What Holds Us Back

Does anyone remember the above saying?

I heard it thousands of times growing up.

Do you ever wish you could do something? Anything in our control qualifies for this question. Things like, learn a new hobby, language or to cook, play an instrument, game, sport, or even practical things like save money.

I’m certain everyone at some point has said, “I’d love to be able to…”

What sometimes keeps us from trying these things?

Is it a confidence issue?

Is it not liking change?

Is it as simple as, we don’t like to risk failure?

Are the wishful activities that dance in our heads not worth extra time, effort and maybe risking not doing them perfect at first or ever?

After all wouldn’t “failure” be not trying them at all?

Say, if after a month you can only count to ten in the new language you’ve been studying, that should still be seen as success, right?

Even the “I wish I could…” which involves changing a current habit should be considered here.

What if after a week you’ve only saved 50 cents a day, that’s still saving, right? Plus, the following weeks goal could be simply increase to another reachable amount.

It’s common to get enthused by success, and discouraged by defeat. So, lets not make our goals for something new or habit changing difficult to reach.

Remember, even the tiniest accomplishment or change can help you reach the big goal.

Take someone whose “I wish” is to have a more organized house. Tackling it in small areas it’s not as overwhelming.

This makes me think of something I was once told years ago and I truly believe. “A messy, unorganized living space reflects what’s going on in your life.” Often physically cleaning up the clutter will help settle inner anxiety.

We should give ourselves easy goals to achieve, approach things in steps, and maybe lighten up a bit on our expectations.

Here’s something I’ve often wondered. When someone says they can’t do something for example cook, do they really mean “can’t” or is it they “don’t want to try”?

As adults we need to study the young. How do they learn to walk? Do they give up after the first fall? No, they do it in stages over time and with lots of effort. They sit, then stand, then move on to taking steps.

After spending a couple days with “Monkey” (our little grandson) it occurred to me that we are born with a tremendous amount of try in us. Anything new Monkey comes across that he wants to do he is persistent until he succeeds.

Perhaps in this time of Covid-19 you took a chance to try something that has been a wishful thought, or perhaps you tackled changing a habit.

Why as we age do we let the determination and persistence we are born with slip away?

 

What About After?

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Does anyone else have these thoughts?

Are you ever going to be able to relax while in a crowd, or even just shopping or dinning out again?

Knowing this virus is still out there, how fast it can spread, or that this could happen again with a different virus, just how much paranoia is healthy?

Will flights, cruises or even mass gatherings have any appeal to you?

I’m hoping Mister and I can find a comfortable middle ground. I do think it’s going to take some time though.

Air travel won’t be in our near future, but to be fair, Mister has never enjoyed airports. We were checking out cruises when this all started, but they aren’t high on our priority list anymore either.

Respecting a strangers personal space anywhere we are will be our new habit.

Not to the point of if I’m in an elevator and a crowd enters I’ll flip out, at least I hope I won’t, but my eyes may widen if someone in there starts coughing or sneezing.

Will this isolation experience forever change your habits?

We’re still hanging in here, hope you are too.

Have You Gotten Reacquainted

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I have started a new social distancing activity called reacquainting myself with stuff.

I won’t refer to the digging in and going through nooks and crannies as cleaning out, because I rarely throw anything away.

It’s more like taking inventory.

For instance, I have 4 of my previous wallets stashed in a box. Two of them have been in the box for over ten years, one was put in there because it was my all time favourite but is falling apart. The forth one is my traveling wallet and is occasionally used.

Does anyone else save old wallets after buying a replacement?

Worse than that is my collection of glasses cases, drugstore sunglasses, and readers, that I can’t even wear now because of my prescription. Not all of them are in this box. I have no explanation for this, but as long as there’s room in this box things are safe. Once it’s full I will not start another one. That’s when something will have to go.

The box that is getting scary is the one housing out dated phones, cameras, chargers and cords. It’s getting full, but it’s not on my to conquer list yet.

