HAPPY NEW YEAR, or just–hey, it’s Friday.

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Great news you guys! You don’t have to do ANYTHING and this year will still end at midnight tomorrow.

You don’t have to do any. thing. and the ball will drop, kicking off 2016.

And just like that a brand new year begins.

But it will feel a lot like … Friday. And then Saturday, and then Sunday and then most people go back to the old routine and adjust to it being a new year.

The end.

Whew! So, you’re fine. Just keep breathing and putting your pants on one leg at a time and you are good to go!

For a lot of you that’s what you need – the freedom to know there is truly no external pressure to do anything different just because HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But … if you want to, if you feel nudged by the spirit or by, say, something more physical like your pants feeling kinda tight or the rooms of your house closing in on you because: piles of everything everywhere … well, here’s an invitation – that’s all it is: an invitation to consider the following:

(again please note my very intentional use of the words “invitation” and “consider”):

- What exactly would YOU like to have change?

(YOU. Not your husband, your mother, the lady next to you at church or the guy with the judgey eyes at the library. Where do YOU feel your attention being directed from inside your heart and mind? Clarity is critical. More on that later if you want, let me know!)

- What might that look like?

- How could you work toward that?

(Word matter y’all – “how could you work toward that?” is different than “tell me exactly how you will accomplish this?” or, if your inner voice is kind of an asshole: “What makes you think you can do that?” None of that right now. All I’m asking you to consider is: what steps could you take toward the end you desire?”)

I also want to encourage you to remember that it really does come down to the little things adding up. It’s not about losing, say, 60 pounds. To work toward that end I’m looking at things like:

- keep my fitbit charged, remember to wear it and be more connected online with fitbit and myfitnesspal.

- streamline my green shake routine and have one every morning

- drink more water, lemon water and apple cider vinegar, less fancy coffee drinks

- etc. Because I am wordy and like lists, I have more specific, do-able things instead of one huge (so to speak) statement goal.

Another example:

I would like to be consistent in creating both a chore schedule and opportunities to manage their own money for the boys. Which means both earning and smart spending. I **think** Chore Monster may be a means to this end. (I could list all the things that have not worked another time if that would be helpful. Which, of course wouldn’t be as every family dynamic, needs and such are different).

I recommend using a journal and planner for every part of this, from gaining clarity, processing what that nudge might be, and for narrowing down your focus (organizing all the things turned out to be unrealistic).

And a side note: Some of you know my silence on this blog speaks volumes – I promise there will be a time I can and will disclose more but for now, please trust that I see a light at the end of this twisty tunnel and while it’s not turning out quite like I pictured, not at all, I have it on good authority that it’s going to work out. I think I spoke too soon out loud recently and it’s super awkward now in real life but all I can do is keep walking forward and doing the next right thing.

Which, for today means taking care of my young people, our puppy (?!) and planning intentionally for the new year I happen to be looking forward to very much because I love the mere idea of all the possibilities! Plus, planning is my favorite.

Speaking of which – here are a few links, ideas and tools – that I am loving right now, and intend to use more in the new year, cause I’m into that kind of thing. If you are too, here ya go: (I’m supposed to legally tell you someday I might, maybe, get a few cents for some of these affiliate links. For the record I only ever recommend products, programs and things I like myself).

 

 

- Leonie Dawson

- Erin Condren’s Planner

- Moleskine planner

- Mindful Energy

 

And some free stuff:

Goal setting and reviewing with kids by Cindy Hopper at Skip to my Lou -  (One of Sam’s resolution is to get more x-box time. I’ll try to work that into my goal of getting more help with household tasks #winwin).

Free ebook by Christine Kane to help with the gaining clarity piece of all this – and a wonderful introduction to the Word of the Year concept.

Another free ebook by Kirsten Oliphant to help with blog goal planning – she had me at “I love planning to plan.”  

If you found this post helpful at all, I’d love it if you’d share with your friends! Just so happens … one of my goals this year is to add you to my subscriber list if you aren’t there already so … yes?

Nathalie Hardy recently published her first book, “Raising the Hardy Boys: They Said There Would Be Bon-Bons” available at local bookstores and online. Hardy writes in the margins of her life with two little boys and a husband who understands deadlines come before dusting. To contact her, visit www.nathaliesnotes.com.

