…motivation…

noun

  • the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way: I don’t understand what her motivation was for quitting her job.
  • the state or condition of being motivated or having a strong reason to act or accomplish  something: We know that these students have strong motivation to learn.
  • something that motivates; inducement; incentive: Clearly, the company’s long-term motivation is profit.

I sit at my computer with very little motivation. The only motivation I can find to write is, I haven’t posted in several weeks. I have several half-written posts. I am simply not happy with the direction they are developing. I read and re-read. I write, then re-write. I get all dramatic, throw my hands in the air, and leave the computer in a huff of frustration.

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Writing is not the only thing in my life that I am unmotivated with. As most women do, I am in disgust with my body. The vicious cycle of looking in the mirror and comparing myself to other women. The most cruel thing I do is compare myself… to my previous self. I am unable to physically do some of the things I would like to do, because of injury, pain and illness. What I can do.. I put off until “tomorrow”. Stuck in a pattern of self loathing. I have never really been a person with “Stick-to-it-ive-ness”. I begin things with excitement and fervor, only to wane in interest. AKA, lack of motivation.

So how can I remove this obstacle? There have been suggestions of:

  • “Just do it”, don’t allow yourself not to do it.
  • Break things down/Set goals
  • Train your mind to react positively
  • Exercise
  • Eat well and Hydrate
  • Spirituality/Meditation
  • Accountability Partner

Let’s break each of these down a bit.

“Just do it.” – A no excuses approach. Set your alarm and when it goes off, get out of bed. No snooze button. This mindset works for some people. It is the most difficult method in my opinion. Because, sometimes, my body hurts for days at a time. Then I would berate myself for failing to “Just do it”.

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Breaking things down/Set goals – Think the question/answer of, “How do you eat an elephant?.. One bite at a time.” Determine your ultimate goal. Within the larger goal, set a small goal, achieve it. Proceed to a slightly bigger goal, achieve it.. ect.. until the primary goal is attained. How does a person determine these “goals”? I have seen the acronym S.M.A.R.T. used. S- Specific – Clearly defined goals, M- Measurable – Track your progress, A- Attainable – Realistic expectations, R – Relevant – The goal is something that matters to YOU, T- Time – Time frame in which to achieve the goal.

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Train your mind to react positively – Negativity, unfortunately resides in many people. Training your mind to find the positive aspects of daily life, can be very difficult for some. This is something I personally have to put effort toward. It is just as much an exercise, mentally, as it is to do ten crunches, physically.

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Exercise – Why? There are these amazing little chemicals in your body called endorphins, natural “happy pills”. Exercise causes these endorphins to be released, and mood to be boosted in a natural way. Perhaps Exercise can fit into the “Goal” category.

Eat well/Hydrate – This helps to make your body work properly. If you are giving your body the kinds of nutrition it needs, you will feel better. *** With this point, I want to mention that not all bodies are the same and can operate at maximum capacity on different levels of “healthy eating”.***

Spirituality/Meditation – I’m labeling this as Spirituality because I feel it is important to find a peace within yourself. I find my peace through Christianity. I believe in God, The Holy Spirit and Jesus the Christ. I also believe that God is the god of many other religions. He just shows Himself differently. What ever way you are able to find the place of peace within yourself, is the path you should cultivate.

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Accountability Partner – For some, having someone to talk to about your journey is helpful. Sharing goals and celebrating achievements. This person should be someone you feel comfortable enough to share struggles with. As well as, someone you trust to keep you accountable to them and more importantly, yourself.

Honestly hoping these suggestions may be beneficial to others. I will be taking my own advice and putting some of these strategies to use. Absolving myself from my lack of motivation.

Honestly,

Carrie

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I cannot “save” anyone.

