a fresh start for you, too…

its a fresh start for you too

All over the country parents are sending their kids back to school. A new grade, new classroom(s), new teachers, new lockers, maybe even a new school. We’re all gathering the items on the ENDLESS school supply list, and trying to replace an entire wardrobe of clothes that fit perfectly when school got out, but now stretch too tight and rise too high. However you look at it, it’s a kind of

 

fresh start.

 

While this time of year seems like it’s all about the kids, I think it’s the perfect time for us adults to get a fresh start, too. Back-to-school time is like a second New Year for parents. Along with the new school year come new commitments, extracurricular activities, and of course the beautiful change in seasons that’s just around the corner.

It’s good stuff, but busy stuff.

All these things culminate in a feeling of newness, a feeling of opportunities just around the bend. With the forced changes a new school year brings, it feels like the right time for a fresh start with new routines and habits for us, too. It puts me in the mood to reevaluate how things are going, personally, as a family, and in my business – then make the necessary course corrections before the holiday season turns my world upside-down. Because as you know, it will be Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and before I know it, Hello New Year! So before life completely gets away from me, here are a few of the things I like to reevaluate/prepare for at this time of year.

  • clean camera and lenses & prepare for holiday season
  • review my menu plan
  • make a holiday budget and gift list – start gathering gifts (I always try to make sure I’m done with Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving, because personally, going out into those holiday crowds destroys my holiday spirit)
  • look at my volunteer commitments
  • adjust my fitness plan
  • plan down-time

Getting my act together after the relative freedom of summer can feel restrictive, but it also helps me feel like I’m regaining control.

 

I’d like to take a moment to point out the awesome prices available right now at all the back-to-school sales, why? Because all that stuff we need to get for our kids is the same stuff we adults need to get our lives organized too!  And the sales now are generally better than the New Year sales 😉 . If one of your goals for 2016 was to get organized, this is the perfect time to get started (or re-started). Go out and get the file folders, pens, calendars, planners…whatever you need to get yourself on the organization train.

What is it you are looking forward to most this fall? Are you doing something right now that has you enjoying this season? Do you have a new thing you’re gearing up for?

until next time,
play hard, and have fun,
~Beth

To stay up to date (and for exclusive offers) sign up for the Elizabeth Wendland Photography NEWSLETTER.  And “like” my FACEBOOK page to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 .

is it a to-do list, or a wish list…?

is it a to-do list or wish list

to-do list or wish list…?

I haven’t been sleeping well lately. Lately being weeks. It got so bad I resorted to taking a Benadryl before bed just so I could rest for a while.

Most of the problem is all the stuff that my brain insists is SUPER IMPORTANT — at 2:34 a.m.! Last night it was the truck. Apparently my brain became extremely concerned that I hadn’t cleaned the battery terminals in quite some time.

 

The battery terminals, people. Seriously.

 

My to-do list is always long, and right now with dad’s estate stuff, work stuff, house stuff, and Mr. Awesome’s schedule, I just can’t keep up. I decided it was time to sit down and have a brain dump. Get everything, no matter how ridiculous down on paper, and hopefully, out of my head. Next, I broke down that list into loose categories of the things that were going on in my life right now.

  • a sick child
  • dealing with dad’s stuff
  • my business
  • the mess left from a contractor who bailed on the job
  • Spring, which means a husband working 12-14 hour days, 6 days a week
  • finding a car
  • getting seeds started for this summer’s garden
  • food stuff: bread baking, snacks, etc.
  • house work

This is the short list, but it’s wide-ranging. Each of these has a long page of items that need to be taken care of. Usually getting things out of my head and on paper makes me feel better.

Not this time.

Things felt overwhelming in my head, and when I got it on paper, it seemed overwhelming there, too. Regardless, I organized the mess of thoughts into a work list, and got started.

This sort-of worked – for a while. Then the sink backed up.

The evil lemon-of-a-dishwasher that has been breaking down every few weeks since we got it, finally stopped working in December. It wasn’t the end of the world, with just two people (one of which works insane hours), doing the dishes in the sink was manageable. Then the sink clogged up.

The kitchen sink was the domino that destroyed my carefully laid plans.

Once I couldn’t wash the dishes, they stacked up.
Then I had to clear out under the sink, and take apart the plumbing to clear the clog.
Next put it all back together and check for leaks.
Finally, put everything back under the sink, oh, and do the pile of dishes!

This process (due to other commitments) ended up dragging out over two days. Two days that I had things planned for. Two days that put me behind. I felt defeated and overwhelmed. Again.

The list I had so carefully curated to Get. Everything. Done. had fallen apart. It forced me to look at the list again, and what I discovered gave me a bit of freedom.

Is it a to-do list or a wish list ?

 

This season of my life is busier than I could ever have anticipated. Much of my list consisted of things I felt like I should be doing. You have some of those too, I’m sure 😉 Some of these are fairly important, like getting the seeds planted so that I will have plants to put in the garden in a couple of months. Others are things I feel are important, but can be put off – like getting all the photos my sister rescued from magnetic albums at my dad’s place, out of boxes and into albums.

By trying to plan every second, when the (inevitable) clogged kitchen sink pops up, I just get farther behind. As I move forward I’m trying to be more realistic about the want-to-do vs. the need-to-do, and learn to shift responsibilities around so that the essential things get taken care of.

And everything else? It’s optional.

