A Simple Love Story

Image courtesy of Poulsen Photo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Poulsen Photo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Those blue eyes looked up at her while she paused, dish towel in her hands.

“What was it like to get married to Daddy? Was he silly like the boys at school?” she asked again. When did her eight year old turn sixteen and wonder about love?

“We were different then, sweetheart,” she skirted the question.

“But look at your face? You look so happy Mommy!” she held the new-found photo up to her weary eyes.

Yes, she was happy then. And she was different. She quickly corrected herself – it’s not that I’m unhappy now! I love my children. I love my husband. It’s just so…different, yes…Why was she suddenly so very tired? That little face still waited for an answer; so curious. Where did she find that old picture anyway!?

The kitchen suddenly became smaller as she was drawn back to the day he proposed to her in that restaurant. What was it called again? She gently set down the dish towel, pulling her little one onto her lap, holding the picture between them as they sat down and she began to tell the tale…”Your daddy took me to my favorite restaurant back then – it was Italian, but I don’t think it’s there anymore…” and time whisked them away…

Their two heads huddled over that picture together at the kitchen table. She hoped her daughter hadn’t noticed her voice crack as she spoke of walking down the aisle toward the man of her dreams. She could still see him there. Her face flushed as she remembered their honeymoon. Her teary eyes danced with laughter as she remembered that they never used that scuba gear they bought, not even once. Her daughter just listened; fascinated with the story of their love.

So involved with the photo and the story, she hadn’t noticed him come in until she felt his hand on her shoulder.

“Daddy! Mommy is telling me about when you asked her to marry you!” She hastily tried to hide her face before he saw the tear on her cheek.

“She is, is she?” he half-whispered as he gently brushed the tear away with his thumb. “You know, she’s even more beautiful today”.

“Oh, don’t be silly! I badly need a haircut and I’m wearing your old t-shirt!” she moved to continue with dinner; embarrassed.

“In fact, she’s so beautiful…” he held her so she couldn’t escape, “I think we should go out on a date this Friday! What do you think, kiddo? Should I take your mom out and leave you guys with Gramma?” He scooped up his little girl.

“Honey, we can’t possibly ask Mom to do that! Besides, we’re on a budget!”

“Oh Mommy! You should go with Daddy! Isn’t he handsome!? We’ll be good, I promise!” her daughter pleaded with her.

“I’ll call your mom and ask her to keep the kids overnight. She’s always offering. It’s time we took her up on it. We can just rent a movie and have a quiet dinner here – that fits the budget, right? When was the last time you and I just hung out together?”

Her mind swam with all the reasons she shouldn’t. The kids were still so small. Friday was only two days away! Wasn’t it being selfish to not have an “important” reason to leave the kids with her mother? She usually had movie night with the kids on Friday, wouldn’t they be disappointed? Saturdays were hockey games and house-cleaning, they couldn’t stay up late…

Oh, but her heart remembered the feeling of being just the two of them. How his arms felt around her. How the world just disappeared. God, when was the last time she felt that way? Her mind saw him there in the story, standing there, waiting for her. He was looking at her that way now. Her heart skipped a beat. Could it be that he still felt that way about her? They hadn’t talked, really talked for so long. She had no idea what he thought about these days. They used to talk about everything.

“Yes, I still need you” his eyes told her. Had he read her mind? She used to think he could.

Minutes passed. Why was this such a difficult decision? Again, her mind drifted back to the story she’d just told. It seemed like such a far away place and time. Yes, she was different now. But she was still a woman. A mother, yes; but a woman who needed to be with her best friend. To laugh and talk about things besides parent teacher meetings and hockey schedules. She still felt a little bit of that passion she used to feel whenever she looked at him. The flame hadn’t gone out yet.

“I’ve missed you too” she said aloud. “Yes! Let’s do it!”

Her daughter squealed in delight and ran off to tell her brothers; yelling, “Mommy and Daddy are going on a date!”

She didn’t hear their replies as he pulled her towards him; dishtowel, old t-shirt and all.

Does this story resonate with you? How do you “rekindle the flame” and date your husband? (or do you? Why not?). We’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

We’ve been there…In our busy lives it’s so very hard to find the time for each other. However, we’ve also learned just how important it is to make that special time to reconnect with your spouse. Right now. Don’t wait until “it’s convenient”. Take action!

couple-on-beach-2-300x225

Don’t wait another day to make a change in your relationship – It’s never too late to rekindle and reconnect.

