Tag Archives: routine

Out Of Control With Control

I find myself easily frustrated when my plans and instructions aren’t followed. I will get over it, if I can be provided with an in-depth and logical account for why things were done differently. It better be well thought out, more efficient, or cover some detail that I might have missed. I find that it is hard for me to take direction without explanation as well. I want to know why I am being asked to do something and how it fits into a bigger picture. I will most likely have suggestions or amendments as well. Rather than a character defect, I used to pass my behavior off on just being analytical. To be honest, I just get out of control with needing control.
There is so much weight placed on us on a regular basis. The demands of family, friends, bosses, and society are heavy and never ceasing. When one lets up, there will surely be another that remains to fill the emptiness. Managing it all without something falling through the crack is a tall order and being controlling seems to be the best fitting solution. That solution never really works though. I have found I always end up frustrated because someone didn’t go fast enough, they weren’t precise enough, or they needed constant intervention to get things right. Worn down from trying to control others, I found there is massive variability in my own work when I get too controlling. Things take longer because I am micromanaging others or I fear delegation, putting a massive amount work on my own plate. Further, I stunt the growth and creativity of others. Not allowing them the freedom to own a project or assist in their way can hinder them from learning the whys of life. It creates this feedback loop for the next time a tasks arises. Direction is needed constantly because the reigns are never handed over for people to learn and grow on their own. This is when the need for control is wildly out of control. There are other, more effective tools exist to manage our lives without having the overwhelming burden of every detail on our own shoulders.
Respect
The biggest tool to grab a hold of in our efforts to release control, is respect. People are people. They aren’t pawns or pieces to accomplish a task. Children are individuals rather than mini-mes waiting to take directions. When we begin to look at people clearly, we notice all the amazing talents they possess. Their potential to do and our desire to teach rather than direct, creates a healthier interaction. This also causes growth in us. I had a coworker, whose strengths did not include anything with technology, quickly rig a malfunctioning printer tray with a towel. I thought she was unqualified, but since she wasn’t trying to analyze the problem from the same technical perspective I was, she discovered a quick out of the box solution.
Routine 
Taking the first tool into account, building room into routines for variance eliminates the pressure to micromanage or do things ourselves. When we manage our routines well we can make room for grace. These allowances for reduce the stress of having people moving at their own pace. My son takes about 45 minutes to eat his breakfast. When I choose to calculate that into my morning routine it becomes a norm not an inconvenience. Instead of spoon feeding my 4 year old each bite, I am able to let go of controlling his pace and let him just. Even though it isn’t my pace, there really isn’t any harm in adjust the schedule to accommodate his needs. This also gives us permission to give ourselves grace. We have our own variances in our productivity. Extending the proper leniency increases the chances that we will meet or come in before deadlines rather than after.
Rest
A large consequence of controlling behaviors that get out of control is our in ability to rest. Downtime isn’t peaceful. We remain stressed about work, relationships, household management, and a constant barrage of other cares. Overtime our lack of rest decreases our efficiency. The result is we get less done in a given period and are more stressed as we see control slipping from our hands. I am the worse at leave my computer on for weeks and months at a time without restarting or shutting it down. Inevitably the computer RAM gets bogged down or those much delayed updates become a necessity rather than an option. Simply put, technology even needs to shut down so it can reboot and be at peak performance. Little times of rest help clear our hard drive giving us the ability to think more clearly and function more effectively.
Implementing these three “Rs” will help stop control from getting out of control in your life. We don’t have to constantly be doing and overseeing for us to be important or to boost our self worth. We can choose to loosen our tight grip of control and be a part of life. Enjoy life because the difficulties will surely come. We shouldn’t let ourselves be so worn out with the everyday ebb and flow that we are incapable of coping with anything else.
Shon W

Coffee Please

Coffee please….

Did you say struggle or snuggle?     Exercise Shmerxercise     

I love coffee.  I love coffee more than food.  I have 8 different kinds of coffee and 15 coffee mugs.  Oh and yes….I live alone.  LOL.  On top of that….. Did I tell you, I have 6, (or is it 7) t-shirts with sayings about coffee.   And into the coffee goes anything from almond milk to maple syrup and MCT oil to cacao powder.  Change it up. Drink it up.  Enjoy it.  All.  Day.

