Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Keep Calm During The Dreaded Waiting Period

I hate waiting. Waiting in line, waiting for technology to work, waiting for slow cars to get out of my way when driving, waiting for that annoying lady on my voicemail to quit talking so I can fast forward through the old messages to my new messages, waiting for weight loss to happen, waiting for companies to call back about job applications......

There's A LOT of waiting in life. If you don't think you spend lots of your free time waiting for stuff, then I say you need to take a good look around. Chances are that you may be waiting for something at this moment as you read this. So much of our lives are spent waiting for things to happen or work, whether they are on a large scale (like getting a new job), or small scale (waiting for a traffic light to turn green).

And I hate it. Seriously, it makes me crazy sometimes. I guess that makes me a fairly impatient person, I dunno. I've always thought of myself as a fairly patient person, but I think I'me becoming more impatient as I get older. Like life "owes" me something or something ridiculous like that. Like I'm special, so I shouldn't have to wait like all you 'regular' folks. He he, just kidding.

But seriously, isn't what we say about other people sometimes, especially drivers who cut us off or do something stupid that puts both our lives at risk while driving? We sarcastically think something along the lines of, "Well, I guess where that person is going is more important than where I'm going." I know I think that all the time about other drivers. Everyone is an idiot driver except for me!

And what's great is that other people probably think that about me. But we can't all be the best drivers in the whole world, now can we? Somebody has to be wrong here, and if I'm honest, it's probably me. Boo.

But back to waiting. It's scary. It's difficult. It's nerve-wracking. And it's NO FUN AT ALL. But guess what? We have to do it. And these negative emotions do nothing to speed it up. As a matter of fact, negative emotions simply prolong the pain & insecurity of waiting. It's been easy for my hubby & I to get caught up in feeling panicked, depressed, or anxious in the midst of this job search, but being calm and having patience eases the burden a bit. So we've been trying to remember this and keep calm, like that saying I've been seeing everywhere. It varies somewhat, but the overall attitude is the same: "Keep calm and carry on," for those of us who eat their feelings: "Keep calm & have a cupcake," and for the Harry Potter fans out there (you can't deny it any longer): "Keep calm and carry a wand".

Have you seen this saying? It's clever & cute, but has a great message. And I will try to follow its advice. Will you join me in "keeping calm & carry on" during the difficult waiting periods in your life?

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Friday, August 26, 2011

The Blessing of Basic Good Health

Good health is not a given in life.  It is not something you deserve, or are automatically given.  It is something to aspire to.  Just like all good things in life, it takes hard work & dedication to attain it.  It is a blessing, a dream come true to those that have it.  If you're young and healthy, then you'd better treasure it, for it will be more & more difficult to keep it as you age.  You cannot do nothing to take care of yourself and simply expect health to find you.  Sometimes it works that way, for those of us who are extremely lucky, but it's rare.  

Those that do not have health never undervalue it.  If you are sick, or have any sort of chronic illness, you probably long to feel better.  You know the value of good health, because you have gone without it for quite some time.  You would give anything to have health, and for good reason.  If you don't have health, it's hard to enjoy anything else.  It can consume your life if you're not careful.  And if you are healthy, don't take it for granted, for there are many people who are ill.    

I think Americans in particular do not value good health.  If you eat organic, practice yoga, spend time outdoors, and look after your health in most places in America, you're seen as kinda kooky, obsessive, and a  tree-hugging hippie.  I myself do not practice much yoga, but I understand why people do & the health benefits of such a practice.  I also do not eat organic produce very often because of financial constraints, but I absolutely would love to.  I occasionally buy organic bananas because they are only 20 cents more expensive than regular ones, but typically the organic stuff is too expensive by far. 

But I think it is supremely important to gain or regain health.  Make health a priority.  I've heard sayings & slogans about making health a priority, like Lululemon's "Sweat everyday," or Nike's "Just do it," or Teva's "Go. Do. Be."  
I concur.  Good health should be a priority in your life, and if it is, you will most likely live a longer, fuller, happier life.  So it doesn't really matter what you do.  Just DO SOMETHING.  Eat well. Cut out most processed foods & sugar.  Exercise.  Even if you can't or don't want to partake in traditional exercise, DO something.  Garden.  Mow your grass with a push mower.  Shovel the driveway in the winter.  Do vigorous housework. Walk around the mall.  Do an exercise tap in your living room.  It doesn't matter.  Just DO something.  Find something you like, then "Just do it!"  

