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22 Random Acts Of Kindness On Her 22nd Birthday

This is something I can totally get behind! This year, for my daughter’s “heart birthday” (the anniversary of the date she received her heart transplant), I asked people to celebrate by doing a Random Act of Kindness (RAOK). I love the idea of doing them every year and adding one for each additional year though. What a great tradition/ritual! Thanks Kindness Blog for sharing!

Kindness Blog

Hillary Sadlon Performed 22 Random Acts Of Kindness For Her 22nd Birthday

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Slogging Through vs. Blogging Through

From wikimedia
From wikimedia

That pretty much looks like my life feels right now.  Big piles of sticky, grimy, muddy mess.  It feels like each day I’m just slogging through, trying to get to a temporary dry patch.  And lately, I’ve been expecting to find a dry patch and, instead, just find more muddy puddles.  So, I’m feeling pretty exhausted.  I’m feeling like the work it takes to get from one dry patch to the next is harder than the dry patches are big.  Life just seems like trial after trial with not much in between to make those trials seem worth it.  I know I’m just in a low spot right now and I need to find higher ground and wash my boots off with clean water – or better yet, take them off because I’m out of the mud.  But, it is really hard to find that higher ground right now.

I didn’t realize it had been 16 days since Iast wrote on here.  It makes me realize how much time just passes by while I’m struggling to keep my feet moving.  It really does sometimes feel like a week has gone by and I don’t know what I’ve done or accomplished.  Some weeks, I feel like I’ve accomplished a ton, but I still don’t feel “good” about things necessarily.  I just feel like I’ve got some things done.  I don’t feel like life is “good” or “fun” or even relaxing or peaceful.  It is tough and anxiety-filled and disappointments with a good thing tossed in here and there.

But, I keep reading blogs and I see these beautiful little sparks of goodness and happiness and bliss.  And I think how much I wish I could find that in my life and not just on my screen through someone else’s life.  So, I’m rededicating myself to blogging.  I have a direction – self-improvement.  And I now realize how desperate I am for that in my life.  Improving myself.  Improving my financial situation.  Improving my relationships.  Improving my work performance.  Improving my parenting.  Just becoming a better person living a happier life and making others happier while doing it.  Seems simple enough, but I get so bogged down in the day-to-day slog that I can’t get to a point where I feel like I can maintain that motivation to be better, do better and find happiness.

I imagine there are others out there who feel this way as well, but sometimes it feels like you are the only one.  The only one who wakes up every morning thinking something is going to go right only to find that something else goes wrong.  The only one who seems stuck in a life of mediocrity and chaos and dirt and brokenness.  The only one who feels guilty about not being able to be more – more of a mom, more of a wife, more of a daughter, more of a sister, more of a friend.  The only one who can’t get it together to make a meal on a regular basis because it feels like its just for herself and her four year old and the four year old probably won’t eat much of it anyways, so peanut butter and jelly just seems easier.  The only one who gets asked how old her granddaughter is (who is really her daughter) multiple times in one week and feels as old as she probably looks to those people.  The only one who can’t seem to figure out who she is or what she really wants from life and instead just goes through, day by day, doing some of the things on her to-do list, but not getting to many more.  I know I’m not the only one, but it still feels pretty lonely while you’re there, slogging through.

I want more out of life.  I want more out of myself.  I want more out of my relationships.  I just want more.  But, I also want less.  I want less trials and tribulations.  I want less health problems in my family members.  I want less on my to-do list.  I want less money issues.  I want less things cluttering up my life.  I want less time on this computer and more time in my life.  I want less things that mean little to me and more things that mean a ton to me.

So, I need to talk (type) it through.  I need to be honest and open and really make an effort to MAKE changes not just talk about them.  I need to do that in my blog and in my life.  I need to look around me and figure out what I have, what I REALLY want and what I can leave behind.  I need to sit down and really wrestle with who I am, who I want to be and how to navigate the trip.  That is what I wanted this blog to be about, but I think I just lost the focus on CHANGE and instead just focused on TALK.  So, although I’m exhausted, I realize that I need to jump in, right here, right now and start the change.  But, I also realize that I need to recognize the things I do get done and when I do achieve changes in my life.  And maybe this will be a good place for that as well.  I don’t want to make it sound like it is all negative.