Our Simply Sexy Date Night Package will show you how!

Make every day Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Peace and Calming

peace

Krystal’s FB challenge posts this week have been about forgiveness and believing in yourself. I love that theme!

What I noticed this week is that I’ve been running and working myself a little ragged. I was exhausted and sleepy at the store yesterday, and that is just not like me these days. I was falling asleep last night while waiting for my daughter to finish dance class. The difference now is that I am quicker to recognize the signs, I am quicker to pay attention to what my body and spirit are telling me.

The result: I fell instantly asleep last night, safe and warm in my lover’s arms. I got up this morning at my usual early time. I did not rush. I did my run slowly and steadily. I have a ton of work to do, but instead of having my coffee at the computer, I sat (yes, SAT) in the kitchen and visited with my kids and sweetie. I sipped and I enjoyed my smoothie, made by him. After everyone left, I languished in the shower: having a hot shower is one of my favorite things. I took the time for the first time this week to shave my legs and take care of my skin. I put on my prettiest t-shirt and my necklace and my “Peace and Calming” essential oil. I did not “save it for a special occasion”. Today, I AM A SPECIAL OCCASION! 🙂

And now: I’m able to quickly write a blog post that I’m passionate about! I’ll be able to work my butt off at the store, excited and ready to help some amazing people make positive changes. I’ll be focused and fun when we talk about our Disney World trip tonight. Why? Because I spent just a little time on ME. Taking care of ME.

You are so very worth it. You cannot possibly be all that you can be without taking care of the beautiful, incredible, BRILLIANT person that you are. Please, please….spend some time with YOU today! I love you! You need to LOVE you too! 🙂

 

The Die in Diet

I originally wrote this post January 3, 2010 on my personal blog. I wanted to share it with you here because I still strive for the same things. I still eat food and refuse to “diet”. It has been a long, hard road but my relationship with food has changed. On January 2, 2010 – I weighed 175 lbs (down from 190 lbs the January 2009); I now weigh 155 lbs. I don’t really focus on these numbers, I just wanted to make the point that it is a LIFESTYLE CHANGE, not a diet that got me here.

I hope this helps you to get rid of the “DIET” and join me and Krystal in CHANGE instead! We love you!

My first breakfast today (yep, I’m a Hobbit – I have more than one breakfast!)

first breakfast

From Cafe Cevraini, January 3, 2010

How many of you have New Year’s Resolutions to go on a diet?

How many of you are starving right now because you didn’t eat breakfast?

How many of you feel guilty about all the stuff you ate over the holiday?

How many of you love good food, and resent yourself for deciding that “I’m not eating that from now on”?

MANY of us are there.

I have been there.

I am not claiming to be an expert or a dietician or someone who has any training in nutrition at all. I am only telling you of my experiences and what has worked and is working for ME in the hopes to give you some ideas of how to get off the “diet train”.

In my opinion, dieting IS equivalent to dying. What do I mean by that?

Denying yourself food that you enjoy, even love, is not living your life; in essence, dying. Because if you are not living, what are you doing then?

Skipping meals is just plain not healthy (especially breakfast, girls – you know who you are!), starving yourself is definitely not healthy. And then of course, it follows with binge eating. The yo-yo effect of eating this way does a lot of damage to your body. Not taking care of your body is equivalent to letting your body die.

Another “foot in the grave”: Beating yourself up about what you ate yesterday or even two weeks ago! Forgive yourself! Let it go! Being so hard on yourself isn’t good for your body, your spirit or your mind!

Don’t get me wrong – I have done ALL of these things. I still do these things! I am not perfect and don’t expect myself to be. What I am trying to do is just let it go. When I make a mistake; trip and fall down – I just get up, dust myself off and try again.

I no longer believe in diets of any kind. I have tried so many I can’t even count! Ones like SlimFast, Atkins, South Beach, severely reduced calorie intake, grapefruit etc. etc. Some have worked – I’ve lost weight while being faithful to them. But they are so restrictive and I was filled with such RESENTMENT towards them, they were impossible to keep on top of!

We are imperfect beings. On top of that, when we hate something, like dieting, it is extremely difficult to overcome our desire to get the hell away from that which we hate: the diet! We feel like we are dying!

Thus, the diet doesn’t last, we “fall off the wagon”, and gain the weight back, and then some, because our bodies are so upset and we binge on the foods we love that we’ve been denying ourselves!