Her second book “Merry is Optional” was just published by Ridenbaugh Press and is available on Amazon. For more ideas and tips for holiday fun, with or without an elf, visit www.nathaliesnotes.com.


Maybe next year?

maybe next year

Good news!

You have plenty of time.

So here you are this penultimate day before Christmas wondering how could that possibly be true? I mean, every information stream available to us is blowing up our brains with reminders that the clock is ticking! Last chance! You better click here or else …

Or else nothing happens.

I’m not just being oppositional to all the trending sales pitches.

Unless you’re on the highway and you see your plane lifting off, you have enough time.

And even then, it’s not a bad idea to develop an “I’m right where I’m supposed to be” kind of mentality. Even if (especially if?) all external factors indicate otherwise.

what really matters?

(psst you don’t need anyone to tell you, it isn’t the same answer for each of us, but if you can lock yourself in the bathroom for a second and focus on this one question: what really matters? You know the answer. Okay, now do that).

One of the most frequently mentioned ideas in my ebook* “Merry is Optional: Christmas Chaos with the Hardy Boys” is the “maybe next year” list. Because it is genius.

December 23 … I’m looking at the pile beside me and embracing that I’m probably not going to get all the cards mailed out on time. Maybe next year I give in to this perpetual reality and join the New Years Card trend.

Didn’t make zoo lights before Christmas. Maybe next year.

Gingerbread houses? Maybe next year (but probably never on my watch).

But you know what? I’m writing this post while my kids play happily eating cereal they got to pick out (simple pleasures) and we are all under Scout Surveillance, the watchful pair of black eyes of our new puppy which fell near the top of my “what really matters” list this year.

My phone is binging with notices that some of our family will be getting their gifts on time in California, Idaho and Maryland because of the second Christmas miracle that is Amazon. (Next year maybe I’ll finish making the stuff I started making a couple years ago).

There is a tree, leaning against the wall because of some logistical issues we’ll work out next year. Maybe. It is decorated purely by the hands of Sam and Jake who are thrilled to see their handmade paper and zip tie ornaments alongside the more fragile ones they made over the years. The star is also zip tied to the top, because that is our life right now.

And it’s all good.

Not perfect. Not as planned but just … good.

And that is enough.

Wishing you all the love and clarity on what matters to you,

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*And you know what, if you’re thinking “oh, I should read that!” you totally should. Next year!

(I’d love your help reaching my subscriber goal for 2015 – sign up below and you’ll get posts delivered right to your inbox).

Nathalie Hardy recently published her first book, “Raising the Hardy Boys: They Said There Would Be Bon-Bons” available at local bookstores and online. Hardy writes in the margins of her life with two little boys and a husband who understands deadlines come before dusting. To contact her, visit www.nathaliesnotes.com.

Her second book “Merry is Optional” was just published by Ridenbaugh Press and is available on Amazon. For more ideas and tips for holiday fun, with or without an elf, visit www.nathaliesnotes.com.


A manifesto of one's own

A manifesto of one's own

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JAN 8, 2015

By NATHALIE HARDY | Yamhill Valley News-Register

Your assignment: Write down your personal parenting philosophy

When people find out I write a parenting column, I’m quick to correct any impression they might have about it featuring how-to advice or anything of that sort.

In fact, no. As much as I enjoy being a mom, at least most of the time, I have no business telling anyone else how she should go about being one.

Despite the clarification, I’m often asked to share my “parenting philosophy.”

For those who missed the memo on modern-day parenting, that’s something many parents seem to subscribe to these days. And they have all kinds to choose among, ranging from holistic to hands-off to helicopter parenting.

Google can provide you with more information on that than I can. I’m no expert.

Truth be known, I have no idea what my own parenting style is. If I had to check a box, I guess I’d be looking for something like “conscious” or “intentional.”

I like to joke that my personal parenting philosophy comes down to staying awake, as being present and taking notes are integral to what seems to work for me. In my journal, I take note of what I’m trying to accomplish, what challenges I’m facing in that and where I’m either succeeding or not so much.

