Day 109 – How you spend your time

It’s a little scary when you think about how little time we actually have in this life. And there’s no real guarantee on how much time you’re actually going to get.

We gotta invest wisely…make the most of every moment we’re granted here on this earth.

And I guess I’m just getting to a point in my life where I don’t believe in wasting time on certain things…things like holding grudges, things like gossip, things like swimming in self-pity. I don’t believe in tearing other people down to make myself look better. I don’t believe in standing on the sideline waiting for things to change.

I’d much rather spend the short time I have helping people, building people up, spending quiet afternoons with my family, eating delicious food, listening to good music, watching great shows, taking long walks and feeling the sunlight on my skin, playing a impromptu game of catch, and having great conversations with my friends. I’d rather spend my time being honest, being 100% myself, and surrounding myself with people who invest their time the same way.

Life’s just too short for the bullshit, folks. So however you choose to spend your time, I hope you choose wisely.

Day 103 – All at once

Ain’t it the truth?

Day 93 – No expectations

I know it sounds weird, but I honestly try to walk in every new day and every new situation with no expectations. I don’t spend a whole lot of time mulling over the way I want things to go, or worrying about million things that could go wrong (I give a quick thought to the possible pitfalls and possible solutions, and then I quickly move on).

I think I’m just at a point in my life where I’m not interested in wasting my time on things I can’t control. I just want to experience things as they happen, respond to what’s in front of me rather than fretting over things that may never come.

Gotta say, it’s a helluva lot less stressful that way.

Day 87 – The balancing act

I was standing in my kitchen tonight–I’d put the kids to bed and finally had a chance to sit down and eat some dinner. With my right hand, I was putting my dirty bowl in the sink and turning on the water to rinse it. With my left hand, I grabbed a cup from the cabinet and reached over to begin filling it from the water dispenser in the fridge. I stood for a few moments, water running on either side of me, looking back and forth between these two tasks to make sure nothing spilled or ran over.

And in that brief moment I thought, “This is a perfect sample-size snapshot of my daily life–splitting my time between a myriad of tasks, often juggling two, three, twelve things simultaneously and trying like hell not to keep my wits about me and not let anything drop.

It’s challenging and some days it’s downright exhausting, but it’s exhilarating too. And all I can do is my best, and then try to do better the next day.

Day 63 – Time

When you think about the limited amount of time we actually have on this earth (and the fact that none of us really knows exactly how much we even have), it gets a little depressing thinking about how much time we waste on things that won’t really matter in the end. We pick fights. We hold grudges. We put each other down. We place blame. We let old hurts ruin a perfectly good day. We spend so much time dwelling on the past and worrying about the future that we make it impossible to experience, appreciate, or gain anything from the present moment.

And goddamn that’s exhausting!

I’m not going to pretend I don’t struggle with it too. We all do. It’s just part of what makes us human. But I’ve honestly worked really hard on not allowing that sort of negativity, that constantly negative mindset, to rule my life.

I’ve learned to let it in and let it go.

I take the challenges, the setbacks, the frustrating moments, the hurt, the mistakes, the hard lessons and I learn from them. I embrace the lessons that they teach. I use them to to readjust, to make changes, to keep moving forward. The goal for today is always to do a little better, to be a little better, than yesterday.

I set my sights and my expectations high, and all I really want is to go to bed at the end of a long day knowing that I’ve done my best, that the people around me have done their best, and that we’re all in it together to get up again tomorrow and try again.

What’s the point of it all otherwise?

Day 51 – Our own worst critics

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but at any given time, I probably have at least half-a-dozen blank journals sitting on a shelf somewhere, the empty pages longing to be filled with thoughts and ideas, important words, a story. Yet I always struggle to get things started, to write those first words and mark that first fresh page. Any old words just won’t do.

I want my words to have weight. I want them to matter.

And that desire will often stop me dead in my tracks and make me question whether I really have anything to say worth saying at all.

Yeah, I know. I gotta work on that. I gotta get out of my own damn way.

But that’s just how it is, isn’t it? We are always our own worst enemies, our own harshest critics. So much of the fear and anxiety we feel on a daily basis really just lives in our heads. The situations we find ourselves in, the moments we experience–they’re just moments. The simply exist. They’re here and then they’re gone and they’re benign.

It is what it is.

But it’s the emotion that we tie to those moments that start things spiraling out of control. We get ourselves all worked up and frantic fretting over what if’s and worst case scenarios and building this picture in our minds of how it should be, instead of allowing life to simply unfold as it’s meant to based on the choices we make.

And if all that what-ifing and scenario-building wasn’t enough, what really trips us up is the aftermath, when we carry those moments with us long after they’re gone. We beat ourselves up over the could have beens and should have beens instead of just experiencing the moment.

Letting it in, and letting it go.

And suddenly, something as simple as writing a journal entry can have me wondering if I’m good enough, if I’m just a joke, if I actually have anything to say after all.

I’ve gotten a lot better at keeping myself in check, at not allowing that negative train of thought to keep running out of control. It’s something I have to actively work on and be mindful of every day. It took a lot of hard work and therapy to learn how to temper that negative thinking, but damn has it been worth it!

And I think one of the greatest benefits to learning how to recognize and manage my own self-critic is that it has made me so much more patient and compassionate. We’re all just here trying to do our best while we’re wrestling with our own inner demons, aren’t we? The least we can do is to be kind and support one another. I mean, that’s what we’re here for isn’t it–to love each other and learn how to love ourselves?