I’m a Weirdo (and other things…)

I was inspired by this awesome, fun list from Mommy Pants today, so I thought I would write my own!

  1. I, too (along with Cheryl) can lift both my big toes when my feet are flat. In fact, I gross my family out by being able to spread them all out completely and walk around like that. Which I do often, just to gross them out!!!
  2. I can also pick stuff up and open doors with my feet. Very handy when my hands are full and the reason I go barefoot all the time!
  3. It totally grosses ME out to feed the dogs. The smell of their dog food makes me retch. I avoid it at all costs, including bribing my children to do it!
  4. I sing in my car and sometimes forget when the windows are down…..
  5. I love to play my kid’s Webkinz accounts – especially Smoothie Moves. If you know what that is, you are weird too!
  6. I tell my kids stories about when I was a teenager and loved 4H, especially showing my cattle where I got to wash, dry and comb their hair; including putting their tails into a nice little ball at the end….they looked better than me…(see number 9)
  7. I despise cupboard or closet doors being open! I will even close them in other people’s houses. Sorry!
  8. I really cannot tell a joke. Or a funny story. I try and try and fail abysmally every time. Again, sorry! I won’t stop trying though!
  9. Makeup and doing hair absolutely sucks. If I could get away with a ball cap every day, I would. Mom hates this about me…. 🙂
  10. Mustard and cheese slices = ultimate snack when no one is looking. Also ketchup on KD and my grilled cheese sandwiches.
  11. I refuse to touch our Bearded Dragons no matter how many times the kids try to make me. Which, conveniently, eliminates me from the possible people that have to clean their terrarium! Point for me!
  12. I say weird things like ”wicked” and ”awesome” and ”Point for me” and wonder why people know I’m from the 80s
  13. I am the only one in my huge family that over-shares! LOL!

Some days are good, some are bad, but as long as we keep laughing, loving and learning, it will all be ok.

Bring on the Rain:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWYRfsjBNQk

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Little Moments

Just read a beautiful post, “Caught on Voicemail” on Stacey Curnow’s blog – about a mom’s little moment with her son that was caught on her husbands voicemail. It brought tears to my eyes because this mom realized her worth in those three minutes with her son. It also made me tear up when I thought about the little moments that I have with my own children that are so precious. And how I try so very hard to pay attention to those moments when they happen and hold them close.

I thought about yesterday, when I got home from work and didn’t even have my coat off yet when my youngest (who is already 10 now!) came running up to me and just hugged me. Hugged me hard and long. The old me would have been in a rush to get my stuff off, get supper going, move on to the next thing. But, I didn’t. I stopped right there and hugged him back for as long as he wanted. I kissed his head (that is getting so near to my own! How tall he is getting!) and told him I loved him. I soaked it all into the sponge of my heart.

I thought about how I came up from my “office” downstairs later last night to tuck them into bed. How I listened as my very grown up daughter detailed her pampering that she’d done in the bathroom while I’d been downstairs. How she asked me to feel her soft legs because she’d put “fancy” lotion on. She was so proud that she’d spent an HOUR on herself doing “grown up girl things” 🙂 It made me smile and I oohed and aaahed with her over those long legs and how great she smelled. I breathed deeply of her strawberry hair and thought about how my precious girl isn’t so much a girl anymore. In the old days, I would have scolded her for taking so long with her bedtime ritual, but I was so happy that she took the time for herself and made herself feel good. It made my heart sing knowing that she is learning that she is important and she is worth it; something we women find so very hard. I’d like to think I have a hand in teaching her that.

I cherish those moments. I need to write them down more; capture them in any way that I can – like the voicemail that Ruthie Yarme was lucky enough to have. What are some of those moments that you have? With your children? Your spouse? Even yourself? Share in the comments 🙂

 

🙂

Go!-als 2011!

I’ve enjoyed my little online “hiatus” over the past couple weeks! I’ve been quietly enjoying my family, friends and free-time!

Here it is, New Year’s Eve (well, it will be tonight!), so I thought I should reflect on my past year and ponder the next. I actually have been doing a lot of that in the past couple weeks; as I’m sure most of you have.

