Taking a Minute to Regroup

I am doing something a little different this week, bear with me, I think you might like it. I was recently reminded that we all need a minute every now and then… this is apart of mine.

My Own Pause

Sometimes in my life I find that I need to hit a Pause button and regroup.  You know, take a minute, do some soul searching, maybe even a little planning and then move forward.  To be perfectly honest with you, that is not always easy for me to do.  I am in the process of doing that now with a couple of areas of my life—this blog is in a Pause and Regroup phase.  I put it there.  That was not easy for me, but I found that I needed to do that. So now I am planning better for my writing time.  I found that I have such fun writing and planning a new blog post that I was putting other things on the back burner.  Ouch… that is a little painful to admit.  But you know what, I told you a long time ago that I will write this like a conversation.  So, let’s have a conversation about priorities and life.

Values Lived

I recently wrote about Five Minutes; you can find that post by clicking on this link if you would like to read it again. I do think it is important that others can see what is important in your life by the way you live your life.  Is not important for them, but for you. If you value something it should show. If it does not show, if there is no evidence of what you value, well then do you really value it? If you value humor you should been seen laughing.  If work is important to you then I would expect you to have a work ethic.  If family matters to you, well then, I should be able to see you making them a priority.  If being sober is important than I should see that in your life.  If self-control, then I should see evidence of that in your life.  You get the idea.  The writing was centered around the fact that others should be able to see the things you value by looking at your life. 

Growing Daily

Taking that thought a step farther, do we plan around those things we value?  It seems to me that we should be growing in the areas that matter to us.  We have not each arrived at our destination of greatness, we have some work to do.  We will get there, we will be great, but today we are works in progress.  I will learn new things about life daily, so will you, we can learn things together.  But we will each learn.  Along the way we should be investing in and learning about the things that matter to us. 

Be a Sponge… Not an Umbrella

In order for me to learn new things I must first admit that I do not know all things.  Sometimes that’s hard.  I’m pretty sure you are saying “No it’s not Cindy, it is easy to admit I do not know everything.”  I am glad to hear that.  I cannot tell you the number of times I tried to teach new things to individuals who really needed to learn but were unwilling.  I also cannot tell you the number of times I needed to learn something new but was unwilling. It would seem that knowledge cast upon an unwilling heart is like rain on an umbrella—it just bounces off.  I want to be more like a sponge in this area.  I want to soak it all in.  You have an idea for me about being a better parent, please share it.  You think I could do better with my finances, I’m game to listen.  I am willing to consider other ways to arrive at my destination of greatness.  I believe we can achieve so much more by learning from each other.

Evaluating Goals

As I take time to hit Pause and Regroup, I am mindful of my goals.  I want to be able to make my faith and my family my first priorities, followed by my work.  I want to make a difference in the world.  I want my children to look at my example and to do it better in their own lives.  There are so many things I want.  It is important to me that I occasionally hit Pause in my life to re-evaluate who I am, where I am, and where I am going.  I encourage you to take a few minutes and consider a Pause

Hitting Your Pause

Think about it, you could hit Pause, even if it’s only for a few minutes.  Do it now.  Who are you?  How would others describe you?  Are you good with that?  If not, what would you want to change?  What do you value?  Do others see that in your life?  What is the evidence in your life of the things you value?  If there is no evidence in your daily living of the things you value maybe you should consider reorganizing your daily life slightly?  You do not have to do this alone, none of us do.  I know the world is different than it was even a couple of years ago, but some things have not changed.  You are not alone, you may feel alone, and if you do I am so sorry. But I am glad that you are not alone, none of us are. We simply do not have to do life alone. Call a friend, call a family member, go to your child’s school, go to a local church, call a counselor, but call someone and tell them you want help with regrouping your life.  You are not alone, we are all in this together.  We can all move towards greatness together.  Do not just talk about who you want to be… become that person.  Be the good in yourself and bless the important people in your life with your greatness.  Enjoy your journey and remember to hit Pause for a few minutes every now and then.  Regrouping is ok, it helps keep us grounded and it helps move each of us towards greatness together.  Thank you for spending part of your day with me.  Be blessed my friends.

Five Minutes

What if someone said “you have five minutes to tell me about ______, about whatever the topic was to be?” You have five minutes to covey your feelings and thoughts. What will you say first? What is your leading point going to be? What will you follow it up with? And how will your close this out? Five minutes? Come on Cindy that really isn’t enough time. Well, maybe not. But you do have to admit that five minutes is forever when you are standing in front it of a group trying to fill the time with content. Add an audience and five minutes feels like forever, trust me this I know.

