Daily Snapshots – Day #17

“Your soul could never grow old, it’s evergreen.” – Ed Sheeran

I am grateful for … lifestyle changes that have allowed me to spend more time doing things I want to be doing. By not watching tv and not routinely turning the computer on in the evening I’ve found more time for sleeping, reading my Bible (which seemed like a very lofty goal about a decade ago), and decluttering which has made my life significantly less stressful and chug through the day with a bit more confidence and conviction.

I am hopeful that… I stay motivated to better myself at work and at home and continue to set daily goals (there’s another set I keep by my bedside)  and challenge myself to … share these with someone in hopes that it will inspire them to set their own goals and give me a “goal buddy” so we can encourage each other.

I enjoyed … a weekend filled with quality time with my girls – including a girl’s breakfast at McDonald’s (a.k.a. breakfast of champions), Christmas shopping for their daycare provider, and a photo/visit with Santa at the mall (with mom sitting between the girls and Santa……………naturally). We also put up our Christmas tree and decorations – significantly later than most people, but rather than stress about how long it would be up for, we focused on enjoying the activity and less on how we were “behind compared to other families”. Life is busy! I don’t do anything perfectly, but I now make it a point to only do things that bring value to the lives of my family, friends and myself.

Previous Challenge: I am hopeful that… I never believe that I’m too small or insignificant to make a difference and challenge myself to … regularly reflect on how I can help or show love towards those who struggle with a variety of challenges life has dealt them (whether they live in my neighborhood or miles & oceans away), and action those intentions.

Update on Previous Challenge: I was able to put into action my love for another family. It wasn’t without some self-doubt – “What if they think this is dumb?”, “What if they wonder how I could possibly think this would help?”, “What if they think ‘That’s it?’?”, “What if they think ‘I don’t need this…’?'”. These weren’t a reflection of how I actually thought the family would think/feel, but a reflection of my own insecurities. In the end, I just focused on what I thought would be nice and said the worst that could happen is that they think it’s dumb, that it doesn’t help and that I gave them something they don’t need…..but the best thing that could happen is that they felt love from another person, they felt encouraged, and that it brought them happiness.

The expressions of gratitude and happiness they shared was so relieving and heart-warming. I received the most beautiful smile and hug from an amazing little girl. And they gave me the gift of remembering that as adults we can often overthink things and doubt ourselves out of being the best people we can be and achieving our full potential. My fallback advice to myself is always “What would you tell your daughters if they were in the same situation?”

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Daily Snapshots – Day #16

“Making one person smile can change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world.”

I am grateful for … living and growing up in a safe country. But I also think of the current situation in Syria and I’m not sure how to reconcile my luck of the draw living in Canada with no significant concerns (let’s face it, sighing over the daily grind of a new job and young family is a luxury compared to the life-or-death stresses and anxiety others face) when others are living in war-torn countries.

I am hopeful that… I never believe that I’m too small or insignificant to make a difference and challenge myself to … regularly reflect on how I can help or show love towards those who struggle with a variety of challenges life has dealt them (whether they live in my neighborhood or miles & oceans away), and action those intentions.

I enjoyed … listening to “Hallelujah” by the Pentatonix using my earphones vs. over the laptop speakers. It was like being color blind then suddenly seeing all the colors and thinking “Whoa! I thought this was beautiful, but it’s even more gorgeous than I realized!!”

Yesterday’s Challenge: I am hopeful that… I continue to break routines that are in place just because they’re a routine and challenge myself to … support a new-to-us local restaurant the next time the family eats out. I also challenge myself to schedule in play time with the girls – feels wrong to schedule something like that in, but helpful to ensure it happens…and that’s what you do when things are important to you.

Update on Yesterday’s Challenge: With a late night mixed with both girls waking multiple times in the middle of the night, I purposely slept in this morning and decided to not make a lunch. My go to is usually “Queen Street Commons” which is a delicious, reasonably priced cafe that provides individuals valuable work/volunteer experience and supports a local not-for-profit. After reading this, I’m going to try a small Indian restaurant I’ve been eyeing up near work.

Daily Snapshots – Day #15

“There is no wifi in the forest, but I promise you’ll find a better connection.”   

I am grateful for … sunrises (pretty much everyday I drive to work and look in awe at the beauty of the pinky, orangey, blue colors), cars with winter tires, and fantastic caretakers at the Y who have become like family.

I am hopeful that… I continue to break routines that are in place just because they’re a routine and challenge myself to … support a new-to-us local restaurant the next time the family eats out. I also challenge myself to schedule in play time with the girls – feels wrong to schedule something like that in, but helpful to ensure it happens…and that’s what you do when things are important to you.

I enjoyed … spending 1/2hr playing with the girls after getting home yesterday. We did “airplane”, sang “If you’re happy and you know it” (C’s favorite song, and was J’s as a baby too) and had a few cuddles. I also enjoyed catching up with a few of the Y caretakers – I popped into the Y/library near closing time to pick up a book I had on hold, and on my way out chatted with a caretaker I hadn’t seen in a while. She shared that one of her colleagues was gushing about C (she has a lovely bond with this young man) and that she’s friends with a caretaker who left the Y about 6 months ago, and that person still asks about C. My heart melted.

Yesterday’s Challenge: I am hopeful that… I take time to take breaths when I need to and challenge myself to … make time to breathe deeply for 2 minutes when my anxiety/stress levels are up (because I know they will be later on!).

Update on Yesterday’s Challenge: I did take some time that day to take a few breaths. I’ve also incorporated it into my daily drive (which I think I’ve mentioned in passing before), where I drive without the radio on for the first 10 min of my drive, and turn it on the rest of the drive. It’s not so much to torture myself with silence, but it’s an enjoyable & almost meditative way to just let me think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and address them with a bit of clarity before I clutter it with radio, busy-ness, and the stresses of the day.