But, then there are days when I just want it exactly as it is, right out of the press.  Poured straight into the cup so I can enjoy the boldness, the robust flavor, the deep dark roast.  

It’s kinda like our life.

We can add anything from colorful pants to cute ankle socks and cool flat boots to braids.  Spice it up.  Sass it up. Enjoy it.  All. Day.

But, then there are those days we want to be as we are, straight out of the press.  Right?  Straight up.  No additions.  Enjoying the boldness, the grit & truth, the raw essence of you. 

Change is good.  Sitting on the patio with a cup of coffee can be just as wonderful as sitting in the car at the bus stop.  Life can be just as enjoyable home alone or out with a crowd.  And we can be just as amazing living from that place of joy, the peace deep inside, the you that matters to you or getting all dolled up for an afternoon downtown.  

If it’s enjoyable to put on some mascara, a matching belt and your prettiest sweater, then do it.  But if you’re having a I-don’t-feel-like-it kinda day and you want to wear holey socks and your over-sized comfy sweater, then do that!  And remind yourself, just like my cup of coffee, sometimes adding a little something something is just as good as Plain And Straight Up!  

Just be sure to Drink the Coffee.  

xoxo

Your God girl

Tracy

It’s Ok

I feel like the title of this blog is a misnomer. It’s not ok. Things are not ok. I don’t think this is a time to sugarcoat anything.

And that is ok.

Now… I would like to preface this with- now may not be the time of the airing of your grievances. I’m talking more like what is going on in the world.

What’s going on with you.

I would strongly advise against making any hasty decisions you can’t come back from once we are able to be with each other again.

There are laundry lists of do’s and don’ts floating around and I’m going to be honest… I’m pretty sure Gwenyth Paltrow and I are leading much different lives right now just like before.

I need to focus on my daughter. My car payment. Trying to get the motivation to be presentable for a ZOOM meeting. Not learn another language. 

If you want to take this time to learn all the things and do all the things you never seem to be able to, that’s fine too.

There is no rule book for this. There are no rules.

Again … Everyone has some strong suggestions.

The biggies seem to be around hair.

Lol…

My hot take is this, it will grow. Perhaps poorly but it will grow and you know I feel like baseball hats are pretty acceptable right now.

Followed a strong second by how we are homeschooling our children.

Again, it’s going to be ok. Or it’s not and you know what? That’s ok too.

This is a weird time I can’t imagine anyone is doing everything right.

For me personally I need to keep telling myself I am going to be good. There are days I don’t entirely buy into that, but I have to. Even if it’s just a little bit.

Since all this began I have become a reformed insomniac. I sleep through the night hard. I average about seven hours of sleep when I used to only get four. 

I am almost always tired.

I have had a few days where the reality that because I am considered high risk means I can’t leave my house, not even to get groceries. That reality has meant a solid cry. 

That’s ok too.

Ok is not good.

Ok is not bad. 

But it’s something. It means there is an opportunity for it to get better and that’s great.

I believe it will get great.

I do.

I’m not sure if I’m ok with how long it may take to get back there.

And that’s ok.

Much love Mommas.

Be safe.

<3 Caprise

The More Things Change

The more things change the more they stay the same. 

Except so much has changed.

I am not sure where you are, but in my part of the world we are on strict Stay At Home orders until at least the end of April.

Our schools closed right before St, Patrick’s Day. Due to the nature of my job I have only been home myself now for six days.

I like everyone, am trying to figure out my new normal.

My daughter is about to start her second week of homeschooling and I’m thankful we have a district that planned and has worked hard to make things not too painful on us.

I’m the midst of this … I’m starting a new job.

So… I’m trying to control what I can control. It’s something I have been doing since G and I first left her Dad. I get up. I do my hair. I get dressed. I even put on makeup. You may say why? I mean if you have been on a ZOOM meeting all bets are off.

