Cut Yourself Some Slack

Image Credit: Sid Leigh

Can’t seem to get enough done in a short span of time? Do you put more pressure on yourself than you have to? Let’s face it, sometimes, we get stuck in our overachieving mode and can’t find a way to turn it off. Then, and yes, there is always a ‘then,’ we get so stressed, depressed, and quite often obsessed when our goals go awry. I think it’s safe to say that it’s time to take a step, or two, or three back.

Quite often, we tend to back ourselves into the infamous “deadline” corner and can’t come out because we are so overwhelmed with what seems like an endless list of things to do, squeezed into a time frame that looks appealing but is quite deceptive.

I’ve spoken to many people who find themselves caught in the crossfire of setting aggressive goals, and the reality is more than they bargained for. At this point, they forcefully put their foot on the brakes, instead of gradually slowing down to avoid whiplash. We try to hurry up and rush the process, then learn that silly mistakes can quickly and easily sink our ship sailing towards progress. Impatience will certainly lead to disappointments, and at times, disaster.

Try to examine what led you to this place of overwhelm, which makes you feel defeated. It’s not always by someone else’s design, but even if it was, you can still change the narrative. Don’t be in a rush to impress others who probably don’t care about what you’re doing or your well-being. We stress out over stuff we really don’t need to. Personally, I learned I would have fumbled badly and made costly mistakes if I didn’t slow my roll. There’s only but so much time in a day. Your body has to adapt to rest, relaxation, and repair, or you are no good for nothing. Beware of those non-negotiable-looking deadlines because they could turn deadly if you don’t take your foot off the “gotta get it done right now” accelerator. Find the courage to cut yourself some slack and lighten up. If you don’t, you are liable to self-destruct at any unexpected moment. Then what?

The Fragility of Life

Thinking about the way things seem to be spinning out of control these days, leaves me sad and bewildered. This morning I thought about the days of old and the pleasant memories of those things that used to look promising. We looked toward the future with hope and optimism, even in spite of adversity. Now, it seems like we look toward the future with apprehension and fear. But why?

  • Perhaps it is because of the uncertainty of climate change as natural disasters and weather patterns are becoming more unpredictable, violent, and destructive.
  • Perhaps it is because humanity is increasingly showing great divisiveness that is laced with the deadly poison of hatred, greed, and oppression.
  • Perhaps it is because of too many big bad wolves trying to squeeze into too many tight-fitting sheep’s clothing.
  • Perhaps it is because of the novelty of easy access to controlled substances that numbs common sense but intensifies inward insensitivity.
  • Perhaps it is because of the innocent being brutally executed when simply being at the right place but at the wrong time.
  • Perhaps it is because of the polarization that has hardened hearts and stripped love from the path of its veins.
  • Perhaps it is because losing so many people, loved ones who succumbed to diseases that attacked their bodies without warning is leaving us grief-stricken because it is happening faster than the blink of an eye.
  • Perhaps it is because I sit here staring into the ethos of this massive universe, realizing I am merely a fragment of life whose light could be extinguished at any given moment, but continue to keep my light burning as long as I can.

Perhaps things will change if only we will decide that the time is now to look in the mirror and make whatever changes need to be made for the better. We do not change for merely selfish reasons, personal gain, or a big money/power grab. We do it because we are all in this together. There is no other world we inhabit. Life is fragile and we see evidence of this every day.

While I glance back on this Throwback Thursday, I see how far I’ve come, with all of the bumps, bruises, and brokenness. But I look ahead, and in spite of how dismal some things may appear on certain days, and in spite of new bumps and bruises I may endure, I still have hope. Hope is the fuel that keeps my light alive.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿผ Short, Sweet, Savory, and Serious

Image Credit: StillWorksImagery

Life is precious and when it’s over, it’s over. It is what it is. We don’t want to stand or sit here and think about the time we wasted on silliness and foolishness. Our clock continues to tick. We can’t erase past or present mistakes. We can only learn from the takeaways of those lessons and add value to the life we have yet to live.

Be Careful How You Use Old Fogey! ๐Ÿคจ

Image Source: EW.com

As many of you know, The Masked Singer is one of my favorite television shows since its inception. A few days ago, I watched the new season of the show and oh my gosh, all of the season’s beginning performers were outstanding. There was a particular singer who was formerly known as the Gnome but whose voice sounded familiar. I could tell his voice was seasoned, a veteran singer you know? But I guessed wrong about who the singer was.

Well, this singer was sadly sent home, but when his identity was revealed, I literally cried. That singer, formerly known as the Gnome was none other than 97-year-old, Dick Van Dyke! I was in shock at how amazing this man still looked at age 97. He still has a full head of white hair, and even though he now dons a white beard to match, this handsome entertainer still has it. He performed one last time before the show ended that night, singing ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ and even did a little dance. And another thing, I was simply in awe by the incredible details in the costume the designers made for him.

Dick Van Dyke appears on the season premiere of "The Masked Singer."Image Source: New York Post

I find inspiration or a kick in the butt moment when something or someone gets my adrenaline flowing. I am encouraged by those who succeed against all odds. The older I get, I also find that in spite of what others think or feel about our aging population, we have so much to learn from them, even when it seems like they are at the end of their rope and have nothing more to give. Pay attention, because there is so much more you can learn.

“It matters not how long we live but how.” – Philip James Bailey

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. – Henry Ford

Lessons from the Vegetable Garden

Image Credit: Sharon Pittaway

As I was pulling out some files I had in storage from years ago, I came across a sheet I handed out when I served as a Regional Manager in my territory. As I sifted through these forgotten files, I came upon one of the sheets that made a profound statement at that time. Well, while the author is unknown, the message is still clear and on point today, while the lessons remain a colorful reminder at that.

