If You’re Counting Down to Quitting Time…

Do you count down to quitting time every work day? Do you dread Monday mornings with a sick passion? Are you always wishing for a little more vacation time and a little (or a lot) less work time? I’m here to encourage you to create a life you don’t need to take a vacation from.

If you hate your current job then you can’t shine at your job. If you don’t shine, you don’t feel that happiness, pride, and sense of accomplishment that makes you glad to be there, working, and earning. There are plenty of other people who would love your current job, and there are plenty of jobs you would love that would also financially support your life and family.

If you hate where you are, get the heck out of there and find the money-making source that feeds you, where you can feel necessary and critical, and that you don’t need a vacation from!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

Everything That Glitters

We want, we want, we want, but when we get what we want…was it really worth it? The time, the effort, the money? So often in my own history I have falsely desired some thing, some happening, some person, just to win and then as soon as the new wears off I begin to wonder why that was so critical to me in the first place. The older I get (and this is a lesson I wish I would have learned much earlier), the more I see that accumulation is not the answer to my happiness. Depth of character, self-awareness, and loving myself and loving others the way the greatest teachers in the universe have taught throughout time, these are the answers to our desire for more.

Instead of an upgraded phone, more opportunities to connect with those around us in a meaningful way.

Instead of a new boyfriend, more practice at appreciating your own likes and dislikes, more time “finding yourself” in the midst of everyone else’s opinions swirling around.

Instead of a new job, more thankfulness for getting paid for what you do, for the excellent work you put into your current job, and the ways you contribute to the bigger organizational picture.

Everything isn’t better on the other side; everything that glitters is not gold. True story.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Counting Down to Quitting Time?

Do you count down to quitting time every work day?

Do you dread Monday mornings with a sick passion?

Are you always wishing for a little more vacation time and a littleĀ  (or a lot) less work time?

I’m here to encourage you to create a life you don’t need to take a vacation from. If you hate your current job then you can’t shine at your job. If you don’t shine, you don’t feel that happiness, pride, and sense of accomplishment that makes you glad to be there, working and earning. There are plenty of other people who would love your current job, and there are plenty of jobs you would love that would also financially support your life and family. If you hate where you are, get the heck out of there and find the money-making source that feeds you, where you can feel necessary and critical, and that you don’t need a vacation from!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

Love/Hate Relationship With Summer Vacation

This is the last week of school for my children, and although in many ways they are excited…there’s a flip side to their excitement. You see, each year as school winds down, I ramp up with my “GREAT MOM IDEAS” to keep the kids active, alert, and learning throughout the summer vacation.

Work, chore, and learning opportunities abound! wpid-fb_img_1430702899892.jpg

Projects and family-fun activities make my eyes brighten!!

Daily family fitness and “active play” ideas fill my mind!!!

…My kids hate this…

They’re not against doing stuff, but their Mom has a tendency to over-schedule their three months that are (to their minds) supposed to be a break from schedules.

So, once again I have busted out the notebook and been sprawling endless lists and schedules and time tables of what kinds of things we can be doing when, where, and how allllll summmmmmer long.

Oh yeah, kids…get ready! Momma’s got the summer well planned.

“Get up! There’s no sleeping in in summer!!!”

“I’ve been up since 4…it’s time to get up and have a great day!”

“I have the best idea for today! Remember how we talked about how great it would be if the garage were completely cleaned up and reorganized?!?!?!!!!”

“Let’s start running together, every day, as a family! How about getting up early before the summer heat sets in!”

“Math workbook time!”

Yep, they’ll love it šŸ˜‰

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Me First

Dear readers and friends, please prepare yourself for the most controversial thing I have ever published. Instructions that go against what we are generally taught to do. But stick with me, there is rationale behind this belief that, I promise, will come full-circle and not seem so stinking evil.

Primed? OK, here it goes.YouAreSuchARockStar

You are #1. Really.

Put yourself first and you will be so much better equipped to love, serve, and care for others.

I understand this goes against all conventional thinking and what we are guilted by society to believe. It can be a message that falls somewhere between a hard pill to swallow and a total mind-blower.

Putting yourself first does not mean that you neglect those around you. It does not mean that you no longer treat others as you would like to be treated. It is not even selfish, not when you take in the bigger picture.

You are going to have a hard time playing with your young kids or grandkids outside if you do not first take care of your own physical health, exercising and staying active. Getting winded kicking the soccer ball around or whileĀ tromping around the neighborhood park is not because you are older or because you have already had a long day. You are getting winded and tired playing with the kids because you have not put your own needs for good physical stamina at the forefront.

