Monthly Archives: September 2018

What A Waste!

I sank into the swamp of self-loathing, self-pity, and straight simple self-hatred. I struggled with what I have done, what I haven’t done, and what I likely will never accomplish. I looked at myself in the mirror and said to my reflection, “What a waste.”

You know what? I was right.

Now, I know I am not a waste, although let’s face it, at some point in each of our lives each of us may likely feel that way. However, that wrong thought may cause us to think deeply about some of the things we are doing. My thoughts stayed on the track of “What a waste,” but not directed at myself.

My “What a waste” insight directed me to some of my wasteful habits, and some more responsible efforts.

Wasting resources

  • Re-running bathwater

How many times have I run my bath full of hot water, and walked away for just a few minutes, only to forget about it and return a few hours later to a cold tub?

  • Re-washing laundry

I am sure I am not the only one who has ever had to put a load of laundry back in the washer because it sat for two days and soured. Just because many people do it doesn’t make it okay.

  • Cooking too much food

This one is a learned habit rather than a forgetfulness habit. I have six children, and have spent a major portion of my adult life cooking for a veritable army of mouths and stomachs. I need to relearn to cook for only two, something I have never really needed to do until just recently. Unfortunately, this waste leads to the next waste…

  • Not using leftovers

Since my husband and I do not require that I cook for multitudes, we do not need leftovers for multitudes. And the food goes bad and and into the trash.

  • Purchasing non-necessary duplicates

Oh my goodness! I have purchased a plethora of paper plates because I either couldn’t find them or didn’t know I had any due to disorganization. I have recently had three entire gallons of milk at once (mind you, two of us live here and one of us doesn’t drink milk) because I didn’t know there was a gallon in the kitchen fridge and a gallon in the garage fridge. Wow. This doesn’t even touch the craft supplies – the nonconsumable craft supplies, like paper punches and stamps – that have made their way into my cart because I didn’t know I already had the.exact.same.thing.at.home!

Wasting time and energy

I have frequently looked back over my day and thought, “Where did the time go? Just what did I accomplish today? Anything? Anything at all?” Granted, in recent time, I have had to answer myself, “I am sick. I am exhausted. I have a reason.” that is not always the case, though. I still have to be accountable for what I can get done on the days that I am not required to get bedrest. Most days, I can still do something.

Wasting space

My house is fairly large, and as I mentioned earlier, it is mainly my husband and me at home. I have more than enough space to take care of our needs comfortably, and can still help out other people in need, host meetings and get-together, and have space for our twelve grandchildren to play. Why does it feel so crowded then?

Because I have too much stuff and I have too little organization.

Wasting worry/emotions

Sometimes the biggest issue out of all these is that I let my emotions and worries take control and I am sent on a wild careening ride for which I did not intend to buy a ticket! I am stuck in a time suck, or I am captive in my bed because of stress-induced illness, or I am self-medicating with shopping, or I lash out at loved ones.

There are solutions. I promise there are solutions. Since we have spent some time and heart identifying the problems, I will address actual, doable, feasible solutions for each of these wastes of time. Stick with me for the next post.

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Gladness Goals

On a scale of miserable to ecstatic, how glad are you at this moment?

Miserable ——- Sad ——- Meh ——- Okay ——- Cheerful ——- Happy ——- Ecstatic!

Do you realize that your happiness is entirely under your control?

You can experience gladness of heart if you want. Here are seven simple ways to build gladness into your life.

1. Hugs

Hugs make you feel more psychologically secure.

-Leo Buscaglia

I wasn’t always a hugger. I come from a family of non-huggers. Hugging felt intrusive and sometimes intimidating.

Then I moved about 65 miles north, away from my hometown of 31 years. It was a surprisingly huge culture shock. Part of that shock was that almost everyone I met was a hugger.

And I didn’t hate it. In fact, I drank it up like I had found a well of cold water in the desert. It was, and is, one of the most wonderful changes in my life.

The science behind hugging is proof that a hug can change your day, or even your life. So go hug someone. Now.

2. Laugh with someone at least daily.

Laugh, not at someone, but with someone. Comedians can be funny (not always) and a child’s antics may be amusing, but sharing the intimacy of a moment of community with a laugh is healthy for both mind and body.

3. Compliment at least three people daily.

An honest compliment can make anyone’s day, and it will make yours as well. When you train yourself to look for an comment on a positive attribute or action of another, you tend to have a more positive outlook yourself.

4. Help someone at least three times a week.

You help someone so much more when you offer a hand-up instead of a hand-out. Science and society have shown over and over again the benefits of helping others, for the giver as well as the receiver.

What can I do with what I have to help others?

5. Keep a gratitude journal.

It is commonplace for many of us, myself included, to take for granted that our everyday needs and wants are amply supplied.

~ I have a roof over my head, floors under my feet, and heat, A/C, electricity, running hot and cold water, and an abundance of appliances.

~ I have a closet full of nice, comfortable clothes and shoes, a dresser full of clothes, and even a spare closet of special occasion clothes. I have a washer and dryer to clean all of these clothes. I even have an assortment of extra clothes for my grandchildren in their playroom.

~ I have family and friends that I love and that love me.

~ I have the freedom and the ability to worship and practice my faith in a multitude of ways. I am allowed to use my abilities to lead and teach and bless others.

~ I can read and write and sing and walk and so many other blessings.

~ I have all of these things and so many more that I can (although I shouldn’t) forget to be grateful.

I have been without many of these needs and wants at various times in my life, so you would think I wouldn’t forget… but I do. Perhaps listing three things each day that I am thankful to have experienced or I have been blessed with would help all of us to appreciate the really good lives we have.

6. Say “Thank you” and mean it.

How many times have you said those two words in the past week and it wasn’t just a mindless phrase repeated because it was expected? How about yesterday? How about this morning?

Words become just that, words, when we aren’t truly experiencing the meaning behind them. Now, I don’t suggest that you stop saying thank you unless you have the time to meditate over the action for which you would typically say thank you. This actually refers back to being grateful.

Do this. Try writing a thank you note to someone, anyone, for something they did that truly made you feel gratitude. Do it again.

Do this. Try giving an authentic smile when the words “Thank you” come out of your mouth.

Do this. Say “Thank you” and genuinely mean it.

7. Be kind to yourself.

Give yourself grace. You are not perfect. No one is. So why beat yourself up over mistakes and missteps? Learn from it and live your life. No one else can do this for you.

Give yourself goodies. Take a long, hot bath. Go for a walk. Start a list of aspects that you like about yourself. No one else needs to see this list, so start liking yourself!

Give yourself great memories. Hang out with friends if that is your thing, and take photos. Write down what you want to remember and make an album that will make you happy. Hang out with yourself if that is your thing. Write in a diary or journal, or make art, or listen to your favorite music.

And finally,