Don’t Try So Hard

I’ve always loved Amy Grant’s music. And this song features James Taylor – one of my all-time favorite singer songwriters. I love the message of this song – “Don’t Try So Hard.” A good message for all of us who put a little too much pressure on ourselves. Good stuff…

“YOU’RE LOVELY EVEN WITH YOUR SCARS…DON’T TRY SO HARD….”

Finally Getting the Picture(s)

The closet in my daughter’s room is busting at the seams. I wish I could blame it on her incessant need for the latest fashions and accessories, but alas, she’s only two.

True, half of her closet is devoted to her petite fashions from the toddler section of Gap Kids, Kohl’s and the like.

But the other half is all mine, and quite frankly it’s consuming me.

I’m talking about photos, here. Photos and mementos and scrapbook-y stuff that I always meant to get to, but somehow didn’t find the time.

photos

Oh sure, back in the day I was an avid scrapbooker. And by “the day” I mean 2007. Up until 2004, I had PLENTY of free time to document all the goings-on in my little life. And then my daughter was born in 2004 and suddenly I was taking at least one picture a day. Think about that for a second. At least one photo a day means I have a minimum of 365 photos, PER YEAR, stashed in cardboard boxes and envelopes. I tried diligently to keep up. I joined a scrapbooking group that met about once per month. I tried to get my pages done, but I got sucked into idle chitchat and before I knew it, two hours had come and gone and I had pasted four photos into my book. Barely a dent in my “stash.”

But I’ve since resolved to ditch the actual paper scrapbooks (for now) and see if I can’t produce some photo books from Shutterfly.

I picked a year at random – 2008 – and started going through my digital collection on my computer. The hard copies of pictures that are in the closet are from 2006 and earlier, before we had a digital camera. So, scary as it may seem, I took my daily photo(s) and then rushed to the local drugstore and spent money that we didn’t have back then to print out my copies.

And that is what undiagnosed postpartum depression can do. Cloud your mind and make you live in a fairytale world.

Aaaanyway, I scanned through my year of photos. I deleted duplicates and bad pictures and was ready to go. Out of 620 pictures taken that year (not bad, if I do say so), I narrowed it down to about 250 for my photo book.

It’s nice to look back and relive some fun memories back when it was just the three of us (my husband and my now 9yo and me). And it’s kind of strange, because I look at the pictures and I wonder where my 2yo is. But of course, she’s not even a glimmer in my uterus yet…

I have set three goals for myself. And since they say that once you write them down (or type them on the computer), and share them with someone (or post them on the Internet), then you’re more likely to stick with them. So here are my 3 goals:

  1. BY THE TIME SCHOOL STARTS UPI will download all the photos from my phone (good glory – I have nearly 1500 on my phone) and organize or delete them.
  2. BY HALLOWEEN – I will create, order and display on a bookshelf, photo books for the years 2007 – 2012. The photos are all online, so this task isn’t as monumental as it might seem. Also, I don’t know why I chose Halloween. Maybe because I’m a little scared.
  3. BY THANKSGIVING (I’m on a roll with my deadlines/holidays), I will scan the photos and mementos from at least one of the boxes in my daughter’s room onto my computer. And then give the hard copy photos to grandparents, aunts, cousins, random people on the street.  And then burn the box. And then do a happy dance.

You know that feeling when all the laundry is done? Or your kitchen sink is clean and empty? Yeah. That’s the feeling I’m going for. Peace of mind. Less clutter. More memories on the bookshelf than in a dark closet.

Sleeveless in July

My arms are flabby.

There, I’ve said it. Overall I’m pretty happy with myself and the way look at age 42. But my arms? Yeah, they suck.

So I recruited the one person I knew who could help me train and get these guns into fighting mode: my husband. The man has the sexiest arms that you ever laid eyes on.

Second only to my husband is hunky guitarist/singer Keith UrbanImage

Look at that muscle tone. The tattoo on the inner left forearm. The way he handles the guitar…

*sipping some water and calming down*

OK I’m back.

So yes. My arms.

My husband started me on this training circuit at our local Y about a month ago. My goal is to go sleeveless in July. I realize I can go sleeveless anytime I choose…so I suppose the more refined goal is to go sleeveless with confidence in July.

Among the 20 or so strength training moves, I’m doing lat pull downs, bench presses (at an angle and flat) and doing tricep dips. Oh Lord, the tricep dips.

But it’s starting to work! I can’t yet see a difference, but man do I feel a difference. My husband says he can see better definition.

I guess I am a little less squishy.

Which is also a decent goal to strive toward.

BE LESS SQUISHY.

Bottom line? I’m feeling good about my training thus far. And I’ll post some pictures (maybe) of my results.

Lingering on the Last Shot

I saw an ad today. It was an NBA player soaring high near the net ready to dunk a shot. The ad said, when you miss a shot, just focus on the next one. Here’s something to think about. Why the hell do most women – me included – focus on the shot we missed rather than simply accept it for what it is and move on to the next shot?

