Many people need a motivational boost to start their week off on a Monday because they’re still tired from the weekend, they have to wake up earlier, or just the thought of everything they have to do that week is totally overwhelming. Well, I’m here to tell that some of us also need some supercharged motivation on a Friday.
I’m not saying we need motivation to get pumped up about Friday because we all love Fridays! (Woo-hoo! The weekend!) The motivation I’m talking about is for those of us who are mentally checking out early. I’m sure there are countless times you’ve said the following statements on a Friday. I just can’t wait to get out of the office! or I’m so glad it’s the weekend. Come on 5 o’clock! (I can’t even tell you the amount of times I begged the clock to work faster on a Friday!)
But that’s the type of attitude I’m trying to make us aware of. I’m not saying to not be excited, but instead to focus on today with the same intensity you give to a Monday. Make an effort to be extra present today instead of solely focusing on the weekend.
The accomplishments I’ve had in my life can be attributed to consistency. I haven’t won a Nobel Prize. I’m not a doctor. I haven’t innovated the latest and greatest new technology. And some days I don’t even match, but damn it I am consistent.
I believe this is the only reason why I am still here writing today. There isn’t always an overflow of insightful information coming from my mind (or sometimes even information that makes sense), but I show up every day to write consistently. This is how I eventually got better at volleyball as a teen. This is the way I graduated college. This is how I stumbled upon writing my first book. This is the way I raise my kids every day. I showed up. I show up.
So if there is someone out there who is struggling with life being “sucky” lately, don’t give up hope. Just show up. Show up every day and do one more good thing today than you did yesterday. Maybe that’s making a better food choice to a healthier option. Maybe that’s applying for a yet another job that’ll get you out of the dead end one you’re in now. Maybe that’s simply not taking a drink today. Whatever the case may be, just show up today. Be intentional with your life today.
When I think about all of the worries or fears or doubts I have, almost every single one of them is in the future. It’s not even something right here in front of me. Worried about how my kids will turn out; worried if I’ll ever be able to earn more money to contribute to the family income; worried that none of us will make friends in our new little community. Worry. Worry. Worry. I understand that some/most of those are ridiculous things to worry about, but they do pop into my head…a lot actually!
But what happens if I focus on today? What if, instead of worrying about things that are completely out of my control, I solely focused on today? I mean this is after all the culmination of life, right? Focusing on today and not tomorrow’s worries. (Easier said than done on most days.)
Not today, though. I will focus on today as today is my only guarantee. I’m not guaranteed tomorrow or next month or even next year, but I am here today. I’m not trying to sound like a Debbie Downer here, but I just woke up this morning and realized I was bumming myself out worrying about freaking everything around me and that wasn’t helping one little bit! So it’s time to try something new!
I hope you are encouraged to focus on today. I hope we can encourage each other to stop worrying so damn much and enjoy the people and the relationships right here in front of us.
One of my favorite radio shows does a segment called “First World Problems.” I love listening to the hilarious and absurd things we complain about or even get very upset about when it comes to life in a developed, financially well-off country. It puts things into perspective when you hear these complaints from other people. It reminds me that most of my complaints are just as ridiculous as theirs.
For example, my husband and I are now being told we will have to move once again after we just moved our family. Is anyone going to die in this situation? No. Will anyone be left behind or be homeless? No. Does this mean we will have to sacrifice our standard of living in order to accommodate the move? No, I really don’t think so.
You see, problems always seem so much bigger in our heads. It’s when we get them out there for other people to hear them that we hear from our own voice just how absurd our “problems” really are.
I know we’ll be fine. I know our family and our kids are resilient and that we are “home” as long as we are together making an effort to make it a home. I know there are people all across this country making tougher decisions today or having to move further away than 3 hours South. I know there are military families that are shipping loved ones over seas and across oceans to do the jobs they love to do.
My perspective has changed. Thank you God for giving me perspective and for allowing my ridiculous worries, fears, doubts, and anxieties be silenced so people will real issues can be heard.
Recently, we moved our family 3 hours away from where our children had gone to school for the past 3 years. We were established in our community. We knew people when we went to the grocery store. We had friends to talk to at little league games. We knew our neighborhood pretty well. And I was on a first name basis with the principals and teachers at each of my boys’ schools.
Then we moved. We moved to be closer to family. We knew this was going to be challenging, but being closer to family in a good school district was a move we were willing to make.
Then it happened…
This past Friday we were thrown an unexpected curve-ball. While we are still in the middle of unpacking boxes and sorting through all of our recently moved home, we were told my husband’s company would once again be relocating us, along with the rest of their company headquarters, to another location 3 hours south from where we just moved.
“Really? Why couldn’t they have just kept us where we were and moved us from there? Why are we having to move twice? Do we want to move? What other options do we have?” These were just a few of the questions my husband and I tossed back and forth on Friday as we were in disbelief this was actually happening.
But, like anything else, we will get through it. I’m not 100% sure how easy the new transition will be, but I do know that as long as we are sober and we stick together we can accomplish anything.
God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.
“Oh crap!” We’ve all been there. We woke up late, didn’t hear the alarm going off, and jumped out of bed in a frenzy! Trying to get dressed and/or take a quick shower while not completely aware of your surroundings can be dangerous. (Especially for people like me who tend to be on the more clumsy side of the spectrum!)
But waking up late doesn’t have to set this plan in motion for the rest of the day to be totally awful! You can recover from the bad start to the day, but you have to have to put in the effort to make it better.
Why do you think I’m writing about this today? I overslept this morning and am already behind my normal schedule. My immediate thought was to be really pissed that I snoozed my alarm 5 times instead of getting up when the first alarm went off. I also thought, “Man, today’s going to be terrible! I’m definitely not going to be on my best game today!”
I am not only going to have a great day, but I refuse to let this one hiccup mess things up for the remainder of the day. The sun is shining. The weather is good. The kids are out of school and we have lots of fun things planned. They don’t need me being totally miserable and a “fun-ruiner” just because I started my day off badly.
So even if you have a bad day or a bad experience throughout the day, try to make the effort to be the best version of yourself. It may not work all of the time, but the effort you put forth will be what you get out of today!
Half of the daily battle, or the “daily grind,” is just showing up. If you wake up and don’t hit the snooze button today, you’re ahead of the curve! If you got up and went to work, school, took care of your family, or simply did something productive, you are already heading in the right direction.
This idea may frustrate some people who have high expectations and are usually highly-motivated individuals ([hand raised] ME!), but the truth is as long as we keep putting one foot in front of the other each day, then we are still making progress.
“But what about determination? What about goals? What about being the absolute best?” Yes, these are questions that slip into my subconscious all of the time. But there are some things that can only be measured when we look in the mirror.
Let me give you an example: Are you being the best parent you can be? Well, it’s unfair to compare to someone else’s parenting because their situation is probably different than yours. However, we can take a look at how we have parented in the past and see if we have made any improvements. Are we spending quality time with the kids? Are we there for them when they need us? Or are we not even showing up?
You may think you’re just treading water, but I promise you if you’re showing up to do the job, to parent the kids, and to be the spouse you want to be, you’re already winning the battle. The people that don’t show up, well, those people aren’t even giving themselves a chance at living their own life.