Friday, September 23, 2011

Going through the fires and learning to dance in the midst of them....

Can I just be real honest?  I've found myself tired and frustrated in the last several weeks about what are, in the grand scheme of this life, relatively insignificant matters.  Don't get me wrong, it's not all been fact, I just got home a few days ago from an amazing leadership conference in Green Bay with some of the most amazing people and then spent a few days in Chicago with a great friend.  I came home ignited and excited about my business and all that is going on in it!!  It's just that there are some little things going on in my life right now that have me a little frustrated.  Now hang with me to the end of my post so you get what I'm saying and where I'm going...don't judge me yet:)  

I hurt my knee running and am having to take some time off.  For those of you who really know me....I love to run!!  It's my release!!  I feel so good after running and find it so therapeutic.  It's been over a week since I've run and my knee is still waking me up in the night aching every time I move it:(  I'm hoping it's just tendonitis and nothing more serious because I really want to run another half marathon in January.  It's been over a year since I've been able to train or run a half marathon as I've been recovering from a hip injury.  I was just feeling totally recovered and ready to start training when I hurt my knee.  It's very frustrating to say the least!!

On top of that, Scott is so busy with his doctoral studies that I've been feeling a little neglected and sorry for myself...ridiculous, I know, but it's true.  I've been used to him being around all the time and available to spend a lot of time with me (I admit, I've been spoiled:).  This has not been the case in the last several months:(  I'm trying (well most of the time) to be patient, but find myself getting frustrated about our lack of time (without his face in a book) together.  I know this is temporary, but 3 years of this seems daunting to me right now.  Anymore, I'm asleep when he comes to bed and when I wake up he's already been up for hours studying.  Now, don't get me wrong, he does work hard at trying to make time for the boys and I.  He goes to all of their soccer games and will go with me to the grocery store and things like that so we at least have a little time together, but it's just not like it was before he started his doctorate.  He's more distracted and I know he has a lot on his mind with everything going on.  It's been a source of frustration for me.

This week I started a Bible study with some friends on the Fruits of the Spirit.  I got to thinking about what we were going to be studying in it and listed them out from Galations 5:22-23.... "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."  I am realizing that right now we couldn't be studying something that I need more.  I'm only on the second day of the study guide and I'm already being challenged in my daily walk.  After doing my Bible study, I jumped on Facebook to send a message to my Bible study sisters and when I logged on the first status update I saw was a post to pray for a gal who's been fighting cancer, had a transplant and is now in the hospital fighting for her life.  I clicked on the blog that was attached and found myself reading some of the posts about this amazing woman and her battle.  When I came across the verse below, the tears started flowing and I couldn't help but stop and realize how incredibly selfish I can be at times. 

"It is through adversity that we come to know God, His promises, His else can we take joy in tribulations? Knowing this, He is there with the midst of the fire...holding us in his dance and singing over us."  Zephaniah 3:17

The little things in my life that I think are such a big deal and that I allow to frustrate me are really NOT that big of  a deal!  I do know that it's been during times of adversity that I have grown closer to God, but I think sometimes when things are going pretty smooth, I can lose sight of what's really important and significant in my life.  My knee problem and Scott's doctorate are temporary things that will soon be better and over.  Sometimes, I just need to be humbled before God and recognize all the blessings I have in my life and quit focusing on the insignificant things that I allow to frustrate me so easily.  Things could be MUCH worse than what I'm currently dealing with.  So the sixth thing I'm going to work on in my countdown to forty is stopping myself when I find myself getting frustrated with the little things and think of all of the many blessings in my life and then pray for someone who I know is going through the fire and needs a special touch.  I'm so thankful that we don't have to go through the fires alone!      

Monday, September 12, 2011

This journey is a marathon, not a sprint!!

Scott always tells me..."You know Katie,  it's a marathon, not a sprint".... He says this because he knows I'm an instant gratification girl and am not always real patient.  I want to see results right away, which is why I've been known to give up on things that show gradual results.  I love to run half marathon's....I've run seven so far and, after taking a year off from a hip injury,  plan on running another in January and more after that!  I don't just get up one morning though and say, "you know, today I'm going to run a half marathon."  That would be crazy!!  Instead, I make a plan....I follow a training schedule for 12 weeks up to the day of the race so I'll be as prepared as I can to run the whole race.  Back when I decided to run my first half marathon, I remember thinking that there was no way I could ever run for 13.1 miles without stopping...I had never run more than 3 or 4 miles in my life!!  Over 12 weeks of consistent training though, I did it....and I finished with a better time than I even thought I could!!  Much like training for a half marathon, almost everything in life takes consistent effort before real results are seen.

