No Isn’t Just For Children, Say No To Your Inner Negative Self

Letter N

Have you read one, or more, of the hundreds if not thousands of articles or heard a podcast about the beauty of saying “no?” These pieces all encourage women to say no when their first reaction is to say yes

It’s not that the idea is wrong.

These writers and speakers have a valid point. Sometimes we need to say no to other people, rather than always saying yes and overloading ourselves. When we say yes too often to others we end up stressing ourselves, and being so busy we don’t feel like we have time to stop and live in the moment.

However, one person most of us are excellent at refusing is ourselves.

Just a reminder, this month I’m posting about living in the moment alphabetically. At least that was the plan several days ago. In fact, I’ve missed several days, which I will catch up, at some point. For today however, the letter is N, and the word is NO. How often do we let negativity control our actions. Let’s say “NO” to negativity.

We tell ourselves, “no, we don’t need that item,” “no, we can’t afford that trip,” “no, there is no time to read that book,” “no, we  don’t have enough stamina to do a 5K.” We let our negativity dictate what we will attempt doing.

Well guess what? We can say NO to that negative thought. After all, we might need that item, and if it would make us smile, brighten our day, or make our job easier, why do we not make the purchase. If it’s too expensive, we can save our money, other wise way not enjoy the item? Instead of saying no and doing without, say yes and make the purchase. After all, if it was for someone else, you wouldn’t refuse them would you?

What do you mean you can’t afford that trip? Maybe not right at this minute, but why not start saving specifically for that journey? Start planning the trip, what will you wear, what will you do, how will you get there. The anticipation is part of the enjoyment Instead of saying no to the trip, say “yes, I will go next month, or next Spring, or whenever you will be able to make the  visit.”

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We’re on our way

What do you mean there is no time to read that book? Spend an hour in the evening before going to bed to read. It will help you relax and unwind. In a few days you will finish the book, and choose another one.

 

Books meme

What do you mean you don’t have enough stamina to do a 5K?” You don’t have to run, most organizers allow participants to walk the route. Okay, so maybe you don’t have the stamina to even walk that far at the moment, that can change. If you gasp for air when you walk through the mall, a 5K might be a little far. After all that is 3.1 miles. But, what’s stopping you from building your stamina and strength. Start a walking program. Walk a little further every few days. Before long you’ll be walking the 3 miles, or running, your choice.

start of Stuart 5K in the rain 2017

And they’re off, rain and all the 5K has begun.

 

Nita and Ronda at Stuart 5K 2017

We ,might be wet and we might be behind everyone else, but we did it. We walked the whole 3.1 miles

 

Say “no” to your no. When you say or think “no” about something you want, you’re letting your negativity rule. Think again. Don’t stop yourself from enjoying life. Say no to no, and yes to life.

What did you last say No to?

Is there something you hesitate to say yes to?

This post is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, and I’m sure you noticed I’m a little behind. Little is an understatement. We are almost halfway through the month and posts here have been few and far between. Going forward attempts will be made to play catch-up as well as stay up-to-date. Wish me luck.

 

 

 

 

 

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Celebrate and Dream, Two More Ways to Live in the Present

 

Today’s letter:
                                                               C is for celebrate

For many people celebrating their birthday is a one day event. For my sister, it has always been a month long. This year I took a page from her book and celebrated the entire month of March for my birthday.

There was a party, with cake and guests and everything.

It was held at a local historic Stuart hotel.

The birthday fell in the middle of the month. The days leading up to it and following it were also days of celebration.

There was a day spent with my grandchildren from out of state. There was dinner with a friend. I slept in late one day, just because I could and it was my birthday month.

Not every day was a big huge celebration. But, everyday there was something to celebrate. It was just a success, I’m continuing it in April.

Celebrating every day means paying attention to the day. It means paying attention when someone buys you a soda, or holds the door open for you, or you get an unexpected day to do nothing.

Taking the time to notice what is going on, and celebrate the good things  helps keep us living, really living as opposed to existing, in the present.

Following the lead of Vidya, at Lady In Read Writes (love that title), and posting two posts in one.   She is also doing the UBC Challenge as well as the A to Z. She posted for three days in one post. I’ll limit it to two in one post. Next up, the letter:

                                       D is for Dream

You might wonder how we can live in the present if we’re busy dreaming? Because dreams lead to goals and goals are something to strive to achieve. When we dream we’re reaching higher and further.

Having a dream means we live in the present and go forward and rise. Without a dream, we stop and sink. Without a dream we are so mired in yesterday that we can’t acknowledge and appreciate today.

Dreams help us live in the present. Dreams help us tap into our creativity, we look for new, different, sometimes innovative ways to make our dream a reality.

Whether your dream is to go to Disneyland, or on a cruise, whether it’s to climb a rock wall, or spend time at the ocean, or whatever your dream is, finding a way to reach it, keeps us grounded and focused and living in the present.

How about you? Do you celebrate your birthday?

Have you reached one of your dreams?

How do you celebrate your steps toward your dream?

 

 

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Breathe Life into Your Life

Day Two for Living in the moment tips; Breathe

Sounds easy enough doesn’t it? After all we all breathe every day. We take air in, and blow it out. We don’t even think about it. A couple of years ago I learned first hand just how important breathing is. Because . . .

I couldn’t. Exercise didn’t create the problem. I couldn’t breath sitting on the couch. A beautiful picture didn’t take my breath away. There was no pollen to cause breathing problems. It was after all November in Oklahoma. No, I just couldn’t breathe.

Turns out my heart was the problem. Once we got that fixed breathing resumed. Life went back to normal.

I learned how important breathing is. It’s not just when exercising, or when the heart messes up, or when pollen is in the air, that breathing is important. Taking time to breathe, really breathe is vital. Not the unconscious every day breathing we all do, but slow intentional breathing.

Taking time to breathe allows us to reconnect with ourselves. It allows us to pay attention (remember that word?) to our bodies. Breathing is easy, no special skills, no special equipment (unless you’re on oxygen of course.) It’s just you and the air around you.

You can stand up and stretch as you breathe on purpose, or sit in a chair. It doesn’t matter. Breathing is the important thing here.

Ready? Take a deep breath in. Hold it for five or six seconds. Now exhale (let the air out) slowly. Feel calmer? Try it again. Start and end your day with two or three deep breaths.

You don’t have to wait until you’re at home to practice breathing. Stuck in traffic? Take a moment to breathe. Line at the store backed up to the aisles? Breathe and relax.

You’ll find you’re more aware of your surroundings, at least while you’re breathing, you’ll feel healthier, happier, and more relaxed.  Enjoy the moment.

 

How often do you take time to breathe?

Do you stretch when you breathe?

Have you tried breathing when you’re stressed?

This post is joining the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

 

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Live in the Moment, Give Yourself the Attention You Deserve

Sometimes we add more to our day so we don’t have to think or feel. More projects to do, more places to go, more events to attend, more people to visit. Go, go, go. Going is the grown-up version of running away.

Wait. Maybe I’m the only one that filled my days with activity to block out the fact that I was alone now. No matter, I’m sure you have your day filled too. Maybe not as an escape hatch, just full.

The problem with an over-full day is we don’t have time for us. We don’t have time to be present and enjoy what is.

Although I missed the sign-up, this month’s blog will follow the A to Z Blog challenge calendar. Which means each post Monday through Saturday, and Sunday April 1, will include a topic based on the corresponding letter in the alphabet.

Yesterday, Sunday April 1, day one, letter one is A.

A is for attention. Not attention to detail, although that can be helpful. Not attention to others, we do that automatically. No, attention to us.

We need to pay attention to ourselves. Listen to what we want or need. Is there a movie you want to see? Is it playing in your town? Why haven’t you gone to see it? Is it because other people and activities take precedence? Maybe you want to read, or garden. When was the last time you indulged in your passion, whatever it is?

Pay attention to what you want and fill that need.

The result will be  a calmer, happier you. Who doesn’t want that?

How about you? Are you paying attention? What is it you want?

What would you enjoy doing that you’ve put off?

What would you do if money and time were no object?

I hope you enjoyed your visit. As they used to say on the BEVERLY HILLBILLIES (remember them?) “Ya’ll come back real soon.”

This post is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

 

 

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Musical Memories, Sharing My Husband’s Music Interests

 

It’s Writing Wednesday.  The idea of Writing Wednesday is to encourage widows to share information about their spouse. To introduce him to grandchildren and others who might not have had time to get to know him. Non widows can share about their lives. Some day they may want to write a memoir, these little prompts will help.

Today’s prompt is music? Did your spouse sing or play an instrument? Did he have a favorite music genre or musician? Share his musical interests, on your blog, your Facebook page, your personal journal, or here in the comments.

My husband’s tastes in music was eclectic.

When we met he listened to soul music, he loved the stuff from Motown. He introduced me to the music of Diana Ross and the Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Marvin Gaye, and others. We both liked the Jackson 5, although they became popular after we were together.

He liked Otis Redding so much,  one of the songs he requested for his good-bye party was, Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.  He insisted it be the Otis Redding version, not anyone else. Listening to the song months later, I agree, Otis Redding does it the best.

He also listened to Creedence Clearwater Revival and Tommy James and the Shondels. “I Think We’re Alone Now,” was one of our favorites. Which really messed with our daughter’s mind years later when a young singer, Tiffany, made the song popular again.

He also listened to Country Music, and was a big fan of George Jones, and later George Strait, Alan Jackson. He liked Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson,  Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson (the Highwaymen) and probably a few others I’m forgetting.

He admired Tim McGraw’s voice. He thought the singer had not only a good range, but could sing any type of song. He said, “that boy (Tim McGraw) can sing the hard-hitting, drinking, honky-tonk songs all day long then turn around and do justice to one of those love ballads.”

He listened to Kenny Rogers when Kenny sang pop music with the first edition. My husband’s imitation of Kenny singing, “I Just Dropped In to See What Condition my Condition Was In” always made me laugh.

When Kenny Rogers moved to Country Music, he was still good, and still popular at our house.

