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Saturday, May 17, 2014

when life gets crazy….4 things

 

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Today my computer goes dark and our service won’t be back up until next Wednesday.

Did I mention this?

The owner of our current place would like to move his sons into this space, so this weekend we’re  transferring all of our belongings into another condo he recently purchased. As I write this, all the utilities are scheduled to be turned off and boxes will be loaded shortly.

Meanwhile our house hunting has become a slow drip affair as we basically wait for a home to come on the market in the neighborhoods we like.

Then, following our move this weekend, we will need to help Michael, who has to be out of his college apartment next week before he heads to Georgia to compete in his big rowing event. And two weeks later, we’ll help Patrick relocate from his place in San Luis Obispo.

Are you still with me? Because I realize this is starting to sound like a really bad reality show. But yes, it is all happening, and I’m pretty sure we’ll look back later at this period and think, “Wow! how did we get through all that?”

All these changes have made me stop and realize. Yes, feeling uprooted has been hard. Being without a home has also made me aware how much my house allows me to express my creative energies, which has been another big loss.

So I’ve had to find other ways to express myself.

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Can you relate to having a lot going on right now?

Because today I thought I’d share four positive things I’m doing right now to make this transition  work for me.

1. Getting physical.

Well, I did it.

I finished my 30 day yoga challenge and I’m still going strong. And honestly, I can’t emphasize enough how much this experience has helped me stay positive. When I initially signed up at the local hot yoga studio, I was interested in building a strong body, but I never expected the intangible changes that would happen within. The breathing, the intentional focus on the present moment, the transformative effects of the heat…not only do all these help me re-focus on my body in a healthy way, but I feel the calming effects too.

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If you’re interested, you can read how the practice of yoga actually changes the brain’s reactions to stress HERE. 

2. Doing something you’ve always wanted to do 

Do you dream of publishing your own book?  I know bloggers that write with the hope of being discovered by a publisher, of having their writing acknowledged by a larger audience. When our house hunting got tougher, I decided to funnel all my edgy tension into something I’ve always wanted to do. Take a writing course with an author I admire. And it’s the single biggest reason I haven’t been blogging lately. I’m loving this class.

What is something you’ve always wanted to try?

Adding something new to our lives gets us out of our comfort zone and keeps us growing, especially during an otherwise tough time. My online writing course fits perfectly into my schedule and THIS recommended book has already changed my entire thought process on story-telling.

(If you want to be a published writer, you have to read this book!)

 

3. Dreamy escapism 

I totally believe this. Are you ready?

Here it is: there is no situation too stressful, that a good dose of Jane Austen won’t cure. I don’t know how many times I have seen this movie, but I swear, it works every time.

My favorite obsessively watched movie: Pride and Prejudice !!!

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(Ahhh..that scene in the rain is a heart-thumper!)

When you’re going through a stressful time, allow time for simple pleasures. Reading, gardening, and activities that allow us to lose track of time are the kind that replenish us. And when we’re taking care of ourselves, we have more to give others.

 Do you have a favorite movie you can watch over and over again?

4. Cultivating empathy

I have this old, deeply engrained desire to connect with sad people. It’s a long story, but I’m sure it’s at least partially responsible for my chosen profession. And recently I was telling Patrick about THIS blog that I follow, and his reaction didn’t surprise me when I showed him a picture from a recent post.

He immediately winced  and said,  “Oh, God Mom, that’s tough. That’s SO hard to hear about.”

I go to this blog because I admire and care about this young mother. Sometimes I leave a comment and sometimes I just check in, to see how she’s doing. But I’m always deeply moved by her posts. And when I offer a  prayer for her, I like to believe she experiences it as a little dose of strength.

There are some people that blow me away with their courage and break my heart at the same time.

Just enough to remind me

that there is nothing going on in my little life that I should be complaining about.

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If you’re new here, this blog is where I share my humble perspective just in case it might help someone. But I also love to hear your ideas.

Tell me. How do you stay sane during turbulent times?

 

xo

Leslie

 

 

20 comments:

Susan said...