Need More Time?

I agree, five minutes may not be enough time–so, how much time would you like to have? Is 30 minutes enough? Or would you prefer an hour? How much time do you need to talk about the things you are passionate about? How much time would I need? Well, is a lifetime an option? It feels that I have spent my lifetime talking about the things I am passionate about. Certainly at least since I began my professional career and probably before then. If I could have only a 30 minute time to speak to you about the things I am most passionate about it may take me forever to write my notes. What will I speak on? What things will I delete in the name of time? What am I MOST passionate about? That should be easy for me to determine based on the life I live.

Live Your Values Daily

The things I value should be evident in the choices I make in my daily life. I wonder if I live that life well enough that others can also see what I am passionate about? I hope so, it would matter to me. It should be obvious that I care about child safety and mental health services, but what about more. Can you tell that my faith and family are important to me? And how about my neighbors and fellow man, do people see my concern for others I may daily life? It would seem to me that rather than focus on what I would say in 30 minutes I should be more interested in what I say in my daily walk each day. I hope I reflect my values, beliefs and passions in the walk I live. I don’t always do that, I need to become a better version of myself. Do you reflect your values, beliefs and passions? If your answer is no maybe you can work with me on becoming a better version of yourself too. Maybe we can walk a road of self improvement together. You don’t have to have it all together today, no one does, not even the people who fake it really well. But it is a good idea to always work to improve who you are today. I wish you the best on this journey. Thank you for hanging out with me, be well my friends.

Waiting on Spring

Today, I noticed that the tulips near my mailbox have bloomed. I love it when the flowers emerge from the ground, bud, and then bloom as the petals open. There is such beauty in the refreshing spring growth. Things have been dormant and are now ready to begin anew again. I am always refreshed by spring and the buds everywhere. Even the buds on trees are exciting. Growth is occurring. These plants will transform right before our eyes. I live in Tennessee, which means we will even have flowering trees and bushes. Flowers are getting ready to abound…and you know what? I am ready!

I am ready for growth. I am ready for things to begin anew. I am ready for a new season. I am ready for the winter to end. I am ready for things to occur that may not, for I am also ready for COVID to be a thing of the past. I am ready for masks, signs about COVID symptoms, constant temperature checks, quarantining, sickness and death to be a thing of the past. I understand this will probably not occur right now, but I can wish right? Other things, meaningful things will also occur this spring and I shall embrace those things.

Flowers will grow, bud and bloom. Trees will bud, bloom and leaves will emerge. Bees will buzz, collect pollen and do what bees do and the cycles of life will continue. Children will grow, run and laugh. We need to do find ways to embrace the same mentality despite our circumstances. It has been a challenging year, but we each need to do what bees, flowers, trees, and children will do… we need to grow and emerge into our spring. I look forward to driving past playgrounds full of happy laughing children. That may not occur today, but hopefully soon. In the meantime, I shall enjoy spring as much as possible. And for me, I shall rejoice in the Easter Season. For He offered us the opportunity to begin again, even when life felt dark and bleak. I embrace the hope He provided and still provides every single day, it is a guiding force in my life. I hope you, likewise, can find this hope in your lives. Best wishes to you my friends. Enjoy your spring season.

Wordless Wednesday – Peace

This image and this place bring me peace, I thought I would share both with you on this Wordless Wednesday. Enjoy and be blessed.

Blogging Along

Wow! You guys have been the greatest of supporters as I have picked up this new thing of writing. I am excited about where I hope to take writing and also excited about the dayliness of my work. I think goals are important, but I also think living in the here and now matters too. So, while I know my goals are bigger than my blog and I hope my blog helps me move in that direction, I am also thankful for the opportunity to be here today. Thank you for your part in this process.

I began this process in January, it really wasn’t that long ago. Knowing very little about blogging I asked my friends on social media about the concept. I received great words of advice and encouragement. And for the most part, I have tried to stay true to those. Some of the advice I inadvertently fell away from without even realizing it. A great friend suggested keeping it shorter. I found myself frequently writing more and more. I have to get back to shorter – it’s a goal. So in that spirit – this is a thank you post and I shall keep is short.

