Category Archives: Positive

When it Rains it Pours

Have you ever wondered why bad things happen all at once? Why trouble comes in threes? Or why-  when it rains it pours?

Does it really?

I must say I’m sure feeling like it right now. Between sending the kid off to college, soccer tryouts, an aging dog, a big event at work – I feel like it’s definitely pouring. It just builds to the point where I just want to run away…just for a little while to catch my breath.

But I have to wonder. Do bad things really all happen at once? Or do I just see everything through a negative filter when something goes wrong? Have we simply conditioned ourselves to look for similar things? When one thing happens we are anxiously anticipating the next and make things worse than they really are? Is it all in how we frame what we see? Isn’t there an equal amount of good happening at the same time? We are so focused on the problem that we don’t notice the good.

Knowing that, how could I re-frame all these separate situations to find the rainbow? How do I go about shifting my perspective or changing the filter?

I think it requires being very intentional. That’s good for me since my word for the year is intention:)!

For me, it’s about…

  • stopping myself when I’m about to run down the list of all the bad things that have happened.
  • trying to step out of the situation and gain some perspective.
  • adapting to the challenge presented and embracing the chance to find the not-so-obvious positive.
  • talking it through with a friend to gain perspective.
  • praying for peace with whatever is happening.
  • remembering that in 48 hours this will feel very different!
  • and if all that fails…..having a good cry so I can move on!

This time of year seems to be hard for so many of my friends. Lots of Moms struggling with separation, worried about what their kids are going through, new jobs and routines. It can be a bit overwhelming. I think it’s fair to acknowledge sometimes it’s just hard. Give yourself some grace, try some of these tactics. This too shall pass, but if we can shift our perspective we might get through it a little more quickly.

Hope your week is filled with a shower of positive ūüôā !

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Advice, Family, Intention, Parenting, Positive

3 Awesome Things

I’m in a bit of a funk. Feeling unsettled, out of sync, just kind of ughish. (Ya, I just made that word up.) It happens. And I’m working my way out of it. It may have to do with the end of the summer being here. Or the anticipation of sending Oldest Son back to college. Maybe it is the valley after some mountaintop experiences. Whatever the cause, I’m ready to move beyond it!

As I was thinking about it (something my Middle Brother says I do way too much of) I was reminded of the need to fill my head with positive thoughts. I am a big believer in mind over matter. I know we control much of what happens in our lives by the way we think about, respond to and remember events. It is really easy to take yourself down a dreary path of self-doubt or second guessing.

My solution:

Awesome Things!

I’m starting a new weekly post called Three Awesome Things! I’ll pick a topic each week and share Three Awesome Things! Maybe you even have some suggestions for me?! Let me hear them! I’ll do my best:). Let’s fill our heads with awesomeness!

But you’ll have to wait for tomorrow for this week’s Three Awesome Things! Oh, the anticipation!!!

2 Comments

Filed under 3 Awesome Things, Lifestyle, Positive

On the Receiving End

I had a new experience yesterday. One that caught me totally off guard and touched my heart.

I had Hubby’s car¬†and it was so dirty inside. I needed to pick up a presenter for a program we were hosting for work.¬†There was really no way I could have them in that car as it¬†was.¬†Normally, I would go to the car wash and do it myself, washing and vacuuming with the coin operated machines. But¬†there was no time for that. I decided to go to¬†one of the car washes where they do it for you – exterior, interior, the works.

I have never done this before. I’ve never had someone clean my car for me (unless you count the kids – and, well, they¬†aren’t so detail oriented when it comes to things like that). I wasn’t even sure what it was going to cost me, but¬†I just didn’t have a choice.

I pulled into the Waterway and copied what the car in front of me was doing. When the attendant asked what he could do for me, I said clean all this up! The Whole Thing is the package he recommended. Sure. I’ll take it. He handed me the slip and I followed the car in front of me. When it was my turn the next attendant told me I could take the slip inside to pay while they washed, waxed and cleaned the car.

Let me back up here and give you a little perspective. Saturday was a brutal day for me. I was up at 5 am and worked at one of our local walks, swung thru the local QuikTrip for a soda and back on the road. The rest of the day involved prom and after prom and I finally got home at 3:30 am. It was a long day and I was pretty much useless on Sunday. Didn’t go anywhere or do much of anything.

So back to the car wash. I go inside and watch the man in front of me pay. That’s when I thought, “I should get my card out to make the line go faster.”

I pull my wallet out of my purse and open it to get my debit card.

It’s not there.

There is no debit card in my wallet.

And just that quickly I remember pulling it out to run into QuikTrip on Saturday. I bet it’s still in the back pocket of those pants.

But the car is already being washed.

Now, I’m rather panicked. What am I going to do? And no, I didn’t have a checkbook or cash. I asked the cashier if she could take the number off of my old card. Could that work?

And that’s when the gentleman ahead of me in line stopped, pulled his wallet back out of his pocket and said, “Here, put it on this card.”

I was stunned. This wasn’t a $4 car wash. This was a $30 car wash!

I protested.

He insisted.

I cried.