When I started this blog my plan was to blog twice a week, which would allow me to get everything I wanted to in before my 40th birthday.  As you can tell, I am not getting two blogs in every week.  It's harder than I thought it would be!  I love making myself sit down and's actually been very therapeutic, considering I'm ADD and struggle taking the time to just sit and be quiet with myself and my thoughts:)  This morning I looked at my calendar and realized that I only have forty more weeks in my countdown and started to stress about getting everything in!  The reality is, I'm just trying to keep up with everything I've blogged about thus far and, to be honest, feel like I'm not doing a real good job right now at keeping up.  It hit me, as I sat down to write this morning, that it's ok....I'm not perfect.  The things I'm working on are good things, but it's going to take time to really see results.  Just because I'm striving and focusing on these things doesn't mean that, all of a sudden, when I turn forty I've totally accomplished everything I set out to do.  The thing I need to focus on is the journey of getting to where I want to be....and, honestly, that will not end when I get to next June.  I will have to keep up the training in order to see the results....much like when I am training for half marathons.    

So after a crazy couple of weeks of getting back into the school routine and soccer,  my office has been a little neglected, I still haven't had time (or made the time:) to get my closet fact, right now it's messier than ever (don't judge:), and I definitely don't feel like I'm always balancing everything real well.  But, on the other hand, I'm more organized than I was before, which feels great,  and am more aware of my attitude and focusing on enjoying the journey, however crazy it might be.  I don't know that I go to bed every night feeling like I've accomplished everything I wanted to, but I'm further ahead than I was when I got up that that's good!!

I'm going to Green Bay this week for a leadership conference and then to Chicago for another fun Arbonne event and have already been stressing about how to get everything done before I leave.  I need to grocery shop, exercise, clean my house (and closet:), work, cook meals, go to soccer games, blog (check:), etc.  I know it'll all be here when I get back, but I feel like I need to get it all done or else everything will fall apart while I'm's the supermom mentality that I struggle with at times:)  I know it's not boys will be fine while I'm away (they'll probably enjoy me being gone actually:)...they always seem to survive.  Although, Cody did call me one time after I'd been away for a few days and said, "mom, when are you coming home??"  I thought it was so sweet that he had missed me while I was gone.  When I told him I would be home that evening he said, "oh good, we have NOTHING to eat around the house!!"  LOL!!  He did survive though and this time will be no different:)    

So far, I've written about four things I've learned from the past and five things I'm going to work on in my countdown to forty....that's nine total (I'm good at math:).  I'm going to keep plugging away on these countdown to forty goals....and I will have at least forty when I get to my birthday, even though many of them will still be, and may always be, works in progress.   So the fifth thing I've learned from my past (and am still learning) is that this journey I'm on is a marathon.....NOT a sprint!!   I know that Rome wasn't built in a day (my husband always tells me that too:) and neither will these things I'm working on be accomplished in a day.  I do know that with hard work and persistence I will see, and am already seeing,  the results I'm setting out to accomplish....even if not as fast as I'd like to.  I just finished reading 'The Slight Edge' by Jeff Olson and it was a great book!!  One of the things he says, among many,  that really stuck with me is "Every action that any of these goals requires is easy to do, but they're just as easy not to do.  Not doing it is usually more comfortable than doing it would be.  But that simple, insignificant error in judgement, compounded over time, will kill you.  It's the choice we face every day, every hour:  A simple, positive action, repeated over time.....or a simple error in judgement , repeated over time."  I want to keep doing the positive things that, in time, will show positive results....even if I'm not seeing them right now.  I know, just like training for half marathons, it's the daily runs that get me to the finish line of the race!!           

Friday, September 2, 2011

Balancing my life!!

We are back in the craziness of life with the boys back in school and soccer, Scott working on his doctorate and his university responsibilities,  and me working toward my goal of Regional Vice President and earning my white mercedes with Arbonne plus trying to keep the house in order, etc.  It's a little hectic at times, but I'm soaking it all in and enjoying life!!

