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Water Over the Dam and Decluttering Mind and Soul…

Little Falls Dam

 

I’ve heard the term more than once in my life, “It’s just water over the dam”.  I’ve never really given it much thought until this morning when I drove by a local dam on the way to an eye appointment and started thinking about the water going over the dam and how it relates to our mind and soul.  

The water over the dam is life experiences traveling over the dam.  They are here one moment and gone the next.  As they go over the dam they can become useful and generate energy in our lives.  For those who hold onto negative life experiences and don’t let go they can cause flooding into other areas of their lives.  I was reminded of this at a family gathering this past weekend. 

The mother of three daughters and one son lived a very simple life in a home that she raised her family.  Her husband and son died years ago and she has been gone for 20 years.  The youngest of the three daughters died nearly five years ago and  yet her mother’s home stands untouched inside since her death.  The two remaining daughters unable to empty it because they can’t decide who should get what in the home.  It seems over time that one daughter received more from her mother in her lifetime than the other so apparently she should be entitled to less.  Instead of making a decision they have let the home’s roof rot and the belongings be destroyed by water and rodents.  Where is the sense in this?  There is nothing in my home that would cause me to sacrifice a family relationship over a material belonging.  

Perhaps it would make more sense if the mother actually had some items of value but she slept in single bed that she moved into her kitchen each fall where there was a space heater.  She would put up plastic to block off the small bedroom and livingroom to conserve energy.  She grew a garden every summer to supply most of her nutritional needs.  She didn’t own a car and most of her furnishings in her home were from the 1940’s and sparse at that.  There are two small bedrooms upstairs that have a few boxes of personal items in them.  She was legally blind and frugal her entire life.  Her bedroom still has the clothes hanging in the closet.  Any items in the home could have been used by someone in need years ago if they had been donated but instead selfishness and pettiness overruled generosity.  

Its time to reassess what is really important in this world and what is worth preserving.  People or material things.  God gave us friends and family to enrich our lives.  People to help us celebrate our achievements and encourage  and support us through our failures and difficult times.  How tragic to sacrifice personal relationships for material things that will deteriorate over time no matter who has possession of them.  Let some water over your dam that has been flooding other areas of your life and move on to a better life.  Less is truly better than more.

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Posted by on May 10, 2010 in Inspiration, Reflections

 

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Sunday Night Blues Revisited

Sunday Night Blues Revisited


It was about a month ago when I first posted Sunday Night Blues. Tonight is a different kind of Sunday Blue. Today and tonight rather than sitting and thinking about going back to work tomorrow already I started to do some things that I knew would make my walk out of the door tomorrow morning for work much sweeter.

Yesterday after I got home from work around 1pm I started cleaning up “hot spots” in my kitchen. For those of you who don’t know what “hot spots” are in my kitchen they are areas that tend to accumulate miscellaneous stuff that has no place in my kitchen except for the fact that someone placed them there because they were too lazy or tired to put them where they really belong. For example winter coats always end up on the backs of the kitchen chairs because of course they will be worn again sometime this weekend so why put them away now. The other stuff that tends to accumulate in my kitchen is the mail for everyone in the family.

I get mail for my four grown children, my husband and I. The kids come home just about every weekend and pick up their mail but I’ve yet to find a place to keep it where it will be accessible but not out of sight because things like bills need to be paid. I’m working on a basket system for each of them and I try to handle our mail on a daily basis. I’m trying to pay bills as they come in the mail and not wait if possible and get read of junk mail daily. My new resolution for paper is try to touch it only once if possible. File it, pay it, or trash it ASAP so it won’t accumulate or have to be dealt with later.

Last evening I spent putting the second coat of paint on our family room we’ve been working on for about two years. It felt so good to finally get that done. I put the outlet covers and furnace vent covers on after the paint dried. Next I put up some shelves to hold our DVD’s, CD’s and books in the family room so that allowed me to unpack some boxes and bring all the movies to one location in the house. Once there is a place for something in your home and everyone knows where it goes it is so much easier to keep things organized and clean.

Today after church I continued on my progress of finishing things that have been left undone for too long. I dug out some paint for my kitchen and painted a small area that has remained unpainted for the past two years when I had the kitchen floor replaced and took out a pantry and moved the refrigerator to a different wall. The unpainted wall has been the first thing you see when you walk in the front door. It took about 20 minutes to take out the paint and supplies, paint the wall about 8′ by 8′, and touch up a few spots on the kitchen wall. I found a piece of leftover baseboard to install behind the refrigerator on the wall I just painted. That project took all of about 10 minutes to install and complete. Why did I wait so long? Now when I walk into my kitchen each day as I come home from work I am not greeted with an unfinished wall with missing baseboard.