Going to work and doing your job day-in and day-out may get to feeling tedious and like you are on a constant cycle of being overworked and underpaid if you do notĀ first feed yourself and feel satisfied before you ever hit the office door in the mornings. Spending some high-quality YOU TIME before it is time to start the jam-packed schedule will do wonders for your well-being. Taking time to meditate, study or read, sit and enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee or tea, and maybe even watch the sun rise will, in turn, energize you for the day ahead. You will get more accomplished once you get going and you will feel better about what you are accomplishing, too!

When you make sure that YOU are healthy and happy, you can care for and serve those you love better than ever before! By putting your needs first, you eliminate the bitterness and resentment that comes with the busyness of parenthood, spousehood, employeehood, serving on every board and committee and still trying so hard to fit in time to take a shower in peace.

Place yourself, your health and your mental well-being at the top of your to-do list and watch how fulfilled and ready toĀ pour your improved energy and enthusiasm on those you love most! You will serve others better by first taking the best care of yourself!

Go get ’em, ROCK STAR!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Eliminating the Six Degrees of Separation

wpid-wp-1438663468454.jpegRemember back in the “old days” when the closest you could get to your favorite celebrity was to pay $15 to beĀ a member of his or her official fan club, which may getĀ you a signed poster and a whole lotta wishful thinking?

The days of having Six Degrees of Separation between you and virtually anyone are long gone! Social media sources like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram have taken us waayyy beyond the National Enquirer level connectivity.

It’s really amazing how small social media has made this great big world!

Now, I will get the occasional response to aĀ  tweet or comment I’ve made on some big-time person’s post or video or photo…and it will thrill me like it’s the 80’s and I’m in line to see a glimpse of Michael Jackson or Madonna!

This handy new rule-of-thumb applies to so much more than celebrities, too! Job hunting. Getting your news out about a new product. Sharing your thoughts on current events. Getting connected to the people you most need to hear you message is literally finger strikes away.

Networking at it’s most efficient.

So, my question for you is this: How are YOU going to close that gap between you and the people who can help take your ideas to the next level?

**Hustle makes it happen, so let’s dance!**

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Moving, Doors & Dreams

I like the saying, “When life closes a door, open it again. That’s how doors work.”20150714 MHC new space

It makes me giggle because even though I believe all of the “everything happens for a reason” clichĆ©s, I also believe that just because a door shuts in your life doesn’t mean you have to just sit there and take it. Sometimes that door needs to be reopened, sometimes the hinges need a little oil, sometimes patience and time open the door…and sometimes that door really just isn’t meant to be open.

As I’ve shared previously, my family has moved from Wisconsin to Texas. I actually feel sorry for any and all of the people I’m closest to because for the past three months I have done almost nothing but whine about leaving Wisco. The people, the job, the community, the region, the coffee, the cheese, the activities, the schools, the ___________…you name it. I just wasn’t ready yet and everyone knew it!

A door was shut for me, and instead of looking for an open window, I kept trying like crazy to get that dang door back open! I looked EVERYWHERE to find the magic key that would open that door back up. I explored every option. That door wasn’t coming back open, at least not right now.

So, here I am, standing outside of a locked door, but not really seeing any available windows, either. What else would I be doing??? Duh–I’m having an impromptu dance party outside!!! Instead of wearing my knuckles out banging on the door, I’m making the most of the move, the new location, the opportunity to spend time with family and reunite with friends I’ve known for years but not seen in a while. I’m laughing and dancing and playing outside the door while I patiently wait for it to reopen or for another door/window/swirly-fun-slide to appear to me!

One of the ways I’m celebrating my new chapter of life is by enjoying the time to focus on this community. For the past year, especially, I’ve felt so busy with my busyness that spending time doing this thing that I LOVE and am passionate about (this website, my YouTube channel, YOU) has been ignored. Now, I am able to refocus my attention and develop this MHC community into what I dreamed it would be years ago. This makes me smile and crank up the dance party tunes!!!

Expect changes that are still evolving to come to fruition over the coming weeks and months. I’m getting my dance groove back and I’m super excited to share my new moves šŸ™‚

Thank YOU for tuning in, being there (here), and enjoying what I do here. Keep doing what you do, and I promise to keep working at getting better and better at what I do! I’m tired of knocking on that door…but I know it’ll open when the time is right. Until then, let’s party!!!

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Happy & Healthy

Charlottes Spring Performance 020 croppedWhen our kiddos have performances, I tend to go through the range of emotions from “oh, yay, that sounds adorable,” to “you’ve gotta practice, you’ve gotta pick out your outfit, you’ve gotta do this and that to be ready,” to “how in the world am I going to ever fit this into my schedule,” to “OH MY GOSH…that was completely adorable and MY KID ROCKED!” to “how quickly can I get out of this school and onto the next critical thing on my daily to-do list?”

