Category Archives: Attitude
I found a super-good deal on a set of acrylic paints a few days ago. They arrived today, and I feel like a kid at Christmas! There are 14 tubes of paint in the set and I have paid more for 4 tubes – plus shipping – than I had to pay for this set with FREE shipping. Woo HOOO!
For some reason I haven’t been up to my art room in quite a while. I felt I needed to accomplish more on my purging project to go through 30+ years of STUFF we’ve accumulated and really don’t need.
I’m beginning to figure out now that the more I go through things, donating a bunch of things to others, throwing away a bunch of things, and then reorganizing and cleaning before putting what is good to keep again, I’m in a never-ending job. The more I DO, the more I SEE to do!
I’m going to give myself permission to take a bit of a break from all the work and play in my art room this week.
I don’t know if I’ll come up with anything, but I’ll have a wonderful time dreaming, experimenting, and playing!
I love this photo. Somehow it shows acceptance with spirit still in there somewhere – the way I’m feeling right now.
I’m about halfway finished with our tax prep for the year now. I made a spreadsheet with all pertinent charges listed and categorized. It took me three days. An epiphany occurred yesterday where I figured out that if I record this stuff on a spreadsheet on a monthly basis, it won’t be so much work! (Yeah, I learn slowly on some things.) I sorted it by three columns so the records are in good categories and can be referred to easily.
Today I’ll make an office deductions spreadsheet and business spreadsheet. Then I’m almost home free.
I hope you’re having a good day, too, in your part of the world.
I truly believe that happiness comes from inside you.
Of course, it never hurts to win the lottery, but your attitude about what is happening colors everything you feel, say, and do.
When I find that I have my nose out of joint, I look around, looking to blame something or someone for my bad mood. A lot of times I feel justified for a bit, stewing and fueling my anger, frustration, hurt feelings, and more.
If I think ‘something‘ is at the root of my problem, I try to quit griping internally and do everything I can to change the situation. (I have more luck with this at some times, than others.) When my attitude is due to ‘someone,’ I try to explain my feelings when I’m calmer in an effort to get them to understand and talk about things we can do differently.
I have more trouble with things involving ‘someone‘ than ‘something,’ because, after I examine the situation, I find I need to change MYSELF, rather than trying to get the someONE to change. I look at the larger picture and have to admit that at least 50% of the ‘problem’ is me.
SO – I can choose to keep my nose out of joint or decide to adapt, looking at things from a more positive point of view.
Developing and nurturing a positive attitude is a much healthier, happier way to live.
I have probably indicated that I HATE preparing our stuff for taxes each year. I have probably also admitted that I excel at procrastination – championship level, I might add – modestly, of course. :0)
Today is the day –
I have run out of even the most feeble excuses for not at least making the first pass at our stuff.
Our office is beginning to look as if a bomb exploded in here.
STEP 1 – I have gone through the ‘helpful packet’ our CPA provides. So I feel a BIT better about myself at the moment.
STEP 2 – I’m now slogging through our monthly receipts, grouping them according to categories. I’ve made it through 3 months so far.
STEP 3 – is going through our credit card and bank statements for pertinent information.
STEP 4 – is totalling the various categories.
STEP 5 – is putting the receipts where they belong in the ‘helpful packet’
STEP 6 – is waiting until we get our official Schwab statement – the thing that is the most important and always takes the longest to receive.
STEP 7 – is bagging it all up and driving to Fort Smith to dump it on our wonderful CPA.
My goal is to be finished with Steps 1-5 by the end of this month or before. I’m going to take a break now, but will return to do another session this afternoon after we eat some lunch.
Did I happen to mention I HATE tax prep? UGH!
There are few things I hate more than preparing our records for our wonderful CPA. Legal and financial documents make my eyes glaze over and give me the creeps. I have irrational fear – thinking ridiculous, paranoid thoughts that I’ll miss something, make a mistake and end up in the slammer.
I am a champion of one skill in particular – the art of procrastination. I have taken it to an art form.