Daily Snapshots – Day #14

“The nose is for breathing, the mouth is for eating.” 🙂   

[After a doctor’s appointment and arriving to work 1 hr later than normal, I just wanted to jump in and dive into work. I could feel myself all jittery and decided to center myself and find a quote related to breathing. This one made me smile. :)]

I am grateful for … fantastic healthcare, being able to live in Canada, and for having taken yoga and meditation courses previously which have given great tools for de-stressing.

I am hopeful that… I take time to take breaths when I need to and challenge myself to … make time to breathe deeply for 2 minutes when my anxiety/stress levels are up (because I know they will be later on!).

I enjoyed … baby kisses. Who wouldn’t enjoy gummy gooey kisses from a smiling baby?

Yesterday’s Challenge: I am hopeful that… I have a very productive work day and challenge myself to … pat myself on the back for each of the little accomplishments/tasks I complete and be kind to myself.

Update on Yesterday’s Challenge: Yesterday was productive work day. I didn’t hit one out of the park, but I had some solid work time and got a better understanding of things. I also felt like it was a productive evening at home and that I was able to cover off some of my previous challenges. Cleared out 1 drawer and 1 cupboard in our master washroom (which has been an annoyance of mine for several months) throwing out about 1 grocery bag worth of expired/useless stuff and went on the treadmill for 20 minutes (it’s the blog that changed my mindframe and kept me accountable!).

Alright, Thursday – bring it on!!!!!!!!

p.s. This took me 7 minutes to write and I feel much calmer. The time investment was well worth it to focus my day and mind.

Daily Snapshots – Day #13

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis

I am grateful for … delicious-smelling teas that make your office smell lovely.

I am hopeful that… I have a very productive work day and challenge myself to … pat myself on the back for each of the little accomplishments/tasks I complete and be kind to myself.

I enjoyed … helping J get dressed this morning. Usually I like to encourage her independence (and she usually likes to do everything herself) and remind her that she’s perfectly capable of dressing herself, but sometimes I wonder if she wants help because she just wants some quality time/loving touches in the morning…it’s possible she’s simply being lazy, but I’d like to think it’s because she wants to interact/chat. 🙂 Regardless, I enjoyed indulging both herself and myself.

Yesterday’s Challenge: I am hopeful that… I can incorporate physical activity into my daily life and challenge myself to … use our treadmill at home.

Update on Yesterday’s Challenge: Yesterday was a busy day with leaving work late, picking up kids, getting groceries, bath time and running off for a Deacon’s meeting. The treadmill was not used. And realistically, I’m thinking once I get a  <– see that? That was me about to say I needed to do other things first, get a handle on life before I used it. But then I realized that’s just an excuse. Of course I can make 20 minutes to get on the treadmill, I just need to want to. So this is me saying tonight I will. Let’s do this!!!!

Daily Snapshots – Day #12

“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.”

I am grateful for … my past experiences that have been difficult but have molded me into the person I am today and have given me the knowledge and skills to conquer new challenges.

I am hopeful that… I can incorporate physical activity into my daily life and challenge myself to … use our treadmill at home.

I enjoyed … driving my car in silence for the first 10 minutes of the drive. I needed some time to breathe, decompress, and mentally clear out some baggage, before listening to the radio (and likely burying the baggage). I also enjoyed the sky which was the most amazing blend of pinks, purples and light blues. ❤

Yesterday’s Challenge: I am hopeful that… I remember that you can’t please everyone and challenge myself to … get used to not pleasing everyone. To accept that not everyone will be pleased and know that’s what is in my control is prioritizing my time and communicating to ensure expectations are managed. I also challenge myself to remember that when the times get really tough and I feel like I’m starting to break, to allow myself to feel the emotions but then use those emotions to dig deep and find the grit that I know I have.

Update on Yesterday’s Challenge: I’ve been a little communication machine. Going to listen to “Fight Song” to dig out a little more of that grit that is buried down in there.

Daily Snapshots – Day #11

“You become a champion by fighting one more round. When things are tough, you fight one more round.” – James J. Corbett (World Heavyweight Champion)

A few days passed between Snapshot #10 and 11 – but after a busy 4 days out of town , I’m back! 🙂

I am grateful for … fantastic friends who I can call when I need a listening ear, and who I can visit and share giggles with – over and over again.

I am hopeful that… I remember that you can’t please everyone and challenge myself to … get used to not pleasing everyone. To accept that not everyone will be pleased and know that’s what is in my control is prioritizing my time and communicating to ensure expectations are managed. I also challenge myself to remember that when the times get really tough and I feel like I’m starting to break, to allow myself to feel the emotions but then use those emotions to dig deep and find the grit that I know I have.

I enjoyed … watching J at her swimming lessons today. I know about 3 or 4 moms whose children swim at the same time, so inevitably we end up chatting during lessons. Today none of my other mom friends were there and while I missed our regular banter, I was also super excited to have 30 minutes to just focus on my daughter, revel in the progress she’s made so far and soak in her smiles and giggles. We are blessed this session with a lovely swimming teacher who J adores.

Yesterday’s Challenge: I am hopeful that… I have more love for those I have disliked in the past and challenge myself to … think of people I have had tensions with (in the past or recently), send them positive wishes (in thought or in e-mail/person) and lift them up in prayer.

Update on Yesterday’s Challenge: I think there’s more work that I can do on this. To be honest, I thought of a few people when I wrote this post and sent some positive thoughts (in my mind) to them…but I haven’t made much headspace around this. What may be more doable is to be more aware of when I feel tension towards a person, acknowledge and understand the root of that tension, and come from a place of understanding towards that person while continuing to respect my own emotions and feelings.