Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Join in!

It's Wednesday! Today is our Halloween Celebration at work today. We have a Zombie walk activity planned for us by the health and wellness committee. Then we have our annual Chili Cookoff and costume contest as well.

I am actually dressing up as a character from a favorite TV show. This should be fun - I just hope some of my co-workers recognize the character.

It's all for fun and fellowship with the great people I work with.

We have had rain here constantly since Monday and it makes for dreary days and makes it hard to concentrate as well. There is one place I would like to be on a rainy day.. that is at home, under a blanket listening to the rain fall outside. That is one of my favorite things to do.

However, my work would get behind if I took off on rainy days to do what my heart wants to do. So, as my roommate suggested yesterday, I chose to focus on our plans for the evening and push through the rest of the workday and it all worked out (as it usually does). He made us a fabulous dinner and we had a great night just the two of us.

Take time to enjoy the beauty in the every day. There is always something (usually more than one thing, too) to be thankful for.  Choose to see that instead of a reason to complain.

This coming Saturday I will be up extra early so I can get to Centennial Park for the Buddy Walk. The Buddy Walk is a benefit and celebration for the families in Middle Tennessee affected by Down Syndrome.

We would love to have you join us on Saturday or you can donate to our team at this website: https://dsamt.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donate.participant&participantID=3643


Monday, October 26, 2015

Quiet Times

Some of us fill our planners and date books with tons of stuff to do and places to be.

The older I get the more I enjoy having a day on the calendar with no place to be and no reason to set the alarm clock.

This past Saturday was one of those treasured days. I got up, made my coffee and enjoyed quiet time out in the carport while I did the laundry. (I realize this may sound lazy and boring to some, but bear with me.)

I did not turn on the laptop, I did check social media through my phone and I texted a couple of my Saturday friends to let them know all was well at the homestead.

We had a drizzle off and on that day and my daughter was having her meet & greet for the grandbaby at 1 that day. I had plenty of time to get stuff done and not rush around.  It was beautiful watching the fall leaves fall at the house and just be.

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with my daughter and her newborn and his older brother Nikolai. I am very blessed to have them living close by. I went and met a friend to watch some college football and just chat. That was such a blessing too.

After David got home from work, we just relaxed, fixed some dinner and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Having a home full of peace and quiet is so much nicer than having to worry about what you are going home to every night of the week. No walking on eggshells for us.

Some folks go for walks in nature, or read or just sit on the porch with their coffee/tea reflecting on the day. What ever you do to decompress from the workweek, put this in your planner and you will be recharged for the next round of work and deadlines.

Sunday was a great day too. We spent the day relaxing after church, watched some football, and just enjoyed the quiet and conversation. Late in the night Sunday night we got a phone call that my daughter in law was heading to the hospital and most likely having their little boy that night. I am happy to say that Megan delivered Kyson at 11:30 on Sunday night. Mother and baby are doing well.

This is when I jumped out of bed to go get the laptop so I could skype and see my grandchildren, Megan, Brian (my son) and Megan's Mom Marie while we waited on Kyson to make his appearance. We heard him before we saw him. It was precious and now I can say I am Mimi to the fifth degree!

Enjoy your peace, because the chaos comes at you no matter what. Don't let anyone make a schedule for you that you don't agree with. Speak your mind with love and kindness and let those you love know that you love and cherish them.

If you are in danger, call and ask for assistance. There is no shame in this. There is strength in admitting you need help. 1-800-799-7233 or the local shelter.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lights Out

What do you do when the power goes out?

As a PartyLite Consultant, I could sell you some candles to dispel the darkness during a storm or other power outage so that you are not completely in the dark.

As a human being that has gone through a lot, I can offer you a shoulder to lean on and a listening ear, because I have been there.

We have had a recent power outage and we did use candles to dispel the darkness and we prepared our dinner on the grill and thoroughly enjoyed the time together just talking and relaxing.

Yes, we could have spent the money to get a hotel room for the night until the power was turned back on, but we decided to make the best of it and save our money for other things. It was like camping inside the house on purpose. 

We awoke this morning thankful for the sunshine coming through the windows and thankful for many other blessings too.