What has worked for me over the past year is this: I eat. Period.

There have been days where I’ve forgotten to eat breakfast (what is it with women and breakfast!??) There have been days where I’ve gorged on greasy burgers. I definitely eat food that I love like pasta and cheesecake and stuff like that. I had a couple months (November and December 2009) where I wasn’t eating breakfast or lunch and I’d binge on whatever I could find at night. I was not taking care of myself and I knew it. I was letting stress control me, and not taking care of me just made it worse!

But…I don’t do that every day. And I don’t beat myself up when I eat these things or forget that meal. I wake up and decide, today, I am going to eat better.

My “eating better” is this:

  1. I eat often – at least 5 times per day.
  2. I eat foods that are going to actually do something for my body; from all the “food groups”.
  3. I try not to eat “crap”. But when I do, I try to only have a few bites. And don’t get mad at myself for doing it!
  4. And I don’t eat too much. I just eat enough for that moment. That may be something I love, but I try not to “pig out” on it.
  5. When I’m hungry, I try to think about why I’m hungry. Am I just bored? Am I eating to deal with stress? Am I actually thirsty? When was the last time I ate something? What did I eat last? Then, after I’ve thought about it, then I’ll decide.
  6. I don’t deny myself food that I love. At all. Life is too short to be denying myself anything. If I love it, do it! For crying out loud! What is the big deal? I am not harming anyone or anything by enjoying food that I love. It may be 3000 calories, but so what? I am not doing that every day, just once in a while. What is the harm? If I did that everyday, yes, that would be harmful. But, everything in moderation, right? Most of the time, especially when I’ve been eating really well and feeling really great, I find that I only need a few bites of the food I love to be satisfied. I don’t feel like binging, because I haven’t made it “taboo”.

Food is meant to nourish us and is a gift to enjoy. It should not be an enemy. We don’t need the “Die in Diet”. We need to live, laugh, love and to me, dieting gets in the way of that.

My Happiness Project focus for January is Fitness – thus, I’ve been focusing on getting back to my regular workouts and eating better. So far, so good! ;)Hopefully, I can inspire you to do the same!

Now, go eat something good for you! ;)

The Blink of an Eye

My beautiful sisters

 

A friend of mine lost her sister yesterday, in the blink of an eye. It made me realize yet again how precious a moment is. I talked to my mom & dad and my sisters & brother. I’m so very grateful to hear their voices and just know they are with me. I cannot imagine being without them. It makes me grateful too for friends who have become like sisters to me. I realize how much I am blessed by people in my life. It sure makes all the petty little “issues” disappear.

I find I’m noticing moments much more these days. But still…I am rushing from one thing to another. And so…I breathe…

Just for a moment:

  • I kiss his soft cheek good night and see how much my baby has grown, thankful he still lets me kiss him good night
  • I stand beside this beautiful soon-to-be woman who has it so much more together than I ever did when I was her age
  • I worry and wait for my oldest son to find his way in the world, though knowing in my heart that all will be well because he is a good man
  • I think of friends I have known and send them light and love whereever they may be
  • I feel my strong husband’s arms around me as I drift off to sleep, safe and warm in his love
  • I awake to a cold winter day, yet I am warm while so many others are not
  • I remember waking in the wee hours like this on Christmas morning and sharing secrets with my sisters & brother so long ago
  • I am excited to spend two weeks soon with my mother and sisters while another is not even able to call her sister on the phone

In the blink of an eye:

  • They are embarrassed by your kisses
  • They are walking down an aisle
  • The friends have moved on
  • They are married with Christmas mornings of their own
  • She is here and the next she is gone

Create the moments. Cherish them. Capture them. Nurture them. Hold them. Love them.

* This is a tribute to a young woman, gone too soon. Be at peace Leslie. You will be missed.

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Yes, YOU are!

But I Don’t Want to Exercise

“But I don’t want to exercise”….

This is something I hear regularly in the store and out and about. “I don’t want to exercise” is one of the first things people say when they want to “lose weight”. My heart breaks when I hear that. It means that once again, the message has been lost/confused/twisted about this whole “weight issue”. It is almost always a woman and I can pretty much always feel the sadness and self-loathing emanate from her body. I can feel it because that was me just a few short years ago.

One of my goals in this business is to help women realize how beautiful, how powerful, how FREAKING AMAZING they truly are. I don’t want any woman to feel like exercise is a torture that one must do to “keep the weight off” or to please some man with how her body looks. I want to help them understand that moving our bodies is something completely natural and freeing and FEELS GOOD!!!

I wish I could make the whole thought of “lose weight” disappear. Make the diet industry completely vanish overnight! Have the thousands of dollars spent on things like appetite suppression and HCG and special diet “foods” go towards ridding people of their debts or towards charities they care about or being able to do what you love. Oh, the glorious day that would be!! It may not be possible to do it overnight, but I believe it’s possible to make it happen one person at a time. And that’s what I intend to do.

Right here, right now I’m want to tell you to STOP thinking of exercise as something you have to endure to lose weight. That is not a good enough reason. STOP thinking that you have to lose weight. YOU DON’T!! STOP thinking about WEIGHT period!! If you keep focusing on the negative, that’s what you’ll always get. Continuously. I guarantee it. I have been there. Many, many times – just like you. You’ll continue on the roller coaster ride of the up and down NUMBER on a freaking scale. Lose the scale. Right now! Stash it somewhere where you can’t find it.

Please, please look in the mirror and see your beauty. You REALLY are beautiful. Look in those eyes. Think about all they’ve seen. Those lips – the songs they have sung and the other lips they’ve kissed. Your breasts – how they nurtured your children. Your belly that carried them and helped them grow. Even if you don’t have children – worship your body; for it has been with you from the beginning. It has been strong enough to bring you through that time, back then – you know, THAT time. Speak gentle words to that woman in the mirror. She has been through some really tough stuff and here she still is. She deserves your love. She deserves your attention. In fact – that woman in the mirror craves attention. Give it to her. You are the only one who truly can.

Find the movement your body loves. The movement that makes your body feel good.

It should not be something you hate. If you hate the gym, don’t go! Dance in your living room instead.

What did you play when you were a kid? Get out there and do it again!

Start simple. Start small.

Do it not for the “exercise”, do it for the love of that gorgeous body.

Experiment. Try something new.

Find a cause. Find a friend. Find your playlist that makes you feel alive and excited to move.

Get out there. Just move. Have fun! That’s all you need to do.

Let your body tell you what it wants to do.

And then keep doing it.

Stop thinking that this is something you do UNTIL you “lose the weight”. This is not something you do temporarily. This is a different way of LIVING. This is life: moving and being IN IT instead of letting it pass you by as you sit there in front of the TV. I guarantee you that as you move the way YOU want to move your body will thank you. It will help you. It will crave nourishing foods and turn away from the rest. It will feel better. It will stop aching and hurting. It will rejoice! It will change.

And so will you.

Yes, YOU are!

Guilt Burger

Today has been a busy day – getting ready for the week ahead and I still have lots I want to do. I really enjoyed my weekend, spending time out at my parents farm. I re-learned some of those lessons your mother teaches you but as a teenager, you ignore…only to find out later what great advice it was.

I have a lot going on in my life right now. Most of which, I’ve brought on myself and I am excited about. However, there are those moments of overwhelm when I can’t seem to catch my breath. Where I feel lost and alone and those voices begin again…

There was a time in my life – well, truthfully, it was all the time; where I would seek solace in food. I was the girl who ate the entire box of school fundraising chocolate almonds secretly in her closet, never having to actually sell a single one. I was the young single mom who made cookies for her son only to eat half of them myself when he wasn’t looking. Had a bad day at work? I’d stop and get chips and dip and gorge myself on them in front of the TV.

Thankfully, I’ve also always been fairly active, so I never became VERY obese – but I did become unhealthy and overweight and exhausted all the time. Most of all, the solace I sought never did come. I would eat and eat and all I would feel was more guilty, more ashamed, more ugly and most of all – still sad, overwhelmed and alone.

Enter stage right…the person I am today…now I am slowly learning to seek comfort elsewhere. In my family and friends. In running. In writing. In doing what I love. But there are days; there are moments like today…

I feel inadequate. I feel like I am a bad mother. I feel like I’ve let my best friend down. I feel like there is so much to do that I’ll never get it all done. I don’t even want to look at the list because the panic rises in my throat every time I do. Waves of negative feelings crash down all around me. No one helps me get the truck unpacked. We’re out of milk again. The kids will complain that all there is for lunches are vegetables. He sits and sits and plays his stupid game. If I had that kind of time, I certainly wouldn’t be wasting it like he does.

I leave the pot of beets simmering on the stove and the squash in the oven. They’re all sitting around, so the house won’t burn down while I’m gone; if they’d even freaking notice. The vegetables need 1/2 hour anyway. And so I drag my butt to the grocery store. As I drive, grumbling, I remember that my credit card doesn’t work since I’ve completely forgotten my PIN for some very strange reason (it’s the card I use ALL the time). Shit! I guess I’m only getting the milk because that’s all the cash I have.

Traffic is slow because it’s holiday Monday and everyone is driving their freaking trailer’s through town. Why the hell does the store have to be a left turn off the damn highway? I see a sign ahead of me, past my turn….A&W…2 Mama burgers with cheese for 5$. I can get two AND get milk. I have a twenty…and so I drive to the next left turn. No wait there…interesting….I grab my burgers and turn right to the CO-OP.

I sit in the parking lot, feeling like a criminal, and eat my burgers. One after the other… It will make me feel better, right? I will forget about all that I have to do. I will stop resenting my husband’s leisure time. I will forget about my feelings of inadequacy. Right? …Right?….RIGHT????

As I sit, I search the parking lot for vehicles I recognize – making sure no one sees the girl who preaches healthy eating chowing down on a cheeseburger…GUILT…I smugly eat a burger that I don’t have to share and I remember the lattes and breakfast he made for me this morning….GUILT…I feel each piece sliding down my throat and remember how good I feel when I run. I’ll have to wait a while before I will feel like running as this sits in my belly…GUILT…the bunch of bananas and a few apples for my kids’ lunch cost as much as these burgers and now the money is spent…GUILT…

By the time I swallowed the last bite of those burgers, I did not feel any better. I felt soooo much worse. My heart was heavy and my shoulders drooped with my shame. I’m sure the cashier wondered about my lack of my usual friendliness. I berated myself. I kicked myself. I hated myself. I climbed back in my vehicle to head for home, beating myself up all the way.

A young man sat on a motorcycle beside me, waiting to turn left while I waited to turn right. He was very young – about the same age as my oldest who I’ve been failing as a mother for this week. His motorcycle was a shiny Harley Davidson – a small, simple one that I guessed he’d saved and bought for himself. His skateboard was strapped to the back and he wore a camo shirt and he had eyeglasses. I thought about his youth and his excitement to be there on his bike. I’m sure his mother worried about him being on that motorcycle. But he didn’t care. I could see the smile on his face. He didn’t care about the traffic. He didn’t care about how much he had to do tomorrow. It seemed to me that he didn’t have a care in the world.

Instead of resenting this boy as I turned away from him, I found myself there with him. I found myself remembering all that I’m thankful for. Remembering all that I’ve been given. All that I’m capable of. I remembered that it’s all in my control – that I control my reactions and my attitude. No one else. Just me. The more I sit and bitch and moan, the worse things always become. The more burgers I eat, the worse I feel. I know what brings me joy. I know what gives me hope. I know that each of my failures have always, ALWAYS taught me something important. No cheeseburger ever taught me a damn thing.

I composed this post in my head as I washed the dishes and felt grateful for them. Yes, I am grateful for dishes. I had to share this story with you. We all have guilt burgers. Each one of us has something that we do to ourselves to help us deal with the pain and the hurt. Each of us is capable of so much more. We just need to figure out what it is that we can find our comfort in. It’s not easy. But then, what in your life has been easy? Hasn’t the hard stuff always made it worth it in the end?

Thankful just to be breathin’

Get Real – Book Shelf

In this shaky, imperfect video, I talk about perfection and what I prefer to do instead of dust my shelf. We can help you organize your book shelves perfectly, but we’d rather help you organize your book shelf to be something you love and something that works for you. We’re not perfect and we don’t expect you to be.

This is REAL life after all!

Get started in your own imperfect journey. We’re here for you. Contact us.

Reflection

It has been an interesting year for the Simple Life Gals to say the least! Over the past year we have really changed our focus from wanting to do everything to REALLY simplifying our business (imagine that we are taking our own advice!) Simple Life Celebrations started out over two years ago as one of those “shower” ideas. I think us moms have these shower ideas because it’s one of the only peaceful and quiet times that we have in our day. So… Shawna had this idea that we should start a business and immediately we  started spewing all of these ideas of what our business could entail. We could do party planning, concierge, organizing and more! After having a taste of all of these things and putting in many, many hours of work we decided that not all of these things were our passion. Once we got talking, we realized that helping people organize and live simpler lives was what we really wanted to pursue. A huge weight was lifted off of our shoulders to have this clarity of our business.

The barn loft before & after

So for the past year we have been organizing offices, basements, storage areas, and even a barn! It has been fantastic and inspiring to see our clients carry on organizing other areas of their homes/lives even after we were gone.  (Not only do we enjoy seeing people make the most of their spaces but we like to coach them on how to keep it organized without being overwhelmed.)

It was last November when we went on a weekend retreat. We basically drove 10 hours one way to the middle of nowhere to plan our year and set some goals. On the long drive there we decided that we were going to host a week long Summit called the Celebrate Life Summit. It consisted of 9 local events as well as 15 interviews with many of our favourite online bloggers. It was an amazing experience! We really wanted people to know what resources were available locally as well as globally for simpler, healthier living. Our themes included fitness, nutrition, simple living, love

Our November retreat at Hills Health Ranch in B.C.

and relationships, finding your inner goddess, work/finance, and celebrating our world. All of these topics are special to us; we continually strive to better ourselves. It was a great learning experience for us as well as many of the participants.

February was our big Summit!

 

 

 

This year we have also collaborated with Tony DiLorenzo and Dustin Riechmann to create our Simply Sexy Date Night Package which is full of resources to get and keep that fire burning! Seriously, it is packed full of new and exciting date night ideas, great relationship eBooks, and our sexy date night challenge. We know it is not easy to balance a busy schedule and we do not want to let the important things like relationships go to the wayside.

This year we also challenged ourselves with the Simple Spring Challenge. It was a challenge to us and to our readers. Basically, we wanted to rid our lives of physical, mental, procrastination, technological clutter, unhealthy habits, negative feelings and anything else that was holding us back and preventing us from having healthier, happier lives. We kept track of everything that we were able to ‘let go’ of. It was a nice cleanse for the body and soul! A healthy mind and a healthy body go hand in hand.

A couple of other public events that we attended was the After Dark Ladies Night @ReFind where we demonstrated how you can repurpose everyday household items to make lovely storage for your jewelry . We had a blast with the ladies! We shared tons of ideas on how to effectively store your accessories without having to spend a ton of mullah.

Refind After Dark Ladies Night jewelry organizing

We have also attended a couple of speaking events and talked with groups of lovely ladies that were wanting to learn more about how to let go of  items. We also shared the reasons of why we hang on to things.

Our latest adventure (or should I say the techie, Shawna’s) was to build us a whole entirely new website. Wowsers, what a learning curve to start all over with a different site. We are so over the moon excited to share it with the world as we really feel like this is a much better reflection of us and our business! (We hope you like it too and would love to have some feedback). It is simple, informative and has our latest products all RIGHT HERE.

And… in our spare time <wink wink> we have just finished our 58 page eBook called Simplify Summer. It is absolutely packed with ideas on how to make the most of your summer. It includes a meal plan (not using the oven at all), staycation ideas for you and the family, checklists for getting away, fun sheets and much more! There should not be anyone ‘bored’ in your house this summer!

We look forward to more SLC ideas for the second half of our year including partnering with Health Street for an evening to give you ideas on how to organize your pantry/kitchen and how to store your healthy foods. We also plan on bringing you more tips and tricks to aid you in living a simpler, more meaningful life. We believe that it is time for people all around the world to ditch the clutter and the guilt and start simplifying their lives!

What will the rest of 2012 bring us? 🙂

“Simplifying is about gaining control of your life and your possessions, creating more time to do the things you want to and to spend time with the people you love.”

~ Wendy Priesnitz (Natural Life Magazine)

 

 

 

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Uh oh!

Hit a Road Block?

Uh oh!

It’s happened to all of us. Everything is going merrily along, progress is happening on your project. Suddenly…from out of nowhere….

  • the dog barfs on the carpet
  • you can’t figure out the code for a simple change on your website
  • your 11 year old wants to tell you about his day.
  • you’ve just been presented with yet another field trip form with 2 pages of info to fill out and you can’t find the *$#(% cheque book
  • your mother calls
  • you have to pee!

