TCOY Lessons From My Favorite Bloggers (Jan10)

As I stated in my first "Sharing My Blog Reader With My Blog Readers" post, reading is an integral part in how I acquire information and new perspectives. This month, the lessons on 'Taking Care of Yourself' from my favorite bloggers have been amazing. Below are the topics that have inspired me this month.

A Quote I've been reflecting upon during this month was found via Sources of Insight:

A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.
Mark Twain
Relationships from Quest for Balance:
I do not want to prefer my virtual life, tempting as it is, since I can create it exactly the way I want it...As always, in my opinion, it comes down to Balance...We each have to find the sweet spot that works best given our set of circumstances. But are we being honest in our assessments? Are we down-playing the importance of our virtual lives, and under-estimating the amount of time we spend there? Are we fully aware of the things, and people, we unintentionally neglect?...At the end of each day, are we proud of how we spent our waking hours?
Late last year I finally figured out how much my virtual life got in the way of my real life and time spent with my family...already limited since I work full-time away from the home. I've drastically limited time spent online during the weekend and, in Start Your Day The TCOY Way, I told you about how I adjusted my life to become an early riser. At that time, I woke 45 minutes earlier to give myself time for a slow start and to have alone time in the morning. Soon after that was posted, I was able to stretch it to 1 hour, 45 minutes. Considering that a year ago I would have bet anyone $100 that waking at 5 a.m. by choice is something I would NEVER do, I'd say that's life-altering! Now, I could never go back to stealing that time from my family while they were awake. It's a win-win for everyone.

Finance improvement clarity from The Simple Dollar:
Sit down and figure out where you want your life to be in five years...Sketch it out in detail. Specify the things you really want from your life in that period...When you’ve set down those key things on paper, let everything else go (unless it’s a required responsibility). Stop spending money on things that don’t bring you closer to that goal...When you start putting that kind of attitude front and central in your life, it becomes much easier to do things that might otherwise seem difficult. Instead of just jumping from thing to thing and feeling a lot of stress and unhappiness about the state of things in your life, you begin to feel a unity in your work, your financial choices, and your personal choices.
Since one of my New Year's gifts to myself for this year is to continue reigning in my financial life; a process I started 3 years ago this April, I found this right on target for what I needed to read. More wisdom from some of my favorite personal finance bloggers was shared earlied this month on "Resolved to Improve Your Finances in 2010?".

Self Improvement from The Positivity Blog:
Change the way you feel. Emotions are contagious. So to spread positivity, know how you can create and sustain a positive attitude and optimistic mood. Know how to pick yourself up out of slumps. Besides smiling, you can also appreciate life more, change your physiology, act as you would like to feel, ask better questions and recall positive memories to make a quick emotional shift.
This year is a metamorphosis year for me. One of the steps I am actively taking to regain the inner peace I have lost during the past few years is to focus on gratitude and appreciation of my life. The ideas on the post above are inspiring my mood right now.

Awareness from Raptitude:
The world would appear to get smaller and more real, but it’s actually your awareness tightening around the hard reality unfolding right where you actually are — an unusual sensation for many of us spoiled, distracted urbanites...The problem then, is not that the world is more advanced or more complex, but that our technological lives have made us become more accustomed to thinking about places we aren’t currently at, people we aren’t with, and things we are not doing. Mass production has brought affordable tools to everyone in excess. It has given us mass expectations, and minimal gratitude.
All I can say regarding this one is to repeat my comment on the post above:
I can’t explain how I feel after reading this…in awe of all you are experiencing, overwhelmed with gratitude for my life, awake & alive just by feeling that gratitude, etc. Thank you.
If there is one person that has taught me the most about balancing how I feel and interacting with my House & Family, it's Rachel from Small Notebook. Recently, she shared her "daily routine of touchstones — key elements to mark a successful day" because...
If I were to write my routine on poster board with a permanent marker, I’d have to tear it up as soon as I finished, because it would need to be different.
I've also learned that any kind of daily routine I create for myself will depend on others and, in my household anyways, they don't want no stinkin' schedule.

The next one prompts me to tell you a little About Me, just so I can make it relevant and share it. :-) Suzen from Erasing the Bored and I share a little more than a similarly spelled/pronounced name; we also journal. OK, well, Suzen has journaled for "forty some odd years" and I have four or so journals that I've kept up very sporadically for maybe a few months to a year. I finally realized on that last one that I was doing it because I'd been brainwashed to believe by real journalers that there was something I was missing by not doing it. With respect to Suzen and anyone else who does learn from their journaling, that is awesome...for you. For me, it was just another way for my all-or-nothing perfectionism to have its way with me. Even rereading it years later did nothing for me. Sure, I got a few grins from relieving the sweet stuff about my children but anything about me just left me feeling, well, unsettled. The past is the past and anything I needed to learn about it became part of me. The specifics just aren't worth reconsidering. OK, now, the point of all that is to share the "Ten Thoughts on Whole Living" from Body and Soul magazine that Suzen had ripped out of the magainze and saved in her journal. So, so good. Please do read them for yourself!

Life Clutter from reSPACEd:
3 tips to help that New Year's organizing resolution stick...I'm writing these tips in the spirit of New Year's, because I know how often people make "get organized" their resolution. But these are good habits to adopt no matter what time of year.
Good ideas that may be useful to a reader and therefore worth sharing. Nothing new for me, though, and that's a good thing. Finding stuff like this reminds me that I do have my life together (somewhat) and is definitely encouraging! :-)

As usual, this Already Pretty post weaves taking care of yourself on the outside with taking care of yourself on the inside, beautifully and seamlessly:
It is frighteningly easy to foist off our issues on the patriarchy: Body image woes, skewed concepts of femininity, confining definitions of sexiness and sensuality, gender roles, anorexia and eating disorders fueled by the desire to fit a beauty paradigm, workplace inequity, parenting roles....I believe that someone who is both complicit and complaining is contributing. And that internalizing anger at the patriarchy - becoming bitter and unhappy in the thickness of silence - is exactly what the patriarchy wants women to do. A quietly furious but essentially unmoving woman is as much a minion of the patriarchy as an complicit man: Neither is doing anything to enact change or better the situation.
I work for an organization that oversees high schools sports and, although I was not ever an athlete, I still champion for every valid Title IX issue that we hear was brought to the attention of our member school administrator or their school board. I understand that 99.9% of the time this in itself does nothing to remedy the problem. My enthusiasm comes from not being afraid or feeling so limited that we can not even bring it up. To define our concern as one that would be dismissed before it is even heard would be the biggest violation against us of them all.

And, lastly, just a good old-fashioned Other. This is from Tidy Brown Wren, who normally blogs about homemade crafts, home decoration and the like. This time, for our Monday Motivation, she identified energy drainers because...
You have too much life to live to be dragged down by a sleepy body and mind.
I wholeheartedly agree.

Until next time...Take Care Of You!

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