Expectations—Learning about Less Part 3

“All You Need Is Less” is my mantra of the year.

Yes, “Less Self-Imposed Expectations” was a hard, hard lesson to learn, but I was able to do it in part by listening to other people’s similar situations, identifying with them, and being able to envision alternate ways to view those situations. Then, I came up with a Plan Of Action to Ensure Less Unrealistic Expectations.  My simple plan of action isn’t rocket science, but it sure does work for me.

The thing is, it’s pretty useless to try to just “whip up” a plan of action. There are a few steps involved. There is a need to put some thought into one.  A little self-talk, a little soul searching perhaps.  But if you can get through that part  you’re well on your way to enjoying  much more “Less!”

 

ACTION ITEM 1

First and foremost was coming to the understanding that it all starts with me.

Yada, yada yada, yeah we hear it over and over, but the truth really is….

Yes, I do have the ability to direct my destiny. We all do.  It’s all about choice.  I decide if and when I am going to do… virtually….anything.  I want certain things out of this life.  I aspire to achieve certain things.  Every time I take a back seat to my own needs and desires, I am farther away from realizing them.  I can’t get what I want without my own cooperation.   It’s on me, alone.  I can choose to say yes.  I can choose to say no. I can choose to share, keep, wait, or leave.  I can choose to modify my plans, or hold steady.  Not making a decision is, actually, making a decision.  I can decide something is important enough to engage in, or not.  I can change my mind then change it again. Saying yes isn’t wrong.  Saying no isn’t failing. I can be my worst critic, or my biggest cheerleader.  It all depends on how I choose to view things.  What happens in my day happens because of my decisions.  EVEN if it means disappointing someone, or something becomes a “surprise” situation, like my medical surprise.  I can choose how to respond to it. No one else gets to make that decision for me.  When a person approaches life with this realization in mind it effects every relationship and interaction they have.

The first step was coming back to the simple understanding that it all starts with me. Then, everything else changed.  Recognizing that “inner power” helped give me renewed confidence that I am valuable and my time is valuable, and I actively choose to prioritize my time to be gentle, patient, supportive, and forgiving of myself, first.  For most of us, I suspect we have ourselves down a couple on the priority list, putting others first.  As awkward and selfish as it may sound…that has to stop. We need to take care of ourselves before we’ll be much good for others.

 

ACTION ITEM 2

I identified four important TRUTHS to live by (in addition to ‘The Four Agreements’—by Don Miguel Ruiz –the ultimate truths to live by!).  These truths have been firmly planted in front of me for some time now, as a behavior modification reminder.

ONE      Trust that the world isn’t going to come to an end without my relentless efforts.

TWO      Accept that it’s not my job to take on mine, and everyone else’s “stuff”.  I’m not responsible for everything.

THREE   Allowing myself to pick and choose the things I really want to do, have to let go of, or cannot get done, is the right thing to do for everyone.   Just because I know I can, doesn’t mean I should.

FOUR    Believe that I deserve love, respect, understanding, and kindness from others, AND from myself.

 

ACTION ITEM 3

I had to put this adjusted way of thinking into a user friendly format. For me, that’s the easy part!

What helped me to limp along juggling overwhelming unrealistic expectations for years and years and YEARS was keeping AND USING a schedule. For me that included anything from bi-monthly projects to routine daily needs, cramming things right down to an 18 hour hourly timeline by the ½ hour with no breaks if I had a super busy day.  And more than once I needed a 30 hour day!  Oh how I had myself on point for non-stop running!  Sometimes  I can’t believe I’m still alive!  While the schedule gig was pretty effective in getting things done, it was also totally exhausting, usually unattainable, plus it was missing something huge—time to breathe.  There are several reasons for that,  that somehow, I never recognized all those years.  But now I do.

So, things have changed for me. It’s a new day.  “Less” of a day. Next time I’ll show you how I developed my “Less of a Schedule SCHEDULE”!

 

Thank you for reading my post. Did it strike a chord for you or did it seem far and away from your own perspective?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  You can read about all sorts of ideas, opinions and feelings from the heart and soul of an outdoorswoman… there are lots of topics covered in my blog category, “Girl Outdoors”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website.  You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  There’s a place to do that right on my website homepage.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!

Expectations—Learning about Less Part 2

“All You Need Is Less” is my mantra of the year.

Yes, “Less Self-Imposed Expectations” was a hard, hard lesson to learn, but I was able to do it in part by finding out I’m not alone on the island. Many people get caught up in the same spiral of trying to do it all, all of the time.  I reached out to many other people, asking why they hold themselves up against unrealistic self-imposed expectations.  Three interesting responses I got were:

 “When I say I’m going to do something, if I said I’d do it, I have to follow through and do it. Period.”

“It’s all stuff that has to be done, and no one else is going to do it, so I have to.”

“It just happens. I don’t know how I get myself so overextended with everything.  I don’t mean to take on so much, but it all piles up and then I struggle with getting anything done at all.”

All perfectly understandable explanations. And the last thing we want to do is have to look those commitments straight on and admit we’re in over our heads!

So I broke things down a little and took a closer look.

Following through.  Of course it’s important and responsible to follow through.  It demonstrates dependability.  Others feel comfortable counting on you.  It’s a foundation block of good character and maturity and being trustable.  But “I have to, Period”?  Sometimes, saying yes proves to be more than you’ve bargained for.  Being good for one’s word is a noble enough effort, but come on now, sometimes things come up that can’t be helped.  Maybe it wasn’t clear at first that saying yes would be a mistake—but coming clean with it the moment you do know is the right thing to do.  It’s ok to admit you’ve made a mistake!

