Stop. Start. Keep!

Many years ago – in counseling, I think – I first heard of this strategy:

Decide which things are important for you to Stop Doing, Start Doing & Keep Doing.  I’ve put it to use in relationships, at work and in my life, in general.

stop start keep

When times get tough. I pull this out.  When it’s time to start a new chapter, I pull this out.  When I need to redirect my energies, I pull this out.

I’m redirecting my energies, as most people probably are at this time of year.
It’s the last weekend of the holidays. It’s time to get back to a routine, and time to put all these new resolutions, habits and intentions into full force.

I’ll STOP letting my “need” to stay on top of everything take priority over the real priorities.  (read: relax, be present, slow down)

I’ll START putting time back into my mornings for reflection, writing and setting my intentions.  (Why oh why do we ever allow ourselves to get pulled from the things we know are so good for us?)

I’ll KEEP ordering my groceries. 🙂 Damn! I did that for the first time around Thanksgiving and don’t know what took me so long to find this bit of magic!?! #gamechanger #jewelkeepssendingmecoupons now #goingtothegrocerystoreisforamateurs

Now, I just “found time” to get that writing and reflecting in – well whaddya know….

As for you, my dear friends here’s my 2019 wish – I hope you:

STOP being so hard on yourself. We are all doing the best we can. (You are, aren’t you!?!)

START something new.  Anything new. A new habit, a new hobby, a new chapter. Just begin. Like today, right now.

KEEP believing that ANYTHING you want, is possible. You can find it. It’s out there, whatever “it” is (If it wasn’t supposed to be, you never would have thought of it!)

You Heard the Lady,

XX

 

 

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Another Trip Around the Sun

For all of us.  (Spoiler alert – this is my version of a year end card…)

I’d like to say WE MADE IT! But some have not. I lost a mentor this year, and my sweet uncle.  My dear friend just lost her mom, and my heart hurts for her as I consider how very different her holidays were this year.

“Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”  Okay, true. But it still sucks. 

Best Quotes: Love hurt?

I’ve been weepy considering that Jasmine just left for her new Chapter in Texas. It’s an interesting conundrum: How can one be so very excited (and PROUD!) of their wee little one testing out her wings and at the same time be so scared,  and so selfishly wishing she was just in the next room, or at the very least, the next town.  I’m happy David will be with her. He’s goodness,  and he makes her laugh,  and they both make me smile.

“You should be proud! You’ve helped raise her to be this strong independant woman…” I AM proud. Now hold my hand. 

How to Draw Sandy Cheeks from SpongeBob SquarePants: 9 Steps

Career changes: Add. Subtract.  I’m closing a chapter, and opening a new door.

  “Who moved my cheese?”  It’s okay. There is more cheese! 

New Chapter In Life Quotes. QuotesGram

Today also marks 4 years of wedded bliss with Mr. DeLisle. The man is a saint. Just ask anyone.

Our life is complicated. And full.  And awesome.  I hope you feel the same about yours.   

us

Which brings me to New Year’s Resolutions. This is simple: Let’s all just do better this year. That’s all. 

Don’t go changing too much – I quite like you the way you are. 

You Heard the Lady,

XO

 

Holiday Traditions

I live for this time of year! I love the holidays, and everything that comes with this busy, crazy time.  It tends to be the busiest time of year in my industry, and yet, I don’t mind kicking everying into hyper:drive to get to fit it all in.

Holiday Season in 3, 2, 1 … GO!

In our home, there are the things we ALWAYS do and somehow the list of things we USED to do is growing.  I know it is just a side effect of family dynamics changing, but I try desperately to hold on to some of the traditions, while we gently let other ones evolve.

We ALWAYS make our caramels (this year Patrick did them start to finish by himself and THAT is a BIG job!)  We always have way too many gifts. We always follow Jasmine’s wrapping protocol (or else!), and we always run all over the place and make sure we sneak the time in with those we love.

We USED to do the 12 days of Christmas (read above:  we always have way too many gifts, and this just might be the genesis of that.)  We used to open one a day each day during the 12 days, and spread out the cheer.  When Mickey moved out, we kept it up.  When Jasmine went to college, we did it via FaceTime, and somehow, as the kiddos started to disburse, we lost that piece of our tradition.

One of my favorite decorations is a sign that reads:  THE KIDS HERE ARE: and at the bottom has a board that can be moved to read NAUGHTY or NICE.  When then kiddos were little, a constant battle ensued.  Jasmine couldn’t bear to have it say NAUGHTY, and Mickey saw that as a challenge! 🙂

No one really fights to flip it back and forth any more, but I LOVE seeing it, and remembering those days.

We have a tradition of critiquing Christmas Light displays.  If it’s a job well done – well, “that man is obvously an excellent father.” If there is a small sprinkling of lights on one certain area, that’s a “Why Bother” and God Forbid you use all different colors of lights and just generally throw up Christmas on your front lawn. Nope. That’s a “MISH MOSH!” (Of course, we have no lights outside, so we are completely unqualified to judge, but what’s the fun in that!?

So many more things come to mind: The cookies we always bake. What goes under which tree, the pierogies my dad always gets for me from the church, the lump of coal I always pull out and revel in the story/memory.  Our matching stockings. The “one person at a time” gift opening routine.  I cherish this time of year, and the things our family has made so special.

When in England earlier this year, one of the guards at the Tower of London spoke about tradition. He said that when it comes to tradition, you absolutely cannot waiver. You cannot miss it even a single time, for then it becomes too easy to set aside, and the important tradition(s) can be lost forever.

I so agree. I so get it. And yet the memories of some of those things that we had to change over the years, are marked in my memory and on my heart.