My post from December 30, 2009 was called Rock 2010 and I certainly believe I did that! Some highlights:

  • I have certainly been the happiest I’ve ever been, thanks in part to The Happiness Project book!
  • Started Simple Life Celebrations business with my best friend and we’re loving it! It hasn’t been easy and we’ve learned A LOT!!
  • I rode 200+ km in 2 days for the Ride to Conquer Cancer with my dear friend Lori – it was an unforgettable, life-changing experience
  • Our family has enjoyed several adventures together – a spontaneous trip to Montana, day-trips in our neighborhood, Fairmont vacation – quality time together
  • I’ve lost a few pounds by continuing and evolving my workouts – including being able to actually RUN 5 km! Something I’ve never done before!
  • The 7 Days of Sex Challenge and Fit Marriage workouts changed our marriage for the better!
  • I have met some AMAZING people online and consider myself to have trusted friends all over North America, even though I have never met most of them face to face. I still feel “connected” to them via this new online world
  • I’ve explored many different topics on my blog and reading  others

There have been difficult times too, but they are hard to even remember, which is interesting…

  • My marriage has had some rough patches earlier in the year, but working through them has made US stronger than we’ve ever been
  • I still struggle with letting my oldest just find his own path…I’ve spent many sleepless nights worrying and wondering
  • I’ve spent too much time online (especially with my iPhone now) – it’s a constant effort to be sure I get in face to face time

There was a time, not too long ago, when I would spend days, even weeks dwelling on the negatives. I have been hurtful and unaccepting of myself. Even to the point of being “mean” to myself!  This is the biggest change I’ve seen in the past year. I count my blessings much more than I used to. I try harder to live in the moment. I try less to impress others. Most of all, I try very hard to be ME and even actually LOVE me!

Allison Nazarian’s letter to her 2009 self yesterday speaks to my heart. It feels like she wrote that letter to me. Read it and take it to heart…

My Goals for 2011GO! is the motto I’ve chosen for the year!

  1. GO: dare to be ME – take chances, make a difference, don’t care what others think!
  2. GO: share Simple Life Celebrations with the world! We have ideas for expanding and moving forward with our business. More focus and more SIMPLE LIFE CELEBRATIONS! 🙂
  3. GO: start writing the two books that I’ve got rattling around in my head l- I shall put them to paper (or computer screen – you know me! 😉 )
  4. GO: create space and time in my home – the minimalist process that I’ve started this year will continue to grow!
  5. GO: create some happier spaces at work – I really need to work on doing my job better in the ways that I can control and worry less about what I can’t – that has been the toughest part of my life’s journey. I am there, I need to make it better
  6. GO: exercise and eat healthier and continue to be in the best shape of my life!

I’ve been trying to come up with a song for the New Year…I think it has to be Firework by Katy Perry

 

2011 will be the year I will SHINE and show the world what I’m worth! JOIN ME!

“Let your colors BURST!”

I Rocked Monday!

WOW! I had a really productive Monday!!

I ain’t braggin’ (LOL!) I just wanted to show you how the little things add up – the key is to just try something!

My Little Things:

  1. Brisk walk in the winter morning air
  2. Had a 35 minute stationary bike interval “spin” workout back at the gym – first time since Vegas!
  3. Got a ride home with Rach (Thanks Girl) and got to visit for a few minutes! That’s always a treat!
  4. Had freezer meal ready for supper – awesome!!
  5. Had text conversation with BFF
  6. Posted some good stuff on FB
  7. Cleared a path to my closet again (long, long, story – don’t ask!)
  8. Had supper at the KITCHEN table with all three of my kids – giggled and laughed (though they took apart their casserole…veggie “issues”..sigh….)
  9. Shawn fed the dogs & took out garbages and cleaned dishes out of his room (oh! there’s those glasses!)
  10. Rebecca did homework – I looked up French words for her on my iPhone with voice search – cool!!
  11. Cleaned the cupboard under the sink – including washing the garbage cans (big deal for me!)
  12. Lucas dried some dishes willingly!
  13. Cleaned the kids’ bathroom – including the tub that hubby got some sort of black marks from washing beer equipment – got them off! sigh……
  14. Discovered Google picture search and played with that with Shawn! LOL! very cool
  15. Chatted with my mom on the phone which resulted in a call to a cousin who needed computer help! Two phone calls in one night – I never “talk” on the phone!
  16. Got kids tucked in happily without a fuss
  17. Got two loads of laundry done and put away – including her “skinny jeans” that she needs for the “SnowFlake Dance on Thursday – oh dear……….11 going on 16…
  18. Did Core Blast workout from Phase 1 of Fit Marriage just for fun! (and lets face it, I’ve been lacking in the exercise department since Vegas!)
  19. Typed up this post! 🙂

