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Showing posts from December, 2019

Stop Taking Baby Steps

"Stop taking baby steps through life." - Niles Crane, Frasier

It is fitting that I am ending the year with a Frasier quote (which, by the way, is being pulled from Netflix tomorrow!). But as we close not only this year but this decade, I am reflecting on this very theme of not taking baby steps through life.

I have had friends over the years who hesitantly took baby steps in their journey, and while I would agree that baby steps are better than a total stand still, at some point we have to reach a level of emotional and intellectual maturity where we can take brisk strides.

Babies take baby steps. They are uncertain and unstable on their feet. They wobble. They lack the confidence to take normal strides. So they stumble and fall and sometimes they walk with their hands on the furniture (I am thinking of my baby nephew and wonder when he will grace us with this new delight!). But before long, they are taking solid steps and then even running. I have seen some toddlers take da…

Merry Christmas to You!

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To all of my subscribers and followers - today I wish you the merriest of Christmases. I hope your day is spent in the warmth of family and festivities, with good food as you make good memories!

But if it is not a cheerful day for you, if you are hurting or alone, I share with you this verse from John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

I pray that those who are hurting will find comfort in these words.

And to all of you, merry Christmas! I share the lyrics of my favorite Christmas hymn!



Christmas Reflections - Part 3

We probably all remember our first Christmas away from home. I never went away for Christmas before, never a Christmas trip with a friend or sibling. I was always with my family for Christmas no matter what. It wasn't until the first Christmas that I was married that I was away from home.

I married at the end of September in 2006, so by the time Christmas rolled around that year I hadn't really gotten used to being alone. I not only have a fairly big immediate family, but they are a loud group, so it took me a while to get used to so much silence (now I love it!).

Not only had I gotten married, we had moved out west a bit, about 350 miles from my parents and family. We were also a solid 100 miles away from his family, so we were pretty much in total isolation. My husband's job at the time required a lot of holiday work hours so we couldn't typically get away before or on Christmas.

I remember our first Christmas alone together. It was exciting, but also isolating. It w…

Christmas Reflections - Part 2

Eighteen years ago, back in December 2001, I had my last Christmas in my hometown in Canada. We didn't know yet then that it was our last, and we were all engaged in fairly normal activities. My mom was working, my siblings were attending high school or junior high, and I was reaching the end of my first term of college.

I had a benign bone tumor on my left knee that had been there at least since I was a little kid if not forever, but I was on a waiting list to have this removed as I was beginning to experience issues with my knee during physical activity (and if I knew then what I know now, I'd have left it! My knees are both worse!). Because Christmas was looming before us, the hospital got a cancellation and called me to see if I could schedule my surgery for right before Christmas.

One week before Christmas, a very sad and tearful young version of me was wheeled into the operating room. I was truly terrified, less so of the surgery itself but I fear anything that "put…

Christmas Reflections - Part 1

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It's the most wonderful time of the year!

I was thinking about my Christmas memories, some of which are now amusing, some sad, some heartwarming, and I realized for the millionth time how blessed I have been.

I grew up poor. How poor, I probably will never really have any idea. Just today I was discussing with my sister the burdens my parents had at my age that I will never understand. Four children, financial constraints, health issues to contend with from both my dad and siblings, my mom and dad must have been at their wits' end in a way I cannot imagine.

But Christmas time at our house was always very warm, happy and full of light. Even though my parents must have been counting pennies and worrying about how to make it all work, my only memories are thrill, delight and warmth.

I think my earliest Christmas memory must have been when I was three years old, as I recall my infant sister being there. I have zero childhood recollection of believing in Santa Clause, but I have ma…

Be a Blessing Where You Are

I had the pleasure of talking recently to someone who was sharing with me her immediate plans of changing jobs. She is leaving what she currently does in order to go back to being a hair stylist on her own. I am always intrigued and celebrate people making bold changes in their life - especially if there is an entrepreneurial vein to it - and told her I think this is a great idea. She shared that she wants to do it because she feels like she will be better able as a stylist to connect with people one-on-one and make a difference in their lives.

I loved this. It's so nice to hear people talking about what they are doing to give back or help! And I started thinking that if we are not right now in a place where we can be a blessing, we need to make some changes and get into a place where we can be a blessing.