The trouble is, if we don’t pay attention to what we actually agree to, eventually we’re caught up in a pile of commitments we’ve got no business being involved in, but come hell or high water by golly we’re gonna get um all done! Of course you don’t want to go back on your word.  Certainly we don’t want to make it a habit! But not allowing an occasional “change of mind” or admittance “I was wrong, I can’t make this happen by the deadline”  is inflexible, unhealthy and perhaps more critical to consider for yourself than the guilt of letting someone down.  In the bigger picture, the core problem stems from the inability to set a reasonable limit as to what we say we are willing to do in the first place.  And that’s a totally fixable problem.

Always rising to the occasion, whether it’s your occasion or not.  Oh, yes.  Ever the do-er, the matriarch, the head of the “whatever”, saving the day, the family, the department, the world…. “I’ll get it done” because all eyes turned to you, and well, someone has to! Also an admirable load to bear, but the truth is, always being “the one” is selfish.  Remember as a kid, your parents (hopefully) teaching you to share?  It wasn’t just about things, it was also about sharing responsibilities — ‘taking turns’ is an important life skill to have.  Not letting others step up and share the load is a pretty arrogant behavior.  Besides possibly enabling others to not learn to do their part, it can cause serious stress and health issues for you, the do-er.  Maybe that’s when it’s time to dial back and realize it’s not always about you.

“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. Sometimes it’s okay to let someone else take the lead.  You’re not the only brain in the room.  It’ okay to step away from “center stage”, running the show, and even to let the “chips fall as they may” when you finally decide it’s someone else’s turn to help.  Perhaps doing so will uncover something important for you.  Perhaps doing so will allow others to grow and learn something.  In the bigger picture, the core problem likely stems from the inability to trust and let go of control.  By believing we have to be the one to do it all, eventually we drown in an overwhelming struggle to doing too much; frustrated and resentful that we’re ‘alone on the island’ –we’ve trained others that they don’t have to step up because we always will.

And then there’s saying yes. And yes. And yes, and yes. We just can’t say no, and we just don’t pay attention to how much yes we give out.  Awwwe.  What a nice person! We want to help.  We want to be liked.  We want to be accepted and appreciated.  Be wanted.  Be needed.  Feel valued.  All normal desires and a part of being the amazing human beings that we are.  But the reality is, those feelings shouldn’t have to be dependent on fulfilling the needs and wants of everything and everybody else.  We are valuable, worthy and essential on this planet whether we are constantly overloaded with doing things….or not.  We are not defined by how much we do for others, but for who we are.

But somehow, we mistakenly convince ourselves that we ARE defined by how much we “do”, which is a faulty rationalization.  Without knowing and owning self-value in our hearts, we keep offering, helping, and doing until we are backed-logged with dozens of projects and commitments, and no time to breathe, let alone focus on getting any one thing done for anyone.  Overworked and overwhelmed, eventually we end up missing deadlines, doing inferior work, disappointing people and feeling like a failure.

In talking with these three people about their various situations, I discovered that on TOP of my own reasons, I, too have, from time to time, been guilty of each of their reasons as well! So back last year while I was trying to figure out my health issues, and was literally forced to do “less”, I developed a new plan of action to Ensure Less Unrealistic Expectations.  My plan of action isn’t rocket science.  It isn’t anything outrageously innovative or unique.  But it sure does work for me.  Stay tuned.  Next time I’ll unfold the plan of how I Ensure Less Unrealistic Expectations of myself.

 

Thank you for reading my post. Did it strike a chord for you or did it seem far and away from your own perspective?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  You can read about all sorts of ideas, opinions and feelings from the heart and soul of an outdoorswoman… there are lots of topics covered in my blog category, “Girl Outdoors”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website.  You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  There’s a place to do that right on my website homepage.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!

Expectations—Learning about Less

“All You Need Is Less” is my mantra of the year.

Yup.

All you need is less.

Less Self-Imposed Expectations for starters.

What makes some people take on too much? What makes us believe we have to “do it all”? I mean DO it all? And then, when it’s impossible to get it all done, beat ourselves up for not getting it done?

I’ve been that person most of my life. Go for the gusto, baby!

For me it’s always been two fold. First, there is always just so much that I WANT to do, that I can’t help but try to go after all of it.  Second, once I get into that “do-ing” mode, I literally lose track of where I am with it all, and just keep doing and doing and adding on until I’m in the outer stratosphere of taking on too much-not even realizing that I’ve done it.

Well that’s all come to somewhat of a screeching halt as of August 2016 when I first experienced health issues.  Months of reassessing my world began with working through fear, disappointment, shame, and sadness.  At first, I couldn’t accept the idea of scaling back and not doing everything all the time. Oh, how I felt like a failure. The first time I had to say no I thought I’d die. Oh, how I couldn’t stand holding back and not going a mile a minute.  In the privacy of my own mind, I sent myself on a horrific trip of shame for every little thing I didn’t get done, could have done better, forgot, or didn’t get to at all.

Yet somehow, the world continued on without my endless efforts.

Huh.

You mean, all this time I’ve been knocking myself out everywhere for everyone and everything all the time, just to earn my worth and validation and place on this planet, the only one who really expected it all was me???

Why be this way?

“Less Self-Imposed Expectations” was a hard, hard lesson to learn, but has resulted in a new and positive direction for me that includes being happier, making wiser, healthy choices and actually being far more effective while incorporating “less”.

