Attitude Is Everything

Attitude Is Everything

Attitude Is Everything

Attitude…

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get downright discouraged about stuff.  I work really hard and things just don’t always go the way I had hoped.   There are times that I think for all the effort I have put in it should work but life doesn’t hand out A’s for effort. (Bummer huh?)  Can you relate?

However, I have observed in myself and others that our attitude towards everything we put effort into does matter!  I love watching the Olympics and seeing people giving everything they’ve got.  But what I really love are the stories behind the athlete.  It’s not the winners that grab my attention.  My heartstrings are tugged when I know the challenges a person overcame just to get to participate in the Olympics.  It’s their attitude that ultimately got them to where they are.  A person can be awesome at something but when things don’t go just their way, take on a sour attitude, and actually sabotage their own dreams.

Is Everything

Now I don’t know about you but I can get pretty stuck sometimes emotionally.  I get a picture in my head and that is what I want to accomplish, period!  When things don’t go as I plan, like anyone, I have a choice to make, either get ticked or step back and get creative.  This, of course, is easier said than done.  Sometimes I get really passionate about stuff.  But being a donkey’s behind doesn’t get me anywhere!   I have to talk myself out of feeling like I have every right to have a big old pitty party highlighted with lovely outbursts of frustration and a few colorful words.

Being a songwriter I have found that writing a song about life’s speed bumps is a great way to go!  A few years ago I wrote a song called, The Construction Man Blues, because there was so much construction going on that I couldn’t start recording my third CD.  It’s one of my favorites!

A few months later I was on my way to a gig, when my iPhone map-app sent me to a construction site instead of the Coffee Studio.  I was honked off at first and figured it wouldn’t be worth writing because it would be a bit too colorful to share (ahem, unhelpful attitude).  But then I figured out it could be a fun topic and I got creative (better attitude).

Ironically, the delay of recording my 3rd CD has allowed me the time and the life experiences I needed to be able to write several new songs. These news songs I think are some of my best material yet! The CD is going to have a nice mix of folk and blues when it is done. These are my two favorite styles.

Remember, attitude is everything.  It can move you forward or drag you down.  It’s solely up to you!

What moments in your life have required you to shift your attitude?

Add to the conversation (below)! We’ll be glad you did.

photo credit: a.otge via photopin cc

Post-It Notes! Friend or Foe

Post-It Notes! Friend or Foe

Post-ItsIn Praise of Post-Its

One of the best ways for someone with ADHD or anyone for that matter to start up a new routine is to have reminder post-it notes.  They are safe to basically put on most anything!

For the longest time I couldn’t remember to hide our dog’s bed away in our bedroom each morning.  The cats are tucked away at night but set free throughout the day.  One of our cats loves to remind all of us that he was here first–the alpha pet, if you will–by peeing on the dog’s bed.  Not awesome. So not awesome. As long as the bed isn’t out for Stuart to leave his legacy, there is no problem. But if I forget to put it away…it means an unhappy and avoidable chore of washing Bronx’s big bed outside, waiting for it to dry, cleaning and sanitizing the carpet inside, etc.  Makes for a full day. 😛

I finally resolved this issure with this two part plan.

Post-It Notes Are My Friend

1) I put up post-it notes that say, “Got Bed?” in all the areas that I am, first thing in the morning.

Now, there is a catch!  After awhile the post-it notes can become “invisible” to you and you might end up looking right through, around, and past them.  So, ultimately I have found a part two for this mission.

2) Linking new tasks to other tasks or rituals I already have up and running = victory.  For me, my routine is that I am not allowed to go downstairs in the morning until Bronx’s bed has been put away.

To accomplish this two part task you must stop what you are doing and think about what the problem is, how it can be resolved, where the sticky notes should go to start up the new routine and then finally what will be the long-term link you can mentally make to continue to remember to routinely do this task.

Some situations are harder to resolve than others.  So, celebrate each one that gets resolved!  Seriously!  Repeat after me:

Celebrate!