Just because you have to work for something doesn't mean it's not a blessing.  It's worth it.  Everyday is a new day, a fresh start.  So get to it!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Unexpected Relief

The news of my husband getting laid off hit us hard, but not as hard as it could have. He got a few weeks of severance pay, so at least we have that. And he put his car up for sale on Craigslist, and we've already had 1 person come to check it out. Hopefully we can sell it very soon for a little extra money. Iit is such a blessing that Eric is getting a few weeks of severance pay. So for the time being, we are okay. I wish I could say we were "flourishing" or "comfortable," but no such luck. But for now, we are okay, and I supposed that's all that really matters.

For all the panic and financial problems this has caused us, we both have actually felt a little bit of relief. Relief that it is time to move on to something new and hopefully something better. We've been desperately trying to get out to Seattle, so it is somewhat of a relief that whatever happens, it has to happen soon for us, and hopefully that means positive changes are about to happen. We are excited and anxious to see what God brings our way; and relieved to be finished with one aspect of our lives and moving on to another. We are wary of the future and sometimes we have our moments of panic, but we are excited about which path will stretch out before us, beckoning to us to follow. We are kinda at a low point right now, so the only way to go is up!
And that, my friends, is a great relief.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Will Not Be Ruled By Fear

The big news of my life this week is such that it will require decisions to be made & actions to be taken, and soon. My husband just got laid off from his job on Friday. Yikes! Of course, we have been planning on moving to Seattle sometime in the next year or so, and my husband has applied to a few jobs there. But did we expect to be facing these decisions right now? So soon? No, of course not! We expected to take our time and finish renovating our house to our satisfaction, then Eric would get a job in Seattle, then we would put our house on the market, then we would move away, then our house would sell quickly. This was our plan. THE PLAN. And now, that plan is shot all to pieces. We don't know what we're going to do or what will happen.
Eric has filed for unemployment, which we never imagined we would have to do. He is also looking into potential job openings in the Cincinnati area, but no luck yet. So we may keep our house and stay here a bit longer if he gets a decent job. But we really don't want to remain here. What we want is to live in Seattle, but we may not get what we want. But maybe, just maybe, a job in Seattle will finally come through for Eric and we can move out there.
So we've got lots to think about and decisions to be made here in the next few weeks. And hopefully things will work out soon. But we are afraid. Afraid of poverty, afraid of losing our house, afraid of not being able to live where we want, afraid of having to endure more financial hardships, afraid that our financial situation is never going to change. But I have vowed to not let our decisions or emotions be ruled by fear. Yes, there are things to be afraid of, but as the old adage says, "This too shall pass," and things will get better. I know this. I may not feel this, and I don't feel very hopeful at the moment, but I know that things will get better, because I know God. And God has promised that He will never let us down, so no matter how bleak our future looks, He has not forgotten us and still desires to give us good things.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is this: "For I know the plans I have for you', says the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."--Jeremiah 29:11
I love what God says here. He has plans for us; GOOD plans, and these plans will prosper us and not harm us. And we'll have hope and a future. This verse is music to my ears right now, and I will keep trusting God to keep his promises.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Glory of Nature

'I've always considered Nature to be the clothing of God."--unknown author

The weather here in Cincinnati has finally taken a mild turn recently, and thank goodness, because I was getting sick of setting records for over-100 degree heat for days in a row! I won't even get started about the horrible humidity that usually accompanies the heat. But over the past couple weeks, the weather has broke and it's been a bit lower, in the low-to-mid 80's, with less humidity. It's been fantastic!

I have been missing being outside, because let's face it, it's NOT comfortable to be outdoors when the weather is near 100 degrees with 80% humidity. On the contrary, it's a bummer, and it physically hurts to be outside for any length of time in that kind of weather. So, I have not been able to enjoy being outside very much this summer, unfortunately. So I've been absolutely LOVING this milder weather! (Have I mentioned that Spring & Fall are my favorite seasons, for precisely this reason?)

I can now play with my puppy Levi outside and chase him around the large, mature tree in our backyard. My hubby & I can have small fires in our fire pit and roast marshmallows. I can sit outside and read or write. Simply being outside, even if I'm just sitting, is so enjoyable!

I've always loved Nature and being outdoors, so it's difficult for me when the weather is either too hot or too cold to go outside. And of course, I can't wait to move to Seattle, where the weather is always fairly mild, but for now, this weather will do.

"The Heavens declare the Glory of God."--Psalm 19:1