Our success as parents can’t really be measured, not now and maybe not ever. For those of us with little ones, it’s too soon to tell. For those of us with older children, there are too many other factors to consider, in addition to our parenting style, to gauge our success.

Somewhere between overthinking every little thing to the point of paralysis, and not giving the ramifications of our parenting a second thought, lies the happy medium of creating a personal parenting manifesto. Wherever you are on your path as a parent, I invite you to join me in the exercise of trying to find it.

I can feel some of you rolling your eyes. Is that groaning I hear?

Yes, this is a writing assignment. No, neatness doesn’t count, and I really don’t care about spelling. As long as you can read and understand what you write, that’s all that matters. But for this to be effective, you need to write down the kind of parent you want to be, describe the type of relationship you want to create with your child and maybe list some ways you are accomplishing that and/or falling short.

Just the act of focusing on what you want to create helps. Add some reflection and periodic review and you’ve got the formula for being an intentional parent.

I’m not saying there’s a right way or wrong way to be a parent, just planting the seed that one of the best ways to enjoy parenting is to approach it purposely.

The founder of AskMoxie.org, Magda Pecsenye, has built a platform as a reality facilitator for parents. She has attempted to build a framework for assuring each one she is doing her best by her child.

She just published a book called, “You’re the Best Parent for Your Child: 31 Truths from AskMoxie.org.” I highly recommend it, because it helps clear away the noise of The Others and makes room for you to discover what you yourself think.

I started this column intending to write my mothering manifesto — on deadline. Then I decided to take some time reflecting on what I wanted to include in such a document, which is essentially just a declaration of intentions, motives or views.

However you came to be a parent, you’re there now. You have created a person counting on you to be his or her tour guide, life coach and, well, parent.

That can mean a lot of different things for different people. It’s up to you to determine what that means for you.

There’s a lot that can and will go off the rails. But you have a better shot of staying the course if you’ve laid the track yourself.

I’ll share my draft in progress on my blog, www.nathaliesnotes.com, when it’s ready. I hope you’ll do the same.

As I develop my writing calendar for the year, I’d love to know what issues you’d like to help me explore in these columns. In the meantime, here’s wishing you a year that goes mostly as intended.

Nathalie Hardy recently published her first book, “Raising the Hardy Boys: They said there would be bon-bons,” which is available at local bookstores or online. To contact her, visit www.nathaliesnotes.com.

To grab an Ask Moxie copy of your own, ask your local book store or, click here:

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Brain matter and other fun facts

 

get things done

First, some housekeeping – figuratively I mean: in response to my coming out column there’ve been some interesting comments and questions, I totally plan to follow up on those I promise – pinky swear even.

But also it’s been kinda crickets from some corners of my life so to answer the conversation I’m having in my head with some of you, I should probably just throw out there that I haven’t been, like, on the bathroom floor doing smack or anything. This whole 12-step thing for me is mental/sanity recovery dealing with habits and patterns formed a long time ago which no longer serve me but I kinda thought I was stuck with them. Turns out? Nope. So, it’s actually good-ish news minus the awkward, uncomfy parts.

All that is just, you know, fyi to whom it may concern, remotely interest or disappoint in a high stakes schadenfreude* situation.

But more on that another time because today I’m writing about what might be the manual to help me conquer the world do some actual housekeeping, write my book and stop being all angsty all the time.

A friend loaned me her copy of David Allen’s Getting Things Done after I asked about her lists. Because I am a noticer, of lists and other things.

Also, I’m an asker. There are all these questions I’m supposed to ask for my job, and then there are the ones I ask just because I want to know. Anyway, this friend is one of those people who makes “it” look easy but I knew there had to be a method to her keeping the madness at bay. She was all:

Nathalie, meet David Allen.

Hello David, if you happen to be a self-Googler. It’s okay if you are. Really, it is. We all do it. Don’t we?

Dear David Allen … totally stoked to read your book. Let me know if you need a blogger to document their journey from pre-David Allen to post David-Allen introduction. Love, Nathalie

Anyway, just flipping through the book I felt compelled to highlight and star pages but that’s not cool so I ordered my own copy.

This book jumped ahead of so many other books in my “to read” pile … because this book is going to create more time for me to read those other books, I think. Maybe. I will keep you posted.

