“It’s only by saying “no” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” ~ Steve Jobs
“NO” is the most common word to ever come out of a child’s mouth. It’s an instinctual response to any question or suggestion for anyone under the age of three and that response is never second-guessed. So why now, when we have the ability to reason and make an informed decision, based on what is best for us, do we find it so hard to utter that simple word and mean it?
“No” is a complete sentence. It does not require any justification, nor does it need an explanation. It is a succinct and pithy response that needs no further words to make its meaning understood.
For us to procure as much happiness as we can from each day we are afforded in this lifetime, we must learn to make our decisions by putting our happiness first. We must set boundaries for ourselves and embrace and listen to the most important voice we will ever hear – our own. It’s human instinct to want to please other people by saying yes, but how much of ourselves are we giving up by agreeing so quickly and not allowing that inner voice to offer its opinion.
If the answer in your heart is ‘no’, find a gentle way of not accepting the offer or challenge and let that three-year old voice in your head speak for both of you. That voice is giving you some sage advice. You should take it.
A couple years ago, I was in the same mindset and wrote this post and here I am again. Like most people who struggle with their weight, I have good moments and bad moments. Working in hospitality gives me even more of a challenge having to be around food all day, every day. And the icing on the cake (yes, I had to use a food reference) is that we just hired a new chef at the lodge and have been tasting all of his wonderful creations.
It has not escaped my attention that my body is not as willing or able to break down many of these treats complimented by cream sauces and bacon. Many years ago, I followed a very regimented plan where the only processed foods I ate were the meals I processed myself. I knew exactly what I was putting into my mouth and I could pronounce every single ingredient.
I have been slowly getting back into the way I used to eat. Every week, I make five or six salads in a mason jar for my lunches. It is a quick process to prepare lunch for the week and even easier to grab a jar and know I am having a very healthy lunch. I am going to make my own granola tonight for my breakfasts and my body will react well to the fact there are no preservatives that it has to figure out how to break down. I don’t need any more random ingredients stored in fat cells because my digestive system can’t come to the proper conclusion on how to dispose of the mysterious ingredients.
Weight and Girth (thank you Saturday Night Live) have been jamming in the basement of my viscera for far too long and the eviction notice is waiting to be served. Today I had my last Peameal Bacon on a bun from my Aunt and Uncle’s restaurant, at least for a few months. My fridge will be stocked with fruit and vegetables, whole foods and water.
It’s time to start the party in another room in my body and let Weight and Girth take up space in someone else’s basement. And by sharing this with everyone who reads this blog, I am making myself accountable to kick those two out on the street. Party on Weight, Party on Girth…..just not in my world anymore. Schwing!
Over the last few years, I have found myself very driven to spend a great deal of my spare time volunteering. I have always liked helping people so this step was a natural progression in my desire to offer my time to help those in need. With a background in hospitality and a passion for cooking, it came as no surprise to me that I have combined all of those things about myself and I have become very active with our local Food Bank.
When you weave your way into the world of volunteering, you see just how many people are right along side of you, driven by the same aspiration to lend a hand where they can. The faces you see in your daily life suddenly become the hands behind the volunteer work that you didn’t know they were a part of. They don’t do it for the recognition, they simply do it because they want to help.
I have been very fortunate to become a part of a group of people with a vision that continues to grow to serve our small community. Sure, there are a few people who need more recognition than others and an occasional public pat on the back, but there are always a few of those people in every crowd. Thankfully our intentions come from the same place and we put forth the same effort to achieve the desired results.
If you have ever entertained the idea of volunteering, I highly recommend it. Just knowing that your efforts make such a difference in people’s lives, regardless of where you volunteer your time, is a truly heart-warming feeling. And there is no shortage of places that could use an extra pair of hands or two. The amount of time you commit to volunteering is always up to you but every second you spend helping those who struggle is well worth the time you take to show other people that you care.
I made myself a promise that I would post a blog every day through the month of November and, although I gave it a good run, I have failed. Yesterday was the first day I didn’t post something and, although I feel slightly disappointed, I am not going to beat myself up about it.
Trying to find something to post about every day is difficult. Sure, I could rely on old posts or memes to get me through but that would not be me and yesterday was a busy enough day without having to make time to create a meaningful post.
Having posted every day for 18 days in a row has been a blessing. It has re-awakened my passion to write. It has helped me to harness that creative flow within me and has given it a chance to speak again.
Life gets in the way of our best laid plans but, if we can keep the big prize within our sights, we can overcome any obstacle to make that plan a reality. I want to write. I want to be published, and life is not going to get in the way of that. Even if I miss a day or two of blogging, it just means my creativity is being stored for the days that my words will have more meaning.
“We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.” ~ Anais Nin
Perspective is an interesting concept. In an artistic sense, perspective can give a two-dimensional object the look of being three-dimensional. It gives it depth and it tricks our brain into thinking we are seeing more than the simple lines on that piece of paper or canvas. In effect, we are seeing a different reality.
When it comes to the human condition, perspective takes on a whole new role. Our individual perspective is swayed by our thoughts and beliefs and sometimes those thoughts and beliefs can cloud our judgement. In a very different way, we are seeing a different reality.
It makes me think, if something seems to good to be true, should you ask yourself, “am I seeing it the way it is….or am I seeing it the way I want to see it?”
The opulent points of light burn me.
I turn, longing to be swallowed by the shadow,
escaping the realities of my world for just one day.
I yearn for the silence to deafen me,
to make the raucous cacophony of sound abate.
I let the gentle vibration of my dog’s breathing
wrap me in the comfort of its vague timbre,
knowing that she is my asylum.
The rain falls gently on the tin outside my window.
Its staccato beat lures me into its embrace
and I yield to the power of its trance.
I am powerless to its rhythm.
But the silence beckons
and the sound of the rain fades.
It is only in the silence
that my truths speak the loudest.
Only then can I hear
what my heart is yearning to tell me.
And with no light to distract me,
I have no choice but to listen.