Tag Archives: inspiration

Ten Things Procrastination is Telling You

It was easy for Thomas Jefferson to say, “Never put off ‘till tomorrow what you can do today" because he had a staff of accomplished servants.  He could invent, write and entertain while others washed and ironed his clothes, made his dinner, cleaned his house and tended his estate.

At least that’s the excuse I tell  myself when my To Do List screams at me to have something crossed off. Procrastination was supposed to go away when I left college and outgrew all-night study fests, but he has appeared in various forms for decades.

As a Type A person, I know there’s nothing better than the feeling of crossing the last item off my To Do List. If it weren’t for procrastination, I would be elated all the time.  He not only keeps me from my goals, he nags like a dripping faucet. He tells me there is always…

tomorrow…

          tomorrow…

                    tomorrow…

 

image

Procrastination tells us what our brain hasn’t quite grasped and our friends and family don’t dare say, to our face, anyway.

 

WHAT  PROCRASTINATION TELLS US:

1.  You  don’t like what you’re doing.

There are things we HAVE to do. Make the job more pleasant.  I’m not fond of cleaning the toilet, so I put cleaning wipes, toilet bowl cleaner, paper towels and a toilet bowl brush in every bathroom.  Quick, easy, almost painless.

There are things we volunteered to do that we shouldn’t have.  That’s what nice people do, they say “yes” too often.  Say “no.”  Practice with me.  “No.”  See, that wasn’t hard. We budget our money, but squander our time and talents.  Guard all these treasures equally.

 

2.  You’re not skilled enough to do the task well.

Either carve out time to learn the skills, or ask for help.  I have found that volunteering to babysit for young moms gives me a variety of talent at my disposal.  Barter or get better.

3.  You’re crippled by fear. 

Fear of failure and fear of success have the same end result.

 What motivates you to accomplish goals?  Consider dangling your own carrot and/or finding someone to cheer you on.  Share your goals with someone who would appreciate them. 

4.  You didn’t manage your time successfully.

A project that demands more time will be put off until there is a time slot for the entire project.

Only a horse eats an apple all in one bite, or is that only in the cartoons?  A great help is to break a project into 15-30 minute increments.  Use a timer.

5.  You didn’t prioritize correctly.

We tend to prioritize according to what we like to do, what’s easiest to do or what is cheapest to do, instead of by project deadline. Write down your goals and projects as short tem and long term.  It makes it easier to decide what needs to be conquered next.

6.  You haven’t made enough time for creativity. 

When we get busy, it’s easy to push aside the things that delight and calm our heart. Sewing, crafting, woodworking, reading, writing, are readily shoved  aside to accomplish the necessary life demands. Creativity spurs up ambition.  It  makes you finish the icky have-to projects faster to do the fun want-to projects.

7.  You’re not caring for yourself properly. 

Being tired, dehydrated, malnourished and under exercised can make you not want to do anything at all.  I freely pass on this advice  as I sit at my desk looking at the sunshine through my dirty window, drinking coffee, skipping breakfast and having absolutely no plans to exercise in the near future. But to soothe my conscience I just drank a sip of water.  Put your needs first.

8.  You’re waiting for inspiration.

Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t.  We accomplish goals through  inspiration or determination.  When one isn’t working, summon up the other.

9.  You have people that need you constantly.

In our marriage we’ve had 6 kids, a lot of company and many people live with us. Your time is not your own when you serve others.  You can prioritize and organize, but a diaper blow-out, a nightmare or a spilled gallon of milk changes everything.

As we age, we may end up caring for our parents or a spouse because of age and/or infirmity. The tasks are combined with the grief of their condition.

People are priority.  This is your ministry and your calling for this season.  Live through this time in a way that you’ll have no regrets looking back.

10.  You’re sidetracked by human emotion or physical pain.

Suffering and grief can stop you in your tracks.  In this case, procrastination is the kind friend saying you need to heal.  It’s healthy to mark boundaries with your time and commitment.  Take time off and explain to others why you’re doing this. People will respect your boundaries, and may even step up to help.