It’s no wonder we’re not sleeping, struggling to stay healthy, and fighting to keep our marriages and our families protected, happy and healthy. We have so much inner turmoil every day to the point we (I should say “I” and quit speaking for you) struggle to be in one place at a time, focused completely on that one thing or person or event or need.

Today, as I look through the pictures of Charlotte and her class, all smiles and joy and visions of great health and happiness, I realize that even with all of the apparent struggles of juggling life and kids and significant others and parents and friends and jobs, jobs, jobs, and organizations, and on and on and on…I believe we are all doing a pretty great job! Moments like this are validation that all of our hard work and stresses are well worth the effort!

Hang in there! Vent when you need to, and keep taking care of everything you have on your plate each and every day. Days like this make it alllll worth it šŸ™‚

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

I Make Time Work For Me, Not The Other Way Around

I wish I had time to volunteer at my kids’ schools more. I sure would like to spend more time with my girlfriends; I feel like I never see them anymore. My husband and I haven’t had a date night in months, and I sure miss it. I wish I could learn to play the guitar…the piano…the saxophone…the harpsichord. I wish I could pursue my great idea for a business, but I’m just so busy with my “realĀ job” to get around to my own passion. I wish I had time…

Does any of this sound familiar to you? I know it sure hits home for me! It’s just too easy to wish we had time for EVERYTHING, and –in turn– feel so guilty for all that we can’t seem to make time for in our already jam-packed schedules. It’s time to regroup!

We cannot do everything, serve everyone, be everything to everybody, and also give ourselves the time and attention we so desperately need for survival. There truly is a time for work and a time for play, a time to be together and a time to be separated. There IS time to do all of the things that are truly the most important to us–the key is that we must figure out what most deserves our precious time!

The best way I have chosen to do this is to sit down–yes, this takes time, too–and jot a list of alllllll of those things that I would like to do. Read for an hour a day, exercise for 45 minutes three times a week, have time with each of my children individually each day, play golf every week, have two hours of TV time each night after work, wake up each morning before anyone else so I have some moments of peace and quiet before the hustle and bustle of the day begins. List ALL of the things that you currently make time for, add the things you wish you had time for, and still add those things that you feel guilty that you rarely have time for in your life. The list will likely be extensive…and if you put the calculator to it, your extensive list will likely require your week to have many more hours in it than are available.

ā€œDon’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.ā€ -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

168.

That’s how many hours each of us have available in each week.

Seven days a week.

52 weeks a year.

168 hours.

Some inevitable time-consumers to that 168 hours are: sleep, food, basicĀ self-care, and likely at leastĀ someone’s time-clock. Other choices we’ve made and people and things we have prioritized eat up more of our time. We chose to get married, we chose to have children, we chose to attend school, we chose to work to join this committee or work with that political campaign. Now, it’s time to choose how exactly you would like to spend your 168 hours a week.

From the list you made, what are your top priority items?

I work at a wonderful coffeehouse, which allows me to meet all kinds of exciting people and be at the central hub of the city in which I live; this takes about 40 hours of my time each week. I have a goal (and I really do mean GOAL, because if I don’t prioritize this goal I tend to fall VERY short) to sleep eight hours a night, which comes to 56 hours each week. I have a husband and three kids still living at home that I enjoy having quality time with; so I need to make sure my schedule includes these wonderful people so that it doesn’t exclude them as my week unfolds. I want to make time for this website, and for my YouTube channel, and other of my social media sharing, but these things require time. I want an hour to myself every morning and an hour of relaxation time each night before bed; this adds another 14 hours a week to my prioritized time needs.

The next critical step is to actually schedule every hour of your coming week. If you take the first step of seeing what is most important for you to make time for, but do not look at your calendar and see how it will all fit into the schedule, you’re selling yourself short and you will NOT be able to fit everything in. However, if you schedule every hour of your week–including sleep time–you will see exactly how your priorities fit into your life, and where you may still even have more time for some play here and there.

“You CAN have everything you want in life–just not all at the same time. And this, by the way, is a GOOD thing! Spread the joys over a lifetime so you always have something to look forward to in your tomorrow!”

weeklytimeplanning.jpg

I prefer military time, which is why my time listing along the left edge of the paper is written in 24-hour segments.

Above is my first 168 Hour Schedule that I created last October in it’s most rudimentary version. Ā I plan my week ahead when my coffeehouseĀ job’s weekly schedule is posted, then I organize the other time categories around my work week. I take into consideration all upcoming family events, other obligations and priorities, and finish up by color coding the different categories so that I can see at a quick glance how my time splits–like a pie chart in my mind.

This doesn’t have to be a slick professional presentation, but the numbers do have to add up. Making time work for me makes all the difference in the way my weeks unfold–planned and prioritized, 168 hours at a time.

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn