Enjoy The Moment

Good Morning!

It is time for a look at my third New Year’s Goal.

3. Enjoy the moment. Stop looking for the end of things.

You can read about my second goal here.

Recently a leader in our church, Dieter F. Uchdorf, spoke on Regrets and Resolutions. You can read the whole amazing talk here.

In his talk he shared the following:

“So often we get caught up in the illusion that there is something just beyond our reach that would bring us happiness: a better family situation, a better financial situation, or the end of a challenging trial.

You and I are ultimately in charge of our own happiness.

My wife, Harriet, and I love riding our bicycles. It is wonderful to get out and enjoy the beauties of nature. We have certain routes we like to bike, but we don’t pay too much attention to how far we go or how fast we travel in comparison with other riders.

However, occasionally I think we should be a bit more competitive. I even think we could get a better time or ride at a higher speed if only we pushed ourselves a little more. And then sometimes I even make the big mistake of mentioning this idea to my wonderful wife.

Her typical reaction to my suggestions of this nature is always very kind, very clear, and very direct. She smiles and says, “Dieter, it’s not a race; it’s a journey. Enjoy the moment.”

How right she is!

Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey. I don’t go cycling with my wife because I’m excited about finishing. I go because the experience of being with her is sweet and enjoyable.

Doesn’t it seem foolish to spoil sweet and joyful experiences because we are constantly anticipating the moment when they will end?

Do we listen to beautiful music waiting for the final note to fade before we allow ourselves to truly enjoy it? No. We listen and connect to the variations of melody, rhythm, and harmony throughout the composition.

We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect. “This is the day which the Lord hath made … ,” the Psalmist wrote. “Rejoice and be glad in it.””

This talk really struck a cord in me. I find myself, quite frequently, looking towards the end of things. I look to the next vacation, or the next Friday. I look for the end of a tough situation, or the end of the long day. I look towards the next paycheck or the next project. When I heard his words, I realized that there was a lot I was missing in between all that. I was missing the Importance of the Moment.

How silly is it to impatiently wait for the next Friday, when we still have Monday – Thursday ahead of us? By my doing this, I realized that I have unintentionally reduced the joy in my life. I was forgetting to enjoy the moment, while always looking towards the next. The main problem with that is, I created a life that was only full of endings. The rest had become “stuff to get through.” Here is one good example that I think most moms could relate too.

Each evening, once I start dinner going, I start to feel a little anxious and excited. Because it is the mark or the beginning of Getting the Kids to Bed. Especially if it is the end to a long day. So I find that I start to rush everything. “Hurry and eat. Run brush your teeth. Go faster! What is taking so long! Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!” soon become the motto of the evening. I am so looking forward to that moment when all my “toys” are put away. I can’t wait to just sit and have that moment to relax.  However, once I get there, I start to think of what is coming for the next day. All too soon that moment is over and it is time for me to go to bed and start all over again. Many times I go to bed feeling tired and discouraged that I have to “start again” so soon.

After hearing that talk, I realized that by my spending so much time looking towards “what comes next,” I had created a never ending cycle of discouragement and stress. I can’t even enjoy my Relax Moment because I am already thinking about the next day! Even my Relax Moment isn’t relaxing because I bring the guilt of how I Holler and Hustle my kids to bed.

“Yeah, but Tannie, it was a long day, you deserve a break.”

I am realizing that if I take more time to enjoy the moment I can be relaxed, even in the middle of a long day. I can enjoy the rambling endless story about a train that is friends with a banana. There is a distinct difference between listening and enjoying the imagination of your child, then tolerating the telling and just waiting for it to end. When I enjoy the current moment I am in, I see into my families eyes more often. Too see love and happiness there is a Relaxing Moment in itself. When I enjoy the moment, I appreciate what is around me more often. A pretty sunset, a warm dog, a cloudy sky, a yummy smell. When I hurry through it, I miss those small, but important things that are what bring us joy.

I have noticed a very big difference in my life by heeding to the council in that talk. I am really grateful that I was in a time and place to hear it and learn from it. It is something I have to work on everyday. I can’t undo 34 years of being an End Looker in just one day, month or even a year.  I suspect it is something that I will always have to strive for. However I hope it will get easier with practice.

So here is to looking and living in the moment. Taking the time to see the small things and when an end arrives, make it a beginning.

A Little More Privacy Please

Hello Wednesday, how are you?

I am sure you guys were wondering if I was about to miss my once a week post goal. Well fear not, I am not! Just took me a little longer to get the ball rolling. Busy busy busy. However I am so excited to share my latest little project!

For those who follow me elsewhere (see this post) you will have seen this little Sneak Peek.

instagram sneak peekThose that are of the more Quick of Mind and Wit quickly gathered that I had some blinds waiting around to be useful.

I soon followed up with this tease.

IMG_20130212_170012So where are these wonderful Privacy Providers?

If you said Kitchen, come on down!!!

Kitchen | The SmithocracyIt is really nice knowing I may now cook, eat, kiss my hubby whilst not being observed. Yes, that is right, I just used whilst in a sentence.

Let us go on a journey back through time shall we?

(insert Wayne’s World Flashback Sequence here)

Here is my sad kitchen when we first moved in.

beforeSo empty and sad.

Then I made a plan. A Photoshop Plan.

photoshop plan | The SmithocracyAnd then reality happened. (table project here)

_MG_6816Time to add some chairs.

_MG_6926And that brings us to today. Privacy Galore!

Here they are up.

upNow down.

blinds down | The SmithocracyIt really helps complete the room and make it seem as if people actually live here. Also I don’t have to feel creeped out if I walk through the kitchen at night anymore. I always feel like someone is watching…dun, dun, DUN!!!

