The Last Quarter. We can make meaningful changes in our life.

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Chili with Cheddar Chive Scones          by Gina at fatfitanfab.com

October, is the start of our last quarter as we are near the end of another year. Sometimes we can feel time is running out, what can we do with the time left?

People can get so wrapped up in exterior activities whether extracurricular activities for their kids, holidays, politics, that just living life has lost it’s meaning.  Being overly committed and obligated can cause us to be well-spent emotionally, financially, and with our time.

Routines are a practice that may not always be honestly rewarding.  If it is our practice to watch television for three or four hours before bed so as to relax it is a choice.  Is there a more rewarding choice?  My husband bought a lathe for woodworking at a yard sale.  Brock, 23, after work has been coming home from work making beautiful cups and bowls.  He is enjoying it and it is rewarding.  Is there an activity whether creative or purposeful that would be beneficial to do a night or two each week?

I am naturally a clutter bug, yet, my floors are clean.  Piles, piles still occupy the perimeter of many spaces in our home.  How they get there, where they come from, I can never see it happening, yet, I am the culprit.  As I am practicing better habits, not adding to the problem, it still happens.  I have been working on an area outside my painting area or artist corner.  It seems my creative forces has emerged from the room and congested beyond the room.  Is there an excuse?  I have an empty cabinet in there, and drawers half full, and the books put up on top of the cabinet.  These are all holdups and blocks to my creativity.

In the evening I have been putting on good music and working in there a few minutes, turning it into a real artists retreat.  Privately, I am a bit turned off by the junky furniture.  It is all like new, it is just pressed board stuff you could get cheap.  I love good wood.  If it was made the same of walnut, or cherry, as you can see, I am a brat.

I feel so much appreciation for this area I have, when there have been times in my life where I did not have an artists den.  So, I want to occupy the space since my secret is out about the furniture which looks new.  I am ashamed of myself for such notions.  That represents life too, maybe we have notions that hold us up.

“If only I were thin I would” do this or wear that;  If only I had an exercize machine or a membership;  if only someone loved me I would do this; if only my home was like this I would invite people over; if only my mate would  buy me flowers or be more romantic.  “If Only”!!!.  We can be set back with thinking like this.

An exaggerated answer to the “If Onlies.”  My son says this is an oxymoron.  There is no plural to the concept of only.  He could be correct, but for purposes he may be slow to understand, he still says we have a ton of “if only” in our life.  It is plural no matter how you put it.  John says, “If only the dog didn’t stop to crap in the road I would not be late to work.”  As we debate on proper or improper use.  I would still like to make a long awaited for point.

If only I were thin I would wear more chic outfits.  When I was in my low 130’s I fretted because I was not in my low 120’s,  then prednisone gave me an extra 45lbs that compounded the problem, ashamed I wore thrift store duds.  I wouldn’t buy the close I really liked because I did not deserve it til I lost some weight.  Now, at 205 lbs and on antiobotics and other meds my weight is still going up despite my efforts.  I am buying and have been buying new garments that are tasteful and comfortable.  I feel better no longer stressing over this “If Only” business causes years to go by wasted.

If only, is a matter of procrastination.  It makes our excuse sound valid.  Invite friends to your home even though it is not perfect.  It they are your friend they will pitch in an help with no judgement or just have a good time.

Do not wait for a bouquet of flowers and romance.  Buy the flowers yourself, and buy a new tie or dress socks for your man, and give a card expressing appreciation for all his hardwork and love.  Gifts are gifts, not a matter of exchange.  Do not wait for romance, create it.  If they miss the point of our ovature at least they know we love them.  They likely need us to romance them more than we need them to.  Just remember, when our mate works long days, their minds may not be thinking about romance, their romance is their sacrifice going out working to put the roof over our head and food on the table.  It is a valid gift that is not appreciated often enough. It can be more stressful or even degrading then we realize for them at work.  Let them come home to a big smile, a warm hug, with respect and appreciation.  We may be the only thing that puts joy an motivation in our mates life.  Women whom work like this benefit the same as men do by the unexpected gifts, or words of appreciation.

So, instead of over extending ourselves needlessly, let us look at our life.. can we see what routines or habits can be modified so as to bring greater joy and accomplishment in our life.  By switching things up a couple nights a week.  Whether by inviting others over, doing extra cleaning, getting ahead on our taxes, going for early evening walk, doing a craft or hobby we enjoy.  We can examine our life by finding ways to destress, and declutter.

We have someone come in an clean once a week doing things that are hard for me.  It is a necessity. And it helps me to get more done.

How about a trip to the zoo before it gets too cold, or the museums, or the library.  Let us make use of this month to get a few things back on track.  We will have pride an joy instead of depression.

This is a very stressful quarter for many. Slow down, save your money, enjoy the great outdoors. End the year doing the things you promised yourself you would be doing when the year started.

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October, An Opportunity to Review …

October, it is the beginning of the last quarter of the year.  How have we done this year regarding goals for the year?  There are personal goals such as investing in our relationships, domestic goals, career, and self improvement ventures.

October can have five long weekends if you can get Fridays off.  There are five Thursdays, five Fridays and five Saturdays.  Long weekends for exterior house and yard maintenance. Can you plan a picnic, or attend a fall festival before the cold sets in?  We have 31 days to plan in which to advance on our goal list for the year.  I cannot believe we have thirteen weeks until 2016.

