Five Minute Friday – Time

I am posting this a little early because I will be traveling tomorrow and I don’t want to miss the Five Minute Friday this week.  This week’s prompt is time…join the party if it inspires you!

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Time is my ever-present adversary it seems.  This week has been relatively quiet for me.  I’m off from teaching.  I didn’t have any workshops to attend.  I was home, by myself, most mornings.  But, I still feel like I didn’t have enough “time” to get things done.  I think that I’m constantly blaming time, when really is the “things” that are the problem!  It isn’t that I don’t have enough time.  It is that I have too many “things”.

So, that is why part of my mission this year of “Myself” is to simplify.  I want to give “myself” more time and those things less time.  I want to give my family more time and those things less time.  And I want to be better at focusing on one “thing” at a time.

Time is such a strange thing.  Our perception of it is drastically different depending on what we are doing.  I often tell my students that impromptu speaking is the perfect microcosm of how time shifts depending on perception.  When preparing for an impromptu speech for three minutes, the time seems to fly by.  We are wanting more time.  But, when we stand up to speak, those three minutes stretch out before us like a road to the moon.  They go by so slowly.  We can’t seem to fill those minutes despite our best intentions.  There is three minutes of preparation and three minutes to speak, but those two three minutes are dramatically different.

My hope is to create a world where time is a gift that I am able to truly relish.

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

I don’t do a ton of Wordless Wednesdays, so some of the photos below will be from more than just this past week.  But, what the heck…I have some good ones to share, so why not share them!

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We started our mini-vacation at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing!  Bean posed with the snowmen…

We had a great visit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and got to see a ton of Jellyfish, big and small!

And spent some time at the beach, where there were cool weather and even cooler sights to see.

A New Weekly Inspiration – Share Your World

I came across a new and interesting weekly inspiration for blog posts on Container Chronicles that is hosted at Cee’s Photography.  It is called “Share Your World” and consists of four questions plus a bonus question that will help you, my readers, get to know me a bit better and hopefully inspire some interesting posts (like Five Minute Friday does).

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So, here goes:

As a child, who was your favorite relative?

I would probably have to say my oldest sister.  She is 13 years older than me and she used to let me stay with her on weekends at her college house.  She took me to my first major concert (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the Oakland Coliseum – I still have fond memories).  She made me clothes.  She has handled the brunt of my parents’ illnesses.  She was and is amazing.

If you could be a tree or plant, what would you be?

I think I would be a sunflower.  I love how they stand out among all the other flowers.  Taller, brighter.  I also love their simplicity.  Just a tall stalk and one big bloom.  And they remind me of my favorite season – summer.

What would be your preference, awake before dawn or awake before noon?

Awake before dawn.  I love being up early when the house is quiet and I brew a fresh pot of coffee and enjoy it alone.  I like to see the light develop throughout the morning.  I never used to care to wake up early, but now I feel so much better when I’m up early and alone.

Would you like to sleep in a human size nest in a tree or be snuggled in a burrowed spot underground?

That is a tough one.  I love the idea of being up high and enjoying the view.  But, I also like the idea of feeling encapsulated.  I think I would have to choose the nest between the two of them though. The view beats all.

Bonus Question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am definitely grateful for the Instructional Skills Workshop I participated in last week.  It was wonderful!  I feel so motivated going into the Spring semester and I met some great people and got to spend time with others who I knew already and really enjoy.

This coming week, I am looking forward to finally getting professional family pictures taken.  We are doing them for my MIL’s birthday, but it will also give us a chance to get pictures taken as well.

Thanks Cee’s for the inspiration!

Why It’s Important to Take Care of Yourself | EmpowHER – Women’s Health Online

As I was saying in my recent Five Minute Friday post, I am working on making myself a priority in 2016.  I came across this article and thought I would share it with my readers.  My favorites from the list: Ask for help, Don’t be afraid to accept help, and Take Initiative!

Look around, and chances are you will see someone multitasking, or in a rush trying to complete a task. Very few people look calm and relaxed.

Source: Why It’s Important to Take Care of Yourself | EmpowHER – Women’s Health Online

Five Minute Friday – First

I’m joining Five Minute Friday as it returns for the 2016 year.  And accordingly this week’s prompt is “First”.

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Life is full of firsts, but the one thing we often don’t put first is ourselves.  At least most of us do not.  I am guilty of not putting myself first and it has caused me to become somewhat bitter.  So, this year, I’ve adopted my One Word as “myself”.