If you are wondering, they are Bamboo Roller Shades. I would tell you where I ordered them, but I got the last ones and they aren’t selling them anymore. I decided that it was obviously fated for me to have these blinds. Seeing as they were the last three, I needed three, and they fit my windows EXACTLY. So from now on, we will refer to the Privacy Blinds as the Blinds of Destiny. (if you read that in a booming echo-y voice, then you are spot on.)

What do you think of my Blinds of Destiny? For some reason they make me feel more mature and grown up. Why do you think that is?

Have a great day and I wish you luck in finding your own privacy providing Blinds of Destiny.

Resistance is Futile

 

tumblr_mcq2isLYnY1qa08z8o1_1280picture source

Yes, it is true. I have been assimilated.

For years I have resisted, but I couldn’t any longer. Yesterday I caved and I am officially on “The Twitter.” As well as Instagram.

I have avoided those two things like the plague. Not for any moral reason, just that I already have enough Time Wasting things in my life. So what changed you ask? Well during a recent conversation it was brought up that if I don’t get on there, someone else could take my Smithocracy name. I laughed it off at first. Then I thought about it. Then it nagged at me. Then I worried. Then I lay awake at night. Then I got anxious. Then I logged on and registered.

So yes, I am now officially Assimilated into the Social Networking realm. So if you couldn’t get enough of me on this blog and on Facebook, feel free to follow elsewhere.

  1. Twitter.
  2. Instagram

I also started a twitter feed of all the silly cuckoo things my hubby says. Yes, Dan is a source of many awkward phrases and it was time to tell the world. You can follow him on twitter at Stuff Dan Says.

I end this post with an awesome quote I read this morning.

“The thing about truth is that it exists beyond belief. It is true even if nobody believes it.”

— President Uchtdorf

 

Calm and Assertive

I know what you have been thinking.

“Hey Tannie, why did you tell us about your New Years Goals and then never explain them like you promised?”

I am sorry, I did make you wait. However the first one, Post At Least Once a Week, was self explanatory. The second one needed a little background and my last post provided that background. Do you need a reminder what my second New Years Goal is?

2. Learn how to remain calm, even in stressful situations.

Why did this goal come about? Why did I need to post about getting a dog before I addressed this goal? Is two plus two four?

Yes, my sweet little Kona, that I love, required me to learn a little something about myself. I am in fact, not so calm as I thought I was. Part of the deal of getting a dog, beside the top two rules I mentioned (and threw out) in the last post, was said dog must be well trained. Lucky for us, Kona came that way. I wanted to make sure she stayed that way. I noticed that while she started out very easy going and a good listener, she was slowly starting to get a little naughty. I asked my vet if he could recommend a good trainer and he surprisingly said no. He recommended that I just watch this guy.

daddy-7jpg-fc78e08f844fbbec_large

Photo from here

Yep, that’s right, the Dog Whisperer himself, Cesar Millan. I am an Obedient sort of person, so naturally I ordered every DVD on Netflix and got to work.  If you have watched even one episode then you know that Cesar Millan puts strong emphasis on the type of energy you give off. When owning a dog you should be Calm and Assertive. There is also a lot of other great stuff on there that I don’t want to go in to, but we are implementing them.

I started noticing a difference right away in the way Kona acted…with Dan.

She became more obedient…with Dan.

She did well on the leash…with Dan.

She was submissive…to Dan.

See the pattern here? I was doing everything the same as he was, but for some reason I was not getting the same results. Don’t get me wrong, Kona wasn’t behaving badly, she just was starting some bad habits of not listening, that I wanted to nip in the bud. I noticed this energy thing that Cesar talks about over and over and I asked Dan if he does that. Does he imagine himself as the king of all that is around? Does he focus on being calm and assertive. I asked him who he imagined he was to help him feel that way. I wanted to get into Dan’s brain. (Good luck with that one.) Here is his response in typical Dan fashion.

“I don’t imagine anything. I am me. I already am that way. So why would I possibly imagine someone else?”

oh.

That is when I realized I needed to Tune in to Tannie a little more.

I was doing everything that Dan was, except for the whole confident, calm assertive energy thing. I THOUGHT I was a calm sort of person. It turns out…not so much.

I took some time to truly look at myself and analyze the way I was feeling. The majority of the time I am pretty hyper. Or frustrated. Or exhausted. Or stressed. Or Stressed. OR STRESSED. I discovered that I spend A LOT of time feeling stressed. When did I get to be that way? It seemed like it was just a habit at this point. Like a secret favorite feeling that I started wrapping myself in. So it was time to let go.

So I did. I started focusing on being calm around Kona and it is working (work in progress). She responds to me so much better now. Enough so that Dan fears that I am taking over his dog. (Kona is really starting to worship me ;-))

At first I did it just so I could become the pack leader to my dog. However, my focusing on being calm with the dog soon became my noticing all the other areas I needed to practice being calm. I had never noticed how much I needed it in the rest of my life. You can’t try to improve in one area, without it effecting other areas.

So it was time to make it a Goal.

Now I not only practice being Calm and Assertive around Kona. But now my kids, Dan, situations, people, cooking, cleaning, and anything else you can think of that perhaps I did not previously act in the most calm and genteel way. But it is more than an act I have to practice. I am sure I will have people tell me, “Oh Tannie, you are always calm and level headed.”

Well it is true. I am pretty good at being that way on the OUTSIDE. The inside is another story. And only a Dog was able to point that out. You can’t fool a dog as to what is going on on the inside. Kona knew I was stressed and less confident inside. So she was not having any of it. No matter how confidently I walked, or spoke to her, she knew the truth.

And now I do too.

So here is to a 2013 Tannie that is Calm, Cool and Collected on the outside AND the inside.

Thanks Cesar Millan, turns out you might be a people whisperer too.