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Breathe

Start here. Starting lines have demarcation. Stand behind this line and wait for the buzzer. Most major endeavors have a starting point. The first day of kindergarten. College applications. Proposals and wedding planning. The arrival of a newborn. Moving to a new city. Building a house.

You have an idea. You come up with a plan. You start a process. All with an objective to get to a desired endpoint.

General life does not have a specific endpoint. There are no Friday trophy for going to work everyday. No gold star for getting out of bed. Adult life is devoid of all those childhood kudos. No smiley faces on our homework. No lollipops for being kind. No trips to the treasure box for helping the teacher or being good at the dentist.

Adults slug through the days, day after day, week after week, maybe years after years and there are few atta girls or atta boys. Maybe we treat ourselves with alcohol or chocolate or shopping. Or, we “relax” by running or volunteering….neither activity is truly leisurely. Your adrenaline is still pumping. Your brain is still on. Maybe you veg out binge-watching something. Or you fall into the vacuum of social media. Also…not rewarding.

We need to find the tiny gold stars. We need to give ourselves the extra special treatment. Nothing grand. Nothing outrageous. When Mrs. Dorfeld put a star on your paper or sent a hand-written note home to your parents filled with praise for your performance that day at school, you felt uplifted. Proud. Encouraged. Valued.

Adult life grinds away at the sense of value and worth. Just because you get a paycheck every other Friday does not mean anything. It doesn’t mean you did GOOD. Or that you WERE good. That someone noticed.

And isn’t that what we all want? To be known. To be seen. For others to GET us? Our grade school teachers noticed us. Our coaches noticed us. We got praise from those early bosses. But, as the years go by…who notices? And now we are the parents, the teachers, the coaches and the bosses. Did you give an atta girl or an atta boy this week? Did you tell one of your kids or employees that they did a good job. That THEY were good?

And how do we learn to do that most basic thing for ourselves?

I give myself time. TIME. Today, I did this:

I went to a class and I learned to BREATHE. We thing we breathe but we are usually just gasping or yawning. Stop and breathe. Right now. Breathe to your navel.

Then I sewed these:

Pillowcases made using the Hot Dog Method. I used a bunch of fabric from my fabric bins and a bunch of the white yardage from our wedding reception decorations. And now my exam rooms will have new pillowcase covers. And they are cute.

And lastly, I made no decisions. Well, I made one – lunch at Cilantro Tacos Tioga. And that was a total win. Otherwise, I glided through the day without a plan.

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