So…anyone else out there feeling the need to reinvest in change and improvement?  Hop on board – let me know in comments what some of the things you are hoping to change.  It is always nice to know you aren’t alone.

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Introducing To-Do Tuesdays (used to be Travelin’ Tuesdays)

clock

I am changing my blog schedule slightly.  I originally had Tuesdays reserved for travel posts, but I find that I just don’t like writing about travel much.  I like pictures and I can use those on Wordless Wednesdays, but I don’t like writing actual details about my travels a whole lot.  I sometimes write reviews on places we visited for Trekaroo – you can find my profile here – but I don’t do things every week, so writing something every week is a little bit much for me.  So, I’ve decided to use Tuesdays for To-Dos…I can be a bit flexible about what exactly “to-do” means.  I could use it to make lists of what I need to be doing in the upcoming week.  I could use it as a bucket list kind of post.  I could talk about time management, home management, work/life balance.  There are so many things.  So, I think it will be easier for me to find things to write about each week using this as my guiding subject rather than travel.

This week, my to-dos include inspiration to improve my eating in a simple way, inspired by this post by Danielle at Eat Well, Live Well .  This, I may be able to do.

Also on the list for me this week is to try some Secret Money-Saving Starbucks!

And, I may stop by on campus and do this

I like this Tuesday To-Do thing…

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Liebster Award Nomination!

liebster2I have been nominated for an award!  I feel both blessed (for being nominated) and guilty (for being inconsistent about posting lately – the start of school has really killed my productivity here on More at Forty).  Maybe this will be a sort of motivation for me to get more productive.

First, let me thank Musings from a Bookmammal for the nomination and the questions!  Next, please check out her Liebster Award post as well as you might want to follow her and her other nominees!

The rules of the award are five:

-Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them.  Check!

-Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.

  1. How did you choose the name of your blog?  I started the blog right around my forty-fifth birthday, so I named it More at Forty (Five) but the url for that didn’t seem short enough or catchy enough, so I reduced the address to More at Forty.  Plus, it makes me sound five years younger than I really am!  🙂
  2. Describe the weather where you are right now.  Warm bordering on hot.  It was “only” in the mid-90s today, but is supposed to over 100 both of the weekend days.  I am ready for fall to start!  It is hard to get in the mood for fall festivities when it is so warm outside.
  3. Look to your right and list five things that you see.  A bit of a mess on my couch!  There is my daughter’s library, “The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes,” a TV remote, two book bags with various contents in them, a pillow and today’s newspaper still rolled up.
  4. List what was included in the last meal you ate.  We went to a pretty new little shop that has straight from the farm produce, sandwiches, etc.  So, I had part of a peach that they sliced up for us, a BLT that was delish and some samples of their yummy smoothies.  Oh, and I ate part of my daughter’s grilled cheese sandwich so as to not waste food.  🙂  And a tasty, cinnamon iced tea.
  5. What article of your clothing do you like to wear the most? Definitely pajamas.  But, if I’m going out in public, I like jeans best.  I have a few pairs that I really like and I can wear them totally casual or dress them up a bit with different shirts.  I am definitely not one to be very fancy though.
  6. Do you collect any special objects? If so, what do you collect?  I don’t really collect objects.  I would say I collect things to read.  I have a ton of books, both read and unread.  I have a lot of blogs in my blog feed that I love to read.  I have both Kindle and Nook accounts (read Kindle on the iPad and I own a Nook).  I have a ton of magazines.  Wow, this just made me realize that I have a bit of a problem in this area…because much of this has gone unread.
  7. It’s Saturday night—do you want to go out, or would you rather stay home?  Usually I would say stay home.  Especially if it could be by myself (so send my daughter out to a babysitter).  I rarely get time alone, so it is really valuable to me when I can get it.  But sometimes I get a hankering to be social…
  8. How many languages can you speak? Which ones?  One.  English.  I took French in junior high and for a short time in high school, but stopped and never really retained it.  Sad, but true.
  9. What was the first paying job that you ever had?  I taught swim lessons at a neighborhood swim pool when I was 15.  I did that and lifeguarded at that same pool until I was 22!  I loved it and still miss it at times in the summer.
  10. What would you be doing right now if you weren’t answering these questions? I would probably be struggling to write a Fortune Friday post (I have daily “themes” I try to write under on the blog just to keep things varied and to give me something to focus my writing on.  But, I often start a post and don’t finish it that day and so it doesn’t get published.  This was much easier for me!  🙂