I do hand-stitching to repair a quilt, read a favorite book, or write lists :)

Art and Sand said...

The Sarah Jessica Parker film, "I Don't Know How She Does It" came to my mind as I read your post.

Now that I am retired, my life is stress free, "I don't know how you do it".

Good luck with the moves - all THREE!

Jennifer Connolly said...

I'm not sure I have a workable process to stay sane during turbulent times. Could account for my high blood pressure. I keep promising myself I'll get back to exercise, but there's always a handy excuse. You're in such a tough spot, I commend your attitude! I'm not sure I could have held out for the neighborhood. Knowing me, we would have rushed and settled for something less than perfect. Enjoy your weekend!!

Jennifer Connolly said...

I'm back to say, that blog you read is so achingly inspiring and sad, at the same time. That poor woman and family. My prayers go out to them. Thanks for sharing. xoxo

Tamera Beardsley said...

My dear … what a beautiful … uplifting and honest post. I appreciate your candor and your relentless desire to find gifts in the turmoil. Your ability to put effort into visualizing above the chaos and continue to self care and self invest … has you in hero status in my realm. So very well done … you are the truest of inspirations!

xoxo
Tamera

Cindy Coghill said...

Leslie,
You always inspire me and give me new things to think about. I broke the outside bone in my left foot last Saturday, which I didn't know was broken until Wednesday. Now I'm in a soft cast and restricted greatly in my activities. To top it off, this weekend was the big and wonderful flea market of the year here in Ohio,and I couldn't go. Almost made me cry, but after going out to get groceries, I realized I would not have been up to the flea market. I've actually read a book since then, something I never do and really enjoyed it. Been taking naps everyday and loving those too. Trying to reexamine my life during this time and how to use it wisely while I can't be outside working on my gardens and projects. I'm sure you understand how this feels since not having your own home where we creatively express ourselves. Thanks again for making me think more deeply.
Cindy

Karen said...

Leslie,
Your posts always resonate with me. I can imagine how challenging making not just a move for you and your husband, but then helping with the move of your sons. It's a good kind of tired, right? :-)
I knew I felt a kinship, when I'm having a particularly stressful time the following always helps: Pride & Prejudice (for time sake I usually watch the Kiera Knightly version, but the A&E mini series with Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy is amazing too), Notting Hill, and the Steve Martin Father of the Bride. Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility is right up there too.
As far as doing something that stretches me...I want to become a master gardner. The course work is such that I will have to wait until I stop working full time, but it's on the list.
Good luck with the move and finding that home in your favorite neighborhood.
xo,
Karen

Blondie's Journal said...

I am going to make a full on re~attempt at trying yoga...I trust you and feel we have a kinship...if it works for you than I'll trust it works for me.

I'm popping over to the blog you mentioned. Stay sane! :)

XO,
Jane

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I try very hard to focus on family and being creative...doing things that make me happy. Life has been in such transition here, and at the same time, work is busy...maybe just to keep my mind occupied.
It's hard to be moving a lot, the way you are...not just emotionally, but physically, too. I know something good is on the horizon for you! xo

Gypsy Heart said...

Hi Leslie,
I've really missed reading your blog! There's always something that resonates with me. I believe that it would take a LOT for me to get through what you're doing now! Moving is so hard for me but hey, you are much younger! :) Good luck with all of these moves.

I've had so many technical issues the past couple of months and I'm certainly not a techie here. AT&T changed my phone number 5 times ~ sometimes without telling me! It was getting to the point that I was advising family and friends to just dial 1-800-PAT to find me. I won't go into all the details...just suffice it to say that I've been majorly frustrated!

I spent a lot of time reading last summer after losing Abby. Now it seems to be movies that are upbeat or some of the classics that I love. I appreciate your sharing about yoga...I honestly think I should do that!