It may not be anything miraculous or earth-shattering, but…it totally made my day to look back and count those little things that I DID today. Little moments with my kids and friends and family that I may just have missed if I didn’t pause to reflect on the day. Little chores that I did with a smile because I felt like doing them and enjoyed seeing things shining instead of resenting the mountain of housework that isn’t done.

So…my challenge to you my friends:

Tonight, make a list of ways that your day “ROCKED” – there’s gotta be some things – it doesn’t matter how small or insignificant you “think” it is – did it make you smile? did it mean 1 thing off the list? did it make you think? did it make you thankful? Start a gratitude journal of those little things every day and see how much happier you slowly become.

A song for you…So Small – Carrie Underwood – one of my fav’s:

Fast Cars and Freedom

Heart pounding in my chest, wanting to break free

Lungs breathing fire into the crisp, Fall air

Wind howling past my ears, whispering timeless wisdom

Legs burning, pushing faster and faster up the hill

Mist on my eyelashes, rainbows in the sunlight

Fingers still numb from the cold, frantically typing these words

Thoughts whirling through my mind, aching to find a place to land

WHY do I choose this?….

Because My Heart is strong, it has never been stronger, yet I am older

Because My Lungs are pink and healthy and both still there, whole and able

Because My Ears can hear the wind, my children’s laughter, my lover’s whispers

Because My Legs can move me, wherever I desire, up and down, on and on without stopping

Because My Eyes can see beauty all around me, a friend’s smile, a flower’s bloom

Because My Fingers can feel a tear rolling down a soft cheek, shake a stranger’s hand

Because My Mind is full, anxious to share: thoughts, dreams, feelings and can form the words

Because…Because….I CAN.

This morning’s inspiration in music:

Have a beautiful day!

Some Truths

I talk about myself a lot on this blog. I try to inspire myself by writing about ways I’m trying to improve. If I inspire someone else along the way, that makes me very happy.

I read a post the other day from Corbett Barr 33 Things I Never Told You (or How to Reintroduce Yourself and Kick Your Watered Down Self in the Ass that he basically reveals quite a few personal truths about himself and calls us to task about being ourself in our writing. It was a good example of just letting go.

Sometimes, I think my posts are too “mushy”, too much sunshine and roses. That isn’t my intention. I want to use my experiences and thoughts to help lift us out of the muck and mire of the every day.

Even me stating that “I think my posts are too ‘mushy’…makes me realize that I am worrying about what others think! Of course I do. I try not too. I talk about being yourself on this blog all the time. But sometimes, it’s not easy.

So, in this post, I want to list some of the ways that I DON”T follow my own advice. Just in case you were thinking that I’m supermom! 😉 (uh,huh, whatever!)

