What Happens When You Stop?

  Maybe if you stop moving and doing what you’re doing, you’ll feel deflated like this sad looking Santa Clause.
I didn’t like seeing Santa face down on the grass, defeated and unplugged and I don’t want to feel like him either, during this busy finals and holiday season.

So I’m going to keep breathing and exercising and cooking and moving forward and doing what I’m doing, without complaining. Full speed, ahead! 

When the season is done, then I’ll stop and deflate, but not now.

And you? Are you keeping your spirits up?  Breathe in, breathe out. We’ve got this. 

nAMaste

JoySpace

Everyone is so busy. We don’t have time because we are busy. Really?

I don’t buy that.  We create our own busyness and put up our own boundaries and definitions. Pa-lease! We are not really THAT busy. Yes, we are busy. But… there is always a but.

We create our own frameworks and our own ways of thinking. No one is really that busy that we don’t have time for joy. Think about it. Maybe the President is busy, but he still finds time to get to Hawaii, or to play with his dogs and kids. We’re not that busy. We’re just pretending to be and feeling really important.

What if we change our minds?

I was thinking about this today.  I was thinking about how we think and what we tell ourselves when we are alone.

What does your self talk sound like? Are you positively talking to yourself? Are you happy when you’re thinking? Are you thinking about finding and discovering joy in the little moments and minutes in between your busyness? Do you give yourself permission?

I do. I believe in the pursuit of happiness and being happy just because we can. Every day, even when we’re busy or sick or tired.  I think like that. Yes, I’m weird, but I’m pretty happy too because I choose to and want to be happy despite the chaos and craziness and imperfections of life. I want to fill in the cracks with joyspace. Yep, that’s what I’m calling it. I don’t know if it’s a word, but now it is. It’s mine and yours and we need to fill our joyspace in between our busy moments. It’s easy. You just have to be aware and to think about wanting to create and find joy when you have a little minute and then you surprisingly will. Trust me. It works. And it’s contagious. 🙂

I’ll share a few of my little moments of joyspace today while I was “so” busy.

I was shopping at Ranch 99 for stuff to make an Indonesian dinner tonight and this store is so fascinating. Look at the strange crackers I found…

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These crab crackers were in the snack aisle…eeewe!  But they made me ponder and think how different we all are – from foods, to the way we spend our time, to the way we think and worship and play and all that good stuff. I couldn’t believe this was considered something yummy, but we all have different tastes and I found joy in appreciating this crab concept.

I also noticed the music that was playing while I was shopping. It wasn’t what you would typically hear in MUSAK – it was Chinese music and it was fitting and noticeably different and made me smile while I was shopping and weaving in and out of traffic… it’s very crowded in there!

When I came home with my groceries, I noticed all the different flowers blooming in my yard and felt the presence of spring!

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It’s quickly approaching and made me smile.

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Don’t forget to spring your clocks forward on Sunday!

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First rose bud has bloomed.

I can’t wait for longer hours of sunshine to fill more joyspace.  I loved noticing the changes in the garden.

I chose today to cook a fun and messy dinner and to not worry or rush into doing the dishes.

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Indonesian/ Chinese dinner just because…

The dishes are still sitting on the table, but I’ll get to them before I go to bed. Instead I filled the time helping Charlie with his math homework and laughing with Jeff at the dinner table with the kids. We made time for each other, even though we’re “so” busy. Everyone has time for 15 minutes together, even if we don’t think so.

So those are just some of the ways I found and created joys in between the busyness and chaos of life. It’s all how we look at it and choose to make time for joy.

How did you make time for joy today? What did your joyspace look like? I’m curious.

xo

Wishing you peace and joy amidst your busyness! Namaste.

A Glass of Wine, Two Girl Scout Cookies, and Three or Four Pieces of Chocolate

How did you experience joy today? What did you say YES to?

We put so many restrictions on ourselves and set up our own set of complicated rules – but WHY?  Life is too short. Let’s laugh more.

What if we set up rules and structures to give ourselves permission to laugh and have fun and to relax and feel and experience REAL joy – in the moment?  Maybe bend the rules or change the expectations just because we can, even if we do look silly? Maybe not in every moment, nor every day, but maybe every so often when the moment strikes?

I find fun and laugh and am silly every day, and typically I make my family laugh too, even when they are less than happy. It’s good for my soul and it makes me happy and I hope it helps them too. I don’t take things that seriously, because really, we’re all struggling with something, and wouldn’t we rather laugh and move through the struggles as quickly as possible so that we can get back to joy and the pursuit of happiness and peacefully co-existing together?

Today I found personal joy in food and drink. I had more chocolate than usual and a glass of wine that tasted so good with the chocolates. I enjoyed every bite and sip, even though I know I shouldn’t because I’m trying to lose another 5 to 10 pounds – (it’s a life long journey, right??) I’ve decided it’s ok if it takes a little longer because I’m working hard every day to exercise and eat right, but sometimes a girl just needs to indulge and be ok with that too!  And I don’t feel guilty, because I loved the experience of enjoying the food and so my shouldn’ts turned into enjoy-the-moments today and I smiled. I’ll get there… 

I found joy today by letting go of my plans to clean and do homework with the kids right after school and instead, bringing the kids to the tennis courts to enjoy play time and sunshine before the rain comes tomorrow.  They just had to stay up a little later to finish their work and that’s ok too. Being flexible is another good life skill, right? 

