Archive for the ‘Decision making’ Category

I follow a blog written by Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity. Over the past 10 years he has visited every country in the world. His blog is inspiration for achieving personal goals. His posts are usually pretty short, but have a message that is inspiring. Also, for the past six years he has hosted his World Domination Summit where over 1000 people get together to explore how they can live a remarkable life. He has also written several books.

In one of his recent blog posts, he shared a talk given by  Jon Acuff at this past year’s summit. Today’s quote comes from that talk. The whole talk is wonderful, but I really loved this quote mainly because my word for the year is “fearless”. It made me realize, once again, that being brave is not something you can just feel. You also have to take action and do. I’m pretty good at procrastinating things that are out of my comfort zone. I then wake up in the middle of the night with this panic seizing my body. The funny thing is that when I eventually do the thing that I fear, it turns out all right. If you have a 30 minutes, listen to Jon’s talk. You won’t regret it.

Being brave


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Ok, I’ll admit it now. I’m pretty much a Lord of the Rings nerd. I first heard The Hobbit when I was in third grade. My teacher read it to us every afternoon and I found a love of the little people. I later read the LOTR Triology and have re-read the books more than a dozen times. I very much anticipated the movies to see if Peter Jackson could instill the vision I had of Middle Earth. Even though they weren’t perfect, and I didn’t always love what they choose not to put in the movies, I still loved them. For three years, my son and I would play hooky from work/school and see the movies on their first day out.

Fast forward several years. One of my daughters decided to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today is her one year anniversary. She will be home in 6 months and I can’t wait. But right before she left, my son made her this framed quote to take with her. This is today’s quote:

“Put aside the ranger. Become who you were born to be.”

A great message for all of us. Stop wandering around and live life with purpose. Make a difference is your own way. We don’t need to be famous, rich or connected to make a difference in the world. Find out what you can do and DO IT!

Put Aside the Ranger

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I found this quote on someone’s “house tour” for autumn. I love seeing how other people decorate their homes and therefore can’t resist when some of my favorite bloggers offer a peak into their homes.  I took a screen shot of the picture because I loved what it had to say. The sign was a simple wooden framed piece of artwork hanging over a bench.  But I can’t for the life of me remember whose house it was in. SORRY!

So I created this 6×6 version of the words using digital papers from Katie Pertiet of Designer Digitals and the frame from Rhonna Farrer Designs. Enjoy!

New Day Quote

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Yesterday, I watched one of my daughters finish a half-marathon. This is her second half-marathon. The first one she ran when she was 13 or 14 and she was part of a group called “fit kids.” A bunch of young kids trained with a wonderful woman everyday for several months preparing to run a half-marathon. It was great to see her run back then. But once she had accomplished that goal, she left running altogether. And so I was a little surprised when she told me that she was going to train to run another one. This time around, she didn’t train like she did back then. She occasionally ran in the evenings and sometimes at the gym, but never really consistently.  She still wanted to run the race and we went out to support her coming across the finish line.

nessmarathonWhen I talked to her after about the race, she said it wasn’t as hard as she thought it would be. Once she got into a rhythm, she was able to focus and just keep going. Her time was slower than it had been the first time, but I was proud of the fact that she had set a goal for herself and followed through.

I also realized that I don’t set goals for myself anymore. I have “to-do” lists, but I don’t have full-fledged goals. Sometimes I feel like I am aimlessly drifting from one major life event to another. I’ve told myself that I’m just getting used to having free time and not being driven by the 9-5 life. That may have been true for the first summer I was retired, but I don’t think I can use that as an excuse anymore.

There are quite a few things I would like to get done including projects around the house, healthier eating for myself and family, work on my family history. I make starts and stops on these projects, but nothing is driving me to the finish line. I think it’s time to start writing down some goals for myself. I want to see myself cross the finish line in some of the major areas of my life.



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My parents emigrated from Europe after they lost their home in World War II. They came here with a trunk that contained some items of clothing, a few pots they received for their wedding and about $10.00 in their pocket. They didn’t know the English language and struggled to find a job. Even though they both became citizens, found work and learned the English language, my mother still didn’t understand some of the technical issues that came with health and financial issues. So, shortly after I retired, I found that I had to grow up.

My mother was struggling to care for my dad and I realized that she needed more help than we were offering. I could no longer be the 50ish kid that came over to their house to be fed and taken care of. Our roles reversed.

4wheelerAbout five years ago, my father suffered a stroke. He went through rehab and physical therapy, but never regained his full strength or agility. For the first couple of years, he walked a little, could feed himself and just needed a little help to get to the bathroom. He still enjoyed watching sports and selling his stamps on ebay.