Sure, we all do have to uphold a certain level of expectation in order to have a productive personal and work life. But so many of us take on too much; whether it’s being a good employee, friend, or family member, running the kids around, social activities, volunteer work, community work,  just plain work, or a combination of it all and a list of other things too.  We don’t seem to put a “cap” on how much we can or should be doing and still maintain some level of quality of life.  I reached out to many other people as I was floundering, asking why they hold themselves up against unrealistic self-imposed expectations.  Here are three interesting responses I got (in no particular order):

 “When I say I’m going to do something, if I said I’d do it, I have to follow through and do it. Period.”

“It’s all stuff that has to be done, and no one else is going to do it, so I have to.”

“It just happens. I don’t know how I get myself so overextended with everything.  I don’t mean to take on so much, but it all piles up and then I struggle with getting anything done at all.”

Do any of these statements sound familiar to you? I pondered them for quite some time and came up with a thoughtful assessment that I’ll share next time.  Why wait?  Well…..because frankly, I’m trying to do “less” these days!

 

Thank you for reading my post. Did it strike a chord for you or did it seem far and away from your own perspective?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  You can read about all sorts of ideas, opinions and feelings from the heart and soul of an outdoorswoman… there are lots of topics covered in my blog category, “Girl Outdoors”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website.  You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  There’s a place to do that right on my website homepage.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!

Less

The traffic was horrible, backed up for miles with no exits in sight. A 15 minute ride was now going to take an hour.  Noticing it was 86 degrees while I sat in the bumper to bumper endless sea of cars I realized; I could have left earlier.  If only I hadn’t been held hostage by an hour of listening to passionate grandstanding about topics I am not interested in—but I didn’t want to be impolite and cut the person off.

My bad.

I should have cut them off.

I should have just walked away.

I should have…

I was going to be late for the meeting. And I was sweating profusely, and the air wasn’t working.  An eternity passed before I was able to get off that highway and race to my destination.  I was late for the meeting.  And I was basically damp from head to toe.  We couldn’t reach a decision, so another meeting was scheduled.

I closed my notebook and sighed.

Another meeting.

I missed 6 calls during that meeting.

Needing to get on the road and tackle a list of stops in town, I bolt out the door. The first store didn’t have the special tool I needed.  Neither did the 2nd or 3rd store but I could back order the product to arrive in a couple weeks.  I need it now.  I will have to improvise.  The pet store was out of my dog’s brand.  There is a huge line at the gas station.  The grocer didn’t have the herbs I needed.  While I tried to collect messages between stops, more calls came in.

Everyone wants something.

I still need to get home and take care of animals before dark—that takes well over an hour.

I’m still in town and it’s hot and I’m sweating and no one has what I need and the calls just keep coming in and I have 18 things I have to draft for projects and business and it’s almost sundown and I’ll be up all night again…and… and…and………

Here we are at yet another delay on the road. OH what next?

I turned a weary eye off to the shoulder of the road.

There he was.

A man, perhaps in his mid-40’s, leaning on a bus bench; back pack on the ground, one leg up on the bench, facing traffic. Facing me.  His hair was shoulder length and wavy.  His clean cut face looked serene.  His posture was relaxed.  He looked so very “cool” despite the suffocating heat.  I was sweating and gritting my teeth and white knuckling the steering wheel, wanting to be him.  That peaceful, serene person.  He looks so content.  And dry.  How is it that he looks so content?  So carefree?   And then my eyes finally focused on his shirt:

“All You Need Is Less”

Hmmm.

All you need is less.

Yeah, less sweat! Less delays! Less traffic in my way! Less…..

Hmmmm. No, that’s not it.

Less.

All you need is less.

Time stood still. Not sure I was even breathing. The words rolled across my mind like an ocean wave, gently rocking me into another realm of consciousness.

What a simplistic thought. How could anything be more simple?

Sha-ZAM!!!   Clarity, like a sunbeam breaking through stormy clouds.

I took a deep breath and swallowed hard. The redness I felt spread across my face wasn’t from the heat.

Less. All I need is less!

This really happened to me one day the winter of 2016. I received the message of “less” on a Sarasota highway.  I pushed through that day, pondering my profound discovery.  How can I capture the essence of “less”?

What can I do less of?

Have less of?

Think less of?

Be less of?

I began formulating a creative plan to “live with less”, starting with initiating an overhaul on my own behaviors and habits. But things were pretty rough for me through the spring of 2017, and went downhill from there.  Too sick to focus, I thought about “less” less and less.

Now we are about to turn the page, say goodbye to 2017, and begin another new year. Just the other day I was passing through that same stretch of Sarasota highway on a little visit.  My head filled with vivid recollections of that amazing experience back in 2016.  I am stronger now.  With great effort, I have grown and changed a lot since that enlightening day.  I am thinking about “less” more…… or thinking more about less?

What a perfect way to wrap up the remainder of this year and launch 2018—focusing on less.

So, stay tuned as I share more about less.

And,

Happy New Year!!!!!!

 

Thank you for reading my post. Did it strike a chord for you or did it seem far and away from your own perspective?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  You can read about all sorts of ideas, opinions and feelings from the heart and soul of an outdoorswoman… there are lots of topics covered in my blog category, “Girl Outdoors”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website.  You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  There’s a place to do that right on my website homepage.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!

Merry Christmas To All

Facebook is quite a tool. It’s a great way to share news, and find out what’s going on with your friends and family instead of actually spending time with them.  It’s a great way to read between the lines and find out more about someone.  At times, there’s no need to read between the lines—some posts can be un-mistakenly clear.