Each year I make improvements in my record keeping, and each year – as we age – our records get more simple. I used to have my own website with over 100 artists at one time, and THEN the record keeping was time-consuming and complex, plus we both had full-time jobs, were trying to raise our son, were buying and selling houses, cars, etc. Now we are retired, the business is closed, and I have my artwork on ArtFire, so the records are simple.
The main thing is to go through the booklet our CPA provides listing all the pertinent information he needs and what we recorded last year. He has helped us as much as possible, so why do I make so many excuses for not getting started?
Part of it is that it is TOTALLY my job.
My husband ignores the whole process, chauffeuring me to the CPA’s office when I have everything together. I have a small pity party, get a bit hostile, slog through the process, and then we dump it on our CPA to once again put it all on the forms and make sure everything is good. (This has been the ‘whine’ part of this post.)
The ‘cheese’ part is that, once I finally get my rear in gear and get going, the process goes faster and more smoothly each year. By the time they kick dirt over me, I’ll have it all down to a science. :0)
The ‘cheese’ part is that usually, I get a nice lunch out somewhere when we’ve gotten rid of the tax stuff!
So much ado about very little – but I think I’ll put it off, once again, until tomorrow….
I told you that I was very happy with the carpet cleaning company, ChemDry, in another post.
I went to their website yesterday and left a good review, thinking it might help them reach more people.
This morning I called the office, told the lady my name, and reminded her that I had my carpet cleaned yesterday afternoon. She said, “Yes, is there a problem?”
I went on to tell her that I couldn’t be happier with the job that Alex and Sao (spelling?) did. That they were careful, courteous, and professional. I also thanked HER for being so nice on the phone, and being so good at her job.
There were a couple of seconds of silence. She finally said, “I’m speechless. This is so nice.”
It reminded me how important it is to let people know when they do a good job, thanking them personally, and in any way you can think of to show others you’re happy with them.
I told her that she was so courteous and the company did such a good job that they stood out – particularly in this day and age where you feel like a number, or a necessary irritant in someone’s day. How NICE it is that someone calls you when they will be delayed, when the bill is what they SAID it would be, that they are super careful not to make a mess or hurt anything.
It was obvious that she was thrilled and that I had given her a much-needed boost.
After I got off the phone, I made a mental note to myself to be more conscientious in my efforts to say THANK YOU. I always try to be kind, but it only takes a few minutes to shake the workers’ hands and THANK them for a job well done. It only takes a few minutes to call and THANK the lady who is so nice and helpful when you call. It only takes a few minutes to let others know you’ve found a company worth your business.
Good job, ChemDry – and THANK YOU!
Smiling and laughing are contagious. I’ve seen videos where someone on a bus will start to laugh and all around him start laughing, too, even though they have no clue what is funny. I’ve seen faces of seeming bitter old people break out in a truly wonderful smile when someone smiles at THEM.
I’ve been in a sad state of mind and DECIDED I would smile at people (and animals) wherever I saw them. Not only did most smile back at me, MY spirits were raised, as well!
I have decided that attitude is all in life. You can’t control much of what happens to you and around you. You CAN control your reaction to it. I’m not saying I think one should go around with a silly grin on your face regardless of what is happening around you. I AM saying that many times you can CHOOSE which part of an event you’re reacting to.
Two examples –
- My sister-in-law died of Stage 4 breast cancer on New Year’s Eve. She was only 60. I can choose whether I will dwell on the fact that she’s gone, that her life was cut short, that a happy spark has gone out.
What I am choosing to react to is how lucky I am to have known her. How proud I was of her creative spirit and lust for life. I can celebrate her life.
- Our son came home to visit from where he lives and works in Thailand after an absence of over 3 years. He spent three weeks with us – celebrating his birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s with us. He is now in Florida visiting with friends, plus meeting with a client before going back to Thailand tomorrow. We have no clue how long it will be before we see him again.