No matter what you are going through, there is a way to get through it without losing your cool, chewing someone out or complaining about it all night.

I see this as another way to exercise your choice to be positive and learn the lesson that is around you. There are always lessons to be learned if you choose to open your mind to them.

So, if you want to have a fun evening with lots of conversation with your children or partner, try unplugging from technology and enjoy the time together. You just might learn something about those you live with.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911
Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Daily Struggle

I hereby admit that I hate getting up early any day of the week (unless we are leaving on a trip or something I really want to do).

I struggle to get out of bed nearly every workday and have to make myself get moving by a certain time or I will be late to the office as well as dealing with Nashville rush hour traffic (no fun there either).  19 years of commuting to Nashville Monday-Friday has taught me a lot.

I still don't like getting out of my warm bed and getting ready while it is dark outside.

This has nothing to do with my day job. I like my co-workers and supervisor a lot. While we may perform tedious job duties, we still have fun at work and get along pretty well. At the end of the day, we get the job done and hold each other up.

I am not a lazy person but I do enjoy sleeping in and not having to be jarred awake by a ringing alarm on my phone. This morning I hit the snooze button even though I knew I should get moving.

I also am the first to get up at home and I do my best to keep quiet so I don't wake the roommates.

I have often compared life to the interstate I daily travel. I won't go there today, but please know that it is best to slow down and take your time in the traffic jam. You will not get there any faster by weaving in and out of traffic or passing people on the shoulder. In fact, doing these things just might get you a ticket from our police force.

I know I am not alone in hating the alarm clocks in our lives. I thought a bit of reality might help us all.

Remember, everyone is fighting a battle of some sort, so be kind to all.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911
Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233
Cheatham County Shelter - 615 681 5863

Active Listening

Do you listen to others you are conversing with?

OR

Do you spend the time they are talking thinking of what you can say to 'one up' their comment?

I email back and forth with several people and some people I text on a regular basis.  I do my best to read their message for understanding and keep it context. I fully admit I don't always comment on everything they mention, but at times you have to be real with folks and let them know that their response was totally taken out of context. 

Communication has broken down a lot over the years thanks to technology and you can even misunderstand someone if you are talking to them face to face. Text and Emails are the worst ways to get your message across sometimes because the tone of voice and body language has been removed.  You have to hope they know you well enough to not take the message personally (if it was not meant that way)

If you don't actively listen to those you are communicating with you can miss a lot of the conversation or learning about who they really are.

Some people will repeatedly whine about the same things over and over. You can gently remind them that you have heard that story before or you can be silent and listen to it again. 

You have to listen really careful to someone going through abusive situations because they will hint at things going on and you will have to dig in to get to the root of what they are trying to tell you.  It won't be easy but it might save a life if dig and listen well.

Be a good friend and be there for people. It may cost you some time and effort but it will be rewarded later. The best friendships are constantly giving and taking and sharing. This takes work and willingness to build because they sure don't happen overnight.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911
For Domestic Violence assistance call 1-800-799-7233.
Safe Haven-Cheatham County - 615-681-5863

Monday, October 19, 2015

Rattled but not backing down

This past weekend, I had planned on doing more moving in to my new place anxious about all the plans we have made for our future.

Friday Night changed all of that. When you have a roommate with a history of drug abuse and addiction, you can never truly stop wondering when he will have his next binge or be strung out.

Everyone is safe now and he has been removed from the home, but I share this to tell you that no one is immune to being abused or threatened. Don't be afraid to involve the police and protect yourself and those you love.

We chose to recover by cleaning up the mess he left behind, protecting ourselves, praying and attended church together on Sunday.

I refuse to live in fear and I hope/pray this person gets the mental/addiction help he so desperately needs.

You never know how strong you are, until you face something like that. I thought I had seen everything, but there is still much evil in the world.

We must shield ourselves from it, do our best to keep it out of our lives and keep moving forward.

And Last night, we had dinner, and made lots of plans for our future. The future is still bright and full of promise and as we get on with the work at hand, we know God has it all under control.

Yes, today I am a bit rattled but I am resolved to never give up and keep moving forward.

Whatever battle you are facing, treat it like an elephant and tackle it one bite at a time. You will succeed as long as you keep at the task at hand.