I’ve been having a reoccurring dream. In this dream, I am swimming in a body of water. Swimming, frantically to save someone who is drowning. (The someone is not always the same person.) When I get within arms reach, they start swimming away from me, but not toward the shoreline. They swim further away, only to start drowning again. I repeat my efforts to reach them. Each time in vain. Unable to “save” them. I wake in a cold sweat with my heart racing.

So what does this mean? It has been suggested to me that this is symbolic of trying to help someone who simply doesn’t want to be helped. At least, not by me. Or not in the manner I can help. The logical response, for me, is to offer help. If this offer isn’t acknowledged or accepted. I should step away from the turmoil. Be willing to give the help I offered, if the someone changes their mind and is willing to accept it. In practicality, I also need to only offer the help I can actually give. Then follow through, and provide the aid.

In place of frantically swimming. I visualize myself, standing on the shore in my dream, holding the rope of a flotation device. I have “thrown” them help. If they choose not to accept it. That is their prerogative.

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I am wrestling with a reality. I cannot “save” anyone.

My problem is, I never think logically first. My knee jerk response is an emotional one. I feel a visceral need to rescue what or whom ever needs it. Diving head first into the situation with blinders on. Without pause, to consider how much energy helping will require. What mental distress rescuing another will cause me. My feelings of rejection and disappointment when the assistance I can offer, is not accepted.

I am an emotional being. Logic, always comes as a hindsight. I continue to struggle. To coexist within myself. To be a logical and emotional being at the same time. Because, it is not good to be one or the other in entirety. To come to grips with, the only person I can “save” is, Me. Then consciously make the choice to do so.

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Perhaps in honesty, the best way I can help others, is to be an example. A picture that describes a stained glass window. Each piece holds beauty individually. The parts fastened together, make a masterpiece. I’m not quite there yet; but I’m working on it.

Honestly,

Carrie

A Series from My Mind’s Eye: Part six

To my family: This is how my mind remembers. If you remember these moments differently, please, don’t tell me. I want these precious images to stay “mine”.

1 This is my Father’s world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas–
His hand the wonders wrought.

2 This is my Father’s world:
The birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass, I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

3 This is my Father’s world:
O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the Ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King: let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let earth be glad!  ~Maltbie Davenport Babcock

The Funeral~ Within the days following my father’s death (I don’t remember the duration of time within these events), once again, we all had to dress up. Then, this “totally wicked” car came to pick us up to go for a ride. It was a “limo”. There were seats that pulled out of the seats in front (think Murphy bed). I was so excited because I got to sit on a seat that faced backwards.

This wonderful car took us up into the cemetery. We all climbed out and walked to the grave site. We had to sit and be still. People were crying. The flowers on Daddy’s “Bed” were so pretty. Someone explained that Daddy would be staying here. He wouldn’t be coming home with us. I couldn’t comprehend why this was going to happen.

We climbed back into the car. It was explained that we would be going to church, and that we all needed to be very good, and quiet. I was busy wondering why we had to go to church now. Because Pastor had just talked to us. Eventually, at the church, my mother took my hand and led us down the isle… to the very front. As I walked, I noticed all the people looking, staring as we passed. It was such a creepy feeling.

The Hymn, This Is My Father’s World. I know it was one of the hymns sung. I don’t actually remember singing it that day. But I would cry every time it was played afterwards. For the longest time I thought this song was… about MY father. Rocks and trees, of skies and seas… Birds and lilies… All the beautiful things my Daddy loved. When I was old enough to comprehend Who the song was really about, it was actually a bit of a let down. I hadn’t yet formed a personal relationship with God. I would stand in church and sing, only to feel anger rising at God for taking my Daddy. Now the joy I feel, when I sing the last verse, is liberating. I still cry. A little bit for missing my Daddy. A lot for the love I have for my Daddy and my God.

Honestly,

Carrie

A Series from My Minds Eye: Part five

To my family: This is how my mind remembers. If you remember these moments differently, please, don’t tell me. I want these precious images to stay “mine”.

