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Try THIS to have peace during the holidays

family time stress Nov 18, 2020

It’s that time of year. 

I’m sitting in my cozy spot on the couch, drinking my coffee, and reflecting on the sweet family traditions, great meals, eggnog, and…

...Oh gosh, STRESS

My mind starts to race as I contemplate the numerous things that “need” to be accomplished in the next 42 days…ughhh!

Does this happen to you, too? 

The holiday season, theoretically, sounds so fun with all the parties, family gatherings, giving, and helping others...which is wonderful!  

But then there is the opposing reality:
What will we do for Thanksgiving?
Should we host at our home or travel to family?
Can we get together with friends who are local?
How can we volunteer to serve others?

Now on to Christmas in, gulp, 27 days! There are teacher gifts, school parties, what do we get for the family who we see once a year? Where is the Christmas card list? Is there a decent family photo, NO, oh great should we hire a photographer? Shutterfly,...

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Just Ask…Why Not? What’s the Worst that Can Happen??

How many times have you wanted to ask for something...but you just let it go?

Whether it’s asking to have your burger cooked longer, a different hotel room, an appointment with a potential employer, coffee with someone who is in an industry you’re interested in, asking for the job that you’re interviewing for, or even deeper than that, asking for forgiveness for something you have done…

...But you just do not ask.

Why is that? 

Fear. 

When I want to ask for something but I am afraid, I ask myself:

“What is the worst that can happen?”

Then I visualize all the bad things that can happen, list them out, and actually examine them.

 Bad Scenarios:

  • You die. Now that is not going to happen - well I guess it depends what you are asking, but odds are pretty low.
  • You are humiliated. Ok that would stink, but really at the end of the day, it’s not that bad - and you did not die.
  • The answer is “no”! Well again, that would be...
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Does Anybody Want to Talk on the Phone Anymore?

I texted her a dissertation...I mean, another one, after my first super long message...and then it hit me:

Why don’t I just call her? 

Wow! What a revelation!

Instead of texting, instant messaging, making comments, and then checking comments on Facebook... all while trying to drive, get groceries, and make dinner…

...It is actually easier just to have a quick conversation.

Now don’t get me wrong: there are definitely times when a quick text is appropriate - like letting someone know you’re running late, confirming a meeting place, or something of that sort.  

But it seems as if we’ve gone off the deep end...myself included. 

I have text strings that are as long as the Gettysburg address! Now, I have to say that voice recognition has helped improve the communications for texting and emailing but still…

What stopped me from making the call versus this laborious exercise of going back and forth texting? 

I was afraid that...

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The Best You is around the corner!

How do you see yourself?

Do you see yourself as healthy and vivacious? Or fat and lethargic??

Our minds impact how we live and what kind of life we create. 

The key is to be real honest. 

Are your actions aligned with how you see yourself? 

If how you see yourself doesn’t align with how you want to see yourself...then determine who or what you want to be, and start telling yourself that is who you are. 

What kind of self-talk is your internal dialogue speaking?

Our internal thoughts are the most powerful driver to determine our potential. The key is how we speak to ourselves. 

For example: “I am a writer, motivational/inspirational speaker, and author”. My goal is to overcome my own fear and share life lessons with others to inspire them to live their best life and realize their own self-worth and potential.

Everything is about choices. 

How great, mediocre, or miserable our life depends on the choices we make...and those choices are...

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Taking time to connect, That’s What Life Is All About!

Spending time with cherished friends that add value to our lives, encourage us, who demonstrate kindness, grace, and passion...this is what life is all about! 

I couldn’t believe it had been 1.5 years since I got together to share stories with my friend Julie. My crazy schedule has made it feel like trying to fit 50 lbs. into a 10 lb. sack!

Julie, on the other hand, knows how to make time for others and enjoy life.

She works hard but has an incredible gift to connect with everyone she meets. It seems like everywhere I go people know her and love her… I call her the Mayor. Even after a tragic loss of her husband a year and a half ago, she has an incredibly positive outlook on life and people. Now, this is the kind of person you want to hang with.

How about you? 

Do you make the effort to schedule time with friends that build you up and when you walk away you feel inspired and energized? 

Joel Osteen talks about the 2-minute people, 2-hour people, and 2-day...