When you read that blog it makes our "stuff" seem minimal doesn't it? It's just that at times we or I get into overwhelm and forget that the every day challenges can be handled...or just forgotten! :)

xo
Pat

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

Leslie,
I've taken a break from blogging, but I've been silently following along and I applause your efforts of trying new things to get you through this difficult transition! I, myself, have come to a crossroad and I'm trying to make some major healthy lifestyle changes to (hopefully) cure my lifelong battle with IBS and a few new alarming symptoms that have popped up. Right now I'm working on my body, starting with the Whole 30 eating concept, and getting up off the couch for much needed exercise that I've been avoiding like the plague. Next, my plan is to work on my mind and techniques to learn how to relax and let go of stress, which are strongly connected with IBS flare-ups. Luckily for me, our daughters are finishing up the Whole 30, so I can call them for support when I feel my resolve weakening. :)

I hope your dream house finds you soon, so you can use your creativity to make it your own little nesting spot!

xo, Vickie

Something Nice and Pretty said...

So happy to see you have a post up, love reading them and I'm really interested in the link that is about writing...so interested in it!
For stress I just want to be with my family they seem to make me happy no matter what.
Yoga...I've never tried it but you make it sound so worth it to give it a shot!
I commend you for waiting on the house of your dreams in the right neighborhood...will pray for you!
Good Luck, Rondell

Carla from The River said...

I am proud of your Yoga success story. Thank you for sharing.

My prayers will be with you the next VERY busy weeks.

Best to your son in his rowing. Please let us know how he does.
Carla

michele said...

leslie, i like you so much...have i told you that lately? we have an incredible number of shared sensiibilities, longings, and career choices. my life is nuts right now. super busy, super complicated, super blessed but ohmylord i feel so scattered most days. i am dying to talk to you about the writing course as i'm ready to begin my book. let me know when it would be a good time to chat if you can chat on the phone. what i am doing to stay sane: i have to be honest, there is emergency xanax in my bag. i pray long fervent prayers, many of which start with 'i'm dyin here lord. u know what i need...' i write music and sing/play it on the piano--90% of it is crap but then there's a glimpse of not-crap, and i soar with the angels. i swim in a warm water pool. i get deep tissue massage and energy work that sometimes feels like my internal organs are being squeezed and my mind is being opened and expanded. i am walking these roads with you. sending you hope and reassurance you are on a path leading to divine and sacred things. love to you.

michele

Leslie said...

Leslie, I am so sorry that all this is going... on and to have to pick up and move to another uni, no problem right?? What's up with that?
I am sending light your way as I can only imagine the frustration with the lack of home inventory and the feeling of not having a home. We are living out of boxes and still waiting for permits to begin our building project. It is not a cake walk by any means however I feel fortunate that there is a light at the end of the tunnel (albeit a long one). You are a strong woman and I can see you are working things the best you can. I exercise to keep my sanity. It always makes me feel better along with a little retail shopping here and there;) xxL

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

God bless you, Leslie! What an ordeal you have been through! ANd yet you are encouraging us and helping us and giving us advice you lived! Thanks you so so much!

simone antoniazzi said...

I am going to come back later & comment more but I just have to tell you that....you have helped me Xx

Catherine Robinson said...

I'm so happy you are enjoying your yoga Leslie and you're finding it calming as you know I think it is an amazing discipline and credit it with changing my thinking and calming my mind hugely :) I hope things are a little less crazy???
Happy Weekend xx

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I wish we could take a yoga class together and hang out afterwards! Don't you walk out of class feeling taller, stronger and more clear-headed? So glad you are finding positive ways to deal with the uncertainty of the moment. But looking on the bright side, you are going to be a moving expert! Hang in there my friend!

Jeannie said...

Okay - this is the second comment I'm leaving this morning about your blog and then I'm done bc I don't want to seem like a stalker - ha ha - and I need to get my sons up for school and get breakfast started! But as I'm reading through each post, I'm thinking what a great writer you are and then I come to this post and you mention a blog and I click on the link and it's a blog I used to follow but lost track of when my old computer got zapped by lightening and I couldn't remember the name of her blog and have wondered for so long how she was doing! So imagine my pleasant surprise and shock when I open up your link and find my long lost blog! Isn't their story both sad and courageous?? I'm sorry she's stopped writing. Again, I'm happy to have found your blog!

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