Interruptions are inevitable. Sometimes, I can get really annoyed and ticked off when they happen; especially if I’m “in the flow”. However, the irritated feeling ends up hurting continued productivity (because I get focused on the negative when I do get back to it) and at worst, your annoyed attitude can hurt feelings of those you love. What do I do instead? I have a few remedies I’d like to share:

  • Take a deep breath and focus on the moment. This is especially effective when dealing with kids or spouse. It alleviates the annoyed attitude
  • Laugh at the interruption. It’s not the end of the world. It’s only a carpet.
  • Enjoy the break! Sometimes we get too wrapped up!
  • Have a cup of tea/coffee and step outside for a moment. That always clears my head.

What are your tips for dealing with a road block? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Tidy! (notice the lazy dogs! LOL!)

Perfect

Tidy! (notice the lazy dogs! LOL!)

As I cleaned house today (I don’t normally clean house on Saturdays, I usually do a little bit here and there throughout the week), I thought about how I used to feel about housework.

I hated it. Despised it. I could never do it right. It was never good enough. So…I’d leave it…for days…for weeks. And then the guilt would take over. I’d scream at everyone because they’d never pitch in. I’d resent and rant and rave as I’d furiously “catch up” for hours. Then I’d scream some more when someone would spill something or make a mess. I was miserable. Everyone tiptoed around me. And then the cycle would begin again.

My mother is awesome. She taught us how to work hard and how do be responsible. We were taught to pitch in and do our share of the workload. We all knew how to take care of a home, thanks to her. And I tried. I did. But there were so many other things I’d rather do. I was filled with hatred for cleaning because it took me away from what I really loved to do. I was only doing it because it was expected and because I felt guilty. The worst part – I felt that if it wasn’t perfect, then there was no point to doing it at all. So it got worse and worse. I hated myself for “being a crappy homemaker”. I told myself that all the time.

I was doing it in case someone came over – for show. If I had a messy house they wouldn’t like me. I would find myself thinking that if my mom saw my house when it was messy, I would feel like I’d let her down. I wanted it to look like everyone else’s. But I just couldn’t spend the time to make it that way. We had so much stuff that it would take me so much time just to put stuff away before I even began to clean. By then it would get so dirty that it was extra hard to clean it.

The clutter took over, so much stuff without a place. I would start doing something and then find myself fluttering around doing a million different things and never finishing anything. I’d spend all day “doing”, but never actually accomplishing.

I hated myself. I hated housework. I even hated being a mom because I felt like I was such a failure at it. I had to do something. I bought books on taking care of my home that I’d start to read and never finish because I was just so overwhelmed. It consumed me. I’d listen to advice, I’d feel guilty. Over and over, the sense of helplessness would continue. I’d be happy to go to work just because it meant I could get away from it.

Slowly, as the years passed, I have learned to accept myself for who I am. The biggest thing – that I’m not perfect and most of all; no one else is either. I stopped comparing myself to everyone else. I became my own “standard”. My best friend was instrumental in this. She is amazing; a strong, beautiful woman who is so organized and together. Yet she has her own things that she has to deal with too. We all do. We have helped each other understand this. We have helped each other to let go of Perfectionism, to let go of a lot of things and just BE.

She helped me by coming over here and not judging me – EVER. She comes here because she likes spending time with me. It doesn’t matter what my house looks like. She has helped me learn to focus and find what works for me. I stopped yelling at my family about the house and started setting the example. I started clearing the clutter because it meant more time doing the things I love and being with my family & friends instead of wasting so much time moving, cleaning, and getting rid of it.

Now, I actually enjoy cleaning – I am doing it when I want to do it (not because someone’s coming over or because I feel guilty.) I am doing it because I enjoy the result and I feel like I’m lovingly taking care of my family. I ask for help when I need it – with courtesy and respect, and, amazingly, I usually get the help I need; sometimes even without asking.

Sure, there are days where I slip back into those old feelings, especially when I feel overwhelmed and tired. Days when I just want to hide from everything and everyone. But, those days are fewer and it takes a lot less time to climb back out of my cave.

Krystal and I have learned so much over the years about clearing the clutter and enjoying life. We get excited about helping other people get away from trying to be perfect and just being themselves. We don’t want people to hire us because they need “fixing”. We don’t want people to feel ashamed or controlled by their clutter.

There’s nothing wrong with you. We want to help you learn to live, really live. We want to teach you that you don’t need to be like everyone else. We’ll help you discover what works for you and your family so that you don’t have to stand there screaming at everyone each time you decide to “fix” the mess. We want to help you learn to look at your stuff in a new way. That taking care of your homes doesn’t have to be this horrible chore you hate. Your home is your sanctuary from this crazy world. We truly want to help you make it that way.

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