  1. I still have days where I worry that “nobody likes me”. Seriously. How lame!
  2. I buy a chocolate bar when I go grocery shopping and eat it before anyone sees me! Healthy, huh? Same goes for chips and dip sometimes!
  3. I sometimes have VIVID daydreams of terrible things happening to my children and it scares the hell out of me. Why does that happen?
  4. I really think that I will strangle someone if I don’t have my morning coffee. No joke.
  5. I sometimes wish I could just run away and be by myself, away from everything and everyone
  6. I worry that I drink too much. Last Friday, I didn’t drink anything and the cravings were horrible. What does that mean?
  7. I had a lot of scholarships for university and I literally partied it all away. I am very ashamed of that and I know I disappointed many.
  8. I check Facebook and Twitter a lot at work. I’m on the computer waaaayyyy too much. I’m working on that though. It has affected my kids, and that’s not a good thing.
  9. My husband and I have been in serious financial trouble TWICE and have had to have our parents help us out – yeah, that’s embarrassing and not very grown up.
  10. I have held a lot of resentment towards my husband about that and other things. My resentment has caused a lot of problems between us. But, we’re working on that too.
  11. I am sometimes overwhelmed and anxious about all the things I want/have to do (mostly because I have over-extended myself). It is so crippling that I bury myself in a book, computer game or the tv to run away from it. This can sometimes last days until someone or something kicks my ass.
  12. I once had a night when I was so drunk that I don’t remember most of what happened, but I’m pretty sure that I let some guy take advantage of me. That scared the HELL out of me because I totally knew better and bad shit could have happened. I am not proud of that and pray and talk to my teenager about the dangers of that kind of thing. I am terrified that the same thing will happen to my daughter.
  13. I still get jealous of my sisters and their marriages because they don’t have to work; they get to be the moms that I think I should be for my children. I often believe that they are better moms than me because they are home with them. I have worked full time since they were babies and I resent that sometimes.
  14. I really, really am terrified of bats. The summer we went to Nelson, I completely freaked out one morning when I was on the deck by myself and the bats were coming back to roost in the space JUST ABOVE MY HEAD! I panicked actually. Thank God no one saw me.
  15. I am really scared sometimes that I will be stuck in a job that I don’t care about anymore. That I won’t be able to do what I really love because I’m just not good enough. I wonder if it will ever happen and I’ll be free of the “day job”.
  16. I am ashamed of myself for not being thankful for all that I have. There are days where I wish for this and that instead of seeing all that I have been given.

Anyway, there’s just some of the things that show you my imperfections. My truths that Ronna inspires me to think about.

A Lesson in Customer Service

I’d like to think that I’m a bit of a customer service “pro” since I do A LOT of that in my real life and consider it a “calling” and something I’m very passionate about. I’m often found saying things like, “Everyone should have to do ‘time’ in a customer service role, just so that they know what’s it’s like the next time they yell & scream at a customer service person!” I’m sure it would help anyway! 🙂

One thing that I’ve learned over the years that I’ve been in this field, is this: Treat those that are your most “difficult” customers extra special – try to go above and beyond for them.

Now, before you get upset and say, “They don’t deserve it!” or “That’s impossible!” – hear me out!

I will give you that for some people, you can just never make them happy. And that’s true. However, I have learned that even those people can be more civil when you are giving and civil to them FIRST.

I will also give you that I have NOT always been able to do this myself! Especially for some particularly difficult people. But, I am MUCH better at this now that I’ve been on my Happiness Project. Let me explain:

As my regular readers know, I am looking at life in a different way. I am more accepting of things I cannot change. One of these things are the difficult people that we have to deal with on a daily basis. Another is that I need to be true to myself and not care so much what others think. Both of these things that I’m getting better at has helped me deal with difficult customers.

Compassion goes a long way in customer service. We don’t know what kind of day this person is having or what troubles they have in their life. Why not be a shining star for them? What would be the harm in saying, “I understand your problem – let me see if I can help you!” or even just saying, “Wow, that does sound like an issue. Let’s try to come up with a solution together”

Sure, they may have come in yelling and screaming with their eyes blazing. I am willing to bet that if you emphasize with their problem, SMILE honestly and put yourself in their shoes, the situation will turn around.

I have done this a lot lately with some of the more difficult customers. I’ve listened, I’ve jumped up and tried to work on the solution with them rather than ignoring it (hoping it would go away). I have tried to be a beacon of hope in an atmosphere that isn’t very understanding right now. I have at least tried to understand and do what I can.

What I’ve noticed: Those people have begun to be much more civil when they come in now! Saying things like, “You’re always so good to me” or are more understanding of waiting times etc. I’ve also noticed a VERY big difference in how I feel about the situation. I am not tense and worried about what they’re going to say next. I feel like a “bigger” person for getting past the negativity and trying to be just a little more positive. In the end, both of us benefit from the incident rather than both going away upset! I have been a little surprised at that – that it has made that much of a difference.

Again, I don’t know what that person is going through in his or her life. But if I can be a beacon of light for just a minute or two, maybe it will make a difference for them. It certainly doesn’t do any harm at all!

What do you think of this idea of being extra helpful to those more difficult customers? Add your thoughts to the comments!