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days I thought would never end. I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend. But I always thought I’d see you again. ~James Taylor

The funeral home experience~ In the days following Daddy’s death, the whole family was together. We had to dress up. We went to the funeral home. I was lead into a large room. The far end of this room was filled with all kinds of floral arrangements and plants. They were arranged around my father’s casket. Lying serenely in the casket, was my father.

Reminder: I had not seen my father in two or three days.

As my family made our way down the isle separating, what seemed to my eyes to be never ending rows of chairs. All took their turn, stepping up to the casket. Viewing my father’s body. As my turn arrived, my mother lifted me up. I looked at my father. Very confused, I asked, “Why is Daddy sleeping?”. She answered, “Remember? I told you Daddy went to heaven.”. Still not comprehending what that meant, I leaned forward and touched his chest, in an attempt to wake him. I pulled my hand back as though it had been bitten. I anxiously said to my mother, “All the warm is gone.”. She hugged me, and set me back down.

Reminder: I still had not had any outward emotional response, other than being thoroughly confused, to any of the happenings of the past few days.

At some point in the duration of “The Funeral Home” experience, I climbed onto my eldest brother’s lap. He pulled me in and gave me a huge bear hug. At the time, brother had a very full beard. As I was playfully smooshed up into his neck, I got a whisker in my eye. It HURT! So much so, that I started crying… hard. There was a flurry of adult reaction. I can only assume, that my crying was interpreted as though I had realized what “Going to Heaven” meant. However, I couldn’t get anyone to look at my eye.

I can still see that room. The enormity, to a six year old’s view. Everyone crying and blowing noses. Still, able to feel that confusion. Honestly, this is something I wish I could forget. But then I would have one less piece to the puzzle. I suppose this would be one of those “Double edged Swords”. Hurts to remember, but it is one of the few links I have of my own memories. Can’t have one with out the other.

Honestly,

Carrie

A Series from my Minds Eye: Part four

To my family: This is how my mind remembers. If you remember these moments differently, please, don’t tell me. I want these precious images to stay “mine”.

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on
‘Cause I know I don’t belong here in heaven.

Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven?
I’ll find my way through night and day
‘Cause I know I just can’t stay here in heaven.

Eric Clapton

The day he died~ My memory begins, as I was sitting in my afternoon kindergarten desk. Just waiting for the bell to set us all free. I felt a sensation. Similar to the lurching feeling that sometimes happens to a stomach in elevators. It didn’t go away. I glanced up to see my principal speaking to my teacher in the door way. I watched her cover her mouth with her hand. (A normal reaction to shocking news.) The sinking feeling wasn’t going away. So, I got up to go tell her I didn’t feel well. She had me go back to my desk and rest my head, as there were just a few minutes until the final bell.

Free at last. The queasy feeling in my stomach abated with the distraction of beginning my journey home. My brother, one of the big kids at school, walked home too, but I don’t remember him walking with me that day. I walked with my friend. Her house was on the route I took to get home. We got to her house. She asked if I could stay to play. Her mother said yes, but I had to call home to get permission. I excitedly recited my phone number for her to dial. The call was answered… by my Grandfather… weird. While frequently at our house, He never answered the phone. I ask my question. He answers, “Let me ask your mother.”. He returned to the phone. “She says you should come straight home”. Disappointed, I give the phone back to my friends mother.

On the way home again. I continue my walk, at this time I am alone for a bit. I meet up with my brother and other bigger kids that walk the same path. Suddenly, our next door neighbor pulls up in front of us. Driving their green two seat-er, picking her son and myself up. The two of us pile in. Then, giving my brother strict instructions to “get home, no dilly dallying”. It took longer to get me home, because of traffic, than it took my brother to get there on foot. So, I was the last child to arrive home.