On page xiv (two little kids people, I’m sloooow reading anymore) it says: “I’ll give you new ways to leverage those basic skills into new plateaus of effectiveness. I want to inspire you to put all this into a new behavior set that will blow your mind.”

For real, David Allen?

I want new plateaus of effectiveness. I don’t know exactly what that means for me, but I want that.

It. Is. On.

Let’s blow my mind, one paragraph at a time.

I’m kind of afraid this is going to be one of those things though where you buy the new running shoes and nothing happens because you’re supposed to, like, wear them … while you run.

So I told Matt about this great discovery and how “you have to read this! It will change. your. life. It even says so right here.” And I followed him around the driveway reading out loud from page xiv.

It will blow your mind, I say.

“I think I’ll watch it blow yours first, okay?” He’s skeptical, it seems.

Fine, be left in my dust or the bitty bits of my blown brain, whatever.

But if any of you friends want to blow your minds alongside mine, I get a few pennies here and there for anything you guys buy on Amazon through my link above Getting Things Done. 

Nathalie’s Notes:

*Do you know this word? You should know this word. It’s awesome. Knowing other languages rules because sometimes whichever one you start with lacks the capacity to say all of the things there is to say… luckily the Germans have these cool compound words that say just the right thing and they can become our adopted words, but it helps if more of us know them.

“Some German words are so long that they have a perspective.”

 – Mark Twain

Nathalie’s Notes fun fact: English is my second language, but you probably already knew that? Now I’m learning Spanish. Like, this week– Rosetta Stone lesson numero uno.

To like me, I mean really like me - like, on Facebook, click here.

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Behind the picket fence: My Messy Beautiful

So I came out in my blog this week as a 12-stepper*, which is something I’ve been wanting to share with you for a long time now.

I was waiting to get “all better” before I mentioned the thing that was helping me so much in my journey to “better.”

And then I had this little trip back down the rabbit hole recently and realized “better” isn’t a place I’m going as much as it is a way of being.

When I started my conscious recovery, something I’d been seeking in multiple ways over decades, I initially felt very, very sorry for myself that I “had to go to these meetings.”

But then after about six weeks, I started to feel sorry for everyone else who doesn’t get to go to them.  That’s about when I wanted to start sharing all the awesomeness with you guys but it was all still kind of raw and I wasn’t ready.

I’m still a little like “whaaat am I doing” but if I can spare one person the angst anguish hell of my darkness by shining a little light on it, perfect.

I’ve been praying a lot about what I’m meant to do next with my work and I know this kind of stuff is what I’m supposed to be writing about even though it feels all vulnerable and awkward and like I’m totally unqualified to be talking about stuff like God since I also still say things like “shit” and “damn.” A lot.

So this happened:

me + a book + kids playing happily in the pool = bliss for like 20 entire, uninterrupted minutes.

Twenty of them.

You guys?

It.

Was.

Awesome.

I have dreamed of this day. In fact, “reading poolside” is a joke I have with a few girlfriends, sort of our version eating bonbons, which isn’t even a thing by the way. You know that right? Bonbons are a joke, so is reading poolside for mothers with young children.

Except for these twenty minutes. Those were no joke. Those were the kind of minutes I will remember for eternity. Just like I remember this one nap I had in the summer of 2011 when Matt had Sam and I snuggled with Baby Jake for a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep.

And I savor these blissful moments as reminders to enjoy them when I get them and to trust that more will come.

But then, you know, this happened too:

party pooper

After the bliss, the poo … or something like that.

All I could think as we were evacuated was thank God it wasn’t my kid. Anyway, the moral is: Every party has a pooper.

Pure bliss punctuated by poo in the pool … isn’t that perfect you guys? I mean, really. That’s the deal right there.

And it’s such a perfect introduction to what happened next. So you might have noticed the book I was blissing out on was “Carry on, Warrior. Thoughts on Life Unarmed.”

The author, Glennon Melton Doyle is the founder of the awesomeness that is Momastary for Truth Tellers and Hope Spreaders.

Glennon is in what my friend and writer coach Christina Katz refers to as my “tribe.”