My  husband loved music, different genres and artists. I’m sure some of his favorites were left out. He listened to the radio almost every time he drove somewhere and we often had the radio on in the house, especially in the early years.

Are you a music lover?

Was/is your husband?

What was/is his favorite music to listen to?

 

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Life is More than Fine

Life is more than fine. It is; hard or easy, rough or smooth, complicated or simple. Many verbs describe life. Fine isn’t one of them.

After all, fine doesn’t tell the listener anything.

Before my husband’s death, he disliked me saying, “I’m fine,” or “it’s fine.” Because he knew, when I said those words I was anything but fine.

Of course, the slamming of kitchen cabinets, banging dishes, or my stomping around and muttering under my breath, might have been a clue, all was not fine.

At this point my husband backed away from me and made a hasty exit. He’d work out in the yard or on one of his projects, far away from me and, “fine.” On occasion he’s grab his keys and mutter, “I’ll be at . . .” and he’d give a destination. He’d come back several hours later, when he thought my mood had shifted out of “fine” and into “great” or “good.”

Fine tells nothing. It’s a lukewarm word.

After my husband died if some asked how I was doing, my answer invariably was, “fine.”

Some days I was so far from fine, it’s a wonder the word left my lips. There were other days when I was doing great. Still, no matter how bad I felt, my answer was, “fine.”

Until a friend pointed out that saying “fine” helped no one and told them nothing. I wasn’t fine, so it didn’t make me feel any better. My friends knew I wasn’t fine, but they didn’t know how much I was hurting; they had no idea what I might need.

Did I need a hug? Did I need a shoulder to lean on? Did I need support as I tried a new venture? What did I need, how could they help? They had no idea because I’d told them I was fine.

What about our clubs and organizations. How many times do we use the word fine, and not tell the listener anything?

Someone asks, “should we do A or B.” The answer they get is, “either one is fine.” That tells them nothing.

Have an opinion. Which is better A or B? Take a stand. Drop “fine” from the vocabulary. Tell how you feel, make a decision. Be more than fine.

Sometimes we use the word fine as a description, of an event or destination. It doesn’t work well there either.

Ever go swimming at the beginning of summer, before the water has warmed up enough for swimming? Often we don’t care, before entering the water. The weather is warm, the water is there, we’re going in.

Brrr, What do we do? We call to our friends, “come on in, the water’s fine.”

Nope. They know better. The water isn’t fine, it’s cold. They know this because our lips are turning blue and they can see the goose bumps on our arms from the shore. Fine does not describe the water, or our experience.

The last few days here in Oklahoma, the weather has been beautiful. Spring-like temperatures, no rain, light breezes instead of gusty winds, great weather. Few people, if any, referred to the weather as, fine.  No, they say things like, “hasn’t the weather been marvelous?” or “I love this beautiful weather.”

Whatever is going on in your life, it’s either not fine at all or much better than fine.

What is better than fine in your life this week?

What do you think, should we use the word fine less often?

Hope your day is superb, better than fine.

It’s so much fun to play with the kids at SoSC and write stream of conscious using a prompt. Be sure to check out some of the other bloggers participating.

 

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Adventure Behind the Door; #SoCS

I found a new challenge, Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Challenges are great and I love them. This is super simple and requires no maintenance. Simply show up each week, read the prompt, and write the blog post. No pressure, right? We’ll see.

socs-badge-2017-18-e1503097084778

This challenge is sponsored, and created by Linda G. Hill. . The premise is simple, the complete (all eight of them) rules are here. This week’s prompt is: Door, to write about a door, not my own that was walked through.

DOOR

This weekend I walked through several doors, all leading to a stock show, or animals. It is county junior livestock show time where I live. Students who have been caring for livestock all year come together and exhibit their animals for prizes.

This weekend, two of my grandchildren were following in their grandfather, and father’s footsteps. Our first grandson showed four pigs in his county and our only granddaughter showed sheep in her county.

They both showed yesterday, a rainy, cold, day. Lucky for them, and us watching, the show rings are indoors. They only had to deal with the rain and mud getting to the barn.

I arrived at the first show, where my grandson was showing. It took three doors to get where I needed to be. The first door led to the animal pens. The pigs grunting and making noises, the students talking, and the smell of shavings and pig told me, “wrong door.”

I moved on to the next door. At least this one led to the show ring, except the seating was across the building, on the other side of the show ring.

Wrong door.

When I opened the third door, someone kindly directed me through the gates to the seating area.

I joined my daughter-in-law, and her mother, on the bleachers under the heater. They’d found the perfect spot to watch the show, and be warm.

When my grandson finished showing, I went back through the door and drove to watch my granddaughter.

Once through the door to the second show barn, I learned the show time had been moved. The judge, flying in from another state, had been stranded by the weather. Everyone waited for him to arrive.

By the end of the day I had been through several doors. They were doors of adventure, family, and competition.

Who knew there could be so much happening behind a door.

What doors have you gone through this week?

What was behind one of the doors?

This post was brought to you by SoCS, be sure and check out other posts about the doors people have been through, and share one of your doors,.

 

 

 

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