Day 55 – A Tribute to a Quiet Man

Last Saturday, the world lost a quiet man.  His loss didn’t cause the world to take notice or multitudes to mourn, but for those who knew and loved him, the loss was and continues to be felt deeply.

What defined this quiet man:

He was not demonstrably affectionate, but lived his love through his actions, working every day and providing his family with stability and security, particularly in times that were neither stable nor secure.

He did not use his time on earth to chase his own selfish form of personal happiness, but instead abided by his own value system of duty and responsibility.

He did not attract attention and never really even wanted it, but his influence was felt strong and lasting in those who had the honor to know him.

He did not enjoy talking much, but when he did, demonstrated a surprising quick wit and well-developed sense of humor; however when angry or serious, his words were all the more powerful for the silence between.

He lived simply with contentment in the little things.

He suffered bravely.

He was loyal in good times and bad.  He may not have known how to make things better, but he knew how to stay.

To know this quiet man is to understand the huge hole he has left in his passing and to be grateful for his legacy of values which lives on in those he left behind.

Thank you, quiet man, for the opportunity to know you.  Rest in peace.  You are missed.

 

 

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Day 54 – Facing Insecurity in a Haircut

Today, I got a haircut.  For most people, this would be filed under one of the many errands they completed in a day.  For me, it’s another hurdle on the lifelong self-esteem triathlon.  In other words, it’s a big deal.

There are a variety of reasons I procrastinate on haircuts, and the one I’d like most to put forward is that I’m just not about the external.  The day allots us 24 hours to fill with all the things that are important to us, and I prefer to prioritize the internal development of my character.

Now if you believe that…don’t bother continuing to read.  Just go have a cup of tea and appreciate my evolved being.

Darn, you kept reading.  The real reason I dislike haircuts is the idea of sitting in a chair facing myself in a mirror for 30+ minutes bring out my insecurities.  The reflection of a face lined with a few more lines, plumper around the cheeks and multiplying chins (there is another one each time!) creates a feeling of low self-esteem that I prefer to avoid by not making eye contact with myself in a mirror unless absolutely necessary.

The other deterrent to haircuts is my introvertedness…making conversation with a hairstylist is exhausting.  If I get a chatty one, bonus!  I can listen and add one liners, but they carry the bulk of the conversational burden.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to hear their stories and love learning about another person’s life, I just don’t like the unpredictable nature…nothing to prepare for.

I did manage to luck out today though.  My stylist was chatty and an authentic soul, and we had a real soul-bearing conversation.  I actually started to get concerned that she wasn’t going to cut my hair at all as she stood chatting for a good 30 minutes before scissors even made contact.

The self-esteem thing on the other hand will continue to be a challenge.  I’m determined though to make peace with myself and most of the time I can achieve it by sheer avoidance, but a lady in her 40s needs to face her demons, get over herself and even elevate to the place of loving the reflection in the mirror no matter how many chins greet her.

In the spirit of continued self-growth, I did an online search for courses on self-love and found Loving Yourself by Louise Hay; however, I do not have $89 US to spend on a course in loving myself as I do not love an empty wallet.  So, my next alternative was to hit the library and order The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor.  I love the book cover.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

If you feel like sharing your self-love successes, I could use the help.

Note:  When I got home, my DS and DH both wondered where I had been and didn’t realize that I gotten my hair cut, so obviously not a big external change…good internal reflection though.

Day 53 – On Being Kindly Assertive

As per Wikipedia, the definition of assertive is the quality of being self-assured and confident without being aggressive.

Assertiveness is not one of my strongest characteristics.  Being an introvert, I would much rather avoid conflict altogether than become embroiled in any…unpleasantness.  Under stress, I am not the most eloquent speaker, so between stumbling on my words and hesitating speech, I do not present as someone who is self-assured or confident.  Underlying that is a vein of people pleasing which seems to get less important as I get older and learn that pleasing anyone other than myself is pretty much an impossible task and not my responsibility.

Once in a while though I have a day, an awesome day where I am able to challenge my fear of conflict, take a deep breath and meet issues head on.  Today was such a day.  I dealt with insurance issues, roofers, school-funding frustrations and contractors keeping my poise and in some cases resolving problems and in others not getting my way, but letting my opinion be known in a kind, yet direct way.

Funny enough, I’m okay with not getting my way for the most part which is weird.  Most of the time I measure success by achieving my objective.  Today, my measuring stick was different.  I achieved my objective just by stepping up, staying cool and being authentic.  I like the feeling of this measuring stick a lot better, more in my control.

So today, I’m feeling assured and confident.  Tomorrow might be different, but I’m all about basking in a good feeling while you have it.

What challenges, big or small, did you meet head on today?

Update:  I just learned that on the issue where I was direct and didn’t go my way, they are bending things to work as per my request.  Yah to kind, direct communication!

 

 

Day 52 – Blogging Lessons for Week #8

After pulling back from speeding into formalizing my blogging last week, I spent some time on other things and found myself unexpectedly inspired.

