What the Experts Say

10 Things Science Says Will Make You Happy is a pretty great article from Yes Magazine.  It was helpful because it matches up with some of the things that really seem to make me happy – 1. Savor Everyday Moments.  Even really crummy days have it’s golden moments.  Like today – it was a stressful day at work and the weather was bad but tonight was family movie night and we watched Rio.

It made me laugh real hard.  It was cute and serious.  It was funny and I really needed a laugh.  My dog acting all hyper and crazy also made me laugh and that felt good too.

2. Avoiding Comparisons is essential to a person’s happiness.  My daughter went to a birthday party last weekend.  It was at the child’s home which was HUGE.  It was a large, ginormous home with a huge yard, tons of storage and landscaping.  My small little home with the small little yard felt inadequate and not good enough.  I felt discouraged, frustrated, and inadequate.  Then I realized that there wasn’t anything wrong with my home or my life but that it was just different.  I spoke with my husband about this and we talked for awhile about how our health has held us back over the years – his depression and my until recently undiagnosed ADHD with OCD.  For our own personal struggles we do very well for ourselves.

3.  Put Money Low on the List – people with less money can seem just as happy if not more so than people with lots of money.  I’ve met people who earn much less than I do that are content with their lives and appear happy and grateful.  I want more – more money, more space, more, more, more but as I pare down and as there are less items put onto my wish list the happier I am becoming.

4.  Have meaningful goals -she recommends strong dreams and aspirations.  The executive functioning part of my brain makes it difficult for me to set goals.  Dreams and aspirations – my ADHD daydreaming brain has me doings things outside my skills and limits.  Fantastic adventures and master of many skills.  What are my goals?  What is a realistic set of dreams and realistic aspirations for me.

5. Take Initiative at work makes sense.  When I am behind at work I get bogged down, nasty feeling and fall further behind.  When I am caught up at work I feel invigorated and like I could take on the world.  I help out more and I do more for my clients.  I am happy and feel like I am doing something important.

to be continued….

 

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How to Be Happy

There are tons of books, articles and advice on happiness.  There are quotes on happiness and studies done on happiness.  What makes a person happy?

wikiHow has an article on How to Be Happy.  This article discusses 8 steps to happiness.  Doesn’t it sound easy?  Follow these 8 steps and you too can be a happier person!   All kiding aside though there was some interesting points in this article.

1.  Be Optimistic!  – the power of thought can take a person far.  If you can change your attitude you can change your levels of happiness.  The book I’m reading about attitudes would agree with this statement I believe.  If a bad attitude causes negative things to occur then a good attitude would cause positive things to occur such as a better outlook on things and increased happiness.

What I found helpful was the following comment:

“Just because something seems to make other people happy doesn’t mean that it really does. People are very good at pretending they’re happy, especially when they’ve invested so much into the things that are supposed to make them happy; it’s hard to admit that you’ve been placing all your eggs in the wrong basket.”

A few weeks ago I wrote about how people thought that I was happier than how I felt about myself.  People are very good at pretending.  When you asked someone how they are doing today most people will respond they are good even when they are not.

I also thought it was important that they stated that happy people are not happy all the time.  They are just better at getting back to a happy state of being.

Zones – Cleaning out the Clutter

The Flylady has broken our homes down to 5 manageable zones to help us keep our homes clean and clutter free.  You may ask – why do you need someone to break your home into zones?  just clean it when it’s messy.  Yes – this sounds like it would work but it doesn’t.  There are those people in this world who are organized.  They pay bills before they are due.  They have a planner that makes sense to them.  They arrive on time and they know where to find their things.  Followers of Flylady call these people the BOs of the world or the born organized.  I am a SHE – Sidetracked Home Executive.  a payroll SHE no less since I work outside of the home.  The executive functioning part of my brain does not work as well as it should (ADHD) so Flylady helps me out.

As part of my resolution for this year I’ve been working on the flylady zones

  1. Zone 1: Entrance/front porch/dining room – First few days of the month until the next Sunday
  2. Zone 2: Kitchen/ back porch/laundry room/pantry – First full week of the month
  3. Zone 3: Main bathroom/extra bedroom/kids’ rooms/craft room – Second full week of the month
  4. Zone 4: Master bedroom/bath/closet – Third full week of the month
  5. Zone 5: Living room/den/TV room – Last few days of the month from Monday until the first of the next month

Here is my update.  All but zone 5 have had two times in it so far this year.