A Final Note (!) To Remember

Sometimes a change in routine, like a vacation, visitors, crisis, or a schedule change, can shake you out of your routines. You then need to reingage the sticky-notes until you can link it back onto something that will keep the routine going.  The more gracious you are with yourself the easier it will be to get back on track!

Helping your family understand that there will be times that routines get totally erased due to changes in schedules, etc., will also help you feel less stress as you get back to your special routine again.

Hit an office supply store and have some fun picking out eye-catching sticky notes!  You and your family will be glad you did!

What’s your story?  Are you a lover of the little notes? Or do you find them annoying? What works best for you?

Add to the conversation! We’ll be glad you did. And please share the love.

photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography via photopin cc

Persistent Positivity in the Face of Open Loops! (Part 2)

Persistent Positivity in the Face of Open Loops! (Part 2)

Persistence (Part 2)Persistent + Positivity = Payoff

As stated in my first blog, completing a task or “closing a loop” can be a huge challenge for me. Especially if I am thinking of other things while doing them. Some tasks are extra difficult due to the fact that there is time sensitivity involved.  I shared in part one that opening and closing windows to help keep the house cool during the summer has two parts to it.  The second part (*closing*) is normally the tricky part.

Another task I briefly mentioned in blog #1 involves doing more than one thing at a time. Example: feeding the cats.  This may not seem like a multi-tasking sort of task but when you have three cats that don’t eat the same food or eat in the same location then you have got yourself a job!

For me something this “simple” will sometimes result in me leaving a can of food out by accident.  It’s often the middle cat whose can I leave out for anyone to snack on.  I get the first cat all set up downstairs but feeding two boys upstairs in separate rooms with separate foods is often when things go awry.  I forget to loop back around to pick up the can of food for cat #2 because I am now focused on cat #3. Plus, since cat #3 is located in the laundry room, I immediately start thinking about the laundry situation and getting a load going.  Once I do that, there is no memory of the can of food left out for #2 until it’s lunch time or my hubby finds it.

Persistent About Allowing Growth

Overall, multi-tasking is just not something that works for me.  And, even though I have been through this struggle a million times it doesn’t improve the situation.  It doesn’t matter if “on pain of death it must be done” because I can’t keep all those thoughts and feelings in some organized order in my head all at once.

I have to break this task down to feeding each animal individually.  I also need to ask myself, “Have you finished the task at hand?”  “Do you have any loops you need to close before moving on to the next task?”

This, of course, is easier said than done.  So, I often put sticky notes up to remind me of daily open loops like washing clothes so we don’t run out! (More on that topic next time.)

Another helpful trick I have learned is pairing up a task you often forget to do with something you always remember to do. That way it will become a new habit much faster than usual.

It takes (persistent) work and a positive attitude (positivity!).  If you get down on yourself, you just give yourself another thing to distract yourself with.  Experiment! Try different tactics and see what works for you.

Keep on keepin’ on!

Add to the conversation! We’ll be glad you did. Is there an area in your life you’re persistent at improving? Are you striving to bring positivity along for the ride? Invite someone you know into this conversation. Everyone is welcome. 

photo credit: readerwalker via photopin cc

Persistent Positivity in the Face of Open Loops!

Persistent Positivity in the Face of Open Loops!

Persistent & positive

Persistent positivity…in the face of open loops?

Being your own cheerleader is most important!…and actually, necessary. Your view of yourself and your self talk is the most powerful input you will ever get.

Often I will discover or have it pointed out to me some routine I didn’t finish that negatively impacted someone.  We call it in my house, an “open loop.”  I open windows in the a.m. to cool down the house but I forget to close them before the sun comes around, so the house is twice as hot as it would have been. I feed the cats but forget to put away the catfood afterward.  (I will get back to the catfood in my part-2 blog.) These are the kind of loops that are easiest to leave open because they involve timing but not much thought. I can be thinking about something completely different as I do these things so I may get distracted and pick up on a thought in the middle of my task. Oi!

