One of my two wonderful brothers was a motorhead. When he was alive and I was a young girl, I watched in fascination while he was in our garage working on cars or motorcycles. He had a passion for all things fast, and he passed that enchantment down to me.
Although my current car is as ordinary as the day is long, I fantasize about having a turbocharged vehicle.
With a turbine driven device to increase an internal combustion engine’s efficiency and power output, you can really move. The forcing of extra compressed air into the combustion chamber allows for greater speed.
What if I could turbo charge my day? What if I could increase my engine to create a bigger impact and influence on my own performance as a teacher, speaker, writer, wife, and friend?
Well, no more “what if” I am here to tell you that I am boldly stepping out and doing what I coach my clients to do. I am creating more speed and efficiency in my life by clearing the clutter and becoming laser focussed on coaching and writing.
Some of the steps may seem contradictory, like spending time attending seminars instead of creating them. Perhaps onlookers will see me kayaking up the Cuyahoga River with a beer in my hand and my husband by my side when I could be writing the next chapter of my book. Maybe I will enter another triathlon and you will see me trudging up a steep hill when I should be in my office coaching a couple in need.
Well, don’t ever forget that nutrition, physical exercise, fun with your significant other and all of the other seemingly non-career related activities lead to a clear and focussed mind when it is time to write again. Enjoying all of the other aspects of living is what allows me to flow when I need to.
If you are on board with me, let’s start with clearing out the clutter so that your engine will have greater power. Here are a few steps I have recently taken that have helped tremendously. I would love to hear yours, so please feel free to share below.
Do a ‘Marie Kondo” on your closet and in your office. Simplicity breeds clarity.
Clean the pantry of foods that no longer serve your waistline. Eating more greens and healthy fats lead to less brain fog and more focus.
Include your spouse in decision making and goal setting. Let him or her know what you are all about and how much you want their support. Feeling supported leads to confidence in achieving your goals.
Get out of your own way. Ignore the haters and the naysayers and get busy with the plan you have set into place.
I bet you have heard some old codger use the term blink of an eye when referring to something or other. I have heard it too. When I was in my late twenties and beginning the journey into parenthood, I heard older men and women alike say “Enjoy those babies. It goes by in the blink of an eye.”
I needed to hear that when my husband was complaining about the cheerios and pretzel crumbs all over the car seats in the van and the youngest one was crying to be nursed for the second time within the hour. I needed to be reminded of that when the paycheck only stretched so far and the diapers were so darned expensive.
Those words “in the blink of an eye” would serve me well during sleepless nights, vomiting kids, the chicken pox that I acquired from one of my girls. I needed to be reminded of that as I took more than one trip to the emergency room with our son.
Despite all of the ups and downs of parenthood, I really loved being a mom and just hanging out with those precious, sticky-fingered, runny-nosed bundles of joy. They made me laugh and cry all at the same time. They made my heart feel full in ways I cannot fully describe.
When they became of school age, I just wasn’t ready to hand them over to another person for 7 hours each day. Call me a crazy woman, a hover parent, a control freak or whatever other names you like. I don’t care. I homeschooled them for several years before turning them over to both the public and private school system and guess what? It went by in the blink of an eye!
If you are considering homeschooling your child or children for any length of time, go and do your due diligence. Learn what the rules are in your state. Each state may have different laws and criteria that must be met. Find out if your child can do part-time enrollment in your public school if they show an aptitude for a particular subject you do not feel qualified in. Does your child want to participate in a school sport? They may have to be enrolled in the school for at least a portion of the day.
Also look for your true motives for keeping your child at home. There are as many reasons to homeschool as there are varieties of flowers. Do you want your little rose to bloom at home because she is super smart and your schools do not offer a gifted program?
Is your little petunia a slow learner and you do not want any labels put on him or her during the school tracking system? Although schools are reluctant to call it “tracking” many still have a system in place or a program that they offer for those children they know may otherwise fall through the cracks.
Maybe you chose to homeschool your sunflower because they are athletically gifted and getting the school day finished quickly allows more time at the ice rink, gymnastics school or swimming pool.
Is your azalea just “special” in some way that you know schools won’t understand? We all bloom at our own pace and only with the proper nurturing.
If you are about to embark on the journey of education at home be prepared for the best and the worst days you will ever have. Some days will float by effortlessly as your lovely students will avidly learn with eager hearts and minds. Other days you will want to scream and wonder if they really are learning anything at all.