Yes, Facebook sure can be a tool, and a weapon. A place to blast people that may or may not even know you, with criticism or judgement.  Once in a great while, I’ve put a big toe out there and chimed in on something personally important to me, only to have that toe snapped off by someone who disagrees—letting me know about it both barrels.

I’ve been holding out, and holding out, and trying to stay on that tightrope of not speaking out of turn so I can keep all my toes. Well, I guess today I felt like being offensive.  So here it is:

MERRY CHRISTMAS! MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

JOY TO THE WORLD!

PEACE ON EARTH!

MER-RY CHRIST-MAS!

Ha! How’s that for being totally inappropriate and offensive?  Well, screw it, it’s Christmas and I’m celebrating a beautiful time of the year and don’t give a gnat’s ass who it offends!  You want somma this?  Come and get it.

 

I intend to stand tall and shout out:

“Merry Merry Merry Christmas to ALL!”

PERIOD!

It is simply tragic that our country has allowed religion to be all about politics, judgement, suspicion, money, and who’s infringing on who’s rights. For the life of me I cannot understand or appreciate how our culture seems to be moving so very far away from allowing the expression of faith. NO matter WHAT a human believes, the origin of that belief stems from a human thought, communicated to another human.  Scripture can be interpreted in a good or bad light with any religion.  Yet, somehow the Christian faith is being called out on the chopping block.

Seriously… what? It’s not politically correct to say Merry Christmas anymore?

Tragic indeed. And, utter bullshit.

Intolerance of faith is simply intolerable.

Yup I’m here to say loud and proud———

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!

There was a time I practiced Existentialism. There was a time I practiced Buddhism, I studied Islam, embraced Judaism, Christianity, joined the ranks of Hinduism, Mysticism….my life journey has included walking many different paths, searching for a broader meaning in life, and believing in something greater than me.  Consequently it’s easy for me to appreciate that all faiths have merit—there’s room for them all.

At the same time, I keep in mind that the United States of America was founded on Christianity. The first settlers needed a blueprint to follow as a civilized society.  Giving thanks, showing respect, encouraging fellowship and stewardship.  What in the world is so dreadful with having just a smidgeon of that influence for a foundation? I disagree things need to be “changed” to represent the current times.  I am straight up grateful there’s still an outlet for the many, many people who still would otherwise have no blueprint, and am befuddled by those who would like to strip it away.  I am able to express my own faith without feeling somehow infringed upon by seeing signs of Christianity and the melting pot of other options out there– why can’t others?

Even though I am not a participant of organized religion, I support ‘Amen’. I support continuing the “In God We Trust” message.  I support allowing kids to recite the Pledge of Allegiance with hand over heart.  I support saying out loud “Merry Christmas!” and appreciating everything it stands for.  Why?  Because I am strong enough in my own beliefs to be gracious, understanding and aware of the need to offer a “starter story”.  Christianity has been a good story to believe in—and many people continue to need a story.  Without it, there may be no built in core belief system for countless lives, young and old, to turn to, to learn, develop and instill important building blocks that encourage healthy ethics, morals and values.  Christianity continues to be a worthy means to bring people together in unity.

At the end of the day, no religion, no spirit, no human, no anything is perfect. Not a one of us has the right to judge or define faith for all.  One of the great things about our country is that we do have a melting pot of religions and spirituality directions and the freedom of choice.  Personally, I feel like once you have a positive foundation, if one specific path doesn’t move you, there are always options.  We all have the ability to choose what we want to believe in as individuals, while still respecting others choices.

For me, the difference is that I firmly believe in the need for a basic core foundation to start with. Just take a look at the hundreds of people who reach out in their most desperate hour and enter into the MN Adult and Teen Challenge program. There’s no denying that embracing Christianity changes lives for the better.

If a person needs to believe in a God or Goddess or some supreme being in order to live right and do right, I’m all for it. If they can be a stellar person simply by believing in the importance of choosing good over bad, that’s great too.  If you find your path by meditating on a concrete statue of a fat belly bald guy, go for it.   If, like me, you find your faith in the middle of a quiet forest with nature, looking up at a grand pine tree, that’s simply fabulous.  If your God says Jesus is “just a guy”, well fantastic—maybe he was.  If your God tells you to cover your body in public, then wrap it up, baby!  If you are satisfied believing in “nothing” but free will, well, okay then.

But December is a very special time. It is Hanukkah, and the birthday of Jesus, the son of God.  It’s the time for Christians all around the world to celebrate belief in an amazing story of miracles, and hope.  A story that deserves to be shared openly, without apology, or fear of insulting someone.

So,

Joy to the World,

Peace On Earth and

Merry Christmas to All!

 

Thank you for reading my post. Did it strike a chord for you or did it seem far and away from your own perspective?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  You can read about all sorts of ideas, opinions and feelings from the heart and soul of an outdoorswoman… there are lots of topics covered in my blog category, “Girl Outdoors”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website.  You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!

 

A Chance To Succeed

achancetosucceedI remember as a little girl, my parents intently listening to the radio, or hovering close to our little black and white TV watching the announcements of who would be our new president. Each election, my parents would discuss the candidates platforms with each other, friends and family, sometimes getting into heated arguments.  They would consider how our family would be effected by each candidate, worry, make their decision after laborious analyzing, place their vote, and finally on election day, absorb the news with bated breath.  They would either celebrate enthusiastically their champions win, or with quiet resolve, find a way to look at the positive side of an outcome they weren’t expecting.  When that day of decision came, they demonstrated  courage, grace and eloquence, understanding that regardless of the position they personally held, they were obligated to show their support for the majority, and newly elected leader. They respected the democratic process, and understood that “United We Stand” was the cornerstone of our great nations success.

