Poof!

Poof! All my hard work and writing gone. Nothing, nada, zilch. Neither my web host nor WordPress can recover my documents. All but a few posts gone. (Why oh why didn’t I create them in a separate word document and then just upload them to the blog?)  So the “Adventure” blog came to a halt. BUT, I have continued to practice all the lessons I learned from the book “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, And It’s All Small Stuff” by author, Richard Carlson, PhD. And you know what? It has made a difference. While not a perfect student, I have managed to take it down a notch, breath deeper, judge less, listen more and incorporate the strategies that make life more enjoyable! Isn’t that what it’s all about?

So now what? Where do I go from here? Before moving forward, I need to recap three major life altering events that detoured me from continuing to blog.

First, my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV, metastatic melanoma. A deadly, devastating blow for us both. Luckily for him (and for us) advances in medicine, immunotherapy drugs, prayers, prayers, prayers, faith, faith, faith, an amazing medical team, combined with the love and support from family and friends, the cancer is GONE!  POOF! One year after the completion of treatments, all clean scan, and according to the oncologist, the word CURE is now a reality. God is good!

About one year prior to the time of my husband’s cancer diagnosis, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease. She has been a widow for twenty years and resided in her home next to ours, and though she required some supervision, she was able to manage in her home setting…for a while. During the time we were in a life-saving battle with cancer, we were also juggling her ever-increasing needs. Keeping up with my husband’s medical treatments, doctor visits, scans, etc., while managing our day to day duties at the restaurant and catering businesses, keeping tabs on our rental units, and coordinating ours and the caregiver’s schedule, began to take its toll. Rapid changes in her ability to care for herself, combined with major personality and behavior changes, her inability to sleep or be alone, increased the amount of caregiving that she required. Making her meals, doing laundry and household chores, and keeping her “busy”, began to wear on us both. Finally, after much agony, and after the holidays had passed, we realized that her needs would best be met in a personal care home setting; offering round the clock care, activities and meals. We could visit and take her out without worrying about the times we could not be with her. We needed that peace of mind. However, the transition for her did not go well, and she was miserable most of the time. Her behaviors, agitation and wandering worsened, and we were asked to seek new accommodations for her. Thankfully, there are several facilities nearby that provide specialized care for the Alzheimer and dementia population. I am happy to report that the transition to her new home went very well and she says, “I’m happy”. Poof! Gone is the worry and guilt.

Then my best friend, Nancy, who has been my sidekick, partner in crime, part-time employee, part time care-giver, dog sitter, and the shoulder that I leaned on more than anyone, ever, just up a died. She just up and died doing what she loved best, and that was working in her yard and tending to her beautiful flower beds. I had been with her in the morning, prior to her passing. She was helping us with a few tasks at the restaurant, while my husband and I went on an overnight mini vacation, to fish, dine, relax and take a breather from all we’d been through. After a beautiful day in the outdoors, and while on our way to our hotel, I received a call on my cell phone from her neighbor, that Nancy had died late that afternoon. The shock was unbearable, as I had received several texts from her that day to tell me to relax and have a good time. She had been at our home to walk and feed the dogs. She had been at the restaurant to take a bite home to eat. She had even made our bank deposit!  I just couldn’t imagine that she was gone and that I was never going to laugh or cry with her ever again. I couldn’t imagine that she would be missing from our praise band at church, I couldn’t believe that she would be missing  from our annual Kentucky Derby party.

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Nancy and Erin Kentucky Derby Party

I would never sit at her kitchen table and talk over a cup of coffee to unload my problems, catch up on her activities, or just pass time with friendly chit chat. As I write this, my heart is aching for my friend. I eulogized my best friend at her memorial service, as did her niece and son. Nancy packed the church with those people whose lives she had touched. She was a huge OU fan and we filed out of the church chanting, “Boomer – Sooner”, to the OU fight song. Later that evening, with close family and friends gathered in her back yard, we planted Nancy’s ashes with her flowers. We didn’t care if that type of burial is legal or not, because she would have liked that and that’s all that matters. Poof! Another chapter in life closed.