I realize that a lot of the reason I don’t prioritize myself is because I never had a real model for that.  My mom never put herself first.  She was a wonderful mom, but I never really knew her as “herself”.  I never really knew what she loved and didn’t love or what she was really passionate about.  She was always there for us as children, or my dad or even others – she was a woman full of compassion and caring and giving, but I felt like she got lost in all that giving and didn’t get nearly enough of what she needed in life because of it.  I want to model my mom in a lot of ways.  I want to be compassionate.  I want to be caring.  I want to be giving.  But, I don’t want to lose myself in the mix, as I feel like was starting to happen over the last six years.  So, I’m trying to readjust.

But, it is difficult.  This putting ourselves first thing is a threat in many ways.  What if we come off as narcissistic or selfish or ungiving?  I don’t see that as being a REAL threat, but sometimes those constructed threats are just as bad or worse.  But, I’m taking the plunge.  I’m focusing on me and what I want and need.  I’m trying to figure out who I really want to be and what I’m really passionate about and then figuring out how to make more of that in my life.  But, it isn’t easy.  And sometimes it feels a little exhausting.  Maybe even a little silly.

Putting ourselves first is important to our health, our well-being and our general happiness.  So, it is worth the trouble and effort and (unwarranted) guilt.  But, I have to keep repeating that as I take this challenge this year.

Welcome 2016 – January Focus = Simplify

I’m back from my trip and it was a great time.  I will probably have some pics this week on Wordless Wednesday.  I’m now settling in to a house where it looks like Toys R Us and Bags n Boxes have exploded multiple times and filling in my calendar for January in my new Erin Condren planner (which I love so far) and noting that it is already filling up quite a bit.  So many things for my DD’s school, workshops for work and family stuff with the Spring semester starting for me the last week of the month! The new year comes fast and furious it seems!

I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of some of other bloggers and podcasters and rather than having New Year’s Resolutions, which I always seem to fail at, I’m going to have My One Word (which is “myself” if you haven’t been following along or have forgotten) and a monthly “focus” where I work on a habit or behavior I would like to establish and/or change.  So, I’ve decided that January is going to be all about simplifying for me.  With my house piled high with STUFF and my calendar filling up with STUFF and my feelings of overwhelm in the past, I think this is a great place to start.  I have a few specific areas of my life I would like to simplify:

  1. Things I own/have in my home.
  2. Things for my classes – grading, assignments, travel planning for the team, etc.
  3. Things I have to do – I want to simplify caring for my home, making meals, getting exercise, my schedule, etc.
  4. Money management

SIMPLIFY JANUARY 2016

I realize those are pretty broad, but I think that spending a week or so on each one this month will really help a lot.  I have some choices in how to simplify things – the first, and probably the most difficult for me, is to GET RID OF IT!  Whether it is getting rid of things in my home or getting rid of certain assignments in classes or delegating things to others for the team or my home or figuring out a system that simplifies HOW things are done for work or at home, I definitely have some choices.

So, I’ll be talking some on the blog about what I’m doing to simplify and hopefully sharing some of the resources I find with all of you.

Lame Duck Week lives up to name…

Well, this Lame Duck Week has lived up to its name thus far.  I have spent most of the week thus far sitting on the reclining end of my in-law’s couch listening to my daughter play her Animal Crossing on her new 3DS (I’m still amazed that we got this for her for Christmas, but she does truly love it).  I’ve graded a considerable amount, but still have a considerable amount to do.  I’ve dealt with some emails, but still have a ton to deal with.  I have played games with my DD, but still have a lot of game playing to do.  Overall, I have felt sluggish, unmotivated and a little depressed.  But, this is par for the course as a year comes to an end.  I did finish a book last night and I hope to maybe finish one more before the end of the year (I’m close to finishing another).  And last night we went and saw the lights at the local living museum.  So, the week has not been a total bust, but I’m feeling less than accomplished.  This is my DD and her cousin ready to go to the living museum.Ready_for_CALM_lights.

Tomorrow, we are heading to my sister’s house (4 hour plus drive) for our third Christmas (we had ours at home, the one here at my in-laws and now we’ll celebrate with my sister and her husband).  I am unsure how we will fit all our stuff in the car on the way home, but we’ll try to figure it out tomorrow morning I guess.  Tomorrow night we will drive on home and unload the mess of stuff we have from Christmas, do some laundry probably,  attend a New Year’s Eve party at our friend’s home, and then pack again for our family trip to Monterey this weekend.  I am hoping that once my grades are turned in I will feel a little less blah.  I am hoping that the trip to Monterey will be made without my computer, so don’t expect any updates on the blog from me.  I really want to spend the weekend enjoying my family, reading, playing games and just RELAXING!

So, that’s where I am this week.  How’s your Lame Duck Week going?