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Love, Process, and Letting Go: What I Learned as My Daughter Made Valentines

“It will take one hundred years!” I said a bit (okay, a lot) immaturely to my 5 year-old daughter mimicking her usual phrase. She wanted to trace, cut out, decorate, and write names on 19 homemade heart-shaped valentines for her nursery school classmates. Wanting to avoid the time, imagined tears of frustration (hers and mine!), and perceived stress, I proposed I at least cut them out. I pictured hearts made with nice smooth scissor edges. That proposal was shot down. I hung out cleaning the kitchen instead, until it was painfully obvious I was not needed at all. Sometime later that afternoon, I was proven totally wrong. Those 19 valentines were done. My heart felt so full seeing them on the table after watching her plug away undaunted by the task at hand. These pieces of paper, which I doubt     . . . read more

Waiting for the Right Time?

I stopped blogging a few months ago to pursue what turned out to be a fairly involved personal project: baby #2. She arrived just before Thanksgiving and has brought a joyful chaos with her. I started wanting to write again a few weeks back, but there was always stuff to do. I kept thinking: maybe I’ll write when my laundry pile is gone. Or my paperwork pile. Or when I’ve slept through a night. So here’s my blog post. I must be doing great, accomplishing those thing, right? NOPE. Not even close. I’ve got lots of piles and minimal connected sleep. The truth is I’m not going to have everything done. There is no immediate future involving all things cleanly squared away while I sit down to write. So here I stand (literally I’m standing), dishes in the sink, laundry     . . . read more

Excuses, Excuses: What Gets in the Way of Attending to Your Health?

Yesterday I wrote about what I think it means to be truly healthy. I know this kind of discussion easily lends itself to excuses and talk of how hard it is. I get it, on some level, but I really want you to be healthy. It’s too important. So humor me and read why I think the following excuses are mostly bunk:  I want to be healthy, but it’s really selfish No, it’s not. Wanting to feel well in your body is not selfish, it’s a healthy and normal desire. If you are willing to starve your children to ensure your own well-being, I’ll concede this point. But that’s not usually the case with this excuse, is it? It’s usually well-meaning people who think if they take some time and attention on their food, exercise, and emotions the world will fall     . . . read more

Change and Motivation: Overcome the F#ck-It Factor

A post for grown ups only due to realistic (okay, okay… inappropriate) language. Change is hard and maintaining motivation over a long period of time is a classic human difficulty. I believe that if you are going to invest in a key life change, you want to think about starting in a way that will set you up for long-term success. Building a strong foundation for change requires intentional thought. Why? Because sooner or later the usual suspects come knocking on your door: stress, fatigue, pressure, social situations, burn-out, and lack of preparedness. When that moment comes, and it always does, two little words stand between all your hard work and the impending self-sabotage. Fuck it. Those two words cue the U-turn into setback city, often to get lost and not re-emerge to changeville for a long time. Real change     . . . read more

Motivation and Change: Are You Ready and Able?

This is a series on motivation and change. You can catch up with the first and second posts, which I recommend. When you decide that some change you have been contemplating is “worth it,” the next step is to decide if you are ready. You are ready if you both want to and can devote at least some of your resources to the project. If I want to start painting my shed, I at least need some paint, a paintbrush, and an afternoon. I also need to know how to paint. The next question is: Do you know how to make this change? The bigger the project, the more important that you really consider this question. It might be okay to just experiment painting the shed. But if I’m going to town on the entire house, I might really want     . . . read more

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