Category Archives: cloud nine girl

When the Unexpected Happens
If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.
~Dr. Seuss

Brilliantly put by one of the best word smiths I know. A timely quote as today, I’m thinking about the unexpected and how we handle these moments and the choices we make.

Let’s say your car breaks down. 

You loved your car. You researched it, shopped around, and waited for just the right opportunity and price to buy it. It’s the perfect color, your favorite color, and you enjoyed the ride with your windows down, feeling the breeze, listening to some really great tunes, living a beautiful moment. Then suddenly, the expected happens. What do you do? Do you fix it? Do you trade it in? Do you buy something new and different? 

Now what if it’s your phone? 
Is your phone still something personal to you? Do you have a special little case you picked out because it just fit your personality in color or design? Does your phone say something about who you are?
Over the weekend, my phone suddenly turned to dust being in the wrong place at just the right time. It was my first SmartPhone ever. I spent weeks researching it, making sure it had everything I wanted, including one of those slider panels—a mini keyboard because I’m a writer. I love my keyboards. I also ordered a special flower child case for it with all sorts of bright colors and daisies covering the case. It glowed. It made me happy every time I glanced at the case. My perfect phone. 
I went to the Sprint Store on Sunday hoping they’d have my same model in stock and I’d walk out with a new one, the same kind that I had, and be done with it. But it didn’t work out that way, partly my own doing. You see, I’m one of those strange birds who researches the heck out of purchases so when I buy, I feel good about it because whatever it is, just fits me. So when I learned my phone wasn’t carried in stores and had to be specially ordered, I had to make a decision: new phone in store, or order the one I really really wanted and loved.

I bet you can guess what I did. :0)

So now, I’m without a phone for about a week, and the shocking news might be to you, I’m sort of okay with that. I miss checking in with all of my friends, but it’s also a good reminder to live firm in the moment and just be you without a whole lot of interference. I’ll adjust. There are ways people can reach me, if necessary.

Bottom line: Know who you are and what makes you happy, because no matter what comes your way down the road, well, you’ll also be happy with that too.


Have You Chased A Sunset Lately?

Our Perfect Sunset

Wednesday night, driving home from the YMCA after teaching my YoPi class, I hear my daughter’s sweet little voice pipe up, “Look mommy! The moon is beautiful!”

I glance out the window and chuckle. “It is beautiful sweetie, but that’s the sun. It’s about to go to sleep and make room for the moon.”

Then all three of us, my daughter, my son and me continue to sneak glances at the sunset and talk about the clouds building up tall, highlighted around the edges with oranges, reds, and yellows, and then I start to say, “We need to take a picture of it! But the camera is at home, we have to hurry!”

They both pipe up, “Yeah, we have to hurry!”

Finally we pull up to the driveway and the kids rushed around, my son in his summer school shirt, my daughter in her pull up and no pants or shoes because she’d had an accident at the Y and she’s trying to get her sandals on fast, “Let’s go mom! We have to take a picture!”

We grab the camera. We grab each other’s hands and run across the street to the school. My son and daughter plop down in the grass and watch the sun, not saying a word, a breathtaking moment full of wonder. Finally I feel my little girl’s arms wrap around my leg and we just stop and ponder the beauty. A perfect end to our day, because no matter what happened, the sun lit up our night and our dreams.

Monday Motivation: Dreams. Dream Coaches. Moving Somewhere No Matter What.

In these past few weeks, I have stumbled across a really great show called The Voice. I’m not sure If you’ve seen the show with the four famous judges or not, and maybe you’re a secret addict just like me. In any case, I love the show. I love the dynamics, the talent, and above all things, the promise of taking a gift you see in someone else, and helping them develop it to make their dreams come true.

Last week I watched one of the judges let go of an extremely talented young singer, who was immediately snatched up by two other judges. She had to pick which judge to go with—between Adam Levine and Usher. Can you imagine? Can you imagine being someone trying so hard and having all the doors shut in your face and not getting exactly where you want to be fast enough, and then in a blink, this golden arch appears and just on the other side, two people want to take your hand and bring you through it—to face your dream destination.

Her past coach reminded them: “She wants to be a singer but most importantly, a song writer. Don’t forget that.”

