The Storm Before the Calm

Photo Credit: lanier67 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: lanier67 via Compfight cc

Into the storm

By late August I usually feel like the photo above. Can you relate?

Why do I wait until the end of August and then suddenly try to cram in all the things I still need to do before summer vacation is over?

I’ve had weeks to get around to back-to-school shopping, spending time with relatives, and finishing the yard work. But I didn’t get around to it, because there was plenty of time. Then I suddenly looked at the calendar and realized September will be here in a week, whether I’m ready or not. Continue reading

Why Not? — Have the Courage to Try Something New

chicken crossing road

Why would you cross the road?

What would you do if you could do anything?

Would you hike the Appalachian Trail? Go fishing? Spend all day with your grandkids? Enroll in that painting course you’ve always thought about?

What would you do?

Push past the trivial answers and really think about it. If income, health benefits and practicality were not an issue—what would you do? Continue reading

Successful People Know When to Quit

when to quit

Nobody wants to be labeled a quitter.

We Americans pride ourselves in our persistence. We are conditioned to be ashamed if it seems we gave up too easily, or if it looks like we are throwing away years of study or experience (not to mention thousands of tuition dollars) in order to go a different direction. Isn’t quitting a mark of either laziness or irresponsibility?

Not always. Continue reading

When Family Times Become Precious

This weekend a small miracle occurred—our family went camping. All four of us. Together.

The last time we were all together for a weekend camping trip was 2008, but on that trip we were camping with my sister-in-law. The last time all four of us camped by ourselves was in 2007.

That’s right, eight years ago! Continue reading

Why Can’t I Fall Asleep? and other strange introvert traits

introvert traits

Some people can fall asleep anywhere. Not me.

I have problems falling asleep. I always have, even when I was a little kid.

Also:

  • My hands and feet can be cold, even in the middle of summer.
  • When I concentrate on something, people ask if I’m upset.
  • I can’t type when someone is watching me, or write when someone is looking over my shoulder.
  • I often forget a word or name just before I want to use it.
  • I often have a delayed emotional response to unexpected events, like a surprise party, which results in others thinking I don’t care when in fact I am merely still trying to process what has happened.

I used to think these traits were my personal weaknesses and failings.

Then I started reading books about introverts. It turns out these traits, and others like them, are perfectly normal for introverted people. Continue reading

Celebrating 80 Years

When a significant family birthday falls on your regular posting day, there is really only one thing to do:

happy 80th (1024x696)

 

happy grandma

Mom enjoying the day with her granddaughters.

Like most people, I learned an awful lot about life from my mother. Important stuff like brushing my teeth, being polite, and doing laundry. She also taught me a lot about how to approach, appreciate and navigate life…

Some valuable things I learned from my Mom:

  • Food should be savored.
  • Food doesn’t have to be complicated or exotic to be delicious. It just has to be done right.
  • A good story is a powerful thing; it can teach us many truths about life.
  • Live theater, well directed and well acted, is better than any movie.
  • A story should always be read in such a way that you bring the words to life.
  • Sometimes feeding the body feeds the soul. This is why you should always be ready to spontaneously invite people to dinner.
  • Family is a valuable thing; never take it for granted.
  • Do everything you can to eat dinner together as a family.
  • Recipes are only guidelines.
  • You don’t need to be afraid of pie crust.
  • The sound of silence is a beautiful thing.
  • The dining room table makes a great work surface for projects.
  • There is no such thing as too many cookbooks.
  • There is no such thing as too many books.
  • Your children will not die if you don’t attend every game.
  • Sometimes God calls you to do something you don’t know how to do. Do it anyway and watch God make it happen.
  • Sometimes slower is better.
  • You can always find a good reason to celebrate.

Mom

Thanks, Mom, for all you’ve been in my life. Love you!

Celebrate the Small Successes

celebrate

Sometimes we get so focused on reaching a big goal that we forget to notice the smaller goals we’ve met along the way—and that’s a mistake.  If we remember to celebrate the small successes that come along, we will have more confidence to keep striving, and get a lot more enjoyment out of life. Continue reading

To Parents of Introverted Children

She's a loving mom

From time to time I find myself listening to a friend expressing concern over a child who, they fear, spends too much time alone, doesn’t have many friends and has no inclination to participate in social events. Is something wrong with this child?

Probably not. The child they describe typically sounds like a perfectly normal introvert. Continue reading