Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lighten up!

Do you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders?  Work demands, family times, community obligations all pulling you in a million different directions?  Stop!  Take a look at your life!

As I scrolled down my ever-growning to-do list recently I realized that the things in the "Personal" category were being moved back on the calendar again, and again.  So, lying down to stave off that impending panic attic, I made a few promises to myself.

Say no and yes more--to the right things.  As much as possible divest yourself of tasks that you think other people think you "should" and take on the ones you think you should.  Look for people in your organization who are just "attenders" and ask for their help!  Start small and easy and be sure to compliment your helpers on a job well-done and you've just added another pair of helping hands!

Declutter!  Quit carrying around all those things!  I've inherited "stuff" from my mother, my grandmother, my aunt, and, seemingly, everyone I've ever met.  I feel like that, to accomplish any small task, I have to move a million things.  Well, things are about to change and I'm giving myself about a year.  My children are or will soon be moving into their own homes and they deserve to enjoy some of these memories, too.  I've already sent a buffet and chairs to my older child and my younger child and I will be going through many of the other treasures soon.  Each will have a few nice heirloom pieces to remind them of the people who love them when things get tough.

Dress for you!  Decide your own criteria.  For me, it's not both cute and comfortable, forget it!  (Okay, toe socks may not be super-cute, but they're really comfortable!)  Turning fifty has been such a liberating experience for me!  I want to look nice, presentable, but comfort has really shot to the top of the list in my wardrobe requirements.

Unplug and make something beautiful--handwork, music, art, whatever makes you smile!  Turn off the TV, turn off the computer!  I am a card-carrying techno-girl.  Really.  I've got a degree in business technology.  But, gang, it's just a tool.  There is no substitute for the pride that comes with completing a project with your own hands.  Recently, I've taken up knitting, cross-stitch, and crocheting again.  It's been frustrating, at times since I've not really done any handwork in years.  I started a sampler at Christmas and finally finished it in May.  I cannot tell you how it made me feel to finish it!  Give it a try.

Put a little gratitude in your attitude:  be thankful for your blessings; put your burdens in perspective.  I don't know about you, but most of my burdens are self-created.  I have my health, I have my family, I have a home, and I have enough to eat.  I have lots to be thankful for!

A penny saved . . . well, you get the idea!  As much as you can get your finances under control:  minimize spending or spend wisely.  Yes, this can be really challenging, but you can do it!

Everything--and everyone--carries its own weight.  Women tend to be the fixers, the worriers, the burden-bearers.  A burden shared is a load lightened--not to mention a new perspective can find new avenues for solution.

Nourish your body, mind, and spirit:  don't just cram empty "calories"--make each one count!  Yes, food is fuel for your body, but, here in the South, it's also an art form.  Enjoy it.  Also, don't neglect your mind and spirit.  It happens before you know it:  the book you couldn't wait to read lies unfinished, the study you wanted to complete goes uncompleted, you find yourself so busy that you forget your daily prayers.  And for what?  What keeps you from these?  I find that, in retrospect, the excuses I used to neglect myself were just that--excuses.  Put them away.  And don't forget to treat yourself now and then.

Live a Savory Life!

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