Why are we such prisoners to the past? So guilt-ridden and so afraid of the mistakes we’ve already made, that we’re paralyzed by fear and uncertainty and unable to move forward?

Do men just have it easier? Is it in our genes? What IS the problem with us?

Now I’m not talking about all women. Just some of us.

My husband said something to me today as we were talking about some things from my past that I’ve worked really hard to let go of. He said that when you’ve done all you can do, that’s it. That’s ALL YOU CAN DO. Accept it. And move on. There’s really no use in regretting, looking back, dwelling, etc. You’ve given it your all. And if that doesn’t work? Oh well!

Focus on my next shot.


Good advice – worth considering.

41 Things I’d Love to Tell My 21 Year Old Self

For some reason, turning 41 isn’t bothering me nearly as much as turning 25 did. Not exactly sure why, but it doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal. So I’m going with it…
 
I’m a Virgo almost to the letter. If you look up any kind of astrological profile of Virgoans it always says that we are loyal, modest, intelligent (love that one!). But we’re also fussy, perfectionists and excessive worriers. I love being a Virgo, but I’m ditching some of the standard traits and realigning the stars in my favor. So screw perfectionism. Screw worrying. And on with living. 
 

I love my life. And I love what I’ve done so far and what I still have to do. So today I’m taking a look back. 


In no particular order, here are 41 things I’ve learned (so far):

  1. Although it may not be obvious at first, everything happens for a reason.
  2. The book is always better than the movie.
  3. Flowers are never necessary to send, but they’re always nice to get.
  4. If a baby is squirming, brace yourself. Something is coming out from one end or the other.
  5. Motherhood is the sweetest gift. Dads have it good – but moms are incredibly lucky.
  6. Setting every clock you own ahead ten minutes doesn’t guarantee you’ll be early.
  7. A calm mommy makes for a calm baby.
  8. Constantly worrying, obsessing about pleasing other people is absolute bullshit.
  9. You don’t need anyone’s approval to live your own life.
  10. Marriage takes work, focus and commitment – it’s not a really long date.
  11. Ferris Bueller was right – life moves fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
  12. Confidence – really believing in yourself – is the key to everything.
  13. Travel every chance you get.
  14. Have goals. Have a plan. But live in the moment.
  15. Laugh as often as possible.
  16. Trust your gut.
  17. Even though you know the secrets, still keep the magic of Christmas.
  18. Sex is good. Really, it is!
  19. No need to be a “little Hercules” with the weight of the world on your shoulders…put your mind at ease.
  20. Just like yoga, life is about the practice – not perfection.
  21. Everyone has a story, a challenge, a need to be loved – so judge not!
  22. It’s better to have a really good healthy fight than to walk on eggshells just to keep the peace.
  23. It’s OK to enjoy being a girl – you’re not letting down the feminists.
  24. Republicans aren’t so bad 🙂
  25. Glinda the Good Witch was right – you had the power all along.
  26. There’s nothing more annoying than a “yes” person at work. Dare to be bold and express another viewpoint.
  27. There’s something to this visualization thing. Read “The Secret”, get a vision board and go with it.
  28. Mothers really do sleep with one eye and ear open and walk around with their heart on their sleeves. It’s infinitely exhausting, but wildly gratifying.
  29. Happiness is a choice.
  30. Words are powerful.
  31. Don’t spend more than 8 hours a day at work and don’t bring work home.
  32. Never burn a bridge – it simply isn’t worth the satisfaction.
  33. Get a good camera and when you don’t have it handy, take lots of pictures with your heart.
  34. Own your own personal truth and get rid of skeletons in the closet.
  35. Empathy is one of the most important virtues.
  36. Things aren’t always what they seem – don’t jump to conclusions.
  37. Forgive.
  38. Talk to your children honestly, clearly and in plain English – don’t babytalk and don’t gloss over important things.
  39. Never sweep anything under the carpet; deal with everything openly and honestly.
  40. Have your husband’s and your kids’ backs at all times.
  41. You are stronger than you know.  
 

My World Wide Web

“A spider’s web is stronger than it looks.”

My older daughter and I are reading Charlotte’s Web together. And it’s delightful. She has trouble with some of E.B. White’s old fashioned words like ‘bestirred’ and ‘salutations’ but it doesn’t matter. We’re enjoying the process. And I’m enjoying revisiting this childhood classic all over again.

She asks me to explain the reference of morning dew and why it makes the words on Charlotte’s web appear more vivid. So I tell her what dew is and how we almost always see it on cool mornings in early fall. It’s most noticeable when we’re leaving for school, I explain. You can see the light mist hovering over the grass. And right at the surface, it appears as though crystal fairies had visited and deposited their sparkles atop each blade. It’s almost magical. Her eyes are transfixed. She understands.

And together we read Charlotte’s message aloud, “Some Pig!”

A few more pages tonight and then off to bed.