Stop Saving!

note­

I don’t know about you, but I’m a saver.  Despite my kids’ belief, I’m not a hoarder, but I definitely save stuff.  I have a really nice notebook that I should be writing in, but I’m saving it because I love it (in truth, I have more than one of these).  I have some nice perfume that I use on special occasions, but should be using it every day.  I have some little soaps that are really beautiful and some candles that smell awesome, but do I use them?  Nope.  I save them, just like the lovely stationery that I have and don’t use.

I’m not sure what I’m saving them for.   I know in my head that if use the notebook, I’m pretty sure I can find another one that I really like.  I can definitely run into TJ Maxx and find some great soaps to replace the ones I should be using.   I realize that I should be using all of these things in my daily life and not saving them for special occasions.  Every day is a special occasion, after all.  I got up this morning, I made it out of bed and managed (most of) my to-do’s on my list today.  For that alone, I think I probably deserve a spray of perfume or a special note to a friend written on beautiful paper.

There’s really no point in saving these things.   I can guarantee that my own kids will not feel the same way about these things that I do.  Nobody else will have the sentimental attachment or the “pull” that I felt when I purchased these items.  I got them because they made me feel good.  I should go ahead and use them for that very same reason.  I think this follows the same theory of eating dessert first.  Life is here in this very moment.  We should just go ahead and use every single thing that we have that makes us happy.  Every day we do the best job that we can and we deserve something that makes us feel special, whether it’s lighting a candle, putting on some perfume, writing in a beautiful journal…whatever it is that makes you happy.  So go ahead and use it up­­…stop saving up!

What do you save that you’re going to start using?

Kids, like our seasons, change too fast!

enjoy the season
enjoy the season

Children, like seasons, should be enjoyed in the moment.  Isn’t it funny how fast time seems to go by?  With kids, it seems like we just keep waiting for them to do the next thing, like going from a baby to a toddler, from playing in the park to playing in the schoolyard.  The seasons seem to follow this same pattern.  We keep waiting for the next holiday season to roll around before we’ve even enjoyed this one! I refuse to be pulled into this.   I want to enjoy each stage and each season while I’m in it.

I just now saw a commercial on TV for Christmas tree lights!  It’s still September, right?  We have the two major holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving before Christmas rolls around.  I absolutely love the fall season and I am going to continue to enjoy it without thinking about Christmas.  In fact, I’m not even thinking about Halloween or Thanksgiving yet.  I’m going to enjoy the colors, the smells, and the beautiful changes of this season while it’s here, without thinking about the next three holidays coming up.  I’m almost ready to include Halloween and, in fact, I bought candy yesterday but that’s mostly so that I can eat it myself over the next 4 ½ weeks.

Similarly, when you have a baby and you’re sitting in the dark silence of the night, you’re waiting for the time when he sleeps through the night.  Once that happens, you’re waiting for him to crawl, then to walk.  Stop, though, and take a moment to enjoy each one of those stages of his life.  It doesn’t seem like this middle of the night crying or exhaustion would leave much for you to appreciate, but you will never be that close to your baby again.  It’s just you and him.  Nothing else in the world matters but that.  Enjoy that time.  Very soon, you will be just a part of their world, not their entire world.  Hug him, love him, and appreciate those quiet (and loud) moments between just the two of you.  Keep doing that through every single stage.  Enjoy each and every season of his life for what it is.

To me, it seems like these three holidays coming up are a lot like children going from your arms to going to school; it seems like it happens so quickly!  Take the time to appreciate each and every step.  Try not to rush it along or let it pass you by while you wait for the next milestone.  I liken the long, cold, dark stretch of winter between Christmas and Memorial Day to the adolescent stage of kids.  If any of you have had teens, I think you’ll know why.  That time seems like it will never end!  Have faith; just like the seasons this, too, will pass and continue on as it has forever.  Try not to rush it along; work to create some of those moments that you will want to remember for years to come.  This season is just as important, if not more so, than any other.  Celebrate it with them and enjoy the moments because this season, too, will pass.

Those Two Little Words

apology flower
apology

The power contained in the two little words “I’m Sorry” is enormous!  It can heal years-old hurt, renew friendships, and restore relationships.  It can change people’s lives by allowing them to start forgiving and to get past the hurt and it makes you feel better as well.  Why, if it’s so valuable to say them, are these two little words so difficult for us to say?

Pride for one thing.  None of us likes to admit that we did or said anything wrong–ever.  Our first inclination, then, is to deny, deny, deny.  Some initial responses when you’ve done something that you regret can include:

  • That’s not what I meant
  • You misunderstood
  • That never happened
  • (S)he is lying
  • That’s not really what I said
  • It came out wrong
  • You don’t understand

Why do we feel the need to explain how what we did or said makes us innocent, even when we’re not?  There is not one single person on this earth that is perfect; NOT ONE.  Why do we try so hard to prove that we are?  What do we have to gain?  Time?  Almost all the time, things come out anyway and you end up addressing it, so why prolong it?  The longer you wait, the worse it gets.  It eats at the person that did something and it eats away at the person that was wronged.  You both know something was said or done even if you’re not quite sure of the details or disagree about the circumstances.  Sometimes neither person knows how to fix it.  Is it because of embarrassment?  Probably, but that stays with you, too, until it’s resolved.  Sometimes it gets to be so big that you lose the relationship rather than admit you were wrong.  Is it worth it?  Good relationships are a blessing and not replaceable. Continue reading “Those Two Little Words”

National Suicide Prevention Week

hope
hope

This year, this week…you can make a difference.  The issue of suicide is always a bit scary, both because we’re afraid it will happen to someone we love and because we are, for the most part, not very knowledgeable about the subject until it affects us.  I have a few people in my life that have been directly impacted by this issue and my heart still breaks for the pain that they experience.  While I learned a bit about it, enough to have an intelligent conversation, I was still unaware of the actual statistics on this issue or the information that is available to help us all become more aware.  This week is National Suicide Prevention Week and, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.  In addition to that, for every suicide that is carried out, there are about 25 more attempts.  Life is hard for all of us and, for some, it’s harder.  We’ve made some strides in making this topic more mainstream, but we still have work to do.  Depression, mental illness, and suicide are not taboo topics; they are a necessary conversation.  This is no different than us researching cancer or heart attacks.  We all know the warning signs of those and take action to prevent or heal ourselves and those close to us.  We should be doing the same work on the topics of mental illness and/or suicide. Continue reading “National Suicide Prevention Week”