As a former homeschool mom, I remember a time I when I was so involved with homeschool groups to make sure that they were being socialized (hysterically stupid term used by people who think homeschooled kids are all reclusive hermits) that I had to step back and remind myself to get some real learning in. It is easy to sign them up for homeschool skating, homeschool 4-H, homeschool Library classes and then wonder why they didn’t get their Math worksheet done before Daddy got home.
I see two particular types of homeschool being the most popular with the third being valid as well.
On-line schools – Remember that this is not really homeschooling in its truest form. With most online schools you will have teachers other than the parents and the student must be at their computer at specific class times to work with the teacher and the other online learners. This can seem as restrictive as public school and online schools have children take standardized tests. If one of the reasons you are keeping your student at home is because they learn differently, you may be disappointed with virtual schools.
Creating or purchasing a curriculum – I used a combination of purchased material and things I wanted to expose my children to at the beginning of my homeschool experience. My state required that if I did that I must submit an expected agenda of covered material at the start of each year. Then, at the end of the year, I needed a written narrative from a certified teacher to avoid breaking any truancy laws.
Unschooling – Perhaps the least popular or least understood, this method is for parents who are ok with a student-led approach. That is to say, they learn through play. It may include undirected play, household chores, learning from experience, using their own curiosity and placing little or no emphasis on curricula and typical grading.
A few of the children in our homeschool skating class were “unschooled” for many years and ended up doing quite well. The ones I became friends with ended up going to top colleges, got married, have careers and are lovely individuals. Although they did not follow traditional learning their first 11 or 12 years, they grew and blossomed as all well-nurtured things do.
One of my children “unschooled” for 2 years and is currently thriving in law school. The point is our children learn what they want and what they need despite us pushing our own agendas on them.
Oh! And remember, it goes by in the blink of an eye!Enjoy every minute of the time you put into raising your children. God bless.
Psalm 127:3 “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.”
At a fantastic summit I attended, the speaker (let’s call him Dan, because that’s his name) relayed a great story about a conversation he had with a negative friend. The friend was convinced that the business Dan was in would never work. They went back and forth for some time as Dan told him of all of the merits of the business and how it helps people and the naysayer kept lobbing excuses back as to why it was just another way to sell products to people. First, I must interject with “Don’t all businesses offer products or services?”
The pessimist finally said, “What are the chances that this really works?” Dan, still attempting to be tactful, replied with (and I am paraphrasing) “Well, even if it had only a 1% chance of significance, I would still take that over doing nothing, which would be a 100% chance of no significance” The “Debbie-Downer” finally backed off and agreed.
Are you taking chances in advancing your life? What are your chances of impact and influence towards your fellow man?
Let today be the day that you pick up that book and start reading. Let today be that day that you make up with that friend who hurt you. Let today be the day that you return to a good Bible-based church. Let today be the day that you bite your tongue when you want to tell someone off. Let today be the day that you take a chance on a business venture or opportunity, knowing fully that it will take some effort and discomfort on your part.
The more self improvement you can achieve, the better your chances are of leaving a legacy you will be proud of. Enjoy learning, growing and expanding instead of being a defeatist.
How many of you have to go to a training or seminar for your job? Do you relish it or dread it? Do you actively seek out ways for self-improvement or are they thrust upon you against your will?
Years ago I had a new friend approach me about a leadership group. I misunderstood and confused leadership with management and rejected all of her invitations to explore the meetings she regularly attended. At the time I could not see myself as a leader and did not understand that we are all leaders in some capacity every day. Thank goodness she was persistent and continued to invite me until I attended a seminar just to shut her up. My whole world changed at that moment, as I realized that learning does not stop with a diploma.
When you are raising your children your choices and direction are leading them through puberty and into adulthood. When I was teaching competitive figure skating I was leading the children in how to behave whether they won or lost an event. It takes grace to lose and not throw a hissy-fit. It takes leadership to refrain from bragging when you win and instead go and say something great about the program of one of the skaters who did not win.
Seminars get me high in a way that no doobie or shot of Jack Daniels ever could. When you learn from other people who have walked down a similar path you become inspired that you can achieve your dreams too. When you hear a speaker talk about a devastating situation he or she overcame, you cannot help but to go out and be hopeful that at least your situation is not that bad. Seminars, webinars, self-help books, Ted talks, Youtube videos, book signings, and podcasts are all ways we can step out of ignorance and into enlightenment in any area we wish to pursue or simply learn more about.
Maybe I am a dork about self improvement but I completely “geek-out” when I can see and hear a speaker that wrote a book that I have read or spoke on a subject I write about in my own books.
I want you to ask yourself these questions. What are you currently doing to live your best life? Where do you really want to go in your marriage or relationships with your children? What thoughts keep you up at night? What is one area in your life that is under attack right now?