They understood, our great nation is founded on Peaceful Transfer of Power.

But that was then.

Our country seems to be split either consoling or celebrating today. What an epic, unexpected race this election has been.  Whichever camp you’re a part of, hopefully you can keep in mind that indeed, our country has been seriously divided for far too long.

Now, unfortunately, it seems there is no regard for any Peaceful Transfer of Power among the masses.  But the reality is, a decision has been reached by the people of this country.  Attacking those that don’t share your perspective will not change anything, or help make anything better moving forward.  Disputing the results publically and or violently, does not help make anything better moving forward.

Right now the leaders of this amazing, free nation are demonstrating to the best of their ability, an effort to see beyond the “sides” of this election and work together to support the decision that has been reached–urging everyone to do the same.

Can you?

Are you mature enough to step outside your own personal self to embrace something bigger than your own beliefs? Are you willing to become part of the bigger solution?

Our great nation is founded on Peaceful Transfer of Power.

That doesn’t mean rubbing it in, stirring the pot or questioning the decision that our democratic nation has reached.  Rioting, protesting, demonstrating……none of those actions are appropriate.  At all.  SHAME on those who choose to take part in those destructive, divisive  actions.  For SHAME!  If you think those actions are warranted, clearly, you have not learned what it truly means to be an American.

Our great nation is founded on Peaceful Transfer of Power.

Period.

Now is the time for us to take the gloves off, put on our big girl and big boy pants, shake hands, and with chins up come together and give this new direction a shot to succeed.

As my mom would say; “If you can’t find something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Indeed.

The eyes of the world are on the American People. They are watching our every move. Don’t give them anything more to judge us poorly by.

Seems pretty simple…

United We Stand.

Divided We Fall.

I am so very grateful to be taught by my Ukrainian immigrant father and half Native mother how to win, and loose, showing poise and character.  The importance of looking beyond pride and self to the greater picture—the picture that our leaders are right now striving to find ways of uniting together on.

Our great nation is founded on Peaceful Transfer of Power.

We are expected, as Americans, to stand behind the decisions our democratic process provides. I, for one, intend to show them all that I, too, have the courage, grace and eloquence to move forward with this new day, this new leader, and with a watchful eye, give this historic change in direction a chance to succeed.

For shame on those who don’t.

 

Thank you for reading my post. Did it strike a chord for you or did it seem far and away from your own perspective?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  You can read about all sorts of ideas, opinions and feelings from the heart and soul of an outdoorswoman… there are lots of topics covered in my blog category, “Girl Outdoors”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website.  You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  There’s a place to do that right on my website homepage.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!

 

Broke and Broken

Just completed my 2016-17 business season. It’s done.  It looks great.  It’s all positive.  Now I can let out a heavy sigh and relax for a second.

It’s been a rough 2016.

My elephant is kicking my butt.

One step forward, three steps back.

I’m tired.

I’m disappointed.

I’m worried.

I’m worn out.

Swinging into the air, not hitting a thing.

The negative list is about burying me alive.

And then there’s today.

Two years ago today, lost my hunting partner. Still miss him so.

This spring, after barely a year, lost my new hunting partner.

With just those two things, I’ve lost that important piece of unconditional love and willingness to be with me come thick and thin. The hole in my heart is epic.

Lost my vehicle–it died, leaving me stranded across the country.

Lost financial security, gained a truck and a debt I’ll die trying to pay.

Lost good health, got super sick, and it’s still taking months to recover.

Lost over half of my business tangibles.

Lost trust of many things.

Lost respect for…certain things.

Drowning in worry about ongoing problems with Angel and Sunny Girl.

Slammed with financial strife I wasn’t expecting or able to deal with.

Pummeled with mega costly home owner issues.

Everything seems to be breaking all around me, including me.

Lost a huge “window of opportunity” to launch new business ventures.

Knocked down with new, painful, and frustrating health issues.

Feeling vulnerable, isolated, overwhelmed, alone, helpless.

I am broke, and I am broken.

Feels like a good time to throw in the proverbial towel.

But I just can’t.

I won’t.

After all.

It could be worse.

It.

Could.

Always.

Be.

Worse.

As I sit here with my leg elevated on ice, wishing I could be somewhere, anywhere else, my mind fills with thoughts of back to the days not so long ago, when I didn’t feel like this. Back when I was on top, upbeat, strong and independent.  Back when I felt normal.  After all, I have an exciting new business season to implement.   I need to be normal again.  I need to be strong again.

And I will.Broke

Strong independent people are a strange breed. Sure, we’re together, confident and usually positive to be round, but we are still human. I think most of us also have a dark side.  Some of us perhaps a secret side, one we don’t even admit to ourselves.  A part of us that just can’t accept defeat.  So we push harder to do more, achieve more, conquer more. We don’t often ask for help, no matter how bad we need it.  We will go to the ends of the earth to ‘get it done’ no matter what.  Find the answer.  Achieve the goal.  Maybe we will invite others along for the ride, and oh what a fun ride it is, but it’s always our ride.  Hands gripped to the wheel and steering the ship, we will lock into that determination mode whether it’s good or bad for us.  And we will push aside any indication that we’re entering the “overload” zone until we’re about crazy. We hang on to our crazy like a pit bull on a mission, writhing and clawing until we’re about spent. The more we excel, the more we do, or achieve, the higher the risk for something to go wrong.  So when we’ve maxed out and something does go wrong, all hell has the potential to unleash.  Too stubborn to give in.  Once we get an idea into our heads, too stubborn to give it up.