I am feeling incredibly inspired by the snippets I catch in a few minutes of uninterrupted TV time. Being a working mom, you tend to move constantly, in all sorts of directions to get what you need to get done, done, and well, I hardly ever sit down and watch TV. But I’ll make as much time for this show that I can. Because wow, it’s helped me keep my own fire burning strong.

Miracles happen. Worry happens too. But if you work and want your dreams, I believe the right doors open exactly as they are supposed to, and how the right people come into your life to help you.

So that’s what I’m doing. I just finished my novel and I am preparing to send it out to the world again. I’m preparing to send it to the publisher who believed in my short story enough to want it out in the world. I’m nervous, but I’m trusting. I’m believing. I’m getting past my fears, and I’m putting my best foot out there because I know there’s no other way than to spread your wings and take a chance. Even if they say no, I’ll still win to some degree. I’ll be sad, but I’ll also get feedback. And no matter what, I will keep going. That’s just what you do if you want to live your dreams.

Monday Makeover: Confessions of a Giant Worry Wart

I wake up. I rub my sleepy eyes and walk slowly down the hall to the kitchen. I take my thyroid medication. I fill a cup of coffee and I sit down at my computer, and I worry.

Was I too loud when I woke up? Will my babies stay asleep? What will I write today? My head is so foggy, and what if I can’t feel my characters? What if the pictures I pick are not exactly what I mean?

   What if…

I see my babies. They crawl into bed and beg for snuggles. We cuddle a bit, and suddenly a new string of worries grabs me: what if they don’t always have their health, what if they get sick, or go to school and someone bullies them? What if I didn’t show them the right values? Did I love them enough?

   What if…

I go to work. I sit at my desk sipping coffee. The phone rings. I answer and hang up after making sure the person on the other end of the conversation felt listened to. My brain runs off again: What if I didn’t say the right thing, or I didn’t give them what they wanted to hear? What if I don’t make my personal deadlines for the day, or I don’t communicate well? What if I walk down the hall and I talk out loud or accidentally sing a song out loud that’s running through my head and someone laughs?

I do talk out loud. I don’t know if it’s a mom thing and having two small children where I’m constantly talking out loud and explaining and animating the choices I make to teach my kids important values. I do wonder about what to write and where the creativity will come from. I wonder if I’m saying the right words. I wonder if people understand me. I’m worried about my kids because I see them as the two precious clean slates gifted right into my hands. I wonder about my message every moment and if I’m also asking the right questions.

So what next?

First the mind creates the worries. Then the body reacts. My stomach gets tight. My breath becomes shallow. I could go on with my list, because if I’m not careful, they start to race through my mind again.

Worry is my biggest vice. It sends me into a downward spiral where I over-think the easiest solution, and the funniest thing is, I was born with this vice, and I believe, we can change behaviors. We can teach ourselves newer and better ways to react. It’s hard. It’s not easy and that’s why I’m tackling worry this week as my Monday Morning Make Over.

So what will I do about it?

First thing first: I acknowledge my worries. I tell myself to stop. I take several deep breaths. Sometimes I have to distract myself. I look at quotes. I look at pictures. I smile really big at myself in the mirror. My training in 7 habits comes in handy and I draw out the circle of influence diagram. I’m attaching a link to a YouTube video if you’d like to see how this diagram plays out.

Have you heard of the circle of influence? It’s a really great graphic organizer to get your thoughts out there and map out what you can influence and change.

Movement: I learn by moving. When my stress and worry takes control, I have to do something physical to get it out. I go to the gym. I practice Yoga or Pilates in the living room with my kids. I know I mentioned in my last post, emptying the dishwasher helps redirect my thoughts.

Hugs: Ever not felt better after a hug? Maybe it hasn’t taken away the pain or the worry, but for me, there’s something about a really great hug that helps me find an instant smile. When I smile, my mood changes. I don’t feel distress. That’s why I love to spread them.

Trust: I have found sometimes, by turning over my worries to my prayers, I feel a certain comfort in knowing it’s out there. I feel release. I feel hope. And when my worries slip away at some point because they usually do, I think it’s because He is always up there listening, helping carry the burden right along with me.

Last thing: I talk with my friends. I reach out to the people who love me and can help anchor me back on planet earth. My best friend T helps me, my good friend Tracy. Both of them are practical, and to the point, and remind me to let it go.

I’ll check in on Sunday and tell you how it went! And by the way, here’s a list of some of my tricks and some others to try!