Glennon is “my people.” I’ve never met her, but I know we belong to each other, and she knows it too. All of us belong to each other. In fact she’s made it her mission to connect like-hearted spirits and this Messy Beautiful blog post project is an example of how she connects people in genuine, inspired ways.

Shortly after the poo-in-the-pool sitch we got back to my parents’ house and I had an email from Glennon inviting me to participate as one of the Messy Beautiful writers. I responded to the initial call awhile back and didn’t expect to get picked so it was pretty cool to get that “Yes.”

Especially because it was bigger than her yes. I had just that morning asked God for some specific direction about my writing to make sure the vision coming up in my head and heart was really a good idea because it kind of freaks me out.

I’ve always been about honesty here and I’ve struggled with that because like I said the other day, our stories are interwoven and while my stories belong to me, they are tangled with the threads of others and I want to be respectful of that while honoring what I came here to do which I think is to be one of the truth tellers. To live out loud, on paper … to be vulnerable in a way that encourages others to be their most authentic, favorite selves … is there anything else worth being?

So, with my heart’s calling and with the invitation to participate in this project – I am leaving the gate propped open, it’s broken in real life actually, to share more from behind my white picket fence.

All is not as it appears, and some days that’s a really, really good thing. Others, not so much. Either way, it’s my messy, beautiful life – welcome.

MBW-285

 

This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!

*I know the specifics are important to some of you, and we can talk about that if you ask but really, it doesn’t actually matter. It's an al-anon program to work through old, messy stuff ... I’m working on it and growing into the best and healthiest version of myself as I do.

To like me, I mean really like me - like, on Facebook, click here.

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T is for Transition

Screenshot_2014-04-12-07-18-49

While the screen capture shows I am no longer a reporter at the News-Register, it turns out I am a very slow leaver.

Let me preface this by saying I did this to myself because I have boundary issues and also letting go issues, as evidenced by the fact that I am donating four stories to the paper’s campaign coverage because I wanted to help and because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

At what time? Well at the time I had an office, and childcare of course.

Now I have the contents of my former cubicle spread throughout my dining room and bedroom as I attempt to carve out a space of my own while we attempt to figure out what this new life of ours looks like.

This is what transition looks like. It can be messy, confusing and a little unsettling.

Also, it is freeing, exciting and an opportunity to create more of what we want as we weed out what no longer serves us – things like rushing.

2014-04-07 07.09.34 - Copy

One of my favorite quotes from this week is Sam saying his favorite thing about my being home with him is “not rushing all the time.” Agreed.

As per usual, last week did not match the image in my head of what coming back home would be like.

In addition to not being all the way done at work, there was some unexpected drama on both a personal and professional front immediately following my handing over my keys at work.

The two were totally unrelated, one stemmed from some misunderstanding about a column I wrote which turned into hours of discussion and sleepless nights as I wrestled with my role in the problem, which in the end I determined did not belong to me. I do however regret that I wrote something that caused any angst, and I learned from the experience so there’s that.

The personal one is trickier to summarize because I strive to walk the messy line between my personal information and that of others in my life, (past/present/future) without crossing it.

That said, here’s what I am ready to say: I’ve been 12-steppin’ it* for some time now to deal with some long, long standing unhealthy thinking and behaving on my part and after finally losing track of my days in recovery, I derailed myself over the weekend by leaning in to some drama that did not belong to me.

A series of bad decisions lead to ugly consequences and I am still kind of bewildered by and recovering from that trip to Crazy Town.

Note to self: Until I just wrote the above summaries I didn’t see the connection between the two energy-sucking situations … at the outset of eachdrama I didn’t ask myself: is this my problem? 

**I know the specifics are important to some of you, and we can talk about that if you ask but really, it doesn’t actually matter. It's an al-anon program to work through old, messy stuff ... I’m working on it and growing into the best and healthiest version of myself as I do.

There really is a lot to that one day at a time business and I thankful to have the opportunity to embrace this one.

With my people.

Thank you for checking in, for caring and for being my people Smile 

Speaking of which, my pint-sized peeps are paging me … something about needing to eat. Again.


The Orange Rhino

 Mama's Boys  

I have a confession to make.

Even though I love my boys to the moon and back, I yell at them.