I was so moved that someone could be that generous with a total stranger in line at the car wash.

We walked outside together and talked while we waited for our cars. I told him about my 45 by 45 and how I had been in a slump. I promised to pay it forward.

And then he shook my hand and said, “I’m George, I hope the rest of your day is good.”

I don’t think it could get better than that.

I want to be like George.

Leave a comment

Filed under 45 times by 45, Faith, Legacy, Positive, Uncategorized

It’s All in Your Attitude

I was going through pictures recently looking for ones of myself. Eek. Not something I enjoy! I love taking pictures, but I don’t relish being on the other end of the camera. And it shows! I almost always have the camera in my hands, carefully capturing the important and the mundane moments of our lives. If I am in a picture, it’s probably carefully positioned behind one of my boys. {It helps to hide the excess!} But none-the-less I was looking for pictures of me. And more specifically, unflattering pictures of me. {Weird I know and I don’t really want to get into the whole thing here or now. Maybe later….we will see. Thanks for understanding.} I found quite a few. But while I was doing it Middle Son looked over my shoulder. His initial response was that I wasn’t being very nice to myself – such a kind-hearted person he is. But then he noticed something I hadn’t seen. Out of about 25-30 pictures I had collected…I was smiling in all but a couple.

I hadn’t noticed it either. But that is me really. I am a happy person. That made me wonder, where does that come from?¬†

I can tell you it’s not because I have everything I want. Or because I spend my days doing only what I love. That would be nice, but it would probably be boring as well. I’ve been pondering this for a few weeks and I think I have the answer.

Drum roll please……

It’s all in your attitude!

I guess I should have picked a different title if I wanted that to be a secret huh?

When the rubber hits the road, when you boil it all down, when you flush things out, it’s all about your attitude. There are so many things in life you cannot control. And so many things you can only impact a little bit. But your attitude? No one but you can change your attitude. How powerful is that?! YOU have the power to choose your attitude every minute of every day! You can let the way others behave put you in a funk. You can allow hurtful comments to seep in and bring you down. You can enable your circumstances to control your future.

Or

You can realize that other people’s¬†behavior is¬†their problem. You can let the hurtful words go in one ear and out the other as easily as you do the praise-full words you hear. You can¬†choose not to use your circumstances as an excuse.¬†

Everything we hear and see comes to¬†us through our own filter. A filter made¬†up of our experiences, ¬†biases, and assumptions. We allow those things to warp what others say and do. Have you ever wondered why when someone pays us a compliment we are likely to dismiss it as “just being nice” but when we are criticized we take it to heart? Why do we give the negative more weight than the positive? Why is it easier to believe they were just being nice than to believe that we really did a great job?

My challenge to you: Choose a positive attitude. Choose to be happy. Choose to find joy in the every day. Choose to hear the good, take in the compliments. Try it even just for a week. Or a day. Or an hour if that’s all you can muster up. Try to choose the positive and see what a difference it makes!

Just to clarify…

1) I’m not talking about being one of those annoying people like Phoebe’s date who drove everyone crazy by loving the twinkling lights of rush hour traffic. Or about not being authentic. You don’t have to be an over-the-top, perky, fake happy. Just choose to see the positive in things.

2) I do get upset, angry, crabby, frustrated, and in a funk {just ask any of my family or close friends}! That happens. Feel it and move on. As I tell my family you don’t want to set in your puddle of funk for a long time. It’s just not pleasant. So choose a positive attitude and move on.

3) I also realize there mental illnesses that make it impossible for some to “just be positive.” It’s much more complicated than changing your attitude. But, I also know seeing things from a different perspective can’t hurt.¬†

I believe attitude plays such a huge role in shaping who we are. It makes me sad to see someone who has chosen not to see the positive side of things. Life is so much brighter when you do!

2 Comments

Filed under Lifestyle, Positive

Eagle Project

He is so very close! Oldest Son just has one more step to earning his Eagle Award. He finally finished his project. And it turned out Awesome! He built a Pop Tab Receptacle for Ronald McDonald House Charities Kansas City. They collect pop tabs as a fundraiser for the services they provide. People can come by the house on Cherry Street and drop off the tabs they have saved. Oldest Son built a box that holds two large garbage cans to collect the tabs. It sits outside Ronald McDonald House so people can just pull up, drop off the tabs and be on their way without having to go inside. It’s quick and easy to donate!

Here’s the finished bin with my three sons!

Just lift the lid and dump in your tabs!

Super easy!

When the bins are full, just open the doors on the back and pull them out. A previous Scout’s Eagle project was a shelter to house pallet boxes to hold the pop tabs until they go to be sold for aluminum.

They were super excited to receive the bin! {Maybe because it took so long to get finished} They really appreciated it.

Oldest Son had to raise the funds for this project, which took a while to figure out. He was awarded a grant from Lowe’s which he used to buy materials. And Lowe’s let him purchase everything he needed at close to cost. He also wrote letters to family and friends asking them to donate to the project {If you were one of those donors, thank you and be watching your mailbox for an invite to his Eagle Court of Honor!}. Because of the generous response of friends and family he was able to complete his project and donate over a hundred dollars to Ronald McDonald House!