But this is my ritual. My thing that I can control in a world that feels so out of control.

It’s my time to quiet my head. Or do my checklist for the day.

The big difference is now I put on a T-shirt, leggings and comfy socks.

With so much feeling out of sync, it’s ok to have those things, Please know though, the days of fake lashes and foundation are probably on hiatus, but a good mascara, lipgloss and a Bobby pin in my bangs make me feel better.

They say the more things change the more they stay the same.

For me I need this same, as trivial and silly as it may seem.

It’s my anchor.

I hope you have one too Mommas.

I am sending you so much love.

Be safe.

<3 Caprise

Alexa, Please Help Me With Mornings!

“Alexa, wake me up at 6:45”

My 8 year old son snuggles up to his stuffed dog while I tuck him in.

It’s the first night back to a bedtime routine since winter break. Everything is peaceful; it’s not even 8PM.

Rewind twelve hours before though, and peaceful is not the word I would use.

“You’re always yelling at me!” My son cries from the bathroom floor as if the task of putting on just one sock in 10 minutes is simply unattainable.

Sound familiar mamas?

You’ve gotten up, poured the cereal, thrown your hair in a messy bun, and cheerfully woken your child up with a “good morning sweetie”.

What went wrong? Why are you always 30 seconds from yet another tardy slip as you fly into the drop off line, trying not to spill your coffee? Again, sound familiar mamas?

I don’t know the answers to a perfect morning, actually I despise mornings; but here are a few things

I’ve learned:

1. Set a Routine that Works and Follow it.

Your kids like a routine. For mine, setting an alarm with Alexa gives him the power over his day. He knows when his alarm goes off it’s time to get started. He sets it for a few minutes before I get up,so he can have some time to wake up alone. For yours, it may be turning on a certain type of music, having a cup of hot herbal tea, or hopping in the shower. Think about it mamas, do we like the lights turned on to wake us up with someone hovering over us saying: “get up, get dressed, eat, brush your teeth”, all within a matter of a half hour or so? Be mindful of this in the morning with your kids.

2. Lay Out Clothes for the Next Day.

Mamas this is a lifesaver. Before your bedtime routine, even if you don’t really have one (that’s an article for another day) make this simple, but so very valuable task, something you do each night. I’m talking the whole entire outfit: socks (oh dear, don’t forget the socks), shoes, coats, and even gloves if needed. Get your child’s input. This will avoid the “these pants don’t fit me” or “this shirt is scratching me” “I wanted to wear shorts instead!” Trust me, putting these few minutes as a priority the night before will save you much turmoil in the early morning hours.

3. Give Yourself Grace

This is important.

When nothing works and your morning is a mess, you’re tardy for the 7th time this month, and your coffee did spill (oh no, anything but the coffee),

Give yourself grace.

If you’re anything like me after a morning of tears, lost socks, short tempers, and rushed breakfasts, (or let’s face it a quickly slurped go-gurt thrown into the backseat of the car)- You’ll worry all day at work. Is his day okay? Did I ruin it all? Can he focus on his school work? Is he sad at lunch? Does he hate me? For what, mama? For being human?!

I think as single mothers we often forget: we are rocking this thing on our own. You’re the one who worked all day, the one who made the dinner, the one who gave the baths, and read the books, and put the laundry in, and said the bedtime prayers; and that’s just the start.

You’re the one who woke up to face another day of doing it all over again.

You are the one who deals with the tears and the melt downs and the homework; but you are also the one who gets the hugs, the cuddles, the “I love you mama”, and the “can you tuck me in?”

You, working single mama, are the one in your kid’s corner. Don’t forget it.

The world’s not perfect, but it’s not that bad. Here’s to messy buns, almost spilled coffee, and asking your kiddos to put their socks on for the 182794633479315th time….. all without losing your mind.

Happy Everything,

~Katie B.

Getting Out Of Bed Has Saved Me

Getting out of bed and morning routines have saved me. If you knew me in college, this would never have happened.  20 years later I would be a person that loves a morning routine. And now I set my alarm to get up earlier than I need too including on the weekends, I still stick to a routine.  Yes, I set my alarm most weekends because otherwise I just won’t do it.. I come up with some excuse and then I’ve missed my opportunity.  We all do it.. say we are going to get up early but it just doesn’t happen. Setting a routine and sticking to it everyday works.

