Thursday, June 26, 2014

Where Would You Go?

Lately I've thinking about vacations ... about where I would most like to go if time, money, and responsibilities weren't an issue. Are you the kind who would want to go where all the people and excitement are (NYC or Las Vegas) or would you want to go somewhere quiet and calm (a cabin, perhaps the beach)? Travel planners must love it when someone walks into their office and says, "I don't really know where I want to go or what I want to do, I just want to get away."
Some people are more prone to relax near the water and the sunshine, while others might prefer skiing and the snow capped slopes. Some love horseback riding and walks through some of nature's best trails, while others might prefer culture, fine dining and museums.

I suppose the first thing to consider is what do you hope to achieve with your vacation. Are you hoping to sit back and relax or are you full of energy and looking for lots of activities? Do you want solitude or crowds? Do you want to be able to drive to your destination or are you a jetsetter and looking for the fastest and most direct route to get there?

Have you already gone on your absolute dream vacation, and if so where did you go? Or are you still planning it? I just booked a B&B weekend getaway for my daughter and I before she goes back to college. It was a tough decision. Do we try to pack as much into 2.5 days as possible or do we go with the flow knowing that there are plenty of options once we get there and we can decide when the time comes? We chose the latter. Some rest, some relaxation, good food, fresh air, plenty of bike paths and things to see, antique shops and quilt gardens, and don't forget the fresh brewed iced tea out on the porch swing. Can you tell I'm excited?
So what does your summer look like? Any big plans on the horizon? This summer may not be your big dream vacation, but it'll come - I'm still holding on to my dream(s). I have a few special destinations in mind ... the East Coast in the fall, Colorado in the summer, and I'd still like to make the journey to Hawaii. Bon Voyage!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

It's All About The Journey

We all have goals and ambitions; and I’m sure we all focus intently on getting past the finish line. Whether we’re working on a big project at work, running a marathon, or working toward a personal goal of some sort I think it’s the journey itself that matters the most.
Our journey may or may not end as we originally planned, but the obstacles and achievements that we endure along the way are when we will learn valuable life lessons. We may discover our strengths, as well as our weaknesses. Our goals may even change during the course of the journey. We may find ourselves needing to step out of our comfort zones in order to get where we need to go.

Last night my daughter and I attended a team fundraiser for a 3Day breast cancer walk. I had participated in the same walk a few years ago so I knew the dedication it took and wanted to support this young team. I remember my goal; as well as all the planning, training, and fundraising that went along with it. Was I able to train for 20 weeks in preparation? Yes. Was I able to raise my required funds? You bet – I actually raised more than double than was required. Was I able to walk ALL 60 miles in 3 days? Sorry to say, but NO I wasn’t - I only walked about 48 miles. Sometimes all the planning, energy and enthusiasm we have for a goal isn’t enough to get us through. Do I have any regrets that I wasn’t able to complete my goal? Of course I do, but I didn’t walk away empty handed (no pun intended). I pushed myself for months and found an inner level of dedication and strength that I didn’t know I had inside me. Along the way I discovered that I had a voice and a passion for a cause AND that I was respected for what I had to say. I found that I LOVED talking to people I didn’t know to create awareness. Last night I told someone that I had discovered that I loved the fundraising portion of the journey more than the training part to which he replied, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say that.”
You never know what you’re going to discover about yourself or other people while on your journey. Consider the journey an adventure. Be willing to step outside your box. Be open to what may come your way. You never know … achieving your original goal may not end up being your biggest accomplishment.
What journey are you currently on?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Get In The Game

Our world can get pretty crazy at times; everyone and everything is constantly on the go. It seems like we're always trying to stretch our day to fit just a few more things into it. This time of year the kids and teachers are wrapping up their school year, parents are preparing for graduation parties and summer vacations, construction crews are beginning their road projects, and the freeways on the weekends will get backed up with everyone going 'up north'. What does your summer look like? For that fact, what does your year or even your week look like? Are you planning out and living your life or are you being a bench sitter and watching it pass you by?

I'm sure you've heard the phrase, 'Be part of the solution, rather than the problem.' The point is that too many people are sitting idly by and watching their lives go by right in front of them like a parade. We need to be involved in every aspect of lives; whether that's parenting our children, working at a relationship with our spouse or parent, being proactive with our careers, or getting involved with our neighborhoods, our schools, our kid's soccer and hockey teams, our girl scout troops, and even our churches.
For years now I've lived in a subdivision (by choice) that has a homeowner's association. There was a time when the neighborhood came together, talked to each other, helped each other out, and watched out for each other. Our annual meetings were always well attended and there was always the required quorum there to take necessary votes. I can't remember the last time that happened. Sure, a lot of neighbors still talk and watch out for each other, but for the most part people don't. I see the same tendency is PTO groups, church organizations, and band and athletic boosters groups. People seem to want to just let other people make the decisions for them. When did so many people quit caring and no longer want their voices to be heard?

