Truth

In this video, Simon Sinek speaks on “Millenials in the Workplace” and the four major problems with this generation: parenting, technology, impatience, and environment. Ironically (but not surprisingly), I initially discovered it on Facebook. 

Simon Sinek Millenials in the Workplace
[I wish I could embed the actual video here, but I think I need a paid subscription for that (something to work up to 😉).]

The message is clear and simple, yet eye opening and profound. As it happens, I am a Millenial myself. In my opinion, the realities described in this video need to be understood by all Millenials/young people of today. The points that hit home with me the most are Technology and Impatience. As Simon says, technology can be addictive and can seriously stunt the emotional, social growth of adolescents especially. Facebook is great, but its use should be carefully monitored. Before I was a parent (because being a parent just changes EVERYTHING), I did have a certain attachment to Facebook. On more than one occasion, I found myself a little too quick to log in, almost automatically, as if my mind couldn’t handle 5 idle seconds. I certainly experienced what many experience: As I scrolled, I subconsciously compared my job, my face, my partner, my clothes, my partying (or lack thereof) to those of my friends. As we all probably know, Facebook is completely one sided. The vast majority of posts on Facebook are of the happy moments, the accomplishments, the victories. People don’t post nearly as much about their struggles, their worries, their failures. For the most part, photos are all carefully selected and edited.

I love that this guy suggests removing temptation. One easy way is charging your phone in a room other than your bedroom. Facebook in itself is a harmless, useful tool (or form of entertainment at the least). We just need to pay attention to how we feel when we use it and whether or not we are relying unhealthily on it.

Next, impatience! Instant gratification is the devil. People have got to learn to WAIT. I am so insanely aware of the danger of instant gratification that I keep myself up at night worrying about how I’m going to teach my 4 year old son patience and the necessity and beauty of delayed gratification. Most of this generation’s unhealthy expectation of immediate gratification is a product of the Internet, obviously. The Internet is genius and powerful and freeing and dangerous. As a parent, it is my number one worry.

As I sign off tonight, I want to ask you this: Please don’t be afraid to talk about the ugly, to show the ugly. Life is made up of just as many disappointing moments as joyful moments, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Challenges and failures teach us to be resilient, to be appreciative. Imperfection makes us compassionate, makes us human. Be true to yourself and embrace the people in your life for all their perfect imperfections (Thanks, John Legend 😉).

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No Pornovember

Yeah, you read right! I’m talking about porn. Someone’s got to. (It does take some guts for me to write about controversial things. My arms are tingling.)

Porn has personally affected (read: wounded) myself and my loved ones and the Fight the New Drug movement is a cause that I hold dear to my heart.

I’m not dishing out judgment. Life is hard. Everyone deals with things. I just wanted to share some truth, some hope and some light on the subject. I believe in transparency and honesty and a good ol’ dose of reality. Porn affects the vast majority of young men and women in this day and age (first exposure becoming younger and younger) and it’s anything but harmless. Growing up, no one talked to me about it, and I am committed to being more engaged with my children at every stage on this topic along with all other tough issues of our modern day.

With that, I leave you your required reading for the night: Fight the New Drug – No PorNovember! Sign up for updates if this cause is important to you!

Obviously, feel free to share with anyone and everyone!

Peace and love ❤️

What are You Capable Of?

I’m having good ol’ bacon and eggs for dinner (cause why not?). I could use some soul food. My kids are both sick (curse you, Transition of Seasons!) and are therefore more irritable and demanding. The level of crazy in this house has gone up at least 40%. Thankfully, the supplements I’ve started using seem to help me keep immunity from whatever they usually catch. Sick kids + sick mom = Game Over. No thanks. But seriously, this needs to be over soon. It’s been over two weeks of fighting and crying and driving me all kinds of crazy.

We still have some of those helium balloons from my sister in law’s going away party. Most of them are deflated and lying around on the floor, but at some point last week when they were still afloat, I had an interesting experience with them.

There were 8. Somehow (probably my curious, wild child) all their strings managed to get tangled up in knots. T really wanted to play with one or two of them separately (they want what they want, right?) but as hard as he tried, he couldn’t separate any of them. So I’m thinking, ok simple enough request. He’s not asking to set them on fire, he just wants his stand alone balloons back. Super Mom, work your magic! But it was not an inspiring knot. It looked pretty awful. My first (and second and third) thoughts were Forget it, these balloons are history. There’s no way I can untie this mess. I told T he just had to find something else to play with because the knot was impossible to untie. He whined and whimpered and finally got distracted.