Strong independent people aren’t supposed to cave. Then we’re no fun to be around. No one wants to go on that ride. We’re not supposed to fall down and not be able to get up.  We’re supposed to magically never have a down day.  Never struggle, be unhappy, or question our purpose in this world.  Just keep all the balls in the air.  Have all the answers.  Unlimited energy. Just keep doing.  Creating. Initiating.  Planning.  Managing.   We’re the ones making things happen, making the calls.  Putting it all together.  After all, if we don’t do it, who will?  It’s not like there’s someone to “hand the baton” to.  Strong independent people are expected to be…strong independent people.

And when the day comes that we do fall down…

And the dust finally settles…..

Yes, the echo of our own voice is often all there is.

We find ourselves on the ground in a pathetic little heap, baton clutched in hand.

Alone.

Again.

When we crash, we really, really crash.

Like a tree falling in the woods. Who knows?

As I sit back with my leg elevated on ice, I realize what makes me so strong is an unexplainable inner drive. Almost an “I dare you to get through this” inner challenge to myself.  Perhaps it’s from being a resourceful, only child growing up.  When you’re an only child, you learn a lot about what it means to be alone.  You learn to assume that the only one you can truly count on is yourself at an early age.  Anything you receive beyond that at any time is a gift.

We are on our own. So deal.

That realization is what helps survive these occasional hiccups. Every time I have to face difficulty alone it strengthens me more.  It validates my core belief system, and feeds my fearlessness, and confidence. It reminds me of what I can and cannot count on—keeps me in check and reels me back a little more from my enthusiastic desire to go overboard celebrating life with abandon.  The occasional “gifts” are what keeps my heart from turning completely hard and losing faith in others.

It’s just a lot harder when there’s so much difficulty to wade through all at once. It becomes easier when I focus on what’s possible at that moment, and simply let go of the rest.

Yes, I’ve most certainly crashed.

But I know I will bounce back to good health and get back on track with my normal life.

I’m confident I will weather this difficult storm out, catch up and start fixing what’s broken. Things are slowly improving daily. Projections for the future look great—at least on paper.

And I’m so very thankful, grateful, and appreciative for the ‘gifts’ of a few kind souls that so bravely reached out, butted in, and stuck close by me these last few months, helping make the impossible days all a little more bearable. Not sure where I’d be without you.  You are like angels, and the best gifts I’ve been given to help recover from being broke and broken.

Thank you for reading my post. Did it strike a chord for you or did it seem far and away from your own perspective?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  All comments are greatly appreciated.  You can read about all sorts of ideas, opinions and feelings from the heart and soul of an outdoorswoman… there are lots of topics covered in my blog category, “Girl Outdoors”.  If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website.  You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’.  There’s a place to do that right on my website homepage.  As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!  Thanks again!

The Installation Of Love

Love.   We search for it. We find it, feel it, share it, and sometimes loose it. And then the cycle starts all over again. At least for some of us. But for others, the process is not so simple. For others, being able to open up oneself to the opportunity for love is next to impossible. How closely they hold up that wall, protecting themselves, determined to not be hurt. Not feel pain. Until they stop knowing how to even begin.

I found this in my archives, from a very long time ago. Not even sure how I got a copy of it. But I think this plug-in still works today….if you need to, feel free to give it a try!

The Installation of Love

TECH SUPPORT: Yes…..how can I help you?

CUSTOMER: Well after much consideration, I’ve decided I should probably install Love.InstallationOfLove Can you guide me through the process?

TECH SUPPORT: Yes. I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?

CUSTOMER: Well, I’m not very technical, and I’m a little scared, but I think I’m ready. What do I do first?

TECH SUPPORT: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart?

—-silence—–silence—-silence——

CUSTOMER: Yes…Yes I think I found it, but there are several other programs running now. Is it okay to install Love while they are running?

TECH SUPPORT: What programs are running?

CUSTOMER: Let’s see, it looks like I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge and Resentment running right now.

TECH SUPPORT: No problem. Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory but it will no longer disrupt other programs. Love will eventually override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called High Self-Esteem. However, you have to completely turn off Grudge and Resentment. Those programs prevent Love from being properly installed. Can you turn those off?

CUSTOMER: I don’t understand! I don’t know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?

TECH SUPPORT: With pleasure. Go to your START menu and invoke Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and Resentment have been completely erased.

CUSTOMER: Okay, I’m doing it right now. I’m doing it. Okay….it’s done! Love has started installing itself. Is that normal?

TECH SUPPORT: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You will still need to begin connecting to other Hearts in order to get the upgrades.

CUSTOMER: Oh no! I have an error message already! It says, “Error—Program not run on external components.”   I don’t understand! What should I do?

TECH SUPPORT: Don’t worry. It means that the Love program is set up to run on Internal Hearts, but has not yet been run on your Heart. In non-technical terms, it simply means you have to Love yourself before you can Love others.

—silence——silence—–silence—–

CUSTOMER: Oh. So, what should I do?

TECH SUPPORT: Pull down Self-Acceptance; then click on the following files:

Forgive-Self; Realize Your Worth; and Acknowledge Your Limitations.

—–silence—-silence—-silence—–

CUSTOMER: I’m scared. Okay….here goes….I’m doing it…..Okay, done!

TECH SUPPORT: Now, copy them to the “My Heart” directory. The system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching faulty programming. One more thing; you also need to delete Verbose Self-Criticism from all directories and empty your Recycle Bin to make sure it is completely gone and never comes back.

