Lessons Learned: Patience…Ugggh!

Last week I wrote about spring-cleaning. My efforts were short lived in ways than I would never have imagined. Everything I wrote about – warm weather, cleaning, and finding happiness were all shot out the door. Was that the cosmos laughing at me?

First, I got sick. I hate being sick. I will fight tooth and nail in hopes that it’ll go away or I’ll only get a dusting of systems. Most times I win. This time I did not. I went to the doctor on Friday, and she granted me the temporary title of Ms. Acute Bronchitis. The title gave me some relief as the prize was antibiotics, cough pills, and cough syrup with codeine. Unfortunately, my burst of energy to clean for spring went out the door. My energy…gone.

Second, the weather turned to crap as well. We have had rain, rain, rain. And then we had wind, wind, wind. And then we had rain with wind, wind with rain, and vixen cold temperatures. I believe I heard snow in the forecast for the next couple of days. Unbelievable. Spring is no longer spring. It’s stormy, gray, blah weather.

Third, I am sad that a few people I know are stressed to the max and unhappy. For one of those peeps, a change was forced upon them that effects their whole being; another is drowning under a rain cloud that’s not allowing enough sunshine in to grow and breath; and the other is stuck in a situation that was made by choice and soon found to be a bad choice. I know the cosmos are off right now. In “horrorscope” terms, a solar eclipse is in our folds. I just wish the world hadn’t turned to a darker side so quickly.

Last week I had a positive attitude. This week not so positive. I’m feeling the effects of the cold, some unhappiness that’s hanging in the air, and bad weather. So what do I do now? Be patient. Be patient. One day at a time. It’ll get better.

Lessons Learned: Spring Cleaning – External/Internal

Now that warmer weather is here (we hope!!), the next few weeks are great for spring-cleaning—both externally and internally.

Yesterday was the first time since last year that we had our doors and windows open. This was a great chance to air out the house from winter staleness and let the fresh breeze flow through each room. This comes at a perfect time since we had two sick peeps in our house (my daughter and grandson).

In the days ahead, I’m looking forward to cleaning out closets, changing from winter clothes to summer clothes, figuring out what we still need or want to keep around the house, and what I can get rid of to remove clutter from my office. Now’s the time to ask myself if it’s worth taking up space, if I’m really going to read it, wear it or use what’s been sitting around for over a year. Why keep stuff or clutter around when someone else may enjoy it or if it’ll give me room to add something new that I want or need to add to my collection. 

The other piece to spring-cleaning is internal cleaning. Let the winter hibernation leave your system. Enjoy the fresh air and let it fill your lungs and tickle your skin. I love bare feet and the freedom to feel grass and pavers. Even my grandson had the chance yesterday to feel grass for the first time on his feet and hands. He wasn’t too crazy about it at first, but I bet he’ll love the feel once he gets used to it.

And like Qi Gong, when you enjoy that fresh air, breathe deep and let your lungs fill with new energy. Exhale to remove all the stress stored inside your body. Unclutter your mind of old worries. Think positive thoughts in the days ahead and how you can make changes for a better, happier life. Start the next few weeks with a fresh mindset.

Happy spring-cleaning!

Lessons Learned: Goal Swapping

At my writer’s group meeting on Saturday, I had to confess that I didn’t reach my goal to write or edit 1,000 words per week. What’s more disappointing is that I didn’t make last month’s goal either. The goals weren’t heavy. I thought I could manage working full-time, take care of my family, and reach my goal. Needless to say I was a little upset. In my Author Business Plan, my goal is to write four books in four years. Yikes! I need to step up the pace. Even at 1,000 words per week, I am stretched to reach the larger goal.

I then took a step back and thought about the “writing” work that I had completed for the first quarter of 2014. I judged three contests in three months. The first contest was to read five books in five weeks (books ranged from 193 pages to 554—small print pages) and then score them. The second contest was to read the first 50 pages of five manuscripts and score those within 3-4 weeks. The third contest was to read the first ten pages of four manuscripts and then score and critique/edit them. This may not seem like a lot but with the family events I’ve had, this took up the majority of my spare time.

Looking back, I see that I had been very busy, but just in a different way. I can’t feel bad for not writing as much as I wanted or reaching my goal. I have to look at it in a different light. I goal swapped. I had made commitments to deadlines for the above contests. I reached those goals by setting aside my personal writing goals.

What I learned is that I need to be flexible or prioritize, even with my larger goal. I can monitor and adjust as needed. The trick is not to stress myself out but to find a balance. I can re-engage and get back to my 1,000-word goal starting this week. Like riding a bike, I can jump back on to get to my destination. I’ll just have to pedal a little faster each week to catch up.

Lessons Learned: Vehicle Swapping

Sometimes events occur when you least expect it or not at the best time. An opportunity presents itself and you just have to go with it. For us, it occurred in the last eight days. Plans had been in the making for my niece to buy my daughter’s car. Since both live in different areas and miles apart, the perfect time to make the purchase and the handoff was at my dad’s funeral in the cities. The exchange was made.

Now my daughter needed a vehicle. She had been looking but hadn’t found one that she felt was reliable or that she could afford. I owned a Subaru Forester. I offered to sell it to her so she could have a reliable vehicle. At first she didn’t think she could afford it, but she made it work. I received word that she and her fiancé would buy my car. The financing was set.

Now I needed a vehicle. I knew I wanted another Subaru. On Wednesday, I worked out my finances. On Thursday, during the snowstorm, I went to the dealer to test drive Foresters and Outbacks. Within a few hours, I was a proud owner of an Outback. I drove home, white-knuckled, in the snowstorm. I was driving about 45 miles per hour on the freeway (my husband claims it was only 15 mph). I was comfortable driving the all-wheel drive vehicle; however, I was more paranoid about the other drivers on the road!

All in all, I knew I didn’t need the stress of selling my vehicle and buying a new one, but the opportunity came up so I had to take it. Even with the rough three weeks that I had already been through, I was glad that the vehicle swapping all worked out. In fact, I think my dad would have found it fitting. He loved cars and understood what it meant to help each other out. Many years ago, he helped me out when I needed a vehicle. He sold me his truck, knowing that it would be reliable and a good fit. I believe us girls bought vehicles that fit our needs. Maybe my dad made sure of it.