Quick, grab 5 things!

Daily Prompt: Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

I thought this was a great question.  The first thing that popped into my head was photos.  I have a ton of them.  I am not sure I would be able to grab all of them before the firemen (in their big burly bodies, maybe I have seen to many calendars) would tell me to “Get out!” But the first item would definitely be photos of all types, framed, scrap-booked, and those that I never got to that are loose.   Maybe I should grab the cameras too because there are still photos left on the SD cards! pics

Second item I would grab would be my grandfather’s bible.  I got it when he passed away when I was 19 (wow, that was a while ago!) and have kept it close by as a reminder of my relationship with him.  He was my hero.

Next up, making it a third item, would be my paintings.  I have one I created while obtaining my associates degree that is a tree and I call it “the many colors of a woman”.  It has lots of colors in it and I absolutely love it.  But along with that one are many others that have deep meaning to me and are things I am not sure I could ever recreate.

The Many Colors of a Woman

The Many Colors of a Woman

The fourth item I would grab would be my laptop.  Really this would be grabbed because of all the information it contains.  It is the heart of our finances and of course contains all of this wonderful information for my blog posts.  It also has a ton of photo images on it that I would never like to lose.

Finally the fifth item I would grab, would probably be my phone.  Not because I feel like I want to tweet that my home is burning down, but I have lots of numbers in it of people who are important to me.  I know it is weird but as I grow older, I find it harder and harder to remember important phone numbers.  There was once a time I could tell you all the important phone numbers of people I needed to reach.  But now I feel like I am losing my mind when I have to come up with a number and have no idea where to begin.

If I were to add a sixth item it would be my running shoes.  I know these are replaceable especially since it is currently time to do this, which would explain why they are not listed as a top 5 item.

So those are my 5 things I would grab (okay maybe 6 items).  How about you?  What would you grab and why?

Procrastination Station

procrastinationWelcome aboard my procrastination train, I hope you enjoyed the station.  🙂   Today was one of those days, okay really it was this weekend that was one of those weekends!  I like to call my procrastination, My chance to relax.  But really what is going on in my head it just get it done.

Have you ever wondered why we procrastinate?  I do especially when I am in that mode.  I know if I just did what I was trying to avoid it would be done and then I could move on, yet that doesn’t motivate me.  Unfortunately I have noticed it is the same for my child.  She has to finish two books by Tuesday for school and when did she wait to read them, well of course Sunday evening.  Oh wait she is sleeping right now so she is really still hanging out in procrastination station!  I also think this has something to do with Senioritis!  Yet somehow she gets it done and her grades are still good and she has been accepted into each college she has applied to, so I have to let her figure it out and I guess I need to focus on me.  (Hey it is easier to procrastinate if I focus on someone else, don’t you think!) procrastination1

Today in my procrastination I managed to clean the downstairs, clean the fishtank, start laundry and clean the bathtub.  I know it doesn’t sound like procrastination but I was avoiding the 28 degrees with a windchill factor of who knows what, but I know it was cold outside with those wonderful 15mph wind gusts.  Why avoid this, well it is long run Sunday!  My gym runs on the treadmill have been miserable lately and I was procrastinating making a decision of what to do.  So I cleaned.  This isn’t abnormal for me.  When I was in grad school I would bake instead of do the project, read the chapter, or study for the test.  So I have this all down to a fine art by now.  Don’t we all?!

Finally around 1:30pm, I just went upstairs changed into long leggings with windbreaker pants on top, a couple of layers of dri-fit shirts, put my cut little skull cap hat on, hooked my ipod in, and faced it.  The wind biting in my face but the sun beating down and telling me, “Hey goofball, it is about time you got out here.”  Honestly that is what when through my head once I started out.  What took me so long and why did I try to avoid this so long.  Well truth is, I was scared.  I think that is what procrastination is all about for me.  If I fear something, I will put it off until the last possible minute.  Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, and fear of can I really run in weather that is below freezing.

procrastination3Well guess what, I did it!  I had a goal of running 10 miles today  because of my horrible treadmill runs and the fact that I just did the math I am 13 weeks away from the other scary thing in my life right now, my first full marathon.  Which brings me to another point, isn’t it crazy when we are facing something that is so scary like a marathon, we face new fears and accomplish those along the way.  I know that someone doesn’t just wake up one morning and put on their shoes and run 26.2 miles (okay someone might of but it is not me!).  We have to build up those miles, go farther than we have ever gone hitting those milestones on a weekly basis so when the marathon gets here we will be prepared.

I think that is how I have to look at procrastination and push through it.  Only when we do those things we are scared of do we grow.  Avoidance can only happen for so long before we have to make a decision even if the decision is to avoid it, that in and of itself is a decision.  As for me, I am going headfirst into this running decision like I have in sharing my insights, challenges, and beliefs through this blog.  I hope you will do the same.  Because really we only live once and I don’t know about you but I am truly trying to make the most of my first and only time to live!!

