Just Focus on 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.

When Your Perspective Changes

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.

 

Summer is Finally Here

It’s funny how life changes. When we were kids growing up, we got so excited about summer. No more homework. No more early mornings. No more class everyday. We could usually just hang out with our friends, go to the pool, maybe the lake if we were lucky, and every few years we got to see the beach. Yeah, summers as a kid were amazing.

Enter parenthood…

Now, I look forward to summer break because we won’t have homework; no more early mornings; we can have play-dates with friends; we get to go to the pool; maybe we can have a lake day if we’re lucky; and maybe we’ll get to see the beach one of these years.

So, wait, what has really changed?

Well, for starters I have to keep these 3 tiny humans alive all summer. That’s definitely new! But also I get to watch the magical times of summer through the lens of a parent. Yes, the days pass by quicker for me than they do for the kids (whose hours and minutes drag along at a snail’s pace during the summertime – I do remember that), but I get to be part of new adventures in my kid’s lives. I get to partake in endless hours of board games, water fights, zoo trips, and maybe even a cool museum or two.

So, why am I sharing this?

Because I wouldn’t be able to do any of this with my kids had I not stopped drinking. Sure, I could still go to the pool, the zoo, the lake, the beach, or wherever the destination may be, but how can I be responsible for these little people when I can’t even responsibly take care of myself?

These trips would probably still be fun as I chased down chardonnay after chardonnay, but then who drives us home responsibly? Who takes us to the urgent care when someone falls at the pool? Who is able to care for my babies when they are solely in my care daily this summer?

Me…this sober mama right here will take pride in being able to do all of the mundane and sometimes boring things I’ll be doing this summer. I’ll do them with pride. I’ll do them with perspective. I will gladly play monopoly so many times my head will explode! Because I get to…

Find Someone to Pray with You

There are many things I’m grateful for in my life: our health, my husband, my kids, our home, the financial ability to provide for our family, and the ability to write, just to name a few. But of all of these things, the one thing that has completely taken me by surprise is the prayer relationship I have with my husband.

You see, we both kinda sorta grew up going to church, but we were more or less going through the motions of everything. It wasn’t until we both chose the path of sobriety that we understood just how important prayer can be. When things get really tough (we both have had pretty bad days this week), we can stop and pray together.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a practice that comes easy or isn’t super awkward the first time you do it (even suggesting you pray together can be uncomfortable), but man…what a powerful way to transform a relationship!

Unfortunately we don’t do this as often as we would like (the goal is to pray when times are good too), but at least we know we can lean on one another spiritually to get through those tough days (and it’s a lot easier to get through those days when you have someone there with you).

Find someone in your life to pray with you. Maybe it’s your group at meetings. Maybe it’s your pastor. Maybe it’s your mother. Maybe it’s a best friend. Find someone you can turn to when you need a little help or someone that can pray for you while you’re going through a tough time. I promise that prayer has the ability to transform your life…we are living proof of it!

 

Productivity, Even When You Feel Burned Out

Mondays can be hard. I mean you don’t have to have a cross country weekend road trip to have trouble waking up Monday morning. You could have simply had a lazy weekend with your family, but Monday rolls around and the motivation to “get up and get moving” just isn’t there.

I struggle with this sometimes, but I know other people who struggle with this almost daily. I believe the key to changing our attitudes is all about changing our perspective. Yes, it is Monday, but so what? Life goes on. We have to do what we have to do today. So why not have a better attitude about it?

What if instead of complaining about everything that you have to do today you turned your priorities into a gratitude list? Change your perspective from the “have to” to “get to.” 

I get to wake my children up this morning when some people may not be able to even have children of their own. I get to go to the grocery store and buy fresh produce that isn’t even available in some parts of the world. I get to go pay the water bill that ensures we have clean water to bathe and drink. I get to cook a meal for my family so we are all able to eat together. I get to see and hug my husband who is right here with me instead of travelling for business or deployed overseas.”

Just changing those simple words from have to get changes my entire outlook on my To-Do List today. Appreciate the blessings you have right in front of you today.

Everyone Has a Mother…

When it comes to certain times of the year when we’re told to buy something for someone just for existing, I’m usually pretty hesitant to participate. My husband and I don’t go crazy and break the bank for Valentine’s Day because we feel our birthdays and anniversaries are more special. I’m sorry, but you won’t be receiving any special gifts from me on any holiday fabricated by greeting card companies.

However on Mother’s Day, I feel a gesture of appreciation is owed to all of the mamas out there. As a mom myself, I understand the day-to-day grind parents go through. (I actually understand my own mother better now that I have children of my own.) I believe we should show our gratitude to the women (maybe even aunts, grandmothers, etc.) that help us become the people we are today.

I’m not talking about going out and buying fancy gifts or taking her to an expensive meal. I’m simply saying that a hug and a “Thank You” can go a long way with the women in our lives.

Have a safe and happy Mother’s Day weekend and I hope you are able to connect with the special women in your life.

Appreciation and Gratitude – Are They the Same?

We all know what the words appreciation & gratitude mean, but are they the same thing? I say, who cares! You need them both in your life and you need them regularly!

For example, I am highly appreciative of getting to see lots of our family and friends this weekend for a birthday party. I don’t get to see some of these family members but a few times a year so time with them is precious.

Also, I’m grateful that so many people we cherish and love were able to be in one place at one time. I’m happy that we have so many people in our lives that love and care about our family.

To me, appreciation and gratitude are one in the same. It’s not necessarily that the words mean the exact same thing, but that they are both needed in order to enjoy our lives more.

What do you appreciate about your life today? What can you be grateful for in this season of life?