For the past few years, I’ve kept a folder in my OneDrive titled “Article Options.” I jot a quick one line note and save a document when I’m on the go. I intend to write a full blog post or article LATER. And later rarely comes…I either forget what I wanted to say, or the topic is no longer relevant by the time I get around to it.
So for my first post of 2021, I’m sharing a few of those note titles with some thoughts on each. With these titles taken care of, I’ll look forward to new inspiration in the coming year. Now that my business book is published (HOORAY!), I have every intention of blogging weekly – about whatever might be on my mind, so hopefully the ideas will keep coming.
Why I don’t schedule exercise: We all know how important it is to keep our bodies moving. Sedentary lifestyles are not good for the body or the soul. 2020 hasn’t helped much. But 2020 or not, I’ve always resisted scheduling time to exercise. My resistance isn’t to the exercise – I love to walk, ride my bike, and dance. I even enjoy lifting weights now and again. And keeping busy with physical, manual labor is one of my favorite hobbies. That said, I also love activities that involve sitting on the couch and not moving – writing, watching television, jigsaw puzzles, reading. My resistance is to SCHEDULING. I’d much rather set an intention to BE ACTIVE than to create a schedule that has me “exercise” every day. Then it becomes a CHORE to be completed rather than an activity to be enjoyed. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes I have to really push myself to get moving and use little tricks to keep me motivated. And sometimes I go days, even weeks, without enough activity. But I still prefer to watch my patterns and examine what may be happening that makes the pendulum swing in one direction or another. The very act of choosing to “fit in” (or not) activity each day around the many other happenings in my life gives me great insight into my emotional, mental, and spiritual state.
Do you schedule activity and exercise or fit it in with an intention to stay active?
Favorite child: As I binge-watched The Crown a few weeks back, one episode revolved around the idea of a favorite child. Margaret Thatcher clearly had a favored child. She admitted it, without shame. The Prince insisted that every parent does. The Queen, certain she didn’t, set up meetings with each of her children to discover if she, indeed had a favorite. She did.
But I’m here to say, I don’t! I have three children. My relationship with each one is very different – but I can honestly say that I do not have a favorite. I immensely enjoy each one’s company – whether that means having robust, engaging conversation with one or sitting quietly watching tv with another, I appreciate any time I can spent with any one of them. They each have unique personalities, strengths and quirks – and I will bend over backwards to ensure to the best of my ability that each one is as protected and empowered and happy as possible.
I don’t believe that I’m alone in this. While some parents may have favorite children, I don’t believe every parent does. What do you think?
My love hate relationship with Starbucks: Sometimes I think I “should” seek out the small shop owner for a cup of tea instead of giving my money to “big business” Starbucks – especially when I hear things like they wouldn’t let their employees wear Black Lives Matter shirts. These click-bait headlines didn’t provide the entire picture – but my natural instinct is to “cancel” my patronage. Then I realize that when I go into a small business – for tea or to shop – I rarely know the political views of the business owner and I even more rarely ask. And how many small business owners would LOVE to make it big like Starbucks? Should we begrudge their success? Especially when, from everything I can tell, they treat their employees fairly for the most part. At other times, I think Starbucks has replaced certain elements of the Catholic church for me. Just like I could go anywhere in the world and know exactly what I was going to see and hear if I attended a Catholic Mass, no matter what Starbucks I go into, I generally know what I’m getting. And when I’ve frequented a particular Starbucks location over a period of time because I’ve met students for tutoring, I’ve definitely found community with the staff and other patrons. To be honest, the courtesy, friendliness and concern my Starbucks acquaintances have shown has surpassed what I’ve found in church over the years. And the Starbucks communities have certainly been more welcoming and accepting of everyone than the Church tends to be.
Do you struggle with a love/hate relationship with any business you frequent?
Friendship: I have a problem with the saying, “A friend is someone with whom you dare to be yourself.” I want to shout – If you are not “yourself,” it is impossible to ever find a true friend. We should always be ourselves – and people will either accept and love us as we are, or they won’t. And if we aren’t ourselves all the time – who are we and how do we know if someone would accept us and be our friend if we don’t dare to be ourselves with everyone.
What do you think? Do you struggle to be yourself in an attempt to make friends?
But I know a change is gonna come: The words to a song by Sam Cooke. I’m not sure if I heard the tune on the radio, a television program or in a commercial – but around September or October 2020, I kept thinking of this song. I keep hoping a change will come – especially in relation to racism. At the same time, I’m disappointed with how quickly the cries for justice that followed George Floyd’s death have faded into the background, how easily we slip into acceptance of the status quo, and how it seems that some folx believe that a few days or weeks of protests and some catchy slogans will fix everything. This road to justice is long and requires constant vigilance and work. I’m grateful for all those working to build a more just society. And I keep hoping that a change is gonna come.
Do you think change is coming?