Friday, August 26, 2011


How many times has this fragment of a thought run through your head? We have all been there. We do many things. Our lives are consumed by this and that. Women who are highly motivated (in whatever they do) and selfless often think first, of completing tasks and taking care of others. A woman like this puts herself, her desires and her dreams on the back burner a lot of the times. However, even though the basement gets filled with these dreams, we still think about them. (Yes, I am one of these women too, even though I don‘t actually have a basement.) There has to come a time when we can elaborate on this statement. “There is this thing I have been wanting to do and that thing is…”. The statement must be completed. Not only that, it must be accompanied by a plan to execute and reach the goal, do that thing you have been wanting to do. Even though I am a busy mother, wife, volunteer and writer, I still make time to do the things that I WANT to do, big or small. Why? Because these are things that feed my soul. These are things that give me personal satisfaction and make me feel successful. Just as an example, I once stepped into a craft store. I strolled by the jewelry section and it was so glittery and shimmery full of beads and fun things to make jewelry. In that moment, with not skill set applicable to creating any piece of jewelry, I decided that it was something that I wanted to do. I bought a little kit, came home and made a few pair of earrings and a couple of necklaces! I wanted to do it, and I did it. It made me feel good. I enjoyed the time I spent making them and was proud of my pieces. As a person who loves to be creative, this was just right for me. It fed my soul. For you, it might be getting a new pair of sneakers because you want to start to jog. It might even be something so simple as a looking up a recipe for biscuits because you want to make your own instead of those that come out of the can. The point here is, you (everyone) must take time to do the thing that they WANT to do. We are responsible, singularly, for our own happiness. When we are blessed enough to share our lives with someone else, we should choose people who can enhance our lives. This is true in intimate relationships as well as in friendships. What you should never do, though, is place the responsibility for your happiness on someone else’s shoulders. It is alright to have a little “you/me” time every now and then. There is nothing wrong with doing the things that make you feel good, mentally and emotionally. So go ahead, make a list or be spontaneous. Just do the things you want to do! Life has not guarantee of time so make it worth your while and live every day to the fullest!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Jot, doodle & scribble your stress away!

I have always been an advocate of keeping a journal. One of the first responses I get when I suggest this to someone is "but I don't write". It is not necessary to be a writer in any expert or professional capacity to keep a journal. In fact, one of the best things about a journal is that it does not need to adhere to any specific form. In my own journal, I often just doodle and scribble in addition to writing entries. I find that it helps me to bring clarity when I am anxious, frustrated, confused or overwhelmed (*These afflictions often affect a military spouse.) You can choose to free write. What that basically means is that you pick up a writing utensil and begin writing anything, and I mean ANYTHING! You can begin with your shopping list, how you tripped over your pet, which load of laundry you need to do next...anything at all! The main goal is to just keep writing freely (usually for a set time, between 5-30 minutes, or really, as long as you like). What eventually happens is that through this writing, you touch upon something, something leaks out, something reveals itself or you purge yourself. You also become distracted from whatever stress is weighing you down at the time. Similarly, doodling or jotting down words or phrases can help reveal and release things that are on your mind. I love to doodle randomly (see picture) and as I go along, I see that each little doodle is connected to some thought or feeling, so that means something to me too. A LOT of emphasis is placed on physical health in this day and age, but equally important is your mental health. There are avenues for release, and journaling can be quite therapeutic. I have many different journals, but today, for fun, I created a collage on the front of my next journal (a simple, $1 composition notebook and clippings from mags). It makes it feel personalized and like it will house thoughts and doodles that are unique and private to me. Find a journal, make a journal. I dare say that everyone (really, of any age) can benefit from keeping a journal full of jottings, doodles, scribbles and words.