Coming Clean

I was intrigued to do another “quotes” post when I read the Blogging Quote Challenge from Cresting The Hill (I did a “quotes” post in July of last year).

This busy September, when I have taken on additional responsibilities at work, will be traveling eight of the 17 days that are left, is perhaps the wrong time to confront this life issue, but I am so tired of excuses and disarray.

Therefore my three quotes are dedicated to the CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) of my home.

Quote Number One (Source: Flylady)

Your attitude has to change from “Why do I have to do this!” to “This is my home and I deserve to have a wonderful place to live, this blesses my home, and my family and most of all me!” Fly Lady Logo

My attitude about housecleaning caroms all over the place, from resentment that I have to do it, to frustration that I am so incompetent at it, to amazement at my inability to delegate, even when our home health people are being paid to help, to guilt that I have raised my
children in a place where you always get your laundry out of the pile on the love seat and unexpected guests throw life into a panicked scramble.

Quote Number Two (Source: Six Word Memoirist enginethatcould)

Guilt trip tickets are always non-refundable.

The place that should be my haven and a safe source of comfort (which is different than being an interior decorating showplace: I just mean a reasonably clean and orderly refuge from the rough edges of the world) factors into the weight of guilt I carry around, almost constantly. Guilt at having fun writing a blog post, running, or doing volunteer work when I could be scrubbing baseboards, scrubbing the accumulation of years of neglect off of our bathroom tile, or folding laundry.

In addition to the house, there’s something else I would like to whisk away: guilt.

Quote Number Three (Source: Philadelphia (writer: Ron Nyswaner))

Every problem has a solution.

This one won’t surprise readers familiar with my blog, especially since I featured this quote during Blogust.

It’s time for me to prove to myself what I believe to be true in espousing “every problem has a solution” as one of my favorite quotes.

What has worked for you to overcome tasks which you have avoided (for decades!)?

“Pronouns Matter” and Other Favorite Quotes

Since I was undecided regarding what to blog about today, I checked my “drafts” folder and decided to tackle one of the 23 “posts-to-be” that had never seen the light of day. The oldest one is the list of Mama Kat prompts for the week of April 11, 2013. One of the prompts is “list 6 of your favorite quotes.” Seems like a timeless one to me, so here goes.

 Six Favorite Quotes

Pronouns Matter. ~ Me

I have been a user of the #bringbackourgirls hashtag, signifying my strong belief that the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls should be returned immediately to their families. What I am having trouble reconciling, though, is the thought in my head that if the reaction (of some) to the current influx of Central American children across our borders were to have its own hashtag, it would be #sendbacktheirgirls. I know these are two very different situations. Each one is complex and presents components that are extremely difficult for outside governments to intervene in. As I said in Cindy Levin’s post:

“Although I like the hashtag #bringbackourgirls (and use it daily), I have to honestly ask if we would consider these girls “our” girls when it was the basic matter of helping them get access to education (and health care, and parity, among other things) were it not for this crisis? We can all do better, not just when there is an immediate crisis but when there is a long term smoldering one as well. And for every girl, everywhere.” 

It seems that with these Central American children we have found ourselves dealing with the effects of a long term smoldering crisis. I suspect part of the difference is that the Nigerian girls are an ocean away and the Central American girls (and boys…) are on our territory. I just don’t understand how the Nigerian girls can be “ours” while the Central American girls are “theirs.”

2014-07-02 09.44.19

A day I ran for “Saraya,” one of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls.

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” ~ Epictetus

So many inspiring quotes flow through my social media stream every day. Many of them give me a momentary spark of “yeah!” “so true!” “you only get one shot!” I have struggled, however, with the truth of those sentiments in the face of the reality of my obligations and choices I made decades ago which made it harder to truly “follow my bliss.” I guess the part of this that sticks the most is “say to yourself what you would be.” Without clarity about the eventual goal (what you would be), it’s possible you’ll waste a lot of time along the way expending your energies for things that don’t matter.

Only 3% of people have written goals; the other 97% work for them (paraphrase) ~ Brian Tracy

Hmm…. the value of including this favorite quote was being honest with myself about the fact that I have not listed my goals for this year. Problem solved. The “sub 30 5K” goal is a perennial. I am not giving up.

2014 goals

2014 Goals

The map is not the territory. ~ Alfred Korzybski

I love this one, and it is in the same family of concepts (to me) as the Epictetus quote. This quote seemed relevant to my work as an administrator at a program subject to many different agency rule sets, some state, some federal. You may have a single-spaced 40-page technical guidance document holding you to what font size to use, what match rate to apply, what literacy level to write your materials to, but are you doing the task you set out to do? (which in our case was insuring uninsured children). It also applies in a more broad context to life; are we so busy ticking off mile markers that we don’t realize that the town we originally set out to visit is now deserted?

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. ~ Rumi

A wise therapist gave me an assignment once to “check out whatever instantly appeals to you at the library and go away for a weekend and immerse yourself.” The only books I remember checking out were a childbirth book and a family relationships book. I wonder what I would check out on a similar assignment now, decades later. I know I love social media, and I know people I trust in the industry have advised me not to do it for a living. The appeal of social media (and the beauty of it) is the ability to write and communicate visually, along with “connecting the dots” of people who would not otherwise come into each others’ lives.

“Every problem has a solution.”

This quote is from the movie Philadelphia. Besides the obvious truth of the quote (even though solutions often seem elusive), the movie holds special meaning for me. Wayne and I saw it shortly after his sister Ann died, and it seemed to tap into some deep emotional crevasse that had already been pried open.

Ultimately, “every problem has a solution” ties into my #1 (“pronouns matter”). Some problems in our world seem to only have solutions riddle with imperfections that take those solutions out of contention. I think, however, we must not give up trying, for “our” girls, “their” girls …. for all girls.

What is one of your favorite quotes?


Streams Into Rivers (A Mama Kat Writing Prompt)

One of the Mama Kat prompts this week is “List 6 of your favorite quotes.” I am a huge quote freak but today I am sharing one, not six. I ran across this quote on social media recently, and it doesn’t need five other quotes competing for space when it says so much in sixteen words. The quote is:

Find a tiny stream in which your strengths can flow, and carve it

into the Mississippi.

~ Marcus Buckingham

framed leighton pic

Photo Credit: Leighton Photography & Imaging

My gratitude to Rich Leighton of Leighton Photography & Imaging for the use of this image.  I was given express permission to use the image; please do not reproduce it without permission.

Mama’s Losin’ It