Relishing Life

Focusing on the Blessings in My Life

Happiness March 7, 2009

Filed under: family,habits,Homemaking,marriage,musing,nature,raising children — Relishing Life @ 12:02 am

What is your definition of happiness?

When you have more than enough money to fulfill your needs?
When your soul mate smiles at you?
When your child tells you that he loves you?
When an friend calls to just to say “hi?”
When your pet cuddles with you?
When you are traveling?
When you curled up with a good book?
When you receive a hand-written letter in the mail?
When the traffic was light on the way to work?
When you nailed the presentation?

There are so many aspects of life which we can base our happiness upon. Yet, it is a choice as to what we allow to affect our moods. We all have things go wrong during our day:

We just can’t get up when the alarm buzzes the first time putting us behind for the ENTIRE DAY…
Traffic was horrid making us irritable…
The boss picks the other guy for the special project…
The kids make a mess and are fussing about everything…
Our spouse had a bad day and all household tasks are left for us to handle…
The cat threw up on the carpet AGAIN…

The list goes on and on. But are these really reasons not to be happy? Yes, they put a damper on that moment, but happiness is a state of mind. One which we have control over. We can choose to let these things bring us down for the rest of the day OR we can focus on the blessings of the situation or other blessings in our life.

Many – okay, most – of my days are rout with minor irritants that dampen my mood:

The kids don’t want to get dressed…
Now, they want to get dressed, but refuse to actually put the cloths on their bodies or let me do so…
The boys are arguing over a toy…
The house is a mess…
The ability to put DH’s dirty cloths in the hamper has eluded him – although our 2 year old and 4 year old do so without prompting…
The cat has thrown up on the carpet AGAIN…
It is five o’clock and I still haven’t even considered what to make for supper…
DH is irritable after a long day of work and traffic…
Did I mention that the cat has thrown up yet again???

But, these things are only minor nuisances. They might cause me a bit of additional work and definitely help me to develop more patience and tolerance, but they aren’t life-threatening although our attitudes can be. So, when something annoys me, I try my best – which quite often is not good enough – to remain calm and focus the blessings:

The kids are learning to assert their independence…
The boys are learning the art of negotiation…
We are blessed with an abundance of earthly things…
The boys love being Mommy’s helper and taking care of Daddy’s cloths for him…
Our purring cats…
McD’s is on DH way home from work (LOL!)…
DH comes home to be with us most every night and enjoys his work…

Happiness is a conglomeration of all of the little blessings in life that we choose to focus on.  As I continue on my journey, I work on my patience and understanding. I try not to become angered by the little ones’ blatant disobedience (most often failing). I try not to impose my expectations on others (DH) unduly. And, each night I pray that God will grant me the patience and skills to be the best mom and wife I can be. It is a blessing to know that I don’t have to be perfect!  With God’s help and my determination to try to choose to be happy as much as I can by recalling my blessings and the small joys that bring me so much pleasure instead of fixating on the nuisances, I am beginning to be a much happier person!  Please remind me of that it is up to me to remember my blessing the next time I start focusing on the negative, okay?

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Saved from Spoiling! February 12, 2009

Filed under: frugal living,habits,Homemaking — Relishing Life @ 7:06 am

I am blessed at being able to find good deals. (Now, I am not able to find may free items or pay only pennies for items, but I usually save about 40% on our household/grocery shopping.) This is balanced by the fact that I tend to procrastinate and forget about the *deals* that needed to be repackaged for freezing as their expiration dates near – and sometimes (more often than I would like!) pass – before being tended to. Yesterday, I was able to rescue several packages from going to waste and thus ruining my grocery budget. Here is what was lurking in our extra refrigerator waiting to become science experiments:

12 packages of 1.5 lbs. hamburger meat
1 chuck roast

Luckily, I “discovered” them just in time before they spoiled. The chuck roast and a celery bunch that was wilting in the bottom of the refrigerator were put into my sanity-saving crockpot to become a savory roast with carrots and potatoes for lunches and a dinner later in the week (reheated). Four of the hamburger meat packages were lazily placed as-is in the deep freeze’. I browned five packages and repackaged them into one pound packages and refroze to be used in later dishes. The three remaining packages were transformed into 8 mini-meatloaves and frozen for another day and 1 regular meatloaf to be reheated Friday night. I did retain one pound of the browned hamburger to be combined with the kidney beans (and seasonings) that needed to be used up to make chili for supper last night and made cornbread to go with it. So, what was about to have to be rubbish is now prepared meals for the next couple of days and for those days that I don’t feel like cooking in the future.