Aquasox vs. Orioles 5-9 134

You have gifts, talents and goals to bless the world.

Listen to procrastination and decide if  and when you should rest,  refuse, reassign or accomplish.

Just don’t put it off until tomorrow. Do it today.

 

When Inspiration Becomes a Distraction

 

When I started getting serious about writing, I utilized all my senses to inspire my writing. I figured I needed all the help I could get.

 

Sight: I love sitting next to water or mountains to write.  That isn’t always practical. I use pics of places I love, pics of family, quotes and verses of inspiration on my walls.

Hearing: Music of praise and hope can inspire words to fly from the heart to the screen. 

Touch: Hubby bought me a padded office chair.  I have a soft lap blanket for warmth.

Smell: My clove-studded orange is on heat vent. 

Taste:  True confession, I reward myself with treats when I write well.  True confession, I inspire myself to write well by rewarding myself with a treat before I write.

Others may munch on chips, popcorn or cookies.

Not me.

I love me some candy.

I don’t need a lot, just a few nibbles.  A bag or box can last me a long time.

In fact, candy inspires me so much, when I was at a grocery store with bins of candy — yes, I’m sure there is part of Heaven that will look just like this aisle — I bought special encouragement.

BLOGGING 016

Don’t these motivate you to greatness?  I’m sure gummies could inspire classics to be written. Sweet, not sour, never-ever-ever sour gummies. Sweet gummies taste like more.

That’s why I bought them, to write an inspiring  blog post.

Just for you.

‘Cuz that’s what I love to do, write. I write my guts out, after I stuff my guts with candy.

BLOGGING 010

When I bought the W-R-I-T-E gummies, I also bought gummies for this vintage bowl.  Isn’t it just lovely?  Doesn’t it just NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED to hold something  sweet in my office?

But when I started taking pics of my inspiring candy for my inspiring blog post, I realized I had forgotten a few stashes.

Just a few.

BLOGGING 014

Like the stash in this drawer. I was hiding the Christmas presents my husband was given at work.  I love those work gifts, one year he was given so many treats, I hardly baked.

Nuts are good for you.  So is dark chocolate.  So don’t judge me, k?

007

I forgot about this stash. I love this tiny enamel pot.  We found it in an old shed on the Olson farmstead our family bought in North Dakota in 1977.

008

I kinda forgot about this stash, too. It’s hidden behind a tiny dresser.  Hubby celebrates Valentine’s Day from the day they start selling stuff until they clearance it out.  He knows I love hearts and chocolate and red, so it’s a no-brainer, doncha’ think?

But, since my kids like to take a bite out of EACH AND EVERY chocolate in the box, I hafta’ hide them.  It’s no fun biting into a chocolate with teeth marks, unless they’re yours, of course.

002

These sat in front of me for so long, I forgot they was there. How can you forget caramels? Nice, sweet. delicious, caramels. So, oohey-gooey they stick to the wrapper. The finger-lickin’ good candy that reminds me I should keep a small container of baby wipes in my office, too. No wonder my keyboard is always sticky.

014

Now this stash is necessary.  I don’t want my family to smell chocolate on my breath!

BLOGGING 011
When I forget the breath mints, they all come in my office to invade my stash. They’re not here because they miss me, no sirree, but I like to tell myself they love their sweet ol’ mommy more than the fodder for her sweet tooth.

When my teenage son said, “Mom, I was gunna’ say you’re gunna’ write yourself into a workout video, but that would be insulting,” I realized my INSPIRATION was  becoming a DISTRACTION. I became Pavlov’s dog, drooling every time I sat down at my computer.

I was gaining weight;  the friend that leans over my belt to sit on my lap when I write was a bit larger.  If anything is going to grow, it needs to be my brain, not my belly. I shared my tasty inspiration with my family and evaluated what inspiration really worked for me.