CUSTOMER: Got it. Oh my! Hey, it’s working! My Heart is filling up with new files! Smile is playing on my monitor and Peace and Contentment are copying themselves all over My Heart. Is this normal?

TECH SUPPORT: Yes, sometimes. For others, it takes awhile but eventually everything gets it at the proper time. So Love is now installed and running. One last thing before we hang up. Love is Freeware. Be sure to give it and its various modules to everyone you meet. They will in turn share it with others and return some cool modules back to you.

CUSTOMER: Thank you, God!

——–Author Unknown

Thankyou for reading my post. Did it strike a chord for you or did it seem far and away from your own perspective? I’d love to hear your thoughts! All comments are greatly appreciated. You can read about all sorts of ideas, opinions and feelings from the heart and soul of an outdoorswoman… there are lots of topics covered in my blog category, “Girl Outdoors”. If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website. You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’. As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures! Thanks again!

 

Umbrella Girls

One never knows when they may stumble across a treasure. It seems my mom took steps to make sure my life would be sprinkled with intermittent little surprises long after she was gone.

And mom has been gone a very long time. But she left me with twelve lovely ladies.

When I first discovered the girls, I was afraid to handle them. There they were, hidden under a stack of paired, embroidered pillow cases.

Ah, yes, I can remember sitting at my mothers feet many a day as a child, watching her work. She would sit in her special chair in the corner of the living room, methodically poking her needle and thread through a bakery flour sack-turned-pillow case, creating beautiful colorful threaded scenes on the stark white fabric.

I was just a child, with no interest or patience for sewing the days of the week on flour sack-turned-dish towels, or “his” and “hers” on pillow cases….I just wanted to go outside and play….but they were beautiful works of art; a combined effort between her skill, and dads foresight to bring home the empty flour sacks from his bakery, and I was mesmerized.

Mom was an embroidery freak.

Even though she has been gone a very long time, a part of her remains throughout my house; on table cloths, dresser scarfs, and various uniquely decorated fabric items. Yes, I’ve got enough embroidered this and that to last me a life time. Pillow cases and dish towels I’ll never use up. And on rare occasions when I’m feeling a little blue, I might tap into a stack of her embroidered linens, brush a melancholy hand across a colorful peacock and think back to those days long ago. Spending time with her, day after day, as she sat anchored to her chair, sewing with such passion, waiting for her to let me go play outside.

Way back then, moms creative juices didn’t stop with embroidery. She fancied crochet, and ceramics, too. She even did some quilting, sewn all by hand. Which brings me back to my twelve lovely ladies.

When I lifted the neatly folded pillow cases up out of the drawer, there they were. A stack of perfectly flat, perfectly aligned colorful ladies with big full skirts. Twelve ladies. Each a different printed vintage fabric, all uniquely beautiful. Their heads were separate pieces and each had a big matching umbrella.

Moms Umbrella Girls.

I gasped in awe. Look at these precious women! All this time they’ve been buried under flour sacks! I laid them all out in a parade of Umbrella Girls. They were beautiful! They are beautiful with their puffy short sleeve, tiny waist southern bell gowns and Mary Poppins umbrellas! I couldn’t pick one favorite.Umbrella2 Then I noticed some of them were not completed.

Oh my.

It all came back to me.

The project. Mom and her sister started working on a secret project right after she was diagnosed with cancer. This is that project. The quilt. She was making me a quilt.

Somber would be a good descriptive word for starters, followed by long span of time without breathing. Feeling a little queasy, a little lightheaded, a little like bursting into tears, I picked up one of the Umbrella Girls. I held it to my face, deeply inhaled, and smelled the vintage fabric.

Mom.

Memories from 30 years ago pierced through my heart like yesterday. We missed out on a whole life together.

I know Mom had hoped I would be as passionate as she was about embroidery. Every time she would hand me a small starter project I would last about 15 minutes tops. I tried. I really tried. But my efforts paled in comparison to hers. Her stitches were so perfect you couldn’t identify front from back. My work looked like “connect the dots”. To this day I never did get the urge to embroidery. What can I say? My passion is to spend my free hours hunting, fishing or something exciting in the outdoors. I’m just not one to sit anchored in the corner of the living room and sew for hours on end.

Umbrella1Now here I am, trying to explain all this to my twelve lovely ladies. Spread out across the table, they cry out for a purpose. A life. “Bring us to fruition!” they plead. They deserve to be showcased. But I’m no quilter, or sewing guru.   So once again they are delicately folded and stacked together, carefully tucked away until I can come up with a plan.

Eventually I will come up with a plan.

A few ideas have been brought up to me. Perhaps create a collage of them in a large picture frame or two, or hang them individually throughout the house in some creative manner. Truthfully I’m not sure what to do with my Umbrella Girls, other than love and appreciate that they exist in my world, thanks to my mom.

If it was you, what would you do with twelve Umbrella Girls?

Thank you for reading my post. Did it strike a chord for you or did it seem far and away from your own perspective? I’d love to hear your thoughts! All comments are greatly appreciated. You can read about all sorts of feelings, opinions and ideas from the heart and soul of an outdoorswoman… there are lots of topics covered in my blog category, “Girl Outdoors”. If you like what you see, please let me know by “liking” my website. You can even join my tribe to automatically receive new postings ‘hot off the press’. As always, please feel free to share my information with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures! Thanks again!

 

The Game Tracker, Part 1

In the beginning, I was the girl in the background, ease-dropping on the “guy conversations”, wanting to know more.