So Thank You! Thank you to each friend who has taken a moment (or ten when I was longwinded) to read and share comments. Thank you for the encouragement and the support with your notes, reads, likes, and even messages. I have been blogging for three months – in that time I have posted 25 times… 26 now. My work has been read over 1,500 times by individuals in over 20 countries – I had no idea how global this would be when I began it. This has been a venture out of my comfort zone, and it is indeed a path I am glad I took. But this path is better because of you, without you this would just be a waste of time. Thank you for your part in helping make my dreams come true. I so appreciate each of you as you are oars in my life – if you are not sure what I mean by that check this out. I hope reading with me continues to be something special for each of you.

Cindy

Parenting in Unique Circumstances

Yesterday was Epilepsy Awareness Day. For this day people around the world wore purple to help promote an awareness regarding this neurological disorder. I understand very little of epilepsy, but I wore purple, took a picture, and posted it on social media to support my friends. As others asked me about my purple it gave me opportunities to share, and I found myself thinking about my friends and others who face the challenges surrounding epilepsy. The more I thought about it the more I thought about the other parents – there are so many parents raising children who have conditions that make their journey more challenging.  I do not know what it is like to struggle with epilepsy, but I do know what it is like to worry about your child, their health, and the struggles they face.

Finding Strength in Support

As parents we want to keep our children safe, it is so difficult to not be able to protect your child from all things. And yet, we simply cannot change those facts. Parents are not equipped to cope with so much that affects their children, we build systems and do the best we can, but we didn’t start out like that.  Never did a parent wake up and think “I know about epilepsy; I can handle it if my child has this disorder.”  You can apply the same to so very many issues like diabetes, loss of limbs, loss of sight, autism, cancer, heart conditions and to other life events.  No parent wants to have to face mental health issues, traumas, sexual assault, drug addiction and so many other life changing circumstances.  We, parents, find ourselves often ill equipped to cope with the things we encounter.  Yet, our children need for us to be prepared to take on the things they face, so we learn.  We read, we talk, we listen, we pray, and we do whatever it takes to help our child.  We often find surrounding ourselves with others who are on similar journeys helps us on ours.  It would seem there is strength in numbers, but I think it is more of a “you are not alone” strength drawn from others.

Learning and Growing

This Epilepsy Awareness date and the thoughtfulness I had in response to it reminded me of the things in my own life that I had to learn to help my children.  Things I was unprepared for yet felt the need to conquer to the best of my ability.  Parents, I salute you.  There is nothing easy about parenting and for those of you with children with special healthcare needs – it is even more challenging.  I realized that epilepsy is something I know very little about.  Epilepsy Awareness Day was good for me, it created in me an awareness for parents of children with special health care needs, but also for more knowledge regarding epilepsy. 

Journeying on Together

As we all journey on in parenting, let us support and encourage each other.  On a perfect day this can still be a challenge, but many days are less than perfect. If you happen to be a part of my personal support system–thank you from the bottom of my heart.  My path is better because of you.  If you don’t feel you have a support system find one.  It helps, it really does.  Whatever you and your child have faced or are facing you are not alone.  There are others that have walked the roads you are on. Use the internet, use your doctor, use your church, use your neighbors–but ask around and find people on your journey, there is strength in comfort.  Thank you to my friends that shared their epilepsy journey–I know more because of you. 

Be blessed my friends, thank you for spending this time with me.

Wordless Wednesday – HSE Style

Having recently learned how to apply the Harris Shutter Effect, I present to you my rendition of the HSE as applied to grass blowing in the wind – Kaleidoscope version for your Wordless Wednesday. Enjoy – be well my friends.

Random Thoughts

Do you ever think about what tomorrow will hold? You know, plan ahead and think about the things you would like to do to fill your day? Today I was doing just that and I began to find myself having a series of random thoughts. “I wonder where my bicycle helmet is? I wonder why I thought that, well I really don’t know, but now that you mention it, I wonder if the tires are aired up? Not really sure, but the weather is supposed to be nice, so maybe a bike ride is a good idea.” (I told you, the thoughts were pretty random.) By now I’m to the point that I’m thinking, boy the random thoughts you have… then again that bike ride, not a bad idea. 

Decisions Decisions…

So what do you think? Bike ride instilled by random thoughts yea or nay? It would be good exercise, it it has been a minute, or more like a year, since I’ve ridden. It is supposed to be a nice day, and I do enjoy riding a bicycle, but then again, I could enjoy the beautiful day with a walk or a ride in the car. I am less likely to fall and/or embarrass myself with either of these two options. So perhaps I shall play it safe and remain on the ground. It was, after all just a random thought anyway. 