After my divorce,  my life seemed to get crazier with my kids and settling into a new lifestyle… there is a lot of adjusting with schedules, emotions, and just life.  I know people think that when you share custody you have all this free time. FALSE. I almost think I’m more busy ( that’s a story for another time).  I knew I had to do something different with my daily schedule. I needed to find time for myself and not finding time to exercise was making me more stressed. I felt so overwhelmed with the changes in my life and my mind was going to explode.  Like when you are trying to think about all these things to get through but your head is just scrambled.

I decided to start a morning routine, which includes getting up at 5:15 am.  This is not something that happens easy … it takes time to change habits and it’s hard.  I had to change my nightly routine and go to bed earlier.  And many days I have to drag my body out of bed and I still do..but I love it.  Morning is my favorite time.. it’s my time. I usually go to the gym and workout for that hour.

Crazy thing happened…After a couple of months of sticking to a routine.  I noticed that I am more prepared when my kids wake up and I’m not losing my shit every morning.  I am more productive at work because I’ve had time to plan my day and think about what I need to accomplish.   And I feel better about myself for getting up and doing something. It’s that feeling of accomplishment.

It’s my time of the day and I schedule it.  I get to prepare myself for the day ahead and not feel so rushed.  I hate that rushed feeling of not being caught up with life…. You start to feel scattered and running behind on everything in life..Routines keep me on track for the week.

Some days I go for a walk, write a blog, listen to a podcast, follow up on small projects or just sit outside..but I stick to the same routine that includes time to focus for myself.  Your daily routine does not need to include exercise, it can be whatever you want.  What is something you want to do each day but can never find time… this is the time that you can schedule it.  For me, this gave me an extra hour in the day.. one hour, 60 minutes, for seven days adds up.. it’s amazing what you can find to fill that hour.. and pretty soon it’s a routine for you and feels normal

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/blog

Consistency Eludes Me

Don’t look at yourself upside down…as in when you are doing the downward dog yoga pose…the skin on my thighs looks like it belongs to an elephant and so now I am going, like WTF?!

Also I have decided that coffee IS a food group. Now that we have established those two things we can move on to today’s blog…

What keeps us from achieving certain goals that we set for ourselves? Why can we be super disciplined about some things yet not at all about others? Why are there some things that it seems like we can never make a dent in???

These are the questions that I am asking myself this evening—- I am a REALLY high producer, people hire me to make things happen—-yet I have been struggling with the same two stupid things for literally a decade and I am so freaking SICK of it. For all of my training and forward thinking I have been seemingly unable to be consistent month after month and year after year with two things—-

  • A daily TO DO List
  • Sticking to a weekly workout plan

Just to be clear, I have days, weeks and even months where I do each of these things like clockwork and then something will happen and a day gets skipped and then I have fallen off the wagon again—- then starts my cycle of self-loathing because I am not consistent etc etc.

I am very convinced that the next level of my life will only come to me as a result of mastering these two items. I feel better when I am doing these two things as if they are a habit— I feel more on purpose and more productive…however consistency with them continues to elude me —- as you know I am working on a new book for you guys which will give you the tools to “change the game” and of course as I am thinking through the book content process I see that I will have to set about mastering these two things so that I can walk you through what it looks like to finally master something that has been an issue for so long. This motivation is actually a gift, thinking of all of you will make me stick to my resolve even when I don’t want to—-you guys are my WHY…and truly that is a blessing.

Armed with a new planner and a new workout program, I have started again on my quest to master these two items. The important thing is to simply keep going, because of course that is all there ever is to do. Just keep going, keep at it, keep moving—-no matter how long it takes you will get there and so will I—- stay tuned for my progress—-have a great week.

