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Archive for July, 2014

Take some time off.

A fuPTOll life can leave little time for reflection, hanging out with friends, or just being “off.” People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed

Personal Time Off is time where you are not a daughter, sister, mother, neighbor, employer, employee etc.

You are just you.

You don’t have to worry about work, where the kids are, dinner, shopping, or any other family responsibilities. You are free to do what you want.

A renown inspiration writer Stephen Covey refers to Personal Time Off as time we spend renewing ourselves. Covey says that, “Without this renewal, the body becomes weak, the mind mechanical, the emotions raw, the spirit insensitive, and the person selfish.”

Schedule it

Sounds easy enough, but life gets complicated managing full time work and full time family.

Put your Personal Time Off on the calendar. By doing so, you make it a real thing, and it becomes less likely that it will be sidelined for something “more important.”

Be flexible and rigid

If you can schedule Personal Time Off at the same time each week, then all the better.

Because your calendar can get rather full, flexibility in scheduling becomes a necessity.

Skipping it once makes it easier to skip again. Sometimes things happens and life gets in the way.

If it happens to you, don’t beat yourself up. Just get it back on the schedule.

Take enough time

The goal is to spend enough time away to let your shoulders drop.

Don’t rush that dinner with your friend, or your time reading in the library. Take as much time as you can to renew yourself.

If possible, don’t go home first

If you take your Personal Time Off during the week, try not to go home first.

Once you get home it’s hard to get back out again. The idea of going out after you get home can be too tiring on many days. Once you get home you just want to take off your shoes and do home stuff. Essentially, it’s much easier to stay out than to go out.

Do what you want to do, not what you have to do

Remember, Personal Time Off is about your time to do what you want to do, not what you have to do. This is not time to catch up on email, or go to the salon or clean up. It is about relaxation. Grab a friend and have some lunch in a restaurant. Work can wait until tomorrow.

 

There is nothing selfish about taking time off for yourself. If your goal is to be a great mother, a wonderful partner, a rock star at work, and a real friend then you need time off. Everyone does.

“Activity and rest are two vital aspects of life. To find a balance in them is a skill in itself. Wisdom is knowing when to have rest, when to have activity, and how much of each to have. Finding them in each other – activity in rest and rest in activity – is the ultimate freedom.” ~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

So, why not take your Personal Time Off  this week? I’m sure you’ve earned it!

You can dream again

Dream What if you are a beautiful, amazing woman who once had great    dreams, dreams about how your life would look like; you dreamed about making a career and a name for yourself. You wanted to gain the respect and admiration of your friends and family. You wanted to travel all around the world, to see beautiful places and meet great new people. You dreamed about being a successful woman. BUT you got babies and stopped dreaming and you gave up all your hopes and dreams in order to raise your beautiful children.
We are all here because that’s exactly where we should be and if you are unhappy, you feel lost and empty then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.

You could be unhappy because you have chosen to put your dreams on the side to raise a beautiful family, to take care of your wonderful children, but that doesn’t mean you can no longer make your dreams come true. There might be some family drama if you choose to do that, for they were used to you always being there, always taking care of them, always fulfilling their needs and desires, but now it’s time to fulfill your needs because if you don’t, if you don’t listen to what your heart is trying to tell you, you will be feeling like there is something missing in your life.
If you go after you dreams it doesn’t mean you are going to abandon your family, but rather that you are going to help them become more responsible, you are helping them to spread their wings and fly, all by themselves. Parenting is not about having your children lean on you, but rather making the leaning unnecessary.

What is that you still dream about? Are you willing to do what it takes in order to make those dreams come true? Are you willing to stop complaining and start taking some action in that direction? Are you willing to take action and get your life moving in a new direction? It’s only up to you. Nobody can help you if you don’t want to be helped and if you don’t help yourself first.

Take a pen and on a piece of paper write down how your life would look like if all your dreams would come true and notice what emotions are triggered in you.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou

Staying connected as a couple after kids

ImageA couple’s lifestyle can quickly become hectic when kids enter the picture, and even the strongest relationships can be challenged by the responsibility. Whether it’s the consuming needs of a newborn, the full schedule of a school-aged child, or the challenges presented by tweens and teens, children leave a couple with less time and energy, fewer resources, and more stress; this can impact a relationship in several ways:
Time: Parents often find themselves with less time together when they have kids to care for.
Energy: When getting up in the wee hours to care for a newborn, it’s understandable that new parents can become exhausted.
Money: Children, though worth every penny, are expensive! Sometimes the financial strain of raising a family can put a strain on the parents’ relationship
With extra responsibilities and pressures, couples need to work harder to stay connected. Because of all the benefits of a supportive relationship and a strong family, making the effort to keep the relationship strong is more than worth the effort for parents.

Here are important ideas for keeping a relationship strong:
Schedule Date Nights: Having a date on a regular basis is a great way to remember who you are as a couple, and enjoy each other in your non-parenting roles.
Keep Talking: Maintaining open lines of communication is important but sometimes difficult with parental responsibilities and busy schedules. Still, making a point of finding time to talk each day can keep you connected and can relieve stress, too.
Maintain Hobbies: After a while it’s easy to fall into the habit of talking only about work and kids if parents aren’t careful. Joining a class together, keeping up on reading, or even seeing and discussing a movie can provide new topics of conversation and keep things fresh.
Choose Your Battles: Sure, there may be little things that drive you crazy about your mate, anger and criticism can take a toll on any relationship. It’s important for everyone who’s part of a couple to think long and hard about what’s worth accepting and what’s worth working on. Save your battles for the serious issues, and try to let the rest roll off of your back and just enjoy your partner.
Foster Romance: Little romantic gestures like leaving a love note on her pillow or cooking his favorite food can keep things fun, and fosters more positive feelings between partners. Even if you feel you don’t have the time or energy to do this stuff, it’s important to let one another know that you’re taking care of the relationship, and not just the kids. Get creative and have fun with it!
Be a Team: Parents can relieve stress on their relationship and their kids if they regularly talk about their views and make sure they’re on the same page with parenting issues. Working as a team can keep the bond strong; going in separate directions with discipline and contradicting one another’s rules can confuse the kids and cause frustration in the relationship.
Don’t Forget to make love: Don’t underestimate the importance of regular physical intimacy; it can go a long way toward making couples feel connected, vital, and satisfied.