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January Decisions

Like a permanent pause, the winter break has extended out with snowy weather. We are all at home again today doing what work or play needs to be done. I am trying stay patient, understanding that this too shall pass and we’ll be busy busy busy again soon enough. It’s an odd place to be. But I also realize it is an opportunity to look at the decisions I need to make about who I want to be this year. And see if I’m prioritizing others over myself. And what fears I may be avoiding.

See, not too long ago I was an underachieving overachiever. My stress coping system of Industrious Overfocused combined with my never enough attitude had me doing amazing amounts of work and never giving myself the credit.January Decisions on Shalavee.com

The work looked like writing, housework, volunteerism, social media making, children’s care-taking, and a good bit of exercise. I have always been a runner. Of course I never thought any of the work or exercise was enough. I’ve always been sure I just could do better than I’ve done. I just needed more. More time, more resolve, more organization.

But in the past several months, I was forced to stop. My sinus surgery mandated that I needed to literally sit down. I couldn’t exercise for three weeks as I had a wound near my brain essentially. And that combined with the ongoing battle against the pain in my hip/back joint had me down for the count. I was forced to be still. I am now emerging from this place.January Decisions on Shalavee.com

I have decisions to make. I must decide if I’m old. I must decide if what I aspire to do is for other people or for myself. I must discern whether my work is important enough to prioritize over all other busyness, sometimes family even, or whether it’s OK to prioritize them over myself. It’s all my choice.

January gives us the opportunity to regroup, recenter, and redecide where we stand in our own lives. We just need to rise to our own occasion of deciding what’s next and why and who for. And we need to have a dishwasher that works.January Decisions on Shalavee.com

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

December 2017 in Pictures

Christmas is a force to be reckoned with. It rolls up on you like some sort of stealth vehicle running on joyful intentions with wicked time constraints. Here’s my thus far pictures to prove that we’re moving right along through the season. And my story is that this Christmas, I was more proactive than ever before so that I can be more present when those wrapped presents are being torn asunder.

 

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

 

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.comChristmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.comChristmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

Christmas pictorial for Shalavee.com

 

 

Enjoy your Holiday Happenings wherever and whoever you are!

Belief

( Enjoy this post From 2015)   Belief is the word of the week, of the season. Wrapping up the year, this concept means the most to me now. And so I will start and end on what the word belief has meant to me recently in hopes that I can both make sense and find closure in the way I see things to be now.

I believe in the wonder and joy of the spirit of Christmas. That the generosity and kindness of man and womankind can rise us above our basic tendencies of smallness to bring about great moments of small humanity. That is what Christmas is to me. But to a child, the season is Santa. And the wonder and miraculousness of his visits is a gift every child should be able to enjoy until it’s time to move upwards. Eamon and Santa from 2007 on Shalavee.com

I had the tragic privilege of robbing my eldest of his belief in this magic a couple of weeks ago. He kept asking me and asking me, was Santa real? And finally, when he said he was going to make an addendum to his Santa list when I’d already shopped, I told him…

He cried the biggest crocodile tears for the longest time. And as I watched the big beautiful bubble of belief disappear after several outbursts of tears and “no no nos”, I doubted my decision to have done this but alas, I could never take it back, could I ? He declared he’d prove me wrong. I certainly hope he does. And then I told him to talk to his Dad about the tooth fairy.Fiona on the green on Shalavee.com

We believe what suits us don’t we? If our beliefs perpetuate a certain end or means to that end we can’t comprehend being without, we’re tethered then to our beliefs. We’re invested. We’re living in our belief suit. Until someone rips it off of us.

I found my esteem feeling quite naked after a recent incident robbed me of my self-belief. I was left wondering if I was in fact a talented designer. If I was worthy of the accolades I’ve ever received. If the inkling I keep having that maybe I don’t suck was true. Comes down to what I really believe is the truth.  love yourself on Shalavee.com

I believe that I have a light that shines brightly. That that light is different. And that it’s meant to keep shining so that others can benefit from the hope that it brings. Because when they’re ready, anyone can join with me in the belief that their creativity and voice can make a difference. I believe my belief affects other people’s beliefs. And that is nonnegotiable.

I make happen what I believe possible. So that is what I am going to focus on. Shifting my possibilities to believabilities. And relying a little less on what I think might be the awful truth and more on what I know to be true. I’ve got talent in spades. I just need to figure out where I’ll be appreciated and believed in and mirrored back safely. Christmas tree on Shalavee.com

Merry Christmas to you all. May the magic of Christmas renew your belief in yourself and in humanity. I’m taking a holiday hiatus and will return in a week. Love to each and every one of you my dear dear readers.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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The Minutia of Christmas

( From December 2014 ) The sound was a thwap and a roll, hollow plastic bouncing and traveling across the floor. My new Christmas tree balls were this moment’s entertainment. The “ball balls” were being extracted from their big clear box and thrown while I hurried to put my laundry away. Although that’s exactly why I bought those, I underestimated the little monkey’s reasoning skills.let the ball-a-thon begin on Shalavee.com

Every day is jam-packed with holiday fun.