Zone 1 – The entrance has definitely improved.  We’ve torn apart and cleaned out the dryer.  This was a huge fire hazard but it’s now safe for awhile.  My husband and I found a sense of accomplishment as we fixed our dryer ourselves.  It broke a few weeks ago.  My husbands first thoughts were that we needed to buy a new dryer.  I refused stating that we could fix it ourselves.  He reminded me that we were not mechanically inclined people.  I stated that there are tutorial videos online that walk you through the process.  He stated that we could have someone come in and fix it for us.  I refused stating that it would cost at least $50 just to have someone come out.  Finally this past weekend he agreed that we should try to fix it ourselves.  I went to Repairclinic.com

(so I’m feeling very sad right now – just finished writing a beautiful and long post and then posted it and this is all there is.  will rewrite later when I’m not feeling discouraged 😦 )

and we watched the videos and tore apart our dryer, cleaned it out real well and then fixed it.  The thermal fuse was bad.  It cost us less than $20 to fix our dryer and we gained a sense of accomplishment that the other two options would have never been able to give us.  I was so proud of us.

Our entrance outside has definately improved.  I’ve raked and fixed up the yard next to the house.  I’ve removed some of the clutter from outside and the beast of a table that was right next to our door is gone.

The inside entrance is improved.  We can actually hang our coats up now when we enter the house.  the summer items were moved out to the shed.  Cobwebs and grime were removed.

Our dining area rarely needs any extra help.  This one area we typically keep clean and clutter free.  We make it a habit to eat all our meals together as a family at the table.

Zone 2 – Our kitchen has definately improved but is still an area of need.  I could complain about our cabinets but I won’t.  We need to get on a daily routine to keep on top of the dishes.  There is some clutter but it’s not too bad in here.  My wish list for this area definately includes new cabinets and a paint job.  A pantry would be nice but we don’t have the room.  What would be helpful is a master list of what food items we typically use so that our cabinets are stocked and meal planning is made easier.

Zone 3 – The bathrooms have gotten better.  The main bathroom has been scrubbed and cleaned.  This was especially helpful as we were all sick last weekend.  It was easy to keep it clean and sanitized as the hard part was already done.  The large bathroom is another story – its part storage and full of pet stuff.

My daughter’s room desperately needed help the first time I wrote this – it was cluttered and a total nightmare.  I pulled everything out and put back only the items she loves the most.  Two and 1/2 totes full of items that will go into the shed until she is ready to get rid of them.  She was very happy when she saw her room.  There is a lot more space for her to play and to relax.   We bought her new sheets because as she has gotten older her interests have changed.  Her bed is now covered in monkeys and she is so excited.

Zone 4 – Our bedroom is better but needs more work.  Our bedding is all washed and smelling fresh.  I bought Purex lavendar laundry crystals that you add to the wash and the fragrance is long lasting.  It’s nice that all my blankets smell like my favorite scent.

I’ve gone through my clothing and pull out clothes for the yard sale.  My room still needs help though as the mound of clutter on top of my dresser is calling my name but it can wait.  I would love to paint my walls and add some artwork to this room.  I sold some of my books to buy my husband a television for the bedroom as his Valentine’s gift.  I’m trying to convince him though that it needs to be mounted to the wall so it’s not overwhelming the dresser.

Zone 5 – The living room this morning was easily my most favorite room in the house.  We removed a couch which freed up space.  We also removed the coffee table.  My husband mounted the television to the wall and we removed almost all the clutter.  We rearranged, we washed the walls and removed the cobwebs.  My husband and I fixed this room together and it was fantastic working with him on this task.  It was real nice.  We still need to rehang our pictures but the room is nice and comfortable.

We use this room frequently as a family and now there is much more space.  I don’t know yet what I’m going to use the space for.  My daughter has used the extra space to play.  She pulls out the folding table and sets up her toys and plays.  She then picks up and the table goes away.  She dances and puts on shows with the extra space.  My husband stretches out and relaxes with the extra space.  I don’t know – maybe I’ll use the Wii Fit now that I have the space.  Maybe not.