I really wish I knew the answer to that one. Sure people will say, 'But I'm just so busy'. That's probably true, but guess what? Everyone is! The bottom line is IT'S TIME TO GET IN THE GAME! Stop sitting on the couch and complaining when things aren't going the way you wanted them to. If you're not willing to get involved then you've probably become part of the problem.
Do you see this scenario playing out in your life? Are you being a game player or a bench sitter?

Friday, June 6, 2014

What goal pushes you?

Every one has a goal or a dream - something that pushes them to go forward. What's yours? More importantly, have you succeeded? If you have, that's awesome, amazing, and you should be so proud of yourself. If you haven't succeeded yet, why is that? Are you just at the beginning of the journey and there just hasn't been enough time yet for your goal to fully develop? Do you lack the right motivation? Do you worry that people won't like what you've accomplished?

I constantly hear about musicians, artists, business entrepreneurs, and 'yes' even writers who slow down when things are moving along at a good pace because something spooks them. If we're being completely honest I think we all get scared of succeeding (at least sometimes). If you're constantly striving forward toward the one thing you've always thought you wanted it's only naturally to stop and wonder, 'What happens when I get there?' 'Will I have to come up with a new goal?' 'What if people are disappointed in what I've created?'

Now we need to stop and ask ourselves a few questions. Does that special goal or dream make you happy? Are you trying to achieve it for yourself OR for others? And lastly, what do you hope to achieve by reaching it? It's o.k. to get nervous and be apprehensive (to a point), for that fact it's more than o.k.. But always remember that a goal or a dream is something that you've chosen for yourself. Only put as much effort and energy into it as the result you hope to get out of it. Only you can decide when your goal is worthy of your effort. For your sake though, I hope it is. 

I can't wait to see all your goals and dream evolve. So ... what are you working towards right now? And more importantly how is it going?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Embrace Your Seasons

Our lives are a lot like the 4 seasons that we know so well. We have Spring when the trees are blooming and our spirit feels like it is slowly rejuvenating after a long, harsh Winter. In the Summer we feel alive with exercise and fresh air, and yet by the time Autumn  and its crimson and gold roll around we are ready to begin curling up in a cozy blanket.
Our lives and relationships also tend to go through changes, but that's o.k. We have different seasons in our lives: our youth, perhaps getting married or having our firstborn, our careers, and eventually our golden years. With each segment of our lives comes an array of responsibilities and new adventures. Realistically our journeys will overlap with those we are in relationships with. I remember years ago when I was first married; I was moving into a new season in my life while my friends were still in a different one. Suddenly we no longer had anything in common and drifted apart. Years later some of those relationships rejoined once our seasons overlapped.
We need to remember that people don't always choose to walk away from us - sometimes it's just the changing of a season. I'll admit I've sometimes had a difficult time with that. When my son was born I was 23 and one of the youngest moms in my neighborhood. When I had my daughter 9 years later and was 32 I was suddenly older then the other moms in her class. Our seasons were overlapping. Now both of my children are adults and I often struggle to know which group I fit in with.
So what do we do? We learn to embrace our seasons. We start to focus more on where we are and less where everyone else is. Let the others connect with us. We cannot change ourselves to mesh with others just as we cannot expect them to change for us. Our seasons are either in line with each other or they aren't. New relationships and adventures will appear if they are meant to be, but don't be so quick to move on past the old ones. A lot can be learned from them and they may just show up on your doorstep when you least expect them?
Have you ever experienced this? How did you get through it?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Procrastination: Is It Holding You Back?

Are you one of those people that has been known to put things off? Procrastination can easily be the undoing of many goals and dreams. Do you have big plans for yourself? Maybe a new job, achieving something great, running a marathon, or even losing 10#? Having goals and dreams is important, but having the discipline to go after them is even bigger. I know; I've been talking about needing to lose some weight for a long time, but somehow I just haven't found the right motivation to actually make it happen. Does that make it totally my fault? Maybe. Does that make me a complete failure? I don't think so.
Realistically if I am the one who has set the goal or dreamt the dream, then it is reasonable to consider that I am probably the only one that can actually make it happen or at least set the process in motion. We will all need help along the way, BUT no one else can do certain things for us. Some things we just need to take ownership of and do ourselves. That's what makes them our goals and our dreams.
I often search out quotes and little tidbits of inspiration. They often help me to gain perspective, as well as get myself back on track.
Here are a few I came across. Let me know if they perhaps inspire you to get back on track with your goals and dreams.

The sooner I fall behind, the more time I have to catch up.
~ Author Unknown
Procrastination is opportunity's assassin.
~ Victor Kiam
If you want to make an easy job seem hard, just keep putting off doing it.
~ Olin Miller
You may delay, but time will not.
~ Benjamin Franklin
What goal or dream have you been procrastinating? Anything I can do to help you get back on track?