Not just once in a blue one either.

It’s more like … I don’t actually even want to admit this to myself … but it’s kind of all the time.

Not every minute of every day, and not every day, but way more than the none that is okay.

I have yelled so loud my throat hurt.

Yesterday.

Sometimes it’s HEY! Yelled from across the room or the front seat of the car.

Sometimes it’s GET IN THE CAR NOW to make sure we have a cheerful start to the day.

Sometimes it’s GO TO SLEEP because that’s as relaxing as any lullaby.

But always it makes me feel like an asshole.

And always it makes me wish I never did it.

A while ago, Sam said “I don’t like it when you yell.”

I responded with “And I don’t like it when you don’t listen.”

So there.

What. The hell.

I heard myself saying from that voice that knows it’s not right to yell at these little people I love the most.

Last night, after I yelled at Sam to quit screwing around at ten p.m. because that was the only time I had to myself all weekend and I really wanted to get some writing done.

But as Sam did that thing where he flinches at the sound of my voice rising I realized it wasn’t even him I was mad at.

I just want you to snuggle me, Mama.

So, I did. And I apologized in one sentence for yelling and told him I would work on that. I didn’t spend any more time on it because a) I wanted him to go to freaking sleep and b) he doesn’t need to deal with the burden of my emotions around why I’m angry and how I’m going to deal with that.

As I snuggled with him I thought, well maybe I’m just a yeller and that’s just the deal. We can laugh about it later like my mom and I laugh about her “flying hand.”

But right now, it’s not funny. Right now I have a little boy who doesn’t deserve getting yelled at even if, especially if, he is pushing my buttons.

I don’t want to yell at them. I know other ways to handle things but yelling seems to be my default mode. What if I can’t change it?

Those were some of my thoughts as I prayed about the situation and guess what I randomly stumbled upon: The Orange Rhino, and this article specifically spoke to me:

Sometimes marriage makes me want to yell.

It reminded me there are other people out there wrestling with the weight of similar issues and somehow it helps to know that.

So, I’m jumping in and taking the Orange Rhino Challenge: no yelling for 365 days.

In it’s most basic form it’s like this: if you yell, you go back to day one.

Day one: so far, so good.

Of course, my little darlings are still fast asleep.

By the way, when readers subscribe to my blog it’s like getting a high five in my inbox. Of course when they unsubscribe I get all self-conscious. Thanks for signing up to get these free updates from Nathalie’s Notes.

 

 

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Shift happens

I’m off my meds, in a good way.

I think.

I hope.

Did I really just admit to the world my parents, the handful of friends and few frenemies reading this that I was taking medication to deal with anxiety and depression?

Totally did, and this is why: ever since I had my blogging identity crisis I’ve been managing my own personal life crisis which turns out to have been one of those life opportunities disguised as heartbreaking pain that makes you stronger and more whole than before you became broken.

Background on that another day for those who are interested … today I want to share a shortish story to illustrate the significant shift I’ve experienced  taking place.

I’m actually not sure how this works. Will I forever be like “oh, that’s how I used to do things and this is how I would have felt” as a gauge of how I’m different now, or will my new way of being just become a way of life?

So I’m in my seventh week of this intense self-recovery process (intense, I think because it’s not like I’ve checked out of Real Life as I walk this new road).

We pulled into the driveway after being gone a few days and there was a package addressed to someone across town. Totally different address, house number, etc. I was instantly overwhelmed and pissed.

Now I have another thing to deal with!  I stressed that I had no way to get this package to the right place that day and it was probably important and damn it why are people so irresponsible and why does all this kind of stuff fall on me to do!?

(Are you getting this awesome internal dialogue? Doesn’t that sound like a fun way to roll?!)

So then it occurred to me that what I’ve been working on personally applies to all facets of my life and these ordinary annoyances can be met with a new mindset.

Shift.

I decided it wasn’t my mistake and I didn’t actually have to do anything about it.

So, I threw the box away.

Kidding.

I put it in my car to be dropped off on my way to work when it was more convenient for me.

The next morning I got to the business, left the boys parked where I could see them, and ran in to drop off the box.