-Nominate up to 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers.

simplifypersonalproductivity

A Pinch of Glitter

The Cat’s Meow

Count It All Joy

Allison’s Book Bag

-Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.

This is probably the most difficult thing, but here goes:

1.  Why did you start a blog?

2.  What is your favorite gift to give and receive?  It can be targeted to a certain person/population or just in general.

3.  What do you think is the perfect age is and why?

4.  What is your favorite thing about fall?

5.  What is your favorite blog to read and why?

6.  Are you reading any books right now?  If so, what is it/are they?  If not, what was the last book you read?  And do you/did you like it?

7.  What do you have hanging on your refrigerator right now (if it looks like mine, you can choose five things to list instead of having to take a page and a half of writing to make your list)?

8.  What are you most looking forward to doing this month?

9.  Who do you most admire and why?

10.  What has been the most memorable/meaningful random act of kindness you have ever experienced (either doing or receiving)?

-Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.  (will do as soon as I post!)

– Nominees can pass it on by nominating up to 10 other blogs with less than 200 followers for an award and following the process above!  

Please go and check out the other blogs!  I have a strange combination of interests in blogs that I read and I think the list captures that, so there is probably at least one for everyone, if not more!  And thanks again to Bookmammal for the nomination.  You were right, this was really fun!

Simplicity Sunday

Simplicity Sunday #4 – Simply Routine

daily-routinesI need one of these.  No, not the word cloud…a daily routine!  I did Flylady quite a few years ago and it worked really well for me.  But, since I’ve had my daughter, every time I have tried to get back on the Flywagon I have failed.  A big part of it has been that I’ve been a bit stubborn about actually following the basics (e.g. making the bed first thing every day, getting dressed to the shoes and showering and doing my hair first thing in the morning, wearing tie-up shoes).  I keep thinking that I will do it the next day, but I never do.

So, I’ve decided to jump on it again.  I have the Journal set up and ready to go.  I am working this weekend to get things picked up in some basic ways (using something similar to the crisis clean – although I’m doing a lot of other things this weekend than just cleaning) so I can start with a semi-clean slate.

Some people hate the Flylady system and I am certainly “resistant” to many of her guiding principles, but I find the guidance to be real, aimed at real people, real people with real problems cleaning.  And, that, my friends and readers, is me.  I love a clean house, but I hate what it takes to keep it that way.  I want to be a person who naturally puts everything back in its place and sweeps and mops each evening, but that just isn’t me or my family.  We are a mess.  We all have the horrible habit of leaving things out where we use them and then moving them around from flat surface to flat surface with no rhyme nor reason.  So, we end up with piles that are made up of totally unrelated material.  We are also all guilty of having way too much stuff of one kind or another.  My husband has many, many clothes that he does not wear, but wants to keep just in case.  He also has a lot of outdoor equipment – fishing, etc. that he maybe uses twice a year.  We both have a set of golf clubs – I have never been golfing.  He has not golfed in well over a year and before that, probably close to another year.  We are also poor planners.  As Flylady says, we are often living in CHAOS – “Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome”.  Although, my husband still invites people over and I just feel inadequate because my house is a mess and/or my carpets are filthy and/or my floors need swept and mopped, etc.  But, in addition to that, I also spend a ton of time looking for things I know I have but can’t locate – like my car keys or bills that need to be paid or shoes that I want to wear.  My life just feels in constant chaos even when I’m not having anyone over.  So, that is why I need to get back to using the Flylady system.  I did feel like I had much more control over my life when I was faithful about following her principles.

We shall see if this time is the charm (way more than three).