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Let It Go – I’m not talking about the movie

I walked into my 11-year-old son had just rearranged his whole bedroom. He excitedly asked, “Mom, what do you think?”

As an avid HGTV watcher, this was ALL WRONG! You shouldn’t block the window like that, it looks terrible! This is what I was thinking…

But rather than crush his spirit, I asked him a few questions about his bedroom redesign.

 Me: “Why did you place your bed in front of the window?”

Carson: “Because when I wake up, I can look out the window and see the sunrise.”

Me: “Wow! That sounds like a great way to start your day. Ok, now what about the fact that the closet door is blocked”? (It’s one of those bi-fold types, so there are two sides that open. )

Carson:  “I can still get the one side open and reach what I need.”

Me: “ok, hummm…”

Well, everything he said made sense...but it still looked terrible! 

As I stood there evaluating the situation and seeing the...

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Lessons from the road: Sh*&t...stuff happens:)

We sold our big house, SUV, sedan, a lot of our furniture/stuff...then bought an RV and jeep and hit the road to travel America.  Our family (two kids and a dog!) were on an adventure!

When we started the journey out of Atlanta, we had no clue what we were doing or getting ourselves into. 

With both my husband and I working full time and the children participating in the Georgia Cyber Academy, we had to create new norms.

Life had been completely unconventional and we all learned life lessons.

One of the main lessons we learned is that STUFF HAPPENS.

Despite reading blogs about RV’s and our best efforts to prepare, Patricia at the RV dealership said it best: 

“Be sure you have a tool kit and a sense of humor when you hit the road.” 

They weren’t kidding! 

The door broke at a truck stop where I had to have 2 men lift me up and shove me through the window…

The satellite dish almost blew off on 95 North... 

The septic thingy...

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We All Want To Be Heard

The meeting ran late, I scrambled to get my things together, my taxi was waiting, and the airport was still a 45-minute drive away…

The cab driver walked up to carry my luggage to the car and I was a bit taken aback. 

There stood a young man who was extremely disheveled with wrinkled, dirty clothes, body art, and unkempt hair.  

Frankly, I was surprised at the unprofessional appearance of someone serving clients at this resort...  

I introduced myself and asked him his name. It was Danny.

On the drive to the airport, I asked Danny questions about how he got to this town, what brought him to this job, what are his goals and aspirations, what did he see for his future… 

We had an amazing conversation. I learned so much about him.  He was a bright, smart, sweet young man who had family challenges that brought him to Florida. 

He literally had nothing and none of his family even knew where he was; driving the taxi was the first...

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Proud Mamas, Do we go too far?

motherhood parenting Sep 23, 2020

What can I say I’m a proud Mama. I couldn’t help but brag…oops, I mean share how amazing my daughter and son are! 

Our daughter started setting her alarm, making her bed and lunch in kindergarten. Our son started reading chapter books at five, learned how to do laundry at six…this was about the time I noticed this fellow Mom’s eyes glaze over…Had I gone too far??

After having children, my wonderful “steel magnolias” Mother-in-law shared some advice with me in her sweet southern accent: 

dahlin’, the only people who want to hear how great your children are, are their parents and grandparents. Other than that, keep it to yourself.”

Well, frankly I was a bit offended because I felt that it should be ok, to discuss the accomplishments, strengths, and gifts of our children! Well, it is...but now I understand her wisdom.

Having been both on the delivery end and receiving end of listening to another parent go...

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VIP treatment and the magic question to get you there.

When I worked in London, I met people from all over the world: Latvia, Norway, Spain, Poland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Egypt, Lithuania, Romania, and the list goes on. I love, love, love people, asking about their story and how they ended up abroad. 

But the first question I always asked was “what’s your name?” and then introduced myself. I like to call it the magic question.

It is said that each of us has a favorite word….our name. Think about it: if someone references you by name, don’t you feel valued. They took the time and effort to remember your name. 

When we were in Paris, France several years ago, I learned enough French to say Comment t’appelles-tu? Je m’appelle, Christine. I literally observed a complete shift in how we were treated, from aloof - almost rude - to kind and compassionate. 

When you ask someone their name, they are no longer some anonymous person; they are accountable for their actions because...

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