Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Starting My Blog Has Been An Eye Opening Experience

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Eyes wide open or so I thought. I decided I wanted to start a blog, and it has been interesting, to say the least. Not exactly what I expected. It is more.

My interest in blogging was born from intrigue. I was so curious about my sons and what they were doing. One is posting videos on YouTube, and one develops websites and has a Social Media Management business. It planted a seed in my mind.

Their interest became my interest, and my mind went whirling. Did I want to attempt something, and if so, what? I had absolutely no knowledge of anything to do with Social Media. I was not on Facebook or Twitter, and I do not even have a cell phone. Definitely behind the times. *** their sites are listed at the bottom of this article.

I settled on writing a blog. Anyone can write, can’t they? That’s true in a sense, but can everyone write well? Then there was everything else that goes along with a blog. Who knew? Certainly, not me.

You have to either create your website or find a platform to write on. I could not afford to pay someone to build my website & I definitely was not going to do it myself. So I started researching for an alternative. I chose a free WordPress blog site, and my journey began.

To help understand my journey and the angst I have felt from time to time here is my real reason for starting my blog. I am a 73-year-old woman who has been retired for years. I was looking for an outlet to express myself and to keep my mind active. I was feeling stagnant and did not like the feeling.

The name of my blog is, “adjusting my time frame,” which references my age and my mindset. I did not want to stay still and accept that this was all there is. I felt like I was falling behind and becoming the stereotypical “old” person. No, I am not ready for that—time to do some adjusting.

How do I like it? Most of the time, I love it. There have been moments when I have wondered what the heck am I doing. It has been downright frustrating at times.

Not being proficient on social media made it difficult in the beginning, and there is still so much for me to learn. Just creating my blog space on WordPress was a lot of work for me. I have always been able to learn fairly quickly, but this was a challenge at times. There were lots of choices and decisions.

I just kept picking away at it. Each day I would read and analyze, and then one day, I just decided to go for it and hit the publish button. That felt really good! Now when I look back at my first few blogs, I laugh. It has been about six months now, and I have learned so much.

Sometimes I get frustrated because with blogging comes the lust for acceptance and approval. Each time I published a post, I was looking to see how many people read it, how many people liked it, and how many people followed me. Did I receive any comments?

Like most humans, I like immediate gratification. I want everyone to love my blog. Silly isn’t it. I started the blog for myself, so I should be content with just that.

I have found that each time I write, I want it to be better. I want to be a great writer. I have found I have a lot to learn. I consider myself an acceptable writer but not really good and certainly not great.

Most of what I have experienced is so typical. There is nothing special about my experiences. I know I have to keep doing what I am doing, and I will improve as I go. So many people start a blog and become discouraged. That is easy to do.

I have stopped trying to do too much. At first, I researched and looked at so many promotional sites, places I had never even heard of before. I wasted a lot of time doing that, but I felt I had to play the promotional game. No, I don’t. Not for me, I just have to remain focused.

I am starting to relax a little and fall into a routine. I have established a set schedule and always post three times each week on the same days.

Everyone says it is essential to have a specialized niche when you write. My posts are mostly related to personal and professional growth.

The downside to that is I have many other topics I want to write about. So now I question my initial choice; if you are thinking of writing a blog that is an important thing to consider.

Spend a lot of time deciding what you want to write about. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be comfortable with either writing in a specific niche, or not.

To satisfy my interest in writing other topics, I have now started writing at Medium.Com. You can view my stories at: https://medium.com/@lindalatt

Am I happy I started my blog? Absolutely! Do I regret it in any way? Not at all. Blogging is an excellent way to express yourself. It is a place not only to share knowledge but also to gain knowledge. It does not matter what age you are, young or old, writing a blog can be beneficial for you.

Blogging was just what I needed. It has provided everything I was looking for and more. In some ways it’s magical!

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Create a little magic today!

***

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSqpq1yNjFU1PO7geJ9Iy8Q

https://socialmediaroc.com/ and

Posted in Communication, Inspiration, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Success

Quote Of The Day

“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”

–T. Harv Eker

Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have fun with the competition today.

Posted in Communication, Excitement, Friendship, Inspiration, Joy, Positive Thinking

Quote Of The Day

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. 

