Day One

I’m doing a 30 day blog challenge. It’s pretty simple and straight forward, just questions for me to answer. I thought this would be a great jump start back in to my writing. I need keyboard therapy these days.

So, the topic today: Weird things I do when I’m alone…

Turn the TV off. Okay, maybe that isn’t too weird, but my husband thinks it is.

The thing I laugh at myself most for is that I “sneak” sweet treats because no one is looking.

Depending on how long I know I’m going to have by myself, I might try to squeeze in a nap.

I guess, suffice it to say, I’m pretty boring when I’m alone. I might also have so little alone time that it’s hard to pick up any weird habits…

What weird thing do you do when you are alone?

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We face so many choices in our day-to-day lives, and I find it hard to make decisions more often than not. Some of the decisions that we face are inconsequential, some sway the course of our day, week, month, year, or even our entire lives in ways we can’t even always see when making the decision.

Welcome to the mind of a chronic over-thinker.

In decisions that are clearly the difference between right and wrong, I feel capable. In decisions that honor God or stray from Him, I feel led by the Holy Spirit. But in decisions that are neither right or wrong, toward God or away, I feel deeply conflicted.

Often, I feel like one choice is the more responsible, although the riskier choice usually has some perk(s) that appeal to me. I don’t mind taking calculated risks, I don’t mind going out on a limb. It’s the only way to grow.

I have watched what “playing it safe” and never venturing out boldly does to a person. I refuse to leave stones un-turned, adventures unexplored. This is my one life and I want to live it passionately and fully alive. But that doesn’t always make decisions easier for me. In fact, it rarely does.

I am currently deeply conflicted between two choices, and as exhaustion clouds my brain from working all night, I cannot even begin to tell you which choice makes the most sense. Okay, sort of I can. One choice seems a little wiser to me, a little more like the “secure” choice. The other choice is the one that carries the most risk. But the “safe” choice requires super human strength and energy to manage. The other choice does not.

I’m feeling less than super human with my energy and strength at 5:30 am after working the night shift. Why did I think this would be such an easy transition?

I worry sometimes that I am over romanticizing one choice or the other, because I tend to do that. Or sometimes I create false obligations to something, obligations that exist only in my mind. Or sometimes I wait for approval/permission to make a choice.

A recent moment in my life made me realize how much time I spend waiting for the approval of certain people, waiting for their permission, their go-ahead to do things, say things, reach for things, achieve things. Heaven forbid that I stray from the beaten path or disregard the unspoken permissions granted to me.

I’ve decided to stop living that way, to stop owning someone else’s opinions of my life and my pursuits. I will serve my God, I will love my family, and I will live fully. I will accept the wisdom of people who have gone before me, and I will weigh what advice I’m offered against my own experiences and knowledge, and I will pray. And then I will leap, or step, or tiptoe, or crawl, forward. Always forward.

Until next time,

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Chasing Ideas

I’m a dreamer, I always have been. I have ideas and I flit after them, and chase them until the spark is gone. I quickly find a new spark, and chase away until the light dims.

This sounds whimsical and fun if I write it in the right light, but truthfully, I leave a lot of things undone.

Some of my most recent ideas:

Shoe Buddies (shoe deodorizers) – I was going to sew 20 of these a day and make a nice trickle income for our family. I was going to get my kids involved in the production, and let them earn some commission for their work. I was going to sell them in person and online and wherever anyone had stinky shoes. Reality: I completed one order and never made another shoe buddy. But I have a shelf full of the stuff to make gobs of them

Selling on Amazon – I started reading about selling on Amazon, flipping clearance items and making a steady income. I bought the labels, the scrapers, the stickers, the bags, the thermal label printer, signed up, paid a month of Amazon’s FBA seller service. Reality: I never even shipped in a single clearance item purchased, and ended up returning all of the things I bought so they weren’t lying around to be wasted.

Digital Design/Marketing Company – I bought a domain, I created a logo, I was going to make logos and help people navigate the world of social media. I was going to help small businesses reach the next level, grow, and gain visibility among their target clientele. Reality: I wrote a couple of cute blogs, dabbled with my social media page, and stopped there. (Digital markets are tough, and time-consuming!)

Photography – I mean, I have the camera, right? I did it before, right? Reality: I didn’t even dust it off.

College – I’ve forever dreamed of going back to school, of furthering my education, of holding a degree. But the truth is, I started raising kids at a young age and I didn’t want to miss the best years of their life because I was so wrapped up in school. I was going to take the leap this year, online classes offer quite a bit of flexibility, but I’ve changed my mind again.

Sometimes all of these sparks that have burned out feel like failures to someone who is dreaming big, waiting for the right idea to turn in to a flame, pushing, chasing, running after sparks that don’t seem to last. Sometimes they don’t last because I don’t put the consistent long-term effort in that would turn them in to something more than just a fleeting idea.

Sometimes these sparks die because the truth is, I’m a wife and a mom, and we have a little farm, and my time is limited. So limited.

Our lives have changed a lot in the last couple of months and as such, it was time for me to go back to work, but being stubborn like I am, I didn’t want the kids to go to daycare. So I took a night job. I told myself all the reasons this would be the best solution for us ever, I told myself how it would be nice to get out of the house every day, without the kids. I told myself the adult interaction, the customer service atmosphere, the paperwork, and trips up stairs and down again would all be fun.

I turned it in to a spark.

And I caught this spark. I landed my night job, I work graveyards. And you know what? The hours of sleep I got at night were precious. This isn’t as easy as I made it in my head. It’s incredibly hard to recover from working all night in time to do much the next day before it’s time for work again.

I’m not giving up this time. I’m not giving up that easy. I need this job, it’s part of my written plan and I’m putting action to it.

Writing down a dream turns it into a goal.

Giving a goal steps turns it into a plan.

Putting action to the plan makes it a reality.

The reality is, we are starting a new endeavor this week that has captured my full attention, and I am beyond excited. The reality is, these long nights will pay off in the long run. The reality is, sometimes we have to do really hard things, really consistently, for a time, to create a better future for ourselves and our families.

What hard thing do you need to do consistently, for a period of time, to help launch you forward in life?

With Love,

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