Later, while he was at daycare, I looked back at those balloons. I wasn’t doing anything particularly important, so I figured Eh, what the heck let me give it a shot. I’m sure it won’t work, but I’ll see if I can somehow force out just one or two. Maybe I’ll get some scissors…

Lo and behold, six to seven minutes later, every balloon was neatly floating on its own. After I had taken the time to look up close and analyze what I was working with, I developed a little more motivation to dig in. And after I started pulling and prodding here and there very slowly and very carefully, I realized the knot was not, in fact, impossible. Bit by bit, a little budge here and a little twist there, the knot got looser and I could start to see the connections and which strings were holding which strings, which ones I would have to pull out first to free the ones underneath. It started to make sense and seem completely doable.


Before


After

Being the profound person that I am, I immediately had an epiphany, a revelation. 

🌸This is a metaphor for life.🌸

Many, many times, you’re going to look at a situation and instinctively, automatically think It can’t be done. I’m here to tell you, friend, many, many of these daunting things can be done. They may take a little (or a lot of) time and effort and a closer look, but once you get into them, I am certain you will surprise yourself and find that you are actually capable of way more than you may initially think. For some reason, our minds so quickly turn to doubt, without any good reason. This has been proved to me in many situations in my own life (e.g. believing I could never memorize a piece in another language, assuming I couldn’t pass my Life and Health exam, and proving myself totally wrong each time. And the list goes on.)

Believe in yourself and what you’re capable of. The first step is a positive attitude. If you’re like most people, there are a plethora of things you may have contemplated and dropped before trying very hard because of an assumption that you “can’t”. An assumption that is not true! You CAN! Sometimes our minds get in our way. Go out and prove to yourself that you can do something you thought you never could. Just to say you did. You’ll be so inspired. And it’ll start to become a way of life. Silencing the negative thoughts and proving them wrong time and time again. Don’t forget that feeling and then do it again the next time! 

If you have any experiences to share, I’d love to hear them below!

14 Pieces of Advice from Diane: Sage, Prophet, Intellectual, and Overall Genius

I wrote something for you guys. Just to help you out a little in life. And it goes something like this:

1. Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. (Ok, ok, I stole this one off the Internet. But it’s so profound! Thank you, Oscar Wilde.)

2. If you want to learn a language, marry a man whose mother ONLY speaks that language and live with her for the first year or two of your marriage.

3. If you have sweaty armpits (like me), never wear gray shirts. Better yet, stick to sleeveless shirts.

4. Speaking of armpits, baking soda is THE best deodorant. Pat a little on and Voila! Odor, be gone!

5. Don’t cry right before bed unless you enjoy unseemly puffy eyes that hardly open in the morning.

6. Sometimes you just have to find the way to not CARE. You can’t let every thoughtless, snide comment (about your looks, your cooking, how you’re living your life) and random rude behavior from strangers (or people you know very well!) bring you down. If at all possible, don’t even react. Let it go. Becoming a mom has made this very easy for me. I simply do not have the energy to get bent out of shape over every disappointment thrown my way. Let those annoying instances slide right off your back. They are not worth ruining your day over. That person does not deserve to have that power over you. The reality is that that person is probably having a terrible day (or terrible life?) and just doesn’t know any better than to bring people down with him/her.

7. If you want to learn true patience, have children.

8. While I’m at it, if you want to have every last limit tested and button pushed, and be brought to the point of really questioning your resolve, intelligence, decision making abilities, and competence over all, have children (bonus for multiple children!).

9. A final one just to be fair: If you want to discover just how much love you are actually capable of, have children.

10. Be more efficient: to answer calls while washing dishes, tap the receive button with your nose.

11. Don’t sleep with wet hair unless you want to catch a cold (at the very least, put a towel under your head).

12. Have zero expectations. That way, you are never disappointed.

13. Wear that dress you’ve been saving for a special occasion. What if that occasion never comes?

14. Don’t type out blog posts on your phone. This is unnecessarily time consuming and rather frustrating (fix your bugs, please, WordPress app!)