This room went from being my favorite to being a hot mess today.  At several points I just sat and stared at my daughter’s enourmous amount of clutter.  I wanted to shove it all away and be done with it but I stuck it out and put away most of everything.  There is one tote left to put away or store.  The living room has an extra piece of furniture now that it didn’t have this morning.  A 2-drawer night stand that has resided in my daughter’s room for years.  It has had a fish tank on it for years.  The fish tank is now on top of her dresser and the stand is in my living room – at least until I find a better home for it.  Also out of place in our living room is a black stand with a printer on top.  It belongs in the family room but that is not going to happen any time soon.

There is also a dragon hanging from the ceiling now.  It went from the family room to my daughter’s room.  Today it went from my daughter’s room to the living room.

Working through the zones has definately helped.  I need to start working on daily routines to make my life calmer and run smoother.

Flylady encourages people to blessed others with our abundance.  When I first discovered Flylady last January I purged tons of garbage bags full of stuff we didn’t love or need.  Purging since then has gotten easier in some ways and harder in others.  There is the “I may need it someday” and the “it’s still good” and then the “we just need to organize better” excuses to hold onto things we don’t need.

To get my husband to buy into it and purge some of the better items we had to have an incentive.  To get my daughter to buy into purging items I definately needed an incentive.  a yard sale seemed like a great way for us to have a major purge.  Last summer my husband and I picked out new items we wanted for our house and used this as our incentive to sell!  We chose to buy a new set of silverware and if we made enough lawn furniture with our yard sale earnings.    We sold enough that we were able to buy a decent set of silverware in a pattern that I love and a table and chair set with umbrella for outside.  My daughter wanted a game and a toy that totaled $50.  She had to sell her items so that she could purchase this.  It worked.

Our second major purge happened this Christmas.  My husband and daughter really wanted a PS3.  I told them that we could buy it if we sold things around the house to do so.  I opened up a photo album on a facebook rummage sale and we were able to purge and buy our family gift.  We also got rid of all our old systems and games (except for the Wii) and traded them in for games to go with our new system.

We are working towards our third major purge and I believe this one will probably be the last major purge we will have to do in a long time.  We are planning a yard sale in May.  My husband and I are working towards a fire pit and a screened pavillion tent for outside.  My daughter is working towards a game she really wants for the new system.  Our family room is a hot mess right now and there is a large section of it full of items for the yard sale.  I am hoping that once we have the yard sale that we can actually use our family room for what it’s intended for – a game room and a play room.  It will be a place where our daughter can do arts and crafts and that we can have board games accessible and game nights.

The purging is freeing up space.  Less clutter means less cleaning.  Less clutter means that it will be easier for us to paint our walls to make our house fresher and brighter.  Less clutter means that it will be easier to install new comfy carpet.  Less clutter means there will be more room to live, to relax, to play and to grow.  There will be more space to spend time with family.  There will be more time to spend with family.

Zone cleaning and removing clutter turns a house into a home.

 

 

Books

BOOKS

I just finished reading Anthem by Ayn Rand for the second time in my life.  I read this the first time when I was in high school and then the second time this week.  I was surprised at first at how short this was.  My memory of this book is much more vivid and detailed than what I read this week.  In the future there is no individuality, no families, no choice.  From birth to death all is decided for you.  Choice and free will are gone.  This story tells about Equality 7-2521 and the struggles he has because he is unable to comply with societies demands no matter how hard he tries.  My childhood self developed a colorful story to flesh out this novella.  I kept feeling like something was missing this time through.   Where was the richness?  Where was the exploration?  How could this be real?

***Spoiler***

I wasn’t too impressed with the female character in this story.  Equality may have gained his freedom but she sure hasn’t.  She follows him.  She does what he wants her to do.  She does not discover herself in this story but in all fairness this isn’t her story.  Maybe she rises up and says – hey I have rights too!  I feel like being something other than a baby factory for you.  I was also concerned with the violent measures he was willing to take to protect his freedom.  Society was violent in this story but in such a way that I felt it was unlikely that he would think the way he did once freed.  I would recommend reading this if only to get yourself thinking.

