Monday, November 28, 2011

Motivational Monday #64 - Stuffed

After the long Thanksgiving Weekend I can wrap up all of my festivities in one word...Stuffed!  I cooked for 15 hours to provide a 45 minute meal.  I baked a cake (twice, as the first one burnt), a pie, and cranberry tarts.  The 20 lb turkey was moist, the sweet potatoes were yummy, the stuffing was flavorful and the gravy (from a rue) was delicious. I flexed my organizational skills to get everything in one oven and still be hot at the same time.

And now I am stuffed, and not just physically.

I am mentally full.  My brain is tired and my body is exhausted.  It was yummy, but now it's done.

How often do we stuff ourselves with things we may not need, experiences we do not need and stress we definitely do not need?  For me the feeling of being stuffed is not one of contentment, but one of discomfort.

So now it is Cyber Monday.  We were supposed to shop like maniacs on Black Friday, at it appears from the news many people did just that.  Now we are supposed to shop like crazy people again.  Of course I would love it if you wandered over to Prepared Binder and ordered a few binders...but all in moderation of course. 

So while I hope your holiday was wonderful, I also hope you are done being stuffed.  Here's to a pleasant week of moderation!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Motivational Monday #63 - Value

Value. It can be a noun or a verb. It has definitions in the dictionary, and personal meaning to everyone.  What I value may not be what you value.  What I give worth to, may not be what you give worth to.  In fact, I would suggest the term value is closely tied to each person's priorities. defines the noun value as "relative worth" while it defines the verb value as "to regard or esteem highly."  Both of these definitions are subjective.  If I am in a desert, I may value water highly.  If I am standing in waist deep flooding, well, then, maybe not.

Given these definitions, and knowing that "value" is subjective, I would suggest preparedness is one of those things people find value in after they make it a priority.  For some, it becomes a priority after they experience an emergency.  For others, it is after watching others face an emergency.  Then there are always those who prioritize preparedness just because it is a good idea.

The holiday season makes a lot of people think about priorities.  Maybe now is the time to see the value in preparedness.  Have a great week!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Motivational Monday #62 - Holiday Craziness

I think this is the craziest season of the year. Between the gifts, the parties, the decorations and the endless fa la la la-ing, it is easy to lose your holiday cheer...if not your mind.  Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas time, but the older I get, the more running around I do, and the less enjoyment I see in return.

A few years ago I discovered the joy of online shopping.  Don't laugh, yes I own an internet based business, so you would think this would be obvious...but I had never tried to mass shop online.  My husband and I sat down and ordered all of the presents in one happy credit card transaction.  When the box arrived I was ecstatic.  My shopping was done and I hadn't been driving all over town like a crazy woman in search of a parking space.

While I try to remember "the reason for the season," we all know the traditions are what take a lot of time and focus.  Just planning the meal can cause a headache if you aren't careful.

So why do I point this out?  Well, the craziest part about all of this tradition making and festivity having is that often in our search for large numbers of presents (for people we only see once a year,) we wreak havoc on our minds and budgets.  What's even worse is the number of useless presents we all buy and receive each year.  (Electric socks or cable knit reindeer sweaters anyone?) 

When the flurry or wrapping paper has subsided, no one wants to be left with a gift that can only be described as next year's white elephant gift.  So what to do...?

I humbly suggest finding a useful gift.  I remember when I was a young wife I told my husband to NEVER buy me an appliance that would help me do more cooking, cleaning or housework.  Now I am begging for a blender.  I think my definition of a fabulous gift changed from luxurious to practical somewhere after kids arrived.

This year I would suggest combining a practical gift with the ease of internet shopping. Prepared Binder - Home Edition is a great way to give your family a useful gift they will actually use.

And who knows...maybe this year you will eliminate a little of the holiday craziness?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Motivational Monday #61 - Control What You Can and Let The Rest Go

Parenting is an odd thing.  When first hold your little bundle of joy you realize that you are completely responsible for their health, their safety, their ability to thrive...well, their everything. 

As they grow you make all sorts of decisions. You determine how they will dress, what they will eat, and what activities they will try.  You are in control of their universe.

And then it happens.  It happens to each and every parent in a different way and at a different time, but it happens.

We realize that we do not actually have any control over our child.  We may still buy their clothes, but that may be the end of it.  They have minds of their own.  They have wants, desires, fears, strengths, weaknesses and opinions all of their own.  They are in fact their own little humans.

And then something else happens.  It is something we all fear, even if we never put that fear into words.  Our child gets sick.  The doctors don't know what is wrong or how to fix it.  They aren't sure what medications will work or what side effects you will see.  This is more than the flu, this is serious.  You find yourself sitting at the hospital pacing the floor. 

Then it hits can't control this.  It is an overwhelming feeling.  It is almost paralyzing.  How can a parent not be able to help?  You already know they have their own thoughts and opinions.  You know they don't always agree with you, but aren't you still supposed to be able to protect them?

This is when you realize you must identify what you can control and let the rest go.  I know I just said that as if it is easy.  I know firsthand that it is not.  Maybe you are not dealing with illness, maybe you are dealing with poor choices or maybe just random circumstances, but whatever the cause, you realize you can not control the situation.

This is when you need to fall back and think.  Many of us put energy into changing situations we have no influence to change.  In the end we are exhausted and mad, but nothing has been gained. 

Taking the time to identify our areas of influence and power may be the best thing we can do.  Can we find different doctors? Can we locate different resources? Can we find someone with new information or a new perspective?  What CAN we do?

You may never have been in a scary medical situation with your child.  Maybe it was your spouse or your parent.  Maybe it wasn't medical, but legal or maybe it just involved uncontrollable situations.  Either way, most of us have been left feeling helpless and out of control one time or another. 

I may be off base, but as I go through this situation right now, I am finding more peace by identifying what I can do than dwelling on what I can't.  I am more able to function when I have a plan of what I can contribute to forward motion.  Standing still only makes it worse for me.

That is my Motivational Monday thought.  Identify what you can control and stop spending energy on what you can't.  I know this isn't a new concept, but sometimes it bears repeating.