We decided to improve the quality of our family relationships.  Although we usually have dinner together at the table we typically scatter afterwards unless we are doing our once a week family Bible study.  Since we play a game like cards or a board game together 1 – 2 nights a week, and we do errands or exercise together it is really leading to some relaxed fun times.  To help in this area of spending time, last night we just picked up Subway’s new Pulled Pork sandwich with all these veggies on it.  This way, no work, no mess or great expense and we could spend the time in a funful way.  It does not have to be expensive or time consuming to be thoroughly enjoyable.

The furniture on the porch that needs refinished has been worked on a bit.  Still enduring a lot of tests and medications which leave me feeling depleted.  Baby stepping this project of the little three drawer sewing cabinet.  Puff, our fat old green eyed, long haired yellow cat has commandeered one of the little drawers.  She stays there all the time, sleeps there, and patrols the porch.  Likely, an hour will be all it takes to finish this little project.  Considering the percentage that a job is finished can help remotivate working on it to the completion.  I have so many unfinished projects, I could keep a retired person busy just having them finish.

Little projects with quick achievement is what the doctor ordered.  She said, “DO Not get committed to anything, keep the stress load down”.  How right she is, so I am striving to obey her orders.  I am awaiting to achieve a little stamina, the exhaustion hangs on.  One project that I enjoyed was this reversible lightweight knit fabric, it was in the clearance bin for about $2.  I made the cutest dolman sleeve, cowl, crop top to go over a sleeveless lightweight mock crewneck knit top that I purchased while in Maine at the Kohl’s there.  Using the Serger, sewing machine, I made all the seams exposed.  You see the light material on the sleeve, the dark on the body, the light on the upper front, and then both the light and dark make up the cowl.  It cheered me up to accomplish something so nice in such a little time over a couple days.  I am learning to knit socks, with the arthritis it is a challenge, and I just have to put it down when I keep making mistakes because my hands do not comply.  My mother in law was watching me knit one day and she said to me “I am not impressed!”  I said “With What?”  She said “I am not impressed with your knitting”.  I was like, “should I just put it down and forget it?”.  she said “I would.”  I kept knitting.  “Pants”, pants I said, I still need to make a couple pairs, with the surgeries I have to make my pants a little higher to the waist for them to be comfortable.  Everyone sees me in the same couple few pants over the last couple years.  They are in great condition miraculously.  I just need to make a couple pairs.

Do you have a couple little projects you have been wanting to do?  Can you block yourself some time to work on something your interested in?  Taking an hour before that time to better organize the area, to make sure your tools are set up and ready, to double check you have all you need will help you to be more efficient and productive.  I actually enjoy working in my work area cleaning it up.  If you were in my work area you would wonder about what I am referring to since it is very disorganized.  I like it organized, and it definitely makes me more productive and time wise to keep it that way.  You just feel better about producing something if the environment is orderly.

It may be possible to sign up for classes or groups of special interest.  There are many free online classes, and some not free. It can improve the quality of your life or help with your career goals. We took Brent, our youngest son out to a nice steak restaurant for dinner tonight, we are so proud of him for sticking with one job, and working so hard to finish his apprenticeship for plumbing.  Although he was young, he had an opportunity, and despite unpleasant work experiences with fellow employees at times, he continued with it.  He put off taking the test for another six months after he could have taken it because he was worried about his dyslexia.  He heard of so many failing the first two or three tests he assumed he would too.  When we realized what his worry was we just expressed confidence in him because we always listened to him about how he addressed certain problems, and how he resolved issues we knew he had the knowledge to be a Journeyman.  He passed, we are so happy for him.  A lack of confidence can play a big role in our not fulfilling our goals.  Pretend your confident and give it a try, if it doesn’t work, try another approach and try again.  Just TRY.

Losing weight and getting fit are important, and rate pretty high on most peoples yearly goal list.  We do have thirteen weeks before the new year, and approximately 25 weeks until Spring.  If we want to start 2016 looking better than we do now, there is a fitness schedule we can practice now.  There are parks, walking and biking trails. There are indoor facilities whether it is basketball, swimming, or such in which we can fit exercise into our life.  If someone is very busy, they can use an exercise video you can check out from the library.  PBS channels provide an exercise hour starting at 6 a.m. everyday.  I do isometrics each morning which helps me with my arthritis.  The weight loss is working incredibly slow for me.  This week I am working on even smaller portions, and striving to get some exercise in.  Let us all work toward improving our cardiovascular health.

Domestically, some people are already perfectly clean, organized and efficient, to them I say, Learn a Hobby.  Maintenance, and fall cleaning, and getting the HVAC checked for this upcoming winter season will possibly save some money.  Can you do without the air conditioning?  We love the lower bills in the spring when we let the house naturally be a little cooler by turning off the heat.  We turn off the air the first week of September.  This last hundred years or so is the first time in mankinds history that temperatures could be controlled to such a Degree.  People do not know how to be a little cool, or a little warm, always adjusting the thermostats.  Where are the sweaters or a blanket to ward off a little chill.  Reasonableness is imperative, if someone has chronic illness, is old or young they do not need to suffer.  When my spleen an ITP made me so anemic, I was so chilled all the time, having the house cold and the floors cold put me in a state of apathy.  It is not good to force our ways upon others.  All things must be tempered with love and compassion.

Depression for some is very severe when fall and winter comes upon us.  A new outlook should be considered.  It is a time to stay in and get a few things done, learn something new thru a class or hobby, and an opportunity to enjoy family.  I am with you, let us make the most of this October as we work optimistically thru this fall season into winter and the rest of the year.  We can accomplish so much.