You Heard the Lady,

XX

p.s. I  am also absolutely fascinated with  other people’s traditions. What’s your favorite?

 

 

 

Because We Can. We Must…

zcenter logo
When I first learned of the Z Center and the work that they do, one statistic struck me:

“1 in every 4 women will be the victim of a sexual assault before they turn 18…” I actually wasn’t struck, I was haunted.

If it wasn’t me, perhaps my daughter? My sister? My niece?

And I had to do something. Help stop the stigma. Help break the cycle. Help change that stat. Stat.

I’ve since been through a 40 hour training/certification and help out where I can.

Helping to raise funds, awareness, and being on call, once a week to be a Medical Advocate for any victims that might show up in Lake County Hospitals.  I’ve helped a little, but learned a TON, and am proud to be partnered with an organization like the Zacharias Center.

That’s why last week’s blog post was delayed until today, #givingtuesday in hopes that you will consider sharing what you can with this worthy organization.  https://www.ilgive.com/organizations/zacharias-sexual-abuse-center

(AND, there is a matching grant from a foundation in Lake County so for every dollar raised, ZCenter will receive a matching dollar!)

As a treat, I wanted to share this – one of my most favorite short videos. It will make you smile, and I hope it makes you think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rqduqh3GNs&feature=youtu.be

Because…

consent is sexy

 

You Heard the Lady,

XX

You Know What You Touched

This.

soap

I’m so very pleased with my purchase from last night.  I was a bit horrified when I saw them; “It would be funny if it weren’t true!”

While I understand that the autistic teenagers that hang out at our residence might need some nudging and reminding (like, constantly!), I would hope that would be where this would end.

Evidently not. Or WHY ELSE would the nice lady at the holiday boutique last night make – and sell – said soap dispensers? (To other nice ladies, like myself??)

And then I got to thinking. (Because what else better defines “Random Musings of a Classic Overthinker” than this?)  But, why, in the name of all that is Holy, do I ever have to see a woman leave a public bathroom without washing her hands? WHY?  Did her mother never teach her? Was she never shamed into washing, even begrudgingly? Does she not like soap? Does she have a secret plan to contaminate the entire population and move on to other world domination plots? I just do not understand.

It seems to me that I am falling into a “judging” zone, which I believe I just wrote about last week.

Is this different? Can I judge on this particular transgression? Or no, am I actually bound to my own musings? Dammit.

I know that I have totally judged on this in the past, when I saw a woman walk right out of her stall and into the public, only to realize that she was in a stall that housed its own sink. I had to apologize to her in my own mind, and of course gave her the benefit of the doubt. Because, really, she would have washed. Right??  And to be fair, it’s rare. I don’t see it often, but when I do. I’M SHOCKED! What…? How…? Whyyyyy?!?!

Now, men, I obviously have no idea if you are washing or not. (Except for those of you with whom I cohabitate – yes, I know, I am all over you like white on rice…)  But for the rest of you, I don’t make a practice of hanging out in men’s restrooms – and you’re welcome – but for the love of donuts, PLEASE don’t make me wonder. Just wash the F-ing hands.

Don’t be gross.  You know what you touched.
You Heard the Lady,

XX

Zip it.

I can remember when now 24 year old Jasmine was a pre-teen, she would get so aggravated when she heard someone talking bad about another someone.  Her basis was basically this:  “What he or she chooses to do, say, wear…doesn’t affect your life, so why do you care?”  Another Jasmine goodie to the ever constant criticism of professional athletes. “If you can do it better, let’s see it.”

So, I TRY to let people do what they want. Wear what they want. Say what they want. It is, indeed, their life and they (whoever they are) have made it this far without my never-so humble opinion(s) shaping their existence.  Who am I to judge? I can almost hear Jasmine reminding me that I have done, wore and said things that horrify me to this day. And I thank you for not reminding me of them, or holding them against me. (I do a pretty good job of that, myself.)

And speaking of passing judgement. Ugh. That’s just plain DUMB. Because as near as I can tell, everything I’ve ever passed judgement on has shown right up at my front door. And that’s awesome. (or not.)

Now, that’s not to say I don’t get mad. React when I get stung. Swear (but you already know that about me) like a sailor – even directed at others – when appropriate.  What I try not to do is make it personal.  And if I do ever fall in that gutter, I have a good man who reminds me that’s not where I live, and pulls me out, and dusts me off.

Again, I’m not playing high & mighty – I wish I could say I never did it, or never do it. I’m just saying I feel GROSS when I do, and wish I didn’t.  So it’s a process, and one I intend to keep working on.

I once heard the mantra:

“I spend so much time on the improvement of myself that I have no time to criticize others.”

That’s really where I want to live.  So, in the moments when I’m tempted to jump on the bandwagon and just rip someone apart, I usually get quiet (yes, it can happen!).  And in that quiet I am working hard on showing restraint, and probably digging deep for some inspiration like:

“When they go low, we go HIGH.”

 Or get high, but that’s another blog, altogether…

magical

In the end, it’s hard work being a decent, kind, non-judgemental, gossip-free Princess.  Especially when I’m out and I see someone in shoes that just DO NOT work with that outfit … Wait!? Did she just go there??

You Heard the Lady,

XX

Those Were the Days, Huh?

flat screens

And is it any wonder she has that rockin’ bod? I mean, she had to get up and change the channel, get up and raise the volume, get up and lower the volume, and get up again to turn it off.  It was a lot of work, and kids today just don’t understand.

Now, I just use my “clicker.” Or, tell Alexa to do it.

This suddenly makes me feel like one of the slugs in the movie Wall-E. Which I can probably find playing somewhere on one of our hundreds of cable channels,  if I could only find my clicker.

“Alexa!…”  You Heard the Lady,
XX