I walked across the neighbors yard to my own. Weird.. why are there people standing in the front yard? My Grandpa was waiting for me at the door. I jovially jumped up the steps, excited to see him. He greeted me, “Hewoh Cawwie”. Weird.. he only calls me Cawwie when I’m sad or hurt. He took my hand and led me through the living room, kitchen and dining room. The house was full of women. All of them, stopped what they were doing. Staring at me, as I walked past. With what I would now call, pity. Yuck! I felt so uncomfortable. Being watched. As if they were waiting for my reaction. The sensation, I had felt in school returned.

Grandpa knocked on my parents bed room door. Mom said, “Come in.”. Grandpa released my hand. I entered the room. Weird… why are my brothers in here with my mom? Why do they look sad? Confusion or tears had colored their faces. The five of us, (the siblings who were too young to be living on our own), and our mother crowded together on my father’s side of their bed. Either sitting on the bed, sitting on the chair of my father’s desk, or precariously perched on the window sill. Mother recited the words, “Daddy has gone to Heaven.”. My reply, a nonchalant, “OK.”.

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I did not understand. I supposed, he would return for supper.

My exuberant six year old self quickly dove into, “Guess what I learned to do today!!” “What?”, asked my mother. “I can whistle! Just like Daddy!” “Do you want to see?” “Yes, please show us.”, my tearful mother said. I pursed my lips.. and sucked in. (Not blew out). It made a whistling sound, but definitely not the wonderful whistling my Daddy did. Our little group laughed. Someone asked me to do it again.

That’s it. That’s all.

The happenings of that day, altered the course of my life. The ups and downs on the roller coaster of life would tear me apart at times, only to stitch me back together for the wonderful moments.

I wonder, at times, what did we have for supper? I wonder how many times, did my mother say those words or some version of those words that day? When did my older siblings, that lived “far away” come home? Who had to tell my Grandmother that one of her sons had “gone to heaven”? In all honesty, I don’t want to know the answers to these questions. The answers would change my recollection of this day. The memory would no longer be mine, alone.

Honestly,

Carrie

A Series from My Mind’s Eye: Part three

To my family: This is how my mind remembers. If you remember these moments differently, please, don’t tell me. I want these precious images to stay “Mine”.

I’ll be seeing you.
In every lovely summer’s day.
In everything that’s light and gay.
I’ll always think of you that way.

I’ll let you decide if, Billie Holiday or Frank Sinatra, is singing “I’ll be seeing you”, through your imagination.

The Movie~ Annie. There was popcorn. Daddy taking my hand to lead me down the isle. Trepidation about heading into that “giant”, darkened room. Sitting almost at the front. My seat kept folding up on me. Daddy’s leg angled to hold my seat down. His smile in my direction as the movie began… The sun’ll come out Tomorrow. Just gotta’ hang on ’til tomorrow. There’ll be sun….

The Spanking~ Let me start by saying: I totally deserved it. Back story – I was in school, so 5-6. I had learned scissor safety that day. After arriving home, I was playing with one of the little girls my mom did home daycare for. We played “Barber Shop”. What began with the scissors from the play dough set, quickly advanced to real scissors. Taking my turn first, I proceeded to “trim” the beautiful, thick, straight, long (down to the small of her back), golden head of hair before me. I didn’t cut the back. I went after the perfect bangs that sat just above the eyebrows. I snipped. I know I took a couple spots down to the roots. The rest, left all jagged. A perfect Picasso of bangs. Little Girl then took her turn. My hair, as always, was in the fashion of Pig tails. No, she didn’t lop off a pig tail. She cut right along the part. Down the center of my head. As a result, I had an awkward mo-hawk for months.

So, where does my father come into this tale? Just as we were being called to come out of the play room, because little girl’s parents were there to pick her up. Our artistry was being discovered. My father walked in the door from work. Just as my mother was bending me over her knees and raising her hand for the first swat. Of course, I wailed! Second swat. My father tearing across the room. Third swat. I was pulled from my mother’s lap. Sheltered in his arms. When He saw why I was receiving this punishment, He kissed my forehead. Then, made me stand in the corner for a time-out. I tried to not stand in the corner. Tried to follow him as he retraced his path, back across the room to my mother. Who was still so angry, she was crying. He wrapped her in his arms and held her, all while firmly remanding me back to my corner.