With all the busyness of life, I've found that the only way to keep from feeling so overwhelmed is by trying to find a sense of balance in the midst of it.  I shared several weeks back about how I'm working on being more organized and, believe it or not, so far I'm doing good with it!  I'm still working on getting things in order, but it's happening and has definitely helped me to not feel so overwhelmed.  My problem now is that, although I'm more organized, I still don't have a great sense of balance or feel like I'm accomplishing everything I'd like to each day.  I'm great at putting things off and then being mad at myself for not doing them:)    

Balance and time management are hard for me.  My husband is great at balancing everything and not getting overwhelmed.  He's one of those list makers who crosses things off as he does them....gag!!:)  He's always telling me, "if you'd just make a list then..." or "if you'd just schedule out your week then..."....bla, bla, bla:)  Honestly, I've tried being a list maker and I've tried to schedule out my week, but somehow I never seem to stick with it.

I used to be a gymnast many years ago.  As a gymnast, balance was so important, especially on the beam.  If you've never been on a balance beam, let me just tell you, it can be a very intimidating piece of equipment!  A regulation-size balance beam stands approximately 4 feet tall, or exactly 125 centimeters. It only has 4 inches, or 10 centimeters, of space for feet on the width of the beam. The full length of the beam is approximately 16.5 feet, or 500 centimeters.

  For me, it was by far the hardest event in gymnastics.  Balance is, obviously, key on the beam...if you can't find balance, you fall.  I would spend hours in my backyard at my house practicing routines with cartwheels and back walk overs and split leaps on a manmade low beam over and over again until I could stay on and finish the routine.  I found that when I lost my focus and got off balance even just a little bit, I would fall or wobble and have to fight to stay on.  I had to do it over and over again in order to conquer my fear and be able to do the routine on the high beam at the gym.  I wouldn't quit until I finished a routine without falling....only then would it feel like I had accomplished what I had set out to do!!  That's not to say that every routine was flawless or that the fear was gone, but I finished without falling and that made me feel so good!   

I feel like this in my life sometimes.  Much like being on a balance beam, when my life feels off balance or out of focus, sometimes I feel fearful, shaky and like I might fall.  I get overwhelmed, stressed and cranky (just ask my family:) and things in my personal or business life suffer.  I find that when I am accomplishing things I need to get done and not wasting away my days, I go to sleep at night feeling so much better!  Getting organized is just one of the things that is helping me feel balanced and I know now that making lists and planning out my weeks better is something else I can do to help with balance in my life.  In the last week I've been working in this area of my life and it's really hard for me!!  I started to look at my days and find out how I have been spending my time.  I've figured out (not that I didn't know this:) that I can piddle away much of my day doing silly little things that don't accomplish anything at all.  To name a few....I'm addicted to 'Words with Friends' on my Iphone and can spend an hour sometimes catching up on all the games I have going....I'll get on Facebook to return a message and before I know it, I'm reading status updates for thirty minutes....I run to Lowe's to look at something for our bathroom remodel and end up walking around for an hour looking at get what I'm saying:)  I'm not one to sit around all day doing nothing....I'm too ADD for that:)....I stay very busy doing all kinds of little things.  It's just that sometimes I am busy doing things that don't really accomplish much.

So here it my countdown to 40, the fifth thing I'm going to work on is balancing my life better.  I'm going to work on scheduling my days, making lists and checking off what I get accomplished, and not piddling as much:)  I love having my own business where I can work from home, or away from home, at my own pace and on my own's the greatest!!  I can go to lunch with friends or go shopping whenever I want....but if I'm not careful, I can spend so much time playing that I don't get the things done in my business or personal life that I need to.  Now I'm not saying that I'm only going to only work and not play anymore...that wouldn't be any fun:)  I'm just going to focus on spending my time in such a way that I'm getting all the important things done around my house and in my business each day so that when I do go shopping or out with a friend that I don't feel guilty and overwhelmed at what I haven't yet accomplished.  Focusing on balance and time management are so important in helping me to achieve all that I want to this year and in the years to come....I love life and am excited about all the possibilities laid out before me!!  I'm not going to stress about losing my balance and falling off the beam yesterday or last week or even last year....instead, I'm going to get up off the mat and get back on the beam and try again until I finish the routine.  I'm so thankful that I have the opportunity to design the life I choose....I want to make sure that I'm spending my time in such a way that I can accomplish all my goals!  

I don't run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet. Nadia Comaneci