I spent a couple of days on the verge of tears. (I’m tearing up NOW as I type.) I already miss him and his exquisite hugs so badly it hurts. I can choose to dwell on the fact that he’s gone. I can feel sorry for myself that he lives half way across the world. I can be depressed that it might be several years before he comes to visit again.
What I am choosing to do is to be grateful we have such a wonderful son – proud of the kind, caring man he is. I’m happy that he loves us not only as his parents, but as people he enjoys spending time with. He has gone to great lengths to set up a secure chat program so we can talk several times a day. (We’ve already spoken to him three times today.) He also set up a conference call program – like Skype – but infinitely better, where we can talk and see each other real-time when we’re all up and functional at the same time. (There is 12 hours difference between us.) I can remember every moment of our visit, laughing, teasing each other, having some serious talks, and the wonderful hugs.
I choose to look at the positive side of things as much as I am able. I want to concentrate on the NOW – the sounds, smells, feelings, people, pets, ideas. How lucky I am to be alive.
I want to “be so happy that when others look at me, they become happy, too.”
I’m feeling happy today – on top of things – empowered. My plans are starting to come together.
- I told you that I got an iPhone 8 this week. Every day I’m figuring out new things. I’m finding it amazingly intuitive. I love the noise it makes when I get a text or a phone call. I like that I can actually FEEL a small vibration when the tone sounds with someone replying. I had a nice text chat with our son this morning, reaching out to him because he’s in Florida now, visiting friends and a client and will leave the country soon to go back to Thailand, PLUS he has an iPhone 8 and encouraged me to ask him questions on getting it set up. After talking to him, I have a starting list of apps I want to install, and he was able to answer my questions. I think I’m going to love this phone!
- Before going to the grocery store with my husband this morning, I cleaned out the fridges in the kitchen and the pantry, cut up fresh veggies for our lunches this week, and put out the resulting trash. We shopped, put the food away, cut up the fresh celery we bought, and started a roast beef in the crock pot.
- I’ve figured out my exercises for the coming week. (When it’s on my calendar, I tend to do it particularly if I put a gold star on the day.) So I’m planning to do dancing to a music exercise video Monday; yoga and abdominal exercises Tuesday; walking and exercise video Wednesday, Wii Fit Plus balance, reflexes, etc. Thursday; and elliptical trainer Friday. (I’ll ad lib on Sat and Sun.)
- My kitchen drawers are now cleaned out and organized. I’ll list the donations we’ll make on a spreadsheet so we’ll be ready when we have several bags full of things we hope others can use.
- I decided to go back to recording my food and water intake and activity on NuMi, the online tracker for Nutrisystem starting this morning. I’m basically into the routine now, but we’ve splurged with the holidays and our son being home for a visit, so I want to be sure I’m not fooling myself about eating during the day.
This afternoon I’ll vacuum the 1st floor carpet and then the 1st floor tiles. That’s going to be it for work today.
Finally, I’m giving myself permission to go up and PLAY in my art room this afternoon. I’m not sure what I’ll do, but my juices will start to flow when I start looking at the nice supplies I have. :0)
I hope that you are feeling happy and productive today, too.
I’m feeling older than dirt after our morning errands.
- First, we drove to Fort Smith to give a donation to the Disabled Veterans Thrift Store. They are always very nice, but the man today was looking at the fake Christmas tree, clearly puzzled. He said he had never seen a tree like this one. (It’s in two pieces, the top pole fitting into the bottom pole, and both fitting into the larger pole in the base my husband made.) He asked if WE had made this tree by hand! I told him we had bought it years ago. Then he was amazed that it was in such good shape, which got my nose back in joint a little bit….