— Maya Angelou
Photo by Abigail Keenan on Unsplash

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a great day.

Posted in Communication, Coping, Friendship, Inspiration, Personal Development, Relationships

A Friend, Frightened, Tired But Not Powerless

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“I am bent, but not broken. I am scarred, but not disfigured. I am sad, but not hopeless. I am tired, but not powerless. I am angry, but not bitter. I am depressed, but not giving up.”

Author unknown

I have a friend, a special friend…I think of her often. She wanders in and out of my thoughts.

Do you know how that feels? I miss her now that she is no longer here. We used to sit and drink coffee together and talk about random topics. Not important issues really, just the everyday events and experiences of life. We laughed! She had a knack for making you feel good.

I liked spending time with her, but we did not see each other often, not every week, and sometimes it would be a month or longer.

Then there was an inexplicable change. I could feel it, but I could not put my finger on it. There was a flash of feeling, a question. What was it?

We spent a bit more time together, she stopped by more often, and she asked to go with me a few extra times. Nothing dramatic or compelling, only slightly different. There was a whisper…..

Then, nothing. There were no emails, no phone calls, no visits…only silence.

It did not seem unusual at first; the difference was slight. It felt more like a shift back to the old normal. There used to be times when we did not talk or see each other. But it did not feel right.

Then there was an email. I was so excited. She was back. Open the darn thing, I could not open it fast enough. Where have you been?

Shock! It was not where have you been. It was where she was now.

She had turned her world upside down.

It all came rushing together. Now I understood. There had always been hints, little bits of insight about her home life, and there had been more chunks of it right before she disappeared. I knew she was unhappy, but I was stunned when I read her words.

There had been a small window of opportunity, and she jumped through it. She ran. There would not be any more casual conversations over coffee, not anytime soon.

She had been planning this for a very long time. There just needed to be that time, the right time. I had no clue.

I was stunned, and I was in awe of her. She was such a strong, scrappy woman. I sat there, re-read her email and cried. I was sad for her and what she had been hiding. She had told no one.

She was miles away, such a long way. In another state at the other end of the country, but I had no address yet, and no phone number to call. A request not to tell anyone and the information that someone would probably contact me looking for her. The plea, so urgent, please pretend you have not heard from me.

The call came, then again and again. So many questions. Where is she? Had I heard from her? He needed to know. He questioned why I did not know, why I could not answer him.

I lied, of course, I lied to him, over and over again. No, the answer I gave him, was always no. No, I have not heard from her. I am worried too; I hope she contacts you soon. When she does, please tell her I am thinking of her. They were all lies. He was not worthy of anything more than that. I would protect her.

He told me he was going to the police to file a missing person’s report. Shit! Now what? She does not want him to find her.

What should I do? She was going through so much, trying to settle in and make a new life. She was afraid. There was the constant worry that somehow he would find her.

I sent off an email, not sure it would reach her. She was in the process of changing everything. Please call me. I need to talk to you. Waiting for that call was agony.

I knew if he filed a missing person’s report, they would find her. He would know where she was. She called, and we talked for a long time. What should she do? She decided to contact one of his relatives. In the end, he did not file the report.

He never talked to her directly. Eventually, there was contact by email. He demanded she come back. He would change; things would be different. Yeah, when pigs fly!

She hired a lawyer. There were mutual investments and property. She had to deal with that, and eventually, it happened. Finally, it was no longer necessary for any contact. She still had the fear that he would find her.

Gradually life went on for my friend. She created a new life, but it was different. She was different. There was the never-ending relief that the relationship was over, but she was having a difficult time finding a new rhythm. There were so many changes.

It has been almost three years. I miss her. I miss the smiling face, the twinkle in her eyes, the warmth she radiated. She was, and, is my friend. I no longer take her for granted.

We still talk, of course, and email back and forth. It is not the same. The friendship and the way we care for each other has not changed. It is the same, but it is more intensified now. I want to be able to sit next to her and drink coffee. My dream is to surprise her. Buy a plane ticket and knock on her door.

You see now there is something new, a new threat, my friend has cancer.

What happens now? Will I ever see her again?

Posted in Children, Communication, Excitement, Inspiration, Joy, Learning, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement

Quote Of The Day

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”

– e.e. cummings
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As always, thank you for stopping by. Fill your day with laughter.

