Finding the right path

“One must learn how to live. Not just make a living, but how to find a path of beauty in this life. We begin by knowing who we are.”  Powhatan Chief Wahunsunakeh

Found this quote over 20 years ago while in High School.  Something about it always captured my attention and helped refocus what was important.  While I was in high school, my oldest sister learned calligraphy.  She wrote this saying out and framed it for me as a graduation present. That frame traveled with me to college, to my first apartment, my first condo, stayed with me while I navigated my path of teaching in Juvenile Justice Commission. Somewhere along the way I lost that frame and my path.

My life took a drastic turn in my early 30’s.  Something that scarred me worse then I realized.  Mostly because I never realized how much I kept in from my earlier years too.  Though it was that event in my early 30’s that knocked me off the precipice I was climbing.

Don’t misunderstand some amazing things happened in my 30’s.  I met my partner, we now have two amazing kids, a home we are proud to have people come to and I found out which paths were not meant for me, no matter how hard I worked on traveling them, something always held me back. Turns out they just were not the right path of beauty!

Soon after turning 40, I started  direct sales business and really working on carving out time to write in addition to my full time job and spending time with the kids.  The world of direct sales is tricky, it definitely is not a passive income many tout it to be! If someone is claiming passive income, run away, it’s a scam! What it did for me was open my eyes to another path to take, one that allows me to use my renaissance style skill sets to make my path!

Don’t get me wrong opening my eyes to seeing the possibility of this path is not easy, nor is it main stream so many people in my worlds are skeptical at first.  But once I show them the possibilities and run cost figures to profit in addition to explaining I am not leaving my full time income ( yet 😉 ) they come on board.  Helping me navigate this path and being an amazing sounding board is another Momma and lifetime long friend, Joanna.  She and I talk almost everyday, even if just sending funny meme’s to say hi.  Recently we decided to read a book, Defying Gravity: A celebration of Late Blooming Women by Prill Boyle.  This book helped me have some major “Ah-ha” moments.  Most importantly it reminded me it’s never to late to find my path of beauty and really know who I am!  For almost 10 years I tried to become what others thought I should be or what I thought others thought I am , convoluted right?   Yet I was not true to myself.  That is changing.  #fortiesandfabulous is not just a hashtag, it’s life.  To all my other Late Blooming Women. we got this and the world better watch out, we are strong, determined, and have each other’s backs!

Bite your Tounge

This may make some people I know unfriend me, at the very least not invite me over anymore and I am OK with that.  This is really outside of my normal sunshine and roses, life is great I am up for any challenge type post.  At the same time, it needs to be said.

A few times recently, especially with the holidays, we have been invited to friends homes.  As our kids are normally dubbed the “good kids” who use manners, respect other peoples homes and their kids toys we are often encouraged to bring our children with us, in hopes our kids behaviors will rub off on their kids.  It’s something that amazes us yet we are sort of proud of as means we are at least doing something right.

Here is the crux of the matter.  We don’t curse in front of our kids.  We don’t let them watch shows that have “bad words” in them.  When they do hear a bad word we talk about why it’s not a good word to use and what could have been said instead.  So when we go to other peoples homes who do not monitor their language in front of children it makes it really uncomfortable for us and the kids.

It’s not our place to tell you how to act in your own home, but it is my place as my child’s Momma to teach them right from wrong and how to stand up for what they believe in yet listen with an open mind.  In the end it comes down to one major learned trait, respect.

We respect your home, your way of doing things; you want us to come over, respect ours.  My kids will always put a Mrs. or Mr. in front of your name weather you want it to be your first or last doesn’t matter.  It’s a sign of respect.  My kids will always help clean up the mess they made, and sometimes ones they didn’t.  My kids will always ask first and say please and thank you.  Is it so hard for you to not say Sh*t or F*ck in front of them?

How can we as parents, as role models for our kids expect them to do better, be better, when we ourselves are not modeling that behavior?