But it's hard to think about a place to be where there is no opportunity whatsoever to be a blessing to others. I can think about the people who make a difference or brighten…

The Peloton Controversy

Social media and "infotainment" news has been lit up recently with the now much maligned recent Peloton television commercial, where a husband buys his wife a Peloton bike for a Christmas gift.

In the commercial, the wife seems shocked but not unhappy to receive the bike, and in the short clip is seen chronicling her fitness journey in a series of videos. At the end of the clip, she shares a video saying that she didn't realize how much this bike would change her.

Both Peloton and the male actor portraying the husband have received a beating by the media over this. It is being labeled "a symbol of patriarchy" and an exhibition of sexism.

Most people who know me know I am the first to have my feathers ruffled when blatant or old fashioned sexism is on display. I can easily swing into soliloquy mode when I think people are misunderstanding true gender equality. I am not a feminist kook by any means, but I believe passionately in true equality and respect for both…

Loving Yourself

Love yourself. People say this all of the time. "You gotta love yourself" or "make a point to love yourself."

To be honest, I have always struggled with this concept. These comments are usually made in some context where it comes across as almost defeatist. Like, "this is who I am and that's just too bad." It seems like it is said most by people who want to give into their weaknesses and vices, stop making progress, stop trying to embrace positive change.

Everyone who knows me knows I have high expectations for myself. Whatever I am or decide to be I want to be a good one, the best, or close to the best. I perpetually put myself outside of my comfort zone to break my own barriers. I hold myself accountable not only to my poor choices, but also to the times when I do not give my best effort. I don't make excuses about "I tried my best" when I know I really didn't. I take care of myself, with physical and mental and emotional care. I c…

Review: Strange Planet - Nathan W. Pyle

I remember when I first discovered Nathan Pyle's Strange Planetcomic on Instagram earlier this year. The humorous encounters within the short comics are great observations about life. These beings, as Pyle calls them, experience life in a way that when we observe it we see it as funny, ridiculous, silly and sweet. These beings indeed live on a strange planet.

I pre-ordered the book as a gift as soon as it went on sale, and sure enough that same person reciprocated and ordered it for me and we exchanged eagerly last month. Despite following the comics on Instagram and Facebook there is new content in the book that has been a delight to view.

The beings communicate in English - but very formal English. They don't state they are getting a sun tan, instead they are getting star damage. They speak in simple, obvious phrases - but not obvious. No one speaks like this, but we say the same things when we are being serious. But stripped down to formal English and simple phrases, the be…

Short Hair, Don't Care?

It sounds funny to write about hair, long or short, it is just hair. But people are funny about hair, especially women - but especially men!

I have cried over one bad hair cut. I was eight years old, and my mom had left (I stop short here of saying the word abandoned) my sister and I with my grandmother for a visit. Juvenile memory recalling events (perhaps exaggerated) but as soon as my mother was on the road my grandma took me for a hair cut, and possibly the worst bowl shaped hair cut of my childhood which was riddled with bad hair cuts. That is how bad it was. There are pictures.

But since then, no matter the cut, I have never cried about it. It is hair, it grows back. I am lucky to not be bald or have a hideously misshapen hairline. I haven't always loved my hair cuts but I have never given them such thought to be upset by them when they are bad.

However, generally I love my hair. I wear my hair very short. I cut it all off to a short bob when I was 30, and then at 33 went ev…

Action, Motivation and Discipline

We are approaching the time of year when people begin making resolutions. I love resolutions! I am goal driven. I love a good list of things to achieve and then start checking them off. Big and small (this is partly why I started using DayZeroProject several years ago!). I make New Year's Resolutions but I also don't wait around until Monday or New Year's Day to make changes. I make them as soon as I realize what I need to do.

People will say "2020 is going to be my best year" and they list off their goals to save money, get fit, pay off debt, get promoted, go back to school - any number of great things that will benefit their lives.

And then the first few weeks of January are a flurry of activity. Getting a machine at the gym is a nightmare in January. By usually by February this has died off almost completely.

People want to be motivated. But motivation doesn't work like that. Motivation is not something most people just wake up everyday and have. If I spen…