How To Love Your To Do List Book Review

A good friend of mine recently published a book which is now available in paper and electronic form on Amazon! He is approaching the top 500 in Kindle books!

I would NOT endorse his book if I didn’t enjoy (and benefit from) it. It really is worth the read! And for a limited time, it is available FREE (that’s right, folks!) There is no good reason for you not to go check it out. You’ll get through it in at most several hours, and then you can jump right into making it all a reality in your life!

Here is the link!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FWME6GE

A sage and wise reviewer (wink wink) wrote:

I am 100% satisfied with my purchase! Sam Uyama has written a thorough yet simple, step-by-step tutorial on how to create the most effective To Do system, and therefore have the freedom to relax and enjoy life sans unnecessary stress. (Because life is so much more than your To Do list! 😉 ) Complete with practical and immediately applicable tips (my favorites are create “Next Action” oriented To Dos, categorize To Dos into separate lists, create a Tickler File, and designate Most Important Tasks), this book provides a pathway for those looking to be more efficient. In addition, Sam shares helpful (might I add life changing) organizational apps and websites along with free downloads of templates he created himself. To top it all off, he showcases a witty and endearing sense of humor throughout.

Special thank you to Sam for writing such a handy little guide aaaand for allowing me to sneak away with an advert as my entire post for this week (This girl is tired).

Hitting the Gym

Hello, my loyal readers! I’m sure you all feverishly await my blog posts each week and keep every detail of my entries logged away, so you surely remember me posting on May 17th that I was planning to join my local gym.

Well….I did! June 1st. I figured I should just do one month even though it’s more pricey, because I don’t know what my schedule is going to be like in July and August (read “I don’t know who/how often someone might be able to watch my kids”). T is going to be cutting down on daycare time so we can save some dinero.

So! I’ve worked out on average twice a week since I started. Most times with my sister in law. But recently, I gathered up my courage and went alone. I was so nervous! I was all jittery and my stomach was tying itself in knots. Going to the gym is NOT in my comfort zone. I’m a total newb; I only know how to use a handful of the machines (my sister in law showed me around a few times). I sat in my car for a minute, took a few deep breaths, and gave myself a pep talk:

What’s the worst that could happen?

Hm…

The worst that could happen is I look like an idiot.

Eh. I can live with that.

I extracted myself from my vehicle. Once I got up there, I think I managed to get away with looking semi familiar with the gym environment. I was repeating this mantra to myself: “Diane, the most important thing is you have to LOOK like you know where you’re going and what you’re doing. You can do this. You can fool them.”

I still have a long way to go. I think I’m gonna do a couple quick Google searches: “Gym machines how to”, “Discovering muscles you didn’t know existed”, “Avoiding embarrassment at the gym”. You know, the real important stuff.

Progress Report on My New Year’s Resolutions

You may recall my amusingly simple and therefore certainly achievable New Year’s Resolutions. I promised an update and here it is!

On the off chance that you guys don’t painstakingly keep every detail of each of my posts carefully logged away, I shall refresh your memory:

Resolution #1: Follow 20 minute Youtube Post Partum (How long can one get away with being “post partum”? My daughter is 19 months old…) Yoga video every Tuesday while 1 year old is napping

Resolution #2: Enforce meal time prayers with kiddos

Resolution #3: Enforce daily morning service with kiddos (pray and read 5 minutes of children’s Scripture)

Resolution #4: Continue blog posts throughout the rest of the year – once a week either Thursday or Friday.

For number 1, I give myself a grade of….75%? I didn’t always do it at the originally intended time, but more often than not, I made it up at another time. Not bad, but not great…. BUT I am joining the gym my sister in law goes to next week, so this is to replace my at home yoga sessions.

Resolution number 2 gets about a 70% success rate.

Resolution number 3….probably around 65/70%. We have more success with praying than with actual study. Sometimes because of uncooperative participants, but many times, also, because of a forgetful or pressed for time mom.

And resolution number 4, 100%!!!! WHOOO!!! (If you must be absolutely precise, maybe 99, cause I did do that one post a day late.)