Are you in procrastination station right now?  What is that you are avoiding?  Why? 

PS – the run felt great after all the avoiding and I ran 12.13 miles in 1:42:31.  Got really cold at the end but so happy!procrastination2

Tunes, ooh how much I need them!!!

musicToday’s daily prompt is asks: What role does music play in your life? 

For me music is needed on a daily basis.  If I am hearing the upbeat music, with my earbuds that means I am getting a run/workout in (which also means that I will be a happier person after I am done.)  If I am listening to music during the day, it usually means I am taking a break between clients.  Some of the other clinicians I work with listen to NPR, I however don’t want to listen to anything that makes me think.  I want to get out of my head whether it is a quick 5 mins between clients or as much as 1 hour between clients.  I just want to relax.

While in a session with a client recently we were talking about his coping skills he uses when he gets overwhelmed.  He suffers from an ear issue with creates vertigo very easily and creates a lot of anxiety for him because he is always concerned about how things will affect him.  Anyway, he reported that he has found instrumental music played at a low volume, very peaceful and calming.  I think the only reason I found this a little odd because I was concerned that due to his vertigo that he would find music overwhelming but good news, that is not the case.  Proof that music can be a good coping skill hence the reason us therapist recommend it! music1

I also find music makes me cry.  Most of the time because I am reminiscing about the moment I heard the song or it is a story I can relate to.  Some of the songs that make me cry the most are songs like any version of Amazing Grace, Halleluiah, Rascal Flats “My Wish”, Martina McBride’s “Teenage Daughters”, and that is just to name a few.

In saying all this, the role music plays in my life is huge.  It is included daily.  Sometimes it makes me cry, sometimes it makes me smile (most songs by Brad Paisley), sometimes it gives me energy to run a little farther, and other times it just helps take my mind off of things and relax.  

How about you?  Is music a vital part of your life?music2

Sleep, who needs it?

sleep4Meeeee!!!  Well technically we all need it.  Some of us need more than others (I feel like I am one of those people).  But is there a difference between sleep and rest.  I believe there is.  I can wake from a full night’s sleep and not feel rested.  Do you ever feel like that?

Always wanting to bring you up to date information, I googled sleep and of course chose the Wikipedia site to fully engage in proper research.  Here are some interesting facts:

“Human sleep needs can vary by age and among individuals, and sleep is considered to be adequate when there is no daytime sleepiness or dysfunction.”

“Sleep debt is the effect of not getting enough sleep; a large debt causes mental, emotional and physical fatigue.” sleep3

One of the questions I always ask my clients is, Are you sleeping?  How much?  Too much and there are issues, not enough and they generally fall into the category of someone who is in sleep debt and is probably not making good decisions.  It is amazing how not getting enough sleep can affect our lives.  But again it brings me back to do you feel rested after you sleep?

Recently I have been trying to establish a better sleep routine in hopes of answering that question.  Craving the desire to feel rested.  This may sound weird but my new routine begins once I get home and know that I am not going anywhere else.  I generally change into my PJ’s.  I know this might sound unusual to be in PJ’s at 6pm but I think it is really important.  This begins to tell my body that it is time to relax.  I’m comfortable and I’m not going to go out anymore (and on a night like tonight when it is snowing, I don’t want to go anywhere!)  One of the more important reasons to change clothes early rather than later is that you don’t want to startle your body awake by putting on cold clothes right before you go to bed.  (I totally understand this because I hate being cold!)

sleep2Something else I found helpful has been to get my stuff ready for work for the next day early in the evening otherwise I am thinking about what I need to do first thing in the morning.  Let’s be honest I forget things if I wait until then.  I also have tried to read a little bit before I go to bed.  I can’t say that I do it every night but when I do, I do wake up feeling more rested because I have checked out of the electronic world and spent some quiet time to myself or with my new friends in my book.

These tips have helped me feel more rested from a night’s sleep.

So now on to the fun reason I posted this post.  I was on Pinterest (my other addiction) and found this person’s blog about leaving a history for your kids.  One of the topics the person had questions about was sleep and I found it very interesting.  Here are the questions about sleep, I’ve put my answers in, share yours if you would like.  Just something fun for the end of a Monday!

 *How many hours do you like to sleep at night?  I get 7 to 8 hours

*Do you take naps? I would like to but usually only happens on the weekends.

*Do you like a lot, or few blankets and pillows? I like blankets and my piller!  I use to take my piller (pillow) with me when I traveled but I started thinking that a 40 year old looks ridiculous in the airport carrying her pillow.
*Can you sleep anywhere, or does it have to be in your own bed?  I sleep better in my own bed.  Not a fan of hotel rooms but can usually sleep if a fan is running or something to create white noise.

