Take it back!

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Here we are post-pandemic and forever changed by so much more than a virus. We are changed by how we interact, who we interact with and when we interact. We have found yet another “line in the sand” as a country where “we decide” for ourselves. I will decide if I vaccinate; the most obvious of all decisions in this moment. How about all of those decisions that we are making quietly, personally, publicly without a declaration?

We are deciding:

  • Who we will spend our time, how and when. Long gone are the days of social pressures that forced us to be with people we don’t want to spend our time with or working for companies that made decisions for us. We are deciding; collectively and independently. We are no longer driven by the pressure of having to make social “appearances” for the fear of ____________.

I find this revealing and refreshing. It is revealing for us all to see who chooses us and who we choose. Who has “written us off” using the pandemic as the acceptable “Exit Door” on a friendship that had long seen its end? Who have we “moved on” past using “self-isolation” as an acceptable reason to end it? It is refreshing (after the sting) to be left with true quality relationships that are “worth the risk”. Relationships on our terms.

We are deciding:

  • Who we will work for, with and where. I am inspired by those that are taking back their freedom to decide and take the risk (while it is low) to move on from an employer that does not align with their values. The test of independence will be to see how those making the change own it when the roles reverse and employers are able to pushback again. Do you stand on your morals? Are you holding true to you when the ball is not in your court and you have to take the risk of holding the line?

It is refreshing to see people live their lives the way they decide; choosing for themselves. In order to make this stick, make sure you set it up for the long haul and not as supplemented temporarily.

Last but never least are those that inspire us to take notice of the freedom to “Take it Back” when we don’t notice that we have given too much. I was inspired by a conversation first with a dear friend that helped me to understand the power afforded if I would just exercise the value I have recognized but not afforded myself. This was further reinforced by one of “The Aunts” that reminded me to define it, protect it and DO IT.

I am “paying it forward” by reminding you that this is the season to “Take it back!” as there are “hall passes” and “escape hatches” everywhere. Open your eyes and your mind to the new possibility to redefine what is not working of you.

Life as I “Take it back!” – L.

Seeking Normal – Day 18

Day 18 prompt:

Do you recognize “normal” in your life when it is at its peak?

At what point do you look back and realize that you long for “normal”? Sometimes it is a normal that you didn’t even realize you had until it’s gone.

My answer:

Well we are all keenly aware of what normal was as we are all affected by the lack of normal we likely took for granted previously. While we are now looking back and longing for normal I think there is a great many of us that are looking back and realizing that they do not want to go back to that normal. They are feeling better; physically or mentally, and in this new place are deciding that some of what has made this time different will now become a new normal.

I have found it surprising how much I actually miss the 1-hr commute to work everyday and being “in the office”. I now realize how much balance that offered as I was able to mentally identify work and home in their respective places. Now that my home is where everything takes place I find myself anxious as I have not easily created balance. We all know that balance is how you juggle the various roles you play and is so key to our health. My goal for this coming week is to identify an “end of the day” that I respect as much as I do the “start of the day”.

How are you changing your normal for the future? What have you recognized in this time frame that you relate to better than you did before? Is anyone making any large life changes? New job? New home? Share what is changing for the better and what you relish as your norm now that you have had the benefit of hindsight!!

Life as I live it – L.

Seeking Normal – Day 12

Day 12 prompt:

If we agree that there are variations of normal, than the normal we seek is one variation of many; is it content normal, happy normal, young normal…how many “normal’s” do you have”?

My answer:

I think there are two ways to answer this and one is about the current situation we are all in where you have been forced into a “new” normal for the time being and yet long for your “old” normal that we are simply not sure will ever exist as it did before. This is a great example of how there are many normal’s among us and therefore how to embrace many variations.

I think this also has value in understanding intention. There is a normal I attempt based on my intentions and yet there is another that exists without effort. My intention for normal on weekends is to spend one day working on everything that needs my attention; laundry, errands, cleaning, etc. and then one day enjoying family and relaxing. Many weekends I am so exhausted from the week that I do absolutely nothing and that is not something I will ever embrace as “normal”. In those days I choose to believe it is a mild interruption in my normal in an effort to meet myself where I am in that moment.

Last but not least I would be remiss if I did not share the first thing that came to mind when reading this prompt. This concept of variations of normal that we exercise has something to do with our many personalities. Ha…yes the more personalities the more normal. If it makes you feel more comfortable you can call them “roles”. My normal at work, is different than my normal at home. I am noticing that even when I am working at home that normal is different. It changes with the environment but so does my character, personality or persona.

Lots to think about. My father says I “think too much”, ha!, maybe he is right but it is my NORMAL! List your normal’s in the comments section. How many do you have; and if that task is hard to conceive list our your many personalities…that actually might be more fun! 🙂

Life as I overthink it – L.

Wake Up Call…

…and just like that a blog is created! I am driving home from my litany of errands this morning and Scott Stapp’s new song “Wake Up Call” comes on my radio and BOOM I am inspired.

First of all, I have to give credit where credit is due. Scott Stapp’s new album is SUPERB! I am so impressed at this mans comeback; it is all things impressive, inspiring and deserving. He had the setback, did the work and is having a kick ass comeback!!