Not unlike any other day in my life, I’ve been cramming the carrying out of Christmas details into the tiny time slots when I’m kid free. I got started early! Then stalled. And then the holiday started to close in on me and every other person in the free First world.

garland as a boa on shalavee.com

No one to impress but me, I knew I had time. But the tree had been lit and yet naked for a week. On the heels of the Christmas ball shot put incident, the unearthing of ribbon and tinsel garland set off a playing frenzy with Fiona dragging the garland around screaming “Mine, Mine” while the cat chased and pounced on the end. I’m not accustomed to the toddler mayhem yet. I like my holiday decorating to be quiet thinking time for me. Ha!garland and kitty games on Shalavee.com

Today was cookie making day as well. My son and husband conceived that cookies would be Eamon’s offering to the school class party. I apparently was no where around for this important strategy tete a tete because I am no cookie baker. And alas, Pilsbury’s Sugar cookies with embedded Christmas tree designs that you just cut and bake were all gone from the grocery store’s refrigerated section. So I talked myself up into helping Eamon make chocolate chip and sugar cookies. From scratch.

creaming the butter and sugar on shalavee.com

I hate baking because I’m a cook. Exact measurements? And a toddler who refused to eat her dinner and is now milling around your feet and now falling off the step stool knocking sprinkles everywhere? Call them disaster cookies. choc chip cookies on Shalavee.com

I was feeling generally hostile and irritated and pulled out just enough patience to have Eamon do most of the work. And yes, for her sake and mine, I sent Fiona out to Dada who was doing train garden setting up.

I enjoy my domesticity straight up. I am good with all the ten million details of Christmas but I just want to do them alone. No I don’t want to ever bake cookies with the kids again unless they are well-behaved young adults. No they won’t ever be decorating my Christmas tree unless they’ve proven to have tree decorating abilities. And yes, I will totally take advantage of their cute art project creations to make gifts for people at Christmas and cash in on their one absolute contribution. Creative mindless fun. The rest of Christmas is serious business and better left to the professionals. Christmas cookies from Shalavee.com

Merry Christmas to all you perfectionistic special event planners and decorators otherwise known as moms across the world. You’ve given enough. Take a seat and enjoy the event because it’ll be over in a blink.

If you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Does “Self-respecting” Describe the Parent and Self-parent You Are?

My daughter is just starting elementary school now in Pre-K. I am again besieged by notifications and permission slips galore just like back when Eamon was in Kindergarten and there was “homework”. See my recent repost of my piece Kindergarten Homework here. All sorts of good intentions being bantered back and forth between educator and parent about how to best raise/educate our kids.

Within a hunk of papers distributed by the school this week, a subscription newsletter from a parents-institute, I read this headline:

“Parents Must Encourage their Children to Develop Self-respect”

Does “Self-respecting” Describe the Parent and Self-parent You Are? on Shalavee.com

( I immediately thought, Well yes, and what about those parents who already see educators as bossy jackasses thinking, “you can’t tell me what I must do with my kids because I’m not going to be bossed by smartass educational type people”. Shut that down.)

Of course I knew it was well-meant and read further. Essentially, children who are disrespectful don’t have any self-respect. Sometimes that’s what hides behind lack of respect for authorities. If we don’t value ourselves, we’re certainly not valuing others. And eventually the justice system needs to show us our worth. This is what the article said self-respect came down to being composed of.

Self-respect comes from:

Competence – Being good at things makes your kid feel good. Children need lots of opportunities to master skills and feel good about themselves while they do. New skills from sports to art to chores can give them a chance to like themselves while they master those skills. And no one standing over them telling what a bad job they did either.

Accomplishments – They need their progress seen and noted.By everyone but mostly by parents. See above.

Confidence – This can be about pointing out how all the work paid off and acceptance that sometimes we falter to succeed. Mistakes can be learned from and we need to know we can rely on ourselves to make things happen.

Freedom – Allow kids to be independent and make their own age-appropriate choices. Let them chose when things can be done and how sometimes. Showing them you trust them makes them trust them.

Support – Accept your children for who and what they are. Let them belong to the family instead of having to fit into your vision of what they should be. Ask them about their day. Listen and witness their answers and help solve their problems if they ask for it.

Imitation – Be the person you want them to model themselves after. They will do as you do. So if you have low self-esteem and anxiety issues, they will too. Be kind to yourself and stand firm for them with their demands as well so that they may see what standing firm looks like.

Does “Self-respecting” Describe the Parent and Self-parent You Are? on Shalavee.com

Invisible sword fighting

If you paid attention to even most of these, you’d have a pretty great kid. Personally, I got lost between the family cracks and did not have most of these attentions paid me but yes, I’m paying them to my kids. And then I thought, what kind of parents are we to ourselves? I feel like I can tend to be on the side of almost abusive self-parenting if I allow me to continue to berate and judge myself for the myriad of things I seem to do “wrong”.

What if we took these steps above and applied them to ourselves, which is truly necessary if we are actually parents because our kids do as we do, not as we say. What kind of parents do we want to be to ourselves? Compassionate and kind or judgemental and punitive?  Just like these children, we go out into the society and make our own contributions based on our self-worth and respect so shouldn’t we give ourselves these gifts as well to give us an edge up on our lives? I could use with a little more self-respect in my world, couldn’t you?

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest  too. I am always practicing Intentional In-touchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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