After a time, his health began to deteriorate. He lost most of the strength in his legs and could no longer maneuver himself in and out of the wheelchair to the bathroom or in the car. My two brothers and I took turns going to their house every night to get my dad out of the wheelchair and into bed. We got a Home Health Care Company to come in and get him out of bed every day and into the shower. That process lasted for about 18 months. We were there helping, but we weren’t really there taking the burden from my mom.

After I retired, I took on a more active role and tried to be there when my dad needed to go to doctor appointments. I was able to ask questions, find out about options, and understand where my dad was with his health. I could explain to my mom some of the things she was missing. Being there to help has been a great comfort to her and I think, to my father who was worried about leaving her. My mom appreciated not feeling alone in making the decisions that eventually came down the track.

60anniverKissMy father just recently passed away. We all miss him – especially my mom. But I am so grateful that I had this opportunity to be with them during this time. I loved being able to see my dad on a regular basis and to share that burden with my mother.

This experience is something I never would have imagined for myself. For some unknown reason, I always thought my parents would be healthy and would be around to support me. I know this is a totally naïve statement, but when everything is going great in your life, you don’t always prepare for the inevitable future. My mother had more health problems through the years, so when my dad had his stroke, it was a total shock to all of us. We weren’t prepared for how it would change them or the dynamics of our family. I was also unprepared for how it would change the way I perceived my relationship with my parents, nor how it would change my perception about myself.

All I can say is this: Growing up is not easy–which is why I haven’t done it until now.

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October is the month of Halloween — a time when your fear can comfortably come out and play. We love Halloween at our house. I love to decorate, love to come up with ideas for dressing up. And LOVE candy. Yikes, I guess I shouldn’t admit that.

This year, I decided to look my real world fears in the face and put myself out there. I am joining the 31 days posting, hosted by The Nesting Place.  In scanning through some of the other posters, I’ve decided that I am not the only one who fears writing everyday and being “out there.” But it will be a good exercise for me, since I am also taking a class this month from Tangie Baxter called “Facing your Fears.”

So here goes. My 31 day topic is What I’ve learned since I retired. 

It has been an interesting ride for me. I have worked full time since I graduated from High School. I took one year off to go away to college, ran out of money, came back home and starting working full time again. I then went to my local University where I could still work full time and go to school on a part time basis. For 5 years, I took early morning classes and evening classes so I could finish my degree. It wasn’t always easy or fun, but I stuck with it. Luckily for me, I wasn’t married yet with the stress that brings.  I graduated and continued working – at a new job.


Eventually, I got married and had 4 wonderful children. But through it all, I continued to work. Last year, after logging in 33 years in my retirement system, I decided to retire. My husband finally has a job where he can carry the insurance, etc.  My main motivation for leaving the workforce was to help my family. My parents are older and my father was pretty ill. I also have a younger daughter who is struggling a bit with school.  So I decided that they needed me more – and I left.

Honestly speaking, I haven’t looked back. I haven’t woken up one day yet and wished that I was back at work.

So I guess here goes with my posts:  30 things I’ve learned since retirement.

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So it has been two months since I left my full-time employment to retire. This was going to be the summer of getting things done. The summer of changes. So far, NOT!

I have found that not having a schedule every day is very disorienting to me.  For the first month of so, I didn’t even have a place where I kept a calendar. I just relied on my memory. Not a good thing.

I finally purchased a $3 calendar they sell for school kids – mostly because it starts in August and runs through June of next year. I keep it with me and write down appointments and commitments there. I have also been trying to keep things updated in my google calendar. Between the two, I hope that I’m keeping up with regular life.

This summer has also been consumed with selling my in-laws home. My father-in-law passed away 18 months ago and we have been fussing around with their house ever since. First we emptied it and put it on the market, as is. We got no bites. After careful consideration, we decided to upgrade the paint, carpets and window coverings. We also emptied all the rest of the furniture and cleaned up the yard.  It has taken a lot of my husband and his sibling’s time this summer. But we finally put it on the market last week. And already have a couple of offers. YEA!

My other goals of spending more time with my parents and helping my daughter along, hasn’t really materialized for whatever reason. Next week, Amanda goes back to school and I will have more time during the day to organize my life.  I am planning to put together an outline of goals, activities, etc. that I can do.

I’m hoping to be more productive in the next two months. I have to admit, though, it has felt good to sleep in, to take time to just breath.

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