 

XO,

Noelle

Brave The Winds Of Boredom

 

A while back, I had a conversation with an old friend about routines we settle into in life. A couple of weeks later, I had a nearly identical conversation with two other friends and and also with a family member. When I later posted a short blurb on this subject to my social media, someone else entirely took it very much to heart. That blurb, which is repeated below, applies perfectly to absolutely all of the aforementioned people, yet every single one of them, after having read my initial post, found direct and very personal truth in it. This really highlighted for me the universal truth found in this as well as the ironic comfort that we can all find in the fact that even in a situation that we find so unique, we are truly never alone. Even something that, when isolated in our individual minds, seems so detailed and personally specific, genuinely applies to so many.

When you choose routine to an extreme…

Same thing every Monday

Same thing with the same person every Tuesday

Same thing with the same people every Wednesday

Perhaps Wednesday cancels, but you hold that spot open only for previous activity – just in case they reinstate

Same thing every Thursday

Same weekend routine

Over

And

Over

And

Over

When (yes when, not if) boredom arises, it is of your own creation, born from routine, not relationship.

How many of us parents of kids in sports, especially when our kids are of the same age, plan many of our activities around our sports families…spending the same nights of the week with the same families doing the same things…all because it works with our practice and game schedules?

Families with children with long term medical conditions group together and often practice the same…repeating the same activities with the same people on the same nights, because there is comfort in the routine and the empathetic company of those who truly understand.

People in support groups fall into routines as well…much for a combination of the two reasons mentioned above. If they are very active in those groups, the schedule works for them – both in respect to time and also to their progress.  Additionally, the empathy found in those groups is a natural draw to the same activities and people day after day and week after week.

People who live in large and very social neighborhoods can also fall into the same patterns.  It’s hard not to when there are always social activities available right there in your own back yard.

All of these circumstances form tight groups…circles if you will…bubbles…domes, we all call them different things, but we all know, if we take a moment of pause for an objective and honest evaluation, that we grow to live inside our own and forget that there are so many others out there doing the same.  We get so used to our own circle that we forget there is another world outside of it.  That can not only jade us to realities of what other people live and do, but it can also make it very difficult for anyone new to ever come into our circle for any real amount of time.

We, as a people, do not like change.  When we get too settled into our circles and someone new comes into it, we have a hard time finding, much less accepting, where exactly they fit in.  How do we find time to share with this new person or these new people when all of our time is completely devoted to the ones already on the inside? And when we decide that we do want to find that time, how to we find a way to take it away from another part of the circle?  It drives discomfort and creates discourse and in so many cases, eventually pushes the new person right back out the door they came in.

As humans, we form habits out of the things we repeatedly do.  That is, after all, the very definition of the word.  Often times, habit breeds boredom.  In situations like the ones outlined above, many of us complain about that very thing…boredom.  We can never quite seem to figure out, however, the root of that boredom.  We LOVE our circles like we love our family.  Many of us actually consider our circles to truly be part of our family.  We want that time with them.  We may even crave it.  That is completely natural and there is unquestionably nothing wrong with that.  The conflict comes in when we can’t see that our boredom actually stems from our bubble…not from the people per se, but from the periodicity.

If you are finding yourself in a place of boredom in your life, take a look at your surroundings.  Then take a second look at your surroundings.  Take your next look at your routine.  Settle into that a bit and really analyze your rhythm.  Don’t eliminate the people who make your world home.  Change up your routine a bit instead.  When done right, a change in routine can expand your circle.  With that expansion comes a little more room in which you can let the excitement flow.  Whether it be the excitement of doing something you’ve never done or the excitement of a different kind of just doing something other than the norm on any given night, excitement is excitement and it is always what you make it.

There are too many moments of potential greatness in life…to many chances at amazing…too many souls that can set each other on fire…to ever allow boredom to be any form of excuse or habit.  We all need each other and our circles can overlap.  After all, interlocked circles will always – always – be stronger than individual ones.

Know your circle – both inside and out.  Have more than one.  Let them interlock.  Let the love inside and know you are worthy do to so.  If you do all of that, the excitement and the happiness that comes along with it will easily take care of itself.

You can follow me at sunshineandbluemoon.blogspot.com and, as always, make it a great day!