Minute by minute

my thoughts on making the most out of all of life's minutes…


It’s more about distractions….

Happy New Year!

So it’s day six in the year 2014 and I’m six days into my No Wal-Mart and No Yelling resolutions.  I have to admit – – so far – so good!

I’ve not once been to Wal-Mart although there was an occasion on Friday when I was right next to Wal-Mart but remembered my personal goal and diverted to a local grocery store instead.  That was easy.  I don’t really see this one being a hard one, it’s mostly just getting out of the habit.

The no yelling portion is going well also.  My patience was even tested one night with my boys refusing to listen to me and would not get ready for bed.  After six or seven times of saying “it’s time to get ready for bed” and them ignoring me, I finally told them  that I was getting upset and I didn’t want to yell – so they had better get moving.  It sort of worked, it still took a few more attempts to get them motivated and it was tempting to raise my voice.  Alas – I prevailed and held my cool.

One tip my friend Sally suggested was to come up with a code word.  Something that anyone can say and once it is said – everyone stops what they are doing and listens to what is being said.  I have to admit, my first thought of this was “oh – like a safe word in S&M?”  (Jeez, Amy – read 50 Shades of Grey much?)  (Not really, I hated those books…..I digress).

I’ve been thinking of a good word to use on these occasions.  Of course when I mentioned the idea to my boys their suggestions were “chupacabra” or “butt”  – – remember they are nine and five and little boys love to say and giggle non-stop at any mention of the word “butt” or any combination or similar word.  I don’t get little boys.

I don’t want a word that is necessarily funny, I want something that will get their attention yet not annoy me.  We’re working on this part.  I’ll keep you posted when we agree on our word.

My friend Sally also sent me this article, The Important Thing About Yelling.  I, in turn, had other friends post it on Facebook.   The timing of the article was ironic and the fact that a few of my friends shared it  made me think that when they read the article, it resonated with them on some level too.

That’s because the author is spot on!  My situation isn’t exactly like hers – but I know exactly what she is saying.  I’ve seen the fear in my sons’ eyes, I seen their eyes water up with tears, I’ve seen them withdraw  – – all because of me.  And my yelling.  I have to say again, I’m sharing this with you – but it is hard.  And I’m so ashamed….

But another thing the author mentions is – distractions.  100% of the time that I’ve yelled at my husband or my sons is because I was distracted.  Sure – sometimes they are just not doing what I’ve asked of them – – yet my reaction to their non-compliance is because I’ve been distracted with something else and annoyed that they aren’t doing what I’ve asked.  So, in a sense, my reaction in yelling – is my frustration with too much going on in my head.  Maybe I’m tired, maybe I’m hungry, maybe, like the author, I’m distracted with something else on another level – – – it doesn’t matter.  It’s the distractions that leads to yelling.

So – the non-yelling thing isn’t just about not yelling.  It’s about taking control of other influence in my life and learning to leave those at bay while I’m dealing with another situation.  It’s going to be hard but it’s a life change I need to make.

I wonder if we cut out distractions in our lives, how will that improve other interactions?

For 2014 – I’m introducing my 28 day series.  Each month and for 28 days I’ll share a tip on a topic of the month.  I know by my implementing short and easy changes to my daily routines, I will see improvements.  This is an exercise for me that I’m sharing with you and I hope you find some value in it too.  I’d love to hear your thoughts along the way.

One way to make sure you keep in touch with each daily tip is to subscribe to my blog (see the button on the right?) or like me on Facebook.  Up and onward – – stay tuned for the 1st day of the 28 day series on reducing distractions.

Happy Monday!  Happy New Year!




No Wal-Mart and No Yelling in 2014

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

That seems to be all that I’m reading about on Facebook and blogs these days – New Year’s resolutions.  So I’m jumping in and adding my thoughts too.

So – do you make them?

Do you keep them?

What are some of your favorites or craziest resolutions?

What are your tips for keeping them longer than noon on the 1st?

A couple of year ago….

…I changed my perspective on New Year’s resolutions.  I had what Oprah’s likes to call an “ah ha moment” and realized that I was making New Year’s resolutions in thought only.  I made the obligatory “lose weight”, “get in shape”, “be nicer” resolutions.  But with no real intention of making any changes in my life, they didn’t last and by the evening of the 1st, they were long forgotten.

But then in the end of  2010, I changed my methods.  Instead of making a blanket statement like most resolutions are, I decided to pick one thing that I didn’t like about my habits and change that.

For 2011 – I vowed to return the grocery carts to the corral or return it to the front of the store

For 2012 – I vowed to put away all of the clean clothes after the laundry was completed and stop living out of piles.

This year, 2013 – I vowed to not eat any food that came through a fast food window.

For the first two, I did really, really well and made the new resolutions part of my life forever – not just that year.  I’m happy to report that no grocery cart is ever left out of place by me any longer and I’ve successfully trained everyone in my house to put their clean clothes away.

This year, I started strong, forgot about it for awhile and then remembered later in the year.  That fast food one is a tough one but it  is not going away, that’s one I’ll keep working on.

So I’ll ask again – what are your resolutions for 2014. 

For next year, I’m going with two new ones.  One is easy and one is going to be a personal challenge.  Both make me feel bad when I do it, both are things I really want to stand against and not be a part of my life.

For 2014 I’m going to:

Quit shopping at Wal-Mart.  

Quit yelling at my kids. 

The Wal-Mart one is going to be easy.  I can shop other places, even if it is a little bit out of my way.  But every time I shop at Wal-Mart I cringe and just feel yucky.  I don’t like the company’s principles of how they pay their employees, I don’t like buying the cheapest thing with the thought of it not lasting very long to only have to buy another one soon after the first wears out.  I don’t think the sales associates are all that friendly or helpful.

But you know what I really hate about Wal-Mart?  Is the fact that I have to walk all the way across the store if I am only buying tampons and milk.  I know this is their whole marketing scheme – I know this!  They want us to see things along the way from the tampons to the milk, remember something I’ve forgotten or discover something I can’t live without and add it to our purchase for the day.  I know this – and I hate it.  Sometimes all I want to buy are tampons and milk!

Yelling at my kids is hard for me to admit.  I’d love for everyone to believe that I am a loving, patient mom – all the time.  The truth of the matter is – I am a yeller.  And I hate myself for it.  And not only do I yell to get their attention, but I tend to lecture in a yelling voice.  I’m so embarrassed to share this and I’m so ashamed that it has become such a part of my patenting style.  I don’t want to be that mom. Yelling stops today!  (Why wait, right? )

No Wal-Mart is going to be easy.  No yelling is going to be tough.  I need to be able to remind myself when I get into a situation where I would normally explode , instead to keep my cool – – all the time.  Not just once or twice or sometimes – – all.the.time.  I’m going to have a talk with my boys about it and ask for their help.  I’m sure my older son will be more than happy to point out when I’m slipping.

So, I shared – and I’ll ask again – what are you setting for your resolutions?

Good luck!