As they safe, life can change on a dime, in a heartbeat, or in a New York minute, and it does. Life IS short. Priorities change. Loved ones pass. Children become adults (hopefully), and finding peace and contentment while juggling a thousand things seems almost impossible, but it’s not. Inner peace and Joie De Vivre (joy of life!) resides within us all. Pursue it, grab it and make it your own….

I’m sure another adventure is around the corner. Life will gone on, and eventually I will adjust to my new reality. In the meantime, I’ll give myself some latitude, start writing again, keeping it simple and not sweating the small stuff!

 

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THE ADVENTURE BEGINS!

Welcome to the Don’t Sweat Adventure!

butterfly pictures, butterflies pictureThe Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff Adventure is all about giving YOU a personal roadmap for creating peace of mind and calmness in the midst of chaos, responding to life more gracefully, and finding the path of least resistance. Read all about the Don’t Sweat Adventure (and why you should participate) here.

How many times have you heard someone say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”?

Maybe you’ve said it to someone else or even to yourself; when overreacting to a frustrating situation or to another person’s perceived rudeness. So why is it that the small mole hills become mountains? Why is it that people shout obscenities at each other over the most innocent mistakes? Why is the tolerance level getting lower and the stress level getting higher?

Well I’ve asked myself these questions and decided there has got to be a better way. Enter Richard Carlson’s book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and it’s all small stuff.

While it’s not necessary to purchase this book, it might be helpful to read his words, and his prescription for stressing less as you journey along your way to peace. This “other way” of living involves replacing old habits of reaction with new habits of perspective

Ready to Begin the Don’t Sweat Adventure?

Step One: Read Chapter 99 of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson.

Why Chapter 99 you ask?

Because Chapter 99 focuses on scheduling time for your inner work. If you wait until all your chores, responsibilities, and everything else is done before you get started, it will never happen. Guaranteed. He points out that how you choose to use the time is up to you, but the important thing is that you do schedule time and STICK TO IT.

So this is where we begin…at the end.

Then we’ll move to the beginning.

Schedule Time for Your Inner Work

For this week, I just ask that you start scheduling time for yourself and time for this adventure to be a part of your daily life, and stick to it.

This is where good habits develop. If you are not accustomed to any downtime for yourself, or any time to pursue what’s important to you, then my friend, it’s time. Take whatever measures you need to have uninterrupted time. Inform your family that you are unavailable, unplug from electronics (except for the Don’t Sweat Adventure of course), lock yourself in a room, take a walk,  meet a friend, see a movie by yourself,  and begin to feel good, not selfish, for spending time on you!

Refresh, renew, revive!

Connect, Comment, and Provide Feedback

I warmly welcome and encourage your feedback. You can post your comments on this blog, or join the #DontSweatAdventure conversation on Twitter.  In the future, I’ll expand to other social media, but for now this will be a more intimate way to communicate and for me to get to know you better.

I also welcome any of your friends, family and co-workers to join us – so bring someone along. Sometimes it’s fun to follow along with a small group of friends; comparing your notes and progress.

Join the Don’t Sweat Adventure Community

Each week, you will be encouraged to take ONE practical action towards stressing less. I’ll be on this journey too; so you won’t be alone.

You’ll also get to meet my teammates, Karen, Amy, Julie, Nancy, and Bev who have been good enough friends to support me in this adventure. They have their own reasons for wanting to participate and will share their experiences and perspectives each week with you.

This supportive community is an added bonus when you participate. Some weeks might be easy, some weeks might be a difficult challenge, but we’re in this together.

Together can overcome the minor things that keep us from enjoying our lives, our work, and our families more!

Your adventure assignment for this week is to schedule time for your inner work because… you’re worth it!

Stress Less,
Barb

                         butterfly pictures, butterflies picture

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