Be safe, ask for help and don't be afraid to involve the authorities.
Call 911 for immediate danger situations.
Call 1-800-799-7233 if you need help getting out of a household.
Seek Shelter!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Anniversaries

Birthdays, anniversaries, New Year's Day.. all of these have something in common. They are milestones where you can celebrate the day, reflect on what you have accomplished or how far you have grown in life and attitude. 

When you stop, think and reflect, don't sit and wonder what if, instead stop, take a moment to celebrate the achievements and plan what you can do to move forward. Always take the time to see what you have learned and how much things and you have changed.  You will be amazed. 

Taking a leap to share your life story is what I did 2 years ago today. I had journaled for a while, but making it public for all to see (whether they liked it or not) was a jump into the deep end for me.

I have re-learned lessons, healed from past hurts and reached out to many I don't even know personally by telling the honest truth about my life.

I am proud to be where I am in life and relationships today. I have come a long way from the scared young mother that came home from Panama in 1991 not knowing what life had in store for her.

Be sure to always reach out and help others. Your story, your experiences can help others, you just have to brave enough to share it.  There will be tears and embrace them while you share your story.  Your story of triumph will encourage others and show them that there is life on the other side and you don't have to just 'get through the day'.

Everyone has skills and talents that they can share. Some are great listeners, some are great cooks and some people love to drive. So you could offer to listen to others having a bad time, cook a meal or two for those recuperating from surgery, illness or a death in the family, or you could offer to drive folks to and from appointments so they don't have to pay for a cab.

Everyone has something to offer. Look inside and see what you can offer to your community and make the effort to share. You will be blessed while you are blessing others.

If you are in danger, call 911.
If you need assistance in finding a place to stay or ways to get out of your situation, call 1-800-799-7233.
Or you can call Safe Haven Cheatham County at 615.681.5863 & they will offer assistance as well.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Appearances

We all know folks who do their best to keep up appearances for their circle of friends, co-workers and society in general. 

I used to be that way too. I spent so much time and worry on what others thought of me or what they might say about me, that it made me sick and I was constantly second guessing every decision based on their opinion rather than my own feelings and what I truly wanted to do or accomplish in my life.

While most of us strive to have others like us, I have always envied those that just did their own thing without a care about what others thought. I don't mean to be ugly or mean to others but just be yourself and be confident.

With a lot of time and focus, I chose to start living my life for me and doing what is right as best I know how. I still don't always make the right decisions, but I can honestly say that from day to day, I am the same person at work, church, out with friends or at home watching football.

Be the person you were created to be not a copy of someone you think you should be. God wants us genuine, not copies. He loves us the way he made us and will work within us to make us what he needs us to be for his Kingdom.

So take off the masks, put away the costumes and be real with each other.

If you cannot be honest and purely yourself with your family and close friends, then you may have to make some changes in your life. That takes courage and you can find it with prayer and a great support circle.

Only when we are honest with the image in the mirror can we be honest with others. Forgive yourself and move forward. You will be much happier in the long run if you let the 'mess' go.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 for help.
If you need assistance getting out of a difficult relationship or marriage, please call 1-800-799-7233 for assistance.



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mercy

God's mercy endures forever.

We have God's mercy because he loves us and wants us to lean on him for everything. He doesn't want to just hear from us when times are hard, when money is tight or we need a new job.  He craves a daily interaction with us.

We can read his word and promises to us every day in the Bible. We can take every thought, care, praise and thankful word to him in our prayers.

Get up every day and thank God for what you do have because without God,  you would have nothing.

Even when I was in the worst of situations and severely depressed. I did recognize that God was there. I struggled to believe he loved me because I was so messed up and had made so many mistakes.

 I had people in my life that constantly put me down, ridiculed me, and were very cruel to me both mentally and emotionally.

 I also had people in my life that spoke light into my life and tried desperately to get me to see the light instead of the darkness.

Thankfully for the most part at the end of 2010, I turned a corner in my life and chose the light more often than the darkness.

What I have realized as more time passes and I look back to those days, is that God never left my side. He was always there for me when I chose to reach out to him in tears, prayers or even the 'why me' days.

Psalm 136 says it best (over and over again!)
His mercy endures forever!