Fun-day Monday

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Having the day off today was nice. The weekend was busy, but a nice kind of busy. I was able to escape from work more this weekend than I have in the last few months. I enjoyed getting time to totally focus on something besides work. A regular 2-day weekend just doesn’t seem like enough time off. A 3-day weekend is just slightly better. What I really needed was a full 2 weeks, but that is not always feasible.

The extra time this weekend allowed me to clear my mind to establish new norms in my thinking. Sometimes ‘getting away from it all’ is less about physically getting away and more about mentally getting away. Trying something new or unusual brings your mind to a place where it can focus. This weekend’s escapes included a hike at McDowell Mountain Park, a birthday party at the Phoenix Zoo, and lunch on the patio at Chelsea’s Kitchen. What I realized today, is that there is always more work for us to focus on, but not always more time to enjoy family. Maybe it is time to put focus and emphasis on things that do not always include work?

What did you do this weekend for your mental escape? Did you get to spend the time with your family?

Is Work Really ‘Work’? And Should It Be?

A colleague mentioned to me recently that they didn’t work. How do you collect a paycheck each week from a company, yet not work? If it isn’t work, then what are they doing for 40-50 hours a week? Playing golf? Eating? Sleeping? Having fun? Suddenly I realized that work should not feel like work. Who wants to have a job where every day is like plodding through 4 foot high snow in flip-flops? Not me! Sure, I like wearing flip-flips to work, but I will take the trimmed grass or the paved path. Someone else can have the snow.

As I look at my career, I feel very lucky. I found a job I actually like (and have fun at), and as it turns out I am relatively good at it. I spent many years of my life searching and analyzing what I like to do, and sought out ways to get paid to do just that. When I hear people talking about their job searches, it is not very often that I hear what a person’s passion is. Does no one have passion? If you can find it, then you can follow the path to enlightenment or at least a job that is not work, but fun.

When you like what you do, it is a lot easier to be good at it, don’t you think? Edison would not have been an inventor if he didn’t completely love every minute of it. He did spend every minute inventing, but not because it was work. It was his passion! He would not have tested thousands of ways to make a light bulb, unless he liked it and he found it rewarding.

Even if you are stuck (for the moment) in a job that isn’t your passion, try to find one thing you like about it. With that bit, think about other things you like to do. Discover your passion and follow your heart. Make this year the year to live your dream. Do what you love so you can live and feel like you are no longer ‘working’. Because no one really wants to work, do they?

Yoga is killing me, but making me stronger

On week three of yoga I feel like it is killing me, but it is also making me stronger. After yesterday’s ‘practice’ I feel like an invalid. I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning, my back is sore and my shoulders are tight. There are sore muscles in my legs and arms, but honestly I didn’t even know there were muscles in some of these places!

This afternoon (now that I finally limbered up) I was standing in the kitchen during the dinner rush-hour. “Did you see this?” I said, as I flex my arm in front of the whole family. “Wow!” they yelled back. They seemed impressed, but then again maybe the kids just thought it was cool that mommy flexed her arm like some tough guy and not the chubby armed gal that I am.

I have to say that I was impressed that in such a short time I actually saw change and improvement (particularly in my arms). This yoga business is tough, but I am now seeing physical benefits beyond the mental benefits I was already getting. It really does create a strong body and mind! I am still trying to figure out why I stopped doing yoga several years ago. Luckily it is never too late to get back into it. I am glad I didn’t wait any longer (the pain could only have been more excruciating if I had waited longer). When you are going to get back to doing something you love? Really, it doesn’t take long before you reap the benefits.

Help me clean my bathroom…please!

What is it about cleaning that women hate so much? I mean those yellow rubber gloves are hideous, so there is a total lack of good fashion sense (my 4-year-old daughter would say this, not me). Cleaning is one of those annoying items on my task list that is never really ‘done’. By the time I finish getting one part of the house clean, another part is already dirty.

So what is a girl to do? How can this horrible chore be made….I was go to say pleasurable? What about exciting? No, definitely not! How about tolerable? I just want the bathroom clean. If I could afford a maid I would hire one. I have heard other women comment that they would be willing to go out and work another job just so they would have enough money to pay for a cleaning lady. (I am assuming they don’t want to go out and get a job as a housekeeper.)

How can I make this miserable tasks go by quicker? Is there any way to make it fun? Or at a minimum less drudgery? The answer is a cleaning buddy. Someone who comes and hangs out with you – talks, jokes, gossips, and laughs with you while you clean. Think how fast a run goes when you run with someone? Why can’t it work for cleaning too?

What is a cleaning buddy and what do they do? Well, you as the cleaner need to pull a chair into your bathroom, hand your cleaning buddy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and then start cleaning away. You thought an IPOD helped you cleaned faster! This is amazing. Although to be totally honest, I am not sure if it goes by quicker, or if it seems like fun therefor you don’t really care how much time it takes. Did I just say that cleaning the bathroom was ‘fun’?

Ladybugs…not just the solution for aphids

The kids found a ladybug in the yard today and spent the afternoon entertaining it. They let it walk up their arms, crawl from hand to hand and built a rock playground for it. I can’t imagine how the ladybug survived (entertainment-wise) before it met two kids to occupy it.

What is funny is that I was sitting here trying to think of things to do to entertain the kids today. Where could I take them? How was I going to keep them occupied for the afternoon? For some reason it seems like if we stay in (or around) the house too long the kids go crazy. They get cabin fever. They fight and fight and they can’t seem to get along. Usually my options (to keep them out of trouble) are to go outside (go for a walk, play at the playground) or to someplace inside (the library, bounce house, or a toy store).

Today I discovered a new solution to my child entertainment problem and it is called the ladybug. What was great was that the ladybug was free of cost and provided hours of fun. Even a 993 piece Lego set could not surpass the value I got from this ladybug. One challenge was that there was only one ladybug for two kids, and obviously they don’t want to share anything. My other fear was that the ladybug would die or it would get lost. Unfortunately, the poor ladybug did succumb to a tragic case of ‘too much attention’ or maybe it was suffocation in my 4-year-old’s daughter’s sweaty hand. Oddly she didn’t even notice, because she thought it was sleeping.

I decided that next time I go to the garden store I need to pick up some ladybugs (not just one, maybe hundreds). The ladybugs aren’t only good for my garden aphid problem, but will save me from having to cart the kids from place to place to prevent war from breaking out in my living room or in the back seat of my car. The kids will be able to each have their own ladybug to entertain so I can entertain myself with a glass of wine and a good book.