Thoughts on Thankfulness

dreamstime_xs_102207128,retouchedAs I get older, I find that I am thankful for different things than when I was younger.  In the past I was mostly thankful for successes that I had achieved—graduating college, getting a good position with a good company, moving up the career ladder, making the money needed to live the life I wanted, that sort of thing.

Now that I’m older (and, I hope, wiser) I find that I am more thankful for things that I used to take for granted.

I am more thankful for the people in my life, for family and friends.  Part of this change is due to having lost people.  My father passed away ten years ago.  All his siblings save one have passed as well.  These are people that I am thankful I had in my life, but I wish I would have appreciated them more while they were here.

I’m more thankful for my health, now that it has started to decline a little related to aging, than I was when I was younger.  Perhaps it’s a little of “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

I’m thankful for how hard my husband and I have worked so that now we can enjoy retirement.  (I still can’t consider myself completely retired, but I’m getting closer.)  Although, I could have stressed less and enjoyed life more while we were working hard.

I am at a point in my life where I can be thankful for the journey itself and not just the journey’s end.

I am sharing these thoughts in the hope that you will look at what you are thankful for, and perhaps look at it a little differently.  What is most important in your life?  Are you truly thankful for it?  Or do you take it for granted?  Be thankful that you have it now, because some day you might not.

Just in Time Planning

dreamstime_xs_38121377As you probably know, there is such a thing as “just in time inventory.”  Rather than having lots of inventory on hand for production, which costs money for storage and ties up cash, supplies are delivered “just in time” for production.

I have noticed that some people do “just in time” planning and organizing.  The job gets done—just in time.

A disadvantage to just in time inventory is that if the supplies don’t show up on time, it can seriously delay or even stop production.  A similar disadvantage can occur in just in time planning.  If anything takes longer than planned, the project won’t be completed in time.

I prefer planning far enough in advance that if something does happen (which it usually does) it will still be possible to complete the project on time.  I like having a buffer to take care of any unforeseen issues.

Which type are you?  Which type is your supervisor?  I have a friend who is organized, but his supervisor does not think he is.  I think the issue is that his supervisor is like me and plans far in advance.  When he sees my friend finishing a project just in time, he thinks it is because my friend is not organized, which isn’t the case.  The project was finished as my friend planned—just in time.

If you are having issues with your supervisor, your employees, or even people in your personal life related to planning and organization, maybe it’s an issue of different strategies.  It could be worth discussing.

Don’t Save It, Use It

dreamstime_xs_67912497About a year ago my mother had to move from her apartment to a nursing home related to her health.  There was a limited number of things, including clothing, that she could take with her.  Although my brothers and I were able to take a few things, the vast majority went to Goodwill or had to be discarded.

She had many nice clothes that she never wore.  When I asked her why, she said she was saving them for something special or that she wanted to keep them nice.  They no longer fit her, so they went to Goodwill.  There were other items that people had gotten for her, such as purses, blankets, throws, jewelry, and decorative items that were still in the box.  Again, she said that she liked them and wanted to keep them nice.  Most of those went to Goodwill as well.

I found this incredibly sad.  She had so many nice things that she could have enjoyed and yet she never did because she was “saving” them.  Saving them to take to Goodwill?  I don’t think so.

This was a wake-up call for me, because I do much the same thing.  I have since decided to enjoy what I have and use it now.  Why save it so that years down the road someone will give it away or discard it?  I have decided it is better to use the things we like than to save them.  So what if I’m overdressed for an occasion if I like the clothes and jewelry?  So what if the cats shed on the wool blanket from Ireland?  At least the items are being used and enjoyed, not stuffed in the back of the closet.

What about you?  Is this something you do?

Poor Choices

SF_ThreeGoodChoices_COVER_121317 resizedIn my book, 3 Good Choices: Change It, Accept It, or Leave It; A Woman’s Guide to Self-Empowerment, I discuss that in most situations we generally have these three good choices.  I also discuss how there are poor choices that we might make instead of good choices.

Poor choices are ineffective behaviors, ineffective coping strategies.  They hinder us, they do not help us.

Examples of poor choices include, but are not limited to, apathy, choosing to do nothing, complaining, denial, excessive worrying, giving up, holding a grudge, not taking responsibility, passive-aggressive behavior, and self-destructive behaviors such as drinking and drug abuse.

