Repurposed Life

What this blog is all about

Life is really hard. There are things in life that one person learns, yet another person may never figure out.

I’m working really hard on trying to figure out some tricks that might make this life a little easier for me. When I do, I want to jump up and say “Eureka! By George, I think I’ve got it!” Then I want to run through the town telling everyone what I’ve just discovered.

I want this blog to be a platform for sharing these ideas.

Also, I think we are all unique. But not so unique that there isn’t a million other people out there who like a lot of the same things I do.

Travel, Art, Disney, DIY, Repurposing, Super Hero movies, Musicals, Dance, Yoga…

However, enough unique that I don’t know very many folks who can relate to the way we think and the priorities we have in our family.

So, I’d like to build a community of like-minded individuals, where we focus on fun, acceptance, mindfulness, creativity and a little bit of science and history to tie it all together.

I think I have some good ideas about managing stress and goals and kids and marriage and plenty of life’s other pitfalls, and probably some bad ideas too. But this is a place to explore these ideas and get people talking about them. You have to be able to test your hypothesis to see if it will stand. This is were these ideas get tested.

Repurposed Life

Unrealistic Expectations for Women

These days, women are provided with more opportunities in life than we have ever been in recorded history. And I say “hoorah” to this! We need to continue to push for equality in every aspect of our lives, our culture and the society around us.

But, as a woman, I must say, it’s getting harder and harder to live up to all the hype!

In the media now, we are portrayed as goddesses. We are the warriors, the super heros, the political mastermind, the attorney for the drug cartel. Yet while accomplishing all this, we are also the wife and the mother and the best friend and the cook!

For goodness sakes, the other night on Netflix, I watched a woman lay political waste to a half dozen men, clean up a dead body and it’s surrounding pool of blood, provide foster care for the 6 month old baby of said dead guy, AND lay out a solid breakfast the next morning for her family complete with pancakes, bacon and orange juice!

SERIOUSLY! How can I live up to these kind of expectations?

(I mean that pool of blood alone…I can’t even begin to imagine how many times she had to rinse those towels.)

See here, I am not cooking breakfast the day after I have to clean up a dead guy! I don’t even cook breakfast now!

Yet young, impressionable women are watching these shows, not expecting to ever mop up a dead guy’s pool of blood, but thinking surely they can at least put out a full breakfast for their family every morning.

NO! I mean if that’s your thing, and you love doing it, then yes, by all means….but if you’re a working mom and not a morning person, if you have babies, toddlers or young kids and morning is like a visit to a Victorian insane asylum, then oh my gosh, just getting out of the house each day without losing your mind is all you need to burden yourself to achieve!

We need to be realistic about what is achievable on a day to day basis as a wife, mom, worker, friend and world conquerer.

I think we tend to assume that we need to cram all our awesomeness into a single point in our lives, but the truth is that we only have finite amount of energy and focus in any given day. Our bodies and mind are not physically capable of “doing it all”. And what inevitably happens is that some of the balls drop and we beat ourselves up endlessly about it.

TV portrays a woman accomplishing all of her tasks in a single day and still finding time to clean up the dishes before she goes to bed. But we need to start realizing that, while we are capable and strong, we are also human and limited.

Understand and accept that you cannot achieve it all today, and be at peace with the top few things you prioritize (and make sure these are your priorities, not what is defined by some TV show). You will find yourself with more confidence, more focus and more energy for the present so that you can dream, plan and prep for when there is an opening in your calendar.

What the...?

What the… Painted doors

This falling asleep space for my 3 year old tends to bring on some unusual thoughts. From last night’s session:

“Mom, would you rather have a painted door?”

Me: “Rather than what, honey?”

“Rather than a brown one.”

Hmmmm. Then a few minutes later…

“Would you rather hide or paint doors?”

What sick person is forcing my 3 year old to paint doors all day long????

What the…?

Repurposed Life

My Favorite Quote About LOVE

Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.

– quote from the movie Juno

I can say, from personal experience, that the difference between someone loving you for who you are verses who they want you to be, makes ALL the difference.

Someone who loves you for who you are, will not get mad at you when you make mistakes, they will help you try to learn from them.

Someone who loves you for who you are will not discourage you when you find new hobbies or goals, they will encourage and motivate you.

Someone who loves you for who you are will embrace your past and not hold you hostage by it.

Someone loving you for who you are will not expect you to change, they will discuss conflicts and work towards compromise.

Someone who loves you for who you are will not dig in their heels, they will seek to understand your perspective and overcome challenges.

We change, we grow, we make mistakes, we learn. We can expect nothing less from our partners than to do the same. If you go into a relationship looking for or expecting change, then you’ve already started wrong. If that person asks you to be someone you’re not or behave differently than you do, you’re already doomed.

We can encourage the chances of finding these relationships by being honest, being ourselves and being up front right from the very start. Don’t change to passify the other person in your relationship. If you do change, do it because you think it is right.

If you can do these things and find someone who will do the same for you, then well, that’s where you’ve got something.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Why the breath, always the breath…

I have decided that I do not need to teach people how to be mindful or how to meditate. There are hundreds of teachers and scholars who can do this…Buddha, Lao Tse Ching, Deepak Choprah, Headspace, just to name a few. You should explore all kinds of teachers of mindfulness and meditation because not everything may resonate with you. Plus, the more you learn, the more depth you have in your knowledge and understanding of the world around you and your inner self.

Instead, what I would like to do is share some of the struggles, insights and perspectives that have helped me grasp and understand the reasons and truths behind the mindful revolution, why it works, and why it is fundamentally logical from an evolutionary perspective.

So, I will start where I started…someone told me that I needed to sit and focus on my breath….always, start with the breath. Feel yourself breath. Listen to yourself breath. Count your breaths. Focus on your breath. Breath fast, breath slow, breath deeply, breath shallow. Breath in your chest, breath in your stomach, breath in your limbs.

Every meditation you ever do will start with your breath. But, what am I supposed to do with my breath? I did not get it when I first started. Why do I care about how I breath? Every book I read told me to breath but did not tell me why. I am the kind of person that needs to know why.

Despite not receiving an answer, I plunged ahead…following directions telling me to just keep practicing and promises that it would eventually become clear. One day, however, I heard an idea that clicked in my ead. Your brain can’t focus on more than two items at a time; therefore, your breath counts as one, and whatever else you’re “meditating on,” either noticing, or feeling or sounds or pondering or achieving enlightenment, counts as the other. This leaves out the ability to let your mind wander aimlessly with any random thoughts that take you away.

I think of my breath as a metronome. It maintains the rhythm to my symphony. It is always there. I carry it with me. I can use my metronome at home, at work, in my car, on a hike or where ever I am, at any moment with no additional effort. It is free, it is constant, and it is uniquely mine.

Beginning every mediation with the breath also builds muscle memory in the neurological pathways of your brain. Whatever stress relief or enlightenment that you achieve while meditating is a reward that your brain recognizes begins with the breath. As time goes on, your brain associates the breath with the positive, mindful freedom that get with mediation. Over time, certain breaths can actually trigger meditative, mindfulness in only a few seconds, with only one or two breaths.

So, keep on breathing, even if it feels like it doesn’t make any sense. Then also read and listen to guided meditations (I love Headspace.com) to help you understand all the rest of the other good stuff….cause that’s where the bounty is, my friend. Breathing is just the ship you take to get there!