I had joined a blogging group calling Blogging for New Bloggers on Facebook and have found a wealth of information and support, but even more helpful was a free intro course on blogging provided by the admin of this Facebook group.  I have been doing a lot of reading on blogging online and in book form, and this little free 5-day course has been the one I have loved the most (though I’m still working my way through…yes, 5-day course has taken 2 weeks so far…I work very slow).

Every course and every Facebook chat I have read alludes to finding your niche.  The consensus seems to be that the finding of said niche should be something specific and in essence a little money-making gem.  This left me feeling stressed and even a little empty.

While I would love to have a money-earning blog one day, this is in the future as I learn more and hone my skills; however, I did see the point of selecting a niche, but I didn’t want the foundation to be to primarily about making money.  It felt like a get-rich-quick scheme or a hustle.

Well, this free online course (available at TinyLoveBug) was the very first one that gave me permission to base my blog on something I love to write about and not primarily about money.  She sensibly indicated that you should be writing about something you enjoy writing about or your blog will become a chore.  She also gave the advice to choose a niche based on something that you think about on your down time.  This made my niche selection so much easier.

I will unveil it at a later time when I’m more prepared and have organized it somewhat, but I’m learning my lesson and going slow and steady.

Is there any particular blog or course that helped you in your blogging journey?

Day 51 – Huh?

Imagine living in a world where every sound is muffled, and your entire family who are not very quiet people sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher.  This is the world my son who has very bad sinus congestion has been living in for the last few weeks.

Communication at the best of times in our household is a challenge; however, this newest obstacle is particularly frustrating.  I can express something affectionate and full of motherly wisdom and am greeted with the particularly intelligent response of “HUH?”

So, I make eye contact, use charades and talk louder and am still not 100% sure I’m getting through.  I have an urge to grab the nasal aspirator (think turkey baster for the nose, but instead of basting, it suctions…stuff) and stick it in his ear and suction out all that is standing in the way of our clear communication.  I don’t, but admittedly the urge is strong.  I would like to say it’s because my better nature intervenes, but really it’s because he’s bigger than me.

This must be what the Universe feels when trying to get our attention.  There we are, wallowing in our own ruminations, pursuing things that don’t bring us joy or continuing to make the same mistakes over and over again and wondering why the results aren’t different…essentially not paying attention.

Meanwhile, the Universe is trying to get our attention, asking us to pay attention to a new direction, a different possibility, a new way of thinking or doing, or even just to notice the miracles around us and change our perspective, and we respond…

HUH? 

The Universe starts speaking louder, signs start flashing, universal arms wave more frantically, and things start falling on our head, we again respond…

HUH?

My suggestion, listen before the Universe gets its nasal aspirator out.  The process is uncomfortable, revealing and can even be downright painful.

Because…

The Universe never stops trying to get our attention, and neither does my son’s mother…we all just matter too much.

Day 50 – A Morning with Homeschooled Teens

Some days just don’t start out well, you wake up feeling off for various womanly reasons, and you circle the house just waiting for something to receive your negative attention. Homeschooled teenagers who have not appeared out of bed at 10 a.m. on a weekday are perfect fodder for said negative attention.

As I am not much for yelling and prefer a more subtle means of communicating my dismay, I did what any resourceful mother would do when she suspects her kids might be awake, but haven’t delighted her yet with their presence, I unplugged the internet.

It must be said that approximately 2 minutes after the unplugging of the internet, all three teenagers were upright and wishing me good morning with a tentative hug and sidelong glances to ascertain the temperature of the household matron.

Fortunately, I don’t have much longevity for irritability and my teens get the hint fairly quickly. They immediately sprang into action, swearing their greetings at each other (they really do like each other, but seem to find these morning greetings mutually humorous), getting breakfast (or brunch I guess would be more appropriate), coffee (for those who needed the extra kick…me too, please!) and started their various endeavors.

Moral of my little story:  WiFi speaks louder than words.  Wield your power responsibly.

Day 49 – Crisis and Clarity

This morning after an anxious night of tossing and turning, I awoke, not completely as grounded as I had hoped, but at least feeling less hopeless.

It is said when you are going through crisis that the crisis has the effect of shaking up your life like shaking a jar full of sand and water, and that after a time as the crisis resolves, the debris settles to the bottom leaving a clear view of what’s important.

Yesterday, I felt the shock, anxiety and then depression of crisis, and today, the debris is settling.  It has unsettled a few things I thought were important and revealed some things I didn’t know were important to me.  Some of these revelations will need further consideration later, but I value the awareness.

So while the crisis is still ongoing, I can appreciate the positives that come out of negative, and while not thankful for crisis, I am truly thankful for support and encouragement that surrounds me.

When people tell me “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
I reply “If life doesn’t give you sugar and water, your lemonade is gonna suck.”

Clarity of vision and support is my sugar and water.  =)
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