- We stopped at the AT&T store when we got back to Greenwood. My husband decided, all of a sudden, that he wanted me to upgrade to an iPhone from the android ones we both had. I was happy, because I wanted to do this years ago and he was adamant he didn’t want to do it. What changed his mind was that he found something on the net saying if you pushed two buttons on the android phone simultaneously, a message would pop up, asking you where you wanted to send the photo you just took. He tried it. It didn’t work. So, he finally decided “I” should upgrade. We went for a two-year contract on an iPhone 8 – not the newest model, but more affordable. I now have a pretty new phone. No manual came with it, so the nice girl – who said, “Wow. You’ve really had this phone a LONG time, haven’t you?” was nice enough to transfer my contacts from the old phone to the new and get me signed up. I very graciously did NOT bite her in the leg for insulting me via insulting my OLD phone….
Now we’ve ordered a manual for it on the net. I’ve just spent quite awhile figuring out how to get the main screen to show. I also found the texting app and the make a call app. This was such a delight that I took a break and peeled, de-veined, and cooked the shrimp for our dinner tonight to rest up for the next ‘figure-out’ session…
- I guess being shown that you’re older than dirt is one of the many perks of living this long. We’ve endured exclamations about our thermostats – and have now changed them out for the latest that is good with our geothermal heating and cooling system. We have a security system for the house now and have managed to set it off erroneously only once since we’ve had it, managing to enter the code before police/fire/ambulance, etc. descending upon us. We have a new phone system that actually screens our calls pretty well, allows people who follow the directions to leave a message, etc.
- One of the latest assaults on our advancing age was when I was trying to list our DVD collection on Amazon for resale. They are quite specific on what is acceptable and what is not – particularly on DVDs, rather than books – requiring not only that the picture match, you indicate regular or Blu-ray, etc., and ALSO that your DVD is not considered too old. We matched on all but the copyright year, and Amazon wouldn’t list it. I guess the different copyright dates might indicate a different format. We ended up listing the ones that were ‘acceptable’ and giving the rest to the local library for their next fundraiser.
Otherwise, except for being shown time after time that we are OLD, we’re doing quite well, thank you!
“For those who have experienced the joy of being alone with nature there is really little need for me to say much more; for those who have not, no words of mine can ever describe the powerful, almost mystical knowledge of beauty and eternity that come, suddenly, and all unexpected.” ~ Jane Goodall
My husband and I are being dragged – kicking and screaming – into the current century.
We like gadgets, but keep discovering we are living in the stone age on some things.
We had to replace our old land line phones because rats got under the house and ATE through the wiring. Since we didn’t want to crawl around under there trying to replace all the wiring, and couldn’t find anyone willing to do it for us, we bought essentially a cell phone on a base to replace our system. We’ve used that for a long time, adding an answering machine that we liked better than the one provided, and then my husband designed a call screening program that had callers pressing 1 “if they were a real person and weren’t selling anything” in order for the phone to ring here.
This got wonky, not recognizing callers we had put on our list, and hanging up on people after they pressed 1. We’ve been living with NO caller screening for awhile, and I’ve been going nuts.
We got a new phone system yesterday and my husband and son set it up. We’ve ordered two more phones and charging bases so we can have phones everywhere we would like them. I managed to ANSWER my phone last night, patting myself on the head. This morning I actually manged to MAKE a call, after fumbling around awhile. My husband has just finished creating a directory.
We have gotten several reminders that the rest of the world has gone on past us, while we stayed in our cocoon –
- We installed a geothermal heat and air system several years ago. Our thermostats have been misbehaving and we were having trouble getting them set correctly. The guy who checks our system out twice a year tactfully suggested that since our thermostats were older than he was (he didn’t say that) maybe we should get ones that were made to work with geothermal, which doesn’t need ’emergency heat.. He helped us decide which ones to get and installed them for us. We’re now doing fine, able to control the temperatures in our house just fine for the most efficiency.
- We have actually donated several items that were causing havoc and tension around here, rather than ‘helping’ us or making our lives simpler. :0)
- We were even reminded how old we are when we got a Synology – a device that allows us to record our DVD collection, making them available to play on our television and get rid of the physical DVDs. I looked each of them up on Amazon with the idea of selling them. I had DVDs that had the same cover picture – and many were Blu-rays, but the production date on ours was so old Amazon sneered at us and wouldn’t allow me to list them. We ended up listing the ones that were ‘acceptable’ and giving 217 DVDs to the local library for their next fundraising sale…
We may be older than dirt, but we’re still able to kick and scream as we’re forced to enter the current century!