My memory is still pretty good as to what we have and don’t, but I don’t always remember right away where something is stashed. Which can lead to a little frustrated search. So, I’m enjoying this rediscovering.

I’ll admit I had a brief moment of, I should make an alphabetical list of where stuff is. I guess I’m not bored yet, because that didn’t happen.

Have you gotten reacquainted with stored things yet?

Hopefully you and yours are staying healthy, and you are finding ways to fill your social isolation days.

Do You Holiday or Vacation?

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Which word would you be more apt to use when referring to a summer trip?

A) I’m looking forward to our summer holiday.

Or

B) I’m looking forward to our summer vacation.

I’ve never really thought about the correct definition of these two words. To me they both mean “fun, something to look forward to” so they have been interchangeable to me.

Recent curiosity had me doing some research.

Holiday– A day of festivity or recreation when no work is done. A day of national or religious celebration.

Vacation– An extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home. The action of vacating a space. A holiday period between terms in universities and law courts.

Sentence “A” has probably been my unconscious choice in the past. I’m sure I’ve used the word “holiday” more than “vacation” to describe a get-away.

Will I now think twice before using these words? When writing I will, but my daily conversations rarely involve proper grammar. I’m not a “whom” type of conversationalist, it’s always “who”. Being shy growing up meant I was too nervous specking out loud to worry about wording and sentence structure, and years of that habit is still with me.

I’m actually amazed when I think about how many words I use that I’ve never looked up their definition.

Thank goodness, we can learn by association.

Imagine what childhood would be like, or what it would be like even as an adult, if every new word we came across had to be researched.

If you come across an unknown word do you look it up, or guess it’s meaning by how it is used in the sentence? I use the, association method, the most.

Have you ever encountered that cute little toddler who spoke like a adult, and you thought, what a smart little person?

Maybe this is simply a result of what they are exposed to at a very young age, rather than say “genetics”

Back to my sentence question. Which option would you normally use, A) Going on a “Holiday” or B) Going on a “Vacation?”

A little Tidbit – Just above the word “holiday” in my hardcover Oxford Dictionary is “hole in the heart.”  I didn’t really think that one needed an explanation.

P.S. – So, parents, family, caregivers, teachers, friends, whoever, remember the words you say to a child and how you use them is writing their mental dictionaries and will influence their vocabulary and even knowledge.

Do You See What I See?

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Would you get out of your chair just to fix what’s off in this picture? I often do. Did you even notice that the stacked chests aren’t straight with the floor lines?

I get teased a lot about my straightening habit, so curiosity had me Google OCD. Out of ten listed symptoms, I brush the edges of a few, but the article states that is common.

One example they gave is have you ever worried that you left something on at home or you forgot to lock the door behind you? We all have, right? Most times we can put it out of our mind knowing deep down we did the tasks, and we rarely go back to check. An OCD sufferer will most likely always go back.

Other things I’m teased about is our pantry items are arranged with labels visible, and contents in our fridge have specific spots. Why wouldn’t anyone want to see at a glance what’s in a can or box? I joke that the fridge thing is because I might need to find something in the dark. Shh, I know there’s a light inside. Smiley Face. If I wake up blind one day, with no warning and I need breakfast, at least I’ll know where everything is. Okay, so my reasoning is lame, but I like organization.

After doing this research, I have a new understanding and sympathy for anyone diagnosed, OCD. As for myself, I’m not concerned enough to seek medical advice. I’ve self diagnosed myself with OSD, Obsessive Straightening Disorder.

At times I drive Mister and the kids crazy. They think I move items they’ve placed, or re-do say folding a shirt, because I disapprove of their job. That’s not at all the case.

It’s difficult to explain, but it has nothing to do with them or their technique. It is all because of what I see, and a feeling it provokes. In case you are wondering, I also correct jobs I do.