As soon as the woman at the counter saw the address she said technically I was in the right place but the package belonged to a group contracting a building for the summer and I could just “run over there behind the X building, just off of Y street.”

And again I was furious. I am doing someone a favor! I am going out of my way to deal with something that isn’t my problem and now it is my problem and I don’t have time to take it anywhere else …. I put spaces in there to make it easier to read but in my head these thoughts run more together like this: ihavetogotoworkrightnowiamalreadylate which comes with this crushing pressure in my chest.

So, I paused and drew a deep breath. After I stared at her for a moment I said: Actually, I am on my way to work and have my kids in the car. This is far as I’m willing to bring the box.

I smiled when I said it because I was actually calmed down and had realized that she wasn’t doing anything TO me on purpose. She was just better at advocating for herself than I am used to be. It worked better for her to have me take it to this other place, or maybe her boss told her to direct people that way.

But, this errant package was an odd exception and I’m sure someone at that company could make the trip to X building on Y street.

Because it wasn’t going to be me.

Duh! Might be a response for many but truly for me this is big. Even a couple weeks ago I would have schlepped that box all the way to Y Street, kids in tow, wondering why I was suddenly all irritated and put out.

Not feeling put upon anymore is one of my new favorite things.

Right after being free from that crushing pressure of ohmygodihavetofigurethisoutrightnoworelseidon’tknowforsurebutsomethingreallyshittyican’thandlewillhappen.

Dang I struggle to keep the story short. And think of all I left out!

Happy to fill in the blanks for those who ask, feel free to use the comments here or email (see that cute “email me” button in the upper left part of the screen? I spent hours making that, feel free to use it … but I won’t feel put out or anything if you don’t. I did it because I wanted to.)

Shift. Happens.

By the way, when readers subscribe to my blog it’s like getting a high five in my inbox. Of course when they unsubscribe I get all self-conscious. Thanks for signing up to get these free updates from Nathalie’s Notes.

 

 

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Summer fun and other news


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*Image credit: Carta Bella Paper

Summer starts today ... it's hard to tell with the freakishly fall-like weather we're having here in this corner of Oregon, no complaints just an observation.

It's hard for me to believe it's been a year since I returned to work full time as a reporter after five years home of being home with the boys.

I will always wish I'd had a little longer home with Jake but when that wave of guilt looms over me I dodge its crash by remembering how nice it is to pay the mortgage, among a host of other positives of being back in the newsroom.

So far, I've been able to do the things that matter most to me as far as what being a mom means to me (the snuggles, the surprises and the simplest of delights) but as summer was approaching I felt an ache as I realized it seemed everyone else people on Facebook were making plans for summer vacation, but for us it's just ... business as usual.

keep calm summer

* Credit: pinned from BellePins

After momentarily going down the mental path of feeling sorry for myself and longing for a life that no longer exists, I realized working doesn't have to mean we can't have plenty of summer fun around here.

I just need to be intentional about it, and as crazy as it might sound, the best way for me to ensure we have plenty of old-fashioned spontanous summer fun is to ...er... plan for it.

So, I am ... with our own summer manifesto project ala one of my favorite inspirations Ali Edwards.

Which is fun ... and funny since I'm like eight weeks into Project Life and this is like the 25th week of the year? You'll be relieved to know getting current on Project Life is on the list in addition to other realistic things like "climb a mountain" by Jake and "do the Lego challenge" by Sam.

We're still tweaking our list but I'll share it soon and hope to hear a few of your summer bucket list ideas, too!

In the meantime, I'm happy that

CZ_SchoolsOut
{You can get this free download from Cathy Zielske's website, because she's just awesome like that}.

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Oh, and in other awesomeness ...  I'm stoked to share that I am actually teaching a class in the same place as the aforementioned creative superstars ... you guys know my journaling class is live now on Big Picture Classes, right?

I figured as much since there are likely very few people who didn't hear my whoop of delight when I watched one of my life-long dreams manifest before my very eyes.

In case you happened to miss it, here's the scoop: for ten bucks you can sign up to take my journaling class "The Art of Self Preservation." And, if you want to be supportive but aren't sure you want to take the class yet, click here and listen to the audio introduction. 

I'd love to hear what you think!

xo

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