Posted in Communication, Inspiration, Learning, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Listen – Did You Hear That? Tips to Improve & Understand The Art of Listening

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“The art of conversation lies in listening.”

–Malcom Forbes

There are two essential forms of listening. First, is being able to listen to yourself. Second, is your ability to listen to others.

What do I mean when I say, listen to yourself? To some, that statement is foreign. We do not listen to ourselves. We listen to other people, so why would we listen to ourselves? Why, indeed!

Unfortunately, most of us do not know that listening to ourselves is something we can and should be doing. In some ways listening to our selves is an art. Every day we are bombarded with information. We think about events from yesterday and how we were affected by them, and we think about tomorrow and what we need to do. At the same time, we are trying to focus on what we have to do today. There are some days we are on autopilot.

We are not good at listening to others, so why should we listen to ourselves? The art of listening includes both.

All of us have an inner voice or unconscious mind, and we usually ignore it or push it aside. You should pay attention because this is where we store our basic instincts and our learned wisdom. Based on previous experiences and how they affected our overall well being, our inner voice will attempt to influence our present thinking and behavior. The unconscious mind stores our learned skills, our intuition, good and bad experiences from the past, and also our dreams.

When you are interacting with someone, or by yourself and planning on doing something, you may experience a niggling thought, or feeling, that is pushing into your mind. You are busy and concentrating, so you push it away. That is your inner voice, and it is attempting to give you information. Slow down and take a moment, relax, and listen to your inner voice.

I have had that experience before. It does feel like intuition, and I have found that it is usually right. Most of the time, I listen to my inner voice, and I am happy I did. On the occasions when I chose not to, the results were not good. I should have listened.

In today’s culture, we are so busy. To listen to your inner voice, you need to slow down. When you are stressed and want to make a decision, take a moment to concentrate on your body. Stop and focus on your breathing for 2 – 3 minutes. Close your eyes and concentrate on the way your body feels as you breath in and out. This practice will help you to relax and eliminate stress. Open your eyes and start to think again and listen to your inner voice. Make this a daily practice.

Also recommended is taking a small amount of time each day to reflect. Be by yourself and be still. Write down your thoughts. They can be about anything, a person who you interact with, a particular situation or upcoming project. The practice of writing things down, reading your words, and then reflecting, will help you visualize and may change your perspective. You are giving yourself time to think and to listen to what your inner voice may be telling you.

What about your ability to listen to other people? Have you ever been talking and you can tell by the other person’s eyes that they are not listening to you? What about when you are still talking, and they interrupt you? They have been thinking about what they want to say. I hate that!

Humans are not skilled when it comes to the ability to listen. If you want to have a good conversation, talk to your dog. They are so focused, giving you all their attention. They make eye contact, and they will move closer to you and make physical contact when appropriate. They signal their approval and eagerly await your next words. Talking to your dog will always make you feel good and bring you comfort when needed. How many people can you say that about?

Follow the lead of your dog:

Make eye contact. Let them know you feel they are important and you want to hear what they say. Smile when appropriate. Do not look away; concentrate on the one speaking.

Do not interrupt them. Please do not do that. It will make the other person feel lousy and unimportant. Wait until they finish and if you are not sure, ask them. Keep any comments you think of as they are talking until they are finished.

Watch their body language as they are talking. It will give you a better understanding of how they feel. They may be holding things back because they are uncomfortable or afraid. They may be angrier than what their words are telling you. They may be saying what they think you want to hear or they do not trust you. The body language they display will help you make an assessment. What do they need and how should you proceed.

Use your body language to encourage them and to show that you are interested in what they are saying. Lean forward, make eye contact, nod your head, smile, and use small statement words such as okay or yes.

When appropriate, ask questions that will indicate to them you are listening and you are interested. I think I understand, did you mean—–? Are you saying—–?

Don’t be judgmental. It is a skill to be open-minded, and for most of us, it is difficult. We all have our opinions, and we all have certain behaviors or words, which are turn-offs. To be an effective active listener, we need to develop the ability to let those words and behaviors go, and listen to what else they are saying while also watching their body language. When I become judgmental, or someone I am with is that way, I think of the phrase, “There but for the grace of God, go I.”