Oh, but I wasn’t invited into those dialogues. Instead my curiosity was met with sarcasm. I endured smirks and taunting’s, like “What?  You want to shoot Bambi? Awwwwe, you wouldn’t shoot Bambi, would you?”

Once I finally expressed interest to a more temperate boyfriend, I became the girl wearing mismatched, oversized men’s camo clothing.  Clunking along through the woods with my size 7 feet in a men’s 11 Sorels.

From there, I trailed behind several boyfriends, trying to do exactly as told; walk quietly, no sudden movements, sit still, stay down wind. Oh, how cute I was.  Oh, how patronizing things were sometimes.  I was “darlin” and “sweetie” and “hon” a lot.  I would be told “horror stories” about field dressing and blood trails, challenging my sensibilities.

Then I built my own bow.

I was given a hodgepodge assortment of 5 arrows.

I practiced daily.

I became a really good shot.

In 6 years and 4 boyfriends, I spent many days in the field, but had yet to bag my first deer. It was in those early years that I discovered a few important things, like; not all guys were good hunters, and watching a guy take a 250 yard “Hail Mary” shot across an open field while screaming out obscenities might not be the thing to emulate, and what it took to unwrap and eat a snickers bar without getting caught. It was in those early years that I discovered my paralyzing, unconquerable fear of heights, and my intuitive comfort level being alone in the woods.

I discovered hunting was my calling.

Shortly after those 6 years of trials, tribulations and “ah ha” moments I landed the dream job that would shape the rest of my life: selling ads for a leading hunting magazine. The floodgates of knowledge and opportunity opened up for this girl in a matter of weeks, as I met virtually every major manufacturer and personality in the hunting industry over the winter.

I found a new circle.

And it wasn’t at all like the one I started out with.

The first “real” hunting attire I was given was more exciting than getting a diamond ring. A complete TreBark camo outfit—still the most cherished articles of clothing I own.  And although I was proud as punch to show off my self-built “compound bow in a kit”, Olympic Champion Ann Clark had other plans for me.  Suddenly I was the proud owner of a Hoyt Specta bow, which I still have today.  Then, Jim Dougherty presented me with a dozen (yes, a whole dozen!)  matched arrows. Clearly, my new colleagues were determined to have me “dressed for success”.  Soon I was to find out why….

That next fall I was invited to be part of the Inaugural All Woman Bowhunt, hosted by Bob Eastman, President of Gametracker Company. An elite group of a dozen women from the outdoors industry banding together for a week of media blazed deer hunting on Bobs private property; the “Tens Or Better Ranch”.  The group included amazing women like Ann Clark, Ann Hoyt, Jeanne Dunn, Kay Richey, Marilyn Nicholas, Kathy Beutler, Jan Bobsine, and my dear friend Loral I Delaney.  I confided to Loral I that I felt out of my league. I could barely contain my excitement to be surrounded by such fabulous women in a hunting camp.

Talk about going from rags to riches–surely I was dreaming! Was this all just a Cinderella fairy tale? I packed up my fancy TreBark outfit, a few other mismatched items, my new bow and arrows, and by then I had acquired a dozen Rocky Mountain Broadheads from Barrie Archery….

And I was on a plane to Michigan with Loral I.

Bob Eastman’s “people” picked us up and brought us to his home. Stepping into his house was like walking into a wildlife museum.  Dozens of stunning exotic mounts were displayed throughout the main floor.  Animals he had harvested from all corners of the earth were there.  It was truly breath taking.  I was in awe of Bob Eastman before I even met him.

And then we were introduced.

He was bursting with energy; a complex, articulate, innovative, creative man with a serious passion for the outdoors. I watched him bounce back and forth from playful banter with his guests to stepping aside with his staff to talk business.  He approached me squarely, enthusiastically, and addressed me by name.  He never once called me ‘darling, sweetie or hon’.  He pulled me aside and asked me questions about my work, and told me about his company.  He talked hunting with me on purpose, as an equal.  He was genuinely excited that I was a part of the group.  He made me feel welcome, but more importantly, he made me feel worthy, when, admittedly I was wondering why, with all the women to choose from, I was invited to be a part of this group?

1stLadiesGroupBob Eastman became my first outdoors idol.

One of the criteria for Bobs hunting event was agreeing to use his String Tracker product. Like most hunting accessories, I’d never heard of them until stepping into my new career, and I had much to learn. I was becoming a sponge for devouring information.  He spoke about the String Tracker with such conviction that by the end of the week, I was ready to go out and convert every bowhunter in the country.

By the end of the week, I was the only participant to arrow a deer. And it was my first deer, ever! And it was harvested using the String Tracker.  Cameras snapped image after image of Bob and I, Loral I and I, and just me.  The inaugural event wasn’t even over, but Bob was already talking about setting up the next one.

He made me feel accomplished. I was showered with lavish gifts including a hand painted wildlife scene from Chuck Denault. I was celebrated at dinner the last evening of our event, and my confidence as a bowhunter simply rose off the charts. That confidence has stayed with me for years and years.  And through the years of working in the hunting industry, Bob always treated me like a good friend and colleague.  He bragged about my first deer to everyone he came in contact with, even years later. 1stDeerWithBob

I am blessed to know Bob Eastman and have shared our passion for the outdoors in business, and hunting camp. His supportive, confidence boosting nature has made a lasting impression on my heart, and in my life.

 

You can read about all sorts of ideas, opinions and feelings from the heart and soul of an outdoorswoman… there are lots of topics covered in my blog category, “Girl Outdoors”, and “Words from the Wild”. Please feel free to share with others who may find meaning and value in my personal perspective, and PR Brady AdVentures.