I do not intend to make my Mother out to be an abusive person. In fact, I only received two spankings, that I remember as a child. This little story isn’t about the spanking. Nor, is it about my father “rescuing” me from the spanking. The part that is important to see, is the genuine love and support, he showed my mother. It is the model I use to support my own husband. I “deal with the drama”,if I can. Then, ask how I can help him.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if, when we see someone struggling, we simply asked what they need? How can I help?

Honestly,

Carrie

A Series from My Mind’s Eye: Part two

To my family: This is how my mind remembers. If you remember these moments differently, please, don’t tell me. I want these precious images to stay “Mine”.

Memories. All I have is memories. All I have is memories. Memories of you. Now you’re gone. They linger on, these memories. All these precious memories. Memories of you. ~Van Morrison – Memories

The next few “Memories” vary within the realm of happiness and realization. As I have been typing away at these memories, I have realized, my Father was human. I am also finding my Mother, another human, entwined within them.

Making our advent wreath~ Each Christmas my father made our advent wreath. He had a “humongous” circle made of straw. Well, now as an adult the ring isn’t as large as I thought it was then. This particular year, He bundled me up and we went over to our neighbors house. They had a magnificent Arborvitae. A type of pine that has flat leaves. He proceeded to cut branches for the wreath (I’m fairly certain he had permission). Back in our warm house, he began piecing. Branch by branch, I watched as the giant circle became, something beautiful. I was in awe with the way his hands seemed to know exactly the right place for each branch. The scent was amazing. Growing stronger as the branches and leaves warmed in the house. This is the point the memory stops. I have a glimpse of lighting the candles, I got to light the pink one.

The Green Brier flower shop~ Just a flash or two. My mother and I walking into the store. Finding my father in the back room, preparing for a class he was leading. He looked up from what he was doing, and shot my mother a very annoyed look. My mother left. An employee watched me while he led his class. As an adult, I realize that my parents had ups and downs. Just like any other couple. This is the only time I remember him not being ecstatic to see me.

The ring~ My parents bought me a “baby ring”. I also don’t know if it was purchased when I was an infant or when I was older. I imagine this event to have been about age 5, because that is about the size of finger, the ring that now sits in my jewelry box would fit. It isn’t receiving the ring that I remember. But of being allowed to wear it, on no particular evening. It was time to wash up for supper. Daddy “angel-ed” (airplane game) me into the bathroom. Sitting propped on his bent knee, I put my hands under the faucet. Then he gave me soap. He had his hands over mine, rinsing the soap off… and gasp! His hands were frantically trying to catch the ring before it got to the drain. Alas, it did indeed meet the drain, to disappear. His hands moved quickly, turning off the water, in hopes that the tiny ring would not be swept to the sewer. Even in his haste to get to the phone to call a plumber, he knelt down and gently dried my hands with the towel. The plumber was called. Supper was served and eaten. The plumber arrived (a good friend of my Grandfather). I remember Mr. Plumber being very, very tall. With white hair. Mr. Plumber went straight to work on the U bend pipe. Once free from the adjoining parts, Mr. Plumber upended it over a plastic tub that was in place to catch the contents of the pipes. The tiny band ker-plunked into the tub. The rejoicing commenced! The ring was cleaned and put away properly; to hibernate until I was an adult.

I am enjoying my recollections. Even the emotionally “hard” to remember topics. They are working to make my father a multidimensional figure. As opposed to the memory of a man placed on a pedestal, untouchable. Unreachable. He is becoming tangible to me. That may be the priceless gift I am receiving as I share him, My Father, with you.

Honestly,

Carrie