Here is what I mean:

The windows –  If I don’t set a timer for the closing of the windows I will most likely forget.  There have been times I have remembered early and thought to myself, ‘ it’s too early…I will come back to it’ with every intention of doing so.  Convinced I will, I go on with my day but end up completely forgetting.  I am better off doing something either immediately when I think of it or I need to set a timer.  Really those are my two options.  It’s tricky though because doing it immediately may keep you from accomplishing something else you had planned to do.  It’s good to pause and check first.  If nothing will be impacted, then go for it!

Anyway, back to my original thought – being persistent.  I accidentally tick people off, whether I know it or not.  All I can do is apologize and do my best at being aware of my open loops. (Timers can be a helpful tool.  Just remember to not pound yourself if you forget the timer, too.  Beating yourself up just makes the rest of the day worse.)

Let people express their frustration so they know you care about their feelings.  Whether you mean to do things or not, they are hurt, so let them know you love them by listening.

Try not to internalize their words of anger as attacks on who you are, it’s just what you have done. Now, yes it can be hard to separate those two but if you do you will be able to think more clearly and problem solve how to make the situation better. If you let other people’s anger completely overcome you it will distract you, and just make things worse.

You aren’t stupid, you aren’t an idiot, so just listen compassionately, keep your head on straight and be open to the fact that you just might come up with a creative idea to help improve the situation so it won’t happen quite as often. Be persistent with being persistent. 😉

What routines do you find challenging to complete? Please share. We may be able to help.

Add to the conversation. We’ll be glad you did.

photo credit: Loving Earth via photopin cc

“Quiet Me Down” – A Song Blog About ADHD

“Quiet Me Down” – A Song Blog About ADHD

ADHD 2Bringing Quiet to a Busy ADHD Mind

A few years ago I learned that I have ADHD.  There are many different types of ADHD, so they don’t all look the same.  My flavor is one that is often overlooked.  Some describe it as the quiet, good girl version, however,  boys often have this version of it too.  I was one of those kids who either day-dreamed much of the time or was distracted by the movements and quiet interactions in the classroom.

Unfortunately, what also can come with that is a quiet lonely internal battle with anxiety.  Looking back I can now recognize anxiety in my childhood mannerisms.  I chewed my fingernails something fierce and often the inside of my lips.  When watching TV my mom more than once had to gently encourage my hands to open up from clenched fists.

As an adult, I felt like this monster was slowly taking me over, kind of like “The Blob”, one of my daughters favorite old movie villains.  I always had this underlying feeling of being uptight, but when I made mistakes my anxiety would increase exponentially!

New Forest, New Squirrels

Moving to Boise definitely pushed my anxiety level up a few notches.  We had been living in a small town, Yakima, in Washington state, for 10 plus years.  It was very easy to get around and family was not too far away in any direction.  My mother-in-law lived about 7 houses down so I had her support whenever I needed it.   Moving far away from everything familiar and everyone I knew shook me up.  To magnify matters, Boise was at least 3 times bigger than Yakima!  Yikes!

It was during Boise’s school system’s spring break that we moved. Within days of moving I had to take my precious little first grader to a brand new school filled with strangers…and then I was supposed to leave her there for the whole day!

When my anxiety would completely wear me out, then I would suffer from depression and loneliness.  This was a really dark time.

Before I came to understand that ADHD was the source of my troubles, I wrote a song to try to help quiet me down.  I would go for walks in the morning along the river and I would sing it to myself.  Some days it helped more than others.  At least for the period of time that I was walking and singing, I would eventually feel a little calmer.

I hope this song brings comfort to you as you listen to it.

Engage here.  Do you ever struggle with anxiety?  Is ADHD part of your life? What do you do to calm yourself down? Do you need help addressing this issue in your life?

Add to the conversation. We’ll be glad you did! Invite a friend to Prepare For Rain today!

Here’s a link to the “Quiet Me Down” video:

Quiet Me Down from Prepare For Rain on Vimeo.

photo credit: Alan Cleaver via photopin cc

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