Monday, August 31, 2020

#MondayMotivation - Give Yourself an A

 Are you as kind to yourself as you are to others? Is your self-talk -- you know, all those words bouncing around inside your head -- anything you'd say to a friend? 

All too often, we tell ourselves what we're failing at, what we've done wrong, what we could have done better. For example, in my post on Happy, I suggested trying the "Anticipation/Gratitude" exercise. Well, that's what I typically call the "Anticipation/Appreciation" exercise.* Yep. I called my own creativity exercise by the wrong name.** 

Does it matter? Abso-freakin-lutely not. I get an A for showing up and blogging again! 

Give yourself an A today. You're up, you're moving, you're Amazing! 

Happy Monday! Here's to a terrific week.

*Why? I like the alliteration of Anticipation/Appreciation, and I think the word "gratitude" is overused and under-meant. 

**Truth be told, I've done the same with my daughters. Kate/Mary/WhoeverYouAre.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

How's that Happy Working Out?

Life is busy, so you may not have noticed this ... but I haven't blogged all year. It's true. Now, I've been writing for clients. Promoting Look Up: Your Unexpected Guide to Good. Doing Zoom sessions for Creative Mornings. Staying relatively sane, all things considered. 

But I haven't been blogging. 

Why? Excellent question, my friend. I thought publication of the book might be a nice wrap on the blog. I posted Look Up tidbits on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I wondered, once the pandemic hit, if I had anything encouraging to say. 

Then, some lovely woman on Twitter noticed that I hadn't blogged since December 2019, posed a question, and dang. Here we go again! 

YES. What I wrote at the end of 2019 holds true in 2020. Little happy moments are waiting for us every day. Unfortunately, they're a helluva lot harder to find these days, given everything that's happening to us and around us. 

So, before I launch into happy moments mode, let's pause for a second and pay respect to the unhappy truth: 2020 has been a year of loss. For all of us. 

First and foremost, some of us have lost loved ones. If that's the loss you're mourning, I'm so deeply sorry. Death in the time of COVID can be an intensely lonely experience. Please know: You are not alone. 

Beyond that deepest loss, some of us have lost jobs,  income, and insurance in the past five months. Some of us have lost friends to the shifting schedules and priorities of the pandemic. Weddings have been postponed, vacations cancelled. We've lost freedom and hugs and kisses. Smiles from strangers. Coffee dates and long lunches. We've lost our sense of normalcy, and it's hard to know when/what will return. 

We're facing an avalanche of losses, big and small. 

And yet ... those little happy moments await. Your happy will be different than mine, but in the extra time at home, I've enjoyed: 
  • Trying new recipes, experimenting with the ingredients, and eating the delicious results
  • Playing with watercolors, with no expectations of producing anything "useful" or "beautiful"
  • Reading a lot -- I even joined a Zoom book club
  • Getting back to yoga (Can we all just say a loud, "Thank you, Lord!" for Zoom?)
You know what else I've enjoyed? Embracing my inner introvert. As antsy as I've been at times to go anywhere, see anyone, it's been nice to have a valid excuse to simply put on my comfy shorts, a big T-shirt, and stay home. 

If you're having trouble seeing the little happy moments waiting for you, try the anticipation/gratitude exercise:
  1. Anticipation
    When you wake up, think of three things you're looking forward to during the day. They don't have to be major -- you could be looking forward to your first cup of coffee, a hot shower, and watching "That Girl" reruns on TV. 

  2. Gratitude
    Before you go to sleep at night, think of three things you're grateful for. Again, it doesn't have to be life-changing. For example, I'm grateful I can end a sentence with a preposition, because I'm not in college anymore. I'm grateful you're still reading the blog, despite the gap in posting. I'm grateful Mary is celebrating her 27th birthday today, and is feeling so much better (she was one of the millions who've had COVID).

    I'll even throw in an extra gratitude moment, based on something that happened while I was writing this blog: I'm grateful Kate drives an Audi and wasn't hurt when some guy rear-ended her this morning.
Healthy daughters. Now there's a huge HAPPY no matter what else is happening in the world.  

Stay tuned
I have a few ideas for posts, and I'm delighted to be back with you and our blog! If there's anything special you'd like me to discuss, explain, rant about, whatever -- let me know