I’ve been doing laundry all day so that will be done tonight. Vacuuming the livingroom and bedroom are next. After that its on to the bathroom for a quick cleaning. Why all the work around the house this weekend? Tomorrow we will have a visitor new to our home, a friend of my daughter. I started thinking this week that we only get one chance at a first impression. My daughter’s friend is no different from any other visitor to our home. Not a celebrity just someone who is coming to our home for the first time. Lately I’ve been thinking that I could do a better job at first impressions and caring for my home and that may just lead to less Sunday Night Blues.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2010 in New Challenges, Reflections

 

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Extended Centerline- Where Am I Going?

Redwood Forest - They know where they are going...UP! UP! UP!!!

This morning I was up flying with my CFI trying to polish up a few maneuvers before we schedule my check ride.  As I was taking off I started thinking about the extended centerline of the runway.  When I was learning how to fly, I learned to look down the centerline of the runway, look beyond, find something straight ahead for a reference point.  The purpose is so that when I can no longer see the runway line ahead of me as I lift off the runway there would be a  point ahead that will help me keep aligned to the runway and on course.

I probably should have been more focused on my flying instead of my thoughts because my manuevers weren’t great.  Some days are thinking days for me and I just have to go with them.  In life, I think to get where we want to go we have to have an extended centerline.  We have to have a place ahead of us in time that when we are on a path somewhere and we can’t see exactly where we are, we can look ahead and say, “There is where I want to be and adjust my course to get back on track.” 

Extended center lines can take many forms in life.  For some it is making a to do list each day and strictly adhering to it moving neither to the left or the right and crossing off item after item as the day progresses.  Others set longer term goals without much thinking about time, money or a path to their goals.  It doesn’t matter how or how long it takes to get to their goal or who they have to step over or on as long as they eventually get there.  I like to share my goals, life dreams and plans with others so that I am held accountable if it is truly something I want to carry out. 

Flying for me has been a life dream since I graduated from high school.  I started pursuing it almost 30 years later but it is still something I want to do.  I’m near the end and close to my check ride.  At first I didn’t tell anyone except for my husband that I was learning to fly.  A couple months went by before I told my four kids.  Its been a year and half since I started and now the hard part is being so close to the end and having the friends and family that I shared my dream of flying with asking me, “Are you done yet?” 

They are my extended centerline, the ones who keep me on course, when I have days of flying like today where nothing seemed to go right and I find myself asking “Why am I doing this?”  It would be easier to not push myself to finish up and complete what I started but the certificate in hand will be worth all the hard work, late nights studying, and sleepless nights wondering if I would ever be able to land the plane correctly. 

Do you have someone to encourage you, someone to be your extended centerline.  Life is hard, but having someone to help keep you on course and on the path you intended makes the journey so much sweeter.  I’ve looked around me and starting thinking about others that I could mentor or be their extended centerline.  That someone could be younger or older.  There are always ways to encourage others, you just have to start the flight.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2010 in Flight training

 

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Sunday Night Blues

Sunday Night Blues

Once again its Sunday night and the Sunday Night Blues have set in.  In Minnesota where I live at this time of the year it is already dark around 5pm so it really seems late by 7:00pm.  I get restless and irritable on Sunday evenings as I mourn the loss of yet another weekend with my long to do list not done once again.  Oh, I manage to get some things done each weekend but when you work six days a week and don’t get home until 1-3pm on Saturday afternoon its hard to dig into that to do list.

Maybe if I started with a shorter to do list I might feel like I’ve got something to show for my time.  I’m seriously working at cleaning out the clutter around home so there is actually less to be responsible for and to clean but with 4 kids in and out of the home all weekend its hard to keep up and pick up until they’ve gone to their homes on Sunday night.

About a year ago my husband tried to get rid of the Sunday night blues with a change of scenery ie.  a movie or motorcycle ride.  It works to some extent but when you come home after dark to a messy home and need to get up for work Monday morning tired before your week has begun it is only a short term solution and then it becomes a Miserable Monday morning instead.

Its hard to resist the temptation to sit in my livingroom chair and stare at my surroundings feeling sorry for myself and instead getting up and accomplish something that will indeed make me feel better about the day even if it is only going around the house emptying the trash and maybe picking up and sorting the laundry for Monday morning. 

Just a sidenote…I love Wednesdays, not for what you might think.  Wednesdays at my home are garbage day.  I love my garbage man.  Every week I fill up the trash can and wheel it out to the road, he picks it up and the stuff that filled the can is something I never have to pick up or deal with again.  If only I could have that attitude about other things in my home!

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2010 in Life Happens

 

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