Live Deliberately

Living each day with deep intention.


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The Power of Expectation

Expectations have such a hold on each one of us. Marveling at its possibilities with wide eyes and lusting after what could be, you become hooked and drawn into believing it’s whispers that “this is reality.” It’s so right, so perfect. 

And WOMP! Expectations have a way of letting you down, crashing in disappointment, possibilities unraveling before your own eyes. Feelings of emptiness where the hope for what could have been once live. You think, “how could this be?” And maybe you throw yourself an adult tantrum (yes, it’s a real thing) at not getting your way. The vision was so clear and so seemingly real and possible. 

Behold… the power of expectation. 

Let go of what should be and embrace what is, each day and each moment. 

Set yourself free. 

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I want what I want…

Let’s face it, I’m a millennial. I have a different approach to life, a vastly different view on work-life, and the desire to be creative. I’m literally dying inside while sitting in front of a computer all day where I work (like a puppet) on things that other’s want me to do (even if I don’t agree) and my creative juices are, well, somewhere in the pit of my stomach causing me feel ill and lousy, and plain ol’ blah.

“How was work?” is usually the first thing people ask after a long day. I remember a time when I would rant and rave, excitedly sharing news about my day. I was making a difference. I was doing something great. Lately, I hear that question and I cringe at how to answer it without 1) pretending it was awesome, and 2) sending myself into an hour-long rant about how boring and unfulfilling it is.

What I want from my work-life is to be able to be creative, have fun with it, look forward to getting my sleeves rolled up and getting in there. I want to do something that is actually making a difference… not plan all these wild ideas of what-ifs, thinking up the plan and designing the program to get there only to just watch it get dusty on a shelf, never to be implemented.

I want to enjoy going to work. I want to enjoy 99% of the people I work with. I want us to lift each other up, celebrate one another, and make each other better. No one enjoys the gossiper, the whiner, the know it all, the nosey-Rose, and the slacker. Complacency is the culprit for all of the above. When people get bored, or fed-up, their ugly comes out. We all have those moments. I have them often. Soul-sucking personalities in your work-life are toxic, and spread like the wildfire.

I want flexibility. I want to work the hours during my personal peak productivity. I want that mid-day gym work out that gets the blood pumping and the creative juices flowing, staving off the 2 o’clock death hour that sends you into a coma, longing for a place to curl up for an afternoon nap. I want meetings held standing up or walking through the park. I want less lengthy reports that actually take away from the stuff that actually produces results.

I want colorful work spaces, fresh air, healthy work conditions and options. I once asked for a standing work station. It didn’t have to be a desk. It just needed to accommodate me standing up when I got tired of sitting through the 8 to 5. I was told that it “wouldn’t actually be better for me to stand for long periods of time.”

I want to wake up with the sun, not before it. To cherish the morning routine, not dread it. I want to not hit the snooze button three times. Who ever thought the idea of starting “work” at 8 AM was productive anyway? It’s no wonder why so many zombies stroll into work cranky, and some can’t shake it for the remainder of the day.

I want to taste my breakfast, sip (not gulp) my coffee, and actually help my daughter pick out matching clothes in the morning.

I want options. I want joy. I want health. I want to live, not merely exist.


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Hurry Up and Smell the Roses

For those of us who have kids, we probably use the words “hurry up” more times than we can recall. This morning and this evening, I’ve probably used it ten times at least… and that’s even during my attempt to NOT to use it. Let’s face it, we live in the American culture where we have clocks every where, we measure distance in time, we seek instant gratification, and we honk our horns at the person in front of us the second the light turns green… well, I don’t… I think it’s rude and if you’re behind me and you honk the minute the light turns green then I’ll probably take my sweet time. 🙂

We operate on autopilot doing things without recollection and we multi-task to be more efficient with the “little time” we do have. What happened to embracing moments and being aware of what we are doing? When you (hopefully) brushed your teeth this morning, did you recall brushing each tooth – or did you hum a tune in your head or contemplate your tasks at work and next thing you know you were done? If you are like me, you did anything but pay attention to actually brushing your teeth… I know, that an extreme example.

I’ve attempted to practice being more aware and it sticks so long as I am not overwhelmed or stressed. One thing I’ve noticed when I am more aware is beauty, scent (that’s a big one), acts of kindness, things that weren’t there before and most importantly I notice that I feel less stress.

I read the most amazing paragraph out of a book last night, which I connected with immensely, about hurrying about in our lives and hurrying our children. I have never noticed how slow my daughter walks, or puts on her shoes, or climbs into the car until I am running late. It’s like time immediately moves in slow motion so that you can take in every. single. slow. moment. that. is. making. you. even. more. LATE. Right? But one point that this paragraph made was that children are so immune to time – they have no real concept of it – they’re taking in each moment as it comes and embracing it. Wouldn’t you give a limb to be able to experience that kind of calm and nonchalant for one day?

I will never forget when I first started doing the whole “single mom” thing. I was late for work. Still new on the job. I lived 30 minutes from work. My daughter (Summer) was just freshly two years old. We (I) was late for work. I lived on the third floor so I had to carry her and all of my things down three flights of stairs. I finally reach the ground floor and set her down and I’m halfway to my car when I notice she is still by the stairs smelling (literally) the flowers and picking them from the bush. I felt my blood boiling… the nerve… until she looked at me with this big smile and said, “mommy, I’m picking flowers for you”. She had no idea I was late or even what that meant. She knew she loved me. She knew she stumbled across something beautiful. And she wanted to share it with me. Mean ol’ late-to-work mama.

I’m positive that I can narrow it to that day – the day I stopped rushing myself and my daughter and started embracing the fact that one day I will get the hang of it but until then I had better cherish life, smell the roses, and be in the moment. And lucky for me, my bosses are kind and fair. I was happier for it. My days were easier. I was more motivated. I was less stressed.

Truth be told, I’ve been rushing around lately, hurrying Summer and myself. I’ve been multi-tasking, I’ve been on autopilot. I’ve even used my cell phone while at dinner with Summer (shameful). I needed to read that article to remind me to slow down.

We need to connect more with the present moment. Embrace it. We need to walk at a slower pace. Respond after thinking. Let things marinate. And just sloowww down so we don’t miss and take for granted the little things that happen when we give ourselves fully to a moment, task, conversation, or relationship.

I don’t own an alarm clock. I haven’t since about 2005. I never wear a watch on the weekends. I’ve gotten much better at leaving my phone on a counter somewhere. And I feel less judged by the hour, minute, even second hand on the clock. I’m quite often a few minutes late to everything but when I’m there, you’ve got my full attention.

Hell, I might even show up with a freshly picked rose.