Category Archives: work

how this only prevents the lonelies

I remember as a child, sitting in the room of our little basement rancher playing paper dolls for hours on end.   My parents would be doing their thing. Typically, dad would be down in the basement building go-carts, or out in the carport waxing his super cool Knight Rider Trans-Am. Mom would be downstairs as well doing 6 loads of laundry that had accumulated through the week. I didn’t know what boredom was. I’ve never known the meaning of boredom.

Today was the ultimate only day. My boyfriend is gone on vacation, both of my boys are at their other homes, and my Hayley dog and I have had the day completely to ourselves. The only exception was that I watched my youngest play in a heartbreaking soccer game this morning, so I was afforded the pleasure of mingling with my parent friends & running up and down the field yelling for just one more goal. At that point, I had already had breakfast, worked out, showered, and succesfully landed myself at the start of the game with minutes to spare. That’s very unusual for this fashionably late little lady..

After the game, I stopped by the car wash, scrubbed and detailed my Sante Fe that I hadn’t driven in over a year, making sure to finger nail all of the nooks and crannies for french fry crumbs & other funky unmentionables that had gathered in inconvenient cracks and crevices. I came home, ate lunch, felt sleepy, and proceeded to change into my swimsuit for a sunbathing siesta. Why not? Time has been my friend today afterall. Time was my buffet, my smorgasboard to fill however I chose. After about 30 minutes of laying there upon awakening, trying to decide if moving my tired muscles in order to arouse them back into production was really worth it, the workaholic part of me won out. So I got up, mulched, and pulled, and tugged, and weeded out in my three small flower beds until sweat was dripping, and my face had turned a brighter shade of apple.

That would have probably been enough, but not for me. I was on a roll. I came back inside, folded two loads of laundry, and worked out yet again. I finished the day with shorts shopping and a visit to Earthfare. In between some of that, I talked to my boyfriend’s mom, who had called to tease me about picking up Doug. We had our usual banter over who would get the privelege, but I finally won out. The call from her pretty much made my day.

I wouldn’t want to be alone every day of my life. I have a strong belief that we all need people. But having this day by myself was refreshing. There was no tv watching, although there was lots and lots of music. Hayley got more than her fair share of dog walks, and my own thoughts never failed to keep me entertained. I miss my boys. I miss my man. But what I learn on days like these is that I also miss myself sometimes. It feels good to be reunited with me.

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Wandering Minds Want to Grow

Stress. It has its appeal. We get all worked up over work, over disgruntled employees, dissatisfied customers, the overflowing inbox, flaky technology, unpaid bills, and all the what-ifs that come with day-to-day possibilities. Stress is always there. Sometimes we’re just too darn busy to recognize its grasp. Until one day we aren’t too busy. That’s when stress tries to crawl in bed with us, wrap us up in its misery, and suffocate us with our own dark thoughts. That’s when we notice it, when it should be gone, because we thought we weeded it out of our overcrowded gardens.

That’s how it begins. We recognize what we look like, all draped in stress, and start undressing. First we shed ourselves of the things we believe are slowly killing us. Maybe we end a relationship, or quit a stressful job. Maybe we begin taking better care of ourselves, get ourselves on the healing track. We start feeling better, losing the weight of burden & worry. Life starts looking better. We start looking better. We become leaner, more confident versions of ourselves. We bring on peace, and filter out stress until we almost don’t recognize ourselves. Life is good. We feel amazing.

For a while, we forget that we were ever stressed – maybe for a day, or a week. We are grateful to ourselves for taking action, for leaving that stress in a pile in the corner of our minds. But it gets too quiet. And like parents of a toddler, we begin to question the silence. What trouble is lurking in there? It’s too quiet! We don’t voluntarily go there, but the second our guards go down, our minds wander off into that forbidden corner.

Staying positive, keeping stress at bay, and keeping up our sunny dispositions…these are not easy tasks. Everything in life will not always be sunshine and roses ALL the time, even without so much stress. Like anything else wonderful in our ives – friendships, marriage, relationships – it takes diligence and determination, but maybe even more importantly, it takes having a plan. Sometimes staying positive even takes the support of friends and loved ones. Maybe especially for those of us who think we can do it all by ourselves. That’s okay. That’s more than okay. That’s called being human.

So go ahead. Undress the stress. Find that peace beneath. Then….fight like crazy to keep it. Peace looks beautiful on you.