I’ve also started reading Don’t Give Me That Attitude! 24 Rude, Selfish, Insensitive Things Kids Do and How to Stop Them by Michele Borba, Ed.D.  Wow – this is definately worth reading if you have children or work with children.

It reminds me of when I used to work with teenagers at a summer camp during my time with the Americorp program.  I was an assistant staff that floated between the 5 components (backpacking and camping, Ropes Course, mountain biking, canoeing and kayaking, and environmental studies.)  There was this amazing camp counselor who taught the kids backpacking and camping.  He always had this way of turning things positive and I enjoyed working with him.  Every day he asked this question – “What’s the difference between a positive day and a negative one?”  After he would ask this the kids would all yell, “YOUR ATTITUDE!”  Happy people don’t have less problems than non-happy people.  Our attitudes create a lens through which we look at the world.  A negative attitude is like a grimy, cracked contact lens.  Nothing looks good through it and it’s uncomfortable.  A positive attitude is like when you take a brand new lens out of it’s factory sealed case.  It’s cool, refreshing – everything looks brighter and clearer.

This book talks about attitude.  Part 1 is about Confronting the Crisis – I found this interesting because she talks about the different types of “spoiled brats”.  There is the little princes, the con artist, the Donald Trump Clone, the Drama Queen and more.  My daughter fits into the “Poor Little Me” category.  Whenever she gets into trouble she starts crying about the hurt knee or the sore fingers or a stomach ache.  “I’m too tired to dress myself.”  “I have no friends.”  “No one plays with me at school/daycare.”  I know that she has friends because she talks about them, they run up to her when they see her in public, and she gets invited to parties.  I know that people play with her because I see her playing with others when she doesn’t know I’m there and her teachers at school and at daycare state that she is always playing with other kids.

I strongly believe that parents love their children – even the abusive or neglectful parents.  I also believe that good parents fall into negative patterns of interacting with their children because they love their children.  I was enabling the “poor me” behaviors with my daughter because I hated to see her sad or upset.  Once I could see what was happening I could change and now the “poor me” is fading away and a more confident child and parent is emerging.  Yes – she dresses herself now and brushes her own hair.

The book goes on to explain the difference between attitudes and behaviors which was very helpful.  I especially loved the section of this book where she explains where this comes from.  Many parents that I work with who have “spoiled brats” do it with the best intentions.  The ones that rang loud and clear for me were guilt, wanting something better for our kids, and stress and exhaustion – I’ve seen this countless times with the families that I work with and in my own home.

I often hear stories about how they had very little growing up and they just want their kids to have a better life than they did.  These parents will go broke just to make sure their child has the “best” birthday party or the latest toys or games or clothes.  I’ve seen babies wearing $60 boots while their parents are homeless living in a shelter.  Guilt is dangerous especially when it comes to our children.  If we give them everything they ask for they never learn to cope with no or with doing without.

Parents have a responsibility to provide 1. Safety 2. Needs (food, water, clothing and shelter) 3. Rules and Guidelines 4. consistency and 5. love.  I believe these are the most important things a parent can provide.  I place safety first because it is the most important – if your child is not safe the rest does not matter.  A lack of safety causes your child to forever live in the flight vs. fight frame of mind.  That is our most primal instincts – when that part of our brain is active nothing else matters.  Needs are very important but often confused.  Food – very important but confused.  Shelter clients would buy crab legs and individually packed snack foods with their food stamps and by the mid to end of the month have no food.  food is a necessity – crab legs is not.  You can feed your child the same thing every day and it’s okay.  I remember growing up poor – lots of spaghetti with sauce (no meat).  Peanut butter sandwhiches, canned vegetables and beans.  Eggs were almost daily because eggs are cheap and a good source of protein.  The food stamps lasted all month.  Did we cry out for ice cream?  donuts?  candy and treats?  of course we did – we were kids but my mom did what was right – not what was easy.  Water can come from a faucet – or a Brita filter.  Water doesn’t need to come from individual disposable bottles.  Clothing came from Kmart and Walmart, hand-me-downs and thrift stores.  This was not abuse – this was parenting.  Did we as kids INSIST on name brands?  of course we did.  Our mom did what was right – not easy.  Rent comes first, then utilities – not name branded clothing.