If everything is just hunky-dory and your life is full of rainbows and roses, then I hope you tune in next week for a different blog subject, but if there is an area in your life where you question if your actions are serving you, then please contact me. I would love to listen. I bet I could even find a great seminar for you to attend in your area.
Never stop learning, growing and expanding. We live in the most exciting time in History. Just think about how the smartphone we hold in our hands has more computing power than the computers that took the Apollo 11 to the moon back in the ’60s. Can our brains still develop? Hell yes!
Go out into this world and do good. Hebrews 13:7 Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you.
What a thrill it was in 2018 to have had Stronger Than Broken – One couple’s decision to move through an affair make it to the top ten in the 2018 Author Academy Awards. Although I did not win, the opportunity to speak in front of a crowd and share the book was an invaluable experience as I move forward in my coaching practice.
Watching the winners in the 16 categories go up in their suits or gowns and receive an award was inspiring. So many of them looked shocked and most of them said “I am speechless” before thanking all of the people who helped them on their writing path.
What I really resonated with was one woman, Anita M. McLaurin. She was not speechless. She walked up with such confidence and had her speech already written out. She knewshe would win in the children’s book category. Her speech was thoughtful, well rehearsed and moving.
I want belief and faith that I too will win. So, I have entered the 2019 Author Academy Awards with Letters to the Dead Men – Unexpected Revelations in the Self Help category. I am fully aware of the stiff competition, as this contest is open to self-published authors, traditionally published authors and every combination of author in between.
Will you help me by checking out the book and voting for me? This book took me on a journey I never expected. My only intention was to honor the people in my life who had gone on to meet their maker. I had no idea how much grief I had been storing for years and how the writing process released those emotions and helped me heal wounds I still harbored.
The Self Help category will be on page 13 of the voting page, so make sure you scroll through all of the categories and vote once for each category on each page. https://authoracademyawards.com/
God in his infinite wisdom takes us just where we need to be and always at the right time. I am grateful for the healing that took place during the penning of this book. It has done so much for making me a more compassionate coach.
If you are looking for a great children’s book, please check out my fellow author and an Author Academy Award winner, My Father Said I Could by Anita M. McLaurin. https://amzn.to/2VSAij9
Are you contemplating writing a book? I would love to turn you on to the fantastic group I work with. We will walk you through the entire process from the idea in your head to seeing your book on the shelves of Barnes and Noble. Start here: http:// https://bit.ly/2wOTtiT
Marriages should never just be about sex. But, let’s be honest. Sex plays a rather large part in a healthy marriage and it is the one thing that should never be shared with anyone other than your spouse. That makes it so revered and sacred.
Sexual health is the ability to be aroused and still be able to do something about it. It may be very different for a young, healthy couple compared to an older couple with health issues, but in both cases, married couples can find fulfillment.
Feeling good about your body enhances the sexual experience 10 fold. I know this first hand as my weight has fluctuated up and down many pounds over the years. When I felt heavy, I wanted the lights off or very dim. When I was in racing form, I donned the Victoria Secret and did not mind lights on. Most of us can still get aroused when we are not in our best body, but the experience is not the same. So, as we go into the new year, be your best. Did you hear that? I said your best and no one elses.
Communication is the most important facet of getting what you want and need as well as supplying your partner with the same. I know it can be the most excruciating and embarrassing thing to talk about. It can really hurt your partner’s feelings to blurt out what you didn’t like or what hurts or feels weird. I have found that there are some silent ways to communicate that work well. If you catch your partner doing something that does not please, do not make any sexy sounds. Change positions as soon as you are able. When he/she finds the right spot, the right intensity or the right angle, then it is your turn to talk, scream, moan or whatever. Perhaps later, maybe over drinks, you can approach the subject more objectively if there is truly an issue you find in need of more clarification.
Planning or scheduling sex always seems to take away the spontaneity and romance, but there will be times in your busy lives where you simply must eke out some grown-up play time. Without sex, couples can become irritable and take those frustrated feelings out on the whole family. I am of no use to anyone when I am crabby.
Sex can be like pizza and chocolate. As much as I love pizza and chocolate if I ate them every day for the rest of my life, I may lose interest. A change up now and again (position, dirty talk, toys if you are comfortable, role play etc…) can be a breath of fresh air. The most important thing for changing up the routine is to lay little ground rules first. Nothing kills the evening quicker than 1 partner wanting to try dirty talk or toys one evening when the other just wants teenage make out and romance.