So, on this Throwback Thursday, I present to you this lesson about “The Vegetable Garden.”

THE VEGETABLE GARDEN

First plant five rows of peas:
Patience
Promptness
Preparation
Perseverance
Purity

Next, plant three rows of squash:
Squash gossip
Squash criticism
Squash indifference

Then plant five rows of lettuce:
Let us be faithful
Let us be unselfish
Let us be loyal
Let us be true to obligations
Let us love one another

And no garden is complete without turnips:
Turn up for work on time
Turn up with a smile
Turn up with eagerness to perform your duties
Turn up with determination to make everything good and worthwhile.

HAVE A COLORFUL, LESSONFILLED DAY my friends!!!

Role Reversal

Animals, Cat, Bird, Parrot, Era, Cage, Caught, Jail
Image Credit: blende12

What would you do if your situation was suddenly reversed

if you were rich today, and in poverty tomorrow

if you had a full stomach today, and hungry tomorrow

if you were in good health today, and gravely ill tomorrow

if you were the hunter today, and the prey tomorrow

if you had a privileged life today, and a disadvantaged one tomorrow

if you had a family today, but suddenly lonely tomorrow

what would you do if your situation was suddenly reversed?

I watched the devastation of families who lost everything they had that resulted from the recent tornadoes, wildfires, and flooding which occurred in a matter of minutes. Everything they worked hard for, suddenly gone just like that. All of a sudden, people found themselves homeless and hopeless.

Far too often, we take things and people for granted. These things or people can be here today and gone tomorrow, or here today and gone today. Yet, what happens if your situation suddenly changes for the worst possible case scenario, a situation you could never imagine happening?

So before we start pointing fingers with assumptions that could be far from being accurate, if you can’t walk a mile in “their” shoes, then you have no validation to criticize them without substantial evidence of why people’s circumstances are what they are.

Giving While We’re Still Living

Steer and Sow 1
Image Credit: Goat_Girl

When I was part of a leadership team several decades ago, I found a copy of a parable I heard. While there was not an author credit attached to it, it was a story that made me think about what we do, what we give, and why.

“Why is it,” said a rich man to his minister, “that people call me stingy when everyone knows that when I die I’m leaving everything to this church?”

“Let me tell you the story of the pig and the cow,” said the minister. “The pig was unpopular and the cow was beloved. This puzzled the pig. ‘People speak warmly of your gentle nature and your soulful eyes,’ the pig said to the cow. ‘They think you’re generous because each day you give them milk and cream. But what about me? I give them everything I have. I give bacon and ham. I provide bristles for brushes. They even pickle my feel! Yet no one likes me. Why is that?'”

“Do you know what the cow answered?” said the minister. “She said, ‘Perhaps it’s because I give while I’m still living.'”

How much our gifts mean to those in the here and now are priceless. When we give and see how much our gifts change lives, as those lives change all who they touch, then we know our living is not in vain. What good are we once we die, when our life didn’t produce the good that could have been?

What is Your Life’s Insurance Policy?

Decorative cardboard illustration of signboard with Insurance title under umbrella in rain on blue background
Image Credit: Gabby K

We have a slew of insurance policies for just about everything imaginable, even if you don’t imagine it. There are Homeowners/Renters Insurance, Auto Insurance, Life Insurance, Appliance Insurance, Health Insurance, Disability Insurance, Flood Insurance, Marine Insurance, Pet Insurance…get the picture?

Insurance is the key for you to be able to focus on the important things in life, as it ensures security in the event anything unfortunate happens. At least that is what insurance is supposed to do. Sometimes a curve ball is thrown at us when something we need to submit is not covered under your policy. Ugh!

But have we ever thought about the type of insurance that covers our daily lives or protects us from trauma, heartbreak and tragedy? Is there some type of policy that ensures the security of our minds, bodies and spirits?

Many people have their spiritual convictions about how they cope with the daily hiccups of life, while others have their practical stances on how they deal with those unexpected horrors life brings.

As we step back to examine our day-to-day goings and comings what is our insurance policy that protects us when we experience an unexpected, devastating slap in the face? What is your key that opens and helps you to focus on your mental, emotional, and spiritual security in the event something unfortunate and unexpected happens?

How Do You Run Your Life?

Grayscale Photo of 2 Men in White Crew Neck T-shirt and Black Shorts
Image Credit: Vincent Peters

Life is a marathon, not a sprint.

We rush, rush, rush. Think about it. Everything seems to be in fast-forward. We drive fast in traffic. We eat hastily because we are so busy doing other things, that we don’t have time to sit down, and eat unhurried for our food to digest well. We are constantly running hither and thither, thinking we are accomplishing something, believing we are being productive, when we are only engaged in hyperactivity.

When does all of the running and rushing stop? Do we have to pass out just to get rest? How do you pace through life while remaining productive? In a marathon or a sprint? ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿšด๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Wisdom Wednesday: A Nice Little Reminder for Today

Photo of Mountain Under Starry Night Sky

Image Credit: Marco Milanesi

I came across a good piece of advice for a surefire way to reduce stress. While comical, this quote is a good reminder to those of us who pose as everyone’s taskmaster.

“Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.”

Yep, I do believe that little reminder will definitely direct us to the path of thinking about how we must reduce most of our day-to-day stress! ๐Ÿ˜ Now, that is a life-saver!