Second, there are so many songs on this album that “do it for me” but this one inspires me and reminds me of the WHY when I simply don’t want to “adult” today. Please listen to it, the lyrics are below, and then continue reading and contemplate with me the meaning.

One day the bridge is going to break
One day the world will stand still
The sky will fall the earth will shake
There’s just so much a heart can take

This is a wake up call
How many times before you lose it all
You’re like a cannon ball
Breaking walls
This is a wake up call
Before there’s no one left to catch your fall
But you can change it all
If you want to…

Sometimes life is so insane
Sometimes we don’t know what to feel
Does God help us when we pray
Or do we face it all alone, all alone

We all get the wake-up calls however they are only effective if you actually “wake-up” and do something about it; hitting snooze is not an option.

Here are some of my defining wake-up calls that completely changed my course, my journey and if it weren’t for me listening my life would not be what it is today. I hope it inspires you to listen to that wake-up call that is happening in your life right now.

  • There were so many wake-up calls that I was a part of in my first 15 years of life but they were not mine. What I will say and what I learned from “their” journey is that the wake-up call was put on snooze multiple times because the power of love drowns out that wake-up call, no matter how loud. These are times we simply have to go through it.
    • Public Service Announcement – “If you love something set it free. If it comes back it’s meant to be” and “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” are not quotes I believe to be true…these are myths. I believe in “failing fast” and “learning from my mistakes”. Regardless, lessons were learned by all.) #Word
  • My first love (no, it was not G…he was/is my TRUE love) was my first wake-up call. I fell hard and hit my head on the way down…for sure! I decided to have a baby at 17yo, I decided to quit school five months before graduation (yes, little known fact…remember it’s not how you start it’s that you finish!) and then woke up one morning (Nov. 3rd 1991) and realized I got it all wrong. Yes I loved “him” very much, but I could not “fix him” and after many crushing blows it became apparent that it was time to listen to my wake-up call. That day would be my FIRST independence day!
  • My weight-loss journey would be 140 more wake-up calls, reset again and again and again. My mother would frequently ask when I was going to “hit bottom” (aka hear the wake-up call) with every health crisis that would emerge. She hoped that I would have a chance to get back up and that the bottom would not be the end. It was kidney failure that was the final wake-up call, there would be no snooze after that crisis. I woke the hell up from a lifetime of living in a body that was never mine. My SECOND independence day was December 15, 2015!

My wake-up calls are not always life-changers and not necessarily so dramatic. Sometimes they come in the form of a whisper or a tap on the shoulder. In the last year those whispers sometimes simply gave me permission to grieve, sit in front of a TV all day or just “be”…meeting myself where I was at that moment.

What are you wake-up calls? How many times have you hit snooze? What will it take to get you to wake the hell up in your own life and LIVE it? For me I do it every day. Not perfectly, but I do it because it’s what I have to do to TRULY LIVE. I can’t live a life of surviving I have fought too hard to live beyond that baseline. I am living my best life, where there are bumps in the road, but blessings to cushion the falls. Thank you for being a part of my blessings and forgive me if I have been your bump…Un-apologetically Lori.

It’s in the Blueprints…

It’s in the blueprints…it’s our structure…it’s who we are…there are things you can change and some you cannot. Knowing the difference is imperative in both cases.

When you build a house there are walls for the sake of creating space and there are walls that are structural supports. These structural walls cannot be moved, they cannot be changed, they are what they are and we have to live with them. The other walls that make up the house can be changed as our needs or tastes change. If you did not understand these basics of what can and what cannot be changed you would destroy the house.

Structural Engineer analyzes and designs the gravity support and lateral force resistance of buildings, bridges, and other structures. In our lives we are the Emotional Engineers of our psyche, our souls and what ultimately shapes our character. As noted in the Structural Engineer’s definition it’s the support and the resistance that determines the load that we bear. We have to know what we can change about ourselves and what is simply hard-coded or structural.

In my earlier blog I wrote about the book “Unf*ck Yourself” and the author made great points about change and the ability to change your life. Here are some that appeal to me and why:

  1. You have the life you’re willing to put up with.
  2. When you start to view the world through the lens of what you’re willing and unwilling to pursue, rather than what it seems you want and don’t want, things start to become a lot clearer.
  3. “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do” — Carl Jung
  4. Stopping your bad habit doesn’t help, unless you replace it with something else, something that actually works in your favor and is an example of the new kind of life you really want to live.

I believe strongly in #1 because what we all have the ability to do is to CHOOSE. You are the architect of YOUR life, you decide. If you don’t like the path you are on then change paths. Oprah’s latest book “The Path Made Clear” has great points worth sharing…

  • Your life is always speaking to you. 
  • Live an inspired life 
  • Your self worth is your job
  • Your potential is always bigger than the problem 
  • You can’t hope for it unless you can imagine it.
  • You can’t love something until you can accept it 
  • There is so much energy tied up in “more” 
  • What you appreciate in life appreciates you

I challenge you to take an inventory of your “walls” and determine where a renovation is needed. 🙂

My Mom and I would always refer to the “Serenity Prayer” when it came to things that were beyond our control. It is the universal prayer for change. I recite it often but find that I use it more to distinguish things beyond my control (the structural walls) versus summoning it to give me the courage to change the things I can (the renovation). (Time to file a permit)…looks like there is indeed more work to be done! Thank God… L.