Monday, September 23, 2019

Top 5 Be's - How Will You Be?

Be...  Finish that statement.  How will you "Be"?  Go ahead.  I'll wait (insert Jeopardy music here).  In all seriousness when was the last time, you thought about that?  How do you want to be?

How we act, react and treat our family, friends and those around us is always changing and growing.  Especially as we ourselves change and grow through our experiences.  The ever disconnecting way we interact with the world is lessening the human contact, well before and beyond the realm of social media.  We've been pressing "1 for English" most of my adult life and I remember when "self-check" became a thing. 

As of late, I'm been really thinking about how I've been reacting to things and how others are reacting to me.  I'm working to change my own disconnected attitude.  In breaking my thoughts down, I hope to provide you with some food for thought and with something to consider the next time you act or react.

Here are the FIVE things I want to be or am working on being:


Be kind 
We currently live in a world where we have forgotten to be kind, or at least keep our mouths shut once in a while.  The anonymity of posting online has led to a lot of negative in our lives, leaving us on the constant defense.  We're waiting with bated breath, or should we say fingers?  Posied to respond to the next comment constantly defended our thoughts and beliefs.  We spend our time firing off responses, not really listening or respecting another person's point of view.  We put ourselves first constantly.  We feel we must "correct" the views of others that don't match ours.  We feel we must march forward always armed in constant argument against those who don't see things our way.  What happened to being kind?  What happened to agreeing to disagree? What happened to respecting the opinion of others?

Be curious
We aren't curious enough to ask questions anymore.  Instead, we correct.  We don't listen to understand, we listen to respond.  Not every conversation is about you.  Not every discussion is a platform to force someone to see things through the same tunnel in which you view life.  Be curious.  Ask questions.  Be open to learning something.  Be open to adjusting your view or at least respecting the views of someone else.  Don't create a situation where the other person has to defend everything they believe in.  Learn their point of view before you decide you must inform them they are "wrong".

Be grateful
We live in an amazing country where we're all allowed the freedom of speech, the freedom to be the unique individuals we all are.  Be grateful.   Stop tearing other people up for sharing their thoughts and their ideas just because they don't match your own.  We're constantly being told to be more accepting of "x", and yet we really aren't accepting of our own neighbors and friends that aren't of the same ilk we are.  We aren't grateful for the different points of view.  Instead, we are on a runaway train, a suicide mission, to force everyone to get on board with our way.  We view our way as the only way the "right" way.  When instead we should be grateful that there are so many different views, possibilities, and opportunities in the country we live in.

Be respectful
Respect opposing opinions and ideas.  It's really that simple.  I didn't say agree.  I said respect.  Those are two different things.  You don't have to agree with someone else's anything, but you can respect that anything.  Being respectful means that you recognize not everything is about you and your ideals.  Listen to what people are telling you, or not telling you.  Don't immediately state what is wrong with their view and don't go into a discussion ready to start an argument.  Respect the person you are having the discussion with, be curious, be open to learning something and be willing to share without imidate offense.  Open yourself up to the opportunity of teaching someone something, but again be respectful.  We're all ignorant, just about different things.  However, most of us are unwilling to learn from someone who shows us no respect and immediately treats us as if we are stupid and know nothing.

Be present
When was the last time you had dinner with someone and gave them your undivided attention? When was the last time you attended a meeting and left your phone behind?  When was the last time you went out with friends and focused on just being with them?  Stop being distracted and be present.  Be present with the people in your life.  Read that bedtime story, have that girls day, go on that trip, most importantly make that memory.  Memories will last a lifetime and they can only be created when you choose to be present. 

Friday, September 6, 2019

Lived in or Messy?

Housekeeping is such a relative perspective, isn't it?  No really.  Think about that one person's hot mess is a lived in house.  One person's clean house is another person's worst nightmare.  I'm the lived in house that finds overly clean houses to be a nightmare.  There is nothing that makes me more self-conscious than visiting someone who has one of those "everything in its place homes."

We have two cats and a dog, can you say hair?  I'm a creative, so I'd rather be creating than cleaning any day of the week.  If you came to see how clean my house is then you came for the wrong reasons.  Our house is lived in.  It's not dirty.  It's not disgusting.  It's lived in.

You don't have to take your shoes off when you come here and you'll go home with dirty socks if you do.  My animals live here, so don't sit if you don't want to go home with some sort of hair somewhere on you.  You'll often find dirty dishes in the sink and a stove that is in desperate need of a wipedown.  You'll find laundry waiting to be folded from last week's washing and our bed is never made unless of course we just changed the sheets.

If you have hives from reading that then I suggest you move on.  We won't make good friends.

The first few years we were married my mom made me feel terrible about how clean my house was, or should we say wasn't. Every time she visited there were always comments about the things I should be doing and wasn't.  For example, I don't dust.  This used to hurt, make me cry and made me feel very inept.  Then one time when she was visiting I told here where the broom was if she felt my floor was that dirty.  That ended the criticism.  I was done feeling bad about not meeting the 1950's standard of housekeeping.