*What are your favorite conditions for a good-night’s sleep?  It has to be cool in the room and I wear ear plugs and a mouth guard.  I am a sight to see!!!  A true wonderful nights sleep comes when I don’t have to go anywhere the next day and I can wake up when my body wants to as opposed to the alarm waking me up.sleep

*Does it have to be completely dark and quiet? I like dark but fall asleep to the TV on but turned really low with the timer which turns it off within the hour.

Here is hoping we all get a good night of sleep tonight!

Marathon Training Update

marathon1As some of you might remember, January 1st I signed up for my first marathon ever.  The positive things are  that I have plenty of time to train and I have never really quit running so I just need to increase my miles.  The negative thing is I am scared to death but I am trying to harness this fear for good!   It has now been a full 16 days into my marathon training and I can honestly say that I am feeling more confident.  Over the past two weeks and a few days I have done this: (which in the future can be found here if you are interested)

12/30 – 10 miles Yeah for starting the week out right and it felt great!!

12/31 – 0 miles

01/01/2013 0 miles – but signed up for the Marathon so here goes!

01/02 – 4 miles

01/03 – upper body workout in my home gym/bedroom

01/04 – 4 miles on the treadmill.

01/05 – 0 miles

Week of 12/30/12  – 01/05/13  – 18 miles, slowly getting back to more miles.

01/06 – 12.23 miles outside.  So nice and I had so much energy after.

01/07 – 0 miles – Rest and my tap class

01/08 – 4 miles at the gym.

01/09 – 0 miles

01/10 – 0 miles

01/11 – 5 miles on the treadmill

01/12 – 0 miles – did do some walking while shopping and looking for new flooring and appliances but I won’t count that mileage.

Week of  01/06/13 – 01/12/13 – 21.23 miles – It makes me sooooo happy to see an increase in this number.  Now need to increase the days I run.

01/13 – 12.5 miles average pace (according to my Nike app) was 8:25 per mile.  Thinking I might need to get a garmin because I am not sure the app is as reliable as I want it to be.

01/14- Rest and my tap class

01/15 – 4 miles on the treadmill.  Really not a fan of the treadmill right now but since it is so dark when I get home it is the only option.

01/16 – 5.8 miles on the treadmill.  Finally getting those miles up!

Week of  01/13/13 – 01/19/13 – Already at 22.3 miles and the week is not over yet!marathon

I can honestly say I am feeling more confident and most days I am looking forward to this next big step (despite my daughter saying that all of her friends think I am crazy).

To journal or not to journal

I have been reading this book. patience

I would highly recommend it.  There is so much in this book and to think I got it on sale and Barnes & Noble for only $7.00, I feel like I need to send the author some more money to compensate for all her great ideas.  I only have 30 pages left but I could hardly wait to share this really cool idea she had about journaling.

Often times I have found Clients (and maybe myself) resistant to journaling about things.  When do we find the time to do it?  What do I write about?  Well here is an answer.  Ryan says “journaling does not require writing in a blank book in neat rows.  It doesn’t even mean you have to write something down.  You can do it as a series of balloons on a big piece of paper in no apparent order or… you can imagine a conversation.”  Here is an idea for a conversation:

Write down or bring to mind the ten wisest people you know.  When you are faced with a difficult situation, a question you can’t answer, or a situation where you need advice, consult your list of wise people and decide which one could help you with the issue.  Then take the time to either write down or just formulate the conversation in your mind you would have with this wise person.  This will allow you to consider what someone you respect might say and helps you follow your heart to the right answer for you.

What a great idea!  I need to make a list of my wise people to consult and start using this.  Ryan uses this in the context of obtaining more patience in situations.  I think you could use this for many, many other things.

What are your thoughts?  Who are your wise people that you would consult?  Have you ever tried this or do you find journaling effective for you to help you through things?

Reframing, it is not what you think it is.

I spend most of my days helping people reframe their thoughts, turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts.  I stress the importance of changing your thinking because it WILL change your life.  I begin to think I am a motivational speaker instead of a therapist and then I realize why not be both.  By helping people think outside the box and changing their thinking it helps us to get through things that we never think we could.  reframe

What are you struggling with?  What are your thoughts about it?  If you have constantly told yourself that there is no way you will make it through this, then you are probably right.  You WILL struggle to make it through.  But if you take a moment to reframe the thoughts about what you are struggling with to positive thoughts, you have a great chance of a positive outcome and positive feelings about your struggle.

Give it a try.  Start with your next struggle, your next obstacle that seems impossible.  Think of it in a different more positive way, get rid of any negative thoughts about it, and face it head on.  I think you will see how much this type of thinking can change your outlook and motivate you believe me because I use it for myself almost everyday!