Anything we use to INSPIRE ourselves…coffee, movies, books, naps, music, social media, snacks…can end up DISTRACTING us from the work we set out to do.

Whether we need to clean the house, make a meal, finish the laundry or…..sorry, had to eat that Almond Joy calling my name.

HOW TO TELL IF INSPIRATION  
                              HAS BECOME A
DISTRACTION:

1.  Does your inspiration decrease productivity? Are you doing this instead of the task you were inspiring to complete?

2. Do others notice your obsession?  Ahem.  Like your family. Or your mirror.

3. Does it produce a mood or feeling opposite of the one you need to work?

4.  Does it affect your ability to focus on your work?

5.  Has your inspiration created a dependency so you think you can’t work without it?

I In the end, it isn’t about tricks we use to inspire, it’s about hard work.  Can we hunker down and work hard enough to complete a task at hand?

Cuz ya’ know what?

That’s truly inspirational.

Making your home sing Mondays

Viet Nam Vets Traveling Wall

The traveling Viet Nam War Memorial came to the PNW last weekend.
 Even though we had just arrived home from Montana that afternoon,
we knew we needed to summon up the energy
to give our kids a lesson in life, war, loss and pain.

We casually touched weapons that had been hauled
through dark, bug-infested, enemy-hiding jungles.
Weapons that had to kill before the handler was killed.
We grieved for all that suffered during the Viet Nam War.
As these men were talking,
my heart rejoiced that they were alive and well.
I get angry beyond reason
when I read about the treatment of the vets,
when they finally returned home.
The war never really ended for them.
I wanted to throw my arms around the vets
and apologize for my country,
but instead, I shyly smiled and prayed for them as I passed by,
unable to express what was truly bursting in my heart and mind.

 

At times I felt I shouldn’t intrude in others’ grief.
These were their sons and daughters, their friends, their spouses.
I still cried,
even though the names didn’t belong to anybody we knew,
because I felt the pain all around me.
I really wanted to just throw myself down and sob out my heart,
but I didn’t.
I blinked back the tears, took pictures
 and tried to share with my children the passion I felt over this monument.

 

These men will never bring bouquets to wives, mothers, or sweethearts.
 Instead of life and love, these bouquets smell of sorrow and death.
They are brought because pain makes people want to DO something.

Instead of caressing loved ones’ faces,
fingers trace only their names
etched into black, cold, lifeless marble.
Yet, everyone is thankful,
wonderfully thankful,
grief-strickenly thankful,
that at least there is something of the loved ones to touch.
Even if it is just a name
…etched into
……….cold


…………….black


………………lifeless

…………………….marble.


The shadows reflecting on the marble remind me
of the men and women who should be standing there.

They estimate 58,000 lives were lost during this War.
For each life lost, dozens back home suffered
wounded hearts, empty lives and endless pain.
As with every war,
the lost of these young lives
left holes in generations.
Kids grew up without daddies,
fiances were never married,
mothers and fathers never became grandparents.

 

I was a kid during this war.
My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Hayes,
made us watch a documentary on the war.
I was acting up and complained so loudly,
she stopped the big-reeled machine and chewed me out.
She thought I should be paying attention because
these were AMERICAN young men, people’s neighbors, people’s sons.
I remember my initial embarrassment for being singled out,
then the shame of my indifference.
So, I share my passion and my compassion with my children,
hoping that they will be influenced, as I was,
to have an open heart and mind for those suffering around me.

 

This week, when I saw the picture of  Mary McHugh
weeping on the grave of her fiance in Arlington National Cemetary,
I wept over my computer.
We will have holes in this generation, too.
But, maybe, we as a nation, will welcome home the vets
 the way we should have in the 70’s.
The traveling, grim, marble memorial
should and can be the reminder we need
to keep history from repeating itself.
Welcome Home, Vets.