Friday, May 28, 2010

Are you in your skin?

Miss me? I have spent the past couple of weeks living life & haven't made my Friday blog as much of a priority. As usual, us hippie Thompsons have been filling our heads with more inspiring, slap-you-in-the-face stuff. My dad has said to me countless times that from one year to the next, the only difference in you will be the people you meet & the books you read. I used to respond to this with an internal eye roll, but now I'm beginning to understand how true that is.

Starting A Business 101
I really wish I would have taken a course like this in college if such a class existed. Fortunately, I have a lot of amazing people who have given me great advice & wisdom. I was talking to my friend Bobbie yesterday & actually heard the words come out of my mouth, "I'm afraid my business will fail, so if I never start it, then I can't fail." It is truly amazing all the distractions you can find to do in 20 hrs. a week if you put your mind to it!

One e-book we recently read is called A Lazy Man's Guide to Success by Bill O'Hanlon which talks about not being afraid to fail. I feel like this book was written by future Ben because it envelops so many of his thoughts & this author is like a mirror image of him in many ways. Why do we talk ourselves out of success so much throughout our lives? Why do we continue to do the same things that are getting the same negative results? Why do many of us continue to go to mind-numbing jobs that we don't like? This book will give insight on all of those questions & more.

Part-time and it Feels so Good
Regardless of my hesitation in starting my business, I am absolutely loving working part-time! I feel like I have my life back & I can be me again. I realize that not everyone has this option (or is willing to live on a smaller income), but I highly recommend it. When I'm at work I am much more focused & productive because I want to make sure I get all my stuff done. The feeling I have on Thursdays driving away from the office at noon knowing that my weekend is beginning is priceless. I think I'm about to drive Ben crazy with all the home improvement projects I think up, but secretly he loves it.

Farewell, Friends
We are about to say goodbye to two of what I call our "staple couple friends." I am either going to be an expert on how to let go of the people you love in a healthy way OR have abandonment issues the rest of my life by the time this is all over.

I honestly never thought when we moved to Memphis nearly 6 yrs. ago that we would still be here, but we have experienced more growth during this time than I ever would have imagined. Much of that is due to the friendships we've made here. I know this is cliche, but I feel this is all happening for a reason which will soon be unveiled. Besides, after watching the LOST finale I'm pretty sure at the end of our lives all of our friends will be waiting for us with smiles & hugs in a church once we've all worked out our stuff in our sideways world.

I leave you with several pics of our 'b & m's business trip o' fun' in Nashville last week. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

What would a trip to Nashvegas be without Maggiano's?
Ben bringing me an amazing chocolate cupcake
= Best Husband of the Year Award!
Iron Man 2 = awesomeness

Friday, May 7, 2010

Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.

Here I sit in a coffee shop on a Friday morning with the nagging feeling that I'm supposed to be at work. I also have a weird sense of deja vu since it was 2 yrs. ago this June that I quit my job & spent many hours in coffee shops soul searching. The difference is that this time I know what I want to do & I just have to figure out how to convince people to pay me to do what I love - no biggie, right?

On the Fence
Ben ordered another insightful, yet incredibly frustrating, documentary called Raw for 30 Days which chronicles six Americans with diabetes who switch to a diet consisting entirely of vegan, organic, uncooked food in order to reverse disease without pharmaceutical medication. We are considering trying this for a short time to achieve optimal health, but our elephants keep getting in the way.

The Ultimate Marriage Test
As Ben mentioned in his previous post, we spent most of Monday doing a lot of spring cleaning. After the pile of stuff we intended to donate got bigger & bigger, Ben said those 7 little words I've been waiting to hear since we tied the knot... "Maybe we should have a yard sale?" to which I responded, "YES, I thought you'd never ask!" Since then I have been like a bumblebee buzzing from room to room, cleaning out every nook & cranny. Ben, of course, begged to take back his suggestion & now can't wait for it to all be over. My goal is to make enough money to replace our $50 couch that we've had the past 6 yrs. Wish us luck!

Pet Peeve of the Week
I'm sure many of you have had the experience of using an automatic paper towel dispenser in pubic restrooms. I'm not sure if my DNA is vastly different than normal humans or what, but they NEVER work for me! I look like a crazy person waving my dripping wet hands up & down forever before it will work.

Now, I will say that I have had unpleasant experiences in the past with other automatic devices. I once got my entire arm stuck in an automatic door at a grocery store because I tried to open it like a regular door & it sucked my arm in. It got even better because I couldn't get the door to close & release my arm since I was stepping on the mat & couldn't move - that was both traumatic & embarrassing! I do like the sanitary & environmental purposes behind these contraptions, but I just wish they would make them usable for the average bear!

In honor of the National Day of Prayer yesterday, this is Cali praying not to have to take a bath...
And these are the beautiful flowers that bloomed last week in our front garden...
 Happy spring, everyone!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Critical Sense of Non-Urgency

This weekend I was kind of studying for my final Marriage and Family Therapy test before licensure, but mostly debating whether or not to attempt going to Nashville to take the test on Monday. It became obvious I would not be taking the test when I-40 was still shut down 5 different places between here and there at 9 PM on Sunday night.

Having already been approved for PTO, it also became increasingly obvious how much I would not be going to my job. So, we just slept in and had a day of fun. You may be thinking a day of fun means a Farris Buehler's Day Off re-enactment scenario, but it actually turned out to be a day where we cleaned some junk out of our house and found enough stuff to host a decent garage sell. The only thing that could have made it better was having an epiphany and realizing how to make Windows 7 better, so it could have been my idea.

This led me to educate my wife on the idea in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Covey of spending more time in the important/not urgent quadrant. When I say educate my wife, I mean telling her an idea I really need to tell myself, but doing it in such a way to protect my pride. I didn't go to "man school" for nothing!

Hanging out in the important/not urgent quadrant for a day is a lot of fun. Getting rid of junk and papers now and knowing someday we'll be moving without them produces a nice feeling. I've found dealing with junk and excess stuff when in the important/urgent quadrant produces a less desirable feeling and increases the chance of profanity.

I encourage us all to take time for the important/not urgent stuff in our lives. It is usually easy to notice what this stuff is, because we've been consciously avoiding it--the messy desk, the continuing education courses, an oil change in the car, the date we promised our spouse, etc. Careful, though, because time in this quadrant can be addictive, and can even lead to wonderful things such as taking steps towards a better career, better health, and better relationships. Of course this is all confusing because we say these are the urgent and important things, but live lives that are too busy to focus on them. Don't worry if you can't do this, because I've found if I wait long enough, an illness or a threat of loss will bring these things back into focus every single time!