I found joy in spoiling the kids by getting them Panda Express for dinner after their practice and play, even though I had already made dinner and had it already ready for when we were to come home, because really, their dinner idea was much easier and more fun than the healthy one I had made. I want to think I’m teaching them flexibility and to let go of all the shoulda’s as in “we should go home and eat” and “we should be doing our homework.”  Hopefully I’m not just spoiling them, but that would be ok with me too, now that I think about it. I like spoiling them as long as they are grateful and kind, which I think they are. I actually really enjoy being around them and am fully aware that they’ll be leaving the house sooner than I’ll probably be ready. I am enjoying the moments, just like all the wise women have told me to do.

What did you do that was fun today?

What made you laugh and smile? 

How did you experience joy?  

Hmm… I’m curious.  Namaste.

 

 

Waiting

I have three kids and a husband that works at a startup. My routine is to not really have a routine. Our traditions are to not really have traditions. And to always expect things to change. I think that’s how it is with multiple kids and a non-traditional job.

I am a stay at home mom and I spend a lot of time waiting. And because I’m waiting, I don’t always want to start something because I know I’ll be interrupted. I’m trying to be better at this, but a lot of times it frustrates me. But I always look for the good and to enjoy the chaotic moments

For example, today I volunteered at our teacher luncheon. I was helping out while I waited to pick up Juliana. I dropped her off and unloaded groceries while I waited to pick up Charlie. I walked to school to wait for Charlie to be done playing.

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This is me enjoying my walking alone moment and listening to my fun Stella & Dot necklace jingle jangle, which made me smile and take a selfie!

When I came home with Charlie, I sat down and had a snack with the kids. I wasn’t quite sure what to do next, so we hung out together. When I tried to read, they tried to talk. When Charlie started his homework, the doorbell rang with friends looking to play. I told them they had to wait too until Charlie was done with his homework.

They wanted to play outside, but I was mean mommy today and wouldn’t let him go out because the air quality people said we should stay indoors because of the fires nearby and chemicals in the air. Charlie learned about fairness and different rules for different families and I got to hear about it and his protests. Lucky me. And so I sat and waited patiently some more while he practiced controlling his body.

When he resumed some level of calm I taught him about life not being fair and things don’t always go as planned and that we have to deal with the loss and make new fun plans. I mean it’s depressing to miss your scheduled winter water ballon fight at 4:30 pm and it’s really hard to understand why when it’s good outside. Just look outside. Just ask him.

He decided he wanted to play with me instead then and that we should paint. He wanted to paint lawn decorations on cardboard. And so we did. We dug around for some cardboard and he sketched his design. Then Juliana and I joined him in painting in the details. We painted while we waited to take Juliana to her appointment and waited for dad to come home, before dinner.

We filled the time and waiting was good and he taught me something too. Not everything has to go as planned and sometimes not having a plan is good too, if you can be comfortable waiting for whatever shows up. Hmm.

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Finding Joy – Version 2 or 3

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I find joy everywhere, even when I’m mad, although anger slows me down from finding peace. Duh, right? I try to move past what ever frustrates me as quickly as possible because I’d rather be open to the next BIG (little) thing that comes my way and enjoy the moment versus missing it because I’m too uptight about what ever thing didn’t quite go the way I wanted it to.

Managing expectations. Accepting what is. Letting go. And flowing… ah, I can feel the joy returning! 😉

Not that I was mad, but there was a moment or two today that didn’t quite go as planned. But guess what? I’ve learned the faster I can let go, the faster I can accept my reality, and be ok and joyful again. And the thing that was maddening today was a mixed up scheduling appointment that threw me off. No big deal, really, but frustrating anyway. I’ve got to work on being less rigid!!  Phew… now that we got that out, I can share a couple joyful moments from today.

The sky was beautiful tonight and the light show spectacular! I tried to take a picture, but the phone lines and wires got in the way and my phone camera didn’t really do the artist justice. But it put me in a really good mood. I was on my way to pick up Juliana from her practice and I was admiring the fall colors all the way home. There are these gorgeous yellow ginkgo trees – I think that’s what they are called and they are the brightest yellow ever. Their leaves are starting to fall and are covering the ground in this beautiful blanket of yellow.

I have one favorite tree in a nearby park that I admire every year and watch it change from green to yellow to naked. We drove by on our way home to admire her beauty and to take some pictures and create some fun. The best part was that when I mentioned my favorite tree, Juliana knew exactly which one I was talking about. We got out to walk in the canopy of leaves and Juliana decided to climb up.

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The sun had already set, so the lighting was a bit darker than I would have liked, but we had fun nevertheless. And as we began to enjoy the tree, a friend walked by with her dog and mentioned how much she loved that tree too. She offered to take our picture for us. I love this little community I live in and feel so happy being back home again. There is a comfort that comes from belonging to a place where people know your name. Thanks, Suszi! You made my day.

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Where do you find joy? Do you find joy everyday? I’m curious.

(p.s. – this blog was written last night, but somehow didn’t get published and when I published what I thought was my final draft, it was actually an older draft. Hmm… I guess there was a mixup in space as I was writing from two platforms at the same time. I’m still learning… hope you enjoyed Finding Joy – version 2, which was really version 3!)