Listen. Do not do anything else. Let the other person talk and do not think about your responses. We are all capable of thinking rapidly while someone else is talking, but it is not beneficial. When we let our mind race, our mind wanders, and before you know it, your mind is on a road trip. You have driven off somewhere, and you have missed some of what they have said. You may have lost the real message. You form your interpretation which may be incorrect. Time to ask some questions and, an apology may be warranted.

When possible, as you are listening to the other person, tie their statements together. Are there multiple messages, and do they all come together into one detailed message, or do they need to be looked at separately?

At times it may be necessary to interrupt and explain that you are having difficulty listening because there are too many distractions. It is too loud, there are too many other conversations taking place close by, you are standing, and it would be more comfortable sitting, etc. Make sure that you convey to them that their message is important and you want to hear all of what they have to say.

We all learn about our behaviors and abilities from experience. From the day we are born, through school, our parents, our friends, and our work, we are exposed to different actions. You can decide which are the best practices. You can use those to develop your own ability to be a good listener. Think of the people you respect the most and how they make you feel when you talk to them. Analyze their ability to listen and what you see as the best practices.

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”

–Karl A. Menniger

As always, thank you for reading my blog today. Sit, have a conversation and practice listening.

Posted in Communication, Inspiration, Learning, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Finding Balance In Life, Both Work And Play, Here’s How.

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Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create

Jana Kingsford

Look at that crazy man in the image above. Have you ever felt you were balancing on a wire above a wide-open space with a long, long way down? You are desperately trying to maintain that balance and not fall!

Life is all about maintaining balance. Keeping all your ducks in a row and not letting them drift away.

What do you think about each morning when you first wake up? Usually, I think about what is on the schedule today, what do I have to do? What is most important, what should I do first? Do I have to do that now or can it wait?

If I were still working for someone else, it would be more defined. My schedule is much more relaxed now, but it is still necessary to maintain one. I think everyone should have one.

It is all about balance. We have a list of things we need to do to maintain our personal life, and there is also a list for our professional life. There always seems to be an adjustment needed. There is the unexpected, something small which can be set aside for now or something big which you cannot ignore. Everything is interconnected and is affected by any change.

Some days it seems impossible. You want to scream, throw your hands up in frustration, and walk away. But you can’t. In most cases, we get through the day by doing one thing at a time, making adjustments as we go. You figure out a way to gain control again.

Tomorrow will be better. What if it isn’t? What if you are out of balance. Not just a little bit, but where all your connecting bits and pieces do not fit anymore. You feel drained of all your energy and are exhausted at the end of the day. You are irritated and out of sorts. Nothing is working, and you are not accomplishing what you need to do.

Help! What can you do?

First, think about all those bits and pieces and how you are attempting to manage them now. The way you are doing things is not working. You have to be committed to making a change. If you continue on the same course, nothing is going to change, and it will get worse.

It’s time to make some changes. Put your current plan, or schedule, on a paper or a chalk board. Something you can see clearly and it is easy to cross, or wipe, off as you make adjustments. Make an assessment. Remember you are trying to put every aspect of your life in focus. They all interconnect. You cannot change one without it affecting the other.

What should be in your plan? Maybe, you were leaving something out before and that is why your plan was not working. Make a list. It is so easy to concentrate on work but you leave out the personal stuff thinking you can squeeze it in. Nope, it does not work that way.

What should you include?

Work, that is how you make your living.

Your family and relationships. Their schedules all intertwine with yours.

Money and budgets, all the financial stuff, you cannot forget about that.

Health. Include time for physical fitness; it should be part of your schedule. You should also be including time for the doctor and dentist and all your, and your family’s health needs.

Socialization. Take time to be with friends and family.

Religion. You should also include time for any religious activity in which you want to participate.

What is the most significant, most important activity? What comes next? Start moving things around and keep making adjustments. It is the time to think about what needs to be part of your plan and what isn’t that important. Can you eliminate anything. What has value?

When you have a plan you think will work, put it into action, and see if it works. Keep making adjustments as needed. This activity warrants your time because it is what will keep your life in balance. It should not be something you do on occasion when you realize it no longer works. You need to assess what is working and what is not. It is much easier to make mini adjustments as they are required instead of a total overhaul.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. I’m so happy that reading is part of your schedule. It’s important. Have a wonderful balanced day.