Random Thoughts Can Enrich Life

Then again, I could heed the random thought and perhaps consider a bicycle ride? I tend to have too many random thoughts. Some of those random thoughts lead me to great places, here I sit writing a blog for instance. Others just seem to lead me astray of the things I should be doing. I do find sometimes I need to evaluate my random thoughts to prevent myself from wasting time chasing after things. But in the evaluation, I often find that I chose to embrace the thought and grow from it. If I were to heed to this current thought, for example, let’s face it, it’s been a year so the ride will take less time than finding the helmet and the ride will be good for me. Where in the world did I put that helmet anyway? Maybe in the cupboard by the motorcycle helmets?? Maybe, could be, I shall look tomorrow. If I’m going to look for the helmet anyway, I might as well check the tires. And if I’m going to find the helmet and check the tires… well I shall let you know how the ride goes. One thing is for certain, if I start this riding thing more often I shall know where my things are and I will get great exercise doing something I enjoy. Heeding to that inner random voice often helps me to consider new ideas and enhances my days. I hope your days are filled with doing the things that make you happy! Thank you for spending part of it with me… I’m off to conquer worlds, or the bicycle anyway!

Finding the Right Tools

I am starting today’s blog slightly different than usual. Normally, I post a kaleidoscope photograph near the title. Today the photo is not a kaleidoscope. This hammer is a piece of art created by Jordan Gayle Dodd. Jordan is an artist in Tennessee, she made this from wire and copper, it is entitled Paved Paradise. Jordan’s mother and I are friends, and like all good mothers she shared her daughters art on social media. Jordan was kind enough to allow me to use the photo of her work for this article. Thank you Jordan for sharing your work with us. If you would like to see more of Jordan’s work, she features it on her Instagram page, JGDart_. It is challenging to create something from nothing – I think you did a great job! Your hammer inspired my thoughts.

Sometimes You Need a Bigger Hammer

I saw the picture of Jordan’s hammer and it spoke to me. I recall my dad saying “get a bigger hammer” while I was growing up. Sometimes he was kidding, when a project wasn’t working, but sometimes a bigger hammer was exactly what he needed. My awesome dad, who was always building or working on something, would use that expression if the project he was he was working on needed a little more muscle and strength than a smaller hammer provided. Get a bigger hammer. I have done that in my life, you probably have too. There are times in life when we need more power, more force to make something happen. So, we get a bigger hammer, and we get it done (whatever it was).

And Sometimes You Don’t

This piece of art reminded me that sometimes we need the exact opposite. Sometimes a bigger hammer will destroy what you are working on, while a gentler nudge might have been exactly what you needed. I think we are like that. I know I am. A bigger hammer, trying to force me into what you want me to do or be…. yeah, it doesn’t work so well. But the kinder, gentler touch…. asking me, talking to me… yes that works so much better. It makes me wonder why I try to use a bigger hammer with others when I should not? I do not know, for kinder and gentler just seems better when you are talking about people. I am not going to tell you that it always works for me or for anyone else, but it certainly does a great percentage of the time.

Taking Care of Each Other

Relationships are delicate, they need love, care and attention. And when we struggle in relationships, we need to find a gentler touch. I think Jordan’s hammer is beautiful. But look at how delicate it is. It would seem that she has wound wires together to create this work. One good WACK and I would expect it to fold. She could probably fix it with her tools. But it would still have that weak spot from that WACK. I think people are like that. Even when we work hard to forgive, we still hurt. We will heal, but imagine how much stronger that hammer would have been had someone carried it with gentleness and kindness rather than strength and force. Try it the next time you get frustrated with someone you love, try thinking about this gentle hammer and respond in love. I will do the same, because I still try to get a bigger hammer when one is not needed. Like you, I am a work in progress and sometimes the progress is slow, but I have forward momentum and you remember how much we like that. You can read about forward momentum here if you like.

Thank you for hanging out with me today. Be blessed my friends.

Wordless Wednesday… Another New Thing

I have learned that many who blog have a post entitled Wordless Wednesday in which they post photos, but no commentary. Just photos and perhaps a brief description of the photo. I have decided to try this. Next week I shall try for less words. For this week this is my Wordless Wednesday post. I shall be brief, but I fear wordless might be more than I can accomplish. Those of you that know me are now laughing… that’s OK, I am too. Be blessed my friends, and thank you for spending this time with me.