My kids hear me say please and thank you to strangers, even people doing their jobs like cashiers, door attendants, janitors,  ride attendants, gas station employees it doesn’t matter what walk of life some one is on, manners are used.  They are being shown/modeled manner so they use them.

At home, even out and about,  if something happens that makes us speak out we have other words we say.  My kids know if I say Nova Scotia, I am on the brink! (Nothing against Nova Scotia, have never been there but heard its great.  It’s something that just came out once a long time ago and it stuck.)  We found when we use unsinn (nonsense) words it helps us recognize our reaction and monitor it.  It also allows us to get out anger or frustration out without using the “bad” words.  Some of the stuff we say even gets everyone laughing which eases the tension.

In the end, it all comes down to respect.  Which do you you choose; respect or disrespect?

Enjoying the journey

Typically toward the end of the year I take a reflect on my years goals and see what I was able to achieve and what was not even on the radar.  2017 gave me a lot of curve balls yet put me on an amazing path while still achieving many goals.

This year we unexpectedly moved.  Though it was not something we intended to happen yet, It was the right path for us,  My family is happier and we were able to add to kitties to our world this Holiday Season, which would not have happened in our old home.

One of my goals was to write more.  This year I actively participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time!  For years I have said someday to this, this year I said lets do it!  Did I finish or reach my word count, no. But I did it and will do it again in 2018!  The Reluctant Cheerleader is almost 10,000 words long and will continue it to completion.

My wellness was more of a focus in 2017 and will continue to be in 2018.  Though i continued to  try to put a routine that worked for me together, life decided my income was more important.  2018 will find a balance in both, especially since I am now an independent consultant for Arbonne!  (Shameless plug here: http://www.arbonne.com/pws/karenrichards23569937/tabs/home.aspx )  My man has also completed and passed his ACE course for personal training and applying to gyms to start that journey as well.

Another goal for 2017 was to take a vacation.  This technically did not happen BUT I did get to go on a Weekend retreat with Tealightful in Rochester NY!  Buying the house did but a damper on a proper vacation,  yet we went to a wedding and stayed in a hotel for 2 nights, we went to the beach, we went to Sesame Place and many other adventures.  Memories were made and isn’t that what vacations with kids is all about?

All in all, I cannot complain about 2017 despite being a year that seemed to draw focus to all the negative. The journey had lots of mountains to climb and rewards were amazingI 2017  brought me closer to more achievements then the last 10 years (outside of my kids!) and I  am excited to see what 2018 brings!

Relax, Recharge, Be Mindful

Tealightful Tea Blog

This is a very busy time of year — a wonderful one — but get-togethers, shopping for gifts, chorus concerts at school, and tree trimming can all be draining. Of course, your normal workday, parenting, and day to day tasks still are included in that “busy-ness.”

Sometimes we get so caught up in doing that we overlooking the importance of being.

Like smartphones, people could use a good charge, don’t you think? In this day and age when people are glued to technology and constantly checking to see how much battery is left, I think it is really so important to step back and say, “Wait, what about being a bit more mindful about my own feelings and energy level?”

Recharge with Tealightful

When you are thinking about the more “traditional” ways to unwind, there is usually significant time involved. For example, many find it relaxing to go to the spa for…

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Drinking tea to relieve stress

As an avid tea drinker, this is music to my ears. Not only with the Holiday season starting and the crazy time it brings to my day job, but also with getting my writing in for #NaNoWriMo!

Tealightful Tea Blog

Today is International Stress Awareness Day. Halloween is over and it’s time to start preparing for Thanksgiving. Before you know it, the holiday season will be in full swing and even the most optimistic, cheerful person may begin to feel stressed out.

We had the opportunity to get some really helpful tips from holistic physician and best-selling author, Dr. Bradley Nelson. You may be familiar with Dr. Nelson’s book, The Emotion Code.

We really found his tips to be helpful to us and wanted to share some of his expertise with you — afterall, who can’t relate to feelings of stress?

tea helps relieves stress

How to Manage Stress: 3 Tips from Dr. Nelson

1. Plan ahead and be flexible about your expectations. Think about your plans for the upcoming holidays. Everyone else has expectations and sometimes they won’t match with yours. Plan for spontaneity. If you allow the plans that others…

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Happy Birthday!

