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Proactive Versus Reactive

I’ve noticed the theme of proactive versus reactive popping up in my life regularly. I mentioned it a couple posts back in passing. And since I keep noticing it, it’s time to take a harder look at what this means.

Every action that’s taken is proactive or reactive. Let me show you what reactive looks like. In finances, you can just pay the minimum balances, wait until you’re threatened with legal action, and checks are bouncing before you take care of your financial obligations. This causes a lot of stress and I’ve been there. It’s no fun crying in the bank. Reactive financial management isn’t a good thing and tends to make one feel bad.

carnations and mums from proactive vs reactive on shalavee.com

You can wait until your family looks at you with hungry eyes to start thinking about dinner. Or until you are wearing your last pair of clean underwear before you do the laundry. Or wait for the call from the neighborhood association to ask you to move your dead bus from the place it has sat in front of your house festering in the sun for over 10 years.

When I haven’t acknowledged my power in my life then I’ve spent a lot of time waiting for others to make decisions for me. And probably resenting them for it. Sometimes letting it happen to us is passive aggressive and sometimes it’s just the lack of true understanding that we have the power to choose.

carnations and mums from proactive vs reactive on shalavee.com

I love to quote Rush, a band from the 90’s. “If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice”. We are never truly victims to the world when we have so many many choices and options at our disposal in our modern, and my North American, society. What works and feels better for me is to start being conscious of being proactive.

Proactive involves a little extra effort and always pays off with less stress, provided you want less stress. It feels like winning a scratch off lottery ticket to be happier, more productive, and a better mother. All good. Esteem boosting is just a to-do list and pro-action away.

carnations and mums from proactive vs reactive on shalavee.com

I do understand that sometimes the way you always have done things is hard to change. Resistance comes from inside and outside. My low self-esteem had me a victim of a lot of people, places, and things people. When I recognized my ability to make a choice, I flipped a switch. And another. And another. And another.

Then, as I’m perusing my email this afternoon, I read this gem from a creative website I receive emails from and I immediately knew I needed to write something. ”Essentially, reading emails first thing in the morning triggers your reactive self. Instead, we need to get that proactive side of you turned on more often to see great things happen in your business.”

carnations and mums from proactive vs reactive on shalavee.com

Before this year, I never wrote out life or career goals. Because I guess I always figured life was something that just happened to me. I do write budgets sometimes but since the baby’s arrival, I’ve had a harder time keeping up with bills and certainly not ahead of them. That’s about to change. Because every day is another chance to start over, that’s why.

Pro-activity starts with wanting something better. And I’m finally allowed to have that.

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Goodbye Pop Pop

With a heavy sad heart, I convey the news that last night, Mark’s Dad passed away while in hospice care. He was released from his tired body and has moved on to his soul’s next purpose. His passing was at the end of a gradual decline as we watched congestive heart failure take him day by day. To know that he is no longer suffering is an immense relief to his loved ones although it’s hard to explain to a 9 year-old what that means. Wanting someone to die to have them no longer be in pain.

Pop Pop and Fiona

Pop Pop was dear, funny, and generous with his love and care. Two miracle granddaughters were born last year and I never saw him happier than when he was gitchy-gooing a grandbaby.

Pop Pop's paper quilt

My son was asked to do a project in school on a family member who had served in the military. Pop Pop served on a destroyer for four years during the Korean War, starting at age 17. So this is the paper quilt that Eamon made to commemorate him.

Pop Pop's paper quilt

The pieces are different scenes from the story of Pop Pop’s ship and how he was feeling about serving his country. I retrieved the art piece today from Eamon’s school so that we can put it on display at the funeral parlor.

Pop Pop's paper quilt

Pop Pop’s and Eamon’s birthdays were so close together in April that we often had joint parties for them.  This photo below was just 5 years ago. It was and wasn’t so long ago, you know?

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These will be the memories I will hold of him. Him loving on Eamon and Fiona. His cheering Eamon on at soccer and baseball games. And that incident where Eamon threw up on himself at the McDonald’s inside the Wal-mart in Easton, Maryland, and Pop Pop stripped him down on the tailgate of the SUV in January to put him in clean clothing. He was a take care of it kind of guy and I am immensely grateful that my husband is much of the man I love because of him. We will miss you Terry. Say hi to Uncle Dick for us.

Baby Primeval

I’m watching her swagger across the room, her hands up, hips swinging in that self-conscious “I’m just learning how to put it all together” kind of way. A crash course in evolution is happening right before our eyes. The baby primeval is a living fossil. A blueprint of man and womankind.

her broom from Shalavee.com

We don’t remember our own development (or being kept alive) but we get ringside seats to watch evolution firsthand when we have children. As they grow, we can see the sparks igniting in their brains. Their daily realizations of their body’s capabilities and limitations.

If you blink, the moment’s gone. So I stare at her. I marvel in her reasoning process as she learns baby physics. Things go down. Water is wet. In and out and ouch.

Fiona Marie from Shalavee.com

I wonder at the biology in action as she masters and strengthens each muscle group, each brain hurdle cleared for the next daring bodily feat like climbing and standing from a squat. Everything we take for granted we can do. Biological imperatives are driving her. We are just here to keep her between the lines and on the road. Her ancient body programming is doing the rest.

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