Sometimes this gets me called a perfectionist which also couldn’t be farther from the truth. Yes, details are important when I do a project, and I like to do my best, but I make and don’t dwell on mistakes.

If I’m sewing and a seam doesn’t end up exact, I don’t redo it unless it’ll effect the projects functionality. But having said that, I try to make my lines straight and stick to pattern requirements.

Does this make me a perfectionist? I don’t think so because I’d have gone crazy a long time ago with all the mistakes I make.

When, how, or why, straightening hanging pictures, anything like the chests alignment, stacks of messy papers or magazines became important is a lost fact. I don’t remember not doing it.

Knowing how this bothers some people, I work hard and have gotten better over the years at controlling this reflex, but it’s still a daily effort. Don’t worry, I’ll never straighten your pictures or papers when I’m visiting you.

Do I consider this habit a character flaw? No, not a flaw, it’s part of who I am.

There’s a building project Mister and I did years ago, and after completion we discovered a mistake. It remains that way today because it doesn’t effect its functionality, plus it would take days of work to correct.

Am I able to forget about it? No, but I don’t obsess about it either.

Will it remain this way forever? That depends if I’m ever bored enough and can convince Mister or someone to help me fix it because it’s not a one person job.

Next time someone does something like straightens the pile of books you just made don’t take it personally. As long as they quietly do it with no verbal nastiness perhaps they are nagged by the same demon I am. If so they mean no harm.

Do you notice and like things straight?

Do things in your cupboards or fridge have a certain place and are labels facing forwards?

Habits, Good or Bad

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Does anybody else have their next day planed before going to sleep? How common is it being a regimented planner, or do most people get up and let their day simply unfold?

I can’t imagine doing that, not even on vacation.

Since grade school, I’ve made daily, weekly, monthly, even seasonal lists. My theory for how this started relates to my horse competing and training days.

Oh so long ago, at age seven, I got my first pony. Star, and I are pictured above.

My parents didn’t have a horse background. Check out my Bio Page for how this came about. Our family lived in the city, so the little gelding was boarded at a local stable.

I fell in love with everything horse, and by age 10, I entered my first Barrel Racing event.

Passion kept escalating, and it became apparent I wasn’t going through a phrase like people suspected. In a few years I out-grew the Shetland, and a slightly bigger gelding, an ex-chariot racing pony replaced him.

There never was money for riding lessons, so I read all I could, listened, observed, and studied others who rode at the stable. Occasionally, I would ask an experienced mentor at the barn questions. With trial and error, I began the self-taught venture of re-training my racy mount and honing my horsemanship skills.

Learning this way came with great benefits, I gained a feel, or understanding of horses. Often, I could sense changes in their behavior before they became issues.

Together, the feisty Welsh-Thoughbred and I became accomplished at showing in Western Pleasure, Equitation and Trail classes.

As a teen I worked part time and saved for a young, unbroke, registered Quarter Horse. My parents surprised me when they paid the remainder owing and had him delivered on my fourteenth birthday.

For me, this is where planning and setting goals really began. Still, without outside help the gelding and I worked hard. Together we learned, and became a very competitive and successful duo in Western and English flat classes, Jumping, Driving and even gymkhana events.

Many other horses and breeds followed in my almost 40 years of showing and training.

I believe daily goal lists began because of the need to plan and schedule conditioning and fine tuning between shows. It was vital to have horses peak at the right times while giving them their deserved down time too.

I may no longer strive to perfect a horse’s training but the habit of making, to do lists, carried into all aspects of life.

I thought this behavior might ease when we retired at the lake but it hasn’t. What has changed are items on my, to do list. They’re simpler, mostly hobbies, crafts and chores. I’m not as structured, getting distracted from a chore happens often and is no big concern. Some things remain on a list for long periods before getting checked off.

But a day without getting even the smallest thing accomplished feels like a wasted day for me.

Do you plan your day or week in advance?