Reading about why we need to change bad attitudes is helpful.  Even more helpful was the characteristics that emerge with the bad attitudes to help parents see where the problem lies so a fix can begin.  The 7 worst mistakes should be made into a poster and hung up because I feel they are that important –

  1. Thinking “It’s Just a Phase”
  2. Being a Poor Model
  3. Not Targeting the Bad Attitude
  4. No Plan to Stop the Bad Attitude
  5. Not Cultivating a Replacement Attitude
  6. Going Alone
  7. Not Sticking with the Plan.

The book goes into detail about each of these.  I’m currently at the Bad Attitude Antidotes and Replacements part of this book.  What do we want to see instead?  For a child who is uncooperative we would like to see cooperation, friendliness, caring.

We need to turn the negative into a positive.  I like this alot.  When I go into homes and work with the parents on rules – the rules are often very negative

  1. No running in the house
  2. No hitting your brothers and sisters
  3. No eating in the living room.

I encourage taking these rules and turning them to a positive statement

  1. We walk in the house
  2. We use our words when upset
  3. We eat at the table

If your child is selfish what kind of things can you encourage that is more selfless?  The flood was huge in our area this September.  I remember showing my daughter pictures of the damage.  We were fortunate enough that we were untouched.  Many of my daughter’s classmates were not so lucky.  I showed her pictures and we talked about what happened to others.  We went to the flood shelter to offer assistance.  She chose on her own to go through her clothes, toys, art supplies and books to give to other children.  She was able to step away from the selfish tendencies and become a more selfess person because I used what was going on around us as a catalyst for positive change with her.  I did not force it but layed it before her to make that personal growth.

For fun I read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them by J.K. Rowlings.  It was funny and a quick read.  My only complaint is that it didn’t have illustrations of the beasts.  It could have had a charming field guide feel to it.  but no.

Day 56 – Reflection

I just finished reading through my blog from day 1.  55 days have already been completed of 2012.  I have had successes and failures.  A big thing I’ve learned is that reading makes me happy.  It activates my brain and gets me thinking and dreaming.  It gets me talking and learning.  I love to read.

I’ve spent the last few days cleaning up my web presence.  How we present ourselves to the world is very important.  How do you want to present yourself?  Here are things that I am passionate about and would love for people to know about me.

  1. Family is important as is our children.  Teaching people better ways to interact with their children is something that I love.  I love to teach this and I love to learn this.  Everyone can learn to be a better parent.  Everyone can learn to be a better person.
  2. Hobbies are important – I love photography and graphic design.  I love art and making beautiful images.
  3. What I do for a living is important – to me and the people that I work with.

I recently found a quote by Ellen Degeneres that speaks to who I am, “I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated, and helping those in need.  To me, those are traditional values.”  This struck a chord with me because isn’t this the way we should all be living?  You could boil this down to two simple words –  BE NICE!

UPDATES:

  1. So my daughter is doing well – she probably just has a heightened sensitivity to growing pains.  There is also a vitamen D deficiency.
  2. My computer is fixed!  My beautiful laptop is fixed and home with me.  It was a serious fix and I’m glad that we bought the coverage.

ZONE WORK:

We’ve been working on freeing up space.  I’ve sold my computer desk.  We are pulling aside items for a yard sale.  I want to know what I’d do if I freed up the space?  If the clutter is gone then what do I use the space for?

Productive Day

`Ready for bed – looking forward to a good night sleep.  I will be going to bed satisfied tonight.  My husband and I got a bunch accomplished today and it feels great.

Our family room has over time become our family dump.  You know – walk in, throw the items and run for your life.  It’s where everything winds up that needs a home.  I’ve always wanted my own desk.  When we moved here I got my wish.  It’s a beautiful desk and I enjoyed it all of a few weeks.  It then became a major clutter magnet.  It felt like I needed to shovel a walkway just to get to it then I had to tackle the STACKS on top of it.  Well I decided that I was going to sell my desk, get rid of some of the clutter and put our extra couch in it’s place.  My husband thought this was a great idea and we started the process.  I already have an interested buyer for the desk – it leaves tomorrow.  I have two totes full of items for the yard sale we are having in May.  We dusted and washed walls as we shifted things around.  The carpets were vacuumed and re-vacuumed which got rid of tons of pet hair and other stuff.