The one that speaks to me the most is not taking responsibility.  I am an extremely responsible person.  I understand deeply how taking responsibility gives us power and control over our lives.  It can be painful and humbling to take responsibility for our mistakes, for our sometimes messed up lives.  But when we accept that we are where we are because of the choices we have made, the actions we have taken, when we take responsibility for those choices and actions, then we also accept that we have power and control.  We got ourselves to wherever we are, so we can get ourselves out.

When we do not take responsibility, we are trying to make someone else responsible for what we have done.  First, no one else is responsible.  Second, we are giving away our power and control over our own lives.  If we give away our power and control, how are we going to change anything?  How are we going to change our self?

When we blame others for our choices, decisions, and actions, we are refusing to take responsibility.  We are trying to make them responsible, and they are not.  Not only are we giving away our power and control, we are also giving up the opportunity to learn about our self.  If we do not learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to keep repeating them.  To learn from our mistakes, we first must take responsibility that they are ours.

Taking responsibility for our self also means taking responsibility for our thoughts and beliefs.  If we have self-limiting thoughts and beliefs about our self, we will not be able to grow.  It is our responsibility to determine why we have these thoughts and beliefs and decide what we are going to do about them.

If you have not taken responsibility for your life, or portions of your life, I encourage you to do so.  It might be the most important decision you will ever make.  Stop blaming others and take control.

3 Good Choices: Accept It

SF_ThreeGoodChoices_COVER_121317 resizedSometimes we can’t change a situation.  Or it is not worth the time or effort to change it.  Then we need to consider accepting the situation.  This video discusses when accepting might be the best option.

My book, 3 Good Choices: Change It, Accept It, or Leave It; A Woman’s Guide to Self-Empowerment, provides additional details and contains exercises to assist you in deciding if accepting the situation is best for you.

There is something at the very end for you to encourage you to watch the entire, very short, video.  Accept it, you look marvelous!

I Can Survive Anything…

dreamstime_xs_38146874My second year of college was an extremely difficult one.  I had a full load of very difficult, time-consuming classes and labs with multiple projects and papers.  In addition to that, I was working 30-40 hours a week at three different jobs to pay for college.

One of the most important lessons I learned during that year was that I could survive anything, as long as it was temporary.  The class would end, the lab would end, the work shift would end, the semester would end.  Many days that was what kept me going.

At some point, I realized that it is all temporary.  Everything is temporary.  Life is temporary.

“I can survive anything, as long as it is temporary.  And it is all temporary.”  I still remind myself of this today when I feel overwhelmed and need to put things back into perspective.  Maybe it will help you, too.

3 Good Choices: Change It

SF_ThreeGoodChoices_COVER_121317 resizedIf there is something we don’t like in our life, why not try to change it?  We have nothing to lose and we might have everything to gain.  This video discusses aspects to consider in trying to change situations.

My book, 3 Good Choices: Change It, Accept It, or Leave It; A Woman’s Guide to Self-Empowerment discusses in more detail changing situations.  It also includes exercises to assist you in determining if changing the situation is the best option for you.

As with the other videos, there is a tidbit at the end.  Sometimes changing the world, or at least our little piece of it, means making it safer from rogue elements.

Life is Like a Buffet

dreamstime_xs_111703210I’ve been cleaning my office of books and reference materials that I haven’t used for years and probably won’t need again.  Doing this made me realize that I have done a great deal with my life professionally.  It also made me realize that I could have done more.

This led to the thought that life is like a buffet.  There are many, many options available.  We can go through and sample a little bit of each.  Or we can select fewer items and really savor those rather than trying everything.

Maybe I have done alright by fully experiencing fewer items, especially since if I had done more professionally I would have had less time for personal pursuits.

What are your thoughts?  Would you prefer to sample as many items as possible, or sample fewer and savor them more?

3 Good Choices

SF_ThreeGoodChoices_COVER_121317 resizedIn life, we generally have three good choices in any situation.  This video discusses the synopsis of my book, 3 Good Choices: Change It, Accept It, or Leave It; A Woman’s Guide to Self-Empowerment.

After the last slide is a picture of three of my great choices.  Some of you will understand!

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

hWe have all heard the phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

The only thing that matters is what you behold when you look in the mirror.

Don’t let others tell you that you are not beautiful—you are.  Don’t tell yourself that you are not beautiful—you are.  We all are.