There is no schedule in this house.  I do laundry when I can, usually a load here and four loads there.  I don't like to vacuum and only do it when I can no longer stand not doing.  I don't do anything on a once a week rotation.  No amount of amazing cleaning supplies makes me want to clean, there is no chore chart out there that makes me jump for joy, and I was blessed with a husband that doesn't give a damn Scarlet.

We live a full life, doing the important things that make memories and keep us happy.  No one will be remembered for their clean house legacy.  Unless, of course, it's in the sarcasm of Grandma's plastic-covered couch and floor runners to protect the carpet in the living room.  because in the end, the house is sold, the carpet is torn out and the good dishes end up at the thrift store.  Think about that the next time you judge based on the "cleanliness" of someone's house.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Faith

I'm going to venture into an area we're all told not to discuss.  Many of us were raised not to discuss money, faith, or politics, especially in mixed company.  What the hell does that even mean - mixed company?  Anywho...

Confederate Memorial State Historic Site - Missouri (02 August 2008)
Faith, this is a slippery slope in any conversation.  I'm guaranteed to upset someone in this post.  I was raised in the Lutheran Church.  We went nearly every Sunday, and by we I mean my mom and I.  My dad was what many refer to as a "sprinkler".  He attended major church holidays, baptisms, weddings, and funerals.  I attended the same church my entire childhood.  I took my first communion and was confirmed.  I was an acolyte and did things with the youth group.  As an adult, I got married in the same church, a church I hadn't attended in years.

Here's the catch, I left church.  Not just the church I grew up in, but the complete concept of it.  I didn't leave my faith, just the established idea of church.  As an adult I've become a sprinkler, following somewhat in my dad's footsteps.  Since our wedding, I've been to church maybe twice.

Let me set something straight, I left church not God.  I very much believe in God and we have a lot of conversations together.  I just don't go to a building once a week, sit with people who very often won't speak to me in the grocery store on Monday, pretend I enjoy listening to a pastor preach and have coffee with people who make me feel inadequate.   Some of you are going to say I just haven't found the right church, but church isn't like buying jeans.  I'm not willing to try on 100 of them to find the right one.  It's just not gonna happen.  I love that I have friends who've found the right church and I admire that.  I, however, don't believe in church.

There's always such a line in the sand between church and faith with some.  Some people feel that church and faith are one and the same and you can't have one without the other.  Some people believe that you must have an organized religion to have faith.  There are also people without both.  I'm not gonna hold any of that against anyone and I'm not going to judge you based on what you believe.  I have faith.  I believe in God.  I'm still a Lutheran, although it be a dormant one.

I often wonder why it has to be one perspective or another.  Why is someone always out to convert someone else?  I have friends from many walks of faith or nonfaith - Catholics, Lutherns, Baptists, some agnostics, even an atheist or two has been part of my life.  Can I tell you some of my best discussions about faith have been with the non-believers?  Pick your jaw up and shut your mouth.  It's quite amazing the discussions you can have when you don't try to force your belief on someone else's with the goal of changing them to your view.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Let's Be Candid Shall We?

can·did
ˈkandəd/
adjective
  1. 1.
    truthful and straightforward; frank.

    synonyms: frank, outspoken, forthright, blunt, open, honest, truthful, sincere, direct, plain-spoken, straightforward, ingenious, bluff;

Being brave.  Following my path.  Following my calling.  Following my detour.  Whatever you want to call it.  I'm doing it one step at a time.  The other part of this journey is I'm finding my tribe, surrounding myself with like-minded people.

Find it on Amazon

I'm seven chapters into Lindsay McKenzie's book Follow Your Detour, about the halfway mark of the book.  I'm no speed reader, and I'm reading about 20 minutes a day while I walk on the elliptical.  Lindsay is very open and raw with how they got to be the fulltime RVers they are today, but it's about more than that.  It's about the pain, the fear, the healing and the leep of faith they had to take to follow their detour.

This read came along at just the right point in my life.  While the plan of traveling fulltime is in our future, we're not quite there yet. That's a post for another time.  This book is about so much more than just being brave enough to take the leap and travel fulltime.  Lindsay's book is changing my view of the "no's" in my life and looking at the "signs" that have gotten me here and encouraging me to keep going.

My biggest take away quote, this far, comes from chapter seven - "fear is nothing more than lies I tell myself because of my insecurities and uncertainties with the unknown."  Wow!  What a gut punch that is to the fear in our minds and our hearts.

Side note, if Bible quotes bother you then this isn't the book for you.  While the quotes aren't excessive or the focus of the book, Lindsay talks very openly about her faith. 

So, what exactly is my current detour? For me, it's building my creative life.  I'm talking about building a life I don't feel the need to shut off and hide from.  I'm talking about investing in my own pursuit of my own goals rather than someone else's.

Most days I enjoy what I do in my day job, but I don't want to do it forever.  I like seeing other people succeed and knowing I helped.  However, I can't keep doing a job that never truly shuts off and won't stay at the office.  I can't continue to give from a well that is constantly being emptied and refills way too slowly.  I care too much and it's time I start caring too much about what I have a desire to do, following my detour.

This book encourages you to stop looking at the no's in your life as roadblocks and start looking for the detour you're meant to take.  Keep going, go find your detour.  Tackle your fear and heal your pain.