As you can see, 2 and 3 need the most work. Everything is a whirlwind in the morning! T wants to eat doughnuts first thing and chase Y around like a maniac, and Y wants to pull every single item out of the refrigerator (not to eat, just to play with) and draw on the walls… ME, I just want my children to wake up, wash up, pray, eat a decent meal of at least one protein and one vegetable, and most importantly, NOT have any type of meltdown in the process. [Also, I really wish Y would resist the urge to drop food all over the floor under her highchair. When she eats, it’s generally about a 50/50 ratio of food that ends up in her mouth to food that ends up on the floor (an improvement! if you can believe that)].

Sigh. Keep calm and carry on, right?

Am I Doing Enough?

[Down to the wire again! Ack! In my defense, we don’t have a PC in our apartment (and I am NOT typing on a tablet), so in order to blog, I have to run next door to my in laws’ apartment, which is not that easy while I’m juggling two toddlers who need to be periodically fed, changed, and entertained!]

I came upon this realization one night before going to sleep. (It wasn’t last night, since last night, I had an excruciating headache. Normally, I welcome any good ideas and I want my creative juices to flow, but last night, I just wanted them to STOP. And then maybe my head could stop throbbing and I could get some decent sleep) I often have small inspirations for writing just as I put my head down on the pillow at night (newbie blogger/writer tip: Keep a notepad or your phone by your bed!) So, here goes that one idea I had.

A big characteristic of mine is self reflection. I am constantly thinking about who I am and looking at what I have or haven’t accomplished. A question nearly always on my mind is: Am I doing enough? It’s like an itch that never goes away. This tendency became twofold once I entered Parenthood. Between the diapers that need to be changed, the dinners that need to be cooked, and the floors that need to be swept, mopped, and then swept again, I am constantly in a state of What should I be doing?. I find myself wondering if what I’m doing is the “right” thing to do at the moment I’m doing it, or if there is something more important I should be doing instead. I wonder if somehow, somewhere, someway (I didn’t think that was a word, but I am not getting a red squiggly line, so I’m going to leave it), my time would be better spent.

I would assume there are others out there like me, whether they’re parents or not. (Does this perhaps fit into one of those Personality Types? I’ve never much looked into those.)

In order to give myself some sense of accomplishing something and doing something valuable with my time (my life), I make little goals (when I do make goals, which is usually at the beginning of the year at a church event or at the suggestion/inspiration of friends).

I learned something very valuable about goal making when I worked at New York Life. Only make goals that include specific actions that YOU are 100% in control of. I think we’ve all heard that it’s more effective to make specific, measurable, achievable goals (e.g. Work out every weekday at 6 pm at the gym across the street from work) instead of broad, ambiguous goals (e.g. Get in shape this year). But what I want to add to that, if you haven’t heard it already, is that your goals should be things that are completely in your hands. A goal such as “Have a good relationship with my husband” is not only too vague, but is also something that is only 50% in your control. The other 50% is in your husband’s control. Similarly, a goal like “Get my husband to stop smoking” wouldn’t make any sense because he has to be the one to make the decision to stop buying the cigarettes and putting them to his mouth (unless you’re prepared to follow him around every day and swat them all away). An effective alternative to “Have a good relationship with my husband” would be “Make dinner for my husband every day” or “Take 5 minutes every day to ask how my husband is feeling, how his day is going, and if there’s anything I can do to help him”. These are specific, action oriented, goals which you can certainly measure at the end of the day. Did you, or didn’t you?

Ideally, creating goals we ourselves are in control of relieves us of the stress of racking our brains and kicking ourselves wondering why ANOTHER PERSON (or force of nature) is not doing what we want them to do.

This year, at the nudging of a certain Facebook group I’m a part of, I’ve made four New Year’s Resolutions. You may laugh when you hear them because they are amusingly simple, but in my current state of being (i.e. Momhood), I honestly don’t see myself getting anywhere at all unless I cut things down to tiny, baby, bite sized pieces. So, here goes:

Resolution #1: Follow 20 minute Youtube Post Partum (hey, it’s only been 15 months!) Yoga video every Tuesday while 1 year old is napping

Resolution #2: Enforce meal time prayers with kiddos

Resolution #3: Enforce daily morning service with kiddos (pray and read 5 minutes of Bible stories)

Resolution #4: Continue blog posts through the rest of the year – once a week either Thursday or Friday.

And there you have it! Super simple. Super achievable. I’m feeling pretty good so far 🙂