 

Will this mean I can finally start sleeping again? That remains to be seen; but with my to-do list and my wish list now separate, at least I have a chance.

until next time, play hard, and have fun,

~Beth

 

I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts about your own to-do list vs. wish list. Do you confuse the two? What is your “clogged kitchen sink”?

when mother calls…

when mother calls

If you’ve been reading this blog for very long, you may have picked up on the fact that I have a weekly phone date with my dad.

It started years ago with one phone call.

 

We’ve been talking every week for over 10 years now. We had been talking.

Life is unpredictable, and no matter how long we have with loved ones, once they’re gone, it was never enough.

Last year I decided to start a series of blog posts about the Things my Father Says I procrastinated writing them, because I had time, right? Then, I didn’t have time. A few weeks ago my father passed suddenly, and completely unexpectedly. And while I am SO VERY THANKFUL, for the way he left this earth, with his boots on; it meant I was completely unprepared for him to not answer the phone that morning.

Over the years my dad has imparted some real gems of wisdom (whether he realized it or not).  I’ve tried to make notes of some of my favorites. Of course I’m kicking myself for not writing more of these down over the years, and I still plan on sharing them here with you from time to time. After all, this series Things My Father Says… is #60, of my 101 things.

Some of the things my father would say were inspired, and others were just plain funny! Today, I’m sharing one that I think is an inspired funny. Dad would say this every so often, and it’s definitely stuck with me. 😉

When Mother calls, you ought to go. When Mother Nature calls, you gotta go!

 

You might think this is just about the obvious reference. But after talking with my dad over the years, I know it was more than that. He would use it in our talks when I was overwhelmed with things I ‘ought to do’. It was a way of imparting perspective. More than once, these words helped me let go of things that weren’t important.

Do you have a favorite “saying” from your parents or loved ones that has stuck with you? Please leave a comment and tell me about it, and what it means to you. Until next time,

play hard, and have fun

~Beth

Is this the year you committed to improving your photography skills?  Click this link to learn more about my fun and hands-on Photography Workshops!!

To stay up to date (and for exclusive offers) sign up for the Elizabeth Wendland Photography NEWSLETTER.  And if you want to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 (and for photography and sportsmom related links from around the web) “like” my FACEBOOK page.

get up and do something…

get up and do something even if it's wrong - things my father said

If you’ve been reading this blog for very long, you may have picked up on the fact that I have a weekly phone date with my dad.

It started years ago with a phone call.

I really don’t remember why I called him that night.  All through our conversation, I just kept thinking he just didn’t seem quite right to me.  At that time he was 76, and I hadn’t talked to him in a while, so I wrote if off as him having a bad day, or maybe being a little tired.  Two days later the call came that he was in the hospital with a massive brain hemorrhage.  That’s when I decided that the occasional call wasn’t good enough anymore.  Life is unpredictable, and no matter how long we have with loved ones, once they’re gone, it was never enough.

We’ve been talking every week for 10 years now.  There are some stories (especially from his military days) that I’ve heard at least a hundred times.  And when he says “did I tell you about…?” I always say, “I’m not sure I remember that one.“.  This isn’t a lie.  There are always parts I forget, but more importantly, there are always parts the he forgets.  Every once in a while he remembers something from that ‘same-ole’-story’ that’s new, and I learn something else about my father.

Over the years my dad has imparted some real gems of wisdom (whether he realizes it or not).  This morning was one of those times.  We were getting ready to end the call, when dad said,

Well, I guess we ought to get up and do something,
even if it’s wrong.
“.

 

Those words were just a valediction, but I’ve been struggling with some stuff lately, and they hit me particularly hard.  I felt an immediate desire to write them down.

Looking back, I started kicking myself for not writing more of these down over the years.  I know there have been a few obvious gems, but today’s words… how many of those bits of insight have I missed just because I wasn’t listening?  With that thought in mind, this just became #60, of my 101 things.  Hopefully this is just the first of many posts to come about the Things My Father Says…

play hard, and have fun

~Beth

Do you want to improve your photography skills in 2015?  Click this link to learn more about my Photography Workshops!!

To stay up to date (and for exclusive offers) sign up for the Elizabeth Wendland Photography NEWSLETTER.  And “like” my FACEBOOK page to keep up with me on a daily (okay, who are we kidding, more like a weekly) basis 😉 and for photography and sportsmom related links from around the web.

pink my profile for breast cancer awareness month…

Goodness, it’s hard to believe that Autumn has arrived, and with its arrival come all sorts of good things:

  • warm drinks
  • cozy sweaters
  • crunchy fall leaves
  • crackling fires in the fireplace
  • pumpkin, everything… 😉

As Autumn begins and October arrives, it brings with it Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  This is a cause I hold close to my heart.  My first breast lump was removed when I was 27… it’s been 10 months since three more were removed.  So far, I’ve been lucky that my lumps have been aggressive, but benign, tumors.  My mother was not so lucky.

My mother had breast cancer at a time when NO ONE talked about it, and treatments were brutally hard with limited success.  She went through her battle with very little support.  Friends didn’t know what to say (or do), and many simply abandoned her.  Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then, but women still suffer.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and what would have been my mom’s 84th birthday next week, I’m offering to “pink” your profile image.  I’ve done this for several years now, and love seeing all the pink images popping up on all the social media platforms.  It’s my small way of letting all the women who battle this horrible disease know they aren’t alone.  So you’re probably wondering “How can I pink my profile for Breast Cancer Awareness Month?  Just send me a JPEG file of the image you want “pinked”.  I don’t keep your image, or use it in any way.  You get it back just as you sent it to me, only PINK!  Please use this link on my contact page to send your image, and thank you for your support.

play hard and have fun,

~Beth