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Archive for September, 2013

A Privilege, Not a Right

A very dear friend of mine posted something on Facebook that provided me food for thought – she wrote about the theme her pastor had shared with the congregation at her church: “we get to”. The idea is that things shouldn’t be a chore; they should be a privilege. Even the sticky things – especially the sticky things! For example:

  • Instead of “I have to clean my house” — say “I get to clean my house” (I am fortunate to have a house to clean!)
  • Instead of “I have to scoop cat poop” — say “I get to clean the litter box” (I am fortunate to have a wonderful cat!)
  • Instead of “I have to go to work” — say “I get to go to work” (I am fortunate enough to have a job to go to!)

To me, it’s about changing the focus or the lens through which I view my life. Sometimes, in the heat of the rat race, I get caught up in all of my i have to’s. They can seem exhausting, depressing, and hard to handle at the best of times! But when I step back, turn them around, and change my lens from negative to positive, I start to realize that it’s a privilege, not a right, to have the life I do.

If I think about all of those people around me, who I may or may not know, who are not fortunate enough to do the things I feel burdened by — it gives me pause and makes me realize that I should be far more grateful for what I have to do, because each task reinforces how blessed I truly am.

So next time I am lamenting the fact that I have to take out the garbage; I will be mindful enough to remember that it is my privilege; not my right.

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Yet again, I find myself wondering where the time has gone this year! I have just returned from my latest string of business trips, and find myself with a few minutes to write an update on the Harperness project. So here we go.

I’m happy to report that I enjoyed moderate success in avoiding the ‘easy outs’ in August. What I noticed the most was that when I pushed myself away from an easy out and through whatever task it was at hand, I felt victorious when I was done; like a pat on the back. And every time, without fail, I felt better knowing that I had completed the task instead of allowing myself the easy out. So I’ve tucked this realization squarely in my hat, and I’ll move on.

And now, for what is left of September. September is my month of working on home.

When I made that notation on my original Harperness Project list (early in the new year), I wasn’t sure what this focus would look like. I have a lovely home – it has room for my family and friends, space for my things, and walls that are filled with fun stories and happy memories. But when I sat down to think about this month, and about my home, what came to mind were the uninvited house guests I sometimes allow into my home that would be better kept at bay;  for example, blame, worry, doubt, anger, and frustration. All of these things would be better left at the front door; they don’t belong in my home.

So for what’s left of September, my focus will be on home and on everything that word means to me. I will focus on keeping my home a place of love, warmth, safety, and comfort. A place to go when everything else seems like it’s too much. My safe haven – my comfortable space. The place I count on, to retreat to, when the rest of the world is just too much.

So here goes September – home sweet home!

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