Growing up I do not really remember going to a lot of birthday parties.  What parties I do remember were mostly family events and vague memories of childhood friends family parties that we were invited to.  I am not sure if this was just the era we grew up in or if my small group of friends, like my family, did not do parties like I am experiencing with my kids.

Even before having kids of my own, I worked for a company who provided entertainment for kids birthday parties.  This was more than I was used to but most of the parties I worked or observed were in home parties and the 60 min of entertainment was a nice break for the parents.   Still not what I was used to growing up.

Now that my son is 5 and invited to more and more birthday parties, he is starting to ask and plan for his party in March! To date we have always done family parties and the last two years inviting some friends to meet us somewhere like Chuckie Cheese to play and have cake.  I am beginning to think he feels left out after attending parties at Bounce U, Sky Zone, My little Gym, Science Seeds  and one tomorrow at iPlay America that have 20+ children there.

With our life right now, this has not really been an option.  The cost of these parties are easily a weeks worth of pay if not more.  I was originally thinking a small gathering at our home for his next party.  He will be 6 so he gets to invite 6 friends, not including family.  If the weather is nice they can play outside if not its a small enough number that the basement can handle it!  I know enough tricks from preforming at parties to give it some entertainment and the cost down.  It worked great when he wanted a costume party.  Now he is begging for a Bounce U party where he can invite his entire class.

I am not sure if that is in the cards for us, but with several more months to plan we may be able to compromise.  I am hoping with some diligent planning and budgeting we can work out a deal with the location, All Heart Academy, where our son takes Ninja Warrior course training.  They have a birthday package that includes a free month for the birthday child, if we can apply that to the party it should be doable.  Not exactly what he wants but I think a good compromise of being able to invite his class mates and friends while keeping it simple.  I hope!

Right now I am thankful our daughter has not experienced the party invite craze yet and we can still get away with cake at home . . . not to plan a Let it go/Elsa and triceratops themed day for her third birthday in December!

RSVP

Recently I hosted an open house .  Very informal but invitations were still sent via social media and text.  I had eight people say they were coming, one who was unsure and a LOT of no responses.  A few people shared their regrets, even last minute.  Hey, I understand, life happens.  For this type of invite  a  nice sorry cant make it maybe next time works!

I have always said I am a no pressure person, and I mean it.  Really believe the art of just spending time with friends is lost on my generation and younger and would love to bring that art back!  Technology has made it easier for people to keep in touch and see the experiences others are having but the more I observe, the more it seems these experiences are lacking friends, they are more insular.

Why do I bring this up?  Out of the EIGHT people who said yes, two cancelled last minute (one of those had a legit family emergency) and the other 6 where straight out no shows.  People I spoke with during the week about the event, even some that day, and not once did they say “Oh hope it is awesome unfortunately I cant make it. ”

According to the Spruce, “The term RSVP comes from the French expression “répondez s’il vous plaît”, meaning “please respond.” If RSVP is written on an invitation it means the invited guest must tell the host whether or not they plan to attend the party.

RSVP does not mean to respond only if you’re coming, and it does not mean respond only if you’re not coming (the expression “regrets only” is reserved for that instance). This means the host needs a definite head count for the planned event and needs it by the date specified on the invitation.”

In addition, “It is bad form to cancel an RSVP unless you have a very good reason, limited in general to illness or a death in your family. The host will already have made plans based on your attendance.”

Maybe I am old fashioned, but this is how I always felt about RSVPs.  I would not say I am coming unless I know I will be able to attend.  Even if the day of the event there is something else I would rather do, including letting my introvert side rule, I go because I said I would be there.  For me this is more a show of respect for the host and my friend who thought enough to invite me then it is about me.  They went through the time to organize, clean, prepare or buy food based on those coming.  How would you feel if you planned an event , had friends who said they would be there and they never showed? That is why I go.