How is your sexual health? If you are enjoying your partner regularly and keeping the lines of communication open, then kudos to you and cheers to the new year and all it may bring.
Was Christmas all that? Was it everything you wanted it to be?
Gifts, food, Christmas music in the background. Family, laughter, romantic looks across the pile of gifts. Smiles of delight as the little ones and the big ones get their Christmas dreams all wrapped in pretty bows.
For some of us it really was all of that. I am in awe of the wonder of this magical day, but I also ache for the ones that did not have a happy Christmas. There are people hungry or homeless. There are people who are celebrating their first Christmas without a loved one they recently lost. There are families that had to rely on charity for their children to have anything to open on this day.
For those of us that had a Christmas better than most, I ask a few simple things. As we place the dishes in the dishwasher and take out the bags of crinkled up Christmas wrapping paper from the excess we enjoyed, say a prayer for those in need. Then, balance that checkbook and see where we can help an organization or even a family we know of in need. Go out and be Jesus.
Jesus came to earth in the form of a tiny baby born in a dirty barn on a cold night. He grew into a man and experienced humanity in all of its glory and in all of its ignominy. He humbled Himself for all of us. All He asked is for us to love one another and reach out to those in need.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Enjoy helping others, know you are loved and have yourself a Merry Little Christmas you beautiful people!
Scene One: I am at church. A small boy is reading a passage with his family in order to light the next Advent candle. I cry tears of joy remembering my own children when they were so young and innocent. The feeling is intense.
Scene Two: I am watching the BBC series Call the Midwife when my son walks in while a devasted mom loses a baby and I cry. “Why do you watch depressing shows?” my son queries. My heart aches for the woman, fulling knowing that it is just an actor in a show.
Scene Three: It is any Christmas of any year. My family is gathered around the TV while we watch the 1970 version of Scrooge with Albert Finney as Ebenezer himself. Everyone in the family knows the story. Not just the Chares Dickens story, but my story. I was seven when it came out at the theatre and I became obsessed with the music. My parents bought the vinyl record for me and my dear father and I would burst out into the song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dkq7WZTzkLQThank You Very Much. When Tiny Tim sings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6hiR0p2e5s The Beautiful Day you had better get the tissues out. Oh! and don’t forget that when I want to feel eternally grateful for my husband, I sing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oUIlaaVQMs&t=18sHappiness.
Scene Four: My husband (yes the one I am grateful for) and I are arguing about nothing important. Sometimes it’s just what we do. I get angry and riled up for no real reason. I am irate when my husband dares to suggest that I am overreacting. But I feel so livid at that particular moment. How dare he suggest that my feelings are not valid.
Do you have a scene that makes you cry? I love feelings. Happy. Sad. Angry. Thrilled, Joyous. Frightened. Exuberant. Disgust. Content. Surprise. Insecure. Pensive. Cheerful. They are all feelings and when you are having them, go ahead and have them. Don’t let anyone tell you what you should or should not feel. They are your feelings, not theirs.
Here are two songs that always remind me that it is ok to feel whatever I need to feel at that moment. One is Jessie J, a pop artist and one is Michelle Tumes, a Christian artist. Enjoy and I would love to hear your comments.
What a thrill I got when I found out that this blog is one of the 23 Relationship Experts, Authors, and Blogs to follow in 2019. As I am now adding coaching services to my public speaking and writing, I felt humbled and blessed to be with the other 22 people who are all about making this world a happier place through better relationships.
Please click on the link and see who we all are. Have a great day, Stacey
When our children came home for Thanksgiving a few weeks ago, we partook in our yearly tradition of purchasing the live Christmas tree (at a Black Friday discount) and decorating the home. With Christmas music coming from my daughter’s phone (thank you Spotify), we went bananas decorating the entire downstairs of our home for Christmas.
When they returned to school and jobs, my husband and I were left with a slight sense of panic as to how many paychecks between the two of us would we have before Christmas. Did we budget appropriately? Did we remind the kids that now that they are older we are trying to tone down the massive amount of presents under the tree? I hope so.
The panic subsided when I was reminded that our children love us. They don’t judge us by the gifts we can and cannot afford.
Hebrews 13:5“Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”
Our children have always seemed to enjoy the food, the movies we watch at Christmas and the laughter we share. We are content and blessed with or without excess.
1 Timothy 6:6-8“But godliness with contentment is a great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
Do not allow the upcoming Holidays to rob you of what is really important. Instead of counting paychecks, count your blessings, count the times you laugh, count the times you give or receive kisses and hugs, count the smiles you gave and the smiles you collected, and DON’T count the calories. Enjoy the abundance for now.