Do you frequently get that sick-to-your-stomach feeling as you open your refrigerator to find that *deal* that you purchased and had such great intentions for has spoiled? Does it break your heart see your hard-earned money being thrown away because you procrastinated and forgot? You are not alone! I am going to try harder to prepare items as I bring them into my house for longer term storage instead of allowing them to be wasted. This will take much discipline, but it is my job as homemaker to make our resources stretch as far as possible – and throwing away food because I didn’t feel like dealing with taking care of it properly earlier is a poor way to run a household.

Yesterday, I was able to turn my laziness into a blessing. Not only was I able to save our investment, but I also have some ready-made meals for later! Quite a feat for me!

 

A Fresh Start February 9, 2009

Filed under: habits,Homemaking,musing,raising children — Relishing Life @ 8:12 pm
A fresh start, a new beginning
Past mistakes erased, poor choices forgiven
A chance to thrive under new circumstances
The opportunity to become who you were meant to be

When blessed with a fresh start, make the most of it! Every moment is a fresh start to some degree. Make the conscience decision to make better decisions every moment from here on out. All decisions won’t be the best, we are human.

Here are some of the things that I am going to concentrate on (and it will take ALOT of work on my part and ALOT of help from God to even begin to make improvements in these areas!) as I step forward from this point:

  • Providing more “child training” for my little ones
  • Being more soft-spoken to my family
  • Taking more care in my household tasks as they are a reflection of my love of my family
  • Making better choices with how I spend my time (i.e., less time on the internet)
  • Giving others the benefit of the doubt
  • Reach out in friendship to others more
 

Frugal Living for Me January 9, 2009

Filed under: frugal living,habits — Relishing Life @ 7:31 am

I am trying very hard to be as frugal as possible. It is a fun game for me! I love saving money! The problem has been not buying just because it is a “deal.” So far, so good. I am trying to plan out our meals and only buy what we need for our plan – or what I KNOW that I can integrate into our plan in upcoming weeks. I have also unsubscribed to all email “ads” and have removed all catalogs from the house. It is much easier when you are not tempted by the cute items that you can get so inexpensively. But, it isn’t about how much money I can save when I buy something but how much money that have left over to pay down our debt with! I am trying to remind myself of this and push forward. Not a hard goal as it is one that I am pursuing strongly and am in great desire to fulfill. My best strategy? Going to the store as little as possible! The less often I am there, the less money that I spend. This is what works best for me.

 

New Habits for a Better ME! January 1, 2009

Filed under: habits — Relishing Life @ 8:40 pm

Wow! Today is the first day of 2009! It is the perfect day to implement new habits. There are so many things that I would like to work developing better habits for:

  • Making good food choices
  • Exercising (and making it fun!)
  • Making time for myself
  • Spending quality time with my sweet husband
  • Doing more creative activities with the kids – like crafts
  • Implementing a “formal” homeschooling program for my 4 year old (just making sure that he is on target and that I am providing him with the opportunities that he needs to learn)
  • Maintaining a real schedule
  • Truly embracing the motto of “use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without.”

Life is a precious gift that I try (and will try even harder in the future!) to enjoy. What is the point of living if you aren’t enjoying the finer things in life – family and love? So, I plan on making the most of those wonderful gifts that I have been given – as well as the material gifts that I have been given – and loving every minute of my life! We only get to live it once – let’s make the most of it!

Now, I realize that that habits take both effort and time. They will not implement themselves nor will they happen without work. One day and one habit at a time – that is my plan.