Ronald McDonald House staffers were awesome to work with! And super patient:). Its a great organization with an awesome mission.

So happy this step is over! The project has been delivered to the Round Table. Next step, Board of Review later this month. That will be the final test. Let’s hope he gets thru! Three pieces of advice for other Moms…

  1. Start them early, like before they get their driver’s license and/or a girlfriend {no offense Liz:)}. Both take up a lot of their time!
  2. Create an appointment on your calendar to nag them weekly! It definitely takes some prodding to stay on task for the long haul.
  3. Have girls. Just kidding! Trust the process. Earning their Eagle is a long and complicated process. It’s supposed to be. That’s why it is so valued. The experience they go through includes researching projects, working with an organization, budgeting,¬†fundraising, tracking expenses, designing, acquiring materials, recruiting volunteers, managing people, managing timelines, managing production, changing designs, reworking schedules, delivering a finished product, writing up their results. Sounds like a lot of real¬†jobs. It’s a sample of the work world and that’s valuable experience.

I think I will be a little less anxious with the next Eagle candidate in my house….just a little.

Leave a comment

Filed under Goals, Positive

My Heart is Hurting

Being a parent is brutal.

There are those days when I just feel like there is a huge weight on my chest making it hard to breathe. Today is one of those days. When any of my kids are hurting, I want so badly to make it stop. I know they must go thru these things. They must find their own way. Dig through all the muck and yuck and they will come out stronger {and dirtier} on the other side.

But damn it I don’t like to watch it.

I know that these are the experiences that mold and shape who they are as people; who they become as adults. But sometimes, I just want to kick someone’s butt! I want to jump in and make them understand what they are doing to my child. My child who is honest and true and good. My child who doesn’t deserve to be treated like crud. I want to shake them and make them understand.

And I can’t.

And I hate that.

I also want my¬†boys to learn to stand up for themselves. To find their voice. To respect themselves enough to say, “I deserve better.” I want them to know that they must fight for what they believe in and for what they deserve. They have to learn that life isn’t fair and people are¬†flawed. We all are. I want them to know that and to still trust people. To see people for who they are and accept them for all their inadequacies. I want them to be realists who can dream. To know life isn’t always fair, but to still expect the best from people.

And as a parent, this is one of those days when I second guess all the decisions I’ve made for a long time. Have I made the right choices or the easy choices? Could I have done better? Did I guide them down the best path?¬†To make¬†the right decisions. Even when “right” isn’t so clear.

The reality is, life doesn’t give many do-overs. I can’t go back and undo any of the decisions I’ve made. I did the best I could with¬†what I knew at the time. But I still second guess. And my heart still hurts.

I know good will prevail.

I believe in my sons. I know they will find a way through the muck and yuck and come out a better, stronger person. I know they will find a way to see something good. To find the nugget.

Because they are resilient and insightful and honest and true and good.

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Legacy, Parenting, Positive

The Road to Eagle

Oldest Son is finally assembling his Eagle Scout project. It’s been a very long time coming…too long if you ask this Mom. He held work days yesterday and today. What an experience! It has been so fun to watch him figure out how to manage this project. How to take what all the different adults are telling him and determine what he thinks is the¬†best way to proceed. And then to let everyone helping know the way he¬†wants it done. Not an easy task at 17.

Being an Eagle Scout is definitely respected, but I think many people don’t really understand what it’s all about. I know I didn’t. I just knew it was a good thing to have and they should make it a goal to achieve. I’m still learning what it’s all about, but I know¬†I will be¬†much more prepared with the next two boys.

When you talk about Eagle Scouts people generally think of the¬†project that is done, but really this is just one component. The project is really about the leadership skills required.¬†The scout is not supposed to DO the pr0ject, but rather LEAD others to do the project. They do research, select the project, coordinate with the¬†recipient organization, fundraise, recruit volunteers and supervise the work. And afterward, they do an extensive write up of what they did, what worked, what didn’t and what they would do differently next time. Oldest Son is through the research, selection, coordinating, fundraising and recruiting.¬†Now he’s in the thick of the supervising stage. And he’s learning a lot!

Between the work days he had to make some changes to his design. I would call them tweaks, but for him it felt like he had really screwed up. After a little pep talk about how this is what the real world is like, it was neat to see him work through that challenge and learn to trust his own instincts. He worked it through in his head, then checked in with the adults who have been helping him. He was confident in his understanding and his plan and articulated it well. It was really neat to watch.

He still has a ways to go, like finishing, writing it up, an Eagle board of review. But he will get there and he will be changed because of the experience. In a good way. We chatted about his experience after the volunteers left today. He was challenged to listen to all the adults who had opinions about what he should be doing and respectfully disagree with some. He was most surprised how hard it was to keep everyone busy and stay a step ahead of them by having the next stage ready to go. Isn’t that the story of any manager? Looking three steps ahead to anticipate what will be needed. That’s good life experience.

Hmm…maybe that’s why¬†Eagle Scouts are so valued.

Leave a comment

Filed under Organization, Positive