When You See Your Life in a Thistle Plant

Apparently I like to compare my life to a thistle plant when I go walking in silence.

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I went on a walk/kind-of-a-jog, this morning, and kept seeing thistle plants.

I got all metaphorical looking at them. I mean, here is a tough plant. Considered a weed around here, it has solid stalks that hold the flowers in place as they sit in a variety of stages of life. A few ends are not even open yet, some are in full blossom, and others have turned brown and have served their purpose. A lone bee sits on one end gathering pollen, and I can’t help but see my life in this plant.

The stages of life that are ending; careers and jobs that have served me well; friendships that may have had their season; the journeys that are about to begin; and the life experiences that keep me grounded through the happy and the suck moments in life.

It is easy to get caught up in the moments at the end of the flower but remembering the big picture and that it all fits together (even though I may not see it now), can keep me grounded and make the next season even better.

Hmmm, this is apparently where my mind goes when I don’t listen to podcasts.

Thistle with text,"When you recognize yourl ife in a thistle plant."
Thistle be my thought for the day.

#4 How to make others respect your time at home. Part 3: Learn to say, “No.”

A continuation from my last post (3 of 3): When you feel others ask too much of you, the problem may be your lack of ability to say, “No.”

Disclaimer: This advice is for mature adults who tend to lean toward people-pleasing. Obviously, not for life-threatening situations. 🙂 

“No.”

If you aren’t used to saying, “No,” maybe you should give it a try, this week.

Not only that, say it without feeling the need to give 40 excuses for saying, “No.”

Guess what? You will live through it. You may even find it empowering.

“No, that won’t work for me.”

“No, thank you.”

“I appreciate the offer but, I’m not available.”  Gasp!  You don’t even have to tell them what you are doing that has you unavailable.

My schedule and planning help me tremendously. Even when I’m mostly home with what may seem to others “not much to do” – I’m busy planning events, learning new skills, preparing for the next stage in life, organizing my daughter’s homeschooling, and more. It is easy to leave all of this off my calendar and see a whole bunch of free days, but what happens is anything I should have been doing now jumps into the next day where I wake up and already feel behind. The best way for me, personally, to fix this is to schedule things out. Some days, I list my top three things to do, and I don’t put times on them. Other days, I time things out (padded well, to keep me calm).

Along with our family calendar/google calendar, I use a composition notebook to keep me on track and organized. I’ll share a bit in my next post.

Do I always say, “No,”?  Not exactly, I am simply choosy about the who/what/where/whens in my life.

Having my schedule/goals figured out in advance, provides me with boundaries to know when saying, “No,” will ultimately bring me peace.

Best,

Christine

 

 

#3 How to make others respect your time at home. Part 2: It is all about me.

A continuation from my last post: The tremendous power in changing your thoughts about where you are in life.

Hi!

After my last post, our family decided to move. With the move happening in about a week, I had to put my time online on hold. Considering I am only working on this site to improve my WordPress skills (and hopefully, share something helpful along the way), I put this site on hold (briefly) to jump into decluttering, simplifying (we are downsizing) and packing.

The finish line is near. 🙂

So back to how to make others respect your time. In my last post, I discussed the first step which is to begin to notice your thoughts about your time. My guess is if you feel disrespected about your work at home, the thoughts you have about being at home are not positive.

Really? Really.

This was the truth for me.

For example, you could have someone ask you the question, “What do you do for a living? Do you work?”

From that question, your internal thought process could go a million different ways.

Let’s look at two extremes:

Sheesh. THIS question again. It is like I HAVE to have a job outside of the home to have any importance.

or

I’m so excited to share with them that I’m lucky enough to be able to be home at this time in my life. I wish everyone had this opportunity.

Try each of these thoughts “on.” What emotions do they bring up for you? When you have those differing emotions, how do you think your actions play out from thinking those thoughts?

Pay attention to your thoughts this week. Don’t try to change them. Just notice them.

This is a big step. It takes time, and it isn’t a button you can just turn on. You have to work continuously on it. But learning that YOU are in control of your feelings takes all of the power in your life and puts it in your hands. It is ALL about YOU.

Have a wonderful week.

PS – If you like where this is going, you will enjoy Brooke Castillo’s work at The Life Coach School – I like her podcasts, and also Byron Katie’s: The Work.

 

#2 How to make others respect your time at home. Part 1: Cat-Thinking

The power of changing your thoughts about your life and circumstances. Think someone disrespects your life choices? Could it be that YOU don’t even respect where you are in life?

We have a three-legged cat. We found him at a local shelter. He is so sure about who he is ( in having three legs) that we did not even notice the missing limb until he was taken out of his cage and placed on the shelter floor. It was only then that we witnessed what we thought was a “limp.”

He stole our hearts, at the shelter, by turning upside down, showing us his belly and his large yellow eyes.

He has been with our family for over two years now. There are days that I completely forget he is missing a leg and it isn’t until I pay attention to his walking that I am reminded of his tripod kittiness.

I believe our cat is the same cat he would be with a fourth leg. Seriously, when his left ear has an itch, his left back stump shakes as if it is reaching his ear. This is where we wonder – is he gaining any relief from this action?

He is who he is. He doesn’t care what I think of him – it doesn’t change him.

Right about now you are probably wondering, “What does this have to do with how people treat you?”

Well, we need that “cat-thinking.”

The following is a hard truth but if you find that most people are not respecting you in your role at home; or respect your time at home, it is highly likely that YOU don’t respect yourself in that role. Sit with that. Really.

Do you respect your time at home?

Do you give it the same priority as you would give a job outside of the home that you may have?

Whether you are being paid, or not; whether you work full time or part time; you have something in your life that you have to do.

Why should you treat it with less importance because it is work in the home? My thought is, we shouldn’t. We should learn to be the best version of us that we can be so that we may gain peace and happiness in every moment of the day.

Whether those around us understand our daily lives or not, it should have no impact on how we feel about ourselves. We need to develop cat-thinking in our lives, to own who we are. The outside world can love us – or not; it should have no impact on our daily peace. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Let’s get there together.

ACTION ITEM: Pay attention to the thoughts in your mind, this week. How do you feel about your time at home? What are your thoughts about your work at home? Are you proud of what you do every day? Click here to open a printable I created for this blog post (check your thinking).

Cat respect, Respect Yourself Haiku
Cat Respect, Respect Yourself Haiku

HAIKU

I want their respect.

To value my time and life.

It begins with me.

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#1 Working From Home: Vision vs. Reality (Blog Beginnings)

Introductory post: the blogging begins here. In this blog, I hope to share my random thoughts (maybe they’ll get organized down the road) about my time(s) at home, in an attempt to possibly help others discover their happiness at home.

blogpost1photosmallOver the last 14+ years, I have had a hodgepodge of jobs. Two of my favorites have been a homeschooling mother and balloon artist.

Have I always received payment for these jobs? Well, some of them were a decent wage, and others paid nothing in the way of dollars in the bank.

And, of course, Continue reading “#1 Working From Home: Vision vs. Reality (Blog Beginnings)”