Today was yoga-and-exercises day.
I finished those a while ago, and our son was quite the cheerleader about my efforts. I then asked if he could put getting the Wii to work again on his list of things to try to heal while he was here. He looked at it immediately. My husband worked with him and together they figured out which setting we needed to be using on the TV devices, and then we changed the batteries in the part you stand on and the two hand-held remotes that go with it.
I’ve decided to call a tentative truce in the war between the Wii and me. I tried to use it before, setting up my avatar and really trying hard to get on it on a regular basis. I finally quit because I got hostile at the Wii insulting me. Instead of supporting your efforts and cheering you on that you were better today than you were in the past, it says things like,”This isn’t really your strong suit, is it?” or “Do you find yourself falling over a lot?”
Now that I’m regularly doing 35 minutes on the elliptical trainer one day and a good yoga session plus abdominal exercises the next, I think I can handle an insulting exercise system because I would really like to concentrate on my reflexes and my balance. I’ll just get ugly back at it – and if I concentrate on it – maybe I can get it to back down… :0)
This photo of our son, Brian, and me was taken at Christmas in 2007. It’s still one of my all-time favorite photos.
I’ve been a Scrooge, basically, since then because my heart wasn’t really in it. Our son decided several years ago that in order to really learn Mandarin, he needed to live where it was spoken. He packed up and went to China, attending an American language school there, leaving just before they had a terrible earthquake. He came home, but then went back, this time living in Shanghai.
Then he decided that he wanted to live somewhere more quiet, so he went to Chiang Mai, Thailand. He has made it a point not only to continue learning Mandarin, but also to learn Thai. He participates on a regular basis on an app where people can call in for translations between Mandarin and English and Thai. This allows him to get more and more fluent as he tries to help others.
A friend and his wife joined him in Chiang Mai several years ago. They work together doing computer stuff for various clients in the U.S. Before he left the last time, he set up a secure chat program so that we could leave messages or type at each other real-time. We do that on almost a daily basis. He also set up a program called ‘appear.in’ which he and his friend use in conference calls. We can see each other real-time and talk, like Skype or other similar programs, but MUCH better quality.
It’s been three years since he’s been home. We communicate more than a lot of families who live in the same city, so he hasn’t really seemed a world away, though he gives wonderful hugs, and my ‘hugs bucket’ has been empty for a long time now.
Recently he talked about MAYBE coming home for a visit. I put it out of my mind because a lot can happen in a short space of time, making it impossible – although intentions are the best.
He is actually coming home! We will pick him up at the airport on the 10th of this month!!!! He can stay until January 2nd, when he will fly to see other relatives and good friends before returning to Chiang Mai.
I am definitely feeling the Scrooge in me thawing this year. This morning I got out the two Christmas wreaths I kept after my purge of ‘stuff’ in our home and put them up. I then got out one bag of decorations that I’ve put up in the past, when I wanted to look at least a little bit festive. These are up in the dining area now. (I’ll take some pictures to share a bit later today.)
My husband and I decided that this year we would decorate a Christmas tree and get out all the decorations we haven’t used in years. This means we will need to move furniture in the living room to accommodate the tree – plus haul the huge Tupperware bin of decorations and the tree up from the basement – something we haven’t done in a long time. I’ve decided to wait until our son is home to do the tree, so we can do it together as a family.
As the fact that he has his tickets, and we have a flight arrival time now (the trip from Chiang Mai to here will take a total of 28 hours with layovers, etc) the fact that he’s REALLY coming home is starting to sink in. My heart feels full, plus lighter and lighter. I keep finding myself smiling.
The very best Christmas present we could have – except for when I gave birth to him 40 years ago on Dec. 13th…