We rearranged the living room and mounted the tv on the wall to free up more room.  It’s starting to look great:)

Wanted to share – I found this while sorting through my stuff today.  My great grandmother painted this when she lived in the nursing home.  I fondly remember going to visit her when I was young.  I smile every time I see this.  Gotta say – I love it.

New Year’s Resolutions

I recently read two articles about the same thing but the take away from the articles were completely different.  They were both about January 1 and the setting of New Year’s resolutions.  Depending on my mood of the moment I could easily relate to either one.

First article talked about how we place so much importance on that first day of the year when we could place that level of importance on everyday to make each day count.  The question was why wait until January 1st to start making a change in our lives and why do we put so much value on just the one day?  Every day can be January first and all squares on the calendar are created equal.  This is really powerful because we can just restart anytime we want to.  Take a day, a week or even a month off isn’t the end of the world and you are not a failure for not following your resolutions if you choose to pick it back up.  You don’t have to wait until a magic day, the first of the year, to make a resolution and work on it.  You are not really behind because it’s a work in progress and you can always start back up.

Even as I write this though I feel my world shaded by the second article – the more negative article.  The article about my ADHD self and the broken promises to myself.  With ADHD it is so easy to make promises and goals and resolutions.  The heart is there, the passion is there, the desire to finally stop being the messed-up procrastinating person that I am.  Lofty goals and commitments to family, friends and co-workers makes every day feel like January 1.  How many goals have I set and failed at?  The promise to be good and the eventually backslide as the disorder presents itself.

I think the key is to set realistic goals, short term goals, and to be nice to myself.  I may never write that book or become a dancer or become insanely popular with tons of friends but I do have good things going for me.  Right now my plan is to take things one day at a time and one bite sized goal at a time.

Acceptance and the desire to do better.  Knowing that I can’t get rid of my ADHD but can learn to work with it.  The love of my husband and daughter.  This is happiness.

Day 40 – Thursday

Much has happened – much to talk about.  Where to start?

Family Health Updates:

My daughter has been in chronic pain for awhile now.  It makes me nervous as she is only 7-years-old.  The pain is everywhere – legs, feet, arms, hands, neck.  Could be growing pains, could be something worse.  They had us increase her calcium intake and take a multi vitamen for two weeks to see if that helped.  We went for the follow up and they are concerned.  The doctor talked about “red flags” but stated not to worry.  We are going to see a pediatric rheumatologist soon to try to get some answers.  I sat patiently (though nervously) while she had xrays completed and then blood work – lots of tubes.  She looked so pale afterwards.  Guilt over something out of my control led me to purchase a $7 toy at the hospital gift shop afterwards.

Also in pain has been my husband.  His feet, especially his left foot, has caused him considerable pain in the last few weeks.  Went to the walk-in clinic and was told he needed to see a podiatrist as he had two planter’s warts underneath his skin on the bottom of his foot.  Went to the podiatrist who promptly declared he had bowstringed tendons on both feet that would progressively get worse until -well you get the point.  She stated that she could do surgery cutting the tendons allowing his toes to straigthen out (causing him to miss 4 weeks of work while they healed) or she could order him custom made orthotics at the tune of $400 that may help but not cure the problem.  My husband was devistated and retreated within himself.  The next day I spoke to my supervisor who promptly recommended a second opinion and gave me the name of an orthopedic doctor to go to.  Went to the doctor where they took xrays, reassured us that he didn’t need surgery and provided him with orthotics to the tune of $70.  Much better.  His metatarsal joints are bumping into the ground as he walks – Yes there are disadvantages to being tall and skinny.

Me?  not so much in the way of health problems.  Minor set back with a ripped contact so I’m wearing my glasses until I can get in to see an eye doctor.  It was about time anyway.

