “waterworks” turned on a little more when she read the page that said only three words. One glass slipper. However, she said “shwipper”! I refrained from correcting because I was so proud she was doing so well!

Who makes you proud? Maybe it’s your spouse, child(ren) or grandchildren, or close friends? Who brings a smile to your face when you see them? Tell them you love them and please, do it often.

My challenge for you IN ADDITION to a minimum of one act of kindness a day for the next week: send a quick text, leave a note for a co-worker (get the idea?) with a few kind words.

Friends, I think you AND the other person just might have a better day because of it.

Until we meet again.

Remember that time?

Remember that time we played endlessly in the sand box?

Remember that time you helped me with all those math problems?

Remember that time you built sand castles and I “smushed ‘um like a big giant”?

Remember that time you did three puzzles and two books with me before bedtime every night?

Remember that time you took us all skiing out West a couple times? What about the Caribbean?

Remember how you taught me how to parallel park?

Remember how you taught me how to get over my fear of baiting my own hook?

Remember how you always told me when it was chilly, “I’d bring a jacket if I were you”?

Remember when you walked me down the aisle and told me to keep…your…pace.

Remember how you now love and cherish my children so?

Dad…

Always remember, I love you so incredibly much. You and Mom, together, raised us with such love and unconditional affection. I cherish all these times and more. Just as the song goes, “You make me happy/when skies are gray”.

May the blessings and peace of God be upon you. Love, Annie

Relationship Heartbeat

Some of you may know, others may not, but my immediate family has you covered in terms of caring for your heart. Both my father and older brother are practicing cardiologists at the same hospital, my eldest brother sells pacemakers and defibrillators, and my older sister is a cardiac cath lab nurse!

However, this post will not be a medical lesson in stents or balloon angioplasties, but rather how to keep the romantic heartbeat of your relationship healthy and at a strong, healthy rhythm. Shall we?

1. Make time to talk in person to each other – DAILY

Folks, some of us lead incredibly busy lives. But, do you have at least 15 minutes to talk to your significant other (put your phone or other device down) and be engaged while communicating? Every night, when we wind down Aaron and I simply talk – about what’s going on the next day, the highlights of not so terrific parts of our day, even if that night’s supper was good? Communication is so key to a great relationship.

2. Do an act of kindness – DAILY

Nothing humongous, bring out the fireworks. It could be an encouraging message on a notepad for example. Doing a chore that the other normally always performs, etc.

3. Remember your manners

“Please” and “Thank you” are typically appreciated by the receiver. Also, be mindful to avoid being overly demanding or looking to “always getting your way.” Compromising is another pillar of a great relationship.

And finally…

Sometimes, all of us just need a hug. Whether it’s out of celebration, consolation, or a long embrace giving your significant other a hug might, just might…brighten their day all the while your romantic heartbeat is growing stronger and stronger.

Until we meet again.

Just for Fun

Today, friends, my blog post will be a bit different. It will be humorous yet somber at times but in the end my hope is that you’ll be smiling. Shall we?

10 things you may not know about me:

1. I finished college faster than high school.

2. I used to love dogs, but I’m actually a bit afraid of them now

3. Don’t give me anything containing shrimp-I’m allergic!

4. Purple should be a primary color

5. Orange skittles are yucky

6. I’ve beaten Zelda TWICE (1980’s version)

7. I want to cry happy tears every time I see, talk to, share a laugh with my father-a several time cancer survivor

8. I got kicked in the ear when I was swimming at the YMCA pool when I was younger. That’s probably why I’ve had problems with my right ear

9. I just got stung by a wasp for the first time at age 33

10. I stayed cavity free until age 28.

As always…until we meet again.