Life Updates:

Three big ones in no particular order

  1. My home computer died (hense the missing blog entries).  This has been hard as I love my computer and all that is on it.  I think it would have been easier if I had dropped it or something but it just peacefully died in it’s sleep.  I closed it so that I could fix dinner.   After dinner I opened it back up to show my husband FlyLady’s purple calendar and it wouldn’t wake up.  Nothing we did fixed it.  Nothing my computer genius of a brother could do to fix it.  We decided that eventually we would get it fixed but couldn’t afford to do so at the moment.  Apparantly it’s still covered under the extended coverage that we purchased so now my computer has been sent away to be fixed or replaced at no cost to me.  Life is good again.
  2. Our beautiful puppy has a new home.  April I brought home Ollie for my husband as a birthday gift.  Ollie is this beautiful red-bone coon hound mixed with retriever.  We trained him, loved him and provided a good home to him.  But – he is rather large and our home and yard are rather small.  He is rather active and we are not.  He is very strong and has separation anxiety.  My husband found a very good home for our baby who can provide to him what we were not able to.  I miss my beautiful dog but he seems happy and well-cared for.
  3. My work moved to a new location.  We rented space in this old converted school.  At one point it was an ideal location for the small specialized services program but the program outgrew the space and we didn’t have room to breath or properly store items.  It was cluttered and too small.  Our new space allows each of us to have our own office and it has plenty of space.  It was a wonderful choice for a new space and it fits the agencies needs well.  Unfortunately it’s farther from my home.  The drive went from being 26 to 38.5 miles away or an extra 25 miles per round trip.  That’s 40 minutes more driving, less workings, less being with my family.

Books of Interest:

I’ve been reading Dirt:  The Quirks, Habits, and Passions of Keeping House by Mindy Lewis.  I gotta say this is much better than I could have ever thought possible.  I thought I was getting a book on how to clean.  My thoughts are always on how to clean my house.  It’s a little bit crazy and it drives me a little bit crazy.  This book is soothing and has caused me to become much more reflective on how I view my mess and my clutter.  This book is a collection of essays written by many different people that speaks of their journey through life through their insights into their housekeeping and relationship with their stuff.  Our homes and our dirt portray very intimate details about who we are and what we have been through.  I’m obsessed with space.  Am I taking up too much space?   Is my stuff taking up too much space?  If we make space will we know who we are or what we can become?  I have this fear that I don’t know who I am and if I were to get rid of everything that doesn’t reflect who I truly am would I be left with nothing?

I’ve also started reading The Daring Book for Girls by Miriam Peskowitz and Andrea Buchanan.  This book has been sitting on my book shelf in the family room for a long time now.  I’ve looked through the pages many times and it fuels dreams of having adventures with my daughter but often it stops there.  I got the digital version and have been reading it page by page trying to absorb it to share – so far read about Essential Gear, Basketball and Netball.  I realized as I was reading that I take in words but don’t always learn for I read how to shoot a basket but it wasn’t gained knowledge.  I forced myself to slow down and visualize the act and pictured each step as described.  This summer my daughter and I have talked about making a “Daring Club for Girls” where we plan to use this book as our guide.  If it is to become a reality I need to make it real – take the fuzzy daydream out of my head and put the steps into action.

Finished reading Bossypants by Tina Fey.  Amazing book – very funny.  She made me laugh so many times.  It was the cover of the book that drew me in because I didn’t watch Tina Fey on SNL or tv for that matter.  For those of you who don’t know – we do not have television service in our home.  We use Netflix to watch TV.  If it’s not there on DVD or instant streaming then we don’t watch it.  Palin skits – didn’t see them.  30 Rock? nope.  Just informed though that 30 Rock is on Netflix so I know what is going on my instant Queue.

Change Your Brain Change Your Life by Daniel Amen, M.D. is probably the most helpful book I’ve read in a long time.  It helps more than anything else has for me.  With ADHD and OCD I feel crazy sometimes.  This book helps to see why I act and react the way that I do.  I love the stories about real people, real problems and the brain images.  I love the activities provided to make a difference.  It helped me understand bonding better.  It helps.  There be more to comment on with this book once I’ve finished reading it.

Wouldn’t you know that the book that is to change my outlook on life is the book that I lost?  I was able to find a copy from my library of Better Than Chocolate:  50 Proven Ways to Feel Happier by SiimonReynolds.  I’ve come to realize that I’m going to have a buy the book because I need to return this copy to the library.